Friday, October 31, 2014

My bestie Eric and I have this weird habit of inviting each other as spontaneous or impromptu as possible when we know we're in each other's convenient zone.  A few days ago, I was in Makati where he works so I invited him to have a lunch break at an instantaneously found place called "Manila Maki" at Elizabeth's Place Condominium.  If you're unfamiliar with the location, it's wiser to ask the name of the building instead so people can guide you towards it. 

In case you're wondering why Manila when it's in Makati, we asked that too.  Manila symbolizes Pinoy food and not the location.

manila maki

Eric was smiling as soon as  he saw their happy hour poster by the entrance.  I, on the other hand, was allured by Manila Maki's unique decor and interiorIt was a certainly a mix bag of creativity that blended well with each other.

The lights were made from laminated Japanese newspaper sheets.  Some parts of the place also had Japanese newspaper as a wallpaper.  Tables were either made of solid wood or wooden planks formed into a picnic table.  The chairs had a lot of variety too from modern plastic ones to steel garden types to wooden stools made of planks and picnic benches. 
manila maki

Seeing their wooden framed food shots and glancing on their menu filled with their Pinoy-Japanese dishes made me feel a bit skepticI mean who does Pinoy-Japanese fusion?  I've always considered myself to be an adventurous foodie but never have I encountered such a bold twist.  I'm fearing that I might end up forced to finish all our ordersEric is a good friend but he is such a picky eater.  If he doesn't like the food, no one can ever make him eat even if it means saving his life.


manila maki
Each table had Japanese newspaper wrapped chopstick, napkin and soy sauce holders.

manila maki
And, plates were set up with soy sauce holders so you're ready for a whole new maki experience!

Food 

Sashimi
seared tuna kinilaw
Seared Tuna Kinilaw (245 php)
As you can see, the Seared Tuna Kinilaw is cooked with precision.  Other than that, the preparation doesn't seem too technical as it is topped with peppers and sesame seeds and served with spicy vinegar dip.  Yet, the delivery of the dish  was surprisingly splendid!  We both thought it was ingenious!


Premium Rolls
manila maki
Manila Maki (255 php)
Our server recommended their best-selling Manila Maki.  It appears like an ordinary topped tuna-topped maki but it's actually very complicated.  It's drizzled with a light mango dressing, the sushi rice is rolled in garlic bits and filled with fresh Philippine mango, kani salad and nilasing na hipon.  I found this to be a more interesting version of the usual California Maki

adarna roll
Adarna Roll (225 php)
To be honest, we loved the Adarna Roll more than the Manila MakiCan you guess what's on top?  It really looks like Unagi but it's actually their crisp bangus belly fillets braised in teriyaki and topped with sesame seeds.  They were wonderfully tasty.  The rest are common sushi complements such as: kani salad, mango, cucumber, lettuce and topiko duo.

Salad
spicy tuna salad
Spicy Tuna Salad (265 php)
Manila Maki's Spicy Tuna Salad makes all the spicy tuna I've tried in the past pale in comparison.  Despite being so saucy and flavorful due to the interesting pinoy twist of using taba ng talanga, the tiny tempura flakes successfully delivered a sensational crisp in every bite.  It is spiced with chili flakes which you can request to be milder or spicier depending on our preference.

Ala Carte
longgiyoza
Longgiyoza (125 php)
I love the classic gyoza but boy, the Longgiyoza has swooned me to a whole new level.  Aside from the perfect skin thickness, smoothness and meat juiciness, cabanatuan longganisa amazingly adds an explosive savoriness to it.

bon bon chicken
Bon Bon Chicken (185 php)
The appearance of the Bon Bon Chicken is similar to the Korean fried chickenBut, this is way better!  Upon trying a piece of these boneless crunchy chicken coated in sweet garlic-ginger sauce and drizzled with Japanese mayo, Eric and I just couldn't stop ourselves from munching on some more.  We finished this bowlful even to the last crunchy sauce-coated batter

Donburi
sisigdon
Sisigdon (215 php)
The highlight of our meal was the Sisigdon.  It's a bowlful of pork sisig with beaten egg, sweet shoyo sauce, chili powder, green onions and chicharon bits. Gosh! My words can never be enough to expound on this.  You just have to try this out for yourself to appreciate the magical sensation of taste and texture of this dish.

Dessert
molten lava
Molten Lava (165 php)
I wanted to try the Coco Mango which was not available at the time but I always have to have my dessert so I settled for the Molten Lava instead.  Unlike other lava cakes which had hot fudge splurging from the center, this one just has a center that's more moist than the other parts but lots of chocolate fudge is found on the outside.

Drinks

Shakes
buco lychee
Buco Lychee (140 php)
The Buco Lychee is a tall glass of very refreshing thirst-quencher and palate cleanser.  

Manila Maki Specialty Drinks
calamansi saketini
Calamansi Saketini (195 php)
The Calamansi Saketini is Manila Maki's take on the Martini by substituting sake.  Sake has a very bold flavor but this drink masks its perfectly by delivering a nice tangy and mildly sweetened calamansi blend.


the maki cooler
The Maki Cooler (225 php)
The Maki Cooler is a sweet and delicious four seasons and dalandan juice mixed with coconut rum, vodka and sake concoction that so smooth you'll forget you're having alcohol.


Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Manila Maki is Makati's hidden Pinoy-Japanese Fusion gem.  I have to hand it to them.  They really know what they're doing.  Every dish is a masterpiece.  We couldn't help but swipe everything clean... everything sticky grain and to the last drop of our beverage.  Price is affordable.  Serving size is great for sharing especially their SashimiPinoy Maki and Premium Rolls.  The drinks are just as good so go ahead and pair them with your food.  They also offer a reliably fast WiFi.

P.S. Saw on their menu a pamphlet that they also do catering with more dish options.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Manila Maki Menu
Ambiance Nigiri Sushi | Sashimi | Pinoy Maki | Premium Rolls 
Salads | Sushi Katsu | Ala Carte
 Tempura | Teriyaki Inasal | Teppanyaki |  
Noodles | Donburi |  
Rice | Desserts Drinks 1 | Drinks 2 |
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Manila Maki
Business Address Elizabeth Place Condominium
332 HV Dela Costa, Salcedo Village, 
Makati, Metro Manila
Business Hours Lunch: 11am-2pm
Dinner: 5pm-11pm
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge N/A
Budget/Person 200-500
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 822-7319
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Manila Maki Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Our shopping spree at Lucky China Town Mall got us hungry but we didn't mind waiting in line for Little Asia that night.

little asia lucky china town mall
Having good experiences at Little Asia in the past made us enticed to come back for more.

little asia lucky china town mall
As you can see, the interiors are quite luxurious with chandeliers and beautiful wallpaper prints.  But, the tables are cramped with little spacing and you can hear the chatter all over the place.  That's quite typical for Chinese restaurants so we're comfortable with that.

Food
What we love about Little Asia is that they continuously add new dishes so we are always assured of something  new to try in every visit aside from our old favorites.

Poultry
kung pao chicken
Kung Pao Chicken (275 php)
The kung pao chicken is a family favorite.   Little Asia's Kung Pao Chicken has big chunks of chicken in spicy kung pao sauce with peanuts, leeks and black chili.  It was a pretty good rendition!

Seafood
coconut fish fillet
Coconut Fish Fillet (275 php)
Our new and well-loved discovery was the Coconut Fish Fillet.   It was soft and slippery fish fillet in a mildly spiced coconut cream sauce with a hint of basil. 

Vegetables
shanghai spinach tofu
Shanghai Spinach Tofu (245 php)
The Shanghai Spinach Tofu is also a must try!  It is a pan fried tofu topped with finely chopped spinach with oyster sauce, rice wine, shitake mushroom ginger and onion leeks.

Rice
yang chow fried rice
Yang Chow Fried Rice (255 php)
The Yang Chow Fried Rice was recommended by our server.  We regret ordering this because it was too common.  Next time, we'll go for the Salted Fish Fried Rice or their noodles instead.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
When it comes to Asian cuisine, definitely put Little Asia on top of your list.  Their pricing is affordable and serving size is good for sharing.  They also have a wide-range of selections to choose from.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Little Asia Menu
Ambiance Menu
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Little Asia Lucky Chinatown Mall
Business Address G/F, Lucky Chinatown Mall,
Reina Regente St cor Dela Reina, Binondo
Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-9pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 300-800
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Little Asia Lucky Chinatown Mall Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Monday, October 27, 2014

My family has been raving about Curry Bee Japanese Curry Shop for quite some time.  In fact, they've been there several times already.  It just so happened that I'm always unavailable. 

curry bee japanese curry shop
Luckily, last month, I was able to try it out for myself with the family.

curry bee japanese curry shop
It had a minimalist casual flair with its yellow cushioned booths and space saving dividers.

Food

Omelet Curry
hamburger omelet curry
Hamburger Omelet Curry (273 php)
The Hamburger Omelet Curry is a must try!  I'm rarely impressed with Japanese burgers and this is one of those moments.  Based on the burger alone, I still think Arafu cafe's version is better but this is a real steal for a much more affordable price!  Judging by the Japanese curry, this is by far the best one I've tried yet.  The omelet is plain but fluffy.


Curry Noodles
sliced beef curry ramen
Sliced Beef Curry Ramen (310 php)
I had the Sliced Beef Curry Ramen.  I loved this so much I finished it to the last bit.  The ramen noodles are not that special but they are really enhanced by the curry broth and the tender and tasty sliced beef.

Udon w/ Hot Soup
mushroom udon
Mushroom Udon (238 php)
The Mushroom Udon is a soothing clear broth that brings out the delicious flavor of the enoki mushrooms and seaweeds.  This is a common favorite of the family.

Bee Ramen
pork ramen soup
Pork Ramen Soup (230 php)
A big thumbs up for their Pork Ramen Soup.  For it's substantially low price, it is at par with authentic ramen brands that are franchised from abroad. 


Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
The family rarely visit the same restaurant more than twice.  I rarely do too unless of course, there are new interesting offerings.  But, after we had our dinner at Curry Bee Japanese Curry Shop, we all agreed that we'll be back again.  I've read the poor ratings are mostly due to poor service.  The service was actually very good on during our visit.  It was on a Sunday evening and the place was packed. 


Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Curry Bee Japanese Curry Shop Menu
Ambiance Fried Dish Curry | Omelet Curry | Stewed Dish Curry |

Fried Rice | Noodles | Grilled | Donburi |  
Salad | Snacks | Drinks |
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Curry Bee Japanese Curry Shop
Business Address Bluebay Walk, EDSA Extention, 
Pasay City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-12am
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 250-500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 7850737
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Curry Bee Japanese Curry Shop Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Friday, October 24, 2014

Most addicts don't admit that they are addicts.  But, I'm really honest so I'll confess I'm an ice cream addict!   To prevent myself from stuffing up on too much ice cream (I used to eat a pint/s a day), I have a personal policy of not eating ice cream unless someone else invites me.  So one usual malling night, the family decided to try Swensen's

Of course, I was so excited! 

I quickly checked out the flavors at the counter even though all the diners are seated as they have a menu so no need to stand up lol.



As I counted, they have 16 different flavors available.
 
They had a large seating capacity but it was a bit crowded.

Food
Apple Cranberry Sorbet (95 php) and Blueberry Cobbler (95 php) (Add 20 php for the Waffle Cone)
Yogen Berry (95 php), Mango (95 php) and Blueberry Cobbler (95 php)
We really love that they have tarty options.  The flavors are also out of the ordinary.  

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Swensen's Philippines offers delicious ice cream that will cool you down anytime you need to chill.  They have lots of flavors to offer so you'll sure find one to your liking.  However, I find their pricing a bit steep. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Swensen's Philippines Menu
Ambiance Menu
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Swensen's Philippines
Business Address G/F SM Mall of Asia, South Wing, Seaside Drive,
Pasay City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge

Budget/Person 100-500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 804-0046
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Swensen's Philippines Mall of Asia Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

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