Monday, March 26, 2012

Enhance Your Kids' Culinary Talent at The Maya Kitchen

This summer, your aspiring little chefs get their chance to shine as The Maya Kitchen rolls out its Junior Culinary Workshops (JCW) on April 10-13 and Young People’s Cook-In (YPC) on April 17-20. Both sessions run from Tuesday to Friday.

In four days, boys and girls, 6-12 years old, could learn how to prepare the following: Quick & Easy Party Dishes, Classic Dishes, Nutritious Home Prepared Meals and Snacks and Desserts. Teens, 13 years old and up will learn Italian Specialties, East Meets West Menu, Delectable Treats and get the chance to join a real life Chefs’ Competition on the last day.

For a unique bonding experience with your kids, try out the Parent and Child Cooking Tandem on April 28 and May 5, 9am-1pm.

Other Lifestyle Classes for April include: Coffee 101, April 14, 1-6pm; Pastry Shop Sampler, April 21, 9am-2pm; and Frozen Delights, April 28, 2-6pm.Certificate Courses with Hands-On include: Basic Culinary is on April 10, 11, 12, 14 from 1-6pm and April 24-27, 9am-3pm. Barista starts on April 14, 1-6pm that includes 120 hours of on-the-job training. Fundamentals of Bakery Production is on April 17, 18, 19, 21, 2-6pm.  TESDA registered courses for career and professional cooks features Commercial Cooking NCII inclusive of 400 hours of lecture and demo with on-the-job training. Class starts on April 24, 9am-3pm.

For more information on other courses offerings, log on to  or  or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F  Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City or call 8921185 / 892-5011 local 108 / Mobile No. +63947 835 2290.

What REALLY is Brewing at NaiCha?

Shrimp Toast

The real deal in blogger's event last Saturday was to introduce Naicha's new concoction: buttery Caramel tea was based in authentic Taiwan oolong tea leaves brewed on that day and healthy Green Apple fruit juice, pureed and ice blended. Both are new to me as I stick to my ultimate favorite matcha green tea but made me realized I missed a lot of flavored teas. Now, I temporarily switch to Caramel tea.

The blogger's assembly was held at Naicha Lounge inside the LG2 Auto Haus Motor Services in Congressional Avenue, Quezon City. Tea lounge inside an automotive shop? why not? A new marketing approach to young people and car owners. Complete with WiFi access and high-definition tv, customers won't be bored waiting for their newly cleaned cars. Nice, isn't it?

Chips and Meaty dip

For me, the real deal of the event was the upcoming dishes to be served in all of their branches soon. I couldn't think of anything that complements my iced tea than cakes and pastries but NaiCha challenged my taste buds when they served Asian favorites .

Asian Tofu

To complement the refreshments, Shrimp Toast lead  the parade of delectable dishes, beautifully presented in white rectangle plate with very tasteful dip. Followed by chips and very meaty dip. I forgot the name of the below photo but it was my favorite. Nope, its not pretzels  but dried and crispy squid coated in sweet sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

It may not be good in pictures but the Pork Ribs Steak tasted so tender and flavorful. I wondered what sauce they used so I could imitate that at home and I thought I have an idea. Honestly, I tried it yesterday but I failed. I'm craving for it as I write this but I need to wait until their new menu appears.

Pork Ribs Steak

Twitter: @NaiChaMilkTea
Website: NaiCha

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's Brewing at NaiCha Milk Tea Lounge?

Caramel with Pearl and Pudding

Trendy brews including healthy green, herbal, black, oolong teas and fruit blends are tempting the country away from the traditional coffee and real tea. Milk teas which many people do not regard as tea at all, are winning new customers specially the nation’s younger consumers. This group are more likely to be more open to discovering the benefits of loose leaf, such as the full flavor of the larger leaves. Milk Tea, indeed, is the new cool drink!

Caramel and Green Apple

Something really good has invaded the Philippines since December 2010 when NAICHA MILK TEA started selling its blended milk teas from its first store located across Royal Duty Free Mall. 

Majority of NaiCha's silky milk teas were based in natural leaves of authentic oolong tea from Taiwan, freshly brewed everyday. They have a wide array of Tea and Fruit Blends at very affordable prices.

The newest addition to their "tea-novations" were unveiled last Saturday and I was one of the first few who tasted Caramel and Green Apple (2nd picture above). We also tried their best sellers Pearl Sweet Milk Tea, Kiwi Yakult, Wintermelon Naicha, Choco Milk Tea with Pudding, Lychee Juice with Sago and it was all so good! Their Milk Teas were creamy, unlike other tea store who uses full milk they are using a combination of milk and cream on it and if you are on a diet, you could request to lower down  sugar portion of your chosen tea. I hope more options like non fat milk and soya would be available soon.

More exciting good news regarding latest NaiCha's offerings are coming up on my next post. In the meantime, why not grab a big cup of milk tea and satisfy your thirst at the nearest NaiCha branch, where tea never tasted this good!
Branches in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

-Royal Duty Free Mall, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
-Food HubPalm Street, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
-Traders, SBMA Freeport Exchange
-Marquee Mall, Angeles Pampanga
-N. Domingo, Quezon City
-24 Congressional Avenue, Quezon City
-Convergys, Technohub
-St Paul College, Quezon City
-Centerpoint Building, Ortigas Center
-Petron Katipunan, Quezon City
-Vivida Towers, Omega Street, Regalado West Fairview, Quezon City

***NaiCha Milk Tea is also available for franchising, please contact;

Larry Castillo
mobile: 09178951516
email: larrycastillo_lgz@

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dinning Recommendations in Boracay

This summer, you probably chose the sensational sea, sand and sun of Boracay island to be your grand summer getaway. You can be sure, beach bummers and vacationers will be out in force in the island’s restaurants and bars, seeing and being seen this summer season. So come on, hole up in these restaurants for relaxed dining and partying at a reasonable prices....

Aria Italian Restaurant

To complete the feeling that you are really on a holiday, I suggest to go Italian for lunch at Aria Italian Restaurant nestled at the front of D'Mall in Boracay. For me, Pasta and Pizza is  the general idea of Italian food. It is such a big part of Italian cuisine.


Or try Friday's for dinner! They are well known for "Famous Friday's Night Buffet". The buffet is serve three times in a week from Monday, serving traditional Filipino buffet, Wednesday, Viva Italiana Buffet and Friday, catering BBQ and Grill Buffet.The restaurant has a great ambiance. Majority of restaurants in Bora are offering dine-by-the-beach-while-the-sun-sets but Friday's beach front is different among others because it is perfectly positioned on Boracay's eye-catching White Beach. Plus, it offers delectable cuisine.

Nigi Nigi

Breakfast like a king! Try Nigi Nigi's Millionaire's Meal: Brewed Coffee, toast, butter, jam, huevos mejicanos, bacon, beans, cheese, sausage, buttered mushroom and fruit. 


Indulge in a creamy, summer treat from authentic Italian Ice cream from Gelato that will definitely melt your cold, cold heart.

Jonah's Fruit Shake and Snack Bar

Jonah's is popular among netizens for it's frothy fruit and milk shakes. So I tried, I asked what was their bestseller, the crew suggested their Tropical Shake. Two thumbs up!

The Beach Café, Le Soliel de Boracay

Their Buffet was priced at P396 net per person plus unlimited iced tea.  Dinner starts from 6:30PM to 10:00PM. Judging from three days of flavorful journey  in this famous island, Beach Café serves the best oysters.I have no idea how the oysters were prepared but I'm sure it was not steamed. The texture was between cooked and raw.

Don Vito Ristorante Italiano

Dine and Wine at Don Vito Ristorante Italiano. This is also not a restaurant where the waiter automatically recommends the most expensive wine on the menu. The restaurant has liquor and wine list offering a wide selection to complement Italian meals. Nonalcoholic beverages include coolers, specialty coffees and hot teas. There has been a lot of buzz about this place and it's easy to see why. From the cool ambiance to the fine spread of comfort food, the restaurant has hit the mark.


Put your bad feelings under the bridge. Have a good time! Party like its the end of the world with good collaboration and choices of pop songs only at Epic!

Club Summer Place

  At cheerful atmosphere of Club Summer Place, beat the Pacquaio's Punch. With its loud and super nice choice of music, dancing is surely a very fun and entertaining thing to do in this bar. Party until the early hours of the next morning.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Millionaire's Breakfast at Nigi Nigi, Boracay

Millionaire's Delight, Php 395.00 all in

Nigi Nigi's Millionaire's Meal: Brewed Coffee, toast, butter, jam, huevos mejicanos, bacon, beans, cheese, sausage, buttered mushroom and fruit. Sounds like British fry-up? Yes it is.....a heart attack on a plate, lol! Oh goodness... I felt like I pumped cholesterol directly into my veins.  Indeed, this breakie is very cholesterol! Hey, I don't need to worry about my waistline anymore cause its our last day!

Yep, I devoured on this big breakfast on our last day in Boracay while Carlo and Josh chose the same old milkfish Filipino breakfast they already had since day 1. I wonder what was on it but nothing interested me when stole a bite. For me, Millionaire's Delight is the best breakfast I had on the island.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gelato on our Boracay Holiday

That dinner buffet broke our hearts. We were thinking of a great dessert to mend or broken hearts when we passed by Gelato which was about to close at that time. Josh and I ordered 2 scoops each ( Php 90.00/scoop) of Mango and Mint flavors.

Mama Mia! My cold, cold heart melted when I indulged in a creamy, summer treat from authentic Italian Ice cream from Gelato.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sunset Grilled Buffet, Boracay

Spelunking....swimming..... helmet diving...... island hoping......We were very tired at the end of our second day but eating was never far from our mind. In fact, I was expecting of a candlelit tables adorned with flowers, groaning under the weight of homegrown organic delicacies for our dinner that night.

Out of numerous restaurants on my list that serves perfect dinner buffet, we tried Sunset Grilled Buffet instead which by the way, not on my top ten list because it was near to our place and we were really tired to look for fancy Italian, or perhaps tapas, maybe some sushi....

What we've entered was a tourist trap.  Although the price (Php 275.00 all in) was on the same range of the dinner buffet in the island, the food doesn't justify the cost. What we had was traditional Filipino dishes soaking in cooking oil. The lechon above was chewy, menudo and fried chicken were undercooked, and three small pieces of barbecued pork skewered was really offensive.  Here's my plate....

Dessert was gelatin and watermelon...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Aria Italian Restaurant, Boracay

Margherita Php 390.00

I believe that the heart of good food is "FRIENDSHIP" and being able to share every delicious dishes on the table with them.

Our vacation in Boracay Island was indeed an occasion ...a spectacle....and a gastronomic journey....

To complete the feeling that we are really on a holiday, we go Italian for lunch at Aria Italian Restaurant nestled at the front of D'Mall in Boracay. For me, Pasta and Pizza is  the general idea of Italian food. It is such a big part of Italian cuisine.

Thin and crispy, we ordered the beautiful Aria's Margherita Pizza with the generous toppings of tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella....

 Carbonara, Php 350.00

Melt-in-the-mouth Carbonara, is a memorable experience and a favourite of Josh's no less. Fresh pasta is teaming in an egg yolk cream sauce with Parmesan cheese and crispy bacon bits is to die for - we regretted  to order an Italian bruschetta to mop up all those lovely and creamy sauces.
 Marinara Pasta , Php 425.00
The Marinara Pasta stood out with unbelievably fresh ingredients,  this dish will blow you away. Here, fresh pasta, seafoods and seafood sauce cooked and presented as at the heart of the best Italian cooking.

Although the criticism over the crowded restaurant is likely to remain, waiters are attentive not intrusive commensurate to a world class service.

The dishes were last-meal-on-earth material, lol! Me, Carl, Josh and our tour guide, reflected on the meal. 'Twas the food that makes sense, undeniably comforting and that you can really put a bit of love into.....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wake Up Call: 2nd Day Breakfast at Nu Nu Noos Beachfront Restaurant

Beef tapa, smoked fried milkfish, eggs, toasts, cheese, tomatoes, watermelon, brewed coffee, and canned juice.....that's what we had for breakfast on our first day at Nigi Nigi Nu Noos 'e' Nu Nu Noos Beach Resort in Boracay. 

We all felt that no meal has quite the same power as Filipino breakfast so the three of us chose another Filipino set of breakfast on our second day and some add on. Pretty big, eh? We've chosen the healthiest way to start our 2nd day in Boracay because that day would be full of activities. In fact, it was a very long day. Activities we had will be revealed on my travel blog, Gest to Utopia soon. 

Carl can't get enough of milkfish he missed it so much after a year of working overseas. This time, he ordered additional longanisa, a Filipino sausage that I'm sure not available in Angola.

Josh had corned beef, fried rice and eggs with cheese while my choice was tocino (sweetened cured pork), a traditional Philippine breakfast. 

Nothing has changed since the last time we dine in here, the dishes were extremely delicious and servings were huge. Oh, not to forget the tomatoes! It was firm and not soggy, love it!

Monday, March 5, 2012

V.I.P. Access at Epic's First Year Anniversary, Boracay Island

Wearing their white outfits, party animals raised a glass of bubbly champagne when Epic threw a big party for their first year anniversary later last year. We were told that the dress code would be white. Heavenly it was! because most party people came in with their white dresses. The perfect setting: white beach!

With the purchase of VIP access (Php 3000), we joined them. It was Absolute-ly the best party we had in the party island of Boracay. The fee includes a bottle of Absolute Kurant, and unlimited cherries and soda plus "pulutan" (finger food) of our choice. We've been told that the dress code would be white. 

Bad feelings were under the bridge. "All the problems you were going through have been kicked out the door", dj announced to the crowd before collaborating and entertained us with such a good choices of pop songs. 

After sinking some alcohol, the party spirit was up! Josh's kick up her heels and had a good time. Carl took off his shirt as they entered the dance floor. We partied until the early hours of the following morning.

It was a wild party that some pictures are not allowed here, only decent ones hehehe. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dine and Wine at Don Vito Ristorante Italiano, Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel

We headed back to our cottage and changed to our white outfit for Epic's white party later that night then decided to dine and wine at Don Vito Ristorante Italiano because we were very early to anniversary party.

There has been a lot of buzz about this place and it's easy to see why. From the cool ambiance to the fine spread of comfort food, the restaurant has hit the mark.

Don Vito Ristorante Italiano is the flagship restaurant of Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel, situated in the middle of Boracay's White Beach in station two of the famous shoreline. 

We didn't try anything from their menu. No, we skipped the four course meal too. What we had was fresh, grilled prawns, pork and buttered veggies we bought from their stall in front of the Italian restaurant. 

Christmas lights were set low that gave a romantic ambiance for lovers.  It was 7:30 PM and almost all of the tables inside were occupied. The al fresco area beside the swimming pool has one vacant table for three, seems like somebody made a reservation for us, lol!

Perching to the rattan chair and wooden table while waiting for our orders to be served, a waitress ,sporting a black and white uniform approached us with their Cocktail and Wine menu. 

Since I'm not good in wine, Josh too, we let Carl decide. 

He ordered a bottle of Hardys and requested to be served immediately so we could booze it up while waiting.

We talked about anything, business plans, sexual escapades, work, future plans... mostly, reminiscing the past ten years and funny tales of our friendship. Sorry, but there's no space here for those memories to be told.

Oh, did I tell you that this trip is actually our celebration of 10 years of everlasting friendship? 

Yes, it was! Cheers to that!

Before we know it the waitress came along with our order off the grill. 

Grilled Prawns and Pork belly rest on a white platter with buttered veggies on the side accompanied with hot, steaming rice.

We all felt well fed, except me who was little bit intoxicated because I downed more than half bottle of wine. 

This Restaurant is a definite winner and great value.

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