Kimpura GB5

Every Sunday, I have lunch out with my mom’s side and last weekend we ate at one of my teppanyaki favorites, Kimpura. I just love Japanese food in general so take me anywhere good and I’ll be happy. I won’t be posting prices here because I have no idea how much the meal we had was thanks to my generous grandma.

Kimpura GB5
For starters, we had unagi rolls – grilled eel, teriyaki sauce and sushi rice. Very basic dish done right. I liked that they were generous with the unagi but would’ve prefered if this had a slice of avocado somewhere in there as well. I also realized while eating this that I don’t enjoy sushi when the rolls are too big to stuff in my mouth,

Kimpura GB5
If you want to be on the safe side, get Greg to be your chef! He’s the expert at toasting steak fat to those little crispy bits you won’t beat yourself up for eating. It was also nice of him to ask if we wanted MSG in our food. We declined.

Kimpura GB5
We had tempura, steak, oysters and fried rice.

Kimpura GB5
I do not have anything bad to say about fried rice. Ever. Don’t shoot me though when I say that I honestly kind of missed the MSG on this thing and generally, I thought it needed more black pepper.

Kimpura GB5
Buttery oysters with green bellpeppers and onions. Mmm… There were small pieces here and there, I wish they just served big oysters. Bigger oysters would’ve just made every bite better.

Kimpura GB5
Observe the mountain of fat and oil on the right hand side. Mmm…

Kimpura GB5
I’ve been eating organic grass-fed beef for almost two years now and I can honestly taste the difference, especially when served thicker cuts like steak. Grass-fed beef just has so much more flavor, it’s richer and just better quality in general. When I’m served corn/grain fed meat whether it’s from the US or local, I can tell. This steak was cooked well, medium, the garlicky buttery teppanyaki taste was there but the meat was just OK. It was tender, yes but I was missing its flavor. If you’re interested to know the difference between grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef, click this.

Kimpura GB5
At the end of every meal here there’s the promise free dessert. We were given a choice of fruit or ice cream. Since we were all feeling pa-healthy, we opted for fruit. Thankfully the pineapples were sweeet.

Kimpura’s probably the best restaurant I know to go to eat teppanyaki cooked right in front of you just because it’s the only one I know (apart from Inagiku, but that’s cheating cause it’s in a hotel). In the future, I hope they start offering grass-fed beef to improve their steak. Where is the best teppanyaki restaurant in Manila anyway? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Kimpura
4/F Greenbelt 5, Legaspi St
Legazpi Village, Makati
(02) 621-6791 to 93
*with branches in Greenhills and Trinoma

Just before recently, the last time I had a meal at Wildflour was probably a good two years ago. I’ve been back twice in the last week and what can I say? The place still has it. It’s packed, has an interesting menu and serves good food. I can’t ask for more.

Excuse the photos on this, just shot with my Samsung S3 which I feel has deteriorated in terms of photo quality. Suddenly everything’s so grainy and photos are only passably nice on Instagram. But anyway, whatever! Here’s what I had for lunch last Monday.

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Baby Mixed Green Salad (Php 330) – Mango vinaigrette, candied walnuts, feta cheese, lettuce. Balanced and good if you’re fond of salad on the sweet side with a hint of salty. Thought the mango vinaigrette was sweet enough so I bailed on the walnuts and mango bits and tried to get more cheese in every forkful.

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When I get the chance to, I almost always order the Caramelized Onions, Bacon, Gruyere Tarte Flambee(Php 495). For a while, this was pretty inconsistent in the early stages of Wildflour. I remember being served an extra oily, crumbly batch a few years back. Thankfully, the guys at the Fort branch have mastered the art of the tarte flamee and do this dish justice. What I love about this is that the toppings are generous and that the crust is perfectly crisp.

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My brother ordered The Reuben and I was fortunate enough to sneak a bite. Biting into this sandwich made me miss New York a lot. Now that I’m here though this’ll have to do. My brother was pretty satisfied and from the bite I had, the meat had just the right amount of flavor.


Don’t be fooled by the name. Wildflour’s Rustichella Squid Ink Spaghetti (Php 450) is actually a tomato-based seafood pasta with squid ink noodles. I’m a sucker for squid ink pasta so when this is on the menu, I’m very likely to order this. Thought the sauce would be squid ink so I was surprised to see red. Although this wasn’t what I expected, this was far from disappointing. It proved to be a memorable dish, pasta was perfectly al dente and the black noodles added a rich squid flavor to the tomato sauce.

There goes my capsule review!

Wildflour Cafe + Bakery
G/F Net Lima Bldg., 4th Ave cor 26th St
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
(02) 856-7600
M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 8:00am – 11pm
Sundays: 8AM-4PM

I started this space on the web 3 years ago out of sheer boredom. I noticed I would spend a lot of time taking photos of food so when I was checking my vacation photos for posting on Facebook, I figured I’d write personal reviews on the restaurants I’d eat in so this was born. I guess you could say I’ve come a long way from 2011 and since I’ve been busy, I kind of forgot about writing here.

Currently, I’m still very busy as one of the managing partners and in-house directors at Seabiscuit Films, a video production house, etc. But having real adult responsibilities doesn’t mean I can’t keep this up. If you’re bored and still reading this, check out our latest reel.

Seabiscuit Films Reel – July 2014 from Seabiscuit Films on Vimeo.

I also got a new point and shoot camera. Sold the old one a few months back so I found myself taking less pictures on-the-go. Was toying with the idea of getting this new one for ages but couldn’t find a good reason until I was reminded of the blog. Convinced myself to get a camera to revive this thing so yeah, more posts soon – guaranteed. First RX100 Mk 3 selfie. Pambahay chic.
My face as of Aug 21 2014

The Wholesome Table
The Wholesome Table is this new-ish restaurant at Bonifacio High Street Central that serves organic, all-natural food. The general trend in eating these days is to go ethical – which basically means that we should think about the moral dimensions of what we’re consuming. Don’t eat at the earth’s expense. Carina and I decided to grab dinner there last Saturday to see what the hype was all about.

Honestly, the menu was overwhelming and there were a lot of interesting options I wanted to try. I was bent on ordering the meat loaf but Carina laughed so hard in my face so I retracted. Who orders meat loaf anyway? I know it sounds funny but the description sounded great – mashpo and all.

I decided to go all out. I thought, I’m at this organic restaurant might as well get something vegan. I got one of the two vegan options on the menu, the Vegan Burger (Php 390).

The Wholesome Table

When the order came, it was massive which is something I was really happy about. What I didn’t like though was that the patty was served to me at room temperature and that it was under-seasoned. As you probably might remember from my past entries, I’m not hot on bread so I had this burger open faced. Taste wise, I liked the onion jam a lot. I think it made the dish OK. The patty was crumbly and didn’t stay in place very well, it didn’t help that it didn’t taste like much either. Maybe I should’ve gone with the meat loaf.

The Wholesome Table
Carina didn’t feel like having meat that night either so she ordered the Vegetarian Bolognese (Php 490). I honestly wouldn’t call this bolognese, I find the name to be deceptive at best. They used tofu in place of ground beef which I felt really worked for this dish, they got the texture down perfectly so I did not miss traditional beef. What was lacking in this bolognese though was the tomato sauce… No trace of the red sauce, nope. I wish they just named this dish Cheesy Cream of Tofu Pasta since it was slathered in cheese and white sauce. This was better than the burger but also under-seasoned, some black pepper did the trick.

The Wholesome Table
All the smoothies in this restaurant come with a hefty price tag at about Php 250 on average. Carina had the Be in Bliss (Php 250) which contains carrot, orange, coconut meat, banana, mango, pineapple and lime. Sounds like a whole lot but when we tried the smoothie, we couldn’t taste the eclectic blend. It was pretty good though, blunt, not too sweet.

The Wholesome Table
I was looking forward to dessert. The first and last time I ate at Wholesome Table, I just caught up with friends and had panacotta which I liked. This time around I wanted to sample some of that organic duck egg Creme Brulee (Php 150). I was really excited too because I had the best leche flan in my life in Pampanga and it was made with duck eggs. I thought this would be at par. I was so wrong. This was the worst thing I ordered that night. The creme brulee was rough and dense like tamago, a far cry from custard. It was obviously overdone.

Overall, the Wholesome Table is still in the soft opening stage so I don’t know how much will change in the coming days. Maybe I ordered the wrong thing. I don’t know but to be honest, I enjoyed the ambiance of the place, everything it stands for and I like it in entirety conceptually – what was on my plate though begs for improvement.

The best thing about the place was that the waiting staff is commendable, they really knew their way through the menu and were so easy to deal with. I liked that they were attentive. Maybe I’ll be back when the hype is gone and see how things improve when they’re in full swing. It’s still too early to say.

The Wholesome Table
UG/F Bonifacio High Street Central, 30th St cor 7th Ave
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Phone: 867-0000

Maple
Once upon a time, there was a place called Maple and it was just one place and it was tucked in a mini-mall across a church near my house. Now, Maple has expanded to two other locations namely Alabang and Shangrila Plaza’s East Wing. I haven’t checked out the Alabang branch but I was invited by their good marketing folks to have dinner at Shangrila.

Maple
It was nice cause they told me I could go bring Carina which was perfect because before that night she hadn’t ever tried it. Here’s my photo of her with the feast we had. The food was served really quickly so we were eating all the entrees at the same time.

The photo above is also the only photo I have that features their tall glasses of Country Iced Tea (Php 105). I drink a lot so I loved how big the drinks were, it was really refreshing too and they came with big orange slices.

Maple
First up was the Texas Wedge Salad (Php 350) and I loved it for two reasons: sunflower seeds and blue cheese. The salad consists of a huge ice berg lettuce sliced in wedges, served with a creamy blue cheese dressing. I really enjoyed the crunch that the sunflower gave the salad as well as the spicy tang of the raw red onions.

Maple
Their Prime Rib Tapa (Php 520) is pretty much my Maple Staple. A slab of steak on a bed of garlic rice with two runny sunny side up eggs is the best meal for any regular human like myself with a voracious appetite. I order this all the time but I find that a lot of the time, they serve the steak on the rare side. Had to have this cooked again on both sides for a minute each to get it to medium perfection. Their marinade is on the sweet side which I’m fine with although I’d enjoy it more if it were spicy.

Maple
I ordered Black Truffle Pasta (Php 510) because I had no idea Maple even had pasta to begin with. Is this new or something? Was always too caught up with breakfast options to notice. To be honest, I thought this didn’t have a distinctly truffle oomph BUT it was really good in an expensive carbonara way. It was generously topped with prosciutto and had thick slices of picnic bacon all throughout. Tastes better than it looks, even to folks that don’t like cream sauce *cough* Carina *cough*. I’d definitely order this again but request for them to add more truffle oil.

Maple
Don’t let the name fool you. Maple’s Blackened Chicken (Php 450) is possibly the strongest dish in this roster. I ordered it once before but only appreciated it again this time around. It’s grilled chicken breast marinated in cajun spices served with blackened rice and creamy spinach. Can’t beat the flavor on this thing because everything just balances out quite nicely.

Maple
For dessert, they served us Apple Pie with Streusel Topping(P240). I was never the apple pie type of person, I’d always pick chocolate given the choice so I’d be the worst judge on this one. I tried it and it was alright. Carina said it would’ve tasted better if they heated the pie. I did enjoy the vanilla ice cream it came with!

Maple
Thanks a ton, Trixie for having us over! It was a great private dinner and we really enjoyed it.

Maple
Maple in Shangrila’s East Wing is also the only branch with a reading corner for the kiddos.

Maple
Maple
LG/F Shangri-la Plaza Mall, East Wing, Shaw Blvd cor EDSA
Wack Wack, Mandaluyong
(02) 477-8027

G/F Commercenter Alabang, Commerce Ave. Cor Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

2/F San Antonio Plaza Arcade, 50 Mckinley Rd
Forbes Park – North, Makati
(02) 621-6211

Like Maple on Facebook
Add them on Instagram
Follow Maple on Twitter

Hot Star - Philippines
It’s funny but just a few days ago I saw an article about Hot Star on my newsfeed. I’ve never been to Taiwan or anything but what really hooked me was their soft serve ice cream flavors. I mean, really, gulaman and almond (jelly) ice cream? I knew I just had to try it.

Hot Star - Philippines
The next day I get an e-mail from GeiserMaclang inviting me to sample the wares so I jumped at the chance. I had time for it, Pasay was relatively close and hey, this was an invitation to get a sneak peek of food I actually wanted to eat. This is a great example of a perfectly timed PR invite.

To be completely honest, I’m nuts about fried chicken and all I can say about Hot Star is that it’s basically chicken chop heaven and here is photographic proof.

Hot Star - Philippines
Hot Star Original Chicken (Php 110) – The classic. Good if you like it clean but wait til you try the BBQ.

Hot Star - Philippines
Hot Star Crispy Chicken (Php 110) – I don’t know why they singled this out as the ‘crispy’ variant considering that they’re all actually crispy. I liked this least because it was just peppery to me.

Hot Star - Philippines
The Hot Star BBQ Chicken (Php 125) was, in my opinion, the best of the bunch with a sweet soy glaze. Richard Chua, the owner, mentioned that the BBQ variant is actually the Original fillet with a special sauce.

Hot Star deceptively uses chicken breast for all their chicken needs. I say deceptively because I was never someone who actually enjoyed eating white meat but I kid you not, their fillets are juicy as thighs. They have these special secret preparation methods used to cut the breast a certain way to make them look as big as they are. I would think the chicken chop’s as big as Shaq’s hand! Considering the price point and size, it’s kind of really a bang for your buck.

Hot Star - Philippines
If you really, really like spicy food, they provide chili powder you can add to your meat. I wouldn’t suggest this though because it’s the kind of spicy that overrides the rest of your tastebuds.

Hot Star - Philippines
Richard mentioned that they really developed the Philippine branch from scratch. Pretty much everything on the menu sans chicken chops are special items exclusively for here.

Hot Star - Philippines
Yup, spaghetti. The ties that bind the local fast food market. Hot Star’s spaghetti reminds me so much of pizza. It’s like Domino’s spaghetti with no cheese. Quite peppery and not as sweet as I’d expect. I do hope they consider serving this baked with cheese.

Hot Star - Philippines
They serve Chicken Skin (Php 45) as a side dish option and a full order comes with 3 sticks like this. Absolutely deadly but worth the heart-attack.

Hot Star - Philippines
The Almond Smoothie was just alright in my book. It did taste like almond jelly but it was too icy to appreciate so I wasn’t fond of it. Different strokes for different folks.

Hot Star - Philippines
Highlight of my night!!! I finally had the chance to try their soft serve options. At just Php 15, they’re really worth it. I loved how creamy the almond ice cream was, the flavor was there as well. The black gulaman was just spot on. It’s just like eating sago’t gulaman in ice cream form.

Hot Star - Philippines

Hot Star - Philippines

The verdict? I think I would be eating at Hot Star a lot more if they had a branch in Makati. If you’re in the MOA area, give it a shot and you won’t regret it. If you some how just end up passing by cause you forget you want to eat there then at least try their ice cream. Good stuff. I look forward to when this place kicks off and expands.

Hot Star Large Fried Chicken
Blue Bay Walk (Across Blue Wave/Petron)
Diosdado Macapagal Avenue,
Pasay City
Open from 10AM to 10PM

Pablo's - The Forum, BGC
I don’t update as often because I’m usually pummeled with shoots and work and whatever else but thankfully, last week, I found the time to sneak in a media launch. Pablo’s is your friendly neighborhood pub (with grub) tucked in the middle of BGC, right across where the old Par 43 used to be.

Pablo's - The Forum, BGC
Never was much of a drinker so I came just for the food. Here’s a photo of some bottles, just cause. One of the owners told me they have whiskey lockers that you can rent out and keep your drinks in for the next time around so not a drop is wasted.

Pablo's - The Forum, BGC
My friend Mikee and I got there a little late but they were nice enough to send some fresh appetizers over our way. The Pablo’s Chicharon Bulaklak (Php 250) was served to us room-temp which isn’t the best way to enjoy deep fried intestines. Taste-wise though, it was good and reminded me a lot of fried chicken for some reason. I would’ve probably raved about it if it were served fresh and piping hot.

Pablo's - The Forum, BGC
Pablo’s South American Wings (Php 360) were my absolute favorite of the bunch. Maybe I’m biased, I love wings. These were perfectly seasoned and juicy and buttery, can’t go wrong with butter. This is definitely something I’d come back for.

Pablo's - The Forum, BGC
For a steak this big, The Escobar (Php 998) is actually pretty affordable. It’s 400 grams of US Angus Ribeye served with buttered vegetables and a tiny scoop of mashed potatoes. Oh, and it comes with gravy.

Pablo's - The Forum, BGC
Asked for a medium rare steak and I thought this looked just about right. I’m really particular about steak and meat so to be completely honest, this is something I’d rather just cook up myself and eat at home. As far as Pablo’s is concerned, this was alright. I mean, if you’re craving steak and can’t cook for yourself, this is probably the most decent inexpensive steak I can think of at The Fort. It’s well-seasoned and filling but the meat isn’t as tender as I’m used to.

Pablo's - The Forum, BGC
If you want to hide from the rest of the pub, you can rent the secret Glenlivet room for a consumable amount of Php 20,000. Not bad considering you can invite as many people you want to split with and you can order 20k worth of whatever food and drinks Pablo’s has to offer.

Pablo's - The Forum, BGC
The Glenlivet room also boasts its own sound system apart from having cable tv so it’s pretty much tucked away and just there for you and your friends to enjoy.

Pablo's - The Forum, BGC
If you’re the kind of person that needs to pre-game before a night out, Pablo’s is perfect for just that. Make sure you come a bit earlier though if you’re looking for a quiet dinner cause I think at about 10PM, the DJ’s start spinning.

Pablo’s
2nd Floor, The Forum Building,
7th Ave cor Federacion Dr. (near 25th St.),
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Operating hours: Daily, 5pm-2am.
Contact #: 0916 6187045

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