My Reviews

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo

5.0 Stars
Breakfast
10

I have always heard about this place whenever my friends would talk about Marikina, but it's the first time that I get to try this out.

The ambiance is very homey and it does give that "rustic" vibe. It's very calming like you just got up from a good sleep, in your pajamas and have an amazing breakfast in the patio.

Sharing the dishes my friends and I ordered at Rustic Mornings:

Choco Nutella and Vanilla Speculoos Milkshake. Glad that they have flavors like these. These are bestsellers for kids and kids-at-heart.

Iced Cappuccino. I ordered an iced cappuccino with a request for whipped cream on top. (Fun fact about me: I only drink iced beverages for breakfast, even my coffee). It had the right amount of coffee and milk in it.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip. The Isabelo Garden, Rustic Mornings' predecessor, started from this amazing dish. A must-try! Rustic Mornings used to be the old home of Chef Portia, and she told us how she would experiment on cooking then call her mom to try them out. This dish is where it all began.

Rustic Mushroom Soup. Rich in flavor and creamy. Has complimentary bread on the side.

Acal Smoothie Bowl. Filled with antioxidants. This smoothie bowl is actually heavy on the stomach. I love the unsoaked chia seeds. This dish just feels very clean and healthy to me.

Three Mushrooms 3-Egg Cheese Omelet with Salad. Served with 2 slices of French baguette, herbed butter, and jam. The additional salad is optional.

Lox Toast Bar. Made of bagel, topped with cream cheese, salmon, capers, and lemon zest. I love the salmon, which is the highlight of this dish. The salad is refreshing and light.

Half Plain, Half Churros Waffles. A combination of their crispy plain waffles and waffle churros. Something to order when you can't decide what flavor to choose. Both are good but I prefer the churros better.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes. These thick fluffy pancakes are just amazing. I like the taste, the texture, and the blueberries. The butter is also homemade and good.

Tinapa Burrito. Tinapa sounds boring to me until I've had this burrito. I love the saltiness that blends well with the rice and the contrast of flavor with the sauce. This is really good and I recommend this as a must-try!

FULL REVIEW and HD PHOTOS on my blog.

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Tatoy's Manokan and Seafoods Restaurant

5.0 Stars
Seafood
6

We went here for a family dinner and this place was chosen by my cousins who live in Iloilo. I have no idea about restaurants here so I had no expectation of the place. Upon entering, I noticed that the place was filled—mostly families. Good thing we had a reservation.

The dishes were good, but what took my full attention was their oysters. I’ve had a couple from different places but this was one of the best that I had. The cheese wasn’t on the salty side. It was creamy and subtly sweet. The oysters were definitely fresh, too. I love it.

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Lucca Bakery

5.0 Stars
Bakery
3

I’ve been to Lucca a couple of times and I like staying here to pass the time because it’s not too crowded and I don’t feel like I have to hurry when I’m here (compared to busier restaurants around it). The prices are reasonable, too.

Today I ordered the tuna sandwich and limited edition iced strawberry milk tea. The tuna sandwich had a salad on the side—the salad was average; tuna sandwich had a generous amount of cheese and the tuna spread was quite sweet (I like it). The bread was soft yet difficult to slice. For the strawberry milk tea, I didn’t expect much because it looks like a weird combination—I just ordered out of curiosity. It turns out nice if you’re a fan of strawberries. It’s a nice blend.

Last, I noticed that they are advocates for protecting the environment. Plus points for me. :)

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Yoshimeatsu

5.0 Stars
Japanese
10

Went on a lunch date with my foodie bestfriends at this newly-opened restaurant in Tomas Morato and it exceeded my expectations for a Korean barbecue.

Yoshimeatsu is a fusion of Japanese and Korean cuisine which offers unlimited yakiniku as well as maki and tempura side dishes.

Located at Tomas Morato Avenue corner Scout Fernandez Street, Sacred Heart, Quezon City, Yoshimeatsu gives that casual dining Korean barbecue vibe. What I like about their interiors is the color--it has a lot of gold; even the tableware.

For only 549 Php, I'm really glad that it's not only unlimited meat, it includes unlimited refills of the egg, cheese, and kimchi, as well as the unlimited maki/sushi rolls and tempura. So much worth it!

Different drinks are also available a la carte (they also offer alcoholic beverages, by the way. hihi).

Sharing about the dishes that we had:

>Sushi rolls and ebi tempura. I'm so glad that they also offer this. It's been a struggle for me when I dine in Korean barbecue restaurants. It's too meaty for me and I prefer Japanese dishes more than Korean. I'm happy that Yoshimeatsu is a fusion of both. I get to enjoy unlimited yakiniku, sushi, and tempura.

>Diffrent sides are also available. I love the anchovies, kani salad, and kimchi rice.

>Herbed pork.

>Sliced beef.

>Spicy sliced pork.

>Sliced beef with curry sauce.

>Chicken yakitori.

>Spicy beef.

>Shortribs.

>Difference sauces for your preference.

>And don't miss out on the cheese balls. They're really good.

>Complimentary ice cream.

Wow! The experience at Yoshimeatsu is a complete meal--from appetizers to dessert. Our 549 Php was definitely worth it.

DETAILED REVIEW and HD PHOTOS on my blog.

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Best Western Bendix Hotel

4.0 Stars
Hotel
10

This month The Kain Tulog Gang (KTG) went on a road trip to the Philippine's Culinary Capital, Pampanga, for a weekend indulgence of the manyaman food in Pampanga. We stayed in this hotel during our short getaway from Manila.

Best Western Bendix Hotel is a 3-star hotel located on MacArthur Highway, Dolores, San Fernando, Pampanga. What makes Best Western Bendix Hotel stand out among other accommodations in the area is the fact that it is the first Green Building in Central Luzon. The property utilizes sustainable practices, among them the use of solar-assisted technologies, biodegradable materials, water harvesting systems, and low-emissivity glass windows throughout the hotel. Best Western Bendix Hotel commits to reducing carbon footprint to become a first-rate accommodation that’s not just comfortable but eco-friendly as well.

The hotel is located near restaurants and supermarkets such as McDonald's, Puregold Jr., Yellow Cab Pizza, S&R Membership Shopping, and SM Pampanga. They also have a really good restaurant called Ruben which is located on the ground floor of the building.

For our room, we stayed in the Executive Twin Room. A 25-sqm room with two double beds. It consists of a flat-screen television, and the complimentary WiFi has a good connection. The room features either a tile or marble floor which adds sophistication to its interiors. The bed and pillows are very comfortable as well as their blanket and duvet.

A closet with a safety deposit box is available. They also provide laundry bags and complimentary slippers.

Complimentary water, tea, and coffee with an electric kettle are available. Underneath is also a refrigerator (forgot to take a picture).

They also provide a work desk which includes a study lamp, guest directory, alarm clock, and emergency flashlight.

The bathroom has a hot and cold shower. I like that the water pressure is good. A bidet and hairdryer are available. They also provide toiletries and towels.

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Cocina Peruvia

5.0 Stars
Peruvian
10

It's my first time to try out Cocina Peruvia at the new Podium Mall during a foodie meetup and I was really impressed by their Peruvian dishes.

The interiors give that Latin American vibe which reminds me of friends and good times spent while eating and drinking (that's exactly what we did here). Finding out that its menu was curated by Chef Him Uy de Baron, I got excited to try what they prepared for us.

Here are the dishes that we tried:

>Nachos Peruanos. Nachos topped with chicken marinated in lomo sauce and aji panca, onions, tomato, and cucumber, drizzled with purple olive mayo. At first glance, I thought it was sisig because of its color. I must say that their nachos are really good and this is my favorite pick among all the dishes served. I couldn't get enough of the toppings, too.

>Ceviche Mixto. Octopus, squid, shrimp, and mussels in aji rocoto and citrus juice. Chill seafood appetizer with some spice.

>Mixto Anticuchos. Grilled beef heart, salmon belly, and chicken thigh in skewers served with chimichurri and aji anticucho sauce on the side. The beef heart reminds me of wagyu and the chicken thigh was also good. My favorite was the salmon belly, it's really tender and tastes good. I'm very picky when it comes to cooked salmon and this one did really well. The only downside with the salmon is that you have to be careful when eating it from the skewer because of its tenderness, it can break and fall off easily. Still really good for me.

>Salmon Patacones. Fried bananas topped with salmon and mayo mix, parmesan cheese and sofrito sauce. I didn't notice that it was banana. It's good.

>Gambas con Saltado. Marinated shrimp and bell pepper, sauteed in aji panca and oregano. It's rich in flavor, well-seasoned, tastes good, and best with rice.

>Lomo Saltado. Marinated beef tenderloin, sauteed with garlic, onions, tomatoes, fried potatoes, and lomo sauce. It reminds me of our beef steak. The meat is tender and tastes good. The fries are also good.

>Adobo Peruvia. Slow cooked pork belly in cream sauce, topped with salsa creole. This is my second favorite dish after the nachos. The pork belly was thinly sliced, with a good balance of meat and fat--it melts in your mouth. It's indulging and delicious.

>Arroz Verde con Pollo. Rice stir-fried with cilantro puree and sauteed marinated chicken and mixed vegetables. It tastes great and is really sating.

>Galera de Chocolate. Baked chocolate tart with dark chocolate ganache, topped with blue chips and dried figs in rehydrated syrup. Made by Chef Miko Aspiras (the Chef behind Le Petit Souffle), you are sure to have an indulgent treat with Galera de Chocolate. The chips are salted which makes a good contrast with the sweetness of the chocolate. It's very soft yet compact and has a smooth texture. Another brilliant work of Chef Miko.

Cocktails

>Move On: a concoction of fresh watermelon, white rhum, dark rhum, whisey, and tequila. This drink feels refreshing and light but definitely packs a punch; Dark Mojito: classic mojito with a twist - a mix of rhum, lime, soda, and sugar syrup; Daiquiri: simple and sexy, this drink is made of white rhum, lime, and sugar syrup; Whiskey Sour: subtly sour and sweet, the whiskey sour consists of whiskey, lime and sugar syrup; Mango Margarita: the classic margarita made fruity with fresh mangoes.

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Eggs for Breakfast Cafe

4.0 Stars
Breakfast
2

Eggs for Breakfast was introduced to me by my boyfriend because this is his favorite breakfast spot in Antipolo.

The place gives a rustic and cozy vibe. Something that’s perfect to complete a good morning.

We ordered the bacon-fried eggs and Vigan longganisa. They’ll cook the eggs the way you want it. Serving was good for the price. Rice and eggs were good. Bacon was okay but the longganisa didn’t taste like Vigan longganisa.

I also ordered the yellow smoothie which consists of pineapple, mango and banana. It tasted a bit sour with the taste of the banana being prominent. I couldn’t taste the mangoes in it anymore, though.

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Fino Deli

5.0 Stars
Deli
2

What I thought was an ordinary dinner date turned out to be romantic when my man brought me to one of his favorite restaurants in Marikina—Fino Deli.

We ordered the lengua estofada and grilled sausages for the mains. The lengua comes with a side of mashed potato and veggies—the meat was tender and good. The mashed potato was just right. For the sausages, it also comes with mashed potato and salad—also good.

We also ordered mushroom risotto and it did not disappoint. They also serve complimentary bread.
For dessert, we had the panna cotta. Topped with shredded chocolate. It wasn’t too sweet but it was just okay.

For the drinks, I tried their sangria. It comes as very refreshing, though I barely noticed the taste from the wine.

Overall, I find the place affordable in spite of its ambiance that’s very elegant. It’s still a casual dining restaurant that has a fine dining vibe.

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Wednesday

3.0 Stars
Café
3

I was craving for crepe while I was in Megamall so I simply searched with the keyword “crepe.” I found Wednesday on the list so I thought of giving it a try.

I ordered the Rainbow latte and California Roll savory crepe. For the latte, it looks good, but it tasted more of a flat white than latte. Too much milk in the ratio. The crepe by itself was good but for the California Roll as a whole dish, I find it dry.

The place was quite gloomy—considering the interiors and seeing Wednesday on the wall. However, even the staff seemed to be out of energy and really gloomy.

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NIU by Vikings

5.0 Stars
Buffet
10

NIU by Vikings has finally opened at The Podium! We were invited to try out their most recent branch and it was an evolved buffet dining experience.

Located on the fifth floor of The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, Niu by Vikings has a posh ambiance. It is very spacious and well-lit, giving a positive vibe--definitely a good place for family and friends to gather and dine.

Niu (which means “nine” in the Viking language) is the sixth installation of the Vikings group after its arrival in the Philippines way back in 2011.

Here are the dishes that you can expect from Niu:

Starting with the beverages, Niu has a lot to offer, ranging from fresh juices, coffee and tea, to soft drinks and alcoholic drinks.

There are a total of nine stations at Niu. With so many enticing dishes to choose from, I can't decide where to begin.

Their Japanese dishes are one of my favorites. The sashimi and ebi tempura are always a must-have for me during buffets.

Century Eggs and Shanghai Rolls are some of the things I can't get enough of at the Chinese station.

The cute buns are something that both kids and kids-at-heart would like. They are filled with custard or chocolate.

Another station that I look forward to when it comes to a buffet is the carving station. Starting from the beef shawarma to fine ones such as the binusog na lechon, Angus chuck eye, rib eye, Angus belly, stuffed turkey, beef ribs, and leg of lamb. They also serve huge slices and will sear it the way you want to--I prefer mine rare, though, so I skipped the searing.

Complimentary luxury dishes such as the foie gras ravioli are also available. Mmm.. I love foie gras. They also have mushroom and brise croquettas, and beef wellington.

Their baked oysters and ginger onion crab are a must-try among their seafood dishes.

Find time to also try out their savory delicacies.

The dessert station is also a favorite and they have an extensive menu to choose from.

I definitely had too much to eat when I came here. The dishes are really delectable and indulging.

FULL/DETAILED REVIEW, HD PHOTOS, and PRICE LIST on my blog.

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