One doesn’t need any motivation to join a FREE food tour in Serendra, Bonifacio High Street and the Fort Strip with Ivan Man Dy of Old Manila Walks. The event, which is a part of BGC (Bonifacio Global City) Passion Fest 2010 doesn’t happen on a daily basis at those upscale restaurants and bars so when I found out about it, I didn’t waste a minute and pre-registered on-line a week prior to the event and off I went to its second-day food tripping (the first was held April 24, 2010 that featured Cupcakes by Sonja, Zao, TGI Fridays, Pasto, Yoh-Gurt-Froz and The Establishment).
May 01, 2010, Saturday –It was indeed a glorious day! The sun was up and my excitement was high. I think I was the earliest foodie to show up at the Concierge booth of Bonifacio High Street at half hour past 10AM to claim my slot for the event! The 4-hour gastronomic tour started at around 2PM in Serendra. I am amazed at how the culinary walking guru, Ivan Man Dy gets to know his participants on a first-name basis (with full recall of my blog posts from Tokyo!) and be inspiring effortlessly.
“Food nurtures creativity” he said. With that statement, I know we’re all in for an entire afternoon of nothing but wholesome fun!
Our first stop was CUPCAKES by SONJA. My family and I have tried Sonja’s Cupcakes before; my palate has been familiar of what this hole-in-the-wall and quaint food place offers.
RED VELVET VIXEN -Traditional Southern cupcake made with Belgian cocoa and cream cheese icing (certain percentage of sales goes to Red Cross);
MELT-IN-YOUR-MOUTH FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE – Dense Valrhona flourless chocolate with rich velvety texture dissolved in your mouth with pure sublime flavor.
VANILLA SUNSHINE -A classic and fluffy cupcake topped with either vanilla or chocolate buttercream.
CHOCOLATE OVERLOAD -Rich, moist Valrhona chocolate cupcake filled with creamy ganache and topped with velvety chocolate cream.
CHOCO CREAM PIE – Rich, luscious Belgian chocolate cream in Orea crust and topped with mouthful of whipped cream and sprinkled with Oreo bits.
A breath away from Sonja’s Cupcakes is MISS DESSERTS that also offers deliciously divine sweet treats.
ALMOND EXPRESSO CHEESECAKE -Almonds compliment the creamy with just the right coffee and caramel taste.
ULTIMATE BROWNIES -Rich chocolate brownies with a generous amount of walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips then drizzled with just a touch of caramel on top to make it the ultimate brownie.
BUTTER CAKE – Melt-in-your-mouth butter cake that’s good on it’s way or slightly warmed with a scoop of your favorite ice cream.
I only sampled a couple of those bite-sized goodies from Sonja’s and Miss Desserts and saved room for more! I told you before, it’s not a problem for my appetite if sweets come first. *grinning*
Our second stop in this foodie wonderland was a Hawaiian-themed restaurant, POLU KAI GRILL.
“Inspired by the tropical island beach living, POLU KAI GRILL has made a mark for serving the best of Pacific Rim Cuisine. Generous slabs of ribs and the sweet freshness of seafood are best enjoyed in the laid back luau interiors of the restaurant.”
What we sampled : SPAM MUSUBI -Hawaii’s favorite snack! Spam sushi with Teriyaki glaze; SURF and TURF -Grilled Prawn and Sausage Skewers; FISH & FISH -Juicy, golden fried Cream Dory with Tartar Sauce; PINEAPPLE SHAKE -Fresh Pineapple Shake served in a pineapple fruit cup (but the resto ran out of piña cups so mine was in a glass; nonetheless refreshing and refillable!)
My attempt at plating those POLU KAI yummies :
Every dish was fine! The Cream Dory with Tartar sauce is more than a reason to visit Polu Kai again and again.
We had that required group photo shots every after restaurant stop which I wish to copy and post here; credit the photographer when they upload it somewhere.
Ivan and the organizers made sure that foodies can burn calories by walking about 2 to 10 minutes from one food place to another. From Polu Kai, we left Serendra and crossed the lane to Bonifacio High Street to head to our third digestive feast : ITALIANNI’S.
Italianni’s is also a common favorite. As you may know, it’s Italian in taste but definitely American in servings. I shared table with fellow young bloggers, Cher and Alex whom I’ve been with in other blogger’s event. We sampled CLASSICO PIZZA, SHRIMP MUSHROOM LINGUINI, DALANDAN JUICE and that herbed FOCACCIA BREAD.
One thing that’s remarkable with Italianni’s, other than the great foods they serve or at least with our experience with it, is the restaurant crew’s commendable service. A manager hopped from table to table to make sure everything’s being enjoyed at its very best.
Several steps from Italianni’s is our fourth delightful pit stop :
THE STOCK MARKET and ICE CREAM BAR.
My very first dining experience at The Stock Market was truly one for the books; I was invited to judge last year’s Century Tuna’s Bloggers Cook-Off where my family, Tina and Gabby got to joined in the fun.
STOCK MARKET FRESH HARVEST SALAD with PINEAPPLE VINAIGRETTE.
Fibrous fruits and crisp veggies don’t fail.
Tasting NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER and FORK-TENDER SHORT RIBS with sauteed BEANS & CORN RISOTTO :
What I like best with The Stock Market and Ice Cream Bar is its efforts in innovating dishes from natively grown produce that surely reaches table as fresh as you can imagine.
ICE CREAM BAR inside The Stock Market offered refreshing flavors out of several Pinoy favorites :
Three young male interns who are currently doing their Summer stint with the said restaurant served every table with these four samples to share : SUMAN at MANGGA flavored ice cream, CHAMPORADO and RASPBERRY flavored ice cream, SAGO and MANGO SORBET and FROZEN YOGURT. Ahh, what a way to spend merienda!
I particularly liked the Suman at Mangga flavored ice cream! I swear it has the lightest mango flavor in ice cream that I’ve tasted and the hint of suman served as a great compliment! Plus it was plated with one of the best-tasting suman+muscovado sugar which according to the owner, is made and supplied by a community in Batangas.
Second to the last food trip stop was TRIO located at The Fort Strip.
“Integrating the concept of a modern Italian bistro, pizzeria and wine bar, TRIO RESTAURANT specializes in classic Italian entrees, authentic thin crust pizza, homemade pastas, and freshly made desserts.”
CAPRICCIOSA PIZZA -Salami, smoked ham, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, basil, mozzarella and egg.
I’m giving my 2-thumbs-up for Trio’s CAPRICCIOSA PIZZA! If you want your pizza thin crust with simple toppings, this one is a must-try!
Other interesting dishes from Trio are :
TENDERLOIN and PORTOBELLO RISOTTO–Pan-seared tenderloin on a bed of portobello risotto drizzled with truffle oil and
CANNELLONI –Oven baked cannelloni with beef and spinach stuffing topped béchamel crème sauce and parmesan.
Our final food trip destination was fitting for Saturday chill out.
We had a few drinks at AMBER ULTRA LOUNGE where the ceiling and lights are sleek and funky and the music is surprisingly ear-friendly.
Care for a CHOCOLATE MARTINI ? It’s a Russian Standard with nutty liqueur and cacao with real CHOCNUT for garnish.
Does STRAWBERRY MOJITO appeal to you? Muddled mint and strawberries make this one an instant favorite from Amber…
If you must know, I’m not alcoholic. My wife and I rarely drink. But I’m definitely not a a party-pooper and would not pass the chance of trying these bottomless shots from Amber; remember it ain’t FREE on ordinary days!
Of the 3 drinks we’ve tried from Amber, I like this the most –COCO LYCHEE SMASH. It’s a stylish Asian delight, Coconut Vodka with muddled lychees, lychee liqueur and its juice. It’s the lightest in my taste.
Did I already tell you that we’ve tasted spicy BONELESS BUFFALO WINGS too?
Needless to say, it was one of my gastronomic adventures to remember!
Special THANKS to Mr. Ivan Man Dy for being a gracious host, fascinating food tour guide and a very inspiring person. Sa uulitin po! Thank you also to Bonifacio Global City for organizing this PASSION FEST 2010.
Here are photos courtesy of my bloggers’ event buddy, Cher (Thanks, Cher!)
- CUPCAKES by Sonja, I C 03 Serendra Piazza, BGC, Taguig, Tel No. (63-2) 915-2936 /856-0308.
- MISS DESSERTS, I C 04 Serendra Piazza, BGC, Taguig, Tel No. (63-2) 856-1429.
- POLU KAI, G/F Shops at Serendra, BGC, Taguig, Tel No. (63-2) 856-0355 / 901-1841.
- ITALIANNI’S, Quadrant Bldg 5 1E14 BGC, Taguig, Tel No. (63-2) 856-4094.
- THE STOCK MARKET, Bonifacio High Street, Tel No. (63-2) 856-6301.
- TRIO, 2/F Fort Pointe Bldg.,BGC, Taguig, Tel No. (63-2) 884-1601.
- AMBER ULTRA LOUNGE, Unit F, Fort Entertainment Complex, Tel No. (63-2) 887-6838.