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Welcome to Manila Food Finds!

This blog was made to cater to the basic need of human beings.

Eating - which we all love to do!

There are hundreds of food establishments up and about that serves fine meals. But what happens if you get tired of the same old taste you eat day in and day out?

Just like the rest of you, I'm looking for new and exciting places to eat and have some fun at the same time, which is why this blog was created - to share with you the adventures (and hassles) that a food lover has to endure in search of a good find.

We're not picky eaters and we'll try everything and anything as long as it's edible!

Manila Food Finds!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Puhnene's @ Moonwalk Village, Las Pinas

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite quick and cheap food go to's in the dead of the night.

Puhnenes's at Moonwalk Village (in front of the Nature Church) has been around as long as I can remember. During our "Counterstrike days" we frequent the place after a long bout of "shooting and terrorizing."

Puhnene's Tapsi-Goto ATbp. is not for the light eaters I warn you!

As you can see on the Menu, everything is real cheap, and as you will see on the pics, they offer hefty servings.

This is the famous Goto served with a generous amount of lugaw. This 22 peso dish will satisfy your hunger! I didn't even finish my bowl. The meat is very tender but still with a bit of bite to it. Some like it with lots of pepper. I like it just the way it is.

The "Tapsilog" here in Puhnene's is the must try dish. Again, not for the light eaters. Here the dish is looking for a guy who can have a good with lots of rice and an extra if need be. The tender and juicy beef tapa fried which has a slight crunch outside and tender all through out. It is semi-sweet and when goes real well with spiced vinegar. The fried rice that comes with it is a huge serving too and is heaping from the cup when served.

Try out Puhnene's at Moonwalk Village (fronting Nature Church) after a tiring gimmick or a heavy breakfast. It's open 24 hours which makes it all the better.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

N-LO'S @ BF Homes Paranaque

Scour the entire Aguirre Street at BF Homes yet you wont find a place packed as N-LO'S is. This new hangout place located at BF is still rocking when we arrived at 2:00 A.M. one gimmick night.
Not packed with your daily dose of chicks and gals though... This is the place where you can spot the hottest chicks in their fashionably neck-breaking outfits. Literally you will count the ol' plain uns. Where the hot chicks are, us boys follow!

You won't miss this when you drive around the area. It's the place where you can see lots of cars parked even some blocks away.

Like Central BBQ Boy Grill (click here for review), N-LO'S serve their own mix of signature cocktails. We had their bestseller which is the "911" (need help? lol). Not much of a kick for the seasoned drinkers but a good side drink for a cold SMB. Priced at 195 bucks per pitcher (1.5 ml).

Onto the food which you've been waiting for. This "Street Food Platter" didn't impress us. Several fishballs, squidballs and kikiams with plain vinegar as a dip for 100 bucks. I know, I should've asked what is included in the platter. Was expecting some isaw, kwek-kwek or something like that.

The "Kesong Puti Pizza" is a winner. Thin crust pizza with light marinara sauce and goat cheese topped with some dried basil. This would be better though if they used fresh basil rather than the dried ones. Still, for 200 bucks, would you complain?

The deal breaker was the "Balut a la Pobre" which is pictured below. If you love our very own balut, you would love this one. The balut was deshelled and was cooked in this sweet, spicy and salty concoction of a sauce and wonderfully placed in a sizzling plate. Served smoking hot and yummy! The sauce by itself merits an applause. Priced at 90 bucks.

Lastly we had the "Squid Sisig" topped with an egg. Just the way I like it, the squid was cooked right so as to be soft, not tough, but with some chewiness in it. Aside from the usual onions, garlic and ginger, I like how they added some mayonnaise that gives a creamy flavor that blends the ingredients altogether. The egg, placed raw at the top, cooks from the heat of the sizzling plate and again add some more creaminess and soft texture to the dish. Best served with a drizzle of calamansi and a few swish of hot sauce. Priced at 130 bucks.

Try it out and have an adventure of your own at N-LO's. A real convenient place to hang out right in the middle of the village. Searching for some drinking spree? Some fun? Or just want to "eye" some hot girls? Look no further! N-LO's is the place for you!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

BF Homes Paranaque Map

Here's a map of Paranaque and BF Homes for those of you not familiar with the area.

Take note of the several exits so pick the most convenient route. The guards sometimes require you to surrender an ID once you enter. A cool trick is to wave at the gate guard before he flags you down. Works like a charm and makes you wonder if you're a Jedi. ^_^


Tapsi Plus Tipid Treats

There's tons of food establishments in the busy main streets of BF Homes Paranaque and I made myself a mental note to frequently scour the area for more food finds.

This time after driving around looking for something cheap and quick, our eyes got blinded by the brightness of the signage: "TAPSI PLUS" along President's Avenue. The place would really catch your attention with the bright colors of the interiors. The establishment is open air but the cool breeze of the night air is good enough for me.

By the way there are a few roads leading to this treasure trove of food places in the middle of BF Homes (click here for link). I mainly use the approach from Toyota Alabang but if I would be coming from SLEX, I would exit at Sucat then turn left at President's Ave.

There are short orders to choose from and a buffet-like area where you can pick your favorite pinoy dishes which they have for the day. Prices of the food are affordable and service is quick.

I got the Paresilog (beef pares, fried rice, fried egg) priced at 49 pesos. Notice the heart shaped egg, cute, the serving of pares too! I think I counted around 4 pieces of beef there. The taste is ok but I prefer the sauce of the pares to be thicker than what they have here. I also noticed that the pares is too oily.

We also had Maki priced at 42 pesos. Thick noodles sauteed in the right amount of sauce and flavoring. The toppings are worth noting too that included sliced kikiam, fishballs, shredded chicken and vegetables. Tastes good and the serving size is enough for two people. Perfect for a side dish.

April had the Super Tapsilog priced at 65 pesos. There's a regular Tapsilog selling for 42 pesos and after asking the waitress she told us the only difference is the amount of tapa. Still, the Super Tapsilog's serving of tapa was not that plentiful.

Super Tapsilog - 65 pesos
Maki - 42 pesos
Paresilog - 49 pesos
Total - 156 pesos

Manila food finds' Scoreboard:

Overall Taste/Flavor -7/10
Place - 6.5/10
Value for Money - 7/10

Juzam's thoughts:

Cheap and affordable quick meals right in the middle of the village. A good place to eat for ending the night after gimmicks when you're hungry again. Too bad though that the serving sizes of the viands are too little, but the taste made up for it.

Best Dish:
Maki - at 42 bucks, lots of toppings and big serving - a clear winner

Worst Dish:
Paresilog - 4 pieces of beef, oily

Call 906-0525 for deliveries.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Godly Cupcakes by Sonja @ Serendra, Bonifacio Global City

Now let me warn you that the Sonja's Cupcakes featured here is a sinful indulgence and probably addictive. These little cupcakes are so good! That's the only word I can think of to describe it at this moment. Haha. Once you enter the place you'll notice the 60's theme which would remind you of your old Grandma's kitchen. The little pieces of decor like the old radio and weighing scale provided a classy touch to the already well designed interior.

The colorful little devils looks so nice arranged in files.

To wash off that pungent taste in my mouth from our dinner (click here for link) I had a strong chocolate dessert. April had a mocha flavored one.

Sonja's Choco Cream Pie is made up of crushed oreo as the crust, luscious chocolate cream as the filling and is topped with a blob of tasty whipped cream sprinkled with oreo bits. Does that sound great or what?

This cupcake made me reformat my thoughts about those dry, tough and breadlike cupcakes. The chocolate cream filling is so soft and is accented by the texture of the oreo crust. The whipped cream is sweet and is a dessert in itself!

April had the Mocha Motion with the basic cupcake as the base topped with mocha cream and sprinkled with choco bits. The slight bitterness from the choco bits acted as a buffer for the very sweet mocha cream. The cupcake base is soft, juicy and oh so delish. Who ever Sonja is, kudos to you!

Choco Cream Pie - 98
Mocha Motion - 58
Total - 156 (+ 12% VAT)

Manilafoodfinds' Scoreboard:

Overall Taste/Flavor -9/10
Place - 8/10
Value for Money - 3/10

Juzam's thoughts:

Yes it's an amazing cupcake. It's the best cupcake I ever had. BUT I think it's overpriced. A little cupcake for 98 bucks? Still, with the best, you pay a premium.

For more info on other flavors check out OurAwesomePlanet (click here for link)

Authentic Indian Cuisine by AUM New Bombay @ The Columns, Makati

Moving on with satisfying our desires for some of that unique Asian taste, we tried New Bombay located at the G/F Columns Tower I, Malugay St., Makati City.

Upon entering the place you will feel suddenly warped to India with the perfectly themed interiors plus the owner who himself is an Indian. Then there's a couple of Indian dining at the next table. A good indication of the authenticity of the the food served here. The paintings gave the place that homey feel combined with the chandeliers and the intricately designed chairs.

The smoked glass windows separates the dining area with the kitchen and gives you an idea how the chef prepares the meal. A sudden burst of fire inside the kitchen nearly shook me off my seat for once there. After some minutes of deliberation, we ordered their two of their special drinks, a curry dish, a chicken dish and some Indian bread.
Let's start with the Flavored Lassi Yogurt which comes in strawberry, buko pandan, mango, ube and rose variants. We got the Rose flavored yogurt (pink one) that has that fine sourness draped in sweet and cool yogurt. The rose flavor tastes as much as the rose flower does smell (really) and gave much truth that the sense of smell acts as an amplifier to the sense of taste. A must try when you go here.

This next drink however didn't conform to my liking. I know the ingredients of this drink is clearly written in the menu but they did take it literally. It's indicated in the menu that the Chaas Butter Milk has coriander, cumin, ginger and chili. I can't complain since they didn't indicate it didn't have sugar in it! Hehe. The owner said that it's a very popular drink in India. The guy at the other table had his in about three sips from the straw. Well, as the ingredients point it out, it taste exactly like that. Some sourness and milk taste with the added pungent taste from the coriander and cumin. It was not hot though as what the owner had warned me. I suggest you put this off for your second or third visit. It's an acquired taste for sure. And I was hoping for the Buttermilk from Harry Potter. (LOL)

On to the main dishes...

The Roomali Special made with thin white flour bread is perfect for our next two dishes. The softness and hints of crunchiness adds texture while the buttery taste makes it a step ahead from regular rotti. It's a bit oily though so heads up for dieters and alike.

Can't eat in an Indian resto without trying their curry! We had the Mutton Curry (lamb) and honestly, I was really not impressed. I was expecting more of a twist to it but I reckon they sided more with the authenticity bit. Another thing was that I thought the dish was going to be a bit hot but it was not. A great curry dish nonetheless.

With our last dish, we ordered the Chicken Malai Masala. It's boneless chicken sauteed in masala and gravy and some grated cheese on top. This was an excellent offering, didn't taste a bit Indian to me but more like an American dish from Friday's. The chicken was cut rightly enough for easy pickings, the gravy was yummy and the cheese added a little salty touch to it. Another must try.

After dinner we had dessert at Cupcakes by Sonja (click here for link).

Here's the prices of our orders:

Chicken Masala - 175
Mutton Curry - 155
Roomali Special - 80
Flavored Lassi Yogurt - 65
Chaas Butter Milk - 55

Total - 550

Manilafoodfinds' Scorecard:

Overall Taste/Flavor - 7.5/10
Place - 8.5/10
Value for Money - 5/10

Juzam's thoughts:

A good place for an Indian treat. Prices are wee bit on the high side for us, but that's expected for a resto with this caliber and their location - right smack in the corner of Ayala and Buendia. Serving size is good in relation to its price. Not a bad meal. Will try out more of what they have some other time.

Best Dish:
Chicken Malai Masala

Worst Dish:
Chaas Butter Milk - an acquired taste, not sweet!

They do have another branch at Glorietta Food Choices, 3/F, G4 Glorietta, Makati.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

An Okay Dinner @ Hap Chan Tea House

Tonight, eager for more Chinese cuisine, we had a go at Hap Chan Tea House which is located along Real St, Pamplona, Las Pinas which is very near our place.

Hap Chan serves your favorite Chinese treats like dimsum, noodles, stir fried noodles, congee, an assortment of roasted meats and a lot more!

Along with other Chinese restaurants, Hap Chan serves complimentary hot tea.

The meal starts with the arrival of the Radish Cake served with some hoisin sauce. This texture of the dish is comparable to cassava cake and the taste is quite bland until dipped in the hoisin sauce.

There's also a little surprise inside with the addition of a little piece of meat.

Didn't get to order chicken feet the last time we dined in a Chinese restaurant so I got Hap Chan's Chicken Feet with Tausi Sauce. This dish literally melts in your mouth (except the bones of course)! The gelatinous skin and meat falls of from the bone with a delicate tap of the fork. The sauce really made its way into the epicenter of the meat which has some spicyness and sweetness to it.

The Spare Ribs with Tausi Sauce was pretty bland for my taste again and the meat, if it was meant this way, was not that tender.

The Beijing Dumpling Noodles is another so-so dish. The dumplings appears to be big but its mainly due to the illusion provided by the wanton wrapper. The meat or the filling inside it was very tiny. The noodles are ok but the soup was horrible and was too salty probably because it was already 11:30 P.M. and the broth was boiling all day, or probably not.

Next dish we had was the Beef Brisket Noodles. The beef was so soft and can easily be cut with your chopsticks, very tender and was a treat to chew, just the way I like it. The noodles was just right same as the previous dish but again the soup was too salty.

The star of the dinner was the Almond Jelly which was served with crushed ice and a piece of cherry that gave color to the otherwise all white dessert. The almond jelly has just the right amount of flavoring and sweetness to it. This offering can serve as a dessert or can double as a drink, upon the diners discretion.

Here's the prices of our orders:

Tea - free
Radish Cake - 58.00 Pesos
Chicken Feet with Tausi Sauce - 58.00 Pesos
Spareribs with Tausi Sauce - 58.00 Pesos
Bejing Dumpling Noodles - 58.00 Pesos
Beef Brisket Noodles - 58.00 Pesos
Almond Jelly - 50.00 Pesos

Total - 340.00 Pesos

Manilafoodfinds' Scorecard:

Overall Taste/Flavor - 5/10
Place - 8.5/10
Value for Money - 5/10

Juzam's thoughts:

Comparing the same line of dishes with our trip to Binondo (click here) in terms of taste and value, the winner is clear. We'll try other dishes on our next trip here.

Worst dish/es:
Both the noodles, too salty.

Best dish:
Almond Jelly

Hap Chan Tea House official website (click here)

Have my post improved? Let me know! Feel free to leave suggestions and tips on how to improve my blog. ^_^

3rd World Pyro Olympics 2008 - Here I come!

Heads up for everyone!

Just reminding all of you that the biggest show in the sky will be held every Saturday night on the month of April! The 3rd World Pyro Olympics will showcase the best pyrotechnic display each participating country has to offer. The competitors for this year are China, Germany, Japan, Canada, Italy, Venezuela, France, Korea and Australia. The Philippines will act as the host once more and will not be competing.

Wouldn't it be such a blast to dine and wine under the sparks and lights?

Check the official website for the complete schedule and for further updates.

See you there!

Monday, March 3, 2008

If it's a secret place, we probably don't know it (yet)!

And since a new week starts...

If you have any suggestions on secret places to eat here in the south (Alabang, Paranaque, Las Pinas) kindly let us know. We'll eat there and feature it here! We'll also give you all the credit you rightly deserve!

Thanks in advance! ^_^

Seafood Ecstasy @ Taste of Asia, Mall of Asia

On to seafoods!

I really don't get it why some people don't like the taste of seafood. I do understand if you're allergic to it though. I have this cousin that whenever we go to the province he brings Spam and Vienna Sausage so he would have something to eat knowing that our relatives would serve us seafood there (which I love, sorry Cuz).

After the movies the bunch of us were really starving! Good that Taste of Asia is conveniently located at the side entrance of Mall of Asia in Pasay City (Hypermarket side)

What's better than to enjoy a sumptuous seafood meal with the family, right? Heavy eaters as we are, we got some Pancit Canton, Halaan (clam) Soup, Buttered Shrimps with Garlic and Sweet and Spicy Crabs. The Pancit Canton is so-so. The Halaan Soup offered a salty and bitter (in a good way) taste mainly because of the malunggay leaves with hints of garlic and ginger.

The Crabs taste good enough with a bit of sweetness in its meat. It's also packed with aligue (crab fat) which we enjoyed a lot. Crabs here in Manila is nothing compared to ones in far away provinces. The real star of the dish is the sauce. The sweet and spicy sauce provided a boost in the crabs flavor without overpowering the delicate meat. With the addition of garlic and butter, this dish is a winner.

What's a seafood meal without shrimps? The shrimps size is perfect for my picking. I don't like real small and real big shrimps (sugpo). Let me explain. Shrimps that are too small are hard to de-shell while the flavor on big shrimps are somewhat less or mellow. In addition, big shrimps have less surface area for the sauce (in this case butter and garlic) to stick to. That's just me though. A perfect dip with this is spiced vinegar with calamansi (lime) to bring out the sweetness and unique seafood taste!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

2nd Trip to Wan Chai @ Binondo

In less than a week, the craving for another go with some Binondo treats starts to set in. Since it's late at night we decided to skip the hunting part and go back to Waichan (click here for the previous post with this resto) where we enjoyed a particularly hefty meal.

We loved their dimsums and we're off to try out more of what the place has to offer. The last time we visited, we ordered a shrimp trifecta and we left the place all full and satisfied.

First up, we ordered the Beef Hofan. It comes with a sort of flat noodles (as pictured above) and lots of beef garnished with some bean sprouts. This dish has that distinct smoky and woodsy flavor. The smell of this dish will make your mouth water in seconds!

As we are getting comfortable with the place we dared to try out other dishes. The next dish is their version of Goto (the meat you find in the all-popular goto or arozcaldo dish). Imagine the chicken feet dish most Chinese resto offers and replace it with goto. It's cooked very well and the meat is so tender, it melts in your mouth. It tasted a bit sweet with hints of soy sauce and has this gelatinous texture to it. Loved it from the very first bite.

We then ordered another dumpling dish which I don't know what its called (help me please!). There's this food cart kase which I approached to see all the delectable steaming dumplings. I just picked it out thought it was shrimp dumpling like the one we ordered before. It turned out to be different. It still has shrimp but with added minced veggies.

Our third offering this evening is the Fried Dumplings. Again this dish has minced pork, shrimp and veggies as its filling . The dumplings are fried so watch out it's steaming hot! This was served with rice wine vinegar which when tasted made the whole thing burst out with a mixture of flavors.

This Binondo food find is a must try. Fantastic value for money. All this for roughly 230 Pesos (discounts after 9:00 P.M. remember?). Flavors are great, great place and a great Chinese food experience altogether.

Wan Chai is located along Benavidez Street, Binondo, Manila.