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:
Wildflour

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

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Closeup Diamond Attraction : the launch

We couldn’t miss the launch of Closeup’s Diamond Attraction which was held last January 27 at the Blackbird restaurant in Ayala Triangle. Firstly, it was my first time to dine at chef Colin McKay’s Blackbird which has one of Manila’s sought-after dining tables right now. Second, we were all in good company. The bloggers and journalists who attended were all dressed in sleek black excited over the unveiling of what’s touted to be a first in oral care: a toothpaste which gives one visibly whiter teeth in just one brush!

Here’s a teaser of the commercial starring Closeup Diamond Attraction endorser Heart Evangelista –

I like the classy packaging of this product, and also love the fact that it’s co-created in collaboration with cosmetic dentists. In the words of Closeup Senior Brand Manager Gem Laforteza: “We are always looking for ways to innovate and to accentuate every woman’s best accessory, her smile. Diamond Attraction is guaranteed to give users an instant lift so that they’re able to flash their pearly whites with utmost confidence.”

And so we saw the event’s VIP guests in high spirits for the evening, beginning with Heart and Senator Chiz who will we wed in less than two weeks in Balesin Island.

Soon-to-be-wed couple, Heart Evangelista and Chiz Escudero

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#PanteneMiracle conditioner works like magic!

The friendly people from Campaigns & Grey sent me this package last week and I was thrilled to get this product because am always problematic about my wavy hair. I thought I solved the problem by going for a rebonding at the neighborhood salon but now I think it ended up more damaged and brittle than ever before. So naturally, I was excited to try the new Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner to see if it will give my locks its much-needed revival…

Pantene Miracle Conditioner

Reading the product literature, here’s what it promises: improve hair health, help repair damage & leaving hair smooth, prevent split ends & let the user see immediate results.

According to Pantene, the Miracle Conditioner contains the highest-ever concentration of advanced Terminal Amino-Silicones. This is 80 percent more than what’s found in regular Pantene Conditioners.

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Art Fair Philippines 2015 on February 5 to 8!

Mark the date: Art Fair Philippines happens on February 5-8, 2015 at The Link car park building in Ayala Center, Makati City. That’s Thursday to Sunday next week folks! This event is really a big deal for the community as it will showcase the best and most promising artists in Philippine visual art. But that’s not all because foreign galleries from Singapore, Jakarta and Hong Kong will also be exhibiting.

There will be a total of 33 galleries participating in Art Fair Philippines 2015, and eight of these are from abroad. These are: 1335 Mabini, Altromondo,Archivo, Arndt, Art Cube, Artesan, Art Informal, Art Verite, Avellana Art Gallery, Blanc, Boston Gallery, CANVAS, Crucible, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Equator Art Projects, Finale Art File, Galeria Duemila, Galerie Michael Janssen, J Studio, MO_, Nova Gallery, Nunu Fine Art, Pablo, Paseo Gallery, ROH Projects, Salcedo Private View, Secret Fresh, Silverlens, TAKSU, The Drawing Room, Tin-Aw Art Gallery, Vinyl on Vinyl, West Gallery.

Providing much excitement will be the pieces of the Philippines brightest young artists which will be viewable on the car park’s 7th level.

These include Poklong Anading who continues to experiment with various forms of media for his art. In this photo, ‘Road to Mountains’ which is inspired by recycled tires…

Recycled tires Poklong Anading

Kawayan de Guia is another mixed media artist who has exhibited internationally. This piece is called ‘Remains’ which is made from fiberglass and resin –

Remains by Kawayan de Guia

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Ajinomoto Umami Culinary Challenge on January 30

ajinomoto-umami-culinary-challenge

Now on its 6th year, the Ajinomoto® Umami Culinary Challenge (UCC) 2015 will be held this Friday, January 30, 2015 at the Hall 2 of the SMX Convention Hall from 6am to 6:00 pm. It is the biggest, intercollegiate, multi-category culinary competition that focuses on the delicious potential of umami, the 5th basic taste. HRM and Nutrition students coming from 54 schools all over the country will come together to witness the cooking showdown of the best culinary teams from Luzon and Mindanao.

Aside from the interschool competition, Umami Culinary Challenge (UCC) 2015 will also feature three other categories: Best Filipino Umami Dish, My Own Umami Creation and My Eat Well, Live Well® Plate. The competing teams will be judged based on intensity of their dish’s umami taste, culinary technique and creativity, dish preparation and plate presentation. One of the major criteria is the Eat Well, Live Well.® Cooking, which refers to culinary nutrition or the integration of culinary skills and nutrition knowledge to create a delicious and nourishing umami dish.

Winners will receive the following cash prizes: first place – P10,000; second place – P8,000; third place -P5,000. National Showdown winners will receive PhP 15,000. Major prizes also include gifts from UCC 2015 sponsors: La Germania, Solane, Fujidenzo and Masflex.

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#MissUniverse2015 winners : Paulina Vega of Colombia is it!

22-year old business administration student Paulina Vega has just been crowned Miss Universe 2015 in Doral, Miami Florida. She is the daughter of a cardiologist and comes from a family of seven siblings. Her body is a wonder and we also wonder at the trivia written in her bio: that she sleeps with her eyes open (!!) Haha. We all had fun watching Miss Universe 2015 here in Manila. It’s just sad that Miss Philippines Mary Jean Lastimosa just managed a spot in the Top 10.

Pauline Vega’s photo from miss universe.com:

Paulina Vega missuniverse.com

Here’s how the Miss Universe Top 5 Question and Answer went. I thought Miss Jamaica had a chance but she didn’t answer what was asked. Ugh. To the question ‘what can women learn from men,’ Pauline Vega replied: “I believe that there are still men out there who believe in equality and I believe that this is what women should learn from men.”

Here’s the rest of the Miss Universe 2015 winners:

First runner-up: Miss USA – Nia Sanchez
2nd runner-up: Miss Ukraine Diana Harkusha
3rd runner up: Miss Netherlands Yasmin Verheijen
4th runner-up: Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell

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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.

Line

Prepare to queue because the place only has 21 seats.

mendokoro

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.

Mendokoro

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