Great games and grub at Grid x Griddle, Greenfield District

Being a foodie, dining out and the discovery new and tasty dishes are synonymous to having fun.

But what if the food was only part of the fun?

At Grid x Griddle Gastrolounge and Gaming (also known as GxG), diners can enjoy delicious Asian-Western fusion dishes while enjoying their favorite board or card games.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I visited GxG to check out its food offerings.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Opened in 2017, the restaurant is owned by avid board gamers. Its name even gives a clue to this fact: “grid” comes from the network of squares found in boardgames, while “griddle” refers to the flat metal plate used in cooking burgers, bacon and pancakes, among others.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Step inside and you will enter a world where gamers reign supreme. (Note: By gamers, I mean analog ones who use cards and boards, rather than those who use consoles or PCs.) The first floor is dominated by the bar and a high shelf of games, while the second floor give the diners a choice between dining and gaming on the floor seated on colorful cushions, or at regular tables and chairs. Either way, you have access to an expansive array of board games and card games, some of which were part of the owners’ private collection while others were acquired specifically for the resto.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

To play, each person just has to order one dish (not including soups, salads or desserts) or pay Php250 consumable.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield District

Curious about the grub available here? Check these out:

Truffle Mushroom Soup (Php170). Sauteed mushrooms in truffle-flavored cream. Its rich truffle aroma got us salivating.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

GxG Fries (Php270). Crisp deep-fried potato fries topped with gently swaying bonita flakes, an American dish cooked and presented in a Japanese way.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Calamari (Php275). Strips of giant squid marinated in salt and pepper, lightly battered then deep-fried to a beautiful golden brown and served with GxG’s own house-made bagoong aioli and vinegar.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Longganisa All-Day Breakfast (Php290). Flavorful links of longganisa from Isabela served with two sunny-side-up, garlic rice, buttered vegetables and iced tea.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Sweet Basi Adobo Glazed Chicken (Php340). A juicy quarter leg of chicken cooked sous vide glazed in GxG’s special adobo sauce made with basi, an alcoholic beverage originating from Ilocos made from fermented sugarcane, and served with garlic rice, vegetables, demi-glace sauce and strips of mango which provide a sweet-sour counterpoint to the salty adobo.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

GxG Pasta (Php250). The pasta dish with a decidedly local flavor due to the salted egg and tinapa (smoked fish) incorporated in the sauce.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Truffle Pasta (Php290). A creamy truffle pasta topped with bacon and parmesan cheese.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

GxG Pizza (Php260). Native ensalata ingredients such as dilis, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bagoong and ripe mango on top of a crisp thin pizza crust. This is (surprisingly!) best enjoyed when dipped in vinegar.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Durian Espresso Ice Cream (Php150). The infamously odoriferous fruit is only (thankfully!) subtly hinted at in this house-made frozen confection. What really stands out is its coffee flavor, well-complemented by a generous drizzling chocolate sauce, as well as crushed graham crackers and polvoron for added texture.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

GxG also boasts of coffee- and non-coffee-based beverages such as Chocolate Frappe (Php140), Dark Hazelnut Latte Frappe (Php160) and Cafe Mocha (Php140).

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

If you’re looking for a refreshingly cool drink to go with your meal, you can’t go wrong with the Fresh Lemonade (Php80) or Iced Tea (Php70).

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Whether you’re here for the games or the grub, you’re definitely in for a good time.

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Grid x Griddle, Greenfield

Thanks to Chef Gerard Martial and the GxG staff for the warm welcome and the good food!

Grid x Griddle Gastrolounge and Gaming is located at The Hub, Mayflower Street, Greenfield District, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City, open daily Tuesdays to Thursdays from 11am to 12 midnight, Fridays to Saturdays from 4pm to 2am, and Sundays from 4pm to 12 midnight. For inquiries, reservations or to order food for delivery, call +63 927 8794686.

Grid X Griddle Gastrolounge & Gaming Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with my fellow foodies, I attended a foodie meetup held here. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

#TasteMagic at Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka translates to “sleight of hand” in Tagalog. It is a word wrapped in magic and mystery, calling to mind enchantment and wonder.

The restaurant and bar in Eastwood Citywalk that bears that name lives up to it by offering coffee, cocktails and craft beer, as well as its own reimagining of Filipino food, against a welcoming backdrop laden with a hefty dose of mystical appeal.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Together with my foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH, I stepped inside Salamangka’s doors for a taste of magic.

In the late morning, Salamangka is awash with light, the black murals of mythical creatures and the balete tree on the wall wonderfully offset by the clean white background. Furniture made with native materials and a huge table and bench set made from solid pieces of wood provide ample seating for the diners.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka’s menu consists of its own take of classic Filipino dishes, such as:

Kamote Chips (Php199). Crispy deep-fried slices of of sweet potatoes that go so well with its dip of condensed milk reduction.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Piknik (Php199). Crispy hand-cut potato slivers served with three different sauces (but they’re ok without the sauce as evidenced by the way I keep popping them into my mouth, hehehe!)

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Coca Cola Wings (Php259). Fried chicken wings simmered in a Coca Cola reduction and served with piknik.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Itlog na Maalat Wings (Php349). Fried chicken wings covered in a sauce of salted eggs and served with piknik.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Vegan Nachos (Php199). Toasted pita chips topped with ground tofu and drizzled with a mixture of Yummza pesto hummus, lemon and oil. Live a little and add Php20 for additional topping of grated cheese.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Tinapa (Php189). A bowl of smokey tinapa flakes on top of garlic rice and paired with salted egg, a side of tomatoes and burong mangga.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Bawang na Bangus (Php189). Fried bangus marinated in garlic served on top of garlic rice with salted egg and atsara.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Sinigang sa Manggang Hilaw (Php279). Beef sinigang with a sour sauce instead of broth on top of steamed rice and served with sour mango and bagoong.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Once you’ve eaten your fill, how about lettin’ loose and sampling Salamangka’s much celebrated alcholic concoctions? Impress your friends with your knowledge of native folklore when you identify the entities that give their name to these intense spirits.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Wakwak (Php99 per glass | Php349 per pitcher). Named after a vampiric bird-like creature that makes the noise “wak-wak” as it flaps its wings, this cocktail is mixture of rum, lime juice, mango puree and mint leaves.

Mambabarang (Php99 per glass | Php349 per pitcher). Made with gin, lime juice, cucumber slices and mint leaves, this cocktail got its name from the warlock or sorceress that cast malevolent hexes on people

Ibong Adarna (Php99 per glass | Php349 per pitcher). Named after the mythical bird whose song has healing qualities, this drink is made with tequila, pineapple, calamansi and chili placed in a salt-rimmed glass. A sip of this drink is multi-layered: you get the citrus flavor from the calamansi, the spiciness from the chili, the saltiness from the rimmed glass and the fire of the tequila as it travels down your throat.

What really got me excited was Pitong Elemento (Php350). A flight of seven intense native infusions inspired by legendary elementals, this consists of seven shot glasses of flavored spirits that pack quite a punch.

  • Duwende (dried mango rhum – named after the mischievous house spirit)
  • Sigbin (orange vodka – named after the mythical creature that suck its victims’ blood from the shadows)
  • Kibaan (raisin gin – named after the mythical creature that lead travelers astray with its backward feet)
  • Tiyanak (Thai chili tequila – named after the creature that takes the form of a crying baby to attack folks who pick it up)
  • Undin (roasted bell pepper vodka – named after the water sprite that drown people who disturb it)
  • Santelmo (lemon vodka – named after St. Elmo’s Fire, balls of fire that appear as portents of doom)
  • Nuno sa Punso (spearmint chocolate vodka – named after the dwarf-like creature that dwell in mounds of earth).

You can also opt to get these infusions individually by the shot glass at Php50 each, except for Nuno sa Punso which is at Php99.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

(Note: I only attempted to try Nuno sa Punso and, really, a few sips were more than enough for a lightweight like me.)

Fans of the local craft beer Engkanto would really go for a Beer Flight (Php249) a four variant sampler consisting of lager, pale ale, IPA and double IPA.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka also prides itself on its Single Origin local coffees at Php99/cup such as those from Bukidnon and Batangas. These are freshly ground upon order and then brewed using pour over cups. Until August 31, get a Buy 1 Get 1 deal on these local coffees from 7am to 10am, thanks to Salamangka’s ongoing Hiwaga ng Umaga promo.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka’s Bulletproof Coffee (Php190), which is made with brewed coffee, coconut oil and unsalted butter, would probably be great for chasing away a hangover given the coffee’s touted properties for enhancing alertness. I would just prefer the residual flavor from the coconut oil to be tempered down a little bit more so that the creaminess and the slight sweetness from the butter would be more pronounced.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

So if you want a great time with your friends tinged with magic and mystery, head on to Salamangka.

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Salamangka, Eastwood

Thanks to Darryl, Issa, Veni and Kevin of Salamangka for having us!

Salamangka, Eastwood City

Join Salamangka’s Hocus Focus Facebook contest by posting a picture of you posing in one of Salamanka’s Kreature Kutouts. Make sure your post is public, tag @salamangkamnl, use the hashtags #IsangTaongHiwaga and #TasteMagic, for a chance to get a freebie.

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Salamangka, Eastwood

Feel like pitting your knowledge against other Salamangka guests? Join the Gabi ng Pagsusulit, a quiz night held at Salamangka every second and fourth Thursday of the month.

Salamangka is located at Eastwood Citywalk 1, Libis, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 3am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 5518557.

Did you know you can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Salamangka through Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

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

Disclosure: Together with my fellow 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.

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

Always changing is a good thing at BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Tucked away in a quiet corner along Scout Rallos Street in Quezon City is a newly opened restaurant with something new up its sleeve.

Always change.

That’s the mantra of BOA Kitchen + Socials, which aims to be the destination of choice for the titas. Enter its doors and you will enjoy the same ambiance, food quality and hospitality as any top-of-the-line stylish Makati restaurant. The difference is, especially for people up North, you get to avoid the stressful Makati traffic to get there.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Plus, you get to enjoy an ever-changing environment as envisioned by owner Joey Marcelo and menu conceptualized by Chef Julius Necor, which makes your every visit a fresh and exciting experience.

Here’s how:

From 9am to 6pm, enjoy a Bali-inspired Australian brunch service in the light and airy surroundings of BOA Kitchen.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Here, you can sate your mid-day appetite with dishes such as:

Torched Salmon and Avocado Toast (Php245). A large piece of torched smoked salmon placed and mashed avocado on multi-grain bread.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Grilled Cheese with Creamy Marinara (Php245). Cheddar and mozarella in a grilled brioche loaf best enjoyed dipped in a creamy marinara sauce.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Tinapa Aglio E Olio (Php285). Pasta tossed in a mixture of tinapa flakes, olive oil and garlic.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Pasta Vongole (Php285). Spaghetti noodles tossed in a light sauce of clams and lemons.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Alfredo Pesto Pasta (Php285). Pesto farfalle coated with Alfredo sauce, served with ricotta and sun-dried tomato.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Kimchi Fried Rice (Php285). Bibimbap kimchi fried rice topped with carrots, bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, ground beef, spinach, zucchini and an egg cooked sous vide.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Pulled Pork Adobo (Php245). Strips of pork adobo, pickled vegetables and a fried egg topping garlic rice.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Tapsilog (Php245). The classic lunch staple of tender beef tapa and crispy fried egg on garlic rice.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Steak and Egg (Php495). A 200g grilled hanger steak served with fried eggs, house-made potato chips and mushroom gravy.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Full English Breakfast (Php325). Toast, links of breakfast sausage, bacon, roast herb tomato and potato hash served with fried egg.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Banana Pie (Php175). Caramelized banana served with buttery streusel crumbs and a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Bibingka Microwave Cake (Php245). A deconstructed dessert of made-to-order-via-microwave bibingka cake on a bed of salted egg dulce de leche, sugar syrup, melted butter and desiccated coconut.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

From 6pm to 12 midnight, when the neon lights are lit up, the place transforms to BOA Socials which serves Asian cuisine.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

While you relax and unwind with your amigas, you can feast on:

Sisig Croquettes (Php225). Creamy mashed potato balls filled with sisig and served with toyo-mansi aioli.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Wonton Nachos (Php245). Crispy fried wontons topped with pulled teriyaki sauce, shredded cabbage, onions and parsley drizzled in Sriracha mayo.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Salmon Tartare (Php378). Salmon served with pork rind, wasabi mayo, urchin roe and Oriental dressing.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Pulpo (Php345). Succulent grilled octopus on smoked potato puree served with chorizo crumbs and paprika-thyme oil.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Tinapa Cream Cheese Toast (Php175). Open-faced sandwich of tinapa flavored cream cheese over toast topped with sliced cucumber, onion and halved cherry tomatoes.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Chori Burger (Php295). Chorizo patty topped with a fried egg, coleslaw and pepper sauce in a black brioche bun.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Char Kwaey Teow (Php365). Stir-fried Southeast Asian rice noodle dish with a smokey flavor.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Chicken Pad Thai (Php345). Stir-fried glass noodles with tamarind sauce, eggs, tofu, chicken pieces and bean sprouts.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Thai Fried Chicken (Php345). Crispy fried chicken served on top of curried mashed potato, garnished with grilled corn kernels and pickled vegetables and served with sweet chili sauce.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Beef Rendang with Coconut Lime Rice (Php425). A spicy Indonesian meat dish served on coco lime rice served with pickled vegetable and crispy shallots.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Crispy Pork Sambal (Php445). Crispy pork belly served with Asian slaw.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Deconstructed Anise Cheesecake (Php245). Anise cheesecake served apart from its ginger graham cracker crust.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

House Blend Iced Tea (Php80). With choices among classic, mango and lychee.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Purple Potion (Pho320). One of the ever-changing drinks served at BOA, this blue gin changes to a purple hue when tonic water is added.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

With these always changing elements, every trip to BOA Kitchen and Socials is something new to look forward to.

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

Many thanks to Joey, Chef Julius and the wonderful staff of BOA Kitchen + Socials for the amazing time and the great meal in each of my visits.

BOA Kitchan + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials, Tomas Morato

BOA Kitchen + Socials is located at the Mezzanine Floor, 45 ABDC Building, Scout Rallos corner Scout Tuazon, Laging Handa, Quezon City, open daily from 9am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 2903103 or +63 977 7078472.

Did you know you can get dishes for free when you dine with a friend at BOA Kitchen + Socials through Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

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

BOA Kitchen + Socials Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with my fellow 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.

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

Birthday Lunch at Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

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

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

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

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

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

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

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

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

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

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

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

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

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

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

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

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

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

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

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

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

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

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

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

Lola Cafe, Tomas Morato

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

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

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

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

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

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Say hello to a great summer with Ombu Kusina’s Flavored Ice Halo-Halo

Summers are for great times with great food, and spent with great friends.

Together with my fellow foodies, I experienced what certainly seems to be the start of a great summer.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

In a recent Foodie Event hosted by Ombu Kusina, it launched its newest and coolest offerings: three new scrumptious halo-halo flavors!

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

The halo-halo is a favorite Pinoy dessert made of crushed ice, evaporated milk and other sweet ingredients such as nata de coco, beans and coconut strips, served layered on top of each other, but then mixed together so that each spoonful is a mixture of sweet ingredients and the crushed ice. Ombu does its own take on this classic icy treat, with three flavors, available only during the summer, at only Php160 each. These include:

Milk Tea. The milk tea craze has surely hit the country and how! Now this exotic drink which originated from Taiwan flavors the Pinoy halo-halo through the use of brewed Earl Grey black tea.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Mango. Fresh ripe mango are pureed, mixed with milk then frozen to create mango-flavored crushed ice, served with the usual halo-halo ingredients and toppped with succulent mango cubes.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Tres Leches. As the name implies, the crushed ice is flavored with three kinds of milk and topped with creamy leche flan. This is my favorite among the new halo-halo variants.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu’s Chef Griffin Oraiz explained that what sets Ombu’s halo-halo treats apart from similar offerings from other restaurants is the use of flavored ice: the flavors are infused into the ice, resulting to a more intense taste and creamier mouthfeel.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu also showcased some its signature dishes which are well-suited for the summer, such as:

Suzi Wong Sandwich (Php270). A three-layered sandwich made of ham, cheese and pickles between four slices of butter-toasted crusted bread and served with house-made deep-fried purple camote chips.

Ombu, Tomas Morato

Tinapa Croquettes (Php240). Tinapa (smoked milkfish) is combined with a creamy bechamel sauce and sauteed onions, then coated with breadcrumbs, deep-fried to a crisp golden brown and served with a house-blend special garlic mayo dip.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Three-Cheese Pizza (Php420). Mozzarella and cheddar cheeses are combined with the local kesong puti, a home-grown cheese made of carabao’s milk, on top of a crisp oven-baked pizza crust.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Tokwa’t Baboy (Php260). Tokwa (tofu) are cut into cubes, fried and served with hearty pork chunks in a house-blended spicy soy vinegar sauce. This is actually a great complement and a traditional companion to the next dish which is the…

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Arroz Caldo (Php130). The traditional Pinoy version of rice porridge with chicken pieces, it is highlighted by the use of cured, soft-boiled “ramen-style” eggs that adds a different dimension of flavor to the Pinoy merienda staple.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

These dishes and the seasonal halo-halo flavors all adhere to Ombu Kusina’s modern take on Filipino cuisine: infusing classic Pinoy dishes with new and exciting cooking styles and influences. These help to make Pinoy cuisine fresher and more relevant to a growing number of foodies, who are looking for their next food adventure.

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

Ombu Kusina, Tomas Morato

And if that isn’t reason enough for you to hie on over to Ombu for a taste of its innovative and flavorful dishes, how about this: use my code – VIPBeingJellybeans – when you dine in and get 10% off your food bill!

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Ombu Kusina is located at the Ground Floor, Sequioa Hotel, Mother Ignacia corner Timog Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily from 6.30am to 10.30am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 441179.

Read my review of a previous visit to Ombu Kusina here.

Ombu Kusina 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.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

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.