Xin Tian Di, a Taste of Heaven on Earth
Authentic Chinese flavor is the essence of Xin Tian Di (新天地, which means “New Heaven and Earth” in English). It is the first in the country to make use of the latest duck oven technology – enabling traditional style, wood oven duck preparation. From the restaurant’s house specialty – roast duck with aromatic, crisp skin complemented by succulent meat – to the Dim sum Bar which serves up a wide array of mouthwatering selection.
Fried Hakaw
Crowne Plaza’s premiere Chinese restaurant, Xin Tian Di is among the first hotels that introduced the concept Dim sum buffet dubbed as “Dim sum Unlimited”. Guests may enjoy unlimited orders of more than 50 dim sum selections for only P 1,188 nett per person. 

Available for lunch, the menu offers an extensive offerings ranging from appetizer to dessert which includes soups, dumplings, rice, vegetarian and noodles. 
 Pan-fried Xiao Long Bao
Xin Tian Di also offers various Asian specialties such as famed Singaporean dishes such as Laksa, Deep fried Chicken in Coffee Sauce, Two Way Kai-lan (Chinese Brocoli) and Chili Crab.  Aside from Singaporean dishes, Chef Sam Lee also features other Asian cuisine every other month. Among them are Szechuan, Indonesian and Nonya.
Brightly colored red hues and Chinese lantern mark any type of celebration at Xin Tian Di. To make each celebration memorable, dine at any of Xin Tian Di's cozy and spacious private rooms or have a menu tailor fit for the occasion with one week prior to reservation required.
Xin Tian Di is the perfect place to experience and savor the flavors of China right here in Manila. Located at the 4th level, Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Ortigas Ave. corner ADB Ave., Quezon City.
For reservations and inquiries, call 633 7222 or email

Specialty: Roast Duck, Singaporean Laksa and Coffee Chicken

Unique features: Beech Wood Oven and Live Seafood (garoupa, shrimp, lobsters and crabs)

Special Promotions: Every other month Xin Tian Di highlights various Asian or Chinese Regional Cuisine. (April- Macau, June Dragon Boat Festival- Machang, August – Singaporean, October – Taiwanese)

Seating Capacity: 150 persons

Private room: 5 private rooms with maximum capacity of 36 persons

Available everyday for lunch and dinner

Yummy Chicken

Yummy Salad

Yummy Fish

California Maki

BLACK CANYON COFFEE: Now Open at Tuscany in McKinley Hill
Sawadee ka' / sawadee krup' means Hello in Thai language.
Yesterday, Friday, June 15, 2013, we were invited to the grand opening of Black Canyon Coffee's second branch in the Philippines located at the Ground Floor of Tuscany Bldg., Mckinley Hill in Taguig City (beside the Parking building across Venice Piazza).
Black Canyon Coffee is the largest and most well known operator of franchised coffee houses in Thailand. It has now more than 200 branches all around Thailand and with 40 international locations in Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Dubai, Cambodia, China, Laos and Indonesia.

Black Canyon Coffee offers a wide array of delicious coffee-and-tea-based concoctions. It's beverage is labelled as "a drink from Paradise . . . available on Earth."
I am so glad to know that Black Canyon Coffee serves not only coffee but also Thai International Cuisine. I'l gonna try their different Thai cuisine soon.
In  the above picture is Ms. Wilma Dy (the one wearing eyeglasses), President of Royal Thai Food Philippines, together with her efficient staff. 
Like  Black Canyon Coffee Philippines.on Facebook and visit their branches here in the Philippines.
VILLAGE TAVERN: Celebrates First Year Anniversary

Village Tavern invited us to try their newly introduced menu items and told us also about their Wednesday Night Out promo.

It has been one year since the first branch outside the US of Village Tavern landed in the Philippines, right at the heart of Bonifacio High Street. With welcoming interiors mixing both ye olde taverns of yore and a hunting lodge, this new kid on the block has cemented itself firmly as a must-eat place in the metro. Village Tavern opened to a smorgasbord menu ranging from healthy salads and whole-wheat flatbreads to specialties of chicken, pork and steaks.
In celebration of its first anniversary, The Bistro Group Corporate Head Chef Josh Boutwood whipped up new and exciting menu items that are sure to keep you coming back for more. “The new items in the menu are a gustatory celebration,” Boutwood declares. “At their heart are comfort foods that you would expect from your neighborhood tavern, should you have one, but with a hearty twist.”
To start with, try the small plates of Crispy Clams with Spicy Lemon DipSpicy Garlic Chicken Wings, and Shrimp Balls with Cilantro Lime – perfect to share and to begin a feast. 
Shrimp Balls with Cilantro Lime
A literal heart- and show-stopper is the Roasted Bone Marrow, best eaten spread on its accompanying freshly made sourdough bread, then lightly dipped in apple cider vinegar.
Roasted Bone Marrow
If your heart – and your stomach – can still handle it, choose from pizzas and Tavern Specialties that delight the senses. With servings made for sharing, the Village Tavern is the ideal hang out for group dates, barkada nights, and even family gatherings.

Need a substantial main to impress and feed everyone? Then go for the aptly named Tomahawk, which is a 35-ounce of perfectly aged steak, hand-cut and grilled to your liking. There’s something new at every turn, as the anniversary launches items such as the exotic Ox Cheek with Truffle Mash and Poached OnionsKansas RibsLamb Rack, and even Cod Fish and Lapu Lapu with Pico de Gallo.

As if that isn’t enough, Village Tavern is also hosting Wednesday Night Out, featuring half off on all wines by the glass, as well as all cocktails and liquors.
Says Chef Josh Boutwood, “With so many new restaurants in the metro, it can be quite difficult to create a following, especially as Filipinos become more adventurous. The new menu is our way of saying thank you to our loyal patrons – those who have their favorites and keep coming back for more, and of course, those who are always on the lookout for something new, something exciting, something to thrill their palate.

Village Tavern is located on the second floor of Bonifacio High Street Central. It is part of The Bistro Group, known for bringing in global franchises and for launching original exciting restaurant concepts. For more information, like VillageTavernPhilippines on Facebook and follow villagetavernph on Instagram.

BAYANI BREW: Healthy Purple Leaf Tea Drink 

For the first time I was able to taste Bayani Brew concoctions at Cucina Andare last night (June 7, 2013). The Bayani Brew Classic is an all-nutritious, all-delicious and all-Filipino beverage brewed from all natural sweet potato, purple leaf tops and lemongrass with a hint of calamansi I tasted calamansi (a native citrus plant) and talbos ng kamote (camote tops). I was surprised that talbos ng kamote tasted good. The other flavor is lemongrass which tasted good as well according to my fellow foodies. I should taste the other flavors next time.

Aside from the fact that the variations are unique and healthy, Bayani Brew's products are also for a good cause – the organization helps out the farmers who plant and harvest the ingredients being used. Bayani Brew is also brilliant concoction of the nanays (mothers) at Gawad Kalinga's Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan. The Enchanted Farm is a budding social development destination that provides homes and sustainable livelihood programs for relocated settlers. Here, the Bayani Brew crew shares in the beverage's profits as they work towards their 2024 goal of ending poverty by raising the income of subsistence agrarian reform beneficiaries.

Celebrate your love for our country with a refreshing drink made especially for nation-builders! The Bayani Brew Classic is an all-nutritious, all-delicious, all-Filipino beverage brewed from lemongrass and pandan leaves with a hint of calamansi. Grab a few bottles today and share the goodness with your favorite bayanis (heroes)!

Shelf life: 2 months from the production date.

All-Nutritious: Rich in Vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants awesome for your health
All-Delicious: Contains the perfect blend of fruits and herbs in every refreshing gulp
All-Filipino: Uses local ingredients, supports farming communities, and promotes countryside development

Ingredients: water, brews from lemongrass (tanglad), and pandan leaves, calamansi extract, sugar, vitamin C, and potassium sorbate to retain freshness
CUISINIERS: Grilling And Roasting At Cucina Andare
Nothing beats your "gutom" (hunger) on a rainy Friday night than an "oh, smokin' hot barbecue!" 

I was invited to a food feast at Cucina Andare tonight, Friday, June 7, 2013. One of the food stalls that caught my attention is Cuisiniers. Cuisinier (kwē-zē-nyā') is a French word that means male cook or chef. A female cook is 'cuisinière' (kwē-zē-nyer'). Cuisiniers is the ABS-CBN's FOOD MAGAZINE 2012 winner of the first ever BBQ Cook-Off, Pork Skewer Category! 

In Wikipedia, cook-off is described as "a cooking competition where the contestants each prepare dishes for judging either by a select group of judges or by the general public. Cook-offs are very popular among competitors (such as restaurants) with very similar dishes and serves as a way to decide which recipe is the best for that particular dish." 

For its bestselling pork barbecue, Cuisiniers uses pork loin, a premium cut that is very soft and tender. The meat is marinated for a couple of days for it to absorb all the flavors. The serving size for each stick is humongous.  Sold at only Php35.00 per stick! It even has a promo: if you buy 2 sticks, you get a free rice! Or if you don't want rice, you can save Php5 simply by buying three sticks at Php100. Cool eh? It’s enough to satisfy your "gutom". So next time, don't be "gutom" (hungry).
Another must-try is the chicken barbecue, which is tender, juicy, and grilled to perfection! It serves the best chicken BBQ! (At least for us!) It is one of the best tasting chicken barbecues I ever had and I believe all the foodies with me tonight would agree to that. Not only that, Anton, the author of the blog "Our awesome Planet" cited Cuisiniers as having the Best Barbecue Pork Skewers in the Metro today on his post. 

You would love for sure the "oh so tender and juicy and full of flavor roast beef!!!" It was slowly cooked for more than eight hours. 

Cuisiniers also offers the following:
  • Slow Roast Beef
  • Slow Roast Porkloin
  • Pork Barbecue
  • Grilled Liempo 
  • Boneless Chicken Barbecue.
Overall, my ultimate favorite is the chicken barbecue!
The owner comes from a family who is really fond of food, particularly barbecues and roasts. The very friendly and beautiful representative of the owner shared with us that Cuisiniers has been in the food scene ever since it opened a restaurant in the Makati Central Business District area way back in 2010. It serves various dishes and even baked goods there, but in Cucina Andare it focuses on its barbecues and roasted chicken. The owner eventually likes to open a stand-alone ihaw-ihaw (barbecue grill) place where it can serve more customers and keep on grilling.
It is available every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at CUCINA ANDARE from 4pm to 3am of the following day at Glorietta 3 open park.
My Yellow Kitchen: Delicious Snacks
One of the newest food stalls at Cucina Andare is My Yellow Kitchen.  I so love its Mushroom Pesto Panini. It's very delicious. You could taste the mushrooms in every bite. Plus, it is very affordable at only Php80.00.
Its Chicken Adobo Cream Pasta is very flavorful and delicious. You could taste the adobo (a popular dish in Philippine cuisine that involves meat, seafood or vegetables marinated in a sauce of vinegar and garlic, browned in oil and simmered in the marinade) in every bite. It's very tasty. It is very affordable at only Php100 per serving.

My Yellow Kitchen also offers spaghetti with hotdog. I was not able to taste it. But it looks delicious. Next time I drop by Cucina Andare, I'll try this.

My Yellow Kitchen is owned by Marion Vasque.
PING GU: Mushroom Fries
Ping Gu means Oyster Mushroom in Chinese. Coincidentally, Ping is the nickname of one of the owners of Ping Gu, a food cart business that serves freshly-picked and organic mushrooms coated in a special breading and then deep fried in Canola Oil.
Their mushrooms are freshly picked from Nasugbu, Batangas, we were told.
Here is how they cook the mushroom fries: (1) organic oyster mushrooms are coated with breading; and (2) deep-fried in canola oil using a deep fryer with temperature gauge to ensure that the Crispy Fried Oyster Mushroom by Ping Gu will be crispy. The crunch of the breading gave way to perfectly cooked meaty mushrooms. 
Ping Gu's Crispy Fried Oyster Mushroom is very crispy and delicious. This is a healthy alternative to the oily and salted French Fries.

Ping Gu dips are the following:
  • Garlic Mayo
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Gravy
  • Sweet Chili
Garlic mayo is the dipping sauce of choice and obviously a crowd favorite.
Ping Gu's Crispy Fried Oyster Mushroom owners were even featured in a magazine.
Ping Gu is owned by Jewel and Ping Joven. Jewel told us that they got the idea from her sister-in-law when she fried mushroom and they find it very delicious. They both love the fried mushroom.  Accordingly, husband-and-wife team decided to put up the business.
Jewel Joven and her husband Ping are very proud of their creation and even told us that everyday some of her clients came all the way from Quezon City just to buy her mushroom fries.