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I wrapped a commercial project today and it felt great! Had the final edit today with both client and agency and it all went smooth sailing. Yep, there aren’t really any holidays in my line of work. I’m babbling here cause I’m excited for it and it’ll be out on Monday so watch out for it since I’ll be flooding my online space.

Not too related but when I got home from a relatively long day (for a holiday) of work, my mom asked if I wanted to join her for a trip to Megamall. All things considered, I thought the timing was great and there’d be no traffic getting there and I was right.

Ooma - Megamall

Ooma Japanese Rice Bar is the second collaboration of Chef Bruce Ricketts with The Moment Group. I sure as hell am glad this place exists because as much as I’d like to practical budget restrictions don’t permit a weekly Mecha Uma visit. Ooma though is the kind of place I’ll find myself in every single time I am in Megamall. So yay.

I couldn’t find a phone number online so they listed us as the 28th diners when we got there around 7:30PM. The place was packed, the seats outside were full and it seemed that everyone was willing to wait. Mom and I did some shopping in the area and went back to claim our seats around 50 minutes later. Good thing I had a merienda worthy of a children’s party at the office so I wasn’t the least bit hungry. We were finally seated at 9PM and I took charge of ordering pretty much everything I was curious about so here it goes.

Ooma - Megamall
I ordered the Corn and Oyster Kakiage (Php 155) cause of all the hype surrounding it. Not much of a corn person (I try not to eat it – ever since I caught The World According to Monsanto) but I absolutely love oysters so I thought this would be a fine balance. I thought wrong. Fried and served with kimchi mayo and nori salt, corn was the majority shareholder of the dish with the teensy oyster as an afterthought. The oyster was really small, somewhat dry and I could barely taste it. The kimchi mayo was really good though but what would save this dish would be some fat juicy oysters.

Ooma - Megamall
Next up was the Spicy Tuna Maki (Php 245). This is something I order whenever I get the chance to. There’s a particular standard I look for when it comes to spicy tuna and Ooma’s was good – tightly packed, generous toppings, a gentle burn from the gojuchang aioli but what I missed were the tempura crumbs. The roll needed a bit more crunch to help it out but otherwise it’s something I’d probably order again after sampling the rest of the rolls.

Ooma - Megamall
The Hamachi and Kani Aburi Maki (P345) was on the sweet side with torched hamachi and teriyaki sauce. It was okay too but it tasted familiar. I think I’ll sample the other rolls before going back to ordering this one.

Ooma - Megamall
The highlight of my night was the Uni Udon (Php 495). My mom and I shared one and we both agreed that we’d get our own orders next time we headed back. The dish consisted of thick and creamy udon noodles fresh uni, shrimp, onion, fresh mushrooms, nori crumbs, scallion and a generous helping of uni cream sauce. So good, it’s not bland the typical cream-based dishes, the nori, uni and combination of everything else helped bring a tasty seafood tang to the plate.

Ooma - Megamall
The Hangar Steak (Php 495) was actually generous for the price. Prepared via sous vide the hangar steak was sliced thinly, served on a bed of sweet potato mash with truffle oil, ponzu butter and baby potato crisps. This would’ve been perfect if the potato crisps weren’t old and makunat by the time it got to us. First bite had the most distinct truffle flavor which was quite nice, meat was mostly tender – sometimes chewy but bearably so. There was a lot going on with this dish (the truffle, the sweet potato, the tartness of the pickle dressing, the bold flavor of the steak) but I liked it.

Ooma - Megamall
Here’s a shot of my lovely mama who was my date tonight. We enjoyed feasting together. Lol yup, what you saw was completely devoured by just two people. Hooray for us!

Ooma - Megamall
Just another shot of the Prom Queen – mixed in with all the sauce and elements tied together. If you only had money to eat one thing here, I suggest you let it be this.

Ooma - Megamall
Just for posterity and general internet logging, here’s my face: pre-food. So yeah, hungry and excited and feeling everything a normal person would feel after waiting the same length as a Holywood blockbuster to get a table for 2 at this restaurant.

Overall, Ooma’s definitely worth the trip to Megamall – near, far, wherever you are. Food’s good and I’d like to think you get what you pay for. Most of the items are unique to Ooma and that’s what’ll make people keep going back and wanting more. I have yet to try the dessert. I wasn’t a fan of the long queue and the long wait but hey timing is everything. If you find yourself with time to spare, preferably a weekday in the middle of the afternoon then go eat there. I’ll be back there too when there aren’t any people to compete with for seats.

Ooma Japanese Rice Bar
3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall
Edsa cor. Julia Vargas Ave.,
Ortigas, Mandaluyong City,
Metro Manila
10AM to 10PM
Ooma Full Menu

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

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
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LES Bagels
Hello again, world. I haven’t had the chance to update my blog lately cause of work and real life stuff but now I’m back and because I have a life, I can fill this page up again with some posts. I was with Carina today and she was telling me about this new bagel place at the Fort, she read about via Pepper.

LES Bagels
I’m pretty picky when it comes to bread and bagels are pretty whatever to me so I just went along to check the place out. It was around 8PM already when we were there, so unfortunately they were all out of the interesting bagels. We just had ‘plain’ and ‘sesame’ bread to choose from.

LES Bagels
I wanted to get the onion bagel originally so I didn’t end up ordering anything. Since Carina really wanted to try this out, she ended up settling with a Sesame Bagel with a Sundried Tomato & Basil Cream Cheese filling (Php 180).

LES Bagels
Naturally, I took a bite out of her order and thought it was just alright. The filling was generous and good but too simple for me to actually want to pay for. It kind of bothered me that the bagel wasn’t warm. I guess I’m not much of a bagel person but to be honest, I thought the cream cheese filling would’ve been perfect inside a hot pandesal.

LES Bagels

LES Bagels
We were alone upstairs so we thought it’d be fun to play with their mirrors.

LES Bagels
From visiting, I learned that if you order just the bagel, you pay Php 40 but if you decide to fill them up with any of their fancy cream cheese variations you’ll need to add Php 140. If you do decide to head over and eat, I suggest you go early so you’re there in time for when everything’s still in stock.

L.E.S. Bagels
Tuscany Residences
Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill,
Fort Bonifacio
Tel. Nos. +632-804-0423 or +63915-258-5685

Sabio by the Sea
I hadn’t really been around Sentosa ever. Before this trip, the first time I visited was the last time I visited just to hit the Flowrider, a surf simulator at the Wave House. Last Sunday, I learned that apart from fake beaches and wave pools, there’s a marina there docked with all sorts of boats. December 2012 was a good month for Sentosa Cove, launching Quayside Isle, a row of restaurants over-looking the water. Since my tito and tita just got a boat, we hung out around here for a bit. Sabio by the Sea is a tapas bar and grill that just opened last month but seems to be doing very well. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to kill time sitting on their vintage chair repros and basking in the art house interiors.

Sabio by the Sea
It was a bit hot out so we shared a pitcher of fresh orange juice. I don’t have the prices of the stuff here cause I didn’t pay or check out the menu.

Sabio by the Sea
It’d be tough not to notice this place from outside with it’s wooden horse heads (save for one zebra) and antler chandeliers. They were all made of wood so I didn’t feel inhumane admiring them.

Sabio by the Sea
And then the food arrived. These were fresh mussels sauteed in sliced almonds, garlic and white wine. Such a basic dish when you think of it but the texture the almonds added to this really gave it a whole new dimension. Definitely something worth trying at home. The chilli gave this a nice kick as well. I noticed most of the food you’ll find in Singapore really is at least a tad bit spicy.

Sabio by the Sea
We also had a Frittata con Patata which I learned is basically a potato and egg omelette. I’m not particularly fond of egg so it was my first time to try the frittata con patata which was actually pretty good. It felt like pie. They also served us bread to dip in the seafood juice of our dishes.

Sabio by the Sea
On the top right corner was an order of white cod with red bellpeppers and right next to it was a hot plate of gambas shrimp. Really so good. I found the servings kind of small though with the exception of the mussels but it’s fine, I guess. That’s what tapas means anyway, “snacks” and “small plates”. This really was a snack for us though, it was 4PM and we were having merienda. I really just have the appetite of a heavyweight.

Sabio by the Sea
Here’s what Sabio by the Sea looks like from the outside. Easy, breezy, beautiful. I believe all the restaurants in this area are worth checking out.

Sabio by the Sea
31 Ocean Way, Quayside Isle, #01-02 ,
Singapore, Singapore 098375
+65 6690 7568

The Burger Bar
Last week, I went to the ‘sneak eat’ session hosted by Burger Bar, Greenbelt’s newest burger joint. I first heard about it through my friend Jason when we were at a meeting with the people behind Cue and Burger Bar was still in its planning stages. I don’t even think it had a name at the time. They were just tossing around ideas at the time, what to do with the place what it’d feel like, we were all pretty excited. I can’t believe it’s open now.

The Burger Bar
I got there at around 9:30 after a shoot and the place was literally packed. It was a private opening and I bumped in so many different people I know from different parts of my life (even someone from grade school). I couldn’t see much of the interiors because there wasn’t much space to walk around or anything but it seemed to be pretty comfortable. The art on the wall was made by AJ Dimarucot.

The Burger Bar
The menu came with an abundance of different burger selections. There’s even a part called “The Boss” where you can practically customize your burger; from the bun to everything inside it. After flipping through a couple of times, I ordered what I felt my tummy could handle. It’s a good thing I was with a lot of people; it made it easier to sample most of their burger dishes.

The Burger Bar
Let me start you off with the appetizers. First to arrive were the Parmesan Truffle Fries, I believe the serving size is more suited to one person but taste-wise, it’s pretty good. It wasn’t the least bit soggy and you could really taste the truffle in them. I have a feeling they use truffle oil spray right after they fry it to let the flavor seep in on the surface.

The Burger Bar
The Onion Rings reminded me so much of Snacku just cause the seasoning tasted exactly like it. I particularly like Snacku so this wasn’t a bad thing at all. I mean, I don’t think I’ve tried Onion Rings that tasted like chips yet. Pretty good and mildly addicting but if you’re expecting a fresh cooked onion-y bite, this isn’t what you’re looking for.

The Burger Bar
I’m usually hot on wings and if I can order them anywhere, I will. Burger Bar’s Good Ol’ Hot Fried Wings hit the spot completely, I don’t know how else to describe them. They’re your typical glazed, semi-hot chicken wings served with a ranch/sour cream type of sauce. They were fried to a crisp and didn’t feel oily and the serving had approximately 3 full chicken wings.

The Burger Bar
And now the burgers. Pictured above is my order, The Bar Burger (Php 395) which according to the menu, consisted of “a double patty with a blend of hanger & brisket, smoked scamorza & gorgonzola cheeses, fresh prosciutto, watercress, caramelized onions spiked with sriracha aioli, crowned with crispy onion rings all on a brioche bun”. Now I didn’t have to pay for this burger or anything and the meat was pretty good, as well as the toppings but I found the portioning of the toppings to be kinda small. I don’t know if this is cause this was their first night of operations but I seriously need to go back to see if this is entirely worth it. I know Burger Bar grinds their own meat and makes their patties themselves, which is pretty cool. I liked my burger, I just couldn’t taste the sriracha. There was just one tiny watercress sprig, the onion rings on top weren’t very crispy and the prosciutto was just one tiny bit and it was hard to chew. Must go back soon to see if they’ve gotten more generous.

The Burger Bar
Patty had “The Piggy” (Php 345) which seemed bigger than my burger. It wasn’t as bacon-y as I thought, again it’s a toppings issue. The menu says it should have a “double beef bomb blend of chuck & shortrib patty, mozarella, fried bacon strips (the actual burger had just 2 strips), bacon jam, lollo rossa greens, garlic aioli on a sesame seed bun.”

The Burger Bar
Jason got the “4 Cheese Burger,” I’m not actually sure if this is what it’s called but I’ll go with my gut. Among all the burgers we had that night, this seemed to be the best one. It’s just straight up and simple, good meat with cheese. You just can’t go wrong.

The Burger Bar
Before I left, I tried the Caramel Vanilla Bread Pudding (P135) which was served in a nifty jar. I’m not too hot on bread but it was surprisingly good, I enjoyed biting into the small caramel bits and the contrast of the warm bread and the ice cream.

Overall, to give this place a proper review, I think I have to go back and try it when it’s on its feet. There are a couple of kinks they still have to iron out. As of the invitational ‘sneak eat’, the burgers took kinda long and the portioning of the toppings felt sparse but the place was filled to the brim. The beef was perfect though and I think conceptually, there’s definitely something there. I’ll have to see for myself again soon.

Burger Bar
G/F Greenbelt 2,
(where MASAS used to be)
Ayala Center, Makati
Opening Hours:
Sun-Wed – 12nn – 1am
Thurs to Sat – 12nn – 2am