Having a clingy bestfriend means having a Sundate after not seeing each other for a week. Hahaha Sandy P and I needed our chikka / tita brunch time so we decided to meet here. Tita level: 99 🏼
The interiors of the restaurant is just beautiful! They used cool pastel hues with the arrangement of the seats exuding simplicity at its best. They truly mastered the art of “let nature speak for itself”, hence having all glass doors and windows with natural lighting. The curtains only enhanced the look of the place so it was really a nice touch.
Beshy came in first and had to deal with getting a table. (Sorry Sands 🏼) Take note that this place gets full, so either reserve a table in advanced, or be ready to queue. Thankfully a table became available to us, and when I arrived we already had a nice spot near the bar and right by the window.
I actually enjoyed everything we had including food and beverage. I’ve read some mixed reviews of this place so I was not quite sure if I should try out their drinks. But Sandy seemed to enjoy her glass of coffee so I went ahead and trying it out for myself.
1.) Home Made Corned Beef Rice Bowl
The corned beef was amazing! They were generous on the chunks of the beef. Every piece just melts in your mouth! I liked that they cook red rice the right way, so it was not difficult to actually eat it. It tasted like regular white rice. The seasoning on this dish was spot on, but it even came with a vinegar based dipping sauce that made it even better. Just a little of this enhanced the rice bowl with a hint of tanginess and spice. It was sooooo good!
2.) Iced Cafe Mocha
I actually really liked this! The chocolate was pronounced but the coffee was also well balanced. A friend had a different experience on an earlier visit, but I believe after that bad review, they improved on the drinks. I really enjoyed it!
3.) New York Cheesecake
This was fantastic! Sandy and I already paid for our meal but we chilled out and stayed longer in the place browsing through social media. A photo of the cheesecake came up on my IG feed and I just had to order it because we were already there. 🏼 So we did and we didn’t regret doing so! The crust was nice and crumbly while the cheesecake was dense and creamy at the same time. It’s really one of the best cheesecakes I’ve had in my life! ️
4.) Fried Portugese Sardines with Garlic Red Rice and Egg
This was Sandy’s order and it was really good too! It was the “pang-mayamang sardinas” and it was really really delicious! I’m sure she’ll write about it on her review as well. 🏼
I’m not quite sure of the prices so I didn’t include them anymore. Price range is on the higher mark, but with the ambiance and strategic location, I think it was well worth it.
Oh and don’t forget to visit their lavatory! It’s so clean and pretty! 🏼(Didn’t take a photo though. Just see for yourself!)
I am thrilled to see what else they can come up with. At this point they’re still on soft opening, but I’m already very impressed! I’m sure to come back for more tita brunches! ️
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This is a new SB that opened in McKinley West, specifically right next to the Intelenet building. They just opened last February 28, 2018 and when we passed by it, we had no second thoughts of coming in because we were exhausted from the heat of the sun. The whole day of sales calls sure can be tiring.
Upon entering the refreshing cool air from their new aircons will say hello to you and it is just fantastic! I was mostly impressed with the lovey interiors of the place. They maintained the same color palette as per all their stores, but this being new is just special.
This branch was not too crowded either, maybe because again it was still new. But I’m sure they’ll get more foot traffic in the near future because of its very strategic location. The only other cafe in the area is Costa Coffee, so I’m sure sales will pick up as well for this joint.
I ordered the newest drink offering of SB which is the Butterfly Pea Lemonade Cold Brew. It actually looks so pretty on the poster but so different in reality. 🏼 Still I actually really liked this drink. It was very refreshing! The lemonade went really well with the coffee, none too sweet, with the contrasting flavors working really well together.
Of course I’d come back to a Starbucks. It’s the perfect chill place! Plus I’m really happy their branch locations are just very well thought of. Kudos, Rustan Group! 🏼
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I’ve been to Pink’s in BGC a couple of times and I always enjoy every visit. I’ll write a separate review for another not-so-recent visit as well. 🏼
I wouldn’t have this place as the first thing on my mind for a lunch venue, but since almost everywhere was full I ended up here. I practically had the place to myself for lunch.
I scanned their menu and what caught my attention was a gleaming “SPECIAL” right before the list of their signature hot dogs. When the waiter approached me, I asked if it was new, and he said yes. Without even thinking, I went ahead and ordered it along with my staple side, onion rings.
1.) The Pink Burrito - PHP 280
“Rice, Beans, Bacon, Hotdog”
I genuinely enjoyed this burrito, only I felt they scrimped on the bacon. In fact, I didn’t even know if it was there. I’m just glad the hotdog plus bean and rice combo worked really well and it still made it flavorful. The waiter told me in advanced that the wrap had jalapeños in it so I asked if I could have them on the side instead and he gladly said yes. The burrito was on the bigger serving size so I had to take half of the portion home. I’m not complaining cause I enjoyed my take out at home the next day for breakfast!
2.) Onion Strings - PHP 190
Served with ranch dressing
I really liked this side dish every single time. They season their onion rings really well. It’s not all breading, and I can still taste a nicely caramelized onion. I just find it quite greasy, and this is also consistent. Still I order it every time because I find it really tasty.
Their price point is on the higher range but still I’d come back. They recently opened a “secret” bar inside too. I might chill there next time.
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I had this for lunch yesterday. As per usual, I enjoyed my meal very very much! I had the Oh! Crab La! wrap and it was great. ️ It was the right kind of spicy I could very well tolerate. The kani and cherry tomatoes and croutons worked so well together, and of course the Singaporean Chili Crab Dressing gave it so much flavor. I really love this salad wrap, even if I have it twice in the same day, I really wouldn’t mind.
I really liked that they allow for their wraps to be served with half of the portion as dine in and the other half to go.
I also had the Strawberry Banana Muesli and it was fantastic! I liked the balance of the flavors of the strawberry and banana. It was so refreshing and had just the right sweetness. It was quite a big serving as well.
I’m really impressed how even though they were packed over lunch, everything came out fast and perfectly.
I will definitely come back and soon! And I’d do regularly even if their price is quite high, I’d say it’s worth the splurge. I usually reward myself with a nice meal after a great work week as pat in the back. ️
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Sandy P and I were looking for a place to dine for a light meal before she’d go for a workout. Our legs were taking us to SaladStop! already, but thankfully we passed by here and saw the photo of their Poke Bowls on the window. This lured us in instead.
We both ordered the Spicy Salmon with Flakes Poke Bowl, medium size at PHP 370++. After taxes and service charge ot came down to about PHP 410 per person. Size was decent, looks really small but actually filling.
Taste is quite good, can compete to another popular Spicy Salmon dish I actually patronize from a different place. Spice level was tolerable and the flavor compliments well with the salmon. The fish tasted fresh so it was good too.
Norman Lester T joined us later, and he had the maki version which was actually pretty much the same, only with a different presentation. Taste was good too, but I was hoping for a bigger portion, maybe because I kept on comparing it again with the other place I mentioned earlier.
Will I come back? Maybe yes. But not too soon with the price tag.
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Last night’s all girls night was great! I was full already but I wanted to hang out with Sandy P, Peanut D, Pam L, and new friends Jacy Mae L and Kei C. So, I went for a smoothie instead.
I tried their Bery Grape-ful at PHP 150 and I loved it! Ot was refreshing and filling. It had just the right amount of sweetness that I really liked. The fruit to ice ratio was also great. Not too much and not too little, it was just right. (Goldilocks?) Plus it really was blended until smooth!
Jacy Mae L ordered one of the warm Quinoa bowls and added Beef Bulgogi. She honestly just wanted to try it bit had little to zero tolerance for the healthy grain. Hahaha 🏼 So she shared it to all of us, and to be honest I think I finished half of the bowl. I actually really liked it with the tofu and all. I do agree with Sandy P that the addition of the Beef Bulgogi really helped with the taste. The bowl was quite pricey already, and with the add-on it shot up even more, but then again I think their menu in general is on the higher priced mark.
Still, I can have SaladStop! all day, everyday! Seriously though, I also had SaladStop! yesterday for lunch. 🏼 I’ll write about it as well in a few.
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I have been a fan of Sebastian’s Ice Cream for a long time now, so it was such a delight being invited by Peanut to join yet again another |ooloo rendezvoos right after a couple of events in the same mall. I’m so glad Ayala Malls Vertis North is housing some of my favorite brands, both for food and even retail. I really like the structure and aesthetics of the mall too!
So even right after a filling meal, one can never say no to something sweet. As they say, there’s always room for dessert. And this was the perfect sweet ending to our wonderful hosted dinner.
THE Ian Carandang, whom I’ve admired of for single-handedly slaying the ice cream scene in the metro for fifteen years now, welcomed the |ooloo reviewers with open arms. X number of years ago, I’ve already idolized him for his determination in his endeavors and confidence of himself and what he wants. That’s really something that stuck to me, and I couldn’t be happier to have finally met him last Friday!
He invited the reviewers mainly to sample their Chubby Bars and some other ice cream creations. Their Chubby Bars are huge, even bigger than their Dive Bars, and I found those to be big too! Chubby Bars will be available startingon March 10, 2018. The posters are out already with the awesome Chubby Bears as endorsers. These are friends of Ian that are cute and curvy. Ian is all about body and self appreciation and so he chose his friends to promote these products. After, and as he said so himself, why would you have a skinny model do an ad for ice cream, right?
Without even having to try anything yet, I already knew I’d love it, as I never had any disappointments in this joint every time I am here. Let’s talk about what we each got to try!
1.) Salted Caramel Brownie Chubby Bar - PHP 125
“Salted caramel ice cream, salted caramel butter, roasted peanut brownie brittle, dipped in chocolate”
Sebastian’s salted caramel ice cream is great in itself, and on the Chubby Bar, it just got better. I liked the different textures of the different layers of the popsicle. Obviously it was sweet, but it’s the good kind of sweetness I’d indulge once in a while.
2.) Strawberry Brownie Chubby Bar - PHP 125
“Strawberry ice cream, strawberry compote, strawberry chocolate, brownie brittle, dipped in chocolate”
Strawberry and chocolate is not exactly my favorite pairing on any dessert, but on the Chubby Bar, it actually worked. It was tangy from the strawberries but nicely contrasted from the chocolate. This may be my last option for flavor preference, but know that I still liked it.
3.) Peppermint Brownie Chubby Bar - PHP 125
“Dark chocolate ice cream, peppermint creme, chocolate dip brownie brittle, dipped in chocolate”
This is OMG awesome!!! Mint chocolate flavor in any food is my absolute favorite! Everything about this ice cream bar was <insert mura here> super sarap! The dark chocolate, the peppermint creme, the coating, they were all exploding in flavor! It was just a party on a popsicle! Would definitely have this again really soon! Only love for this one! ️
4.) Walnut Brownie Chubby Bar - PHP 125
“Black walnut ice ream, fudge, walnut brownie brittle, dipped in chocolate”
The most standard of all Chubby Bars, this one only shows that simplicity also wins. I like that every layer has pronounced flavors and textures and put together, the ice cream bar tastes really great.
5.) The Chocapocalypse - PHP 320
“2 scoops of Chocoholics Anonymous, fudge, brownies, chocolate strousel, coca-roasted almonds, cocoa-whipped cream & a chocolate covered cherry”
If you’re a fan of all things chocolate, his parfait is definitely for you. Everything about this sundae is fantastic, and every chocoholic’s dream! Each ingredients on that cup is very well thought of and works so well altogether.
6.) Dipped Banana Split - PHP 385
- Choose your dipped banana, choose your ice cream (3 scoops), choose your sauce, choose your topping, choose your whipped cream
For our banana split, Ian chose some of his personal favorites including the Butter Pecan, which was essentially my favorite scoop on that gorgeous ice cream boat. The bananas may look rock hard but they’re actually easy to bite into and the chocolate dip was not too sweet. Their dipped banana splits are pretty to photograph and even better to enjoy!
7.) Fiesta Sorbetes Sundae - PHP 375
“Sapin-sapin, Champorado and Mangga’t Suman Ice Cream on a warm ube brownie with ube streusel, ube fudge, crunchy latik, ube whipped cream & a cherry”
I absolutely loved this ice cream creation! So good! It features wonderful Filipino flavors all three of which are on my favorites list from the Sebastian’s lineup. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the look and taste of their signature Sapin-sapin Ice cream? And their Champorado ice cream is consistently fantastic, while their Mangga’t Suman ice cream is also oh so creamy and very fruity and delicious! Plus all these amazing flavors on a bed of Ube Brownie?! So magical, as in what sorcery is this?! It also <insert mura here> ansarap! I’d have no regrets finishing an order of this all to myself any day! ️
8.) Taho Milkshake - PHP 160
“Silken Tofu in Sweet Cream Ice Cream topped with warm sago pearls & arnibal syrup”
This was so good, and Peanut D really heard me say “<insert mura here> ansarap!!!” 🏼 Who would’ve thought taho as a milkshake would be divine? The taste was familiar, reminds me of a day with a nice warm cup of taho fresh from your friendly neighborhood mantataho, only it cools you up which is perfect in this summer heat. I would love to have this again, all day, erday! ️
I am so happy that Sebastian’s is back in my hood, and I will definitely visit a lot especially with their awesome location. You’ll find them on the same floor as the cinema (near there actually) of Ayala Malls Vertis North, so they’re easily found. Plus it’s easy to dropby before and/or after watching a movie. Talk about convenience!
Thanks again to Ian Carandang and to Peanut D for the invite! It was an amazing night with |ooloo foodies! Julie L Mark L Roy T Abe C Judie Ann Princess M Gene G EJ B Vinny L Ruth D Nievs G Josette P Jacque B (If I missed anyone sorry, hehehe andami natin nun e 🏼) Can’t wait to be back!
**More photos on the blog!
***Note: The event is sponsored by Sebastian’s as partnership with |ooloo. All food items have been chosen by each restaurant based on their own discretion.
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Congratulations to Foodee Global Concepts for opening Pound by Todd English in Ayala Malls Vertis North! This fast growing food group has been aggressive in bringing to life and expanding more and more new and well loved food concepts in the metro. I am thrilled that their brands have reached the North, and we, QC people are nothing but excited to enjoy their awesome food a lot more regularly!
Thanks to our friends from Foodee Global, particularly Ariane and Patty, we were invited to a grand opening and tasting event. I was so privileged to be among amazing foodies, and I was just so excited for a fun-filled evening of good food and wonderful company.
The venue was intimate and well in keeping with the feel and interior design of all of their other branches. Their signature open kitchen is here too, which I think is always great because I like watching food preparation. However, they really need to work on ventilation in this place and smoke gets in your eyes. The fumes from the grill and smell of the onions and everything else can make you tear up. But It was worth it for me, what with everything we had. 🏼
1.) Pound Foie Gras Burger - PHP 700
“House ground Beef Patty, Tomato, Iceberg Lettuce, Crispy Onion, Mustard Relish, T.E. Sauce, Caramelized Onions, 50g Seared Foie Gras”
I’ve had tihs before and it truly is on my favorite burgers list. The price tag is off the charts though, but well worth it with the amount of Foie Gras! We’re truly fortunate of our hosts’ generosity, having us choose whatever we want, even this premium item! One of the foodies was Pound virgin so we urged her to have it. She had no regrets, I believe. She didn’t what Foie Gras was, and we intentionally didn’t tell her until she finished her meal. It came as quite a shock for her, but I’m glad she still enjoyed it.
2.) T.E. Crispy Chicken Sliders (2pcs.) - PHP 195 (Add on: 25g Seared Foie Gras - PHP 250)
“T.E. Sweet Spice, Crispy Pickled Slaw, Cilantro Aioli”
We wanted to eat more items so we opted for sliders so Julie L and I can have one each. This has been a favorite of mine for a long time. I’m glad the crisp on that chicken is the same familiar goodness! So juicy and tender and very well seasoned, as always! I commend their consistency even as they have opened numerous branches already. We asked to add seared Foie Gras on these sliders too and it was just divine! Everything about this chicken burger is awesome, and I can have it any day for sure (probably hold the foie though, I like the chicken burger itself anyway.) Will definitely come back for the full sandwich too!
3.) Portobello Mushroom Sliders - PHP 280 (Add on: 25g Seared Foie Gras - PHP 250)
“Portobello Mushroom, Caramelized Onions, Fried Onions, Lettuce, Tomato, Cilantro Aioli”
This was new and seemed interesting so we ordered it. (We added seared foie gras to this too! 🏼) I actually really liked it! It was kinda messy though, I think since mushrooms are all water, and add a tomato then the whole sandwich will be all watery. It feels greasy, but I believe it’s more on the juices of the two ingredients I mentioned. Still, taste-wise I appreciated it, and I’d gladly order it again. Perhaps next time I’d customize and hold on the tomato and instead add cheese! (Because mushrooms + cheese sounds awesome for me. 🤤)
4.) Crispy Chicken Wrap - PHP 175
“Pita Wrapped, Crispy Romaine Lettuce, Anchovy, T.E. Creamy Dressing, T.E. Crispy Chicken”
We asked Patty (Marketing Officer in charge of Pound from Foodee Global) what she usually orders in the restaurant and she told us that apart from the burgers. This is one of her favorites so our table got so intrigued and asked to try it. I liked it mainly because it has the T.E. Chicken which I love! The sauce really was cream as it was described on the literature. I’d probably order this again, but with add-ons.
5.) Truffle Risotto Tater Tots - PHP 75
This was so good! It was my first time to try these babies and boy was I impressed! Each piece was perfectly fried. These bite-size truffle risotto balls with just a thin coat of breading, just enough to make it crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside were outstanding! The seasoning and flavor was excellent, and the sauce served enhanced it a hundred times. I am utterly impressed!
6.) Truffle French Beans - PHP 120
This was so good too! These tempura- battered fried beans were not too greasy and seasoned just right. I can munch on these instead of fries without any complaints! The sauce was the same as the one served with the tots and it pairs really well with these too.
7.) Onion Hay Stack - PHP 90
I am a fan of onion rings anywhere, so I was excited to try this out. I think this used to be called the “Onion Cube”. Rack’s onion brick is one of my favorites, so when I knew that Pound has something similar, I was eager to taste it. It was actually good, but a tad greasy for me. The seasoning was spot on though, and the fry was just right. I’d order it as a side again.
8.) Sizzling Pound Moco - PHP 180 (W/ 25g Foie Gras - PHP 430)
“House Ground Beef Patty, Garlic Rice, Peppercorn Gravy, Sunny-side Up Egg”
Technically, I wasn’t able to taste this, but it looked mighty fine. Plus the Foie Gras on top was just so entrancing. I’d come back for this too!
I’m happy that Pound is now more accessible to us Northerners. I can’t wait to come back really soon!
Thank you to our gracious hosts again! And happy to see friendly foodies always! ️
***Note: This grand opening was a sponsored event of Pound by Todd English, Ayala Malls Vertis North. All food and beverage items were chosen by the foodies but costs were covered by the restaurant.
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I got another invite from Peanut D for a rendezvoos and my week is made! It was a beautiful Monday evening well spent with (ninja) |oolooers. We tried out the new restaurant that just opened in Serendra, Cuba Libre.
This place is another venture from the awesome restaurant group, the Tasteless Food Group. And we were once again graced by the presence of the very pleasant Mr. Charlie Paw. So humble and generous, he joined our group with a smile and without further ado, presented us with an absolute feast! ️
So basically, upon entering you go to the left and straight to the counter. First you choose your main, you pick your rice and then your side. Rate will depend on the main you choose and there just may be a little additional for particular sides. Pay for your food then pick a seat. It’s that simple.
Just for photo purposes, we were presented with a number of their meals as you can order them and as they are served. After our pictorial, we were able to try EVERYTHING on their menu! (Hears hallelujah chorus in the background )
M1 Picadillo Cubano - PHP 220
“Classic a la cubana pork mince in a light tomato sauce”
This is delicious. It reminds me of how my mom cooks “Giniling” at home. And when food brings me good memories, I take it as a good sign that what I am having is really good.
M2 Ropa Vieja - PHP 275
“Shredded beef brisket slow-stewed with peppers, tomatoes, and white wine”
This was unbelievably tender. The beef was so flavorful and went so well with the rice and sides. It reminds me of Kaldereta, a really really really soft and good one!
M3 Cuban Pork Adobo - PHP 245
“Masitas de Puerco en Adobo”
This was one of my favorites during the night. It was like a white adobo with potatoes, pork, the works. The vinegar was pronounced but not too much, and the meat itself was very tender and flavorful.
M4 Peanut Chicken - PHP 250
“Pollo Con Cacahuates Y Habichuelas”
Ansarap kasi nakapangalan kay P! Charot! But seriously, this was definitely my favorite among the mains. It was so flavorful! The deep roasted taste of the chicken stew had nice sweet-savory ting going on because of the peanut sauce. It was quite familiar because it had a similar taste to Kare-Kare. It’s easy to get that this dish would be well received by the Filipino palette because of this. And it was also obvious with the reviewers because most of us had this as a favorite too.
M5 Cuban Fried Chicken - PHP 275
“Pollo Frito Cubano”
I think I mainly liked this because it’s reminiscent of other Tastless / Lowbrow fried chickens. The crisp on the skin is awesome, I was hoping they’d release a side of chicken skin. Hahaha Seriously though, it was cooked really well, seasoned perfectly and not to greasy. These qualities are always good for fried food.
M6 Creole Meatballs - PHP 220
I enjoyed this a lot as well. The size of the meatballs were quite big, but I liked that they weren’t hard or bland or whatever. It was good. The sauce helped, as well as the mango salsa.
M7 Okra Stew - PHP 200
“Quimbobo a la Habanera”
I’ve liked okra sinde I was a kid so I wasn’t complaining when I tried this. This is their vegetarian option for those with strict diets. I found it to be really good too, quite sour but balanced out with the red sauce and veggies.
R1 White Oregano Rice
I liked this the most among all the others served to us, only because it tasted the lightest. I guess the flavors are all so rich, plus the rice and sides are all heavy. It was flavorful and paired well with their viands that had strong flavors.
R2 Yellow Rice
I’d choose this for viands that have tamer flavors. Mind you, it tasted really good too but its flavor was kind of strong, it may overpower just a bit the flavor of the entree.
R3 Moros Y Cristianos
“Rice and beans”
This would have been my favorite, hands down because this was delicious. But it was really heavy. If I finished a whole plate of this, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy everything else. Plus in this joint, it’s always a good idea to leave space for desserts. (Yes, you’ll thank me later. )
R4 White Rice
“Arroz de la Casa”
S1 Black Beans
I cannot stress enough when I say everything in this place is masarap. Cray! Even a side as simple as refried black beans is worth an “hmmmm” with matching byutipul eyes. It was so good!
“Double-fried crispy plantain patties”
I loved this, and so did Peanut! 🏼 No shame there! But it kind of reminds me of fried saba that we do at home. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s similar and so I thnk their other sides can be more sulit.
S3 Taro and Pumpkin Fritters
“Croquettas se Malanga”
This was my favorite among the sides. And this I can say may be difficult to replicate at home. It was savory and tasty and came really well with the other flavorful items. I’d definitely come back for these babies!
S4 Fried Ripe Plantains
S5 Sweet Potato Fries (add PHP 30)
Their sweet potato fries is awesome! Very well seasoned and tasty, I loved the fry on those chips. So perfect! It’s really good too!
For those who do not want to have a full meal, items can be availed as a la carte.
So I mentioned desserts earlier. Yes, they serve desserts here, and they were some of the best I have had in my life! ️ Their drinks are worth the mention too!
D1 Espresso Coffee Leche Flan - PHP 80
“Flan de cafe Cubano”
This is one of the best flavored leche flans I have had in my life. I never knew coffee would would work so well as a flan. It was so creamy and tasty and of just the right sweetness. And for the price, it was absolutely affordable!
D2 Three-Milk Sponge Cake - PHP 195
“Tres Levhes con Fanguito”
PLEASE DO NOT PHASE THIS OUT FROM THE MENU! This dessert may be simple but it’s absolutely delicious. It’s so moist and milky and again with just enough sweetness. I loved this so much, I can visit the place just for this. (And I really did, the very next day!) This must stay on their permanent menu!
D3 Rice Pudding with Cinnamon - PHP 60
“Arroz con Leche”
This was delicious too. I probably couldn’t appreciate it as much as Cubans but I still found it to be good and very affordable.
B1 Guava Iced Tea - PHP 60
“Te Helado de Guayaba”
I loved this drink! So refreshing and pairs so well with the food, and with mild sweetness. It’s not one of those powdered iced teas.
B3 Cuba Libre - PHP 99
The drink of their name sake for me is great. I liked it a lot. Some of the reviewers found it to have too little alcohol, and although I thought the same too, I liked it as that. I found it to be really delicious!
I only have praises for this place. Kudos for ening this new joint, and I am happy to have been able to try it out along with other awesome |ooloo reviewers! Christina R Dennis O EJ B Abe C Eboy D Bella J Chili G Kwokie K Thank you to our gracious host and to Peanut D again for the invite!
I will definitely come back! In fact, I already did, and recommended it to a fellow foodie for DESSERTS! So again please do not phase out the Tres Leches! Hihihi 🏼
**More photos on the blog!
***Note: The event is sponsored by Cuba Libre as partnership with |ooloo. All food items have been chosen by each restaurant based on their own discretion.
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Not too long ago, mostly during my college days, I used to go to Poblacion area a lot with my bestfriend. We’d party the night away and go home when the sun has risen already. I guess times really have changed. I do have those nights still, but rarely do they come nowadays. I guess it’s safe to say when I started working, it was when I felt the essential meaning of “adulting”, and I really had a hiatus from that part of my life. (Plus I had to move away from the metro.) Eventually, Poblacion area grew popularity with a lot of new spots to hang out and chill in, and they were left unknown to me… Until I decided to come back to Manila, and I slowly got my stride.
I may be more on the “tita-type” now, but who cares? We all have our days, for me a good night out is composed of really good drinks, bar chow that are tasty and filling, a really nice, clean and comfortable place to come together in, and most importantly the company worth spending time with. Enter, Polilya, where everything I just mentioned is perfectly given here.
I must say, I had no idea of this place until I was invited by Midz S for an intimate food and beverage tasting. I had the time of my life! Our gracious hosts were fantastic, and everything, and I mean everything served to us was nothing short of excellent.
We were met by the wonderful owners and they were absolutely fabulous and very pleasant to engage with. According to them, the totally Instagrammable place was created essentially to enjoy Engkanto Brewery flagship beers, as they are the same people who created this line of pilsners in the metro. They designed the place to be a really nice part of your living room to give you a very homey feel, and it really was! Apart from the beautiful interiors, the impeccably awesome air-conditioning, and the amazing service, I must commend on them having the cleanest and nicest bathrooms in all of Poblacion bars I’ve been to!
What sets Polilya apart from other bars in the area is the fact that they not on wanted to focus on the beverages, but they also gave so much effort in developing their food menu. Theirs was done by Chef Luis de Terry, and I am in utter awe with everything he came up with. For most of his dishes, he even incorporated the use of the different flavors of Engkanto beer. You’d see on their menu that he clearly specified which was used in each. Everything we had was delicious, and worth the drive from the North for. Let’s talk about each one we were able to sample!
1.) Ultimate Nachos - PHP 275
“corn tortilla chips, chees sauce, meat sauce, sour cream, grated cheddar, pico de gallo salsa, red beans, avocado, jalapeño rings, & srips of tapa”
It was delicious! The chips were crispy while the generous toppings were very tasty. The heat from the jalapeño was just right, and easily seen anyway so if you’re not too into spicy food, you can just pick the pieces out. It pairs really well with their drinks.
2.) Zen Chicken Nuggets - PHP 250
“Hainanese chicken crisps / sauce trio: chili, ginger-scallion, & kecap manis”
This was one of my favorites among the dishes served. It’s an innovative take on the popular Hainanese Chicken. Nicely fried, the pieces of chicken were tender and juicy and very well seasoned already. The sauces even enhanced the flavor of the dish, really similar to Hainanese chicken. I liked that it’s not even greasy or anything, very commendable for cooking technique!
3.) Fried Pickles - PHP 125
“pickled jalapeño tempura poppers / cilantro-tahini sauce”
His was spicy for my taste, but I liked it as well. The tanginess gave contrast to the spiciness of the jalapeños. The fry on those pickles were spot on, again not so greasy and with just enough batter.
4.) Gambas Engkantadas - PHP 440
“beer-infused gambas al ajillo / mini baguette”
This was really good! The pieces of shrimp were fresh, plump and cooked really well. You can tell it was cleaned properly, so I was very happy about that. It goes really well with the piece of bread served along with the seafood dish.
5.) Chip + Dip - PHP 160
“russet potato house cut crisps, french onion beer dip”
Simple but absolutely flavorful. Taste really manifests that house made chips were made fresh daily from real potatoes. The seasoning on those chips was perfect and each pieces was fried to a nice crispy texture. The dip that came with it was also fantastic! I would love to have this any time, any day!
6.) Fish & Chips - PHP 325
“river cobbler fillets in a curried beer batter / raita-style tartar & house potato crisps
This was a wonderful Asian take on the English classic. The curry taste was mild and did not kill the flavor of the fish. The freshness of the seafood was great, and the batter was just enough to coat the fish. The chips were the same as the ones they sell alone, so it’s safe to say they’re great. The sauce again worked really well.
7.) Grilled Cheese Sandwich (not yet on the menu, but can already be availed)
This was the ABSOLUTE BOMB! I could easily finish an order of this alone. The bread hey used was not the usual Pan Amerikano, but it had some sort of a puff pastry texture. The cheese was just oozing and they did not scrimp on the butter. The tomato jam that went with it gave it contrast and body, and it was just awesome! This was so good, we requested to have a second order.
8.) Steak & Ale Pie - PHP 310
“Wagyu beef, button mushrooms in a light, golden-crisp pastry / citrus-dressed greens”
This meat pie was wonderful. The cook on the meat was delicious, and I liked that there was more beef than mushrooms, so it was good. The pastry was so nice as well! Everything about this dish was great!
9.) Gangnam Style Chicken Wings - PHP 210
“deep-fried chicken wings, coated in a zingy gochujang glaze”
Chicken wings is always a good idea, and theirs really was tasty. The spice was just enough and the sweetness of the sauce was complemented really well with the savory fried chicken.
10.) Bangla Mussels - PHP 320
“steamed mussels in a beer, mustard oil & coconut milk broth / homemade roti”
This was so good too! The shellfish tasted so fresh and clean. The sauce was so good, it had somewhat a curry-ish taste to it and paired so well with the roti.
11.) Deep- fried Apple Pie a la Mode - PHP 150
“warm pocket pie of cinnamon-kissed apples & a scoop of vanilla ice cream”
I never liked apple pie, until I was officially converted by Polilya. To be honest, I was not excited to try this dish, but when I did my eyes went shut and I just had to enjoy it silently in darkness to really savour the flavor. OMG, it was so good! The ice cream only enhanced the dish, and was not the star so that’s a good thing for me because I’m normally and ice cream person. We loved this dessert so much, we ordered a second one, devoured it and literally wiped the dish clean after just a few minutes.
12.) Grown-up Chocolate Mousse - PHP 175
“Davao single-origin three-chocolate mousse, seasoned w/ freshly-ground black pepper & sprinkle of Himalayan salt”
This was <insert mura here> super delicious!!! As in OMEGED nakakaloka! This was definitely one of the best chocolate mousses I have had in my entire life, mind you, I’m not a fan of dark chocolate, but this was one was an absolute exemption. Apparently they used Engkanto Stout beer for this as well, which on its own had flavors of coffee or chocolate to it, but you must know that beer has none of those. It’s the preparation that gave the dark color and deep flavor to that beer. So with this dessert, it was the same. The flavor was just outstanding and I can’t wait to have this again really soon!
I’m listing down a number of the beverages as well, as they were all remarkable!
1.) Goldfinger (under “Enchanted Six” - signature cocktails w/ a beer twist) - PHP 360
“healthy mule / turmeric-infused vodka, pressed ginger syrup, fresh lime, ginger beer, double IPA, dalandan foam”
I enjoyed this drink a lot! It was so refreshing. I liked that the ginger flavor was not too overpowering, and it was well balanced with the citrusy juice. The beer gave it body and I found the amount of liquor to be just right. The sweetness was exactly as I wanted and the foam was a nice tangy finish. I loved it!
2.) White Russian - PHP 280
“oldskool nite cap: vodka, kalua, cream, coffee”
This was so good as it was so pretty! I liked that they cocktails are true to familiar recipes and they use authentic ingredients only.
3.) Four O’Clock Flight (Engkanto Craft Draught Beer) - PHP 280
“a degustation set of 4 Engkanto beers of your choice”
A flight in F&B terms is essentially getting small portions of different flavors of the same food, for example ice cream, or wines and of course beers. If you wanna try all the Engkanto beers, just get two orders of their affordable beer flights. We tried all of them, and it was such an experience. From light beer, to lager, to flavored beers and to dark beer, they have it and they are all so good! Their menu is very informative on each of their beer offerings too, so you’d never get confused.
It was such a wonderful night of good food and drinks in the most perfect place. I highly recommend this joint in Poblacion, and I look forward to coming back very soon!
Thank you again to our gracious hosts. And to my fellow foodies, it’s always a delight to be with y’all! Midz S Dennis O Jowell J
**More photos on the blog! ️
***Note: This was a sponsored event of Polilya for Team Kaladkarin. Some food and beverage items were chosen by the restaurant based on their discretion. Some food and beverage items were chosen by the bloggers, but costs were covered by the restaurant.
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