Thursday, March 27, 2014

Win Awesome Prizes from Oreo!

Oreo ready to have fun? I bet you all are especially since summer is officially here. But before you guys head off for the beach, let me share with you one awesome event I recently went to. Our all-time favorite cookie, OREO, organized an event to launch their Better Together Campaign. The said campaign answers the question why we all love Oreo and why does it taste better than other brands? Well, what do you know, we finally had the answer: because only OREO gives us the BEST COOKIE AND CREAMIEST CREME altogether in one superb cookie treat! 

Also launched during the event held at the SM Megamall Events Center was the Oreo Get Dunked app on Facebook. It is a contest open to all OREO loyal fans who'd like to score amazing loots--up for grabs are an Xbox 360 Kinect and 40" Samsung LED Smart TV along with huge but oh-so-cool Oreo Giant Cookie and Milk couch set! Aren't that COOL? Joining is easy peasy. Just like their Facebook page and register on the app, buy Oreo Vanilla nine-pack or Oreo Chocolate creme pack which had promo codes--and voila! It gives you instant points right away which you can use to play with the app. The more points you get, the better your chances of winning the top prizes! The number one on the leaderboard wins the prize of the week. 

Mondelez Philippines Senior Manager Anna Sapitan says of the promo and Oreo's Better Together Campaign, "Filipinos are naturally joyful, we value experiencing that joy together with friends and family. Oreo is a brand the we've grown to love and trust through all these years and we'd love to continue this legacy."

To find out more about Oreo's latest campaign and for the full mechanics of the Oreo Better Together Promo, visit their facebook page at

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Happy Cream Puff: Healthy Desserts + Cafe--A Treat for those with Sweet Tooth and Coffee Enthusiasts

The next time you find yourself in Shangri-La Plaza Mall, head to its 5th level in the new East Wing. Here, you'll find a really cool place where you can check out incredible varieties of cream puff creations + awesome coffee drinks too! The store's name--HAPPY CREAM PUFF--perfectly match the feeling you'll get once you've tasted their custard based cream puffs. I'm no fan of anything sweet but this one is something I could vouch for. 

Established in 2006, Happy Cream Puff is an original concept store owned by couples Japanese businessman Haruo Yamagishi and his Filipina wife Maricel. Both are very hands-on with their business. Happy Cream Puff's first outlet opened its doors in Makati and many have already become loyal customers. So from a humble kiosk in Makati, they were able to open a bigger branch on the 5th level of Shangri-La Plaza Mall's East Wing expansion in February 2014. A lifestyle resto-cafe, Happy Cream Puff offers a wide variety of cream puff and other desserts as well as sandwiches and coffee. At this cozy shop, perfection is king. The Japanese are known to have a keen eye for detail, people always seek perfection. "Our clients know our products are different. We use only natural ingredients and we avoid all kinds of preservatives," says Mytch Alipio, Happy Cream Puff Manager. The claims are evident in their lineup of freshly baked breads, cakes, croquembouche, namachoux, puffs and other Japanese-French inspired sweets. Their croquembouche (pronounced as "kroh-kuhm-boosh") which literally meant "crunch in the mouth" is a must try--made of custard-filled cream puffs and stacked in a tall pyramid shape. It's an ideal present and a pretty good alternative to cakes. Best served at celebrations such as weddings, debut, birthdays and other special occasions. Their Namachoux (nama-shoo) is delicately soft and moist, while their Banana Nama Eclair is a scene-stealer. 

So what makes Happy Cream Puff a great place to visit? I personally enjoyed all the petit cream puff especially the caramelized one. Each small, crisp, hollow round of choux pastry is filled with honest-to-goodness custard cream, freshly piped upon order and then topped with a thick coating of caramelized sugar or if caramel aren't your thing, there are 28 other different toppings for you to choose from: Matcha Cashew Green Tea, Blueberry, Sliced Almond Choco, Rainbow Sprinkles, Dark and Strawberry, Caramel Choco, Chocolate Chips, Coconut Choco, Sliced Almond Caramel, and Rum Raisin are just a few examples. It's actually difficult to choose the toppings because you're tempted to try them all at the same time! 

If you think Happy Cream Puff's tad too sweet for your tooth, then you're in for a surprise. I don't have a sweet tooth neither am I a chocoholic, but I just couldn't resist these heavenly cream puffs. They've got just the right amount of sweets and they go well with an order of Happy Cream Puff's specialty drinks: for hot coffee enthusiasts, you'll never go wrong with hand drip coffee, cafe au lait, espresso, matcha latte, caramel macciato. For cold beverages, there's Happy Cream Puff signature blended iced tea, milk tea, banana, mango, or strawberry shake, caramel bean frappe or chocolate frappe. 

I brought home a box of Happy Cream Puff's petit puffs (a box of 14). It tasted sooo good and sooo addicting that I didn't realize I almost ate the entire box in one sitting. Yes, that was how good it was. But a box of petit puff is basically meant for sharing. Each little piece of heaven gives an emphasis on the hard work that the Happy Cream Puff team had been doing--from its own unique taste and the flavors to the freshly piped cream inside them. The attention to detail placed on their product. 

A trip to Happy Cream Puff is like a treasure hunt, with a treasure trove of kawaii delicacies and oishi puffs waiting to be discovered. Choose from any of their authentic pastries for a taste of Japanese perfection. 

Happy Cream Puff Delivers for a minimum of P500 + P50 fixed charged delivery via 956-3147 for Ortigas, Pasig, Mandaluyong and selected areas only. 

Happy Cream Puff is located at the 5th level of Shangri-La Plaza Mall, East Wing, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City

Special thanks to Ms. Leony Garcia and Ms. Mytch Alipio.

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

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Gourmet Filipino Burger at Wham

Press Release: When it comes to burger, most people would think about it as a comforting meal and perhaps the safest choice when craving for something fast yet satisfying. However, many will agree that not all burgers are created the same, purveyors can be partial over a tried and tested recipe with American appeal coupled with an awesome classic taste that stands out.

Back in 2000, there weren’t really too many options for something one may call an affordable legendary burger—one is left with a choice of either having a basic burger in a fast food or very expensive hotels for something fancy. This was then the beginning for good friends Tony Yap and Dondi Lazaro to profusely experiment for their own concoction. After several trials, all signs point to build their own burger brand especially when both of their friends and families gave their seal of approval with their unique recipe discovery.

Although the evolution of gourmet burger didn’t happen overnight, there was surely a good market for foodies who have grown weary of the typical offerings and go beyond the usual flavors but still affordable. Now, food lovers in the Philippines have long known that good quality burger is a must-have item in a casual-style restaurant.

Wham was near an instant hit in its first Quezon City branch for capturing the elements of what an outstanding burger should be: huge, hearty, and tucked with impeccably good beef. Celebrated for its never frozen patty perfection, the secret is also in its grilling equipment—a hybrid of electric and gas with pure charcoal on top. Cooking under the coals not only creates a savory, smoky flavor with an invitingly charred exterior, it rounds out an incomparable juicy texture in it’s strictly one third pound, certified no extender robust beef with 80-20 lean and fat. With its no short cuts, homemade-style formula that’s far from a typical fast food style or too expensive hotel burger, Wham is a bold version that sums up to affordable gourmet quality burger.

Prides itself for introducing a 100% Filipino burger brand with outstanding product and service, most people perceive that Wham is an international franchise. “The initial simplicity of the food and items inspired from my international travels very much worked. Along the way, we had to adapt to Filipino taste, like adding Spaghetti in the menu because kids loved it and wouldn’t eat anything else. And the major draw about our burger is how we cook our patty. We use the old-fashioned real charcoals”, Tony shares. While its standard speaks for the quality of the ingredients, Wham defied all expectations by introducing something far from a mundane category.

The colorful, comic-inspired interiors of the outlet is a welcoming surprise to the customers from the very beginning since it lends a fun, awe-inspiring vibe which eventually became the signature feel and look of the stores. Interestingly, one of its flagship item “Kapow” was adopted from a comic scene to denote a sound effect.

After Dondi and his family relocated to Cabanatuan, Wham officially became a family-owned business of Tony Yap with wife Camille, brother-in-laws Joby and Kiko with sister-in-law Liza. It was the then the beginning of its expansion; currently with four branches including it’s first-ever Katipunan QC, SM North Edsa The Block, Molito Alabang and Mall of Asia.

With no bells and whistles or complicated ingredients such as MSG, Wham Burgers remain on top of mind when questing for an affordable delicious burger with real beef that one can taste. Another factor that gives this classic favorite a breed apart? Side choices such as potato wedges or bite-sized chicken are satisfying and as flavorful as the mains which amps up the burger eating experience.


Wham Burgers is located at five branches: Katipunan, SM North Edsa (The Block), Molito (Alabang) and Mall of Asia. For more information,

visit Follow Social Media Accounts: Wham! Burger on Facebook, WhamBurgersPH on Twitter, and whamburgersph on Instagram.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Burger Project: Personalized Burger at its Best

Whether you cut your burger with a fork and a knife or you'd like to eat them with your bare hands, you will agree that with The Burger Project, there are certainly more ways than one  to enjoy your burger. A new concept of personalized burger--where you can put anything you love on your burger and omit those you abhor (for example: onions, pickles, and mustard). It actually felt like you're about to take an exam when you're given a paper and some pen from The Burger Project counter before you order. No need to peek or copy from someone else's paper. It is basically a checklist of the items you'd want in your own burger. Here, you can have your burgers exactly the way you want to since you-create-your-own-adventure-burger. Yes, you can have your burger the way you want to. 

Start off your adventure by choosing your burger patty--you might want a 100% angus burger,100% beef patty, double or triple patties, chicken, chori or for vegans, there's tofu. Then you choose your own burger bun, you have options whether you'd want the standard sesame bun, oatmeal (vegan), potato or brioche. From there, you can choose the kind of cheese you want, followed by the toppings and then finally the sauce. The taste of your burger depends on the choices you'd make. Be careful though as there were some items that does not complement each other like say for example, blue cheese and mango salsa. 

I practically inhaled this burger! This is the closest I've come to an awesome burger experience. My burger arrived full and packed with the fillings I've chosen for my burger. I resisted the urge to applaud as I didn't want to startle the other guests. My burger was well prepared and perfect with an inviting mix of flavors (from those I had chosen) and it surprisingly worked well together. The sauce (I've had buffalo wings sauce) was appreciably deep and married effortlessly with the beef patty and the other toppings and the gooey Mozzarella cheese. My sesame bun had a consistent crunch factor and remained such even after absorbing all that magic sauce.  There's some sense of addictive flavor profile here that keeps you hooked to the last burger bite. Each bite was consistently tangy and juicy, with a nice layering of flavors culminating the heat of my burger with buffalo wings sauce. Hands down, this is the best burger place for me. One burger is enough to satiate you and good enough for lunch meal. 

If you aren't into personalized burgers, you can choose burgers from The Burger Projects' choices of designer burgers where there's a standard bun, toppings and fillings. While you're at it, you can also order milkshakes and try their different designer fries (animal, truffle, chili cheese). Take note that their fries aren't your typical 'fries' because they seem like potato wedges--they're that huge! We've had their animal fries and it's really good that we had to order another in like after 10 minutes of wiping them out! The Burger Project is all about good old American food at its finest. 

If you're up for some fun and exciting way of eating a burger, then visit The Burger Project in three locations: Maginhawa Street in Teacher's Village Quezon City, Scout Rallos in Quezon City and in Jupiter Street Makati City. 

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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jack ‘n Jill Big Bang offers explosive fun with two new flavors

Our favorite chocolate snack as a kid has two new exciting flavors out in the market today. Remember Big Bang Chocolate bars from Jack n' Jill? There are two new flavors to choose from inspired by all-time popular desserts, Jack ‘n Jill’s Big Bang puts-in a distinctive fruity twist to its well-loved chocolate snack as it offers two new variants –Big Bang Banana Split and Big Bang Blueberry & Cheese.
Big Bang Banana Split delights the palate as it combines yummy banana split-flavored nougat with crunchy choco cookie balls, wrapped with creamy milk chocolate.
Big Bang Blueberry & Cheese, on the other hand, tempts the taste buds with its delicious blend of lush blueberry and cheese-flavored nougat and crispy rice puffs all enrobed in silky smooth chocolate. Both variants are now available at leading supermarkets, groceries, and convenience stores nationwide.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Coffee Empire Opens its First Branch in Quezon City: Marks the Rise of the 3rd Wave Coffee Concept in the Philippines

Coffee enthusiasts and aficionados have all the reasons to rejoice as the Coffee Empire launches its first cafe in the country. It introduces the third wave coffee concept and aspires to the highest form of culinary appreciation for coffee. "The preparation of this well-loved beverage has become an art. Every nifty little detail is specifically calculated--from the source of raw coffee beans, to the roasting process all the way to the final brew. With Coffee Empire, you can be assured to experience some of the finest coffee of the world alongside our very own grown coffee beans," shared Coffee Empire's General Manager Ernest Joggler R. Martin. 

Situated along the busy commercial district of West Avenue in Quezon City, the Coffee Empire (an 800 square meter property) offers a wide range of high-quality, hand-picked coffee beans roasted to perfection and served as its peak where excellent tastes, texture and aroma is achieved. Enjoy the very best and finest coffee from both local and international single origins such as Benguet Atok, Sagada, Guatemala Fancy Antigua Santo Domingo, Brazil Ceraddo SS-FC, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe OCR, and Columbia RFA Organic, among others. Aside from the selection of coffee beverages, the Coffee Empire also serves specialty drinks like wine, cocktails and craft beers. 

The Coffee Empire had this cozy ambiance that guests can look forward to. They also serve an array of mouthwatering dishes with modern comfort foods comprised of various salads, soups, finger foods, mains and desserts to satiate their customers. Multi-awarded Chef AC Agra refined the delectable dishes with Asian, Spanish and American influences while making use of French techniques with the aim to satisfy customers with a complete sensory experience. 

Going inside the Coffee Empire is an experience in itself. One can smell the aroma of freshly grounded, roasted and brewed coffee beans wafting in the air. The robust flavors of coffee with innovative and modern twist in their coffee drinks should not be missed. Grandiose dishes were presented with the Coffee Empire's delectable signature dishes. They gave diners a taste of flavors which started off with potato and ham croquettes and roasted chicken lollipops, pesto pasta, a selection of cheese and fruits, and some fresh greens to go with it. They also gave guests their Vanilla Nitrogen Cake--a first of its kind, where guests had fun as white smoke comes out of their mouth while eating them.

During the Coffee Empire grand opening, they held an art latte competition by skilled homegrown baristas perfecting the rosetta leaf. The lone winner from the said contest brought home a brand new iphone5  while other participants received consolation prizes as well. 

Overall, The Coffee Empire is a venue where one can enjoy all the wonders of coffee from here and around the world. It had all the great things to offer: great ambiance, wines, salads, finger foods, mains, desserts--anything that pleases even the most discriminating palate. 

Come and experience the difference. Visit the Coffee Empire at 74 West Avenue, West Triangle, Quezon City

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Juan Stop Inasal: Authentic Ilonggo Foods within your Budget

It was truly surprising to have stumbled upon a food establishment on that part of Balete Drive and P. Tuazon on N. Domingo, San Juan. An al fresco dining that features authentic Ilonggo fare, Juan Stop Inasal will surely make a great pit-stop for commuters and those who live in nearby areas. What used to be a family garage now sports a dining area with a festive ambiance. "We started out as a takeout counter and eventually opened a dining area in September 2013," says Stephen Christian Po, proprietor of Juan Stop Inasal. "This food business started because my wife and I couldn't find any restaurant in the Metro that serves authentic chicken inasal. So we've thought of my grandma's recipe of the chicken inasal and from there, we were able to develop our recipe according to our own taste," added Po.  

Juan Stop Inasal had that inviting ambiance from its wooden tables and benches, to the colorful wall signage, free wifi connection, a reading area (where one could take some magazine and read as you wait for your order) to the fast service--it is the kind of food establishment that you'd want to linger on and chat with family and friends alike. Oh, and Juan Stop Inasal has an enclosed glass grilling area where one can see how your orders are cooked but sans the smoke coming from the grill. 

Chicken Inasal seems like a very simple recipe-chicken marinated in a mix of ginger. Garlic, brown sugar, calamansi and vinegar, grilled to perfection until the skin is tinted with an appetizing orange or yellowish color and the meat is amazingly tender and juicy. But the real inasal stems from the incredible combination of both savoury and smoky tastes that's actually hard to recreate or even describe. When doused with one's own formula for dipping sauce (it could be soy sauce with chili, calamansi, sinamak vinegar or even sugar)--it is the most flavorful and fulfilling meal one will definitely ask for more. 

There are several chicken inasal chains in Manila but only a few truly knows how to make an authentic chicken inasal. I have always been in search of finding 'the real thing' so each time I try on an 'inasal', I would mark it if it has passed my standards or failed. I'm such a huge fan of Ilonggo food that's why I got so excited upon learning that Juan Stop Inasal offers not just chicken inasal but other Visayan favorites like Batchoy, Ilonggo's finest longganisa, Negros style spicy bangus sardines, and Ilonggos in Manila will be happy to note that even the rare KBL (Kadios, Baboy, Langka) which I seldom find on Ilonggo restaurants is available here. They also have grilled liempo in two variants: hickory barbecue and salt and pepper, pork barbecue, dinuguan, pancit and sisig. 

Here's my verdict: I commend Juan Stop Inasal for their jumbo inasal meal with unlimited garlic rice and unlimited iced tea because it is truly a good value for money at Php105, all-in! Imagine getting mounds of unlimited garlic rice and unlimited drinks--you're tummy will certainly be happy after consuming every rice-you-can-eat and drink-all-you-can-iced-tea. I also loved its authentic Ilonggo taste--it isn't sweet unlike other chicken inasal I have tried from other restaurants that 'claim' to be 'authentic'. What I've had at Juan Stop Inasal tastes just the way chicken inasal should be--it's probably done the way they do it in Bacolod or Iloilo. I should know as I've been to Iloilo before and tasted the 'real thing'. For me, Juan Stop Inasal's version of chicken inasal passed my standards. 

Hefty chicken portion size, delightfully crispy skin, soft and succulent meat, Juan Stop Chicken Inasal tasted pretty heavenly. It definitely held its own, despite other sumptuous dishes (which were all wiped out). While you're at it, do not forget to ask for the chicken oil mixed with the dipping sauce basics when you eat their inasal. There was nothing that my group and I didn't finished off, so you can imagine how stuffed we were after our meal! 

Do try to order their sizzling pork sisig, it's one of the BEST I've ever had! And I am totally raving about it even days after I've had that meal. For Php130 per order, it's good enough for two to three persons. You can even pair it with a bottle of beer for that perfect meal. I can assure you, it's definitely worth the trip! 

Juan Stop Inasal's hickory grilled liempo was also outstanding. Its got that sweet and spicy taste of charred pork. Although it had bits of bones on it, but pairing it with their garlic rice brings satisfaction. As for the KBL, I really think kadios is basically an acquired taste. I love it although I'm not really a fan of pork. For those not familiar with kadios, it looks like a small black bean (similar with tausi but not salty), the soup had that tangy unique taste on its own. If you're craving for Visayan food and you're on a budget, Juan Stop Inasal is the go-to place. 

You can even purchase your favorite Ilonggo delicacies as pasalubong or as desserts to cap off your lovely meal. 

I only have two words for Juan Stop Inasal, "Namit Gid!". 

Juan Stop Inasal delivers on limited area nearby. Call 570-5653 for delivery and advance orders. 

Juan Stop Inasal is located at N. Domingo Street between P. Tuazon and Balete Drive (near Religious of the Virgin Mary Convent). Special thanks to Mr. Stephen Christian Po and his lovely wife and to Mr. Ian Atienza.

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