THERE’S nothing more comforting than curling up in bed under a cozy blanket on a rainy afternoon. So, Diamond Hotel Philippines thought up exceptional room offers that are meant to keep guests cocooned under the warmth and comfort of relaxing accommodations.
For the months of July and August, the hotel offers four Rainy Urban Escape Room Packages—the Rainy Day Escape, the Warm Under the Sheets room package, the Family Lifestyle room package, and the Suite Life.
The Rainy Day Escape is a two-night staycation package in a Deluxe room, with rates starting at Php5,300 nett per day, and includes buffet breakfast for two at Corniche and unlimited WiFi access in the room and public areas. Room-only rate is also available, starting at Php4,800 nett for an overnight stay.
The Warm Under the Sheets room package starts at Php7,700 nett for an overnight stay inclusive of buffet breakfast and lunch for two at Corniche, unlimited WiFi access, and 20% off on massage services, reflexology, laundry, food and beverage. Booking may also be done online through www.diamondhotel.com, using the promo code RAINYDAY.
The Family Lifestyle room package is an overnight stay with rates that start at Php7,000. Accommodations come with a Php2,000 credit in room service per stay, buffet breakfast for two at Corniche, unlimited WiFi access, and 20% off on massage services and reflexology, laundry, food and beverage. When booking online, the promo code for this package is FAMESCAPE.
Luxury at its finest is what the Suite Life promises, with an overnight stay in a cozy Executive Suite for Php16,000 nett, inclusive of Php2,000 credit in room service per stay, one hour in-room massage for two persons per stay, buffet breakfast for two at Corniche, unlimited WiFi access, and 20% off on laundry, food and beverages. Book online with the promo code SUITELIFE.
(Diamond Hotel Philippines is located at Roxas Blvd. corner Dr. J. Quintos St., Manila. For inquiries, call 528-3000 or email email@example.com. For room reservations, call 528-3000 extension 1141.)
I LOVE Japanese food. From Salmon Sashimi and California Maki to Ebi Tempura and Salmon Teriyaki to Matcha Ice Cream and Japanese Cheesecake… Every bite is a joy to my senses. Japanese cuisine is so rich in fish and seafood dishes that I do not feel deprived at all even if I skip the Beef Sukiyaki and the Beef Teppanyaki.
So, every time there is a new Japanese restaurant opening in town, be it a fast-food chain or a full-fledged restaurant, I get all excited to try its food. With so many Japanese restaurants competing for diners’ attention, however, it is no longer just the food that they concentrate on. They also focus on the ambiance as well as the concept to be able to provide diners with an exquisite dining experience that people will keep coming back for.
One of the best new Japanese concept restaurants—and my personal favorite—is Genki Sushi. It puts more fun into Japanese casual dining by incorporating high-tech gadgets into the order-and-delivery system.
Genki Sushi features casual booth dining
Each booth comes equipped with a touch-screen iPad system, where diners place orders
The food arrives through the Kousoku Express System
The setup of the dining area is simple, as it maximizes space by utilizing booth seating. But each booth has its own iPad complete with a visual menu of all the dishes, names and prices. You make your order by touching the photo of the dish you want. You can order one to four dishes at the same time, and once you do, the orders are transmitted to the kitchen, who prepare the dishes right away. As soon as the dishes are ready, they are sent out via the Kousoku Express System. The first such fully functional, double-deck system of its kind in Manila and outside of Japan, this highly sophisticated serving innovation intelligently delivers food to the dining tables in 5 to 10 minutes. Shaped like a Shinkansen bullet train or Formula One car, the Kousoku train where the plates of food are placed run down a winding track located above the main conveyor belt, and stops right in front of the table that ordered them. This unique food delivery system is programmed to slow down upon reaching the diners’ table and gives out an alert to announce that the food has arrived. After diners shall have unloaded the Kousoku train, they need to press a button to send the train back to the kitchen for the next order.
That’s the exciting part. The Kousoku Express System is an improvement over the already exciting kaiten sushi concept that some Japanese restaurants have earlier utilized. ‘Kaiten’ literally translates to ‘revolving’, and the concept is having a revolving conveyor belt that strategically passes each dining table. On the conveyor belt and making the rounds of the tables are color-coded plates serving different kinds of sushi. When diners spot the sushi—or maki (rolls) or temaki (cone –shaped sushi)—that they like, they take it and pay for it later. Genki Sushi’s Kousoku system is an improvement over the Kaiten system in the sense that each order is prepared fresh and sent out fresh, too. The Kousoku system also delivers donburis, salads, mains and desserts; not just sushi and maki.
Check your bill with just the touch of a finger
I find it really fun to order through the iPad and have my orders delivered to me by a ‘stretched-out’ Formula One car. I also like the fact that I can check my bill onscreen way before I actually check out.
All tables come with a hot water dispensing system and a container of powdered matcha so diners can have as much matcha green tea as they want
Each booth is also equipped with a flowing hot water system and a container of powdered matcha green tea that allows diners to have as much green tea as they want to wash down their food with.
Salmon Skin Handroll
Salmon and Cucumber Handroll
Seared Shrimp with Black Pepper Sushi
Northern Shrimp Sushi
Flying Fish Roe
Scallop Pollock Roe
Squid Taberu Layu
More than a fun and exciting concept, Genki Sushi is also always full because the food is good. There are a lot of choices on the menu. Among rolls alone, the selections are endless. Classics, such as Salmon Sashimi (Php200 for 4 slices), Tuna Sashimi (Php200 for 4 slices), and California Maki (Php150 for 4 pieces), still enjoy strong patronage, although diners also like trying out innovative variations, including Salmon Skin Handroll (Php80 per piece), which is temaki or cone-shaped maki; Salmon Roe Handroll (Php250 per piece), Northern Shrimp Sushi (Php80 for 2 pieces, each piece with 2 shrimps), Seared Shrimp with Black Pepper Sushi (Php120 for 2 pieces), Crispy Spicy Salmon Roll (Php150 for 3 pieces), Shrimp Roe (Php80 for 2 pieces), Lobster Salad (Php120 for 2 pieces), Flying Fish Roe (Php80 for 2 pieces), Scallop Pollock Roe (Php200), and Squid Taberu Layu (Php120).
Then there is the Genki Roll (Php150), which is sushi with salmon and cucumber filling and clothed with thin salmon slices.
Steamed Egg Custard
The restaurant’s Chawan Mushi, or Steamed Egg Custard (Php120), is not to be missed because it is one of the best in the metro.
Make sure to also order Chuka Wakame (Php130), which is Japanese seaweed salad.
Chicken Teriyaki Don
When it comes to donburis (rice toppings), which are mains served in generous portions, top three variants are Salmon Oyako Don (Php320), thin salmon slices and salmon roe on rice; Chicken Teriyaki Don (Php190), flavorful chicken bites on rice; and Chirashi Don (Php420), which is a combination of crabstick, octopus, tamago egg, salmon, tuna, Northern shrimps and salmon roe).
Matcha Double Fromage
Rare Japanese Cheesecake
Green Tea Ice Cream (front), and Strawberry Ice Cream (back)
Diners at Genki Sushi are likewise surprised to find out that the restaurant has a good selection of desserts to end a good and satisfying meal with. It is a toss-up between Matcha Double Fromage (Php140 per slice) and Rare Japanese Cheesecake (Php140 per slice), but make sure you have either Green Tea Ice Cream (Php80) or Strawberry Ice Cream (Php80) on the side, as well.
(Genki Sushi can be found at Bonifacio Stopover, Rizal Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; UP Town Center, Quezon City; and Ayala Malls The 30th, Pasig City.)
Cakes and coffee–perfect combination at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Cafe Pronto
LOOKING for a sweet treat to make your day brighter and happier? On a rainy afternoon, you simply cannot help but feel a bit of the gloom that comes with the weather.
Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Café Pronto fills this gloomy void with freshly baked confections, savory grubs and perfect brews—three things that, when combined, can help turn an otherwise gloomy day around. Think overstuffed sandwich, a slice of indulgent cake, and a cup of perfectly brewed coffee!
Turkey Club Stack Sandwich
A favorite go-to place for short meetings, quick catch-ups or just rewarding oneself for a job well done, Café Pronto serves sumptuous sandwiches, including crowd favorites Turkey Club Stack, Reuben Sandwich, Signature Hot Ham and Smoked Salmon Sandwich.
Red Velvet Cake
For the sweet tooth, perfect for dessert, snack or coffee partner are freshly baked cakes and pastries such as Cream Cheese Danish, Chocolate Torsade, Classic Cheesecake, and Red Velvet Cake. But nothing can beat Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s signature all-chocolate confection, Chocolate Haven. It combines three textures of dark chocolate—Sponge, Mousse and Glaze—plus a special layer of Coffee Crème Brulee.
Café Pronto is open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.
SEAFOOD lovers, rejoice! Choobi Choobi, the concept restaurant that originates from Cebu is now all over Metro Manila and its suburbs, and it is teeming with seafood items on its menu. What makes it a real cause of celebration is that the seafood is as fresh as it can get, it is cooked into a wide range of simple but extremely delicious and flavorful dishes, it is offered in generous family-style servings, and it is priced reasonably, too.
When Choobi Choobi opened its first store in Metro Manila, its owners, led by Stan Tanchan, basically wanted to bring delicious Cebuano food to Manila for everyone to enjoy. Choobi Choobi is primarily a seafood restaurant not only because Cebuano cuisine is heavy on seafood dishes but also because Tanchan happens to own one of the best shrimp farms in Cebu, and it is equipped with a blast freezer. So, the restaurant is able to bring the freshest shrimps and seafood from seafood to Manila on a regular basis.
Choobi Choobi combines Cebu’s seafood bounty (such as shrimps, fish, squid and clams) with imported seafood (including baby lobsters, lobster fish, giant bamboo clams and Chilean mussels). It specializes in seafood in one-pound bags, which diners keep coming back for. Consider these choices—Shrimps in a Bag, Scampi “Baby Lobsters” in a Bag, Chilean Mussels in a Bag, and the ultimate Seafood Barkada Bag (combination of shrimps, scampi, and Chilean mussels with corn).
Shrimps in a Bag (Php225 for half-pound bag, Php395 for one-pound bag) gives diners the choice of having the shrimps cooked in either of four ways—Butter Garlic, Sautéed in Garlic, Spicy Gata (coconut milk and spices), or Whole Choobang (Cajun sauce). You can add sweet corn for an additional Php45.
Choobi Choobi at Panay Ave., Quezon City
Singapore Style Salted Egg Shrimps
Another shrimps in a bag offering of Choobi Choobi that has become a crowd favorite is Singapore Style Salted Egg Shrimps (Php440 for a one-pound bag). It fits perfectly into the salted egg craze, which has been sweeping the world since last year. It began in Singapore and is definitely making quite a big impact in the Philippines. This dish of Choobi Choobi has a lovely salted egg sauce bathing the fresh shrimps. Diners can have sweet corn added for a minimal fee of Php45.
Stan’s Fried Black Pepper Shrimps
Also not to be missed is Stan’s Fried Black Pepper Shrimps (Php440), which is a one-pound platter of crunchy shrimps that are so crunchy you can even eat the shell, especially since it is coated with Stan Tanchan’s special black pepper sauce. This is one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.
For the imported seafood in a bag offerings of Choobi Choobi, there is Scampi “Baby Lobsters” in a Bag (Php580 for a one-pound bag) as well as Chilean Mussels in a Bag (Php325). The latter can be had in four flavors—Tao Si Sauce (black bean sauce), Spicy Gata (coconut milk and spices), Steamed Garlic, and Whole Choobang (Cajun sauce). Also available, although not in one-pound bags, are Giant Bamboo Clams (Php140 per piece) and Lobster Fish (Php110 per 100 grams).
Seafood Barkada Bag
The ultimate and most frequently ordered seafood in a bag variant is the Seafood Barkada Bag (Php645 for a one-pound bag). It is a combination of shrimps, scampi, Chilean mussels and sweet corn).
Aside from the one-pound bags, Choobi Choobi serves a wide range of a la carte dishes, ranging from appetizers, soups and salads to main dishes, desserts and drinks. A lot of it is seafood, including boneless bangus, scallops, gambas, tiger prawns, scallops, squid, pompano, halaan (clams) and pla-pla; but the restaurant also carries quite a number of chicken, pork and vegetable dishes.
Grilled Pompano (Php90 per 100 grams). It’s a whole fresh pompano fish that’s grilled to perfection. The fish is definitely fresh and naturally flavorful.
Lola Pepang’s Fried Manok
Lola Pepang’s Fried Manok(php345). A signature dish like Stan’s Fried Black Pepper Shrimps, this is a whole chicken prepared following a family recipe that has been passed on for four generations.
Choobi Pata (Php465). It’s a whole pork knuckle that has been fried to a golden crisp. It is tender and juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside.
Cha Tao Miao
Cha Tao Miao (Php190). This dish is listed on the appetizer menu. You would not think a simple vegetable dish like this could taste so good.
Pork Barbecue (Php30 per stick). Juicy pork barbecue that has been glazed with a lovely sauce!
From the fish and seafood to the meat and poultry, all the way to the vegetables, everything is fresh and finger-licking good.
Choobi Choobi’s Post-Shrimp Kit
Speaking of finger-licking good, Choobi Choobi actually encourages diners to eat with their hands because every table is provided with a Post-Shrimp Kit, which includes a box of tissue paper, wet wipes, alcohol, candies and mints. Here, you can really let your hair down, relax and enjoy your food.
To wash it down, diners have a healthier option than softdrinks, as the restaurant’s extensive beverage menu includes fresh fruit and vegetable options, such as Fresh Pineapple Organic Wheatgrass, Fresh Pineapple Organic Kale, Mango Basil Shake, Lychee Kale, Banana Shake, Mango Banana Shake, Watermelon Shake, Grape Juice, and Fresh Apple Carrot Juice, at Php130 per glass.
(Choobi Choobi’s Cebu branches are located at Parkmall, SM City Cebu North Reclamation, SM Seaside Cebu, Robinsons Galleria Cebu, and Pueblo Verde-Lapu Lapu City. In Metro Manila, it can be found at 102 Panay Ave., Quezon City, as well as SM Manila, SM Sta. Rosa, SM Southmall, Ayala Mall Legaspi, SM Baliwag and SM Dasmariñas. It has also set up stores at SM City Iloilo, SM City Bacolod, Limketkai Mall Cagayan de Oro, Centrio Ayala Mall Cagayan de Oro, SM Lanang Davao, SM City General Santos, and Dipolog.)
CHEFS, home cooks, working women and plain foodies now have something more to look forward to while watching the all-new Season 8 of U.S. Master Chef, which premiered on June 8, 2017, at 8:00 p.m., on Star World.
All episodes of the newest season shall be showcasing hilariously yummy dishes, presented by a mix of personalities who are out to change the culinary scene one recipe at a time. James Beard awardee and Mexican-American chef Aaron Sanchez has joined acclaimed pastry chef Christina Tosi, and main host and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay as judges, so expect this trio of talented chefs (who come from different backgrounds) to be a riot.
But the delicious recipes are not going to be confined to just the show. Doña Elena Olive Oil, the season’s major sponsor, will be airing great-tasting healthy recipe ideas in between commercial gaps. From dipping and sautéing to frying, Doña Elena Olive Oil unveils an all-new feast of healthy meal ideas for foodies who are constantly on the lookout for interesting stuff to whip up in their own kitchens. Expect Doña Elena Olive Oil, the consistent No. 1 olive oil brand in the Philippines, to share important tips that will make viewers kitchen experts by the time Season 8 of U.S. Master Chef airs its last episode.
Doña Elena Olive Oil contains 80% monounsaturated oleic acids, which are better known as good fats. It is also rich in Vitamins A, K and E, a combination that effectively helps lower bad cholesterol in the body.
Exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation, Doña Elena Olive Oil is available in all major supermarkets and groceries.