A Quick Trip South Of The Border



Jammed in the middle of  a red light district with bars lining the neon streets for block after block, lies one of my favorite places on the planet. This is where I go when I have an urge that finds no relief elsewhere. The ambiance of this place is thick and brimming with culture.  The air is alive with an electric aroma that gives you goosebumps. The electric aroma of tacos.

Approaching  the street front restaurant, the crowd sitting outside is the first thing I noticed. This is because they are the most diverse group of people I have seen gathered in one place here in Manila.  There are literally people from every walk of life represented here. From European backpackers to a group of Japanese businessmen, the customers are united by one love. Tacos.

Continue reading A Quick Trip South Of The Border

Lit: A perfect spot for a quiet drink



The night began at Phat Pho in Serendra. This is my favorite Vietnamese spot in Manila and I really need to do a go-to feature about them soon. I am always on the lookout for great authentic Vietnamese food so if you know of a place please lemme know! we tried the fish sauce chicken wings and they are on point. They have really great flavor and I highly recommend trying them!

Here is the info for Phat Pho, if you have a craving for authentic Vietnamese give them a try because everything I have tried there is fantastic!

Phat Pho:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PhatPhoMNL

Phone Number: 02 8430820


Bonifacio Global City, Ground Floor, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City


After a “smallish” meal, we stopped by a new Japanese Whisky bar in Serendra called Lit.  Now you may be thinking to yourself “whisky, doesn’t he mean whiskey?” Well, since we are talking about the Japanese  variety it is spelled whisky. Check out this link to find out more interesting facts about Whiskey vs. Whisky.

If you can’t find them keep an eye out for this sign.

Continue reading Lit: A perfect spot for a quiet drink

Good food, good friends, some wine and lots of laughs.

IMG_1807 We had a couple of friends over for some wine, cheese and very random finger food. All the photos as well as the beautiful table layout are thanks to Ange de la Cruz. All I did was a little cooking for this one. 🙂 The food was great and all very simple to make. If you would like the recipe for anything just let me know. IMG_1788   Continue reading Good food, good friends, some wine and lots of laughs.

Go-To Restaurant: Ukokkei Ramen Ron

 Go-To Restaurant: Ukokkei Ramen Ron

ukkkei snip guy

One of my favorite all-time guilty pleasure meals is traditional Japanese Ramen. But, I didn’t fall in love with Ramen until I moved to Los Angeles just a few years ago. LA had a much bigger Japanese culture than the previous city I had lived in, Houston.  Houston seemed to have a much bigger Vietnamese influence versus Japanese, so I spent years diving into the Vietnamese savory noodle soup called Phở. But that is another story. I have always loved Japanese food, so it didn’t take long until I had discovered several tasty Ramen places in Los Angeles.  It was very trendy in LA to eat Ramen, and some of the more popular joints would have lines for a block of people waiting for their bowls.

Well it wasn’t until I arrived in the Philippines that I really experienced Ramen perfection in my first bowl of Tantanmen from Ukkokei Ramen Ron. Just call it Ukokkei. It sits quite high on my list of go-to restaurants. My list of go-to restaurants are the few places I can always eat at that are consistently delicious. They are the  kind of places easily recommended to a friend and serve as a fail-safe spot for those moments when you just can’t decide where or what to eat. I am not a food critic, I am only writing about Ukokkei because I love their Tantanmen. I won’t go into the history of the restaurant, the “ramen nazi” era, or even their other two locations.  The San Lorenzo Ukokkei is king of Tantanmen in my book. I love Ramen of all types and there are certainly a lot of varieties of Ramen, but if I had to choose one bowl over all, Ukokkei Tantanmen is it.  Not everyone agrees with me on this, and that’s ok. They are idiots. 🙂


The soup broth itself is oily, creamy, and spicy all at the same time. It’s a secret  mix of chicken broth, pork broth, miso broth, and chili oil that never quite emulsifies into blended broth. The richness is crazy; crazy like it’s only served in limited quantities per day (60 bowls), after certain times of night (6 PM), and after cooking for days (2). Yea, it’s that level of crazy. It has thick, curly noodles and ground pork throughout and is topped with green onion.  And that’s it. No frills, plain-as-day soup and that is why it is the best. Here are some pictures to do the rest of the talking. But heed my advise and if you crave Ramen, go to Ukokkei.












By the way, their gyoza is also my favorite gyoza in the city. Not everyone’s favorite but for me, it’s simple and always cooked well.


They do serve other things beside the Tantanmen, and if you can’t handle spicy things try out the Miso Butter Corn Ramen.
Here are the locations and contact details for Ukokkei:
Ukokkei sanlo
San Lorenzo Location Phone Number 02 8564588
Ukokkei mhill
Mckinley Location Phone Number +63 9394737105
Ukokkei malate
Malate Location Phone Number 02 5165511


Go-To Restaurant: Your Local

You know, sometimes it can be hard to decide what to eat. I can totally forget about solid restaurants during those hungry moments. I end up trying some place new and usually disappointing, or I thankfully remember one of my Go-To places. Your Local truly feels set apart from most restaurants here in the Philippines. It is one of my favorite escapes due to its cool ambiance and great comfort food. The decor is not overly hipster and has a very New York feel to it. I stopped by for lunch today and they really delivered some great items to the table. Their ingredients are obviously some of the freshest in the city and are presented on a menu that is a lively mix of  dishes that have a familiar feel but unique interpretation. Their food feels like a fusion of many of my favorite cuisines like Japanese, Chinese, American and Spanish but all prepared with local ingredients and plated in a very unpretentious fashion. For lunch today, I had my favorite: the Beef Rendang Buns, as well as the locally well known Salmon Donburi. The salmon dish is served over rice and is easily big enough for two people to share. It was actually recently featured in a Bon Appetite article.  Good stuff.

I always enjoy a good sandwich, and that is exactly why the Beef Rendang Buns at Your Local is my favorite menu item. For me, it’s like an East-meets-West style mash up of a classic American barbecue sandwich with pickles and a sweet/spicy Asian sauce. It’s served on fried Mantou, which I know you have had, but perhaps not known the name. Well, Mantou, is the white fluffy bread common in Northern Chinese cuisine. It’s steamed so it is very light and delicate. It’s found all over Asia and has a multitude of names depending on the place, but possibly where you have experienced it, is as the main component of the Chinese dim-sum star, shāobāo (steamed pork bun). Well, at Your Local, they take Mantou for the rendang sandwich and fry it. That’s the bun. Yum. I really have a weakness for fried bread. The beef is super tender, juicy and flavorful with just the right amount of spiciness. The serving is two buns, perfect for sharing. If it was served as one piece only, I doubt other people at the table would get to try it. Check it out, I promise you won’t be disappointed.


Those buns though.
The black rice under the seared rare salmon is seasoned with a nice and sweet house made ponzu.

P1040386 P1040381 P1040359



Your Local

yourlocal logo

+63 2 823 6206

106 Esteban
Legazpi Village, Makati
Kalakhang Maynila

yourlocal map




Vask, is a modern Filipino / Tapas restaurant divided into several different concept areas. There is a bar and lounge area, a casual cafe dining area, as well as a fine dining area. The overall feel of the place is very playful and relaxed due to the decor, even the fine dining area has a very chill and tranquil ambiance. The multi-concept establishment is headed by Spanish Chef, Jose Luis “Chele” Gonzalez. I had the  immense pleasure of being invited to dine at Gallery Vask last week. I was truly surprised by their presentation and execution of the entire meal. It was a memorable and unique gastronomic journey exploring Filipino ingredients and food traditions interpreted in a very contemporary setting. Continue reading Vask

Boodle Fight!

Recently, I experienced a Philippine tradition in dining called a Boodle Fight. Now, this is the epitome of finger food.  There are no forks in sight or any plates for that matter. The food is piled high on top of banana leaves in the center of the table and everyone digs in with their bare hands.

Continue reading Boodle Fight!

Clean Slate Featured on Spot.ph, Philippine Daily Inquirer, ABS-CBN, and more!

I have had the unique honor to be featured on some of the Philippines’ most prestigious and popular publications and online resources. I feel extremely lucky for this, I didn’t know anyone when I first arrived here in Manila. I believe good things happen when you follow your passion in full force, and this is a testament to that. I have compiled a separate page to keep up with action, you can check it out by clicking here.

 Thank you so much everyone for all the comments on my blog entries Pressand support. The future is looking bright for Clean Slate!


Top 10 “Healthier” Potato Chips to Snack On

Clean SLate Spotph feature

Continue reading Clean Slate Featured on Spot.ph, Philippine Daily Inquirer, ABS-CBN, and more!

My Favorite Clean Slate Moments of 2014

IMG_2828Close up of Shrimp and Bacon Po' BoyBeet Salad BoardJambalaya Plated3Uni Butter Penne1The full fish taco spread2Clean slate billboardcrabplate9ribsonwhite1Chirashi MacroSeared Scallop Sandwich with lemongrass infused fresh coconut and dill slaw with a tamarind turmeric gravySausage Marinara SandwichIMG_7503IMG_7915IMG_7959


2014 was an amazing year for me!

The beginning of this month  marks the one year anniversary of me being in Manila, and one whole year of me focusing entirely on my passion,  food.  It has been a constant test, but there is nothing better than struggling for your passion. I am excited to announce that I rolled out a new format for the blog. Please let me know what you think of the new look! Also I am trying to figure out what I want my .com url to be titled, so if you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to mention them in the comments below. As soon as I have settled on a name (hardest thing ever), I will be debuting the new Clean Slate website! 🙂

This blog started as a test for myself to see if I could keep up with it. I now have a whole new respect for bloggers as a whole, because  it really is a time consuming process. For someone who has been called a ‘perfectionist’, it can become a balance of compromise. At times, some posts never feel truly finished. All the negative aspects aside, it is an irreplaceable feeling when I publish an original recipe that I worked days preparing for; from the  cooking and and writing, to taking photos.  I highly suggest you give blogging a shot if you have never tried it. Even if no one ever reads your posts (highly unlikely), it is great showing the world what you are capable of, and a fantastic hobby and outlet.

Looking back over all my posts from 2014, I surprised myself to relive all the delicious meals and content I put together throughout the year. It really gave me a sense of pride and  reassured me to stick with it.

I linked several of my favorite posts above, and if you are new to the blog, or just need a refresher, I would love if you would check out the ones that catch your eye.

Once again, thank you all for reading Clean Slate! I really truly appreciate the time each of you take to comment, and complement on all my posts. It makes it such a rewarding process knowing my readers enjoy Clean Slate. It means a lot to me and I thank you!

Happy New Year, and I will keep you posted on what’s cooking!


Leftovers Makeover: Turning Christmas Dinner leftovers into Turkey Pot Pie

Nothing’s worse than cooking a huge  holiday meal and not knowing what to do with all the leftovers. For Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, that is exactly what happened. We had a ton of extra food, and even after feeding lots of friends and family over the course of several days, it just wouldn’t go away. I took one look at all the fresh veggies and the massive pile of turkey, and I decided to make pot pie.

Turkey Pot Pie

Continue reading Leftovers Makeover: Turning Christmas Dinner leftovers into Turkey Pot Pie

Clean Slate is a Food and Cooking Blog by Jonathan Beam. Featuring recipes, cooking tips, and restaurant recommendations.

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