Tuesday, March 31, 2015

First sip at Habitual Coffee

We were at Ortigas/CW Home Depot one afternoon and dropped by Habitual Coffee to try their caffeinated concoctions and have a bite.

Place: The café shares space with an interior design company, in a building that is going to be torn down. The place is a tad disorganized. Owner says though that they're moving to Makati.

Food: First on our table was a cup of AeroPressed (the café's chosen way of brewing coffee) Mocha (Php 160). It was delicious and comforting. We liked the deep, punctuated flavors of the chocolate and coffee blending together into one flavorful drink. There was none of the common, milk chocolate cum coffee powder flavor. Just serious, adult mocha.

Next, a glass of some Cold Brew Black (Php 140). Another delicious drink! At first sip, we sensed a good hint of acidity, leading to a rounded, bitter aftertaste. It's good, strong, and refreshing.

Along with our drinks, we tried some of the dishes they offer. We had a Four Hour Brisket Sandwich (Php 220): tender, sweet brisket, nestling between buttered bread, with gooey cheese. Good subtle flavors. Nothing was overpowering anything. We liked the flakiness of the bread's crust and the way the bread was perfectly charred. We preferred better chips though to go with the sandwich.

Laslty, we had some Lace Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich (Php 140): thin chocolate chip cookies with a vanilla ice cream filling. Yum! Nothing was too sweet. The ice cream was smooth. The cookies had the right crisp and were filled with delightful chocolate flavor.

Price: Considering food type, taste, and quality, we found their fare reasonably priced.

Serving: The staff was friendly and warm. Waiting time for the coffee was understandable considering the AeroPress process.

For now, Habitual Coffee is at the Ortigas/CW Home Depot, Pasig City.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Quick lick: New flavors of the Best of the Philippines Collection

Magnolia offers new flavors for its ice cream line that showcases local ingredients and flavors, Best of the Philippines collection. The new variants are 2-in-1, featuring two tastes in one ice cream.

First is the Sili Con Tsokolate Eh: chocolate ice cream with chili. DELICIOUS! The chocolate is bitter, its flavor deep and rounded, not the usual milk chocolate. The chili adds just the right amount of kick to make this treat exciting to eat. It's our favorite.

Next, the Strawberry Red Velvet Otap. Strawberry ice cream dappled with Cebu's famous flaky sugar biscuit, the otap. This ice cream tastes like strawberry short cake. The fruit flavor is vibrant, and not artificial.

Then, the Mango & Mangosteen. Two of the Philippines' prized fruits in one ice cream. Yummy! The more subtle mangosteen component highlights the sweetness of the best mango in the world.

Lastly, the Cashew Sans Rival. It has a very pronounced butter flavor, making the dessert a little too rich for our taste. Nakakaumay. We like the cashew bits though, fresh, not stale.

Try these new ice cream flavors and judge for yourself.

Quick bite: Crunchy Garlic Chicken

It's the latest chicken variant from Bon Chon.

It's fried chicken coated with a savory sauce, then sprinkled with fried garlic bits.

Delicious! The chicken is flavorful, with the right marriage of sweetness, saltiness, and garlicky tastes. The garlic component is pronounced but not too strong and overpowering. And this flavor is not just stuck in the skin; it goes all the way through the juicy meat.

An 1-piece order costs Php 99.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Quick lick: Mango Ube Symphony

It's an award-winning concoction from Bono Gelato, made by Ms. Zarah Manikan.

It's mango-flavored gelato with swirls of ube.

The texture is velvety and smooth. Its taste is also authentic and not too saccharine. We like the generous servings of juicy mango slices. The ube flavor though is too subtle to be enjoyed. The vibrant mango component dominates the entire treat.

A small scoop costs Php 150.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Quick bite: Jagabee Potato Fries

Jack n Jill teams up with Japanese snack brand Calbee to bring us Jagabee Potato Fries: crispy potato snacks that really look like french fries. The snack comes in three flavors: Classic Salted, Cheese, and Garlic.

We like the authentic, french-fries look. As for the taste, well, we don't like it that much. The Classic Salted is too salty. The Cheese has hints of being rancid. The Garlic? Too salty too. Also, each piece is quite hard to bite into.

Try them and judge for yourself.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Quick bite: BBQ Pulled Pork Brioche

It's the latest sandwich treat from Wendy's.

Shredded pork and crisp vegetables (cabbage and carrots), smothered with barbecue sauce, served between a piece of brioche.

Tasty and delicious! The pulled pork is tender and soft. The sauce has a punctuated savory taste and good amount of smokiness. The vegetables add the needed crunch and fresh flavor. The brioche is soft and of high quality.

An order costs Php 145.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Quick lick: Buco and Pandance with Me

It's the latest Cornetto concoction from Selecta.

Buko and pandan ice creams with white chocolate shaving and tip.

It tastes OK. The ice cream flavors are a little too subtle to be fully enjoyed. The white chocolate component is good; it has the right amount of sweetness and milkiness.

The ice cream is smooth and has good consistency. And what a refreshing color combination!

Try it and judge for yourself.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Quick bite: Caramel Mamon

A new sweet treat from Red Ribbon.

Soft, moist, buttery mamon topped with caramel spread and chopped peanuts.

It's delicious. The bread itself is not too sweet, making it a good background for the deep, burnt saccharine flavor of the caramel. The peanuts add the needed hint of saltiness and crunch.

A piece costs Php 24.

Try it and judge for yourself. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Quick bite at S&R New York Style Pizza

Place: Cool and spacious. It's just noisy because of the talkative customers. The area for condiments is quite messy, so is the area where the toilet is.

Food: Generally, the taste of the food is below average.

First on the table is a BIG slice of Cheese Pizza (Php 99): the crust is quite stale. The pizza sauce is a little too sour. And the cheese flavor is too subtle. But the worst part, our pizza is served cold.

Next, the Beef Hot Dog Sandwich (Php 99.95 for two sandwiches): a BIG piece of a meaty, juicy, and flavorful beef hot dog, nestling in a soft, average-tasting bun. One can put onions, pickles, mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup at the condiments area. It's OK, not bad. It tastes like the Jolly Hot Dog of Jollibee.

Then, we have some Bavarian Churro (Php 44 for two pieces): fried dough pastry with bavarian cream filling. The pastry itself isn't bad; it's soft and tasty. The filling though is bland. It has good consistency but lacks flavor.

For our drink, we have a cup of iced tea. TOO SWEET!

Price: Considering taste and size, food here is not worth your money.

Service: OK. The cashiers and servers are friendly, courteous, and alert.

S&R New York Style Pizza is at ground floor of the Le Grand 2 Building at Eastwood City.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Quick bite: Double Filet-O-Fish

It's a "new" offering from McDonalds, perfect for the Lenten season.

It's the classic Filet-O-Fish sandwich only with two fried fish fillets. The golden fried slabs of fish are nestling between fresh buns. with a slice of cheese and a dollop of mayonnaise that's flavored with chopped tangy pickles.

It's quite good actually. The fillets are fresh and well seasoned. They're also flaky on the inside and crunchy outside. The cheese adds just the right amount of saltiness. The acidity of the mayonnaise cum pickles brings home the flavor of the whole sandwich.

It's just overpriced though: Php 165 for a sandwich. Too much!

Try it and judge for yourself.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Quick bite: Milky White Halo-Halo

It's the latest sweet offering from Chowking.

Crushed ice with macapuno, caramelized banana, pudding, leche flan, topped with pinipig, macapuno ice cream, and caramel drizzle, then smothered with milk. It's "milky white" because it's pale and not as colorful as the usual halo-halo.

It's not bad. The sweetness is right and the flavor is well balanced. The banana pieces are little tough and the pinipig needs some more toasting. The best component is the ice cream.

A small order costs Php 62.

Try it and judge for yourself. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

First bite: Crispy Fire Chicken

It's the latest chicken treat from KFC.

Crispy fried chicken flavored with Tabasco hot sauce.

Delicious! The chicken isn't teeming with heat. It has the right amount of heat and chili flavor. The meat is juicy and the skin, so crispy.

Eat it with Chicken Rice.

An order costs Php 100.

Try it and judge for yourself.