Halal from the other side: Checking out the street meat from halfway across the world

Halal Guys-2

My friend Jizz and I decided to meet up a few days ago to try out Peperoni Pizzeria, a new pizza shop in the not-quite-open-yet Uptown Mall. Since our other friend that we were planning to meet up with wasn’t going to be in Peperoni, we decided to just check out Halal Guys instead. Now I’ve always heard stories from my friends about how awesome a place Halal Guys was in New York. How it was a stall that you should NOT miss if you find yourself in the Big Apple. Needless to say, much was expected.

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Asakusa Home of Tempura: Crispy, tasty, and not one bit greasy

The entrance to Asakusa. They are located behind at the Grove in Libis, right behind the building with Sunrise Buckets and Starbucks.
The entrance to Asakusa. They are located behind at the Grove in Libis, right behind the building with Sunrise Buckets and Starbucks.

The Japanese food of late here in Manila has been dominated by every restaurant doing signature sushi rolls and, more recently, deep-fried breaded cuts of pork and seafood that we all lovingly know as katsu. It was a pleasure to find out that a new Japanese restaurant that specializes in tempura had opened over at the Grove, which is a quick 20 minute drive from the house.

Now I have always had a soft spot for tempura. When I was a kid, my parents knew that the only way to make me eat whenever I would get sick would be to bring me to Kamirori over in Katipunan to get me an order of ebi tempura. If we were lucky, we’d drop by the video rental shop next door and rent ourselves a laser disc copy of either Top Gun or Mighty Ducks. So yes, sick times were good times when I was a kid.

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Eat Fresh: Hong Kong street food in the middle of San Juan

All of this for less than Php 400.00! Not bad at all.
All of this for less than Php 400.00! Not bad at all.

Yesterday, I met up with some officemates over at EDSA Beverage Design Studio (a place that, if you follow any of my social media accounts, you would know I frequent) for some boardgame fun over coffee.

The rare occasion that I get myself a latte. Behind the scenes of the latte art.
The rare occasion that I get myself a latte. Behind the scenes of the latte art.
Their signature Winds of Winter blend in latte and iced americano form. Good stuff either way.
Their signature Winds of Winter blend in latte and iced americano form. Good stuff either way.

We had a couple of cups over the afternoon ranging from locally sourced beans from Mt. Apo to their signature blends, mainly their Winds of Winter blend.

We spent a good four hours in the cafe before the hunger pangs started kicking in. This, naturally, got us thinking: Where to for dinner? The first place that came to mind, which I’ve been meaning to visit recently, was Eat Fresh Hong Kong Street Food over at J. Abad Santos, just off of Wilson St.

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Mother’s Day in Bawai’s

Mother's Day at Bawai's-4

We were introduced to Bawai’s over five years ago when it was still this little known restaurant in a nondescript house surrounded by empty lots and the occasional cow. The unassuming restaurant, whose name translates to maternal grandmother in Vietnamese, redefined what Pho was for me. The kitchen was run by the owner’s grandmother who is Vietnamese by blood but had settled here in the Philippines after marrying a Filipino. A few years back, they opened shop in White Plains, Katipunan and it was only late last year that I was actually able to try their Manila branch and only today that I was able to grab a few snaps to share in the blog.

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Sweet Ecstasy (Jupiter Street, Makati City)

Poster wall

Burger restaurants have been around in Manila for the longest time. I remember when all these shops started popping up in the city almost a decade ago, each one trying to outweigh and to out top the competition. Recently, new burger shops popped up that offered higher quality cuts of beef in their patties and the now common topping combinations that can range anywhere from caramelized onions to bacon jam.

One new player in the burger scene, which has earned the top spot in my list of favourite burger places, is actually doing the exact opposite of what all these other burger shops have been doing. They offer no frills burgers that just focus on high quality ingredients prepared excellently.

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Persiana

Persiana-2

Kebab place staples: Garlic sauce and Chili sauce
Kebab place staples: Garlic sauce and Chili sauce

My officemate and I have this quarterly bet where the winner will get free meals or snacks every so often from the loser. For the first quarter of 2015, we have kebabs and me as the loser. Last Tuesday, we decided to check out Persiana, a Persian/Middle Eastern restaurant that we usually pass on the way back to Quezon City from work. The place was very simple and quite affordable. I forget the exact prices of the dishes but I’m sure that all the items we ordered were less than Php 200!

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Boon Tong Kee (U.P. Town Center)

U.P. Town Center bustling with activity.
U.P. Town Center bustling with activity.

My brother and I were left to fend for ourselves this Chinese New Year dinner. We decided to make the most of our short-lived independence and have our dinner in a relatively Chinese place. We decided to drive to U.P. Town Center due to larger number of options compared to other areas in Katipunan. Once there, we finally decided to go to Boon Tong Kee for some Singaporean food.

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Valentine’s Day at EDSA Beverage Design Group (EDSA BDG)

One of the many machines that  get regular use in the shop.
One of the many machines that get regular use in the shop.

If you have ever chanced upon my Instagram (IG: kipaguirre) feed, you will know that I frequent EDSA BDG whenever I have a free weekend afternoon. The place is perfect for me to escape the hustle and bustle of the house and work on photos in peace. One of the reasons why I love going to the place (other than the fact that it is just a short drive from the house) is that the coffee is pretty cheap for the quality that you get.

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