Sunday, January 31, 2016

Philippine Pastry Forum 2016: Five Masterclasses by World-Class MOF Pastry Chefs

It's not enough that one pastry Master Chef, MOF Chef Jean-Francois Arnaud comes to the Philippines to mentor aspiring Filipino pastry chefs. The Academy of Pastry and Bakery arts plans to bring 4 more, who will each host their own Masterclass on pastry this upcoming April - May 2016!

The Academy has a mission to bring world-class chefs to the Philippines so that Filipinos can learn the art of pastry and bakery from some of the best in the industry, and they're going full-steam ahead despite just opening at the latter half of 2015. The demand has been better than expected, so they're bringing in the big names in international pastry.

All of these chefs have been awarded the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF), which is a unique and prestigious title title bestowed bestowed on only the best craftsmen of France. The distinction is only awarded every four years, and it's so difficult to get the award that none of the 9 finalists in the MOF Chocolatier 2015 got awarded the MOF despite years of preparation.

For a bit of background on the Academy of Pastry and Bakery Arts, check here. Each Masterclass is worth Php 45,000 but that's already quite affordable seeing that you wouldn't need to spend money to fly out of the country to learn from the best. It's all hands-on! 

Here are the programs, dates, and a bit of background on each Master Chef...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Boon Tong Kee's Dimsum All You Can Is Back on Feb 1, 2016!

Boon Tong Kee Philippines Dimsum All You Can 2016

Singaporean restaurant, Boon Tong Kee, has an amazing gift for everyone of their Dimsum loving customers! You can now enjoy unlimited Dimsum at any Boon Tong Kee store starting February 1, 2016. The catch? It's only available on weekdays at 2PM to 6PM.

Restock Curiosities: The Perfect Marriage of Coffee and Art

Restock Curiosities is another Makati hidden gem that's tucked away in Guijjo Street, San Antonio Village. This cozy little cafe (yes, it's a tiny space) is known for quality specialty coffee that's paired with beautiful pieces of art around the cafe's interiors. It's been a haven for Metro Manila's art and coffee enthusiasts, but hasn't been as popular or accessible as Makati darlings Toby's Estate and Yardstick.

As a specialty cafe, Restock only uses the freshest coffee beans roasted by Magnum Opus Fine Coffees. It is, after all, from the same owner and several partners.

Drop by Restock and you will find the perfect marriage between coffee and art. I had a wonderful time while I was here, so here's what you can expect.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cafe Mary Grace: A Cafe That Feels Like Your Second Home

Cafe Mary Grace wants to bring the goodness of home in each of their stores. From their beautifully designed interiors, freshly-baked pastries, tasty beverages, and quality home-style food you'll find many reasons to keep on coming back. Cafe Mary Grace takes good care of their customers, which is why the cafe feels like a second home to many of her loyal patrons.

As part of our SM Southmall food crawl, we visited Cafe Mary Grace at the Food Street. Here's what we had. 

Project Pie: A Pizza That's Truly Yours

Project Pie became popular in the Philippine food scene because of their unique, interactive make-your-own-pizza concept. You have all the control - with the ability to make pizza more than a hundred different ways to suit your taste and making it your own.

We tried to see what the fun is all about at their SM Southmall store so here's what you can expect from the Project Pie experience.

Yabu: House of Katsu Is My Favorite Place for Japanese Katsu

Yabu: House of Katsu became popular in Metro Manila's food scene for being the first restaurant to introduce high-quality Japanese Katsu to the Filipino palate. Yabu's chefs focus making only perfectly cooked katsu and are trained by Chef Kazuya Tekada, a Master of Katsu from Japan, to do just that. In the midst of all the Katsu hype with restaurants opening left and right, Yabu still leads the pack. Just go to any of their stores and you will still be greeted with a line at the door.

Yabu boasts that their katsu dishes are crispy outside but has soft, melt-in-your mouth katsu the moment you breakthrough the crust. 

We had an opportunity to try a number of their dishes at the SM Southmall branch, and here's what the Yabu experience is like.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

For The Love of Food: A Trip Down SM Southmall's Food Street

I don't go south often, but when I do it's almost always because of food. The south offers a number of food hubs that foodies can explore. You have the ever-so-popular BF Homes, Paranaque, some amazing food finds at Westgate Alabang (Ehem, Neil's Kitchen), and the classic Alabang Town Center

What's unknown to most is that SM Southmall, with their renovated Food Street, should definitely be on your list of go-to food destinations in southern Metro Manila.

Here are 5 reasons you'll love dining at SM Southmall's Food Street.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Sweet Ecstasy: Serving One of the Best Burgers in Makati

Sweet Ecstasy is a hole-in-the-wall burger joint along Jupiter street in Makati City. They are extremely popular for their no-frills burger - crafted with just the ecstasy sauce, lettuce, tomato, onions, and 100% pure beef patty. You can also frequently hear Sweet Ecstasy being mentioned in the discussion of the best burgers in Metro Manila. One thing's clear, people agree that they make pretty damn good burgers.

What makes Sweet Ecstasy so special? Well, we had a taste of their burgers to find out.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

8065 Bagnet: Makati's Secret Spot for Perfectly Yummy Bagnet

8065 Bagnet is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant located in San Antonio Village, Makati City that serves affordable, yummy bagnet. It's a bit difficult to find the restaurant because they don't have public transportation going around San Antonio village, but the residents around the area and foodies working in Makati know this secret spot all too well.

If you want quality, affordable bagnet then 8065 Bagnet is the place to be.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

St. Marc Cafe: Home of the Choco Cro

St. Marc Cafe is a Japanese dessert cafe that's known for their chocolate croissant, popularly known as the Choco Cro. They opened their first store in Metro Manila on August 15, 2014. Staying true to its origin, the restaurant excels on delivering fresh pastries and a wide selection of Japanese desserts. They also have pretty decent beverage options available.

The Japanese dessert cafe has a wide following in Japan and after over a year in the Philippines they've created quite a following of their own. I know a number of fried who can't stop raving about the Choco Cro! 

Here's what we think you should order from St. Marc Cafe.

Luna Specialty Coffee: Showcasing Good Coffee and Creative Filipino Favorites

Luna Specialty Coffee is a specialty cafe that showcases Filipino delicacies with their curated coffee and breakfast offerings. They first opened their doors at the NAC tower in Bonifacio Global City in 2013 and were doing quite well that they opened a second branch in the more crowded Bonifacio High Street in just 2 years after. 

I plan on coming back to try their food items, but here's an article by that offers a glimpse of the creative twists they gave Filipino food. If you're a coffee and music lover, be sure to drop by their Luna sessions every Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm. 

In the meantime, let's talk about their coffee. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Terry's Bistro: The Art of Authentic Spanish Cuisine

Terry's Bistro is an unpretentious Spanish restaurant known for their splendid Spanish inspired dishes, great selection of wine, and amazing hams and cheeses. They also have a grocery, Terry's Selection, that offers a wide selection of gourmet ingredients so that you can whip up your favorite European dishes at home. 

Chef and owner, Juan Carlos "JC" de Terry, started Terry's Bistro as a means to share his passion for food he loves - authentic, unpretentious Spanish cuisine, meticulously prepared the traditional way, that he grew up with. He also loves Filipino cuisine, so he does have a number of dishes on the menu that's a delicate fusion of Filipino and Spanish food. 

We had the opportunity to try a number of specials from their menu and here are the dishes that I recommend you try.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Vask Modern Tapas: A Taste of Modern, Innovative Basque Cuisine

Vask Modern Tapas & Gastronomic Cuisine is an innovative Spanish restaurant that serves both traditional and modern tapas inspired by the flavors of Basque Country in Northern Spain. At the restaurant's helm is Chef Jose Luis "Chele" Gonzalez, who has worked in the kitchens of some of the world's best restaurants including El Bulli, a Spanish restaurant that has won the title of the world's best restaurant five times. He also worked for Noma from Denmark, who won the title in 2010. Chef Chele Gonzalez has also worked at Arzak, Mugaritz and El Cellar de Can Roca (won in 2013 and 2015). 

You can choose to order from the restaurant's traditional or modern menu, both prepared using modern culinary techniques and molecular gastronomy - showcasing the innovation and creativity of Chef Chele and his team of brilliant chefs. 

If you're looking for an culinary experience that truly excites the palate, I suggest you head down to Vask Modern Tapas.  We had the pleasure of trying out dishes from their modern menu and here are some of the dishes that I absolutely loved.