Sunday, July 23, 2017

Kabayan Hotel's Kapsule Rooms: a visit!

Kabayan Hotel is a three-star hotel situated in the heart of Pasay City. Its strategic location beside the MRT and near the airport district has made it a viable place for backpackers, travelers, or those looking for an affordable and decent place to stay in. 

The hotel was founded by Wyden King, a businessman who saw the need for more places for transients and travellers. Using his resources from his previous venture in the Anito group, he divested his resources into businesses such as this. 

The hotel was in the center of one of Pasay's busiest districts. It was near bus terminals, the MRT, and Mall of Asia. It is also near educational institutions and business districts. 

Our stay revolved around testing their new Kapsule Rooms. This was composed of dorm style rooms which can fit 8 people. The beds are arranged into sleeper style setups.  The pictures will tell you more.

The lobby had a dominant wood motif with lots of flowers strewn around.

These were the Kapsules. These were a primarily Japanese invention which made its way to the Philippines. These Fiberglass compartments are made for sleeping. These are usually big enough for some seating room. In this case, there were two Kapsules stacked atop each other per column. Each room had about 8 Kapsules

This was the Kapsule interior. It had its own light, mirror, power outlets, and light. I could actually sit inside the room, despite my earlier misconceptions. I even had a comfortable sleep in this small, yet cozy space. I do wish I had more pillows to sleep with, though.

A stay in the room came with a locker slot. The locker was big enough to fit 3 or more bags.

They had a shower and toilet with an electronic bidet. Toiletries were not included with the stay though, so we had to buy our own.

The food was quite decent. Breakfast is free with every stay; while lunch and dinner come at a la carte set menus for Php 140.

This was their dinner selection for the day.

I got Pork Steak and Paksiw with Tofu. The steak was quite tender; while the Paksiw was tasty too.  You do get what you pay for with the Php 140 rate, though.

This was a sample of the locker space.

The food was served at the Pinoy Star Cafe. It was well lit and had a lively ambience. The food was mostly composed of Filipino favorites.

My colleague tried out the locker. 

Kabayan Hotel is located at 347 Epifanio de los Santos Ave, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila beside the EDSA MRT Station.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Casamigos Cantina at Conception Dos, Marikina

Casamigos Cantina is a Mexican themed restaurant situated in Marikina. Since its inception last year, it started to gain a following in the surrounding areas and places such as Pasig and Antipolo. According to the owners, the restaurant was conceptualized from their desire to run their own business. One of the partners crafted the menu from his extensive culinary experience aboard a cruise line. 

Their menu included:

The Macho Platter at Php 699 was their flagship group dish. It was a hefty combination of Nachos, Pork Ribs, Spicy Sausage, and Quesadillas. It can easily feed a group of 4. The ribs were adequately cooked with a sweet barbecue sauce. The sausage was well done and tender. The quesadillas were scanty yet delicious. Lastly, the nachos had an excellent packing of toppings. 

We also had a few rounds of Mojitos at Php 145. It was quite sweet with a minty touch. 

The crocodile sisig was their unique twist on the dish. It was quite expensive at 345 Php; but the flavor was exquisite. It was tender and juicy. Plus, the meat tasted like a cleaner version of beef. 

The Fish Taco at Php 185 was composed of delectable fried dory a top a mix of vegetables, mexican rice, and crispy taco shells. I must say that the ingredients were mixed into a good dish.

Chicken Chimichangas were at Php 165. It was a helping of Mexican rice, chicken strips, and vegetables inside a crispy wrapper. I only lament the fact that there was not enough chicken inside. That aside, the rice had good, tangy flavor. It even blended well with the cheese.

The Blue Sky was a cocktail made with Blue Curacao, Vodka, and Lemon Juice. It had a pretty sharp flavor, though.

Casamigos is located at 1 Cherry Corner Olive Street, Concepcion Dos, Marikina City.

Special thanks to China of Zomato for the invite.
Casamigos Cantina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Auchentoshan at Yes Please!

I had quite a night tasting several variants of whiskey at Yes Please, one of the Fort's newest bars. For this event, we had several premium blends from Auchentoshan, a classic Scottish blended whiskey. The brand has existed for hundreds of years now since the 19th century.

The night went this way:

The brand ambassador, Jamie, discussing the strengths of the Auchentoshan brand and its variants. I look on while taking a sip of this fine whiskey.

The night was actually a tasting event. We were instructed to hone our taste buds to make the experience memorable and dramatic.

The Bowmore, aged 12 years, was a smoky-tasting variant.

This was the flagship variant aged at 18 years. It had a strong, wooden taste that was fit for people of distinction and class.

Fun tip: more and more whiskey drinkers are comprised of people from the younger generation. Women are becoming the target market of this drink which was usually patronized by men.

The bar area at Yes Please reminded me of an underground pub frequented by hipsters and social misfits. There was graffiti everywhere. Chandeliers served as light sources. The place was also decorated with a ton of alcohol bottles.

I tried out this splendid mix of Auchentoshan with lemon zest and earl grey tea and honey. It was a delightfully sweet concoction that had a strong lemon flavor and full-bodied whiskey taste.

I had the drink with slice of the place's hot oven-baked pizza. The crust was soft and chewy.

The fish skewers were also pretty tasty. They were tender as well.

Auchentoshan in its different variants.

Yes Please! is located at 38th St. Uptown, 11th Ave, Taguig, Metro Manila. 

Special Thanks to China, Trisha, and Angelica of Zomato for the invite.
Yes Please for the food and the venue.
Auchentoshan for the splendid alcohol during the event.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Andy Player at the Yard!

My last visit to the Yard, Katipunan was for the event sponsored by Andy Player, a newly launched cola and whiskey mix. The recipe was made from the original blend of the Great American Distillery, USA; and distributed by Emperador Distillers Inc., the flagship brand of tycoon Andrew Tan.

This new drink was a delightful and sweet blend of two well-known drinks combined into a hard drink that's too irresistible to put down. The whiskey was a full-bodied drink with a thick texture. The cola was also of an exquisite quality.

Surprisingly, Andy Player is also great with food, as seen in the pictures:

I tried Andy Player as an accompaniment to the cheese-filled dishes of one of the concessionaires. Their Philly Cheese steak sandwiches have the right amount of meatiness that goes well with the sweet flavor of Andy Player.

Andy Player, while being a new player in the market, has already caught my attention. Its composition of excellent ingredients, sharp taste, and youthful vibe has made it a winning combo for millennials like me. I must say though, that a bottle didn't have a strong alcohol mix; hence one can down a few bottles for an occasion such as a party.

There you have it! Andy Player truly served us an afternoon filled with a generous helping of food and drinks.

Special thanks to China, Trisha, and Angelica of Zomato for the invite
Andy Player for the drinks
The Yard for the food. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Red Ginger: City of Dreams' Southeast Asian Delicacies under one roof

Red Ginger is City of Dreams Southeast Asian-themed restaurant. It has a vibe and feel for the region's flavors and palates. I'm not so keen on this cuisine, but the food was still pretty excellent.

The interiors had lots and lots of wood. 

Some of their dishes included:

Popiah. This was a fried roll composed of braised duck in thick sauce and wrapped in iceberg lettuce/ It came with a chili sauce for dips. The duck was pretty tasty.

The Singaporean Crispy Grouper was composed of a huge grouper fish deep fried with breading then garnished with onions, garlic, peppercorns, and chili sauce. Every bite was filled with a lot of fresh taste. 

The Baby Squid in Lemongrass and Lime Soy was a conservative helping of baby squid cutlets garnished with egg and a tangy lime soy sauce. It wasn't so remarkable; but I must say that the squid was fresh. 

The Grill Platter was composed of a sample of their best viands, such as the Glazed Pork Belly, the Angus Beef Satay, and the Salmon Fillet with Red Curry and Thai Basil. The Satay had a herb-y and tangy flavor. The salmon was tender and brimming with juice. The pork belly was pretty sweet.

The Salt and Pepper Tofu was composed of deep fried tofu with garlic, shallots, and black pepper. It had a buttery flavor due to the abundance of butter in the recipe.

The Nasi Goreng Jakarta was the restaurant's flagship dish. It was 45% of their daily sales. It was a simple yet elegant mix of shrimp paste fried rice, chicken satay, egg, crackers, and pickled vegetables. It was the ultimate accompaniment to their magnificent viands.

Our dessert was started by the Chocolate Caramel Custard. It was a round of chocolate pudding atop jackfruit puree. I'm not a lover of jackfruit; but I must say that the chocolate pudding was excellent. It just didn't match well with the jackfruit puree, though.

The iced avocado condensada was heavenly. It was their version of our halo-halo, except that avocado was used thoroughly. It also came with coco jelly, red bean, mango, and pinipig.

The Peanut was a ball of peanuts, vanilla ice cream, lime meringue, and salted caramel peanut butter rolled into a huge ball with a heavy peanut taste. 

Red Ginger is located at Upper Ground Floor, City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Boulevard Corner Macapagal Avenue, Entertainment City, ParaƱaque City. 

Special thanks to Miss China for the invite. 

Red Ginger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, June 26, 2017

Eat n' Meet Restaurant Marikina: Steak galore at affordable prices

Our visit to Eat N' Meet Marikina was filled with an abundance of steak. From their most humble selections to their finest ones, every meal was served with their best effort. Apart from their steak, they had other dishes that catered to my appetite. 

The interiors were a bit homey and rustic, typical for Marikina restaurants. However, these were also spacious and well-lit. The food was mainly composed of meat; hence it was suited more for the younger crowd and families who want steak.

Some of their favorites were: 

The T-Bone steak at Php 189 was part of their sizzling plates. The price was just right for some of this medium well meat. It was firm, tender, and fatty to an excellent degree. 

This was their on the rocks steak. At a much higher, but relatively cheap price, we were able to try their steaks which were cooked on the spot. The stone was first heated then served to the guests. This was akin to the ones used in high end Japanese steak diners. 

Some of their on the rocks variants were the Australian Ribeye at Php 349, the USDA Angus Ribeye Steak at Php 499, and the U.S. Porterhouse at Php 425. I enjoyed the Australian for its soft, flavorful taste.

The U.S. Porterhouse being cooked. 

The Pasta Negra at Php 185 was made with real squid ink. It made my lips a bit black when I ate some; but the taste was top notch. It was the right combination of saltiness and sweetness.

The Pork BBQ Ribs at Php 199 was a huge platter of pork ribs glazed in barbecue sauce. I twas amazingly sweet.

This one was the Pinoy Ribeye at Php 219. It was a perfect substitute for those who want freshly cooked yet affordable steak. 

The interiors had a lot of signages and Americana decor.

The Lemon Yakult was a sour addition to the meaty meal.

Lots of Americana signage.

The quaint exterior.

We then tried their lemonades and iced teas. 

For seafood lovers, they had the pinaputok na bangus. This was fresh milkfish cooked on their heated stone plate. The meat was tender and juicy as well.

The raw Australian steak to be prepared for cooking.

The porterhouse at Php 199 was a budget alternative for families and diners.

The nachos at Php 245 was excellent for groups who want a heavy snack. It was composed of tortill chips topped with steak bits, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese dip. 

Eat N' Meet is located at 90 Katipunan Street, Concepcion Dos, Marikina City. You can go there for your steak fix! I truly never had a dull moment during my experience. 

Special thanks to Miss China of Zomato for the awesome invite.

  Eat & Meet Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato