7 Things Shopwise Circuit Got Us Excited About!

Last July 27, 2018, Shopwise opened in Circuit Makati. Since we have been doing our grocery shopping in Shopwise for years now, we decided to troop to Circuit to see what the newly-opened branch has in store for everyone.

As soon as we entered the well-lit store, we grabbed our shopping cart, started checking out the shelves and freezers, and excitedly loaded our cart with 7 things we always look forward to get in Shopwise.

1. Bread.

From loaves to rolls to buns to cakes, Shopwise’s bakery has everything you want and more. They make fresh batches everyday and you can smell the gorgeous aroma of baked goods from their open kitchen. We got their delicious ensaymada, cinnamon buns, dulce de leche cake, and ube cake.

2. Seafood.

Our love for seafood knows no bound. We got excited when we saw 3 of our fresh favorites— prawn, lobster, and salmon. We couldn’t wait to get home to cook the fresh goods that we got.

3. Fruits.

Shiny, fresh produce available everyday. There is something inviting about fruits stacked neatly on the shelves. Of course we got some avocados.

4. Cheeses.

This area is our little piece of heaven in Shopwise. 2 things we love—  Southdale Farm cheese and Landana cheese especially their pesto-flavored cheese which we were told is only being sold in 2 Shopwise branches including this one in Circuit Makati.

5. Wines.

Their selections might not be extensive but they carry good wines. We were so happy to see Rioja on the shelves.

6. Local Treats.

This is one of our favorite parts to go to in the store. We love seeing different local products from various regions in the Philippines getting the attention they deserve.

7. Sure Buys.

Of course we won’t forget Shopwise‘s own brand. They have almost everything and the best part, they come at a totally affordable price! Definitely a Sure Buy.

Shopwise is one of the supermarkets we go to on a regular basis because of the excellent products they offer and the excellent customer service they give.

After spending a good 90 minutes in the store, we came out with bags filled with everything tasty and we came out with huge grins because we had a great shopping day.

Check out Shopwise on Instagram and on Facebook. Go to their website too for more information.

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How We Celebrated Our 3rd Birthday at The Holiday Inn and Suites Makati

We take birthdays seriously. That’s why on our 3rd birthday, we decided to celebrate it at the Holiday Inn and Suites in Makati City. We only had one mission on our 2-night staycation— ‘Eat. Sleep. Repeat.’ And we think we achieved what we set out to do.

We started our 1st day with an amazing Chocolate Cherry Blossom Bonsai and a bottle of Chardonnay. They were a complete surprise because they came with The King Bed Corner Suite. We couldn’t get enough of the bonsai because everything was made in chocolate— from the bowl holding the tree to the soil to the trunk to the branches to the cherry blossoms. They were made of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. And paired with the chilled Chardonnay, we were undoubtedly welcomed to the good life.

The Corner Suite was perfectly spacious with a sitting area, lounge sofa, work desk, flat-screen television, mini-bar, and our favorite feature in the entire room: king-sized bed with its plush beddings and pillows. As for the bathroom, it comes with a bathtub and full selection of toiletries. Of course, the room has free internet which is always a must-have in staycations because how else can we conveniently Instagram Story our Holiday Inn and Suites Makati experience without a fast wifi?

After putting our bags down and jumping up and down the bed (note: we do this every time because life is short), we went to the Executive Lounge to enjoy their complimentary afternoon tea from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. All guests checked in their Executive Club Rooms and Corner Suites have free Club Access. However, for an additional fee, other guests can also have access to the lounge.

The afternoon was lovely and so was our tea time. The Executive Lounge has ample seating and relaxed atmosphere. Because of its exclusivity, the place wasn’t crowded. The selection of snacks were quite delightful too. They offered fruit tarts, cakes, sandwiches, cookies, coffee, and good selection of Dilmah teas. We’re so happy to see our ultimate favorite cake in the spread— Ube Cheesecake. We swear by this cake!

By the time we’re about to get done with tea time, one of the staff told us that they will open the lounge for a complimentary happy hour from 6:00pm to 8:00pm and asked us if we intend to stay. We looked at each other and all mouthed the words “happy hour” with silly grins on our faces. The answer was a no-brainer. Of course we will stay!

The items in the buffet area suddenly changed to hors d’oeuvres, cheese and cold cuts platters, fruit cups, fish cakes, grilled chicken skewers, maki sushi, salads, and pork tenders amongst others. The selection may not be as extensive as the buffet in Flavors, the hotel’s restaurant, but they were properly curated. Since it’s happy hour and we want to be happy, we got us some wines, cocktails, and shots of tequila. The food kept coming and the drinks kept pouring and we kept smiling. One thing that we noticed the moment we set foot in the Executive Lounge was the staff. They were attentive, courteous, and friendly. We have stayed in various hotels and we must say that the staff of Holiday Inn and Suites Makati is by far one of the most sincere group of people that we’ve encountered.

Happy hour ended and we happily sauntered to our Corner Suite. The king-sized bed looked so inviting especially with the soft duvet and pillows. Speaking of pillows, we’re quite particular about those. So we’re glad when we saw that the hotel provides 2 pillow choices— soft and firm. If you’re not a big fan of soft pillows like us, one call to the housekeeping department will solve the problem. They graciously sent us firm pillows to replace the soft ones.

Buffet breakfast in Flavors Restaurant comes with every stay but since we were on our lazy staycation mood, we opted for their In-Room Breakfast. They provided the room with a breakfast menu specific to in-room dining so we ordered from that list. We got us some Buttermilk Pancakes with Apples and Walnuts, Bacon and Eggs, Longganisa with Garlic Rice and Eggs, Ensaymada, fresh ripe mangoes, rolls, and coffee. The pancakes were a bit crispy on the outside which we prefer, the bacon strips were crispy too, the sunny side up eggs were perfectly cooked, and the longganisa was delicious. From the time our orders were taken, our food arrived in 20 minutes which was impressive. We liked the fact that they kept the dishes in the warmer so they were fresh and hot when they got to us.

Breakfast was lovely but the art of doing nothing was lovelier. We watched the news, watched Netflix on our laptop, and watched the world pass us by from our big corner windows. Then it was time to check out. Since we want to get the staycation experience at the Holiday Inn and Suites Makati, we thought of transferring to their King Leisure Room. It might be a smaller room but the amenities make up for it. The room comes with a sitting area, work desk with multimedia panel, bluetooth speaker, flat-screen television, mini-bar, and still our favorite furniture: the king-sized bed complete with the hotel’s firm and soft pillows. The bathroom might not have a bathtub but it has everything we need.

For the few times we left our room, we found ourselves in Glorietta Mall which is just literally beside the hotel. They even built a special entryway to the mall from just outside the hotel lobby which was very convenient. Since we were still on our Eat. Sleep. Repeat mission, we made sure to comply on our last day at the hotel. Remembering the good food experience we got from our In-Room Breakfast, we decided to try their In-Room Dining at 2 o’ clock in the morning. We woke up hungry and naturally, we called Room Service to take care of us. Holiday Inn and Suites Makati In-Room Dining operates 24/7. That means, they can feed you any time of the day. We decided to get a Club Sandwich, Pasta Bolognese, Thai Red Curry, Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls, Fried Vegetable Spring Rolls, Chocolate Cake With Ice Cream, coffee, and a glass of milk. We’re glad to report that our orders took 20 minutes to arrive and the food were served at the right temperatures.

We took our mission seriously that when breakfast time kicked in, we trooped to Flavors Restaurant to try their buffet breakfast as if we haven’t had our after-midnight snacks.

One thing that we can assure everyone when dining and staying at the Holiday Inn and Suite Makati is that the food is always lovely and delicious. Be it at the restaurant, at the Executive Lounge, or room service, their food doesn’t disappoint.

The rooms were spacious and the beds were comfortable. They can definitely make you want to stay in and sleep in.

One differentiating factor that we think the Holiday Inn and Suites Makati has over other hotels in its category, is their hardworking staff who happily gives impeccable service. We have never seen a group of people who are just glad to serve. We could clearly see that the hotel takes care of their employees very well because it shows how well their employees take care of their hotel guests.

Overall, our 2-night birthday staycation was definitely one to remember.

Here’s a short video of our Holiday Inn and Suites Makati experience. Hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it for you.

Video created by Ambishen Productions for Manila Eat Up.

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Check out Holiday Inn and Suites Makati on Instagram and on Facebook. Book your rooms on their Website too.

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All images appearing on this website, unless noted otherwise, are the exclusive property of Manila Eat Up. All images are copyrighted © Manila Eat Up.

Mantra Bistro: Experience Northern India in Manila

The Philippine food scene has grown positively throughout the years. Aside from more Filipinos getting the opportunity to travel the world and be exposed to different cultures via food, the birth of Business Process Outsource industry (popularly known as the Call Center industry) opened the country to more foreign visitors— Americans, Europeans, Australians, and Indians to name a few. The diversity of nationalities visiting the Philippines allowed diversity and innovations in the country’s food culture too. We got introduced to different cuisines apart from the usual Chinese, Japanese, and American that make up the majority of the restaurants. One of the cuisines that made its way into the Manila food scene is Indian cuisine.

Speaking of Indian cuisine, let us introduce you to Mantra Bistro. A passion project of owner, Ranjit Chimni, Mantra Bistro was established to give the food-loving public the chance to experience authentic Northern Indian cuisine the way its meant to be, with no compromise on quality and the experience. Since we mentioned the word experience, allow us to share with you our beautiful Mantra Bistro experience.

We found the restaurant tucked in Grand Midori along Bolanos Street in Legazpi Village, Makati City. The moment we stepped inside the restaurant and saw the simple yet cozy interior, we knew that we’re in for a good time.

We were served some Fried Papadum as our first appetizer. Also known as Papad, it’s made of peeled black gram/lentil flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, kneaded, flattened, and served either fried or cooked with dry heat. Our first encounter with fried papadum was during our backpacking trip in India a few years back. Quite new to the Indian cuisine, we were so eager to try everything foodwise. The closest we can associate fried papad with are fried wontons or tostada chips when it comes to its crispness but it has that quality that melts in your mouth the second it touches it. Even though Mantra Bistro included a tamarind chutney to serve as a dip, their fried papad were tasty enough that we didn’t really need the sauce.

Mantra Bistro has vegetarian options too. They have dishes that cater to people on that diet. Since we love vegetables, we got their Tandoori Broccoli and their Green Pea Tikki. Both were delicious. The broccoli florets were marinated in lemon and cheese before thrown to the grill which contributed to its smoky flavor. We’ve got to admit that we’re not a big fan of green peas so we’re quite hesitant to taste their Green Pea Tikki. But we also believe in the “Don’t knock it till you try it” motto so we gave it a shot. And we’re so glad we did! The green pea patties were stuffed with cheese and spices and everything nice and they were totally off-the-hook! Who would have thought that a simple patty can convert us to like green peas? As of this writing, we have gone back the second time to Mantra Bistro and the first thing we ordered were the green pea patties!

The next dish we ordered is perfect for cheese lovers. We got the Paneer Tikka— cubes of cottage cheese marinated in yogurt and Tandoori spices, put on skewers, and chargrilled. It has that firm tofu texture with that creamy flavor. Let us tell you a secret: one thing we absolutely love in Mantra Bistro is the mint chutney! It’s the perfect condiment to mostly everything we ordered! We wish they’re selling them in bottles so we can bring them home and smother every food we have with it.

On to the meaty part of our Mantra Bistro visit. We got a selection of chicken dishes— Chicken Achari Tikka (spicy boneless pickle spiced kebab), Afghani Tangri Kebab (drumstick marinated in yogurt, cheese, and ginger garlic paste), Chicken Tikka (fillet marinated in yogurt and Indian red pepper), and Murg Malai Tikka (boneless marinated in yogurt, spices, cheese, and ginger garlic paste). Be it spicy, garlicky, peppery, and smoky, each chicken dish has a distinct flavor that’s full-bodied and mouthwatering. Amongst the 4, our top pick was the Murg Malai Tikka.

By the way, Mantra Bistro has a bar so you can pair their lovely Indian food with cocktails of your choice. If you fancy a non-alcoholic beverage, they offer their popular refreshing yogurt-based drink called Lassi.

With all the chicken dishes we got, we decided to get a different meat this time. Ranjit told us that we should try their newest beef dish on the menu called Beef Tenderloin. The name might just appear to be simple to you and me but the flavors were definitely not. The beef was juicy, tender, a bit tangy, and a bit spicy. The aroma of the spices was enough to make us salivate.

Since we want to reserve the rice consumption for when we get the biryani, we ordered the Garlic Naan and Lacha Paratha. The aroma of these freshly-made flatbreads was undeniably hypnotic, most especially the Garlic Naan.

We saved the best 2 dishes for last because we believe in ending a feast with a bang. These are our personal Indian food favorites— Shrimp Biryani and Rogan Josh.

We love anything biryani and Mantra Bistro‘s Shrimp Biryani variety sounds inviting. True enough, when the bowl teeming with hot rice mixed with spices were placed in front of us, it didn’t only sound inviting, it was everything inviting. The sight, the smell,  the feel, and the taste. The Rogan Josh, on the other hand, brought back a lot of our beautiful memories of India. It also brought back those inebriated days when we’d sober up with a spicy serving of Rogan Josh and naan (but that’s for another article, maybe). The lamb was cooked in curry, tomatoes, and Indian spices. We specifically requested the Rogan Josh to be more spicy because we enjoy it more that way.

Inasmuch as we want to get Kulfi, their Indian ice cream, we didn’t have much space in our already bloated bellies. We’ll try it next time. Another reason to go back.

Our lunch was nothing short of amazing. We’re so glad to have found our little slice of Northern India in the middle of the metropolis. You can have that experience too— Mantra Bistro has got you covered.

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Check out Mantra Bistro on Instagram and on Facebook.

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All images appearing on this website, unless noted otherwise, are the exclusive property of Manila Eat Up. All images are copyrighted © Manila Eat Up.

June #BestInChamba Award Goes To…

BIC06-Winner-weekend_gypsy

Big Congratulations!

@weekend_gypsy! We love action shots and this is just right on the money!

We didn’t announce our token of appreciation for this month because we wanted it to be a surprise! Our June #BestInChamba winner gets 2 boxes of s’mores bars from @gimmesmore_ph!

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Here are the runners-up!

BIC06-Runner-Up-Ink.stagramby @ink.stagram

BIC06-Winner-chdecenaby @chdecena

BIC06-Winner-chef_in_heelsby @chef_in@heels

Thanks so much for joining our monthly contest! We’re hoping to see more entries in the next coming months! Keep posting!

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All images appearing on this website, unless noted otherwise, are the exclusive property of Manila Eat Up. All images are copyrighted © Manila Eat Up.

Kabila Filipino Bistro: Discovering What’s On The ‘Other Side’

by Nines Licad

Filipinos are such masterminds when it comes to making names, but to name a Filipino bistro with a term such as Kabila, which means ‘other side’, is simply clever.

Continue reading “Kabila Filipino Bistro: Discovering What’s On The ‘Other Side’”

Paseo 59C, A New Dining + Co-working Space in Makati

Working lunches never tasted this good.

If you’re on a lookout for a co-working space in Makati, there’s a new place in town along Paseo de Roxas. Paseo 59C is the newest baby of restaurateurs, Jean Paul and Patricia Cheung, the same couple who brought to us Good Earth Roasts in BGC.

Continue reading “Paseo 59C, A New Dining + Co-working Space in Makati”