Let’s try TENYA

Let’s try TENYA

“Enjoy! Life is Delicious!”

To eat is an activity that we Filipinos are fond of. We dine to bond, to chat, to be relaxed, to cherish moments and look forward to the next “eating out” together.

As diversed as we are, we are adventurous and fearless to try new things, we appreciate different cultures and cuisines. One of ours is Japanese food along with the rest of the world’s offerings.

Jen and I’s favorite are Italian and Japanese food, of course we love our own Filipino dishes too. Jen recently fostered a penchant for Korean dishes which I couldn’t support since I am not into too spicy food. =)

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When Festival Mall did an expansion last year, Tenya is one of those exciting restaurants which occupied the expansion wing – The Water Garden. Strategically located at the entrance and just a short walk from Civic drive, Alabang.

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They’re in Indonesia and Thailand too. And more than 200 branches in Japan.

We opted to try it out usually due to our cravings. We’re in sync this time, usually, we craved differently so we had to decide whose wish will be granted. =)

Tenya’s interiors maintained the image of a typical Japanese restaurant with lanterns bearing some significant characters, always eye-catching you can’t help but look-up.

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That Zen feel (less is more), the unique atmosphere, minimalist approach and often uses neutral color scheme and natural woods with touches of bright colors like red, yellow or green.

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The wall calligraphy added the space a modern bibe and cascades commitment.

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Tenya’s offering boast its’ expertise in tendon. Mr. Yoshio Iwashita, opened a restaurant way back 1989 which provides a more affordable offering since tendon are expensive, and so the menu says. =)

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Tendon, also known as donburi (a bowl of rice with toppings),usually a complete meal, with everything on it, shrimp tempura, fish, vegetables,
squid, or any meat will do, topped on a steamed rice that comes with a special dontare sauce.

So I got the one with a poster outside. The Ultimate crab tendon teishoku. It comes with a special “aligue” (crab fats) sauce.

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Jen had the Jo tempura soba/ udon teishoku.

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Mine is with a miso soup while Jen’s Udon came with 2 Black tiger prawns, kani stick, green beans, sweet potato and eggplant tempura.

For sharing, we also tried their rendition of California maki.

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That dressing tasted like Kewpie…=) While their batter is so tasty.

We truly enjoyed mixing our own sauces. Their claim that theirs are the freshest is very distinct. The servings are just good enough, and the taste just met our expectations. We weren’t disappointed at all.

Due to the season, they just had a hard time attending to requests per table as swiftly as they can. As they only have 2 attendants when we came. There were times when people from production area are the ones serving our orders. Even the Security Officer is extending a hand already. Probably due to lack of personnel.

If I can also suggest, using pitchers with cover that might fall off is also not recommendable. It might spell trouble.

Over-all, we’re still wanting to come back here. =)

And it’s good to know that they are in the following locations:

locations
http://www.tenya.com.ph/store-locations

Itadakimasu! (spoken with a silent “u”!) =)

And they call it “Brekkie”!

And they call it “Brekkie”!

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” ~John Gunther~

Nowadays, I hear things that I don’t practically understand, millennial terms that I need to ask my son its’ meaning even how it is pronounced. He helps me update my vocabulary especially that I blog/ write. Like “rad” (cool or edgy), “meme”, “sepanx”, “salty”, “fleek”, “bae”, “adulting”, “chill”, “squad goals”, “instagrammable”, “yolo” or “fomo”, “FC” (feeling close), to mention a few.

There’s one term that I’m really loving lately: “Brekkie!”

I see it everywhere!

Courtesy of: http://cleanharvest.com.au/index.php/barra-blog/how-changing-my-breakfast-changed-my-life

So since I’m loving this word, and literally loving having it, I might as well blog about it, I only have a few photos as references, but I’ll start collecting. You may contribute and add one here if you wish so, and I’ll try it if time (and budget) permits me!

Thanks in advance! =)

At home, these are our favorites:

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That famous “Spam” puts smile on our faces, my son used to ask what is it about Spam, it tastes so good for so many.
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And another we really love is bacon! =) Dried fish or “dilis” with tomatoes is a winner for me too. =)
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We aren’t much of a corned beef lover unless it’s our preferred brand: Purefoods. =)
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Hotdogs have always been a favorite. Let’s face it, it’s been there since we’re still kids.
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And pancakes are better when you put some cheese bits on the batter. Try it! =)
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Pork tapa specially done (and marinated for a few days) by my late father is one of  our favorites too!
I loved the mushrooms from “The Gardens”…
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I had this on our first day at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan.
While this happens to be a breakfast buffet at “Rustic Mornings” in Marikina.
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Bad Late night breakfast… #chicharonbulaklak
From “Just like Home”…=)
Sulyap Gallery Cafe
Acua Verde, Batangas
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And my favorite bacon & cheese omelet from Sunrise buckets…=)
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2 kinds: Dangit and longganiza at Casa Almarenzo, Bolinao, Pangasinan
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Purple tree. A simple breakfast composed of rolls and mushroom omelet paired with hot chocolate and coffee.. =)
Daing na bangus from Pancake house. =)
Omelet from Pancake house! =)

Jen my foodie buddie promised me weeks ago that she will treat me to another breakfast place: “Eggs for Breakfast”, she has spotted it on her way home to Antipolo and we’ve been meaning to visit it soonest. And definitely I shall add it here. =) I recently found one in Alabang too, “Bean & Yolk”.  Any suggestions please? =)

 

 

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. =)

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.

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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.

 

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.