Coco Hut Fried Chicken & Fish by Army Navy

When we were invited recently by Army Navy to sample new items in their menu, Pearl – the bubbly head for marketing – told us about their new restaurant called Coco Hut. This is supposed to be the healthier chain of the Army Navy group since there’s a predominance of fish & vegetables on the menu. My interest was so piqued that I decided to check it out on my own this weekend.

Coco Hut only has three branches at the moment (Alabang, Ortigas & UP Town Center) but five more are going to open this year. The ambiance at their Commercenter outlet was so welcoming. When placing your order at the counter, you can also see the action in the open kitchen.

Coco Hut

Presumably, the store’s name and overall theme were inspired by the use of the humble coconut in the food prep.Coco Hut gives diners a refreshing new take on Filipino comfort food in a quick service resto setting by including the well-loved laing and ginataang langka (both P69). Both are excellently interpreted, and I actually prefer the latter… so tasty. I just wished they removed pork in the two dishes to also cater to vegetarians.

Laing & coco langka

Fried chicken is Coco Hut’s flagship dish and it doesn’t disappoint. You order it by piece (from P90 to P110 each, depending on the part.) You also have the choice of the classic or the Hut chicken, which is tossed in its special hot sauce. Beware, both versions – served with pepper gravy – are addicting.

Hut chicken

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Army Navy Burger + Burrito: new dishes to try

We were in Army Navy BF Homes this Chinese New Year holiday and my five-year old says: “I want pancakes mommyyyy!”

Clueless Me replies: “There are no pancakes here. Let’s transfer to…”

And Lucia retorts: “There are pancakes here. Just look at the board!” (points to menu)

And this is how she got her classic pancakes (P80) at 6pm while the rest of us were having dinner :)


My impression of Army Navy Burger + Burrito was that it has always been a Mexican place, albeit proudly Made in the Philippines. The whole military concept is just superb. What’s even better is thatthey have expanded their line-up to include all kinds of comfort food – from sumptuous all-day breakfasts like tapsilog to their Fearless Fried Chicken and sinful desserts like this Freedom Toast…egg-dipped bread (actually brioche) which is topped with a heaping of blueberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Only P65.

Freedom Toast

Perfect for the coming Lenten season (or those abstaining from meat) is the Querida Mia Verde (P215), a rolled quesadilla with guacamole, sour cream, jalapeno, green bell pepper, onions, duo of cheeses (cheddar & mozzarella) and special querida sauce. Sinfully tasty yet healthy.

Querida mia verde

The Starving Sailor (P240) was a revelation. This sandwich is an old hand in the menu but it certainly packs a wallop with thin slices of beef cut Philly-style, cheese, caramelized onions and green bell pepper. The filling sits on an 8-inch sourdough bread which was very good and of high quality.

Starving Sailor

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Healthy black & brown rice recipes

Something changed in my life last year: I started eating brown rice instead of white. I had a hard time getting used to it at first but I was trying to lose weight and of course, most experts say it’s the healthier alternative. Brown rice is reputed to contain more fiber and other essential nutrients. Now that I’m accustomed to brown grains, I’ve lost all taste for white rice except when am eating in a Chinese restaurant because yang chow goodness is something I can’t resist. Haha.

When I say brown rice, I also mean the red rice available in the market.There are also ‘violet’ and ‘black’ rice varieties and experts even say that the darker the rice, the better it is since it contains more antioxidants.

Anyway, a pack of black rice arrived in my doorstep this week from Sunnywood Superfoods Corp. and I was glad to be apprised of these recipes made specially by the husband-and-wife team of top chefs Rolando and Jac Laudico. Apparently, we can make something special out of black/brown rice other than just cooking them plain. So we’re sharing them here. Photos courtesy of Sunnywood.

Seafood Black Rice Paella

Seafood Black Rice Paella


2 cups Jordan Farms Black Rice
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tbsp garlic minced
1 cup onion small diced
1 cup tomatoes large diced
1 piece chorizo large diced
6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups clams (boiled in 1 cup water)
1 cup boiled clam juice (reserve liquid)
1 cup squid rings
1 cup prawns 
1 cup fish fillet (cubes)
2 pieces crabs (boiled, halved)
Salt and Pepper to taste

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Family day at Teddy’s Bigger Burgers Shang-ri La Plaza

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers of Hawaii has opened its second branch in the Philippines at the Shang-ri La Plaza Mall in Mandaluyong City. We love the interiors. It’s brighter and more airy than the maiden branch in Greenbelt.



A young lady dressed in Hawaiian costume is ready to welcome you at the door.


The invitation was for us to bring the family so I brought along my mini-me’s with the BIG appetite :)


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La Cabrera Argentinian resto in Manila

This is a rather late post on my first time to dine in La Cabrera Grillado and Bar in Makati last November. I figured that since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, people would be looking for cozy places to have a date or eat in.

Just from the homey ambiance alone, La Cabrera is highly recommended. It is quite spacious, perfect for a fun gathering with friends.There are a lot of interesting bric-a-bracs scattered around the place which make conversation pieces in themselves.

La Cabrera Manila

La Cabrera

La Cabrera is a franchise of the famous steakhouse in Buenos Aires. Let’s just say you don’t need to fly all the way to South America to taste grilled meat the way Argentinians like it. Since they drink a lot of wine out there, the curvy, elongated bar is one of the highlights of La Cabrera Manila, with those signed chopping boards from happy customers on display too.

La Cabrera bar

La Cabrera

Judging from the house specialties, La Cabrera is a carnivore’s delight. And when you think about it, the price isn’t too bad since some of the top items on the menu are good for sharing. Examples are the Ojo de Bife (rib eye steak) which is P2,680 for 500 grams and the Bife de Chorizo (striploin) – P1,880 for 500g.

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Valentine menu at L’Entrecote

l’entrecôte Corner Bistro in Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City offers a Steak Lovers Menu for Valentine’s Day.

12oz US Cert Angus Strip Loin Steak-B

The meal starts with Tomato Nage, a flavored broth of sun-ripe tomatoes, white wine and spices enhanced with olive oil and complimented by Marinated Salmon on Calamansi Mousse. The main course is a 12 ounce US Certified Angus Strip Loin Steak topped with our Secret Herbed Butter Sauce and paired with unlimited Fresh Fries. Dessert is Coupe Romanoff, marinated fresh strawberry with Vanilla ice cream. Savor the whole meal with 2 glasses of House Red Wine.

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Valentine dining at Chateau 1771 & Cafe 1771

With Valentine’s Day just a week away, a lot of people will surely be nostalgic about Chateau 1771. It was famous as a date place in Manila in the 80s before it moved to its present location in Greenbelt 5, Makati City. With its classy, romantic ambiance and varied menu of Swiss, French and Italian specialties, the restaurant will surely be a preferred destination for couples seeking to have a memorable V Day!

Start off your meal with Microgreens and Homemade Seafood Sausage Topped with Caviar, or you two can just go ahead and savor a hearty Oxtail Soup En Croute. There’s complimentary bread on the house.

For the main course, here are some of the more luxurious choices:

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Mash and Braised Short Rib in an Orange Balsamic Reduction (P3,800) –

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Mash and Braised Short Rib in an Orange Balsamic Reduction

Seared Duck Breast with Red Wine Vinegar Glaze (P3,400) –

Seared Duck Breast with Red Wine Vinegar Glaze

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Manila’s best new restaurants 2014 by Esquire

Taste is subjective, and I believe awards for “the best of…(insert plaudit here) ” is something to be taken with a grain of salt. As a city, Manila can get very clannish and recognition is sometimes given depending on who you know and the degree of influence one can exert.

Esquire Phils Feb 2015

Anyhow, I featured Manila’s best restaurants for 2013 as chosen by Esquire and the magazine has come up again with its own list for 2014. The listing is rather short, especially when compared to the dizzying array of international quality restos that opened in 2014.I also take exception to the shabby editing, like substituting palette for palate and headlining ‘Restauranteur of the Year’ in all caps! :)

I wouldn’t take Esquire’s recommendations as gospel truth but it is certainly useful for someone like me who opted to eat out less in 2014.This old lady now believes that the less I pursue my being a food blogger, the better for my Body Mass Index and my health. But hey, it’s an honor that two restos in the ‘Best New..’ list are in my beloved city of Paranaque, so read on!

Restaurant of the Year: Mecha Uma, BGC

Best new restaurants:

Locavore, Pasig
Bon Banh Mi, Makati City
Blé Real Greek Food, BF Homes Paranaque
The Girl + The Bull, BF Homes Paranaque

Best Food Halls:

Hole in the Wall, Makati City
The Zone Compound, Teacher’s Village Quezon City

Restaurant Group of the Year:

Chef of the Year:
Mikko Aspiras (Magnum Cafe, Scout’s Honor Craft Cookie Shop)

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Scout’s Honor cookie shop at Hole in the Wall Makati

Lunch today was spent at the Alphaland Place in Makati and then off to Century Mall for the much-ballyhooed Hole in the Wall food court on the 4th level. What can I say, it’s the fanciest of its kind I’ve seen. The place is impressive, reminds one of the dining hall at Westfield Centre in Sydney. It even looks like a country club from this angle…

Hole in the Wall

We came to have dessert and it was perfect that Scout’s Honor Craft Cookie Shop by Chef Miko Aspiras (of Magnum cafe fame) was the first outlet to greet us at the door.I’ve been avoiding sweets (but definitely not the kids) and a lot of people have been raving about this shop so it’s a must-go!

Scout's Honor

Scout Honor’s make-your-own cookie concept is a winner! How can you go wrong with the formula of choose your own cookie dough, add 3 toppings and we serve it to you in 8 minutes? Believe me, these hot-off-the-oven cookies (P120 per order) tasted as good as they looked!

Scout's Honor

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Mendokoro Ramenba

I’ve written before about how I loved my first slurp at Ramen Yushoken in Alabang so a visit to their just-opened sister outlet in Makati City was in order. Same owners, different name & location. The new place is called Mendokoro Ramenba (or Mindoro Ramen Bar as a joking friend would say).

Mendokoro is located in one of the lesser known streets in Salcedo Village which is near the Saturday market. We lined up for 30 minutes because the place wasn’t open yet when we arrived.


Prepare to queue because the place only has 21 seats.


My daughter had the basic shio (salt) ramen at P360. I would recommend this for first-timers and ramen virgins out there. It’s a safe choice.


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