Excelente Ham: Our Family Favorite Deboned Chinese Ham

As the entire is busy preparing for our Noche Buena Meal, I've decided to take a short break to share with you our favorite cooked ham, Excelente Cooked Ham.

excelente cooked ham
Many years ago, we've tried several hams from different stores and delis.  We've also ventured into various types of ham including Chicken Ham, Hamon de Bola and all sorts.  It didn't take long before we all concluded that the best cooked ham for us is Excelente Deboned Chinese Cooked Ham.

excelente chinese ham
Deboned Chinese Cooked Ham (1,020 php/kilo) *price updated as of 12/16/2014
When you buy any ham from Excelente, it comes witht heir special glazed sauce.  The Deboned Chinese Cooked Ham is cooked perfectly as you can see by its looks. 

excelente deboned ham
The Deboned Chinese Cooked Ham has tender meat that has the right blend of sweetness and saltiness.  It also has the right amount of fats in it too.

Excelente also sells Boned Ham (980 php/kilo), Scrap Ham (740 php/kilo) and bacons.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Excelente Cooked Ham is a trusted name when it comes to cooked ham.  I'm sure we're not the only family who is delighted with their products.  Excelente Cooked Ham is a must in the Noche Buena celebration and its the perfect gift item for friends and family too. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Excelente Ham Price List (Update Dec 29, 2016)
Packaging Deboned or Chinese ham - 1,300 /kilo 
Boned ham - 1,000 /kilo S
Scrap ham - 800/kilo
=Favorites or Recommended 
Excelente Ham
Business Address 155- 157 Carlos Palanca St.,
Quiapo, Manila, Metro Manila
Contact (02) 733-6355
Business Hours 7:30am-8pm
Payment Options Cash
Product Price Range 750-3,000
Excelente Ham Inc. Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Italianni's Restaurant: Holiday Feast Platters For Christmas Bonding

Italianni's Restaurant is one of the first Italian Restaurants I have ever tried since it opened it's doors on 1996.  I've spent countless memorable celebrations at Italianni's.

italiannis restaurant

italiannis restaurant
Italianni's interiors is a dimly-lit restaurant with comfortable wooden chairs matching its wooden tables.  It has a a homey feel brought about by the rustic photo frames adorned on its walls.  The paintings and Italian words on its walls enhances the Italian experience.

Holiday Feast Platters
Since Christmas is about sharing and gathering, Italianni's offers the Holiday Feast Platters.  There are two sets to choose from: Country Classic and the Farmer's Feast

holiday feast platters

Country Classic (1,125 php)
creamy marinara pasta
Creamy Marinara Pasta
The Creamy Marinara Pasta is topped with smoked salmon and red and green bell peppers.  I really enjoyed the smoked salmon strips.  The sauce is tomato based mixed with cream so you get to enjoy some tanginess and creaminess at the same time.  
tender boneless beef short ribs
 Tender Boneless Beef Short Ribs
The Tender Boneless Beef Short Ribs is so tender and succulent that I just can't stop but savor every bite of it.  The sauce with button mushrooms is just the perfect complement.

grilled chicken
Grilled Chicken
The golden brown skin color of the Grilled Chicken indicates that it was cooked with great precision unleashing its juiciness in every bite.  It's best eaten with the sauce to enhance its light taste.

Farmer's Feast (1,125 php)
aglio oglio
Aglio Oglio
The Aglio Oglio is a classic pasta with olive oil, chili and garlic.  This is a great staple that matches the more flavorful viands that comes with the set.
baby back ribs
Baby Back Ribs
The Baby Back Ribs rubbed in bourbon sauce is tender and tasty.  Each rack was pleasurably enjoyed by me and my companions.
herbed roasted spring chicken
Herb Roasted Spring Chicken
The Herb Roasted Spring Chicken served with gravy is delicious!  I loved it with or without the gravy.  It had an aromatic flavor on its own. 
  Regular Menu Items

fried calamari
Fried Calamari Regular (495 php)
The Fried Calamari is the starter that no one could resist munching on.  There's combination of crunchy and chewy is just sensational.

seafood mango pizza
Seafood Mango Pizza (625 php)
The Seafood Mango Pizza has the delicious flavors of the sea together with the tropical sweetness of yellow mango slices.  It's a very flavorful treat especially with its fragrant pesto cream sauce.  I also love that taste, softness with the right crispy coating of Italianni's pizza crust.  

angus steak pizza
Angus Steak Pizza (575 php)
The Angus Steak Pizza is a meat-lovers joy with its minched Angus beef, green bell peppers, caramelized onions with creamy mushroom sauce. 

creamy crab spaghetti
Creamy Crab Spaghetti (425 php)
The Creamy Crab Spaghetti is a white sauce based pasta topped with fresh crab meat and tomatos bits.  The sweet crab meat perfectly complements the white cream sauce upgrading it from usual and common into an interesting wholesome experience.

Tartufo (450 php)
I've always been a fan of Italiani's desserts!  The Tartufo is a slice of a three-layer chocolate cake made up of both dark and white chocolate mousse then covered with a super fudgy frosting.  This cake has never failed to please anyone with its rich chocolatey goodness that melts in your mouth.

new york cheesecake
New York Cheesecake (450 php)
The New York Cheesecake is my classic dessert favorite in Italiani's.  Even those who are not fond of sweets will find this slice in a bed of strawberry amaretto sauce delectable.
red velvet cheesecake
Red Velvet Cheesecake (395 php)
The Red Velvet Cheesecake is one of Italiani's newest offerings.  I usually find red velvet cakes too sweet for my taste but this one is just perfect since the cheesecake and red velvet complement each other well.
limon de cielo
Limon de Cielo (225 php)
The Limon de Cielo is a smooth and creamy baked custard topped with sweet caramel sauce and refreshing lime zest.

Other Bistro Group Restaurant Reviews
Bulgogi Brothers
Krazy Garlic
Ma Maison (closed)
Modern Shanghai
SikLab Filipino Favorites
Tonkatsu by Terazawa
Village Tavern
Watami 1 | Watami 2

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Whether it's a special menu or the regular menu, Italianni's will not let you down in terms of food quality and service.  Their serving size is good for sharing so its a nice place to share to dine in groups.  Although the price is steep for Italian cuisine, there is no other restaurant like Italianni's

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Italianni's Restaurant Menu
Ambiance Menu
=Favorites or Recommended 
Italianni's Restaurant Bonifacio High Street
Business Address Quadrant 5, Space 1E14, Bonifacio High Street, 
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila
Business Hours Mon - Sat: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am - 11:00 pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 500 - 1,200
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 856-4094/ (02) 856-3890
Other  Email: italbhs@bistro.com.ph Website
Italianni's Restaurant BHS Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                  

Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant: Authentic Japanese Cuisine at Diamond Hotel Manila

Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant has long been on my wish list after hearing that it has garnered numerous awards so I've decided to scratch it off before the year ends.  Their dishes are prepared by Japanese master chef Junichi Sekiyama himself to guarantee the best food quality made from the freshest ingredients.  

yurakuen japanese restaurant

Upon entering, I passed by their Teppanyaki rooms, a beautiful bridge way with the sound of flowing water before I found the huge brass door paving way to a room encased in glass surrounded by the outdoor greens and with a huge cherry blossom tree on the center.  The room is the perfect interpretation of what Yurakuen or paradise is.


chuka wakame salad
Chuka Wakame Salad
For appetizer we had the Chuka Wakame Salad which is a simple seaweed vegetable salad. 

tokujo sashimi moriawase
♥ Tokujo Sashimi Moriawase (1,500 php)
The Tokujo Sashimi Moriawase is a beautiful platter of assorted special sashimi: salmon (sake) , sea urchin (uni), mackarel (saba), lapu-lapu, young yellowtail (hamachi), tuna (maguro) and octopus (tako).  They are one of the freshest I've had.  The sashimi cut is superb that each piece almost melts in your mouth as its natural sea flavors woo your taste buds. 

tokujo nigiri sushi moriawase
Tokujo Nigiri Sushi Moriawase (1,250 php)
The Tokujo Nigiri Sushi Moriawase is a special assorted nigiri sushi platter.  A nigiri sushi is an oblong shaped sushi with a wasabi in between the rice and the topping.  The ingredients are as fresh as their sashimi but this has more variety.  My personal favorite among the selection is the Unagi Nigiri Sushi. 

Temaki Sushi and Hoso Maki Sushi 
dragon maki
Koebi Tempura Maki (350 php/piece)
The Koebi Tempura Maki is a small shrimp tempura roll glazed with their special sauce.  It's interesting but overall impact is to allure me. 

california maki
California Maki (280 php/piece)
The California Maki is the most popular maki in the metro.  It a roe covered maki filled with crabmeat and vegetable.

Sumibiyaki (Charcoal Grilled Dish)
gindara teriyaki
♥ Gindara Teriyaki (470 php)
The Gindara Teriyaki is cooked perfectly moist and flaky just the way I loved it.  The teriyaki sauce is just mild so you can appreciate the delightful natural Gindara taste.  Everyone at the table adored this!
sanma shiyaki
Sanma Shiyaki (400 php)
The Sanma Shiyaki is salt grilled sanma which I always order in Japanese restaurants when available.  This is grilled just right making it it juicy and flavorful.

sake teriyaki
Sake Teriyaki (370 php)
The Sake Teriyaki is good.  But, if you order this with the Gindara Teriyaki, it does have a tendency of being overshadowed.

Tempura (Deep Fried Battered Dishes)
ebi tempura
Ebi Tempura (520 php)
An order of an Ebi Tempura is composed of four king-size prawns.  The prawns are soft and tasty but the batter is not the best I've tried.

Agemono (Fried Dishes)
tori karaage
♥ Tori Karaage (350 php)
The Tori Karaage is a crunchy fried chicken with tender juicy chicken meat.  You can see from the golden brown coating that it was cooked perfectly.

Wagyu Japanese Premium Beef
wagyu steak
♥ Wagyu Steak (120 g) (2,500 php)
The highlight of the meal is the Wagyu Steak served raw atop a large hot pebble.  It was pretty entertaining to see the raw wagyu steak get cooked.  This way, you can cook your wagyu according to your preferred cooking level.  Once was cooked medium, I got my piece while my companions preferred their portions cooked well done.

Light Meals

teppan tofu steak
Teppan Tofu Steak (410 php)
The Teppan Tofu Steak is are thin crusted-tofu with sauce topped with mushroom and carrots bits.  The texture of the tofu is excellent and the sauce is a great complement too.

♥ Gyoza (350 php)
The Gyoza has a crisp shell which conceals its oozing flavorful pork meat juice.  This is definitely authentic and one of the best too.

mixed seafood teppanyaki
Mixed Seafood Teppanyaki (520 php)
The Mixed Seafood Teppanyaki has shrimp, salmon, squid, egg, leeks, wakame, bean sprouts, pork miso broth and toasted sesame oil.  The bountiful ingredients and rich flavor of seafood and pork miso broth is surely to make you slurp this to the last drop.  However, I found the ramen noodles lacking in chewiness.

wagyu beef kalbi
Wagyu Beef Kalbi (480 php)
The Wagyu Beef Kalbi is an interesting offering.  I've never had a ramen with tender braised beef rolled us wagyu beef, baby bok choy,seaweed, onion leeks, fish cake, soft egg in special beef broth before.  This is a trully savory and meaty meal.  But, I honestly feel that wagyu is best enjoyed steak style to fully appreciate it.

spanky enriquez
Happy Birthday Spanky Enriquez!
The meal was even more special because it was Spanky Enriquez' birthday celebration.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant offers authentic Japanese cuisine with the best service and ambiance.  As expected from a typical hotel Japanese restaurant, it comes with a high price.  I want to go back and try their teppanyaki next time. 

Tip: Avail of their lunch sets for more savings

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant Menu
Ambiance Lunch Set 1 | Lunch Set 2 | Lunch Set 3 |
Lunch Set 4 | Lunch Set 5 |
Full Course 1 | Full Course 2 |
Yurakuen Set | Hot Pot | Nabemono Hot Pot | Wagyu |
Appetizer | Sashimi | Nimono |
Sushi | Temaki | Hosomaki | Donburimono |
Menrui | Oshokuji Light Meals |
Agemono | Ramen | Sumibiyaki  |
Yakimono | Tempura | 
=Favorites or Recommended 
Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant
Business Address
Diamond Hotel, Roxas Blvd. cor Dr. J. Quintos St.
Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours 11:00 am - 2 pm
6:00 pm -10 pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 400-3,000
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 528-3000 loc. 1127
Other  Website | Facebook Fan Page
Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Bagoong Club: Noche Buena Menu (Tomas Morato Quezon City)

I've been hearing a lot of good things about Bagoong Club.  So when Ivan Henares invited me and some other foodie friends, I just couldn't say no.  After all, I'm a huge fan of bagoong myself.

bagoong club
Bagoong Club is a house-turned-restaurant along Scout Lazcano Street near Tomas Morato.  

bagoong club
Like a typical home, it also has a receiving area with chairs and frames hanged.  But instead of photos, you'd see clippings from magazines and other forms of publications where Bagoong Club was featured.

bagoong club
The restaurant occupies two floors with the first floor divided into two areas.  Like the house itself, the furnitures and fixtures are all made of wood.  The place looks clean and modest.  

bagoong club
I initially thought that all their dishes contains bagoong.  But, we were told that the bagoong is not applicable for all dishes so its up to you to discover which ones have bagoong and how much bagoong is in it.

bagoong club complimentary
Singkamas with Bagoong Club Special and Bagoong Pag-ibig
Upon being seated, we were served a complimentary appetizer.  I found this to be quite addictive that I couldn't stop munching on these even when the main dishes arrived. 

Ukoy (260 php)
This is not the traditional Ukoy I've encountered during  my summer vacations at our ancestral home in Ilocos Sur.  But, this is just as good in its own unique way.  This is dashed with their very own bagoong powder so its savory and crunchy at the same time. 

chicharon bulaklak
Chicharon Bulaklak (250 php)
The Chicharon Bulaklak is my favorite type of chicharon.  But, again it's not the conventional one.  The pork intestines are breaded to crispiness.  I loved this!  It wasn't greasy so its fun to munch. 

Noche Buena Menu
For the whole month of December, Bagoong Club has prepare a special Noche Buena Menu for its diners.

puso de coco
Puso de Coco (190 php)
The Puso de Coco a proof that you don't need to be a sinful Christmas meal to be merry.  This dish is composed of banana blossom wrapped in gabi leaves cooked in coconut milk. 

mula sa puso
Mulo sa Puso (180 php)
The Mulo sa Puso is my favorite among their Noche Buena Menu.  The banana blossoms are cooked crispy sisig-style with onions, liver and chili peppers.  I literally couldn't stop munching on this!  This is one of the best banana blossom dish I have ever tried.

Tinapambutido (220 php)
The Tinapambutido is a nice twist to the classic embutido.  The crispy-fried smoked fish patties topped with laing is just as or if not more tasty that the common embutido but its easier to chew.   

Liemponillo (290 php)
The Liemponillo is a Filipino style cuchinillo.  It is a crispy pork liempo flavored with asado sauce and whole scallions.  The ccrunchiness together with the nice adobo flavor made this dish a crowd favorite.

Krismanok (220 php)
 A bite of the Krismanok will surely remind you of a merry Christmas.  It is a grilled, glazed chicken rolled with ham and cheese and cooked in a sumptuous pineapple sauce. 

sisig paella
Sisig Paella (260 php)
The Sisig Paella is a flavorful paella infused with delectable Pampanga pork sisig.   The paella is not the paella that I have imagined.  It seemed more like Java rice to me.  But, its bold and savory flavor covers for what its lacking in texture.

balut adobo
Balut Adobo (180 php)
The trio of deep fried Balut Adobo with tons of garlic gloves and green mango bits is a fantastic dish for balut lovers like me.  A bite of its is exploding with flavors.

Bottled Bagoong
bottled bagoong club
Bottled Bagoong
For the season, Bagoong Club also has Bottled Bagoong available.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Bagoong Club offers a unique Filipino cuisine experience to its diners. Their dishes are easy on the pocket.  The serving sizes are also good for sharing so better to dine with the company of friends and family which is the typical way we Filipinos eat right?  I look forward to trying more of their offerings because I'm sure it will have their own Bagoong Club way of preparation.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Bagoong Club Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2 |Menu 3
 Noche Buena Menu (Dec 2012) |
=Favorites or Recommended 
Bagoong Club
Business Address 122 Scout Dr. Lazcano, Sacred Heart, 
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Business Hours Lunch: 11am - 3pm
Dinner:  6 pm - 11pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 5%
Budget/Person 200-600
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 929-5450
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Bagoong Club Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

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