Sweet Ecstasy

We first saw Sweet Ecstasy at Cubao X, and one of their signs promised that they serve the best burgers. I thought that was a bit strange; given the name “Sweet Ecstasy,” I’d expected them to serve cakes and cupcakes and, well, everything sweet. We had always planned to check it out, but we can’t usually be bothered to make our way to Cubao.

And then a couple of months ago, I found out that Sweet Ecstasy was coming to Regis Center along Katipunan, occupying the space that was previously occupied by Saint’s Alp Teahouse, if I remember correctly. I monitored their movements and was even aware of the days when they had stress tests and served free food. I couldn’t make it on those days, unfortunately, so I had to wait for their soft opening, when they would be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

TJ and I finally made our way to Sweet Ecstasy last week. The space looked a bit industrial, and the menu was nice and basic: burgers, wings, different kinds of fries, softdrinks, and milkshakes.

Sweet Ecstasy

We kept our orders simple. TJ had a hamburger with caramelized onions (P175), I had a cheeseburger with fresh onions (P195), an order of Fantastic Fries (P80), a Coke, and a chocolate milkshake (P160).

Sweet Ecstasy

Sweet Ecstasy, hamburger

Sweet Ecstasy, cheeseburger

Sorry for the blurry pic!

It’s true. They really do serve the best burgers. The patties were truly beefy and nicely cooked and not at all perfectly formed, which is nice to see because they look handmade that way. The bread was lightly toasted and buttered, and the vegetables were crisp and fresh. Best of all, it was very filling. I would honestly go back to Sweet Ecstasy as often as I can, and I’m pretty happy that they start their regular hours this week, opening at 10 a.m. every day!

The Halal Guys

There was a lot of excitement when news came out earlier this year that New York’s The Halal Guys is setting up shop here. The opening was pushed back a couple of times, but they finally opened in mid-October at the SM Mega Food Hall in SM Megamall. We decided it wasn’t in our best interest to check it out then because the lines were reportedly long and we have no patience for that sort of thing. So we went earlier this month instead. However, we were still met with a considerable line. We stayed anyway.

The Halal Guys

The Halal Guys

The Halal Guys

We ordered a small chicken over rice (P239), falafel over rice (P199), and hummus (P189) for the pita bread that comes with the rice platters.

The Halal Guys

The Halal Guys, chicken over rice

The Halal Guys, falafel over rice

The Halal Guys

Unfortunately, we weren’t very happy with the food. The chicken was a handful of dry, stringy pieces, and the falafel was just as dry, plucked from a tray of premade falafel. Not that I was expecting everything to be made fresh to order, only that the falafel should be at least warm. The pita bread was unusually thick an, again, not even warm. The Halal Guys is supposed to be beloved in New York City, drawing long lines of people, but given what we ate that day, we weren’t sure why. We hope they were just having an off day when we went.

Support Hiraya Chocolates

Chocolate is always a good thing, and locally made chocolate that helps communities is even better. Over at The Spark Project, Hiraya Chocolates, a local chocolate maker that uses cacao beans from Davao and supports the cacao farmers, is calling for help in funding a cacao bean processing facility for their farmer community in Malabog, Davao and a cacao seedling nursery for propagating heirloom cacao varieties. Check out their video below and their fundraising page here!

Gyoza and Ramen House

The first thing that caught our eye was the restaurant’s name. It’s pretty straightforward, leaving you without a doubt as to what they serve. The second thing was the pleasant exterior, which features lanterns and big windows and wooden posts. The inside was also quite nice, with simple decor and pages from a Japanese newspaper plastered all over one wall.

Gyoza and Ramen House, interior

We ordered original gyoza (five pieces, P150) (I make it a point to sample gyoza in every Japanese restaurant I go to), sesame ramen (P330), and gyudon (P200).

Gyoza and Ramen House, original gyoza

Gyoza and Ramen House, sesame ramen

Gyoza and Ramen House, gyudon

The food here is, in a word, solid. The gyoza was lightly fried and the taste of the pork really shone through, though I personally would have loved more ginger in it. The sesame ramen featured a broth with a generous helping of what the menu said was sesame gravy, the noodles were nice and firm, and it contained three pieces of chashu when most ramen places usually just provide two. The gyudon was smaller than we expected, but it was so beefy and filling, making it sufficiently satisfying.

Another good thing about this restaurant? The fact that this is D’ Little Gyoza House with a new name in a new location. I only found out when I was looking up information about Gyoza and Ramen House and was surprised to see that its Facebook page was familiar to me. We loved D’ Little Gyoza House and were sad when the original branch closed. Fortunately, they’re back and better than ever, and will hopefully stay around for much much longer.

Gyoza and Ramen House
3 Malingap Cor. Matahimik Street
Teachers Village Diliman, Quezon City 1101

Blake’s Wings and Steaks, Marikina

Throwback to almost three months ago when we decided to check out Blake’s Wings and Steaks in Marikina. Our original plan was to go to Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse, but it was closed that day, so Blake’s it was. Apologies for the lack of interior shots, but I hope the food makes up for it!

Blake's, fish and chips

Blake's, wings tenders

Complimentary kropek was served as we waited for our food; we ordered fish and chips (P225) and the wings tenders solo (P185). Honestly, we could have just split either one and come out happy and full–the servings are enormous and everything was absolutely tasty. The wings tenders solo is particularly huge and comes with sweet corn, veggies, and rice. I could hardly believe that we paid so little for so much food, but I’m not complaining. We haven’t gone back there yet, and I think it’s about time we did.

Blake’s Wings and Steaks
75 Gil Fernando Avenue, San Roque, Marikina City