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#Restaurants

#Restaurants

Minnie Puno’s The Home Chef Private Dining

The idea of opening one’s house to strangers for private dining may seem odd and a bit foolish to some, but not for Minnie Puno. Minnie is known in the foodie circle for her Minnie Mousse (chocolate mousse with a twist of liquor), ang saWRAP asian wraps sold in Legaspi Market, and CROQS, filled Potato Croquetas. So when she decided that she wanted to share her passion for cooking with foodies in her own home, I decided to make that the inaugural event for Secret Resto.

Secret Resto is an experimental project where we invite OAP friends and readers to join us in experiencing a different kind of resto for the first time. It is innovative in terms of its promise to offer the latest restaurant experience with a different concept every time — Different Menu, Different Place, Different Chefs. We aim to achieve a foodie experience that we will all cherish and, sometimes, immortalize in the blog. We also hope to achieve lasting foodie friendships and create meaningful networks through this experience.

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#Restaurants

Yes Yes to Yen Yen


Taiwan Cha Chang Noodles – P68

We were a little hesitant about trying out Yen Yen because we had a bad food experience with the Yen Yen Stall along Shaw. Anyway, we decided to give it another shot after watching the Bellyfest at the PETA theater. I’m happy to say we were pleased with our decision to cap off the night at Yen Yen instead of the usual fast food (e.g. KFC, McDo, Chowking, etc.).

Yen Yen food has improved drastically compared to the now-closed Shaw stall. The Taiwanese partner moved on already and the current owners seem to have tweaked the recipe a bit to suit the Filipino palate. We liked the quality of the Cha Chang noodles together with the bean sprouts and the tasty tofu (for a healthier twist).

There’s no need to claim that it’s authentic (because it’s not); nevertheless, the food has a unique flavor that sets it apart from our usual North Park orders. Highly recommended for those looking for a cheap, unique, and yummy hole-in-the-wall around Greenhills.

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#Restaurants

Isabelo, Marikina’s Secret Restaurant


We were blown away by our recent Isabelo Garden restaurant experience. It was indeed a secret restaurant — you really have to journey to the heart of Marikina to find it. The food tastes good and you can tell that everything was cooked with love by the lovely Ms. Portia. The rustic Italian ambiance is set in an ancestral house (with old trees), which is artistically decorated by Portia’s mom.

Isabelo is a combination of the concept behind Sonya’s Garden, the kitschiness of Cafe Juanita, and the home-cooked goodness of Conti’s. It is also a family showcase: the garden is created by the Mother, the Daughter is the queen of the kitchen, and the overall inspiration comes from the Grandmother. The walls are adorned with photos, paintings, pots and pans, mugs with faces, animal figurines, empty wine bottles and empty bottles of perfume (with contributions from some guests).

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#Restaurants

Cicou Ala Carte Buffet Power Breakfast

Update July 11, 2012: This restaurant is now closed and moved to BRASSERIE CI COU.

There’s nothing like a hearty breakfast to start your day. 

I’ve been in search of the Best Breakfast in Manila because I’m always looking for places to eat after a good run (more than the usual fast food places). Most of the restaurants still don’t cater to the breakfast crowd and, at best, they only serve breakfast on a Sunday.

Cicou has a daily ala carte buffet breakfast for only P850 (+10% sc) where you can order anything that you want from the menu and as many as you want. This is available from 6am-10.30am daily and extends until 2pm on Sundays.

I like ala carte buffets because the food is not prepared beforehand. They only cook it when you order it. You can also drink as much hot chocolate and cappuccino as you want.

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Food

Beer Pairing Basics @ Chateau 1771

 

We are constantly on the lookout for ways to enhance our food experience. Last Wednesday, we had the chance to do just that as we officially had our first food and beer pairing degustation. I do hope Chateau 1771 offers the degustation menu in their resto for other foodies to try the beer and food combinations.

Here are our insights and learnings from the beer pairing experience with San Miguel Lifestyle Brews…

San Miguel Lifestyle Brews Beer Pairing Series:

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#Restaurants

Pig Out of Town!


We finally found a unique restaurant in Nuvali worth raving about: Pig Out!

Solenad, the lifestyle area fronting the Nuvali property, is becoming the best stopover for people going to/from Tagaytay. We even saw the Magsaysay family (of Ilog Maria Bee Farm fame) dining in the area.

Pig Out! is the second locally conceived theme restaurant of the Bistro group (think Friday’s and Italianni’s). I didn’t really like Flapjacks, their first locally conceived resto, because of its overall ho-hum taste — although it tries hard to be the next Country Waffles. This is the Bistro group’s first establishment in Nuvali, and foodies are raving about the Inihaw na Spare Ribs Adobo, Curry Rice and their creative concoctions of Healthy drinks.

For Manila-based foodies who are looking for out-of-town foodie escapes, Pig Out! is a great place to try. Kanin Club has competition now (it’s sad that their Kanin Get it restaurant in Nuvali was poorly executed).

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#Restaurants

Baptism of Chocolate Fire

We celebrated Raphael Anthony’s Baptism last March 28, Palm Sunday, at Chocolate Fire. We decided to have a private event — a Chocolate and Wine Baptism with our immediate family and the Ninongs and Ninangs only. I’m glad that Chocolate Fire specializes in chocolate-themed events, and we were happy to be their first event here in Manila. 🙂

Chocolate Fire is a Melbourne-based enterprise and is currently the best Chocolate Cafe in Manila. It’s very interesting that they chose Manila as the location of their first store outside Australia. They opened it here for two reasons: (1) their top customers in their Melbourne store are Filipinos, and (2) a popular chocolate brand has Philippines as one of their top market.

Chocolate Fire is starting to rock the Chocolate trend locally by introducing Top Quality Artisan Chocolates produced here in Manila.  High Quality Chocolates actually do not burn your throat and the dark ones, which are made of pure cacao, are healthy. You can actually eat as many as you like without feeling stuffed.

Here is a photo essay of Raphael’s Baptism. Thank you to the Ninongs and Ninangs for making this a special event in Raphael’s life! 🙂

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Food

The Flavors of Ateneo (through the eyes of a Lasalista)


Manang’s Liempo (P45). The most famous dish at Manang’s

Ever since my blog post on the Flavors of La Salle and Reminiscin’ La Salle, I often wondered what Ateneo Food would taste like and how the campus would feel like. Thanks to Regine Garcia and team for inviting me to give a talk to the GK Students — I got the chance to “infiltrate” the Ateneo camp.

I realized how beautiful the campus is and I wondered what would have happened if I went to Ateneo. (I guess, OAP would be blue. 🙂 ) Let me show you the foodie places around the Ateneo campus…

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#Restaurants

Peanut Butter Love

I’ve been hearing raves about Peanut Butter Company (PB Co.) ever since it opened, but it is quite far from where we live. It took me some time to gain enough patience to brave the traffic going to SM North Edsa.

It was our parents’ wedding anniversary and syoti Raphael’s first month, so we decided to celebrate in Peanut Butter Company. PB Co. specializes in take-out pasta and sandwiches that use their gourmet peanut butter. I was a bit surprised that the place discourages dine-in guests because of the few dine-in tables available and the way the sandwiches/pasta are served (in take-out wrappers and containers).

It is a cross between Oliver’s Sandwiches, a coffee shop and an Iron Chef episode with Peanut Butter as the main ingredient. We had fun because the food is quite unique and yummy. We have our own preferences but we all agree that the Sesame Peanut Butter was the best. 🙂

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Food

Zubuchon – The Best Lechon (in Cebu)!?

After our Danao, Bohol trip, we decided to fly out via Cebu, and our last stopover was in Banilad Town Center. We decided to stop there because it is near Our Lady of Peace by the Pink Sisters where we wanted to hear Sunday Mass. I remembered the buzz about Marketmanila’s Zubuchon before the Christmas Season, and bringing home a Cebu Lechon was the perfect pasalubong for our families.

I heard a lot of foodies raving about the lechon, so I was excited to try it for myself.

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