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:

Something new brewing at Caffe Freddo, BGC

For a coffee lover like me, that morning cuppa signals the start of a new day, and that mug in the afternoon is all I need to pick me up from the post-lunch slump.

I also look forward to trying out new brews and coffee concoctions. It’s actually amazing how coffee is versatile enough to be mixed and matched with new ingredients to come up with an exciting new beverage.

Last night, together with my fellow foodies, I trooped over to Caffe Freddo in Bonifacio High Street to find out what the cafe has been brewing as part of its Philippine Independence Day offering.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

The new Ube Freddo (Php150) localizes Caffe Freddo’s coffee experience by adding the very Pinoy flavor of ube (purple yam) to the Freddo, the cafe’s signature iced coffee drink which contains a double shot of espresso and sweetened frothed milk. The resulting purple concoction makes for a pretty and Instagrammable drink. It joins the cafe’s roster of imaginative Freddo flavors which already include Mocha, Chai, Matcha and Coco starting June 12.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Along with the Ube Freddo, we also got a taste of the cafe’s carefully curated Modern European brunch menu which included:

Appetizers

Crunchy Calamari (Php240). Crispy battered squid rings served with basil and lime mayo.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Spring Rolls (Php260). Shrimp and corn-filled spring rolls served with coriander tomato dip.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Dried Figs Burrata Flat Bread (Php380). The dried figs add a sweet element that complements the savory flavors from burrata cheese, caramelized onions and the arugula in this flatbread.

Caffe Freddo,BGC

Panzanella Salad (Php290). Fresh flavors abound in this mixture of kale, watermelon, cherry tomatoes and croutons tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette.

Caffe Freddo,BGC

Mains.

Nasi Goreng (Php330). Chicken satay served with Indonesian spiced shrimp, vegetable fried rice and fried egg.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Beef Tagliatelle (Php350). Pasta tossed in beefy tomato ragu and basil.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Aglio Olio (Php350). Spaghetti tossed in virgin olive oil, garlic and spiced bacon.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Soy Grilled Salmon (Php480). Salmon topped with wabiko cream and served with wasabi mashed potato.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Fried Chicken Confit (Php320). Crispy fried chicken served with cole slaw.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Croque Madame (Php320). Smoked ham over a brioche toast and a layer of gruyere cheese, topped with a fried egg and mornay sauce.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Desserts.

Mango Granita (Php220). Succulent cubes of mango mixed in strips of fresh coconut, crumbled macaroons and coconut milk.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta (Php220). Light and tangy panna cotta served with blueberries in a pinot syrup.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Sans Rival (Php220). The classic Pinoy cake made of decadent layers of buttercream, meringue and chopped nuts.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Choco Paradise (Php190).This rich chocolatey confection is perfect for those craving for chocolate after a meal.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

With its slew of dishes, coffee offerings and cozy atmosphere, it’s easy to see why Caffe Freddo has become a prime foodie destination.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Thanks to Pat of ThePatKidInside for extending the invitation!

About Caffe Freddo

Caffe Freddo prides itself in offering a very unique selection of coffee, not found anywhere else in the metro. The coffee selection is all specially brewed from premium coffee beans of Bluestone Lane from New York City. Strategically located in the busy commercial business district of Bonifacio High Street, Caffe Freddo has refreshingly inviting interiors, with its off-white distressed brick walls, ample seating good for 50 people, and columns with hand-painted coffee plants in vibrant hues of green and red. Caffe Freddo is cozy enough for group meet-ups and family dining.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo is located at The Spa Building, 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 7am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 7am to 12 midnight.  For inquiries, call +63 9988479410.

Caffe Freddo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoDisclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

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

 

 

Comfort food and whimsy at Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

If you venture into one of the more out-of-the-way streets near the foodie-friendly haven Tomas Morato, you might chance upon this colorful little cafe.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Called Pookaberry Cafe, its facade and interiors are marked by whimsical depictions of a baby alien named – you guessed it – Pookaberry, who just happens to be the imaginary friend of Ollie the Octopus.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Photo Credit: Jocen of BoodleBearPH

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

These drawings and characters are works by renowned New York-based pop artist Peter Marco, co-owner of the cafe along with his wife Jeanette.

While the cafe’s wall-to-wall artworks will stimulate you to flights of fancy, its menu, developed by Jeanette from the family’s own recipes and mirroring their cosmopolitan tastes and Pinoy roots, will comfort your tummy and spirit. Check them out:

Jams: Chili Mango and Chili Orange. Great to spread on buttered bread for that bit of extra sweetness that will put a smile on your face.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Paninis: Adobo (Php220), Bacon (Php240), Pork Loin (Php240) and Avocado (Php230). Grilled breads stuffed with flavorful filling, my fave was the savory avocado panini which veers away from my usual avocado fare which tend to be sweet.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Breakfast: Breakfast ni Juan (with beef tapa and scrambled egg – Php290), Uncle Sam’s Big Breakfast (with bacon, sausage and scrambled egg – Php310) and Vegetarian Option (with mushrooms – Php320). A hearty way to start the day is to have a bit of fried rice, a bit of vegetable salad and your preferred proteins to fuel you up. I was surprised to find that I actually love the Vegetarian Option: the sauteed mushrooms were flavorful, savory and went well with the rice.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Cakes: Very Pookaberry (Php130 slice | Php1,300 whole), Walnut Carrot (Php140 slice |Php1,400 whole), New York Cheesecake (Php140 slice | Php1,680 whole) and Matcha Green Tea (Php140 slice | Php1,400 whole). Delectable desserts to indulge the sweet tooth! My fave was the rich and creamy New York Cheesecake.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Cookie Shots (Php125). Cookie cups to hold your preferred shot among espresso, fresh milk or chocolate milk options.  Cheers!

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Photo Credit: Diane of Fried and Prejudice

Cosmic Cookie (Php80). Cookies baked in fun cosmic-shaped muffin cups.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Choco Walnut (Php120). A humongous piece of chocolate chip and walnut cookie to give you your sugar fix for the day.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Ice Blended Drinks: Very Pookaberry Ube, Jurassic Milo, Strawberry Cream Cheese Oreo and Matcha Oreo.  Refreshing icy drinks, perfect for a hot summer’s day!

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Aside from its fun and whimsical ambiance and the yummy treats on its menu, Pookaberry Cafe also has its own advocacy project. Proceeds of the cafe go to the Basilia Women’s Foundation which helps women and children who are victims of domestic abuse.

Check out its gift shop for fun merchandise and bags of its locally sourced coffee beans.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

So the next time you’re in the Tomas Morato area, drop by Pookaberry Cafe, for fun times and yummy treats.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Thanks to Aileen of AileenLFoodAdventures for extending the invite!

Pookaberry Cafe is located at 36-B Scout Ybardolaza corner Scout Rallos Streets, Bgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 9pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 9685414.

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

Disclosure: Together with other foodies from #AileenLFoodieEventBuddies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

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

 

 

Work and Hot Chocolate at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Venice Piazza, Taguig

While passing the time before a foodie meetup at Datang in the Venice Piazza, I decided to do some work and catch up on my emails.

CBTL, Venice Piazza

Fortunately, there’s a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf branch near the parking area that seemed like a nice and quiet place to while away some hours while immersed in some work.

My treat to myself while poring over my workload? (Because every source of motivation counts and chocolate is always good for motivation.)

CBTL, Venice Piazza

A nice cup of frothy Hot Double Chocolate with Marshmallows. Made with CBTL’s proprietary Special Dutch chocolate powder, combined with carefully steamed non-fat milk and topped with a thick layer of foam, it is a perfectly rich and decadent pick-me-up concoction.

CBTL, Venice Piazza

I wish I could stay longer and leisurely enjoy my drink.

CBTL, Venice Piazza

But, alas, duty called.

Until, next time then, my chocolate treat!

CBTL, Venice Piazza

This CBTL branch is located at the Ground Floor, Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, Taguig.

Other branches in Taguig may be found at:

  • B8 Bonifacio High Street, BGC
  • 32nd Street corner 11th Avenue, Park Triangle, BGC
  • Third Floor, BHS Central Square, BGC
  • Third Floor, Uptown Place Mall, BGC
  • Every Nation Building, 32nd Avenue corner University Parkway, BGC
  • Ground Floor, BGC Stopover Pavilion, BGC
  • Burgos Circle, BGC
  • Fifth Floor, SM Aura Premier, BGC
  • Shell Logcom, CP Garcia Avenue, Greater Taguig
  • Ground Floor, Vista Mall, Greater Taguig

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my other CBTL blog posts:

Holiday brunch get-together at Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

There are some friendships that endure despite great distances and changes in circumstances. Such is my friendship with Fetina, formerly an officemate who has since spread her wings working in Singapore. She usually comes home to the Philippines to visit family two to three times a year, and when she does, we make it a point to meet up at a restaurant in either Greenbelt or Glorietta.

In our latest meetup after Christmas, we opted for Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen located in Greenbelt. An offshoot of Equatorial Coffee in Katipunan, QC, Bluesmith combines homey yet Instagrammable interiors with comfort food and its sound foundation in coffee, making it an great venue for weekend brunches, friendly get-togethers and, dare I say it, #TitaConferences. (Hahaha!)

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Our get-together repast consisted of:

Flat White (Php150). This coffee beverage is characterized by the thin layer of microfoam (hence the term “flat” in “flat white) as opposed to the thicker foam layer in traditional cappuccino. I sipped on this while waiting for Fetina to arrive.

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Fresh Lemonade Soda (Php150).  Freshly squeezed lemon juice made into a sweet fizzy drink.

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Tenderloin Beef Salpicao (Php420).  One of Bluesmith’s bestsellers, this dish consists of cubes of beef tenderloin, cooked to medium doneness, and marbled potatoes sauteed in Worcestershire oil and toasted garlic and served mixed vegetables and rice.  I found the beef tender and flavorful but the sauce a bit too sweet for my taste.

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Creamy Pasta Tartufo (Php360).  Another of the resto’s bestselling dishes, this pasta dish is characterized by the earthy aroma of black truffle, mixed with a creamy mushroom sauce and served with baguette chips.

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

The servings were quite large such that we had trouble finishing the two dishes.

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

And since I unlocked my Zomato Gold privilege, we got the Creamy Pasta Tartufo for free!

Some friendships are nurtured by constant presence and attention but some, like Fetina’s and mine, are maintained by occasional meetups over good food and long conversations.

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen, Greenbelt

Our thanks to Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen for being our venue for this memorable get-together.

This Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen branch is located at Level 3, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12midnight.  For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 7053526 or +63 2 7524183.

Other branches are located at:

  • Second Floor, Corte Area, Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City (open Sundays to Thursdays from 9am to 10pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 9am to 11pm; Tel. No: +63 917 7099814 or +63 2 7553092)
  • Ground Floor, MJ Corporate Plaza, 2310 Pasong Tamo Extension, Magallanes, Makati City (open weekdays from 7am to 8pm and weekends from 7am to 5pm; Tel. No: +63 917 7101605 or +63 2 7290284)

Bluesmith Coffee & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Want to score a similar discount? 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 as soon as slots open. (They tend to get snatched up pretty quickly so be sure to sign up as soon as slots become available.) Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

Cozy Korean-themed chill-out sesh at Cafe I’m Here, Tomas Morato

I’ve been wanting to check out Cafe I’m Here ever since it opened.  I’ve mostly heard a lot about its Korean-themed aesthetics, it’s decadent desserts and how relaxing it was to stay here.

Together with another adventuresome coworker, I traversed across Timog Avenue to CTTM Square where this cafe is located for lunch.

Upon entering, I was impressed by the sheer size of the place.  It  had two levels of seating areas that hug the There were pod-like spaces where you can sit in relative quiet and privacy while enjoying your cup of coffee, typing on your laptop or working on a project with a small group.  Despite the space occupied by its fun and youthful decor (gigantic teddy bears and tents where introverts can hole up in), it still seemed like a viable co-working or remote working space.

Better yet, it is a place where my friend and I can simply chill in and dish about the goings-on in our lives.

For our lunch, my companion and I split an order each of Pasta Bolognese (Php210) and Garlic Cheese Bread (Php170). This is such a fantastic pairing! The garlicky cheese bread served as a nice complement to the meat- and tomato-based pasta.

And simply because I can (and #IDoWhatIWant), I finished off a lovely Caramel Bread (Php150) for dessert. It was basically more of that soft fluffy bread topped with whipped cream and slathered all over with rich gooey caramel sauce. I did offer some to my companion but she’s not as into sweets as I am. (Well, more for me!)

Yep, this lunch was basically a carbs-upon-carbs chill-out session with my fried but, as a wise person once said, “Don’t count the calories. Make the calories count!”

I look forward to coming back here to leisurely enjoy a mug of the resto’s cafe mocha and a plate of chocolate bread.

Cafe I’m Here is located at Third Floor, CTTM Square, Sacred Heart, Quezon City (at the roundabout where Tomas Morato intersects with Timog Avenue). It is open daily from 10am to 3am. For inquiries, call +63 917 3633529 or +63 905 5073517.

Cafe I'm Here Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mix and Match Lunch Set at Half Saints, Tomas Morato

For me, the office lunch break is a sacred hour.  In this precious spot of time, I can take a break from the pencil-pushing, number-crunching and many of the stresses I take on in the course of my job.  When I have lunch with a coworkers, it also presents me with an opportunity to chat and get to know them, discover shared interests or vent on common frustrations.

This is why going out for lunch is especially important to me.  Having a packed lunch from home to eat at the office pantry or buying one to-go from the office foodcourt may be more efficient and economical, but does not provide me with a change of scenery that helps in keeping my stress levels down.

However, lunches out are not exactly budget-friendly.

Fortunately, nearby restaurant Half Saints offers DIY Lunch Sets wherein diners can mix and match options for rice and viand, all for Php165.

It’s such a no frills yet fun way to decide on what you’re having for lunch.

A friend and I dropped by on our lunch break and got for ourselves:

Black Squid Rice + Bacon Slab and Egg

Pink Salmon Rice + Shrimp Skewer

Since I had some money left over, I decided to indulge myself with a Paprika Cheese Tart (Php70).

Our boss asked us to get her lunch to-go so we opted for Black Squid Rice + Japanese Fried Chicken Bites that we took back to office.

The food choices do embody Half Saints concept of providing comfort food with a twist, influenced by owners Christine Roque, Trina Roque, Tricia Roque, Tanya Mesina and Joana Arciaga’s Filipino roots merging with their exposure to other cultures. The ingredients and dishes are familiar but are melded together in novel ways (and prettily plated too!), producing flavors and textures that do excite one’s senses when the dishes are laid down on the table.

Furthermore, through its advocacy, Half Saints also supports local businesses by sourcing its ingredients from local food and farmer cooperatives.

The food took some time to get to us (the waiter even got one of the orders wrong), though, so we busied ourselves by poring over some of the books artfully displayed in the store. The resto has a minimalist feel to it – and no wonder, its interior design was inspired by coffee shops in Tokyo. It proved to be a cozy and quiet place to hang out in.

Half Saints, Tomas Morato

I think this place would also be a nice after-office refuge. I can picture myself with a mug of Half Saints’ freshly brewed coffee and a pastry, just chillin’ after a day’s work.

Half Saints is located at the Ground Floor, Ignacia Place, Mother Ignacia Corner Sergeant Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11.30am to 10pm. For reservations, call +63 935 9330512. Or you can book your table via Zomato like I did.

Half Saints Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato