Pho Hoa at Robinsons Galleria

After our unfortunate family dining experience at Pho Hoa’s SM Megamall branch in 2010, I swore not to dine in this restaurant again. However, the newly opened Pho Hoa branch in Robinsons Galleria was simply so inviting that my son and I, together with a friend and her daughter, had lunch here last April. We have two bowls of Pho noodle soup, one rice plate and dessert.

Com Ga nuong Cha Gio (Grilled Chicken and Fried Spring Rolls with Rice), Php295

Of course, the rice plate was mine. I had Com Com Ga nuong Cha Gio. It’s Grilled Chicken and Fried Spring Rolls with Rice. I loved that the rice serving is huge. Two small but perfectly seasoned fried spring rolls is fine, too. The tender grilled chicken is soft and sweet, actually a bit too sweet for me. The solution is dipping it in the spiced vinegar. After finishing my rice plate, I came to the conclusion that I like the grilled pork version of this more.

Pho Ga (Chicken Noodle Soup), Php250 (Small)

My son settled for Pho Ga or Chicken Noodle Soup. It has rice noodles, boiled egg, chicken strips and veggies. It also came with a separate small plate of beansprouts, basil leaves and lemon wedge. Since my son is not too fond of veggies, he ignored these condiments on the table and simply ate the noodles, chicken and egg. He didn’t finish all of it, though, because the serving was big so I got to try it, too. The soup was delicious!

Pho Do Vien (Seafood Noodle Soup), Php380 (Large)

My friend and her daughter shared a large bowl of Pho Do Vien or Seafood Noodle Soup. I see shrimps and fish balls in their soup. There seems to be crab sticks as well from what I saw on the menu. Mother and daughter seemed satisfied with their order. This is something I’d love to order for myself on our next visit to Pho Hoa.

Mango Crepe with Ice Cream, Php185

Because my son was keen on having dessert somewhere else, only my friend and her daughter ordered dessert at Pho Hoa. They had Mango Crepe with Ice Cream. Oh, it looks so inviting! I assume it’s also yummy because they asked for another plate of this.

Pho Do Vien and Mango Crepe with Ice Cream are the two things I have to try when we visit Pho Hoa again.

Pho Hoa Vietnamese Noodle House
Level 3, Upper Veranda
Robinsons Galleria
Quezon City

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Posted in Pho Hoa Vietnamese Noodle House, Pho Noodle Soup, Robinsons Galleria, Vietnamese Cuisine

Mother-and-Son Lunch Date at Caffe Bene

Because I still had a lot of Caffe Bene GCs from previous writing gigs, I decided to use all of them in their Makati branch last month.

Our last visit was in December, and because we enjoyed what we ordered then, we went back and ordered mostly the same items but tried new ones, too.

Carbonara, Php195

Carbonara is my son’s current favorite pasta dish. While it’s not as creamy-looking as La Bella Teodora’s, it still has the basic Carbonara ingredients that Justin looks for: spaghetti, bacon, cream and yes, cheese!

Asado Pandesal, Php80

Justin paired his Carbonara with Asado Pandesal. We both agree that this Asado Pandesal is so much better than most Asado Siopaos we’ve tried. It’s big and soft but fuller than the usual pandesal which makes it more filling, plus there’s enough (not too little or too much) pork asado inside to enjoy.

Beef Bolognese, Php195

This Beef Bolognese, with a hint of sweetness most likely from the fresh tomatoes used, is okay.

Mocha Frappe (Large), Php180 and Iced Blueberry Latte (Regular), Php190

Justin and I both enjoyed our cold drinks. He got the large Mocha Frappe which he said tasted like Starbucks’ while I tried the Iced Blueberry Latte which was quite refreshing. I loved the sweet, tangy and milky blend!

Cream Cheese and Strawberry Gelato (1 scoop), Php125 each

We also tried two gelato flavors from Caffe Bene, and we both favor the Strawberry Gelato over Cream Cheese Gelato.

Mango Cake, Php150

We had additional orders of Mango Cake and Mom’s Chocolate Cake to go that we ate for later as after-dinner desserts. Hubby and I loved the not-so-sweet Mango Cake and its oh, so lovely presentation!

Mom’s Chocolate Cake, Php150

Mom’s Chocolate Cake is rich and moist, but it has wine in it which wasn’t really to our liking, so only hubby ate it.

It was a pleasant experience overall at Caffe Bene. The place is really nice with its relaxed and cozy ambience. We mostly enjoyed their sandwiches and drinks. We will try their Bingsu next time.

Caffe Bene
Multinational Bancorp Center
Valero Access Road 4
Makati City
Telephone No.: (02) 511 1435

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Posted in Caffe Bene, Korean Cuisine, Lunch Date, Mother and Son

Share What’s Good and Discover What’s Real with Welch’s 100% Grape Juice

It was a refreshing afternoon of learning and discovery as media people and other guests attended the relaunch of Welch’s 100% Grape Juice at Ayala Malls The 30th last Saturday.

It’s been ages since I’ve attended a blog event, but I was glad I came because I went home with a happy heart, literally and figuratively. Well, after having gone into hibernation, I got reconnected with blogger friends, plus I carried with me a treasure trove of information on how to make the right choices for a healthy heart and a healthy life.

The event kick-started with a panel discussion with two moms who shared their Welch’s experience, Dr. Gia Sison and Mommy Louisa Mercado. Dr. Gia is a cancer survivor and a Makati Medical Center consultant while Mommy Louisa is a mom and fitness blogger and one of the founders of Mommy Bloggers Philippines.

Dr. Gia and Mommy Louisa talked about when they discovered Welch’s, why they remain loyal to the brand through the years, and their Welch’s bonding moments with their families.

After the panel discussion, Ms. Paz Sales of the Nutritionists-Dietitians Association of the Philippines gave an informative talk on the health benefits of Welch’s 100% Grape Juice. Made from Concord grapes, Welch’s 100% Grape Juice helps promote a healthy heart. It has no sugar added, no cholesterol and no preservatives.

Grapes contain polyphenols. These are compounds found in plant-based foods that act as antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect the body against free radical damage that may lead to cancer and other health conditions. Purple grapes, like the ones used in Welch’s 100% Grape Juice, have the highest total antioxidant capacity, which makes it a healthy choice for the whole family.

Chef Trisha Ocampo of CCA, Manila also demonstrated easy-to-prepare healthy snacks for the family.

All the snack recipes included one special ingredient: Welch’s 100% Grape Juice.

Don’t these Grape Berry Crunch Muffins look tempting?

Despite the many food choices we have today, it is quite surprising that many families are not meeting their daily nutrient requirements to help ward off chronic ailments. The latest Food Consumption Survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology in 2013 revealed that 69.3% of Filipino households did not fulfill their dietary energy requirements – higher by 2.4% than the previous survey in 2008.

Further, Filipinos are only able to meet 39% of the daily 400 grams of fruits and vegetables suggested by the World Health Organization. With less of the important naturally occurring nutrients from fruits, like polyphenols from grapes that help the heart – many of us are exposed to risks of lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disorders.

Believe it or not, there’s a convenient, nutritious and delicious way to stay healthy that matches our busy lifestyle, and that’s drinking 100% fruit juices. Admittedly, whole fruits are a great source of fiber, but 100% fruit juice also contains essential vitamins and minerals needed by the body to function properly and prevent diseases. As a matter of fact, drinking 8 ounces of pure fruit juice, such as Welch’s 100% grape juice, is equivalent to a whole cup serving of fruit.

What’s more? Drinking 100% fruit juice from grapes may actually give us more polyphenols than eating the fruit, without weight gain. That’s because making pure grape juice involves crushing the fruit, together with the seeds and dark purple skin, which releases more polyphenols. Research likewise suggests that 100% grape juice can help support a healthy heart.

Welch’s advocates for better nutrition for Filipino families by providing a wide range of juice products that are refreshing, delightful and healthy.

“At Welch’s, we value what’s REAL, we value family, we value health and wellness and we value in sharing what’s good. For over 140 years, Welch’s has been providing families around the world with products that bring a happy balance of goodness and deliciousness,” says Erika Evaristo Rodriguez, VP Marketing of Welch’s Philippines.

Welch’s 100% juice drinks are available in retail outlets nationwide.

To know more about the science behind 100% grape juice, visit and follow Welch’s PH in Facebook and IG. #ShareWhatsGood #DiscoverWhatsReal

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Posted in #DiscoverWhatsReal, #ShareWhatsGood, Ayala Malls The 30th, Heart Health, Polyphenols, Vonvord Grapes, Welch's, Welch's Philippines, Welch’s 100% Grape Juice