El Jardin de Manila: Buenos Aires-Inspired Cafe (A Review)

El Jardin de Manila is Jenny Bernabe’s travel-inspired dining concept tribute to her travel buddy Miguel who owned El Jardin De Patricio in Buenos Aires.

We had our last dinner in BGC here before the Manila lockdown, and here’s what we think about El Jardin de Manila…

First Things First

It’s like a hole-in-the-wall secret cafe in the latest Bonifacio High Street South destination.

El Jardin de Manila
G/F Unit 1 18a High Street South, Corporate Plaza Tower 2,
26th Street Corner 11 Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00am-11:00pm
Email[email protected]
Facebook: El Jardin De Manila
Instagram: @eljardindemanila

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BANGKOTA Explained by Visionary Architect Royal Pineda!

The [email protected] 2020 Dubai: BANG – KÓ – TA

Bangkóta, the Philippines Pavilion at the 2020 Expo in Dubai is more than just an architectural masterpiece showcasing the Philippines. Woven within its undulating and free-flowing form is the 4,000-year journey and history of the Filipino people.


Designed by visionary architect Royal Pineda, the “Bangkóta is a living coral reef, pulsating with people, movement, activities, flora and water features, all functioning as one global ecosystem.” Measuring a total outdoor area of 1,268 square meters and 385 square meters of winding path, with a total landscaped area of 676 meters that includes water features, the Bangkóta is surrounded by a see-through and free-form wire mesh exoskeleton that shelters visitors from morning and afternoon sun.

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Shanghai Saloon: 1920s Modern China Experience @ThePodiumMall

Shanghai Saloon is a modern Chinese restaurant inspired by 1920s Shanghai dining places with European influences and characterized by a mix of oriental attitude and western culture.

It’s a proudly local concept by Korean owners Grace Lee and Han Bright Concepts known for their Kko Kko chain, in collaboration with Executive Chef Tony Ho who comes from a Michelin-starred restaurant in Hong Kong.

It feels like Modern China meets Mott 32 yet with surroundings that remind you of its mall setting. It’s a restaurant first then a bar, definitely one of those places where you’ll love to hang out when you are in The Podium area.

First Things First

Shanghai Saloon is in a secret corner in The Podium Mall beside Mamou Prime in the Arabica/Manam Cafe wing.

(Trivia: The Bee logo is a tribute to their investor partner, the late Bong Tan who signed his name with a bee.)

1st Level The Podium Mall, Ortigas Center, Pasig, Metro Manila
Telephone: +632 8426-5587
Facebook: Shanghai Saloon

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PANDAN: Chef Tatung’s Southeast Asian Specialties!

Pandan is an Asian cafe specializing in Southeast Asian comfort food favorites by one of our favorite chefs, Chef Tatung Sarthou of Talisay fame. It promises authentic recipes—no twists—and flavors that will bring memories of your travels to neighboring countries.

With the over saturation of Filipino fusion concepts last year, Southeast Asian food is now trending in Manila. No wonder, Pandan was a hit the moment it opened, filling a void for people craving for Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian or Vietnamese flavors in the QC area.


First Things First

Pandan is a total make-over from Asian fusion to legit Southeast Asian flavors of the former Lazat resto by the same owners.

Pandan Asian Café 
76 Scout Limbaga Street, Quezon City
Operating Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. everyday
Mobile: +63 917 774-8999
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Pandan Asian Cafe

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Beep! Beep! Raise your Glasses to the Jeepney Wine Tour Experience! (Photo Essay)

Jeepney Wine Tour by AWC Philippines, Inc. is a bar-hopping experience where wine-loving folks can enjoy their favorite bottle from different parts of the globe, where the mood is light, casual and friendly. Now on its third run, this year’s JWT participants will have the chance to discover wines from the USA, Spain, Argentina and France.

Wine lovers, get ready as there will be free-flowing wine as we hop around four different restos & bars in BGC while riding traditional jeepneys.

Jeepney Wine Tour
Email:  [email protected]
Tel:  (02) 8-8171417
Facebook: AWCPH
Ticket Price: Php 3500 (Reserve slot in advance)

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NEXT TO NORMAL Blue Rep Manila (Review)

Manila’s Theater season of 2020 opens with an awesome college production of the iconic Next to Normal.

My wife was crying throughout the show as I kept my emotions to myself in solemn reflection.

I felt it was unfair for Next to Normal Blue Rep to draw us into the roller coaster of traumatic emotions within Diana and Dan’s family and left it unprocessed. There was no talkback, which could be helpful for a delicate material such as this. Best to watch it with a close friend or special someone so you can talk about it after.


First Things First

Next to Normal Blue Rep opens today March 6 until the 22nd for a 3-week run with theater veterans Cris Villonco headlining as Diana and Jef Flores as Dan in collaboration with Ateneo’s Blue Repertory team under the awesome direction of Missy Maramara.


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GRAM Cafe Manila: The Japanese Premium Pancake Experience!

Gram is instagram-famous for its fluffy, three-stack premium pancakes. It opened its first store in Shinsaibashi, Osaka in 2014 and now finally in Manila with its flagship store in SM Mega Fashion Hall.

We waited for 3 hours just to have a taste of the famed Gram pancake from Japan. Was it worth the wait?

First Things First

Allot 90 minutes queuing time to get to taste the precious 30 premium pancakes hot and freshly baked only for each of the 3 time slots during the day.

Gram Manila
3rd floor of SM Megamall Fashion Hall, Ortigas Center
30 Premium Pancakes only available at 11.00 am, 3.00 pm and 6.00 pm
Instagram: @grampancakesph
Facebook: Gram Pancakes Philippines
Website: https://www.cafe-gram.com/

Gram Menu: Premium Pancake, Pancakes Menu | Pancakes Menu | Toast & Sandwiches, Toppings Menu

We arrived 11.30 am and we were hungry, so we tried the other pancake and toast options for lunch while waiting.

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CHINGOLO DELI: Bolzico Beef Butchery and Kitchen (A Review)

CHINGOLO is an Argentinian Butchery and Kitchen owned by Nico Bolzico and Erwan Heussaff serving Bolzico, a pure Argentinian certified grass-fed Angus beef. Its name is inspired by the Argentinian term for “chuck tender” meat cut.

Argentinian beef is considered by foodies as the best steak in the world because of its grass-fed, free-range, all natural quality, the flavor of which you can really taste as you chew the meat. Notice that when you eat USDA meats, their flavor is just up front and, as you chew, they lose their taste, making condiments and sauces necessary for you to enjoy the steak.

Chingolo was the perfect place to meet our friend Doji to reminisce our EYP past, catch up on the latest happenings and our dreams for 2020.

Here’s our review of our Chingolo experience…

First Things First

Most Argentinian restaurants in Manila serve USDA meats, and this is the first time you have an Argentinian-owned restaurant that serves Argentinian Bolzico beef with a Filipino restaurant concept and Filipino brand of hospitality.

Chingolo Butchery & Kitchen
UPRC 1 BLDG, Chino Roces Ave., Brgy Bangkal, Makati City
Operating Hours: Tuesdays to Sunday
11am to 3pm with seating times 11.00am-1.00 pm and 1.00-3.00 pm
6pm to 10pm with seating times 6.00-8.00 pm and 8.00-10.00 pm
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +63 915 266 3581
Facebook: Chingolo Deli
Instagram: @chingolodeli
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The Sunnies World Megamall Experience

So lately, my glasses’ nosepiece broke, so I decided it was time to finally get a new one after months of delay. I heard of Sunnies’ newest store offering a new prescription service that gets your glasses done in just 19-minutes or less! Not to mention, a cute hangout spot to get very reasonably priced coffee and shakes while you wait.


#SUNNIESWORLD is the lifestyle brand’s newest concept that offers all your favorite products in one place. Here you can find Sunnies sunglasses, prescription eyewear, makeup and even coffee.

Here’s a photo essay of my experience…

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#Restaurants, Food

MOS BURGER: Japan’s MOSt Awesome Burger Chain Opens in Manila! (What To Order)

MOS has a burger perfect for our rice loving country…

MOS Burger is a popular homegrown Japanese burger chain famed for its unique burgers. It is Japan’s second largest fast food franchise, just behind McDonald’s. Their menu is not like that of your typical standard fast food chain with hamburgers, fries and hot dogs. Instead of having a bun made of bread, you find one made of Japanese rice—the perfect synergy of East and West!

While most of us might assume that it’s a burger joint owned by Mo’s, it’s actually an acronym for “Mountain, Ocean and Sun,” meaning as tall as the mountain, with a heart as big as the ocean and an undying passion like the sun. It currently has over 1,700 locations throughout Asia, Australia and you can find the first Philippine branch at Robinsons Galleria.

Here’s what we loved at MOS…

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