I really wanted to go back and see how Chewy Junior is doing now after its soft opening when we first sample their cream puffs and pizza last year. It’s a good thing that despite the gloomy weather, we can still have our cream puff fix because Quick Delivery delivers Chewy Junior!
About the Delivery
We placed our order online a few days before the date when we actually wanted it delivered. So this is an advance order. We set the delivery time to 5:30PM but the order arrived even earlier, 5:00PM. I guess getting your food earlier is always better than later. ^_^ We received everything we ordered, we just had to change one of the flavors 1 day before the delivery because it wasn’t available.
What We Ordered
We ordered almost every flavor except for Strawberry Cream Cheese because it wasn’t available. The best way to go is to get the boxes so you can save around P100 if you were getting purely Deluxe flavors in a box of 12, or save P43 in a box of 6! If you really want to include some Premium flavors in the box, you just have to add P10 per piece premium flavored cream puff. We ordered 1 box of 12, 1 box of 6, and 1 box of Deluxe Mini Puffs.
1 BOX of 12 (all Deluxe flavors) / P460.95
I have to say, opening the box of Chewy Junior was like opening a box of toy. As soon as we opened it, we were so intrigued by the swirls, colors, and sprinkles. We tried guessing which one was which in terms of flavor and it was fun! We ordered 2 of each of the following flavor in the Deluxe choices:
– Almond Sweetheart
– Chocolate Almond Crunch
– Blueberry Cream Cheese
– Cheese Lover
– Chewy Original
– Cookies N’ Cream
The crowd favorites were the 2 flavors with Almond shavings, and the other 2 with cheese. ^_^ Chewy Junior really lived up to its name. The dough was really chewy (good for some, and not for others – it depends on your chewing power, I guess). I love that they were generous with their filling in all the flavors.
1 BOX of 6 (all Premium flavors) / P303.45
The flavors we chose were:
– Dulce de Leche Ensaymada
– Java Chip Cookie
– Premium Triple Chocolate
What we liked in this set were the Dulce de Leche Ensaymada and Java Chip Cookie. One thing I really like about cream puffs is that they aren’t too sweet, but then Mario, the one with the very sweet tooth, thinks that the Premium Triple Chocolate was the best for him and then of course the combination of saltiness and sweetness with the Dulce de Leche Ensaymaa was a hit. These were Premium flavors alright.
Deluxe Mini Puffs (8pcs) / P104
These are the smaller versions of the full-sized puffs. I prefer these bite-sized goodies over the full-sized puffs because I get to sample more flavors without really getting full. Just 1 or 1.5 of the big ones and I’m done. But these little babies, all 8 I can finish all on my own. But of course, smaller size, smaller flavor portions so you don’t get to really taste the flavor, you can just get a sneak peak of it. For snacks and if you’re buying for a group, I would recommend getting the mini puffs.
From the ordering online in advance, to the last bite was a treat! From the last time I ordered online, the website has improved in terms of simplicity and ease of use, speed, and ability to customize orders even in bundles like the boxes. I remember before that it would take time to add/remove certain items from the order.
As for Chewy Junior, being biased since I really love cream puffs from the start, I think their twist in flavors and the right amount of sweetness for the fillings and toppings are spot on. I don’t know if I’m in-love with how really chewy the dough is, but I guess it’s part of the fun. The big ones are tough to divide between 2 people without ruining the look. So for me, the small ones are the better option if you decide to bring home treats or take them to your friend’s house.
I’ve always been curious about the hawker style restaurant at Manila Ocean Park that has been well talked about by foodies and those who have experienced the real hawker style scene and food experience at Singapore. While there were mix reviews, I decided to experience it for myself to finally put an end to my curiosity. ^_^ We headed to Makan Makan – Asian Food Village at Manila Ocean Park one hot Saturday afternoon.
Manila Ocean Park located literally behind Quirino Grand Stand. As I’m a firm believer of visual aids, here are maps to the place:
About Manila Ocean Park Mall
We weren’t there to check out the park itself but we plan to, someday, perhaps after all the construction work is done. With that said, we still had a glimpse of the park activities and the chaos that we should prepare for once we bring the whole family over. There were a lot of structures that were unfinished, the Manila Ocean Park Mall air-conditioning couldn’t beat the heat that day and contributing to it are the hundreds of people crowding inside, service crews are busy keeping up with the trash that people inconsiderately throw just about everywhere! Inside the mall, you’ll see stalls of various items for sale that you’ll often see in Divisoria (knock-off shades, sparkling accessories, wallets, and a lot more. The mall is like a cross between Divisoria, Star City, and a regular mall. It’s so strange that Manila Ocean Park Mall didn’t go with their Aquatic theme when choosing tenants. It would have put the park on a whole different level if they featured souvenir shops that sell sea animal plushies, or books about marine life, or even photo booths where you can have your photo taken while wearing a sealion costume or something. I mean, seriously, if I want to have a child vaccinated, I would go to a clinic and not Manila Ocean Park. And no, I don’t need people giving out flyers about condominiums in Manila Ocean Park. That’s just weird to me. After 3 years of opening its doors, I thought it would be a lot less chaotic. Oh well, we were there for the food anyway, and perhaps we’ll visit the park after a couple more years, by then I hope that all structures are in place and fully functional, and when there are more specialty shops.
The spacious restaurant is located on the 2nd floor of the mall. You have to find your way through the crowd and the mini-tiangge to get to the escalators going up. Along the way you’ll pass by these:
About the Restaurant
And finally, after the “elbowing”(^_^); you’ll get to the 2nd floor and the entrance to Makan Makan. It’s a very spacious restaurant, and very well lit… Very well, and that particular afternoon (around 1:30PM), the light from the sun coming in from the glass windows is too glaring that we really have to choose our table well, and even then, eat at an angle facing away from the sun. There were blinds to screen the light of the sun but it can’t be helped if it’s still finding ways to get in.
The entrance hall is big, and fairly empty except for a shelf of lamps as decor, and cool hanging lights (I love light fixtures, both hanging and standing ones). I know I’ve seen these round native looking ones before… Was it at North Park Macapagal? And I’m sure I’ve taken a photo of those too… Anyway… I like that the place is super spacious and that there’s an awesome view of the ocean if you don’t mind sitting next to huge windows with the punishing afternoon sunlight on that very sunny and hot afternoon. The tables were all arranged around the kitchen and what separates us from the actually cooking place are pseudo street-food booths or carts, I guess the ones that mimic the hawker or street food scene in Singapore. It was hot that day and the aircon wasn’t helping much, and I imagine, if there were more people and more dishes being cooked/prepared, it would be unbearably hot on a sunny lunch. Is that so people would get a feel of eating outside when they’re actually eating inside? I don’t think so. Less talk… more pictures…
The staff, with the exception of higher ranking supervisors, was a bit too relaxed and acted a bit too familiar with the customers. There were a group of male waiters who were very casually discussing something about their shift schedules right behind where I was sitting. They didn’t even bother to keep their voices down. Well, there weren’t a lot of customers that day, I counted 4 people in front, and maybe a family or 2 behind me. Regardless, I really think those kinds of discussions should have been made in a different room. And also, some of the wait staff were very casual in addressing customers and the way the food, plates, and even the flower décor were placed on our table, it was like we were better off dining in a competitively priced, hole-in-the-wall type of restaurant, that served better priced items and fairly tasty dishes. I did like the waiter in the black/gray vest. He was much more accommodating and respectful. I couldn’t complain about how fast the food arrived to our table though. Food came out fast, and water glasses were always full.
Honestly, I was expecting the prices to be… umm… higher than streetfood but not a whole lot of difference from foodcourt. I don’t know why but that was what I expected from the impression that these are streetfood brought indoors. I was sadly mistaken. Also, because it said it was an “Asian Food Village”, I expected a much more extensive menu. But I guess, any more on the list would just overwhelm the diners on what to order.
What We Ordered
Mario, being Mario, he wanted to order something he knows he’s going to enjoy eating, thus, Chopsuey (P200), Yang Chow Fried Rice (P275), and Iced tea (P60) (no bottomless options). Then, I ordered Hainanese Chicken Rice (P160) and Chocolate Dinosaur (P95). A pricey lunch. We hoped they would deliver.
Chopsuey (P200) good for 2-3 people
Mario’s verdict, a little bit salty but still good eatin’. For me, it was just right. It was the type of dish where there’s no need to add any more salt or anything. The vegetables tasted fresh, they had a crunch to them, and actually, there were more squid in this chopsuey than veggies so that’s a good thing for me. I guess that’s one of the perks for being close to the ocean. Restaurants can get fresh seafood for a bargain. And the squid was perfectly cooked too! It wasn’t tough to eat. Serving says good for 2-3 people… Hmm.. Yeah, I guess so… If 2 of those people weren’t me and Mario… ^_^;
Yang Chow Fried Rice (P275) good for 2-3 people
This, I think, was priced way too high for what they served. The peas and the carrots were mushy inside which hints “frozen mixed vegetables”. The kind that you would buy in the grocery. I’m not saying that those are bad, but I would like to feel like I’m eating fresh veggies that were cut and cooked just on that day. Apart from that, this tasted ordinary. I actually said, while eating their Makan Makan’s Yang Chow Fried Rice, that I missed North Park’s Yang Chow Fried Rice. :-/
Hainanese Chicken Rice (P160) plated with rice, good for 1
The chicken was moist, cooked really well, the veggies on the side were divine, for me. Mario doesn’t like spicy stuff and those veggies were pickled and spiced up (kimchi cucumber!). Normally, I would splurge on the sauce (some restaurants either charge for additional hoisin sauce, or don’t serve any additional), but Makan Makan’s Hoisin sauce was just too salty even for me! So just a drop here and there, but no more. Too bad because I would have gotten more sauce if I requested, but I didn’t even use half of what was served to me. Oh, and I’m sure it wasn’t soy sauce, because it was much too thick, and it was a little sweet. I also noticed (just now as I’m typing this article) that the menu said this dish was served with soup and rice… I didn’t get any soup, my bad for not noticing it earlier.
Chocolate Dinosaur (P95)
This was just regular powdered chocolate drink, nothing to get excited about. Anyone can make it at home. I wish I had tried the other drinks instead. Well, I kind of knew what I was going to get based on the photo on the menu, but I ordered it anyway (hoping I was wrong), but that’s my mistake, I guess.
I don’t think we’ll be coming back but I’m glad we tried it once to satisfy my curiosity. That’s the sort of experience we got out of it. The price, for the food quality and quantity we got, was a mismatch. Perhaps we’re also paying for comfort and space? Maybe, but we might have been better off dining at North Park right at the 1st floor (entrance) of the mall. Our lunch cost P800 at Makan Makan. Hmm… I don’t think we’ll be coming back any time soon but I might give it another go after 2 years or so, just to compare the experience then, from our experience that Saturday afternoon. I guess, it’s not enough that you have good food if you serve P275 Yang Chow Fried Rice while others sell the same quantity and quality for P180 (North Park’s current price). You have to have great food the price they’re selling.
Here are the rest of the photos:
What about you? Did you have a different experience at Makan Maka Asian Food Village? Tell me all about it in the comments section!
Ah! And sorry if I loaded this one with lots of photos! Let me know if loading time is longer than usual so that I can do something about it on future posts! ^_^
I’m not a sweets person, although I love ice creams, chocolates, and brownies, I find myself looking for pastry with light creams/filling to balance the sweet sugary taste that most bakeshops or boutiques seem to be doing to compensate for cutting down on the flavor elements. That’s when I discovered cream puffs. So just like my sisig obsession where I would order sisig from any restaurant that offers them just so I could compare, I also try out different cream puffs just to see how each one would fare against the others. This reminds me, I should do a cream puff review… (*jots down a reminder*). Looking at SM Mall of Asia’s restaurant directory (which is now a board printout placed on top of the touch screen…?), we came across the name “Chewy Junior”, and it immediately sparked our interest.
It’s located at the 2nd Floor, of the Entertainment Mall section of Mall of Asia, near the south wing, beside Roti Mum, and near the Science Discovery Center.
About the Shop
Before I proceed with the review of the shop, it’s important to note that they’re on their SOFT OPENING so perhaps after a few weeks, some of my review about the store and service may not be applicable.
The store had seats or a lounge inside the shop which was cramped and the aircon doesn’t seem to be working effectively or perhaps because there’s constant baking and the heat from the ovens are overpowering the cool air from the air-conditioning system. Nevertheless, we chose to eat inside (because of the comfy seats) rather than staying outside which would probably have been breezier and cooler because of Typhoon Mina’s lingering effects.
Their staff, although very knowledgeable about their product, weren’t the friendliest and accommodating bunch. It wasn’t clear to me if it was a “pay as you order” thing or pay later thing because when we ordered, we got served the puffs, and the pizza was served later, yet nobody asked for our payment or gave us our total bill. I volunteered to pay in the middle of our meal after I noticed that the other customers who came in after us paid right away. Another feedback about the shop is that it looked like they were too many people working in such a small space. Anyway, I bet they’ll learn a lot after 1 week of soft opening…
The Menu and What We Ordered
I think that everything on the menu was priced fairly. The puffs, are priced at P45 and P55, depending on flavor. They also sell boxes of their mini-puffs but their headboard menu didn’t include the price. If I’m not mistaken, it was 179 for 15 mini-puffs. I didn’t expect it, but they also served pizza for the same price as the cream puffs, P45 – P55. We asked which one’s the best seller and they recommended NY Cheesecake which was a premium flavor so it’s P55. Together with the best seller, we ordered the Chewy Original, a deluxe flavor for P45, Twisted Pepperoni pizza for P45, Meaty of the Minds for P55, Just Lemon Iced Tea for P45, and Wicked Watermelon P55.
Here’s a photo of their menu (click to get a larger version):
Chewy Original P45/each (a DELUXE flavor)
When I asked for the best sellers, this one wasn’t recommended and I wondered why because normally the original or basic flavor is what most stores are known for. If you make the simplest item on the menu good enough for it to be liked by people, then it would be easier to build up on it and sell variations. Well, in Chewy Junior’s case, I now understand why the Chewy Original wasn’t a favorite. It was lacking sweetness which I thought the white powder on top would have brought into the cream puff but it didn’t. So now I’m confused if the white powder was really powdered sugar or not… Anyway, as for its texture, it was indeed chewy… Well, I expected it to be chewy on the inside, but their menu board said that their puffs should be “crispy on the outside”… It wasn’t… That’s probably from sitting out in the display rack for a long time. Well, it’s not all bad because I liked the cream which is very important in cream puffs! The cream was heavier than most creams used in puffs but I liked it because it sort of had a cooled butter icing feel to it everytime I take a bite. I also like that it’s bigger than the usual cream puffs for its price.
NY Cheesecake P55/each (a PREMIUM flavor)
Out of the 2 cream puffs we ordered that day, we liked this decked up version more than the plain Chewy Original. It’s because this had more flavor and sweetness (it should, with the extra cream and cheese and whatnots… So I was very happy with this one, although it also had an issue of the lack of the “crispiness” on the outside that their posters were saying… If the outside was crispy enough, I could have gotten a nice shot of the puffs sliced open, but it was really chewy through and through so when we tried to “fork” it open (they didn’t have knife), it didn’t look pretty.
Meaty of the Minds P55/slice
The pizzas we ordered were surprisingly good! They’re even better than our chewy cream puff experience. And, like the cream puffs, the serving size was generous for its price. Although I think SM sells their rectangular pizza (2 triangular slices) at around P70, but the SM’s pizza is more bread, and Chewy Junior pizza is generous with the toppings. Just a little bit of warning, Meaty of the Minds was on the salty side, which wasn’t a problem for me… ^_^
Twisted Pepperoni P45/slice
Mario liked this one because it wasn’t as salty as Meaty of the Minds. We’d order this again if we happen to find ourselves inside Chewy Junior shop.
I love the cream in their puffs, I love the serving size which is bigger than the usual cream puff and bigger than the usual pizza slice. I didn’t like how super chewy the outside was to the point that I was fighting a bit with my food. It wasn’t a huge struggle to eat them but my expectation was set by the menu board and their poster so I thought they were really going to be crispy on the outside. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt though, because it was just soft opening and a lot of things aren’t really upto standard when restaurants are in their soft opening. I’ll definitely give them a another try especially that their shop, so far, offers the most number of cream puff flavors I’ve ever seen in one shop.
During one of our meet-ups with my high school friends, we ate at Tempura Japanese Grill at Trinoma and we really loved it. It was great food for our peso, so I decided to volunteer Tempura Japanese Grill when Mario and I were having one of our “where-shall-we-eat-today” moments.
ABOUT THE STORE
It can be easily spotted at 1st Level, North Wing. If you’re in the open-air area (between the main mall and hypermart) and you’re facing the hypermart entrance, turn to your left and keep walking. The restaurant is in the hypermart side of things. Using the good ol’ MOA store locator, here’s where they are specifically located.
The restaurant was big enough, but they filled it up with chairs and tables. At every corner, you’re sure to find a table with a couple of chairs to maximize the number of customers they can accommodate at a time. Well, I respect that, since it is, after all, a business, but I would prefer some room to breathe and a “talking space”, where we can talk without other people being to able to hear every syllable we’re saying. I’m exaggerating, of course, it wasn’t that cramped. ^_^ But wasn’t the opposite either. Well, I guess the space was average. (You don’t probably understand why I’m making it such an issue.. ^_^ I love spacious restaurants!)
ABOUT OUR ORDER
We ordered Tonkatsu (155php), Ebi Bacon Furai (265php) and Chahan (55php). So, how was each dish you ask?
Here’s a friendly warning to everyone, this dish, mainly because of the bacon, can be a little too salty for some folks, but for me, I was ready for it and I liked it. I don’t usually like deep-fried breaded dishes because of all the oil, but this one, wasn’t oily at all.
Tonkatsu P155 (Deep-fried breaded pork cutlet)
Mario always orders this dish in almost all the Japanese joints we’ve eaten, so, for a change, I ordered this for myself. Yes, again, I’m not a fan of fried breaded dishes but this wasn’t oily and I really enjoyed it (without the sauce). The sauce was salty, even for me so after 1 try, I didn’t bother using it again.
Chahan P55 (Fried rice mixed with ground pork, vegetables and egg)
I think it was a theme that night, because this one was also a little salty. Not too salty, but it can be eaten on it’s own without any viand. It was seasoned enough to stand as a dish by itself. Is that a good or a bad thing? Well, I guess it’s a good thing if you didn’t order anything else so that you can just enjoy the flavors of the Chahan, but if you ordered viand to go with it, it was a little too flavorful, somehow competing with the flavors of the rest of the dishes we ordered. It’s still a 4, because as a dish, on its own, it was good.
I would say that we still enjoyed the experience despite the overall saltiness of things. We would come back as soon as I remember the ramen I had in Trinoma that was really good. And yes, next time we’ll order their specialty, Tempura… ^_^;
One of our favorite restaurants in SM Mall of Asia, is definitely Dennis The Grill Boy (they started out as “Pupung and Friends” – but I guess they had to change the name ‘coz, “Pupung” doesn’t really sound appetizing… ^_^;). If we were in the mood for good Filipino food, in a day when we don’t really want to experiment and make sure we really get our money’s worth, and also if it’s that time of the month (when all the bill are due) and we need to stay on a budget (unlimited rice… *wink* *wink*), Dennis is our go to restaurant, no questions asked.
ABOUT THE SHOP
I wouldn’t say the restaurant was spacious, but it’s not cramped either, so it’s ok. It’s located in Level 1 of the Entertainment Mall (one of the sections of MOA). Here’s the Mall of Asia map for your reference:
Dennis (and even when it was still Pupung and Friends) is actually a comic strip character. I’m not sure if it comes out in any newspaper but I’m sure that I’ve read Pupung and Friends before. In anycase, the restaurant itself is “comic themed” from the menu boards to their walls, and their restaurant signs.
THEIR MENU (or at least some of their dishes)
ABOUT OUR ORDER
So, as the title says it, UNLIMITED RICE! I mean, how can this restaurant survive the business with that? But still, I love them for even just that! A Filipino fast grill restaurant with unlimited rice! Now that’s a rare find, let me know if there are others and I would love to try them out too! But the other gold medal factor is that their dishes are just worth those extra servings of rice. I mean, we wouldn’t want to just keep coming back because of the rice, there has to be something else, right?
Pork Sisig w/ Egg (Php95.00)
Here’s a crunchy sisig for you (or me). I love sisig but this isn’t my usual order at Dennis, I usually order their liempo (love the garlic white sauce and order extra… ^_^). The reason I don’t order sisig is not because I don’t like their sisig, I really do love it, really crunchy and really perfectly seasoned. I don’t usually order it because I know I’d be asking for more rice. With liempo, I mastered the technique of limiting myself to 1 rice. ^_^;
Annie’s Lechon Kawali (Php 95) – Extra Mang Tomas (Php 3.00)
And this one, is Mario’s regular order and yes, always with extra Mang Tomas. Notice how they didn’t really mask the sauce’ name by giving it “Dennis’ Sarsa” or something. I love that they outright just say it’s “Mang Tomas” and I think may customers would have noticed it anyway.
I really can’t find any fault because (even if the crew would mess up, or the place gets crowded, or there will be a long line at the counter) because the food overshadows those little things. Restaurants are really about food and, for me, about relatively reasonable price. I factor in the unlimited rice we got, and every peso spent here was worth it.
Contact Information (unverified – from MunchPunch):