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Tonight when feeling quite fatigue from a just concluded out of town trip, food came to the rescue and made me smile again. It wasn’t just any food. It was a mix of American Mexican, Chihuahua. Their atmosphere is quite festive with lots of post on the wall on event photos, celebrity shots and appetizing food. There is even colorful banderitas on its ceiling. Chihuahua also offers Zumba on Tuesdays and what they have been quite known for, Salsa on Saturdays. They got a dance instructor on these nights for some guidance. Tonight though on a usual quiet Sunday, we were the only customers. We were also fortunate to catch the 2 for 1 Margaritas minutes away from its deadline. Try their Mango, Strawberry or Classic. We also had full attention from the wait staff. For less than Php 900, two of us shared a generous portions of two bowls: Chicken Salad and Steak Bowl. The first one had an apt combination fit for Salad + Mexican. I suggest pouring a whole side of fresh guacamole for an added healthy feel and taste. The second one was a favorite. The steak was well marinated and tender. It’s good combining with stand alone Mexican rice. The chips added a nice texture and the salsa a well meaning sour and salty touch to it.
Last Tuesday I was given the opportunity to join a Rendezvoos at Hook by Todd English in Uptown. Upon arrival I was greeted by everyone there and was escorted to our table, I was the first one to arrive. Once everyone was there (almost), food started coming out. Platter 3 was made up of 3 tiers. All I can say is- freshness! There was a lot to choose from, but my favorites were; the oysters with the yuzu granita, because they had no trace of fishy taste whatsoever, the Scallop Motoyaki, because was so refreshing to the palette, the Crab and Uni Slaw, because crab and uni. Duh. Blackened Tuna Loin was up next, this dish looks and tastes so refined. Like you have to eat it gently because it looks so beautiful and tastes so silky. The tuna basically melted in my mouth. Now for my favorite dish, Crab Head Gratin! OMG. *BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP* Curse words are not allowed here, but you can see where I’m going with this. LOL. Everything on that plate was just pure perfection. From the corn puree down ever bit of crab and cheese. Second favorite is the Salted Egg Praws, because why not? Who doesn’t like salted egg? SALTED EGG ERRRRTHANG! Haha! The prawns were cooked perfectly, they were crispy and not too salty. Delsih! Shrimp On The Rocks- they smelled great! Raw shrimp that’s cooked with hot rocks. I was too lazy to peal shrimp but Kevin said they were soft, sweet, and easy to peel. I’ll take his word for it. LOL Fried Garlic Squid was super tender and the garlic flavor was prominent. I’m a garlic lover, so I liked this dish very much. I was already full by this time so I just took a spoonful of the (NOT) Paella, and it tasted like Kaldereta Rice! Yum yum yum! I wish they had served this earlier though. LOL Mr. Penguin! I was so full, but there’s always room for dessert! The ice cream on this dish was so tasty, it had a smooth taste, I couldn’t get enough of it. The cake was moist and the chocolate truffle tied everything together. It was an amazing end to a wonderful meal. I would definitely come back, especially during happy hour, where they serve $1 oysters! Thanks to looloo, to Eric and Kidd (they were great hosts), and to everyone I was with because you all made it super fun! ‘Til the next!
As the saying goes, it's better late than never! I had dinner last night with a previous colleague, A, and finally tried 8Cuts × Ooma's limited edition burger, the Soft Shell Crab 'Wich (Php 299). We also shared an order of the Skinny Fries (Php 60), and he got the Four Cheese 2.0. ✔ SOFT SHELL CRAB 'WICH (Php 299) - I FINALLY GOT A CHANCE TO TASTE THIS BEAUTY When we got to 8Cuts, I immediately asked if it was available (I don't want to get my heart broken ), and luckily, it was. YAY! My burger was served after 10-15 minutes. WOW, when I saw the burger's size (height), I was already thinking how I would eay it as it's bound to get pretty messy. There seems to be so much going on in this sandwich: Ooma's unagi sauce (), their equally umami aligue mayo, herbed aioli, melted mozzarella cheese, mango salsa, and crispy salmon skin flakes. Those are only the sauces and toppings! All eyes on the main event, the beer-battered soft shell crab, sanwiched between 8Cuts' buttery brioche buns. The soft shell crab "patty" was seriously big, as it was already spilling out of the buns. After a moment of ogling at the aesthetically appealing and well crafted masterpiece, I sliced the burger in half, then started eating, one bite at a time. THE VERDICT? Contrary to most of the reviews I read, I easily detected the taste of the soft shell crab. I like how flavorful and fresh the crab was, then meat had that sweet seafood taste that's sure to get you wanting for more. The beer batter added a certain twist to the usual Japanese favorite, making it more flavorful than ever. (I've tasted Ooma's soft shell crab tempura, and they were quite bland, especially in comparison to this). Now, you would think that the various sauces will compete to be king, but this was not the case. The aligue mayo packed an additional seafood goodness for this fare, the herbed aioli for additional flavor, the mango salad to balance the taste so it will not be cloying or too oily, the salmon skin for added texture, and the unagi sauce bound the components together. See how I forgot about the mozzarella cheese? I'm not sure if it was there, I surely did not feel it. I was generally satisfied with this seasonal item, but I felt like it could do more than this. Nevertheless, I enjoyed still enjoyed, and will forever remember this 'wich long after it's gone. It probably deserves a spot on the regular menu, though. You may choose to pair it with their Skinny Fries (Php 60), which reminded me so much of McDonald's twister fries, and Army Navy's Freedom Fries. Yummy and it comes in a big serving size. Most of all, it's so crispy! The service was just okay. They were generally attentive, though they still gave me cold water even after reiterating that I wanted lukewarm water. Oh well. Go grab your soft shell crab 'wich now, as it's only available until April 30!
I've actually visited their new branch here in Cebu but haven't been able to write about it here. (Sorry, |ooloo ) I'll do that soon, I'm just going through all the backlogs I have as well. Still it's a while different experience when you go to the original branch! I've been hearing a lot of good things about this place for a while now, so I have always wondered why my cousin doesn't take me here whenever I visit the province. For this particular trip, I made sure a visit to this rib joint is part of our itinerary. Found in the depths of some suburban area in Bacolod lies this humble place that boasts of the best ribs in town. I have always been a fan of a really good barbecued ribs, and this one did not fail to impress! The plate is so affordable at Php 150 and it has a generous serving of their wonderfully cooked back ribs! The sauce was delicious, and the meat was so tender, it really does fall off the bones! The rice that went with it was also great! The portion of the meat is really big, you are bound to order another cup of rice and even request an additional helping of their sauce. The additional sauce is charged at Php 15 but I'd say it's actually worth it. I'm really glad I have finally visited here! It'll definitely stay on my must-dine list whenever I am in Bacolod!
I first heard Hook during our rendezvoos at Pound a month ago. Eric gave a teaser on what to expect at the seafood joint from Todd English. I actually got curious as the name of the restaurant is kind of similar to my IG handle. I remember Jayson J saying “Can’t wait to get hooked by Hook,” and I added “and I’ll post pictures in my @hooknorm.” Play of words, ha! Fast forward to last week, I received an invite from Peanut D for a sponsored rendezvoos at Hook. YES YES YES, of course. I took a VL at work immediately. I was a bit late as I arrived past 7PM. Some of the reviewers were already there having a few drinks. While setting up my camera, I inspected the interiors of the restaurant and was quite amazed on how classy it is. The black and white theme really matches the elegant furniture. It’s a bit dim inside but I guess it added to the sophisticated vibe of the place. It also has a bar area with high chairs, if you want to get a kitchen view and see how your food is prepared. Eric and Kidd gave a brief introduction about the restaurant. After a few minutes, they served the following. ** Mixed Frito (400php) One order consists of fried squid, salmon, oyster, fries, and taro chips. The chips were amazing! It’s Bella J who told me to try it and she was right in telling me that those were crunchy and delicious. I just wish it had more aioli dressing to balance the taste as this all-fried starter set can get too overwhelming when consumed alone. ** Raw Platter This 3-tier platter consists of everything you need to sample at Hook. Platter 1 consists of oysters, scallop motoyaki, and white clams. Platter 2 has mussels, chilled shrimps, snapper and apple clam ceviche and Platter 3 has the tuna poke, crab and uni slaw, and salmon and ginger jam. My favorites in this Raw Platter include oysters, tuna poke and the crab and uni slaw. I love the freshness of the oysters. I liked it with their Coriander Lime Granita. I swear, it’s the best combination! It was refreshing, and addicting. I can’t put into words the marriage of flavors in my mouth after trying it. The Tuna Poke was super good too. The tuna was so flavorful. Eric told us that they used coconut water in this dish and that’s the reason why it was served in a coconut shell. Thanks to Harv, AlwaysHungryPh P, for teaching me how to fully enjoy every spoonful. ** Blackened Tuna Loin (375php) One of my favorite dishes that night. Okay, I actually prefer raw salmon than tuna but this one’s really flavorful. It was served with thick cuts of fresh tuna. The presentation was too beautiful as well! ** Crab Head Gratin (430php) Okay, I might sound too repetitive but this one’s really good. Uhhm, actually it was the best dish for me during this rendezvoos. The creaminess of the meat inside the crab shell was heavenly. It was cheesy, creamy and flavorful that I’m guessing that it’s made of not just fish and crab meat, cheese, and corn puree, but it’s also made with love, care, compassion, and more love. Come on, sharing is caring but not with this please? Literally napamura kami ni Inna A sa sarap. ** Shrimp on the Rocks (350php) I loved that the shrimps were cooked in front of us. The smell of the rocks reminds me of spa. The shrimps were cooked right! ** Salted Egg Prawn (550php) If you’re reading my reviews here in |ooloo, you’ll know that I’m a fan of anything salted egg. And I’m too happy that they have a nice version of this dish. The salted egg taste was evident. It was flavorful, and a bit spicy. Some may say it’s too spicy but it’s just right for me. ** Not Paella (750php) The name is catchy, as it’s (not) paella. Uhmm, it’s still paella with a twist. Mixed thoughts about this one actually as I remember Bella J not liking this so much. I heard from the other side of the table that the tomato taste was too evident but it’s the other way around with Will C. Midz S also found this good too. Well, for me it was okay. It’s too flavorful for me that I can eat this alone. But I guess everyone in the team that night agreed that this is one instaworthy paella. Too beautiful!!! ** Mr. Penguin (430php) I was actually too full when they served this dessert but looking how pretty the presentation is, I just couldn’t stop myself in trying it out. And man, I’m glad I did. This is made with black and white cake, caramel sauce, dark chocolate ganache and truffle oil. The chocolate was velvety soft. It’s just too good! It just made me realize that there’s really a room for dessert no matter how full we are. It’s magic. The staff were accommodating and helpful. Eric is such a generous host. I like his friendly attitude that he even shared a lot of personal stories during dinner. Thank you Hook! P.S. Hook has an Oyster Happy Hour during 4PM – 7PM. $1 for every oyster!!! Thank you |ooloo and Peanut D for the invitation. See you again soon Clarissa P Inna A Kevinross B Bella J AlwaysHungryPh P Will C Midz S! 🏻
Mama Lou is for me will always be considered one of the hood Italian restaurants around the metro. It's also affordable compared to other italian cuisine place. seafood oilio @335PhP Garlic is the first aroma that you will smell. Even better after tasting it. The mix of clams, mussels, squid and shrimp is abundant. Risotto Pesto al Pollo @325PhP This is the way of "going green without eating the greens" creamy itslian arborio rice with chicken fillet and homemade pesto sauce. The rice here is better than my experience at evia. pan fried fish fillet @390PhP Sole not dory!! Choice of either lemon, butter and caper, pesto or pomodoro sauce. The butter and caper sounds interesting. Served with veggies and mashed potatoes. But, you could actually make double portion of veggies. mama lou's pizza @350PhP The combination i actually don't like -- mangoes with balsalmic cream doesnt taste right for me, but i think others would like it. To each their own as Christina R says. Haha. But i think the prosciutto and arugula tastes fine with the tomato sauce. Ambiance is not that high class, but it's okay.
Bugsy's a familiar name in the bar scene. Not for me though, i don't think of booze, i think of Warren Beaty! Yeah, i am such a sucker for vintage Mafia Movies. And guess what? Bugsy is one of 'em. Why would a retired party girl go to a bar, you ask? Two words - |oo|oo Rendezvooz Baby! The invite is very timely as i have been working way too much for the past few weeks. I am in dire need of a drink. A glass of wine is in order. Wait....a whole bottle sounds really awesome. Bugsy's is one of the establishments in my work neighborhood - Burgos Circle baby. This is regular route going home after my run. The interior screams "IamASportsBarButNotQuite" vibe. Why do i say that? Well, the LCD screens airing basketball is a dead giveaway but if we take that out of the equation, it looks more of a bar x restaurant hybrid. Dim the lights, play a lil jazz and we got a speak easy. Starters. | Chicken Skin Chicharon (Php 195). The name says it all but I feel that we need to add an adjective – CRISPY. This is one of the standout dishes of the night…WHY? No frills, straightforward, unhealthy appetizer….i mean everyone likes that. I think I said kept on mentioning to Chef Edward how awesome it is (I was saying that while I was munching on ‘em) | Homemade Potato Chips (Php 195). Dear Cibo Chips – I am breaking up with you. I am in love with someone else. | Bugsy’s Nachos (Php 345). Cripsy nachos with chili beef, red beans, jalapeño sour cream, onions, tomatoes and cheese. Who would’ve thought that I would like Nachos with beans in it? I guess it has something to do with how they mixed the ingredient in exact proportions, and how each flavour compliments the other. | Buffalo Tenders (Php 265) . I am really a fan of buffalo wings but the first bite made me realize that if it is done right, it is magical. I like the fact that they didn’t go cray-cray with the buffalo sauce, the flavour is just right. The problem with other joints is that they put too much sauce and you don’t taste the chicken. This is the exact opposite; I get to taste how juicy the chicken is on the first bite. You know what is the best part, they use boneless chicken baby! Pizza x Pasta | 3 Cheese Truffle and Bacon (Php 425). Grilled flat bread topped with homemade marinara sauce, cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, truffle essence and bacon. Flat bread is best eaten fresh off the oven in order to appreciate the texture of the dough. Well, I am happy to report that you don’t need to rush when dining at Bugsy’s as their flat bread remains awesome after letting it sit for x number of minutes. I like how the mixture of cheeses blend well with the marinara sauce. | Vongole (Php 375). Vongole is prepared two ways – Bianco and Rosso. The latter is cooked with tomatoes and fresh basil. This is Deconstructed Rosso. Picture this – al dente spaghetti sautéed with fresh clams in creamy crab fat sauce. I like how the richness of the crab fat compliments the clean flavour of the clam. This is a dish that is thought of, carefully crafted and will surely please your palate. Mains | Grilled Porkchops (1 piece – Php 315, 2 pieces Php 435). Grilling pork requires expertise as the meat to on the dry side if it spends an extra minute on the grill and everything is down the drain after. What you will get is a dry and tough grilled porkchop. Fret not, this aint one of ‘em. The chops are grilled to perfection, the meat is juicy and tender. This is absolutely divine. | Bugsy Siegel (Php 995). USDA Ribeye served with mashed potatoes, green beans and red wine sauce. Fun Fact: This dish is named after a gangster who co-founded Murder Inc. This is one of the best steaks under Php 1000. The meat is super tender and oozing with flavour. This is wow on the first bite. I never bothered adding some red wine sauce as the steak is good on its own. And the serving is big enough to be shared by two people. Now if doesn’t sound like a good deal, then I dunno what else can I say to convince you. | Roast Pork Belly (Php 365). This is Chef Edward's personal favorite. I can't blame him, everyone likes pork belly. Lemme tell you that this is not the kind you find anywhere else. The dish is a family recipe, i think it is conceptualized by Chef Edward's grandmother. Short term memory loss aside, why do i say that this is one of a kind. Slow roasted pork belly infused with lemon grass! This is the first time i tried belly cooked with tanglad. The citrus flavor goes well with the meat. It creates an excellent flavor contrast that will entice your palate. After the first bite, i can confidently say...without a shadow of a doubt that this is the Baddest Pork Belly in Town. Booze. They have an extensive selection of booze to choose from – beer, cocktails, wine, champagne, whiskey, brandy , vodka, tequila and single malt. Our generous host offered overflowing drinks – Yay! *happy dance* I skipped the hard liquor and settled for a glass of red. Dinner was fantastic. Good food shared with foodie friends is always a good idea but when you add a little ethanol in the picture, it becomes…..wait for it… Legendary. Thank you Chef Edward and Martin for having us. Thank you Peanut D and Roegan T for the invite Fun times with my homie Jairus d Nice to meet you Chili G Jackie S And the rest of the gang Kiko G EJ B Jayson J Marc M Dennis O Peace Out! ~Reich
I'm probably biased about this but bear with me. In a galaxy not so far away, there exists a cafe well-suited for Star Wars fans like myself. My girlfriend took me to this place knowing that I would just love the place. All the designs just called out to me. You'd see figurines, poster, and an overall theme of Star Wars. It doesn't dissapoint. The only take away was that the restroom was at the other side of the building, where the first store originally opened. So I had Darthmalt (the name itself invites you to order it). It had Malteesers stuck around the rim of the glass, and the glass was placed on a wooden plate with chocolate syrup. It also had a donut on top and a stick-o. Yup I know, there's a lot happening in one drink. The drink itself was good. It might be too sweet for others though. The presentation was neatly done. It's enticing to look at. You ever felt like not touching your desserts since they look so good, that's how I felt. Hahaha. It was a little pricey though. Overall it was a good experience for us. I'm really glad that my girlfriend brought me there.
I had another Filipino feast at one of the go to for modern take on our cuisine. I always expect a weight gain whenever we are in a group and having Filipino. On top of the usual loads of rice, its the extra fat that gets you. Their signature Corned Beef Sinigang was a must order so we did. The wait staff will send you first a sample of the soup and ask if you wish to tweak it. If you want it more sour than it should, they are very much willing to do just that. Its high price tag of Php 595 is very much justified with ample amount of tender corned beef and boneless beef shanks. Its native vegetables are also satisfying. If you love veggies like I do, go for their Camote Cups. It’s an affordable appetizer filled with great nutrients. It’s their rendition of lumpiang sariwa but made better. The sweet potato is softened and warmed and on it is a string of fresh vegetables. It’s best to spread with its accompanying sweet sauce. Duck Pancake seemed lost in the menu but it was surprisingly delightful. It is good as it is presented. Duck was well seasoned and unusually soft. It’s their version of peking duck. When picking fried rice, the Seafood Bagoong Rice should be your first choice. On top of this salty bowl is an abundance of tasty medley of seafood. It also has strips of green mango for a nice sour touch. Also got the Stir Fried Ampalaya but this one wasn’t as good. Its components were too frail and its cuts were too small to enjoy. I also find it too greasy. Lamb Caldereta is not something you’ll have everyday and thus, given the budget, get this one too. The portioning is quite generous and its taste just like the way it’s done at home. The meat seemed new and its texture relatively soft. Got desserts too. And am glad they customized my Halo Halo to just bananas. The Coffee Pie was better than what I had the last time. This one had a higher presence of coffee than butter.
I've been a regular customer of Bugsy's eversince. This place is one our barkada go to place when it comes to inuman session. We love this place for its live sports screening during football season. Last night I've been invited by Peanut D for a |ooloo rendezvoos and I was excited cause I know this will be a long fun night. In my many visits to Bugsy's it have always been Beer and Nachos. In this rendezvoos I was surprised how good their food are. They are more than just a sports bar. Served in this fan fan night are the following. Homemade Potato Chips - crispy potato chips minus the MSG. This a great pikapika and the sourcream that comes with it was delicious. Bugsy's Nachos - you can never go wrong with Nachos and beer. Typical nachos nothing special about it but serving size was huge. Chicken Skin - oohh.. This one is so sinfully good. Perfect for the beer. One of my fave and a great new option instead of having the nachos. Buffalo Tenders - another fave of the night. Love the sweet spicy tangy flavor of the juicy chicken tenders. 3 Cheese Truffle and Bacon Pizza - this one is also good love the crisp pizza crust and the flavor was just perfect. Vongole Pasta - a clam shell pasta. Not sure if they used aligue for its delicious flavor Fish and Chips - for me this was just okay since I've tried better fish and chips. Crispy Pork Belly - this is a winner! Tasted like Cebu lechon belly. It was on the garlicky side flavor and the meat was so tender. Bugsy's Siegel - a big serving of steak and for just 995! It was a great deal and it was so good! One of my fave! Cripy Pork Face - this one was served while we're deep into our inuman session. Another sinfully good dish. Love the thick face and its soft meat. Too good but too dangerous for the health. Bugsy's Fudge brownies - brownies was thick and moist. Love it! Best part of the night unli beer!!! They've got great list of imported beers that I love. From Blue Moon, Heineken, Hoegarden, Stella Artois, Corona. Overall Bugsy's is indeed more that just a bar. Their food are topnotch. Can't wait to get some of my barkada again to grab beer and this time have dinner here. This might be one of the most fun rendezvoos I've attended. Alcohol is just a magic that makes everything more fun haha. Thanks |ooloo peeps Peanut D Roegan T Jayson J Marc M EJ B Kiko G Reich T Chili G Jackie S Jairus d. Cheers!!!
I've been looking for a legit kushikatsu place in Manila since I've first tried the dish back in 2015. I was really excited for Kushikatsu Daruma to open that we went there on their opening day. I'm happy to say that for me, it tasted the same as the ones served in Japan. And there's not much difference with regard to the price per stick. I like that they have a recommended set of sticks to order for beginners. I really liked the garlic chicken, classic kushikatsu, and the camembert cheese. The dipping sauce is also on point. They serve a free bowl of lettuce, carrots, and another veggie (singkamas? I forget!) instead of usual cabbage as appetizer. They also serve rice, dessert, and alcohol here. For those looking for a more Filipino-style meal, you can order a side of rice with your kushikatsu for that ulam-and-kanin feel. For me though, it's better to eat them as is. I'd say that this is the nicest Daruma branch -- it's decked out in bright colors and "no double dipping" signs. They even have screens playing animations of what may happen if you dare double dip. The place is also decorated with modified daruma dolls bearing the face of Kushikatsu Daruma's angry chef mascot, who's prominently displayed in their restaurants and store fronts in Japan. Service here is really good! I will be back again soon! 🏽
This is the first and only speakeasy bar in Bacolod City. This place is so cool! To find it is quite a challenge. Thank goodness for Google and blogs for instructions on how to find this place. All you need to do is go to the parking space of Pizza Republic / Orange Karenderia and you'll see a wall with a door knob. Open it and voila, you'll find the magical door to Narnia! No signs whatsoever, behind this door lies the Trap Door Tasting Room. This bar specializes in home brewed beers and they feature beer tasting, hence the name. The owners are fascinated by magic and tricks and so they created this place. Their waiters even do card tricks when it's not too busy in the bar. The venue is eery yet awesome and we enjoyed our after dinner drinks here so much! Mind you, we went here after a hearty meal in 21 Restaurant, but that didn't keep us from trying their food as well. 1.) Beer Flight You get to pick three beers and they'll come in 100mL glasses, pretty generous for a beer flight! Super sulit! We chose a flavored beer, a light beer and a dark beer. Plus, before choosing the three glasses, we were even offered to try their available beers first. Love! 2.) Beer Cocktails We tried both and they were both so delicious! Not too masked with sweetness and the beer flavor is still very pronounced, but it was definitely a ladies drink, really delicious! 3.) Food We had their Bacon vs. Mushrooms which was awesome! The mushrooms were fried to perfection and who doesn't love Bacon right? Their Truffle Fries was great too! ️ We had so much fun in this place! It was truly magical! I can't wait to come back! Tip: Visit the restroom! It's really cool too!
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