Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Breakfast of champions

By: Filo Gonzales February 26, 2014

These days breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day, but also the trendiest meal of the day, with charming diners and hip breakfast-themed restaurants having opened in the metro recently. Personally, I love breakfast food. It’s beautiful and comforting and signals the start of good things. So the idea of having breakfast any time of the day means good things can start any time of the day.

Here’s a review of two restaurants in Bonifacio Global City, Stacy’s and Early Bird Breakfast Club.


Stacy’s has a dainty, comfy and decidedly homey feel. I love the cute little details, including the pink retro refrigerator and the wait staff’s Cath Kidston oilcloth floral-print aprons. They serve pretzels and popcorn while you wait for your meal. Thoughtful and sweet.

  We tried Clara’s Feast, which had salted fish and chorizo on fried rice, topped with two sunny side up eggs and mango salsa. I just wish it had more fish and chorizo because there was a lot of rice.

 We also ordered the Waikiki Omu-rice, which had caramelized Spam and rice wrapped in a cheese omelette. Interesting flavor combinations.

This sardines and olive oil pasta dish is called Dear John, named after the powdery white sands and ocean setting in the movie of the same title.

Price: quite reasonable for BGC standards. Expect to spend Php200 to 250 per person.

Early Bird Breakfast Club

Early Bird Breakfast Club is a bit pricier and more polished than most all-day breakfast places. They take a more ‘gourmet’ approach to breakfast food. The place has a chic and casual feel, with the bird motif thoughtfully integrated into details like the wooden centerpieces and the big blue mural on the right wall.

I ordered the Chorizo and Mushroom Risotto, which came with crispy Parmigiano Reggiano. I thought it needed a little extra something so I topped it with a sunny side up (not in photo) to make it more breakfast-y.

My date, a man who can live on bread for days, ordered the Croque Monsieur, the classic French sandwich with bacon, cheese and mustard filling slathered with what could either be mornay or hollandaise sauce, I’m not so sure.

Price: a little pricey for breakfast. Expect to spend upwards of Php350 per person.

Other hip all-day breakfast spots to try: Recovery Food, Mr. Jones, Gram’s Diner, Heaven & Eggs, IHOP. For the good old classics, Tapa King, Rodic’s, and Pancake House never fail me.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Top 10 Kitchen & Dining Gifts for Newly Weds

By: Filo Gonzales January 22, 2014

It’s the season for weddings! In the Philippines, the cooler months of December to February are the peak season for tying the knot. The Western concept of a June bride is not as popular here, where the tropical weather makes the month too hot and uncomfortable. June is also the opening of classes, so the mood isn’t right for a romantic event.

Around these months, you will find yourself attending back-to-back weddings and bridal showers. We’ll help you get a wedding gift that won’t break the bank and will be well-appreciated by the newlywed couple. Bonus: you can have it delivered right to their doorstep and save yourself the trouble of lugging around a big piece of appliance.

For the fit and healthy couple:

For the romantic couple:

For the practical couple:

For the classy couple:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Top 10 Nifty Stocking Stuffers for Christmas

By: Filo Gonzales December 19, 2013

The Christmas season is upon us! The rush is on to buy gifts for our family, friends and colleagues. Jam-packed shopping malls and city traffic is enough to drive us all crazy. So save yourself the hassle of squeezing through the mad crowd, finding parking space, and ending up buying something thoughtless and will probably end up getting re-gifted (ouch!).
Here are some nifty ideas for gifts that are useful, practical and unique. The best part is, you don’t have to get out of the house to buy them.

1. Popcorn maker – for movie buffs and DVD marathoners at home; Php 2,900.00

2. Beer mug – for the dudes and all the holiday drinking and merriment; Php 179.75

3. Metal soap – a great tool to rub away the nasty onion and garlic smell from hands after all the noche buena cooking. Trust us, they will thank you for it. Php 445.00

4. Coffee bean grinder – this will instantly make the you, the gift-giver, look sophisticated and worldly. Gift-giving like a sir for Php 1,880.00

5. Cheese knife – again, be sophisticated and worldly; only Php 827.00

6. Irish coffee mug – not your usual office mug; Php 213.00 for a set of 2

7. Ice cream scoop – elegant and sleek design from Tramontina;  because who doesn’t love ice cream? Php 250.00

8. Egg pan – for the breakfast food lovers; P600.00

9. Oil and vinegar bottle – unique because it doesn’t pour, it sprays (ooooh…); Php 734.00

10. Juicer –with juicing being all the rage today, here’s one for the health buffs; Php 2,160.00

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sappe Beauti Drink

By: Taku Lopez Dec. 16, 2013

It's not often that we see new beverage brands on the shelves of convenience stores and it's usually the large FMCG's products that are displayed. After driving and getting stuck in traffic for quite some time, I decided to stop by a convenience store to quench my thirst. This was also the time when I stumbled upon this drink called the "Sappe Beauti Drink." It was the packaging that caught my attention but seeing the "L-Glutathione" label definitely made me even more interested in it and so I purchased it. A drink that quenches my thirst and also makes me look good? Who would say no to that?!

At first, I thought that it would taste bad since Glutathione was being sold in the Philippines in capsules, right? I mean, if it tasted good, why not sell them as a chewable tablet?

After my first sip, I was glad I purchased it. It tasted so good that I should've bought two bottles instead of one! The Sappe Beauti Drink tasted like orange juice which a lot of our readers will definitely enjoy. The Sappe Beauti Drink also made me think of my wife who is based in Thailand since Sappe was manufactured by a Thai company.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Easy to follow Filipino Pan De Sal Recipe

We are presenting to you a very simple recipe on how to make the Filipino breakfast staple, Pan de Sal. 

This easy to follow recipe will enable you to make Pan de Sal in less than 10 minutes for you and your family to enjoy! 

Happy Baking! 

Pan de Sal - Filipino Bread Rolls Recipe

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast     
3 1/4 cups bread flour     
3/4 teaspoon bread improver (Optional)               
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons margarine
2 eggs
1 cup canned evaporated milk
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

  1. Place the yeast, bread flour, bread improver, sugar, salt, margarine, eggs, and 1 cup of evaporated milk into a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle, and press start.
  2. When the cycle has ended, remove the dough from the machine, and form into 2 inch balls. Dip each ball in the remaining evaporated milk, then in the dry bread crumbs. Place the rolls on a baking sheet crumb-side up. Cover loosely with a cloth or plastic, and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake rolls for 8 minutes, or until golden brown on the top and bottom.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Basty’s : Where Real People Eat, Laugh and Share

by The SkyChic
If you work in Makati or Taguig area you probably have been in every pub and diner around Bonifacio Global City; may it be to eat, grab some quick drinks or some happy after shift night out with friends. The options are endless at BGC. If your taste buds are the adventurous type and you’re looking for some pleasing Mediterranean flavors – at the corner of 30th and 4th streets lies your pot of gold. Basty’s Spanish Fusion restobar. For me Basty’s is the home of the “Crispiest’ Crispy Pata, an assortment of Paella that would make you go oh-la-la; and the delectable frozen brazo de mercedes that would complete the dining experience. Spanish cuisine at its finest, en la casa.

The Food

Spanish cuisine is known for its rich strong flavors of garlic, chilies or paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, saffron and sometimes in plentiful amounts of olive oil; with a wide variety of seafood and meat which is a distinct characteristic of the majority of their Tapas (appetizers) and their main dishes.
I tried some of Basty’s best sellers and here is my verdict for each.
Just mouth-watering.
Just mouth-watering.

The Tapas

Basty’s Gambas served with Garlic Bread

white shrimp served with pork and chorizo, sauteed in garlic and seasoned to perfection, Basty’s style. The garlic bread was toasted with just the right crispness and flavored light enough to blend with the flavorful gambas. :D
Garlic Bread
Garlic Bread

The Mains

Basty’s Pata Frita (WARNING : Not for the faint of heart)

I am picky when it comes to fried pork variants due to my dental braces and I was relieved after getting a first bite. Juicy and tender pork leg with the skin deep fried to perfection. This is not for the faint of heart. Why? This is the crispiest crispy pata of its kind, you’ll find it hard to resist the temptation. No wonder its a best seller. It is served with soy vinegar sauce on the side (I prefer spiced soy vinegar). Goes well with rice for lunch or dinner, or as beer’s perfect match. :) This pata scores 5 out of 5!
the best crispy pata in town
the best crispy pata in town PHP 450
This looks like good for 2-3 for average eaters… But it’s so good I think I can finish a serving by myself (O_O)

Basty’s Fried Chicken

This is their version of crispy fried chicken leg quarter served with sweet chili sauce. I think it’s like authentic chinese fried chicken because it doesn’t have all the stuffy breading (not so Spanish in this aspect I guess) but the chicken was tasty and juicy nonetheless. The serving is also big for a quarter. This looks like good for 2 to 3. Perfect for lunch/dinner. I’ll give this 3.5 out of 5 because it’s not so Spanish (to me) and I tasted the pata first which flavor and texture became the standard to me for all fried meat dishes (^_^)
Basty's Fried Chicken
Basty’s Fried Chicken
PHP 230 for a sumptuous fried chicken meal.

Paella Valenciana – Paella that will make you go oh-la-la!

I am not a paella fan simply because i’m not a seafood fan. I cannot remember the last time I ate paella. I was nervous to take a spoonful of this dish but the first bite led to one after another until I have unconsciously consumed the contents of my personal paella. How could I not appreciate paella if paella is this good? Chicken, pork, mussels, prawns hard boiled eggs mixed and seasoned with rice to make this exquisite work of art. A bit of everything in one plate! Paella Valenciana is <3 This is 5 out of 5.
Paella Valenciana PHP 325 for a personal size serving (good for 2-3) and PHP 775 for a family size serving
I took a spoonful.. and after a few minutes I was surprised to see it was gone! Who finished my paella?!

Paella Adobo

I couldn’t get enough of these remarkable Paellas so I had to try one more. Here we have a hefty serving of chicken and pork adobo flakes, eggs and crunchy pork chicharon magically infused in adobo  flavored rice. Alas! Paella Adobo! I think this is a first of its kind. I have always known paella to have a variety of seafood mixed with it, so its a paella safe for our non-seafood lover pals. This is again 5 out of 5 :)
Paella Adobo PHP 300 for a personal size serving (good for 2-3) and PHP 725 for a family size serving
Paella Adobo, and some soy vinegar sauce for the Pata Frita
I know you want it. Go on.. Give in.. Head to Basty’s at BGC!

The Dessert

Frozen Brazo

Whoever she is, I would like to thank her for giving up her arm that paved the road to the discovery of the popular filipino dessert of soft meringue made of egg whites rolled around a sweet custard filling. Brazo de Mercedes. Basty’s revolutionized the brazo with a twist – by freezing it. This dessert is TO-DIE-FOR. Not too sweet, not too soft. The frozen texture has given it the taste of being close to sansrival but sweeter; it has a buttery cookie base that blends well with the frozen custard. I can seriously eat three servings of this in a single sitting. This is just too sinfully delicioso. This is 6 out of 5. I just love it. If only i lived across the street, I’d come to Basty’s  everyday just to eat this.
Frozen Brazo – PHP 125 per serving
Perhaps a closer look at this work of art? :)
I cannot believe that I ate that much that night; but all those calories and carbs are definitely worth gaining. Basty’s is the best Spanish Restobar in the metro, where they offer authentic spanish cuisine at affordable prices.

The Place

Aside from the food, what makes one a loyal customer? I am someone specifically critical with ambiance. There would be times when I would just like to sit and eat in the quiet while pondering over thoughts; or sit and laugh out loud with my friends while enjoying ice cold beer and good food. I like a place where it’s so comfortable somehow you’d just feel like you’re home.
I can say Basty’s is a place where you can enjoy some quiet time alone or enjoy all the good times with friends and family. The place is set up with wooden furnitures, the brick walls are decorated with simple framed artistic pieces and complemented by yellow lights with a dim glow. Although, Venue-wise, I’d give it a 7.5 out of 10. I would suggest a little change of linens on the mezzanine floor dining area :) Additional decors for wall as well. An updated music list is sure to amp up the vibe. But nonetheless, I find it cozy, CLEAN, comfy. The staff is comprised of polite crew who always smiled and expressed their gratitude to guests.
Wooden Tables and chairs
Comfy wooden Tables and chairs
28-IMG_0070They showcase a selection of wine and beer, both local and imported. One of their imported best sellers on beer is the Trappistes Rochefort 10 – a dark ale style beer which was dubbed by as the beacon of beer perfection and the beer that will change your life. Sounds tempting right? Rochefort sells at a PHP 400-something tag. If you plan to get drunk with it, better keep some extra cash :) Might try that one next time.
Basty's wine selection
Basty’s wine selection
Basty’s Liquor Showcase
Rochefort 10 – the beer that will change your life :)
One more thing I like about Basty’s is how they maximize their ad space by using their facade as an ad and menu board as well. It’s an advantage to customers especially for first timers who would be skeptic to try a certain place because of being unsure if they can afford the price. At Basty’s you see their promos larger than life.
Basty’s Breakfast
Basty’s Breakfast – take note of the time! 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM
They are open as early as 6:30 AM and closes 12MN. So for those early morning joggers and night shifters looking for a heavy, sumptuous yet budget-wise meals, Basty’s is definitely the place for you.
Basty's Facade
Basty’s Facade – They showcased their imported beers in celebration of Oktoberfest
Another remarkable trademark of Basty’s is this noticeable glass etching by the bar :
No, we don’t have WiFi, talk to each other @ Basty’s :)
To me this is the foundation of a winning social hub – you actually promote people to people interaction in this smartphone and tablet era. How often do you get to sit and eat with the whole family? or a night out of booze and laughter with friends? Admittedly we still spend a great fraction of time during these occasions in front of our gadgets. Yes for this, I commend Basty’s. If you’re looking for quality bonding time, you know where to go. People talk to each other at Basty’s. :)


I’ve rounded up some of their on-going promos, take a look and avail these awesome offers:
Basty’s Lunch Packs
Basty’s Feedback Flyer…Send a feedback and get exclusive discounts!
Ladies Night at Basty’s
I’ve heard Basty’s will soon undergo a major change; with that I’ll (try to) keep you updated. One thing for sure though, the good food and culture we’ve always loved will never go away. (And I hope the Pata Frita and Frozen Brazo will stay. ^_^)
Basty’s accepts reservations for parties and private functions.

For more information visit:


G/F NetQuad Building

30th street corner 4th Avenue

BGC, Taguig City

or call 02-856-9132

You may also follow them on Facebook and Twitter for upcoming promos.
See you at Basty’s!
Our contributor for today is The SkyChic.
She’s an engineer by profession, a writer by heart, an entrepreneur and food enthusiast.
You may also check-out her blog at