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:

Mango mania at Hui Lau Shan, SM Megamall

It took me a while to bring myself to the sole outlet of Hong Kong’s go-to mango dessert place since it opened a month ago.

Having a sweet tooth (and a strong preference for the sweet and succulent mango that Hui Lau Shan is known to feature in its sweet creations, I knew it was only a matter of time.

After attending Fire or Ice: A GOT-inspired musical spectacle at the SM Skating Rink, my friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and I decided to satisfy our cravings for sweetness at Hui Lau Shan at the SM Atrium. Jen of SandUnderMyFeet.com generously shared her GCs with us so we can all sample the shop’s delectable desserts which make use of our homegrown carabao mangoes from Guimaras.

Did you know that our mangoes helped catapult Hui Lau Shan to fame in the 90s? These produce became the key ingredient of Hui Lau Shan’s breakthrough product Mango Sago which became a hit in Hong Kong. By the 2000s, Hui Lao Shan has established 280 stores globally which have become hot spots for dessert aficionados alike seeking to experience the stores’ sweet offerings.

And now, with the opening of this branch managed by the Josiah Catering group, the famed mango desserts have come home to the Philippines to delight us Pinoys.

Hui Lau Shan, SM Megamall

This being my first visit, I decided to go for the basics for my drink: the Mango & Mango Jelly in Mango Juice (Php95 for 18oz | Php110 for 22oz). The drink was anything but basic, however; it fruity, succulent and sweet mango was there for me to sip on and enjoy.

Hui Lao Shan, Megamall

I also opted to get myself some dessert. This time, since I couldn’t decide which particular mango-based dessert to try, I went for the option that gave me several treats to taste: the Mango Romance (Php170). It consisted of Mango Mochi, Mango Chewy Ball and Mango Crystal Jelly.

Hui Lao Shan, Megamall

I indulged myself in my mango dessert and drink inside Hui Lau Shan’s small but comfy store, which, with its bright decor from the wallpapers to the wait staff uniforms, is designed with fun and happiness in mind.

Mad Marks, Galleria

Hui Lao Shan, Megamall

Hui Lao Shan, Megamall

Hui Lau Shan, SM Megamall

Hui Lau Shan, SM Megamall

Hui Lau Shan, SM Megamall

I’m looking forward to tasting more of Hui Lau Shan’s desserts and drinks to satisfy my cravings for sweets and to bask in the store’s happy vibes.

Hui Lao Shan, Megamall

Hui Lao Shan, Megamall

Hui Lau Shan, SM Megamall

Hui Lao Shan, Megamall

Hui Lau Shan is located at Level 4, SM Megamall Atrium, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, open from 10am to 10pm.

A new branch is a set to open soon at the Second Floor, Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City.

Hui Lau Shan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other dessert places in the metro:

 

Say hello to a great summer with Ombu Kusina’s Flavored Ice Halo-Halo

Summers are for great times with great food, and spent with great friends.

Together with my fellow foodies, I experienced what certainly seems to be the start of a great summer.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

In a recent Foodie Event hosted by Ombu Kusina, it launched its newest and coolest offerings: three new scrumptious halo-halo flavors!

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

The halo-halo is a favorite Pinoy dessert made of crushed ice, evaporated milk and other sweet ingredients such as nata de coco, beans and coconut strips, served layered on top of each other, but then mixed together so that each spoonful is a mixture of sweet ingredients and the crushed ice. Ombu does its own take on this classic icy treat, with three flavors, available only during the summer, at only Php160 each. These include:

Milk Tea. The milk tea craze has surely hit the country and how! Now this exotic drink which originated from Taiwan flavors the Pinoy halo-halo through the use of brewed Earl Grey black tea.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Mango. Fresh ripe mango are pureed, mixed with milk then frozen to create mango-flavored crushed ice, served with the usual halo-halo ingredients and toppped with succulent mango cubes.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Tres Leches. As the name implies, the crushed ice is flavored with three kinds of milk and topped with creamy leche flan. This is my favorite among the new halo-halo variants.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu’s Chef Griffin Oraiz explained that what sets Ombu’s halo-halo treats apart from similar offerings from other restaurants is the use of flavored ice: the flavors are infused into the ice, resulting to a more intense taste and creamier mouthfeel.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu also showcased some its signature dishes which are well-suited for the summer, such as:

Suzi Wong Sandwich (Php270). A three-layered sandwich made of ham, cheese and pickles between four slices of butter-toasted crusted bread and served with house-made deep-fried purple camote chips.

Ombu, Tomas Morato

Tinapa Croquettes (Php240). Tinapa (smoked milkfish) is combined with a creamy bechamel sauce and sauteed onions, then coated with breadcrumbs, deep-fried to a crisp golden brown and served with a house-blend special garlic mayo dip.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Three-Cheese Pizza (Php420). Mozzarella and cheddar cheeses are combined with the local kesong puti, a home-grown cheese made of carabao’s milk, on top of a crisp oven-baked pizza crust.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Tokwa’t Baboy (Php260). Tokwa (tofu) are cut into cubes, fried and served with hearty pork chunks in a house-blended spicy soy vinegar sauce. This is actually a great complement and a traditional companion to the next dish which is the…

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Arroz Caldo (Php130). The traditional Pinoy version of rice porridge with chicken pieces, it is highlighted by the use of cured, soft-boiled “ramen-style” eggs that adds a different dimension of flavor to the Pinoy merienda staple.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

These dishes and the seasonal halo-halo flavors all adhere to Ombu Kusina’s modern take on Filipino cuisine: infusing classic Pinoy dishes with new and exciting cooking styles and influences. These help to make Pinoy cuisine fresher and more relevant to a growing number of foodies, who are looking for their next food adventure.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

And if that isn’t reason enough for you to hie on over to Ombu for a taste of its innovative and flavorful dishes, how about this: use my code – VIPBeingJellybeans – when you dine in and get 10% off your food bill!

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Ombu Kusina is located at the Ground Floor, Sequioa Hotel, Mother Ignacia corner Timog Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily from 6.30am to 10.30am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 441179.

Read my review of a previous visit to Ombu Kusina here.

Ombu Kusina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Now available: Goju Natural Fruit Infusion Drinks

Fruit infusion drinks are a growing trend, particularly among the health-conscious, and are often cited as a weight-loss or detox secret. Proponents of this trend report feeling healthier and more invigorated after including this type of beverage in their diet.

Infusing water with fruit also has the added benefit of adding flavor and zing to the otherwise plain ole’ H20 which is great for foodies like me who would gravitate more towards improvement in taste. Besides, any trend that will get one to drink more water should be good, hmmm?

Fruit-flavored or -infused water can be DIY-ed by immersing pieces of fruit into cold water for a period of time using specially designed water bottles and pitchers. However, some people do not have the time to scour the markets for fresh produce, obtain the necessary equipment and prepare their fruit infusion drinks.

Fortunately, Vida Nutriscience, the beauty, slimming and wellness company behind Snow Caps, My Slim, Crystal White and Snow Skin brands, is entering the ready-to-drink market with its new brand, Goju Natural Fruit Infusion.

Taking its name from the combination of “Go” and “Juice”, the new product line consists of five fruit juice concoctions packaged in brightly colored 330ml cans, each with its own unique taste, identity and health benefits.

  • Lemonade: A blend of natural lemons and packed with vitamin C, it helps in boosting energy, cleansing the kidneys and the urinary tract, losing weight and boosting the body’s defense system.
  • Mango and Orange: A blend of orange, mango, passion fruit, lemon and vitamin C, it helps in boosting immunity, improving digestion, losing weight and beautifying one’s skin.
  • Raspberry Lemonade.  A mixture of raspberry and lemonade, it helps in improving blood circulation, fighting inflammation, boosting energy and maintaining kidney health.
  • White Peach Passion Fruit. A concoction of natural white peach, passion fruit, pineapple, lemon and vitamin C, it helps in improving digestion, circulation and bone health and rehydrating one’s skin.
  • Orange. The old fashioned freshly squeezed orange juice now in a can, it helps in boosting the immune system and maintaining blood pressure levels.

I was given ten cans of Goju to sample so I shared the wealth and got my family and friends to try it out with various meals throughout the day.

I don’t like heavy breakfasts so I paired my Goju Mango Orange with some hopiang baboy for a light and energizing start to my workday.

A friend paired her Goju Lemonade with her packed veggie lunch, adding a burst of sweetness to her already healthy meal.  Meanwhile, while lunching out with officemates, I partnered our Goju Orange and Goju Raspberry Lemonade with our smoked pork ribs.

I treated myself to a snack of siopao asado while sipping on my Goju Orange.

Another friend brought home her Goju Lemonade and paired it with her homemade pizza dinner prepared by her kids.

My daughter, on the other hand, snacked on a GoJu Raspberry Lemonade to energize her while she’s doing her homework.

Our consensus on this new drink product as a whole are:

  • It gives a fresh (and currently relevant) twist on the traditional ready-to-drink beverage.
  • It has a fresh and natural flavor, similar to how a freshly made juice drink will taste.
  • It can be paired with various kinds of food, at different times of the day, making it a highly flexible and adaptable beverage.
  • It has a cool aesthetic as well, very Instagrammable and fun to look at.

To maximize your enjoyment of your own Goju Natural Fruit Infusion, remember the following:

  • Shake the can well before opening.
  • Keep it refrigerated as it is best served when chilled.
  • Avoid exposing the can to high temperature.
  • The drink contains natural ingredients so some sediments may appear.

Goju Natural Fruit Infusion is available at Landmark and Anson’s in Metro Manila and at CSI Supermarket in North Luzon.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Vida Nutriscience who also provided product samples for me to review.  Product details are provided by the company as well.

This post contains affiliate links.

Bingsu treat at Hobing Korean Dessert, BGC Stopover

Bingsu treats have grown in popularity in the metro, especially now with the searing summer heat.  Bingsu is a Korean dessert characterized by shaved ice sweetened with condensed milk and topped with fresh fruits, yogurt, ice cream and bits of yummy baked goods.

While the fam is exploring options for lunch in Bonifacio Global City during a particularly hot summer day, we came across this branch of Hobing Korean Dessert and couldn’t resist having our dessert here.  After eating our lunch at nearby Tenya Tempura Tendon, and, eager for something cool and sweet to counter the hot and humid weather, we proceeded Hobing.

Despite being billed as the Korean halo-halo, bingsu is best enjoyed when the shaved ice and toppings are not all mixed together.  This allows you to enjoy the varying textures and flavors that went into the bingsu.

We ordered a large serving of Mango Cheese Bingsu (Php320), thinking that a regular serving will not satisfy all of us.  What we got was a delectable and prettily presented confection: finely shaved ice  flavored with mango syrup, surrounded by huge cubes of ripe mango and topped with rich New York Cheesecake bits, vanilla ice cream and slices of roasted almonds.

We are definitely eager to try Hobing’s other bingsu offerings soon.

This branch of Hobing Korean Dessert is located at the 3rd Floor of BGC Stopover Pavilion, Rizal Drive cor 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City. Other branches of Hobing Korean Dessert are located at:

  • Lucky Chinatown Mall in Binondo
  • SM Megamall in Mandaluyong
  • Glorietta 4 in Makati
  • Jupiter Street in Makati
  • Eastwood City Walk in Quezon City
  • SM Aura Premier in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Ayala Malls the 30th in Ortigas Center, Pasig
  • SM North in Quezon City
  • Banawe Lifestyle Center in Quezon City
  • SM City Marikina in Marikina City
  • U.P Town Center in Quezon City
  • SM San Lazaro in Manila
  • Ayala Fairview Terrace, Fairview Quezon City

Check out my rundown of bingsu treats in the metro.

Hobing Korean Dessert Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bingsu treat at Jang Da Bang Cafe

Despite the spate of relatively balmy weather these last few days, there’s no denying that summer is already here.

And with the hot summer days, icy snacks like bingsu are a godsend.

I discovered Jang Da Bang Cafe during one of my Korean Food adventures at my favorite Korean resto, Jang Ga Nae, with my daughter – slash – partner-in-crime. After indulging ourselves in our favorite Korean dishes, some of which were quite spicy, we decided to try out the cafe right next door for dessert.We were happy to discover that Jang Da Bang has the same owner as Jang Ga Nae (as if the similarity in their names was not a dead giveaway, duh!). In fact, in our subsequent visits, the family developed the habit of ordering our preferred bingsu dessert at Jang Ga Nae (included in our bill), then hopping over to Jang Da Bang where our freshly made bingsu will be waiting for us.

While Jang Ga Nae’s interiors have the quintessential Korean grill resto look and feel, Jang Da Bang has a brighter and more airy ambiance. Floor-to-ceiling windows let in a lot of natural light that brings out the pops of color in the displayed artwork and plants. It has a more relaxed atmosphere compared to its sister-store, making it an ideal place for hanging out.

We have sampled its two fruity bingsu offerings: mango and strawberry. Both have finely shaved ice flavored with condensed milk and accompanied by cornflakes for texture and red bean paste for added sweetness. A regular-sized order of either is good for sharing among three: myself and my two kids who apparently inherited their “sweet tooth” from me.

Our preference is the mango bingsu (Php199 for regular). Aside from cubes of sweet ripe mango, it also has bits of peaches, pears, nata de coco and the occasional cherry from – standard can of fruit cocktail, and is topped with vanilla ice cream.

The strawberry bingsu (Php205 for regular) on the other hand, suffers in comparison to the other variant only because the tartness of the strawberry bits is not adequately countered by the sweetness of the strawberry ice cream topping.

Going here for dessert after our Korean lunch has become a weekly family habit which will likely continue on for quite some time.

Jang Da Bang is located right across Jang Ga Nae at 8137 Plaza Ortigas, Jose Escriva Drive, Ortigas, Pasig City (behind the University of Asia and the Pacific).

Jang DaBang by Jang Ga Nae Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato