Thursday, March 21, 2013


I've discovered Kuse Traditional Filipino Cuisine Restaurant through the invitation of a good friend. Kuse for non-Filipino speakers refer to the local chef. Kuse's menu showcases traditional Filipino cuisine but with some distinct twists that's sure to delight their guests' palate. Kuse has a homier and casual dining place to begin with. It's a perfect palce for people to come not only for special occasions but also each time they crave for complex Filipino food. It's like coming home to your old grandma's house in the province where comfort foods are served.

Kuse takes its dining delights to greater heights by giving diners an even more satisfying meal. Presenting an exciting mix of innovative dishes, classic cuisine, comfort foods with a twist. Kuse brings delectable gustatory possibilities to anticipate the craving of any foodie. Still evoking the Chefs Quarter signature style of degustation-like choices and some servings that seek to entice and gratify.

Adding more pleasure to an even satisfying meal are the interiors. The subdued earthen toned walls and warm terracotta with bamboo brown and greens evokes artistic decor. With comfy wooden chairs to match the native setting, the pleasure does not end there.

I like Kuse's take on new Filipino cuisine featuring such local ingredients such as Visayan Vinegar, banana blossoms, fern leaves, among others. Kuse's chefs worked intimately and expertly with local ingredients and it was evident, serving only fresh ingredients in a way both clever and surprising: their creme brulee on top of mashed sweet potato and purple yam was such a hit! Their fern salad with buffalo white cheese and salted eggs as well as Adobong Kuhol sa Gata (Stewed Golden Apple Snail or escargot in Coconut Cream). 

Yes, the local version of the French escargot may not exactly enjoy the elite status of its counterpart, being more of a food for the masses. Adobong Kuhol at Kuse is a very delicious and appetizing meal with the snail itself having a very tender and almost creamy taste.

Adobong Kuhol sa Gata
 Our first bite into what I now declare as culinary heaven came in the form of Adobong Kuhol sa Gata. I did not feel bad at all for having eaten so much.

Their selction of salads will make you want to turn vegan, but only for about a second because a serving of Crispy Pata will reunite you with your meat-loving carnevorous self.  Don't forget the Kare-kare with Bagoong (fish paste)! Melt in your mouth ox tail, peanut-buttery taste and crunchy half cooked veggies!

Dulong Rice

Creamy peanut buttery Kare-kare.

The star of the table: Crispy Pata!

 A hearty serving of  warm, moist Crispy Pata. special dark sauce to drizzle it with and a bed of healthy tomato and chili finger slices salsa to go with it--it's a simple comfort food that never fails to hit the spot. Fill up your belly and instantly fall in love with the unexpected fusion of flavors. This best selling dish is definitely worth lining up for (if you have to wait for your seats).

Mini Ukoy with Visayan Sauce

Inihaw na Bangus (Grilled Milkfish)

Finally, the sweetest of endings, Kuse, for all its entree's worth need only bait me with its impossibly sinful desserts to get me coming back for more. Banana Langka Filo with Caramel Sauce will render you speechless the entire time you're eating. if only to savor every single bite. Disguised as Lumpiang Shanghai, these "turon" or filo rolls is the perfect way to cap off your meal.

Banana Langka Filo Rolls

The Creme Brulee Sapin-Sapin is pure indulgence. There are simply no words.

A new way to eat Sapin-sapin: Creme Brulee with sweet potato and purple yam

Indeed, Kuse has all the key ingredients needed in that much sought-after recipe for success: excellent service at its finest, invogorating dining experiences for all senses giving diners a sudden boost of inspiration, as we catch a glimpse of what it feels like, to find one's bliss even through a hearty meal.

KUSE are located in three different branches:

KUSE at Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill (836-49-69)
Operating Hours: 10am-11pm, Monday to Sunday
Seating capacity: 50 persons

KUSE at Lucky Chinatown Mall, Binondo, Manila (708-9576)
Operating Hours: 10am-10pm, Monday to Sunday
Seating capacity: 70 persons

KUSE at Eton Centris Walk, Quezon City (709-9817)
Operating Hours: 11am-11pm, Monday to Sunday
Seating capacity: 90 persons

Security Blanket thanks Ms. Nana Nadal and Ms. Michelle.

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

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Delectable cupcakes from Baked.

BAKED, an up-and-coming online store that sells a selection of delectable treats was born out of necessity and hobby; to become a family bonding activity among sisters and most importantly become an outlet where their passion to eat something healthy, with occasional sweet indulgences of course.

Using natural and fresh ingredients, Baked's culinary team composed of three sisters together with their Mom started the business whipping up mouthwatering baked goodies from their very own kitchen. From cakes, pies, muffins, breads to their best selling cupcakes--everything that they offer are a must-try, with varieties such as Red Velvet, Blackout Chocolate, Coconut Snowball, Dirty Harry, Cookies and Cream--are among the list of many others.

Aside from being pretty to look at, these delicious desserts and pastries make for a sweet way to cap off every meal or a family feast. Chocolate is probably the ultimate dessert, and there's no better place to get your cocoa fix than Baked's.

Sisters behind Baked: Ericka, Richelle and Maricor.

Inspired by the siblings passion in the kitchen, Baked opened last year as a cupcake supplier to a coffee and tea shop. Thanks to their clients' positive feedback, they now sell their heavenly baked goodies online where clients have an option for either pickup or delivery.

Desserts are made using only the finest ingredients and are  guaranteed to be preservative-free, to boot. Security Blanket gets a good case of sugar rush in trying out Baked famous cupcakes. Here's my verdict:

Dirty Harry--Filled with dessicated coconut, Dirty Harry may deceive your eyes for it looks so plain and simple but you'll be in for a surprise upon first bite. It had a perfect balance of choco cream frosting with the natural sweetness of coconut bits--all these exploding textures and flavors in its every bite.

Want to try something new? If your usual chocolate, vanilla and mocha cupcakes doesn't tickle your fancy, Baked's Citrus Burst offers the perfect balance of sweet fresh oranges and butterless fresh cream frosting that's rich and smooth--giving you something new to enjoy. It had that fresh citrusy and tangy zest that'll excite and clean your palate.

Blackout Chocolate in Purple Frosting--The color itself is enough to make me salivate. I love purple. What with rainbow bits sprinkled on top, I know this cupcake looks so enticing. And you can never go wrong because it's filled with buttercream frosting and moisted chocolates on the inside. Finally an indulgent dessert for most chocolate fans. Bringing home a little piece of confectionary heaven with its soft creme ganache type of texture plus it tastes so heavenly. La Dolce Vita in a cupcake! Give in to this sweet temptation. Just thanks God for this gift from heaven.

Baked's cupcakes are flavorful but light. It will make ordinary cupcakes fold in shame. Enjoy the comfort that  Baked cupcakes can bring. Bite into delectable chunks and delight in its creamy goodness with layers of frosting on a soft and moist chiffon cupcake. It's guaranteed to make your day, no matter what! Their rich cupcakes are extremely addictive and impossible to resist, especially for chocolate fans.

You can't help but adore this gooey-lip smacking peanut butter brittle treat that leaves traces of chocolatey mess on your fingers. Coarsely crushed brittles make every chocolate and peanut butter lover smile with this yummy cupcake. No child can resist the crunchyness of its topping and the vibrant colors of the classic candy toppings. The sprinkling of brittle nuts provides an interesting  touch and flavor. You'll love the contrast between sweet and salty.

Baked has been an online buzz for both teens and adults alike. Baked is managed by three sisters namely Richelle, Maricor and Ericka with some help from their Mom. The youngest, Ericka is the brain behind the dainty online business. "It was really her idea. It was her brainchild, even the names of each products," says Maricor, the equally bright middle sister.  Ericka is  actually the one manning behind the kitchen and budding marketer for developing relevant marketing strategies while Maricor have contributed to the progress of Baked in relation to selling and deliveries.

In a span of twelve months, they were able to generate thousands of likes on their Facebook fan page, with consistently growing interaction with their customers. "We're very happy and grateful that people find time to actually post in our Facebook wall," says Maricor of the warm reception from their growing community of food lovers.

With cupcvake stores sprouting like mushrooms, it must be difficult to swim with the current but Baked considers it a challenge. "We're not just cupcakes. We're a bakery and confectionary.We have cupcakes, breads, pies, cookies, pastries and made-to-order cakes as well," claims Maricor.

The three sisters did not study culinary though, but sharing a passion for cooking and baking led them to this business. "Baked was able to make our mark online and the products are based on the ones that we like and the ones we actually bake and eat at home," reveals Maricor.

Baked's business is indeed a reflection of their lifestyle because it's almost an extension of their home. Quality, passion + sisterly love can easily synonimize the tasting as one takes a bite of their classic cupcakes.

For more information and orders, visit
or LIKE them on facebook:

Special thanks to Baked sisters Ericka and Maricor.

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

IFoods Card: Experience perks, discounts and benefits with one must-have exclusive card

Who does not enjoy dining out and experience good food + good ambiance in fine dining establishments while enjoying a wonderful conversation with both family and friends? What about getting more than what you've paid for with some exclusive perks? Introducing, the newly launched IF card, the loyalty discount card that could be used at all restaurants of the I-Foods Inc. group. Members will have exclusive benefits, perks and discounts with this I-Foods card.

Since 2001, I-Foods Inc. has been dishing up delicious meals at reasonable prices for Filipinos wishing to have a taste of world cooking. Its restaurants have made Japanese food an important part of every family celebration, while its other restaurant concepts have allowed Filipinos from all walks of life to sample Italian, African and Korean cooking.

I-Foods Inc. started in 2001 when its president Bryan Tiu opened the first Teriyaki Boy outlet in Greenhills, San Juan. The restaurant gained popularity by word of mouth that, by the end of 2005, the brand already had 10 branches in Metro Manila. The concept was much in demand that the Pancake House Group bought a partnership with I-Foods Inc. that now makes the Japanese fast-food place one of the most popular in the country.

From Teriyaki Boy, the company expanded with other restaurant concepts. Tokyo Café served Western food with a Japanese twist in a comfortable modern Japanese ambience. Its menu of hot and cold coffee beverages is comparable with those offered at some coffee franchises. Stackers Burger Café offers premium burgers that use 100 percent imported beef from Australia. All burgers could be customized with your choice of sauce and toppings, something other burger joints don’t offer.

Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken reinvented chicken barbecue with a spicy marinade that hails from South Africa. The fact that the chicken is grilled of its fat makes it a healthy alternative to commercial fried chicken. Kogi Bulgogi brings home the fad for things Korean with its menu of beef bulgogi, kimchi and other Seoul food. Parmigiano Ristorante Pizzeria brings Napoletana Pizza-style thin crust pizza that cooks in just 90 seconds for one of the quickest service in the country.

If you want to enjoy a world of dining different from what you get at other fast-food places in the metro, then the IF Card is your guarantee to a great dining experience coupled with big savings.
With an IF Card, you get a 15 percent discount on all your purchases at all I-Foods restaurant in Metro Manila for the duration of the validity of your card. The discount will be applied to your total bill no matter how much your total spend is. And with a card validity of two years, that’s worth a lot of pesos.

And unlike other cards, the IF Card also earns you rebates on your all your food purchases. For every P200 that you spend at an I-Foods restaurant, you get a P1 rebate, which may be used to pay for purchases in future visits at any of its restaurants.

The IF Card also gives a cardholder a one-time 25 percent discount on his birthday month. This discount may be availed of at any I-Food restaurant.

Whether you have a craving for Tokyo Café’s hot or iced coffee beverages, Stackers customizable premium burgers, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken’s Peri-Peri Chicken, Kogi Bulgogi’s beef bulgogi and bibimbap, or Parmigiano Ristorante Pizzeria’s Napoletana-style pizzas, you will surely enjoy these treats at a bargain with your IF card.

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