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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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.

entrance

stairs
And more Wows!
status
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!

salsa
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

nachos
Best one I’ve tried so far!

And Paella negra with calamares.

paella negra
One of their best sellers..
kare
Their version of kare-kare..
pasta
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

turon
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.” =)

Dayrit’s Through the Years…

Dayrits’ Through the Years…

It was such a week and a “staycation” is the next best thing that we thought of.

What made it more exciting is the place where we are staying surprised me to find out that “Dayrits” is their tenant which cater to all of their guests’ cravings.

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Yey, Dayrits! It’s been a while!

Gone are the moments when each time I’ll pass by Magallanes, I would see their restaurant below the fly-over and most of the time I would wish to jump-off the bus and head to Dayrits and devour on their famous roast beef steak.

Some years ago, when I used to work in Makati, Dayrits have been one of those places that has become one of our favorite spot. We hang out there for a hefty lunch or dinner, and young as I was (I am barely 30 years old then), the bosses will treat us there and established it as a habit.

I’ve missed their line-up a lot. There’s tocino with atchara, roast beef and baked potato and even spam steak with pinapple slices on it to sweeten it lightly. I will not forget their gravy, it was a stand-out.

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Over 40 years..

Coming across the current menu, I instantly noticed that there have been some changes over the years.

If some could correct me (as the staff is no longer aware of it, like the skiletti of Shakeys, no one remembers it anymore), the rice that they pair with the roast beef is java rice.

At present, they only serve steamed rice and pineapple rice. Still, we ordered for their famous roast beef and opted for a steamed rice. And for me to gorge on the gravy, I ordered for another beef dish and suggested to Jen that she order the famous roast beef.

roastbeef
Years back, this was a hit!
tapa
Tender & juicy!
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Iced tea (home-made too!)

In my humblest opinion, I knew Jen didn’t like it that much, because she mentioned another place where the gravy tastes best. And I understand where she’s coming from.

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My foodie buddy!

I was a bit disappointed too, however, it is very slight and I am more excited to have tried it after so many years.

Besides, there are a lot of restaurants nowadays to choose from. And speaking of tenderness, none so far can beat the one I tried from Duck and Buvette which soon I’ll let Jen try.

I must not forget mentioning. Their baked potato topped with bacon bits is still a show-stopper.

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They still have their cold-cuts to go..

When we were trying to figure out where to have our dinner that night, since we are a stone throw away from Aguirre St. of BF Paranaque. We all know that this particular street is a Foodie hub, we opted to dine at Dayrits so we would have more time to relax after and plunge in the pool before calling the weekend off…

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Selfie addicts!

I will no longer crave every time I pass by Dayrits, my cravings granted unplanned. =)

Glad to know there are 2 branches:

Makati – Paseo de Magallanes, Magallanes Village,
Makati City/T8549943

Sucat, Paranaque – 35 President Avenue,BF Homes, Sucat/
T5034483

Another Pinoy pride: Kuya J!

Another Pinoy pride: Kuya J!

And so it seems that the popularity of Authentic Filipino restaurants like Dencio’s and Gerry’s Grill reached that leverage of being imitated by many.

The tarpaulin ad of “Kuya J” is so distracting when we passed by SM Dasmarinas, Cavite on our way to visit some clients.

It is almost lunch-time and we opted to have our lunch there after one more client visit.

The temperature lately in the Philippines is so unbearable as we are not used to it, even if we are a Tropical country, with scorching winds, even if we’re in a province, it made us rush to the nearest mall. And to the nearest food stall.

And we ended up at “Kuya J”. Upon review of their menu, it is like a newer version of what you will see from Gerry’s grill or Dencio’s.

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Mini mini mini mo!

And while I was reviewing the menu, my colleagues are interviewing the attendant if the “J” stands for Jericho (he is the official model of their ads, he is a famous heartthrob in our country), just like asking if Jericho owns “Kuya J” and we were informed that he is just a model and the restaurant is owned by a Chinese Businessman based in Cebu.

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Two lovely ladies!

And we’ve had what?

We opted to try their Kare-kareng Bagnet. I (or we) didn’t like the shrimp paste (bagoong) that much.

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Yum!

We also tried their Pinakbet. And we liked it.

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Veggies!

We also had Crispy beef tadyang (ribs).

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Crispy ribs!

I personally like the vinegar, it has a tasteful flavor. I am not much into vinegar sauces, but this one I was able to tolerate.

For dessert, we all wished for the fried halo-halo, it is not just available at that time so they ordered for the real one.

halo 2
Photo courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/KuyaJResto/

 

It was a winner. We especially liked the milky ice, it is so fine and no feel of ice bits.

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Truly a Summer treat!

Since we didn’t get our fried halo-halo, we asked the attendant if there’s a corkage should we bring food from another establishment, and they said it’s okay.

Calling it a hefty lunch essentials. We had our finale. Two different cakes from Cakes by Kat.

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We opted for cakes!

We had Chocolate indulgence cake and of course, blueberry cheesecake.

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kj bb cheesecake

And we’re back to work with smiles.

In a different occasion, we’ve tried these equally delicious treats:

kuya-j-crispy-pata

kuya-j-salad

Happy tummies! =)

There are more than 50 branches of Kuya J nationwide. One could be just near you. =)

Exploring PLANET GRAPES!

Exploring PLANET GRAPES! 

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it”. ~ Julia Child~

When I first found out that Festival Mall came up with an expansion, the block fronting the east became a concert ground. They call it “River park”. One block is occupied by a few restaurants, the first of which to open is Starbucks on its’ very corner facing Festival mall. Then another one opened, and another and another.

I’ve tried Mati’s with Jen. And Hog’s Breath Cafe. Secretly, I want to spend a day just to try them all. And then not affording it, I’ll just do it one by one.

I first tried “Planet Grapes”. It was puzzling to me where did they get its’ name: Planet Grapes. I initially thought of Planet Apes or is it themed like a “Congo grill” in the making, when it isn’t Apes but Grapes. Ahaha

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Prints on glass..

So, upon entrance, It was now crystal clear to me. It is because their specialty are wines. One of the attendants told me that Planet Grapes is owned by that brilliant guy behind the conception of “Healthy Options” without telling me the name.

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(–,)

The place is so posh. I loved their table-setting instantly. I loved the furniture and the lighting fixtures.

plate
Classic.. Black and white..
table
I so loved this!
cork
Napkin holder were made of corks…=)

I actually got scared if I can afford what’s in their menu.

menu

I immediately informed the attendant assisting me that I am not a wine drinker. I just want to try their food. I asked if there are other “Healthy options” and they offered me a bottled orange juice imported from the US.

orange

So I took two local signatures. Beef tenderloin tapa and all natural grilled pork chop with adobo rice.

cubiertos
=)
menu 2
Planet Grapes… brilliant idea…
pork chop
My all natural grilled pork chop..
adobo rice
Adobo rice..
beef steak
Beef tapa..

I could not say anything but delicious and tenderness. This is both for the tapa and pork chop.

The flavor is just right and not too salty. Even the buttered veggies. But if you want to season it more with saltiness, there is a few pinch of kosher salt on your tray.

kosher salt
Kosher salt..

For my dessert, I requested for the suman (rice cake) with latik (a curd made from coconut milk). I liked the latik a lot, very similar to the latik my mom used to cook when I was a kid.

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Suman and latik..

How I wish I have paired my viands with one of their best-selling wines, just like what the attendants are recommending. I was just transparent enough to admit to them that I am not into drinking wines.

wine cellar
Upstairs..
lights bottled
Noticed their lighting fixtures? They’re made of used wine bottles..=)

Soon, I might just bring some friends who does. =)

Planet Grapes is located at level 1 Unit D River Park, Festival Supermall, Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1781 Metro Manila. You can contact them at:(02)831 9438. They are open daily:

Sun-Thurs 11:00am-11:00pm
Fri-Sat 11:00am-12:00am

Other branches include: Cebu, BGC Taguig City and Shangri-la Mall, Mandaluyong City

Courtesy of: http://planetgrapes.com.ph/