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If you’ve been my friend for a while, you’ll know I’m crazy about milk. This is not a paid advertisement. I just am. When I travel, I always hit 7-11 to sample the local dairy. This is how I know Bangkok serves Yakult in 1L bottles. This is how I know Japan’s dairy can be both light and so creamy. Spain’s Cacaolat and Hong Kong’s Kowloon Dairy made me realize that milk tastes better when served in a glass bottle (vs the typical carton). So yeah, enough of that.

Cocio
Cocio is here and it’s nothing short of amazing. It’s an old favorite from Denmark, may well be the best chocolate milk in the world and by an unbelievable stroke of luck, it’s available in the Philippines.

What I like about Cocio is its simplicity. They use just 3 ingredients: sugar, milk and cacao. There aren’t any additives so everything sinks to the bottom and you have to shake it well. I don’t like mixing and shaking stuff so to me, the gratification is delayed yet well deserved.

Cocio
There are two variants: Classic and Dark. I’m particularly fond of the Classic for its balance. It’s light, creamy and I can drink 3 in one go if I’m feeling really fat. It’s not overpoweringly sweet yet the cacao still stands out which is what I love about it.

Cocio
At the launch, they said the Dark variant was exclusive to the Philippines. If you’re looking for a bold, full chocolate taste, this is the one for you.

Cocio
Out of curiosity, I tried mixing the Classic and Dark and heating it up. Something light and subdued melted in with bam in your face chocolate and I was sold. I dub thee The Clark and I suggest you try it this way. Double best.

For all interested readers, Cocio should be everywhere by now. Some friends of mine have spotted it already in Family Mart and Landmark for starters and the rest should follow suit.

Cocio
Thanks to Jiv and the kind folks over at GeiserMaclang for inviting me to the launch. Non-required reading but here’s what the folks at Vice Munchies had to say about Cocio too.

Cocio
Have you tried Cocio yet? If you have, which do you like better? Or are you weird like me and prefer the made-up Clark?

Cable Car BGC
I knew Cable Car to be a drinking place for high school and college kids tucked along Pasay Road in the same building complex as Ukkokei Ramen Ron. Learned about it through friends cause of it’s epic beer pong battles. Being a non-drinker and full-on lola, I was never presented with the opportunity to give the place a visit until Aldous invited me to a blogger dinner there. Yep, a dinner! I didn’t even know they had food.

Cable Car BGC
I think the kind of food they serve here caters to a particular market and it seems to be targeted to young guys who enjoy their food with beer. I swear, everything they served here was full on dude food. It’s the kind of food that guys who don’t cook would probably think of cooking for themselves.

Cable Car BGC
We started with the Sisig Spaghetti (Php 199) which is as straightforward as it gets. Had my doubts about it when it got to the table but I was surprised to find that it’s a strange combo that works. The sisig was generous and crispy too.

Cable Car BGC
The medium Heartbreaker Pizza (Php 650) was served next. It’s an all-meat pizza topped with ham and burger bits. I thought it was on the sweet side.

Cable Car BGC
I thought the Sizzling Seafood Aligue Rice (Php 249) looked pretty interesting but it lacked a bit of flavor in terms of taste. I liked that the seafood toppings were generous but I think this is something you have to eat with meat. It’s a good fried rice base but it isn’t best appreciated alone.

Cable Car BGC
The Buffalo Chicken Rice Melt (Php 199) is drunken comfort food defined. This was a rich dish consisting of buffalo chicken strips, a creamy, cheesy sauce on a generous bed of white rice. This would be awesome if you were drunk and hungry.

Cable Car BGC
Last was the Truffled Tapa (Php 350) which proves to be an interesting dish. You can’t go wrong with Pinoy tapa, two runny eggs, garlic rice with a dash of that truffle essence. The serving for this was generous which is great.

Cable Car BGC
Here’s what it looked like when I mashed it together. Mmm…

Cable Car BGC
To cap the night off, they served us a cocktail each. The Punyeta (Php 110) is what we like to call a traydor or a traitor. It’s the kind of drink that goes down smooth, tastes sweet like juice but will get you smashed as ever once you keep drinking. I don’t drink much so I had a sip.

Cable Car BGC
Here’s a shot of the beer pong tables they have outside. I also saw another game synonymous to battle ship but a giant drinking version. Seems to be the perfect place for college kids to unwind. If you find yourself here and drunk, don’t hesitate to try their dishes!

Cable Car
G/F The Fort Strip,
Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig

2/F 822 Paseo Tesoro Bldg.
Arnaiz Avenue,
San Lorenzo Village,
Makati City

Dotonburi Sushi
I’ll be posting a lot of backlog from my last Osaka trip so this is just a heads up. I get a lot of messages from family and friends asking me what my favorite Osaka food finds are so I thought it’d be convenient to just post them all here for everyone to see.

Dotonburi Sushi
I have no idea what this restaurant is called but we found it when as we were walking around Dotonburi for brunch. It was a brightly lit take-out sushi and sashimi joint where all the fish is freshly packed and refrigerated, just like in the grocery aisles. What sets this place apart from a grocery is that there are stools and high tables on one side where diners who buy their fish can dine. The tables have soy sauce, tissue and chopsticks and the place sells drinks as well.

Dotonburi Sushi
It’s a pay at the counter kind of place. I can’t say it’s a restaurant cause it’s a lot more like a deli with rows and rows of pre-packed sushi and sashimi.

Dotonburi Sushi
There was even a booth where they were selling fresh and grilled oysters for ¥400 a piece.

Dotonburi Sushi
We had grilled oysters topped with soy sauce, butter and lemon.

Dotonburi Sushi
Then we looked through the different rows of fish and picked out the stuff we wanted to try. There was a wide array of sorts, from the affordable to premium.

Dotonburi Sushi

Dotonburi Sushi
I was happy to see fresh slabs of otoro in the mix. It’s the fattiest best part of any tuna and comes straight from the belly. It’s usually pricey but in this fine establishment, Otoro Sashimi was ¥1500 which at Php 550 is affordable.

Dotonburi Sushi
Of course, I ordered it. After paying, you can have it sliced by any of the chefs on-hand. If they’re not prepping stuff for customers, you’ll find them slicing and packing more fish and putting them in more take-out containers.

Dotonburi Sushi
Sake Nigiri and Rolls for ¥500 / Unagi Nigiri for ¥200 / Tamago for ¥100

Dotonburi Sushi
Look at the stripes on the salmon slabs, absolutely gorgeous. Tasted great and fresh as ever.

Dotonburi Sushi
The Otoro was served with hot, seafood miso soup with baby clams. It was the best sashmi I ever tasted. It melts in your mouth just like butter and it’s rich, creamy and just such a dream to eat. I savored every second I had it in my mouth. It’s best eaten with your eyes closed.

Dotonburi Sushi
We also saw that they were filleting a huge tuna by the time we were done eating. It’s some sort of tourist attraction there. There are guys gutting and cutting this huge fish and showing the different parts of meat inside.

Maybe you’ll all laugh at me when I say this was one of the best sushi/sashimi meals I had in my life. Never cared much for ambience and I find that the most unassuming places end up surprising you. What makes this place so special to me is how fresh everything is and the quality of the products and the prices all just don’t add up! It’s too good to be this cheap but I’m glad. Thank you Japan for going above and beyond my expectations every single meal.

It’s strange but I’ve been visiting Osaka yearly for 3 years now and I find that sukiyaki shops are hard to come-by. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of restaurants and food everywhere – but the thing with Japan is that most (if not all) restaurants just serve the same kind of food. If you want sushi, you go to a sushi place, ramen shops will only have ramen, katsu shops will only have katsu, you get my drift. I always stay in the Shinsaibashi area which is just walking distance to Dotonburi and Namba – and I don’t know if it’s just me but sukiyaki restaurants are few and far between. There seem to be a lot of shabu-shabu Japanese hot pot places but nope, not a lot of sukiyaki joints.

The first time I discovered Syabuya Sukiyaki was on one of the last few days of my trip last year. I was hell bent on eating sukiyaki and lo and behold, a google search came up and lead me straight to the mall – Namba Parks.

Sukiyaki Namba Parks
Tried both the Japanese Beef Lunch Set (¥2,037) and got Imported Beef on the side just to try. The lunch set comes with everything in this photo but since it’s a set, this is pretty much your whole meal.

Sukiyaki Namba Parks
I never ordered the Imported Beef again – as you can tell by the photo it’s lean and barely has any marbling.

DSC04113
Their menu is pretty straightforward. You pick if you want Sukiyaki or Shabu-Shabu. Beef or Pork? Japanese beef or US beef? Do you want to eat a set or unlimited? When you pick the unlimited option, everyone in the table has to get the same thing.

Sukiyaki - Namba Parks
I went back with my family and we all got the Unlimited Japanese Beef Sukiyaki Set (¥4,298). This comes with unlimited everything – beef, rice, raw egg and veggies. It’s a steal at Php 1570 if you ask me cause you’d be hard pressed to find unlimited sukiyaki this good at this price point anywhere in Manila.

DSC04115
Just a closer look at the Special Japanese Beef. Check the marbling on that thing! It’s embarrassing to admit but I think we finished twelve of these trays total. Sulit na sulit! Lol.

DSC04116
It’s a full plate but enoki is all that matters. They served us about 4 small extra plates of enoki.

DSC04114
If you’ve never tried sukiyaki, it’s basically a Japanese hotpot stew. You start by letting the soup (soy sauce, sugar, mirin) boil, slowly adding leeks and some onions for a bit more flavor then when it heats up, you dip thinly sliced beef in and swish until it cooks.

DSC04119
What really sets this dish apart is the quality of the meat. Because prep is so simple, the ingredients really do stand out. Just by looking at it, you can tell Syabuya’s Japanese beef is top-notch.

Sukiyaki - Namba Parks
Swish til it’s brown!

Sukiyaki - Namba Parks

Sukiyaki - Namba Parks
When the meat cooks, you dip it in in a separate bowl with beat raw egg and eat it. You can have it alone or with Japanese rice or noodles or tofu or veggies. I particularly enjoy eating it with rice and sometimes enoki. Dipping it in raw egg is a must. It enhances the flavor, adding a creaminess to the bold taste of the meat and the sweetness of the sauce. It just balances everything out better.

DSC04121
This is all the natural oil that came from the fat in the beef. The soup had zero oil in it, just had to take a photo for reasons unknown.

DSC04122
The aftermath. Thankfully they remove the trays of beef every time they see them empty otherwise our table would have a little tower.

DSC04123
The bill!

DSC04124
Sukiyaki Namba Parks
The restaurant is located at the 6th Floor of Namba Parks – it’s in the area where all the other restaurants are so it shouldn’t be hard to find.

Syabuya Sukiyaki
しゃぶしゃぶ食べ放題 しゃぶ家 なんばパークス店
Phone: 06-4396-1729
Namba Parks 6th Floor, 2-10-70,
Nanbanaka, Naniwa-ku,
Osaka-shi, Osaka, 556-0011
Menu & More Info from Gurunavi
Click to see their Japanese calling card!

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
I’ve been eating in Sandaya for almost a decade now. It’s the family’s go-to spot for a great Yakiniku dinner. We’re creatures of habit and when we like a restaurant, we go very frequently and end up ordering the same thing. Sandaya’s always been a staple for us and for the longest time I thought I already wrote about it but when I did a quick search today I discovered I haven’t yet. This was so weird to me it’s like a bunch of aliens hacked my blog and deleted it or something I could’ve sworn I’d written about it before.

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
Anyway. We just get about 5 orders of CAB Angus Beef Boneless Short Ribs (Php 350 each), a cup of rice each and a side order of kimchi and we’re done.

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
We were too excited about the kimchi so this was taken in the midst of the meal.

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
I think other than the fact they serve really good beef, their dipping sauce sets them apart. There’s this red paste type sauce (I think its gochujang) and then there’s this light soy sauce based sauce that you mix together. I ask the waitresses for minced garlic to mix in with my sauce for the ultimate one-two punch combo for bad breath. So I mix 2 parts red sauce with 1 part brown sauce and grab a chopstick’s grip worth of chilli and there’s my sauce.

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
When I eat in restaurants where I have to cook my own food, I like to pace myself and eat slowly. It’d suck to get full fast and get sick so you might as well soak up the family time and conversation.

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
Sandaya’s charcoal grills fire up quickly so cooking is fun and convenient. They give you tongs too so you don’t need to touch the raw meat with the same chopsticks you feed yourself with.

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
After you grill it to perfection, you fish it out of the grill, dip it in the sauce and take a big bite with some rice.

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
I like it with the fat burnt crisp around the edges. It’s also nice that they don’t slice their beef too thin so it’s still nice and juicy when you bite into it. Other restaurants slice their meat so thin that it shrinks so much when you end up cooking it.

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
I highly recommend this place. If you’re feeling carnivorous and want to be satisfied, make that reservation ASAP and you won’t regret it. I have yet to find a yakiniku restaurant in Metro Manila that can top Sandaya. What’s the best yakiniku restaurant you’ve ever tried?

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
The best thing about Sandaya? Your clothes don’t smell like food after eating there. I kid you not.

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
Ralph’s is right under it so you can do an alcoholic grocery run after.

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
Drive slow when you’re on Pasay Road aka Arnaiz Avenue and watch out for the red sign. Or Ralphs! Or The Love Garden! You’re there!

Sandaya Yakiniku - Makati
This must be the place! Climb the stairs to the 2nd floor and enter this dark door.
Sandaya Yakiniku
Right on top of Ralph’s and The Love Garden
2nd Flr. Colbella Bldg.
910 Pasay Road
Makati City
Phone: 8932039

Operating Hours:
Mon – Fri 17:00–23:00
Sat – Sun 11:00–23:00

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.

About two weeks ago, I had my first meal at Madeca and wrote about it for Juice.ph. I absolutely loved their Sisig Burrito (Php 225) and that I can’t ever finish a single order of it. I ended up just eating half when I had it all to myself. The servings are huge and it’s rare to find a place that’s good and a bang for your buck in Manila. The fact they merged Filipino-Mexican cuisine was nothing short of genius. Pictured below is the Madeca Burger which boasts a chilli con carne patty.

Click the photo below to read more!

Chili con Carnage

Verdict: The food is worth driving all the way to Ortigas for. And yep, that’s coming from me, someone who really prefers staying around Makati/The Fort.

Madeca
5th floor,
The Podium Mall
18 ADB Ave. Ortigas Center
Mandaluyong City

Edit: YAY THEY DELIVER!!! Dial 87878 😀 😀 😀

Just by being on this page, you probably already know how much I love food. By profession though, I make videos. I shoot a lot of client work ranging from web video content, viral videos, behind the scenes videos and the usual, event coverage. There are times though that my two loves get the chance to intersect. I’m starting a production company with some friends called, Seabiscuit Films and this is one of many collaborations we have up our sleeves.

We shot a couple of videos with The Fat Kid Inside, Erwan Heussaff and this is the first video in the series that I directed. The spiffy clean graphics are from Carina Santos and the songs I used for the video are from Some Gorgeous Accident. I had so much fun working on this considering the fact I got full creative control.

The video documents Erwan’s Grilled Mackerel Scad (Galunggong) with a singed Caprese salad so you can watch and learn. Don’t forget to click the link to get specifics!

Hello!

I haven’t posted about this because I haven’t reconciled with the fact that I’m on a show. I’m used to being behind the camera, not in front of it but here it goes. I’m shooting and hosting a web series called Takaw Tingin. It’s a video project that aims to showcase Filipino culture and local destinations with food as its major highlight. I have 6 episodes coming out in total and the first one’s up. I apologize in advance for the second-hand embarrassment you’ll feel after watching my awkward self trying to not be awkward on tape.

Click the photo to watch! This was shot with a Canon Vixia HFM50 and a Canon S95. I’d like to thank Eyedress for letting me use Teen Spirits for the OBB; Nicky Daez, Sabs Bengzon and Jason Conanan for shooting with me and Roel Mendoza for the edit.