Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Susuru Japanese Cuisine at The Pop Up Katipunan: A Taste of Affordable Modern and Traditional Japanese Dishes

Susuru Japanese Cuisine restaurant in The Pop Up Katipunan

Susuru is the new Japanese themed gastrobar, offers you a dining and cultural experience all at once- something that is hard to find in that part of Katipunan Avenue.

啜る (Susuru) It is a verb which means to slurp or to sip. 

Susuru is the sister concept of another hit local favorite at The Pop Up Katipunan [a hip and cozy place that uses container architecture into commercial establishments] called Coyote Cocina. Susuru which literally means "to slurp or to sip" in Nihonggo had recently opened its doors to the public. It features authentic as well as modern Japanese menu items which was created by proprietor and chef Mr. John Gaffud along with his Filipino team. 

Colorful wall interiors adorn Susuru Katipunan

I wanted to create a "fun, friendly atmosphere with communal eating," said the owner, Mr. John Gaffud when he thought of looking for a spot on establishing an affordable Japanese restaurant. "This isn't the kind of restaurant where you'll end up just savoring one particular Japanese dish. Here, you can order from a wide range of options, not just ramen, not just sushi and sashimi."

Japanese decors on the walls of Susuru

Friday, October 25, 2019

5 Chinese Restaurants worth Visiting

Chinese Dumplings

I am particularly fond of Chinese cuisine. I don’t know why, maybe it had something to do with my Chinese blood. I recently made a short list of my recommended Chinese restaurants/eateries along with their specialty foods or must-try foods for you to know what to order when you come and visit them. Most of these restaurants may have been familiar with you as they’ve been in the food industry for such a long time. But I recently visited them and found out a few changes and improvements in both their meals as well as in their services. Check these out.

Ma Mon Luk

Ma Mon Luk's Original Mami

I’m not sure if their Quiapo branch is still around. But I’ve visited their Quezon Avenue branch recently and I’m happy to know that their Siopao Special which somehow catapulted them to popularity and made them a word-of-mouth among Filipinos still tastes the same as I had remembered them back during my childhood years. Their Siopao Special [jumbo in size] consists of Asado, Chicken and Salted Egg fillings. These siopao buns are being sold at Php90 per order. They also have regular Asado siopao [Php70], Sang Yuk Pao [Bola-bola also sold at Php90] and Taw Sa Pao [Mongo filled sold at Php70].

Ma Mon Luk's Siopao Special

These siopao are best consumed with Ma Mon Luk’s house specialty original chicken Mami, available in large [Php150] and small [Php140] bowls. Although these original mami from Ma Mon Luk are what made them popular, I find their Beef Mami better tasting and a must-try to order than their original mami. They even claim to be the mami inventor since they have established Ma Mon Luk since 1920. The beef mami may be a bit more expensive at Php160, but at least I’m definitely getting what I’ve paid for.  I find their original chicken mami too bland for my taste. The shredded chicken parts which had served as soup toppings didn’t help at all. No matter how many pepper or fish sauce I’ve put on the soup, I still find it too bland. But somehow, whatever kind of soup you choose, whether it’ll be their original chicken mami or the beef mami, it goes perfectly well when you consume them with their special siopao.

When it comes to honest-to-goodness siopao, Ma Mon Luk probably has the best to offer despite the presence of newly established Chinese restaurants. They still had that old Manila vibe and somehow gives one a nostalgic feel when you come and visit their restaurant. More importantly, they remind you of the good old times, back when life were much simpler and a bun of their special siopao will make you feel better. 

Mr. Ube

I maybe partial to its restaurant’s color since I love the purple color. But I’m no fan of ube [taro yam], that’s for sure. I accidentally stumbled upon Mr. Ube restaurant [from the same company that brought us Eng Bee Tin] during my very first visit to Chinatown when my godfather was still alive. What do I love about Mr. Ube? A portion of your purchase goes directly to a good cause as the owner is an active fire volunteer. He donates firetrucks as well as ambulances.
When it comes to food, I love Mr. Ube’s Kiampung rice. Kiampung rice is made of sticky rice with nuts, shallots and bits of pork or meat. Their Lechon Macau meal is also to-die-for! Not to mention, they’re made affordable so that anyone can enjoy a good meal without the need to burn one’s pocket. They also have a good selection of noodles and rice toppings. You can also buy frozen dumplings and noodles here. 

Of course, since this is owned by the same guy who owns Eng Bee Tin, their products like your favorite ube hopia and tikoy are also available here.
I love the fact that I need not go to Binondo to enjoy a meal at Mr. Ube because they have a branch along E. Rodriguez Sr. [across St. Luke’s Medical Center]. That means, Quezon City residents like me can just come and visit this branch to get my favorite Mr. Ube meal.

Tasty Dumplings

Tasty Dumplings Hand tossed noodles and dumplings

Just like Mr. Ube, Tasty Dumplings has two branches: one in Ongpin and the other one is in Banawe, Quezon City. Tasty Dumplings has hand-tossed noodles and a really huge flat pork chop which reminds one of Taiwan’s Hotstar Chicken. Tasty Dumplings with hand tossed noodles are sold at php160 per order. They taste really good once you put in their special secret sauce which you can find in every table at their restaurant. Ask for their free unlimited soup with shallots because they complement the dumplings and the pork chop. While you’re there, take advantage of their complimentary hot tea.

Tasty Dumplings Huge porkchop with rice

I don’t mind travelling all the way to that part of Banawe [N.S. Amoranto Avenue corner Banawe] just to satiate my Tasty Dumpling cravings. Parking may be very limited especially during peak hours though. But I can assure you, it’s worth the trip.

Dong Bei

A small and easy to miss eatery tucked in the heart of Binondo is called Dong Bei. Dong Bei which meant North Star since the Chinese owners come from Northern part of China. Here, you can see every dumpling made fresh every single day. You can order them for dine-in or have them cooked at home by purchasing the frozen ones. They have radish cakes, oyster cakes and other Chinese specialties but it is the dumplings that people are really into.
Seats are very limited so if you want to enjoy your meal here, make sure you come early.

Mein San

Mein San beef and wonton noodles

Among the restaurants I have here on my list, it is Mein San that’s a little bit more on the upscale. In terms of prices and crowd, Mein San has a steep price. There are two branches that I know of: one in Connecticut in Greenhills and the other one is along Granada Street in Ortigas. They give free appetizer for dine in customers. The appetizer I was given during my visit was a small plate filled with freshly boiled okra with a sweet brown sauce which I loved. I had no idea what kind of sauce it was but it reminds me of the sauce poured on vermicelli shrimp rolls.

Mein San offers authentic Chinese food at its finest. I’ve had beef wanton noodles and they are rich in flavor and taste. The egg noodles are fresh too. Each bowl ranges from Php300-650. But a bowl can make you feel satiated and full already. Even if it’s the only order that you make, it’s certainly enough to cover for one’s meal.

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

CacaoMistry Organic Chocolate Nibs: Healthy Snacks for Everyone

CacaoMistry Cacao Nibs

Most of us loves to eat chocolates unless you’re allergic to it. I’m not allergic but I don’t know why I’m not particularly fond of chocolates. Even before my pre-diabetic phase, I’m not really much into sweets [I think I was predisposed to diabetes because of my genes and due to my love for pasta]. But knowing that dark chocolates are good for one’s heart, whenever I get the chance, I try to have some.

So naturally, when I heard about this handcrafted and locally sourced and produced organic dark cacao nibs called CacaoMistry, this product piqued my interest especially when I saw that they were made using the finest ingredients and are said to be lovingly made for one’s utmost satisfaction. I’ve decided to give it a try, maybe I’d be able to become a convert and learn to love and appreciate dark chocolates more.

Cacao nibs are simply chocolate in its purest form, before anything else is added. They are dried and fermented bits of cacao beans. The texture of raw organic cacao nibs is similar to that of roasted coffee beans. They have deep chocolate flavor which can be described as slightly bitter crunchy and nutty. So if you’re eating cacao nibs, that means you’re eating the basic component of chocolate without the high sugary content that most commercialized available chocolate bars do have.

CacaoMistry initially offers three variants of Cacao Nibs Coated with dark chocolate namely: SIMPLY DARK-white dot-cacao nibs coated with dark chocolate; EXCITINGLY DARK-hot pink dot- spicy cacao nibs coated with dark chocolate and BERRY DARK-blue dot-cacao nibs and cranberry coated with dark chocolate.  

CacaoMistry's Instant Tablea de Batirol

CacaoMistry also has their handcrafted instant cacao drink [with orange dot] which is their instant version of your traditionally enjoyed tablea de batirol. It’s so easy to do: To enjoy, simply add hot water [about 200 mL], stir for about two minutes and voila! You’ll have a rich chocolate drink that’s perfect for the upcoming holiday season [or during rainy days]. It actually reminds me of Christmas where one can enjoy a warm cup of chocolate while enjoying the nippy cold weather as you have a good book in hand or having that conversation with your family. 

CacaoMistry's Instant tablea de batirol

Thursday, October 10, 2019

AVON’s Pink Light Night Run and Walk for Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast cancer remains to be the top causes of death among Filipinas. In fact, according to the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, 1 in 13 Filipinas will most likely develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

The rate is so alarming that even the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society also reported a data [February 2017] which showed the Philippines having the highest prevalence of breast cancer among 197 countries. The said statistics clearly showed that we still need to educate women on the importance of early detection as the best way to beat the disease as well as breast self-examination.

Breast cancer is curable when detected early. That’s why as women, we should all do a regular breast self-exam and take action for your own breast health. 

AVON Philippines will not take this issue sitting down. A well-known advocate against breast cancer and other women-related issues, AVON believes that no woman should be left in the dark about breast cancer any longer. As the leading corporate supporter of the cause, the company teams up with Color Manila for the upcoming Pink Light Night Run and Walk for Breast Cancer 2019 to raise awareness on the disease, and the breast self-exam as the surest means to detect it early. 

Check Yourself: Breast Self-Exam is the best way to beat Breast Cancer

October is Pink Month, breast cancer awareness month

October is Breast Cancer awareness month. Hence, we’re sharing with you the best way on how to beat the said disease which had affected a lot of women worldwide and is said to be one of the top causes of death among women.

Learn how to do the Breast Self-Exam and take action for your own breast health. Early detection and prevention is still a whole lot better than cure.

In the Shower:

Put your right hand behind your head
Press your fingers firmly on your right breast and feel for any lump or thickening.
Repeat the procedure in your other breast.

Self Breast examination

While Lying Down:

Place pillow under the right shoulder. Put your right hand firmly on your right breast.
In circular motion feel for any unusual lump or mass. Check also the area between your breast and armpit.
Repeat the procedure in your other breast. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Peach Boy Restaurant Mandaluyong Food Review

Peach Boy Restaurant facade photo by Rence Chan
I am someone who passionately believes in the ideology that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For one, I never leave home without having my breakfast because I won’t be having the energy I needed to last me through the day if I won’t be getting my dose of daily sustenance from my first meal. And to be honest about it, thinking of creative ways on what to eat for breakfast everyday may actually be draining as well. So when an opportunity to do a food review for an American-Asian inspired restaurant with an all-day breakfast concept called Peach Boy Restaurant comes up, I was certain this was something I’d count myself in. 

Peach Boy Restaurant interiors
For someone who could eat breakfast meals all day long, dining at Peach Boy Restaurant right in the heart of Mandaluyong City was indeed heaven for me. What is it about breakfast meals that I am so enamored into it? For one, you could bring in as many kinds of possible from all over the world. From its Asian-American fusion cuisines, it’ll be like having breakfasts from different countries all in one place. 

Peach Boy Restaurant is well-lit
Alright, I’ll admit, living in the metro may exactly be a culinary paradise, eating only breakfast food alone might be a bit of a far fetch. But, it’s pretty undeniable that breakfast food, in its entirety, is AWESOME. I mean just think about hot waffles, pancakes, bacon, eggs and sausages. Doesn’t that conjure up a wonderfully irresistible image in your mind?

The newly opened Peach Boy Restaurant promises to provide a unique dining experience that will keep guests coming back for more. Peach Boy aims to serve original and enticing food that’s also Instagram-able!  It’s varied menu ranges from Filipino breakfast staples to Hawaiian-Japanese fusion dishes to classic American sandwiches and pastries.

Friday, October 4, 2019

What's Your Favorite Banana Cake Social Media Contest

Banana Cake

MAYA has always loved giving you easy kitchen and baking essentials to encourage you to have fun in the kitchen! I recently shared some exciting recipes on how to jazz up your banana cake on my blog. 

And here's a piece of good news guys: They’re giving banana cake fans to share their yummiest and most creative banana cake recipes on their Facebook Page!
Fans can share photos of their favorite #MayaBananaCake creations and get a chance to win Maya products!
Here’s how you can join:
1. Like MAYA’s Facebook page (!
2. Comment on this
post with a photo of your favorite Maya Banana Cake creation.
Lucky winners will be chosen every Monday until November 4, 2019. They will be featured on MAYA’s Facebook Page, and will get P2500 worth of Maya products!
Entries will be accepted until October 31, 2019.

Good luck guys!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Jazz Up Your Banana Cake with MAYA Oven Toaster Banana Cake Mix

Banana is everyone's favorite
If there’s one fruit I’d love to have any time of the day, it would have to be banana. I mean, who doesn’t love having a banana? It’s delicious, nutritious and is known to be a great source of potassium. It’s also a no-fail comfort food for many of us. That’s why it comes as no surprise that banana cake had also become a favorite dessert that perfectly caps off each meal.

I recently received a parcel from MAYA Oven Toaster Banana Cake Mix
It’s such a good thing that every time I crave for a banana cake, MAYA Oven Toaster Banana Cake Mix makes it easier for me to create one right at my own kitchen! With some creative juices, one can actually jazz up one’s banana cake and make it into an exciting new dessert.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

5 Savvy Japan Budget Tips for Pinoys

For intrepid Filipino travelers, Japan is one of those destinations that are worth repeated visits. If not for the expensive cost of living there, more Pinoys would probably make a yearly trip to the country, as many of them love the Japanese culture so much. Fortunately, there is always a way to save money, so you don’t have to go home with an empty bank account and a mountain of credit card debts to pay.
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