Nikkei

G/F Frabelle Business Center, 111 Rada, Legaspi Village, Makati City, Philippines

IMG_2862.jpg


WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM


Treated at Nikkei for Valentines Day, and my partner knows how much I enjoy Japanese cuisines. There are 3 other branches in other popular cities and this was our closest. When he mentioned the restaurant was serving a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines, I was super excited!

Let us first talk about the interior, which was gorgeously simple, with the wood accents covering both the ceiling and furnitures. The restaurant is quite cozy, fitting a small amount of people, which you are sitting very close to other diners. Wait staffs were attentive in refilling glasses, removing empty plates and was easy to get their attention. Food and drinks came out timely, all presented in an appealing way. From the plates, plating and interior, everything was balanced.

I am no Peruvian food expert, but it is evident from the Japanese cuisines, that there are slight twists to each item. Playfully colourful, each dish had its own unique texture, whilst staying consistent to the combined culture-fusion theme. The highlights would have to be the flamed edamame (surprisingly addictive), house-made ice cream scoop, kurobutoa gyoza and the miso soup! My bowl which had the grilled squid was ok, the grilled squid was comforting but unfortunately everything else in the bowl was bland. There’s a good amount in the bowls, so if you plan to eat small plates, skip the bowls. Cocktails were created beautifully, highlights would have to be their yamazaki umeshu and orange prosecco.

Everything was priced mid-range, a great place to explore fusion dishes, catching up with friends, lovers or for business meetings.

IMG_2863.jpg

IMG_2864.jpg

IMG_2878.jpg

IMG_2877.jpg

IMG_2875.jpg

IMG_2874.jpg

IMG_2873.jpg

IMG_2871.jpg

IMG_2866.jpg

IMG_2876.jpg

Chatkazz

Shop 4/14-20 Station Street East, Harris Park NSW, Parramatta, New South Wales

IMG_1582.jpg


WEBSITE | FACEBOOK


Chatkazz is located next to the bustling Parramatta CBD, in Harris Park. There is limited parking; I recommend taking a train to Parramatta station, as the walk from the station is only about 2 minutes.

The restaurant specialises in Indian street food, from chapatta chat, south Indian, chatkazz de parathe, pizza, Mumbai roadside specials and Bombay Chinese dishes. I forgot what dishes we purchased that night, but overall the quality was delicious! The sweetness in the dishes were tastefully done right. The texture of the curry was creamy and had so much flavour and fullness to the taste. I really appreciate fresh watermelon juice and the juice I got was perfect. Service was attentive, friendly and the dishes came out in a timely manner. With so many dishes to choose from, definitely pace yourself and try a few! I love seeing the orange, reds, yellows and brown colours of Indian cuisines, it just looks so appetising.

Chatkazz has two branches, the other in Bella Vista. There are plenty of tables, both inside and outside the restaurant, great for families, couples and friends to dine in. On a busy night, the restaurant sure does get loud, but it adds to the almost homeliness ambience of the place. Price is mid-range and serving size of most dishes is perfect for two people.

IMG_1572.jpg

IMG_1574.jpg

IMG_1575.jpg

IMG_1577.jpg

IMG_1576.jpg

IMG_1580.jpg

IMG_1581.jpg

Buddha-Bar Manila

Picar Place, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City

IMG_2112.jpg


WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM


Buddha Bar had a special for New Years Eve, which was not only convenient but also awesome, because we lived so close by! With their buffet special and entertainment till countdown, this took out the hassle of finding a place to welcome the New Year. So I snapped a booking for two, I forgot the price and waited patiently for the night to come.

There is limited parking, but plenty to area to get dropped off. When you step inside, you are welcomed with lights of red and warm, dark tones of yellow, brown and black. It reminded me of them old Chinese movies, where heads of families would meet and talk about business. Overall, it looks grand and a bit upper-class. There’s about 3 floors, plenty of space to hold events. On the night we were brought up to the second floor, where our table was situated next to the railings. The buffet was varied, with plenty of options to last the night and suit various dietary requirements. The staff efficiently refilled the empty dishes, and from memory the dishes tasted fresh and was well made.

That night, there were both children and adults, which I thought was weird because I thought it’s a bar right so… why are there children? But I think for that particular event, they permitted children and made it a family-friendly event. What I found weird however, was the lack of drink menus. We had to keep giving back and asking back for the drinks menu to order. The staff that night were great though. When the countdown happened, the balloons that were supposed to fall, didn’t! I think a few guests below, ended up pulling the string, which finally gave way.

I can’t comment much on Buddha Bar Manila as a whole, as I only came during a specific event. However, Buddha Bar is a modern Asian restaurant and bar, which generally opens its doors at 4pm. The atmosphere felt casual with a hint of sophistication, mainly due to the ambience of the establishment. From that observation, I would perceive their price range to be around mid to high-end.

IMG_2114.jpg

IMG_2115.jpg

IMG_2116.jpg

IMG_2117.jpg

IMG_2126.jpg

IMG_2138.jpg

Las Flores

One McKinley Place, 25th St, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila

IMG_2061.jpg


FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM


Spending Christmas Day indulging in flavoursome Spanish tapas for dinner, was the best finale for the day. The restaurant was not hard to find, as it is located next to a busy road, I suggest getting dropped off and reserving a table.

The staff greeted us quickly and showed us to our seats; I was so glad the chairs were super comfortable! The inside was well lit, low music and had a lot of warm, cool tones reminiscent of Spain. Las Flores is known to serve modern Spanish tapas, that won’t break your bank and leaving you extremely satisfied. My recommended dishes would be trying one of their paellas, and definitely ordering their “conos de tartar de salmon” – not only was this dish presented in a fun way, but the cones exploded with delicious salmon, white truffle oil, hint of wasabi mayo and kimchi mayo… drool. For the night, we ordered the “paella cochinillo” which had big 5 bites suckling pig (sad there wasn’t more); the paella was more on the dry side. The bites of suckling pig had a thin layer of crisp, and the rest was almost lean meat. The paella was sauced in every area, not too sweet and had the right amount of saltiness. The paella is actually not deep at all, so does not have to be shared. Churros were crispy on the outside and smooth in the inside, perfect with the dips – warm chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

Service was professional and the food came out in a timely manner. You can choose to dine outside or inside and the other best thing of Las Flores, was that the room temperature was perfect! Get a bit of everything, and from what my partner said, try their very smooth mango juice!IMG_2062.jpg

IMG_2063.jpg

IMG_2067.jpg

IMG_2068.jpg

IMG_2072.jpg

IMG_2073.jpg

IMG_2074.jpg

IMG_2076.jpg

IMG_2078.jpg

Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen

5972 Alfonso, cor Fermina, Makati, Metro Manila

IMG_2283.jpg


FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM


Located in the nightlife but quieter scene of Poblacion, Agimat is a food and drink treasure box you sure don’t want to miss out! You’ll be led upstairs of a rustic Filipino home, and be greeted a staircase lined with red candles. There’s a narrow outdoor area for smokers and beside it, are the toilets. I had initially checked out the place, through their instagram and was surprised with their jungle concept. Located behind the bar, is a gorgeous tree with vines flowing down the trunk and its branches reach, almost crawls under the ceiling. There are low as well as high tables, we unfortunately got the unstable high table, but later moved to a low seating table when it was free.

As you can see by my pictures below, we ordered a lot of food! Agimat’s dishes were quirky, in a sense that they presented Filipino food in oddly-shaped plates and with a modern twist. The ingredients are truly special, using local ingredients and delicacies, such as ant eggs and day old chicken. I am a bit biased, but I love tapas food because you get to try a bit of everything, and Agimat wonderfully delivered. The highlight was the balut, there’s no chick inside, so you get to taste it without freaking out haha. It was creamy and with the right amount of salt.

Agimat’s craft cocktails were interestingly categorised by elements. I’m not sure if all ordered cocktails had performances, but when they did, it was super fun watching the mixologist do their thing whilst a drum was played. They had these cute sun masks on! Loved the vibe. The flavour in these drinks were amazing, I could taste little of the alcohol and more of the other ingredients used. If I had a higher tolerance, I would ordered a bit more, but alas after a few drinks these deadly cocktails got me. These cocktails not only had Tagalog names, but were also entertainingly presented.

I highly recommend pre-booking by calling Agimat, as the place is quite small. I did see some walk-ins and they were seated at the bar. They looked more like they were there to drink. But if you decide to check out the place for dinner, make sure to pre-book. Prices are mid-high, and by the time we left (about 9pm) the place was getting crowded.

IMG_2272.jpg

IMG_2267.jpg

IMG_2270.jpg

IMG_2273.jpg

IMG_2278.jpg

IMG_2271.jpg

IMG_2265.jpg

IMG_2266.jpg

IMG_2268.jpg

IMG_2277.jpg

IMG_2279.jpg

Gallery By Chele

5/F Clipp Center, 11th Avenue corner, 39th St, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines

IMG_1955.jpg


WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


I had Gallery By Chele down on my food list, when checking out awesome restaurants in the Philippines. Fortunately, I decided this restaurant is where I would be having my pre-dinner birthday celebration! Gallery By Chele did not disappoint.

Located within  Clipp Centre, was a bit hard to find at first because there were no signs, so keep your GPS switched on. You take a life up to the fifth floor, and you are warmly welcomed by their first of house team member. Pre-book if you plan to feast! I believe they have a few private rooms at the back. There interior was stunning, warm with all different tones of wood, lines with hints of grey marble. Screams elegance mixed with South East Asian interior flavour.

What drew me to this restaurant was its mission to source local produce and flavours, unique to the Philippines and South East Asia. As you can see by the images below, we ordered a few colourful dishes. All the dishes were amazing; the highlights for me was the Coquille starter, Tunamansi main and the Single Origin dessert.

Service was amazing, not over bearing and were very attentive. Food timely came out and no dish disappoint. Highly recommend if you have something to celebrate or even have time to get your tastebuds alive and kicking! Almost forgot to mention their impressive drink list and make sure to try a glass of their moscato… it was delish! Hats off to the sommelier and the waitstaffs that night.

IMG_1954.jpg

IMG_1956.jpg

IMG_1958.jpg

IMG_1959.jpg

IMG_1960.jpg

IMG_1961.jpg

IMG_1962.jpg

IMG_1963.jpg

IMG_1964.jpg

IMG_1965.jpg

IMG_1966.jpg

Shake Shack

SM Megamall, Mandaluyong CityPhilippines

IMG_1988.jpg


WEBSITE


Shake Shack has opened his second Filipino branch in SM Megamall, right at the mall’s entrance… deadly. I believe the restaurant had just opened at SM Megamall, and we were blessed with available seats and tables! So no waiting for ages to order and find a seat, though it did get busy by the time we finished. I played it safe, by ordering the classics, a single ShackBurger, Fifty/Fifty and the Cheese Fries. An instant hit, the burger was moist, sweet and extraordinarily soft. The mayo or sauce used in the burger, was quite unique. The cheese fries were great, had its own style and complimented well with the burger. The fries weren’t salty surprisingly. The drink was alright. If you do decide to go and you are mid to super hungry, get large, because small is way too small.

Shake Shack has been on my food bucket list, and when I found out they had one opened in the Philippines, I quickly noted it down. Did not disappoint and would come back for more.

IMG_1989.jpg

IMG_1990.jpg

IMG_1993.jpg

Hawker Chan

Ground Level Entertainment Mall SM Mall of Asia, Pasay, Metro Manila

IMG_1927.JPG


INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK


Sceptical at first, with its Michelin-star but still insanely super affordable… this all disappeared when our dishes came out! Hawker Chan is a well-known Singaporean quick dine-in restaurant, serving you with popular noodle and rice dishes, but with its own unique flavours. There’s now a number of franchise restaurants around the world, with 6 branches in the Philippines.

Service was quick, the food came out efficiently without loosing any of its flavours. I ordered their season vegetable, freshly steamed and poured with a generous amount of garlic bits and sauce! Our mains was the Char Siew Noodle… I am salivating thinking about this dish. The pork belly was cut proportionally, soaking in the delicious sauce. It was not too oily, just right. I believe they used egg noodle, just because of its fuller and creamier taste. I highly recommend dining in Hawker Chan, the fullness of its flavours, you won’t be disappointed.

IMG_1926.JPG

IMG_1925.JPG

Crispy Crib

16 First Avenue, Blacktown 2148

IMG_1549.jpg


FACEBOOK


Operating just over two weeks now, this little food truck will satisfy your love of Korean chicken and chips! You may miss it, it’s a black food truck, nestled cosily in the Asian Food Market carpark and next to a round-a-bout.

Menu is simple, 5 options at the moment, with their chickens drizzled with the most tastiest sauces. Yesterday, we ordered the homemade teriyaki and onion dressing fried chicken and it was addictive! Who knew these two sauces would mesh so well, both sweet and creamy at the same time. The chicken was in great bite-sized pieces, and I loved how it wasn’t too oily and wasn’t soggy. The fries was clean and I believe it had normal salt on them. They have a promotion at the moment, this meal plus a free drink, comes down to only $10.

Service was quick and friendly, they’ve got a cosy eating area at the front. I’ve got my eye on their soy fried chicken next.

IMG_1548.jpg

IMG_1547.jpg

Chuuka

Suite 62-64, Jones Bay Wharf, 26-32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009

thumbnail_IMG_1407.jpg


WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM


Chuuka came into the Sydney dinning scene just a few months ago, I actually came about it on Instagram. I thought hey, a Japanese-Chinese infused restaurant is something I’m definitely going to check out!

With two known Australian chefs, Chase Kojima and Victor Liong, heading Chuuka, expect the quality to be fun and authentic. You’ll find familiar dishes, with a touch of the other culture’s ingredients. It was fun guessing which dish belonged to which culture. The interior is warm, cosy and if you’re sitting on the lower level, the main kitchen is right behind you. Dishes are small, so definitely order a few dishes, that night we ordered at least 3 mains and 2 deserts. My favourite was the duck pancakes and it came with 5 sauces. Price is mid to high, food came out quickly, cocktails was amazing and complimented the menu, our section waitstaff was patient and super friendly.

Excuse the low, low quality of the images, tried sooo hard amping up the brightness without losing the colours. One more reason to check out this place!

thumbnail_IMG_1408.jpg

thumbnail_IMG_1409.jpg

thumbnail_IMG_1411.jpg

thumbnail_IMG_1413.jpg

thumbnail_IMG_1414.jpg

thumbnail_IMG_1412.jpg

thumbnail_IMG_1416.jpg

thumbnail_IMG_1415.jpg