PLANET GRAPES – Wine Without The Drama at McKinley Hill
Planet Grapes, a wine store/wine bar, marks its formal opening at the G/F Bldg. 3 of Tuscany at McKinley Hill, Upper McKinley Road, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on July 30. Planet Grapes is the newest place for people who want to discover and drink wine without the anxiety or drama. At Planet Grapes, customers can discover and learn about wine one grape at a time. And with two in-store Enomatic wine dispensers, guests can try wine by the glass for up to sixteen different wines from the best wine regions in the world.

Planet Grapes offers an easygoing and wine-friendly ambiance where the uninitiated (and uninhibited!) can begin their journey to discover the world of wines. The state-of-the-art Italian enomatic machines allow customers to try different wines by the glass, in three different glass sizes: sip, half-glass, and full glass. Customers may also purchase wines by the bottle. The selections in the store are organized by grape varietals and grouped into red and white wine. You will find different representations or expressions of each grape varietal from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, North America, and South America. Each grape varietal has a distinct character, taste, aroma, body and mouth-feel. For white wine lovers, there’s Sauvignon Blanc, a light white wine with a somewhat `grassy’ flavor; Chardonnay, an elegantly crisp dry white varietal wine; Riesling, an off-dry white wine; and Gewurztraminer, a somewhat sweet and very aromatic white wine. For red wine lovers, the options are endless from the light and easy Pinot Noir, the ever-popular Merlot, the more sophisticated Cabernet Sauvignon, to the full-bodied Syrah or Shiraz.
At Planet Grapes, learning about wine is easy and fun. Attentive and well-trained Planet Grapes staff can provide ideal wine recommendations. Whether you are a wine newbie or a seasoned wine drinker who wants to try certain wines to pair with food, start a wine collection, or someone looking for a special gift, you can rely on the Planet Grapes staff to discuss each wine's characteristics, story, and perfect food pairings. 
The inviting wine bar has chic interiors with a modern touch, highlighted by the seamless interplay of wood and metal that adds up to its relaxed ambience. The atmosphere is enticing for customers who want to while away the hours, without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated by all the ceremony and rules (drama) that usually accompany wine drinking. The walls are adorned with neatly displayed wine bottles and subdued LED-lighting, with soft background music throughout the store, to offer an intimate and cozy feel perfect for an evening of relaxation and quiet conversation with friends. Alfresco seating is available and very popular for people who just want to watch the world go by. Aside from the impressive selection of wine, Planet Grapes also offers tasty small bites on its menu to pair with wine, including the must-try Filipino classic balut to go with any of the white wines. 
Planet Grapes is the latest brand created by the entrepreneur partners Romy Sia and Christian Tan. Sia’s interest in wine was sparked by his travels abroad. He got hooked on wine after reading Benjamin Wallace’s book, the New York Times bestseller, “The Billionaire’s Vinegar”. Since he aims to make wine enjoyment accessible and affordable to an increasingly affluent and savvy Filipino market, Sia thinks removing people’s anxiety towards wine is the best way to make wine a part of people’s lives. Planet Grapes, with its tagline of wine without the drama, is the solution. Three more Planet Grapes stores are planned to open soon and they will be at Century City Mall in Makati, Ayala Center Cebu, and River Park at Festival Mall Alabang.

For reservations, please contact (02) 551 – 3713. To inquire about wine tasting and workshop events or other details, please visit www.planetgrapes.com.ph. 
Rosemary Sandwich
SPAGHETTI


McVities Digestive Biscuits: A Healthy Option Snacks
Have you ever asked yourself why are you always hungry by 4 pm no matter what you had for lunch? Filipinos, no matter what part of the world they reside almost always have their afternoon snack we Filipinos call “merienda,” the counterpart of “tea time” by the British. 

And this is the time we usually have a stronger craving for food, especially those quick-to-grab yet unhealthy snacks—chips and cookies, in particular—when we feel hungry that we could “eat a horse.” But eating a heavy meal is not really advisable as it is just a few hours from dinner when we would usually have something filling.

Good thing that McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits offer a healthier option to too sweet and starchy snacks. Britain’s most popular biscuits are made from a blend of wheat flour and wholemeal and comes with a crumbly texture, an original and satisfying flavor that you’ll find yourself pleased very quickly! All variants of McVitie’s Digestives have no artificial colors or flavors and hydrogenated fat.

Now if you are someone who is always hungry, have a McVitie’s Digestive ready for you to eat even on the go. Just place 2-3 pieces of McVitie’s Digestives inside a Ziploc bag and place them in your purse for a quick yet healthy snack fix when you are on the road. Enjoy it with a cup of coffee or if you feel like being British, do what the Brits do and have it with a pot of tea in the afternoon.

But if you want your snack to be more fiber-rich, try the fiber-filled McVitie’s Wholewheat Digestive. The McVitie’s Wholewheat Digestive is made with 69 percent wholemeal wheat flour, where one biscuit contains a whole gram and is made with sunflower oil.

There is also a “lite” version, in case you really want to go uber-healthy. McVitie’s Light Digestive is your favorite McVitie’s Original Digestive, made using the same recipe blending wheat and wholemeal flour into a fine digestive since 1892, but with 30 percent less fat. It is made with sunflower oil where each biscuit contains 65 kcal, or fewer calories found in a banana.

For chocolate lovers out there, they will enjoy snacking on a McVitie’s Chocolate Digestive, a delicious wheat biscuit covered in a luscious layer of milk chocolate. The crunch of the biscuit combined with the melting of the rich chocolate makes this a truly perfect treat. On the other hand, McVitie’s Dark Chocolate Digestive is a combination of strong, almost bitter cocoa flavor of dark chocolate and the sweet crumble of the Digestive.

So the next time you reach for that bag of salty, starchy chips at 4 pm, think again. You do have other snack options you can enjoy yet are really healthy.

Go healthy when you’re hungry with McVities Digestive.

McVitie’s Digestives are available at leading supermarkets nationwide.
TITOS RESTO AND GRILL: Boracay's Hidden Gem
With a menu that features several exciting choices, both local and foreign tourists will surely find something to satisfy their palates. We started our gastronomical adventure in Boracay with Titos signature dishes beginning with its popular appetizers such as TITOS savory Hunghang Chicken (P200.00), one of TITOS best sellers! The dish consists of chicken wings twice fried, marinated and coated with its very own secret spicy recipe. I asked why it is called "Hunghang". I was told that "Hunghang" is the name of the owner's son college barkada (friend). Hunghang chicken is very tender and tasty. Even the smallest portion of the chicken seems to have been marinated. It instantly became one of my favorites!
Ensaladang Talong (P165.00). This dish consists of mashed grilled eggplant served in red corral lettuce, with tomatoes and red onions. It's very fresh and crunchy.

Several gourmet pizzas are also available. We had the creamy Carbonara Pizza (P450.00). Carbonara Pizza is one of Titos best sellers! A deliciously creamy pizza with ham, bacon, and mushrooms and topped with a sunny-side up egg. 

Love at first bite!This is so unique! Delicious and crunchy. One of my favorites. Verdict: Two Thumbs up! It is highly recommended. Please open a branch in Manila. Please!
For mouthwatering entrées, we had Tilapia with Mango Salsa (P310.00) which definitely hit the spot.

Adobo with Kesong Puti (P 255.00) is also one of the resto's signature dishes. It consists of a perfectly grilled pork and chicken in balsamic vinegar, whole peppercorn and bay leaf and topped with soft melted white Laguna cheese and crunchy golden garlic. Verdict: Two thumbs up!

Boracay Rice (P220.00) is yummylicious on its own. It consists of fried rice, small bacon bits, crunchy golden garlic topped with shredded scrambled egg. It is very delicious even without ulam (viand)!
Our panulak (drink) is a fresh mango shake! (P120.00)

We ended our meal with one of Titos signature dessert - Fried Halo-Halo ( P185.00) which consists of two deep fried Halo-Halo "rolls" served with creamy ube ice cream and topped with sweet mango chunks. Yum yum! It is said to have created a buzz in the local community as a must-try dessert.

TITOS Resto and Grill
2nd and 3rd floors0255 Station 2
Boracay, 5608 
Malay, Aklan
Telephone Numbers (036) 288-2369; (036) 663-0079 
Mon - Sun: 10:00 am - 2:00 am

Trapped in your hotel room because of the rain? Don't worry, TITOS Resto and Grill delivers for free! Call them up (036) 288-2369.
URBAN KITCHEN: Stylish and Practical Everyday Home Solutions
We've all been there: you're partying at a friend's home, having a glass of wine, and then it happens — you break the glass. If you are the guest do you replace or do you not replace? If you are the host, of course you could not ask your guest to replace your pretty fancy expensive crystal wine glasses collections. Lame isn't it?
Fret no more! Urban Kitchen now offers not only everyday home solutions but also party solutions! You could now party all you want without worrying that your guests would break any of your expensive wine glasses! 
I learned all these when I attended the media launch party “Chill in the City”by Urban Kitchen last week, July 18, 2013 at McKinley Hill Village Clubhouse.
Sexy and sassy Sam Oh hosted the event. Urban Kitchen took center stage as it showcased its latest line of kitchen and tableware products for the modern home.
I was dumbfounded. I never thought that plastics could ever imitate the quality of real glasses! This is so unbelievable! Urban Kitchen's wine glasses are lightweight, durable and graceful.
Science meets sophistication, and the result is Urban Kitchen stylish and practical everyday home solutions. 
Chef Ernest Reynoso Gala, an internationally trained chef, newspaper and magazine columnist and managing director of GalaStars Culinary School all rolled into one and his mom celebrity Chef Sylvia Reynoso-Gala, was also present during the event. 
Chef Ernest Reynoso-GalaChef Ernest who endorses Urban Kitchen’s products whipped up a healthy homemade salad, he called, “Green Goddess.” He used Urban Kitchen collections such as salad bowls, spatulas and condiment set during the demo. The colorful spatulas are truly an eye candy.They are so cute! You bet, it can give instant accent to your kitchen.
Chef Ernest personally uses Urban Kitchen chic solution collections at home and in his culinary school.
Urban Kitchen by Max Ideas are trendy, practical, genuine and innovative according to the lovely Ms. Charmaine Chua, General Manager of Max.Ideas Marketing Corporation, makers of Urban Kitchen.
“We thought of a relaxed and casual environment in launching our products because it reflects our vision of today’s modern home. Despite the rigorous and fast-paced lifestyle of people, they can still find time to relax and entertain their guests in the best way possible through delectable food and beverage preparations served the Urban Kitchen way,”Ms. Chriselda Chua, Marketing Manager explains.
              
Urban Kitchen Solutions for every home and every party! Cheers! You could now toast with confidence!
The quality and sturdy crystal looking plastic pitcher sets, tumblers, bowls, and canisters from Urban Kitchen. These stylish modern and classic designs are suitable for everyday use. 
Urban Kitchen has everything covered! From beverage dispensers, pitchers, salad bowls to wine glasses.
Your party does not need to look boring! Urban Kitchen products are classy and stylishly chic plus it is very practical. 
Urban Kitchen products can provide “easy living” and “easy entertaining” solutions in every home for every occasion.
Urban Kitchen products is the practical homemaker's choice for the modern home with busy lifestyles.
Urban Kitchen’s products are made from unbreakable material. So you don't need to worry now just in case your little kiddo reach out for the cookie jar.
Urban Kitchen is a leading brand of tableware products available in all leading department stores for today’s modern households and corporate and food service clients.Urban Kitchen is part of a complete offering of food service products and promotional items by Max.Ideas Marketing, which also distributes other excellent brands such as Rosseto, Tablecraft, Thermo Future Box, Loveramics and more.

When everything you've tried has failed and you're resorting to your emergency plan try Urban Kitchen Solutions. Let's Toast to that!
CAFE 1771: Desserts

Gianduja Truffle Mousse Cake (Php250). It consists of a tempting layer of gianduja truffle mousse with dark and white Valrhona chocolates with home-made marshmallow and brownie fudge. 

Gianduja (or gianduia) is a sweet chocolate containing about 30% hazelnut paste, invented in Turin, Italy during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte as king of Italy (1796-1814). 

Valrhona chocolates, on the other hand, are high-grade luxury chocolates manufactured by Valrhona, a manufacturer based in the small town of Tain-l'Hermitage in Hermitage, a wine-growing district near Lyon, France.
Desserts are top-notch in the Chateau tradition but in petite, personalized portions.
Sugar-free Passion Fruit Cake (Php230.00). It's a combination of coconut dacquoise, passion fruit bavaroise and caramelized pineapple using a natural sweetener.
Amandelle (Php300.00)

This milk chocolate mousse has layers of orange creme brulee and caramelized apricot and almond dacquoise.

Choco Espresso Shake (Php240.00). Ice blended is Boisson Glacee in French. Cafe 1771 serves it home-made style using quality ingredients. It is served ice cold. 

The Lounge which has a study or library ambiance where guests can have breakfast, lunch or dinner with a sense of privacy. You could eat these wonderful treats beside the tall French windows overlooking the parking lot or ADB Avenue.

Rating: Good

Cafe 1771
El Pueblo Complex

ADB Avenue corner Julia Vargas Ave.
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
(02) - 631-7340
CHEF SHARWIN TEE: The Sandwich Experiment
Sandwiches and Mondays makes me remember my elementary days. There’s a lot more to a sandwich than the typical ham-and-cheese kinds of combinations. Chef Sharwin Tee is about to prove on this next episode of “Curiosity Got the Chef”, where surprising, unique, and mouthwatering variations of the best on-the-go snack are prepared not only for convenience, but for pure satisfaction as well. 
Featuring scrumptious delicacies like a Beef Pochero Dip Sandwich, a Croque Manang, a Shrimp and Picked Mango Po’ Boy, and an Ube Macapuno Montecristo, Chef Sharwin is sure to bring you a wide array of ways to spice things up.
Don’t miss out on “Curiosity Got the Chef” at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday (July 17), only on the Lifestyle Network. For more details, log on to www.facebook.com/LifestyleNetwork.
Cafe 1771 Hearty Breakfast
We kick-started our breakfast with Sour Cream Pancakes. We had it with caramelized banana and candied walnuts (Php350.00). It's very Delicious! I especially love the walnuts!
Croque Madame is a happy croque monsieur (a grilled ham and cheese sandwich) topped with sunny-side up egg (Php370.00). One of our companions like this so much.

Eggs Florentine in a boat (P380). Cafe 1771 uses poached organic eggs and creamed spinach over a pastry boat topped with hollandaise sauce and served with salad and homemade ham. A to-die-for breakfast indeed! It tastes as good as it looks. We enjoyed every bite of it. A very good start of your day indeed. 
Our senses were fully awaken by the delicious aroma of this Adobo flakes fried rice! Adobo flakes fried rice (Php250.00) is basically garlic fried rice mixed with chicken pork adobo, spring onions with tomatoes on the side. It is topped with sunny-side up egg. We also tried the hungarian sausage. 

We were advised that customers, upon ordering, could request for the chef to adjust the salt level on their food. It is now the newest fashion for chefs to offer their customers an ear and give them a choice.
They let us sample their corned beef which was made from scratch. At Cafe 1771, they call this dish Hole-in-One Corned Beef which consists of corned beef hash and fried egg served with a choice of wheat bread or plain rice ( Php350.00).
Yummy Mango Juice. Click here for Cafe 1771 Desserts .

Cafe 1771 serves its hearty breakfast from 7:00 a.m - 11:00 a.m. But don't despair, 

Cafe 1771 is by far one of the most inviting breakfast places we have ever been to. Themed upon a great study, you could spend hours and hours of breakfast goodness feeling that you're just in the middle of your own home. Oh, I can I live at Cafe 1771 any time. 

Cafe 1771 eggs benedict are available all day long.

Rating: Very Good.
.
Cafe 1771
El Pueblo Complex

ADB Avenue corner Julia Vargas Ave.
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
(02) - 631-7340