Monthly Archives: July 2013

Pig Out

We stopped by to have lunch at this restaurant while heading home from Tagaytay. It’s a restaurant specializing in pork/grilled meat. At first I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to eat here, or in another restaurant—But in the end, I chose this one since (as far as I know) this is the only branch that they have put up (so far).

Interior. It was a Monday afternoon, so they didn’t have a lot of customers.

Menu: Drinks (stalk of the town, mr. piggy’s spritzer, oinker’s favorite), Starters (sultans eggplant dip, tortilla pork sisig), Soups (trio sinigang), Salads, Rice, Noodles (house noodle), Mains (sizzling sisig, white adobo, pig out crispy pata), Grills (pork belly inihaw, grilled tuna belly, peri-peri chicken), Veggies (asian green beans), Kids’ Menu & Sweet Stuff (halo-halo heaven).

Random thought, but… I think it would be hilarious if a guy goes inside this restaurant and orders one of their salads or veggie dishes. ^^;

The Korean-Style Tapa, which is, in my opinion, a bacon and bulgogi/sukiyaki hybrid. Thin meat coated in a tasty, sweet sauce.

For their appetizer, we had their Deep-Fried Tofu. Light and crispy on the outside, and soft and warm on the inside.

Salt and Pepper Spare Ribs. The meat was very tender, with just the right amount of fat. The sauce that they used was a slightly spicier version of the Korean tapa’s sauce.

Chicharon Fried Rice. It was alright, the chicharon bits give it a nice crunch.

Even though the dishes looked plain and easily-prepared, we had a satisfying meal here at Pig Out. Sometimes, it’s not the presentation or look of the food that matters, it’s the flavor and how contented you are by the end of your dining experience. It’s such a hassle that you have to travel all the way to a far-flung location just to try their meals, though. But their delectable dishes are definitely worth the trip.

Pig Out is located at Nuvali, Tagaytay Road, Sta. Rosa, Laguna. 

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Sonya’s Garden

(Yet another pic-heavy post!)

I am currently in Tagaytay, still slightly bloated from my lunch at Sonya’s Garden. We ate the to celebrate my dad’s birthday. Sonya’s Garden is one of the must-visit restaurants here in Tagaytay. I have visited and toured this place a couple of times, but I have never actually tried their food. So I was anxious about having lunch here–Especially since I thought this restaurant only specialized in vegetarian meals, salads, and the like… And salads aren’t exactly my favorite type of food.

Beautiful scenery.

Yes, that’s the comfort room.

Bakery.

We entered this beautiful dining area that looked like a large greenhouse, grabbed our seats, and began our lunch.

… But first–Some rosewater to keep your hands smelling like flowers while dining. Hehe.

Pasta. You can pick from two different sauces–Red tomato, and (pictured here) Mango & chicken cream. On the upper-left is their Salmon belly. Eh, it was alright. The meat was tender, but it was really fatty and the pieces that I got had bones in them.

Other stuff on the buffet included ratatouille and shiitake mushrooms.

My parents had this salad with different types of fruits and greens, and something called ‘Sonya’s Super Secret Salad Dressing’ (try saying that quickly five times).

Some bread, of course! It came with several dips–Fresh pesto, anchovy, sardine, bruschetta, and pâté.

Dessert: Glazed sweet potatoes and Banana fritters with sesame and jackfruit. I didn’t get to try the potatoes, but the fritters were to die for!!! We also had a tiny slice of chocolate cake made from pure cacao.

 

Dalandan isn’t exactly my all-time favorite fruit, but I managed to gulp down three glasses of their ultra-refreshing dalandan juice.

Tarragon tea. Mom said it smelled like Pepsi. Hehe. It may look like a cup of hot water with leaves, but this is actually one of the best teas I’ve had.

So… My verdict? It was amazing!! And what’s great about Sonya’s Garden is that all of their greens/sauces/dips/bread are 100% organic and naturally grown, so you wouldn’t have to worry about chemicals, pesticide, or other kooky stuff being mixed in your food. You can really taste the freshness.

Truth be told… I’m still not fond of salads even after dining here, but as long as there’s pasta (hehe), I’m willing to go back and experience this healthy feast for a second time.

Sonya’s Garden is located at Barangay Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite, Philippines. Tel nos: +63-9175329097 or +63-9175335140. Official website: http://www.sonyasgarden.com.

Ho Galbi

(Pic-heavy post.)

Ah, it’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a Korean restaurant! I finally got to experience Ho Galbi’s Japanese-Korean buffet earlier today, when we went there to have lunch before doing some grocery shopping at SM Hypermart.

Ho Galbi is familiar to me because we would pass by their branch in Oranbo, Pasig whenever we travel to Mandaluyong. I was seriously not expecting them to open a branch in Tiendesitas, of all places. Although I’m not really sure if they branched out or simply changed location… And to be honest, the Oranbo branch is a bit difficult to spot since it’s hidden inside a residential district.

Their PhP 599.00 lunch buffet starts at around 11AM and ends at 2PM, while their dinner buffet starts at 6 PM to 9 PM (No idea how much the dinner buffet costs… Sorry! >_<)

Menu: Galbi, Bulgogi, Beef (Wagyu anchangsal, prime saeng galbi, Ho Galbi special sohanmari, kkotdeungsim, wooseol) Pork (Dwaeji galbi) Chicken (Dak galbi, smoked duck), A la carte (Galbijim, samgetang, hameul pajeon, modum jeon, dubu jeon, dubu kimchi, sogogi jabchae, gun mandu, saewoo gui), Shabu-shabu (Budae jigae, gobchang jeongol, saejoge shabu-shabu), Sizzling cheolpan, Rice & noodles (Kimchi jigae, sundubu, galbitang, yukgaejang, haemul kalguksoo, mul naengmyun, bibimnaengmyun, kimchi bokkeumbap).

I’m familiar with most Korean food, but certain items on the menu sounded new to me. O_o

Stairs leading to the art gallery on the second floor.

Buffet pics, where you can find tempura and loads and loads of sushi.

Bibimbap station, and my dad’s own Bibimbap.

Drink and dessert stations.

Banchan and food from the buffet.

I only wanted plain rice, meat, and soup. I wanted to try their tteok manduguk soup, but unfortunately, it wasn’t available. So instead, we had their yummy Dolsot Bibimbap served in a hot stone bowl. ^^

Samgyupsal. Not gonna lie–I was really surprised when the waiter served it to our table all cooked up, coz I thought we were going to do the grilling ourselves. Um… The meat wasn’t exactly that tough, but it was very difficult to swallow, especially the fatty parts.

We also had this refreshing seafood soup afterwards.

So basically… We enjoyed the food, but we were also stuffed as heck, and that’s not exactly the best feeling. Also, it does get crowded during lunchtime, so it’s a bit noisy. We could barely hear each other talk. But if you’re looking for a place where you can indulge in good Korean food, then Ho Galbi is a must-try.

Ho Galbi is located at Tiendesitas.

Maple

Maple is another one of those restos where I’m grateful that they opened up a branch somewhere near my hometown. I’ve heard about this restaurant from various websites, and at first I thought I won’t get to have the chance to try their food since they were located all the way in Forbes Park. O_O So I was really delighted when they opened up a branch in the new East Wing of Shang-ri La Mall.

Interior. Not bad!

Their menu is fashioned like a gigantic storybook. In case you want to read a real storybook, there’s a little corner filled with children’s books found at the left side of the resto. You can drop off your kids there and let their minds hover around fantasy land while you savor their dishes. ^^

Menu items: Prologue (Aperitifs – Ice cream floats), Chapter 1: A new day is dawning (All day breakfasts – Blueberry & cream cheese pancake tower, Stuffed French toast), Chapter 2: Mornings to remember (Eggs benedict, Huevos rancheros, Prime rib tapa), Chapter 3: Hunger awakens (Appetizers – Chilean mussels), Soup (Chili), Salads, Sandwiches (The Maple burger), Chapter 4: Wish becomes reality, Pasta (Spaetzle jambalaya), Entrees (Rib-eye steak), Chapter 5: Fairy tale endings, Dessert (Bourbon bread pudding), and Bottled Poetry (Different kinds of wine.)

Our appetizer—A simple yet tasty dinner roll bread. For my drink, I ordered their hot chocolate, which came with two giant marshmallows (yay!). However, it was the exact opposite of Wildflour’s hot chocolate: A bit bland (okay, this is actually my fault—they had sugar/sweetener packets but I didn’t add any to my drink), but doesn’t stick to the back of your throat after you take a sip.

The big Maple breakfast!! Pretty much the biggest and thickest waffle I’ve seen. The bacon and potato tots were my favorite: Light and crispy, with a hint of sweetness (especially with the bacon!) I could do without the slightly sour Canadian sausage, though.

Our other order was their Fish & Chips. It wasn’t too bad, and I really liked the dipping sauce. But I ended up eating a piece of fish that wasn’t cooked properly. Hmmm.

Takeout.

I enjoyed my meal, but I found most of their food too rich for my taste. I had no problem with the serving size of the food, but I do hope they would tone down the amount of oil used in their dishes. ^^;

Maple is located at the Lower Ground floor of Shangri-la Plaza Mall’s East Wing, Shaw Blvd cor EDSA Wack Wack, Mandaluyong City. Tel nos: (0923) 725-6283.

Wildflour Cafe + Bakery

A Cronut craze is currently going on here in Manila.

I have read about these lovely baked delights in several websites/newspapers, but I never thought I’d get the chance to actually try one myself. So when I found out that Wildflour Café + Bakery was creating their own version (called the croissant donut) I planned a trip to their newly-opened branch at The Podium right away so I can discover what the hullabaloo is all about. I actually wanted to visit Wildflour waaaay before this whole Cronut mania started since I heard that they serve delicious, freshly-baked bread and delicious, freshly-baked bread is one of my favorite things in general. Hehe.

They only had one copy of the menu, so I wasn’t able to list the items down. (You can find them here at Munchpunch.)

As expected, there was a line. Thank goodness it wasn’t that long, though. Whew! Unfortunately, when it was my turn to order, the lady at the counter told me that they were fresh out of croissant donuts and I had to wait until 5PM for the next batch!!! Ugh.

… So I ended up ordering their version of Kouign Aman instead–Slightly toasted on the outside, with a sweet, glazed center.

For our main dish, we had the Croque Madame, which consists of ham, gooey gruyere cheese, a thick slice of bread, with an egg on top. Unlike last time, we made the right decision of splitting this dish into half. I actually felt full afterward.

I also had their hot chocolate (which, I have to say, goes really well with the Croque Madame) for my drink. When I noticed that it came in a small mug, I got nervous coz I thought it was going to taste exactly like the extremely bitter, Spanish-type hot chocolate. I was wrong—This mug of chocolate (literally) warmed my heart. Although it tasted a little bit too sweet, and it sometimes felt like I was drinking a mug of melted chocolate pudding.

While finishing the last few bites of my Croque Madame, I kept checking the time to see if 5 PM had struck. When the time on my cellphone read 5:09 PM, I immediately sprung into action and started lining up again.

So… Did we make it?

*insert Handel’s ‘Hallelujah’ chorus here*

It was absolutely heavenly, the buttery taste of the croissant donut’s flaky dough mixed well with the sugary strawberry frosting. It also had strawberry cream inside. Every bite felt amazing, and definitely worth the PhP 120.00 that I shelled out.

I’m really grateful that I got to try this much-talked about tasty pastry delight. Wildflour itself is also a haven for remarkable baked goods.

Wildflour Cafe + Bakery is located at G/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Wack Wack, Mandaluyong. Tel no: (02) 571-8588. You can also find them at Fort Bonifacio.