The extent of my adventurous spirit mostly exhibits itself as my hobby of trying out new restaurants/food. My palate is one of the things that make me feel really happy about myself. You can say that it’s something I’m steadily growing. It’s an exercise in acceptance (or even tolerance). It’s also an exercise in knowing a bit more about yourself.
And I just really like eating.
Eating out is something I enjoy doing alone as well. I call it a hobby because it is. I like the “me alone” time.
2017 introduced me to some good grub and a few places I’d readily recommend to people. I figured that, since I always do food posts on my IG, I might as well write about them here.
So, here we are – my favorite eats from last year:
Zao Vietnamese Bistro
Branch I went to: Promenade Greenhills
Vietnamese food has easily become one of my most favorites. There are plenty of tasty and healthy things to be had when you eat at a Vietnamese restaurant. Pho Hoa is a frequent lunch place for me and my office friends.
Oh, let me just say that when you like trying new food, you need to have food buddies who are just as willing to try. For me, my office friends are it. We end up at all sorts of places for a good meal.
I can’t remember why we were at Greenhills and I don’t recall if we specifically went there for Zao or if we just ended up there. Whichever was it, I enjoyed the vermicelli bowl plenty.
I guess the primary difference between Pho Hoa’s and Zao’s vermicelli bowls is in the vegetables they put in there. I have more or less no preference since they’re the same thing, despite the presentation. You mix everything together, like you would with a bibimbap, and pour the vinaigrette-ish thing on it for extra taste.
My friends tried the coffee and they liked it; I can’t tell you how it tasted because I don’t drink coffee, unfortunately.
One of these days, I’ll try to go back to try some of their other offerings. Not the coffee, though.
Made by: Brownie Bar
One way to have easy access to new grub is stopping by food fairs/bazaars/weekend markets. When the old Podium mall was still open, there used to be all these weeklong fair things. It’s a money sink but I had no regrets sinking my teeth into these marshmallows nicely spiked with bourbon, rum, and gin & tonic.
Yep, spiked! My favorite one of the 3 flavors is the bourbon, I think. The bourbon went well with the sweetness. Unlike the gin & tonic marshmallow, which smelled and tasted too strongly of the stuff for me.
If I recall it correctly, a pack of probably 6 marshmallows went for PHP 100. Not bad, considering how much liquor costs.
Pound by Todd English
Branch I went to: SM Megamall
The gist is A+++ truffle risotto tater tots. Seriously, if you like truffle and risotto – well, why not have them both in one easy-to-eat thing?
Oh, The sauce for the tater tots was a bit too strong for my liking, though, so I’ve mostly gone without it. Just so you know.
I tried the T.E. Burger (instead of the slider sampler that I originally wanted) and it was pretty nice. Nothing mind-blowing but it was a nice burger. The crunchiness of the onion rings gave the patty and squishy tomatoes an interesting contrast in texture and I’m all about texture so there’s that.
The iced tea was not too sweet and tasted more like tea instead of jacked-up-on-sugar.
Funny story, I ate here without having withdrawn money first because I asked and the waitstaff initially told me they accept ATM cards. It was payday Friday and I didn’t want to deal with a long queue at the nearest machine so yeah, why not?
It turned out they only can process payments made with ATM cards that had a Master or Visa on them. Ha ha ha ha ha. I had to leave my stuff with them to make a withdrawal, anyway.
It’s a good thing I hardly have any embarrassment left in my body. 10/10, will eat there again but with cash on hand.
Le Petit Soufflé
Branch I went to: SM Megamall
(From here onwards, you get the IG posts because all I can find are the extra bad photos I took, sorry!)
I LOVE THIS PLACE. The ambiance alone is worth the trip. That bakery, the plants, the decor, and the lighting made for a cozy atmosphere.
My mom and my cousin made me choose where to eat and I just had to suggest eating here. When I ate at Pound, it was a choice between that place and Le Petit Soufflé. Luckily, mom liked the menu and ordered the pomodoro. I had the mac & cheese. My cousin had the eggs benedict. We ordered some cheese & matcha puffs and a matcha soufflé pancake for dessert.
Good grub, I tell you. Good, good, good grub.
Their take on mac & cheese was interesting because it had tiny mushrooms in it and probably some other greens. I kinda expected it to be a disaster but it tasted great (I had a run-in with mac & cheese that had not-so-fresh arugula and boy, that was a ride and a half).
If you like matcha, the matcha pancake was delicious. Not too bitter and not too sweet, and it was so warm. So warm. My heart was warm. The puffs were nice, too, but the pancake is the bee’s knees.
Eat Like A Pharaoh
Address: 8022 Tanguile St., San Antonio, Makati
Mom called me out of the blue one day, telling me that she was at a Mediterranean restaurant of someone she knows and she wanted to know what to bring home.
I went with the shish taouk wrap and hummus salad. Mom also brought home some bolognese (BEST ACTUAL MEATBALLS EVER), chicken alfredo, and kofta. Needless to say, I enjoyed the bolognese the most because of the meatballs. They’re honest-to-goodness-made-of-actual-meat meatballs.
The shish taouk and kofta were things I’ve never tried before and they were pretty good, too.
The only thing I ended up not liking was the hummus, which was too sour for my taste. When all you know about hummus is the curry-flavored one, the real thing is just too out there.
Maybe I’ll get to like it eventually.
Branch I went to: The Podium Mall
I had a sit-down dinner with my work team as a Christmas get-together at Nono’s by merit of voting. I ordered the eggs benedict (I love this, I was the one who suggested it to my cousin when we were at Le Petit Soufflé) but found it too dry. I need all the hollandaise sauce I can get.
The fried truffle cheese wanton and crispy chicken that came with a honey + gravy dip more than made up for the sad eggs benedict, thankfully.
If I had to give you a recommendation, go for the chicken. The combination of honey and gravy is what I imagine chicken waffle tenders would taste and I’ve always wanted to have chicken waffle tenders.
I am a simple person with simple tastes, what can I say?
I’m looking forward to what 2018 will bring my way and I’ll try to share about it more. Who knows? Maybe I can branch out and eat at places outside of Manila. That’ll be fun, I think.
Until the next post, smell ya later!