Mochi Sweets: Japanese Luxury Sweets

For decades, my family has been a huge fan of Mochi, a Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice with fillings at the center.   Whenever our relatives and friends would go abroad, they would often bring home Mochi for us as "pasalubong".  We've bought some of the Mochi brands here as well from Chinese, Korean and Japanese grocery stores but the brands vary as well as their availability.  

So, we were so glad when we saw Mochi Sweets at SM Mall of Asia.  I've encounter them before at the The 2nd Rockwell Ultimate Taste Test but I was too full and lacking in time to appreciate its taste. 


mochi sweets japanese luxury sweets
Mochi Sweets opened its first store in Shanghai and has now expanded to over 250 stores in the Philippines, China, Malayasia, Singapore and Vietnam.   According to their staff, Mochi Sweets sold ere are imported from Hongkong. Thus, they offer it in its frozen state and must be thawed from 15 to 20 minutes before eating.

mochi sweets menu
 They currently have 17 varieties available.




mochi sweets japanese luxury sweets
The Mochi Sweets are well protected and in their freshest quality because of their decent packaging.

mochi sweets japanese luxury sweets
         ♥Green Tea, Red Bean, Blueberry Cream, Sakura, Black Sesame, Purple Potato              (420 php/box)
The mochi coating is pillow soft, mildly chewy and slightly moist in every bite. It's perfect in form and thickness too.  Each variant is delicious in its own way.  It just depends on your preference.  The mochi contains paste, cream or mousse.  You can call me traditional but I like the paste form the most.  What I like most about the Mochi Sweets brand is that they are very consistent in offering their mochi with superb blend of flavors especially the right amount of sweetness.


sakura mochi
Sakura
 My favorite is the Sakura or cherry.  I love the contrast of the sweet and tanginess in it. 

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Mochi Sweets will surely win the hearts of many with their consistent and superb quality and yet, being marketed at the same price range as those locally produced.  We just couldn't stop ourselves from buying them as often as we could.  

How about you?  What's you favorite flavor? 


Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Mochi Sweets Price List
Ambiance 70 php/piece
420 php/box
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Mochi Sweets
Branches SM Megamall
2/F Building A (In front of the Main Escalators and near Cotton On) EDSA cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong City

Robinsons Galleria
1/F Robinsons Galleria
(Beside Robinsons Supermarket) EDSA cor. Ortigas Ave., Quezon City

Eastwood Mall
2/F Eastwood Mall,
(Extension Walkway near Bench) E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave, Bagumbayan, Quezon City

SM Mall of Asia
G/F SM Mall of Asia
(Main Mall Near Ice
Skating Rink) Pasay City
Business Hours 10am-9pm (mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge
Budget/Person 250-500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 501-0000
Other  Email: admin@mochisweets.com.ph Website | Facebook Fan Page |
Mochi Sweets SM MOA Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Navi Korean Restaurant: The Best Korean Cruise Restaurant Experience in Manila (Closed)

It has been customary for my family to check out new Korean restaurants within the Malate area.  So when we noticed the opening of Navi Korean Restaurant, we made plans to dine. 


navi korean restaurant
Navi has a nice exterior and a spacious parking space.  As we were ushered inside with outmost hospitality by the waitress in cute navy uniforms, we were awed by the bright, spacious and luxurious ambiance.  The booths are extremely cozy and wider than usual.   


navi korean restaurant
There are dividers for each table space to grant intimacy and privacy among diners.  Each table allows for tabletop cooking as well.  During our visit, we noticed that their patrons are all Koreans.

Food
complimentary bbq
Complimentary Pork Barbecue
On a typical Korean restaurant, we were used to be provided with complimentary sets of Banchan.  So when we were served some Pork Barbecue, we thought it was a mistake.  We just had to clarify whether it was complimentary too.  Its one stick for every customer.


complimentary banchan
Complimentary Banchan
So these are the real Complimentary Banchan.  I'd say there were generous and every one of these are delcious even the Cold Kimchi Soup.

brown rice tea
Complimentary Brown Rice Tea
When we asked for their house tea, we were surprised and pleased that we were served their Complimentary Brown Rice Tea in a cup and saucer.  Their service feels like in a five star cruise or hotel standard.


A La Carte
dong tea maewutang
Dong Tae Maewutang Medium (Stew with Pollack) (800 php)
The Dong Tae Maewutang is a red hot stew with vegetables and pollack.  According to our server, pollack is a fish imported from Korea.  It's pretty good.  We'll probably try more of it when we can.



samgeatang chicken broth ginseng
Samgeatang (Chicken Broth with Ginseng) (600 php)
Although this is only my first time to try the Samgeatang which is a clear chicken soup with ginseng, this seemed to be a family favorite for quite some time now.  I guess I missed out on a number of family dinners due to my busy academic schedule. =(  The flavor is a bit mild so you can appreciate the light sweet taste of ginseng.  I like it the way it is but others may opt to add some spices.


Meal

dolsot bibimbap
Dolsot Bibimbap (400 php)
The Dolsot Bibimbap is served with a bottle of gochujang.  This is a bit pricey on its own but the best one I've tried yet even without the meat, seafood, fish and vegetable.


Update (Oct 26, 2014): This restaurant is closed =(  It is now replaced by Jung Korean Restaurant (will post a review on it soon).

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Navi offers the best Korean cruise restaurant experience in Manila.  We were so stuffed because we underestimated the serving size and the generous proportions of the complimentary dishes.  Therefore, although the individual price of the dishes are a bit of a premium, you get more than what you pay for because of the generous amount of complimentary dishes, the food quality and the excellent service.   Having tried out almost every Korean restaurant in Malate, I think I've found the best one yet.  We'll surely come back again!

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Navi Korean Restaurant Menu
Ambiance Beef | Beef 2 | Beef 3 |
Pork | Fish |
A La Carte | A La Carte 2 |
A La Carte 3 | A La Carte 4 |
Meal | Meal 2 | Drinks |
 
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Navi Korean Restaurant
Business Address 600 Kaela Allyson Building, Remedios St., Malate, 
Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours Mon-Sat: 10am-10pm
Sun: 10am-12pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 300-800
Free WiFi Yes (But too slow to browse)
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 302-7297
Other  Email: navikoreanresto@yahoo.com Facebook Fan Page
Navi Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Wildflour Cafe + Bakery: A Cafe Love Affair

After our dinner at Izumi Sake Bar and Restaurant, we were craving for dessert.  I suggested that we try Wildflour Cafe + Bakery.  

News about this place has spread within the foodie community ever since it openedBut, I've passed on previous chances just to wait until the passing of its soft opening stage so I can enjoy the full experience and render a fair judgment as well.
 
wildflour cafe bakery
Thus, we walked towards Wildflour Cafe + Bakery finding it packed when it was already around 9:30 pm on a Saturday night.   It looks like a typical urban cafe in the U.S. with its large glass windows, modern lighting and wood furnished fixtures.

wildflour cafe bakery
While waiting for our table, we bought some pastries for dine-in and take out as they were sold at 50% OFF. 

wildflour cafe bakery
We also took the chance to observe their busy kitchen.  I'm happy to observe that they use my favorite peanut butter brand "Skippy" and their loaded with tons of "Nutella". =D


wildflour cafe bakery

After a few minutes of wait, we were led to our wooden table by the al fresco area.  I just love the table set up.  The candle light in a bottle, the checkered napkins and a tin full of utensils gives off a warm and nostalgic feel similar to the ones you have when enjoying a laid back picnic in a park.

Food

Desserts
tiramisu creme brulee
Tiramisu Creme Brulee (180 php)
The Tiramisu Creme Brulee is our server's suggestion.  It's a creme brulee with espresso ice cream beneath it.  It's the first time I've enjoyed tiramisu this way so it was quite an experience.  The texture and the sweetness level is right on the mark.

 
apple pie
Apple Pie (170 php)
The Apple Pie is their best-selling dessert item.  Upon first bite into its streussel, caramel sauce and slightly sour apple bits, I instantly understood why.  Their Apple Pie is so divine!  Every component just blends wonderfully togetherThis is the best Apple Pie I've tried yet.  

Pastries
blueberry almond
Blueberry Almond (170 php) (Bought at 50% off!)
I'm not much a fan of pastries but the Blueberry Almond is so amazing that I couldn't help but fall in love with its moist bread topped with generous amount of blueberries and almonds.

Hot Drinks
cappucino
Cappuccino Small (110 php)
If the food was good, you can expect the same from their beverages.  My dear brother loved his fragrant Cappucino.
 
chai tea latte
Chai Tea Latte (120 php)
My tea-loving sister adored her Chai Tea Latte as well.

Brewed Pour Over Coffee
ethiopia
Ethiopia (135 php)
I watched as my mom took her time to appreciate every sip of her bold Ethiopa brewed coffee.

Organic Teas Per Pot
green moroccan mint tea
Green Moroccan Mint Tea (140 php)
My little sister and I shared over the pot of Green Moroccan Mint Tea.  A pot is good for 4 cups so its good for sharing.  Like the rest of our orders, it was a fine choice as well.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Wildflour Cafe + Bakery is a cafe and bakery you'll surely fall in love with.  The ambiance, food and drinks is has its own unique way of delivering a transcendent experience.  The price is competitive with cafes and lounges around the area too.  I will definitely pay this another visit as soon and as much as I can.


Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Wildflour Cafe + Bakery Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2 |
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Wildflour Cafe + Bakery
Business Address 4th ave cor 26th st. Fort Bonifacio Global City 
Taguig City, Metro Manila
Business Hours Mon-Sat: 8am-10pm
Sun: 8am-3pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 150-600
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 856-7600
Other   Facebook Fan Page
Wildflour Cafe + Bakery Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                         

Izumi Sake Bar and Restaurant: Japanese Dishes for Sake Pairing

I've read a lot of raves from fellow food bloggers about Izumi Sake Bar and Restaurant so when the family was in the area, we decided to try it out.

izumi sake bar and restaurant
Izumi has a dark facade hinting that its more of a bar than a restaurant.  But, they have a some menu displays that indicate that they have some food specialties as well.


izumi sake bar and restaurant
Despite the cramped space housing at most four tables, the first floor has a cozy feel to it with the yellowish lighting and purple cushioned seats matching the wooden tables. 


izumi sake bar and restaurant
Along the staircase towards the second floor is a display of various sake bottles. 


izumi sake bar and restaurant
The second floor has a red hue lighting, a DJ area and dancing pole.  I'm told this is were the party gets wild at late hours. 

Food
potato salad coleslaw
Potato Salad and Coleslaw

For starters, we had the Potato Salad and Coleslaw which was a good but nothing spectacular.

miso soup
Miso Soup
The Miso Soup is also mediocre.

HOT Izakaya Plates
tori karaage
Tori Karaage (185 php)
The Tori Karaage has a nice golden brown crunchy coating that encapsulates the juicy chicken meat.
 

soy chicken and mushroom gyoza
Soy Chicken and Mushroom Gyoza (170 php)
The Soy Chicken and Mushroom Gyoza is an impressive variation to the usual gyoza.  It was exploding with savory and juicy soy chicken and equally tasty mushroom bits.  But, I'd prefer if the shell was slightly thinner.

japanese meatballs
Japanese Meatballs with Balsamic Teriyaki Sauce (150 php)
This is my first time to try the Japanese Meatballs with Balsamic Teriyaki Sauce.  I don't know if its because its too foreign for my taste buds but the mixture of the meaty flavor with the fragrant yet sweet and salty teriyaki sauce failed to impress me.

COLD Izakaya Plates
spicy salmon harumaki
Spicy Salmon Harumaki (190 php)
The Spicy Salmon Harumaki is definitely the best dish we ordered for the night.  Harumaki means spring roll in Japanese so it was rolled in those thin clear wrappers similar to the fresh vietnamese spring rolls but filled with lettuces, cucumbers and spicy salmon bits.  We all loved this!  It had the crunch, the freshness and the zing too.

Hot Mains
pork tonkatsu
Pork Tonkatsu (170 php)
The Pork Tonkatsu was cooked with a good crispy coating and a soft and tender pork meat.  But, having tried Yabu and Ma Maison's Tonkatsu, makes this one pale in comparison.


Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Izumi Sake Bar and Restaurant might be a great place to drink and party but the food alone is not worth the visit.  Perhaps, it gets better when paired with their sake and other alcoholic beverages or maybe just wrong ordering. 



Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Izumi Sake Bar and Restaurant Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Izumi Sake Bar and Restaurant
Business Address Forbes Town Center, 29th St cor Rizal Drive
Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila
Business Hours 6:30pm-3am
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 250-500
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 856-4090
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Izumi Sake Bar and Restaurant Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Mr. Poon: Family Chinese Favorite Since 1974

Although I have an undeniable hunger for new food places to try, there are old time favorites that I will always go back for.   Mr. Poon is one of our favorite Chinese restaurants.  My parents have frequented Mr. Poon since 1974. 
 
mr poon

Mr. Poon chain of restaurants are actually owned by the family of singer Richard Poon.  The original branch used to be in Mabini but it closed down so when we found out they reopened in this side of Malate, we decided to revisit.
 
Food

Fish-Specialty of the House
tofu tausi fish fillet
Tofu Tausi Fish Fillet (239 php)
Mr. Poon is known as the house of steamed fish so you can't miss out on ordering one.  The Tofu Tausi Fish Fillet is not as prestigious as the whole fish items but its pretty good.  

Soup
hot and sour soup
Hot & Sour Soup (69 php)
The Hot & Sour Soup is my favorite chinese soup!  Mr. Poon's version is affordable and fulfilling.


Vegetable
mushroom and broccoli
Mushroom with Broccoli (269 php)
My family lives with a healthy eating habit of having vegetables in every meal.  The Mushroom with Broccoliis is served in huge chunks and generous proportions. 


Chicken, Duck, Pigeon
chicken cubes
Chicken Cubes (180 php)
The Chicken Cubes is a must try!  I just couldn't stop myself from munching on this.  The sweet peppery sauce does wonders to the tender and succulent chicken cubes.  The chili and cashews are great complements as well.

Rice
yangchow fried rice
Yangchow Fried Rice (130 php)
An order of the Yangchow Fried Rice is good for 2 to 3 persons.  


Dimsum
buchi
Buchi (70 php/3 pcs)
I'm not as much of a fan of Buchi as my little sisters but I'm a fan of Mr. Poon's Buchi.
 
buchi
Buchi (70 php/3 pcs)
I love their Buchi because its made of sweet potato flour and the sesame paste is not too sweet.  The golden brown sesame coating has a nice crisp to it to.

Desserts
halo halo na halo na
Halo Halo na Halo Na Small (40 php)
I can assure you that Mr. Poon's Halo Halo na Halo Na is one of a kind.  Unlike the ones dominated with crushed ice and evaporated milk, this one is filled with ingredients: sweetened banana slices, leche flan, gulaman, beans, ube (purple yam) and pinipig.  Because of the sweetened banana, it has a bit thickened milk consistency and the taste is sweeter than the usual too.  I highly recommend that you try this!

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Mr. Poon's is and always be our family Chinese favorite.  It's ambiance is good old and rustic like any other Chinese places.  But, the good food it serves at an affordable price will bring you comfort like no other. 


Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Mr. Poon Malate Menu
Ambiance MenuMenu 2
Menu 3 | Menu 4
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Mr. Poon Malate
Business Address 1630 Luis Maria Guerrero Street, Malate, 
Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10:30 am-10:30pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 100-200
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 525-5555
Other  Facebook Fan Page
Mr. Poon Malate Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

Farah Lebanese Food and Barbecue: Hidden Gem for Authentic Lebanese and Halal Dishes (Closed)

There's not much Lebanese and Halal restaurant here in Manila so we're very excited to discover Farah Lebanese Food and Barbecue at Harrison Plaza


farah lebanese food and barbecue
Although it looks small from the outside, we realized that it was very spacious as soon as we stepped in. 



farah lebanese food and barbecue
It can cater to small and big groups for meals and for shisha sessions.  The photos hanged on it walls give it Lebanese feel.  Yet, on the contrary, their TV shows the usual English shows.  We ascertained the place is really authentic because one of the Lebanese owners is seated on one table with his laptop overlooking the operations and the Lebanese chef goes in and out of the kitchen once in awhile too. 


Food
hummus moutabal pita
Hummus (115 php) Moutabal (115 php) and Pita (10 php/piece)
I'm a huge fan of Middle Eastern appetizers.  Thus, I decided to order my two favorites: Hummus and the Moutabal.  Each order comes with two large pieces of Pita.  I love pitas.  You'd find it to believe but I'd even prefer it over rice.  Their Pita is the best I've had.  It was served warm, soft and chewy.  We even had to order more!  Their Hummus is also beyond those I've encountered before!  It's texture is smooth and the flavor of chickpeas together with the tahini, olive oil, spices and lemon juice is bold.  The Moutabal does not fall behind too.   The eggplant is served in a separate bowl so you can blend it according to your preference.  Because of the great appetizers, we were very much eager to try out the rest of their offerings.

Grilled

shish tawhouk chicken kebab
Shish Tawhouk (Chicken Kebab) (320 php/3 sticks)
The Shish Tawhouk or their chicken kebab is great in terms of taste but it could be a bit juicier.  

Rice Platters 
daoud basha
Daoud Basha (Minced Meat with Pasley and Tomato Sauce) (320 php)
It's my first time to try the Daoud Basha and I loved it!  It has a rich fragrant and tangy taste.  The minced meat is so tender that you need not even chew.  All their Rice Platters are served with basmati rice, one of the finest types of rice in the world.

Special Item (NOT on the menu but by request)
rostu beef
Rostu Beef (420 php)
Our server suggested that we try their best-selling item which ironically is not on the menu.  It's the Rostu Beef or roast beef.  The winning factor in this dish is its creamy yet foamy white sauce that is to die for!  It was able to transform the dull roast beef into an enticing one.  The beef is tender too.  I highly recommend this!

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Farah Lebanese Food and Barbecue is a hidden Gem for Authentic Lebanese and Halal dishes.  The food is great and serving portions are great for sharing.  And, if you're into shisha they have those too.  Now we know where to go when craving for delicious authentic Lebanese Cuisine


Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Farah Lebanese Food and Barbecue Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2 |
  Drinks |
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Farah Lebanese Food and Barbecue
Business Address Unit 4, HP Village Square, Harrison Plaza
Malate, Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours 11am-1am
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 250-500
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 268-1876
Other  Email: farahlebanesecuisine@hotmail.com Facebook Fan Page
Farah Lebanese Food and Barbecue Map  Like This Post? Subscribe here                               

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