Saturday, November 12, 2016

Silantro: Affordable, Delicious, and Bountiful

Beef Nachos are topped with cheese, tomatoes, and diced beef which had a sweet barbecue taste. This alone would be satisfying enough for two people.

The dips are refilled for free so you can enjoy the whopping heap of nachos without shortage on sauces.

The Paella was served a bit later. We were already full because we completely devoured the nachos already. This was neither a saucy or sticky type of paella. It had a sizzling taste to it (it was served on a hot plate). Chicken, shrimp, squid and mussels top the whole serving. There were also two fajita wraps.

It was lunchtime so we had to wait a while to be seated. And the paella was a bit late. But still, very affordable for the serving size and flavor.

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Silantro Fil-Mex Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

C Lounge: Zomato foodie meetup!

A five star hotel lounge paired with a view of Manila bay and free food equals my first Zomato foodie meetup experience. This event gave me a ticket to try C-Lounge at Conrad Hotel.

Many food spots recently opened at the Mall of Asia area. I already tried a couple of restaurants in S'Maison, the retail section of Conrad Hotel. But this is my first time to officially set foot in Conrad Manila. C-Lounge is located at the third floor of the hotel, same floor as the lobby and reception area.

We were seated under this chandelier composed of seashell like ornaments.

Another area offered this starry sky-like wall and ceiling.

I'm not really sure what this area was. I guess this is supposed to be a smoking area judging from ashtray-like structure (not in photo). That group in the upper right of the photo is our Zomato foodie meetup table.

Finger Food

Prawn Tempura with wasabi mayo

Combing the love popularity of tempura and well cooked prawns, this was the resounding crowd favorite.

Tuna Rice Bowl

If you feel a need to "fill-up", then this dish could be your order. This was the only item with rice served among the food on our table since the menu mostly have snack items.

Jamon Serrano and Mozzarella Toastini

I have always loved the combination of ham and cheese. This was good, but nothing too special.

Pita Chips with Hummus and Carrots

Their version of hummus is zesty and not too garlicky. More pita chips would have been appreciated.

Steamed Chinese Butterfly Bun with Honey, Barbequed Pork, and Cucumber Pickles

I personally liked this one too. The sauce complements the sweet and salty barbecue pork slices.

Afternoon Tea Sets
The Unique

The Traditional

Well, my photos don't do justice to the presentation of these sets. The pili nut tart, of the traditional set is my favorite. real nutty flavor,


Gotta have a taste of the poptails! Quirky in presentation, these interesting mixes can accompany anyone who wants to unwind or have fun.

The place and ambiance is good for catching up or relaxing with a view of the sea. It's not exactly a place where you would have a full meal. I would rather have dinner at one of the restaurants in S'Maison.

But with great views, I would spend afternoon tea with friends while watching the sunset and enjoying The Traditional tea set [even though the cloudy weather hindered the golden sun from painting the sky that afternoon].

Playful poptails are also here for those who want to enjoy the night lights.

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C Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Ippudo: Ramen in White and Red

Ippudo finally arrived at MOA on the 30th of August. We missed the free ramen on their opening we dined on their second day instead. My companion and I planned to share a single ramen bowl. We were provided sharing bowls. But to our surprise, we were treated to a free serving of pork bun each!

Shiromaru Motoaji Special (Php 490)

The basic shiromaru is priced at Php 385 which comes with pork loin, bean sprouts, kikurage, and spring onions. By choosing the special, you get additional salted soft-boiled egg, pork loin, and seaweed. All of that tops off the noodles and the original pork tonkotsu broth.

For our thin noodles, we chose the hard version thinking that the hot soup base would further cook it and we'd get a medium version when the broth cooled down.

To further enhance your ramen experience, you can add freshly ground black pepper, freshly ground sesame seed, or fresh garlic. I added a bit of each to my broth and it indeed change the taste, it was even better. Just don't overdo it so much since the pepper and garlic can overpower the broth if you put too much. Their broth as it is, isn't my favorite among the ramen joints in the MOA area. But the plus side is you can adjust it to your taste with the pepper, sesame, and garlic.

Pork Bun (Free treat for their recent opening! originally at Php 125 each)

We were already feeling a bit full but we decided to eat this bun with a glistening piece of pork meat. Although it was no longer hot, the sauces mixed well together and with very bite, you get a piece of flavor, meat, and bun. But the amount of fat and meat doesn't seem consistent, my friend's piece was about 40% fat, mine was maybe 15%. Well, even the fat is tasty so it's not really a bad thing.

You actually get a feel of busy Japanese markets with the crew shouting Japanese phrases for every order made, special ramen served, guest arrival, or guest departure. My companions didn't like that part, it kinda came across as noisy to them. To me I think it's part of the experience. As for the price, the basic Shiromaru is almost at the range as Uma Uma Ramen (which already has includes a soft-boiled egg), while the cost of the special is close to Ramen Nagi. I wasn't able to look through their whole menu since my goal was to check out their ramen. Maybe I'll be coming back to explore what they offer beyond what they are most known for.

P.S: Shiromaru can be translated as "white circle" and Akamaru as "red circle" - the red and white bowls where the ramen is served in.

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Ippudo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hong Kong Trip 2016 Series: Philippine Airlines Economy Meals

Taking food trips to another level - literally miles above the ground! This blog entry starts the Hong Kong Trip 2016 series. We had this trip around mid-August when we visited Hong Kong Disneyland. Food at the theme park will be posted too, so stay tuned.

Full rice meals were served by Philippine Airlines for a flight to Manila to Hong Kong. With their tagline "Heart of the Filipino", I guess they also embody the appetite of the Filipino for rice! I noticed that the foreigners on board weren't that keen on finishing their plates, while most of the Filipinos consumed the full meal for breakfast.

Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet

For the Manila to Hong Kong trip, I had sweet and sour fish with a side of vegetables. Bread and butter was also available. For my drink, I had orange juice and coffee. I took a piece of beef tapa, the other option, from my companion. It was a little chewy. I prefer the fish dish over the beef. A very filling breakfast indeed, miles and miles above the ground.

Fish Fillet with Lemon Sauce

Another fish meal for me for the trip back to Manila also served as my dinner. A side of carrots and greens, and an apple pie for dessert was included. Apple juice was my drink this time. I didn't know that the sauce that came with the fillet was lemon sauce, and I'm not a fan of it. I got a taste of the beef with oyster sauce from my companion. This time the beef was tender and tasty. I kind of preferred the beef this time. I still finished the fish fillet and just left out some of the sauce.

The flight was really quick at 1 hour and 45 minutes, although there was a bit of a delay due to bad weather on the flight back to Manila.

Mainly the flight is composed of just taking off, eating the meal, landing. I didn't need any entertainment system for the short flight, the full meal was enough to keep me busy. And now for any international flight, I will be checking if they have full rice meals included in the airfare/package.

Cheers and have a safe flight!

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Botejyu: Premium Moonlight Okonomiyaki

New restaurant alert! Botejyu at SM MOA offers okonomiyaki, okosoba, ramen, takoyaki, and donburi. For today, my friend and I had one of must-try dishes - the Premium Moonlight Okonomiyaki.

Food is prepared freshly in an open kitchen. We waited for around fifteen minutes for our order. House tea wasn't available though.

Premium Moonlight Okonomiyaki (Php 360)

Our main dish was served on a sizzling plate to keep it warm whereas other restaurants have a teppan installed per table. But the taste is notable! It was really packed with pork, squid, plump shrimp, and I guess there was some kind of ginger in there. The two of us had a filling lunch with this! And the egg on top is a runny egg. Watch us slice the okonomiyaki and release the runny yolk at a video in our Instagram account: @thegastronomersdiary.

Another thing I liked about it was it wasn't too salty nor savory. You can adjust the taste by adding more bonito flakes, nori, and special soy sauce which was readily available on the table. I particularly like the semi-spicy sauce. It's not the chili type of spice, rather it has a hint of wasabi, the type that of spice that you feel through your nose.

Matcha Ice Cream (Php 80)

As for dessert, we had a rich creamy scoop of matcha ice cream. It doesn't have a strong green tea flavor, but it wasn't too sweet either. What we loved about it was its creaminess. P.S., the nori flakes on the side isn't exactly meant to be sprinkles, but well, you can try.

Going to try the okosoba and ramen next time!

For another okonomiyaki place in the MOA area, check out this restaurant

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Botejyu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato