9 peso tempura at SumoSam on Dec. 23!

If you love Japanese food, mark Tuesday, December 23 on your calendar because this is the time when SumoSam celebrates its ninth year anniversary and offers Ebi Tempura at a price busting P9 or nine pesos per order!

9th anniv 3 updated

The caveat is that the promo will run only from 4pm to 6pm on Dec. 23 in SumoSam branches. Not only that, participating branches will have one winner who will get a one year supply of ebi tempura for free! Just make sure you fill up an info sheet with your name, address and contact details to participate in the raffle. Winners will be able to claim their free ebi tempura every week from January 1 to December 30, 2015….how neat is that? :)

The second promo happens at the EDSA Shang-ri La Mall branch. SumoSam will be on the lookout for diners who share the same birth date (December 23, 2005) and are also named Sam. Nine winners will be picked and they only have to show a copy of their NSO birth certificate to qualify for one year free ebi tempura.

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Bibingka pancake & new items on IHOP menu

For a limited time this holiday season, IHOP Philippines is adding a Filipino touch to their scrumptious international offerings.

The girls and I were at the IHOP Mall of Asia branch yesterday, tried the Bibingka Pancake (P225) which was served atop a banana leaf, and liked it.This one differs from the traditional Pinoy rice cake in terms of flour used. There’s a twist to the usual recipe with the addition of muscovado sugar in between the pancakes. Toppings include whole duck eggs, shredded parmesan, cheddar cheese and dessicated coconut. Definitely worth trying when you dine at IHOP this season.

Bibingka pancake

The pancake is best served with the Malagos Hot Chocolate (P145) which uses all-natural, single origin beans grown and harvested by Davao farmers. I don’t know if something was missing in the preparation, but the drink was sort of diluted and not too chocolatey. I prefer my hot choco to be rich and have a certain degree of viscosity ;)

Malagos hot choco

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Banzai MOA holiday selection

Banzai: The Great Authentic Japanese Buffet at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex presents an international menu for its Christmas 2014 selection. This is aside from their usual offerings of sushi, sashimi, teppanyaki, tempura, tonkatsu, yakitori, ramen, takoyaki, and many more.

We spotted porchetta or rolled pork belly baked to tenderness, after being rubbed with rosemary, garlic and other seasonings. If lechon can’t be had, this can be a good alternative.


A group of friends can share a platter of Chilled Seafood among themselves. Feast on super-fresh prawns, mussels, and clams to start or finish your hefty Banzai meal.


It’s not Thanksgiving but…. there’s also Turkey! Oven-roasted, bread-stuffed and served with sauce derived from the turkey’s own juice.


(Photos courtesy of Banzai MOA)

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Christmas goodies at Bizu!

Whether dining in, ordering for takeaway, or catering for a party, you can never go wrong with Bizu. I’ve always liked this restaurant and patisserie for being tasteful, classy and impeccable in their preparation.

And now that the ‘holidaze’ are here, the choices at Bizu shops are getting richer, more sinful and unbelievably irresistible. If only to honor the season, we must forget about dieting and resolve to get healthy again in March 2015…why not??!! :)

Bizu’s version of Porchetta should be on every holiday table. This is slow roasted pork belly with crispy crackling skin, and then stuffed with herbed truffle risotto. Sauce on the side.

Porchetta with Truffle Risotto

Of course, if I had my way, I’d go for their 10-Hour Roast Beef Belly which is melt-in-your-mouth tender and juicy …. my favorite in Bizu-catered events! For this season of plenty, there’s also the Yuletide Pork Crown Roast which is filled with a hearty stuffing of apples, chestnuts and sausages. The golden brown Whole Turkey Roast is plump and juicy and comes with apple, chestnut and sausage stuffing along with a duet of cranberry sauce and pan gravy.

What would Bizu be without desserts? Nothing is more homey and Filipino than ensaymada. Bizu has the following flavors: Dark Chocolate, Classic Cheese, Almond Praline and Ube, Cheese and White Chocolate.


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Akira sushi & teppanyaki resto in Alphaland Makati

It’s my second time to eat in Akira Japanese restaurant and seeing the Akira branch in Alphaland Makati was refreshing, to say the least.

The interiors are different from the one in EDSA Shang-ri La Mall. This store is designed by the world-renowned local furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue. The overall look evokes the seasons in Japan but with a Filipino touch. The resto tastefully showcases Cobonpue’s masterpieces, like the Kawayan Too chairs in the main dining area and those eye-catching red Yoda chairs by the sushi counter (which reportedly cost more than $1000 each)

Akira Alphaland Makati

Akira Makati

The giant floral-themed Cobonpue mural by the entrance is an attraction in itself.

Akira Makati

But even while dining in such classy, designer surroundings, Akira can be affordable if you steer away from the more pricey Wagyu/Kobe/ Matsusaka beef selections.

We feasted on their bestselling sushi rolls which were ample and delectable. Also costs a little more than P250 for six pieces. Not bad at all.

rainbow roll

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The Aristocrat Bakeshop giveaway : sweets perfect for the holidays!

Aristocrat Restaurant isn’t just known for their excellent Filipino comfort food. Their cakes, breads and sweets are equally addicting. I wrote before about the dessert buffet they had to introduce their baptismal package and it was an occasion we can’t resist. For example, the reputation of their Torta de los Reyes is legendary. A simple bite of this sans rival is enough to bring me to seventh heaven..it’s oh so delicious!

Torta de los Reyes

(Photo courtesy of Aristocrat FB page)

My other favorites from this chain are the pillowy cheese rolls, the caramel cake, mucha leche (a frozen cake covered with white chocolate curls) and basically EVERYTHING!!! haha. At the original Aristocrat restaurant in Roxas Boulevard, they have a separate section for their baked goodies and dessert lovers can literally get lost in there. Am sure it will be a destination for families feasting this Christmas.

The lovely Miss Earth 2014 candidates visited The Aristocrat Bakeshop recently and they sure forgot their diet to taste the heavenly goodies. Pls watch this video…

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Circa 1900 restaurant in Cebu #USPotatoSafari

Last week, I flew to the island city of Cebu to join the friendly folks of the US Potato Board in their event called the USPB Potato Safari. They’re marketing US potatoes in the Philippine market (for good reason!) and the idea is to have chefs in the city’s top restaurants experiment with various potato-based dishes for everyone to enjoy.

Making an impression was Circa 1900 which is a former colonial house restored into a sprawling resto serving Asian fusion dishes . It was refreshing to see all the expanse and the trees. It reminded me of my childhood in the province with the grandparents.

Circa 1900


The tasteful interiors showcase Filipino wooden furniture.

Circa 1900

There’s also a corner where a piano could be found. Unfortunately, the piano man wasn’t playing when we visited as it was lunchtime.

Circa 1900

Circa 1900 serves great food whipped up by owner-chef Steve Shrimski, an Australian. He was a former executive chef in the leading hotel chains around Asia but decided to settle in Cebu for good with his Filipina wife Eya in 2009. It is perhaps the city’s good fortune that Chef Steve is able to showcase the creativity and deliciousness of his dishes in the family restos, which also includes Canvas Bistro Bar Gallery at the Ayala Terraces.


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Catering by Claudia’s of the Romulo Food Group

Most of us look forward to Christmas because of parties, gifts, food-laden tables and the general atmosphere of merriment. It was just timely that we were introduced recently to Catering by Claudia’s which is the catering arm of the Romulo Food Group. This chain also includes Romulo Lounge, Claudia’s Kitchen, Cerchio and Tito Chef.

Catering by Claudia, owned by the husband-and-wife team of Enzo and Sandie Romulo-Squillantini, is inspired by the historic career of the family patriarch, General Carlos P. Romulo, who was the first Asian President of the United Nations General Assembly.Formal affairs hosted by the good general were always much awaited by their international guests because of their varied and delectable selections.

Decades later, this is the same tradition being carried over by third generation Romulos. They describe their offerings as “truly representative of the international palate with a touch of the discriminating Filipino taste.”

The Catering by Claudia event we attended was a mind-boggling buffet filled with more than 50 dishes, not to mention such innovative drinks as dayap green tea, tamarind with chili & honey, minted kamias crush. Here were just some of those which caught our attention:

Appetizer – crispy aubergines with salted egg, onions and tomato in spicy lemon mayo caponata.

Crispy aubergines with salted egg, onion & tomato

Roasted Kalabasa and Carrot soup, scented with cumin and served with crostinis.

Roast calabaza and carrot soup

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Win free GCs to Chef Jessie Rockwell Club!

November is just around the corner and we can almost feel the excitement in the air because soon…it’s the much-awaited Christmas season!!! Before you go into the frenzy of buying gifts, decorating your homes, planning vacations or attending parties, indulge yourself in a meal at one of the finest restaurants in the metro. That’s right, we’re giving away two gift certificates worth P1,500 each at Chef Jessie Restaurant in the exclusive Rockwell Club of Makati City.

Chef Jessie

With its resort-style atmosphere, Chef Jessie boasts of an international menu that aims to please the palate and fill hunger pangs. We recommend the chef’s specialties like the salmon caviar pie, balut surprise, burgers, pan-fried goose liver salad and baked cheesecake. Or choose any of the dishes that suit your fancy.

This giveaway is for Metro Manila residents only and winners must be willing to pick up their prize in Makati City. To join, follow our usual mechanics via Rafflecopter.

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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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