Now that hubby is here for a vacation, we’ve been trying out different kinds of cuisine in different restaurants since he arrived. As such, i would be posting much about food and sharing my photos so here goes…

On this culinary journey, we visited Hugs and Kisses i, which is just my funny way to read XOi (pronounced soy) based on the universal acronym XO (meaning hugs and kisses).  Well, XOi is in fact, a vietnamese word meaning sticky rice and also the name of the newly opened restaurant at the mall. Its cozy ambiance is highlighted by the red walls printed with white flowers. The interior is contemporary and i love the native woven mats as placemats.


For starter, we ordered mon nuong dac biet which is actually a combination of satay, prawns sugarcane, crispy calamari and crispy rolls. My favorite among these are the crispy rolls, and their tangy, spicy and garlicky dipping sauce really complements it. The satay is also a favorite. Our waiter was kind enough to tell us how to eat them which is wrapping it in lettuce leaves before taking a really big bite.

mon nuong dac biet P300 (about $7.14)

dipping sauce

My son ordered the tom nuong voi mi toi which is grilled prawns served with garlic noodles. Prawns are tender and grilled to perfection.

tom nuong voi mi toi P285.00 (about $6.78)

I ordered pho bo which is rice noodles soup with beef brisket and raw sliced beef. Note: raw beef is so thinly sliced that the hot boiling soup really cooked it perfectly and it tastes good. I added the condiments that goes with it and it tasted even better.

pho bo P210.00 (about $5.00)

extra condiments for pho bo

Hubby ordered mi my tho which is egg noodles soup with shrimp, ground pork, and pork slices. This has a little hint of spiciness which packs in more flavor to the soup.

mi my tho P215.00 (about $5.12)

Craving for some veggies, he also ordered bok choy voi nam which is bok choy with mushroom and oyster sauce.

bok choy voi nam

My daughter ordered ganuong ngu vi huong which is grilled five spice chicken with herbs.

ganuong ngu vi huong P175.00 (about $4.16)

The highlight of this culinary adventure is the naked crab served with garlic noodles. The crab is cooked divinely. It is garlicky but sweet.  Most of all, since it was ‘naked’, it’s the more that we enjoyed every single bite, tasting the sweetness of the crab meat accompanied by the flavorful garlic noodles. This dish accounted for almost half of our bill. Being shelled and ready to eat, this makes it quite expensive.

cua rang muoi toi (price depends on weight of crab)

For dessert, we had the fried banana drizzled with chocolate syrup served with vanilla icing on top.

fried banana with ice cream and choco syrup

As a form of gratitude, the waiter handed us a P50.00 gift certificate which could be used on our next visit. Shall i visit it again? Yes, not only to make use of the gift certificate but also to try their other specialties.

xoi gift certificate

Watch out for our next foodtrip and join us in our quest of the best food in town …


It is our custom to throw a despedida party for a member of the family who is leaving to go anywhere real far for good or for a long period of time.  So, a day before my sister would be leaving for Dubai, we set up a family dinner in one of the famous restaurants in the metro.  We had fun, lots of laughter, and of course food… lots of savory, delectable and mouth-watering food.  I took photos of them before anyone could ever hold their hands on them.  Here they are, the photos of what the family shared that evening.

cold cuts combination

Cold cuts combination is a platter of hainan chicken, seaweeds, century eggs, deep fried pork belly slices, and ham.  Everything looks good and tastes good.

taro puffs

If i guessed it right, taro puffs has minced meat combined with the sweetness of taro deep fried to perfection to give it that lovely crunch on the outside but soft and wonderful on the inside.

mashed wintermelon soup

The mashed wintermelon soup resembles crab meat soup.  Wintermelon is known locally as kundol.  And yes, the soup tastes so good.

steamed fish fillet with garlic

I love the steamed fish fillet.  The flavor of the garlic is infused nicely and the melt-in-your-mouth softness of the fish is heavenly.

salad seafood roll

The crunch of the finely diced turnips combined with the sweetness of crab meat wrapped generously and fried is pretty interesting and good.

steamed crabs

Ooh la la, steamed crabs are so sweet.  Everyone laid their hands on the crabs and we had fun cracking those crab legs.

wrapped duck with hoisin sauce

Included in our set menu is one whole Peking Duck with its skin roasted perfectly brown.  It was served two ways.  First, the duck was sliced and wrapped in pancake wrapper in bite size pieces with hoisin sauce.  Oh my, this dish is perfect.  I’m not a lover of duck but this dish tastes so good.

deep fried duck

The second way our duck was served is deep fried.  This really got into me and in fact got to be my favorite.  The taste is so perfect for me, it is a little sweet, a little spicy, a little crunchy.  Wow, i could nibble this all day long.  But there is one thing that i really missed.  I wasn’t able to take photo of the whole peking duck before it was carved and the rest deep fried.

Also included in our set menu is steamed chicken with abalone and black mushroom in lotus leaf.  Well, i took a photo of it but the quality of the photo is not good so it’s not included in these set of photos.

mango sago

For dessert, we had the mango sago.  The sweetness and the tartness complements the sago.  It was served in a little soup bowl and how  i laughed when i blow some air on my spoon thinking it was hot but of course it’s really cold.

Everbody had fun and we are all full with all the food.  The despedida party was a success. VON VOYAGE MY DARLING SISTER.  Til Christmas time and we will all be sharing food and family bonding moments again.

Thank you GLORIAMARIS for the great and delicious food.