Luxe intercontinental dining at Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

During my recent staycation with my mom and my daughter at Hotel Benilde, we had our meals at Cafe Romancon.

Our staycation at Hotel Benilde was extra special as my daughter, #ExhibitA, and I were looking forward to spending some quality time with my mom.  For some time, Mommy has also been requesting for an outing where “three generations” –  her, me and my daughter –  can just be together.

So,  #ExhibitA and I definitely took advantage of the opportunities to catch up on the goings-on with my mom that the staycation provided, especially when we sit down together to eat at Cafe Romancon.

Named after its patron saint, St. Benilde Romancon, it is a sprawling yet cozy coffee shop located at the ground floor of Hotel Benilde, a 4-star property situated in the bustling Malate area.  It serves as the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant that offers its diners with a well-curated intercontinental menu in casual and modern setting.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

For our dinner on the first day of our stay, we were treated to a sumptuous feast that included:

Gambas Al Ajillo (Php280).  Succulent prawns sauteed in a garlic, tomatoes, onions and chilis.  A perfect start to our meal.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Mushrooms Ala Pobre (Php180).  Plump champignon mushrooms sauteed in olive oil, garlic and herbs.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cream of Butternut Squash (Php130).  A creamy soup of pureed squash and other vegetables topped with bacon.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Kani Mango Salad (Php190). Shredded crabsticks and dried mango bits top mixed greens and crunchy vermicelli noodles and drizzled with Japanese mango dressing.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Seafood Linguini (Php280).  Shrimp calamari, mussels and fish sauteed in olive oil, garlic, onions and tomatoes tossed into pasta.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Norwegian Salmon (Php390). Pan-fried salmon with creamy leek sauce and garden vegetables served with mashed potatoes.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Gloucester Supreme (Php370).  Two juicy and flavorful pieces of grilled marinated beef patties served with a rich mushroom gravy, mixed vegetables and steamed rice.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

We were quite impressed with the quality of the food – the Norwegian Salmon, the Gloucester Supreme and the Gambas Al Ajillo we clear favorites! – as well as the superb service provided by the wait staff.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

By the next morning, while my baby girl was enjoying her sleep, my mom and I had our breakfast at Cafe Romancon as well. The breakfast offerings are a bit limited we didn’t mind as we like our starting meal for the day to be light and fuss-free.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

My mom helped herself to the fruits and beef tapa available in the buffet stations while I took advantage of the wide array of savory cheeses and sweet jams at the bread station.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

These luxurious meals gave us the much-needed time to catch up on each other’s news, exchange chismis (hahaha!) and just enjoy each others’ company, definitely one of life’s priceless experiences.

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Cafe Romancon, Hotel Benilde

Many thanks to the wonderful folks of Cafe Romancon and Hotel Benilde for the wonderful bonding mealtime moments that three generations of women in our family enjoyed!

Cafe Romancon is located at the Ground Floor, Hotel Benilde, Arellano Avenue corner Estrada Street, Malate, Manila, open daily from 6am to 10pm.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2305230.

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

Disclosure: Dinner and breakfast were included in our complimentary overnight stay at Hotel Benilde in exchange for an honest review.

Check out my reviews of other hotel restaurants:

Uncover hidden delights at HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

Along Quezon City’s Scout Rallos Street, quite some distance from the busy hustle and bustle of Tomas Morato Avenue, is a hidden haven for food and drink lovers.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

It’s quite appropriately named, too: HidN Lounge. From the outside, apart from its subtle signage, it looks like any normal house. Step inside, though, and you will find a well-appointed space suited for getting together with friends for dinner or after-work beers, or for enjoying your solitude along with your choice of bar chow and cocktails while being serenaded by the mellow tunes of an acoustic band.

With the help of her parents, owner Kat Kierulf transformed her grandmother’s house into a cozy and comfy watering hole where Quezon City’s denizens can lounge about to relax and have fun, two activities so highly prized given today’s hectic lifestyle. Dim lights, eclectic decor and comfortable furniture form areas where you can have some privacy and stay hidden.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

Together with my foodie buddies from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I visited HidN Lounge (and passed it by as I was driving, because it is, you know, hidden) to see and taste what it had to offer.

These included:

Roti Canai with Curry Sauce (Php140). I’m not a fan of curry but I liked dipping the warm, chewy bread in the mildly sweet curry sauce.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

Spicy Tofu (Php165). Tofu cubes stir-fried in a sweet and spicy sauce. Another dish that had me reaching for the bowl again and again.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN’s Caldereta (Php395). An old family recipe of Kat’s mom, Ina, this features tender beef pieces stewed in a rich tomato sauce with potatoes and bell peppers, topped with cheese.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

Kare Kare Bagnet (Php395). Crispy slices of bagnet from Ilocos on a bed of rich and savory kare kare peanut sauce and accompanied by succulent lightly boiled greens.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

Sinuglaw (Php395). The marriage of sinugbo and kinilaw led to this ceviche-type dish made with with grilled pork belly and fresh tuna made drenched in spiced vinegar and topped with salted egg. A great palate cleanser to nibble on in between richer dishes.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

Gambas (Php425). Succulent whole shrimp in sauteed in garlic and olive oil. Great by itself as an appetizer or paired with rice. Personally, I was half-tempted to ask for more bread so I can scrape every bit of that flavorful garlicky olive oil from the cast-iron pan.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

Lengua Salpicao (Php395). Ox tongue cooked to absolute tenderness and marinated in garlic served with olive oil. A definite winner for me.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

Classic Pork Sisig (Php235). A staple among practically all Filipino restaurants, the pork sisig makes it appearance here accompanied by a sunny-side-up fried egg and some chopped liver.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

Crispy Adobong Kambing (Php390). Goat meat tenderized, marinated adobo-style, deep-fried for crispiness and accompanied by garlic flakes. Not a bad intro to goat-based viands.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Agenda (Php330). Ten different spirits combined together in a large goblet and set aflame right before your eyes. This is definitely not for lightweights: with just a little sip, you can feel the drink warm its way down your throat. I couldn’t finish my itty-bitty shot glass of this drink. If you’re a seasoned drinker and you’re feeling adventurous, give this drink a try.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

21st State Cocktail (Php260). A dessert cocktail made with cognac and coffee liqueur and sprinkled with shaved chocolate on top, this drink is sweet and with a mild buzz. Definitely my kind of drink!

HdN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

Having uncovered this hidden gem just a little distance from my workplace, I’m already thinking of after-work get-togethers and office celebrations that can be held here. It’s such nifty place to hide away in.

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

Many thanks to Kat and Ina Kierulf, as well as the wonderful staff of Hidn Lounge, for the great food and drinks, and the warm welcome!

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge, Tomas Morato

HidN Lounge is located at 21 Scout Rallos Street, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 6pm to 2am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 9824422, +63 917 8592355 or +63 917 8850718.

Did you know you can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at HidN Lounge through Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

HidN Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: 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 reviews of other bars and watering holes in the Metro:

Zomato Tagaytay Food Crawl First Stop: Mozu at Ming’s Garden

On the way to Tagaytay proper from Sta. Rosa, you would come across this beautiful oasis of blooms and greenery. Ming’s Garden began as the private plant collection of the former Philippine First Lady Amelita “Ming” Ramos, whom the locals call Lola Ming. It has since grown into a thriving business that sells ornamental plants, herbs, vegetables and other gardening essentials.

With 3 hectares of sprawling and verdant space, the place also serves as a venue for events ranging from intimate get-togethers to weddings, ceremonies and full-scale celebrations, with many possible backdrops for that Instagram shot or wedding photo.

Mozu at Mings 1

Mozu at Mings 1

Mozu at Mings 1

Mozu at Mings 1

Mozu at Mings 1

Mozu at Mings 1

Mozu at Mings 1

Mozu at Mings 1

Driving the place’s gustatory endeavors is Chef Enzo of its award-winning restaurant and in-house caterer, Mozu at Ming’s. His philosophy when it comes to the Filipino food that his restaurant serves is to not deviate too much from the classic dishes, letting the comfort food remind the diners of home.

Mozu at Mings 1

Mozu at Mings 1

Mozu at Mings 1

Mozu at Ming’s was the first stop in the Zomato Food Crawl in Tagaytay. While surrounded by the lush beauty of the restaurant’s garden setting, my fellow foodies and I were treated to a delectable array of home-grown dishes, which include:

Gambas Al Ajillo (Php310)

Mozu at Ming’s 2

In this seafood dish originating from Spain, fresh market shrimps are sauteed in olive oil, garlic and paprika.

Gising Gising (Php240)

Mozu at Ming’s 2

Apparently, the origin of this dish is still not clear with some claims placing it in Pampanga while others in Nueva Ecija. In this dish, crisp wing beans are sauteed in coconut milk, bagoong (shrimp paste) and labuyo (small chili peppers).

Bagnet Salad (Php300)

Mozu at Ming’s 2

Air-dried pork belly, a popular delicacy in North Luzon, is sliced and served with slivers of green mango, tomato and homemade

Bangus Ala Pobre (Php340)

Mozu at Ming’s 2

Boneless milkfish belly, cooked in butter, garlic and aligue (crab fat).

Ox Tail Kare Kare (Php290)

Mozu at Ming’s 2

A stew of oxtail, tripe and beef short ribs in a rich peanut sauce and served with bagoong.

Frozen Brasso de Mercedes (Php165)

Mozu at Ming’s 2

Meringue, yema (sweet custard candy) and mantecado ice cream layered on top of each other and served frozen.

Turon Ala Mode (Php200)

Saba bananas, jackfruit and mango rolled in crispy lumpia wrapper and served with a sweet apple sauce and vanilla ice cream.

Our meal was accompanied by refreshments such as local kapeng barako and fresh fruit juice.

Mozu at Ming’s 2

Mozu at Ming’s 2

Our sumptious meal at Mozu at Ming’s made for a memorable time with both old friends and new.

Mozu at Ming’s 2

By the way, Mozu at Ming’s also considers sustainability and support for its local community. All ingredients used are locally sourced (from nearby Tagaytay and Mahogany Markets) and staff are housed in dwellings right on the property.

Mozu at Ming’s is located along Santa Rosa – Tagaytay Road, Silang, Cavite. For reservations and queries, email mingsgarden@gmail.com or call +63 927 6957077 or +63 921 7295462.

Mozu at Ming's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other Zomato foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meet-up held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants: