My brother and I were recently invited to an exclusive event at Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant at the New Glorietta Mall last week. It was my second time to eat at Watami with my friends. I already dined at Watami last year when it opened its first branch in the Philippines. Watami means coming together in one place to enjoy good food.

For appetizers, I highly recommend Watami Salad. Aside from being yummy, it is also very nutritious. It is a combination of mushroom, chicken strips, shrimps, nori (thin, dried seaweed sheets), a scoop of tuna mayonnaise, grapes, corn, lettuce, onion, cherry tomato and broccoli tossed in sesame ponzu  (a citrus-based sauce commonly used in Japanese cuisine) dressing, which is imported from Japan. My brother and I love this appetizer!!

First to arrive among our orders is my brother's order. The chicken dish was specially meant for my brother who happened to love any chicken dish! The Chicken Cutlet with Scramble Egg Sauce resembles tonkatsu (pork cutlet). The chicken strips were deep-fried and covered with a scrambled egg mixture. I find the chicken cutlets too fatty and oily though. I think it would be better if they put less oil on it. I actually ordered Beef Pepper Rice in Stone Pot but it never came. So my brother and I just shared this dish. 

We also tried the Grilled Scallops with Butter and Lemon. The scallops were fresh and meaty. It was served in a sizzling plate which gives off a mouth watering garlic aroma. It was a feast on our sense of smell but I find this dish a little salty for my taste. I had only one bite so maybe I happened to eat the portion where the salt was concentrated. I think it would be better if they don't put salt on this dish. 

I love how the Crab Meat Pot Rice was presented. It was served  in a small-scale replica of the kama (iron pot) to create an individual serving of kamameshi (kettle rice) dish. In Japanese, kama means iron pot and meshi means rice. In the past, large-sized kama was used by Japanese in cooking rice. By cooking the rice and various ingredients in an iron pot, the rice gets slightly burned at the bottom which adds a desirable flavor to the rice served in a kamameshi pot to keep the rice piping hot.  

I particularly like it as the crab flavor was very much evident. It is a must-try! Please note that it took about 20 to 30 minutes, before the dish was served, so you need to order this ahead of time and partake of the appetizers while waiting.
All six of us enjoyed the Japanese Bolognese Pizza. It is basically a pizza with egg which you have to spread over the whole pizza.
This Assorted Skewer dish was ordered by my brother.  
Since I love beef. I requested for a well-done Self-Grilled Short Ribs dish and had our server grill it for us. This is my favorite! I love how the meat was cooked. It was so tender and flavorful.

My dessert, Macha Parfait, came after my brother left already with our camera, I was a little bit disappointed, not only because I was not able to take a picture of the dessert but also because everybody got their dessert earlier except me.

What a feast! Overall, we really enjoyed our lunch at Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant.
LEVANTE: Every Friday at Eastwood City Walk Two
Yum, yum, yum! Don't you dare miss this Baby Back Ribs at Edgy's food Stall in Levante Night Market every Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. of the following day.
 Imagine, for only Php120 you get one Baby Back Ribs with Rice! A very good deal indeed!
This Pita is deliciouso! 
 Look for their stall! They're very friendly!
You could not miss 'em!
Good Food, Good times, Good Music!
 Live Entertainment
See you there!
Watami Introduces Lunch Set Menu
Watami, the number one casual restaurant in Japan, is introducing a new lunch set menu to whet the appetite of office workers and diners alike looking to experience an authentic taste of Japan at the convenience of their hectic schedules.
An intimate Japanese haven set in key locations around the metro, Watami’s restaurants are homey, with low-key lighting and booth-style seating. Wood panels and contrasting distressed tiles are a calming background for busy days, and are the perfect backdrop for a respite from work, catching up with friends, or sharing a meal with family.
The lunch set menus start at P275, and are served with salad and miso soup. With options that cater to a wide array of gastronomes, from raw foodies to noodle nibblers to rice lovers.
The lunch menu features Watami’s signature Stone Pots, which are one-bowl wonders of Black Pepper Beef, Pork, or Beef Sukiyaki served in heated pots that not only keep the meal warm, but also cooks the meat to your liking. If raw keeps you filled, there are options for tuna or salmon sashimi rice sets, served with your choice of mini cold or hot udon to complement the meal.

Other items included in the lunch menu include rice sets featuring tempura, deep fried chicken or pork, roasted mackerel, Tokyo-style beef served with hot spring egg, and chicken cutlet with scrambled egg sauce. Alternatively, you can also enjoy noodles with the cold soba and tempura set.
Other signature dishes at Watami include Beef Sukiyaki, Stone Pots, Assorted Tempura, Pizza, and oversized drinks.
Watami has over 700 restaurants in Asia and has branches in Glorietta 1 and at Mall of Asia, with more to open within the year. The restaurant is part of The Bistro Group, a collection of international hospitality casual dining brands and home-grown restaurant concepts, namely TGI Friday's, Italianni's, Fish & Co., Flapjacks, Pig Out!, Krazy Garlik, The Stock Market, Bulgogi Brothers, Ma Maison, Village Tavern, and Modern Shanghai.

For more information, visit Watami Philippines on Facebook.
STACKERS: The Penthouse Tuesdays!

Oh My Golly! Have you heard the good news? Stackers celebrates 5th birthday with PENTHOUSE TUESDAYS!

Yes, folks! Its Penthouse Tuesdays at all Stackers Burger Café as it celebrates 5 wonderful years!

All of us can enjoy STACKERS’ signature tower of brioche and 6 succulent burger patties with caramelized onions, tomato, Monterey jack cheese, American cheese and sunny green lettuce. With a choice of honey mustard or ranch dressing. All these, at 50% off, every Tuesday, all day, starting May 7, 2013. Yum yum yum!

Stackers’ burgers are made with 100% imported beef patty. Once you sink your teeth into its creations, you’ll surely get a satisfaction that your appetite has been craving for. 

Stackers Burger Café does not only serve burgers, it’s also home to the first and original Baked Fried Chicken. Stackers Burger Café style of cooking your chicken is not just unique, but is also healthier than other fried chicken brands in the country.

Come and celebrate STACKERS BURGER CAFÉ 5th anniversary and enjoy Penthouse Tuesdays at the following Stackers Burger Café branches:

STACKERS Eastwood Citywalk 1
The Venice Piazza –McKinley Hill,
Resorts World Manila

Like them on Facebook at stackersburgercafeph.

CAFE VELMA: Tagum City's Pride
What could be better than waking up in the morning to the smell of your favorite coffee and longganisa?

I was still half asleep when my roommate dragged me down from our hotel room to the restaurant downstairs to claim our free breakfast. We wanted to be the first one to eat and take photos of the various breakfast offerings of Cafe Velma.
Delicious Ham!
Breaded Pork
Fresh Salad

Cheers to Good Times

Have you ever been in this situation?  

Everyone's worried and anxious—waiting for the result of your presentation. You haven't slept properly for days working on that pitch. Then your phone rings. You almost drop it since you've been running on coffee all day. You're nervous but you answer. Yes! You win the client and everyone in the office starts buzzing, then screaming. You deserve to party. Go and celebrate this good time with your team!  

“Partying is our way of saying ‘yahoo’ and expressing our delight in achieving success. Since the leap is very important to us, our way of celebration should be something that we will remember together with that accomplishment,” says Von de Torres, Managing Director, Emperador Distillers.  

De Torres believes that partying over wine makes good times even better. “There are so many things in common about wine and happiness. As an American Chef-Author, Julia Child would put it, wine is one of the agreeable and essential ingredients of life.  We all agree to happiness and its essence in our life so as with wine in important celebrations.” 

But in order to have a real good time, be sure to get only the real and fine wine. People could all agree that only with fine wine can celebrations be truly enjoyed so it should be wine that gives authentic world-class flavor that special moments deserve. It should be something that doesn’t only fit the occasion but a high-quality wine that suits the taste. 

Emperador Distillers brings Rossi Sweet Red, a sweet red wine crafted from grapes grown in California’s sun-drenched vineyards and bursting with flavor and aroma, for your cheers to good times. It has layers of vanilla, bright cherry and wild raspberry flavor creating a different kind of sweetness. 

“Yes it is sweet but remains a real wine. It’s that different kind of sweetness that makes it unique but authentic. This is how real red wine should be. You can only expect such authenticity from the number one table wine in the world.”De Torres warns against unauthentic sweet wines. “They’re basically bottled with very low alcohol content and lots of sweeteners, which is a far cry from authentic Rossi,” she says, adding that Rossi Sweet Red was specifically created to be sweet and be consumed cold, “As in with ice.” 

One can already hear the purists scoffing but wine on-the-rocks is already becoming a trend in the US. Rossi Sweet Red, in particular, is recommended to be enjoyed with ice.  

The ice, De Torres said, brings out the flavor and makes for a smoother finish and doesn’t compromise the taste and actually makes it even better. Even if the ice melts, the taste stays perfect so everyone can savor all the sweetness and real wine flavor. 

So celebrate sweet victories, big or small—winning a pitch, wedding engagements, graduations, having a baby—with a wine that is just as sweet and a bit more refreshing. These are good times worth partying for. There’s a reason to be happy and to celebrate everyday. Whether baby steps or big leaps, you can always cheers to good times with Rossi Sweet Red.
EASTWOOD: Levante Night and Food Market Opens

Culinary adventures await you at Eastwood’s Levante night and food market this May!

Eat’s going to be a fun foodie adventure in Eastwood as the Mercato Centrale group, organizer of the premier food and lifestyle night markets around the metropolis, brings to you Levante – the newest night food market in Eastwood Citywalk 2. Grand opening is on May 17, 2013, Friday from 6pm to 3am.

Enjoy a culinary adventure at Levante with its mouth-watering homemade cooking straight from the kitchens of Eastwood’s budding food entrepreneurs, along with your favorite Pinoy street foods and, of course, the best-selling dishes from your favorite Mercato Centrale vendors.

“Eastwood has always been very supportive of new food concepts, from their new fusion restaurants up to their gourmet food markets in the malls. We are very glad to bring the Mercato Centrale concept to Eastwood to further complement the foodie-friendly lifestyle they have created” said Anton Diaz, co-organizer of Levante. Diaz is responsible for the popular food and travel blog

Come over to the grand opening of Levante and enjoy great-tasting and affordable food, pastry and dessert choices and live acoustic entertainment. Levante is open only on Fridays, 6pm to 3pm.

“We can’t wait for the residents, office workers and visitors of Eastwood City to enjoy the wide variety of gourmet and artisanal vendors we are bringing to the market!” added RJ Ledesma, co-organizer of Levante.
For vendor inquiries, please contact (+63 917) 840-1152 or (+632) 812-0102, or visit