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CASA KALAW: PARADISE in EL NIDO, PALAWAN FIRESIDE by KETTLE: Perfect Place in Bgc MIREIO: French Classic Cuisine UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN: Tips and Tricks to Enjoy your stay FOOD HIVE FOOD PARK in VISAYAS AVENUE: Amazing Dishes to Check out
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN: NEW DISHES THIS 2017

 There comes a time when you wake up and wonder what has happened. You realize you're 31 and you see yourself in the mirror and ask "what have I done". At California Pizza Kitchen, they look after you by offering healthier options. Something light yet feeling and delicious are added to their menu.
 Just a few weeks ago, CPK has released some new dishes to their menu lineup. It included some salad, pizza, a pasta, and even rice meals. Something that is catered to the Filipino palette.
 For starters, one could go for the Fruit Salsa Tortilla Tzatziki. Served with nacho chips, you have your own salsa with avocados as toppings. Healthy eaters would enjoy the Quinoa + Arugula. The quinoa were properly cooked in a way that it complimented the greens well. The addition of the cheese gave contrasting flavors to the arugula.
 For pasta, one could try the CHICKEN and SAUSAGE FAJITA. Served with bread, this dish is on the creamy side. Since Filipinos are vehement rice eaters, CPK figured that it's important to put in some rice entrees. Take note though, you could change the rice to quinoa if you so wish.
 One could go for the SWEET FLAME SHRIMP or the CHICKEN and ASPARAGUS. The shrimp is lightly seared and is coated with a sweet sauce. The chicken and asparagus has lemon cream sauce to give off that citrus flavor. It goes pretty well with rice.
 Since CPK is well know for its pizza, this time around, they added a couple.
You could go for a vegetarian option that's coined as FORIANA ROASTED WALNUT with CAULIFLOWER. Honestly, there was a sense of terror when I saw the dish. I haven't seen that much vegetables on a pizza. One bite it and I realized that the combination of vegetables wasn't too overwhelming that it all blended together. The nuts gave off a nice crunchy texture as well. For meat lovers, they might want to try the SURF n TURF TRIO. A nice mixture of shrimps and meat, you won't go wrong with ordering this. To top it all off, you might want to try the HAZELNUT BROWNIE ALA MODE for dessert.
CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN has a lot of restaurant locations in the metro. You could visit them in Alabang Town Center, Bonifacio High Street, Greenbelt 5, Greenhills, Mall of Asia, Century City Mall, and Shangri-la Plaza East Wing.



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Monday, April 24, 2017
CASA KALAW: Paradise in LIO, EL NIDO

 It was a tropic adventure like no other. Voted as one of the best islands in the world, PALAWAN is no doubt just an amazing place to be in. Thinking where to go and what to do is but a step away. At CASA KALAW, they take care of everything.
 CASA KALAW is one of the few hotel resorts that is located inside LIO TOURISM ESTATE in EL NIDO, PALAWAN. Developed by AYALA, this 325 hectare land would be home to multiple hotels, sanctuaries, restaurants, malls, eco villages, jetty port, and even an airport. Flying in would be a breeze. With AIR SWIFT, you land in LIO AIRPORT. Just 15 minutes away from El Nido Town Proper and around 2 minutes away from LIO, you're definitely close to where the action is.
 One could think of LIO as a town that has everything. Easily accessible and one with nature. It gives comfort to its visitors and is still responsible towards mother nature. Of the 325 hectares, only 55 % would be developed while the remaining land would be remain as open space reserve.
 CASA KALAW itself is just a couple of minutes away from the 4km beach front. It started with 42 rooms and would cater mostly to families and balikbayans. Even so, there are a lot of westerners that stay at the resort.
 Everything was well thought off. Designed by award winning contractors and artists, this hotel blends in with nature. Indigenous crafts were mostly used to create the design and feel of the resort.
Rooms are well ventilated with the a/c and the ceiling fans. Each has a balcony or a deck just outside the rooms for guests to relax at.
 In-room amenities would include coffee, tea, hair blower, and of course cable tv. Hot and cold water makes the shower perfect. No worries for the gadget geeks as there are a lot of wall sockets available for them to use. Internet is not yet steady in the hotel but the wireless LTE connection offered by Globe is fast and reliable.
 Furthermore, sustainability is a big part of CASA KALAW. Here, they opted to use reusable vessels as means to store soap, shampoo and other toiletries.
 Aside from the pool, everyone could check out the gaming area. Here, they could go for a round of darts, table tennis, billiards, foosball, and other board games to spend the time away.
  Breakfast is nothing to worry about as CASA KALAW offers a wide range of items that would cater to everyone's diet. They have fresh vegetables, fruits, meat options, and even an egg/waffle/pancake station. The buffet also serves cereals, cheese, and even hot soup to start everything right.
Other than CASA KALAW, HOTEL COVO, BALAI ADLAO, KAYLE ARTISANO is also in the works. Check out www.lio.ph for more updates.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017
EASTER STAYCATION at F1 HOTEL MANILA

During the holy week break in Manila, more and more families tend to just stay in the metro rather than go out and realize the pain and suffering they must endure with the traffic and the amount of people they have to contend with. Of course, it's always nice to return to the province and meet up with family and friends but there's something relaxing about staying in.
F1 HOTEL MANILA ensures that your stay is a notch above the rest. All day long you could stay in your room and just dwell in the comfort of the bed while watching cable tv or listening to some sounds. Furthermore, they have some fun activities in store for the little ones.
Checking in was a breeze. More so if you have access to the Premier Lounge. Here, all day snacks, coffee and tea are prepared to make your life happier.
The gym is waiting for those fitness buffs. They also have 3 pools to cater to your needs. From kids, to young adults and a lap pool that could have you going back and forth.
Food is not a problem with F1 Hotel Manila. They have an all day outlet that serves dishes created and executed by Chef Decker Gokioco. For the lenten season, they saw it fit to focus on seafood although they did offer an amazing rendition of CHICKEN KUSHIKATSU.
Deep fried and boneless, this chicken was served with a mango salsa making the flavors pop. Each bite would yield something delicious. Perfect to go with rice.
Seafood lovers could go for the burnt coconut mahi-mahi or the tiger prawns with panko sesame crust. The mahi mahi is covered with herbs and spices to make it compliment with the coconut. The shrimps reminded me of an inside out tempura. The breading is in between the meat making it burst with each bite.
Dinner also focused more on seafood dishes. There was a mixture of fish and squid to make a churros of sort. Properly deep fried and burnt to a degree, it could give off an addicting bar chow vibe.
A sensational dish would be the Phyllo-crusted SALMON with Okra Frites, soy and sesame sauce and gari. The salmon was flaky and wonderfully seasoned. There was a sense of healthy vibe but one would wonder how it could such when it is so good.
To finish things off, the BLACK PEPPER CRABS would be a delightful way to make your meal stand out. Although admittedly hard to remove each meat, the flavors are right there for the taking.
Breakfast will be served at the all day dining buffet. One thing that you must always go for would be the bacon! It's extremely crunchy and juicy. It's like everything that you would want is put into that single piece of meat.
With the vacation season upon us, F1 Hotel Manila is the place to be at. Perfect for a little rest and relaxation, this hotel is situated right smack in the middle of BGC. Different high end restaurants are all within walking distance as well. Can't wait to go back.

F1 HOTEL MANILA
32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City,
Metro Manila


Disclaimer: wrote this based on my experience. Was invited to stay at F1 Hotel Manila.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017
FIRESIDE by KETTLE: Now Open in BGC

Humongous Chicken. With all its glory, I believe that Chef Chiloy of Kettle and Fireside made his restaurants into something wonderful and worthwhile. Just a month or so ago, he went above and beyond by opening FIRESIDE in BGC. His second branch for this restaurant concept, you could say that he is having a grand time.
Situated on the ground floor of the Central Square Mall in BGC, FIRESIDE is the younger and more playful cousin of Kettle. Here, they aim to cater to the young professional crowd that needs quick and delicious meals.
Different alcoholic drinks are present and are available for the diners. Some would enjoy their not so ordinary sangrias. Personal favorite would be the white version. It will go well with the different appetizers that FIRESIDE has to offer.
The chips mixed with truffle and bleu cheese is addicting and could make you get more and more. Partner it with some home made meatballs and you have yourself a whole meal in itself. One could also go for the chicken. With a little hint of spice, it's on the sweet side that would be perfect for the young kids and kids at heart.
The mains are a different treat in itself. You can't go wrong with whatever you pick. A crowd favorite would be the BRISKET SISIG. Being a non-pork dish, this has been an eye opener. A chef's secret, Chiloy mentioned to us that this needs to be partnered with egg and garlic rice. Each bite would remind you of that perfect day.
Adding more good things, one could also go for the meatloaf. It is a half and half of bacon and angus beef. A definite meat lovers delight. If that is not enough, the lamb ribs would also be just right.
As mentioned, people go here for the chicken. The CHICKEN FINGERS is a huge serving of deep fried buttermilk chicken. Coated with cajun ritz breading, you get a crunchy and satisfying bite each time. Served with cornbread doughnuts, you're surely to enjoy each piece.
Dessert is mix of must tries and must haves. There are different cakes that are baked in house. Some would give you that chocolate fix you've been wanting for the longest time. Others would be something lighter like made with coconut.
BUT if it comes down to choosing, SMORES and the DOUGHNUTS are your best bet. SMORES are served burnt and deadly. The doughnuts has salted caramel, raspberry and chocolate on the side.
Located on the ground floor of Central Square Mall in Bgc, Fireside by Kettle is a fiery and delicious way to entice guests to drink up and eat more. Definitely go for the happy hour sangrias!

RELATED LINKS:
FIRESIDE in SM MEGAMALL
KETTLE in RESORTS WORLD MANILA


FIRESIDE by KETTLE
Ground Floor
Central Square Mall
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila




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Monday, April 17, 2017
ICE N CREAM at NOVOTEL MANILA: ICE CREAM FOR THE WIN!

With the summer heat upon us, it makes sense to head for cover and go for fun, delicious and cold dessert. At Novotel Manila Araneta Center, they did exactly that. Years in the making, they opened ICE N CREAM to the public. 
Located just on the ground floor of the Novotel Manila Araneta Center, ICE N CREAM is just infront of The Food Exchange. Just like a kid's playground, different 18 different home grown flavors were created and displayed.
Each are different from one another. The flavors were all created to play with the taste buds. Furthermore, no stabilizers or artificial ingredients were put in. Making everything pop out and be perfect. Diabetics are also welcome as some flavors are sugar-free. If that's not enough, they will also be serving carmen's best ice cream to give patrons more choices.
Guests could also customize their ice cream by adding different toppings. Making the mix and match combination limitless. Top choices would be the alcoholic don papa rum and the tequila mixed versions. For the Filipino palette, the leche flan would definitely fit in.
Aside from having ice cream, patrons are also treated to different cakes and pastries. One could go for the decadent carrot cake or the refreshing buko pandan layer cake.
ICE N CREAM has an ongoing promotion. Check out their facebook page to see how you could get a year's worth of ice cream.

If you're still hungry, you could also check out their all day buffet outlet, The Food Exchange.



RELATED LINK:

 

ICE n CREAM
NOVOTEL MANILA ARANETA CENTER HOTEL
(02) 990 7888
General Aguinaldo Avenue, Araneta Center
0810 Quezon City, Philippines


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