Thursday, December 29, 2016

Butamaru is a Ramen Place you shouldn't miss

As the cold months of December steps in, we often line our stomach with something hot. I often crave for a bowl of steamy ramen noodle whenever I'm swept by the chilly winds.

Ramen like rice, is another staple in our diets. Now, there is ramen store inside Westgate that I discovered during a zomato foodie meetup. Butamaru Ramen is house in a two-level establishment tucked behind Zong. Its kitchen and ramen bar can be found on the first floor. Solitary diners may opt to eat, slurp and run on the ramen bar while a full dining area located on the second floor awaits those in company.

Butamaru Ramen opened in September 2014 under the expertise of Chef Jerome Lim, who had extensive training experience from Sugimura-san of Menko noodle company in Oita, Japan.

For starters, we had Fried and Steamed Gyoza. I tried both. Parcels of juicy pork meat fillings were enclosed in a dumpling wrapper and wer pan-fried to crispy golden brown (yaki-gyoza). The other Japanese dumplings were lightly steamed. I found yaki-gyoza a bit dry so the ponzu dipping sauce makes it a lot better. Steamed gyoza was just the way I liked it--flavorful and juicy.

The Tempura-style fried chicken came in next, served with Ponzu. This is Butamaru's take on chicken karaage and I love it! It was super-crispy and had a very thin fried Tempura crust.

For the main dish, Butamaru Ramen offers delicious bowls of ramen goodness using a 16-hour tonkotsu broth. They have 5 kinds of ramen (shio, shoyu, miso, tantanmen, curry tantanmen) plus side dishes to complement your ramen bowl.

The Spicy Miso Butter ramen had firm noodles. The flavorful broth is halfway or medium in thickness, and this makes it possible for anyone to slurp it out way. You can customize and request for a richer broth or more spice to suite your taste. They serve it with two hefty slices of chashu, which melts in the mouth.

I'd say Curry TanTanMen is my favorite bowl over Spicy Miso Butter. The Butamaru broth with minced pork was made even richer with flavors of the curry powder. I found it to be really addicting.

I'm not really fond of spicy food but I can tolerate the heat in these Butamaru ramen noodles with a glass of cold tea. Get your fill of these hot dishes and see why it is worth the trip!

Butamaru Ramen
Westgate Center
CE405 Commerce Avenue
Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Johann opens the first ever Coffee Truck in Manila

Johann Coffee and Beverages is one of the sought-after coffee franchises with the most affordable fees since it opened its first concept store in  Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City last October 2016. It was officially launched at  Franchise Asia 2016 as a means for entrepreneurs to venture into a coffee business via  kiosk, a food truck coffee shop, or  a full-fledged store. 

To date, Johann Coffee and Beverages has opened its first ever Coffee Truck in Festival Mall, Alabang as an addition to its growing store chains located at Farmer's Plaza and Gateway Mall in Cubao; Blue Bay Walk in Pasay City plus Valero Street in Makati City. It is a whole new way of enjoying coffee with the introduction of coffee trucks!

Johann owner and CEO,  Kristine Soguilon-Lim is keen on recreating the European cafes using locally grown coffee beans, and make inexpensive blends  accessible to most Filipinos. They offer a
selection of Hot Coffees and Teas, Over Ice, Blendpresso, Creme Blends, Juices and Smoothies, Chocolate Drinks, Coffee Float, Milk Tea and Yakult starting at  P 23!

Johann Cafe make use of  flavors like butter rum, and chocolate macadamia besides the usual blends like
Johann Chocolate Macadamia, Barako, Gourmet Decaf, Butter Rum, Caramel Hazelnut Creme. All these Johann Coffee and Beverage  budget- friendly products come in Piccolo, Moyen and Grand sizes!

 Watch for other Johann Coffee and Beverages kiosks opening soon  in Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal,  Davao and General Santos City!
Follow Johann on and for more info and updates.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Witness The Victory 2.2.and Kick your Way to Barcelona with BEKO

BEKO gets inspired by this generation’s changing needs and strives to give them the best and most beneficial solutions through innovative products. Beko delivers exceptional value for money, providing smart, innovative and energy efficient home appliances. By listening to millions of consumers in more than 100 countries, BEKO has developed various smart solutions to cater to the needs of different people, different cultures, and different ways of life

With its wide range of kitchen and laundry appliances, BEKO never stops thinking about innovations and novel ways to overcome challenges. BEKO also respects the environment by offering resource-efficient and environmentally friendly products with superior technologies and stylish design.

Given all these, BEKO prides itself as the official partner of all the stories of your home. We’re your partner in the best moments, like when you’re celebrating with your friends, and we also stand by you in your not so good moments, to help you get over them in the best possible way. We’re the official partner of the families that

surrender, that build a good team and that know how to enjoy every moment that happens at home. “Witness the Victory” with BEKO & FC Barcelona

In 2015, BEKO launched its brand new advertising campaign to support its global Premium Partnership with FC Barcelona. The campaign, which celebrates team spirit., features FC Barcelona’s best known football players including Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr., Gerard Piqué, Luis Suárez and Andrés Iniesta working together, both on the pitch and at home, showing how they inspire and support each other as a team. Barcelona’s winning spirit is captured perfectly, showing fans how team spirit really can implement change for the better.

Part of this partnership is the global consumer raffle promotion entitled “Witness the Victory 2.0!” Experience Camp Nou and Enjoy Barcelona for Free. Now on its second year, the raffle promo runs from November 1, 2016 until January 15, 2017 and is open to all buyers of BEKO products.

Two (2) winners will be drawn and each will enjoy a trip for two (2) to Barcelona, Spain to watch an FC Barcelona match live in April 2017. The tax free prizes include Two (2) Round Trip Tickets to Barcelona, hotel accommodations with breakfast for 2, Barcelona City Tour, and Two (2) La Liga Match Box Tickets.

To strengthen also the recently launched Beko Philippines Facebook fan page (@Bekoph), Beko Philippines is holding the activation promo “Kick Your Way to Barcelona: The Beko Grand Kick-off Challenge.” The promo is open to everyone who has a valid passport (except for professional football players). For one to join, he or she must do the following:

Step 1: Like Beko Philippines’ Official FB ( account and Like the Beko Kick Your Way to Barcelona FB post;

Step 2: Register at (microsite) with his/her complete name, address, contact number, email and FB username; and

Step 3: Upload a creative photo of one’s self or with friends with a caption that says- #HelloBekoPH and press the Submit Entry button.

There will be a Qualifying Round that will be held on January 14, 2017 with registration from December 3 to January 7, 2017. Participants of the Qualifying Round shall be given three (3) attempts within one (1) minute each to try and kick the ball inside a customized mock up washing machine goal from a designated distance of twenty (20) feet. There shall be a knock-out phase and the Top Ten (10) participants who successfully made the most number of goals shall move-on to the Grand Kick-Off Challenge.

During the Final Round on February 9, 2017, the top 10 participants shall be given three (3) attempts within one (1) minute each to try and kick the ball inside a customized mock up washing machine goal from a designated distance of twenty (20) feet. The participant with the most goals shall be declared the grand winner. In case of a tie, the shoot around with 3 attempts and one minute limit shall be repeated until one emerges as the grand winner.

The 10 Contestants (Qualifiers) who will reach the Final Round will be given a specially designed Beko FC Barcelona Gym Bag. Sparta Philippines, the country’s only indoor football pitch located in Mandaluyong City, is the venue of the Kick-off challenge event.

The winner will receive a plane ticket for one (1) to Barcelona, Spain, a ticket to an FC Barcelona match to be held at Camp Nou, hotel accommodations, inland transfer, and city tour

Monday, December 26, 2016

Filipino Food flair at Neil's Kitchen

I have been wanting to visit Neil's Kitchen again since I got to try out  the Sinigang Paella with Grilled Pork Belly during one of the Zomato foodcrawls.  I'm a big fan of pork sinigang and I was surprised to learn how Chef Neil gave this Filipino favorite a new twist!  He infused sour flavors of Sinigang in the rice that is served with the grilled pork topped with crispy kangkong.

I was so glad to join the the FilinBEST FoodCrawl as it would give me another chance to try out the other Filipino comfort food that he serves with a certain flair. Chef Neil has an aptitude for doing food variations really well.  He reinvents and serves most of his signature dishes deconstructed.

For starters, we had Tokwa at Baboy.  Neil's Kitchen's take on this delicious dish made from fried pork   and fried tofu  makes use of vinegar and soy sauce added with green/red bell pepper, onions and green chillis. It added festive colors to the crispy pork, and ear meat pieces. He combine cane and white vinegar to get the most flavor out of it and it did tastes so good!

Adobo is another Pinoy dish that has a lot of versions--some are sweet, tangy or garlicky. Using simple basic ingredients, Adobo transforms chicken or pork into a mouthwatering fare. Chef Neil's Adobo Project uses both chicken and pork. Underneath the shredded chicken adobo bits lay big chunks of pork adobo.

Tomatoes, onions, fresh cilantro, mangoes, atchara and salted eggs are served on the side that allows one to mix and match flavors that would complement individual tastes. The tzatziki dressing that goes with the Adobo Project is made up of mayonnaise, yogurt sour cream.

I like Neil's Kitchen innovative take on the classic Pork Dinuguan.  This savory and tangy dish is  comprised of pork stew of blood and meat. In the traditional way, the pig's blood  is stirred in  continuously  during the first minute to avoid the blood from forming.

The Grilled Chicken and Crispy Pork Dinuguan Fondue recipe that Chef Neil came up with had all the same dinuguan ingredients but served separately. Customers can dip in grilled pork belly strips and white puto into the blood stew, which had  chicken bits mixed in.  The way it is presented would lure first timers to try out the  infamous blood stew.

Boneless Chicken Inasal with Hainanese Rice  is Chef Neil's take on the popular grilled chicken dish from the Western Visayas region. Chicken Inasal is one of the Philippines' best-loved grilled chicken recipes because of its marinade that  gives it its distinctive flavor.

Chef Neil cooks the deboned chicken in the traditional  way and  serves his Hainanese Chicken Rice on the side along with chicken oil dip and atchara.  The  rice is infused with chicken inasal juices.

Escargot De Gata is like ginataang kuhol. These golden apple snails are cooked in coconut milk with spices like garlic, ginger, turmeric, bagoong alamang and red chili pepper. I always love eating these tasty snails the snails and miss the thrill of trying to suck the sauce and meat out of the shell. At Neil's Kitchen, you can eat this gourmet delicacy with gusto as the escargot comes in de-shelled! The meat has been carefully removed for ease of eating in public.

For desserts, we had Puto Bungbong with Buco Jelly and Toasted Coconut / Sweet Corn Maja BB Special / Suman at Mangga / Turon de Napoleon.

Puto Bungbong with Buco Jelly and Toasted Coconut takes the humble puto bumbong (Rice Cakes in Bamboo Tubes) several notches higher! While the classic recipe serves the chewy puto bumbong with grated coconut, margarine, and muscovado, Chef Neil tops the rice cake with cocomilk jelly, and a shortbread made up of toasted coconut, sesame seeds, muscovado sugar and chocnut.

Sweet Corn Maja BB Special looks like the classic maja---soft and light with small kernels of sweet corn inside. The texture of this coconut pudding is so perfect that the fork glides smoothly as we get a slice of its yellow goodness. It is topped with a latik.

Turon de Napoleon is a feast on the palate! Napoleones is a popular puffed pastry in Bacolod City Napoleones in Bacolod City basically made of sugar, egg, flour, butter and milk. Just imagine how it would taste if the custard-lined pastry is mixed with turon. The combination results in a burst of heavenly, sweet treats.

Suman (glutinous rice cakes) is a staple in every Filipino homes, so how Filipinos eat suman do vary. In Suman at Mangga, the Filipino sticky rice log is served with a ripe mango. Chef Neil tops his suman with a mango jelly made from mango puree. He tops it with chocnut and serves it with coconut milk on the side.

This  heavenly dessert is one for the books!  Try it and you'll get what I mean.

Have lunch or dinner at Neil's Kitchen this holiday season.  Your family will marvel at how pleasing and great tasting each dish is!  Chef Neil's food innovations in elevating Filipino Cuisine is really worth praises.

Neil's Kitchen
Westgate Center
Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Say 'Merry Christmas' with Goldilocks

There are many ways to give someone a very merry Christmas, and a good lot of them may involve some Goldilocks Christmas delights.

 Start off the celebrations with the Goldilocks Christmas Greeting Cake, complete with a sugary Christmas train with Santa at the helm! Perfect for your office Christmas parties or any other pot-luck get-togethers.

For your Noche Buena feast, make the Chunky Choco Cake the centerpiece. Cap your Christmas dinner with this delicious rocky road cake bursting with marshmallows, chocolate chips and cashew nuts, made even special with a choco mousse filling!

As for your nephews and nieces, give them the sweetest Aguinaldo—Goldilocks’ Choco Lollipops. It’s available in different Christmas designs for that extra festive feel and, of course, can satisfy every kid’s sweet tooth.

Finally, if you need last minute Kris Kringle gifts, why not get a box of brownies? Goldilocks' brownies come in a box of 6 brownie varieties: Butterscotch, Brownie with Mallows, Marble, Brownie with Rice Crispies and Raisins, Hazelnut Brownie with Tiramisu, and Triple Chocolate Brownie flavors! You can even get a box just for yourself. And hey, if you can’t think of anything else to give this Christmas, you can’t go wrong with a box of delicious Fruit Cake from Goldilocks!

What are you waiting for? These Christmas delights from Goldilocks are only available until January 3, so visit your nearest Golidlocks Bakeshop to sweeten your Holidays! For more information, visit the Goldilocks website at!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Hello Kitty Live in Manila!

The world’s well-loved Hello Kitty comes to Manila just in time to make this year’s Yuletide celebration extra special. The show entitled "Hello Kitty Live – Fashion & Friends" will give kids the chance to physically enter the world of Hello Kitty as the interactive show take to the stage the adventures and the latest development in the continuing evolution of her persona.

Everyone will be Set in modern-day London, Hello Kitty Live story portrays values on friendship, respect, kindness, hard work, talent and a passion for creativity.  Its fantastic fashion and costumes designed by Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand Tokidoki plus the lively and pop soundtrack which includes songs from Clean Bandit, Charli XCX, Kylie Minogue, Flo Rida, Echosmith and Bruno Mars, among others will add fun to the show.

 The creative team of Hello Kitty Live – Fashion & Friends is comprised of Adam Stafford, Director and actor of dozens of shows and West End musicals such as the Life of Galileo, Richard Lewis, creative director of a long list of successful productions including Peppa Pig Live and Lazy Town Live; Del Mak, choreographer of TV show Got to Dance and Lorenzo Ceccoti one of the most acclaimed upcoming visual artists on the digital scene, director of The Dark Side of The Sun and creator of the visual novel Golem. Together they have created a fun-packed show, a whole new experience where the characters on stage and the animations on a mega HD screen interact with the public as the story unfolds.

After the show, the audience will also get a chance to have their photos taken with the cast upon availing of the ‘meet and greet’ pass on a first come, first serve basis.

This is the first time that Hello Kitty and her friends is staging the show in the Philippines. There will be a total of 16 shows starting December 20 to January 1, 2017 at the Meralco Theater. Tickets available at all Ticketworld outlets Tel. 891.9999 or log on to

Hello Kitty Live – Fashion & Friends is made possible by Royale Chimes Concerts and Events Inc. and Zen Tiger Live. Call (0906) 418-0786 or (0918) 497-2121 for more infomation.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Brasserie on 3 at the Conrad Hotel

If you are looking for a restaurant with breathtaking views of the Manila Bay, then Brasserie on 3 at the newly-opened Conrad Hotel  the best place to go.  The entire structure of the new luxury hotel is shaped like a cruise ship! And it boasts of modern amenities that would suit a leisure or business meet up.

On your way up to the restaurant, you will find a lot of  masterpieces showcasing the works of both local and foreign artists.

This side of Mall of Asia is still free of traffic and remains undiscovered by many since the hotel opened June 15th this year.

The interior of the restaurant maximizes  the view of the famed Manila Bay sunset with its tall glass panels and al fresco dining.  Dining at the Conrad Hotel takes you on a cruise experience with the Manila Bay as its backdrop, plus instagram-worthy set-up.

With the Christmas coming up close, you'll find a well-curated sweet goodies and dessert section set up right at the entrance welcoming guests.  It was fantastic!

Aside from the snowcapped gingerbreads, Christmas cookies, ice cream, chocolate truffles and cakes, we were treated to mouthwatering Stollens (traditional German bread for Christmas).  They also had  Churros  fresh fruit slices and  a  "Halo-halo" section, which gives you a free hand to create your own mix.

I find their Hors d'oeuvre and Salad Section section quite up-scale and well-stocked. Herbs and other produce are grown at the hotel's veranda garden, they say.  To me, it is the best Salad Bar!  There were cheese and cold cut selections, dried fruits, nuts, and paper thin servings of ham sliced to perk up my appetite.

Brasserie on 3 buffet has a medium spread  that includes antipasti, seafood, plus mains. Opposite the Salad Bar, you will find the Pasta and Bread Section, where you can make-your-own dish from your choice of pasta cuts, sauce and toppings. I had my fill of the Italian pizza and I like everything it has.

Next, I went straight to the Carving Section which had turkey, baby back ribs and beef in full slabs on display.  I tried all and found the meat quite dry.

I was surprised that they also had Sinigang station that provides  piping hot bowls of pork, salmon, and shrimp sinigang. They were also offering another Filipino comfort food--Bulalo.

Their Fresh Seafood Section has prawns, clams, salmon and mussels to offer at the time we dined in. Chefs are standing by to cook your seafood choices the way you like it.

Next to it lies the Japanese Sushi Station which is limited to Sushi and Sashimi.

For the main dishes, they had, Pineapple Chicken, Chicken Inasal, Beef Stroganoff and Vegetable Lasagna.

Brasserie on 3 has the Best Salad and Dessert Bar in this side of town for unforgettable celebrations. Do visit and see why it was built to impress,

Brasserie on 3
3/F Conrad Hotel
Seaside Boulevard corner Coral Waytelephone: +63-2-8339999 Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay Citytelephone: +63-2-8339999

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Canaan Hills Farms and Honey Garden

A visit to the Canaan Hills Farms and Honey Garden in Biliran province was the culminating activity in our Region 8 organic farm tour. Canaan Hill Farm and Honey Garden is  one of the learning sites of Agricultural Training Institute(ATI) in Region 8 Eastern Visayas and an accredited agri-tourism site by the Department of Tourism.

It was an awesome sight as we  passed the Biliran Bridge that connects Leyte and Biliran Island. The  Biliran island used to be part of Leyte that eventually became a separate province in 1992.

The Canaan Hills Farms and Honey Garden is  about  2-hour drive from Tacloban City and 30 minutes travel from Naval town, Biliran province's capital.

The 7-hectare farm land had its name taken from the Bible's "promised land" and is being managed by Eduardo and Priscilla Espinazo. and their nine children, the majority of which  left their jobs to concentrate on farming and develop Canaan Hills Farms and Honey Garden as a major tourist destination when it opened in 2013.

The Espinazo family exerts effort and time on the farm to encourage people to develop passion in organic farming.  Even without a formal background in farming, they were able to build the farm little by little with a little help from ATI.

Today,   more than 30 varieties of fruit-bearing trees like banana, coconut, mango, rambutan,  jackfruit can be seen in the farm, along with vegetables.  Canaan Hill Farms produces peanut butter, calamansi drink concentrates, turmeric powder, ginger tea drinks that comes in Camote, Lemon Honey and Four Seasons flavors,  They also sell fresh produce and organic eggs.

The  farm practices  organic and  natural farming technology. They process sheep manure and sheep urine in vermiculture, use this as fertilizers to nourish the soil they till. They teach marcotting at the farm--vegetative reproduction process to induces rooting in a tree branch's part.

They also apply contour farming to conserve rainwater and to reduce soil losses erosion.  While hill farming is an extensive farming in upland areas, Canaan Hill Farms is breath taking. It is  well-maintained farm with lots of open spaces and instagram-worthy nooks to spen quiet time.

Ornamental plants adorn the farm landscape, making it the most beautiful organic farm among the ones I've have been to.  There are lot of  eye-catching places inside that make the place look like an uphill oasis or resort.

There are pavillions and huts inside farm stations that serves as  dining and entertaining areas. There are several nooks in the farm wherein you can immerse yourself in a book or a nap. Kids would love the open spaces and lounge areas around it.

There are patios and porches around that provides a welcoming feel. A skirt of flowers decorate the front yard patios.   You can sit back and  enjoy a cold glass of juice on a summer day.  

Canaan is a quiet place where you can live in the moment, de-stress and relax in the evening.

ATI RTC 8 actively supports the accreditation of learning sites in the region. These sites provide on-site-practical agriculture-learning to farmers.

Do visit Canaan Hills Farms and Honey Garden and get a good view of the Caibiran Bay from atop.  It is nice place to spend time seeing the amazing sunsets, different colors of the sky and revel in joy staring at the amazing blue bay from the hill.

Canaan Hills Farms and Honey Garden
Caibiran, Biliran, Leyte
Open from 9AM to 5PM  Monday through Saturday

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