Ever since my siblings and I were little, we always had our differences but dining is one thing we all liked in common.  So for our sisterly bonding, I decided to bring my little sister to Niu By Vikings' Podium Branch.

Niu by Vikings Podium
I still recall our first time to try Niu by Vikings at their SM Aura Branch.  It was a fun experience and my siblings enjoyed their wine and beer on top of the food.

Aside from the bright and more modern appeal of this branch, we found the food to look more enticing.  We were told though that the chef is the same and each dish in SM Aura has a counterpart here.

Sushi Station
london roll, barcelona roll
 London Roll, ♥ Barcelona Roll
On the basis of visual appeal, may I suggest making a first stop with the Sushi Station.  Even if you think you're not hungry, I'm sure a sight of these rolls inspired from different parts of the world will whet your appetite and prepare you for the long food and drink buffet you have ahead.  I was already salivating over the vibrant colors of the fish meats, the composed shapes of the rolls formed by the superb stickiness of quality rice grains and the rich blended sauce concocted by the sushi masters.

This boat dish well symbolises Niu By Vikings as it brings to us a wide selections of worldly inspired dishes.

Take the Sushi Station for example.  There are lots of fresh and brimming choices!  From the basic sashimi to the most extravagant rolls and aburri.  All my favorites are there!  Yes, they have a lot of ♥ Salmon Sashimi!!!

Bread Station
niu bread station
Raisin Barb, Fruit and Nuts Bread, Foccacia, Load Bread and Croissant
The Bread Station looks, feels and smells like a luxury hotel bakeshop.  You can enjoy them with their soup and cheese and spreads.  They also have freshly baked pizza selections.

Cheese and Dips Station
niu cheese station
Bleu Cheese, Brie, Cheddar, Emmental, Grana Padano, Ham & Cheese Cream and Vegetable Terrine
Wandering around the Cheese and Dip Stations is a great exploratory experience as the offerings are diverse in terms of flavor, fragrance and texture.

Cold Cuts Station
niu cold cuts station
Blinis Caviar, Shrimp Cocktail, Bacon Leeks with Gorgonzola Tartlets, Parma Ham, Chorizo, Mushroom Lyoner, Pepperoni and Peppered Lyoner
The sample size portions is a good enough reason for a taste test.

Seafood Station
baked oysters with cheese
 Baked Oysters with Cheese
But, we Tsinoys always have our eyes on the "price" wanting to get our moneys worth.  And, we try to make our visit sulit with seafood selections!  So, its more Baked Oysters with Cheese please!

♥ Crayfish
Thus, we are guilty as charged for Crayfish hoarding!  We locally refer to these as ulang.

steamed scallop
 Steamed Scallop (Upon Request)
Based on experience, whatever needs requesting is a rare find.  So we knew that the Steamed Scallop must be ordered before the signage disappears.  Indeed, this sea treasure was so soft and succulent.  

niu dimsum
Diners of all ages, couldn't resist these cute dimsum selections!  Not only are they too cute to devour on, they are also as delicious as the best Chinese restaurants in the Metro.

Tempura and Katsu Station
If there's a part of a buffet that needs no introduction, it would be this!  Niu serves them freshly fried as the fryer is on standby by the station. 
Carving Station
angus beef belly
♥ Angus Beef Belly
No matter how big you belly at this point, be sure to save some space for the Angus Beef Belly.  I bet beef lovers will find this satisfying for their satiable beef-craving!

angus chuck eye
Angus Chuck Eye
Every steak lover knows that each part has its distinguished price.  Thus the Angus Chuck Eye is well-known to be a poor man's Rib Eye.  This part is near the rib eye so almost the same texture and taste but will offer a few peso savings.  

rib eye
 Rib Eye
Because Niu offers the Rib Eye just next to the Chuck Eye, I obviously passed on the latter.  As expected it was served so juicy and tender at medium. 

When you're over with beef, you also can have the Leg of Lamb next.  

Shawarma Station
It is also my first time to encounter a shawarma machine which was so cool!

Pasta Station
foie gras
♥ Foie Gras
I missed out on the Foie Gras when I visited Niu for the first time.  I've since learned to have this specialty served as soon as I arrive as the sign stated that it is only until supplies last.

foie gras
 Foie Gras
The Foie Gras is kind of shy but here it is.  This is so good!!!

truffled cacio e pepe
Truffled Cacio E Pepe
There were six other pasta selection offers as a consolation.  At least, that's how I see it.  As I found the Truffled Cacio E Pepe to be the only disappointment among the dishes I ordered.

Shabu-Shabu Station
shabu shabu station
The hot pot or shabu-shabu is a concept shared between Niu and Vikings.  I think its probably because the Vikings group also owns Four Seasons Buffet & Hotpot.  So they ought to offer a bit of it with their other concepts.

Halo-Halo Station
halo halo station

niu desserts
To leave a lasting impression, Niu has a lot of decadent desserts to appease you sweet desires.

niu crepe station
Aside from freshly made crepes with fillings of you choice, you can order them to make our Filipino favorite Bibingka and ♥ Puto Bumbong.

niu cakes
They also have fresh fruits if you prefer a healthy and holistic meal.  What gave our feast a fine finish though is the ♥ Matcha and Chocolate Cake.  

niu drink station
Food is always paired with drinks.

niu cocktail station
And Niu has the widest range of drinks I have ever encountered.  They have beer, coffee, cocktails, juice, tea, sake, shakes, soft drinks and wine.  Do you agree that they didn't miss anything?

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Finally, my sister and I agreed on something.  We both agree that our dinner at Niu is one of the best meals we've ever had!  The service is good too!  Spend your birthday and see what awesome performance they have!

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Niu by Vikings Rates
Ambiance ★★★★ Adult
Weekday Lunch: 938 php
Weekday Dinner, Weekend and Holiday: 1,498 php
Below 3ft.: FREE
3-4ft, 3-7 years old Weekday Lunch: 308 php
3-4ft, 3-7 years old Weekday Dinner, Weekend and Holiday: 408 php
4.1-4.6ft, 8-10 years old Weekday Lunch: 618 php
4.1-4.6ft, 8-10 years old Weekday Dinner, Weekend and Holiday: 718 php
Senior: 50% off
Taste ★★★★
Service ★★★
Price ★★
=Favorites or Recommended 
Niu by Vikings
Business Address Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-10pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 1,000-1,600
Free WiFi No
Contact (02) 845-4647
Niu by Vikings Podium Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               
I've always been different.  I've always preferred unique cafes than mainstream ones.  So when Blocleaf opened in our neighbourhood, I just had to check out this quaint little cafe at Hop Inn Hotel Malate.  

blocleaf cafe
Upon visiting, I instantly felt that it is my kind of neighbourhood cafe.  

matcha latte
♥ Matcha Latte (140 php)
When I couldn't read or write at home, this would be my ideal place and the Matcha Latte as my drink.


longganisa pasta
Longganisa Pasta (190 php)
For a prolonged stay, they also have food dishes.

longganisa pasta
Longganisa Pasta (190 php)
While they call it snacks, I find it as fulfilling as full meal.  

eggplant parmigiana in brioche
 Eggplant Parmigiana in Brioche (190 php)
I liked the creativity they put in the Eggplant Parmigiana in Brioche.  It was handy, convenient and fun to eat.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
If your looking for a quaint little neighborhood coffee shop, check out Blocleaf Cafe.  I love how they are able to maximize the space well.  Price is at par with other coffee shops.  I hear they are also famous for their Ube Cake.  I hope to catch its availability on my next visit.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Blocleaf Cafe Menu
Ambiance ★★★ Menu
Taste ★★
Service ★★
Price ★★
=Favorites or Recommended 
Blocleaf Cafe
Business Address 1850 M. H. Del Pilar St, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours 8am-9pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge
Budget/Person 150-500
Free WiFi No
Blocleaf Cafe Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               
Mesa opens its 43rd branch in SM Mall of Asia and finally, I get to dine at Mesa for the very first time.  

mesa sm mall of asia
Yes, it's quite ironic that with 43 branches, I only have this chance to dine at Mesa.

mesa sm moa
So let me share what I've missed all this time.


tawilis with mangga on a spoon
Tawilis with Mangga on a Spoon (155 php)
I've always loved Tawilis.  Although I love it cooked simply in fried form, I couldn't help but appreciate the Tawilis with Mangga on a Spoon.

shrimp tofu salad
♥ Shrimp Tofu Salad (290 php)
I promise you, once you pop a piece of the Shrimp Tofu Salad, you will feel instantaneous joy from its light, soft and refreshing sensation gives to your mouth.  I honestly wanted to finish all this for myself.  

Meat and Poultry
inihaw sample
Inihaw Sampler (890 php)
A perfect dish to share with companions is the Inihaw Sampler.

 One Whole (4,995 php)
We Filipinos love Lechon, and more so for the Crispchon which is a counterpart of the conchinilloWe also appreciate showmanship and this is where Mesa excelled.  Look at the extent of preparation they go through just to please their diners.  It is served in three ways.

First, is in wraps just like the peking duck.  The unique twist is that they use pandan crepes.

Second, tossed in garlic.

Third, tossed in garlic and chili.  I liked this better than plain garlic because the spicy kick blended better with the fats and oil.

River Shrimp (Swahe)
shrimp on the rocks
 On the Rocks (300 php)
A must order at Mesa is the River Shrimps On the Rocks.   Aside from the fun cooking experience, the fresh shrimps really tasted sweeter  with this method.

Seasonal Products
sauteed crab
Sauteed with Olive Oil and Garlic (180 php/100 grams)
Aside from its many selections, Mesa also serves fresh seasonal seafood.

Apahap (Seabass)
salted crusted apahap
 Salt Crusted (110 php/100 grams)
The Salt Crusted Apahap is another exquisite dish to try at Mesa.  In fact, this is the only the second time I've had a salt crusted fish.  I don't think I'll ever get tired of the appreciating the tedious baking process and the serving presentation of this dish.

salted crusted apahap
 Salt Crusted (110 php/100 grams)
After removing the salt crust, the Salt Crusted Apahap is then carefully sliced.

salted crusted apahap
 Salt Crusted (110 php/100 grams)
After that, it is deboned so it's easy to eat like a fillet.

tinapa rice
Tinapa Rice (180 php)
The Tinapa Rice did not appeal to me anymore since the Tawilis with Mangga on a Spoon already stole the limelight for dried fish dish.

crispy leche flan
 Crispy Leche Flan (75 php)
Whenever at home and at the office, everyone would go crazy whenever there is a leche flan.  But, I never was that big of a fan.  Yet, when I tried the Crispy Leche Flan, I couldn't help myself to have more and more of it.  We had to order another one of it  because we all felt the same!

mesa drinks

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Mesa certainly offers a one of a kind Filipino dining experience.  Its service and performance to impress diners is unlike any other.  I am not surprised if it comes up with more branches in the future.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Mesa Menu
Ambiance ★★★ N/A
Taste ★★★
Service ★★★
Price ★★
=Favorites or Recommended 
Mesa SM Mall of Asia
Business Address Ground Floor, North Wing, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-10pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 350-800
Free WiFi No
Contact (02) 759-2271
Mesa SM Mall of Asia Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

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