Monthly Archives

April 2013

#Restaurants, Food

BROTZEIT Philippines: Starting the German Bar & Resto Craze in Manila? @BrotzeitPH


BROTZEIT is a Singaporean-owned German restaurant that aims to promote quality German Beers and Bavarian cuisine in the Asia Pacific Region. Manila is the 10th branch in the world from the time the restaurant first opened in 1996.

“Brot” means “bread” and “zeit” literally translates to “time” in German, so its name means bread time or small meal or snack time, which usually is accompanied by refreshing, good quality beers.

Although it was a bit expensive and some of the dishes got mixed reviews, I did love the draft beers and the sausages. Could this be the start of a German beer/ resto craze in Manila?

Related Blog Posts:

Read more

Attractions, Manila Life

A Tourist’s View of Things To Do in Manila :) @MildaRatkelyte

(I'm interested to see how tourists see Manila so I asked Travel Blogger Milda of Asia Rooms to do a guest post in OAP about "A Tourist's View of Things To Do in Manila" – Anton)

Manila Bay by night
(Photo by Ric_K)

Previously seen as nothing more than a sprawling "concrete jungle", Manila was typically regarded as a layover stop for tourists before they moved on to other Philippine destinations. However, in recent years Manila has grown popularity as a destination in its own right.  Manila city, which is located in the metropolitan region of the same name, has bloomed into a colourful and vibrant holiday location, now attracting backpackers and holidaymakers from far and wide.  This is partly due to the city’s vast and unique districts, each with its own history, culture and cuisine. 

Whether you've just booked your first trip to Manila, or you're researching fun and exotic Asian destinations for your next vacation, this guide will explain what there is to do during your stay in the Philippines' capital city.  

Here are four fabulous things to do in Manila during your stay: 

Read more

#Restaurants, Bonifacio Global City, Food

MAD FOR GARLIC Philippines: Italian-Korean Wine Resto (and Garlic Breath) @MadforGarlicPH

MAD For Garlic-29.jpg
MAD FOR GARLIC is a Korean restaurant specializing in garlicky Italian cuisine, franchised by the Global Resto group. They say this was the original inspiration of a localized resto concept called Krazy Garlik.

For Garlic enthusiasts and Spicy food lovers, this is the place to be — guaranteed to give you a garlicky breath finish. We enjoyed the Italian fare with a Korean twist because some of the dishes were sweet for the boys, and their super spicy pastas in the menu were great for me.

Here’s a rundown of what we ordered and some tips on how to have an awesome experience at MAD FOR GARLIC…

Related Blog Post: Krazy Garlik – A Celebration of Everything Garlicky

What’s New in BGC Restaurants in 2013?

Read more

Awesome Festivals

BALIK BUKID: The BEST Country Fair in Sta. Elena You Shouldn’t Miss! @BalikBukidFair

Balik Bukid-45.jpg

BALIK BUKID is a Country Fair organized by Gippy and Hindy Tantoco in Sta. Elena Fun Farm in Laguna. It’s usually held twice a year — one during summer and one during the BER season.

We were completely blown away by the unique back-to-farm experience like riding a carabao with the kids, buying organic and natural products, feasting on healthy and organic food, and jamming with some of the best performing artists in the country.

You have to bring your family to experience the BEST Country Fair in the Philippines!

Here’s a photo essay of our 2nd Balik Bukid experience last November 17, 2012…

Read more


BUMBLE TEA: The Milk Tea Buzz @MercatoCentrale

Text by Nikka Sarthou and Photos by Crissy Castillo

Bumble Tea

The milk tea trend has been around for quite some time now and it looks like it is here to stay, especially with the summer season at its peak. This hot weather calls for refreshing beverages to cool you down and milk tea is a good choice. It is really my preferred drink, as I am more of a tea person rather than coffee.

There are lots of milk tea brands out there but not all are created equal. What I like about Bumble Tea Place in is that it offers a wide range of beverage choices, and it also customizes sugar levels, which I really appreciate because I’m not too fond of overly sweet drinks. Customers may choose if they want 100% sugar content in their drinks, or none at all. Although it takes an extra step before you can get a hold of your drink, it is worth your time so you can alter the tea according to your taste. 

Flavors of Mercato Series 1:

Read more

#Restaurants, Bonifacio Global City, Food

GYU-KAKU: World’s No.1 Yakiniku Brand now in Manila :)


Finally, the much-anticipated opening of Gyu-Kaku in Manila has become a reality. Deemed to be the world’s No. 1 Japanese BBQ Yakiniku brand since 1996, Gyu-Kaku’s concept was originally developed by Rex Holdings Japan. Its name means “Horn of the Bull” in Japanese.

Although initially met with a negative review when they first opened (see: Chuvaness | Gyu-Kaku Is Not Ready For Consumption), they have stabilized their operations almost a month into their Manila launch.

Here’s our Gyu-Kaku experience…

What’s New in BGC Restaurants in 2013?

Read more


MACHEESEMO: Cheese Stuffed Burger Goodness! @MercatoCentrale

Text by Nikka Sarthou and Photos by Crissy Castillo


What product first comes to mind when you hear fast-food joint? For me, it’s the burger. I noticed though that this fast-food favorite has gone gourmet now. I’ve been seeing more creative burger concoctions in high-end establishments that elevate the ordinary meat sandwich—and its price as well. 

But I recently discovered an affordable gourmet burger stall in Cucina Andare—Macheesemo Burgers. The name itself sounds like a guy brand but it’s the “cheese” that got to me. Apparently, my favorite dairy product is incorporated in all the variants of Macheesemo Burgers, which specializes in cheese-stuffed burgers that have no extenders and fillers.

Flavors of Mercato Series 1:

Read more

#Restaurants, Food

DUSIT THANI: Sunday Family Crossover Brunch Buffet (Umu and Basix)

Dusit Thani Family Brunch-21.jpg

Dusit Thani recently launched the Sunday Family Brunch Buffet, which is a streamlined and improved version of their famous Crossover Buffet across all the four restaurants in the hotel (Benjarong, Umu, Tosca and Basix).

The Sunday Brunch Buffet still features the same international cuisines: Japanese, Italian, Thai, and Continental, but it’s a crossover between the first floor restaurants Umu and Basix so that people don’t have to go up and down.

The Thai food of Benjarong is featured in Umu, and the Italian selections of Tosca are featured in Basix. Also, they added more emphasis on Filipino cuisine in Basix by including Lechon and Fresh Lumpia. This time, breakfast fare is added to the Basix spread to truly make it a brunch affair.

More focus has also been placed on kids’ entertainment and family fun, hence the name Family Brunch.

Some foodies debate that the old format is better, but some like the streamlined crossover approach.

Here’s our Family Brunch experience to give you an idea on what’s new and different with Dusit Thani’s Sunday Family Brunch Buffet…

Related Blog Post: Best Buffets in Manila: Dusit Thani’s Crossover Sunday Brunch

Best Sunday Brunch Series 2013:

Read more


RICE POTS: The Real Fried Rice Stuff! @MercatoCentrale

Text by Nikka Sarthou and Photos by Crissy Castillo

Rice Pots 3
If there’s one thing that Filipinos can’t live without, it’s rice. It is a staple food in all our meals—be it for breakfast in the morning or as a midnight snack. It comes as no surprise that Peter Garcia and Joy Kim created Rice Pots, which offers Asian-inspired freshly cooked fried rice. 

This stall in Mercato Centrale is actually an offshoot of an existing food business, which the two foodies created because of their want for something different. Peter shares, “Filipinos love rice. Why not make different kinds of Asian fried rice?” And Rice Pots was born in 2011.

Its first branch is a full-blown restaurant located in the southern part of the metro, and it was around six months into it when they joined the Mercato group. Rice Pots is the pioneer in real fried rice—not those instant ones that are just flavored with seasonings. 

Flavors of Mercato Series 1:

Read more

Family Escapades

BIG FAMILY TRAVEL: Tips in Planning your Next Awesome Family Adventure!


Our boys are growing up so fast, so each adventure we have with them is precious. Usually, one adventure fuels creative ideas for the next awesome adventure. It gets very addicting.

When you have kids that are more than 2 years old already, you have to be creative in managing your budget for the trip because:

  • You already have to pay full fare for flights;
  • You usually need to have a bigger room or have options for extra bed/s; and
  • They already have growing appetites.

Big Family Travel (with kids of 3 or more) continues to be a challenge in terms of costs and the logistics of organizing it. There are no travel packages, deals or incentives catering to the needs and wants of this travel segment.

I’m still learning how to do it efficiently, and I’m sure there are OAP readers out there who would have smart tips on how to go on a big family travel creatively.

I’ll start first. Here are my Tips & Tricks for a Big Family Travel Adventure:

Read more

Looking for a new place to eat?
Or a guide for your next destination?

Looking for a new place to eat?

Or a guide for your next destination?

Our travel tips and restaurant reviews delivered straight to your inbox. Join our mailing list to receive the latest food reviews and travel guides from Team Our Awesome Planet.

You have Successfully Subscribed!