Last night, I was able to attend the launch of Levanté, another place for foodies from the Mercato Centrale Group. I was honestly not feeling my best yesterday morning, but I made sure I took my meds and some extra shut-eye in the afternoon so that I wouldn’t miss the launch!
Levanté is the first collaboration of the Mercato Centrale Group with the Megaworld Lifestyle Malls. This food market targets the residents within the area and the call center agents and other yuppies working inside Eastwood City. I bumped into some of my previous colleagues at the event since I used to work for one of the companies located there; I’m glad to say that they were enjoying themselves too.
A packed meal courtesy of Sinangag Trip was also provided. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to eat mine immediately so I had to take it home after the event. I decided to have it for breakfast this morning and it was really yummy comfort food. I was off to a great start!
We had the privilege of meeting and speaking with Mr. Marc Castro, the brains behind B. Wings. He was really nice to everyone. He took the time to introduce their products to us and what sets them apart from the other fried chicken wings places. He mentioned that he wanted to stay away from the usual soy-garlic-honey flavors. Apart from chicken wings, they also serve fish & chips and bagnet.
Their products have interesting names, from their basic P-Noy to the spiciest of all, called the Barack O’ Pakpak. The photo above shows the P-Noy, the one we were able to sample first. It had that slightly tangy taste (due to the use of Kaffir lime leaves) which then develops into the salty ones. Mr. Castro told us that that the Kaffir lime leaves cleanse the palate, thus allowing a better appreciation of the other flavors.
When the owner mentioned that they had a chocolate coated chicken wing variant, I was more than intrigued. (In my vocabulary, chocolate is synonymous to love. :p) There were no Black Mamba samples readily available, but Mr. Castro was nice enough to drizzle a bit of the sauce onto the piece of chicken wing that I was already enjoying. He made sure to warn us that the sauce could be pretty spicy before doing so. I have to say…It was really nice! I loved how you could taste the chocolate first, and that you won’t feel the heat until the very end. I didn’t have any trouble with the level of spiciness, but I’m not so sure how other people would take it. Definitely two thumbs up for me!
Another brand whose owners we were able to have a brief chit chat with was Twisted Desserts. Owners Trixie Young and Anna Dio allowed us to sample their carrot cake and Belgian chocolate brownies. The latter tasted awesome!
Cheat Day took home the most creative product name for that night, in my opinion. This is from the same person behind Big Bob’s Charcoal Grilled Burgers, Mr. Ean Cuenco.
Unlike Mezza Norte in Trinoma, Levanté is only open on Fridays, from 6p.m. until 3a.m. You’re free to choose among the 30 carefully selected vendors participating at the weekly event in order to satiate your cravings. Seating space is quite limited, though, so you might either have to go early if you want to get seats, or just order takeaway.
**A big THANK YOU to the Mercato Centrale Group and everyone from the Levanté PR Team (under STRATOS, Inc.) for inviting us to the launch!
Are you guys going to be around the Eastwood area this coming Friday? I hope to see you there since it’s going to be the launch of Levanté!
Ever since my family re-opened our food business, eating late lunches have become the norm for us. We usually bring stuff from the store to eat at home, but once in a while, we decide on eating out to try something different. Last Wednesday, my Dad wanted us to drop by Chelsea Market and Café in The Podium so that we could give their food a shot. Mom was a bit hesitant to go at first, but Dad managed to convince her eventually.
Thankfully, I didn’t forget to bring my Nikon with me, so I was able to take better looking photos for this post.
Dad heard that Chelsea Market’s Roasted Garlic Portobello Mushroom Confit (Php395.00) was good, so we had to order it to see for ourselves. The salad greens were really crisp, and the mushroom? It was super nice! Dad liked it so much that he ate a good chunk of it before Mom and I got a taste. :p
Mom chose the Grilled Chicken Apple Caesar (Php395.00) for her main dish. The sandwich came with fries and a side salad. She said that this tasted pretty good and she especially liked how soft the bread was. She did mention that she wished the serving size was bigger, considering the dish’s price tag.
Dad has a thing for carbonara, so it was no big surprise when he chose Chelsea Market’s Classic Creamy Fettuccine Carbonara (Php450.00) as part of our meal. We shared this dish between the two of us. Dad liked how light the cream was; It was definitely a winner for him.
He also wanted me to get the Slow-Cooked Herbed Norwegian Salmon (Php495.00) so that we can share it between us as well. We’re both very glad that the salmon was nicely cooked. It was served on a bed of delicious mashed potatoes and topped with salsa verde. The pine nuts and asparagus also added a nice touch to the dish.
While we were perusing the menu, I noticed that Chelsea Market and Cafe offered a sugar-free version of Tiramisu (Php280.00). I checked with our server and he confirmed that the said dessert was suitable for diabetics. We ordered a serving so that Dad could end the meal with a dessert that was okay for him. All three of us found the pastry to be very nice, and Dad was amused with the little coffee beans on top of the tiramisu.
The place is definitely not for everyday dining as the prices are a little steep and their serving sizes aren’t exactly that big, but we think that the food quality and presentation do somehow make up for it. The entire experience was a very positive one. We liked all the items we ordered and appreciated how subtle all the flavors were. All of them blended well together, creating a true gastronomic delight.
***We dined at The Podium branch in Ortigas, but Chelsea Market and Cafe can also be found at the Ground Floor of Serendra Piazza in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.
A couple of weeks ago, The Boyfriend and I needed to head out to buy some things from the mall. We decided to have lunch somewhere near my place since we were already feeling hungry. I specifically didn’t want to eat in a place serving Chinese cuisine because I wanted to take a break from that type of food. We went around the Banawe area and remembered that we’ve been talking about Capreal Cafe and Restaurant several times before, but always failed to make a visit.
Since it was already after the usual lunch hour, the restaurant was empty except for one family seated by the entrance. The place looked very simple and the servers were nice. Sadly, we were informed that one of their air-conditioning units was scheduled for repairs that day, so the temperature inside was a little warmer than expected.
Seeing that they offered French Onion Soup, I decided to give in and try their version. Unfortunately for me, this wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. Both the presentation and the taste was bland. I’d like to think that this restaurant can do so much better than this.
The Boyfriend ordered a serving of Glazed Pork Spareribs. He liked this one very much, stating that he appreciated how tender the meat was. He also thought that the sweetness of the ribs was just right and that it complemented the rice very well.
I went with a pasta dish and ordered a serving of Gambasetti, which is supposed to be one of their best sellers. I found it to be pretty nice, actually. The noodles were a tad overcooked, but the flavors were good enough. I think I might try concocting my own version at home once I get enough free time to start cooking again.
We were thinking of ordering dessert afterwards, but decided against it. We needed to be on our way and the cakes had to wait until next time. Overall, it was an okay experience. Their serving proportions were just right and they were not that expensive (which is always a good thing). I have to be honest and say that we didn’t find their food to be spectacular, but they were good enough to fill us up. The place is still worth another visit.
**Capreal Cafe and Restaurant is located at 87 Maria Clara Street, Quezon City.
I’ve been to the Mercato Centrale and Midnight Mercato several times before, and although they’re nice places to visit, I seldom find myself there since they’re so far from home. You can just imagine how excited I was when I learned that they opened Mezza Norte within the Trinoma area! There’s now no need for me to travel more than 30 minutes in order to reach one of the food and lifestyle night markets in Manila!
I arrived at the opening of Mezza Norte a little before 6 P.M. and was able to take a look at most of the stalls prior to the opening ceremony. There were a lot of vendors that night and I had trouble deciding where to start. The place was clearly packed, but it still looked like everyone was enjoying themselves despite the atrocious Manila heat.
I, along with some of the other bloggers invited to the event, had the opportunity to speak with some of the entrepreneurs behind certain brands. One of them was Kelvin Ngo, owner of one of my favorite independent ice cream brands: Merry Moo. I was first able to try their Earl Grey Tea ice cream when I visited the Legaspi Sunday Market in Makati and immediately fell in love with the flavor.
Kelvin was nice enough to let us sample a flavor of our choice from his selection at Mezza Norte. Being the coffee person that I am, I didn’t let the chance to try their Coffee Kahlua slip by. Let me just say that it was awesome! I really loved it; by far my favorite from this brand.
It’s a shame that I didn’t get to try the charcoal burgers from Big Bob’s because I don’t eat beef. Believe me, it was one of those moments when I wished I still did. The burgers looked really delish!
Luckily, I didn’t have any dietary restrictions when it comes to desserts! I was able to try the Potato Chip-Chocolate from Mochiko. I’ve tried other ice cream mochi balls before, but this has got to be my No. 1 flavor as of now. Sweet, salty, crunchy – it was really neat! I think my brother will like this one as well.
There were still loads of other interesting stalls found at Mezza Norte. Here’s a glimpse of some of the ones which caught my eye:
I first learned about The Cheesesteak Shop from my brother and wasn’t surprised to find them at the event. The Boyfriend was able to sample their Philly Cheesesteak and thought that it was pretty good. I’m looking forward to trying their Chicken Classic Philly Cheese Steak next time I spot their mobile van again (or I could always just drop by one of their branches in Makati or Bonifacio Global City).
Chicken Chop is owned by Jessicca Wong and her friends. What initially caught my attention were the girls’ matching Simpsons tops, which I found cute. I was able to speak with them and learned that they were all Graceans too. Their stall sold different varieties of fried chicken chops.
I was still with my parents when we spotted Schmidt’s Gourmet Hotdogs. My Mom was clearly thrilled about it and so we decided we’d get The Julius for her to enjoy (photo above).
Little Donkey is said to be one of the newest teams to join the night market scene. They serve chicken burritos, tacos, chips and salads. We were able to try their chips with jalapeños and it was pretty good! The photo above shows one of their other products: the Fried Burrito.
There were still loads of other vendors selling yummy stuff at the Mezza Norte and it’s highly recommended that you check it out. The night market is held every weekend (Fridays to Sundays) from 4 P.M. until 3 A.M., so there’s really no excuse for you not to drop by if you’re within the area. I hope that a lot of the QC residents could visit the place and discover something new and something that they really, really like.
**Visit the official Mezza Norte Facebook page here.