Las Casas Manila

Las Casas Manila

So much of our future lies in preserving our past. ~Peter Westbrook~

Aside from food, Jen and I shared our love in exploring new places and travel together as far and as much as we can. Anything new to us. She had been requesting from me for years to bring her to Bataan, at “Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar”. However, we’ve been busy lately and when I discovered that there’s an extension of said place somewhere in QC, I am thrilled to inform if she’s okay into venturing to this one that’s nearer, for now.

So up we went one Friday, and reveled in its’ own version of preserving and restoring one of the old manors in Quezon City – Casa De Juico.

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They converted the place after being sold to Jerry Acuzar: The owner of San Jose Builders, it is complete with a boutique hotel and a restaurant by one of Asia’s Best Female Chef: Margarita Fores.

After the attendants with pleasing demeanor took our food choices, we wandered around the place with its’ classic ambience and took pictures (a lot) while Jen is checking from time to time if our food is already served. We were starving as we arrived there at almost 2:00 pm.

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We were ushered by two smiling faces and directed us to the dining hall and let us choose where we want to be sitted.

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I definitely enjoyed chosen spots which they call Instagram worthy. Little did Jen know, I’ve spotted some favorites since I already saw them several times from Instagram. =)

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A version of “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt .

So here’s what we’ve got: Spaghetinni con Mariscos (Seafood pasta), Callos (Ox tripe, Chorizos and garbanzos), Tres leches (a slice of chiffon cake topped with smoked coconut and dried mangoes and jackfruit) for dessert and red grapes shake for me (which I so loved) and yellow mango shake for Jen. She loved her pasta as it is thinner than usual, they used Spaghetinni, my Callos were made of slow-cooked to tenderness tripe.  

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We also had Huevos con gambas, for a starter. It’s hard-boiled egg topped with prawns relished in paprika.

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This wheel of cheese is part of their buffet offer, it’s called Parmeggiano Regiano, it’s known to be the “King of Cheese”, it’s so tasteful, gritty and lactose-free too. The cheaper version, is known as “Parmesan” cheese.

It’s just one manor, unlike the one in Bataan, there are more than 20 Casas there, but just this one brimmed our phones with pictures both inside the place and outside as well, I actually enjoyed more the “Al fresco” feel. You wouldn’t know how much I belong to it. The trees, the grass and all. =)

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For a different experience, visit Las Casas Manila and it’ll stir your senses until you realize that you’re heading to Bataan the soonest you can. =) Either places, I’m sure, you will enjoy. =)

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You can make reservations thru: 866-8500 and 0917-711-3714. They’re open from Tueday to Sunday from 11am to 10pm. Las Casas Manila is located at 134 Roosevelt avenue, San Francisco Del Monte, Quezon City. You can also check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/LasCasasQC/

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CELESTINE Bazaar

CELESTINE Bazaar

“Every artist was first an amateur.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have not attempted to write about losing a loved-one. I do not have the strength for it. I lost my mother months ago and then I learned that there’s a proof that even in lowest times, you can find something positive from it. With me, I developed new relationships, or specifically new friendships.

Jen, the owner of Celestine Bazaar is my schoolmate during high school. We have common friends, though we’re not literally friends then. And very recently, that common friend brought us together. In a special way, it made me happy, because they reminded me of the good old days, and who I was.

Jen never stopped sending me comforting messages when she learned I lost my mom and it surprises me that she gives it to me, free-flowing. I really appreciate it. It meant a lot to me. I have been thinking of ways how I could give it back.

And during one of our chats, she invited me to visit her shop: “Celestine Bazaar”, she named it after her second mom, sister of her mom, who also passed away and we shared the same sentiments. She was very thoughtful. She and our common friend (who lost her mom too), made me feel that they understand what I’m going through.

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She invited me to visit the shop once, and instantly, when I get there, I found nice items for myself, I also bought one for my mom even if she’s physically no longer with me, I bought her a mirror. =)

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Onwards, the friendship continues and we discovered having the same interests, and one time, we ended up to collaborate by doing ex-deals. She allowed me to display my beaded stuff in her shop and I offered too that she can also display some stuff in my mom’s shop at home soon.

You will surely find items that will interest you at Celestine Bazaar. I, personally, each visit, left the place not empty handed. As there are too many good finds. Beautiful things in all corners are plenty and pretty. You’ll find yourself planning to go back again as you intend to buy more stuff.

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Here’s a peek of her dazzling collection:

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I am so proud of her to showcase and endorse the incredible craftsmanship of Filipino wood carvers from Paete, Laguna: The Wood carving capital of the Philippines. =)

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She is also meticulous in offering new items. Soon, we are going together to Paete, where she gets all of her wooden items that are intricately created. I can’t wait for that too.

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The floor lamps are one of her best sellers:

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Just in time for the Holiday season, please drop by at Celestine Bazaar for your gift items need or if you’re wanting to add some items for your house, or doing some renovations, or looking for items to fill-in your new home, the shop can provide for you.

Celestine Bazaar is located at: Bro Business Center, Pacita Avenue, San Pedro, Laguna 4023. You can contact them at: (02) 919 3922.

For more items, please visit their Facebook page too:

https://www.facebook.com/celestinamendoz/

Lugang Cafe – A Taiwanese Treat

Lugang Cafe – A Taiwanese Treat…

“Count not the candles…see the lights they give. Count not the years, but the life you live. Wishing you a wonderful time ahead. Happy birthday ate Queng!”

In this iconic structure at BGC – SM Aura’s. On it’s fifth floor, You’ll find a long avenue of collective restaurants that give you options as to where to dine with loved ones and friends.

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Through the years, if chance permits, we were able to try Mexican food from Andale, Authentic dim-sum treats from Tuantuan Chinese Brasserie. Some scoops of ice cream from Bono Gelato, ube churros and frozen yogurt from Pink Berries.

Last week, on a long weekend and to celebrate my sister-in-laws birthday, We all agreed to visit Padre Calungsod chapel at SM Aura.

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And dined at this authentic Taiwanese restaurant: Lugang Cafe, named by Asia Tatler as one of the best restaurants in the Philippines for years.

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We had Xia long bao for a starter.

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Source: http://www.lugangcafe.com.ph/

A special dumpling intricately prepared and served warm. You can actually watch how it’s done. It is so delicious we had to order for it twice. =)

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For appetizer, we had Tofu with century eggs topped with pork floss and Garlic pork roll.

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For the main course, we shared Three cup chicken.

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Spare ribs with plum sauce. My son’s favorite. I realized spare ribs goes well with orange sauce, apple sauce and this time we were able to try it with plum sauce.

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The special Birthday noodles for the celebrant which is a tradition for a long life is a must-have.

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The Golden fried rice is one of their best sellers and I truly must agree. My personal favorite is the Soy sauce braised pork knuckles. as it is so tender and very tasteful.

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Over all experience is good, the attendants are bubbly and very attentive, the food were served ahead of declared waiting time. It’s just that their house tea isn’t complimentary. Or maybe I just got used to Chinese restaurants serving complimentary house tea while you’re still figuring out what to order, China bowl during the late 1990s even offers free shrimp chips.

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Anyway, before we get to decide if we want tea or not our food already arrived. It was a very good dining experience especially with your family. “Xièxie nĭ/nĭn!”

 

Joey Pepperoni Pizza

Joey Pepperoni Pizza

“Count the memories, not the calories.”

So while at the Mall of Asia, Jen and I decided to check Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria. It is the nearest from where we came, and we’re both famished and craving for pizza. Seeing them just in front of us is very timely.

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The place is not that big, it was rush hour at that time but the barker outside was able to grab us a table for two right away. Impressive.

Immediately we ordered for pizza, and I got the mozzarella sticks and Jen got pasta in white sauce with grilled chicken toppings which they call Grilled chicken Alfredo.

We chose Joey’s Supreme, it is fully loaded with ham, pepperoni, bacon bits, mushroom, beef toppings, onions, bell pepper, and black olives.

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Their menu list is complete, they offer salads and soups too. You can also create your own pizza. They offer rice meals as well which looked equally delicious. They have desserts too, something I found unique was the Banana Nutella pizza. Though we didn’t try it.

Their list is very affordable. When you look at how they do their offerings, they look expensive but they’re not. So if you’re looking for a commendable place to eat at Mall of Asia, this is one great choice.

Other locations are:
– Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
– Pioneer Street, Mandaluyong City
– SM City, North Edsa
– Araneta Ave., Sta. Mesa
– Tuazon Ave., Cubao, QC
– Robinson’s Place, Ermita, Manila
to mention a few.

Said pizzeria is owned by the man behind the famous “Go Negosyo” – Joey Concepcion. I think he was able to personify in this place all of his advocates. =)

So while at Mall of Asia, Jen and I decided to check Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria. It is the nearest from where we came, and we’re both famished and craving for pizza. Seeing them just in front of us is very timely.

The place is not that big, it was rush hour at that time but the barker outside was able to grab us a table for two right away. Impressive.

Immediately we ordered for pizza, and I got the mozzarella sticks and Jen got pasta in white sauce with grilled chicken toppings which they call Grilled chicken Alfredo.

We chose JOEY’S SUPREME, it is fully loaded with ham, pepperoni, bacon bits, mushroom, beef toppings, onions, bell pepper, and black olives.

The menu list is complete, they offer salads and soups too. You can also create your own pizza. They offer rice meals as well which looked equaly delicious. They have desserts too, something I found unique was the Banana Nutella pizza. Though we didn’t try it. Theirs is very affordable. When you look at how they do their offerings, they look expensive but they’re not. So if you’re looking for a commendable place to eat at Mall of Asia, this is one great choice.

Other locations are:
– Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
– Pioneer Street, Mandaluyong City
– SM City, North Edsa
– Araneta Ave., Sta. Mesa
– Tuazon Ave., Cubao, QC
– Robinson’s Place, Ermita, Manila
to mention a few.

Said pizzeria is owned by the man behind the famous “Go Negosyo” – Joey Concepcion. I think he was able to personify in this place all of his advocates. =)

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

“Eat the spaghetti to forgetti your regretti.”

Coming from having a burger style pizza a week ago, Jen and I craved for the usual style of pizza that we know about. Either that New York style or an authentic Italian one. We chose the latter.

And we ended up asking the Grab driver to bring us to Evia where Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen is located. The original one is in Aguirre Street, in BF Paranaque which we saw twice, passed by it after we visited some restaurants from this popular street, it is actually included in our Bucket list and in one of my category “When in Aguirre street”.

Typically, when we are handed the menu, we browsed on it and asked the attendant their best sellers. For the pizza, they suggested the “All meat” and “Mama Lou’s special”. We opted for the former.

We also had the mozzarella sticks called in advance although they served us some complimentary breads with olive oil and balsamic dip while waiting for our orders. We also ordered for their seafood home-made pasta.

Ideally they have it all, when it comes to Italian dishes: Antipasti, Zuppe, Insalate, Pasta (oil or tomato base), Pizza, Risotto, Pollo, Carne, Sea food and Desserts.

I should agree that if you’re craving for Italian food, you won’t regret trying theirs.

I am thinking of coming up with my top 10 mozzarella sticks and I think I’m including Mama Lou’s version.

The pasta tasted delicious, there are shrimps, squid rings that were cooked just right. They surrounded the whole serving with mussels and clams and Jen took charge of them. ehehe!

The pizza includes pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage and bacon, there are no ground beef though. Don’t miss the arugulas. =)

The dining hall is quite large, there are enough tables for big and small groups, they occupy 2 floors in Evia actually and I saw it during peak hours that both floors are jam-packed.

There are touches of vintage stuff probably to coincide with the theme, they used bricks on their wall, some beautiful plates were mounted on one wall, neatly arranged wine bottles in the bar which if emptied they utilized as water bottles too. =)

You might ask that smiling woman is Mama Lou. Yes it is her. =)

There are equally amusing restaurants in the area, though Mama Lou’s stand-out in her own special way.

Jen liked Evia as much as I do so I’m expecting she’s eyeing another visit of these days. I might bring her to Another Story too. =)