Poco Deli in Kapitolyo, Pasig

Aside from my office mates vouching for this place, I recently found out that your president Noynoy Aquino frequently dines in this place: Poco Deli in Kapitlyo (near Charlie's Burgers). This surely makes it worth the try (not that I give any bearing to PNoy's culinary preferences).

Poco Deli in Kapitolyo

I'm sure he loves to go here because of the bacon slab. It really goes to show as it's apparent in his love for the pork barrel. Anyway, I should be talking about food. Check out my musings on political philosophy and public policy over at HarryLeaks instead.

Poco Deli Bacon Slab and Wagyu Sausages
It was such a delight to find out that this place was open very early in the morning as I was able to indulge in their delicacies before heading to work.

The bacon slab, well, is self-explanatory. It is as delicious as it is allegedly unhealthy. The same goes for the wagyu sausage we ordered. I'm surely going to come back for more as the dishes are perfect pairings for beer and wine and it was too early and I had work so I couldn't really order some drinks.

Insider information tells me that there used to be this really popular deli in Jupiter but then the head chef and owner passed away and so his assistant chef was able to continue the legacy by creating Poco Deli.

A Heretic Verdict on Ramen?

I love Japanese food but I was never a big fan of ramen. It was just noodles and a lot of soup to me and that was it. I'm telling you straight up: I was wrong.

Ramen Yushoken in Molito (beside Omakase)

When we got there, there was a queue. We entered and got a menu and I noticed right away that their menu had no pictures. I found this very intriguing. What I then realized was that this is their brilliant way of capturing your imagination. Instead of seeing the photos, reading the menu, the descriptions, and the instructions for eating while waiting was a complete delight. Instead of aggravating my impatience for queuing, it made me hungry even more. Whoever wrote the copy for that menu is brilliant.

The first that arrived was the gyoza. And can I just say, without exaggeration, it's probably one of the best I've ever tried. It was like xiao long bao in the sense that it was so juicy and soupy on the inside.

Then came our ramen. Tantanmen (the photo above on the lower left frame) and some sort of dipping ramen (I forgot the name haha what a useless food blogger, huh?). The broth of the Tantanmen was breathtaking. To think that this is the first time I really got into the concept of eating ramen. It was epic. They say this broth has been cooking for 24 hours or so before being served. It was unbelievable and it changed the way I look at ramen and eating in general.

Ramen Cool in Kapitolyo (near Uncle Moe's and Charlie's)

A few days later, still craving ramen, I ate in a restaurant near my work. It was decent and very affordable and the serving portions were great. I've just been so blinded by my bias for Yushoken. And so I moved on and kept searching for what I now dub as The Greater Ramen.

Ukokkei Ramen Ron in Pasay Road (right below Cable Car)

The internet is not shy about claiming Ukokkei ramen as the number one ramen place in Manila. Food bloggers and top ten lists all put this at number one. Even friends and co-workers who love ramen swear by this place. I went there for lunch last Thursday and guess what: I didn't like it! But wait, the story does not end there!

A lot of it was circumstantial: the traffic going there, then the queuing, then the bias to the Yushoken place (Ukokkei's interior is not as appealing). We had to wait outside for almost an hour and the lady at their reception wasn't being so nice. Again, all circumstantial and probably isolated and has nothing to do with their ramen.

Cold Ramen, Shoyu Chashu, and Gyoza

Straight up, I'll tell you now that I like the gyoza in  Ramen Yushoken more. Their cold ramen is absolutely epic though. I used to eat this cold ramen in some Japanese restaurant near my college before but it was only after Ukokkei that I realized what real cold ramen is or its potential for that matter. Every bite was like eating sushi.

The broth was great. You can really tell what they talk about when they say that this broth is cooked for 48 hours or so. It was really really good ramen but I can't say that it is better than Yushoken.

And so the next day I approached one of my bosses who's an absolute foodie to share my disappointment. He knows almost everything there is to know about eating out from high-end places like The Steak Room to the motels that have the best canton (haha!). [he was actually the one who suggested The Farm to me]

Did you try their Tantanmen?

In my head, I was like what Tantanmen? They didn't even have it in their menu. Turns out, they only serve the Tantanmen during dinner time and you have to go super early cause they only serve like 20 bowls or something like that. I actually had a blog post composed and ready to be posted but I had to rewrite everything when I found out about this.

I'm definitely coming back. The curiosity is killing me. Is it just an illusion of scarcity that will lead to my heretic verdict or will Ukokkei be able to redeem itself? I'll be coming back there and will be blogging about my experience! Follow me on Twitter (@harryinitiative) to get updates regarding this very important matter. :)

Tapeo Restaurant in the Fort Strip

Tapeo in the Fort Strip in BGC provide some really awesome wines and tapas. I got a chance to some of the selections in their menu during a Rotary Club talk I attended a few days ago.

Upon checking their menu, I ordered the jamón serrano right away. This dry-cured Spanish ham has such a lovely complex story to tell. You just really have to listen with your taste buds. It's really so rich and savory. It came with grapes some bread and really awesome cheese. It's a really well-balanced and thoughtfully arranged platter. Something that goes well with a lot of the wines they offer. 

It would be a perfect place for you and your friends to wine and dine before going out around the BGC area most especially since they now have an offer of unlimited tapas Monday to Saturday 2 pm to 9pm.

Above are just some of the amazing selection of  tapas I got to try. I don't even know what they are exactly. Goes to show how you don't have to be a fancy wine or cheese connoisseur to appreciate their dishes.

Their place is right across the NBC tent area of The Fort. Check out their Facebook page: Facebook.com/Tapeo.ph or email them at tapeo.manila@gmail.com.

McDonald's Breakfast Haiku

Sasuage McMuffin
Karamay ko sa traffic
Meron pang kape

The Farm Resto — Organic Restaurant in the South

I just ate in an awesome organic restaurant in the south just at the back part of Alabang Hills (in front of Hillsborough and beside Alabang 400). Aside from all their ingredients being homegrown and organic in their very own farm, the recipes are absolutely orgasmic.

Bone Marrow (Php 390) New York Style Regular (Php 495)
Bone marrow is probably one of the most amazing things in this world that's meant to meet the human taste bud. My craving for meat and steak was satisfied by the lovely Carla Ezequiel when she treated me to The Farm, a fairly new restaurant here in the south (new to me at least as I only learned about it from one of my seniors at work who live in the north). Look at the serving of the steak! That's just the regular and not even the large! 

The Farm Resto Menu
Surely worth visiting if you haven't tried it, most especially for people from the south. It's so near. We really need more diversity in food trip choices here in the south. I'm coming back for sure to check out their burgers and other offers. 

I haven't really blogged in a while but I'm thinking of revamping this blog and giving it a more edgy and up-to-date design and update it more frequently.