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Friday, July 1, 2016
SEAFOOD SUNDAY BRUNCH at SPECTRUM, MAKATI

 
If there was a day that I would love to go out, it would be Sunday. The end of the week marks another beginning. What better way to celebrate the week ahead with a luxurious and family friendly Sunday Brunch Buffet. AT SPECTRUM, you can expect the best. Located in Makati, SPECTRUM is the all day buffet restaurant of both Fairmont and Raffles Hotel.
For this Sunday, the theme was SEAFOOD SUNDAY BRUNCH. Starting June, SPECTRUM would be offering delicious seafood dishes to cater to its guests. As you enter, you are greeted by a well curated photo op table and back drop. Perfect for a photo op. Children are also well taken cared off since there is a kid's corner that shows a family friendly cartoon movie.
I would be the first to say that SPECTRUM does not have the largest buffet spread. Rather, it is focused on the flavor of each dish it delivers. Quality over quantity every time.
To start off, you could go for different cheeses and pate. I would go for the creamiest cheese I could find and partner it with a slice of bread.
There is also a number of salads on deck. Alongside different cuts of meat, you don't need to worry about getting too much seafood in your tummy.
 
I believe that the cold dishes are well thought off. The plethora of choices is just astounding.
Smoked salmon and even squid with olives does a number on your taste buds.
Well seasoned clams were also present. Perfect with bread.
My favorite dish in this section would have to be the shrimps. They were steamed and cracked open ready for the taking. SPECTRUM saves you from the hassle of removing the shells.
I always start small. My philosophy when it comes to buffet is that I need to try them all. As such, always try to get small portions every time. This would allow you to get more for what you pay for.
I was pretty impressed with the Japanese section of the buffet.
The number of rolls are more than my fingers. Different techniques were used to produce these delicious makis. I would suggest you go for the fresh sushis as well. The grade and quality of the salmon and uni is just sublime.
Believe it or not, they also have a carving station.
You get to try different fishes baked and cooked to perfection. Thankfully, they even have a prime rib. Juicy and tender, I enjoyed every bite of it.
On the far end of the buffet rests the grill station. Here, you could get your lobsters, shrimps and other cuts of fish from. Aside from that, they also have a number of cooked dishes perfect for the diners.
I personally enjoyed the seafood paella as it had burnt rice on the edges. This goes well with the deep fried shrimp tempuras.
I guess the main station would be the cold seafood selection. Here, lobsters, clams, crabs, and oysters are displayed and served ready for the taking. You could get them fresh, steamed or have them cooked according to your preference.
 
I would go back for the baked oysters with the bacon bits. Delicious.
As I said, oysters were quite a treat.
 
 BUT remember, to get the grilled lobsters along with a serving of Prime rib.
One station that I really love and never fails to deliver would be the dessert area.
Believe it or not, they were able to create dishes that were not only visually seafood but the taste and flavors were there too.
The crab fat mousse was extraordinary. Sweet but savory. Served with white chocolate and some choco breading, the creamy feel was well balanced.
My personal favorite though would be the CRAB FAT MACARON and the UNI MACARON. One can't restraint one's self. The Crab fat flavor was evident. Very savory and sweet. On the other hand, the UNI MACARON was just perfect. The uni is generally buttery and this was no exception. The filling was created well and I wasn't able to stop myself from getting more. If only they had this for sale at their lobby.
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"Spectrums Sunday Brunch is at Php 2,777 net per person. Pair this hearty fare with endless pouring of wines and sangria, which are also available to indulge in with an upgrade of PHP 1,000++. Children from 6 to 12 years old get 50% off on the buffet price. For inquiries and more information, please call Raffles and Fairmont Makatis Restaurant Reservations at 795 1840 or email dining.makati@raffles.com."

RELATED LINKS:
Happy Hour in Raffles and Fairmont
Sunday Brunch at The Ranch

RAFFLES HOTEL
FAIRMONT HOTEL
Makati Ave, Makati City,
Metro Manila
Disclaimer: wrote this based on my experience. was invited to this event.
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Thursday, June 30, 2016
IPPUDO in UPTOWN BGC

Recently opened in BGC'S UPTOWN MALL, IPPUDO is making waves. Visited on a weekday lunch, the place was packed and filled with patrons. There was even a line outside for late lunch goers.
For this visit, the new menu of IPPUDO was served. Interesting and something that you would go back for more.
For meat lovers, the WAGYU MAKI ONIGIRI would be the perfect side kick to your ramen. Tender wagyu meat molded into a golf ball like shape. Inside is a surprise of Japanese rice with some seasoning. The Yakiniku sauce gives it a slight sweet touch. Another meaty dish would be the GYUTAN. This melt in your mouth Australian beef tongue is sizzling good. Tender and very smooth. Nice addition to your ramen.
Not really new, they have a couple of buns to consider. From Pork to Chicken and Menchi, you won't go wrong with any of them.
RAMEN lovers would enjoy the Hakata Styled NIKUSOBA. Topped with thin slices of pork belly, this ramen is perfect to pair with rice.  The creamy tonkotsu broth absorbs the flavors well and is not overly heavy. Believe it or not, this was the first time I finished a whole bowl of ramen with rice. It was that good.
More than just RAMEN, IPPUDO is one of the best Japanese Restaurant you could visit for snacks. I believe that the dishes they offer are delicious and right for the price. Flavors are present and capture the Filipino Taste Buds. RAMEN and Side dishes from IPPUDO jives well with one another.



RELATED LINKS:
Ippudo in Sm Megamall
Ippudo's New Dishes

IPPUDO
G/F
UPTOWN MALL
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Metro Manila


Disclaimer: wrote this based on my experience.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016
FLAME in DISCOVERY PRIMEA: A Passion

 If there was one word that comes into mind, it would be impressive. The passion for cooking is evident in each masterful stroke such that it leaves you wanting for more. I believe that is the goal of this new restaurant in Makati. Leaving its patrons craving.  
 Located on the 16th floor of DISCOVERY PRIMEA, FLAME RESTAURANT recently opened its doors to the dining public. A living chandelier greets you as you enter. There is a familiar feeling that envelops you as you pass through the door. I was at ease. Everything was seamless. Almost perfect and somewhat intimate. The view of the central business district and the bright lights already makes up for the terrible traffic down below.
  Chef Luis Chikiamco heads the kitchen. His experience in the culinary field is impressive. Being in the business for more than a decade, you can't help but be at awe. Having talent is one thing but being able to play with culinary toys elevates the experience. Showing off his Josper makes him smile with gusto. This machine is an elegant combination of grill and oven. It could cook a steak well within 5 minutes. That amazing.  Knowing that guests are in good hands makes everything better.
Patrons are actually given options in terms of seating arrangement. The more popular choice would be by the window. The skyline makes the mood romantic and relaxing. Being 16 floors up with an uninterrupted view would make anybody swoon with delight.
Another alternative would be seating by the bar. This area doesn't really appeal to the casual diners the way it does to food enthusiasts. Here, guests are able to interact with the chefs creating the dishes. One could smell and instantly fall in love with the way the food is prepared.
With the menu, diners are encourage to mix and match. Everything is simple yet elegant.
Starting off with the QUEZO de BOLA and HAM. Inspired by Massimo Bottura, this dish recreates the flavors of Christmas eve. The cheese is a little salty but it was complimented well by the sweetness of the ham. 
PAN-SEARED SCALLOPS could be an alternative starter. Soft and plump, these babies were flown in from the U.S.. The Porcini mushroom marmalade gave the scallops depth. Delicious.
Being able to make use of an ingredient properly is important in cooking. Chef Luis' ability to produce amazing dishes through his duck creations demonstrated this skill.
The Pan Roasted Duck Breast was moist and tender. Served with pumpkin puree, the duck meat had a slight sweetness because of the honey glaze. Another duck dish that is well recommended would be the FOIE GRAS. To compliment the buttery feel, pickled pears and a teriyaki eggplant is served on the side. The Nori-Tempura gave it a crunch as well.
Best partnered with a glass of red wine, the BRAISED US SHORT RIBS was both savory and had a fruity note. The ginger tamarind sauce gave it an Asian twist.
Dessert is an important part of any meal. At FLAME, they take care of this wonderfully.
Homemade pistachio ice cream is served with the FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE. Very decadent and unassuming, the cake is as good as it can get. Not over the top but very flavorful. For fruit lovers, they would enjoy how the apple was used and presented by the kitchen. Caramelized apples were sandwiched between cinnamon puff pastry to give it a bite. The aroma of this dessert was enticing.
In leiu of a cheese platter, the kitchen produced the TALEGGIO. Everything that you would look for done in one simple dish. A crispy top and a semi soft and mild cheese underneath. A bed of homemade apricot and and cherry mostarda makes it complete.
The flavors of the dishes blend well with one another. Making it easy to choose which dish would go along with the next.
The powerful combination of Chef Luis and General Manager David de Ayala makes FLAME the newest must dine destination in Makati. The team work between the two is just astounding.

"FLAME takes its name from the team's burning passion and desire to create new experiences through food. Dishes combine modern European cuisine with Asian flavors"

FLAME
16th floor of Discovery Primea
6749 Ayala Ave, Makati City,
Metro Manila
Restaurant Website
Open from 6pm to 10pm Mondays to Saturdays



Disclaimer: was invited to this event. wrote this based on my experience.
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