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#Restaurants

#Restaurants

“Love is more important than food!”

Happy Valentines Day to all of you! Valentines’ used to be a big day full of anxiety because of preparation of a wonderful surprise gimmick for my loved one. These days, it’s about planning an escape to spend an evening dinner together at a secluded restaurant. I actually don’t mind traveling all the way to the end of South Super Highway and visit Esperanza’s Farm Dining in Calamba, Laguna. However, what I do mind is traveling all the way and be disappointed with the taste of the food. So, there won’t be any food shots in this post 🙁 I know that there are risks sometimes for visiting places for the first time and not yet tried and tested. Oh well, since we paid for the ambiance then we will just shoot the ambiance and build our collection of couple pictures 🙂 On normal days, they serve ala carte for P550 (which should be better than the buffet we had) and by reservation only.

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#Restaurants

Nothing beats an Antonio’s Dinner @ Tagaytay!

October 8, 2013: ANTONIO’S TAGAYTAY: Celebrating Your Best Moments in the Best Restaurant in the Philippines 🙂


UPDATE Feb. 8, 2006: Finally I was able to complete this Antonio’s article in time for Valentines. Although, if you are just reserving just now, forget about it because the valentines day and valentines weekend is fully booked!

Almost every year, I have the privilege of having dinner at Antonio’s @ Brgy Neogan, Tagaytay by renowned Chef Antonio Escalante. It continues to be the best special dinner you could ever have in Manila. This is the food paradise place where you won’t complain about how expensive it is (P2,000+/person) because you are paying for the dining experience with perfect food, perfect ambiance, and perfect service from Antonio’s and his staff. You would even appreciate how slow they would serve the food because they make sure that they it is cooked fresh when you order it. For those who have not been to this place or planning to go on any season, here is a guide on how to have the best Antonio’s experience.

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#Restaurants, Tagaytay

Paul Huang’s Fire Lake Grill @ Cliff House, Tagaytay


Finally, I was able to schedule a Tagaytay trip and check out the highly recommended Fire Lake Grill by Paul Huang. At first, you would think that this is yet another steakhouse in Tagaytay. The food is really good at this place from the steak house to the grilled fish, to the salad and the desserts. This is a small cozy restaurant so you need to reserve in advance and it would be difficult to walk-in here. This shot was taken almost at 1pm+ already so dining al-fresco at this time is not ideal. Although it is so windy at this time and eating outside is perfect for Aidan since he can walk to his heart’s content.

Let me walk you through a Fire Lake Grill Sunday Lunch!

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#Restaurants, Tagaytay

Opium Bed @ Buon Giorno, Cliff House, Tagaytay

Buon Giorno’s Opium Bed is starting to be one of the most reserved spot in Cliff House, Tagaytay. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you are missing on the latest discovery in Tagaytay. I got the tip from Grace last November who was kind enough to share with me her review (Thanks alot Grace!). Here’s an excerpt:

“The food in BuonGiorno is okay. I guess it’s nothing compared to Amoroma or L’Opera, but for the price, it was well worth it (Which made it great! hahaha)! We ordered two glasses of white wine, parma ham antipasti, their specialty salad, salmon and asparagus risotto and chicken saltimbocca and only paid 1k. I’d recommend the food except for the dessert and the wines. (the risotto was around 250, the chicken was 400 [but that’s their specialty], but on the whole, the dishes cost around 150-250 each) (pls don’t get the desserts! The sansrival had too much butter, while the panna cotta was runny). The nicest thing about it was my boyfriend reserved the “opium bed.” It’s this wooden chair that had hanging curtains overlooking the view which was absolutely beautiful and romantic. If you’ll eat in BuonGiorno, you SHOULD have that seat reserved.” (review by grace)

We decided to eat @ Fire Lake Grill (I’ll share in a separate post) instead and we had a firm resolution to go back and reserve this Opium Bed when we eat here @ Buon Giorno. By the way, I was surprised that the valentines weekend is still open versus when I ask a reservation in Antonio’s. That tells me that not a lot of people still know about this place which has been in operation for 6 months+. By the way, Cliff House Tagaytay is just along the main highway in Tagaytay right before the fork road @ Petron Gas Station. See more detailed photos…

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#Restaurants

So Woo?

Single Meal of Bulgoki / Korean Traditional Bulgoki and Kimchi Fried Rice (P600).

Here is another recent discovery in my favorite Manila Bay place in Harbour Square. The place is called So Woo which means little cow in Korean. It is owned by Korean Ms. Danny Chong who is living in the Philippines for 10 years now. According to her, it was called little cow because it is unique and did you know that the beef of little cows are juicer and taste a lot better than big cows. The food tasted like the authentic Korean food similar to the authentic Korean restaurant we normally visit at the back of Barrio Fiesta along Makati Avenue (I can’t recall the Korean name). So Woo serves authentic Korean-style dishes and the owner is there to entertain the guest. They just opened last January 1, 2006.

I’ve been on my low carb vegetarian quest for 5 days now and we were looking for a vegetarian place. Surprisingly, we found it in this Korean place on the second floor of Harbour Square which boast of meat as their specialty . The Bulgoki is really good. The Kimchi Fried Rice is worth to try. The meal already has an iced tea and unlimited refill of the vegetables side dishes — woo hoo! The kim chi, spinach, squash omelette, mashed potato and onion leek salad was very good — fresh, crispy and tasty. I’ve finally found vegetarian heaven: Eat-all-you-can vegetables!

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#Restaurants

Aidan’s Je Suis Gourmand Birthday Dinner


Finally, I’ve always wanted to eat dinner Je Suis Gourmand and finally we decided to eat here as we celebrate Aidan’s first birthday in a simple way with family. It was a personal decision not to celebrate Aidan’s birthday in an elaborate Kid’s party way because it was not appropriate. A lot of people are raving about Gourmand for its delicious French cuisine by Chef Marc. We ordered mostly their main entrees and it was indeed delicious with generous servings (good for 2). We ordered the best sellers in the house and should have listened to Sharon that each serving was big and good for more than one person.

Je Suis Gourmand has an intimate setting and only has few tables inside and some outside as the smoking section area. This January, it is still cool with the winds tunneling outside of the resto. Actually, it was the perfect type for the evening dinner conversation with friends enjoying good french cuisine, good company and good wine. Unfortunately, I lacked foresight that we were bringing in three babies (aidan, carlos, and sophia) and it could get chaotic with the babies. Anyway, we survived the night with the babies but I felt we were frowned upon by the Chef because he did not go back to our table after initially greeting us or even thanked us for coming. Chef Marc, the owner, is known for chatting with his customers and making sure they feel welcomed.

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#Restaurants

Welcome to my Jumbo Kingdom!

Jumbo Kingdom is one of the most misunderstood structures in Manila Bay. A lot of people are intimidated with its magnificent floating restaurant structure and often mistake it to be a casino (which was rumored during Erap’s time). In 2000, two tugboats crossed from Aberdeen Harbour in Hong Kong to Manila Bay just to bring to manila one out of three Jumbo Floating Restaurants. It’s claim to fame is not only its magnificent sculpture, precise workmanship and intricate detail but also its delicious Cantonese Chinese restaurant! Jumbo Kingdom boasts of 11 VIP rooms equipped with videoke, a Fine Dining Restaurant, Crystal Banquet Hall and the Jumbo Music Lounge on the top floor (which is the place to be). This is definitely worth a visit if you have visitors/ balikbayans — the food is definitely good but the desserts were disappointing 🙂

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#Restaurants

Conti’s Finally Expanded in Greenhills!


After 8 years of being Paranaque’s pride and best kept dessert secret, Conti’s pastry shop and restaurant finally opened in Connecticut, Greenhills last mid Nov 2005. I kept this on my list to blog about every since Tanya mentioned this in her blog. For some time, Conti’s has been our caterer in the office for special lunches with VIP visitors, and you would crave about how good the food is. So for all those who don’t know yet what’s the fuss about Conti’s opening at greenhills, then read on. Otherwise, I have food shots of the Baked Salmon and Mango Bravo that would surely make you head over at connecticut on your next greenhills shopping. Thank you Carol Sumulong, for finally branching out in Ortigas!

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#Restaurants

a regrettable Lavigne Bistro dinner


I’ve been hearing raves about Lavigne for sometime now, but my gut is telling me that there is something wrong with this place. First, everytime I pass by Yakal on my way home, there were only a few cars versus Bianca’s or Carpaccio which is along the same street. I thought the place was intimidatingly expensive. Second, I noticed that they changed names from Anthony’s to Titania and at some point there was a healthy restaurant here. Finally, last January 5, we celebrated Rommel and Jinky’s birthday at Lavigne. The ambiance and service was great, however, the food was regrettably bad. Sorry for this but we were served with seafood bouillabaisse that was not fresh that tasted it was frozen for ages and cooked for us, the only customer on a Thursday night. Of course, we did not pay for its P850 price and we did not let that ruin our entire night, so we shoot the night away 🙂

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