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:

 

 

Feel free to get cheesy at Tori Chizu, UP Town Center

Did you know that while the doria, or the Japanese version of the baked rice casserole, did originate in Japan, it was actually invented by a Swiss chef who worked in a hotel restaurant in Japan in the 1930s?

It is considered an example of yoshoku – Western food in Nihonggo – which take the form of Japanized Western dishes.

Today, Tori Chizu, a new restaurant brand under the same company that manages Korean fastfood chain Bon Chon, brings this Japanese dish and more to foodies the metro, with most of its dishes served with its signature cheesy chizu sauce.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

(This got me all excited because, as most of my friends know, I’m an avid cheese lover. Yeah, cheesy talaga!)

Together with my fellow foodies from #SaanSaPH, I visited its UP Town Center branch to get a taste of its offerings.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Our meal included:

Chicken Katsu Curry Chizu Bowl (Php139). I never developed a liking for curry but, at least, the Japanese versions leans more towards sweet rather than spicy. Still, when taken together with chizu sauce, I found the combination to be quite overwhelming. The chicken katsu, however, is well-seasoned with a crisp batter covering and tender meat.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Chicken Karaage Chizu Bowl (Php129). Karaage is a way of lightly coating meats – most often chicken pieces – in seasoned flour or potato starch then deep-frying them in oil. Today, it is one of the most popular Japanese chicken dishes, no doubt due to its versatility and near-universal appeal. The addition of the chizu sauce to the rice bowl adds a layer of decadence to the dish.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Beef Chizu Bowl (Php149). This is another dish with wide appeal which feature strips of sauteed sukiyaki-cut beef, whose relatively mild flavor is complemented by the chizu sauce.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Baked Pasta with Egg (Php135). The tomato-based sauce does not conform to the expectations of the Pinoy palette. If you don’t like pasta sauce that tends towards the sour rather than the spicy-sweet we’ve grown used to, this pasta dish might not be for you.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Chicken Racks (Php554 for 8-piece combination of Umami and Spicy). I got intimidated by the color and presentation of the spicy chicken pieces so I just took a bite of the umami chicken. Thankfully, it was juicy and tender: just well-seasoned enough to go well with rice.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Desserts: Double Cheese (Php55) and Ube Macapuno Soft (Php62). We capped our meal with soft-serve ice cream: one was topped with lots of cheese powder resulting in an appetizing mixture of sweet and salty flavors while the other features the local flavors of ube (purple yam) and macapuno (soft and chewy coconut flesh), adding a very Pinoy spin to this dessert.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

I found Tori Chizu’s menu to have quite a lot of variety so you can definitely come back several times to have a taste of something new while you’re deciding on which dish is your favorite. Its offerings are also quite affordably priced, making its dishes accessible to more people.

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu, UP Town

Tori Chizu is well worth a visit for cheese lovers and those on the lookout a new take on Japanese cuisine.

(And also those who are feeling a bit cheesy…)

Thanks to Shishi of Shi’s A Mom for extending the invitation!

This Tori Chizu branch is located at the Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Diliman, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Other branches may be found at:

  • Upper Ground Floor, Outside Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Second Floor, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City
  • Ground Floor, Security Land Center, VA Rufino corner Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati

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.

Tori Chizu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

European lunch at Vanderlust Bistro, Tomas Morato

Europe’s rich and diverse culture is made manifest in its cuisines. While I wouldn’t mind traveling across The Continent to sample its gustatory pleasures, the expedition would surely be costly. Luckily, with Vanderlust Bistro, I can get a taste of the cuisines of various European countries all in one place.

And that is exactly what I did for lunch together with my officemates one fine day. Armed with our Zomato Gold memberships, we set about discovering what Vanderlust Bistro has to offer.

The place is cozy with limited seating at the ground floor but more tables available upstairs. The interiors are sparsely decorated, other than the wallpaper with miniature Eiffel Towers, approximating the simplicity of European bistros.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Its food offerings are focused on German, Italian and Spanish cuisines, giving us varied flavors to explore and satisfy our cravings. These include:

Fish and Wedges (Php238). Beer-battered fish and potato wedges served with aoili.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Catalan Baked Fish with Potatoes and Asparagus (Php458). Baked white fish with herb crust served with olives, sauteed potatoes, asparagus and roasted tomatoes.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Mon Cheri Poulet (Php458). Honey and red wine-glazed chicken thigh placed on top of a spinach omelette and a strip of smoked bacon.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Cacio E Pepe Mushroom Truffle (Php398). A classic Italian pasta dish of cheese and pepper with mushroom and truffle sauce.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Espaguetis con Chorizo (Php278). Pasta noodles tossed in a sauce made from simmered tomatoes and Spanish sausages with a bit of paprika.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Tuscan Chicken Spinach Pasta (Php348). Herbed chicken tops a pasta dish with sauce made from spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Gianduiotto (Php195). A chocolate dessert originating from Piedmont, northern Italy, which got its name from gianduja, a chocolate spread containing hazelnut paste.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Spanish Churros (Php98). Six pieces of freshly fried churros which we requested to be served with a chocolate dip (Php50).

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

I used to find European restaurants intimidating; I thought that menu items would be staggeringly expensive. At Vanderlust Bistro, however, European food is packaged more affordably and made more accessible to the Filipino diner.

This Vanderlust Bistro branch is located at 100 Scout De Guia corner Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City, open Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 11am to 11pm, Fridays from 11am to 2am, and Saturdays from 11am to 1am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 9540401.

Another branch is located at Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

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

Since Vanderlust Bistro is a Zomato Gold partner establishment, 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.

You can also book your table at Vanderlust Bistro using Eatigo to get up to 50% off your food bill. Sign up using my referral link to get additional perks.

Grilled meats from all over the world at Skewered, Festival Mall Alabang

Grilling has long been associated with breezy summer nights and friends gathered to feast on good food while making new memories together.

That’s how I found myself spending a sultry Sunday afternoon down South in Alabang together with my fellow foodies.

The host of this lively gathering is Skewered, the nautical-inspired eatery that brings together grilling traditions from many parts of the world.

Skewered, Alabang

Skewered, Alabang

Skewered, Alabang

Skewered, Alabang

Skewered, Alabang

These traditions were exemplified in the feast they laid out for us, which include:

Shrimp Tacos (Php229). Marinated and grilled shrimp served in soft taco shells.

Skewered, Alabang

Oyster Gratin (Php229). Three large fresh oysters, grilled and topped with house-made aioli gratin.

Skewered, Alabang

Garlic Enoki Mushroom (Php149). Baked enoki mushroom served with house-made garlic sauce.

Skewered, Alabang

Grilled Talong (Php129). A whole eggplant, grilled then coated with house-made garlic sauce.

Skewered, Alabang

Singaporean Shrimp Satay (Php199). Skewered shrimps, marinated and grilled, then served with the traditional peanut sauce.

Skewered, Alabang

Torched Beef Salpicao (Php349). Beef salpicao served hanging, torched at the table and drizzled with butter sauce.

Skewered, Alabang

Veggies Skewer (Php169). Two sticks of mixed marinated and roasted vegetables.

Skewered, Alabang

Skewers: Chinese Beef (Php41), Chinese Lamb Php45), Chinese Pork (Php36), Chinese Chicken (Php36), Meat Balls (Php36).

Skewered, Alabang

Meat Platter (Php1,299). A carnivore’s dream come true: 200g Wagyu beef brisket, half of a roasted chicken, 150g Lechon Pork Belly, 3 pcs of Taiwanese sausages, and choice of 2 sides from among coleslaw, buttered corn, house salad, fries, mac n’ cheese and steak rice.

Skewered, Alabang

Skewered also laid out home-grown dishes served with international flair, such as:

Tapa Rice (Php299). Savory rice flavored by beef tapa topped with fried eggs and tomatoes.

Skewered, Alabang

Seafood Paella (Php439). The offshoot of the Spanish rice dish made with a creamy tomato base, fresh shrimp and clams, drizzled with aioli and served in a traditional shallow pan.

Skewered, Alabang

Sizzling Lechon Sisig (Php279). Classic Pinoy roasted pork cooked and served as a crunchy and spicy sisig.

Skewered, Alabang

Gambas al Ajillo (Php239). Plump shrimps sauteed in garlic and served sizzling.

Skewered, Alabang

Sinigang na Hipon (Php319). The sour soup dish of shrimp in a tamarind-flavored broth.

Skewered, Alabang

Beef Brisket Nilaga (Php329). Smoked wagyu brisket cubes served in a flavorful nilaga broth.

Skewered, Alabang

Kare-Kareng Lechon (Php399). Roasted pork served in a rich peanut sauce together with crisp vegetables.

Skewered, Alabang

Wagyu Corned Beef Kaldereta (Php409). The house-made wagyu corned beef prepared as flavorful caldereta with veggies.

Skewered, Alabang

Beef Hofan (Php239). Stir-fried and flambeed rice noodles mixed with beef bits and chopped vegetables.

Skewered, Alabang

Pad Thai (Php349). The classic stir-fried rice noodle dish served wrapped in a delicate egg omelette.

Skewered, Alabang

Spaghetti Aligue (Php319). Spaghetti noodles tossed in a rich crab fat sauce and served with a freshly grilled shrimp.

Skewered, Alabang

To cap our meal, cater to our craving for sweets and to quench our thirst, prettily designed dessert drinks were served (with reusable metal straws at that!).

Frappes (Php159 each): Caramel, Cookies and Cream Frappe and Chocolate

Skewered, Filinvest

Strawberry Shake Special (Php189). Strawberry milkshake overloaded with a strawberry Pocky stick, marshmallows, strawberry pretzels and a scoop of strawberry ice cream.

Skewered, Filinvest

Choko Shake Special (Php199). Chocolate milkshake overloaded with a chocolate Pocky stick, M&Ms, mini marshmallows, KitKat stick and a scoop of chocolate ice cream.

Skewered, Filinvest

Halo-Halo Frappe (Php199). The all-time Pinoy favorite shaved ice dessert given a fresh twist.

Skewered, Filinvest

Skewered does a good job in curating and putting its fresh takes in various dishes. While the pork dishes tend to be salty, the beef dishes are marked by juiciness and flavorfully tender texture.

Despite the plethora of food it served during this foodie meetup, there are more waiting to be discovered and tasted. I won’t mind coming back here for more foodie adventures with my friends.

Skewered is located at Ground Floor, Water Garden, Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa, open daily from 10am to 4am with Happy Hours at 3pm to 7pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 8216745, +63 928 1796025 or +63 945 2476249.

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

And guess what? Since this is a Zomato Gold partner establishment, you can get some of your food orders for free!

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.

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.

Recovery comfort food at Chelsea Kitchen, Mega Fashion Hall

After a bout of workouts at Gold’s Gym, my daughter #ExhibitA and I went to Megamall for some errands.

For our post-workout recovery food, we settled on Chelsea Kitchen in Mega Fashion Hall. We have never eaten here before but we’ve always been curious about its offerings.

Chelsea Kitchen is part of the Raintree Restaurants Group, a restaurant family that complements the lifestyle and preferences of the metro’s foodies.

The restaurant’s open concept and bright yet homey decor is a beacon for hungry denizens looking for yummy comfort food.

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

#ExhibitA took the lead in choosing the dishes for our meal while I finished off my errands at the mall. By the time I came back, the food was already served and waiting for us to dig in.

We started off some Mozzarella Stuffed Mushroom Risotto Balls (Php195), battered and deep-fried balls of cheese, risotto and mushrooms served on top of a cream sauce.

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

We also grazed on an order of Caesar Salad (Php250), fresh crisp greens tossed in with bacon bits, anchovies, capers, grated parmesan, red onions, focaccia croutons and doused with parmesan ceasar dressing.

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Our mains consisted of an order of Fried Chicken Parmigiana (Php320), large pieces of chicken steak crusted with herb crumbs, smothered in white sauce and melted mozzarella, and a platter of Wicked Truffle Mac N’ Cheese (Php395), a fresh and decadent take on the lunchroom classic using four different kinds of cheeses , Canadian-style smoked bacon, button mushrooms and green peas, made even richer with a few drizzles truffle oil.

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

We thoroughly enjoyed refueling our bodies with Chelsea Kitchen’s tasty offerings and we look forward to trying its desserts (hopefully when our diets allow it!)

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen, SM Mega Fashion Hall

Chelsea Kitchen is located at Ground Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, open daily from 10am to 10pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 9586777.

Plus, since both of us unlocked our Zomato Gold privilege at this resto, we got the Chicken Parmigiana and Risotto Balls for free!

Want to score a similar discount? 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.

Chelsea Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other restaurants that offer comfort food:

Good food and good vibes at Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen, Ayala Vertis North

For an oft-stressed-out office worker, lunchtime is a sacred hour: an opportunity to leave one’s desk and devote time to good food and good vibes. What will make it even more enjoyable? The company of good friends!

That’s what happened last Tuesday when, together with a group of officemates, I traipsed off to Ayala Vertis North to treat ourselves to yummy Italian food at Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen.

The resto got its start from a real kitchen in a family home in BF Homes Las Pinas. The couple Richard and Malou Tremblay decided to open their doors to guests in 2010. Though remaining family-run, the venture has since grown into Mama Lou’s Group which is comprised of two Italian concept restaurants: Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen and Nonna’s Pasta & Pizzeria. Both eateries continue the tradition of providing guests the feeling of comfort and happiness of coming home to good food.

This Mama Lou’s branch is occupies a sprawling space with seating good for small and large groups. Our group opted to sit outside as we found the air-conditioning inside to be a bit too cold (Side note: I just know I will miss the cold weather of late January when the summer months come in).

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

While waiting for our food, we were given bread that we dipped in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese.

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

For starters, we have Mozzarella Sticks (Php225), fat pieces of cheese breaded and fried to a crisp golden brown on the outside and a yummy gooey cheesy inside, well complemented by a side of rich tomatoey pomodoro sauce.

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

An Oriental Salad (Php325) gave us a taste of freshness with crisp greens topped with slivers of ripe mango, apple slices, crabstick meat and drizzled with Mama Lou’s special sesame dressing.

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

A new dish, Lucio’s Truffle Pasta (Php350) was a decadently creamy delight with a rich hint of truffle oil while Spaghetti Seafood Olio (Php350) and Vongole Olio (Php295) gave us a healthy taste of the sea.

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

A 14-inch combination of Frutti di Mare and Pizza Margherita (Php550) served with arugula and alfalfa made our meal even more filling.

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Malls Vertis North

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

The Pan Fried Beef Scaloppine (Php395) was late in reaching our table so we weren’t able to enjoy the dish as much as we would have liked.

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

That said, it was a great lunch experience with friends, one I wouldn’t mind repeating.

Mama Lou’s, Ayala Vertis North

Plus, since three of us unlocked our Zomato Gold privilege at this resto, we got three of these dishes for free!

Want to score a similar discount? 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.

This Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen branch is located at Level 1, Ayala Malls Vertis North, Bagong Pag-asa, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 10pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 4269196.

Other branches are located at:

  • Second Floor, Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang Hari Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City (open daily from 11am to 11pm; Tel No.: +63 2 8006315)
  • Block 1, Lot 36 Tropical Avenue corner Tropical Palace, BF International, Las Pinas City (open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 12 midnight; Tel No.: +63 2 5191977 or +63 917 5156262)
  • Second Floor, Ayala Malls the 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City (open daily from 11am to 9pm; Tel No.: 63 2 7208519)
  • Upper Ground Floor, Ayala Malls Feliz, Dela Paz, Pasig City (open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm; +63 2 7442425)
  • Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City (open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 9pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 10pm; Tel No.: +63 2 9585563)

Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other restaurants offering Italian food:

Hidden gem of Italian Cuisine: Cucina di Francesco, Libis

When you think about food places in the Libis area, chances are this Italian restaurant hidden away from the busier sections of the metro has escaped your notice.

Cucina di Francesco got its name from the name Francesco Forgione, the name that Saint Pio of Petrelcina, more affectionately known to devotees as Padre Pio, was born with.

Incidentally, the restaurant is located in the same compound as St. Pio Chapel, so I would imagine families fresh from Sunday mass coming in for lunch.

In this instance, however, I took my fam here on the way to our weekend staycation.

From outside, the restaurant presents a comfortable, homey and welcoming facade.

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

Inside, the place is bright and cheery, with large windows letting in lots of natural light and large hand-painted murals giving the premises an eclectic vibe. There are more seats to dine in on the second floor, while the third floor is mainly used for events.

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

I booked our table the night before via Zomato. We were a few minutes late but I called the resto to apprise them of our arrival time so our table was waiting for us when we arrived.

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

My daughter #ExhibitA, who’s trying to eat healthy, requested for a salad so we ordered a Ceasar Salad (Php180). The focaccia croutons, fresh microgreens and rough-chopped walnuts delectably add to the taste and texture of this classic dish.

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

Our little boy #ExhibitB, on the other hand, is a well-known pizza monster. We got him a Tre Formaggi (Php350) whose lethal combination of bleu cheese, emmenthal and mozzarella on top of creamy bechamel got my baby reaching for slice after slice.

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

Hubby got himself a Pasta Puttanesca (Php195). The sauce made from olives, anchovids and capers in fresh tomato sauce makes this a tasty pasta dish. (Hubby liked it well enough but insists that his mom’s version tastes better.)

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

We split orders of Lasagna al Forno (Php260), a meaty baked lasagna with bechamel cheese sauce (which I found a bit dry) and Italian Beef Stew (Php485), a dish made of beef chunks, Italian sausage and vegetables braised in tomato wine sauce and served with parsley rice.

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

All in all, I wouldn’t mind another visit to Cucina di Francisco and checking out more of its Italian viands. The place certainly is charming and even has free WiFi! Plus, the wait staff are also friendly and accommodating.

It’s quite near my home and is easily accessible. Since it is a free-standing resto that shares a sizeable multi-level parking lot with the church, I wouldn’t have to stress myself in looking for a parking space as opposed to the likely scenario if I were to visit a mall-based eatery during mealtimes.

Cucina di Francisco, Libis

It also employs persons with disability, such as those in the autism spectrum. This is an advocacy near and dear to my heart, being a parent to a child with special needs myself.

For those who are artistically inclined, Cucina di Francesco also serves as a venue for art and crafts workshops on weekends in partnership with Maartsy such as Plush Keychain Making and Acrylic Flower Jewelry Making in January 26 and Mandala Coffee Painting and Doodle Art with Lettering on January 27. For inquiries, call +63 2 9175861785.

Cucina di Francisco is located at RER Compound (St. Pio Chapel), 188 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Bagumbayan, Libis, Quezon City, open daily Tuesdays to Thursdays from 8am to 8pm and Fridays to Sundays from 8am to 9pm. For reservations, call +63 2 5349935 or book your table via Zomato like I did. 🙂

Cucina di Francesco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Here’s some trivia for you: Did you know that puttanesca translates to “in the style of a whore” in Italian? While some food pundits would attribute the name to seedier origins, some food historians date the sauce back to the 1950s when Sandro Penti of Rancio Fellona were requested by hungry late-night patrons to “Facci una puttanata qualisiasi” or “Throw together whatever.” Which was what the good Penti did with what he had at the time: tomatoes, olives and capers. The rest is history. More on that here.

Check out my reviews of other Italian restaurants: