The Jelly List: Healthy Eats in QC

Healthy eating helps promote overall health and wellness by ensuring that we get the necessary nutrients our bodies need.

Well within Quezon City, there is an abundance of wholesome and nourishing, yet also tasty eats.

Check them out:

Salmon Sriracha Poke Bowl (Php230 for regular bowl| Php150 for junior bowl) at Poke Shack

Poke (pronounced as POKE-KAY) bowls originate from Hawaii, where pieces of fresh fish are chopped into small pieces, marinated in flavorful sauces and served on top of freshly steamed rice along with chopped fresh vegetables, nuts and other toppings that add flavor and texture to the dish. This Salmon Sriracha Poke Bowl, for instance, is made with tempura flour mix, ebiko, furikake, sesame seed with sriracha mayo.

Poke Shack, Libis

Poke Shack is located at Ground Floor, Tera Tower, Bridgetowne Business Center, Ortigas Avenue Extension corner E. Rodriguez Jr Avenue, Libis, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 10pm, Fridays from 10am to 11pm and Saturdays from 11am to 8pm. For inquiries, call +63 926 0718992 or +63 929 3173857.

Read more about Poke Shack.

Tantanmen (Php220) at Wabi-Sabi

Inspired by the Dan dan Noodles of Sichuan cuisine, Tantanmen is characterized by its rich slightly spicy peanut-flavored broth, made richer and thicker by miso paste. Here, the traditionally used ground pork and chicken stock are substituted with veggie meat and vegetable stock, and sesame seeds are used to flavor the slightly sweetish sauce instead of peanuts.

Wabi-Sabi, Tomas Morato

Wabi Sabi is located at Ground Floor, POS Building, Scout Mandriñan Street Corner Tomas Morato, South Triangle, Quezon City. For inquiries, call +63 918 9622935.

Read more about Wabi-Sabi.

Traditional Banh Mi (Php185) at Saigon Corner

The Vietnamese took the French baguette and made it their own by adding to the usual cold cuts and mayo/butter spread of the French colonizers the distinct flavors of their local ingredients such as cilantro, chilis, daikons, carrots and cucumbers, bringing about the Banh Mi Thit or the traditional Banh Mi.

Saigon Corner, Tomas Morato

Saigon Corner is located at 40 Sgt. Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 3680795 or +63 998 8491763.

Read more about Saigon Corner.

Vegan Nachos (Php199) at Salamangka

Toasted pita chips topped with ground tofu and drizzled with a mixture of Yummza pesto hummus, lemon and oil served with yoghurt on the side. If you want something healthy to munch on while on a night out with friends, this is your best bet.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka is located at Eastwood Citywalk 1, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 3am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5518557.

Read more about Salamangka.

Spicy Tofu (Php165) at HidN Lounge

Tofu cubes stir-fried in a sweet and spicy sauce. This is a great as a starter dish or bar chow. Truth be told: this dish had me reaching for the bowl again and again.

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.

Read more HidN Lounge.

Vechon Belly Rice Meal (Php250) at Pantry by Rub Rack

The Filipino guilty pleasure – the lechon – in this dish is not made of sinful roasted pork. Oh no! It’s made out of vegetables, painstakingly fashioned by Chef Lui to resemble slices of that decadent dish. The resemblance to the real thing in appearance and flavor is positively uncanny.

Pantry by Rub Rack, Katipunan

Pantry by Rub Rack is located at the 2nd Floor, 225 Katipunan Avenue, Barangay Milagrosa, Queson City, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 929 4886734.

Read more about Pantry by Rub Rack.

Vegetarian Option (Php320) at Pookaberry Cafe

When this dish was initially served to me, I thought this was a pork tapa rice meal. Imagine my amazement when I realized it was made of sauteed mushrooms partnered with rice and crisp veggies. It’s so yummy you won’t believe it’s also healthy.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe is located at 36-B Scout Ybardolaza corner Scout Rallos Streets, Bgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 9pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 9685414.

Read more about Pookaberry Cafe.

Portobello Mushroom Sliders (Php280) at Pound by Todd English

Every once in a while, I like to veer away from the usual quarter pounders made of beef. These sliders are made of juicy mushrooms accompanied by caramelized onions, fried onions, lettuce, tomato and cilantro aioli. A complex blend of hearty but healthy flavors in every bite!

Pound by Todd English, Eastwood

This Pound by Todd English branch is located at the 2nd Floor, Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Read more about Pound by Todd English.

Mushroom and Tofu Salpicao (Php180) at 13 Ubay Street

This dish brings a mix of button and shimeji mushrooms sauteed with deep-fried tofu cubes in a garlicky sauce. As good, if not better, than its beefy counterpart in other restos.

13 Ubay St. QC

This resto is located at No 13 Ubay Street, Santa Mesa Heights, Banawe, Quezon City, open daily at 11am to 2pm and at 5pm to 11pm.. For inquiries and reservations, call + 63 2 5796484 or +63 917 8762692.

Read more about 13 Ubay Street.

Bulletproof Mocha (Php130 small | Php140 medium) at UltraKappu

Bulletproof coffee is a drink consisting of brewed coffee, grass-fed unsalted butter and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil, all healthy ingredients that are low in sugar but high in good energy. I didn’t expect to find this so creamy! While it’s not as sweet as my regular coffee drinks, I can definitely taste a certain milky richness.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu is located at 2nd Floor, Bali Garden Residences, Zuzuarregui Street, Matandang Balara, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Read more about UltraKappu.

Pink Sala Fruit Tea (Php75/Php95) at Jelly G Thai Milk Tea

Sala (also known as snake skin fruit) is a type if palm native to Indonesia and cultivated in other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand. It is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, dietary fiber, iron, calcium, phosporus and carbohydrates. Jelly G combines the sweet pink-hued juice of the sala with black tea and brown sugar as well as a few spoonfuls of popping strawberry balls for added bursts of fruity sweetness.

Jelly G Thai Milk Tea, UP Town Center

This Jelly G Thai Milk Tea stall is located at Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City (in front of National Bookstore).

So if you’re in Quezon City, check out these options for good eats.

Do you know any more healthy food options? Share them in the comments.

Photo Credit: Header image by Carissa Gan of Unsplash

Comfort food elevated at ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Weekend brunches have grown popular lately, with many establishments offering hearty comfort dishes that can be leisurely enjoyed by diners.

At ALTA by Relik at Santolan Town Plaza, families can enjoy the flavorful comfort food amidst vibrant and colorful surroundings.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

The restaurant is an offshoot of the popular BGC restaurant Relik. Restaurant owner Gen Mortel and Chef Jam Laboriente collaborated on a Filipino-Spanish menu to provide an elevated dining experience to San Juan’s foodies.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Last weekend I had brunch together with my fellow foodies from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH at ALTA by Relik where we had a taste of its comfort food elevated with fresh twists such as:

Relik’s Nachos (Php350). Homemade tortilla chips topped with meat sauce, crisp lettuce, tomato and cucumber relish, cheddar cheese and sour cream.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Chilean Mussels Croquettes (Php495). Chilean mussels topped with thick bechamel sauce and bread crumbs and served a with a lemon judge.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Pulled Pork Quesadilla (Php235). Tender pulled pork, cheddar, mozzarella, corn kernels, lettuce and source cream encased in homemade flour tortillas.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Watermelon and Kesong Puti Salad (Php265). Mixed greens, arugula, watermelon cubes, bits of kesong puti and candied walnuts tossed with balsamic reduction.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Longanisa Flatbread with Salted Egg Cream (Php375). Crisp flatbread topped with sweet pork longganisa, tomato salsa and salted egg dressing.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Seafood Chowder (Php295). Shrimp, squid and herbs incorporated in a flavorful cream soup and garnished with croutons and parsley.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Bagnet Sinigang (Php395). The classic sinigang dish deconstructed into pieces of bagnet and vegetables served with a broth made of fresh sampaloc dialed up to its asim-est level.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Lamb Pares (Php355). Slow-cooked shoulders of grass-fed New Zealand lambs in garlic soy sauce served with garlic rice.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Sizzling Bulalo Steak (Php489). Tender beef shank with its decadent bone marrow served sizzling in a garlic bulalo gravy together with fried potatoes, green beans and garlic bits.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Seafood Paella (Php995). Rich saffron-infused medium-grain rice with white shrimp, squid, Chilean mussels and roasted bell peppers served in a special paellera pan that helps it develop a nice toasty crust at the bottom. (Fun fact: that flavorful toasty crust is called socarrat in Catalan. Paella connoisseurs consider this the key to paella’s fabulous flavor).

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Mango Tapioca Trifle (Php215). Fresh sliced mangoes, caramel,sauce and tapioca pearls top a layer of lady fingers.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Milo Dinosaur Cheesecake (Php195). A chocolatey frozen cheesecake flavored with Milo and garnished with sprinkled with Milo powder.

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

So if you feel like enjoying an elevated brunch experience or dine on an excellent selection of Filipino-Spanish fusion dishes, drop by at Santolan Town Plaza to experience ALTA by Relik!

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

ALTA by Relik, San Juan

Many thanks to Gen, Jam and the staff of ALTA by Relik for the warm welcome and the fabulous food!

ALTA by Relik is located at Santolan Town Plaza, Col. Bonny Serrano Avenue, Little Baguio, San Juan City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 8am to 12 midnight and Fridays to Saturdays from 8am to 2am. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 3172582.

Did you know you can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at ALTA by Relik 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.

Here are more reasons to head to ALTA by Relik:

  • DJ Nights every Thursday night at 8pm.
  • Live music every Friday and Saturday at 8pm.
  • All-You-Can-Eat buffet breakfast every Sunday from 8am to 11.30am.

ALTA by Relik Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I attended a foodie meetup held here. 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:

 

#TasteMagic at Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka translates to “sleight of hand” in Tagalog. It is a word wrapped in magic and mystery, calling to mind enchantment and wonder.

The restaurant and bar in Eastwood Citywalk that bears that name lives up to it by offering coffee, cocktails and craft beer, as well as its own reimagining of Filipino food, against a welcoming backdrop laden with a hefty dose of mystical appeal.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I stepped inside Salamangka’s doors for a taste of magic.

In the late morning, Salamangka is awash with light, the black murals of mythical creatures and the balete tree on the wall wonderfully offset by the clean white background. Furniture made with native materials and a huge table and bench set made from solid pieces of wood provide ample seating for the diners.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka’s menu consists of its own take of classic Filipino dishes, such as:

Kamote Chips (Php199). Crispy deep-fried slices of of sweet potatoes that go so well with its dip of condensed milk reduction.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Piknik (Php199). Crispy hand-cut potato slivers served with three different sauces (but they’re ok without the sauce as evidenced by the way I keep popping them into my mouth, hehehe!)

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Coca Cola Wings (Php259). Fried chicken wings simmered in a Coca Cola reduction and served with piknik.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Itlog na Maalat Wings (Php349). Fried chicken wings covered in a sauce of salted eggs and served with piknik.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Vegan Nachos (Php199). Toasted pita chips topped with ground tofu and drizzled with a mixture of Yummza pesto hummus, lemon and oil. Live a little and add Php20 for additional topping of grated cheese.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Tinapa (Php189). A bowl of smokey tinapa flakes on top of garlic rice and paired with salted egg, a side of tomatoes and burong mangga.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Bawang na Bangus (Php189). Fried bangus marinated in garlic served on top of garlic rice with salted egg and atsara.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Sinigang sa Manggang Hilaw (Php279). Beef sinigang with a sour sauce instead of broth on top of steamed rice and served with sour mango and bagoong.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Once you’ve eaten your fill, how about lettin’ loose and sampling Salamangka’s much celebrated alcholic concoctions? Impress your friends with your knowledge of native folklore when you identify the entities that give their name to these intense spirits.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Wakwak (Php99 per glass | Php349 per pitcher). Named after a vampiric bird-like creature that makes the noise “wak-wak” as it flaps its wings, this cocktail is mixture of rum, lime juice, mango puree and mint leaves.

Mambabarang (Php99 per glass | Php349 per pitcher). Made with gin, lime juice, cucumber slices and mint leaves, this cocktail got its name from the warlock or sorceress that cast malevolent hexes on people

Ibong Adarna (Php99 per glass | Php349 per pitcher). Named after the mythical bird whose song has healing qualities, this drink is made with tequila, pineapple, calamansi and chili placed in a salt-rimmed glass. A sip of this drink is multi-layered: you get the citrus flavor from the calamansi, the spiciness from the chili, the saltiness from the rimmed glass and the fire of the tequila as it travels down your throat.

What really got me excited was Pitong Elemento (Php350). A flight of seven intense native infusions inspired by legendary elementals, this consists of seven shot glasses of flavored spirits that pack quite a punch.

  • Duwende (dried mango rhum – named after the mischievous house spirit)
  • Sigbin (orange vodka – named after the mythical creature that suck its victims’ blood from the shadows)
  • Kibaan (raisin gin – named after the mythical creature that lead travelers astray with its backward feet)
  • Tiyanak (Thai chili tequila – named after the creature that takes the form of a crying baby to attack folks who pick it up)
  • Undin (roasted bell pepper vodka – named after the water sprite that drown people who disturb it)
  • Santelmo (lemon vodka – named after St. Elmo’s Fire, balls of fire that appear as portents of doom)
  • Nuno sa Punso (spearmint chocolate vodka – named after the dwarf-like creature that dwell in mounds of earth).

You can also opt to get these infusions individually by the shot glass at Php50 each, except for Nuno sa Punso which is at Php99.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

(Note: I only attempted to try Nuno sa Punso and, really, a few sips were more than enough for a lightweight like me.)

Fans of the local craft beer Engkanto would really go for a Beer Flight (Php249) a four variant sampler consisting of lager, pale ale, IPA and double IPA.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka also prides itself on its Single Origin local coffees at Php99/cup such as those from Bukidnon and Batangas. These are freshly ground upon order and then brewed using pour over cups. Until August 31, get a Buy 1 Get 1 deal on these local coffees from 7am to 10am, thanks to Salamangka’s ongoing Hiwaga ng Umaga promo.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka’s Bulletproof Coffee (Php190), which is made with brewed coffee, coconut oil and unsalted butter, would probably be great for chasing away a hangover given the coffee’s touted properties for enhancing alertness. I would just prefer the residual flavor from the coconut oil to be tempered down a little bit more so that the creaminess and the slight sweetness from the butter would be more pronounced.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

So if you want a great time with your friends tinged with magic and mystery, head on to Salamangka.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka, Eastwood

Thanks to Darryl, Issa, Veni and Kevin of Salamangka for having us!

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Join Salamangka’s Hocus Focus Facebook contest by posting a picture of you posing in one of Salamanka’s Kreature Kutouts. Make sure your post is public, tag @salamangkamnl, use the hashtags #IsangTaongHiwaga and #TasteMagic, for a chance to get a freebie.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Feel like pitting your knowledge against other Salamangka guests? Join the Gabi ng Pagsusulit, a quiz night held at Salamangka every second and fourth Thursday of the month.

Salamangka is located at Eastwood Citywalk 1, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 3am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5518557.

Did you know you can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Salamangka 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.

Salamangka 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:

A new foodie haven: Shizuka Cafe, Little Baguio

With all the frenetic activity at work and at home, don’t you sometimes for a place where you can just relax and enjoy your time alone or with a few close friends?

Well, look no further than this relatively new cafe located a few minutes’ ride away from Greenhills.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

From the outside, Shizuka Cafe may blend in among the many dining establishments in Little Baguio, but inside is a welcoming and cozy haven. Muted lighting and artfully displayed Japanese-themed bric-a-bracs make it a comfy and relaxing place, in line with the meaning of its name – shizuka, which means calm, peaceful, silent and quiet.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka’s Chef Paul Tan and his partners introduced quite a lot of innovations and advocacies to the local dining scene which include Shitzuka’s drives for artisanship (by carefully crafting its food and beverage offering), sustainability (through minimizing the use of plastic in its operations), local commerce (by sourcing its ingredients for its homey Japanese cuisine and finely craft coffee beverages from local merchants) and diversity (by employing differently abled staff).

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I was able to sample some of the well-crafted dishes that Shizuka brings to the table.  Check them out:

Onion Tempura (Php125). Onions coated in tempura batter then deep-friend and served with wasabi aioli.  I love how texture of the onions and the flavor complexity that the wasabi aioli adds to the dish.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Pork Gyoza (Php150).  Five pieces of the popular pork and vegetable pot stickers.  In contrast to the usual gyoza from other restaurants, these come in pretty square shapes.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Nachos (Pho180).  Crispy wonton wrappers doused with a sauce made from three cheeses and topped with soy Bolognese and parmesan cheese. I found myself reaching into this bowl and popping those nachos into my mouth again and again.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Tebasaki (Php155).  Tender chicken wings glazed with a sambal sauce, an exotic take on the chicken wings dish.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Salad (Php180). Mixed greens with grilled chicken and miso balsamic vinaigrette.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Katsu Sando (Php190).  Breaded ground pork katsu sandwiches coated with house-made tonkatsu sauce.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori Pesto (Php165). Sandwich with freshly grilled chicken and shiitake tossed in pesto sauce.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Nori Mac and Cheese (Php190).  Shell macaroni in a cream sauce made of mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan served a crispy nori. I tried this hearty pasta dish with both with a touch of seven spices and without and I like it better without the spice.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Gyu Salpicao (Php290). Flavorful tenderloin in garlicky salpicao sauce over rice served with a sous vide egg. Salpicao is oftentimes a hit or miss with me: any excess in salty, sweet or spicy flavors tends to detract from my enjoyment. I’m happy to discover that this version of the dish is very well-balanced with added richness from the sous vide egg.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Tori HBS (Php210). Crispy fried chicken tossed in honey butter glaze over rice, also served with sous vide egg. What makes the Gyu Salpicao a standout also applies in this dish.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Big Breakfast (Php230). Imagine waking up to a hearty breakfast of hefty pancakes smothered in premium butter, generous slices of Italian sausage and fluffy scrambled eggs. Heck, fill yourself up with this meal any time of the day.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

The Nursery (Php115). Peanut butter cream cheese with chocolate soil. A real treat for a sweet tooth like me.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Better than Doughnuts (Php100). My first taste of freshly made Southern American-style beignets more than met my expectations. Fluffy and chewy and perfectly complemented by matcha or chocolate ganache, this serves as a wonderful cap to the meal.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe also brings imaginatively crafted beverages to the table. These include:

White Genmaicha Cha (Php108 for 16oz | Php128 for 22oz). One of the Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese series, this features a not-too-sweet earthy rice and green tea flavor. I would have loved it sweeter but this would be good for those who are managing their sugar intake.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Strawberry Milk (Php118 for 16oz | Php138 for 22oz). Fresh strawberries blended with milk and also topped with Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese. I wish it could have maintained its consistency (we took a long time taking pictures) but it is sweetly refreshing just the same.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Cold Brew Latte (Php108 for 16oz | Php128 for 22oz). The more caffeinated among the Flaky Sea Salt and Cheese series, this is good for those looking for a pick-me-up.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Strawberry Chamomile (Php145). Refreshing loose-leaf chamomile tea and strawberries.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Sparkling Yuzu Mojito (Php220). This refreshing citrusy drink is made with yuzu and lime fruit juice, tonic water and white rhum.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Strawberry Sakerita (Php230). Loose-leaf chamomile tea blended with fresh strawberries and sake served in a glass with salted rim. A sweeter and milder Japanese version of the margarita, one I can imagine myself enjoying again and again.

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

So when you’re feeling overwhelmed or just want to unwind in a relaxing and welcoming environment, head off to Shizuka Cafe. Bring your friends with you for an extra good time!

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe, San Juan

Shizuka Cafe is located at 709 Jose Abad Santos Corner F. Calderon, Little Baguio, San Juan City, open daily from 8am to 10pm.  For inquiries, reservations and pick up arrangements, call +63 926 0792964.

No time to drop by Shizuka Cafe? Order what your craving for via Grab Food and have it delivered right to your doorstep.

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

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, I attended 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 Japanese restaurants:

Three reasons why Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar, Tomas Morato is your next favorite hangout spot

So you’ve just clocked out but are not yet in the mood to face the long commute home.  What can you do and where can you hang out to while away the rush hour?

If you’re near the foodie-friendly Tomas Morato area, you’re in luck.  Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar located along Scout Rallos Street, as my fellow foodies from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH and I have recently discovered, may just be your next favorite hangout spot.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Here are the reasons why:

1) Luxurious ambiance with a vintage charm.

Stepping into Tiyo’s interiors is akin to entering a time portal to the era of Old Manila where elegance and comfort take center stage from the Escolta-themed mural, muted lighting to the white marble tabletops.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

2) Pinoy artistry in food and drink preparation. 

Tiyo serves a thoughtfully curated menu of local fare which takes the best representations of Philippine regional cuisine and painstakingly uses traditional ingredients and cooking methods, and yet has reinvented and served these dishes with a modern flair.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

During our fun-filled foodie meetup, we were presented with viands that are familiar yet decidedly different from our usual fare, and definitely a lot more exciting to dig in to.

Manila Ensalada (Php180).  Crispy and golden-brown okoy (deep-fried shrimp fritters popular in the Ilocos region) served with green mango, unripe papaya and assorted greens.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Lengua Kaldereta Nachos (Php380).  The ubiquitous Mexican bar chow has been upgraded with the addition of tenderized and finely chopped ox tongue and generous dollops of kaldereta sauce and kesong puti sauce, flavored by salsa and malunggay chimichurri.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Inihaw na Liempo Sinigang (Php420).  Take your inihaw na liempo (grilled pork belly) and sinigang na baboy (pork in sour tamarind broth), put them together and you have this delightfully deconstructed dish.  Take the pork belly and tamarind gravy together with the sour broth or separately, it doesn’t matter. Both iterations are equally good.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Corned Beef Caldereta (Php460). Here’s a new and leveled-up spin to the breakfast classic, corned beef! Combine fork-tender house-made corned beef with tomato puree, liver and grilled veggies and you’ve got yourself a filling and flavorful dish!

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Dagupan Bangus Bistek (Php290). Deboned milkfish in soy calamansi sauce and garnished with red onion, suitable for those who want to eat light.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Maranao Piyanggang Manok (Php390). Chicken pieces served with sakurab – a vegetable mainstay in Maranao cuisine – along with coconut cream, lemongrass, turmeric, garlic, onion and ginger. Each bite is an explosion of flavor.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Palitaw Mochi (Php185). Instead of the usual flat kakanin (glutinous rice delicacy), these are cute dessert balls served with latik and bits of cashew crumble and coconut. Each bite is a surprise as your palitaw could be filled with either Malagos chocolate, Dulce de Leche or Ube (purple yam).

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Turron ala Mode (Php195). My dad’s home province of Bataan produces one of the most iconic sweets of the region: gabi (taro) ice cream. That regional delicacy tops the turron (banana fritters) and caramel drizzle of this dream dessert.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

And the craftsmanship does not stop with the food. Tiyo’s bartenders also whip up exciting craft cocktails for the thirsty but exacting diner. These concoctions are designed around local spirits, highlighting their unique flavors while demonstrating their versatility.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Pedro’s Uprising (basi, lemongrass, brandy and mint). It is named after the leader of the 1807 Basi Revolt which came about when the Spanish colonial government banned the private manufacture of this fermented sugar cane beverage. This just goes to show that you can’t keep the Pinoy spirit down!

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Jai Alai (basil, white rum, brandy-infused cinnamon, tea, calamansi and honey). Named after the pastime of my own tiyo when I was growing up, this drink is sweet and heady, just like nostalgia.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Blame It on the Barako (coffee liquer, cream, coconut rum, syrup and orange wedge). If you find yourself lying awake at night, dreaming of the next time you’ll get a sip of this cocktail, you can always #BlameItOnTheBarako.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

With its nine-tap craft beer system and the biggest collection of craft beer in the city, there is something from the seasoned brew connoisseur to a newbie. Opt for a Sampler Flight (Php150) of three sample glasses of different craft beers and discover your new favorite brew.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Not into alcohol? Don’t sweat it because Tiyo’s Houce Iced Tea (Php85) is drink that quenches your thirst and soothes your soul. And that straw is actually edible! It’s made of rice and tapioca so after finishing your drink, take a bite out of the straw.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

3) It’s exciting promos and events.

Knowing the Pinoy penchant for spotting and pursuing a good deal, Tiyo has promos that lets its guests enjoy more for less.

Until the end of July, enjoy Buy 1 Take 1 deals on all craft cocktails.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Get 3 Gin & Tonic drinks for only Php280.

Every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, get all the wine you can drink for only Php799.

During Ladies Night Wednesdays, all ladies get a free craft cocktail drink of their choice.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Every Tuesday and Saturday night, groove along with live musical entertainment.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

With all these elements coming together, it’s easy to see how Tiyo Craft Kitchen and Bar is #TailoredToGoodTaste. So make a stopover at Tiyo tonight. You’ll be glad you did.

Many thanks to Michelle and Mik de Guzman and Ed Salvador of Tiyo Craft Kitchen and Bar for hosting this foodie meetup.

Tiyo, Tomas Morato

Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar is located at Second Floor, CKB Centre, Tomas Morato Avenue Corner Scout Rallos Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Sundays to Mondays from 4pm to 1am, Tuesdays to Thursdays from 4pm to 2am and Fridays to Saturdays from 4pm to 3 am.  For inquiries or reservations, call +63 932 8642593.

Did you know you can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar 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.

Tiyo Craft Kitchen & Bar 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:

 

There’s something for everyone’s craving at Pob Stacion Food Park

For quite a while now, the Poblacion area has been reinventing itself from its previous incarnation as Makati’s red-light district and re-establishing itself as its foodie-friendly haven. Here, foodies can explore various options in food and drink spanning various cuisines and concepts.

If you were to pool some of those eateries together and concentrate them into one easily accessible place, you would have the Pob Stacion Food Park. Located at B. Valdez Street, Barangay Poblacion in Makati, a ten-minute walk from A Venue or Century City Mall, the newly opened multi-storey Pob Stacion houses a variety of concept food stalls that give the park’s visitors wondrous choices for their gastronomic adventure or to soothe their food cravings.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Recently, together with my fellow foodies, I had a taste of what Pob Stacion’s food outlets have to offer. Read on and check out my top picks.

Above Sea Level (Seafood)

As the home of the Giant Butterfly Squid (Php180 with 1 Java rice | Php250 with 2 Java rice | Php350 with 3 Java rice | Php450 with 4 Java rice), they really do serve it up big-time. Lightly battered, well-seasoned and fried to a golden-brown, each enormous squid by itself is good for two people and is best enjoyed with the resto’s vinegar dipping sauce.

If you’re feeling extra hungry or adventurous, add the Seafood Festival (Php380) to your order and bite into mouthwatering crab, shrimps, mussels and corn on a bed of Java rice doused with a buttery crab fat sauce, or the Spicy Squid Sisig (Php180) for a seafood take on the Pampanga delicacy.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Rib Pop (Pinoy-Korean Fusion)

With the Korean food craze firmly entrenched in the Philippine culinary scene, it’s hardly surprising that the two cuisines would mesh together at some point. That point is here at Rib Pop where the best of the two cuisines is highlighted in its Ribpop Sampler (Php400) which consists of its signature dishes: Black Ink Chicken Wings – squid ink bettered fried chicken pieces with spicy tangy sauce, Ribpop Bowl – your choice of rice topped with beef short ribs, and an assortment of banchan – small plates of Korean appetizers.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Octoboy (Japanese)

Who would have thought that Takoyaki (Php70 for 3 pcs | Php140 for 6 pcs), balls made of batter filled with chopped octopus meat, cooked in a specially shaped griddle and served with those wriggling Bonito flakes, would be such a hit with us Pinoys? If you’re on the lookout for something quick, cheap and yummy, Octoboy’s Takoyaki is your best bet.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Tokyo Tempura (Japanese)

Did you know that tempura, the Japanese method of deep-frying battered seafood and vegetables, was influenced the Portuguese who were residing in Nagasaki in the 16th century? Today, tempura is a mainstay in practically all Japanese restaurants in the country and is even gaining some foothold in Pinoy eateries through localized versions.

Tokyo Tempura’s versions are quick, yummy, easy to enjoy when you’re having a case of the munchies, and with affordably priced options which include Imperial Tempura (Php150 for 12 pcs), Tempura Rice (Php80) and Kani Tempura (Php55 for 6 pcs).

Want some spicy kick to go with your tempura? Add the Chili Cheese Poppers (Php55 for 4 pcs) to your order and take some heat from those tempura battered cheese-filled jalapenos!

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Oskar’s Soul Kitchen (American)

If you’re looking for an alternative to your usual fastfood burger, check out Oskar’s Soul Kitchen’s Cheeseburger (Php220) – a quarter pound of ground Wagyu beef patty sandwiched in an oatmeal bun together with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and the resto’s signature sauce.

Still have room for more? Add Angus Beef Hotdog (Php140), Fries Overload (Php160), or the Nachos Overload (Php150) to your order and eat to your heart’s content.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Wing’s Lab (American)

How about Wing’s Lab’s sinful take to your flavored chicken wings? Try its American Wings (Php699 with Nachos and Beef) which hits you with its Jack Daniels flavored sauce.

Want something to quench your thirst after those spicy wings? Take your pick from the resto’s refreshing and conveniently packaged Juices (Php60 – Blue Lemonade, Cucumber Lemonade and Melon with Milk). The best part is that you can easily take these handy juice packs with you all over the park and beyond.

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Authentic House of Curry (Indian)

Get yourself a taste of the exotic with the Authentic House of Curry’s spicy Beef Rendang (Php240) and Lobster Scallop Balls (Php180). These dishes provide a nice South Asian flare to your food park fare.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pobstacion Food Crawl

Cha Tuk Chak (Thai Milk Tea)

While boba milk teas abound all over the metro, Thai milk teas are not as visible, which , for me, is a shame if Cha Tuk Chak’s drinks are anything to go by. From the world famous creamy and silky Cha Yen (Php110 regular | Php125 large), the sweeter, fruitier and caffeine free Nom Yen (Php120 regular | Php135 large), the sweet lemon-infused Thai Ruby (Php115 regular | Php130 large), the refreshing Thai tea with real lemon Thai Emerald (Php115 regular | Php130 large), and the gourmet dark chocolate milk tea given a Thai spin Koko Yen (Php110 regular), among others, you’ll have tasty thirst-quenching options as you navigate the food park.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Papa Diddi’s (Ice Cream)

And who can forget about dessert? Papa Diddi’s Hand-crafted Ice Cream (Php75 for 1 scoop | Php110 for 2 scoops | Php145 for 3 scoops) come in such unusual yet localized flavors that pay tribute not just to our Pinoy heritage but also to the farmer communities that supply the brand’s all-natural ingredients. From the fruity Mango Pili, the cheesy Queso Blanco with kesong puti and Cheese Closed with cheddar, the chocolatey Chocolate Lovin and Tsokolate de Cagayan, the sinfully indulgent Tres Leches and the chocolate-meets-spicy Davao Meets Bicol, your dessert gives you a cool, culinary trip across the country.

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

Pob Stacion Food Crawl

So if you’re a denizen of Poblacion, or on a night out with friends in the area, do add a stopover to Pob Stacion Food Park to your evening’s itinerary.

Many thanks to Raina of KonyoQueen.com for extending the invitation!

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

The Tita’s Guide to having a blast at Walrus, Katipunan

Admit it: we women past a certain age do have some limitations on what we can subject our body and our consciousness to on a typical night out.

Gone are the days when we can party until dawn, dance to reverberating music, drink until we’re wasted or whatever the young ‘uns are doing nowadays.

Nope, we #TitasOfManila are happy to sit in comfort in well-lit, well-ventilated restos, sipping our favorite teas or even wines, animatedly chatting with our girls.

You wouldn’t think that us titas will be caught dead hanging out at Walrus, would you?

Walrus Fil-Mex Cantina, that mecca where young college girls and boys can congregate and enjoy affordably priced and imaginatively prepared Mexican-Filipino dishes, is something outside the tita‘s comfort zone.

Walrus, Katipunan

Walrus, Katipunan

Or is it?

Read on, dearies. Here’s how you can survive, nay, own a night out at Walrus:

One: Dress light and stay cool.

Leave the blazers at the office and the wool scarves at home. There’s no air-conditioning here so it would be best to dress as light as possible and order a cool drink as soon as you arrive.

Two: Leave the car at home.

Parking is at a premium so save yourself the stress of driving and looking for parking space. Just book yourself a Grab Car going to and from the place. This way, you can indulge in some beers or cocktails with no worries.

Three: Let them hear the song of our people.

Don’t be afraid to request for your favorite songs from the DJ. Whether it be the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe,” Los Lobos’ “Macarena,” or Next’s “Too Close,” feel free to sing or dance along.

Who knows? You might catch some of the young ‘uns singing and dancing along, too. (A testament to remarkable taste in music, if so.)

Four: Forget counting calories.

Both Mexican and Filipino food are heavily influenced by Spanish cuisine, and are known for heartiness and flavor. It would be a shame if your diet will make you miss out on these affordable and tasty treats:

Sisig Nachos Locos (Php130). Heated tortilla chips smothered in melted cheese and spicy sisig.

Walrus, Katipunan

Walrus Famous Chicken Skin (Php80). Crunchy and savory deep-fried chicken skin. You’ll keep reaching for more.

Walrus, Katipunan

Chicken and Sisig Thrilla in Quesadilla (Php130 and Php120, respectively). Craving for cheese? Satisfy that hunger with these quesadillas.

Walrus, Katipunan

Walrus, Katipunan

Beef and Chicken Tacos of the Town (Php140 and Php130, respectively). Warm tortilla folded over cheese and sauteed beef or chicken.

Walrus, Katipunan

Kare-Kare Fab-burrito (Php170). This hearty Mexican roll with that meaty and peanut-ty rice filling is all you need to satisfy your hunger.

Walrus, Katipunan

Five: Quench your thirst.

With these sultry summer nights, you’ll need ice-cold drinks to cool you down. Check out Walrus’ beverage options:

Mad Amigo (Php80). Fruity apple plus rum. How could you go wrong with that?

Walrus, Katipunan

Strawberry Fields Forever (Php250). A tall pitcher of strawberry and basil with a slight kick.

Walrus, Katipunan

Walrus, Katipunan

Horchata (Php60). Not feeling like imbibing alcohol? Try this intriguing concoction made of rice milk and flavored by vanilla and cinnamon.

Walrus, Katipunan

Six: Have fun with your friends.

Aside from good food, a great time is assured by great company. So make Walrus the venue of your next #TitaConference. Show them young ‘uns how titas get down!

Walrus, Katipunan

Walrus, Katipunan

Walrus, Katipunan

Walrus Fil-Mex Cantina is located at 3rd Floor, 318-A Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 11am to 2am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 5931630.

Did you know you can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Walrus 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.

Walrus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other food bloggers, 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.

Check out my reviews of other restaurants serving Mexican food: