LouDre, FumiYam, PBB Otso Winners All!

Friday, August 30, 2019

It looks like the PBB Big Otso winners have all begun their respective projects with ABSCBN. Big winner Yamyan Gucong is now included in the Vice Ganda film to be shown in MMFF whilst his partner in fun Fumiya is now part of the cast of “Home Sweetie Home” and later on will star together in Vhong Navarro’s film which will come out soon.

Andre Brouillette and Lou Yanong aka LouDre will be donning the yellow and orange colors as they become MYX Celebrity VJ’s this September plus an appearance in a Himig Handog Music Video as well. Teen housemates Kaori Oinuma and Ashley Del Mundo will be in an upcoming iWant movie, so people should watch out for that.

This is just the beginning and if you want to know more about where they’re going, subscribe to Star Hunt’s official YouTube channel because it’s all there!


A Different Brew: Jack Meets Kaldi Specialty Coffee

Thursday, August 29, 2019

This afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised that there exists a community of coffee connoisseurs, professional baristas, coffee shop owners, coffee farmers and people who passionately care about the industry in the Philippines. Jack Meets Kaldi Specialty Coffee just opened up shop at the WNC Building along Jose Abad Santos Street Little Baguio in San Juan City. Their grand opening called for a “Throwdown” of the best baristas in the country, coming far and wide just to celebrate what they serve in this shop, their specialty coffee.

It’s different from the usual, as they strictly enforce the highest coffee standards using beans from different regions in the Philippines. Unbeknownst to many, we’ve got some of the best in the world; and I think that exactly runs this movement. I was a bit uneasy when they individually talked about their story, it reminded a bit how little I know about it, I was just observing them. Seeing how they cared and intricately prepare each cup for competition was inspiring.

Jack Meets Kaldi Specialty Coffee sits around 40 people (mostly bar stools and a couple couches in front). The structure is depicted with industrial pieces in the bar, concrete floors, twigs adorn the recessed lights, mixed in with steampunk elements especially with the modern machines they have for the store. 

They take Latte Art quite seriously, because your specialty coffee experience cannot be compromised.

They also serve cakes and pastries for those who have a sweet tooth, they serve mean cheesecakes.

We ordered Iced Latte, which I absolutely loved. They also have Atok Kape Cold Drip Coffee which I would recommend to experience inside the store. They didn't forget milk tea and craft beer lovers, order when you can!

The third of the space is dedicated to PHILAC (Philippine Latte Art Academy) which teaches competing baristas we send off to international competitions to represent the country. The center also functions as a laboratory for specialty coffee workshops so people can enroll in modules like intro courses, Brewing/Extraction classes, Pressure and Flow Profiling, Advanced Latte Art and Sensory Skills Assessment with the goal to raise the barista profession in the Philippines.

Over at the competition, invited baristas were also joined by walk-in contestants to compete for the nice prizes that Jack Meets Kaldi Specialty Coffee prepared for them. Before they started, they took a few minutes to remember a brew brother who passed away, they have also dedicated the Jack Meets Kaldi Specialty Coffee Showdown for him, that was touching.

To serve as judges, they introduced JR Celdran, Desmond Chua and CJ Torres. The contestants were simply tasked to do a latte art in an 8oz cup via designs like tulips, Seahorse, Phoenix, Pegasus (oh yeah they did one!) etc. Serve it and do the task in front of the judges, then they decide who progresses to the next round by the quality of their art. I thought it was going to take a long time, but they took minutes to have it on the table. Live judging was fast not easy, they had to resort repeating some of the cups because of clarity of design and cleanliness.

The third round had the contestants partner up with lady baristas holding their cup. Partnering skills are difficult, it showed how much experienced baristas had an advantage.

The 4th Round had Oliver Miclat, Mark Lingat and Paul Mishima battle it out for the crown. 

Marc Lingat went ahead of the pack with his Hornbill on an Atis Tree entry. The Unicorn and Squirrel wasn't bad at all. They had to do sudden death to see who will fight Lingat in the finals.

Between the Bunny Rabbit and the Seahorse, two of the judges chose the sea worthy entry of Paul Mishima.

A fun round of shots and brew before the finals was done with two contestants randomly chosen from the list. The guy actually did better winning this time.

Then the finals had the two baristas make their grand masterpiece, look at these lovely entries! Their first cup was a "pour" and the second one had "etching", judges had a hard time choosing who will win. In the end, they declared Paul Mishima as the Grand Champion. Second Runner up goes to Oliver, First Runner Up goes to Mark.

Congratulations Paul Mishima who hails from Tagaytay City for winning the first Jack Meets Kaldi Specialty Coffee Throwdown! 

That's our live blog for today! For those who would like to visit this place, simply input Jack Meets Kaldi on Grab or Google Maps and it will take you there. Visit them at 15 Jose Abad Santos Street in Little Baguio San Juan City. It's very near Wilson Street so you wouldn't miss it!


Harry Chocolates and Wackie Corn Chips Launch

Went to this launch this morning with the owners of YanYan International Philippines Inc. who manufacture food products in the Philippines and export some of them in the Southeast Asian region. They are the same people who produced that favorite "Lumpia" and "Karaoke" snack you used to buy in sari sari stores when you were a kid. This is in some way their more premium line and we've come to bear good news. They are launching two more called Wackie Corn Chips and Harry Chocolate which we got to taste today.

They have these corn chips in different flavors, their Harry Chocolates also come in plain Milk Chocolate or ones with rice crispies, a variety you'll surely love.

Owner Mr. Lito Chua says "We love food and I have traveled to different countries and found how common it is for every person. YanYan prides itself in having state of the art machines so we could only produce the best for a good price. We have more than 150 products in the market and there is no secret in success, we just started and I think we are just doing our best since 2003. We think this is the foundation we have built for our kids and this is for their future. They will be the ones who will build on this. My wife is so good in what she does, she sleeps late and wakes up early just so she could supervise operations. I also did packaging and distribution in the past while my wife does the financial stuff, it is just in the efforts and dedication that you put in it. I am not successful yet, but we will get there." 

All these Harry Chocolate bars and variety of Wackie Corn Chips are available in leading supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide. Try it out today, especially the Wackie Corn Chips with Salted Egg on it because it's so good!


Get Hold of the Racks Card

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

When we hear RACKS, it's always about that mouthwatering, smoky, barbecued ribs and incomparable barbecue sauce that always makes us happy. I on the other hand adore and get slightly obsessed over their brick like serving of onion rings which just the sheer mention of it makes me want to fly and sit on their tables here in their Timog branch. They're found in major malls in the city and today, I got word that eating in this joint should and will be heavily rewarded. They just started churning out their very own RACKS Club Card.

What does this mean for the ordinary rib lover and consumer? Well for starters, they're going to have Buy One Take One offers on the menu. Those not in conjunction with other promos, that's a ton of savings especially on the proteins. (They've got a mean line of steak, ribs, chicken and pork chops). Aside from that, you get 20% off your bill for selected items on the menu. You can also earn points for things you buy because it's all for loyal club members. How can you not get these deals right? Plus more if it's your birthday too, ehh why wouldn't you get one if it's only Php 399. 

You don't have to suffer when you're craving for their food. Just take it out when you dine in or take out food from the joint because it's always nice to remember that same lovely flavor of RACKS. It's always good!

They are also opening a new branch in Tiendesitas so watch out for that as well! 


How to Spot the Perfect Affordable Home

Everybody dreams of their own home and if you're just starting a family or just buying one, you must know how to choose the best one especially with the tons of properties out there that offer tons of stuff which you don't even need. The essentials should be covered, but if you are given more than what you expect to be there, wouldn't that be amazing? This is why you have to spot a good deal, especially when you are going to spend years living in it. What do you look for?

It should be affordable and be of superior quality. Some real estate companies have really good deals like BRIA Homes which you can get as low as Php 1,897 a month. It doesn't need to be just a cement box, it should be stylish and modern with enough space to roam around and be inside a good community. It takes a village to raise a family and they've done that in several places in the Philippines and tons of families would attest to it. Nobody ever got happiness with debt on their banking records, it's a tough world.

Your home should also be in a perfect location. It shouldn't be in a though spot to get to the hospital, school or church. When I said essential earlier, it comes with that and it shouldn't be negotiable. You have to be in a place where you could thrive, where you could grow and if life permits, a little fun in shopping, entertainment and really that wouldn't hurt right?

It should be secure too. A community that doesn't have CCTV would be unimanigable in this day and age. That and a gated spot would deter and limit crime. We don't want anything bad to happen with our loved ones, nor to us too.

You think it's not possible but BRIA already has that inside their community. The only thing you should do is check it out, pay for it and live in it. That should be easy, nothing overboard, and should be easy to spot when it's already there.

Surely, you would want to live here.


Good Stuff at Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh

Monday, August 26, 2019

I had a hard time finding this place, that I actually got lost and walked frantic looking for it. Like a gem that you have to work for hours, this Singapore based restaurant has opened their first branch in the Philippines. This is Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh which has been franchised in the Philippines by Silver Lush Food Corporation, a company involved in bringing in international food brands in the country. 

Bak Kut Teh literally means Meat Bone Tea which would reprise much of the ingredients of this pork ribs soup. This is founded by Chua Ah Hua and Rong hence the name. I have officially designated a new pin here on Google Maps but if you can't find that, try the Teleperformance McKinley West because it just sits on the middle part of the two buildings. (Don't go to the Asiatown marker in Upper McKinley because that's where I got lost).

You can also choose Madrone in McKinley West because it just sits in front of the Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh Restaurant. It's also pretty outside so take lots of photos!

We went inside and sat down, it could accommodate around 40-50 people if I'm not mistaken. It's still new so it doesn't smell like a chinese tea house of sorts, just usual new furnished shop.

We were served the Cua Pao first, which had smooth nice fatty slices of pork, tidied up in a steamed white bun and lettuce. They have a dipping sauce with this which was more like honey. I liked it a lot.

The secret of Bah Kut Teh is the broth, this was made for hours together with cinnamon barks, star anise, cloves, fennel seeds, coriander, pork bones and Sarawak White Pepper which made it a little spicy. I guess it's why Singaporean favors this as their comfort food because it's homey, a thing that you could curl up with on a rainy day.

The Bah Kut Teh was soft and had nothing fancy, it was a good thing we had a bowl of rice nearby. Honestly I thought it was going to be overwhelming but no, it's not too oily and not too murky, it was light and had a small spicy kick from the peppers I mentioned earlier.

This is the tofu skin which had ground pork inside. I love this with anything, just order this before the Bah Kut Teh so you don't have to eat too much later on in the show lol

I don't eat chicken feet so I passed on this one but look at it, it's a good version of those things you get in chinatown

Tried this Sliced Smoked Duck if you want something nice on top of white rice, I had a few of these. The roasted thing outside makes it sweet and very savory. Check blood pressure at home lol

I love tofu so much that I had a few servings of this together with the savory ground pork on top and the soy based gravy.

To end the meal, they got us this really mean Panacotta which had Avocado I think, or maybe pandan hints too. It was good until someone ate it in less than 2 minutes.

If you're raring to have a taste of authentic Bah Kut Teh in Manila, this is the place you can get it. There are other items in the menu which you can also try like the throng of seafood (I'm allergic) that they have like Abalone, pig innards soup, even fried chicken, just make sure you get a drink which you could perfectly pair with it. A glass of ice cold Coke would do.

You can check out Rong Hua Bah Kut Teh on IG @RongHuaPH for all the food you might want to see. It's waiting for you, try this legit restaurant now!