#Restaurants, Food

HARU Sushi Bar & Restaurant: Cafe Juanita-Style Japanese Restaurant!

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The Japanese trend in Manila is in full swing. We’re seeing various home-grown and franchised Japanese restaurants specializing in Ramen, Tonkatsu, Teppanyaki, Yakitori and Yakiniku setting up shop. Full-service Japanese restaurants in Manila are getting cooler with higher quality of food.

HARU Sushi Bar & Restaurant is the Japanese restaurant of Doc Efren “Boy” Vazquez of Cafe Juanita fame. They renovated the house beside the new Cafe Juanita (where Balay ni Juan used to be). Haru means “Spring”, a name chosen by Chef Tsutomu Yamazaki (formerly of Sugi).

We were invited to the formal opening of Haru, which was a private affair for Doc Vazquez’ family and personal friends. It was a historic moment for Doc because Cafe Juanita started out as a Japanese restaurant, then transformed into a Filipino resto, and now a Japanese resto sits beside it to complete the cycle.

Here’s a preview of our Haru Sushi Bar & Restaurant experience:

Kapitolyo Food Street Series:

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#Restaurants, Food

YUMMY SOY Philippines: The Singapore Soy Milk Brand Craze in Manila?

7/11 UPDATE: You can now drive-through by ordering in advance (+632 555-8334) and pick up your order within the 15 minutes grace period of the parking lot 🙂

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Yummy Soy™ is a popular Soy Milk and Beancurd brand from Singapore. It opened its first local outlet in Robinsons Place Manila last March and a stand-alone store at the Fort Strip beside K-PUB BBQ last June.

It offers a refreshing treat and healthier dessert/snack alternative to milk tea and yogurt selections.

There’s definitely a demand for healthier products, but I’m not sure if its “silky smooth, melts-in-your-mouth chilled beancurd” is enough to create another Soy craze here.

What’s New in BGC Restaurants in 2013

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#Restaurants, Food

GLORIA MARIS Greenhills: Modern Cantonese Fine Dining at Our All-Time Favorite Chinese Restaurant in Manila!

 Read: 10 Most Awesome Chinese Restaurants in Manila!

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GLORIA MARIS Restaurant, specifically the one in Greenhills, is our all-time favorite go-to place for authentic Cantonese food in Manila since 1995. My wife’s Chinese family likes holding their special celebrations here, and I love the yummy consistency of their food every single time.

Last year, Gloria Maris moved to a new location with an impressive fine dining ambiance and an introduction of modern Cantonese cuisine to take the dining experience to a whole different level.

Here’s our modern fine dining experience at Gloria Maris Greenhills:

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#Restaurants, Food

K-PUB BBQ: Meat-All-You-Can at K-Pop-Themed Resto :)

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K-PUB BBQ Meat All You Can is a K-Pop Stars-Themed resto owned by a Filipino-Chinese. It promises a “funtastic” Korean BBQ Experience while watching K-Pop MTVs.

We were curious about the facade but had hesitations going in because we thought it was a Korean Super Pub. But I’m glad our curiosity won out, and we decided to try it with the boys.

Here’s our K-Pub BBQ Meat-All-You-Can experience: 

What’s New in BGC Restaurants in 2013?

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#Travel, Food

BANANA LEAF APOLO: Indian Food We Love in Little India @VisitSingapore

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One of the most recommended places to eat in Little India is The Banana Leaf Apolo. It’s like a turo-turo Indian fast food joint but with a resto format. It’s the perfect lunch spot after the long and appetizing LITTLE INDIA WALK: Dhobis, Saris & a Spot of Curry.

Here’s a preview of the Banana Leaf Apolo experience in Little India, Singapore:

Your Awesome Singapore Series:

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#Travel, Food

SINGAPORE LITTLE INDIA WALK: Dhobis, Saris and a Spot of Curry™ (A Review) @VisitSingapore

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Dhobis, Saris and a Spot of Curry™ A Little India Walk is a a 3.5+-hour heritage walking tour of Singapore’s Little India, created by Journeys Singapore.

If you have not been to India, this is a good tour to join as an introduction to the Indian culture and way of life.

Here’s a photo essay review of the Little India walking tour experience in Singapore:

Your Awesome Singapore Series:

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Bonifacio Global City, Food

COLD STONE CREAMERY PHILIPPINES: Ultimate Ice Cream Experience in Manila? @ColdStonePH

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After an experimental market test in Rockwell in 2005, COLD STONE CREAMERY finally opened its first store in Manila at Serendra, Bonifacio Global City.

Its claim to fame is that it offers super premium ice cream made fresh everyday, which is mixed with flair on the spot on a cold stone. There’s also a wide array of other ingredients for patrons to customize their ice cream.

But is it really the ultimate ice cream experience in Manila? Check out our Cold Stone experience:

What’s New in BGC Restaurants in 2013?

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#Restaurants, Food

IKKORYU FUKUOKA RAMEN Philippines’ Black Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen! @ikkoryuph

IKKORFYU FUKUOKA RAMEN is a Tonkotsu ramen from Yamagoya Ramen of Japan, which has been around since 1970, specializing in Chikuho noodles. Their original store in Manila is in the East Wing of Shangri-La Mall, and a bigger branch has opened in SM Aura.

Check out our Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen experience: 

The Best of Edsa Shangri-La Mall Series:

The BEST RAMEN in Manila Series 2013:

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#Restaurants, Bonifacio Global City, Food

BRASSERIE GIROLLE by Chef Ian Padilla @Girolle

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BRASSERIE GIROLLE is a casual French resto by Chef Ian Padilla of La Girolle fame. Finally, a sequel to his popular resto that is known for its tasting menu.

It’s a nice place to hang out and have drinks with your friends, or to hold a pleasant business meeting with your partners.

We recently visited the place, back-to-back, for lunch and then dinner the next day. We love most of the main entrees, but there are dishes that they can improve on. 

Here’s our Brasserie Girolle experience…

What’s New in BGC Restaurants in 2013?

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#Restaurants, Food

CUPCAKES BY SONJA: The Secret of Success, and the Future of Cupcakes in Manila!

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CUPCAKES BY SONJA is the pioneering Gourmet Cupcakes brand by Sonja Ocampo, which started the Cupcake Craze in Manila back in 2006. Finally, they are building more concept stores around the metro to take the cupcake experience to a different level.

It was great to finally catch up with Sonja to talk about the success of her cupcake brand and the future of cupcakes in Manila.

I would like to share the highlights of our conversation, and our favorites in Cupcakes by Sonja:

The Best Restos of New Glorietta in Makati:

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