My Reviews

XOXO

5.0 Stars
Ice Cream
10

After months of being MIA, I am finally back and happy to be with my |ooloo family again! 128571 The hiatus actually did me well cause I missed them. 128568

I’ve been seeing XOXO being built in Greenbelt 3 for a while now, so I was excited to find out our #rendezvoos was here. XOXO is another venture from our friends who brought us Three Guys and a Grill. A franchise from Bali, this ice cream shop is not the usual as they take pride in creating rolled ice cream only from the best local ingredients. I need not say more because they had me at freshly made ice cream. 128568

Before we talk about the taste, you don’t have to fuzz about the price because all of their creations are priced at PHP 200. Every flavor is packed with toppings and I am just utterly impressed by their very well trained staff because consistency is manifested with their food.

We got to try a number of flavors and I loved all of them, but my favorite was the one I ordered. 128571 I really liked that their ice cream was not too sweet so it was great! 128568

I got The Full Minty. I wasn’t smart or witty enough to understand where the name came from, but it sure tasted great! I watched how they crushed a generous helping of dark chocolate and fresh mint leaves before the silky cream was poured. And then the magic happened. The very skillful staff carefully crafted my cup and it was glorious. It was a generous serving of sheer love especially for the choco-mint fanatic just like me. Every spoonful was bursting with fresh mint contrasted by the dark chocolate chips and perfectly enveloped by their milky ice cream. Saying that I loved it is obviously an understatement. 128571

I will definitely come back for more. Their local flavors are custom made just for Manila so I’m so up for that. After all, they’re just a stone throw away from where I work. 1285699996🏼

***Note: The event is sponsored by XOXO in partnership with |ooloo.
#rendezvoos

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Sartin

5.0 Stars
Buffet
10

I started my obsession to food because of |ooloo. So whenever I get an invitation from Roegan T for an eatup, I rarely say no. And I was exemplary thrilled when I was asked to join this particular one because this is the first rendezvoos in Tagaytay, and I was just happy to oblige! 128571

We drove to Summit Ridge along Gen. Aguinaldo highway to try out the newest venture of Josiah’s Catering. Sartin is the all day dining restaurant of the mentioned hotel, and as the name suggests, the coffee shop serves their daily breakfast and it’s open all day for both in-house and non-in-house guests. They serve buffet style for breakfast while their lunch and dinner menus are ala carte.

For just a bit of extra trivia, the catering service will also be the official food and beverage arm of the hotel, meaning they will also be doing their in-room dining menu. This is still in the works, so this may very well be something to look forward to as well.

We went at the perfect time for a brunch, around 11am to be particularly specific. Our gracious host, Josh of the JC Team met us and treated us to an amazing meal featuring their beloved family recipes. Basically, Sartin was inspired by three main Filipino influences - Kapampangan, Ilonggo and Tagalog. These are the races from which generations of their family hailed from, and so it was a no-brainer to come up with a restaurant that showcases their cultures.

The name “Sartin” is taken from the traditional kitchen tool of the same namesake. A sartin is made from enameled iron which doesn’t melt easily. Typically, it’s the light tin-can-like mugs or plates that you see painted white and with a blue outline. The cafe was named as such because they wanted to create a place that just exudes of a nice balance of being modern and still be long-lasting, the kind that doesn’t fade easily. It’s a pretty witty use of a metaphor, and it actually helps in giving the place more of conversational topics especially for a first visit. Personally for me, Sartin’s like a really really nice home and with an amazing kitchen with a loving and very talented home cook. That’s what really stuck to me during the whole food tasting, and I mean it in the best and most commendable way.

Here’s the whole spread of what we had:

Mga Pica-Pica at Merienda

1.) Liver Spread with Tomato Jam and Breads - Php 175
“Rustic chicken and pork liver pate, tomato jam, pandesal and tasty bread.”
This was such an awesome way to start the food tasting. Right when the tray of treats was served to us, Josh immediately advised “put the pate and the jam together on the bread” which I gleefully followed and it was fantastic! The contrast of flavors was great, salty from the spread, sweet from the jam and they both went so well with the warm toast. I would’ve eaten so much more of this but I was saving space in my tummy for more food. 128568

2.) Chicken Chicharon - Php 165
“Twice cooked crispy chicken skin, home-made banana ketchup, spiced vinegar.”
Emeyged, so sinful yet so good! 🤤Sabi nga nila, lahat ng bawal masarap! 1285699996🏼 And this truly is a testament to that saying. It was crispy and seasoned really well, every piece is very flavorful. It’d actually go well with rice! 128568

3.) Isaw (6 sticks) - Php 185
“Pork and chicken isaw, braised in pineapple juice, star anise, pepper and atsuete, grilled and served with our house vinegar and pickles.”
I grew up lovin’ street food so I was glad they have Isaw in this place. Theirs was clean and very tasty. It’s clear that they’re very meticulous on their food preparation practices. Every stick is also quite a big portion, so this is very sulit for its price.

4.) Longganisa Bao (3 pieces) - Php 219
“Steamed buns stuffed with Kapampangan longganisa, pickled cucumber and salted egg spread.”
I only took a bite of this but I really liked it too! It was the sweet kind of chorizo which is good for me. This is a very creative sandwich, equally flavorful as it was tasty.

5.) Sartin Salad - Php 425
“Mixed lettuce, red radish, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, dried squid, tossed in pineapple vinaigrette and kesong puti.”
This colorful dish truly invites you to eat your veggies even if you’re not the type who eats such. I sure am no vegetable eater, but I really liked this salad because it was so attractive from the colors, it just rieks of freshness. I liked that the dressing was just the right amount, and the kesong puti gave it a nice flavor and contrast on texture, somewhat creamy. I really liked it. 128568

Sabaw

6.) Kansi - Php 655
“Kansi Ilonggo’s version of bulalo, slow cooked beef shank with batwan, langka, siling haba.”
This was my favorite among the array of dishes served to us. When it was put on the table, the aroma first caught me and just captivated me. It reminded me of wonderful fiestas in our household in Bacolod. It even tasted like good memories for me too. One sip and it took me back to my father’s hometown! I absolutely loved this soup dish, I also enjoyed this with rice as ulam already. Everything about this dish was spot on, the cook on the bulalo, the flavors and the meat to soup ratio. I will definitely come back to this place for the kansi! 128571

7.) KBL (Kadios, Baboy at Langka) - Php 429
“Pork pata, batwan, kadios, langka, sili.”
KBL is actually very similar to kansi, only it uses pork. This was really good too, but I prefer the beef over it. Still, I’m sure that if one is a lover of this particular home dish, he’d like it too.

Sartin Signature Dish

8.) Lechon na Ulo ng Baboy - Php 949
“Roasted half pig’s head, served with home-made thin breads, salsa, mustard leaves, burong isda.”
This was a close second to my favorite dishes during that tasting. The cook on the meat was divine, crispy skin but the meat was so tender it just melts in your mouthh. The idea of making your own wrap with it is great, like some kind of a pecking duck dish. The condiments that went with is complement so well with the lechon and the tortilla they used for the wrap was just perfect. I absolutely loved this! 128571

Tarlac

9.) Kilayin Kapampangan - Php 325
“Pork lungs, liver, pork belly garlic and vinegar.”
This is very similar to sisig, only it has stronger bitter flavors because of the chosen innards used. The liver particularly is what significantly makes the taste of Kilayin distinct. It gives it a more smoky and deep flavor nicely contrasted with the vinegar. It was really good too.

10.) Jet’s Kare-Kare - Php 545
“Ox tail, tripeand meat, special kate sauce and house made bagoong alamang.”
They were so proud of their kare-kare and for good reason. Even from their catering service, this is a sure crowd favorite. I like that they manage to keep the crisp on the veggies while the meat is cooked till tender. The sauce was so tasty and it was clear that they use fresh peanuts to make it. The bagoong also went so well with the saucy dish. I absolutely loved this as well. 128571

11.) Pesang Isda - Php 295
“Fried fish in season, pechay, repolyo and ginger broth.”
It may be an isolated case but this was too salty for my taste, and I think all of us reviewers agreed to this sentiment. I honetly couldn’t have any more than half a bite to taste it. Hope they get to improve on this recipe.

12.) Pritong Hito - Php 445
“Burong mustasa, burong isda, Sampaloc na sawsawan.”
I loved this so much! While my dad is Ilonggo, my mom’s Kapampangan and a bite of this brought me back to her kitchen. The buro was particularly the star of this dish while the cook on the fish was just perfect. Everything was nicely seasoned and the portion was just enough. This is another dish I’d definitely come back here for. 128571

Bacolod Negros

13.) Chicken Inasal - Php 345
“Pechopak or Paa, inasal marinade, sinamak.”
I like that their Inasal is true to its original recipe from Bacolod. Marinated appropriately to have that color and taste, grilled until tender and just a tad moist because I actually remember that this recipe essentially is more on the dry side. It reminds me of childhood meals for when we go to Bacolod in our favorite neighborhood inasal joint. This was really good too.

Mga Gulay at Kanin

14.) Kalkag Rice (for 2-3) - PHP 225
“Fried rice with dried shrimp, chives and garlic”
I am just a sucker for fried rice so when this was served to us, I was truly excited to enjoy my meal with all the other viands. The rice itself was very flavorful already. Some may find it to me too rich to go along with other tastes, bit it was completely fine with me. I really enjoyed this.

Dessert

15.) Tibok Tibok - Php 245 (1 Lanera)
“Kapampangan flan made of carabao’s milk and lime zest.”
I honestly have never had this before, my mom probably wasn’t used to making this when I was younger. I actually really liked this dessert because it wasn’t too sweet which I really like. It was milky and creamy and delicious.

16.) Guinumis - Php 169
“Layers of gelatin, pinipig, cornflakes, shaved ice and fresh milk.”
Another dessert that I really liked, this iced dessert was also not too sweet. The different textures of the toppings gave the dessert so much body, while the shave on the ice was highly commendable as well. I really hate it when the ice are chunks, it’s hard to enjoy with the other ingredients. This was great as well.

17.) Ube at Keso Ice Cream
*Insert massive mura here* that cheese ice cream is everything! I tell you, EVERYTHING! The ube was really good too, and finding out that they make their own halaya just got my respect. But again, that keso ice cream just kept me on my feet the whole time we were trying it out in the fear of having none left for me. It was sooooooooo goooood!!!! Too bad I don’t have a nice photo of it, but no photo ,ay justify how delicious it really was! I can’t even! I absolutely loved their Keso Ice Cream!!! 128571

18.) Sago’t Gulaman - Php 99
This drink was too sweet for me, I had to dilute it with half a cup of water. Still I liked it. If the sweetness is adjusted, it’s actually a really nice beverage.

19.) Vanilla Pineapple Cooler - Php 119
This was also too sweet for my taste. If they can lessen the sugar, it’ll be a very good cooler and will go well with their dishes.

Overall, I loved my experience in this joint! They may have a number of points to improve on, but in spite of those I still recommend it. Sartin is definitely worth trying in Tagaytay. In the land where Bulalo is the dish to drive for, be more daring and get the Kansi! I look forward to coming back here soon!

Grateful again for another chance to spend time with awesome |ooloo reviewers. Christina R Jayson J EJ B Sandy P Patrick V Brie K Pat D Russel F 128571 Thank you again for the invite, Roegan T! And thank you again to our gracious hosts from Sartin! Shoutout to Josh of Josiah’s Catering, always being so accommodating in all of their group’s outlets! 10084

*More photos on the blog soon! 128568

**Flatlay by EJ B 128568

***Note: The event is sponsored by Sartin in partnership with |ooloo. All food items have been chosen by the restaurant based on their own discretion.
#rendezvoos

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Bueno Tapas & Wine

5.0 Stars
Spanish
10

I seldom eat in Spanish Restaurants because I feel that it’s a cuisine that can easily be made at home. I’ve been fortunate to be able to visit some parts of Spain in the past. And truly Spanish cuisine tends to be very close to the Pinoy heart for the reasons of similarity in cooking and tastes. But I take it back, Spanish food ain’t easy to cook at home. It takes the proper knowledge and even more, the right equipment to create their recipes just right.

As if making Spanish food correctly isn’t difficult enough, making those kinds that stand out is even more of a feat. And Chef Ken Alfonso sure has made a haven for excellent Spanish cuisine in the Metro, the kind that’s not the usual in all the most awesome ways.

Bueno Tapas and Wine Restaurant is a beautiful Spanish joint in Rockwell, The Grove in Pasig created by Chef-Owner Kennedy Alfonso along with his team. Thanks to our friends from @WhattoEatPH, I, along with some selected foodies, was invited to a food tasting event. I was definitely happy to attend, and boy was I so lucky to even have met Chef Ken himself just for the dinner! He’s really nice to come by even on a Sunday, and he shared a lot of knowledge about their concept. He also spoke about their signature dishes and how a lot of their recipes were influenced by his trainings and experiences in Spain in the past.

Here’s a rundown of everything we had. 128568

1.) Gambas Al Ajillo - PHP 390
“Spicy garlic & shrimp cooked in olive oil”
This was such a flavorful tapas. The garlic taste was very pronounced but it didn’t overpower the dish, and the sweet fresh shrimp was still the star. It really manifested that they choose their ingredients meticulously because the Olive oil was marvelous and had no hints of other types of fat. I really liked this one, such a great way to start what felt like a never-ending array of food.

2.) Croquetas De Calamares - PHP 260
“Squid croquette”
Chef Kennedy takes pride of the fact that they are the first to bring the concept of squid ink croquetas in the Philippines. Some other establishment may have copied or created their own version of this dish, but theirs sure is an original, and a really good one! The thin layer of breading gave it a nice crispy out layer while the inside was soft and just melts in your mouth. The taste of the squid was great, the appetizer was very well seasoned and every bite exploded with flavor. What I loved about it is that it didn’t even need too much of the aioli, the croquette remained to be the main stay of the dish. This is definitely worth a try!

3.) Croquetas De Queso Y Pimiento - PHP 240
“Cheese pimiento croquette”
I was wondering why they had to let us try three kinds of croquettes, but after the tasting I finally understood why. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all. I was pleasantly surprised that each one had a distinct flavor! This particular one is for the type who loves cheese, and that’s me for sure. 128568 The croquette had a nice sweet-savory taste because of the pimiento, and the cheese they used gave it so much body. Again it had the right amount of crisp on the outside and the familiar nice soft inside just completed the dish. Absolutely great!

4.) Croquetas De Gambas - PHP 390
“Prawn croquette”
These looked like tempuras with a little more sas, and they definitely tasted more than what they looked. Every piece had a nice shrimp taste in the filling. Again the seafood used was clearly fresh as it was nicely sweet and chewy and was very tasty. The portions of these are bigger too, and so don’t wonder why there’s rather a difference in the price, it’s justified by the size of the bites of this one.

5.) Arroz Meloso De Rabo De Buey - PHP 590
“Creamy risotto in oxtail”
This is one of Chef Ken’s favorite recipes and for good reason. This rice dish is definitely different than what one may think is a regular paella dish. This creation was rich in flavor with a mixture of textures and tastes. The rice had a mix of sticky and silky all in one, I couldn’t really explain how but it was good. Perhaps it had something to do with the grains used, and the composition of the sauce. Basta, ansarap! And the oxtail was cooked perfectly, the meat just falls of the bone. The beef was tender and seasoned exceptionally. The dish is a complete meal in itself, but I still wouldn’t miss out on trying their other creations.

6.) Arroz Negro - PHP 410
“Squid ink paella”
I’ve tried a couple of versions of this dish, and theirs is really good. The way they cook their rice is really calculated well. It had just the right bite into it, like it was “al dente” if it were pasta, something like that. The squid ink sauce was seasoned very well and the mayonnaise based topping enhanced the taste of the dish and not take over the whole thing. The pieces of squid also had a very nice texture, not at all rubbery or gummy so it’s great.

7.) Paella De Marisco Y Pollo - PHP 540
“Shellfish and chicken paella”
This tastes familiar and very flavorful too. It actually reminded me of a nice home cooked meal from when I was still in Madrid with Spanish hosts. The mix of seafood and chicken worked really well with the rice. The taste of the saffron was actually pronounced, which surprised me but it was good because with the price, it should taste that way. I recommend this heartwarming dish as well.

8.) Estofado De Res - PHP 420
“8-hour Spanish braised beef”
This was another famed dish Chef Ken kept bringing up when he was talking about the thought process of creating their signature recipes. True to its name, beef braised low and slow temperature truly brought out a whole lot of bold flavors and textures on the dish. It was so tender, as in just-use-a-spoon kind of tender. The sauce typically seeped in the meat so it gave it a really deep flavor. The Spanish spices used was spot on too, I really loved this dish!

9.) Pollo En Crema De Ajo - PHP 395
“Roasted chicken in garlic rosemary cream sauce”
This modest looking dish surprisingly packs a punch at first bite. The creamy sauce was complemented really well with the roasted garlic and I just fell in love with it! The chicken was cooked really well, nice and tender with the appropriate ratio of skin to meat. I will definitely come back for this!

10.) Chicharrón - PHP 420
“Crispy pork belly”
This was delicious as it was beautiful. Everything about this dish is fantastic, no need for a lot of description because I think the picture speaks for itself already. The fat to meat ratio is again commendable and their menu really does consistently promise what you’ll get. It was indeed crispy and the pork belly was delicately handled, it definitely manifests on the flavor.

11.) Salmón Al Horno - PHP 690
“Pan-seared salmon in capers & lemon cream sauce”
I am a fan of salmon in anyway it is served. Raw, fried, baked, seared or whatever, it’s guaranteed I’d love it so long as it’s not overcooked. This dish was an instant favorite for me! The lemon cream sauce went so well with the perfectly seasoned and pan-seared fish. Everything about this dish is exceptional for me, and it just stuck to me. I will definitely come back for this really soon!

We were also treated to try some of their drinks and I found them to be very refreshing too! None of them are on the too-sweet side and they go really with with their rich tasting food.

Everything we had that day was fantastic and I’m excited to come back for more! Congratulations again on this venture, Chef Ken! 128571

Oh and I’m happy to write that they’ll be opening their second branch in BGC soon! I’ll definitely watch out for that! 128568

*Food styling & hand model: EJ B 1285699996🏼

**More photos on the blog! 128568

***Note: This was a sponsored event of Bueno Tapas and Wine Restaurant in partnership with WhattoEatPH. All food items have been chosen by the restaurant based on their own discretion.
#WhattoEatPH
#TeamKaladkarin

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Coco Mama

5.0 Stars
Ice Cream
2

I have known this quaint dessert place in Boracay for a while now, but haven’t had the chance to try it out for the longest time. I’m grateful they decided to include this in their roster of pop-up shops here in Manila while the island is recuperating. As what Christina R pointed out, it would be fantastic to lounge by the beach enjoying a nice heaping of ice cream while listening to the relaxing sound of the waves and just watching the white sands and blue skies of Boracay. And to make it even better, why not have remove the guilt and enjoy the healthy kind of ice cream, right?

Basically this humble kiosk originally situated in D’Mall offers only one product, their coconut ice cream. Simple, good, non-pretentious, Coco Mama is nothing but amazing! Plus, this awesome dessert is vegan and dairy-free and absolutely healthy. You can have it as just that, or with the works and I recommend to have it as the latter, which is what we got to try that night in HITW.

Coconut Ice Cream with Mango - PHP 140

Pretty to photograph, this dessert is equally tasty as it is just beautiful. Two generous scoops of their wonderful coconut ice cream topped with ripe mangoes, sticky rice and topped with pinipig and served in a young coconut shell. The coconut meat was scraped already which is also in the cold dish. It was absolutely fantastic! It was exploding with flavors even as it came in such a modest presentation. Everything on that shell was so good and the sweetness is just right. It may look small but it’s actually quite filling for me and definitely affordable! 10084

I will definitely come back for another go of this wonderful dessert creation! 128571

I am very lucky to have been able to join this event, always grateful to Roegan T and |ooloo for the invite! And being with other reviewers on this app is consistently a great night! 128568 Charlzz C Bea Patricia J Dennis O Norman Lester T Reich T Ruth S Mary Love S Kwokie K Eboy D

I just know that a simple visit to their pop-up stalls here in Manila will greatly help them while Boracay is still resting. Do visit while they are in Hole in the Wall until August 15, 2018. 12857110084

***Note: The event is sponsored by Hole in the Wall in partnership with |ooloo. All food items have been chosen by the restaurant based on their own discretion.
#rendezvoos

**Read about all 4 restaurants soon on my blog! 128568

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Fat Rice

5.0 Stars
Asian
4

I actually didn’t know this was also a brand of the Sunny Side Group until I joined the |ooloo rendezvoos.

This establishment is also located in Streetmarket, Station X in Boracay. They serve beloved Southeast Asian favorites from the chef owners’ travels over the years. What I found most impressive of their dishes is that the tastes of their food is just as fantastic as how each was presented. I hate it when the food looks good but turns out yucky when eaten. Here, that’s not a problem at all.

They served us two of their bestsellers and I must say they turned out to be some of the reviewers’ top dishes of the night! 12857110084

1.) Beef Rendang - PHP 390
The first thing that caught my attention on this dish is the crispy fried shallots on top. I am a fan of onion rings any day so I wanted to dig in immediately. The beef looked and tasted good, tender and very well seasoned. It was umami and easily cut with a spoon which is a good sign. The sauce was of a darker color and not the usual Rendang I know that had an overpowering taste of curry. It had just the right amount that I liked. The rice served with it was too sticky for me though, like it was cooked with too much water. Still it was not too overwhelming for me, so I generally really liked it! 128571

2.) Cereal Salt & Pepper - PHP 390
This was easily my favorite dish among everything we tried that night. From the first bite, I was delightfully surprised that the Cereal topping went so well with the pork. I thought it would only work with prawns, but this turned out to be so good too. The the meat itself was not dry at all inspite of me thinking that it would be. The dish is definitely good for sharing and I honestly enjoyed it just as it is, and didn’t even need white rice with it. I was silently stuffing my face with this throughout the night even as I was done having my dessert already. It really was that good! 10084

I will definitely come back for Fat Rice in HITW and in Streetmarket in Station X of Boracay. This place is a must-try, and I am nothing but impressed by how the chefs created their recipes from exploring different dishes from their travels. This restaurant makes one truly proud of how Southeast Asian Cuisine is a work of art in all aspects! I can’t wait to try out other dishes on their menu!

Fat Rice is among the restaurants of the Sunny Side Group that has pop-up shops in Hole in the Wall until August 15, 2018. It’s a must to b
visit them while they’re still around! 12857110084

***Note: The event is sponsored by Hole in the Wall in partnership with |ooloo. All food items have been chosen by the restaurant based on their own discretion.
#rendezvoos

**Read about all 4 restaurants soon on my blog! 128568

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Poketo

4.0 Stars
Asian
2

Norman Lester T mentioned it in his review, but I’ll say it again anyway. Hahaha 1285699996🏼 My last vacation in Boracay was October 2017. At that time, Station X just opened, so I made sure I’d be able to visit it for Poketo because I had this weird addiction for Poke at that time. Luckily the hotel I stayed in was just a 10 minute walk away and so I was happy to see Streetmarket.

When we got to the place, I was surprised to find out that Poketo was not a Poke place after all, but a Yakitori place. 1285699996🏼I really wanted a Poke bowl at that time so I ended up trying out another place in the island that serves a really good version of that Hawaiian/Japanese dish.

Fortunately, I got another chance to try out Poketo here in Manila in their pop-up shop in HITW. Their main product is Yakitori, different kinds. You can have them ala catte as sticks or as their awesome creation, the Yakitori Bowl! 128568

Yakitori Bowl - PHP 320
The Yakitori Bowl came with three choice Yakitori sticks, Furikake rice, soft Onsen egg, tempura flakes, pickles and Nori on top. If I only had this dish, it’d be really filling in the tummy. The Yakitori itself was very tasty. I was able to try both the chicken and pork and both were grilled nicely. The sauce was really good and I liked that they’re generous with this that a lot of them seeps into the rice so it gives the starch a nice sweet-savory taste. If you mix all the toppings, the bowl gets a nice combination of contrasting flavors and textures. The sweet-savory tasted complemented by the smooth texture of the rice and egg, plus the tempura flakes gave it a tinge of crunch to it, and the Nori completed the umami profile of the dish. It’s good value for money too as although it may look like a small bowl, deceivingly the portion is quite huge.

I will definitely come back to this joint. And if I ever find myself in the island, I look forward to having a bowl from their stall in Streetmarket, the first and only food hall in Boracay. 128568

Do visit Poketo in Hole in the Wall as part of the Best of Boracay limited time pop-up until August 15, 2018.

***Note: The event is sponsored by Hole in the Wall in partnership with |ooloo. All food items have been chosen by the restaurant based on their own discretion.
#rendezvoos

**Read about all 4 restaurants soon on my blog! 128568

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SpiceBird

5.0 Stars
International
5

When plans work perfectly with fate, it sure is the best feeling! I got lucky was able to join another |ooloo event! 128568 We got to try out the Best of Boracay that are currently in Hole in the Wall until August 15, 2018.

SpiceBird is definitely one of my favorite restaurants in the island, so I was so psyched to eat their delectable dishes again without having to fly our of Manila! I mentioned before that this place is worth going to Boracay for, and I still stand by that statement. 128568

We were treated to two of their bestsellers plus they also serve their variety of sauces as they also did in Boracay.

1.) Piri-Piri Chicken Board - PHP 320
I loved this in the island, and I still loved it here. 128571 The chicken cooked just right, tender and juicy. It was flavorful and everything else that came with it complemented well with the meat. The sauces were great and enhanced the taste of the dish in every bite. The rice was nice, fluffy and seasoned really well. The sweet potato chips were nice and crispy, while the milk bun was ok, milky but a tad heavy along with all the other carbs.

2.) Piri-Piri Pork Belly Board - PHP 390
After I got to dine in SpiceBird in Boracay, I told myself I’d be back to try out their Pork board, and I loved it too! 128568 Basically it had the same carbohydrates, but the meat’s a huge slab of pork loin. The glorious belly was glistening with a nicely balanced amount of flesh and fat. It was cooked well, juicy and flavorful exactly as I want it. The sauces again completed the meal, just enough to make it delicious but not to overpower the food. It was great! 128568

Both dishes were huge servings and even as they recommend that one person can finish each, I’d say their meat boards can also be good for sharing. And I think the pricing is just right for the quality of food and the serving size.

I’m glad SpiceBird consistently prepares their food whether in the island or here in the Metro. Do check them out in HITW or when Boracay opens up again. 12857110084

***Note: The event is sponsored by Hole in the Wall in partnership with |ooloo. All food items have been chosen by the restaurant based on their own discretion.
#rendezvoos

**Read about all 4 restaurants soon on my blog! 128568

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Petra & Pilar

4.0 Stars
Filipino
10

Filipino cuisine is always synonymous to enjoying a fiesta of flavors. And that’s what’s so exciting about getting to continuously discover new Pinoy restaurants in the metro. It’s that there is always something new to experience, especially from our locally sourced ingredients. This is for both food and beverage alike. So when we were invited by our friends from Petra & Pilar to try out their new menu offers, we were very happy to oblige.

It was such a fun night along with other food bloggers and friends. We had a blast trying out their Boodle Sets and unique P&P Cocktails! Here’s some of my favorite items we had that night. 128568

1.) Salpicao
The flavor of this dish is just outstanding! Their recipe kind of reminds me of my Mom’s Salpicao. Maybe this is the reason why I loved it so much! The beef was tender and nicely portioned. The sauce was just enough, and goes really well with steaming hot white rice. I could easily finish a whole serving of this!

2.) Pork Belly Lechon
When this was served on our table, it just reminded me of dreamy lechon nghts in Cebu. It was such a pretty dish. It could use a bit more flavor, but I actually really liked it. We ate after quite some time of taking photos, and this greatly affected the texture of the meat. I think it’s best to enjoy this while still fresh and hot.

3.) Spicy Tahong
This was great too. The spices used complemented well with the shellfish. Plus the heat level was just right for me. I liked that the mussels were deshelled already. I really liked this this!

4.) Ensaladang Talong with Bagoong
Malasang malasa! I couldn’t complain. It was really good! Familiar tasting, and seasoned very well. I really liked this side dish. 128568

5) Buko Pandan
This was a very comforting dessert. It had just the rigt sweetness, and the flavors were very well balanced. I just found the coconut to be too chewy for my taste, bordering on tough already. I’d appreciate it to be a little softer. Other than that, I really liked this panghimagas.

6.) Gin Cala
Among all the cocktails introduced to us that night, I loved this one the most. It’s basically Gin and a house made spicy Ginger syrup. They take pride in making their own syrups and it is obvious in their beverage concoctions that they really exert every effort to make it a wonderful drink. It was refreshing and had just the right amount of liquor. This will definitely be a staple for me when I get back.

They boast of other Pinoy dishes and beverage creations as well, and I am nothing but impressed with their curated menu.

This may be a long overdue blog but I am still very happy to share about them. I recommend this place for groups who want to have dinner and drinks right in the heart of Makati City. It’s a great place to chill and have fun conversations over live entertainment. Value for money is easily seen simply by their ambiance and meticulous cooking of food and quality of their beverage.

I will definitely come back soon! 128568 Thanks for inviting me, Julie L 12857110084

Flatlay by EJ B. 128568

***Note: This was a sponsored bloggers’ night of Petra & Pilar. All food and beverage items were chosen by the restaurant based on their discretion.

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Pinkberry

5.0 Stars
Frozen Yogurt
10

I was invited by Roegan T to join a |ooloo rendezvoos in Pinkberry in Megamall, but Murphy just had to mess up my body and I got sick so I was not able to join. It was so sweet of Pinkberry to reach out again to invite me to a private tasting in the branch most convenient for me on my most favorable time. 128576 No questions asked, I gladly obliged and even asked to tag along my Kaladkarin “jowa” in Makati, Sandy P! My Thursday night was made! 12857110084

We visited Pinkberry in Greenbelt and it was very fortunate we picked this branch because they let us try a product that was only being offered in this Pinkberry outlet at the moment. Here’s the list of what we had. 128568

1.) Bubble Waffle
Priced at PHP 110 ala carte and PHP 250 with the works, this was surely sulit in every aspect! We opted for the latter and chose to top it with the Salted Caramel Frozen Yogurt, mangoes and strawberry crispy balls. First and furmost, that waffle was just divine! It had the exact crisp it needed with a nicely soft pancake-like eggetes and it had just the right sweetness to complement the toppings. It was served warm too so it was just awesome with the froyo. The mangoes were sweet and delicious, the strawberry crispies gave it a nice texture and nice fruity flavor. We chose caramel for the syrup too, and it just completed the sweet treat. It was fantastic and I loved it! 12857110084

2.) Pinkberry Pops
These adorable popsicle creations are exclusively being served in Greenbelt as of now. Priced at PHP 85 plain and PHP 125 with the works (1 to 2 dip and 2 dry toppings) what were the odds of us being able to try this out?! The gods sure are nice to us cause it was a revelation. Of course, we went with the ones with everything on it. We chose the Speculoos yogurt as base, chose milk chocolate as coating with pistachios and almonds on top. It was so goooood! 128571 The second pop was offered to us as created by their store manager, Leslie. She picked the raspberry yogurt base with a combination of Pistachio and Dark Chocolate dip topped with granola and assorted oats. Again, it was great! The tangy flavor of the raspberry went so well with the deep flavor of the dark chocolate. Amazing!

3.) Strawberry Banana Smoothie
To be honest I did not catch the price of this one because they just served it to us as a last minute extra to our tasting. It’s their bestseller among the smoothies and for good reason! The balance of the flavors was perfect, no taste overpowers another. In every sip, I can taste the banana, the strawberry and the yogurt. It was simple, unpretentious and just delicious. I’d definitely come back for it!

I wish I tried the Cold Brew Iced Tea as I saw that it’s getting some great reviews here on |ooloo. I’ll visit the store again soon for that.

I do hope they open up a branch up North, too. I think the nearest one to my house is the one in Megamall, and parking there’s just a pain. 1285699996🏼

Thank you so much for having us, Pinkberry! Always grateful to Roegan T and |ooloo! Glad I got to share this tasting with you, Sandy P! 12857110084

***Note: This was a sponsored food tasting of Pinkberry. All food items were chosen by the bloggers, but costs were covered by the restaurant.
#looloorendezvoos

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Sunnies Cafe

4.0 Stars
Café
7

It’s been a while since I’ve gone to Sunnies so when my best friend invited me to join her for dinner here, I was happy to oblige. 128568

It was nice to know that they’ve developed new dishes for the restaurant over the time they’ve been operational. I wasn’t too happy to find out that my sister’s favorite dish from this joint has been phased out. Sadly, I never got to try their Squid Ink Lasagna which she practically raved to me for quite a while. (Please bring it back even for a limited time only! 128569)

Don’t get me wrong. I actually still found my dining experience to be really good. 128568

I tried one of their new items, the Umami Surf and Turf (PHP 295). It’s basically a bowl with brown rice topped with beef and salmon. Their sauces were mindblowingly good! It had a bunch of mayonnaise based dressings, Japanese sauces powders. I absolutely loved this dish! It really held up to its name of being umami. It may look modest in portion and appearance but it’s actually really filling, flavorful and honestly quite deceiving, in a really good way. The beef had a wonderful cook, so tender and delicious. The salmon was really nice too. It had a crisp to the skin and the fillet was seared perfectly. The meat and fish itself was very well seasoned, and with the addition of the sauces, it was fantastic! Definitely a bang for your buck, I’d totally recommend this dish. 128571

We also tried out their Creamy Caramelized Spam Bowl (PHP 190) - Caramelized Spam, Scrambled Egg, Caramelized Onion, Sriracha Aioli, Scallion Brown Rice. I got to try about three spoonfulls of this dish. This was delicious too, but I got too full with my bowl to have some more of it. The eggs was fluffy and creamy and I loved it. I found the sriracha mayo to be too spicy for my taste. Still it went really went with the bowl. Obviously the star of this dish is actually the Spam and boy did they cook this really well. It had a nice fry on it and had the right amount of sweetness from the caramelization. The onions gave it flavor too, but they put some sort of burnt herb on it too which I didn’t like at all. Still, I’d enjoy this especially as a healthy breakfast.

Since my Umami bowl was being offered as an introductory product, it came with a free glass of iced tea. They made me choose between black berry or peach iced tea and I picked the first one. Mayged, antamis lang. 128569 Still, not complaining since it’s complimentary. I just added some water to it and it got better.

Overall, it was a really nice dinner and I still come back to try more from their menu. 128568

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