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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A few Sundays back, I was able to experience something that would stay in my mind for a long time. I visited Teppanya in SM NORTH TOWERS with a few friends and enjoyed their teppanyaki performance. Since they are celebrating their 5th year anniversary, you could have ala carte buffet style food. They would cook most of it infront of you but you also have access to other cooked dishes and of course sashimi, sushi, and rolls.
Teppanya is a Japanese food lovers' paradise. Here food are made to order. Meaning, it's not on a buffet line that sits out for everyone. You order and they make it for you. They actually offer a lot. You could go full sushi or even rice meals like katsudon. Yes, they also have tempura in the mix. There are some premium items though that will require you to add a little bit in terms of the bill but I believe it is so worth it. The scallops and the oysters are to die for.
When you visit, I suggest trying out the teppanyaki right off the bat. Order the meat, seafood, and if you're into veggies, they also offer them. It takes awhile for them to prepare the materials. 
These would be cooked infront of you. They would let them rest for a few minutes before serving the meat. Some could be a bit tough but flavorful. If you like it soft, ask to have it cooked medium. 
This one though is a must. It's like mushroom wrapped in bacon. This is really delicious.
Don't forget to order some fried rice. You could choose between seafood and meat. Both are really good. But don't over do the rice. The goal is to try as much as you can so take it easy on the carbs. Yet, they also offer rolls that you must try. They have a number of signature rolls like this one.
Grilling is also available. They have salmon head and even some of these gindara.
Kids and kids at heart would enjoy these skewers.
With this unlimited menu, you won't go wrong with anything. They offer the promo during lunch and dinner hours up until November. Believe it or not, I went back after a week. I really enjoyed Teppanya and will definitely return.

TEPPANYA has multiple branches around the metro.
Their newest one would be in SM NORTH EDSA.
G/F North Towers.

Disclaimer:wrote this based on my experience. Was invited and also went on my own.
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Friday, September 6, 2019

 The most common question that I get whenever I'm with someone would be "where will we eat?". It's the go to line for any foodie in the metro. Saan Masarap Kumain? It's just one of those things that could be easily answered yet it's difficult. You have to take note of the people you're with. Their personal preference and even your budget. Enter food halls. One of them in particular would be THE GRID FOOD MARKET. Located in Rockwell, Powerplant, this gorgeous food hall was well curated. Different stalls to cater to your wants and needs. They have everything for everyone. From booze to juice, from snacks to meals, from noodles to tapas, and even sweets to more sweets.
As you enter the GRID, on your left side, this wine selection would greet you. Aside from all sorts of bottled alcohol, they also have craft beer and even slices of premium ham. You may partner them with excellent cheese.
 Aside from this, head on over to the middle of the GRID. This stall number 12 serves coffee and other cocktail concoctions. You got to check out their drink list.
 Rambla's would be another sought after stall. A well established restaurant chain, this one serves it's best and brightest.
 Aside from chorizo, they also have other pica-pica. Their pintxos and tapas like this croquetas is filled with oozy goodness.
 This calamares' squid is cooked to perfection. The meat is not soggy nor too hard. The batter is perfect with the garlic aioli.
 Another must visit would be Gochu-gang. They serve this amazing noodle dish. It's called FIRE NOODLES. You got to have a good sense of your taste bud. You could order based on your spicy preference. To be honest, I can't wait to try their other Korean dishes.
You should not miss the NASI LEMAK. You could actually choose between the deep fried crunchy chicken or the grilled salmon. The salmon is glazed with a tangy yet sweet sauce. Partnered all the stuffings of a traditional nasi lemak, you can't go wrong with this one.
 For desserts, one of the stalls you could head on over to would be the WORKSHOP.
Aside from their 17 layered cakes, their brownies and small bites work well. Partnered with coffee, juices, or cocktails from EDSA, you will have a heck of a time here.

So rather than blame yourself if your friends and family don't like your choice of restaurant, you could head on over here. More choices for everyone.


Disclaimer:wrote this based on my experience. was invited to this event.
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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

 Just this Saturday, another event unfolded for the Filipino Foodies. The ULTIMATE TASTE TEST year 10 happened. In the SM AURA's SMX convention hall, different booths showcased their products in order to promote their brand. With over 40 stalls, you should have been present to see how delicious the experience was.
 Aside from the UTT 2019, the Choice Awards was presented. Here, different winners from the Food industry were chosen. The Filipino community voted the best in their respective category.
 This year, MARGARITA FORES was awarded best chef. She too was joined by other industry leaders in accepting their awards.
 While this was ongoing, visitors got a chance to try different products and become a critic for a day. I wasn't feeling that well so I only tried a few that caught my fancy. One of them would be this KAIEN BUFFALO. Their sauce just hits you. It has the right amount of kick but it leaves you with nothing more than an itch that needs to be taken care off (by getting more sauce). This is really good.
 Another must try would be CHIP's DARK NIGHT. Headed by Trixie and Chef Ed, the cookies speak for themselves. The Dark Night had the perfect texture and flavor to make me want to munch on them on and on with milk of course.
 Another savory dish that caught my fancy would be JONI and SUSAN AGROSHOP. They were able to make a traditional dish vegan. The Mushroom dinakdakan was the bomb. I was actually looking for a cup of rice when I tried it. The dish reminds me of chicharon but without the guilt. They really made this pretty good.
 Aside from the different food stalls, this time around there was a beverage lineup known as AGOS. The back part of the SMX was filled with different beverage purveyors. Some were offering coffee, liquor, and others like AURO. They created the iced tablea horchata. A gluten free drink that made use of chocolate. Impressive enough, they added adlai and cashew milk in the mix to make it more healthy. If you're not into that, there were locally made juices and even craft beers.

I believe that the event was a success. Ultimate Taste Test 2019 #UTT2019 was the best of the best. It was well curated and  guests had a lot of fun. There were even games done for both the kids and kids at heart. Too bad, we weren't able to join the beer pong at the back. I think I'm getting too old for this.

Disclaimer:wrote this based on my experience. was invited to this event.
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Thursday, August 29, 2019
SPUDS and DAIRY CULINARY CUP 2019 #RealCaliforniaMilk #PotatoesUsa

There are just things that when put together, they turn out to be a flawless combination. Personally, I would go for something delicious like cookies and milk, bread and butter or potatoes and cheese. I like all of them and I can't think of a better way to settle to score with POTATOES USA and REAL CALIFORNIA MILK. These two teamed up and is now looking for the perfect partnership of culinary vision and kitchen skills. 

Potatoes USA and the California Milk Advisory Board jointly present the 2019 Spuds and Dairy Culinary Cup on Friday, September 6, 2019 at the SM MALL OF ASIA Music hall from 1:00PM - 4:00PM
The exciting competition pits teams made of a professional chef and a top culinary student together to come up with their best potatoes and dairy dishes. Teams will be provided all the necessary tools and equipment, but would have to shop for their own ingredients. A wide array of U.S. potato and California dairy products will be made available to all the contestants. 
The Chef will not be permitted to cook, but can only plan, mentor and oversee dish development with his partner student. Execution will all be in the hands of the culinary student. Teams will need to load up on their creative juices as categories and special ingredients will be revealed just before the competition. 
The board of judges will be comprised of renowned chef and culinary experts from Potatoes USA and the California Milk Advisory Board.

Prizes for the winning team are quite an inspiration. The pair who wins Best Potato Dish will each walk away with a cool Php 100,000 cash prize. Meanwhile, the winners of the Best Dairy Dish will hop on a plane for an all-expense paid trip to the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California for a three-day immersion program. 

So Again, you could checkout this CULINARY CUP on Septemeber 6, 2019 in the SM Mall of Asia Music hall from 1-4pm. 

Ready to get cooking? Please visit The Potatoes USA Philippines or the Real California Milk Philippines Facebook pages for competition details and to learn more about U.S. potatoes and California dairy .

To Learn More, Check out these hashtags
#Spudsanddairyculinarycup2019 #potatoesusa #realcaliforniamilk 

 Disclaimer: sponsored post.

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Monday, July 8, 2019

During my visit to Manila a few weeks back, I had the opportunity to upgrade to business class via Philippine Airlines. Granted that the tickets in Business Class cost an arm and leg for normal folks like us, there is a chance that you might get lucky. One way is that you participate in the bidding process. A few days before the flight, Philippine Airlines sends out an e-mail asking if you would want to upgrade. There, you could bid to be upgraded. For different international flights, they have minimum bids that you could enter. Lucky enough, I got in with the minimum bid.
Most Philippine Airlines flights fly out of TERMINAL 2 in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. Once you enter, check-in counter for business class greets you. Since I was flying to the United States, there was a separate counter at the end just for business class. It was because additional security was needed for people flying to the States. Prior to bag check-in, another physical check of bags would be done even after the xray machine check prior to entering the building.
Once at the counter, the staff goes through your papers and even asks you if you want to change seats. Since Philippine Airlines uses a Boeing 777-300 ER for these flights, I was able to check out what the seat arrangement would be via seat guru. Take note, you won't really have any problem with toilet lines since there is more than enough for everyone in Business class.  If you're seated where I was (1H), there's actually one infront available to you and 2 at the back, in between the two sections of business class. PROTIP: If you don't want people walking beside you while they enter the plane, go for the forward galley. Also, online seat change via website isn't really truthful. There are other empty business class seats once you check in the counter.
Whenever you're flying out of terminal 2 in NAIA, I would suggest you arrive a bit early so that you could use the lounge. Business class tickets gives you access to the Mabuhay lounge.
Once you pass through immigration control and another security checkpoint, head towards gate 8. Just after gate 7, you'll find the entrance to the Mabuhay Lounge.
After showing your boarding pass to the front desk, you get access to the lounge. Once you enter, you're greeted by a darkened room where you could actually rest up. Here, there are also a couple of computers that you could use to work up. If not, there are tons of sockets around for your laptop and to charge your other devices. Internet access is pretty good considering this is Manila.
The main area has a cocktail/ drink area where you could ask for some spirits, coffee, tea, and water bottles.
On the other side, you have the buffet line up. There are different cold drinks available. From Juices, more coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer, and even yogurt.
The food available is just okay. You get your fill but that's it. There are different dumplings choices which I believe changes during the morning, lunch, and dinner.
Small snacks like mini burgers and mini pizza and the ever famous arroz caldo or rice porridge are available.
On a separate table, they offer "made to order" noodle dishes, fruits, and even salad.
I was feeling a little hungry since it was a morning flight so, I snuggled myself into a corner and got a number of dishes to try. The mini pizza and sandwiches looked a bit dry. The dumplings were just okay. On the other hand, the noodles and the arroz caldo were pretty good. They both hit the spot.
Toilet wise, it may get crowded during the morning rush. There's a couple of stalls and bidet installed. Toiletries were present such as mouth wash and all the usual things you will see in a 5 star hotel.
If the line is pretty long, one could ask the staff for access to the "not-so-secret" toilet. I was able to do my business here in piece. If you wanted to freshen up, they also have a shower that you could use as well.
Since I had a business class ticket, I could board the plane anytime I wanted. Going to the United States would warrant that you pass through a cordoned area and another security check point. From there, a separate line is available to business class ticket holder. Lining up and getting in early would be perfect since, it's one of the perks.
The area might be a little bit crowded so it's better to leave the lounge a few minutes prior to boarding time instead.
Once seated, you are given a glass of sparkling drink and a hot towel to freshen up. Since I was in the forward section, I had a glimpse into the workings of the crew during the flight. If light or sound easily bothers you during a long haul, I would suggest you go for the 3rd or 4th row.
Leg room and space was pretty good. There's a firm pillow and a duvet present. You could actually store your blanket and other things in the storage compartment infront of you. It's like a mini cooler but it actually turns into an extension of your seat once you lie down.
The overhead bin is also pretty roomy since, there's only a number of passenger for such space.
The amenities kit contained mostly Acca Kappa. Socks, and even eye covers were there. I usually tend to just keep these stuffs as little souvenirs rather than using them. A pair of slippers were also provided. You also had noise cancelling earphones to use. I was actually happy with Philippine Airline's inflight entertainment. The selection was pretty good.
The screen was pretty big considering and the inflight remote control was pretty useful. I could also access the flight time and see what's outside through the system. Aside from the free wifi available to all passengers, the business class has an additional 100MB to use. As such, it's better to use the free one prior to this once. It's pretty fast and useful for e-mail and even messaging apps.
Prior to take off, the cabin crew also serves other welcome drinks and refreshments. They also ask for your meal preference. Philippine Airlines offers on demand meals. Meaning you could ask your meal to be served when you want it to. I should have used this amenity as getting the meal through business class isn't as fast as I wanted it to be. They try to serve it by course and for a big guy like me, I tend to eat everything in one go. In any case, here's my meal experience.
Amuse bouche was served first. Together with my drink of choice. They had cocktails available and other liquor but since I was going into the US and I didn't want my tummy grumbling, I just went for soda. 
They then prepared my table by adding a cloth, utensils, and a bread plate. They then serve your appetizer. In this case, soup for me. They also show you a bread basket and let you choose your bread. During this time, they are preparing your chosen meal. I had a small glimpse into their work space and I saw that they had cue cards on how to plate them.
Unfortunately, I didn't know what happened to mine. In all honesty, I was still hungry since it was smaller portion to what I was used to in an airplane flight. Dessert wise, I asked for both options. I went for the cheesecake and the ice cream. Thankfully, both were pretty good.
In the middle of the flight, I was still hungry. I asked for some snacks and they offered this cheese plate. Not bad. Also, they have chips and other sweets that they offer all through the flight. Walking around, I could see them on their work table available for anyone to pick on.
This was the view of the cabin during flight. As such, I would definitely recommend rows 3 or 4 next time around. The second meal would be served roughly 2 hours prior to landing. In hindsight, I should have asked for it earlier and just slept through the morning rush. The flight would have been a good experience if only my seatmate would be a bit more relaxed and quieter. Originally I had the two seats all to myself. Unfortunately, someone asked to move to the window seat and from there, I couldn't sleep right and that person made my flight experience worst. Hopefully, your experience would be better.

Disclaimer: Paid for my ticket. Wrote this based on my experience and opinions.
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