Central Park Goodness

I feel really bad that this amazing restaurant was only our second choice that night because our first pick was full (jam-packed!).  I just want to smack myself for judging the place by the way it looks and the amount of people dining.  Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of people too but it’s nothing compared to the “first pick” where people were actually banned to step inside.  I just thought about what my dad use to say, you’ll know a restaurant is good if there are many people dining in.  In Central Park Restaurant‘s case, there’s a huge exception to that rule.

The service crew were very friendly and accommodating which is also why we were convinced to dine here.  Considering the amount of people dining in, their service was good and quite fast.  We got our orders in less than 15 minutes time.  Talk about a true Chinese fastfood experience!  We were pleased with the good start, and the free hot tea that they served.  But we were happier when we got to taste their food.  Here’s what we had..

Roast Pork Asado Rice Toppings

This was sooo good!  I had no regrets in getting this one. 🙂

Lechon Kawali Rice Toppings

Like the Asado, this was equally good too.  If not for the surreal amount of fat in that pork, we would have eaten every bit of it.  Remember, health comes first! haha

Central Park Special Dimsum

Ok, sorry, I totally forgot what this one was called.  They did name it after their restaurant but I’m not sure about that ‘Special Dimsum’ part.  Anyway, I thought about it because this one is really special.  It’s such a different way to serve pork dumplings.

It consists of the usual pork dumpling mixture with different varieties of vegetables and spices to make it unique.  What’s odd is that instead of the usual dumpling wrapper, they used ham to wrap the dumpling meat up.  They also have the same version except they used bacon as wrapper.  It’s a great idea to give your homemade dumplings a new twist.

We had the best meal of day and I’m really glad we went here.  We could’ve also ordered their yang chow rice since it looked so yummy but we’ll have leftovers for sure.  Value for money is great because their dishes, especially their rice toppings are pretty affordable.  Their rice toppings were priced from 100-150 Pesos per meal which is already a great deal considering the food tastes really gooood. 🙂

The interior looks nice with this huge wall art.  Everyday Fresh!

The place was quite small but it was enough to accommodate hungry tourists and visitors.  We’d definitely go back here when we’re in Baguio again and I hope you guys try it out too!

Central Park Restaurant
Kisad Road, Carino Street, Baguio City 2600, Benguet
Visit their Facebook Page. 🙂

The Newbie Seeks Help..

Behind every successful blog is a band of great followers and readers that support the blogger’s passion through interest and appreciation.  I’ve been truly blessed to have known a few awesome bloggers that really served as an inspiration to a newbie foodie blogger like me.  To top that, I’m so happy at how my blog is progressing as I get a few good feedback every now and then.  Food has been my passion for so long now and I’m very excited to continue on this wonderful journey that I’ve started.  Work has been pretty harsh this past few weeks but I always make it a point to share some good stuff if given the chance.

I have a long long long way to go in this adventure and I’m really excited to hear what other people think about The Foodscrapbook.  It’s very very new and it needs major improvement (major!) as it seems.  With that being said, I’m reaching out on every blogger or reader out there to give feedback and some sort of guidance on how I can lead this adventure to better and greater heights.      Any advice, comment, correction, and tip will be greatly appreciated (keep them coming as my room to grow is pretty big!).  My number one priority is to give back to my readers by sharing this gastronomic journal and what better way to improve than to hear from others about their perspective on The Foodscrapbook and food blogging in general.

These past few weeks/months have been FUN!  I got to know other foodies, stumble upon fantastic blogs, interact with other bloggers, and best of all, learn from them (a lot!).  It goes with saying, Blogging is not rocket science, it’s about being yourself, and putting what you have into it.

I hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

Cheers,

Nothing Beats Their Old Sizzle!

Going back to Baguio, our foodscapade continues as we visit another fave restaurant in the city.  True to it’s slogan, nothing really does beat the ol’ sizzle of Sizzling Plate Baguio as it is known to be one of the best sizzling stops in the summer capital.  Plus points for us since this restaurant is just across the hotel that we stayed in last month (wee!).  People flock over just to get a taste of their various Sizzling Plate specials and for this season, we do have to hustle.  To give you an idea of how crazy Baguio went on last month, here’s a good snapshot:

Need I say more?  But don’t be scared, we did have fun.  Festivals are indeed fun here in the Philippines. 🙂

Going back to Sizzling Plate Baguio was very heartwarming since we did really miss the food here.  We came a bit early for dinner that’s why there were only a few people.

The wooden interior gives a good western-ish theme to the place and it keeps it kinda warm given the chilly weather outside.  People started piling up minute after minute until it was actually dinner time.  All of their sizzling dishes come with free mushroom soup which is a perfect pair to your steak.

The cow doesn’t look to be happy.. obviously.. haha

We both had Tenderloin Steak served two ways.  One is the classic cut..

This time with gravy (yum!).  I had this medium cooked because I don’t want my beef all dried up.

another is called Tenderloin Bits where it’s cut into smaller pieces and served with veggies (excuse the blurry photo)..

It was really good and a very nice way to heat up in the cold Baguio climate.  We loved this restaurant so much that we went back the following day.  This time, we had a different set of orders.  I went for their Australian Beef Porterhouse Steak and I was so happy that it turned out pretty well.

The beef was so soft and fresh.  A true Australian quality beef!

We also had their Salisbury Steak which was definitely yummy.

It even tasted better with that egg on top (sorry, the egg is covering the pattie..).  You’ll never go wrong here because they serve the freshest and finest choice of meat cuts everyday.  Value for money is fair enough since their food prices range from just 100+ up to 200+ per meal.  Their Australian Beef servings usually cost 200+.

Sizzling Plate Baguio has three branches and my favorite is the one in Abanao Extension, Cariño Street.  There’s also one along Session Road and another in SM City Baguio.  I had a bit of a bad experience with the one in Session Road because the staff wasn’t very accommodating and they served me with chewy steak.  Because of that, we said that we’ll always go to their biggest branch in Abanao.

Sizzling Plate Baguio is open daily from 10 AM to 9 PM and you may visit their branches below.  Happy Sizzling! 🙂

Sizzling Plate – SM
Lower Ground Floor Entertainment Area
Upper Session Rd., Luneta Hill, Baguio City
Tel. no. (074) 619-0826
 
Sizzling Plate Cariño
135 Abanao Extension cor. Cariño St., Baguio City
Tel. no. (074) 443-8486
 
Sizzling Plate Session
86 Session Road, Baguio City
Tel. no. (074) 442-4219

Crave Rave : Blueberry Waffles by Red Mango

It’s waffle time!

I’m totally in love with this Blueberries n’ Cream Waffle with Yogurt on top (cute heart-shaped waffles).  It’s one of those oh-so-yummy ways to enjoy your favorite Red Mango fro-yo!  Waffles were freshly made so I enjoyed the hot + cold sensation due to their lovely original frozen yogurt.  They also have Banana Almond Waffle and Green Tea Waffle (healthy!) which you can top with a selection of yogurt flavors and toppings.

Beautiful isn’t it? haha  and that cream on the side complimented it pretty well.  At 125 Pesos, the serving is fair enough given that the combination tastes so good.  Although, they could have made the waffles bigger (more waffles for me!).

Know more about Red Mango (Branches, Menu, Promos) here. 🙂

Blast from the Past at 50’s Diner

If you have read my previous blogs here and here, you’re probably aware that I’ve been on a short trip recently.  We went to our now fave chill spot, Baguio and it continues to just amaze us everytime.  I admit, I’ve added a few pounds yet again to my exercise-lacking bod. hahaha  I know, I’ll start to live right, I SWEAR!  To prove that, I’ve just signed up for the free Zumba class here in the office next week.  (wish me luck, really..)

Glenn’s 50’s Diner marked our first stop as we had our brunch that morning.  We arrived in Baguio at around 11 am after 7 hours in the bus and it was too early to check in the hotel so we decided to eat first.  50’s Diner is one of our many favorite restaurants in Baguio so we never fail to visit each time we’re there.

The name itself and the exterior is a major giveaway to what this restaurant is all about.  It has been named as one of the famous snack bars/restaurants in Baguio not just because of the way it looks but also because of the delicious yet affordable food they serve.

Interior-wise, the place looks very much vintage just like how it looks from the outside.  There’s a bar at the side where their famous milkshake or ice cream shake is prepared.  Aside from milkshakes, they also serve fresh fruit shakes and what better way to start the morning with a refreshing Ripe Mango Shake.

As you wait for your food to be served, you may feast your eyes on the wall decorations and the interior design since you won’t see many of them here in Manila or there in Baguio.  Feels like a 50’s flashback you never had!

For this one, we ordered light meals that were not too light because of their large portion.  Most of their dishes here, although set for solo, are more likely to be shared by two since they really are big in serving.  Here is where I saw the biggest club sandwich I have ever seen up to date.  Too bad I don’t have a photo because I did not dare order it knowing I will be consumed by it instead of the other way around. hahaha

We had Fish and Chips (cream dory fillet + potato fries)

and Pork Cordon Bleu (which somehow tasted like chicken..)

Please excuse the bite, someone was pretty hungry… haha

So far, these two tasted good.  Given that these are affordable, the taste was fairly justified.  I’ve tried some of their dishes before, some were OK,  some were good, but it’s best to just be the judge of it yourself.  All I know is that I keep coming back because it’s quite cheap, simple, and I love their milkshake!  Here’s a glimpse of their menu:

After that fulfilling meal, we were set to conquer the day. haha  We just loved the cold summer breeze in Baguio so much that we decided to stay outside of the diner for a while before going back to the hotel.

This red vintage car never leaves this spot!  Cute right?  This is probably owned by Glenn too, who knows.

If you’re looking for affordable food, or a worthy snack bar in Baguio, be sure to drop by 50’s Diner. 🙂

GLENN 50’s Diner is located in Baguio along General Luna Road (near Teacher’s Camp, Leonard Wood Road).  They have a new branch along the Military Cut-off Road.  Just tell the cab driver to take you there. 🙂

Burger Avenue : Home of the Ridiculous Burger

Ridiculous, one word and a rather unusual way to describe food, is a fair enough justification to what Burger Avenue has to offer.  A lot of things might come into mind when you say Ridiculous Burger but the real deal about it is what makes it unique in it’s own way.

What is the Ridiculous Burger?  Freshly grilled ALL beef triple patty sandwiched on an oatmeal bun laced with crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes and three cheese slices.  The challenge?  Finish it all up in 5 minutes and it’s FREE!

This might sound like an amazing deal but wait till you actually try the challenge.  I haven’t done it myself because I know for sure that I won’t be able to pull it off but I’ve seen some who did and you can just see the pain in their faces as they race through time trying to prove themselves.  Kudos! to those who were able to win it especially those who did it in only a minute or so (talk about skills!).

Aside from the famous Ridiculous Burger, most of the other burgers that we tried were really good.  We love this place because they are open until past midnight and it’s perfect for after those stressful long nights in the office when most of the other good restaurants are already closed.

They have a wide assortment of burger and sandwich creations in their menu which I’m sure are all good to try.

We had my favorite that evening, the Garlic Cream Cheese Burger

and the Cheese Steak Salpicao Sandwich, which is their version of the Cheese Steak and Beef Salpicao combined.  This one is really good and I recommend this one as a must try!

Both of these delicious sandwiches were paired with the best burger buddies in the world, Fries and Onion Rings!

Value for money is great and they have Jr. and Regular sizes for some burgers.  This gives you the option to go for the portion that suits you best so that you’re not bitin or you don’t overeat as well.

Their place looks quite cozy since they are occupying a pretty small space but it accommodates enough customers.  Behind this wall is their kitchen.  Burgers are flame-grilled by the way. 🙂

Notice the hearts on the walls?  Valentines Decorations!  I’d give them A for Effort. haha

Here we have their sort of wall of fame for those brave souls that won the Ridiculous Challenge.  You can see the photos posted in the corner.

Again, we had a fun evening well spent here in Burger Avenue.  I must say that we do tend to go back here every once in a while especially when the craving for Burgers hit us like a rock. hehe

Burger Avenue is located in The A Venue Mall along Makati Avenue and in the Fort Strip in Bonifacio Global City.  For delivery, call 729-91-08.  See terms in their website.

Dinner Date with Pepper Lunch

After a week of silence I’m finally back!  It’s always fun to go on long and well-deserved breaks especially during the most stressful times of our dear lives.  I know a lot would agree.  I quote a famous line that I read here in the office, “The Time to Relax is when You don’t have Time for It“.  That pretty much says it all!  New posts about what foodscapades I recently had will come soon.  For now, I just want to share about one of my favorite DIY restaurants here in Manila.

Pepper Lunch isn’t new to most Manileños as DIY restaurants boomed a couple of years back.  Although many variations have come out specializing in DIY steaks, Pepper Lunch would still have to be the best in my opinion.  Their flagship store, which is in Powerplant Mall, is our favorite spot.  Even though the food that they serve in all other branches are the same, for some reason there seems to be something different about this one in Powerplant.  I just keep missing it and wanting to come back! haha

You might notice that it looks kinda different, that’s because this branch was recently renovated.  The interior is more relaxed now compared to the old one.  They made it well-ventilated this time because it’s really hard to eat in a place that’s smokin’ hot where people are all cooking at the same time.

How cute is that wall art?  My watermark blended in perfectly! haha

It’s almost closing time so you’re seeing the final few customers.

They recently changed their menu and took out the Pork Pepper Steak and I’m not sure why.  Perhaps more customers are fans of beef rather than pork.  For that dinner, we had our usual, the Beef Pepper Rice..

and the new Yakiniku Beef Pepper Rice..

These babies taste even more awesome if seasoned with their special sauces, the Amakuchi and Karakuchi.

Here’s a glimpse of their menu but you may also visit their website and blog for promotions.  Tip:  They do have a good bargain during weekdays!

What’s also fun in their restaurant is the video playback of their Pepper Lunch Tutorials where they teach you how to prepare and eat your Pepper Lunch dish at it’s best.

Pepper Lunch originated from Japan where the “hot plates” or the sizzling plates were patented.  Aside from Japan and the Philippines, there are over 300 branches all over Asia as well as US and Australia.  This is definitely another must-try!  Check now if you have a Pepper Lunch branch near you so you don’t miss out! 🙂

Pepper Lunch Branches:
 
The Power Plant Mall
Concours Level
Tel: +63 2 895 3164
Fax: +63 2 895 6185
Hours: 11am – 10pm
 
Alabang Town Center
2nd floor Corte de Las Palmas
Tel : 556 8498
Hours: 11am – 9pm
 
Robinsons Ermita
G/F Padre Faura Wing
Operating Hours
Sundays to Thursdays: 10AM to 9PM
Fridays to Saturdays: 10AM to 10PM
 
SM Mall of Asia
2nd floor Entertainment mall
Operating Hours
Daily: 10AM – 10PM
 
Shangri-La Plaza Mall
Garden Court Level
Tel: +63 2 634 3231
Fax: +63 2 631 6410
Hours: 10am – 11pm
 
Greenbelt 5
2nd floor – Phase 1
Tel : 501 3759
Hours 11am – 9pm
 
SM Mega Mall
Building A, ground floor
Operating Hours
Sundays to Thursdays: 10AM to 9PM
Friday to Saturday: 10AM to 10PM

Crave Rave : Shakey’s Half and Half

When it comes to fast and on-the-go pizza, Shakey’s would have to be my ultimate favorite.  I like it especially THIN and crispy so I get to savor every bit of each toppings and I don’ t get full that quick.  We’ve been dining in Shakey’s for ages and I feel kinda lame that I just found out about the Half and Half pizza just recently.  We always come across the dilemma of picking the pizza flavor even though we only have either Manager’s Choice or Pizza Bianca.  I’m so glad that they thought of doing Half and Half and that we don’t have to choose anymore because we can have both!

Now, does that look delicious or what?  Pizza Bianca (creamy white sauce pizza) on top, Manager’s Choice (Shakey’s #1 Flavor) in the bottom.  I’m lovin’ their pizza plate too (cute)!  This one is in Large size selling at P313.oo because it’s thin crust.  For the two flavors that you picked, they will take the price of the more expensive one.  Lucky us, both flavors have the same price. 🙂

You may check Shakey’s Website for their complete menu, branches, and delivery.  There are lots of Shakey’s all over the Metro so you sure won’t miss it!

Sunday with Sumo Sam

We love Japanese Food, LOVE!  It might not come as a mystery since I’ve posted a few entries before on Japanese food here, and here.  We do tend to compare new-found restaurants to those that we have had the chance of experiencing before.  Some of them we like, some we don’t like (and sometimes hate.. 😦), some are just ok, and some we loooove!  A few weeks ago, we tried out Sumo Sam in Greenbelt 3 because we have been wanting to find out if the food is good or not.

Before I jump into my verdict, let me tell you more about lunch that Sunday.  We were pretty early for lunch that day so we were sort of the first customers.  It was different than the Rockwell branch which is full most of the time.  The place looks a bit enticing, with mirrors all over, quite comfy seats, and dim lighting.  Service was fine but we got our food after 30 or so minutes which is a bit long considering we were the first and only customers at that time.  The food nonetheless was good (from the name itself, Sumo Sam is a mix of Japanese and American food).

We had Gyudon..

The sauce in itself was OK, nothing extra special.  It tastes like any other good Gyudon that I’ve tasted before and it has tons of rice (wasn’t able to finish this one up, too bad).

..and Grilled Teriyaki Salmon

This was really good.  The salmon was grilled to perfection and the Teriyaki sauce complimented it very well.  It’s quite small in proportion but that’s alright considering it tastes this good.  We paired this one with their special Garlic Rice. Yum!

All in all, the experience was fair enough.  We were satisfied with what we ate and the service provided by their crew.  Value for money is not that good since it’s kind of expensive.  It’s way cheaper (and sulit!) in other authentic Japanese Restaurants where they serve the best rendition of Japanese cuisine.  I can say that I’ll go back to this restaurant again, but not anytime soon. 🙂

Sumo Sam Branches:
 
Power Plant Mall (02) 729-6292
Shangri-la Plaza Mall (02) 637-5704
Trinoma Mall (02) 901-3262
ABS-CBN (02) 623-7255
Greenbelt 3 (0947) 357-4348
Greenhills Town Center (02) 895-7532

Crave Rave : Mochiko Mochi Ice Cream

Ice cream has always been my fave comfort food eversince I can remember.  I know most of us just have a weak spot for these creamy and cool concoctions (even though it makes our clothes shrink..lol) and we just can’t resist having them once in a while.  As I’ve blogged here before, Mochi Ice Cream is one of the cutest, most delicious, and unique versions of ice cream I’ve ever tasted.  I’m glad we can now just grab them like candy as they are now available in most stores and supermarkets.  One of the best brands of Mochi Ice Cream that I’m so much fond of is Mochiko.  They have 12+ different flavors including Azuki, Black Sesame, and Green Tea!  Aside from these, they also make new flavors depending on a special occasion like Valentines Day, where they recently made the limited edition Vanilla Rose flavor.

We found about Mochiko via Mercato Centrale.  It’s one of Manila’s famous Midnight Food Markets where lots of people flock over to get a taste of the many varieties of delicacies, desserts, and drinks (too many choices, too little stomach space!).  Mochiko has been dubbed as a Certified Mercato Favorite.  These cute little babies sell for P70 each/P400 for 6 pcs.

My favorite flavors from Mochiko are the Strawberry..

..and of course, Caramel!

Cool right?  And they also have an awesome slogan saying, “Good things come to those who wait“.  This is because you have to wait for a few minutes until the mochi is soft enough to the touch before eating it to have that perfect Mochiko experience.  My mouth waters just thinking about it!

Mochiko is available in these following branches: 

Mercato Centrale
Bonifacio Global City 
 
Unit 3, Cliffhouse Tagaytay
Maharlika East, Aguinaldo Highway
Tagaytay City
 
FICC Summer Cafes
– Alabang Town Centre (GF, near the cinema)
– BF Paranaque (#40 Aguirre Ave)
– Boracay (D’Mall Plaza)
– Marquee Mall Angeles (2F, below the cinema)
– Subic Freeport Zone
 
Check out their Facebook page to know more about Mochiko as well as new and upcoming branches.