A Very Happy Birthday @ Solstice by Cafe Ilustrado, 8 Rockwell

Last Thursday (April 19) was a time to C.E.L.E.B.R.A.T.E. 

  1. It as the birthday of my blogger friend, Aldous. He is also the founder of #teamaldous, a food blogging team that I am a part of.  Happy birthday!! 🙂
  2. He celebrated his birthday with #teamadlous at Solstice by Cafe’ Ilustrado.

The outside of the restaurant builds excitement and anticipation even before you enter. The all-glass facade creates a chic, NY-type look, which I feel, is very attractive to bystanders in the area.

Go in and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a modern, but classily designed restaurant. It has a very accommodating feel, but at the same time, its design practically tells you that you’re in for a gastronomic treat.

Now for the food…

Did the food live up to the restaurant?

Definitely!!!!

This is one of my favorite food blogging events, simply because the food was amazing, and they served a lot of it [brb, going jogging!].

Hummus
Photo by Janessa Erin

One of the first things I tasted was the Truffled Hummus with Homemade Sourdough Pita and Crudites. Warning: it is highly addicting. I had to stop myself from eating too much before the main courses arrived. The dip goes well with either the pita or the vegetables. It could make a good beer pairing in my opinion.

Aligue
Photo by Janessa Erin

Their Aligue Pasta is to die for, though it’s better if the dish is divided and conquered.  I love how the pasta has both the fresh taste of the sea with aligue and the sweet taste of tomato.

Adobong Bagnet
Photo by Janessa Erin

Bagnet with KBL (Kamatis, Bagoong and Lasuna) Sauce is waaay good. Give it a go if you need comfort food after a long day at the office.  Its salty-sour Filipino taste will get you every time!

Coconut Water With Strawberry
Photo by Janessa Erin

My drink was Coconut Water with Strawberry. When I saw this in the menu I was kind of skeptical if it would taste good, but I’m so glad it’s what I ordered! The milky sensation of the coconut water goes perfectly with the sweet, refreshing taste of the strawberries. It’s perfect for the hot, summer weather that we have here in the Philippines.

Finally, there’s dessert. Go for their Caramel Macchiatto cake, which is basically like the coffee drink morphed into a cake. I love it! ❤

About Solstice: 

Solstice Bistro and Boulangerie is now called Solstice by Ilustrado, a merger of two great culinary brands offering modern continental and heritage Filipino-Spanish cuisine. This is coupled with a well-curated selection of wines and spirits located at the ground floor of 8 Rockwell, one of Makati’s chic urban communities.

A merger of two well-loved culinary brands.

Solstice draws inspiration from the success of One Way Restaurant, once touted as among Makati’s best-kept secrets. Ilustrado, on the other hand, brings with it its rich history and heritage, with its status as one of the well-established household dining destinations in Manila’s famed walled city. The new management has taken this as a challenge as they reinvented the restaurant’s menu just this year adding new recipes and covering multiple cuisines. They also complemented the refreshed menu with a selection of fine wines carefully chosen to complete the gastronomic experience.

For Reservations, please call (+632) 802 1891 or (+63 977 748 8861), from 11AM to 11PM daily. Follow @solsticebyilustrado on Instagram, and like facebook.com/SolsticebyIlustrado/ for updates.

Tim Hortons in Manila! (Yaaaaas!)

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Happily indulging in a Tim Hortons Iced Latte.

Who’s tried it?

Earlier this year, I have had the pleasure of trying the newly opened Tim Hortons at Uptown Mall, Taguig. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that—1.) they served sandwiches! and 2.) their prices were relatively affordable. I also love the cheery ambiance of the store.

It is always exciting to try something new. (It’s kind of my thing, which is why I am a writer and blogger. haha!).

While my personal order was their Iced Latte (which was good by the way), I couldn’t help sipping from my cousins’s Frozen Hot Chocolate. That, you have got to try!

Eating at Tim Horton’s was a yummy and satisfying experience. There will surely be a next time!

View their menu at zomato.

Christmas at Xiao Nam Men, Z Square Mall

I love trying out restaurants, which is why I am lucky to be part of Team Aldous. I have been a part of the group for almost a year now and it’s been great so far! Aside from the fact that I was able try good food from really accommodating owners, I was able to meet new friends from the blogging community.

For our 2016 Christmas party, we celebrated at Xiao Nan Men, a Chinese Restaurant at Z Square Mall, Banawe. The restaurant is a casual dining restaurant that’s built a following despite its somewhat off tangent location. It spacious enough, making it appealing to families and groups of friends.

The food was good, though I wish they had bigger servings. I liked their lapu-lapu, beef w/ bell pepper fried rice, and scrambled egg with special sauce. My highlight of the evening was lapu-lapu though, because I hand’t had it in a while.

The food was freshly cooked—which is always a good thing. I hate it when restaurants microwave their food.

Xiao Nam Men’s food is reasonably priced, averaging from PHP 200-250. Not bad, right?
You can view their menu at the link.

It’s been a great year Team Aaldous! Looking forward to many more moments together.

 

 

Soban K-Town: Happiness at the grill!

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In the heart of Eastwood Mall, Libis Quezon City (2nd Floor) is a gem of a Korean restaurant, Soban K-Town Grill. I’ve actually passed by this restaurant a couple of times, but sadly didn’t get to try it.

From the outside, the restaurant looks super industrial, as if you’re eating in the city streets. Super cool! The fences separating one table from another set the look of the place.

Unlike my sister (Instagram: @lizeatingadventures), I don’t crave for Korean food or smokeless grills that much. After eating in this restaurant (thanks to Aldous  for the invite), however, my affinity to Korean food has dramatically increased. Surely, I will eat here again!

Not only is the food good, but the staff is very efficient and helpful. This one is actually the pioneer branch—-thumbs up for a job well done!

The restaurant is under The Happyfoods Group (the same people—sisters Diana Tan-David, Donna Tan-Ng and Dorothy Tan-Dee —who brought Sariwon Philippines). They developed the concept of Soban K-Town Grill with Sung-Rah, an award-winning restaurateur from Korea. The owners were very kind and accommodating during our time there.

Here are a couple of the things I tried as well as my notes on them:

 

I’m looking forward to visiting this restaurant soon! What an experience.

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On the other hand…

Christmas, a time for giving, is just around the corner. If you want to help our less fortunate, buy yourself and your loved ones Team Aldous Food Blogging Group sweatshirts. All the proceeds will be given to charity. How to order? Simply drop us a message at https://www.facebook.com/teamaldous.

 

Soban K-Town Facebook ; Instagram
+63 9951358453 | 02 4418460

 

 

 

 

 

Tara na sa Bossing’s Grill!

Looking for a casual, affordable place in Quezon City where you can pig out after a long day at work? Well, search no more because Bossing’s Grill at Ali Mall, Cubao has got you covered.
Bossing’s Grill is brought to you by the same people who brought to you the famous Uncle Cheffy.

The UC Group is composed of: UNCLE CHEFFY – The Best Brick-Oven BBQ and Panizza; KUSE – Traditional Filipino Cuisine; Larry & Mau Diner; Bossing’s Grill; Market Basket– Modern Dampa; Chefs’ Barrel– Dining and Pub and the CHEFS QUARTER  CATERING SERVICES.

The restaurant has a rotating menu, but there are the regulars such as their signature Bacon Sinigang (how unique is that?). Here is a sample of what you might see if you decide to pay them a visit.

Bossing Grill, Cubao Menu
image from http://www.zomato.com

 

To go straight to the point, their food taste like your typical comfort food. It’s not award-winning, but it will definitely satisfy your cravings and appetite for the night. If you’re looking for a place to hang that serves super low-priced Filipino food, this place is for you. Super sulit sa 299! 🙂

Gising na gising ang sarap sa Lea and Perrins Manila Championships

I’m a big fan of worcestershire sauce. I love mixing it with grilled steak and sukiyaki, and sometimes with ketchup for friend chicken. We actually have a bottle of it at home, so I am very familiar with worcestershire’s rich sweet, salty, and sour taste. Yum! Yum! Yum! 🙂

Attending the culminating Manila leg of the Lea and Perrins Countrywide Cook-off  (now on its 3rd year and 2nd national leg) was an amazing eye opener for me. Last Saturday (October 29) , 12 talented finalist battled it out at Enderun. The special ingredient to make their dishes, gising na gising sa sarap ? Lea and Perrins Worcesterchire Sauce of course! Now I know that I can creatively use Lea and Perrins Worcesterchire Sauce on much more dishes than I am used to.

The lively event, hosted by Ms. Kristine Dera (90.7 Love Radio), was very engaging even to the other attendees (including relatives and family of the contestants, media, agencies and people from Lea and Perrins, people from Getz Brothers, etc.) because of the live feed of the hot kitchen, and also the different games and video presentations. I am happy to say that I won in one of the games wherin ingredients of various dishes were flashed and the audience were ask to guess the dishes that ingredients created. My dish was Chicken Barbecue! I got to take home a gift pack. Yay!

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With host, Ms. Kristine Dera of 90.7 Love Radio 

Another thing that I liked about the event was that I was allowed to enter and watch the contestants in action. (very iron chef vibes).  Here are some of contestants side by side with their entry.

Here are all of the the dishes that were entered in the competition.

As with all competitions, no matter how good and talented all the contestants are, there has to be named winners. So for the Lea and Perrins Manila Leg, here are the winners.

(Apart from taking home a trophy and a gift bag, the area’s grand champion, first runner-up, and second runner-up each received P25,000 pesos, P15,000 pesos, and P10,000 pesos, respectively. The money prize is exempted from tax.

The 12 finalists were chosen from some 50 aspirants who joined the pre-judging event at Robinson’s Galleria where they presented their signature dishes.

 The culminating activity of the competition is the Metro Manila cook-off. Prior to this, the caravan of Lea & Perrins: Isang Kutsara Nationwide Cooking Challenge Year 2 visited six cities namely, Albay, Cagayan De Oro, Davao, Iloilo, and Cebu,

Each area had its own cooking grand champion and first and second runner-up who won tax-free cash prizes, a trophy, and a special gift bag.

Non-winners were given consolation prize money, a plaque of participation, and exclusive gift packs from Lea & Perrins.)

winners-brand
LEA & PERRINS ISANG KUTSARA NATIONWIDE COOKING CHALLENGE YEAR 2 METRO MANILA LEG WINNERS ( L- R ) MR. JEFFREY ROXAS – Marketing Manager, Getz Bros. Philippines 2ND RUNNER-UP – Leonardo Cruz with Simple Beef Stir Fry with Lea & Perrins MS. KRISTINE DERA – of 90.7 Love Radio ( Event Host ) CHEF MIA YAN – Advisory Chef of Kraft Heinz Philippines AREA GRAND WINNER – Kathleen Lachenal with Lea & Perrins Tangy Barbecue Ribs MR. CHARLES MENDOZA – Country Manager of Kraft Heinz Philippines 1ST RUNNER-UP – Julianne Yuki with Crispy Pata Tim Ala Lea & Perrins MS. MARICEL QUEVEDO – Senior Brand Manager, Getz Bros. Philippines MR. KENNETH OCHIA – Brand Manager, Getz Bros. Philippines
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2ND RUNNER-UP – Leonardo Cruz with Simple Beef Stir Fry with Lea & Perrins AREA GRAND WINNER – Kathleen Lachenal with Lea & Perrins Tangy Barbecue Ribs 1ST RUNNER-UP – Julianne Yuki with Crispy Pata Tim Ala Lea & Perrins

 

group-shot
With there corresponding prizes: 2ND RUNNER-UP – Leonardo Cruz with Simple Beef Stir Fry with Lea & Perrins AREA GRAND WINNER – Kathleen Lachenal with Lea & Perrins Tangy Barbecue Ribs 1ST RUNNER-UP – Julianne Yuki with Crispy Pata Tim Ala Lea & Perrins
judges
BOARD OF JUDGES ( L-R ) MR. JEFFREY ROXAS – Marketing Manager Getz Bros. Philippines, CHEF MIA YAN – Advisory Chef of Kraft Heinz Philippines MR. CHARLES MENDOZA – Country Manager of Kraft Heinz Philippines
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Contestants with their family & friends, the judges, people from Getz Brothers, and Kraft Heinz Philippines

I definitely enjoyed this event and look forward to the next one! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Marciano’s has one of the best Beef Strogranoffs I’ve tasted! Yum!

Maraciano’s (owned by Marvin Augustin and partners—same brains behind Sumo Sam, John and Yoko, Balboa, Akira, etc.) recently relaunched their original Italian-American menu last July. Marciano’s is named after the great Italian-American boxes, Rocky Marciano.

The restaurant’s interior is  sophisticated but welcoming, like something people would probably see in uptown NYC. It has a laid back feel that’s perfect for long conversations with friends and family.

 

This is what I ordered:
Meal:  Joe Dimaggio Beef Stroganoff 
Drink: Lychee, Lime and Honey 

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What I think: (click pictures to read my input)

 

As trivia, the head chef of Marciano’s, Gorgio Bucciarelli,  hails from Italy. The pasta that they serve are made fresh daily, and can be either made out of lemon or spinach. How cool is that? (Note: One of the best-selling pastas is the Legally Blonde, but sadly I couldn’t try it because I’m allergic to shrimp.)

The staff of the restaurant are very friendly, efficient, and accommodating.

All in all, my gastronomic experience was very satisfying and enjoyable. I’ll definitely be back.

Visit them in Greenbelt 3 (Level 2)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcianosph