Saturday, December 21, 2013

Viewsite Restaurant and Seafood Inihaw - Go the extra mile!

Looking for a place to eat in Tagaytay for lunch is hell ~ oh, especially if you are picky and want a table with a view! 

You would be lucky to get in and be served right away.  We had to drive a couple of miles outside Tagaytay's busy main highway, to finally find a decent (and not full) place to eat with a view.

AMBIANCE:  Laid back and rustic, like most of the restaurants in Tagaytay, with a very good view of the famous Lake Taal and Taal Volcano. 

Like most Tagaytay Restaurants they also have local entertainers, who were amazing in belting out fairly new English and Tagalog songs.  My youngest sang with them, when they started singing the Filipino hit song "Pusong Bato" and Bruno Mars' "Lazy Song" (hahaha, I was about to request for Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball").

FOOD:  We ordered, Inihaw Platter (Included grilled sugpo, tuna belly, grilled pork, talong ensalada), pansit and chopsuey.  The waiter gave us free bulalo soup (plus additional refill, hehehe!!!). 

PRICE:  Less expensive than Leslie's, RSM, and other main road Tagaytay Restaurant, but comparable in taste and quality.

(Oh need, I say more?)
VERDICT:  Obviously under rated!  
Go the extra mile and try out Viewsite Restaurant. You would enjoy the food, the entertainment and the free view.
 Recommended for families and balikbayans!
Viewsite Restaurant and Seafood Inihaw is located at Batangas Highway Mendez Crossing West, Tagaytay City.

Orale' - my first real Mexican restaurant!

 This restaurant made me into a burritos addict and I never liked Mexican food to begin with!

Mexican slang word: Orale' literal English translation is "what's up"!  So what's up with this restaurant?
ATMOSPHERE: Relaxed and casual during 11am early lunch time.  Not sure how busy they get at night, when yuppies roam and rule BGC..., to enjoy your lunch try to come in early or make reservations.

Restaurant design is contemporary and laid back.   

FOOD:  Sorry I forgot to take pictures.  I was too busy munching, I forgot to take proofs...

For our group of three (2 ladies and a gentleman, ehem) we ordered burritos, quesadillas and arroz platillos - carnitas (since lunch is not lunch without rice for our male collegue) with soda.

Servings (especially the burritos) was huge and very filling (burp, burp, burp...)!

I am not a Mexican food fan, so I would not really know if they serve the best burritos. I enjoyed Orale's and was satisfied!!!

PRICE: P300-400 per person.  I think it was reasonable for the size servings.

VERDICTS: I would recommend this restaurant for Mexican dish first timers.  I would definitely be back and bring my family to try their other dishes.

Must try their burritos.  If you are not sure, of what to order ask for recommendations from one of the friendly and super nice attendants.

If you don't like spices, tell the waiters in advance and have the spices placed on the side.  They are more than happy to oblige.

ORALE' has a branch at the G/F, The Fort Strip,
7th & 28th Street, BGC Taguig City, Metro Manila.  It
is open daily from 11AM to 11PM Daily
Phone: (02) 552-2660

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tok's Manggahan Foodhaus (and everythingelse)

Lunch at Tok's Manggahan Foodhaus was purely accidental! 
We were on our way home from Porta Verde in Cavinti Laguna to Taytay Rizal via the National Hi-way.  It was  running late and everyone in the car (including my husband-driver) was near irksome from hunger!!!
My husband stopped by the first food house/restaurant he saw and before we knew it, we were already seated at Tok's Manggahan Foodhaus for lunch!
The restaurant's fa├žade looked exotic and rather expensive. 
My family loves trying new things and exotic seems appetizing at the moment.  We were celebrating a special occasion, so I thought an exotic restaurant would be perfect. 
However, lo and behold, we were dumbfounded to learn that we entered a canteen "turo-turo" type restaurant (lol, my dad was easy on his pocket this time and offered to foot the bill - he was of course just joking)! 
The food was decent and the place seemed clean.
The bill:  We were a party of very hungry 9 pax (7 adults and 2 kids) - my husband ordered: everything on the food display table, rice, drinks and dessert and ended paying P500. 
Plus: The restaurant doubles as a "pasalubong" center.
On one corner they have sweets, native delicacies from Laguna and nearby Quezon.  On the other is a gift shop, where you can get cute, inexpensive fashion jewelries, trinkets, bags and blouses, slippers.  Talk about maximizing space!
Tok's Manggahan Foodhaud is located along the National Hi-way of Fami, Laguna.

Please see my related post on Porta Verde Resort.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bulawan (not) Floating Restaurant

It was a fine Saturday morning for a road trip.  So we packed our bags and headed off to
Cavinti Laguna from Taytay Rizal via Manila East and Lumban-Caliraya-Cavinti Road.
It was almost noon time and I swear I heard my kiddos' tummies grumbling.  Along Pilillia Rizal main highway we saw the Bulawan Floating Restaurant signage.  Without hesitation, my hubby entered the restaurant's gates and hurriedly parked the car (I guess he is hungry as well :). 
We were greeted by the restaurant's waiters and led to the main pavilion (I was eyeing a more private seating, but the private cottages where all occupied).

I was immediately given the menu and proceeded to ordering for my family of 9. 
I ordered buko, 2 sets of halo-halong inihaw, halo-halong sinigan, buko pastel, 2 orders of pansit. According to the waiter, each order is good for 3 pax, but for a hungry road-tripping family I would say each order was only good for 2).
They have huge tables.  It was difficult to pass the food around, one would have to stand to reach across. 

The first to arrive is my dad's order of buko! 

The halo-halong inihaw, included - tilapia, hito, pusit, liempo (with side vegetables: okra and talong).

The halo-halong sinigang meanwhile included - hipon, alimasag and fresh fish catch.
My boys while waiting for the rest of our entourage to finish, gamely posed for picture taking.

Bulawan's main pavilion.


FOOD and PRICING- Food was good, not splendid.  I also find the servings quite small for the price (average 300-400 per order). 

AMBIANCE- Since it was an open area, there were plenty of flies hovering around. A fly literally dived into our Singing.  It was a constant struggle to keep them off your food.

SERVICE - The crew were nice and friendly.  I requested for fish feed (since the restaurant has an area for fishing and I thought my kids will love seeing fish feeding) and one of the attending waiters nicely got me fish feeds for free.  Unfortunately, the fishes must have been sleeping or probably just had lunch ­čśä, since we did not see any.  I was a little disappointed.

Overall it was a good experience. Not sure if I will be back though.  There were plenty of other restaurants in the area and I would gladly try them out first before any repeat!

So is it floating - not really!  The cottages are not on stilts and were in fact made of concrete.

Bulawan Floating Restaurant is located at
Km. 59, Manila East Road, National Highway, Halayhayin in Pilillia Rizal (Contact No. 585-3234).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hap Chan

I was craving for some Chinese dimsum and was so excited to see a recently opened Hap Chan Restaurant while traversing Ortigas Extension (oh what luck!) in Taytay Rizal.
We ordered shrimp siomai, hakaw, pork siomai (didn't I say I was hungry for dimsum?), Hap Chan special noodles, yang chow fried rice,
Hap Chan special hot pot, broccoli flower with garlic, lumpiang shanghai and fried chicken fillet with lemon sauce.
I guess we were really hungry (actually close to famished) since my husband ordered congee on top of our existing order.
Is it obvious?  This bunch is enjoying their order.  

Cravings fulfilled!!!

Hap Chan has a branch km. 18 Ortigas Ave. Extension, Brgy. San Isidro, Taytay
Rizal. Contact number (+63 2) 650-2500.

Seafood Island ~ Real Deal!

We entered the Seafood Island Restaurant in pure desperation, upon seeing the long queue of hungry people outside Cabalen (we have been planning to eat there). 
I was quite hesitant to enter Seafood Island really, as I was expecting prices to be on the upscale, since it is after all a seafood restaurant in the Metro!!!
I was honestly surprised as I was given the menu and found group meals affordable and reasonable...

The restaurant aims for an nipa hut/beach ambiance with native abaniko-inspired ceiling fan, hard wood chairs and tables and island souvenir decorations.

The tough part was choosing from their wide selection boodle feast (all looked so yummy and filling). 

After much deliberation we ordered the "fiesta bicolandia"

(halaan sa buko, pork bbq, ensaladang talong, ginataang alimango laing, grilled tilapia with bagoong rice... my mom wanted soup so we order sinigang bangus belly!)

Some souvenir shots infront of Seasfood Restaurant, Market Market!

VERDICT:  Perfect for huge groups (families and barkadas, even balik-bayans). My balik-bayan Tita seems very satisfied (she ordered additional rice).

We had our fill for a little over P1200 (we actually paid less as we were with senior citizens).

It was a good thing Cabalen was full! So love this restaurant, we can't wait to order the other boodle feasts :P  (Note to self:  I will be back!!!)

Visit Seafood Island Restaurant at G/F Market! Market!, Carlos P. Garcia Ave Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Taale├▒a Tagaytay "Tarana"!

Taale├▒a Restaurant Tagaytay is tucked some few meters away the busy Tagaytay's Aguinaldo Highway.  It is quite easy to miss the place, if you are not looking hard enough.
We were just glad to have discovered it. 
Compared to the roadside restaurants  ~ Josephine's, Leslie's and RSM, Taale├▒a is more laid back and rustic. 
Food and service were comparable to other frequented restos in Tagaytay, but somehow, I enjoyed my food here at Taale├▒a way better.
We over ordered, not knowing how huge their servings were.  We got pansit, calamares rice, tawilis and  lumpiang sariwa (so takaw)!
Servings was quite hefty - perfect for huge travelling families. 
Our order was enough to feed 6 hungry men (and we were just 2 adults and 2 kids).
I normally don't like dried fish, but with Tagaytay's tawilis I can always make an exception.

My boy was all smiles, when his watermelon shake arrived!

We were meaning to try their desserts - but I guess you know we weren't getting any, after finishing our initial order :(  Maybe next time!
Taale├▒a is located at Casa Taal, Silang Crossing, Km. 54, West Tagaytay City.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tootsie's Tagaytay - our latest favorite hang out!

I read about this home-styled cooking restaurant from the internet. For our last trip down South (or is it up?) of the Metro, a visit to the well reviewed Tootsie's Restaurant was an obvious must!
Indeed Tootsie's exudes a homey appeal.  It is just a small restaurant (with an extension wing) with very limited sitting. 
Since we came in at such an odd time for a lunch at 4pm (traffic was disastrous and it took us 3 hours, plus some mustered driving skills to navigate our way up to Tagaytay), there were very few people dining, however, I can just imagine how crowded this place must be during peak lunch and dinner time. 

Our driving ordeal left me and my boys rather famished. I wanted to order Tootsie's best seller lengua, but I am not sure if my kids would like it.  We ended ordering instead, another Tootsie's specialty adobo flakes (which my husband loved to the last bite), fresh lumpiang hubad and fish with potato fries. 

For dessert we ordered their special halo-halo turon and ube palitaw.

Tootsie's Fresh Lumpiang Hubad was delicious, but serving portion quite small...  

Adobo flakes is highly recommended!

My boys love the fish and fries... 

Their halo-halo turon (with ube and leche flan filling) were quite special!  Not your ordinary turon...

The ube palitaw was very filling! 
Service was quite slow, considering there were very few customers.  Given food is quite pricey, free appetizers (peanuts or bread sticks) would have been nice and most welcomed especially by hungry boys!

VERDICT:  Order their house specialties and you will never go wrong!  A trip to Tootsie's is well worth it, however, do make sure that you are not so hungry because you could be waiting for quite a while! 

Tootsie's Tagaytay is located at J. Abad Santos cor Aguinaldo Highway Tagaytay to the side of the Tagaytay ridges.
(046) - 4834629 / 0917-TOOTSIE (866 87 43)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Caf├ę France - lunch dates

Lunch at Caf├ę France is a default option, whenever, me and my lunch-buddy husband can't seem to decide on where or what to eat. 
The Caf├ę France branch we frequently visit is the Valero branch in Makati. It is conveniently located just a few meters away from where we work. 
Ambience is relaxed and food is delectable. 
Our favorites Adele and Pierre lunch trays - pasta, half sandwich (bread of your choice), soup, fruit juice and chocolate for dessert!

They also have promo set meals at discounted prices.  Equally as good!

For complete, delicious and healthy meals - I suggest you give Caf├ę France a try...

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Red Coconut Boracay

Boracay's White Beach stretch is actually a stroll along numerous resorts, hotels and restaurants.  Deciding where to eat was simply nerve racking.
For our first night in Boracay, we gave Red Coconut (I was looking for red coconuts or slightest hints why the name Red Coconut, didn't find any) a try.
Red Coconut is located at the beach front of Station 2 and is just a few steps away D'Mall.
Red Coconut's facade...

The bar. Too bad we never got to try it  -
with kids, our drinks are mostly limited to water and shakes :P

My boys had strawberry and choco-banana shakes. 
Both were spot on, up to the last drop! 

We ordered fish and chips (which my youngest wouldn't share) and spiced sea food viand (it was very tasty, what a shame I can't remember what it is called...)

My family love Red Coconut, I don't mind going back and tasting their other dishes. 
I have read, they also serve superb oven-baked pizza.
For certain there is going to be a next time.

OMJ (Oh my JONAH's)

Oh, I was so excited to see the well reviewed "Jonah's" fruitshake.  I was so thrilled when I walked in to get my first famous Banana-Peanut Shake.

I was a little worried to see, that they serve their shakes in take-out plastic bottles.  Hmm, so much for going green...

My order was a little too sweet for my taste. 
Maybe I should have just ordered a less fancy fruit shake, maybe then I would have enjoyed it more.
VERDICT: Just average!
I have honestly tasted better shakes... elsewhere... (Red Coconut's Banana-Peanut was way so much better. We also tried their Strawberry, worth every penny.)
Haiz, I passed on my half-finished bottle to my hubby and went our way.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Aqua Fresh - Paluto Restaurant

Two words for Aqua Fresh Boracay: Fresh and Deliciously Sinful (Opps I guess that's three words already)!
Hubby ordered buttered lobster, grilled shrimp and tempura... a little much for two adults really!  But we manage to finish everything (takaw max!)
I can just imagine how much calories there is... 

Aqua Fresh has a branch at
Boracay D' Talipapa, Station 2
Tel. No. 2881636

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The "Momo Cafe" Experience

What was a supposedly Banapple lunch, turned out to be an unexpected trip to Momo Caf├ę.  Banapple was as always full house and the Momo Caf├ę's half empty seating and inviting ambiance lured me and my lunch buddy-husband to Momo.
The restaurant is classy and hip, with prices a little upscale for most Juans, although for the serving sizes and food quality, I think pricing is just right. 
Momo serves international dishes ~ which all seems delicious based on the menu...
We were served garlic bread with special pimiento dip while we wait for our orders.
We ordered, melted crab and spinach 3 cheese dips for starters, followed by slow roasted herbs US roast beef fingers.  Love them both!  Writing this blog, makes me want to go back!!!


The crab, spinach and cheese dip was simply divine. I can't believe it has spinach in it (even my boys will love this concoction) .  Their roast beef fingers melts in my mouth - just heavenly. 

We finished with a dessert called "Milo and Mamon MMMmmmm Good", for obvious reasons.  Never knew before that your regular mamon, topped with whipped cream, condensada and Milo could taste this good. 

VERDICT:  Thumbs up!  Good place for a date with your special someone (buti nalang full house and Banapple  :P)!!!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Giligiligan Beach

We reached Giligiligan Beach via an Island Hopping tour we
commissioned.  There were very few people in Giligiligan in contrast to the White Beach and Puca Beach, which were loaded with tourists (locals and foreigners). 
We were happy we were the only ones around.  Sand was a little bit rough, but that was okay in exchange for some peace and quiet.
Now this is paradise - serene, calm and peaceful!
water was warm and very inviting
There were about 2-3 restaurants in Giligiligan where you can feast on seafoods by "paluto".  We just had our breakfast and were not really hungry so we just had fruit shakes...

see nobody is here...

just our banca - all alone :D

my son enjoying the feel of warm sand under his feet

We love Giligiligan!

This beach was all ours!