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:

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

Liloan’s Pride, California Garden Square

Every once in a while, we all get a craving for food that’s hefty and fatty, the kind that will make a cardiologist’s heart skip a beat (ironically so).

And when that craving comes, there’s no better (or tastier) way to assuage it than to indulge in a juicy and succulent piece of lechon.

Well, if you can’t buy the whole roasted pig, why not indulge yourself in some lechon liempo?

Liloan’s Pride Liempo combines the use of traditional culinary methods and ingredients and modern cooking processes to produce a perfectly roasted pork belly. Each serving is meticulously marinated to infuse the meat with flavor and roasted exactingly to give the skin a satisfying crunch to the bite.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

I got another taste of this famous lechon together with my fellow foodies when I joined a foodie meetup at the Liloan’s Pride Liempo store at Calfornia Garden Square in Mandaluyong.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

There, our feast included:

Cebu Liempo (Php360). A huge slab or pork belly marinated and roasted Cebu lechon style. A spicy version is available for Php380 if you’re craving for additional heat.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Roasted Chicken (Php360). The chicken version of the Cebu liempo which makes for tender and juicy meat and flavorful skin.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Liempo Manok Rice Meal (Php190). The best of both worlds, really: the lechon liempo and the roasted chicken plus a cup of steamed rice in one plate.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Classic Sisig (Php160). Pampanga’s famous dish made with pig cheeks flavored with calamansi, onions and chili peppers. For me, it could use a bit more crunch and saltiness (from crushed Cebu liempo skin maybe?).

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Garlic Bangus (Php220). A whole medium-sized bangus (milkfish) butterfly-filleted, marinated in garlic and vinegar then fried to a golden brown and topped with toasted garlic. It’s very fragrant from all the garlic but it could use more of the vinegar taste so keep some of the store’s sawsawan handy when you order this. A rice meal with a quarter of the garlic bangus is also available for Php99.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Pochero Meal (Php149). Pork belly slices stewed together with chickpeas, sliced bananas, potatoes, green beans and cabbage in rich tomato sauce. I find it ok but would prefer the beef version of pochero.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Beef Pares Meal (Php99). The power combo of beef asado, garlic rice and broth.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

So the next time that craving comes, you know what to do! Hie yourself over to Liloan’s Pride Liempo.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

Many thanks to Ms Ani Conanan and the staff of Liloan’s Pride Liempo for the meal and to Harvard of AlwaysHungryPH for extending the invitation.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, California Garden Square

This Liloan’s Pride Liempo branch is located at San Juan California Garden Square, Domingo M. Guevarra Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City.

Other branches may be found at

  • SM Hypermarket, Upper Ground Floor, Building B, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
  • Ground Floor, Connecticut Arcade, Greenhills Shopping Center, Greenhills, San Juan
  • Lower Ground Floor, SM Cubao, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
  • Third Floor, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati City
  • The Block, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • SM Hypermarket, North Wing, SM Mall of Asia, MOA Complex, Pasay City
  • Food Court, Second Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa

Liloan's Pride Liempo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a foodie meetup held here wherein food and drink items were served to allow us to sample the fare. These were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

San Juan’s newest food and nightlife destination – Varra Restobar

The workday is through and you’ve earned yourself a little bit of a respite, wouldn’t you say?

If you’re looking for a place to meet with friends, enjoy good food and perhaps have a drink or two, then this newly opened and somewhat hidden restobar in San Juan would be just the thing.

Varra, San Juan

A namesake of P. Guevarra Street where it is situated, Varra Restobar offers food lovers new reasons to make Little Baguio in San Juan their next foodie destination.

Together with my foodie friends, I ventured to Little Baguio in San Juan to check this resto out.

Getting to the resto is quite easy (it’s already on Waze, peeps!), but finding the entrance may be a challenge. Here’s a tip: go straight to the back of the building (where the car wash is) and climb up the stairs straight to the third floor. And then, you’re there!

Here’s what you can look forward to:

One: A chill place to hang out

The place has a relaxed vibe that is conducive for friendly get-togethers or chillin’ out with your favorite drink and bar chow.

It has a sprawling dining area with an abundance of power outlets. If ever your gadgets are low on battery, you can easily juice up again without having to leave your table.

Varra, San Juan

Varra, San Juan

Want to party in style? Reserve the stately Lounge and hold your celebrations for up to 40 pax for Php35,000 (fully consumable).

Varra, San Juan

Or you can let loose with the gang in privacy and comfort in the VIP Room for just Php20,000 (fully consumable). Aside from the well-appointed interiors, you and your friends can enjoy your own private comfort room and a buzzer to summon the service team for your requests and orders.

Varra, San Juan

Varra, San Juan

Two: Mouthwatering comfort food

Whether you’re after a feast or a snack, Varra offers you a well-curated array of sure-win familiar dishes or fresh twists on the classics.

Varra, San Juan

Varra, San Juan

These include:

Crispy Shrooms (Php130). Deep-fried and crispy oyster and enoki mushrooms that you will want to pop into your mouth again and again.

Varra, San Juan

Spam Chips (Php210). Thin slices of spam deep-fried to crisps accompanied by garlic aioli.

Varra, San Juan

Messy Fries (Php150). Fries served with beef, lots of cheese and garlic aioli. It’s the kind of mess I certainly wouldn’t mind!

Varra, San Juan

Varra’s Nacho Overload (Php350). Crunchy nacho chips doused in cheese sauce and overloaded with beef, tomatoes, onions, peppers and olives. Perfect for munching while chatting with friends.

Varra, San Juan

Soy Garlic Chicken Poppers (Php240). Fried chicken balls served with coleslaw, rice and fried egg.

Varra, San Juan

Beef Tapa (Php240). A classic breakfast staple, this consist of garlicky marinated beef served with salted egg, salsa, rice and fried egg.

Varra, San Juan

Chicken Pesto Marinara (Php380). A tomato-based pasta topped with grilled chicken flavored with pesto sauce.

Varra, San Juan

Classic Carbonara (Php290). A creamy iteration of the carbonara loaded with ham pieces and served with poached egg.

Varra, San Juan

Wings Basket (Php230). Six pieces of juicy and flavorful fried chicken wings flavored with your choice of sauce – Buffalo, Sou Garlic, Garlic Parmesan, Hickory BBQ, Chili Cheese and Honey Sriracha – that go so well with rice. We got two baskets each of Soy Garlic and Garlic Parmesan.

Varra, San Juan

Varra, San Juan

Varra’s Steak Salpicao (Php380). Ooh, this is definitely the star of the show! Tender and flavorful slices of steak sauteed in garlic and oil and served on a sizzling plate.

Varra, San Juan

Three: Refreshing drinks

As you enjoy the tasty viands and bar chow, quench your thirst with Varra’s Signature Cocktails (Php200 each) which include: Blue Cruise (white rum, lemon and triple sec), Rosee el Varra (tequila, sour mix and Hoegaarden Rosee), Varra Mountain (gin, gin de cacao, sour mix and triple sec) and Basil Slush (blended basil leaves, rum, lemonade and sugar).

Varra, San Juan

Varra, San Juan

Varra, San Juan

If you don’t feel like imbibing alcohol ot if you’re the group’s designated driver, you can also opt for non-alcholic drinks such as Varra Iced Tea (Php80), Frozen Peach Iced Tea (Php100) and the cranberry and citrus-y Sunset Spritzer (Php130).

Varra, San Juan

Varra, San Juan

Varra, San Juan

Varra, San Juan

Well, it sure looks like San Juan just got itself a new go-to place for munchies, drinks and chillin’ out!

Varra, San Juan

Varra, San Juan

Varra, San Juan

Many thanks to Ms. Lovely Tan and the crew of Varra Restobar for the invitation!

If you and your gang can’t get enough of wings, take advantage of Varra’s Unli Wings & Rice Promo for only Php359 per person, available from Sundays to Thursdays.

Varra Restobar is located at 333 P. Guevarra Street, Little Baguio, San Juan, open from Sundays to Thursdays from 6pm to 2am, and Fridays to Saturdays from 6pm to 3am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 916 5870345.

Varra Resto Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Check out my reviews of other bars and watering holes in the Metro:

Bench Cafe opens newest branch in Trinoma

The clothing brand Bench has been around for as long as I can remember. One of the “proudly Filipino” enterprise success stories, it has been a major player in local fashion and has even expanded its sphere of influence to that of a lifestyle brand with its personal care producrs, skin care services and hair salons.

It even ventured into the food business, notably with the opening of the first branch of its eponymous restaurant Bench Cafe last year.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Fast forward to today and Bench Cafe has already opened its fifth branch at Trinoma Mall in Quezon City. Such speedy growth is proof that its concept of combining traditional and modern takes on Filipino food works and has found its place in Metro Manila’s highly competitive food scene.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

The cafe held a special preview for bloggers the day before its Grand Opening. Together with my fellow foodies from #WeLoveToEatPH, I got a taste of how Bench Cafe’s Chef Carlo Miguel melds local flavors together and updates classic Pinoy favorites such as:

Binagoongan Ceasar (Php149). Romaine lettuce with dilis and croutons tossed in a creamy dressing made with bagoong (shrimp paste) and queso de bola.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Tinapa Cones (Php129). Homemade lumpia wrappers formed into crispy cones and filled with tinapa (smoked fish) mousse and salsa.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Gising Gising (Php195). A spicy dish of chopped beans cooked in coconut milk and chilis.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Sisig Skillet (Php249). Pork cheeks and belly cooked in two ways and served topped with calamansi foam.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Fried Chicken (Php480). Whole spring chicken fried to a golden brown with crispy flavorful skin and juicy meat served with a honey patis sauce.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Dancing Fish (Php400). Crispy butterfly tilapia doused in escabeche sauce.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Pancit Guisado (Php239). Stir-fried noodles with shrimp, meat and chopped vegetables.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Silogs (from sinangag or “garlic rice” and itlog “egg”) are breakfast staples for many Filipinos. Bench Cafe serves these with garlic rice, fried egg and homemade atsara. The silog variation we’ve tasted here is the Tendon Silog (Php199) made with melt-in-your-mouth beef tendon in pares sauce.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bongalmusal (Php349). If you’re ever at a loss on what to have for brekkie, this hyped-up silog meal serves up everything you could want! Spam, US beef tapa, tocino, daing (dried fish) and corned beef. Best of all, this dish is good for two so do share it with someone special.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe also introduced Bench-Tos which are glamourized takes on the fare available at a Pinoy turo-turo. This small roadside eatery is where diners point out the food they want and a serving is placed on their plates. Bench Cafe updates this concept by merging it with the Japanese bento – the chosen viand is served on a tray along with vegetables, homemade salsa and atsara as well as steamed Ifugao rice. Variations of this offering that we tasted include the Bagnet Kare Kare (Php339) which has a rich peanutty sauce that has no need for bagoong to have flavor, and the Inasal Liempo (Php299) which is Bench Cafe’s take on the Visayan grilled pork belly.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

To cap out meal, Bench Cafe serves up its own takes on dessert classics with the smooth and creamy leche flan it dubbed Flan B (Php185) topped with macapuno and Classic Turon ala Mode (Php49).

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench also applied its own twists on the popular dessert called Halo-Halo, which consists of sweetened fruits and other fixings topped with shaved ice and served with milk. Its variations include White (Php85 for 12oz | Php129 for 16oz) made with coconut shaved ice with garbanzos, caramelized banana, leche flan, nata de coco and coconut ice cream; Mango Otap (Php90 for 12oz | Php109 for 16oz), mango shaved ice with crushed otap, mango puree, cream and fresh mango cubes; Ube (Php95 for 12oz | Php149 for 16oz), ube halaya and palm beans added to the White Halo Halo; and Mais con Hielo (Php60 for 12oz | Php100 for 16oz), corn- flavored shaved ice with milk and kernels of sweetcorn.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

I had a great time discovering fresh ways to enjoy the food that I grew up with at Bench Cafe.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Many thanks to the management and staff of Bench Cafe for having us and to EJ of #ILoveToEatPH for extending the invitation.

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

Bench Cafe, Trinoma

This Bench Cafe branch is located at Ground Floor, MRT Wing, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pagasa, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 9pm.

Other branches are located at:

  • Second Floor, Bench Flagship Store, Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Level 2, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
  • Ground Floor, Padre Faura Wing, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Manila

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

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a foodie meetup held here wherein food and drink items were served to allow us to sample the fare. These were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Much has been said of Cebu’s take on the lechon: its crunchy golden skin, its tender, juicy and flavorful meat, its independence from sauces and condiments that usually accompany the country’s national dish.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, the brainchild of a family based in the municipality of Liloan in Cebu, is borne out of the recipes and practices that make the family’s lechon a local treasure.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

The secret lies in choosing the freshest and juiciest meat, marinating it in garden-fresh herbs, spices and seasonings, then slow-roasting the flavor-infused meat to tender and flavorful perfection.

The Cebu lechon chain recently opened its newest store in Greenhills Shopping Center where it serves up, not just its celebrated Cebu lechon-style liempo, but also other classic Pinoy dishes that brings a taste of home away from home, all affordably priced to suit the Pinoy everyman’s budget.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Together with my fellow foodies, I was able to sample some of its offerings which included:

Cebu Liempo (Php360). The star of the show, this roasted pork belly is infused with herbs, with juicy meat highlighted by its crispy skin. A spicy version is available for Php380.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Roasted Chicken (Php380). A whole chicken prepared in the Cebu lechon manner.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Crispy Garlic Bangus (Php200). Marinated and lightly battered milkfish pan-fried to a holden brown and topped with toasted minced garlic.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Classic Sisig (Php160). Minced pig cheeks seasoned with calamansi, onions and chili peppers, topped with egg and served on a sizzling plate.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Bulalo Sisig (Php199). The store’s new take on the classic sisig which combines the classic dish with beef bulalo.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Beef Pares (Php99). Braised beef stew served with clear soup and garlic rice.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Pochero (Php149). Pork belly slices stewed in a tomato-based sauce along with potatoes, garbanzos. green beans and shredded cabbage, and served with sliced plantains.

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

While food choices – many of which are from foreign cuisines – abound in Metro Manila, it is heartening to know that our local delicacies are also represented.

Many thanks to the management and staff of Liloan’s Pride for the tasty meal and to EJ of #WeLoveToEatPH for extending the invitation!

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

Liloan’s Pride Liempo, Greenhills

This Liloan’s Pride Liempo branch is located at Ground Floor, Connecticut Arcade, Greenhills Shopping Center, Greenhills, San Juan.

Other branches may be found at

  • SM Hypermarket, Upper Ground Floor, Building B, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
  • California Garden Square, Domingo M. Guevarra Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City
  • Lower Ground Floor, SM Cubao, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
  • Third Floor, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue, Salcedo Village, Makati City
  • The Block, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
  • SM Hypermarket, North Wing, SM Mall of Asia, MOA Complex, Pasay City
  • Food Court, Second Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa

Liloan's Pride Liempo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I attended a food tasting event held here wherein food and drink items were served to allow us to sample the fare to facilitate honest reviews. These were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants: