Lunch delivery from Pares Retiro, Tomas Morato via LalaFood

Before the community quarantine and the need to isolate ourselves in our homes began, I’m glad I was able to try something that will surely be a blessing in the days ahead.

LalaFood is a food delivery app that guarantees delivery of food orders within forty-five minutes or less with no minimum order required. (Note: Since the community quarantine was implemented, LalaFood has adjusted its delivery times in light of the increased demand for food delivery and its skeletal crew of riders.)

One busy workday, my friend and I could not find the time to get out of the office for our #HappyLunch. Not wanting to limit ourselves to the choices available in our office building’s food court, we grabbed our phones to look at the options available through the LalaFood App.

As luck would have it, one of the restos that deliver via LalaFood is the Pares Retiro branch nearby. Wanting a taste of Pinoy comfort food, we ordered ourselves variations of Beef Pares.

Pares Retiro, Tomas Morato

This dish is basically braised beef stew paired with garlic fried rice (hence the name pares) and usually served with clear soup. The beef cubes are simmered in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar and other spices, resulting in tender meat and flavorful sauce that go so well with the garlic rice.

My friend ordered the Classic Pares (Php155) while I got myself a Pares Tendon (Php165), which is basically beef pares made even better with the addition of tender litid (tendon) that seems to melt into the sauce and provide a contrast in texture to the beef and rice with every mouthful.

Pares Retiro, Tomas Morato

Pares Retiro, Tomas Morato

Pares Retiro, Tomas Morato

I even got myself a can of Sarsi from the Ministop store across the street to complete my meal.

Pares Retiro, Tomas Morato

We ate our comfort food bounty at our desks, not exactly the way I’d like to enjoy my food, but at least I had some time to eat and get ready for my meetings after our midday break.

All things considered, I’d say it was still a happy lunch. Wouldn’t you?

This meal was ordered from the Pares Retiro branch located at 205 Tomas Avenue, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City via LalaFood. Download the LalaFood App and get a free delivery coupon when you use my code: BEINGJMR53.

Other Pares Retiro branches are located at:

  • P. Tuazon corner 17th Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City
  • SM Hypermarket, EDSA corner Main Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City
  • 344 Visayas corner Congressional Avenue, Pasong Tamp, Tandang Sora, Quezon City
  • Food Court, Fourth Floor, Market! Market!, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Pares Retiro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

6 Ways to Care for Your Body During Community Quarantine

Since the announcement of the city-wide community quarantine, many Filipinos have been coming to terms with the loss of basic necessities and services needed to maintain their busy lives. And while it can be incredibly difficult for many in Metro Manila to continue with their daily routine during this trying time, there are a number of things we can do to take care of ourselves in quarantine.

6 Ways to Self-Care During Quarantine

1. Regular Exercise
One of the best ways to take care of yourself during the quarantine is to workout. While going to the gym may not be an option, there are a number of routines you can do at home such as yoga, Zumba, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). In fact, some of the most popular fitness studios now offer free online classes through Facebook and Instagram to keep people motivated during the quarantine.

2. Enjoy a Free Show
Sure, it can be hard to go to the movies or see a live show, but that has not stopped the industry’s best from performing. Popular artists such as John Legend and Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie/The Postal Service) have begun livestreaming their performances to fans on social media. In addition, the Metropolitan Opera in New York City offers free livestreams of classics such as Puccini’s La Bohème. Who knew you didn’t have to leave your home or pay for an airplane ticket to experience a little culture?

3. Read a Book
As much as we don’t want to admit it, we all have a handful of books we haven’t read yet. With the entire city on quarantine and very little to do, it is now the perfect time to go through your pile of books to read. You never know, you may have had one of the best stories at your fingertips and you wouldn’t have known.

4. Pick-Up a New Hobby
It can be very easy to give in to cabin fever without a proper outlet. Stay calm. You have the internet. From candle making to crochet, or even learning how to play a new instrument, there is a whole world of skills you can learn without having to leave your home. Stay in, find a new hobby and discover a skill you never thought you could do.

5. Don’t Stop Working
Being locked up with nowhere to go can inspire our laziest traits. With many Filipinos working from home, comes the opportunity for us to actually get ahead of our work for once. By sticking to our regular 9:00AM – 6:00PM schedule, we can maintain a semblance of normalcy as we wait out the quarantine period.

6. Moisturize!
KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge is one of the newest aesthetic centers in Quezon City and Pasig. KimRey’s approved skincare hack is moisturizing. Like their facial treatments, the constant application of moisturizer is a must-have in order to repair your skin from cleaning and exfoliation. Don’t forget to properly sanitize your hands before and after your facial care routine. Hygiene is just as important as skincare!

Rejuvenate After Quarantine

KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge is currently closed until further notice. However, appointments can still be booked and KimRey’s experts are on standby to answer all your queries on social media (Instagram: and Facebook: KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge).

Located at Unit 8 & 9 3/F Richmond Centre 8001 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. Bagumbayan, Quezon City, KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge offers a host of state-of-the-art, non-invasive cosmetic treatments that revitalizes the face and body with no downtime. Contact KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge at (0917) 119-5816 to learn more!

About KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge

Founded by sisters Claire Kimble, Anna Reyes, and Vanessa Lee, KimRey Face & Body Contouring Lounge provides world-class, state-of-the-art, minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures to working-class Filipinos all across Metro Manila.

Product details and images provided in a recent press release from Centaur Digital Marketing PH Inc.

The Jelly List: My fave resto dishes you can enjoy at home

Hello, fellow foodie! How are you holding up? I hope you’re safe at home and surrounded by your loved ones just like me.

After several days of being #TeamBahay, I have to admit: I may be getting a bit tired of home-cooking. (Yaya, don’t be tampo! Your cooking is great!)

I can’t help but miss those scrumptious, meticulously prepared, beautifully presented dishes from my favorite restaurants.

Do you feel the same?

Well, guess what: we can enjoy those wonderful viands at home, thanks to delivery services. (I panicked for a while when Gran and FoodPanda briefly suspended their services the other day. Thank heavens that’s all sorted out! Whew!)

So, if you have a craving for any of these delectable dishes, just contact the resto and have them delivered to you. Not only will you get to enjoy a fabulous meal in the safety and comfort of home, you also contribute to the continued health of these businesses.

Buttered Parmesan Chicken Wings of Buffalo Swing Cafe

Buffalo Swing, Pasig

Ooh, these tender and juicy chicken wings, deep-fried to crunchy goodness and flavored with a butter parmesan rub are perfect bites when you’re binge-watching movies on Netflix.

Buffalo Swing Cafe is located at 363 Dr. Sixto Antonio Avenue, Caniogan, Pasig City. To order, call +63 2 86412561 or +63 917 7954554.

Buffalo Swing delivers via Food Panda.

Read more about Buffalo Swing Cafe here.

Martabak Manis of Sammy’s

Sammy’s, Cainta

If you have ever come across this delightful Indonesian dessert called Martabak Manis, I’m sure you will agree that it’s quite a treat. Made with thick pancake layers filled with chocolate sprinkles, crushed peanuts, cheese and condensed milk, it’s perfect for those late-night sweet cravings.

Sammy’s is located at 14 Raspberry Bend Street, Valley View Executive Subdivision Phase 3, San Juan, Cainta. To order, call +63 939 1483960.

Sammy’s delivers via Grab Express.

Read more about Sammy’s here.

Nasi Lemak Rice Bowl with Thai Chicken from BOA Kitchen + Socials

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Got a taste for exotic food? BOA Kitchen’s take on the Malaysian rice dish partnered with crispy Thai Fried Chicken would be right up your alley. Take a break from the usual with this Southeast Asian dish.

BOA Kitchen + Socials is located at Mezzanine Floor, 45 ABDC Building, Scout Rallos corner Scout Tuazon, Bgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City. To order, call +63 2 82903103.

BOA Kitchen + Socials delivers via Food Panda.

Read more about BOA Kitchen + Socials here.

Longganisa Flatbread with Salted Egg Cream from Alta by Relik

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Lakas maka-alta nito because Alta by Relik elevates your classic ulam of longganisa, tomatoes and salted egg by putting them on a freshly baked, crispy flatbread.

Alta by Relik is located at Santolan Town Plaza, Col. Bonny Serrano Avenue, Little Baguio, San Juan City. To order, call +63 917 3172582.

Read more about Alta by Relik here.

Grilled Liempo from 121 Restaurant

121 Restaurant, Allegro

Can’t go to your favorite seaside summer resort? Here’s the next best thing: bring out your shades, swimwear, inflatable pool and worship the sun while eating the sweet-smoky Grilled Liempo from 121 Restaurant. If you can, order a bottle of 121 Secret Sauce to go with it.

121 Restaurant is located at Second Floor, Allegro Center, Pasong Tamo Extension, Magallanes, Makati City. To order, call +63 2 88560529.

121 Restaurant delivers via GrabFood, FoodPanda and LalaFood.

Read more about 121 Restaurant here.

Pasta Arabbiata from Bistro Manuel

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Here’s a light pasta dish to enjoy during with a glass of wine with your special someone. Made with penne tossed in tomato base sauce seasoned with basil, garlic and chili flakes, this will make your home dinner for two extra special.

Bistro Manuel is located at Second Floor, Six Axis Center, 4347 B. Valdez Street, Poblacion, Makati City. To order, call +63 926 7341067.

Bistro Manuel delivers via Grab Delivery.

BBQ Platter from Mang Ding’s Pinoy BBQ

Mang Ding’s, Marikina

Who says you can’t enjoy a bottle of beer and some BBQ with your friends? Of course you would have to do it in your own homes and just show your yummy sticks of barbecue and isaw on Facebook Messenger. Well, let them salivaye when they see this!

Mang Ding’s Pinoy BBQ is located at Block 3, Lot 13, C. Buenviaje Street, Santo Nino, Marikina City. To order, call +63 917 5159872 or +63 916 2853031.

Mang Ding’s Pinoy BBQ delivers via GrabFood.

Read more about Mang Ding’s here.

Breast + Wing Grilled Chicken with White Rice from Chicka Chicka Chicken

Chicka Chicka Chicken House, Bridgetowne

Chicken monster, are ya? Well, these well-marinated, brined and grilled to smoky and tender perfection chicken pieces will have you reaching for another piece again and again! Get a cup of Cream Corn to go with it and you’ve got a winner!

Chicka Chicka Chicken House is located at the Ground Floor, Robinsons Zeta Tower, Bridgetowne Business Center, Libis, Quezon City. To order, call +63 2 77522927 or +63 917 1763026.

Chicka Chicka Chicken delivers via GrabFood.

Read more about Chicka Chicka Chicken here.

Fish and Wedges from Vanderlust Bistro

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Fish and Chips gets a continental flair with this appetizing dish made with beer-battered deep-fried fish and large wedges of potatoes served with aioli.

Vanderlust Bistro is located at 100 Scout De Guia corner Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City. To order, call +63 927 2189085.

Vanderlust Bistro delivers via GrabFood and Food Panda.

Read more about Vanderlust Bistro here.

Gyudon from Hanako

Hanako, Katipunan

Get a taste of Japan with a bowl of steaming hot Japanese rice topped with tender beef simmered in a sauce made of dashi, soy sauce and mirin (rice wine).

Hanako is located at Second Floor, Regis Center, 327 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. To order, call +63 907 4879346.

Hanako delivers via GrabFood, FoodPanda and LalaFood.

Read more about Hanako here.

Chami Special of Lido Cocina Tsina

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Made with Asian wheat (miki) noodles sauteed in a flavorful sauce with pork bits, shrimp and crisp vegetables, this is a welcome break from the usual pancit guisado.

This Lido Cocina Tsina branch is located at 1014-1020 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City.

Lido delivers through its delivery hotline +63 2 8888-LIDO (5436) or through its website

Thanks for reading this Jelly List! How about some perks?

  • Use this link to download the FoodPanda app and get Php100 off your first order.

Happy eating!

Check out my other adventures compiled into Jelly Lists:

Cute Cheesecake-in-a-Jar from Sugar Salt Cakes & Pastries

Staying at home for the next month or so need not be the punishment we sometimes think it is.

We can stave off the dreaded cabin fever by injecting some sweetness in our lives, like the cute cheesecake-in-a-jar from SugarSalt Cakes & Pastries.

This operation started when thirty-year-old Carmela Aprecio decided to quit her job as a web developer and devote herself towards something she loves: baking cheesecakes!

What began as a hobby that provided sweets for herself, her husband and their friends became a new concept in dessert delivery.

Each SugarSalt cheesecake comes in a 120-gram jar, contains milk, cheese and sugar and costs Php75 per piece. Each cheesecake-in-a-jar should be kept refrigerated and will keep for six days from the time it was baked.

Sugar Salt Bakery

Sugar Salt Bakery

I was able to sample the best-selling Turtle Pie Cheesecake made with dark chocolate, caramel kisses, caramel fudge and pecan nuts over freshly baked cheesecake in a crushed graham cracker crust.

Sugar Salt Bakery

Sugar Salt Bakery

I loved SugarSalt’s cheesecake filling: it’s mildly sweet and richly cheesy, not too stiff and not too soggy. With every spoonful, the chocolate and caramel chips as well as the pecans add texture and flavor. The jar’s serving size is just right for one person… assuming that person is not a dessert addict like me.

Sugar Salt Bakery

Sugar Salt Bakery

I can imagine going through two to three jars of these yummies all by my lonesome.

(Okay, fine! I’ll share some with Hubby and the kids…)

Other cheesecake-in-a-jar variants available are Almond Matcha (made with almond nuts and graham powder on a crushed graham cracker crust) and Oreo (made with Oreo filling on a crushed Oreo cookie crust), both at Php75 per jar.

If you’re in the mood for variety, why don’t you go for a SugarSalt Original Set which has all three variants for only Php225?

Planning a party? SugarSalt accepts bulk orders and can accommodate personalized jar labels. Just email

To order your own SugarSalt cheesecake-in-a-jar, fill up this form, and make your payments via BPI, BDO, GCash or Paypal.

SugarSalt delivers only within Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasig, San Juan, Quezon City, Manila, Pateros and Taguig via Grab (requires additional Php59 to Php129 delivery fee depending on recipient’s location). Pick up at its store near MRT Boni Station may be arranged.

Disclosure: Product sample was provided to enable an honest review.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

A Marugame Udon Power Lunch, thanks to GrabFood

Just to be clear: I’m a firm believer of the #HappyLunch, the practice of taking your precious lunch break by going out to eat at one of your favorite restaurants or trying out a new place together with your officemates. This is a great way to decompress and bond with your workmates after a busy morning at work.

Lately, though, this can’t always be possible, especially as we’re all encouraged to practice social distancing and avoid crowded areas.

So how can we office-based foodies enjoy the food we love when we can’t go out of the safety of the workplace?

Thankfully, the largest udon noodles restaurant chain in the world, Marugame Udon, delivers via GrabFood!

Marugame Udon is dedicated to provide Japanese authentic made-to-order Udon noodles which are freshly kneaded, boiled and cooked every day. These noodles are made according to the practices in Sanuki, a region in the Kagawa prefecture known for the quality of its udon. The noodles’ flavors and textures are further enhanced by the broths made by the restaurant in small batches to maintain quality.

Marugame Udon, Fisher Mall

Marugame Udon, Fisher Mall

My officemates and I all placed our orders for two of Marugame’s popular udon dishes thirty minutes before lunchtime (that’s how long the delivery will take).

They arrived hot and steaming, totally appetizing!

Beef Ontama Bukkake Udon (Php210 regular | Php260 large). Made with marinated gyudon beef strips, Japanese poached egg, and mildly sweet bukkake soup.

Marugame Udon, Fisher Mall

Chicken Paitan Udon (Php200 regular | Php250 large). Made with sauteed chicken, a soft boiled egg, and creamy chicken soup that calls to mind your favorite chicken sopas.

Marugame Udon, Fisher Mall

Marugame Udon, Fisher Mall

With their plentiful broth and thick and chewy noodles, these udon bowls are very filling and helped fuel our work for the remains of the workday. I certainly didn’t mind my desk lunch too much!

Marugame Udon, Fisher Mall

This meal was ordered from the Marugame Udon branch located at the Lower Ground Floor, Fisher Mall, Quezon Avenue, Del Monte, Quezon City via GrabFood. Download the Grab App on the App Store or Google Play. Get a discount on your first food order when you use my code: GRABJELLYBEANS.

Other branches in the metro are located at:

  • Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • Ground Floor, Phase 2, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City Fairview, Novaliches, Quezon City
  • Ground Floor, SM City Marikina, Marcos ighway, Calumpang, Marikina City
  • Third Floor, Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
  • Second Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
  • Ground Floor, Main Mall, Ayala Malls Circuit, Carmona, Makati City
  • Third Floor, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
  • Ground Floor, Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • B7, Bonifacio High Street, Lane P, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Marugame Udon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Making your place look like a million bucks

While anyone can easily admire a chic pad that looks like it came straight out of a magazine, not everyone has the budget for a major renovation or hire a world class designer to spruce up their homes.

Taking design cues from some of the metro’s most sought-after condominiums, these are simple design inspirations anyone can pull off even on a budget.

1. Add depth to your ceiling!  

Ceilings have a great influence on how we feel in certain spaces. Low ceilings prompt quick action as small rooms make us unconsciously want to leave faster, while the inviting aura of a room with high ceilings make us want to take our time and relax.

You can highlight the size of your living space using recessed lights for a more modern, understated way of lighting. Likewise, full-length mirrors further expand the space in the room.

In the one-bedroom model unit from Mi Casa, for instance, the interior design done on the ceiling adds visual depth. This works well for an area where you regularly welcome guests. The living room and dining area are good areas to apply this concept because they will greatly benefit from the impression of a bigger space.

2. Let nature illuminate your home for you.

Natural lighting is the best way to brighten up any space.

Federal Land

Actual photo of Marco Polo Residences model unit

Condominium units with floor to ceiling windows not only provide sweeping views but give off the impression of a bigger and more calming living space. You will only be able to take advantage of spectacular views, of course, if your unit is on the higher floors of a condominium unit and where the building itself is located strategically.

Marco Polo Residences in Cebu plays this up perfectly with not only floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows that provide unobstructed views of its mountainous surroundings, the city and the sea in the distance. On the other hand, if you have smaller windows, you can achieve this same feeling by keeping the window area clear of clutter.

3. Opt for earth tones.

Earth tones are timeless and versatile, making it suitable for any kind of home.

Federal Land

Actual photo of Four Season Riviera model unit

The neutral colors, just like in the showroom model unit of Four Season Riviera in Binondo, Manila drive just the right amount of attention to your home and allows you to add your own accent colors here and there. You’ll save on expensive paint jobs by strategizing which segments of your living space to highlight and which you can leave bare.

4. Experiment with open spaces.

Although your studio unit has no pre-set divisions, this does not mean you that you need to fill the void with clunky furniture. You can utilize every fixture and piece of furniture you own to achieve a clean and organized look.

A good example would be using a slim table in a bar-like set up which can help divide your kitchen from your living area through a more open concept.

You don’t need walls to define spaces. You can use partial wood and frosted glass partitions that double as shelves or different colored tiles and rugs to segment floor areas for different spaces. In this model unit at The Capital Towers in Quezon City, the bedroom area is defined by using tinted glass, while the dining and living area are fused into one to maximize floor space.

Federal Land

Federal Land

Actual photo of The Capital Towers model unit

5. Tastefully maximize storage space.

Keep knickknacks out of sight with built-in storage like the shoe cabinet, bedroom closets, and kitchen floor storage in The Seasons Residences in North Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Federal Land

Actual photo of The Season Residences model unit

Using beds with hidden compartments underneath for clothes and shoes, as well as hollow ottoman seats that double as storage boxes will help eliminate clutter around the house and keep your intimate belongings away from prying eyes as well.

By lessening the use of heavy furniture, you will be freeing-up breathing space in your stylish abode making it easier on the eyes and a delight to move around in.

Lastly, while your design options may be influenced by your current budget, never sacrifice personal tastes. Any luxurious house will feel like home when it reflects the personal style of its owner. To get your own feel of luxury, visit the nearest Federal Land property show room today or get a virtual tour at

Barbie Almalbis drops inspirational single “Iyong-iyo”

Following the dreamy single “Comment,” which debuted early this January 2020, Barbie Almalbis continues to perfect her signature, swoony alt-pop sound with incisive introspection on her second single.

“Iyong-iyo,” the latest track off her upcoming fourth studio album, tackles a story of strength, perseverance, and faith amidst insurmountable odds. The melodic pop tune is inspired by how the Tabing Ilog hitmaker’s cook found peace from surrendering everything to God during a very difficult time to bouncing back with another chance at life.

Almalbis recounts:

“This song is about Esperanza ‘Bing-Bing’ Maaño, our cook, who’s been in our family for a long time and even married our driver, Dandy. She suddenly fell very ill last year due to a diabetes complication and her medicines were not working. Needless to say, it was such a troubling time for her and everyone who loved her as her future seemed uncertain. She was brought to the hospital and had to undergo amputation surgery, and she shared that it was during this time that her faith in God became more real. While being wheeled into the operating room, she had many fears but suddenly felt peace as she surrendered everything to God. Thankfully, she had a successful surgery and recovered well, and after months of rehabilitation, she learned to walk again with a prosthetic leg.”

Barbie Almalbis co-wrote “Iyong-iyo” with her partner Martin Honasan, who also shares songwriting credits on previous singles “Comment” and “Tigre.” Bing-Bing’s determination and humility inspired the husband-and-wife tandem to write and produce the song.

Recording of the track was done by sound engineer Magic Montano at Yellow Room Studios, formerly known as Tracks Studios in San Antonio Village, where most of the Barbie’s Cradle albums are made. “We had Nikko Rivera on keyboard, Jonard Bolor on drums, and Rommel dela Cruz on bass,” shares Almalbis about the musicians who contributed significantly in the recording process. “The main rhythm section was recorded live, and we did overdubs for vocals and guitars. I also recorded backing vocals at my home studio.”

Barbie Almalbis’s “Iyong-iyo” is now out on various streaming and digital platforms worldwide via 12 Stone Records. It’s the second single off her as-yet-untitled album to be released this year.

Details and image provided in a recent press release.