The Choice Awards 2016: Manila's Voice for Best Restaurants and Food

Life has been an adventurous blur the past few months, having had just two weeks to pack up and leave my whole life in Cebu for a whole new journey ahead of me in Manila.

So, it’s been more than two months since I started living here and I’ve slowly settled in. Although I’m homesick already, there are several things I’m glad about being here. First of all, continuing education for my profession is now more accessible since most of the seminars and conventions happen here. So, I get to save on airfare since I’m here now! On the other hand, Manila is a top food destination in the country, with new restaurants popping up seemingly every day.

With all the restaurants around though, how do we know which ones to put on top of our list?

Well, who better to ask than only the best food bloggers in the country? What are food bloggers for, right? But, the food bloggers are no snobs. They are also curious about the crowd favorites. And thus, The Choice Awards was born!

The top food blogger of the Philippines, Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet, along with the World Food Expo (WOFEX) and the blogger collective known as The KTG (Kain Tulog Gang) have joined forces to so aptly create this one and only people’s choice awards for their favorite food, restaurants, bars and more—or simply, The Choice.

Last year was such a success that it is now on its second year! To see the previous winners, click on the link below:

Wanna know who the winners will be this year? That is up to YOU! What are you waiting for? Vote now! Click on the link below for the survey:

The Choice 2016 Voting is open for 2 weeks starting from August 15 and ends on August 31, 2016 12 midnight

The Choice Restaurant Awarding will happen on September 17, Saturday during the Ultimate Taste Test 2016!

About the Choice Awards

We conducted an intense first round of voting among ourselves, and our resulting finalists have made us very pleased:  we feel it's a very diverse and fair representation of all our Metro Manila favorites. The categories are very broad, as they should be in a democratic vote
However, we'd like to emphasize that this is NOT a "Best of..." list. Our good friends and respected colleagues from The MBKRS are doing an excellent job of recognizing the restaurants and restaurateurs in their prestigious bi-annual awards.

The MBKRS are rightly regarded as the Oscars of our ever-growing foodie community. So we'd like "The Choice" to be the Golden Globes—a bit more irreverent, surely less formal, and yes, it ought to be greatly biased. After all, YOU will be voting for your favorites, this is YOUR CHOICE!!!

The Survey Parameters
  1. For the Favorite New Restaurant category, our coverage period includes restaurants that opened between June 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016.

  2. There are 50 questions in this survey and answering this survey should take around 5-10 minutes. It is best to give a definitive answer on each question and feel free to skip if you can't decide.
  3. All answers are treated confidential and final once you click on the submit button. One survey response for one person only.

  4. Please give us your name and email address for our random validation of the survey responses.

  5. For the Favorite Out-of-Town Destination category, we now changed it to have a more detailed Favorite Restaurant Category for each foodie destination. 

About The KTG
The KTG is a group of friends who all just happen to be some of the top food and lifestyle bloggers in the Philippines; every one of their individual blogs ranks among the highest ranking and most influential online publications dedicated to foodentertainment, and travel.

The KTG is composed of some of the more senior food bloggers in the country, including Richie Zamora of "The Pickiest Eater in the World', Spanky Enriquez of "Manila Boy", Jill Bantang of "The Food Scout", and representing the younger generation are "The Hungry Kat", "Food in the Bag", and "Nines vs. Food". And from the world of showbiz, Mr. Chuckie Dreyfus, a dedicated foodie who's also a respected tech blogger.

I am more than privileged to be part of this gang that is really more like a family. They are one of the reasons why I’m grateful to be here. I have a foodie family to unwind with, explore new eats and enjoy good food together with!

The KTG's objectives are not limited to discovering the best restaurants, however. While it's affectionately called the "Kain Tulog Gang", it's officially participated in relief efforts in Tacloban and Iloilo after Yolanda; and in Metro Manila, this "Kapatiran sa Tulong at Ginhawa" is on a constant mission to contribute in providing joy and comfort to the less fortunate.

The KTG Blogs:

our fantastic foodie friends from: 
and Philippine Star's "Let's Eat" monthly magazine and television show.

Special thanks to our partners from the World Food Expo


Ooh La Lash! Now Open at Glorietta 3

Perfectly groomed brows and long, lush lashes can change your life. But you already knew that. The question now is—do you know where you can go to get the safest and most natural-looking extensions?

Ooh La Lash!’s studio offers exceptional service catered to each individual, run by a team of highly qualified aestheticians, providing eyelash and brow grooming services in a stylishly comfortable environment.

A team of experts trained to give the latest techniques in eyelash application are at your service to ensure durable and natural looking results. Services are delivered with attention to quality and detail, using only FDA-approved materials—the first lash studio in the country to provide this level of quality assurance.  

Ooh La Lash! Delivers the real premier experience by providing the right eyelash solutions using only safe and globally accepted materials performed by the true expert Lash Technicians.

They offer the following services...

 Recommended every two weeks to maintain the soft, lush volume of your lashes.

 Do not attempt to do this at home. Lash extensions have to be carefully removed to protect your natural lashes.

 Recommended every 3 weeks to spruce up your peepers and maintain the natural volume of your lashes.

 Already blessed with long-lashes? Open up your eyes by giving your lashes a boost with our gentle perming service.

 Brows can make or break your look—we use only gentle, organic materials from the US, paired with VCO and cornstarch.

 Accentuate your features by making sure that your lashes and brows match perfectly. 

 An appointment with full consultation with our expert aestheticians to create a look that best suits your look, lifestyle and face shape.

 Using an exclusive technique conducted by our team of experts, we create a natural but completely polished look that’s subtly glamorous.

 A meticulous process that provides thicker, fuller lashes that was made to completely complement your face and create understated elegance.

 Look effortlessly beautiful and put-together by availing of this exceptional package that combines a simple, eye-opening perming, brow shaping and lash tinting service.

Visit them at:
3rd Floor Glorietta 3
Makati, Metro Manila 

Unimart Greenhills

Facebook: Ooh La Lash PH
Instagram: @oohlalashph 

*press release


Ippudo's Hakata-Style Nikusoba Ramen

Ramen has been taking over the food scene both in Manila and Cebu since 2014 and it hasn’t seemed to slow down at all. More ramen restaurants keep popping up and people are learning that this isn’t your ordinary noodle soup. 

We know that Japanese cuisine is among the superior cuisines in Asia and that’s because they take their food very seriously. Every dish is an art—ramen being no less, such that ramen chefs have their own distinct titles. They have made ramen a spectacle to behold, a dish worth anticipating. Every step of the preparation and service is done with utmost accuracy, every detail given full attention. 

Honestly, I initially had a premature disinterest in ramen because I thought the broth was too complex and rich. And, my first taste of ramen in one of the first ramen houses in Cebu did not help at all because that supposed highly recommended ramen house had just changed management then so the quality wasn’t the same. But, of course, I’ve tasted better ramen since and found myself onboard the ramen rave bandwagon—none other than ramen itself turned me into a convert. I like to call myself a… ramen ranger! Whenever I head to a ramen house, I can’t help chanting, “Go, go, ramen rangers!” Lol. Sorry for the millenials who can’t relate.

Anyway, so now I’m based in Manila (I just moved here two weeks ago) and this ramen ranger has yet to explore the best ramen around. Fortunately, I was invited by Ippudo—a ramen restaurant under the Standard Hospitality Group, the same company that introduced the epic Yabu House of Katsu (just my only favorite breaded porkchop, ever!)—to taste their newly launched ramen and I just couldn’t resist. I was invited to their newest branch, at Uptown Mall in BGC. Perfect, because my office is at BGC, too.

As if having ramen for dinner after a busy day at work wasn’t perfect enough, the weather seemed almost orchestrated to set the mood even more. And best of all, it was a holiday the next day! Ha! 

Everything about Ippudo was a set-up for a great ramen night. Like most ramen restaurants, I was greeted in Japanese as I entered and the servers barking Japanese greetings throughout the night transformed the atmosphere into a serious ramen realm. But, something distinct about Ippudo is the impeccable service that ensures your meal is always served promptly and precisely—a trademark of The Standard Hospitality Group. The entire meal was seamless. In fact, it seemed to go by so fast that I barely noticed I was able to devour my bowl... and a Wagyu Maki Onigiri! Oops! Superpower unleashed. 


The Wholesome Market: Cebu's First Healthy Lifestyle Market

Cebu has been brimming with food markets lately but there's one that seeks to make a difference and which I hope would ripple in waves towards an active movement that cultivates a healthy environment and lifestyle in Cebu.   

The Wholesome Market is Cebu's first premier healthy lifestyle fair organized by Modus Vivendi Events in partnership with Robinson’s Galleria Cebu. It aims to support local and home-based entrepreneurs who provide wholesome, organic, and sustainable solutions to the needs of your body inside and out. 

With fifteen hand-picked vendors advocating for healthy living, The Wholesome Market is a well-curated lifestyle fair that features vendors who bring something new to the table and are passionate in creating food and beverages for the soundness of soul, body and mind.

Here are some of the brands/products you can expect to find there...


Nailaholics Nail Salon & Spa

Whenever I pass by this chic shop at the 3rd floor of Ayala Center Cebu, I can't help but glance and feel drawn to the bright blue-and-white interiors. It looks like an instant escape from the bustling mall. 

Okay, you may be wondering why I'm writing about something totally not related to food. Well, I would just like to start expanding this blog into a more personal blog as well where I share more of my interests besides eating good food which will be including Beauty & Wellness, Health & Fitness and Travel. I guess you could say it's evolving to a lifestyle blog. After all, I'm a girl and there's more to me than just my passion for eating. I'm still trying to figure out how to redesign my blog's layout though to make it more organized. Help! I'm really no techie!

So, I finally had the chance to experience the service of this shop last week. I always had the wrong timing in previous occasions because the place was always full! There must be a good reason, right?

I just love the interiors-- blue and white is my favorite color combination and the place just really evokes such a calming atmosphere along with mellow, relaxing music to complete the ambience. 

I went for a manicure and pedicure so let me just take you along my experience through the photos below...