Saturday, October 31, 2015

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 9: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 9

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 9: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 9
Photo from MasterChef Asia FB Page
  • This MasterChef Asia takes the contestants to one of the most popular entertainment destinations in Asia - Hongkong Disneyland.  They had the morning off to enjoy the sights and sounds of this magical place before they have lunch at Crystal Lotus restaurant.
  • It was funny watching Ha enjoy some of the rides even though she was afraid of heights. I think we were able to get a glimpse of the contestants that we don't normally see when they're cooking and get to know them a little better. 
  • The teams are faced with their first pressure test (isn't it a bit late into the show?) where they had to replicate one of four Rudolf Muller's award-winning dishes. These are the;
    • Roasted Beef and Veal Tenderloin
    • Salmon and Cod Timbale
    • 5 Spice Veal and Beef Short Ribs
    • Slow Roasted Lamb Loin
  • The contestants had to replicate a Rudolf Muller dish within the time frame. They were given a recipe and all the ingredients they needed to make this dish at their station in the Royal Banquet Hall

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Starbucks x Moleskine 2016 Planner: Collect Stickers Beginning November 2, 2015

The Starbucks x Moleskine 2016 Planner: Collect Stickers Beginning November 2, 2015

Starbucks is known to have the most sought after planner in the Philippines, year in and year out. This year they are making their planners even more amazing by partnering up with Moleskine, the premium Italian notebook brand. I usually collect 2 planners every year, one of which is the Starbucks Planner while the other one is the CBTL Giving Journal.

I don't think I failed to collect a planner over the past 4 years yet. Here's how you can get the Starbucks 2016 Planner.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 8: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 8

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 8: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 8
Photo from MasterChef Asia FB Page
  • This episode, the MasterChef Asia contestants had another team challenge at the Changi airport. There was an elaborate scene at the start of the episode where the contestants were asked to head to the airport with uber, so let's just call this 'The Uber Episode'.
  • The contestants were divided into three teams of three with the top 3 contestants in the previous episode as team leaders, each with a stall in Changi Airport to run. The teams had to cook with a certain cuisine (chosen at random) - Indonesian, Japanese, and Vietnamese. The team with the least number of votes will be facing elimination. 
  • The teams had 30 minutes to check out the competition at Changi Airport to observe the food standards and portion sizes in the airport
  • They had 2 and a half hours to plan and prepare their dishes, after which they'll transport the food to Changi Airport for a 1 hour service. They had to prep enough food to serve as much passengers as they can. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Get Your Udon Noodles Fix at Oudon, Bonifacio Global City

Ramen is a worldwide phenomenon and it's no different here in the Philippines. While it's certainly hard to resist a rich, heavy bowl of ramen we shouldn't overlook one of it's tasty Japanese cousins - the udon. Udon noodles are large, chewy noodles traditionally served in a light broth. If you're craving for udon, book a reservation now to dine at Oudon restaurant in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.You won't be disappointed.

Here are some mouthwatering reasons on why you will love Oudon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Start Collecting Stamps for the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf 2016 Giving Journal on October 23

Start Collecting Stamps for the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf 2016 Giving Journal This October 23

UPDATE: Check out the 2017 CBTL Giving Journal in an updated post

It's that wonderful time of the year again when our favorite coffee shops start handing out stamps (or stickers) so that we can get one of their 2016 planners. You can already start collecting the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines 2016 Giving Journal stamps this coming October 23, 2015. You can also have a taste of their delicious Toffee Nut Latte and Toffee Nut Iced Blended

It's more or less the same mechanics that they've had in the past and with each giving journal you are helping a scholar from the REAL LIFE Foundation. Here's what you need to get a planner. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Let C' Italian Dining Woo You With Romance, Elegance, and Authentic Italian

Tucked away along the streets of Salcedo village is a small, intimate Italian restaurant called C' Italian Dining. As soon as you walk in the restaurant, you can't help but think that it's the perfect place for a bit of romance. Beautiful paintings are lined along the walls, tables are arranged to seat at most four, and the lights help create a dim, romantic atmosphere.

C' Italian Dining is the place you bring someone you really want to impress.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Five Occasions That Calls For Food Delivery To Save the Day

Five Occasions Where Food Delivery Saves the Day
Photo from the Foodpanda Facebook Page
Technology today is such a marvel that you can do just about anything at the palm of your hands (with a smartphone in it of course). Smartphone apps are so powerful that Apple actually coined the slogan "There's an App for That" back in 2010 to highlight the versatility of the apps we can use.

I personally check Zomato, an app where you can find trusted restaurant reviews from fellow foodies, every day. I also use a number of apps for social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Flipboard), count my steps using Pacer, shop using Lazada, and of course have food delivered right to my doorstep with Foodpanda.

Pastry Master Chef Jess Chiam Ko Seen Creates Beautiful Christmas Pastries Using Selbourne Chocolates

Master Chef Jess Chiam Ko Seen, a pastry chef with over 18 years of experience and numerous accolades under his belt, meticulously works on Christmas-themed pastries that include triple chocolate cookies, cupcakes with chocolate ganache, and pink macaroons in a demonstration held at the Academy of Pastry & Bakery Arts Philippines.

As a home cook and foodie, it was truly an honor to watch this master pastry chef create beautiful Christmas desserts.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

MasterChef Asia: What's in a Redmart Staple Pantry Box?

MasterChef Asia: What's in a Redmart Pantry Box?

What's in your home staple pantry box? Well, whenever our MasterChef Asia contestants are faced with a challenge to whip up an amazing dish in the MasterChef kitchen, they need some basic pantry staples to help them create the perfect dish.

They are armed with these basic pantry ingredients so that they can create something amazing. You should know better and have these pantry staples in your kitchen at all the time.

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 7: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 7

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 7: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 7
Photo from MasterChef Asia FB Page
  • In this MasterChef Asia episode, the contestants had to cook dishes that would raise money for World Food Day to help feed disadvantaged children around the world. 
  • World Food Day is celebrated every 16th of October and is a day where people around the world come together with the goal of eradicating hunger in our lifetime.
  • I love this challenge and it's great that MasterChef Asia dedicated an episode to promote World Food Day and help raise money for charity.
  • This was an individual challenge, the contestants had to prepare 1 food item in just 2 and a half hours to feed around 150 guests. They had full access to the MasterChef pantry. The contestants had 60 minutes to serve their food and raise donations. The home cook who raises the most money wins the challenge while the cook that gets the least amount of donations gets eliminated.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thank You for Voting Chef Jay's Kitchen as #2 in the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2015

Food is such an exciting topic to write about. We eat at least 3 times a day (most people are guilty of more) and food never gets boring. There is just so much variety in food that there are so many thing we would like to share with you. I started this blog back in September 2014 with the goal of having honest, objective conversations about food with all of you. I'm amazed that in a span of a year, this blog's readers have grown from 0 to over 10,000 per month. Amazing, isn't it?

If You Had to Make an Amazing Dish Using 555 Fried Sardines, What Would It Be?

Maine Mendoza Aldub for 555

Sardines may be known as a poor man’s staple because of it's affordability, but it's also packed with essential vitamins and minerals - making it one of the healthiest things we can eat. In fact, I do whip up a pack of 555 Hot & Spicy Sardines whenever I'm too lazy too cook because I find it to be both tasty and good for you. Of course, 555 Sardines recently signed Yaya Dub as their newest endorser to help encourage more people to eat sardines as part of their daily diet as a great health boost.

Having a daily dose of sardines is good for your heart as it is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have been researched to lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Sardines are also an excellent source of Vitamin B12 which is also great for your overall cardiovascular health. Finally, sardines contains high level of Vitamin D that is optimal in bone building and it's also an affordable way to add protein to your diet.

555 Fried Sardines recently held a cooking competition and here are the creative dishes that had sardines as their core ingredient to promote sardines as a regular part of a healthy diet.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 6: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 6

Photo from MasterChef Asia FB Page
  • In this MasterChef Asia episode, the contestants is faced with another team challenge. They were split into pairs, and each pair had to cook a dish (from one of five selected cuisines) using a Panasonic appliance and limited ingredients inside some Panasonic refrigerators and some basic pantry staples. 
  • I guess we can safely call this the "Panasonic Appliance Pair Cuisine Challenge" then. Shameless plugging at it's finest!
  • The losing team with go head-to-head against each other in an elimination challenge. 
  • The cuisines were Thai, Spanish, Italian, French, and American. The appliances were a mixer-grinder, rice cooker, a stick blender, juicer, and bread maker. The choice of cuisine and appliance was determined by a knife draw. 
  • Blanche had the first pick for both cuisine and appliance. It's her lucky day today because she chose number 1 both times! 
  • Marcus and Lennard picked the number 5 so they had to cook with whatever cuisine and appliance was left - so that led to them trying to cook Thai food using a bread maker. Tough luck for two of the best contestants in the competition but they still have the ability to create something amazing. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Celebrate Oktoberfest With Shakey's Philippines October Feast Treat

Celebrate Oktoberfest With Shakey's Philippines October Feast Treat

You can enjoy a FREE Basket of Mojos for every Large or Party size a la Carte purchase of any Shakey's pizza when you dine in at Shakey's Philippines. The promo runs from October 3 to October 31, 2015 .

Monday, October 5, 2015

You Can #EatLikeaViking and #DrinkLikeaViking With Vikings’ Oktoberfest Celebration!

To celebrate Oktoberfest, eat and drink like a Viking at Viking's Luxury Buffet! Drown yourself in unlimited draft beer and Japanese sake this October at Vikings Luxury Buffet.  This treat is already included in their regular prices of  P688 for the regular weekday lunch buffet and P888 for the regular dinner and weekend & holiday lunch/dinner buffet.

Salt Gastro Lounge: Serving Upscale Modern American Food in Metro-Iloilo

Salt Gastro Lounge is another testament to the evolving Ilonggo palate. The interiors is reminiscent of a New York music pub, and the food matches up pretty well with the feel of the plate. Salt Gastro Lounge always has customers lining up for lunch or dinner, which says a lot about the restaurant's popularity. 

Is it just a hype or are they the real deal? Well, here's what I think of Salt Gastro Lounge. 

Bornga Serves Authentic, Delicious Korean Food in Makati City

Bornga: Original Korean Taste is one of the few restaurants currently housed in the new Alphaland Makati Place. People who know me understand that Korean food is not my favorite cuisine. It's probably because I don't like the taste of the popular Korean Kimchi that people are always raving about. I wouldn't eat it even if I won a lottery that would give me a lifetime supply of this dreadful dish (I'm sorry Kimchi lovers).

Popular Korean restaurants such as Bulgogi Brothers and K-pub, in my opinion, were also very disappointing. In light of this, I do try to steer clear of anything Korean unless I have no choice.

I was dragged into dining at Bornga and, surprisingly, I really loved the food. It's the first Korean restaurant I'd ever want to go back to. Here's why I think Bornga has some pretty noteworthy Korean dishes.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Binondo Lunch at Shi Lin, Lucky China Town Mall

We wanted to try out a new Chinese restaurant during our trip to Binondo, so we had lunch at Shi Lin. I heard that they serve pretty tasty noodles and they also had some great reviews in Zomato. Little did we know that they actually have branches everywhere - a critical mistake since we wanted to eat somewhere special.

We had some noodles and dumpling, so here's what we thought of Shi Lin.

Noodles Everyday: A Chinese Noodleshop for People Who Love Hand-Pulled Noodles

I learned about Noodles Everyday after stumbling upon a feature from entitled "A Noodleshop Called “Noodles Everyday” Brings a Taste of Binondo to Makati". I live in Makati so the article convinced me to give the place a try. It's said that their chef is a hand-pulled noodles specialist from mainland China, so I was quite intrigued. 

Here's what you can find in Noodles Everyday...

Nihonbashi Tei: Enjoy Authentic Japanese Cuisine

Nihonbashi Tei is my go-to restaurant for authentic Japanese Cuisine. I've eaten here a number of times and the food is just spectacular every time I dine here. I particularly love the sushi and sashimi platters along with the generous Donmono sets. If you're looking for great-tasting Japanese cuisine, this should be on top of your list of restaurants to consider. 

Here's why Nihonbashi Tei remains to be one of my favorite Japanese restaurants.

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar: Have a Taste of Elevated Ilonggo Cuisine

Sarsa Kitchen + Bar wanted to introduce elevated Ilonggo cuisine to Manila palate, and it did just that with amazing success. Sarsa, to this day, continues to be one of the most popular restaurants in Metro Manila. It's always packed with people and the waiting line doesn't seem to disappear. It does help when your chef is none other than Junior MasterChef Philippines judge JP Anglo.

Here's what you can expect from dining at the popular Sarsa Kitchen + Bar.

Farmacy Ice Cream and Soda Fountain: A Nice Place For Ice Cream, Coffee, Soda and Beer

Farmacy Ice Cream and Soda Fountain is the ice cream shop brainchild of the popular Wild Flour Cafe + Bakery next door. It's unique because you can enjoy quality coffee paired with ice cream during the day, and a nice cold bottle of beer or some home-made soda at night. It's definitely a great dessert place to chill in after a having a nice, hearty meal elsewhere.

The people who know me personally understand how much of an ice cream junkie I am, so here's what you can expect from Farmacy Ice Cream and Soda Fountain.

Wildflour Cafe + Bakery: Where Brunch Meets Perfect

Wildflour Cafe + Bakery: Where Brunch Meets Perfect

Wildflour Cafe + Bakery is one of the hottest restaurants in Metro Manila. I have eaten here multiple times and they never fail to impress with their delicious, perfectly-cooked food, amazing service, and comfortable interiors.

I can't get enough of their tasty homemade bread, coffee, breakfast plates, and tartes flambe.They also serve some delicious homemade bread as an appetizer while you are still waiting for your food that I love to butter up and add a pinch of salt so that they're just perfect.  

Saturday, October 3, 2015

MasterChef Asia Season 1 Episode 5: Recap and Thoughts on Episode 5

Photo from MasterChef Asia FB Page
  • This episode features an invention test with a twist. The MasterChef Asia contestants had to re-invent the classic Singaporean Chili Crab. It's going to be a very tough challenge because crab is very easy to overcook but I'm excited with some of the creative dishes each contestant will cook. 
  • The judges were nice enough to invite Celebrity Chef Eric Teo - Singapore's most famous chef and Executive Chef of Mandarin Oriental Singapore - to have a cooking demo of the Singaporean Chili Crab for the MasterChef contestants. A lot of the contestants were clueless on how to make this dish so it was a lucky break for them to see one of the best chefs in Singapore, with over 21 years of experience, whip up such a delicious dish.  
  • The Chili Crab that Chef Eric Teo made looked absolutely stunning! He makes it look so easy.

Four Seasons Buffet and Hotpot: A New Top-Notch Buffet From the Creators of Vikings

Four Seasons Buffet and Hotpot is a new all-you-can-eat restaurant buffet that provides a customizable, fresh and healthy dining experience that serves top-notch dishes. It's brought to us by the creators of Vikings Luxury Buffet and Niu by Vikings, so it's sure to be another smashing success!

They will be opening their second branch in Manhattan Parkview, Araneta Center, Cubao on October 3, 2015 after successfully opening their first branch on SM Mall of Asia last . Great news for Quezon City folks!

Here's what you can expect from Four Seasons Buffet and Hotpot.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Frank & Dean Cafe x Kitchen: A Cool Brunch Cafe and Bar in Bonifacio Global City

Frank & Dean Cafe x Kitchen is a new specialty cafe in Bonifacio Global City that serves a tasty cup of coffee during the day and transforms into a cool, vibrant bar at night. They also serve some really good western brunch platters - albeit a bit expensive. I love the vibrant interiors of Frank & Dean. It feels like a great place to have a nice brunch or to unwind after a long day's work.

I've tried some of their food and here's what you can expect from Frank & Dean.