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.


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 (₱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.



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,
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.


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

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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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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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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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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Top Caterers in Manila @ SMX’s Culinaire 2019!

Culinaire is an annual SMX culinary event held as a thanksgiving to clients and as a signature showcase of SMX Convention Center’s 15 accredited caterers’ food and set up excellence. This year was a battle among the 15 caterers who competed for 7 awards last September 5, 2019.

Congratulations to the Top Caterers in Manila: Juan Carlo, The Creamery and Bizu Catering Studio for winning the prestigious awards at SMX Culinaire 2019!

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Southbank: Alabang’s Secret Melbourne-inspired Cafe

It’s starting to feel like Melbourne in the south because of the demand for better cafes and better lounge and food experience in the Alabang Area.

This motivated Patrick Leyble, Wendy Esteban and Stevie Ang, who moved back from Melbourne to start a new wave of cool cafes and lounges inspired by the Melbourne scene, to create Southbank. We loved the food, the gin+cocktail program and the warm hospitality of the owners.

We tried this out for breakfast and lunch with the family, and here are our favorites…


SOUTHBANK Cafe +Lounge
Central Plaza, Westgate Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines
Operating Hours:
Weekdays 7.00am – 1.00am  Friday – Saturday 7.00am – 3.00 am
Mobile: +63 916 247 8516
Email: [email protected]
Instagram: @southbankcafelounge

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#Hotels, #Philippines, Staycation

Maremegmeg Beach Club: The Chillest Beach Resort in El Nido, Palawan!

Tucked away in a quiet beach just outside the busy town of El Nido is a small family-owned resort that offers the perfect escape to a tranquil getaway in the island—intimate yet accessible with an awesome view to match and, quite possibly, the best and only swimmable beach in this side of town.

Maremegmeg Beach Club is the future of eco-luxury beachfront resorts in El Nido, Palawan!

Maremegmeg Beach Club
Sitio Maremegmeg, El Nido, 5313 Palawan
Contact: +63 918 257 2981

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Chug Beers & Munch On German Food In Okada’s 6-Day Octoberfest Celebration!

Prost! To an authentic Bavarian celebration at Okada with an authentic German experience drinkin’ and munchin’ the true flavors and spirit of Octoberfest.

To make things even more exciting, Okada Manila is building a replica of the Bavarian village inside the Crystal Corridor, featuring free-flowing Bavarian Weihenstephan beer served by beer maidens. What is Octoberfest without German food? Get your stomachs ready for some hearty platters of bratwurst, pork knuckles, oven-baked chicken, meatloaf and more! And adding further to the festive mood is a live band playing authentic German music from Monday 23 September to Saturday 28 September at Okada’s Crystal Court.

Here’s a photo essay on what to expect…

Okada’s Octoberfest 2019
Crystal Court, Okada Manila
Atlantic Ave, Parañaque
Tel: 555 5799
E-mail: [email protected]

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Harry Potter in Concert in Manila Review

It was our first time watching a CineConcert where the entire film is shown on a 40-foot screen playing only the original dialogue (with subtitle), with the music performed live by a symphony orchestra in sync with the movie.

It was indeed a magical experience to watch the original Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ with the musical score performed live by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gerard Salonga.

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