Category Archives: Food

A Sumptuous Take Two: Coffee 8065

Date: Sometime in March… (forgive my memory lapses)
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Told you I’ll be back for more. 😉

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Well because the coffee shop’s very near from our place, my sister and I decided to have our lunch here after an hour of “walkajog.” And oh, this is the cool toy shelf I mentioned in my previous blog post:

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Nice, right? It really adds a “home-y” feel to the place. There are also great paintings displayed on their wall. You know, it would be really nice if you check it all for yourselves. *super wink*

GEDC0004(A doodle made by my niece, Eurich)

Anyway, for our lunch, we tried some of their paninis: the bacon and ham panini. And for my drink? This time, I had a mug of caffe latte for a change.

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The latte’s a relief compared to the last drink I had here. 🙂  The espresso’s just right (not a bad shot!), and its blending with milk is so awesome. The coffee didn’t overpower the milk and vice versa. The temperature’s not too hot anymore; plus, they’ve done a latte art! Super additional points for that! 🙂  Hope they can make my face out of the foam next time. Lol.

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Now for my lunch. The ham panini’s such a delight to my tastebuds! It’s freshly made with greens on the side. What more can I ask for a lunch? 🙂  The ingredients are superb— the crisp bread binding the ham, melt-in-your-mouth cheese and pesto (spinach) together… fulfillment to my digestive system. I also love the salad with nuts; it’s like the perfect contrast yet effective combination. 🙂

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Same goes with the bacon panini— it’s equally tasty and great based on my ever trusty tastebuds. 🙂  In fact, I can finish both paninis in one sitting!

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This experience is definitely not the last. Like I said on my previous post, you might just spot me sitting on one corner. Yes, expect me to be one of their regular customers. 😉  See you all there!
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SPOON RATING:

spoon4FOUR SPOONS! YAY!

“Still awesome and got more awesome when I tasted their paninis and latte. I say ‘more!’” – Lexy

Accessible Caffeine Bliss at its Greatest: Coffee 8065

GEDC2234Coffee 8065, located at 2nd Floor Veca bldg., Estrella St. cor. Chino Roces Ave., San Antonio Village, Makati

Date: Sometime in March (I can’t remember! :O)
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What’s up, guys? 🙂  I’m so excited to share this place with all of you, for it’s my awesome hangout from now on.

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It’s Coffee 8065 (or 8065 Coffee Shop, dunno which is which (though their FB page’s name is Coffee 8065, so…)), an “extension of the 8065 legacy,” as their brochure says. Created by the same people behind the very successful 8065 Bagnet, this newest coffee tambayan in town is, actually, just like any other coffee shop which offer different beverages and pastries. But what makes them stand out from the rest: the ambiance itself.

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The place is just so cozy; you can fall asleep on the couch. It’s a little bit deserted when we went there, and the baristas said that the place doesn’t get too crowded with customers often. It’s normal; the coffee shop just opened last January, and it doesn’t have enough recognition yet. So, I hope that with this blog, the shop can gain more people. I’m telling you, it’s so cool!

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GEDC2220(Look! You can also doodle on their cups here, and they will surely display your masterpiece on their shelf!)

Anyway, the shop has that “acoustic” vibe. Dim lights and a guitar and chair on the corner… it’s just like an acoustic bar in there. True enough; sometimes they have bands playing for the customers. So rad! 😉  Also, when you get to visit the place, check out the extensive display of toys on the shelf! It really adds extra coolness to the place. (Picture to be posted on the next post… yes we definitely came back for more Coffee 8065 moments!)

Okay, moving on… (hahaha) This place offers the basic beverages you can find in other coffee shops. They also have pastries such as cakes and cinnamon rolls, and they also make paninis and pesto pasta. Plus, you can eat your bagnet dishes there. Since the shop is just a walking distance from the original 8065 Bagnet, they can deliver the savory bagnet to you even if you’re in the coffee shop. Less hassle (since the restaurant is oftentimes crowded) + chill atmosphere = superdy duper great, right?

GEDC2206(Oh geez… just too many cinnamon rolls to handle!)

For our first visit there (which was 10 in the evening, with my sister and niece), we ordered nice cups of hot chocolate and caffe mocha, and slices of blueberry cheesecake and chocolate mousse cake.

GEDC2222(Caffe Mocha)

Well, I have to say: their caffe mocha is good! My sister liked it so much (better than Starbucks, she said. Lol), though it wasn’t that hot because of the whipped cream. Nevertheless, the blend tastes good and the espresso really mixed well with the chocolate. *thumbs up*

GEDC2223(Hot Chocolate)

Now I hate to say this, but their hot chocolate wasn’t exactly how I expected it to taste like. It’s a bit watery and bland. The flavor is not that strong (I mean I barely tasted the sweetness of the chocolate) and it’s too hot, in fairness. It actually left the tip of my tongue sore for the next two days. I’m not that satisfied with my order, but it doesn’t diminish my amazement to this place. 🙂

GEDC2211(Blueberry Cheesecake)

GEDC2214(Chocolate Mousse Cake)

These cakes are the perfect combination to any drink. The Blueberry Cheesecake tastes just right and the Chocolate Mousse Cake is not too sweet— not so nakakaumay for us cake lovers. Plus, their slices are really reasonable! *another thumbs up*

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This place really hit the right spot for me. Aside from the fact that it’s super near our place (meaning I can hang out here almost every day), they have free and super fast wi-fi! How’s that for the coolest coffee shop ever?

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I must say, I will really keep coming back to Coffee 8065. It’s comfy, the service’s good, the baristas are super friendly (as in I mean it), and the whole place just screams “awesomeness” in just a glance… and let’s not forget the free wi-fi. 😉  Plus, their prices are really affordable! Click this for the full menu!

GEDC2225(Yours truly, enjoying her first buys at the coffee shop. *thumbs up*)

GEDC2231(With the super duper friendly and accommodating baristas, Shane and Nick… and my niece Eurich, too. Lol)

Definitely more awesome moments to happen and be done in this coffee shop. 😉  Who knows? You might just spot me there, writing another blog entry for this crazy site!

Visit 8065coffee.com for more details about this “kewl” coffee place!
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SPOON RATING:

spoon4FOUR SPOONS! YAY!

“The hot chocolate’s the only glitch here, actually. But the overall package— food and drinks, ambiance, free wi-fi (I can’t get over it!), service— is soooo worth another try! Definitely coming back!” – Lexy

All Things Sinfully Sweet and Cute: Vanilla Cupcake Bakery

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Vanilla Cupcake Bakery, located at 2/F Glorietta 4, East Dr. Ayala Center, Makati, and in Trinoma.

Date: January 18, 2013

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LEXY SAYS:

I think I finally found the perfect cupcake heaven for me.

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For our first stop during our “food trip reunion,” Meeka introduced me to Vanilla Cupcake Bakery, a super cute and adorable cupcake shop situated at the newly-renovated Glorietta 4 (near the passage to SM Makati). At first, it kinda reminded me of Sonja’s Cupcakes (just the ambiance, ‘cause I haven’t tasted their cupcakes yet) and I found it really home-y and gentle to the eyes. You know, I think most girls like all things that are cutesy and oh-so-charming.

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GEDC1889(Don’t you just find these little details super lovely? I wanna take them home!)

GEDC1887(Cute chairs! Just… cute chairs!)

The place itself is worth 5 stars already, but we really came for the food, so…

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There is a wide array of delectable pastries to choose from. Aside from their delectable cupcakes, they also serve cookies, cup-cake (cake in a cup), and muffins. It’s a good thing that visitors can easily spot their offerings, because they’re displayed near the entrance.

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But, of course, we weren’t able to try them all at once, so we just picked the bestsellers (of course we asked, LOL): Red Velvet (P85) and Vanilla Pink (P75) cupcakes.

GEDC1884(Yummy Red Velvet cupcake!)

GEDC1885(Soft Vanilla Pink cupcake!)

Honestly, what I’m going to say about them are pretty much the same: not too sweet (which is so good!), super chewy and not so crumbly (therefore so easy to eat), and most important of all, they don’t have that umay factor. 🙂  Both simply melted inside my mouth and, for the first time (I think?), I experienced cupcake heaven.

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I’ll admit; cupcakes here are a bit overpriced for me (seriously, I can have a full meal at P75), but who cares? They’re simply irresistible… just the right amount of sugar and flavor. Plus the wooden fork is super cool!

Bottomline: We. Wanna. Go. BAAACCKK! 🙂

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SPOON RATING:

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THREE SPOONS! NICE JOB!

“I am soooo looking forward to my second trip here! This place has proven that cupcakes don’t need to be super sweet to be adored. Simplicity (and cuteness!) is sweet enough. ;)” ­- Lexy

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Taste of Yesteryears: Pan de Manila

 

(Photo: citydelivery.ph)

Pan de Manila, with over 30 branches nationwide. (Website: http://www.pandemanila.com.ph)

***SPECIAL PALATE EXPERIENCE***

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Ever since my dad bought us our first ever pandesal from Pan de Manila, I’ve always craved for it. It was love at first sight, first sniff, first touch, and first taste. I’ve always been amazed by how large and chewy every pandesal is, and although my first encounter with this awesome bread was so long ago, I can still remember the satisfaction I got when I took my first bite.

And recently (uhm, late 2012?), I discovered something as amazing as the bread itself: their Spanish style chocolate mix, the Chocolate con Leche.

Ever since I had my first authentic hot cocoa drink in 2011, I’ve always adored hot chocolate drinks, especially the bitter ones. When I tasted my first Tsoko.Nut Batirol drink (if you want to read my post about that, click here), it strengthened my desire for cocoa. And now that I’ve discovered this, my pandesal moments will surely be more awesome!

As you can see, it has another variant: the Chocolate Blanco or the Spanish style white chocolate mix. I’ve tried it, and it’s just as good as the Chocolate con Leche. 🙂 *thumbs up*

But the star of the show (or post) here is the pure chocolate drink. 🙂  I’m just a sucker for smoking hot chocolate drinks. I’ve loved Milo as a kid (until now, actually), and my favorites as of the present time are Starbucks’ Signature Hot Chocolate (with lots and lots of chocolate sprinkles on top), Beanhoppers Coffee’s Hot Chocolate with marshmallows (looooove!), Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s Hot Double Chocolate, of course Tsoko.Nut Batirol’s Tsokolate Ah, and Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate & Dark Chocolate mixes. My quest for my next favorite hot choco drink is not over, though. 😉

Guys, try Pan de Manila’s Chocolate on Leche now and I guarantee you, you will be transported to the awesome era of 1800s to 1900s! 🙂  Its rich aroma and authentic flavor are enough reasons for you to fall in love with it, too.

And oh, for those who are always on-the-go, they have it in cups! Just add hot water and voila! You now have yourself a really classic chocolate-y drink while in your car or everywhere!

If you want to take a break from your usual coffee beverage, give Chocolate con Leche a sip and let’s see if you don’t buy another one afterwards. 😉

P.S.: Pan de Manila also has a 3-in-1 coffee mix! Check out one of their branches to discover more of their offerings!)

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SPOON RATING:

FOUR SPOONS! YAY!

“Really, every purchase at Pan de Manila just takes me back to the old years. :)” – Lexy

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Authentic Wonders of the Hidden Resto: Bugkyoung Korean & Chinese Restaurant

(Photo: ph.openrice.com)

Bugkyoung Korean & Chinese Restaurant, located at Unit 107 Dakota Mansion, 555 Gen. Malvar st., cor. Adriatico, Malate, Manila

Date: October 29, 2012

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LEXY SAYS:

This is my second (I think?) food-venture without Meeks. Oh well, c’est la vie.

And you’re right; it’s one heck of a Korean food tripping once again. Well honestly, this wasn’t really planned. My big sister just invited us (my lil sis and me) because her Korean friend is in town and, well, willing to treat us for lots of grub. Can you imagine: free food at a very unexpected time! Awesome!

Okay, enough chitchat about that. As I’ve observed, Adriatico houses many authentic Korean restos in the metro. You can tell that they’re really owned by Koreans just by looking at the store’s exterior (it’s hard to explain, so if you have time, I suggest you visit the area), and when the resto’s somewhat “original,” rest assured that your taste buds will experience a different kind of satisfaction that you don’t get when you eat in “influenced” ones (you know what I mean).

Bugkyoung Restaurant is somehow unnoticed by most people because of its location and uninviting exterior, but give this place a try and you’ll definitely come back for more.

(Look, there’s even a TV that displays Korean shows and really nice tables that will make you feel like you’re in Korea!)

Before I share my stories, funny thing: I made my sister’s Korean friend jot down the names of the dishes so I can put them here. Good thing I can understand Korean writings, because he wrote them using Korean characters. (O_O) Fortunately, I was able to translate them well, thanks to my self-teaching practice many years ago. 😉

(Clockwise from left: Tangsuyuk, Bibimbap, Galbitang, Mul Mandu, and Japchae Bap)

Now for my palate experience!

Of course, we started with the appetizers. There’s kimchi again, the “sweet little fish” (hahaha), and that yellow one that surprisingly tastes good. I forgot what it’s called, but they’re really delicious. Kinda reminded me of our very own atsara the first time I took a bite, sour with a little kick.

Tangsuyuk (탕수육) – I think this was my favorite dish that night. Tangsuyuk is a sweet and sour pork with vegetables like bell pepper, cucumber, etc. It was a hefty serving, and boy was it really delicious! The tangy taste mixed well with the sweetness of the sauce and tenderness of the pork, and as you go on with every bite, you won’t be able to put down your chopsticks anymore. This dish was just so sinful, I swear I could’ve finished the whole thing!

(Bibimbap once again!)

Bibimbap (비빔밥) – Interesting fact: bibimbap actually means “mix mix rice” (that explains the procedure before eating this stuff). Last time, I also ordered bibimbap during Meeks and I’s visit in Kogi Bulgogi, and that dish was terrific. This one, however, is beyond terrific. Aside from the fact that it’s got seaweeds, this one’s definitely much more authentic. Still served in a ceramic stone pot that kept my dish hot and smoking for the next 30 minutes, this complete meal got me smiling and sighing in every bite. The meat, rice, veggies and other ingredients were mixed very well, giving me that “so much satisfaction” look on my face with every lift of my chopsticks. If not for my hurrying companions, I would’ve finished it.

It’s official: my new favorite Korean dish is bibimbap. 🙂

Galbitang (갈비탕) – this was actually my lil sister’s dish, but I got the chance to taste it. In fairness, this beef bone soup is perfect for those who don’t want to part ways with their Filipino taste buds, for this dish is very much like nilagang baka. Very healthy and apt for rainy days.

Japchae Bap (잡채밥) – Japchae is some sort of a stir fried noodles made from sweet potato noodles (dangmyeon). Honestly, I wasn’t able to savor this dish because it was so spicy (I don’t really eat spicy foods), but I can say that it’s not that bad. I think I recall eating this dish before in Yakimix (not sure), so I believe that if I order Japchae sans the zesty taste next time, I’d surely enjoy it.

Mul Mandu (물만두) – Lastly, we had this dish. Also known as boiled dumplings, mul mandu is usually stuffed with pork and green onions, and–basing on the food’s presentation– topped with black sesame seeds. Each bite of these cute little dumplings is surely a treat to every palate, for they’re really chewy and soft. Dip them in soy sauce and you’re good to go (and when I say go, I mean eat them all)!

After trying all these awesome Korean dishes, my long-due desire to go to Adriatico and eat in another Korean resto just got intense. I wonder why these restos don’t get so much publicity and fame like the others. If we have the luxury of time, I will drag (yes, drag) Meeka in one of the many oriental restaurants in Malate and have that different grub experience once again. 🙂

And oh, prices range from P100-P500!

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SPOON RATING:

FOUR SPOONS! YAY!

“I really enjoyed eating here, and I hope many people will feel the same.” – Lexy

Fair Enough to the Buds: KXP (Kulinarya Experience)

KXP: Kulinarya Experience, located at 2/F Robinson’s Place Manila – Midtown Wing, Ermita, Manila (Contact #: 567-2562)

Date: September 7, 2012

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LEXY SAYS:

Wow!

First of all, I want to say that I missed blogging. It’s been a while (judging from the last time Meeks and I went food-tripping) since we’ve updated this blog, and we’re perfectly aware that we’ve sort of made this abandoned. Well, sorry but we’re just human, specifically college students who are in the middle of tough school works and, yes, thesis.

We hope to graduate next year, so we’re really busy. 🙂

ANYWAY, thank goodness I found some time to blog. I really want to share our last food-venture since this is the first time that I’m going to give a rating of “Two Spoons.” (Disclaimer: We repeat that we are not professional food bloggers and our ratings were based on our personal thoughts, so bear with us)

KXP is a newly-opened resto that has only one branch (yes, in Robinson’s Manila) and serves a variety of good dishes such as steaks, pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas. Some of their well-received specialties are the US Top Blade Steak with Red Wine Sauce, Spicy Tofu, Italian Burger Melt Pasta, Fish Steak Au Gratin, and so much more. They also offer combo meals at a very reasonable price.

Sounds good and classy, right?

Well, this time I have to disagree. Maybe I just ordered the wrong food or it was a bad timing, but I can’t blog good things about a meal that I ate that absolutely didn’t make its way to my heart. So, here we go.

(“The Best Roast Beef In Town”)

I originally ordered a Combo Meal (Crispy Pork Cutlets, Php 99.00) because I was having financial problems at that time, but then I saw a poster on the wall about their current specialty. They call it “The Best Roast Beef In Town,” (Php 195.00) and since I was willing to try anything delicious (not minding the price, since I thought it will be worth it), I ordered that. I even chased the waiter and asked if he could change my order. Fortunately, he did. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it.

It was so far from what I’ve expected. The portions were small, but surprisingly enough to fill your ‘hungry-for-lunch’ tummy.  The veggies were good, but the potato chunks tasted old and overcooked, and the roast beef was, well, not the best in town. I was surprised that it tasted so fish-like (sorry, I don’t know the English term for malansa) and bitter. The more I chewed on it, the more I realized that I should have ordered those pork cutlets. I’m not sure if roast beefs are meant to taste that way, but as far as I’m concerned, I didn’t like my first KXP experience.

(My bad, I forgot this pizza’s name)

On the other hand, the pizza that Meeks ordered wasn’t that bad. For a pizza outside of Greenwich, Pizza Hut and the likes, this one fairly hit the right spot. 😉

My first (and definitely not last… I’ll give this place a second chance) visit in KXP was not one of the most cherished, but surely one of the most unforgettable.

And oh, I found this statement in their website: “Diners at KXP will simply enjoy good food in a bright and cheerful atmosphere that is served fast and unbelievably affordable.” Yes, red is a bright and cheerful color motif for the place, but the atmosphere was not like that at all.

(Yes, I also look at the ambiance/crew service, FYI.)

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[MEEKA’S STATEMENT SOON]

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SPOON RATING: 

TWO SPOONS! SATISFACTORY!

“Like what I said, I would like to give this place another chance and order something different next time. Maybe I came across the wrong food at the wrong time.”  Lexy

[MEEKA’S COMMENT SOON]

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 ** Oh by the way, we’re also on WordPress! Follow us at meekalexyproject.wordpress.com for our weekly food-ventures and overall craziness! **

Simply Mas-issneun: Kogi Bulgogi

Kogi Bulgogi, located at 3-12 3rd Floor, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Reina Regente, Binondo, Manila (Contact #: +632 547-7164); with main branch at 2nd Level, New Eastwood Mall, E. Rodriguez Ave. (C-5), Bagumbayan Quezon City (Contact #: +632 470-6884 to 85)

Date: August 24, 2012

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LEXY SAYS:

Well, I’m not really fond of Asian cuisine (I only like selected dishes such as Yang Chow rice, noodles, pork tonkatsu, shark’s fin siomai, etc.), but when Meeka introduced me to this newly-opened Korean resto in the depths of Binondo (hahaha), I didn’t think twice.

Okay, maybe I did (hahaha!), because my actual plan that time was to eat authentic Chinese food at a not-so-mainstream Chinese resto in Chinatown. After reading some food blogs, I got so curious at how REAL Chinese food tastes (and not some localized versions of oriental dishes). But then again, Meeks right here dragged me to a whole different resto. 🙂  But I don’t regret the fact that I didn’t pursue my plan. In fact, I’m grateful. THANK YOU BIG TIME, MEEKS! :*

Okay, for starters: Kogi Bulgogi is the first and only Korean resto in Eastwood City, and they use only Premium US and New Zealand beef in all their beef dishes. Kogi” means “meat” in Korean, but in their resto, it actually means “someone who specializes in bulgogi dishes.” (Source: http://www.kogibulgogi.com)

What’s a Bulgogi, anyway?

Seriously, we weren’t able to order any Bulgogi dish (next time, promise!), so we can’t describe it based on what we experienced. But according to our research (nyahaha), a Bulgogi is a dish that usually consists of marinated beef, pork, or chicken. We’ll surely go back there, and we’ll definitely order a Bulgogi! 🙂

Since I can’t say anything about Bulgogi anymore, I’ll just share my firsthand experience with the dishes I’ve tasted here. (Yeah, right.)

 The appetizers were served first. Seriously, I’m impressed. Six yummy appetizers, and they’re all for free! Ahh, awesome. 🙂

 I actually don’t eat kimchi (top, second from left), so I just snacked on the sweetened fish, bananas and mini corn instead. Boy, I was so engrossed in munching these babies, I barely noticed that we’re just warming up for the main event (dish)! Hahaha!

Next: California Roll. We know that this is a very mainstream type of roll, but we’re a lil’ bit short of funds (hahaha), so we had no choice. We’re planning to have KB’s bestseller rolls soon 🙂

Anyway, as always, I’m very pleased with this roll which is, by the way, filled with fresh crabsticks, mango and cucumber strips. I’m not a big fan of Asian dishes, but this surely hits the spot.

(Too bad I didn’t get a bird’s eye shot of this food. Just look at that presentation! Ugh!)

(Jeyuk Bibimbap)

Now, we get to the main point. :9  For lunch, I tried Jeyuk Bibimbap, which is composed of steamed rice, seasoned vegetables, raw egg, and pork. What’s nice is that it’s presented in a “heated stone pot” inside a wooden tray. Very, very cool! 😀

I felt super stuffed with this meal. After some mixing (just like in Pepper Lunch, you have to mix them all before eating, or it’d be just weird to consume it one by one, hahaha), I gladly devoured the bibimbap and all its glory. Trust me, you won’t wish to have a next meal after eating that. 😉  The flavors are just right, the feel in your stomach is heavy enough for a long day, and it’s not that bad at all. In fact, it’s a great palate experience for those who are afraid to get out of their “comfort [food] zone,” because this Korean dish is really taste buds-friendly. 🙂

(Oh, the gluttons after their super satisfying lunch. Hahaha!)

Every bite was unforgettable and so worth it, indeed. 🙂  The dishes are not cheap nor too pricey, thus the amount that you pay definitely reflects on the food: high class and especially for you. (Oh, prices will be posted soon. I forgot how much they are :P)

For the nth time, I usually don’t eat Asian food, but with this one? I’ll definitely go back for more. 🙂

(For more info about this uber cool Korean resto, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter)

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[MEEKA’S STATEMENT SOON 🙂  OH, SHE ATE YUK HOI DULSOT BIBIMBAP, SEE PIC BELOW FOR TEASER (LOL)]

(Meeka’s Yuk Hoi Dulsot Bibimbap, which is raw beef with raw egg. All raw!
Check out her blog post soon!)

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SPOON RATING:

THREE SPOONS! NICE JOB!

“I’ll never have the same notion of Korean food ever again. 🙂  Kogi Bulgogi hits the right spot and I’ll surely feast on their other offerings real soon!” – Lexy

[MEEKA’S COMMENT SOON]

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Annyeong haseyo!

Heya guys! 🙂  After almost a week, Meeks and I finally got the chance to eat together again, and guess where she took me this time?

Honestly, I was craving for some authentic Chinese food at that time, but I decided to take a detour and go with her suggestion.

It turned out to be super awesome. :)))

Stay tuned for more updates, we’ll try to post the full story within this week. 😀

♥ lots,
Lexy

(Yes, our watermark tool’s not working pretty well so… ugh. Hahaha.)

 

 

 

A Chocoholic’s Native Nirvana: Tsoko.Nut Batirol

Tsoko.Nut Batirol, located at 2/F SM Makati, East Drive cor. Hotel Drive, Ayala Center, Makati (Contact #: +632 816-4305); with branches at RCBC Plaza Manila, The Eastwood Excelsior, SM Cubao, SM North Edsa, Shaw Blvd. Mandaluyong, and Filinvest Muntinlupa.

Date: August 12, 2012

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LEXY SAYS:

Most chocoholics I know are very fond of the usual chocolate— uber sweet, milky, fatty… ordinary. I’m a self-confessed choco-addict, but I would like to believe that I’m one of the “different” guys. 🙂  I prefer dark chocolates not just because they’re more beneficial, but they also have this distinct taste that just lingers in your mouth.

With that preference in mind (plus my desire to feel something native!), I’ve decided to try this homegrown choco shop famously known as Tsoko.Nut Batirol. 🙂  I’ve read about their yummy “Tsokolate Ah” before (like, years ago), but I never got the chance to taste it… even if one of the branches is just a bus ride away. Hahaha.

Just a brief intro about this feel-good shop: Tsoko.Nut Batirol is like any other coffee shops, but with a local touch. It is owned by Marian Romano and started operations in 2004. The company uses tsokolate from Leyte, where a group roasts and grinds cacao for the shop. Simply put, Tsoko.Nut Batirol is the perfect place when you’re feeling all home-y and local and you just want to reminisce the good ol’ days.

And oh, “batirol” (or batidor) is the wooden thing used to make native tsokolate from tablea cacao balls. You can see it in this picture:

Anyway, let’s get to the main point! And that is simple: Tsoko.Nut Batirol surely is a must-try place! 🙂

Since it’s situated inside a mall (SM Makati, to be exact), the native vibe is somehow decreased. However, the quality of the products is still guaranteed to bring a person back to the good ol’ times of fresh cacaos and native delicacies.

(Lotsa goodies to choose from! From Napoleons to their Tablea Cake :>)

I ordered Tsokolate Ah Batirol (Php 78.00 for regular, Php 89.00 for large), of course (though at first I was torn between that and a sugar-free one with pinipig… good thing they don’t have pinipig, haha!), along with some pastries such as their Bibingka with Kesong Puti at Itlog na Pula (meant to be shared at Php 85.00!) and Chocolate Cake (Php 88.00).

Now, the verdict. (Haha, as if I’m really serious. But kidding aside, these are my honest comments.)

Tsokolate Ah Batirol – This one-of-a-kind drink had me at the smell. Its strong cacao features are very evident in its aroma… I can sniff it all day (haha!). At first sip, I was, like, transported back to the province (specifically Bataan) where I tasted my very first hot chocolate made from pure cocoa balls. It’s just so nostalgic and completely Filipino! 🙂  It’s not your usual milky and sweet hot choco. Personally, I like its bitter-ish and bold chocolate flavor, it’s what makes it so special. Best consumed while it’s still hot and smokin’. Hahaha. Seriously, if you’re craving for an authentic and out-of-this-world choco drink, go here. You’ll fall in love with their tsokolate in an instant. 😉

Oh by the way, they have many kinds of Tsokolate Ah. If you want it with nuts, cashew or pinipig, go ahead. I think you’ll be begging for more. 🙂

Bibingka with Kesong Puti at Itlog na Pula – It’s actually my first time to taste a bibingka, and I’m glad my first wasn’t bad at all! 🙂  This native delicacy’s awesome! Served on a banana leaf and with coconut shavings, this dish won’t disappoint your taste buds. It’s chewy, yummy, and goes well with Tsokolate Ah. Though it can be sticky sometimes, it’s tolerable and you won’t forsake your bibingka happiness just because of this. 😉  A perfect pair for a native merienda!

Chocolate Cake – Now this is surprising: unlike mainstream chocolate cakes, this one is not too sweet and not too bland. In short, the taste’s just right to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth! 🙂  It’s so irresistable, you won’t mind pairing it with another chocolate such as Tsokolate Ah. Hahaha. But seriously people, this cake is a thumbs up for not being the umay type. 😉

Tsoko.Nut Batirol also serves coffee, salabat, ice-blended drinks, rice meals, and more. To get a full idea of what I’m talking about (hahaha), click here. 🙂

So there, my first journey to this very cool choco/coffee shop. I’m not done with this place. 😉  Next time, I’ll try their Tablea Cake (I’ve read from other food blogs that it’s really good) and the Tsokolate Ah with pinipig… and more! The possibilities are endless! (But for now, the cash is limited. Hahaha!)


(A super happy Lexy with her Tsokolate Ahhhhhhh :>)

Will definitely go back here… I hope this time Meeks could come. Hihihi. 🙂

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SPOON RATING:

4 SPOONS! YAY!

“My visit to Tsoko.Nut Batirol was really awesome. 🙂  Chocolate craving was satisfied once again!” – Lexy

Sinful Delight Inside a Tricky Exterior: 8065 Bagnet

8065 Bagnet, located at Leon Guinto St., Malate, Manila (Contact #: +632 519-6511) and at 8065 Estrella St., San Antonio Village, Makati City (Contact #: +632 519-6511)

Date: August 3, 2012

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LEXY SAYS:

For our second “Calorie Friday,” Meeks and I decided to try some of the “delicious meals” of this simple eatery known as 8065 Bagnet. There’s one branch near my place (Estrella st., SAV Makati) but we opted for the other branch (Leon Guinto st., Malate) since we’re currently on our “Taft Invasion.” (Well, okay this is not really within Taft but… never mind. ^_^)

I’ve been hearing (and reading!) a lot of positive reviews about their main star (which is Bagnet, of course), and when Meeks suggested this place, I didn’t hesitate. I was very curious by how their “double-fried crispy pork specialty of Ilocos” tastes like, and so our adventure began.

(Oh BTW, this cozy resto is owned by Alain Nadal, brother of singer Kitchie Nadal ^_^)

Okay, I’ll go straight to the point: I didn’t notice the resto at first. It looks just like a simple house with chairs and tables outside. But good thing there’s a big sign on top that says “8065 Bagnet.” If you’re weak and picky, its exterior can really deceive you. So a piece of advice: explore and take the risk 😉

When we opened the door, we were kinda surprised by the ambiance: super laid-back, chillax, and very artsy. There are so many artworks hanging on the walls and other knickknacks that are just too cute to be true. The place is kinda dark, but the small light is enough to make decent photographs (and to see everything). One more thing: the resto made me feel like I’m in an acoustic bar. 😉

(Some of the displays and paintings inside the Malate branch. Cool!)

Aaaand… here comes the food.

(Sisig Bagnet! :D)

I ordered Sisig Bagnet (Php 110) for a challenge. (Meeks tried the original and we slightly shared the Kare-Kare Bagnet) Well, it was good, in fairness. 🙂  The crispiness of the pork is just right, the sauce is good (though kinda spicy), and the whole viand is just so satisfying :)))  Really, it made me so full that I wasn’t able to eat half of the Kare-Kare Bagnet. Hahaha!

But I must say, I tasted a little bit of the latter dish, and it was really good too! 🙂  Take it from me guys; I don’t eat Kare-Kare but if  this is the dish, I’ll put my plate down very neat! The peanut hints of the sauce is just right, perfect for those who don’t want their Kare-Kare strong in flavor. It’s just subtle and taste buds-friendly, I could eat it all day. 😉

(Kare-Kare Bagnet! :>)

It was a great bargain all in all 🙂  The super yummy and tummy-filling viand with rice and a very delicious soup– swear I can come back there as many times as I can. Hahaha! 🙂  Though I’m still watching my weight and knowing that oily fried pork is a very deadly food… oh, who needs diet? Life is too short to deprive myself of good things! (Nah, just kidding. Of course it’s bad to indulge on cholesterol-packed foods.)

Feeling your mouth water? Why don’t you go ahead and give this “hole in the wall” resto a try? Swear, you and your taste buds won’t regret it. 😉

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MEEKA SAYS:

[To be posted soon :)]

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SPOON RATING:

THREE SPOONS! NICE JOB!

“Bagnet is really a good dish to eat when you’re hungry for lunch or dinner. 🙂 My taste buds are eternally grateful. ;)” – Lexy

[MEEKA’S STATEMENT SOON :)]