Friday, April 25, 2014

First sip: Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino and Banana Mango Frappuccino

New concoctions from Starbucks.

The Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappucino: coffee with dark caramel sauce, topped with caramel drizzle and crunchy caramel sugar bits. Initially, the combination of the coffee and caramel sauce was delicious; the depth added by the sauce complemented the coffee really well. Then came the saccharine aftertaste. Yikes. Too sweet! 

We liked nibbling at those crunchy caramel bits though. 

The Banana Mango Frappucino: Mango Passion juice, milk, and a cavendish banana. This one wasn't good. Artificial fruit flavor all over. And because a cavendish was used, the banana flavor was too subtle. 

By the way, the smallest size for this drink is a Grande.

Try the new drinks and judge for yourself.   

Monday, April 21, 2014


It's Nestlé's cereal bar. There are two variants: Fruits Fitbar and Nuts Fitbar. The first is made with puffed rice crisps and dried fruit (raisins, primarily) and the second, with puffed rice crisps and nuts (cashew primarily). These concoctions are on top of a nougat-like base.

Are they good? Yes, delicious and satisfying. The sweetness is just right. And the combination of textures (chewy and crispy) makes the Fitbar a delight to eat.

Is the Fitbar healthy to eat? Will it truly help you be fit? We say no. Just look at the list of ingredients; two of its main components are sugar and high-fructose syrup. It may not have trans-fat but it sure does pack a lot of sugar.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

First bite at Magnum Manila

Place: Classy and clean. Beautiful furnishings, light fixtures, and color combination. Dining area is spacious.

Food: Ordinary. We had the Red Velvet and three customized Magnum Bars.

The Red Velvet (Php 250) featured a slice of red velvet cake served cream cheese sauce, chocolate sauce, and a halved Magnum bar. Twas O-K. The cake was not fresh, the Magnum was, as expected, a tad sweet, and the chocolate was too milky and sugary. The only saving grace of this dessert was the cream cheese sauce; it had the right combination of sharpness and tanginess.

We also had three customized Magnum bars (Php 100 each). We recommend the quezo de bola, honeycomb, and pistachio toppings. As for the chocolate drizzles and coating, well, we've never liked Magnum's "Belgian" chocolate anyway.

Minus points: at the onset of our visit, our server (called "Pleasure Maker") told us that three dessert concoctions weren't available. Also, these Pleasure Makers didn't look neat and clean; they looked like they just woke up or came from a night of partying.

Price: Considering taste, food was overpriced.

Service: Twas OK. Waiters were friendly, attentive, and quick on their feet. But again, they didn't look neat.

Magnum Manila is on the 5th level of SM Aura.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nutella Blizzard

It's by Dairy Queen.

It's vanilla ice cream mixed with a generous dapple of Nutella, the famous hazelnut chocolate spread, and your mix-in of choice. This new Blizzard has two variants: Banana Nutella and Waffle Crisp Nutellla.

Is it good? Well, it's O-K. The vanilla flavor is too strong; it overpowers the hazelnut-chocolate component. Although the two variants are good, we like the Banana Nutella more. The ripe-fruit taste complements the sweetness of the ice cream. The crispy waffle bits add a nice layer of texture, but taste-wise, it's almost negligible.

Try the Nutella Blizzard and judge for yourself.

Friday, April 4, 2014

First bite at CaliBurger

Place: Cute, cool, and colorful. Although it's spacious, it needs proper ventilation; we smelled of the kitchen after exiting the place! And yes, we almost fell from the bench because the one we sat on was not sturdy.

Food: Tasty but ordinary. We had the Chicken Burger with fries and Strawberry Milkshake (Php 350) and a Cheeseburger with Wild Style Fries and iced tea (Php 425).

The Chicken Burger had a very thin chicken patty, with a slice of tomato, shreds of lettuce, and grilled onions, all neslting between a soft, slightly sweet bun. It tasted O-K; it wasn't bad but its flavor wasn't extraordinary. And the patty was too thin for us to fully enjoy some good fowl flavor.

The Strawberry Milkshake tasted like strawberry ice cream with a slight artificial fruit flavor. It had good thickness and wasn't difficult to sip. The iced tea, on the other hand, was too acidic.

Now, the Cheeseburger tasted like McDonalds's Quarter Pounder, but the price of Cali's was unreasonable (Php 225 for a sandwich!). And the patty was too thin! We felt shortchanged! The Wild Style Fries: french fries topped with Thousand Islands, cheese, pickles, and grilled onions. Interesting taste, but again, nothing unfamiliar there.

Price: Considering taste and serving size, food here is overpriced.

Service: The waiters were a tad too laid-back. And the contrived American accent? Funny.

CaliBurger is on the 4th level of the Century Mall.