Yabu: House of Katsu

If you're an avid follower of the food blogosphere, then surely you've heard of Yabu: House of Katsu.


I can never get enough of their makimono/sushi.

Late Night Snack at Larcy's Cupcakery Cafe

I found myself pleasantly surprised with Larcy's Cupcakery Cafe. Located at 178 Aguirre Street, BF Homes, Paranaque City, it's an increasingly familiar name for the sweet tooths out there.

Authentic Taiwanese Food at Shi Lin

Dimsum galore!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Slay That at Chuck's Deli

Some months ago, I joined Zomato and was lucky enough to have one of my reviews chosen for their Write-for-a-bite contest. And, soon enough, a small red envelope was sent to my doorstep. It was a gift certificate to Chuck's Deli! While I had read about it a few times from other food blogs, I never had the opportunity to go check it out, especially since my food buddies prefer rice over sandwiches on most days. Anyway, after having the GC on hand for weeks now, Marcus and I decided to take a lunch trip to Serendra to see what the hype is about.

Marcus, who wanted a hamburger fix, ordered Chuck's half-pounder (P375). That's half a pound US Angus beef patty with lettuce, tomato, Chuck's sauce, and mayo mustard. As with most of their dishes, it came with a siding of potato chips or onion rings -- he opted for the chips. The meat was juicy and its toppings complemented its taste. While I did like my own order (The Buffy sandwich) more, Marcus liked this hamburger more and enjoyed his meal.

I ordered a 1/2 slab of The Buffy. Their sandwiches come in three sizes -- 1/4, 1/2, and 1 whole. There's a to-size picture on it on their menu to make it easier for the customers to choose. Since the quarter order didn't come with a side dish, I opted for 1/2... and was pretty surprised when the order came, because it was much bigger than I expected it to be, even if I did look at the picture on their menu (it was 2d!). I wasn't able to finish the whole thing on my own though I did enjoy it a lot, and it's one of the best sandwiches I've tasted.

As you may have guessed from the name, the main filling is buffalo chicken. The meat is spicy, and very juicy. Really, it was an instant fave. It made up entirely for the onion rings, which were dry and difficult to chew.

We're also given bottles of garlic sauce and spicy sauce. While not mandatory, they can be put on your hamburgers/sandwiches/whatnot if you so wish. I liked the garlic sauce and actually put a generous amount of it on my sandwich.

Like a number of burger/sandwich joints out there, Chuck's Deli has a couple of challenges for the hungry adventurers. You can finish an entire Buffy under 5:00 minutes, or the Mother Chucker under 2:50 minutes. I don't think I'm ever going to join a challenge like this because I don't think I'll be able to enjoy my meal at all, but these people must be very proud to have their name up there! I would be, considering how large the orders are.

Chuck's Deli can be found in Serendra, particularly the side facing Market Market. Our order amounted to 700+ pesos (including service charge), which I admit was a tad pricey, even if we did pay for majority of the bill with our gift certificate from Zomato. What they offer is very filling though and you get what you pay for in order size and taste.

It was a filling lunch. There were all sorts of dishes to order from, all with curious pun names. Wait staff was nice and the place was small and homey.

Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3/5
Overall Rating - 4/5

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Late Night Snack at Larcy's Cupcakery Cafe

Cupcakes are one of the latest crazes in the country right now, and it's a craze that I have never really gotten along with. I'm not really a fan of sweet things and as such I'm very picky when it comes to desserts. With that in mind, I found myself pleasantly surprised with Larcy's Cupcakery Cafe. Located at 178 Aguirre Street, BF Homes, Paranaque City, it's an increasingly familiar name for the sweet tooths out there.

While there has been a growing number of cupcake stores opening up in the metro, it's unusual to find one of this size. It's a two-story building with a balcony and function rooms on the second floor, with its interiors making use of pastel colors (the usual 'girly' stuff)! We found ourselves arriving at a little past ten on a Saturday and it was still booming with a fair enough of customers. While it can accommodate a good number of people, it's still spacious and a nice place to just hang out in and talk. As an FYI, it's open 11 AM to 11 PM (Sun-Thu), 11 AM to 12 Midnight (Fri-Sat).

There are all kinds of desserts to choose from. There are several types of cupcakes: cheesecakes, pink velvet, brownie, etc. And since it's October, aside from the place being decorated for Halloween, they also had some Halloween-themed cupcakes. And then there was that one type of cupcake I couldn't resist ordering -- Vanilla Cookie Butter!

We ended up ordering one cupcake for each of us. I ordered the Vanilla Cookie Butter Cupcake which costs P85. The cookie butter flavored frosting was not overly sweet which I always prefer, and it's topped with bits of Speculoos Cookies (which makes sense because they use the popular Speculoos Cookie Butter). The cupcake itself was soft and moist, and after a couple of bites...

I found out that there was cookie butter inside! Yay! I honestly thought only the frosting had the cookie butter. I don't even know if this is the norm for cookie butter cupcakes, because like I mentioned, cupcakes aren't really my thing. Anyway, since I've been obsessed with cookie butter these past few months, I really liked it.

The boyfriend ordered a Cookies and Cream Cupcake for P80. The cheesecake was soft and not too sweet either. It was topped with oreo bits and its base was oreo too. It was pretty good as well. I like cheesecakes a lot too and it's nice to order one in this manageable size.

We picked this corner for our short snack. Really comfy and perfect for dates.

Cupcakes range from about P70-90 pesos each. A tad pricey but each one satisfies your sweet cravings. Staff was accommodating and the place itself is a nice hang-out/date spot.

Taste - 5/5
Ambiance - 5/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3/5
Overall Rating - 4/5

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Puerto Prinsesa Food Trip: Kalui and Kinabuchs

Earlier this year, we went to explore Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan. Of course, we wanted to go on food trips and try out the city's delicacies. Upon asking the locals, two restaurant names often came up: Kahlui and Kinabuchs. These two places, both found in Rizal Avenue, are within walking distance of one another.

First, we'll talk about Kalui. For the appetizer, we had this serving of fresh seaweeds. It really did taste very fresh, and one can really taste the saltiness of the sea when trying this dish out. It tasted different from the usual seaweed appetizers we have in Manila, and one way of describing it is that it seemed to come straight from the ocean and unto the table... very unprocessed.

We also ordered Eel in Coco Cream. As with most eel dishes, its texture was fatty and malansa. The sauce was tasty though. Aside from that, we ordered squid, and my personal favorite, the Kilawin (pictured at the top of the page). Their Kilawin was one of the best I've tasted so far and better that the one we ordered from Kinabuch. The fish really soaked up the taste of the vinegar which had a nice mix of spiciness.

For dessert we were all given fruits which were served in a coconut, topped with coconut sugar. It was a refreshing end to a nice dinner.

Kahlui has a homier atmosphere than Kinabuch. Upon entering, you will be asked to surrender your footwear -- because in this place, you go barefoot! Kahlui is generally one huge bahay kubo and the wooden floors are kept shiny clean. The whole barefoot experience was actually pretty relaxing.

Refreshing and clean with tasty dishes. It was my favorite meal from Puerto Prinsesa. Eating at Kalui is also very affordable, with most dishes averaging less than P200. Please do note that you should call a day or two in advance for reservations because we were told that the place is overflowing with hungry tourists most of the time. Also, no, they don't have Palawan's famed crocodile sisig.

Taste - 5/5
Ambiance - 5/5
Service - 5/5
Price - 5/5
Overall Value - 5/5

Next, we have Kinabuch:

In contrast to Kalui, Kinabuch does serve crocodile sisig! It was my first time trying the dish out, and like what most people told me about it, it was malansa. The meat is soft but also takes longer to chew, and it's on the salty side. Pretty tasty and I do believe that everyone who visits the city should try out crocodile meat at least once.

We ordered Kilawin and I found it to be on the average side of things. It's the usual pulutan dish that you find in bars.

Above is Dinakdakan (diced pigs ears, tongue, and liver). I thought the description looked interesting so I wanted to order it. Meat was tough to chew but it was a nice experience. It comes with calamansi which gives it a tangy kick.

For dessert, we had some crepe. The stick-o's protruding from it was an odd sight!

In contrast to Kalui, this place is much larger and noisier (what do you expect from a grill and bar, though?). It seems like a good place for the large groups out there who want to drink, Puerto Prinsesa-style.

Affordable and ideal for large group of friends who want a fun night of drinking with exotic choices for pulutan.

Taste - 3/5
Ambiance - 3/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3/5
Overall Value - 3/5

As a note... if you're visiting Puerto Prinsesa, you might as well try out Tamilok as well. It's an exotic dish of...well, shipworms. Technically they're saltwater clams but they looked more like worms to me and unfortunately I wasn't brave enough to give it a shot. If you do try it out though, let me know what you think!