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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Why BURGER GEEK?

Why BURGER GEEK?

“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.”

My sons’ girlfriend and I were trying to to look for a place to try at Molito’s in Alabang since we are free that weekend.

a boutique mall
Molito is a Boutique mall down in south.

Out of the many establishments to choose from, we filtered our choices with just two: Burgers or Pizzas. And at last, we found and opted for this odd though uniquely named burger joint: The “Burger Geek”.

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It sounded cute, it brought to my mind bevy of millennials enjoying each other’s company. It is so them. My kids. The ones born during the early 1990s. That one of a kind generation! The babies of the Gen X which where I belong! =)

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Burger Geek is just small in terms of space, you can call in advance to reserve a table. Still, they were able to splash the desired effect of the theme that they’re trying to imbibe.

mural burger

different elements concept
Courtesy of: http://molito.com.ph/dining.php?tab=burgergeek

This mural resembled the Periodic table of elements only that each letter represents ingredients and tools that they use in their kitchen.

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So here’s what we’ve got:

nachos burger geek

Echo my son opted for the “Hangover” (because the ingredients of the patties has beer in it), I had my usual nachos and our baby girl ordered for “B+” (B stands for bacon) =).

We were served with a complimentary prawn crackers which is known locally as “Kropek”.

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It was a short dining experience but was very memorable as I was with my son and someone very close to him and me as well. They are my family.

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It is bottomless. =)

I’ve always known the importance of spending quality time with kids because we are not the only one who’s busy, they are quite busy too and to find time being with each other allows us to create memories that we can look back at later in our lives.

We intend to do it more often, and had plans laid out already, different activities to bond aside from eating. =)

I assumed that Burger Geek have a specific market that they want to target, however, I guess they attracted several markets due to the uniqueness and tastefulness of their food.

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Slightly “eyesore” (in my opinion)

It is located at: 16A, Molito Lifestyle Mall, Madrigal Ave, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. You can contact them thru: 02-801-2903 and/ or email them at: burgergeekph@gmail.com

They are open daily from 11:00am to 11:00pm

burger geek map
Courtesy of: http://molito.com.ph/

 

Gustav Cafe – The French way

Gustav Cafe

“Eating and reading are two pleasures combine admirably.” ~C.S. Lewis~

Each time we passed by this restaurant with a miniature Eiffel tower in front, we always thought of French cuisine. And of course that famous Civil Engineer who did that equally famous landmark in France – Gustave Eiffel. He was also involved in the construction of Quezon bridge and San Sebastian church here in our country. It was always our topic.

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Until one late afternoon, Jen and I were too tired to proceed inside Festival Mall to feed the hungry wolves in us after exploring the new wing and Landmark Department Store which opened to the public late last year. We ended up taking another wing and and another (it was huge) and we landed just in front of Gustav Cafe following the end portion of River park.

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Out of hunger, we entered the cafe without debate and I heard Jen saying: “As long as there’s pizza.” And I said: “Okay, pizza.” (with eyes rolling)

Upon checking their menu, as expected most of them were in French: “Fish ala Vie”, “Prawns Thermidor”, “Pork de Oignion”, “Bearnaise”, “Pizza le poulet”, and more tongue twisting terms. Ahahaha!

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Still, we muddle through to pick our favorites:

Spicy Gambasetti for Jen,

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Mushroom in cream pasta for me,

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Pizza Le France (take away for my son)

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Pizza Le-Blanc for Jen again,

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Roast beef open sandwich for me…=)

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I especially loved the dough of this bun and discovered that it is made by them, however, I craved for more gravy for my roast beef, it is a little bit dry, and asked the attendant if I can request for more but he said that it is portioned. I didn’t insist to talk to the Manager even if I’m sure, the Manager can provide it, anyway, I still have my pasta.

We didn’t try their drinks, they have frappes, smoothies, beers and cocktails. Because we intend to get our coffees from another cafe that we spotted earlier. =)

After getting our take aways, it is evident (because we were soundless! ahaha!) that we were satisfied by this “first try” as most of what we ordered were flavorful (except for the dry roast beef), most expectations met and we were assisted by the staff accordingly.

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It is worth another try, they have this wide selection of appetizing line-up. =)

Bon appetit!

You will find Gustav Cafe at Ground Floor, Water Garden, Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City (just across the parking lot). Other locations are: Kings Borough, San Fernando Interchange, Dolurez, San Fernando, 2000 Pampanga and McArthur Highway, Angeles City

 

Bread, Broth & Beyond…

Bread, Broth & Beyond

Tucked in the newly constructed building of Cherry Foodarama is Bread, Broth & Beyond.

Yes beyond, because aside from the chic restaurant that offers Mediterranean, American and of course Filipino cuisine, the place comes with delightful gourmet merchandise, they have cold-cuts too beautifully packaged and arranged neatly in their rustic shelves that will welcome you on the first floor.

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Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/breadbrothandbeyond/
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Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/breadbrothandbeyond/
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When some friends of mine from abroad came home, I bought bottles of these and they loved it. =) Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/breadbrothandbeyond/

I love their place instantly, I dine here when I do not have anyone to spend lunch with me at work. The attendants would gladly open the door for me like I belong there.

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They have limited items from their menu, and I really don’t mind, I can have my favorites one after another.

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They will gladly place a complimentary snack while you’re waiting for your orders. This one are bread sticks with a delicious dip that you can also buy separately.

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They have sandwiches if I don’t feel like having rice, they have flat breads too served like pizza in varying toppings such as shrimps, grilled chicken, four cheese, ham, etc.

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It comes with natural potato chips.

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They have my favorite snack: Nachos.

They have pastas too and I’d recommend the one with shrimps: Seafood marinara.

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My friend, Jean and I shared this delectable slice of sansrival after a heap serving of Nachos.

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I should agree that their best-sellers are the wide array of breakfast menu. You just have to add P70.00 (less than a $1.00 that is) to make it complete with a brewed coffee.

It is a place where I would want to bring my loved-ones or friends or even choose it when you are endorsing and publishing your book. It is so homey. =)

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Bread, Broth and Beyond is located at the ground Floor of SM Cherry Shaw, Pleasant Hills, Mandaluyong City

Their place is accessible by a wheelchair, they have wifi, and accommodates takeaways. =)

Parking is free, however, alcoholic drinks is not in their menu. So the place is kid-friendly.

PS

Try the salted egg chips. You cant’ put it down. =)

 

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN – Taking Italian food seriously like Italians do

California Pizza Kitchen – Taking Italian food seriously like Italians do

“Italian food is all about ingredients, and it’s not fussy and it’s not fancy.”~Woflgang Puck~

At Alabang Town Center, there is a wide array of Italian restaurants which you can choose from, such as Italiannis, Brooklyn Pizza, Amici, Cibo to name a few. When one I frequented. California Pizza Kitchen. It has been there as long as I can remember. I even have a photo with a friend at CPK more than 10 years ago.

So what’s the secret of a place to keep on thriving and remain strong despite of the numerous newly-constructed restaurants which offers the same products like they do.

Yes, CPK originated in the USA, created and owned by Americans, who put some tweaks on this traditional Italian dish and really took it seriously.

I think they do not stop researching for trends, they update their menu and they give out promotions during occasion constantly.

Their nachos now are colored when more than 10 years ago it’s just the usual yellow orange-colored chips. The ingredients they used are fresh and even the condiments are always updated, when it’s just Tabasco in the past years, they sense the demands of picky eaters and Sriracha or Cholulas are always ready on their tables.

Even the logo speaks for a thousand descriptions bringing you to this state where the legendary palm trees abound among other famous trees in California, from there to almost every part of the globe including the Philippines. =)

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From 1985 to 2012 to present. =)

And of course not to forget mentioning the training they provide to their people extensive enough to keep customers coming. They keep this ROCK principle (rock philosophy: respect, opportunity, communication, kindness). Allowing their people to be inspired while at work.

So these are some of what they have in their menus:

I am not so much a fan of barbecue flavored stuff, but this hand-tossed pizza had me craving for more. I am used to pepperonis, so this one is new to me, and I really liked it. It is flavorful but not tiring and its’ spiciness is something I can tolerate. I’ve shared before I am not into spicy food, but this one is okay with me. =)

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The usual item that we asked to “advance call” is the nachos, we had this dip I so love, I wanted to do it at home. It’s their spinach artichoke dip, healthy and fun to eat too.

 

We tried one of the pastas too, vegetable primavera, which is also a healthy option.

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The flat bread with four cheese dip: hearth-baked mozzarella, queso quesadilla, smoked Gouda and Velveeta is so addicting.

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I learned from the Restaurant Manager that Velveeta is a brand name compared to an American cheese, which texture is softer and smoother than a processed cheese. It is supposed to be consumed in moderation due to its’ high sodium content and preservatives.

While Gouda cheese is all natural from cow’s milk. Aside from the calories it’ll add to your diet, and fats, it’ll give you a little amount of calcium too. So, not bad.

The menu says “green mango salad” though I had yellow mangoes in it and I didn’t bother to contest it, it tasted really good, crunchy, fresh, a little bit funky like I’m a veggie lover all my life remember?

mango salad
Anti-oxidants. =)

So if you happen to visit Alabang Town Center and loves Italian food, you will have a lot of choices, and I’d like to personally recommend that CPK would be one of them. Happy eating!

You can find them in the following addresses:

  1. Alabang Town Center
  2. Greenbelt 5
  3. Bonifacio High Street
  4. Shangri-la Plaza Mall
  5. Century City Mall
  6. Promenade Mall
  7. SM Mall of Asia

You can also find them from time to time, offering promotions at Metrodeal (http://www.metrodeal.com/) if you want to enjoy great deals.