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:

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:

Hearty and tasty comfort food at Chef Robert, Greenhills

So, what is comfort food?

It is a repast that triggers nostalgia or sentiment in someone: your mom’s signature chicken soup, crispy fried chicken that your family treats you too when you get good grades, or freshly baked pan de sal whose smell waft into your nostrils as you walk by the panaderia.

This is food ingrained with our personal memories, and aside from sating our hunger, it also soothes out soul.

This is the kind of food that Chef Robert serves. Hearty and tasty, his dishes remind us of the food that mom used to serve at home for Sunday brunch, or the ones your titas used to make for family gatherings while also introducing new ways to enjoy classic Filipino viands.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Together with my fellow foodies, I visited the newly opened Chef Robert branch in Greenhills, where the restaurant transfered after closing its branch in Banawe, Quezon City.  Carlo, the restaurant’s marketing manager, and Chef Robert himself was there to welcome us and give us a taste of the restaurant’s signature offerings which included:

Mushroom Fritters (Php195).  A light starter for the meal which has the crispy feel of chicharon (pork rind) but less of the guilt.  It is well complemented by the restaurant’s house vinegar blend.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Salad Rolls in Kani Mango (Php145 solo | Php245 regular).  A fresh way to enjoy salad rolls, this has Japanese element to it with an interesting interplay of salty flavor from the kani and sweetness from the mango.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Bicol Express Pasta (Php225).  According to TV host and foodie Tonipet, this dish is “matapang, masarap saka malasa.” This is a pasta dish that you will definitely come back for.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Alamang Fried Rice (Php175). Good for up to four people, it goes well with many of Chef Robert’s viands.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Tofu Sisig on Eggplant Torta (Php265).  The smokey flavor of the eggplant lends well to the savory tofu.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Bangus Sisig (Php205 regular | Php325 big).  A bit sweeter than the usual sisig, it also makes for a healthy alternative to the classic pork sisig dish.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Crispy Kare-Kare (Php345). Crispy deep-fried pork belly slices accompanied by steamed veggies in a rich peanut-y Kare Kare sauce and accompanied by bagoong (fermented shrimp paste).

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Crispy Embutido with Egg (Php205). The holiday staple embutido is given a makeover by coating slices in panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and deep frying them to a crispy golden brown. These are accompanied by garlic fried rice and sunny-side-up egg, making it a hearty breakfast meal.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Coffee Jelly (Php140). Cubes of coffee jelly in a sweet cream and topped with a scoop of ice cream, a perfect cap to the meal.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

With these flavorful and hearty dishes, it is easy to see that Chef Robert brings his ten years of culinary experience to bear to serve mouth-watering fare to San Juan city denizens.

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Chef Robert, Greenhills

Thanks to Dom of Around the City by iDomne and Jen of Sand Under My Feet for extending the invitation.

Have an appetite for pasta? Check out Chef Robert’s Unli Pasta offer! For only Php299 get unlimited refills of your choice of pasta among Bicol Express Pasta, Linguini Alfredo and Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti. Your order already comes with refillable red iced tea and a single serving of coffee jelly. See if you can beat the current record of eight refills!

Chef Robert is located at Os2 Providence Building, 55 Annapolis Street, Greenhills, San Juan City, open Tuesdays to Fridays from 11.30am to 9pm and Saturdays to Sundays from 11am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2556309, +63 917 8654780 or +63 933 8664503.

Chef Robert Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other 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 reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Magically happy lunch at Coldlayers Cafe, Fisher Mall

Have you ever had that moment when, quite unexpectedly, the stars aligned and the universe brought forth your deepest, yet unasked for, wish?

Well that’s what happened to my friend Ruby and me as we were deciding where to have lunch on this hectic Monday. Having exhausted most of Zomato Gold partner restaurants in the Tomas Morato area, I was already resigned to eating cafeteria food or venturing out to the food stalls near our office, but no! Ruby’s muse whispered in her ear that we should go to Fisher Mall for lunch.

And wouldn’t you know it! One of the hidden desires of my heart (or my tummy, I’m not entirely sure which), is to dine at Coldlayers Cafe, one of the restaurants in Fisher Mall. This eatery, as luck would have it, happens to also be a Zomato Gold partner restaurant.

Ever since I saw posts from my fellow foodies of Coldlayers Cafe’s signature snow ice desserts, I’ve been dying, partly of envy towards the other foodies, and partly of my desire to try those icy treats.

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

So we heeded the voice of Ruby’s muse and off we went to Fisher Mall, straight to the cafe, where, in the colorful resplendence of the resto’s interiors, akin to magical beings of yore, we unlocked our hidden powers, that is, our Zomato Gold privilege.

And what have we unlocked, you may ask?

Well, comfort food that filled our tummies and warmed our hearts, that’s what!

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

The Cheezy Meat Lasagna (Php285), for example, is a filling meal enough for us two, what with alternating layers of lasagna smothered in a hearty meat sauce and rich creamy bechamel sauce, topped with melted parmesan and cheddar. Yummy!

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

How about the Chicken Cordon Bleu (Php280), then? We loved these juicy, herb-crusted chicken fillets stuffed with melted cheese and ham, complemented by a cup of garlic rice (yeah, carbs on carbs!)

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

And of course, those are just preambles to the main event, the piece de resistance: Coldlayers Cafe’s flavored ribbons of ice! Called Snow Ice, these treats are made fresh in small batches daily using only the freshest natural and locally sourced ingredients, and stored for no more than three months. Containing 0% butterfat content, snow ice treats have more intense flavors than ice cream, and use two-thirds less sugar too!

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

Being a self-confessed chocoholic, I got myself a Secret Affair (Php210). This is made of dark chocolate snow ice topped with crunchy brownie bits, chocolate cereal, nuts and a chocolate wafer stick, then drizzled with chocolate syrup.

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

Ruby, on the other hand, got a Sweet Surrender (Php210), a Horlicks snow ice sprinkled with malty horlicks powder, then drizzled with chocolate syrup and served with fresh tapioca pearls on the side.

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

From start to finish, this has been a truly magical happy lunch, filled with good food that chased away our Monday blues and energized us to forge on until the workday is done. (‘Cause we work hard for the money!)

Cold Layers Cafe, Fisher Mall

And thanks to Zomato Gold, we got the Chicken Cordon Bleu and the Sweet Surrender for free!

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. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

This Cold Layers Cafe branch is located at Third Floor, Fisher Mall, Quezon Avenue, Del Monte, Quezon City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 3611431.

Another branch is located at Second Floor, Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang Hari Road, Almanza, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

No time to visit the stores? You’ll be happy to know that Cold Layers delivers via Honestbee.

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

Check out my reviews of other places that offer icy dessert treats!

Recovery comfort food at Chelsea Kitchen, Mega Fashion Hall

After a bout of workouts at Gold’s Gym, my daughter #ExhibitA and I went to Megamall for some errands.

For our post-workout recovery food, we settled on Chelsea Kitchen in Mega Fashion Hall. We have never eaten here before but we’ve always been curious about its offerings.

Chelsea Kitchen is part of the Raintree Restaurants Group, a restaurant family that complements the lifestyle and preferences of the metro’s foodies.

The restaurant’s open concept and bright yet homey decor is a beacon for hungry denizens looking for yummy comfort food.

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

#ExhibitA took the lead in choosing the dishes for our meal while I finished off my errands at the mall. By the time I came back, the food was already served and waiting for us to dig in.

We started off some Mozzarella Stuffed Mushroom Risotto Balls (Php195), battered and deep-fried balls of cheese, risotto and mushrooms served on top of a cream sauce.

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

We also grazed on an order of Caesar Salad (Php250), fresh crisp greens tossed in with bacon bits, anchovies, capers, grated parmesan, red onions, focaccia croutons and doused with parmesan ceasar dressing.

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Our mains consisted of an order of Fried Chicken Parmigiana (Php320), large pieces of chicken steak crusted with herb crumbs, smothered in white sauce and melted mozzarella, and a platter of Wicked Truffle Mac N’ Cheese (Php395), a fresh and decadent take on the lunchroom classic using four different kinds of cheeses , Canadian-style smoked bacon, button mushrooms and green peas, made even richer with a few drizzles truffle oil.

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

We thoroughly enjoyed refueling our bodies with Chelsea Kitchen’s tasty offerings and we look forward to trying its desserts (hopefully when our diets allow it!)

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen is located at Ground Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, open daily from 10am to 10pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 9586777.

Plus, since both of us unlocked our Zomato Gold privilege at this resto, we got the Chicken Parmigiana and Risotto Balls for free!

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. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

Chelsea Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other restaurants that offer comfort food:

Yummy Lunch Break at Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

On one of our last lunch breaks prior to the holiday break (and still high from our country’s Ms. Universe win – yey!), my officemates and I decided to venture a bit farther our than our usual haunts.

We settled on Blue Rocket Cafe + Kitchen, a cozy yet cheery cafe along Scout Reyes a few blocks away from Mother Ignacia Avenue.

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

The place boasts of homey and rustic interiors accented with brick-lined walls, eclectic wall art and green decor. If you’re hankering for a photo opp during your mealtime, this resto is the perfect backdrop. The chill vibe and the colorful surroundings also make it a great venue for #TitaConferences (I seem to be gravitating towards this kind of place lately, hehehe!). The resto is even cheerier now with all the holiday decor and tchotchkes.

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

For our group’s happy lunch, we ordered:

Wagyu Beef Sticks with Peanut Sauce (Php325).  Juicy cubes of marinated wagyu beef served on sticks with peanut sauce.

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Sirloin Stroganoff Pasta (Php315).  A rich cream-based pasta generously topped with bits of grilled beef sirloin.

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Creamy Tomato Pasta with Chicken (Php255).  Spaghetti noodles doused in a rich tomato and cream sauce and served with grilled chicken.

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Honey Garlic Wings (Php195).  Six pieces of flavorful, crispy-on-the-outside and tender-on-the-inside chicken wings covered in honey garlic sauce.

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

The dishes were promptly served, piping hot and in servings large enough to satisfy our group.

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

And since two of us who are Zomato Gold members unlocked our privilege in this resto, we were able to enjoy Sirloin Stroganoff Pasta and the Honey Garlic Wings for free!

What a lovely way to enjoy one of last opportunities for a happy lunch for the year!

Blue Rocket Cafe, Paligsahan

Blue Rocket Cafe is located at 79 Scout Reyes corner Scout Lozano, Paligsahan, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Sundays from 11am to 11pm.  For inquiries or reservations, call +63 2 9317769 or +63 932 7346705.

No time to visit the resto? You’ll be happy to know that Blue Rocket delivers via Honestbee. Simply place your orders here.

Blue Rocket Cafe + 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.

Flavorful and familiar dishes at Banapple, Tomas Morato

Eating out with coworkers who are not among your usual lunch companions presents quite a quandary: trying to find a restaurant that will appeal to the varied tastes and preferences of such a diverse group.

Banapple

Banapple

We solved this dilemma by going to the nearby branch of Banapple and took advantage of its various home-cooked style comfort food such as:

Soup of the Day (Php105). A freshly made, hearty and creamy mushroom soup to fill the tummy and warm the soul.

Banapple

Sirloin Garlic Beef Tapa (Php280). Tender beef slices marinated in a sweet yet garlicky marinade and served with seasoned garlic rice and creamed parsley eggs.

Banapple

Breaded Fillet of Cream Dory with Honey Thyme Mustard Sauce (Php255). Crispy herb-crusted fresh fish fillets drizzled with warm honey thyme mustard sauce and served with butter carrots and served with seasoned garlic rice.

Banapple

Bacon Fried Chicken Steaks with Milk’Shroom Gravy (Php275). Creamy milk and mushroom gravy smother crispy chicken fillets and topped with bacon bits and served with corn relish and seasons garlic rice.

Banapple

Pan-fried Pork Loin with Herb Mushroom Gravy (Php265). Tender pork slices and are seasoned with herbs, pan-fried, smothered with a thick herb and mushroom gravy and served with glazed butter carrots and seasoned garlic rice.

Banapple

At over Php250 per order, these rice meals are not cheap. While quite flavorful and familiar, the dishes have a tendency to provoke a feeling of “umay,” there being so much of a particular taste that you just grow tired of it.

Still, these are not too shabby for a resto that started as a small operation, baking pies and cakes for family, friends and referred food establishments.

Also, as I’ve mentioned several times before, Banapple’s claim to fame, for me, would always be its desserts. The Banoffee Pie (Php135 per slice, Php965 for whole), in particular, is a delightful confection. I brought a whole cake home recently for my dad’s birthday. The graham cracker crust is well-formed and compact. The caramel filling is rich and decadent while the bananas inside are sweet but still has a firm texture. The cream topping is whipped stiff and in shape, allowing it to hold thick dark chocolate shavings.

Banapple

Banapple

Banapple

This Banapple branch is located at the Second Floor, Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato Corner Scout Madrinan Street, South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily from 9am to 11.30pm. Other branches can be found at:

  • SM City North EDSA, Quezon City
  • Gateway Mall, Cubao, Quezon City
  • Ayala Malls Cloverleaf, Balintawak, Quezon City
  • Blue Ridge, Quezon City
  • Robinsons Galleria, Quezon City
  • Ayala Malls Feliz, Dela Paz, Pasig City
  • Tutuban Center Malls, Tondo, Manila
  • Ayala Malls Marikina, Marikina Heights, Marikina City
  • Ayala Triangle Gardens, Salcedo Village, Makati
  • Market! Market! Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Ayala Fairview Terraces, Novaliches, Quezon City
  • Tuscany, McKinley Hill, Taguig
  • President’s Grove, BF Homes, Paranaque
  • Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa

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

Plus, you’ll be happy to know that when you dine in at Banapple with a friend, you can get a free dish via Zomato Gold. Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks for dine-in guests. 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.