Fast Food Favorites

Fast Food Favorites

You know how social media’s algorithm is based on posts you frequently ‘like,’ or tend to gravitate to? Well, my social media feeds have a steady flow of food-related updates – from tantalizing photographs of crave-worthy plates, to easy-to-follow recipes, cooking demos and fun food reviews that all but leave me drooling.

Right now, it’s late at night, I am currently PMS-ing, and in my life that just means I want to bite into anything and everything. The Lays potato chips sitting a few feet away with a heaping dollop of the sour cream I have downstairs. An ensaimada – the same one I had 2 weeks ago that was buttery and rich and sweet and salty. Tacos. The Pancakehouse ones. Or no maybe the soft kind that you can find in Taco Bell… or do I want a donut instead?

I am getting carried away.

Hence this post. Instead of giving into my cravings, I will share my top 5 Fast Food favorites. When I do allow myself to indulge – and I realize ‘indulge’ may be the wrong term as I am about to share with you my cheap eats – so instead let’s say when I really want to treat my taste buds and be a little bit naughty, these are my go-to orders. Whether sitting quietly in a packed chain, or in my bed late at night while my husband is asleep beside me (and yes I am usually alone when I do this – consider it my “me” time), I cannot deny the feeling of utter bliss these moments bring me. Mababaw and kaligayahan is the only way to describe it.

Note: All the following images were taken from the companies’ IG pages

Jollibee Regular Yum + Chicken Joy + Spaghetti

Army Navy Cheese Quesadilla + Freedom Fries + Crunchy Taco + Iced Tea

Shake Shack Shack Burger + Cheese Fries

KFC Zinger + Original Recipe Chicken

Mcdonalds Hot Fudge Sunday + Seasonal Twister Fries

BONUS because it is really bad but I am obsessed with the combo Turks Beef Doner (no cheese, no onion) + Potato Corner BBQ Fries! Yummmmmm!

Savagely Good Dining Experience with American Express

Savagely Good Dining Experience with American Express

In the last decade or so, Manila has become a hub for local foodies – from chefs to restaurateurs, critics, home cooks, and every epicurious individual in between. The restaurant scene has elevated, with delicious options that cross cultures, making use of both local and imported ingredients alike. Whether you are looking for an organic farm-to-table spot, or something with a sophisticated flair that specializes in gastronomic cuisine – you will surely have a slew of places to choose from.

 

And because of this, American Express has partnered with four of Manila’s most esteemed chefs to allow Cardmembers to ‘taste the experience’ with #AMEXFORFOODIES.  Being a loyal American Express Cardmember myself, I was excited to know that I could use my card in some of my favorite local restaurants to get complimentary treats!

 

My first stop in the #AMEXFORFOODIES dining experience was at Chef Josh Boutwood’s ‘Savage.’ I have followed his career closely because I was given the opportunity to do a piece on him back when he was new to the Manila food scene. Savage definitely did not disappoint. From our refreshing starters of Fresh Carabao Cheese with heirloom tomatoes and Beef Carpaccio, along with an order of my favorite—the sinfully rich, yet surprisingly light Deviled Eggs (We got an extra serving* of this crowd pleaser, thanks to my American Express Credit Card!), to the superb mains—perfectly cooked Grilled Octopus, tasty Ribeye with charred onions, and Pork Belly—paired with their famous Savage Rice and excellent Grilled Corn—my friends and I were very happy. We ended on a sweet note, having the Sticky Toffee Pudding, generously topped with vanilla ice cream.

I had a wonderful experience and look forward to using my American Express Credit Card at other #AMEXFORFOODIES partner restaurants of Chefs Robby Goco, Miko Aspiras and Chele Gonzalez. Do catch these one of a kind dining experiences, courtesy of American Express so that you too can taste the experience with #AMEXFORFOODIES.

 

If you want to know more about #AMEXFORFOODIES, just visit bdo.deals/AMEXforFoodies

 

*For every two main entrees ordered. Minimum of two (2) dining patrons.

Savage

Savage

Savage is one of those go -to restaurants I frequent. Sharing some of my favorite dishes – Tuna Tartar (ginger, wasabi, cilantro, tamari and onion), Deviled Eggs, Grilled ½ Chicken (holy basil, pickled radish), Pulpo or Octopus (fresh shiso, sesame and calamansi),  Eggplant (avar and pickled mustard leaf) and the excellent Grilled Corn (harrisa and aioli).

Chef Sau x Cicchetti

Chef Sau x Cicchetti

On the third installment of Cicchetti’s 4-hands dinner, Chef Kim Suva teams up with celebrated Kapampangan, Chef Sau del Rosario. The menu was a delicious union of classic Italian technique with the rich flavors of Pampanga. From tart fermented Arborio rice, to a duck ravioli swimming in a creamy truffled macadamia kare-kare, and even a Tiramisu combining ube otap, mascarpone, and local mangoes. The entire meal hit the right salty, sweet, and sour notes, creating perfectly well balanced bites.

 

Seared Ahi Tuna, Buro Arborio, Betel, Trout Caviar

Duck Ravioli, Macadamia Truffled Kare-kare, Parmigiano Romano, Kesong Puti

Sampaguita – Calamansi White Chocolate Ice Drop

Prawn Adlai Risotto, Aligue, Coconut

Beef Braciole, Morcon Sauce, Baby Carrots, Broccolini

Guimaras Mango, Ube Otap, Pandan Mascarpone, Malagos Chocolate

Boozy Brunch

Boozy Brunch

It’s never too early to have a few catch up laughs, a sinfully delicious meal, and a round of cocktails with your friends

Ladies who lunch has always been a concept many women enjoy. But today’s fast paced female begins her day earlier, and has a lot to accomplish before it ends, which is why brunch makes perfect sense. Breakfast food also easily whet’s the palate, giving many options when it comes to dishes. And what’s a brunch without a little bit of bubbly?

I decided to host some of my closest friends in Cicchetti, a newly opened Italian concept in the heart of Bonifacio Global City. Though the restaurant is known for their pastas and small bites, it recently launched a brunch menu, chockfull of scrumptious starts to the day, delicious egg dishes, and refreshing cocktails. All that over candid conversations made for a fun morning of catching up in an intimate setting.

Because the restaurant took care of the food and drinks, I just brought in a single flower arrangement by stylist Zenas Pineda to liven up my table. As guests began to filter in, we were served fresh house made bread, warm from the oven – focaccia , baguettes and breadsticks with a simple dipping of good quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Blogger and wine enthusiast Stephanie Zubiri – Crespi was enjoying hers with a cold glass of sangria, while stylist LA Lopez opted for the Limoncello Collins. The other cocktails served were sparkling wine based – ‘Rossini,’ which had a fresh strawberry puree, and ‘Lemon and Bubbles,’ which offered a more citrus flavor.

As the food arrived, my best friend Sandra Pena – Paradies and I were excited to begin the meal. The first dish was a Tomato Soup, served with a Parmesan Tuille – a nice way to warm our tummies. Following that was the Sicilian Eggs Benedict. This dish was well balanced, having the richness of the runny egg and the pesto hollandaise pair perfectly with the crisp bread, Italian dry cured ham, and the freshness of the cherry tomatoes and herbs.

Following that was a real treat – Cicchetti’s homemade prosciutto ensaimada topped with almond slivers. Everyone was suggesting we split these, worried about the calorie spike, except model and influencer Mikaela Lagdameo – Martinez, who was happy to consume hers all on her own. I, of course, took her lead and enjoyed the fluffy pastry that completely satisfied that sweet and salty combination craving.

Though the menu was heavy on prosciutto, each dish was well thought out, showing different ways to creatively use the charcuterie staple. The Prosciutto and Coppa Open Faced Sandwich served it on toasted bread with melted cheese, while the Prosciutto and Eggs featured it alongside sautéed mushrooms and a perfect fluffy scramble.

Jeweler Macky Fah frequents the restaurant for its mouth-watering pasta offerings, so she happy to see the final dish, a White Wine Carbonara. Rich, creamy, and sinful – it was everything you would hope for both in texture and flavor – perfectly cooked spaghetti, twirled in a mix of egg yolk, Parmesan cheese and guanciale.

Because I would’ve loved for my group to sample some of the other pasta offerings, I didn’t let them leave empty handed, giving out some sauces to try at home. As the meal came to an end, there were still conversations to be had. The cocktails kept coming as laughter filled the table. The setting was perfect for a catch up amongst friends. With delicious food, and impeccable service – it is now one of my go to places.

Cicchetti serves brunch daily, from 10am-3pm.

PHOTOGRAPHS by Jar Consenjo (@campfiremedia) for Metro Society Magazine (@metrosocietyph)

Cicchetti

Cicchetti

Signature pastas and Italian small bites make for this fine new dining destination

Manila’s dining scene has never been stronger so to be able to survive, one must have a combination of all these elements – great food, wonderfully crafted drinks and cocktails as well as a good wine selection, a fine ambiance brought together by lighting, temperature and music, and of course, impeccable service. Cicchetti and Mazzo, the latest venture of the group that brought you The Belle & Dragon, and Mandalay, definitely ticks all these boxes.

Cicchetti’s space is beautifully furnished, featuring high and low seating as well as the work of local artist Casus hanging on the wall, while Mazzo, the al fresco bar, features pretty potted trees, giving each table ample privacy. Situated on the 8th floor of the MDI Corporate center, any meal is accompanied by a view of BGC’s gorgeous skyline.

For those who love a uniquely Italian meal, Cicchetti has menu consisting of cicchetti’s or Italian ‘small bites,’ specialty pastas, gourmet starters and salads, and incredible mains. For first timers the cicchetti sampler comes highly recommended to have a little taste of all – Caviar Patatina, Seared Foie Gras, Carne Cruda, Chicken Liver Mousse, House-made Ricotta, and Crab Cake Cicchetti. Their House-Made Burrata is quite delicious – firm but with a soft and silky center and served with a cashew pesto and pomodoro. Pair this with the Calamari, or Crispy Testa and the Prosciutto from the starter menu. Moving on to the pasta course, the Crab and Ricci, Aglio Oglio, and Vongole are good options for pescatarians, but good enough to satisfy any palate. Another well-loved dish is the Alla Vodka pasta – spaghetinni in an onion soubise and tomato compote, served with a beef, pork, and veal sausage meatball. For the mains, Cicchetti has a beautiful Bistecca Fiorentina – 500 grams of Black Angus rib eye, perfectly seared. They also serve the very popular Pollo alla Sostanza, which is a panfried chicken breast and thigh paired with burro marrone and corn. End your meal with a simple but well made Panna Cotta or their Canoli, filled with a rich cream ricotta and candied orange.

Carne Cruda Cicchetti

House Made Ricotta Cicchetti

Seared Foie Gras Cicchetti

Burrata

Crispy Testa

Crab & Ricci Pasta

Vongole

Alla Vodka

Pollo Alla Sostanza

Panna Cotta

Cannoli

Cicchetti is open daily, accepting guests for brunch from 8am – 3pm, lunch from 11:30 – 2:30, high tea from 3pm – 6pm, and dinner has 2 seatings – 6:30 and 8:30. Mazzo is open until late. For reservations contact them through (02) 9874756 / (0917) 321 4756 and follow them on instagram @cicchettiph.

PHOTOGRAPHS by Jar Consenjo (@campfiremedia) for Metro Society Magazine (@metrosocietyph)