Beef stroganoff recipe + Maya Kitchen giveaway!

I had fun attending a cooking class at Enderun Extension last month and having a hands-on experience cooking Beef Tenderloin Rossini with Pan Seared Foie Gras on a bed of risotto.

Last September 27, Chef Martin Kaspar, one of the owners of L’Entrecote in Burgos Circle and also an instructor in Enderun, staged a cooking demo at The Maya Kitchen in Makati.It was very interesting since the students learned how to cook restaurant-quality food and it’s not so difficult after all. The chef’s recipe for Beef Stroganoff has cognac and it adds a unique twist to the dish.

Beef Stroganoff

Read the recipe after the jump and find out how you can be one of 3 winners of our giveaway of a cooking class at The Maya Kitchen (P1,500 value each).

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Wagyu dinner at Akira teppanyaki resto

It was that weekend we were checked in Astoria Plaza and nothing seemed to go well. The wifi was (forever) not working in the hotel and our Kapitolyo food trip went sour as there appeared to be coordinated bad service in that dingy place called Three Sisters and Charlie’s Grind & Grill next door. A trip to the civilized confines of Shangri-La Mall was definitely in order.

This mall has one of the best curation of restos in the metro, so if you want to play safe with your hard-earned moolah, dine here! The Shang’s East Wing has gotten so much buzz because of the excellent food choices. We decided to train our tastebuds on the menu of Akira which is the newest teppanyaki restaurant in town.


Akira is part of the growing chain of dining places owned by actor Marvin Agustin and his business partners (which also includes Banzai in MOA ). The complete name is: Akira The Art of Sushi and Teppanyaki. The sushi part escaped me, but I don’t mind coz we were going to have Wagyu for dinner!

All that beef, majestic glorious beef that melts in the mouth and makes you feel you’re in heaven….my oh my!


But that’s getting ahead of the story. Watching the chef doing a teppanyaki show where he performs with knives, like they do in Benihana, is one of the attractions at Akira. I made sure I filmed it for posterity:

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Ramen heaven at Ippudo Megamall @ippudoPH

This is a rather late post on the pre-opening dinner I attended for Ippudo Philippines’ first branch in SM Megamall last September. Anyway, it was one of the most raved about restaurant openings by celebrities and social media personalities alike. Maybe Manila is really ramen-crazy or Ippudo had an excellent publicist but having tried it myself, I can say it deserves all the buzz!

Ippudo’s maiden branch in Manila is located on the third level of SM Megamall’s newest & hippest wing called Mega Fashion Hall. It’s a 200 square meter space and seats approximately 79 people.The design is very hip and classy.

Dining area

My friends have been telling me that they’ve been trying to eat at Ippudo but the lines are always long! I feel lucky to be among those invited to taste it beforehand, but it seems I want more of the ramen goodness. You see, I was only able to taste one variety out of three – the Akamaru Shinaji ramen. They also served five kinds of their side dishes and for sure, these were enough to fill me up….

Ippudo dinner

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Krispy Kreme Cadbury doughnuts!

Krispy Kreme PLUS Cadbury chocolates….who can resist?

This box of delightful treats sure made me smile when I arrived home and saw it on our kitchen table. Thank you KK Delivery! :)

Krispy Kreme Cadbury Doughnuts

With September being the International Chocolate Month, Krispy Kreme rolls out these limited edition, definitely worth trying Cadbury doughnuts in different flavors –

Fruit & Nut is a chocolate doughnut dipped in white chocolate with chopped toppings of Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut!

Chocolate Mud Pie has a chocolate kreme filling dipped in dark chocolate then topped with crushed Oreo and Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate.

Chocolate and Biscuit is topped with checkered chocolate ganache, chopped Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate and sprinkled with graham cracker crunch.

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All set for 2014 Oktoberfest @SofitelManila

Oktoberfest, the biggest festival in the world, is set to rock Manila on the weekend of October 17 and 18. The action happens at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent. This year’s celebration hopes to equal, if not surpass, last year’s record where about 4,000 guests drank 30,000 liters of beer, consumed 1000 kilograms of sausages and 300 kilos of pork knuckles…in just two days!

Here are the photos of the Oktoberfest launch we attended in Sofitel two days ago. ’twas just a preview of the actual festival but how fun!

Oktoberfest means beer and food and more beer! The men in their Lederhosen costume and women in dirndl are so dainty to look at…


Beer pouring

Proceeds from the sale of this year’s Oktoberfest tickets (at P3,300 for non-members) will go to the welfare projects of the German Club Manila.


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COCA Restaurant in SM Aura Premier is one year old!

SM Aura Premier is my favorite among the SM concrete slabs in Metro Manila and there’s no surprise there: it’s their ‘showcase’ mall. It seemed only yesterday when we met Sarah Jessica Parker live for the Aura opening in May 2013 and time indeed flies so fast!

One of SM Aura’s pioneer establishments, COCA Restaurant, recently celebrated their first year anniversary. But instead of doing so with a bang, the resto chose to give back by partnering with the international non-profit Life Project 4 Youth (LP4Y). This group is involved in giving less fortunate, educated youths of society become more productive by giving them access to employment. In this case, Coca sponsored the internships of several adults endorsed by LP4Y.

Photo shows (from left): Ludovic Ducuing of LP4Y, John Gabayeron, Alvin David Silvana and Aurelie Garancher.

Coca 2

The COCA anniversary and thanksgiving dinner was a simple affair where everyone sampled the house specialty “suki” which is the Thai variant of hotpot or shabu-shabu. One couldn’t possibly visit the resto without tasting this. Sorry the picture here looks blurred due to all the steam coming from the boiling soup :)


COCA Roast Chicken in all its glory, with Khao Man Gai sauce (P550)…

Coca chicken

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Rambla in Rockwell : a taste of Barcelona in Manila

In my photo archives was that sublime experience I had dining in Las Flores at the Fort last year. Somehow I got too lazy and busy and never got to blog about it. Now that I dined in Las Flores’ sister-restaurant Rambla last week, I will not let the opportunity pass. With no less than Spanish chef Pepe Lopez at the helm, I love how these two restos really made me appreciate authentic Spanish food in the heart of Manila!



Rambla is presumably named after that street in Barcelona famous for its cafés and shops.For tapas, a must-try is the resto’s interpretation of the Spherical Olive. This was originally created by chef Ferran Adria of the (now closed) 3-star Michelin resto elBulli. Only P45 apiece, this olive marinated in EVOO is a fine example of molecular gastronomy.Just one bite and it was truly magical how the whole thing melts and wonderfully explodes in the mouth ;)

Spherical olive

Octopus carpaccio with hummus (P495) tasted as beautiful as it looked.

octopus carpaccio

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#EatOutManila: online resto reservations in just 3 clicks!

Eat Out Manila is a newly-launched online reservations system for Manila’s top fine dining restaurants. Basically, what this means is that you don’t have to fall in line anymore or make telephone calls to make a booking for some of the city’s most sought-after tables. All you have to do is just to log on to their website at or access the mobile app which is initially available through the Apple iTunes store and soon in Android.

eat out

Inaki Lamata

Inaki Lamata, co-founder of Eat Out Manila, said the site is based on an internationally-recognized restaurant reservations system that is operational in US, Europe and Asia.Diners will be able to lock in a table of their choice in real-time, which is much like choosing a seat in an airplane.

“The motivation behind this app springs from personal experience. With the growing list of things you can do remotely through your mobile phone, we thought it’s about time we had something for table reservations from which a food-loving country such as the Philippines will greatly benefit,” Lamata noted.

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12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub is hot for live bands!

12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub, on the 5th Level of the Century City Mall in Makati City, is now one of the hottest places in town where Manila’s beautiful people, party goers and music lovers converge. Its greatest attraction is its lineup of DJs and live bands. Among those who have played in recent weeks were Up Dharma Down, Wolfgang, Rico Blanco & Kamikazee.

12 Monkeys

I was at 12 Monkeys for the first time with some friends & acquaintances during the South Border gig last August 20 and thoroughly enjoyed it. South Border did some nice covers of present hits (like John Legend) and of course their bestselling singles. The P300 door charge was so worth it! I rarely go out on gimmicks now and admittedly, I missed this.


(Photo grabs from the official FB page

On some days, the bar also offers a chock full of celebrity sightings. On this page, the Eigenmanns…


The Chito Miranda and Neri Naig..

Chito & Neri

12 Monkeys menu offerings also rocks. They call it ‘progressive’ and rightly so. Their Palabok Pizza (P350) is an interesting creation. It has palabok sauce with generous toppings of shrimps, squid, boiled egg and white goat cheese. Whew, I found this addicting ;)

Palabok pizza

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Teddy’s Bigger Burgers lands in Manila!

As previously announced, Teddy’s Bigger Burgers from Hawaii has opened in Manila…in Greenbelt 3, to be exact. There were long lines for the free burgers and lots of Instagram photos. I was excited to meet the founders – Rich Stula (right) and Teddy’s himself, Ted Tsakiris – a big, muscular man..woohoo! :)

with Rich & Teddy

First impressions: the burgers are awesome! I think it’s in the quality of the beef – corn-fed chuck or something. You really get to appreciate the meat without all the frills and fancy toppings. Here was the 9 oz. Monster Double with onions and cheese as I saw in the posters. Oh my…food coma indeed!

Double monster burger

I appreciate Teddy’s because they offer a Lettuce Wrap option for their burgers, instead of just wheat or potato bun. Less sinful calories that way, LOL.I love their flavorful onion rings and super-thick milkshakes too!

Burger in lettuce wrap

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