Sunday, January 26, 2014

S & R New York Style Pizza: Huge, Yummy and Affordable + Value for Money

I love Pizza! I could drop anything whatever it is I'm doing at the moment when someone invites me to eat pizza. I enjoy eating pizza in lots of different ways: fold-them up like just as New Yorkers do, eat them backwards starting off from the crust, or slice them into tiny bite sized pieces the way I usually do. I love all kinds of pizza flavors with all sorts of toppings too. From the original Neapolitan style, to the typical ham and cheese, Hawaiian (with pineapple), pepperoni, down to all sorts of unique flavors like 'pinakbet pizza' (a popular vegetable dish from the Ilocos region in norther Philippines) and Bicol Express (inspired from the famous spicy dish in Bicol)--name it, I must have tried it. So you could just imagine my delight when I've discovered S & R New York Style Pizza. These are literally huge pizza (a slice is enough to cover your lunch, actually) that are amazingly affordable! It comes in different flavors:pepperoni, cheese, shrimp and garlic, combo (which typically has everything: black olives, bell peppers, beef, onions, etc.) 

A whole S & R pizza costs around Php599, but then it gives one a true value for money considering it could already feed like an entire basketball team. The good news is that you can buy them per slice too with an equally huge drink for only Php99.00 only! Yes, for something as hefty as a slice of pizza, you'll surely get your stomach full. 

One does not need to travel far to get a taste of New York's famous pizza. The best thing is you don't even need to spend as much because S & R makes sure that Filipinos can afford them without sacrificing the quality. S & R New York Style Pizza had generous toppings and gooey cheese that one will surely go crazy about. If pizza aren't your thing, there are other interesting items on the S & R menu that you might want to try such as Calzone (in various fillings), health bowl of green salads, popular American food like french fries, hamburgers, hotdog sandwiches, fruit smoothies (shakes) and fried chicken. Speaking of fried chicken, theirs are really affordable at Php89 with rice, and Php399 per box for six pieces of S & R crispy fried chicken. They also have churros and soup chowder too. 

Oh, have I mentioned that you don't need to become an S & R member to be able to avail of all these? Yes, you read that right. At Puregold in Cubao (just in front of Farmers Plaza), S & R can be found on the second floor of the said Puregold building. And from there, you can either choose to dine in or takeout your food with you. If you're dining in, you'll have free unlimited  (but self-service) refill of condiments such as minced onions, pickle relish, catsup, hot sauce, mayonnaise and mustard and gravy. 

So, remember, if you're craving for pizza, S & R is the best way to go! It will surely satisfy your pizza cravings and you'll be able to share pizza with your family and friends because of its hefty servings! And this isn't the kind of pizza that will cost you an arm and a leg--S & R pizza are truly affordable. Where else can you find something as filling and yummy? S & R pizza will definitely become a hit among your loved ones too. Compared to other leading pizza brands, S & R pizza isn't greasy, it's not all crusty and it does not scrimp on its toppings! Indeed, it is truly a good value for your money. 

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

Unilever Food Solutions: The Art and Science Behind Food Plating

I've been a foodie for as long as I could remember. Growing up, I had always been in search of gourmet meals sometimes to the point of becoming a gourmand. My interest in food has encouraged me to enroll in a culinary course, hence, I took up baking. But to be perfectly honest, I never fully grasped the concept of food plating. I knew you need to be creative to make the food enticing, but I had no idea there was also science involved in it---I only learned about it recently when I was invited to the Unilever Food Solutions Philippines' Creative Kitchen. Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) made me understood the importance of making dishes visually stimulating. It's not just an art but a significant skill that needs to be mastered. Basically, people eat with their eyes--when a certain dish isn't visually appealing, we often take it for granted no matter how delicious it may taste. In fact, we may not try tasting it at all and move on to the next dish. This is also one of the reasons why the social media platform Instagram has gained popularity where netizens loved to post photos of food on their accounts. 

How food is presented can totally affect a number of things from whether the diner will choose to order that dish, up to the diner's entire eating experience. This is where Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) comes to the rescue for restaurateurs, entrepreneurs in the food industry, practicing chefs or any ordinary food enthusiasts. With its mission to help uplift the standards of the food industry, to help Filipino restaurateurs to improve their operations, and for the chefs to further enhance their craft. UFS believes that it is their responsibility to ensure that their clients and partners become successful too. They know that some entrepreneurs do not have proper knowledge or training in culinary, so they assist them in their business--UFS could develop menus for them and they also make sure to constantly share its expertise and techniques as well as in-depth modules made accessible online at their website for FREE. It is more important than sales alone--for Unilever Food Solutions believes in 'win-win situation' and grow with their clients and partners.

"Sometimes people put so much effort into cooking the food that they sometimes forget that they need the same amount of effort into figuring out how to properly present it," says Unilever Food Solutions Senior Sous Chef Paolo Sia. "It's not only about art, because the way you plate your dish should not only captivate them to want to order and eat it, but it should also guide the diner into how best to enjoy and appreciate it," he adds. 

What Chef Paolo Sia said brought me back to my memories of eating Hainanese chicken for the first time-I had no idea how to properly eat it because I was given three different sauces to go with it. If it only it were plated properly, maybe, it'll be easier for me to figure out which sauce should come first, the ginger oil, the sweet soy one or the chili paste? The basics of food plating include considering the following things: creating a framework, ensuring balance, size of food portions while still highlighting the key ingredients. According to Unilever Food Solutions Executive Chef Joanne Limoanco-Gendrano shares, "Creating a beautiful plate of food entails a lot of discipline. Although creativity is important, it has to be structured creativity. Thus, there is a need to understand the basics of food presentation and plating."

For someone involved in the food service industry as it is in most hands-on entrepreneurs, it is very important to understand your consumers, have a comprehensive knowledge of your cuisine, and know what they are expecting from you. From your business name/brand all the way down to the way you plate your food has to complement the entire dining experience. While it must look beautiful to look at, it still has to be practical. Don't overcomplicate it, make sure it looks good yet still easy enough to eat--without making too much mess. 

I remember I once featured a popular foodie/entrepreneur on this blog who went into food business and named the restaurant in French. People would get disappointed after coming to her restaurant because they thought they'd be enjoying authentic French cuisine but her restaurant's menu were comprised of her well-loved comfort foods and the foods she had enjoyed in her travels and not necessarily French. But because she didn't foresee that naming her restaurant in French would have people thinking it's some cozy French joint. Unfortunately, that same establishment named after a French word had closed down last year. 

Going back to the website I'm raving about, Unilever Food Solutions website, is a great tool for anyone involved in the food service industry, entrepreneurs, food enthusiasts, chef wannabes, or even a  typical homemaker interested in the latest food related issues. To learn more about food plating, food trends, and how else Unilever Food Solutions could help you and your business, please visit 

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Taste Australia's Best at Marriott Hotel Manila this Month of January

Good day, mate! Savor Australia's premium food and drinks at Marriott Hotel Manila this entire month of January. From the freshest seafoods of Great Barrier; imbibe on the spirits from the cellars of Adelaide and indulge on the rich meat pies from Victoria--there's surely something for you to enjoy! 

Taste Australia in a celebration of the diversity of premium food and drinks at Marriott Hotel Manila! Savor the steaks from the Outback, relish the seafood from the Great Barrier, imbibe on the wines from the cellars of Adelaide, or feast on the rich meat pies from Victoria; an array of choices await you this January!
Come over at Marriott Café for an Australian Wine Buffet, where five of the most excellent wines from the vineyards of Australia are available every night for only P825, together with featured cheeses that create a perfect partnership on your palate. A new gelato flavor is added -- Vittoria Australian Coffee, exclusively for this month only, is perfect as a sweet ending to an already delicious meal.
At Cru Steakhouse, experience posh dining with Chermoula Marinated Australian Lamb Loin at P1900, prepared by Marriott’s very own Chef Rej Casanova. Couple the dish with any of the three taste selected Shiraz wines, and add from their selection of cheeses for a classic, well-loved combination. Order a cup of hot, steaming Vittoria Australian Coffee for a fulfilling finish.
Eat, drink, and be merry the way Aussies do at the Greatroom with original meat pies, juicy surf n’ turf, and savory side dishes! Couple it with a mug of XXL beer, a glass of Australian wine or one soda to complete the rustic experience in all Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays of January, 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM at P1100.
At Java+, savor the rich flavors of freshly baked meat pies in three savory flavors: Beef, Mushroom & Onion (P480 nett), Beef, Potatoes & Mushy Peas (P450 nett), and Beef & Cheese (P420 nett). Enjoy it with Vittoria Australian Coffee Frappucino and find your corner at their best-loved coffee shop for the ultimate comfort food.
For guests who want to experience Australia in the comforts of their own rooms, all in-house guests may order Wine Carafes at P350 for 270ml, with a choice of WIllowglen Chardonnay or Willowglen Cabernet/Shiraz. Couple it with an Australian Cheese Trio, a platter of Rubicon Red, Wild Wasabi, and Smoked Cheddar at P570 with a side of homemade jam, toasted crostini, and spiced pecans to perfectly tickle your palate. Meanwhile, those who wish to soak up the sun with an ice cold beer on hand can choose from the local San Miguel Draft at P210 to Australia’s all-original ales such as Foster’s Lager and Victoria Bitter at P250 each.
Join Marriott Manila as they bring you blokes and sheilas over to the Land Down Under for an utterly grand time!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Alaska Crema Merry Food Bazaar

Alaska Crema recently held the Merry Crema Food Bazaar at the Eastwood Mall Open Park  where 24 unique homebased and online businesses got the chance to showcase their bestselling goodies and were able to compete for the yummiest dessert creations. The Eastwood Open area was turned into Sweet City as young and old alike indulged into everything sweet and nice as everyone sampled all the delectable treats on display. I'm not much of a sweet tooth but I knew pretty much it was truly a delightful experience to check out what each food booths had to offer. Name it, they have it--from sweets to savory to whatnots. There have been a whole lot of treats that foodies and dessert aficionados had to enjoy. 

We also spotted actress/entrepreneur Bettina Carlos who was then so busy manning her very own food booth called Baked Bites with Dulce de Leche Pecan Cheesecake and Nutella Rocks cupcakes as their best selling items. Chocoholics feasted on different kinds of chocolates--from native Malagos cacao, mint chocolates, milk chocolates to dark one and caramel--every sweet tooth had surely been well satiated. For those looking for something different, there's puto bumbong and bibingka, siopao, cakes and polvoron, even crispy and tasty lechon! 

Speaking of lechon, it was the first time I saw a chocolate cake that cooked actually be mistaken for a lechon de leche because it actually looked like one. Nothing But C's really put a creative spin on our fiesta staple food. We also adored the polvoron that looked like little cupcakes with cute character designs on top such as Minions, Hello Kitty, Christmas Tree, Angels etc. They looked so good to look at, it's easy to forget they're really edible and were meant to be eaten!

Alaska Crema even had an on stage games and program so there's practically no dull moment. The event was hosted by popular radio dynamic duo of Chico and Delamar. It was also graced by pop rock singer Yeng Constantino who sang Christmas songs as well as her current hit single Chinito to the delight of the audience. The Intervoices Chorale also wowed the audience with heartwarming Christmas songs. Lucky guests and participants of the fun games went home with awesome Alaska Crema gift packs as prizes. 

It was indeed a merry event as Alaska Crema has inspired everyone to put creative twists to old time favorites and classic desserts/viands, thereby making the holiday feasts extra special. 

Security Blanket wishes to thank Mikki Abrazado and Alaska Crema.