Thursday, December 29, 2016

Nikuya Grill Serving Authentic Japanese-Korean Charcoal-Grill and Hotpot in Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons Pasig

Exactly a week ago, the staff of held one of their Christmas parties at Nikuya Grill in Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Oranbo, Pasig City. For those who don't know yet, I contribute to this uber cool magazine-themed website. Anyway, since we had a really good dining experience at Nikuya, allow me to share such enjoyable and fantastic lunch with you guys. 

The name Nikuya stemmed from the word butcher in Japanese. The restaurant stays true to the kind of cuisine they offer--with high quality meat sealed in vacuum packs and stored in cool temperature, you cannot go wrong with it. Nikuya is a fusion of Japanese and Korean, two of the most popular Asian cuisines that most Filipinos go crazy about. If I'm not mistaken, it's the first of its kind in the restaurant industry in the country. 

If you've been reading my food blog, chances are, you know pretty much how I also write about restaurant's interiors as well as their ambiance, that's apart from the food they offer. As for Nikuya, I love its Zen ambiance and cozy interiors. They do have high ceilings adorned by large white lighting fixtures that resembles Japanese lanterns. The wall even had an image of what seemed like a Japanese warrior or samurai complete with swords and all that. 

Nikuya is one of the few Japanese restaurants in the Philippines that have a Grade A5 Wagyu Beef (top quality). There are some grades for WAGYU beef and A5 is the highest grade given only to the finest beef. The standards of grading beef consist of Yield Grade and Quality Grade. "A" of "A5" means the yield grade, while "5" shows the quality grade. Beef are sold per 100 grams. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

El Guapo's Tex-Mex Eats in Kapitolyo Pasig: Simply Good and Tasty

With its screaming Mexican themed walls and lively colors, it's hard to miss El Guapo's Tex-Mex Eats

It's quite obvious to anyone paying attention that Filipinos have also taken an obsession with Mexican food. All you need to do is to look around you and you'll see our fast food chains, food courts, strip malls and everywhere in between--you're sure to find Mexican stuff everywhere you look.Other cuisines have not quite taken over like the rampant spread of tacos, burritos and other notions borrowed from Latin culture. Joining the long lists of Tex-Mex restaurant would be El Guapo's Tex-Mex Eats in Kapitolyo, Pasig City. With its screaming signage, lively bold colors and murals down to its Mexican themed walls, it's not hard to find El Guapo's especially at night.

I love the fact that guests have an option whether they'd be staying indoors (for non-smokers) and outdoors (non-aircondition for those who'd love to puff while eating and drinking booze). This setup gives guests and customers freedom to enjoy their food and be comfortable as well. They even have a bar inside where you can order their signature cocktail drinks and have them tweak based on your preferences. Yes, their barista allows you to do that, just make a request. For non alcohol drinkers, they have a mock up mojito (drinks that look just like the real thing) so you can still enjoy drinking sans the alcohol. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Daily Beans Coffee Lounge and Restaurant opens new branch in Antipolo in time for Christmas

Daily Beans Antipolo owners and childhood friends turned entrepreneurs: Jojit Restauro, Joshua Tarraya, Francis Guanco and Dan Tarraya

Press release:

With the remarkable success of its flagship store in Pililia, Rizal, four enterprising young men who have been friends since childhood have banded together as business partners, to open a new branch of The Daily Beans, a Coffee Lounge and Restaurant located in the bustling area of San Roque, Antipolo City, along the Sumulong Circumferential Road fronting Unciano Colleges.

Childhood friends now business partners

The Daily Beans began its operation in 2011. According to the store’s proprietress, Sally Tarraya, the idea of putting up a coffee shop in the middle of a long road along Kilometer 56, Manila East Road in Barangay Hulo, Pililia Rizal, where daily commuters and travelers pass on their way to Caliraya Laguna, Quezon and other tourist destinations, was a smart move due to its ideally strategic location. 

For the past 5 years, people of all ages have been frequenting this haven, where they can rest and chill while ordering their choices of freshly grinded coffee brewed and extracted on a daily basis, where they can select from Choco Java Chip and Mocha Peppermint Frappuccino, Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha for their Hot Coffee, with their favorite pasta or cheesecakes. The store has become a part of the everyday lives of its customers.

Cookie crumble frapuccino with chocolate chip cookie

The Daily Beans offers a variety of dishes and refreshments for young and old alike. The Coffee Lounge serves coffee, frappuccinos, Avocado, Mango Banana and Strawberry Mango smoothies, pasta consisting of Spaghetti Meatballs, Carbonara and Chicken Pesto, sandwiches, salads, burgers and other snacks. Their restaurant portion serves sumptuous Filipino food such as Sinigang sa Miso which is a hit among its clientele, Grilled Tuna Panga and Belly, Adobong Matanda and Roasted Chicken. All-Day breakfast fares are also included in their menu, The Hungarian and Schublig sausages have proven to be best sellers.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

BKK Express: Serving Affordable and Authentic Thai Food at Uptown Mall

BKK Express at Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City

Last weekend, I was invited to try BKK Express (Bangkok Express) at the Food Hall of the posh Uptown Mall in Bonifacio Global City (BGC). It was my first time at the said mall and I couldn’t help but rave about the place because it’s a great place to go food trippin’. People within the BGC are so lucky because they’ve got so many restaurants to explore and enjoy. Looks like I need to come here more often should I find myself in the said area. I guess I was fortunate to be invited by BKK Express, from the same company that brought us the well-loved Filipino buffet restaurant, Cabalen, to try their latest business baby which was more casual dining than its sister company, Soi. This is really timely because I’ve been having Thai food cravings lately since it’s been ages since I had eaten a really good Thai food.
The spacious Food Hall at Uptown Mall
BKK Express' Lemongrass Juice
BKK recently opened its doors to cater to foodies craving for authentic Thai foods without the need to travel to Bangkok. Located at the 4th level of Food Hall at Uptown Mall, it’s the newest concept store serving quality yet affordable Thai fare. 
Chef Thea and Mr. Roy Fontabla welcomes you to BKK Express

I’ve always been a huge fan of Asian cuisines particularly of Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai foods. So you guys can imagine my excitement when I came in early that Saturday morning to try the foods served at BKK Express.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Book and Borders Cafe Opens at Eastwood City

Book and Borders Cafe in Eastwood City Opens Officially

I’ve always been a fan of cozy coffee shops such as Book and Borders Café. Imagine a place where you can have two of the things that excites you, books + awesome food and coffee? After having opened two branches of Book and Borders Café in Tomas Morato and Tuscany on McKinley Hill, they had recently opened their third and latest café in Eastwood City—giving residents from that area as well as BPO employees, students and shoppers a chance to experience what Book and Borders has to offer. 

Formally opened their doors to the public last November 26, 2016, Book & Borders Café promises great food, awesome drinks and a fun place where bookworms and booklovers will surely appreciate. Guests can spend hours and hours of reading while munching on sweets and patisseries or as they sip a warm cup of hot chocolate or Book & Borders’ signature blended coffee

Coffee are made with love!

With cute stuff that adorns the cafe, you wouldn't miss it!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Cabalen Eat-All-You-Can Buffet Food Review & Contest Giveaway

Cabalen welcomes guests with a smile.

Whenever one thinks of going on a food rampage, Pampanga food always tops the list. Capampangans are known for not scrimping on ingredients. Known for being skilled cooks who spend a great deal of their time preparing dishes and sharing sumptuous meals with relatives and friends, it’s no longer a surprise when their province was hailed as the culinary capital of the Philippines. So I was thrilled when I got an invite to try dining at Cabalen—an Eat-All-You-Can Buffet restaurant noted for serving authentic Capampangan dishes and other Filipino specialties, originating from Pampanga.

As I stepped inside Cabalen, it reminded me of a childhood memory set in my grandma’s  Bahay na Bato in Taal, Batangas. Dining at Cabalen feels like coming home to your grandma’s ancestral home in the province where you get to taste a plethora of food choices (some specialties can only be found and enjoyed here). The interior itself seemed to breathe a new life into old stuff with some modern twists especially the chairs being used as well as the chandelier gives off a vintage vibe. The result is an eat-all-you-can Capampangan restaurant that feels intimate and personal, a quality that’s not usually present in large buffet resto in the metro.

Johann Coffee & Beverages Lets You Taste the Filipino Christmas With Their New Blendpresso Delights: Puto Bumbong and Queso de Bola

Press release:

Christmas in the Philippines is the longest and the brightest amongst nations. Filipinos hospitality shines bright and what better way to welcome our friends and relatives than staple delectable dishes and desserts such as Puto Bumbong and Queso de Bola. This Christmas, Johann Coffee & Beverages curated coffee drinks that are especially made for the Yuletide season: Blendpresso Puto Bumbong and Queso de Bola.

It’s still your masterpiece in a cup but with a twist. Each cup has one espresso shot, no artificial flavoring, carefully and specially roasted for Johann Coffee & Beverages.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Rustan’s Supermarket celebrates holiday traditions with new offerings that guarantee the joy of feasting

Founded on passion for great food and a strong desire to serve, Rustan’s Supermarket brings you thoughtfully selected gifts from around the world and tastefully prepared platters to spread the holiday cheer.

The country’s go-to for fresh food items and premium products is making holiday preparations easier, without sacrificing quality, and its newest offerings take care of your home entertaining needs this festive season. Whether playing host or bringing for a posh potluck, you can choose from a selection of delicious platters that everyone’s sure to enjoy.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

East Coast meets West Coast in new collaboration store from Yellow Cab and Jamba Juice

 Press release:

Max’s Group, Inc. (MGI) consistently offers unique dining experiences to Filipinos with their loved brands. The innovative group has hatched another new concept, showcasing two of their top brands to complement each other, and drive customers’ experiences to higher satisfaction levels.  

Shangri-La Plaza is now home to Yellow Cab and Jamba Juice’s collaboration store. The two brands are sharing a space to create a seamless system that allows customers to easily enjoy the tasty offerings of both brands.

 “We’re excited to be pushing forward the collaboration of Yellow Cab and Jamba Juice,” shares Yellow Cab and Jamba Juice COO Roy Quejada. “This is our first collaboration store where customers get to experience the full menu lineup from both brands.  We’re happy to Blend in the Good Stuff as we bring this unique dining experience to Shang, and hopefully to other parts of the country too.”

“The idea spurred out of an East Coast meets West Coast concept,” explains MGI President and Yellow Cab Coach Robert Trota. Yellow Cab, representing the East Coast, is rooted in its New York identity—from the style of pizza to the aesthetic of the stores. Jamba Juice, which was conceptualized and first opened in California, very much embodies the healthy, fun, laidback attitude of the West Coast. “With this collaboration store, diners can get the best of both worlds,” Robert continues. “There’s the option to dig into a satisfying meal from Yellow Cab or sip on a healthy smoothie from Jamba Juice. Or you can balance it out by having both.”

Monday, November 21, 2016

Delicious and satisfying Donburi rice meals only at FamilyMart

Beef Kaldereta

Press release:

Enjoy fresh and high quality products and delicious meals whenever you visit FamilyMart. The popular Japanese convenience store chain treats you like family by serving up its latest offering that will make your daily lunch rush or quick after-work dinners more filling and satisfying, the Donburi Bowls.

Mushroom Soup

There’s always something new to look forward to every time you visit FamilyMart because they keep introducing awesome food products to offer every discerning Filipino. Try out FamilyMart’s Donburi Bowls… deliciously satisfying rice meals that could be your new go-to dishes every day of the week.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Chicken Noodle Soup

Friday, November 18, 2016

Chef Laudico’s Feasts Opens at SM City Clark Pampanga

It’s no secret that I’m such a foodie. But ever since I’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, I’ve learned to decline food invitations with a few exceptions of course. I’ve been asked by my friend and fellow food blogger, Edel if I wanted to represent her to experience Chef Laudico’s Feasts at SM City Clark Pampanga. Since I’m not that busy, I jumped at the chance to visit the said restaurant which I later learned turned out to be another food paradise. 

 To be perfectly honest, I’m one of those people who wonder what made celebrity couple chefs Rolando “Chef Lau” Laudico and wife Chef Jackie Laudico to open a buffet type of restaurant in Pampanga. In an interview we’ve had with them, Chef Lau and Chef Jackie openly admitted that they were discouraged by well-meaning friends to do so. It is common knowledge that Kapampangans are the best cooks in the country since Pampanga is the food capital of the Philippines. However, these chefs take pride on the fact that it is a challenge on their profession as chefs to prove that they have something new to offer even to the most discriminating palate.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Herbalife Nutrition At Work Survey Reveals Filipino Millennials Desire Healthy, Active Workplace Environment

Filipinos love to eat. Unfortunately, nowadays everything is pretty fast and instant, even the food that we eat. In the process, we tend to lose focus on what is really important--our health. It's just good news to hear through a recent survey conducted reveals that more Filipino millennials are engaging in regular physical activities outside work, they find it difficult to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle in the modern workplace.

Herbalife Nutrition, a global nutrition company, has released the findings from its Asia Pacific Millennials At Work Survey1, which revealed that Filipino millennials are adapting a healthy, active lifestyle, however, most believe their current workplace environment prevents them from doing so.

Millennials, or people born in between 1980 and 2000, are opting for a workplace that will encourage them to stay active, if only this will be embedded in every company culture.  About 83 percent or eight (8) in 10 millennials have agreed that they would like their company workplace to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle.

With the millennial generation expected to make up 50 percent of the global workforce by 2020, ensuring the wellbeing of millennials will be important to improving workplace productivity. “There are about 35 million millennials now in the Philippines, which is about one-third of the country’s entire population. Five years from now, millennials will be dominating the labor force. While most millennials want to lead healthy lives, they face real obstacles at work in doing so,” said Rosalio Valenzuela, Herbalife Philippines General Manager. “At Herbalife Nutrition, we provide our employees with nutrition products at work, subsidize gym memberships, hold regular wellness programs related to nutrition and well-being, and encourage participation in outdoor activities and sports competitions.”

Additionally, the survey findings revealed the following:
·         Seven (7) out of 10 millennials strive to live healthy, active lives
·         However, the majority of millennials find it challenging to maintain an active lifestyle at work – eight (8) out of 10 millennials spend 6 to 13 hours at their work desk each day, and 64% of millennials get less than 30 minutes of physical activity - including standing, stretching and walking at work on an average work day.
·         Additionally, 64% of millennials cited the “lack of time” as the key obstacle to engaging in physical activity at work.

Herbalife Philippines General Manager Mr. Bong Valenzuela with Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board Member Julián Alvarez García, M.D., Ph.D.

 To provide tips on how millennials and their employers can integrate positive nutrition and life style habits at their workplaces, Herbalife Nutrition has organized a sixth Asia Pacific Wellness Tour, which builds upon the successes of the past five tours that welcomed over 100, 000  participants. Five experts from the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board (NAB) are scheduled to tour 21 Asian cities from October 7 to 30, to hold a series of talks, workshops and medical symposia across the region.

Julián Alvarez García, M.D., Ph.D., member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board
giving a talk during the Manila leg of the 5th Asia Pacific Wellness Tour.
“Through these efforts, we hope to equip organizations and employees with the right tools to collectively build a healthier work environment across Asia Pacific,” said Valenzuela.
Julian Alvarez Garcia, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board, will be visiting Manila for the Asia Pacific Wellness Tour this October. Julian Alvarez Garcia, M.D., Ph.D. will also be sharing expert advice on how millennials can adopt simple positive nutrition and lifestyle habits at work to improve their overall well-being in the long run.

Some of the tips to help foster a healthier millennial workforce include:

·         Nutrition

o   Dedicate a healthy eating day each week and get colleagues involved in making healthy choices for lunch on this day.
o   Boost water intake to help the body digest food, rid the body of toxins, and help deliver nutrients to the cells. Drink at least eight (8) glasses or two (2) liters of water a day.
o   Have a protein shake combined with non-fat milk and healthy fruit for breakfast. With 20-30 grams of protein and low-fat contents, it can provide the body with all the nutrition it needs to power through the day.

·         Active Living

o   Create a playlist that incorporates upbeat music and play with hourly intervals.
o   Use Running Apps to keep energized and on-pace during regular runs.
o   Set a goal to join running competitions to motivate self to sustain an active lifestyle.

1Herbalife’s Millennials At Work Survey was conducted in 2016, with 5,500 respondents aged 18 and above, from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Batangas Food Festival in Matabungkay Beach Hotel by Filipino Culinary Masters

What happens when you put together two extremely passionate, creative and talented master chefs, both successful in their respective fields, a managing director of a popular resort and her culinary team all together? That’s what Security Blanket had witnessed when I was invited to the media launch of Batangas Food Festival 2016 at Matabungkay Beach Hotel. It was a gorgeous lunch that could be called a symphony of flavours, tastes, aromas and textures that make up the Batangas Food Festival menu. 

Ms. Charley Leviste-Antonio, managing director of Matabungkay Beach Hotel in Lian, Batangas put together top chefs Ms. Nancy Reyes-Lumen, the “Adobo Queen” herself and Chef Jaja Andal to collaborate on the menu for this year’s Batangas Food Festival, which will run from October to December 31st, 2016. 

Power of Pen: A Food Writing Conference (Visayas Leg)

Press release: 
Life experiences and travel create a well-rounded food lover.
As food critiquing, and food writing in general has become a more recognized ‘career’, seminars, workshops, food and heritage tours are sprouting up geared specifically to food writing.
STRAM, INCORPORATED, an events company based in Manila has been creating and organizing the POWER OF PEN – a Food Writing conference and forum since 2009. Since then, the Power of Pen which happens every two years has now evolved and developed regional food writing workshops to cater to the growing demands of the food writer’s community.
This November 19, the Power of Pen will be touring the Visayas region with the University of San Carlos as its  co-presentor and official venue for POP Visayas. The one day forum will gather distinguished personalities from the writing industry composed of editors, authors, culinary and heritage workers and news writers.
The POWER OF PEN is something which one can seek out if you do not have an educational background in writing or to simply boost your writing skills. The topics handled by our specially chosen speakers will help you think in new ways to make your writing come alive.
 POWER OF PEN VISAYAS will have experienced and seasoned writers, among them – Michaela Fenix (cook book author and writer for Phil Daily Inquirer), Myrna Segismundo ( Doreen Gamboa Food Writing Competition Founder), Anne Marie Ozaeta ( Editor in Chief, FOOD by ABSCBN Publishing), Louella Alix (Author of Hikay : The Culinary Heritage of Cebu for the  University of San Carlos Press), and  Jobers Bersales Ph.D. (Publications Manager , the University of San Carlos Press) .The POWER OF PEN Visayas will have the following topics for the day : General Over-view of Food Writing, Importance of Research for food stories & ideas,  Techniques & Tips for Recipe Writing,  Writing & Editing for Publications, and Regional Food writing and the Importance of  Culinary Heritage.
Registration fee of Php1,200.00/head will include the refreshments and the Certificate of Attendance signed by all the speakers. Special rate for students currently enrolled is also being offered at Php 600.00/head. (Valid school ID for the current school year required before anyone can avail of this).
To register, please call STRAM,INCORPORATED, (02) 352.31.87 & (02) 927.72.08 or you may also email them at :

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Midea provide home solutions

Press release: 

A few years ago, Midea was basically a new entrant brand in the minds of the Filipino market. With so many established appliance brands already etched in every consumer’s thought whenever on a search for appliances, Midea was on a tough road in competing to capture the attention of the market, more so, landing a space in their homes. But slowly and surely, Midea made its way to consumers through the help of their retail partners, the first line of people these consumers meet, who effectively convey the philosophy behind the brand and the benefits of Midea’s consumer friendly solutions.

“When we were set to bring the brand in, what we were looking for is not just selling boxes, not just selling products,” Concepcion Midea, Inc. General Manager, Mr. Phillip Trapaga also points out that home chores are taking away a lot precious time for the whole family, “for us, it is really about studying the consumers, the pressures and the problems they are having with home chores, and bringing them friendly solutions that would make doing home chores easier for them.”
Abensons and Robinsons are just few of the first major retailers which easily welcomed the brand and have taken in its philosophy of not just ‘pushing the boxes’.  “What we wanted to do in pushing the Midea brand to consumers is to stop talking much about the technology and start talking about the benefits and teach the consumers how they can have a worry-free life with our home-friendly products,” Trapaga said.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Product Review: Mrs. Lam Premium Sinandomeng Rice + KIMCHI FRIED RICE, KIMCHI BOKKEUMBAP Recipe

Rice is a Filipino staple food. Most of us cannot live without eating rice. In fact, when I went abroad for the first time, I felt that my meals weren’t complete because there was no rice available. There are lots of rice variations: brown rice, red rice, black rice, yellow rice and of course, white rice. I recently received 2 kilograms pack of rice brand called Mrs. Lam Premium Sinandomeng Special rice for a product review from Ad Garlic

Mrs. Lam’s Rice is guaranteed 100 % locally harvested and carefully selected over-milled crop from the best regions in the country. What makes Mrs. Lam’s rice different from other rice is its naturally fragrant aroma, white, long grain, smooth shiny and silky in appearance. When cooked, Mrs. Lam’s produces a white soft long grain with a slightly chewy texture.

Produced utilizing the state-of-the-art innovative technology of rice-polishing along with its advanced laser sorting machines, Mrs. Lam’s Rice ensures the best quality rice. Guaranteed to deliver the best rice but sold at a very reasonable price, it ensures every customer’s satisfaction and continues patronage.

Mrs. Lam's Premium Sinandomeng Special Rice after it's cooked

 Aside from its longer, slimmer grains, what distinguishes Mrs. Lam’s long-grain white rice from medium or short grained white rice (the kind used in risotto or sushi respectively) is that after cooking it remains fluffy and separate. Long grain rice such as Mrs. Lam’s contains less of starch called amylopectin, which is what makes rice stick together.

Celebrity mom Danica Sotto Pingris endorses Mrs. Lam's Rice
Mrs. Lam's Sinandomeng Premium Rice is neutral in flavor, perfect for providing backdrop in other foods. Nonetheless, high quality white rice such as Mrs. Lam's rice--like good white pasta, or a real French baguette--offers pleasingly chewy "al dente" texture and a slightly fragrant aroma on its own. On my last trip to the International Rice Institute, I was able to learn that processing per se affects the rice flavor. All rice starts out brown' to become white, it is milled. It goes a process that removes the husk, bran, and germ, which contains flavor compounds as well as nutrients. The longer the rice is milled, the whiter the rice becomes--and the more flavor is removed. Most brands of rice are then enriched to replace the lost nutrients. Overall, I loved Mrs. Lam's Premium Sinandomeng Soecial Rice. It had subtle notes which reminds me of "nuts" or "barley." Even with added flavors in rice pilaf or Korean bokkeumbap, I prefer Mrs. Lam's rice for its winning brand quality in both taste and texture.