CPK brings back the old stuff

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CPK20130707

The Santa Fe Pizza with sour cream, guacamole and chunky tomatoes

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) takes its customers back to the time it first opened its doors in the Philippines some 16 years ago, with the return of its famed original selection of pizzas such as Goat Cheese, Peking Duck, Tostada Chicken, and Santa Fe Pizza.

Inspired by different cuisines all over the world, pizza enthusiasts will have a chance to feast on these pizzas once again, as CPK Philippines launches its “Vintage Pizza” collection.

While these vintage pizzas return with all their original ingredients, it also receives a California twist as CPK now uses its new hand-tossed pizza dough, which is said to be different and better tasting as compared to machine-pressed pizza dough.

“We’re using a new hand-stretched pizza that makes the crust light but crispy. Hand-stretched pizza dough also helps accentuate the ingredients more,” said Archie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Global Restaurant Concepts Inc., the local partner of CPK.


The meat-less Goat Cheese Pizza is ideal for vegetarians and health-conscious individuals. Topped with mozzarella cheese, onion, grilled eggplant and red and yellow peppers with tomato sauce, this particular selection is light yet filling. The goat cheese gave the pizza a Mediterranean theme and gave more flavors to the vegetable toppings.

The Peking Duck pizza has a more oriental theme. Although the duck was good, the hoisin sauce makes the pizza a little too salty to the taste.

The Tostada Chicken Pizza was more Mexican-inspired and included Southwestern black beans, Monterey Jack, Queso Quesadilla and grilled chicken breast topped with tomatoes, ranch dressing and tortilla chips.

Another Tex-Mex inspired is the Santa Fe Pizza, which is kind of exciting since it has the three-cold toppings: sour cream, guacamole and chunky tomatoes. Its taste was similar to the Tostada Chicken, minus the black bean taste

A new addition to the Vintage collection is the Teriyaki Chicken Pizza. It is made of teriyaki chicken strips, teriyaki ginger sauce and your usual pizza toppings.

With all these only available in one standard, single-serve size with eight slices, these “vintage” pizzas are meant for food fans who are tired of the regular pizza flavors and bistros overcrowding the market. SHEILA MAÑALAC

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Mister-Donut20130707

Japan’s signature pon de ring donuts

Mister Donut brings in café concept from Japan
We are all in search of that “happy place,” our own personal spot where we can just sit quietly, sip a cup of coffee, read a few pages and just take a break from all the frenzy in the world.

For over 31 years, the original Mister Donut branch at the Greenhills Shopping Center has provided that welcome respite for young guests who engage in late night study sessions or barkada meet-ups or those who wake up for an early morning jog, each one with a favorite donut and a memorable story to tell.

Capitalizing on the current donut craze, Mister Donut has decided to take it to the next level by transforming the look of its flagship store and introduce the famed café concept of Mister Donut shops in Japan.

“Unlike here in the Philippines where our kiosks are more visible, Mister Donuts is one of the most popular dining places in Japan and we want bring that café concept here,” said Archer Urbano, Mister Donuts Philippines product specialist. “We want to emulate the warmth, fun and innovation of Mister Donut in Japan and give that experience to the Filipino market.”

The new Mister Donut café has been redesigned to give it a modern look that is “warm, inviting and relaxing.” Brightly colored posters adorn the glass walls of the outlet with the brand’s presence in different countries highlighted in the corridor leading to the rest room area.

The result is a cozier, casual dining place that serves more than just coffee and donuts. The 24-hour branch offers an All-Day Breakfast menu (Beef Tapa, Chicken Tocino and Gourmet Tuyo Flakes), classic pasta dishes (Spaghetti and Baked Tomato Penne) and the must-try wagyu beef burger placed between a glazed donut. They also have Chunky Chicken and Ham and Bacon croissants and for drinks they have Strawberrry, Blueberry and Swiss Choco milkshakes.

“We believe it’s time for us to offer our customers something new, and let them know that we are not only an international brand but a fun brand to begin with,” said Mister Donut Philippines assistant brand manager Schubert Quilinquin.

To complete its Japanese transformation, Mister Donut has also brought in its signature Pon de Ring donuts, its best-selling product in Asia.

Freshly made every day, the Pon de Ring donuts have that distinct chewy texture and are shaped like eight small balls forming a ring. Aside from the classic glazed and sugar-raised variants, it also comes in almonds, rocky road, sans rival, pistachio, peanut butter, honey sunflower, cookies and cream and all chocolate flavors.

“Pon de Ring means endearing in Japanese, and we hope that this new line would get us even closer to our loyal customers,” noted Urbano.

Initially available only at their Greenhills Branch, Urbano says the Pon de Ring will soon be available at SM Megamall and Trinoma as soon as the branches complete their café makeover.

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Dim-Sum20130707

Yum Cha partners

Dim sum for breakfast
Dim sum lovers rejoice. Xin Tian Di is all set to serve Yum Cha—eat-all-you-can dim sum for breakfast every Sunday beginning July 14. Diners can choose from 36 varieties of freshly cooked dim sum upon including other items such as rice, congee, noodle, dessert and house tea.

There were also be new additions introduced in the Yum Cha menu such as Pan Fried Beef Chili Dumpling, Fried Bihon, Fried Yellow Noodle, Hot Almond and Red Bean Cream.

The word Yum Cha means to drink tea. It is the traditional Cantonese practice where family and friends come together to eat dim sum while drinking copious amounts of tea.

For inquires call 633-7222 or e-mail fandb.reservations@ihg.com.

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Miso-Ten20130707

Miso-Ten’s perfect, golden tempura

The pleasures of ramen and tempura
Miso-Ten, the newest Japanese restaurant, brings to Manila, the soulful pleasure of a big, steamy bowl of ramen paired with perfect, golden tempura.

The name “Miso-Ten” is from the delicious coming together of its house specialties: miso ramen and tendon (tempura over rice). These two classic Japanese dishes are turned into a variety of delicious ways, each made with quality ingredients, and carefully prepared with the utmost respect for tradition.

The essence of Miso-Ten ramen is the dedication that goes into making a perfect bowl of noodle soup, whether one of its house offerings or something crafted on your own, with its customizable order form. All these begin with the high standards in choosing the right ingredients, the careful technique of making fresh noodles, and the many hours of delicately simmering the broth.

While for the tempura, the core is the intuition that guides its process—from choosing the freshest seafood, the light-handed way of preparing and cooking to produce the most ethereal crisp, even to formulating Miso-Ten’s distinct house tempura sauce.

Must-try are the Miso-Ten original and Miso-Ten spicy, made with its signature miso broth, topped with the tenderest pork, choice vegetables and organic egg. The Tan-Tan Mien is another favorite, topped with ground pork, fresh veggies, organic egg and miso soup.

Miso-Ten has branches in Robinsons Ermita Robinsons Magnolia. For more information, log on to www.facebook.com/MisoTenPh or Twitter @MisoTenPH.

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McSpicy20130707

Each mouthwatering bite comes with a kick

Spiced-up sandwich
The freshest and most exciting addition to McDonald’s well-loved menu, is finally here—McSpicy.

McSpicy is sure to be a hit among Filipinos with its blend of flavors that’s just right for the Pinoy taste. Take your satisfaction a notch higher with juicy whole chicken meat, seasoned with just the right amount of choice spices, topped with fresh crunchy lettuce and flavorful dressing, all in a perfectly toasted sesame seed bun.

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