Sunday, June 30, 2024

Perfecting the Delicate Balance Between Quality and Quantity at Corniche in Diamond Hotel Philippines

The buffet dining format has long been a popular option among local diners promising both variety and value all in one place. That final decision on where to dine often comes down to the long-running debate on quality versus quantity, and you can safely mark a big check on both at Corniche in Diamond Hotel Philippines...

Ever since my very first time at Corniche in Diamond Hotel Philippines over a decade ago, I knew then that the fine balance of variety and value, quality and quantity were perfectly aligned at one of old Manila by the bay's enduring all-day buffet dining restaurants (more on that first visit on one of my earliest posts, Awesome Lobster Buffet at Diamond Hotel's Corniche from 2013). The on-going Galleon Trade: A Culinary Journey Filipino Food Festival by Guest Chef Christopher Carangian is just one more reason why Corniche remains at the top of the buffet game this side of the metro with its impressive selection of both local and global cuisine (see more on my post, Rediscover Culinary Connections with the Galleon Trade: A Culinary Journey Filipino Food Festival at Diamond Hotel Philippines from a few days back). 

With the nostalgic and faithful recreations of classic Filipino cuisine alongside Asian and western dishes each meticulously prepared by Guest Chef Christopher Carangian and the culinary teams of Diamond Hotel Philippines, the fine balance of quality and quantity is showcased at Corniche daily for lunch and dinner. Read on for the full lowdown on buffet dining at Corniche...

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Rediscover Culinary Connections with the Galleon Trade: A Culinary Journey Filipino Food Festival at Diamond Hotel Philippines

The story of any country's cuisine is an open book, shaped by the land and history yet constantly evolving and changing with the times. Filipino cuisine in particular is a multi-faceted canvas of both indigenous and foreign influences constantly simmering in a melting pot of flavors. Diamond Hotel Philippines revisits that moment in our history when a diversity of culinary influences converged at the ports of old Manila...

From Acapulco to Manila, the epic route of the Galleon Trade across the vast Pacific brought countless treasures, produce and ideas from different parts of the globe and in turn, the varied flavors and culinary traditions came along for the ride forever changing and enriching our own. Diamond Hotel Philippines takes you back to the heyday of the historic trans-Pacific trade route with Galleon Trade: A Culinary Journey Filipino Food Festival, a sumptuous Lunch and Dinner buffet at Corniche by Guest Chef Christopher Carangian from June 26 to July 7, 2024. Rediscover nostalgic local flavors and its shared history in a unique Filipino food festival at Diamond Hotel Philippines' all-day dining and buffet restaurant. And come hungry. 

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Embark on an Adventure in New Flavors with the Pepper Collection by Paragon Cordial

Made by bartenders for bartenders, Paragon Cordial takes you on a flavorful journey of exploration with single botanical cordials for innovative, natural and authentic notes. Pushing the boundaries of flavor, Paragon Cordial takes you on a wild ride as you discover and experience new all-natural  experiences with each soothing sip elevating the local bar scene. 

White Penja Pepper from Cameroon, Rue Berry from Ethiopia and Timur Berry from Nepal, Paragon Cordial explores the world for single botanicals in search of elusive and rare flavors to elevate your cocktail experience. The new Pepper Collection by Paragon explores new frontiers of flavors that's pleasantly surprising and often unexpected, adding intricate layers of bold natural notes to any cocktail. Ready for an adventure in flavor? 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The Soul of Spanish and Mediterranean Cuisine Shines at Alma Restaurant Poblacion

Modern and inventive yet familiar and even nostalgic, Chef Luis Martinez shares the rich flavors of his heritage and childhood in a quiet spot of Makati's eclectic Poblacion neighborhood. Originally based in Siargao, the island's emerging and fast-rising culinary star was temporarily dimmed by typhoon Odette. But that's just the beginning of the story, as Chef Luis Martinez transports you to his sun-soaked memories of Spain and Siargao once more served in each small plate of tapas, sumptuous paellas and cocktails at the Makati neighborhood's newest dining destination. 

From Siargao to Manila, Chef Luis Martinez shares his inspired and deeply personal take on hearty Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine at Alma Poblacion with an extensive menu of tapas frias, tapas calientes, savory mains, paella, pasta and desserts alongside handcrafted cocktails. Just like his original restaurant in Siargao, Alma Poblacion is neatly tucked away in a quieter and secluded part of the busy neighborhood exuding the very same feel and vibe. It's here where Chef Luis invites you to go deeper into the intricate and flavorful layers of Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine revealing both the heart and soul of one of the world's enduring culinary traditions. 

Monday, June 17, 2024

Let the Good Times Flow and Raise a Toast to World Gin Day at The Lobby Lounge of The Westin Manila

World Gin Day may long be over, but the worldwide love for gin is a month-long affair for one of the world's iconic distilled spirits. That calls for one more round of refreshing handcrafted libations at The Lobby Lounge of The Westin Manila...

The Westin Manila celebrates World Gin Day at The Lobby Lounge with its tempting offer of Unlimited Gin Cocktails for two hours until June 30 paired with tasty curated bites created by Executive Chef Rej Casanova. Ready to let the good times flow with all the gin cocktails you love? Then head on over to the The Lobby Lounge at The Westin Manila for a tipple to properly celebrate and honor World Gin Day. Let's do a round of refreshing G&Ts, shall we? 

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Holy Smokes, Burnt Bean Fires Up the Culinary Scene at The Podium

The creative mavericks behind the now legendary Holy Smokes BBQ brings their signature flavors touched by wood-fired smoke to Ortigas with the opening of Burnt Bean at The Podium. And where there's smoke, you can bet there's a whole lot of flavor... 

The bustling Ortigas commercial and business district welcomes the smoking hot Burnt Bean at The Podium as its newest dining hotspot. The all-day bistro with its wood-fired dishes is all set to fire up the busy district's culinary scene with its modern and inventive take on comforting dishes romanced by flame and smoke for a distinctive and bold play on savory flavors. Ready to get smoked by an array of savory creations? 

Friday, June 14, 2024

All Set For The Ramen Sets of Ramen Nagi

Chicken Karaage, Gyoza or Chashu Rice Set, what's your go-to pairing with your favorite bowl of Original Butao at Ramen Nagi? If you love all three, then you're all set for the Ramen Sets at Ramen Nagi. And over at the O-Square 2 Greenhills branch of Ramen Nagi, you can enjoy your Ramen Set as early as 10:00 am to start your day...

The Ramen Sets offer yet another tasty option to get your ramen fix at Ramen Nagi and then some. A complete meal anchored on their signature Original Butao, the Ramen Sets satisfies your ramen fix with tasty sides like Chicken Karaage, Gyoza or Chashu Rice for one sumptuous ensemble of savory bites. And you can enjoy it as early as 10:00 am in selected Ramen Nagi locations. All set for your ramen fix? 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

On the Wave of Change at Seasonal Tastes of The Westin Manila as Marriott International Philippines' Chefs Unite for World Ocean Day

Sustainability, traceability and responsible fishing practices remain as relevant today as it was way back when the local advocacy began almost eight years ago, and The Westin Manila dives deep into the shared cause with the freshest sustainable catch at its sumptuous Weekend Seafood Dinner Buffet in Seasonal Tastes...

A lavish seafood platter awaits guests and diners at the Weekend Seafood Dinner Buffet of Seasonal Tastes in The Westin Manila along with their other tempting offerings for a memorable feast. As chefs of The Westin Manila join other culinary teams from Marriott International Philippines in celebration of World Ocean Day, the day's finest and freshest sustainable catch served in a platter to your table becomes one of many flavorful attractions at Seasonal Tastes. Ready to haul in your fresh sustainable catch? 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The #MarriottBonvoyOnWheelsCaravan Makes a Flavorful Pitstop at The Westin Manila

One epic culinary journey around the prestigious Marriott International's brands features the different flavors of each property via the innovative #MarriottBonvoyOnWheelsCaravan. Last June 8, the caravan arrived at The Westin Manila for one of many pitstops... 

Marriott International's travel and loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy in partnership with Ford embarks on a unique culinary journey with the novel and innovative #MarriottBonvoyOnWheelsCaravan showcasing the creative and unique flavors of the different brands under one of the largest hotel companies in the world. Each stop highlights the impressive network of brands under Marriott International as well as the culinary styles and personalities of each luxurious property. That weekend, the #MarriottBonvoyOnWheelsCaravan makes a flavorful pitstop at The Westin Manila...

Monday, June 10, 2024

A Feast for the Eyes and Palate at TAG 4120 Art Gallery, Café and Restaurant in Tagaytay...

Vibrant colors and comforting flavors combine for a unique sensory experience down south in Tagaytay. An art gallery, café and restaurant, welcome to TAG 4120...

Former PR practitioner and passionate art collector Philip Abadicio leaves the hustle and bustle of Manila for the tranquil and serene sanctuary of Tagaytay. But he brings with him his love for art, opening an art gallery in a hidden spot surrounded by a former pineapple plantation. It wasn't long before Philip and his partners decided to open a café and restaurant to complete their "art nook and nibbles" concept. Art and comforting cuisine in a secluded tree-lined road leading to a cozy spot off the beaten path, that's one sensory experience that's just too good to pass up. Step inside for a feast for the eyes and palate at TAG 4201

Saturday, June 8, 2024

#KrazyGarlikComeback: Krazy Garlik Returns for One Deliciously Krazy Comeback at One Ayala

The krazy good times with good food are back as Krazy Garlik returns to the local dining scene with the much anticipated opening of its One Ayala location. The signature Amazing KG Salad and 40 Kloves Chicken make a triumphant return alongside exciting new additions like the Shrimp on a Roll and Bag O Seafood at Krazy Garlik... 

A proudly homegrown concept from The Bistro GroupKrazy Garlik shares its creative culinary take on Filipino and Western inspired cuisine once more using garlic as the hallmark ingredient adding a unique layer of flavor and that distinctive "krazy" vibe to your dining experience. Yes, you've missed their fun, playfully inventive and creative spin with garlic from years back. And the comeback is real as Krazy Garlik brings the same unrestrained and flavor-forward style we all loved to One Ayala this June. 

Krazy Garlik formally opens today, June 8, at One Ayala to tease and surprise your palate with the versatility and unique flavor profile of garlic in an extensive menu showcasing both Filipino and Western cuisine. And here's a cool treat for BFF cardholders, you get to enjoy 50% OFF from June 8 to10 for a krazy opening deal you can't refuse. 

It's hard to miss the new restaurant's facade at the al fresco area of One Ayala with its vibrant color palette and bold fonts... the elegant interior space is defined by its sleek and striking modernity warmed by neutral tones of natural wood that immediately makes one feel right at home. The new look brings a fresh update to the brand known for its krazy garlicky culinary theme. It's also a bold statement from one of the country's leading and largest restaurant groups as it flexes its formidable portfolio of dining concepts. What can you expect from the highly anticipated return of Krazy Garlik? Here's a quick rundown on their menu...

Let's get straight down to serious business with a round of refreshing garlic infused beverages to open up the palate and get you on that krazy track with the Lazy Afternoon (P 185) with its blend of pineapple, dalandan, basil, honey garlic and soda water...

...or the Sunset Glow (P 185) with pineapple, lychee, orange juice, honey garlic and soda water. The infusion of honey garlic in both fruity beverages adds a mildly sweet and nutty layer of notes for a flavorful depth. Who knew garlic could transform a refreshing beverage? That's Krazy Garlik for you. 

The contrasting sweet and tart notes of the aptly named An Apple a Day (P 185)with green apples, pineapple juice, nata de coco and soda water is another cool pick from the KG Mocktails selection. The bright colors are an indication of the soothingly sharp flavors of the green apple based mocktail. 

If you're craving for a sweet fix, the Blended Drinks menu offers some tempting options like the Papaya Dream (P 195) and Champorado Koko-rama (P 225) are the perfect duo for that indulgent start. Right off the bat, Krazy Garlik hits it far out the field with its beverage selections consistent with the brand's creative and "krazy" character. 

The Amazing KG Salad (P 295/P 475) returns with its play on delectable contrasting textures and fresh flavors to begin a krazy good and sumptuous feast at Krazy Garlik. Loaded with a fresh harvest of garden fresh greens, cucumber, red bell pepper and grilled chicken topped with crisp wonton chips and drizzled with peanut and sesame lime dressing, fans of Krazy Garlik will remember this right from that first bite... 

...followed by crunchy appetizers from the Stickwithu (P 295-5pcs/P 575-10 pcs), classic spring rolls with a cheesy spin stuffed with Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, chorizo, green bell pepper and onion jam... the Creamy Spinach Bites (P 375), crisp wontons filled with creamy cheese and spinach served with tangy marinara sauce. And that's just the opening savory salvo from Krazy Garlik.   

Krazy Garlik gets creative with its Shrimps on a Roll (P 465), a crisp and intricate spring roll rendered in that signature "krazy" style delivering a delectable crunch followed by a succulent briny sweetness. The presentation is krazy impressive, and packs some serious flavors too.

In between bites, the Turon Krisp with saba, langka, muscovado, cheese and vanilla ice cream is one decadent sip to sweeten the palate before the next round of savory dishes at Krazy Garlik

The wittingly named Wag the OX! (P 795/P 1,325) is a hearty ox-tail and chorizo stew simmered for hours for that buttery finish and sprinkled with garlic bits. The bold beefy notes are tempered by the equally sharp and pronounced notes of the chorizo smoothened by the thick and rich sauce for that perfectly balanced finish. 

The near cult status of the 40 Kloves Chicken clearly announces the return of Krazy Garlik in the local restaurant scene. Perfectly crisp and juicy chicken with the bold nutty hints of garlic, this one just hits the spot from the very first bite. 

Enjoy the day's fresh catch with the sumptuous Bag O Seafood (P 1,495) loaded with shrimps, clams, mussels, fish fillet and crab draped in a rich and garlicky butter sauce. The fresh and clean notes of seafood comes through followed by hints of garlic in that Krazy Garlik style. Seafood? It's in the bag at Krazy Garlik

And just in time for those rainy afternoons, this beef and bone marrow dish by Krazy Garlik makes those days or any day better. The Beef Kaldereta So Asian! Sour Stew (P 1,395) is savory, rich and tart similar to kansi with bok choy, honey garlic and batuan. One sip, and you'll want another bowl. Guaranteed. 

More seafood? Krazy Garlik hauls in a serious catch, have yours by simply flipping the pages of their extensive menu. You'll find prized catches like the Thai Me Up, Buttercup (P 345/P 725) with plump Chilean mussels and green chili slathered in a green curry coconut cream sauce. 

Looking for some serious heat? The Hara Kiri (P 245/P 445) with red chilies, bacon, shrimps and oyster sauce is a spicy rice dish for all chili fans pairing well with the savory dishes at Krazy Garlik

You can also enjoy plated meals at Krazy Garlik like the Butter Me Up, Salmon (P 995) with buttered salmon fillet, garlic rice and seasonal veggies...

...or the Braise Me Up (P 795) with fork-tender braised beef, garlic mashed potato, fried spinach and mushroom gravy sauce. 

And for dessert? The Tortilla Temptation (P 245) with crisp tortillas topped with honey garlic, candied pecans, cinnamon sugar, chocolate and caramel sauces and vanilla ice cream is your perfect sweet ending at Krazy Garlik

After a round of mocktails, cap your visit at Krazy Garlik with their selection of Classic Cocktails like the Negroni (P 295) for that perfect after meal tipple.

The return of Krazy Garlik to the local restaurant scene is a welcome development, adding a fun yet bold and inventive twist to classic Filipino and Western-inspired cuisine. Garlic is an amazing ingredient, and Krazy Garlik showcases the infinite possibilities in their lavish menu. In the mood for a garlicky feast? Go krazy at Krazy Garlik, now open at One Ayala... 

Krazy Garlik is located at Level 3, Al Fresco Area, One Ayala, Ayala Avenue, Makati. You can also visit their FB Page and IG Feed at and for more information and updates. 

Dude for Food is now on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, check out these social media accounts for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Booya Bagels Hits The Mainstream with the Formal Opening of its Glorietta 3 Branch

From their very first bake at a pop-up years back to their newest location at Glorietta 3 Activity Center, the proudly homegrown Manila-based brand known for their NY style bagels baked fresh daily takes on a much wider market as it breaks through the local culinary mainstream...

Chef Aaron and Nikki Oropesa-Lau turns a new chapter in their culinary journey with the formal opening of Booya Bagels' newest branch at the busy Glorietta 3 Activity Center in Makati. The new location brings the brand closer to a much broader market just in time for what Chef Aaron describes as a "global bagel boom." Bagel and lox? You bet. You'll find this iconic New York staple and more at the newest location of Booya Bagels at Glorietta 3...

The Glorietta 3 Activity Center is transformed recreating the mood and vibe of The Big Apple for the opening of Booya Bagels by Chef Aaron and Nikki Oropesa-Lau, the  dynamic couple behind the brand and Easy As Pie, Piece of Cake (for more on Booya Bagels and Easy As Pie, Piece of Cake, see my posts Booya Bagels by Chef Aaron Lau, Now Bangin' at Glorietta by Ayala Malls on their soft opening a few months back and Fresh Off the Oven: Chef Aaron Lau of Easy As Pie, Piece of Cake Unveils New Menu Additions from early this year). The staging is as impressive as it looks, a fitting and bold statement for the brand's entry to the metro's evolving culinary scene. 

At the formal opening, iconic visual elements of The Big Apple becomes the thematic thread for the ceremony. It is, after all, the brand's key inspiration for its NY style bagels. 

Booya Bagels have adapted and mastered the New York "water bagel" method of preparation as the base for their lavish creations showcasing both Western and Asian inspired flavors. At Booya Bagels, you'll find classics like the Booya Lox and Italian alongside Unicorn Poop with Oreos on a Rainbow Bagel and the Baby Boi with Nutella and marshmallows on a Triple Choco Bagel. It's this extensive selection of offerings anchored on a legit bagel that makes Booya Bagels a welcome addition to the local dining landscape. 

And Chef Aaron knows his bagel game. Bagels were a big part of Chef Aaron's own personal culinary journey while working in the kitchens of db Bistro Moderne by Daniel Boulud in New York. Chef Aaron sticks to tradition when it comes to his specialty bagels but frequently injects his own playfully inventive style for an extensive selection of unique creations for that NY style bagel experience. 

And it's an impressive collection of pure bagel goodness at Booya Bagels. From the classic Plain to Whole Wheat, Sesame and Jalapeño, Onion and Rye, Cafe Con Leche and Cinna-Raisin to the inventive Sana 'Ol and Everything Bagel, Chef Aaron shares his take on the iconic New York staple with his own unique flair. 

And a good bagel requires the proper schmear, right? Booya Bagels has that covered with their Herb & Garlic, Plain, Birthday Cake, Nori, Sundried Tomato, Oreo, Blueberry, Apple Pie and Scallion schmears along with a variety of specialty butter like Honey, Herb & Garlic, Strawberry, Snicker Doodle and Dirty Spice; deli meats, add-ons and veggies so you can customize your own perfect bagel. 

The use of premium ingredients like its very own House-Cured Lox, assorted deli meats and fresh add-ons gives Booya Bagels its distinctive "fast gourmet" vibe for a satisfying bagel experience. Enjoy their bagels on-the-go with a fresh-brewed Americano (P 120) and you're on your way to a flavorful New York state of mind. 

Chef Aaron and Nikki formally announced the opening of Booya Bagels at Glorietta 3 with the ceremonial ribbon cutting...

...before serving their fresh-off-the-oven bagel creations. The whole affair was an intimate one, celebrated with family over endless rounds of NY style bagels. 

Chef Aaron shared his story revealing even bigger plans for his brands in the pipeline. Rising from the long days of the pandemic, it's inspiring stories like this that makes this tale of success resonate in following one's dream and seizing the moment. For Chef Aaron and Nikki, Booya Bagels offers not just a bite of New York. It's a dream fulfilled. 

A toast celebrates the milestone moment at Booya Bagels, and the kiosk becomes a blur of activity as bagel after bagel are served. 

Chef Aaron and Nikki served mini versions of their classic bagels like the sumptuous Italian (P 420 for a regular full-sized bagel) with Canadian Ham, Salami, Pepperoni, Mozzarella, cream cheese and mayo on a sesame seed mini bagel. Each bite brings rich savory notes from the medley of deli meats smoothened by the cream cheese and mayo and finished by the nutty hints of the soft yet firm mini bagel. 

The West Coast Lox (P 536 for a regular serving) with its Nori schmear on the soft plain bagel topped with House-Cured Lox, cucumber and avocado brings fresh, delicate yet indulgently rich notes with each bite...

...and this one's gone just like that. The House-Cured Lox and cream cheese combo is as classic as it gets, the addition of the cucumber and avocado brings a lavish richness to the classic with its subtle sweetness and fresh textures. This alone is enough reason to visit Booya Bagels at Glorietta 3.

The Chef's Lunch (P 360 for a regular serving) with Cheddar, Bacon, Ham, Salami, Pepperoni, mustard and mayo on an Onion Bagel is Chef Aaron's very own pick, and it's a solid lunch. 

Order up one of their signature bagels or create your own customized version with a wide selection of bagels, schmears, deli meats, butter, add-ons and veggies and you'll know that Chef Aaron and Nikki have their bagel game locked in. 

Comforting yet indulgent, Chef Aaron and Nikki brings their fast gourmet bagel offerings to the heart of Makati's bustling commercial and business hub with the opening of Booya Bagels at Glorietta. Take a bite from their inspiring story, at Booya Bagels...

Booya Bagels is located at the Ground Floor of the Glorietta Activity Center, Glorietta 3, Makati. You can also visit their FB Page and IG Feed at and for more updates and information. 

Dude for Food is now on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, check out these social media accounts for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and "Follow" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB and IG widgets on the right sidebar.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Did You Say Ramen and Sushi? Find it at Nagi Sushi...

You've always loved their ramen. Now you'll love their sushi too...

Fresh and premium seafood meticulously handcrafted into sushi perfection alongside their signature ramen specialties, Nagi Sushi raises the bar once more in the ramen dining experience paired with exquisite sushi. And the best way to enjoy the Nagi Sushi experience is with the Premium Set 3 with eight kinds of sushi. Game? 

Monday, June 3, 2024

Certified Top Hits on the Hard Rock Cafe Play List

Loyal fans of Hard Rock Cafe have their own list of go-to dishes each time they visit. What's yours? 

After sampling the local entries for the Hard Rock Cafe World Burger Tour (more on my post here at The Hard Rock Cafe World Burger Tour Rocks Makati and Manila's Burger Scene from earlier this month), it was good time to revisit old faves and new dishes. Here's a countdown of certified top hits at Hard Rock Cafe to add to your own playlist...