SKEWERED by PHATCHICK

SKEWERED by PHATCHICK

We’re learning something new everyday. ~Michael Tigar~

It is being famished that our feet led us to this new restaurant at the new wing of Festival Mall. We were looking for something new to have an early dinner and their facade was too eye-catching, plus the barkers who had us stopped and succeeded in convincing us to try their place.

I specifically like the theme, and asked the Restaurant Manager about it, I told her the story I was able to create out of scanning the whole place, according to her, the owner just wanted it to be different from the others, something outlandish or quirky. Or maybe a term I typically use during the early 90s: eclectic.

These lamps mounted on the walls reminded me of a ship’s hallway. Except for the cemented wall.

My take here is that I visualized a group of adventurers who
might have confronted a not so good weather in the sea and
came to a halt, to a remote island perhaps.

Turning a negative situation into a positive one, the group opted to enjoy just being there so as to survive while waiting for some rescue. Of course, they would have to look for food and there’s no denying that the only approach they could cook their meal is by grilling.

And so they came up with this backdrop. Can you see what I
just visualize? Ala Pirates of the Carribean. =)

When it comes to their menu. You’ll have a few choices, it is a fusion of specialties from Asian countries such as: Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, etc. While it’d already suffice since what’s on their list is good enough and would be the usual favorites of foodies like us and pair it with the drink we have in mind.

The attendant recommended that we try the pork & cabbage fried rice, so I got it and Jen tried their signature Phatchick’s fried rice. And paired with tempura and bacon-wrapped Enoki mushroom. That barbecue sauce is so rich in flavor serving the purpose of enhancing what already tastes good to me.
I am at a loss for words because it is my first time to try Enoki mushrooms. I didn’t regret as it is flavorful and the texture is just right.

Spend time with office mates from work or just to bond with friends and family and who just want to relax, spend good times and enjoy the night. Their beverage list are a few typical drinks that any customer should be looking for. Try the TIKI cocktails, it is a first here in the Philippines.

I really like it when stuff are personalized. =)

If you want to experience and wander at something new in
Alabang, they’re located at: Ground Floor, Expansion Wing (Water Garden), Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

You can also call them at: 02 2469069 ext:998

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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. =)

cpk logo
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. =)

bbq pizza

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.

veggie pasta

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

4 cheese

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.

 

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

Spatzle Euro Market Cafe

Spatzle Euro Market Cafe

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” ~Vincent Van Gogh~

Just recently, I wrote about this restaurant in Alabang which I found one of those places to drink and dine with the best interiors.

And again recently, I discovered another just a few blocks away from my work place. It’s sitting there for years now, when the new wing was constructed and it’s been a while that I have been to this mall.

True enough, anybody or any designer can create a space, though not all can come up with something enticing from the first look, that’s why if you rate a place, there is an allotted score for ambiance. Spatzle has the modern country feel. It is very welcoming.

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We got our choice. =)

Shangri-la Edsa mall is a 15 minute drive from work. It can offer you a wide array of choices when it comes to dining. Some of our most favorite Japanese restaurants are there, some French, Mediterranean, Chinese, Italian and of course Filipino restaurants.

This time, we know for a fact that shopping can get so tiring and we ended up hungry like wolves.

We learned earlier of this place that’s new to us. Spatzle Euro Market Cafe serves European cuisines with cool interiors, not too stiff and casual enough to literally enjoy another dining experience after a hard day’s work and shopping, and if I may I not miss to mention, the disappointment of getting something you really want when it is out of stock. Come on Jen, let’s eat!!!!

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Food and non – food merchandise.

So we headed right away to that part of this mall where the food spots are. Spatzle is situated in a corner, before reaching it, we came across a few, with barkers outside. However, we already know where we’re heading.

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I’ve always liked chalkboards.

Jen knew too, I do not like it, I mean “hard-selling” because it makes me doubt, why the place isn’t packed.

And even if at Spatzle, there are only a few tables occupied when we arrived, the more it encouraged us to get in since a crowded place only means longer waiting time for them to spread your orders. Besides, the open air feel is very inviting. And there are no barkers. =)

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The hexagons unified the rest of the place. From those upholstery, floor tiles, wall-mounted cabinets and tables.
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Hexagons here and there. But not tiring.

It didn’t took us long as well to place our orders. Yes, we’re hungry, and whatever angle I choose, our orders seems to be too much for 2 persons.

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We opted to share with one another this tongue twisting delight: the “Tarte Flambe Monte blanc”. Which toppings I especially liked, the paprika flavored potato chips, which they call as “Paprika chips”.

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Pizza was my first love. Or anything that looks and tastes like it. =)

I had the “Bacon mozza logs” 

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Honestly, I can only consume 2 at that time.

and Jen got a burger: the “Spatz haus burger”. One of their best sellers.

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USDA Angus burger for Jen.

We had “Watermelon slush” sweetened with wild honey to soften, in anticipation, the savor of all that we will consume in the next few minutes. We were offered to try their desserts, however, we were so full after digging.

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Watermelon slush.

After digging with no holds-barred kind of way, we knew that we will visit a second time. They pulled it off well. We both liked what we’ve chosen and enjoyed all the other extra ingredients thrown in it. We actually checked and eyed others from the menu. We will definitely come back. =)

PS:
I will get the bacon mozza logs once again. Since Mozzarella cheese in particular is like a happy pill for me! Yum!

Another PS:

I found it cute that they have sanitizers along the cubiertos comin’ in handy too. =)

Spatzle Euro Market Cafe is located at:

Level 5, East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

Niña’s Kitchen in Biñan, Laguna

Niña’s Kitchen in Biñan, Laguna

“Everyday may not be good, but there is always something good in everyday.”

Niña’s Kitchen is probably one the most talked-about restaurant in Laguna. Or becoming if I may say. It is a residential house which ground floor they turned into a commercial one, serving Filipino dishes (with a tweak) from breakfast to dinner.

I have been seeing it every so often from social media threads lately and out of curiosity, I dragged Jen one Sunday afternoon.

What made it more famous than its’ competitors is because it was endorsed by our former Ms. Universe since the owner is a friend (and a classmate) of hers.

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Photos and memories..

The most photographed item that they offer per my research is the “suman sa lihiya (lye)”. So it was my first reason why I wanted to visit their place. My mom used to prepare this before, and I really miss it. She is old already and can’t perform usual tasks anymore.

suman

The place is snug, there are decorative objects equally distributed in the garden,

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there’s even a bike with a basket holding a bouquet of flowers, which created a country-feel and very laid-back scenery. Relaxing and thought-provoking as well.

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The dining area is quite huge, which can hold more or less 50 guests. There are actually three separate rooms to dine and we chose the one in a corner. The space outside is huge too.

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It leads to the front yard too though it stays unopened and the entrance for guests is the one in the main dining hall where the counter and kitchen is situated.

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Jen and I both sitted in the tufted bench beside that gorgeous red door.

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On your left upon entrance is the stairs with quotes that I spotted in several blogs. So I made sure we have a picture on it. #thisthingwithstairs

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The decors that are equally distributed in every corner were hints that most of which were from the owner’s many travels.

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We’re supposed to order pasta and burger, but they’re no longer available. According to the attendant, there was a surge earlier. When we came before dinner time, only three tables were occupied giving me the liberty to take photos of items that are interesting to me.

We then chose pizza with pepperonis and still they’re no longer available. We ended up ordering the one with mushrooms. Jen ordered for the churros and I got my suman sa lihiya.

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As a disclaimer, the attendant warned us that the pizza must be consumed immediately. The pizza is good, a healthy option since it is meatless. But true enough, in all fairness, we were warned, the pizza dough got firmer, and it’s no longer chewy to the bite.

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The churros for me is over-rated, there is nothing special to it except for that mint leaf, just as how you expect churros to be, while the chocolate dip is good, it didn’t remind me of a brand, and only a good chef can do it or it is home-made. =)

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The Filipino way of gathering is skillfully interpreted in this place. Local favorites infused with some internationally known dishes and a homey ambience. Huge tables, family pictures, souvenirs, hanging plants, a Sto. Nino to guard the place, the greenery, makes-up for the over-all cozy feel.

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Surely, we can celebrate some occasion here with friends and family. Or maybe even if without something to celebrate. =)

It is located at:

Lot 32 Blk. 8, Silmer Village, Biñan, Laguna. You can call them at: 0915-649-3952