Classic Pinoy favorites with a twist from MESA, SM City East Ortigas

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? :-))

Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas

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.

Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas

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.

Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas

Suahe in Salted Egg (Php590). River shrimp sautéed in salted egg yolk and light soya with wanly, butter, native chilis, sugar and lime juice.

Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas

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!

Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas

Salt & Pepper Spare Ribs (Php520). Thin slices of pork spare ribs, deep-fried and tossed in butter, garlic and native chilis.

Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas

Binagoongang Baby ni Kaka (Php555). Lean pork belly sautéed in fermented shrimp paste, onions, tomato and native chilis and served with grilled eggplant.

Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas

Nilagang Baka (Php415). Beef tenders simmered in a flavorful broth along with sweet corn, onions, celery, cabbage and native pechay.

Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas

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!

Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas

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.

Mesa, SM East Ortigas
Mesa, SM East Ortigas

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.

Other Metro Manila branches are located at:

  • Caloocan: SM City Grand Central
  • Las Pinas: Via Lifestyle Center, SM Southmall
  • Makati: Ayala Malls Circuit, Greenbelt 5, Powerplant Mall
  • Mandaluyong: SM Megamall, Shangri-la Mall
  • Manila: Robinsons Place Manila, SM City San Lazaro
  • Muntinlupa: Festival Mall
  • Paranaque: Ayala Malls Manila Bay, SM City Sucat
  • Pasay: SM Mall of Asia
  • Pasig: Ayala Malls Feliz,
  • Quezon City: Ali Mall Cubao, Ayala Malls Cloverleaf, Ever Gotesco Commonwealth, Eastwood Mall, Fisher Mall, Robinsons Place Magnolia, SM City North EDSA, SM City Fairview, Tomas Morato, UP Town Center
  • Taguig: SM Aura Premier, Vista Mall

Sawsaw-sarap ng Pinoy food, thanks to all-natural vinegars from Casa Lontoc

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.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

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.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

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
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

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.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

Other Casa Lontoc products include:

  • Spiced Tuba Vinegar
  • Spiced Iloco Vinegar
  • Chili Garlic
  • 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.

Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc
Casa Lontoc

To know more about Casa Lontoc and its products, visit its website and follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate this feature.

Indulgent weekend brunch at Rustic Mornings by Isabelo

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.

Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Rustic Mornings by Isobelo

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!

Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Rustic Mornings by Isobelo

Berry Cream Cheese and Bacon-Stuffed French Toast (Php500). Thick pieces of French toast generously stuffed with berry cream cheese and crispy bacon.

Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Rustic Mornings by Isobelo

Waffle Churros (Php290). Sweetly spiced crisp waffle tossed in sugar and cinnamon powder.

Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Rustic Mornings by Isobelo

Brunch Platter (Php990). Group platter good for two-to three persons that includes breakfast favorites: pancakes, waffles, bacon, scrambled eggs and hash browns.

Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Rustic Mornings by Isobelo

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.

Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Rustic Mornings by Isobelo

Drinks. Brunch wouldn’t be complete without hot drinks to perk us up or iced drinks to cool and refresh us.

Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Cafe Mocha (Php100).
Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Hot Chocolate (Php115).
Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Unli Americano (Php150).
Rustic Mornings by Isobelo
Iced Cappuccino (Php120).

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 by Isabelo
Rustic Mornings by Isabelo
Rustic Mornings by Isabelo
Rustic Mornings by Isabelo

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.

@beingjellybeans

Enjoy wholesome breakfast faves and al fresco dining surrounded by eclectic art and nature at @Rustic Mornings by Isabelo. Deets at beingjellybeans.com! #beingjellybeans

♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

Know more about Rustic Mornings via its website or follow it on Facebook or Instagram.

Kumbacheros, it’s time to celebrate as Ka Tunying’s turns 7!

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.

Ka Tunying's turns 7
Ka Tunying's turns 7
Ka Tunying's turns 7
Ka Tunying’s turns 7

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).

Ka Tunying's turns 7
Ka Tunying's turns 7

Pastas and Noodles: Tinapa Carbonara (Php295), Pancit ni Nanay Benny (Php320), Pancit Cantonio Taberna (Php295), Daing Pesto Pasta (Php325), Vegetable Lasagna (Php320)

Ka Tunying's turns 7
Ka Tunying's turns 7

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.

Ka Tunying's turns 7
Ka Tunying's turns 7

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 turns 7
Ka Tunying's turns 7
Ka Tunying's turns 7
Ka Tunying’s turns 7

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.

Check out my previous posts about Ka Tunying’s:

Fresh seafood and paluto at Dampa sa Libis

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.

Dampa sa Libis
Dampa sa Libis
Dampa sa Libis
Al fresco seating
Dampa sa Libis
Air-conditioned room

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.)

Dampa sa Libis
Dampa sa Libis
Dampa sa Libis
Dampa sa Libis

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.

Dampa sa Libis
Dampa sa Libis

Prawn Tempura.

Large prawns battered and deep-fried until golden-brown and served with a sweet soy-based dipping sauce.

Dampa sa Libis
Dampa sa Libis

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.

Dampa sa Libis
Dampa sa Libis

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.

Dampa sa Libis
Dampa sa Libis

BBQ Liempo.

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.

Dampa sa Libis
Dampa sa Libis

Leche Flan.

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.

Dampa sa Libis
Dampa sa Libis

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

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.

Let’s #ChooseTheSarapEveryday with Chewsarap

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.

Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap

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!

Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap
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.

Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap

Salted Egg Chicken Wings (Php240/3 pcs | Php900/12 pcs).

Juicy chicken wings covered in Chewsarap’s special salted egg sauce.

Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap

Roast Beef (Php450) half portion | Php850 full portion).

Beef belly cooked sous vide for forty-eight hours and served with gravy and barbecue sauce.

Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap

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.

Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap

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.

Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap
Chewsarap

Plus, ordering this feast was so easy. Here’s how:

  • Visit chewsarap.com.
  • Select your orders.
  • Upon checkout, fill up your delivery details and choose your shipping option (pickup or delivery).
  • After getting the total bill, make your payments (cards/e-wallets, bank deposit and GCash are accepted).
  • Send proof of payment via Viber or by messaging Chewsarap on Facebook or Instagram.
Chewsarap

Want to cook show-stopping viands such as these without the work of food prep?

Order Chewsarap’s Ready-to-Cook Meals such as:

  • Chicken Tenders
  • Beef Tapa
  • Japche Noodles
  • Pork Sisig
  • Beef Stew

Why should we choose the hassle, when we can #ChooseTheSarap, everyday?

Disclosure: Product samples were provided.

Travel across the Philippines in just 2 hours at Lakbay Museo

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.

Lakbay Museo
Choose how you want to travel…
Lakbay Museo
by land…
Lakbay Museo
by sea…
Lakbay Museo
or by air.

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.

Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo

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.

Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo

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…

Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo

…reveling at the sheer variety of our local produce…

Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo

…and other aspects of life of many enterprising Pinoys through the ages.

Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo

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.

Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo
Lakbay Museo

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.

Lakbay Museo
Boodle Table
Lakbay Museo
Flatlay
Lakbay Museo
Lechon all around
Lakbay Museo
Ilokano cuisine

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.

Lakbay Museo
Neon Lights
Lakbay Museo
Banig Weavvers
Lakbay Museo
Mayon Volcano
Lakbay Museo
Moriones Festival

Of course, all of these come into play during Pinoy-style celebrations where food, costumes, dances and songs abound.

Lakbay Museo
Christmas Lanterns
Lakbay Museo
Magellan’s Cross
Lakbay Museo
Mindanao Royal House
Lakbay Museo
Panagbenga Festival

So don’t fret about being stuck in the metro. There’s so much to see, do and experience at Lakbay Museo!

Lakbay Museo is located at Level 1, S Maison, Marina Way, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

Tickets bought online are priced at Php699 person, which is inclusive of a two-hour tour of the museum.

Ongoing promos include:

  • Lakbay 1 Get 1 – get two boarding passes for just Php799
  • Little Byaheros – tickets for kids two to twelve-years-old are priced at Php350 (participating kids must present a school ID or birth certificate showing their birth date)

Know more about Lakbay Museo by following it on Facebook and Instagram.

Get the #LubdExperience at Lub d Makati (because you didn’t come for the normal)

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.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

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.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

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.

Comfy stay

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.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

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.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

If you’re traveling with a larger group of people you can opt for a Mixed Dorm Room 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.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

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.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

Taste global flavors with Pinoy flair

Of course, you wouldn’t want to miss the great eats that Lub d’s roodeck bar and restaurant, Essential goodness for Pilgrims, has in store for you.

You can have your meal at the deck where you can enjoy the amazing view of the Makati skyline…

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

…or you can enjoy your meal in the lush comfort of its posh interiors.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

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.

Lub D Makati
Lub d Cluster GM Reycie Gutierrez
Lub D Makati
EG’s Chef Jinggoy Fernando
Lub D Makati
EG’s F&B Team
Lub D Makati

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.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

Nachos. House-made nacho chips with a side of fresh gracamole, pica de gallo and calamansi crema.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

Garlic Bread. A new experience of spreading roasted garlic on buttered toast and sprinkling a bit of flaky salt for an explosion of flavor.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

Bicol Express Wings. Chicken wings covered in a spicy coconut milk sauce served with charred lemon for a bit of zest with each bite.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

Bistek Tagalog Sliders. Grilled 100% beef patties with calamansi mayo and topped with caramelized onions and local cheese in fluffy toasted buns.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

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.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

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.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

Salted Egg Tostada. House-made crispy flat tortilla topped with bits of salted egg and cucumber salad with citrus dressing.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

Corned Crispy Pata. Brined pork trotters which are deep-fried then served with soy vinegar dipping sauce.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

Desserts include Pandan Cheesecake with mango coulis and Tres Leches Bread Pudding with vanilla sauce.

Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Pandan Cheesecake
Lub D Makati
Tres Leches Bread Pudding

Refreshing drinks include house-made Four Seasons and Iced Tea.

Lub D Makati
Four Seasons
Lub D Makati
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
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati
Lub D Makati

Lub D Makati is located at 7820 Makati Avenue, Brgy Poblacion, Makati City, Philippines.

For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 85416358 or email contact.makati@lubd.com.

Know more about Lub D Makati at its website or follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended a food tasting held here. Food items mentioned in this post were served free of charge to facilitate this feature.

Merienda meetup at Bench Cafe, BGC

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? BGC
Bench Cafe? BGC
Bench Cafe? BGC
Bench Cafe? 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).

Bench Cafe? BGC
Bench Cafe? BGC

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? BGC
Bench Cafe? BGC

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.

Bench Cafe? BGC
Bench Cafe? BGC

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.

Bench Cafe? BGC
Bench Cafe? BGC

These Pinoy favorites on the table and my dear friend to catch up with made my merienda experience at Bench Cafe so special.

Bench Cafe? BGC
Bench Cafe? BGC
Bench Cafe? BGC
Bench Cafe? BGC

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.

Pinoy comfort food at Goodah, Timog Avenue

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!)

Goodah Salo Salo
Goodah Salo Salo

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.

Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah 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.

Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue

These include:

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.

Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue

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.

Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue

Pork Bingoongan (Php319). A classic Pinoy dish wherein pork belly is stewed in shrimp paste (bagoong).

Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue

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.

Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue

Supermeal A (Php150). A budget-friendly rice meal that includes tocino, lumpiang shanghai, pancit canton, kropek (prawn cracker) and leche flan.

Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue

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.

Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue

Ribsilog (Php195). Crispy fried pork ribs served with garlic fried rice, fried egg and atchara.

Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue

Leche Flan (Php39). The Pinoy version of creme caramel which is made of egg-and-milk custard with a soft caramel layer on top.

Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue

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!

Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue
Goodah Timog Avenue

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.

Sumptuous snacking at Silverspoon, Tomas Morato

Did you welcome the loosening of quarantine restrictions and the prospect of being able to dine out?

I know I did!

Aside from the assurance that the pandemic is steadily easing its hold on the metro, the added freedom to wander about has allowed me and my friends to meet up for a sumptuous snack at one of my new favorite haunts: Silverspoon.

A cozy and hidden spot in a busy food haven

This little cafe tucked away in a quiet side street near the busy food hotspot Tomas Morato Avenue is the brainchild of young entrepreneur Decie Montefrio, who transitioned her thriving food delivery business during the pandemic into a lovely brick-and-mortar restaurant that serves a combination of Filipino and intercontinental dishes.

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

I just love its minimalist aesthetic and comfy furnishings, it offers you a bright yet cozy setting for a satisfying meal or a light repast, whether you’re going solo or with friends.

Plus, the place also offers WiFi access so you can enjoy a change of scenery as you study or do some remote work here.

Expanded menu to include snackables

Recently, Decie and her team expanded Silverspoon’s menu to also include lighter dishes, perfect for a quick lunch or snack in between meals.

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

These include tasty sandwiches accompanied by a side of fries and housemade sauce, as well as mouth-watering appetizers and a kid-friendly pasta dish which can be paired with Silverspoon’s signature handcrafted drinks. Check them out!

Tapa Burger (Php265). Tender slivers of savory cured beef on cucumber and tomato, topped with julienned greens.

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

Mushroom Burger (Php265). Silverspoon’s vegetarian sandwich option with thin mushroom slivers sauteed in garlic on cucumber and tomato topped with crispy-fried veggies.

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

Crispy Chicken Sandwich (Php275). Crispy Southern-fried chicken breast fillet on cucumber and tomato topped with crispy onion rings and julienned greens.

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

Fish Fillet Sandwich (Php290). Crispy fried fillet of fish on cucumber and tomato topped with crispy onion rings and julienned greens

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

Grilled Sausage Sandwich (Php310). Cheese-filled Hungarian sausage on cucumber and tomatoes topped with crispy-fried veggies.

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

SS Clubhouse (Php380). Generous layers of bacon, ham and egg with cucumber and tomatoes in between slices of lightly toasted bread served with a side of crunchy potato chips.

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

Buffalo Chicken Wings (Php250). Juicy fried chicken wing pieces covered in Buffalo glaze (your choice among 3 levels of spiciness) and served with housemade aioli.

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

Filipino-Style Meatball Spaghetti (Php285). A delight for kids who love sweet-style spaghetti, especially with the giant cheese-filled meatball at the center.

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

Ube Macapuno Cheesecake (Php245). Two Pinoy dessert flavors – ube and macapuno – combined in one decadent cheesecake.

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

Brewed Coffee (Php115). Freshly brewed from Arabica beans with Sagada, Kalinga, Barako, Hazelnut and Macadamia variants, available hot or iced.

SilverSpoon Snack
Hot Sagada
SilverSpoon Snack
Iced Kalinga

Chocolate (Php120). Silverspoon’s Signature classic thick and comforting chocolate, available hot or iced.

SilverSpoon Snack
Hot Chocolate
SilverSpoon Snack
Iced Chocolate

With such delicious inclusions to Silverspoon’s menu, it’s definitely all-set to be my all-day foodie haunt.

So the next time you crave for some snackables and want to hang out somewhere comforting and cozy, grab a friend or two and drop by Silverspoon to get that spoonful of happiness.

SilverSpoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack
Silverspoon Snack
SilverSpoon Snack

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.

For updates on its latest offers, follow Silverspoon on Facebook or Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting event held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to facilitate an honest review and were not paid for by the attendees.

Check out my previous posts about Silverspoon:

Gourmet Food Trippin’ at Manila Ocean Park

How’s your summer going so far, foodies?

If you’ve got a hankering for some #VitaminSea but are not keen on leaving the city, then Manila Ocean Park is definitely the place to be!

Having just reopened after nearly two years of being closed to the public, Manila Ocean Park is reinforcing its positioning as the all-season holiday destination with eight exciting attractions now ready for the hordes of urbanites like you who are raring for fun and adventure.

MOP Summer
Exploring the Oceanarium
MOP Summer
Sea Lion Encounter

All that walking around and sight-seeing is sure to work up an appetite, though. Well, don’t worry, dear foodies, because Manila Ocean Park also serves up gastronomic delights that will satisfy even the most discerning gastronome.

These culinary creations are all curated by Manila Ocean Park’s Executive Chef Ranuka Hettiarachchi, who brings his extraordinary skill sets to bear in bringing distinctly gourmet dining experiences for the park’s visitors through its in-house restaurants.

MOP Food Trip
Chef Ranuka Hettiarachchi, Manila Ocean Park and Hotel H20’s Executive Chef
MOP Food Trip
Chef Ranuka joins Mr Francis Low in welcoming me and my fellow bloggers to Manila Ocean Park

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar came about in May 2021 when the lockdowns were beginning to ease up but indoor dining was not yet allowed. By making use of Manila Ocean Park’s Barnyard area to offer al fresco dining, and serving up a refreshed menu of Asian fusion dishes, this newly opened eatery became a bright spot for foodies looking for restaurant-quality fare during quarantine.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar
Garden Dining by White Moon Bar
Garden Dining by White Moon Bar
Garden Dining by White Moon Bar

Looking at these mouth-watering dishes, you would be hard-pressed to imagine Chef Ranuka whipping these up using just a griddle and stove, which was all he had available when this restaurant first opened.

MOP Food Trip
Pineapple Glazed Pork Liempo (Php280). Grilled pork belly slices glazed with homemade pineapple sauce served with fried potato wedges, mixed salad and spicy mayo dip.
MOP Food Trip
Bulalo Steak (Php450). Batangas beef shank, sweet corn, French beans and cabbage served in garlicky gravy with Java rice.
MOP Food Trip
Umami Chicken & Cheese Madness (Php240). Grilled chicken thigh fillet in mushroom ang garlic sauce topped with melted mozzarella cheese, and served with sauteed greens, fried seaweed and Java rice.
MOP Food Trip
Hot & Spicy Chicken Wings (Php200). Deep-fried chicken wings glazed in sriracha and fermented bean paste, garnished with spring onions, garlic pechay and white sesame, served with Java rice.
MOP Food Trip
Hungarian Sausage (Php370). Fried sausages served with potato wedges and Dijon mustard.
MOP Food Trip
Blueberry Cheesecake (Php190).

While feasting on these dishes, you can quench your thirst with refreshing shakes and cocktails.

MOP Food Trip
Watermelon Shake (Php120).
MOP Food Trip
Pineapple Shake (Php120).
MOP Food Trip
Ginger + Honey + Citrus Booster (Php120).
MOP Food Trip
Mojito (Php220). Refreshing cocktail made with white rum, mint, citrus juice and soda water.

Garden Dining by White Moon Bar is located at the side entrance of Manila Ocean Park near The Barnyard and Sea Lion pool.

MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip

Read about my previous experience here.

Makan Makan Asian Food Village

Makan Makan Asian Food Village got its name from the Singaporean expression that invites people to eat.

MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip

Located at the second floor of Hotel H2O off to the side of Manila Ocean Park, this restaurant presents an extensive array of tasty Singaporean hawker fare, staple Chinese dishes, and Pinoy classic faves, giving hotel guests and park visitors a viable option for their midday or evening meal.

MOP Food Trip
Chicken Corn & Egg Drop Soup (Php380). A thick and soothing savory soup with chunks of minced chicken, corn and ribbons of egg whisked into the broth.
MOP Food Trip
Mixed Seafood Fried Rice (Php360). A distinctly Asian twist to our sinangag with the addition of finely chopped seafood and veggies.
MOP Food Trip
Crispy Pork with Adobong Kangkong (Php420). A take on the Ilocano dish Apan-Apan which features slices of deep fried pork belly on a bed of sauteed water spinach.
MOP Food Trip
Sweet & Sour Fish Fillet (Php350). A Singaporean version of our Escabeche made with battered and deep-fried fillets of fish served in a sweet and sour sauce.
MOP Food Trip
Pancit Canton (Php300). A Pinoy favorite made of egg noodles tossed with sauteed veggies, seafood and chopped meat.
MOP Food Trip
Sambal Squid (Php490). Also known as Sambal Sotong, it is made of fresh squid rings cooked in a sauce made with chili, shallots and garlic.

With both familiar and exotic dishes on offer, Makan Makan Asian Food Village is a worthy food stop during your Manila Ocean Park adventure.

MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip

For more details and updates on its food offerings, follow Makan Makan Asian Food Village on Facebook and Instagram.

Garden Cafe by Hotel H2O

If you feel like you want to take a coffee break in the middle of your wanderings around the park, drop by Garden Cafe by Hotel H2Oo. Here, you can relax amidst a refreshing backdrop of foliage and open air, while you sip your handcrafted coffee or smoothie.

MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip

You may as well indulge yourself with some pastries while you’re at it. These confections are usually sea-themed and lovingly crafted by Chef Ranuka’s pastry chefs.

Mirror Glazed Sea-Themed Cake.

MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip

Aqua Bavarian Donut.

MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip

Other Pastries.

MOP Food Trip
Almond Chocolate
MOP Food Trip
Sable Cookies

Want something to help you combat a hot day? Go for some iced coffee, then.

MOP Food Trip
Iced Latte (Php100).
MOP Food Trip
Iced Mocha (Php110).
MOP Food Trip
Iced Kopi Tarik (Php110). Made with coffee dark roasted with margarine and sugar, sweetened with condensed milk.
MOP Food Trip

Don’t hesitate to sit down and take a break with your pals while having some coffee and pastries in this comfy (and very Instagrammable) nook.

MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip

Garden Cafe by Hotel H2O is located at the ground floor of Hotel H2OO, easily accessible from Manila Ocean Park.

Follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

White Moon Bar

Want to end your Manila Ocean Park adventure on a high note?

Then, proceed to the second floor deck of Hotel H2O to catch the gorgeous sunset while you hang out at White Moon Bar.

MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip

Nibble on some appetizing bar chow while listening to chill music.

MOP Food Trip
Chicharon Bulaklak (Php280).
MOP Food Trip
Potato Wedges (Php180).
MOP Food Trip
Edamame Beans (Php350).
MOP Food Trip
Beef Burger (Php400).

Of course, your sunset chillout sesh wouldn’t be complete without some of White Moon Bar’s Classic and Signature cocktails.

MOP Food Trip
Tequila Sunset (Php300). A sweetened version of Tequila Sunrise due to the addition of grenadine.
MOP Food Trip
Amalfi Sour (Php390). Made with limoncello and vodka, shaken with honey, strawberries and fresh lemon juice.
MOP Food Trip
Sangria Blanco (Php320). Made with white wine, a splash of sweet citrus, cucumbers and peaches.
MOP Food Trip

So take the time to enjoy good food and great company at White Moon Bar as you wind down from your activity-packed day at Manila Ocean Park.

MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip
MOP Food Trip

Follow White Moon Bar by Hotel H2O on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated on its offers.

Watch out for more foodie destinations that Manila Ocean Park will be launching soon!

Manila Ocean Park is located behind the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta along Roxas Boulevard, Ermita Manila. To stay updated on its promos and offers, follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended food tastings held at these restaurants during my recent tours in Manila Ocean Park. Food items here were served at no cost to the attendees.

Check out my previous posts about Manila Ocean Park:

Pasalubong from the “Home of the Original Cheesebread” – LA Bakeshop in Pampanga

One of the highlights of the Pampanga Food Crawl that I joined with my fellow foodies is our stop at LA Bakeshop for my first taste of its cheesebread.

This bakery-slash-cafe has been baking this singular artisanal pastry since 1985, further solidifying the Kapampangan’s reputation for culinary ingenuity.

LA Bakeshop
LA Bakeshop
LA Bakeshop
LA Bakeshop

After several lambings, my boss took advantage of one of her trips home to Pampanga to bring me a welcome pasalubong: a box of cheesebread and Spanish bread from LA Bakeshop.

LA Bakeshop
LA Bakeshop

One bite of LA Bakeshop’s famous cheesebread will surely have you craving for more. When served while still warm from the oven, its sweet milky scent will get you salivating. Its cheesy crust gives way to soft and milky bread underneath. It’s best enjoyed when paired with hot coffee or chocolate for breakfast or merienda.

LA Bakeshop
LA Bakeshop

LA Bakeshop’s Spanish bread, on the other hand, is soft with a buttery sugar filling. It has been a merienda favorite since childhood.

LA Bakeshop
LA Bakeshop

The fam and I enjoyed this box of goodies for our afternoon snack or post-dinner dessert!

LA Bakeshop’s cheesebreads sell for Php7 apiece or Php210 for a box of thirty pieces, while its Spanish bread sells of Php9 apiece or Php270 for a box of thirty pieces. The best deal is to get a box of fifteen cheesebread pieces and fifteen Spanish bread pieces for Php240.

LA Bakeshop
LA Bakeshop
LA Bakeshop
LA Bakeshop

LA Bakeshop also sells classic breads such as pan de sal, pandesitos, pesto sticks, ensaymadas and ensaymadas.

Its branches are located at:

  • Main Branch/San Fernando: 318 Abad Santos Street, Sto. Rosario, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
  • Dolores Branch: McArthur Highway, Dolores, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
  • Saguin Branch: Unit 7 AP Building, McArthur Highway, Dolores, City of San Fernando, Pampanga
  • Sto. Rosario Angeles Branch: 792 Sto. Rosario Street, Angeles City, Pampanga
  • Balibago Branch: 1 Sandico Building, McArthur Highway, Angeles City, Pampanga

For more news and updates on LA Bakeshop, follow it on Facebook and Instagram.

Why not, ChocNut? Check out the limited edition #SMChocNutTuron

What was your favorite time of day back when you were young?

Mine was the late afternoon when I get home from school, I can finally watch cartoons for a while and my meryenda is waiting for me at the table.

One of the highlights of meryenda time is when I have hot freshly fried turon laid out before me. This classic Pinoy sweet snack is made with slices of local sweet plantain bananas – more commonly called saging na saba bananas – and slivers of jackfruit flesh – also known as nangka – encased in lumpia wrappers with brown sugar that crystalizes upon frying.

With these simple ingredients, our genius forebears were able to create an irresistible dessert that has not lost its appeal to generations of Pinoys.

SM ChocNut Turon
SM ChocNut Turon

No wonder, then, that its version of the Turon is among the best-selling products at SM stores. Shoppers wanting to munch on something after a bout of retail therapy, or on their way to restock their pantry at the supermarket can easily purchase one or two of these freshly made desserts for just Php25 apiece.

Well, guess what! A new variant of the famed SM Turon is now available and is making some buzz among the metro’s foodies: the limited edition ChocNut Turon.

SM ChocNut Turon
SM ChocNut Turon

With each bite, you get the same crunch from the fried lumpia wrapper, sweetness from the banana and the smokey caramelization from the brown sugar, but this time, these flavors are accentuated by the nutty milk chocolate goodness from another childhood favorite, the ChocNut.

Who says you can’t get the best of both worlds, eh?

You can even opt to bring this new meryenda home to enjoy it with your loved ones. Buy one (or two pieces, who’s judgin’?) for each family member, pop them in your oven toaster two to three minutes in medium heat, and voila! You’ve got a delicious treat for the entire family!

SM ChocNut Turon
SM ChocNut Turon

You can even pair them with vanilla ice cream for a decadent ChocNut Turon Ala Mode!

Well, nuttin‘ should stop you and your fam from enjoying your SM ChocNut Turon. Grab them at over 100 SM Supermarket, Savemore and Hypermarket outlets nationwide.

SM ChocNut Turon
SM ChocNut Turon

For more updates, follow SM Markets on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided for this feature.

Come home to delicious homey flavors at House of Lasagna, Katipunan

Find yourself needing a little bit of comfort lately?

How about some good ole’ comfort food, the kind that envelops you in feelings of warmth and familiarity, just like coming home?

Chances are, you won’t have to travel far to treat yourself to delicious comfort food, thanks to House of Lasagna.

House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna

Since 2009, House of Lasagna has been serving up these homey flavors, starting from the time when founder Chef Erick Congmon expanded the reach of his homemade creations beyond his family and friends by opening a hole-in-the-wall outlet in J. Abad Santos in San Juan. Today, House of Lasagna has presence in three cities in the metro and one in Lipa, Batangas.

House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna

Together with my fellow foodies, I visited House of Lasagna’s main branch along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City to sample some of its celebrated comfort food.

These included:

Truffle Mushroom Lasagna (Php350 single | Php1,240 half tray | Php2,440 whole tray). Of course, our meal included one of House of Lasagna’s namesake dishes. This rich creation is composed of al dente lasagna noodles layered with rich creamy sauce made with shiitake mushrooms and white truffle. A welcome variation of the classic lasagna most of us are familiar with!

House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna

Southern Fried Chicken Skin (Php200 single | Php380 party). One of Chef Congmon’s family recipes, this crunchy and crave-worthy appetizer consists of seasoned chicken skin, deep-fried to a delicious golden brown and served with a side of vinegar dip.

House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna

Lemon Pepper Flavored Southern Fried Chicken (Php329/6pcs | Php649/12pcs | Php999). Flavorful wing pieces that are crispy and juicy to the bite but with a bit of lemony zing that will make this dish truly memorable

House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna

Classic Margherita (Php599). One of House of Lasagna’s stone-baked pizzas, this Neapolitan pizza is made with tomatoes, mozarella cheese and fresh basil. Simple enough when it comes to ingredients but it’s big on flavor and texture thanks to its crispy edges and bottom.

House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna

Frozen Brazo Vanilla (Php750 for 8x8x2in tray | Php1,050 for 8x12x2in tray). The classic Brazo de Mercedes dessert gets a makeover, adding a graham cracker crust and a layer of vanilla ice cream to the original custard filling. A decadent treat for dessert lovers!

House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna

Ultimate Ube Halaya (Php820 for 6in round | Php1,590 for 9in round). Another homegrown dessert gets upgraded into a decadent pastry which consists of moist ube-flavored sponge cake, a filling made of real ube halaya (jam made of purple yam) and covered with white chocolate truffle frosting.

House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna

With such delectable comfort food to be had, you won’t give in to the blues, would you?

House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna
House of Lasagna

Drop by House of Lasagna to treat yourself to its homey goodness! Its branches are located at:

  • 240 Aguirre Ave. BF Homes Paranaque, Paranaque City
  • 218 Katipunan Ave, Project 4, , Quezon City, Metro Manila, Quezon City
  • 3/F Dela Rosa Carpark 2 Bldg., Dela Rosa St. , Brgy. San Lorenzo Legaspi Village Makati, Makati
  • Ground floor, SM City Lipa Batangas, , Lipa, Batangas

You may also order online through its website, which covers delivery in Metro Manila, Batangas (Lipa, Tanauan, Padre Garcia, Rosario,Cuenca, San Jose, Mataas na Kahoy, Malvar, Sto. Tomas), Cavite (Kawit, Imus, Bacoor), Laguna ( Biñan and San Pedro) and Rizal (Cainta, Taytay, Antipolo, Angono and Binangonan). It accepts payments via GCash, Visa and Mastercard.

To keep updated of its latest promos and offers, follow House of Lasagna on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: I attended a food-tasting held by this restaurant wherein food items were served at no cost to the attendees to facilitate honest feedback.