Author: oggie

Crunchtime at 8065 Bagnet

8065 Bagnet Ginataang Bagnet
8065 Bagnet Ginataang Bagnet

The menu listed a grand total of 20 food items, six of which are bagnet main dishes and another six as bagnet budget meals.  It takes a lot of gumption to offer just about only one thing in your restaurant and build the menu around it.  Braver still to name your restaurant after it.  But 8065 Bagnet does not disappoint.

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La Cocina de Tita Moning: Dining back to the 1930s

La Cocina Lamb Shank

We’re already 10 years into the new millennium but stepping into the foyer of La Cocina de Tita Moning, I can’t help but feel like I’ve left the 21st century at the doorstep and slipped back to another era.  The gleam of the afternoon sun and chandelier reflects off the polished hardwood floor.  Old paintings and photos hang all over the walls.  The air conditioning was on but I seem to smell (or imagine smelling) a faint musty odor in the air, reminiscent of the redolence of old houses. I pass by the souvenir/pasalubong shop immediately past the sliding doors and save for the air conditioners and big refrigerators, I can easily mistake the decade for the 1930s, not the 2000s.

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Bale Dutung: Feeding the tummy, filling the mind

Bale Dutung Brulee

When traveling to the north, making a stopover in Pampanga is always a sensible decision.  And why not?  Kapampangans are really known for their rich food tradition.   But eating takes on a deeper, and should I say cultural, meaning when you make a stop at Bale Dutung. Tucked in a residential village, the place looks more like a house than a restaurant which it actually is, being the abode of chef/cook/artist Claude Tayag and his wife, Maryanne.  That said, the treatment we got was more akin to dining in a friend’s house.

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Just desserts at Cocktales

Cocktales Menu
Cocktales Menu

One Saturday afternoon found happyfoodies at SM Megamall for a business meeting. Looking for a quiet place to meet in busy Megamall can be quite tricky, especially on a weekend but on a friend’s suggestion, we found ourselves in the month-old dessert place, Cocktales. Tucked at the entrance of the Atrium on the fifth level, we seem to have found our quiet spot as the place was deserted (no pun intended). The lighting was inviting and conducive for cooling off. The images of drinks and desserts were really enticing and well-done. The signage says “desserts like no other” so we felt we had to give them a try.

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Where to eat when in Basco

Dorado served on Kabaya Leaf
Dorado served on Kabaya Leaf

“Where do we we eat?” Tired and famished from all the hiking and traveling, it’s a question we ourselves keep asking whenever we’re in Basco.  This capital of Batanes, is usually the jump-off point for visitors exploring the Philippines’ northernmost province.   Happyfoodies collates some noteworthy eating places to help out first-time or returning visitors.

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Hamming it up in CDO

SLERS Beef Pastrami Sandwich and Tsokolate
SLERS Beef Pastrami Sandwich and Tsokolate

Mention Cagayan de Oro and on top of the list associated with this City of Golden Smiles is its famous ham.  And when it comes to hams, the overwhelming favorite among the locals is SLERS Jamon Cagayan de Oro, which has been around since 1969.  What makes their ham different is the natural juiciness and tenderness of the meat.  This is due in large part to the fact that the swine from which they are made were fed with pineapple, a fruit laden with the enzyme papain, which has natural tenderizing properties. Over the years, SLERS hams have become a part of tradition among CDO locals as well as guests all-year round and especially during Christmas-time.   SLERS have also ventured into the quick-service restaurant and more recently, the café business.

We chanced upon the newly-opened SLERS Ham & Café while looking for somewhere to eat for lunch on our way back to Manila.  The small but charming café is warm and inviting, with a wall decked with goodies ready to tempt the diner.

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Turning Japanese at Banzai

Banzai Chicken Yakitori Bento (Php 95)
Banzai Chicken Yakitori Bento (Php 95)

The food court of a mall is normally NOT the place to look for decent Japanese food.  Almost always, the “food court pricing” automatically means that the food outlet would scrimp on ingredients or cut corners, ergo less satisfying Japanese fare.  But happily, we found an exception and it was literally right under our noses – Banzai Japanese Kitchen in the food court of Cash & Carry Mall.

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Savoring the flavors of Tasty Dumplings

Tasty Dumpling Noodle Soup
Tasty Dumpling Noodle Soup

Mention Binondo and one immediately conjures up images of crowded streets, Binondo church, Chinese herbal medicine stores, Eng Bee Tin hopia, and of course, the-hole-in-the-wall eateries. I used to live in Manila and Ongpin was a regular haunt but not anymore. Venturing to the Binondo Church one Sunday and the almost mandatory side trip to Eng Bee Tin, I chanced upon this seemingly small restaurant with the signage, “Tasty Dumplings”. And so started food trips to this eating place that yielded tasty surprises.

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