Monday, March 19, 2018

Maginhawa St. Gastronomic Walk #15: Up in the Clouds

I hadn't gone to my top favorite street, Maginhawa, in Quezon City in a long while so I was happy to be back last month to try one of the newbies there, 
Up in the Clouds Ice Cream & Milk Bar. It's a place that specializes in desserts, particularly ice cream, but there are also rice meals and a pasta dish on the menu. I was with one of my closest buddies and we were there for lunch. 
This place, which opened sometime in mid-2017, is a real cutie! With its airy, bright and cheery interiors, it is very much IG-worthy! One more thing I liked was they offer healthy food options. There's fish on the menu as well as brown rice 
and even fatless tocino! Also, I was fascinated by the black drink 
and food! Taste-wise, everything we've had was good, 
with prices that won't break the bank to boot. 
Our orders: 

Buttermilk Fried Chicken, P245.
Just by looking, I think you would agree with me that the chicken skin is a bit 
over-fried. The flesh however, was done right. I could taste the creaminess from 
the buttermilk and overall, the fried chicken was good. It was the rice which had herbs, that I loved more, tho. I savored the layer of different flavors ranging from 
the zest and tang of the herbed rice to the creaminess with a hint of sweetness 
of the buttermilk chicken. There's truffled maple syrup for drizzling over the 
chicken, yes, but because I wanted to avoid a rise in my glucose levels, I opted 
to have nothing to do with it.

Tinapa Omelette, P165.
This was my friend's order but I had a taste of the omelette and really liked it. 
I love tinapa, it's my favorite breakfast to go with garlic fried rice. Here at 
Up in the Clouds, they make perfect omelette out of smoked fish, I found out 
when I tried this. It was really flavorful and the egg wasn't dry but fluffy the 
way I like it. Too bad this wasn't my order. Hahaha!

Black Lemonade, P90.
My buddy's drink. Do not fear it's dark-as-night color. It has the usual taste of lemonade. 
The blackness comes from activated charcoal, which 
doesn't alter the taste of food and drinks.

Thai Iced Coffee, P90.
This made me a only little happy because I was looking for much stronger 
coffee and it fell short of my expectation. But Up in the Clouds is really 
a dessert place and not a cafe so that's alrighty.

Anyway, I came back to this place last Saturday and I had:

Black Fish and Chips, P190.
The fries, to start with, was really good! The strips of potato were crunchy, some more than the others. However, I chose to eat just three yummy pieces in order to avoid too much oil (and cholesterol), and decided to order brown rice to pair up with the fish. Oh, it was a lovely meal! The fish was delicious, not salty but rightly spiced and really tender. I didn't mind the black batter..well, just a little. Tee-hee. By the way I chose Wasabi Aoili as my dip and it was really hot! I should have asked for Sriracha Aoili instead. There's also Honey Mustard Dip 
but I didn't like my dip sweet.

Brown rice, P40.
The server asked me if I wanted my brown rice fried and I said yes but with just a little oil. When she served it, she happily told me only a few drops of oil were used in my fried rice, 
exactly the way I wanted.


In and around Up in the Clouds

Perfect spot for your Instagram selfie. Look at those upside-down
 ice cream lights and cloud-shaped chair!

Up in the Clouds Ice Cream & Milk Bar is at 
#99 Maginhawa St., Diliman, Quezon City

Visit Up in the Clouds for some feel-good moments with your beshies, folks. It's the perfect spot whether you're in for a full meal or just for dessert or a light, sweet snack. Aside from good food, service is friendly and fast and prices are affordable. 
Happy eating!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Tap into your inner child at Brick Burger

My youngest child turned 12 this week and my hubby and I decided to have an advanced celebration last Sunday. It was me who decided where to eat and my choice was Brick Burger, a Lego-themed restaurant in Pasig City. I knew my boy would love it, being a huge Lego fan. So even though it was far from our home, 
Brick Burger it was for dinner. 
The place is quite small though really cute and bursting with colors, red especially, and with awesome displays of Lego creations that rendered the 
birthday boy wide-eyed in amazement. 
The menu, to match the theme, is fast food-like -- with burgers and all those American diet staples. Placing our orders took a bit longer because there was a lone crew at that time apart from the cook inside, I surmised. But good enough, it didn't take ages before the food arrived on our table, and the not-so-little boy had barely built 
a Lego creation with the blocks provided us.
Our family dinner consisted of:

Nachos, P120.

Nacho Tuesday Burger, P230.

Lord Business w/ Fries, P495.

Fantastic Four chicken wings, P450.

Pepper Mushroom Burger Steak, P160.

Pork Barbecue rice meal, P160.

Mac 'n Cheese hotdog, P140.

Vanilla Graham and Choco Oreo ice cream, P120.

Iced coffee, P85; Red iced tea, P50.

Mine was the Pepper Mushroom steak and I was happy with how huge the serving was. The beef patty was sizeable, yes, to match the cup of rice underneath. I shared one order with my daughter and we still couldn't finish it! Taste-wise, it was good, with a balance of flavors. What I didn't like was that the whole thing was kinda dry as the gravy, which was very creamy with a hint of cheese, was also very thick. Brown 
and runny gravy is my personal choice. Still, I give Brick Burger's 
Pepper Mushroom Burger Steak a thumbs up.
Anyway, the birthday celebrant decided to take up the in-store challenge of finishing the Lord Business cheeseburger with three patties piled on top of one other, in at least three minutes (the less time one takes to finish, the bigger the prize), with hope to win a Lego set. He lost, of course. He's just a kid! Maybe, I should 
bring him back in eight years. Haha! 
In the meantime, the chicken wings, we enjoyed -- juicy, tender and flavor-packed. One could munch on it mindlessly and finish the entire plate. What we ordered was the Fantastic Four made up of four orders of chicken wings in different flavors of Garlic Parmesan, Buffalo, Correa's and Honey BBQ. 
Meanwhile, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the iced coffee was, considering Brick Burger is not a place for caffeine. It was espresso-based, so it was bold and rich. The rest of my family all enjoyed their respective orders, though admittedly, there was nothing fantastic about the burgers, except, of course, for their one-of-a-kind Lego-shaped buns. As a sweet ending to our dinner, we all shared two orders of their ice cream creations adorned by cute and edible Lego toys. 


Inside Brick Burger

Lego creations

'Build, build, build' as you wait for your orders.

Brick Burger is at the 2nd Floor of Hampton Gardens Arcade along
C. Raymundo Avenue in Maybunga, Pasig City

A visit to Brick Burger is a nice, memorable experience especially when you have a kid in tow who loves Lego. Even if you're all grown-up, you can relive your playful days 
of building bricks here and enjoy the food at the same time.
Happy eating!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Korean Village Restaurant in Malate, Manila

I hadn't had Korean food in a while and was glad to have the opportunity the other week. I met up with a friend at Robinson's Place Manila and she would not agree to my suggestions on where to eat. I then remembered Korean Village which she had told me about before and asked her if she wanted to go there. Wide-eyed, she exclaimed a "yes" and out of elation and gratitude even vowed to 
treat me for coffee afterwards. 
This friend of mine, already in her 60s, is a huge K-culture fan. She watches lots of those cute Koreanovelas, loves to eat Korean food, and had even gone on a tour to South Korea. And was she glad we were going to Korean Village in Ermita, which she recalled having visited some years ago.
The place, I discovered, was quite spacious but devoid of fancy interiors and obviously quite old. Any misgiving about the physical aspect of the place was erased, 
though, when it was time to eat.

Complimentary pot of tea

Samgyeopsal, P250.
Thin, tender and delicious slices of pork belly plus lots of onion and garlic that 

were given us as requested by my friend.

Banchan (Side dishes)
There were seven side dishes served with the pork for grilling, apart from the iceberg lettuce: spring rolls, spinach, hot and spicy dilis (anchovies), bean sprouts or toge and kimchi. Sadly, banchan isn't refillable at Korean Village, unlike in other Korean restaurants I've been to. 

Server grills our samgyeopsal as we wait, excitedly. Haha!

Galbitang, P300.
This soup dish impressed me a lot as the broth packed a lot of flavor. The beef, we believed, was simmered for hours and hours, until the meat was very tender and all flavors extracted from the bones. It was my first time to have galbitang and I discovered it was so much like our very own nilagang baka or bulalo. The only difference is that galbitang has sotanghon or vermicelli and egg. An order of it at Korean Village comes with a serving of rice. 

Jjampong, P300.
This was really good! Lots of mussels and some shrimps. Hot and spicy soup to make my day. The only thing I didn't like was that the noodles were too soft. I had this on my second visit, by the way. I was by myself and was surprised at how humongous this bowl of jjampong was. I finished just one third of it! But I was pleasantly surprised that it also came with 

side dishes -- three of them. Plus a slice of pineapple!

Spicy dilis, bean sprouts and kimchi with my Jjampong
I loved all of this, especially the crispy anchovies!

Slice of pineapple 
I guess all diners are given this to cap off the meal. My friend and I were also served pineapple on my first visit. Fresh fruit is a welcome change from the usual sugary desserts in most restaurants and best of all, there's no extra charge for it!

Inside Korean Village Restaurant

Korean Village Restaurant on #566 J. Nakpil; St., Malate, Manila

Long before K-Pop came to fore, Korean Village was already a crowd-drawer in Ermita, I learned. Now it's already a bit old but is still a favorite restaurant of many. There were always big groups celebrating occasions during my two visits. Someday soon, I could be bringing my family here, too. My daughters are crazy about samgyeopsal and I'm sure they would love it here. 
Visit Korean Village Restaurant when in Manila, folks and have your fill of mouthwatering and healthy food at pocket-friendly prices. 
Happy eating!