McDonald’s K-Burgers:
A Taste of Korea, Indeed!

A spread of McDonald’s Taste of Korea items

WHEN McDonald’s launched its Flavors of Japan limited edition a few years back, even the fast-food chain was surprised at how strong the promotion turned out to be. The lineup—Ebi Burger (shrimps), Teriyaki Samurai Burger (beef), Nori Shake Shake Fries (seaweed dust), and Strawberry Sakura McFloat—was so formidable that McDonald’s stores everywhere always ran out of supply by mid-day. I tried to order for delivery several times but was always told they had sold out. And so the campaign ended without me getting a taste of my much coveted Ebi Burger at all. I only got to taste it when they made a second run of the Flavors of Japan promotion—with perhaps double the supply they had the first time around—and I happily munched on my Ebi Burger not once but twice.

Now comes McDonald’s Taste of Korea line, which is available for a limited time only. Once again, the buzz on social media was strong, and K-Chicken Burger, K-Beef Burger, Honey Butter Shake Shake Fries, and Strawberry Banana Sundae earned the nod of most netizens, including well-known chefs and influencers.

K-Chicken Burger

The K-Chicken Burger is a huge and crispy chicken fillet slathered with rich gochujang sauce, topped with lettuce, slivers of onion, kimchi dressing and cheddar cheese, sandwiched in a soft black sesame bun. Koreans love their food spicy, but this burger is, thank God, of just the right level of spiciness. Perfect for the Filipino palate.

K-Beef Burger

The K-Beef Burger is a generous beef patty that is also bathed in a mildly spicy gochujang sauce, topped with lettuce, onion bits and kimchi dressing, no cheese but with fried egg, sandwiched in a soft black sesame seed bun.

Honey Butter Shake Shake Fries and Strawberry Banana Sundae

The Honey Butter Fries that goes very well with either sandwich is actually regular McDonald’s fries that comes with a Shake Shake Fries paper bag and a sachet of Honey Butter powder. You pour the fries into the Shake Shake bag, followed by the Honey Butter powder, fold the top to seal, then shake away. Afterwards, you pour the fries back into the famous red McDonald’s fries holder, and enjoy your Honey Butter Fries.

Strawberry Banana Sundae, which serves as a fitting end to a good Korean sandwich meal, is soft serve ice cream drizzled with strawberry banana syrup.

As with the Flavors of Japan promotion, the Taste of Korea offering got me all excited, especially after getting positive feedback from food industry influencers, such as Chef Jackie Ang Po of Fleur de Lys Patisserie and the Pastry Alliance of the Philippines and Spanky Enriquez of RestoPH. My constant FB chatmate and friend—celebrity chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Chef Myke ‘Tatung’ Sarthou—and I decided to try it out, and so he ordered K-Chicken Burger, Honey Butter Shake Shake Fries, and Strawberry Banana Sundae, complete with Coke, for me a few days ago. He had McDonald’s Brookside deliver his treat to my place in Cainta, and he would order his own from a nearby McDonald’s branch in Quezon City later that day.

To cut the long story short, my order arrived. Excited me peeked into the brown bag right away and saw that my K-Chicken Burger was ‘tisoy.’ The chicken fillet was sandwiched in a regular bun and not the black bun that it should have come in. I finished some chores first, and then I sat down to enjoy the burger. It was good, especially with the Honey Butter Fries on the side. The chicken fillet was big, its dimensions exceeding the diameter of the bun, and it was crispy and tasty. I pulled out the onion bits (I don’t like raw onion in my sandwich, or rice, or noodles), and savored every bite. The gochujang sauce was perfect, with the spice level just right for my taste, as I do not like super spicy sauces numbing my taste buds and leaving a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. The only problem was the ‘tisoy’ bun. It kind of took away the full experience of eating the K-Chicken Burger.

So when Chef Tatung—of Simpol fame—asked how the food was, I told him the chicken burger, along with the fries and the sundae, was good, but the bun wasn’t black. I sent him a photo of the burger for him to see. He was horrified. He said we needed to post it and tag McDonald’s so they would know. I hesitated. He said he would post it, not to spite them but to call their attention so that it would not happen again. And he did.

In fairness to McDonald’s Brookside, they got in touch with Chef Tatung and offered to replace the order with the right one. Very quick response. By the next morning, Chef was messaging me, saying he scheduled McDonald’s to send the sandwich at 2:00 p.m., and they were sending not just the K-Chicken Burger but the K-Beef Burger as well, plus the Honey Butter Fries and Strawberry Banana Sundae x 2. Wondering if Chef Tatung was pulling my leg or telling the truth, I got a call from Isa Gutierrez of McDonald’s Brookside. She apologized for the ‘tisoy’ burger, asked what drinks I wanted to go with the double sandwich meals, and reiterated that the food would be delivered at 2:00 p.m.

At 2:00 p.m., the food was there—K-Chicken Burger, K-Beef Burger, two Honey Butter Shake Shake Fries, two Strawberry Banana Sundaes, and two Pineapple Juice drinks. There was so much food in exchange for the ‘tisoy’ burger, which wasn’t bad at all!

While it is true that there is no excuse for a mistake—and McDonald’s Brookside made no excuses for theirs—what matters is that an establishment such as McDonald’s is quick to own up to its mistake, apologize for it, and make amends for it. Everybody makes mistakes.

Posted in FoodBiz, Restos Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Jessy Mendiola,
Calcium Cee Ambassador,
Pushes for Stronger Immunity

Jessy Mendiola is Calcium Cee’s new ambassador

AS the country copes with the recent surge in the number of Covid-19 cases and waits with bated breath the arrival of more vaccines to help combat the virus, it is important that Filipinos strengthen their first line of defense—their immunity—further.
A stronger immunity is what Calcium Cee pushes for, and Jessy Mendiola, the new ambassador of Calcium Cee, shares her secrets to being fit and healthy in this time of pandemic.

“First, I try to conquer worries and fears with a more positive mindset. I also make sure to pray every day to nurture a sense of calm and remind myself of His love. And I try to keep myself fit and strong with the right exercise, proper nutrition and, of course, my daily dose of Calcium Cee,” says the 28-year-old actress.

As an active individual, Jessy admits that she’s had to make major adjustments to her routines due to the lockdown and has had to find other ways to stay healthy. Today, she stays active by doing more challenging workouts at home and a little weightlifting.

Aside from working out, Jessy says that her secret to staying fit during the lockdown is complementing her healthy eating with supplements. “Calcium CEE is my choice of Vitamin C because it offers double C protection. It has both Vitamin C and Calcium, which help fortify my immune system and protect my body from diseases. Also, it helps keep me healthy, energetic, and protected throughout the day,” says she.

Calcium Cee is a unique non-acidic supplement that combines the potent powers of two essential nutrients – Calcium and Vitamin C.
Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth to combat osteoporosis as well as strengthens the circulatory system. It helps blood vessels and muscles contract, aids in sending messages throughout the nervous system, and plays an important role in the secretion of hormones and enzymes in the body. Calcium is great in correcting imbalances, especially hormonal and mineral (phosphate and potassium) imbalances. In women, in particular, Calcium is seen to greatly relieve common PMS symptoms such as bloating and mood swings, and help in weight loss.Offering greater health benefits, Calcium has also been shown to decrease the risk of kidney stones and colon cancer.

On the other hand, Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant that neutralizes harmful free radicals in the body. It also helps control infections and healing wounds.

“What I like about Calcium Cee is that it is a non-acidic type of Vitamin C, which makes it safe and gentle to take even on an empty stomach,” Jessy says. “Plus, it offers the added perk of helping me look younger. Calcium Cee also helps in achieving a more youthful look by boosting collagen formation, repairing key tissues, and easing stress, among other benefits.

Contrary to other Vitamin C formulations in the market today, Calcium Cee utilizes a non-sodium ascorbate, which is a healthier form of the vitamin. And, contrary to majority of Vitamin C formulations on the shelves today that use sodium ascorbate, which has high levels of salt that may cause water retention and hypertension.

“If you’re looking for a simple, safe, and gentle means to boost your immunity, try Calcium Cee,” Jessy recommends. “It provides two-for-one benefits of vitamin C and calcium in just one capsule. It’s a powerful and potent combination that can help everyone stay protected.”

Calcium Cee is available at Mercury Drug and Watson’s branches, Merry Mart, All-day Green Pharma, Alturas Bohol and leading drugstores nationwide.

Posted in Health Tagged , , ,

Happy Easter!

Hilton Manila’s Easter Rainbow Cheesecake

IT’S Easter Sunday, and Hilton Manila celebrates the happy occasion with an array of gastronomic specialties, signature hotbox meals and other mouth-watering creations that guests can enjoy with their respective families and friends in the comfort of their homes. Executive Chef Benoit Chargy has also masterfully curated a decadent collection of dreamy confections, such as the Easter Rainbow Cheesecake and the Easter Egg Surprise.

Easter Egg Surprise

Presenting guests with an array of indulgent cakes and pastries with the recent launch of its Decadence cake and pastry collection, the hotel proudly offers their Easter Rainbow Cheesecake, a rainbow-colored sponge cake layered with cream cheese filling and topped with vanilla Chantilly cream. Kids and kids-at-heart also get to ‘play with their food’ with Hilton Manila’s Easter Egg Surprise, a large single egg made from premium chocolate and filled with mallows, gummies and other bite-sized sweets that they can playfully ‘crack or smash’ open to enjoy.

For inquiries and orders, call +632 7239-7788 and +63 917-8486404.

(Hilton Manila is located at 1 Newport Blvd., Pasay City.)

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The Peninsula Manila Honors Mothers
This Women’s Month of March

A Deluxe King Room at The Peninsula Manila

PEOPLE normally honor women only on Mother’s Day, which is in May. Just one day to treat her to the pampering she so deserves. But celebrating motherhood only on Mother’s Day is undermining the idea that motherhood is important work that has contributed to society—and so The Peninsula Manila decided to honor mothers for the whole month of March, which is considered as Women’s Month.

Leading the way are the empowered women of The Peninsula Manila, including director of marketing Loleth So, mother of 8-year-old Mika and caregiver to husband Mike, who suffered a debilitating stroke in 2015; human resources learning and development manager Venice Ayroso, whose 5-year-old son Zeb is a precocious reader; corporate sales manager Marianne Garces, who helps her 4-year-old daughter Fiona with her studies; and Angel Magbanua, how a full-time mother to her two boys Alonso and Enzo.

Loleth So and daughter Mika (left), and Venice Ayroso and son Zeb (right)

Angel Magbanua and son Alonso (left), and Marianne Garces and daughter Fiona (right)

In honor of all the work that mothers have been doing all this time, The Peninsula Manila has created a very special Celebrate HERstory: Mothers Rule this Women’s Month of March! room package that is available until March 31, 2021. It is designed to pamper, indulge and spoil mothers.

Enjoy Eggs Benedict for breakfast

Go for a leisurely swim at the pool

With room rates that start at Php8,650 (inclusive of taxes) for a Deluxe Room with Antigen Tests for two persons, the package includes set breakfast at The Lobby for two adults and two children aged five and under; complimentary lunch or dinner for one at Escolta or 50% discount for lunch or dinner for one at The Lobby; complimentary manicure and pedicure for one at Le Maquillage; 20% discount on The Peninsula Fitness Center and Spa services and treatments; and complimentary access to The Gallery Club Lounge and high-speed Internet access for children’s online classes.

For more information, call +63 (2) 8887-2888.

(The Peninsula Manila is located at the corner of Ayala Ave. and Makati Ave., Makati City.)

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Eastwood Richmonde Hotel’s Steak Out dinner takes place at Eastwood Cafe+Bar’s al fresco area

TWO days after Chinese New Year kept everyone busy, it is Valentine’s Day. Thus, the shift from tikoy to cakes and chocolates, from Oriental music to love songs, from Chinese lanterns to hearts. If you have not made plans yet, here are some possibilities…

PRIMED FOR LOVE

Eastwood Richmonde Hotel’s Eastwood Café+Bar sets you up on that perfect date with its top offers for a stress-free and happy celebration to remember, whether you choose to dine out or celebrate at home.

The hotel’s two amazing options—dine in the al fresco area of Eastwood Café+Bar for a Steak Out dinner with a la minute grilling, or pre-order Richmonde’s SteaK-it! (DIY Steak Kit) and put your culinary skills to work for a lovely dinner at home.

Available on February 13 and 14, 2021, the Steak Out dinner gives you your fill of U.S. beef belly kebabs (Php125 per 100 grams), Australian Wagyu striploin (Php750 per 200 grams), Skewered Smoked Pork Belly (Php335 per 200 grams), and Salmon Fillet (Php335) with a complimentary glass of wine. Due to limited seating with appropriate social distancing, dinner will be served in two batches—one at 5:00 p.m., and the other at 8:00p.m.

Eastwood Richmonde Hotel’s SteaK-it! (DIY steak kit) allows you to have a fancy steak dinner at home

Meanwhile, the SteaK-it! is an easy-to-prepare steak set, which includes a 25-gram vacuum-sealed butter, aged Wagyu striploin, truffle mashed potato, French beans, shiitake mushrooms, sea salt, nori salt, chili salt, and rosemary salt. Detailed instructions on how to prepare and put everything together in enclosed in the box. The kit also comes with luscious squares of Nama dark chocolate truffle for dessert and a huggable teddy bear souvenir. The DIY steak kit, priced at Php2,200 nett, is available for curbside pickup or delivery (with applicable fee) from February 13 to 28.

For inquiries, orders and table reservations, call +632 8570-7777 or +63 917-8210333.

(Eastwood Richmonde Hotel is located at 17 Orchard Road, Eastwood City, Bagumbayan, Quezon City.)

SEASON OF LOVE

Love is celebrated 365 days a year at The Peninsula Manila, but the hotel wants the fire to burn extra bright on Valentine’s Day this 2021as it sets the mood for couples to express l’amour while indulging in romantic delights that range from intimate dinners in The Peninsula Manila’s much-loved restaurants, listening to The Peninsula Strings play heart-tugging melodies at The Lobby, spending Valentine’s Weekend in beautiful guestrooms, enjoying a delicious four-course takeaway dinner from The Peninsula Boutique at home, or showering that special someone with blooms by premier florist Robert Blancaflor for The Flower Shop.

The Lobby

Endless Love at The Lobby. Enjoy a Four-course Valentine’s Dinner with your loved one under The Lobby’s iconic Sunburst sculpture at Php6,000 with a flute of Moët & Chanon Imperial Rose Brutor Php54,500 for adults (inclusive of taxes) for a four-course dinner menu. Enjoy this with the live performance of the Peninsula Strings at The Lobby from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Old Manila at The Peninsula Manila

Table for Two in Old Manila. Chef de Cuisine Allan Briones’ Five-course Valentine’s Dinner will surely delight all five senses. Pair it with a variety of wines at Php8,500 or enjoy it by itself for Php6,000 (inclusive of taxes).

Season of Love at Escolta. Chef Virgilio Aniceto suggests most sensual Seafood Dinner Buffet at Escolta on February 13 or a fabulous Sunday Brunch Buffet on February 14, both at Php3,100 per adult (inclusive of taxes).

Spices

Love Under the Stars in Spices. Spread love on February 14 with the exotic flavors of India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam in an al fresco dinner in Spices Garden. Avail of the Grill-All-You-Can and Seafood Menu at Php4,000 with a flute of Moët & Chandon or Php3,000 without it (inclusive of taxes). Completing the romantic dining experience is a percussionist’s live performance.

Takeaway Dinner for Two at The Peninsula Boutique. Nothing says romance quite like a Peninsula Manila dinner, even if it means you’re sheltering at home. The Peninsula Manila Executive Sous Xavier Castello and his team have a prepared a Four-course Valentine’s Takeaway Dinner for Two for a truly memorable dine-in experience. All you need to do is pick it up at The Peninsula Boutique and head home, set up the table, fire up some Marvin Gaye, open a nice bottle of wine, and bring out your fanciest moves and you’re set! Orders for pick-up are available on February 13 and 14.

From The Peninsula with Love Room Package. Have a Valentine’s staycation from February 12 to 14 with the From The Peninsula with Love room package, which starts at Php10,300 (inclusive of taxes). Enjoy a Php3,000 dining credit at The Lobby, Spices, Escolta, Pool Snack Bar, Old Manila and The Peninsula Boutique along with it. The staycation package also includes two Rapid Antigen Tests and a complimentary set breakfast for two adults and two children under age 6.

The Flower Shop

Love Blooms at The Peninsula Flower Shop. Say “I Love You” with exquisite bouquets of fragrant blooms created by premier florist Robert Blancaflor for The Peninsula Manila Flower Shop.

For more information, call +63 (2) 887-2888.

(The Peninsula Manila is located at the corner of Ayala Ave. and Makati Ave., Makati City.)

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