The Black Pig

The Black Pig
“Good food is good mood.”
Coming across an article that featured restaurants with the most beautiful and impressive interiors, being a designer,  it has drawn me to see them up close and personal. Neil’s Kitchen was in that list though I’ve been there several times and I must agree that their interiors is not just beautiful, their food is awesome too. The next that caught my attention from the list is The Black Pig.
It is a few blocks away from Neil’s Kitchen. It’s in Alabang too at the second level of Commerce Center. Without the heat of the sun, it is walking distance for me. The Black Pig’s facade isn’t too attractive as the whole place from the outside isn’t well- lighted. But the welcoming smiles of their attendants will compensate for that which kept my brain engaged.
Since Jen already commented:”The placed looked gloomy.” This is because they opted to use hanging lamps and pin lights on selected areas.
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Rustic..
Upon entrance, it is only the time I began admiring the place from the interiors, their furniture, lighting system, the colors that they’ve chosen, the vigilance of their attendants to the table wares (made by a known potter from Laguna), cutlery and the food itself. 
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Floor decal..

 

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Call cards..

 

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Looked Moroccan to me. =)
There are some touches of green elements which add life to the whole place. What will caught your attention is definitely the bar.
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Awesome..

 

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There’s the famous bar..

 

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I liked that swing door going to the kitchen..
It exudes order and class by the use of black and brown finishes. Usually, most bars looked untidy even if the items are properly arranged due to the fact that you see everything from it: sorts of bottles, glass, machines, some bars are even with baskets of fruits displayed on the counter like so much is happening in it. At The Black Pig, you will see the clutter though it will not sore your depicting eyes.
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Coasters made from Guava tree..

 

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All corners are inviting..

 

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And we choose this.

 

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Not yet peak time when we visited..

 

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That chair…

There’s even a guide for drinking wine.

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Very useful especially with me who doesn’t drink any liquor at all.

A cool utensils rack.

 

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Very orderly..

When it comes to food. We had a three course meal altogether which started with a green salad:

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I enjoyed this fresh treat..

I am training my palette with fresh greens and it’s followed by a slow-cooked chicken dish:

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Chicken please. =)

and home-made ice cream for dessert.

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Ube for me and caramel for Jen..

We had the feel of drinking Al fresco with that refreshing raspberry iced tea.

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Al fresco..
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Raspberry iced tea..

According to the attendants, peak time is usually dinner time onward because they serve alcoholic drinks too.

During the afternoon, if you wish for a less crowded place to have lunch or snack. The Black pig will give you that. It is ideal for business meetings too. For the overall experience, dining there, the ambiance, service and carefully prepared food is recommendable.
I suggest that you try it, when you’re heading to the south. They’re located at: Commerce Center Building, Filinvest Ave. corner, E Asia Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1781 Metro Manila
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BALAY DAKO – A must-visit…

BALAY DAKO

“Enjoy life, it is delicious.”

Catching up with myself, I decided to self-gratify and do a quick fix by visiting one of my favorite places in the Philippines – Tagaytay.

Among the long list of where to make our tummies happy, we chose “Balay Dako”.

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She’s all smile getting there.
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Waiting area..
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Piaya originated from Bacolod..
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Sorbetes! (Ice cream)

Immediately upon entering their enormous dining hall, we found our spot.

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While waiting for our food..

It is facing a central view of the famous Taal lake. It came to us with the soft cool breeze of Tagaytay. And some fogs too which were too thin to notice.

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The weather was great at that time.

Spending almost 3 hours to get there from my place, we ordered some of their specialties to our heart’s content.

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And relaxing at the same time..

And while waiting for our food, I took photos of what they’re using in their kitchen.

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It was good to know that some of these are in my kitchen too..

I must not forget to mention here that Chef Tony (Escalante) was there and smiles at everyone including me. #startruck

Permit me this awe since he is touted as one of the best chefs in Asia. The brain behind Antonio’s Restaurant. Though the Executive Chef of Balay Dako is Chef Ricky Sison.

So, here’s what we’ve had:

Our table were filled with Filipino cuisine and the usual that we cooked at home, but broadly speaking, the taste and ambiance and the service are 2 thumbs up.

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We had shrimps, beef and green mango salad.
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Two old-time favorites: Turon and bibingka..
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And another favorite: Sago and gulaman for our drinks.
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We were also provided with mascuvado sugar either for our bibingka or sago gulaman should we wanted it sweeter.
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Each table is served with staple condiments.

And these are the elements making up a note-worthy place that deserves frequent visit. I then again wished that Tagaytay is just 15 minutes away from me. More of a visceral thing to me. We were in a relaxed mode anyway.

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I had fun spotting two of the most important letters to me..=)

The place is huge, giving justice to it’s name: “Balay Dako”. Dako is big in the Visayas where Chef Tony hailed from.

You’d be glad to know that after we had our desserts, our feet lead us to their specialty shop and brought home some stuff too.

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Went shopping too.
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Neatly arranged items..
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Chalkboard menuboard which will eventually be included in my other blog that features my fascination on Calligraphy.
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When you visit this, there’ll always be something that you can bring home..
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Like these..
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Fish in oil..
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Chicharon which equates to 20 counts of burpees.. =p
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Freshly-baked daily.

Find time to visit the place and I’m pretty sure you’ll like it there too.

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Their welcome arch..

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They asked if we have tried these other two: Breakfast at Antonios and Antonio’s Restaurant (the pilot branch). And if not, they said that we must. =) I think I’ll start saving for the latter. Their steaks are famous. =)

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LUCINA Home…

Lucina Home

“An artist cannot fail, it is a success to be one.” ~Charles Horton Cooley~

Christmas is my favorite season of the year. I remember myself as a child helping my father in putting up our Christmas tree. He will assign me to neatly hang all the embellishments and he will be in charge of the lights. I look up to it.

Now that he’s gone, it is our 5th year celebrating the season without him. And me putting up the tree alone.

Despite of that sad part, I still am excited to put up my tree. I collect photos of the grandest trees and search for places where can I get my decors. I also wanted to create “DIYs” as my trimmings. I assign what color to use each year.

Come November, I was able to visit this shop in Tagaytay which I’m eyeing for years now. Lucina Home.

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This caught me while I was about to enter the shop…

I have talked to the owner last year that I am visiting them for a project,
however said project didn’t push through for having a full plate during the “ber” months.

So I made time for it. I can’t wait to see their items. And when I did? I can’t get enough of it. I hoarded decors for my tree,

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It’s that time of the year when you’re excused for splurging.

I bought some for my boss too, a cute notebook for my foodie buddy, gifts for friends and I promised to come back for more.

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All the cute stuff are here..
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Even repros of famous paintings..
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Even millennial stuff..=)

What made the visit sweeter is the manner of their attendants tending to guests, Paul, whom I have been talking to since last year was there. Paul was busy unpacking and arranging stuff which I must assumed has recently arrived.

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You can find best finds from all corners..

They also introduced me to to Joey. Both were meticulously checking their displays, inter-acting with guests, and giving me discounts!

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I saw from google a chandelier filled with Christmas baubles, and then I saw this. It is beautiful..

Yes, Joey even gave me one of my best finds for free! It is a unique dream catcher without the real feathers on it as the whole thing is made of stainless steel.

dream-catcher
(–,)

I accidentally saw it while I was waiting for them wrapping the items I’ve bought. And I shrieked (sorry) upon seeing it. It was glaring in front of me hanging on one of their stands and instantly grab it, head to the cashier’s counter to add it to my purchases.

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I think this is where I found the dream catcher..
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And this is where Jen found the lighthouse..
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I actually eyed this for our porch..=)

It was such a surprise when the cashier told me that she was instructed by her boss (Joey) that the dream catcher will be free. Awww! it was really sweet.

There’s this one attendant too who is such a good up-seller. He knew what I wanted and kept on gathering similar items and giving them to me.

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Christmas stuff..
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Jen hoarding!
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Such a cool idea, egg shells, painted in pastels as Christmas wreaths and can be used for Easter too.. =)

Leaving with shopping bags on both hands, I knew then that there’s going to be a second visit, and a third and a fourth. I think you know what’s it like to find something you’ve been looking for. It’s like “Eureka”!

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Vintage, shabby and chic..
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All the elements you need for Christmas..
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They have furniture too..

I’ve been hunting for a shop like theirs in the country for so long. An array of what I want, shabby chic items, vintage, quirky, artsy, bohemian and unique finds. Actually, I’ve taken photos of some that I intend to get soon.

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Don’t you love that gilded mirror?
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How about that cabinet?
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And that pastel chair..

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They sell hand-painted furniture too. Something which I will be saving for. A piece in pastel pink or two will absolutely spell happiness. Until then.

Neil’s Kitchen… A taste of haven in Alabang..

A unique creativity: Neil’s Kitchen…

“Good food is all the sweeter, when shared with a good friend.”

While searching for the coolest offices in Manila which I need at work. I stumble across this article that featured one cool place in Alabang at West gate. It stirred my curiosity since West gate is my rendezvous aside from Commerce center (the newest in town) and Alabang town center, like I’ve said in my previous posts, I literally grew up here. To miss one such place, made me wonder, it is alongside the usual places I frequented, almost every week.

The building of the restaurant that I’m referring to is so beautiful that you wouldn’t mind whether their food is great or their service to be sloppy.

When as we enter, it is so beautiful, I really had a hard time getting the right angles. The food we’ve chosen, are definitely worth bringing your loved ones so they can try them too.

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And more Wows!
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And more!=)

Those who’d prefer privacy, Neil’s is a very quiet place too. I couldn’t recall if there’s a soft music being played, I was really mesmerize at that time. Or that salsa. Lol!

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TDF! =)

my fathers

jean

count the memories
Lovely!

As I did further research, Neil’s Kitchen took my attention due to it’s all white interiors and exteriors as well. Several blogs on the country’s most beautiful interiors, Neil’s Kitchen is always on the list. It is too pretty for words.

hungry

chalk board

What we’ve had as starter:

Beach house Nachos solo

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Best one I’ve tried so far!

And Paella negra with calamares.

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One of their best sellers..
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Their version of kare-kare..
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We tried the pasta too in white sauce..

According to them, their best seller are the paellas in different kinds. I’m going to try their Sinigang na paella soon as recommended by the Head waiter.

And for our dessert:

The Turon de Napoleon

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Very creative…

The typical “turon” or deep fried banana rolls in the Philippines are bananas rolled in spring roll wrappers, with some slices of jack fruit. It is topped with sugar syrup.

At Neil’s, they created the same recipe with a twist, instead of rolled bananas, they laid it with layers of deep fried wrappers and smothered them with syrup in caramel flavor. Anyone will surely love this.

count the memories
Lovely!

As I’ve mentioned, I’d be bringing my friends and loved ones here, and I am pretty sure, they’ll like it here too. I did. Very. =)

jean and me
And count your blessings too!=)

Neil’s Kitchen is located at Lot C 701 and 704 Westgate Filinvest, 1770 Alabang Muntinlupa City

Bonelli’s being a few blocks away from Neil’s is by Neil’s too. The attendants invited us to check it out too. And I promised I will. “A promise is a promise.” =)

I shriek for shrimps! – Bubba Gump, Greenbelt 3, Makati City

I shriek for shrimps! – Bubba Gump, Greenbelt 3, Makati City

Broadly speaking, I am not much into seafood, but when when we talk of shrimps, hhhmmn, I could have just hoard anti-histamine medicines from the drugstores.

I haven’t been visiting Makati in a while, and been planning to visit Bubba gump for a long time. I have frequented this place years ago when my work is still located in Makati.

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Facade..
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And there’s the famous bench where guests have their photos taken..
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Menu..

10 years ago, Makati was one of my two options when it comes to malling and eating -out, the other one is Alabang. Nowadays, there are options everywhere. =) The country has evolved and comes with it is the escalated taste F&B Industry has to offer. They are now capable of giving variety to most consumers. Both for its’ look and taste of their food.

For me, it is a good thing, as I am a natural foodie. =) When you check my weekly viands at home, it is very balanced, since my mom had to follow a stricter diet due to old age. I give into my cravings outside (some feast both for my tummy and eyes) a secret I kept from my mom, or else, she will torture me with her own cravings too. =)

So, I had this chance, and even if Greenbelt, or the streets of Makati offer hundreds of equally worth – it food spots, I am much into trying Bubba Gump for the nth time.

It’s just that I binged over lunch at 2pm, so we weren’t able to get as much as we want. It was only half past 500pm.

And we opted for the Shrimper’s heaven.

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Hefty..

And for our dessert, we had Mama’s bread pudding.

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This is my first time to try this and I must say it is one of the best pudding I’ve tasted. =)

You wouldn’t believe, foodies as we can be, we apparently requested the attendant to pack our food as we weren’t able to consume even half of it. We almost forgot that it’s American size.

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balloons

Still, I am happy to be here again. =) Thinking of this place as characterized by some of the elements I mostly love, not just shrimps, but the photos of some scenes from one of my most favorite movie of all time. =)

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Oh the lieutenant!

jen

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I also have its’ book which hubby gave me. One of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever read. He used to say It is our story.

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I wondered if I’m like Jenny? (–)