My Reviews

Macao Imperial Tea

4.0 Stars
Tea
3

Whether you love coffee, tea or milk tea, this global tea brand has got you covered.

Macao Imperial Tea which hails from Macau a.k.a the “Vegas of China” is one of the fastest-growing cafe chains. In fact, it has now over 350 branches in Macau, Canada, China, Malaysia, Singapore, United States, Vietnam and the Philippines. It was brought here by the Fredley Group of Companies and opened the first branch on June 2017 in Banawe, Quezon City.

Now, Macao Imperial Tea has several branches in and out of the metro. The nearest branch from where I live is at Congressional Avenue. This one opened in December 9, 2018. As a special treat, the first 100 customers received a FREE Happy Bear tumbler. Sadly, I wasn’t able to visit that day but I was able to the following day.

This branch may not be as spacious as the other MIT shops but they have the same look and feel. To be honest, I don’t usually hang out at coffee or tea shops because not all customers respect peace and quiet. Am I right? 128521 But in MIT – Congressional Avenue’s case, I did enjoy the ambiance they provide every time I wait for my drink.

Speaking of which, I have two go-to drinks here at MIT.

Special Drink For Me and Blue Curacao Soda

I love these two because they’re delicious and unpretentious. You see, I like simple drinks that satisfy my cravings. Let’s say I’m in the mood for something sweet, then For Me which is iced strawberry milk is the perfect drink. And if I want a delicious thirst quencher, Blue Curacao Soda hits the spot.

But there are several other great choices at MIT such as an entire line of Mpresso or espresso-based drinks, coffee, chocolate, chestnut cream, cream cheese, milk tea, tea, red bean, and yakult-based drinks. They have everything!

Besides these, I’m pretty sure you will also appreciate their reusable tumblers especially the one that comes with cute mouse ears. Cool, eh?

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Lam Tin Tea House

4.0 Stars
Chinese
5

Over the holidays, I got the chance to do a little food tripping with the family. Since the holidays equals to intense traffic, we avoided malls and just drove to a place with lesser traffic to find a restaurant that’s not only affordable but also offers a parking space. That long journey, my friend led us to Banawe.

This quiet neighborhood is the go-to place for people who want to avail auto services and purchase car accessories and parts. In fact, everywhere you look you will see an auto shop. But if you look very closely, you will also discover Banawe’s numerous restaurants that are worth visiting. In our case, the restaurant that caught our eye is Lam Tin Tea House, a humble Chinese restaurant.

The place isn’t fancy and that is okay. The main reason we were interested is due to the number of people coming in to dine. That must mean that Lam Tin Tea House serves good food, right? Seeing that there is still a parking space and some seats available, we decided to give it a go.

Lam Tin Tea House has ample seats on the first floor and more on the second floor. Their place is well-ventilated and well-lit. In terms of food, Lam Tin Tea House does not disappoint.

We tried the following dishes:

Hototay Soup Php 160

Sweet & Sour Pork Php 230

Lumpia Shanghai Php 230

Garlic Fried Rice M – Php 185

All of these dishes are worth every Peso but the one that I mostly enjoyed is the Hototay Soup. Why, you ask? Well, their soup is filled with eggs, meat and vegetables. If we knew beforehand that this soup has a lot of wonderful ingredients, we would have just ordered one viand, a rice platter along with it. But that’s alright. We did enjoy our lovely lunch.

The question now is will we come back? Of course! Our first dining experience was okay; however, I really think that they need to maintain the cleanliness of their restaurant. I understand that they welcome a volume of people but they do have quite a number of staff. Speaking of which, some waiters are friendly and easy to talk to but there are those who are the opposite.

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Icings

4.0 Stars
Dessert
9

...The cafe’s teal and coffee brown color scheme doesn’t scream. Instead, it welcomes you to their quiet place where you can enjoy a lovely meal.

Before catching the Festival of Lights at the Vertis North Event Grounds, my family and I decided to have dinner first. Since the restaurants at the ground floor were already full, we went to the second level of the mall. That is where a simple yet Instagram-worthy bakery and cafe caught our attention.

The place is called Icings Bakery & Cafe established by Ceyli Tong in May 1993. Yes, they have been around for more than two decades and has branches in different cities in the metro – Las Piñas City, San Juan City, Taguig City and Quezon City.

I haven’t been to their other branches but the one at Vertis North features a teal and coffee brown color scheme. Though the colors doesn’t scream, it does invite and welcome you to their quiet place for a lovely meal. In fact, we were their first customer that evening and I can confirm that they offer their guests the perfect ambiance.

Their cafe is well-lit, clean and ventilated. The decors are well put together and are easy on the eye. Each table offers a good amount of space for the diners and staff. Speaking of which, I only saw two of their staff outside and they were very accommodating. The one who ushered us on our seat even helped me in assisting my abuelita (grandmother).

Now onto the FOOD.

For this trip, we ordered the following dishes:

Kani Clubhouse: Healthy clubhouse sandwich, kani crab stick, cucumber and fruits with Wasabi mayo
Chicken Waldorf Baguette: Icing’s special chicken salad with apples and walnut in a crusty baguette
Lemongrass Chicken: Chicken thigh fillet served with turmeric rice
Pork Tocino

In all honesty, the dishes that we ordered at Icings Bakery & Cafe are very delicious. If you’re planning to visit, I highly recommend the Kani Clubhouse and Lemongrass Chicken.

Just by the description “healthy clubhouse sandwich, kani crab stick, cucumber and fruits with Wasabi mayo”, I bet you already have an idea how the Kani Clubhouse tastes. Sure, it sounds weird especially for people who don’t like wasabi or Japanese food, in general but trust me. The Wasabi mayo doesn’t overpower the overall taste. In fact, the flavors blend well together leaving your taste buds satisfied.

Do you prefer rice over a sandwich? Then go for the Lemongrass Chicken! Their lemongrass chicken thigh fillet is served with turmeric rice. When this dish arrived on our table, I wasn’t prepared at all for the wonderful aroma. When I tasted it, I was surprised by delicious flavor combination which filled my mouth after each bite.

To complete our lovely meal, we also tried one of their cakes. There were actually several choices. Seeing that my grandmother might not want a super sweet dessert, the staff suggested their sugar-free cake selections. Thus, we chose the strawberry cake. Though it has less sugar, the cake was not only light and fluffy but also very good. We never enjoyed a sugar-free cake like that before. With that, I am very excited to try their other cakes and pastries soon.

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Cafe Perene

4.0 Stars
Café
10

Ayala Malls Feliz opened its doors on December last year. Since I don’t live in the area, I was not aware of its existence until I received an invitation from a friend. It was for a foodie meetup which was set in the afternoon. But since it was a Sunday, my family and I went to mass early and travelled to Ayala Malls Feliz, Pasig City for a little family bonding.

We got there just in time for lunch. So the first thing we did was check the restaurants. The mall has various good choices but the one that caught our eye is Cafe Perene.

Cafe Perene is the sister restaurant of Forget Me Not Cafe which is a homegrown restaurant and a pioneer of the Lilac Food Strip in Marikina. The latter is known for its delicious comfort food and homey experience. If you want to experience that as well as other local favorites and homemade cakes, Cafe Perene is the perfect place.

Just look at the photos I took. Even if you’re outside, you still get a good look of their beautiful and cosy cafe. The walls are clean complete with a simple design. The light fixtures vary per area that provides a bright and warm atmosphere. The tables and chairs are also pretty; not to mention, the arrangement gives diners and staff plenty of space.

For the food, Cafe Perene offers a variety of soup, salad, quick bites, sandwiches and pasta as well as heavy main dishes, platters and set meals. For our first visit, we ordered the following:

Tomato Soup
Ravioli
Lasagna
Stuffed Chicken Breast
Strawberry Milkshake

All of these dishes tasted great! I honestly can’t pick a favorite but if you love pasta, I suggest the Ravioli. Their handmade ravioli with spinach and ricotta cheese on alfredo sauce is very flavorful and in a way comforting. Their lasagna, on the other hand, is also good but quite different (well, from the ones I tasted).

Their lasagna is also handmade with lots of cheese, meat and béchamel sauce. According to research, béchamel sauce, also known as white sauce, is made from a white roux and milk. It has been considered, since the seventeenth century, one of the mother sauces of French cuisine. It is used as the base for other sauces.

If you prefer their main dish, you’ll never go wrong with their Stuffed Chicken Breast. It’s poached chicken breast is stuffed with spinach, cheese and bacon. All the flavors blend well together. We just wish they added more sauce. It made the already tasty dish even more tastier. <3

Since we were fully satisfied, we weren’t able to try their cakes. We did; however, try their Strawberry Milkshake and boy was it good.

The question now is, will we go back? Sure, but it will take a while because we do not live near the area. I do hope they have other branches we can easily visit.

P.S Their staff that day was really friendly and accommodating. When we passed by in the evening after my event, they still have a smile on their face. <3

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Teresita's of San Fernando

4.0 Stars
Filipino
4

I dined here with my family because my grandmother wanted to eat some puto and dinuguan. Good thing we parked at The Annex because we discovered Teresita’s of San Fernando.

Teresita’s believes that homemade cooking is still the best. Since my grandmother believes in that too, this is definitely the right place. Plus, their place is simple, neat and spacious.

Now onto food... They offer halo-halo, palabok, All Day Breakfasts, as well as other rice meals. On this visit, we ordered Dinuguan with puto, Chicken Tocino, and Garlic Longaniza. They’re simple dishes but very tasty and affordable, too. Btw, Teresita’s of San Fernando’s puto are really good. My grandmother loved it and even bought some to bring at home.

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Dulcinea

4.0 Stars
Café
6

My family and I really enjoy dining here. In fact, we have been here many times but it was always during lunch. Last Sunday, we decided to visit the branch for an afternoon coffee and snack.

We ordered some cafe latte, iced cappuccino, Angus Beef Sandwich, blueberry cheesecake and as always, their classic churros con chocolate. The coffee, sandwich and churros were good but the blueberry cheesecake was really delicious! It was a bit pricey though so I would only comeback for it when I'm really craving for it.

In terms of service, the staff is fast and friendly. The place is also clean but their facade really needs some refurbishing.

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Bo's Coffee

4.0 Stars
Coffee
6

My friends and I had a late dinner at a restaurant in Il Terrazzo. Afterwards, we had some coffee at the nearest shop which is Bo's Coffee.

It's been a while since I visited Bo's Coffee and to be honest, I still prefer their shop. It' not overcrowded or noisy.

This specific branch is also very beautiful. Since it was late, there were only a few people there. Still, the shop offers the perfect ambiance for people who want to enjoy coffee, study, write and catch up with friends. *Just make sure not to be too noisy.

For their coffee... Since it’s Christmas, we tried one of Bo's Coffee's heartwarming drinks. I really enjoyed their rich Dark Mocha Macadamia Froccino. 128077

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David's Tea House

3.0 Stars
Chinese
8

My family and I were coming home from a gathering. Suddenly, my grandmother craved for some congee. I, on the other hand, was also in the mood for dimsum so we passed by Tomas Morato to find a Chinese restaurant. We were kind of worried because it was really late and most restaurants might be closing or closed already. Good thing, we saw David’s Tea House and they are open ‘til 3AM.

David’s Tea House has an ample seating. The first floor is for their walk-in customers while the second floor is for events. Apart from this, they also have an outdoor seating with a nice view. We choose the indoor seating instead. For the food, they offer a variety of affordable dishes such as dimsum, congee, noodle soup, rice toppings, juicy pork, seafood, roasts and cold cuts.

But since we already had dinner, we just ordered some Plain Congee, Sesame Buchi, Wanton Noodles, Pork Asado Pao, Beancurd Roll and Hakaw. The service was fast and the food were okay.

By the way, they also have Shabu-shabu. We saw families dining there and it looked like they’re having a good shabu-shabu experience. We might try that next time we visit.

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Café Mary Grace

5.0 Stars
Filipino
6

In terms of serving time, well, our food did take a while to arrive. It wasn’t annoying though because they’re not a fast food chain. After all, the essence of Mary Grace is the GOODNESS OF HOME, where fresh from the oven pastries and good home-cooked meals warm the heart and soul. So expect the food you order will be prepared well and taste great.

I can guarantee that with the dishes we ordered:

SIRLOIN BEEF TAPA: With sunny side-up eggs

SEAFOOD PASTA: A medley of fresh clams, mussels, prawns, squid and cream dory enhanced with herbs, olives and mushrooms.

SMOKED SALMON & CREAM: Smoked salmon sauteéd with garlic cream and dill.

Obviously, there were three of us. But as always I tasted all the dishes! 🙂

Let’s start with the breakfast plate – Sirloin Beef Tapa. This one can be served with scrambled eggs or sunny side-up eggs. You can even choose your rice – Signature Rosemary Fried Rice or Garlic Fried Rice. This taste good with their Signature Rosemary Fried Rice. Furthermore, all their breakfast choices are homemade without preservatives and marinated fresh daily. You can tell that it truly is because the beef is so tender and flavorful.

Next is the Seafood Pasta and Smoked Salmon & Cream. We ordered two different pastas just in case my abuelita don’t like the one she ordered. Lo and behold, she enjoyed her original order which is the Seafood Pasta. It’s a beautiful medley of fresh clams, mussels, prawns, squid and cream dory. What put this dish together is the delightful flavors from the herbs, olives and mushrooms. Oh by the way, their garlic bread is to die for. It’s so good.

Now for the Smoked Salmon & Cream pasta which ended as my lunch was great. I usually go for my favorite Pesto or Carbonara sauce. But my abuelita was for craving for a seafood pasta so we ordered two different seafood ones. I’m happy I had the smoked salmon. The flavor of sauteéd with garlic cream and dill were intensely satisfying. Again, the garlic bread which already tasted good became even better when I dipped it in my pasta sauce.

Cafe Mary Grace really do serve quality homemade dishes. But since their price are quite steep, I would only go here once in a while and during special occasions!

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Auntie Anne's

3.0 Stars
Snack
3

I was at The Annex for some errands and just happen to pass by Auntie Anne's on the way to the car park. While I was walking pass, I saw a family with two kids go out of the store. One was holding a pretzel while the other one was holding some breadstick? It looked delicious so I stopped and went in.

Since it was my first time at that store, I asked one of the staff which is a good choice. She offered Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Stix. (Thanks for the recommendation, ate!)

I chose the Cream Cheese Pretzel Stix in Blueberry and another in Almond flavor along with a sweet and delicious caramel dip. And it was good! The Blueberry one can be eaten without the dip but the Almond tasted better with the caramel dip. Most importantly, make sure to consume them right away!!!

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