Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mercato goes North

Last July 26th, Mezza Norte opened it's doors right in the heart of Quezon City's business district in UP-AyalaLand Technohub, just where I work! I haven't got the chance to visit Mercato Centrale and Distrito yet because I work during the night. Good thing I don't have to go far because they came to us instead. Happy! 
Me and my friends were one of the lucky ones to catch a glimpse of Mercato's opening. Eye catching food stalls are everywhere with matching acoustic live band performances every night.

The busy Mercato crowd
Acoustic Live Band
yummy ihaw-ihaw stuffs!
Delectable food variety
catchy food slogans

I wish to stay out longer to explore the food bazaar better but I only have an hour and a half to spare for my break time. I have to prepare my appetite (and my wallet!) for the next Mercato night :)

Mercato North is open every Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00PM to 3:00AM.

Let's all enjoy good food and more fun! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

How do I love tea? let me count the ways :)

The Milk Tea craze is fast hitting the Philippines for the past year or so. It hit my heart as well! ♥ Thanks to a good friend, Milk Tea has also become a way of life for me. 
Before, the only comfort beverage I know are milk and coffee. Until now, I still consider Starbuck's Signature Hot Chocolate and Espresso Frappe light with no whip cream as my best friends, and now I found a new friend in Milk Tea. 
I know, my cravings are a bit expensive but these things make me happy and they serve as stress relievers during a rough day at work or just about anytime when I need to relax. This year, I started to know the world of Milk Tea better so I thought to try out different milk tea places and different flavors to further understand what this craze is all about.

  • Zagu Pearl Milk Tea Shake
First on the list is Zagu's Pearl Milk Tea shake. What's good about it is the price is adequate for the serving size. Unfortunately, the tea blend just doesn't excite me, maybe because Zagu's focal market is on pearl shakes. After all, this product is still a shake and is not categorized as bubble tea. Still a thumbs up to Zagu for being up to date for the latest flavors and craze in town.

  • Cha Dao Tea Place 
Cha Dao Tea Place is a growing tea place all over the Metro. Good thing there's a branch near where I live right about Maginhawa St. Anyways, I discovered their order form in Facebook and thought I'd order one for me and for my office mate friend. My buddy ordered the classic milk tea. I'd say it's the safest one to choose if buying in milk tea places for the first time so as not to get disappointed. Sure enough, it tastes good. Nothing special about it, it simply tastes good with a mix of black tea and special milk.
Upon looking on the bestseller list, I decided to settle for the Cha Yen Milk Tea. The blend sounded enticing with a mix of red tea, cinnamon, milk and vanilla. 

The taste is fine, I appreciate the touch of cinnamon on every gulp but it's too sweet for me. I wish I've adjusted the sugar to less or no sugar. Red tea is simply not my cup of tea. They have wide variants to choose from classic milk teas to fruit blends and fruit teas. I want to try the other bestsellers when I have the time to visit again.

  • Bubbatealicious
My love story with tea started with this popular bubble tea chain. I always see their kiosk in SM North Edsa but I didn't bother to try because many people are cramped up in a busy line. Good thing I was with my adventure buddy one February weekend and we decided to have our own taste of Bubba Tea. 

The Royal Milk Tea and Strawberry Passion fruit Tea suited my taste. The flavor of tea tasted very natural on the royal tea and I like the blend of tea and strawberry, it's one of my favorite fruits for one. A little sour yet sweet with added Tapioca Pearls. I think I can have that drink everyday. So refreshing! 
  • Gong Cha
Among the tea places that I've tried, Gong Cha is my favorite. They offer a wide variety of milk and tea as well as extra options such as pearl, ice cream, coffee jelly and grass jelly.
Ice Cream Milk Tea is very much like the good old milkshake. It's very light and less complicated, thus easy to drink. Matcha Green Tea is another light drink that for me brings about some sort of fragrant smell. Quoting a famous website, "Matcha refers to finely milled or fine powder green tea". Yakult Green Tea has an odd and sour taste, It's like I'm drinking flower brew. 
I'm not the experimental type when it comes to putting add ons on teas but I'm planning to try their Taiwan Black Tea with a touch of grass and lemon jelly on my next tea venture.

  • ChaTime
ChaTime initially caught my eye with their girly pink and purple interiors. Love the way their stores look! It's cozy and I think I can stay there all day just sipping my favorite ChaTime variant while reading a good book. 
As always, the Classic ChaTime Milk Tea never fail to amuse tea lovers but I want to do away with the usual and try something exciting. So I tried their Banana Milk Tea. I know, my choice turned out not so exciting but it was featured as a new variant together with the Strawberry Milk Tea so I took the risk. it tastes harmless though, just like a banana milkshake but I love it. The sugar level just needs to be adjusted to no sugar as the banana already adds sweetness to the 50% sugar level that I chose.