Manila Food and Wine Festival 2013: Chef Robby Goco's Italian Porchetta's for the Celebrity Chef Food Truck Cook-Off

Last week, I was with fellow food bloggers who were invited to taste Celebrity Chef Robby Goco's Italian Porchetta which  he will present for the Celebrity Chef Food Truck Cook-Off  at the Manila Food and Wine Festival (MFWF) 2013.

Chef Robby Goco is behind a chain of restaurants which includes Achiote, Cyma and Charlie's Grind and Grill.  I must say that meeting him was a pleasure.  I could sense his passion and enthusiasm as he proudly presented to us his Italian Porchetta which he will be selling in his ORANGE Food Truck.
Tip: Wear orange and get to win prizes and freebies. 

italian porchetta
Italian Porchetta Sandwich (Half Serving)
The Italian Porchetta Sandwich is Italian porchetta with wild arugula and onion marmalade in between perfectly crunchy ciabatta.  This is as gourmet as street food can get.  As you can see the ingredients were fresh, top-notch and organic.  Although a whole sandwich is already a hefty meal for many, the potatoes slices on the side makes the it even more satisfying.  I'm not much of a sandwich fan, especially one with ciabatta but I fell in love with this upon first bite.  I practically devoured every bit of this.  Ooh... the crunchy bread followed by the moist and soft porchetta that almost melt in my mouth exploding with complementing mild bitterness from the arugula and sweet citrus sensation from the onion marmalade.   While my fellow food bloggers shared their critics and recommendations, I was simply struck in awe with its perfection.

italian porchetta
Italian Porchetta Sandwich with Egg (Half Serving)
Although totally unnecessary, you could also an egg to enhance the experience. 

italian porchetta sauces
Liver Sauce, Aoili Dressing, Verde Sauce and Red Bell Pepper Sauce
You can also either eat the Italian Porchetta Sandwich on its own or mismatch it with four delicious sauces.  If you want a mild sauce that won't overpower the porchetta, go for the Aoili Dressing.  I personally loved the Verde Sauce composed of parsley and coliander so it was fragrant and minty.  The Red Bell Pepper Sauce has some spiciness to it to perk up your sandwich.  Although I love everything with liver and often eat liver pate at home, I liked the liver sauce the least simply because it didn't have the bold clean taste I was yearning for.

The Celebrity Chef Food Truck Cook-Off will take place on February 22, 2013 starting at 5:00 pm until 12 midnight at the SM Mall of Asia Grounds Block 12.

The Celebrity Chef Food Truck Cook-Off is an event you shouldn't miss because six of the country's top chefs will be parked there with respective color-coded food trucks selling their own masterpieces.  The first one to sell all their food items wins. 

Celebrity Chefs:

  • ORANGE FOOD TRUCK by Chef Robby Goco
    •  Italian Porchetta Sandwich (Italian Roast Pork Sandwich)

  •  PURPLE FOOD TRUCK by Chef Sau del Rosario
    •  Jumbo Dumplings with Fried Rice (steamed or fried dumplings in hybrid version)
  • GREEN FOOD TRUCK by Chef Bruce Lim
    •  Chicken Wings Combo

  •  BLUE FOOD TRUCK by Chef Marvin Agustin
    •  Black Dragon Maki (shrimp tempura maki with unagi strips) / Spicy Caravan Maki (spicy tuna maki) (good for 2-3 persons)

  • BLACK FOOD TRUCK by Chef Tristan Encarnacion
    • Pinoy Faves with a Twist

All the food items are sold at a Standard price of 350 php (during the event).  If you want to save a 100 php, you can buy online for 250 php at Ticketsource.  You can also view the online sales status of each chef there which is cool. =D

I'm still clueless at what the other chefs has in store.  I definitely want to try the rest though and picking is such a dilemma.  Which one will you go for? 

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Disclosure: The food is sponsored but the opinions expressed is purely my own.                       

Tous Les Jours: Lovely Valentine Cakes and Delicious Pastries

Just us we were about to head home, we were all bedazzled by the cute cake display of Tous Les Jours at SM Mall of Asia. We just had to go inside and check it out.

Tous Les Jours  is a French-Asian inspired bakery that originated in Korea.  It currently has over 1,600 stores worldwide.  Its branched quickly blossomed here in the Philippines too with six branches.  Tous Les Jours means every day in French.  This coincides with their slogan "Tous les Jours, serving only freshly baked bread. Fresh Bakery, Fresh Everyday"

My three little sisters and I all had dreamy eyes while gazing at the lovely Valentine cakes.  Any girl would be mesmerized by these cute looking cakes don't you agree?

As much as we wanted to take one of these cakes home, none of us wanted to buy one.  All of us are just hopeful that come Valentines Day, a prince charming will come and give us one of these cakes as a Valentine's day gift.  So if you're still thinking of a Valentine gift that will surely win a girl's heart, here's my personal suggestion. =)

So saving our cake craving for a dream yet to come true, we moved on to the pastry section. As we picked up the loaves on the top basket, we noticed that it didn't have any price so we asked the staff.  She said "Oh, hindi po yan binebenta.  Display lang po yan"  (That's not for sale.  It's only for display) Then she took a piece and said "Matigas po oh".  (Look it's hard)

We all laughed because we've been to some pastry shops that display their pastries that way.  We never imagined that Tous Les Jours would be bold enough to use real hardened pastries just for display purposes.  Haha!  It was quite an embarrassing experience but a funny one too. =D

I think its a great idea that their pastries are all packed and sealed neatly.  Cause to be honest, I notice that the usual bread picking system with the tongs in other bread shops are a bit faulty in terms of hygiene and appearance.  I've witnessed how people accidentally touch the bread or mess it up by picking it up with the tong, dropping it or returning it when they change their minds before they reach the counter. 

  Apple Pie (48 php),  Cream Cheese Walnut Bread (128 php),  Multigrain Pan Bread (128 php),     Lets Twist Cinnamon Sugar (18 php), Soboro (28 php) and Sweet Potato Pie (48 php)
I love the Cream Cheese Walnut Bread the most among the pastries I've tried!  The rest were pretty good too.  The pricing is reasonable and competitive with other pastry chains.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Tous Les Jours offers a pastry shop that will surely continue to draw many customers with its adorable cakes and unique pastry varieties.  Unlike other cake shops, they are full of creativity.  It's a brilliant idea for them to create themed cakes according to events and occasions.  After seeing their lovely Valentine cakes, I look forward to visiting it again not just for its pastries but to see what cake designs they have in store for the rest of the year. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Tous Les Jours Beverage Menu
Ambiance Beverage Menu
=Favorites or Recommended 
Tous Les Jours
Branches SM North Edsa
Unit 100 The Block SM City North Edsa, Cor North Avenue,
Sto. Cristo, Quezon City, Metro Manila
(02) 921-8972

SM Southmall
1170 UGF SM Southmall, Alabang, Zapote Road, Almanza Uno,
Las Pinas City, Metro Manila

SM Mall of Asia
Mall of Asia Complex Jose W. Diokno Boulevard,
Pasay City, Metro Manila
(02) 551-1075

Ayala Alabang Town Center
1206 CGF Corte De Las Palmas, ATC,
Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila
(02) 403-1963

Ayala Greenbelt 5

Ground Floor, Greenbelt 5, Legaspi Street, 
Makati City, Metro Manila

(02) 754-9966


1st Floor Shop 3 Techno Plaza 2,
Eastwood City, Bagumbayan Quezon City , Metro Manila
(02) 720-9378
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge
Budget/Person 50-500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Other  Email: Website | Facebook Fan Page
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Taters: Discovering the Juicy and Healthy Churkey Burger and More!

For many years, I've ordered the same favorites from Taters and that is their Super Pop and Tater Chips  in Wasabi and White Cheddar flavor.  Every time  we watch a movie, I would always volunteer to line up while my companions bought the tickets.  Like me, my friends would have their own favorites so they need not glance on the menu.  This routine seemed convenient to me and I'm sure for many.  But, I never realized that I could be missing out on trying out other products that Taters had to offer. 

Just last month, I had the chance to glance at their menu, and realized that they had a wide variety of offerings like Sandwiches. 

taters churkey burger
Churkey Burger Quarter Pound with Cheese Slice Meal (185 php + 10 php)
I tried the Churkey Burger Quarter Pound with Cheese Slice Meal because it sounds like a good deal.  The meal inlcudes the Churkey Burger Quarter Pound (I opted to add 10 php for a cheese slice), a 12 oz drink of your choice: Soda or Iced Tea and a choice of siding: Tater Chips, House Fryes, Tortilla Chips or Super Pop.
taters churkey burger
Churkey Burger Quarter Pound with Cheese Slice Meal (185 php + 10 php)
The Churkey Burger's pattie is actually a combination of Chicken and Turkey.  I know you're probably thinking that is a lame and healthy choice.  I'll admit, I thought so too until I took a bite...   And, I was was practically drooling over the Churkey Burger.    I couldn't believe thatt his juicy, lean, healthy, tasty and affordable burger was right under my nose all along and I didn't discover this until today. I usually don't order a chicken burger because I often find it tough to chew and lacking in flavor, more so with the Turkey which is more dry and stale.  

Whenever I'm busy,  I used to rush off to watch a movie after school and eat dinner in the cinema.  We'd always have to rush of to a fast food joint, line up and take out our meals.  Then, we'd pass by Taters for our Super Pop and Tater Chips.  With this discovery, I'll be ordering my meals at Taters with much ease, convenience, savings and satisfaction too.  Seriously, I dare you to try this!  

All Time Snacks

cheddar munchers
Cheddar Munchers (75 php/5 pcs)
I also got to try the Cheddar Munchers which are like the mini hash browns filled with cheddar cheese.  I've always been a fan of hash browns so you can just imagine my glee as  I popped these into my mouth and munched into its crunchiness followed by the mushiness.  I'm going for the Mexican Munchers next!

sweet tater tots
Sweet Tater Tots Minor League (55 php)
If you prefer it sweet, I'm sure you'll love the Sweet Tater TotsI think kids will love these.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Taters has consistently offered quality American snacks since 1994I admire their drive for innovation that so they can offer more snacks and now even meal options that upgrade our movie experience.  Aside from that, they offer catering and delivery too so just go ahead and satisfy your cravings.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Taters Menu
Ambiance Menu
=Favorites or Recommended 
Branches Alabang Town Center
WalterMart Makati
Robinsons Midtown
Market! Market!
Robinsons Galleria
Glorietta 4
Ayala Center Cebu
Cash & Carry
Robinsons Bacolod
Eastwood Citywalk
Eastwood Mall
Marquee Mall
Abreeza Mall Davao
Business Hours 10am-12pm (mall hours)
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge

Budget/Person 50-200
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Delivery Hotline (02) 212-1212
Other  Website  | Facebook Fan Page
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Flaming Wings: Wings and Wicked Oreos at Taft

One Friday night, my mom finally gave in to her curiosity to try Flaming Wings after she's heard about it from us over the years. 

flaming wings taft

It's been a long time since I dropped by the place again.  Yet, it has the same feel.  The small diner is crowded with students, the place is lightly ventilated with a few fans, tables are close to each other so you can hear the chatterings from other tables and each table has a pack of paper napkin.  This may not be your ideal cozy dining venue, but people come here ready to get their hands messy and gratify themselves with the food. 



caesar salad
Caesar Salad (120 php)
We never missed the chance to order salad when available so we ordered our favorite one, the Caesar Salad.  The price is reasonable as the greens were fresh and crunchy and it had generous servings of parmesan cheese, bacon bits and croutons too.
lettuce wrap
Lettuce Wrap (120 php)
The Lettuce Wrap is our favorite!  Although it doesn't exactly fit in the American Buffalo Wing theme, we don't mind.  These crispy noodles topped with minced chicken and bathe drenched in Asian sauce eaten atop a lettuce leaf is simply irresistible.

Buffalo Wings
buffalo wings
15 Wings (705 php)
Everyone of my siblings forgot the portions were for serving size so we ordered the 15 Wings which was served in two baskets with three choices of dip.  We had one basket with their Original signature sauce and the other Wild.  Their wings had a nice crunchy coating that's fun to eat.  The Original had a nice tangy taste with a bit of a zing.  While, the Wild is blazing with heat.  I guess I have a bit of a heat tolerance built throughout the years so I enjoyed it while my siblings managed it with a few glasses of cold water.  

For the dips, we had Bleu Cheese, Wasabi Mayo and Aoli.  For the Wild, I found it best paired with the Bleu Cheese.   The Wasabi Mayo and Aoili dip were light tasting so they are good with any of their signature sauce.

buffalo wings
3 Wings (243 php)
For the 3 wings, we chose the Mild n' Sweet with Honey Mustard dip.  I personally prefer the Original over this.  But, those who like their dishes sweet will like this.  The Honey Mustard dip is perfect for it too.

rice pilaf
Rice Pilaf (25 php)
Their Rice Pilaf is a bang for the buck option for sides.  It is fragrant and tasty.

Sweet Endings
wicked oreos
Wicked Oreos (75 php)
For our sweet endings, we ordered their famous Wicked Oreos As an ultimate Oreo fanatic, I could never miss this for anything in the whole wide world.  I indulged myself in every chewy bite of these deep-fried battered treats.  Of course, its best eaten ala mode style or with vanilla ice cream similar to eating Oreos with a cool glass of milk.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Flaming Wings will always be a crowd favorite at Taft despite the many stablishments that have sprouted out and about in the area.  The news of how great its Wings, Tenders and Buffalo Wings has spread like wild fire from batches to batches in the surrounding schools.  It's a wing place that can tame anyone's craving for an affordable price.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Flaming Wings Taft Menu
Ambiance Menu
=Favorites or Recommended 
Flaming Wings Taft
Business Address Archer's Nook Dorm, Taft Ave.
Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours Mon-Sat:11am-10pm
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge

Budget/Person 100-300
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 524-7429
Other  Facebook Fan Page
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Pinkberry: New Salted Caramel and Lychee with Lime

Since childhood, I've always considered sweet treats as my comfort food.  I guess the only difference now is that as I grow older and wiser, I tend to lean on healthier options like frozen yogurt rather than ice cream.  I love frozen yogurt so much that I instantly agreed to go along with foodie friends to sample Pinkberry's new flavors.  

Pinkberry is an international yogurt brand that begun in West Holywood last 2005.  At present, it has over 270 stores throughout North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Asia.  Its actually my first time to drop by Pinkberry and I'm very impressed with their product quality.  Their yogurt is made of premium non-fat yogurt without high fructose corn syrup, their fruits are fresh and NOT frozen and they have many choices for toppings too.

pinkberry menu
They have a lot of base flavors aside from the seasonal ones like I'm sharing with you later on.  They also have various cones, cups in three sizes and a take home tub.  I've been working out lately so I've become quite conscious with the calories of the food I eat and I really appreciate that they include the calorie estimation for their yogurt.  

pinkberry greenbelt 5
Their counter is bright and inviting.  If you're undecided, you can sample some of their flavors.

Lychee with Lime Yogurt
pinkberry greenbelt 5
Pinkberry gave us a paper mat that serves as our guide on what topping should go with our Lychee with Lime Yogurt.  Although I really loved the refreshing flavor of the Lychee alone and even better with lime, I participated with glee.

pinkberry greenbelt 5
The Lychee with Lime Yogurt topped with Honey Almond Granola is a good experience because it adds a light crispy to the light base.

pinkberry greenbelt 5
The Lychee with Lime Yogurt topped with Mochi is creates a chewy-smooth alternating pattern that's quite enjoyable for me.

pinkberry lychee with lime
The Lychee with Lime Yogurt topped with Toasted Almond is a a bit similar to the Honey Almond Granola but the almond is more bold here and its more of a nutty crunch than light crisp.

pinkberry lychee with lime
The Lychee with Lime Yogurt topped with Coconut Shreds is great because it doesn't contrast the light flavor of the base in anyway but instead perfectly complements it by adding an awesome texture.

Salted Caramel
salted caramel pinkberry
As we were handed out the Salted Caramel Pinkberry with their respective toppings, I could see the excitement in the eyes of my fellow foodies.  Unlike me, they prefer this sweeter and heavier variant.

salted caramel pinkberry
If you find it too sweet, add some sea salt caramel to bring balance.  That's what I did with my Salted Caramel with almond, sea salt and milk chocolate shavings.  It was pretty good but I'm just not much of a milk chocolate fan.

salted caramel pinkberry
On the other hand, I just loved every but of my Salted Caramel with dark chocolate crisps, bananas and caramel syrup.  Okay, I can go even without the extra caramel syrup but the dark chocolate crispy and the banana duo was surprisingly spectacular in terms of taste and texture!

salted caramel pinkberry
Salted Caramel Cone 3 oz (115 php)
Once the topping activity was over, we were given our Salted Caramel Cone.   I love their waffle cones so I'll probably order cone on my next visit.

salted caramel shake
Salted Caramel Shake
When the Salted Caramel Shake was served, my first impression is that it would be overwhelmingly sweet for my tastebuds.  But, upon first sip, it was really good!  It's a slightly tangy yogurt shake with a light caramel taste just enough to counter the tarty flavor.  And, the caramel syrup is mostly at the bottom so if you feel that you want it a bit more of the caramel taste, just mix it a bit then sip. 

Overall, I had a great first impression with Pinkberry.  It's definitely the best frozen yogurt I've had here in the Metro.  I'll surely come back and try more of their offerings.  Or, better yet, take home a tub for the family since we're all frozen yogurt fans.  I know a lot of people say that frozen yogurt may been the in thing of yesterday.  But to me, frozen yogurt like ice cream, cakes and other delicious treats are timeless. =D

Branches Greenbelt 5
Level 1 (beside Fashion Walk)
Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center,
Makati City, Metro Manila

Rockwell Power Plant Mall
Concourse Level, Power Plant Mall,
Rockwell Center, Annapola Corner, Estrella St.
Makati City, Metro Manila
Business Hours Greenbelt 5
Mon-Thu: 10:30 am-12:00 mn
Sat: 10:30 am-1:00 am
Sun: 10:00 am-12 mn

Rockwell Power Plant Mall
Mon-Thu: 11:00 am- 9pm 
Fri: 11:00 am-10:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am-10:00 pm
Sun:  10:00 am-9:00 pm
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge
Budget/Person 100-500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 501-0000
Other  Facebook Fan Page   | Website
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I was invited for the taste test but everything is based on my own experience.  Still, I'll reserve my
review rating for my next visit.   

Bag of Beans: A Great Breakfast Place in Tagaytay

Since our little food group The Foodies Circle was formed, we've always dreamed of having cookouts, outings and food trips together.  Last October, our plans finally materialized when we stayed for an overnight cookout at Chilline T House in Tagaytay City.  And, before heading home, we decided to drop by Bag of Beans for breakfast.

We found out later that there are two Bag of Beans in Tagaytay so we had to choose.  We decided to head for the main store because aside from the spacious parking area, it occupied a wider space too. 

bag of beans tagaytay
We really couldn't see much beyond their large wooden gates.  Only upon entering did we notice how huge the place was. 

bag of beans tagaytay
The cool morning breeze was even amplified since the area was filled with plants.  There were some aviaries too. 

bag of beans tagaytay
We found out that they offered a brunch buffet during weekends for a nett price of 495 php.  But, since we went on a weekday, we had no choice but to order ala carte.  We skipped the indoor buffet area and went for the al fresco area.  Although we could have sat on the rattan fixtures or the wooden ones, we opted for the cabana which is  more cozy and private. 

bag of beans tagaytay

The cabanas had curtains, plush pillow seats and flowery table clothes.  They require 1,000 php consumable to avail the cabana but since we're a big group of 6, we were certain to go even beyond that.

All Day Breakfast
breakfast sampler
Breakfast Sampler (380 php)
Berylle and D choose the Breakfast Sampler, Sumi got the Sunrise Breakfast (295 php) and her beau got the Porter Steak House (495 php).  Since the orders came in huge proportions, the group shared with each other so I was able to sample all of them.  The Breakfast Sampler had almost everything they served on their breakfast plate (two sunny side ups, two pork sausage links, two light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes, crunchy bacon strips, ham, two pieces of hash brown and two slices of orange)  save for the cheese omelet that's included in the Sunrise Breakfast.  The Sunrise Breakfast may not be as extragant having a cheese omelet, two buttermilk pancakes and two pork sausage links but the cheese omelet alone is worth ordering it for.

Puttanesca (275 php)
Fellow Tsinoy Foodie Kurt ordered the Puttanesca.  It had the right amount of tanginess and saltiness with geenrous bits of tomatoes, garlic and olives.

Hot Beverages
Everyone orders hot berages except for me.
freshly brewed coffee
Freshly Brewed Coffee (house blend) (105 php)
The Freshly Brewed Coffee (house blend) is simply aromatic in its classic way.

cafe latte
Cafe Latte (110 php)
cafe mocha
Cafe Mocha (110 php)
Cappuccino (110 php)
caramel cappuccino
Caramel Cappuccino (110 php)

Although I did not personally get to try all of them, I could see how pleased everyone was while sipping their cup.  As their name implies, their beverages are a must order. 

Cold Beverage
mocha frappe
Mocha Frappe (115 php)
I opted for the Mocha Frappe and I'm glad with my selection.  I loved how rich their blend is.  And yet, it was neither to bitter nor sweet.  I have to admit, I enjoyed the drinks even more than the food.

Bag of Beans Store
 bag of beans
We've already left the main store when I suddenly remembered that we had to buy pies and pastries for pasalubong at home.  So, the boys brought us to the other Bag of Beans Store
bag of beans

bag of beans

bag of beans bakeshop
They sell a lot of pastries from baguettes to rolls. They also sell their signature mugs, tables, coffee beans and other delicacies. 

bag of beans bakeshop
Their Shepherd's Pie (125 php/single; 520 php/family) is a must try.  It has a savory meaty flavor with the soft creaminess of mashed potatoes that brings comfort to your mouth.  If you prefer chunky meat, try the Steak & Mushroom (125 php/single; 520 php/family). 

bag of beans cafe
We didn't understand the reason for their second store until we reached the balcony at end part of the cafe.  It had high wooden tables and chairs with a clear view over the Taal Lake.  I can imagine seeing the perfect view of the sunrise or sunset here so better visit at those hours. 

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Bag of Beans is a great breakfast place in Tagaytay.  Perhaps, we'll try the brunch buffet next!  Whichever branch you visit, you'll surely feel relaxed as you immerse yourself with the surrounding.  Although my friends and I had a pleasant and memorable experience, I hope their staffs would be more friendly and accommodating instead of displaying gloominess for a more wholesome experience.  Their WiFi doesn't work too even though they offer a password for a minimum consumption of 500 php.

P.S. This marks TFC's first out of town eat out.  Although we're pretty busy now, I hope we can escape from reality and have more of these in the future. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Bag of Beans Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2 |
=Favorites or Recommended 
Bag of Beans
Branches Bag of Beans Main Store
115 Aguinaldo Highway,
Mendez Crossing West,
Tagaytay City, Philippines

Bag of Beans Cafe and Store
Crossing Silang, Tagaytay Rotonda,
Tagaytay City, Philippines
Business Hours 5am-4am
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 300-800
Free WiFi Yes (unreliable)
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (46) 413-2724
Other  Facebook Fan Page
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