Sunday, November 30, 2008

OMG Kawaii Bento!

So cute, I almost didn't wanna eat it.

The doggy bento meal I tried at the recent UP Komik Kon came with two sticks of chicken yakitori and one tamagoyaki. The dog parts were made of potato curry croquettes while the mouth and eyes were made of cheese. For me, the tamagoyaki was the highlight of the meal. I suspect the croquettes would've been better if I had bothered to pop the bento in the microwave before eating. Overall, it wasn't spectacularly yummy but it was totally worth its P150 price.

If you want OMG Kawaii Bento for a party or event, call Dale at 09266715375 or email him at

You can check out their other adorable bento meals at

*Photo above was swiped from their website. But the meals are just as cute in reality.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Out of this world

We’ve been remiss.

For an almost strictly MidMetMan * dweller like me, going to Ambos Mundos is like going to another world because it’s located in, well a side street off Recto. So it was really cool that fellow food blogger, Tish, got Issa and me to accompany her to this part of the Metro.

Yep, that is a pig at the entrance of the canteen.

Ambos Mundos, according to the photocopied news clippings slipped into the menu holder, has been around for a while. It’s primarily a Filipino comfort food eatery with a heavy Spanish influence (ambos does mean both). The ground floor is an open air cantina, where you order from their long list of rice toppings, among others. Upstairs is the airconditioned dining area.

Anyway, to the meal at hand, first to arrive was my drink, Cold Milo. This is probably my next favorite drink after cold milk tea. Which makes me wonder why I just don’t buy Milo and make it myself. Still, it was great, and complete with unmelted Milo bits.

Next up were the house specialties, Paella Ambos and the morcon. Paella Ambos is Paella With Everything On It. It had crab, shrimp, oysters, clams, chicken and pork. The small order (P390) was good enough for us hungry three. While they surely didn’t scrimp on the ingredients, I think I like mine to be of the more traditional Valencia type, including the toasted underside.

Not a cause for worry, because the rest of the viand were pretty good. Can’t remember having morcon (P227) before, but this roll of beef was tasty. And while I mistook those red tubes to be hotdogs, thankfully, it was real, good sausage.

We then had inihaw na liempo and torta crabmeat sa talukap. The liempo, normal and all, was my pick. It doesn’t quite go with the whole Spanish theme, but grilled pork (and toasted fat) was pretty good with their sweet and spicy sauce. I forget the price but one order should be good enough for two or three.

I sort of arm-twisted Issa into order the torta crabmeat because my lola used to make this exact dish and I wanted to compare. I’m happy to say that the Ambos Mundos version was up for the comparison. The crabmeat was tasty, and even if it was priced at P200 per, it was one fat, stuffed crabshell.
At the end of the meal, we got the ginataan and bibingka. The ginataan wasn’t exceptional and won’t even make this story. But the bibingka was pretty good. Interesting that they mix sesame seeds with the niyog and sugar. I like my kakanins and rice cakes, and this was awesome.
Incidentally, right across Ambos Mundos is what seems to be a famous Chinese resto / panciteria – Wah Sun (formerly known as Sun Wah, seriously). Carlos Celdran’s blog says that, way back, the families of each restaurant intermarried. Interesting twist to the whole “both worlds” idea. Anyway, the product of that marriage is the fact that you can now cross order dishes from either restos.
Sounds like this makes for another great reason to head out of MidMetMan (okay, annoying).

1. Ambos Mundos is on F. Torres St, Sta Cruz, Manila. Tel no is 733-1160.

2. We were given the heads up that parking might be difficult. We took the LRT2 line (from Gateway) and got off at the end, Recto. Get on the side of Isetan, head towards Rizal, cross it, and you’ll see F. Torres St on your left. For LRT1 line users, I think Doroteo Jose might be your stop. I think.

*Middle Metro Manila. My pauso term for the area within the triangle of the QC-San Juan border, Pasig and Makati. Also Taguig… so I guess we have to make that a rhombus

Monday, February 25, 2008

Really eating out in Malate – Super Six Grille

Utterly ignorant politically, I only judge leaders by their output. And though I heard a lot of flak about Atienza, I miss what he had done in Manila. I miss being able to walk along Carriedo without jeeps bearing down on me. And I miss walking Roxas Boulevard’s nightlife, amidst the vibrant, salty throngs.

Buti na lang, Super Six Grille hasn’t been shooed away despite its spilling over Remedios sometimes.

Craving the beach but unable to get out of the city, I settled for, uh, the caress of the malagkit and briny wind off of Manila Bay. Practically broke, I dragged D into a slumming dining experience he survived naman.

If I do influence you to try Super Six Grille, push away ANY expectation of ambience. This place is unapologetically street. And not Som’s kind of street pa which is at least quiet and homey.

A and I discovered Super Six on another slumming adventure maybe 2 years ago. On a break from working in Bangkok, I wanted to find Manila’s version of Khao San (and its requisite cheap street eats). We figured Malate would have it. And it did :)

For Php20 each, you can get basics like a stick of pork or chicken bbq, as well as other choices like pork with garlic, pork liver, pig ears, chicken with onion, chicken heart, chicken gizzard and liver.

A platter of liempo is Php 50, as is bbq chicken thigh.
Three pieces of grilled chicken ass is Php 40.

What really caught my eye though was their fresh bbq ideas like tomatoes wrapped in bacon, onion leeks, grilled eggplant, grilled garlic, grilled tofu and crab sticks bbq. All also 20 bucks each. Cheap AND so yummy.

I think we ordered half of their menu and lots of sticky garlic rice. We only paid Php 300.
Plus, we got serenaded pa with “Kay sarap ng may minamahal”. Well, parang mas-masarap pag may murang pagkain ;p

Super Six Grille is right along Remedios St., in front of Socialista, Club Tekshi and Tia Maria’s. Grab a monobloc table and wait for a guy to take your orders. Or go to the grill counter and pick out your sticks ☺

Friday, February 15, 2008

dream puffs

Tee Up Cream Puffs, it should read. The latest offering from Monde. Little balls of crispy pastry filled with chocolate or custard cream. Yum.

At P12 per box at 7eleven, it's really too good to be true.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Everything At Steak

has been reviewed every where else. But it took me awhile to try the place out. It's along P Guevarra in San Juan. It's right at the Petron Station nearest to Wilson. It's not quite your 99 bucks steak joint. My T-bone with rice came out to be 132 bucks. But that's still not bad for what I got. And they do have P88 meals, I think.

The place tries to be a bit homey and country. But there's no disguising that it's a cheap steak joint. But what's important was that my T-bone was soft and juicy, and the gravy tasty. Ok na ko dun.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

popcorn is evil

When you eat a whole giant tub. Which is what I can't help doing when I come across Chef Tony's white cheddar popcorn. Don't let the eager salesfolk trick you into getting the parmesan. Medyo bitin siya sa lasa for me.

I've tried two other flavors-- caramel and white chocolate walnut (?). Pero white cheddar fan pa rin ako. Sweet, salty and extremely addictive. It says low fat and low cholesterol on the label. I really hope that's true. Consuelo de bobo y gluttono.

Stole the pic off Chef Tony's website. Hope he doesn't mind. You can look for the nearest Chef Tony's outlet here--

Monday, January 28, 2008

wheee :D

Relatively quicker and cheaper. Been open at the Glorietta 4 foodcourt for more than a week now. Yehey! :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ihaw Balot Plaza

And then there’s the quintessential QC beer garden. Going to Ihaw Balot Plaza is like entering a time warp. They still have multicolored light bulbs. In-house rock ballads come from the videoke machine they’ve set up in the garden. And one time, I ordered a Coke Light, and got served what was probably the last bottled Diet Coke on earth. Serves me right for ordering a softdrink in a beer house.

A buddy of mine introduced us to this beer house/garden found along a little street between Panay and Quezon Ave. His father used to bring him and his siblings there, when they were little. Later, when my buddy married, he got his sisters together to bring them back to the place where you can find the best inihaw na pusit and chicken ass. There was also a drunken brawl at the nearby table as an added treat. (No worries, doesn’t happen that often.)

Nowadays, IBP is a brightly lit, wholesome beer garden. If you go early enough, say 6 to 9pm. Appetizers come in the form of kasoy, green mango, and bagoong, from the manang who sits by the gate (thought they've moved her indoors lately). Kasoy, sour, unripe fruit and sweet shrimp paste hardly go together. But it’s IBP, and anything goes, including your sense of what goes together.

At IBP, they have consistently excellent and simple food fare. Their grilled chicken ass is sweet, and the sizzling bulalo is tender and meaty. Their sisig is underrated. And lest you give yourself a heart attack, the inihaw na pusit is even better. Theirs is seasoned, smoked and slowly grilled to perfection. It’s not too soft, not too chewy, and always fresh. Arguably, the best pusit in town.

It’s the perfect place for the guys (with the patient, low-maintenance girlfriend or wife) to kick back and talk about the most important things in life: family, politics, and our NBA fantasy leagues.

At Ihaw Balot Plaza, you’ll find that the chicken ass good, the squid better, and the cholesterol and beer induced conversation best. I hope it stays the same for the time I bring the wife and kids over.

Going all the way (chicken ass, 1 kilo of pusit, sisig, bulalo, rice, softdrinks and beer) cost our group of 6 over 200 bucks each. Not bad, I reckon.

Ihaw Balot Plaza is along Scout Borromeo, between Panay and Mother Ignacia. Side of Tropical Hut.

Monday, January 07, 2008


After the extravagant spending and eating of the holidays, it’s back to work with as lean a meal allowance as possible. Can you get a good meal for, say, 50 pesos? Bogchinoypi was started to answer that question. And to find possible solutions like Poochini’s.

With a niche carved out of the Valero parking building, I expected higher prices than a jollijeep. They have seats after all. And bespoke at that – orange, with cut-out carrots like the one on their logo. Don’t expect to get your bum on any of them though, unless you come way before or well after the lunch rush hour. With only three sets of tables and its popularity because of the jollijeep prices, your best bet at lunchtime is take out.

Poochini’s set-up is carinderia-style. But rather than huge, stainless casseroles, they have food warmers. So lunch almost seems like a wedding buffet gone wild. Attendants stand behind the long table of warmers, while diners come up to the table and swarm around.

If there’s no free spot right in front of the table, stand behind someone and wait patiently. When he or she’s done, take his/her place and wait for an attendant to pay attention to you. Once one does, point out the viands you want and she’ll ladel them out for you. It’s chaos, but its organized. Typically Filipino, no?

The great thing about Poochini’s is that there’s lots to choose from. I’d say they easily have twice, even thrice the number of choices you’ll get at a Jollijeep. Just today, I counted 24 warmers of different viands on the table.

Plus, despite the jollijeep prices, their servings are more generous. And I guess because of the presentation, you’ll feel more confident about how sanitary your food is.
I usually come in for staples like their thick monggo (10 pesos), their very tasty, crunchy squid (30 pesos) or tokwa in black bean sauce (30 pesos). But officemates swear by their adobo (30 pesos), caldereta (30 pesos), pata tim (30 pesos) and sinigang (30 pesos). Biko lovers will be glad to know they always have a few slices on hand. Leche flan seems to frequently grace the table too.

They have a good range of choices for pork, beef, chicken and, important for me, veggies. Chances are, if you’re craving for a specific pinoy dish, they have it. And it’s bound to be truly satisfying too.

Poochini’s is along Valero st., along the line of Valero parking building shops like Bugong (another favorite!) and Mercury Drug. Open til 9pm, sometimes even later.

p.s. don’t forget to claim your free broth!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Dong Bei

Turns out I had to be in Escolta for work today. I decided to make a food trip out of it and searched online for recommendations. Dong Bei was mentioned in several blogs as one of the stops in Ivan Man Dy's Binondo walking tour (which I would love to take one of these days).

From my meeting in Plaza Cervantes, I walked in the direction of the Binondo Church and beyond. I took my cue from Gene Gonzalez and ordered fried dumplings and dry soybean noodles. A tour group (I presume Ivan's) entered the place as I was having my meal, allowing me to shamelessly eavesdrop for a few minutes. I would have wanted to try other dishes but the servings were too large. Next time, I'll make sure to bring reinforcements. 

I spent around P250 for 10 fried dumplings, a bowl of noodles, and a can of beer.