Nines vs. Food x PopTalk: My First Time As A Guest Reviewer!

I've always been a fan of TV shows with hosts who go to different places and try new things, while they share their insights and let the audience know if what they've tried are recommended or not. Then again, I never really imagined myself that I would actually do that kind of thing, yet it was more of a dream hidden at the back of my brain. But thanks to my 'KTG Dad' Richie Zamora of The Pickiest Eater in the World, I got the chance to be a guest reviewer in the lifestyle magazine TV Show called PopTalk, which airs every Saturday on GMA News TV.

During my guesting, we had to go to three restaurants with the Latin American theme, but before we get to the deets on what you are expected to see once you watch it, let me give you my behind-the-scenes version during the time that we were taping the said episode.

For starters, I've had the chance to meet some wonderful restaurant owners who are very passionate in what they do! This is Ms. Candy, owner of our first stop, Mantaro, which is located along Scout Rallos. This lovely lady also happens to be the wife of the restaurant's chef (who has both Brazilian and Japanese descents). 

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I've also got a chance to mingle and hang out with PopTalk's crew, who are very accommodating and really hardworking! These guys really deserve some good food to fuel up their energies to keep up with the production of the show.

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Mantaro serves up authentic Portuguese dishes that are meaningfully priced while maintaining the quality and uniqueness of their flavors. The only downside is that the place inside tends to get a bit warm in temperature since the kitchen is located right next to their indoor seating, even if they do have an air conditioning unit already, It doesn't help either especially if the weather outside is a bit hot, so I suggest going there for early dinner (because their food tends to run out late at night).

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Aside from me, I also got to meet my fellow guest reviewers Chef Anton Amoncio of Antojo's Restaurant in Banawe (which I am planning to visit soon) and Hideo Muraoka, Brazilian/Japanese model/actor/entrepreneur. Of course, PopTalk's host, Tonipet Gaba or better known as 'Kuya Tonipet' was with us the whole time.

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As for our first stop, I can say that I am willing to come back at another time just to experience Mantaro's homestyle Portuguese food!

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About an hour later, we arrived in Salcedo Village in Makati to try some Puerto Rican specialties at Sofrito, a legit hole-in-the-wall which is located below the classy Felipe & Sons Barberdashery (barbershop/haberdashery venture)

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There are but a few on the menu list, but so far we're lovin' the homey vibe, just as you find yourself whenever you visit your aunt's house complete with a very well stocked pantry.

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It's funny how I got to have two different looks because I only had my face done by an MUA during the second stop.

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Before we did the actual eating, food should always be shot first. Just like how bloggers do! No one eats until you get that perfect shot.

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Aside from the yummy food at Sofrito, another reason to come back there is so I can cuddle their house dog Lola!

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She's so behaved that even our MUA for the day had a chance to play with her!

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And now, for our second round of food! Imagine we were able to finish all these in one take?

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I loved the desserts at Sofrito - such as the Empanadas with guava/mango jam and the Tres Leches Cake.

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Ms. Millie (on the photo) is a true darling as well as her husband, whom I enjoyed having a conversation about the being a Filipino and on how we are perceived as a mix of different cultures, and to which he said, "We're just like halo halo! We're cool, charming and attractive!" Fun times!

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I'm telling you, you have to go to Sofrito for their out of this world Mofongo Carnitas. It's pork stew with plantains and some beans! It looks simple but wait til you taste it in its true form :)

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After two stops I already felt quite full, and as the rush hour started to settle in, we had to endure another hour traveling while we head for our third and final stop. 

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And who would have known that our third stop, just when I though I can't eat anymore, is a churrascaria?? SO. MUCH. MEAT. So little time!

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As for our third stop, we went to the Brazil! Brazil! located at Greenfield City, which is said to be handled by a new management. It still offers most of the same unlimited grilled meats and sausages with a number of ala carte items as well.

Not sure if this would be shown, but aside from trying my best to describe the food in Filipino (which was a bit challenging for me) we had to speak Brazilian during our last stop so please don't judge me too much :)

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And after we devoured the delicious roster of dishes at Brazil! Brazil! we are very happy to know that we are finally done with the eating portions!! And speaking of portions, I wouldn't measure how much I ate that day as I was so full! But overall I really enjoyed it!

However, it wasn't officially a wrap because we had to go back at the GMA office to finish some voice overs and the verdict. OMG I hope my tummy does not distract anyone as soon as it airs hahaha!

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On the whole,it was a fun filled day indeed! I got to eat a lot, met some great and interesting guys and gals, and learned a thing or two from this whole experience! Will I ever get another shot at this? Who knows? :)

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So what do you think? Would I have said POP or FLOP? Catch PopTalk this Saturday, June 27, 8PM on GMA News TV!

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