Dining In/Out (02/18/21)

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Crimson Hotel offers take home

CRIMSON Hotel’s Café Eight now offers its signature dishes for delivery. Best shared with family and friends, each dish is good for three to four persons and is served with rice. They are: Lamb caldereta (P899), lamb shoulder meat is prepared sous vide with potatoes, carrots, olives, bell peppers and garbanzos; Miso braised pork belly (P799), slow-braised pork belly with the rich saltiness of miso, served with stir-fried vegetables on the side; and Smoked cured ox tongue with chocolate sauce (P999). For inquiries, call 8863-2222 local 1612, 0998 9613409, or e-mail dining@crimsonhotel.com.

Shake Shack introduces Chick’n Bites

CHICK’N BITES are making their way to Shake Shack in Manila starting Feb. 18 for a limited time. Chick’n Bites are crispy pieces of chicken breast served in six or 10 counts with a choice of BBQ sauce or Honey Mustard for dipping. Chick’n Bites are always made fresh to order with all-natural, antibiotic-free whole muscle. The Bites are sous-vide cooked, making them extra juicy, flavorful and tender, and then breaded in flour, cayenne, and paprika before being crisp-fried. One can order ahead via GrabFood or foodpanda or call the nearest Shake Shack.

BIGGS pivots from dine-in to digital

THE 38-year old Bicol-born BIGGS restaurant chain is now online. As other restaurants scrambled to cut costs, grow their delivery segment, and diversify their products, BIGGS chose to look at its customers for the answer. In particular, a BIGGS customer in their kitchen looking through their fridge for easy-prep, delicious, filling comfort food which can be prepared with the help of a pan, an oven, or a grill. So the restaurant came out with Biggs Ready-To-Cook Ribs. Half a year later, with over 10 products and 12 more in the pipeline, the brand is reigning in both the digital (with a vibrant e-commerce page) and retail spaces (over 50 stores in Metro Manila and Bicol). Biggs Ready To Cook is the retail arm of restaurant chain BIGGS. It is a line of easy, ready-to-cook frozen versions of the BIGGS’ bestsellers and is present in over 50 supermarkets. In Manila, its digital distribution partner is Phenomenon Group, Inc. Check out BIGGS Ready To Cook via www.biggs.ph.

Que Rica launches Bicol Express Longganisa

QUE Rica has just launched Bicol Express in longganisa form. Like many other Filipino dishes, the Bicol Express has several iterations. What remains constant however is its use of pork, balao/balaw, or local salted baby shrimps, coconut milk, chili, and aromatics. “We wanted to bank on the booming national and global interest towards local cuisine,” Rica Buenaflor of Que Rica says, “and we started with the Laing Longganisa.” Her team has invested in the development and packaging of pili nuts (also a hit) in novel flavors such as Truffle-Pecorino Cheese, and has come up with bottled ready-to-eat meals such as Sinantolan (minced cotton fruit in coconut milk), Vegan Laing (shrimp- and meat-free dried gabi leaves in coconut milk), and other meat products such as the Pineapple-Cured Chicken Tocino, selling them in events, bazaars, and in the digital space. “The Bicol Express Longganisa is one of the five new products we have developed recently while in quarantine,” said Ms. Buenaflor, “and instead of pork we used chicken to cater to customers who like healthier options.” The Bicol Express Longganisa comes in a pack of eight pieces or 350 gm. For more information, visit www.querica.ph.

Red Ribbon’s new Mango Sunrise Cake and new bread rolls

RED Ribbon’s newest offering is the Mango Sunrise Cake: a soft chiffon cake, layered and topped with mango cream and real mango chunks. It also has a design that resembles the sun dawning from the sky, with the mango chunks and syrup at the center of the cake, enclosed in white icing that mimics clouds on a sunny day. Red Ribbon has also come out with new bread rolls in chocolate, raisin, and classic flavors. The price of the Mango Sunrise cake starts at P490 for the Junior Size and P700 for the Regular Size, now available in all outlets nationwide. The Chocolate and Raisin Bread Rolls are priced at P65 per eight-piece pack, and the Classic Bread Rolls are priced at P70 per 16-piece pack, now available in all stores nationwide. They can also be ordered via Red Ribbon’s #87777 Hotline, by chatting on Facebook Messenger (m.me/redribbonbakeshop), or by ordering though the GrabFood and Foodpanda apps.

Panda Express goes north

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FOLLOWING the successful launch of its first Panda Express store at SM Megamall in 2019, the Jollibee Group opened the second branch of the American-Chinese fast casual restaurant on Feb. 12 at SM North EDSA in Quezon City. Panda Express is best known for its Original Orange Chicken, wok-tossed crispy chicken in a sweet and tangy sauce; and Broccoli Beef, made of tender beef and fresh broccoli in ginger soy sauce. For those on a plant-based diet, Panda Express also has the Eggplant Tofu on its menu — lightly browned tofu, eggplant, and red bell peppers tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. For customers who wish to have their favorite Panda Express dish in the comfort of their own homes, Panda Express will be available via Facebook Messenger and food delivery apps including: GrabFood and foodpanda. Delivery locations are within Metro Manila only.

Bo’s Coffee launches online on-demand brand

BO’S Coffee, the country’s biggest homegrown café chain, recently launched its digital brand to overcome mobility constraints brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubbed Bo’s Coffee Daily, the brand marries quality locally-grown coffee beans and 25 years of Bo’s Coffee craftsmanship with the convenience of internet technology. “When the quarantine restrictions took hold, we realized that coffee was such a customary part of consumers’ lives — whether it meant catching up with good friends or getting some work done. We couldn’t deliver the cafe experience which people missed, but we could still bring them the perfect brew through hassle-free online ordering,” said Bo’s Coffee Daily founder Steve Benitez in a statement. He noted that Bo’s Coffee Daily is the country’s first digital coffee brand, whose products are only available online and not at physical stores. Its menu, concoction, flavors, and colors cater to the persona of the younger crowd to make it distinct from the core Bo’s Coffee brand. Bo’s Coffee Daily’s flavors include Iced Cream Cheese, Mocha Dinosaur, Naughty Hazel Mocha, and Oreo Iced Creamy. New coffee lines and food are being developed based on periodic voice of consumer surveys and research. Through a user-friendly and secure chatbot Facebook Messenger, customers can recreate the cafe experience at home to simulate an actual interaction with a friendly barista. Customers can get their preferred blend — be it bold, light, or creamy — from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily in stores in Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Taguig, and Quezon City in Metro Manila, and Cebu City and Mandaue City. The Cebu-based brand also plans to expand this year to over 50 key locations as it leverages technology to make premium locally-grown coffee available to more Filipinos. Order from Bo’s Coffee Daily via FB Messenger, FoodPanda or GrabFood, or access it on the FoodPanda and Grab mobile phone apps.

Satisfy milk tea cravings with X.O. Milk Tea Candy

X.O. MILK Tea Candy has a smooth blend of wintermelon tea and sweet cream that satisfies one’s craving for milk tea anytime, anywhere — for just one peso. X.O. has many other flavors to satisfy other cravings like Coffee, Chocolate, and Caramel. X.O. Candy is available in supermarkets, grocery stores, and sari-sari stores nationwide, as well as Universal Robina Corp.’s official store on Lazada and Shopee. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/xocandyph.

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