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I’ve been seeing a lot of social media posts lately regarding Bench Café. Yes the Bench Group, one of the leading clothing retail giants, partnered with FooDee Global Concepts to form the newest artsy Filipino café in the Metro. Bench Café is located at the second floor of the flagship store of Bench/ in BGC. It is set to open its doors to the public on Thursday, January 25. THE CONCEPT Eric Dee of the FooDee Group shared a lot of things to us during this |ooloo rendezvoos. He revealed to us that initially when they were still starting Bench Café, they wanted a family-style restaurant. This means more of for-sharing plates. However, they thought that the price per dish will be too costly, maybe around 350php to 500php. Mr. Ben Chan from the Bench/ group wanted the café to be more consumer friendly. Bench Café serves Filipino food. If the Japanese have bento, this café has Bench/To. These are 10 food combinations with price starting from 200php. Each bench/to can be upgraded to have soup of the day. The soup can be monggo, tinola, sinigang and bulalo depending on what’s available. The café also has SILOG meals such as tapa, spam, tocino, longganisa, etc. Each silog meal can be converted to be eaten with Pinoy panini. They use ensaymada bun for their paninis and each order comes with homemade taro chips. All orders are served in a tray (banig-style, which I like tbh), making this café be thought as a “glamorized turo-turo.” THE FOOD For appetizers, we had Tinapa Cones and Sisig Lettuce Cups. Though too salty for others, I truly liked the Tinapa Cones. These are crispy lumpia cones filled with tinapa mousse, and topped with salsa. The mousse is very rich and bold in terms of flavors. The tinapa taste was very evident in every bite. The Sisig Lettuce Cups on the other hand kind of reminds me of sampgyeopsal lettuce wraps of Koreans. The sisig is topped with calamansi foam, which I found cool. It’s a perfect combination, in my opinion. During this event, we were given the liberty to choose which bench/to combination we liked to try. I had the Dancing Fish with Dilis rice. The fish was very crispy that you can eat it as it is without deboning. I liked how it tasted, not too salty which complemented well my dilis rice. I had the chance to taste the orders of Christina R Midz S Sandy P Cindy S and Patrick V. They had Inasal Liempo, and Salted Egg Chicken. The liempo was soft and tender and really had a nice smokey taste. I loved how premium the meat was, as evident in its five layers: meat-fat-meat-fat-skin. The Salted Egg Chicken was pretty good too. I just love anything with salted egg flavor. For the sides, I enjoyed the Gising-gising and Tinola. The former was not too spicy maybe, to suit the more general public palate. I prefer it a bit spicier though. Gusto ko sa gising-gising yung sobrang anghang, yung magigising talaga ako sa katotohanan. Oha! The Tinola, on the other hand, was perfect. I loved it so much though I’m really not a fan of this dish in general. Kudos! For the dessert, we had Ube Halo-Halo, White Halo-Halo, and Flan B. Out of these, I liked the White Halo-Halo the best. It’s with coconut, macapuno, garbanzos, banana, nata de coco, leche flan, and coconut ice cream. Super super good. It’s very sulit, and I think I can finish 2 orders. The Ube Halo-Halo was good too, but it’s more of the usual one. The Flan B was spectacular as well. It’s filled with macapuno, and it’s such a nice surprise! In my opinion, their desserts are so good that they can open a dessert-only Bench Café and it would still be a hit. THE PLACE It’s very artsy. I loved all the wall arts and the designs on the shelves. It’s very colorful. The pastel pink couches, white and olive green walls, and colorful stained glasses on the windows make the overall vibe lively. It’s very millennial. The interior design is on point and I loved the grand staircase connecting the lifestyle store to the café. Every spot can be an Instagram spot. THE SERVICE The service was superb. I think the staff handled us well considering that we have a lot of requests as foodies. Considering the big crowd that night, the servers were still all smiles which I truly appreciate. P.S. They also have cocktails here. I tried the CIRCA 1987 and I liked it. It’s kind of sweet and sour at the same time, but it truly worked for me. As always, thank you Peanut D for the invite. Hooray for my first |ooloo rendezvoos this 2018! Nice seeing you again guys and cheers to more foodie events this year! Cindy S Patrick V Sandy P Midz S Christina R Jairus d Clarissa P Reich T Ruth D Ruth S
First 2018 post (after a long hiatus again) AND it just had to be THIS —— From serious contenders like Frankie’s, Sunrise Buckets, Buffalo Wings n’ Things, Wingman, and Big Fat Burger’s Wings. WINGSTOP took their wing game a notch higher than the last time I visited (2016). If not for their MANGO HABENERO, I would’t really rave about it that much 🏼♀️ It’s next to their atomic bomb (top o’ the hot scale) so you could just imagine the intensity of hooohotness! At first bite - it’s that sweet mango - tease and then a whopping habanero kick, and you’ll just keep biting until you sweat. A good match would be HONEY SRIRACHA, that was a perfect mesh of the obvious. It wasn’t too sour, thankfully! But boy was it INTENSE too! Their HICKORY BARBEQUE is the usual, and is good to pair with honey mustard dip for an ooomph. 🙄 MEH FLAVORS : - HONEY GARLIC. It’s like soy garlic and IS TOO SWEET. - LUISIANA RUB. Dry as the sand with unrecognizable spices. Sayang 5pcs dito, promise! - ATOMIC. Top o’ scale hotness, but TOO SOUR, and peppery. - GARLIC PARMESAN. It’s like garlic wings sprinkled with parmesan. If you bite on a part without the “sprinkle”, it’s sooo ordinary. We had the individual meals - 5PCS wings with rice, fries OR onion rings, and any drink of your choice. Plus P20 if you want coleslaw or a drink upgrade. FIVE HUGE PIECES. Their drinks are now in can except for iced tea. Must it be the train effect? :O It comes with the meals naman so we’re still good 🤣 We always joke about how their soda is the REAL THING, and not the fastfood type na powdered. Especially the sarsi. It’s a certified throat slasher! 🧚🏻♀️ WINGSTOP TIP #1 : SKIP THE CLASSIC, and GET THE BEER BATTERED WINGS. It’s a flavor boost, trust me. 🧚🏻♀️ WINGSTOP TIP #2 : Don’t get their onion rings. Better buy a bucket at 8cuts for to go then bring it here! Haha that’s what me and my sister did. 🧚🏻♀️ WINGSTOP TIP#3 : Their BLUE CHEESE & HONEY MUSTARD dips are awesome, btw! Perfect to pair with mango habanero and honey sriracha 🏻 Ohhh and they have WING TUESDAYS! Get 20pcs beer battered wings for only 499 instead of 799. Such a steal for groupies or happy three friends who want more wings
Bad Bird is finally open in Serendra! Had lunch here with my faves Norman Lester T & Edison A. The place was a bit full for Sunday lunch. No further intro for this one, they’re the baddest umami chicken in towwwn! We ordered the following — Waffle Plate 2 pcs. Sweet Potato Waffle with Miso Butter and Umami Chicken. Soft and thick sweet potato waffles perfectly paired with their umami chicken. Serious comfort food right here! I’m super in love with the well-seasoned chicken ever since I’ve tried it, its meat is tender and very juicy. Plus points for the crispy skin! Dirty Rice Plate 2 pcs. Umami Chicken, Fried Rice with Bacon, Chicken Liver, Tamago, Bonito and Kimchi Super tasty fried rice that you could eat on its own! I love the hefty amount of bacon, tamago and bonito! Annnd, feebies from LowBrow newsletter courtesy of Norman Lester T! Thank you! 🤗 Hush Puppies Hush Puppies are these cute lil’ bites from heaven! One bite is not enough, made from cornmeal and deep-fried to perfection, it’s an amazing side to Bad Bird’s umami chicken. They take away the “umay” feeling. Chicken Nuggets Made with real chicken right here. Not the fast food and frozen stuff kind. Each bite was sent from chicken paradise. Perfect dip is the black pepper mustard. Chocolate Sundae Simple, no-fuss dessert. 2 scoops of chocolate sundae with rice crispies and chocolate syrup. This is a good sweet something after all that deep-fried goodness. So happy there’s already Bad Bird in BGC!
It was always my dream to hike Mt. Pinatubo ⛰ and finally made it on the last month of 2017! Mt. Pinatubo is a famous volcanoes that is erupted in 1991, it is considered as the second most intense eruption of the 20th century. It is located in the tripoint of the provinces of Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga. It is a popular tourist destination no further than 3 hours away from Metro Manila. You can explore it's natural beauty in a day. What I really like here is the 1 hour and a half 4x4 ride to the starting point of the trek. The adventure starts when you ride the 4x4! How much it costs? Php 1,600.00/head. Yes, I know it's too expensive but trust me it's definitely worth it! How to go here? Ride a bus bound to tarlac and tell the driver to drop you off at Capas Public Market then ride a tricycle to Sta. Juliana. The hike maybe tiring but all the exhaustion will be gone the moment you feast your eyes on the crater lake. It is beautiful with clear turquoise waters and surrounding land formations.
Bake is one of the franchises I've been eagerly eyeing on since the beginning of 2017. It was first rumored to open at S Maison around Mall of Asia Complex. Every time I was there, I kept looking for signs on when or where it will open, but no clue emerged, until in the late December when it finally opened in Podium. I find it so coincidental that we were in Robinsons Galleria only a week after Bake arrived in Manila, and that I was with people who were so game to change malls just for us to have this for dessert. Bake only has one item on their menu: their heavenly cheese tart, each one filled with gooey cheese mousse made from Hokkaido cheese and milk. It has this creamy and relatively sharp cheese filling and a not-too-flaky crust. A tart costs P95 each, while a box of 6 will cost you P540*. Though this might seem a bit pricey, just know that I visited Hong Kong last June 2017 for one tart, and it cost me HKD 20 (which is equivalent to around P130). In short, we're one of the lucky countries to enjoy Bake at a cheaper price! Plus it's also really good. I wasn't able to ask if they will be offering their soft serve soon, but I'm really hoping they will *fingers crossed* I've tried several cheesy goods since the hype started, and Bake's cheese tart is one that I definitely liked. *Get 2 boxes of 6 and get a free eco bag from Bake!
Desserts really are part of every meal. One will find himself longing for a scoop of ice cream, or a slice of cake after a satisfying meal, just like what happened to us one Saturday afternoon. After a filling lunch, my foodie friends and I headed to Podium, initially for a rather different, but also cheese-containing dessert, and then found ourselves in Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory next. I was so excited to have a bite of their soft serve again, since I wasn't able to try it with their cheesecake last time. This time, we had their cheese soft serve (P150) with the cheesecake (+P100) and salt and camembert biscuit (+P60) as add-ons. The soft serve and biscuit were as heavenly as before. The cheesecake, however, was a let down. It was okay, but knowing that this cheesecake costs a lot if purchased as a whole, I expected a sharper cheese taste (similar to their soft serve). Nevertheless, it's a good alternative for those who just want to try it out, instead of buying a whole cheesecake separately. PRICING: P150 (cheese) P100 cheesecake P60 salt & camembert biscuit P280 combo
Bellevue Bohol is our home during our stay in Bohol. Arguably one of the nicest place to stay in Bohol due to its very private beach in Panglao. Though the low tide sometimes can be a little extreme, but nevertheless it has fine white beach that you can walk around. Also, activities such as paddle boarding and kayak comes free with your accommodation. What we had is their deluxe room good for two, and another of that with additional bed since we’re a group of 5. The rate is something like 6k+++. The room is spacious, and the bathroom is one of my favorite on any hotels I’ve stayed in the Philippines in general. Very spacious with a bath tub and separate shower area. The deluxe room has two single beds, that you can request to be joint together. It was my parent’s 25th anniversary, and when I coordinated it with them, they provided an anniversary cake on my parent’s room, and also offered me a Php 2,000 spa package for two. You can not say no to that so that’s a little something my parents enjoyed. That’s 1 hour of swedish massage and they really enjoyed it. Other facilities of the resort are the entertainment area where you can play table tennis, air hockey and foosball. Their pool is also lovely, and it’s divided into three. One for the kids, the other until 5 feet tall and the last at most 12 feet tall. The water is cold, and it really made sense as an infinity pool. Accommodation comes with free breakfast which I will have on a separate writing but when we requested for a packed breakfast due to an early tour, that was by far the most generous packed breakfast ever. What I had is hash brown with garlic rice, bacon and tocino. My hash brown alone is 3 big triangular pieces. If you opt croissant, they’d give you 3 regular sized croissants which is the case of my Dad. It also comes with fresh fruits or yogurt and canned juice. I am overwhelmed. The packaging is also decent and convenient. Their wifi is very efficient. Van transfers are very convenient, and all the staffs are accommodating. Since Bellevue is located on the quiet area of Panglao, they offer a transfer to Alona Beach from 8pm to 10pm, for those who seek some evening parties. I am definitely recommending the place not only because I loved their rooms, and kind staffs but also because they have really good restaurants that makes it a one stop place. No need to go outside for meals, cause their restaurant offers quality meals at affordable prices. Talk about kind and accommodating staff, you can arrange a late check out the day before your check out and they can accommodate it when there’s no guest to occupy your room. Their area is also very peaceful except for occasional videoke from the nearby households. You’d definitely like it here. If you’re looking for a place to have a serene, family time. This is definitely the place.
Been here twice in their Lahug, Cebu branch.. i thought they were only serving wine, cold cuts and cheese.. a friend invited me for dinner here.. ambiance was very french-like.. they have garden theme.. or you can dine inside their air-conditioned restaurants.. their rooftop also has tables and chairs that you can definitely try.. It was a bit rainy when were there so we opted to sit inside their restaurant.. we ordered: 🥩 salami cold cuts - recommended ️️️ 🍽 lansagna - ️️ duck cuisine that i totally forgot the name - ️️ caburney red wine ️️️ dark chocolate gelatto ️️️ mint chocolate gelatto ️️️ We paid more than 1 thousand.. it was quite pricey actually.. however food was okay.. the i recommend the salami cold cuts, red wine and ice cream, other food were just okay..
Me and my friends are always in search for the best coffee in the metro. We have a few favorites, and now I'll divulge where to find the best mocha for me. Caffeined by Artesania or most commonly known as Mozaic Living is a furniture shop and cafe in one. It is located in Mandaluyong. The place is very artsy, beautiful, and homey as expected to a furniture store. Its style is very modern, and very hip and trendy. Like a true millennial and social media savvy, I discovered this coffee shop on blogs featuring best coffee shops around Metro Manila. I went here one weekend with my friends to try their coffee and sandwiches. I had their hot mocha and I fell in love with it. No other words to describe it, it's just the best mocha for me. I also had their grilled cheese sandwich. It was kind of sweet due to honey but I still liked it. P.S. Their coffee is served in a nice mug which is created in house and can be purchased.
Marea Al Fresco is pretty much where we ate most of our meals in Panglao. Like what I previously mentioned, this hotel is a one stop shop and this is definitely that place. We’re a group of 5, and our average bill is just Php 1,500 to Php 2,000 with dessert. So I’d have to say that the price is reasonable. Serving size is always for sharing good for 2-3 persons, and each order of viand comes with a cup of rice. The only thing that’s a little costly is their drinks. Their seafood sisig is really good. It has shrimps, fish fillet and squid. It’s pretty spicy but I liked it very much. My Mom enjoyed their pancit which is a must for her to try all the time. Their Bulalo is of big serving, quite big if you’d ask me. With big chunks of beef, and their crispy pork sisig is a winner. Nothing too spicy compared to the seafood sisig. We tried their oreo brazo de mercedes and the regular one. Both are good and nothing too sweet. It’s creamy and the serving is big. We also tried their pasta and pizza, while their carbonara is only good for 2, their pizza is definitely good for sharing. Thin crust, and with generous toppings. I love their cheese. I’m so happy that this hotel has everything I need and this restaurant is everything you’d need when all you want in life is eat, sleep, repeat.
I’ve been seeing mixed reviews of Marugame Udon online and decided to finally write about my visit. Went here on a weekday with Angela Marie C & Norman Lester T during dinner. There was a long queue but we managed to have our order and get a seat for less than 20mins. I’m no udon connoisseur so I’ll just base this review on whether I enjoyed dining here or not. I got the Beef Udon for P185. The beef was soft and tender, udon’s texture has a nice consistency and the broth was light but flavorful, though I prefer it to be just a teeny bit saltier, lol. Can’t say I loved it but I liked it. Along with the Beef Udon I also had 2 pcs. of Ebi Ten (tempura) for P60 each. They also have other fried side dishes available. Ebi Ten was delicious, I definitely enjoyed this one. Fried to crispy perfection, you can tell the shrimp was fresh with each bite. My only concern was that the place was too loud, but I guess it comes with their “cafeteria style” setup. Service was okay. It’s definitely worth a try if you find yourself in BHS and can’t decide where to eat. 🥢
I hate massages. I always find them incredibly painful, but my boyfriend really loves getting a massage every now and then to relax and loosen up, which translates to me getting a massage as well. As a Christmas (and late birthday) gift, I booked us a couple's massage at I'm Onsen Spa - a new sento-style spa located in Makati. What made me choose this spa over the others I know are the inclusions in the package available. I got us both a 60-min I'm Onsen Massage, which includes the use of their onsen bath, steam room, sauna, and tea lounge. The package also includes a buffet at their Bloom Restaurant. It is advisable (and highly encouraged) for you to arrive an hour prior to your booking for you to have time to enjoy their facilities, but this doesn't mean that you can't enjoy them after you have your massage. The spa has a total of 6 floors: UG/F: SPA LOBBY Upon arrival at the lobby, you will be given a tag similar to the ones they place around your wrist in amusement parks. This is also where they will explain most of what you need to know about your stay. 2/F: SWIMMING POOL, MERMAID BAR, WELLNESS SUITES, MALE & FEMALE LOCKER ROOMS You may then proceed to the second floor where you will be given a yukata (robe) and wearable key to your locker. The locker room is also where the onsen, steam room, sauna, and shower rooms are. You may also need to note that onsens are used completely naked (which I learned the awkward way). M1: FITNESS CENTER, VIP SUITES M2: COUPLE'S SUITES, FOOT THERAPY ZONE, RELAXING LOUNGE, TEA LOUNGE You are expected to be at this floor 5-10 minutes before your massage. It's where the tea lounge is, where you can indulge in the teas they have available. This is also where your masseuse will pick you up for your massage, and drop you off after. We spent a good 15 minutes here after our massage. You must experience relaxing on their recliner chairs. After all, it's free 3/F: SPA TREATMENT PODS, EXECUTIVE SUITES, AKASURI SCRUB SUITES This is where the magic happens. We were brought to a couple's pod where we had our massage. Good thing the pod was really dim (and that my partner was already on his massage table, facing down lol). Needless to say, I had a really good time. The spa's full body massage was an incredibly relaxing experience, and it's one of the best treatments I've ever spent for myself. 4F: BLOOM RESTAURANT We finished our massage a few minutes before 3pm, so we had no choice but to go for the hot pot buffet (see schedule below). Honestly, I would suggest that you make it to their other buffet schedules (and not the hot pot), since the hot pot wasn't that great. I made a separate review for it, but the photos are also here. Book your getaway now!
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