European lunch at Vanderlust Bistro, Tomas Morato

Europe’s rich and diverse culture is made manifest in its cuisines. While I wouldn’t mind traveling across The Continent to sample its gustatory pleasures, the expedition would surely be costly. Luckily, with Vanderlust Bistro, I can get a taste of the cuisines of various European countries all in one place.

And that is exactly what I did for lunch together with my officemates one fine day. Armed with our Zomato Gold memberships, we set about discovering what Vanderlust Bistro has to offer.

The place is cozy with limited seating at the ground floor but more tables available upstairs. The interiors are sparsely decorated, other than the wallpaper with miniature Eiffel Towers, approximating the simplicity of European bistros.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Its food offerings are focused on German, Italian and Spanish cuisines, giving us varied flavors to explore and satisfy our cravings. These include:

Fish and Wedges (Php238). Beer-battered fish and potato wedges served with aoili.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Catalan Baked Fish with Potatoes and Asparagus (Php458). Baked white fish with herb crust served with olives, sauteed potatoes, asparagus and roasted tomatoes.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Mon Cheri Poulet (Php458). Honey and red wine-glazed chicken thigh placed on top of a spinach omelette and a strip of smoked bacon.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Cacio E Pepe Mushroom Truffle (Php398). A classic Italian pasta dish of cheese and pepper with mushroom and truffle sauce.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Espaguetis con Chorizo (Php278). Pasta noodles tossed in a sauce made from simmered tomatoes and Spanish sausages with a bit of paprika.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Tuscan Chicken Spinach Pasta (Php348). Herbed chicken tops a pasta dish with sauce made from spinach and sun-dried tomatoes.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Gianduiotto (Php195). A chocolate dessert originating from Piedmont, northern Italy, which got its name from gianduja, a chocolate spread containing hazelnut paste.

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

Spanish Churros (Php98). Six pieces of freshly fried churros which we requested to be served with a chocolate dip (Php50).

Vanderlust, Tomas Morato

I used to find European restaurants intimidating; I thought that menu items would be staggeringly expensive. At Vanderlust Bistro, however, European food is packaged more affordably and made more accessible to the Filipino diner.

This Vanderlust Bistro branch is located at 100 Scout De Guia corner Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City, open Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 11am to 11pm, Fridays from 11am to 2am, and Saturdays from 11am to 1am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 9540401.

Another branch is located at Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

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

Since Vanderlust Bistro is a Zomato Gold partner establishment, 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.

You can also book your table at Vanderlust Bistro using Eatigo to get up to 50% off your food bill. Sign up using my referral link to get additional perks.

Traditional Spanish food at Alba Restaurante Espanol, Tomas Morato

Considering that Alba Restaurant Espanol has been around for more than sixty years, it’s a wonder I’ve only recently gotten around to dining at one of its branches.

Spanish cuisine has influenced Filipino food for centuries, so many of our favorite Filipino dishes actually have roots in Spain.

Alba, Tomas Morato

Alba, Tomas Morato

The flavors of Spanish food evoke the warmth and gaiety of its culture, shaped by the country’s long history of invasions and conquests wherein new ingredients, flavors and culinary styles were introduced and assimilated.

Founded by Senor Anastacio de Alba, a Spanish national, along with his son Chef Miguel in the 1950s. Since that time, it has become the de facto eatery for authentic Spanish fare by Manila’s who’s who as well as Manila’s tourists including Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife Sofia during their visit to the country.

During one of my bouts of #ZomatoGold raiding together with my officemates, we decided to venture to the Tomas Morato branch of Alba for our lunch. The branch has been a fixture in the Tomas Morato food scene for as long as any of us can remember, and thanks to Zomato Gold’s 1+1 deal on food items, my companions and I were able to feast on some of its celebrated dishes.

Alba, Tomas Morato

Chorizos Fritos (Php350). Homemade Spanish sausages lightly sauteed in oil.

Alba, Tomas Morato

Croquetas de Pollo (Php240). Chicken and potato croquettes served with aoili sauce.

Alba, Tomas Morato

Gambas al Ajillo (Php370). Plump shrimps sauteed in garlic, chilis and oil.

Alba, Tomas Morato

Pasta de Mariscos (Php300). Pasta noodles served in a seafood and tomato sauce.

Alba, Tomas Morato

Lengua Sevillana (Php500). Stewed ox tongue with mushroom and olives served in a rich sherry brown sauce.

Alba, Tomas Morato

Callos ala Madrilena (Php420). Stewed ox tripe in rich tomato sauce.

Alba, Tomas Morato

I was happy to taste the Spanish variations of the dishes I grew up with. The callos and lengua, in particular, feature fork-tender meats and rich sauces that I just love.

On my next visit, I would love to avail of Alba’s Spanish Buffet. Imagine all sorts of tapas, paellas, carnes and postres you can eat for only Php795/head (lunch) or Php895/head (dinner)!

This branch of Alba is located at Tomas Morato Corner Scout Lozano Street, Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open daily from 11am to 11pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 9251912 or +63 2 9287129.

Other branches in the metro are found at:

  • Westgate Center, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City, open daily from 11am to 11pm (Tel Nos: +63 2 7712178 or +63 2 7712179)
  • Fourth Level, Prism Plaza, Two E-Com Center, Ocean Drive, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City, open daily from 11am to 11pm (Tel Nos: +63 2 8088210 or +63 2 8082326)
  • 38 Polaris Street, Poblacion, Makati City, open daily from 11am to 11pm (Tel Nos: +63 2 8966950 or +63 2 8966951)
  • Level 2, North Wing, Estancia Mall, 1605 Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig open daily from 11am to 11pm (Tel Nos: +63 2 2534953 or +63 2 2588272)

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

Thanks to Zomato Gold, several dishes from our order are FREE! 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.

You can also book your table at Alba’s Mall of Asia Complex branch using Eatigo to get up to 50% off your food bill. Sign up using my referral link to get additional perks.

Check out my reviews of other restaurants serving Spanish food in the Metro:

Taste of Spain at Casa Marcos, Tomas Morato

Spain has a rich and colorful history, a fact which comes out of its equally rich and colorful cuisine.

One of the most popular cuisines in the world due to its spread during the age colonization, Spanish food is particularly close to Pinoy hearts as it influenced our own local cuisine.

Casa Marcos started in 1945, established by a Spanish national, Marcos de Guisasola, opened a Spanish restaurant in Manila which he named after himself. Driven by his love of cooking and entertaining friends, he brought his country’s signature dishes as well as the decidedly Spanish flair and passion for life to his new home.

Today, Casa Marcos is located at the second floor of the Il Terrazo Mall along Tomas Morato in Quezon City. It has a pub kind of atmosphere and was quite deserted when a friend and I went there for lunch but we were told that the restaurant’s peak hours are at night due to its offerings of tapas and craft beer.

We were also served some dinner rolls with butter while we waited for our main meal.

The purpose of our visit was to sample the resto’s Paella Valenciana (Php470 for a small serving which is good for 2 to 3 people: Php845 for a large serving which is good for 5 ton6 people), a hearty rice dish with chorizo, seafood, and chicken pieces, seasoned with paprika and served in a heated flat pan (called soccarat in Spain). We also ordered a Lengua Sevillana (Php345), ox tongue cooked until tender and served with a mushroom gravy sauce.

Both dishes have rich and earthy flavors, well worth the walk to the resto (and the hefty price tag).

Some of the paella also got toasted in the pan, adding some crunchy texture to each bite. The portion was quite large (despite us opting for the small serving) and we ended up splitting the remainder and having them wrapped for takeout.

In my future forays here, I plan to sample the Callos (Php450) and the Paella Negra (Php470 for a small serving/Php845 for a large serving).

For reservations at Casa Marcos, call + 63 2 4418134 or + 63 906 2213615.

Casa Marcos X Baguio Craft Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Click here to check out my review of another Spanish restaurant.