The Burger Project: Wholesome Burgers Now at Taft Manila

We've long been hearing and reading about The Burger Project.  So, when we heard that their opening a branch here in Taft, without a second thought, we rushed in to try it out specially since its under wing of Pino Group same as Pipino where we've had the best vegetarian experience.

the burger project taft
The Burger Project occupies a two floor space at the Grand Towers.  The glass allows you to see everything inside.  It has wooden tables and wooden chairs which are a bit similar to picnic tables but its more artistic and clean looking.


the burger project taft
The Burger Project adopts a pay as you order system like the usual burger joints.  It has a artsy chalk board where  you can see what toppings are on their designer burgers.


the burger project taft
To order, they will give you a checklist so you can create your own BRGR of your dreams.  And, that includes naming it.  I guess this is what makes it fun. Right? 


the burger project taft
Upon ordering, we decided to dine on the second level for a bit more privacy and the ambiance is better too.

Food


Designer Burgers
We didn't feel very creative during our visit so we decided to order their Designer Burgers.  Well, I've always had this belief that if you'r not confident then just trust the experts.  The burgers are served in a red basket with printed waxed paper.  

western bacon melt beef
Western Bacon Melt Beef (224 php)
The Western Bacon Melt Beef is a burger with beef patty, bacon, onion ring, shitake and button mushrooms, cheddar cheese and tomatoes drenched in BBQ sauce.  Upon receiving our orders, we were amazed at how generous they were with the toppings.  It was an overload of mushrooms! And, since we loved them we ate this burger with glee.  Their beef patty tastes like pure beef.  I know every burger place says the same thing but the taste won't lie right?  This is one has definitely made it to the top of our list.  This is the real deal right here. =D


tokyo pop beef
Tokyo Pop! Beef (174 php)
The Tokyo Pop! Beef is a simple burger with beef patty, mushrooms, onions, fresh tomatoes and oozing with teriyaki and wasabi mayonnaise.   The wasabi mayonnaise is not that spicy perhaps it was more on the mayonnaise side but I didn't mind.  The perfect blend of teriyaki sauce and wasabi mayonnaise is just delightful. Again, there were tons of mushrooms which made this burger even better. 

Sides
buffalo wings
Buffalo Wings (150 php)
Who says they're just about burgers?  You should try their Buffalo Wings too.  It has a really spicy and tangy sauce that makes it addictively good.  The wings have a tender and juicy meat too. 

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
The Burger Project is the real deal when it comes to burger joints.  They serve awesome wholesome burgers that's loaded with generous toppings.  I'll definitely come visit them again when craving for burgers.  They've got it all: cozy ambiance, affordability, fun and more!  I'll surely check mushrooms again on my next visit too.   The Pino Group sure does not disappoint.  Now that I'm convinced, I'll try Pino Restaurant and Bar next. =D

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating The Burger Project Menu
Ambiance Menu
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
The Burger Project Taft
Business Address Grand Towers, Pablo Ocampo Sr. (corner Taft Ave),
Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-12mn
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge
Budget/Person 100-300
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (0916) 235-3085
Other  Facebook Fan Page
The Burger Project Taft Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Watami: Top Japanese Casual Restaurant is Now in Manila

We were one of the many who were excited to dine at Watami upon learning that it has arrived here in the Philippines under the wing of Bistro Group.  Watami has over 700 branches around the world and is Japan's number one casual restaurant. 

watami sm mall of asia
For a casual restaurant, the ambiance is superb.  It has a spacious dining area that has partitions to afford the diners some privacy.  The printed seats and booths are well-cushioned that it compliments the cozy yet elegant feel of the place.  

Food

Salad
watami salad
♥ Watami Salad (350 php)
The Watami Salad is an extravagant salad with corn kernels, shrimps, seaweeds, egg roe, cherry tomatoes,  chicken teriyaki, greens topped with their special dressing.  This is one of the best salads I have ever tried.  It's very flavorful and refreshing.  The dressing complements every ingredient well.

Appetizer
crispy chicken wings
Crispy Chicken Wings (195 php)
The Crispy Chicken Wings is crispy fried chicken wings with sweet sesame sauce.  I guess this is the modern Japanese twist for fried chicken wings.  Those who are not fond of the spicy buffalo wings will surely love this.  

Sashimi
assorted sashimi
Assorted Sashimi (5 Kinds) (425 php)
The Assorted Sashimi is a plateful of Salmon Sashimi, Tuna Sashimi, Shrimp Sashimi, Scallop Sashimi and wakame.  The Salmon Sashimi is one of the freshest I've ever tried.  The rest was just as good so it's no surprise that everything in this platter was finished in a flash.

Sushi
deluxe assorted sushi
Deluxe Assorted Sushi (Salmon, Scallop, Shrimp) (395 php)
The Deluxe Assorted Sushi is platter with two pieces of salmon sushi, grilled scallop sushi and shrimp sushi garnished with some roe and green onions.  Unfortunately, the salmon sushi is not as fresh as the  Salmon Sashimi.   But, the shrimp is a bit bigger and I preferred the grilled scallop compared to the raw one.  

Skewers
assorted skewers
Assorted Skewers (295 php)
The Assorted Skewers has five sticks: Chicken Thigh Skewer, Chicken Breast Skewer, Beef & Spring Onion Roll Skewer, Pork & Enoki Mushroom Skewer and Chicken Wing Skewer.   These are basically the traditional yakitori.  I liked that their sauce's blend is tasty but not too sweet.  Among the options, I enjoyed the Beef & Spring Onion Roll Skewer and Pork & Enoki Mushroom Skewer the most.

Teppan
hiroshima style okomiyaki
Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki (295 php)
The Hiroshima-Style Okonomiyaki is Japanese pancake with chuka noodles, lettuces, shrimp and dried bonito flakes served in a hot sizzling plate.  The texture is the key to this dish and they got it perfectly!  


tonpeiyaki
♥ Tonpeiyaki (Pork, Cheese, Cabbage & Egg) (275 php)
The Tonpeiyaki is a Japanese omelette with pork, cheese with cabbage.  It is topped with green onions and drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and Okonomiyaki sauce.  This is served hot exploding with savory meat, smooth scrambled egg and crunchy cabbage goodness.

Pizza
bolognese pizza
♥ Bolognese Pizza (315 php)
The Bolognese Pizza is a unique pizza because it has a poached egg on top of it.  Our server cracked the egg and spread its yolk across the pizza before slicing.  I've never had pizza with an egg yolk before.  It was pretty good but you have to eat it fast before it gets too soggy.  


pizza topped with chicken teriyaki
Pizza Topped with Chicken Teriyaki (275 php)
The Pizza Topped with Chicken Teriyaki is a crispy thin crust pizza topped with chicken teriyaki, green onions and white onions.  Since I'm a fan of crispy thin crust pizza, I really enjoyed this.  This is really savory and fun to eat. 

Hot Pot
beef sukiyaki
♥ Beef Sukiyaki (365 php)
The Beef Sukiyaki is a hot pot with beef sukiyaki, tofu, enoki and shitake mushrooms, carrots and greens.  The beef is tender, the broth is flavorful but not too sweet and the other ingredients are fresh.  I highly suggest you order this for sharing.  It's a great dish on the table for everyone to enjoy.

Tokyo Don
pork rice with egg yolk in stone pot
Pork Rice with Egg Yolk in Stone Pot (225 php)
The Pork Rice with Egg Yolk in Stone Pot is a stone pot rice bowl with tasty pork slices, raw egg, seaweeds and white onions.  To eat this, mix everything upon serving so the hot stone pot will cook the raw egg further.  

pork cutlet with scrambled egg in tokyo style
Pork Cutlet with Scrambled Egg in Tokyo Style (295 php)
The Pork Cutlet with Scrambled Egg in Tokyo Style is a rice bowl topped with a generous proportion of pork cutlet or tonkatsu with a beautifully cooked scrambled egg.  The pork cutlet has a nice breading and soft meat.  The scrambled egg that's slightly wet and silky smooth brings this dish to the next level.  

Stone Hotpot
pepper beef rice in stone pot
♥ Pepper Beef Rice in Stone Pot (190 php)
I've tried many versions of the pepper beef rice that's available here in the Philippines and I must say they have met their match.  Considering the price and the quality, Watami's Pepper Beef Rice in Stone Pot is the winner!

Drinks
mango snow mountain lychee grapefruit soda kagome kiwi
♥ Mango Snow Mountain (165 php), Lychee Grapefruit Soda (130 php),
Grape Mix Kagome
(185 php) and Kiwi Tea with Agar (145 php)
mango yakult milky green tea
Mango Yakult (120 php) and Milky Green Tea (165 php)
Watami has an extensive beverage menu.  I was able to try the Grape Mix KagomeKiwi Tea with Agar, Mango Yakult and Milky Green Tea.  The Grape Mix Kagome is grape mixed with Kagome, a healthy Japanese juice.  The Kiwi Tea with Agar is a tea infused with kiwi and agar jelly.  The Mango Yakult  is fresh mango puree with yakult.  The Milky Green Tea is a green tea milk shake.

Dessert
chocolate parfait
Chocolate Parfait (195 php)
The Chocolate Parfait has scoops of vanilla and chocolate with some chocolate syrup, whipped cream, chocolate wafer sticks and almonds.  This sweet and cold treat is quite pleasant to the eyes but nothing extraordinary in terms of taste.


maccha tiramisu
♥ Maccha Tiramisu (155 php)
The Maccha Tiramisu is must try for anyone for loves matcha as much as I do.  This Maccha Tiramisu topped with maccha powder is just splendid.  The maccha flavor is bold, clean and unsweetened so you can truly appreciate it at its best.  This is the perfect meal ender!  I'm definitely going to order this every time I visit Watami.


Update (January 10, 2013): We tried Watami at Glorietta 1 so I'll add some more recommendations.  The Beef and Kimchi Rice in Stone Pot (245 php), Self-Grilled Short Ribs (295 php) and the Apple Berry Soda (195 php) is also worth a try!  I hope they could improve their service.  Since it was my aunts birthday, we were around 40 people and there were only one or two servers catering to our needs.  There were some wrong orders and we had to follow up with our orders only to find out that they were not available.  I also found out that most of my relatives including my celebrant aunt had The Bistro Group Premiere Card so she was able to avail a great deal of discount.

Update (December 7, 2013): Service at Watami at Glorietta 1 is now very good even when the place is fully packed!  They have a different server for taking orders and for delivering the dishes.  The  Maccha Tiramisu is also now chilled well unlike my last visit.  Adding a star to the service rating! =D

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

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Watami serves great quality Japanese dishes at very reasonable prices.  The proportions are generous and I like that they have solo and group size options.  Since we dined during the soft opening phase, it is quite understandable that service could still be improved.  

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Watami Menu
Ambiance Salmon | Appetizer | Sashimi |
 Sushi | Tempura | Seafood | 
Meat | Skewers | Teppan |
Cheese & Egg | Pizza | Stone Hotpot | Rice |
Lunch Set 1 | Lunch Set 2 | 
Ramen | Udon | Alcoholic Beverage | 
Beverage | Dessert | 
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Watami SM Mall of Asia
Branches Glorietta 1 
 G/F, The New Glorietta Mall,
Ayala Center, Makati City


SM Mall of Asia
2nd Level, Entertainment Mall
SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 5%
Budget/Person 200-500
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02)  808-0475 (Glorietta 1) / (02) 511-7572 (SM Mall of Asia)
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Watami SM Mall of Asia Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

KXP Kulinarya Experience: Express Dishes at Robinsons Ermita (Closed)

Since I'm very near Robsinson's Ermita, I've dined at almost every restaurant there even before I started blogging.  However, when a foodie friend mentioned KXP Kulinarya Experience as her favorite, I cannot recall my dining experience there so I decided to revisit.

kxp kulinarya experience
KXP Kulinarya Experience has a simple yet clean interior.  It has red and white theme that suites it well.  It has a lot of posters featuring its products that will surely tempt you to try them.

Food

Steaks Hot of the Griddle
the best roast beef in town
The Best Roast Beef in Town (195 php)
The Best Roast Beef in Town is served in a griddle with two slices of roast beef, cheesy potato and buttered vegetables.  Is it really the best?  It was soft and succulent but nothing outstanding in terms of flavor. The price is just right but the serving size is just snack size for us.  


chicken strips on baked tomato rice
Chicken Strips on Baked Tomato Rice (195 php)
The Chicken Strips on Baked Tomato Rice is baked rice mixed with tomato slices topped with mozzarella  cheese, drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and crispy breaded chicken strips.  This is quite enjoyable to eat because of the contrast between the zesty mozzarella and the tangy tomato slices.  The chicken strips reminds me of chicken nuggets except that it was crispier.   I find this dish a bit pricey since the food quality is almost at par with the Greenwich Baked Rice Meals which is way cheaper.  

Update (March 10, 2014):  I'm quite surprised that this establishment which has been there for years is now closed.   Well, I will never forget my meal experience here for personal reasons.  It was here that I realized what I had to do and where I wanted to go in life.  They have transferred to Rockwell Business Center

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Kulinarya Experience KXP is an alternative to the popular fast food chains.  I find their express dishes in the same league in terms of food quality and serving size.  But, their pricing is a bit higher.  The food is good enough but not impressive.  I would not suggest their solo sizes for hefty eaters like us.  As the foreigner who was dined at the table next to us stated "the serving size is for ladies".

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating KXP Kulinarya Experience Menu
Ambiance Starters and Salads |
Pizzas and Spaghetti | Rice and Pasta |
Steaks | Burgers | Sharing | Beverages | 
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 

KXP Kulinarya Experience Robsinson's Ermita
Business Address Robinson Place Manila, Midtown Wing,
Adriatico St., Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 150-400
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 567-2562
Other  Facebook Fan Page | Website
KXP  Kulinarya Experience Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Yabu House of Katsu: Soft Shell Crab and Menchi Katsu

Since our first dining experience at Yabu was incomplete, I was invited for a complimentary meal.  This time, I chose the Robinson's Magnolia Branch which is slightly nearer to our home.  

yabu magnolia branch
As expected, it was a busy lunch for Yabu.  But, although the waiting list was long, no one complained.  In fact, it's as if the people were already accustomed to this routine.  The staffs were also happy to accommodate the customers' query and did their jobs stress-free. 


yabu magnolia branch
We're lucky to be seated inside unlike the last so we were able to appreciate its cozy ambiance and the comics on the wall which showed how special the Oyster Katsu was.  


yabu magnolia branch
There is a narrow area where you can see their staffs speedy preparation for drinks.  There are Japanese bottles displayed on the top back part of the bar.  At the side of the wall there are also frames of quotes.  It's not as visible to the diners but it plays its role in making the place more colorful and lively. 


yabu magnolia branch
Yabu Condiments
yabu magnolia branch
So here's what we missed the last time we visited.  Our server enthusiastically showed us how to do it and we tried it ourselves.  It's quite entertaining to do while waiting for our orders.  


yabu magnolia branch
Then, we added two scoops of their special sauce.

Food

Katsu Curry Sets
rosu katsudon set
Rosu Kurobuta Set (615 php)
rosu katsudon set
Rosu Kurobuta Set (615 php)
I'v been wanting to try their Katsu Curry and I've been craving for their Rosu Katsu so I got the best of both worlds and ordered the Rosu Kurobuta Set.  I was delighted with joy upon first bite.  Their Rosu Katsu is simply the best in terms of texture.  It felt like chewing marshmallows yet it was exploding with succulent and tasty pork meat goodness.  The curry is just right in terms of flavor and thickness too.  The amount of spiciness is just right to tickle the taste buds and leave it wanting for more.

New Katsu Items (Available from Dec. 15, 2012)
menchi katsu
♥ Menchi with Cheese Katsu
menchi katsu
Menchi with Cheese Katsu
The Menchi with Cheese Katsu looks normal upon serving.  But upon grabbing a piece, it was oozing with cheese in between the ground beef and pork.  The crunchy breading, the creamy cheese and the chewy ground meat makes it pleasurable to eat.  The symphony of flavors it brings is even better.  I'm sure this will be a great hit especially to cheese lovers and kids.  


soft shell crab katsu
♥ Soft Shell Crab Katsu 
To be honest, you'll never catch me eating crabs outside our home.  Its not that I'm allergic to crabs neither do I hate them, they're just to difficult to eat.  I'm so glad that Yabu introduced the Soft Shell Crab Katsu. Now people like me can enjoy them anytime.  An order of the Soft Shell Crab Katsu contains soft shell crabs sliced in half and their sweet ponzu layu sauce.


soft shell crab katsu
Soft Shell Crab Katsu 
A bite of the Soft Shell Crab Katsu is just so heavenly.  You get to enjoy the crunch and the sweet sensational flavors of the sea at the same time.  Their Soft Shell Crabs Katsu had a lot of egg too.  And, as if the body part of the Soft Shell Crab Katsu, wait till you get to the crab legs.  They are so wonderfully crispy in every bite that you'll find it a bit addictive.  This dish is so good that I can already guarantee that it will be a hit!


chocolate lava cake
Chocolate Lava Cake
The Chocolate Lava Cake is served with a scoop of chocolate ice cream on top.  The moist chocolate cake with the perfect blend of bitter-sweetness is a superb meal ender.  

Drinks
bottomless lemonade iced tea
Bottomless Iced Tea (95 php) and Bottomless Lemonade (80 php)
Other Katsu Reviews
Ginza Bairin
Katsu Cafe
Kimukatsu

Maisen 
Saboten
Tampopo たんぽぽ 
Tonkatsu by Terazawa
Yabu 1 


Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Regardless of the branch, Yabu has maintained its superior quality in terms of service and dishes.  I noticed that they've improved their service since the staff now checks each table whether their orders are complete so they can advise the kitchen.  Now with the introduction of the Soft Shell Crab Katsu and Menchi Katsu, I'm sure more customers will be eager to dine at Yabu once again.  With the increasing demand, I'm glad it has opened its SM Mall of Asia branch which is accessible to Manila residents like us.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Yabu House of Katsu Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2 |
Menu 3 | Menu 4 |
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Yabu House of Katsu Robinson's Magnolia
Business Address Lower Ground Flr., Robinsons Magnolia,
Doña M. Hemady Ave. Valencia,
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 5%
Budget/Person 250-500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 501-0000
Other  Email: gyubou_yakiniku@yahoo.com.ph Website
Yabu Robinson's Magnolia Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Latitude: International Buffet at Traders Hotel Manila

We've been wanting to visit Latitude at Traders Hotel since passed by it when we tried Kitsho.  Traders Hotel is part of the Shangrila Group so we trust that their buffet would not disappoint even though its buffet price is more affordable than other hotels.

latitude
Latitude is the first thing that will catch your attention upon entering Traders Hotel Manila so its pretty hard to miss.  It has an elegant sign too.


latitude traders hotel buffet
Latitude's buffet area is in the middle so its quite accessible regardless of where you are seated.  It has a beautiful circular arrangement enhanced by warn yellow lighting and its striped motif. 


latitude traders hotel buffet
Although the buffet is limited in selection, the items are very organized as they are arranged by sections.  


latitude traders hotel buffet
Our visit was on a Sunday evening and the place was packed with diners.  They have different themes per dining area and this booth type is only one of them.  

Food

Appetizer
latitude traders hotel buffet
Here's every item on the appetizer section.  There's Soy Marinated Tofu, Vegetable Terrine, Red Beet Salad, Pasta and Seafood Salad


latitude traders hotel buffet
Thy also have a salad bar section where you can make your own salad.  They have an extensive choice of ingredients.

latitude traders hotel buffet
Their cheese section has four types of cheese: Blue Cheese, Brie, Cheddar and Emmental.  


latitude traders hotel buffet
There is also a pastry section with three types of bread.   I chose multi-grain because its the healthy option.


latitude traders hotel buffet
♥ Lobster Bisque
I love Lobster Bisque.  Their version is so flavorful and creamy.  If only I had more stomach space, I'd drink another bowful.  The other soup choice is the plain Beef Broth.


latitude traders hotel buffet
This is my plate from the Chinese dimsum corner except for the pasta.  I loved the ♥ Fish Fillet with Mango Sauce


latitude traders hotel buffet
This is the main course.  All the items were pretty good.   But,  I was disappointed with the mashed potato because it taste like the instant ones.  


latitude traders hotel buffet
We loved this dish because it has a generous amount of button mushroom which we are fond of.


latitude traders hotel buffet
Carving Section
The highlight of the buffet is the Carving Section which offers Roast Beef and Roast Lamb Leg.  The server at the Carving Station is very nice.  We were seated just next to the Carving Station and was provided a top-notch service by this guy right here.

roast beef
Roast Beef
The Roast Beef is savory and tender.  It was also very succulent. It's good with or without their mushroom sauce.  I also got to try the Roast Lamb Leg which had a nice clean taste and perfect texture.  


latitude desserts
Dessert Station
latitude desserts
Dessert Station
For desserts, they had a white chocolate fondue, an assortment of cakes, fruits, bread pudding and halo-halo. 


latitude desserts
My Dessert Plate
The Creme Brulee is hands down one of the best I've ever tasted.  They actually ran out of it by the time I headed for the dessert station so I approached our server to check if there was more available in the kitchen.    Good thing there was a few cups left. =D  I am however saddened that I was not able to try the Cherry Panacotta which my mom was raving about.  I was waiting for a refill but it never came. 


ginataang halo halo
♥ Ginataang Halo-halo
I noticed that only a few dared to try the Ginataang Halo-halo so I got a cup and tried it out myself.  It was actually a water chest nut dessert similar to the Thai Red Ruby Dessert.  It was lightly sweetened and very refreshing to eat.  

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
For its price range, Latitude is a very worthy buffet.  The offerings are not as many as those charging a higher price but they are already fulfilling in terms of taste, variations and quantity.  We all reached our limits that night and we were all happy with the food.  Although not belonging to the finest class of hotels, its quite impressive that Latitude is a good competitor against those which are supposedly beyond its reach.

Tip: They serve a complimentary cup of coffee.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Latitude Buffet Price (As of Nov 25, 2012)
Ambiance Buffet Price
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 

Latitude Traders Hotel
Business Address
Traders Hotel Manila
3001 Roxas Boulevard,
Pasay City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 11am-10pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 1,000-1,500
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 708-4888
Other  Email: thm@tradershotels.com Website | Facbook Fan Page
Latitude Traders Hotel Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

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