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 The Tamalo at Orlando's Grill

"You have to try Tamalo." 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 Tamalo. Tracing its roots back to the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade during Spanish colonial times, the Tamalo 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 tamalo 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...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cupcake Love: Chocolate Coffee Cupcake by Pia Dailo

Many say there's nothing a good cupcake can't solve. It's true. One bite of these cupcakes by Pia Dailo is more than enough to make any day so much better, so go ahead and take another bite...


Soft and moist chocolate with the nutty hints of coffee crowned with a swirl of chocolate ganache, it just can't get better than that. One more bite, and you have a smile on your face. It's just the way it is with Pia Dailo's cupcakes.

Monday, April 17, 2017

An Easter Weekend Staycation at F1 Hotel Manila

Every year, I always look forward to another memorable staycation at my second home...


And for the past five years, F1 Hotel Manila has been home being one of my blog's first posts. That's five great years. And a milestone for F1 Hotel Manila. F1 Hotel Manila celebrates five successful years in the industry, and I've been fortunate to go along with the ride. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Chill. At Novotel Manila's Ice N Cream...

When summer temperatures rise, simply head up north to Novotel Manila and chill at the new Ice N Cream by Novotel...


Novotel Manila launches the metro's newest ice cream destination, Ice N Cream by Novotel, scooping a selection of refreshing and innovative flavors just in time for summer. Scheduled to formally open on April 16, 2017, read on and take a flavorful peek at Ice N Cream by Novotel...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Back at Novotel Manila's Food Exchange...

Sushi, authentic Indian cuisine, the day's freshest catch and more, all in one place...


Up north, you don't have to go down south of the metro for an impressive buffet spread, it's all here at Novotel Manila Araneta Center's Food Exchange (for more on Novotel Manila, see my previous post, Novotel Manila: Luxury Comes to Quezon City and Novotel Manila: Transforming The Landscape in Quezon City on my travel blog). A short drive to the heart of Quezon City sets you off on a global culinary journey, one plate at a time, at Novotel Manila's Food Exchange.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Nagoya's Favorite Hot Pot Restaurant Comes To The Metro: Shabu-Shabu Ichiban Opens at Circuit Lane Makati

A hearty bowl of choice beef, pork, chicken and seafood with everything on it fresh from the hot pot and more...


Shabu-Shabu Ichiban, Nagoya's leading hot pot restaurant, simplifies the hot pot experience with its sumptuous sets with everything you want for that perfect hot pot and more. Simply pick your set and enjoy...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

And Bring The Kids Too. At Brotzeit...

Next time you want to enjoy an ice-cold Paulaner, why not bring the kids too? You can enjoy your Paulaner with Brotzeit's new Lunch Specials and the kids can have their own fun with the new Kinder Menu...


Brotzeit introduces their New Lunch Specials, perfect when paired with your favorite ice-cold Paulaner, and the new Kinder Menu for the kids. Now on its fourth year, it just keeps on getting better with good beer, good food, and good vibes at Brotzeit.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Prohibition and the Glitz of the Roaring Twenties Return at Nostalgia Dining Lounge's Mobsters and Molls

Ma Baker, Capone, Gatsby, and Sabrina, iconic characters from bygone eras come to life once more at Nostalgia Dining Lounge's special themed nights.


Every Thursday, twice a month, Nostalgia Dining Lounge recreates the mood and feel inspired by a period in history, film or literature, adding yet another element to your dining experience. Tonight, it's Mobsters and Molls and the Roaring Twenties at the Nostalgia Dining Lounge...

Friday, April 7, 2017

Summer's On with Great Lakes 100% Juice Fruit & Carrot Mix and Tropical Blend Fruit Mix

It's summer, time to quench your thirst with real fruit juice, and nothing less...


Oishi introduces two new refreshing fruit juice flavors, just in time for summer, with the Great Lakes Fruit & Carrot Mix and Tropical Fruit Blend Mix. Bring on the summer heat...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Steamin' with the New Steam Pot at Huat Pot

You've tried hot pot before, but have you tried steam pot?


Huat Pot Restaurant adds a new spin to your dining experience with their new Steam Pot style of cooking, using the freshest ingredients right on your table. The latest trend in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore, steam pot comes to the metro at Huat Pot...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Spanish Festival of Flavors: Exquisita Comida Espanola at Corniche

It's that time of year when the best of Spain comes to Manila...


Diamond Hotel Philippines celebrates the richness of Spanish cuisine with its Exquisita Comida Espanola, a Spanish Food Festival at Corniche from April 3 to 9, 2017. Read on for a tasty peek of authentic Spanish flavors...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Before Sunset: Aperitivo at Vu's Sky Bar and Lounge

A bar with altitude. When the sun sets, head 45 floors above the metro for a classic tipple with a view...


...at Marco Polo Ortigas, Manila's impressive Vu's Sky Bar and Lounge. Enjoy the panoramic and unobstructed 180-degree view of the metro with your favorite cocktail, tapas and a sunset with Vu's Sky Bar and Lounge's Aperitivo, it's happy hour with an Italian flair and a sunset. Drawing inspiration from the traditional Anti Pasti Misto Buffet, Vu's Sky Bar and Lounge takes pre-dinner cocktails and appetizers 45 floors up for unique experience.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Where The Sun Never Sets: A Provencal Lunch at Mireio...

Flavors as vibrant as sunshine, the very essence of Provence, lights up your palate with dishes inspired by the endless summers of southeastern France...


The rustic flavors of Provence, with its sunny and fresh, rich flavors, shines for lunch at Mireio, as Chef de Cuisine Nicolas Cegretin adds new dishes to the bright and flavorful repertoire of Mireio's comforting Provencal cuisine...
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