Way before all these hipster cafes joined the bandwagon, Figaro was already present. Frankly speaking, I never would have imagined that Figaro was a local brand so I was quite surprised when Joanne gave us a brief history about it. Founded in November 1993, a group of coffee lovers started a small kiosk in Glorietta mall of Ayala, Makati selling fresh ground coffee and tea paraphernalia. Their first outlet was called the "F" store. After a few months, the owners decided to give the coffee shop a name. The name Figaro was thought of by the owners as an idea to complete the European concept. They wanted to come up with a name that is widely recognized but not commercially and commonly used. The "Opera: Barber of Seville" has the song "Figaro" which popularized the name, thus Figaro was born.
It’s been a while since my last | rendezvous so I was really excited when I saw an invite from Peanut D! When we got there, Figaro’s marketing manager, Joanne, was very accommodating and informative about their business. She shared her experiences with their customers such as surprise wedding and boyfriend-girlfriend proposals in their cafes! It was really fun to hear stories how Figaro was able to bring two people together and share happiness for the rest of their lives. She also shared which drinks and dishes were the best sellers and which ones we should try depending our preferences. I got a Green Tea Frappe and enjoyed it.
Based from my previous visits with Figaro, I never came across hot plates so I was intrigued when they began serving pizzas, pastas, and even kare-kare! Here are some of my top picks based on what they served:
BBQ PULLED PORK SANDWICH Php280 ️️️️️
I really liked this one. It’s something I would recommend to anyone who wants a filling and flavorful sandwich. A generous serving of tender, sweet and savory pulled pork with special barbeque sauce, fresh greens and coleslaw on batard bread. The meat was not dry compared to some I’ve tried in the past. Really good!
PASTA ALA CARLO Php235 ️️️️️
Sweet and spicy medley of flavors, light tomato basil sauce, capers, tuna chuncks, black olives and olive oil
I think this has to the crowd’s favorite since it was in everyone’s top 3 dishes for the night. It’s not something I have not tried elsewhere but it’s nicely executed. This dish was actually named after one of the seven owners – Carlo. I guess he either conceptualized it or it’s a favorite of his.
FIVE CHEESE AND GARLIC PIZZA Php225 ️️️️️
Figaor’s cheese pizza comprises of – mozzarella, parmesan, cream cheese, pizza cheese, sharp cheddar and flavorful garlic sauce. It has everything a good cheese pizza should have – crust, cheese and flavor. The cheese serving was very generous. One bite was all it took for the harmonized cheese flavors to dance inside my mouth. Cheesy goodness! 🧀
One thing did strike my curiosity – what is pizza cheese? Seriously, it’s the first time I’ve heard of it. Apparently, pizza cheese melts evenly as it get cooked and doesn’t burn! Unlike cheddar and mozzarella, it doesn’t leave a mark that it melted just on that spot. I was fascinated. Next time I hit the supermarket, I’m checking out the cheese section for pizza cheese.
ADOBO FLAKES KARE-KARE Php269 ️️️️️
Classic pork adobo flakes, served with Java rice and kare-kare sauce
If you’re looking for crispy adobo flakes, this is not for you. Figaro’s version is almost like pulled-pork adobo. I liked the texture of the meat since its strands were nicely separated and the meat itself was flavorful - mix of saltiness and a slight tangy taste of the classic Filipino adobo. The kare-kare sauce, on the other hand, had a beautiful roasted peanut flavor which complemented the adobo flakes very well. No need for bagoong here! Recommended for those who are looking for a more fuller meal.
We were also served other dishes which I found were just okay:
BLT CROISSANT Php225 ️️️️
Layers of honey-cured bacon, fresh lettuce and ripe red tomatoes on freshly baked butter croissant
This is actually quite good and the bacon was thicker than usual too. I just wished the bacon was cooked a bit more since I prefer a more crispy texture.
QUATTRO FORMAGGIO MAC & CHEESE Php285 ️️️️
Mozzarella, paremesan, cream cheese and pizza cheese
I couldn’t include this on the top picks list since there was something missing which I could still not point my finger on 🤔 It’s cheesy but not the type of cheese flavor I’m looking for when I think of mac and cheese.
MEXICAN TACO SALAD Php225 ️️️
Fresh salad greens, ground beef, jalapenos, cheddar cheese, tomato salsa, corn and black beans
ASIAN CHICKEN SALAD Php219 ️️️
A medley of crisp greens, red tomatoes, grilled chicken, sesame seeds, candied walnuts, parmesan cheese and sweet tangy Asian vinaigrette
SWEET HAWAIIAN HOLIDAY PIZZA Php225 ️
A special blend of three cheeses with sweet ham, pineapple chunks and bacon on a tangy texas barbeque sauce
Sorry to say, this is not good. The sauce just did not compliment it well. There’s just something really off.
Last but not the least, we were served their BANANA FRITTERS for dessert! It's like mini turons with caramel sauce and ice cream on top. I found the turon to be a bit soggy and chewy though.
Overall, I really enjoyed the night. Nice meeting and seeing everyone again Sandy P, Marc M, Kristin A, Vinny L, Clarissa P, Eboy D, TheMitch M, Mei O, and Mae! Thank you to Joanne of Figaro as well for the invite and giveaways
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When I’m not on a tight budget, Manam is my go to Filipino restaurant as it offers a wide variety of dishes – both in the traditional and modern versions - and that, I think, is what makes Manam really stand out from the rest. It’s always a safe choice regardless of who I’m dining with – friends, families, or even as a couple. Why? Because the food is great and the dishes comes in three sizes! Small, medium and large which is good for one, three and six, respectively.
For today, I’m visiting with my family + grandparents! Father gave me the control to order for everyone which made me a bit giddy to be honest
CRUNCHY SALT & PEPPER SQUID RINGS [Php160 • Php280 • Php485] ️️️️️
It is exactly as the name states – crispy, flavorful squid rings. The seasoning was just right – not too salty nor bland. A great appetizer to start dinner with. It would be good paired with a glass of beer too!
GISING GISING [Php120 • Php205 • Php365] ️️️️
I can’t resist anything with gata flavor. It’s just so comforting. Tastes good but I’m not sure what the vegetable used was. I don’t think I’ve tried it before but it’s good – crispy and bite size.
HOUSE CRISPY SISIG | [Php155 • Php255 • Php415] ️️️️️
No wonder Manam’s sisig is the best in the metro. For someone like me who does not appreciate laman loob, I quite enjoyed it. It really is crispy and flavors were spot on. It definitely deserves its No. 1 spot 🏻
CRISPY PORK BINAGOONGAN | [Php205 • Php360 • Php645] ️️️️️
Loved it before and still love it right now. This right here is a classic and delicious dish that everyone must try. Maybe I’m biased because I love almost anything with bagoong. Always a must whenever I dine here.
SINIGANG NA BEEF SHORT RIB & WATERMELON [Php245 • Php455 • Php775] ️️️️
This has been highly raved about by most diners so I wanted to at least try it once. Even with just my first sip, I felt the burst of flavors in my tongue. Because of the watermelon, the usual sharpness of the tanginess was replaced with a sweet and sour sensation. The flavors were really concentrated so a tablespoon really packs a punch. I’m still unsure of how I feel about it since it did feel a bit overwhelmed but A+ for creativity. Who would have thought watermelon should be mixed in sinigang?
OVERLOADED GARLIC BANGUS BELLY [Php175 • Php295 • Php565] ️️️️
Another classic dish delivered well by Manam. Bangus is really fat and garlic was generous. Perfect with toyo-mansi as its sauce 🏻
GARLIC RICE [Php65 • Php100 • Php180] ️️️️️
Got a big platter to share with everyone. Garlic rice is really the best when its Filipino dishes we are talking about. Yum!
Overall, I loved almost everything we ordered. I liked the ambiance of the MOA branch better since it had higher ceilings and brighter lights. I really appreciate their menu too. It had lots of photos which helps the diners to easily picture what they would be having. Also, since they do have a lot of twists in the traditional Filipino dishes, it really helps the people to know how it would look like and thus, expectations are within the reasonable level.
Service needs a bit more improvement since it takes a while before the servers notice that we are wanting their attention. Also, my grandma (who is a bit of a neat freak) noticed that the spoon she didn't use was just transferred to the other table for the next customer to use which shouldn't be the case since hygiene is the No. 1 most important thing for those working in the food industry.
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Shabu Yaki is a Korean restaurant that serves unlimited shabu shabu and unlimited samgyupsal and beef. Both costs Php500 per person. We were surprised that they agreed we could split our table – 3 for unlimited shabu shabu and 2 for unlimited samgyupsal. I was not sure if it was really allowed since the last time Unisse C went, it was prohibited. Maybe the server got intimidated by my dad
The grill set comes with unlimited beef, pork, rice and side dishes. Each table also gets an order of steamed egg in a hot pot and soybean paste stew. The shabu shabu set on the other hand comes with unlimited pork, beef, veggies and side dishes. It also comes with a one-time serving of seafood for the whole table. I wasn’t a fan of the Korean Shabu Shabu since it didn’t serve sate which is like a Chinese paste used as a dip mixed in with soy sauce.
I enjoyed our dinner since everything was so sulit! I appreciated how the server was very generous whenever we requested for more meat so we wouldn't be calling her attention every 10 minutes The grill was slightly slanted so that the oil goes directly to a bowl. Also, a tip to remove excess oil is to use the tongs to clip a few sheets of tissue and clean the grill.
The place looked like a home turned restaurant since it had a homey feel to it. It did have a strong smell of the food which can make you feel “umay” even if you haven’t eaten that much. But nonetheless, it was an enjoyable dinner 🏻
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Whenever my friends need time to chill out and cool down from work and stress, they head out to plantation since it’s only a block away from our office. Due to the tremendous stress I was going through for the past week, I asked if we could “walwal” on a Tuesday night. These gals are always ready for a drink and chit chat to which they responded “yes” immediately
We arrived past 9 and the place was packed! I was surprised since almost all tables were taken. It made me wonder if it was already Friday. Anyway, we are responsible drinkers so we ordered one bottle of Smirnoff each and a pitcher of Tequila Sunrise (Php350) for sharing. Smirnoff is Php120 for 2 bottles since it’s on an all-day BOGO promo Since we were on a budget, I tried mixing the tequila sunrise with a bit of Smirnoff (to get hit a bit quicker than usual) and surprisingly, it tasted good. We also ordered a few snacks to munch on while we drank and chit chat our worries away.
We got basket of Nachos and Onion Rings. Both orders were quite generous for the price. For the nachos, I liked that the cheese sauce was served separately to prevent the chips from getting soggy. They also refill the sauce if you run out which is another good thing. The down side is that the beef was served cold, indicating this may have been cooked in advance and sat on the counter waiting to be served. But nonetheless, I can’t really complain since the flavor was okay and serving was generous. The onion rings, on the hand, were humongous! I wasn’t expecting much since it was only Php130. It was quite bland though. 8 cuts’ is still the most sulit 🏼
Overall, it was a great night. Good drinks + great company = Good times. I have a feeling I'll become a regular here
P. S. Sariling sikap sa lighting for the photos since the lights are turned off 8pm onwards It's actually a restaurant that turns into a bar at night. Hooray for cheap resto bars!
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Finally trying Paradise Dynasty after almost a year since its opening. Like any other, I wouldn’t miss their signature xiao long baos. However, since we were in a group, we ditched the 8 flavors basket and chose those we just wanted instead.
SIGNATURE ORIGINAL XIAO LONG BAO | Php298 10 pcs ️️️️
Xiao long bao was good, better than the average – soupy, flavorful and enough skin to shell the meat and soup inside. To enjoy it to the fullest, nip a bit of skin then dip it into the sauce and eat the whole thing in one go. Make sure not to let those juices drip and go to waste!
BLACK TRUFFLE XIAO LONG BAO Php330 6pcs ️️
Based from the reviews, people were raving about the black truffle flavor so I thought that this is a must order. I was quite surprised that I was not the only one who did not taste the truffle flavor. As a matter of fact, 4/5 of us did not. Maybe it was a bad batch but it tasted like the original one but in color black. It’s still good but we couldn’t feel but ripped off.
DEEP-FRIED CHINESE BUN Php75 3pcs ️️️️️
I don’t know why but we always order this regardless of which Chinese restaurant we go to. Simple dish, executed well.
PORK DUMPLING WITH HOT CHILI VINAIGRETTE Php168 6pcs ️️️️
Flavorful pork dumplings with a generous serving of meat in a hot chili vinaigrette. This dish is transparent – exactly how it is described. Good dish!
SPICY SZECHUAN CRISPY CHICKEN Php298 ️️️️️
Crowd favorite right here! Chicken is indeed crispy and sze chuan flavors were spot on. My dad rarely compliments any dish, especially Chinese food, but he liked this one even if he did not voice it out. It was obvious since he kept asking for more. For those who can’t handle heat well, if you avoid all the chilis, the spice level is tolerable. Two thumbs up!
DEEP-FRIED GARLIC PORK RIBS Php388 ️️️️️
Really enjoyed this one! Crispy breading, tender meat and good flavor – two thumbs up!
STIR-FRIED BEEF WITH SCALLION Php388 ️️️️
Super tender beef in oyster sauce topped with scallions. Will always one of my favorite Chinese dishes.
STIR-FRIED FRENCH BEANS WITH MINCED PORK Php238 ️️️️
A classic Chinese dish that never goes out of style. If you need to order veggies, go for this one.
LA MIAN in SZECHUAN HOT & SOUR SOUP WITH SEAFOOD Php230 ️️️
Not what I had in mind when I think of Chinese noodles. Usually, the broth is quite thin paired with house made hand-pulled noodles. PD’s version had a silky and thicker broth consistency while noodles were the usual hand-pulled ones. The only negative thing with dish is that I didn’t see any seafood as it claimed but the flavors were good.
LA MIAN with MINCED MEAT AND MUSHROOM SAUCE (DRY) Php230 ️️️️
The mushroom flavor was stronger than the meat taste, but still good. Broth/sauce still had that same silky and thick consistency.
I can’t believe four ladies and one dad finished all those orders in one sitting. Burp! Overall, I think I had a good visit. Recommended dishes are the original XLBs, spicy Szechuan crispy chicken, and deep-fried garlic pork ribs. Fortunately, we did not experience the bad experience many people were complaining about. Also, we were able to get seated quick. Maybe because it was still early, around a quarter before seven. See you again PD!
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Met up with my old friends whom I have not seen for months. Since they were already at Greenhills, I agreed to just have lunch anywhere there.
It was half past one when I got there so I was famished. We proceeded to order quickly, a bit too much for three people if I must say
For starters, we got an order of ROTI CANAI for Php88. Torn between which sauce to get, we just settled on getting both Curry sauce Php30 and Condensed milk Php30. Their roti will always be a favorite of mine and their curry sauce is just delightful. It’s a blend of Malaysian and Singaporean curry if I’m correct.
Next up are the main dishes:
NASI GORENG NENAS Php238 ️
If you’re not familiar, Nasi Goreng Nenas literally means "fried rice" in Indonesian and Malaysian. To be honest, we were quite disappointed since it was quite bland and the rice was too soft, almost a bit mushy in my opinion. Plain white rice is better than this.
MALAYAN CHICKEN CURRY Php288 ️️️️
The curry flavor in this one tastes exactly like their curry sauce for the roti. If I had known, I wouldn’t have ordered the curry sauce on its own. Lesson learned! But nonetheless, I enjoyed it since the curry sauce was flavorful and chicken was nicely cooked. Best paired with rice!
PAD THAI – THAI STYLE Php238 ️
I have been craving for pad thai for the looooongest time so I was really excited. But remember, high expectations lead to greater disappointments and this one is the perfect example for it. Since it was labelled “Thai Style”, I was expecting a blend of sweet, sour, peanut-y and a light salty flavor mixed with a kick of heat. So it did threw me off when all I could taste was sugar.
CHICKEN SATAY Php188 ️️️️
Nothing bad to say for this one. Good satay sauce and cooked well chicken.
Feeling the extra splurge, I ordered a glass of their THAI ICED TEA Php90 ️️ and wished I didn’t after the first sip. I guess I was expecting the same taste as Basil’s with that concentrated milk tea flavor. This one was just lagging behind.
Verdict: I don’t think I’m coming back to Banana Leaf, or if I do, I’m not ordering the Nasi Goreng, Pad Thai and Thai Iced Tea next time. I used to enjoy Banana Leaf’s dishes before, what happened?
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Finally back again at Ooma! For today’s visit, we opted to try more of their hot plates which comes with unlimited rice for all diners. But I can’t skip on getting a serving of their salmon skin aburi maki
SALMON SKIN ABURI MAKI | Php275 ️️️️️
Torched salmon, crispy salmon skin, asparagus, cream cheese, wasabi, aioli, teriyaki sauce
I swear, this is the bomb. It’s one of the best, if not the best, maki I’ve tried to date. The cream cheese and other sauces really blended well with the super crispy salmon skin. It's just deletable flavors marrying with each other. A definite must-try!
TORI KARA-AGE Php255 ️️️️️
Crispy chicken thigh wrapped in sweet potato strips, scallions, and sesame seeds then drizzled with soy-vinegar glaze.
I liked the crispy crust and juicy chicken inside. Really great dish.
BUTA KAKUNI Php370 ️️️️
Slow roasted pork belly, pickled carrots, radish, scallions, coconut
Very tender and juicy pork. I actually liked it but the slight tangy flavor from the pickled carrots may throw some people off since it is not exactly what I would consider a Japanese flavor. But nonetheless, I quite enjoyed this one.
HANGER STEAK Php498 ️️️️
Sous-vide hanging tender, sautéed mushrooms, white truffle oil, sweet potato mash, crispy baby potato, herb oil, ponzu butter
I think this speaks for itself for being a constant crowd favorite. Tender steak cooked medium rare with truffle flavors paired best with their smooth sweet potato mash. One order of this alone could fully satisfy two people.
One of my friends who came with me told us that he is “not a fan of Japanese food” but felt unsatisfied even after consuming three bowls of rice He actually wanted to order more. Can’t believe that comment came from someone who wasn’t a fan of Japanese food
Service was quick too. Even if we went during peak hours, around 730pm, the food was served quick. We even requested to change tables and they assisted us nicely. Keep it up Ooma!
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My sisters were really craving for ramen and Ramen Nagi just happened to be around the corner. We went directly to the order slip wherein you can customize your ramen or go for the chef’s recommendation. I went ahead and customized my own since that was how I liked it.
ORIGINAL KING Php390
Tonkotsu pok-broth prepared in the traditional method. Mouth-wateringly rich, fresh and aromatic; special handcrafted noodles and classic Nagi pork chashu.
You can never go wrong with a classic ramen. I can almost taste the fat in the broth – indicating that the pork was cooked in it for that very rich and flavorful broth. For first timers, I'd recommend this one.
RED KING | Php410
A striking blend of garlic, chili oil, and cayenne pepper in a velvety broth; topped by a tempting ball of miso-infused minced pork and special Nagi spices with tender chashu.
For those who love that kick of spice in their ramen, I can definitely recommend this one. It’s feiry and delicious! Half-way through the bowl, my face was dripping with sweat but all of that was worth it. Chashu was very tender as well. Forget knives and forks, chopsticks can rip it apart easily.
GREEN KING Php410
A fusion of fresh basil and olive oil with delectable tonkotsu broth in a truly unique combination; lavishly garnished with grated parmesan cheese and richly marbled chasu
The green king is quite unique. It’s like marrying Japan and Italy together. It’s practically Italian pasta but in ramen version. I only had a taste of this so I wasn’t really sure about how I felt about it but my sister quite enjoyed herself.
Service was quick too and staff were attentive. Overall, a great visit. Thanks Nagi!
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Been reading a lot of great reviews about Bean and Yolk and I’ve been really dying to try their sandwiches since they all look so good! Visited last Sunday for brunch and they did not disappoint. The place is quite petite – with a 15-seater capacity at the most. I would not recommend family lunches here, maybe a quiet catch up with some girl friends would be best. Interiors are easy on the eyes with subtle detail designs like the drop down lights, small plants and wooden tables.
CARA’S FAVE | Php175 ️️️️️
Fried egg, mozzarella, cheddar cheese, hot honey, buttered sliced brioche
Ugh! This is sooo good! I definitely get why people are drooling over this one. Despite being a regular-sized sandwich, this was quite filling. I did not feel the “umay” effect even if it was cheese. The hot honey was able to compliment the sharp flavor of the cheese turning it to something really fun to eat. It’s so simple – cheese, egg, honey and toast – yet so perfectly delivered. Cara’s fave may as well be my fave. Two thumbs up!
MISSUS Php185 ️️️️
Soft scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, sriracha mayo, arugula, caramelized onions, brioche bun
That sriracha mayo does pack quite a punch. That was the first thing I noticed as I bit into it. Fan of eggs? This is the sandwich for you. The soft scrambled eggs definitely stand out and the caramelized onions gave it a nice subtle sweetness.
SMORES HOT COCOA Php155 ️️️️
65 percent Malagos dark chocolate, frosted fresh milk, burnt marshmallows
I’m not sure how I feel about this one. Their chocolate milk is not your usual sweet hot cocoa. I personally believe that it’s an acquired taste. I disliked it at first but as I reached the bottom of the glass, the flavors improved. Tip is to drink the cocoa together with the marshmallow.
Overall, it was a great visit. For all those near the area, or even those fairly close, this is a must try café. All their dishes were very photogenic as well. Will be back!!
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It's my first time getting a haircut at Bench Fix and I'm not exactly sure how I feel about it so I extended a bit before writing this review. Got my haircut exactly three weeks prior to this review.
I am growing my hair so I just asked for a trim, both at the back and my fringe. It's weird when I told the stylist what I wanted, she immediately asked the staff to have my hair blow dried without even cutting anything. It's not like I asked for a 1 inch trim for her to not touch anything. I was actually okay with 2-3 inches gone. Weird.
Then it got to my fringe. I told her which side my part was and she got it wrong. She made it the opposite which let me to decide to just have it straight but not too straight. At first I thought I was having my usual "why did I cut my hair" moment which usually last for almost a week. But this time, it actually extended until two weeks. Now on my third week, I think it's pretty okay since it already grew.
Hmm. I'm still debating whether I will have my haircut again here next time but I'm leaning to the "No" side 🏻 well at least not for this branch.
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