HUNGRY HOUND is the latest Gastro Pub Concept by Chef Rob Pengson and Erwan Heussaff, located in the new Globe Headquarters in Bonifacio Global City.
It’s definitely howling but got mixed reviews when we visited during the soft opening. The concept is really cool but the execution is not quite there yet, and we felt it was premature to open before the ghost month.
Here are the things we liked and got disappointed with at Hungry Hound…
Manila is crazy about spicy food these days, and it’s just the right time to introduce MODERN SICHUAN, the first modern Sichuan-themed restaurant in Manila. Sichuan is my favorite among all the Chinese cuisines because of its unique hotness and distinctive flavors.
Sichuan usually refers to the cuisines from Chengdu, Chongqing, Leshan, Neijang, and Zigong in China. Sichuan uses three peppers: red chili peppers, black peppercorns, and hua jian (Sichuan Peppers) vs. Hunan cuisine which just uses chili. Hua jian peppers provide the malasensation-anaesthetic effect experienced when the peppercorn flavor makes contact with the saliva feeling your tongue numb to the chili.
Modern Sichuan also carries the Modern China menu for those who don’t like spicy food. The menu is overwhelming and offers unique dishes that you can’t find in any Chinese restaurant.
Here are the dishes that we love and recommend in Modern Sichuan:
EL CHUPACABRA is the hottest street tacos hang-out place in Makati conceptualized by Dixie Mabanta of Mexicali, Cafe Mediterranean, Fishbar Boracay fame. It is located in the current commisary of Mexicali which turned into a street tacos resto with a Mission St. Sanfo vibe.
It is named after the legendary crypid El Chupacabra which literally means Sucker (Chupa) + Goat (cabra) that sucks blood out of livestock, especially goats.
We love the tacos and the whole streetfood with an expat hangout vibe. Check out El Chupacabra:
PROJECT PIE Philippines is an artisan-inspired create-your-own-pizza place conceptualized by James Markham who pioneered the Chipotle-style assembly- line custom pizza niche. This is James’ custom-made pizza version 2.0 concept after his earlier pizza resto concept — Knockout Pizzeria, New York Style Pizza, MOD (Made On Demand) Pizza, and Pieology.
It is the first international franchise outside the US, and the 4th branch after MGM, Las Vegas; Hill Crest, San Diego; and Boulder, Colorado. This is the first time you see an international franchise opened first in Manila, ahead of Singapore, Hong Kong and other cosmopolitan cities.
We are already exposed with the Chipotle-style burritos which were introduced by Ristras in Manila. (I’m still wondering when Chipotle will open here in Manila).
The “Artisan” term is carefully used to refer to hand-crafted pizza prepared on-the-spot based on your preference. There’s nothing Artisanal about the ingredients and how the dough is prepared.
Here’s our Project Pie Experience in Manila and why we like the concept:
RAMEN NAGI’S BUTAO 豚王 Ramen is hailed as the BEST Ramen in Hong Kong by most foodies. It was established by Ramen Master Chef Ikuta Satoshi in Shibuya, Tokyo in 2006. It’s a young, authentic and very creative ramen house which is easy to find by just following the long queues.
They have RAMEN NAGI branches in Shibuya, Nishi Shinjuku1F, and Kogame in Tokyo. In Hong Kong, they are popularly known as BUTAO with branches in Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. They opened international franchises in Taipei, Jakarta, Indonesia and soon in Manila. (There’s no branch in Singapore.)
Recently, BUTAO held its first Pop-up Store to test and introduce the first ever bowls of Butao King (traditional pork-bone soup), Black King (Butao broth with squid ink), Red King (spicy miso-based soup) and Green King (Japanese-Italian fusion: olive oil, basil and cheese) in Manila 🙂
GINZA BAIRIN pioneered the modern Katsu House in Japan in Ginza, the luxurious district in Tokyo, in 1927. It’s a boutique family-ran Katsu franchise with branches in Tokyo, Hawaii, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and now in Manila.
Ginza Bairin’s claim to fame is that they invented the modern Tonkatsu sauce formulated by pharmacist epicurean patron, Nobukatsu Shibuya. Its name is inspired by Bairin, or plum forest, which they say is the secret behind their Tonkatsu sauce.
Also, Ginza Bairin’s Special Katsudon is hailed as the number one Donburi in Japan by Japanese Food authorities from culinary TV programs Asahi “Tokyo Restaurant Guide” and Fuji TV “VivaVivaV6” and as well as Iron Chefs Robusaburo Michibo and Yoshiharu Doi.
We were fortunate to dine with Masaya Shibuya, third generation owner of Ginza Bairin, who shared with us stories about Katsu and how to properly appreciate it the Ginza Bairin way.
MAGOSABURO is a posh Japanese restaurant and wine bar hailing from the Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan founded in 2009. The Mago Manila franchise specializes on Mago Kaiseki which is a 9-course set (think degustation) with Japanese Wagyu steak cooked on a Lava Stone as the highlight.
Some foodies are familiar with the Magosaburou in Singapore which is known for its “Ultra-luxurious Japanese BBQ” concept. The Kaiseki focus and the wine-lounge concept sets the Manila branch apart from Magosaburo international franchises in Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Thailand.
We tried the 9-course Mago Kaiseki and sampled a selection of their famed Japanese wagyu steaks during an intimate lunch with the owner a few days after its soft opening.
Here’s what we like and some tips to have an awesome experience at Magosaburo Philippines:
Finally, we are ready to announce the most exciting tasting event that most food lovers and connoisseurs in Manila are waiting for.
Our Awesome Planet and San Miguel Lifestyle Brews present the 3rd Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test 2013, the celebrated food tasting event, on September 14, 2013 Saturday at the Rockwell Tent from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
This much-anticipated annual food trip enables food lovers to be food-critics-for-a-day by sampling mouth-watering food preparations and concoctions from over 40+ home-based food businesses along with Power Plant Mall’s very own establishments.
Now staging the 11th in the UTT series – Ultimate Taste Test 2013, food blog pioneer Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet embarks on this annual partnership with Rockwell for the third straight year.