Friday, September 23, 2011

Cha Dao Tea Place

photo taken with an iphone

About the food:

One other popular tea place worth trying out in QC is Cha Dao Tea Place. Their prices are lower than Saint's Alp Teahouse, but for the lower price, you also get quite a large serving.  

In the pictures above, we ordered Cha Yen, and Assam (if I remember right). It did not taste like ice (there wasn't much crushed ice) but instead tasted more of milk and tea (the way it should be).  

Where to buy and how much:

Cha Dao tea place is located at 42 Esteban Abada St., Loyola Heights, QC.


Food Presentation: AVERAGE

They come in a standard transparent recyclable plastic cup.

Ambiance: AVERAGE

The space occupied by Cha Dao is quite small and can be cramped if there are a lot of people lining up for orders.

Quality: GOOD

The flavors we tried smelled and tasted well.

Serving: GREAT

For an XL size, we expected a bit smaller cup, but then we got a bigger one.

Price: GREAT

If  you're on a tight budget but still wanted to enjoy tea, Cha Dao is one way to go.

Health: GREAT

You can decide on the sweetness level of your drinks and at the same time, you're consuming real tea and not a powdered form.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Starbucks and Breyer's Ice Cream

About the food:

Long ago, I used to frequent Starbucks and order a frappucino. Nowadays, I drink loose leaf teas daily for a healthier life. On certain occasions though, I still enjoy the sweet things of life. Starbucks Ice Cream is one of those sweet moments.

Their ice cream is one of the creamiest and most flavorful I've ever tasted. I've only tried their Mocha Frappucino flavor and it's heavenly.

The only thing you need to be careful about are the 20grams of sugar, as well as the sodium and cholesterol.

Moving on, another popular ice cream mainstream brand in the US is Breyer's (not to be mistaken with Dreyer's). Their ice cream is less creamy than Starbucks but still creamier than local ice cream.

The good thing about foreign ice cream brands is that their labels clearly show the nutritional values of their products.

Where to buy and how much:

These ice cream brands are available at Rustan's supermarkets for around PHP350 a pint (for Starbucks) and around PHP300+ for a Breyer's 1.5 quart.


food presentation: N/A

ambiance: N/A

quality: GOOD

When it comes to creaminess and ingredients, both ice cream brands are of good quality.

serving: AVERAGE

For the same cost, you can already buy a gallon of ice cream from other local brands. Compared to more expensive brands though, these offer reasonable serving sizes.


They're not cheap but they're not as expensive as artisan ice creams.

Health: BELOW AVE.

Ice cream can be a source of calcium but so can fresh milk. Fresh milk can provide calcium at less cholesterol and lesser sugar content.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gaufres by Fugetsu Do

About the food:

One time, I was at the Greenhills area, looking to try new food and new stuff on display at stores. I visited Tokyo Konbini Market along Connecticut Street in Greenhills and saw an attractive although expensive package.

I asked the saleslady about the lovely box and she said that it was one of their bestsellers and that only a few boxes were being displayed and almost all the time, they were quickly sold out.

I was intrigued by the contents and so I decided to buy one it give it a try.

Inside was a beautiful tin box.

In these boxes, are nine large thin pieces of gaufres. Simply put, gaufres are like paper thin waffles with cream inside them.

Each piece were larger than my hand could hold. Every bite had to be savored as well. Those nine pieces were separately packaged into 3 sets of 3. Each set of 3 had an assortment of flavors and each flavor was exquisite. This is a luxury treat that must be eaten slowly.

To best appreciate this expensive pastry, its best to consume when you're almost full and not hungry. That way, you will savor every bite and not end up comparing them with the cheap pastries you can buy in supermarkets.

Where to buy and how much:

These are sold locally only at Tokyo Konbini Market along Connecticut St. The box costs PHP1,000.00. They're quite expensive but so do all authentic Japanese products made in Japan.

Ratings (updated):

Presentation: Great!

It comes in a beautiful can and wrapped box. Perfect for giving as a gift (to yourself or someone else)

Ambience: Tokyo Konbini resembles a small grocery store and on the sides are a small dining area (for those ordering ramen) and grill area.

Quality: Great!

The admirable thing about Japanese products is their dedication to superior quality.

Serving: Average

Let's face it, you can't get it all. For PHP1,000.00 you get only nine pieces. But these nine pieces are of great quality.  If you're interested more with quantity, best go with something else.

Price: Average

If you want to taste great products, you should be willing to pay for a modest premium.


If you're looking to taste the best pastries, try this one for size.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spending Time with Chatime

About the food:

Tea-based specialty drinks are really popular and nowadays and in almost every mall, you can find one. In Robinsons Galleria, we found a small stall of Chatime and decided to give it a try.

We both ordered the Pearl Red Bean Milk Tea (PHP80 for large). It seemed then that our drinks had too much ice on it, and we even requested for zero sugar to be added, which made the drink less flavorful. We were not very pleased with our orders.

Where to buy and how much:

The branch of Chatime we found was at Robinsons Galleria, near the supermarket area and National Book Store. It's price is on the lower-middle end of specialty tea drinks.

Rating: 6.5/10

To really enjoy tea-based drinks, I'd recommend Saint's Alp Teahouse in Katipunan Ave. instead. They have the best tea-based drinks I've tried so far.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hyperific at Hyphy's

About the food:

We've been hearing good reviews about Hyphy's in Robinsons Galleria. Furthermore, I myself have tasted real clam chowder in San Francisco, of which Hyphy's takes its inspiration from. So, we decided to give this store a visit.

clam chowder in sourdough bread (PHP170 excl SC)
First off, we went for soup and tried the clam chowder in sourdough bread (which is good for two). The sourdough bread is fresh and good, as well as generous in size. We weren't able to finish the bread because we would end up being too full to eat anything else. As for the chowder, it was thick and had good taste. It had a mix of vegetables aside from clam. Personally, I would prefer 80% clams for clam chowder instead of mostly vegetables, but that would make the price of soup too high.

Next, we had the Dolores Park Burrito.

Dolores Park Burger (PHP300 excl SC)

It had beef, vegetables, rice, and surprisingly red beans, that reminded me of hopia. This too, was a heavy meal that is worth trying. It's not the usual burrito you find in fastfood mexican outlets that are mostly ground beef and tomato sauce. 

  To complete our lunch, the best dish we tried that day was the fish burger.

fish burger (PHP190 excl SC)

 The fries on this burger were freshly cut and were not salty. I took home an additional order of this fish burger and even when cold, the fries tasted great.

 What makes this fish burger stand out from the fastfood fish fillet burgers is the quality of the fish used, which is snapper (according to the menu).

Where to buy:

Hyphy's is located at the Ground Floor Veranda of Robinsons Galleria, along other restaurants such as La Creperie, Eat Well!, and Papa Johns.

Rating: 9/10

I almost forgot about the trivia. Hyphy's should not be pronounced as (hee-fis). Instead, it should be pronounced as (high-fees). Take note that they do not charge high-fees. I find their prices quite reasonable. They're more expensive than fastfood and foodcourts (they should be) but not as expensive as hotels and upscale fine dining restaurants.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gloria Maris Dimsum Breakfast

About the food:

Sometimes, it's nice to go back and visit the old and established restaurants. With the ever growing number of new restaurants, you always risk tasting a bad dish, and wasting money. Hence, it is nice to take a look at the older restaurants that give you peace of mind as you pay for good quality food.

One such place is Gloria Maris in Greenhills Shopping Center. They've been there for the longest time and still they offer the best dimsum.

In the morning, I dropped by to have brunch and ordered xiao long bao (above). Since they just opened, my order came it freshly steamed and fresh. Nothing beats freshly steamed dumplings.

To hydrate myself, I ordered their fresh coconut juice (straight from the buko).

I also ordered their freshly steamed hakao (shrimp) dumplings. It was simply delightful.

Where to buy and how much:

Gloria Maris dimsums are reasonably priced. These two dimsums and buko cost me less than PHP400.00

Rating: 9/10

Monday, September 12, 2011

Zensho eat all you can part two for two

About the food:

Previously, I went and blogged about Zensho ( However, I was not satisfied with the quality of pictured I had back then. So, I went back, this time with a companion to take better pictures and perhaps give justice to the good food that is there. Below are new photos of what we ate at Zensho.

assorted sashimi and sushi (it was ok)

shrimp tempura (quite thin than the usual, but you can order more anyway if you're not satisfied)

the beef in this photo was soft and came in as a large serving, this one was one of the first dishes that came and the last we were able to finish.

Some of these are not oysters but scallops and fish fillet (this is one of their specialties and a treat you normally would not find in a buffet)

yasai soup

this cuttlefish (giant squid) was soft and not too rubbery

this is my first time to order and try cold soba noodles, and it turns out to be really good!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dezato Mochi Ice Cream

green tea dezato mochi

About the food:

Yesterday, I came to visit the nearest Crumpler store to buy a more spacious camera bag because they currently have a major sale (50%-70% on ALL items on stock). After rushing in and out of the store, I went towards the Parvati store for a dessert treat.

There, I found and purchasesd a Dezato Mochi Ice Cream assorted pack of six.

I like Mochi Ice cream instead just ice cream because with mochi, the serving is already fixed, hence you can control (ideally) the quantity of ice cream you are consuming with every bite.

I asked the saleslady what type of ice cream was being used by Dezato for its mochi and she replied that they were home made. So I went on ahead with buying.

I tried the green tea mochi above and it was okay. The ice cream was neither sweet nor intensely flavored.

I also tried the strawberry and it's good enough.

Where to buy:

Dezato Mochi is available for PHP295 (six pieces) at the Parvati store at the ground floor of Trinoma Mall. It's near the area of Fully Booked and UCC Coffee.

Rating: 7.0/10

The ice cream in this mochi could have more flavor and so I think it would be better to use real fruits together with ice cream or gelato for this one.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ultimate Taste Test 6.0: my top picks

About the food:

Last Saturday, I went to one of the biggest foodie events in the country, the Ultimate Taste Test, held annually, and is now on its 6th year (ver 6.0). I went to this event not (just) for the sake of eating myself to the fullest, but more of appreciating the creative side of food, that is, finding new flavors and tastes, and giving them a good rating. With that in mind, here are some of my photos and top picks for UTT.

1) Terimayo Chicken Pizza by Creative Concepts Pizza

I haven't visited the Midnight Mercato Centrale before but I've heard there was good pizza being sold there. This was that stall. Their pizza flavors are inspired by different countries and and are unique.  For one, there's seafood wasabi pizza.

For the sample, they gave terimayo chicken pizza.

I love teriyaki sauce and chicken so this pizza is a winner. I just wish they were available on Saturdays at Mercato.

2) Yoh-Gee Frozen Kefir

Gelato and self-serve yogurts are slowly losing its coolness nowadays and Kefir seems to be becoming more popular as it is healthier. Yoh-Gee is beginning to sample its Frozen Kefir and it provides a good healthy promise.

Unlike other Kefirs being sold locally, theirs has the consistency of gelato because it was made using a gelato machine.

3) Eat My GF (Garlic Fries)

Though french fries are considered far from healthy, the use of real garlic instead of garlic powder is a wonderful start for improving its health factor.

The founder/s of Eat My GF has done a splendid job with their potatoes.

Garlic doesn't just work well as a vampire repellant and as a garnish, it also works well with fries. :)

4) Fruit Jams by The Fruit Garden

Not only did I like the presentation and containers of their fruit jams, I also liked their newest flavors.

I've tried fruit jams bought in supermarkets before such as the orange marmalade, but I never really liked their taste. It was just too sweet and unnatural tasting.

But for The Fruit Garden, I think I'm willing to try fruit jams once again with my favorite breads. Their jams are made fresh and in small batches and their flavors comprise a multitude of fruits. It's a real sensation to one's tastebuds.  

5) Adobo and Smoked Bangus Quiche by Casa San Luis Pastries

I have tried lots of quiche but oftentimes their flavors were the usual: ham and cheese, broccoli and cheese. I was pleased when I found a unique combination, which is the smoked bangus quiche. Its a mix of filipino ingredients and western cuisine. It was worth the taste.

These are my top 5 picks for UTT. But that doesn't mean that the other stalls/vendors do not deserve special mention for their creativity.

One of those other UTT vendors that offered something in line with unique flavor and ideas is My Pink Wasabi. They offer desserts that are meant to look like the famous sushi of Japan. But this time, its not raw fish and vinegared rice. Instead, it is a hand-rolled dessert made from a a generous serving of ganache wrapped in moist cake. For ordinary people like myself, ganache is also known as the filling you find in truffles (something close to that).

This one is a dark chocolate filling with orange zest wrapped with almond sponge cake. The combination of orange and dark chocolate is wonderful.

This one is Amarula ( a liquor made from the famous Marula fruit from South Africa) and Milk Chocolate wrapped in pistachio cake, which is also good. 

To end, kudos to the creators of UTT and the vendors who spent a lot of effort making samples good for one thousand people. Though a lot of customers, myself included, may have been disappointed by the sampler sizes  given the price of the ticket (after all, PHP585 is close to the price of an eat-all-you can). We should not compare UTT with an eat-all-you can. I'd like to think of UTT as a way of supporting our home-based vendors who spent sleepness nights after their full-time jobs in order  to share their passion for cooking/baking food.