(AUTHOR’S NOTE: It is with sadness that I update this post; BLK513’s spot in Eastwood Mall has been officially vacated and boarded up. Timestamp: 6 February 2019, 12:19 pm.)
Millennials and hipsters from every corner of the Internet were overjoyed when BLK513 opened its first branch at SM Megamall. Given their tendency to crowd a newly-opened joint for their Instagram posts, it took me some time to find out why this Philippine frozen yogurt purveyor is the talk of the town. Months passed and BLK513 opened up three more branches—SM North EDSA, S Maison at Conrad, and Eastwood Mall—before I could enjoy their Dark Skim Yogurt.
The latter branch, which happens to be near my workplace, occupies the former Komrad Mao’s Hunan Kitchen. Komrad Mao’s, or kainang komunista (communist diner) as I call it, closed down some years ago and vacated the spot. Frostfive Inc. (the company behind BLK513) then rented the space and divided it into two: one side focused on the flagship frozen yogurt, while the other side occupied by 80 Queens served up healthy snacks. Despite the division, both spaces share an urban-industrial theme: unpainted walls in cement gray, incomplete tile flooring, and galvanized iron sheets as accent pieces on the counters.
BLK513 prides itself on its flagship Dark Skim Yogurt, made using skim milk and premium Greek yogurt and infused with activated charcoal made from coconut. Charcoal’s beneficial properties have been praised since time immemorial, being known as the world’s oldest detoxifying agent. In addition, cultures present in the Greek yogurt promote better digestion and improve intestinal functions.
Coupled with a wide selection of toppings, fruits, and sauces, and served in either a cup or wafer cone – one can indulge in this healthy treat without the guilt! Aside from the yogurt, BLK513 also carries granola with cacao nibs and soft-bake vegan chocolate cookies—both using high-quality Valrhona chocolate. Originally toppings for BLK513‘s yogurt creations, these stand-alone products can now be enjoyed for personal consumption.
80 Queens is a new concept from the same people behind BLK513. This establishment takes cues from around the world—it’s named after an actual address in Hong Kong, and modeled after a snack stall located in the former British colony’s Central district. 80 Queens has two main products as of this time. The Black Stack consists of nacho chips made from white corn masa infused with activated charcoal, served with your choice of sauce and topping sprinkled on the nacho stack. This activated charcoal is the same type used in BLK513’s dark skim yogurt.
The Red Fries, on the other hand, is 80 Queens‘ take on the usual French fries served in fast food joints. Making use of red beets as the main ingredient, they coat the beet strips in toasted corn before frying. It comes with your choice of sauce and topping just like the black nachos, but these are served separately for dipping purposes. I have no idea if 80 Queens has the option to serve the red fries poutine-style, with the sauce and garnish topped on the fries. They also have healthy and unique drinks that pair off nicely with these savories.
Until the next review, happy eating and Season’s Greetings! 🙂
BLK 513 + 80 Queens
2/F Veranda, Eastwood Mall,
Eastwood City, Bagumbayan,
Libis, Quezon City 1110