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November 27, 2016

Tomas Morato has been one of the major dining locations in the Metro for several years now. As such, restaurants that have been coming and going. Very few have stood the test of time. Thaipan is one of the veterans that have been around since 2006. This must mean something, and because we have yet to eat there, we decided to see for ourselves along with some friends how it really is!

They have this fancy private room that can seat at least 12 people!

The Ambiance 

Thaipan at first glance is a fancy house from the 70's that was remodeled to become the premier Thai restaurant it is today. The walls are decorated with hand painted patterns from local artists. The lights are mostly yellow that give off this warm and cozy feel to it that offers a relaxing but refined mood. It may however feel dark to some people.

The Tables are mostly made of glass and steel while the chairs are made of premium polycarbonate and steel while utensils feel solid and have a tactile feel to them that perfectly goes along with the other steel materials in the room. 

A bit of a tease of what's to come!
Glass Half Full

The Food

I was one of the first to arrive at Thaipan before my friends and while waiting, the waiter offered for me to check their drinks. He recommended the iced Thai milk tea which I was curious about, so I ordered one. As soon as I took my first zip, it exploded with flavor in my mouth. You could taste the milk and the tea distinctively. I was zipping so much that I forgot to take a picture hence, glass half full.

Pomelo Salad!

For appetizers, we were we had the Pomelo Salad and the Mieng Kham. The Pomelo Salad is different because the shredded chicken with garlic and pomelo doesn't make sense at first but when it touches your mouth it was an amazing surprise. The Pomelo's sweetness, the chicken's meatiness and the garlic's heat are all brought together by the spices which actually complements each of the other ingredients. The Mieng Kham is a standard dish and their rendition was okay. It wasn't bad but it didn't have anything special about it either.

The Mieng Kham!
For Soup, we ordered the Tom Yum, the Laksa and the Thai Chicken Curry. We ordered the mild spicy versions of the Tom Yum and the Laksa and the they were both good. The flavors of the seafood, the vegetables and the spices of the Tom Yum hit you as soon as the soup hit your tongue. The Laksa's soup has a strong kick that is complimented by the creamy texture. I do wish that the soup was a little thicker to reach perfection. The Thai Chicken Curry was different because it's curry but it doesn't have the spicy HOT kick. Otherwise, the chicken and yellow curry sauce is good.

The Tom Yum!
The Laksa!
The Thai Chicken Curry!
For the main course, we had quite the list: Fish Tamarind, Pandan Chicken, Stir-fried Squid and Shrimp, and Soft-Shell Crab in Black Pepper Sauce. The Fish tamarind was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with the moist flavor bursting fish inside. The Pandan chicken was okay. A little underwhelming compared to the rest.

Pandan Chicken and Fish Tamarind!
Soft-Shell Crab in Black Pepper Sauce

Stir-Fried Squid and Shrimp

The Soft Shell Crab was a little salty, otherwise, the texture, the flavor and the kick worked together and is amazing. I couldn't get over at how soft and refined the texture of the crab was while the Squid and Shrimp was about the same. The technique was perfect. Ingredients are cooked to perfection with the flavors dancing, the textures refined and the spiciness just right!

Phad Thai Noodles

Last, but not the least: the Phad Thai Noodles! The preparation was unique as the tofu and the rest of the ingredients are inside. The sauce was amazingly flavorful which mildly thick texture that brings out the individual flavors of the other ingredients. It is best to eat this right away because the flavor changes as the ingredients soak up the sauce making the texture soggy.

For dessert we had the Ta Koh Sakhoo which is a tapioca pearl topped with creamy steamed cake. It was absolutely, decadent. The way the steamed cake oozes and melts in your mouth while the mild sweetness hits you is absolutely, heavenly. I recommend this dessert! It's refreshing coming from seeing mostly chocolates and ice creams as dessert options.

Ta Koh Sakhoo

The Service

The service was good. I was entertained as soon as I arrived, even though my companions arrived a little later. They were kind enough to set the table and offer me a drink first. We waited for ten minutes and the first few dishes arrived, and we were soon overwhelmed because most of the dishes came together. This is not a bad thing as we were given the chance to taste everything.

There was always a waiter near by if we needed anything. You have to order the dessert right away though because the prep time can take a while. What astounded me was how each of the three waiters I inquired about different dishes knew what the dish was, how it was prepared and what possible related dishes can be recommended. I liked this. It just goes to show how a restaurant can stand at least five years. (and the crew are proud of it.)

The Price

The price of the dishes vary. The appetizers start at Php 198 and averages around Php 250. Salads and main dishes start at Php 250 and can get up to Php 399 while the drinks start at Php onwards. The decadent desserts start at Php 178 to Php 205. I find their pricing justifiable relative to its quality and its portions. With each dish that I have tasted, I never found any to be over priced and I enjoyed my stay with Thaipan.

The Verdict

What We LIKED:

  • Most of the dishes we had were Good with only a handful to be okay
  • That Dessert was heavenly and refreshing!
  • The SPICY KICK is very much welcome
  • Phad Thai was Unique
  • Staff service is remarkable

What We Almost LIKED:

  • Pandan Chicken and Mieng Kham were only Okay
  • Some people will find the ambiance refined but a little dark

Do you want to Contact 'Thaipan?'
Address: 120 Sct. Dr. Lazcano Tomas Morato, Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone number:  (0917) 808 0718
Instagram: @thaipan_qc
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday 11AM to 3PM, 6PM to 11PM

October 10, 2016

The Australians are known for their quality coffee and amazing customer service that it was difficult for Starbucks to enter the Australian market. So when we heard that an Australian coffee company was entering the Philippine market caught our attention immediately because we felt that it has the potential to add more value to the coffee experience the Filipinos deserve!

Located at Pearl Drive!

The Ambiance

Marcel's interior design emphasizes on elegant lines and accents that stand out. These accents vary from old world and from the modern world. These are made mainly of concrete, wood and steel. Thei colors also stand out with bright yellows, oranges and blues that catch your attention and brightens your mood.

Diligence is a virtue!

The Coffee, The Beverages and The Service

The entire speciality coffee experience is affected by several factors. A couple of the factors I find important are the beans or the blend and the barista's skills. The blend itself will manifests on its own from the cup but can change and will reflect the skills of the barista.

What I find compelling about Where's Marcel's coffee are their blends. Especially the 'Evolve' blend which is the most balanced blend I have ever had. I mean this in terms of the different flavors, the textures, the body and the acidity. So In choosing your ideal cup, I recommend trying the same drink from the different baristas and find that cup that resounds to you the most.

By mhille
They pride themselves with their crop to cup service ethical responsibility and their authentic Australian roots. They make sure that their farmers and the environment is taken cared of while their beans are blended and roasted in Australia and shipped to their branches while maintaining the best quality beans as possible.

The Revel Bar!

Aside from the usual espresso based beverages, they offer hot or iced teas, pressed juices and ginger beer. For non-beverages they have a selection of smores and sandwiches that will cater to your appetite and will partner well with their coffee. I personally love their s'mores.

Iced Green Tea!

 The Price

Espresso starts at Php 100 while the Iced White will set you back Php 150. A mocha is Php 160 while the Matcha Latte is Php 160. Their drinks are priced in between the Php 100 to Php 200 range. The Sandwiches ranges from Php 125 to Php 200 while their sweets ranges from Php 25 to Php 200.00 All are reasonably priced and you won't find anything here that will hurt your pockets. 

Overall I love their cappuccino and bulletproof coffee! I highly recommend trying the balanced evolve blend and find the barista that can brew a cup to your specifications! See you on the next one!

Do you want to Contact 'Where's Marcel?'
Address: The Pearl Place, Pearl Drive, Ortigas, Pasig City, Philippines
Telephone number: (02) 535-0621
Instagram: @WheresMarcelPH
 Operating Hours: Mon-Sat 7AM to 10PM; Sun 7AM to 4PM

September 29, 2016

Masculinity or the possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men have been changing rapidly lately. So much so, that it was only recently that I found out that it is becoming acceptable for men to have a manicure and pedicure or a mani-pedi. This resulted to a new concern for men who wanted the traditional manly grooming experience at their local barbershops that also wanted to get a foot spa or a pedicure for that matter to get that relaxation that before only women could understand with complete privacy.

The Men's Room at Oracle Hotel Katipunan seeks to solve the concern and we were lucky enough to be invited to check their place out!

New York Industrial District Theme!

The Ambiance

One of the partners of the shop has a background in interior design which resulted in a pristine recreation of a warehouse in the industrial period in New York. Bricks, pipes, hinges and concrete are used sparingly to give off that industrial vibe.

The shop is at the second floor of the Oracle Hotel on the door to your left. Once inside you will find the reception to your right, the secret door to your left and the hidden bathroom at the end of the hallway. After the reception you will be greeted by the barber chairs on the right and the Spa couches on the left.

The attention to detail is immense with almost no upholstery or accent felt out of place. Even the facial and spa instruments felt right at home.

The Cut and Facial

I decided to have the usual Haircut and the unusual facial to experience the traditional and the innovation.

I asked my barber to give me a barber's cut but with a mid fade to see how he can handle the classic barbers with the modern fade, and he did very well. He began by wrapping this disposable collar around my neck which was followed by the folding of my oxford shirt's collar. He then pulled out the apron that protects your clothes from the falling hair around my body. He then preceded with the cut.

The quality is slightly below the fades of Felipe & Sons but most people won't even notice. I was just being nit-picky. After that he moistened my hair and applied their resident pomade and combed it to his design.

The Beautician
The facial was a little different from what I was used to. I frequented 'dermas' a lot in my teenage years because of my pimple breakouts and I would visit the dermatologists every month. It would be great at first because the doctor's would help you relax with facial massages and warm tea but would be followed by an hour of painful pricking and topped with an itchy cream that makes your skin peel. This did not happen.

I was asked to laid down on the couch that transformed into a flat bed where I could lie on. I was asked to relax and then the beautician would then proceed with cleaning my face which was followed by a variety of massages and organic facial creams/ointments.  There was no pricking at all!

The tool that extracted my comedones!

The tool used to extract those comedones (black or whtie heads) had a flat surface that vibrates that ejects the comedones while the metal surface is in contact with your face.  It was like having a flat spoon on your face. It was gentle but you could feel the slight vibrations. The beautician was kind enough to show me how effective it was by showing me how much comedones were extracted! It was amazing! She ended the session with an organic facial mask that was air dried for 15 minutes.

It was surprisingly relaxing and it made me realise how some men would feel pampered and relaxed by this.

Tools of Trade!

The Price

The haircut starts at a fair Php 200.00 while their facial hair shaving starts at Php 150.00. They have a full body spa that costs Php 600.00 that can be bundled with a Php 300.00 Massage or a Php 450.00 extra ordinary massage. Most of their services average around Php 150.00 to Php 350.00 so their prices are very student friendly as compared to other establishment with similar quality of service and experience.

The Conclusion

Clearly with the prices these cheap for the experience, the Men's room is not just for the hard working men but also for the young students who want to get the best grooming experience may it be traditional or not. I highly recommend this place if you can and tell me what you think!

Do you want to Contact 'The Men's Room?'
317 Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines
Contact number: (02) 285 3554
Operating Hours: 10AM to 9PM

August 21, 2016

Kapitolyo as grown its reputation to be one of the foodie centers of the Pasig City. Located in between the Ortigas Business District and the Bonifacio Global City, it serves as nearby sanctuary from the work focused skyscrappers of the two business capitals. It only makes sense that eventually a specialty coffee shop would take root in Kapitolyo.

The Ambiance

The design theme of United Coffee is a cut above most establishments yet it doesn't stand out too much; However, it has this X-factor that makes the place unbelievably cozy. We could never point out what exactly, but it's there and you will only notice this when you sit down and slow down while waiting for your order.

Simple but Elegant Ambiance!

They even have shelves for books to read. In fact, we would always see patrons who always borrow books to read while enjoying their cup of coffee. We believe to have seen a complete Harry Potter Collection for patrons to read too.

It's a cup you won't regret!

The Coffee, The Beverages and The Service

In our several visits to United Coffee, they carried EDSA Beverage Design Groups Beans. So the flavor profiles would depend on which blend they would use. We particularly love the characteristics of their Single Origins and their Dark Matter Theory for it's unique flavors.

The noteworthy thing about their baristas is that each time we come back, you will notice a small improvement in their brewing specifically the hand brewed preparation. I couldn't explain it but I would always notice the slight difference may it be from the texture or the sensation of the body in my mouth.

One of the Better Matcha Latte's in the Metro right now!

Matcha has really taken over the world by storm and United has their own version of the Matcha Latte and it is one of the better Matcha lattes I've had. It has a more refined but concentrated flavor that hits your tongue as soon as you take that first sip. It's quite noticeable because most Matcha lattes had this blunt punch that hits you but this is different. It starts with small smooth sting then gradually increases in strength in an elegant way. It's a nice treat.

They also serve their drinks iced for those hot summers in Manila
They also serve their drinks Iced for those hot Manila days. To serve as a partner for your drinks they offer a wide variety of cakes, confections, pastas and finger foods! The s'more they offer I believe is homemade. The marshmallow has sweeten from having its sugar caramelised and the hot chocolate inside is able to counter it with its own complex mix of sweetness and bitterness.

Another dish to try when you just need to sit down, relaxing and catching up to your reading is their spinach artichoke that surprisingly goes well with their Dark Matter Theory Beans! I was just surprised at how well they mixed in my mouth. Try it!

A must try with their Dark Matter Theory!

 The Price

Espresso starts at Php 100 while the Iced Latte will set you back Php 140. A mocha is Php 160 while the Matcha Latte is Php 130. Their drinks are priced in between the Php 100 to Php 160 range. The Sandwiches ranges from Php 195 to Php 215 while their Pasta ranges from Php 195 to Php 225.00 All are reasonably priced and you won't find anything here that will hurt your pockets. 

Overall I love their lattes especially the espresso latte and the matcha latte. I couldn't find any other coffee spot in the area that could give me this satisfaction. Not Yet anyway! See you guys on the next one!

Do you want to Contact 'United Coffee PH?'
Address: 16 United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City Philippines
Telephone number: (02) 738 - 7177
Instagram: @UnitedCoffeePH
 Operating Hours: Mon-Th, Sun: 11:30AM to 11PM; Fri-Sat: 11.30 AM to 12MN

July 04, 2016

The view from Cebu's famous mountain top!

Yolk Cafe
Tan Kim Building, 80 Tres Borces Padres St, Cebu City, Cebu

Yolk cafe is this unassuming place along Tres Borces Cebu city with homey interiors and accommodating staff! For their dishes, we could not get enough of their Eggs Benedict. The way it was cooked was perfect. The egg whites were firm and moist while the yolk was runny and flavorful. 

The daily dose of latte and cappuccino!
For coffee we had the usual latte and cappuccino but what caught our eye was their signature Coconut Coffee cooler. The coconut juice surprisingly blends well with their espresso based beverage and with coconut white shavings on top adds texture and constrasting flavors that complete the package It is no wonder that this drink has won international awards.

The Coconut Coffee Cooler! 

We would come back for it in a heartbeat.

A finer casual cebu dining experience!

Tymad Bistro
Paseo Saturnino, Ma. Luisa Road,Banilad, Cebu

One of my friends whose parents have travelled to Paris, France said that Tymad makes one of the best Kouign Amanns outside of Paris. Knowing full well that my friend's mother is a picky eater, made me very excited to see if it were true.

One of the best Kouign Amanns outside of Paris!

Tymad opens early at 7 AM and we got there, the pastries were just hot off the oven so we immediately ordered their Kouign Amann. Each thin sheet was crispy, flakey and sweet and as take your first bite, you can feel each layer break apart in your mouth as it releases the flavors of the flour, the butter and the cinnamon. It was spectacular.

The Big Breakfast!
Aside from the Kouign Amann, we ordered two Eggs Benedicts breakfast set and one Big Breakfast set. I found that the vegetable salad to be fresh but not the best out there while everything else like the poached eggs, the crunchy bacon, the fresh salmon, the oven-fresh toasted bread, and the sauce to be absolutely delicious.

The Bacon Eggs Benedict!

The sausages, the beans and vegetables from the big breakfast was good but not spectacular like the rest of the dish. The eggs, the bacon and the mushrooms were exquisite. 

The Salmon Eggs Benedict with Vegetable salad!

It was clear why Tymad has a hair higher pricing that most Cebu establishments, but it was well worth it. It's not that high of a premium though, Metro Manila still has higher pricing from my experience.

Wonderful Ambiance at Cafe Georg!

Cafe Georg
Ground Floor, MLD Building, Gov. M. Cuenco Ave, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu

Cafe Georg was a pleasant surprise because my friends who have been to Cebu prior to my trip said that Cafe Georg wasn't as great as they used to be. What surprised us was how great the dishes were. In fact, they offer dishes that are better than some of what we have in Manila. The dishes offered are a fusion of classics from different cuisines with their own twists. 

All Beef Lasagna!

I love their All Beef Lasagna because of how creamy it was, and how the beef flavor was the star but was complimented by the cheese, the ragu sauce and the toasted bread. I couldn't get enough. We also tried a satisfying sandwich that we had to share to finish, and the Kimchi Fried rice which was okay, but I have had better. 

It was fun. I would come back to try the other dishes.

Rico's Lechon Sisig is amazing!

Rico's Lechon
F. Cabahug St, Cebu City, Cebu

Rico's Lechon is one of the major Lechon establishments in Cebu and well their Lechon is good but not mind blowing. It is less salty than Zubu though, which to me is a good thing. What sold us was the Lechon sisig! It was amazing. It was crispy, it was salty, and it was spicy! Watch your 'Batoks!'

A kilo of Lechon!
It's not mind blowing but it's good enough to try whenever you are in Cebu! You can't go wrong here!

So to summarize, we loved Yolk, Rico's Lechon, Tymad and Cafe Georg that we would visit them again when we get the chance to visit Cebu. What do you guys think of our list? Do you agree or do you have recommendations? Tell us at the comment section below!

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