Monday, April 29, 2013

Cool and Class Meet at Sidebar

Sure, Manila definitely has all the chic bars where friends can just raise the glass to fun and party but Sidebar has never been of these. Sidebar, which has been churning good music and good food in a great quaint ambience for 23 years, has not lost its charm. In fact, it has even scaled up in comfort with its newly-renovated facilities where the seemingly grandiose can be casual and pop at the same time.
Offering a fanciful look of what a ladies’ bar should be, the vibe of Sidebar is classic yet unpretentious and it’s filled with “beautiful things”, such as original paintings, bric-a-brac from the owner’s travels, glistening cocktail glasses, and a list of music streamlined with mix of classic, indie contemporary rock, and everything in between.

Quaint and sophisticated but not missing out on comfort, the newly-renovated Sidebar possesses the feel of something dainty: cozy sofas, sleek arm chairs, tall wooden beam ceiling, red brick walls, wide framed mirrors and hot red chandeliers as charming centerpieces. Adding a touch of culture and historic element are the antique banisters from Malate Church which complete Sidebar’s unique look, personally designed by no less than the owner, Ricky Gutierrez.

If on the lookout for a place to have those secret conversations or exchange unstoppable stories with friends and colleagues, where safety and security are part of the package, Sidebar is definitely the ideal venue. Located at El Pueblo Ortigas and just few blocks from malls and villages, the Sidebar evokes a different fantasy of bygone cocktail culture where cool and class meet. Attracting artists, writers, professionals, and entrepreneurs, it’s also a favorite hangout of accomplished women decision-makers for its delicious drinks and bar chows.

Speaking of delicious, Sidebar cocktails and its menu represent the best of the bunch. Since it’s from the family of the 1771 Group of Restaurants which is known for its high standard on food quality and service, anyone is assured that the same delightful touches are found in this intimate spot.  Whether it’s for a simple gathering or just feeling adventurous for yummy food and cocktails, Sidebar provides a primer for a wholesome night out experience that never goes out of style. 

Friday, April 19, 2013


Treat your family and friends with a spectacular spread of epicurean delights as Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila’s interactive restaurant, the Market Cafe offers its most exciting buffet price offer until June 30, 2013.
From Monday to Thursday, feast on a wide selection of freshly cooked Western, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Filipino cuisines and enjoy a special price of PHP990 net per person for lunch and P1099 net per person for dinner inclusive of free-flowing soft drinks and local beer.

Featured dishes include an abundant choice of appetizers, hearty salads, premium cuts of lamb and beef, fresh or baked oysters, salmon, oven-baked pizzas, pastas, sushi and sashimi, freshly made tempura and a sinful selection of homemade ice cream and desserts. 

Take advantage availing this offer and satisfy your family and friends cravings with this buffet extravaganza that assures a memorable indulgence.
For more information, please call the Food and Beverage Reservations Centre on +63 2 247 8666 or make your booking online by visiting  Alternatively, e-mail

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Consumer satisfaction, certified

How do you satisfy consumers in a highly discriminating industry such as food?

Just ensure safety and quality, which also includes taste, at all times from the sourcing of raw materials to testing, processing, packaging and transport until it reaches consumers’ dining table.

And this is what Mekeni Food Corporation assures consumers through its popular line of Mekeni products—ham, bacon, corned beef, their top-quality cured meat products such as tapa, tocino, longganisa, and of course its flagship brand, the Mekeni Picnic Hotdog. This particular product is slowly gaining ground in terms of awareness and preference among households today because of its taste that is already comparable to premium-priced brands in the market.

For the safety aspect, Mekeni Food Corporation made sure that its food manufacturing processes adhere to the strictest and most stringent standards acceptable around the world when it comes to food processing. Food safety programs such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) are already in place for Mekeni to gain acceptance among local consumers.

Mekeni Food Corporation is also doubly proud of these standards because it shows that the company is doubly serious in its efforts to make safety a top priority and part of the mindset of the company’s production team at their 20-plus hectare meat processing plant in Balubad, Porac, Pampanga. This same plant is accredited by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and boasts of a “AAA” rating conferred by the same agency.

And in a project of the NMIS together with other partner-agencies when it comes to choosing the best among AAA-grade meat processing plants in the country in terms of food safety, Mekeni showed them all how to make safety part of their manufacturing veins when it won as “Best Meat Processing Plant” in not just one but three years straight years, from 2004 to 2006. For this reason, Mekeni Food Corporation was bestowed with a “Grand Slam Award” back in 2007.

But Mekeni Food Corporation is still adamant in pushing their safety processing benchmark to even greater heights not just in the local scene but international as well. In 2006, after Mekeni Food Corporation won its third straight “Best Meat Processing Plant” award, the company even made history and made the country proud by becoming the first meat processing plant  in the Philippines, the first in asia  and  the 2nd in the world to be presented with the prestigious ISO 22000 or Food Safety Management System certification.  The award cited Mekeni Food Corporation for its continued investments in modernizing its processing equipment and thorough and meticulous research and development efforts to make their products truly world class and safe.

And Mekeni Food Corporation pushed the envelope even further when 6 years after that groundbreaking award, the company was awarded as the first Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000-certified hotdog processing plant in the country. This is no easy feat to achieve, especially for a company that started only as a backyard business. The FSSC requires that a company’s food safety standards should conform to the rigorous demands of global retailers or major branded food companies regarding food safety management in order for their product to gain entry into a specific market.

“Safety and quality is at the lifeblood of Mekeni Food Corporation, from the management down to the employees. Our consumers are our priority for the business so we make sure that safety and quality is always observed so as not to lose their trust and confidence, which is vital for us to survive. We thank God for giving us the wisdom and the courage to always be on our toes so that we can continue to give Filipinos safe and high-quality world-class products,” Prudencio “Pruds” Garcia, President of Mekeni Food Corporation, emphasizes.

The world-class quality Mekeni food products are available at all major groceries and supermarkets nationwide. To know more about Mekeni Food Corporation, contact (+63) 45-458-0000 or visit

Sunday, April 7, 2013

There’s Plenty of Fish in the Sea at Sentro 177

Sentro 1771 presents seafood dishes that will surely find a home to your family’s repertoire of top picks whether you’re aiming to be healthy or simply finding comfort from your all-time favorite seafood choices. Guaranteed low in saturated fat, these dishes are not only irresistible, they’re also good for the heart.  
At Sentro 1771, tasty definitely means healthy too especially if you’re having smoked milkfish spring rolls (P270) which could serve as a filling and satisfying appetizer or entree. A festive combination of smoked milkfish, salted egg, mustard greens, onions and tomato that are rolled like spring rolls, it’s served with slightly tangy vinaigrette for some zing. An explosion of color, texture, and balance of flavors, it’s a lip smacking dish minus the guilt. 
Fresh Smoked Fish Spring
Equally-appealing and filled nothing but goodness of the sea, seafood sinigang sa miso (P250) is a classic favorite minus the meat but never lacking with mouthwatering elements such as gindara, milkfish, and shrimps seasoned with miso for more depth and flavor. Good food begets fresh and all-natural ingredients, and that’s the promise of this dish. It’s spirited, chunky, and heartwarming especially that the broth is made from scratch. Plus, it has chockfull of colorful diced veggies from tomatoes, okra, taro corms, daikon, water spinach, and eggpplant stewed in tamarind. And as a charming signature tradition, you get the chance to adjust the level of sourness of the soup by sipping and tasting it before serving. 
Seafood Sinigang Sa Miso
Fried usually gets a bad rap as something calorie-laden, but not Sentro 1771’s Rated GG or galunggong (grilled mackerel scad, P230 and P445). Yes, fried healthy food does exist at Sentro 1771 as this dish is fried in olive oil, filleted and generously sprinkled with toasted bits of garlic. Executive Chef Vicky Rose Pacheco not only takes pride in creating another certified Sentro 1771 original, the lowly fish was a given a rightful and impressive reputation considering galunggong is a rich source of protein and zinc.  
Rated GG
If your family is in for smart eating, count on Sentro 1771 in satisfying you with something healthy and tasty too.  There’s nothing quite anything else like a brown rice that can make a marvelous pair with these amazing, healthy choices, so it’s a good thing that Sentro 1771 has this in the menu.  So whether you’re a healthy eater or seekers of all-natural whole foods, find these Sentro 1771 dishes indulgent, never leaving behind the taste and joy of eating while bringing a new appreciation for something deliciously low-calorie.  
Sentro 1771 in Greenbelt 3 is open from 11am to 11pm (Monday to Sunday) while Serendra is from 7am to 10:00 pm (Sunday to Thursday) / 7am to 11:00pm (Friday to Saturday). For inquiries and reservations, call Sentro Greenbelt 3 (02) 757 3941 or Sentro Serendra (02) 856 0581.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Wine, Dine and Chill at The Wine Bar

Whether alone or hitting the town with your fellow closest gourmands, selecting a bottle of wine to accompany your feast can seem daunting if one feels they lack pairing know-how. Not at The Wine Bar at the 1771 El Pueblo, where the restaurant not only caters to foodies and wine lovers, but also to those who aim to understand the art of wine pairing.

A member of the 1771 Group of Restaurants in El Pueblo Ortigas, The Wine Bar is a gem for those who find comfort in intimate wine and dine experience. Sleek, masculine and inspired from the sophisticated bars of Soho, New York, the venue is built with personalized spaces, comfortable nooks and private rooms that are perfect for intimate get together. With an intriguing Wine Cellar housing over 300 top quality wine choices from all over the world reserved from the enomatic dispenser with theme that varies monthly, take your pick by the glass or decide together with the in-house sommelier Cecille Mauricio. A rare feature of a restaurant outside the hotel, The Wine Bar offers endless wine and food choices coupled with a superior service that anyone can count on.

The charming wine and dine concept of WB 1771 also offers private event spaces which can accommodate up to 120 persons, perfect for intimate social events such as wedding receptions or even JS proms.  For smaller parties that need privacy, The Wine Bar features private areas that can be converted into smaller private room good for 6 to 25 persons. Boasting the same convenience of a hotel function space but in a more relaxed and intimate ambience, explore The Wine Bar function spaces if the goal is to celebrate with ease and elegance. 

oyster Rockefeller
With choicest wine selections, gourmet food on the menu that’s matched with the allure of its architecture, it’s simply a venue to celebrate life’s precious moments. Aside from its chart-topping wines, tasty and filling bites such as oyster Rockefeller (P550net),Grilled Angus Striploin (P1400 net) or the Oyster Rockefeller (P550 net) or the signature Wine Burger Bar(P410 net) can just take off the treat, whether you’re visiting for the wines or food.Selecting a wine that matches with what’s on the plate not only can make for interesting variations and interplay, The Wine Bar‘s ambiance offers a chill out  treat that’s conducive for catching up with people who matters most or simply savoring a recharging moment by yourself in a lavish and charming setting.                                                                                               
Café 1771 is located at 1771 El Pueblo, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. Operating hours from Monday to Friday  is 6 pm to 11pm. For inquiries, call 631-7340/470-6559/0917-8660442. The Wine Bar  is a member of the 1771 Group of Restaurants that include Chateau 1771 in Greenbelt 5, Sentro 1771 in Greenbelt 3, Sentro 1771 in Serendra, Bonifacio Global City,  & Sidebar in El Pueblo Real de Manila, ADB Avenue cor. Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Treat the children and the whole family with a passport to a magical adventure.  This Easter, Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila will not only keep the magic alive – it is a family celebration complete with glorious elements, including food, games and activities meant to fire up the bliss and excitement.

For only PHP 800 net for both children and adults from 11 am to 3 pm, Le Salon is transforming into a magical enchanted garden where everyone can look forward to meeting candy fairies, wizards and dwarves.  Not only are these characters a surprising delight, the afternoon buffet snacks are pouncing with sweet and savoury choices personally hand-picked by Executive Chef Josef Miklavc and his team. Fruit Magic’s refreshing fruit shakes are also available featuring their most popular concoctions.

With careful eyes and a steady hand, activities such as face painting and meringue egg decoration will surely satisfy everyone’s penchant for arts and crafts.  Plus, the line-up of interactive activities, such as balloon twisting, pin the magic wand, magic hat, eggs in a pot and an exhilarating show by a wizard performing feats of magic and illusion, serve as the ultimate icebreaker and bewitching features of the party.

Of course, it would not be an Easter party without egg hunting, so all children get to “eggs‑plore” for many eggs in the Mystery Egg Hunt, with carefully tucked away incredible prizes, including an overnight stay in a guestroom with breakfast buffet for two at the Market Café.

Since no one is meant to leave the party empty handed, prizes and surprises that await include Barbie dolls, Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket, Sqwishland, ShellCore, Faber-Castell Philippines novelties and IFEX notebooks, ABS-CBN publishing’s Working Mom, Spiders, and Cars magazines, plus Worlds of Fun and Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila gift certificates.  For goodies and snacks, Oishi, Chips Delight, Smileys, Egg Bites, Trolli Gummi Candies, Yakult, Selecta Moo chocolate and milk drink, Lucky Me Special, Monde Specials, Nestle Professional, Purefoods Fun Nuggets and Tender Juicy Hotdogs, Magnolia Ice Cream, San Miguel Foods Inc- Great Food Solutions, Clara Ole, Smuckers,  Treetop and Jack N’ Jill Snacks such as Star Pops, Coca-Cola soft drinks, Quake Bars, Star Fruits, Wiggles, Yammy Chocolate Chewy Candy, Cream-O, Magic Creams Junior and Presto bring their most-loved products as a take-home gift.

To kick the Easter party up a notch, families can combine fun and feast by dining at any of the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila restaurants and taking advantage of the special rate of PHP 400 net!

Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila is located at 1588 Pedro Gil cor M.H. Del Pilar St., Malate, Manila.

For more information, please call the Food and Beverage Reservations Centre on +63 2 247 8666 or make a booking online by visiting  Alternatively, email

Nutritional Gap Keeps You from Being at Your Best Every Day

Diabetes, hypertension, obesity – more and more people are getting afflicted with these so-called “lifestyle diseases”. [W71] As a result, their performance at work or at play is impaired. What is causing the increasing number of cases of lifestyle diseases? According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), an unhealthy diet is a key factor in the prevalence of these conditions.

Vitamins and minerals are necessary for proper food metabolism. When we do not get the right amount of vitamins and minerals into our body, we are unable to efficiently turn the proteins and carbohydrates that we eat into energy. This is why even though we eat so much, we still feel weak and get tired quickly.

Vitamins and minerals are also needed to strengthen our immune system. When we have a shortage of important vitamins and minerals in our body, our immune system is less than optimal and we become vulnerable to illness.

This unhealthy diet creates a vicious cycle: when we feel sick or weak or tired, we lose our drive to engage in healthy physical activities such as sports or exercise. Even simple things such as walking or climbing stairs become tiresome. This leads to a sedentary lifestyle, where we feel that changing our diet and physical routine is too great an effort; so it’s not surprising that our health and our quality of life suffer.

Lack of nutrients

For example, the FNRI’s Recommended Nutrient Intake (RENI ) on a daily basis for Vitamin A is 550 micrograms for male adults (ages 19 years to 65 years and above) while 500 micrograms are recommended for female adults (ages 19 years to 65 years and above).  However, the 2008 survey shows that actual average Vitamin A intake among Filipino adults is just 499.6 micrograms, while the elderly only take in 379.9 micrograms daily.

In the case of Vitamin C, the RENI for male adults (19 years to 65+ years old) is 75 milligrams while the RENI for female adults (19 years to 65+ years old) is 70 milligrams. The 2008 survey however shows that on the average, Filipino adults only consume 44.7 milligrams of Vitamin C daily, while the elderly consume 44.5 milligrams daily.

As for calcium, the RENI for  male adults are 750 milligrams for those aged 19 to 64 years old and 800 milligrams for those aged 65 years old and above. The RENI for female adults are 750 grams for those aged 19 years to 49 years old and 800 grams for those aged 50 years old and above.

According to the 2008 FNRI survey, the actual average daily calcium consumption among adults is only 370 milligrams, while the elderly only consume 330 milligrams of calcium every day.

Iron consumption among Filipino adults is also below the RENI. The RENI for iron among  male adults aged 19 years to 65 years old and above is 12 milligrams. The RENI for iron among non-pregnant female adults for those aged 19 years to 64 years old is 27 milligrams, while the RENI for those aged 65 years and above is 10 milligrams of iron.

Actual average iron consumption among Filipino adults however, was found to be only at 9.4 milligrams daily, while the average consumption among the elderly was even lower at 7.5 milligrams a day.

The 2008 FNRI survey also found that 65 percent of Filipinos across population groups are not taking enough calories to meet their daily energy requirement. 

The RENI pegs the energy requirements for Filipino male adults as follows: 19 to 29 years old, 2490 kilocalories (kcal); 30 to 49 years old, 2420 kcal; 50 to 64 years old, 2170 kcal; and 65 years old and above at 1890 kcal.

For female adults the energy requirements are: 19 to 29 years old, 1860 kcal; 30 to 49 years old, 1810 kcal; 50 to 64 years old, 1820 kcal; and 65 years old and above at 1410 kcal.

On the average however, Filipino adults only consume 1915 kcal daily while the elderly consume even less, with only 1436 kcal daily.  According to FNRI’s computation, these figures mean that 65 percent of Filipinos are not getting enough energy for their everyday activities.

Supplement for peak performance
So how do we change to a healthy lifestyle and be at our best? Obviously, we need to commit ourselves first to a healthy diet. The FNRI website (  provides an illustrated, dietary guide called the Filipino Food Pyramid to help us make the right food choices for optimum health and nutrition.

Besides switching to a healthy diet, Filipinos also need to take health supplements to fill in the nutrition gaps on days when, for one reason or another, one’s food choices are less than ideal.

There are encouraging signs that more and more Filipinos are becoming educated about the value of nutritional supplements and they are taking more of these. FNRI surveys show in 2003, only 22.9% of Filipinos said they took health supplements.  In 2008, that figure had risen to 46.8%[BOA3] . [o4] 

The top two reasons these people gave for taking supplements were (1) health and (2) extra energy[BOA5] [o6] . Other reasons were “doctor-recommended,” “perform better in school/work,” and “not getting enough vitamins from the diet.”

To get the maximum benefits from a vitamins and minerals supplement, make sure to choose one that has complete nutritional content.  Centrum is complete and specially balanced with 30 vitamins and minerals our body needs, from vitamins A to Zinc. Taking Centrum can help complete your nutritional needs everyday. For adults 50 years old and up, on the other hand, Centrum Silver’s age-adjusted formula is perfect for the changing needs in one’s golden years.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Famous for its superior quality and fresh flavor, The Fireplace introduces Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon with an exquisitely crafted menu by Chef Noel showcasing its fine texture and taste.

Native of the pristine unpolluted waters of Tasmania, this famed Atlantic Salmon makes up only around 1.5% of the world’s salmon production. Enriched with omega-3 and proteins, discover the richness of this Atlantic salmon variety with selections like Roasted Herbs Crusted Salmon with Creamy Spinach , Peppered Salmon Steak with Cognac Pepper Cream Sauce and more.

The perfect sweet conclusion is the luscious Hot Chocolate Soup. A signature dessert at the Fireplace, this rich, velvety and creamy dark chocolate is topped with a scoop of cracked pepper vanilla ice-cream, a unique chocolate creation that has a reputation of its own. 

About The Fireplace
The Fireplace is an upscale grill room offering perfectly cooked prime meats and seafood.   A perfect spot for wining and dining, the restaurant charms guests with its elegant brass interiors and open kitchen concept.  In full view is a large wood-fired oven where chefs prepare their culinary masterpieces.  A wine library with a vast collection of European and New World wines is another attraction.  With its relaxing atmosphere and excellent cuisine, The Fireplace provides a dining experience like no other.  For enquiries, please call +63 2 247 8666 or email

About Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila
Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila is a five-star hotel surrounded by Manila’s culturally-rich and well-preserved historical points of interest. This 33-storey mixed-use complex offers 376 elegantly designed guestrooms and accommodates the largest number of suites in the bay area, including 58 specialty suites and four presidential suites. The hotel features three innovative and authentic restaurants, a pastry shop, an entertainment outlet, four floors of Regency Club accommodation, as well as the most stylish and advanced event spaces in town. Fully-equipped recreational and premier gaming facilities are also on the premises.  The hotel is only a few minutes from the international airport, convention centre, top tourist attractions and the city’s business district. For more information, call +63 2 245 1234 or visit  LIKE us on Facebook -