Have at you!

Archive for April 2014

Hi everyone!

For those of you who have reading my entries for some time may notice that it’s been several years since I started blogging. Last year, many opportunities came to me through this blog. I decided I’m going to be a lot more active in sharing the things I do. In line with that, I decided to get my own domain and, thus, will be posting my most recent stuff there.

If you’re interested in keeping up with me, please update your bookmarks and follow me at http://www.haveatyou.com. There might be some technical glitches here and there while I’m ironing things out, but I hope you’d still drop by when you have the time. It took me awhile to make the switch and I’m hoping you guys are willing to follow me there. See you at the new site! 🙂

~ Jam (a.k.a. moxy)

These past few weeks, my parents and I have become regular patrons of UCC Vienna Café along Banawe. I admit that it’s not exactly the most affordable place to dine at, but sometimes when we’re in need of some peace and quiet, it’s one of the places to be. This post will show you some of the items we’ve enjoyed…at least the ones I managed to take a photos of. :p

UCC_clubhouse sandwich photo clubhousesandwich_zpsddf618fe.jpgThe Clubhouse Sandwich: one of the most popular types of sandwiches around. I normally don’t order this type of sandwich when eating out, but decided to do so when I last visited UCC. This was worth its price tag of Php200+ because it was huge and was generously filled with bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, chicken, egg mayo spread, etc. I didn’t manage to finish the entire thing and took half of the serving home for breakfast the next day.

UCC_kani shrimp sandwich photo kanishrimpsandwich_zps399f12e7.jpgDad’s favorite sandwich from this place: the Kani and Shrimp Sandwich. Toast bread filled with kani (crab sticks), shrimp and alfalfa sprouts.

UCC_katsudon photo katsudon_zpsd2434148.jpgOnce during a visit, Mom was feeling very hungry and wanted to eat something with rice. UCC Vienna Café in Banawe offer rice bowls, one of which was this Chicken Katsudon. It was served piping hot and managed to satisfy Mom’s hunger.

UCC_salmon spinach pasta photo salmonspinachpasta_zps8e610203.jpgOne other time, Dad decided to order a pasta dish. He got the Salmon and Spinach Pasta in cream sauce. You’re usually given a choice of having your pasta cream or tomato based. I’m a bigger fan of the tomato based ones; Dad always goes for the cream based ones.  I remember him enjoying this a lot, telling us that the flavors were all very mellow but still very delicious. Glad it passed Dad’s standards!

UCC_fried chicken spaghetti photo friedchickenspaghetti_zps628a8f41.jpgAnother type of pasta dish which appealed to us was UCC’s Fried Chicken Spaghetti in tomato sauce. I remember really liking this one, since I found the tanginess of the tomato sauce marry nicely with the salty bacon. The chicken chunks on top were also served VERY hot, which is a big plus, especially when one’s starving.

UCC_halo halo photo halohalo_zpse0ae1d7c.jpgIt’s summer here in Manila and the heat has been pretty nasty. Mom saw her favorite dessert on the menu and ordered it without hesitation. UCC Vienna Cafe’s Halo Halo was pretty to look at. Generous scoops of mango and ube (purple yam) ice cream, leche flan, macapuno and more purple yam sitting on top crushed ice with milk and a layer of kaong (sugar palm) at the bottom. It satisfied Mom’s desire for something sweet.

UCC_red velvet photo redvelvet_zpsba00560d.jpgMore often that not, I enjoy having my cup of joe with a slice of cake. I’m a big cake fan and would rarely say no to a slice of it. During one of my visits to UCC, I decided to sample their Red Velvet cake. My parents and I thought that the presentation was really good, even if wasn’t the most elaborate of all. What we liked most about the cake was that it was moist and very dense. It was also not too sweet. A slightly sour raspberry syrup, if I’m not mistaken, was also put on the side to add a nice touch. We managed to eat the entire slice in just a few minutes, leaving the plate spotless.

UCC_splenda tiramisu photo splendatiramisu_zps96f3b676.jpgIt’s very rare to find a cake made from Splenda here in Manila. When we saw that UCC had a tiramisu cake made from it, Dad was really happy! We order him a slice of it whenever we’re there so that he could enjoy the post-meal sweets with Mom and I. He likes this as much as the Guiltless Chocolate Desire from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

UCC_caramel macchiato photo caramelmacchiato_zps2559f41b.jpgI love ending my meals in UCC with a hot cup of coffee. In the photo above is their hot caramel macchiato, which I found to be way better than the one from a more famous chain of coffee stores. When I don’t feel like having the caramel macchiato, I like enjoying the simple café latté or UCC House Blend.

 

**UCC has a lot of different branch with different names. If you’re within the Banawe area, try dropping by UCC Vienna Café which is located at 690 Banawe Street, Bgy Sienna, Quezon City. They also have free wifi for those who always want to stay connected.

When things are hectic at the store and the parents and I no longer have the time and energy to cook our own meals, we head to the nearby Banawe area in search of food. Apart from having numerous car repair stores, Banawe is known for being the place where restaurants (mostly serving Chinese food) are found left and right. We’ve visited a lot of these places over the years, but only return to a handful of those which offer quick hot meals to satiate our grumbling tummies. KimPo Tea House 鑫寶茶樓 is one of those places.

KIMPO_Mulberry Juice photo MulberryJuice_zpsc5699e71.jpgKimPo has a pretty long list of drinks and food which you could select from. I normally settle for hot tea when eating at this restaurant, but there was one time when my curiosity got the best of me and I ordered a bottle of Mulberry Juice (Php65.00).  It’s supposed to have a lot of health benefits, including treating skin problems, enhancing one’s immune system, controlling cholesterol and blood sugar levels, preventing the common cold, etc. It was a mix of tartness and sweetness, which resulted to my Mom enjoying it more than I did.

KIMPO_soya milk photo SoyaMilk_zpscf640e6f.jpgOne other time, I decided to order a bottle of soya milk. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can drink soya milk anytime of the day. It doesn’t necessarily have to be for breakfast. This brand was pretty good, but it already has sugar mixed in it. Those who prefer to have them sugar-free would have to pass.

KIMPO_halo noodle soup photo HaloNoodleSoup_zps63be5d82.jpgDad enjoys eating noodles and whenever he’s feeling hungry, a good bowl of hot noodle soup is usually the answer. His favorite at KimPo? The Halo Halo Noodle Soup (Php147.00). Before I go on, just a tidbit for my non-Filipino readers: “halo halo” is the Tagalog term which means “mixed”.  This dish has several braised beef brisket slices, pork wantons, vegetables and chicken chunks on top of springy noodles. Dad enjoys everything about this, except the beef brisket since it’s a little on the sweet side. Those usually end up getting eaten by Mom.

KIMPO_noodles photo Noodles_zps1cec570f.jpgHere’s a photo of the noodles, which Dad and Mom have only positive words for. If I remember correctly, KimPo didn’t use the same type of noodles before so it was a good thing they switched to this.

KIMPO_pata tim photo PataRice_zps382a9863.jpgKimPo, like most Chinese places here in Manila, offer a wide array of rice toppings. One of my Mom’s go-to items is their Pata Rice. To be honest, we all agreed that ordering this is a hit or miss since there were times when the meat had a very slight foul odor, which affected its taste. The usual explanation I hear about this is the meat probably came from a male pig / boar. I don’t think everyone notices that faint smell, but for those who are sensitive to it (like my Mom), it can be pretty disturbing. To be fair, this doesn’t exclusively happen when dining in KimPo. You may experience the same when eating at other places as long as you’re eating pork.

KIMPO_spareribs rice photo SpareribsRice_zps3900d852.jpgAnother type of popular rice topping is the Spareribs Rice (Php125.00). I know a lot of people which love eating pork steamed with black beans or tausi. I, for one, am a big fan of this and try to order this whenever it’s on the menu. These chunks of pork spareribs are steamed with black beans until they’re very tender. The sauce gets absorbed by the rice once they’re placed on top, resulting to the delightful meal we enjoy. I personally prefer the spareribs rice from another tea house, but my Mom doesn’t seem to notice any differences.

KIMPO_white chicken rice photo WhiteChickenRice_zpse4262f29.jpgOne of my favorite things to order is their White Chicken Rice (Php120.00). It’s a quarter of a chicken, steamed and topped with ginger sauce. It’s not something extraordinary since it’s one of the things we usually serve in our own store, but for a quick fix, this version from KimPo isn’t half bad. I usually end up sharing the chicken with Dad, so it’s really worth its price.

KIMPO_KP Chicken photo KPFriedChicken_zps10df6ec2.jpgIf you don’t feel like ordering any of the rice toppings, there are many other stuff you could order à la carte. One time, I was so tired I wanted us to get home quickly and get some sleep. My parents don’t approve of skipping meals, so I had to order something. I ordered the half serving of their KP Chicken to share with the parents. This was supposed to be their signature fried chicken, which was served with shrimp crackers and banana ketchup. We found parts of the chicken meat too dry from being in the fryer too long. The shrimp crackers were, thankfully, good.

 photo YangChowFriedRice_zpsf204e2fe.jpgIf you’re craving for some carbs, we recommend ordering KimPo’s Yang Chow Fried Rice (Php100.00). A serving of this is good for approximately three persons. We’ve ordered this several times and, most of the time, it turned out to be nicely cooked. Dad can eat this without having anything else with it.

For us, KimPo is really a reliable place for a quick and satisfying meal. In addition, most of the servers here already know my parents and I since we visit this place regularly. I don’t think we have encountered any service issues here. One thing to take note of: they don’t have a very big space, although they still manage to seat a lot of people. Sadly, they don’t have a private function room so if you get seated next to a huge group who’s celebrating an occasion, it can get really noisy.

**If you want to try them out, you can visit Kimpo Tea House at 706 Banawe Street, Barangay Sienna, Quezon City.


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