Friday, November 29, 2013

An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour at McKinley Hill's Tuscany

Twenty dishes, from appetizers to mains all the way to desserts. Eight Restaurants. All in one place. Now that's one awesome foodies tour...

Anton Diaz and RJ Ledesma, in collaboration with Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, presents "An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour," a sumptuous and mouthwatering degustation tour of some of the best restaurants in Tuscany, McKinley Hill. Each stop offers distinct flavors offering diners a unique sampling of the best in Tuscany at McKinley Hill.

Tuscany at McKinley Hill, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls' newest establishment, houses some of the metro's best kept secrets. Surrounded by lush greens and Italian-inspired facades, Tuscany at McKinley Hill is The Fort's newest dining destination. Megaworld Lifestyle Malls is giving everyone a chance to discover Tuscany's best kept secrets through a mouthwatering degustation tour open to the public starting November 30. "An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour," will be held on four consecutive Saturdays, with the first tour scheduled on November 30 followed by December 7, 14, and 21, 2013. Each tour runs from 2:00pm to 5:00pm and hosted by RJ Ledesma and Anton Diaz, two of the most influential foodies in the country. My tour begins with a refreshing glass of Horchata, a cool blend of almonds, rice with cinnamon from B&T Mexican Kitchen, and here's a sneak peek at "An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour"...

1. B&T Mexican Kitchen, classic Tex-Mex cuisine in a fun and casual setting, B&T Mexican Kitchen offers some of the best tacos and burritos (for more on B&T Mexican Kitchen, check out my previous posts on B&T Mexican Kitchen's cool tacos here at,  or their classic burrito here at, more tacos here at, and their signature burger at For "An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour," B&T Mexican Kitchen offers a delectable platter with their Mango Glazed Habanero Chicken, Chipotle Chicken Pizza, Taquitos Espesyal with Barbacoa and Nachos with assorted dips, all washed down with a refreshing Horchata.

Mr. Tan of B&T Mexican Kitchen welcomes guests to the second floor, as more of B&T Mexican Kitchen's signature dishes were served during the food tour. And it's really great to see my favorite Tex-Mex place at McKinley Hill's Tuscany.

2. Planet Grapes. A cool red and white wine pairing at Planet Grapes, with its impressive inventory of selected wines from all over the world, paired with your favorite sides and some unusual and surprising dishes as well. With the aim of bringing the joy of wine to the people, Planet Grapes included popular street food fare in the wine pairing, including siomai and yes, balut. I just discovered that a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon goes down nicely with some balut and chicharon...

Planet Grapes also has a cool wine vending machine that dispenses wine by the glass, allowing you to sample the different vintages before ordering a glass or a bottle. Making your wine selection with Planet Grapes' vending machine adds to the overall experience at Planet Grapes.

To help you choose your wine, Planet Grapes's friendly staff are ready to assist. With an impressive selection of both old and new world wines, you'll definitely find your favorite vintage, or maybe even discover new favorites here at Planet Grapes.

And with Planet Grapes' cool "wine meets street food" concept, you'll find familiar and comforting dishes to pair with your wine for a fun and unique experience. More chicharon with your Shiraz? Why not.

3. Trattoria Poggio Antico. Classic Italian cuisine right in the middle of Tuscany, McKinley Hill. Inspired by his travels to the farms and meadows of Italy, Roland Lorilla decided to bring home the rustic and authentic flavors of Italy in his new restaurant. Trattoria Poggio Antico's starters were served, including Prosciutto con Melon (ham and melon on a thin and crisp pizza crust), Crespella del Poggio Antico (crepe stuffed with ham and cheese, and mushrooms in truffle oil), Pomodoro e Mozzarella Crostini, and Oyster Sur Pate di Fegato (oyster on liver pate), a personal favorite, served with a glass of wine from Trattoria Poggio Antico's Italian selection. Rustic and authentic, real old world flavors. And Roland Lorilla captures all these flavors with Trattoria Poggio Antico.

4. L.E.S Bagels. Nothing can be more comforting than fresh bagels and cream cheese, and at L.E.S. bagels, you get this and more. Specializing in New York style bagels, L.E.S. Bagels (or Lower East Side Bagels) offers classic bagels with a selection of cheese blends and other fillings from salmon to berries to herbed greens. L.E.S. Bagels offers 14 choices of cream cheese, including Plain, Scallion, Garlic and Chive, Vegetable, Herb, Jalapeno Cheddar, Caramelized Onion Raisin, Bacon Cheddar (this one's a personal favorite), Sundried Tomato and Basil, Garlic and Chive, Blueberry, Strawberry, Apple Cinnamon, and the traditional Lox. A classic sesame seed bagel with bacon and cheddar? Awesome.

For something different and sweet, L.E.S. Bagels also offers a chocolate bagel stuffed with apples and cinnamon. Great with a cup of L.E.S. Bagels' very own fresh brews. Plus, leave space for L.E.S Bagels' Fudge Brownies. Seriously good.

5. Sauceria. The best of global cuisine, made from scratch, in one place. Sauceria specializes in combining different flavors and sauces for unique dishes. Take Sauceria's Artisanal All-Beef Burger, with premium grade beef topped with Tuyo Blue Cheese spread on a Furikaki Bun...

...and the Tuna Tataki with Zaru Soba with homemade wasabi sour cream dip for a fusion of flavors that's familiar yet new and different. Using only the finest and freshest ingredients for full flavors, Sauceria gives you a taste of the world's best.

6. Marciano's. Led by Chef Giorgio Buciarelli, one can expect classic Italian cuisine served with a modern and refreshing twist. Marciano's Dow Jones, a premium US T-Bone with Italian sausages, potato wedges and roasted vegetables, a fitting main dish in the food tour. Other signature dishes like the West Side Four Season Pizza (12" pizza topped with pepperoni, mushroom, seafood and four cheeses) and Woody Allen Linguine (with shitake, button and oyster mushrooms, prosciutto and truffle cream sauce) were also served.

Fresh Strawberry and Mango Panna Cotta were then served for dessert. At the halfway mark of the tour, there's still more to come...

7. Main Street. Adam Tacderas-Tan's homage to French-Canadian cuisine, Main Street offers classic comfort food with a distinct Canadian twist. Poutine, thick-cut fries served with beef gravy and cheese curds set the tone for your dining experience at Main Street. Rich, hearty flavors, and a sure-fire remedy to any nasty hang-over.

Inspired by his afternoons in Vancouver's Main Street, Adam Tacderas-Tan brings home the comforting flavors of Canadian cuisine to Tuscany at McKinley Hill with an impressive selection of classic comfort food.

Main Street's Wagyu Burger, with Kitayama beef in sesame buns served with tomato relish, cheddar cheese and their very own house sauce. And this one goes to my list of favorites. And leave some room for Main Street's Organic Maple and Candied Bacon Artisan Ice Cream. Like they say, anything with bacon...

8 Sophie's Mom. And the tour ends on a sweet note, with Sophie's Mom's wide array of desserts, from cookies to cupcakes. Sample Sophie's Mom's Oreo Cheesecake Cookies and Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes, and you'll definitely be in a happy place. What started as baking for her daughter Sophie's high school friends has now evolved into Sophie's Mom, serving sweet treats guaranteed to bring a smile.

One word. Awesome. And you can have your very own awesome secret foodies tour in one of four consecutive Saturdays starting November 30. A limited number of tickets will be available from 11:00am to 6:00pm at the booth between Ukkokei Ramen Ron and Marciano's for the tours, with ticket prices at P1,000 per head. For more information, you can call 709-0888, 709-9888 or 0917-838-0111. Special thanks to RJ Ledesma, Anton Diaz, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls and all the participating establishments for an awesome secret foodies tour.

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