Fat Fook Manila: Reasonably-priced and delicious Taiwanese food

My family loves Xiao Long Bao. We try to have it in every restaurant that offers it. That was what brought us to Fat Fook Manila.

We ordered the Steamed Pork Xiao Long Bao, Chicken Chops and String Beans with Minced Pork. The XLB wrapper in Fat Fook Manila was not as delicate as the ones used in Din Tai Fung or Lugang Cafe. But that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t delicious. It was good, the soup and meat inside were very flavorful. The chicken chops were very good too. Serving size was huge and the coating was very crunchy. I am not a big fan of vegetables, but I loved the string beans with minced pork. The vegetables were not over-cooked and the seasoning, just right.


I like the over-all feel of the restaurant. They used inverted blue-and-white porcelain bowls for lighting fixtures. The place doesn’t feel cramped despite the many tables around. Service was good too. The manager came to our table to ask about how we found our meal.


We will definitely be back for more of Fat Fook Manila.


Pink Day at Baskin Robbins

Who doesn’t love ice cream? At Baskin Robbins, there are so many flavors to choose from. I always spend some time selecting what flavor I will get. Their ice cream doesn’t come cheap, so we don’t have it too often.

But wait! Baskin Robbins has a promo called “Wednesday is Pink Day”.  Wear something pink and you get a junior scoop free with every purchase of a double junior scoop. And I have just the thing for it – my pink Sperry shoes!



Chili’s: My Favorite Comfort Food Place

There are a lot of restaurants in SM Megamall, but the one I place I keep coming back to when I have a longing for comfort food is Chili’s. After a long day at work, I just want to savor a bowl of their Chicken Enchilada soup.


I usually have their Crispy Chicken Tacos, but today I decided to try their Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers.


I liked the crispy chicken crispers, although I thought it was a little too sweet. It’s the same sauce they use in the crispy chicken taco, but the saltiness of the bacon in the taco balances the sweetness.



Checking Out Another Burger Place: Grind Burger

There are a lot of new restaurants in The Block, SM North EDSA. We saw a burger place called Grind Burger. It’s located right in front of the Hypermarket at the Ground Floor.


Interiors are simple and pleasant to the eyes. The space is quite small, so there is no room for unnecessary clutter.


We ordered the Grind Burger, described as having “100% USDA house ground beef, brioche from the oven, vine ripe tomato, iceberg, sweet onion, American cheese and tiny’s secret sauce”. We were intrigued by the Deep Fried Mac and Cheese Balls, so we got that too.


The burger was a winner! The beef was juicy and the bread was delicious! They make their own brioche buns and they complement the burger wonderfully.


I liked the presentation of the mac and cheese balls. It gives a different twist to an old dish. But I wasn’t too crazy about it. I don’t think I’ll order it next time.

We enjoyed our burgers in Grind. It’s really great that they have delicious buns too.


Eggs For Breakfast: A Garden Oasis

Not too many restaurants are open at 7:00 am. Even those that serve breakfast usually open at 8:00. We were lucky to find Eggs For Breakfast one early morning.


Eggs For Breakfast is a small and cozy restaurant within a compound of an events place. They have manicured lawns, a pretty gazebo and a small koi pond. It was beautiful with the early morning sunshine.

Collage_Fotor_FotorThey have a wide range of breakfast options – omelettes, egg dishes, sandwiches, pancakes, rice meals. We had the beef tapa, Vigan longganisa and omelette. Everything tasted good! Serving size is adequate. Lovely place for a date or a quiet meal.

Nadai Fujisoba: Japanese Noodles Other Than Ramen

I guess I’m still on a Japan hang-over. I met up with some friends for lunch at Nadai Fujisoba at the SM North EDSA The Block. I love Japanese food, but I haven’t tried other Japanese noodles besides ramen. Nadai Fujisoba offers hot and cold udon and soba, as well as other Japanese dishes.


I like the interiors of Nadai Fujisoba. The black and white decor on the walls provide a clean-looking aura.

I had the Ebiten Udon – hot udon noodles served with 2 pieces of tempura.IMG_4234_Fotor

I liked the udon – chewy and soft. My friends tried the cold noodles and they liked that too.  I’d gladly recommend Nadai Fujisoba. Price is reasonable, serving size is adequate and taste is good.


Comfort Food in My Old ‘Hood

When we were growing up, our area in Marikina was purely residential. We had to drive elsewhere if we wanted to eat out. Nowadays, Lilac Street is lined with restaurants with various food choices. We decided to try out Miguel & Maria for dinner when my brother and his family came over to visit.

Collage_Fotor_FotorWe ate there twice in a week and both times, the place was full! The ambience was homey, perfect for family gatherings. The food can be described as comfort food, food that is familiar, but given a new treatment. Serving sizes are quite generous. On our first visit, we had the tomahawk steak, spiced shrimps and baby back ribs. All of those were delicious! On this particular night, though, we had the roast herbed chicken, the stuffed pork chop and the mac and cheese. The mac and cheese was the best of the three. The chicken was good, but the pork chop was a disappointment. It was tough and dry.

For dessert, they had “home crafted ice cream” with unique flavors. We tried the butterbeer and it was yummy! The brownie ala mode, chocolate cake and blueberry cheesecake were also delicious.

Eating in Miguel & Maria is like having a family reunion in your grandparents’ house – good food, homey ambience, great company.


Still High On Japanese Food: Trying Out Dohtonbori

There’s a new restaurant that opened at the SM North EDSA City Center – Dohtonbori. We weren’t able to eat okonomiyaki (or Japanese savory pancakes) when we went to Japan. Dohtonbori specializes in okonomiyaki, so we decided to give it a try.

Apart from the main dining area, they have a separate room with teppan tables, for a more authentic Japanese experience. You are asked to remove your shoes and leave them in a locker before entering the room. Diners are seated  on the floor around the teppan table.

We ordered the okonomiyaki, gyoza, chicken teppan and katsudon. Aside from the katsudon, everything was cooked in front of us. You can choose to cook it yourself, but this being our first time, we had them cook for us.

Collage_Fotor_FotorThe okonomiyaki was good, but I would have preferred to have more meat in it, instead of having mostly vegetables. The teppan was okay, nothing great. The gyoza was quite dry and bland. The katsudon was okay too.

Collage_Fotor2_FotorIt was a novel experience, but not quite satisfying.

Japanese Cheese Tarts in Manila

During our trip to Japan, we discovered this delicious cheese tart in a convenience store. It had a pastry crust and the filling was very cheesy. To my surprise, I saw an article about some Japanese cheese tarts being sold in Cafe Kumori in SM North EDSA The Block.

Cafe Kumori sells a lot of bread products. I tried out a few of their specialties: the Kumori Signature Hanjuku Cheese (original), the Kumori Signature Cheese Tart, the Crabstick Bun and the Custard Butter mini.


I tried the cheese tart first. I liked this crust better than the one I tasted in Tokyo because it was sweeter. But the cheese filling here is less cheesy. It was still okay, though. The Hanjuku Cheese was soft and creamy and really melt-in-your-mouth. The crabstick bun was delicious, with generous amounts of crabsticks in it. The custard butter bun was quite plain.

There are still a lot of pastries that I want to try in Cafe Kumori. I hope I will enjoy them as much as I did the cheese tart and the crabstick bun.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Big Disappointment

One of our all-time favorite restaurants in California was Buffalo Wild Wings. Before I had their wings, I did not like Buffalo Wings at all. But since then, it is now one of my favorite things to eat. So I was very excited when I found out that Buffalo Wild Wings was opening a branch here in the Philippines. We scheduled a trip to Estancia Mall where it is located.

The Estancia Mall is a beautiful mall, with wide corridors and not too many people. There are ample parking spaces offered in the basement. The shops are on the higher end, with stores like Pottery Barn, Isaac Mizrahi, L’Occitane, Samsonite, among others. There are a lot of restaurants – a lot of them look promising.

Like in the US, the wings are served with celery or carrots, bleu cheese or ranch dressing. But the similarity ends there. The wings were small, the serving size was small, the chicken tenders looked pathetic. For a US-based chain, the small serving size was a big let-down. We ordered the wings in Honey Barbecue sauce, which was midway in their spiciness levels. It had no spice at all! We also tried the Mango Habanero. That one was better – flavorful, with a sweet-spicy combination. The large serving (at least 20 pieces) costs P895++. The basket of fries was okay, but again, serving size was on the small size, considering the price (P225++).


We’ve had better-tasting wings in Manila for much less than this. What a big disappointment!