Brunchin’ at the Beach at Saltitude, Anilao

Anilao in Batangas is home to all sorts of fun beach activities: swimming, diving, snorkeling and windsurfing, just to name a few.

Aside from their proximity to the clear sparkling sea, those activities have another thing in common: they do work up quite an appetite.

Fortunately, Saltitude Dive & Beach Resort recently launched “Brunchin’ at the Beach,” a brunch buffet experience that takes place every Saturday, from 6am to 12.30pm at its Mingle restaurant.

For only Php699/person, diners can enjoy a sumptuous and well-curated spread of dishes in line with a weekly theme cuisine, all while enjoying the cool and relaxing vibe of the Saltitude’s beach and premises.

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Together with my fellow bloggers, I was able to experience Saltitude’s first brunch buffet available to resort guests and walk-in diners.

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude, Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Inside, diners and guests can relax in the resto’s sprawling and well-appointed dining area furnished with custom-made pieces. And yes, should they be so inclined, they can take advantage of these Instagrammable surroundings to snap a photo or two.

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

The menu theme for the launch is intercontinental which features samplings from Pinoy, Asian, American and Mediterranean cuisines, all personally chosen by the resort’s co-owner Malou Esparrago, and whipped up in the kitchen using local ingredients by Saltitude’s in-house chef.

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

These dishes are beautifully presented in a lavish buffet spread with a few touches of coastal chic bric-a-bracs, also conceptualized by Malou.

The tasty items in the sumptuous buffet spread include:

Filipino. Steamed freshly caught fish, pork adobo, clam soup, pancit canton, champorado with crispy dilis, puto and kutsinta.

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Mixed Asian. Sushi rolls, steamed potstickers and Chinese fried rice.

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Mediterranean. Lasagna, Pasta Aglio Olio, Tomato Basil Bruscheta and Salmon Bruscheta.

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

American. Bacon, hotdogs, scrambled eggs, pancakes and bread with various cheeses and jams.

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Dessert. Buko pandan and leche flan.

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

My faves among these are pancit canton, lasagna, salmon bruscheta and the leche flan. I found the varied selection of dishes quite appetizing. I would also imagine the kids would love the hotdogs, bacon and pancakes.

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

Saltitude Brunchin’ at the Beach

I look forward to Brunchin’ at the Beach’s the next themed menu. Ehich one’s your bet: Spanish, Mexican or Indonesian?

Plus, I’d also love to join one of Saltitude’s Beach Barbecues held Saturday nights during the summer.

So the next time you’re in Anilao, drop by Saltitude for some brunch. Or better yet, book your stay in one of its quirkily themed rooms (I’ll tell you more about them in a future post), and then head straight to brunch in the morning.

Saltitude Dive & Beach Resort is located along Manini Road in Mabini, Batangas. To book your stay or reserve a table at the restaurant, call +63 43 4101857, +63 927 4220428 or +63 939 9088843, or email info@saltitude-anilao.com. For more details, check out its website.

Want to know what activities you can enjoy at Saltitude? Check out my previous post.

Get your ultimate cup of tea at Ultrakappu, Old Balara

Just when you thought that the milk tea business has reached its peak, here comes a new player in the market that has something quite novel to introduce: healthy beverage options.

That is not something most people go to milk tea joints for but for John and Anna Pelino, who are both on keto diets, having sugar-free and keto-friendly choices available in their milk tea bar is essential.

Found in a residential area along South Zuzuaregui Street in Old Balara, UltraKappu was borne out of the couple’s trip to Taiwan (originally to take their young toddler to see the pandas) into a week-long milk tea party.  Finding a particular taste in Taiwanese milk tea that they wanted to bring back home, they soon set up shop in Quezon City with the help of Anna’s brother Mark, further fueling the milk tea craze in the metro.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I visited UltraKappu’s flagship store to discover what sets it apart from other milk tea establishments.

One: The brand has Japanese-inspired origins

Unlike most milk tea places in the country that translate their Taiwan origins to their local operations, UltraKappu got its (very loose) inspiration from Japanese superheroes.  UltraKappu (or “urutorakappu”), in fact, translates to “ultra cup” in Japanese.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Even the store is marked with Japanese-style minimalism.  Two sets of cafe-style tables and chair and bar stools provide seating adequate for around ten people.  The store logo is boldly emblazoned in orange against the dark grey background, while the TV plays the store’s music video starring cosplayers dressed as Japanese-style anime girls enjoying their favorite drinks.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

However, all the milk tea ingredients are imported from the motherland of milk tea, Taiwan.

Two: A milk tea place for the health conscious? 

You would think that “milk tea” and “healthy” are two mutually exclusive concepts but John and Anna are adamant that their store be able to offer, not only supercharged versions of beverages already available in the local food scene, but also guilt-free and ultimately healthier drink choices.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

How exactly?

For one thing, they offer sugar-free drinks, suitable for those on keto diets, such as Bulletproof Black, Bulletproof White, Bulletproof Mocha and Almond Milk Tea.

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.

Diners can even request to see the macros of these drinks such as the amount of calories, fat, carbs and protein they contain to make sure these fall within their daily intake levels.

Also, instead of just adjusting sugar levels of their other drinks, the staff can take out sugar altogether.  For additional Php10 to the price of your kappu order, they will use a sugar substitute with zero net carbs and zero sugar.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Lastly, UltraKappu has an Ala Carte Menu that allows diners to build their own healthy milk tea from scratch.  With a base of either assam black tea or jasmine tea, diners can pick and choose toppings they can add to their drink which include, pearls, salty cream, cloud (a cream foam that adds texture to the drink), Oreo crumbs, egg pudding, grass jelly, popping boba (with yogurt inside), nata, konnyaku (low-carb blocks of jelly-like extract from a type of root crop), MCT oil and butter.

Standout drinks for me include:

Bulletproof Mocha (Php130 small | Php140 medium). 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

Super Soy (Php115 medium | Php125 large). Imagine your favorite taho drink supercharged with boba pearls and caramel.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Brown Sugar Boba Milk (Php100 medium | Php110 large). Ooh, that intense toasty brown sugar caramel distributed in creamy milk tea!

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Oreo Matcha (Php130 medium | Php140 large). I’m not so into matcha drinks so I was surprised that this one appealed to me. It’s really because its taste is not as intensely herby as other matcha drinks I’ve tasted, and the Oreo crumbs serve to add sweetness and texture to the drink.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Salty Cream Pudding (Php130 medium | Php140 large). The creamy milk tea with an added dimension of the sweet-salty taste of salty cream and the mild sweetness of egg pudding.

UltraKappu, Old Balara

Now, aren’t you glad you have more (and healthier) choices for your milk tea fix? Drop by UltraKappu to get your own ultimate cup of milk tea goodness today!

UltraKappu, Old Balara

UltraKappu, Old Balara

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

No time to drop by the store? Have your drink delivered by Lalamove! Contact UltraKappu through its Facebook or Instagram pages to order.

UltraKappu Milk Tea Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other milk tea joints:

Happy fam brunch at Over Easy, Marikina

When we think of brunch, we think of ladies leisurely eating a meal while exchanging gossip.

However, one Tuesday, while my mom was out doing errands, my daughter #ExhibitA and I decided to take my groovy dad out for brunch at Over Easy.

So, after a short trip from our house in Pasig to this trending resto in Marikina, soundtracked with classic rock ‘n roll from my daughter’s Spotify, we found ourselves at Over Easy’s sprawling premises.

Over Easy, Marikina

Over Easy, Marikina

Over Easy, Marikina

And my dad lost no time taking a pose! (So now we know where I got it from! 🤪)

Over Easy, Marikina

Over Easy, Marikina

Actually, the resto’s premises is quite conducive to photo opps (“IG-worthy” is how kids today would call it).

From the colorful wall murals to the artfully displayed tchotchkes, Over Easy exudes an atmosphere of warmth, comfort and welcome while still retaining that “cool” factor. Badly put: you might get dragged here by your tita, but, deep inside, you wouldn’t mind.

Yep, you wouldn’t mind hanging out here one bit especially once you’ve tasted what Over Easy has to offer such as what we enjoyed during our brunch with Daddy-o:

Macaroni and Cheese (Php220). This is actually #ExhibitA’s go-to dish. Over Easy’s version features creamy and hot melted cheese mixed in with macaroni and topped with bacon bits.

Over Easy, Marikina

Over Easy, Marikina

Fish and Chips (Php295). Fish fillets coated with beer batter, deep-fried until golden brown and served with parmesan dusted potato chips and tartar sauce.

Over Easy, Marikina

Over Easy, Marikina

BBQ Ribs (Php510 for half-rack with 2 side dishes). Fall-off-the-bone tender braised ribs, then grilled to get that rich smokey flavor, then served with Over Easy”s signature barbecue sauce. All I can say about this dish is that the bones were picked clean by the time we’re done.

Over Easy, Marikina

Over Easy, Marikina

While my dad sipped on his Coke Zero (Php55), #ExhibitA and I treated ourselves to a European Strawberry Cooler (Php140), a refreshing fizzy drink flavored with sweet strawberries (yeah, it’s a tita drink, hahaha!)

Over Easy, Marikina

Over Easy, Marikina

Over Easy, Marikina

Lava Cake (Php195). Our foodie adventure here wouldn’t be complete without dessert. We got ourselves a molten chocolate cake topped with classic vanilla ice cream and doused with chocolate syrup. What a perfect way to cap our meal!

Over Easy, Marikina

Over Easy, Marikina

This brunch may not have been an all-out gossip over drinks sesh among ladies but it allowed my daughter and me to spend some precious time with my dear daddy.

Over Easy, Marikina

Over Easy is located at G&W Terraza, Mayor Gil Fernando Avenue, San Roque, Marikina City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 7am to 11pm and Fridays to Sundays from 7am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2554686.

Over Easy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Part of our meal was sponsored by Over Easy through gift certificates shared by Harvard of Always Hungry PH.

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro:

Time to hustle hard at Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

That quote, often mistakenly ascribed to legendary US President Abraham Lincoln, does have a point. Things are done and achieved by those who move.

Well, one of the hardest things to overcome is the state of inertia: just imagine, if your mind and body already think they are at rest, they tend to stay that way for the rest of the day. (Good luck getting over that mid-day slump!)

Fortunately for us working folks here in Quezon City’s South Triangle area, Hustle Cafe has moved its store from Cubao to the corner of Tomas Morato Avenue and Scout Rallos Street. In its new location, it continues to serve food and drink freshly prepared in the store to help people power through the day.

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

A friend and I dropped by during our lunch break to get our much needed mid-day sustenance, which included:

Pork Samgyupsal (Php250). Korean-style grilled pork and fried egg tops a bowl of fluffy steamed rice, sliced cucumber and kimchi-flavored shredded cabbage.

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Grilled Cheese (Php180). Cheese and onion marmalade make up the filling of thick and buttery toasted bread with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Salted Caramel (Php140) and Coffee (Pbp120) Frappes. Our little bits of caffeine-laden treats to wake our brains up and lift out spirits to face the rest of our tasks for the day.

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

Speaking of uplifting, did you know that proceeds from the sales Hustle Cafe’s food and drink help in the training of out-of-school youth in the food and beverage industry? The cafe exposes these kids, not just in the store’s back-end operations, but also in customer-facing roles to prepare them for larger responsibilities in their future F&B jobs.

With its wallet-friendly-priced drinks, Hustle Cafe also makes specialty brews and blends more accessible and less intimidating, thereby helping to create new coffee lovers and enthusiasts.

Hustle Cafe, Tomas Morato

So if ever you’re in the Tomas Morato area, do drop by and check out Hustle Cafe’s offerings. They just make give you the energy to hustle your way through your day.

Hustle Cafe is located at the CKB Center, Tomas Morato Avenue corner Rallos Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and advanced orders, call +63 916 6557485.

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

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro:

Food and nature-tripping at Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Nestled into east of Manila is a hidden haven for food and nature lovers. Called Burrow Cafe, it is located in the Antipolo Beehouse, a nature reserve set in a quiet residential subdivision away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

My daughter #ExhibitA and I decided to treat my mom out to Sunday brunch at Burrow Cafe. This mother-daughter-granddaughter outing is something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time but never found the time for until now.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

So last Sunday, off we went up Ortigas Avenue Extension towards Antipolo and into Beverly Hills Subdivision where the Beehouse is situated. Upon arriving at the Beehouse gate, we went down 76 steps (good thing I didn’t wear heels!) to a lush green courtyard with another flight of stairs leading to what seemed like an underground bunker.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

When we entered the cafe’s premises, however, we were treated to an abundance of light and greenery, thanks to the cafe’s large panel windows which let in a lot of natural light and give diners a relaxing view of the surrounding forest. Artfully laid out wood furniture, potted and hanging plants as well as other bric-a-bracs further accent the cafe’s nature theme while hammocks hanging from the ceiling provide some splashes of color and whimsy to the interiors. Outside, there is a balcony that overlooks a nearby mountain stream.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

There, my mom, #ExhibitA and I chatted about life and gossiped about mutual acquaintances (hahaha!) while enjoying our brunch made with ingredients sourced from the Antipolo Market or grown within the cafe’s grounds.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Our meal included:

Beef Short Ribs with Corn and Green Bean Risotto (Php550).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Fish and Chips (Php420).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Key Lime Pie (Php190).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Home Brew Iced Tea (Php120) and Avocado Fruit Shake (Php180).

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Though quite tasty, food items are limited and a bit pricey. Given the cafe’s lovely and restful ambiance and warm, friendly service, however, I’d say dining here is well worth the expense and effort.

After all, nothing but the best for my mom and my baby girl.

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe, Taytay

Burrow Cafe is located at the Antipolo Beehouse, 113 Beverly Hills Drive, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Dolores, Taytay, open Wednesdays to Thursdays from 8am to 4pm and Fridays to Sundays 7am to 4pm. Although walk-ins are welcome, table reservation is highly recommended through email (burrowcafe@gmail.com) or mobile (+63 917 6229795). For more details, visit the Antipolo Beehouse website.

Notes:

  • Beverly Hills Subdivision charges Php20 for cara entering the area so keep some change handy.
  • The resto is not wheelchair-friendly.
  • You might also want to check out the cafe’s retail area which sells reusable straws, homemade self-care products, zero-waste household ware and paper products.

Burrow Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro:

Take a sip of summer at Jack’s Lemonade, Ayala Malls Feliz

If the sweltering heat outside is any indication, then we are all caught in the claws of midsummer.

That’s no reason to let your body (and your temper) overheat, however.

Oh, what to do?

Cool your body and your spirit with the refreshing and invigorating drinks from Jack’s Lemonade. Fortunately, there’s a stall nearby at Ayala Malls Feliz which features the store’s newest Rose Blossom flavors which are based on rose tea.

Jack’s Lemonade, Ayala Feliz

Jack’s Lemonade, Ayala Feliz

Jack’s Lemonade, Ayala Feliz

Rose tea is brewed from dried whole rose blossoms or rose petals. This tea variant has Middle Eastern origins but has grown in popularity in many parts of the world. Its known health benefits include its use as a treatment for menstrual discomfort and sleep disorders, improving mood, digestion and respiration, as well as bolstering the immune system.

Add it to the freshly squeezed lemon juice at Jack’s Lemonade and you’ve got yourself a tasty and healthy drink!

I got myself a nice big cup of Creamy Rose Lemonade (Php150), whipped up by adding rose tea and lemon juice to condensed milk and powdered milk in a blender then pouring the mixture into ice with some fruit-flavored poppers. There are bursts of tangy fruitiness and rich sweetness in every refreshing sip!

Jack’s Lemonade, Ayala Feliz

Jack’s Lemonade, Ayala Feliz

So cool your jets and take time off for a well-deserved lemonade break by checking out your nearest Jack’s Lemonade branch.

This Jack’s Lemonade stall is located at Food Choices, Fourth Floor, Ayala Malls Feliz, Dela Paz, Pasig City.

Other branches may be found at:

  • Ground Floor, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City
  • Cinema Area, Third Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
  • Level 6, Shangri-La Plaza, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Third Floor, Glorietta 2, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
  • Fourth Floor, Market! Market!, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
    Second Floor, Market! Market!, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Disclosure: This drink is sponsored by Jack’s Lemonade through gift certificates I received prior to the visit.

Jack's Lemonade Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my previous posts about Jack’s Lemonade and its sister store Jelly G Milk Tea:

Refreshing lemon drinks at Jack’s Lemonade, UP Town CenterHealthy Thai Milk Tea at Jelly G, UP Town Center

Tasting sweet dreams at Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Darling, if you ever feel the stress of city living bringing you down, why don’t you take a break and treat yourself to a bit of the sweet life?

How?

Head off to this lovely dessert shop hidden at the Ortigas Technopoint block along Julia Vargas Avenue. Called Le Reve (“The Dream” in French), it offers savory dishes and sweet desserts that combine the elegance and sophistication of French culinary techniques with homegrown flavors.

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Owner Angeli Nasser started baking as a hobby but eventually pursued it as a craft and a passion. Now a certified Paris-trained chef, she applies the precise and exacting preparation styles of French cuisine to bring out the wonderful tastes and textures of local ingredients.

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

This marriage of French cuisine with Filipino ingredients is brought to sweet life for myself and my foodie friends from #SaanSaPH through these delectable dishes:

Longganisa Capellini (Php220). A sauce made with bits of longganisa (sausages) from Laoag, Ilocos adds a lot of savory flavors and a bit of spice to the thin-strand capellini pasta.

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

French Apple Crumble (Crumble aux Pommes – Php730 for 8 inches | Php150 for 4 inches | Php180 ala mode). Delicate apple slices sweetened with coco sugar and cinnamon spice topped with a crisp and buttery streusel crust. I will come back here just to taste this again ala mode. 🙂

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

70% Chocolate Lava Cake (Mi-cuit aux Chocolat – Php110 for 4 inches | Php140 ala mode). A molten chocolate cake prepared mi-cuit (“half-cooked” in French). Rich chocolate made from single-origin beans supplied by our very own Cacao de Davao is prepared souffle-style, making the resulting cake feel light and creamy but still rich with chocolate goodness.

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Calamansi Tart (Tart au Calamansi – Php125 for 4 inches). A bright and tangy taste of summer in a dessert. A delicate but creamy citrus-flavored custard set on a thin layer of graham cracker crust will have you reaching out for more.

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Dalandan Madeleines (Madeleines aux Dalandan – Php32 per piece | Php380 for 12 pieces in a tin can). Cute, little shell-shaped sponge cakes flavored with dalandan rinds, you can enjoy it with your coffee at the store or bring a can home to enjoy at your leisure.

https://flic.kr/p/2eiDazH

Cafe Americano (Php100). Freshly ground and brewed coffee made with Sagada French Roast, great on its own but also a perfect companion to Le Reve’s desserts.

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Le Reve Patisserie brings a bit of the pleasures of Paris here in Pasig. Hang out for a bit to bask in patisserie’s elegant surroundings for a leisurely coffee break, or some photo opps (because, who’s judging?) 🙂

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

Le Reve Patisserie, Ugong

So leave your troubles behind for a bit and taste your sweetest dreams, my dear. You deserve it.

Le Reve Patisserie is located at Ground Floor, Ortigas Technopoint One, Dive Pool Block, Ugong, Pasig City, open Mondays to Saturdays from 11.30am to 8pm and Sundays from 12.30pm to 6pm.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 977 7153267.

Le Rêve Pâtisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies from #SaanSaPH, 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 dessert places in the metro: