363 – On A 2022 Q4 Update (Part 4)

Let’s begin the final part of the 2022 fourth quarter update with these three food picks I discovered during the months of October to December.

First is this Zevia Zero-Calorie Energy Drink, which I bought from Healthy Options. True to its name, it does not have the sweetness typical energy drinks have. The kola nut flavor was reminiscent of a soft drink, but leagues milder.

Second is this Original Salted Egg Fish Skin from Stips, a more budget-friendly alternative to Irvin’s Salted Egg Fish Skin. I previously tried this in a former job of mine, thanks to a colleague who sold small packs of it as a side hustle. Thankfully, I managed to purchase the large pack at a grocery near me.

Lastly, this Vida Salty Lychee Sparking Flavored Drink was a sudden purchase from a Lawson convenience store. I initially thought this was an alcoholic drink, but I was wrong. The lychee’s sweetness was countered by the salt, and the carbonation made this beverage appealing.

After my younger brother and I finished buying shoes, we headed to the Koomi branch at Trinoma for or yogurt drink fix. Koomi serves blended yogurt drinks with different kinds of flavors, and has recently expanded operations in different malls across Manila. It had been a while since I last tried Koomi, especially when it opened its first branch in Eastwood City back in 2019.

I’ve seen Gang Gang Chicken for some time on my Instagram feed, so I finally gave in and ordered from this local Korean-style fried chicken seller. It so happened that two of its branches are near where I live, so I took the chance to order.

I ordered the joint’s Half and Half, featuring 14 pieces of boneless chicken coated in two flavors – seven pieces each. I selected Yangnyeom (sweet and spicy) and Honey Butter, preferring the latter more. What I loved about Gang Gang Chicken is how it used the juicier thigh fillet and how it removed the thigh bones.

Later, I ordered the Half and Half Plant-Based Chicken from the joint. This time, I ordered Salted Egg and Empi (a sauce that uses the local Emperador brandy as an ingredient, just like how TGI Friday’s used Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey for its Jack Daniel’s Ribs). While Gang Gang Chicken‘s effort to include an option for those eschewing meat is commendable, I wouldn’t recommend this due to the serving size.

Days before 2022 ended, younger brother and I paid a visit to the Ortigas area – which we last went to in March of that year. As per our usual practice, we parked at The Podium and walked toward SM Megamall. We had dinner at Express Sincerity Restaurant, which is located at the basement level of the Mega B complex.

This joint is part of the Sincerity group of restaurants, which I wrote about in the blog back in 2015 and in 2019. We ordered several of the restaurant’s signature dishes, with a few new items we have not tried before. We left Express Sincerity with full bellies, thankful that the feast we had only amounted to P1,050 ($21).

It had been a while since I last visited The Podium, so I hopped over to Tsujiri Matchawhich I featured in 2018 – and was pleasantly surprised that it is still around. The Philippine franchises of Tsujiri Matcha and American cookie joint Famous Amos are operated by the same company, which explains why the latter is situated beside the matcha purveyor. I then ordered a Hot Matcha Latte and a 100-gram pack of Matcha-Dipped Cookies from both, put down some of the items we purchased in our vehicle, and went back to SM Megamall.

We then returned to The Podium once we finished the rest of our tasks and had dinner, with the intent of having coffee. Most of the coffee shops at the mall were already wrapping up. However, the French-Japanese Café Kitsuné was still accepting customers. This is the joint’s first location here in the Philippines, so it was fortunate that we managed to visit it. Younger brother ordered an Americano to keep him awake, while I ordered a Flat White. We then left the mall after finishing our coffees and paying the bill.

This ends the four-part recap of the last three months of 2022. Until the next post!


29 thoughts on “363 – On A 2022 Q4 Update (Part 4)

  1. I love Tsujiri Matcha!
    I’m into sugar free drinks now and have tried the Healthy Options one. I didn’t realize Lawson (which is just downstairs from my apartment) has sugar free drinks too. I’ll go check it out.

    • Definitely a pleasant surprise when I saw it still open after seven years!

      For the Zevia drink, I remember buying its black tea and blood orange variant for my younger brother last year. And yeah, Lawson is a good place to visit, too! Nagkaroon sila ng pwesto sa loob ng dating workplace ko, but they closed it down due to minimal foot traffic. Lawson has a lot of other drinks not available in the more entrenched convenience stores such as 7-Eleven, Uncle John’s (the former MiniStop), and Family Mart.

  2. Wow, the Gang Gang chicken is the family package, no? That’s a huuuuge amount of chicken in one box! 😳
    It’s always interesting to read about your drink experiences, as I hardly every buy anything similar. Many of the drinks have either fructose or aspartame/acesulfame as ingredients, and saying that my body doesn’t like either of them is an understatement. 😉

    • It sure was big! We weren’t able to finish the Half and Half box (both of us only ate 10 in all), so we still had 4 pieces — which we set aside for Dad. I’ll be publishing a separate entry about Gang Gang Chicken soon! 🍗

      Oh my…terribly sorry about that. It really is a bummer if most drinks available in groceries aren’t exactly a good fit for you. ☹

      • Oh, I’m looking forward to read the Gang Gang Chicken entry, too. 🤩

        Don’t worry, it’s sometimes a bit annoying when we’re outside on a trip, getting thirsty, and except from bottled water, I can hardly drink anything. But at the same time, it also means that I produce quite much less trash, and save money, because whenever we’re close to our home, I prefer drinking something there instead of buying it. So it also has at least some advantages. 😉

    • Truth be told, the plant-based chicken actually surprised me. I was initially thinking that Quorn or any mycoprotein (mushroom-based meat) would be used. I’d say Gang Gang Chicken nailed it, as oyster mushrooms actually taste close to chicken!

      • Interesting! Restaurants are so clever with different options these days; I should probably try some of the new plant-based meats, but I typically end up choosing the vegetable option if I’m not wanting meat at the time.

    • Thank you for stopping by, Leilanie! Interestingly, 7-Eleven here in the Philippines once offered oden and broth in several stores. These were later phased out, though. I do hope that Lawson opens up in the UK in the future!

  3. The Gang Gang Chicken options look amazing! We have a few Korean-style fried chicken places here in the Seattle area, and I’ve been meaning to try them, but haven’t gotten around to it–this post reminds me to get going!

    • Oh, I didn’t know you were based in Seattle 😅 I noticed that the West Coast is pretty big when it comes to Asian restaurants — with the Golden State having the most number.

      Hope that you get to visit one of those joints soon!

  4. Pingback: 364 – On Recapping 2022, Part 1: Posts | The Monching's Guide

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