3/F UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave., Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila
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- 130 Recommend
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finally got to try this curious flavor in a fittingly well designed package.
few people realize that good design isnt just the sole responsibility of the designer. someone has to approve it. another one has to pay for it. still another one has to make sure that what's actually get printed is faithful to the design. if all the pieces fall into place, balance is restored in the universe. for a moment.
though it does taste like laing, it's also too familiar that after a while you'll almost forget you're having dessert. if i get more of this stuff i might start looking for rice. there's something that i'm missing. and i think it's the Bite. that extra spicy character that tells you this is not regular food for the uninitiated. that your tastebuds has to be mature enough, that you need some preparation before you can actually approach it. that character is missing here.
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Went here and loved it! I ate so much rice because their kare-kare is just super yummy. This Dinuguan Longganisa is also tasty especially with Ilocos vinegar. I wanted to try their laing ice cream but was already too full. I must go back to try that next time.
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We got to try alab for the first time. We had the pianggang, crispy pata, okay, molo soup and bibingka cheesecake. We ordered another set for the okay since my wife liked it so much. The crispy pata tasted really good with that heby pandan taste. The pianggang, their bestseller according to our waiter, tasted quite different but good. It was chicken cooked in coconut milk flavored with a special Tausog spice. The bibingka cheescake was quite different too, in a good way. The wait staff were attentive and fast. Wasn't able to take pictures as we were all hungry. Definitely will be back. Specially for the suman sa lihiya.
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Thank heavens for the previous holiday! The family and I were able to visit Alab in UP Town Center.
It was that weekday that seemed like a weekend because people were all over. We headed there at around 1PM, assuming that the crowd's already gone but we were mistaken. The place was still full and we waited for a while to be seated at our table.
It was my second time to dine here so we ordered mostly dishes that I haven't tried yet. It was the fambam's first time so yes, exciting times indeed!
We ordered the following: for appetizers, we had Penuneng and Okoy; for the mains, Bam-I Cebuana, Kalderetang Kambing and Inasal na Manok; for desserts, we got the New York Cubao Bibingka Cheesecake, Warm Tsoknut Cake and some Hot Tea.
Penuneng was your unusual longganisa given the dinuguan taste in it. It's actually one item from the menu that will make you curious. With its black color, it may not look that appealing at first but it's really yummy most especially when you dip it in vinegar.
The Okoy's servings were really huge and overwhelming. Its main ingredients were sweet potato and shrimp and it was so good! We enjoyed it and yes, it's best eaten as soon as it's served to be able to taste its flavor while it's still crispy and crunchy.
The Bam-I Cebuana was a good order if you're a big group given the sumptuous serving there was. The noodles were cooked well and the vegetables in it tasted so fresh and well-cooked. I loved it when I drizzled loads of calamansi on it.
The Kalderetang Kambing was a bit disappointing given the texture and thickness of the goat's meat. It was actually hard to chew and we weren't able to enjoy it. Good thing the kalderata sauce and the vegetables in it tasted yum so we were able to enjoy it still.
The Inasal na Manok was a bit usual and there's nothing too surprising in it.
The main stars during our visit were the desserts! Oh my! They were so good!
The New York Cubao Bibingka Cheesecake really deserved to be the bestseller from the menu. The legit bibingka on top and cheesecake at the bottom was really a good combination. The texture of the bibingka was really soft and chewy. I liked that there was itlog na maalat on it. The cheesecake at the bottom tasted really good most especially when it's hot. Yes, everything was perfect!
The Warm Tsoknut Cake was really comforting to eat. The legit chocolate made the cake so addicting and it's actually a good item to finish the fulfilling meal.
We'll definitely be back to try some more from their menu. And again, thank you looloo for the gift certificates! Yay for free dine outs!
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Im a cheesecake lover! Plain will do, with blueberries too! And this Bibingka Cheesecake from Alab resto is a must try too ️
One order is good for sharing unless you want to finish it all
I havent tried their food aside from the bibingka cheesecake, but definitely will try to visit again for lunch or dinner maybe!
For now i say, the bibingka cheesecake is a must! Visit them now!!
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Was excited to eat at Alab cause i heard a lot of good reviews about this place... Especially their crispy pata (which is a bit expensive in my opinion).
Anyway... The food is okay. Really liked their sinigang and chicken inasal, but everything else tasted normal. Really disappointed about their crispy pata cause i thought i would love it. But mehhh it was bland :-(
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Good Pinoy food! We tried their enchalada, kare-kare and ginataang monggo. Staff were attentive. Place was bigger and more spacy compared to Crisostomo. And less expensive, too.
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Speaking of good cheesecake, Alab has a great one in the form of their New York Cubao Bibingka cheesecake!
Thank you looloo for the GC's! I got to dine here with my parents for free!
We ordered some of their hits, like the Alab fried rice, the laing and the pianggang... We tried the poqui-poqui during this visit as well... The laing and pianggang were definite crowd pleasers... The fried rice was a surprise though-- I'm not sure if they changed the recipe, but there were no peanuts on top of the rice that we tried for this visit... It didn't taste as good as the first time I tried it at their Morato branch... The poqui-poqui was pretty great, with an unexpected layer of cheese on top... My parents gobbled that one up...
But what they really really really enjoyed was the dessert... We tried the quezo de bola ice cream and the bibingka cheesecake... The ice cream was okay, I didn't enjoy the clumps of QdB too much... We ordered a small bibingka cheesecake... Perfect balance of sweet and salty... It was gone in minutes... So we ordered another one to share... Which was gone in minutes again... We ended up orderin three small cheesecakes-- we cpuld have ordered one whole cheesecake for the price already... But my parents enjoyed it that much, so that was really great!
P.S. I took a really bad pic of the viands, so let's settle for this one!
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"Food for thought: the looloo rendezvoos at Alab"
The mention of Filipino food brings back memories of different dishes, depending on who’s doing the remembering. Residents of Bicol, for example, would find home in the spices of Bicol express, while Cebuanos crave for authentic lechon (roasted pig) from their area.
There was a lot of recollection that went on at the looloo-Alab rendevoos last April 3, as both new and familiar dishes were served at the table. I can’t say that any of the dishes were truly familiar, because Alab’s Chef Moises has reimagined every dish, put a spin to even the tried-and-tested favorites.
Upon arriving with Peanut D, Pam L and Anrey C, we were given a warm welcome by Marketing Director Jozen C and given Alab iced tea (Php70) – I took a sip and realized that the pandan leaf in my drink wasn’t just for garnish. The pandan’s flavor made the iced tea fragrant and delicious—and though I personally liked it, it seemed like an acquired taste
for some of the other guests.
By this time, we were now joined by Jorelle F, Aileen L, Ruth D, Kiko G and April H were now at the restaurant. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t really talk to all of the people, what with the size of our group and table, but then there’s always next time.
The iced tea was the first of the many twists. Next, we were given appetizers, Okoy Sarap! (Php120) and Lumpiang Ubod (Php120), dishes I am all too familiar with from home. It’s interesting to see how people have begun to interact with the dishes at this point: some did not know them, some recognized them, and some even became nostalgic for the dishes of their childhood.
The okoy was much different from what I was used to: it was not too crunchy, it only had a few shrimp; what dominated was the sweet potato, making it sweeter and more chewy. Adding sweet potato and beansprouts made for a pleasant variation to the traditional recipe of just shrimp and batter. The ubod, on the other hand, was not as sweet as the usual, and had strong hints of peanut and cilantro—which I personally did not enjoy, but I should add that I was never really fond of lumpiang ubod to begin with. It’s a good snack for those who love to
eat their greens.
We were then given laswa, a type of vegetable soup that originates from Iloilo. The steam coming from the stew was fragrant, and the servings of okra were very generous. I liked this dish because I am fond of both soup and vegetables. Kiko G fondly remembered this soup from his home province as the dish they would give children in order to get them to like vegetables. Vegetables abound in this dish, particularly okra, eggplant, squash, string beans and even more.
Then came the main courses: Mahi-Mahi sa Dilaw na Luya't Mangga, Pianggang (Php290), Tinumok (Php170) and Pritson na Crispy Pata (Php580).
The mahi-mahi was said to be like escabeche, a type of sweet and sour fish recipe. I’m not really a fan of fish myself, but I gave it a go, and liked the combination of turmeric and mango. It really helped that it was boneless—which is one of my issues with eating fish in the first place. The tinumok was also familiar, taste-wise—one of my grandfathers hails from the Bicol region, which is most likely where I got my love for spicy food. It didn’t surprise
me to learn that Bicol was indeed where it was from. I really liked this dish because of the spiciness; the coconut flavor of the dish was considerably muted compared to the traditional flavor. It also had great presentation, having been placed atop some taro leaves and decorated with chili and veggies.
My personal favorites were the pianggang and the crispy pata. The pianngang was grilled chicken goodness bursting with flavor from coconut milk, ginger and herbs. It flavorful and spicy, which is just how I like my chicken.
The crispy pata was in the limelight that night—we literally put it in front of LED camera lighting to take pictures of it. Its presentation, on top of the chopping board, made for Instagram gold. The taste did not disappoint, either—the meat was succulent, tender and crispy in all the right parts. The pork was stuffed with lemongrass, bay leaf and leeks, which reminded me of Cebu lechon. Making the pata truly sounded like a labor of love, as Chef Moises explained the taxing process of preparing the pork hours prior to the actual frying.
It was at this point that Chef Moises recapped the origins of the dishes, proving that every dish does indeed have a story. For the tinumok, it began in Bicol; for the mahi-mahi, it originated in Batangas; for the pianggang, it all started with the Tausug.
Alab is a restaurant dedicated to gathering the classics, and presenting them in new ways. Some dishes seem to have stayed the same, like the lumpiang ubod and the laswa. Some looked different but still had the same essence, like the tinumok, and some were completely reconfigured, like the okoy. The restaurant is spirited and knows how to have fun (and not take themselves all too seriously—their menu features some cute names and puns), but does not forget their main goal of having us experience culture through their cuisine.
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1. A meeting of loolooers, usually to eat, at an establishment that has agreed to provide free meal/s or service/s to select looloo reviewers.
2. An event you just can’t say no to.
Spelled with double “o” because… looloo.. Y’know. Branding.
This particular rendezvoos, for me, had a very interesting start as I got surprised to see Jozen, a former schoolmate and busmate from so many years ago. Turns out, she was hosting the dinner! She does the Marketing for Alab but this event was already her last one since she needed to go back home in Subic.
On to the feast...The names of some dishes are really witty and funny which I totally did not expect. I thought Alab was another one of those “serious” Filipino restaurants serving the usual Filipino dishes. Wrong. They serve authentic and unpretentious dishes found all over the Philippine regions. And thus, I was pleasantly surprised.
🔸Alab Iced Tea. A refreshing drink that’s not your typical iced tea. Taste had the sweetness like that of Sago’t Gulaman.
🔸Okoy sarap!. This had shrimps, bean sprouts, and sweet potato. This is not the usual thin and crispy okoy with lots of small shrimps. It was a little soft and mushy.
🔸Lumpiang Ubod. This was the typical lumpiang ubod and it was good. Perfect for merienda or a light meal.
🔸Laswa. This is a very simple vegetable soup that comes from Bacolod. I remember it had okra, eggplant, squash, and other leaves I couldn’t identify. It was okay for me but Kiko became very nostalgic because it was just as how he remembers it from his childhood days.
🔸Mahi-Mahi sa Dilaw na Luya’t Mangga. I forgot, I think this is a Batangueno dish? It is a different take on Escabeche. This was really delicious and one of my favorites. It’s not on their menu yet though and I hope it gets offered soon!
Future offerings also include Pakwan ice cream and Sampaloc juice.
🔸Crispy Pata. Chef Moi told us the process of preparing and cooking their Crispy Pata. And I tell you, it is no joke. It is very laborious. I remember him saying boiled, air dried, oven roasted, fried, and I just thought it was a never-ending process. It had an overwhelming taste as it was filled with lemongrass, bay leaf, and leeks, but wow, it really had a crisp skin while the meat was tender.
🔸Tinumok. I think I’ve only had Tinumok once in my entire life. I actually dislike it because I was never a fan of gata. But since it’s one of the dishes served, I had to try. It has coconut meat, minced pork, coconut milk, some bagoong I think. I was surprised that I (semi) liked it. The taste of gata was not that strong. I asked Chef Moi why so, and he said they use burnt coconut instead. I guess that probably alters the taste a bit.
🔸Pianggang. From reviews I’ve read, I knew this was very popular. And I also knew this was another dish with coconut milk. But I was actually looking forward to tasting it. For this Tausug classic, they also use burnt coconut. The grilled chicken is cooked in coconut milk, flavored with local herbs, seasoned with sugar and vinegar. The end result is just so delicious and it is now one of my favorites.
🔸New York Cubao Bibingka Cheesecake. I do not have much words for this except that YOU SHOULD TRY THIS. Mahihiya lahat ng nagtitinda ng Cheesecake sa New York Cubao Bibingka Cheesecake na ito.
Every rendezvoos is really fun and interesting. But this one was even more substantial and profound. Nuks!
Everyday we learn new things. But every rendezvoos, we don’t just learn new things, we also meet new people. And that is why we always say that |ooloo is not just an app, it’s a community. So thanks to Alab, Jozen C, and of course looloo, Peanut D Pam L and Rissa. It was nice to see new and familiar faces, Jorelle F Anrey C April H Kiko G Aileen L.
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Sponsored Looloo Rendezvoos at Alab Restaurant UP Towncenter last March 30 (Wednesday) 6:30 in the evening.
I got an email from Peanut D last March 23 that there will be a Looloo Rendezvoos at Alab UPTC on March 30 6:30 pm, and I said "YES"! Not everyone will have this opportunity so I grab the invite and at the same time the location was very accessible to my place.
The day has finally come. Last Wednesday I was an hour early for the Sponsored Looloo Rendezvoos and I decided to stroll around while waiting for 6:30pm. Proud to say that I'm always on time whenever attending the Looloo Rendezvoos in the past. At exact 6:30pm I decided to go to Alab restaurant and a tall, gorgeous lady approached me and welcomed me️ She is the representative from Alab that night. She introduced herself and I'm happy to say that Alab was lucky to have her, I'm talking about Ms. Jozen. She perfectly fit for his role at Alab, she was able to handle us that evening and she was able to answer all our queries regarding Alab. She is very accommodating not only to us but even to the customers who were that night at Alab. Thank you Ms. Jozen for the warmed welcome and we all feels at home at Alab that evening .
Then Pea came together with other pretty ladies Looloo Crews like Pam L and Rissa. I'm really happy that I was finally able to see Pam L. ️ It was nice meeting you both and Rissa too️ Then they were with Anrey C. I was really surprised that finally I'm gonna see her that night. I used to send recommendations to her. Dati hanggang photo ko lang sya nakikita and now it's for real. This is what Looloo can do , your virtual friends can turn to reality, very effective application ang Looloo!
This was a memorable Looloo Rendezvoos for me because Pea gave me a heads up that it will be all girls attendees that night except for one, do you have an idea who's that lucky boy who were able to join the awesome and gorgeous ladies of Looloo. It's Kiko G! Gorgeous Dra. April H was there and the cutee Ruth D was there to join us also. I've been very comfortable since I've been with them during the past Rendezvoos. It's Anrey C first Looloo Rendezvoos who came all the way from Pampanga , I'm really happy for her that she made it that night ️ and of course the one sitting beside me that night is Jorelle F who happens to be my chicka mate also that night. It's her first Looloo Rendezvoos also , I'm so happy for her because even she was a nurse from a prestigious hospital in Makati she was able to find time attending this Looloo Rendezvoos. It was nice meeting you and Anrey, and of course Pam L and Rissa again. Nice to see again the gorgeous Peanut D, April H , Ruth D and Kiko!
This was my second time at Alab UPTC. My first visit was last Chinese New Year. Alab UPTC just recently opened, sometime in February I think. Just a background about ALAB it has two branches , Tomas Morato and here at UP Town Center In Katipunan and soon to open not later than 1st week of April in Venice Piazza McKinley Hill. Alab restaurant is a melting pot of best flavors and different dishes from across the regions and Alab wants to find and Invite chefs from various places in which their heirloom recipes can be featured in Alab events . The face of Alab restaurant is no other than a versatile actress , a loving and very supportive mom to his son, a businesswoman, and who happens to be my co parent a year ago , Ms. Cherry Pie Picache together and her partners Joel Fernando of JB Music and Sports and Christine del Castillo of Modern Culinaire Academy.
Everyone were so excited on what dish will be served and they first served the Alab Iced Tea. It's not just ordinary iced tea, the presentation was nice and the drink was so refreshing, for me it tasted like an iced tea with a mixed of pandan. The aroma is so good also. Now it's time to talk about the dishes that was served to us.
OKOY- (4 pcs for 120 pesos) this is not the usual okay that you think. May hipon, togue at kamote! Pramis okay sa olrayt this okoy! Succulent shrimp and vegetable strips mixed in a light batter then dip fried to the right crispness. It is served with a garlic vinegar condiment. This OKOY is completely different and one of the dishes that I enjoyed most. It's like you don't want stop eating it and will crave you for more .
Lumpiang Ubod (120 pesos) - heart of coconut palm sautéed with tofu and vegetables wrapped in tender crepes served with sweet garlic sauce. What I like about their Lumpiang ubod is that it's not to sweet.
Sinabawang Gulay- also known as "Laswa" popularized by Ilonggos. So if your thinking what soup to order here , go for this one.
Mahi- Mahi sa Dilaw Na luya at Mangga- a dish from Batangas. If you love fish go for this, it's like an escabeche.
Tinumok- (195 pesos) Chef Moises personal favorite. Babalutin ka nito sa sarap! Coconut noodles and chopped shrimp wrapped in taro leaves stewed in coconut cream and flavored with bagoong alamang. I enjoyed this dish. Nice presentation. It's a dish from Bicol region and since it's my dad's hometown I enjoyed dishes like this. If you want spicy food you'll like this one.
Pianggang - (290 pesos). Paniguradong ikay mabubusog pangga! Grilled chicken cooked in coconut milk flavored with a special Tausug spice , paste made from ground fresh aromatics and burnt coconut. A Tausug Classic! Everyone was craving for this dish.
Lechon na Crispy Pata - (590 pesos ) ito daw ang Crispy Pata na magbibigay ng nawawalang lutong ng buhay mo! Rosted crispy pork leg stuffed with lemon grass and leeks. This is my favorite among them all! I love Crispy Pata! Mapapa sigaw ka ng Alabit! ️ This is my second time to try this dish , so crispy! That feeling that you want to eat it all and you just don't want to share it with anyone.
While some people focus on the main dishes, their dessert menu is a must here!
New York Cubao Bibingka Cheesecake- aside from Crispy Pata this dessert is my favorite dish here. A Bibingka turned into cheesecake , cool right? Just one word to say "Masarap"! Will surely satisfy any kind of food trip.
Thank you Chef Moises for finding time telling us the story of every dish and to Sir Bryan also for making time to join us at the table. We had fun but very educational culinary talk during that night.
Those who seek a very unique culinary sanctuary in this busy city, you can find hearty meals at Alab, get a table and start a good conversation with great company in this place.
Thank you Alab for a very wonderful dinner. Thank you for having us to held our Looloo Rendezvoos. To the staffs also of Alab who was so accommodating in serving our meals thank you and more power. ALABIT! ️
Peanut D Jozen C Pam L April H Ruth D Kiko G Anrey C Jorelle F
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I may sound like a broken record but one thing I will never get tired of restating is that Filipino Food is the best cuisine out there. This is just to my point of view but I know that many will agree to this. Sad truth, we have not reached the world stage in the food scene because all we do is take along dishes from other countries and put a little bit of Filipino treatment so it'll be extensively accepted. Discounting the number of restaurants we have that serves international fares, nowadays, we have a lot of Filipino food fusion. Combining two different cuisines is good and can be brilliant if pulled off but then again, it's half Pinoy. (I wonder why we celebrate half-pinoy achievements when they hardly set foot in the Philippine soil. I applaud them but why take so much credit for it. None can equal Filipino civility and kindness but it's out of control that we forget what we have. PEACE :D)
This is why I love Alab Restaurant. Their aim is to single-handedly promote Filipino food in the culinary scene. Dining here felt like traveling the country as they bring to light the best dishes from different regions in one place. I read a mass of good reviews about Alab Restaurant and I couldn't be happier to have tried this place yesterday for my 3rd looloo sponsored rendezvoos this year.
We were served with 2 appetizers and first up was a famous Filipino afternoon snack. It is mostly made of shrimp with tofu, bean sprouts, flour then fried to give it it's distinct crisp. Alab Restaurant makes it the unconventional way with a play on texture by using kamote with some shrimp, bean sprouts and spring onions served with garlic-vinegar condiment. It is not the custom way of making it but it's delicious and still resembles the well-loved snack or ulam, for some, both in taste and appearance.
One thing that really stood out here was Alab's sweet-garlic sauce. They used the heart of coconut palm and sauteed it with tofu and some vegetables then wrapped it in a thin crepe pastry skin. It is the perfect choice for those who like to have a delicious, light and hearty meal.
Habang sinisimot ko ang sauce ng lumpia, one of the servers placed a bowl of vegetable stew. I asked him if it is laswa and he affirmed. I was so excited because it has been years since I last ate a delicious bowl of laswa. It's a staple in the Negros province and it's the very reason why I eat vegetables. Most kids in our province were taught to eat veggies with laswa. It is a very simple and inexpensive dish that's very easy to prepare. You just mix different types of vegetables (okra, squash, egg plant, string beans, alugbati, saluyot and some other vegetables I can't identify) in water, let it boil, season with salt and let the okra thicken the broth. Alab Restaurant's version is very very similar to what we have in the province and it got me down the memory lane! Two thumbs up!
MAHI-MAHI SA DILAW NA LUYA AT MANGGA
I don't eat fish but I have tried some before. Yesterday, I was able to try this seafood dish, Alab's own version of escabeche. I tried a tiny bit of the fish but it was surprisingly bursting with flavors. They used turmeric and mango to give this dish it's bold flavors.
It has a similar look to a beef rendang but it is actually a Tausug chicken dish from Zamboanga. This is definitely my favorite from everything that was served last night. Even before it reached the table, Doc April was already raving about it. It's grilled chicken cooked in coconut milk flavored with a special Tausug spiced paste made from ground fresh aromatics and burnt coconut. There are so many elements like ginger, spring onions, garlic, gata and a lot more, but they all came together and lived happily ever after inside my tummy. Nahiya lang ako ubusin e haha! Magagalit si Doc. It's a classic dish but it gives you an overview of the an ethnic group's food culture.
A version of Laing from the Bicol region, it is Chef Moises' personal favorite. Coconut noodles and chopped shrimp wrapped in taro leaves with some pork, shrimp, aligue and a variety of spices inside. Can it be more appetizing? Of course, it is drenched in coconut cream and flavored with bagoong alamang. Can someone tell me again why we have not reached the spire of the culinary world? This dish is super good! To me, this is way better than the usual laing.
I won't be surprised kung isa samin bumagsak at mangisay. After all these delicious entrees, Crispy Pata got served last and looked so majestic. Chef Moises said that among all the items in the menu, this one is the longest one to prepare. Alab Restaurant makes their crispy pata in a less conventional way. They fillet the pork and fill the gaps with lemon grass, onions, bayleaf and some seasonings. To follow, they oven roast the meat and have it air dried for 5 hours before frying. They serve it with chicken liver raisin and cream on the side or you can stick with the all familiar sawsawan. The long work definitely attained a crisp skin while keeping the inside moist, tender and flavorful.
NEW YORK CUBAO BIBINGKA CHEESECAKE
By the way, I love Alab Restaurant's sense of humor in the menu. They give witty names and descriptions to each dish they have including what we had for dessert. No stomach is full for this dessert. I love the sweet and salty flavor from the cheesecake at the bottom topped with bibingka and salted egg. I don't know how they did it but they kept the texture of the cheesecake without overdoing the bibingka. It was the perfect ending.
Alab Restaurant's dishes were all spot on. We all loved how they were able to showcase these dishes with such finesse. Alab Restaurant is like a museum, a gathering of the finest dishes from different regions and I am so excited about what they will offer in the future. They have already introduced me to new dishes like pianggang and I am hoping to know more about our food culture through Alab restaurant. Great collection! Overall experience, 4.5.
Big Big thanks to our very inspirational host Jozen C., Chef Moises and Sir Bryan for an amazing dinner. Also, to the crew, Pam L., Rissa and of course, Peanut D. It was again a fun night with April H., Ruth D. and Aileen L. and it's always great to meet other looloo reviewers. Nice seeing you last night Anrey C. and Jorelle F.
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A fitting name for a restaurant serving Filipino food in it's unadulterated form. A word that expresses the burning passion they put into their food. Their intense drive to put Philippine cuisine in the limelight, where it belongs.
I was fortunate to be invited once more to another looloo rendevoos at Alab's second and latest branch in UP Town Center. Opened last February, this bright and bold store is a welcome addition to the many restaurants in UPTC. We were joined by Miss Jozen Curva, Chef Moises and Sir Bryan from the Moderne Group of Restos for dinner.
We were definitely served a feast last night! We were served with the following:
Okoy Sarap!-- Jozen described it best when she said it was like fried Piknik... It's not the okoy you typically eat, with hundreds of tiny shrimps with eyes looking up at you in different angles... Alab's version was made up of thinly sliced kamote, togue, spring onions and shrimp, fried to a crispy pancake... I liked this, a very light appetizer with that satisfying crunch... Subtle flavors with a play on texture, that's what makes this dish interesting. Perfect for pulutan, as I am sure some of you have already done...
Lumpiang Ubod-- What you would expect a good lumpiang ubod to be... Light and fresh, drenched in a sweet garlicky sauce... They use fresh ingredients that is apparent from the first bite. The sauce wasn't overwhelming, just a great accompaniment to the veggies... Definitely a Filipino staple.
Sinabawang Gulay or Laswa-- a traditional dish from Iloilo and one of the new dishes in their lineup. It's a soup composed of veggies like okra, sitaw, alugbati and kalabasa... It intentionally has a slimy feel to it, because of the juices from the okra... So don't be surprised if you suddenly feel a thin film coating your mouth after taking a sip.
According to Kiko, in their province, this dish serves as an introduction to vegetables for young children... He says that it tastes exactly like how they used to make it back home. Like a kid who has just had her first taste of something new, it took a while to get used to the slimy feel of the soup. It's a very healthy option though, with a good broth... Those who are familiar with this soup will definitely appreciate it.
Mahi-mahi sa dilaw na luya at mangga-- a play on escabeche without using ketchup for flavor (as I am sure all of us have done at home). Hailing from Batangas, the mild taste of the fish is the perfect canvas for the bold flavor of turmeric and refereshing touch of mango. A good combination of sweet and sour with an overall tropical sensibility. Very much appreciated this dish.
Tinumok-- Chef Moises' favorite is a dish with roots in Bicol, where coconut milk or gata holds a prominent place in their cuisine. It's their version of laing, utilizing coconut meat, minced pork and shrimp... These are wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in coconut milk... The result of this cooking process is soft coconut noodles and a concentrated meaty flavor. Add a sauce made up of a variety of spices and aligue and you surely have a winner!
Crispy Pata-- Alab puts a twist on a much loved classic. Imagine a pig's thigh stuffed with herbs and aromatics, roasted for hours then air dried. It is only then that it is fried to achieve that golden brown crispiness. The process is tedious and takes several hours to complete... Served with the usual condiments and an additional liver pate on the side. Just look at that pic! It's worth a try for sure!
PIANGGANG-- YES, ALL CAPS PARA INTENSE. My favorite savory dish during my first visit at their Morato location. It remains to be my favorite and the most memorable amongst all the dishes served.
Pianggang is a well known chicken dish in Zamboanga. The chicken is boiled in coconut cream then a mix of Tausug herbs are blended in. Burnt coconut and a bit of sugar is added... Served with a side of green mangoes, tomatoes, sigarilyas and okra... This dish is just excellent in my opinion. I love how all the elements blended together harmoniously in one bite. A touch of spice, tempered by something sweet, all with a hint of creaminess, then that bite ends with tangy notes as it goes down. Imagine, chicken barbeque Tausug style. I'm not a fan of gata, but I don't think I'll get tired of this dish.
For dessert, lo and behold, we were served with.... Tan-ta-ta-tan!!!
New York Cubao Bibingka Cheesecake-- how fitting, isn't it? I love the name of this cake, as it clearly depicts a merging of two cultures in one dish. Bibingka seamlessly melds with a cheesecake-- as the topping is made up of cheese & salted egg while the soft and fluffy cheesecake texture is maintained on the bottom. It's the best way to end the night on a high note.
The dishes, as Kiko and I were taking about, were on point... I have to mention that they have a very interesting list of ice cream flavors that I would love to try, including laing, kamote q and an upcoming one in watermelon... I will have to satisfy my curiosity soon!
Each rendezvoos is memorable in its own way. I am always impressed by the talent and creativity our chefs and restauranteurs bring to the table. Other than the amazing food, what leaves a lasting impression is the people you meet at these events. And let me say that last night was no different. It was my first ever rendezvoos which took a spiritual turn. I was lucky to be part of a soulful and energizing conversation with Jozen...
I was likewise inspired by vision of the Moderne Group to search the far flung provinces for untapped culinary talent, to bring classic recipes to the forefront of the ever growing culinary scene in our country. They are in search for unique flavors from all corners of the Philippines to let all Filipinos taste the various styles of cooking and delicious recipes that we should all be proud to call as our own. In this day and age where fusion inevitably leads to confusion, they would like these heirloom dishes to remain as authentic as possible. I truly appreciate their goal and believe that there is a niche for them amongst the many many restaurants that are open today... Because I feel that Alab has a great new story to tell...
Great seeing you again Ruth D Kiko G (kayo na magtabi next time) and Aileen L... Nice to finally meet you Jorelle F and Anrey C (magsalita ka na next time ha!)... Thank you Jozen C for being such a gracious host! Thank you to Chef Moises and Bryan for ensuring that we had a great time... The food was excellent! And of course to the wonderful looloo crew who were present that night! Rissa, Pam L and THE ONE AND ONLY Peanut D! Thank you for the invite!!! We will paint the town red next month!!!
For peeps from the South, you will soon be able to enjoy these authentic dishes as they will be opening a branch at Venice Piazza in McKinley Hill next month! Watch out for that one!
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My first ever #looloorendezvoos is courtesy of Looloo crew and Alab Restaurant️. Woohoo. Before I go into the details of Alab's sumptuous feast for us, let me share first my experience. It was a fun filled encounter! I overlooked the email that Peanut D sent me, and thanks to her she left a comment on my review informing me that I have a mail. To my surprise, I just received the yummy-est invitation that I'll ever receive. I immediately replied to her email, not even thinking twice and confirmed my presence. After a minute or two, I asked myself why did I say Yes to a complete stranger?? Is the email legit? But Oh well, Peanut has good convincing skills and humorous too, and my mind went blank when I read that it was Sponsored. Hahaha. Thanks again for the invite. I was able to meet new people that are really awesome, approachable and kind.
On to my verdict for Alab Restaurant.
1 For the place/location. It is perfect for weekend family bonding or for lunch out with classmates and/or workmates. It has a huge backdrop of a ranging fire which is of course ALAB in tagalag. 2 for their wonderful hosts Joven and Chef Moi. They were very lively, accomodating and informative!! Chef explained all of the dishes they were raving here at ALAB. 2 for the Food especially Okoy, Pianggang and New York Cubao Cheesecake. I overly ️ their Pianggang. Really a must try. According to Chef Moi, it's a Tausug chicken dish with burnt Coconut sauce. Since Alab is a Filipino inspired restaurant, I like how they fused the foreign cheesecake with our very own bibingka. It has salted egg and niyog making it taste a lot like bibingka but still have that dense, not too sweet cheesecake that I love! The pic above 🏻️🏻 is their OKOY. They serve not the typical okoy we all know. It is made of kamote, toge and shrimp. You can ditch that vinegar coz it's already good even on its own.
And one last thing, I received freebies! Woohooo️. Merely the thought of meeting new people and a sponsored feast is more than enough but | really knows how to let you feel special. Thankful to be part of this community and looking forward to more #looloorendezvoos invite.
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+5 star pa #starPaMore haha
knock knock ...
Alab , alab, alab-yu... sige na ako na corny haha...
My first ever rendezvoos invite and it was awesomazing..
and this is sponsored by the owner, ang isa sa mga batikang aktres na talagang hinahangahan ng marami at isa nko dun sa mga taga hanga...sa pelikula man o teledrama ,. and also to Ms. Jozen C (thank you so much po ulit for a great dinner , swear I enjoyed all the meal , pinaka specially the Ice tea, pag nakabalik ako dyan, naku talaga lang , bka 2 pitcher ang oorderin ko at uubusin ko yun lahat, also to the give away na notebook, love it much, cause I'm such a fan of souvenirs and all other related stuffs..)
Aswell as Peanut D. of course, for the invite , if not for her invite , I won't be able to experienced such a wonderful event which I hope not just once in a lifetime,, I'm looking for more of this event with you and all other |ooloo users that you might invite in the future, also thanks din sa loveletter , candies (na medyo matagal ko din pinangarap magkaroon hahaha ..finally), and a new looloo shirt (na suot ko ngayon while writing this review.. #excited eh )
proceed muna tayo sa review,,okay buddies...
First of all yung
Ice tea () ay sobra sobra yata..zorry.. na star struck kasi ako masyado sa sobrang sarap (pinky swear)
It's the best among the rest of all Ice tea I have ever taste in my almost 25 years in this earth..
I love the concept of adding pandan to it that makes it unique and truly out stand ...
kahit mas mahal pa yan sa starbucks , I won't have a second thought.. I'll patronize that...
not just your ordinary dessert /appetizer ..okoy na okoy...este okay na okay...
Lumpiang Ubod () na ubod ng sarap, not really much of this kind of food tbh , but kung ganito kasarap , ba naman, !.. mag iinarte pa ba ko..
Lechon na crispy pata ()
the crispiest lechon skin can only be found here..
Laswa ..tama ba, peace if mali hehe...
() new to my tastebud...and yes, it's truly refreshing ... a kind of soup/dish with some veggies on it like okra, and others ..though may look simple but undeniably a great experience to try...
Pianggang () pag natikman mo to, ipagpapalit mo si pangga (a visayan endearment which means mahal /mahal ko, something like that ..commonly use by couples)
A unique chicken dish that is cooked to perfection... the most voted as the most delicious dish served as by Peanut's survey...
New York Cubao Bibingka Cheese cake ()
Just another one of a kind dessert , I say once again , can only be found here....
i think i missed one dish, I apologize about that,. i didn't aswell managed to taste it, cause I'm so full...
pinaka hindi ko pa makakalimutan sa event is meeting my greatest Idol in |ooloo, doc April H , just reading your reviews and also some exchange comments that you are included...amazed nako, what more , meeting you in person, I am cometely overwhelmed...
and of course nice meeting you again Pam and Peanut ...
also glad to meet more looloo reviewers na kasama kanina sa rendezvoos
Ms Ruth S.
sorry for not able to mention the others na kasama , maybe my phone is having technical problem...
at hope you don't really mind na nauna nko hahaha..I'm just getting the chance to review as early as I can, dahil walang signal sa bundok, specially..it may take me 10 years before I can review hahaha
again, thank you for the experienced ..hoping to see you again guys and another #loolooers
I may only able to recommend the availability of numbers that it only capable of but I'm reccomending this personally through this review...
Home is where your heart is... If you miss your home and mom's cooking,.nada,.u don't need to board on plane specially in a rush hour..just drop by here..and tadaaannn ,your home.. Here, you'll fully experience the greatest filipino trait every foreigners raving to experience..hospitality ...
pinaka una kong napansin while wandering my eyes around are the signs...
Why fi at parang tele serye.. something..
What a great concept of the whole resto itself, I love how much is the creativeness and idealistic..
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The food here is very creative. We only had dessert though. We ordered the Bibingka Cheesecake, Sapin Sapin and Tsoknut Chocolate cake.
I wasn't really a fan of the sapin sapin and cake, but the Bibingka Cheesecake definitely got me excited. The texture definitely lives up to its name. Once you take a bite of the cheesecake, you'll find yourself asking if you're eating cake or bibingka. It's confusingly fun!
I look forward to trying more food from this place. #alabit
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Quite pricey for the quantity yet you'll really taste the Filipino side of every cuisine. May it be from the visayas or northern part. Pianggang is very tasty with their gata but the dish itself says good for 1 or even 1/2 haha but they say it's for 2 to 3 persons. Great to enjoy with rice. They have the palabok negra which I appeal to be bland but good for 2 persons. The way to enjoy their dishes is to not go there hungry because quantity won't satisfy the wallets.
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Quite pricey, we ordered just 3 dished and our bill went up more than 1k...dont get me wrong, i love how their dishes taste but the servings are pretty small.
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Nag aalab na hapon sa inyong lahat. Kami at ng aking pamilya nung Linggo ng tanghalian ay nagpunta sa UP Towncenter kasama din ang aking inang si Elaine P.
Kami ay naghahanap ng bagong kainan at naalala ko ang Nanay ng kaklase ng aking bunsong anak na artista na si Cherry Pie Picache ay may bagong tayong kainan dito kung kaya't ito'y aming sinubukan.
Ang lugar ay malawak, malinis at puno ng mga pampaswerteng pangsabit para sa bagong taon ng mga intsik. Maagang Kung Hei Fat Choi na selebrasyon saming pamilya.
Kami ay umorder ng crispy pata at pinahati ng maliliit, sisig, sinigang na baka at inasal na manok. Kumuha din kami ng Kanin na nakalagay sa palayok na pwedeng pagsaluhan ng pamilya. Medyo may kabagalan ng konti ngunit masarap at sakto sa amin ang hinandang pagkain at may naiuwi pa kami. Walang wifi dito. Mas maganda na magusap usap nalang ang pamilya.
Nakita Ko ang mga nagsasarapan panghimagas ngunit sobrang busog na ang aming mga tiyan sa dami ng kinain. Kaya ngayon padating na araw ng puso subukan nyo ang ALAB at mapapa "Alabit" "Alabyu" kayo sa inyong mahal sa buhay at sa pagkaing ihahanda ng ALAB.
Paalab na sa inyong lahat
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Here lies the best coconut milk based dish I've tasted. And it's Filipino in origin. Filipino cuisibe is synonymous to diversity and versatile.
Had late lunch at Alab. I got intrigued with April H 's raves about Piagang. Ordered that and he picked sisig. Service is fast and the wait staff is courteous and friendly. Food was served after a couple of minutes. I specifically liked the wooden cups they use for rice. It reminded me of the clay pots i used to play with when i was a kid. I know it's not related but i somehow associated the memory when i saw the cups.
The sisig is mediocre, Gerry's grill still has the best sisig in my book. It is not as crispy as the others I've tasted. Too much cartilage but i guess that's what you get with pork jowls and ears. The piagang is phenomenal, chicken cooked with coconut milk with some steamed veggies on the side, sliced tomatoes and green mango. At first glance, you wouldn't think that the dish is cooked with coconut milk. It lools like chicken barbecue sans the sticks. The presentation is has the deconstructed-ish vibe. The chicken is cooked perfectly. The flavor is savory, slightly sweet, rich (because of the coconut milk) and a lil bit smokey and peppery. I would love to learn how this baby is cooked.
Overall, we enjoyed our meal at Alab. Service is efficient and food is good. And oh, wifi is fast too.
Naglalagablab ang aming damdamin dahil sa Alab!
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