Celebrate Christmas Early at Vask Tapas Room’s Sunday Brunch Buffet

Only in the Philippines can you witness people embracing and celebrating the Christmas spirit as early as September. And it’s not unusual at all to see decorated Christmas trees and hear joyous holiday jingles in homes, malls, and anywhere else in the country. Joining in with the Filipino’s contagious holiday vibe, Vask Tapas Room in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig has opened their doors for people who wish to celebrate Christmas early with their ‘Comida de Navidad’ Sunday Brunch Buffet.

Vask Tapas Room Comida de Navidad Spanish Tapas Brunch Buffet BGC Taguig


Comida de Navidad Sunday Brunch at Vask Tapas Room 

Vask Tapas Room launched their ‘Comida de Navidad’ Sunday Brunch Buffet last November 15, 2015 and it will run until the 27th of December, making Vask the perfect venue for a pre- or post-Christmas celebration with your friends and family.

Facade of Vask Tapas Room Spanish Restaurant BGC Taguig

Allow us to walk you through the delectable spread of holiday favorites you can enjoy at Vask this Christmas season.

Dining Area of Vask Tapas Room Restaurant BGC Taguig

After making ourselves comfortable in our seats, our server asked us to choose between their free-flowing white or red wine sangrias. Since Mhel’s palate is more familiar with the flavors and tannins in wines, she went for the red wine sangria, while I played safe with the white.

Continue reading Celebrate Christmas Early at Vask Tapas Room’s Sunday Brunch Buffet

My Unforgettable McCormick Flavor Nation Festival Experience

McCormick has proved once again that they know the perfect recipe for an epic party – food, music, arts, and booze – at the first (hopefully, not the last) McCormick Flavor Nation Festival, held at the Activity Center of Bonifacio High Street in Taguig City last May 16, 2015.

McCormick Flavor Nation Festival at Active Fun in Bonifacio High Street Taguig City


McCormick Flavor Nation Festival

Dubbed as the biggest foodie event of this summer, McCormick Flavor Nation Festival was a celebration of more than a decade of the Filipinos’ patronization of the reliable line of products by McCormick. It was obvious: brand recognition was not the target of this this event. McCormick is already a household name, and we’re all familiar with their herbs and spices. In fact, there are usually sections in supermarkets dedicated solely to displaying McCormick products. This gastronomic festivity was actually geared to introducing loyal customers to unique and surprising ways of using McCormick products to elevate the flavors of food and (who knew?) even drinks!

For PHP 150, attendees were each given an Event Passport and a complimentary McCormick Starter Pack loot bag, containing select McCormick products worth PHP 100 and a copy of the February 2015 issue of Appetite Magazine.

Event Passport for McCormick Flavor Nation Festival in Bonifacio High Street Taguig

Photo grabbed from Jill of @TheFoodScout

The Event Passport gave us access to savor sample size dishes from all 10 participating concessionaires, taste drinks prepared by the resident mixologist, watch live musical performances, and get a chance to win amazing prizes from their on-site raffles and contests.


McCormick Infused Dishes

The first purveyor that I visited was Fived Rice by Chef John Reyes, featuring the chef’s interpretation of the three variants of McCormick Rice Cookers – Biryani Rice, Nasi Lemak Rice, and Hainanese Rice.

McCormick Rice Cookers Recipe Mix at McCormick Flavor Nation Festival

My favorite among the three was the Biryani Rice for its appetizing color and bold flavor. Plus, it was topped with raisins and cashew nuts, giving the rice dish an interesting texture.

Continue reading My Unforgettable McCormick Flavor Nation Festival Experience

Fun Times, Good Food at Detalle Bar + Kitchen

Because we’re food bloggers, Ken and I are usually our friends’ go-to resource persons when it comes to restaurant recommendations. We have many favorite places (we haven’t written about most of them yet though), and so we have an arsenal of personal recommendations. One place that has been on top of my list since we went there a few months ago is Detalle Bar + Kitchen in Ortigas.

Detalle Bar and Kitchen in Ortigas Center, Pasig

Detalle is sort of a hidden hangout. They don’t have a huge sign that’ll help you pinpoint their place, but that’s one of the reasons why I love them. The thing that’ll help you locate this restobar is the Century Tuna billboard at the corner of Meralco Avenue and Doña Julia Vargas Avenue – they’re right below it. 😀

The Century Tuna billboard right above detalle bar and kitchen in Ortigas Center[2]

Detalle is owned by sisters Bernice and Denise Lim, with cousins as partners who also happen to be their friends, which is why you’ll get that friendly vibe as soon as you enter their restaurant. Detalle has this particularly chill environment where you can spend time catching up with friends or even getting to know someone new… and special. 😉 It’s the perfect venue to enjoy their cool drinks, a relaxing ambiance and delicious food.

Detalle in Ortigas Center[2]

My favorite spot is on the second floor lounge where you’ll find big couches and coffee tables. They also have a bar there so you can easily order food and drinks whenever. Their staff has been quick in attending to our orders or needs the 2 times we’ve been there. 🙂

Continue reading Fun Times, Good Food at Detalle Bar + Kitchen

Shop For Great French Champagne

People who want to shop French Champagne should consider that they have many options when looking. There are several styles of French Champagne on the market, but people need to make sure that they are getting the Champagne that tastes the best to them. The best part of choosing is that it can come in a variety of flavors. Some Champagnes sparkle more than others, and some are made from special wines.

Top Champagne brands from Wine Folly



The sparkle that is produced in the wine occurs because of fermentation that is done on the wines. The sparkle for some wines is very intense, and that is how people like it. Other people prefer their Champagnes to be a little more dull. The less sparkle a Champagne has, the more someone can taste the actual flavor of the wine. This means that people need to choose carefully when they are looking for the right Champagne.



Many people prefer to get a Champagne from the same vineyard that produces their favorite wine. This means that someone’s favorite wine is used to make the Champagne they prefer the most. There are other times when people are going to choose Champagnes that are markedly different from the wines that they like. The variety that people prefer in their wines speaks to the vineyard they like the most.

Portrait and new menu items



There are many sizes of Champagne on the market that people can enjoy. There are large sizes, but there are smaller bottles that people can use for parties, too. People must choose the amount of Champagne that they need for their party, but they also need to make sure they can serve everyone comfortably.

When people want to select the right kind of Champagne for their purposes, they must remember that the flavor, sparkle and size of the Champagne. Champagne is a great way to celebrate with loved ones, and it can be used to produce some of the most amazing drinks in the world. With the help of the right Champagne, it is easy to celebrate in style.

A Tasty Shift to Wine

Keep calm and drink wineI remember distinctly when I first had a taste of wine. It was during a New Year’s Eve celebration from years ago and I recall hating its taste and how I felt after. However, over time, my palate broadened, especially when we started this food blog. My love for wine though came 2 years after.

I currently handle social media for restaurants based in the US. And if you’re not aware yet, Americans are big on drinking wine with their meals. I’ve always wondered about what it is about wines that they loved so much. Since my work somehow forced me to learn more about wine, I read articles upon articles about it. Eventually, the interest grew.

I took an online wine course to help me understand wine better. It was for work. Though it didn’t completely hook me in, I got quite interested to buy my first bottle of wine ever. It was a scary thought, fearing I’d be encountering snobs who’ll laugh at a wine novice like I am.

After that first bottle of Merlot I bought, a 2010 Louis Chatel Merlot, I started to understand why people loved drinking wine. Aside from the obvious reason that it’s alcoholic and can help loosen you up 😀 , I experienced firsthand how wines enhance the flavors of various dishes. The rule “red for meats, white for seafood” was the only one I kept in mind. But, I’ve broken this rule many times and still found myself enjoying every sip of my wine selections. Oh, and wines make you happy, based on my experience. 😉 And they’re good for the heart too.

Last year, when we got invited to a short wine class at The Wine Museum (which I haven’t blogged about yet – sheesh. Boo to backlogs), imagine my excitement. 😉 Though I already know everything they said, it was good to learn that there are wine experts here in my country who are more than welcoming to encourage us Filipinos to start drinking and enjoying wine over spirits. I’ll be writing a more in-depth post about wine appreciation very soon, so stay tuned for that.

Wine tasting at The Wine Museum

Over the past year, I’ve tasted various wines and I loved each of them. It’s now my choice of drink when I need a good ol’ drink at home or at a restaurant that serves wine by the glass. Right now, I’m loving these Chilean Merlot (right, pictured below), which I highly recommend for newbies to wine. They’re fruity and light.

Chilean wines

Hardys - wines from AustraliaI especially love the Frontera Merlot. It was so tasty, I think I finished it off in (less than) 2 days. 😀 If there’s one wine I’d buy a case of, this will be probably it. Or Hardys Chardonnay. You’ll need to chill it a bit through your freezer / chiller or a wine cooler maybe from online stores or a local wine store as white wines taste better when they’re chilled. Red wines are best poured at room temperature, FYI. 🙂

Right now, I’m sticking with these Chilean wines, but I might try a new bottle of Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon from California next time.

How about you? What wines have you tried and enjoyed so far? Share below! 🙂

Philippine Restaurant Week 2012 and Wine Depot Sale

All you foodies who have a special fondness for wine pairings or simply good food, over 100 of the best restaurants and hotels across the country are participating in Wine Depot’s Philippine Wine and Food Week, dubbed Restaurant Week 2012.

Philippine Food and Wine Restaurant Week - October 8-14, 2012

This is the fifth consecutive year of this special foodie event where the finest restaurants offer special menus and vino from Wine Depot for less than Php 1,000. You have until October 14, 2012, that’s Sunday, to wine and dine at our very own Restaurant Week.

Here are just some of the restaurants that are participating:

Some restaurants participating in Philippine Restaurant Week 2012

There’s Mario’s restaurant, The Cake Club (we’ll be posting about them next), and even restaurants in Cebu, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro, Boracay and Baguio. If you’d like check out the restaurants’ menus before you head over, click here.


Continue reading Philippine Restaurant Week 2012 and Wine Depot Sale

Top Picks at 2nd Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell

If there’s one day we allow ourselves to completely indulge on good food, it’s at the Ultimate Taste Test. This time is no different. Upon seeing the lineup of food purveyors that will be presenting their new products for the coming holidays, we couldn’t wait to be there.

Our 2nd Rockwell Ultimate Taste Test tickets

Sadly, Ken couldn’t come because he had to work, so I invited a long-time friend of mine to join me. He’s a food lover too and we both genuinely enjoyed the experience together. Thanks, Alex! 🙂

Since I came from work, I wanted to take a few winks before I went to Rockwell. We finally started our UTT food trip at around 3pm and we finished past 6pm. Take note that we didn’t get to taste everything. Some of the purveyors there are already familiar, so we chose to head on over to the new ones that piqued our interest the most. Plus, the fact that we were already too full at 30+ food items tasted, we just had to skip some.

Just like before, it was hard to pick our (mine and my friend’s) top favorites since there were many standouts, but the decision on who makes it here was all on me. 😉 In no particular order, here are our top favorites from the 2nd Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell:


Bayani Brew Iced Teas

Since there’s only one beverage at the event that we absolutely loved (except for the beer, of course), I’m putting Bayani Brew on top of our list. Dubbed as Filipino iced tea, their line of products are made of nutritious, local ingredients from Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Bulacan. Their section at the UTT was mostly crowded because they were very enthusiastic in telling people about their products. And it’s good to see that many were genuinely interested, including us. 🙂

Bayani Brew Iced Tea - ingredients from Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm

We were given a taste of 2 of their iced tea flavors. The original variant was a combination of calamansi, lemongrass and pandan. It has this refreshing aroma, and as soon as I took a sip, the exciting combination wanted me to drink some more.

The other flavor was Purple Leaf, brewed from sweet potato, purple leaf tops and lemongrass. What made this iced tea pink was the talbos ng kamote extract. It changes color after brewing, as we were told, thus, staying true to Bayani Brew’s promise of no artificial colors or flavors. If you like your iced tea with an extra dash of sweetness, you’d definitely love this one.

Ron Dizon, the Social Enterprise Head of Bayani Brew, said that they haven’t officially launched Bayani Brew yet, but the price is Php 35 per bottle when they become more readily available here in Metro Manila.

There’s one thing that Ron said that resonated in me – the fact that foreigners are more aware about the hard work of our very own Filipino farmers and the abundance of quality local ingredients that we have available. The beautiful lady pictured above is French, and she was very eager to tell us about the product and what they do, which is just amazing. That’s why we appreciate events like the Ultimate Taste Test where those businesses who can’t go on full-blast marketing are given a chance to let us know that they exist or what they have to offer.

Continue reading Top Picks at 2nd Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell

Sariwon Korean Barbecue at Bonifacio High Street

Sariwon Korean Barbecue, a newly opened restaurant in Bonifacio High Street Central, proves that Koreans and Filipinos are not only similar with their love for music and cheeky telenovelas; they also share a discerning palate for good food.

Sariwon Korean Barbecue at Bonifacio High Street Central

Awarded “Best Korean Restaurant” by NBC Broadcasting Company in 2005 and by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2007, Sariwon had a rather humble beginning. Her husband suffering from diabetes pushed Mrs. Bun-Im Koo to create her own bulgogi sauce from a mixture of various fruits and vegetables without using a single speck of sugar. Urged by neighbours and friends, they established their first restaurant in 1938, which transformed from a small diner with 27 seats to a whopping sitting capacity of 350 at their main branch in South Korea.

Every table in Sariwon is equipped with imported ceramic smokeless grills that have exhausts on the sides that suck out smoke from grilling, so you don’t have to worry about your clothes smelling of smoke upon leaving.

Smokeless grill on each table at Sariwon Korean Barbecue restaurant
After we’ve settled into our seats, we were warmly welcomed by our server, Joy, who was carrying a tray with six side dishes called Banchan. The first thing I recognized was Korea’s national dish – Kimchi.

Banchan side dishes and Sariwon's house salad

The names of the other side dishes, I asked our server to write down because there’s no way I could spell them myself. Shigumchi is blanched spinach leaves. Moosangchae, or seasoned Korean radish, reminded me of our very own achara. Kochu Meolchi Dokkeum is roasted anchovies with green chilli. They also have seasoned Korean bean sprouts or Kongnamul. Finally, there’s Tanhobak Sarada, which is mashed sweet pumpkin and potato, perhaps the Korean version of mashed potatoes. We forgot that these were side dishes, not appetizers, so when the other food arrived, there’s barely anything left on the plates.

Joy was attending to us during the whole dinner at Sariwon - here with our side dishes and salad Continue reading Sariwon Korean Barbecue at Bonifacio High Street

Dillingers 1903 Steak Brew RestoBar in Greenbelt 3

A few weeks ago, my nanay and I went out for our much-needed mother-daughter date. I had four vouchers bought from CashCashPinoy for 52% off on food and drinks from Dillingers 1903 Steak Brew restobar in Greenbelt 3. After hours of pampering from rO2 Beauty and Wellness Center, we were starving so we headed straight to the restaurant.

Dillingers 1903 Steak Brew in Greenbelt 3

Upon our arrival on the third floor of Greenbelt 3, we immediately saw Dillingers 1903. Okay, I asked a guard for the exact location. 😀 It was beside Red Box. And as soon as we got there, I couldn’t help but admire the design of the outside of the restaurant.

The wooden doors, the brick wall, the mix of hues of black, gold and gray, and the wide glass windows are reminiscent of something you’d see in a mafia movie. So, let’s go inside…

Continue reading Dillingers 1903 Steak Brew RestoBar in Greenbelt 3

Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet near Baguio

Though we’ve been to Baguio a lot of times in the past, we never got to see Strawberry Farm for some reason. So, when were in Baguio last December, it was really part of our itinerary. We headed up there as early as 8am since we were going back to Manila in the afternoon.

We hired a taxi for the day and he was pretty familiar with the places in Baguio. He’s actually from La Trinidad, Benguet so getting there was a breeze.

As soon as I saw the strawberry farm itself, I got all excited. I love strawberries! No, I don’t like the powdered or artificial strawberry flavors. I want the actual fruit.

Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad in Baguio City - CertifiedFoodies.com

Outside the strawberry farm, there are a lot of people selling a lot of goodies. There are also pre-packed strawberries being sold there and you can choose to buy them instead of having to pick your own strawberries at the farm. But, I mean, c’mon. You’re already there so why not do it yourself, right? 😀

Pre-packed strawberries are being sold for Php 100-200 each - CertifiedFoodies.com

Before we get to the Strawberry farm, we had to try the Strawberry Taho in Baguio. It was sweet and I love that they put actual strawberries in the taho. Yum! 🙂

Strawberry Taho being sold at Strawberry Farm in Baguio - CertifiedFoodies.com

We also tried the Strawberry dirty ice cream being sold there. I forgot the price, but I think we paid Php 15 for this cone of ice cream. It’s a little bland for me compared to the ones you can buy at the grocery. But, yeah, duh, right? Of course, it’s being sold at a cheaper price so it was okay. There were bits of strawberries, and the flavor was just okay.Strawberry Ice Cream at Strawberry Farm in Baguio - CertifiedFoodies.com

Anyway, when we asked how much it is if we pick our own strawberries, they said it’ll cost Php 300 per kilo. Way expensive, right?! They explained that it covers those strawberries we’ll smash, plants we’ll damage, and those we’re going to eat while we were there. They have a point ’cause I saw a lot of other pickers actually doing all of the above. 😀

Continue reading Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet near Baguio