Monthly Archives: July 2014


Situated in the cool, breezy ridge of Tagaytay is Pamana, a Filipino restaurant owned by the Ongpauco family (of Barrio Fiesta/Singing Cooks and Waiters fame). Pamana’s menu consists of a collection of the family’s own homemade recipes, as well as recipes from some of their closest friends and relatives. As I said in one of my previous entries, I find it cute when families who specialize in the food/restaurant business find the opportunity to share their recipes with everyone.

The restaurant, which is styled like an old ancestral house, has three floors. The first floor has a store where you can buy some trinkets and candies. The walls of the resto are decorated with the Ongpauco family’s pictures and mementos.

Menu: Starters (lumpia trio, adobo flakes, taal’s spicy tawilis), Hot old fashioned soup (nilagang bulalo, tinanglarang manok, kansi, bulalong monggo and adobo flakes), Sinigang my way or no way, Native salad and greens (ensaladang bagnet, fresh lumpiang ubod salad, legaspi city’s famous laing), Our heritage (three-way adobo ni lola, manila’s original crispy pata, leyte’s humba, pamana’s original bagnet, seafood pochero, the best kare-kare), Inasal inihaw prito, 4-way cochinillo al horno, Rice & noodles (pamana choriburger rice, seafood paella, my adobo rice), Mama Liberty’s beverage, Merienda specials, and Our childhood sweet memories (pampanga’s bibingka, puto bumbong, baked guimaras mangoes ala mode).

For my lunch, I had their Pampanga’s Sizzling Sisig at Aligue. ‘Aligue’ is the Tagalog word for crab fat, so I guess it’s safe to say that my meal was delightfully cholesterol-laden. *gags* As with all types of sisig, this one goes really well with a steaming bowl of plain rice.

We also had their Chicken Binakol – Chicken cooked in young coconut juice.

Boneless Bangus ala Pobre.

For my drink, I had their Chocnut Shake. It was… Great, but I felt like it lacked something? :\

This is my dessert – My Very Own Homemade Icecream, Quezo trio flavor. You have absolutely no idea how happy I was when I saw this on their menu. To eat cheese-flavored ice cream inside a roll of bread has always been one of my biggest food-related wishes. It was just as good as I expected. You can also get the ice cream in a wafer cone, of course.

The welcoming staff, home-cooked food, and cheerful ambiance at Pamana won’t make you feel like you’re just a regular diner inside a typical Filipino restaurant. It will make you feel like you’re a special visitor dining inside the Ongpauco household. If you have a balikbayan friend or relative who wants to experience true Filipino hospitality and cuisine, then Pamana is the place to be.

Pamana is located at Aguinaldo Highway Tagaytay City, Cavite. Tel no: (046) 413-1885. Official website:


Spring by Ha Yuan

So we went to Makati earlier today, and even though I wanted to visit a restaurant found inside San Antonio village, somehow we ended up visiting SM Jazz mall for the very first time. SM Jazz turned out to be a bigger and fancier version of their Hypermarket. It was quite empty inside, but that’s absolutely fine with me, since I tend not to stay in crowded malls very much. Aside from that, I also enjoyed seeing restaurants that aren’t usually found in other SM hypermarkets.

I was supposed to do reviews for two restaurants inside SM Jazz, but later on I found out that one of them had closed down, and the other one was just way too expensive/classy for my taste. I still had five others to choose from, but I ended up going to Spring by Ha Yuan, which specializes in Chinese cuisine.


Menu: The kapao bar (monk’s choice, chili crab, lah!), Dimsum (whole wheat vegetarian pao, fried tofu), Lumpia bar (ha yuan fresh amoy lumpia,, lah-lah land popia, xo seafood lumpia), Noodles (monk’s bowl, monk’s plate), Rice bowl (mapo tofu rice), Roasts, Family style (sweet and sour fish fillet, salted fish fried rice)

Shark’s Fin Siomai for our appetizer.

Yummy Yang Chow Fried Rice – Unlike other types of yang chow fried rice, this one wasn’t greasy at all, which was awesome.

The fried rice was paired up with Taosi Fish Fillet with Tofu.

Meanwhile, I had their Zha Jiang Mian – Hand-ground pork in bean sauce, with shaved cucumber and bean sprouts. It could use a little more sauce, but it was still delicious. The noodles were extra springy too.

Our meal in Spring was just simple, and filling. They didn’t really have any customers when we came in for lunch, but props to their staff for being so hospitable and friendly towards the diners.

Spring by Ha Yuan is located at SM Jazz Mall, Nicanor Garcia Corner Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati City.

Kanto Freestyle Breakfast

Earlier today, we went to Kanto Freestyle Breakfast’s branch in Kapitolyo to see what the fuss is about regarding this eatery. I know several people who have dined here, and gave it rave reviews, which led to my curiosity.

If it’s your first time to visit this neighborhood, you will probably have a difficult time trying to find the place, since Kanto doesn’t have a sign outside, and can be easily mistaken for an ordinary residence. Just look for the cluster of cars parked outside of a gigantic black gate (although this makes parking slightly difficult to do as well).

Interior. Not exactly the cleanest place I’ve dined in, but for me, it adds charm to the resto. I have a complaint, though: They need to have a separate area for smokers and non-smokers—Halfway through our lunch, a girl at the table beside us started puffing cigarettes, and it was… bleh. Horrible. -_-

Menu: Freestyle Breakfast (where you can choose your own viand), Cereals, KantoBoy Breakfast, and Pancakes/French Toast/ATBP. Drinks include Kapeng Kanto (made from Batangas coffee beans), Blended, Iced, and Soda/Juices/ATBP.

French Toast with Bacon and Eggs. The bacon had the right amount of crispiness and saltiness, and even though the toast was drenched in syrup, it wasn’t sickeningly sweet at all. Was expecting my scrambled eggs to be a little more runny, but other than that, this dish was excellent.

Iced Choco. Very refreshing on a hot summer day. This was really good, and I wish they could’ve served this drink in a larger glass. ^^;

For dessert, I tried their Deep Fried Cloud Nine (yes, you read that right), which reminded me of a chocolate cordon bleu.

Some local dishes this time! Batangas Beef Tapa, Tinapang Galunggong, and Tuyo Flakes with Kesong Puti for the parents.

Kanto’s ambiance may look plain, but the food that they serve is simply superb. No wonder it attracts lot of customers, despite having to weave through narrow alleys and crowded residential areas. I suggest you try this restaurant if you’re on a tight budget, and want to try some delicious and satisfying breakfast meals, 24/7.

Kanto Freestyle Breakfast is located at 1st Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Tel no: (02)7755428. Visit their official website or their Facebook page, to see a complete list of their branches.

House of Lasagna

House of Lasagna occupies a small nook in SM Megamall. It first started out in 2009 as an Italian-inspired restaurant located in Little Baguio, San Juan. This restaurant is owned by Chef Erick Congmon, a member of the Congmon family in Cebu – The Congmon family is famous for their Sunburst Fried Chicken chain, which is found all over the Visayas region.

Exterior/Interior shot.

Menu: Starters (Appetizers – southern style fried chicken skin, southern style calamari, Soups, Salads), Lasagnas (beef lasagna, chicken lasagna, carbonara lasagna, lasagne frederico), Chef’s Pasta (baked mac & cheese, southern fried chicken, southern fried chicken platter), Dessert (blueberry cheesecake, oreo cheesecake), Beverages, and Extras.

Pesto Lasagna, served on a hot plate (literally hot—I could see the pesto sauce bubbling a tad bit when it was placed on our table). This one in particular is made with the freshest basil leaves, pine nuts, crushed garlic, and drenched in extra-virgin olive oil between layers of al dente pasta. The size of the serving was just right. Their lasagnas are filled with delicious savory cheese and herbs, served straight from the oven. The menu says that it comes with garlic bread, but we didn’t get any (unfortunately).

Clam Chowder for our soup.

Perfectly seasoned Potato Wedges. The honey mustard dressing was spectacular. The wedges themselves were a mixture of thick-cut ones, and paper-thin ones. I loved the variety when it came to the thickness of the slices.

For our drinks, we tried their Bubble Iced Tea, which turned out to be just plain old iced tea—I was expecting the milky/fruity Taiwanese ones with tapioca pearls mixed in.

That wasn’t so bad! It was a light, but satisfying meal. Make sure you order some dessert because the amount of cheese used in their lasagna will give you a slightly queasy feeling after eating. But to be honest, I found it really heartwarming how Chef Erick and the rest of the Congmon family were willing to share some of their family recipes to the rest of the country. ^^

… And now I’m hoping that they’d open the very first Sunburst Fried Chicken branch here in Manila, hehe.

House of Lasagna is located at the Lower Ground floor of SM Megamall. Links: Facebook.

Rub Ribs & BBQ

Rub Ribs & BBQ is a barbecue spot in Kapitolyo. Kapitolyo is slowly becoming one of my favorite foodie destinations, because 1.) It’s near our place, and 2.) The streets in this charming neighborhood are lined with cafes and restaurants, showcasing different kinds of cuisines.

Their hip-looking interior is decorated with pictures of celebrities, and famous quotations.

Menu: Soup and salad (Caesar salad), Sandwiches and wraps (pulled pork sandwich, fish tacos), Nibbles (fish and chips, buffalo chicken wings, mussels and fries), Entrees (rub beef, grilled fish, rub fried chicken, chicken cajun pasta, rub’s steak plus), Dessert (fried oreos with vanilla ice cream), and Drinks.

Raki’s BBQ Ribs. You can pick up to three sides for this dish—I chose their sprice (spiced rice), and Texas toast. Admittedly, the meat wasn’t as tender as the other ribs that I’ve tried before, but I still had a very satisfying meal. You can dip the meat in this deliciously tangy barbecue sauce. And as for the sides, I liked the sprice, but I didn’t enjoy the Texas toast very much, probably because it was the crunchy kind of garlic bread (I like my garlic bread soft, with a lot of butter).

BBQ Chicken Salad. The chicken pieces were easy to chew, and I really liked the crunchy little chips sprinkled on top.

Shrimp and Cilantro Pasta. I thought this was fine. I loved the bits of shrimp, and it had just the right amount of oil. My mom thought that the dish was really salty, though.

I’m already thinking about what to order when I come back to Rub—Maybe I should try their pulled pork sandwich or their fish tacos next time. ^^; I don’t suggest coming here if you’re absolutely starving since the orders can take a while to arrive. But I do recommend Rub to those people who want to try delicious, grilled food for a low price.

Rub Ribs & BBQ is located at 88 East Capitol Drive Kapitolyo, Pasig. Tel no: (02) 625-2939. You can also find them in Makati and Quezon City. Links: Facebook.

Chez Karine Bakery

Before having lunch, mom and I went to Chez Karine in SM Megamall to have a quick snack. I was slightly hesitant about doing a review on this quaint café since they only served cakes/desserts and not other meals such as pasta/sandwiches, but I went through with it anyway.


Their specialty is cakes, of course. Plus macarons (which you can buy individually, or in a box), macaron ice cream, pastries, cookies, royal puddings, panna cotta and jellies. Drinks include coffee/lattes, tea (both hot or iced), cold drinks, and lemonade.

Caramel Macchiato cake with caramel bavarois, espresso cremeux, soft caramel, and a chocolate biscuit. It had the consistency and taste of a coffee-flavored panna cotta.

Mango Swiss Roll – Chiffon cake with vanilla bean pastry cream, Chantilly cream, and fresh mango bits.

And lastly, a light, fluffy, cream-filled Hokkaido Cupcake.

For my drink, I had their Hot Chocolate – It felt like I was drinking a bitter version of Swiss Miss’ hot chocolate.

It’s really disappointing that Chez Karine isn’t attracting enough customers since their cakes taste really fabulous. I think they fit more with the BGC crowd rather than the SM crowd. Their prices should be at par with other cake shops or cafes such as Sugarhouse, Caffe Bene, etc. so that they will be able to get access to a wider market.

Chez Karine Bakery is located at G/F SM Megamall, Julia Vargas Ave Wack Wack, Mandaluyong. Tel no: (02) 631-5766. You can also find them at Serendra. Links: Official website || Facebook.


Tsumura is a Japanese restaurant hidden inside a building in Makati. It’s one of those so-called “hidden gem” or “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants where you have to keep your eyes peeled, or ask for directions in order to get to this restaurant. At first, I was quite intimidated because of the building’s location, and also because it looked empty—But I decided to give it a go.

The interior looks really impressive; I never imagined that you can find a classy-looking restaurant like this inside a nondescript building….

Menu: Appetizer, Sashimi ala carte, Sashimi assorted, Hot pot, Yakimono, Agemono, Tempura, Teppanyaki, Nimono, Mushimono, Salad, Sunomono, Zousui, Ochazuke, Shiromono, Ju box, Teisyoku, and Udon/Soba.

Maguro Sushi. The slice of tuna was large and thick enough to cover the lump of rice underneath. Really fresh and delicious, I knew I should’ve asked for two or three pieces instead of one.

Hire Katsu. The katsu pieces were thick and tasted a bit plain, but it was nice and crunchy. It comes with two dipping sauces – One for the salad, and one for the katsu itself. I kept dipping my katsu into the salad dressing, hehe.

Ebi Tempura. Not exactly the best 😡

Sukiyaki Ju. I only got to try the thinly-sliced beef, which would taste even blander if it wasn’t coated with sweet scrambled eggs. Delicious, but not great.

I guess Tsumura is a wonderful place to go to, if you only came for their sushi/sashimi/maki dishes. Unfortunately, their other dishes are just disappointing. The relaxed ambiance makes up for it, though.

Tsumura is located at 2/F, 88 Corporate Plaza, Sedeno St cor Valero St, Salcedo Village, Makati. Tel no: (02) 887-4848.