Monday, October 24, 2011

Banchetto: Food Trip Heaven Galore!

Sumptuous meals at an affordable price.

Enjoy good food, good company + good music in this quirky food bazaar where different cuisines abound. Banchetto is definitely the place to go! Foodies and gourmets will surely enjoy this food heaven. Imagine a hundred of food stalls to choose from! One will surely delight in what Banchetto has to offer. Not to mention, foods are cooked before your very eyes and in an al fresco setting.

Banchetto staff eagerly sells their stuff from morning til'  midnight.

Yummy foods only found in Banchetto were a hit!

One doesn't need to go to Ilocos to have Bagnet and Empanada.

Empanada from Ilocos were made right then and there upon order.

Banchetto shirts are also up for grabs.

Pizza Galore for food enthusiasts.

Come one, come all to Banchetto here we go!

An extensive array of food stalls for everyone.

From appetizers, main dish, to desserts—there’s definitely a lot to choose from. Have your fill of sisig bagnet, kare-kare, crispy roasted lechon, spicy Bicol express, grilled seafood, baked mussels and oysters, Italian pizza, calzone and pasta, Chinese chow mien, Japanese sushi and sashimi + ramen, Belgian chocolates, yummy sweet pastries and more! Making a pact with your friends, colleagues and office mates to make Friday your official Calories Don’t Count Day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Food Review on Jollibee Grilled Pork Tenders

I’ve always had this issue when it comes to eating grilled pork in certain restaurants (read my previous food blog post)—you see, there’s nothing worse than eating a supposed-to-be-honest-to-goodness marinated grilled pork but with the hardness of a rubber tree. I had gone through a lot of restaurants, sometimes even those that are considered as fine dining, but I am constantly disappointed when it comes to anything grilled—either they come out too tough for my teeth to sink into or too rare that there’s literally blood oozing out of the meat, and that to me is really yucky! Forgive me for using really disgusting details, but I believe it is really necessary for me to point this out so that restaurant and fast food owners/managers would be giving more attention to the quality of their food, in both presentation and good taste.
I had recently seen the Jollibee TV advertisement on their newest food product called Jollibee Grilled Pork Tenders. I had been looking forward in trying it out; unfortunately, it’s only available in selected Jollibee outlets for now. Last Sunday evening, my fellow blogger and friend, Darryl Dial-Villena of had to catch up for the very late dinner after watching Polecats at the Philamlife Theater in U.N. Avenue. I’ve finally had one in Jollibee Rizal Park branch in T.M. Kalaw corner Orosa Streets in Manila.
When it comes to tenderness, true to its claim, the pork is indeed very tender. It’s consistently easy to chew and cut even with a plastic fork. It literally sinks into my teeth. Yes, the pork wasn’t a challenge to chew. The only downside, in my opinion, was the taste. I don’t know how it’s done, but it’s supposed to be well marinated either in a special sauce or it is served with a barbecue type of sauce. It had actually taste so bland and insipid. It lacks the caramelized color I’ve been looking for grilled pork tenders and it is served with only soy sauce and calamansi (Philippine Lemon). If not for the lack of flavor, this dish would have been a dentures’ dream.

I wish that the people from Jollibee, particularly those that are serving this dish in selected Jollibee food chain branches, would be able to improve the quality and taste of this Jollibee Pork Tenders because what good would a pork tenderness brings if it tastes so bland? The flavors had to sink right into the pork (that’s why it’s recommended to marinate them overnight) before you grill them so that when you serve them to the customers, it had that smoky honeyed barbecue taste. And please, serve a sauce on the side, so that the customer will have an option to either smothered his/her pork tenders with sauce or hold it out.
An order of the Jollibee Pork Tenders is available at P81 for a value meal with plain rice and an 8 oz. soda of your choice. 

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this blog post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vitamilk: Soya Goodness!

On a sweltering summer afternoon, a cold beverage is your best weapon against heat-induced bad moods. Vitamilk’s Soya Drink is highly addictive—and great for bright, sunny days when it’s cold, but if you opt for a hot drink, then soak its bottle in warm water. Drink up! 

Vitamilk reminds me of my growing up years drinking another brand of chocolate milk in a bottle. But this time, it’s made of good soya. Your kids won’t be able to get enough of the kid-friendly Vitamilk Soya Choco-flavored drink. It’s absolutely delightful. It also helps if you serve these drinks with an Oreo cookie or any plain biscuit for an afternoon teatime or merienda in a cheerful atmosphere conducive to some family bonding.
Vitamilk Soya Drink is affordable at P23 in leading supermarkets nationwide. It is also available in Chocolate flavor. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Moulinex You Cook Video Recipe Competition 2011

Moulinex Philippines invites currently enrolled culinary students and hotel and restaurant management students to join the Moulinex You Cook Video Recipe Challenge 2. With the Moulinex You Cook Video Recipe Challenge contest, culinary students from all over the Metro will have the opportunity to produce their own sumptuous recipes on video and have a chance to win amazing prizes not only for themselves, but also for their mentors and their schools. 

Contestants must be at least 18 years of age and currently enrolled as a student chef for a diploma or certificate course from any culinary school or a Hotel and Restaurant Management or equivalent from any college or university in Metro Manila.  Purchase of Moulinex products is not required.
Recipe Requirements: They must create an original recipe based from this year’s theme: Filipino and International Fusion Cuisine. And they must clearly show the food ingredients, standard measurements, complete preparation instructions, cooking time, temperatures and number of servings. It has to be prepared using at least one Moulinex appliance (Moulinex shall provide the appliances to participating schools upon request, at least 3 days before the day of use.) The video has a maximum allowable time of 10 minutes. 

The video must be sent on a CD format with the downloadable entry form (found on their website at + picture of the contestant + curriculum vitae and a copy of the contestant’s school I.D. (to prove that he/she is currently enrolled). There will be 16 semifinalists, 8 finalists and 1 Grand winner, 1 Runner-up + 6 consolation prizes. 
Criteria for the video will be the following:
Creativity + Originality—20%
Ease of Preparation—20%
Optimization of Moulinex Products—20%
Visual Appeal—15%
Video Presentation—15%
Pleasing Personality—10%
Prizes at Stake:
Grand Prize Winner:
Contestant: P40, 000 cash, Stay and Learn Program inclusive of an overnight stay of Intercontinental Hotel, Moulinex Master Chef Tour, gift packs from sponsors and a Certificate of Recognition.
Mentor: P5, 000 cash, P5, 000 worth of Moulinex products and gift packs from sponsors.
School: P25, 000 worth of Moulinex products and an F & B/Cooking Seminar for selected students courtesy of Intercontinental Hotel.

Second Prize:
Contestant: P20, 000 cash, gift vouchers from Intercontinental Hotel, gift packs from sponsors and a Certificate of Recognition.
Mentor: P4, 000 cash, P3, 000 worth of Moulinex products and gift packs from sponsors.
School: P15, 000 worth of Moulinex products.
6 Consolation prizes of P5, 000 cash each for the other 6 finalists and Certificate of Participation.
Submission of Entries: September 26, 2011-November 15, 2011
Deadline of Entries: November 10, 2011 (6:00PM)
Qualifying Round: November 11,2011 (Judging: 1:00-6:00 PM)
Semi-Finals: November 18, 2011
Grand Finals: December 3, 2011

Just to give you some ideas on how to make your own video cooking presentation, here's the video of last year's Grand prize winner, Ms. Nerissa Martinez from First Gourmet Culinary Academy.

During the contest launch, the judges had also given out a few tips for you to find out what are the things they'll be looking for from the students who will join the contests. Hear from the judges bits of tips and advices on how to make the perfect video for the said contest:

For more details and information, visit their website or email
Contact Mr. Marvin Mancera, Brand Marketing Assistant-Moulinex at 681-6161 or 681-6163. 

Kebur: A Hole-in-the-Wall Mediterranean Food Joint

It's really just a small dingy place, but don't judge the food based it.
You wouldn't think of it at first, given its seclusion from all the bustle and hustle of the city. It's actually a place where you had to really walk a few miles before reaching this hole in the wall Mediterranean food joint. No jeepney plies by the street where Kebur is located. Another downside is that Kebur only opens daily in the late afternoon starting at 6PM until about 12 midnight.  But no worries, I'd have to say it's all worth it once you get a taste of Kebur's word-by-mouth famously made Pita Pie

Kebur had other delightfully Mediterranean dishes on their menu such as Keema, Keema rice, Shawarma, Kebab and they also had our Filipino favorites such as Tapsilog (stir-fry marinated Beef strips, fried rice and fried egg), Sisig (sizzling pork ears), Ilocano's Dinakdakan (pork masks and ears with mayonnaise and calamansi or Philippine lemon), among many others. But their Pita Pie remains at the top of the list. It's really affordable for P40 each pie. It tastes like shawarma with a little bit of twists on it. It had loads of cheddar cheese to begin with and you had a choice of hot sauce or white yoghurt to dredge it with. I personally recommend the yoghurt, although if you're the type who go for an extra kick, then having it with hot sauce will surely give you that chili flavor you're looking for. 
My low resolution mobile camera couldn't capture the lighted menu.

Kebur's Best-seller on the menu: Mouthwatering Pita Pie!
I personally liked Kebur's Pita Pie. It's crispy up to the last bite. I could wolfed down an entire pita bread for all I care! It's rich in flavor and had this creamy goodness of the white yoghurt. I tried it with the hot sauce, and it's extremely hot! It's like having tabasco sauce on my pita bread. Just to give you an idea how enjoyed I was while munching on my pita bread, eating this reminds me of pizza with shawarma toppings and yoghurt dip. I must have been to heaven eating this yummy pita bread. 

Their other Best-seller: Shawarma with yoghurt dip
My family loved Kebur's Shawarma.  Its juicy and meaty plus it's really delicious. In fact, if you're planning to visit this joint, you had to make sure to come really early as both Shawarma and Pita Pie sells like hotcakes.  Most people flock to Kebur's for take out of their Pita Pie and Shawarma.  Aside from that, Kebur is basically a small bar, so expect that they are also serving alcoholic drink. Kebur is such a small place that it gets really packed even outside especially on a Friday or on weekends. 

We were told that Kebur's owned by a former overseas Filipino worker who used to work in the Middle East. His fascination and love for Mediterranean food had given him an idea to put up a mini-bar cum food joint where he could savor and enjoy his favorite food even without leaving the country. He also made it a point to keep the foods on his menu affordable because he wants to share his love for Mediterranean food to the masses. 

If you're adventurous when it comes to food and a certified carnivore, Kebur's the best place to go. It promises good food without emptying your wallet. 

Kebur's is located on 20th Avenue in Cubao Quezon City (going to Boni Serrano Avenue from P. Tuazon). 
It is open daily from 6PM-12MN. 

Papa John's Pizza: Guaranteed Fresh Ingredients All the Time

It had been raining really hard that Saturday afternoon. The MRT had stopped its operation since there was a shortage in power supply. So instead of going home after an event, my blogger friend and I decided to stay and hang out for a while. We decided to grab some bite at a pizza joint called Papa John's.  Unknown to many (that included us), Papa John's had been existing for 25 years in other parts of the globe. Its founder John Schnatter had set a certain standard of quality which means using only the finest ingredients on each order of hand tossed pizza from his store. 

In fact, on his Robinson's Galleria branch in Ortigas, where we had our meal, his promise to his customers are posted on the wall. Proving that fresh ingredients is tantamount to better pizza. 
The promise is written on their wall.
What makes Papa John's pizza different from other pizzas? Their pizza is best enjoyed when dipped in their special kind of cheese sauce. As stated on their line tray: bite, dip and enjoy!
Bite, dip and enjoy.

Part of their Menu.

They've got lots of pizza choices from Super Papa--an ultimate combination of tasty pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, freshly sliced mushrooms, onions, green peppers and black olives. They also had the All Meats for carnivores out there, Pepperoni--generous slices of pepperoni slices smothered in extra melt in your mouth cheese, Garden Special--and a whole lot more!
Pasta galore

Each pizza ingredient was explored.

Desserts, anyone?

Papa John Schnatter's promise on the wall.

Papa John's Pizza can be found in different countries around the globe.

The restaurant's commitment to their clients and customers.

Yes, you can watch how they make your pizza.

Friendly staff, cozy ambience and well lighted.

Papa John's pizza had that signature large green chili on each pizza.

Daryll and I ended up ordering a Junior Papa pizza and a Seafood Carbonara plate. It was delicious alright. But how I wish it was made more affordable for the masses. We shared a Junior Papa and the guy who served us even asked us how do we find their pizza, I thought that was a good one. I liked that they wanted to know how their customers find their food. I graciously said that I enjoyed their food with gusto and I could sense they had really used fresh ingredients especially their tomatoes. 
Our friendly guy named Neil, takes my friend Daryll's order.

Junior Papa pizza at about P300.

Papa John's portrait is posted on the wall.

This couple enjoys pasta, pizza and more.
Three ways to enjoy your Papa John's Pizza:

Seafood Carbonara loaded with lots of Parmesan cheese at P180.

If you'd like to experience another pizza haven, then Papa John's the place to go. They deliver in certain areas with a minimum delivery of P300.  We were told that they have other branches like Robinson's Metro East, but you may get in touch with their Robinson's Galleria branch by dialing 631-8689 or 736-0570. Come and visit them at The Veranda, Robinson's Galleria. 

Visit them on their website