Monday, May 30, 2011

Marks and Spencer Bakery in Eastwood Mall

About the food:

I've recently heard about the Marks and Spencer bakery in Eastwood Mall (the only actual M&S bakery and not just packaged baked goods)  and decided to see and try it out for myself.

I tried this pastry with raisins on top..

The apple turnover..which made use of green apples and not red ones..

and a yummy but somewhat thin, chewy chocolate cookie.

The raisin pastry was okay, the apple turnover was unique in taste because it used green apples, and the chocolate chip cookie was also good, but not spectacular.

Where to buy and how much:

Looking back, the prices for their pastries were priced at a high premium, meaning they were expensive. The raisin pastry costs PHP95.00, while the apple turnover costs PHP85, and the cookie chip costs PHP45.00. For other specialty bakeshops like Breadtalk, you could buy more given the same prices.

Rating:  5.0/10

In my opinion, great tasting pastry doesn't have to be out of one's budget. There are more pastry shops out there worth trying.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Blast from the past: Mushroom Burger

Mushroom Sandwich (php62 without drinks)

About the food:

Mushrooms are really great tasting and healthy, just ask Super Mario about it. You find them as ingredients in pizza and pastas. But how about sandwiches? In Mushroom Burger, you get to enjoy the goodness of mushrooms with every bite.

Mushroom Royal (PHP75 without drinks)

One of their sandwiches has real unchopped mushrooms on it. Their Mushroom Royal on the other hand, has a mushroom and beef burger patty and egg. Both taste good and are healthier substitutes for pure meat sandwiches.

Where to buy and how much:

It used to be that Mushroom Burger was only available in Tagaytay. Fortunately they have other branches already. One is in West Ave QC, and the other in Katipunan Ave. (opposite Ateneo de Manila and beside National Book Store). They also have a delivery hotline (882-8888).

Rating:  8.0/10

Although not as popular as other fastfood chains, Mushroom Burger has been in existence for quite a long time and is worth trying out. Old establishments at times, can provide better taste than new ones.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bataan Cashew Nuts at Mercato Centrale

About the food:

For a long time, I've never liked eating any kinds of nuts, because they were both salty and oily. Some barely tasted like real nuts anymore.

Cashew Nuts from Bataan Cashew Farms however, were a different matter. It was roasted and unsalted at the same time. Plus, it really tasted like fresh cashew.

uncracked cashew nut shells

Where to buy and how much:

I got the whole cashew nuts (500grams) for PHP440.00. The seller says they use a more advanced machine to prevent the cashew from being split in two, hence the more expensive price.  The 500 grams of split cashew nuts are a bit cheaper. There are smaller packs than 500grams if you prefer to consume less. 

Rating:  8.5/10

Since its unsalted and non-oily, I recommend this cashew nut brand as a healthy snack. Nuts are also one of the foods that are lowest in the glycemic index. In other words, they don't boost your blood sugar like the way Coke does. However, like all foods, you should eat it in moderation. Nuts, among many other foods, can increase your risk for kidney or gall stones.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stress Relief at Cocktales

About the food:

Stressed, when spelled backwards, becomes the word dessert. That is one of the profound insights I have discovered at Cocktales. This small dessert place isn't all about dessert though. They also serve value meals that are reasonably priced. 


The picture above is called a Shepherd's Pie. It's not precisely a pie inside. On top is a layer of gravy, followed by mashed potatoes, and ground beef. The serving size is good for one. The taste is just okay and is good enough to make you full.

Along with the pie comes a free iced tea, which is very good in taste and is not the usual powdered iced tea. 

Finally, the meal also comes with a small serving of dessert, which completes your day. (see picture at the topmost of this post)

Where to buy and how much:

For php195 you can try this meal at any Cocktales dessert place. I tried mine at Trinoma Mall in QC. They also have a lot more sweet concoctions that can satisfy your taste.

Rating:  6.5/10

Desserts can be emotionally satisfying when consumed, especially if you have a sweet tooth. If you're concerned about your sugar intake (for fear of diabetes), then you have to be more cautious. Likewise, mashed potato, although not sweet in taste, has a high glycemic index, which means it can boost your blood glucose levels quickly). A final note to remember is that iced tea is not always healthy. A good number of iced teas have a lot more sugar in them than you would like. If you want to enjoy the health benefits of tea, it's best to drink it bitter, without any sweeteners.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gourmet Cuisine at Chelsea Market Cafe

About the food:

If you're looking for classy but somewhat casual ambiance, gourmet food, and is not concerned by your budget, then you should try dining with family and friends at Chelsea Market Cafe. 

Above is a complimentary bread and garlic with dip. You can eat the garlic as it is steamed until soft.

Likewise, their salad is made of special ingredients that you normally don't find in regular salads. The serving size is supposed to be good for sharing but can be consumed by one person. 

This picture, shows not just a thin slice of ordinary beef, but instead, is jamon serrano. Its serving size is usually small indeed.

This is a chicken pasta recipe. The serving size was sufficient but I found nothing very special about its taste.

Finally, this is the half sized rosemary chicken with sidings. It was cooked well and tasted okay. Bu then if you're after serving size, this is not what you would want.

Where to buy and how much:

Chelsea Market Cafe is located in the ground floor of Serendra, which is beside Market! Market! I can no longer recall the prices of every food we ordered but a minimum budget to have is PHP600 per pax. Beverages also don't come cheap in this establishment. The bottled water is priced the same as the cheapest soda (Bundaberg Sarsaparilla), which is PHP99 (excluding service charge).

Rating:  7.0/10

If you are looking for food that is out of the ordinary, then Chelsea is the place to be, with its excellent ambiance. If serving size and value-for-money is what you're after, then you should try the establishments within Market! Market! instead.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Takoyaki Treat at Octoboy

takoyaki balls (php120)

About the food:

Are you heavily influenced by anime characters eating lots and lots of takoyaki (baby octopus) balls? Now is your chance to try them out at Octoboy.

They serving size of the balls were much bigger than the usual types you see in fastfood stalls and kiosks. Furthermore, the ingredients were seemingly of higher quality. The taste was just excellent together with the sauce.

Likewise, the grilled salmon belly was freshly cooked and healthy too.

Where to buy and how much:

The takoyaki balls costs PHP120 per order (six pieces) while the grilled salmon costs PHP145. Octoboy is located in Tomas Morato, on the second floor of the building where you can see Cheesecake Etc.

On a related note, Octoboy also offers a unique kind of pizza flavor as well as desserts that look very much like sushi (kashi maki), also known as Pink Wasabi.

Rating:  7.5/10

These takoyaki balls are worth trying out at least once, and best eaten while hot.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ozzy Ostrich Burgers at Mercato Centrale

Ozzy Ostrich Meat Burger

About the food:

During one of my regular foodtrips, I stumbled across a rare delicacy. At first I did not see it for what it was. It took some time for me to notice that the Ozzy burger wasn't just an ordinary beef burger. Instead, it was an ostrich meat burger! 

I had my Ozzy burger cooked medium well done, as suggested by the seller. It really tasted good! It was neither greasy nor fatty (ostrich meat is very lean). The serving size was adequate at a quarter pound. 

poutine (potato wedges with cheese and gravy)

You can also order to add poutine to your meal. The potato wedges were crisp and tasted well with the home-made sweet and peppery gravy.

Where to buy and how much:

Ozzy Ostrich burgers are available during Saturdays at Mercato Centrale in Fort Bonifacio Taguig (beside MC Home Depot). The burger alone costs PHP190 while the poutine costs PHP60). If you buy the value meal (burger plus poutine), it will only cost PHP230. Further, an Ozzy burger steak meal is also available at PHP150 (burger+gravy+ button musthrooms+rice) for those who prefer rice.

Rating:  10/10

Given it is a great and healthier alternative to other meats such as beef, chicken, and even turkey, I'm giving the ostrich meat burger a high rating. I just hope ostrich meat becomes more available and popular in the months to come. For a comparative health chart, see picture above.

Recommended links:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Five Cows Ice Cream Cake

blueberry cheesecake ice cream cake

About the food:

Are you craving for both ice cream and cake? If yes, then you should try the blueberry cheesecake ice cream above. It's quite a large slice and you can share it, but I doubt you'll order just one.

Where to buy and how much:

This ice cream cake is available for PHP160 per slice at Five Cows Resto and Ice Cream Bar. It's located at the topmost floor of Trinoma mall in Quezon City. Five Cows is located near Yakimix and AstroVision. Aside from blueberry cheesecake ice cream, they have other flavors and types of desserts, such as sundaes and floats. They also serve pasta and rice meals.

Rating:  8.0/10

This ice cream cake didn't taste very sweet but more milky and creamy. It is not sugar-free though.

Recommended links:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lugang Cafe (desserts worth sharing and trying)

About the food:

The other day, we have reached a new hot temperature of 36 degrees Celsius. Almost anywhere you go, you can inhale the hot air vapors. To make ourselves more comfortable, it's a good idea to have some cool treats, like the ones I tried in Lugang Cafe.

First of all, don't be deceived by its name. It does not serve just coffee or sandwiches. They offer a full range of contemporary Chinese cuisine. Their food offerings are almost incomparable to what is offered by the more traditional Chinese restaurants we have. But what really made me thrilled was that they served special desserts, and its even presented on a separate menu. 

The picture above are pearls with shaved ice and coconut milk, which is topped with fresh fruits and ice cream. This is good for sharing. 

Below is the pudding with mango slices and puree over shaved ice with pearls. This is also great for sharing and tastes good too.

Where to buy and how much:

Lugang Cafe is located at 116 Connecticut St., Northeast Greenhills,San Juan. They open around 11am and it's best to arrive early since the place gets packed really fast. The desserts above costs in the range of PHP250 each. But if you want to eat a full meal there, you'll need a budget of at least PHP500 per pax.

Rating:  9.0/10

If you want to try a different kind of Chinese cuisine, then Lugang Cafe is worth trying.

Recommended links: