a little bit about travel, a little bit about food, a lot of everything in between; as seen, tasted and experienced by different points of view..

Recent Posts

Meat Depot

Meat Depot

And here we are at Meat Depot, literally, another meat depot. I had the joy of dining in one of these restaurants before in Shang, where you choose from their freezer and ask them to cook it for you in the temperature you like. They […]

Char Express + Bake + Stockwell

Char Express + Bake + Stockwell

A newly opened food hall at the Podium Mall, Corner Market, is starting to gain traction with its various food selection from every imaginable cuisine. After roaming the food hall, I was literally overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to eat haha but I decided on […]

Ramen Nagi

Ramen Nagi

Today I have an appointment in Makati Shangri-La from 9am to 12nn. I had to prepare for this meeting long and hard and once it was over, I immediately walked to the nearby Greenbelt 3 to grab my bowl of ramen from Ramen Nagi. Why? Because I deserved it! I’ve heard of this place before and saw some photos from friends. But I don’t want to get in on the hype of trying the other specialty ramen without trying the original first. Besides, this is their base right? If this is not good, then why would I expect the rest to be?

So I ordered the Original King (Butao) with the assortment of toppings of chashu pork, spring onion, bamboo shoots, raised spice level to half (because I have recently discovered people who eat chili for breakfast haha), nori, and of course, tamago. The broth was simple and you could say yummy but lacked richness.. The noodles were extra hard so that’s great. The chashu pork portion was on the small side. The aji tamago was perfectly executed. The other toppings were fresh and green just the way I like it.

Also, you don’t have ramen without Gyoza and theirs was served sitting on a bed of bean sprouts to stop too much heat coming from the iron plate. It’s my first time seeing that sort of presentation of the gyoza haha I prefer it simple, no fuss. Give me a perfectly steamed gyoza with crisp underside! Besides, there were burnt bean sprouts that passed on its taste to the gyoza. Were they going for that taste? It’s weird.

Verdict: 2/5
I finished the whole meal albeit the burnt taste (I apologize for always going back to that but I can’t help it). It was very filling but I like simple Japanese food. I felt like the held back too much on the ramen and overdid it on the gyoza. Pity.

Ogetsu Hime

Ogetsu Hime

Continuing the Japanese cuisine saga, we’ve managed to hunt down yet another restaurant for sushi and sashimi lovers alike. Ogetsu Hime which translates to “Goddess of Food” has landed at our dear SM Megamall Fashion Hall. It’s one of those restaurants you pass by and […]

Chibo Okonomiyaki + Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory

Chibo Okonomiyaki + Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake made of several ingredients. The name comes from the Japanese term “okonomi” which means “what you like” and “yaki” which means “to grill.” And that came from Google, because Google knows everything. There’s a newly opened restaurant that offers this […]

Poke & Co

Poke & Co

My new fave poke place is nestled inside the Lonsdale Quay market, very accessible and convenient from the Seabus terminal. Poke & Co, originally from California, opened in December 2017 and has been a hit since then.

Just like every other poke place, ordering here means you are greeted by an assembly line of base, proteins, toppings, crunchy add on and a few other extras. You can opt to build your own bowl or try their mixed creations with different pre-selected ingredients.

There are three main sizes to choose from – small with two proteins, medium with three and large with four. I always opt for the large one with mixed brown rice and salad as base and I usually get the salmon, shrimp, scallops and either the ahi tuna or the spicy tuna for the protein, there’s a tofu option for vegetarians too. The toppings are too many to list down so I just tell them to put everything but the beans (yeah I don’t like beans). There are four main sauces as of this writing – house, ponzu, sriracha, wasabi, I mix and match but every combination seems excellent when paired with fresh seafood and veggies. For crunchy add ons, there’s garlic, onions, wakame and peanuts, you pay extrat dollar for a slice of avocado, which I always get.

If I could eat this everyday, I definitely would! But waistline and wallet complains a lot so I opt for a once a week sojourn. If you’re ever in the quay area, don’t forget to give this spot a visit, you absolutely won’t regret it!

Verdict: 4.5/5 – there’s not a lot I would nitpick about this place, maybe a few improvements would be adding that burrito style sushi option or having more proteins, toppings and sauces to choose from, otherwise this is a solid place to go to and it’s interesting to note that I’ve almost forgotten to visit any more sushi places since this store opened 🙂

Jaeu

Jaeu

The first time I passed by this restaurant in the expansion wing of Festival Mall, I thought that’s a weird name for a restaurant: Jaeu. How on Earth are you going to pronounce that? Jae? Joe? Zha? So naturally, when I went there to dine […]

Epicurious

Epicurious

Eating at Epicurious in Shangri-La is hitting two birds with one stone. Today is MD Paper’s 10th Anniversary and because of that, Scribe organized an event to showcase talented artists and their works, and of course, several brands that are patronized by everyone in the […]

Paradise Dynasty

Paradise Dynasty

Before working on this review, I had to read back to all the Xiao Long Bao posts I did in the past months and check if those were properly rated. Because when I saw my dim sum served to me, I knew in an instant it was going to be great! And was I sooo right, I could be a dim sum connoisseur! Haha several times I passed by this new restaurant in Podium, Paradise Dynasty, there was something about it that tells me I should try it soon. And that day was today.

Get to the restaurant just before the influx of diners come for lunch and you’ll be seated right away. They didn’t have a very extensive menu, unlike other Chinese restaurants, which tells me it’s a good thing. They focused on what they do best. The menu was just a piece of paper, maybe a fourth of a short bond paper, and you have to tick off what you like to eat. I got the Specialty Dynasty Xiao Long Bao first of all. It had 8 flavours of xlbs: Original, Ginseng, Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Cheesy, Crab Roe, Garlic, and Szechuan. That’s also the order you should eat them but it’s not clear to me why. When it arrived, it was so colourful and pretty that I didn’t want to eat it haha! After finishing all of them, my favourites are Cheesy, Crab Roe, and Szechuan. The balance of the flavourful broth and filling is outstanding! The Original wasn’t so bad at all. The Foie Gras and the Black Truffle were both ok, but I don’t know if it’s just my tastebuds that are not sophisticated enough to enjoy these treats. The rest of the flavours, were also flavourful, like the Garlic and Ginseng, but a little too much for my liking. Don’t get me wrong, they tasted nice, too. Now let’s talk about the broth. Funny the xlbs were aptly coloured to match their flavor, but the magic is with the broth. It’s flavour, no matter which xlb I ate, was never amiss. The amount of broth in it was also fantastic. I have that thing with eating xlbs now, I measure the broth with the spoon, and each one from this bamboo steamer had overflowing broth inside. You didn’t need much of the condiments, you can eat them on their own, but I like mine with a little chilli oil. Hold off on the ginger so as not to mess with the individual flavours.

For my next dish, I had to choose from their steamed/fried dim sum. And this one, the Pan-fried Shanghai Pork Bun, was both so it was obviously the choice. When you eat it, it’s like something that hasn’t decided what it really was, in a good way haha! Crispy on the undebelly and soft at the top. The bun had great amount of filling inside, which was already quite yummy, needed little to no help from the condiments too. I had to switch between eating this and my xlbs, yes, I’m that confused. Haha!

And the restaurant? I noticed they assigned servers per station/area of the restaurant. So the ratio of the people to servers were very good. Diners were well tended too, it wasn’t too busy looking, noisy, or any of those bad qualities you might see in a restaurant. It was well lit and had those mirrors everywhere giving it the illusion that it’s quite big.

Verdict: 4.75/5
This is the best rating I’ve given so far for a dim sum dining experience. And I would really recommend it. I don’t know if I will order the other stuff from their menu, you might have a hard time peeling me off from these favourites. I’ll go back for the cheesy xlb anytime. Haha!

L’épicerie Gourmande

L’épicerie Gourmande

Another French restaurant in the block, L’épicerie Gourmande is at the Riverpark at Festival Mall. It was a sunny day (isn’t it always?) so I decided to sit beside the window. I had a nice view of the amphitheater but further up there was a […]

Pétit Bistro

Pétit Bistro

We’ve been having our fair share of European restaurants in the south and here to take it up a notch is Pétit Bistro, a newly opened restaurant, first of its name, in the expansion wing of Festival Mall beside the Landmark drop-off point. To be […]

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

On the same day after trying that very forgettable restaurant in Molito, I had to look for something nice place that serves desserts. And luckily, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory was nearby! I left my parking spot, yeah, that very tight one, drove around the compound, only to find myself right where I started because RMCF was just a hundred steps away from it. Yeah, good thing this parking spot was so tight, I’m the only one who had the guts to use it haha!

When I got to the restaurant, there was a couple that’s leaving, and yay! I got the whole restaurant all to myself! I took my time looking at their elaborate display of chocolate dipped marshmallows/cakes/bananas, truffles, chocolate bars, and candied apples. They’re all very nice to look at, but I came here for one reason alone: try their Chocolate Lava Cake. Yeah, because I like to challenge them, I make the best chocolate lava cake. LOL (like that Eggs Benedict thing, remember?)

After 10mins, my dessert is here! And it’s a joy to look at it, it’s like it jumped right off from their menu! Took some pictures (and selfies) with it before cracking it open. But apparently, since they just microwaved it to heat it, the should be oozing, chocolate-y center had gone, there was just a tiny part of it that still was, but aww.. it was a little too sweet for me, I like to put less than a teaspoon of ground coffee with mine to balance it. They served it with a classic vanilla ice cream on top, drizzled with chocolate sauce. All of that goodness sat on drizzling of caramel sauce on the plate for nice presentation.

Verdict: 3.25/5
I’m such a critic, of course I’ll give my recipe a better rating haha but this wasn’t so bad. The overall taste was good (well, after that mediocre lunch, anything would be good haha!). The servers left you in peace, the place was clean and spotless. They had a huge teddy bear at the entrance! Oh I personally haven’t tried eating candied apples, I heard that’s their bestseller.. maybe next time?


Highlights

Captain’s Boil

Captain’s Boil

The test of a good restaurant is if it is consistent in pushing out good dishes and if it improves in the stuff they need to work on based on customer reviews or well just based on their experience. I’ve been to Captain’s Boil five times in the past 8 months (yes that’s why I can’t fit in my jeans anymore haha) three times at their Kingsway branch, once at their Richmond location, and once at their Yonge branch during my Toronto visit last month. I’ve ordered different items from their menu on each occasion and I think the only ones I haven’t tried yet are the clams (because I’m afraid they’ll be chewy) and the chicken slices (because hey why go to a seafood boil if you’re going to get chicken!! haha).

This review is a summary of all those dishes I tried.


Sauces:

Captain’s Boil – probably the best choice to have a balanced taste of spicy buttery and garlic goodness
Cajun – hotter than the Captain’s Boil
Lemon Pepper – a bit bland for my taste, might be good for those who don’t want to overpower the seafood taste or those afraid of chili
Garlic Sauce – I tried this on the shrimp but I missed the spice, this should be the choice for the faint of heart.

If you like eating with your hands wrapped in plastic gloves and devouring seafood swimming in sauce served inside plastic bags then this is definitely the place for you. The first time I tried this kind of dining was in California at Kickin’ Crab and Craw Daddy and Boiling Crab, what can I say, I’m not a fan of getting food inside plastic bag but it works if you don’t mind getting messy, which is probably what’s gonna happen anyway when you’re eating seafood and cracking shells here and there.. is it worth another visit? Sure! Especially if you don’t want to have that mess in the comforts of your dining room, otherwise I say just go buy fresh seafood from the market then cook them at home.

Verdict: 3.5/5