Chill sounds and good eats at Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Ermita

Like the fabled children of Hamelin, the denizens and passersby of Ermita, Manila’s Arquiza Street as well as guests of the Red Planet Hotel Manila Bay, will find themselves drawn to the bright lights, good music and chill vibe of the Pied Piper… Well, the Pied Piper Gastrolounge, that is.

For people who love to enjoy their favorite brews along with their meals, gatrolounges (also known as gastropubs) are the place to be. In these places, they are assured of a steady supply high end beers to satisfy their discerning tastes while still indulging themselves in hot dishes know as “pub grub.”

In contrast to the usual pub grubs, however, Pied Piper Gastrolounge’s menu features a fusion of Japanese and other cuisines, thanks to the input of Chef Mikel Aguirre. It also has some classic Pinoy-style grilled items courtesy of managing partner Carlo Religioso, the man behind Daddings Kitchenette.

Together with my fellow foodies from #WeLoveToEatPH, I was able to sample some of its offerings during its pre-anniversary concert.

These include:

Bacon Sushi Roll (Php250). Smoked pork is wrapped in nori and sushi rice and topped with torched bacon. Dipped into soy sauce with wasabi, this is a sure winner!

Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Manila

Crispy Spareribs (Php320). Meaty pieces of pork ribs are braised for three hours, grilled for a smokey flavor and then deep fried to get a crispy exterior. Dipped into the house barbecue sauce, it’s a must for every carnevore.

Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Manila

Baked Tahong (Php280). A Japanese version of the bar staple, this baked mussels dish make use of a special Japanese cheese sauce.

Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Manila

To accompany our food, we had our fill of Rhum Cokes (Php150/glass) and Vodka Sprites (Php150/glass).

Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Manila

Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Manila

Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Manila

This shindig was also marked by musical performances by Viva Hotabes Maricar dela Fuente and EB Babe Molly Baylon.

Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Manila

Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Manila

With the resto’s chill surroundings, friendly staff, good eats and cool sounds, it was a spirited night for me and my friends at the Pied Piper Gastrolounge.

Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Manila

Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Manila

Pied Piper Gastrolounge, Ermita

Pied Piper Gastrolounge is located at Ground Floor, Red Planet Hotel Manila Bay, Arquiza Corner Alhambra Street, Ermita, Manila. (Note: Parking may be a problem). It is open everyday from 10am to 1am. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 927 2915211.

Pied Piper Gastrolounge 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

Quick and affordable Chinese food at Causeway, Tomas Morato

My officemates and I were on our way to Le Ching for lunch when we spied the lack of parking space in that resto.

So off we went to look for another place to eat. Since we were already in the mood for Chinese food, we settled on Causeway Seafood Restaurant.

Even with the number of cars parked in front of the restaurant, the parking attendant still found a way to fit our car in.

Inside, there is the usual hustle and bustle, the busy energy, usually found in Chinese restaurants. The place is not swanky, it may even be considered dingy, but judging from the sizeable lunch crowd and the busy wait staff, Causeway seems to have established itself among a loyal following.

Our group of four shared these Chinese dishes:

Beef Hofan Noodles (Php300 for small). Stir-fried beef with noodles that is oh so greasy but also oh so good!

Fried Spareribs with Salt and Pepper (Php330 for small). Such a simple dish but I seem to find myself ordering this in every Chinese resto I go to.

From the Dimsum Cart: Crab Roe Siomai (Php80), Asado Siopao (Php80), Kutchay Dumpling (Php90) and Seafood Roll (Php85)

It seems like Causeway’s combination of quickly served dishes and affordable pricing is a winning formula, as evidenced by its lunch crowd. The wait staff could be a little quicker in fulfilling refill requests though.

This Causeway Seafood Restaurant is located at 24 Timog Avenue, Bgy Laging Handa, Quezon City (Tel.: +63 2 3762559) with operating hours from 10am to 12mn Mondays to Saturdays and 9am to 12mn Sundays.

Other branches are located at:

  • 8th Acropolis Center, 53 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Libis, QC (Tel.: +63 2 6389374) with operating hours from 11am to 12mn Mondays to Saturdays and 11am to 11.30pm Sundays.
  • 7 Congressional Avenue, Project 8, QC (Tel.: +63 2 4269032) with operating hours from 10am to 10pm Mondays to Sundays.
  • Banawe cor Linaw Street, Sienna, QC (Tel.: +63 2 5221690) with operating hours from 7am to 12mn Mondays to Sundays.
  • 883 Banawe Street corner Del Monte Avenue, Sienna, QC (Tel.: +63 2 4108690) with operating hours from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 12mn Mondays to Fridays and 10.30am to 2.30om and 5.30pm to 12mn Saturdays and Sundays.
  • 1266 Benavidez Street, Tondo, Manila (Tel.: +63 2 2304381) with operating hours from 9am to 11pm Mondays to Fridays and 7am to 11pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Causeway Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Chinese restaurants:

Want to learn more about Chinese cuisine? Check out these books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Sign up using this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

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Affordable Chinese Food at Greyson’s Dimsum and Noodle House, Mother Ignacia

Feeling a bit adventurous and finding myself without my usual lunch buddies, I decided to try out the newly opened dimsum and noodle place near my office.

It’s really a hole-in-the-wall, a cozy (almost cramped) self-service eatery along Mother Ignacia Avenue.  I suggest you head on over here for lunch a bit early as it tends to get full of diners really fast.  In fact, I almost didn’t have anywhere to sit; it’s a good thing I was able to spot some coworkers who were already dining there and allowed me to sit with them.

Given the really affordable pricing, I actually went a bit crazy with my orders (takaw-mata, anyone?): Spareribs with rice (Php85), Pork and Shrimp Siomai (Php45) and  Quail Egg Siomai (Php35).  I didn’t get to finish my rice toppings and quail egg siomai as I got too full.  Still, it was a filling lunch at less than Php200 so I can’t complain.

If you want a quick, fuss-free and affordable meal, this place might just be your best bet.

Greyson’s Dimsum & Noodle House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Chinese restaurants:

Why not try your hand at cooking Chinese dishes at home? Check out these recipe books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Food nostalgia at Classic Savory, SM East Ortigas

Pinoys have an interesting relationship with food, particularly the tastes they have grown up with. A lot of the appeal of classic Pinoy fare has to do with the memories associated with the flavors you encountered during family gatherings and celebrations: the pancit canton that was your lola’s specialty, the turon that you used to munch on with your cousins for merienda and so on.

Such nostalgia came into play when Hubby and I took a break from shopping and errands, and dined at the Classic Savory branch at SM City East Ortigas.

This food chain started as a panciteria by the Ting brothers in post-war Manila, primarily serving lomi to its mostly Chinese clientele, before it introduced fried chicken to its menu, thereby attracting more Pinoys to its offerings.

That blend of Pinoy and Chinese flavors were present in the combo meal (Php485, good for 2 persons)  that we ordered.  It consist of a half chicken, pancit canton, fried rice, salt and pepper spare ribs, special turon and iced tea.  Given its price and the mix of flavors, I think this is already good value for money.

Classic Savory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Want to learn more about Filipino cuisine? Check out these books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Family’s Intro to Fat Fook at Robinsons Galleria

When you’re planning where to eat for the family’s Saturdate, and you consider the varied tastes and preferences of your family members, sometimes you just need to put your foot down, dictate where you want to eat and hope it pays off.

And sometimes, it does.

The fam’s lunch took place at the newly opened Fat Fook at Robinsons Galleria. It’s one of two existing branches in the Metro Manila, with the other one located in SM City North EDSA.

This branch is situated in the recently renovated wing of Robinsons Galleria, where a lot of new and trendy restos are expected to open.

The place is quite spacious, warmly lit and can accommodate 40 or so people.  Similar to its SM North branch, it features porcelain bowls as part of its decor: this time, the bowls cover one wall, adding a quirky yet elegant Asian element to the resto’s interior.

Fat Fook offers authentic Taiwanese food. The dishes we sampled include:

  • Tofu with Century Egg and Pork Floss (Php198). The soft-chilled tofu was creamy and mild, and together with the century egg, the pork floss and the sweet-salty sauce, it brings a nice contrast of flavors and textures.
  • Taiwan Style Fried Rice (Php258). Served in a small pan, the rice is fried with a salty brown sauce and accompanied by bits of green onion and lots of savory-sweet chorizo pieces.  It provides an interesting complement to the other dishes we ordered.
  • Taiwan Beef Noodles (Php258).  Tender braised beef slices accompanied by hand-pulled noodles in a sour-and-slightly-spicy broth.
  • Fat Fook Chicken Chop (Php238). Juicy and tender chicken breasts coated with batter and breading, a quick hit with my baby boy!
  • Garlic Pork Spare Ribs (Php298). A safe bet, given that the fam has tasted this before in Chinese restos.

With all our orders, the bill amounted to just a little over Php1,500, so our Fat Fook sojourn is definitely among the more affordable of our food adventures.

I found this experience a good way to introduce the kids to new cuisines and food influences, which helps them develop a more adventurous yet discerning palate.  For myself, I welcome any opportunity to go off the beaten path when it comes to food choices.

Given its affordability and fresh tastes offered, Fat Fook is among the restaurants I won’t mind returning to.

Check out my review of Fat Fook’s other branch at SM North EDSA.

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

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Want to try cooking Taiwanese dishes at home?  Check out these books at Amazon.com!


The Food of Taiwan: Recipes from the Beautiful Island. Acclaimed author Cathy Erway offers an insider’s look at Taiwanese cooking—from home-style dishes to authentic street food.


Home-Style Taiwanese Cooking. This book by Taiwanese chef and food blogger, Tsung-Yun Wan, will inspire home cooks to make these authentic Taiwanese dishes part of their own cooking repertoire.


Taiwanese Cookbook: Food from The Streets of Taiwan. Author Carla Hale gives easy tips and recipes that will help readers prepare authentic Taiwanese dishes for their family and friends.

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Sign up using this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

Quick Chinese Food at Le Ching, Tomas Morato

I decided to accompany a coworker who had a sudden craving for noodles and dimsum.  Since this brand of Le Ching Tea House is some short distance from our office, we took our lunch here.

My friend ordered a hearty Wanton Noodle Soup (Php165) and Siomai (Php105) while I got myself a Spare Ribs rice topping (Php168) and an order of Taro Puff (Php119).

I found the viand portion of the rice topping a bit short; it more made up of bones rather than meat.  The taro puffs were served piping hot and tasted as good as I expected.

Similar to its Greenhills branch, this Le Ching branch boasts no frills or fancy decor; just tables and chairs and a lone server.  Its interiors are sparse to the point of being a bit dingy.

However, to those who grew up on the taste of its Chinese food offerings, Le Ching is adequate for their cravings.

This branch is located Timog corner Mother Ignacia Street, Quezon City.

Le Ching Tea House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Why not try your hand at cooking Chinese dishes at home? Check out these recipe books on Amazon.com!

Want to try some recipes today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.