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

Xocolat – Loyola Heights, Quezon City

I asked my Facebook friends for a place near Ateneo that’s conducive for usapang masinsinan and that has good food especially desserts. Xocolat was the most mentioned choice.

I’m not that much of a chocolate fan, but I do like the saying, “A balanced diet is having chocolate in both hands!”

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I can’t believe I lived in Diliman for 2 years and hung out in this area of QC for a large part of last year but it was only last August 27 that I got to try Xocolat out. I guess there is really an appointed time for everything. 😀

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It was also my first time to see the enthralling-awesome-youthful Fr. Jboy Gonzales! I met him in Twitter around 3 years ago, and I’m thankful that he got to spend some time with me before he went to Davao for his new thrilling and consequential assignment .

We had pasta, cakes and chocolate drinks– stuff that you cannot not have when you are in Xocolat. We had Hot Xocolat, Aztec Xocolat (with chili!), Tablea Xocolat, Pineapple Mango Basil Mansi, Lemon Bangus Pasta, (cannot remember the pasta Fads had, I think it was Hungarian Sausage pasta), carrot cake, lemon cake, and matcha cheesecake! 

Everything was good, but I’d go back for the lemon cake and the hot chocolate made with tablea and with chili!

They do not only use chocolate in their beverages and pastries, but in their mains as well- like the Chicken ala Xocolat which is like chicken a la kiev with white chocolate and the Xocolat Pork Belly which is served with cacao-bagoong sauce.

Xocolat is a great choice for having no nonsense good food in a shabby chic setting. 🙂 I liked it so much that I went back there a couple of times by myself. Planning on bringing my South friends there soon. Well, hopefully I get to go back there to meet Father Jboy again. But who knows, the next time I meet him might already be in Davao. Ah ewan. Basta may pagkain na masarap at may masarap na chikahan! 😀

Xocolat
172 B. Gonzales Street,
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
02 9294186
Sunday-Monday, 7am to 11pm
(They also have branches in Greenhills and in Libis.)

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

The Wicked Waffle – Loyola Heights, Katipunan

Waffles are just pancakes with abs. And The Wicked Waffle has over 30 kinds of waffle creations.

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They also have other items to choose from as well like soups, salads, appetizers, Filipino breakfast favorites, Continental breakfast favorites, rice bowls, pasta, omelettes, sandwiches, and steaks. They have a pretty loaded menu and items are affordable.

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Í had the Breakfast of Champions plate that has waffles, bacon, potatoes and scrambled eggs. It costs 195php.

Look and taste considered, there’s nothing special about it. Not sure why it’s even a Chef’s Recommendation. What taste would I expect from those dishes that aren’t even recommended?  The only thing I liked from this plate was the potatoes and it wasn’t even that good.

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I might come back to try their Breakfast Ramen because that seems interesting, or have some Southern Fried Chicken maybe. I’m just sure I’ll skip the waffles. Wickedly ironic, isn’t it?

Their other branches are in Tagaytay, SM Manila, McKinley Hill, Better Living and Eastwood Cyber Mall.

The Wicked Waffle
329 Katipunan Ave, Loyola Heights,
Quezon City
02 4330343

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

Kantori Yakitori – Aguirre Ave, BF Homes

I was hungry and it was raining and none of my Bene barkada was in BF yet for our scheduled catch up over drinks. I asked the Uber driver to stop the car at the first interesting restaurant I laid my eyes on as soon as we went past the Phase 1 Aguirre guardhouse.

And it was Kantori Yakitori.

It was the Japanese lanterns that caught my eye. I lovelovelove lanterns!

I started my meal with a Sake Bomb. I accidentally deleted the video where I slammed my hands on the table and the shot glass filled with sake fell off the chopsticks into the glass of beer.

Then I had a bowl of Miso Corny Soup that according to the description in the menu has cream and leeks, but I didn’t taste the cream, the leeks and even the miso. The corn sat at the bottom of the bowl and I only got to meet them when I was done with the soup.

The YummyMono Sampler was win though. I enjoyed everything on this plate- the shiitake topped with fish flakes, breaded tofu, bacon wrapped asparagus, quail eggs and pork belly. Sabi ng menu to share daw. Too late when I read the part of the menu that said “Sharing is Caring”.  Didn’t plan on finishing the platter by myself pero nagutom ako sa kakahintay sa kanila so naubos ko na pala. :p

What I couldn’t finish was my Coke in can so I did what any normal (?) person will do if there’s some leftover Coke. Get a shot of Jack Daniels, of course.

I wanted to try the Japanese whisky sampler by the time my friends arrived, but they decided they wanted to eat something sweet. And there’s no dessert being served in Kantori Yakitori.

I hope they serve some sweet matcha goodies soon. I’ll have it with my shots of Suntory, Hibiki 17, Nikka Miyagiko. Or maybe with a glass of highball.

Kantori Yakitori
51 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes
Parañaque City
02 3589079
Monday – closed
T, W, Th, Sun – 5pm-12mn
Fri, Sat – 5pm – 2am

We ended up going to Rue Bourbon where we had some beer, shooters and cocktails. And where they ate ribs and fries. Sweet pala ang gusto niyo ha?!!?? Liars! Pffffttt! 😛

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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