Paras Birthday

For Tita Ginger and Tito Dading’s joint birthday celebration, they opted to treat us to a fine home-cooked lunch. Tita Ginger is my mom’s sister and also one of the finest cooks I know. She understands food on a highly technical level and I notice that what she makes is forever evolving. When she calls to tell me she has mastered prime rib, I know we’re all in for a spectacular meal.

Paras Birthday

I got to lunch a bit late so I barely reached the Chili Con Carne for starters. Luckily, my ultimate favorite – Spicy Tuna Sashimi – was there and there was a lot of it to go around. Tita Ginger’s version of this strays a bit from Sugi’s but is just as tasty. It doesn’t have the usual tempura crumbs; the little wonton bowls they come in give its needed crunch.

Paras Birthday

The Green Salad with Candied Walnuts, Fried Onion and Raspberry Vinaigrette looked really good and was. But I didn’t touch it because I was saving precious stomach real estate for steak, spinach au gratin and cake.

Paras Birthday

More sides! Mashed potato, corn on the cob and creamed corn were present. There was also pasta with sundried tomatoes and black bean garlic sauce topped with green onions and Parmeggiano Reggiano.

Paras Birthday

The star of the show was the Prime Rib Au Jus. Lovingly cooked to perfection, I enjoy my steak pink and a wee bit bloody served with the roast’s drippings. Tita Ginger’s steak could rival any restaurant’s and it’s definitely the kind of prime rib you’d be happy to pay for.

Paras Birthday

The crust was nice and tasty – salt, cracked black pepper and garlic perfectly coating the sides of the steak. The beef itself was tender, beautifully marbled and flavorful. I enjoyed eating this so much, savoring every bite.

Paras Birthday

I realize looking back at my photographs from the weekend that I have zero photos of the Spinach Au Gratin. It was so mind-blowingly awesome I just ate it all and forgot I had a camera in the first place. I don’t know about anyone else but I think the perfect siding to a juicy Prime Rib steak is creamed spinach. I told my tita this and even if she hadn’t ever made creamed spinach she said she’d give it a go and came up with this. It was so good. I just don’t know how else to describe it. One of my titos even said he could eat the spinach as is, with rice. If that isn’t convincing enough, I don’t know what is.

Paras Birthday

When we were all full and busy digesting it was time for dessert. There were freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, pomelo slices (the healthy choice) and of course, Tito Dading’s favorite, the San Marcos Cake (Php 700).

Paras Birthday

So funny I forgot I had the San Marcos cake two years ago, Tita Ginger even showed me an old blog entry to prove I did. I had two slices that day just cause it was deceptively light even with the creamy icing.

I really appreciate our family gatherings when someone cooks, we get together and just share a meal at home. I prefer it to eating out just cause everything tastes better and there’s no pressure to rush to leave. Plus, eating at home means you can go back for seconds and maybe even have leftovers for the day after.

Sarie Truffle

When I saw the Food Hack Pepper did on Mamou’s Lorenzo’s Truffle Pasta, I’ve been waiting for the right time to experiment and recreate the dish. Since weekends are times I find myself less stressed out, I found myself inclined to take charge and cook for the family one Sunday.

Mom did the groceries during the week and picked up two small cartons of Elle and Vire cooking cream. We were missing cheese so I stopped by Terry’s to grab some parmesan cheese (which they didn’t have so I settled for Grana Padano). Saw that they were on an anniversary sale so I got a big steak and some pancetta to go with the pasta.

Sarie's Truffle

Followed the directions on Pepper except modified it a bit. Melted 3/8ths of a slab of Salted Anchor butter then added in 2 teensy cartons cream, mixed this in then added half a Knorr beef cube and a few pinches of cheese to get it saltier. Covered this up cause I was trying to cube the deli bacon til my mom freaked out cause the sauce was bubbling like a witch’s stew. Saw the sauce simmering so I poured in some truffle oil and yay the wait was over!

Sarie's Truffle

I thought I screwed the sauce up but it wasn’t burnt or too thick so I pat myself on the back for crafting a hack masterpiece. Sauce was done, noodles were taking forever so pan-frying the deli bacon was the next step. When that was done, it was time to marinate my steak.

Sarie's Truffle

Sarie's Truffle

Since we just were in post-production for a Knorr project I shot that week, I was seriously craving the stuff. I opted to slather my precious ribeye steak in just Knorr Liquid Seasoning and a dab of extra virgin olive oil. Trust me, you don’t need much to make the perfect steak. Just cook it right.

Sarie's Truffle

I like mine between medium and medium rare. I also take pride in perfecting the art of the grill mark. This meal happened almost three weeks ago but I’m glad I documented it because I think it marks the first entire meal I’ve cooked that my mom absolutely enjoyed. Sandro loved it too. And I don’t usually get rave reviews when I’m in the kitchen so this was a welcome first.

Señor Pollo QC
Lets start with the aftermath. I ordered half a roasted chicken, two spicy rice sides, one patatas bravas and lechon asado. I obviously enjoyed this meal as did Kathy.

COLOR GRADING
I was in the Timog area that day because we were color grading the music video I did for Ang Bandang Shirley’s Nakauwi Na. It was the first time I was at Quantum and the whole idea of being in Timog excited me cause it meant I could finally go and try Señor Pollo. Here’s a quick flash photography portrait of what the color grading set-up looks like. The entire act takes a lot of hard work and it’s pretty tedious since you can pretty much manipulate colors in any part of the frame. Imagine, Photoshop in video form.

Señor Pollo QC
I was there since 3PM in the afternoon. We were working straight until the evening until we decided it was time to go look for food at around 10PM. Since I was reading up on Senor Pollo all day, I knew we were safe cause it’d be open til 1AM. Finding the place wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be, when you’re on Tomas Morato heading straight for the Timog side, Scout Rallos and the F7 building would be on your left. F7 is a nice building with interesting dining choices like Purple Oven and Uncle Moes. The best thing about it? Valet parking. I didn’t avail of this service since there was a lot of space.

Señor Pollo QC
ON TO THE CHICKEN! Kathy and I decided on sharing a Half Order of Roasted Chicken + 2 sides (Php 299). For sides, we picked the Spicy Rice and Patatas Bravas. The chicken itself is served with chimichurri sauce and garlic sauce. We ordered an extra order of Spicy Rice since it was awesome and later found that it was the last batch of rice in the restaurant. Score!

Señor Pollo QC
Oh man, this was heaven. I mean, just look at it. Took my first bite and I was hooked. The chicken was tender and roasted perfectly, that fire roasted flavor was spot-on: hint of sourness from the chimichurri, the creamy garlic sauce and the chicken combined with the spicy rice.

Señor Pollo QC
So. After trying this and liking it so much, I thought I wanted something more. Just a chicken quarter wasn’t enough so I settled on ordering Lechon Asado (Php 200) as well. This was good too but the chicken was way better. I thought the pork was too fatty.

Señor Pollo QC
Aaron and Gen followed shortly and enjoyed their meal as well. Too bad there was no spicy rice left when they arrived.

Señor Pollo QC
We were all happy campers. It was everyone’s first time at Senor Pollo that night.

Señor Pollo QC
Here’s a shot of the menu for reference. Compared to the old reviews I used to read, they seemed to have increased their prices. I can’t complain since they seem to be doing well for themselves. I remember leaving a bit before midnight only to find that they’d already run out of chicken to serve.

Señor Pollo QC
The waiting staff is great too. Knowledgable, polite and just pleasant overall. I drink a lot of water and I really liked how they were sensitive to that cause despite the fact the place was packed, my glass was always full. Can’t wait to be back! Hopefully I find myself in the area soon.

Señor Pollo
F7 Building, Scout Rallos Street,
Tomas Morato, Quezon City
0917-833-1033
Open til 1AM

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

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