Something new brewing at Caffe Freddo, BGC

For a coffee lover like me, that morning cuppa signals the start of a new day, and that mug in the afternoon is all I need to pick me up from the post-lunch slump.

I also look forward to trying out new brews and coffee concoctions. It’s actually amazing how coffee is versatile enough to be mixed and matched with new ingredients to come up with an exciting new beverage.

Last night, together with my fellow foodies, I trooped over to Caffe Freddo in Bonifacio High Street to find out what the cafe has been brewing as part of its Philippine Independence Day offering.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

The new Ube Freddo (Php150) localizes Caffe Freddo’s coffee experience by adding the very Pinoy flavor of ube (purple yam) to the Freddo, the cafe’s signature iced coffee drink which contains a double shot of espresso and sweetened frothed milk. The resulting purple concoction makes for a pretty and Instagrammable drink. It joins the cafe’s roster of imaginative Freddo flavors which already include Mocha, Chai, Matcha and Coco starting June 12.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Along with the Ube Freddo, we also got a taste of the cafe’s carefully curated Modern European brunch menu which included:

Appetizers

Crunchy Calamari (Php240). Crispy battered squid rings served with basil and lime mayo.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Spring Rolls (Php260). Shrimp and corn-filled spring rolls served with coriander tomato dip.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Dried Figs Burrata Flat Bread (Php380). The dried figs add a sweet element that complements the savory flavors from burrata cheese, caramelized onions and the arugula in this flatbread.

Caffe Freddo,BGC

Panzanella Salad (Php290). Fresh flavors abound in this mixture of kale, watermelon, cherry tomatoes and croutons tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette.

Caffe Freddo,BGC

Mains.

Nasi Goreng (Php330). Chicken satay served with Indonesian spiced shrimp, vegetable fried rice and fried egg.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Beef Tagliatelle (Php350). Pasta tossed in beefy tomato ragu and basil.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Aglio Olio (Php350). Spaghetti tossed in virgin olive oil, garlic and spiced bacon.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Soy Grilled Salmon (Php480). Salmon topped with wabiko cream and served with wasabi mashed potato.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Fried Chicken Confit (Php320). Crispy fried chicken served with cole slaw.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Croque Madame (Php320). Smoked ham over a brioche toast and a layer of gruyere cheese, topped with a fried egg and mornay sauce.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Desserts.

Mango Granita (Php220). Succulent cubes of mango mixed in strips of fresh coconut, crumbled macaroons and coconut milk.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta (Php220). Light and tangy panna cotta served with blueberries in a pinot syrup.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Sans Rival (Php220). The classic Pinoy cake made of decadent layers of buttercream, meringue and chopped nuts.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Choco Paradise (Php190).This rich chocolatey confection is perfect for those craving for chocolate after a meal.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

With its slew of dishes, coffee offerings and cozy atmosphere, it’s easy to see why Caffe Freddo has become a prime foodie destination.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Thanks to Pat of ThePatKidInside for extending the invitation!

About Caffe Freddo

Caffe Freddo prides itself in offering a very unique selection of coffee, not found anywhere else in the metro. The coffee selection is all specially brewed from premium coffee beans of Bluestone Lane from New York City. Strategically located in the busy commercial business district of Bonifacio High Street, Caffe Freddo has refreshingly inviting interiors, with its off-white distressed brick walls, ample seating good for 50 people, and columns with hand-painted coffee plants in vibrant hues of green and red. Caffe Freddo is cozy enough for group meet-ups and family dining.

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo, BGC

Caffe Freddo is located at The Spa Building, 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 7am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 7am to 12 midnight.  For inquiries, call +63 9988479410.

Caffe Freddo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoDisclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro:

 

 

Flavorful Latin dishes at Cocina Peruvia, Podium

The South American country of Peru is home to a cuisine that is a melting pot of various influences: from European (Spanish, Italian and German), to Asian (Chinese and Japanese) and West African.  With the culinary inputs from other cultures arising from colonization, trade or immigration, Peruvian cuisine has grown in flavorful and inclusive diversity that it has been cited by food critic Eric Asimov as one of the most important cuisines, being a model of fusion fare.

This much-vaunted fusion of flavors came into play when I had lunch together with fellow foodies from #SaanSaPH at the Cocina Peruvia branch in The Podium in Ortigas Center.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

The place had a colorful and festive feel to it, highlighted by greetings of “Buenas tardes!” from the staff.  The dining area was spacious and airy with window seats offering a chill view of the Ortigas commercial district.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Cocina Peruvia’s menu was developed by Chef Him Uy de Baron, with Peruvian chef Andres Higa as consultant, to bring Peru’s grand fusion of tastes to Filipino diners such as those included in our tasty lunch repast:

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Anticuchos de Corazon de Vaca (Php320). Skewered grilled cubes of ox heart, accompanied by aji anticucho (mayo-mustard) sauce and chimichurri (garlic-parsley) sauce.   Definitely one of the restaurant’s more exotic offerings, it exemplifies the types of meat dishes that became popular as inexpensive street food in Peru.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Patacones Salmon (Php320). Flavorful slices of cooked salmon covered by a parmesan cheese and mayo mix on top of a patacon or a twice-fried slice of plantain banana and served with sofrito sauce. If you ever need to satisfy a craving for cheesy baked salmon, try this out!

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Adobo Peruvia (Php400 | Php1,190 grande). It’s the first time I’ve heard of Peru having its own version of adobo.  Well, I shouldn’t have been surprised considering its similarities to the Philippines when it comes to having a colonial past. Tender, slow-cooked pork belly slices are place on a bed of cream sauce and accented by sliced tomatoes and onions.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Arroz Verde con Pollo (Php320 | Php790 grande).  Chicken slivers sauteed with rice, mixed veggies and cilantro, great when paired with the Adobo Peruvia.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Pollo a la Brasa (Php380 | Php750 grande). Roasted chicken served with fried potatoes, aji green (mayo-cilantro) sauce, chimichurri and salsa creole.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Linguine con Carbonara (Php280 | Php520 grande).  Peru’s version of seafood carbonara with shrimp, squid and mussels in a creamy garlic butter sauce tossed into linguine pasta.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Galera de Chocolate (Php350). A exotically decadent dessert of dark chocolate ganache served with candied figs and tortilla chips.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Banana Shakes (Php120).  Both choices offer a fresh take on the banana shake: the Banana Pineapple has a more tropical taste while the Banana Mint features a cool, refreshing taste.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

These dishes gave me and my fellow foodies an awesome taste of Peru’s fusion cuisine! On my next visit, I look forward to trying out more of Cocina Peruvia’s parilla line and desserts.

Cocina Peruvia, Podium

This Cocina Peruvia branch is located at Fifth Floor, The Podium, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries or reservations, call +63 2 9073958 or +63 9176351862.

Another branch is located at Level 3, Ayala Malls Vertis North, Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 9pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries or reservations, call +63 2 9892752 or +63 9176315797.

Disclosure: Together with other #SaanSaPH foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held in this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Cocina Peruvia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of similar restaurants:

Birthday Lunch at Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

I’m blessed to have coworkers who like to celebrate milestones with a good meal.

An officemate’s birthday falls within a few weeks of mine so two of our former bosses decided to treat us out to a joint birthday lunch.

And for that, Lola Cafe is our best bet, considering its proximity to our workplace, its Instagrammable modern interiors and its menu of imaginatively prepared homey dishes.

Similar to other restaurants in the Tomas Morato area, Lola Cafe was built from a renovated house. It boasts of a sizeable parking area (a big plus in this vicinity), a high-ceilinged bar area, and a dining area that combines the old architectural layout with a modern black and white aesthetic and a refreshing view of the lush green space outside.

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Lola Cafe serves Filipino food that makes use local ingredients in imaginative ways such as:

Crispy Tinapa (Php220 for solo). Tinapa, bits of ripe mango, kesong puti tossed in romaine lettuce and arugula with slightly sweet and citrusy honey dalandan dressing.

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Baked Tahong Express (Php220).  Baked mussels generously topped with mozzarella, garlic, Bicol Express sauce and green chilis.

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Tartufo (Php295 for solo).  Spaghetti noodles tossed in a cream sauce with truffle oil and portobello mushroom.

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Shrimp Aligue (Php295 for solo). Spaghetti noodles tossed with plump shrimp in a rich  and decadent cream sauce of crab fat and kesong puti.

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Lola Fried Chicken (Php310 for solo). Juicy pieces of chicken thighs in garlic butter sauce.

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Prawns in Aligue (Php420 for solo). Succulent poached prawns in a spicy sauce of crab fat, chili garlic and lemon butter.

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Mango Pavlova (Php160). Crunchy cashew meringue and bits of mango layered with chantilly cream.

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kesong Puti Cheesecake (Php220). A rich cheesecake made of kesong puti topped with bukayo (sweetened coconut strips) and salted latik (caramelized coconut cream).

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

These delicious dishes, Lola Cafe’s attentive staff and the awesome company helped to make that birthday lunch truly memorable.

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Since Lola Cafe is a Zomato Gold partner establishment, and all four of us unlocked or Zomato Gold privilege, our group got some of our food orders for free!

Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 (Buy 1 Get 1) deals on food or 2+2 (Buy 2 Get 2) deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

Lola Cafe is located at 99 Scout Lozano Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 11.30am to 10pm, Fridays to Saturdays from 11.30am to 11pm, and Sundays from 10.30am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5012620 or +63 917 8176045.

Another branch recently opened at the Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

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

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Seven Reasons why Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali is your road trip foodie stopover

The Santa Rosa – Tagaytay Road is just teeming with strip malls with various dining options as well as standalone restaurants. Any foodie would be faced with the dilemma of where to eat with so many food choices available.

May I present the Bistro Charlemagne in Nuvali as a viable option? Here are seven reasons why which became even more apparent when my extended family made our way down here after our Tagaytay sojourn.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

One: It’s where the cuisines of the East and West come together and have a ball

Being a third-generation restaurateur, owner Charlemagne Lim achieves the balance between tradition and novelty in cuisine. The offshoot of Little Asia, Bistro Charlemagne features a little bit of the well-loved dishes its mother-restaurant popularized and a whole lot of new or innovated-upon dishes developed specifically for this new concept resto.

Take the Ceasar Salad (Php295) for example: the crisp Romaine lettuce, classic dressing, shredded chicken breast and slivers of parmesan cheese are to be expected and quite yummy… but add delicate boiled quail eggs into the fray? Say what?!?

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

How about the Crispy Lumpiang Hubad (Php305)? The classic shredded and sautéed vegetables that make up the local fried vegetable rolls of our childhood are served on top of a crisp pastry while doused in garlic sauce and sweet soy dressing.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

The much-raved about Beef Tenderloin Rolls with Cheese (Php405) did not disappoint either. Our group loved the finely rolled tenderloin slices stuffed with melting cheese on top of authentic teriyaki sauce that we ordered for another plate of these goodies.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Or consider, a new favorite of my daughter #ExhibitA and myself, the Drunken Lengua in Mushroom Brown Sauce (Php405). Those melt-in-your-mouth tender morsels of pan-seared ox tongue are served with mushrooms and asparagus spears on a bed of rich buttery brown sauce. If you had misgivings about eating the more exotic meat parts like ox tongue, this will change your mind.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

The Japanese Beef Fried Rice (Php125) tasted the Kamameshi Rice of Japanese restos but had a lighter feel. It went so well with our viands that we consumed three bowls of it.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Two: Your favorites are here too!

Missing the taste of the familiar? No need to fret because old-time favorites are also available on the menu for those seeking more of the flavors they loved and less of the adventure into the unknown.

These include the Tuna Tataki (Php305), an appetizer made of lightly seared tuna loin lightly coated in a crust of sesame seeds and served with the traditional Japanese ponzu sauce. (And yes, we got two orders of these.)

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

The Chinese food staples Salt and Pepper Spareribs (Php345) and Salt and Pepper Squid (Php365) rounded up our mains.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

And because we Pinoys, for some reason, can’t fathom a family meal without a vegetable dish, there’s the Brocolli with Prawns and Mushrooms (Php445). We had one of these as-is, while another was made without the prawns to suit the taste of one of the little ones in our party.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Too bad the Chicken Fingers (Php345) did not make it to our table on time so we just had that wrapped to go.

Three: There’s something for your sweet tooth

Knowing the kiddos’ predilection for peanut butter, I ordered a serving of Reese’s S’mores (Php245). It turned out that dipping crisp graham crackers into warm toasted marshmallows resting on a ganache of peanut butter chips is a decadent treat, not just for the young ones but also for the grown ups!

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

And wouldn’t you know it; we had another serving of this yummy dessert because…

Four: Birthday celebrants get a special treat!

As Hubby’s natal day was within seven days of our visit to this resto, we were given a free serving of the house special Little Asia’s Crispy Chicken, one of the recipes passed down from Charlemagne’s forebears. (We simply had to present a valid government-issued ID as well as reach a minimum single-receipt transaction of Php1,995.)

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

A candle was placed right smack in the middle of another Reese’s S’mores for Hubby to blow out while the restaurant staff sang a Chinese version “Happy Birthday to You.”

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Five: Did you know Bistro Charlemagne catered to international stars?

When top musical acts such as Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Smashing Pumpkins and Paramore had their concerts in the country, Bistro Charlemagne was in charge of keeping the stars and their entourage well-fed.

Six: On a budget? No sweat!

When petsa de peligro comes along, you can still satisfy your craving for your favorite Bistro Charlemagne dish with a set meal at only Php215! This already comes with rice, soup and iced tea.

Seven: Check out its new Lenten Specials

Even if your road trip takes place in the days leading to the Holy Week, you can still keep your Lenten observance with Bistro Charlemagne’s new seafood offerings such as Crispy Fish Fingers, Octopus ala Pobre and Baked Salmon in Truffled Spinach Cream Sauce.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Thanks to Bistro Charlemagne for serving as the tasty final stop of our Tagaytay weekend sojourn!

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

This Bistro Charlemagne branch is located at GFF-6, Building B, Ayala Malls Solenad 3, Nuvali, Don Jose, Santa Rosa, Laguna.

Another branch is found at Fifth Floor, Ayala Malls Feliz along Marcos Highway, Dela Paz, Pasig City.

For reservations and inquiries, call +63 049 2580846 or +63 917 8334223.

Check out my review of its branch in Pasig here: East meets West at Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Feliz

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

Organic lunch treat at Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

I decided to treat a dear friend from the office to lunch at Kandle Cafe for her birthday.

Why?

Because a) it’s been years since I last ate there; b) I remember the place to be very Instagrammable and my friend and I are both IGers; and c) it’s reasonably near our office which means we can get back from our lunch break on time.

Kandle Cafe initially made a name for itself with its coffee brews and blends, given that the owners, siblings Khryss, Don King, Leslie and Eli Ong (from a play on whose names came the resto’s moniker – KANDLE), were all passionate about coffee culture.

The place is also marked by a design aesthetic that combines warm and homey interiors with nature’s beauty outside.

Along the pathway leading to the dining area, for example, abound plants and water feature installations. The steady sound of trickling water and the sight of verdant growths did have a calming effect on my work-frazzled nerves. Wood and metal furniture add a modern touch to the al fresco setting.

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Inside, the sprawling space is lit with warm lighting, showcasing the fun and quirky collection of bric-a-bracs and whimsical accents.

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

This place is designed to be memorable, and to be a setting for great memories.

For our memorable birthday lunch, we ordered:

Chilean Mussel Pasta (Php380). Chilean mussels sauteed in a garlic and white wine sauce served on top of al dente tagliatelle and topped with grated parmesan.

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pork Tonkatsu (Php350). Tender pork loin stuffed with cheese, breaded and deep-fried to a golden brown, served with house-made teriyaki sauce, sesame cabbage salad and blue rice (yep, the color comes from the edible flower they serve it with).

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

For dessert, we indulged in a moist and heavenly Carrot Bar (Php100), a Lava Cookie (Php55) and a Maple Cookie with Bacon (Php80).

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

While the food items were definitely a sight to behold, there were hits and misses upon eating them. I think that the pork tonkatsu may be better accompanied by the sweet and peppery tonkatsu sauce rather than a teriyaki sauce which does not bring out as much of the pork’s flavor as I would like. The lava cookie, on the other hand, was lacking the rich chocolatey taste and gooey texture that I’ve come to expect.

That said, we loved the interplay of textures and flavors in the Chilean Mussel Pasta and the moist and richly sweet Carrot Bar.

Kandle Cafe, Tomas Morato

The servers were also attentive and knowledgeable about their offerings, citing features or ingredients that make their dishes unique as they are serving them.

I definitely wouldn’t mind returning here for a nice and relaxed coffee break so I could try out the resto’s celebrated brews and more of its pastries.

Kandle Cafe is located at 113 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Bgy South Triangle, Quezon City, Sundays to Thursdays, 11am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12mn. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 3724504. Or you can book your table via Zomato like I did. 🙂

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