My Reviews

Churreria La Lola

5.0 Stars
Snack

The Mighty Churro. The Spanish fried pastry that's probably the dessert equivalent of savory french fries. Only bigger with its crunchy ridges and soft center to absorb all that chocolate.128525

While the origin of this scrumptious merienda is no less than humble, as do all delicious treats of today, a variety of making churros have been developed from its first simple recipe. From the day I had my first churro, my favorite was S&R's cinnamon churros. But lo and behold, the Spanish owners of Churreria La Lola revealed the true makings of: The Classic Churro.

Larger than the regular churro size previously offered in our country, with the right hardness of the ridges compared to that of S&R's. I'd like to believe that they've got their dough mix almost perfect. The churro itself doesn't lend too much of a dough-ey bland flavor with the light sugar coat.

The chocolate dip is just really, really, really good. It's easy to go overboard and underboard with the sweetness of chocolate. And I wouldn't say it's the perfect chocolate mix. But the consistency is just right, not too runny nor viscous. The taste leans on the dark side of chocolate with just the right sweet to give you that satisfaction when eating the chocolate-wrapped churro. Every bite simply gives you a warm feeling, in a good way.

They've got other varieties of churros i'm excited to try on my next visit. 10084️ So happy more people are appreciating this humble treat, with La Lola always filled with people everytime I pass by the place.

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Mad Mark's

5.0 Stars
Ice Cream

Ice cream is THE frozen delight. I can't even begin to count how many places offer ice cream in our country, especially now with the blistering afternoon summer heat. And it isn't every day you get to try ice cream that isn't from Magnolia, Selecta or Arce Dairy.

I've heard about Mad Mark's ever since they started out in Kapitolyo. And I have always heard good things about their food. Especially their ice cream. It certainly does not disappoint.

Fortunately, I was able to try two flavors from their menu: The Javan Hot Chocolate and Half-baked Madagascar (Picture). Trying the two flavors at once complimented each other. The Javan had this bitter factor into it that balanced out the sweetness and creaminess of the Half-Baked. They both had a unique taste that separates them from other ice cream that i've tried before. I can't wait to try the others. And I do hope that all their other flavors deliver as well as these two.

**I've missed writing Looloo reviews. It's been a crazy year.128584

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Purple Oven

5.0 Stars
Dessert

I may have finally found my perfect dirty dessert.

I've heard about Purple Oven for years now, especially their famous revel bars, but this is the first time i've had them. Until now, I still have a hard time comprehending how they could achieve the consistency of their ganache in the middle. Every bite was heaven, filled with gooey and moist chocolate, and the right amount of oatmeal to balance out the sweetness. Even when I placed the leftover bars in the refrigerator, the chocolate didn't harden too much, still moist and so good it's mouthwatering. Put on some roasted marshmallow fluff and I couldn't think of anything more perfect for this pastry.

THE best revel bars in town.128588

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Ally's All-Day Breakfast

3.0 Stars
Breakfast

First breakfast joint down at Maginhawa street.

My friend and I wanted to have breakfast on a Sunday, and he suggested going to Ally's. Been hearing mixed reviews about it and we both haven't tried Ally's yet. It was a pretty good sunny morning then and the place was filled when we entered. We awkwardly stood there in the middle of the place for a good half minute upon entering. Good thing a foreigner was kind enough to offer us his extra seats. He actually complained to us about the noise of the TV while waiting for his order.128517 The place was a little small for the lot of people coming in.

So we moved on to our orders. We both ordered D.I.Y. waffles. I had blueberries and almonds on a classic waffle. We didn't have to wait too long for the order. Have to say the waffle was pretty thick and good with the typical blueberry compote. I was too full when I finished my waffle.

Overall, it was a pretty fair experience. My friend and I had good breakfast and a good time talking. I did go to Breakfast and Pies quickly after, and I have to agree with EJ D that B&P > Ally's.128584

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Calderon Cocina Tapas Y Bebidas

4.0 Stars
Spanish

One of the best Spanish restaurants in Manila.

This restaurant is only easy to find probably only when you're actually looking for it. It's alongside a branch of La Creperie and Tori Box. It's quite small to begin with, and cozy inside. The warm, orange lights and the Spanish-inspired interior add to the cozy, home atmosphere of the place. You do have to make reservations to eat here, probably because of the size of the place, but it is worth the trouble.

The star of their menu is, naturally, the Paella (Pah-Eh-Yuh). They have 3 variants and we ordered the classic Paella Valenciana (Photo above, sorry we couldn't help but grab some already 128540). Paellas can be made freestyle, depending on the cook's recipe. An authentic Paella Valenciana honestly consists of mostly chicken, green and white beans and a few snails. A mixed paella with seafood is called a Paella Andalucia. There is quite a confusion with the variants of paella (Except the Negra, maybe, i think it's the only dark paella). The mixed paella is probably the most common type of paella people know. Although practically anything good with Spanish rice can be cooked to make the paella, such as eel or rabbits, etc.

Calderon's paella took around 15-20 minutes to be served. It was good that the waiter had it cooked in advance while we were still deciding on ordering other dishes. And the paella was definitely worth the wait. It had prawns, mussels, beans, the whole mixed lot. The rice was full of flavor (and really hot), a great combination with the salpicao we also ordered. Prawns and mussels and chorizos were perfectly cooked and well-seasoned. It was a mighty fine paella!

We also tried their gambas, beef salpicao and calamares. They were served quite quickly without compromising the quality at all. You won't get disappointed with the size of their calamares nor the gambas. The calamares wasn't too oily, and the breading was just enough to coat the well-cooked squid rings inside. Beef salpicao was a little drowned in olive oil but it was good and well-seasoned.

The staff were all attentive and cheerful. It was a little disappointing that they didn't have churros, but we did get there a little late already so it was forgiveable. This place is still my favorite so far when it comes to Spanish cuisine.

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Roots Market Bistro

5.0 Stars
Italian

The best french toast i've had. Seriously.

I've passed by Roots countless times already and finally my family decided to try out the modern market bistro. They sell mason jars (YES.), teas, various nuts and small & suspicious looking potted plants. I'm not sure if I heard right but they may contain their desserts! 128520

The rents were expecting a variety of salads. They were stereotyping from the title, really. Surprisingly, they mostly had breakfast food and selected pasta dishes. My brother ordered Grandma's Breakfast, which consisted of regular buns, salad and baked potatoes & bacon topped with a sunny side-up egg. He enjoyed it a lot. The bacon and potatoes were well-seasoned and flavorful. The rents ordered the Smoked Salmon Pasta, which was also good and well-seasoned.

I ordered the French Toast (Photo above). I had lunch at Yabu earlier and was hoping for some lighter food. My eyebrows raised at the price, which was P280. I wondered why it was that expensive. With all the different dishes, I was intrigued by this unusually high-priced french toast, and so I ordered it. The description said it had fruits on the side but I didn't see how it would amount to that. Until the waiter placed it in front of me. NOW I GOT IT. The slices of bread were big. They were one of the biggest i've seen so far. I'm not sure if it's bigger than Starbucks' french toast but i'm sure it's pretty close. This was wide and really thick. Probably as thick as 2-3 pancakes stacked together. And it was as moist almost as much as a good souffle towards the middle, just a little more firmer of course because of its dough, and really delicious. The sugar on top didn't overwhelm, thankfully. It gave just the right hint of sweetness the warm, egg-soaked bread needed. You could choose between what I believed was cranberry sauce and maple syrup. I tried each of them on the two slices along with the cooked fruits. They were good. Really good. I didn't think french toast could get THIS good.

We weren't able to try other dishes because we were definitely stuffed with each of our meals. I'd definitely come back here to try other dishes, especially their potted dessert.10084️ I recommend breakfast foodies to give this place a try.128522

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Yumi

4.0 Stars
Japanese

A hidden Japanese restaurant in the new wing of Promenade.🇯🇵

We were craving sashimi & sushi and haven't tried nor seen this place before. I only heard about it through friends. The inside was dimly lit and the staff were really attentive.

Surprisingly, they had a "buy one, take one" promo for the sashimi!9786️ We also ordered their dynamite rolls and some U.S. Beef Tenderloin. The food was quick and quite delicious. Sashimi was fresh and tender, the dynamite roll was full of flavor and had the right amount of spice. Some of the beef was a little chewy at time but it was well seasoned.

Overall, i'm delighted to find another good Japanese restaurant in Greenhills and hope to try more of their dishes next time.9786️

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Eric Kayser Artisan Boulanger

4.0 Stars
Bakery

Eric Kayser finally opened in Greenhills.9786️

The place looks beautiful. If they were placed beside the street, the trademark orange bike they had in front would have been more perfect. They had large windows, which let natural light stream exactly onto the good amount of tables and chairs inside. The ambiance was quiet and cozy when we came in, I'm not sure if it's the same during peak hours.

The staff were patient and very helpful. We picked out almost one of everything among the bread they had available on the counter. Just looking at them made me hungry, they all looked so good. I settled to eat their freshly baked Kouign Amann that day. It was crispy on the outside because of the caramelized sugar, and it had a soft, buttery inside. It definitely wasn't too sweet for me, and the price was fair for the size of it. I cannot wait to try the others.10084️

While most bakeries around Manila have lower prices, there is a definite difference when it comes to quality. If you're looking for fine French bread and pastries, Eric Kayser is a must try. I'm hoping to have breakfast here, one of these days, once they open at earlier hours, I hear they serve good breakfast. 9749️

Photo above: Kouign Amann

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Jamba Juice

5.0 Stars
Juice

Redeemed the Looloo upgrade!128588 Thank you so much Looloo Crew.9786️

I've always loved Jamba Juice for their classic and fruit smoothies, especially their steel-cut oatmeal 9786️ Their blends are just the best!128588

I suggest trying out their secret menu, especially the gummy bear series.128521

Photo above:
(Old) Razzmatazz 127827

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Antonio's

4.0 Stars
International

At the start of this Gloom week, my family decided to spontaneously go to Tagaytay just to have dinner.128540

The place is hidden among the woods. Tagaytay was cold, windy, dark and foggy when we got there, just imagine driving in a narrow road with only one tricycle in front of you. 128123 So remember to watch out for their signs!128522

And then, we stopped in front of this big & beautiful metal gate with warm lights. Surprisingly, the place on the outside looks quite like a big Spanish estate, not a restaurant. The lobby seemed like a small living room with paintings and old family portraits and statues. I believe they had three floors where you could dine, although the tables outside were drenched from the rain, they seemed perfect for a warm, sunny day. They have a big hall, good for family gatherings. There were tables in the little courtyard with the fish pond under all the lights looking lovely for intimate dates. We dined at the upper floor, past what seemed like an old dining room. I noticed almost all, if not all, the tables were placed beside a window, and so I wished we came a little earlier to see if the view was worthwhile.

The menu was expensive. On every facet. But they do assure you of quality good food. Most of their entrees consisted of steak, but we settled for seafood and pasta to make more room for dessert.128523 The rents ordered dalandan juice, which amusingly had dalandan ice cubes in it too! They took time serving each course, which I appreciated and added to the intimacy of the experience. The House Balsamic Pasta with all the seafood was delicious, not too acidic and definitely not deprived of seafood. Seabass was perfectly cooked. I do have to commend their Mango & Cream Cheese dessert. The sorbet was organic, perfect with the meringue at the bottom. The Dark Chocolate Souffle with Cardamom Crème Anglaise was perfectly moist in the middle and had a crispy flat top. Pouring the warm crème anglaise over the souffle provided the right amount of sweetness and warmth that I quite loved.

Antonio's certainly achieved a perfect balance between delicious food and a homey ambiance.

Photos above:
Chilean Sea Bass
Housemade Balsamic infused Pasta with Sauteed Prawns, Clams and Scallops Aioli
Tomato & Capsicum Soup
Antonio's House Salad
Dark Chocolate Souffle with Cardamom Crème Anglaise
Mango and Cream Cheese Sorbet

Will upload more photos of the place at: http://jamilleong.vsco.co

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