Enjoy Fireworks on top of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

As 2016 nearing its end, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Vu’s Sky Bar and Lounge, located on the 45th level of the hotel, will host a New Year’s Eve countdown high above the city, located on the topmost floor of the hotel on December 31, 2016.

Toast to a new year with the famous Spirit of ’67 band, as it takes the center stage from 9PM-onwards. For only Php 1,250 per person, enjoy one welcome drink with a cool vibe and a stunning view of the city. Complementing the magnificent party is a well-curated line-up of dishes that is a good mix of Filipino, Spanish, and other Mediterranean favorites. Splurge on Vu’s amazing featured cocktails such as the five flavor of the classic elemental forces in 5 refreshing drinks, and specially crafted ice ball cocktails.

Since it's on the topmost floor of the hotel, you'll be delighted to watch the fireworks display of the city as you countdown to 2017!

“We are inviting everyone to come and celebrate with us on this spectacular evening as we welcome another prosperous year.,” says Frank Reichenbach, General Manager of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila. 

Vu’s is open daily from Mondays to Sundays, 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM, and Sundays, 5:00 PM to 12:00 AM. To know more about Vu’s Sky Bar and Lounge and the other signature dining outlets of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, visit www.marcopolohotels.com or call (632) 720 7777. Follow the Hotel in Facebook at facebook.com/MarcoPoloOrtigasManila or @MarcoPoloManila on Twitter or Instagram.

Buffalo Wings for P100 at Brooklyn’s New York Pizza

This Christmas, Brooklyn’s New York Pizza is giving all their diners a treat! Enjoy Buffalo Wings, with 8 mouth-watering pieces per order, for only P100 when you get any Queens (14 inches) or Brooklyns (18 inches) sized pizzas! What’s more amazing, this promo is valid for dine-in, take out and delivery until December 31, 2016!

Buffalo Wings - 8 pcs
Imagine these for only P100!
Bringing in the flavors of New York Pizza to Manila, the specialties of Brooklyn’s New York Pizza are its famous White Pizza - a combination of three cheeses baked to perfection, La Filipizza – longganiza, tomatoes and salted egg, a marriage of Filipino dish with New York pizza and Pepperoni Pizza – the regular pizza of the New Yorkers, even the Ninja Turtles love it. Order these pizzas in Queens (14 inches) or Brooklyns (18 inches) size and add on P100 for 8 pieces Buffalo Wings and get a delectable holiday feast that you can share in your office potluck or dine-in with your family & friends.

White Pizza
Pepperoni Pizza
Currently, Brooklyn’s New York Pizza has 7 branches: Alabang Town Center (8509999), BF Homes (7757575), Chino Roces Makati (8969696), Robinson's Place Manila (4050505), Robinson's Place Las Piñas (5533555), Tomas Morato (3767676) and Madison Galleries Alabang Hills (7889935).


Pizza parties this holiday season within any branch of Brooklyn’s New York Pizza or thru catering is very welcome!

To get more updates on Brooklyn’s New York Pizza, just go to these social media accounts:
Facebook: Brooklyn’s New York Pizza
Instagram & Twitter: @brooklynsnewyorkpizza
Website: www.brooklyns.ph

Shiok! A Shortcut to Singapore thru Makansutra

Even before Makansutra opened, I have already heard about it from my Facebook friend JJ Yulo (I met him during a seminar years ago where he was the speaker) that he together with Makansutra Chief Executive and Makan Guru KF Seetoh and Chef Him Uy de Baron are opening a hawker food place in SM Megamall.

Gathering a total of 70 to 80 Filipino chefs, the owners of the restaurants themselves came all the way from Singapore to teach the art of cooking authentic heritage street food that customers will find unique and delectable. 
“These foods became iconic and famous, became big business in many countries. The Philippines deserves this kind of food variety and I hope they enjoy this because Filipinos love and appreciate good, authentic food,” Seetoh observed. “In Singapore, we have difficulty getting people to learn how to cook as a profession. Here in the Philippines, it only took the Filipino chefs and cooks a week to learn the authentic heritage street food recipes that Makansutra offers.”
Opening of Makansutra with Chef Him Uy De Baron (3rd from left), KF Seetoh (guy waving) and Chef JJ Yulo (rightmost guy)
Photo from Carl Cuevas (Weber Shandwick Media Relations Specialist)

JJ Yulo, believes that this innovative concept in dining will be warmly accepted by the Filipinos. “Street food in general is not hard to sell. To me, it means fast, casual, delicious, humble, affordable. We want to expand the vocabulary of Pinoys beyond tapsilog,” Yulo said.

Two of the restaurant owners, Ah You of Hong Kong Street Old Chun Kee and Sam Hussin of Alhambra Padang Satay, are both positive about the reception of Filipinos to these unique Asian heritage cuisine. This being their first time to operate in the Philippines, they were amazed at the first-day turnout of customers considering it was a weekday.

In Singapore, "hawker food" is equal to "street food" but it's quite different from the sidewalk vendor food stall here in the Philippines. Those who have been to Singapore would know how "hawker food" is mysteriously yummy and cheaper than the regular restaurants.
The term "Shiok" is commonly used in Singapore & Malaysia to convey a feeling of sheer pleasure & happiness.
With Makansutra here in the Philippines, one doesn't have to fly all the way to Singapore to know why "hawker food" is the go-to food! Like how hawkers are beside each other in Singapore (fast food style), that's how Makansutra is. There's a lot of choices to be made on which stall to go to. Thus, a food crawl is needed so I suggest to bring in friends and family when you dine to be able to try a lot of food at the same time.
I love how the tables and chairs of the area are unique from each other. It makes a busy yet hip vibe of the place. The graffiti and writings on the walls and some chairs are very festive that welcomes the guests to stay and try out what hits their fancy.
Unlike the usual fast food here in the Philippines, Makansutra has function rooms where you can make a reservation for your events. On regular days, these function rooms serve as a special treatment room where you can sit, ask a server to bring you a menu from your favorite hawker stall and order from the server. There's a service charge though but for convenience of not having to walk around, carry food or fall in line, why not?
There are so much choices that you can even ask the servers around to recommend. I'm glad I get to experience this food crawl to share with you some of the yummy food I've partake which I hope you'll get to try as well.
Bandung Drink
I've started with this pink thirst quencher which has a weird name. Don't be afraid to try it because of its feminine color and alien sounding name. This drink is actually very popular in Singapore, Malaysia and even Brunei. It's a mixture of condense milk, evaporated milk and rose cordial syrup thus, it's pink!
Roti Prata Set from Curry Flurry
As simple as it looks, this deceiving piece of crunchy outside soft inside roti will make you finish it in one seating! The curry dip is so good and deliciously spicy that keeps the appetite going and going for more. Oh my goodness! Prepare to say goodbye to any diet you plan to have when you eat this.
Tofu Skin Wrap from Geylang Claypot Rice
It's a surprising discovery to know that aside from the aromatic claypot rice that will let you finish a whole pot of rice upto its bottom (where the burned part of rice are sticked on the pot -- the best part!), Geylang Claypot Rice has this Tofu Skin Wrap dish that's very crisp, glazed in a sweet sauce and not oily. Inside the wrap are ground pork and shrimps that's savory. So think about the savory, sweet and crunchy combination...what do you say? Heavenly, right?
I actually don't know the name of this dish but it's composed of braised duck, offals, pork, tofu, egg, yam rice and pickled mustard from Jin Ji Kway Chap Braised Duck. Its adobo like taste is on the salty sweet side. I don't usually eat offals but since my table-mates kept saying it's the best part of this dish, I've closed my eyes and ate a piece. All I can say is wow! All the meat are actually well-braised but the offals seem to be like sponge in absorbing all the flavors of meat that they're cooked with. I think this dish requires lots and lots of that flavorful yam rice.
Braised Duck on Yam Rice from Jin Ji Kway Chap Braised Duck
Very very tender duck slices on yam rice that's good with the chili sauce on it! Don't hold back on the chili. It is what will make this dish even more amazing that it already is! The chili sauce is quite spicy but it gives a different flavor and kick to this dish.
Another unknown dish name is this seafood noodle that has chopped chili and a shrimp paste chili sauce. Just mix everything together and savor the authenticity of this dish. It's this type of simple dish that you'll get to know if a chef or cook can cook well. If it's good, then the other dishes must be better than this! :)
Braised Beef with noodles, vegetables and egg from Gooba Hia
It's a simple, straight-forward noodle dish that gives a comforting feeling after you eat. Even if the noodles are not in a noodle soup, it's cooked well enough and somehow, the flavor of the beef complements the noodles. For those somewhat health conscious, you may just order the noodles, vegetables and egg with the sauce! By the way, the beef is very soft that it becomes flaky almost melts in your mouth.
Fried Tofu with Prawns by Geylang Claypot Rice
It's not a popular Singaporean dish but I think this dish is very worth mentioning. First, the tofu are homemade then it's very silky soft. Imagine the texture of Japanese tofu but has a little hint of egg and with fried skin. That's it, you just have to try it and know what I'm saying! This is a fantastic dish that deserves to be popular and also paired with a bowl of rice (or even more)!
The Happy Ending: Chendol and Ice Kachang
Unique sweets that needs to be explored. It's not too sweet which I find good. I love dessert but I hate it if it's too sweet. I think desserts are happy endings to a good meal that doesn't give sugar rushes or crashes.

If you're still wondering what does the name Makansutra mean? Well, Makan is the Bahasa word for “food”, and Sutra means “guide” according to Buddhist scriptures which fittingly describe what the place aims to achieve: to serve as food and dining guide through recipes that have been inherited from the forefathers of the Asian region.

Makansutra is located in 2/F Bldg A, SM Megamall. To look for Makansutra on Facebook click here and in Instagram it is @makansutraph!

A Fusion of Philippine Island Flavors at Cucina

If you've been following my blog, you'll see that Cucina offers sumptuous buffet (my previous blogs: 5 Stops at Cucina's Weekend Fiesta and "All Things Swiss" Food Festival at Marco Polo Ortigas) that will make anyone go to food coma heaven.

A few months ago, I was quite surprised to experience Cucina's new menu launch which unified the flavors of Manila, Cebu and Davao in its restaurant's four walls. I've always thought this restaurant only offers buffet and was so happy that I get to try its ala carte offerings which sort of unified the 3 major cities of the Philippines which coincidentally are where Marco Polo Hotels in the Philippines are.

The following signature set menu are based on each island's special fruits - pineapple for Manila, mango for Cebu and pomelo for Davao. These 3 sets are also composed of 3-course menu which will introduce the flavors of the island one chooses.

Piña Mania is composed of courses that are infused with the flavors of pineapples that will give you a taste of Manila - sweet with a little tang.

Grilled Tiger Prawns with Pineapple-Mango Salad
The smoky taste of the grilled tiger prawns is complemented by the pineapple-mango salad which gives it a sweet aftertaste. The fresh crisp vegetables on the side washes the palate after.

Crispy Pata stuffed with Foie Gras and topped with Pineapple Salsa
This salty and sweet treat is just an epitome of the flavor every Filipino love! I like how the crispiness of the crispy pata blends with the pineapple salsa then paired with rice that makes it absolutely heavenly!

Pineapple Tamale
It's a pastry crust with pineapple filling topped with minted coconut jelly (AKA macapuno) and mango custard on a side. This is actually my favorite dish out of all! It reminds me of turon (a crunchy spring roll filled with banana and jackfruit and its skin crystallized by brown sugar). Since I love crunchy food and I love custard, this dish just made me fall in love with it instantly!

Mango Bango is made of classic favorites infused with the sweetness of mango best represented by the delicious mangos of Cebu.

Pasta Ravioli with Crabmeat and Mango
I find this dish very innovative. Who would've thought crabmeat with mango will taste good together in other form that is not the famous Japanese kani salad? The sweetness of the mango together with the saltiness of the crabmeat gives the dish a sweeter note. The tomato sauce and shavings of parmesan cheese gives the dish a whole new level of yumminess!

Mango Surf and Turf
Medium well flavorful beef tenderloin and melt in your mouth grilled grouper with adobong kang kong (a classic Filipino vegetable dish cooked in soy sauce and vinegar), sake-induced beef jus topped with mango slices. One can choose to eat it with either mashed potato or rice.

Cheesecake and Mango Jam Creme Brulee
The cheesecake is very smooth and heavenly with the mango. The creme brulee is also a wonderful delight to eat together with the sweet mango.

Oh! Pomelo is of course dishes with the goodness of pomelo which is the superstar fruit in Davao. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to try this during the launch but with all the other dishes above, I bet it's going to be wonderful. According to the menu, Oh! Pomelo will be composed of Ceviche of Prawn with Grilled Calamari & Pomelo, Slow baked Salmon Fillet with Pomelo and Chilled Pomelo Cheesecake & Vodka Pomelo Jelly. Doesn't those dishes sound tempting to you?

Last but not the least, do not forget to try Marco Polo's Signature Earl Grape Iced Tea!
Earl Grape Iced Tea
A very extravagant iced tea with extraordinary taste which is refreshingly light and washes away all flavors of what you've eaten cleanly! It's like a reset button. The Earl Grape Iced Tea is composed of cold earl gray tea which is the beverage's base then poured over frozen seedless grapes and elder-flower infused ice cubes. Press the grapes a bit before drinking it to get the complex flavor of grapes, earl tea and elder-flower blending in together then put the syrup in to get the sweetness level of your choice. I actually prefer to put a few drops (yes drops!) only because I don't want to overpower the natural sweetness of the grapes in the drink. Also, I'd like to leave all sweetness in the dessert part of the meal.

Every order of Earl Grape Iced Tea comes with freshly baked lokum or Turkish delight to accentuate the flavors of the drink.

Based on Marco Polo Ortigas's website, this offering is available until December 31, 2016. For reservations or dining inquiries, you may call Cucina at (+632)720-7720 or email restaurant.mnl@marcopolohotels.com.

Denny's Opens in the Philippines

Denny's will open on Oct 7, 2016 at 6am in Uptown Parade in Bonifacio Global City!

It will always be open 24/7 to serve breakfast favorites and American comfort food everyday! Isn't that fantastic? I will not be surprised that hungry people of Metro Manila will go there in the middle of the night for some seriously good food.

On its opening day, from 6am - 12nn, all guests will be receiving 40% off from their bill. So better hurry!
Wow! I like Denny's!
I can still remember my 22nd birthday (X years ago) where I was in a US territory because I wanted to spend my birthday at Denny's eating my favorite Country Fried Steak and fluffy pancakes as dessert!

Around two years ago, I've already heard rumors from media friends that Denny's will be opening in the Philippines. I was so excited that it seemed like an impossible dream and I'm glad that the time has come. Being invited to the sneak peek of Denny's is one of my happiest day ever for this year! I felt that it was destiny that it's in the Philippines and I'm destined to go sample what it brings to the Philippines.

Actually, just Denny's alone makes me smile! ;)
Special thanks to The Bistro Group for bringing in Denny's to the Philippines! *clap! clap! clap!*
The Bistro Group started 21 years ago when it brought in TGIFridays in the Philippines. Today, it has 14 brands under its company. Here are the other brands: Italianni's, Fish & Co, Village Tavern, Krazy Garlik, Texas Roadhouse, Moe's, Watami, Tonkatsu by Terazawa, Modern Shanghai, Bulgogi Brothers, Murray D' Vine and Buffalo Wild Wings. I'd like to give special thanks to Ms. Dona Fernandez and Ms. Treena Tecson for inviting me to the sneak peek!

Joyfully Yours with Ms. Dona Fernandez of The Bistro Group
Now, let's get the party started as I share my experience to the rest of Metro Manila to know what to eat when Denny's opens its doors to the public.

Chicken Cranberry Apple Salad
Light, healthy and yummy. This salad is composed of dried cranberries, sliced fresh apples, chopped candied walnut, boiled chicken and mixed greens. Stir in some of the vinaigrette dressing that comes with it and it's perfect the way it is. It needs no prettifying, just straight forward fresh ingredients mixed together to be devoured and enjoyed.

Hush Puppies
It's a deep fried ball of happiness that is savory with doughnut like texture. The crispy skin is dusted with sugar that gives a sweet introduction to the taste buds and explodes into this soft pillow-like pastry that has a salty hint. Warning: one ball is not enough! For a more sensational experience, dip it into the maple syrup that comes with it before biting into the ball of happiness.

Moons Over Hammy
Classic ham with smooth & soft scrambled egg sandwich with Swiss and American cheeses on grilled buttered sourdough. Eat this while it's hot for the cheeses to melt in every bite! This comforting sandwich is served with fries.

Apple Ginger Drink
It's fresh apple juice with grated ginger and lemon slices. I like how the grated ginger and lemon gives a zing to the drink. It somehow clears the palate and makes you want to eat more! Based on scientific studies, ginger helps speed up digestion so it's a wonderful choice of drink if you'd like to have a full food trip experience on your first visit at Denny's.

Look at that golden brown bread that is actually shiny, sweet and sticky.
A closer look into the Grand Slamwich
Grand Slamwich
It's the crowd favorite during the sneak peek! Two scrambled eggs, crumbled sausage, bacon, shaved ham and American cheese on potato bread grilled with a maple spice spread. This amazingly delicious treat comes with fries.  Now, there's more to love!

Look at that generous serving!
It'll probably be fun to lick all that rich hot fudge with peanut butter sauce. :P
Choco Overload Peanut Butter Pancake Plate
Chocolate chips and white chocolate chips embedded in buttermilk pancake, topped with hot fudge and drizzled with peanut butter sauce. On the side are 2 strips of bacon, fries and 2 eggs. This definitely is a morning booster in itself!

Here are more shots in the happiest American diner on earth! I just love being there! I feel like I'm Alice in Wonderland. <3 p="">
Spotted: Eugene Constantino of The Hefty Foodie
The signature sign has landed in Manila! See the view of Manila Bay (Roxas Blvd)?
Love the Denny's classic yellow couches too!
To know more about Denny's Philippines, check out dennys.ph or like their Facebook page: Dennys.ph and Instagram: @dennysph. You may also call them for dining reservations at 7723371!