Monthly Archives

June 2011

#Restaurants, Food

Le Bistro d’Agathe – Puerto Galera’s Famous French Bistro replaces Fat Michael’s

I was taken aback that the pioneer in Manila’s hole-in-the-wall romantic places, Fat Michael’s, has ceased operations in Makati already. We loved the kitschy ambiance and the food (even if a lot of people criticized it for its cocky service). It has now officially moved to The Frazzled Cook.

When we got to Le Bistro d’Agathe, I couldn’t help but ask French Chef Patrice Delobbe on what happened to Fat Michael’s, which prompted him to ask me if I came for Fat Michael’s or to try out Le Bistro d’Agathe. (Good point, Chef. 🙂 )

It was only then that I learned that Le Bistro d’Agathe was a popular establishment in Puerto Galera. After 2+ years, Chef Patrice decided to move back to Manila and bring his authentic French Bistro to the metro.

I was pleasantly surprised that a French resto of this caliber could price its offerings reasonably well. The food is really good and Chef  Patrice sees to it that he cooks the food himself.

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#Restaurants, Food

Tamagoya! Ramen

  

We are in search of the best ramen in Manila and, so far, Ukkokei Ramen Ron is leading, with Ramen Bar and Shinjuku battling for the second spot.

We heard about this noodle house in Antipolo by Mr. Abe that foodies are raving about. My Japanese foodie friend Atsushi Matsuura confirmed that. “I really think their ramen is the best in the PH so far.  Yeah, RON could be best, but considering ‘cost’, I will vote Tamagoya.”

Marikina and Antipolo foodies have been keeping this restaurant a foodie secret for some time now. Well, the secret is out, and it is worth driving all the way to Antipolo just to savor one of the best ramens in Manila. 🙂

The BEST RAMEN in Manila Series 2013:

 

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Mercato

Announcing… Doggie Love @ Mercato Centrale!

Mercato Centrale at Bonifacio Global City (BGC), the only air-conditioned weekend food and organic market in Metro Manila, officially becomes a dog-friendly market with the launch of ‘Doggie Love’ this coming Sunday (July 3) from 9am-12noon!
 
The market will be holding a series of free talks for certified dog lovers to help them take better care of their canine companions. The topic for ‘Doggie Love’ this Sunday will focus on:

  • ‘Dog Parenting’, with a talk on ‘Responsible Pet Ownership’ by May Felix, a Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) volunteer and beagle breeder, and on
  • ‘Pet Socialization’ by certified canine training and behavior specialist Jojo Isorena, founder of the BetterDog Canine Behavior Center (http://www.betterdog.com.ph). 

Mercato will also be putting up dog-friendly drink stations, pet toilets and trash dispensers.

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Performance Arts

The Art of Belly Dancing in Manila (Bellyfest 2011)

 
Alisha Lee, Korea’s Bellydance Goddess, and Jill Ngo-Crisologo, Manila’s Bellydance Goddess, in Bellyfest 2011.

Ever since I got to watch authentic belly dancing in Dubai,  I’ve been intrigued by this kind of dance.

I was happy to meet and discover the Goddesses of Bellydance, Jill Ngo-Crisologo’s professional belly dancing group in last year’s Bellyfest 2010.

This year’s Bellyfest was bigger, more organized and had more impressive belly dance performances.

It was a night of girl power, celebrating the art of belly dancing here in Manila…

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Musicals

AIDA in Manila Review

On November 13, 1999,  I visited my college barkada Meli and Anna, who showed me around Chicago. We watched the Limited Pre-Broadway Engagement of AIDA at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. That’s where I was first bitten by the Broadway musical bug.

The musical premiered on Broadway at the Palace Theatre on March 23, 2000. In the 2000 Tony Awards, it won Best Original Musical Score (Elton John, Tim Rice), Best Actress in a Musical (Heather Headley), Best Scenic Design, and Best Lighting Design.

Finally, after 11+ years, Aida makes its debut in Manila.

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#Restaurants

The Room Upstairs Organic Cafe

LRI Design Plaza in Makati is starting to be known as the high-end sibling of Cubao eXpo. It’s an art haven, hub for design artists, home of great photographers and now a destination for yummy food, too.

You can find the artist and business dwellers in their favorite hangout in LRI called The Room Upstairs. Owned by Ari and Pinky Peralta, it is an interior design studio-cum-organic cafe found in the center of LRI Design Plaza.

They now serve fresh, organic vegetables from their own farm in Tagaytay and they use locally produced ingredients in their menu. I like their homey approach to food and their design philosophy.

LRI Design Plaza Blog Series:
#1: Lolo Dad’s Goes Asian
#2: The Room Upstairs Cafe

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#Restaurants, Food

Patio Carlito & WhiteHouse on 84th by Raymund Magdaluyo

One of the restaurateurs that I follow is Raymund Magdaluyo, the next Larry Cruz of Manila’s restaurant scene. Like Larry, he can come up with winning restaurant concepts that boast of yummy food and a unique ambiance.

Together with his cousins, he opened Patio Carlito — a tribute restaurant to his grandfather, Carlos V. Magdaluyo, who’s acknowledged as the pioneer and master of the casinos during his time.

Patio Carlito is similar to Abe (a tribute restaurant focused on old Kapampangan cuisine), except that it has a 1960’s feel. It competes directly with Mario’s  for group dining and the Sunday family buffet crowd. It is a good alternative to the best Filipino restos in the area — Bagoong Club and Romulo Cafe — and would make a nice venue for a get-together with balikbayans.

I thought it was a bit dodgy at first with its old-school, disco ambiance.  But the combination of unique Filipino food with its variety of pulutan won me over. We will surely return to this place for our next family celebration. 🙂

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#Restaurants

Hausbesetzer Laboratory @ 10a Alabama

If Cubao Center has Cubao eXpo and Malugay in Makati has The Collective, Alabama St. in Quezon City now has an art compound simply called 10a Alabama.

I’m a fan of Jetro (of Van Gogh is Bipolar fame), so when we heard that he opened a quirky tea laboratory called Hausbesetzer in 10a Alabama, I knew we had to check it out.

Together with Robert A. Alejandro (of RAW art gallery) and Leah Sanchez (of Resurrection Furniture), he converted an ancestral home into an art & furniture gallery-cum-tea house along 10a Alabama St. in Quezon City.

We checked it out last Father’s Day. Here is what you can expect in this promising art enclave:

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#Restaurants

Chatime Fever in Manila

Read CHATIME: What We Can Learn from the Market Leader in International Bubble Tea Industry

Serenitea introduced Manila to the “Bubble Tea” experience (using fresh tea). Happy Lemon showed Manila how milk tea can be a healthier alternative to our coffee habit with its wide array of innovative flavors. And now, there’s Chatime.

The owners of the French Baker group decided to bring in Chatime, the #1 Bubble Tea store in Taiwan, to our local shores. I like it because it is more like Happy Lemon than Serenitea in terms of the variety of fruit and tea drinks. You can expect to see Chatime beside every French Baker store in Manila soon.

With the Frozen Yogurt craze starting to taper off and decline, the Manila dessert scene is setting its sights on these funky bubble tea stores.

Flavors of Taiwan Series:

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Ultimate Taste Test

General’s Lechon Private Kitchen Taste Test

General’s Lechon Overall Rating: 4.25! (out of a rating scale of 5)

Together with Spanky, we are getting into organizing intimate mini-taste test events called Private Kitchen Ultimate Taste Tests (UTT). The objective is to get to know the owners and the foodies attending the event more while feasting on the food in focus. For our first Private Kitchen UTT event, we had the Ultimate General’s Lechon Taste Test.

General’s Lechon has its own cult foodie following because of its unique lechon flavors — Chili-Garlic and Curry. There’s a constant debate on which flavors are really good and if foodies prefer these innovations or just the original lechon.

Related Blog Posts:
• General’s Lechon 5-Ways now in BGC! (2019)
• GENERAL’S LECHON: The Best Lechon in Manila! (UTT Rating: 3.79) (2013)
• General’s Lechon Private Kitchen Taste Test (2011)

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