Kitchen of Cakes and Coffee

Kitchen of Cakes and Coffee, Tomas Morato

SCHOOLDAYS can be very tiring for my son, so we have made it part of our routine to go out for a quick snack after I pick him up from school, before we head home. And by snack I mean a full meal: meat, carbohydrates, dessert, and a drink.

One such establishment that we recently visited is Kitchen of Cakes and Coffee (KoCCo) in Tomas Morato, Quezon City, which is a cozy little tea-and-dessert nook. We’ve been visiting the place for drinks and pastries to go since 2010. One of my absolute favorites from their offerings is the sylvannas (crispy-chewy meringue biscuits wrapped in buttercream frosting and rolled in cake crumbs) that came in several flavors — classic vanilla, strawberry, mocha, and green tea, to name a few, but discontinued their sale sometime last year. I’m also sold on their rosebud tea.

So without my old-time favorite on the menu, what else could I have? Continue reading

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Manang’s Chicken, Tomas Morato

AFTER the Korean chicken craze hit the market a few years back, my son and I developed a hankering for double-fried chicken brushed with sweet, sometimes spicy, soy-based sauce. Even though we didn’t quite enjoy our Chicken Charlie experience as much as I had hoped, that didn’t quell our fondness for fowl.

Enter Manang’s Chicken. This may be a Philippine-owned company, but they serve up crunchy fried chicken tailored to Philippine tastes, glazed with your choice of soy garlic, mild spicy, or extra spicy sauce, reminiscent of Bon Chon Chicken (review to follow).

According to a feature segment I once saw on late-night TV, the story behind this product is that the owners’ old babysitter — Manang — used to whip up a special fried chicken recipe for them back in their childhood. It was so well-loved that it became the foundation for this scrumptious product that we enjoy now.

My son and I have been regular customers at Manang’s Tomas Morato branch, and for several months now we have been enjoying good service from the store’s regular staff (Anna and Louie) and consistent good product quality. That is, until Monday last week. Continue reading

North Park logo

North Park Noodle House, Cubao

A few days before Christmas, my son and I ventured into North Park Noodle House in Araneta Cubao, because he had a massive craving for congee.

Upon entering the establishment, the first thing I noticed was the cheerful ‘Ni Hao’ greeting from the guard and the waitstaff. Now this greeting may be rote, and many of us may take it for granted, but this is something that matters to me.

Little things like friendly, courteous gestures from service staff can instantly brighten the customer’s experience, even if he ends up disliking the product.

Our server promptly seated us and took our order, and I was immediately taken by her cheery disposition. (Too bad I forgot her name, but if anyone from the North Park management is reading this, she’s one of the servers on duty last December 23, 2012, at around 6pm). Continue reading

Chicken Charlie Logo

Chicken Charlie at Cubao

THE other week my son and I finally ate at the Cubao branch of Chicken Charlie. Now I say ‘finally’ because it’s been ages since I’ve heard of the place, but I put off visiting because of its numerous spam adverts I keep seeing around local forums.

Spamming is counterproductive. It gets attention, but not the attention you want.

If it weren’t for my son’s insistence to try it out, I would never have visited the place. But we did, and I wondered if their chicken could live up to the spam. Continue reading