Friday, August 05, 2011

Top 5 Chatime Must-tries

We’d like to think we were one of the early fans of the bubble tea craze. Chasing down branches of Serenitea when people thought we were still referring to peace and calm. So when Chatime opened in Pioneer, we weren’t in a rush.

Thanks to a lot of friendly prodding though, we trudged all the way one weekend. And have been addicted ever since! Even buying three drinks at a time (sayang yung wait e ;p). If you’ve been too timid or overwhelmed by the choices, here’s a quick guide for dipping your toe before diving right in.

ChaTime Roasted Milk Tea

If you’ve already tried Chinese style milk teas before, this hits the taste you’re familiar with.

A refreshing mix of the dark roasted tea flavor lightened by the creamy milk. Once you’ve tasted Chatime, you’ll realize what a big difference there is between the ready-to-drink, bottled variety and Chatime’s handmade serving.

Interesting but still safe
Brown Rice Green Milk Tea/Green Tea

If you enjoy the tea they give for free at Japanese restaurants, then give this a try. Who knew it would work as a cold drink? The milk addition puts some sweet into the earthy, turning this into one of the most refreshing drinks that got us through summer.

TieGuanyin Tea Mousse

If you thrive on energy drinks and coffee to stimulate your senses, this tea was made for you! It literally drives you into all-neurons firing, all nerves tingling overdrive – without overwhelming your palate. That’s the danger actually, it tastes so good (try with mousse!) you’ll drink a lot of it, then before you know it you’re on full throttle the whole day. This writer was literally palpitating! But if you have the heart for it, go go go try it!

Warning though: do NOT drink at night, unless you don’t plan to go to sleep.

Taro Red Bean Milk Tea

If you want a fuller taste to go with the creaminess, the red bean is the perfect match for Quickly-popularized taro milk tea. Add mousse to complete this dessert drink.

Crisp and light
Grapefruit QQ

If you’re still in a summer flush and aren’t that into teas, try Chatime’s fruit drinks. Grapefruit is a more novel, still tangy, very refreshing alternative to your iced teas, orange or mango drinks. Sweet and beats the heat!

Don’t miss out on Chatime’s add-ons. The quality is really superior to most bubble tea places.

The pearls are fat and chewy with a tantalizing almost-chocolate taste.

Their mousse is a m-m-mmmmmust try. Don’t think thick gelatin blob congealed in the middle of a Red Ribbon cake (we love it there though), but more like a moderately heavy cream that sits delicately on top of your drink.

Their pudding is egg-y and fresh. Light in the mouth.

Haven’t tried it ourselves but a lot of fellow Chatime fans have sworn by their Grass Jelly too.

Tea you there next time!

Chatime can be found at Pioneer Center, Pasig; Robinson's Galleria Supermarket; Landmark Bridgeway, Makati; One Archers Place, Taft; SM Mall of Asia, Manila

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Oh Mine Shine

Loyal fans of this crisp, sweetish drink will remember its sudden, panic-inducing disappearance from exclusive retailer 7-11 around 2008. (Coincidentally around the same time as the milks-with-melamine ban. Completely coincidentally.)

Remember that time of withdrawal, I mean, slight disappointment? Well! Those trying, I mean, inconvenient times are back. Mine Shine has disappeared again! Not a drop of its 800kcal goodness in sight. (Please email me immediately should you find one. Immediately! Or if you have contact details of the importer, I'd really like to have a word, I mean, find out what's up.)

Last seen at 7-11 President's Ave one month ago

True, prior to the 2008 months-long disappearance, its supply has been patchy. But post-melamine, I mean, post-reformulation, it has been on steady supply - encouraging dependence!.. I mean confidence!

For fans who are missing it as much as I am, I've found that ChaTime's ChaTime Roasted milk tea (arguably their most populist tea flavor) a very worthy replacement. For one, it IS freshly made upon order, adding a richer, deeper tea taste. The fat chewy pearls add quite a bit of happy in your mouth too.

Of course, if you find yourself too loyal to Mine Shine, ChaTime has a looong list of non-similar flavors to choose from. Feel free to stray and sample how else milk tea can be done. (As we certainly did. Stay tuned for Bogchinoypi's ChaTime favorites in an upcoming post.)

In the meantime, lemme just check that tucked-away 7-11 branch inside that building. Not that I'm looking for anything in particular.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hello. I’m the latest addition to Bogchinoypi’s line-up of writers. I should caution you though: I’m completely new to this, whether “blogging” in general, or writing about food. I guess I’m saying this to all the readers who frequent this site—yes, both of you—in the hopes of lowering your expectations and, therefore, inflating your opinion about this article.

For my inaugural post (and quite possibly my last post, depending on whether this blog’s "chowers that be" decide I’m too offensive or annoying to keep writing here), I decided to write about pizza. Pizza Hut, in particular. Their delivery hotline, to be even more precise. Yes, this is not about the quality of their toppings, or how crunchy or golden brown their crust is, or how their pizzas generally taste (Answer: their pizzas are pretty good; sh*t, this “food blogging” thing is easier than I thought).

Instead, I want to write—rant, really—about the spiel which their call center agents give me each and every single goddamn time I call 911-1111 to order a stupid pizza (so, for everyone who came to this blog looking for useful tips on where or what to eat, you’ve been warned about the enormous amount of your time that’s about to be wasted. Continue reading this profanity-ridden, amateurishly formatted and pitifully unfunny post at your own risk).

Monday, September 27, 2010

The common cuapao in not-for-commoners Greenbelt 5

A pleasantly surprising merienda option in hoity-toity GB5.

Amidst Restaurante Pia y Damaso’s baroque menu is the very earthy Cua Pao Pan De Sal. The pan de sal adds a slightly grittier texture & more salt into the over-all taste (vs the oh-so-soft & almost sweet mantou). With big chunks of pork asado, a thick serving of pickled mustasa & lots of nuts, it’s a heftier price for a heftier cuapao.

(Still, if you want a reeeaally sulit cuapao, then make the trek to Makati Cinema Square. But more on that later ;p Also, sorry for the blurry pic.)

Do you like cuapao?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Nope, we haven’t been trawling Makati Ave, just picking up on what racier La Salle peeps call Sinangag Express.

A beloved Taft area haunt and now with 2 branches in the South, Sinangag Express probably inspired the very first time “SOLID!” was used as a Pinoy term of approval. Like the best small gems, Sinangag Express sticks to simple favorites done well. Flaky tapa, shredded adobo, tender tocino, fried chicken, bangus.. The very first time I ate in S-Express, I knew there was something special about this place when

1) they served the –log wet rather than fried-too-long dry. Perfect for folding into your garlic rice.


2) every table had its own bottle of chili oil. A sure indicator that the owners know how to enjoy their –silogs!

Sure enough, every meal in Sinangag Express since has delivered on that solid Pinoy meal. Tasty, marinated cuts of meat. No scrimping on ingredients. & a few extra goodies on the side to round out the meal.

Their iced tea for example, really is quite special. Rather than go with mass-produced vended stuff, they’ve come up with their own yummy, brewed blend.

They also have chilled taho – a refreshing end to the meal. Plus the occasional yema or brownie on the counter.

If you have a large appetite, I suggest either getting extra ulam or doubling your order. At generally php65 a meal, feel free to go for 3 even. Walang problema.

What's your favorite -silog? :)

Drop in on 24-hour Sinangag Express at President's Ave. in Sucat. Near DLSU, in Better Living Subd., Pedro Gil Makati and again in BF Homes Aguirre Ave.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tea time at Serenitea!

B, who is a friend and a boss (not in that order), recommended that I check out Serenitea, since I have a thing for milk tea. So after my nearby shoot today, I headed over to J. Abad Santos (off Wilson) in San Juan try their milk tea.

At first, the options were daunting. But the girls behind the counter were very nice and explained the differences between Royal Tea (Earl Gray) and Hokkaido Tea (a bit caramel-y). I went with Royal Tea. Then they said I could select the amount of sugar I wanted in my tea. I tried 50% and they let me have a taste test first. 50% was pretty good. Not too sweet as to overpower the subtle tea flavor. But I went with 100% anyway. Haha. I think I can go for 75% next time. And despite the many options, I appreciate the precision.

The tea at Serenitea is freshly brewed, and it shows in the flavor of the milk tea. I like that I can customize the sweetness and that I can add other stuff like pearl and crystal bits. Next time, if I find myself tiring of milk tea, I will try their Grapefruit Yakult.

PS. J. Abad Santos Street seems to be a happening place. It's where one of my favorite bars, Moksha, is located. Gloria Maris is at the corner. And down the road, they have Sandy's Pizza and the new and improved Mann Hann. Worth further exploration in the future.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

New picks

I haven't had much time to do a proper post lately. But I have had time to eat, and here's what I've been liking -
- Charlie's in Kapitolyo - good burgers, great buffalo wings (nuclear!)
- Chiggy's jumbo liempo - what's their secret, boil, brine, and/or marinate in crack cocaine?
- BBQ Chicken - but not the Red Hot Drumsticks (while they are hot, I find them too sweet) (this is the only Korean fried chicken place I know about in Manila)
- Mamou's chicken and pork with rice and beans
- Piri piri chicken in O'Sonho's along Jupiter - I can't believe this isn't fried
- Piri piri grilled pork and clams in the Portuguese stall in the Legaspi Sunday Market (this guy's piri piri sauce is much hotter than O'Sonho's but he could do with a better grill)
- Ukkokei ramen along Pasay Road - not cheap but worth it once in a while
- French dude's sandwich stall in Salcedo Market - the homemade sausages are great
- Mini stop fried chicken