Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quick sip: Quaker Good Start

It's Quaker's oat dairy drink. The company markets this drink as a quick but satisfying and energizing breakfast option for people on the go, giving them a, well, a good start.

There are two flavors: Vanilla Malt and Banana Crème.

Is Good Start really good? Well, not really. It's doesn't taste bad, but, it's just too sweet. The authentic tastes of each variant are buried under all that sugary sweetness. No wonder people will feel good after drinking this concoction: imagine the all-day sugar rush!

Try Good Start and judge for yourself.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

First time to be Bagnetified!

We were in SM City San Mateo one morning and went to Bagnetified to have lunch.

Place: The restaurant was clean, bright, and cute enough. The dining tables were spacious and the chairs were comfortable enough.

Food: Not good. We ordered three dishes and one drink.

First on our plate was the Kare-Kare Bagnetified (Php 279). The vegetables were crisp and fresh. The bagnet was well seasoned and fried perfectly. The sauce though was bland; it had no meaty and peanut flavor. It was all salt. Such a letdown!

Next, the Dinuguan Bagnetified (Php 279). Again, the bagnet pieces were good. The flavor of the dish was authentic enough. The problem however was the lack of sauce; the dish was almost dry! This dryness took away the heartiness of dinuguan. Another letdown.

Finally, the Buttered Glazed Chicken (Php 289). It's fried chicken smothered with a thick sweet, buttery sauce. The sauce was delicious enough, thanks to the rich and pronounced butter flavor. Unfortunately, the fried chicken was too salty, ruining the entire dish. Another letdown, we know!

For our drink, we had an XL size of the Cucumber Juice and Bits (Php 69). The refreshing cucumber taste was there, but it was overshadowed by too much syrup. LETDOWN!

Price: Considering serving size and the disappointing taste, food here is a bit overpriced.

Service: Waiters were attentive but not warm and friendly enough.

Bagnetified is on the 3rd floor of SM City San Mateo.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Quick bite of Hot Star Large Fried Chicken

We were at Eastwood City one morning and dropped by Hot Star Chicken, dubbed as Taiwan's no. 1 chicken shop. We got intrigued because of the buzz around this place and tried some of their fried stuff.

We ordered an Original Large Fried Chicken (Php 110, + Php 35 for rice and drink) and asked the staff to make it spicy. The chicken was really big (good for 3 people), fried with breading, and dusted with chili powder. It tasted O-K. The distinct Chinese five-spice (?) flavor was really pronounced. The chicken was a bit dry and tough. The gravy that came with it was bland. Quite a letdown, actually.

Another dish we tried was a plate of Chicken Skin (Php 45) and we asked that it be drizzled with barbecue sauce. What came was three sticks of giant, flattened chicken skin coated with too much breading. In fact, the breading was too thick that we could barely taste the chicken skin. The thick coating also made each stick heavy on the palate and the stomach. Nakakaumay. The barbecue sauce lacked the depth and smokiness of real barbecue; it was all sugar and salt.

The place was spacious and cool enough. What we loved was the playlist!

As for the staff, well, the cashier was not warm and friendly.

Based on our first try, we wouldn't mind not coming back here at Hot Star.

Hot Star Chicken is at Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City.

Quick bite at Sisig Society

We were in Eastwood City one morning and dropped by Sisig Society to try their fare. We heard about this do-it-yourself-sisig place and it piqued our interest and appetite.

The first dish we had was the Diablo (Php 149, with rice and egg). One could choose the meat for any sisig dishes and we chose chicken (fried to make it crispy like chicharon). The Diablo had bacon, chorizo, and the restaurant's Diablo Sauce. The taste of this dish was flat and one-dimensional; all we could taste was burnt meat flavor. We didn't sense the bacon, the chorizo, or the chicken.

We also tried two snack offerings: the Sisig Nachos and Sisig Tacos (Php 99 each). Both had the same burnt, flat, boring sisig flavor. Quite disappointing.

We asked the manager about the sisig sauce that they use. She told us that all their sauces, except for the Red Sauce of the Salsa Sisig variant are mayonnaise-based. Unfortunately, mayonnaise loses flavor when burned or cooked for two long. No wonder their dishes tasted bland. She gave us a sample of the Red Sauce and this sauce had a meaty, taco taste.

Now, about the place: we liked the spaciousness of the restaurant, as well as the chic-enough decor. The counter though, where the food is prepared, had flies.

As for the staff, they were nice but they didn't look so neat and fresh.

Based on our first try, we wouldn't mind not coming back to this place. 

Sisig Society is at Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

First sip at Costa Coffee

We went to Eastwood City one afternoon to go to Costa Coffee. This famous London coffee shop opened its first Philippine branch this month and we dropped by to enjoy their coffee. It was in Singapore where we tried Costa for the first time, and based our experience there made us look forward to sipping some more.

What we tried in Singapore was their Mocha. It was delicious! Rich and hearty, the Mocha had a nice and comforting mélange of good coffee and slightly bitter chocolate.  

Here in the Philippines, we tried the Flat White (Php 150). The coffee was bold and had a rounded flavor. The steamed milk had the right dairy taste and creaminess. 

Next, a cup of cold Caramel Latte Cream (Php 150). Twas good enough. The sweetness was just right, not too saccharine or cringe-inducing. We just wanted more depth, more burnt-sugar taste.

Lastly, we tried a block of the Salted Chocolate Brownie (Php 85). This treat had the right balance of semisweet chocolate flavor and saltiness. Each bite was satisfying and punctuated.

Costa Coffee's Eastwood branch is hip and homey. The decor shows a combination of old-fashioned rustic furnishings with modern embellishments.

The baristas were accommodating, warm, and kind.

Costa Coffee is at Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City. It will open another branch at Ermita Manila and one more at BGC in Taguig.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Quick pop: Garrett Popcorn

We were in Universal Studios Singapore one morning and spotted the enticing store of Garrett Popcorn. We went inside the store and immediately got hungry. So we decided to buy a bag of this old Chicago favorite, and even got to try a "limited edition" flavor.

Garrett is famous for its CaramelCrisp flavor, and we understand why. The deep, burnt taste of its caramel is really delicious. Its sweetness is not all sugary but quite sophisticated. One doesn't get fed up with the flavor for its not cringe-inducing.

Another famous variant is the CheeseCorn. Each light and crispy pop is amply flavored with sharp cheddar cheese. The taste has a tinge of acidity, not just all saltiness.

Even more famous than the aforementioned is the Garrett Mix or the combination of the CaramelCrisp and CheeseCorn. And what a combination it is! The cheese complements the caramel surprisingly well, making the snack more addictive than either of the individual flavors. This is the bag that we bought, by the way...

While in the store, the attendant let us try a variant that is not part of their regular Signature fare: the KettleCorn. The kernels are cooked in those old-fashioned copper kettles. Each pop is dusted with salt and sugar, and each pop is delicious! The flavor is light on the palate yet very satisfying. Yummy!

Drop by a Garrett Popcorn store and try these treats, and judge for yourself. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Quick bite: Chippy Twisters

Chippy has a new variant or look y'all! Presenting, the Chippy Twisters! Chippy pieces looking like screws! Hehe.

There are two flavors: Cheese & Lemon and Taco & Spice

Each twister is crunchy and quite packed. We thought it would be as light as the Roller Coaster, but no. The flavor components of the two variants are subtle. For the Cheese & Lemon, one can sense the hint of lemon but almost no cheese. As for the second, one can barely taste the spices of taco meat. Actually, the dominant flavors of both variants are corn and salt.

Try the Chippy Twisters and judge for yourself.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Quick sip: Great Taste White Smooth and Caramelly and Smooth and Chocolatey

New variants of Great Taste White.

The first one is Smooth and Caramelly. It has a smooth, velvety consistency. The caramel taste is pronounced, deep and textured. Delicious!

The other one, Smooth and Chocolatey. Again, the smooth texture. The chocolate component is yummy and comforting.

Great Taste did right with these two drinks.

Try them and judge for yourself.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

First bite: Auntie Choo Singapore Crispy Puff

We were in the mall one morning and saw the yellow stall of Auntie Choo that sells Singapore Crispy Puff. Its fare got us interested and we decided some of its food.

Auntie Choo sells what looks like empanada. What makes theirs different from other empanadas is the curry flavor of the filling, and each crispy puff is teeming with this tasty filling. What we like is the light, golden, and crispy pastry shell of the treat. 

The first we tried was The Original (Php 49). It has chicken cubes, potatoes, and scrambled egg. The meat and potatoes were tender. Curry was the dominant taste, with its signature kick.

The other variant that we tried was the Beef Supreme (Php 55): ground beef, green peas, potatoes, and hard-boiled egg. Again, curry is the most pronounced component, though here, this taste was more subtle than in The Original.

We liked Auntie Choo's puffs, but we doubt if Filipinos would patronize this treat given its taste is not part of the Filipino's traditional palate.

Auntie Choo Singapore Crispy Puff is on the 3rd floor of SM City Marikina.

Quick bite: Pop-O with Chocolate Drizzle

Caramel popcorn with drizzles of chocolate.

Delicious! Each kernel is light and crispy. There's a good marriage of caramel and chocolate flavors, making the treat not too sweet. Yummy!

Also, by buying Pop-O, one helps a local company thrive.

Try this snack and judge for yourself.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Quick bite: The KFC Chizza

A new chicken concoction from KFC.

It's pizza with a fried-chicken crust. And the toppings are complete: pepperoni, bell peppers, pineapple, and gooey cheese. It also has a slightly sharp pizza sauce.

Delicious! The saltiness of the fried chicken complements the flavors of the topping and the sauce. The Chizza though is too small, and with its Php 125 price tag, we find this treat overpriced.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Quick taste: Honey Banana McFloat and Banana Crumble McFlurry

In light of the new Minions movie, McDonalds offers new banana-flavored treats.

First, the Honey Banana McFloat (Php 27): clear soda with banana syrup, topped with ice cream. It tastes like cough syrup. The banana taste is not pronounced. What we sense is some weird flavor.

Next, the Banana Crumble McFlurry (Php 50): vanilla ice cream, banana syrup, and Graham cracker bits. This one is delicious. It is not too sweet and the [artificial] banana taste can be sensed. What we like though are the Graham bits; they are fun to nibble.

Try these new Minion treats and judge for yourself.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Quick sip: Holly's Milk

Straight from the market of The Clean Plate at UP Town Center is Holly's milk. The dairy treat is said to be of premium quality and farm fresh. We got two kinds: whole milk and low fat.

Both variants are a little bland. In fact, the Low Fat almost tastes like water. But we figure that our palate is just used to milk that is loaded with sugar, so, when served with pure milk, our palate finds it bland.

The two variants have good consistency, not too thick, not too watery.

Try Holly's and judge for yourself.