Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quick bite of the Cream-O Choco Wafer Bar

So Cream-O crushed its classic chocolate cookie sandwich and turned it into a filling for a wafer sandwich that is then covered with milk chocolate.

The result? A sweet, yummy snack bar. 

Try it and judge for yourself.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

First bite at Café Ñ (Enye)

Place: Stylish and homey. The high ceiling, modern-rustic furnishings, the warm lights, and the slightly quirky decor all make the place trendy yet classy.

Food: All in all, ordinary. The tastes are familiar, not remarkable.

First on our table is the Lechon Carbonara (Php 250). It's carbonara with the place's Mojo Chicharrones. The noodles are firm. The sauce tastes like bland chicken sopas. As for the meat, it's no lechon; the pork is simply rendered. It is quite fatty and a little flavorless. The bread's charred taste is too strong. Quite a letdown. 

Next, the Burgerizzo (Php 290): a patty made with 200g of beef and chorizo. It's served with egg, cheese, and some Latin Slaw. (The Burgerizzo is not normally served like this; we asked that ours be "deconstructed.") The patty is packed, meaty, juicy, and tasty. Its flavor however is too familiar (we can think of similar burger dishes of fast food joints). And we cannot sense any chorizo. Plus, the burnt flavor of the bun is too strong.

Next is the Mahi Mahi Cubano (Php 290). It's a panini with grilled mahi-mahi, Chimichurri mayonnaise, cheese, Harissa, and some Latin slaw. The sandwich has all the right level of satisfying flavors; the sour slaw, grassy and pungent Chimichurri, the smoky and spicy Harissa, and the slightly salty cheese all complement each other very well. The fish is fresh and juicy. Each bite is satisfying. 

The sandwiches come with a serving of French Fries that are perfectly fried but a little bland.

The last dish on our table is the Callos Ala Casa (Php 440). It's a slow-cooked stew with tripe, potatoes, olives, chorizo, and the restaurant's Mojo Chicharrones. The ingredients are of high quality. The sauce is surprisingly bland and a little watery. Good thing the Enye Rice's garlicky flavor adds some punctuation.

For our drink, we have the House Blend Iced Tea (Php 110)...A concoction of brewed white and green tea with syrup. Bland. We can hardly sense any tea flavor. It should be renamed House Bland Iced Tea.

Service: Our server was warm and attentive, just a little clueless about some dishes.

Café Ñ (Enye) is at Eastwood City.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

First bite of Brookies

New hybrid treat from Mrs. Fields: brownies + cookies = Brookies! And there are four variants to choose from.

First is the Brookies Original: it's a brownie topped with the brand's classic chocolate-chip cookie. The brownie is a little bland and has hints of a weird artificial flavor. The cookie is a tad lemony.

Next, the Red Velvet Brookies. It has an artificial cherry flavor that is bordering on tasting like plastic.

Then, the Almond Chocolate Brookies. It's the Brookies Original topped with chopped almonds, chocolate chips, and some chocolate sauce. It tastes OK, not too sweet, but the chocolate flavor is not exceptional.

Lastly, the Triple Chocolate Velvet Brookies. It's the Red Velvet Brookie with a chocolate center, topped with white chocolate sauce and chocolate chips. Again, the chocolate flavor is not exceptional. Add to it the subtle weird cherry flavor of the red velvet component.

General observation: the Brookies are dry, probably overcooked. They even stick to the cups that hold them. So warning, you may eat some paper.

A piece costs Php 25.

Try them and judge for yourself.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

First sip of the Nescafé CocoMocha

A new caffeinated concoction from Nescafé.

It's supposedly coffee with chocolate. BUT...there's no coffee taste. No chocolate taste. Thus, no mocha taste. Just all sugary sweetness.

First slice of the Calamansi Cheesecake

A new dessert item from Starbucks.

The base is too thin. The cheese layer is of high quality and has the right sweetness. The citrus cream top layer though tastes more like lemon than calamansi; it's not sharp enough.

The dessert is not bad; it just doesn't taste like calamansi.

A slice costs Php 140.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

First bite of the Cheesy Pork Katsu Donburi and the Tofu Steak Donburi

New Donburi variants from Tokyo Tokyo.

The Cheesy Pork Katsu Donburi: fried breaded pork smothered with a thick sauce and topped with cheese. The pork is tough. The white sauce tastes like peppery sopas. The cheese flavor is so subtle it's negligible.

The Tofu Steak Donburi: fried tofu cubes with shitake mushrooms and a savory sauce. The tofu pieces are of high quality. The mushrooms add a nice layer of woodsy flavor and chewy texture. The sauce has hints of wine, sweet and savory. This dish is a good one!

An order costs Php 99.

Monday, January 18, 2016

First bite of the Glazed Chicken Fries

Fried chicken fingers covered with a light batter and drizzled with syrup.

There are many dips to choose from. What we have is the Maple Chipotle.

The chicken is juicy, but the batter is too salty. Not even the glaze can cover this saltiness. The Maple Chipotle dip is delicious, with its yummy mix of smokiness and maple flavor. It's just a little watery.

An order costs Php 130.

Try this treat and judge for yourself.

First Bite of the Krazy Ko-Dog

A sandwich with a fried hotdog that is covered with batter (like a corndog), teeming with bacon bits, and stuffed with kimchi. 

The sausage tastes exactly like the one used by Jollibee for its Jolly Hotdog. The kimchi, oddly enough, tastes sweet, but this sweetness tempers the saltiness of the sandwich. 

All in all, not bad.

The other variant of the Krazy Ko-Dog is the Cheesy Potato.

An order costs Php 89.

Try it and judge for yourself.

First bite of the KFC Double Down G

It's a fried chicken sandwich with two Original Recipe fillets as buns, crispy spinach as filling, and a green mustard-tasting sauce. 

It's delicious. The chicken pieces are not salty. The green sauce brings the right amount of vibrant sharpness. The spinach however is not crispy.

An order costs Php 130.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Quick bite of the Sweet Potato KitKat

Wafers covered with sweet-potato-chocolate.

The wafer is light, crisp, and delicious. The yellowish coating tastes more like white chocolate and candy than sweet potato. It has hints of lemony flavor.

Try it and judge for yourself.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Quick bite of the Premium Milk White Rabbit

This one has a creamier and slightly more luxurious milk taste than the Original variant. The sugary sweetness is just right, enough to properly complement the dairy flavor.

And of course, the wrapper is edible. Hehe.

Such a classic candy White Rabbit is.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Quick lick of the Nestlé Temptations Almond Vanilla

It's vanilla ice cream covered with milk chocolate and almond slivers.

The vanilla ice cream is creamy and yummy, not very sugary. The chocolate is not too milky and has a nice enough semi-sweet taste. The almond slivers are too few! More almonds, please!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Quick bite of Pan Delight

It's soft bread with a chocolate filling that is slightly pasty. The chocolate flavor is good enough, not too milky and sweet. 

This is Lemon Square's chocolate version of pan de regla, a bread variant at local neighborhood bakeries with a bright red, pasty, sweet center. And since the filling in this one is brown, shall we call it "pan de tae?"

Try it and judge for yourself.

Friday, January 8, 2016

First bite of the Salted Belgian Chocolate Cookie

A new cookie from Starbucks.

It's a soft cookie with walnuts and chocolate chips.

It's a little blah; it doesn't taste bad but it's not extraordinary. And where's the salt?!

One piece costs Php 60.

First sip of the Strawberry Red Velvet Mocha and the Chestnut White Chocolate Truffle

Starbucks has two new variants for its Espresso Confections.

The Strawberry Red Velvet Mocha is espresso with red velvet mocha syrup, topped with cream cheese whipped cream and dried strawberry sprinkles. It tastes like a subdued Black Forest cake. The cream cheese topping is too subtle for the drink to be really Red Velvet. The sprinkles taste strawberry enough.

The Chestnut White Chocolate Truffle is espresso with chestnut white chocolate truffle syrup, topped with whipped cream and chestnut sauce. The chestnut sauce is good, deep and earthy with the right level of sweetness. The drink is a little too sweet. Fortunately, it has bitter undertones that tempers the sweetness.

Our tip: Order these drinks Iced and ask for half pumps.

Try them and judge for yourself.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

First bite at Lucky Chick

Place: Cool! We like the modern furnishings coupled with some quirky decor. We also like the ample splash of color. The counter area looks bare though.

Food: Food here is generally OK.

First on our table is the Hot Chick Sandwich (Php 180). A fried chicken fillet topped with a slaw of cabbage, carrots, and a mustard-based sauce, nestling between fresh buns. The chicken is crispy and well seasoned. The vegetables are crisp and fresh. The sauce is sweet and tangy. We cannot sense however the "hot" component of this dish. Maybe the chef did something wrong?

Next, the Luckier Chick meal (Php 188): one piece of your preferred fried chicken (Original or Hot) served with your gravy of choice (Original, Apple Cider, or Honey), a cup of plain rice, and a side dish (and there are lots to choose from). For our side dish, we have the Green Salad, with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, cheese, croutons, and candied pecans. DELICIOUS! Right levels of sweetness, pungency, saltiness, and acidity. Nice mix of textures too! 

The Original fried chicken is good. It's golden, fried well, flavorful, and crispy! The chicken is even made yummier by the Original gravy, with its earthy, mushroom undertones. The rice is bad! It tastes like sako! Maybe it wasn't washed well?

The last dish on our table is the Hush Puppies (Php 150): savory balls of bread that come with a dip. This dish is BAD! The balls are VERY salty and taste weird! They taste like bad, peppery pansit! And the dip? It's like watery Thousand Island dressing.

For our drink, we have the Strawberry Iced Tea (it comes with the Luckier Chick meal). It tastes like Kool Aid, only less sweet.  

Price: Considering the taste, size, quality, and kind of food, we find the food here reasonably priced. No service charge, by the way (for now).

Service: It needs improvement. The manager promised us samples of the Apple Cider and Honey gravy variants but not a drop came. The waiter was attentive, but he farted at our area when he left to settle our bill. LOL!

Lucky Chick is at UP Town Center.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Quick sip: Christmas Blend

It's the holiday blend of Starbucks, featuring the Starbucks Origami or the coffee shop's personal drip coffee.

The Christmas Blend uses Rare Aged Sumatra coffee beans. It's not acidic nor too bold. Its taste is rounded and has hints of fruity flavor. Quite good, actually.

The Starbucks Origami drip coffee mechanism is easy to use and quite cute. This mechanism makes coffee drinking exciting and fills your room with heartwarming aroma. 

Try it and judge for yourself.

P.S. For those collecting stickers for the Starbucks Planner, click here for some "double" good news!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

First bite at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

We were at UP Town Center one morning to have some lunch. After our hearty meal, we decided to drop by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to buy some chocolates to go with our after-lunch coffee. We got 1 piece of a truffle and four kinds of chocolate goodies for our 250-gram bag.

For our truffle, we got the Semi-Sweet Truffle (Php 160). A dark chocolate ball with a dark chocolate filling. The chocolate was of high quality; it was smooth and velvety. We wanted though for it to be more bitter and more luxurious to the taste. It lacked a certain something we couldn't put our taste buds on.

For our 250-gram bag, we first got a piece of Almond Bark (Php 47.32, milk chocolate). The milk chocolate bar tasted OK; it wasn't too sweet and milky. The almond component of the bark was pronounced; it gave the bark a woodsy, rustic nutty taste. Second in our bag is the Crunchy Peanut Butter Bucket (Php 272, milk chocolate): a big chocolate cup with a peanut butter center. Again, high quality ingredients. The peanut butter though needed just a touch of salt, just to bring in all the flavors together.

Next, a Chocolate Butter Cream (Php 46.13, dark chocolate). Now this one was too sweet. Finally, we got a piece of Haystack (Php 112, dark chocolate): grated coconut covered with chocolate> This one we loved. The toasty, nutty taste of the coconut was well complemented by the dark chocolate. The treat however was too hard to bite into. For something named "Haystack," it was as hard as a rock.

In general, we found the food here overpriced, considering its not-so-extraordinary taste (we've tasted better chocolate).

As for the service, it needed a little improvement because only one staff member was manning the counter and was available to cater to many customers.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is on the ground floor of UP Town Center.