Yabu: The House of Katsu

Is this tonkatsu hype worth it?

Battle of the Xiao Long baos

Shi Lin vs Peace and Happiness

Tous Les Jours: Apple inspiration

Detailed review of the beloved Apple shaped cake

Having coffe at Kopitiam

Here it is! My first food post overseas from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore restaurants, snacks and eateries. After we arrived from Kuala Lumpur Airport, rode a taxi and after that, a mini van going to hotel, we hurriedly eat something at an Indian eatery beside Prescott Hotel. Correct me if I'm wrong. The name of that Indian eatery is Klassik Sup Farrhan's. I did not have an opportunity to take pictures.

Don't worry, we came back again to that eatery after our Singapore trip and I'll share the pictures on my upcoming posts. I'll make a review first about Kopitiam.

Since Pinay Food Junkie is my unique food diary, I posted and shared my whole Kuala Lumpur and Singapore trip on another site. If you would like to know more about Malaysia and Singapore travel tips and costs, Please visit my Ivbeentherebeta travelstream at


Ivbeenthere is a nice travel blog and is still on its beta version. For me, it is a good social media travel blog because you can post your travel adventure or what they call "creating a travelstream" right now without worrying about the characters you type. Plus! You can mark your travel posts into categories such as Reviews, Tips and Blogs.

Tip: If you'll be travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore by bus, buy mineral water and some snacks already in Kuala Lumpur and bring these to Singapore so you'll save more. The immigration did not restrict visitors on bringing food there. Food (actually the cost of living) in Singapore is very expensive.

Please read or browse my travelstream to know the chronological events of my KL and SG travel. Also, I'll post my travel details with more pictures soon at sarisaringisip.blogspot.com

Anyway, we just left our things in the hotel and travelled to Singapore by train and bus. It took us 5-6 hours of travel, arriving morning already in Singapore. After Woodlands Checkpoint and when we reached MRT (Singapore), we decided to have our breakfast at Kopitiam near MRT.

A look at Kopitiam MRT Singapore

The good thing was... even small food stores and eateries were closed in the morning, Kopitiam was there! When we entered, it was like a food court or a big cafeteria. Of all the food counters, the main one on the front is the only open place to serve people's breakfast cravings.

In terms of this place's atmosphere, it's not so clean just like the average food courts and fast foods and it had an oily smell. Overall, this place was still decent and had bright lights. Also, I like smelling the coffee aroma that surrounds us.

There are load stations situated but I don't know if those were functioning well.

We ordered 2 coffees, a sandwich, 2 slices of bread and 2 raw eggs. Honestly, I thought those 2 raw eggs were boiled eggs because it is unusual in my home country to serve raw eggs.

The price for all of this was SGD 4.60 or currently around PHP 149-150. Food stalls outside were cheaper but as I said earlier, those were close :( If these were open, I want to try milk teas and rice.

The coffees had thick texture and tasted more like chocolate instead of coffee beans.

Eggs served as dipper for bread slices. Those were more delicious than the white eggs we have at home.


Bread and spreads

I cannot tell if the spreads were made or margarine or butter. The sure thing was, it's tasty.

Oops! We have to clean up our table but I cannot remember if we returned the trays and plates to the counter or we just set these on the rightmost side of the table. If I'll be going back to Singapore, I'll don't hesitate to come back and eat again in this place. 

There will be more SG and KL food posts coming!


Near MRT going to Dhoby Ghaut
Open: 24 hours (as I know)
I know Valentine's is over but hey, you can still grab a chance to have fun with chocolates at the Chocolate Festival in SM North Edsa at The Block Atrium until Saturday, February 28, 2015. Some chocolates can be also bought with discounts.

Chocolate Festival choco sheep

I bought a crisp praline from Chocolate Truffles and Pralines.

Chocolate Truffles and Pralines

Crisp praline
I bought the Crisp Praline

Here's a mini tour around the small chocolate festival exhibit

Chocolate Festival Philippines

Chocolate Festival SM North

And now's the Crisp Praline review:

The Candy Corner Cacao

Like Sins and Chocolate Fire, the praline here is expensive around P40-P50. This Crisp Praline is P50.

I know it's better and cheaper to buy Ritters or Cadbury bars but since I tried Sins' pralines before when it was still there in Piazza at Mckinley, I want to get a taste of it. After taking a bite, this praline is more delicious than in Sins where pralines were imported from Singapore. Honestly, I and my friend felt that we were wasting money on Sins even we already sliced and shared 1 piece of praline into two. I haven't tried Chocolate Fire yet. The Crisp Praline has a unique creamy taste. I suggest you try it.

I'll not give a star rating as of this moment. Overall, even this is only a mini festival, I enjoyed it. By the way, Chef Jac Laudico will be here on February 28.

Chef Jac Laudico at SM North

UCC fruits and cereal served
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Now is the perfect time to post my UCC review / food experience. Even I haven't updated the blog for a long time, I received continuous likes on my Facebook page. Thank you to the ones who genuinely (also humanly) liked my page! Too bad, I didn't gain likes on my latest Spaghetti Carbonara photo but the good news is.. my photo gained many likes (even with people I don't know) in my personal Facebook page.

I went to Malaysia and Singapore last November and to Baguio this year, 2015. I enjoyed my vacation a lot, that's why I procrastinated after the trip. No worries! I'll still continue to record my food journeys. I'll just post my Southeast Asian food experiences on Wednesday or within this week.

After my Baguio trip, I seldom eat at restaurants. To motivate myself to continue updating my blog, I just want to go to a cafe within Trinoma. Since going to Starbucks and Coffee Bean in a weekend means having to fall in a long line to buy an expensive coffee and act as a lookout whenever one vacates his, her or their table which is very rare, I decided to hang out, eat and drink at UCC Cafe Terrace. I ranted before how small is a cup of chamomile tea there but I thought, I'll try UCC again and I don't want to go to Starbucks and Coffee Bean looking like an idiot and social climber waiting for a vacant table, sipping iced coffee and taking selfies. I don't say that people going there are social climbers but there are too many pretentious people arrogantly ordering and hanging out there. Designer coffee is a status symbol before but now, the supposedly expensive cafe is now a "tambayan" of annoying social climbers and jejemons in weekends. If you really insist on going there in weekends, just make it earlier and hang out on stand-alone Starbucks or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf branches. Avoid going to malls.

If I will choose a cafe to buy expensive drinks and snacks for a while, I'll go to a more sophisticated and quiet place. UCC (Ueshima Coffee Co.) is a Japanese coffee and tea manufacturer that has developed its business into canned coffees, cafes, products, etc. since its founding in 1933.

Aside from coffee, tea and Japanese food, this coffee house also serves waffles, bread, pasta, parfait and fruits. I asked the waitress first if what's there on their cocoa drink, she said it is served in a cup with whip cream on top. Since I prefer a meal with a large drink and fruits, I ordered Hot Hong Kong Milk Tea (159) and Cereal with Fruits (P229). Service charge is P34.64 (more than 8%) which makes a total of P422.64. I asked another waitress, if can I take pictures of the place, she said I'll just wait. After that, I assumed that they don't allow someone randomly taking pictures because whenever I search for UCC Trinoma, there are only a few pictures (even caught by DSLR) in Google images.

UCC cereal with fruits and Hot Hong Kong milk tea

Aha! I now have an idea how to have a nice home breakfast. With a small pack of corn flakes, milk and fruits from our bayan (town), I can serve my family a merely sophisticated breakfast within a small or medium budget.

The Hot Hong Kong Milk Tea taste more like a slight bitter tea leaf but still, it's delicious but more delicious when syrup is added. As for Cereal with Fruits, the fruits are okay, the fresh milk's a good combination with cereals and raisins. I did not pour all the milk and used the remaining for dipping fruits later.

I like the ambiance because there are couches, electric sockets and a free WiFi (Although, I was using my own pocket WiFi). You don't even have to ask for the password since it is already posted on their small promo stands on the table. The wall's decorations are maps, images, all about UCC blah blah research and Japanese characters  Unlike in other coffeehouses, they have male and female comfort rooms. Plus, the women's comfort room is clean and has a bidet.

As a "tambayan", it's a nice place. It can also be a good place for doing virtual work and for studying because I don't even need a headset to minimize distractions. Like Seattle's Best, there's an indoor area for smokers. Ask first if their WiFi's working and test this out so you can decide to not hang out there if it isn't working. If you aren't planning to stay longer and want to try tasty and delicious drinks, you better try other famous milk tea places and cafes.

Staff are polite. When I entered the place, they assisted me immediately and you can ask any of them. 


homemade french fries

I usually take out french fries from McDonald's or Jollibee and buy potato chips but now, I will be going to teach you on how to make homemade french fries and potato chips. This recipe is healthier and you don't have to put salt or any spices for this snack to taste good. Others attempted to make perfect fries, but after frying these, the fries turned into soggy potato slices.

Potato chip snacks are full of artificial flavorings while french fries (Frenchies and other frozen ones) are a bit expensive and has preservatives that will make your hands sticky if you will touch those. 

Making and cooking this in an old fashioned way is the best pot luck or gift that you can bring to parties without spending too much.You could make this during weekends or just slice the potatoes today, dry these tonight and then fry these tomorrow.

Here are the procedures:

slicing potato chips

1. Peel the potatoes and slice these to your desired thickness. I was using a slicer bought from Divisoria more than a year ago and hey!, it still works. Be careful though.

slicing french fries

2. After slicing, soak these on a cold water. The colder the better. Tip: If you want to fry these after 2 hours, just soak these on a bowl, place this on the freezer within a few minutes until it is cold enough, and then, put this out of the freezer and place this with other foods below inside the fridge.

Why do we have to soak these slices on the water? 

Because cold water removes the starch that makes the potato slices stick to one another.

3. Planning now to cook the fries and chips? But wait, you have to make sure you will drain the excess water and dry these out. For effective draining, instead of using a strainer, place the slices on a plate (don't make these overlap) and then, place the plate under the sun. 

If placing these outside is impossible, just place a table napkin, katsa (unbleached muslin fabric) or sheets of tissue before putting the potatoes. Reminder: have at least 2-3 folds because placing only a single sheet will make the draining process useless because it will make the tissues too wet and it defeats the purpose.

4.Heat the pan until a smoke comes out. Put oil. (I was using vegetable oil) Wait for the oil to become warm and then, you can now place potato chips and slices. But be careful, don't put too many slices and these must be spaced out properly in the pan. Why? because if the fries or chips were overcrowded in a frying pan, there's a tendency that the remaining water will mix with oil and instead of having fried potato chips and french fries, you will end up with boiled ones.

If you want the crispiest fries and chips, just cook these longer until become brown. Then, lay these on a table napkin or tissue and leave these until become dry. 

Tip: Have 2 plates or bowls, while the slices that were already fried were drying out, just put these on another bowl when a new batch of fried slices comes.

Out of 2 medium-sized potatoes and after I already ate a few slices, wow! This snack is good enough for two persons.

homemade potato chips

Yum! Crispy fries and chips can now be served. In our case ( I and my family), we did not use salt or any spices, we just eat these on their own. You can use spices or dips if desired.

Homemade french fries and homemade potato chips are great! Since you already have knowledge on how to make homemade fries and how to make potato chips, you can turn these into a business. Aside from spending less in eating authentic foods, with exercise, you can now add this snack to your healthy diet.

ippudo ramen philippines
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It's been a long time since I have not updated this website and Pinay Food Junkie facebook page because of  being busy to many things. Now, here's my ramen review for Ippudo Ramen Philippines at SM Megamall. The world-class ramen house in Fukuoka is now in the Philippines!

Ippudo ramen is an internationally recognized ramen house founded by Shigemi Kawahara, an internationally reknowned ramen king, in Hakata (ramen capital in Japan). As the ramen store became more popular, it has built many branches in Japan and other countries such as New York, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Sydney.

I came alone from an event and then I was hungry at that time and craving for Kichitora of Tokyo. I went down through an escalator and then, I saw a newly opened ramen house. At first, I hesitated to enter this japanese ramen restaurant because I thought the prices will range from 500 and up, but when I saw the menu, the ippudo ramen prices they offer ranges from Php 300-500.

Many people were eating inside and I sat near the ramen counter where cooks are creating their dishes. The wood-like ambiance is somewhat nice and the color designs are more into red and black. Since my place is on the leftmost corner of the counter, I have not thought that there's a power outlet there. Unfortunately, I did not bring my charger. ^^ Fortunately, I can put my bag on the basket under my seat and place this basket under the counter.

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Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth and the descriptions from their official Philippine website:

Shiromaru Motoaji - Classic Hakata-style ramen served with ultra-thin noodles, chashu (pork loin), bean sprouts, kikurage (mushrooms) and spring onions.

Akamaru Shinaji  - A refined, modern style ramen served with thin noodles, pork belly, kikurage (mushrooms), spring onions, special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil.

Karaka-men - served with wavy-thin noodles, pork belly, kikurage (mushrooms), special spicy miso with ground pork, fragrant garlic oil and spring onions. 

The staff was very polite and she also introduce to me the condiments. I waited 15-25 minutes for the food.

Pepper, sesame seeds, garlic and there's one missing but I am not fond of oil anyway. (Click on image for bigger size)

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I ordered the Shiromaru Motoaji because I am not fond of garlic and spicy treats. I just played games on my iPad while waiting. 

ippudo ramen menu
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ippudo ramen
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Honestly, I just find the shape of the bowl weird.

world class ramen
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I made my first entry about Hokkaido Ramen Santouka vs. Kichitora of Tokyo and I love these noodle soups but now, Ippudo Ramen is on my top list even I already ate at Wrong ramen and Ramen Nagi. 

Despite of having many thin sliced chashu and a large seaweed, I can taste all the ingredients combined. Later, I decided to sprinkle sesame seeds and pepper to my soup. Even after finishing a bowl, I can still feel the taste left on my tongue. 

The waitress asked me to fill up a feedback form and here's my opinion.

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Now, this ramen is my top favorite! I'll just give a no perfect 5 star rating because I just find the place crowded, not too clean and busy. Anyway, the staff is very polite and the ramen tastes really good making me to crave and come back for more.

Here's my overall rating:

Ippudo Philippines
3rd Level Mega Fashion Hall
SM Megamall
Tel no.: 470-1837