Saturday, June 24, 2017

Five Years Running: The LuzViMinda Ika-Limang Serye Gastronomical Fusion Filipino Food Festival at F1 Hotel Manila

For the past five years, I've seen this special annual food festival evolve showcasing the very best of Filipino flavors in another month-long celebration of good food and good vibes at F1 Hotel Manila... 


I always look forward to the annual LuzViMinda Filipino Food Festival at F1 Hotel Manila, with each edition offering yet another layer in the country's culinary tapestry of rich flavors. Molded and defined by history and indigenous resources, Philippine flavors takes the spotlight once more with tradition reinterpreted by noted young chefs in this year's edition of LuzViMinda Ika-Limang Serye: Gastronomic Fusion at F1 Hotel Manila...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Street Food with Italian Flair: Takin' It To The Street with Cibo di Strada...

Street food takes on a cool Italian vibe and Asia's best female chef, Margarita Fores, shows the way at Cibo...


Drawing inspiration from her frequent travels to Italy, no Italian experience is complete for Margarita Fores without enjoying their traditional street food. From pizza, panini and a whole lot of golden and crispy fried food, Margarita Fores takes it to the street with her own take on Italy's favorite street food. Meet the new line of Italian-style street food prepared in that classic Cibo style, the Cibo di Strada.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Afternoon Tea with a Local Twist: The Fiesta Filipino Merienda Buffet at The Peninsula Manila

Think of it as afternoon tea with an all-Filipino spin. All your all-time childhood favorites served at one of the metro's most photographed spots. It's another memorable afternoon at The Lobby...  


The food, the vibe, and the place, it's just one of many classic #PenMoments. The Peninsula Manila celebrates the 119th Philippine Independence month of June with The Fiesta Filipino Merienda Buffet at The Lobby offering a sumptuous array of traditional and local dishes created by Executive Sous Chef Ed Maddela. Starting June 10 to 21, 2017, indulge in a feast of local flavors at one of Makati's iconic venues, The Lobby at The Peninsula Manila.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Savory and Spicy: Tasty Bites at Applebee's...

Refreshing notes, tasty seafood with a spicy kick and a savory burger inspired by the old west, it's all here at Applebee's...


There's always a reason to celebrate at Applebee's, and their selection of comforting American cuisine always hits the spot. Here are some tasty bites not to be missed at Applebee's...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rustic and Authentic Italian Flavors at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila's Fiesta Italiana

A rich culture, impeccable art, and a heritage of good food, experience a true Italian feast of rustic flavors at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila...


Marco Polo Ortigas Manila celebrates authentic Italian flavors with Guest Chef Andrea Delzanno at Cucina with Fiesta Italiana, an Italian food festival from June 7 to 18, 2017. The week-long festival highlights authentic Italian flavors infused with Guest Chef Andrea Delzanno's modern and innovative twist while preserving the true and vibrant notes of the sunny Mediterranean. It's la dolce vita...at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila's Cucina.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pure Chocolate Indulgence: ChocoLiquor Cakes by Maricar

Decadent, luscious and velvety smooth chocolate gets even more sinful with the infusion of liquor...


Actress, doctor and home baker Maricar Reyes takes chocolate cakes to the next level with Choco Liquor Cakes by Maricar. Rich chocolate with a whisper of liquor, it just doesn't get better than that. Get ready for pure, real and sweet chocolate indulgence...with Choco Liquor Cakes by Maricar.

Variety and Value at Madison Commons Food Park

A sudden craving for kebabs, callos and tacos can be a real challenge, and the only way to satisfy it is to head on over to Madison Commons...


Madison Commons is one of the newest food parks this side of the metro, boasting of well over thirty food stalls offering a wide variety of flavorful options, from Korean, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Filipino, and everything in between including a selection of beverages and ice cream all in one place. Craving for kebabs, callos and tacos? No problem. A stop at Madison Commons should do the trick...

Monday, June 12, 2017

Rare Delights and A Tomahawk at The Fireplace

Some beefy rare delights and a serious Tomahawk. It's just another memorable evening at The Fireplace...


The warm amber glow from the ovens provide that unique ethereal radiance that defines The Fireplace at New World Manila Bay Hotel, and you just know dinner is going to be special...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Flavors of Pampanga: The Kanyaman Filipino Food Festival by Chef Sau del Rosario at Novotel Manila's Food Exchange

The colorful and rich culinary heritage of Pampanga takes the spotlight at Novotel Manila's Food Exchange. Prepare yourself for some real serious kanyaman moments...


One of the country's highly regarded and much respected culinary icons returns to his roots with a lavish Capampangan feast on a grand scale. Chef Sau del Rosario shares his modern take on traditional Capampangan cuisine at Novotel Manila's Food Exchange in a colorful feast of fresh and authentic flavors dubbed the Kanyaman Filipino Food Festival from June 8 to 22, 2017 (for more on Novotel Manila and the Food Exchange, see my previous posts, Novotel Manila: Luxury Comes to Quezon City and International Flavors at Novotel Manila's Food Exchange). Read on for a tasty peek at the Food Exchange's Kanyaman Filipino Food Festival...

Friday, June 9, 2017

Celebrating Twenty Years of Italian Classics at Cibo SM Aura Premier

A bowl of pasta prepared with the finest ingredients and served the classic Italian way, it's pasta that way it should be. And that's how it's been at Cibo for the past twenty years...


Real flavors and nothing less, Cibo has been at the forefront of bringing authentic Italian-style pasta to mainstream palates since 1997 led by Margarita Fores. Chosen as Asia's Female Chef for 2016, Margarita Fores remains one of the country's innovative icons transforming the local culinary landscape with her dining concepts. At the newest branch of Cibo located at SM Aura Premier, this single-minded vision and passion is reflected in their menu of authentic pasta dishes, like the Penne Al Telefono (P 375/P 660 La Famiglia), a vegetarian pasta dish with stewed tomato, mozzarella, white cheese, basil, and cream. Fresh and clean flavors, each bite delivers the richness of every ingredient, coming together in bold and vibrant notes.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Savor the Flavors of the Philippine Archipelago by Chef Myke "Tatung" Sarthou at Corniche

The month of June marks the country's independence day celebrations, and it's also a good time to rediscover local and regional flavors...


Noted chef, award-winning author, and culinary TV Host Myke "Tatung" Sarthou showcases the diverse flavors of the Philippines with a flavorful gastronomic celebration at Diamond Hotel's Corniche with a Filipino Food Festival dubbed Philippine Archipelago starting June 2 to 12, 2017. Chef Tatung takes diners on a unique culinary journey, reflecting how both the east and west came together in a melting pot of flavors. The sumptuous spread will also feature local indigenous cuisine and other distinct flavors that make up the colorful tapestry of Filipino cuisine. Read on and take a tasty peek at a distinctly Filipino feast of local flavors at Corniche...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sticks and Skewers: Eat City's Signature Sampler Cookout and New Skewer Meals

A variety of skewered meats delicately grilled, generous servings, value-added group meals and reasonable prices, looks like a winning formula...


Eat City offers its unique Signature Skewers, by the stick or group meals, for a flavorful and satisfying dining experience. Drawing inspiration from global flavors, you'll find a mouth-watering array of delicious options at Eat City.  

Monday, June 5, 2017

Let it Rain: Wine and Oysters at Fairmont Lounge

A sudden afternoon downpour signaled the onset of the rainy season, a welcome relief to the summer heat but a damper on any plans for the evening. And with the rains comes the legendary metro traffic. Like they say, just add water and the entire city stops. Thankfully, there's Wine and Oyster Night at the Fairmont Lounge, so let it rain...


A never-empty glass of wine and fresh oysters, just what you need to end the day on the right note. Indulge in free-flowing wine with a platter of oysters at the Fairmont Lounge's Wine and Oyster Nights, and simply let the rain and metro traffic takes its course.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

A Date with Dad: Celebrate Father's Day at Myron's New Home in Ascott Residences Makati

Everyone's favorite since 2008 now has a new home...


For Ramon and Monica Eugenio, it's a culinary journey that began at the long-running Salcedo Market more than twelve years ago with their ready-to-eat gourmet items like US Certified Angus Roast Beef, Roast Australian Leg of Lamb, and a selection of pastas, signature dishes that formed the core for the menu of Myron's when it opened back in 2008 at Greenbelt 5. Since then, Myron's has been a favorite among local diners, its reputation built by its signature steaks.  Now, Myron's is the lead dining concept in an expanding group that includes Miguelito's in SM Mega Mall's Fashion Hall, Franco's in Rockwell, and Flying Pan at Citadines Salcedo (for more on The Flying Pan and Franco's, see my previous posts, The Flying Pan Has Landed: Now Serving Comfort Food Daily at the Heart of Salcedo and Franco's: Reconnecting with Comfort Food). At the very core of each dining concept of Myron's Group is the single-minded culinary philosophy and vision, to make a difference in the dining experience of every guest by committing the highest quality and greatest value for every client, every team member, and every shareholder. And this is taken to heart at Myron's newest location at Ascott Residences in Makati. With Father's Day coming up soon, there's nothing quite like the classic dishes of Myron's to celebrate another family milestone...

Friday, June 2, 2017

Leonardo's Lechon Goes Prime Time...

The Carnivore Lechon takes the spot light in yet another TV feature...


Leonardo's Lechon, one of the metro's iconic names with a solid reputation going as far back as 1947, goes on prime time with another TV feature. And it's the Carnivore Lechon that's hugging the spotlight, an innovative variation of the classic Lechon Tagalog stuffed with sausages, bacon, and potatoes for pure pork love on national television.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Progressive Chinese: A Tasty Peek at Ping Pong Diplomacy's New Dishes

Who would've thought that the game of table tennis would pave the way in re-opening Sino-American relations back in the seventies? A milestone in international diplomacy, it's also the inspiration behind one of the metro's newest restaurants serving modern Chinese cuisine...


The wittingly named Ping Pong Diplomacy at SM Aura Premier offers its own inventive take on modern Chinese cuisine, described as "Progressive Chinese," for a new flavor experience that's unique and different. Fusion? Not quite. It's Chinese flavors that's fresh and bold that can only come from the out-of-the-box philosophy of maverick techpreneur Charles Paw and Chefs Him Uy de Baron and Noel Mauricio. Come and step back in time, back to the seventies when Nixon and Chairman Mao shook hands for the first time thanks to the game of ping pong, and experience Chinese cuisine like nothing you've tried before at Ping Pong Diplomacy...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Old World Colonial Elegance and Provencal Flavors: A Weekend at Raffles Makati

When at Raffles, why not visit Singapore? Or Dubai? Or Phnom Penh? Or Makati? No matter the destination, that unique brand of hospitality remains unchanged since 1887. A destination in itself, it's the same kind of emotional luxury that has drawn some of the world's iconic writers to Raffles, from Somerset Maugham to Alfred Hitchcock, Rudyard Kipling to Ernest Hemingway, and the story continues. From the original Raffles Singapore where it all began to its countless destinations around the world, each property is linked by its legendary service and luxury that is unmistakably Raffles. At Raffles, they call it emotional luxury. Guests simply call it Raffles...


And now it's your turn. A weekend at Raffles Makati takes you back to the storied past of old world elegance and grace of bygone colonial times, a brand of emotional luxury synonymous with Raffles for over 130 years. No matter how much has changed since 1887, Raffles would remain exactly the same, stopping time with its colonial splendor, unmatched luxury, and legendary service. And like so many individual stories weaving a colorful tapestry enhancing the enduring image of Raffles, here's yet another, my own story, on a perfect weekend at Raffles...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Airport Eats: Never Hungry at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

The minute you land at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, you automatically get hungry...


At KLIA 2, there are well over 160 retail and food outlets offering a wide array of both international and local dining options. Getting hungry at KLIA2 is the perfect way to get acquainted with Kuala Lumpur, so let's eat...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Well-Tuned: Smart, No-Frills, and Uncomplicated at Tune Hotels KLIA Sepang

Location, comfort, and real value. Get in tune on your next getaway...at Tune Hotels.


The concept of Tune Hotels is simple. Enjoy a great night's sleep at a great price. No frills, uncomplicated, and real value, it's the core proposition that sets it apart from the traditional and pricier hotels. It's also what makes Tune Hotels the smarter choice for business and leisure travelers. It was my home for an amazing three days in KL during AirAsia's mouthwatering and flavorful Santan Food Festival launch (for more on AirAsia's Santan Food Festival, see my previous post, Celebrating Asian Flavors with AirAsia's Santan Food Festival)...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Celebrating Asian Flavors with AirAsia's Santan Food Festival

Pad Thai with Prawns. Thai Green Curry. Korean Kimchi Stir-Fried Chicken. Miso Chicken with Garlic Rice. Chicken Adobo. South Indian Delight. Nasi Kuning Manado. Nasi Lemak. Chicken Rice. Roti Jala with Chicken Curry. Hungry? Then get ready to fly...


AirAsia takes inflight meals to new heights with its wide range of authentic regional offerings to complete your experience with Asian-inspired Santan cuisine. Read on for a tasty peek at AirAsia's Santan meals in the largest inflight food tasting event in Asia and first ever Santan Food Festival...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Texas Via Tokyo at Uptown Place Mall

Fresh sashimi followed by a hefty ribeye, sounds like the perfect lunch...


Located right next to each other at Uptown Place Mall, heading to Texas via Tokyo is as easy as crossing over with just a few steps for a sashimi and steak lunch...at Watami and Texas Roadhouse.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Time For Tacos at La Taqueria Amiga Mia

Nachos, tacos, burritos, and chimichangas, comforting Tex-Mex fare that always hits the spot. And you can find that one spot that serves Tex-Mex the right way at the heart of Quezon City...


La Taqueria Amiga Mia serves classic Tex-Mex cuisine the old-fashioned way, using real corn masa for their signature tacos and nachos. Boiled and stoneground for that authentic crunch and snap, you won't find dehydrated corn meal or commercial products with corn starch at La Taqueria Amiga Mia. This is classic old-school Tex-Mex prepared and served the old-fashioned way...

Friday, May 19, 2017

Chicken From Around The World at Poultry Stack

Comforting chicken dinners take on a flavorful global spin at Poultry Stack...


Poultry Stack takes you on a culinary journey around the world with its signature chicken dishes, drawing inspiration from South American, Japanese, Thai and Filipino flavors. And if you're looking for a winning chicken dinner, or lunch, Poultry Stack is definitely the place...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ramen Innovation: Ippudo's New Clam Chowder Ramen

Drawing inspiration from local and regional ramen variations from Japan, Ippudo constantly innovates by offering a variety of ramen creations. This time, the inspiration takes on an All-American classic with a unique spin from Ippudo for another unique flavor experience...


Inventive, imaginative, daring. It's what keeps Ippudo at the forefront of ramen innovation, constantly engaging its loyal diners with new expressions of ramen creativity. Leave it to the ramen masters of Ippudo to add a flavorful twist to an iconic American classic with their new Clam Chowder Ramen...

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Old Favorites. And New Favorites. At Trellis...

There are few names in the local culinary landscape that have stood the test of time, one of them is Trellis...


Since 1980, Trellis has been serving classic local cuisine that has endeared it to generations of loyal diners. Each time you go back and each time you take a bite, a simple meal becomes a memorable and nostalgic culinary journey back in time...

Monday, May 15, 2017

Modern Elegance and Little Touches: Mom's Day Weekend at Midas Hotel & Casino

Mother's Day becomes even more special with a staycation at Midas Hotel & Casino...


Modern, vibrant, with an upbeat feel balanced by a stately charm and elegance, Midas Hotel & Casino combines glamor, contemporary style, and a sleek cutting-edge culture for a unique and memorable Mother's Day staycation. It's that blend of stylish elegance, dynamic urban vibe, fresh interpretation of modern hospitality and graceful design that makes your visit to Midas Hotel & Casino special. Read on and take a peek at a memorable Mother's Day staycation at the famed city by the bay, and the little touches and unexpected surprises that made it special...at Midas Hotel & Casino.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Double the Flavor: The Lechon Gallena by Leonardo's Lechon...

At the heart of every celebration is the traditional Lechon, a whole roasted pig that adds a distinctly Filipino vibe to any gathering. And for over 70 years, Leonardo's Lechon has been at the center of countless feasts for generations.


And here's a closer look at one of their popular variants, the Lechon Gallena, stuffed with whole chickens, potatoes, spices and herbs for a unique take on a classic. Read on and drool...

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Wholesome Eats & Sweets: Marriott Manila's Vegan Offerings for a Healthier Lifestyle

No longer just a passing trend, seeking a healthier lifestyle has gone beyond just being a mere fad, it's definitely here to stay. For committed vegans and those who are simply curious about healthy cuisine, Marriott Manila is your new vegan go-to-place...


Marriott Manila adds a healthy twist to its culinary offerings with healthy vegan options at Cru Steakhouse and Marriott Cafe Bakery. And if you're thinking of pursuing a healthier lifestyle, Marriott Manila is a great place to start...

Friday, May 12, 2017

One Night Only: The Saga Beef Sake Dinner at The Fireplace

Japan's best beef paired with the finest sake, in one special evening...


...at The Fireplace. Six courses highlighting the world-renowned Saga Beef, each paired with a curated selection of premium Sake from the same prefecture combine for a memorable dining experience. Located on the southern Kyushu Island, Saga Prefecture is known for its world-class beef and is one of Japan's best quality sake-rice producing regions. The indulgent richness and flavors from the best of Saga Prefecture come together for one unforgettable evening at The Fireplace. Read on for a peek of Japan's best...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Treat Mom Like a Queen at Gerry's Grill with the Queen's Meal

After all these years, you'd still rather be at Gerry's...


...this Mother's Day. Starting May 12 to 14, 2017, Gerry's Grill offers their Queen's Meal for a festive and sumptuous Mother's Day feast. Each Queen's Meal Set is good for five persons, with two meal options to choose from featuring Gerry's Grill's all-time favorites. Treat mom this weekend with a feast of comforting flavors...at Gerry's Grill.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Tea with a French Accent: The Royal Afternoon Tea Series Featuring Marie Antoinette at Writers Bar

"Let them eat cake..."


Words that have resonated long after the French Revolution. But did Marie Antoinette really say it, or was it just a journalistic cliche? Historians have debated for decades regarding this notorious utterance perfectly describing class conflict and western aristocracy. Accounts detailed a flawed translation, referring to brioche and not cake, but whether Marie Antoinette did say these infamous words remains an open-ended discussion. Historians have traced the famous quote to an anecdote by Jean-Jacques Rousseau about a "great princess" well before Marie Antoinette arrived in France. But Marie Antoinette's place in history has already been firmly established, mythologized in local lore after that turbulent chapter in French history. It's interesting trivia like this that lead to colorful conversations at tea time. And you can have your cake. And a soothing cup of tea...at Raffles Hotel. Writers Bar introduces its Royal Afternoon Tea Series drawing inspiration from history's icons, and starting May 1 to July 31, 2017, you can indulge in a lavish selection of sweet and savory creations inspired by Marie Antoinette paired with select premium teas. Read on for a peek at afternoon tea with a French accent...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Epic on a Plate: The #EpicLasagnaSupreme by Greenwich

Round up the barkada for next epic summer adventure, and bring along some flavorful epic-ness to fuel the fun...


Greenwich offers its most epic pasta to-date, the new Lasagna Supreme, just perfect for your next exciting adventure with your barkada. A trip to the beach down south or a chill staycation at a friend's house down the road, add a flavorful punch to your cool adventure with the gang with the new Lasagna Supreme by Greenwich.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

MOMents: Celebrate Mom's Day at King Chef Seafood Restaurant

Treat your mom to a royal Chinese feast by the chef of kings and the king of chefs...at King Chef Seafood Restaurant.


For the whole month of May, King Chef Seafood Restaurant celebrates Mother's Day with a pair of lavish Mother's Day Set Menus fit for royalty. And for moms everywhere, they deserve nothing less...

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lifestyle Dining + Unrivaled Entertainment at Ibiza Beach Club BGC

Take your dining experience to the next level...at Ibiza Beach Club.


Cebu's hippest and hottest dining experience comes to Manila with the opening of Ibiza Beach Club at the heart of Bonifacio Global City. Combining the innovative concepts of lifestyle dining with unrivaled entertainment, Ibiza Beach Club offers a unique dining experience that reflects the brand's DNA where diners can immerse themselves in that cool signature beach club vibe. The elegant space, stylized interiors, impeccable service, and the cuisine come together in a seamless blend for an immersive experience you can only find at Ibiza Beach Club. And the sumptuous Balearic-inspired 15-Course Grill with premium meat and fresh seafood is one more reason to visit Ibiza Beach Club...

Monday, May 1, 2017

Flavors of Tacloban: Sweet Indulgence at Miyara Patisserie, Tacloban's Sweet Spot.

The vibrant city of Tacloban is home to a unique regional cuisine steeped in tradition. But a new generation of talented chefs, bakers, and food entrepreneurs are slowly changing the culinary landscape. One of them is Tacloban's very own Miyara Patisserie...


Miyara Patisserie specializes in indulgent desserts, custom-designed cakes and dessert buffets for all occasions, serving Illy Coffee to pair with their sinful and decadent offerings. When a sudden craving for Banoffee Pie or Chocolate Ganache Cake hits you while in Tacloban, there's only one place guaranteed to satisfy this craving...you can get your Banoffee Pie and Chocolate Ganache Cake fix at Miyara Patisserie.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Flavors of Catbalogan: Going Native at Rutchel's Eatery

It's been an amazing two days of continuous culinary delights, but my Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour had one more tasty surprise to round off my visit...


One last lunch on the way to Tacloban revealed yet another side to Samar's rich culinary heritage, with a tasty stop at Rutchel's Eatery, home of the famous Chicken Tinola. Using only native organic and free-range chickens for its signature tinola, Rutchel's Eatery is another establishment loved by locals for generations. Since the early sixties, Rutchel's Eatery has been serving their rustic Chicken Tinola in exactly the same way with no alterations and modifications. It's a testament to the enduring resilience of simple local cuisine, with real and honest flavors. From day one, my Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour with the Department of Tourism Eastern Visayas and the City Tourism Offices of Calbayog and Catbalogan showcased traditional and regional cuisine, lovingly preserved by restaurateurs and families that defined the distinct culinary heritage of Samar. And here's one more taste of a local favorite before the flight back to Manila...at Rutchel's Eatery.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour: Flavors of Catbalogan

A mid-morning seafood breakfast with a view of Maqueda Bay. It just keeps getting better and better at the Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour...


My second day for the Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour by the Department of Tourism Eastern Visayas and Catbalogan City Tourism Office highlighted even more traditional flavors with a sumptuous mid-morning breakfast spread, including fresh seafood and native steamed rice cakes at one of the city's picturesque spots with an amazing view of the bay. It's just another day at #CaptivatingCatbalogan...

Friday, April 28, 2017

Flavors of Catbalogan: Breakfast at King Bean Cafe

Early morning, time for some breakfast...


The second day of my Secret Kitchens Of Samar Kulinarya Tour began with a light breakfast at King Bean Cafe, a local and homegrown concept from Samar. With a wide range of signature coffee blends, pastries, cakes and even full meals, King Bean Cafe is Catbalogan's place to meet and unwind before another flavorful day of gastronomic delights in the Gateway City of Samar.

Flavors of Catbalogan: A Tasty Encounter with Tamalos at Orlando's Grill

"You have to try Tamalos." I've been told quite a number of times since I arrived at Samar for the Department of Tourism's Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour not to miss this unique dish. And I'm glad I did...


If there's one dish that distinguishes the local cuisine of Catbalogan and Samar, it's the iconic Tamalos. Tracing its roots back to the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade during Spanish colonial times, the Tamalos is the unique and savory local version of Mexican tamales, with slabs of fork tender pork belly slathered with rich peanut sauce on a soft rice flour base, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed for hours. Pampanga, Batangas, and Bulacan have their versions of the tamales, but Samar's tamalos is in a class of its own. It's one of many memorable and tasty encounters during my Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour with the Department of Tourism and the Catbalogan City Tourism Office, and it remains one of my lasting impressions in #CaptivatingCatbalogan...

Flavors of Catbalogan: Cooling Down with the Locals at Tina's Garden

Chillin' with the locals at a favorite spot not only gives you a better understanding and appreciation of the local culture, it's quite refreshing too...


After a hearty breakfast of traditional dishes and snacks at the city of Calbayog (see my earlier posts, Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour: Flavors of Calbayog and Flavors of Calbayog: Chillin' at Rebelito's Refreshments) and a sumptuous lunch at Catbalogan (Flavors of Catbalogan: Comforting Cuisine at City Grill), the second part of my Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour with the Department of Tourism Eastern Visayas and the Catbalogan City Tourism Office continued with a stop at the Capital City of Samar's favorite establishment. Time to cool down with some classic Halo-Halo at Tina's Garden...

Flavors of Catbalogan: Comforting Cuisine at City Grill

The flavors of Eastern Visayas continue to amaze and surprise at the Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour, with each stop offering yet more insights into the rich culinary heritage of Samar. And now it's the turn of Catbalogan...



After a sumptuous early morning breakfast and mid-morning snack in Calbayog (see my earlier posts, Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour: Flavors of Calbayog on that epic breakfast and Flavors of Calbayog: Chillin' at Rebelito's Refreshments for their classic Halo-Halo) and roughly an hour and half drive, we arrived at the city of Catbalogan, the provincial capital of Samar. Known as the "Gateway to Samar Region," the capital city has its own unique culinary heritage, and my Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour continues with a taste of Catbalogan at City Grill. Seafood plays an important role in Samar's economy and tradition, and City Grill's Kinilaw, with fresh fish in coconut milk, green tomatoes, and red onions is the perfect way to start your taste of Catbalogan...

Flavors of Calbayog: Chillin' at Rebelitos Refreshments

Fifty-four years after it served its very first order of Halo-Halo, the local homegrown favorite remains as popular as ever...


Since 1963, generations of local residents from Calbayog knew one place where they could beat the heat with a tasty serving of sweet halo-halo. When in Calbayog, a stop at Rebelito's Refreshments for a refreshing halo-halo is always a good idea not only to cool down but to get a feel of the local vibe...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour: Flavors of Calbayog

There's no better way to appreciate the richness of Philippine regional cuisine than to head out to the source and immerse yourself in the local culture and experience it first-hand. With over 7,107 islands, our culinary heritage is as diverse as the vastness of the archipelago, infused by the distinct local cultures of each region, and spiced up by historical influences. It's this unique diversity that makes Philippine cuisine so rich, shaped by the unique geographical features and resources of each region, and lovingly preserved by tradition and a deep sense of local pride.  


The Department of Tourism's Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour is an offshoot of the recent Madrid Fusion, an annual culinary event celebrating the shared history and culinary heritage of Spain and the Philippines (for more on Madrid Fusion, see my previous posts, Sights and Flavors at Madrid Fusion Manila 2016 and Made in Spain: Pork Love at Madrid Fusion Manila 2016). The renewed interest in traditional gastronomy, specifically regional cuisine, presents unique opportunities to rediscover comforting flavors and reconnect with our roots. And there's nothing like experiencing local cuisine, providing insights in the region's culture and history. Like they say, know what the locals eat, and you'll gain a better perspective on the local vibe. Read on and rediscover the flavors of Eastern Visayas on a virtual tour of the twin cities of Calbayog and Catbalogan with a final stop at Tacloban on my Secret Kitchens of Samar Kulinarya Tour...

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Flavors of El Nido: Seeing Seafood at El Nido Grill

Not having any fresh seafood while in El Nido is missing half the point of your Palawan getaway. At Lio El Nido, you'll find a variety of new dining establishments to enjoy the day's freshest catch. And the El Nido Grill is one of them...


El Nido Grill offers fresh seafood prepared just the way you like it. Steamed, fried, grilled, your call. And with so much fresh seafood to choose from, an all-seafood feast at El Nido is a natural thing to do, even mandatory. Just pick and choose your seafood and leave it to El Nido Grill to prepare your seafood feast...

Flavors of El Nido: Steaks and Beer at Pukka Bar

A cold beer and a good steak, always a good idea. A cold beer and a good steak by the beach? Even better...


Pukka Bar is another dining establishment inside the impressive Lio Tourism Estate in El Nido, offering great food, cocktails and ice cold beers with a beachfront view. It's part of the growing mumber of dining and retail establishments at Lio Tourism Estate by Ayala Land, the first eco-masterplanned integrated resort community in Palawan.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Flavors of El Nido: Beads and Coffee at Bead Cafe

The best way to enjoy a soothing cup of coffee is to take it slow with a leisurely and unhurried pace. It's the kind of pace that not only lets you enjoy your coffee, but also gives you enough time to complete a bracelet made with a variety of beads...at Bead Cafe.


The expansive Lio Tourism Estate at El Nido now includes a coffee shop with a cool spin to complement its growing dining and retail establishments. Bead Cafe offers premium coffee and tea, iced and blended or hot, along with colorful beads in case your feeling inspired with the island vibe at El Nido. Ready for some coffee and beads? Read on for a sneak preview...

Flavors of El Nido: Global Flavors at Globy Travelling Chef

South American, Thai, Indian, Filipino and Indonesian flavors, the best of global cuisine, converge at Lio El Nido's Globy Travelling Chef...


Hit by a sudden craving for Indonesian-style Nasi Goreng with Chicken Satay in the picturesque coast of Lio El Nido? Or maybe some Indian Chicken Tikka Masala? No worries. Globy Travelling Chef at Lio Tourism Estate by Ayala Land has it all covered to satisfy your globe-trekking palate...

Flavors of El Nido: Good Vibes at Manille Beach Bar

A cool cocktail by the bar facing the beach, it's one of those mandatory activities on a getaway to the legendary coast of El Nido. And there's one spot that's perfectly set-up for that scenario...


Manille Beach Bar is another establishment within the expansive Lio Tourism Estate in El Nido by Ayala Land, and if you're after some cool good vibes, this is it. Inventive, handcrafted cocktails prepared by master mixologists using the very best selection from the country's oldest distillery, it's another must-try bar at Lio Tourism Estate. Named after Destileria Limtuaco & Co.'s flagship Philippine craft spirit brand, Manille Liqueur de Calamansi and Dalandan, you can expect new and exciting cocktails right here at Manille Beach Bar. Read on and take a virtual round of cocktails and tasty bites...

Flavors of El Nido: Pizza Love at Pizza & Amore

A rustic pizza fresh from a wood-burning brick oven...that's pure pizza love. That's Pizza & Amore...


Pizza & Amore is one of many dining establishments at El Nido's hottest new travel destination, Lio Tourism Estate by Ayala Land. With so many dining options, it's almost guaranteed you'll find a favorite during your stay at Lio Tourism Estate. But if its rustic and old-school pizza love you're after, it's Pizza & Amore... 

Flavors of El Nido: Go For A Winning Pair at Lio El Nido's Pair-A-Dice Burger Bar

A burger and salad, a cocktail and appetizer, whatever pair you choose, the odds are always good. At Pair-A-Dice Burger Bar...


Pair-A-Dice Burger Bar is one of the new dining establishments located inside the new Lio Beach Village in El Nido, offering a wide range of signature burgers and cocktails and everything in between for a winning pair. A cool cocktail, a hefty burger, and a sunset by the beach in El Nido, just can't get better than that...
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