Zomato - introduces 26-week parental leave policy globally!

It's about time!
Zomato recently announced that it is offering 26 weeks of paid parental leave to all its employees globally—yes, including new fathers as well. This initiative will also apply to surrogate, adoptive parents, as well as same-sex parents across all operational countries, including the Philippines. This revolutionary move encourages new parents to spend more time with their newborns.

In countries where government-mandated leave policy is more than 26 weeks, Zomato will be following the local regulations, offering the same increased number of weeks to both mothers and fathers. Along with the leave, Zomato will also offer a  $1,000 endowment per child to the parents working with the company. All the employees who welcomed a child six months prior to this policy change will also enjoy the new benefits.

Zomato’s CEO, Deepinder Goyal, announced that one core issue that leads to fewer women leaders in organizations, the community, and the nation is the lack of universal paid parental leave. It is hard for women to lead a healthy family life and focus on their careers at the same time, leading to a lot of women leaving their jobs or putting their careers on the back burner.

The lack of diversity stems from an unequal leave policy for men and women when they welcome their children to this world. “There won't be even an iota of difference in parental leave policy for men and women at Zomato going forward," said Deepinder in a blog post.

This new policy by Zomato raises the bar and aims to create a more unified view towards primary caregiving—and one that no longer alienates half of the company’s workforce. Deepinder urges more governments and companies to follow the example set by Nordic countries, which encourages both parents to assume equal responsibility. "We also wish that governments across the world institutionalized paid parental leave," he said. "We will never have truly gender-neutral organizations unless we have gender-neutral communities and gender-neutral nations."

Once again, awesome news, Zomato!
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Ichiran Ramen in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan- WTF Review

Ladies and gentlemen, the king of ramen! Ichiran Ramen!
My very first out-of-the-country review! I'm in Japan and there's nothing more Japanese than ramen right? And I've heard that there's one ramen chain here that can beat my number 1, Hanamaruken.

Ichiran Ramen - Originally called  Futaba Ramen, is the most famous and popular ramen store in Japan, serving the classic Tonkotsu ramen (rich creamy soup made from pork broth) from Fukuoka Prefecture.

It was a cold winter night in Japan when I arrived in front of the infamous Ichiran Ramen, it is a perfect condition to soup a big nice bowl of goodness.
Ichiran Ramen, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
As expected, there's a long line of people craving for a hot bowl of ramen goodness that night - we waited for at least 15 minutes before being presented to their unusual but awesome way of taking orders.
Ichiran Ramen's vending machine
Japanese are just taking the term "convenience" to the next level - a ramen vending machine. So they've eliminated the use of an actual person to take orders and presented a DIY way to completely automate your orders.

I ordered the traditional Original Ichiran Ramen (JPY890 / PHP435) and their Ichiran Select 5 (JPY1,490 / PHP728) - they also have desserts and take-out as well!
4 steps to awesomeness!
It may look intimidating at first but you just need to be confident in how to operate this simple machine, besides, there's a graphical instruction just beside it. Can't read Japanese? No worries, they got it translated to Korean, Chinese and English!
Your very own ramen cubicle.
This is what I like about Ichiran - privacy. It's not a typical table and chair restaurant, instead, you'll have your own private space, call it a cubicle if you like. The queue was chaotic, mainly because of the cold weather just inviting people to go grab ramen and with all the chaos happening all around, I am here, sitting down in my very own private space, leaving the chaos and stress behind.
Let's talk about the order sheet - it's pretty self-explanatory and they even provided recommendations for the optimal ramen experience. I like what they did here as diners will be able to personalize their ramen which makes them more engaged and involved in creating their masterpiece.
Oh! They also have a handy drinking water faucet in your cubicle! Talk about accessibility!
Now, on to the good stuff!
Original Ichiran Ramen (JPY890 / PHP435)
Happiness right in front of me.
Unadulterated, raw, Original Ichiran Ramen (JPY890 / PHP435) - it's a sight for sore eyes! It's cold, I'm famished, I'm ready slurp! The presentation is perfect - the char siu, the beautiful slab of chili powder and scallions are placed strategically to create a wonderful oasis of goodness. Oh and by the way, your bowl will come from the window and once served, they will put the drapes down for you to enjoy your ramen.
Ichiran Ramen, finally!
The broth is very rich, porky, creamy and also has that gelatinous feel on it! The noodle they use is hakata which is my favorite type of noodle especially in ramen, they are thin and can easily hold the flavor of the broth within itself.
Glorious char siu!
The char siu is thin compared to the ramen I've had before but it is ridiculously flavorful! The perfect proportion of meat and fat provided that scrumptious, savory flavor to it. It's a little bit chewy but it is flavored so well that you'll end up chewing more.
Ichiran Select 5 (JPY1,490 / PHP728)
I ended up getting a kae-dama which means a noodle refill since I still have a lot of broth. The Ichiran Select 5 (JPY1,490 / PHP728) is the same as the Original Ichiran Ramen with the inclusion of mushrooms, egg, garlic, nori and char siu. My only tip for you is to mix everything and don't leave anything behind as all of the sides will orchestrate to each other creating a perfect symphony of flavor.
Take Ichiran Ramen home with you.
They have different variations of their take away - you just need to ask the servers if you have any questions.
Even Kirby approves!
Overall, it is way better than Hanamaruken - the broth is delicate, out of this world, addictive. Its fatty, porky and rich broth complement everything in the bowl. I can eat this all day, like nothing else. This ramen experience is life-changing and I was still in shocked that this ramen is that good and it's crazy that it is customizable which opens more combination of flavor. The greatest ramen I've ever tasted in my life.
  • Food
    • Beyond amazing - hands down, it's way far from the ramen I used to love.
  • Place 
    • You have your private cubicle complete with drinking water faucet, spacious dining area, condiments, coat/umbrella holder and even a space for your bag. Most importantly, privacy.
  • Service 
    • The staff is polite, approachable and joyful.
  • Price 
    • Cheaper than Ippudo and Hanamaruken with much better taste and quality.
Let's rate them, shall we?
Food: 5/5
Ambiance: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Follow us on Instagram!
Location: Japan, 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Kabukicho, 1 Chome−17−10 CR.B&Vビル 地下 1 階
Operating Hours: 24 Hours
Contact Number: +81 3 6233 7667
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Crisostomo in Eastwood City, Libis - WTF Review

Legit classy Filipino dishes!
Eastwood, Libis - you'll see sorts of restaurants left and right. From the Mediterranean to American restaurants, all sorts of fast food chain and a wide variety of food kiosk for you to choose from. One of which is Crisostomo, owned by Chef Florabel Co, named after Crisostomo Ibarra from Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tángere and alliteration of her husband's name, Christopher. Famed for its contemporary take on Filipino dishes - if its pinoy food you crave, I guess this is the right place for you.

Their menu is very light in the eye and easy to understand as you will be presented with Filipino-related names, some even funny and some giving tribute to Jose Rizal's works. Albeit some dishes were named differently (i.e like a simple Sinigang sa Miso is called Sinigang Zamora) you will have a brief description of the dish plus an image of it.

We ordered Algas de Antonio (PHP195), De Los Santos (PHP1,695), Paella Filipino (PHP450) and Sinigang Zamora - Salmon (PHP495).

The place has a modern interior design, easy in the eye, air-conditioned and has spacious tables. They don't have their own restroom and you'll have to use the mall comfort room which is just beside the restaurant. They also have outside seating and a function room as well.
Algas de Antonio (PHP195) - Crisostomo in Eastwood City, Libis - WTF Review
Algas de Antonio (PHP195)
Algas de Antonio (PHP195) or Enseladang Lato - enselada which means salad in Spanish and Lato is a sea grape which is a type of edible seaweed. Squeeze in the calamansi and don't forget to add the chili and you are in for a tropical treat. It's salty and slimy, don't forget to eat it with onions and tomato to counter the sliminess of the lato.
De Los Santos (PHP1,695) - Crisostomo in Eastwood City, Libis - WTF Review
De Los Santos (PHP1,695)

De Los Santos (PHP1,695) - is a mix of meat and seafood sinugba (or inihaw in Tagalog). It's a mix of pork barbecue, liempo, chicken, squid, bangus, tahong, inihaw na talong and atchara. It's good for, at most 3 persons. The platter is stuffed overall, but I was a bit disappointed with the "binusog na pusit" in the menu, I was expecting a "stuffed" squid but it was just a grilled squid without anything inside.

Paella Filipino (PHP450) - Crisostomo in Eastwood City, Libis - WTF Review
Paella Filipino (PHP450)
Paella Filipino (PHP450) - it tastes like iodine which definitely comes from the seafood bringing that "taste of the ocean". It's a full dish, you got your paella, prawns, chicken, inihaw na liempo or roasted pork belly, hard-boiled egg and, chorizo.
Sinigang Zamora - Salmon (PHP495) - Crisostomo in Eastwood City, Libis - WTF Review
Sinigang Zamora - Salmon (PHP495)
Sinigang Zamora - Salmon (PHP495) or Sinigang na Salmon sa Miso - my favorite, I love salmon but I love it more when it's cooked like this. The rich, sour, hot soup just revitalizes your palate - you can clearly taste the umami element of the miso and the mustasa or mustard leaves provides that texture that you need.

Overall, it was a great experience. I love the Enseladang Lato and the Sinigang Zamora most! Although I was a little bit disappointed with the De Los Santos platter, I hope they clarify their menu or improve the dish next time. I'm excited to come back and try out the rest of the menu items. How about it Crisostomo? Mind sponsoring a meal?
  • Food
    • I guess they kinda like upgraded the traditional Filipino food and gave it a contemporary makeover, increasing the overall texture, presentation and flavor of the dish - it's definitely something to look forward to!
  • Place 
    • It's cozy and spacious, having no restroom is not a problem for me as it's just a couple of steps away from the restaurant.
  • Service 
    • The staff is very pleasing, attentive, accurate and very courteous.
  • Price 
    • For the price point, the quality of the food is okay as well as the portion.
Let's rate them, shall we?
Food: 4/5
Ambiance: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

What does Zomato say?
Crisostomo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Follow us on Instagram!
LocationSecond Floor, Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Contact Number: +63 2 7092049

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Fry Shack in San Miguel, Manila - WTF Review

Fry Shack in San Miguel, Manila - WTF Review
Delicious wings and thirst-quenching drinks? Try out Fry Shack and get your fix!
San Miguel, Manila - Just in front of Saint Jude Parish is a hole-in-a-wall haven for chicken wing lovers. Fry Shack is one of the hidden gems around the metro wherein competition for food is at an all-time high as food businesses are just popping left and right. Let's see how Fry Shack fares the rough seas of the food industry.
Let us start!
The place is not too shabby at all. It may be small but it has ample leg room good for 8-10 hungry diners. It has a sleek, contemporary design which is easy on the eyes. It is not air-conditioned but it is well ventilated, you wouldn't want to be enclosed in a confined space with someone frying, don't you?
Fry Shack's bar top
For a quick grub, I ordered the 6PCS of Most Wanted Wings - Hickory Barbecue and Garlic Parmesan mix (PHP159), Fried Oreo Cookies (PHP55), Yakult Blueberry (PHP80) with Popping Boba (PHP15) and Spicy Hungarian Sausage (PHP60).
Me: *staring at the cook, waiting for my wings*
Enough waiting, let's jump right into eating!
Spicy Hungarian Sausage (PHP60) - Fry Shack in San Miguel, Manila - WTF Review
Spicy Hungarian Sausage (PHP60)

Firstly, Spicy Hungarian Sausage (PHP60) - I requested for it to be extra toasty for that crisp skin. I was expecting a so-so "sausage" but I was into something different! It's peppery, spicy, juicy - far different from your regular-pretentious "Hungarian sausage" which is most often dry, greasy, rubbery, salty or sometimes sugary. This is what I call the almost-perfect Hungarian Sausage, every bite is a well-balanced bite with a pinch of sweetness and just the right hint of herb-yness to it.
6PCS of Most Wanted Wings - Hickory Barbecue and Garlic Parmesan mix (PHP159) - Fry Shack in San Miguel, Manila - WTF Review
6PCS of Most Wanted Wings - Hickory Barbecue and Garlic Parmesan mix (PHP159)
Now, to the main event, Most Wanted Wings - Hickory Barbecue and Garlic Parmesan mix (PHP159). I love chicken wings, it's my comfort food, but the F&B industry is already saturated with mediocre wings and Fry Shack is a sight for sore eyes.
6PCS of Most Wanted Wings - Hickory Barbecue and Garlic Parmesan mix (PHP159) - Fry Shack in San Miguel, Manila - WTF Review
6PCS of Most Wanted Wings - Hickory Barbecue and Garlic Parmesan mix (PHP159)
The Hickory Barbecue is surprisingly delicious, tangy, juicy and just damn right smoky. The replicated smoky flavor from the sauce just emits authentic hickory wood-grilled meat. Coming in hard is their Garlic Parmesan - it's gritty, savory and nutty - ask for a hot sauce or their homemade dip, it will significantly increase the flavor and texture of the wings!

They have an arsenal of wings which I'm going to try soon:

  • Original
  • Honey Sriracha
  • Garlic Parmesan
  • Soy Garlic
  • Jalapeño Mustard 
  • Hickory Barbecue 
  • Jack Daniels
  • Lemon Pepper

Yakult Blueberry (PHP80) - Fry Shack in San Miguel, Manila - WTF Review
Yakult Blueberry (PHP80) with Popping Boba (PHP15)
Yakult Blueberry (PHP80) with Popping Boba (PHP15)- while you're getting dirty on your wings, this refreshing Yakult Blueberry with Popping Boba is your ultimate thirst-quencher. The tartness plus the sweetness of the Yakult complements the sourness of the blueberry flavor. The sour-ish and fruity popping boba add that needed texture in the drink, making it much more fulfilling to consume.
Fried Oreo Cookies (PHP55) - Fry Shack in San Miguel, Manila - WTF Review
Fried Oreo Cookies (PHP55)
Fried Oreo Cookies (PHP55) - great wings, delicious drinks and to top it off, this fluffy Oreos covered in pancake-sugar-chocolate-dredged balls of goodness. Jesus Christ!
Overall, Fry Shack strayed from the usual and created something different by bringing in real flavors and excitement on their menu items. I would love to go back and try more of their wings and would love to see a very spicy variant as well! Check out their Facebook page and drop them a visit!

  • Food
    • They're very straightforward. Flavors are on point, portions are perfect and the quality is top notch.
  • Place 
    • Albeit it may look small, it's quite spacious. They can do better when it comes to ventilation but that's just me being too nitpicky.
  • Service 
    • The staff is neat, attentive and courteous. They even gave me a rundown of their best-seller wings and recommended some as well.
  • Price 
    • This is what sets them apart from their competitors. While it is true that the wing market is now saturated, portion and the class of the wings that they use is not your typical malnourished one. Combine that with the delicate preparation and ingredient, it's a big bang for your buck.
Let's rate them, shall we?
Food: 5/5
Ambiance: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5

What does Zomato say?
Fry Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Follow us on Instagram!

Location1439 J. P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila, Philippines
Operating Hours: 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Contact Number: N/A

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Hawker Chan in SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City - WTF Review

Hawker Chan in SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City - WTF Review
World's cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in Manila? For real!
When the first time I've heard Hawker Chan will open in SM Mall of Asia, Philippines, I totally lost it! It was my go-to comfort food when I was vacationing in Singapore way back. Known for their Soya Chicken Rice, this small hawker stand evolved from a quaint and small stand to a globally competitive chain and is now carrying a Michelin Star under their name.
Even Tony Stark agrees!
I just want to take this opportunity to thank the guys from Foodee Global Concepts! They are the one responsible for bringing top tier food destination here in the Philippines including Tim Ho Wan, Kam’s Roast and Llaollao!

Now, we go straight to the review! The restaurant is quite spacious and they also have outside seating.

Now, on to the food. We ordered: Soya Sauce Chicken Rice (PHP128), Soya Sauce Chicken Vegetable Noodle (PHP178), Roasted Pork Noodle (PHP178), Roasted Pork Rice (PHP148), and Seasonal Vegetable (PHP99). Mind you that it is somewhat a fast-food type restaurant so you need to order in the counter, wait for your food, bring your food to your table.
Soya Sauce Chicken Rice (PHP128)
Their famed, Michelin-starred Soya Sauce Chicken Rice (PHP128) - it's tender, juicy, flavorful and succulent! I'm just a bit off when it comes to the size of the chicken but nonetheless, the flavor is just phenomenal.
Soya Sauce Chicken Vegetable Noodle (PHP178)
For those who want something light but satisfying, their Soya Sauce Chicken Vegetable Noodle (PHP178) will definitely suit your palate.
Roasted Pork Rice (PHP148)
Not a fan of chicken? I bet you'll like their Roasted Pork Rice (PHP148) - the meat is juicy inside and out while the skin is perfectly cooked to crisp! Prepare your belly though, I bet you won't stop and will definitely ask for seconds!
Roasted Pork Noodle (PHP178)
This Roasted Pork Noodle (PHP178) is oozing with flavor! The perfectly cooked rice noodles soaked in all those soya juices from the juicy roasted pork is just perfect.
Seasonal Vegetable (PHP99)
A little bit disappointed with their Seasonal Vegetable (PHP99), the lackluster appearance makes the whole dish "regular", albeit the vegetable

It was an exquisite dinner, alas, finally able to taste something "world-acclaimed". It was such an honor but I hope the PH team continue to improve their service and up their ante when it comes to standard serving size.

In case you're too far from SM Mall of Asia, they also have two branches located in Makati and North Edsa:
  • Hawker Chan Makati
    • Ground Floor, Glorietta 3, 
    • Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, 
    • Makati City
  • Hawker Chan North Edsa
    • G/F Main Bldg., SM City North EDSA, 
    • EDSA cor. North Ave., 
    • Quezon City, Metro Manila
Now that my longtime craving for Soya Chicken is over, I hope they bring over Song Fa Bak Kut Teh too! Pretty please?!
  • Food
    • What else can I say? Most of the dishes are packed with flavor!
    • I can't get over the serving size of the chicken and pork.
  • Place 
    • Pretty spacious - they have both inside and outside seating.
    • There is no restroom.
    • The queue system can be improved.
  • Service 
    • The servers were great, neat and they pay attention to their surroundings, making sure that they are able to handle each and every customer.
  • Price 
    • The price is on point, probably much cheaper than in Singapore but like my first point, they should increase the size of their portions.
Let's rate them, shall we?
Food: 4/5
Ambiance: 4/5
Service: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
OVERALL: 4.3/5

What does Zomato say?
Hawker Chan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Follow us on Instagram!
LocationGround Floor, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City, Philippines
Operating Hours: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Contact Number: N/A
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