European lunch at Vanderlust Bistro, Tomas Morato

Europe’s rich and diverse culture is made manifest in its cuisines. While I wouldn’t mind traveling across The Continent to sample its gustatory pleasures, the expedition would surely be costly. Luckily, with Vanderlust Bistro, I can get a taste of the cuisines of various European countries all in one place.

And that is exactly what I did for lunch together with my officemates one fine day. Armed with our Zomato Gold memberships, we set about discovering what Vanderlust Bistro has to offer.

The place is cozy with limited seating at the ground floor but more tables available upstairs. The interiors are sparsely decorated, other than the wallpaper with miniature Eiffel Towers, approximating the simplicity of European bistros.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Its food offerings are focused on German, Italian and Spanish cuisines, giving us varied flavors to explore and satisfy our cravings. These include:

Fish and Wedges (Php238). Beer-battered fish and potato wedges served with aoili.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Catalan Baked Fish with Potatoes and Asparagus (Php458). Baked white fish with herb crust served with olives, sauteed potatoes, asparagus and roasted tomatoes.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Mon Cheri Poulet (Php458). Honey and red wine-glazed chicken thigh placed on top of a spinach omelette and a strip of smoked bacon.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Cacio E Pepe Mushroom Truffle (Php398). A classic Italian pasta dish of cheese and pepper with mushroom and truffle sauce.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Espaguetis con Chorizo (Php278). Pasta noodles tossed in a sauce made from simmered tomatoes and Spanish sausages with a bit of paprika.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Tuscan Chicken Spinach Pasta (Php348). Herbed chicken tops a pasta dish with sauce made from spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Gianduiotto (Php195). A chocolate dessert originating from Piedmont, northern Italy, which got its name from gianduja, a chocolate spread containing hazelnut paste.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Spanish Churros (Php98). Six pieces of freshly fried churros which we requested to be served with a chocolate dip (Php50).

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

I used to find European restaurants intimidating; I thought that menu items would be staggeringly expensive. At Vanderlust Bistro, however, European food is packaged more affordably and made more accessible to the Filipino diner.

This Vanderlust Bistro branch is located at 100 Scout De Guia corner Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City, open Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 11am to 11pm, Fridays from 11am to 2am, and Saturdays from 11am to 1am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 9540401.

Another branch is located at Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Vanderlust Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Since Vanderlust Bistro is a Zomato Gold partner establishment, our group got some of our food orders for free!

Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 (Buy 1 Get 1) deals on food or 2+2 (Buy 2 Get 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.

You can also book your table at Vanderlust Bistro using Eatigo to get up to 50% off your food bill. Sign up using my referral link to get additional perks.

Latin Foodgasm at Tittos, Kapitolyo

Another recent addition to the establishments in the foodie-friendly Kapitolyo neighborhood is Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew. The family and I were treated here by the in-laws for SIL’s birthday.

Tittos’ imposing exteriors lead into bright and airy interiors, complete with festive and colorful artwork and decor that give the place a vibrant South American feel.

Latin American cuisine is an amalgamation of food from South American countries wherein common items include maize-based dishes (such as tortillas, tamales and tacos), various salsas and other condiments such as guacamole, chili and chimichurri.  This cuisine is also heavily influenced by other cultures, particularly Native American (from which Latin cuisine got its predilection for corn), African (from which the use of less desired cuts of meat are perfected into distinct dishes), and European (resulting from colonization of several Latin American countries during the Age of Exploration).

Our food orders certainly embodied Tittos’ myriad of influences.

Our starters:

Churrasco Beef Salpicao (Php345).  Grilled beef cubes sauteed in herb butter with mushrooms and onion crisps.

Salted Egg Shrimp Taco (Php145). The crispy shrimp morsels, curry leaves and salted egg sauce give this dish an Asian flavor.

Verduras Taco (Php125).  Another Asian-inspired dish with steamed cauliflower and tofu flavored with sweet and spicy soy glaze, pico de gallo and melted cheese.

Our main dishes:

Arroz Negra Paella (Php495 for Medio, good for 2-3 people). The squid-ink flavored rice served as the backdrop for the chorizos, oysters, prawns and squid rings.

Titto’s Chicharon (Php650). Our favorite crispy pata served with spiced vinegar and chimichurri.

Pollo Asado (Php695 for Todo or Whole Chicken). Roast chicken served with chimichurri, mango relish and side vegetables.

Our desserts:

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake (Php195). The delectable caramel-based cheesecake with a new twist – a chocolate sauce with oodles of caramelized cornflakes.

Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (Php195). The favorite and familiar brazo de mercedes modified intona cheesecake.

Ube Churros (Php225). Sizeable ube churros served with white chocolate frosting, caramel and drizzled with chocolate syrup.

All in all, it was a happy celebration made even more so by Tittos’ festive food offerings.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew is located at 16 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City.  For reservations, call +63 2 5323414 or +63 917 8122243.

Tittos Latin BBQ & Brew Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of similar restaurants:

Learn more about Latin American cuisine with these books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

(By the way, Tittos also deliver via Honestbee.)

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Cafe Churro, dessert option at Savour Manila

After sampling some Asian street food at Savour Manila food park’s Hawker Street, my daughter and I decided to take our dessert at Cafe Churro.

With just Php100, we were able to enjoy a sugar cinnamon churro (Php40) with a chocolate dip and an Ice Cream ‘n Churro (Php60), a cup of vanilla ice cream with two halves of an original recipe churro sticking out of it with caramel topping.

The churros are slightly crunchy on the outside and a bit chewy on the inside.  We found that we prefer the original recipe churro a bit more than the Sugar Cinnamon one.

I, for one, look forward to trying out the dark chocolate coated churros topped with cashew nuts.

This Cafe Churro is located at Savour Manila, 238 Tomas Morato Ave., Brgy. South Triangle, Quezon City, near Guilly’s.

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

Ginormous churros at Churreria La Lola

Churro is a traditional snack in Spain and Portugal.  Two theories exist about its origins: one states that it originated from China and was brought to Europe by the Portuguese while another traces its existence to Spanish shepherds who wanted a snack that was easy to prepare and cook by open fire in the mountains where they spend most of their time.  Either way, the churro found its way to other parts of the world.

The La Lola Group opened the first Churreria La Lola in Rockwell in 2014.  Since then, the chain has grown to twenty outlets situated in various parts of the country.

While waiting for the screening of Beauty and the Beast at SM East Ortigas in mid-March this year, we took advantage of a promo tie-in that the store had the with cinema which entitled us to 50% off on additional orders for Large Churro Classicos upon presentation of our cinema tickets.

Needless to say, we treated ourselves to the ginormous churro pieces, served freshly made (fried in 100% olive oil), which we dipped in the rich chocolate dip.

Large Churro Classicos are normally priced at Php195, while a medium-sized chocolate dip is at Php60.

This Churreria La Lola branch is located at the Ground Floor, SM City East Ortigas, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Pasig.

Churreria La Lola Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato