Saturday, October 14, 2017

Heart-crafted chocolates from Red Hat Cacao

What makes a great chocolate? While I am a fan myself, my favorite will always be dark chocolate. It was a luxury before in Europe and was a currency in Central Americas in ancient times. But with all the different kinds of chocolate that we see in stores, hotels, and more, it is always a privilege to know more wonders about our favorite dessert, especially if we discover that we can make a variety, locally.

Gladys Hernando, a head writer for a TV network, happens to own a cacao farm in Quezon and also a chocolate enthusiast. Learned to make chocolate from scratch as a passion also opened doors to venture into business. A heart-crafted chocolates has gained the attention of celebrities like Janno Gibbs, Phillip Lazaro and her colleagues while bringing samples on set just for enjoyment. She wasn't prepared for the attention but an endeavor that she wouldn't complain, she says.
Red Hat Cacao, a trademark by accident just by wearing a red hat while harvesting her cacao. Now she's exploring different kinds of products she can make. One of which is her slab of dark chocolate topped with nuts and dried fruits. Bittersweet combination that you can't stop eating when you start at first bite. Almost a kilo of chocolate costs around Php 2,950 but it is very good for those in diet because there's not much chocolate fat. Of course, we know that dark chocolate is better than milk chocolates.
She does everything on her own and a whole chocolate bark is almost 12 hours to make. The hardest part is tempering, Gladys says, as chocolate requires a very specific temperature to achieve such consistency. Soon, she will be flying to the US to study more about chocolate properties that she can bring back home and try on her products as well.
Red Hat Cacao is also an ideal Christmas gift. You can get packs from the slab and give it to your loved ones. It is perfect to pair with coffee or wine and you can eat fruits on the side too for a healthier snack.
Did you know that she also makes ginger chocolate? She loves putting chocolate to whatever and ginger chocolate is one amazing product also made by accident. A cure for cough and colds with the lovely taste of chocolate.

For more information about Red Hat Cacao, you may check out redhatcacao.com or follow on Facebook and Instagram (@redhatcacao_ph). You may buy their products every weekends of October at the Chocolate Fest in Eastwood City.
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Monday, October 9, 2017

What's in my Bibimbowl?

Last night after hearing mass in Ali Mall, Cubao, I asked my mama if we can eat at BonChon since I am craving for bibimbap. So we went there and I immediately ordered 2 Bibimbowls, had to make both of them different so we our tastebuds can sense different tastes.

I was having a Taco Bibimbowl and she had Seafood Bibimbowl. Taco Bibimbowl is new to me and still have to give in to my craving. When it arrived, I was surprised on what it has on the toppings:
Taco Bibimbowl
Literally, someone pulled out some chips from a pack and crushed it before placing it on top of the rice. Then added salsa, red beans and the glazed fish pops with it. They tried to give that "crunch" with the corn chips. After all, what's a taco without tortilla shells?

While as for my mom, she liked her Seafood Bibimbowl. I also liked it because of the nori strips. They might have added more Gojuchang with it that boosted the flavor. Gojuchang is now my favorite condiment.
Seafood Bibimbowl
Here are all the Bibimbowls you can order in BonChon for only Php 99.

I noticed that the branch didn't follow their SOP. Instead of beef in my taco bibimbowl, they put glazed fish pops. It's also sad that their serving in Shopwise Cubao easily gets cold. I think they are rushing to closing time since it was already about 8pm. Some of the items were also no longer available. I tried to order Japchae soup but no luck.
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Thursday, October 5, 2017

An afternoon at Watami

Enjoying my job in PR is what we call immersions. And one of the perks of immersions is you got to eat what was served during photo shoots. Lately, we had our immersion in a Japanese restaurant named Watami in SM Mall of Asia - one of the four branches that offer Japanese casual dining experience.

We had our serving of Sumo Wrestler Hotpot. It includes pork strips, clams, mussels, shrimps, tofu and vegetables that are cooking in boiling broth. The flavors combined is a comforting taste that can accommodate 3-4 persons in one order.
Sumo Wrestler Hotpot
The Assorted Sashimi Salad is a refreshing experience to the palate. Fresh sashimi and Romaine lettuces with cherry tomatoes tossed in vinaigrette can be consumed in one sitting and its completely satisfying.

Watami also offer skewers for bite-sized goodness. Below is an assortment of salmon, bacon and asparagus and beef yakitori that are tender and again, flavorful from the grill.
Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant is located at the following: SM Mall of Asia, Greenbelt 2, Uptown Mall Bonifacio and Shangri-La Plaza.

Instagram: @watamiph
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Gladecover

I visited the new lounge and coffee place beside Kutis Filipina in invitation by the owner, Dr. Laurence Tan. Though the place is in its soft opening, I enjoyed my stay sipping a cool blend of Java Chocolate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup.
Other than enjoying your tall glass of blends, lattes or warm cups of coffee beverages, you may like to stay for longer while playing their in-house games which you can borrow for FREE when you order a beverage. I'll be bringing my friends for some games here soon.
They have lots of games and for starters and even advanced gamers. I'm considering myself a newbie again after not playing board games for a long time. Dr. Tan and I played Fold It and Animal upon Animal which took more than 3 tries to perfectly stack up all animal pieces on a stable tower.
 
The place is very cozy and would accommodate I think around 30-40 pax full. They also have very good internet and they can also accommodate corporate meetings.
Image from Gladecover Facebook Page
Gladecover is located just beside Kutis Filipina, above Omakase corner of Redwood St and Gil Fernando Ave in Marikina City. Call 0917 583 7586 for private party hosting reservations.
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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Drinks and desserts in UP Town Center

Drinks and desserts in UP Town Center that you can enjoy any time of the day.

Baker & Cook
Baker & Cook is new to the Bistro Group and they focus on bread and pastries that can give you a comforting afternoon and great menu to match with coffee. They also have amazing desserts that play with our taste buds to cap off a satisfying meal. Chocolates, custard, jams and more can contribute to a tea party and fun conversations.
Instagram: @BakerandCookPH

Shakeaway
The biggest milkshake store that I've been because it can create many of your desired milkshake flavors in one place! And they named their milkshake very unusually: think of any boy's or girl's name and they will have it crafted for you -- complete with chocolate or candy sprinkles over a tall cloud of whipped cream! They also have healthy options like granola and oats too. Just find the huge white place near Gringo's.
Instagram: @ShakeawayPhilippines

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Probably where I can be spotted when I'm at UP Town Center, sipping coffee, chatting or making myself busy with the reliable internet, thank to my Swirl card perks. CBTL is a comfortable meeting place for people of all sorts. Whether it's coffee, frappe or tea, it is always a must-try. Lifehack: refillable hot water when you order tea.
Instagram: @cbtlph
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