Kenshin Izakaya- San Antonio Village, Makati

I am a huge fan of Samurai X so I just had to try this izakaya, not that it has any relevance to the popular anime apart from the name of our beloved battousai. :p It’s located at the ground floor of Linear Building, the condo near Mayapis (flood central of that side of Makati), so I suggest do not go there when it’s raining hard, because you would near a boat to and fro.

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It’s slightly bigger than the izakayas I saw in Japan. Kenshin has about a dozen tables inside and two outside. You can’t drink any alcoholic beverages outside by the way. So for my fellow drinkers who vape/smoke, this might not be the place for you. Too bad they have an interesting drinklist with items infused with sake or Japanese whisky.

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I got the Mix Tempura Set. It has prawn, fish and veggie tempura, a small vegetable salad, diced fruits in syrup, rice and miso soup. This costs 298php. Nothing stood out in this set, except maybe the salad with a Kewpie-like dressing.

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I did, however, love their Matcha  Motchi Parfait. It’s 158php and has red bean paste, corn flakes, whipped cream, mocha and matcha ice cream. This made up for the disappointment I felt over the tempura set.

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One thing that you might want to try when you visit Kenshin is their make-your-own takoyaki for 288php. It’s good for a small group of diners since the takoyaki tray makes 16 big pieces of takoyaki. Pwede rin ikaw lang kung bet na bet na bet mo talaga ang octopus. Tako means octopus in Nihongo, btw. 🙂

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I’d go back to try their ramen and gyoza. Didn’t notice any sashimi or sushi on the menu though.

Oh well… 5 stars for the battousai, 2.5 for the izakaya.

Kenshin Izakaya
Groud Floor, The Linear Makati, Yakal Corner Mayapis Street,
San Antonio, Makati City
+63 9175514605
+63 9498831200
Sunday- Monday : 11am – 3am

Goto Monster – La Paz, Makati

I only appreciate the rain if I don’t have to leave my beloved bed or if there’s food that can combat the cold. A big bowl of goto from this spot in La Paz, Makati surely satisfies. It’s been our go-to goto place (see what I did there? nyehehe) since 2014, rainy season or not.

I already blogged about GOTO MONSTER 2 years ago and I love their food so much that they deserve to be reblogged. 😀

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Needless to mention, the star of the menu is their goto- with its perfect consistency, superb taste and texture and yummy toppings. They now use turmeric, instead of kasubha, for coloring and flavoring. Just in case you don’t know, turmeric is luyang dilaw in Tagalog… the queen of spices in the spice kingdom… and has the scientific name of curcuma longa. :p It has anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant properties. Taray di’ba?

The other dishes worth having in Goto Monster are their tokwa with shiitake, bagnet or eggplants and their fresh springrolls that come with peanut sauce, chimichurri and chili.

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Their chicken adobo has got to be the best tasting adobo, even better than my Mama’s (and she already makes a mean adobo!) I wonder how they made the chicken that tender. Plus who knew chicken adobo goes well with mustasa salad? Don’t forget to drizzle some bagoong!

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ChickAdoboSilog – 120php

Their sisig is very spicy, so if you have low tolerance for spiciness, huwag niyo akong gayahin na kain lang nang kain, I didn’t realize I got to eat lots of chopped chili until it was too late! Buti na lang I had a refreshing and strong glass of Mojito (made with real lambanog… malakas ito, pwede kang ipaglaban.) to the rescue that time!

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It was my first time to try their ice cream pops some weeks ago. I had ginataang halohalo (check photo above) and leche flan (photo below). Both are so worth it for 50pesos a pop. Ang tindi nung leche flan, Napa-leche ako sa sarap. Kaya ko umubos ng lima sa isang upuan! But of course I won’t kasi I have to make way pa for their waffles!

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Leche Flan Ice Cream Pop

Their Champorado Waffles is a treat for those who like the sweet and salty combo. Champorado waffles (they use rice flour) topped with vanilla icea cream, drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with pinipig and crispy dilis. Definitely a delightful and delicious take on this popular Pinoy dish. Hindi ko akalain na mapapakain ako ng ice cream na tinaktakan ng dilis!

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Here’s my first love… Hindi si Donnie! ‘Yung Bibingka Waffles! I brought my besty a few days before his birthday to Goto Monster, hence the candle on the (rice)cake. I believe his wish was dalhin ko siya uli siya doon at isali ko siya sa Goto Monster Challenge! Bwahahaha!

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Bibingka Waffles with salted egg, ube ice cream, thick strips of bucayo, and salted caramel sauce – P135

I also brought my balikbayan friends Joel and Charm to Goto Monster because Charm loves goto and Joel wanted bagnet! Here we are with the waffles and some streetkids that the future mister and missus treated with some bagnet and tokwa. 🙂

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For drinks, I suggest you try their Kapeng Barako (served with bucayo na parang butterscotch ang dating… sara!), Iced Salabat and Iced Pineapple Kalamansi + Fresh Herbs. ‘Yung mga bote ng lapad sa table nila, condiments po ‘yon, hindi alak. Si Donnie kasi sabi ko, mag-2 bottles kami (after Goto Mosnter) tapos inabutan ako nung toyo at bagoong. :p

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A big thank you to Goto Monster for giving us monsterrific food! Thanks also to the awesome and artistic owner Jean Hill for putting art in the dishes and in the walls (check out her caricatures of famous Pinoy personalities). Keep ’em coming, Jean! 🙂

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Goto Monster
Primo de Rivera Street Corner Pablo Ocampo Sr. Extension,
La Paz, Makati City
09163002600
Open 24/7

De-Stressing Over Desserts

Stressed is spelled desserts backwards so I think it was just fitting that when I was on the verge of having a meltdown in the office, I told my friend Ezra that I wanted pie and pudding! So we went to the Toby’s Estate nearest us.

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We shared a slice of their bestseller Calamansi Pie and an order of Sticky Toffee Pudding. The pie was, as always, perfect. A lovely mix of sweet and zesty. The sauce tasted really good but the pudding was not as sticky as I expected it to be. 

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Ezra didn’t have coffee because her tastebuds is like of a child’s. She can’t tolerate anything bitter, so she doesn’t drink alcohol, too. Makes me wonder how we became friends! Hahaha! (Hi Ez, I love you kahit madalas kita binu-bully! ✌🏻️💋)

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Toby’s Estate
V Corporate Center,
125 L. P. Leviste Street,
Salcedo Village, Makati City
M, T – 7am to 10pm
W, Th, Fr, Sat 7am to 12mn
Sun – 8am to 10pm

Vina Trang – Authentic Pho and Vietnamese Coffee in San Antonio Village, Makati

I saw memes of pho puns in Pinterest like restos named Pho Shizzle and Are You Pho Real? I thought if I were to open a Vietnamese noodle soup resto here in Pinas, I’d name it #MayPhoEver. Forever wala, pero noodles meron. :p

Anyway, enough of my kakornihan! (Yeah right) One chilly Saturday afternoon that I was walking to Suzu Kin for some Nabiyaki Soba, I saw this fairly new Vietnamese resto sa may kanto and thought of satisfying my craving for some hot noodle soup here instead.

Vina Trang sells the usual Vietnamese favorites pho (pronounced as FUH), bahnmi, and iced coffee. They’re open from 9am to 11pm daily. And they have free wi-fi.

I ordered a Well Done Flank Brisket Pho (the bestseller), a traditional bahnmi, and iced coffee. I wanted the grilled fish sandwich but it wasn’t available. The leche flan wasn’t available either. I wonder if they made any Vietnamese twist to the flan.

The pho was phontastic (nyehe, last ko na ‘yan)… the beef was tender, the noodles where firm, and the soup was flavorful. The bahnmi had all its must-haves generously stuffed in the crusty baguette. The iced coffee was strong and smooth, but I wish it had more milk. :p

Vina Trang also sells coffee, noodles and condiments. I make a mean Vietnamese iced latte. Will share the steps  when I get around buying the ingredients.

I have to go back to try their spring rolls and rice meals. I also need to ask what Vina Trang means! I know that “trang” means pure or purity in Vietnamese but I’m still phocking clueless (stop na talaga ako!!!) about what “vina” translates to!

Vina Trang
8839 Sampaloc St. Cor. Estrella St.
San Antonio Village, Makati
09077717005
Open daily 9am – 11pm

Zoo Coffee – Alphaland Makati Place

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Because the panda is my favorite (or spirit?) animal, I went to this Korean café that recently opened in Alphaland Makati Place which has animals like pandas, gorillas, ex-boyfriends, tigers that you can play with. 😀

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Zoo Coffee is a Korean-franchised café that has over a 100 stores in Korea. The one here in Makati is their first one here in the Philippines. They have specialty coffee, bingsu (shaved ice dessert) teas, gelato, smoothies, honeybread, waffles, frappe, waffle, honey bread, sandwiches, pasta and salads.

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Loved their Ferrero Rocher Gelato and Green Tea Gelato– both rich in flavor and deliciously creamy.

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Here’s me with my coffeedate. Hayop siya sa cute at animal siya sa cuddliness. Literally. :p

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Zoo Coffee is a great place for solitary coffee breaks or for hanging out with friends.

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G/F Alphaland Makati Place,
Ayala Avenue Extension cor. Malugay Street,
Bel-air, Makati
+63 9266308699, 02 9987608
M-F 7am-11pm
Sat 8am-10pm
Sun 10am-9pm

Brunch at Wildflour Salcedo

One of the best things in life is the smell of freshly baked bread. And just one whiff of the goodies in Wildflour would easily make one forget about her diet. :p

Good thing I was with my friend Mike who’s a crossfit trainer/mma person (seriously Iya, mma person? lol) so hiyang-hiya naman ako magkain construction worker that time. Got me some Vietnamese Latte and I think Mike’s is the Good Morning Sunshine Smoothie with strawberry, pineapple, mango, banana, yogurt.

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I had the salad-soup-grilled cheese plate. I liked the tomato soup, but the sandwich was blah. The salad barely had vinaigrette, but it’s okay because I was delighted with the greens’ freshness.

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Mike enjoyed his Mediterranean Salad, especially the fresh tuna. The other things in this plate are Israeli couscous, olives, tomato, French beans, garbanzo.

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Be sure to make a reservation before heading there for lunch, because if you don’t, you will eat at the bar or outside. :p

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If there’s no space at the bar or outside, you might want to eat at Toby’s Eastate instead which is just right beside it. There’s also The Wholesome Table at the Corner.

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You can check out the menu here.

Wildflour
M-Th – 7am to 10pm / F-Sat – 7am to 11pm / S – 8am to 4pm
V Corporate Center,
125 L. P. Leviste Street,
Salcedo Village, Makati City
02 8087072

Pahabol: If you find youself getting fat because you ate too much in Wildflour, go to Crossfit Salcedo to get your sexy back. Look for Coach Mike. Hehe. 😀

Ang Banana Cue. Bow.

I had an intense craving for banana cue  and even if I was already running late for an appointment, I stopped by the carinderia near our building to buy one. Naman eh. Friday night ko pa gusto ng maasukal na banana cue. I got the banana cue with the most sugar. Woohoo! Solid! Yumyumyum! 👌 Excited na ako lamunin but I saw a streetkid beside me looking at my banana cue. Ang sama ng tingin nitong batang lalaki sa banana cue ko. I thought, “Ay nako. Baka humingi pa ito sa akin ha.” But he didn’t ask for it, he simply looked at the banana cue and then looked at his dirty bare feet. I wanted to buy one for him but I had no more money left. (I was planning to withdraw when I get to where my appointment was.) I opened my mouth intending to bite my snack but instead, to my tummy’s horror 😲, I asked the little boy if he wanted it and he nodded. I handed the banana cue to him and he ate it without paying attention to me anymore. I thought, “Loko itong bata na ito, nakakain lang, dinedma na ako.” Anyway, I went back to my building to wait for my Uber ride. After a few minutes, just when I was about to leave, I heard a loud voice, “MA’AM!!!!!!!!! MA’AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I turned around and saw the little boy. He ran towards me and said, “Tenk you po sa banana cue! Ang sarap sarap po!!!!!!!!!” And he smiled the biggest, sweetest smile I’ve ever seen. 😄 I was overwhelmed with surprise that he was able to find me and that he was so expressive with his thanksgiving. I smiled and said “Welcome!” and he waved goodbye and ran across the street.

I will always remember that smile. I believe that’s waaaaay sweeter than any banana cue I would ever crave for again! There really are moments that we will be made to want something so bad not for ourselves but so that we can be instruments to make the people around us feel good. 😊 💕

#ThankYouLordJesus
#toGodbetheglory
#grateful

Pahabol thought: Actually, feeling ko mas na-bless ako kaysa sa bata ng situation na ito. I feel like I entertained an angel.