19 June 2012

Chocolate Fire is a Wonderland of Chocolates!

Chocolate Fire is something that I have heard of so many times already but have not visited yet. So when opportunity presented itself, I readily agreed. No questions asked. =)

Upon reaching its vicinity, from the outside, it was a pretty unassuming place. That was good. When you get inside, a relaxing vibe envelopes you and makes you order right away. That's what we did.
From their brochure, it said "Enter a world of creativity..Chocolate Fire offers a delicious, vibrant & extensive selection of Belgian chocolates with the finest ingredients from around the world, and all hand-made, with no added chemicals, preservatives or additives. Enjoy some of the finest chocolate the world has to offer, in a vast array of styles (over 70 on display each day), as well as choose from a healthy & scrumptiously fresh selection of savoury dishes..it's an endless world of creativity at Chocolate Fire!"

That being said, I agree. Why? Just take a look at what we had. 

Greek Salad (P250.00 for full order). Refreshing salad consisting of cucumber, tomato, Greek Feta cheese, Kalamata olives (Are large, deep-purple olives from the Kalamata region of Greece), onions & lemon herb dressing. The serving, considered that this was already a full order, was so small. We thought it would be enough for 3, but no, we were wrong. Good thing we enjoyed our small serving. The cucumber was crunchy, tomato provided the sourness, just a little bit, the feta cheese got the saltiness part and the Kalamata olives was something new to my palate and it was great. 
Pesto pasta (P300.00). Basil, pine nuts and garlic, the staple of pesto pastas. Nothing extraordinary but it was good. 
The Mortadella sandwich (P280.00). It has Mortadella cold cut sausage, emmenthal, mozarella, fresh basil, sliced olives, undried tomatoes & romaine lettuce. Quite a lot, right? But it all boils down to a great-tasting sandwich with a crunch. There's a wide array of flavors that compliments each other. 
Brown Cow Moo Moo Float (P180.00). Key ingredients are  Coke, Ice Cream & Belgian dark chocolate.  At first sip,  it just tasted like Jollibe or McDo's Coke Float (that I really love) so I thought that my money was wasted on this one but since it's already there, I will try to enjoy its copycat-ness. Haha! But when I almost reached the bottom part of my glass, I tasted the Begian chocolate and that's where it made a whole lot of difference. Rich & thick choco that gives a burst of 'ooomph' to an otherwise simple drink. 
Photo op first! =)
Strawberry Ganache Cake. This is heaven! Loved it so much! The strawberry ganache was a perfect mix with the moist cake. Not overly sweet, just right. Creamy and silky texture. Like what I've said, it was perfect! This is something that I see myself ordering repeatedly in the future. 
Our other choices. Chocolate-dipped Bacon (P150.00/50g), Pringles, in this case, Pringle dipped in, again, chocolate (P15.00/pc). The Pringle was awesome, milk chocolate is one that I usually prefer and once you take a bite out of this treat, you will crave for more! That's for sure. And it looks so pretty to eat too! 
The Chocolate-dipped Bacon was a revelation! It was fully dipped in dark chocolate, though the bacon was a bit tough, its saltiness and the bitter sweetness of the chocolate is a great combo! Balance is set. A must-try!
My pre-birthday chocolate! A surprise given to me by my friends. I really appreciated  it! Sniff, sniff. =)
I took this home and got it refrigerated and I ate it the next day. Boy, it was good! Look simple but it was very rich in taste. 

Some of Chocolate Fire's pricey yet wonderful chocolate choices. 
Pick any that piques your interest. =)
Lovely strawberries dipped in rich chocolate, all made with  'love'
Can't pick one? Pick all! =)
The various chocolate barks. So many to choose from!
Overall, their food and chocolates are a bit pricey but then, you can be sure of the quality of their food. No doubt about that. Chocolate Fire delivers what we are looking for, world-class quality of chocolates. The ambiance is cozy and private. This is a place where you can meet with friends, family/relatives or just a quiet moment on your own.

I will be visit this place again, that's for sure! =)

Chocolate Fire
G/F PDCP Bldg. cor. Leviste & Rufino St.
Salcedo Village, Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 84-FIRE (3473)

12 June 2012

FOODIE THOUGHTS: Ying Ying Tea House of Binondo

Binondo--the authentic Chinese food haven for foodies and regular peeps alike. A treasure trove of small restaurants in every nook and cranny..along the busy streets, along the estero, along everywhere. =)

I have tried several good places here like Wai Ying and Four Season Cuisine but any addition to this list is very welcome. So when officemates planned on a dinner salo-salo here, we all prepared for a gastronomic treat. And gastronomic it is, down right to the very core! Ying Ying did not disappoint!

I was one of the few people who were a bit late in arriving so orders were already casted off and I was not able to get the names of the dishes. I tried looking at the menu but they had a lot of choices and my mind could not take any more info so I'll try to best describe the dishes the best way that I can. =)

1st dumpling. I do not know the name but it sure was good. It's like a lumpia but instead of dried or fried, it was moist.
2nd dumpling. The ultrafamous Hakaw. Perfectly rounded and the shrimps were very compact inside it. Shrimp goodness! No extenders so I really enjoyed. It's very much worth your money.
3rd dumpling. The Siomai. Now this is perfection! Not like the ones you see aloft the train stations, etc. This is the real thing! The meat was all there and the flavors are alive. A thumbs-up!
I had one of each. It's filling enough that one can just have these and need not order anymore main dishes. Loved it!
Green soup is yucky? Definitely not. This one is like an eggdrop soup but with bits of shrimps. I just had a few spoonfuls as I did not want to fill up my tummy that fast.
The Meat Platter. Ugh! I feel bad because I was not able to get the names. But in this plate, I loved the green stuff the best. Why? It takes the pungent taste and diverts the taste buds into experiencing a different flavor. A perfect side dish. The choices of meat were tenderly cooked so I had nothing negative to say. What I liked most was the Lechon Macau, it was mostly meat and less fat. Good!
Salt & Pepper Squid. Nothing very extraordinary with the taste, it was good, but the notable trait that this dish has, the squid was tenderly cooked so it did not become 'gummy' in texture. I admit, whenever we eat at Chinese restos, we always order Salt & Pepper dishes, whether ribs, pork cutlets or like in this case, squid. It's a Chinese comfort food for me.
Hot Shrimp Salad. Creamy & saucy but I really loved the shrimps! Any dish that has shrimps, prawns or any crustaceans, are very enjoyable for me. Since the shrimps in this dish are already shelled out, just pop one in your mouth, enjoy and the rest is history. History that repeats itself over and over again until it runs out. Haha! This is a must-try. Though I've tasted a much better version in Bacolod City but this is still yummy.
Lemon Chicken. A sure dinner-crowd pleaser! Never fails. Sweet and tangy and makes you eat more rice than your usual. It's very flavorful and just a small piece is enough for a big spoonful of rice. One can seldom go wrong with ordering this dish.
Asado, I think. (Sorry!) This dish arrived a bit late and we were all filled up already. It was also very flavorful so I actually found it a bit, unappetizing. Too strong for my taste especially that I'm close to hitting home with all that I have eaten.
Now this is definitely good! Their Cane Juice. Very sweet yet very refreshing. Made from pure sugar cane. Healthy too. Yes, it comprises mostly of sugar but it is the right sugar for us which is the unrefined sugar. Don't feel guilty. Drink up!
Weird for me but I don't find views like this good enough to whet my appetite. I actually find it a bit repulsive. maybe because I can imagine how the ducks were killed, or something like that. Well, that is just me. =)

Overall experience: It was good! The place was a bit small, we were seated at the ground floor, and it was a bit crowded but that was expected.

The crew served us punctually but there was no warmth, or excellence in service but well, it was dinner time already and they could be dead-tired thus the reactions. But it was still good, nonetheless.

The food was excellent. A 2 thumbs-up! Next time I come here, I got to try different dishes. They sure have a lot of them to choose from. Will definitely come back.

Ying Ying Tea House
233-235 DasmariƱas St., cor.
Yuchenco Street, Binondo, Manila
(02) 387-2797 / (02) 710-3856
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