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Afternoons with refreshing gin and tonics followed by an evening of soothing Prosecco, that's the way you end the day. And there's no better place than Discovery Primea to celebrate the day's end...


The Gin Library at The Gilarmi Lounge and Prosecco Bar at EDGE are all you need to know when you want to end the day on a high note. And you'll find both at Discovery Primea (for more on Discovery Primea, see my previous post, Rediscovering the Weekend Vibe at Discovery Primea).


Named after the historic and very first serviced apartments in Asia which originally stood where the hotel now rises, The Gilarmi Lounge of Discovery Primea is the perfect spot for an afternoon tipple with its dramatic floor to ceiling glass walls letting in natural light with a view of the busy cityscape. The Gilarmi Lounge is also known for its impressive gin inventory at The Gin Library...


...with its extensive selection of more than 60 gin labels from around the world and at least 40 on the shelves at any given time. It's simply the best and and most extensive curated gin list in the metro for that perfect gin and tonic. From the classic Tanqueray 10 to obscure small batch labels like Lakes Gin, there's so much to discover at The Gilarmi Lounge. Where to start? Just leave it to Albert of The Gilarmi Lounge to personally curate your gin experience.


Throughout The Gilarmi Lounge, you'll find a variety of gin labels from around the world, some familiar and many new ones, tempting choices to kick off your own personal journey of discovery in the world of gin (for more on Discovery Primea's extensive gin collection, see my earlier post, Gin Is In: Discovery Primea Celebrates World Gin Day at Gilarmi Lounge).


Albert of The Gilarmi Lounge starts my curated gin experience with the Whitley Neill Blood Orange Gin, a bespoke handcrafted gin with Sevilla blood oranges mixed with Lamb & Watt Tonic Water garnished with oranges and cinnamon.


Smooth and crisp with refreshing hints of tart, citrusy orange flavors capped by the lingering notes of cinnamon, this G & T is the perfect start to your gin experience at The Gilarmi Lounge.


After a few rounds of refreshing G & T's, why not enjoy some of The Gilarmi Lounge's signature dishes? From soups to salads, pasta and sandwiches, burgers and pica-pica, The Gilarmi Lounge's equally impressive offerings make it the ideal spot to unwind with a few drinks. And some tasty bites, fresh from the brick ovens...


The variety of savory flavors range from the vibrant notes of the Fennel & Sardines (P 420) with Spanish sardines, olives, capers and shaved fennel on a rustic crust with its charred blisters...


...the Gilarmi (P 480) with garlic longganisa, salted egg, red onions and chili flakes, savory notes infused with comfortingly familiar local flavors...


...the Quattro Formaggi (P 580) topped with crema, blue cheese, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Davao Ricotta...


...and the Salumi (P 590) with Guanciale, Fennel Sausage, bacon, Salsiccia Piccante, tomatoes and mozzarella, each one a tasty option paired with your customized G & T.


The fresh and clean notes of gin makes it the perfect palate cleanser for The Gilarmi Lounge's savory offerings. Meanwhile, Albert is behind the bar preparing my next G & T... 


This time, Albert brings in a familiar label with the Edinburgh Seaside Gin mixed with Lamb & Watt Basil Tonic Water garnished with rosemary and lime. Distilled by the sea, the subtle saline and briny notes come through with every sip, punctuated by various marine botanicals. The sharp notes opens up the palate, intensifying even more with the next sip.


A few rounds gets you in a chill vibe, and you don't notice the usual traffic along Ayala Avenue even as the reigning Miss Universe makes her way through the massive crowds. At The Gilarmi Lounge, you raise a glass high up in a celebratory toast. It's all good vibes here at The Gilarmi Lounge.


My curated experience continues with the distinct red hues of the Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin garnished with Granny Smith apples offering deep, sweet and refreshingly tart notes... 


...while the Koval Barrel-Aged Gin with orange and cinnamon capped my gin experience at The Gilarmi Lounge with its bold yet rounded finish. Now it's your turn. You too can enjoy a curated gin experience at The Gilarmi Lounge with free-flowing G & T's from The Gin Library from Mondays to Fridays, 5 to 9pm, starting at P 800 for premium labels and P 1,300 for deluxe labels. Free-flowing G & T's with a wide range of tonics, garnishes and bitters, have your customized G & T with your favorite labels or why not be adventurous and discover new ones? Guests availing of The Gin Library are also entitled to a 30% discount on select pizzas, limited to a maximum of 2 per person.


After 9pm, head on up to EDGE at the 16th Floor and create your own Prosseco cocktail with Bottega Prosecco as your sparkling base wine with your choice of fruit puree for only P 1,500++. From Soursop, Dalandan, Calamansi and Strawberry to Peach, Mango and Passion Fruit Puree, the Prosecco Bar at EDGE offers both variety and a unique customizable bespoke experience. You can also try the signature Prosecco cocktails by EDGE like the Prosecco Joy & Luck with Absolut Citron, Bottega Prosecco, orange marmalade, lemon juice and thyme or the EDGE's Mimosa with Bottega Prosecco, Absolut Kurant, watermelon juice and mint leaves for only P 450++ each. It's a sweet night cap to end the day right at Discovery Primea.


But master mixologist Martin Protacio had another treat for us that evening at EDGE, serving his official entry to the 2019 Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition...


Inspired by the love and admiration for his grandfather, Martin Protacio's La Generacion is a soothing homage to the patriarch. Blended with Bacardi Gold, Rinomato Apperativo, fresh lemon juice, orgeat syrup and foamy egg white, the La Generacion is both sweet and tart recreating the legacy of Martin Protacio's grandfather.


And Martin is all worked up with his cocktail creation, and why not? One more round? Absolutely.


A toast set against the dramatic views of the city's nightscape, it just doesn't get better than that. Pair your cocktails with even more tasty bites...


...from light yet flavorful seafood dishes...


...to one of my all-time favorites at Discovery Primea. The Wagyu Cubes, with fork-tender beef served in a glass bowl, always completes any evening at Discovery Primea.


Presentation and flavor come together perfectly with this dish, and it's been on my list ever since I first tried it years ago.


But there's more. From Salmon Nigiri offering both contrasting textures and subtle flavors...


...to comfort food on a stick with the Chicken and Pancake, Edge has the perfect bar chow to pair with your cocktail. 


The day may have been long, but the calming night more than makes up for it. One for the road to celebrate the brilliant end of another day, always at Discovery Primea.

The Gilarmi Lounge and EDGE are located at the lobby level and 16th Floor respectively of Discovery Primea, 6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City or call +632 955-8888 for inquiries and reservations.

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When brunch transports you to a far away place, you know it's special. And it happens every Sunday at Mireio...


Raffles Makati's signature Provencal inspired restaurant, Mireio, takes you to the sun-kissed south of France with its famed culinary heritage and vibrant flavors in a lavish brunch like no other. It's Sunday brunch transformed and redefined with a sumptuous and elegant well-curated feast, from garden-fresh salads to fine European cheeses and charcuterie all the way to the day's freshest ocean harvest and savory selections from the carving station, each masterfully executed with a refined continental flair. And now, you can have the option of supplementing your dining experience with an endless pouring of Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne, fine wine and handcrafted signature cocktails. It's an experience that's both grand and luxurious. It's the Luxe Sunday Brunch at Mireio...



The sun truly never sets at Mireio. With its panoramic floor to ceiling glass walls, the elegant interiors are draped in natural light bouncing off the pristine white table linens and graceful white marble recreating the eternal summers of Provence. That distinctive blue tint, which I call the Mireio Light, gives the rustic space an ethereal glow warmed by the personal and attentive service of the staff. And the man at the helm of Mireio makes sure it stays that way.

A native of Provence, Chef de Cuisine Herve Clair brings not only the flavors he grew up with, the famed culinary heritage of southern France, but a wealth of experience gained from stints with world-acclaimed Chef Alain Ducasse in various Michelin-starred institutions (for more on Chef de Cuisine Herve Clair, see my earlier post, A Provencal Lunch with Chef de Cuisine Herve Clair at Mireio). Mireio is now his stage for classic Provencal and continental cuisine, and it shines bright every Sunday just in time for brunch with the Luxe Sunday Brunch at Mireio.

You can tell, Chef Herve Clair fits right in with Mireio's Provencal-themed culinary style (for more on Mireio's Provencal inspired cuisine, see my previous posts, Old World Colonial Elegance and Provencal Flavors: A Weekend at Raffles Makati and A Taste of Provence at Mireio from three years ago). For only P 2,750 per person, you can embark on a culinary journey to Provence and indulge in rustic Provencal and European style continental cuisine and even come back for seconds. And thirds. 

I remember my first Luxe Sunday Brunch at Mireio, a memorable one, and I'm pretty sure this second round would be equally special (for more on my very first Luxe Sunday Brunch experience at Mireio, see my previous post from last year here at Elevating The Brunch Experience at Mireio's Luxe Sunday Brunch Buffet).


It's a Sunday. Why not have a refreshing tipple with the Luxe Sunday Brunch Beverage Package for the upgraded rate of P 4,200 per person and enjoy a selection of fine wines including crisp whites, bold reds and a delicate rose. Or why not have some champagne for that luxe touch? Better yet, leave it to master mixologist Paul Perez to prepare some refreshing handcrafted cocktails to end the week right (find out more on Raffles Makati's cool cocktails at Long Bar on my earlier posts, Old School Still Rules: Inspired by Classics at Long Bar and Create It. Name It. The Cocktail Collab at Long Bar).

The talented mixologists at Raffles Makati's Long Bar created five signature cocktails for the Luxe Sunday Brunch, including the tart Froze (L) with rose wine, vodka, lemon juice and berries puree and the classic Bloody Mary (R). Other cocktails include the Agrum'tonic infused with spices, the Campari Spritz and Mireio's Punch.

The signature cocktails add that celebratory vibe to your Luxe Sunday Brunch at Mireio. A sommelier provides the perfect pairing with an impressive array of fine French wines as well as Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne. Nothing like some bubbly for brunch. Another round? Absolutely.

Chef Herve Clair adds his own personal touches to the Luxe Sunday Brunch at Mireio with his favorite aperitif, Ricard, a bold and flavorful yet potent anise and licorice-flavored pastis to open up your palate. It's the little touches that add authenticity to make your dining experience at Mireio's Luxe Sunday Brunch special.  


After a few pre-brunch drinks, it's time to navigate the impressive spread at Mireio's Luxe Sunday Brunch starting at the Salad Station. You won't find the usual offerings of mixed greens, Mireio goes beyond that drawing inspiration from classic European flavors with its sweet and nutty Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Gorgonzola and Roasted Walnut...


...and the perfect summer salad from Nice, the iconic Nicoise Salad with delicately seared cubes of fresh tuna, French beans, Nicoise olives, shallots and potatoes mixed with garden greens draped in a rich olive oil based dressing. Like many dishes from Provence, the classic salad follows strict rules maintaining tradition. And you'll find that here at Mireio for a taste of Provence. But if you want a Caesar Salad, they have that too.

That day, the Salad Station also featured other unique salad variations including the rich and creamy Mozzarella Salad, Tomato Confit, Lemon Confit with Arugula (L) and flavorful Vegetable Sticks (R) with tasty vegetables and cheese on a skewer.


Over at the Salad Bar, I spot an old favorite...

...the Lobster Custard, intricately served in an egg shell. It's been one of my personal favorites at the Luxe Sunday Brunch, and an absolute must-try for those trying Mireio for the first time. Velvety smooth and creamy with the briny notes of succulent lobster, it's the perfect introduction to Mireio's culinary style.

But there's more. We were served tasty little bites of Foie Gras and Truffles on Toast (L) with its deep and earthy notes that just paired well with a glass of champagne, even a Bloody Mary. And if you want even more tasty nibbles, head on over to the Cheese and Charcuterie Station where you'll find savory starters like Pork Terrine and Liver Pate (R).


The Luxe Sunday Brunch at Mireio showcases an impressive array of gourmet European cheeses and charcuterie, from the traditional hard cheeses like Gruyere and Tomme de Savoie...


...the the Comte Cheese made from unpasteurized cow's milk from eastern France...

...to the sharp Spanish Manchego for your own personalized cheese plate (L). A tasty trio of Goat Cheeses (R), from the traditional to the flavored variants coated in rich spices and nuts, were also laid out on the impressive spread. It's this wide variety of cheeses that make the Luxe Sunday Brunch at Mireio special. 


Pick up some fresh-baked artisan bread and a few wedges of soft cheeses like the Pont-L Eveque and milky Camembert...


...along with some premium charcuterie and your Luxe Sunday Brunch is off to a great start. 


And just like the cheeses, the charcuterie selection is equally impressive featuring French Bayonne Ham sliced paper-thin...

...Salami (R) and Smoked Salmon from the Salad Station. It's tempting to load up, but then again, just go with the flow. It's Sunday, and a feast like this is the perfect way to cap the week. And no, you don't need to rush. At Mireio, you can take your time and go at your own pace. 


So take it slow and enjoy as there are more choices to try and savor like the Chorizo and Landjaeger, a semi-dried sausage from the Alsace region with German origins. 


Mireio then goes back to its roots with the savory French Saucisson with its bold, salty notes that's perfect with another glass of wine... 


...along with deep and dark red, almost purple, Bresaola Air-Dried Beef with its distinct musty notes. The cheese and charcuterie selection alone takes you to all corners of the European continent. And that's just for starters.

On one side of Mireio, diners will find the Risotto Station (L) where you can have a bowl prepared a la minute with Porcini Mushroom, Truffle Paste or Oil-Aged Parmesan with Chives. Not far away is the Tartare a la Minute Station (R) offering fresh salmon, tuna, tanigue and beetroot and other vegetables...


...for that perfect bowl. The salmon with dill and parsley tossed in a citrus dressing was both refreshing and flavorful, you'll want another.


But it's the Bouillabaisse Station with its fresh seafood that caught my eye. One of the most iconic of Provencal dishes, this hearty fish stew is said to represent the very essence and soul of Provence with its rich flavors. The briny sweetness of plump prawns, fish and mussels form the base of the traditional stew at Mireio with the addition of potatoes, herbs and spices adding even more layers of flavors. 


Your bowl is prepared a la minute, so you get it fresh and hot with all the delicate flavors at its peak. The mildly tart broth complements the sweet and briny notes of the seafood. Just perfect. Lore, legend and tradition surrounds this fabled stew, and one sip of the richly flavored broth sends you away to the port of Marseille in the south of France.

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A homegrown concept known for its unique Sizzling Ramen, Kureji ups the ante with new menu offerings...


It's different. Fun. And even crazy. It's the ramen experience, re-imagined. And it works. Now with three locations, Kureji is all set to spread its signature Crazy Ramen experience throughout the metro (for more on Kureji's signature sizzling ramen, see my earlier post from last year here at Crazy Sizzling Ramen at Kureji). Plus, an expanded menu due to popular demand to complement Kureji's ramen specials add even more reasons to visit. Think of it as Kureji's way of completing your dining experience. Things are looking crazy good at Kureji...

Located along Malakas Street in Diliman, Quezon City, Kureji's third branch isn't what you'd expect. With its other two branches located in malls, a beautifully restored former ancestral home becomes the stage for Kureji's signature dishes. Structural elements from the past blend seamlessly with the elegant, modern and clean design...


...making you feel right at home the moment you enter. The split-level sixties-era residence was opened up allowing more natural light in to complete the rustic and homey vibe. It's quite refreshing to dine in a home instead of the usual mall setting. Start your meal with Kureji's sweet and refreshing Honey Citrus Soda (P 130), a soothing honey citron blend with soda water for that extra fizz. And when you drink it all the way, ask for a spoon to get all that sweet citrus rinds at the bottom.


A few more sips and you're just about ready for some tasty appetizers before Kureji's specialty ramen. Ramen, and the signature ramen, are undoubtedly the stars headlining Kureji's menu. But the supporting cast deserve some special mention too...


...like Kureji's crisp and juicy wings in Soy and Garlic (P 250), spicy Sriracha (P 250) and Salt and Vinegar (P 250) variants. Each variant has its own distinctive profile, and it's hard to pick just one for your own list of favorites at Kureji.


For me, it's a contextual thing. Any of these variants would work on a given day, depending on how you woke up, your current mood and craving or how the day went.  It's really one of those safe bets. Deep-fried for that crisp and juicy texture, the delicate richness of the chicken is enhanced by the different flavors of the glazes, from the fiery Sriracha...


...the clean yet bold notes of the Salt and Vinegar...


...to the sharp and nutty hints of the Soy and Garlic, whatever you choose, any of these would be the perfect starter before your ramen dish. Kureji also offers the equally flavorful Miso Chicken Wings as another tasty option. Four tasty variants, and that's just for starters. 


But Kureji offers even more innovative sides, like the Chicken Manila Gyoza (P 200), a Japanese classic with a cool local spin. Tossed in a flavorful annatto sauce, the initial notes remind you of the local chicken inasal.


The soft dumplings drizzled with annatto is a savory side dish that pairs well with any of the specialty ramen of Kureji. Light yet full of flavor, each tasty bite will have you going for another...


...and these dumplings are gone in no time at all. Kureji always surprises with its inventive culinary style, but there's more...


The Tuna Tataki Taco (P 320) includes crisp nori tempura served with fresh tuna and avocado with a side of tart salsa delivering both vibrant notes and contrasting textures with each bite. Just grab a piece of nori and top it with fresh tuna and salsa, and repeat. The fresh and clean notes of tuna play well with the salsa and crisp nori for another tasty play on both flavor and texture. It's this innovative approach to flavors that make Kureji different and special. 


The Mixed Tempura (P 490) with delicately battered and crisp deep-fried prawn, kisu, soft-shell crab and vegetables offers familiar flavors that also pair well with your ramen at Kureji. Light and delicately crisp on the outside, each piece offers distinct flavors from the briny notes of the prawns and soft shell crab to the subtle sweetness of the kisu or Japanese whiting and vegetables.  


Elegantly plated in an ornate bowl, it's another tasty centerpiece to your feast at Kureji. It's also one of the newest menu additions at Kureji, showcasing traditional offerings alongside its innovative ramen dishes.


And now, you can also enjoy the classic kamameshi at Kureji. The traditional Japanese kettle rice makes its debut at Kureji with the Mushroom and Pumpkin Kamameshi (P 350) made with Japanese rice, mushrooms, and pumpkin simmered in Kureji's very own kamameshi stock. Loaded with fresh vegetables, the nutty and earthy notes of mushrooms and natural sweetness of the pumpkin come together seamlessly with the new kamameshi dish. It's a full meal in itself. The variety of mains make Kureji your first and last stop for inventive Japanese cuisine.You can also opt for Kureji's Chicken Teriyaki Kamameshi and Coconut Prawn Kamameshi for even more choices.


But it's the sizzle that truly sets Kureji apart. The Sizzling Carbonara Udon (P 420) served in a fiery hot stone bowl takes your comforting carbonara to a whole different level. The sizzling udon draped in creamy carbonara sauce topped with fresh egg, enoki mushrooms, shimenji mushrooms and crisp bacon bits treats the senses to a visual feast, first feeding the eyes followed by a fragrant aroma. Just gently tap the egg yolk and let it ooze down the udon noodles where it sizzles even more to complete the dish. Rich, creamy and full of flavor, the richness of the dish is tempered by the nutty mushrooms and smoky bacon. Carbonara with a sizzle, and it works.


When cheese meets ramen, you just know it's going to be different. Cheese becomes an unexpected main component in Kureji's Cheese Ramen (390), one of Kureji's signature ramen made with menma and fork-tender pork chashu in a thick and creamy cheddar broth topped with parmesan cheese. The creamy notes of the cheese coats your palate with its familiar and comforting richness, perfectly finished by the soft yet firm noodles and savory pork chashu. When you just can't say cheese enough, there's always the Cheese Ramen at Kureji.   


But the signature sizzle of Kureji has one more tasty surprise. The Sizzling Tomato Seafood Ramen (P 420) announces its arrival with a bubbly entrance, made with Kureji's signature spicy tomato tori paitan broth topped with succulent kani, salmon, squid, kimuchi and noodles served in a sizzling stone bowl. Kureji combines the traditional ramen with a sizzling hot stone bowl bringing out the aroma of the slow-cooked broth to add another dimension of texture and flavor to the noodles, broth and other ingredients. It is a different ramen experience that can only be found at Kureji.


Sure, it may go against tradition but Kureji maintains all the mandatory elements in preparing their signature ramen with absolutely no shortcuts from the premium wheat noodles, the slow-cooked tori paitan chicken broth simmered for hours to the freshest toppings. Let it sizzle for a few more minutes (a cool mini hourglass is placed beside it for your easy reference) before pouring additional broth to seal in the flavors. The bestselling Sizzling Tomato Seafood Ramen is the first of its kind in the country, and the difference is not only with the sizzle but the whole package of fresh and premium ingredients and the delicate manner of preparation. The result is a vibrantly flavored broth with bold and tart notes complemented by a medley of fresh seafood, perfectly finished by the searing hot and bubbly presentation. 


Sizzling Rice Bowls, four varieties of Asian-flavored chicken wings, kamameshi kettle rice and tempura, diners can now expect so much more at Kureji aside from their signature ramen. There's more to Kureji than the sizzle, but then again, it's the sizzle that sets them apart.

Kureji is located at 78 Malakas Street, Diliman, Quezon City or call 729-4909 for inquiries and more information.

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Farm fresh goodness comes to Poblacion at Backwell by BBZ. And it's only here at Backwell by BBZ where you can enjoy Hineleban Adlai and Hinelaban Coffee...


Backwell by BBZ, well known for their Beer Below Zero, cocktails, and many signature dishes in Poblacion, expands its menu offerings to include the much sought-after products from Hineleban Farms specifically Hineleban Adlai and Hineleban Coffee. Backwell by BBZ is all set to transform and lead the charge for a healthier dining lifestyle in Poblacion's culinary scene (for more on Backwell by BBZ, see my previous post, Speak Softly and Carry a Big Tomahawk: Pork, Beef and Beer Below Zero at Backwell by BBZ).


It's also a timely move. The modern lifestyle and diet propelled Diabetes high up the charts ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the country. According to data compiled by the Philippine Daily Inquirer from the Department of Health, there were at least 3.51 million Filipinos between the age of 20 to 79 diagnosed with diabetes based on reported cases in 2015. But the number may be significantly higher since most are not even aware of the early symptoms of diabetes. It's an alarming trend that deserves attention.

And for three women, it all begins with supplementing your diet with the right kind of food. Jek Nunez of Backwell by BBZ, Justine Claudia Perrine of Hineleban Farms and culinary consultant Sabrina Artadi come together in a unique collaboration to offer alternative options to the bar and restaurant's extensive menu. For Sabrina Artadi, a long-time health advocate, food is medicine and you'll go far when you eat right (for more on Sabrina Artadi, see my earlier posts, Celebrating The Art of Happy with Sabrina's Kitchen from last year and my first encounter with Hineleban Farms and Just Another Day in Sabrina's Kitchen from six years ago).


Personally, I'd like to enjoy and feast on whatever I want. And having a frosty ice-cold brew, never frozen with Beer Below Zero's unique and proprietary technology, is always the perfect start at Backwell by BBZ. From local, imported and craft brews like Monkey Eagle, you can enjoy the full and rich flavors of your favorite beer at the right and ideal temperature undiluted by the addition of rice. And adding ice to a glass of beer just isn't right. A few more refreshing sips, and you're suddenly more open to try something new, something that's even good for you. Like they say, don't knock it until you try it, right?


Sabrina Artadi's refreshing Pechay Taboulleh with Adlai drizzled with olive oil, calamansi and cumin is a unique salad dish combining fresh greens and Adlai grains. I've never had pechay, or Chinese cabbage, in a salad before but leave it to Sabrina to always surprise you with something new. I've enjoyed pechay in soups, or served blanched or steamed as a side to savory mains and having it in a salad was definitely new to me. Mildly sweet with just a whisper of bitter spicy hints, the fresh greens added unique flavors complemented by the tart dressing.


And I did enjoy it. The soft Adlai grains add flavor with its subtle sweetness and texture to complete the salad. It's a dish that reflects the versatility of Adlai, pairing well with the other ingredients of the salad. Known to have the highest nutrients per calorie second to kale, the common pechay can be your first step to better health. Add some Adlai, and your path is set. After all, it's all about enjoying and experiencing new flavors.


The salad dish was my introduction to this wonder grain from Bukidnon. And I was looking forward to the next dishes where the grain was the main ingredient. Adlai is an heirloom grain cultivated in Bukidnon by the indigenous people of the highlands. The mountain crop offers numerous health benefits to supplement your diet. Adlai is gluten-free, low in glycemic index making it ideal for diabetics, a high source of calcium, iron, dietary fiber, potassium and magnesium; sodium-free and contains only 1% fat.  It's also a versatile grain and can be used for paella, risotto, arroz caldo, fried rice and even salads and pasta dishes. Cooking Adlai is as easy as cooking rice, with the same 1 cup of Adlai to two cups water ratio in a rice cooker or saucepan. One cup of Adlai is equivalent to two servings. Soft with a subtle sweetness, the flavor and texture is similar to rice but a whole lot healthier.

The soft and fluffy texture of Adlai really shines in Backwell by BBZ's Adlai Caldo with Turmeric, a flavorful dish with the larger and rounder grains absorbing the various notes of the different ingredients. Each spoonful delivers a burst of bold flavors, kicked up the turmeric. Loaded with tender chunks of chicken, salted egg, and spring onions, it's a tastier alternative to the usual arroz caldo...


...and I can have this any time of day at Backwell by BBZ. Backwell by BBZ offers a full range of savory Adlai dishes, including Adlai Longanisa Bolognese, Adlai Sundried Tomato and Mushrooms, Adlai Sardine Capers and Olive, Adlai Chicken Shrimp and Fish Curry, Adlai Pot Roast, Adlai Sweet and Spicy Chicken and Adlai Champorado for even more healthier options. No longer just a spot for a few drinks, Backwell by BBZ offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with a repertoire of savory dishes for the whole day. That means you can enjoy your ice-cold and never frozen brew any time of day too at Backwell by BBZ.


And that was it. I was sold on Adlai. But another tasty dish with Adlai was served, and that really sealed the deal for me. Sabrina Artadi's Dirty Cajun with Chicken Liver Adlai offered rich and bold notes that will have you going for seconds.


The deep and distinct flavors of the rum-marinated chicken liver are absorbed by the Adlai delivering a burst of richness with every bite. Richly seasoned with a blend of spices, this Dirty Cajun really rocks.


Topped with fresh tomatoes and herbs, the Dirty Cajun with Chicken Liver is yet another dish showcasing the versatile Adlai grain. And it's good for you too. Healthy food doesn't have to be bland, you just have to be creative.

Soft and fluffy, cooked Adlai (L) is noticeably larger and rounder than the usual elongated rice grains and is the perfect substitute to rice, pasta, quinoa, arborio, millet and other grains. After a satisfying meal with Hineleban Adlai, Claudia Perrine capped our feast with another signature product from Hineleban Farms...

...with a freshly brewed cup of Hineleban Coffee, a 100% Highland Specialty Arabica Coffee. Grown high above in the cool mist-covered ranges of Bukidnon's Mount Kitanglad, Hineleban Coffee is an experience in itself. The wide selection of coffee-based beverages at Backwell by BBZ are made from these prized coffee beans.

Delicately hand-picked, the bright red coffee cherries are nurtured by the cool mountain climes and roasted to perfection for its distinctive fruity and nutty hints, chocolate and caramel finish. From the Americano, Latte, Cappuccino and Flat White to the Mocha and Macchiato, Backwell by BBZ is your perfect spot for that caffeine fix. 

But to fully appreciate the distinct notes of Hineleban Coffee, the Pour Over (P 160) is the way to go at Backwell by BBZ. The elaborate process in preparing your cup builds your anticipation. The delicate pouring, done in a slow circular fashion, releases a fruity and nutty aroma... 


...and after a few minutes, your cup is served. It's not often I take my coffee black, only on those rare instances when you need a serious pick me up. But the Pour Over, with no sugar or cream, had all the flavors you're looking for in a robust cup of freshly brewed coffee. Bold nutty and fruity notes with a delicate sweetness almost like caramel drapes your palate, intensifying even more with another sip. None of the usual bitterness from over roasted beans ruin the flavors, it's a perfect cup. And you'll find it right here at Backwell by BBZ. Including healthier choices too as Hineleban Farms comes to Backwell by BBZ.

Backwell by BBZ is located at 8471 Rockwell Drive corner Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati or call 0920-972-2904 for inquiries. You can also check out their FB Page at https://www.facebook.com/BackwellByBBZ/ for more information and updates.

For more on Hineleban Farms, visit their FB Page at https://www.facebook.com/hinelebanfarms/.

Dude for Food is now on Facebook and Instagram, check out the FB Page and IG Feed for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar.
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Back then, it was a pragmatic approach to foreign diplomacy and when you think about it, it still is. Teddy Roosevelt flexed his "big stick" in an era that defined his administration at the global stage. At Backwell by BBZ, a massive Tomahawk exudes that same bravado for a sumptuous feast like no other. A big stick? Make mine a Tomahawk...


Backwell by BBZ in Makati's exciting Poblacion neighborhood flexes its own muscles with some serious beef and pork for a lavish repertoire of dishes best paired with their signature Beer Below Zero. A casual vibe, real good eats and your favorite beer chilled at the right temperature, you'll find all that and more right here at Backwell by BBZ.   

Aptly named, Backwell by BBZ is located at, well, the back of Rockwell along Kalayaan Avenue. It's an establishment built around a unique and innovative process that lets you enjoy your beer ice-cold but never frozen, hence the name Beer Below Zero or simply BBZ. But it's not only the perfectly frosty beer that shines at Backwell by BBZ.


An extensive menu awaits diners at Backwell by BBZ. And it's pretty impressive. From tasty starters and entrees, pizza and pasta, to steaks and grilled specialties, Backwell by BBZ has it covered. But the best way to get acquainted with Backwell by BBZ is with an ice-cold bottle of beer. And BBZ serves beer at the right temperature all the time perfected by its proprietary frosting process for that crispness in flavor with each and every sip. With no need for ice that only dilutes the flavor (which, by the way, is just not the way to enjoy a beer), Beer Below Zero allows you to experience the true flavors of your favorite brew. Take your pick from Backwell by BBZ's offerings of local, imported and craft beers and enjoy it the right way.


At Backwell by BBZ, you'll also find the signature brews of Monkey Eagle, a local craft beer from Tagaytay. Established in 2014, the micro brewery offers a full line of craft beer including their Saison Farmhouse Ale, Blue Wheat American Pale Wheat Ale, Potion 28 India Pale Ale, Psychedelic Blonde Ale and Barley Sunset Pale Ale. The founders of Monkey Eagle aim to bring the best of the world to the country with its distinctive brews while serving its community. Given the BBZ touch, experience one of the country's emerging local brews right here at Backwell by BBZ.      


Backwell by BBZ also offers cocktails, fine wines and spirits...


...or why not concoct your own customized and refreshing G & T from a wide selection of premium gin paired with your choice of accoutrements like fruits, herbs and spices? Backwell by BBZ stocks over 24 labels on their menu representing the finest gin from England, Scotland, Australia, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, the US, Canada and even Colombia. You'll find your favorite gin at the bar. Maybe even discover a new gin you can't find anywhere else.   


A bowl of crisp chips is served, and you're good for another round of ice-cold beer by BBZ.


Then, Backwell by BBZ's kitchen fires up their signature appetizers, starting with the Wagyu Tapa (P 358) using tender Australian Wagyu Beef topped with garlic chips...  


...followed by Calamari (P 348), crisp and deep-fried squid served with homemade pomodoro or tartar sauce. The fork-tender Wagyu Tapa delivers bold beefy notes draping your palate with a savory richness tempered by the nutty hints of crisp garlic that's perfectly washed down by your favorite ice-cold brew. The crisp calamari offers both flavor and texture capped by the tart pomodoro or creamy tartar sauce, and yes, best enjoyed with your frosty beer.


Another round of ice-cold beer by Beer Below Zero and your ready for some serious platters...


...like the wittingly-named Putok Batok (P 578) with its tempting assortment of Crispy Chicken Skin, Chicharon Bulaklak and seasoned Crispy Chicharon served with Sinamak Vinegar. And once you start, you just can't stop. The rich flavors are tempered by the sharp notes of the local vinegar for balanced flavors. Everything you love, neatly laid out on a wooden platter. And no, anything this good just can't be bad. All you need is another bite and one more beer to feel right.

Other sumptuous platters include the Sausage Platter (P 928) with five kinds of sausages served with curry ketchup and Dijon mustard, the Man vs Pork (P 1,898) which really says it all with Crispy Pata, Lechon Kawali, Crispy Pork Rind and Sisig, the Confit of Pork Belly (P 898), a hefty 1kg serving of crispy lechon kawali with soy sauce and Sinamak Vinegar...


...and the classic Crispy Pata (P 898), deep-fried pork knuckles also served with Sinamak Vinegar. Pork, after all, is best paired with an ice-cold beer. Without the ice.


Juicy pork capped by a crisp layer of crackling, it just can't get any better than that. Paired with beer, just perfect. This one's just pure pork love with real and honest flavors.


But Backwell by BBZ had one more surprise...


The house specialty, the Tomahawk (P 3,998-45oz/P 4,998-55oz) served with au jus, horseradish cream and vegetables is an impressive dish. Nothing quite like a massive slab of premium beef on a wooden board.


Masterfully carved, each fork-tender slice just melts in your mouth, almost like butter. Perfectly grilled to medium rare with a juicy pink center, each bite delivers a bold burst of beefy notes. Add some au jus, the flavors become even more intense with a beefy richness that coats your palate. The horseradish cream delicately tempers the richness, and you're ready for another slice. And another. It's an impressive Tomahawk, and knowing you can find a good one in Poblacion is always reassuring just in case you're hit with a sudden craving for serious beef. Impressed from the very first bite, this calls for another ice-cold beer.

Other grilled specialties include the Grilled Ribeye (P 1,898-14oz), Grilled Pork Chop (P 678-18oz) and Grilled Lamb Chop (P 858-17.63oz). But there's more. Backwell by BBZ offers an extensive menu guaranteed to satisfy any craving, from appetizers to soups and salads, pasta and risotto dishes, pizza and sandwiches to entrees like Callos, Grilled Salmon Fillet and Peri-Peri Chicken.

Speak softly and carry a big Tomahawk. And some Crispy Pata for good measure. At Backwell by BBZ.


And if you still have room, you can cap your feast with some of Backwell by BBZ's indulgent dessert offerings like this rustic Apple Pie. And with Valentine's just around the corner, couples can enjoy 10% off your bill starting February 11 to 17. And if you're dining solo or third-wheeling, you get a special 14%  discount. Being unattached sometimes has its perks.


But Jek Nunez of Backwell by BBZ, culinary consultant Sabrina Artadi, and Justine Claudia Perrine of Hineleban Farms have so much more in store for guests and diners at Backwell by BBZ. The farm comes to Poblacion at Backwell by BBZ, serving Hineleban Coffee and Hineleban Adlai in a unique collaboration of pure, real and honest flavors. Find out more on my next post soon...

Backwell by BBZ is located at 8471 Rockwell Drive corner Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati or call 0920-972-2904 for inquiries. You can also check out their FB Page at https://www.facebook.com/BackwellByBBZ/ for more information and updates.

Dude for Food is now on Facebook and Instagram, check out the FB Page and IG Feed for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar.
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For over eight years, Mango Tree offered an authentic Thai dining experience to locals with its wide array of traditional dishes. Now, diners can explore the diversity and richness of Thailand's culinary heritage with a modern look and new menu...


Global Thai restaurant brand, Mango Tree, starts the year with refreshed and redesigned interiors as well as an innovative new menu for both purists and adventurous palates drawing inspiration from all four culinary regions of Thailand. With locations in Thailand, Japan, England, Hong Kong, China, Nepal, India and the Philippines, Mango Tree is well on its way of reaching 100 restaurants worldwide by 2020. Curious? Read on for a peek at the new Mango Tree...

Inside the redesigned space, diners enter through the impressive Solarium fronting the elegant bar surrounded by lush greens exuding a serene and tranquil vibe. The dramatic high-ceiling and show kitchen add the finishing touches to Mango Tree's vibrant new look. 

The newly renovated and designed restaurant features a reconfigured and brighter space for 200 seats including a 20-seat Solarium and 40-seat Loft for private functions. On one side, the impressive floor to ceiling glass windows bring in natural light showcasing the elegant space.

Mango Tree Restaurants Philippines President and CEO Eric Teng (L) welcomed guests at the media relaunch (for more on Mango Tree, see my earlier posts, An Explosion of Flavors: The Thai Street Food Festival at Mango Tree from three years ago and Thai Cuisine At Its Best: A Tasty Preview of Mango Tree's New Dishes).


The new look comes with an equally innovative and redesigned menu allowing diners to explore the full range of Thai flavors. Guided by both taste and preference, the new menu includes two sections under the headings Purist and Adventurous to describe the culinary styles of each dish. Dishes under the Purist section include traditional and familiar Thai favorites while the Adventurous selection features new flavors and dishes from the four regional cuisines of Thailand. Now, your favorite Thai restaurant offers even more reasons to visit. That day, we sampled both old favorites and new dishes from the Purist and Adventurous sections. Mango Tree's new Watermelon Salad with Dried Shrimp Floss or Tangmoo Goong Hang (P 300) from the Adventurous  selection combines sweet and salty notes in a refreshing salad to open up your palate for the next courses...


The rich play on texture and bold spices come through with each bite of the Crispy Rice Crackers with Thai Relishes or Khao Tang Na Tang & Nam Prik Noom (P 380) from the Purist selection tempered by the sweet mashed eggplant. It's one of many favorites at Mango Tree, with every bite packing some real serious heat that will have you picking up yet another crisp piece.


The Steamed Chilean Black Mussels in Tom Yum (P 480) is another of my favorites from the Purist section with plump cold water mussels delicately steamed in sour tom yum broth infused with seafood sauce and fresh coriander. The fresh and clean briny notes of the mussels come through followed by the tart notes of the tom yum.  


It's a deceptively simple dish yet the flavors weave complex flavors with each sip and bite. And that's what Thai cuisine is all about, bringing the sweet, sour, salty and spicy in a harmonious blend.


Mango Tree Manila's Shrimp Cakes or Tod Mun Goong (P 420) offers the rich briny notes of succulent shrimps capped by a sweet plum sauce. The firm texture of the shrimps and the lightly crisp outer layer makes this a popular dish. And you can't have just one shrimp cake. Seriously good.


The Stir-Fried Lady Finger "Okra" or Okra Fai Daeng (P 320) with garden-fresh okra fried with yellow bean paste, garlic and fiery bird's eye chili delivers both sweet and spicy notes in another simple yet boldly flavored dish. The freshness of the vegetables offer a subtle sweetness, kicked up by the contrasting flavors of the bean paste, garlic and chili.


The Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Crab Meat or Mee Khorat Poo (P 580) with sweet crab meat on soft noodles draped in mee khorat sauce combines seafood and noodles in another dish that's perfect for sharing. Seafood and noodles always works for me.


But it's Mango Tree's new Stir-Fried Crab in Curry Sauce or Phad Phong Ka Ree (P 1,150) that was clearly the star of the show. A new dish from the Adventurous section, it's a succulent seafood dish with sweet crab meat and egg gently simmered in a vibrant yellow curry sauce. The flavors are both delicate and bold with the briny sweetness of crab meat enhanced by the creamy curry sauce. Top it on steamed white rice, and you have a meal. A must-try, add this  to your list of favorites at Mango Tree. Extra rice? Absolutely. Other new dishes to try at Mango Tree include Thai Tapioca Dumplings, Grilled US Pork Collar, Isan Grilled Chicken and Tri-Colored Mango Sticky Rice


The Grilled US Pork Belly (P 650) features a tender and juicy slab of pork grilled to perfection with herbs and served with a special Thai Sauce...

...offering a savory richness with that hint of smokiness fresh off the grill. Tender and juicy, the flavors just punch through with that characteristic Thai style, and perfectly finished by the tart sauce. Elegantly plated, it tastes as good as it looks. You'll want some steamed white rice with this. 


Cap your Thai feast with the Thai Style Mochi or Khanom Tom (P 280), glutinous sticky rice balls with grated coconut sugar and coconut palm sugar. From traditional old favorites to fresh and new undiscovered flavors, Mango Tree redefines the Thai dining experience with its exciting new interiors and an innovative repertoire of dishes designed for the modern palate. Rediscover the rich and authentic flavors of Thailand with a purist or adventurous mindset...at the new and refreshed Mango Tree.

Mango Tree Manila is located at 7th Avenue, Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City or call (02) 217-2367 for more information or reservations.

Dude for Food is now on Facebook and Instagram, check out the FB Page and IG Feed for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar.
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A weekend afternoon snack at Bonifacio High Street triggers fond memories of childhood summers for a tasty and memorable culinary throwback with the dishes you love. And still do...


Raintree Restaurants' Executive Chef, Kalel Chan, draws inspiration from comforting family and childhood favorites at their newest dining concept, Friends & Family. Weekends become even more special with a sumptuous serving of Birthday Spaghetti and Ube Champorado, and it's all here at Friends & Family... 


From the bright interiors and walls clad in pristine white tiles to the thick plates lined with its nostalgic and distinctive thin green rings, Friends & Family is like a portal that just takes you back. Their comforting homestyle cuisine completes that trip down memory lane for another exciting dining concept from Raintree Restaurants

 
A bowl of thick porridge always hits the spot, but when Executive Chef Kalel Chan adds his own inventive spin, it becomes a new and refreshing flavor experience. The Ube Champorado (P 195) is just one of many reasons to visit Friends & Family with sticky glutinous rice simmered with purple yam, drizzled with Chef Kalel's indulgent Tres Leches Ganache and topped with crispy fried danggit for that familiar and contrasting texture and salty notes.


The servings are huge and perfect for sharing, but you can probably do quick work on Friends & Family's Ube Champorado on a leisurely weekend afternoon. Thick and sweet with the tres leches adding an decadent layer to the nutty notes of the purple yam, this is definitely one satisfying merienda highlight to cap the week.


The play on sweet creamy notes are tempered by the salty hints of the dried fish for balanced flavors. Don't be surprised when you end up finishing this bowl...


But there was just one more curious item on the menu of Friends & Family that seemed to call out like a flavorful blast from the past... 


The Birthday Spaghetti with Hot Dog and Marshamallow (P 250) is just hard to resist, with soft yet firm noodles draped in a rich homemade beef sauce with that hint of sweetness topped with grated cheddar cheese and completed with a hot dog and marshmallow on a stick. Though our palates have evolved over time, there's just something about the familiar childhood staple of spaghetti and hot dogs that you never forget...


Many say we enjoy certain flavors because of the memories associated with a particular dish. This is one of those dishes. You just never outgrow spaghetti with hot dogs. Served with soft warm dinner rolls, why not go old-school? That's right, stuff it all in. Other comforting local merienda dishes include the Pancit Palabok (P 295), Pancit F & F (P 395), Pancit Seafood Cham-I (P 420), Arroz Caldo (P 195), Lomi a la-Eh (P 250), Lumpiang Shanghai (P 220), Day 2 Dinuguan at Puto (P 275), Tokwa't Baboy (P 195) and Fresh Lumpia (P 220). 


Even if your sophisticated palate tells you this is so wrong on so many levels, it just feels right after that first bite. And deep inside, you know you still love it.


Executive Chef Kalel Chan has one more tasty surprise timed for Valentine's...


...taking another familiar and comforting merienda staple infused with some Pinoy humor for yet another satisfying merienda dish at Friends & Family. Friends & Family's You Bilu-Bilong with Me is just what you need. Weekend afternoons & good vibes, Ube Champorado & Birthday Spaghetti...it's all here at Friends & Family.

Friends & Family is located at the ground Floor, Bonifacio High Street Central, 7th Avenue corner 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City or call 0917-891-7053 for inquiries. You can also visit their FB Page at https://www.facebook.com/raintreefriendsandfamilyph/ for more information.

Dude for Food is now on Facebook and Instagram, check out the FB Page and IG Feed for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar. 
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Sink your teeth in this...


You can always find a burger anywhere, but it's probably the easiest meal to mess up. More than just a lump of beef slapped between soft buns, a good burger is a serious matter with its own unwritten set of rules almost like a religion. And they take it seriously here at Raging Bull Burgers...


Described as a "Flavor-Forward Burger Shop with a Conscience and a Rock Star Attitude," Raging Bull Burgers takes absolutely no short cuts with their burgers. Intensely passionate with a rock-solid and uncompromising mission, each burger is prepared as you order fresh off the fiery charcoal grill. And the mural on the wall says it all quite nicely when you enter Raging Bull Burgers. That's badass.

Inside Raging Bull Burgers, the warm earth tones of wood and raw concrete combine with the warm glow of the charcoal grills exuding that no-frills yet cool and quirky off-beat vibe. But it's that smoky and fragrant aroma from the grills that greet diners as they enter Raging Bull Burgers. That alone triggers an overwhelming sensory response...   

...and you just know you've found that elusive perfect burger. Each premium all-beef patty conforms with the strict 70/30 meat to fat ratio for the best flavor, charcoal-grilled to perfection for that fragrant and smoky oak aroma. The handcrafted aged patties are also sourced from the same farm used exclusively by Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar.


Diners can choose a variety of cuts, from tender brisket to beefy rump, premium Wagyu and the clean flavors of grass-fed beef. It's this pedigree of excellence shared with Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar that sets Raging Bull Burgers apart from the usual burger joint (for more on Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar, see my earlier posts, Carnivorous Journeys at Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar and Raging Bull Chophouse & Bar Formally Opens in Shangri-La at The Fort from three years ago). Grab a table if you find it, other burger devotees like you know where to find real serious burgers. Why not settle in your precious spot with a decadent and refreshing Milkshake (P 190) in Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry

Or you can skip that and head on straight to business with a solid and potent Bourbon Shot From The Barrel (P 100) to get you in the Raging Bull Burgers groove in no time. Another shot should do the trick. Craving for some artisan fresh brew on tap? Go for Raging Bull Burgers' premium Draft Beer (P 250) and raise it high.


Then it's time for some tasty starters before the mains. The Messy Fries (P 160) at Raging Bull Burgers is exactly that, with crisp and thick-cut fries loaded with pulled pork and slathered with Raging Bull BBQ Sauce and sharp cheddar cheese. It can be a meal in itself, but save some room for the signature burgers. You can also opt for the traditional and richly seasoned Thick-Cut Fries (P 85) if you want it clean and straight-forward. Both work for me. 


All lined up and ready to serve. After a fiery encounter with the grill, the premium beef patties are then laid on soft golden yellow breakfast buns called Scottish Baps with its distinctive mild hints of sweetness pairing well with the savory richness of the beef.


The Mighty Beast (P 295) is the perfect introduction to raging Bull Burgers. With its hefty 1/3 pound premium US Angus beef patty known for its delicate marbling, the juicy patty bursts with bold beefy flavors from that first bite down to the last. Each bite drapes your palate with a savory richness, kicked up a notch by griddle maple bacon, aged cheddar, spicy beer and mustard sauce, garden-fresh and crisp lettuce, tomato and dill pickle. Appropriately named, it's a beast of a burger.


The Kickass (P 245) is Raging Bull Burgers' homage to the no-frills and classic burger, with juicy 1/3 pound Angus beef patty topped with fresh and tart tomato, sour dill pickle on crisp iceberg lettuce covered in Raging Bull Sauce. But it's far from being just your basic burger, with its bold beefy notes punching through followed by subtle smoky hints. No, this isn't a lightweight. It's a serious contender. And it's all about the beef.


Then, there's the Raging Wagyu (P 345) with the seriously intense and bold notes of prime Australian Wagyu cutting through the sweet notes of the braised onions, sweet chili chutney with just a hint of soothing heat, crisp lettuce, tomato and dill pickle. This is the purist's burger, and it doesn't even need bacon or cheese. This is also my personal choice at Raging Bull Burgers. I'm told this particular burger is a product of an intensive one year effort to perfect the recipe. The result is absolutely worth it. Take one bite, and you know you've found one serious burger.   


Okay, vegetarians don't have to be left out. Raging Bull Burgers also offer the Pretender (P 245) made with braised red kidney beans, quinoa, guacamole, beetroot, lettuce and grilled bell peppers. Surprisingly, this pretender has seriously bold flavors recreating the savory richness of a comforting burger. It's good but I'll safely leave this to the vegetarians...


Now, the Naked Fish (P 345) is an entirely different matter altogether. Made with crisp, tender and juicy fried grouper fillet draped in flavorful criolla sauce and nikkei tartar sauce on a bed of romaine lettuce, the Naked Fish is a tasty and healthier alternative. The use of fresh grouper instead of the usual and more common fish like dory gives it deeper, rounder, fuller and more intense flavors capped perfectly by the criolla and tartar sauces. Another one of my favorites at Raging Bull Burgers and I'd have this on a heartbeat, any day. Any time.


You can also customize your burger at Raging Bull Burgers with a variety of US and Australian beef cuts, toppings and sauces like the Raging Bull Barbecue Sauce, You're So Damn Hot Sauce, Lone Steer Brisket Sauce, and El Mayo Classico. Seriously good bespoke burgers. Like I said, they take burgers seriously at Raging Bull Burgers.


Badass. There's just no other way to describe the way they prepare their signature burgers at Raging Bull Burgers. From the premium US and Australian beef, the charcoal grills all the way to the variety of sauces and toppings and that very first bite, it's seriously good burgers and nothing less. And I'm heading back for another serious rendezvous with the Raging Wagyu and the Naked Fish before the day ends...

Raging Bull Burgers is located at Shangri-La at The Fort, Manila, Corner of 30th Street and 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City or call (02) 820-0888 for inquiries.

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There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen.


Maybe Maurice Sendak was right. There should be a place like that, just like his faraway island where the wild things are, but then again, you really don't have to go that far. Cocktails and comfort food all in one cool and pretty chill spot, that's my kind of place...at Wyld Kitchen x Bar.

Fresh, untamed...wild. Young chef and owner Kenn Gonzales unleashes an array of comfort food using the finest local ingredients paired with playfully inventive cocktails at the heart of the urban jungle in Quezon City. Located at the new Grandia Place along Mother Ignacia, add this hidden gem of a cool dive to your list of hang-outs.


Inspired by the wilderness or simply the concept of having no restraints, the stylized interiors feature reclaimed and recycled materials reflecting their back to nature philosophy. This philosophy blends seamlessly with its advocacy of sourcing local ingredients used in many of their dishes and cocktails. At the bar, explore your wild side with a repertoire of soothing handcrafted cocktails, but it's always a good idea to have a few bites before a tipple. And the best part? You can enjoy both a bite and a tipple all in one place.


And this is where Wyld Kitchen x Bar shines with its range of diverse flavors, like the signature Pretzel Sticks (P 180), buttery and fresh-baked pretzels served with an ale cheddar mustard dip with clarified butter and rock salt. The pretzels are good on its own, but it gets better with a dunk in the cheddar mustard dip for a burst of creamy notes.


Settle down with Wyld Kitchen x Bar's comforting Ale Cheddar Soup (P 180 Cup/P 250 Bowl), a thick and creamy soup topped with smoked bacon bits, croutons, sour cream and fresh spring onions. Each sip delivers contrasting yet comforting notes and textures, capped by the bacon and sour cream. 


Still have the munchies? No worries. Dive into Wyld Kitchen x Bar's Spinach Dip (P 300) with crisp house-made vegetable chips and organic tortilla chips served with a creamy spinach dip drizzled with parmesan...  


...but fair warning. Once you start, you just can't stop. The chips are thicker than the usual and packed with so much flavor, while the ale cheddar dip adds that layer of richness that will have you munching all the way to the last piece. From Potato Wedges and Onion Rings to Spicy Hot Wings, Calamari and Fried Pickles, Wyld Kitchen x Bar has the goods.


Wash it all down with Wyld Kitchen x Bar's refreshing mocktails, like the Pineapple Express (P 80) with pineapple juice, clove syrup and star anise...


...or the colorful Aloe & Coco (P 90) with aloe vera juice, fresh basil and nata de coco. It's unique blends like these that make Wyld Kitchen x Bar an oasis in the middle of Quezon City.


Wyld Kitchen x Bar also offers rustic pasta dishes, like the Arrabbiata Pasta (P 350) with its tart and mildly spicy arrabiata sauce, tomato confit, basil, microgreens and parmesan.  


The flavors are bold, bright and vibrant with the tartness of the arrabiata sauce punching through followed by a subtle yet soothing heat. Topped with fresh microgreens and parmesan, it's an elegantly plated dish that tastes as good as it looks.


Chef Kenn Gonzales also serves a few other tasty surprises, like the Wyld Beef Burger (P 450) with their house blend beef patty slathered with their mulberry steak sauce and topped with poached egg, yellow cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onion on a soft brioche bun. The savory richness of the beef is enhanced by the delicately poached egg and sharpness of the cheddar, but it's the mulberry steak sauce that give it that unique Wyld Kitchen x Bar's character and personality.


A hint of sweetness from the mulberry steak sauce accompanies each bite, perfectly finished by the bold beefy notes of the juicy patty. Made with the indigenous moras, the local mulberry has sparked leisure farming and garden tourism in nearby provinces. And you can enjoy its unique flavors in many of Wyld Kitchen x Bar's dishes, including their inventive cocktails. The dish also gives you a preview of Wyld Kitchen x Bar's wild side... 


If you still want another round of munchies, the Nachos (P 350) with crunchy organic house-made tortilla chips draped in rich cheese sauce, sour cream and guacamole topped with fresh cilantro should do the trick.


The rich blend of cheese sauce, sour cream and guacamole just pairs so well with the crisp nachos, your sticky fingers will just keep on picking those nachos before the main course...


A good steak sets you up for an evening of cocktails at Wyld Kitchen x Bar. The Grilled Herb Marinated Flank Steak (P 550) topped with herb compound butter and served with apple cider glazed brussels sprouts and potato wedges is one of my personal favorites. The lean beef is fork-tender and juicy, richly seasoned and marinated you really don't need any sauce. Beef and butter, that's it. And that works for me just fine.


Perfectly grilled to medium with a juicy pink center, it's just what you need when you're craving for a slab of beef.


In between bites, enjoy a glass of Camote Tops Iced Tea (P 80) using their very own tea blend infused with syrup and fresh calamansi juice...


For a full meal without the guilt, Wyld Kitchen x Bar's Pan-Seared Salmon (P 450) is always an excellent choice, served with black rice, corn salsa, lemon aioli, edible flowers and fresh microgreens.


But save room for dessert. Complete your feast at Wyld Kitchen x Bar with an indulgent dessert, the Hot Fudge Brownie (P 250) topped with vanilla ice cream, edible flowers and chocolate cacao sauce for that perfect sweet ending. Then, it's time to explore your wild side...

The bar reveals yet another facet to Wyld Kitchen x Bar's personality. It's also the best seat in the house when you want to observe the skilled mixologists do their thing up close. And when you like what you see, just ask the mixologist to whip one up for you. Go from the classics all the way to the innovative yet inspired concoctions...


...starting with the Mulberry Sangria (P 250) to gently ease you to your wild side, a sweet libation with mulberry wine, rum, triple sec, orange juice, green apple and orange to get you in the groove.

Then, something at the bar catches your eye. A closer look at the bar reveals some interesting ingredients. Sorcery behind the bar? Just let the mixologists prepare one cocktail to unleash your wild side with some salted chichaworms (L). It's a new year, so try something different, right? 


The Flora X Fauna (P 280) is a dangerously sweet concoction made with gin, grapefruit juice, fresh lemon juice, basil, butterfly pea flower topped with thick rose foam and yes, a few chichaworms. The sweetness of the cocktail is tempered by the subtle salty notes of the chichaworms, and definitely different. Simply pop in the chichaworm followed by a long sip, and you'll be pleasantly surprised. 

It's hard not to be tempted and try all the cocktails at the bar like the wittingly named Pinalaya (P 250/Left) with vodka, calamansi liqueur, triple sec, pineapple juice, and caramelized ampalaya or the potent Wyld in the Tropics (P 250/Right) with mango rum, 150 proof rum, fresh lemon juice, syrup, mango nectar and cilantro.


The Moras & Malice (P 280) is another surprisingly smooth cocktail made with chickpea juice, gin, dalandan liquor, local mulberry or moras and fresh lemon juice. The addition of chickpea juice made me curious, it's like adding a dollop of hummus to a cocktail. But it works, giving the cocktail a velvety smooth texture almost like egg white in a whiskey sour.


The local mulberry gives it a vibrant hue, with the citrus notes of the dalandan liqueur and fresh lemon juice weaving layers of flavor to the gin-based cocktail. I'll have another one, please...


The Afterglow (P 250) is an elegant cocktail with gin, calamansi liqueur and fresh lemon juice infused with the nutty notes of the house-made camote tops syrup. The infusion of local ingredients give the cocktails distinct flavors, something that Wyld Kitchen x Bar showcases in many of their dishes.


But things really get wild when the blow torch is pulled out from the bar...


...for a fiery encounter with yet another creative cocktail.


Sparks fly as a dash of cinnamon meets the blue flame...


...to complete the next cocktail, In Love Cacao (P 295) with cacao liqueur, coffee liqueur, Amaretto, brandy and cinnamon powder. Order one up and prepare for a wild light show at the bar.


A tempting blend of sweet and tart guyabano and tamarind finished by the refreshingly clean notes of gin await diners for Valentine's with a still unnamed cocktail. Still off the menu, have a seat by the bar and who knows, you can probably charm your way to sample this cocktail. 


Fresh, bold, inventive and unrestrained, it's what young chef and owner Kenn Gonzalez offers at the new Wyld Kitchen x Bar. Think of it as your own little oasis at the heart of the always busy Quezon City neighborhood along Mother Ignacia. This is the place where all the things you want to happen comes true with a meal followed by some cocktails.

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Celebrating every day to the max has been a tradition at Max's Restaurant, and it gets even better with the introduction of a new Filipino inspired dish with a twist...


Max's Restaurant draws inspiration from familiar local flavors as it transforms a slab of tender and juicy pork ribs into the new Adobo Ribs, guaranteed to be another family favorite from "the house that fried chicken built" (for more on Max's Restaurant, see my earlier post from three years back, After 71 Years And Counting, Still Sarap to the Bones at Max's Restaurant). And just like their iconic fried chicken, the new Adobo Ribs is, well, sarap to the bones...


An enduring local staple, the traditional adobo defines our culinary heritage with its richly layered notes infused by a history of multi-cultural influences. Max's Restaurant takes a half slab of pork love and slow-cooks it for that moist and fork-tender finish. Then, the magic really starts when a dark, sweet and tangy adobo sauce is added infusing comfortingly familiar notes complementing the savory richness of the pork ribs. Onions, leeks, whole black peppercorns, and crisp garlic chips add that final layer of flavor. You'll definitely want some extra rice with the new Adobo Ribs at Max's Restaurant.


The pork just falls-off-the-bone, delivering bold flavors. It's the classic adobo reinvented with a fresh new spin. And like many of Max's Restaurant's popular dishes, the new Adobo Ribs is best enjoyed when shared with family and friends or as Max's Restaurant would say, every kind of family. "We at Max's Restaurant are all about championing Filipino food and celebrating Every Kind of Family," explained the well-loved brand's National Business Unit Head, Paolo Serrano. With the Adobo Ribs making its way to our stores, we hope to bring together more families and celebrate with them through the food we serve and the service we provide."


Max's Restaurant offers the new Adobo Ribs in a sumptuous set which includes a choice of the equally popular Sizzling Tofu or Pancit Canton, one Large Plain Rice, three glasses of Iced Tea...


...and three dessert-sized servings of Buko Pandan, all for the all-inclusive and value-for-money price of only P 899. Now that's a deal.


Max's Restaurant now also serves Beef Salpicao with tender beef sirloin cubes stir-fried in a hot pan with loads of finely minced garlic and a rich blend of spices. Topped with garden fresh and crisp snow peas, the dish delivers savory beefy notes capped by the nutty hints of garlic. Extra rice? You bet. You can enjoy the new Beef Salpicao at Max's Restaurant a la carte for P 499 or served in a Rice Bowl for just P 249.


Family celebrations and Max's Restaurant goes hand in hand, as it has been for generations. After your feast, you can also indulge in Max's Corner Bakery's newest creation, the Mango Pandan Ensaimada (P 33) for that perfect sweet ending.  


The new Adobo Ribs, Beef Salpicao and Mango Pandan Ensaimada are tasty additions to your all-time favorites at Max's Restaurant. And three new reasons to visit and relive fond memories with family and friends at one of the country's iconic establishments.

Max's Restaurant is located at 21 Scout Tuason, Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City or call 372-1032 for inquiries and reservations. Your Max's favorites are just a click, chat, or call away. Visit www.maxschicken.com to order through the Max's Restaurant website, leave a message with Max's Restaurant's Facebook Messenger chat bot, or dial 7-9000 to order via landline or mobile. 

Dude for Food is now on Facebook and Instagram, check out the FB Page and IG Feed for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar.
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