Monday, December 10, 2012

Loving Fried Chicken even more at Chicken Charlie

If I were to be asked, what certain food I'd like to eat for the rest of my life, it would definitely be fried chicken.

We all know that fried chicken dominated the fast food industry since I dont know when. We all love KFC, Max's, and of course the infamous Chickenjoy from Jollibee. Filipinos certainly love a good fried chicken, and even before we had this "Bonchon" craze (which I don't really fancy) Chicken Charlie was one establishment that offers a unique take on the classic fried chicken.

I have visited Chicken Charlie's branch in SM Cubao after a client meeting and together with my sister, who equally love fried chicken, we both enjoyed a sumptuous lunch indulging in double fried chicken. Yes yes, double fried chicken baby!

They offer very affordable choices on their menu and I must say their offerings are very much for the Filipino palate.
Chicken Charlie's Menu
Chicken Charlie boasts on serving lip smacking double fried chicken and their signature soy garlic sauce coating. Dear oh dear im sure youre already drooling. So let's go to your ever favorite part, food photos!
Here's what we ordered (Click photos to enlarge)

Dynamite (Php 83)
We have been trying to cook Dynamite at home and we would both say that this dish has become a new favorite. Chicken Charlie's Dynamite is great!

Fish and Chips (Php 129) - Served with Iced Tea
Their Fish and Chips is so-so. I find the fish a little bland but the way it was cooked is just perfect.
Charlie's Bowl (Php 59)
Charlie's Bowl is rice topped with sliced chicken pattie with teriyaki sauce. Quite good for its price actually. The tereyaki sauce went well with the fried chicken pattie.
6 pcs Wings (Php 175)
Their fried chicken can be ordered with their signature Soy Garlic sauce or the Hot Sweet sauce. You can ask them to put both flavors on your fried chicken. I love the Soy Garlice sauce though not much on their Hot and Sweet sauce since its not spicy enough for me. I would have to say that I absolutely love their fried chicken! The double frying technique worked very well. Its crispy, its juicy, its flavorful! Certainly one of the best fried chicken ive tasted.

 My sister enjoyed the experience and we decided to still come back for some good fried chicken at Chicken Charlie!

Chicken Charlie
with branches all around the Metro
Website :

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bonding at Betty's Sansrival (Quezon City)

I was so much looking forward on being hiatus in the corporate world and have been anticipating worry-less weekedays, having lazy lunchouts, afternoon tea plus book reading, sunset runs, early morning swim.... *what a beautiful life* Hehehehe.

Last Wednesday, on my very first free day, my sister asked me out for lunch to sample, as how my she say it, the best Sansrival in the metro. She told me that they also serve good and affordable gourmet food. I was curious and at the same time very free and so we went to QC by the late morning of that day.

We arrived at lunch time and I was suprised to see the place almost packed. Apparently the place is a popular lunch time destination for schools and offices nearby.

I was a little turned off by the way some of the staff welcomed us. Maybe they are undermanned and were multi tasking but I dont think that it is proper for some male servers to play deaf and pretend not to hear our requests.

They offer lunch time specials everyday, serving up perhaps some specialties they offer on their catering business.

Fish Fillet (Php 108) with soup and iced tea

My brother in law joined us and chose the Fish Fillet Rice meal, however, me and Ate were really looking forward in sampling the pizza and the pasta that they are offering and so even if the servers told us that it will take them 20 minutes to prepare the orders (since they serve up the lunch specials that time), we still gave it a go.

Here's what we ordered.

Buffalo Wings (Php 138)

My sister liked the buffalo wings very much. I liked it too but not as much as I liked the other buffalo wings that I have tasted. Their version is a little on the sweet side and I want my buffalo wings tangy and spicy.

Cheese and Garlic Pizza (Php 58)
 Their garlic and cheese pizza in incredibly cheap for the quality. The cheese they used though is a mixture of a teeny weenie amount of mozarella and tons of the normal dairy cheese we can buy in groceries. But hey, its hefty so its a steal for its price.

Shrimp Pesto Pasta (Php 98) - served with garlic bread and iced tea
I enjoyed the Shrimp Pesto Pasta but I think its a little too creamy and the pasta is a litte overcooked for it is soggy. The cream also overpowered the flavor of the pesto, but overall its a quite ok dish.

Of course, we ended our meal with their famous Sansrival.

Sansrival (Php 45)
Their sansrival is heavenly! Nuff said! :) You guys can buy it by box or by slice. (forgot the price for the box though)

They also sell different sweets that you can bring home.

Bought a box of Brownies to bring home to my niece and nephew.

I would certainly be back to Betty's soon. Its near my Manila home and the food is incredibly affordable and good. :)

Betty's Sans-rival
101 M. Cuenco st,
Quezon City
(behind Sto. Domingo Church).
(632) 712-1752 / 33,
 414-0838, 732-3729
Fax No: (632) 712-1733
Smoking : none
Parking: yes
WIFI: none

All day breakfast at Rufo's Famous Tapa (Eastwood)

 A breakfast staple for every Filipinos, Tapsilog made its mark on the Filipino food culture. Many tapa versions have been made available in various restaurants and one of which that became famous is Rufo's.
Rufo's Famous Tapa serves all time Filipino breakfast favorites but specifically became known for their saucy tapa.
Me and my co workers love to grab a quick dinner and a few bottles of beer after work at their branch in Eastwood. Here are some of our favorite orders.

Rufo's Famous Tapa (Php 108)

I am not much of a fan of their tapa. I would still opt for the dried, sweet and salty tapa that my mom used to prepare for us in breakfast, but hey its good!

Crispy Danggit (Php 89)

Porkchops (Php119)

Sizzling Crispy Chicken (Php 85)

Aside from the rice meals, they also offer other food items for snacks or for pulutan.

Spaghetti Bola Bola (Php 59)

Chicharon (Php 54)

Late night cravings wont be a problem since Rufo's in Eastwood is open 24/7. Perfect too if I'm craving for some cold beers at the wee hours of the morning. :D
Check out their menu.

Rufo's Famous Tapa (Eastwood)
Eastwood CityWalk 1
Bagumbayan Quezon City
Smoking Area - Yes
WIFI- None
Pakring - Lots of spaces around Eastwood

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chimay Rouge for (Beer-ness) The Beer Friday Sessions

My first trappist beer was so much of an experience that I need to follow that up with another trappist beer for my next post for the Beer-ness session.
As I study about trappist beers, the first one I have discovered was Chimay. I opted to go for Trappiste Rochefort 10 first since I heard that it was the best trappist beer (however, Im a little hesitant to say otherwise since I havent tasted all trappist beers around). 

Chimay beers have 4 varieties, Chimay Rouge (Red) also called Premiere, a dubbel, Chimay Bleu (Blue) a darker ale, Chimay Blanche (White) or Chimay Triple and Chimay Doree (Golden) a "patersbier" which is basically just available within the monastery for the monks to consume.
Chimay is located in the Scourmont Abbey in Chimay, Southern Hainaut, Belgium. This monastery is one of the seven trappist monastery that are members of  the International Trappiste Association (ITA).And guess what? I just realized that drinking beer can actually be a very charitable act! Chimay beers are sold to basically support the financial needs of the monastery and for other good causes! They do have foundations in Zaire and India among the few that they support out of their sales in selling Chimay beers worldwide. Awesome isn't it? 

The featured beer tonight for the beer-ness Friday session is Chimay Rouge.

Chimay Rouge (Red)
Style: Abbey Dubbel
Alcohol Content: 7% ABV
My rating: 5/5

The beer comes in a short brown bottle with the red label and crown. As I opened the bottle its nose gave off a toasty and malty aroma with some raisins, nuts and little fruity scents which I cannot fairly distinguish.

It pours a dark brown liquid (pretty much like iced tea) with an off white head that is quite big and has a good retention.

The taste is delectable! Hints of molases, chocolate and caramel flavors were present as well as some nuts and dark dry fruit flavors such as raisins, faintly hinting some apple flavor. Bitterness and hoppiness is pretty weak which I actually notice with most Belgian beers I have tasted. It leaves off a little lacing in the glass as well. The carbonation is just perfect, the intermingling of sweet, sour and bitter flavors are totally addicting.

Chimay Red has been rated 99 at compared to Trappiste Rochefort 10 which got a perfect score. I could probably say that I liked Chimay Rouge better simply because the flavors are not as overwhelming as compared to Rochefort 10.
Now that I have tried two Trappist beers, im now eyeing to continue with the Trappist Beer Edition for my Beer-ness sessions. Very much interested in trying Westmalle and Orval next, and of course the rest of the Chimay and Trappiste Rochefort varieties!
For more Beer-ness Friday posts, just click THIS!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dessertspoonful at Secret Recipe (Robinson's Manila)

I have never been a fan of desserts. I did not grew up having a sweet tooth and I have never considered sweets as a stress reliever. My niece Gabby thinks otherwise. She adores anything sweet and since it was a perfect time for her to crave for some since we got really tired from roaming around the mall, I decided to take a break at the first cafe we saw. 

I have seen some Secret Recipe branches around Asia, specifically on my trips to Singapore and Malaysia but I have never thought of trying it out here in Manila until that day. 

Upon approaching, I was told by the staff that they offer free coffee for every purchase of any cheese cakes, brownies, or cream cakes that we order. That actually closed the deal. :)
Aside from desserts, I also saw some interesting offerings in their menu such as salads, pastas, noodles and more. I would probably try it some other time but back then, I was really eying on some cream cake or a cheese cake.

Gab didn't even have a hard time choosing what she like! She pointed at the menu and off we order.

Tiramisu (Php 95)
Im a sucker for coffee cakes and this one totally disappointed me. :( The cake I think was a slice from an old stock, it was rather dry and the coffee flavor is not really evident. Hay....

The Tiramisu with a Cuppa Coffee :)

On the other hand, my niece clearly made a better choice by ordering this....

Cheese Brownies (Php 100)

The Cheese Brownies was served to us warm and my niece went gaga over it. However, I somehow have compared it to Ghenne's Coffee's Cream Cheese Topped Brownie that I totally loved and then become thwarted by Secret Recipe's version.

The desserts weren't really that incredible but the conversation with my niece was priceless. We talked about fashion, movies, shoes, boys and so much more. :)

Overall, I think that the desserts were not really that special. I guess I have to actually try the savory dishes so that I can decide whether Secret Recipe is worth frequenting.

Secret Recipe
4/F Robinsons Place Manila,
Midtown Wing, Adriatico St
Ermita, Manila
(02) 567-2042

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Family Lunch at Hainanese Delights (Robinson's, Magnolia)

I first had a taste of Hainanese Chicken Rice on my recent trip to Singapore last year. It was a great gustatory experience, having been able to sample the signature dish of the country. Now, I was a little hesitant to have the dish tried from a spin-off restaurant here in Manila. However, our grumbling tummies won't handle the long lines from a restaurant of choice nearby thus making this restaurant as our next option.

I have been seing a lot of Hainanese Delights branches all over town and the newly opened Robinson's Magnolia houses one branch. It is located at the lower ground floor right next to Yabu (ggrrr, yes that was actually our resto of choice that day) and Saizen (and I love that 88 pesos store, hehehe).

Hainanese Delights offers Family Meals at a very affordable price. We were handed these flyers as soon as we got in and it actually made the gruesome debate on which to order (and my family always have this dilemma everytime we eat out) a little more bearable.

My sister and I decided to have the Family Meal but we still contemplated on what other things we can order off their menu.

As what I've said earlier, my sister and I decided to order the Family Meal consisting of whole chicken, either fried or steamed, Chapchae, Pork Dumplings, Tofu with mixed veggies, Take the Cake (raddish cake) 4 iced teas and unlimited Hainan Rice. Since there are big tummies to fill, we ordered the Family Meal times two, opting for one steamed and one fried Hainanese Chicken.

By the way, each table has these 3 condiment containers, each holding, soy sauce, chili sauce and ginger paste. 

And here's what we ordered:

Tofu with Mixed Vegetables
I liked this dish only if it was not that sweet. I could have appreciated it better if it was a little bit on the spicy side. 

Did not like the Chapchae at all. I think it was rather dry and bland. Chapchae's I have been tasting has that sweet sauce that their version failed to give. 

Steamed Pork Dumplings
The filling was ok but the wrapper was too thick and was soggy when it was served to us. 

Fried Pork Dumplings
I like the fried version better than the steamed.

Take the Cake (Raddish Cake)
Their raddish cake were cut into small pieces and was fried until golden brown. I love how it is crunchy and not oil-logged compared to the usual radish cakes that were cut into huge squares. 

Tofu Terrific (Php 80)
Tofu Terrific is so-so. I liked the sauce that came with it. 

Steamed Hainanese Chicken (forgive my lipstick stained chopsticks :))

Fried Hainanese Chicken
(sorry if the leg is already lost. Nephew was not able to hold his hunger, hehe) 
The steamed and fried hainanese chicken is good. Meat is tender that it actualy fall off the bones. However, I was not fully swooned by their version. I would to say, it is an OK Hainanese Chicken.

Hainan Rice is unlimited! 
Rice eaters will surely love this place for they have joined the "all you can eat rice" craze. I like Hainan rice in general but their rice is a little too mushy for my palate. 

The servings were hefty and the whole chicken is quite big. I would say that the Family meals they are offering are steals. It would cost you lesser than ordering ala carte dishes. The taste is just ok, service is also quite good at this branch (it could have been better however if they serve the appetizers rather than have the chicken on our table first.) 

Still, my authentic Chicken Rice experience in Singapore is the best, but this would do if I'm craving for something similar. 

Hainanese Delights
Lower Ground Floor
Robinson's Magnolia