Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Quick sip: ChocNut Milk Chocolate Drink

It's an instant milk chocolate drink from the famous peanut-chocolate brand.

It's TOO sweet. The sugary taste is overpowering all the other flavors! CRINGE!

This drink is more SUGARRIFIC than CHOCORRIFIC...

Try it and judge for yourself.

Monday, February 23, 2015

SOS Palabok and Crema de Leche Halo-Halo

New offerings from Mang Inasal.

First on the table is the Palabok (Php 75) that the restaurant claims is SOS: Sauce at sangkap, Ohh Sarap, that the dish is complete with the necessary ingredients of a palabok and that the sauce is delicious.

Well, the first claim is true. The Palabok indeed comes complete with ingredients. As for the sauce...It's not bad. It's just that the shrimp flavor is a little too pronounced. To temper this strong shrimp taste, we put some chicken oil (it actually makes the dish better.). The sauce has good consistency though, nice and thick.

The second treat, the Crema de Leche Halo-Halo (Php 62, small)crushed ice with macapuno, leche flan, caramelized bananas, and condensed milk. It doesn't taste bad, but it's not great. Also, the banana pieces though are not cooked well (raw in the middle). There's too much macapuno too. As for the leche flan, it has a weird gelatinous texture.

Try these treats and judge for yourself. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

First bite at Kanzhu

Place: Clean and spacious. Just a little dark though. The dining table is not wobbly and the chairs are comfortable. Also, the toilet is clean.

Food: Generally, OK. Flavors are pronounced and quite strong. The place offers Chinese food and specializes in dishes with hand-pulled noodles.

While waiting, we are munching on complimentary Sweet Peanuts (Php 120 a bottle). Large peanuts coated with caramelized sugar and sesame seeds. Delicious! Despite the sweet coating, one can still taste the earthy flavor of the peanut.

First on our table is the Kanzhu Plain Noodles (Php 90): a big bowl of hand-pulled noodles swimming in broth, with bok choy, radish, and coriander. The broth's taste is vibrant, because of the five spice and the coriander. Its flavor is reminiscent of pho. The noodles are too soft though.

Next, Yuxiang Eggplant with Minced Pork (Php 175): a [supposedly] spicy dry-noodle dish with sautéed minced pork and sliced eggplants. The minced pork component tastes like menudo. It doesn't taste bad, just ordinary. And it lacks the heat promised on the menu. And of course, we find the noodles too soft.

Next, some dimsum. We have some Shrimp Hakaw (Php 150). Delicious! Kanzhu's hakaw has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it a little different from those of other Chinese restaurants. Also, the wrapper is a little rough and grainy. Then, some Shanghai Dumplings (Php 95). These steamed treats are teeming with punctuated, meaty flavor. The filling is well seasoned. Yummy!

For dessert, we have the Green Tea Taho (Php 65). It has an authentic green tea flavor. And the sweetness is just right. But the dessert item is not taho, but pudding. Lastly, the Mango Sago (Php 80): a big bowl of mango purée with tapioca balls and slices of ripe mango. The flavor of this one is artificially tasting (mango concentrate). Good thing the mango slices are a little sour, to add contrast to the fake mango taste of the purée. Also, this one could be better with crushed ice.  

Price: Considering serving size, taste, and quality, food here is reasonably priced. And NO service charge!

Service: Good! Our waiter is friendly and very attentive.

Kanzhu Hand-Pulled Noodles is along Marcos Highway, San Roque, Marikina City.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Quick bite: Teriyaki Wings and Japanese Fried Rice

New treats from Tokyo Tokyo.

First, the Teriyaki Wings (Php 169 for a meal): crispy chicken wings coated with teriyaki sauce. Delicious! The meaty wings are moist, well seasoned, and fried perfectly. The sauce has a good enough balance of sweetness and saltiness. It's a good alternative to Bon Chon chicken, we think.

Then, the Japanese Fried Rice/Chahan (Php 45, solo order). The rice's sticky texture does not fit its being fried rice. Plus, its flavor is too fragrant. We can't sense if it's the soy sauce used or the ground meat. Such a letdown!

Try them and judge for yourself.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Quick bite: 4Cheese Whopper

It's the latest cheeseburger from Burger King.

A flame-grilled beef patty topped with Swiss, American Cheddar, and mozzarella cheeses, plus a dollop of cheese sauce.

DELICIOUS! The juicy patty is packed with authentic and well-seasoned meat flavor. And the cheeses! They complemented the beef very well with their punctuated yet not overpowering tastes. They add just the right amount of salt and dairy.

One of the best cheeseburgers out there.

An order costs Php 169.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Quick dip: Datu Puti vinegar

Over the holiday season, famous vinegar brand Datu Puti sold a set of their vinegar variants. We were fortunate to buy one and even luckier to taste all the sour concoctions.

First, the Sukang Tuba (coconut sap vinegar, recommended for garlicky and sweet sausages): it has an initial chemical taste reminiscent of the plastic balloon we played with when we were kids. The acidity is too sharp, and the taste is bordering on rancid.

Next, Sukang Pula (red cane vinegar, recommended for fried fish): its acidity is not sharp, and it has a fragrant hints of an almost floral flavor. Quite good actually.

Then, the Sukang Iloko (sugarcane vinegar, recommended for bagnet or fried pork belly): acidic with a pronounced wine taste.

Next, Sukang Sinamak (spiced vinegar, recommended for grilled food): good mixture of acidity, sweetness from the onions, and the right amount of kick from the chilies and peppercorns. Delicious.

Lastly, the Pinoy Spice (spiced coconut sap vinegar, recommended for okoy): surprisingly, the heat of this variant is tame. The taste of the chilies themselves, not just the kick, is significant.

Try these vinegar variants and judge for yourself.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Quick bite: Double Down Dog

It's the latest chicken concoction from KFC.

It's a meat sandwich featuring a Chick N Cheese Hotdog nestling inside a KFC Original Recipe fillet, drizzled with a honey-mustard sauce.

It tastes OK. The chicken fillet is just a little salty. Good thing that the saltiness is tempered by the cheese of the cheese hotdog, the tangy taste of the sauce, and the subtle flavor of the chicken hotdog itself.

An order costs Php 95.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

First bite at Pakibalot Panciteria

Place: Small and clean. It looks like a "glorified carinderia." One can eat on the sidewalk in front of the place if there are no more available seats inside.

Food: Generally, O-K. Some dishes are amply tasty, some are disappointing.

First on our table is the Hototay Soup (Php 170). The broth is tasty and full of meat flavor. Also, the ingredients are fresh, making the soup heartier and satisfying.

Next, Miki-Bihon Guisado (Php 150). This one is a little bland. Also, the noodles are overcooked and mushy.

Then, we have Chopsuey (Php 150). This dish is surprisingly more flavorful than the pansit. The vegetables are not overcooked and still have some crunch.

We also have some fried dishes. First is the Tokwa't Baboy (Php 120). Delicious! The tofu cubes and pork belly pieces are golden and fried perfectly. They are floating on a soy sauce-vinegar concoction that would taste better with just a hint of sweetness. Another fried dish we have is the Lumpiang Shanghai (Php 120). These fried treats are a tad too salty, so dipping them in the sweet & sour dip is a must, just to even out flavors.

Next on our table is the Buttered Chicken (Php 180): fried chicken fingers smothered with butter sauce. This one is just a little too rich. And we suspect that what was used is not butter but margarine, making it teem with an unneeded amount of dairy flavor. Then, the Sweet & Sour Meatballs (Php 180): golden fried, crispy balls of pork, smothered with a sweet & sour sauce that lacked sweet and sour tastes. The sauce is bland, not exciting enough to the palate.

For our rice, we have Shanghai Fried Rice (Php 140, big): rice cooked with minced hotdog, chorizo, and green peas, flavored with soy sauce. This dish is a little inconsistent; some of our spoonfuls are bland, some are delicious. The marriage of flavor needs to be mixed more evenly.

Price: Considering food taste, serving size, and quality, food here is just a little overpriced.

Service: Good! Our waitress is friendly, warm, and attentive.

Pakibalot Panciteria is at 22 Maginhawa St., Diliman, Quezon City.