Friday, February 19, 2010

Blacksoup Cafe+Art Space: "Arty" Meals for Hungry Peeps

We first heard about the art-cafe Van Gogh is Bipolar from the review in Philippine Daily Inquirer. It sounded like eating there was a quirky experience -- visitors are required to take off their shoes, to pick their own teapot and may write random scribblings on a red wall.

However, this is not a review for Van Gogh is Bipolar. That's for another post. It was closed when we got there, because they were shooting their new restaurant menu. So, we tried Black Soup Cafe+Art Space instead, which is owned by the same owners.

The place was a treat to look at. Photographs of landscapes were spread on the walls. There was a photo tree behind the counter. Even the rest room was decorated with photographs. The chairs were mismatched, and so were the tables. There was a spread of used books, DVDs and mix CDs, the latter with personally mixed selections by the owner. A guitar and a piano was on one side.

The service was really slow, as there was just one waitress/cashier, and one chef. Our food took about 30 minutes to arrive.

Here's what we tried during our visit:

(Oh, can just give special mention to their water. We really like the bottle idea. It's like we're drinking champagne or wine. It's super unique and cool. ^_^)

Lemongrass Tea, 30 php

Glutton Guy: It tasted ok for me. It's not the usual tea that is being served elsewhere. But I also think that the it tasted kind of weird. However, for 30php it's not so bad. It's nice to try something different once in a while anyway. I would recommend that it still be served as a hot tea rather than a cold tea. I think, at least for me, that it's more refreshing and soothing that way. : )
Glutton Girl: I also ordered lemongrass tea. Just like Glutton Guy, it was kind of off for me. It wasn't what I expected it to taste like. This lemongrass tea could be more flavorful. It really tasted bland for me. In my opinion, if it's iced tea, it should be more tasty. This, however, was not. You still have to try it though to see (or taste) what I mean.

Nachos, 85php

Glutton Guy: It was just like ordinary nachos with additional ingredients. Yep, this is a delicious appetizer, especially because of the tomatoes, onions, and balsamic vinegar. The nachos were crunchy and the beef was cooked really well. The tomatoes and the onions give the nachos an added kick. The cheese was just heavenly an it blends perfectly with the nachos. It's one of those dishes that even though you've already tasted a version of it somewhere, you just have to try their version here.
Glutton Girl: I super love the nachos a lot! It has a big serving, and a lot of tasty toppings. It's really worth the price for you food addicts out there. Why not go and try it out next time you go out with friends? It's really one of their must-tries.

Chicken with Basil and Cheese Stuffing, 150 php

Glutton Girl: I ordered chicken with basil and cheese stuffing. It didn't taste as good as I expected, although it was decent. I didn't have to go to the restaurant to taste something like that, because we already buy frozen chicken cordon bleu from the supermarket that tasted somewhat like it. The marinade on the chicken was okay... but I just was expecting something special and out-of-the-ordinary from a place like this.

Adobo Flakes Pasta, 130php

Glutton Guy: Well, it wasn't the best pasta I've tasted, but it's worth the try. The waitress did say it was one of their best-sellers, so I gave it a shot and ordered it. However, it did not excite me that much. Sure, it was different. But, there's just something about it that didn't quite hit the spot. It did not have a lot of flavor, so I had to add some salt and pepper to make the flavors work. And believe me, it took quite a lot of salt to finally get the taste I wanted. Still, I would have to say that you still have to try it out for yourself. I think that not being able to taste this or any other pasta would make you miss the Blacksoup experience. : )

Pasta Ala Victoria, 120php

Glutton Guy: This wasn't my order because we had a friend with us that time. He ordered Pasta Ala Victoria since I think it is another best-seller of the place. I got the chance to taste his food and it was just the same comment as my pasta. It also needed some more flavor since what I was tasting wasn't enough (That is, if I was really tasting anything). It was like carbonara, but with carrots, grean peas, and corn. With regards to the pasta, it was cooked nicely. It wasn't overcooked so it wasn't too soft. It was a little bit dry, though. Why not try it out? You might have a different opinion from mine. : )

Grilled Tuna Sandwich, 40php

Glutton Guy: This was also our friend's order. But, I also got the chance to taste it. For me it was just like normal tuna sandwich. Nothing special about it. Just normal tuna spread (I think they made this) in two bread slices then grilled in a saucer. It tasted good, though. Well, probably because I'm a tuna sandwich fan. : )

Guyabano Shake, 60php

Glutton Guy: I have to say, this is one unique and delicious shake. I've never tasted Guyabano shake before. My friend had me taste this drink of his and it really was good. (I would gladly swap my lemongrass tea for this hahahaha) If I had known that their Guyabano shake was this good, I would've ordered some for myself. This is a must-try for you guys out there, especially during hot times like this coming summer. : )

Go to this cafe for the novelty of the place and, well, if you want to be somewhere different, but if you're craving for food that's more than "pwede na", go somewhere else. We will try Van Gogh soon and report if it's any better.

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Black Soup Cafe+Art Space is sneakily located in the courtyard of a yellow building on 154 Maginhawa St., Sikatuna Village. It's just before you pass Good Burger.)

Get MoMo-fied!!!

Sometimes, isn't it good to reward yourself with a nice, yummy, and comforting food? Wouldn't you want something delicious to make you feel at ease during your "stress times"? Wouldn't you want that food to have a great value for money, an affordable price that's heavy on the stomach at the same time?

When these thoughts come into your mind, why not give a food place like MoMo Cafe a shot. It's not your normal food place where you just eat and pay your bill. MoMo Cafe serves you sumptuous food that will make you feel good, keep you full, and make you come back and try their food again. And this is also not your "ordinary regular-serving platter" in an average Filipino restaurant, (We're talking American-sized servings here people!!!) which is why you'll really get your value for money here.

The place is very cozy with a nice atmosphere, the ambiance is close to that of a fine dining restaurant, and the staff is courteous and always ready to serve you with a smile. They offer a wide variety of dishes, from all-day big breakfast platters to scrumptious Italian pizzas and pastas. Whatever dish you choose, you'll never go wrong because every food they offer is delicious. Anyways, these are some of the "must-tries" at MoMo (These are also what we ordered hehehe):

MoMo's Own Frozen Iced Tea (Strawberry flavor), 85 php

Glutton Guy: This was the drink I ordered. I kind of admit, I usually don't order a strawberry-flavored drink. But when I asked the waiter, he said that this flavor is one of the best-seller drinks in their cafe. I ordered it and I really have to say, it does deserve the best-seller honor. It's not too sweet for an iced tea, which is good because it won't ruin your appetite with the food. Plus, it's served nicely, in a tall glass with a mint leaf on top. So, for 85php, I would totally recommend this one to you. : )

Lemon-Flavored Water, FREE

Glutton Guy: This is MoMo's version of  the other's "Service Water". It has a lemon flavor, probably because of the lemon slice they place in the big glass upon serving it to you. This is one-of-a-kind, as I have yet to see another resto that offers flavored service water. You probably won't notice that it's service water since the lemon flavor overpowered the "Chlorine" flavor of normal service water. : )
Glutton Girl:I didn't order any drink, but I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy my drink. The service water they served was actually good. It's very different, considering that the water has a lemon flavor. It was like lemonade, but it's free hahaha. It was also refreshing since it had that citrus taste, perfect for a warm day. I must say that even though it's free, you still have to try this  drink of theirs. You won't lose anything anyway.

The "Bestest" French Toast in Town, 195php

Glutton Guy: The dish speaks for itself; It really is the BESTEST. It's not just normal French toast. It has Nutella in it, which makes it better. (since I'm a choco-addict hahaha) In addition to the Nutella, half of the breads are wrapped in crispy bacon strips. To complete the dish, you'll also find banana slices, whipped cream on the side, Maple Syrup, and Fruit Compote (which is like a fruit cocktail-mango, watermelon, and pear slices). The bread is soft, and the fruit compote actually balances the dish. It's another must-try for you people out there. : )
Glutton Girl: It's like breakfast in America, or breakfast in a five-star hotel. This is the dish that satisfied my stomach. The bread is soft (I think that they used wheat bread, which is a plus for me since it's healthy) and delicious. The Nutella  and the bananas make the French Toast better, as it helps hype up the flavor of the toast. The added whipped cream and the syrup give the final touches the dish needs to upgrade its taste.

The Grand Slammer, 350php

Glutton Guy: Probably you wouldn't want to waste 350php on one dish alone. But believe me when I say that this is one dish that will surely satisfy you. It is relatively affordable because it's really jumbo in servings. I would recommend this dish for sharing since it really has a lot in one plate. The dish has crispy bacon, 2 sausages, 4 (yep, you got it right, 4 hahahaha) Pancakes, 2 eggs, Potato Smashers (mashed potatoes), and Fruit Compote. It comes with syrup and butter for the pancakes. After tasting the dish, I quickly understood why this usual breakfast dish is served all day. It is very very good. The bacon, the eggs, and the sausages are not greasy, and the potato smashers are simply to die for. Again, the fruit compote balances the whole dish. You'll definitely want to have a bite of this dish, whatever time of the day it may be. : )
Glutton Girl: Seriously, if you have this every breakfast, you'll gain weight in no time. This is because this dish is absolutely irresistible. What I love about this dish is that nothing in this plate overpowers the others. Everything is balanced with regards to flavor. The pancakes are fluffy and soft, and the susages, the eggs, and the bacon strips are cooked perfectly. It is also served perfectly (with a nice presentation and a nice big plate). It's another amazing dish from MoMo that you have to try.

After eating all of these, only one thing was left - a full and satisfied stomach. MoMo's food was simply one of the best. Surely, it will make us come back to try their delicious food one, two, three, or even 10 more times. Why not try it out for yourselves? I can tell you that you won't be disappointed with what they have to offer. Why? Because it definitely is MoMolicious!!!

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(MoMo's Cafe has 2 branches. One is located at Midtown-Robinsons Place Manila-near Italiannis and Friday's. The other is located at Eastwood Mall-you can't miss this since it's just at the entrance before you enter the mall.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

A taste of Ilocos favorites

If you Glutton Guys out there are looking for a delicious and satisfying snack, why not go local. There are a lot of these so-called "meriendas" that are very delicious and are worth trying. Take for instance, Mac's Deli in Tiendesitas, where you can taste the authentic Vigan Empanada and Okoy. Their products are fresh, nicely cooked, and most of all, very very good. They offer delicious Ilocos dishes such as the famous Vigan longganisa. But, the bestseller is still the empanada and the okoy. Paired with the famous "Sukang Ilocos", the empanada and the okoy are simply to die for. The empanada only costs 40php (110php if you buy 3 pcs.) while the okoy also costs 40php per piece. They also offer rice meals such as Vigan longganisa with rice, and even okoy with rice or empanada with rice.

Well then, let's take a look at 2 of the most popular foods Mac's offers:

Empanada, 40php; 110php-3 pcs.

Glutton Guy: Unlike the normal empanada, this one has lesser stuffing. But, it was way way better than the original one. I have yet to taste an empanada that can beat this one. It was delicious inside, and very crunchy outside. Dipping it in the authentic sukang Ilocos would hype up the flavor of the empanada. For me, it was good and worth trying. It's also gonna make you come back for more. I think I am. : )
Glutton Girl: Vigan empanada has been my long-time favorite snack. It's one of those local snacks that are delicious and keep me coming back for more. And when I think of Vigan empanada, nothing, for me, beats the Vigan empanada of Mac's Deli. It is so tasty and well seasoned. Plus, it is very very crucnhy. And that's what I like most about it. Most of the time when I visit Tiendesitas, I never forget to buy even just a piece, and sometimes even take some home for my family. I recommend this snack to you guys. I just know that you are going to love it, just like I have.

Okoy, 40php

Glutton Guy: If you think the empanada is good, you ain't seen nothing yet. I have to say, the okoy is as delicious as the empanada. It's crunchy, it's not too salty, and for 40php, it's very very good. I wouldn't mind eating 2 or even 3 of these in one seating. It's also best when you dip it to the sweet and spicy sukang Ilocos. This is another must-try for all you Glutton Guys out there. : )
Glutton Girl: Not as much as the empanada, but I also love the okoy. I like the way how it's cooked. And because of that, it becomes crispy, yet it's not burned. Even if you don't reheat it in the oil, it still maintains its crispiness. With these said, it's another Glutton Girl recommend.

Mac's Deli has proved to us that it does offer the ORIGINAL Vigan empanada and okoy. Like what we have said earlier, it's an absolute must-try for you guys. You won't go wrong having the empanada and okoy tandem as your snack for the day. It only proves that at some point, nothing still beats the Filipino local snack.

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Mac's Deli is located at Tiendesitas. It's at the food center, where the stage is located. One of those stalls around the center.)

Yogurt fit for Kings!!!

Becoming fit and healthy has been the recent trend in today's lifestyle. More and more people are now becoming aware and conscious of how they look and how healthy they are. Which is why most of us diet or exercise, to keep us fit and fab. Even in what we eat, we always have to see to it that what comes inside our stomachs are low in fat, low in cholesterol, low in carbs, and the like.

One of the most popular healthy and irresistible foods today is the "yogurt ice cream". It became so popular, that everybody now knows it by the name of "Fro-Yo". One by one, Fro-Yo stores have been popping out introducing different flavors and different toppings.

Since this Fro-Yo has become the new "in thing", we just couldn't let it slip our taste buds (Yes, we're avid fans of Fro-Yo). So we came across one Fro-Yo store that you'll surely love.

Located at Shangri-La Mall is a Fro-Yo store named GOLDEN SPOON. Sure, from the name itself it sounds like it's gonna be expensive. But actually, it's not. It's actually cheaper than you think it is. It's like an affordable version of Haagen Dazs. Plus, it's super delicious, you won't even notice it's yogurt. This is because normal Fro-Yo's would taste sour (The first time I ate Fro-Yo, I thought they used expired milk hahahaha - Glutton Guy). However, Golden Spoon's Fro-Yo's taste like original ice cream. What's even better is that they have different flavors to suit your sweet tooth. Actually, they have 50 Golden flavors (that's what it said in the ad inside the store). The best thing of all, they offer free tastes!!! (Talk about thinking on what flavor to buy) Yep, whatever you wanna try to taste they'll offer it to you for free. They'll even give suggestions as to what you might like. And they have different toppings, ranging from cold syrups to hot syrups. And of course, they also have the other toppings like marshmallows, cereals, choco chips, brownie chunks, and even gummy bears. The prices range from 85php (The "mini" size. Believe me, it's not that mini at all - Glutton Guy), to their biggest size which is around 475php (I have yet to see how big this actually is. For a price that much, it better be. - Glutton Guy). Other sizes are 155php-small and 220php-large. You have to pay additional 20php for each topping, but believe me, even without the toppings you'll surely be satisfied. Anyways, here are the flavors we tried and tasted:


Glutton Guy: Best flavor, in my opinion. It actually is one of their bestsellers according to the Fro-Yo man there. It has a different flavor that I can't quite distinguish. I think it tastes like cotton candy, only better. It's not too sweet, so you won't easily get that feeling that you can't eat more of it. This is one of the flavors that's good and delicious even without the toppings. Be sure to have a free taste, in case you're in doubt of what it tastes like hahahaha (According to the very trustworthy Wikipedia, a boysenberry is a cross between a raspberry, a blackberry, and/or a loganberry. It is a large compound fruit, with large seeds and a deep maroon color.) : )
Glutton Girl: This Boysenberry flavor is actually my favorite. It's super delicious, yet it's not too sweet. It tastes like candy with a mix of strawberry and raspberry. It's really good and one of the flavors you have got to try at Golden Spoon. We ordered it without any toppings. And I have to say, it's really really good. We didn't actually know it was the bestseller, since we didn't know what "Boysenberry" was. So, we ordered Old Fashioned Vanilla and New York Cheesecake. If not for the Fro-Yo man's free taste, we wouldn't have tasted it.

Old Fashioned Vanilla

Glutton Guy: This was what I ordered. I asked Hershey's Chocolate Syrup and Gummy bears for toppings. (Yeah I know, the toppings aren't related at all... But, hey, it's still good. At least for me hahahaha ) It tasted okay. However, it only had a slight edge to the vanilla ice cream. It's healthier, though. It also had a similar taste to another flavor of theirs, New York Cheesecake. We tried both of it and it had the same taste. So, up until now we still do not know the difference between the two flavors. (Aside from their name, of course) : )
Glutton Girl: It was just the same as the New York Cheesecake flavor. However, it wasn't as sweet as the original Vanilla flavor, which is good for me. I didn't like Glutton Guy's idea of mixing chocolate syrup with gummy bears, though. Separately, I think they're good. But together, I'm not quite sure hahahaha Try it out for yourself. I have a strong feeling that you're all gonna like it (I meant the flavor, not the combination of toppings hahahahaha).

New York Cheesecake

Glutton Guy: Like I said in the previous flavor, it actually has the same flavor with Old Fashioned Vanilla. I didn't get the cheesecake flavor, much less the New York Cheesecake flavor. Nevertheless, it's still good. It's creamy and yummy, just like the other flavors. It's still a must-try though. (Actually, all the flavors are a must-try..Oooohh except for'll see later on hahahaha) : )
Glutton Girl: I didn't get the real taste of the cheesecake. It's like more on Vanilla flavor. It wasn't evident that the flavor was New York Cheesecake. But, like Glutton Guy, I still liked it, especially with my brownie chunks topping. The combination of the Fro-Yo flavor with the brownie chunks was delicious for me. Unlike Glutton guy, I don't have a bad taste for toppings hahahahaha


Glutton Guy: This is Golden Spoon's epic fail. And I mean it. It really didn't taste good, not one bit. It tasted like Chinese medicine. Even the guys at Golden Spoon disliked the flavor. What's worse is that the flavor stays in your mouth for some time. I really had no choice but to ask for another free taste of a different flavor just to remove the Pistachio taste in my mouth. I don't know why they still keep this flavor, having 50 flavors and all. No offense meant, though. It really just wasn't good for me. : )
Glutton Girl: I really hate to say this, but here it goes. Pistachio is not a good idea for me. It wasn't good. It really really tasted like yucky medicine. It really had this unexplainable bitter flavor for me. I wouldn't order this if I were you. Simply put, I wouldn't recommend it, not even one bit. You have 49 flavors to choose from, so don't be dismayed hahahahaha If you're a fan of Pistachio, well, too bad because it would really destroy your admiration for the flavor. Still, you might like it depending upon your taste (or if you're really a fan of the flavor, no matter how bad it tastes). You have that "free taste right", though. So, I suggest you exercise it before you order the flavor hahahahaha

Cake Batter

Glutton Guy: Another best seller of the store. I have to say, it was also good. It wasn't as good as Boysenberry, though. But, it's in my number 2 position. It did taste like cake batter. Not to sweet, yet the flavor was there. Plus, it was very creamy. Another must-try flavor for you guys. Still, you can have a free taste of this flavor in case you're in doubt. : )
Glutton Girl: I can't quite recall the flavor (since it was just a free taste hahahaha). However, based on what I remember, it tasted like a real cake batter. I did wonder if they really use cake batter and just put it in the ice cream maker to chill. Maybe I'm right hahahaha Do try it out. It's good. I just wasn't able to eat a lot since we only asked for a free taste of it.

Those were the flavors we tasted. And we have to say, we were very much satisfied with what Golden Spoon had to offer. There's still a lot of flavors to taste. Some of them are also bestsellers such as Espresso, Cafe Latte, Strawberry, Peanut Butter, Cookies n' Cream, Chocolate Malt, and many many more. Truly, Golden Spoon is worth a trip for you Fro-Yo peeps out there, even for you guys who just want to have a nice chat back-to-back with a nice and yummy dessert.



Rating: Buddhalicious!

(Golden Spoon is located at Level 1 of the Shangri-La Plaza Mall. It's just near Starbucks and the big rotating entrance door below California Pizza Kitchen.)

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