Breakfast stories at Cafe Tribu – Victoria de Morato

They say that great stories are told over good food.

Well, at the Cafe Tribu branch at the Victoria de Morato building along Scout Borromeo Street, the food items themselves have their own stories to tell, as I’ve recently discovered together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH.

Care to know ’em?

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Opened in March 2019 by former Starbucks Coffee Master Marychris delos Santos, this Cafe Tribu branch has evolved into a showcase for her coffee mastery and her favorite dishes. Having her own business was also her motivation when she was dealing with some personal problems.

Here, you can find a nice and chill haven to hide out in away from the sun or rain. You can also take advantage of the free WiFi while working or studying, or amuse yourself and your buddies with boardgames you can borrow at the counter.

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Here, you can refresh yourself with some of Marychris’ signature concoctions such as the Strawberry (Ph85) or the Kiwi Lychee (Php85) Green Tea coolers; or treat yourself to something more decadent such as the Caramel Creme (Php95) or the Java Oreo Berry (Php100) frappes.

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

So what are the stories behind this Cafe Tribu’s food offerings?

Well, let’s start with the all-day breakfast items which are served with garlic rice, fried egg, atchara and saba:

The German Cheesy (Php130), for starters, features plump homemade cheese-filled sausages which are popular among the denizens of the area near UST where Marychris studied.

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

The Boneless Bangus (Php130), on the other hand, came all the way from Dagupan, where Marychris’ family hails from. Together with its sweet-sour sukang atchara, it’s a sure-fire winner!

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Have you ever tasted baboy ramo (wild boar) before? Order the Pork Tapa (Php165), and you will. I was actually surprised to find this meat imported from Nueva Ecija to be quite tender to the bite.

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

If you want something more American, have a Ham and Egg Sandwich (Php135). Together with the parmesan-dusted fries, it will fill you up for a day’s work or studying.

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Since there’s always room for dessert, check out this Cafe Tribu’s sweet treats:

French Toast (Php95). A sweet confection of Marychris’ own recipe, which became her way to her man’s heart.

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Banana Muffins (Php20 each). These yummy cuppies were Marychris’ mom’s way to her dad’s heart.

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

(There must be something in the way women in her family prepare desserts.) 😍

So if you’re ever in the Tomas Morato area, drop by this Cafe Tribu branch and chat up with Marychris over some good food and refreshing drinks.

Cafe Tribu, Victoria de Morato

Many thanks to Marychris of Cafe Tribu – Victoria de Morato for the warm welcome, the stories and of course, for the yummy food!

This Cafe Tribu branch is located at Ground Floor, Victoria De Morato, Scout Borromeo Street, South Triangle, Quezon City, open weekdays from 10am to 7pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 921 5411885.

Cafe Tribu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a foodie meetup held here wherein food and drink items were served to allow us to sample the fare. These were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro:

Time to hustle hard at Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

That quote, often mistakenly ascribed to legendary US President Abraham Lincoln, does have a point. Things are done and achieved by those who move.

Well, one of the hardest things to overcome is the state of inertia: just imagine, if your mind and body already think they are at rest, they tend to stay that way for the rest of the day. (Good luck getting over that mid-day slump!)

Fortunately for us working folks here in Quezon City’s South Triangle area, Hustle Cafe has moved its store from Cubao to the corner of Tomas Morato Avenue and Scout Rallos Street. In its new location, it continues to serve food and drink freshly prepared in the store to help people power through the day.

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

A friend and I dropped by during our lunch break to get our much needed mid-day sustenance, which included:

Pork Samgyupsal (Php250). Korean-style grilled pork and fried egg tops a bowl of fluffy steamed rice, sliced cucumber and kimchi-flavored shredded cabbage.

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Grilled Cheese (Php180). Cheese and onion marmalade make up the filling of thick and buttery toasted bread with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Salted Caramel (Php140) and Coffee (Pbp120) Frappes. Our little bits of caffeine-laden treats to wake our brains up and lift out spirits to face the rest of our tasks for the day.

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Speaking of uplifting, did you know that proceeds from the sales Hustle Cafe’s food and drink help in the training of out-of-school youth in the food and beverage industry? The cafe exposes these kids, not just in the store’s back-end operations, but also in customer-facing roles to prepare them for larger responsibilities in their future F&B jobs.

With its wallet-friendly-priced drinks, Hustle Cafe also makes specialty brews and blends more accessible and less intimidating, thereby helping to create new coffee lovers and enthusiasts.

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

So if ever you’re in the Tomas Morato area, do drop by and check out Hustle Cafe’s offerings. They just make give you the energy to hustle your way through your day.

Hustle Cafe is located at the CKB Center, Tomas Morato Avenue corner Rallos Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and advanced orders, call +63 916 6557485.

Hustle Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro:

Tea drinks created with passion at Royaltea, San Juan

There’s another reason for tea lovers out there to rejoice: Royaltea, the tea brand which originated from China, has further strengthened its foothold in the country through its second branch in San Juan.

Adding to Royaltea’s existing Taft Avenue branch, the newly opened store in San Juan now serves the brand’s signature tea drinks to the students of nearby Xavier School and residents of adjacent Greenhills villages.

Royaltea, San Juan

Royaltea, San Juan

Royaltea, San Juan

Globally, Royaltea has over 500 stores with highest growth in number in countries such as China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the United States. It prides itself on only using the most premium, fresh and natural ingredients which include natural loose tea leaves and fresh fruits.

It is especially known for its Cheese Teas, beverages with rich and creamy cheese covers made from authentic New Zealand cream cheese. I was able to taste some of Royaltea’s Cheezo drinks when I dropped by for the Grand Opening of its San Juan branch.

These include:

Avocado Cheezo (Php180). Definitely one of my new favorites! The tea taste is not as intense as the Mango Cheezo’s, and the salty sweetness of the milk cap complements the earthy sweetness of the fresh avocado.

Royaltea, San Juan

Royaltea, San Juan

Mango Cheezo (Php180). Uses fresh mango and possesses an intense tangy-sweet taste, probably from the tea.

Royaltea, San Juan

Royaltea, San Juan

Very Strawberry Cheezo (Php180). Uses fresh strawberries and has an intense sweetness.

Royaltea, San Juan

Royaltea, San Juan

Brown Sugar Pearl Milk Tea with Cheezo (Php130). The caramelized sugar flavor in the milk tea and the chewy tapioca black pearls are given an added layer of flavor from the sweet-saltiness of the cream cheese cover.

Royaltea, San Juan

Royaltea, San Juan

The best way to drink these Cheezo drinks is to first sip from the top to really get the cheese flavor, then use the straw to sip the tea from the bottom.

I look forward to checking out Royaltea’s upcoming branches in Quezon City which are nearer my workplace: one in Sgt. Esguerra Avenue and the other in Banawe. It will be so much easier for me to enjoy the store’s myriad of offerings together with my coworkers.

By the way, did you know that Royaltea’s large cups are reusable? Bring them back with you when you re-visit the store, ask the milk tea barista to serve your drinks there, and voila! Not only have you done your part in lessening plastic waste, you also get Php5 knocked off your tea price.

This Royaltea branch is located at 67 Washington Street, Greenhills, San Juan. The other branch is located at Ground Floor, WH Taft Residences, Malate Manila.

Header image provided by Royaltea. All other photos are mine.

Royaltea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held here wherein in drink items were served to allow us to sample the fare. These were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other milk tea joints:

Four reasons why Sammy’s in Cainta is a hidden gem worth uncovering

The areas east of Manila are home to many noteworthy restaurants that satisfy the discerning foodie’s need for great food and beautiful surroundings.

Sammy’s, the rustic restaurant tucked away in one of the inner subdivisions in Valley Golf, Cainta, has a lot more going for it.

Curious yet? Read on to discover four reasons why this hidden gem should be brought out to the light of day for everyone to enjoy.

One: The warm welcome.

Sammy’s is located in a fairly hidden street in the Valley View Executive Subdivision, one of the residential villages inside Valley Golf in Cainta, Rizal. Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I was able to locate the place thanks to Google Maps and to the cute signboard made of corrugated steel that hangs outside the gate.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s, Cainta

When the gate opened, we were greeted by the smiling Chef Sammy Isidro and his lovely wife Dorothy. And boy, do they have a lot of fun stories to tell! (But more on that later.)

Two: The beautiful place.

The restaurant is actually located at the second floor of their house. A high ceiling decorated by hanging Edison lamps and large windows that let in lots of natural light give the room an open and airy feel. While the area is just big enough to seat twenty to twenty-four people, the layout makes it seem much bigger.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s, Cainta

Adding character to the place is its decor which is a cross between rustic and industrial. Polished pine wood tables and woven hemp place mats complement the black and white ceramic ware and clear glassware. Clocks made of bike parts adorn one wall, while a light fixture made of pipes accent another.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s, Cainta

Even the washroom is visually appealing: check out that kawali sink!

And the lush greenery from the trees outside provide a verdant backdrop for all of these elements, and, of course, the delicious dishes that Chef Sammy whips up in the kitchen.

Three: The delicious Indonesian-inspired food.

Sammy’s serves a carefully thought-out curation of Asian cuisine influenced, no doubt, by the seventeen years the couple spent in Jakarta. (Doing what there? Again, more on that later, I promise!)

Sammy’s, Cainta

We were served these delectable dishes:

Sammy’s Breakfast (Php390). This big-enough-for-two meal consists of Chef Sammy’s favorite breakfast meal items which include Pinoy classics such as beef tapa, tocino, longganisa and danggit, accompanied by garlic fried rice and omelet.

Sammy’s, Cainta

5-Hour Pork Belly in two ways…

With Laing and White Rice (Php290). A lean piece of pork belly is roasted at low temperature for five hours to achieve a tender texture and a smokey flavor. It is placed on a bed of homemade laing, the Bicolano staple made of taro leaves accompanied by steamed rice.

Sammy’s, Cainta

In a Cubano Sandwich with Kamote Fries (Php250). Showcasing the versatility 5-hour pork belly, Chef Sammy uses it in a hearty Cubano sandwich together with pickles, cheese and a tart sauce in a crisp Cubano bread with kamote (sweet potato) fries on the side.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Konro with White Rice (Php530). In this Indonesian version of braised beef, big chunks of flavorful ribs are slow-cooked for hours in its own drippings, thereby concentrating its flavor. By the way, this giant serving is also big enough for two.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Nasi Goreng (Php190). In this Indonesian take on the fried rice, precooked rice is flavored with kecap manis (a sweet kind of soy sauce), shallots, garlic, shrimp paste and tamarind, and made heartier with the addition of juicy pieces of chicken satay on skewers and krupuk crackers.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Mango Crepes with Vanilla Sauce (Php160). Chef Sammy first tasted this dessert when he was a waiter at La Scala years ago and his fond memories of it drove him to include it in the menu of his own restaurant.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Banana Bread French Toast (Php140). Slices of homemade banana loaf are dipped in a rich egg mixture then lightly toasted, making this dessert extra decadent.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Martabak Manis. This thick pancake dish popular in Indonesia is filled chocolate sprinkle, crushed peanuts, cheese and condensed milk. It’s not yet on the menu but given our enthusiastic reaction to it, it definitely should be.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Fresh Fruit Shakes: Ripe Mango Shake (Php140) and Banana Milk Shake (Php130).

Sammy’s, Cainta

Hot Bicolano Tabrilla Chocolate (Php65). This cup of decadently thick hot chocolate made from single-origin tabrilla from Bicol is perfect for lazy Sunday mornings when you just want to luxuriate in its sweet comfort… or any other time, really.

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s, Cainta

Four: The singing chef… and his wife!

And now for the low-down: Chef Sammy and Dorothy spent seventeen years as singers in the Hotel Mulia Senayan Jakarta, where they exemplified the musical prowess of Pinoys to the hotel’s international clientele.

In between his singing gigs, Sammy achieved his Diploma 1 at the Jakarta Culinary Center.

Now that they have their own establishment back home, Chef Sammy and Dorothy still break out into song from time to time, but mostly as an extra treat for their dinner guests after dessert has been served.

Imagine a Valentine’s Day date, an intimate proposal or an anniversary celebration with these two singing in the background. (Kilig time ahead!) 😍😍😍

So given all these reasons, I think it’s high time that Sammy’s become a prime destination for foodies, and not just for those living east of Manila. Don’t you agree?

Thanks to Chef Sammy and Dorothy for an awesome dining experience for me and my foodie buddies!

Sammy’s Cainta

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s, Cainta

Sammy’s is located at 14 Raspberry Bend Street, Valley View Executive Subdivision Phase 3, San Juan, Cainta. The restaurant is open Tuesdays to Saturdays for breakfast from 7am to 11.30am and for dinner from 7pm to 10.30pm, and on Sundays for breakfast from 7am to 11.30am.

Seating is strictly by reservation so call +63 939 1483960 to book your table.

Sammy's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a foodie meetup held here wherein food and drink items were served to allow us to sample the fare. These were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro:

Handcrafted brunch creations at Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

In Kapitolyo, Pasig’s foodie haven, a new mecca for brunch-aholics and more has just opened its doors.

Called Artesa Deli + Coffee (and named after the Catalan word for “handcrafted”), this cafe elevates the casual and leisurely brunch out into an artform.

Founded by three friends – Mikho Villarosa, Edrian Chua and Jef Lim – Artesa elevates seeks to be Kapitolyo’s one-stop shop for high-quality, curated yet reasonably priced coffee and food products.

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

My friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH and I recently visited Artesa Deli + Coffee for a late brunch experience, where we were treated to:

Chimichurri Burger (Php175). A juicy patty of 100% US beef cooked to medium doneness topped with pickled cucumbers, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, and house-made chimichurri sauce with a side of crispy fried wonton chips.

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Cubano (Php235). One of the cafe’s best-selling sandwiches, this dish features ham and fork-tender, smokey pulled pork accompanied by pickled cucumbers and cheddar cheese in a lightly buttered and pressed Cuban bread and also with a side of those addictive fried wonton chips.

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

By the way, Artesa’s sandwiches are all buildable which means that you can customize your sandwich by adding-on items such as extra beef patties, fried chicken fillets, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, bacon strips or fried egg.

Tomato Gravy Rice with Chicken (Php220). A tender fillet of chicken is battered, panko-crusted and shallow-fried to a crispy golden brown before being placed on top of steamed rice drenched in a savory yet slightly tangy gravy of beef drippings, tomato and spices, then garnished with corn kernels.

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

For dessert, we had a a rich New York-style Cheesecake (Php160/slice), a decadent Chocolate Cake (Php160/slice) and a delightful Black & White Cookie (Php60/piece), all of which feature an artisanal quality. (Artesa also sells whole cakes; you just need to order them three days in advance.)

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

We were also given our choice of drinks which included:

Espresso Soda (Php165). This is perfect for those who like to taste of coffee with a slight fizz.

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Matcha Latte (Php150 for hot). A rich comforting drink made with real matcha powder.

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Iced Mocha (Php150). A masterful blend of coffee and chocolate, and, thankfully for me, may even be sweetened some more with the addition of honey syrup.

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Homemade Iced Tea (Php75). This drink may be served sweetened or unsweetened.

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Orange Julius (Php90). This drink is reminiscent of the beverage popular when I was a kid.

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Artesa’s menu is still small but well-crafted such that each item is a masterpiece, it’s taste and quality assured. These are perfect for a leisurely brunch, a quick snack in the afternoon, or any time of the day you want a tasty treat.

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Thanks to the Chef Jef and the lovely staff of Artesa for having us!

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Artesa also aims to highlight the quality of local micro-entrepreneurs: it sells jars of Spanish sardines, organically grown mushrooms with tinapa or tuyo, as well as spicy and garlicky cuttlefish crunch, among others. The cafe also incorporates these in some of their dishes as an ingredient or as sides. Do check them out when you visit the store.

Artesa Deli + Coffee, Kapitolyo

Artesa Deli + Coffee is located at Unit 2, D Strip, Building 20, United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11am to 10pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 945 5979018.

Artesa Deli+Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a foodie meetup held here wherein food and drink items were served to allow us to sample the fare. These were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro:

Papa Diddi’s celebrates ice cream day with Scoop-All-You-Can

Here’s a fun scoop (pun intended): National Ice Cream Day is coming up! To celebrate the occasion, Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream will be having a scoop-all-you-can promo on July 15 for only P250.

Papa Diddi’s Scoop-All-You-Can

With a wide selection of unique flavors such as their famed Tres Leches, you can now mix-and-match different flavors and scoop to your heart’s content at a Papa Diddi’s near you. And better yet, these artisanal ice creams are made from all-natural ingredients and have less sugar content, allowing you to have as many scoops as you want, guilt-free!

Papa Diddi’s Scoop-All-You-Can

Papa Diddi’s Scoop-All-You-Can

Papa Diddi’s Scoop-All-You-Can

Papa Diddi’s Scoop-All-You-Can

To avail of the Scoop All You Can Promo, visit Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream in the following:

  •  168 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village Quezon City
  • Pobstacion, L11 B4 Valdez Street, Poblacion Makati
  • The Community Kitchen, G/F The Community Bldg., Metropoli Drive, Metropoli Residenza, Bagumbayan, 1110 Quezon City, Philippines

Want more? Papa Diddi’s also offers a pint subscription service. Subscribers can get their ice cream fix for the summer with two handcrafted and hand-packed pints delivered fresh straight to their doorstep. Papa Diddi’s also offers an Ice Cream mobile bar for special events.

Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream is small batch, hand-mixed & hand packed all-natural premium ice cream, using produce sourced directly from farms, markets & gardens all over the Philippines.

Promo details provided by Papa Diddi’s in a recent press release.

Ramen time with Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

My #RamenPhase has been going on for years now and is showing no sign of waning.

And with the metro just entering the season of ramen weather, it’s only fitting that I start looking for new ramen places to try.

Friends who reside in Marikina have been giving me rave reviews about Tongara Ramen for some time now. Located in foodie haven Lamp Quarters, this new ramen spot is lauded for its special broth which is also its namesake: tongara – a mixture of tonkotsu, broth made from pork bones, and torigara, broth made from chicken bones. The resulting broth has an additional layer of sweet-savory flavor to it that differentiates Tongara Ramen’s offerings from those of other ramen places in the metro.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

During a recent foray to Lamp Quarters with my daughter #ExhibitA, we decided to have lunch at Tongara Ramen to taste its celebrated ramen for ourselves.

Our meal included:

Tongara Ramen Junior Bowl (Php220). Don’t let its junior size fool you. We each had a Junior Bowl of Tongara’s famed ramen and it was filling enough to sate our hunger. We loved its flavorful broth and firm noodles which are well complemented by the torched tender slice of chashu (seasoned pork belly), ajitama (seasoned soft-boiled egg) and crisp bamboo shoots.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Chicken Karaage (Php200). Tender and flavorful bite-size pieces of marinated chicken covered in seasoned what flour and deep-fried to a beautiful golden brown. These are best sprinkled with a bit of lemon juice upon serving and dipped in Japanese mayo.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Gyoza (Php200). Japan’s famous pot sticker made of minced pork, shredded cabbage and aromatics wrapped in thinly rolled dough skins which are first steamed then lightly fried on one side to achieve a slightly crisp texture that complements the dish’s garlicky flavor. Any meal at a Japanese resto with #ExhibitA will not be complete without this dish.

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

So, thanks to Tongara Ramen for another mother-daughter foodie adventure unlocked!

Tongara Ramen, Lamp Quarters

Tongara Ramen is located at Lamp Quarters, Gil Fernando Avenue, Santo Nino, Marikina, open Sundays to Fridays from 11am to 11pm and Saturdays from 11am to 8pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 3903773 or +63 917 1794718.

Did you know you that you and a friend can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Tongara Ramen through Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

Enjoy your ramen during the wet season with Tongara’s Rainy Days Special: get a free side dish or cocktail for a minimum single receipt purchase of Php1,200 or 2 free side dishes or cocktails for a minimum single recept purchase of Php2,000.

Tongara Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out reviews of other Japanese restaurants on this blog: