Saturday, May 29, 2010

Binondo's Authentic Dimsum Place

Having a strong influence on us Filipinos, Chinese food simply cannot be denied. And once you are in a place called Binondo, there is no other way but to give in and enjoy the delicious food. That's what exactly what we did when we found a delicious food place along Benavidez street.

It's a small place, but it's not much of a hindrance to make people come and taste the delicious food of Wai Ying Fastfood in Binondo. You'll know that this place is kind of famous here, because people just keep flocking the place and there's no table that's left vacant. In fact, they have a stall nearby to cater to people who order take-outs, probably to reduce the people entering the dining area.

Upon entering you'll notice the roasted ducks hanging on the window. You'll also see stacks upon stacks of dimsum steamer baskets. The place itself is not at all neatly designed. It's just a simple food place, just like those food stalls you see at Quiapo. But when it comes to the food, we simply were just blown away. The food was good and very cheap. Plus, it's authentic Chinese cuisine. Tasting their food might just make you say the word 'delicious' in Chinese.

Anyways, here's what we ordered:

HK Lemon Tea, 50 php (cold), 45 php (hot)

Glutton Guy: This was my drink since I wanted something really cold because of the heat. I tried one of these when I was in Hongkong. You really have to crush the lemon with your spoon at the bottom of the glass to add some citrus and make it more delicious. It really tasted authentic, like the one I had at Hongkong. It was really good. Plus, it's cheap. I just wondered at first why it's more expensive than the hot version (probably because of the ice hahaha). It's really a good drink that's worth ordering at Wai Ying. : )

HK Milk Tea, 50 php (cold), 45 php (hot)

Glutton Girl: Before we even looked for a place to eat, I already told Glutton Guy that I was really craving for authentic Chinese milk tea. And I wasn't disappointed with Wai Ying's milk tea. It was very refreshing and very very delicious. There was a balanced taste of bitter and sweet. I really liked it. I'm sure you will, too. 

Siomai, 55 php

Glutton Guy: Yummy authentic Chinese siomai really did the trick for me. Dip it in soy sauce with chili sauce, and you have a delicious and mouthwatering siomai. It's very different from the siomai we usually buy at food stalls at malls. It's really authentic, and it's very delicious. What more can I say? hahahaha : )

Glutton Girl: I liked their siomai. It wasn't the same old siomai that I usually eat. There's something different about it that you simply just want to have more. And for 55 pesos, it's very cheap for me. It might not be as cheap as those versions we find at LRT/MRT stations or at stalls at food courts (probably because this is AUTHENTIC siomai), but it's way, way yummier than the siomai we find elsewhere. 

Steamed Spareribs, 50 php

Glutton Guy: Another delicious dimsum. It's perfectly cooked. The spareribs are soft. The flavor is unique and delicious. Dipping it in soy sauce will make it more delicious. Try it out and see what I mean. : )

Glutton Girl: Steamed Spareribs are just one of the best. They're good and I just can't get enough of them. The sauce is very good, plus the spareribs are not difficult to eat and chew. It's another Wai Ying best-seller for me.

Chicken Feet, 50 php

Glutton Guy: There's nothing not worth eating when it comes to Chinese food. And that includes chicken feet. Of course, our dimsum experience wouldn't be complete without the authentic chicken feet. And I have to say, the chicken feet was really good. It was soft, and the sauce is as delicious as the chicken feet. I know you're dimsum experience wouldn't be complete without it as well. So, you really have to try this one. : )

Glutton Girl: For me, their chicken feet was not the best. But, what I liked about it is, just what I have said earlier, is that it's authentic. I liked the way it was cooked. It's not too hard, so it's not difficult to eat. The sauce, like Glutton Guy said, is also delicious. But, like I said, I've tasted better versions of this. 

Hakaw, 60 php

Glutton Guy: One of the best dimsums I've tasted. I've never tasted hakaw this good. It's smaller than the ones I've tasted before. But, it's way, way tastier. It's very soft. Plus, it's served hot. Probably the best dimsum I've tasted at Wai Ying. : )

Glutton Girl: I agree with Glutton Guy on this. It is the best dimsum I've tasted at Wai Ying. The hakaw tasted the way I imagined it to taste like, plus more. I liked it more when I dipped it on soy sauce. It's really, really good. You guys just gotta try this yourselves to see what I mean.

Wai Ying Fastfood serves authentic Chinese dimsum at its best. You'll definitely not want to miss this in your Binondo experience. So, if by chance you stumble upon a place that is Binondo, try Wai Ying Fastfood. Their dimsum are simply to die for. Plus, they also have other Chinese dishes such as congee and noodles (mami). It's affordable, and it's authentic. You'll definitely want to put this in your itinerary on your first (or your next) Binondo trip.

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Wai Ying Fastfood is located at 927 Benavidez street, Binondo, Manila. They have another branch in front of Hope Christian School. It's near Metropolitan Hospital.)

French Desserts...The Chinese Way

True, common Chinese desserts would include buchi, tikoy, moon cakes, and the lot. I do have to admit, they're really good, which is why a lot of Filipinos crave for these kinds of food. But, that doesn't mean the Chinese are limited to such desserts. Recently, we found an interesting food place that brings western desserts to a place where you would least expect it to be.

We were at Binondo, Manila when we found a little dessert place called Crepe de Chine. Although it's kind of hidden (the place is like at the lower ground level), you can't miss it because of their sign. Peering on their window we found the place intriguing, so we gave it a shot. True enough, the place is inetersting. It's kind of cozy and the people there gave comforting smiles. The place had regular wooden tables (nothing special about those). But, what really caught our attention were the place's tables with swings for chairs. It was really cute and we asked the waiter if we could sit there. We were actually fortunate to be given permission by the owner (we think she was the owner because the waiters took orders from her) to sit there because the area where the tables with swings are was decorated (There were balloons all over the floor and chairs with the words "I Love You" written on the balloons). The owner said that there was a proposal that's gonna happen, but it won't happen for about 2 hours after we arrived. So, we decided to eat and savor our food as fast as possible so as to give them enough time to clean our plates and prepare for the event.

Crepe de Chine's food were not expensive at all. You would think that they are, given the 'classy' name of the place. But, they actually are the opposite. The servings are also big, enough for a person to be full in no time. They also offer other dishes like pastas and salads.

Here's what we got:

Chocolate Milkshake, 90 php

Glutton Guy: What better way to mix chocolate and milk together than to make it into a wonderful and delicious shake! There were ice lumps on my shake, but it actually didn't matter because the milkshake is really good. In fact, I even think that the lumps were a plus for me. It was not too sweet (probably because of the ice) so it really worked. I actually wanted to have more. And I think you will too, after having one of these lovely shakes. : )

Lemonade Slurpe, 50 php

Glutton Girl: This is actually a great summer drink. It reminds me of having fun at the beach and drinking lots of this delicious Lemonade Slurpe. The lemonade had that sweet taste, yet it still had that citrus and tangy taste. The flavors were well-balanced, making it really good and also making it a good thirst quencher. I suggest you have a try on this one, Glutton fans.

CDC Party! Platter, 270 php

Glutton Guy: It wasn't joking when it said 'Party'. It's a lot, considering we were only two people. There were lots of fruits (peaches, mangoes, bananas), three scoops of ice cream (strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate), and lots of nuts and chocolate syrup. Every dessert that they have on the menu, it's all here in one big plate. You'll definitely feel satisfied after this, I'm sure. : )

Glutton Girl: What I'm after here are the 3 scoops of ice cream. I'm a big fan of ice cream, so this dessert really worked for me. I really think that it would work more without the crepe, though. Plus, It was too big for us, because I really had a full stomach before we even finished it. Good thing Glutton Guy had a big appetite (Sorry Glutton Guy hahaha).

Choc-o-Nuts, 165 php

Glutton Guy: Once again, I loved the chocolate syrup and the ice cream. I'm really not sure if the crepe worked for me. However, the crepe had that chocolate flavor, which kind of worked for me. I just felt that the crepe was a bit dry despite the ice cream and the syrup. The nuts was also an added plus. However, I think that there shouldn't be too much because it could be overpowering. : )

Glutton Girl: Like Glutton Guy, I also loved the ice cream. I'm just not sure about the nuts. I think it gives the dessert that crunch. But, I also agree with Glutton Guy that it shouldn't be too much. Overall, I think it's an okay dish for me.

It's not all the time that Binondo surprises you with something different, especially when it comes to food. True enough, Binondo is a mix of different cultures, where one can embrace the diversity of both the Chinese and the Filipino culture. Crepe de Chine is one of those testaments that Chinese aren't just limited to their culture, rather, they can also do more and explore to become competitive, not just in the culinary world, but in life in general.

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Crepe de Chine is located at LG-2 World Trade Exchange Building, 215 Juan Luna street, Binondo, Manila. Facing Binondo church, just take the right side of Juan Luna street.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Tribute to The Country of K-Pop

Just admit it, we know that it's obvious - the country where the 2NE1s and the Super Juniors originated is slowly injecting it's culture to the Philippines. It won't be too long until the whole country is Korean-addicted. Well, isn't it yet? One by one, Korean songs are becoming famous and are topping the hit charts. Moreover, Korean resto's are popping out here and there. Speaking of Korean restaurants, we recently visited one that really made our stomachs full.

We were reluctant to have stumbled upon a Korean restaurant at Kalayaan Avenue at Quezon City. The name of the place is Woorijib Korean Restaurant. From the outside, it doesn't look like an enticing place to have a good meal. But, a lot of people have said that the food here is great and should be worth trying. We just recently found out that Woorijib only has 2 branches, one at Quezon City and another one abroad (at the USA to be exact).

The food is very affordable. You'll notice once you get there that the price of the food is around 200+. But, the servings are big so each meal is good for around 3-4 people. You'll probably spend around 200-400 per person, and that's a lot of food already. Plus, they offer a lot of side dishes. The best thing about that is (drumroll please...) IT'S FREE! Yep, you can order side dishes forever without even paying a single centavo for them.

The place is not so much designed, but there's a part that a bit cozy, and we were lucky to be on that part. The waiters are very kind and are willing to give suggestions to first-timers like us who do not know exactly what to order. The waiter who even took our order joked with us and also suggested the best sellers of the place.

Here's what we ordered:

Soju, 190 php

Glutton Guy: When we ordered Soju, the waiter asked if we wanted the Soju which is a bit sweet or the Soju which is hard. Since it was lunchtime and it wasn't the time to really have a drink, we ordered the lighter version. We just wanted to try it out and see how it tasted. And oh boy, it really is a drink. It was still strong. And that was just the sweet version! It tasted kind of like vodka. I'm not saying it's not good. It's worth a try for those who want to try a different thing. I mean, I would have one again if I had one. : )

Glutton Girl: What a way to start lunch! Hahahaha A toast of Soju and you're all ready to go. I can't imagine the taste of the harder type since this one was really strong. Well, at least it was another experience to drink a Korean liquor during a Korean meal.

Jjampong, 250 php

Glutton Guy: Ever tasted the Jjampong flavor of Lucky Me? Well, it's way way better and way way hotter than that hahahaha The good thing is that this one is authentic Korean Jjampong. The seafood is good. The noodles are firm and not too soft, which is a good thing. I really think that they placed a pack of chili's in there, though. I almost drank a whole pitcher (or more hahahaha) of water because of the soup. It's a must-try for you guys, especially for those who like spicy food. : )

Glutton Girl: I liked this dish. It was very spicy, which I liked, and it had a lot of seafoods like the original one. The serving is also okay since it's good for about 3-4 persons or even more. Some might not handle the heat (especially those who don't like super spicy food) but it's really good and it's a must-try since this is authentic Korean noodles.

Bulgogi, 350 php

Glutton Guy: This one is probably the best dish for me. Basically, you have to wrap the beef in (I think) lettuce or Sesame leaves. One advice, though. The Sesame leaves are not good hahahaha The beef is very soft. It really wasn't hard to chew. The sauce is delicious. You'll still want some more sauce even if there's no more beef. The vegetables have that crunch that's really really good. Overall, it's a perfectly cooked dish. : )

Glutton Girl: It's a great dish. I loved the fact that the beef is really tender and the sauce is really sweet. Glutton Guy is right, though, regarding the Sesame leaves. They really don't taste good. The other one is better hahaha We even thought that the Sesame leaves were for display purposes. We actually finished this dish even though it's a lot. We didn't spare anything, even the carrots and the garlic. For me it's really delicious and it's probably the best dish we've ordered.

Bibimbop, 250 php

Glutton Guy: Another great dish for me. Every ingredient in this dish was just amazing. The vegetables also had that crunch that I loved. The beef was also soft and easy to chew, just like the beef in the Bulgogi dish. The rice and the egg really gave that balance that I simply loved. It's another must try in Woorijib. : )

Glutton Girl: I also loved this dish. For me a meal wouldn't be complete without rice. So, we ordered this dish. And we didn't regret it. It was really delicious, especially while it was hot. Like Glutton Guy, I liked the crunchiness of the vegetables. The rice was cooked perfectly and the beef was so tender. It's another great dish that I really loved.

Yep, dining at Woorijib would surely make you full. Not only that, it would also make your appetite satisfied. It's so good, you're gonna speak their language! So, the next time you have a lunch out with friends, or just a dinner with your family, or a date with your boyfriend or girlfriend, why not try this place for a change. You'll definitely see why Korean food is really worth a try. And why it's worth coming back for more. And more. And more. And more. ^_^

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Woorijib is located along Kalayaan Avenue, Quezon City. It's at the right side if you're coming from the Quezon City Hall.)

Getting Bedazzled Over Banapple

After a satisfying meal, we usually look for something else. It's not that we're that gluttonous (uhhh don't take our names seriously hahaha). It's just that we love food and we usually look for something sweet after a meal. That's common, I mean, there's dessert as the final course of every meal. So, I guess it wouldn't hurt to have a dessert at some food place we could think of.

This time, however, the case is different. We came there on a late afternoon, which means it's more of a 'merienda' than a dessert after a meal. Interestingly, since we were near the Katipunan area, a place came into mind. This time we tried the popular Banapple Pies and Cheesecakes. This is one, if not the only one, of those food places where one of its branches can be found on the same street. Probably another one was built to accommodate more customers, since the first one is too small. Once you get inside, you'll feel comfortable because of the ambiance. Although it's a bit noisy (well, there are a lot who eat here) you won't really be annoyed. There are times, though, that you'll have to wait for a table because there are a lot who eat here, especially during lunch and dinner.

Their desserts are very delicious. They're not too sweet, thus not making it overpowering. They also offer meals for lunch and dinner. They have pasta and entrees if ever you really feel that hungry. Plus, the food is affordable, so you won't have to worry regarding the budget issue.

Here's what we got:

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie, 90 php

Glutton Guy: This was my drink. It was an ultimate thirst quencher and a summer chiller combined in one. You can really taste the peanut butter and the banana. The flavors aren't overpowering, which means the banana flavor, the peanut butter flavor, and the chocolate flavor are well-balanced. It's a very delicious smoothie that I'm sure you'll also love. : )

Cold Milk, 30 php (small), 50 php (large)

Glutton Girl: It's very lovely to have cold milk match your dessert. The milk was just ordinary, nothing special about it. But having it together with your favorite Banapple cake is a bliss. I knew even before I ordered that it would make a good tandem. And heck, it did.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake, 85 php per slice, 730 php (whole)

Glutton Guy: This was Glutton Girl's order. I really love chocolate, but, this cake was kind of hard and dry. It wasn't a favorite of mine. However, I'm not saying it's not good. As I've said, I love chocolate. So, it's a good thing to try it out as well. You might want to have this with cold milk. I think it's better. So, I guess Glutton Girl did a good job pairing the two. : )

Glutton Girl: As Glutton Guy said, this was my order. I love the smooth chocolate on top of the cake and the caramel in the middle. For me it improved the cake since the cake itself was not too delicious. Good thing I ordered milk for a drink. It really made a huge improvement.

Super Caramel Fudge Cake, 85 php per slice, 780 php (whole)

Glutton Guy: This was the vice versa version of the Old-fashioned chocolate cake. This time the caramel is on top and the chocolate (and some more caramel) is on the inside. It's sweeter than the previous chocolate cake, but I liked this one better since the cake is a bit softer and more moist. : )

Glutton Girl: This is also a good one. The caramel blends well with the chocolate, making it more moist and more delicious. The presentation is also nice, making it more yummy. It's also a good tandem with my cold milk hahaha

Santa's Chipper Chocolate Cookie Cheesecake, 95 php per slice, 900 php (whole)

Glutton Guy: This was my order. This is one of their newest cheesecakes so I tried it out. Plus, it looks good on the outside hahahaha I have to tell you, this is one of the best tasting cakes I've tasted. I'm really not a fan of cheesecake, but, this is really good! I just can't get enough of it. Just merely mentioning the cake makes me crave for some. The icing on the top, the cheesecake on the middle, and the chocolate crust on the bottom, it all works. It blends well and it melts in your mouth. It really is worth the price.  : )

Glutton Girl: This is the reason why Banapple keeps on creating good cakes that sell and another reason why people keep coming back to this place. This is one of the best so far (I still love Banoffee more though hahahaha). In fact, it's the best among the three that we ordered. The chocolate chips melt in your mouth together with the icing on top. I can't distinguish the taste of the icing though, but it's very very good. It's a bit pricey, but it's worth it because it's really really good.

True enough, Banapple is a dessert haven for people like us. You'll definitely feel satisfied with their cakes. Even just a slice is really enough to make you come back. And it would be a good idea to get your cakes there, too, for your parties or for gifts. It's also a good place to sit down, chat, and have fun. Katipunan is really a long road full of food choices. You'll definitely have a hard time choosing where to eat. But when it comes to desserts, there's no question that only one stands out among the rest - Banapple.

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Banapple has 3 branches: 1) 225 Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, 2) 206 Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City (These two are at opposite sides of the street, meaning, one at the right side if you're coming from Ateneo, the other at the right side if you're coming from Eastwood), 3) 2nd Floor, Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato corner Scout Madrinan, South Triangle, Quezon City (This one is near ABS-CBN))

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yep, It's Another Fro-Yo Blog Post ^_^

Whew, summer is almost over. And that doesn't mean that we didn't spend the summer right. Of course we did! And since we glutton addicts love food, what better way to enjoy the summer than with food involved. Where else to enjoy the summer than the Summer Capital of the Philippines - Baguio City. Rich with culture and history, this place is not spared from the delectable cuisine our country has, most of all, yummy desserts. Baguio is very much known for strawberries, jams, lengua de gato, and of course, peanut brittle. But, somehwere here we found a very interesting dessert place.

Found at Camp John Hay is a Fro-Yo place (Yep, another Fro-Yo place hahaha) called Halo FroYo. If you're asking why go to Baguio when you can enjoy a good cup of Fro-Yo here at the Metro, it's because of the delicious dessert that you can enjoy while adoring the scenic view. Halo FroYo's frozen yogurt may not be different as compared to other Fro-Yo stores, but it's the experience as a whole that would make you come back.

The place is just a stall found inside Camp John Hay. You wouldn't miss the place since it's along the main road of the camp.

Both of us tried the same product, and here's what we have to say:

Halo Fro-Yo, 95 php (medium cup), 25 php per topping

Glutton Guy: Well, it's another frozen yogurt dessert. There's nothing unique about it, though. What's new is that it can be enjoyed while adoring pine trees and the cold air. It's the same old Fro-Yo, sour and soft. It also has the same toppings as the toppings that can be found here in the Metro. But overall, it's a good buy. I'd still recommend it, though. : )

Glutton Girl: Well, it's another Fro-Yo place we've sniffed out. We do have keen sense of smell for good Fro-Yo spots. Halo FroYo's frozen yogurts are delicious. Yes, Glutton Guy may be right regarding the uniqueness of the product. But, I'd still have a go for it again if ever I come back to Baguio. It's a good and healthy treat for me. And it's one dessert that you definitely have to try out.

Halo FroYo is really a delicious dessert to be tried when you're at Baguio City. It's nice when you say that you go to Baguio to enjoy the cool air, the scenic view, and the warm people. But, it would definitely be better if you also say that you go to Baguio to enjoy a wonderful dessert such as this. Who knows, maybe sometime Halo FroYo would place Baguio on the Fro-Yo map.

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Halo FroYo is located inside Camp John Hay. Just look for the food stalls there. You really can't miss it.)

Chocolat Haven

Don't you just love the taste of chocolate? May it be bitter, sweet, or even both, no one can deny that chocolate is really a dessert made in heaven. And we have just found a place in the Metro where they've taken chocolate into a whole new level.

While strolling at MOA (Mall of Asia), we stumbled upon a small yet unique store that offers delicious and mouthwatering chocolate cakes and other desserts. The name of the place is Chocolat Deep Dark Chocolate Cakes. True, dark chocolate may be bitter. But, Chocolat has maximized its potential, making this type of chocolate one of the best tasting chocolate cakes in the Metro. It has been found out that dark chocolate is actually healthier than normal chocolate like milk chocolate. So, this fact must be an added plus for those health-conscious people who think that chocolate is sugar. Regardless if it's healthy or not, Chocolat cakes would make you forget the health topic because of its delectable taste.

The store's interior is very comfortable. It will really make you feel like having tea at a house. It's not very modern, because the approach is somewhat "comfy-looking". It's actually better because it takes you into a whole different place, since the mall outside has lots of hustle and bustle. There's also soothing music while having your dessert to make your stay more relaxing. It's a good place to have a rest and chat with your friends after a long day, since the usual Starbucks would be very crowded, I'm sure. 

Here's what we ordered and here's what we have to say:

Bailey's Chocolate Cake Classic, 60 php per slice, 505 php - whole
(Classic choco cake soaked in Bailey's Cream liqueur, topped with chocolate curls)

Glutton Guy:  I really liked this chocolate cake. I like that the sweetness of the chocolate in the cake is not as overwhelming as I thought it would be. I think it's because the bitter taste of the Bailey's balanced out the chocolate flavor really well. So yeah, the bitter liquor taste and the chocolate flavor just taste really perfect together. : )

Death By Tablea, 75 php per slice, 620 php - whole
(Dark chocolate cake with bittersweet icing made with crushed native cacao and condensed milk)

Glutton Girl: To tell you honestly, I'm not a big fan of Dark chocolate. But, this cake didn't actually remind me of the bitter dessert. There's still a hint of bitterness in it, though, but it's not too much. And it's also not too sweet. So, I really like the balance of tastes. Plus, the cake is very moist and it melts in your mouth. It's a really delicious cake.

Strawberry Milkshake, 80 php

Glutton Guy: I love love love their milkshake. I like the taste of the strawberry flavor. It's not too sour and not too sweet at the same time. I like that the strawberry flavor does not overpower the creamy taste of the milk. It's really the perfect blend of everything. It's really really good, and drinking it made me feel all happy inside. My only gripe about it is probably its serving size. : )

Vanilla Milkshake, 80 php

Glutton Girl: Vanilla milshake is really heaven! Chocolate cake and vanilla milkshake is like the adult's version of milk and cookies. It's really good, considering that the weather is really hot. There aren't any lumps of ice that aren't crushed. The vanilla flavor is really not too sweet and not too bland. You really have to try their milkshakes. I would really recommend this one to you!

What a rewarding dessert, indeed! Chocolat has really made our sweet tooth satisfied. What's cooler is that it's very affordable. If you're in for a wonderful chocolate experience, why not visit Chocolat? It has 4 branches scattered around the metro. Come visit them, and when you do, be ready to experience chocolate cake heaven!

Rating: Buddhalicious!
(Some pics are courtesy of Chocolat Facebook Page and Chocolat Multiply site. Visit them if you have time! ^_^ )
(Chocolat has 4 branches - 1) G/F North Parking Bldg. SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City (Near McDonald's), 2) 26 Sgt. Esguerra street, Courtyard Building, South Triangle, Quezon City (Near ABS and GMA), 3) G/F Llanar Bldg., #77 Xavierville Avenue corner B Gonzales, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, and 4) #205 Burgos corner Mabini streets, Addition Hills, San Juan (near Cafe Ysabel and McDonald's).)

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