Hops & Brews in Makati is Your New After Work Chill Place

Remembering my time back in our Makati office, when I had to print lots of sales kits, that I could almost pull out an all-nighter on my work shifts, I suddenly thought I haven’t really had much time to order good food while I was at work. Or even after work.

A hard day’s labor often ends up in an empty-bellied workaholic girl who succumbs to sleep when she comes home. Just because, she doesn’t know where to go after. :/

Looking back, if I can just tell her, “Hey! There’s a good resto down the block, and if you can just finish everything on time, you might even have a chance to score good food while listening to their acoustics!”

I may not work in Makati anymore, but it’s a relief to know that good food is literally just some minutes away from the office;  or if you’re lucky based on your office’s location, probably only seconds.

Want to know what I’m talking about? Just keep on reading!

 

I recently discovered this up and coming cafe bar in Makati, and I am sooo stoked!

One of the founders of Hops & Brews is actually an attendee of  my Search Engine Optimization talk. I know, the wonders of events and learning!

I was so happy I got to meet her, and share insights about marketing, social media, and business!

The other day, I was fortunate enough to try some of their best-sellers and here is what I have to say!

Fish and Shrimps Nasi Goreng

I got so kilig when I read “Nasi Goreng”.

When I was in Malaysia, all menus have them! Nasi is rice, while Goreng is fried. It’s like their most basic dish, and restaurants play with the add-ons, like beef, chicken or whatever the kitchen has. It depends on how they get creative.

I literally squealed when I read it, so I asked the waiter to serve us this dish because I got so curious how they will manipulate the flavors. Although I know it’s going to be spicy,  I just braced myself and had my water gallons at the ready.

Surprisingly, the spice was just right. Something I can handle, and the flavors were just bursting everywhere. Even without the fish and shrimps, the rice itself can stand alone as a meal, so I highly recommend you try this one!

Chicken Karaage

The flavor was strong, yet gentle to munch. I had a very good time eating this dish, because I never need rice to feel busog with it.

The crunch was just right, and I like how freshly made it was. The sauce was good too, although I prefer eating it without it.

I like dry things! Hehe :))

The Buddha Bowl

This surprised me. I was just expecting a lot of greens to this salad, but the meat strips proved a fine addition to it.

It felt more like a meal than a salad to me. I love how the flavor of each ingredient is also  subtle enough to complement and produce a different kind of taste with the mixture of all the involved spices.

I recommend you to visit Hops and Brews, especially on their acoustic nights, which varies between Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays! They operate from 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM.

Visit them at: G/F of I’M Hotel 7862 Makati Avenue, Poblacion Makati 1210

Contact Number: 0916 785 0568
I will be holding one of my talks here soooooon! 😀
So I’ll see you here one of these days, yeah?
**, Via

When Taste Buds Rouse at Vittorio’s Steakhouse

Aside from pretzels and chocoflakes, steaks are equally important in my life, as they particularly signal that there is something special to celebrate!

I have tasted quite a few menus of steakhouses, both in and out of Metro Manila and I am  grateful that I had the chance to taste Vittorio’s Steakhouse style on this much-coveted Pinoy favorite.

IMG_20170604_151143

IMG_20170604_151151

To my surprise, this restaurant has quite a lot to offer, and their menu is evolving to serve more exquisite dishes.

IMG_20170604_151417

Here are the parietal cell-inducing specialties!

IMG_20170604_153254

Corn Chowder

Corn-flavored soups are my tastebuds’ bestfriend, and it’s no wonder that I liked this one. They are creamy and seasoned perfectly. I actually wanted another serving, but I have to save some space for the other dishes.

IMG_20170604_153319

Crab Bisque

This is definitely appetizing, and it’s easy to discern the spices. Delicious as it is, I wished the crabby taste was more apparent. But overall, it was delicious.

IMG_20170604_153751

Chop Noodles Salad with Miso Dressing

I didn’t know noodles and greens will go meant-to-be! I love this recipe! They were surprising and intriguing! Every bite was wonderful!

IMG_20170604_154205

Oyster Rockefeller

I love how the oysters tasted! They made me want to go to the beach! If it was just me, I might have devoured the whole plate! But of course, I am a polite foodie. :p

I also admire how they tasted so fresh, despite the generous smothering of garlic and cheese into each shell. I believe this will be perfect for those who are on a strict diet.

IMG_20170604_154814

Mixed Green Salad with Balsamic Dressing

I am kind of biased with salads like this. Greek Salads are my favorite, such as this variant, so it wasn’t a shock when I had to control myself in taking over the bigger share of the plate. But hey, the serving was hefty, so no biggie! 😀

IMG_20170604_154740IMG_20170604_154748

Buttered Garlic Shrimp

If it wasn’t stated that Vittorio’s is a Steakhouse, I might have thought that this is a Shrimp House! This is their best-seller, and it was truly stellar!

The shrimp tasted superb along with its spices, and you can practically eat them as is, or pair them with rice. This is a must-order! Do not skip this one!

IMG_20170604_161333IMG_20170604_161353

Clams Pasta

It was a new dish for me because I haven’t tasted anything like it before. The sauce was good, although I kind of hoped it would taste stronger. And it wouldn’t hurt either if there was a crunch element added to it.

IMG_20170604_162648IMG_20170604_162744

Shrimp Pesto

I love tasting different takes on pesto. I remember, I used to rank the best pestos I’ve ever tasted, just because.

The princely amount of shrimps was commendable, and if given the chance, I would urge every restaurant there is to take a cue on the serving made in Vittorio’s. However, I kind of hoped that the pesto tasted more aggressive.

IMG_20170604_161233

Beef and Garlic Mushroom

This recipe made me want to learn it, and prepare it when I become a Mom someday. I really think that it’s perfect for lunch, and the flavour was just everywhere. Everything was just bursting with spices, and the aroma was addicting.

IMG_20170604_165047IMG_20170604_165053

Meatballs with Honey Soy Glazed

This dish reminded me of Rosie, the elder woman who took voice lessons from Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) in the movie, “The Wedding Singer”. She used to give Robbie with meatballs as compensation. Haha 😀

And if I can imagine, if those meatballs that Rosie made ever tasted like Vittorio’s, Robbie Hart was well-paid then.

The meatballs that were served to us that day were excellent!

IMG_20170604_161145

Crab Cake

The cake was a bit over-cooked for me, and a little dry. Perhaps because it was prepared way before the time we had to taste it? I don’t know. But I would love to go back and check if my tastebuds were just cranky that afternoon.

IMG_20170604_164102IMG_20170604_163949

Bone in Steak with Steakrice

So this is why it’s a steakhouse!

The star of the restaurant didn’t disappoint. It was soooo good, that even if I was a bit full, my stomach still urged to let them in. My golly, I really loved it! It was like a feast in itself!

They were served as medium-rear, and even if I am not a fan of that technique, I appreciated how soft and chewable the beef strands were. They were delightful in the mouth, as well as how chunky and rich they were in flavor.

You definitely need to order this when you visit!

“Gusto kong kumain ng karne!”, is the usual line of one good friend, and I can’t wait to share this with her!

IMG_20170604_170629IMG_20170604_170538

Rebel Bar and Brownies

And finally, the dessert! 😀 They were chocolatey, very chewy, and complementing with the dishes we had. I am not a lover of chocolates, but these are good ones I bet. My fiancé loved them!

IMG_20170604_161653IMG_20170604_161704

Over all, I loved the experience! It’s a great place to go for lunches and dinners, family bonding, friendly hang-outs and even dates! You could actually drop by here even if it’s a lunch meeting.

The place is quiet and the selection of food is wide. I can see that you will really spend some time debating on what to order, so better come in early!

IMG_20170604_164316

Thank you, Chef, for an awesome and gastronomic food experience! I went home with food coma! 😀 Hehe

Visit Vittorio’s Steakhouse at 1103, 32 Sct Borromeo, Diliman, Quezon City, 1103 Metro Manila.

You may also follow them on their social media accounts:

FB: @vittoriosph

IG: @vittoriosph

Email: vittorios@gmail.com

Amazing menu awaits you dear merfriend! 😀

 

**, Via

 

Exquisite Dining Only at Solstice by Ilustrado

IMG_20170419_205955

I got invited to check out this new restaurant in Rockwell, by the name of Solstice Bistro & Boulangerie. By the looks of it, it won’t be difficult to discern that this is one of what’s seemingly lined up in the upscale list of restaurants you can see in the area.

About: Solstice by Ilustrado at 8 Rockwell

Solstice Bistro and Boulangerie is now called Solstice by Ilustrado, a merger of two great culinary brands offering modern continental and heritage Filipino-Spanish cuisine. This is coupled with a well-curated selection of wines and spirits located at the ground floor of 8 Rockwell, one of Makati’s chic urban communities.

IMG_20170419_223010IMG_20170419_223034

A merger of two well-loved culinary brands.

Solstice draws inspiration from the success of One Way Restaurant, once touted as among Makati’s best-kept secrets. Ilustrado, on the other hand, brings with it its rich history and heritage, with its status as one of the well-established household dining destinations in Manila’s famed walled city.

The new management has taken this as a challenge as they reinvented the restaurant’s menu just this year adding new recipes and covering multiple cuisines.

They also complemented the refreshed menu with a selection of fine wines carefully chosen to complete the gastronomic experience.

 

I love their interiors. The design has a modern feel, and the cascade of a photo-history kind of brings back memories people shared via good food and company.

I highly imagine this place hosting to close family gatherings, reunions, friend get-togethers and even dates! The ambiance will surely make you feel first-class!

IMG_20170419_210210

And oh, the food! How do I start with this?

Well, first is, this wasn’t like the normal food tasting slash food blog event I’ve been to. We were all sitting in a long table, and there were food servers who would put some amount on our plates, and in that way we could somehow tell them if the serving was too much or enough.

Because they never give small ones! I was literally overwhelmed with the idea that I can talk to the servers and ask what is in the dish, and if it was spicy, or if it’s seafood, pork, vegetable, or whatever.

I felt like Rose Dewitt-Bukater (Kate Winslet) in Titanic! Remember that scene?

So here is the mouth-watering feast we had.

IMG_20170419_210300

Kapampangan Sisig

I love how flavorful this is, and the crunchyness made devouring it a more fun experience.

The Sisig Kapampangan which is a refreshing departure from the mayonnaise and egg laden dish. This one is cooked with their home-made liver spread gravy and topped with chopped red and green chili. Of special mention is that the sisig consists of crispy pigs ears, skin and mascara.

IMG_20170419_210317

Stuffed Chicken Ilustrado

Their take on Stuffed Chicken is wonderful, it tasted fairly well. Although it didn’t quite leave a remarkable impact, the chicken was rich and thick and something that is ideal to order at lunch.

IMG_20170419_210423

Serrano and Manchego Skewers with balsamic glaze

Aside from it looking fancy, I had an enjoyable time eating them. Mixing it together allows you to appreciate both distinct flavors.

IMG_20170419_210444

Pasta Aligue with Crispy Soft shell Crab

This is an interesting dish to include in any event I suppose. It’s fresh and modern! I believe if I were to conduct an event in Solstice, this is a must-order!

IMG_20170419_210459

Paella Ilustrado

I love how this becomes a complete meal already! Among all the dishes served that night, this is probably my favorite! The taste is exquisite, and every spice is just shouting like crazy!

I think I quite had three servings of this! No judging!

IMG_20170419_210528

Callos Madrilena

I love this one! I had a great time savouring the spices. I would want to eat their version of Callos Madrilena with rice next time!

IMG_20170419_211958

Norwegian Salmon Ceviche Poke

I didn’t expect to adore this one! It really tasted healthy! I believe this dish is perfect for those who are on a strict diet! It’s a seafood-vegetable and fruit combo! What more could you ask for?

IMG_20170419_210549

Adobong Bagnet with Crab fat

Super sarap! Period!

IMG_20170419_211918

Shroom Pizza

This is also delicious, although I wanted more salt in it. The cheese melted perfectly, but I wished the salt balanced more with the cheese. The mushrooms were soft and easy to chew as well!

IMG_20170419_211932

Chorizo Pizza

It was delightful, because all the spices were just blended evenly and perfectly, and I never distinguished any spice that wasn’t right on its place.

IMG_20170419_211143

I forgot what this one is called, something with Lime or Lemongrass I think? But OMG. This one is so delicious, probably something I could order in Hogsmead.

IMG_20170419_211826IMG_20170419_211124IMG_20170419_210616IMG_20170419_212950

Mango Jubilee with Sampaguita Ice Cream

Have you ever tasted Sampaguita before? Now is your chance! Taste a flower like no other, and I promise, the taste will make you sing!

It’s nothing like any dessert you’ve tasted before, so when you visit Solstice by Ilustrado, this one should be part of your experience! Thank me after!

IMG_20170419_213752

Matcha Cookies and Cream

This dessert is a shocker for me. I am not a fan of Matcha, and these cookies are making me feel that I can convert already! Plus the cream tasted like a pure soul.

OMG. I hope it didn’t sound weird to you.

The cream tasted so innocent, very pure, creamy, and it matches the Matcha Cookies like destiny!

IMG_20170419_213803IMG_20170419_214729IMG_20170419_222344

These lovely ladies are the ones we have to thank for bringing the illustrious dishes in this beautiful restaurant!

IMG_20170419_215958

IMG_20170419_225248

Your favorites next door.

With the new Solstice by Ilustrado, customers no longer need to scour the metro or brave the traffic to seek out their favorite food in Manila. Be it with colleagues, family, friends, or significant others, everyone is sure to find something to enjoy in Solstice by Ilustrado.

For Reservations, please call (+632) 802 1891 or (+63 977 748 8861), from 11AM to 11PM daily. Follow @solsticebyilustrado on Instagram, and like facebook.com/SolsticebyIlustrado/ for updates.

Dine like an elite, but spend like an economical citizen! The food is amazing, and reasonably priced!

You would have to start checking them out now, and taste a piece of luxury! You would be happy you did!

**, Via

Caught Rib Handed at RBCTY Maginhawa

I was so skinny in college I barely eat. I had this notion that eating takes up so much time that it could have been put to better use by studying instead. Fast forward to now, I can tell how fun I must be back then. It’s a wonder how I even manage to have friends! Haha 😀

IMG_20170322_185659

But seriously, I am so grateful that phase is already over. And to give truth to that, I recently had the chance to taste delectable dishes from RBCTY (Rib City), a food joint in Maginhawa Street near UP Diliman. I can imagine how college students in this area must be crashing on their diet on a constant basis!

IMG_20170322_191107IMG_20170322_191047

IMG_20170322_190049

I got into the restaurant and it’s apparent how hip the ambiance is. It felt so poppy, and everything seems so colorful! I actually took a fancy in their lego displays. I bet these should keep their clients busy as they wait for their orders.

IMG_20170322_200611IMG_20170322_200602

IMG_20170322_200831IMG_20170322_200856IMG_20170322_200923IMG_20170322_200804

IMG_20170322_191438

We were first served with Dynamite (P188). The kick of green chili peppers and cheese made this one of my favorite Dynamite recipes. I used to be so scared trying these because I am not a spicy food fan, but RBCTY’s take was mild though, and delicious! I don’t mind taking another one or two!

IMG_20170322_192450

IMG_20170322_193546We had the Not Just Nachos (P248), and the sauce and toppings were just so generous. I was blown away!

IMG_20170322_192602IMG_20170322_192836

The main star was definitely their ribs which can come in ‘Big City’ (P898) and ‘Big City Mix’ (P838). Both can serve 4 but the difference is ‘Big City’ offers additional 4 side-eats and 4 drinks, while ‘Big City Mix’ delivers additional 4 awesome wings, 4 side eats + 4 drinks.

Naturally, this won’t be called RBCTY (Rib City) without their flavorful and perfectly cooked ribs! They are tasteful, soft, and will send your tummy in its most full and actualized form.

IMG_20170322_193113

IMG_20170322_193211

We also had fun taking photos!

I suggest you starve first before going here. Perhaps not eating all day so you can eat as much as you want! Hehe 😀 Kidding! But seriously, I hope you leave enough room in your stomach so that you can eat more!

IMG_20170322_192911

Their fried chicken was extra crispy, and the pepper-ish taste was awesome! I wish they just have more gravy for all of us to share! I can be a gravy monster sometimes! 😀

We were also able to try their sweet and puffy Strawberry Shortcake Milkshake. I appreciate that it’s not that sweet because it made me want to order another one. It was evenly blended.

For me, the big surprise were the desserts! We had the opportunity to taste their 2 best-selling cakes, and they are White Toblerone (P148), Queso de Bola (P148) and Decadent Brownie a la Mode (168)  .

IMG_20170322_201245

White Toblerone was exquisite. It tasted fine and melted inside my mouth.

IMG_20170322_201215Queso De Bola was cheese with a twist. I’ve never tasted anything like it. It’s delicious!

IMG_20170322_201151

Decadent Brownie a la Mode reminded me of Ice Cream Brownies in La Marea in Cebu, and they are one of the reasons why I like dining in there. RBCTY’s version was more elaborate and generous; I just wish the brownie is warmer when served. There is just something special when you feel the fusion and variation of cold ice cream and the hot brownie inside your mouth – like yin and yang flirting with your taste buds.

IMG_20170322_200637IMG_20170322_200721

Eating in RBCTY is one of the experiences I wish I had in college. It just makes me want to go back and experience eating in restaurants near my school, or perhaps I could have eaten more back then and fed my brain better glucose! Haha 🙂

IMG_20170322_191037

But oh well, I highly recommend eating in RBCTY! The staff is super nice, the prices are affordable, not to mention they have the wittiest lines playing on their restaurant name! You could even have your photo taken and be caught rib handed! This wall is actually such a scene stealer, you wouldn’t miss it!

You may find RBCTY (Rib City) in 63Maginhawa St. UP Village, Diliman Quezon City. You may visit their website at www.rbcty.com or call them through 0917 871 4681. They operate at 11:30AM – 10:30PM daily!

You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram!

IMG_20170322_193341

Have you been here? How was your experience?

 

**, Via