Monday, March 31, 2014

First sip at Third District

Place: Nice furnishings and decor. There's a good combination of wooden and metallic elements that exudes modernity. The music though was too loud. Overall, the place was not too homey.

Food: Disappointing. We had a cup of Latté, an order of Vanilla Buttermilk pancakes, and some Dark Magic gelato.

The Latté (Php 140) came in a pretty cup with a matching saucer. It tasted ordinary, commonplace; we could think of other places that same-tasting coffee for a lower price. The caffeinated concoction was slightly acidic. The texture though was good. By the way, they use coffee from Canada.

The Vanilla Buttermilk pancakes (Php 150) featured two pancakes, smothered with lemon syrup and tart fruit (blueberry?) compote. It was too much! The two fruit flavors were strong and were overpowering each other! Then you add vanilla...Yikes!

Lastly, the Dark Magic artisan gelato (Php 95): bittersweet chocolate with a splash of mint. Twas O-K. The texture though made us question whether the treat was gelato or not. We expected the texture to be smooth, but there were frozen, icy bits. Guess it ain't so "artisan" after all. By the way, the gelato came from Afters.

Considering the taste of our food and drinks, we deemed the prices unreasonable.

Service: The barista looked intimidating (he looked like a bouncer!) and wasn't smiling so that ain't so welcoming. The cashier was a little clueless and confused.

Third District is at 41 Esteban Abada St., corner Alvero St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Mister Donut finally joins the cronut craze with Do-ssant, its own version of the ubiquitous doughnut and croissant hybrid.

The Do-ssant comes in 4 variants: Glazed, Sugar-Raised, Cinnamon, and Dark Chocolate. We tried the last two.

The bread itself is soft and fresh. It has the right balance of textures; it's not too caky nor too airy. And it isn't messy to eat, for the bread is not too flaky. The bavarian filling is not too sweet and has good vanilla flavor.

The Cinnamon has a little too much sugar. The cinnamon component is too subtle. The Dark Chocolate's frosting is delicious; it has good semi-sweet flavor.

All in all, for us, Do-ssant is the best one out there. So far...

Perfect partner: coffee.

Each Do-ssant costs Php 65.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Friday, March 21, 2014

First slice at Parvati

We were in TriNoMa one afternoon and dropped by Parvati to try their bestselling desserts. Our waiter recommended the Frozen Brazo de Mercedes and Pistachio Sans Rival.

The Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (Php 200/slice) features a buttery crust, an ice cream body, a thin layer of custard, and a whipped egg-white top. It had all the flavors of the classic dessert, just a tad too sweet. Plus, the crust was crumbly, making the dessert quite messy to eat. We like the velvety texture of the ice cream though.

The Pistacho Sans Rival (Php 130/slice) features layers of meringue, nuts, and buttercream. This dessert had good mixture of textures. The buttercream though was too saccharine. And the pistachio flavor was negligible.

We got free cups of brewed coffee for the dessert we bought (1 free cup for every Php 100). The coffee was good. And we liked that we were given brown sugar for it.

Now, about the place. Well, the restaurant is cute and well lighted. The floor needs some updating though (too many cracked tiles).

What about the service? Well, nothing ruins dessert more than a waiter who always wears a frown (not to mention a messy uniform). Smiling won't hurt you, Mr. Waiter.

Parvati is on the ground floor of TriNoMa.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Meaty Chicken Fillet

It's Burger King's latest chicken offering.

Fried chicken fillet, served with rice and barbecue dip.

It's delicious and well seasoned.  It also lives up to its name: the fillet is really meaty, not to mention juicy.  And the skin? Crunchy and tasty.  The tangy barbecue dip makes the chicken even more enjoyable to eat.

Our only complaint: the fillet is too small!

An order costs Php 55.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

First bite at Happy Cream Puff

One afternoon, after a having a hearty lunch, we craved something different for dessert.  A few minutes of wandering around the mall led us to Happy Cream Puff, a deliciously smelling haven of, well, cream puffs.

There many cream puff variants to choose from, and each costs Php 30.  We bought a "box of 10" (Php 250) so that we could try many flavors.

The cream puffs were generally good.  The pastry itself was fresh, light, and delicious.  The cream filling had the right consistency and wasn't sweet.

Among the flavors we tried, we liked the Caramel (their bestseller; has good, deep caramel flavor), Blueberry (one of the newer variants), Cocoa Powder (good chocolate!), and Chocolate Almond (nice nuts!) the most.

Actually, the other variants weren't bad.  So, it's just a matter of choosing the flavor that tickles your fancy and palate.

They also have good eclairs (Php 50), not to mention hand-drip coffee (too expensive, considering the taste).

The place is clean, bright, and stylish.  The staff members are super nice and friendly.

Happy Cream Puff is on Level 5 of the East Wing of the Shangri-La Plaza Mall. 

First bite at Kettle

We were craving comfort food one afternoon and decided to drop by Kettle.  We heard they serve good buttermilk fried chicken, so we decided to give that dish a try.  We also ordered a Reuben and some Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato.

The Buttermilk Fried Chicken (Php 519) has 2 big fried chicken fillets, served with three pieces of cornbread and two sauces (gravy and honey dijon).  The chicken tasted ordinary; it was actually reminiscent of Chicken McDo.  And both fillets were too oily.  The cornbread was not bad, but each piece was a little too dense.  The gravy had a strong ketchup flavor, while the honey dijon was good.  Better if the two are combined.

The Reuben (Php 489) has corned beef, cheese, and sauerkraut between toasted bread slices.  The sandwich is served with fries.  This one was delicious.  The meat was juicy, and its saltiness was well complemented by the subtle-tasting cheese and the sharp sauerkraut.  The fries were crispy and not too salty.

The Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato (Php 89) was a letdown.  It had good consistency, and there were really hints of garlic flavor.  Its overall taste however was not punctuated.  It needed more salt and butter.

Considering the serving size and taste of each dish, food at Kettle is OVERPRICED.  The flavors were not mind-blowing enough, not memorable enough to make us come back.

As for the place, well it had nice furnishings, plates, utensils, etc.  We only had problem with the music; hearing Bieber, Taylor Swift, and Slutty Cyrus in the background was NOT appetizing at all.

Service was generally OK, except for the occasional name-tags-touching-the-food incidents, the mispronounced words, and the clumsy serving of the food.

Kettle is on Level 5 of the East Wing of the Shangri-la Plaza Mall.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Tuna Pie is back!

You know it is Lent when Jollibee brings back its tuna treat: the Tuna Pie!

Fresh, golden, and crisp pie case, filled with creamy tuna filling.  The filling has mushrooms and a creamy sauce that tempers the fishy flavor of the tuna. Plus, the peppery taste adds some kick and dimension.

The Tuna Pie proves that abstinence does not have to be boring. 

It costs Php 33 per piece.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Monday, March 3, 2014

First bite: Cheese Puff and Kouign Amann

They're the latest treats from Krispy Kreme.

Both are made of puff pastry, slathered with Belgian Butter, and sprinkled with sugar. The Cheese Puff [allegedly] has a custard cream cheese filling. The Kouign Amann has no filling, but Krispy Kreme claims that the treat is "baked under caramelized sugar."

Were they good? Well, the puff pastry was fresh and of good quality. The Cheese Puff barely had filling, and based on the small amount we tasted, this filling was a tad too sweet. There was more custard than salty cheese. We also wished that the Cheese Puff wasn't topped with sugar.

The Kouign Amann tasted like good croissant. We sensed no caramelized sugar though.

Each treat costs Php 50 per piece.

Try them and judge for yourself.