Cocina peruvia

You have to taste a culture to understand it. – Deborah Cater

I know its been years that Peruvian cuisine have been introduced to the Philippines.

Trivia:

Did you know that potatoes before are considered only as livestock feed in Europe until French chemist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier began serving dishes made from the tubers at his lavish banquets. His guests then were convinced that potatoes were fit for human consumption. The varieties used in Europe and most of the world, however, derive from a subspecies indigenous to Peruvian Andes, namely Solanum tuberosum.

I remember one of my colleagues telling me to be more adventurous when it comes to trying dishes that I am not familiar of. And I really thank her for telling me that, each new taste I’ve tried and discovered is so exciting, it buoyed me into trying more.

I came across Cocina Peruvia from their very enticing Instagram account, and fell in love with their Galera de Chocolate, it is so pretty and I can’t wait to have the actual thing in front of me.

Galera de Chocolate: Baked chocolate tart with dark chocolate ganache, topped with salty blue (or purple) chips and dried figs. 

So, finally, we made it. Looking at their menu list, I really am confused as to what I am having because everything looks so delicious. As a blogger, I should invite more friends to dine with me because if its’ just me and Jen (my foodie/ travel buddy), we can only consume as much.

So what we’ve had are these:

I had Anticucho de Pollo, it came with Chimichurri and Aji Anticucho sauce.

I actually can’t forget those two flavorful condiments. They really enhanced the taste of chicken that was really tender and a hint of smokey flavor coming through.

We actually requested for additional chimichuri, later we found out, we can buy from the bottles. =)

While according to Jen, she really enjoyed her Seafood pasta because everything she’s craving were on it. And the taste of them all layered together was really exquisite.

we instantly loved our starters, the mixed Patacones.

And since I can’t do without rice, we tried their Cilantro chicken rice as recommended by their attendant being one of their best sellers.

Don’t forget to squeeze that slice of lime. =)

And I must concur with their recommendation, I definitely love the Cilantro rice. We all know for a fact that Cilantro has a very strong pungent flavor, though their version is mildly and tastefully translated. We totally forget the word “diet”.

And this for our dessert. =)

I can’t find the right word to describe what’s it like after we dined, let’s just say it via a hashtag: #happytummy

I told you it’s purple. =)

Interiors/ Ambiance

You will find the many colors and patterns of Peru creating a festive feel. =)

Next time we visit, we agreed to try Ceviche for Jen which is one of Peru’s staple dishes, the Lomo saltado for me and those attractive Brochetas. Oh, they have their versions of pizza too! =)

Hats off to Chef Him Uy de Baron, clients will keep coming back to Cocina Peruvia. =)

Their addresses:

  • Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Ground Floor, Bonifacio One Technology Tower, Rizal Drive Corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • Level 2, Ayala Malls – Vertis North, Quezon City

WATAMI – Casual Japanese Restaurant

Watami – Casual Japanese Restaurant

“Japanese food makes me feel particularly good.” ~David Mitchell~

Jen and I haven’t been hanging out lately and when we did. She suggested to veer away from our usual favorites.

After we got the stuff we need from some specialty shops at Shangri-la mall, our feet led us to this casual Japanese restaurant: Watami.

When it’s casual, does it mean that there would be no Geisha’s to serve you, there’ll be no Tatamis but the usual dining tables, still if it’s a Japanese restaurant, I normally think of the sublime execution of an authentic cuisine. Which is why it is one that always fascinates me. Refined, unmatched manner of preparing and serving each entree, this specific Art and not to forget that Japanese hospitality which is popularly known as “Omotenashi”. Lastly, theirs is healthy.

We’ve been to Akira and Sumo-sam in the past so Watami deserves a try. Besides, we haven’t had Japanese food in a while. =)

This friendly barker helped us decide right away after reviewing the menu that’s displayed outside. There was no mention of miso soup from the menu so we asked him if they have my favorite soup and they have it in 2 variants. A plain one and another that is spicy.

This is faultless, all of the restaurants I’ve tried didn’t fail to pour their guests some cup of tea.

Watami is one of the many restaurants under the Bistro Group:
#tastethelove

 – Plank Sourdough Pizza – Conrad Hotel Manila
 – TGIFridays and Italianni’s – with more than a dozen branches all over the country
 – Fish and Co – Mall of Asia and Trinoma
 – Krazy Garlic – Greenbelt 5
 – Bulgogi Brothers – Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 5, Harbor point, SM Lanag, Mall of Asia
 – Village Tavern – Bonifacio High Street
 – Modern Shanghai – Mall of Asia
 – Tonkatsu – Ayala Cebu
 – Buffalo Wild Wings – Glorietta 1, Conrad Hotel Manila, Estancia Mall, Uptown Mall, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Texas Roadhouse – Uptown Mall, Conrad Hotel Manila
 – Denny’s – Trinoma, Bonifacio Global City, Eastwood, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Baker & Cook – Conrad Hotel Manila, U.P. Town Center

Sometimes, it is slightly annoying that while you’re enjoying your food, an attendant will approach you to offer the advantage of getting the Bistro Frequent Foodie card or popularly known as BFF Card.

Photo grabbed from: https://www.bistro.com.ph/

But come to think of it, if I review all of their restaurants, they are the most frequented and been thriving all these years and some of the best restaurants in the country. I must assume that those annoying attendants are one of their most effective Marketing Strategy for a continuous growth and carry one brand after another.

Personally speaking, I have been a regular customer of TGIF and TEXAS Roadhouse. I’ve tried Fish & Co when they still have one at Alabang Town Center. I even got this chance to see some contestants of “American Idol” (Jessica Sanchez’s time) since they held one of their activities at Italianni’s when they had their concert tour years ago.

So even if we haven’t seen and tasted our orders yet, we’re counting on that we will enjoy this early dinner. Later I learned that there are more than 700 branches of Watami all over the Asia Pacific region.

Take a look at what we’ve had:

Chasu rice for me and Jen, special curry Udon with cutlets for Jen and assorted tempura for me. Prior to deciding what to order, I had a miso soup called in advance.

All of these except for my soup were recommended by the attendant who took care of us.

The Chasu rice is truly delicious and its’ flavor matched my tempura. Jen’s Udon is tasteful too but is a little spicy and the hint of curry is just right, it is very mild. I enjoyed my tempura, however, I missed something from the sauce that came with it.

Over all, it was another gastronomic experience. Not to forget mentioning the intricately planned interiors of this casual Japanese resto.

I’ll ask Jen to try the sourdough pizza from Plank and pastries from Baker and Cook soon. =)

Aside from the New Wing of Shangri-la Mall, You can find Watami at the following locations:
– Greenbelt 2
– Mall of Asia
– Uptown Mall

Itadakimass! =)

Bread, Broth & Beyond…

Bread, Broth & Beyond

Tucked in the newly constructed building of Cherry Foodarama is Bread, Broth & Beyond.

Yes beyond, because aside from the chic restaurant that offers Mediterranean, American and of course Filipino cuisine, the place comes with delightful gourmet merchandise, they have cold-cuts too beautifully packaged and arranged neatly in their rustic shelves that will welcome you on the first floor.

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Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/breadbrothandbeyond/

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Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/breadbrothandbeyond/

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When some friends of mine from abroad came home, I bought bottles of these and they loved it. =) Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/breadbrothandbeyond/

I love their place instantly, I dine here when I do not have anyone to spend lunch with me at work. The attendants would gladly open the door for me like I belong there.

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They have limited items from their menu, and I really don’t mind, I can have my favorites one after another.

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They will gladly place a complimentary snack while you’re waiting for your orders. This one are bread sticks with a delicious dip that you can also buy separately.

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They have sandwiches if I don’t feel like having rice, they have flat breads too served like pizza in varying toppings such as shrimps, grilled chicken, four cheese, ham, etc.

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It comes with natural potato chips.

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They have my favorite snack: Nachos.

They have pastas too and I’d recommend the one with shrimps: Seafood marinara.

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My friend, Jean and I shared this delectable slice of sansrival after a heap serving of Nachos.

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I should agree that their best-sellers are the wide array of breakfast menu. You just have to add P70.00 (less than a $1.00 that is) to make it complete with a brewed coffee.

It is a place where I would want to bring my loved-ones or friends or even choose it when you are endorsing and publishing your book. It is so homey. =)

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Bread, Broth and Beyond is located at the ground Floor of SM Cherry Shaw, Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong City

Their place is accessible by a wheelchair, they have wifi, and accommodates takeaways. =)

Parking is free, however, alcoholic drinks is not in their menu. So the place is kid-friendly.

PS

Try the salted egg chips. You cant’ put it down. =)

 

Spatzle Euro Market Cafe

Spatzle Euro Market Cafe

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” ~Vincent Van Gogh~

Just recently, I wrote about this restaurant in Alabang which I found one of those places to drink and dine with the best interiors.

And again recently, I discovered another just a few blocks away from my work place. It’s sitting there for years now, when the new wing was constructed and it’s been a while that I have been to this mall.

True enough, anybody or any designer can create a space, though not all can come up with something enticing from the first look, that’s why if you rate a place, there is an allotted score for ambiance. Spatzle has the modern country feel. It is very welcoming.

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We got our choice. =)

Shangri-la Edsa mall is a 15 minute drive from work. It can offer you a wide array of choices when it comes to dining. Some of our most favorite Japanese restaurants are there, some French, Mediterranean, Chinese, Italian and of course Filipino restaurants.

This time, we know for a fact that shopping can get so tiring and we ended up hungry like wolves.

We learned earlier of this place that’s new to us. Spatzle Euro Market Cafe serves European cuisines with cool interiors, not too stiff and casual enough to literally enjoy another dining experience after a hard day’s work and shopping, and if I may I not miss to mention, the disappointment of getting something you really want when it is out of stock. Come on Jen, let’s eat!!!!

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Food and non – food merchandise.

So we headed right away to that part of this mall where the food spots are. Spatzle is situated in a corner, before reaching it, we came across a few, with barkers outside. However, we already know where we’re heading.

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I’ve always liked chalkboards.

Jen knew too, I do not like it, I mean “hard-selling” because it makes me doubt, why the place isn’t packed.

And even if at Spatzle, there are only a few tables occupied when we arrived, the more it encouraged us to get in since a crowded place only means longer waiting time for them to spread your orders. Besides, the open air feel is very inviting. And there are no barkers. =)

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The hexagons unified the rest of the place. From those upholstery, floor tiles, wall-mounted cabinets and tables.

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Hexagons here and there. But not tiring.

It didn’t took us long as well to place our orders. Yes, we’re hungry, and whatever angle I choose, our orders seems to be too much for 2 persons.

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We opted to share with one another this tongue twisting delight: the “Tarte Flambe Monte blanc”. Which toppings I especially liked, the paprika flavored potato chips, which they call as “Paprika chips”.

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Pizza was my first love. Or anything that looks and tastes like it. =)

I had the “Bacon mozza logs” 

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Honestly, I can only consume 2 at that time.

and Jen got a burger: the “Spatz haus burger”. One of their best sellers.

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USDA Angus burger for Jen.

We had “Watermelon slush” sweetened with wild honey to soften, in anticipation, the savor of all that we will consume in the next few minutes. We were offered to try their desserts, however, we were so full after digging.

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Watermelon slush.

After digging with no holds-barred kind of way, we knew that we will visit a second time. They pulled it off well. We both liked what we’ve chosen and enjoyed all the other extra ingredients thrown in it. We actually checked and eyed others from the menu. We will definitely come back. =)

PS:
I will get the bacon mozza logs once again. Since Mozzarella cheese in particular is like a happy pill for me! Yum!

Another PS:

I found it cute that they have sanitizers along the cubiertos comin’ in handy too. =)

Spatzle Euro Market Cafe is located at:

Level 5, East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Let’s go wild, wild West! – WILD WEST ROAD HOUSE grill!

Wild West Roadhouse Grill

“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like.” ~mark twain~

I am not so sure if my readers are already taking my reviews seriously on restaurants, since I am not a Pro in the F&B industry though this is one of the best-tasting meal I’ve ever tried.

This is my third visit and I kept ordering the same roast beef that comes with a creamy & flavorful sauce, it is with a cup full of java rice and buttered veggies. Broccoli included in particular being my favorite vegetable of all.

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“Rodeo beef!”

Something Western right? Over the years, restaurants in the Philippines has dramatically improved. There are only a few in the 80s, I was still a child then.

In Shangri-la Plaza mall alone, there are almost a hundred restaurants to choose from categorized such as American, European, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, & Chinese cuisines.

And this is where I discovered my marinated and lightly creamed beef strips (tenderness of which is just so right), the sauce comes with onion rings, which they fondly called as “Rodeo beef”.

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Didn’t change over the years.

They spoiled me by providing an extra gravy since I often consumed that creamy sauce right away. It’s a different sauce, however, it matches the beef strips as well. We loved the gravy a great deal.

Another fare that we spotted is the “Sta. Fe Nachos”. It is not the usual layered nachos topped with cheese, veggie strips, chili con carne and bits of jalapenos. It is more like a medley of picadillas and pizza handsomely laid-out in a huge plate, topped with slices of jalapenos and comes with two kinds of dips: sour cream and tomato salsa.

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Sta. Fe Nachos!

To satiate our penchant, we had this “All-American apple crumble ala mode”, the scoop of ice cream on top is vanilla which they smothered with caramel sauce. They honestly tasted like “One more please!”

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American Dessert!

The set-up in Shangri-la Festival mall is spacey as well, both with indoor and outdoor spots. I liked their rest rooms too.

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Once it was Halloween.

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And then Christmas!

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Western style!

I was about to call the attendants’ attention as it was humid when I landed on our chosen seats, however, someone adjusted the temperature promptly.

I don’t normally give details about the drinks they offer, because apparently, I do not drink that much, I mean, I’m referring to the hard drinks. But I think, they can serve most of everyone’s favorites. They have bottled and draft beers, shakes and fruit juices, wines and shots & shooters, alcoholic beverages and they have Perrier too. =)

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Drinks!

It is also part of their SOP to inquire how was our food, etc, etc. I actually responded that it tastes the same and as good as the last one. =)

They never failed to thank you too and invite you to come back again. A standard spiel that didn’t sound too canned.

I am definite to visit again even if there are a lot of food spots to choose from at Shangri-la Festival mall. It is one of my favorite malls, not only because it is the one nearest from my office, it is also where we held our Interior Design exhibit before graduating from college. We manned our booths for 15 days. So this place holds a special place in my heart, however, it is now entirely different from what it looked like, should I say 20 years ago. Ahahaha!

PS

Jen, my foodie buddy had her an extra rice… oh well! Lol!

They do accept reservations too:

Contact details: 655-3023/6542993. They are at unit 6002-6003, Level 6, East Wing, Shangri-la Festival Mall, corner Shaw boulevard, Mandaluyong City, Philippines.