Hizon’s Catering: Making Dream Events Come True

Good food, service…with a heart. Hizon’s Catering may be an unknown entity to some but is omnipresent to big parties like weddings, corporate events, baptisms, birthdays, anniversaries, debuts, and many more occasions who cater at these events all over Metro Manila. Hizon’s has built a strong reputation for high quality corporate or private catering for the past 29 years since it first opened. Their dedicated following have given them valuable insights and ideas that inspire their continuous effort to provide better and improved services to a wide set of clients.

Their talented team of event planners, professional chefs and staff all share a passion for delivering an outstanding service no matter whether it is a small private dinner, an event to promote your brand or a corporate event of about 15,000 people. This wealth of experience and an eye for detail ensures that they provide their clientele with an experience second to none. No wonder, they have been named as the country’s no. 1 catering company in the Philippines.

Through the years, they have been working with many high-profile brands, private clients and are very proud that many of their original clients remain loyal customers. Here are some of their most ardent clients:


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Just a few days ago, dozens of personalities from the media, (mostly bloggers) were treated a sample of the high-value catering services like corporate catering, private catering, wedding and a children’s party. Held at the Oasis Manila Pavilion, each of the services was showcased and gave us a worm’s eye-view of each event as we leapfrogged from one showcase to another.

Each event were made up of custom menus to suit a particular like or budget. They offered full service including beautifully displayed and delectable dishes as well as beverage, staffing and equipment. The canapés and desserts were delicious and glasses were constantly topped up or replaced with new filled servings. The staff were very polite and showed great initiative and organisational skills.

Leaving you with these pictures that highlighted a short but very fulfilling (and filling) experience with Hizon’s catering.

These four sample events provided a glimpse of how Hizon’s Catering can make your dream event happen. For more information, visit www.hizonscatering.com. You may also email: info@hizonscatering.com or call (02) 9250103 / (02) 9250107.


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Sample of main wedding reception table

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For the bride and the groom

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Complete with wedding talents

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A sample of their wedding specialty dishes would include:

Wedding Menu

Truffle Mushroom Soup:

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Peach Mango Salad with Candied Walnut and Smoked Salmon:

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Baked Fish Stuffed with Spinach and Tomato:

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Beef Salpicao with Grilled Vegetables and Mashed Potato:

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Chicken Sambal:

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Carving station:  Slow Roasted Beef with Hickory BBQ Sauce and Classic Mushroom Gravy and Thrice-Cooked Pork Belly with Cilantro Salsa:

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For small office seminars, the participants will enjoy the Omelette Cooking Station:

Filling choices: mushroom, ham, cheese, tomato, onion, bell pepper, bacon, shrimp, olive, chicken pesto, spinach

Bread (Baguette/Focaccia)


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Catering for an Awards Night ceremony would include:

Tempura Roll, Argentinian Steak Canape, Candied Bacon Canape, Tomato and Basil Confit in Skewers,

Crispy Beef Ssam Fresh Spring Roll, Smoked Salmon Caviar Crème Pop

Dessert bar: Vanilla Creme Brulee, Sunken Island, Peach Egg Tart,

Flourless Chocolate Cake, Mango Vanilla Pana Cotta

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Bacon-wrapped cocktail hotdogs with BBQ sauce

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Mini Hawaiian Delight Pizza

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Assorted Seafood Balls

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Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard sauce

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Nachos with Cheese sauce and gound beef


Make Your Dream Event Happen with Hizon’s Catering

Hizon’s Catering has been in business since 1987. Chances are you’ve attended an event they’ve catered for or you may have even hired them for your own celebration at some point.

Name the occasion and Hizon’s Catering has been part of it. Personal milestones such as baptism, graduation, wedding, and anniversary? Check! Birthday celebrations? Oh yes, with all sorts of themes to boot, ranging from the usual cartoon character-centered concept for kids and a simple SPArty for the debutante to a musical extravaganza for the rocker in the family and a lavish ball for the golden girl!

On the corporate front, Hizon’s Catering has extended its services to countless product launches, conferences, seminars, and festivities that mark the season like Easter, Halloween, and Christmas.

You want it casual, formal, or something in between? Hizon’s Catering can execute it for you. They can accommodate the meal service of your choice. Buffet is quite popular but they also frequently do cocktails. Sit down service is an option too.

“We have really good food,” guarantees Hizon’s Catering General Manager, Joseph Hizon. “We invest a lot in developing the menu, in the preparation of the food, and in our equipment. We make everything from scratch. As part of our culture, we don’t allow instant food and flavorings in our kitchens,” he adds.

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Joseph Hizon, Hizon’s Catering General Manager.

The biggest event they’ve handled had a whopping 15,000 guests but they can cater intimate get togethers of 50 persons as well. Menu packages start at P450 per person.

“We are not the cheapest but you get a lot for what you pay for, that’s what we’re known for, what we give you is of good value,” shares Joseph. “We take care of everything. Aside from the usual food, tables, chairs and waiter service, we can also handle the amenities. These are the small things that you don’t want to bother with like the bridal car. If you’re looking for a hotel in the area, we can put that in the package too,”. They have a team of event planners headed by Cheska Pineda and an event planner is assigned to every client to coordinate all the details, even the styling. “We don’t mark-up on it, it’s like an added service,” he points out. Having to deal with just one person lessens the headache and makes all the difference.

Hizon’s Catering always goes the extra mile to make your dream event happen. They even help those who are not their clients! Through their website, they are able to share their expertise with everyone. If you log on to www.hizonscatering.com and access the blog section, you will find tips for different types of parties, from conceptualization to implementation. The website also contains a list of churches and event venues, with photos and basic information about each. “We’ve made it easier for you!,” emphasizes Joseph. Incidentally, Hizon’s is the caterer accredited by the most number of venues in Metro Manila.

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The event was made possible with the support of Oasis Manila, Advent Light & Sounds, Sentimental Groove Band, Bars Datiles Design Props, Star Balloon, Enzuno Cakes, The Photoman, Keon Salon, Jerome Yu LED Projector, and Myra Lorenzo who emceed the program.


The Earth Kitchen: A Healthy Approach To Dining

The Earth Kitchen @Bonifacio High Street Central

The natively-tuned decor and the simple yet elegant ambiance of this homey and woodsy second setting of the Earth Kitchen at Bonifacio Global City might explain how they can do what they do: serve original, healthy and ingenious cuisine using the best local ingredients!

The owners have partnered with local farmers and indigenous communities that produce organic products—and it shows. From their fresh vegetable salads, tender beef offerings to exceptional goat cheese ice cream and fruit shakes, there’s delectable quality throughout!

Earth Kitchen’s facade

From the outside, The Earth Kitchen at the BGC appears to be a Cafe in a garden setting, similar to that of their first branch located along White Plains Avenue (Katipunan Ext.) but this one is toned down with just a few pots of plants displayed below their signage and glass door entrance. Inside though, reveals a more relaxed ambiance, sort of a cross between a car garage decorated with various plants hanging on wooden slabs atop the ceiling with tables and chairs made out of wood, spread out like in a picnic ground.

A peek inside

The stretch of the Boni High Street Central is awash of high-quality, fine dining and drinking places but the Earth Kitchen is still not a place where you’d expect to find cooking of this quality. The owners wanted this place to be like a picnic ground with just simple, healthy food offerings but the extraordinary food makes you forget everything else.

This restaurant is not cuisine-specific. Their food fare caters to everyone, from vegetarian to meat-based, fish, you name it– they got it! Most importantly, they take pride in using local ingredients, as they believe in the philosophy of using what is found in the local markets.

And now, the food! I’m not surprised anymore why restaurants such as these that offer gastronomic delights are handled by Public Relations maven, Ms. Nana Nadal who has cornered many of the best eateries that offers new culinary trends. Again, i was fortunate enough to be invited by her to try out this delightful find that offers the best dishes in the metro at reasonable prices, with service befitting the setting.

The Earth Kitchen’s top four offerings are Beef Kebab, Watermelon and Rocket Salad,  Beef Bulgogi Soft Taco and Shrimp Spring Rolls.

Rather than worrying about whether Nana’s favorite Beef Kabab are as delectable and authentic as those of Behrouz’ along the Scout area in Quezon City, the Kitchen’s tour of dishes becomes a mini-adventure in flavor, color and creativeness. And yes, the Beef Kebab has that middle-eastern twang to it and so was the brown rice pillaf and sauce that were served on the sides.

Beef Kabab (Nana’s favorite) — P410.00

The vegetable salad entry of greens was a riot of color, texture with stand-outs being the white cheese toppings, watermelons and all the organic plant based vegetable you could find along White Plains Avenue! I’m not sure why they called this the Rocket salad as we were just glued on our seats concentrating (others pretending) to like this amalgam of green, yellow and red healthy stuff. Next…

Watermelon and Rocket Salad — P300.00

This is one of my favorites, the Beef Bulgogi in Soft Taco which should be rolled and eaten like an ordinary taco. Great combination of organic salad greens, seaweeds and boneless beef ribs that’s right up to the last bite! Check!

Beef Bulgogi in Soft Taco — P310.00

Not every dish here is above criticism. This off-beat creation of combining herbs, greens, peanuts and shrimp was not the best match. The vegetable was a little starchy, over-powering the taste of shrimps if ever there was one. Even the excellent lime hoisin sauce couldn’t save it from mediocrity. The Shrimp Spring Rolls came as the odd one out!

Shrimp Spring Rolls — P220 (Regular) P325.00 (Large)

If you’re not at imminent risk of having a heart attack, Earth Kitchen has prepared this sumptuous dish for meat lovers or for anybody who likes to take protein as recovery food after an intense work-out. The Braised Bacon has two slabs of thick ribs crafted from what seems like pork belly. So rich and so succulent, the boneless fatty-edge meat is exceptionally tender and juicy. A fruity, peppery marinade gives it intensity, while pickled red cabbage and the marble potatoes are the perfect accompaniment.

Braised Bacon — P580.00

Another one of the heart thumpers is the Risotto Milanese, an organic braised beef short rib which was tasty, supple and tender. While the rice has the perfect consistency, it was the short ribs that melted in the mouth. I was able to get the shank part so i scooped, sucked and licked all the bone marrow inside. I think i ate a lot of this thingy so it was my meds that i reached for right after! 🙂

Risotto Milanese — P640.00

The Beef and Citrus Salad is a perfect combination of beef rib chunks, greens, diced raw papaya and dayap vinaigrette. Not too much funfare here but just your solid meat and green salad! Perfect!

Beef and Citrus Salad — P320.00

The Paccheri (pronounced as ˈpakkeri’) is new to me and the pasta in this particular dish has been made into flat slabs with goat’s cheese roasted pumpkin and pili nuts added into the mix to give it its distinct flavor.

Pumpkin and Goat’s Cheese Paccheri — P340.00

Squid Ink beans anyone? This may look strange but it’s actually good! The squid ink gives the Risotto Uni Negra its blackish color but the taste is not too over-powering but has just the right flavorful mix with the French beans and scallops–one you should try.

Risotto Uni Negra — P350.00

The Four Mushroom and Egg is Earth Kitchen’s version of Carbonara. It has strips of bacon, four kinds of mushrooms including Shiitake, milky and button mushrooms plus fortified with organic eggs. One of the best pastas in their menu.

Four Mushroom and Egg — P385.00

The Sweet Potato takes on a different mask with this delectable recipe that includes white cheese, pili nuts, parmesan cheese, pomodoro sauce, basil and the basic camote tops. A must try.

Sweet Potato Tops Ravioli — P400.00

Tired of eating old ice-cream flavors? Try the Goat’s Cheese ice cream, a combination of wild honey, dried figs, cashew nuts and goat’s cheese*. (*goat not included).

Goat’s Cheese Ice Cream — P270.00

And finally, Fresh Juices to die for. The red one below is called Got Heart Mix which includes a mixture of beets, carrots, cucumber, apple and honey while the yellow one is Mango Yoghurt Shake.

Got Heart Mix — P200.00 / Mango Yoghurt Shake — P 130.00

Bon Appetit!

Running To Mr. Choi Kitchen

There’s this old traditional thing about serving a noodle dish or the local “pancit”, in its many varieties during birthdays that’s said to signify a longer life and good health to the celebrant.

It’s a basic dish that’s almost always included in every birthday table so when good friend Leo took us out for dinner for his nth birthday, we went to Mr. Choi Kitchen Restaurant and ordered, among many other house specialties, the “Birthday Noodles”!

Leo (seated), the birthday celebrant and the “youngest” in our team.

Famed for their all-time favorite Cantonese dimsun, Mr. Choi Kitchen, located inside Robinson’s Galleria Mall (one among many of their branches in the metro) serves the typical Chinese fare, but the menu offers a wide variety of dishes. When finding a table inside, you’ll notice a display of barbecued meats – pork ribs, pork belly and whole ducks–at the kitchen glass window after you enter.

From their specialty dimsum dumplings, breakfast congees, roasted dishes and a wide assortment of fish, pork, prawns and other delectable soup noodles, all are cooked and served in the all familiar Hongkong style flair. There were so many dishes to choose from so we let Leo do the choosing since he has dined here countless of times and knew what the “blockbuster” offerings were.

Here’s what he ordered for us:

Sihk faahn 食飯 (Bon appetit!)

Birthday Noodles – P255.00

The Birthday Noodles, ordered so as to celebrate Leo’s almost seven decades of existence on this planet is a mishmash of quail eggs, fish balls, chicken, pork, mushrooms and fish cutlets cooked with the typical pancit canton noodles, garnished with fresh vegetables and a little broth for those who want some soup poured into their rice. Truly yummy! May this dish add more quality years to Leo’s truly enviable life with Manang Sylvia.

Cold Cuts combination – P405.00

The Assorted Chinese Cold Cuts tossed in light garlic sauce made an appetizing starter. However, this didn’t live up to my expectations. Though the century eggs was satisfyingly tasty and the jelly fish flavorful, the asado meat was fatty, lump and a little rubbery.

Steamed Fish with Garlic Sauce – P285.00

The Steamed Fish in Garlic Sauce was the highlight of the night! I thought i couldn’t love anything more than the Chicken Salad but this was delicioso! So tender, flaky, spread on thick sauce with just the right sweetness.  Lavished with minced garlic and chopped spring onions, this isn’t something that i would normally eat with gusto but it was absolutely amazing that i couldn’t stop eating once i had it melting in my mouth!

Beef with Broccoli – P295.00

The Beef with Broccoli was tender and succulent and it was the dish i really enjoyed eating with my rice. This is the only dish where i actually get to eat the broccoli!

Hot Chicken Salad – P290.00

The tender chicken cutlets is an interesting variation of a chicken dish. Called Chicken Salad, (sans potatoes and macaroni) these are pieces of tenderized chicken, coated in lustrous mayonnaise-like sauce, then garnished with a vegetable salad. Flavorful to the max!

Mr. Choi’s Butchi – P170.00

To top everything was the Buchi dessert which was just perfect, not too sweet but very filling. Reminds me of Chow Kings’ version, only, this is bigger! This rice ball is simply perfection!

The gang

After a tiring long morning run, Mr. Choi Kitchen, in Robinsons Galleria, is a good choice to replenish energy and definitely one you should keep in mind if your taste buds seek for affordable Cantonese food!

Food Review: Museum Cafe at Greenbelt 4

When i run at the Ayala Triangle in the Makati area (which isn’t often), i usually see this large cafe just beside the Ayala Museum brimming with office workers, runners and triathletes sipping coffee with their food outside the front door, al fresco and i thought this should be a perfect way to have coffee and a light breakfast after a training run. I did get to visit the place and thought of writing something about it.

Museum Cafe or M Cafe:  Situated within the periphery of the Ayala Museum, this engaging three-in-one offering (bar, restaurant and café) owes its distinct pedigree from the Raintree Restaurant Group that also owns the Grand Cafe Chelsea, Momo Cafe, Stella and the Kabila Filipino Bistro, which is just situated beside M Cafe.

M Cafe’s interior

The interior is contemporary. The hanging crystal-like baloon lamps, rug decor, high ceilings and modern art works has its charms, but on a warm night, it’s the food and the ambiance inside that diners flock to. I was able to check out the place 3 weeks ago on a late lunch when we were invited by PR marketing giant Ogilvy & Mather to a product-service launching.

The all-day menu has built itself as an Asian Cuisine with a modern twist. It fuses Chinese, Filipino and other Asian flavors in innovative combinations resulting in inventive, flavorful dishes i wished i get to sample everyday.

After an appetizer of crispy shrimp ukoy, i had some delectable sharksfin dimsun, freshly steamed with its special light soy, chili and calamansi sauce. The Vietnamese spring rolls is similar to our Lumpia Shanghai but made a bit spicier because of fresh Asian herbs that was garnished into it. The sweetfire chicken wings was another winner as it had that buffallo wings thingy taste–juicy and spicy and it did well with the garlic yogurt dip.

I also had a slicing of the pizza which had bits of Spanish ham (jamon), garlic onions, olives and cilantro. Although uniquely their own, there was nothing eventful about it.  The Mpanada was filling, with generous ground meat and herbs to give it a stirring taste. New to me was the Asian Crab Cake and their special, the Pipino Ensalada which is shredded cucumbers with red and white radish.

Prices here are not cheap, but there’s no arguing that this is a quality dining experience. Note that M Cafe shares the menu of their sister restaurant, the Kabila Filipino Bistro which is immediately beside them at Greenbelt 4.

Here are the pics of my food sampling:

Shrimp Ukoy – P195.00

Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Crispy Lumpia) P295.00

Sweetfire Chicken Wings – P325.00

Pizza Rustica Spanish – P495.00

Ensalada Pipino at Labanos- P95.00

Mpanada – P195.00

Sharksfin Cilantro Dumpling – P225.00

M’s Asian Crab Cakes – P425.00

Dalandan Iced Tea – P125.00

Beeffalo Restaurant: Marikina’s Best Kept Secret

I was relieved to finally reach the Beeffalo By Hotrocks Restaurant at Sto. Nino, Marikina last night after the horrendous traffic along Aurora Boulevard which almost came to a standstill. What was supposed to be a 25 minuted drive took me about 2.5 hours to negotiate.

Beeffalo is located a kilometer away from the Marikina Sports Complex and it’s behind the Blue Wave at Marquinton Mall. With no directional signages nor even small billboards to direct diners to this food sanctuary,  the place has become a veritable best kept secret of Marikina. Their baby back ribs, porterhouse steak and delectable desserts are some of the reasons why people as far as Alabang, Bulacan and Laguna would suddenly appear at their doorsteps armed only with their google maps and memorized verbal instructions given to them by people they’ve asked along the route.

Arriving at the Beeffalo way past our appointed time for our scheduled dinner, i saw long lines of cars parked in front of this resto, with lights glistening from inside. And this place is serious! Originally intended as a small eatery, the edifice is actually made up of container vans refurbished in the style of the old american roadhouses and is filled with retro design features: vintage television set; an antique sewing machine, a rotary dial telephone, 50’s bicycles and an old original Vespa scooter, many of them donated or lent by friends.

The look is certainly distinctive but the effect is homey, where families and friends can gather together and enjoy watching their food being grilled in the barbecue pit located at one corner of the entrance. The smell of barbecue smoke was enticing while the sight of meats being grilled was mouth watering!

Omar at the bbque pit

The house-like ambiance was packed with customers and walking past peoples’ plates, i knew i was going to have another gastronomical experience.

The garden area

The indoor dining area

Roofed Al Fresco

The main attraction though is the menu, loosely styled on American cuisine with steaks (T-bone and Porterhouse with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetable salad added), baby back ribs, (tender and succulent) buffalo chicken wings (very hot or sweet n spicy) and even thin-crust biscuit pizzas (all fresh ingredients). Of course, there’s also the all-time Filipino favorite like “inihaw na liempo” and street food barbecue like isaw, tenga and bulaklak!

Our Porterhouse was exemplary, thin but soft. But be careful when ordering the buffalo wings– the original style is really, really hot! We particularly like the endlessly refilled cucumber lemonade but we were offered wine as well, carefully selected by co-owner and Executive Chef, Girlie Cosio-Abad who has them shipped from California.

The portions are large and generous so ideally, it is best to have 3 or more people as it’s more a “family style” dining and you get lots of extras.

Queues are common specially during week-ends. Fridays and Saturdays are almost full to the brim! They also accept bookings for special occasions.

Beeffalo’s facade

Adding to the delight of discovering this new digs is that Beeffalo’s General Manager and Chef Girlie’s husband, Louie Abad is a long distance runner and is currently training for his first ever 42k marathon under The Bull Runner’s TBR Dream Marathon this coming February, 2015.  He would walk from table to table or give instructions to his service staff then would sit again on our table asking tips on all things running. One unanimous advice we gave him— quit smoking!

Louie has been in the restaurant business for more than 8 years so he’s comfortable holding court specially if you want to talk with him about food but obviously, all he’s thinking now is how he would finish his first marathon with 3 months to go and with very little training!

I’ll now gloat on the food we had last night and trying to sample all had me so full and bloated!

Bon Appetit!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup — P65.00

Seafood and Corn Chowder — P90.00

Taco Bbq Salad (for two) — P275.00

Beeffalo Wings: Original Buffalo Style (with Blue Cheese Dip) Hot or Sweet — P195.00

Street Food Barbecue Platter

Porterhouse Steak (250g) — P385.00

Baby Back Ribs Single (with Java Rice) — P270.00

Baby Back Ribs Full (with Java Rice) — P740.00

Garlic Shrimp Pasta (Cream-based sauce with rich garlic flavor) — P195.00

Classic Baked Potato Mash — P65.00

Pepperoni Pizza — P140.00

Margherita (Fresh Tomato and Basil) Pizza — P145.00

Beeffalo Home-made Special Sauce (Red Chili, Green Chili and B-BQ Sauce)

Brazo De Mercedes — P125.00

Dulce De Leche Cheese Cake — P165.00

Charles Shaw Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)

Nachos (Salsa or Spinach Dip) — P135.00

Cucumber Lemonade — P60.00/95.00

The people behind Beeffalo by Hotrocks. L-R: Louie Abad, General Manager; Girlie Cosio-Abad, Executive Chef and Caren Diaz, Finance Manager

L-R: Girlie Abad, Ruth Floresca, Noy Floresca, me, Caren Diaz, Nana Nadal and Louie Abad





Eating At Lorenzo’s Way

I must have eaten at this place a half dozen times, most of them after short, evening runs with friends or when i get to attend product launches which are sometimes held in this fine restaurant. There are plenty of fine Filipino restaurants within the Bonifacio Global City but this place takes it to a whole new level.

Lorenzo’s Way is one great fine dining resto, it has this classic touch, the place is visually nice and the food is top notch, Filipino style! I soon found at that Lorenzo’s Way is owned and operated by the same owners of Cafe Adriatico, Cafe Havana and Abe Restaurant, favorite hang-out of people who love good food.

You would feel at home here, even if you enter in your sweaty work-out shirt, shorts and dirty running shoes as the service staff are very welcoming on each customer and there’s the usual greetings as soon as they recognize you, if you’ve been frequenting the place.

Getting to the food, there’s the usual favorites which we often order like the Binukadkad na Pla-pla and the garlic chicken which are their specials! Lots of other dishes to choose from and i have listed below some of their other dishes offered in an event launch last week.

I would recommend this place for anyone who works or lives in Bonifacio Global City. It’s great for an evening or lunch get together, not your typically over-priced restaurant and the food here tastes so good!

Crispy Baby Squid

Nice to have a beer with this, crispy deep fried baby squids. Addicting as you munch on this while waiting for the main course. I prefer to dip this in garlicky vinegar instead of the chili sauce.

Bulalo Soup

Mini servings of beef shanks and bone marrow soup. Reminds me of Tagaytay’s authentic Bulalo.

Binukadkad na Pla-pla

The meat of this large Tilapia is sliced on both sides up to its head, just exposing the thorns and is deep-fried to perfection. Best served with soy sauce cum bits of onions and red chili or local vinegar sauce. The outside turned out really crispy, while the inside was tender and flavorful as you could taste all the flavorings in it!

Bamboo Rice

Fried rice with bits of chicken, mushroom and shrimps served in a short,  open bamboo pole. Just good for two people so you have to order some more if you’re more than two.

Braised Beef Short Ribs (Beef Calderata)

Large chunks of beef which is creamy while the tomato sauce is not too overbearing. Cooked with the usual carrots, potatoes and olives.

Spanish Garlic Chicken

The chicken here has been marinated, oven cooked with whole cloves of garlic that are sauteed in olive oil, mashed into small bits, and added back in towards the end of cooking. One of the best chicken recipes i have ever tasted! You can eat the garlic if you want but don’t forget to brush your teeth after!

Kangkong Lechon

Tender pork belly deep-fried and we had a rind that is crisp and puffed. Served together with sauteed adobong Kangkong (water spinach) and you have a winner!

Mild Gising-gising

Bicol vegetable dish made with ground pork, green beans, coconut milk and chilis. Great with steamed rice!

Banana Chocolate Volcano Cake

Dessert came in the form of a chocolate cake topped with roasted bananas, smothered with chocolate syrup and coffee creme sauce. A great dessert to end a meal!

Rico Corn Rice: A Rice Alternative For Runners

Maybe you all know the fact about how we Filipinos eat far more than our fair share of rice–making us one of the world’s largest rice consumers and importers since 2010 (from a rice exporter years before that) despite our continuously being a rice producer. Continuous seasonal monsoon damaged to crops, shrinking arable lands and a faster rise of our population more than we can stock up on the staple are the main reasons why we can not sustain its production.

However, our corn supply remains adequate and with its availability, a state-of-the-art corn-drying facility was set up by a food company, the Philippine Leading Infinite Logistics, Inc or PLILI which came up with rice-shaped corn. This product called RiCo has the healthy benefits of corn with the shape and the delectable taste of rice.

RiCo corn rice is a good replacement for white rice as it is made from 100% Philippine grown corn and is rich in B-vitamins, calcium and iron. It has no cholesterol and low glycemic index which can help keep rice lovers fit and healthy!

Athletes, particularly runners know that whole grains, vegetables and fruits are good sources of energy because they contain nutrients that fuel their runs and repair muscles. But many of us might not realize that while each of these foods is individually nutritious, corn–which is also a food staple in the Visayas and Mindanao also provides more bang with every bite.

RiCo rice corn sample when cooked

One of a runner’s carbohydrate staples is corn and for good reasons. It’s tasty, nutritious and energy-filling. When certain foods like corn are made something to look and taste like rice, it gives a new face and alternative to our ever dwindling staple food without losing it’s palatable tang!

Last Monday, we were invited to a luncheon to taste different dishes using the RiCo corn rice with no less than famous celebrity chef, Chef Jessie Sinsioco at her “Chef Jessie Restaurant” at the Rockwell Club in Makati. It was one gastronomic delight after another with Chef Jessie’s expertise in mixing the corn rice in these dishes:

Mesclun Greens Salad in Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing with Prawn RiCo pops

The Mescun Green Salad is excellent and the veggies were really fresh and crispy. It’s not a traditional tossed salad, but rather deli salads scooped onto a bed of raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The crusted prawn ball made of corn-rice was the real icing on the salad with a single big chunk of prawn tucked inside that perfectly complemented the dish!

Minestrone with RiCo corn rice

The ministrone soup was one of the best i ever tasted as it was one of Chef Jessie’s surprise dish combining the soup with grains of the corn rice which was very filling that i could have made a meal out of it!

Pan-fried Codfish Fillet in Pommery Mustard Sauce with RiCo Corn Rice Filaf and sauteed French Beans

The pan-fried codfish fillet is juicy and tender, but this may have been the menu’s weakest link as it was not seasoned and didn’t have much flavor as i would have liked! The mustard sauce didn’t help accentuate the flavor so i asked the waiter to bring me the pepper shake to spice it up a bit! The taste kicked up some twang when i poured some enchilada on top of it! Saved!

Grilled Chicken Breast in Creamy Pepper Sauce served with RiCo pilaf and sauteed French beans

The grilled chicken breast was succulent as it was grilled wonderfully and it was the perfect match for the Pilaf corn rice!

RiCo Corn Rice Crocant Roll for dessert

The corn rice crocant roll is what it is…crisp, sweet and a bit buttery but was excellent, nonetheless!

This was one healthy and delicious meal that everybody in the room enjoyed! The servings were perfectly portioned, mostly good quality ingredients and the RiCo corn rice was a perfect blend in the mix!


RiCo Corn Rice Makes Healthy, Yummy (Press Release)

In pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, there is no need to deprive ourselves of the pleasure of a good meal. With RiCo Corn Rice, we can have the best of both worlds.

Rico Corn Rice is made from 100% Philippine-grown corn fortified with iron and calcium. It tastes just like regular rice but provides the nutrition of corn. Each grain is naturally rich in antioxidants and vitamin A as well as beta-carotene and lutein for good eyesight.

As a complex carbohydrate, corn provides sustained energy. It is ideal for athletes and those who lead active lifestyles. Corn is known for its high fiber content, a quality valued by the figure conscious. In addition, corn has no cholesterol and has lower glycemic index for controlled and balanced blood sugar that is ideal for diabetics and weight watchers.

Incorporating RiCo corn rice into the daily routine is fairly simple, its preparation is not far from what we are accustomed to. At the recent launch of RiCo, their very own Chef Joey de la Cruz demonstrated the three easy steps of cooking RiCo: boil, pour, and simmer.

Boil the suggested amount of water. Then, pour the desired amount of RiCo. Finally, simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. To prevent loss of water-soluble nutrients, the grains should not be washed. If a loose and fluffy consistency (buhaghag) is preferred, RiCo should be cooked like pasta: boil the water, put in RiCo and then drain. RiCo retains its yellow hue even after it is cooked, making it very visually appealing and a hit among children.

Chef Jessie

The Jazzrunner meets the Jazz Singer/Host, Cara Manglapus

Ms. Kareeza Cristobal, Brand Manager of Philippine Leading Infinite Logistics Inc., distributors of RiCo Corn Rice

During the launch, Chef Jessie Sincioco demonstrated the versatility of the ingredient through a sit down meal of Mesclun Greens with Prawn RiCo pops, Minestrone with RiCo, a main course of Pan Fried Cod Fish Fillet in Pommery Mustard Sauce and Grilled Chicken Breast in Creamy Pepper Sauce served with RiCo Pilaf and sauteed French Beans, and RiCo Crocant Roll. At home, you can use RiCo in your daily favorites such as sinangag, java rice, yang chow rice, and paella.

The locally-produced RiCo is a first from the Philippines. Aside from making healthy, yummy, this innovation also provides increased livelihood for our farmers and develops our country’s natural resources.

¬RiCo is available in 1-kilogram (P70.00), 2-kilogram (125.00), and 5-kilogram (P300.00) packs at SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, Rustan’s Supermarket, Walter Mart Supermarket, Ever Supermarket, The Landmark Supermarket, Sta. Lucia East Supermarket, Pioneer Centre Supermarket, Hi-Top Supermarket, Cherry Foodarama, South Supermarket, NCCC Supermarket, Gaisano Mall, and other leading supermarkets nationwide.

For more information about RiCo, visit http://www.yummyhealthy.ph.

You may also click on the RiCo Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/yummyhealthylife. Follow news about RiCo on Instagram, http://instagram.com/yummyhealthylife and Twitter, https://twitter.com/yummyhealthyph.

Let’s Go Vegetarian: Let’s Go Gandiva!

I’ve never purposely been in a vegetarian restaurant/cafe before, much more when this cafe (with its wide roomy extension) also serves as a mini archery range for archery enthusiasts.

Just a few hundred meters away from our Ortigas office, the Gandiva Cafe and Archery Range, located at the 7th Floor, One Corporate Center Building, Julia Vargas corner Meralco Avenue, offers a delightful selection of healthy, vegetarian dishes for health enthusiasts and a practice and training ground for budding archery practitioners.

Getting there in a rainy Friday afternoon for the launching of their establishment is a bit of a drag but once you get there, you’ll immediately feel the ambiance and the staff’s hospitality as they did for us last night. As i took a seat near the glass panels overlooking the view outside Meralco Avenue, i am reminded of upscale watering holes where fun and laughter with friends often takes place over some bottles of beer. Only this time, mouth-watering fruit juices and coffee were served.

The interiors of Gandiva

For starters, we were served a sample of their Tuna Pesto, a mixture of fresh gotokula (don’t ask) and basil with nuts, fragrant flavours, similar in taste with that of Joey Pepperoni but not too spicy- it’s pasta with all the goodness. A sampling of their pizza came with the pasta. The slice of veggie pizza was light, with a veggie meat ham and other veggie trimmings laid into it although i wish they should have served more of this as a thin slice don’t really bite the taste palette much.

Tuna Festo, Pizza and Veggie Burger

Took a bite of the YAM Burger and it was yummy although the bread itself was a little bit dry. Burger patties come in two varieties, Mushroom and Soya Bean Burger.  The Choco cup cake was very interesting which they say is diabetic friendly and vegan, no dairy.

Runners who run frequently in the Ortigas area can surely drop by after their runs and enjoy’s Gandiva’s pasta, pizza, veggie sandwiches and other runner-friendly delights at very reasonable prices.

Highly recommended!

The crowd at Gandiva Cafe

Thanks to Jigs Padilla for the invitation and to Chef Lali for the superb food! For more info, you can go to their website at  www.gandiva.com.ph.