Foo’d by Davide Oldani

Foo’d (pronounced foo-doh) has been making waves since late last year. With a Michelin star to his name, Italian Chef Davide Oldani decided to expand outside Italy and chose Manila and Singapore as the new outposts for what he calls Pop Cuisine.

The menu at Foo’d is easy to navigate. There are two tasting menus, one for 3 courses at P 800.00 and one for four courses at P 1200.00. These are extremely friendly prices as in most places aspiring to fine dining, your entree alone will cost you the price of the four course menu. There are, however, upgrade options for each of the courses which follow the usual Italian progression of Antipasto, Primo, Secondo, and Dolce if you opt for fur courses.

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Made Nice Supper Club

With so many restaurants opening, it’s really difficult to keep track of them all. One place that’s making a bit of a splash is Made Nice Supper Club on Esteban St. in Legaspi Village Makati. I don’t usually go to restaurants in that area as parking is a challenge, but a chance to try this new place with a group of friends was tempting enough for me to take my chances.

Made Nice Supper Club is owned by a group of 5 friends who graduated from Enderun College. From what I observed, two of them work front of the house, while the other 3 are in the kitchen. The place is well lit, with hard concrete, glass tile, and wood surfaces. The lack of any softening material makes the place loud. A friend of mine measured the noise and it came out to close to 90 decibels, which is pretty loud. Despite that, the place was full and it seemed like there was at least one turnover for each table (except ours) when we were there.

The menu is quite compact which I rather like. These guys know what they can do well and stick to it.

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Fukudaya

Recently, my FB was getting quite frequent posts from a restaurant called Fukudaya. I had never heard of it, but the photos looked good and a search for some reviews gave it rather high ratings, so we recently tried it out for dinner.

Fukudaya is located at the ground floor of the Arya Residences in the Fort near the American Cemetery. It’s easy to get to from the road although you have to circle the building to get to the basement parking. It’s an elegant, well lit place with the kitchen in full view of the dining area. Apparently, there are two Japanese chefs overseeing the operations.

The menu is quite intriguing as there are some dishes that aren’t your typical Japanese fare. Of course, we had to give those a try. We started with some edamame.

Edamame (P 150.00)

Edamame (P 150.00)

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Toyo Eatery

 

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Toyo Eatery has been around for a couple of months now but somehow I never made it a point to try it out. In hindsight, it was a bit strange since I was a fan of Chef Jordy Navarra’s food when he was still with the old Black Sheep in BGC. I finally found my way to Toyo last Saturday and in order to get the full range of the chef’s vision, Jocel and I went for the tasting menu.

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Bar Pintxos BGC

I’ve been meaning to do a post on Bar Pintxos for some time now as I have enjoyed their pintxos and tapas several times at their original Alabang location. Fortunately or not, every time I go, I enjoy myself so much I forget to take photos.

Just before Christmas, Bar Pintxos opened their second branch at Fairways Tower, BGC and so those who find it difficult to make their way to the Alabang original can enjoy Bar Pintxos creations closer to home. I went three times during the Christmas break and so was finally able to get a few pictures. The last time time I went was with fellow wine aficionados who used to be Manila based but now make their homes abroad. So aside from the food, we also had some awesome wines.

We started with a few favorites. I never fail to order the orejas (crispy pig’s ears) and so that was one of our starters.

Orejas

Orejas

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Beaulieu Vineyard Wine Dinner

Happy New Year to all our readers!

I was pretty busy (with my regular job, not food and wine!) last December so I haven’t been able to update the blog as often as I would have liked. Things have eased up a bit, so I hope I’ll be able to post a bit more regularly.

Last November 29, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the launch of Beaulieu Vineyard in Manila. I’m not certain these wines were ever available in Manila as I cannot recall seeing them in the regular retail outlets and the last time I had one was an older vintage (80′s, I think), probably over 5 years ago. This is a bit surprising as Beaulieu (French for “beautiful place”) Vineyard is an immensely important winery and one of the pioneers of the Napa wine industry with a history going back over 100 years. It was the only Napa winery to have survived Prohibition as they were permitted to sell sacramental wine for the Church. They were also the first to produce a “cult” wine, the Georges de la Tour Private Reserve, named after the founder of Beaulieu Vineyard.

Gracing the dinner were JP Santamarina, President of Premier Wine and Spirits, and Jeffrey Stambor, Director of Winemaking for Beaulieu Vineyard.

Premier Wines and Spirits President JP Santamarina and Beaulieu Vineyard Director of Winemaking Jeffrey Stambor

Premier Wines and Spirits President JP Santamarina and Beaulieu Vineyard Director of Winemaking Jeffrey Stambor

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An Oregon Thanksgiving at Grind Bistro

The Ordre Mondial’s last event for this year was a dinner at Grind Bistro at the Netpark Building in BGC. The owner/chef, Steven Carl is from Oregon and so conceived an Oregon themed Thanksgiving dinner. Aside from the food, the wine would also come from Oregon with Steven’s wife Cristina, a trained sommelier, annotating the wines.

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Tahanan Bistro

Taking advantage of the holidays, we took a short out of town trip to Antipolo to try a new restaurant I had heard about from a friend of mine. The place is called Tahanan Bistro and is part of the home of furniture maker and sculptor Benji Reyes. It took us about 45 minutes to get there on a Sunday evening from Kapitolyo, Pasig. It’s fairly easy to get to, just use Waze and you should be fine.

There is no sign outside the restaurant but it’s fairly obvious that you’ve reached your destination. Here’s what the entrance looks like:

Entrance.

Entrance.

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Neo – Singaporean Cuisine

Last week, we had the good fortune to grab the last two seats at the Neo – Singaporean Cuisine dinner of Chef Han Li-Guang at the Makati Diamond Residences Alfred Restaurant. Chef Han runs Singapore’s Labyrinth Restaurant which was awarded as one of Singapore’s Top 20 Restaurants of 2014 in addition to many other accolades.

The dinner featured Singaporean dishes re-interpreted and using Philippine ingredients.

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Global Mala Project: Yoga is Love

One of the things I look forward to every time the -ber months roll around is the annual Global Mala Project. Founded back in 2007 by yoga teacher and energy activist Shiva Rea, this world-wide event brings together yoga and wellness enthusiasts during the Fall Equinox for a whole day of collective practice aimed at fostering positive change.  In Manila, we have Teresa Herrera (model, host, and yoga student of Shiva Rea) to thank for bringing this international experiment to our shores.

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This year’s event was held last Saturday, September 24, at Whitespace Manila, in support of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP). It was a successful collaboration of several local yoga studios, wellness organisations, music and fitness enthusiasts, and generous sponsors such as Certified Calm and The Wholesome Table.

Certified Calm booth.

Certified Calm booth

Thank you, Certified Calm, for the water refilling station.  And for having the sport cap 3.0 in stock!

Thank you, Certified Calm, for the water refilling station. And for having the sport cap 3.0 in stock!

Yummy eats from The Wholesome Table

Yummy healthy eats from The Wholesome Table

There were various classes and workshops scheduled throughout the day, so many that, as always, choosing among all the offerings proved very difficult for me.  I ended up participating in three yoga classes, quite a feat since I hadn’t really been practicing regularly this past year.

Since Global Mala is based on the sacred cycle of 108 as represented by the traditional mala beads, I felt it apt to kick the day off with 108 sun salutations.  It was a highly energised class; despite the early hour, the room was packed.

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108 sun salutations

An hour later, I went back on the mat for Pio Baquiran’s Vinyasa class. It was one of the more popular classes, and we really had to squeeze in to accommodate all the participants.

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Vinyasa with Pio Baquiran

My last class was the Living Yin session led by Donna Tumacder-Esteban. Her series of poses really helped open up and stretch out the joints and muscles that took quite a beating during my earlier classes. By the end of the hour,  I felt relaxed and rejuvenated, a perfect way to wrap up my practice that day.

Living Yin with Donna Tumacder-Esteban.  Photo by Cookie Pido.

Living Yin with Donna Tumacder-Esteban. Photo by Cookie Pido.

A well-deserved post-yoga treat: Chai Chocolate from Toby's Estate :D

A well-deserved post-yoga treat: Chai Chocolate from Toby’s Estate :D Because chocolate is love, too!

There were so many other classes I would love to have taken — drumming! capoeira! more yoga! — if only time and energy had allowed.  Here are a few snaps of the other activities that day, taken by my good friend, yogini and martial arts enthusiast Cookie Pido:

Kundalini with Rosan Cruz

Kundalini with Rosan Cruz. Photo by Cookie Pido.

Capoeira by Coach Joseph Pagulayan

Capoeira by Coach Joseph Pagulayan. Photo by Cookie Pido.

Donna Tumacder-Esteban dancing to the drums!

Donna Tumacder-Esteban dancing to the drums! Photo by Cookie Pido.

I heard some rumors that next year’s Mala will be a multi-day affair.  I think that’s a fabulous idea :D