Drinking Chocnut Coffee @ Green Halo Cafe… (Halo Cafe Menu 1 | 2 | 3 | 4)
Halo is famous for its organic and healthy menu, but it is also infamous for its waiting time of 30 minutes for one’s order. It is not that popular among the Cubao eXpo crowd, except for its Chocnut Coffee (P55).
After Bong’s Vintage Pop closed down, Ron Soriano’s Hey Day is now the king of Vintage in Cubao Expo — but more focused on Vintage Fashion. There, you’ll find original vintage clothes, mostly sourced from Ron’s travels outside the Philippines. They just moved recently from the quiet side to the 2nd floor store on the happening side of Cubao Expo (where Mogwai is located).
Angeli is known as the Bead Lady and enjoys a cult following for her Yummy Trinkets like cupcakes, cookies and candies made from Polymer Clay. The goodies look very real, and some people collect them, especially the cupcakes. Angeli, together with some friends, recently opened The Beadlady Craft Cafe in Cubao eXpo to showcase her creations.
Alan’s Grill is known for its Kare Kareng Bulalo and Crispy Pata. From Bakahan and Manukan in Megamall, Alan transfered his restaurant to Cubao eXpo and became the place to be for Filipino food in the area. People hang out in Alan’s Grill for “Barrio Fiesta” kind of food, or to enjoy a band’s performance in Genre on the second floor. The food is fine if you are already in Cubao eXpo, but I don’t think it will become a foodie destination like Bellini’s.
The Grand Thrift House is the home of vintage items, nostalgia and kitsch in Manila. They have several old copies of Wakasan (the dramatic comic magazine made by Carlo J. Caparas) and other discontinued Filipino comic magazines. It is a very interesting shop — you need to have an eye for what is valuable to cut through the clutter.
Bellini’s is one of the institutions in Cubao eXpo (formerly Marikina Shoe Expo) since it opened in July 1999. It continues to be one of my favorite Italian restaurants in the Metro, together with Cafe Puccini in the Fort. They serve al dente pasta and authentic Italian thin crust pizza with a simple tomato and mozzarella base. Our favorites are the Four Cheese Pizza and the Pasta with mushroom sauce, prosciutto ham and truffle oil.
Most people look forward to the complimentary shot of sweet red wine after the meal. It is made personally by Mr. Bellini himself and tastes like sweet grape juice with a touch of alcohol.
Heima is one of the indie stores that recently opened in Cubao eXpo. It provides homey, classy, contemporary designs described as “heimish“. The store name is said to be Icelandic for “at home”. It showcases weird and bold color combinations that work, and different shapes and patterns that provide a warm ambiance. Perhaps the most coveted items in Heima are the call-out shelves on the second floor (the My Apartment showroom).
I got an email one day from a Time Magazine writer, asking me to confirm if Vintage Pop closed down. I got confirmation that Bong’s Vintage Pop closed down last week of July. Bong is migrating to Canada. The Black Soup Project of Avic Ilagan, Ellen Ramos, Ricky Orellana, Robert Quebral and Neil Daza closed down last week. They are transferring Black Soup to UP Teacher’s Village. (Can anyone confirm this?) So, only Pablo is the last remaining Art Shop from the original group that started the Cubao-X culture.