Monday, November 12, 2012

Makapuno from PhilHybrid

Makapuno is one of my favorite Filipino desserts. I love how chewy, sweet, pure white, and fresh it is.  My mom usually cooks her Makapuno special during Christmas and New Year because you really cannot find Makapuno out in the market for all year round. Fortunately, our folks from PhilHybrid managed to develop and enhance the propagation of this yummy Filipino dessert via embryo-cultured Makapuno (ECM) seedlings. 


According to Philhybrid Makapuno's website, the company started operations in August 2004. It is now one of the biggest pure embryo-cultured Makapuno plantation in the country. Believe it or not, it was founded as an answer to our late Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives and Agriculture Secretary Ramon "Monching V. Mitra, Jr.- who dreamed and committed to produce, promote and expand the Makapuno industry in the Philippines. 

As for the taste, I have yet to try this innovative product. Based from the feedbacks I've seen all over the web, blogs, commentaries, and posts- it seems like it really is a big hit- people who were able to try it keep coming back for more. And now, while I'm writing this blog, I'm already imagining the sweet, sticky, chewy taste of Makapuno. Oh please, can you give me some? I really want to pair this on top of Ube Halaya, or put it inside a freshly baked monay, and even just eat it on its own! I love the way Makapuno tastes when it was just brought out of the refrigerator--- so cold and sweet! I can finish a whole bottle for sure in just one seating!

Fortunately, Philhybrid also provided a special Christmas packaging to those who will order it!  It will definitely be a nice gift to moms, dads, and families out there who love to eat sweets.

So what are you waiting for? Order now! Here's their page for more information >>> Philhybrid PuroMakapuno

Cheers, 
CaptainFood

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Meg Top Choice 2012 - Meg is Back with a Bang! Vote Now!

MEG TOP CHOICE is back with a bang this 2012! This is the latest-big-digital campaign news heard from MEG- a multi-platform power brand for bold, young woman-handling the Meg Magazine (style your life).

Everyone is called to voice out your opinion and choice! You can visit MEG Top Choice 2012 here and start clicking the buttons to support your idols!



MEG TOP CHOICE gives all of us a chance to be a judge on "What's HOT and What's NOT" in the industry today. It gives MEG fans the opportunity to share their opinion and choice on who is "The One".



MEG TOP CHOICE 2012 has 14 categories- signifying MEG's 14 successful years in the industry.





 FASHION & BEAUTY

1.) Top Fashion Forward Celeb
FEMALE: Sarah Lahbati, Divine Lee, Kris Bernal, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Megan Young
MALE: Vice Ganda, Mikael Daez, Enchong Dee, Alden Richards


2.)Best Red Lips
Anne Curtis, Marian River, Iza Calzado, Heart Evangelista, Georgina Wilson



MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT

3.) Chart-topper
Sarah Geronimo, Rico Blanco, Somedaydream, Sponge Cola, Kamikazee

4.) Top Newcomer (music)
Never the Strangers, Zia Quizon, Gracenote, Somedaydream, Daniel Padilla

5.) Top Cover Star
Angel Locsin(Dec/Jan), Jasmine Curtis-Smith (Feb), Bea Alonzo (Mar), Toni Gonzaga (Apr), Julia Montes(May), Marian Rivera (Jun), Erich Gonzales (Jul), Angelica Panganiban (Aug), Heart Evangelista (Sept), Georgina Wilson (Oct)

6.) Best Onscreen Chemistry
Julie Ann + Elmo, Kathryn + Daniel, Kim+Xian, Coco+Julia, Sarah+Gerald

7.) Hottest Couple
Georgina + Borgy, Marian + Dingdong, Divine + Victor, Anne + Erwan, Bea + Zanjoe

DIGITAL

8.) Twitter TRENDsetter of the year
Sarah Geronimo, Vice Ganda, Julie Ann San Jose, Kathniel, AZKALS

9.) Top Viral Video of the Year
Piliin mo ang Pilipinas feat. El Gamma Penumbre(choosephils/El Gamma Penumbra),  My Nerdy Valentine by JAMICH <3 ( I <3 JAMICh/Jamich), "Hi Miss.." PINOY BANATS! :)) (kimpoy06pao/Kimpoy Feliciano), GLOC-9 feat. Ebe Dancel), And I Am Telling You (Random Girl)(SM Megamall) (youngjay0918/Zendee Rose Japitana Tenefere)



FITNESS

10.) Top Fitness Trend
Zumba by Gold's Gym Philippines, Barre by Barre 3, Planaforma by Forma Asia, Crossfit by Crossfit MNL, Anti-gravity Yoga by Beyond Yoga


11.) Hottest body
FEMALE: Cristine Reyes, Solenn Heussaff, Lovi Poe, Sam Pinto, Bea Alonzo
MALE: Xian Lim, Aljur Abrenica, Enzo Pineda, Gerard Anderson, Paulo Avelino



YOUTH EMPOWERMENT & SPECIAL PROJECTS

12.) Top Advocacy
Gawad Kalinga, Bloggers United Summer Bazaar 2012, Rock Ed Philippines, The Red Whistle, The Love Yourself Project

13.) Best New Product/Project
Samsung Galaxy S3, Zalora, Outbreak Manila, Magnum, Malasimbo

14.) Top Youth Icon
FEMALE:Angel Locsin, KC Concepcion, Charice Pempengco, Sarah Geronimo, Saab Magalona
MALE: Chris Tiu, Elmo Magalona, Robi Domingo, Kiefer Ravena


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

a.) Where can I find more information?
You can visit www.iammeg.ph for more information.

b.) Where can I enter my votes?
Just go to the MEG Top Choice 2012 Website  (click here).

c.) What is the voting Duration?
Voting starts on October 25 and ends on November 25, 2012


And that's it. This Press Launch event was done in partnership with Mario Badescu , Society, Lounge, and LG. Super thanks to my friend Rochelle Chua of Hearty's Haven for inviting me as a +1!

Also thanks to the whole Meg Top Choice Team for the warm event, lunch, and freebies! Here's a group shot! See you all in the Awards Night (November)!


Freebies + a super cute shiny and starry bag!



Cheers, 
Captainfood


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kulinarya- My First Food Review Video- Openrice Philippines

Guys! Watch my first ever video featuring Kulinarya restaurant in Powerplant Mall, Rockwell!
Thanks Eat's a Date event of Openrice for this  opportunity!  For the detailed written review, please refer to my Kulinarya series:

a.) Kulinarya Appetizers
b.) Kulinarya Main Course
c.) Kulinarya Desserts

NOTE: I'm stilla beginner.need to be photogenic in front of camera :P My other Openrice/ blogger friends (Margaret of All Loving Chic) are also here so watch 'em . Enjoy!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

J. Co Donuts and Coffee- SM Megamall

Recently, we had an Eat's a Date event in J. Co Donuts and Coffee in SM Megamall (Thanks to Openrice!). Overall, the J.Co event went well, and sweet! We had a super full and delicious weekend breakfast :)

In case you don't know, J. Co Donuts and Coffee is a cafe retailer that originated in Indonesia. Now, it has several branches already in Bali, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Shanghai, and Manila. 

Their branch in SM Megamall is big, and cozy. The ambiance is perfect for a weekend afternoon chit-chat with friends.


And finally, here are the foods and drinks!

Fortunately, when we arrived, the famous super long J. Co Donuts line has not yet built up, so I was able to take a shot of all their offerings during that day.

From  left to right: (a) Jacky Chunk (b) Alcapone (c) Snow White (d) Sugar Ice
From left to right: (a) Cheese Me Up (b) Mona Pisa (c) Crunchy Crunchy (d) Meisisipi
From left to right: (a) Why Nut (b) Green Tease (c) Blue Berrymore (d) Berry Spears

The J.Co bestseller, is the Alcapone- composed of tasteful white Belgian chocolate with crunchy Californian almonds.


After having a bite of this simple looking J. Co donut, my heart melted. The bread is soft, and  melts in your mouth! The white Belgian chocolate is creamy, and not too sweet and pairs well with the fresh and crunchy almonds. No wonder why they are able to sell hundreds of Alcapone everyday...

Also, we are given the chance to choose 2 flavors- I personally opted for Cheese Me Up (since I'm a cheese lover), and Alcapone (a default choice because it is a bestseller).


I super duper over loved the Cheese Me Up! It is the perfect choice if you are not really fond of sweet donuts, but still likes something soft, chewy, and cheesy! 10 stars!

Also, the management gave us free samples of Mona Pisa, after telling them that we are really curious with donuts with a salty kick. Guess what, after tasting, Mona Pisa tied with Cheese me up in my top 1 choices! The chicken sausage with ketchup topped over the soft donut with loads of cheese, is just so adorable. Please please give me one box of Mona Pisa?


While wandering around the store, I saw this mixer- cool! Donut making in action!


After showing the donuts, here are the drinks- Cheers guys!

Left to right: (a) Iced Hazelnut Latte (b) Iced Cappucino
(a) Iced Hazelnut Latte- light flavored and creamy.
(b) Jcoccino Frappe- one of the store specialties. The frosting on top is strongly flavored with coffee and super yummy!

Left to right: (c) Orange Yogurt Frappe, (d)  Green Tea Frappe
(c) Orange Yogurt Frappe - it may sound simple, but it is one of the top picks of the day! The sour taste of orange matches well with the creamy and icy blend of frappe.
(d) Green Tea Frappe- healthy and delicious drink. The matcha flavor was combined with milk and whipped cream to give a satisfying green kick.

Left to Right: (e) Iced Thai Tea, (f) Cafe Avocado
(e) Iced Thai Tea- light blend of black tea and milk that is nearly same with the usual milk tea blends in the market. nothing exceptional.
(f) Cafe Avocado - at first gulp, it may seem weird. The avocado flavor can be found in the after taste. Not too sweet- good to try for first-timers to have that avocado experience.

Aside from donuts and drinks, they also offer ice cream- in the form of yogurt- J.Cool!


J.Co's version of yogurt is super ok. It has the right blend- not too sour, sot too sweet, and creamy. You have the choice to top it with different fruits and flavors like mochi, kiwi, blueberry, peaches, and mangoes.

And there goes, our wonderful J. Co experience.... here's a group shot!

So, feel free to visit J. Co Donuts SM Megamall now! Good food + Good place = perfect day for you and your loved ones!

Cheers, 
Captain Food








Chocolate Kiss- Kahlua Butter Cake

Chocolate Kiss is a super famous restaurant residing in Bahay ng Alumni, UP grounds, Quezon City. It also has a branch in Timog. It is well known for serving good comfort food like pasta, sandwiches, and of course, cakes.

Out of curiosity of the Chocolate Kiss Cake craze, we tried the Kahlua Butter Cake, 105 pesos for 1 tall slice.

Even non-coffee lovers will eat this cake up to its last bite. Yummy goodness!
Here's a quick description of the cake based from their website : " Full flavored coffee liqueur mocha butter cake with Kahlua fudge filling and coffee butter icing. "

Personally, Kahlua Butter Cake is heavenly. It has a strong taste of coffee and aroma of mocha. The sponge cake is soft, and has the tendency to melt in your mouth. Lastly, the icing is not supper buttery, which makes it light, adorable, and not too sweet. In between the tall slice parts is the Kahlua fudge filling which gives the kick of sweet, coffee creaminess.

Ratings: 10/10

Here's a closeup shot of the sponge cake, which is super yummy!


Try it now! The Roces Avenue branch has a brunch buffet promo every Sundays, 9 am to 1 pm priced at 350 pesos for adults and 250 pesos for kids,.



 Information from Munchpunch

The Chocolate Kiss CafeUP Diliman

G/F Ang Bahay ng Alumni, R. Magsaysay St.Diliman, Quezon City(02) 433-3782

The Chocolate Kiss CafeRoces Avenue

G/F Korben Place, 91 A. Roces Ave. cor Sct. TobiasLaging Handa, Quezon City(02) 412-7876







Sunday, October 7, 2012

IMC (Internal Master Chef) Kavino

IMC Kavino is a restaurant along Jupiter Street, Makati serving Chinese food. Chinese Cuisine with a Twist is the overall statement that I can give after trying out their food. The've tried to customize each dish to add the IMC Kavino fusion.
IMC (International Master Chef ) Kavino, along Jupiter street, Makati City
Recently, Openrice  partnered with IMC kavino for the Eat's a Date event. We are able to try out the restaurant's specialties while having fun with other food bloggers! So, let me present the long list of gastronomic adventure we tried...


Takoyaki- 388 pesos. First dish served, and we were all blown-off with the unique, super delicious taste. One of a kind indeed.


Is this Takoyaki? I'm thinking that this is probably your first question. Yes it is, with a super twisted twist. IMC Kavino formulated a whole new realm for takoyaki to be a healthy treat for everyone. To eat it, what you need to do is hold, squeeze (until you hear those crumbs crunching), then give your biggest bite. The taste is heavenly, I'm telling you. Just think of the usual Takoyaki ingredients (without the flour), crispy vegetables, and puffed octopus. A must -try! 

Ratings: 10/10

Hongkong Style Chicken Buns, 108 pesos for 3 pcs


This reminds me of the usual "Bola-bola" Siopao we have in local stores. The IMC Kavino twist is that it doesn't have a sauce since the filling itself is tasty enough to empower the whole bun. This is quite a sad thing since I really really love to put a lot of sauce in my siopao. Nothing special with the filling aside from being healthy because of using Chicken. What I love with their version is the soft, fluffy, and authentic Mantao bread of the buns. 

Ratings: 7/10

Veggie ala Beijing, 338 pesos


It looks like the Chinese Fresh Lumpia right? What IMC kavino tried doing here is placing deep fried tofu with fresh vegetables in their special sauce (with Hoisin sauce) , and wrapping it in lumpia wrapper. The main flavor that shows up in your first bite is the sweetness, then followed by the slightly salty taste of tofu.  If you are on the healthy side of eating, then try this. 

Ratings: 7/10

Pumpkin Puree Seafood Soup, (100 pesos/cup)


I'm not into pumpkin soups, but after tasting IMC Kavino's rendition, i love it! Their pumpkin soup is broth based which means that it is not super creamy. It is overloaded with seafoods that really enhances the base flavor of pumpkin. A plus point i the presentation- it looks adorable right?

Ratings: 9/10

Prawn with Salted Egg and Fried Kangkong, 


Fresh, juicy shrimps, are covered with high-quality mashed salted egg, covered with breading and fried to perfection. This dish will surely make you wonder how the mixture of flavors turned into something great. A plus point is the fried kangkong that really melts in your mouth. After asking some of the staff, we found out that it is being of the sugar glazing before frying. Even though it's quite oily, it's still tasty.

Ratings: 8/10

King Dao Spareribs with Chinese White Wine and Mayo, 328 pesos


This dish from IMC Kavino has several secrets. First, it is composed of 3 distinct flavors: (a) Left side, flavored with Mayo and white wine, (b)Right side,red sauce with a hint of ketchup, and (c) Try to mix the two dishes, and you get a slightly sour, sweet, and salty mixture of spareribs. The meat is tender and juicy, so it is definitely a hit when paired with rice. Another secret is the plate. The owner custom made this cute heart-shaped dish which really shows how they are concerned not just with the food but with the presentation and details.

Ratings: 8.8/10

Drunken Chicken, 498 pesos


This is one of the specialties of IMC Kavino. As the name suggests, it is chicken poured over with white wine. it is healthy because it is not fried. However, for me, it lacks strong flavors. 

Ratings: 6/10

Three Cup Beef Tenderloin Cubes, 388 pesos


It is named 3 cups, because it has 3 cups worth of serving. A disclaimer is that it is named "beef", but it is made of chicken. Yes, it may sound weird naming a chicken dish with beef. Nonetheless, it is strongly flavored with salty and spicy jerks of Chinese spices. Make sure to eat it with rice, to enjoy a balanced flavor.

Ratings: 7/10

Pan-grilled Mixed Mushroom with Garlic-


The mushrooms are juicy and cooked perfectly. The garlic was well-blended with it resulting to a burst of flavors.

Ratings: 7.5/10

Salted Fish Fried Rice, 


This is my favorite rice in IMC Kavino. the fried fish adds a tasty enticing taste to the overall fried rice concept. This is best paired with almost every viand in their menu. Make sure to order enough for everyone.

Ratings: 9/10

Golden Garlic Yang Chow Fried Rice, 248 pesos



Nothing special. It is a usual yang chow fried rice but less oily.

Ratings: 8/10

Vegetable Curry Fried Rice


I don't like how the curry flavor because it seems to cover every flavor with the dish I'm eating it with. But if you love curry, do not hesitate to  try this one out.

Ratings: 6/10

Snowball, 120 pesos, 4 pcs


The mochi-like dessert of IMC kavino is served with a great presentation of steamed-style. It has a nice sticky, smooth texture with a not super sweet red bean filling.

Ratings: 7.5/10


Coconut Taro with Black Rice Sago, 

This is my favorite dessert in IMC kavino. You may think it's hot, but its unexpectedly cold! This temperature difference surely creates the feeling of it being a good comfort food in a rainy day. it is not too sweet and the black rice adds the healthy kick. Try it!

Ratings: 9.5/10


Malayan Cake, 108 pesos, 5 pcs


These adorable puffs look like the local "puto" right? What's unique about it is that it is spongy and super fluffy! It has a mildly sweet taste, and a melt in your mouth texture. 

Ratings: 8/10


Overall, IMC Kavino indeed never failed to impress us all. The delicious fusion dishes are mostly one of a kind and were carefully crafted to suit everyone's taste. Try it especially if you happen to love Chinese authentic food.

Thanks to Openrice and IMC Kavino again for the Eat's a Date event!


Cheers, 
Captainfood

Friday, September 28, 2012

S&R Pizza and Clam Chowder

S&R is a famous grocery in the metro which is usually known for their local and imported products sold by bulk. Personally, this is one of my favorite supermarkets because here, I can find imported chocolates and toiletries that are not available in the local stores.

Aside from their well-known grocery image, S&R also sells snacks exclusive for S&R members. My favorite is their Pizza Garlic Shrimp (2 big slices -99 pesos) and Clam Chowder (65 pesos).

Who's game for a gastronomic overload? Pizza and Clam Chowder ready to serve!
The  Pizza Garlic Shrimp pizza has ample amount of toppings. It is cheesy but not super. Also, the pizza sauce is well-balanced with sour, sweet, and salty flavors. It has a thick crust which will really make you full. 99 pesos is definitely worth it especially if you are hungry.

S&R's Clam Chowder is indeed one of the best in town. It is fully loaded with clams and potato so one order can serve as a dinner for a health-buff person It is not super creamy so you will not be tired of its taste right away. This is my "must-order" item in S&R paired with a glass of bottomless drink (usually Coke Zero/Light).

So what are you waiting for? Hurry to the nearest S&R now!


Cheers,
Captain Food

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hungry Pac's Cheesecake

Hungry Pac is a famous cake store in Ayala Malls (Alabang Town Center, Trinoma, Glorietta, etc). They are famous for their simple yet super moist and chocolatey Chocolate Cake. Lately, they are also selling the classic New York Cheesecake!


First bite and I fell in love. It is not like the normal cheesecake which has the texture like its just out of the refrigerator. Instead it has a mamon like softness but is super fine like cream cheese. I assume this is the type that is being baked because of its consistency. As for the taste, it has the right balance of sweetness and cheese flavors, which melts in your mouth. 

Reasonably priced at 65 pesos, this treat can surely capture your heart and taste buds. Try it now!

Cheers,
Captain Food

Monday, September 17, 2012

Alba - Spanish Restaurant in the Heart of Makati

One of our colleagues in work, recently celebrated his 5th year work anniversary. Fortunately, we got invited in the celebratory lunch. In the spirit of fine dining and courage to try something new, we all decided to try Alba, a Spanish restaurant in Polaris Street Bel-Air, Makati.

First step in the place makes me feel like I am in a classy home of a Spanish general. the interiors are  delicately furnished plus, the place is soothing because of the background feel-good music.  If you dine here, wearing a dress will indeed make you feel like a princess.

Elegant furnishings and paintings
A basket of bread is being given to customers as a welcome snack.  Is it good? Yes- it is freshly baked. Actually, because of its goodness, I even requested for a refill.

free bread that is super fresh and yummy!
We ordered several dishes from appetizers up to main course, as follows:


Croquetas de Pollo ( Croquettes of chicken served with Aioli sauce. ), 170 pesos

creamy mashed potato, chicken and cheese inside
For those who are not familiar, Croquette is a breaded snack composed of mashed potato and meat inside. Alba's version has a creamy taste so i assume that they mixed cheese or cream with it. Overall, this is a perfect appetizer. Crunchy on the outside but mushy on the inside.


Champignon Al Ajillo (Button Mushrooms in Olive oil, garlic, and chili pepper), 150 pesos

Chunky and tasty mushrooms for health buffs out there!
I'm not a fan of mushrooms because of their distinct taste that is left in the tongue. Upon having a bite of this dish, that perception was changed. Because of the light and blended mix of the spices used in the mushrooms, all you can taste is the meat-like flavor, and the soft and chewy texture of the mushrooms.


Calamares Al Aji Oli (Grilled Squid with Olive Oil and Garlic), 190 pesos

Fresh squids
Just grilled squid with a slightly creamy sauce. Nothing special with the taste. The consistency of the squid meat is fine though since it was rightly cooked and not rubbery.


Tortilla de Gambas ( Shrimp omelet), 290 pesos

Can you see those fresh and spiced shrimps? Yummy!
You might think that this is just like a normal omelet- but No. The egg seems to be flavored with several "secret" spices, which made it delicious. A plus factor is that the shrimp toppings are big, fresh, and tasty! But if you are tired with eggs every morning, just try ordering something different.


Mahi Mahi Frescas (marinated fresh mahi-mahi fillet in olive oil, white wine, vinegar, and garlic), 180 pesos.

Simple and healthy mahi-mahi dish
The dish sounds super healthy right? Imagine having fish marinated in a healthy blend of olive oil and vinegar. As for the taste, it is ok, but not really impressive. The taste can be similar to a normal fish marinated in vinegar. The good thing with this though is that you cannot trace the tangy flavor of fish due to the added spices.


Ostras a la Rockefeller (6 pcs.baked New Zealand oysters on the half shell, pinach, and cream cheese), 680 pesos

Just my type. can you give me more?
Baked mussels with cheese is really adorable right? This is one of the food that I can eat a lot without feeling full at all. Alba's version is one of the best I've tried since it is not super buttery, and has just the right cheese flavor.


Paella Marinara (saffron rice with variety of seafood), 490 pesos

Even a non-rice lover like me fell in love with Alba's Paella
Paella is the most famous Spanish dish known to man. Alba never disappointed us with their house specialty. The rice is mega flavored and you can definitely eat it on its own! The seafoods added both pretty presentation and under the sea taste of freshness. We are able to finish this big serving of Paella, and our favorite part is scooping off the toasted rice in the pan since it has a crunchy and spiced up characteristic.


Cochinillo Asado (oven roasted suckling pig), 470 pesos

Spanish version of the local Lechon
This is like eating a healthier version of lechon since it oven baked. One more good thing is that the fat within the skin looks like it was squeezed out. One reason I can think of is due to the oven baking process done to the pork. This dish is sinful but ultra crunchy and tasty ( not too salty). 

That ends our Alba lunch experience. As for the question of me going back to Spanish restaurants- definitely Yes. It was my first time, and I really enjoyed it. Alba will surely be one of my top food choices next time I ran out of places to eat.

Cheers, 
Captainfood