The Jelly List: Cookies for Christmas!

Whether for personal enjoyment or for gifting to loved ones, cookies are this season’s ultimate treats. Have your sweet bits of joy from enterprising bakers delivered right to your doorstep!

Christmas is just around the corner, foodies!

Who would have thought that the COVID19- caused craziness would last until the end of the year?

Keep your chins up, though. There’s still hope of better things to come.

MDJ Cookies

In the meantime, give yourself reasons to smile by indulging in sweet bits of decadence: cookies, of course!

From their origins in 7th century Persia, their resurgence in the New World in the 17th century, to their domination of the global dessert scene, cookies have grown to become the sweet indulgence of choice foodies worldwide.

If you’re a cookie lover, you’d be happy to know that you won’t have to travel far or even leave home to get your just desserts. You can simply order from these online bakeshops and have your cookies delivered to you.

1. Sugar Creations by Alex

Satisfy your cookie cravings with these pretty confections, particularly that potent combination of cookie and S’mores in pastry: the smookie!

Sugar Creations by Alex

Sugar Creations by Alex

To order, call +63 988 5447945, or send a message via Instagram or Facebook.

2. Inang Charing Cakes and Pastries

I’ve sung praises for Inang Charing’s Triple-Flavored Cheesecake and Strawberry Shortcake in previous posts. However, it also offers a Salted White Chocolate Caramel Cookie that boasts of complex flavors and textures.

Inang Charing

Inang Charing

To order, send a message via Instagram or Facebook.

3. MDJ Cookies

Cookies can feel like warm hugs that you can eat. At least, that’s what MDJ Cookies strive to be. Get yourself a Loaded Crinkle and you’ll agree that it comes pretty close!

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

To order, send a message via Instagram or Facebook.

4. Extra Butter

Sometimes, bigger is better! With a palm-sized cookie from Extra Butter, like its fully loaded Double Chocolate Milk, there’ll be a lot of cookie goodness to go around.

Extra Butter

Extra Butter

To order, fill up this form.

5. Kica Bites

Fancy a return to the homey goodness of an all-time favorite cookie? Grab a piece of Kica Bites’ Original Chocolate Chip and enjoy the sugary buzz.

Kica Bites

Kica Bites

To order, fill up this form.

6. Bake Boss

Cookies do help in spreading the joy of the season. Take Bake Boss’ chewy and buttery Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, for example, which is perfect to serve to the little ones along with a glass of milk to elicit a few smiles.

Bake Boss

Bake Boss

To order, send a message via Instagram.

7. Casa Bakes

Christmas is a season for celebration and your cookies can be part of the cheery mood. Get yourself a monster-sized Birthday Cake Cookie and enjoy the festive combination of white chocolate and colorful sprinkles.

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

To order, send a message via Instagram.

Given the variety of cookie options available this holiday season, you can easily treat yourself and your loved ones with yummy cookie creations. By ordering from these enterprising bakers, not only will you be sating your cookie cravings, you will also be supporting small businesses and the dreams of their owners.

And that’s a sweet thought, isn’t it?

Bake Boss

Happy holidays, foodies!

Photo credit: header image by Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

Check out my other adventures compiled into Jelly Lists:

Want s’mores? Get them from Charlie Baker

Marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers…

We Pinoys don’t have a dessert tradition that involves these three ingredients but in the US, no campfire is complete without them, combined to form S’mores.

S’mores

A contraction of the phrase “some more,” this campfire treat was first known as the Graham Cracker Sandwich which was very popular among Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The marshmallows are normally placed on sticks to be toasted using the campfire until golden brown on the outside and gooey on the inside. It is then sandwiched between two graham cracker halves along with a piece of chocolate.

Well, we city denizens might not be able to gather around a campfire anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean we have to deprive ourselves of this campfire treat.

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker is a new online business, currently specializing in S’mores. It is managed by thirty-one-year-old Charles Rosales, a recent culinary school graduate who decided to introduce the little-known dessert S’mores to Metro Manila foodies.

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker S’mores

For just Php120, dessert lovers can enjoy a 14-piece tub of a handier version of the S’mores which consist of a crust of crushed Graham crackers, a thick layer of milk chocolate topped by toasted marshmallows. A 19″x12″ pan of these yummies – monikered as S’most – is also available at Php750.

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker S’mores

You would have to keep this refrigerated before consuming but you can pop a piece or two in the microwave for a few seconds to have the marshmallow become a bit gooey and the chocolate a little melted.

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker S’mores

Snack on it in during work or study breaks, or while binge-watching your fave series on TV. You can also serve it to the kiddos as a dessert to cap a meal.

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker S’mores

Charlie Baker also offers Chocolate Crinkles at Php120/dozen as well as accepts orders for personalized cakes and pastries.

To order, message Charlie Baker on Facebook or Instagram. Payments via BPI, BDO and GCash are accepted. The S’mores can be delivered to anywhere in Metro Manila via Lalamove, Grab or Mr. Speedy (delivery fee c/o buyer).

Disclosure: Product sample was provided to facilitate an honest review.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

The Jelly List: Chocolate dessert picks for World Chocolate Day

Did you know that World Chocolate Day falls on July 7?

On this day, you can expect chocolate lovers from all over the world to celebrate what they deem to be the end-all and be-all of foodstuffs: the chocolate.

Chocolate is prepared from the fruit of the tropical tree Theobroma cacao (the name translates to “food of the Gods). This tree is native to the Amazon and Orinoco river basins in South America, thriving in hot and humid areas. As chocolate’s global popularity grew, so did its cultivation, with cacao plantations in regions such as West Africa, South and Southeast Asia.

While chocolate is so versatile that it can even be used as an ingredient in savory dishes, my love for it stems from its sweet applications.

So, fellow foodies, allow me to share a sampling of my favorite chocolate dessert incarnations from various establishments in the metro.

Teddy Keng’s Chocolate Gateau from Chef Jessie’s Place

Chef Jessie’s version of the decadent chocolate cake, this confection is made of alternating layers of light chocolate cake and rich chocolate cream filling all covered with a rich, shiny ganache and decorated with an unfurling flower fashioned from chocolate. Definitely a choco-holic’s delight!

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

Chef Jessie’s Place is located at 1997 Pililla corner Obrero and Tanay Streets, Valenzuela, Makati City, open daily from 9am to 4pm for pick up and delivery. To order, text or call +63 917 8967880, +63 917 8330797 or +63 977 0976649 or email chefjessiesplace@chefjessie.com.

Read more about Chef Jessie’s Place here.

White Chocolate Creme Brulee from Bistro Manuel

This rich and creamy custard also features the subtle flavor tones of white chocolate, topped with a torched sugar sculpture and a tangy berry tartlet.

Bistro Manuel, Poblacion

Bistro Manuel Bistro Manuel is located at Second Floor, Six Axis Center, 4347 B. Valdez Street, Poblacion, Makati City, now open for dine in as well as takeout. To book your table, fill out this questionnaire.

More on Bistro Manuel here.

Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie from MDJ Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are a go-to comfort food. Now imagine those goodies getting an upgrade with the use of silky brown butter sauce and a bit of sea salt and you’ve got one of MDJ Cookies’ best-selling creations.

MDJ Cookies

To order, send MDJ Cookies a message via Facebook or Instagram with your name, address, contact number, delivery date, flavors (with quantity of order) and mode of payment (GCash and BPI are accepted).

More about MDJ Cookies here.

Chocolate Truffle Liquor Cake from Inang Charing

A decadent 5-inch diameter confection of layers upon layers of chocolate goodness from a moist chocolate cake base flavored with chocolate liquor covered by a thick and creamy chocolate ganache and topped with a generous sprinkling with cocoa powder.

Inang Charing

Course your orders for this chocolatey delight via Facebook or Instagram with a three-day lead time and pay via Gcash or BPI bank deposit a day before the delivery.

Read more about Inang Charing Cakes and Pastries here.

S’mores from Bistro Charlemagne

Truth be told: I’m not into marshmallows but Bistro Charlemagne made a believer out of me with its S’mores. Rich Ghirardelli chocolate ganache is topped with a thick layer of roasted marshmallows and served with graham crackers. This has become a fam fave!

Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Manila Bay

Bistro Charlemagne’s branches in Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Ayala Malls Feliz and Ayala Malls Solenad are open for takeout and delivery via GrabFood, LalaFood and FoodPanda.

Read more about Bistro Charlemagne here.

Hot Chocolate from Cafe Mary Grace

During gloomy rainy days, a cup of hot chocolate sure perks me right up. Cafe Mary Grace’s Hot Chocolate is rich and milky, good enough on its own but spectacular as a dessert when paired with some of the store’s baked goods.

Cafe Mary Grace, Eastwood Mall

Selected Cafe Mary Grace stores are open for dine-in, takeout or delivery via GrabFood.

Read more about Cafe Mary Grace here.

Choco Salted Caramel Cake from Coffee Time Cakes and Pastries

This dessert is a chocolate cake layered with salted caramel and covered with a luscious chocolate frosting. Perfect when partnered with a cup of your favorite coffee.

Coffee Time Cakes and Pastries

To pre-order, send a message via Facebook or Instagram, or call +63 920 4900391

Read more about Coffee Time Cakes and Pastries here.

Champorado Cheesecake from 121 Restaurant

The quintessential Pinoy breakfast cereal is now in cheesecake form. Now, instead of enjoying piping hot, you get to savor it decadent and frozen on a crust of graham crackers. Yum!

121 Restaurant, Allegro

Course your order for this fresh take on an old favorite for delivery here.

Read more about 121 Restaurant here.

So chocolate lovers, feel free to indulge yourself and give in to your chocolate cravings with these top picks on World Chocolate Day!

Thanks for reading this Jelly List! How about some perks?

  • Use this link to download the FoodPanda app and get Php100 off your first order.

Happy eating, choco-holics!

Check out my other adventures compiled into Jelly Lists:

Header image by congerdesign on pixabay

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

Seven Reasons why Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali is your road trip foodie stopover

The Santa Rosa – Tagaytay Road is just teeming with strip malls with various dining options as well as standalone restaurants. Any foodie would be faced with the dilemma of where to eat with so many food choices available.

May I present the Bistro Charlemagne in Nuvali as a viable option? Here are seven reasons why which became even more apparent when my extended family made our way down here after our Tagaytay sojourn.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

One: It’s where the cuisines of the East and West come together and have a ball

Being a third-generation restaurateur, owner Charlemagne Lim achieves the balance between tradition and novelty in cuisine. The offshoot of Little Asia, Bistro Charlemagne features a little bit of the well-loved dishes its mother-restaurant popularized and a whole lot of new or innovated-upon dishes developed specifically for this new concept resto.

Take the Ceasar Salad (Php295) for example: the crisp Romaine lettuce, classic dressing, shredded chicken breast and slivers of parmesan cheese are to be expected and quite yummy… but add delicate boiled quail eggs into the fray? Say what?!?

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

How about the Crispy Lumpiang Hubad (Php305)? The classic shredded and sautéed vegetables that make up the local fried vegetable rolls of our childhood are served on top of a crisp pastry while doused in garlic sauce and sweet soy dressing.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

The much-raved about Beef Tenderloin Rolls with Cheese (Php405) did not disappoint either. Our group loved the finely rolled tenderloin slices stuffed with melting cheese on top of authentic teriyaki sauce that we ordered for another plate of these goodies.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Or consider, a new favorite of my daughter #ExhibitA and myself, the Drunken Lengua in Mushroom Brown Sauce (Php405). Those melt-in-your-mouth tender morsels of pan-seared ox tongue are served with mushrooms and asparagus spears on a bed of rich buttery brown sauce. If you had misgivings about eating the more exotic meat parts like ox tongue, this will change your mind.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

The Japanese Beef Fried Rice (Php125) tasted the Kamameshi Rice of Japanese restos but had a lighter feel. It went so well with our viands that we consumed three bowls of it.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Two: Your favorites are here too!

Missing the taste of the familiar? No need to fret because old-time favorites are also available on the menu for those seeking more of the flavors they loved and less of the adventure into the unknown.

These include the Tuna Tataki (Php305), an appetizer made of lightly seared tuna loin lightly coated in a crust of sesame seeds and served with the traditional Japanese ponzu sauce. (And yes, we got two orders of these.)

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

The Chinese food staples Salt and Pepper Spareribs (Php345) and Salt and Pepper Squid (Php365) rounded up our mains.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

And because we Pinoys, for some reason, can’t fathom a family meal without a vegetable dish, there’s the Brocolli with Prawns and Mushrooms (Php445). We had one of these as-is, while another was made without the prawns to suit the taste of one of the little ones in our party.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Too bad the Chicken Fingers (Php345) did not make it to our table on time so we just had that wrapped to go.

Three: There’s something for your sweet tooth

Knowing the kiddos’ predilection for peanut butter, I ordered a serving of Reese’s S’mores (Php245). It turned out that dipping crisp graham crackers into warm toasted marshmallows resting on a ganache of peanut butter chips is a decadent treat, not just for the young ones but also for the grown ups!

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

And wouldn’t you know it; we had another serving of this yummy dessert because…

Four: Birthday celebrants get a special treat!

As Hubby’s natal day was within seven days of our visit to this resto, we were given a free serving of the house special Little Asia’s Crispy Chicken, one of the recipes passed down from Charlemagne’s forebears. (We simply had to present a valid government-issued ID as well as reach a minimum single-receipt transaction of Php1,995.)

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

A candle was placed right smack in the middle of another Reese’s S’mores for Hubby to blow out while the restaurant staff sang a Chinese version “Happy Birthday to You.”

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Five: Did you know Bistro Charlemagne catered to international stars?

When top musical acts such as Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Smashing Pumpkins and Paramore had their concerts in the country, Bistro Charlemagne was in charge of keeping the stars and their entourage well-fed.

Six: On a budget? No sweat!

When petsa de peligro comes along, you can still satisfy your craving for your favorite Bistro Charlemagne dish with a set meal at only Php215! This already comes with rice, soup and iced tea.

Seven: Check out its new Lenten Specials

Even if your road trip takes place in the days leading to the Holy Week, you can still keep your Lenten observance with Bistro Charlemagne’s new seafood offerings such as Crispy Fish Fingers, Octopus ala Pobre and Baked Salmon in Truffled Spinach Cream Sauce.

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

Thanks to Bistro Charlemagne for serving as the tasty final stop of our Tagaytay weekend sojourn!

Bistro Charlemagne, Nuvali

This Bistro Charlemagne branch is located at GFF-6, Building B, Ayala Malls Solenad 3, Nuvali, Don Jose, Santa Rosa, Laguna.

Another branch is found at Fifth Floor, Ayala Malls Feliz along Marcos Highway, Dela Paz, Pasig City.

For reservations and inquiries, call +63 049 2580846 or +63 917 8334223.

Check out my review of its branch in Pasig here: East meets West at Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Feliz

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

Delicious Holiday Food Finds at Ilustrado

Make your holiday gatherings and gift giving more special with unique and delicious finds from Ilustrado Restaurant.

Ilustrado’s Holiday Tienda offers something for everyone. The cheese lover will surely love homemade cheese wheels in Boursin, Pimiento (a sure kids’ favourite!), Spicy Cheese – Edam with garlic and spices, varieties. You cannot go wrong with bottled Atsara, Bagoong, Moringga Pesto, Gourmet Tuyo and Chimichurri.

Ilustrado Holiday

Ilustrado Holiday

Ilustrado Holiday

Tea Cookies come in boxes of 12 cookies in flavors of Double Chocolate, Coconut, Matcha Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Snickerdoodles. Brownies come in boxes of 4 bars with Cashew, S’mores, Salted Caramel, Pretzel and Cream Cheese flavors. Ready to serve for a party are Cake Squares in a box with these delectable selections – Baked Cheesecake, Chocolate Fudge and Sans Rival. Cheese Pimiento Wreath and Quezo de Bola Ensaimada Tree are both unique, festive and appetizing.

Ilustrado Holiday

Ilustrado Holiday

A new addition to their lineup are fun Artisan Holiday Boxes dubbed “Christmas Morning” – a selection of cookies, brownies, loose leaf tea and tablea chocolate while “Holiday Cheer” is a Graze Box with Jamon Serrano, Chorizo, Stuffed Lychee with Roquefort and Pistachio, Chorizo Puffs, Spicy Cheeseball, Boursin Cheeseball, Chocolate Dipped Dried Mangoes, Crostini and Pretzels, Mandarin Oranges, Marinated Tomatoes and Olives. These are the perfect hostess gifts to bring to a party or as gifts in themselves to those you hold dear.

Ilustrado Holiday

To spruce up your Noche Buena table, choose from a long list of mouthwatering selections: the stellar Twice Cooked Angus Beef Short Plate is a must order along with Adobong Bagnet with Taba ng Talangka, Callos Madrilena, Kalderetang Kambing, Lengua con Setas, Hamon de Hacienda, Stuffed Chicken Ilustrado (ala Relleno), Pineapple Glazed Leg of Ham and U.S. Prime Rib.

Ilustrado Holiday

Your meal will not be complete without Ilustrado’s Signature Paella. Choose from Paella Ilustrado (Meat and Seafood), Paella Marinara (All Seafood), Paella Negra (Squid Ink)or Paella Bacalao.

Ilustrado Holiday

Those who like pasta and noodles can pick from Classic Carbonara, Espanyola (Spanish Sardines, sun-dried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil) Filipino Spaghetti, Ilustrado (Shrimp, olive oil, Paprika) Machito (Tenderloin Bits and Mushroom) Palabok with Bagnet and Pata Pancit.

Ilustrado Holiday

To know more offerings and other details visit Ilustrado at ‪744 General Luna Road‬, Intramuros, Manila (‪527-3674‬, ‪527-2345‬); Café Ilustrado, 4th Level SM Makati (‪818-6760‬) or Pasteleria Ilustrado, 2nd level, Alabang Town Center (‪0919-845-9503‬) or email caterings@ilustradorestaurant.com.ph or log on to www.facebook.com/ilustradorestaurant/.

Disclosure: Menu details and images provided by Ilustrado Restaurant in a recent press release.

Check out my previous post about Ilustrado Restaurant’s Degustation Menu here.

East meets West at Bistro Charlemagne, Ayala Malls Feliz

Some cuisines achieve more of their potential when combined with the cooking styles, ingredients and nuances of other cuisines.

Take Bistro Charlemagne: A Concept By Little Asia for example. Named after its owner, Charlemagne Lim, this high-end restaurant offers Asian and European fusion dishes.

With its first branch well established in Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, its second branch is situated in fifth level of Ayala Malls Feliz in Dela Paz, Pasig City, giving the denizens East of Manila a new and exciting dining option.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Walking through the lush greenery of Ayala Malls Feliz’ gardens (which gives you a breathtaking view of the nearby mountains of Antipolo) will lead you into the opulent interiors of Bistro Charlemagne. Mood lighting, plush velvet-upholstered chairs and large dark wood tables give diners a feeling of luxury and coziness. This place is great for romantic night-time dates and Sunday brunches with the family.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Together with other east-based foodies, I was invited to a foodie meet up held here where I sampled some of the resto’s delectable dishes:

Japanese Mixed Seafood Salad (Php315). Tuna, shrimp and kani tossed in spicy mayo and finished with ebiko (shrimp roe), tempura flakes and sweet soy. An exciting start to the meal with a bit of heat from the spicy mayo and contrasts in texture from the tempura flakes.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Php295). Unlike other spring rolls, this one is fried to a golden and crunchy crisp after being stuffed with glass noodles, pork and mushrooms, then served with the traditional Nuoc Cham dipping sauce.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Bistro Sisig Fries (Php295). Chopped and thrice-cooked pork cheeks sauteed in a creamy chicken liver sauce and served on top of crispy and golden French fries.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Little Asia’s Crispy Chicken (Php325). Have you ever noticed how some families have special recipes that get passed down through generations? This is one of them: a specially crispy chicken served with a freshly made gravy developed Charlemagne’s grandfather, enjoyed and shared to the world by three generations of restaurateurs.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Beef Tenderloin Rolls with Cheese (Php395). Don’t I always say that everything’s better with cheese? These rolled beef tenderloin slices sauteed in teriyaki sauce certainly are.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Shrimp Poppers (Php415). Plump and lightly battered shrimp deep-fried and tossed in the house’ special sweet chili mayo sauce and chili oil and served with a side salad.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Ox Sisig (Php325). Thrice-cooked ox tongue and ox tripe mixed witj the house’ special liver-mansi mayo and topped with chicharon bulaklak. A fresh take on the classic sisig dish!

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

S’mores (Php245) and Reese’s S’mores (Php245). We dipped graham crackers on roasted marshmallows laid on top of Ghirardelli chocolate ganache with the former and on top of peanut butter chips ganache with the latter.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Blueberry Custard Napoleones (Php245). Crisp puff pastry sandwiching vanilla custard and blueberry puree sauce, sprinkled with pistachio dust.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

Pandan Crepe (Php245). Soft pandan-flavored crepe encasing shredded coconut stewed in coconut milk and coated in palm sugar. This is a surprisingly tasty dessert with a amazingly fresh twist on familiar flavors.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

With these dishes and more on the menu, Bistro Charlemagne is where East meets West, and they do make a great combination.

And here’s some good news for people on a budget: you can sate your craving for your favorite Bistro Charlemagne dish with a set meal at only Php215! This already comes with rice, soup and iced tea.

Plus, birthday celebrants get the house special Little Asia’s Crispy Chicken free when they dine at Bistro Charlemagne with a minimum single-receipt transaction of Php1,995 within seven days of their birthday. Simply present a valid government-issued ID.

This Bistro Charlemagne branch is located at Fifth Floor, Ayala Malls Feliz along Marcos Highway, Dela Paz, Pasig City.

Another branch is found at GFF-6, Building B, Ayala Malls Solenad 3, Nuvali, Don Jose, Santa Rosa, Laguna.

For reservations and inquiries, call +63 049 2580846 or +63 917 8334223.

Bistro Charlemagne, Dela Paz

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

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

A quiet place to work and eat (and even study!): Quarks & Quills, Banawe

Technology has enabled many changes to the way we work: with mobile devices, wireless data access and internet-enabled communications and file-sharing applications, we now have the option to work outside our offices.  In fact, doing so might even make us more productive: it takes us away from the stress of commuting and a lot of workplace distractions.

However, when working from home is not an option, remote workers are faced with a conundrum: where to work in comfort and still be productive?  And for foodies like me, where to get good food to fuel the day’s work.

Fortunately, Quarks & Quills Study Center and Work Cafe offers both a quiet and comfy space to work, as well as healthy comfort food to keep tummies satisfied.

Located in one of the suburbs of Quezon City, the cafe boasts of quiet and cozy nooks for studying or working, free WiFi access, as well as power outlets for charging laptops and mobile devices (essential for the “always-on, always-connected” peeps like me).

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

It also has function rooms upstairs for group meetings that can be reserved for a consumable amount (Php800 for up to 6 people and Php1,500 for up to 20 people). Reservations just need to be made a day in advance.

It also offers after-school tutorial services and enrichment programs in Math, Science and English for students.  Those who want to learn Chinese can benefit from Mandarin and Fookien held upstairs.

And thanks to a Zomato Foodie Meetup, I was able to sample its homey and hearty food offerings, of which I recommend:

Monte Cristo (Php125). French toasted sandwiched with a hearty filling of cheese and homemade ham.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Tinapa Wontons (Php105). Smoked fish flakes in wonton wrappers fried to a crispy golden brown and accompanied by a Spicy Tamarind Vinaigrette.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Gyoza (Php105). Dumplings filled with minced pork and aromatics which are steamed then seared for a crisp bottom.

Breakfast Bubble Waffle Set (Php195). Unusually styled (bubble!) waffles served with slices of homemade ham and scrambled eggs.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Its versions of Omurice, the fusion of omelettes and fried rice, also pack quite a punch: the Pork Katsu (Php195) with its fork tender pork bites drenched in tonkatsu sauce and the Miso Salmon (Php255) with flavorful salmon pieces drenched in the resto’s signature Miso glaze. These would go a long way towards satiating a hungry worker or student.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Sisig Silog (Php150). The combo of the slightly spicy sisig, egg and fried rice make for an energizing meal.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

For those who brought a big appetite, the best bets this resto has to offer are its Executive Meals: the BSS Pork Chop (Php335) – BSS means Big, Soft and Savory, by the way!) – and the Angus Hanger Steak (opening promo price of Php388). Both are quite good bargains considering the portion sizes, althought I would suggest specifying that the steak be cooked medium instead of well done.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

If you’re carbo-loading, you have quite a number of options among its pasta dishes: from its Creamy Alfredo (Php180), Fresh Tomato Pomodoro (Php190) and Fusili Pesto (Php205), all of which come with a cheesy twisty sourdough bread stick.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

You can also cap off your meal or gift your family for special occasions with the resto’s decadent sweet treats that come in slices and whole cakes. These include the Triple Chocolate Mousse (Php110 for slice | Php880 for whole) and Mango Graham Cake (Php135 for slice | Php1,050 for whole).

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Quark and Quills, Banawe

You can also opt for a S’mores Bubble Waffle (Php140). Apparently, at Quarks & Quills, the usual grid-style waffle is so basic. 🙂 This comes with some toasted mallows, a big dollop of vanilla ice cream and drizzles of rich chocolate syrup.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

Now, how to wash all those goodies down? I chose a light yet creamy Hot Jasmine Milk Tea (Php70), which I messed up during prep, hehehe!

I’m also intrigued by the Hot Chocolate (Php80) which involves pouring the hot chocolate over a grid of solidified chocolate and toasted mallows.

Whether you’re here to study, work or just go on a gastronomic adventure, Quarks and Quills definitely has something for you. My only beef is the resto’s exhaust that didn’t quite accommodate all the smoke from the cooking that’s going on.  Still, all the food and drink options will make your visit worth it.

Quark and Quills, Banawe

And guess what! You can book a table at Quarks & Quills via Eatigo and enjoy 20% off your food bill. Not yet on Eatigo? Sign up here, book your table and attend your booking before January 31, 2019 for a chance to get Php500 Eatigo cash voucher.

Quarks & Quills is located at 43-H N. Roxas corner Apo Streets, Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City and is open every day from 7am to 11pm.  For queries and reservations, call +63 908 3719060, +63 956 0998913 or +63 2 8719502.

Quarks & Quills Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

Neighborhood Food-find: Pizza Streat, De Castro

Ever since this pizza place opened in the main street of my subdivision, I have been dying to try its offers. So the first chance I got, I took my kiddies here for Saturday night dinner.

The place is quite small, just 30 square meters or so, but according to the owner, it’s already a big improvement compared to the original branch in nearby St. Joseph Subdivision. It has 6 tables inside which can comfortably seat 20 people and 2 more tables outside which can accommodate around 8 more people. I wouldn’t recommend dining outside as it is in a busy street with a lot of passersby and vehicle fumes. The interiors are well-lit with interesting rustic decor but quite cramped due to the small space.

Pizza Streat‘s offers are quite reasonably priced, with pizzas ranging from Php149 to Php159.

  We ordered 2 pizzas: Pepperoni and Classic Cheesy. They were served piping hot; the crusts were thin and crisp, holding up well to the weight of all those stringy cheese and pepperoni toppings.

  

For dessert, we had S’mores Dip, marshmallows flambed to a fluffy and gooey consistency over a bed of chocolate in a heated cast-iron plate. It was served with graham crackers which you can then dip in the S’mores.


I was glad to know that this resto will order delivery soon. When I’m not in the mood to cook but too lazy to go out, I can just call my orders in.

Pizza Streat has since transferred its location to Second Floor, ACM Building, Ortigas Avenue corner De Castro, Santa Lucia, Pasig City. It is open daily from 12 noon to 11pm. To make reservations or to call in your orders, call +63 2 7282856.

Pizza Streat Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato