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Kokoro Ramenya + Hosting Event

My 2017 didn’t start smoothly, I kept on going against the current, thus, I end up waking up blearily, spending a couple of minutes staring at the ceiling to just sigh and guarantee myself that this day is going to end soon.

But thanks to Artist League Manila for giving me avenues to pour my energies into. So one of the first hosting events they gave me is a kid’s fashion show at Fishermall. It was my first time hosting outside my school, not to mention that the event is also considered informal– thus needing more effort in inserting adlibs. But I’m not that worried because I wasn’t hosting alone!

It was a Friday and my class ended at 12nn. So my BFFs, Pammy and Krizia, went with me to Fishermall and we ate at Kokoro Ramenya. I don’t remember our craving for Japanese cuisine because technically it’s just me who likes Ramen the most among the 3 of us and since they are very understanding and they were comforting me… We went for my preference.

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I ordered the Hakata Classic (Php275) not only because this is one of the recommended ramens, but because I also wanted to try other variants of ramen. They were able to cook the egg just how I liked it, the pork was tender, and there were also shrimp, squid, and vegetables to complete my diet. However, I was quite surprised with how this tasted because it is way too far from the Ramen I usually eat. I am not saying that it didn’t taste well, but the taste of the soup seemed like it’s a soup from a Chinese restaurant, and it’s not in the category of Ramens.

This is an eye opener that I should avoid trying new food– especially if I’m the one paying it. lol kidding 

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The last 3 dishes balanced the mistake I made with choosing the ramen. Although there is nothing special about the way they cooked The Chicken Teriyaki (Php195), I think it is just similar to how the usual Chicken Teriyakis tasted.  

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Same thing with the Katsudon (Php145), it also tasted the same with the usual Katsudons served in Tokyo Tokyo or Yoshinoya. However, I have noticed that they seemed to have a larger serving and that there are a lot of eggs! So why not!

We also had the Gyoza (Php155), although I wasn’t able to take a solo picture of it. Some parts of the Gyoza was harder than the other parts, which I think is because of the inconsistency when they cooked it. Some parts felt like fried, some felt like steamed.

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But overall, it was a good restaurant and here is a picture of us while we were waiting for our orders.

This day is one of my memorable days because I had a roller coaster of emotions the whole day but I was still able to get myself in front of a lot of people, pretended everything was fine and laughed with their jokes. I know I was also going to be reprimanded because I told them I’d be home by 9 pm, but I actually went home at 1 am.

But I think God understood my pain that day so I just had fun that night and I wasn’t reprimanded when I went home.

So there you have it! If you want to visit a Ramen restaurant in Fishermall, go to Kokoro Ramenya! You can find it at the Upper Ground Floor, Fisher Mall, Quezon Avenue, Del Monte, Quezon City . Hope to hear your experience!

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Royal London Duck

It is seldom to find restaurants in the Philippines that serve duck. However, in Singapore, you’ll find it everywhere. You’ll find it in those fancy Chinese restaurants or those in the hawkers– although, honestly, I find Hawker foods more authentic than those from the commercialized and overpriced restaurants. hmpft

So today, we went to the Mandarin Gallery at Orchard. 

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Aside from the advertisement stand found near the elevator, this view will actually entice you to dine in their restaurant. As much as, it was quite uncomfortable how the brownish-colored duck and yellowish-colored chicken were hooked that way, but, it actually succeeded in catching our attention.

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Splendor is flashing inside the restaurant, with its red colored chairs– which is very Chinese marketing strategy– and the interior of the restaurant. The restaurant is also not a confined type of establishment, like a usual restaurant space enclosed by its four sides and then a double door in the middle of one side. Here, they actually have 2 sides that they opened and they only have a balcony-type of a divider from the outside of its restaurant.

So basically, the air of the entire mall circulates with their own air. And in my opinion, that is like saving electrical energy and it’s more comfortable because the sight not suffocating.

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Royal London Duck

Of course, we ordered Half Royal London Duck (SGD25) because, basically, that’s what we came for. The duck wasn’t chewy, the skin was in the middle of being crispy and being hard, and the sauce was fantastic with the white rice. It was definitely cooked well!

Although I must say that diners should really be careful when feeding elders or toddlers because there are some small duck bones you will only discover once you’re eating them already.

Then I also ordered this one, because a Beef Brisket Noodle Dry (SGD8.80) is a must in every Chinese dining. I love how tender the beef was, however, I’d prefer if they would not serve me the fatty part of the brisket next time. I just want the meat itself, please.

We also ordered the RLD Black Pepper Bun (SGD5.80), which was like a pork steamed bun, minus the fact that it’s not really steamed because the buns are like the ones from Tim Ho Wan, which I think is a baked one, and also it’s not pork, it’s a duck.

We ordered Congee because we have a very picky toddler and who panics everytime the food is not color white. (Yay I miss baby Noelle!!) And of course, Royal London Duck Xiao Long Bao (SGD5.20) though, I think the wrap was thicker and it’s less watery (I mean the soup inside it) but overall it still tasted like the usual Xia Long Bao that I tasted.

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For our dessert, we had Snow Lady (SGD4). It’s like a whip-cream-icing combination and small Mango cubes wrapped in Mochi skin. This is my first time tasting a Snow Lady, and even though I read one review that it seemed like it’s below their expectation. I’d set this as my standard, and let’s see how it goes.

So there you have it! If you want to visit a restaurant that serves just the right duck for your craving, Go to Royal London Duck! You can find it at 333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery #04-21/22/23, Singapore 238897. Hope to hear your experience!

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Derwish Turkish Restaurant

Singapore, as many people know, is a multicultural country that is home to Malaysian, Chinese, British, Australians, Indians, Americans, Asians and other European descents. When we speak of culture this will include language, religion, cuisine, norms, music, and arts. So basically, we can infer that the culture of the people living in the country has been promulgated to every corner of the country.

That’s why, when I went here for vacation, my sister and I pledged that we will be trying different kinds of cuisines because most of the restaurants prioritize the authenticity of their dish– although for sure, it’s going to be pricey~

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For tonight’s restaurant, we went to Derwish Turkish Restaurant for dinner. It is located at the busy street of Arab, which is dominated by European and Middle Eastern cuisines. Among the lavishly designed restaurants that we passed by, it was this restaurant that captured our attention– since the one who was offering us to check the menu was a Filipino. (#Bias #patriotism #kidding) He greeted us in Filipino, “Magandang Gabi” (Good Evening) and then he started talking about trying their dishes. Though he is not a pushy kind of server, he was in fact very calm when he was pointing at the overwhelming varieties of dishes, but later we just found ourselves saying, “Okay, table for 2 please.”

The restaurant is elevated, with an almost-3-steps stairs leading to the main door. They have tables located outside the restaurant, but we preferred the ones inside because the grandiosity of the interior was pleasing me. Besides it was warm outside since it has been unpredictably downpouring and sun burning. I almost believe a Goblin was on PMS. Kidding.

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When we entered I found myself in awe with the flamboyance of its design. The tiled walls were occupied by different impressive patterns and in the middle, there was a frame of people carrying gold jars.

The white table complemented with the prints of the chairs. I think having blue prints on the chair and blue utensils holders gave an impression of being a royal blooded person. You know, it looked so first-class.

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Hummus and Bread (SGD9)

This is my first time trying Turkish food, and upon seeing this dish it gave an idea that probably the cream will taste sweet and that I don’t want to try that greeny-yellowish liquid in the middle because that might not taste good.

But thanks to my sister, she gave me a heads up of what will be the taste. The cream or dip is called Hummus, and according to the dictionary, it is a thick paste or spread made from ground chickpeas and sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon, and garlic. So apparently, it won’t taste sweet and instead, it tasted a little salty and it did a great job complementing with the bread. And I would also recommend you to dip near the greeny-yellowish liquid a.k.a. the Olive oil. 

However, the bread was cold and I would prefer if it’s warmer.

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This is one of their appetizers, it a bloated bread while it’s warm then it deflates as it gets colder. I preferred dipping this bread to the Hummus because due its warmness the consistency of the Hummus with it is observed.

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Chicken Kebab (SGD25)

In this restaurant, aside from the Chicken kebab (SGD25) they also serve Lamb kebab. However, I am not used to the taste of lamb, so we chose this one instead.

The thick and tender kebab were skewed in a sword design skewer, and before it was even set on our table, its rich flavors are evident with the tantalizing aroma it comes with. It smells so good, you’d find yourself senseless to other things while swallowing that imaginary lump in your throat! It is also served with vegetables and short-grained rice. The servings are enough for sharing if both of you are not so hungry.

Although, Turkish restaurants, in general, are pricey. It is not only the architecture of the restaurant, the extravagance of its tables, chairs, and utensils, or the title of it being a Turkish restaurant.

You are actually paying for the authenticity of the culture enveloped in the dishes they serve. You are paying for the quality of the herbs and spices, the tenderness of the meat, the freshness of the dough, and the mastery of the chef in bearing these dishes for you. You are paying for the culture that they preserved and handed down to generations after generations.

Here are my solo picture and a picture with my sister! 🌻

So there you have it! If you want to visit a restaurant that serves authentic kebab with a touch of extravagance and cultivation of culture, Go to Derwish Turkish Restaurant! You can find it at 60 Bussorah Street Singapore 199476. Hope to hear your experience!

PS. There are a lot of Turkish restaurants that you’d find at the Arab St., and nearby streets, but please find this restaurant. It looks like this from the outside.

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Chicken Up!

On my first day in Singapore, my sister took a leave because she had to attend different hospital appointments. Me, who’s still “jetlagged” from yesterday’s flight (lol, as if Manila-Singapore flight takes more than 16 hours. Lol), kept on pleading for snoozing my alarm that’s why we ended up not having breakfast at all. So for our first meal of the day, we went to Chicken Up.

Chicken Up, most likely is in the same genre with Korean fast food chain like Bon Chon. According to their website, Chicken Up is known for serving best-selling marinated chickens Yangnyum (sweet and tangy flavor) and Ganjang (Soya-based blend). Unfortunately, there is no branch in the Philippines yet, and it can only be found in Singapore and Johor Bahru.

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When we entered we were welcomed by a very accommodating staff, whose name I, unfortunately, forgot to check. He was consistently smiling at us with his eyes really attentive on our needs. He led us to our table and helped us with our orders, especially when we asked about their best sellers (or Manager’s choice), he immediately suggested that we should try their promo of unlimited beers/Soju and Chicken wings! … Let’s not forget that it’s only 1 pm! It’s too early for getting drunk and doing honest hours! 

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As you can see in the interiors, the walls and the floors looked like their undone. But I guarantee you that the floors are smooth enough and you won’t find any cement ashes falling on your food as you eat.

They also have wooden-metal mixed material for the tables and chairs. In fact, I found the chair very heavy when I tried to push myself nearer to the table. On the table, you’ll find an empty pint with a plastic wherein you can put your chicken bones or any rubbish. They also have tissues, wet wipes, and spoons and forks on the side.

As you scan the menu for your order, you will find yourself singing along– or babbling actually– along with the music because they are playing Korean Drama OSTs that are kind of sketchy from which drama it came from.

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Popcorn Chicken (S$20) + Plain Rice (S$2)

My sister ordered Popcorn Chicken (SGD20), which is a boneless chicken that is suitable for people who are too hungry to even pay attention to chicken bones. She ordered it in Soya-base and when they said that they marinated the chicken for more than 12 hours, I agreed to that because the taste of Soya is not only found in the skin but it’s also in the flesh itself! Very worth it!

They also serve a generous amount of rice, which we are both thankful for because this is our first meal and we were really famished!

My sister even said, “I have been eating so much but the chicken seemed to not have lessened.” I agree, guuurl! 

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Ganjang Soya Chicken Wings (S$12) + Plain Rice (S$2)

For me, I ordered Ganjang Soya Chicken Wings (SGD12) and I was surprised with how big the chicken wings were! It’s totally a mother chicken compared to the chicks Bon Chon in the Philippines serves. The rich flavor of Soya can already be found in the skin and even in the flesh.

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Topokki with Cheese and Sea Food (S$20)

I was once a kdrama junkie and I have always been fascinated about the taste of the rice cake or Tteokkboki. Even on Facebook, there are a lot of videos about “What to do in Seoul” or “5 things to eat in Seoul,” and Tteokkboki is always part of the list.

Now that I have seen it in on the menu I agreed to order it. Despite being aware that it is spicy– and I’m not a fan of it–, I still agreed. Because why not, it’s 2016, change is coming. lol

The Topokki that we ordered has shrimp, mussels, noodles, cheese and rice cakes. They serve an enormous amount of shrimps and mussels, I mean it. Not only enormous but also fat. The rice cake was also chewy, but it won’t hurt your teeth. However, if you don’t like spicy foods just don’t sip the soup. It’s more bearable.

 

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Honey Ginger Tea (s$5) AND Honey Ginseng Tea (s$5)

 

For our beverage, my sister had Honey Ginger Tea. Even if I have always been encouraged to drink ginger to soothe my singing voice, Ginger still holds the smallest place in my heart. #sorrynotsorry So when we ordered my sister insisted that I order this, but I declined. So she ended up ordering it for herself instead, praying that she’ll have my singing voice… Kidding.

I ordered the Honey Ginseng Tea, and as a first timer, I was pleased with how it tasted. Every time I am eating in a restaurant in the Philippines, I always prefer water over everything since the choices are limited to soft drinks, shakes, and ice tea. But since here in Singapore, they always have varieties of teas, I try them. This Honey Ginseng Tea is sweet and it tasted like the Arnibal (sweetening syrup) whenever we eat the “Taho” (Soft Tofu).

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A picture of me and my sister

So there you have it! If you want to visit a restaurant that serves nurtured and 12-hour marinated chicken, Go to Chicken Up! You can find it at 2 Tampines Central 5, #01-44 Century Square, Century Square, 529509. Hope to hear your experience!

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Despidida: Shi Lin

Before my departure for Singapore last December 15, the Trio (Pammy, Krizia, and I) decided to meet up for our last “high maintenance” eat out for the year 2016 since I’ll be returning in January 2017 already. Thanks to the Booky app, it made our last “high maintenance” eat out a little not too high, since we were given Php500 off on top of the minimum order of Php1000.

Shi Lin, as much as it sounds like a Chinese restaurant, it is a Taiwanese restaurant. I haven’t heard anything about it yet, and since it has a Php500 off in the Booky app, I was quite hesitant about booking a reservation because it’s quite questionable that all the available hours are on Php500 off, are they just trying to sell it off?

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When we entered there were a lot of seats available, so the doubt in my heart grew bigger. However, I noticed how detailed the interior was. There was an abundance of chandeliers, enormous mirrors, intricate porcelains, and varnished woods. My aesthetics are being pleased, the growing doubt seems to subside little by little.

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Hakaw (155) and Xiao Long Bao (275)

We ordered Xiao Long Bao (275) and Hakaw (155) for our dumplings. Krizia is not really a fan of dumplings but these 2 dumplings are Pammy and I’s personal favorites. The first time I tasted Xiao Long Bao was at Din Tai Fung in Singapore, and despite getting my tongue burned from the surprise boiling hot water inside the dumplings, it still became my favorite. Since then, every time we are ordering dumplings if there is Xiao Long Bao then that’s automatically what we will order.

Shi Lin was able to give the authenticity of the dumplings, the Hakaw’s shrimp was really nourished (if you know what I mean~), while the Xiao Long Bao tasted how I expected it to be. Good thing, the ventilation at the restaurant was also good that’s why it didn’t take too long for the dumplings to turn cold. I don’t know if that’s a good thing but for someone eating the Xiao Long Bao, I think I’d prefer it a little colder than when it was served.

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Deep Fried Asado Bun (145) and Braised Beef Noodles

We also ordered Deep Fried Asado Bun (145) and Braised Beef Noodles (150-200). We didn’t really intend on buying the Asado bun, but we anticipated it being alike to Tim Ho Wan’s Baked Bun so we decided to try it. As much as the bun didn’t break off leaving roti-prata-like crumbs like how it was in Tim Ho Wan, but it was really recommended because the amount of filling was not too frugal that it’s just a tiny bit in the middle. The filling was generous and it tasted very authentic.

However, for the Braised Beef Noodles, I expected a lot since I thought it was their recommended dish. Despite the noodles, beef, and the vegetable being cooked well, I was quite disappointed with the taste of the soup. It tasted somewhere near mild spicy and being a little sour.

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Fried Rice with Fried Porkchop and Egg (260)

We ordered Fried Rice with Fried Porkchop and Egg (260) which is self-explanatory. lol Since we are Asians, rice meal cannot be absent in the table. So, we tried it and the fried rice did taste like a bona fide Chinese fried rice, it definitely sat well in my taste buds and the Porkchop was also tender.

Krizia arrived late, so we had to order one more rice for her–although we know very well that she won’t be able to finish it. We ordered the Fried Rice with Shrimp and Egg (150), and there were a lot of shrimps, really. Every time I scoop a rice, a lot of shrimps really go together with it! I like it!

Our picture! Yayyyy, I’ll definitely miss these girls!!! Love you both always and forever!!!

So there you have it! If you want to visit a restaurant that serves not so commercialized servings yet with a price that is cheaper than its quality. Go to Shi Lin! You can find it at Fourth Floor, Trinoma Mall, North Triangle, Quezon City. Get the Booky app as well!!! And check Zomato for any information that you need. Hope to hear your experience!

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Solace: Sodam

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The examinations week just finished and it is finally our Christmas vacation. And for the past weeks that I have been spending weekends at home doing my thesis, I pledge to myself that once this “mini” thesis paper is done, I’d really be slacking off like a boss! Slacking would include eating out, watching a movie, and even binge-watching Korean Dramas/American Series!

So for the first weekend of solace, my brother and I went to Sodam. He and his friends visited this Korean buffet restaurant long ago, and since then he has been telling me that one day we’ll go here since he knows how big fan of Korean dramas I am. So you know, by means of eating their food I’d also get a taste of my Korean drama fantasy. Oppa~

He also said that this restaurant is serving authentic Korean foods yet it’s cheaper than other Korean buffet restaurants. Imagine, we got an unlimited serving of Korean cuisine for only Php349! (Lunch Mon-Fri- Php319; Dinner & Lunch Mon-Sun & Holidays- Php349)

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Upon arriving, they already gave me 4 layers of meat strips (more like Bacon strips) but since I was still waiting for my brother to arrive, I decided to start cooking. I also noticed that the servers were really alert to the needs of the diners: they always check if the tables still have the meat strips, they take away the plates that are no longer used, and most of all they teach their diners who doesn’t know how to open the grill. *awkward smiley*

I also noticed that they have good ventilation, even though all tables have grills, it didn’t make the place too warm and you can still feel the air conditioning unit. Also, I think the stairs made it felt like it’s the old style Chinese restaurants, you know those that were originally a house turned restaurant, so the ambiance of the restaurant felt like home and not just a mere restaurant.

After a while, my brother came and we went downstairs and started filling up our plates.

I noticed that they have large varieties of Korean dishes, they have meat, sea foods, soup, vegetables, fruits, and other good foods the Lord has given the world. hehe

This is how messy our table was. Honestly, I am not really a fan of a buffet because I tend to be “loyal”, and I get overwhelmed with the diversity of food choices. Most of the time I focus on few dishes and get a lot of it. Which results in making me feel bloated right away, not to mention that I always get judged by my brother because I eat rice in a buffet.

In the foods that they served, I’ve noticed that most of it are sweet, and it was a good decision to have a rice so that it will balance the taste. Also I realized that I won’t starve in Korea because they have dishes that are quite identical to our common foods in the Philippines.

However, I wished they marinated or even gave sauce for the bacon strips because it was bland when I cooked it the way it was. Good thing my brother was a foodie, so he tried seasoning it with the sauces he asked from the servers.

So there you have it! If you want to visit a Korean restaurant that is authentic and cheap. Go to Sodam! You can find it at 17 J. Abad Santos Drive, Little Baguio, San Juan City. Getting a reservation is a must! And check Zomato for any information that you need. Hope to hear your experience!

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Budget-friendly: Monster Bites

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We only have few weeks left before the end of the semester. So whether we like it or not, whenever “we go out” we no longer use it to spend time with each other over chit chats, but instead, we use it to do school works together! In this way, it will help us be more productive yet at the same time de-stress because we have each other’s shoulder to cry on. (If you know what I mean~)

We have been passing along this restaurant for quite a long time since it is just a few streets away from school. And, since then I have been so curious about what foods do they serve, how much it costs, and the quality.

So the trio, Pammy, Krizia, and I, decided to go to Monster Bites for dinner. If ever I have said this already, Pammy dislikes air pollution. She always wears a face mask whenever we cross the street or sometimes she covers her whole face with her hands and tissues, and most of all she dislikes riding the jeepney (for some personal reasons). So eating in an open area as open as this restaurant is already a hindrance for her. But since I heard positive reviews about this place, I really did my best persuading her! And of course, peer pressure, I succeeded.

The place is situated at Dapitan street and there are a lot of jeepneys passing by, and in my opinion being this open is not very well appreciated because it’s making the place warmer and the pollution will force them to scrub the floor every day instead of every other day. And it’s ironic that they have a vaping area, and it’s the one that is air conditioned. Hmmm, that’s weird. 

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Burger Steak (75) and Carbonara (99)

Their menu includes large varieties of foods, including burgers, sandwiches, rice meals, fries, nachos, pasta, milk teas etc. They also have pasta group meals good for 3-4 persons, and those other kinds of group meals. Pammy ordered

Pammy ordered Carbonara Ala Carte (99), and it tasted like Shakey’s Carbonara but more dry. But of course, considering the price, it’s palatable. On the other hand, Krizia ordered

On the other hand, Krizia ordered Burger Steak (75) because she is the “rice for dinner, idc” kind of girl, but unfortunately, we had to ask them to cook it again because the meat was still reddish and it felt like it’s not yet done.

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Ramen (99)

For me, I tried the Ramen (99) because it’s on promo and I was craving for it. Instead of costing around 150-200 pesos, it just cost me 99. And although I have been eating Japanese food for the past days, I can say that this is one of those ramen that I’d go to whenever I want something that’s cheaper. I mean, why not it’s just a few streets away from home! Although they were not able to perfect the egg the way authentic Japanese restaurants do, it’s okay, it’s still an egg and they are a gift from God. It’s also served with a lot of onion leaves, beware!

For our last order, but I wasn’t able to take a picture, was the Nachos Special (65). I didn’t like nachos because I am not a fan of chips at all. But the Nachos they served was good enough, it was not that hard and they were generous with the cheese sauce and the meat. Thank you.

So there you have it! If you want to visit a restaurant that has a budget-friendly price tag. Go to Monster Bites! You can find it atDapitan Corner R. Cristobal Street, Sampaloc, Manila And check Zomato for any information that you need. Hope to hear your experience!