Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Manila Ocean Park's Food Warrior Eating Challenge

Calling all foodies & food enthusiasts out there:
Here’s your chance to prove you’ve got what it takes to be Manila Ocean Park’s Food Warrior. The Food Warrior Eating Challenge will be held at the Manila Ocean Park this coming September 17, 2011. The contest is open to all Filipino residents 18 years and up. There is no purchase necessary to enter the contest. Simply secure an application form at the Manila Ocean Park designated registration booth (Concourse Plaza Area) or download registration and waiver from the Manila Ocean Park website. Submit application by email: or You can also fax to (632) 5672309—Marketing Department.  Deadline of submission of waiver & registration form will be on or before September 9, 2011 at the Manila Ocean Park’s Admin Office (Marketing Department) at the 2nd level, MOP Complex.
Contest participants will be required to report on September 17 (Contest Day) at 9:30 AM for the final briefing, assignment of numbers and physical checkup from Manila Ocean Park’s official medical team from Vaxcen Clinic. Only those registered participants who qualify in the final physical exam will be allowed to join the Food Warrior contest scheduled to commence at 2:00PM on the same day.
For more details, log on to or Call (632) 567777 OR (632) 5672309

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TGIFridays' Queso Fondido Food Review

Large servings doesn't necessarily mean happy customers.

My good friend Ia and I went to TGIFriday's restaurant in Trinoma, Quezon City last Saturday. Prior to that her son & my Kyle had agreed to play at Timezone. While the kids were busy playing, we both decided to get some drinks to keep us company while we were busy chatting. Since TGIF restaurant had been known to serve large servings, Ia had ordered us an appetizer we will be sharing. 

Initially, we were given a plate with nachos & salsa on them. From the moment it was put on our table, it didn't looked appealing to me. Why? I was looking for something which I later learned was cheese. But it was crunchy, so we had no other choice but to dig it in. 

Ia & I had ordered drinks. Upon skimming on their menu, I wish the TGIF would have description on each drinks since they really have unusual names to begin with. Although the staff/waiter would gladly answer your question about each drink, it would be best to have it written on the menu itself. Anyway, Ia ordered a drink that had strawberries on them while mine was a mixture of pineapple & orange. 
Nachos + Salsa. But where's the cheese?
They had given us cold pasta (yes, not cooked al dente) with tough grilled meat. Even Ia had seen my struggle as I tried to strangle that piece of meat/pork. It was bland, it didn't had the smoky hot-off-the-grill taste I had expected. It doesn't even have a sauce to pair it with. Would tomato ketchup work? Nah! I tried it, but to no avail, still the meat tasted bland. 

The chicken fingers were good. The mini burger was also good although I won't recommend it to kids since it had veggies on them. The brownies that goes with it was a bit dry, it was supposed to be moist inside (I'm a pastry chef, I should know) but after a few more bites, I realized it did taste good even if it was a bit too dry for a chocolate brownie. 

The drinks were good enough--Tropical Something (sorry I forgot what it's called)+Gold Medallist.

The menu says it all.
The Queso Fondido that Ia had ordered had actually saved the day. It was served on something that looked like a sizzling plate, but it was made of mozzarella cheese with bits and pieces of onions, red & green bell peppers, fresh sliced tomatoes, and served with bacon bits. Since Ia doesn't eat bacons, we had asked the waiter to serve it on the side for me. 

According to the recipe wiki, Queso Fondido is Spanish for melted cheese, referring to a dish (which is usually served as an appetizer) of just that melted cheese. Additions are varied and may include jalapenos or bits of cooked pork, beef, or chicken. 

Queso Fondido was a cheese-lovers paradise. Think of eating pizza slathered with oozing mozzarella cheese without the hard crust. That's exactly what Queso Fondido was! It was an honest-to-goodness appetizer. It is served with plain nachos so that you'll have to scoop in the mozarella cheese & eat them according to your heart's desire. 

I am not really a cheese lover, but I had to admit among all the stuff we were served, it is Queso Fondido that really saved the day. Ia even told the waiter to compliment the chef for it. It only goes to show that it wasn't just me who enjoyed the said TGIF appetizer, but also Ia. 

Queso Fondido saves the day!

The next time you visit TGIF restaurant, make sure you try this yummy Queso Fondido, even the kids (who aren't into eating vegetables) will love it. 

The Purple Fairy thanks Ia for spending time with me & my family + for the treat. Visit my dear friend, Ia's blog at Thanks!


Chic-Boy Chicken at Baboy Food Chain

Their signage says it all-Chicken + Baboy (Pork)

With restaurants and eateries sprouting up all over the metropolis, our choices for dining options have increased dramatically. Naturally, some are of a higher caliber than others and everyone always seems to have their favorites. A new restaurant chain named Chic-Boy (short for Chicken at Baboy/Chicken and Pork) usually makes the cut on people's lists for preferred food. 

See all those people coming out of its resto?

Lucky for us, the same team behind Pier One Bar & Grill came up with Chic-Boy. It is a good alternative to a more popular brand of grilled chicken. For one, you'll get to have a lot of options to choose from: Chic-Boy has grilled liempo, grilled chicken, cebu lechon, and a whole lot more on its menu. It gives you unlimited choices as they also have a variety of merienda and desserts as well. They have their popular turrones de leche (think of fried spring rolls with sweet caramelized dipping sauce), saba con syrup, la paz batchoy etc. 

Mouth-watering crispy + delicious Cebu lechon at its finest.

We recently tried on their Chibog Busog meals, the cebu lechon with unlimited rice (it's really affordable for P99.) and cebu lechon manok also for P99 with unlimited rice. Add P25 more and you'll get bottomless iced teas. How's that for a really good meal, right?  The food was excellent! The cebu lechon was sumptuous and truly mouth watering. It had those ("putok-putok" appearance on the crispy pork skin) and the vinegar dip was tangy but sweet. The lechon cebu liempo laso had bits and pieces of lemongrass too, proving that it was roasted with such herbs along with others secret spices. Plus, it had huge servings too. 

Chicken Inasal Cebu style.
As for the chicken lechon, it wasn't that bad although I was not totally impressed with it. For me, it looked like a "another version" of the more popular brand of marinated grilled chicken. They also had the atchuete oil to go along with soy sauce & vinegar. But what probably makes it different from the more popular brand, was the vinegar--it tasted like sinamak or Iloco vinegar. Did I mention that they also serve free soup to customers? And unlike the more popular brand, Chic-Boy's soup best compliments their grilled meals more than anything. They serve Bulalo or Nilaga(beef stew) soups unlike the other brand that had sour stew soup, which in effect doesn't taste good with their grilled meals. 
The author's mom in red awaiting for her orders at the counter.

When we got there that Sunday afternoon, the place was packed with people from all walks of life. One of their best-sellers, turrones de leche, which I had intended to buy was already out-of-stock or sold-out to say the least. I figured, I'd just have to go back to Chic-Boy some other time to taste for myself why it's become one of their best sellers. 

People flock this new restaurant in all of its branches.

Oh, well. Chic-Boy had already around more than 35 stores around the Philippines (yes, including selected provinces) and they will be opening some 37 more branches as they are currently expanding. My family & I dined at their branch in Shopwise Araneta, Cubao (just across SM Cubao). With efficient service, friendly staff and good interiors as well as good food (especially the cebu liempo + unlimited rice + bottomless iced teas), I bet Chic-Boy will soon become another household name for everyone, giving their competitor a good fight. 

Disclaimer: This is not a paid blog post. My intention to review Chic-Boy's meals had stemmed from my desire to give my readers real food review. My opinion is 100% my own. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Cookies & Cream Ice Blended Drink: You'll Enjoy your Every Sip!

Ice Blended CBTL drinks, anyone?
It was a Sunday, August 14, 2011 when the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (CBTL) had an open house (from 10AM-11:30AM) in all of its branches (except for Ayala Avenue, DLSU Taft branches) for a free sample of their cookies & cream ice blended. My family & I had just been to the church when we all had agreed to drop by the Gateway mall branch of the CBTL. When we got there, the place had quite a lot of people already. I noticed my fellow blogger and friend, Richard Mamuyac of and his wife, my former grade school classmate Leah Martirez-Mamuyac were already seated awaiting for their ice blended drinks.
The new Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Cookies & Cream Ice blended drink

The new Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Cookies & Cream Ice Blended drink was irresistibly delicious with real cookie bits and chocolate espresso beans on a creamy drink. It was an excellent perk-me-up drink especially for chocoholics out there. My family loved it so much. I know chocolates aren't supposedly allowed for Kyle that day, but because we're all huge fans of The Coffee bean & Tea Leaf, and because Kyle loved cookies & cream, I had given my go-signal for him to try it. And he truly loved every sip of it. Kyle even gave it a thumbs-up sign here on one of the photos I've taken. As you all know, and as I've often said, kids like Kyle don't lie. So if he says it's good, better believe it, because it is truly good.
Surely, the coolest drink in town!

Kyle drinks while giving it a thumbs-up sign!

The drink was truly awesome! First sip and you'll know you're really into it. Call it an elixir, I don't know, but I think it becomes more perfect when you drink it with a special someone or like in my case, I was with the company of my family.  I can't wait for my next trip to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to get another sip of my newest fave Cookies & Cream Ice Blended drink from CBTL!

Like The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Facebook to get updates on promos & events.

And while you're at it, please like Purple Plum Fairy page as well.

Disclaimer: I am not paid for this blog post. I just want to review the new Ice blended drink of CBTL. 


Tusok-Tusok: The Original Fried Isaw-Superb Hit Among Pinoys!

If you live somewhere in the vicinity of  Cubao and you happen to pass by the MRT Araneta Center Station, you must have noticed the long lines near the ticketing booth. No, it's not part of the MRT itself, but if you look a little closer, you'll soon realize that it actually came from a food kiosk or stall that sells street foods like isaw (chicken and pork intestines), adidas (chicken feet), helmet (chicken's head), betamax (pork blood) etc. Yes, Tusok-Tusok is a hit among Filipinos! Everyday people line up the food stall for their favorite street food. 

What made the difference among other food stalls and kiosks? Well, the difference lies in their affordability and taste as well. It's one of the first (they claim to be the original) who thought of the old isaw to be fried instead of  the usual "barbecued style".  According to the cook, "We made our street food uniquely crispy by breading them and frying them instead of merely roasting them hot off the grill. This way, our customers will enjoy their crispiness fresh from the frying pan." 

Did I mention that it's really affordable? "Swak na swak sa budget (Really fits the budget!), " says Mr. Tomas Agustin, a Tusok-Tusok regular customer.  For a mere P7.00 you can get a stick of fried pork blood or fried chicken intestines. And if you add some more P5.00, you'll get a cup of rice to go with it. How's that for a really superb meal, right? 

For street food dummies, they even posted a street food dictionary where you can choose what you like depending on the taste and appearance. Well, I tried it, I'd say the taste was good but I do not recommend this to those people prone to gastritis and other hygienic issues though. But as they say, you wouldn't be truly Pinoy if you haven't tasted street foods at least once in your life. Besides, fry foods aren't the healthier choice, the rest is all up to you though whether you pass it up or go ahead and indulge.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bocarinos @ New World Hotel

I had been an avid foodie although if you'll ask me, usually, fresh green leafy salad will be my least priority when it comes to food. Don't get me wrong, I love veggies. I eat all kinds: name it, I eat it--and yes, even the bittermelon or bittergourd. But when it comes to food, I really go for dishes that I don't even do at home--stuff that I can't cook; except when I eat at New World Hotel's cozy restaurant called Bocarinos

Each time I am at Bocarinos, I always made it a point to stuff myself with their signature fresh green salads first before I indulge in other dishes. Why? It's so refreshing and it tastes really good. It had cherry tomatoes, green leafy lettuces (all kinds), blocks of feta cheese, olives, walnuts, pecan nuts, fish salmon, sausages, spanish chorizos and other cold cuts. Mix them all with parmesan cheese and thousand island or ranch dressings--they're perfect meal starters! In fact, it's so goood that I usually don't care if I forget to eat my main dish. I am completely satisfied with my salad, and to me, time kind of stops each time I;m served with it. That's how crazy I am with Bocarinos' fresh DIY salad, right? Yeah! I can probably live off my entire life eating salads at Bocarinos. I suppose I can live with it for the rest of my life. 

The main dish looks appealing alright. But I'd still turn it down in exchange of my green salad.

I suppose you don't believe my word for it. But you really had to try it to believe it.
This is my fave Bocarinos salad with olives and thin pink salmon slices on it.

Desserts are sweet but nothing compared to my good 'ol salad!
These desserts had no powers on me. I'd still choose my fresh green salad bowl anytime! There's nothing like a good healthy meal. Go grab one now!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Rustan's Supermarket Weekend Cooking Demonstration: Rasta Indian!

I recently went to Rustan's Supermarket to see a cooking demonstration on Indian's cuisine. There were three different sessions from selected three Rustan's Supermarket branches: Shangri-La Plaza, Rockwell and one in Makati.  This was in part of their celebration of the Wonders of the World Food Festival where different cuisines were featured in cooking demonstrations with Chefs and other cooking experts.  

I had not been quite familiar with Indian food although it's often been regarded as somewhat "spicy". But I immediately fell for vegetable samosa, partly because I love vegetables and also because of its texture.  What I love most about other Asian foods was the use of herbs and other spices, which was very evident in their dishes. Thai and Vietnamese uses veggies such as cilantro(wansuy) and other green leafy veggies. Italian uses herbs but they use really aromatic ones like thyme, rosemary etc. Spanish uses paprika and cayenne. Chinese uses five spice powder and perhaps a few other plants. Indian uses turmeric and curry among many other spices. 
It may seem difficult to make a vegetable samosa, but it really looks very much like our own lumpiang toge (bean sprouts spring rolls) only with a twist since they are using more veggies on the dish with a few herbs (depending on your taste, really) right here and there. And of course, they added a dash of their signature spices for that authentic Indian taste. A chef from Kashmir, a popular Indian restaurant demonstrated the easy peasy vegatable samosa to the delight of the audience. 

Interested to cook Indian dishes? There's another demonstration coming your way this Saturday, August 13,2011 at the Rustan's Supermarket in Makati at 4PM. Go and catch it yourself. And be awed at the different flavors Indian cuisine can offer. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cinammon Flavored Otap: A taste of heaven in a biscuit!

This piece of flattened thin biscuit with sugar coatings used to be a staple in the house when I was younger. It was especially served during tea time with an unexpected visitor along with a Batangas' freshly brewed Barako (Arabica) coffee. It is pretty amazing that even the Otap from Cebu had evolved through the years. From a simple sugar coating, it is now made available in a variety of flavors to choose from: pandan, ube (purple yam), langka (jackfruit) and now cinnamon. 

Puffed pastry that melts in your mouth. Otap goodness in crispy biscuits, heaven in every bite! Perfectly paired with a cup of coffee or your favorite hot chocolate. And since it had cinnamon, it does have that kind of aroma you couldn't resist. It's been a favorite of many, especially those as "pasalubongs" (read: presents) coming from the Southern part of the Philippines--from Cebu, Bacolod, Bohol and those islands of Panay. Once tasted, you'll keep coming back for more. 

My diabetic friend complains, how she wish people would one day create a sugar-free version of Otap for people like her. I told her, it could be a possibility in the near future, who knows? But for now, allow me to keep her envy as I nibble the yummy goodness of the otap biscuit. Have you guys tasted the cinnamon flavor?  It's really delicious, great for an afternoon merienda, just after you had taken your  nap or siesta.  If you haven't, go and head for it at leading supermarkets in town, I'm sure they're available, because if not, you're probably missing half the fun of eating the good old otap.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Korean KKultarae (Honey Skein)-Walnut & Chocolate: A Korean Tradition Royal Court Food

This box doesn't reveal its identity for it looks like any ordinary chocolate.

It was the first time I had seen something I had not been too eager to eat. Usually, I’m the type who goes after the food the minute I had seen it. But not this one, definitely not this time. Perhaps, it had something to do with my being a Filipino. Before I could go on further, let me introduce another food adventure I had recently.

An aunt went to Seoul, Korea last week for a leisure trip. When she went back, she had given me a box of a Korean special delicacy called Kkul Tarae (Oops, don’t be deceived by its name, ok? I know it sounded a little weird for Filipinos but then…better read my post J). Anyway, as I was saying, Kkul tarae is actually made from honey threads or yarn. It is a court cake according to Koreans and it’s made from the finest ripened honey and malt, which was once presented to the king and valuable guests.
See the threads bundled together? Yes, they're edible.
It is brewed with the artisan spirit to make 16,000 strands suggesting the prayer for longetivity, healthy, good fortune and wish fulfillment. To be honest, Kkul tarae doesn’t look appealing to me at first. It doesn’t look edible to me. But since I am adventurous when it comes to food, I decided to take a piece. To my surprise, it is not much sweet, not sticky to the teeth. But it is enjoyable with various tastes according to garnishings. It goes well with hot teas as it is best served cold and frozen. And in knowing that it’s a traditional court cake, I felt like a princess nibbling on a precious edible gem. 

Does it look like a cotton ball? Yes, it does.

The choco malt inside ever Kkul tarae.
Well, I am not sure yet if Kkul tarae is available in the local market, but with the numerous Korean food shops that we have now, I bet it’ll only take a while before it becomes an alternative snack to everyone. Or better yet, ask your friendly Korean food shop owners to get you a Kkul tarae from Korea. It’s worth the try, folks!

For details on kkul tarae, visit

Jollibee Chicken Nugget Crunchers: Fall In Love at First Bite!

The box with healthy and yummy treats for all ages.

The first time I saw Jollibee Chicken Crunchers ad on TV, I got intrigued right away. I wonder what made it different from the other chicken nuggets I’ve tried and are available in the market today. Being a chicken-nugget fan, Kyle immediately wanted to try it upon seeing it on TV. However, as a parent, I’m the type who’s quite meticulous when it comes to food especially the ones concerning Kyle. He’s not allowed to eat certain foods because of his condition to the point that I sometimes felt like I’m some kind of Bureau of Food and Drugs personnel. I always had to check with his physician if he’s given the go-signal to eat this and that, and to be honest, that’s quite frustrating sometimes. But then, I guess, that's just part of being a mom. You always had to make sure you're giving your kids only the best.

Going back to Jollibee’s Chicken Nugget Crunchers, I found out later that it is indeed different from other chicken nuggets I had tasted because it had real carrot bits on them. Making our kids’ favorite chicken nuggets more nutritious and delicious!
The new Jollibee Chicken Nugget Crunchers is made of seasoned tender chicken and carrot bits fortified with Vitamin A for healthier eyesight and had beta-carotene, a terpenoid hydrocarbon with several isomers, which is an important factor in the diet as a precursor of Vitamin A.
It was truly love at first bite. Jollibee Chicken Nugget Crunchers had crunchy golden coatings on the outside and tender juicy chicken fillet on the inside. Plus, it is best paired in its sweet barbecue dipping sauce that kids and adults will surely love.

Crunchy goodness in every bite!
Kids can enjoy this crunchy goodness as it is featured as part of the Jollibee Kids Meal complete with rice, a regular drink, and the featured collectible toy for only P98. It can also be ordered for an ala carte at P75 and as value meal with rice and a regular drink for P99 or regular fries and regular drink for P110.

They say that kids never lie. So I would just end this blog post with what Kyle had said about Jollibee Chicken Nugget Crunchers: “I never thought healthy foods can taste this yummy.”
Jollibee Chicken Nugget Crunchers is now available in all Jollibee branches nationwide for dine-in, drive-thru and take-out. For delivery, call Jollibee express delivery service hotline at 8-7000 or log on to their website

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, I  just wanted to write a review on the said food product, the opinions are 100% my own.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Open House on August 14!

Hey, guys! It's FREEBIE time once again!  The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf will have another Open House (read: FREE Complimentary Drinks for everyone) this coming August 14, 2011 where they will be serving 12Oz of Cookies and Cream Ice Blended drinks! Kyle would really love this, he's a huge fan of Cookies and Cream. So mark your calendars foodies for this freebie alert. 

How to avail of the free drinks? Just show up at any of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf branches near you. (EXCEPT FOR THE FOLLOWING BRANCHES: DLSU Cybernook branch, Convergys in Ayala Avenue, University mall in Taft Avenue) from 10AM-11:30AM ONLY. That means if you're late, you have to pay for your drinks already. So don't be late, show up at the right time. No need to print the Facebook invite or to RSVP.

That's all for now. See you!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Batangas Specialty: Adobong Manok Sa Dilaw (Chicken Adobo in Turmeric)

Batangas Specialty: The Adobo sa Dilaw (Chicken Adobo in Turmeric)

You must know how to cook Adobo if you’re a Filipino. It is a staple dish in town fiestas or even in everyday meals. You could cook it in so many ways: with chicken, pork, liver, string beans, etc. You could also prefer to have them shredded, flaked or sometimes even without its sauce. 

The first time I heard about Adobong manok sa dilaw was roughly a decade ago. I went on a Visita Iglesia in Batangas. Although my family was originally from Taal, I never had the chance to explore the other neighboring towns of Batangas. And that Visita Iglesia had given me better views on the different towns I had always wanted to go to. 

Adobong Manok sa Dilaw was served to us during our lunch at Escuela Pia. At first, I was a bit hesitant to try it. I thought, it might taste something like an Indian’s cuisine or chicken curry. So I figured, it must be spicy. But with my Mom’s prodding, I had tasted it. And I never regret having tried it. Batangas specialty, Adobong manok sa dilaw was nothing like chicken curry, although both are yellow—Adobo sa dilaw had a more distinct taste on its own. For one, instead of using artificial food color, it uses the natural yellow color of turmeric (luyang dilaw). 

The best thing about it, it had medicinal properties. And you can’t really compare its taste and its creamy texture with a chicken curry although both uses coconut cream when cooking it. Adobo sa Dilaw just had its own unique taste. But be warned though, turmeric will make your fingers/hands and other utensils you’ll be using when making this dish turn into yellow. 
I am happy that each time I cook this dish at home; I could see the plates are all clean. My family loves Adobo sa Dilaw in the same manner that they adore my typical adobo. When Jose Rizal came to visit Segunda Katigbak (his beloved lass from Lipa, Batangas), he instantly fell for this dish along with the one who cooked it for him. 
Try it yourself, and savor this Batangas specialty dish at home. And get to know why Jose Rizal craved for this dish.