Nothing Beats SEx on a Rainy Morning – A Sinangag Express Review

When the boyfriend asked me to go with him to get his new monitor from a store somewhere at BF Parañaque, I asked him if he knew where to find it. And when he said it was right next to Sinangag Express along Aguirre Street, I perked up right away. The thought of a warm sinangag meal on a rainy morning always cheers me up.

Sinangag Express, naughtily nicknamed SEx, is a commercialized tapsilogan with branches at select locations in different cities. There are two branches just in BF- the one along President’s Avenue and the one we went to, along Aguirre Street.

The Menu

The dining area was dimly lit, which was fine because we were there in the morning when there was light outside. They also had no airconditioning, but the place was cool because it just rained and there was a light breeze. But the tables and chairs were nice and solid and didn’t feel like a typical fast food joint.

For lunch, we ordered the classic Tapsilog (p60) and the mouth-watering Special Pares (p75). Let’s start off with the-


The classic Tapsi

Tapa + sinangag + itlog = a classic combination that will forever be a favorite. SEx’s tapsilog is a delicious set, their tapa is nicely seasoned, the rice is soft and garlicky and the serving size is pretty good (bigger than Tapa King’s). And it only costs 60 pesos a meal! Rating: 5/5

Special Pares

Special Pares (p75)

Enticed by the huge streamers outside with blown-up pictures, I ordered the Special Pares without looking at other menu choices. There was a pretty big bowl of soft sinangag rice topped with fried chopped garlic and onion that came with a smaller bowl of minced beef. The rice was good, soft and garlicky, just like sinangag should be.

The beef was soft but it was too stringy, I was expecting it to be served in chunks just like regular pares. It was also too sweet and a tad too oily and it didn’t have that sesame seed-y taste that I associate with pares. Perhaps it was because I expecting it to taste differently that I didn’t like the dish so much. Rating: 3.5/5

All in all, it was still a nice visit at Sinangag Express. Good food, cheap prices, big servings, friendly staff, clean environment. Sums up to a pretty good dining experience for me.


Budget Meals – Big Daddy’s (BIG) Chicken
If you’re in Greenhills Shopping Center and you get some major hunger pangs but you have just a hundred pesos left in your pocket, I suggest you look for Big Daddy’s Chicken for a cheap and satisfying big meal.
This was my situation last weekend after window-shopping at Greenhills tiangges. I was looking for a place to grab a quick dinner when their sign, the brightly lit orange logo that had ‘CHICKEN’ in huge block letters, easily caught my attention.

Taking a quick look at their menu assured me that this was a place well within budget, so I promptly got a tray and decided on what to order.

Big Daddy’s Chicken’s sign says HELLO! EAT HERE!

Big Daddy’s Chicken serves huge slabs of chicken (or pork) chops coated in crispy golden breading together with rice and soup. As a twist, you can choose one of these as flavoring for your chicken- spicy, lemon, nori or plum (yes, the fruit).

I like my food with a bit of a kick, so I decided to get the spicy flavored chicken with rice and soup (p85). I was debating with myself whether to try out the plum flavoring (just because it sounded so weird) but in the end I stuck with spicy.

Perfectly spicy!
The first thing you notice when you get your plate is the giant slab of chicken chop. From the picture’s angle, it doesn’t look too big but trust me, it is. The chicken is fried to a golden crisp and I liked the spicy chili powder they used (reminds me of the chili flavoring from Ersao– another fast food joint I want to revisit).

See that big chicken slab?
Here’s a picture of a different meal- the original chicken with pasta (p90). The pasta wasn’t anything special, it’s your typical spaghetti noodles in creamy white sauce. While the unflavored chicken was also good, I still prefer the spicy flavored one.

All in all, it was a yummy and very filling meal for less than one hundred pesos. Sulit!

The idea for Big Daddy’s Chicken came from Taiwan’s famous street food called Ji Pai. These are huge pieces of fried breaded chicken chops that can be bought from food carts along the streets for cheap. It turns out that the ones from Taiwan are even bigger, looky-

Taiwan’s famous Ji Pai are insanely huge.

Delightful Desserts at Caramia Gelateria

Instead of going for the usual coffee to cap off the night last Saturday, we decided to get some gelato ice cream from Caramia Gelateria inside Amici Restaurant along Tomas Morato. We made our way along the restaurant-lined street which was busy as usual, bustling with cars and people at quite a late hour, finding Amici near the landmark circle of scouts.

Happy counters at Caramia Gelateria
Caramia Gelateria, which is the gelato ice cream shop inside Amici, is always, always a joy to visit. Their walls are brightly colored, their cake and gelato ice cream displays make the place feel like a happy little party, and their staff always have ready smiles. You can’t help but be cheered up no matter how gloomy you are.

Here’s what we got:

Guiltless classic-

The classic pistachio gelato ice cream
This is a classic favorite. Pistachio flavored gooey, yummy gelato ice cream (p65 a scoop). It was of course, delicious. Did you know that gelato ice cream has a lower fat and sugar content than regular ice cream? This means less guilt and more ice cream!

Ice cream cake-

Cara Mia’s Banana Blast
This looked so good on the display that we just had to try it. It looked very pink and brown to me, so it was kind of unusual that it was called Banana Blast (p95).

It turns out that this ice cream cake is made of chocolate, strawbery, and banana gelato topped with strawbery and chocolate syrup. It’s a gelato banana split! I liked the combination of the 3 flavors, and the zing that the syrup gives. It took a good long while to finish this one, savoring each bite takes some time.


It’s always a good experience every time I visit Caramia Gelateria. Besides gelato ice cream, their gelato cakes are also delicious, affordable AND healthier than regular ice cream cakes! ^_~ You can check out the price list and descriptions on the Caramia website. Next birthday party I’m going to, I’m bringing one of these!


Get a Free Whopper Jr. at Burger King!

The promo has been running for a couple months already, but this is a heads up, just in case you hadn’t heard of it yet. From April 30, 2010 to April 29, 2011, Burger King will be giving away a FREE Whopper Jr. every time you get a Whopper Jr. Combo Meal and upgrade your meal to large fries and large drink.

The combo meal costs 130 pesos and the meal upgrade is an additional 40 pesos. A total of 170 pesos for two Whopper Jrs, 1 large fries and 1 (very) large drink. That’s a meal good for two right there. Great deal!

GB3’s Kitchen is Totally Underrated

On date night, after walking around Greenbelt 1, 2 and 3 and checking out all the restaurant menus, my date and I settled on an old favorite. We found ourselves settling in for a nice evening at Kitchen in Greenbelt 3.

The table setting and the service water bottle.

That’s their service water bottle on the left, laced with mint (I’m not so sure if they’re actually mint) leaves. On the right is the table setting, with unusually large utensils. I spent a good amount of time arranging and rearranging the assortment of table knick knacks for photos while waiting for our order.

For starters-


The breadwinner includes four pieces of lightly toasted bread and assorted dips. I’m not familiar with their fancy names, so I’ll just attempt to describe them. The red dip is tomato based with clumps of tomato and some seasoning in it. The green one had the texture of pesto, it looked like crushed basil leaves with herbs in oil. The mustard colored one is mushrooms in oil. And lastly, the yellow one is grated cheese. The serving size was on the small side but it tasted good. Rating: 3.5/5

Main course-


My date ordered the Undercover. This is basically chicken pandan with pandan rice and sweet chili sauce to taste. It was total pandan overload because he paired it up with bottomless pandan iced tea. Good value, huge serving size, great texture, fantastic taste. His rating: 5 out of frickin’ flippin’ 5!


I ordered what they call the Ribbit. From the name, you’d think it’d be frogs but the dish is actually deep-fried pork ribs seasoned in garlic, salt and pepper with pandan rice and a side of mixed vegetables. The serving was so large that I had to take half of it home, but it tasted so heart-stoppingly good. I paired it up with mint iced tea which was a bit on the sweet side rather than minty. The meal was delicious, but it was kind of unhealthy. My rating: 4.5 of 5.


And no meal would be complete without dessert, and because we were full, we decided to share. We ordered what they call Going Bananas.

Going Bananas and the uniquely presented bill

The description on the menu which read something like- bananas packed in graham cracker crusts topped with a swirl of cream -sounded promising. When it arrived, it looked like it would be super sweet, like those cakes you can get at coffee shops. It was a delightful surprise to find out that the middle part is actually (very) chilled bananas with no cream or sugar, but the graham cracker crusts were enough to sweeten it. It wasn’t expensive too, about 80 pesos an order. Rating: 5/5


If I were to choose one word to describe Kitchen over at Greenbelt 3, that word would be ‘subtle’. From their logo, the simple letter ‘K’, to their minimalist gray restaurant interior, to their friendly but never overbearing staff, to the tasty but not overpowering flavors of their food. But make no mistakes, subtle doesn’t mean Kitchen is dull, bland or boring. Quite the opposite, actually. I can honestly say that Kitchen is one of the better restaurants (and affordable too!) I’ve been to, ever.

Meals are about 200-300 peseos per person, but these are huge meals, and each plate is good for sharing. They have great service, good ambiance, fantastic food, large servings and reasonable prices.

Total Rating: 4.75 of 5

Best restaurant reviewed as of yet, at a reasonable price. Great nomz!

*again, I am sorry for the very grainy photos, used my phone’s camera. I always don’t have the good camera with me when I go to places worth taking pictures of. -_-;


Iloilo Treats – Barquillos, Biscocho, and Bañadas

While I have never been to Iloilo, it has already etched a place for itself in my heart because of its well-known pasalubong goodies- biscocho and barquillos.

A friend who shall remain nameless (clue: her name starts with an ‘M’ and ends with ‘arie’) recently came back from a trip to Iloilo and gave me a bagful of lovely Iloilo treats from Biscocho Haus.

Here they are: Iloilo’s well-known biscocho, barquillos, and bañadas

Oldies but goodies-

Biscocho is what Iloilo is most known for, and Biscocho Haus makes the best of them. For those of you who have not tried biscochos yet, that’s a shame, these biscuits taste like toasted bread smothered with butter and topped with sugar, only crunchier and tastier. I’m kind of ashamed to admit it, but I can finish nearly an entire pack in one sitting.

Another treat that they’re known for is the barquillos (this is my mom’s favorite). Sure, you can buy a pack off the rack at your nearest grocery store or ice cream shop. But they wouldn’t be as good as Biscocho Haus’ barquillos, nope. These barquillos are wafery (they melt in your mouth), they’re just the right kind of sweet (they’re perfect), and they’re great with (pistachio) ice cream. I tell you, they’re fantastic.

Something new-

Bañadas- giant pacencias

This time around, my friend whose name starts with an ‘M’ and ends with ‘arie’ added a new treat- Biscocho Haus’ bañadas. I was halfway through the package before I remembered to take pictures (they were delicious~) They’re like pacencia biscuits, only lighter, crunchier and five times the size. That part of my heart that belongs to Iloilo has just become bigger, I have added this to my favorites list.

When I set foot in Iloilo someday, expect me to be bringing back home boxes of all of these yummy treats.


Chicken-All-You-Want at Max’s Restaurant!
Max’s is celebrating it’s 65th anniversary and there will be a month-long chicken fiesta! Starting June 17 up to July 17, Max’s Restaurant will be offering a Chicken-All-You-Can promo. For only 165 pesos, you can avail of this fantabulous anniversary offering and eat all the chicken that you want and can!
I’ve always been a fan of Max’s best-selling chicken and this, for me, is an awesome way to celebrate 65 years! Thank you, Max’s!

Dude on the poster is kinna cute. Anyone know who he is?

Terms and Conditions:
1. Chicken will be served in quarter pieces, and parts will be based on availability.
2. Add P39.00 for bottomless Pepsi Softdrink.
3. Promo period is from June 17 – July 17, 2010 and from 6 PM to 10 PM only.
4. Promo valid for dine in only. Not available for take-out, delivery and bulk orders.
5. Cannot be combined with other offers. No sharing. No Leftover. Chicken will be served after each piece has been consumed.

Source: Manila Life


Bulla Fruit ‘n Yogurt Popsicle is Refreshingly Healthy

You know how yogurt ice cream has been the fad last year? Along with fun runs, yogurt ice cream gained a lot of popularity last year within a short period of time and this resulted to a number of yogurt ice cream shops sprouting in many corners of the Metro. And I’ve been on this we-love-yogurt-ice-cream bandwagon for a while now (The White Hat being my favorite). Generally, I like the tangy taste of yogurt, be it a drink, creamy, or the frozen kind.

It was this box that caught my eye.

Last weekend, I had just arrived at Podium and was in the mood for something cool and refreshing. This box sitting atop a shelf at Dippin’ Dots caught my eye. Actually, the detail in the green circle that reads “97% Fat Free” caught my eye. Upon further inspection, the box also claims that these yogurt popsicles were made with real fruit and have no artificial colors or flavors. Healthy fun food! I hurriedly got one.

The yummy Bulla Fruit ‘N Yogurt Strawberry popsicle.

Boy, am I glad I did. It was soooo goood! It had that tangy taste that I look for in yogurt, the flavor of the fruit (strawberry in this case) was clearly evident but not overpowering, it’s 97% fat free with no artificial colors and flavors, it didn’t melt as quickly as soft-serve yogurt ice cream, and best of all, you can get this for just Php50 a pop!


Orchard Road – A Little Bit of Singapore in Manila

Last Saturday, we were at Megamall come dinner-time looking for a place to eat when we chanced upon this recently opened fast-food style eatery called Orchard Road. I had just gone to a trip to Singapore and was on a spicy oriental food hangover and this restaurant, bearing the name of Singapore’s most famous main road, caught my attention in an instant. The place was packed at 7 in the evening so we decided come back when the crowd had thinned a bit.

Orchard Road in Manila

A couple hours later, we came back to find the restaurant a little less busy so we decided to order and get settled in. It was a different kind of ordering system that welcomed us at the entrance, you get a slip of paper with their menu on it and a pencil. You can go around the kitchen area, which is right at the entrance and check out how the food is being cooked and how it actually looks like compared to the ones in picture. And then you tick the checkbox on the menu items that you wish to order.

The kitchen- right dab smack in the middle of the main dining area

Their kitchen is up front and center, with glass panels that almost make it look like a large aquarium minus the water. Actually, this kind of kitchen transparency is a good idea I think, you hear many horror stories of what really happens behind kitchen doors. With this kind of setup, you and everybody else see what’s going on in there. The dining area reminds me of the elegant food court at Ion Mall along the actual Orchard Road in Singapore.

Now let’s get on with big scoop here- the food. Obviously, with a name like Orchard Road, they serve dishes that are bestsellers in Singapore. And there were so many tasty-looking orders to choose from, it was difficult to order just enough- we wanted to try them all.

What we ended up ordering-

Main course orders:

For the main course we had: (clockwise from top-left) Hainanese Chicken, Laksa, Chicken Satay, and Chicken Curry
  • Hainanese Chicken- steamed chicken seasoned with ginger, salt and pepper. I didn’t get to try this one, but my date liked this dish best compared to everything else. He says the texture of the chicken was good, firm and tender. Rating: 4.5/5
  • Chicken Curry- this was an order good for two, it was a bowl filled with several pieces of tender chicken in rich and tasty curry sauce with just enough spice. This was my favorite. Rating: 4.5/5
  • Laksa- spicy coconut-based noodle soup that’s a popular dish in Singapore. Tasted exactly like the Laksa I had in SG, which is a good thing. Rating: 5/5
  • Chicken Satay- 4 sticks of barbecued skewered chicken fillets; also pretty tasty and the order was bigger than what I expected. Rating: 4/5
Side orders:

Popiang and Ice Kachang
  • Popiang- this was sort of like the Filipino lumpiang ubod. Chopped vegetables in a soft wrapper flavored by a sweet peanuty sauce topped with chopped nuts. Rating: 2.5/5
  • Shrimp Dumpling- hakaw, is what they call it in Chinese restaurants. Steamed shrimp wrapped in a translucent and gooey dumpling wrapper. Pretty good. Rating: 4.5/5
  • Ice Kachang- if we Pinoys have the halo-halo for dessert, they have this. Soft crushed ice drizzled with brightly colored syrup and syrupy corn with coconut milk (gata), gelatine (gulaman) and sugar palm (kaong) as the base. Rating: 3.5/5 (Nothing beats our halo-halo!)

Bandung and Milo Dinosaur
  • Bandung- a prettily colored Malaysian drink made of milk and rose cordial syrup. It’s an acquired taste, is what I can say. It reminded us of the Pinoy street cooler, scramble. Rating: 3/5
  • Milo Dinosaur- this happy drink is very Filipino. Creamy iced Milo topped with more Milo powder. That just says everything. Rating: 5/5
We ordered a bit too much for just two people, but the food and the ambience was that good that it made us want to fatten ourselves up s’more.

Main dishes cost about Php120-Php200 per order, which I think is a pretty reasonable price range considering the serving size and food quality. The staff were also very nice and helpul throughout the entire process, our orders arrived without delay, requests were handled with smiles and prompt service, the food tasted great and the dishes were a nice change from the usual.

Overall rating: 4/5

All in all, it was a fun dining experience. Good nomz! (^_~)d

*sorry for the grainy photos, I hadn’t brought a proper camera and used the cellphone’s cam instead

Big, and I mean BIG, Breakfast – Double Breakfast EggMc Big Mac
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what its creators call the Double Breakfast EggMc Big Mac. It looks sinful but damn, I seriously want a piece of that.

Will I live past forty if I eat this on a regular basis? Probably not

Guess what’s in it. No? I’ll tell you anyway. This baby has (from bottom up) an Egg McMuffin, Mac Sauce (don’t know what that is), Sausage Patty, Scrambled Eggs, Pancake, Hotcake Syrup (yes, you read it right), Hashbrown, Pancake, more Hotcake Syrup, Sausage Patty, Mac Sauce again, and lastly, another Egg McMuffin.


~Info and images from TopCultured