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.

dumpling
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!”

 

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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. =)

And here’s ANOTHER STORY

And here’s ANOTHER STORY

“Friendship is the comfort of knowing that even if you feel alone, you aren’t.”

I am not much of a mall rat. But one mall near our place that I can’t resist is Evia Lifestyle Center. 

I’ve been there for only several times, and my most recent visit, I noticed a lot has changed already.

There’s an on-going renovation, a pizza parlor is no longer where I last saw it, I’m lost and figuring-out where is the old parking lot and the Mediterranean structure you’ll see from afar. It is now converted into a high-ceiling dome in glass. And they say, we should expect more changes to come.

But we went there just to try “Another Story”. I have been fascinated by it for a long time, it’s being dreamy and whimsical. Just like Cafe Voila (which owner happens to be also the brain behind Another Story), 4th street cafe, Dreamland Arts & crafts Cafe, Cafe Juanita, Vanilla Cupcake, Secret Haven Cafe, among many others. And I’m glad that my two high school friends willingly granted my wish. =)

Character-filled Interiors like this makes me feel like I’m not just in Another story but in another time too.

Like I’m a character in a Fairy tale story, embodied the spirit of someone significant in a story line.

I admire how intricately they put attention to all the details and be unique thus standing – out from the rest.

You will see and feel the owner’s passion even from the way she describes each offering from the menu like sharing her experiences as if we’re her friends or family, or as you choose your order, it felt like you’re reading a story.

And it is not just the ambience, or the interiors, you’ll enjoy their offering too.

We only tried 2 kinds: a green salad: “Another Story salad”, we chose it instantly because it has prawns on it. And as recommended by one of their very affable attendants, we had one of their best-selling pizza. And we truly enjoyed it and all agreed that these people are taking their jobs seriously. We even agreed to go back on a weekday to enjoy the “Eat all you can pizza”, their paella and the other flavors of their cake as we definitely liked the Tiramisu cheesecake that they served as a treat for my birthday. Surely, I’m planning to
try their All-day breakfast and maybe some pasta too. =)

Complimentary bread.
We all love veggies.
And their pizza is delish too. =)
This really surprised me..=)

If you haven’t been to Another Story, please do. It is truly mesmerizing. =)

Moment of beauty…

Second Floor, Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang Hari Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

PS

The birthday cake is such a sweet gesture for me. I really appreciate it. =)

 

Great finds at LANDERS Superstore (Alabang West)

Great finds at LANDERS Superstore (Alabang West)

“What once loved in childhood, stays in the heart forever”. ~Mary Jo Putney~

I have been hearing a lot about Landers from my kids. My son in particular have been so excited each time he will mention to me that like S&R, Landers has a pizza parlor too. And we all know, that for him, pizza is synonymous to the word “happy”.

I can’t blame him, I remember myself as a child, I almost can’t sleep if my father announced that we will be going to the supermarket the next day, I recall the cart being pushed by my papa and mama’s the one scrutinizing items displayed on every shelf, and it literally put a smile on my face to remember times like this as a child. The same excitement I was able to inject to my son as well. As he used to go with me as a child, during visits to the supermarket. Maybe just like my parents, I must be ready (or my wallet) if my son is with me during each visit. =)

So one weekend, My son and I decided to finally check this newly opened branch in Alabang with his girlfriend – Gela.

Photo grabbed from: http://landers.ph/about-us

I was thinking of only a few things that I’m hoping to find at Landers which I didn’t find from the other (S&R). Echo eyed just one or two, his barbecue sauce.

I got the 2 kids one bottle for each. #skewerjunkies

And of course not to miss the New York style pizza from Landers Central.

Left photo grabbed from: http://landers.ph/about-us
My son said the dough are hand-tossed. While I like their pizza better, since it isn’t too oily. =)

Similar brands are at hand, there’s also a corner for pastries via Dough & Co. For non-food, I also spotted super soft bed coverings and towels, the usual corners I visit and of course: toiletries.

My favorite brand for pistachios.

The brands for popcorn such as Garretts, Act II, Butterkist, Werthers I didn’t find, but I found this. So I’m happy too. =)

Some staple brands like Bragg ACV, Combos cheese, I found them cheaper from local supermarkets.

This hard to find mayonnaise is available too. =)

Basically, whenever you already prepared a long list of what to cook for a week, everything you need is there. From condiments to flavored meats, delis, veggies, name it.

They also have our own Carmen’s Best, lined up along Double rainbow ice cream, Baileys, Cadbury, even wine flavored ice cream to mention a few. And the sausage I need for gumbos.

What made Landers interesting to me is that they put special attention to their interiors. They didn’t look like an air-conditioned warehouse of grocery items, they took care of the ambience that it felt good doing your groceries. Definitely blissful. =)

And, this part I find amusing, there is a Barber shop inside. What I thought of instantly is that since some men aren’t that patient to accompany their wives, girlfriends or daughters while shopping. They dedicated a special place for “The Boys” to stay or do something while waiting for their ladies. Isn’t it a cool idea? =)

Check them out, one might just be near your place. Here are their locations (more branches to open they say):

-Balintawak, Quezon City
-Otis, Paco, Manila
-Cebu City
-Alabang, Muntinlupa City
-Arcovia, Pasig City

Alabang West

You can also check them out here: http://landers.ph/

PS

It was great to know that the membership fee (P800.00 for non-business) is half the original price when we visited. =)  Apply online, and you’ll get the same perk too. Hurry!

WATAMI – Casual Japanese Restaurant

Watami – Casual Japanese Restaurant

“Japanese food makes me feel particularly good.” ~David Mitchell~

Jen and I haven’t been hanging out lately and when we did. She suggested to veer away from our usual favorites.

After we got the stuff we need from some specialty shops at Shangri-la mall, our feet led us to this casual Japanese restaurant: Watami.

When it’s casual, does it mean that there would be no Geisha’s to serve you, there’ll be no Tatamis but the usual dining tables, still if it’s a Japanese restaurant, I normally think of the sublime execution of an authentic cuisine. Which is why it is one that always fascinates me. Refined, unmatched manner of preparing and serving each entree, this specific Art and not to forget that Japanese hospitality which is popularly known as “Omotenashi”. Lastly, theirs is healthy.

We’ve been to Akira and Sumo-sam in the past so Watami deserves a try. Besides, we haven’t had Japanese food in a while. =)

This friendly barker helped us decide right away after reviewing the menu that’s displayed outside. There was no mention of miso soup from the menu so we asked him if they have my favorite soup and they have it in 2 variants. A plain one and another that is spicy.

This is faultless, all of the restaurants I’ve tried didn’t fail to pour their guests some cup of tea.

Watami is one of the many restaurants under the Bistro Group:
#tastethelove

 – Plank Sourdough Pizza – Conrad Hotel Manila
 – TGIFridays and Italianni’s – with more than a dozen branches all over the country
 – Fish and Co – Mall of Asia and Trinoma
 – Krazy Garlic – Greenbelt 5
 – Bulgogi Brothers – Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 5, Harbor point, SM Lanag, Mall of Asia
 – Village Tavern – Bonifacio High Street
 – Modern Shanghai – Mall of Asia
 – Tonkatsu – Ayala Cebu
 – Buffalo Wild Wings – Glorietta 1, Conrad Hotel Manila, Estancia Mall, Uptown Mall, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Texas Roadhouse – Uptown Mall, Conrad Hotel Manila
 – Denny’s – Trinoma, Bonifacio Global City, Eastwood, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Baker & Cook – Conrad Hotel Manila, U.P. Town Center

Sometimes, it is slightly annoying that while you’re enjoying your food, an attendant will approach you to offer the advantage of getting the Bistro Frequent Foodie card or popularly known as BFF Card.

Photo grabbed from: https://www.bistro.com.ph/

But come to think of it, if I review all of their restaurants, they are the most frequented and been thriving all these years and some of the best restaurants in the country. I must assume that those annoying attendants are one of their most effective Marketing Strategy for a continuous growth and carry one brand after another.

Personally speaking, I have been a regular customer of TGIF and TEXAS Roadhouse. I’ve tried Fish & Co when they still have one at Alabang Town Center. I even got this chance to see some contestants of “American Idol” (Jessica Sanchez’s time) since they held one of their activities at Italianni’s when they had their concert tour years ago.

So even if we haven’t seen and tasted our orders yet, we’re counting on that we will enjoy this early dinner. Later I learned that there are more than 700 branches of Watami all over the Asia Pacific region.

Take a look at what we’ve had:

Chasu rice for me and Jen, special curry Udon with cutlets for Jen and assorted tempura for me. Prior to deciding what to order, I had a miso soup called in advance.

All of these except for my soup were recommended by the attendant who took care of us.

The Chasu rice is truly delicious and its’ flavor matched my tempura. Jen’s Udon is tasteful too but is a little spicy and the hint of curry is just right, it is very mild. I enjoyed my tempura, however, I missed something from the sauce that came with it.

Over all, it was another gastronomic experience. Not to forget mentioning the intricately planned interiors of this casual Japanese resto.

I’ll ask Jen to try the sourdough pizza from Plank and pastries from Baker and Cook soon. =)

Aside from the New Wing of Shangri-la Mall, You can find Watami at the following locations:
– Greenbelt 2
– Mall of Asia
– Uptown Mall

Itadakimass! =)