A taste of home in the South at Serye, Santana Grove

Whenever a group of diverse people need to sit down for lunch, chances are, they would agree to go for Filipino food.

And why not?

The familiar dishes and comforting flavors of Filipino food have an easy appeal to most of us.

That’s what happened when my officemates and I stopped over for lunch at Santana Grove on our way to our fieldwork in Paranaque. Most of us live quite far from this area so we were happy to find a chill place to eat before we go back to work.

After doing a quick scan of the options available, we agreed on Serye as our venue for out midday repast.

Serye, Santana Grove

Serye, Santana Grove

Serye, Santana Grove

Serye’s owner Alvin Reyes Lim is part of the well-known Reyes family of restaurateurs who brought about time-honored establishments and brands such as Aristocrat, Alex III, Reyes Barbecue and Mama Sita’s. In fact, he pays tribute to his heritage through his restaurant’s name as it is an anagram of Reyes.

Serye also means progression, as denoted by his restaurant’s well-crafted menu of classic Filipino favorites, some of which feature strong Spanish influences.

Our lunch that day consisted of:

Hototai Soup (Php195). Light yet flavorful broth with pork, chicken, shrimp, vegetables and wisps on wonton thickened with a fresh egg.

Serye, Santana Grove

Deep-fried Chipirone (Php320). Seasoned baby squids deep-fried to a golden brown.

Serye, Santana Grove

Serye’s Sisig (Php295). Serye’s version of the Kapampangan classic with seasoned pork cheeks sauteed in onions and chili peppers, topped with a fresh egg.

Serye, Santana Grove

Pinakbet (Php220). Serye’s take on the Ilocano dish with choice veggies sauteed in homemade shrimp paste sauce.

Serye, Santana Grove

Binagoongan (Php515). Hearty pieces of crispy and meaty bagnet and steamed veggies on a bed of homemade shrimp paste sauce.

Serye, Santana Grove

Serye, Santana Grove

What a lucky find: a delicious taste of home in the South.

Serye is located at Santana Grove, Dr. A. Santos Avenue, Barangay San Antonio, Paranaque City, open daily from 11am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 88269317 or +63 2 88254691.

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

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Manam Comfort Filipino, Trinoma

Comfort food are fare that provide the diner with a feeling of consolation or well-being and are oftentimes associated with the food enjoyed at home or during childhood.

While these evoke nostalgia and sentimentality, they also excite the taste buds and stir anticipation.

After a typical morning at the office, my officemates and I opted to get some comfort and good eats at the newly opened branch of Manam in Trinoma.

Manam, Trinoma

Manam, Trinoma

Manam, Trinoma

We were welcomed by Manam’s friendly and accommodating wait staff as well as its well-appointed yet cozy interiors.

Manam was formerly known as NamNam, and it boasts of a menu that offers both the classic renditions as well as fresh twists on Pinoy cuisine.

That day, we feasted on these dishes:

Adobong Kangkong (Php98). Kangkong (water spinach) shoots sauteed in garlic and soy-vinegar.

Manam, Trinoma

Gising Gising (Php125). Sigarilyas and kangkong sauteed with pork and chilis in coconut cream and bagoong (shrimp paste).

Manam, Trinoma

Pinakbet (Php130). Okra, string beans, eggplant, squash and tomatoes sauteed in with pork bits and shrimp in bagoong.

Manam, Trinoma

Mangga at Bagoong (Php140). Sliced green mango and shrimp paste, this combo is famous for that sour-salty dynamic.

Manam, Trinoma

Caramelized Patis Wings (Php170). A twist on fried chicken, patis (fish sauce) flavors the zesty wings.

Manam, Trinoma

Crunchy Salt and Pepper Squid (Php280). Lightly battered squid pieces tossed in a crunchy mixture of stir-fried garlic and chilis.

Manam, Trinoma

House Crispy Sisig (Php398). Ranked as the No. 1 Sisig in Manila for two consecutive years, this dish features chopped pork jowl and cheek served sizzling.

Manam, Trinoma

Sinigang na Beef Short Rib and Watermelon (Php775 for family size). The sour broth of the beef sinigang is given a slightly sweet twist with the addition of watermelon.

Manam, Trinoma

Manam, Trinoma

Bibingka de Leche (Php125). A layer of leche flan (caramel egg custard) tops a pancake-like rice cake.

Manam, Trinoma

Kape, Sago at Gulaman (Php105). The samalamig (Filipino version of slushy drink) given a twist with the addition of coffee flavors.

Manam, Trinoma

Puto Bumbong with Muscovado Butter (Php80). The classic purple rice cake traditionally steamed in bamboo tubes accompanied by grated cheese, grated coconut and a bar of muscovado-enriched butter.

Manam, Trinoma

What a delicious way to get some comfort on a work day!

Manam, Trinoma

This branch of Manam Comfort Filipino is located at Ground Floor, Trinoma Mall Garden Wing, Bagong Pag Asa, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 79005750.

Other branches are located at:

  • Powerplant Mall, Rockwell, Makati
  • Net Park, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • O Square, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan
  • South Wing, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay
  • Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Entertainment City, Paranaque
  • SM North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • SM City Fairview, Novaliches, Quezon City
  • Ayala Fairview Terraces, Novaliches, Quezon City

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

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Fine Filipino Food with a View at Fika, Capitol Hills

A Swedish chef whipping up Filipino delicacies.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles at Fika, the restaurant located in the out-of-the-way Capitol Greenstreet Commercial Center up Capitol Hills in Quezon City.

Fika, Capitol Hills

Fika, Capitol Hills

Head chef and CEO Mats Loo hails from Sweden where the word “fika” means “having coffee and talks with friends.” Having long dreamed of having a restaurant name Fika, he made his dream a reality right up Capitol Hills in Quezon City.

Fika, Capitol Hills

Diners of Fika are treated, not just to fine Filipino food, but also to a stunning view of the city. Being located in the Capitol Greenstreet Commercial Center, near Capitol Hills Golf and Country Club and Celebrity Sports Club, it is surrounded by lush greenery with a view of Quezon City all the way to Antipolo.

Fika, Capitol Hills

Fika, Capitol Hills

Fika, Capitol Hills

Also housed in the same building is the top culinary school First Gourmet Academy. It trains aspiring chefs in various courses that will prepare them for jobs in both local establishments and those abroad. Its working kitchen is also where the fantastic dishes in Fika’s breakfast and all-day menus are prepared and cooked.

Fika, Capitol Hills

I recently joined a foodie meetup held at Fika where, together with fellow foodies, I was able to sample delectable dishes from Fika’s all-day menu. These include:

Chicken Inasal (Php255). A popular Ilonggo dish, it is grilled chicken marinated in a special sauce that gave it its distinct color.

Fika, Capitol Hills

Laing (Php135). Dried taro leaves, coconut milk and chili peppers make this a winner among lovers of spicy food.

Fika, Capitol Hills

Pancit Luglog (Php195). Thick noodles sauteed in a rich savory sauced and topped with hard-boiled eggs and chicharon. A party favorite!

Fika, Capitol Hills

Pinakbet with Bagnet (Php265). A classic Ilocano dish, it’s made of stewed vegetables seasoned with bagoong and topped with crispy bagnet.

Fika, Capito Hills

Fika Fried Rice (Php135). A recipe that came from Chef Mats’ mom, it’s a great breakfast fried rice made with chopped Chinese sausages, scrambled eggs, pork bits and various chopped veggies.

Fika, Capitol Hills

Binagoongan Rice (Php135). A flavorful dish made of rice, pork bits and kangkong sauteed in bagoong paste then topped with salted egg and ensalada.

Fika, Capitol Hills

Bangus Steak (Php285). The fish version of Bistek Tagalog, it features boneless bangus marinated in soy sauce and calamansi and served with lightly sauteed white onion rings.

Fika, Capitol Hills

Dinakdakan (Php140). An Ilocano dish made of various pork parts such as cheeks, liver, ears and tongue.

Fika, Capitol Hills

Sisig (Php150). Chopped pork parts are deep fried and seasoned with calamansi, mayonnaise, soy sauce and chilis.

Fika, Capitol Hills

We washed down our meal with ice blended drinks such as Choco Frappe (Php165) and Green Tea Frappe (Php175).

Fika, Capitol Hills

And since any meal wouldn’t be complete without dessert, we indulged ourselves in some freshly baked cakes, all at Php110 each:

Tres Leches

Fika, Capitol Hills

Ube Queso

Fika, Capitol Hills

Chocolate Cake

Fika, Capitol Hills

Chocnut Cheesecake

Fika, Capitol Hills

Clear winners for me are the Pinakbet with Bagnet, Fika Rice and – dare I say – all the cakes!

These Fika food sure are Fika good! Do check them out!

Fika is located at the Ground Floor, Capitol Greenstreet Commercial Center, Capitol Hills Drive, Old Balara, Quezon City, open Sundays to Thursdays at 6.45am to 10.30pm and Fridays to Saturdays at 6.45am to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call + 63 917 7006588, +63 2 3553132 or +63 2 5142480.

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

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

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Lunch at Lydia’s Lechon, Roces Avenue

From a small stall in Baclaran selling lechon (roasted pig) slices to to churchgoers to now being practically synonymous with its specialty and having over 25 stores in and around the metro, Lydia’s Lechon has certainly come a long way.

Started in 1965 by the couple Benigno and Lydia de Roca, Lydia’s Lechon has branched out beyond lechon delivery to restaurants, foodcourts, consumer goods and more.

Still, the company’s claim to fame lies in its lechon: this is what my officemates and I traversed the hot summer day all the way to the Lydia’s Lechon branch along Roces Avenue for.

The restaurant, similar to other Filipino restos, has a casual vibe, clean premises and eye-catching decor (check out the large paintings that adorn the staircase; these depict a Pinoy fiesta which, of course, includes the lechon).  There’s enough parking space outside the store for five to six cars, as well as an area where the lechon are roasted.

Our group of four ordered:

  • A half kilo of Lechon (Php450)– the meat was tender and flavorful with melt-in-your-mouth fat and crispy shiny skin (with a nice crackle to it).  It is, of course, accompanied by the resto’s own lechon sauce
  • Pinakbet (Php175) – which I, surprisingly, liked! The flavors and textures of the vegetables, pork bits and bagoong (shrimp paste) were well-balanced and went well with our steamed rice.
  • Chopsuey (Php195) – I preferred this vegetable dish less than the pinakbet.  While the vegetables still have a nice crisp texture despite being cooked, the flavor of this dish is too mild. Anyway, truth be told, our group just ordered this and the pinakbet to assuage our conscience given that our main dish is so decadent.
  • Lydia’s House Blend Iced Tea (Php65/glass)– We actually got a pitcher of this iced tea but I didn’t get the price.  We wanted something sweet and refreshing to balance the richness of the lechon.

https://instagram.com/p/BjoZU0jHEdT/

It was a very satisfying and energizing lunch, what with the calories we consumed and all.  🙂

On my next visit to Lydia’s Lechon, I would definitely try some of its other dishes to accompany the lechon such as the Fresh Lumpia (Php85) and Lydia’s Paella Rice (Php55).  I would also love to sample its sweet offerings such as the Mango Sago (Php60), Suman at Mangga (Php135) and Ube Banana Turon (Php65).

This Lydia’s Lechon branch is located at 49-Don A. Roces Avenue, Corner Scout Reyes
Quezon City (Tel: +63 2 376-5173 or + 63 2 376-1818).

Other Metro Manila branches are located in:

  • Quezon City: Timog, Commonwealth, SM North and SM Fairview
  • Pasig: Ugong and Meralco
  • Mandaluyong: SM Megamall
  • Makati: Cash & Carry, Landmark
  • Paranaque: SM Sucat,
  • Manila: Baclaran, 999 Mall, SM Manila, SM San Lazaro, 168 Mall, Robinsons Place Manila, Manila Doctors Hospital
  • Marikina: Marcos Highway
  • Taytay: SM Taytay

Lydia's Lechon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my review of another lechon joint nearby.