Sunday, March 24, 2013

Xocolat: How Sweet

Filipinos are known to be hospitable. We are always pleased  to welcome visitors be it a relative, friend or even a stranger. On the other hand, we have also valued the essence of bringing pasalubong if we are going to visit another place so that the people who will welcome us may feel our gratefulness or kindness in return.

I've been staying in Davao for 4 years already and I've been meaning to explore all cafes and restaurants in the area. Since I always stay at home in Manila, I can honestly say that it'll be easier for me to tour a friend in Davao than in my own hometown. Okay, back to my point. My friend visited Davao and I got this very adorable and seductive chocolate - Xocolat.

Why adorable? Look at this sleek and elegant box! The branches of Xocolat are in Metro Manila and QC (the ones I know of), I rarely go there so I'm not very familiar with souvenir or pasalubong shops there. It just look so presentable and I really love the packaging.

Have me. 
Consume me.
Love me.

These are the 6 words that made me think of seduction. This chocolate is so inviting. Kahon pa lang yan ah! That's effective advertising. Now since it's my first time to receive such, I didn't keep it to myself and decided to share it with my friends.

It's composed of 6 gigantic chocolate bars/brownies that are individually wrapped. There's obviously a variety to choose from. However, I think we haven't consumed it in the best way possible. It was supposed to be re-heated (of course hot chocolate nga daw eh) but we just ate it right after we uncovered it. It was delicious but it was definitely a wrong moved. Reheating it would've made it more delightful by toning down the sweetness.

I'm grateful for the chocolates though. Thank you friend ;)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tea Amo's Hickory Smoked Ribs

Tea Amo is not my usual lunch spot. I'd visit the place only if I'm craving for milk teas but this noon  was different. I remember grabbing cupcakes and wedges from the place but it's my first time to actually taste one of their rice meals.

It's actually nice to visit by lunch because there's only a few people hanging out at the place. It's as relaxing as ever especially when you see a lot of post-its on the wall where a lot of visitors place their doodles. It's simply cute and romantic in a way.

Scarlet Milk Tea
P80 (Large)

Wintermelon is always a safe choice when it comes to milk tea flavors. To veer away from the usual, I've tried Scarlet. It's refreshingly sweet and unique in flavor. Two thumbs up for this milk tea. I'd definitely be willing to shell out P80 for a milk tea of this size and of satisfying taste.

Hickory Smoked Ribs

Thumbs up. I like the presentation of the rice though the meat does not look so appetizing. In the contrary, I like that it was served in no time and the meat is and savory and spicy I just wish that it's tender as well. It has a fairly equal serving but I think I won't be spending for this again unless the meat is soft because I don't have any problem with its taste.

My next goal would be these very pleasant eye candies. I do hope that they taste as good as how they look. I can't wait devour them all. I'm not into sweets, madalas takaw-tingin lang talaga ako. (haha!)

I gladly ended the day by finishing my milk tea. I must agree when my boyfriend told me that if you're looking for certain kind of food, you must first try those places who specialize in it. For milk teas, Tea Amo will always have a special place in my heart :)

Tea AmoG/F Sanny Sweets Bldg.Tionko Ave., Davao City

Starbucks Refreshments

I'm not really a coffee person and I do not regularly hang out at these kinds of places. I'm most certainly not a social climber, too. It's a joke/brand people make to label those who spend time at places, like Starbucks, to be acquainted to those who have a higher social status. For what it's worth, I don't really care. There's a lot of people who genuinely enjoy what the shop has to offer.

My boyfriend and I regularly visits Starbucks (in SM Annex, Davao) because he's comfortable in studying there while I love the staff and the place. I simply love how they enthusiastically greet all the customers that enter the door. Secondly, they never fail to amaze my boyfriend with their brews and blends. I, myself, have a lot of taste-testing to do.

Mango Passion Fruit
P145 (Grande)

When I still have my school papers, I'd usually stay at coffee shops to stay awake all through the night. Coffee + Internet connection = accomplished school tasks and caffeine overload. Now, I'm just waiting for my graduation, I don't have paper works anymore but I still come to the place but I tried to lessen my coffee intake. No more sleepless nights but I still get to enjoy Starbucks' ambiance. 

When I blog, watch series or just accompany my boyfriend while he's studying, I get to enjoy being at the place. Since summer has officially started, for me, I've been  trying out their refreshments and I hope Cool Lime can be available really soon.

Apple Berry Juice Freeze
P145 (Grande)

School's over and summer is here. Therefore, I shall be enjoying refreshments at my favorite Starbucks branch. I don't know what's with me these days but I enjoy a mixture of sweet and sour drinks. I've been inclined with ordering berry flavored beverages and what I love about Starbucks take on these types of drink is that the real fruit is being used. I'm loving Starbucks' summer refreshments :)

SM City Davao - GF        
SM City Davao, Quimpo Boulevard, Tulip Drive
Ecoland, GF, Davao, Davao Del Sur
Sun to Th    - 7;30am - 12:00mn
F to Sat       - 7:30am - 12:30am

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy Everyday with Happy Lemon

Last February 23, the first branch of Happy Lemon in Davao, The Peak: Gaisano Mall branch, was finally inaugurated though it has been serving Dabawenyos for almost a year already.

It opened last August 17, 2012 and the idea of a fun and lively place where family and friends can hangout and enjoy their drinks was easily embraced by this city.

Happy Lemon primarily aims to provide a 'fresh tea' lifestyle and that is why they have full concentration in delivering drinks creatively. What they have always promised is an infusion of coffee, tea leaves, cocoa, and lemon with out artificial additives or preservatives. This may definitely make you 'Happy Everyday!' as the tagline of Happy Lemon goes.

All thanks to a group of friends who brought the franchise to Manila and for believing that the Filipino market would love this tea-based drinks. It's popularity in China is now extended to the Philippines.

One of the owners, Chris Tiu himself, even graced the blessing and ribbon-cutting.  A few announcements were also made such as the opening of more Happy Lemon stores nationwide.  March 2013 marks the opening of their stores in SM Lanang and SM Annex while  branches in Ayala Center Cebu and Ayala Centrio in Cagayan de Oro in April.

It was an open bar but liquors weren't served, of course. Unlimited Happy Lemon milk teas for all invited guests. I enjoyed the day, the served snack from Red Mango, the milk tea and most especially seeing Chris Tiu (ang landi!) He transformed Happy Lemon into a 'Happier Lemon' for everybody who attended the event.

This was the first milk tea I extremely savored. Who wouldn't if Chris Tiu himself handed it to you? I hope he comes back and I can't wait for the other branches to open for he might pay another visit soon.

Have you tried their bestsellers? Go for a spin at Happy Lemon and grab a Green Tea with Rock Salt, Lemon Yakult Mousse Spin, Cocoa with with Rock Salt and Cheese or Milk Tea with Oreo Cookie and Cream. Aside from these must-tries, what's your favorite Happy Lemon drink that makes you HAPPY EVERYDAY? :)


Happy Lemon
The Peak, Gaisano Mall
J.P. Laurel Ave., Davao City

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rego's Cafe: Dinner Date

Few hours before going to the cinema house, my boyfriend and I decided to grab a decent dinner at one of the restaurants at The Peak. It's often chosen because of the relaxing atmosphere, amusing lights and fancy fountains. We ended up at Rego's Cafe because 1) we haven't been there yet and 2) we find the place really playful-looking and cozy.

The wooden furniture and the blue cloth gives a nautical feel. It can be a relaxing or a romantic place to dine. Instead of dining inside, we chose to eat at the tables outside to take advantage of the view at The Peak. It was a  good decision since the attendant took our order so we don't have to place our orders at the cashier. Moreover, they weren't really that accommodating and the service was too slow. At least, we get to entertain ourselves (by chatting) as they keep us waiting.

This is something I realized, my boyfriend keeps telling me this, that I should not buy something from a place that don't specialize it. I've read from other reviews that, Rego's are known for their pastas. If we have been knowledgeable about that, we should have ordered pasta over their rice meals.

Anyways, here's what we got for dinner.

 Rego's Pork Bellies P135.00

Beef Salpicao P150.00

Thanks to macro lens for making the food look appetizing. I expect a lot from a formal dining cafe but the presentation of the food doesn't seem to fit their restaurant type. The food that we ordered were too salty. If there will be a next time, we'd go for their pasta for them to reclaim the not-so-good-impression they got from us.

There you  go, the basic Rego's rice meals.
Taste - 3/5
Ambiance - 5/5
Service - 2/5
Price - 2/5
Overall Value - 3/5

Rego's Cafe
The Peak, Gaisano Mall
J.P Laurel Ave, Bajada Davao City

Monday, March 4, 2013

1st Dabaw Sinugba Festival

To highlight how festive Davao is, Mocha Productions  initiated the '1st Davao Sinugba Festival' to be held at Tienda Del Mercado at Acacia St., Juna Subdivision, Matina, Davao City from March  14-17, 2013. 

It is an official part of the 76th Araw ng Dabaw Celebration that will support the city's campaign - - -Life is Here; and DOT's It's More Fun in the Philippines.

True to this statement, Davao is not just an attraction for its wonderful natural resources but of its rich food industry and cuisines. Dabaw Sinugba Festival  aims to showcase and celebrate the BBQ and grill cuisine in the city by bringing together local BBQ and grill businesses, culinary schools  and food enthusiasts. 

One interesting part of the event is the "Eat-All-You-Can Sinugba Buffet" wherein festival goers can feast on a selection of BBQ and grill dishes for P200 only. Moreover, participating in the Sinugba buffet   gives them a chance to vote for the "Best Sinugba" among the 32 food stalls.

The Dabaw Sinugba Festival will run from 4pm-12midnight daily from March 14-17, 2013.

This four-day festival is also the launching event of Tienda Del Mercado, a weekend market and bazaar, which will showcase lifestyle choices in crafts, plants, food and drinks, fashion, music, health an fitness, animal grooming and many more.

To help you find the place easier, here's a vicinity map to guide you:

Don't miss this filling discovery of food and flavors brought to you by 1st Dbaw Sinugba Festival. For inquiries about the event, you may like their Facebook Page - - - > Dabaw Sinugba Festival

Paz Eatery: Kawali mo diha!

At a not so visible part of Bankerohan lies a series of eatery wherein you may enjoy affordable and delicious food that are genuinely pinoy.

My boyfriend first introduced me to the place when he found out how crazy I am for Lechon Kawali, deep fried pork belly.  Our favorite among them is Paz Eatery because we're a regular customer and we haven't tried any other eatery aside from theirs.  Maybe we should.

They offer a lot of lutong bahay food but I always order lechon kawali so I can't really generalize the taste of their dishes in this post.

However, I can assure you that a P50.00/order of lechon kawali is very worth it. Besides, a regular order cost as much as P250.00-P500.00 depending on where your are eating. 

That's a bigger serving compared to the solo serving this  eatery offers but if you want something that's budget-friendly, go check this place. If you're from Davao, I suggest that you really try this.

The two of us spent as low as P140.00 for 2 orders of kawali with rice and it fits our budget.

What I also like about the place is it operates 24/7. There were times where we get really hungry after a long night of studying, drinking or whatever and we instantly think of eating at the place.

Another winning signature of this place is their very delicious soup: Hinalang and Balbacua.

Extra rice costs P12.00 only. Sometimes, the fanciness of a place is not really the determining    factor of how much you can  enjoy a meal. As a matter of fact, we celebrated Valentine's eve here in this place and the company and the food are all it took to make my day :)

Tender meat, crispy skin and tasty food.
Lechon Kawali at Paz Eatery

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cafe Uno: The Valentines Lunch Date

We spent a very simple Valentine's eve at an eatery at Bankerohan (see my post here), an unexpected bouquet of flowers and a short study session at Starmart, Ecoland.

Never did I expect (again) that he'd bring me to Cafe Uno for our Valentine's date. Food-gasm, food porn, food galore! I was so happy with the lunch buffet.

Unfortunately, there were a few couple who celebrated Vday at Cafe Uno but here's our experience and you might want to consider the restaurant for your next special day with your loved one.

Since there were a lot of appetizers to choose from, I just mix all that I want in my plate. I had those frozen meat: Salami and Coppa Ham but what I enjoyed the most is their Mango Salsa & Shrimp Salad.

Something to warm our our stomach; my boyfriend liked this soup: Hot & Sour. True to its name it, it's sour but it's the good type of sour, an appetizing one. It's a type of Chinese soup with different types of mushrooms in it.

Malaysian Beef Kendang. I'm not saying that I don't like this dish but we were both disappointed. The meat is not tender; it's hard to chew. Moreover, it's too salty.

Steamed Guindara in Soya Sesame Ginger. It's an interesting recipe and we loved how the sweetness comes after you tasted the saltiness.

Szechuan Egg Noodles with Shrimp. It's my first time to try egg noodles so I have no comparison to present. However, if I may share my thoughts, I must say that the shrimp complemented the exotic taste of the egg noodles and I feel like I'm eating ramen minus the soup.

There were several other choices for the main course but I opted to grab dessert because I am so excited to devour them. I've been eyeing their heart-shaped cheesecakes but when I finally got up to take pictures, they were already sliced and so I came up with combining them and making them look perfectly whole but then I failed.

Strawberry and Blueberry Cheesecake. I'm sorry I murdered the appearance of the cheesecake but they still taste heavenly so I did not care about how it looked at all. This was actually my favorite dessert because I think that it has the perfect level of smoothness and creaminess I look for in a cheesecake.

I don't know what the colorful dessert is called but I think I may describe its taste. Pink, white and mint green. Each color has a distinct taste. Sour-Sweet-Sweet, respectively. The distinct flavors explodes in the mouth and then harmonizes eventually. It tastes good.

You see, I tasted a lot of other desserts and pastries because they are delightful to look at. The presentation is wonderful and inviting. I'd also want to conclude that even if we haven't really enjoyed the viands, we're glad to end the meal with these delicious desserts.

Regular buffet costs P700.00 at Cafe Uno but it's subject to change. I'm glad we used a GC and need not spend so much for the lunch date. Moreover,  if I were to rate the experience it'll be 3.5/5. They have to improve on the taste of their food. What I like though is the excellent service. The staff were hospitable and well trained.

What a great news; Brewed Coffee is included in the buffet. It's appropriate for the breakfast and even for lunch buffet. Since coffee is a staple in almost all breakfast table, it's unquestionable. For lunch wherein you get to meet people to settle or discuss something, I think  this is the best beverage to fight the lazy time of noon.

The only thing we actually paid was his Pineapple Shake and my Frappuccino. For a small glass of shake I think it's a bit too expensive. In contrary, I understand that it's a reasonable for their target market. This is a perfect pineapple shake though. It's fresh and I've tasted nothing like this in other restaurants. I have a few restos in mind when I'm looking for a certain kind of fresh  fruit shake. So if you love pineapple and  wants that refreshing shake, I think Cafe Uno has the best blend of this drink.

My frappuccino was rare. They don't have various flavors for their frappes; they only have one and I don't think that this would fit the taste of teens. They're for young adults and professionals to be appreciated. You get to have that sweet frappe but it'll leave you a tolerable bitter taste afterwards. It's really good.    

Cafe Uno

Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao
Km. 7 Lanang, Davao City