A schnitzel is a european dish that is made of breaded boneless meat. Draft Gastropub's Schnitzel and Frites (₱320) is made of a thin slice of chicken breast that is fried to perfection and comes with a side of fries and salad. The breading is tasty and the chicken remains juicy - it pretty good and reminds us of the taiwanese chicken chop. Pairs well with any of the european beers you can get at Draft.
Draft Gastropub is located at the Fort Strip
Our favorite innovative chef strikes gold again and this time with a... salad? You heard it right, Chef Laudico was able to make a lonely salad come alive with colors and interesting flavors! The 3 Kinds of Mangoes Salad (₱268) comes with bits and pieces of ripe, green and dried mangoes on a bed of organic greens. And if that is not enough mango for you, the dressing that comes with this is their mango-bagoong vinaigrette. A slice of cashew-crusted kesong puti sits on top of this healthy masterpiece which brings the entire dish together. Now we can't believe that we are actually craving for salad!
Bistro Filipino is located at the G/F Net 2 Building, 3rd Avenue, Fort Bonifacio
We've heard of this little italian restaurant that is situated in a gas station along Edsa for a long time now but we haven't gone out of our way to visit. But because of a special occasion, we finally did and we were pleasantly surprised. The place is small, has a cibo - feel, and is surprisingly full even on a rainy Saturday night! Well apparently, all that fuss about Va Bene being an up and coming italian joint is true. They have unique and freshly made pastas that will definitely make your trek to Petron-Dasmarinas worth it. We tried the Lobster Cappellacci (₱590), which was a bit pricey but we know we can't find this anywhere else so we're good. Cappellacci is made to look like "small hats", hence its name. It is a ravioli type of pasta wherein each piece is stuffed with filling and in this case, lobster bisque. It is tasty inside and out! Be sure to try this one when you visit Va bene.
Va Bene is located 2/F Petron Gas Station, EDSA Dasmariñas Village - North, Makati
You might have guessed that we are big Cukay fans by now (And no, this is not sponsored). With that said, we love their carrot cake (₱600 for 7 in, ₱1200 for 9 in)! It is a no-frills-straight-to-the-point cake that is rich and moist and topped with the cream cheese frosting we know and love from their famed red velvet. Be warned, though, the frosting is a bit on the sweet side but if you have a sweet tooth like we do, then you'll love it. Otherwise, just shave some of the frosting off and enjoy a slice of this wonderful cake!
Cukay's treats can be found every weekend various Mall Bake Fairs. Or you can call them at 09178596244
Chubby's Rib Shack is not only about ribs as evidenced by their Chop House Classics. Take time to visit them for their cheap angus steaks as well! They tell you to smother it your way so you get the choice of sauce and/or toppings for your steak. We had the Cheese, Onions and Peppers (₱269) because they say it is fajita inspired - and they were right! The sliced angus steaks are soft and well cooked. It is indeed topped with cheese, onions and peppers so at this point in time we were missing the tortilla wraps. But not to worry, the Honky Tonk RIce (dirty rice topped with beans), veggies, and Texas Toast (FAT buttered toast) more than made up for it.
Chubby's Rib Shack is located at Solaris One, Dela Rosa, Makati
It used to be that you had to trek to Malate for Sala's Sunday Brunch to feast upon their organic egg dishes. We were all to happy when they moved to a nearer Makati (at least from us) years ago. The poached eggs with prosciutto and hollandaise is still superb. The steaks are always cooked well and beautifully marbled. We like the pan seared minute steak on top of that crispy sourdough. But the desserts is where the stars are at. Fluffy Ricotta and Banana Pancakes with Maple Syrup, where warm banana is a nice contrast to the ricotta and the pancakes is a great choice. Our absolute favorite is the Rhubarb, Strawberry and Pecan Crumble, which tastes amazing accompanies by the ice cream. We'd gladly pay for the other things to get to that Pecan Crumble. Sala Bistro's Weekend Brunch happens every Saturday and Sunday 11am-2pm (₱690 for 2 courses or ₱1280 with unlimited Aussie bubbly)
Sala Bistro is located at Greenbelt 3
Mom and Tina's French Apple Tart (₱130) feels and tastes more like Apple Crumble to us but we don't mind. It is crumbly, sugary, and buttery - everything we want our apple crumble to be. Once you work your way on the inside, you get to enjoy the cinnamon stewed apples and something different that doesn't make this your usual apple pie. Oh that's right, it comes with some grated cheese inside! It is overall sweet with tinges of cheesy salty taste that we love. Now if this only comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it would have been 200% perfect. But we are not complaining.. it is good on its own. Comes in a personal size as well as you can quickly satisfy your apple crumble craving without having to get a full sized pie.
Mom and Tina's is located along C5 Pasig, Perea St. Makati and along Katipunan Ave. Quezon City
Kanin Club specializes in "sauce-y" Filipino dishes that is best enjoyed with heaps of white rice and Seafood Kare Kare (₱298) is one of our favorites. Served in platter rather than a big bowl, is a beautiful arrangement of mussels, shrimp, squid, and veggies swimming in delicious peanut sauce. A side of bagoong comes with this but we found ourselves enjoying this dish minus the bagoong, which is quite unusual. As we know Kare Kare MUST come with bagoong, but this Kanin Club's Kare Kare sauce is tasty enough to be enjoyed on its own.
Kanin Club is located at Ayala Triangle Gradens, Paseo de Sta. Rosa, Alabang Westgate and UP-Ayala Technohub
When there is a line in the newest food hotspot in town, we are sure to get in that line. After all, all those people patiently waiting in line indicates that something is worth waiting for. And it's true indeed! The J.Co Donuts banner has been teasing us for months in Greenbelt until it finally opened last July. If you have been wondering what is so great about another donut place in town - well consider this: soft, pillowy donuts topped and/or stuffed with unique flavors such as Alcapone, Green Tea, and Avocado (₱42+/pc). They claim to use only the finest ingredients such as belgian chocolate, macha, and almonds and that's why it's so good.
J.Co Donuts is located at SM Megamall, Mall of Asia and Greenbelt 3
After a full meal at Sonya's Garden, have a walk around and explore the actual garden. While you are at it, check out the little Panaderia beside the eating area. We tell you, it must not be missed! Sonya's Garden also has a bakery full of delicious and freshly baked bread and goodies! Our favorite is the Spanish Bread (₱120/10pcs). It's not like the normal Spanish bread you find in your neighborhood bakeshop. This one is bigger, denser, and is stuffed with pastillas de leche-type of filling. Now if we didn't get you at "pastillas de leche", I don't know what will. Also try the tuna bread and cheese hopia!
Sonya's Garden is located at Alfonso, Cavite
Alexa's Deli is a small restaurant in one of the buildings along HV Delacosta that is usually full of office people and nearby residents at any given lunch time. We are not surprised that this cozy deli shop has established a following because they serve good food! May it be all-day breakfast meals, sandwiches, salads, and our favorite - pasta! We have tried all the pasta dishes and while they are all good, the clear winner for us is the Tuscan Tuna in Sundried Tomato (₱220). Each bite is bursting with sweet-spicy flavor with generous chunks of tuna and cheese. Wash it down with a glass of grape shake for that full Alexa's experience.
Alexa's Deli Cafe and Wine Bar is located at G/F Classica I Salcedo Village
Although we take some issue on Yabu calling themselves authentic katsu people and still call fish, shrimp and oysters Katsu instead of furai - there's no denying that they make a mean tonkatsu. Yabu's Hire Pork Tonkatsu (₱405 for 150g and 330 for 100g) features a perfectly battered, crispy, tender and absolutely melts in your mouth pork tenderloin. Which for anyone that has ever cooked center cut pork loin, knows is quite a feat. Yes, it looks like any other tonkatsu place you've been to before, and No, there is absolutely no fried pork better (at least here in the Philippines). Trust us and get the bigger portion. Comes with unlimited cabbage, rice and a serving of miso soup.
Yabu is located at 2/F SM Megamall and at Robinson's Magnolia
Manila's Bonchon restaurant has been having their Bulgogifest for a few months now yet we can't seem to get tired of the Beef Bulgogi Wrap (₱125). It is the perfect on-the-go snack if you don't have time to site down and eat rice. Sweet marinated beef wrapped in a flour tortilla with veggies. One bite and you will immediately wonder what that extra ingredient is that is giving this wrap an unexpected kick - that's right, it is the kimchi coleslaw! So don't be confused - this snack has a hint of western, a dash of korean, and a boatload of awesome.
Bonchon is located at multiple outlets throughout the Philippines
Elias restaurant obviously has a lot of Spanish Influence - from the name of the restaurant to the name of the actual dishes. Naturally, we'd find afilipinized Spanish dish or two here and that is where the Pinoy Paella (₱350) comes in. Typical paella, one of the most popular Spanish dishes, topped with Filipino toppings such as prawns, chicken, liempo, and chorizo. The fusion is so spot on, you'd think Paella actually originated from here.
Elias is located at Bonifacio High Street Central
We don't know how Slice did it but they managed to make the Burger (₱490) healthy. Maybe it's the toasted yet soft whole wheat bread,the thick burger pattie that is free from extenders and preservatives, or the fruity salad in place of greasy french fries. In any case, this is one good burger that is topped with some yummy summer slaw (coleslaw) that we can eat day in day out! We got it with a side of caramelized onions and mushrooms (₱35 each) for that extra oomph.. not that it needs it anyway.
Slice is located at Bonifacio High Street Central
No menu is necessary when you visit Sonya's Garden. Any Sonya's Garden expert would know that all you have to do is sit back, relax, and wait for the food to start streaming in. Start your Sonya's meal with a freshly baked loaf of whole wheat sesame bread with a variety of spreads (black olive tapinade, mushroom pate, basil pesto, white cheese, bruschetta tomato toppings among others). Expect to get a table full of salad + toppings soon after. A big bowl of lively greens (plus edible flowers, no kidding!) and an array of little bowls of things that will make your salad more yummy and appetizing. Choose from fruits (melon, langka, mangoes), chopped boiled eggs, crushed nuts, and singkamas. Of course, no trip to Sonya's is complete without a taste of their famous Super Secret Dressing (hint: you can buy a bottle of this secret to take home). If you still have some space, pasta will soon follow with a choice of 2 sauces: cream and tomato. Also comes with a side of salmon belly, olives, ratatouille, and mushrooms. (Whew!) But wait, of course there is dessert! A slice of chocolate cake, turon, and sweet potatoes will be served to cap that wonderful meal. Did we also mention that all this is only ₱680 and comes with bottomless fresh dalandan juice and tarragon tea? It is eat-all-you-can, too! The kind of buffet we don't feel guilty about.
Sonya's Garden is located at Alfonso, Cavite
Today's found food is something new to us. We've all had popcorn before - but not like this. Tastes great, no aftertaste or artificial products. It's amazing that 479° Popcorn (₱99 for small bag, ₱200 for big bag) can make snacks like this without corn syrup or any unnatural flavors. Popping their heirloom, organic kernels in small batches using copper pots, 479° Popcorn's Fleur de Sel Caramel is the perfect sweet-salty snack. Coated in sweet, buttery caramel and dusted with Fleur de Sel, a sea salt harvested by hand from evaporation ponds on the coast of Brittany, France. And did we say the small bags are 100 calories only? (Too bad we ate 6 in one sitting)
479° Popcorn can be found in Healthy Options Outlets
We are sure you have seen Sariwon in the new Boni High Street area but have been disappointed with its long line and wait. We were finally able to overcome that disappointment by making a reservation and we must say, there is a reason for that long wait. Sariwon serves high quality beef that is grilled right at your table. And while this is a barbecue restaurant, their exhaust system is pretty good as you will hardly see/smell/notice the smoke from all that grilling. While you are at it, try the Deungsim Yangnyeom Bulgogi (₱495). This version of the bulgogi is honey marinated giving the beef a slightly sweet taste even before you dip it in the sauce. Comes with veggies, soup and freshly made sweet potato noodles.
Sariwon is located at Bonifacio High Street Central
First, there was the Zong Classic that is the Chicken in Salted Egg Yolk. While it is yummy, we can't help but wish for a dish they is less fussy to eat (this one still has bones). Lo and behold! Zong heard our plea and came up with the Fried Golden Egg Fish (₱450). White fish filet coated in the the salted egg yolk we love. Best thing about it is that we get to savor each every salted egg-y bite. Perfect pair to the yang chow fried rice.
Zong is located at the Fort Strip, Fort Bonifacio
Republic of Tea is finally here! You'll be amazed at the selection of teas they carry - with tons of different flavors, tea types, and purpose (need something for sleep? check! hydration? check! energy? check!). Today's choice goes to the Red Velvet Chocolate Tea (₱575) (we told you they have a wide array of tea!). 9 days of nonstop rain definitely call for something warm and comforting and this one takes the cake. Unsweetened yet with a hint of red velvet chocolate aftertaste (minus the frosting), it's calorie free and caffeine free. Makes this gloomy day a little better.
Republic of Tea can be found at Healthy Options outlets