Yoshinoya’s Yakiniku and Katsudon – More Rants than Raves

Here’s another super overdue post.

Last August, Yoshinoya had this promo Buy 1, Take 1 on their Yakiniku and Katsudon. We haven’t tried anything from Yoshinoya yet so we decided to head to their branch in SM Mall of Asia to take advantage of the promo with our printouts of the coupon.

Yoshinoya - CertifiedFoodies.com

When we got there, the Yoshinoya girl at the counter told us there’s no pork available for the Katsudon. We can only choose between chicken or fish. Since it was Kien who wanted that, we gave him the choice. He opted for the Chicken Katsudon.

Before I even let you know what we think about the Katsudon and Yakiniku, I just wanted to say that I was extremely disappointed with Yoshinoya’s crew in SM MOA. When we got there, most of the tables inside their store were already occupied except for this one almost at the corner, with sofas on both sides. The table still needed to be cleaned and we looked around to ask for assistance. There were 3 crew members just chattering away at the other side of the store, near the comfort room (I guess). We called them out. They looked at our direction, then went on with their chattering, ignoring us. We had to call out the attention of the crew at the counter to ask someone to clean up our table. While Kien was doing this, I already started clearing our table.

Sorry, but it really irritates me when people don’t perform their jobs well. I mean, I’m okay with the chattering, but if a customer calls your attention to request assistance, you should accommodate them! Those 3 crew members (1 woman, 2 men) didn’t even bother to call someone else if they were too freaking busy to assist us. Sheesh. As much as I wanted to talk to their manager because of their behavior, I decided not to ’cause we just started our day. And we thought we were going to enjoy a good meal at Yoshinoya.

Going back to the food, we had 2 separate coupons for the Yakiniku and Katsudon. So, we ended up with 4 bowls to share among us 3.

Yoshinoya's Beef Yakiniku and Chicken Katsudon - CertifiedFoodies.com

First, let me tell you about their Chicken Katsudon. It was just plain Katsudon. Nothing really memorable. Kien makes a better Katsudon actually. Plus, one of the chicken pieces we got had this burnt taste. We didn’t finish them because the chicken was also not tender at all.

Yoshinoya's Chicken Katsudon - CertifiedFoodies.com

Next, the Beef Yakiniku. We enjoyed it more than the Katsudon. Though it was too sweet for Mai, I still enjoyed it a lot. I just wish there’s not much fat there.

Yoshinoya's Beef Yakiniku - CertifiedFoodies.com

I’ve heard of raves about Yoshinoya’s Katsudon and Yakiniku, so I was quite surprised that we were disappointed by what we tasted. Our first dining experience at Yoshinoya left a bad taste in my mouth to the point that I would’ve needed Olay Regenerist or some kind of anti-aging cream to hide the frustration on my face as we left their SM MOA store. My guess is those people who are raving about Yoshinoya dined in their other branches. Or, it could be because they had a buy one, take one promo, they weren’t concerned about the quality of their food.

We really thought we’d have a great meal at Yoshinoya that’s why it was the first thing on our itinerary that day. When we finished our meals, we weren’t full and satisfied. It did affect our day. Now, I don’t know if I’d want to try Yoshinoya’s food again. But, maybe…just maybe… I’ll try their Beef Yakiniku again, their Gyudon and other items on their menu at another branch.

Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream – My New Indulgence

Sadly, Haagen-Dazs has decided to close their operations here in the Philippines.  Click here to read more.

I’ve been wanting to try Haagen-Dazs ice cream for months now and it was only last September that I finally had a taste of their luscious ice cream. The idea came to me ’cause I was having a really rough day and I needed something to boost my mood. And, so, with my brother accompanying me, we decided to finally head out to Häagen-Dazs in SM Mall of Asia to try their ice cream.

Haagen-Dazs in SM Mall of Asia - CertifiedFoodies.com

Some may be a li’l intimidated to try Haagen-Dazs’ ice cream. I can’t really blame them because, first, the name is hard to pronounce. Hahaha. Seriously. I can’t really pinpoint where the name Häagen-Dazs originated, but this brand of ice cream was established by two Polish entrepreneurs back in the 60’s.

Another reason why most people I know haven’t tried Häagen-Dazs ice cream is because of the price, that you need a high-paying finance job to afford their ice cream. They’re really expensive, even for me who don’t usually care about the price as long as the food is great. So, that very first time in September that I got to try their world-famous ice cream, it took me a bit longer to decide on what to order ’cause I forgot to withdraw money from my ATM account (hahaha). Good thing one of their staff gave us their menu so we can decide on what to order within my budget. Oh, I love their menu! I wanted to take them home with me! *LOL*

Haagen-Dazs menu - CertifiedFoodies.com

I also love the ambiance inside their store. Their staff were also very friendly. The guy at the counter even offered to take our photos, but I declined ’cause I looked like a mess after what transpired the night before. Anyway, their staff who was waiting on us to order was very patient and even suggested a couple of things we should try. I so wanted to try their Fondue, but I was afraid my bro and I won’t be able to finish everything since we’re planning on having dinner later.

Waiting on our Haagen-Dazs ice cream - CertifiedFoodies.com

Continue reading Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream – My New Indulgence

Gelatissimo : My First Gelato Experience

Yes, it’s my first time enjoying a cup of gelato. And all I can say is I don’t think I’m going back to eating plain ice cream very soon. Thanks to Gelatissimo Cafe at Trinoma!

Gelatissimo Cafe in Trinoma - CertifiedFoodies.com

If you’re not yet familiar what gelato is, it’s actually Italy’s variant of ice cream. It’s mostly made up of the same ingredients as other frozen dairy desserts, but the difference is how it’s frozen. Also, gelato is known to have less butterfat and sugar contents. I guess that’s why it became an instant hit here in the Philippines.

Kien and I desperately wanted to try gelato after reading  “Eat, Pray, Love”. Since we were scheduled to watch The Social Network at Trinoma, we decided to head out to Gelatissimo.

Gelatissimo flavors - CertifiedFoodies.com

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Creamy Pesto Pasta and Grilled Chicken Recipe

Fazoli's at Eastwood City, Libis - Photo from shootdelay.juddstamaria.com - CertifiedFoodies.com
Image credit: Shootdelay

I would never forget the very first time I had my taste of Pesto Pasta at Fazoli’s, Eastwood City. I was in elementary that time, and like most people my age, I hated herbs and vegetables. My sister and I had no idea what Pesto was back then, and because it sounded delicious (she didn’t want me to order the same thing she did), she ordered that for me. I didn’t enjoy any bit of it, but since it’s a bit expensive I tried with all my might to finish the whole plate. I even remember saying, “Lasang puno (It tastes like a tree),” and it made my sister laugh. So, I learned my lesson and made a mental note to avoid food that has anything to do with Pesto.

But weird as it may seem, I think maturing into an adult is accompanied by a huge change with food palatability. We realize that vegetables aren’t that bad tasting after all, and that our food choices no longer fall under just two taste categories – sweet and salty. There is now the delectable bitter, the sour, or the hot/spicy (though technically spicy is not a flavor or taste. It’s a sensation. Try putting chili on your tongue and on your lip/skin. They experience the same thing – heat.)

Moving forward. As I started exploring the whole variety of flavors I could experience in the world, I found “Pesto” once again. This time, it’s not on a chalkboard menu at Fazoli’s, but on a backlit display of World Chicken at TriNoma Mall, Quezon City. The food adventurer inside me took over, and soon I had a plate with a whopping serving of Pesto Cream Pasta, Potato Salad, and Grilled Chicken with Ranch Barbecue Sauce. If we were not inside a mall, I’d lick my whole plate clean because I was sure I had a taste of heaven. From then on, I would always opt for Pesto Cream Pasta, and even influencing my other friends to give it a try. They loved it.

I had many failed attempts on making Pesto Cream before. Not that I don’t have the skill to make it, but because I found the ingredients to be a bit pricey. So a big thanks to my sister, Mhel, for shouldering the expenses as a gift on my birthday, and to my friend, Katrina Castro, for giving me the idea.

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken - CertifiedFoodies.com

Let’s start with the Basil Pesto recipe. I made this the day before my birthday because I thought it would take hours to finish, but in less than 20 minutes I was done.


Basil Pesto Recipe

Makes about 1 cup.


3 garlic cloves

1/3 cup pine nuts

Expensive!! Php 360/100grams, but don’t worry you’ll only need 50 grams for this recipe.
You can substitute pine nuts with toasted walnuts or almonds. Cashews should work well too.

Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe - Pine Nuts - CertifiedFoodies.com

2 cups fresh basil leaves
(Very cheap!)

Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe - Basil Leaves - CertifiedFoodies.com

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Expensive! Php 96 for a 250-ml bottle. We bought this brand. It’s the cheapest.

Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe - Extra Virgin Olive Oil - CertifiedFoodies.com

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Expensive! Php170+ / 100grams. Perfect Italiano was the only available parmesan cheese available.

Creamy Pesto Pasta - Parmesan Cheese - CertifiedFoodies.com

Salt and pepper



Note: If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender (or a Tupperware Speedy Chopper if you have one) or manually grind the ingredients using a mortar and pestle. Make sure everything’s chopped into bits to minimize grits or coarse grains in your pesto sauce.

1. Chop garlic and pine nuts in food processor. Pulse a few times.

2. Add the basil and pulse a few more times.

3. Add the olive oil slowly while the food processor is running.

4. Scrape down the sides of the processor, add the grated cheese, pulse again to blend.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Refrigerate/Freeze the basil pesto mixture.

Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe - Pesto Sauce in the food processor - CertifiedFoodies.com

FYI: If you refrigerate Pesto Cream, it could only last 1 WEEK max! But if you freeze it, it can last for many, many months.


Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe


1 cup of Basil Pesto (Recipe above)

250 ml or 1 cup of All-purpose Cream

2 tbsp. of Olive oil

1/2 kilo of linguine pasta (or any kind of pasta would do)

Salt and Pepper

Creamy Pesto Pasta - CertifiedFoodies.com


1. Use a sauce pan on low heat.

2. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil.

3. Put 1 cup of Basil Pesto, then stir to warm it evenly.

4. Add the 1 cup of All-purpose cream slowly, then stir.

5. You can add 1/3 cup of pasta water (the water you used in cooking your pasta) to thin out the sauce.

6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Cook for 5 minutes.

8. Slowly pour to your cooked linguine pasta (al dente).


Grilled Chaicken with Creamy Pesto Pasta Recipe - CertifiedFoodies.com

Grilled Chicken Recipe


1 kilo of Chicken Breast Fillet

2 tbsp. of Brown sugar

2 tbsp. Olive Oil

3 tbsp. of Garlic Powder

Salt and Pepper

Lemon Juice / Calamansi



1. Flatten chicken breasts so they would be equal in thickness. You can use a bottle to flatten them or a meat tenderizer.

2. Drizzle generously with olive oil.

3. Add the garlic powder and lemon juice / calamansi.

4. Salt and pepper to taste.

5. Grill until well done, about 5 minutes per side.

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken on the side - CertifiedFoodies.com

There you have it. It’s that easy. I just made my own simple gravy to accompany my grilled chicken and served it with my Creamy Pesto Pasta. It’s a perfectly healthful meal to share with your family and friends. So go ahead, try it and tell me how your own version went.

Krispy Kreme’s Baked Creations

Krispy Kreme's Baked Creations - CertifiedFoodies.comA few months ago (yes, this is a long overdue post), Krispy Kreme launched their new line of goodies – Baked Creations. They had a Brunch Buddy Treats promo in September where the first 100 for each Krispy Kreme branch to post about their brunch buddy on Krispy Kreme’s Facebook page will receive a free brunch.

My brother Kien and I joined the promo. We’re big fans of Krispy Kreme’s glazed doughnuts so we were excited to try their new baked goodies. Initially, we had separate branches because we didn’t have any plans yet on where we’ll be claiming our free brunch. When we finally decided to go to Greenhills for our bi-monthly food trip, I requested if I can claim my free brunch there along with my bro.

I didn’t get a response yet regarding my request when we arrived in Krispy Kreme Greenhills on the 30th of September. But, I’m sure glad they accommodated my request. And, I would like to commend their staff at their Greenhills branch. They were all oh-so friendly. Thumbs up! ^_^

Going back to Krispy Kreme’s new Baked Creations, there are actually two variants to choose from – Pull Aparts and Kruffins. My bro and I decided we try one from each variant. Our free brunch included free Orange You Glad. I find it very refreshing. It’s a mix of navel, mandarin and tangerine orange flavors.Krispy Kreme Orange You Glad - CertifiedFoodies.comThe Baked Creations Pull Aparts are for those who prefer savory flavors for breakfast. They tasted like croissant with added flavor, mostly because of the toppings, meat and dips that come along with them. They have 4 flavors that you can choose from: Cheese (Php 65), Sausage and Cheese (Php 70), Bacon and Cheese (Php 70), and Cinnamon (Php 65). Kien chose the one with bacon, of course.

Krispy Kreme Pull Apart Bacon and Cheese - CertifiedFoodies.com

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Merienda at The French Baker

Last month, after our lunch at Bigby’s Restaurant and some window-shopping and strolling at SM Mall of Asia, we headed to The French Baker for some merienda or light snack. Well, that light merienda turned to a very fulfilling meal at 4PM.

The French Baker at SM Mall of Asia - CertifiedFoodies.com

I’ve been to French Baker a couple of times before because my mother loves their breads and I enjoy their pasta so much. Mai haven’t been there yet so we decided to order some familiar food on their menu.

The French Baker Iced Mocca and Four Seasons - CertifiedFoodies.com

First, our drinks. I ordered a tall glass of French Baker’s Iced Mocca (Php 52) and Mai chose the Four Seasons (Php 48). Nothing new or surprising with the flavors as expected, but we enjoyed how refreshing and ice-cold they were when served.

The French Baker Potato Salad - CertifiedFoodies.com

We were then served our starter (yep, we ordered a salad for merienda time *LOL*) – Potato Salad topped with crispy bacon bits. It was served cold and really tasty. I love that the chunky slices of potatoes give you a li’l bite or crunch. I also loved the simple presentation.

Continue reading Merienda at The French Baker