Monday, February 13, 2017

It's been awhile since I paid Osaka Ohsho a revisit.  How timely that I was invited try their 9 new cross-cultural menu. 

truffle gyoza
Truffle Gyoza
Let me start with my favorite Truffle GyozaThe balance between the pork flavor and truffle oil is perfect.

chori gyoza
Chori Gyoza
For those who prefer a bolder and stronger flavor, the Chori Gyoza is for you.

nori nachos
Nori Nachos
The Nori Nachos is an addictive starter.  Its wonderfully crisp without any hint of greasiness.

chicken enoyaki
Chicken Enoyaki
The Chicken Enoyaki is an upgraded version of the usual Chicken Teriyaki.

matcha butter tonkatsu
Matcha Butter Tonkatsu
The Matcha Butter Tonkatsu is a peculiar twist even for an adventurous foodie like me.  I felt that the matcha butter wasn't spread evenly so it I could hardly taste it.

salmon cheese aburi
Salmon Cheese Aburi
The Salmon Cheese Aburi is my favorite among the new menu.

gyoza tantanmien
Gyoza Tantanmien
As opposed to the Gyoza Tantanmien which I didn't find striking enough. 

Japanese paella
Japanese Paella

Another must try is the Japanese Paella because of its rich, flavorful and creamy rice topped with my favorite Japanese seafood selections.

Last but not the least is the Black Pepper Gyudon.  Instead of the usual sweet Gyudon, this has gone on the peppery side.

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I've long been wanting to try Your Local.  Finally, there was vacancy one weekend so we took the opportunity to dine.

your local
With its dim lighting, you can barely see what's going on inside.

your local
Upon stepping in, you'd understand why.  The place is dark with low lighting and the wood furnitures furthers the dark appeal.

your local
But, it's candle lighting gives a serene feel to it.


torched salmon donburi
Torched Salmon Donburi (595 php)
My siblings who have tried Your Local insisted that first timers try the Torched Salmon Donburi so we ordered three of the same thing.  According to my siblings, the serving size is now smaller and the price is higher.  But, I think the serving size is just right as we had difficulty finishing our orders.

lamb rendang
Lamb Rendang (595 php)

Ahia said he tried the Lamb Rendang before and it was also bigger.  Again, I think the size is just enough for me.  The flavor is strong that it gives me an impression that is heavier than it actually is. 
I don't think I'll order one of this just for myself next time.  I think this is more suitable to be shared although Your Local serving portion is for one individual meal of viand and staple.
Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Your Local may not be as hot as it was but its still worth going back for despite the price increase.  I will definitely go back when I crave for their one-of-a-kind Torched Salmon Donburi

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Your Local Menu
Ambiance Start | Main 1Mains | Sides | Dessert |
 White Wine | Red Wine | Cocktails | Drinks | Beer
=Favorites or Recommended 
Your Local
Business Address 106 Esteban, Legazpi Village, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines
Business Hours 11am-2pm; 6pm-10pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 600-1,500
Free WiFi No
Contact (0917) 654-3355
(02) 823-6206

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

When I was invited to Naimas Taste of Home, the name clued me in that it would have Ilocano dishes.

naimas taste of home
It had a cozy and native-influenced al fresco area.  

naimas taste of home
What awaits inside is a more spacious area.  They even have a second floor.


Mga Pulutan/Appetizers
sizzling sisig
Sizzling Sisig (260 php)

crispy garlic isaw
Crispy Garlic Isaw (240 php)
The Sizzling Sisig and Crispy Garlic Isaw is worth the cholesterol.

crispy tawilis
Crispy Tawilis (220 php)
But, I liked the Crispy Tawilis more.  It was very crispy and not too salty.

sizzling litid
Sizzling Litid (250 php)
I also loved the Sizzling Litid.  I think I enjoyed most of this sizzling plateful.

naimas nachos
Naimas Nachos (260 php)
Naimas Nachos is deep fried wanton with the usual nacho grande toppings.  This is the perfect bar chow as it doesn't get soggy even after a long period of time.

Mga Paborito/Favorites
adobong hipon sa aligue
Adobong Hipon sa Aligue (360 php)
One of my favorite is the Adobong Hipon sa Aligue.

paksiw na mata ng tuna
Paksiw na Mata ng Tuna (280 php)

But, the Paksiw na Mata ng Tuna is just as good.

pigar pigar
Pigar Pigar (380 php)
I was expecting the Pigar Pigar to have some liver.  But, I guess it was all beef which was good too because it was tender and flavorful.

kinulob na peking duck
Kinulob na Peking Duck (460 php)
Definitely save some space for the Kinulob na Peking DuckFor the price, this is a steal! 

Mga Gulay/Vegetables
gising gising
Gising Gising (210 php)
The Gising Gising is the healthiest among all our orders.  This is good but I guess everyone prefer the more sinful ones.

sinigang na bulalo
Sinigang na Bulalo (380 php)
Well, I haven't had a Bulalo I didn't enjoy so I was also comforted by the warm and savory Sinigang na Bulalo.

sinampalukang kambing
Sinampalokang Kambing (320 php)
This is my first time to try a goat dish here in Manila.  Trying the Sinampalokang Kambing brought me back to my childhood memories.  

I've spent some of my summer vacations at my mom's ancestral home in Ilocos Sur.  Every time we'd go there, my uncle would have our staffs buy a goat.  By the time we'd reach the house, there will be a live goat tied to the wooden post by the well.  The dried well was said to bring good fortune to the family.  The goat will be served to us for dinner as a special delicacy.  

How I miss those care-free days.  Everyday we would play with the neighborhood Ilocano boys (who used to bully and tease us by climbing up and make noise on our bed room window only to find out they just wanted to be playmates).  We would run or bike towards the tobacco fields to play hide and seek, luksong baka, patintero and our favorite of all: tumbang preso.  When we hear the church bell rings at 6 o' clock echoing across the entire town, we would head home for dinner which was the highlight of each day.  The manangs would set up our marbled folding tables and pair it with plastic stools by the window side so we could have a wonderful dinner with scenic view of the night sky wonderfully lit by stars, plaza light and church light.

pancit canton
Pancit Canton Regular (350 php)
I think this is hands down the tastiest Pancit Canton I've ever had.  And, look at the toppings... so many!

turon sa saba
Turon sa Saba (120 php)

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
If you're looking for heart warming dishes from the Northern Philippine provinces, Naimas Taste of Home should definitely be on top of your list.  Just expect the dishes to have a bolder taste and flavor than its native counterparts.  But, based on the impressions of my fellow diners, they seem to like it better.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Naimas Taste of Home Menu
Ambiance Menu
=Favorites or Recommended 
Naimas Taste of Home SM Light
Business Address G/F SM Light Mall, EDSA Corner Madison Street, Buayang Bato, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-10pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge N/A
Budget/Person 250-500
Free WiFi No
Contact (02) 246-9069 ext:408
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Sunday, February 5, 2017

For the very first time, Tsinoy Foodies got invited to a Chinese New Year celebration so we were very excited!  Knowing that Manila Pavilion (formerly Waterfront Hotel Manila) has a lot of festivities in store to welcome the year of the Fire Rooster 2017, shobe and I  arrived there at around 6 pm last January 28, 2017.

chinese dragon dance
At around 7 pm, it was announced that the Chinese New Year program is about to start.  Manila Pavilion Hotel's New General Manager, Mr. Franz V. Eichenauer, CHA, together with his family graced the event. 

chinese lion dance
And soon, the crowd gathered outside to...  

watch the traditional Lion and Dragon Dance performances by Choy Li Fut Hong Sheng Koon Dragon and Lion Dancers.

chinese lion dancechinese lion dance

It was a fun experience watching the hearing the loud beat of the drums accompanied by the lion and dragon dance.  But, what made everyone so enthusiastic and alert in picking up the lucky coins and candies being tossed.  While, I was taking a photo, I got hit on the head by a coin... Is that lucky?

Salad Stations
seasons cafe
While the Lion and Dragon proceeded to each facility of the hotel, shobe and I proceeded Season's Cafe for our Chinese New Year buffet.  While the usual rate for the buffet at Season's Cafe is usually at 1,200 php nett.  For this one night only, they reduced their rate to 888 php net and the spread is mainly Chinese selections.

waterfront manila
Since this is our first time at Season's Cafe, we wanted to try as much of their offerings.

manila pavilion hotel
We skipped the salad stations and headed more on the dishes that involved more preparation and culinary skills.

Soup Station
hot and sour soup
Hot and Sour Soup

To warm up our tummy, we began with the Soup Station.  There were 2 selections: Hot and Sour Soup and Egg Drop Soup.  Shobe (who doesn't like spicy foods) loved the Hot and Sour Soup which was not spicy at all.  I personally, would have enjoyed it spicier though.

Bread Station
bread station
Shobe was very happy with their freshly baked pastries so we bought some Ube Ensaymada, Ensaymada and Cinnamon Roll for the family from the Patisserie before heading home.  They loved them!

Cheese and Cold Cuts Station
seasons cafe buffet

Being cheese and nut lovers, shobe and I were thrilled with their cheese and nuts selections.  They even have pistachios available which is not usually offered in other buffets because it is expensive.  Since we're used to the typical Chinese cold cuts, we didn't try those anymore.

seasons cafe buffet
Both the Soy Chicken and Hainanese Chicken (see IG photo here) is a must try because they are both so soft, moist and delivers an almost melt-in-your-mouth sensation.  I'm intrigued by their cooking technique!

Wanton Noodle Soup Station
seasons cafe buffet
As much as we wanted to try their Wanton Noodle Soup, we were so stuffed already...

Shabu-Shabu Station
shabu shabu station
And, they also have a Shabu-Shabu Station which we were also forced to skip...

Dimsum Station
chicken feet

Shobe was a bit disappointment because there was no Hakaw available.

I have to admit defeat... My popular Chinese Tikoy with Egg Recipe is no match for their version of Tikoy.   Shobe tried the Buchi and liked it.  We couldn't guess what the others were filled with though.

Deep Fried Station

Main Dishes Station
manila pavilion buffet
Although the selection is limited, everything was delicious.

Carving Station
peking duck

The Peking Duck Wraps are so good! Just like the Soy Chicken and Hainanese Chicken, the Peking Duck meat is also tender and moist.  The Chinese Ham is worth a try too.  It was lean and meaty with least amount of fats.

Dessert Station
Better save room for dessert because they have a rather extensive Dessert Station.

manila pavilion dessert

dessert pastry plate
Our Dessert Pastry Plate
Our favorites are the Chocolate Cake, Leche Flan and Mango Sago.

Ice Cream Station
ice cream station

Fresh Fruit and Chinese Dessert Station
fresh fruits

Crepe Station
cherry and strawberry crepe
Cherry and Strawberry Crepe

The texture of their Cherry and Strawberry Crepe is perfect.  We managed to finish this despite being full.

Beverage Station
The buffet rate is inclusive of the beverages.  Shobe enjoyed their brewed coffee.  She had one before the main meal and as a dessert accompaniment.
Chinese lion dance

As part of the festivities, the Lions also passed by Season's Cafe to wish good fortune to the diners.

Overall, we Tsinoy Foodies, enjoyed our Chinese New Year 2017 experience at Season's Cafe in Manila Pavilion.  Because of our overindulgence, it was one of the rare moments that we were in a good and delightful mood to take a stroll and walk home.  

Season's Cafe at Manila Pavilion
Business Address United Nations Avenue,Corner Ma.Orosa Street, Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Business Hours 6am-11pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 1,200-1,500
Free WiFi Yes
Contact (02) 526-1212

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