I’ve finally (and with quite a bit of resistance) returned to the office.
While I may gripe about the traffic and the long commute from my home to my workplace near Tomas Morato in Quezon City, I honestly can’t complain about the expanded variety of dining choices come lunchtime.
So when the lunch hour came, my officemates and I trooped to our go-to place for modern Filipino cuisine to revitalize ourselves for the rest of our workday with good food and good vibes.
Modern Filipino cuisine is a contemporary take on traditional Filipino food, fusing together traditional Filipino dishes with modern cooking techniques and ingredients, resulting in new and exciting flavors and presentations.
Modern Filipino cuisine is characterized by its use of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, innovative cooking techniques, and creative plating.
All these and more can be found at Ombu Kusina.
With its warm and inviting ambiance, it has the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the meal with my coworkers. Plus, the interiors are tastefully decorated, creating a cozy and welcoming environment that made us feel right at home.
The staff are also friendly and attentive, providing us with updates on the restaurant’s menu and even gamely snapping some photos of our #HappyLunch experience.
But, of course, Ombu Kusina’s main draw is its food and we lost no time in satisfying our taste buds with its tasty and comforting offerings:
Binakol (₱390). Chicken soup flavored with ginger, lemongrass and coconut water.
Gising-gising (₱300). Sauteed green beans and ground pork in spicy coconut sauce.
Crispy Tilapia Fillet (₱460). Crispy breaded tilapia fillet served with soy vinegar dipping sauce.
Thrice-Cooked Crispy Pata (₱895). Deep-fried pork leg served with soy vinegar dipping sauce. A true Pinoy fave!
Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (₱220). Layers of frozen soft meringue, custard filling and ice cream on a crumbly graham cracker crust.
Tres Leches Halo-Halo (₱180). TBH, this is what I came here for: a refreshing dessert made with sweetened beans, fruits, ube halaya and leche flan covered with a milk-flavored finely shaved ice.
Having our happy lunch Ombu Kusina is a superb experience, thanks to the restaurant’s fresh takes on Filipino cuisine, warm and inviting ambiance and excellent service.
My coworkers and I might not all be in favor of returning to the office, but at least, we have delicious moments like this to savor with each other and give us some new vigor for the rest of our office day.
Ombu Kusina is located at Ground Floor, Sequioa Hotel, Mother Ignacia Street, Brgy. South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily for dine-in, delivery and pickup from 6.30am to 9pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 84410518or +63 969 5972249.
Stay updated on its menu and offers by following Ombu Kusina on Facebook and Instagram.
We Pinoys have a special relationship with our food.
For many of us, Filipino food is synonymous withe comforting home-cooked meals lovingly prepared by our nanays, or special heritage dishes passed down through generations in our family.
All of these delicious food is always best enjoyed in the company of our kin.
This is why when our tita and pinsan from the States came over, our extended family hosted a dinner for them at Locavore Kitchen & Drinks in Kapitolyo.
The restaurant was established in 2014 by a group of friends who shared a passion for food and sustainability. Since then, it has gained a loyal clientele and eventually expanded its operations to multiple locations.
Its cozy and laid-back vibe also makes it a perfect spot for our family get-together.
Locavore got its name from a restaurant concept that emphasizes the use of locally sourced ingredients in their dishes. This means that the restaurant sources their ingredients from local farmers and producers, reducing the carbon footprint associated with food transportation and supporting the local economy.
Locavore’s menu is inspired by traditional Filipino cuisine but with a modern twist, using locally sourced ingredients, including fresh vegetables, fruits, and meat.
To re-introduce our balikbayan relatives to the tasty possibilities of Filipino food, we ordered our tried-and-tested favorites:
Fried Oyster Sisig (₱450). Aklan oysters fried with chopped white onions and green chilis.
Sugpo con Mayonesa (₱990). Prawns stir-fried with garlic in butter, crabfat amd mayonnaise.
Gising Gising (₱370). Julliened sigarilyas, French beans, garlic, spring onions and shallot confit simmered in coconut milk.
Sizzling Sinigang (₱660). Locavore’s deliciously fresh take on the classic sinigang made with beef short ribs in tamarind gravy with sauteed garlic confit and French beans.
Tuna Panga (₱520). Baked jaw of tuna drizzled with bagging java glaze and served with shredded radish and lime slices.
Sizzling Pandesal Pudding (₱260). Cheese pandesal soaked in custard with salted egg and dulce de leche topped with vanilla ice cream.
With its mouth-watering showcase of the possibilities present in Filipino cuisine, is it any wonder that we chose to Locavore to re-acquaint our balikbayan relatives to Pinoy food and reconnect them to their Pinoy roots?
This Locavore Kitchen & Drinks branch is located at 10 Brixton Street, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 6842014.
Other branches are located in the following areas:
If you haven’t gotten your fill of food trips over the holiday break, the good news is that you won’t need to leave the metro to get a taste of the best of Filipino food.
SilverSpoon Kitchenette is launching its 2023 Travel Lokal Campaign which highlights dishes that represent regional culinary traditions every quarter of the year.
“SilverSpoon’s mission is to give a spoonful experience to our customers – part of which is to bring something new to the table,” shares owner Decie Montefrio. “That’s why we decided to immerse ourselves and travel to places to understand to understand the culture and tradition of our local dishes and to give homage to our own cuisines.”
From January 6 to April 5, 2023, Pinoy food lovers will be able to enjoy a well-curated selection of Kapampangan dishes.
Pampanga’s culinary heritage is heavily influenced by Spanish cuisine (by way of the Spanish friars and sailors who introduced their way of cooking to the locals during the Spanish occupation), while also sharing characteristics with Malay and Mexican cuisines. Kapampangan cooks also incorporated local produce into the resulting dishes, and pioneered in methods of pre-cooking (“sangkutsa”) and food preservation, earning for their region the moniker “culinary capital of Luzon.”
SilverSpoon’s limited edition menu is a product of extensive research by the SilverSpoon team, made by traveling to Pampanga collaborating with a local homecook who shared heritage recipes and provided insights into Kapampangan cuisine. This menu includes:
Pako Salad. Made with local vegetable pako (fiddlehead fern) tossed with tomatoes, onions and hard-boiled eggs in a honey citrus dressing.
Suam na Mais. Also known as sinabawang mais, this is a healthy and hearty soup made from white and yellow corn kernels.
Pork Sisig. The famous Kapampangan dish made with pig’s face (“maskara”), belly and chicken liver, seasoned with calamansi, onions and local chilis. Traditionally, this dish does not include the mayonnaise and pork cracklings (“chicharon”) that figure prominently in the version present in many Metro Manila restaurants.
Bringhe. Also known as biringhi, it is the local version of the Valencia paella, but uses local glutinous rice (“malagkit”) cooked in coconut milk (“gata”) and turmeric which gives the dish its distinct flavor and color. Giving more heft to the dish are the bits of chicken , chorizo and vegetables that are cooked along with the rice.
Palitaw. Popular local rice cake dessert made with glutinous rice that was washed, soaked and ground then shaped into flat discs and cooked in boiling water. The dish gets its name from the way that the palitaw floats to the surface to indicate that it’s done. It is then topped with grated mature coconut (“niyog”) and served with toasted sesame seeds, muscovado and washed sugar.
Leche Flan. The classic Filipino dessert made with fresh egg yolks, milk and topped with chocolate flakes.
Drinks. To complement the meal, SilverSpoon serves various beverage options which include hot and iced chocolate, as well as mocktails such as Blue Lagoon (citrusy drink made with blue curacao syrup) and Shirley Temple (made with ginger ale sweetened with grenadine and garnished with a maraschino cherry).
So if you feel like going back to our culinary roots and delving into our heritage cuisines, drop by SilverSpoon Kitchenette and take advantage of its Travel Lokal offerings.
Watch out for other local cuisines to be featured later in the year!
Note: SilverSpoon’s regular menu of sandwiches and rice meals is also available.
Silverspoon Kitchenette is located at 81 Scout Gandia Street, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City, open daily for dine-in, takeout or delivery from 11am to 10pm. For inquiries, reservations or delivery orders, call +63 917 1603327. It also delivers via GrabFood and FoodPanda.
Plus, here’s a special treat for your food trip!
Scan this code and present your boarding pass when you dine in at SilverSpoon to enjoy 10% off on your bill! (Applicable top dine-in transactions only)
We’re counting down to the holidays and there is a strong expectation for merriment and gaiety.
Sometimes, however, what we’re really looking for is some comfort.
That is what Conti’s Bakeshop and Restaurant specializes in, delectable food that reminds us of the convenience and comfort of home.
During a shopping trip at Century City Mall, Hubby and I decided to enjoy some of these comfort food. These include:
Caesar Salad (Php175 solo | Php300 to share). Homemade Caesar dressing on a bed of lettuce in season, topped with bacon bits, parmesan cheese, and bread croutons.
Calamari (Php215). Deep fried squid rings encased in crunchy batter and breading, served with tangy tartar sauce.
Roast Beef in Mushroom Sauce (Php470). Slices of roast beef in mushroom sauce, served with buttered vegetables, and garlic rice.
Conti’s Baked Salmon (Php495). Norwegian pink salmon baked with garlic-infused cream cheest topping, served with side salad of greens in season, and Paella rice.
While dining in at Conti’s is certainly pleasant, there is a certain charm to taking home some of the comfort with you, such as a Mango Bravo (Php275 slice | Php985 mini | Php1,635 regular). This celebrated cake made with layers of crunchy wafers filled with chocolate mousse, cream and mango cubes is an indulgent treat for special occasions.
So go ahead and enjoy a comforting indulging at Conti’s.
This Conti’s branch is located at Level 1 Century City Mall, Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City, open daily from 10am to 8pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 6394864…
Other Metro Manila branches are located at:
Caloocan: SM Grand Central
Las Pinas: SM Southmal;l
Makati: Cash and Carry, Greenbelt 2
Malabon: Fisher Mall Malabon
Mandaluyong: SM Megamall, Vista Land Shaw
Manila: Lucky Chinatown Binondo, SM San Lazaro
Muntinlupa: Alabang Town Center, Alabang Westgate Filinvest, Festival Mall Alabang
Paranaque: BF Homes, PITX Tambo, SM Bicutan, SM Sucat
It’s that time of the year when celebrations abound, not just among families, but also among coworkers.
After nearly three years of Zoom parties, officemates can now converge in a single location to party, have fun while enjoying each other’s company!
Those are exactly what my teammates and I did for our department’s Christmas Party held at ATOM Bar + KTV in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.
When our boss tasked our team’s millennial newbies to find a place suitable for our varied personalities, interests and ages – considering there are some Gen X’ers in the group (me included) plus an almost-Boomer division head – the newbies more than rose to the occasion and organized our group’s holiday shindig at ATOM Bar + KTV.
This establishment is a combination of a bar, a family KTV, a comedy bar, a restaurant and a party venue, conveniently located near our pre-pandemic workplace, so most of us are familiar with the area.
Our group of eleven plus a few guests were comfortably accommodated at the VIP Room 6 situated away from the main stage and overlooking Timog Circle.
Luckily, the room also overlooks the parking area in front of its building so I can periodically check on my car parked outside. My other officemates unfortunately had to contend with the building’s basement parking which I heard was a bit too steep for my liking.
The room was furnished with adequate seating areas for our group, as well as two tables to hold the food or facilitate our games that require surfaces. It also had a seating area on top of the loft, a setup similar to the one employed at Cafe I’m Here right next door to ATOM Bar + KTV.
Apparently, two things that united this disparate generations of office workers are the love of song and the love of food. In between bouts of belting out our favorite tunes and competing for prizes, my officemates and I feasted on ATOM Bar + KTV’s menu items such as:
Sweet Soy Chicken (Php599/platter).
Buttered Shrimp (Php375).
Crispy Pata (Php799).
Of course, what’s a party without some drinks? With a Beer Bucket (Php520) (actually, two!), our Christmas party was definitely swingin’!
After encountering many trials for our team this year, we’re glad to be able to finally meet face-to-face in a fun and stress-free setting.
Want to get an earlier start to your group’s holiday celebrations? Take advantage of ATOM Bar + KTV’s extended hours in December: it now opens daily from 1pm to 3am. Call +63 936 3120405 or +63 985 2401560 or email email@example.com to book your reservation.
ATOM Bar + KTV is located at Third Floor, CTTM Square Building, 68 Timog Avenue corner Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City.
For updates on its promos and offers, follow it on Facebook.
If you fancy yourself totally done with Pinoy food, you might want to rethink your position.
Yes, the viands that you eat practically everyday at home or at every family gathering can have erstwhile undiscovered aspects that will rekindle your love of our homegrown dishes.
That’s what MESA aims to bring to the table (see what I did there? :-))
One of the restaurant brands operated by Food Global Concepts, MESA cafes a carefully curated menu of Filipino dishes representative of the country’s diverse regional flavors, and enhanced with endearing modern twists.
This is why whenever the fam is in the mood for a break from home-cooked meals but still wants to partake of something familiar, we hie ourselves off the MESA branch most accessible to us, the one located at SM City East Ortigas.
In keeping with MESA’s recipe for success for all of its outlets, this branch features the brand’s celebrated menu filled with innovative takes on traditional Filipino dishes, genuine Filipino hospitality as embodied by its warm and welcoming service crew and an exceptional dining experience that retains its native accents while couched in affordable luxury.
Over several visits, my family has identified our fast faves from MESA’s menu. These include:
Laing 2 Ways (Php205). MESA brings two ways to enjoy Bicol’s most celebrated dish made with slowly simmered taro leaves in coconut milk and fermented shrimp paste and topped with chicken adobo flakes. Have it as it was traditionally served (wet) or crispy.
Tofu Sisig (Php190). Pampanga’s most famous dish is given a healthier twist with the use of local beancurd sautéed with onions and a special sisig dressing and served sizzling on a hot plate.
Suahe in Salted Egg (Php590). River shrimp sautéed in salted egg yolk and light soya with wanly, butter, native chilis, sugar and lime juice.
Boneless Bangus with Cheese (Php375). Marinated boneless milkfish baked and topped with melted cheese, garlic and spring onions, an excellent way to get the kiddos to like seafood!
Salt & Pepper Spare Ribs (Php520). Thin slices of pork spare ribs, deep-fried and tossed in butter, garlic and native chilis.
Binagoongang Baby ni Kaka (Php555). Lean pork belly sautéed in fermented shrimp paste, onions, tomato and native chilis and served with grilled eggplant.
Nilagang Baka (Php415). Beef tenders simmered in a flavorful broth along with sweet corn, onions, celery, cabbage and native pechay.
Kare-Kare Beef and Tripe (Php820). Tender slices of beef, ox tripe and fresh vegetables cooked in a rich peanut sauce and served with fermented shrimp paste. A welcome dish in any Pinoy spread!
As you can see, these dishes may have graced your dinner table in one form or another, but at MESA, they come in a manner that celebrates their roots in our traditional native culture, as well as the myriad possibilities they possess to whet the appetites of future generations of Filipinos.
Drop by a MESA branch near you and experience a fresh way to enjoy Pinoy cuisine.
This MESA branch is located at Unit 268-270 2nd Floor, SM City East Ortigas, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Barangay Status. Lucia, Pasig City. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 87214434 or +63 915 4572987.
One significant feature of Filipino cuisine is the abundance of condiments.
We don’t consider a viand complete when it leaves the kitchen and is served on our dining tables. Nope, we still keep the option of further enhance its flavor or add some spice, zing or texture to it, through the use of condiments.
In his article The Psychology of Condiments: A Review, food scholar Charles Pence posits that “the existence of condiments is probably also an acknowledgement of the very different worlds of taste in which we all live.”
After all, condiments allow us to personalize our food, adjusting its taste according to our individual preferences.
There’s little wonder then, that we Pinoys developed a wealth of condiments and dipping sauces that make our dining experiences all the richer.
Husband-and-wife team Juan Carlos Lontoc and Louwina Ann Balboa Lontoc grew their small enterprise of making and bottling sinamak into a fast-growing business they called Casa Lontoc.
Sinamak is the spiced vinegar which is aged with spices and aromatics, making it very flavorful. It is a perfect complement for the Ilonggo delicacy chicken inasal, as well as grilled and fried dishes such as liempo and seafood. Plus, it can also be used as a marinade for various dishes or as the acid in the local version of ceviche, such as the tuna kinilaw.
Casa Lontoc’s Mild Sinamak is the best bet for those who want a distinct Ilonggo flair for their grilled dishes. It is made from all-natural distilled cane vinegar and spices, inspired by a Lontoc heirloom recipe.
Similarly, the Spicy Sinamak, is made from the same recipe but has more heat to it, not only enhancing the flavor of the dishes it accompanies, but also bringing a lot more spice to them.
Casa Lontoc’s Sweet and Spicy Cane Vinegar, on the other hand, is quite distinctive thanks to its sweetness. This makes it quite a match to the Filipino penchant for sweetness and is a great salad dressing or vinaigrette for ensaladas, or a dipping sauce for finger foods.
Other Casa Lontoc products include:
Spiced Tuba Vinegar
Spiced Iloco Vinegar
Habanero Chili Garlic
Casa Lontoc’s all-natural vinegars and sauces certainly help to bring new dimensions of flavor to many Pinoy dishes.
Who knows? Maybe they can also introduce new sawsaw-sarap possibilities to foreign dishes as well!
Try them as dipping sauces for your everyday meals or as dressings or marinades for special dishes during your weekend family barbecues.
Weekend brunches are always something to look forward to, wouldn’t you agree?
They give us the opportunity to leisurely enjoy a sumptuous meal with our family and friends, time well spent catching up on each other’s news and making plans for the next get-together.
That’s what we #OfficeMaritesses were up to one rainy weekend: we embarked on a foodie adventure at one of Marikina’s top brunch destinations, Rustic Mornings.
In this quaint eatery, we were able to surround ourselves with gorgeous greenery, eclectic artworks as well as other points of visual interest made from scrap and recycled materials while enjoying a delicious meal which consisted of:
Spinach Dip (Php400). Isabelo’s famous rich and creamy spinach dip accompanied by pieces of toasted ciabattaa. A tasty start to our lovely brunch!
Berry Cream Cheese and Bacon-Stuffed French Toast (Php500). Thick pieces of French toast generously stuffed with berry cream cheese and crispy bacon.
Waffle Churros (Php290). Sweetly spiced crisp waffle tossed in sugar and cinnamon powder.
Brunch Platter (Php990). Group platter good for two-to three persons that includes breakfast favorites: pancakes, waffles, bacon, scrambled eggs and hash browns.
Filipino Platter (Php990). Group platter good for two to three persons that has a delicious sampling of the classic Pinoy almusal: beef tapa, tocino, crispy bangus, fried rice and sunny-side-up egg.
Drinks. Brunch wouldn’t be complete without hot drinks to perk us up or iced drinks to cool and refresh us.
We loved the fresh and airy feel of dining al fresco in such a beautifully reinvigorating setting, which is quite conducive towards sharing all the hot goss on various office and barkada topics.
We found the group platters to be well-curated as they combine various breakfast favorites in reasonably priced packages.
So if you want to enjoy your own a setting for spilling the proverbial tea with your fellow Maritesses or to enjoy a lovely morning meal with family and friends, it’s high time you indulge yourself at Rustic Mornings.
Rustic Mornings is located at 11 Isabelo Mendoza Street, San Roque, Marikina City, open from 8am to 4pm.
While walk-ins are welcome, the place can get full pretty quickly so it’s best to call ahead of your visit to reserve your table via +63 2 8425 8610.
You may also course your takeout or delivery orders via Viber at +63 995 2493732.
Woohoo! Celebrations are definitely in order because #PanlasangMakabayanTurns7!
Ka Tunying’s, that casual tambayan and restoran in one, recently marked its seventh year of operations.
Named after its founder, veteran broadcaster, TV personality and radio commentator, Anthony Taberna, Ka Tunying’s has been through seven years’ worth of ups , downs and in-betweens of running a restaurant that caters to the #PanlasangMakabayan.
Before and during a global pandemic, Ka Tunying’s has rolled with the times and even introduced service and product innovations such as the launch of its website for online ordering, its frozen food packs and its retail stores in various cities nationwide.
With restaurants located in Quezon City and Tagaytay, Ka Tunying’s has been serving afforable, no-frills yet delicious Pinoy dishes such as Kaldereta, Arroz Caldo and Sisig to satisfy the Pinoy food cravings of urbanites, families, barkadas, travelers, balikbayans and more!
Over the years, its offerings have expanded to include the following:
Breads: Baguette (Php81), Banana Loaf (Php196), Cheesebread (Php161/8pcs | Php256/14pcs), Cheese Loaf (Php138), Regular Pan de Sal (Php81/10pcs), Cheese Pan de Sal (Php104/10pcs), Malunggay Pan de Sal (Php98/10pcs), Pesto Wheat Pan de Sal (Php98), Turmeric Pan de Sal (Php92/10pcs), Ube Cheese Pan de Sal (Php334/10pcs), Ensaymada (Php58/pc | Php345/6pcs), Cheesy Ube Ensaymada (Php173), Coffee Bun (Php144/6pcs | Php242/12pcs), Hopia (Php109), Mongo Loaf (Php104), Kamote Cheeseroll (Php58), Pan de Coco (Php108/8pcs), Raisin Bonnet (Php104/6pcs), Raisin Loaf (Php104), Tasty (Php81), Wheat Bread (Php69), Spanish Bread (Php104), Whole Wheat Cinnamon (Php173).
Pastas and Noodles: Tinapa Carbonara (Php295), Pancit ni Nanay Benny (Php320), Pancit Cantonio Taberna (Php295), Daing Pesto Pasta (Php325), Vegetable Lasagna (Php320)
Customizable Cakes: Simply choose your cake design, choose among various flavors (including carrot, ube macapuno, choco caramel and choco ganache) and sizes (6-, 8-, 10 and 12-inches), then indicate your dedication message.
So, kumbacheros, go ahead and celebrate with these tasty creations from Ka Tunying’s. Order online at KaTunyings.com, calling 09952376684 or 09171038673, or sending a message on Facebook, Instagram or Viber (Ka Tunying’s PH).
Ka Tunying’s outlets are located at:
88 Visayas Ave, Quezon City, 1128 Metro Manila
Unit D, Vista Point, Tagaytay, Cavite
Ka Tunying’s also delivers via GrabFood and FoodPanda.
If you’ve got some serious craving for fresh seafood but the beach is quite some distance away, your best bet is to go to your nearby dampa.
Originally, the word “Dampa” is a Filipino term for “hut,” reminiscent of the small houses that line the seaside where fishermen live and make their living.
Today, it is associated with a wet market attached to a restaurant. In this kind of eatery, diners can select the fresh seafood they want to eat and then choose from a menu of ways on how they want these to be cooked for an additional charge, hence term paluto.
As a Pasiguena, landlocked and situated far away from the seaside, I’m lucky that there’s a Dampa sa Libis located nearby.
As is typical with other dampa-style eateries, this one is geared towards catering to large groups in a very informal setting.
The place is suitable for boisterous gatherings of people who love to dine together over their favorite seafood dishes, with little to no concern about the restaurant’s decor or aesthetic. (So if you’re feeling particularly tita-ish, this might not be the place for you.)
However, if you’re game for fresh seafood, cooked upon order and served fresh from the kitchen, this just might be your foodie haven.
During a recent get-together with my in-laws, the extended fam feasted on:
Sinigang na Salmon sa Miso.
Fresh salmon prepared in a variant of the famous dish sinigang which also includes miso (soybean paste) among its ingredients.
Large prawns battered and deep-fried until golden-brown and served with a sweet soy-based dipping sauce.
Inihaw na Pusit.
A beachside favorite, this dish is made from a large squid stuffed with tomatoes and onions, then grilled for that smokey taste.
Sweet and Spicy Crab.
Fresh crabs cooked in tomato sauce, chilis and other spices with a bit of brown sugar for that irresistible interplay of spice and sweetness with every bite of succulent crab meat.
For those who have a more carnivorous bent (or those with kids who have not yet discovered a love for seafood), barbecued pork belly is always a delicious possibility.
The best way to cap a great meal is to linger over dessert, right? This Pinoy take on the creme caramel will do quite nicely as a post-meal sweet.
When dining at a dampa, it’s best to let your adventurous side out and to savor the good food along with the good company you’re having.
Dampa sa Libis is located at 107 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Bgy Libis, Quezon City, open for dine-in and takeout on weekdays from 11am to 9pm and on weekends from 10am to 9pm.
For more information, follow Dampa sa Libis on Facebook or call +63 2 86373303 or +63 917 7071553.
Despite the pandemic that still rages on, life continues.
Amid the trials and challenges we face, and continue to encounter, there are moments that we choose to savor, and milestones that we celebrate. Those are the times when we choose the sarap out of life.
One such moment is the birthday of my eldest. My unica hija – whom I usually refer to in this blog as #ExhibitA – is now a young adult, and I wanted to mark the day with a special meal.
However, with my busy work day, I didn’t have time to shop for ingredients, let alone spend time in the kitchen putting together various dishes.
Fortunately, I won’t have to, thanks to Chewsarap!
Operating on the philosophy that good food need not be expensive, this cloud kitchen offers a well-curated menu consisting of Chinese, Korean and Filipino cuisines, affordably priced and available in portions ranging from solo to family and party trays.
#ExhibitA’s birthday feast consisted of:
Hot Prawn Salad (Php350 for 2-3 persons | Php600 for 4-5 persons | Php900 for 7-8 persons).
Succulent prawns tossed in mayonnaise and cream then topped with sweetened fruits.
Juicy chicken wings covered in Chewsarap’s special salted egg sauce.
Roast Beef (Php450) half portion | Php850 full portion).
Beef belly cooked sous vide for forty-eight hours and served with gravy and barbecue sauce.
Hainan Chicken with Curry Rice (Php300 for 1-2 persons | Php500 for 3-4 persons | Php900 for 6-8 persons).
Chicken cooked sous-vide on top of curry rice and served with ginger and soy dipping sauces.
The fam loved the varied dishes I served for my baby girl’s birthday dinner. Our intimate feast included old favorites as well as new flavors that broadened our culinary horizons, all made fresh on the day of delivery.
Plus, ordering this feast was so easy. Here’s how:
Like me, you might have been keeping your wanderlust contained for the past two years because of the pandemic.
It would be so good to be able to wander freely through many places, see the sights and get a much-needed change of scenery, wouldn’t it?
Well, given the still present threat of COVID-19, and the rising costs of travel due to soaring gas prices, we have no choice but to stay right where we are.
Or do we?
A visit to Lakbay Museo should soothe your need to wander.
The first PH interactive millennial museum
Lakbay Museo offers you a way to travel through our beautiful country in just a thousand steps. Over a two-hour time-frame, you can visit the majestic sights, delve into the rich culture, participate in the colorful festivals and get a slice of life from various parts of the country. This is done through fourteen unique experiences representing eleven exciting destinations around the country.
The museum also espouses the conservation of the environment, with nearly all of its exhibits built using 4,560 old and used tsinelas and scrap materials, 328 old rubber tires, 453 car mats, and other recyclable materials.
Plus, you get to take all the pictures you want for the ‘gram, with the museum’s IG-worthy displays as your backdrop!
Aside from the many photo opps that you can take inside Lakbay Museo, a visit here would definitely be perfect when you want to:
Dive into iconic locations and experiences such as the Tondo alleys, the cobbled streets of Calle Crisologo, the Panagbenga Festival in Baguio, religious and historic destinations such as the Barasoain Church in Bulacan and Magellan’s Cross in Cebu, the Mindanao Royal House and the country’s marine biodiversity, all without leaving the metro
Take a break from your usual haunts and go somewhere for a unique experience
Supplement your kids’ learnings from Sibika at Kultura outside of books and videos, using tangible objects and interactive materials
Introduce our varied, extraordinary and historic culture to returning balikbayans or friends from abroad
Immersive Pinoy experience
While strolling through the museum, you get to engage with various aspects of Pinoy life, a way of stepping out of your usual experiences and see the world from your fellow Pinoy’s eyes. These include:
… selling wares at the marketplace…
…reveling at the sheer variety of our local produce…
…and other aspects of life of many enterprising Pinoys through the ages.
Of course, the Pinoy life is not all work, work, work. Our lives have room for a touch of whimsy and the fantastical. From underwater creatures to floral bounties and floating horses, there are many things here to spark your imagination and fancy.
A sneak peek into the Pinoy’s rich and eclectic culture
What would a trip around the Philippines be without savoring its many cuisines? Regional delicacies are on full display, showcasing their particular culinary influences and practices.
From a room of floating lechon, a hanging flatlay of food to a long boodle table and a wide-set diorama explaining the nuances of local cuisines from thirteen different regions, the Pinoy’s love of food is quite evident.
Each region’s displays also showcase local color, products and crafts, from weaving to growing coffee, all highlighting the Pinoy’s penchant for creativity and craftsmanship.
Of course, all of these come into play during Pinoy-style celebrations where food, costumes, dances and songs abound.
So don’t fret about being stuck in the metro. There’s so much to see, do and experience at Lakbay Museo!
Lakbay Museo recently reopened at 2nd Floor Filipino Village, Ayala Malls Manila Bay Diosdado Macapagal Blvd, cor Aseana Ave, Paranaque City. Book your tickets via Klook.
Whether you’re a foreigner backpacking in the Philippines and looking for a place to serve as your “base of operations” while you’re touring the capital, a domestic traveler who wants to immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the metro’s busiest district or an urbanite who’s seeking for a change of scenery, Lub d Makati is the place for you.
The biggest hostel in the Philippines, Lub d Makati is part of the Lub d hotel chain which also has presence in other buzz-worthy Asian destinations such as Bangkok, Phuket and Koh Samui in Thailand, and Siem Reap in Cambodia. Its concept reimagines the experience of traveling, whether you’re on a solo trip or wandering with your buddies. Lub d prides itself on giving its guests a memorable and comfortable stay as they dive into the local scene.
Center of the action
Located along Makati Avenue in Makati City, the hostel is conveniently located near the high rises of the central business district as well as shopping malls that house dining and entertainment establishments such as movie theaters, restaurants, designer shops and supermarkets.
It’s within walking distance from Poblacion, Makati’s cultural and heritage district, as well as a short ride away from Bonifacio Global City (where you can find some of the hottest night spots) to the east and Old Manila (where you can immerse in the old capital’s colonial history) to the west.
After a busy day of touring the metro, you can take your rest at your choice from Lub d Makati’s 153 private rooms and ten shared rooms.
Indulge yourself in an air-conditioned private sanctuary in a Deluxe Room which comes with either a king-size bed or a two single beds, as well as an en-suite bathroom with toiletries and hair-dryer. Other amenities include: keycard system, TV, power outlet, safety box and complimentary coffee and tea.
Until July 31, 2022, you and a companion can enjoy a stay at a Deluxe King Room with complimentary breakfast and internet for just Php1,999.
Digital nomads can also use a Deluxe Room during the day (9am to 5pm) for remote work or for day trips in the city for just Php1,999.
Traveling with family or a small group of friends? A Barkada Room provides your group with an air-conditioned private retreat with a king-size bed or two single beds plus two single bunk beds, along with an en-suite bathroom. Other amenities include: safety box, TV, a mini-fridge and complimentary kettle and coffee.
If you’re traveling with a larger group of people you can opt for a Mixed DormRoom which comes with eight bunk beds so you can enjoy time togather yet retreat into your private space, thanks to privacy curtains and reading lights. Other amenities include: shared bathroom with towels and toiletries, as well as a wardrobe with lockers.
Do more at The Space
Besides providing you with a space to rest your head for the night, Lub d also provides you with venues for other activities and to meet new friends. Its second floor houses The Space which has meeting rooms for conferences, a WiFi-equipped co-working space for remote work as well as common area where you can hang out and play games with fellow guests.
You can have your meal at the deck where you can enjoy the amazing view of the Makati skyline…
…or you can enjoy your meal in the lush comfort of its posh interiors.
As Lub d’s Cluster General Manager Reycie Gutierrez puts it, the restaurant is guided by the philosophy of food being essential as the nourishment that fuels everyday lives and provides the feeling of satisfaction.
Helming the kitchen is Chef Jinggoy Fernando who translates this philosophy through an updated menu for the restaurant that introduces Filipino food to foreigners. His team achieves this by adding a Filipino twist to typically western dishes or ingredients.
This is also a great way to introduce Pinoys to new ways to enjoy old favorites, such as in the restaurant’s latest offerings:
Mushroom Chicharon. Crispy oyster mushrooms served with a tangy ranch sauce.
Nachos. House-made nacho chips with a side of fresh gracamole, pica de gallo and calamansi crema.
Garlic Bread. A new experience of spreading roasted garlic on buttered toast and sprinkling a bit of flaky salt for an explosion of flavor.
Bicol Express Wings. Chicken wings covered in a spicy coconut milk sauce served with charred lemon for a bit of zest with each bite.
Bistek Tagalog Sliders. Grilled 100% beef patties with calamansi mayo and topped with caramelized onions and local cheese in fluffy toasted buns.
Soft Shell Crab Palabok. Thin rice noodles covered with palabok sauce and topped with a soft shell crab, served with a charred lemon for zest.
Sisig Fried Rice. A variation of the Pinoy staple sinangag (garlic fried rice) mixed with house-made sisig (chopped pork cheeks sauteed in chilis and onions), topped with scrambled egg.
Salted Egg Tostada. House-made crispy flat tortilla topped with bits of salted egg and cucumber salad with citrus dressing.
Corned Crispy Pata. Brined pork trotters which are deep-fried then served with soy vinegar dipping sauce.
Desserts include Pandan Cheesecake with mango coulis and Tres Leches Bread Pudding with vanilla sauce.
Refreshing drinks include house-made Four Seasons and Iced Tea.
No matter what kind of traveler you are, make Lub d Makati one of your stops for a truly extraordinary and memorable adventure here in the metro. After all, you didn’t come for the normal, did you?
Lub D Makati is located at 7820 Makati Avenue, Brgy Poblacion, Makati City, Philippines.
For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 85416358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Merienda – or minindal – is a time-honored tradition in this country. A light meal or snack in the afternoon often figures as highlights in our childhood, and carries on to our adulthood in the form of coffee breaks.
During a recent meetup with my OFW friend, Tina, I revisited this childhood experience with classic merienda fare at Bench Cafe in BGC.
Bench Cafe is an offshoot of the top Filipino clothing brand Bench in partnership with restaurant developer Foodee Global Concepts. This restaurant brand centers around its concept of combining traditional and modern takes on Filipino food.
Its flagship store in BGC also provides a posh yet comfortable background in which diners can fully enjoy its Pinoy dishes. Tables and chairs are amply spaced in a spacious floor space brightly lit with both natural light and pendant lighting and tastefully highlighted with wall art.
This well-appointed eatery served as our venue for a long-awaited get-together. Due to quarantine restrictions, Tina was unable to come home to the Philippines for two years so I jumped at the chance to check out Bench Cafe’s OG branch for our meetup.
Our merienda included:
Pancit Guisado (Php259 good for two | Php420 good for four).
A hearty dish of stir-fried noodles mixed with meat, shrimp and vegetables, and topped with pork rind, this dish is usually a highlight for many of my afternoon snack times at home.
Flan B (Php219).
Bench Cafe’s version of the Pinoy classic custard and caramel dessert topped with macapuno, always a sweet and creamy indulgence!
Classic Turon ala Mode (Php55).
A crispy fritter made with banana encased in lumpia wrapper with caramelized sugar topped with ube ice cream, another merienda staple.
Ube Halo Halo (Php99/12oz | Php145/16oz).
A thirst quenching dessert and icy beverage made with coconut shaved ice with garbanzos, caramelized banana, leche flan and nata de coco topped with ube ice cream and rice krispies.
These Pinoy favorites on the table and my dear friend to catch up with made my merienda experience at Bench Cafe so special.
Check it out! Drop by this branch at the second floor of Bench’s flagship store at 9th Avenue corner Lane O Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global Citt, Taguig, open daily from 10am to 7pm.
Other branches are located at:
Level 2, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
Ground Floor, Padre Faura Wing, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Manila
You may also order for delivery via GrabFood.
Stay updated on Bench Cafe’s offers and promos by following it on Facebook and Instagram.
Whenever I feel stressed or harassed, I always get a strong craving for comfort food. These are dishes that I usually associate with delicious home cooking, the kind that my mom would serve me whenever I was sick or sad.
For over thirty years, Goodah has been the has been the go-to place for people seeking fuss-free comfort food that appeals to down-home Pinoy palate. These include the traditional hot and quickly-served Filipino snacks like goto and lugaw, as well as the hugely popular silogs. Being so popular among all sorts of people, it soon adopted the monicker “ang pagkaing for every all!”
During the height of the lockdown due to the pandemic, I was able to enjoy Goodah’s comforting dishes with my fam while stuck at home through its Salo-Salo Set Meals (thanks to Rowena of TravelEatPinas for thoughtfully sending me this meal set!)
However, as the lockdowns gradually eased (but my work and life stresses did not) I wanted to experience Goodah’s down-home Pinoy dishes in a dine-in setting.
So off I went with my fellow unnies to the Goodah branch along Timog Avenue.
Here, we were able to sit down and take a break from our daily grind as we gossiped about our Hollywood idols and K-pop stans while we feast on Pinoy comfort food.
Batangas Lomi with Tokwa’t Baboy (Php134). A noodle dish made with thick yellow noodles in a thick and starchy soup topped with bits of pork meat, pork offal, pork rind and kikiam. It’s best enjoyed with a side dish made with tofu and pork bits in vinegar sauce.
Arroz Caldo Special (Php179). A porridge made with glutinous rice and accompanied by chicken pieces, hard-boiled egg and topped with crunchy fried garlic and chopped scallions.
Pork Bingoongan (Php319). A classic Pinoy dish wherein pork belly is stewed in shrimp paste (bagoong).
Kare Kare (Php345). A Filipino stew wherein ox and pork meat and offal are served in a thick and rich peanut sauce along with vegetables.
Supermeal A (Php150). A budget-friendly rice meal that includes tocino, lumpiang shanghai, pancit canton, kropek (prawn cracker) and leche flan.
Supermeal B (Php160). Another rice meal that’s light on the budget which includes tapa flakes, lumpiang shanghai, pancit canton, kropek (prawn cracker) and leche flan.
Ribsilog (Php195). Crispy fried pork ribs served with garlic fried rice, fried egg and atchara.
Leche Flan (Php39). The Pinoy version of creme caramel which is made of egg-and-milk custard with a soft caramel layer on top.
With such comforting dishes to be enjoyed, should there still be room in my psyche for stress and negativity? I guess not!
Dispel your own blues with Pinoy comfort food by dropping by a Goodah branch near you today!
This Goodah outlet is located at 57 Timog Avenue, Bgy. South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily for dine-in and takeout from 8am to 8pm, and for delivery from 7am to 9pm via Pick*A*Roo, and 25-hours via GrabFood and FoodPanda.
Other Gooodah outlets are located in Alabang, Valenzuela, Pasig, Granada and Fairview in Quezon City, as well as in Sucat and Bicutan in Paranaque.
Know more about this much-loved Filipino food brand through its website. Stay updated on Goodah’s latest offers and promos by following it on Facebook and Instagram.