Wicked Kitchen (Maginhawa Street, QC)

I’m quickly doing this because I have been waaaaay behind my posts and we’re flying to Taipei tonight and I’m pretty sure I’ll have tons of writing to do! 😛

Have you been to Maginhawa Street? Visit WICKED KITCHEN if you haven’t. It’s by far the best place for comfort food. I’ll let the photos speak for the whole restaurant. 🙂

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Cafe Juanita

BF and I decided to try a new restaurant to celebrate his birthday (well post-celebration that is). Cafe Juanita is just 10 minutes away from his office so we decided to have lunch there after his night shift.

And. It. Was. Perfect.

Food. Place. Service.

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Better to avoid lunch and dinner rush. Jojo said it tends to get super packed during lunch time. We got there around 11 am on a Friday. Their phone’s ringing non-stop for reservations I’m guessing!

Check out why I loved Café Juanita! Read my review on looloo
https://looloo.com/r/3ar8

Mary Grace, Greenbelt 1

 

What I love about hanging out with friends is that I get to explore  or re-explore food places that I want to try for myself. Last year, we had a girl’s night out in Mary Grace in Greenbelt 1.

I love the place! I love the ambiance! Very much! I don’t have photos of the food though. We ordered greens and pasta. I like their drinks selection and how they kept their menu simple and very ‘at home.’

I’m sharing you a few photos I took before we were engulfed in our girl time!

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Mary Grace’ menu
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Pretty table arrangement!
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View from the couch
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Look up!
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Closer look at the ceiling ❤
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Notes, letters and surveys.
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Most sincere note/letter and template I read that night 🙂
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Kesong Puti!

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Salad

Mary Grace offers home-cooked meals and perfect ambiance to families and friends. If you want intimate dinners, this is the place to be.

Mr. Kimbob

To solve your Korean food cravings, here is a quick and affordable solution: Mr. Kimbob! 🙂 ❤

Fried Mandu. Small portions but it’s good!

Ramen with egg. Very affordable!

Ddukbokki. Not that spicy but big serving for only around Php 50!

You can find Mr. Kimbob at:

SM MEGAMALL
SM MAKATI
SM NORTH
SM SOUTH
SM MASINAG
SM CLARK
SM ROSALES
SM CITY BAGUIO

Check out their website here: http://www.mrkimbob.com/

Toast Box @ Greenbelt 5

I’ve always wanted to try Toast Box in Greenbelt 5 for some time now. Whenever I pass by this place, I keep on checking out their available menu. I also heard that they serve great toast!

The store’s interior is clean and simple. But when you get there around 8 PM, it might look a bit dirty. Floor needed cleaning.

Food was also okay. Toast was delicious.

Noodles was a bit bland but we still enjoyed it.

The best part was the coffee. ❤

Another turn off was this:

They still serve food on a chipped plate. 😦

But on a lighter note, I went back there after 3 days with friends. :)) Peanut Butter Toast still tastes good.

Boracay Day 3 (February 2012)

We didn’t do much on our last day. We picked up our Calamansi Muffins and headed back to the hotel to pack. After check out, we decided to have an early lunch at the Bite Club.

It’s a cozy semi-fast food place right at the heart of Station 2. Burgers, burgers and burgers everywhere. They have this big signage that tells you how to order your food.

Choose your burger + Add your own choice of toppings = create your own burger!

Here’s their menu:

I forgot what we ordered back then. I think we had The Bomb and Bombarella.

Do I look hungry here ^ ?

 

One of the best burgers I have ever tasted. Aside from I ❤ BBQ, I have another restaurant to go back to next time I visit Boracay again. 🙂

We slept mostly during the bus ride to Kalibo Airport. It was also a first for us to talk during the flight back to Manila. Usually when we travel we sleep and listen to our own MP3 players.

 

But the weather’s really nice and we had to take it all in!

 

 

 

We were able to spot 3 rainbows!

After visiting Boracay twice in 6 months, of course I would go back! Maybe next year? 🙂

Photos taken with Canon S100

Boracay Day 2 (February 2012)

We booked a snorkeling + island tour + Crystal Cove trip during our first day’s hang-out-by-the-beach hour. We got it for Php 1500 (2 pax on a paraw) – I know it’s expensive. But hey, I didn’t really know how much  that trip should cost! Anyhooow…

We woke up just in time for our 9 AM appointment. That gave us time to eat breakfast at the hotel. You can choose from the two options: an American breakfast or a Filipino breakfast.

We are rice-lovers therefore: Chicken Tocino with scrambled egg,

and Longganisa with scrambled egg:

Small portions but they weren’t bad at all.

We met up with Romnick (09309125619) who is supposedly our boat guy but on our way to the shore, we transferred to another boat guy named Sherwin (I think it was Sherwin).

The paraw travels longer, that’s for sure. Snorkeling was bad though, the waves are too big.  We took ample photos at the Crystal Cove, that’s for sure. Our boatguy-turned-tour guide was kind enough to hold my camera the entire time to take our picture practically everywhere. Here are some photos in Crystal Cove:

There are several coves or caves on this island that you can visit. Entrance fee is around Php100. A lot of people come to Island Cove to have their lunch in one of the cottages available. They bring in lunch baskets, utensils etc. and there are also available comfort rooms around. There is nothing really going on here but what interests me is the mini-zoo available for the guests’ appreciation. And this guy:

because he seemed so out-of-place.

Hmm. This looks interesting:

We were supposed to visit another island after the Crystal Cove but we got so hungry from all that walking and boat ride we decided to skip that part. We freshened up and headed to Bistro Valhalla for lunch.

I forgot to mention that 3 meal coupons came with the final voucher we received from Cash Cash Pinoy after payment. And this was one of them (photo above). I thought the fried chicken will be just a normal dish but when it was served, I was SO wrong.

It was very juicy, delicious and crispy. We should have ordered this for dinner instead.

We headed to Real Coffee and Tea Cafe (Station 1) to order some Calamansi Muffins. We placed our order and asked them if we could pick them up the following day instead. And I think because most people do this, they asked for our name and contact number and the time of pick up.

We paid for our 6 boxes and headed to the grotto to take a few photos. It’s around 2 PM and the sun is high – we decided to buy drinks at Jonah’s Fruitshake.

While waiting for our drinks, we saw these foreign girl BFFs who were re-applying make up and sunblock. They had their DSLR on the table. And I almost cried when I saw it:

So much dirt and sand. It’s so sad!

We spent the afternoon swimming and talking and almost falling asleep. And when the sun started to go down, everyone brought out their cameras and took photos. So we did too!

We went back to the hotel, freshened up and went back to Valhalla to order dinner. We ordered soup (french onion and mushroom soup) even though the weather’s hot. Haha!

And the perfect way to end the night? Drinking your Green Tea Cream from Starbucks by the beach. 🙂

Photos taken with Canon S100

Boracay Day 1 (February 2012)

When group-buying sites were offering great travel deals last year, we immediately bought this Cash Cash Pinoy Trip for 2 to Boracay deal, complete with round-trip airfare, airport – hotel transfers, hotel accommodation and full board meals for two. We got that deal for Php 14,999 .

It was our first time in Boracay so we didn’t want to hassle ourselves with the planning. It was intended to be an out-of-town trip of relaxation.

After paying for the voucher, we contacted the travel agency handling the promo, Simple Travel and Tours. We set the date, received our hotel confirmation and plane tickets and we were all set.

We didn’t know most people’s preferred airline going to Boracay but I know it’s definitely not Zest Air. Zest Air only offers Manila to Kalibo flights, which leaves you an hour and thirty minutes land travel to Caticlan pier.

The bus ride to Caticlan Pier was comfortable. But then again, it was a very long bus ride. Z_Z

From the pier, we boarded on a boat then rode a multi-cab, which took us to our hotel, Hey! Jude. But when we got there, they were still cleaning our room so we decided to have lunch at I ❤ BBQ.

Even during my first visit to Boracay, this has been one of my favorite restaurants. 🙂

We both had very big and heavy lunch and technically, that was a very bad move considering you are on a vacation by the beach. But nonetheless, the food was delicious. I ordered a separate mashed potato but unlike the first mashed potato I tasted last December 2011, my second mashed potato was… fake. It was gooey, tasted like bubble gum. It was no mashed potato.

After a hearty lunch, we went back to the hotel to check in, freshen up and change into our beach wear.

Included in the Cash Cash Pinoy deal is one (1) standard room good for 2 pax courtesy of Hey! Jude (Station 2).

Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the building’s façade but I am sure that the Deluxe rooms are better. The room is big enough for the two of us, but one thing that I find odd is that the bathroom (not shown) is… how should I say this… You have to take the stairs (well, 2 steps actually) to get inside the bathroom. It’s fairly clean, complete with shampoo, conditioner and bath soap. But it’s weird that it’s “higher” than the rest of the room.

And oh, the standard rooms and the hotel’s restaurant are at the 4th floor of the lobby.

After securing our valuables and changing into our swim wear, we immediately hit the beach.

The time was just perfect. We got to the beach just in time for the sunset. We took photos, hung out and people-watched. There are definitely more people in Boracay last February than the first time I went there last December.

The very fine sand, cool waters, the warm breeze – everything’s just perfect.

That night, we had our dinner at Bistro Valhalla (Station 2). It’s smack in the center of D’Mall Station 2.

You can check their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/valhallaboracay

And look! I found this blog entry about Valhalla: http://www.thepickiesteater.net/2010/10/boracay-chronicles-hallowed-halls-of.html

Our first free meal coupon for that night was spent on their delicious Chicken Kebab.

Look at how happy he was with the food. No sarcasm involved – he doesn’t know how to look happy. Kidding.

It was delicious. The chicken was cooked perfectly. It was tasty and juicy, and (for us) the portions are just right. It may look small but after our first stick, we’re full. The meal comes with a free glass of iced tea.

Before going back to the hotel, we decided to take a walk by the beach. Fortunately, the night gave us a cold breeze to enjoy. We walked far enough to see these beautifully made sand artworks. Did you know that most of these sand artworks were done by kids around 10-15 years old?

They’ll ask for some coins though if you want to take you picture taken near the artwork. But you know, whatever, they did a great job.

We were going back to the hotel when we encountered the same group of fire dancers we saw last December. It was Travel Buddy’s first time to see them. We were both entertained by the gracefulness of these she-males. 😛

Road Trip Part 3 – Lunch in Tagaytay (January 2012)

I love reading travel blogs. Especially those of Pinoy food and travel bloggers. I don’t know who the Grandeur Traveler is but he definitely found the best countryside dining in Tagaytay (so far, well at least for me). I found out about Marcia Adams’ Restaurant in his blog. You can check out  his post here. After reading about the food and the place, I got hooked and since then, I’ve been nagging my travel buddy to try it out.

And because we’re also passing by Tagaytay for that series of road trips, I thought why not have our lunch there instead of the usual Teriyaki Boy or Gerry’s Grill. So a few days before our trip, I contacted Marcia and reserved a table for two on a warm and breezy Sunday noon. Check out the link for their Facebook page.

The restaurant is near the border of Alfonso and Tagaytay. If you see the Tagaytay Arch with pineapples (coming from Nasugbu), turn left and go straight. A few meters ahead, you will reach this very Tuscan-inspired looking gate. If you’re coming from Tagaytay city proper and see a Welcome to Alfonso arch, do not turn right. Just look for the Tagaytay arch along the highway with the pineapples (I just hope they don’t change the fruit). Yes I had to emphasize the pineapple because we got lost that day and your main landmark would be, yes you guessed that right, the pineapples.

The restaurant is small but very ideal for a romantic lunch date or intimate family gatherings. Falling in love with the place is really easy. (Photo below with Canon S100 nostalgia filter)

Here are other photos of the beautiful restaurant:

While waiting for our food, we were walking around the place taking photos when Neil Adams (husband) explained to us how they got the bricks for the garden. I can’t remember much about that conversation, but I know that 1. those were imported and antique therefore they play an important role in enhancing the mood and theme of the restaurant; 2. Neil (and sometimes Marcia) makes sure their customers are satisfied and entertained (they personally talk to their customers); and 3. Marcia does most of the cooking.

Then our complimentary bread arrives:

Customers are required to pay a cover charge of Php 700 (consumable) per person. This mainly covers your Main Course since the price ranges from Php 700 – Php 1,000. The appetizers and desserts come with the main course, but you can  also pay for another dish ala carte.

One of the most recommended drinks in Marcia Adams’ Restaurant is the Bundaberg Ale (Php 95). Unfortunately, the Peach Ale wasn’t available so we got the Apple and Lemon Ale. Tastes awesome.

For appetizer, I got the Amalfi Prawns (comes with the main course). Pan-fried breaded prawns seasoned with salt, pepper and parsley on top of a thin wafer biscuit. It’s a really tasty dish. My mouth’s watering now just thinking about it.

We also got the soup of the day (comes with the main course) – a clear soup with bits of bacon and beans. It has a subtle creamy taste which I like because it complements, rather, balances the salty taste of the shrimp. Unfortunately that time, Travel Buddy is still allergic to shrimp so I finished all three and even got three to five spoonfuls of soup. Haha!

Dear impatient customers, when you decide to dine here, you should note that the food will arrive (fastest would be) 10-15 minutes, maybe longer depending on how many customers are there. The main course takes longer to arrive. But the upside is you get to bond with your friends or partner or family and the ambiance makes you unaware of the time. After all, this is not a fast food place. Your meal’s being cooked to perfection. And you won’t be disappointed!

Here’s another photo : a view from our table. Would be very nice if we could take the table at the other side of the restaurant, the view there looks more countryside. 🙂

Our main courses arrive. I got the Grilled Aromatic Pork with Organic Rice (Php 700). The meat was cooked evenly and perfectly. With the unique blend of herbs and spices (not the usual blend you’ll get in most restaurants), the dish was very juicy and delicious!

He got the Beef Tenderloin and Bacon Kebabs (Php 845). The beef and bacon are tender, easy to chew, and full of flavors! Also served with organic rice. He loved it! I’m curious about the chicken kebab though. But! There is always a next time!

And now, the best part: DESSERTS.

For Him: Banana Split with creamy chocolate ice cream (comes with the main course). I thought the bananas were coated with chocolates but they were I think grilled for a few seconds then drizzled with the special Nutella sauce. Death by dessert number 1 = Nutella + chocolate ice cream + smartly prepared bananas.

And for me: Lime Pana Cotta (comes with the main course).

I ordered this mainly because of how tasty-looking this dish is. And it did not disappoint. Creamy milk base with zesty, tangy heavy sauce for that perfect combination of sweet and citrus-y fruity taste. Death by dessert number 2!

I’ve read a lot of blogs talking about the same dish (soup, kebab and lime pana cotta) but don’t worry, they have a lot of other main course dishes and desserts that you can try. I am eyeing the stews and casseroles next, and Lavender Creme Brulee or the Strawberry yoghurt ice cream. Check Marcia Adams Restaurant’s Facebook for the menu. 🙂

At roughly Php 1,000 per head, combined with the ambiance, delectable food, great staff/employees, and an awesome bunch of friends or family, this is one experience that is totally worth your time and money.

I just hope that Marcia Adams doesn’t get commercialized (not that I don’t want the business to grow) but its existing low profile and word-of-mouth marketing keeps everything (from food to experience) simple and elegant.