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

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

save your money

Don't eat at John & Yoko at Greenbelt 5. Or at least don't order the Hollywood Tuna, basically a tuna sashimi salad drizzled with soy sesame dressing. Don't be fooled by the yummy-looking picture. The tuna is overpowered by way too much coarsely ground black pepper and the dressing is blah.

Their Dragon Roll is ohkaaay. But not great. The Beef Spinach Tamago is yummy, but not yummy enough to make up for the other two dishes.

The interiors are Cibo meets Tokyo Tokyo. Pero 'pag pumikit ka, feeling mo nasa cafeteria ka lang sa ingay ng mga tao.

So many of their waiters have blond highlights, I suspect it's an employee benefit. Or maybe they just work at salons during the day.

Overall, sayang sa pera. Mag-Omakase na lang kayo :-).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gabby Concepcion's sister makes damn good pizza

First time I tried Sandy's Pizza was at an editorial shoot some time middle of last year. I was shooting a barkada of personalities, one of which turned out to be Gabby Concepcion's sister. She served some great buffalo wings and unique, tasty pizza (I forget the flavors, sorry!) Turns out she had a pizza take out place, and they deliver.

Fast forward to last night, my brother and I were home alone. He wanted KFC, I wanted pizza but was tired of our usual Shakey's order. I remembered that pizza I had half a year ago, googled them up, and ordered for us a Garlic Chorizo pizza and buffalo wings. They were awesome. Both dishes were flavorful, and I felt the ingredients were fresh and of good quality. My only problem was that the buffalo wing's dip was an extra order, and the crust of the pizza was a bit tough to chew. I usually eat my crust, but I gave up on this one. In any case, and more importantly, everything in the middle of the pizza was awesome.

Anyway, check out Sandy's Pizza. They used to deliver in the San Juan area, but I think they've expanded their reach by now. They have a full menu and better, more appetizing photos on their Multiply site. Other flavors I want to try out are Garlic Tuyo in Olive Oil and Thai Chicken Curry pizza.

Sandy's Pizza: 721-8834, 721-8329, 467-5404 and 583-2296.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

walang karibal

One of the best sans rivals in town is from out of town. From San Pablo to be exact. (Although, I hear there there's an argument to be made for Burger Machine's version). Anyway this San Pablo sans rival is a bit of a mystery. I've never bought it on my own. I don't know where to buy it. I don't know the name of the person who makes it.

I know this sans rival because my mom brings it home from her trips with her amigas. And when I had to do work in San Pablo last weekend, our team was gifted with a sans rival for each of us. I asked our host where he got it and all I got was a smile. Later that day, I asked another San Pablo person where they sell the awesome sans rival, and she said that I could get it from a certain subdivision. Without mentioning the subdivision's name, she smoothly changed the subject. Damnit.

Later I find out that, in that still unnamed subdivision, there is a nondescript house that sells the sans rival through a slit in the gate. Like illegal drugs, I suppose. Anyway, I got a clue off the packaging. This mystery sans rival can be ordered through 049-562-3620.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the mother ship

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

To celebrate with our buddies in the Fil-Chi community, I want to write about one of their best contributions to our country. And I don’t mean tikoy, I mean Le Ching.

Le Ching has been talked about here in Bogchi before, but this time we’re talking about the Banawe branch. Over a week ago, I had a job to do in the area and decided to go early to finally check out where it all began. (Actually, I really don’t know what came first, the Le Chings in Greenhills, or this one on Banawe. But like the chicken or the egg argument, it’s moot and academic. Basta! Masarap!)

The Banawe branch will give you exactly what you crave for, and more. The usual combo of spareribs rice and chili garlic is incapable of failing. But in this particular branch, they have an extended menu featuring more short order choices in addition to the usual rice toppings or dimsum. I was feeling adventurous so I ordered the fried chicken. Haha. Also, the savory radish cake deserves a mention because it’s deep fried in a portable station right in the middle of the resto as opposed to being done inside the kitchen.

I probably won’t travel all the way to this part of town for my spareribs rice fix because the Greenhills branches are way closer. Unless I’m in it for the nostalgia. This particular Le Ching is actually on the corner of Banawe and Del Monte and a few blocks away from the house I grew up in. Had I known that Banawe would evolve into this Chinese food haven (aside from being an auto surplus supply haven), I would have never moved away.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bánh mì

Paté and patis. That odd couple, some cilantro, cucumber, mystery meat, mystery sauce, and soy sauce stuffed in a crusty baguette make for probably the best sandwich for under P50.

Bánh mì stalls can be found on every other corner in Saigon. The one pictured has a little compartment off to one side where the lady heats your baguette over a charcoal grill before stuffing it with magic.

Locally, I think Pho Hoa sells these sandwiches, but I don’t know if they can compare.

Monday, January 19, 2009


P12 at your friendly neighborhood convenience store.  I love that they used actual pics and not graphics :-).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

i'll be fat

Fatter, to be honest. Anyway, so I tried The Baconator from Wendy's. Here's what it looked like in the ads:

And here's what was delivered:

Was I disappointed? Hell no. In this day and age, who really thinks they're going to get what they see on TV and on print. Especially when it comes to food.

Also, the Baconator was GREAT. How can you go wrong with the taste of melted cheese, greasy meat, and bacon? Bacon is awesome. There's nothing like wafer-thin, crispy fat attached to a dead and deep fried pig. In this world. You know what was really considerate and thoughtful of Wendy's to do? There was nary a superfluous, sacrilegious veggie in sight. None of that awful, sickly tomato liquid to run down your neck. No leaf of lettuce to dillute the taste. No pickle to make me gag. (I could've used some onion though.) And I washed everything down with a thirst-quenching Biggie Iced Tea. None of that sugar-free stuff.

Anyway, based on this spot on review, (which bases this on Wendy's corporate site) a Baconator, in terms of bad stuff, is the equivalent of each of the ff:
Sodium (1920 mg)

180 Pringles potato chips
132 Doritos Cooler Ranch chips

Calories (830)

10 Rolling Rock Light 12 oz bottles
4 Dodger Dogs
5 7-Eleven Cola Slurpees 12 oz
3 Chili Dogs from The Varsity in Atlanta
33 tablespoons of Oscar Mayer Bacon Bits
83 Life Saver Five Flavors candies
166 Starbucks coffees of the week 12 oz
4 Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts
Enough Pam No-Stick Cooking Spray to cover 138 10-inch skillets

Fat grams (51)

10 Dolly Madison Zingers
3 orders of A&W cheese fries
4 Dairy Queen banana splits
22 Oreo cookies
51 cups of Froot Loops
10 servings of KFC mashed potatoes with gravy
22 Mrs. Paul's Crunchy Fish Sticks
23 3 Musketeers funsize snacks
1 Sara Lee frozen cheesecake
6 ounces of Oscar Mayer hard salami
19 Chips Ahoy cookies
4 Jimmy Dean Pancake and Sausage on a Stick, chocolate chip flavored
68 Aunt Jemima microwaveable pancakes
A whole frozen cheesecake?! That means it's all good. But check on me in the morning.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


The dishes at Santush will make your breath smell funky. So don't bring a date there, unless close na kayo.  But chances are your breath will be an afterthought once you've tasted their  yummy yet affordable Persian fusion food.  Conveniently located in Ortigas, it's fast becoming a favorite after-gimmick pit stop. A nice, steady place to hang out 'til the wee hours of the morning. 

Must tries are the Shawarma Grilled Pizza and Chicken/Beef Kebab Pizza, priced at P140 and P135 respectively.

They also have a dip platter priced at just P73, while their ox brain goes for P60.

Santush is located at 88 Meralco Ave. cor. Dona Julia Vargas St. Avenue (PRO1 AUTO GARAGE, Inc.), right before Metrowalk, and is open until 2 a.m. on Saturdays.

Photos courtesy of TMAC.