Lunch Buffet at Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

The Tomas Morato area is definitely a foodie haven. At practically every corner is an old and familiar or a new and exciting food destination, something that will spark a foodie’s curiosity and appetite.

One such destination is Vanilla Cafe along Mother Ignacia Avenue. Formerly known as Vanilla Cupcake Bakery, it has expanded its repertoire from cupcakes and pastries to pastas and classic Filipino food.

Enter its doors and you will be taken to a place of fun and cuteness with pastel-printed walls, plush floral couches and dainty chandeliers.

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Guess what: come around lunchtime and you can eat your fill at Vanilla Cafe’s Lunch Buffet where you can enjoy a delightful curation of Vanilla Cafe’s food offerings served with delicate country style flair.

Have a sampling of these dishes:

Prettily prepared canapes and veggie dips.

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Freshly made pastas.

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Binagoongan and Tinapa Rice.

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Classic Pinoy Favorites: Sizzling Tofu, Sizzling Sisig, Bagnet, Fish Sarciado, Chop Suey, Chicken Adobo, and of course, Vanilla Cafe’s famous Kare Kare.

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

And since there’s always room for dessert, have a cupcake (or two… or more!) because, why not!

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

This buffet is best enjoyed with pals as a barkada lunch date…

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

Or as part of a festive celebration!

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

So check it out: the Premium Lunch Buffet is available at Vanilla Cafe Tomas Morato on weekdays from 11am to 2pm for only Php398 per person (+10% service charge).

Vanilla Cafe, Tomas Morato

This branch also has a Boomin’ Breakfast Buffet available everyday from 7am to 10am at Php228 for adults and Php114 for kids ages four to eleven (plus 10% service charge). Kids below four years old eat for free.

This Vanilla Cafe branch is located along Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 7.30am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 7.30pm to 12 midnight.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2 83743783 or +63 918 8264552.

Other branches are located at:

  • Second Floor, Garden Wing, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City
  • Second Floor, Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang Hari Road, Almanza, Las Pinas City
  • 20 Villamor Street, Lualhati, Baguio, Benguet

Planning a get-together? Why not order one of Vanilla Cafe’s Party trays? Pastas, entrees, salads and rice trays are available for order at any Metro Manila branch.

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Maximize your buffet restaurant visit. Read the tips in my buffet survival guide.

Check out my blog posts on other buffet restaurants in the Metro:


Lunch at Lydia’s Lechon, Roces Avenue

From a small stall in Baclaran selling lechon (roasted pig) slices to to churchgoers to now being practically synonymous with its specialty and having over 25 stores in and around the metro, Lydia’s Lechon has certainly come a long way.

Started in 1965 by the couple Benigno and Lydia de Roca, Lydia’s Lechon has branched out beyond lechon delivery to restaurants, foodcourts, consumer goods and more.

Still, the company’s claim to fame lies in its lechon: this is what my officemates and I traversed the hot summer day all the way to the Lydia’s Lechon branch along Roces Avenue for.

The restaurant, similar to other Filipino restos, has a casual vibe, clean premises and eye-catching decor (check out the large paintings that adorn the staircase; these depict a Pinoy fiesta which, of course, includes the lechon).  There’s enough parking space outside the store for five to six cars, as well as an area where the lechon are roasted.

Our group of four ordered:

  • A half kilo of Lechon (Php450)– the meat was tender and flavorful with melt-in-your-mouth fat and crispy shiny skin (with a nice crackle to it).  It is, of course, accompanied by the resto’s own lechon sauce
  • Pinakbet (Php175) – which I, surprisingly, liked! The flavors and textures of the vegetables, pork bits and bagoong (shrimp paste) were well-balanced and went well with our steamed rice.
  • Chopsuey (Php195) – I preferred this vegetable dish less than the pinakbet.  While the vegetables still have a nice crisp texture despite being cooked, the flavor of this dish is too mild. Anyway, truth be told, our group just ordered this and the pinakbet to assuage our conscience given that our main dish is so decadent.
  • Lydia’s House Blend Iced Tea (Php65/glass)– We actually got a pitcher of this iced tea but I didn’t get the price.  We wanted something sweet and refreshing to balance the richness of the lechon.

It was a very satisfying and energizing lunch, what with the calories we consumed and all.  🙂

On my next visit to Lydia’s Lechon, I would definitely try some of its other dishes to accompany the lechon such as the Fresh Lumpia (Php85) and Lydia’s Paella Rice (Php55).  I would also love to sample its sweet offerings such as the Mango Sago (Php60), Suman at Mangga (Php135) and Ube Banana Turon (Php65).

This Lydia’s Lechon branch is located at 49-Don A. Roces Avenue, Corner Scout Reyes
Quezon City (Tel: +63 2 376-5173 or + 63 2 376-1818).

Other Metro Manila branches are located in:

  • Quezon City: Timog, Commonwealth, SM North and SM Fairview
  • Pasig: Ugong and Meralco
  • Mandaluyong: SM Megamall
  • Makati: Cash & Carry, Landmark
  • Paranaque: SM Sucat,
  • Manila: Baclaran, 999 Mall, SM Manila, SM San Lazaro, 168 Mall, Robinsons Place Manila, Manila Doctors Hospital
  • Marikina: Marcos Highway
  • Taytay: SM Taytay

Lydia's Lechon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my review of another lechon joint nearby.

Mother’s Day Brunch at Jaytee’s Tagaytay

Wanting to avoid the Mother’s Day lunchtime rush to Tagaytay, the family decided to leave Manila early in time for brunch at Jaytee’s Home of the Best Bulalo and Kare Kare.

Named after the initials of its proprietors, husband and wife team Jessie and Tess Mojica, the restaurant is located at One Destination, along Aguinaldo Highway, affording its diners a scenic view of Taal Lake and Volcano.

I recommend dining inside the resto as its interiors are clean and well-appointed. You can just take your requisite Taal Volcano family group pics outside while waiting for your meal.

The resto prides itself on its Special Beef Bulalo (Php650, good for 5-6 persons), which is what we drove all the way to Tagaytay for. It did not disappoint, the meat was tender, the soup flavorful, and the veggies crisp. (Of course, the sinful bone marrow is the star of the dish.)

We also ordered veggie dishes Chop Suey (Php220) and Fresh Lumpia (Php190 – a real winner with crisp ubod inside, light wrapper and a peanutty garlicky sauce!). For variation of viands, we also ordered Crispy Tawilis (Php220) and Grilled Liempo (Php360). The oldies ordered Buko Juice (Php85) and Green Mango Shake (Php110) while the rest of the fam sipped on Cucumber Iced Tea (Php180 per pitcher). We also capped off the meal with a scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream (Php45 – a must for my little boy) and Leche Flan (Php180 – a little too sweet but that’s what desserts are for huh?).

The food were served family style by attentive wait staff, however, I found the tables too small to accommodate all the food we ordered. (They certainly made taking foodie shots a bit difficult.)

Since we arrived so early, we were able to avoid the traffic going to the resto-with-a-view places along this stretch of Tagaytay. We were also able to park our cars with no problem.

For reservations, call:

  • (046) 443 1795
  • (0977) 745 8511
  • (0921) 319 3233
  • (0929) 613 0678

Jaytee's Filipino Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Want to go wandering around Tagaytay? Check out my post about Picnic Grove Eco Trail.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Want to learn more about Filipino cuisine? Check out these books on!

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