Saturday, August 31, 2013

First taste of the Wrong Ramen

So we were walking at Burgos Circle in BGC looking for something hearty for lunch when we chanced upon Wrong Ramen.  We've heard some things about this interesting restaurant, so we decided to give their food a try.


What greeted us was a cute, cozy ramen house with a generally modern design with some quirks here and there.  We were seated on sturdy long-legged chairs by the window, facing a nice wooden counter with a drawer (We kept our phones and wallets inside!) and condiments neatly arranged on the side.  Cute!



We ordered the Wrong Ramen Rich Tonkotsu , a plate of Tofu Katsu, and Poop of the Gods for dessert.


The Wrong Ramen Rich Tonkotsu (Php 395) was a winner.  The noodles were of high quality, the vegetable components (bean sprouts, leeks, onions) were fresh and added vibrancy, and the chashu was flavorful.  But the best part of the dish was the broth; it had the right richness and milkiness.  And the taste?  Punctuated and delicious.  The meat flavor was pronounced but not overpowering-to-the-point-of-being-salty.  It was satisfying.  We couldn't stop sipping!


To have something light to munch on, we had some Tofu Katsu (Php 125).  High-grade tofu with light, crunchy coating, and a sour dipping sauce.  It was O-K, nice contrast of textures.  As for the taste, well, it's not bad, but we've tasted better.


Lastly, our dessert, Poop of the Gods (Php 135).  A blob of Belgian Chocolate, sprinkled with sea salt, sitting on a puddle of olive oil.  Delicious!  Nice mixture of flavors!  We enjoyed the deep, bittersweet taste of the chocolate with the occasional bite of the salt.  And the olive oil made the divine chocolate even silkier to the palate.  YUMMY.

What made our experience more enjoyable was the staff, particularly Ate Terence, our waitress.  She was cheerful and very knowledgeable about the food the place serves.  She was a good representative of the restaurant's alert and friendly crew.


Good food.  Warm welcome and service.  Two right reasons to have more Wrong Ramen.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chik'N Skin ni Mang Juan

Presenting Jack 'n Jill's healthier alternative to the cholesterol-filled fried chicken skin.  Chik'N Skin are vegetable chips that allegedly taste like the sinful snack/pulutan.


Are they good?  Well, they're O-K.  They're like a less salty version of Chippy.  There are hints of chicken flavor here and there, but all in all, the poultry taste is too subtle.

We like the thinness of the chips though, paper thin, making the crunch more pronounced.



Try this snack and judge for yourself.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

Place: Nice style and colors.  We liked the mixture of rustic and modern, with the wooden-slat dividers and wood-looking tables coupled with steel chairs and stainless fixtures.  The place was a little cramped though, and a bit noisy.


Food: The restaurants boasts of its array of Tonkotsu (pork-broth-based ramen), made with noodles that come in different textures (hard, normal, or soft).  Aside from noodle soup dishes, the place also offers other Japanese (-inspired) dishes.  Food here is made with good quality ingredients and is served fresh. 


The taste?  Some were OK, some were a little salty.  Generally, the food was forgettable, taste-wise.


First on our plate was the Tofu Salad (Php 160).  High-grade tofu cubes, served with crisp salad greens, plump tomatoes, and fried wanton confetti, smothered with a mayonnaise-based dressing.  It was delicious.  Good play of textures: crunchy leaves and wanton wrapper bits, juicy tomatoes, velvety tofu.  The dressing's flavor was subtle, like subdued Thousand Island.  There was too much of it though.  No matter how much we loved the dressing, we didn't like having a pool of it.


Next, the Ikkoryu Original Tonkotsu Ramen (Php 330).  Pork broth, high quality noodles, chashu, green onions, wood ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and nori.  It was good...enough.  It was amply savory.  We liked nibbling on the mushrooms and bamboo shoots.  We thought the nori was unnecessary though.  And the chashu was salty!  And speaking of salty, the whole dish was becoming so as it became colder.  Weird, but true.


Next ramen: Special Vegetable Paste Tonkotsu (Php 380).  It's the original Tonkotsu ramen allegedly enhanced by a special vegetable paste.  It was a bowl of sodium.



Along with our ramen, we had some "finger food."  We ordered some Gyoza (Php 150), also known as 6 pieces of tasty-but-not-extraordinary dumplings.  We also had some Karaage (Php 180): 5 pieces of juicy, well-seasoned fried chicken.  Delicious, but a little too oily.  We liked the slaw with the sesame dressing!


Since we ordered chicken, we figured that we should have some rice (because we are Pinoy that way).  We had the Original Yakimeshi (Php 160).  It was also delicious.  Flavor was punctuated, not too salty, not too oily.  We've tasted better though (Kimono Ken's).


For our drink, we just asked for some house tea.  It's served cold, iced.  It was OK; it had nice, deep, woodsy flavor.  Good for rinsing off the saltiness of the ramen.


Price: Considering serving size, taste, and quality, prices are quite reasonable.

Service: Needs improvement.  The waiters were inattentive one minute, and overly eager the next.



Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen is at the East Wing of the Shangri-La Plaza.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Japadog

It's Tokyo Tokyo's version of a hotdog sandwich.  The chicken hotdog is dipped in batter and fried to crunchy perfection.  The Japadog comes in three variants: Classic, American, and California.  We tried the last two (because the Classic just comes with ketchup and mayo).


The American Japadog has the crunchy hotdog nestling in soft bun, with cheddar cheese, shredded cabbage, ketchup, and Japanese mayo.  It was OK; the hotdog itself tasted like the Jolly Hotdog.  The cheese wasn't too salty, and the cabbage added some vibrancy.  The ketchup wasn't too sharp and blended well with the mayonnaise.


The California Japadog is reminiscent of a California Maki, with its kani slivers.  The hotdog also comes with the shredded cabbage, mayonnaise, and teriyaki sauce.  It was delicious.  At first, we thought that combination of ingredients was weird and expected the taste to be such.  But again, it was delicious.  Good, subtle, fresh flavors.

A thing we liked about the Japadog was the mix of textures: soft bun, crunchy hotdog, crisp cabbage, creamy mayo.  It was fun to eat.


By the way, we ordered the California Japadog with a meal, meaning with Wasabi Fries and Red Iced Tea.  The fries weren't wasabi enough; the distinct flavor of the Japanese classic was too subtle.  The iced tea was too sweet.

The American and California Japadogs cost Php 60 each.  The Classic, Php 50.  Add Php 50 so you can have some fries and a drink with your hotdog sandwich.

Try one and judge for yourself.

   

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New McDonalds Hotcake Syrups

The popular fast food chain has sweet additions to its breakfast fare.

Now, you can have your hot cakes with two new syrups: Blueberry and Chocolate.


The Blueberry Syrup was delicious.  It wasn't too sweet and had the right amount of tartness.  Its taste wasn't too artificial.  We also liked its consistency, not too thick nor too runny.



The Chocolate Syrup was O-K.  Its flavor was semisweet.  However, we preferred more bitterness, more depth.  Also, we found this syrup a little too thick.  We liked the appetizing gloss though.

A 3-piece Hotcake with any of the two syrups costs Php 67.



Try them and judge for yourself.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Zarzuela

Place: Clean and stylish.  Just like the food it serves, the place fuses modern with rustic, as shown by the geometric light fixtures, the bright solid colors, the steel chairs with the wicker backrests and orange cushions, and the simple wooden tables with little blooms.


Food: The restaurant offers Filipino fare that is well cooked and generally delicious.


We had the Cowboy Sisig (Php 199) as our appetizer.  It features an amply seasoned mixture of minced beef and pork parts.  The dish was not too wet or pasty nor too dry.  It was tasty, although it would've been better had it had more kick, had it been spicier.  And more crunch was in order.


Next on our plate was the Savor Salad (Php 299).  Salad greens with salted egg, marinated eggplant, and croutons, drizzled with some honey-mayo sauce, served with a tomato-onion vinaigrette.  Now this one's a winner.  Nice combination of textures and flavors.  The strong tastes (salted egg, vinaigrette, mayo) were beautifully tempered by the lettuce and eggplant.  It's a good dish to whet the appetite.


Then the main dishes: First, Ate's Boneless Chicken Inasal (Php 399).  Four big pieces of chicken inasal, served with ketchup, sinamak (spiced vinegar), and atchara.  Now this one's a winner.  Each morsel of chicken was moist and flavorful.  It didn't have the sweetness that fake inasal has.  And the dips were equally delicious.  And that atchara!  Perfect fruity sharpness to balance things out. 


Then, the Krispy Binagoongan (Php 359).  Crispy fried pork, smothered with bagoong sauce.  This one's OK.  The sauce wasn't too pungent and had hints of sweetness.  The fried pork pieces were a delight to eat; meat was juicy and the skin was crunchy.  This dish couldn't be eaten without rice.  Lots of rice.


Speaking of rice, we had some Brown Rice (Php 55) with our main dish.  It had more texture than ordinary white rice, and had hints of nutty flavor.

We had some Lychee Shake (Php 79) for drinks.  Refreshing and well blended.  It wasn'tt too sweet and the fruit flavor was authentic.


Price: Considering serving size, taste, and quality, we found the prices reasonable.

Service: Very good.  The friendly waiters clad in cheerful, Filipiana-inspired uniforms were attentive and courteous.  Waiting time was between 10-15 minutes.


Zarzuela is on the 6th Level of the East Wing of the Shangri-La Plaza Mall.      

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Krispy Kroissant

It's Krispy Kreme's version of the ubiquitous croughnut (the croissant and doughnut hybrid).

The Krispy Kroissant is rolled in sugar, filled with some pastry cream, and topped with your flavor of choice: Strawberry, Chocolate, Apple Cinnamon, and Vanilla Glazed.


The Kroissant itself was not bad; it was fresh and of high quality.  It had the flakiness of a croissant and the caky quality of a doughnut.  It was a little chewy though, making it a tad difficult to eat.


Among the 4 variants, we liked Strawberry the best.  Although the marmalade was a bit pasty, its taste was authentic; it had a good balance of tart and sweet.  The Chocolate lacked some bitterness to make it more sophisticated taste wise.  The Apple Cinnamon was O-K.  We're glad that the cinnamon flavor wasn't too strong, but the whole thing was ordinary.  The Vanilla Glazed was too sweet for us.


A Krispy Kroissant costs Php 70 apiece, but if you get a box of 6, you only pay Php 350.

Perfect partner: coffee.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Decadent Chocolate Cake

By Monfort's Kitchen.

Moist chocolate cake, with a subtle caramel center, smothered with semisweet, gooey, luxurious ganache.


The sweetness is just right, and each bit of this cake is oozing with GOOD chocolate flavor.

It's a must-eat.

It's avaiable at the Eastwood Mall's Weekend Gourmet Market.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Espesyal Mamon Cups

Delicious sponge cake from Jack 'N Jill!


Espesyal Mamon Cups are soft and cute, and they're delicious!  Each bite is oozing with butter flavor, coupled with just the right amount of sweetness.  YUMMY!

Perfect partner: coffee!


Try this treat and judge for yourself.

Monday, August 5, 2013

White Desert

It's a new doughnut variant by J.Co.

It's a shell doughnut filled with bland cream, topped with white frosting and desiccated coconut.


The doughnut itself and coconut were delicious.  The cream was superfluous taste-wise; we wished this variant was concocted for the regular doughnut with a hole.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Loaded Grillers

Loaded snacks from Taco Bell!  They come in three variants: Loaded Potato, Beefy Nacho, and Spicy Buffalo Chicken.  We tried the first two.



The Loaded Potato Griller is teeming with Potato Bites, all smothered with a creamy Pepper Jack sauce, wrapped in fresh soft tortilla.  DELICIOUS!  The taters were perfectly fried and seasoned.  What we loved was the cheese sauce!  It wasn't too salty and it had little heat to whet the appetite.  YUM!


The Beefy Nacho was also good.  The soft tortilla was teeming with ground beef and veggies.  The meat was juicy, moist, flavorful, with just the right amount of pungency.  The taste wasn't too overpowering.  Really good.

A Loaded Griller costs Php 79.


Try it and judge for yourself.