Tsinoy food feast at Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

More often than not, a dish with Chinese origins would make its way into a Filipino’s hapag-kainan.

This is hardly surprising as the Pinoys and the Chinese have been trading since even before the Spanish colonization.

Through the centuries, various waves of Chinese migration occurred, each bringing their own cultures, especially their culinary traditions, into the country.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

In the 1930s, a Cantonese chef known as Mr, Lido established a modest eatery in Binondo called Panciteria Lido. In the next eighty years, this eatery has grown into a chain of restaurants – now under the Lido Cocina Tsina brand – that are renowned for serving tasty Chinese dishes that also appeal to the Filipino palate.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Before the pandemic hit the metro last year, I was able to sample some of Lido’s signature dishes. These left quite an impression on me that when restrictions on dining out were recently loosened in the metro, I quickly grabbed the opportunity to bring my fellow foodie unnis – Jen of SandUnderMyFeet.com and Nix of IEatAndIWander.com – to the resto so they can taste for themselves what I had beem raving about for the past year.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

That day, the unnis feasted on delectable Tsinoy food which included:

Yang Chow Fried Rice (Php132). I couldn’t fathom a Chinese meal without this egg fried rice made heartier and more flavorful with shrimp, pork, carrots and spring onions.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Pugon Roasted Asado (Php436). Mr. Lido’s claim to fame from his eighty-year-old recipe of pork loin basted in precise proportions of Chinese herbs and spices, and then cooked in the a wood-fired brick oven which infuses the meat with a rich and smokey flavor. It’s great as a viand for the Yang Chow Fried Rice but it’s wonderful when used as a filling for hot pan de sal.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Sweet and Sour Pork (Php374). A dish that appeals to the Pinoy penchant for the sweet and sour combination. It’s made with fried pork pieces sauteed with pineapple chunks, bell peppers and onions and served in a sweet and sour sauce.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Shrimp Foo Yong (Php468). Ever since I had my first taste of this egg omelette with shrimp, mushroom and veggies served in light oyster sauce, I’ve been obsessed with it. Taste it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Buchi (Php138). Deep-fried sesame balls with lotus cream filling make for a satisfying cap for a hearty Chinese meal.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

This visit to Lido Cocina Tsina has sated my year-long cravings and made believers out of my fellow unnis.

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

We sure are looking forward to our next Lido Cocina Tsina adventure!

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

Lido Cocina Tsina, New Manila

This Lido Cocina Tsina branch is located at 1014-1020 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Barangay Mariana, Quezon City, open daily from 8.30am to 6.30pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 8885436, +63 2 84145436 or +63 947 4925752.

Other branches are located at:

  • 16 Visayas Avenue, Barangay Vasra, Quezon City
  • Unit 6 and 7, La Fuerza Bldg., 2241 Don Chino Roces Avenue Corner Sabio Street, Barangay Bangkal, Makati City
  • Block 8, Lot 9 Commonwealth Avenue, Barangay Batasan Hills, Quezon City
  • 43 Mindanao Avenue (beside Phoenix Gasoline Station), Barangay Bahay Toro, Quezon City
  • Upper Ground Floor, Z Square Mall, Banawe Street Corner Del Monte Avenue, Barangay Manresa, Quezon City
  • 532 United Nations Avenue cor. Jorge Bocobo St., Barangay Malate, Manila
  • 35 Dona Soledad Avenue, Barangay Don Bosco, Paranaque City
  • Ground Floor, Puregold Building, Dr. A. Santos Avenue, Barangay San Isidro, Paranaque City
  • 262 Alabang-Zapote Road, Talon Dos, Las Pinas City

To have your Chinoy food feast delivered right where you are, order online.

Lido Cocina Tsina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Asian restaurants:

Shrimp Bucket delivery via Pick•A•Roo!

It’s been a year since the quarantine took place, and while I don’t miss the hellish commute from my home to Tomas Morato, I do miss the lunchtime foodie adventures that my officemates and I used to have around the area.

One of our favorite haunts, especially for our payday splurge, is the Shrimp Bucket branch in Il Terrazzo Mall, a short walk away from the office.

Here, we would binge on shrimps and mussels by the pound, drenched in flavorful sauces that would leave us wanting more.

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

It’s been quite some time since our last foodie adventure at Shrimp Bucket but today, I was able to relive that experience with the family thanks to a new app called Pic•Ka•Roo!

Shrimp Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

This new all-in-one and on-demand lifestyle delivery app features all possible essentials for the home and more, delivered in a hygienic, contactless and stress-free. Aside from groceries, medicines, household appliances and gadgets, it also delivers from the metro’s restaurants, which is how I was able to get my hands on my Shrimp Bucket faves.

White Shrimp in Salted Eggsperience (Php785). Plump shrimp coated with a creamy savory sauce made with salted egg yolks.

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Mussels in Mardi Gras (Php575). Mussels coated in a flavorful sauce made with pork chorizo blended with spices.

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Both dishes are tasty by themselves but together, they’re dynamite!

Have a lot of steamed rice ready when dining on this winning combination of shrimps and mussels. You’ll be reaching for more again and again!

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

Shrimps Bucket, Sheridan

This Shrimp Bucket branch is located at Ground Floor, Rockwell Business Center, Sheridan Corner United Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City.

Other branches that deliver via Pic•Ka•Roo are located at:

  • Ground Floor, Bridgeway Shops, Across Connecticut Carpark Arcade, Greenhills Shopping Centre, Greenhills, San Juan City
  • Ground Floor, Grand Hamptons Tower 1, 31st Street Corner 2nd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Want to give Pick•A•Roo a try? Get a Php250 PICK•A•ROO voucher and have your groceries, food & more delivered when you register with my referral code: ANGE7726. Download the app here.

Shrimp Bucket Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts on other seafood restos in the metro:

Breakfast with the parents at Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

With all the restrictions from the lockdown since last year, my folks may have been nursing a case of cabin fever. Stuck at home for months, with only a few short trips out to break the monotony, I suspect they may have been feeling blue.

So with my daughter #ExhibitA as my co-conspirator, I set out to find a way to cheer up the parental units.

We decided to treat them to breakfast at a new breakfast joint I chanced upon on Instagram: Almusal Cafe.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

The name says it all doesn’t it?

Almusal Cafe has has been serving comforting Filipino breakfasts – albeit with a New York or Aussie twist every once in a while because of its expat owners. It opened its doors just as the metro was loosening its restrictions on dining out and mobility and was transitioning to a general community quarantine. To me, this restaurant serves breakfast food that act as reminders of better days past and better days to come.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

What better place to bring my parents for some breakfast and bonding, right?

For one thing, Almusal Cafe boasts of lots of greenery at its outdoor seating area that will surely excite, not just plantitos or plantitas, but also any suburbanite longing for a break from quarantine.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Its interiors are also well-appointed, sporting couches where you can lounge while having your coffee and dining areas where you can eat your breakfast in comfort.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Our group enjoyed Pinoy breakfast classics with a few welcome touches of the unusual. Check them out:

Kesong Puti Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Php370). The soft and un-aged white cheese made from carabao’s milk is partnered with sundried tomato pesto on sourdough bread and served with potato crisps on the side.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Beef Belly Tapa (Php380). Beef belly slow-cooked for a day then served chimichurri sauce on top of mixed red and white rice.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Ultimate Fried Chicken (Php450). Two fried chicken fillets served with elote, country-style gravy and hot honey.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Shrimp & Arugula Croissant (Php580). Fresh shrimp is tossed with arugula and cherry tomatoes in a light and creamy aioli and served in a toasted croissant with potato crisps on the side.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Long Black Coffee (Php100).

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Strawberry Mint Iced Tea (Php120). Freshly picked strawberries blended with mint leaves and tea.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Peach Basil Iced Tea (Php130). Iced tea made with peaches, fresh basil and lime.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Cold Mocha (Php170). Malagos chocolate mixed with a double shot of espresso.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

With great food, great surroundings and great conversations over our meal, I had a memorable breakfast experience with my folks; one, I hope, that ushered in some good cheer in their hearts.

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Well, it certainly made for a brighter start of the day for me!

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe, Katipunan

Almusal Cafe is located at The Pop Up Katipunan, Xavierville Corner Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 4pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 917 1371510.

To know about its latest promos and updates, follow Almusal Cafe on Facebook and Instagram.

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

Check out my posts on other breakfast places in the metro:

Shi Lin, Robinsons Galleria

Taiwanese cuisine’s claim to fame isn’t just it’s wildly popular milk tea.

It is also marked by the creative use of spices and the inclusion of fresh local produce.

The country’s food is heavily influenced by Chinese cuisine because of Taiwan’s proximity to the mainland’s south provinces and especially due to the Koumintang retreat, as well as by Japanese cuisine due to the time of its occupation.

Being in a crowded island, the Taiwanese had to look for sources of protein other than their farmlands which led to the prominence of seafood in their dishes.

These culinary influences came into play when my family and I had dinner at Shi Lin in Robinsons Galleria.

Shi Lin, Robinsons Galleria

Shi Lin, Robinsons Galleria

Our Taiwanese meal included:

Original Xiao Long Bao (Php170 for 6pcs).

Shi Lin, Robinsons Galleria

Mushroom and Vegetable Dumpling (Php175).

Shi Lin, Robinsons Galleria

Fried Rice with Shrimp, Pork and Egg (Php175).

Shi Lin, Robinsons Galleria

Stirfry Brocolli (Php100).

Shi Lin, Robinsons Galleria

Braised Beef Noodle Soup (Php310).

Shi Lin, Robinsons Galleria

Spicy Spare Ribs (Php395).

Shi Lin, Robinsons Galleria

Half Shi Lin Chicken (Php380).

Shi Lin, Robinsons Galleria

Chinese Pepper Shrimp (Php475).

Shi Lin, Robinsons Galleria

It was a filling and flavorful dinner which provided a welcome respite from our usual home-cooked meals.

We also got some dishes free when Hubby and I unlocked our Zomato Gold privilege!

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 the code JELLYB to get 10% off the membership fee.

This Shi Lin branch is located at Level 3, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas Center, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 9am to 9pm and Fridays to Sundays from 9am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 86377503 or +63 916 3040185.

Other branches are located at:

  • Pasig: Estancia Mall
  • Mandaluyong: The Podium Mall
  • Taguig: Serendra BGC
  • Makati: Powerplant Mall, Ayala Malls Circuit, Greenbelt 3
  • Quezon City: Trinoma Mall
  • Manila: Lucky Chinatown Mall
  • Paranaque: Ayala Malls Manila Bay
  • Muntinlupa: Alabang Town Center

Shi Lin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews on other Taiwanese restaurants in the metro:

Fam fave Bistro Charlemagne opens third branch in Ayala Malls Manila Bay

It is rare for my entire family to agree on food. Oftentimes, our tastes differ to such a degree that eating out has become a tedious process of elimination, narrowing down the list of options where everyone’s food preferences and cravings are assuaged.

But there’s one resto name that shortcuts all that because we know we will all agree on it: Bistro Charlemagne.

I introduced my immediate and extended fam to the joys of dining at Bistro Charlemagne in Ayala Malls Feliz and the in-laws at its branch in Solenad, Nuvali early last year. Since then, we have enjoyed its Asian fusion cuisine time and time again, making this resto our go-to place for intimate family celebrations or get-togethers.

And now, with the opening of its third branch in Ayala Malls Manila Bay, it just got easier and more enjoyable to meet up with family and friends in the South for great food and great times.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

You might be wondering what constitutes Bistro Charlemagne’s appeal to me and my family. Well, let me break it down for y’all…

1. Its elegant but homey premises.

I’ve noticed that although its branches are inside malls, they are usually situated near the outdoors (near gardens or balconies). Its floor-to-ceiling glass windoes allow a lot of natural light to enter the dining area, further enhanced by decorative light fixtures. The lighting also brings out the colors and textures of the resto’s darkwood tables and snakeskin-and-velvet plush chairs and couches.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

The well-appointed surroundings may be posh but not at all off-putting. There is a warm and homey atmosphere to the place that puts its guests at ease.

2. Its Asian fusion cuisine brings together the East and West, the familiar and the new.

Dining at Bistro Charlemagne always feels like an adventure. Its extensive menu is chock-full of exciting dishes to try as well as old favorites that I, personally, do not tire of.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Take, for example, the dishes that my foodie friends and I enjoyed when we visited its newest branch:

Bistro Sisig Fries (Php315). Thrice-cooked pork cheeks sauteed in creamy chicken liver sauce on top of freshly cooked fries.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Ox Sisig (Php355). Tender slow-cooked ox tongue mixed with Bistro Charlemagne’s special toyomansi-mayo sauce topped with chicharon bulaklak.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Shrimp Poppers (Php435). Lightly battered deep-fried shrimps tossed in a sweet chili mayo sauce and chili oil and served with a side salad.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Octopus Ala Pobre (Php395). One of Bistro Charlemagne’s seasonal dishes, this is made of slow-braised octopus in a garlic butter sauce and garlic confit.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Little Asia’s Crispy Chicken (Php355). This is the crispy fried chicken dish developed by the owner’s grandfather and passed down through three generations of restaurateurs.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Beef Tenderloin Rolls (Php415). Tender, thinly sliced beef wrapped around cheese and sauteed in teriyaki sauce.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Lengua in Mushroom White Sauce (Php415). Braised ox tongue with cream sauce and sauteed mushrooms.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Drunken Lengua in Mushroom Brown Sauce (Php415). Tender pan-seared ox tongue with mushrooms and asparagus in white wine sauce.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Cantonese Prawns (Php565). Sauteed prawns covered in melted cheese and cream sauce.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Creamy Seafood Baked Rice (Php415). Shrimp, squid, fish fillet and crabstick tossed in a rich cream sauce slathered over rice and topped with melted cheese.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Smores (Php265). Ghirardelli chocolate ganache topped with a thick layer of roasted marshmallows and served with graham crackers.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Reese’s Smores (Php265). Peanut butter chips ganache topped with a thick layer of roasted marshmallows and served with graham crackers.

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

3. Its imaginatively designed drinks

Quench your thirst or pair your viands with Bistro Charlemagne’s blended drinks, which include:

Blueberry Banana Shake (Php185).

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Four Seasons Shake (Php165).

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Choco Peanut Banana Shake (Php165).

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Vietnamese Coconut Drink (Php155).

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

4. Its affordable set meal options

Eating solo? You can dine on single servings of your favorite viands along with rice, soup and iced tea for as low as Php235.

5. Its party trays for your large gatherings

Planning your New Year celebrations with the clan? How about an office party after the holidays?

I’m happy to discover Bistro Charlemagne has party packages that can feed large groups.

My wish list for my dream Bistro Charlemagne party includes:

  • Tuna Tataki (Php1,575, good for 15 persons). Hubby’s favorite!
  • Little Asia’s Crispy Chicken (Php1,420, good for 12 persons).
  • Beef Tenderloin Rolls with Cheese (Php1,660, good for 15 persons).
  • Drunken Lengua in Mushroom Brown Sauce (Php2,075, good for 15 persons)
  • Salt and Pepper Squid (Php1,875, good for 15 persons)
  • Yang Chow Fried Rice (Php1,775, good for 15 persons)

So check out Bistro Charlemagne’s tasty dishes at its newest branch!

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Many thanks to Charlemagne Lim and his crew for the warm welcome and wonderful meal, and the Francis G for extending the invitation!

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

This Bistro Charlemagne branch is located at Lot 2, Third Floor, Cinemas Building, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Entertainment City Paranaque, open Mondays to Thursdays from 10am to 10pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 79149082.

Other branches are located at:

  • Fifth Floor, Ayala Malls Feliz along Marcos Highway, Dela Paz, Pasig City
  • GFF-6, Building B, Ayala Malls Solenad 3, Nuvali, Don Jose, Santa Rosa, Laguna

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

Unli Korean BBQ at YumEaTeh!, Marikina

Korean barbecue fans, you definitely have something new to be happy about.

Marikina, already home to a vibrant and varied food scene, now has another place that offers all the meats, seafood and side dishes you can eat at super affordable prices.

Located at the Wood Park Food Hub along E. Santos Street, YumEaTeh! has been serving up exciting Korean barbecue packages (named after Japanese icons, of all things!) to Marikina denizens since it began operations early this year.

YumEaTeh, Marikina

As explained by the co-owners, Eric Tan and JM Alcantara, “YumEaTeh” has the same sound as the Japanese word for “stop.” They conceptualized their offers to be so filling that diners will eat their fill until they just want to stop.

YumEaTeh, Marikina

Well, let’s take a look at its much-vaunted unli meal sets, shall we?

All of these already come with soup, plain rice, chao fan (Chinese fried rice), an assortment of banchan (side dishes) like tahong (steamed mussels), lettuce, quail egg bombs, potato salad, cheesy corn, apple slaw and kimchi, not to mention an array of sauces for the meats that include cheese, gravy, chili oil, wasabi mayo, gochujang (Korean red chili paste), ponzu (Japanese sauce) and honey mustard as well as Aice ice cream treats to cap the meal.

Ninja (Php198) gives you four delicious pork flavors such as salt and pepper barbecue, gochujang marinated pork slices, tonkatsu and sisig.

YumEaTeh, Marikina

With Sempai (regularly priced at Php299 | available to YumEaTeh! Loyalty Card Holders for Php249), you can enjoy four different meat flavors that include the pork flavors included in Ninja, as well as chicken, which include salt and pepper, teriyaki and yangyeom (sweet, sour and spicy); squid, which include salt and pepper and yangyeom: and beef, which include salt and pepper, bulgogi and sukiyaki.

YumEaTeh, Marikina

Hokage (Php399), on the other hand, gives you twelve different meat flavors that include the pork, beef, chicken and squid flavors included in Sempai, as well as five-spiced boiled crab, salt and pepper shrimp and ginger garlic mussels.

YumEaTeh, Marikina

Lastly, with Hokage Supreme (Php499), you can enjoy twelve different meat flavors that include the pork, beef, chicken and squid, crab, shrimp and mussels flavors included in Hokage as well as deep-fried and butter garlic crab, butter garlic shrimp and tempura, hotpots of laksa, tantanmen and tomyum/sinigang, deep-fried squid and chicken poppers. This set also comes with a free liter of iced tea for every four people.

YumEaTeh, Marikina

All these sets are guaranteed to satisfy your K-BBQ cravings!

YumEaTeh, Marikina

Celebrating your birthday soon? Take advantage of YumEaTeh!’s Bigger, Better Birthday Promo which give you discounts on your Sempai (Php249) and Hokage Supreme (Php499) meals within ten days of your birthday depending on the number of companions you bring to YumEaTeh!:

  • One full paying adult: 20%
  • Two full paying adults: 30%
  • Three full paying adults: 50%
  • Four full paying adults: 80%
  • Five full paying adults: FREE


  • Thank you to Hungry Byaheros for extending the invitation, and to Eric Tan, JM Alcantara and the staff of YumEaTeh! for having us.

    YumEatEh! Is located at The Wood Park, E. Santos Street, Concepcion Uno, Marikina City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11.30am to 11pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11.30am to 11.30pm. For inquiries, call +63 966 4664907.

    YumEatEh! Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Disclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I was invited to join 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 posts about other Korean restaurants:

    Birthday Lunch at Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    I’m blessed to have coworkers who like to celebrate milestones with a good meal.

    An officemate’s birthday falls within a few weeks of mine so two of our former bosses decided to treat us out to a joint birthday lunch.

    And for that, Lola Cafe is our best bet, considering its proximity to our workplace, its Instagrammable modern interiors and its menu of imaginatively prepared homey dishes.

    Similar to other restaurants in the Tomas Morato area, Lola Cafe was built from a renovated house. It boasts of a sizeable parking area (a big plus in this vicinity), a high-ceilinged bar area, and a dining area that combines the old architectural layout with a modern black and white aesthetic and a refreshing view of the lush green space outside.

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Lola Cafe serves Filipino food that makes use local ingredients in imaginative ways such as:

    Crispy Tinapa (Php220 for solo). Tinapa, bits of ripe mango, kesong puti tossed in romaine lettuce and arugula with slightly sweet and citrusy honey dalandan dressing.

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Baked Tahong Express (Php220).  Baked mussels generously topped with mozzarella, garlic, Bicol Express sauce and green chilis.

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Tartufo (Php295 for solo).  Spaghetti noodles tossed in a cream sauce with truffle oil and portobello mushroom.

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Shrimp Aligue (Php295 for solo). Spaghetti noodles tossed with plump shrimp in a rich  and decadent cream sauce of crab fat and kesong puti.

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Lola Fried Chicken (Php310 for solo). Juicy pieces of chicken thighs in garlic butter sauce.

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Prawns in Aligue (Php420 for solo). Succulent poached prawns in a spicy sauce of crab fat, chili garlic and lemon butter.

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Mango Pavlova (Php160). Crunchy cashew meringue and bits of mango layered with chantilly cream.

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Kesong Puti Cheesecake (Php220). A rich cheesecake made of kesong puti topped with bukayo (sweetened coconut strips) and salted latik (caramelized coconut cream).

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    These delicious dishes, Lola Cafe’s attentive staff and the awesome company helped to make that birthday lunch truly memorable.

    Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

    Since Lola Cafe is a Zomato Gold partner establishment, and all four of us unlocked or Zomato Gold privilege, our group got some of our food orders for free!

    Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 (Buy 1 Get 1) deals on food or 2+2 (Buy 2 Get 2) deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

    Lola Cafe is located at 99 Scout Lozano Street, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open Mondays to Thursdays from 11.30am to 10pm, Fridays to Saturdays from 11.30am to 11pm, and Sundays from 10.30am to 9pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5012620 or +63 917 8176045.

    Another branch recently opened at the Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

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

    Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

    Relaxing Sunday brunch at Noor, BGC

    The day was warm with the sun shining down brightly from blue skies unmarred by clouds as I made my way to an area of Bonifacio Global CIty I seldom find myself visiting.

    Megaworld’s Lifestyle Malls Forbestown Center (also known as Burgos Circle) is home to many new concept restaurants, cafes and dessert places. It is a wonder how I’m seldom here but that can soon be rectified. 🙂

    This particular Sunday morning, I was headed to one restaurant in particular: Noor Modern Mediterranean. The place may look quite posh with its well-appointed modern interiors and the tasteful display of art and wine bottles throughout the premises but the overall vibe is one of freshness and warm hospitality. Its second floor dining area features a green wall as its focal point and floor-to-ceiling windows that affords a view of Forbestown Center as well as lots of natural light which will become quite handy when we do our food photos later on.

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Yep, this hip and happening resto is to be the setting of a relaxed and banter-filled gathering among myself and my fellow foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH.

    Firstly, we were warmly welcomed by Noor’s Isreali-born Chef Or Hakmimi, who brings to the table the Mediterranean culinary influences he grew up with. The chef also espouses a friendly and casual dining atmosphere for his establishment; in between his adventures in the kitchen preparing Noor’s signature dishes as well as new ones he is experimenting on, he takes the time to chat with his guests and share more about his philosophy when it comes to food.

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Foremost among his rules of thumb is the preference for having at least three flavors and textures in the food he serves, “so it won’t be boring.” He is right, too. Each bite of Noor’s dishes presented us with wonderful complexities: smokeyness, tartness, a hint of spice and more.

    These complexities are in evidence in the brunch feast he and his staff laid out for us, which include:

    Salmon Tartare. Not yet on the menu, this dish is made of thinly sliced chilled salmon topped with roe and served on crunchy black sesame seed-studded phyllo cones, an awesome start to the meal!

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Cauliflauer (Php300). I read somewhere that this dish is life-changing and I can definitely agree! Cauliflauer are deep-fried and tossed in ceasar aoili and parsley.

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Moroccan Shrimp (Php480). Succulent shrimps grilled then served on a bed of tatziki (a Greek yogurt-based side dish flavored by mashed vegetables, dill and olive oil) together with charred eggplant.

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Lamb Baklava (Php470). Ground lamb sauteed in olive oil and spices encased in sheets of sheer phyllo dough baked to a lusciously crispy golden brown. Served with sesame dressing and a raspberry sauce, its combo of meaty savory and tart fruity flavors is a winner.

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Chicken Skewers (Php590). Tender and flavorful chicken pieces, grilled together with onions and bell peppers and served with Syrian Basmati rice and seared tomato.

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Shawarma Tacos (Php630). A triad of shawarma variants – roasted chicken with tahini, tomatoes and amba aoili; roasted fish with tsaziki, coleslaw and cilantro; and roasted mushrooms with garlic aioli, sumac onions and parsley – served open-faced on warm pita bread. These are best eaten by hand! (A bit messy but that’s part of the experience!)

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Knafe (Php390). A classic Arab desert made of shredded buttery phyllo pastry, ricotta cheese, rose water syrup and yogurt ice cream topped with chopped pistachios. That interplay of warm and cold inside my mouth, together with the sweetness and rich buttery flavor is quite decadent. My only regret is that I have gone through forty plus years in life and I’ve only tasted this heavenly dessert today.

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    Almond Creme Brulee (Php330). A mildly sweet, creamy almond cream custard garnished with raspberry sauce and mint.

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    All of these dishes are made from scratch in the kitchen by Chef Or. Ingredients are locally sourced and the produce are organically grown in local farms.

    Chef Or and his staff also served us with the resto’s signature cocktails to complement the dishes and to add to the day’s happy vibe.

    Noor, BGC

    Gypsy Mango (Php380). Rum mixed with organic mango liquor, fresh mango and cilantro. A perfect drink for this summer day!

    Noor, BGC

    Cinnamon Fashion (Php340). A version of the Old-Fashioned cocktail made by muddling sugar with bitters and adding some brandy, but here, it is garnished with a cinnamon stick.

    Noor, BGC

    Built to Spill (Php350). A blend of bourbon, ginger root and mint leaves.

    Noor, BGC

    Noor (Php390). The resto’s house-recipe cocktail made with gin, freh basil, cucumber, fresh lemon juice and tonic water.

    Noor, BGC

    Flavored Soda Water. Sparkling water flavored with juices of sweet fruits such as lychee, passionfruit and strawberry to quench our thirst and refresh our palates.

    Noor, BGC

    With such a lavish spread of good Mediterranean food, refreshing cocktails that kept us in high spirits and the company of great friends, it was a very enjoyable Sunday brunch!

    Noor, BGC

    Noor, BGC

    And here’s some good news: did you know you can get free drinks at Noor, thanks to 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.

    Noor is located at Unit F133, Forbeswood Heights, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, open daily from 11am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 956 1563426.

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

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

    Mix and Match Lunch Set at Half Saints, Tomas Morato

    For me, the office lunch break is a sacred hour.  In this precious spot of time, I can take a break from the pencil-pushing, number-crunching and many of the stresses I take on in the course of my job.  When I have lunch with a coworkers, it also presents me with an opportunity to chat and get to know them, discover shared interests or vent on common frustrations.

    This is why going out for lunch is especially important to me.  Having a packed lunch from home to eat at the office pantry or buying one to-go from the office foodcourt may be more efficient and economical, but does not provide me with a change of scenery that helps in keeping my stress levels down.

    However, lunches out are not exactly budget-friendly.

    Fortunately, nearby restaurant Half Saints offers DIY Lunch Sets wherein diners can mix and match options for rice and viand, all for Php165.

    It’s such a no frills yet fun way to decide on what you’re having for lunch.

    A friend and I dropped by on our lunch break and got for ourselves:

    Black Squid Rice + Bacon Slab and Egg

    Pink Salmon Rice + Shrimp Skewer

    Since I had some money left over, I decided to indulge myself with a Paprika Cheese Tart (Php70).

    Our boss asked us to get her lunch to-go so we opted for Black Squid Rice + Japanese Fried Chicken Bites that we took back to office.

    The food choices do embody Half Saints concept of providing comfort food with a twist, influenced by owners Christine Roque, Trina Roque, Tricia Roque, Tanya Mesina and Joana Arciaga’s Filipino roots merging with their exposure to other cultures. The ingredients and dishes are familiar but are melded together in novel ways (and prettily plated too!), producing flavors and textures that do excite one’s senses when the dishes are laid down on the table.

    Furthermore, through its advocacy, Half Saints also supports local businesses by sourcing its ingredients from local food and farmer cooperatives.

    The food took some time to get to us (the waiter even got one of the orders wrong), though, so we busied ourselves by poring over some of the books artfully displayed in the store. The resto has a minimalist feel to it – and no wonder, its interior design was inspired by coffee shops in Tokyo. It proved to be a cozy and quiet place to hang out in.

    Half Saints, Tomas Morato

    I think this place would also be a nice after-office refuge. I can picture myself with a mug of Half Saints’ freshly brewed coffee and a pastry, just chillin’ after a day’s work.

    Half Saints is located at the Ground Floor, Ignacia Place, Mother Ignacia Corner Sergeant Esguerra Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11.30am to 10pm. For reservations, call +63 935 9330512. Or you can book your table via Zomato like I did.

    Half Saints Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Tempura Overload at Tenya Tempura Tendon, BGC

    Considered of the most successful tendon restaurant chains in Japan, Tenya Tempura Tendon opened its doors in the BGC Stopover Pavilion. Its goal, driven by the vision of its founder Mr. Yoshio Iwashita, is to provide diners with high quality yet affordable tendon and tempura.

    Tenya prides itself on the quality of its ingredients – such as the sweet succulent tiger prawns, the heart-healthy canola oil, Japanese rice and secret dontare sauce for its tendon – and its methods to produce consistent and tasty tempura such as the specially designed infrared heat technology-powered fryer.

    Tempura is one of Japan’s most popular dishes, characterized by seafood, meat and vegetables covered in a light batter then quickly deep-fried to produce tempura’s signature golden-brown hue.

    During our family’s recent foray in BGC, we chanced upon this Tenya branch around lunchtime and decided to try it out.

    We ordered a Yume Ooedo Set (Php1,295) which consist of 6 black tiger prawn tempura, 6 kani sticks, 3 squid, 3 fish tempura, 2 small kakiage (chopped vegetables and seafood), 3 battered green beans, 3 battered sweet potato, 4 rice and 4 miso soup. Aside from that, we also ordered a 5-piece Salmon Tempura (Php310).

    The servings were hearty and the textures and flavors were varied enough that we did not experience umay (roughly translates to flavor-fatigue). The batter was light and adhered well to the fried seafood and veggies. Given that all four of us ate our fill, our orders were affordably priced indeed.

    The service staff were friendly and accommodating, quick to assist us with our requests.

    My only complaint about the experience was that the store’s airconditioning system was not able to counteract the summer midday heat.

    This Tenya Tempura Tendon branch is located at the 2nd floor, BGC Stopover Pavilion, Rizal Drive cor 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig (Tel No: 02 – 512-4776). Other branches are located at:

    • Ground Floor, Market! Market!, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City (Tel No: 02 – 833-9682)
    • 4F SM Megamall Bldg. A, Doña Julia Vargas Ave, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City (Tel No: 02 – 696-5996)
    • Food Street, Ground Floor, SM Southmall, Almanza, Las Piñas City (Tel No: 02 – 984-3872)
    • ASEANA Avenue cor. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd. Paranaque City (Tel No: 02 -370-5924)
    • GF Water Garden, Extension Site, Civic Drive, Festival Supermall Alabang, Muntinlupa (Tel No: 02 – 512-4862)
    • GF North Wing Entertainment Mall, Sunset Ave. cor. Seaside Blvd. SM Mall of Asia Pasay (Tel No: 02 – 810-2784)
    • GF Southpark Bldg. Paseo de Magallanes, Makati City (Tel No: 02 – 821-5797)

    For more details on Tenya Tendon and Tempura food offerings, visit Tenya’s website.

    Tenya Tempura Tendon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    You said what?!? Fat Fook!

    Despite the odd-sounding name, there’s nothing obscene about Fat Fook, except probably the amount of food you will end up consuming. In fact, the name’s meaning in Cantonese comes closer to “big blessing.”

    This Taiwanese resto, managed by the same group that operates Ramen Nagi, opened its first store in the very busy SM North EDSA. The decor has quite a modern feel with touches of eccentric Asian aesthetic such as bright red architectural accents and porcelain bowls used as light fixtures.

    After doing some field work in the morning, a coworker and I were treated lunch at Fat Fook. We were able to sample the unique tastes of Taiwan with these orders:

    • Taiwanese Sausages (Php288). The sweetness of the sausages were enhanced by the thin slices of raw garlic wedged into them.
    • Taiwan Style Fried Rice (Php258). Tiny cubes of Taiwanese sausages are mixed into rice with finely chopped carrots and green onions, sauteed with a savory brown sauce.
    • Salted Egg Shrimp (Php398). I would have preferred for the shrimps to be shelled so that I won’t have to scrape off that tasty salted egg sauce from the shells before eating the shrimp.

    Fat Fook seems very promising and I look forward to tasting more of its offerings. The good news is: a new branch opened at Robinsons Galleria which is nearer my place.

    Fat Fook Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    This post contains affiliate links.

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    Seafood Haven at Crab ‘n Crew

    The folks invited us to try out this seafood resto in Project 6.  It is located in a small building along Visayas Avenue.  There is ample parking space but given the seemingly universal appeal of its #CrabAllYouCan for only Php699 offer, be ready to wait for your table like we did.

    The resto’s interiors have an industrial feel to it with multiple hanging lights and black and white photos providing accents to the decor.

    Our group ordered a Mussel Bag (Php420/100grams) and a Butter Bag (Php999, consists of seafood and corn on the cob bits), which we ate with our hands (making use of the bibs and gloves provided.)

    I like how the mix of textures from the crabs, prawns, mussels and oysters and their respective sauces made for hearty meal.

    The wait staff are also friendly and attentive.

    Crab n' Crew Restobar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Sumptuous Seafood at Shrimp Bucket

    Shrimp Bucket is where my officemates and I go when we feel that we deserve a very happy lunch. For one thing, we eat here fairly often despite the pricy menu or we make our pleasure so evident that the friendly wait staff can recognize us on sight and already know what we will order.

    The resto’s interiors have few decor but the most interesting are the bucket chandeliers. There is ample seating for around 30-40 people.

    We plan our outings here ahead of time (usually to coincide with payday), so we usually have a lot of time to fantasize about our signature orders:

    • 1 pound of shrimp with Salty Eggsperience sauce
    • 1 pound of Mussels with The Mardi Gras sauce (slightly spicy with yummy chorizo bits thrown in

    These sumptuous seafood dishes are best eaten family-style with steaming hot rice. Do take advantage of the bib and plastic gloves provided by the resto so you can eat with your hands to really enjoy the experience without worrying about making a mess or dirtying your clothes.

    I have tried some of the resto’s other offerings such as the pan-fried fish fillet in soy ginger sauce and the crispy belachan pork but the combination of the Saltjy Eggsperience shrimp and the Mardi Gras mussels is still unbeatable for me.

    This Shrimp Bucket is located at the 2nd floor of Il Terrazzo, Tomas Morato cor Scout Madrinan Street, South Triangle, Quezon City.

    Other branches are located at the following:

    • 2nd floor of Ayala Malls the 30th along Meralco Avenue in Pasig
    • Along Missouri Street in Greenhills
    • Ground floor of Grand Hamptons Tower 1 along 31st Street in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
    • Ground Floor of UP Town Center along Katipunan Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City
    • Circuit Makati in Olympia, Makati