It’s been a while since my last food post, so here’s another entry chronicling the things I’ve eaten recently. I’m on a self-imposed diet right now, so the opportunity to dine at these places is really a blessing. Let’s go!
Chicken & Beer (The Table Kitchen)
I’m still confused about the actual name of this place, but it’s a Korean restaurant found at the Fort Strip. We ate here on New Year’s Eve, hoping to have a good meal right before the fireworks fly. My first impression was that the place seemed legit as there were multiple tables with actual Koreans eating.
We ordered some standard Korean dishes: the Dolsot Bibimbap, and the Japchae.
In our previous Korean foodtrips, the Japchae noodles were usually the biggest servings. This glass noodle dish was our usual “stomach-filler”. But here, the Bibimbap was a bigger serving than the noodles. A pleasant surprise.
As for the taste, it was as expected. Meaning, it was delicious because the bare minimum for these dishes is that they must taste great. It’s hard to mess up Japchae and Bibimbap, especially if you dare call yourselves a Korean restaurant.
The noodles had the correct amount of bite and the meat was tender. The Bibimbap also had the spicy paste separated so that those who didn’t like the heat (my mama and brother) can still enjoy the dish. The beef was a bit tougher than what I wanted, but that didn’t stop me from savoring it all. Mixed rice dishes remain superior.
In addition to these, we also had their chicken wings; the Original Chicken and the Yang-Nyum Chicken. The Original flavor came with a side of vegetables and some gravy. The Yang-Nyum was coated in a sweet and spicy sauce and some veggies too.
I’m already familiar with Yang-Nyum because this is my go-to flavor for my Korean fried chicken. It was accurate although it wasn’t as spicy as I expected. Even those sensitive to spice can enjoy this one. The Original flavor was juicy and delectable as well. Nothing else to say here except it was some good chicken overall. My only gripe was that the Yang-Nyum chicken could have been more coated with sauce.
This place satisfies those craving for some authentic Korean food. The only downside was our experience with their service but this was probably due to the New Year’s rush. It took a while for us to be served water despite asking multiple times. Our bill also took its time, way longer than usual. But it was excusable as it was a full house and the staff was already working during a holiday.
I recommend finding a table outside because their indoor area was very hot and humid. There are lots of seats al fresco and though it can get a bit loud with all the other people nearby, this is preferable than eating spicy food inside a sauna.
Chicken & Beer
11:00AM – 10:30PM
The Fort Strip, 28th St., cor. 7th Ave.,
Bonifacio Global City,
Habanero Kitchen Bar
This palce was popping up on my TikTok feed repeatedly and so we had to find what the fuss was about. Due to its notoriety, we placed a reservation at 4:30PM and we were able to be seated at around 6:30PM, so I suggesting going there early to get a reservation number and then finding something else to do around Cubao while waiting.
Once seated, we ordered the three dishes that were always being recommended on social media: The Oysters Sisig, the Three-Cheese Pizza, and the Lechon Habanero.
The first to get served was the Oysters Sisig.
This was delightful. It took a great deal of discipline to resist eating most of this appetizer before the other dishes arrived. Sisig purists wouldn’t like the mayonnaise used here, but then again, oysters never were a traditional Sisig ingredient.
I wanted to feast on this dish forever. I honestly didn’t want it to end. Despite all the health risks in this dish, just this alone was worth the two-hour wait for me. I was immediately hyped up for the rest of our order.
Finally, the Three-Cheese Pizza arrived. What a treat for the eyes it was. I couldn’t wait to grab a slice and sink my teeth into it.
Quezo de bola blocks with a piece of chopped basil on top of grilled mozzarella and cheddar. Just enumerating the ingredients makes my mouth water. This was so good and it was paired with their spicy sauce which enhanced the flavor even more and took away the overwhelming cheesiness.
The thin crust made every slice disappear quickly and I couldn’t stop eating. But then the main event finally arrived. The Lechon Habanero was placed on our table and I was ready to say goodbye to the rest of my health.
This dish was a solid slab of pork belly (1kg!!!) cooked sous vide and the skin crisped perfectly. It was spiced with their own special mix and served with a delicious sauce on the side. This was sinfully worth every peso. I shoved the slices into my mouth non-stop. The pork was tender and so nice to chew on. The skin crackled with each bite and every mouthful was heavenly. This is the pork dish I would gladly eat every day for the rest of my (short) life.
Eventually, we found ourselves full but still some food was left, so we had to take some home. The staff gave us some take out containers and we packed them ourselves. I also have to mention the hospitality of the servers here. Aside from the food, their service was topnotch.
As leftovers, the pizza was still good (or maybe even better). The Lechon was too spicy for my mama despite it being only at Heat Level 1, so I had to finish it myself (hehe). Nothing was left from the Oysters sisig though. That was easiest dish to finish.
This place is worth the hype and the wait! Would I line up here once more? With no hesitations, just to taste any of these dishes again, yes I would. Habanero is easily one of the most memorable places I’ve eaten at.
Habanero Kitchen Bar
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11:00AM – 10:00PM
Cubao Expo, Araneta Center,
General Romulo Ave., Cubao,
This was another TikTok recommendation. After months of seeing their ads on my phone, we decided to finally dedicate the time to go here. I’ve never been to Salcedo Village but thanks to my partner, we were able to find the place easily. It’s hard to miss with its neon signage.
The place itself could only fit around 8-10 people for dine-in. Thankfully, we arrived just in time to score some seats. What was supposed to be a walking meal turned into a comfortable eating experience.
Being cheese lovers, we picked the pizzas that sounded most appealing to our palate. First, we ordered the Spinach Artichoke Detroit Thin.
This cheese and spinach mix is very nice. It reminded me of Angel’s Pizza’s Spinach Dip Pizza. But what sets this pizza apart is the edge-to-edge cheesy crust. I love the texture of this burnt cheese crust and I was silently fighting to make all the edge slices mine. The crispy crust and the soft, melted cheese topping made every bite wonderful. The spinach artichoke flavor provided variety without being overpowering. What a solid plate.
Up next was one of their more basic pizzas, the Cheesy AF.
This pizza is just cheese, but an unexpected thing that stood out was their specialty dough. It really shines here. With the complimentary pepper flakes and chili oil, you can make your own dip and use it as flavoring for their perfectly baked crust. This way you get to experience the cheesy explosion from the toppings, as well as the crispiness of the crust. Crosta really found a way to make the entire pizza shine.
Recently, Crosta bagged the title as the Best Pizzeria in the Philippines and top 32 in the APAC region. It’s not hard to imagine why once you’ve eaten one of their pies.
If you want to experience one of the best pizzas that Metro Manila has to offer, I suggest going here during off-peak hours because the place is also notorious for being fully-packed. Nothing beats eating these pizzas right as they come out the oven, so plan your trip now.
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12:00NN – 09:00PM
104 HV Dela Costa cor. L.P. Leviste St.,
Salcedo Village, Makati City
And that’s it for now. These restaurants are all very good and worth a try, especially if you’re craving for the specific cuisine they provide. But Habanero and Crosta Pizzeria are definitely two places I highly recommend. They are hyped on TikTok for a reason and I’m thankful that I rode the wave.
As always, thanks to my partner for providing the pictures.
I can’t wait to try more places, if you have any recommendations, do let me know!
Thanks for reading and have a happy tummy!