Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

This past November, Dean & DeLuca opened its newest branch in Quezon City.

This much-awaited outlet is notable for many things, not the least of which is the fact that it is owned by actress (and idol of the titas) Bea Alonzo.

“Good old coffee. Just what I need today.” she posted on her Instagram.

(Oh, Bea… don’t we all?)

Dean & DeLuca started as a chain of upscale grocery stores in New York City but has since evolved into cafe operations. Its first three branches in the country are located in Makati and BGC, with more in the works.

This past Tuesday, my officemates and I made our way to QC’s Dean & DeLuca, a five-minute car ride from our workplace, for our lunch break.

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

With the exception of the guys who joined us for the midday meal, this bunch consisted mostly of titas, who all have been looking forward to dining at Dean & DeLuca.

Our orders included:

Truffle Fries (Php160). Crispy French fries drizzled with truffle oil and sprinkled with grated parmesan before serving with a creamy zesty dip.

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Aglio e Olio Gamberini (Php450). Organic pasta tossed in traditional Italian garlic and olive oil base along with prawns and cherry tomatoes.

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Prawn and Gorgonzola Pasta (Php495). Organic pasta tossed in a creamy paprika wine sauce along with fresh prawns, gorgonzola cheese, mushroom and basil.

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Butifarra con Salsa Funghi e Tartufo (Php470). Organic pasta tossed in truffle cream along with slices of Butifarra sausage and fresh mushrooms.

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich (Php380). Free-range chicken, grated cheese pimiento, pickled dill, slaw and dressing in yeast-free sourdough bread.

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Umami Fried Chicken (Php390). Aburi fried chicken, miso glaze, slaw and lettuce in sourdough brioche.

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Beef Rendang (Php590). Himalayan red rice topped with grass-fed beef cooked in rendang spice and coconut milk.

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

After lunching on these food items, we capped our meal with our chosen coffee drinks – Salted Caramel Latte, Cafe Latte and Cappuccino – all priced at Php160 each.

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Dean & DeLucca does tick off all the marks when it comes to trendy cuisine (eg. grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, organic pasta, etc.) which I’m sure many foodies will appreciate.

Sadly, given its price points, I’m not as impressed as I hoped I would be when it came to my truffle pasta which I found too heavily flavored. My friends told me that I simply ordered the wrong item from the menu but how can I go wrong with ordering one of my favorite pasta dishes?

Oh, well. Maybe when I try the desserts on my next visit I’ll have a better experience!

Plus, my officemates and I still had a chill “tita-ish” lunch break here.

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Dean & DeLuca, Tomas Morato

Dean & DeLuca is located at Scout Rallos corner Scout Tuazon Streets, Tomas Morato, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 916 2126535.

Dean & DeLuca Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Celsius, Lamp Quarters

As part of our makeshift food crawl in Marikina’s Lamp Quarters over the holiday break, my friends and I proceeded to its newest coffee shop after our lunch at Chives Bistro.

Celsius has been cited as the place to be for students who want to a place of peace and quiet where they can study or regroup with their pals over cups of artisanal coffee.

Celsius, Lamp Quarters

Celsius, Lamp Quarters

It has also been hailed as part of the third wave coffee movement in Marikina. It certainly does its share in featuring high-quality coffee with beans sourced from coffee countries such as Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia, as well as our home-grown beans from Benguet Atok and Mount Apo Sablan.

These beans are brewed fresh upon order, bringing the aroma and flavors of premium coffee to a new generation of would-be coffee connoisseurs.

Well, the titas and titos our group joined the young ones in their coffee hangout where we enjoyed our orders of of:

Foamless Latte (Php145).

Celsius, Lamp Quarters

Lounge Latte (Php160).

Celsius, Lamp Quarters

Celsius, Lamp Quarters

Celsius, Lamp Quarters

Lounge Fine Chocolate (Php150).

Celsius, Lamp Quarters

Cappuccino Frozen Cheesecake (Php150).

Celsius, Lamp Quarters

Celsius, Lamp Quarters

The coffee and chocolate drinks were full-flavored and served steaming hot while the coffee-based frozen dessert will surely appeal to lovers of sweets. These treats fueled a lively round of good-natured ribbing and gossiping among the titos and titas present.

Word of advice, though: try not to sit on the triangular stools. They’re bad for your posture and posterior. (Trust your tita on this!)

I’m so looking forward to coming back here and enjoying a round of coffee mocktails with the titas.

Celsius is located at Lamp Quarters, Gil Fernando Avenue, Santo Nino, Marikina City, open daily from 11am to 11pm.

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

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

Sourdough Cafe + Deli, Tomas Morato

Sourdough bread is a new food trend that gaining traction in the metro. It is made by fermenting dough using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast producing a sour taste compared to breads made with baker’s yeast. It also keeps longer, owing to the lactic acid produced by the lactobacilli.

For the health-conscious, sourdough may be used to improve the quality of gluten-free breads by enhancing their texture, aroma and shelf-life. Its glycemic index is lower than other types of bread which is good news for people watching their sugar intake.

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

It’s a good thing, then, that a cafe specializing in sourdough recently opened near my workplace.

With such an exciting item in its menu (in fact, the central item in it!) as well poshly designed yet comfy interiors ideal for quiet lunches or intimate dinners tucked away in an office building along Tomas Morato, Sourdough held an irresistible appeal to titas like me.

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

This is why during one of our lunchbreaks prior to the Christmas break, my co-titas in the office and I decided to have our meal at Sourdough Cafe + Deli.

This tita meal consisted of:

Complimentary Flatbread Slices. Dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar with some parmesan cheese, these gave our tastebuds a good preview of Sourdough’s offerings.

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Prosciutto Arugula Flatbread (Php345). Sourdough flatbread topped with marinara sauce, mozarella, arugula leaves and bits of prosciutto.

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pasta Carbonara (Php395). Al dente noodles tossed in a creamy sauce made with eggs, pecorino cheese, parmegianno reggiano, guanciale (Italian cured meat made from pork jowl) and pancetta (Italian salt-cured pork belly).

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Php295). Four cheeses – gouda, yellow cheddar, mozzarella and grana padano – sandwiched between sourdough bread slices lightly spread with mayo.

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Basque Burnt Cheesecake (Php195). Also a trending food item, this cheesecake is an offshoot of Spain’s tarta de queso. Its top appears toasted but the center has a soft custard-y texture. Combined the top’s buttery taste to the tanginess of the cheesecake filling, and you have a winning dessert you would want to taste again and again.

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

After lunch, we also treated ourselves to Sourdough Cafe’s handcrafted coffee.

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Not bad for a bunch of titas out for lunch.

By the way, since wine and titas go together so well, you might want to check out Sourdough Cafe’s unli wine at Php599 per person.

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Sourdough Cafe, Tomas Morato

Sourdough Cafe + Deli is located at Ground Floor, JSB Building, 104 Tomas Morato Avenue corner Scout Delagado Street, Tomas Morato, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 11pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 85259463 or +64 917 1889463.

Sourdough Cafe + Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Luxe intercontinental dining at Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

During my recent staycation with my mom and my daughter at Hotel Benilde, we had our meals at Cafe Romancon.

Our staycation at Hotel Benilde was extra special as my daughter, #ExhibitA, and I were looking forward to spending some quality time with my mom.  For some time, Mommy has also been requesting for an outing where “three generations” –  her, me and my daughter –  can just be together.

So,  #ExhibitA and I definitely took advantage of the opportunities to catch up on the goings-on with my mom that the staycation provided, especially when we sit down together to eat at Cafe Romancon.

Named after its patron saint, St. Benilde Romancon, it is a sprawling yet cozy coffee shop located at the ground floor of Hotel Benilde, a 4-star property situated in the bustling Malate area.  It serves as the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant that offers its diners with a well-curated intercontinental menu in casual and modern setting.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

For our dinner on the first day of our stay, we were treated to a sumptuous feast that included:

Gambas Al Ajillo (Php280).  Succulent prawns sauteed in a garlic, tomatoes, onions and chilis.  A perfect start to our meal.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Mushrooms Ala Pobre (Php180).  Plump champignon mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, garlic and herbs.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cream of Butternut Squash (Php130).  A creamy soup of pureed squash and other vegetables topped with bacon.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Kani Mango Salad (Php190). Shredded crabsticks and dried mango bits top mixed greens and crunchy vermicelli noodles and drizzled with Japanese mango dressing.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Seafood Linguini (Php280).  Shrimp calamari, mussels and fish sauteed in olive oil, garlic, onions and tomatoes tossed into pasta.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Norwegian Salmon (Php390). Pan-fried salmon with creamy leek sauce and garden vegetables served with mashed potatoes.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Gloucester Supreme (Php370).  Two juicy and flavorful pieces of grilled marinated beef patties served with a rich mushroom gravy, mixed vegetables and steamed rice.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

We were quite impressed with the quality of the food – the Norwegian Salmon, the Gloucester Supreme and the Gambas Al Ajillo we clear favorites! – as well as the superb service provided by the wait staff.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

By the next morning, while my baby girl was enjoying her sleep, my mom and I had our breakfast at Cafe Romancon as well. The breakfast offerings are a bit limited we didn’t mind as we like our starting meal for the day to be light and fuss-free.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

My mom helped herself to the fruits and beef tapa available in the buffet stations while I took advantage of the wide array of savory cheeses and sweet jams at the bread station.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

These luxurious meals gave us the much-needed time to catch up on each other’s news, exchange chismis (hahaha!) and just enjoy each others’ company, definitely one of life’s priceless experiences.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Many thanks to the wonderful folks of Cafe Romancon and Hotel Benilde for the wonderful bonding mealtime moments that three generations of women in our family enjoyed!

Cafe Romancon is located at the Ground Floor, Hotel Benilde, Arellano Avenue corner Estrada Street, Malate, Manila, open daily from 6am to 10pm.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2305230.

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

Disclosure: Dinner and breakfast were included in our complimentary overnight stay at Hotel Benilde in exchange for an honest review.

Check out my reviews of other hotel restaurants:

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:

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:

Food and nature-tripping at Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Nestled into east of Manila is a hidden haven for food and nature lovers. Called Burrow Cafe, it is located in the Antipolo Beehouse, a nature reserve set in a quiet residential subdivision away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

My daughter #ExhibitA and I decided to treat my mom out to Sunday brunch at Burrow Cafe. This mother-daughter-granddaughter outing is something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time but never found the time for until now.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

So last Sunday, off we went up Ortigas Avenue Extension towards Antipolo and into Beverly Hills Subdivision where the Beehouse is situated. Upon arriving at the Beehouse gate, we went down 76 steps (good thing I didn’t wear heels!) to a lush green courtyard with another flight of stairs leading to what seemed like an underground bunker.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

When we entered the cafe’s premises, however, we were treated to an abundance of light and greenery, thanks to the cafe’s large panel windows which let in a lot of natural light and give diners a relaxing view of the surrounding forest. Artfully laid out wood furniture, potted and hanging plants as well as other bric-a-bracs further accent the cafe’s nature theme while hammocks hanging from the ceiling provide some splashes of color and whimsy to the interiors. Outside, there is a balcony that overlooks a nearby mountain stream.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

There, my mom, #ExhibitA and I chatted about life and gossiped about mutual acquaintances (hahaha!) while enjoying our brunch made with ingredients sourced from the Antipolo Market or grown within the cafe’s grounds.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Our meal included:

Beef Short Ribs with Corn and Green Bean Risotto (Php550).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Fish and Chips (Php420).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Key Lime Pie (Php190).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Home Brew Iced Tea (Php120) and Avocado Fruit Shake (Php180).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Though quite tasty, food items are limited and a bit pricey. Given the cafe’s lovely and restful ambiance and warm, friendly service, however, I’d say dining here is well worth the expense and effort.

After all, nothing but the best for my mom and my baby girl.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe is located at the Antipolo Beehouse, 113 Beverly Hills Drive, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Dolores, Taytay, open Wednesdays to Thursdays from 8am to 4pm and Fridays to Sundays 7am to 4pm. Although walk-ins are welcome, table reservation is highly recommended through email (burrowcafe@gmail.com) or mobile (+63 917 6229795). For more details, visit the Antipolo Beehouse website.

Notes:

  • Beverly Hills Subdivision charges Php20 for cara entering the area so keep some change handy.
  • The resto is not wheelchair-friendly.
  • You might also want to check out the cafe’s retail area which sells reusable straws, homemade self-care products, zero-waste household ware and paper products.

Burrow Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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