Have It The Chado Way

Milk tea is an in thing today. People crave for it making tea shops sprout everywhere. And with this undeniable summer heat, who doesn’t want anything cool to slide on their throats to quench their thirsts?

My work is near Eastwood City so my officemates and I can visit it almost anytime we want for some food or other stuff that can only be bought in malls. One day, one of my colleagues and I were on our way to a popular milk tea shop when we passed by a tea stall new to our eyes called CHADO The Tea Room. Its offerings are priced lower and, hey, it’s also milk tea so we decided to give it a try.

Chado 01

For only 75 pesos for a regular-sized milk tea and 85 pesos for a large, people can experience the CHADO milk tea goodness comparable to those of more costly ones. Naturally, a milk tea drink is a combination of milk and tea and with this, the tea’s taste is more distinct giving off the notion that it is true to its tagline, “Herbs that heal!” That taste is what my colleague and I liked most about this discovery so this shop became our instant favorite.

And why wouldn’t it taste such when its name is derived from two Japanese words, “cha”  and “do”,  which mean “tea” and “way”, respectively, and are used to describe the Japanese tea ceremony. So its like whenever one drinks a CHADO beverage, he or she gets to experience the taste of the event minus the pure bitterness of tea.

Of course, the flavors of our choice from chocolate, cherry, and my favorite, winter melon, among others, are also present in this mix, my only point in this is that it really tasted like tea with milk, if you know what I mean. hehe 🙂

Chado 02

Herbs that Heal!

I found out on the net that CHADO The Tea Room’s milk teas are indeed a healthy choice. Aside from the antioxidant content of tea, CHADO’s milk tea uses the Chado Special Sago or Basil Seeds which are known to be good for the digestive, immune, and respiratory systems, and skin, and can effectively relieve of stress. Moreover, the seeds, once consumed, have the cooling effect in the body making the beverage perfect for this summer season.

So what do you think about that, huh? CHADO’s milk tea isn’t just a drink that can refresh us and satisfy our cravings, it also keeps us healthy. Try it now!

Chado 03

CHADO The Tea Room also serves green teas, jelly-filled drinks, FruitMix series, and more.

 

 

CHADO The Tea Room
1. Eastwood Citywalk 1 (near Cyber Mall)
2. Food Junction, Eastwood City
Quezon City

 

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SOURCES:
TRUTHNHEALTH
Pinoy Entrepreneur
Wikipedia

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Fine Dine with Fam @ Nagomi

Group-buying sites are blessings to both businesses and their customers.

For the businesses, these sites are the perfect spots for the promotion and exposure of their establishments, products, and services; while for the customers like me, we get to discover something new and avail them at lower prices.

In fact, it was because of Ensogo, one of the most popular group-buying sites in the country, that I discovered Nagomi Japanese Restaurant, which became the perfect venue for a dinner date with my family. And the best part is, I got the meal for four at a very affordable price.

Photo taken by my brother.  I don't know why he took it tilted. :P

Photo taken by my brother. I don’t know why he took it tilted. 😛

Nagomi 01

My brother, Carlo, Mom, my sister, Charisse, and me

My brother, Carlo, Mom, my sister, Charisse, and me

The restaurant is located at El Pueblo Real de Manila in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, a commercial area that used to be unknown to me though I always pass by it on my way to SM Megamall. It only got to have a name when I saw Nagomi’s address and I used Google Maps to know where it is.

Anyway, the thing most worthy to take note of when buying vouchers from these sites, especially those of restaurants, is that you have to call the establishment and make reservations of usually three days prior your planned visit. So when my family and I were already standing outside, hiding and wondering if we were in front of the right place, a Nagomi crew came to us asking if we were the guests under Ms Reyes’ reservation (Hey! That’s me! I thought.). I said yes and as we all followed her to our table, I remembered what I learned about a Japanese employer’s reminder to his workers that goes, “Okyaku-sama wa kami-sama desu”, or “Customer is god” in English, because the staff’s gesture showed just that: Superb customer service.

The interiors of Nagomi is dandy and very Japanese like those ones that can be seen on movies. It’s like once you enter the place, you’re instantly transported to the Land of the Rising Sun. Even the utensils and everything else on the table have a touch of authentic Japan which got me really excited since I love anything Japanese.

Nagomi Interiors

Nagomi - on the table

Nagomi - condiments

Then the food. I bought the voucher for 599 pesos and for such a price, my family and I were able to enjoy and share with each other Kani Salad, Ramen, Salmon Teppan Yaki, and Sushi with cold tea. The whole bunch is valued at 1,500 pesos and is good for 4-5 persons.

The Kani Salad is made up of crab meat sticks (“Kani” is the Japanese word for ‘crab’), crab eggs, lettuce, ripened mango, cucumber, and mayonnaise. The veggies were definitely fresh and Mom loved it mainly because of its healthy ingredients, while for me, it was okay except that I disliked the ripened mango (Even on maki!) because it seemed like it was disturbing everything with its sweetness. But anyway, that’s the Japanese style, I guess. Kani Salad’s real price is 170 pesos.

Kani Salad

Kani Salad

Then the Ramen showcases how healthy the Japanese are with how the dish is tossed with noodles, slices of meat, and various vegetables, making it one healthy meal. It was delicious and it brought warmth to my tummy because of its hot soup. I don’t know what kind of ramen was served to us, but according to Nagomi’s menu, its prices range from 260 to 340 pesos.

Nagomi - Ramen

Ramen

The Salmon Teppan Yaki was my sister’s and brother’s favorite for the night. The dish is salmon, either grilled, broiled, or pan-fried, and bean sprouts mixed with carrots, onions, and green bell peppers, then poured with a sauce for added taste. Because they loved it, my siblings couldn’t stop themselves from requesting me to buy them rice so I bought three for us. It’s 340 pesos.

Nagomi - Teppan Yaki (Salmon)

Salmon Teppan Yaki

Then finally, the Sushi Platter. It was my favorite because I love raw fish and good thing my family isn’t into it so I was able to masticate the two all by myself. The fish was really great and fresh. Nagomi doesn’t really sell the sushi in platters but an order of it costs 60 to 120 pesos.

Sushi Platter

Sushi Platter

Nagomi - Sushi!

 

If it wasn’t for Ensogo, I wouldn’t know that such a wonderful Japanese restaurant exists, and even if I knew, I wouldn’t be able to bring my family there and treat them because if you open the menu, you’ll see how expensive their offerings are. The three orders of Japanese rice even costed me already 214 pesos. But then maybe, that’s really the price of an authentic Japanese experience.

All in all, our dine at Nagomi Japanese Restaurant was memorable not just because of the sumptuous dinner that was friendly on my budget, and with wonderful ambiance and customer service, but also because my family and I got to spend quality time together laughing and chatting.

DONE. :)

DONE. 🙂

 

 

Nagomi Japanese Restaurant
El Pueblo Real de Manila
Julia Vargas cor. ADB Ave., Ortigas Center
Pasig City
Tel.#: 635.4546 / 632.1736

Heaven on My Palate, Whore’s Style

Along Maginhawa St, Teacher’s Village in Quezon City is a restaurant with the best puttanesca I’ve ever tasted.

But wait, what is puttanesca? In the Philippines, I find some people who bleep its first two syllables because it sounds like the first two syllables of probably the worst Filipino swear term. I find this act weird and irksome, but I just discovered that they were somewhat right in doing so since they really mean the same thing.

Puttanesca, or spaghetti alla puttanesca, is the name of an Italian pasta which literally means “whore’s style spaghetti” (Yes, it’s the “whore” part that people censor). There’s no definite reason as to why it is called such, but one of the hearsay has it that it smells like the cheap meal prostitutes serve their customers back in the day. Anyway, this pasta is made up of black olives, garlic, tomatoes, onions, anchovies, and olive oil.

I’d been hearing and reading the said dish on restaurant menus, but I used not to care what it was until my friend suggested we eat at Friuli Trattoria, a small restaurant that serves affordable yet definitely yummy Italian dishes, when we were in Maginhawa St, Teacher’s Village in Quezon City. With the words “Angel” and “Hair” just before the magic word, the name finally caught my fancy so it was what I ordered. And oh boy, I didn’t regret my choice!

The restaurant’s version of puttanesca has the usual tomatoes, capers, anchovies, and olives, but instead of using spaghetti, its pasta is capellini, a variety of Italian pasta similar to spaghetti, only thinner, and I believe better, thus, the term “angel hair”.

I’m not a fan of pasta ’cause I’m more of a rice person, but this one became my instant favorite. Its sauce is poured generously enough making me savor every mouthful of its rich flavor, in fact, I could distinctly taste the deliciousness of anchovies (I love seafood!). I also think choosing angel hair as its pasta has to do with its supreme taste, you know, the thin strands give way to experiencing more of its sauce than the pasta itself, which is truly celestial. Just a theory, though.

Anyway, I fell in love with puttanesca because of this that I promised myself that I’ll cook the same one of these days, and it led me to ordering the same dish in Bigoli and Pizza Hut. So far, Friuli Trattoria’s is still the best! I recommend everybody to have a taste of it! ❤

It’s affordable, too. For only 130 pesos, an order, served with a slice of garlic bread, is already good for two persons.

Friuli Trattoria's Angel Hair Putanesca

Friuli Trattoria’s Angel Hair Putanesca

Our other two orders were Spaghetti Carbonara, served with a slice of garlic bread, too, at the price of 130 pesos for my friend, and an eight-slice Mushroom Pizza, which comprises of four different kinds of mushrooms (My favorite!) for only 185 pesos for both of us.

Spaghetti Carbonara of Friuli Trattoria

Spaghetti Carbonara of Friuli Trattoria

Mushroom Pizza. YUM!

Mushroom Pizza. YUM!

If the street isn’t far from my place, I would dine at Friuli Trattoria over and over again so I can endlessly satisfy my taste buds! Visit the restaurant, too, and discover heaven on your palate and its other offerings! ❤

 

 

Friuli 1

 

 

 

 
 

Friuli Trattoria
79A Maginhawa St, UP Village, Quezon City
Tel. #: 434 .1416
Operating Hours: 10am – 2am, daily

 

 

 
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REFERENCES:
POPSUGAR
Wikipedia
I Love QC

Jamaica for You!

Imagine that as you take a bite of that Jerk Chicken, you hear the lovely voice of a flight attendant over the microphone saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have just landed the Norman Manley International Aiport. Welcome to Jamaica!”

That was what I felt with every sample I took from Racks’ newest food offering, the Jamaican Jerk Chicken. The food was so good that it was like I was being transported to that island off the Caribbean Sea the whole time I was eating.

My family and I seldom eat at expensive restaurants, but as we were all craving to have a taste something new to our palates, one of these few days luckily fell on my birthday, while we were at a mall, already hungry with all the walking we were doing. It was then when we passed by Racks with its tarpaulin advertising its new Jamaican Jerk Chicken which is sold for 275 pesos. “Not bad for this special occasion,” we all agreed.

Departure to Jamaica

Racks

We entered the restaurant, got greeted by one of the friendly crews, and was escorted to our table. My family ordered whatever that sounded good to their ears on the menu while I decided to go for the Jamaican Jerk Chicken, thinking, “Hey, a new food for a new year in my life. I hope this one’s good.”

And that day proved to be a great one not only for myself but also for my taste buds and tummy. I wasn’t wrong in choosing Racks’ new addition to its menu.

Made up of grilled boneless chicken thigh and seasoned with the best Jamaican Jerk ingredients: Scotch bonnet, allspice berry or the Jamaican pepper, and thyme, the Jerk Chicken had that perfect smoky taste and was rich in flavor due to it being marinated. I really felt like its Jamaica brought right on to my plate!

It was also served with java rice which had a different twist to it, I think, vegetable salad, corn on the cob, fried plantains, and any side dish of your choice, which all made me sated and full when my plate was finally empty.

Considering the price and the amount of satisfaction it gave me, I can say that every penny spent on that food was surely worth it!

*Article originally published here.

Foodtografia de Camilla Pt 2

SM Mall of Asia. The first time I heard the name on television, I thought it was some humongous, extravagant, official shopping center of the world’s largest continent—Asia. Well, it is almost, actually.

According to its website, the 407,000-square-meter SM Mall of Asia, or simply MoA, is the Philippines’ largest and the world’s third biggest mall. But Wikipedia says that it is the second in the country, third in Asia, and fourth in the world. It’s confusing which one is true, yet surely, I don’t want to scare people like me who have phobia with numbers, so I won’t bombard this post with digits. But with its vastness, MoA has a lot of space to be more than just a mall, for it is also a tourist spot, and a leisure and entertainment go-to place.

 

Photo grabbed from Wikipedia

 

It was after a few months since its opening in 2006 when I first experienced its hugeness. My family and I just went there for Christmas to check out what everybody and the media were all talking about. When we arrived, we were somewhat dismayed by its size that at the end, we were only able to walk up to one-fourth of the whole mall, then we all decided to go back home. For us, it was just like any other malls, only farther from our place, bigger, and more tiring to roam into.

That was in 2006. I never thought of ever going back in there ’cause, hey, SM Megamall‘s nearer to my home, and though it’s not as gigantic, it is still big enough to house all the shops that have my needs.

But like they say, things change and people can have a change of heart. Since the first quarter of this year, MoA has become my rendezvous with a friend or two. Then I went to its SMX Convention Center just recently for the 33rd Manila International Book Fair (which made me reminisce walking at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre), and I even celebrated my birthday there with my mom and younger brother.

Maybe it’s because I grew mature and I have come to widen my horizon, or maybe I got tired of the malls around my place, or better yet, maybe I finally find it more refreshing and liberating–if that’s the right term–to be in a place where I can choose whether to stroll in open air or in an air-conditioned area than just the fully air-conditioned one. Whatever it is, I have seen MoA in a whole different light.

It is especially nice to walk and hang out at its esplanade during the night when the sun won’t have the luxury of burning one alive anymore and only the cold air can touch a person’s skin (Err… Not really, it is also a place where couples hold hands and cuddle. Please believe me when I say that I don’t do any of that anywhere. I swear! hehehe. Little Miss Defensive in the house, yo!)

Anyway, with a size like that, it is undoubtedly abundant in restaurants of all kinds in every corner. But the things is, irony comes when I tell you that there’s a scarcity in my little photo collection of the food I ate there so far. hehe. Still the same problem with my blog post Foodtografia de Camilla Pt 1. *sigh I’m trying my best to be more vigilant now, though. 🙂

So without further ado, let me present to you six images of the food I happily masticated from four restaurants located in MoA. They may be few, but they are some of the best. 🙂

 

Ranch Style Beef Strips
Holy Cow!

 

New York Cheesecake
Holy Cow!

 

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Racks

 

(Some Ribs. I forgot what it’s called)
Racks

 

Tempura Japanese Grill

 

Tanabe Japanese Restaurant

Deboned Goodness: Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata

A few months have passed, but I can still remember that moment when I first had the taste of something sooooooooooooo delectable, and so, so worth raving about.

I am talking about Serye‘s Boneless Crispy Pata. If you look at the photo below, the presentation alone would make your mouth water in anticipation, and that’s even in person. So just imagine when it finally touches your taste buds. Mmmm…

Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata at 130 pesos per 100 grams

Discovering the Goodness

Before anything else, let me first tell how I came to learn about the restaurant.

Serye was introduced to me by a close friend and office mate who went eating at its Eastwood branch with two colleagues one lunch break. As a person who likes sharing everything to me, she quickly told me she wanted to make me try its offerings especially the Boneless Crispy Pata, and so she went on talking about it for a few days until at last, our plan to eat together there materialized.

I think we just got our salaries when we headed to the same branch (it’s very near our office) with one of the co-workers she went with her first time. So both of us decided to treat this office mate, the company’s admin head, because she has been really nice to us even if she is just a new acquaintance.

It was around 12nn so the restaurant was full and we waited a few minutes before we got our table. The place was nice and cozy and the crew was really accommodating, but waiting for the food was taking forever, or maybe we were just running out of time since we only had an hour. Setting that aside though, once the food we ordered were already on our table, I forgot that I waited (one of my greatest pet peeves is waiting) and instead, pure satisfaction took over me that by the time we went out of the place, it was my turn to rave about it ceaselessly and enthusiastically to my friends and family.

Inside Serye, Eastwood branch

The Taste of Goodness

We ordered two viands, the Boneless Crispy Pata and Sinigang na Bangus Belly (Bangus is milkfish in English). At 215 pesos per order, the latter is equally superb, only that I think there was too little bangus in it that it seemed like it was a Sinigang na Gulay (Gulay is vegetable in English.), if such food exists. It was delicious that I didn’t find myself hoping there was a fish sauce nearby, and the slices of fish took no fuss in chewing because they didn’t have even a single bone when it’s known to have lots of it, but hey, it is really, really the former that I want to focus on in this post.

Serye’s Sinigang na Gulay… Er… I mean, Sinigang na Bangus Belly at 215 pesos

So what is a Crispy Pata? (It’s so off when the photo above this is not what I’m talking about. hehe Please forgive it. ‘^_^)

Crispy Pata is a Filipino dish made of a pig’s trotter, boiled in salted water, vinegar, and onions (or so my mother said), then deep-fried making its skin oh-so crunchy. When eating, it is dipped in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, sliced onion, chopped garlic, green chili pepper, pepper, and a little bit of sugar for added flavor.

When I was a kid, I remember how everyone would devour it once placed on the table like not doing so would leave them with nothing during family reunions. And now, I was able to have a taste of Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata. As the name would suggest, it is deboned, therefore, there’s no hassle in consuming it, ’cause all you have to do is chew and chew and chew, and indulge your taste buds and tummy. Now that’s total pampering for you!

It is also sliced to the right thickness for more ease in eating, and is cooked perfectly, so expect juicy meat meets crispy skin as you put a bite size in your mouth. It costs 130 pesos per 100 grams, or 600+ pesos for a small size (like on that first photo above) that’s good for three people. Of course, Serye also serves the regular Crispy Pata for a cheaper price of 100 pesos per 100 grams, but with the boneless one around, I believe it will be just a second option.

Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata is the restaurant’s newest bestseller and is one of the dishes, along with the Kare-Kare, that won the Sooo Pinoy, The Search for the Ultimate Pinoy Dish award.

The Goodness that is Serye

Serye not only offers Filipino dishes, but also cakes, pasteries, and coffee.

A little trivia about Serye: The name of the restaurant is short and simple, but behind it is a total creativity and a hidden message. Serye is an anagram of the owner’s surname, Reyes, since the menu was based on the recipes of the Reyes family matriarch, Engracia Cruz Reyes (I suggest you click the link before this, she was totally amazing). Aside from that, the word serye, or series in English, signifies the restaurant’s mission, which is “to carry on the family’s culinary tradition.” As a person who’s in love with words, I find this totally awesome.

Currently, Serye has three branches in QC Memorial Circle (924.3411 / 426.2693 / 0921.8489149), in Santana Grove, Sucat (825.4691 / 826.9317 / 0915.2276042), and at Eastwood City (911.2334 / 709.3712 / 0921.3708648). Visit one of them now and be filled with real goodness!

P.S. Yes, I am a Reyes but no, I’m not related to these Reyeses, though I have joked that my father owns it and I was assigned to manage the Eastwood branch. hehe 🙂

Foodtografia de Camilla Pt 1

Maybe it’s because of the trend and Instagram in particular, or maybe I just want to remember the various food that I eat, but I love taking pictures of food! Sadly, much as I adore doing it, I oftentimes forget to take snapshots of them because, yeah, I’m almost always hungry especially at the sight of, yes, F-O-O-D. So before I realize it, all I have is a clean plate. Too bad.

What happens then, you say? Well, I end up capturing images of empty plates just so I can remember and tell myself someday that, “Once, I was able to eat at this or that restaurant. As a proof, look, there’s the plate I ate at with the resto’s tissue in the photograph.” Hehe.

Anyway, there will be no empty plates in this post. Below are (only) five images of food and a drink that I ate and was able to catch on camera either in Macau or in Hong Kong. There are no food reviews about them since my memory is now betraying me, most of them are taken back in 2010.

P.S. I’m no photographer so I hope you’ll forgive my shots. ^_^

 

Restaurante Vinha
G/F AC Dinasty Plaza, 393 Alameda Dr. Carlos d’ Assumpção, NAPE, Macau

 

Deep Fried Spicy Crab
Spicy Mama
Tak Hing St, Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong

 

(I forgot what it’s called, but it’s composed of noodles in tomato sauce, with different kinds of mushrooms, some veggies, and one chicken skewer.)
Glass Flat Q’ Noodle
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

 

Fried Noodle with Beef in Malaysian Sauce
Sun Thai Restaurant
Shop 3-4, G/F, Tonnochy Towers, 272 Jaffe Road , Wan Chai, Hong Kong

 

Milk Tea that comes with the food above
Sun Thai Restaurant
Shop 3-4, G/F, Tonnochy Towers, 272 Jaffe Road , Wan Chai, Hong Kong