#Philippines

TALISAY by Chef Tatung: This Modern Filipino Restaurant in Maginhawa

TALISAY, the signature restaurant of Chef Tatung Sarthou of Netflix Streetfood fame, features modern Filipino cuisine that includes recipes from his hometown in Talisay, Cebu.  This comeback restaurant is the summary of all lessons learned from past private dining experiences, restaurant failures and exposure to both the sosyal and masa crowd.

It’s a going back home to the roots of elevated classic Filipino food with Cebuano highlights and a homecoming to QC where Chef Tatung’s private dining began. Some nights, the place becomes a culinary playground for the chef’s creative Filipino experiences.

Here are some tips for your own awesome Talisay experience…


A comfortable dining oasis that beckons from its tucked-in spot along Maginhawa St. in Quezon City, Talisay offers a delectable feast of memory, flavor and experience. Each bite is an ode to nostalgia and magical moments spent sharing hearty meals with loved ones.

Head on to Talisay.

Talisay Garden Café
Operating Hours: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
44 Maginhawa St., UP Village, Quezon City
Telephone: +632 8293-9077
Mobile: +63 919 877-6321
Facebook: Talisay The Garden Cafe

 

Talisay Menu: Starters | Salad, Soup, Talisay Specials | Talisay Specials | Sides, Drinks, Desserts

The food served were Chef Tatung specials and not your usual comfort Filipino food of kare kare, adobo or sisig.


Appetizers

Lumpia Fresca

Lumpia Fresca (₱225). Fresh ubod, in flavored crepes, peanut-garlic sauce.

Start with fresh lumpiang ubod with ube and pandan flavored-crepes smothered with thick peanut sauce and chunks of nuts.

Goat's Cheese Salad

Goat’s Cheese Salad (₱480). Local goat cheese, dried mangoes, toasted cashew nuts on salad greens with Caesars dressing.

This salad, served with creamy Caesar dressing, looked simple but the greens were fresh. Make sure to eat a bit of the goat cheese, dried mango and the cashew.

Talisay Garden Salad

Talisay Garden Salad (₱410). Fresh green, fresh pomelo chunks, pickled radish and carrots served with an herb vinaigrette.

This was made more refreshing by the citrus from the pomelo and sourness from the vinaigrette, which stimulated the palate.

 


Talisay Specialties

Freshly baked pandesal with a bit of sourdough served with butter to kickoff the Talisay meal.

Reserve the long-table in the corner; good for a family of 8. The enclosed elevated room can hold up to 30 people and the whole restaurant can accommodate a party of 70.

Balbacua

Balbacua (₱480). Cebuano classic Oxtail, tendon and trotters cook with spices until lusciously tender.

A taste of Cebu with its velvety texture with chunks of tendon and oxtail that was a good alternative from your usual kare-kare.

Porkchop Ilocandia

Porkchop Ilocandia (₱490). Grilled thick-cut pork chop served with crispy pork relish.

First, the pork chop was tender and full of flavor by itself.  It was served with a relish of dinakdakan mixed with creamy pork brains. Ang sarap!

Lengua in Mushroom Cream Sauce

Lengua in Mushroom Cream Sauce (₱630). Tender ox tongue in spiked 3-mushroom gravy.

This was the kind of lengua dish that you’d fall in love with because of its melt in your mouth quality and creamy mushroom flavors.

Paella Mixta

Paella Mixta (₱790). Our specialty, chicken and seafood paella. Serves 3 to 4.

Paella is always good for special celebrations with the family and a good excuse for breaking your no rice diet.

Jamon de Talisay

Jamon de Talisay (₱640). Brick-oven slow-cooked ham in spiced pineapple glaze, roasted vegetables.

A big chunk of ham with a thick layer of fat coated with sweet pineapple glaze.

Eat that thick layer of fat and a juicy meaty layer with the paella to complete the experience.

 


Desserts

Dark Choc-Nut Cake

Dark Choc-Nut Cake (₱200/slice, whole ₱1,500).

This was for the chocolovers, home-baked chocolate cake with nutty flavors.

Creme Brulee Quezo

Creme Brulee Quezo (₱220/slice, whole ₱1,650).

My favorite, a cheesecake with a layer of creme brulee in the middle with just the right sweetness.

Talisay Signature Cassava Cheese Cake

Talisay Signature Cassava Cheese Cake (₱220/slice, whole ₱1,650).

It looked like an egg pie but tasted more like cassava with a layer of burnt cheese on top.


Final Thoughts

Congratulations on Chef Tatung’s ode to his roots in Talisay, Cebu and to his home in QC where it all started!

I like that the menu is on-point with the trend of elevating the taste of classic flavors (fusion is definitely out). This is a celebration of signature Filipino food–all made in the restaurant with the finest ingredients and the techniques Chef Tatung learned over the years.  You’ll love the modern interiors with glass windows, spacious gardens and backdrop of trees that have been long-time residents of Maginhawa.

All of the dishes were good but our favorites were Porkchop Ilocandia, Lengua in Mushroom Cream Sauce and Jamon de Talisay. Talisay is a place to celebrate special occasions or get together where you can come as you are. Budget about ₱800/head. Best to go with a group to enjoy the food, family sharing style.

Congratulations to Chef Tatung and brother Tomi for successfully opening Talisay in Maginhawa!

 

Talisay Garden Café
Operating Hours: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
44 Maginhawa St., UP Village, Quezon City
Telephone: +632 8293-9077
Mobile: +63 919 877-6321
Facebook: Talisay The Garden Cafe

 

Live an Awesome Life,
Anton
Founder, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Chef Tatung.  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

P.S. It’s also a family passion project with Chef Tatung’s younger brother Jomi who went back home to Manila from Germany to create Talisay Garden Cafe from a dilapidated house along Maginhawa in record 3 months time.

Events

Haunted Manila Halloween: Official Festival Guide!

Buy your Festival Tickets Now! (with promo code: OAPxHMF)

Here’s the official guide for the first-ever Haunted Festival Manila! See you there!


About Haunted Manila

Haunted Manila Festival offers 6 nights of festivities simply because one night is not enough. #HMF2019 celebrates Filipino culture with music, film, and adventure with a jam-packed schedule of events that promise escalating shrieks of terror and tawa-iyak moments epic stories are made of.

From October 26 to 31, at the Filinvest City Events Ground, you can run for your life at the country’s biggest zombie run, Outbreak Manila. Experience terror and test your problem-solving skills with haunted escape rooms and a giant scavenger hunt by Breakout Philippines. Watch Classic Pinoy Horror Movies in our open-air cinema, Pelikulagim.

Hang out with your family, barkada, and officemates in our Gayuma Food Bazaar and Trick or Treat Game Stations. And top off the entire experience and enjoy a SANTELMO Halloween Music Party with your favorite  OPM bands.

 

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#Restaurants

Keng Eng Kee: Zi Char Cuisine in Manila!

Zi Char Singaporean food is home-cooked wok-fried food that is like hawker street flavors in a kopitiam setting. It’s an array of creative dishes influenced by Malay, Indian and Peranakan flavors usually served in hearty family sharing style portions. Zi Char kitchens are known for their signature noodle, vegetable stir-fry and seafood specialties.

Keng Eng Kee is one of the top Zi Char eateries in Singapore known for its dishes made from recipes spanning three generations. We tried KEK food in World Street Food here in Manila, but I haven’t really tried their signature dishes and eatery in Singapore.

We were so excited to try KEK’s Zi Char food in Manila!


About Keng Eng Kee

Keng Eng Kee Seafood (KEK) originated from an immigrant couple who came from Hainan Island, armed with the determination to eke out a life of their own in Singapore. Skilled in the culinary arts, Low Peck Yah and Koh Yok Jong started their life in Singapore by selling Hainanese Chicken Rice before creating KEK, focusing on the ‘zi char’ cuisine in the 1970s. The couple then passed their wok over to their daughter and her Malaysian-born husband, who expanded the menu, adding Southeast Asian Influences.

Over the years, they stayed true to their values of diligence, hard work and commitment. The Liew family are all seasoned professionals who have worked in kitchens since their formative years.

Continuing the family legacy, KEK is now helmed by the three third-generation siblings, under the close supervision of their father:

Wayne Liew, Executive Chef
Paul Liew, Head of Business Operation
Geraldine Liew, Head of Service Operations

Awards and features:

• Awarded Michelin Plate 2016-2019
• Featured on the food documentary series “Street Food” on Netflix, which features staple street food from some of the world’s most colorful cities. KEK was chosen as a representative of Singapore’s mainstay dish, the Chili Crab.
• Featured on Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Singapore Episode (2017)
• Ranked #1 in Top 100 Hawkers 2018 by Burpple Singapore
• Ranked 28th on the World Street Food Congress 2017
• Listed in 2018 Ctrip Gourmet List Destination
Visited by more than 70 chefs and industry players for an impromptu supper session in June 2019 when many renowned international chefs were in Singapore for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards
Chosen as venue where Eric Ripert of LE Bernardin, American Express Icon Award Winner Jose Andres and Paul from KEK celebrated Bourdain Day on 25 June 2019

 

KENG ENG KEE SEAFOOD
Blk 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1 (Alexandra Village), #01-136, Singapore 150124
Instagram: @kengengkee

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#Philippines

METRONOME by Chef Miko Calo: The Best French Bistro in Manila? (Review)

METRONOME is a modern French restaurant in Makati by Joël Robuchon-trained Chef Miko Calo, RJ Galang of Bakere/Man Eat Manila fame, Restaurateur Elbert Cuenca and Alain Borgers, formerly from the Shangri-La Group.

This is the much-anticipated restaurant opening of 2019 in Manila because of the rave reviews about Chef Miko’s food in the underground supper clubs, not to mention the place was featured in Chris Dwyer’s CNN article—Great plates: 15 new restaurants to try in 2019.

Is it all just hype? Or is this the best French restaurant Manila has been waiting for?

 

METRONOME by Miko Calo
G/F The Grand Midori Makati, Bolanos St., Legaspi Village, Makati
Operating Hours:
Monday to Saturday 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Reservations taken between 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Mobile: +63 917 147 3776
Telephone: +632 618 4337
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Metronome
Instagram: @restaurant.metronome
Website: www.restaurantmetronome.com

Metronome Menu: Small Plates | Mains | Tasting Menu | Desserts | Coffee, Digestif
Drinks Menu: Champagne, White, Rose | Red | Bar List Spirits | Cocktail, Beverages

 


First Things First

The concept of the restaurant was already brewing in Chef Miko Calo’s mind ever since 2014. When the time came to open the business, she already knew what she wanted for her signature restaurant—French blue, gold and Filipino wood themed interiors, modern French cuisine and the name of the restaurant.

The name of the restaurant was inspired by the metronome, a guiding instrument by a musician to practice with a pre-determined beat/minute. For Chef Miko, French cooking techniques are her metronome to execute the food with precision and deliciousness.

Make sure to reserve Metronome’s banquet tables (good for 5-6) with a backdrop of sleek interiors by Noel Bernardo.

The banquet dining set up reminds me of Bob Bob Ricard, the iconic London Soho restaurant famous for its Beef Wellington.

Make sure to reserve the private dining room (good for 12) for the family gourmand’s special celebrations.

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#Restaurants

Because Coffee by Harlan + Holden (A Review)

This is one of the landmark cafes at the center of BGC on 5th Avenue corner Bonifacio High Street.

Because Coffee by fashion brand Harlan + Holden is known to be a cashless coffee shop where you can order your coffee in advance. The branding is on point, and the place is the simple answer when you are stressed or pondering on your whys in life.

Apart from the intimidating sleek minimalist design, is the coffee any good?

 

Harlan + Holden Coffee
G/F One Bonifacio, Philippine Stock Exchange, 5th Avenue, BGC, Taguig.
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.harlanholden.coffee
Facebook: harlan + holden coffee
Instagram: @harlanholden.coffee

Download Harlan + Holden Coffee’s app from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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#Restaurants

VBQ: Best of Vietnamese BBQ and Bang! Bang! Bar in Poblacion

Vietnamese cuisine is trending, and if you are craving for a taste of Vietnam, this is the place to go for a satisfying fix in Poblacion, Makati. VBQ is Chef Mikel Zaguirre’s streetside Vietnamese barbecue and hot pot place with a Vietcong-themed Bang! Bang! Bar.

This is a great spot to have dinner to kick-off your Poblacion crawl or eat in between drinking sessions.

 


First Things First

VBQ is located on a block bordered by Guerrero and P. Guanzon Sts., and you can pass through either streets.

VBQ Vietnamese BBQ & Hot Pot
4970 Guerrero St. / P. Guanzon St., Brgy. Poblacion, Makati
Telephone: +63 917 624-1282 (for reservation)
Operating Hours:
VBQ BBQ & Hotpot: 11.00am to 3.00am
Bang! Bang! Bar: 6.00pm to 3.00am
Facebook: VBQ Restaurant
Instagram: @vbq.ph

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#Philippines

Sweeney Todd Musical Thriller in Manila: Why You’ll Lovett!

Sweeney Todd Musical Manila celebrates the play’s 40th anniversary on Broadway and Atlantis Productions’ 20th year with a star-studded cast led by Lea Salonga as Mrs. Lovett and Jett Pangan as Sweeney Todd.

The performances are way different from those of Audie Gemora as Sweeney Todd and Menchu Launchengco-Yulo as Mrs. Lovett during Repertory Philippines’ staging at OnStage Greenbelt 1, Makati in 2009. The Atlantis production is grander, performed by an all-star cast, with a live orchestra that lets you feel the eerie 1840’s London vibe.

This is a Lea Salonga musical performance you can’t miss watching in Manila right in time for Halloween!

 

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#Philippines

comGateway: Shop Unique Products from US Stores and Ship to Manila in 10 days!

Here’s the secret to shopping from US stores to get unique products not available in Manila at the most cost-effective rate and fastest delivery possible… via comGateway service!

Yugi already got his Steve of Minecraft costume from a Halloween store in the US just in time for Trick or Treat.

You still have time to buy your unique costumes now and have it delivered before the 26th.

Aidan was able to get his Antetokounmpo basketball shoes (size 14) just in time to represent his school in their varsity games.

Also, you can now shop and enjoy the savings during the US Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales and have everything shipped to Manila.

Here’s our personal experience buying from US Stores and shipping to Manila in 10 days via comGateway…

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#Philippines

Sofitel Manila Crayfish Party 2019! (Photo Essay)

Every summer in August, Swedes throw a party in honor of a very special crustacean!

Last September 14, 2019, guests feasted on bountiful servings of imported crayfish and Nordic spreads, drank free-flowing beer, dressed in Viking costumes and danced to the festive music as Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, in partnership with NordCham Philippines and Philippines Norway Business Council, staged the biggest Crayfish Party in Asia at the Harbor Garden Tent.

Here’s a photo essay on the day of the event…

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#Travel, Japan

Central Japan Itinerary: Toyama, Nagano, Gifu! (via Rental Car)

There is a good number of great cities in Central Japan such as Toyama, Nagano and Gifu, which are full of history, culture, nature and quiet countryside scenes. Join us as we visit the oldest castle in Japan, stay overnight at a 200-year old gassho-zukuri homestay with a local family and even try one of the best places for affordable high-grade sushi in the land of the rising sun! The area is specially recommended for second-time visitors to Japan who have already been to major cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

And if, like me, you love discovering hidden gems in Japan, there is a region I would highly recommend to you, the Chubu region which is also called Central Japan.

Check out our awesome 5-day itinerary to make the most of your trip…

Day 1               (Toyama City- Nanto City)
9:40-10:40       Flight Haneda-> Toyama Airport (NH315 ANA)
11:20-11:40       Toyota Rental (Take Free Shuttle From Aiport)
12:30-13:30      Lunch: Ayuryourinomiseayunosato (鮎料理の店 鮎の里)
13:40-15:25       Shogawa Gorge Cruise 庄 川 峡 遊 覧 船)
14:30-15:00      Shogawa Water Memorial Park (Eat Yuzu Soft Cream) 水記念公園 (ゆずソフトクリーム)
15:50-17:30       Kokiriko Traditional Songs and Dances「世界遺産五箇山合掌集落」
17:40                  Gokoyama (Nanto City) 五箇山:山城予定 泊 Yamashirou Homestay

 

Day 2              (Nanto City- Tonami City- Takaoko City)
9:00-10:00       Leave Gokoyama
10:00-11:00       Ride Doraemon Tram 高岡市ドラえもんポスト
11:00-12:00      Gokayama Washi-no-sato (Traditional Paper-making Workshop)道の駅たいら・五箇山和紙の里
12:00-13:30       Lunch
14:20-15:30       Nousaku Corporation 能作(鋳物製作体験)(Copper casting workshop)
16:00-16:40      Amaharashi 雨晴海岸・道の駅雨晴
17:30-18:00      ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel【富山市内:ANAクラウンプラザホテル富山 泊】
18:00-21:00      Dinner: Fukuya (冨久屋)

 

Day 3            (Toyama City-Omachi City-Azumino City-Matsumoto City)
7:30-8:30       Tateyama Station 立山黒部アルペンルート
8:16-8:40       Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
8:16-8:47        Tateyama-Bijodaira Cable Car
9:00-9:50      Bijodaira-Murodo Bus
11:15-11:25     Murodo-Daikanbo
11:50-11:57     Daikanbo-Kurobedaira (Tateyama Ropeway)
12:00-13:10    Restaurant Kurobedaira
13:20-13:25    Kurobedaira- Kurobe Dam
15:05-15:21     Kurobe Dam- Ogizawa
17:40- 18:30   Matcha Making Workshop
18:40-20:00   Drum, Ninja & Samurai Workshop
20:00               Check-in to Hotel

 

Day 4            (Matsumoto City-  Gero City)
8:40-9:30      Matsumoto Castle 松本城
9:35-10:20     Kaichi School 旧開智学校
11:30-12:30    Kamikochi Gosenjaku Hotel
12:30- 16:30   Kamikochi National Park 上高地
17:30-18:00    Gero Onsen: Suimeikan 【下呂温泉:水明館予定 泊】

 

Day 5             (Gero City-Nagiso Town-Seki City-Toyama City)
8:30-9:30       Gero Onsen Gassho Gassho Mura 下呂温泉合掌村
9:40-11:00      Tsumago-juku 妻籠宿 & Magome-juku 馬籠宿
12:30-13:30    Lunch
14:50-15:40     Seki Traditional Swordsmith Museum 関鍛冶伝承館
18:00-18:30    Toyama Airport -> Haneda (NH322)

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