Sunday, September 7, 2014

Family Dinners at Hap Chan, SM Manila

Whenever I want cheap but delicious Chinese food, I only go to North Park (they currently have two stores along Macapagal Blvd.!). Now, there's also Hap Chan Tea House to satiate my Chinese food cravings. Since they opened a branch at SM Manila last year (I stand corrected), we've had family dinner there a couple of times already and each time, my family and I were satisfied.

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Below are our some of our must-orders there:

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Yang Chow Fried Rice (P230) and Lumpiang Shanghai (P250). I liked how their fried rice was not oily at all and contained lots of small shrimps, pork asado bits and veggies. Their shanghai rolls, on the other hand, were crispy, meaty (unlike others that had more veggies than pork meat) and seasoned just right. Their lumpiang shanghai actually got my mom's nod of approval at first bite.

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Their Quail Egg Siomai (P75) hit the spot! It's now officially my fave siomai in the entire Metro Manila. Haha. I liked how each piece of dimsum was plump, juicy, packed with meat (and not just fat!) and was seasoned just right. No umay factor here.

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These two were soya-based smoothies (P60-P65 per glass). The one on the left was strawberry and the one on the right was chocolate. I prefer the latter because it tasted more chocolate-y than tofu-flavored.

One time, we also tried their Buttered Chicken (P250) which was very good. Our order had around six to seven small chicken pieces which were fried to perfection. I could taste the butter in every bite so I could tell they didn't scrimp on ingredients.

Another time, my mom and I had dinner there and availed of their rice meals which were okay, too. Priced at P120-P150, they were quite delicious and filling.

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with my mom and my two younger sisters during one of our family dinners at Hap Chan, SM Manila

Hap Chan
4/L SM City Manila
Natividad Almeda-Lopez, Ermita, Manila

(+632) 484-3229


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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Lunch Buffet at Circles Event Cafe, Makati Shangri-La

Armed with two GCs I won from the raffle at a Nissan event the hubby and I attended sometime last year, we had a lunch buffet at Circles Event Cafe of Shangri-La Hotel Makati one fine Monday. The food selection wasn't as massive as that of Sofitel's Spiral, but we enjoyed the cozy and intimate ambience and the very attentive staff. I secretly wished, though, that they had fresh crabs and scallops but unfortunately, those were not available during our visit.

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Below are the various kinds of food I got from the buffet spread:

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These breads were nice to eat. Soft and chewy center with crunchy edges.

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I started my meal with this salad. It looks messy but it was bursting with flavors.

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This miso soup tasted okay. I got a lot of leeks because it's one of my fave veggies.

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I liked how plump and juicy and fresh the mussels were! I requested for these to be cooked in butter and garlic and it proved to be a good decision.

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I requested the tiger prawns to be cooked Singaporean style and the chef at the cooking station happily obliged. This was yummy! The sauce had a good balance of saltiness and sweetness and the tiger prawns were well-cooked. I ate everything because the hubby is allergic to seafood. Lucky me!

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I requested this carbonara from the chef at the pasta station. A few minutes after, this lovely plate of creamy goodness was served to me. It was pretty good.

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The tempura was crunchy and thinly-breaded, which I appreciated. The dimsum were okay but nothing special.

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When in a buffet place, I try to eat some Indian food, too. And steak, of course. The steak was memorable because it was juicy and fork-tender and had a little fat in the center.

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I never leave a buffet place without trying their ice cream whether it's homemade or commercial. At Circles, they had homemade sorbet and gelato. I got raspberry sorbet and yogurt gelato. I so looooove the latter! I'm a big yogurt fan, you know. But believe me when I say that the yogurt gelato was very good. So creamy, tangy and just a little sweet. It was perfect, IMHO.

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I ended my meal with fruits. I made sure to get some for fiber. Haha.

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my eating buddy!

Next time, we'll try the dinner buffet and compare it with our lunch buffet experience, food and service wise. :)

Circles Event Cafe
Shangri-La Hotel Makati
Ayala cor. Makati Avenues, Makati

(+632) 813-8888


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Monday, September 1, 2014

Erra's Ramen: The Cheapest Ramen in Manila!

The hubby is a self-confessed ramen fan. So far, we've eaten in a few ramen places already but that doesn't stop him from finding more ramen places to try. A bowl of ramen in most Japanese restos can go anywhere from P280 to P450. Sometimes, even higher than that. Good thing we chanced upon this ramen place in Malate that serves unbelievably cheap ramen at less than P100 per bowl -- Erra's Ramen. As we have found out after eating there, their ramen is not just delicious but can give those high-end ramen places a run for their money. Like, seriously.

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Erra's Ramen is just a food cart beside Erra's Grill (same owner, I heard) and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL) but you'll be amazed by how the place is always packed with people. So far, we've visited twice already and ordered the same ramen flavor each time: Tantanmen for the hubby and Miso for me.

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My Miso ramen was delicious with just the right amount of flavor and heat from the tasty broth and spices. The noodles were chewy and firm, characteristics of good, homemade ramen noodles. The egg mixed in was hard-boiled, though, and didn't have the yellowish, runny appeal of a real ajitsuke tamago. But still, the ramen gave me the warmth and joy I'd usually get whenever a bowl of good ramen is in front of me. And for just P70, what more can I ask for, right?

OTHER RAMEN PLACES WE'VE TRIED:
Ramen Kuroda, BF Homes
Ramen Yushoken, Molito-Alabang
Kokoro Ramenya, Roxas Blvd.
Yasuo Japanese Restaurant, Robinsons Place Manila
Izakaya Den Japanese Restaurant, Malate
Rai Rai Ken, Finlandia
Ume-ya Japanese Restaurant, Bacoor
Yoshinoya, SM Manila

The hubby's Tantanmen ramen, P80, on the other hand, was on the spicy side (as it should be), but the heat was tolerable according to him. He finished it in no time so I guess he liked it as well.

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Should you want more soup, noodles, pork, egg or whatever, just ask the staff and they'll be glad to serve it to you in exchange for a few pesos.

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Cleanliness may be a bit of an issue here because it is situated on the side walk and everything is prepared by hand, but if you're willing to get your hands dirty for a taste of good ramen at a dirt-cheap price (pun intended!), then this is the place for you! :)

Erra's Ramen
Adriatico cor. Nakpil Sts.
Malate, Manila


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Friday, August 22, 2014

Ramen Set Meals at Ramen Kuroda, BF Homes

One random Saturday night, the hubby and I met up with our two family friends Eric and Joy. We had dinner at Ramen Kuroda, one of the many restaurants inside BF Homes, Parañaque. We availed of their ramen set meals which were incredibly filling and provided full value to our money.

We ordered four different ramen set meals but I only have a photo of my tray to show you:

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I chose karaage (Japanese fried chicken) to go with my ramen. Aside from these two, my set meal also had three side dishes, two desserts and Japanese rice. My three companions, on the other hand, asked for gyoza, katsudon and tonkatsu to go with their ramen.

OTHER RAMEN PLACES WE'VE TRIED:
Erra's Ramen, Malate
Ramen Yushoken, Molito-Alabang
Kokoro Ramenya, Roxas Blvd.
Yasuo Japanese Restaurant, Robinsons Place Manila
Izakaya Den Japanese Restaurant, Malate
Rai Rai Ken, Finlandia
Ume-ya Japanese Restaurant, Bacoor
Yoshinoya, SM Manila


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When it comes to my ramen (I asked for their miso one), the broth was tasty and flavorful but I found the noodles thinner and less firm than those served in other ramen places I've visited. I liked that my ramen had the usual Chashu (slow-roasted pork), some veggies like bokchoy, leeks and mushrooms as well as half hard-boiled egg and black sesame seeds. It made my ramen bright, colorful and delightful to eat!

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My three companions and I were one in agreement that Ramen Kuroda's ramen set meals were good (but nothing exceptional) and very filling. Next time, we'll order ala carte so we could try their other dishes. :)

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Ramen Kuroda was filled with people during our visit but the service was amazingly fast. Parking outside is limited so you might want to go early if you're bringing a car. :)


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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Delightful Brunch at Heaven and Eggs, Glorietta 4

It was my first time to dine at Heaven and Eggs, Glorietta 4, Makati last Saturday. I was with my blogger friends and we had a sort of brunch feast there. We partook of several American and Filipino breakfast fares which all turned out to be gastronomically fulfilling. I've been hearing a lot of raves about Heaven and Egg's eat-all-you-can breakfast online and I'm glad the restaurant didn't disappoint during our visit even if we just ordered straight off the menu.

Allow me to share with you photos of our orders:

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This Angus Beef Tapa (P390) hit the spot! The meat was tender, juicy, tasty and oh-so flavorful. I enjoyed eating this with the garlic fried rice and instead of the usual sunny side up eggs, I paired it with the salted egg which I thought complemented the richness of tapa. If you're eating at Heaven and Eggs anytime soon, this is a must-order. As in!

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Another favorite among our group was the Lovin Lucban Longganisa (P310). It had six pieces of garlicky longganisa, grilled tomatoes, a slice of salted egg plus two sunny side up eggs and garlic fried rice. I liked the crunch, flavor and meatiness of the longganisa. Dipping it in the vinegar provided made it more pleasurable to eat. Yum!

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The Classic Manila Ribs (P330) was oozing with smoky, porky goodness! The ribs was barbecued just right so the meat turned out to be tender and juicy. No need to dip it in the sweet and sour sauce that went with it.

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This is aptly called Steak and Eggs (P998). It had 8oz. of USDA rib-eye steak served with two sunny side up eggs (you can actually choose to have your eggs any style!), a hash brown and buttered corn kernels. We had the steak cooked medium-well and after it landed our table, everybody started digging in.

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This Grilled Tocino (P255) I didn't get to try but my friends said it was also delish.

We also had pancakes and waffles! These served as our "desserts" because we started our brunch with rice. Haha.

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This Apple Cinnamon Pancakes (P185) was beautifully topped with caramelized apple slices and toasted walnuts. The pancakes were made with cinnamon and sugar so I could really taste the rich cinnamon flavor in every bite.

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I found the Oreo Pancakes (195) a bit dry and thought it could use some syrup or perhaps, some condensed milk? But still, we finished 'em flap jacks because they were fluffy and generously filled with Oreo cookies!

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The Chocolate Chips Waffle (P195) was the crowd favorite. It had milk and dark chocolate filling and was topped with whipped cream.

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Personally, I liked the Fruity Tootie Waffles (P235) the best! The assorted fruit compote and whipped cream on top provided a touch of freshness and added a nice flavor to the hot iron waffles.

To assist in digesting all these glorious food, I had their Lemonade Cooler P85). Untitled

I also had a cup of Hot Chocolate P100) to further perk myself up. Actually, I find eating pancakes and waffles more enjoyable with a cup of hot chocolate. Haha. Untitled

Heaven and Eggs is a casual restaurant that serves American and Filipino breakfast favorites not just in the morning but all day! The place is very intimate and not intimidating at all. The prices are reasonable and the service is quite good, too. I'd love to take my family there some time!

Untitled our group

P.S. Thank you to my blogger friend Alex and my PR friend Xchosa for inviting me to this resto. See you guys around! :)


Heaven and Eggs
G/F Glorietta 4
East Drive
Ayala Center, Makati

(+632) 818-2792


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