Noms

A Love Affair With Manang(s Chicken)
When I saw the swarm of people waiting in line in front of the stall bearing the sign that said Manang’s Chicken at Midnight Mercato, I felt a flutter in stomach similar to the butterflies I get when I’m particularly infatuated with the boyfriend.

 

I guess I should tell you that I am partial to anything that is chicken. Fried, steamed, boiled, or pureed (just kidding!), chicken is my meat of choice. Seeing a chicken stall so popular was exciting for me, I wanted to know what the fuss was all about. (Not so) Soon after, I had in my hands a container filled with Manang’s now-famous Chicken wings.
Inside were six hefty pieces of chicken wings, double deep fried, smothered with Manang’s secret soy garlic sauce of your choice (original, spicy, mild spicy, or extra spicy), and sprinkled with a dash of sesame seeds. It was love at first smell. The scent of the deep fried chicken in soy sauce was so tempting that I couldn’t help licking my lips in anticipation.
As soon as I sunk my teeth into the fried chicken that had been tempting me all the way from the stall back to our table, I was head over heels in love. Right then and there, I knew it was the beginning of a lasting love affair (I was ‘oooh’-ing and ‘mmm’-ing so loudly, it was almost embarassing).
Double deep fried crispy chicken with Manang’s secret soy garlic sauce (p120)
Since the first time, I’ve been back for more nighttime tyrsts with Manang’s Chicken and have had a foodgasm each and every time. I just can’t get enough of Manang’s oh-so-delicious, mouth-watering, better-than-other-soyfriedchicken Chicken. My only gripe is that they’re only available whenever Mercato Centrale and Midnight Mercato are open for business. Despite that, my love affair with Manang’s Chicken continues.

*Sorry for the yellowy pictures. I took these inside the car on the way home. The chicken pieces in picture were inhaled long before I could take better shots.

Manang’s Chicken

Location: Mercato Centrale / Midnight Mercato
Contact details: 0920-9210935
Noms

Why I Love Chilis
May it be a date, a birthday, a barkada get-together, or a regular dinner, Chili’s is one of those restaurants that I would gladly suggest. Even though it’s a tad bit pricier than your usual diner, I keep going back because every visit has been enjoyable.
And this is why.
Bottomless Tostada Chips (p310)
THE Bottomless Tostada Chips is a staple order in any group I’m with. What’s so special about these chips? They’re bottomless of course! Whether you’re in a party of two or ten, your friendly Chili’s server would keep refilling your bucket with warm tostada chips and your bowl with a spicy tomato based dip (the creamy cheese dip is a separate order).

Besides the Tostada Chips, I love that the orders at Chili’s are larger than average and can be good for sharing (if you’re not such a glutton). They also have a good variety of dishes on the menu, from the healthy Guiltless Grilled Salmon to Mushroom Jack Fajitas to the slightly unhealthier (but no less yummy) Old Timer Burger.

Clockwise from top left: Guiltless Grilled Salmon (p585), Fish and Chips (p350),
Mushroom Jack Fajitas (p595), Old Timer Burger (p295)
Another favorite of mine is the classic Fish and Chips. From experience, it’s always served perfectly fried and to your liking. It comes with corn on the cob (which you can request to have shredded) and fries (which you can choose to switch up with more corn)
Although it sounds like I have a ton of requests, I am not your waiter’s worst nightmare (I promise!). At Chili’s, your servers will give you suggestions and all you have to do is agree to the special treatment. That’s also one of the many reasons why I love Chili’s.

Chili’s

Location: 2/F Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati

Contact info: (02) 729-3022
Map:

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Noms

24 Hour Breakfast Noms at GoodAh!!!
Don’t you just hate it when you’ve spotted an order on the menu that you really like and it’s not available because it’s on the breakfast menu and is only available until 11am? This happens to me a lot. I’m not a morning person and if I have no set schedule or appointment, I usually just stay at home all morning and start my day after noon.
Good Ah! in B.F. Paranaque is open 24 hours!
I am very happy to report that there are restaurants like GoodAh!!! where you can get a hearty Pinoy breakfast at any time of the day for cheap. Luckily, I live near one of those. On Saturdays (when I’m usually knocked out until about midday), I can easily head over to the GoodAh!!! at BF order good old Tocilog any time I want.
Tocilog (p72)
This right here is comfort food at its finest. The sweet, slightly salty, and tender pork tocino strips served with a cupful of warm garlic fried rice and an egg fried sunny side up fills you up in all the right places. Having tocino reminds me of home, wherever I’m at.
Tokwa’t Baboy (p45)
Tokwa’t baboy has also creeped its way into my heart. I didn’t like this particular Pinoy side dish then (I liked the softer tofu better), but I now order it whenever available. Fried tokwa and pork cubes immersed in a soysauce-vinegar mix is a perfect side to any silog, imo.
Pares (p69)
If you’re Pinoy, you’d surely be familiar with the Pares, a popular local dish of cubed beef pieces smothered in a cupful of sweet and tasty sauce. At GoodAh!!!, it’s served as a rice topping and the sauce is thicker than those sold on the streets (street food version is still better).

It’s nearly the weekend! I can have a feast of breakfast nomz at GoodAh!!! anytime tomorrow. If you decide to drop by, don’t be surprised that this silog place has no airconditioning. There’s ample parking space up front and the ambiance is clean and bright (it makes me feel like it’s time for breakfast all day long). Have yourselves a fantastic weekend!

Good Ah!

Location: President’s Ave., Peopille Subd., B.F. Homes, Parañaque

Contact details: (02) 829-9009
Map:

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Noms

Italian Wars: Amici vs a Veneto
Within the course of a week, I had the chance to dine at two old time favorites- Amici and a Veneto. Both are local Italian restaurants that have similar items on the menu so we’re doing a side by side review/feature. Despite the title, I’m not pitting one against the other (What? I like them both!). It’s not a competition (boo!).
Amici or a Veneto?
Back in the day, we would troop to the Amici branch at Don Bosco every so often to have lunch and then cap the meal off with a generous serving of premium gelato ice cream (this was before gelato hit mainstream). My (highschool) friends and I frequented the one at Glorietta 3 after cutting classes. a Veneto is a popular stop because of their helfty servings at (almost) fastfood prices with restaurant service.
Amici’s Pollo Arrostito (p245) / a Veneto’s Baked Ziti with Chicken (p315)
Staple nomz in Italian restaurants are chicken, pasta, and pizza. We’ll give you a little bit of each.
As an Amici main entree, Pollo Arrostito is one of the most popular for the price and safeness. You can’t go wrong with half a rosemary chicken that’s lightly seasoned with a side of vegetables. The chicken had less meat than expected but on the whole, it’s a good dish. Serving is good for one (two if neither of you are hungry).
a Veneto’s Baked Ziti with Chicken is one of the pricier ones on their menu, but the serving is good for sharing. Two or three can gorge on this basketful of baked ziti topped with (yummy) breaded chicken and then slathered with a generous amount of mozarella cheese. The order always comes straight from the oven (with a warning to not touch the hot plate) and a few forkfuls warms you up in a good way.
Amici’s Tutta Carne (p295) / a Veneto’s New England’s Best (p270 (10″))
Tutta Carne is Amici’s version of an all-meat pizza (perfect for those who don’t like veggies). Pepperoni, ham, and bits of meat are toppings on a thin and light pizza crust that’s oven baked to a fine crisp. The pie is enough to be shared by two (if you have other orders).
New England’s Best is also one of a Veneto’s best. Ham, mushroom, onions, green peppers and a whole lot of mozarella cheese are the toppings on a thin(ish) pizza crust. The ten inch pie is good for three to four.
Amici’s Caramia desserts: Nocciola Gateau (p75) / Pistachio Gelato (p55)

One thing that Amici has to offer on their menu that a Veneto doesn’t is a good number of tempting desserts. Because of their tie up with the wonderful Caramia Gelateria, gelato ice cream and cakes are readily available. 
Besides being deliciously sinful, the gelato scoops are fairly priced at only fifty five bucks a scoop on a wafer cup (considering the prices from other gelato shops). The Nocciola Gateau cake comes highly recommended by our server. It’s a cake made up of crunchy meringue layers held together by cream and chocolate, making it taste kind of like chocolatey sansrival. b(~_~)d
The atmosphere at a Veneto is very friendly, like a diner. It’s a place where you’d bring your family on a Sunday brunch or your friends for a quick Friday get together. Amici is a place where it would be good to bring a date on a Saturday night. The warm yellow lights inside the restaurant give off a romantic vibe, and you can order a glass of wine or two while you regale your date with stories to impress.

While you get more value for your money at a Venetto with their large servings, Amici levels up the playing field with well-prepared nomz, classy ambiance and fantastic desserts. Both remain to be two of my favorite pseudo-Italian restaurants in town.

Amici
Location: Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati Avenue, Makati

Contact details: (02) 621-6128

Other info: Amici Facebook page
Map:

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a Veneto
Location: Lower Ground Floor, Bldg A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong
Contact details: (02) 818-3090

Email: avenetopizzeria@yahoo.com
Map:

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Noms

Bingeing on Malcolms Triple Patty Wagyu Burger
G’morning gaiz! We’re halfway through Monday and I’m feeling very optimistic (I wasn’t late today, hrhr). Did any of you see the super moon that was supposed to be up last Saturday? (I kind of did, but it wasn’t as super as I was expecting it to be.)
Anyhoots, what we’re here to review today are the Wagyu burgers of Malcolm’s Burger. Weeks and weeks and weeks and weeks ago (been rry busy ಠ_ಠ), I was introduced to this (then) newly opened burger joint in the heart of Makati CBD.
At the corner of V.A. Rufino and San Agustin streets is this tiny burger stop that serves Wagyu burgers the way you like it (map at the bottom of this post). They have fastfood staples like french fries, onion rings, and chicken wings, but of course, we were there to try out the burgers ѽ͜ (ᵔ ̮ ᵔ)› (I just wanted to use this emoticon).
The Ultimate Malcolm’s Bacon Cheeseburger (p135)
I picked an order of The Ultimate Malcolm’s Bacon Cheeseburger. With a name that long, I was expecting great things from it. And it rated better than expected. A thick and juicy wagyu patty was sandwiched between a medley of lettuce, cheese, tomato, onion, bacon and a couple of buns. It was so good that I was able to finish the large(r than usual) order.
Malcolm’s Triple Patty Wagyu Burger (p245)
They also have customized burgers where you can choose the number of patties and additional toppings (besides lettuce, tomato, and onion). I’m not sure how many superlatives I can say about it without sounding like I’m being paid to advertise their burgers (I’m not!). But three very tasty Wagyu burger patties piled on top of the other in between two burger buns is a serving of juicy, meaty, savory, and tantalizing greasy goodness in a bun.
The iced tea is pretty good too (the hint of calamansi gave it a kick).
The place only has a few small tables for dine in customers and it gets pretty full quickly at lunch on weekdays so I suggest to just get the burgers and enjoy the delicious burgers in the comfort of your own office pantry.

Malcolm’s Burger
Location: 311 G/F PDCP Bldg, San Agustin, Makati
Other info: For deliveries, call 2121212 (QuickDelivery)
Map:

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Noms

Lachis Classic Sans Rival – Delightful Davao (Part 5)
It seemed fitting to end the Delightful Davao series by recounting our afternoon at Lachi’s, the place that EVERYONE recommended. This bakery-cum-restaurant seems to have gained a huge following and has won the favor of even the most critical Manileños.
Lachi’s Classic Sans Rival (p50+/-)
As soon as friends found out about the trip to Davao, a lot of them told us not to leave without trying the bakeshop’s famous sans rival. We asked our tourguide Kuya K about it and he gladly obliged (our want to fatten ourselves up some more). So one rainy afternoon in Davao, we drove over to Ruby street and shortly found ourselves settled inside the small cafe. Nomming, of course.
Actually, the cafe was full to bursting when we arrived (surprising because it was raining like kitties and puppies) and there weren’t enough tables and chairs to fit our semi-large group. So we checked out the pretty cakes on display while waiting (salivating the entire time). Cake slices were fairly priced at a range of 50-100 pesos and we were excited to stuff our faces with the sweet stuff.
Cream Custard Cake (p48) and Cashew Mocha Torte (p52)
We had to try the sans rival of course, everyone seems to be all agog over it. They have a durian variant that was sadly not available (Bim was happy) so the first orders were a couple slices of the very famous Lachi’s Classic Sans Rival. What I liked about it is that the wafery cake was sweet but not sickeningly so and the layers were crunchy but soft (is that weird?).
 Regal Chocolate Torte (p60) and Carrot Walnut Cake (p48)
Being in Lachi’s where all the cakes were on display, we couldn’t just try one cake. We had to order a few more (diabetes, here we come)
My favorite would have to be the Cream Custard Cake which was a chiffon cake with light cream in the middle and sweet custard on top. The Cashew Mocha Torte and Regal Chocolate Torte were both delicious (similar to chocolate mousse) while  the Carrot Walnut Cake is a classic that’s a steal for its price.
Click for a larger image
They’re more than just a cake shop and have a full menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner nomz. Since we didn’t get to try them, I thought to post the menu, just in case you wanted to see what’s available. When you’re in Davao, you have to go and visit Lachi’s, it’s definitely worth it.

(Click here to read the rest of the Delightful Davao posts.)

Lachi’s Sans Rival, Atbp.
Location: Ruby Street, Marfori Heights, Davao City
Contact info: 6382-2245552; 0916-9841183
Other info: Lachi’s Facebook Page
Map:

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Noms

Cute Coffee Art at Kape Isla
Saturday nights are usually capped off with a favorite drink at a popular coffee joint (yes, that one). One night, we deviated from the norm and took a chance on a newish cafe  in the city called Kape Isla. Situated in a relatively obscure corner of Serendra, this little green coffee shop doubles as Echo Store, an organic shop that sells, well, organic stuff.
Coffee art!
We ordered our drinks and while waiting, we took a look around the shop which sells environment-friendly items (like bags made from recycled paper!). The entire place had a very eco-friendly feel to it, with its wooden furniture and green color theme. When our drinks arrived (in mugs instead of disposable cups), we were pleasantly surprised (and not to mention highly amused) that each one had a different “design”.
Kape Capuccino (p85)
What’s better was that the shop wasn’t crowded at all on a weekend (I had gotten used to needing to wait in line to get plain coffee). This is possibly because from the outside, you really wouldn’t know that it’s a coffee shop until you take a closer look (I’m really glad we did).
Hot Chocolate (p85)
Also, we were expecting to spend more than usual because of the shop’s location (Serendra isn’t exactly known to be cheap). For a pretty decent-sized mug, they charge less than your average coffee shop. When you’re in the area, try Kape Isla instead of the more crowded coffee shops. They serve reasonably priced coffee with very cute coffee art. Make sure to check out their environment-friendly goods while you’re at it.

Kape Isla / Echo Store
Location: Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Contact info: (02) 901-3485
Other info: Kape Isla Website

Noms

The Durian Fruit – Delightful Davao (Part 4)
Davao is famous for being a major source of the king of fruits– the durian. Available in the city all year round, but most plentiful (and cheapest) in August (also the month of the Kadayawan festival), durian is something you should try at least once when you’re in Davao.
King of fruits
Because of it’s strong aroma, durian is a fruit that has varied reviews. Some enjoy the distinct odor of the fruit while others find it offensive and disgusting. Planes going out of the city do not allow the fruit as a carry-on, but you can bring the fruit in your check-in luggage (this doesn’t really contain the smell, my luggage has a faint durian scent after EVERY Davao visit).
The smell isn’t THAT bad
This fragrant fruit will be the topic of our latest entry in the Delightful Davao series. I’m in Davao every so often and the durian (and its smell) isn’t anything new to me (the fresh fruit is ok, but I like durian best as a shake from Merco). To give you an unbiased opinion of this unusual fruit, we’ll recount the experience of someone who tried durian for the first time.
Before durian
This is Bim, the Comicology dude (will also be referred to as the noob). It was his first time in Davao, and we wouldn’t couldn’t let him get away without trying fresh durian. We trooped over to the Ramon Magsaysay Park where durian fruit vendors are aplenty. The smell of the fruit that wafted under our noses as soon as we got out of the car made the noob scrunch up his nose and hold a towel over his face.
After durian
Surrounded by Davaoeños (which included my dad), he knew he couldn’t back down from the challenge no matter how badly he wanted to. When the vendor broke the the hard, spiky shell of the fruit open and laid it down on the table, he had to toughen up, forget about the smell, and put the sticky flesh of the fruit in his mouth. Which he did.
It didn’t go over so well. His face stayed in that i-just-swallowed-an-alien expression for a long time. I asked him to give me a one line description of what was going through his head that time and his answer is this- “F@#K EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS FRUIT!”
Yes, he was thinking in allcaps (and without censorship). Conclusion? Durian- it’s not for the weak of heart.

(Click here to read the rest of the Delightful Davao posts.)

Noms

Kantina at Market! Market!
Here’s a video of Kantina, the newest night food market in town, busy and bustling during the wee hours of the start of the weekend. It’s so good that we spent two consecutive Fridays sampling the nomz from the different stalls (I miss the bibingka and puto bumbong stall).
It’s that peacock song!!! Nnnnnoooooooo….
Kantina will be running until June, so hurry and check it out come Friday night, they’re open until very (very) late! Video credits go to Comicology dude (thanksabunchaloff!).
Check out my first post on it here- Kantina: The Newest Night Market To Hit The Town!

Kantina Night Market
Location: Parking lot (the one near the open food court), Market Market, Taguig
Contact details: 0927-563-9234
Other info: Open every Friday from 10pm to 9am the next day; Kantina Official Website; Kantina Facebook Page

Travel

McDonalds of the World: Shrimp EuroKnallers in the Netherlands
Hi guys, this will be a quick post. We shall again be disrupting the Delightful Davao series for an update on yet another series. It’s been awhile since the last post on the McDonald’s of the World series and it’s high time for a new one. Mostly because we recently got photos of the nomz from McDonald’s Netherlands from an anonymous donor.

McDonald’s of the World: Netherlands

Because I haven’t been there myself, the pictures will have to do the talking (writing, in this case). So, here they are-

Looks like the Dutch also like chicken (like me!). But hey, they have Chicken Sate (Met satesaus), which is something I would expect more from McDonald’s in Indonesia or Malaysia rather than the Netherlands. And, and, and, and… is that a Kit Kat McFlurry I spy? *drools*
I can’t understand much of what’s written on the menu but I can see the prices. That’s 5.90 euros for the salad, 3.75 euros for the Happy Meals, 1-2 euros for the Euroknallers. That’s a 356 peso salad, 226 peso Happy Meal, 60-120 peso side dishes. It’s not as expensive as I thought it would be (I was told a Value Meal is priced at EUR15 or Php905. Yikes!).
Chicken Sate (Met satesaus)
(EUR 3.75 or Php 226 for burger; EUR 6.05 or Php 365 for a meal)
Garnalen met chilisaus (EUR 2 or Php120)
SHRIMPS! Mcdonald’s in the Netherlands sell shrimps! WANT! To the awesome person who shall remain nameless and anonymous by request, thank you for the photos. 🙂 

(Click here to read the other posts on the McDonald’s of the World series)

McDonald’s of the World