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Author: Christian Melanie Lee

Christian Melanie Lee is an online content writer, blogger, Hootsuite Community Ambassador and researcher for a Montreal-based website. She also devoted her time moderating her lifestyle blog, and a collaborative music/concert blog. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Join the #LoveScotch movement

Join the #LoveScotch movement

Scotch brings to life centuries of craftsmanship and is now considered a universal drink, ever-present in the lives of those who honor their unique thirst for life.

On February 10, we celebrates International Scotch Day. Now on its second year, #LoveScotch is a global movement to celebrate the world's favorite whisky. I drank occasionally, but when I tried out Johnnie Walker Black Label, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, and The Singleton yesterday during the Master Class event organized by Diageo Philippines at Oto Bar...I was amazed on the flavors that makes me appreciate Scotch.

 

“We want to reinvigorate everybody’s love affair with Scotch,” Diageo Philippines’ General Manager Vanee Gosiengfiao said. “Drinking Scotch whisky is more than just having a drink – it is an experience that culminates the artisanship of the people that make it, the places in which it is made, and the generations it is made for. Trends come and go, but Scotch has been cool since forever and it is time to properly celebrate that.”

Diageo’s Master of Whisky, Ewan Gunn shared with us about interesting information about Scotch and taught us on nosing and tasting session for three Scotch whiskies. Also we tried out to mix apple juice and ginger ale with Johnnie Walker during the Make your own Perfect Serve session.

“People think there are a lot of rules when it comes to drinking Scotch,” said Gunn. “It’s time to break old Scotch notions cause if there’s one rule about Scotch – it’s that scotch has no rules.  Scotch can be enjoyed in many different ways, whenever, wherever.”

“It’s thrilling to see more and more Filipinos discovering their own love affair with Scotch, and in as many ways as this culture is as diverse. This Master Class is designed to deepen their passion with this amazing liquid and discover the best way to enjoy it for themselves,” added Gunn.

“The versatility of Scotch allows people to enjoy their drink any way they want it. Whether you drink it neat, on the rocks, in a mixed drink or cocktail - as long as you enjoy it, that’s all that matters,” concluded Gunn.

As part of their journey through the world of Scotch, Diageo collaborated with Samsung Philippines for an immersive experience with Johnnie Walker with the help of the Samsung Gear VR Powered by Oculus. Guests were able to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into their Scotch whisky through virtual reality.

Everyone can join the movement and get involved by using #LoveScotch and #InternationalScotchDay. From Feb 8-Mar 15 2017, there are a lot of exciting #LoveScotch events and special offers happening around the metro – check out the JohnnieWalkerPH page on Facebook for more details.

ENJOY JOHNNIE WALKER BLACK LABEL IN 5 DIFFERENT WAYS

1

Neat
30ml (a shot) of Johnnie Walker Black Label

2

On-the-rocks
30ml of Johnnie Walker Black Label with ice

3

Johnnie soda or ginger
30ml Johnnie Walker Black Label
120ml or top with clear soda or gingerale
ice

4
Johnnie Sour 
30 ml Johnnie Walker Black Label
15ml sugar syrup ( equal parts sugar and water)
15ml lemon juice
Shaken and topped with ice

5

Johnnie Apple
30 ml Johnnie Walker Black Label
120ml or top with apple juice
Apple slices optional

 

THE SCOTCH WHISKIES

 

Johnnie Walker Black Label

Also known as the “Iconic Blend,” Johnnie Walker Black Label is recognized as the benchmark for all other deluxe Scotch blends. Created using only whiskies aged for a minimum of 12 years from the four corners of Scotland.

Johnnie Walker Black Label is rich, complex and incredibly well-balanced, full of dark fruits, sweet vanilla and signature smokiness.

 

 

 

Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, also known as the “Celebration Blend” is the perfect fit for indulgent celebrations. Known for its creamy smoothness, it opens with a luxurious burst of delicate nectar and gentle smokiness that develops into sweet fruits and deeper, velvety, honeyed tones before giving way to sublime, lingering whispers of smoke and oakiness in the finish.

 

 

 

The Singleton 12 Year Old

Coming from The Singleton’s Glen Ord family, this 12 YO single malt is a fruity, well-composed and manages to be both light and smooth without compromising any depth of flavor or fullness of palate. A single malt that everyone can enjoy, this blend brings pleasure from the first sip.
Fantastic meals to share at Plana’s Pantry

Fantastic meals to share at Plana’s Pantry

Last November, I had a chance to try out fantastic meals at Plana's Pantry. A great place to chillax with friends. I love the interiors upon entering their Mandaluyong branch.

Bring your squad and try their delicious meals such as Hickory BBQ Ribs, Carbonara, Lengua, and Chicken Teriyaki. If you're a sweet tooth, enjoy their Gooey Choco Caramel, Carrot Cake, Midnight Chocolate (P950 each), and Winnie's Chocolate Cookie (P65/pc)

 

If you're planning to have a party, check out their Together Meals. You will satisfy every single meals that they serve.

TOGETHER MEALS

4-5 pax - P1130
Hickory BBQ Ribs
Carbonara
Tomato Basil Shrimp Pasta

Corn and Carrots
Pesto Rice
Carafe Iced Tea

8-10 pax - P2950
Hickory BBQ Ribs
Carbonara
Tomato Basil Shrimp Pasta

Corn and Carrots
Pesto Rice
Carafe Iced Tea

14-15 Pax - P4525
Hickory BBQ Ribs
Lengua
Carbonara
Tomato Basil Shrimp Pasta

Corn and Carrots
Pesto Rice
Carafe Iced Tea

18-20 Pax - P6535
Hickory BBQ Ribs
Lengua
Chicken Teriyaki
Carbonara
Tomato Basil Shrimp Pasta

Corn and Carrots
Pesto Rice
Carafe Iced Tea

You may visit their branches at Hi-Top Supermarket Building, Quezon Avenue, Corner Sgt. Esguerra Avenue and also at Ground Floor, RC Building, 50 Domingo M. Guevara Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City. Follow them on their Facebook page.

Delicious Jollibee Tuna Pie is back!

Delicious Jollibee Tuna Pie is back!

This is not a drill...

Jollibee Tuna Pie is backkkkk!!!

There are some fast food favorites that come and go from the menu boards since they’re available for a limited time only. Much like Jollibee’s Tuna Pie, its fans have been craving for the return of the country’s number one fast food chain’s cheesy, creamy tuna filling in a crispy, golden brown pie crust making it perfect for a delicious and irresistible treat!

Well say no more because it’s that time of the year again! Starting today, February 1, Jollibee is bringing the much-awaited Tuna Pie back!

A certified favorite of Pinoys since it launched in 2009, the Tuna Pie is the perfect snack to take on-the-go because of its generous filling of chunky tuna flakes, thick, peppery, and cheesy sauce with vegetables, encased in a crunchy, crispy golden pie crust that’s sure to leave Tuna Pie fanatics crave for more than just one.

The Lenten season is just around the corner and everyone can enjoy this savory snack once again for P45 solo. Care to share or have more than one? The undeniably craveable Tuna Pie is also available in a Trio Pack for P130! Jollibee also offers the Tuna Pie Value Meal which comes with either a regular drink at P55 or enjoy it paired with a regular Jolly Crispy Fries and a refreshing drink at P85.

Steakation time with McDonald’s Mushroom Pepper Steak

Steakation time with McDonald’s Mushroom Pepper Steak

Have you tried out the latest offering from McDonald's?

 

Last week, selected bloggers and members of media attended McDonald's first event of the year. Also, they introduced to us the new Mushroom Pepper Steak!

Upon tasting it, it has a juicy burger with mushroom cream sauce. It also topped off with sliced button mushrooms.

With the New Mushroom Pepper Steak, you can enjoy a STEAKation wherever they are, may it be in their home or office. Taste the 1-pc Mushroom Pepper Steak with a regular drink for only Php55. It also comes as a 2-pc meal with a regular drink for only Php89 or with a McFreeze starting at Php69 for a 1-pc meal and Php 99 for a 2-pc meal.

Dine in at any McDonald’s restaurant nationwide. You can also order the New Mushroom Pepper Steak via Drive-Thru or McDelivery (86-2-36, www.mcdelivery.com.ph, or the McDo PH app).

Jollibee launched its new digital campaign ‘Framily’

Jollibee launched its new digital campaign ‘Framily’

Jollibee, the number one family fast food chain, has coined the term “Framily” in its newly launched Jollibee Yum Burger made-for-digital video, to refer to a group of Pinoy millennial best friends who have come to embrace each other like real members of their family. Thus the term “framily” –friends who are like family to each other.

 

The Jollibee Yum Burger video portrays how Pinoy millennials have such a time-tested bond with each other that  they take on roles akin to family members: May kumu-kuya (plays the role of a brother), uma-ate (an elder sister),nagpapaka-mommy (mom), at tumi tita (aunt).

These family-like roles are depicted in moments like when eating their favorite Yum Burger, whose langhap-sarap patty that’s made with 100% pure beef have been loved by generations of youth.

For these Pinoy millennials, friendships that are 100% tested remain unsurpassed. And when it comes to food favorites, they patronize those which, like their friendships, have been time-tested and passed their discriminating taste buds,  just like the best-tasting Jollibee Yum Burger.

“Despite being exposed to the fast-paced, ever-evolving culture and lifestyle these days, millennials still value consistency and the unique character in relationships and things that have stood the test of time and remained constant,” said Kent C. Mariano, Jollibee Assistant Vice President for Marketing.

“For them, there is nothing like 100% samahan, at 100% sarap na maasahan,” he added.

Yummy buffet experience at Sambo Kojin SM Fairview

Yummy buffet experience at Sambo Kojin SM Fairview

For months, I've been drooling over Sambo Kojin's Instagram post everyday. Living up North, there are a few buffet restaurants in the three malls situated in our area.

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Last month, they opened their sixth branch located at SM City Fairview's Annex 2. I was supposed to visit during their opening day last August 24, but my trip to Cebu was scheduled the following day. My Southies friends always teased me that I should try Sambo Kojin if I visit our client, SM Southmall. Good thing there's one in SM Fairview.

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Just this morning, I was delighted to be one of the food bloggers to try authentic Japanese yakiniku and Korean cuisine at Sambo Kojin. Upon entering the spacious buffet restaurant, I was stunned over their yummy pastries, fresh fruits, and desserts to crave on.

I love Japanese and Korean food! When I was about to check out what makes Sambo Kojin as haven of foodies here in our area, I can't get enough of sushi bar favorites, katsu, okonomiyaki and takoyaki (my favorite!). Don't forget to try their bibimbap, chapchae, and pajeon!

After hours of eating some of the food offerings at Sambo Kojin: Food coma is real! I love how they served the best Japanese and Korean cuisine in a buffet.

Meanwhile, if you’re going to celebrate your birthday soon, they have Sambo Kojin Free Birthday Buffet promo.

Here's the mechanics: The birthday celebrant gets a free buffet when he/she dines in any of the participating branches with one full paying adult on their actual birthday, three days before and three days after their birthday. They must claim it during lunch and dinner, within the said 7 days. Celebrants must need to present any valid document with proof of date of birth along with photo identification.

If your squad or members of the fambam are into food trip, you can avail the promo. You must be ten people who will dine in any Sambo Kojin branch, you can claim 1 free buffet. If you’re always dining at Sambo Kojin, avail their Frequent Diner Card. All you have to do is to complete 10 stamps and receive one free buffet as a treat on your next visit.

If you’re a frequent Sambo Kojin customer,  you can avail their Frequent Diner Card. All you have to do is to complete 10 stamps and receive one free buffet as a treat on your next visit.

If you're looking for an ultimate and authentic yakiniku experience that brings together the best of Japanese and Korean cuisine, head on over to Sambo Kojin’s newest branch at the Ground Level, Annex 2, SM City Fairview.

For more details about their exciting promos, check out their official website, and follow their Facebook and Instagram page.

 

Drool over to Jolly Hotdog’s Cheesy Classic and new Chili Cheese variants

Drool over to Jolly Hotdog’s Cheesy Classic and new Chili Cheese variants

Jollibee, the country’s largest fast food chain, has beefed up one of its well-loved product lines, the Jolly Hotdog, with the New Chili Cheese variant, an exciting addition to its Cheesy Classic variant.

main-photo-jolly-hotdog

I tried out last Friday in Ortigas. Drooled over its beefy goodness with its beef hotdog, I can't get enough of the newest addition to Jollibee's menu.

p_20160916_125450

This certified delish snack is packed with over-the-top flavors and textures you’ll never find in plain and boring hotdog sandwiches.

According to Francis E. Flores, Jollibee Chief Global Marketing Officer and Jollibee Philippines Head of Marketing, the New Chili Cheese Jolly Hotdog came at the right time when consumers are more attuned to variety and adventure.

“The more thrilling Chili Cheese variant is for today’s fast food fans who are always looking to explore new flavors. The new tasty topping definitely adds zest and adventure to Jolly Hotdog,” he said. Launched in 1990, Jolly Hotdog has always been an all-time favorite among barkadas, teens, kids and kids at heart as a way to satisfy their hunger with a delicious and reasonably priced snack, or as a comfort food to relish either for dine-in, takeout, drive-thru or delivery.

Enjoy Jolly Hotdog in Cheesy Classic and New Chili Cheese variants with your friends, either ala carte or in a combo meal with regular fries and drink. Price starts at P50.

Drool over Jolly Crispy Fries’ Savory BBQ flavor

Drool over Jolly Crispy Fries’ Savory BBQ flavor

Make room for the newest barkada favorite—the Jolly Crispy Savory BBQ Fries! Made with 100% real potatoes and sprinkled with a special blend of flavorings, the Savory BBQ fries pack a thrilling intensity with every bite. Perfect for pairing with other Jollibee treats or enjoyed on its own, the Jolly Crispy Savory BBQ Fries offer a zesty combination of sweet-smoky, with a spicy kick for a true flavorventure, only from the country’s number one fastfood brand.

main-photo-jolly-bbq-flavored-fries-1

“One of Jollibee’s missions is to find new flavors to thrill modern Filipino palates,” said Francis E. Flores, Jollibee Global Chief Marketing Officer and Philippine Head of Marketing. “The new Jolly Crispy Savory BBQ Fries is definitely the ideal snack and meal complement for foodies and adventurers who are always looking for new discoveries, activities, and flavors to share during bonding moments with their families and friends.”

Flavor up barkada bonding moments
The Savory BBQ variant is available in all Jollibee branches in Metro Manila starting September 5, 2016. Barkadas from all over the Philippines can flavor up their ultimate bonding moments starting September 12 for Luzon and September 19 for Visayas and Mindanao.

The Jolly Crispy Fries is also available in Super Cheese, and for dine-in, take-out, delivery, and drive-thru transaction in three sizes: Regular (P40.00*), Large (P65.00*), and for those who can’t get enough, Extra Large (P80.00*).

Actress-host Jasmine Curtis-Smith joins radio jock Nikko Ramos and vloggers Janina Vela and Wil Dasovich in the Jolly #FriendsFries, abarkada of creative and adventurous individuals with an innate zest for life. To see the #FriendsFries in action, watch the video below or like facebook.com/JollibeePhilippines, follow @BestFriendJollibee on Instagram, and @Jollibee on Twitter and Snapchat.

*Prices may vary across different store locations.

Jollibee premiered a heart-warming video “Kahera”

Jollibee premiered a heart-warming video “Kahera”

Jollibee, the country’s number one fast food chain, produces another made-for-digital material that pays tribute to the never-ending love and support grandparents shower their apos.

In the span of 150 seconds, “Kahera” shows the story of a young restaurant cashier’s seemingly awkward encounters with an elderly customer. The older woman never fails to comment on the young cashier’s every move; from her crooked nameplate to the way she speaks, no details seem to escape the older woman’s scrutiny. The video concludes with a touching revelation that sometimes, one does not need to look far for guidance and love.

Inspired by real-life experiences of Jollibee customers, the Kwentong Jollibee campaign recounts the many heartwarming stories of Filipinos, whose special moments are made more memorable by this well-loved Pinoy brand.

“Kahera” is the latest addition to the roster of relatable stories in the Kwentong Jollibee series. Previous video releases include “Almusal,” “Tagpuan,” “Jabee,” “Mama’s Girl” for Mother’s Day, and “Entrance Exam” for Father’s Day, which illustrated a variety of truly Pinoy experiences involving the ones that matter the most: loved ones, good food, and consistently thoughtful signature Alagang Jollibee.

“We are very excited to share the newest addition to our Kwentong Jollibee series,” said Francis Flores, Jollibee Global Chief Marketing Officer. “It’s definitely a delight to discover how Jollibee has actually touched the lives of Pinoys all over the world in more ways than one. The stories we have shared so far shows the enduring relationship that Pinoys have with their favorite fast-food chain and we are more than happy to unearth more of these as we go along.”

With over four million views and over a hundred thousand shares, "Kahera" achieved viral status just 24 hours after being uploaded on Facebook.

Watch “Kahera” below and remember to give your lolos and lolas a tight hug this Grandparents’ Day and thank them for always being there to cheer you on no matter what.

For more of Jollibee’s Kwentong Jollibee series, visit Jollibee Philippines Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JollibeePhilippines/ ) or their official YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/jollibeedigital1).

Four days foodie adventure in Cebu | Cebu Food Crawl 2016

Four days foodie adventure in Cebu | Cebu Food Crawl 2016

Lami kaayo!

When I arrived in Cebu last August 25, the first thing on my mind is to try some Cebu delicacies before the annual Cebu Food Crawl which was organized by Cebu Bloggers Society aptly themed, "Destination Food". The 4-day food tour of different restaurants and hotels will highlight Cebu as a prime spot for food travelers.

Four days foodie adventure in Cebu

I participated in two food crawls here in Manila for the past two years, but it's my first time to join a food crawl outside Manila.

“Beyond the pristine white beaches and beautiful islands, Cebu is a melting pot of varied food influences inherited from its early inhabitants and colonial past enhanced with modern techniques and technology. Cebu Food Crawl celebrates Cebu as a foremost gourmet destination best known for practicality and glamour of its food,” Cebu Food Crawl Project Director, Atty. Ethelbert Ouano said.

First day

We went to the Mactan Newtown Lechon Pit as first stop of the food crawl. I was stunned over how Cebuanos patronized their own products. Mactan Alfresco is a 500-seater covered dining strip nestled at Mactan Newtown. We witnessed how does Cebu lechon prepared from seasoning to roasting before served in plates.

Some of the establishments at the Alfresco Dining are Meximama, Orange Karinderia, Muvanz Pocherohan and Seafoods, Conching's, Cebu Original Lechon Belly, Oyster Bay Seafood Restaurant, Choobi Choobi, Mama Linda Inato BBQ Haus, Manang Sayong, Anna's Lechon and Ayer's Lechon.

 

After Mactan Newtown, our group went to Movenpick Hotel's Ibiza Beach Club. Feel the beach vibe while having a great time sightseeing while enjoying their tapas  and to-die for ice cream. I love their Carmelita ice cream. I had a great time chillaxin along with my fellow blogger friends.

According to their social media manager, Armie Sheila Garde, Ibiza will branch out in BGC, Taguig before the year ends.

A sizzling dinner when our last stop for Day 1 for the food crawl is Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. We dined out at El Viento. I was able to try their Sizzling Favorites such as Sizzling Sisig, Sizzling Squid, Sizzling Gambas, and Sizzling Beef Tips. I was stunned when they gave us an apron because it might splash some sauce from the sizzling plate.  I love the ambiance while a live band performed near the pool side.

Sizzling Nights is available every Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at El Viento, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.


 

Day 2

It started our Day 2 itinerary at Profood Gallery Mango Museum and Factory Tour. I learned a lot about Philippine mangoes and how to process dried mangoes and other products under Profood International Corp. They see to it that it passed from the quality control.

Delighted to see various products from Profood available in other countries. Proud to have this kind of company producing packed dried mangoes, pineapple and other processed fruits.

Next stop is a quaint, relaxing cafe called Cafe Jasmin.

Whether it’s Espresso or Latte, Café Jasmin serves the best coffee in town! They sources its coffee beans from Antigua, Ethiopia and Tanzania. I always want to capture their artsy latte and try their delectable comfort food. The coffee beans are of excellent quality and also sold it in gram.

Aside from hot and cold coffee, Café Jasmin offers Japanese Style Curry, cheesy Lasagna, and Chicken Carbonara, among others. If you’re a sweet tooth, their mouth-watering desserts from their menu such as Blueberry Cheesecake, Mango Panna Cotta, Triple Chocolate Brownies and Affogato will make you stay in the café for hours.

While we were in Cafe Jasmin, Kota Yamada shares some contents from his latest poetry book called Lost Hearts.

If you want to learn about how coffee works, Café Jasmin has coffee class every Monday and Tuesday, 1 pm with their Coffee Appreciation and practical hands about making great coffee for those coffee aficionados out there. They recently organized their first event for arts, music aficionados called Stain.

Visit Café Jasmin at E-Zone Paseo, F. Cabahug Street, Cebu City. Follow them on Facebook page and Instagram for details.

 

One of my favorite part of this food tour when we visited Shangri-Law Mactan Resort and Spa. We were welcomed by the staff and chefs at Cowrie Cove . An exciting afternoon awaits us with a blindfold food tasting.

Upon learning the one we tasted, we were amazed on how Cowrie Cove gave us the opportunity to try gastronomic meals from their special menu. It's one for the books!

 

As we headed over Asiatown IT Park in Lahug, we had a chance to try out District on 53rd. It was owned by Marco and Kate Anzani under Anzani International Group. I was stunned over their wide array of meals included on their menu.   It's awesome to learn that they gathered 53 different meals from other countries in one menu. I love their Black Bun and Porcini Fondue.

 

Last stop for Day 2 is Gibbs' Hot Wings.

I got curious on the spiciness of their hot wings. They serve five level of hot wings: hot, original, insanely hot, 2intense, and freakin’ hot. Wondering how hot it is? Let’s find out on how spicy their Buffalo wings!

Enjoy their specialty hot wings with beer, I can tell you that you will satisfy eating it using your hands. With an affordable price for 10 pieces per order of this sizzling hot spicy wings, seize the moment eating this outrageous hot meal while in Cebu.

If you’re not into spicy food, they also have Gibbs’ Angel Wings. It is cooked in cream, cheese & garlic sauce, and parmesan cheese. Taste good, eh! If you’re a pasta lover, they also have Bacon & Mushroom Carbonara.

Drool with Gibbs’ Hot Wings Bacon & Carbonara which serves with their own white sauce to its linguine pasta, bacon cuts, mushroom and topped with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy the ambiance and food with friends at Gibbs’ Hot Wings. It is located at Holy Family Village 2, Banilad, Cebu City and Unit 20, Streetscape Lifestyle Mall, Paseo Saturnino, Banilad, Cebu City.

For the latest updates about Gibbs’ Hot Wings, check out their website, and follow them on Facebook , and Instagram.

 

Day 3

I got a fever during Day 3 but they went to Rico's Commissary, Gusto Mare,  Salinas Restaurant and Sugbo Mercado Dos.

 

Day 4

Last day for Cebu Food Crawl ended up with a bang! We visited Choobi Choobi in Mabolo and try out their delicious  dishes such as Choobi Pata, Choobi Bay,  and Pork BBQ. CEO Stan Tanchan demonstrated to us on how to eat the shrimp in a right way.

An exciting afternoon awaits us when our next stop for Day 4 is in Cebu City Marriott Hotel. We did an epic healthy Smoothie Challenge. The said activity highlighted their Meetings Imagined concept and also their Healthy Meeting Package that will start Mondays and Tuesdays of September.

A progressive dinner welcomed us at Ayala Center Cebu. They gave us a passport to stamp in every restaurant that we visited. Our team, Team Orange went to T.G.I,Fridays, Big Mao, The Lemon Grass, and Bo's Coffee.

Delighted to see establishments that were originated in Cebu like The Lemon Grass, Big Mao and Bo's Coffee. I love the fusion of Thai and Vietnamese Cuisine at The Lemon Grass. Hope that they will branch out here in Manila.

 

I enjoyed my stay in Cebu, especially joining Cebu Food Crawl 2016. Kudos to the people behind Cebu Bloggers Society for the success of the said food tour.  See you next year!