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MARCO POLO MANILA: AN In-Depth Review YEAR ENDER LIST: TRAVEL and FOOD THINGS to look forward to in 2016 EDSA SHANGRI-LA: Staycation over the Holidays SWEET ECSTASY: Now open in KATIPUNAN HOLE IN THE WALL: Burgers, Salad and Noodles
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

  It has been a long time coming. Believe it or not, I haven’t changed my mobile phone in the last 5 years. I was afraid that the new models are not going to cut it when it comes to getting decent photos. Worst, most of them are expensive. Thankfully, I was given the chance to try out the new HUAWEI P9.
For an entire afternoon till late at night, I did the most crucial field test any foodie photographer could think of : A FOOD CRAWL. I left the professional camera at home and just brought the HUAWEI P9 to document the gastronomic adventure in POBLACION, MAKATI.
  Barangay Poblacion in Makati City has been making the local news not because of its red light district reputation but rather, there has been a surge of hole in the wall restaurants in the area. BEAN AND YOLK is one of the newest establishments that could tickle your fancy. Located near a famous tattoo parlor, this small café serves only egg dishes and delicious coffee.
  The HUAWEI P9’s take showed the vibrant colors and the crisp texture. And yet, this was just on its default setting.  By pressing a part of the screen, the camera would focus on that specific area giving it more attention and detail. Natural light definitely does wonders when taking photographs.
  After starting with something familiar, head on over to TAMBAI. Literally meaning “to hang out”, Tambai used to be a convenient store and got converted into a grilling place. Here, they serve a number of yakitori dishes that cater to the Filipino palate.
Some might find the choices exotic, but one of their best sellers would be the BEEF INTESTINE. The isaw is a known delicacy that every Filipino has tried once in their life. If in case you are a bit apprehensive or indecisive, you might want to go for their YAKITODO or their huge sampler platter.
Even if it was getting dark, it is evident here that the camera still worked well with its sensors even in poor condition. It is amazing that the HUAWEI P9 was able to capture vivid detail even if the light source was hard to come by. Users would also enjoy the option to edit the photos as the software of the mobile camera delivers.
  By crossing Kalayaan Avenue, one might find THE WILD POPPY. This after work hangout place has been popular with the yuppies. Even if it had just opened a few months ago, word of mouth has attracted a considerable number of workers and foodies to this restaurant. It serves bold Asian Flavors and is known for their Baos. 
  Aside from bar chows, drinks are a staple.  The menu shows the quirky side of the owners and is able to quench the appetite of millenials. 
  One impressive camera feature that the HUAWEI P9 has is its powerful monochrome option. Showing great detail, this black and white effect could deliver powerful images. Perfect for taking photos of people and situations.
  To cap off the night, one could jump on over to BENI’S FALAFEL. Situated in A Venue, this 24/7, almost vegetarian, healthy option restaurant serves delicious Middle Eastern fare. The must tries would be the Falafel and the Shakshuka.
  Most photographers would blush when they get to try out the dlsr setting of the HUAWEI P9. Here you could change the ISO, shutter speed, and even the depth of field making the most out of the DOUBLE LEICA CAMERA LENS.
The possibilities are endless with the HUAWEI P9. The interface has the consumer in mind. A photographer would appreciate the professional like tweaks while any everyday user would enjoy the different settings and functions that this mobile camera phone has to offer.
  All in all, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted with the HUAWEI P9. The 5.9 inch screen was smooth and perfect for playing games and even watching videos.  Main standout would be the Dual 12MP Leica Main Camera. Having a 3,000 mah battery also helps this cellphone last longer. The HUAWEI P9 retails for 23,9990Php. Talk about another perfect choice.

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When it comes to hotel buffets, THE MANILA HOTEL'S CAFE ILANG ILANG delivers. Complete yet concise. That is how CAFE ILANG ILANG shows itself. Keeping up with tradition, MANILA HOTEL invited The Diva.
Starting THURSDAY, August 25 up to September 16, 2016, the Manila Hotel would be celebrating the FILIPINO FOOD FESTIVAL.
Happening at the Cafe Ilang-Ilang, patrons would be treated to delicious dishes from the LECHON DIVA, Chef Dedet dela Fuente. Known for her patriotic and luscious dishes, she does not disappoint in the kitchen.
For this particular event, different Filipino dishes were served along with the usual parts of the buffet.
One would enjoy the barbecued TOCINO as well as different appetizers like chicharon bulaklak for starters.

Diners would enjoy the Chef's take on seafood. Crabs were drowned in a rich sauce while shrimps had crab fat on top of them.

Surprisingly, the sisig that Chef Dedet served is not your ordinary usual dish. This one had different flavor profiles. It isn't too spicy and must be eaten with rice.
The Kare-Kare was also traditionally done. Perfect and will go well with a spoonful of shrimp paste or bagoong.
An eye candy, the FILIPINO PAELLA is also delicious. Lemongrass rice is served together with favorite Filipino toppings.
From something crunchy to something sweet and savory, you could take your pick and make your own rice meal.
One thing that Chef Dedet is known for would be her lechons. These babies are incredibly good and deadly. During the preview, she served one with truffle rice coming out from the belly of the pig.
Almost like an art, she has mastered the oven temperature and the proper way to cook a pig. The skin is crunchy while the meat is overflowing with flavor.
Better to go for it and indulge. It isn't everyday that you get to enjoy Pepita's Lechon.
Aside from all the Filipino food, patrons could also expect the seafood section to spruce up their appetites.
There are tender cuts of meat and grilling stations to attend to their carnivore needs.
For dessert, DEDET prepared her famous SUMAN with different sweet toppings liks YEMA and CHOCHNUT and even UBE.
More than Filipino selections, Cafe Ilang Ilang also offers cakes, chocolate, macarons, and sugar free ice home made ice cream.
The FILIPINO FOOD FESTIVAL would run from August 25 to September 16. Visitors would enjoy all the Filipino dishes. Aside from that, they could also expect other delectable cuisine in the buffet.

My Manila Hotel Tour

G/F Manila Hotel
Katigbak Pkwy,
Ermita, Manila City, Metro Manila

Disclaimer: wrote this based on my experience. Was invited to this event.
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Comfort food is basically defined as something that would make the diners enjoy and have fun. THE GUYS behind MAIN STREET RESTAURANT made sure that the guests would be delighted with all the dishes they offer.
Located in KAPITOLYO, PASIG,  MAIN STREET is one of the newest restaurant in the block. Aside from their first venture in Taguig City, this is their second bigger and better branch.

An old house was transformed into a relaxed and chill dining spot to cater to families and friends in the area. One could start with their impressive list of drinks.
 They could partner them with bar chows like the PULLED PORK NACHOS. A hefty serving of nachos with a lot of meat is partnered with cheese, jalapenos and salsa.
Since the owners stayed a long time in Canada, they made sure to have authentic POUTINE on their menu. Basically, it has fries, cheese, gravy and a lot of bacon. This is the ultimate sexy dish.

In contrast, health buffs would enjoy the GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD. The peanut-lime-honey vinaigrette works well with the greens and the chicken. It gave it a hint of sweetness.

Seafood lovers would crave for the MOULES CONGOLAISE. Chilean mussels are cooked to make a smokey and tomatoey taste. Mixed with lemongrass and coconut cream, it is perfect to eat with the garlic bread.

For the first time, MAIN STREET chose to serve pasta. Here, they went for the traditional SPAGHETTI and MEATBALLS and also the CLASSIC CARBONARA. IF there was one pasta dish to order, it would be the carbonara. The pasta is cooked perfectly. The eggs and cheese sauce has a bit of bacon and everything works.

A welcomed surprise would be the BLACKENED CHICKEN. Served with creole butter, this cajun spiced chicken is delicious.

Partnering it with the HOISIN BABY BACK RIBS would make your taste buds jump erupt. This 8 hour braised baby back rib is tender and perfect with the hoisin sauce.
A crowd favorite, the RIBEYE STEAK is delightful. Australian ribeye steak is cooked perfectly and is simple as it gets.
MAIN STREET has a decent dessert selection to choose from. You could go for the brownie and the creme brulee.
MAIN STREET is a welcome addition to the long list of restaurants in KAPITOLYO. Having a decent parking space in front and a lot of excellent offerings, this restaurant is a must visit.


10 East Capitol Drive,
Kapitolyo, Pasig City,
Metro Manila
MAIN STREET RESTAURANT is not to be confused
with Main Street (Road) in Pasig.

Disclaimer: wrote this based on my experience. was invited to this restaurant.
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 The KAIN TULOG GANG has been my family when it comes to enjoying good food and amazing company. Over the years, we have learned to appreciate and be thankful for a lot of things.
As a way to give back, Our Awesome Planet and the Blogger Collective known as the KTG (Kain Tulog Gang), and World Food Expo (WOFEX) have partnered to conduct the one and only People's Choice Awards for their Favorite Food, Restaurants, Bars, and more~ or simply, "The Choice".

However, we'd like to emphasize that this is NOT a "Best of..." list. Our good friends and respected colleagues from The MBKRS are doing an excellent job of recognizing the restaurants and restaurateurs in their prestigious bi-annual awards.

The MBKRS are rightly regarded as the Oscars of our ever growing foodie community. So we'd like "The Choice" to be the Golden Globes~ a bit more irreverent, surely less formal, and yes, it ought to be greatly biased. After all, YOU will be voting for your favorites, this is YOUR CHOICE!!!

Vote Now!

You can vote your favorite restaurants here:

The 2016 People's Choice Restaurant Awards!

The Choice 2016 Voting is open for 2 weeks starting from August 15 and ends on August 31, 2016 12 midnight.

The Choice Restaurant Awarding will happen on September 17, Saturday during the Ultimate Taste Test 2016! Here's a quick look as to what to expect in UTT . (Click Here)

Last year, it was an amazing treat. Here are 5 tips you may want to read about (Click here) on how to attack UTT.

The KTG are:

The KTG is a group of friends who all just happen to be some of the top food and lifestyle bloggers in the Philippines; every one of their individual blogs ranks among the highest ranking and most influential online publications dedicated to food, entertainment, and travel.

The KTG is composed of some of the more senior food bloggers in the country, including Richie Zamora of "The Pickiest Eater in the World', Spanky Enriquez of "Manila Boy", Jill Bantang of "The Food Scout", and  representing the younger generation are "The Hungry Kat", "Food in the Bag", and "Nines vs. Food". And from the world of showbiz, Mr. Chuckie Dreyfus, a dedicated foodie who's also a respected tech blogger.

The KTG's objectives are not limited to discovering the best restaurants, however. While it's affectionately called the "Kain Tulog Gang", it's officially participated in relief efforts in Tacloban and Iloilo after Yolanda; and in Metro Manila, this "Kapatiran sa Tulong at Ginhawa" is on a constant mission to contribute in providing joy and comfort to the less fortunate.

The KTG Blogs:

our fantastic foodie friends from:

Philippine Star's "Let's Eat" monthly magazine and television show.

Special thanks to our partners from the World Food Expo:

Disclaimer: I am Part of The KTG. Would be present in the awarding. See you guys there.
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