An Exceptional Coffee Experience @ Cafe Esse

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life is coffee

“Life Begins With Coffee”

“Life begins with coffee,” that’s what coffee addicts like me believe in.  No matter how complicated life is, one cup of coffee will definitely ease your burden and would make you feel better.  I’ve been in several cafes and there were times that I was disappointed with what I expected from the quality and taste of the food and drinks. I must say that my visit in Cafe Esse is one of the best experience I had.

 

 

Cafe Esse is located at the 2nd floor of CEO Building, L. Sumulong Circle, San Roque, Antipolo City.  My colleagues hang out here once in a while and now I know the reason why they keep coming back– it’s because of the superior quality of coffee and delectable food that they serve.

 

The word esse came from the word EXISTENCE or essence.

Cafe Esse was established in May 15, 2014.  For four years now, they continue to satisfy their customers.  It caters not only to barkadas who would like to chill, but to families who would like to spend quality time together and even for colleagues or business partners who would like to have their meeting.  When we arrived at past 4pm, there were different groups outside in the smoking area (barkadas).  Inside, there were few tables which can accommodate 20 pax.  Near our table, there was a college student who was doing her assignment or research work while sipping her coffee.  (There is FREE WIFI that customers can use).

mirror

It’s very obvious that I enjoyed their coffee 🙂

 

Cafe Esse has a function room for special events which can be rented for P5,000 (P1,500 for 3 hours use and P3,500 for consumables).  Extension per hour is P500.

wooden frame

Here are their bestsellers:

HOT DRINKS

Hazelnut Latte

Hazelnut Latte  (  16 oz  P130 /20 oz P140.)

vanilla machiatto

Vanilla Macchiato   16 oz P130 / 20 oz P140

matcha latte

Matcha Latte  (16 oz. P145/ 20 oz P155)

Of the hot drinks, I like the Vanilla Macchiato next to the Hazelnut Latte.

FRAPPES

 

I remember the famous choco-banana fruit shake in Boracay (Jonah’s fruitshake) when I tasted the banana choco-nut frappe.  I prefer the choco mint frappe though because it was very refreshing.

MILKSHAKE

frappes

Strawberry Milkshake   P155

Because we brought a 4 year old kid with us, this one is the perfect drink for him.

THE FOOD

I super loved their pasta!  I loved both the Spicy Seafarer and the Creamy Carbonara.  The kids are not pasta lovers like me but they loved both also.

spicy seafarer.jpg

Spicy Seafarer  P195

creamy carbonara

Creamy Carbonara   P195

choco ala mode waffle

Choco ala Mode Waffle P115

I felt like a kid again–I loved the combination of chocolate syrup and the waffles topped with cream.

cheesy meat fries.jpg

Cheesy Meat Fries P110

We love french fries, but we love it even more when it is topped with cheese.  In a span of less than 3 minutes, the plate was emptied.  I was about to get another round but the food just vanished instantly.  I didn’t scold the kids for that– actually, it was already a big achievement if you let them finish eating in a matter of minutes.  Usually, it took a long time for them to eat.

3 little pigs

3 Little Pigs   P190

This is one of the most popular bestsellers, this sandwich comes with potato chips.

classic blt

Classic BLT P190

Classic BLT is short for sandwich with bacon, lettuce and tomatoes.It is also served with potato chips.

all day breakfast

All Day Breakfast  P195

Since the cafe opens at 10am, the All Day Breakfast can be your brunch.  For breakfast, I’m already solved with one sunny side up egg and one regular sized hotdog, but in Cafe Esse, they have 3 small pancakes with a sunny side-up egg, jumbo hotdog, and bacon strips.  This is perfect to be paired with a cup of hot coffee.

enjoying the food

Hahaha!  It’s evident in the photo that I really love the food.  One sandwich can already fill your tummy so it’s worth every penny that you will spend in the cafe.

pastries

Cakes and pastries

Unfortunately, we were nnot able to taste the sweets but definitely we will when we come back.

CR/Washroom Inspection

In my feature about Comida China de Manila, I have mentioned that I was impressed with their washroom.  Well, in Cafe Esse they have a small but very clean washroom.  They have quotes and note written on the wall creatively.

outside cr

The staff were very friendly and polite.

staff

The Cafe Esse Staff

Recommendations Button                             HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

yman and bruce

You will definitely love their drinks and food and I assure you that you will come back.  For reservations, you may call the contact numbers below.

CAFE ESSE

2/F CEO Building, L. Sumulong Circle, Brgy. San Roque, Antipolo City

Tel. no.: (02) 507-3956 ; 0927 8610571

 

 

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A Weekend Bonding with Nature @ Park, Rest & Dine

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It’s still my birthday month and as what I have mentioned in my previous post, I will feature restaurants where you can celebrate important events.  It’s one day after my son’s birthday so technically, we had his post-birthday celebration last Saturday.  This is one of my unforgettable trips because I was able to bond with my family in a not so distant place from ours and savor the beauty of nature.

This hidden gem  is already part of Baras, Rizal (though the address in Google is Antipolo).   Park, Rest & Dine Restaurant is a place where you can literally park your vehicle and taste delightsome”lutong bahay” food.  Being at the place made me feel more relaxed and for that particular moment, I had peace of mind.  Temporarily, I forgot about all the negative things I had in my mind and felt secured and relieved.

parking area

the parking area

trees

shane2

WHY PARK, REST & DINE?

I was curious with the title– how they come up with such name and it’s a good thing that the owners were very accommodating though they were really busy at the time we visited.

We were able to have a short chitchat with the owners Ms. Melody and Sir Romano Syaman and asked about the concept of the place.  They lived in New York for 10 years and  during their stay in the United States,they would often see the sign “Park, Rest and Dine.” and from there, they got an idea what to name their restaurant.  It is for travelers who would like to park for a while, check in a room or dine for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Originally, when they started out in 2013, they had two rooms available for rent, but they decided not to offer the rooms anymore because they have limited supply of water.  They opted to just focus on the restaurant.

While waiting for the food to be cooked, we explored the place outside.  We didn’t even notice that 20 minutes have already passed.

THE RESTAURANT

You will definitely feel at home when you enter– the typical wooden furnitures, sofas, modern lighting and native decors will set your mood to relax and enjoy.

inside seating area

table inside.jpg

This is a 12-hectare property— actually, they can accommodate more customers because they still have more tables with umbrella outside, but according to Ms. Melody they are just accommodating small groups.  Inside the restaurant, seating capacity is 20-25 pax.  The entrance can accommodate 10 pax and the veranda for another 20 pax.

veranda

       Park, Rest & Dine is open from 7am to 5pm.  Though they close that early, they are open for walk-in customers who would like to dine for dinner.  You can also call their Globe number for reservations (0926- 0560103).  They are open from Sunday to Saturday and even holidays.

Basically, the restaurant is just for families and barkadas.  They do not sell alcoholic beverages because they do not want to deal with drunk customers and they want to preserve the cleanliness of the place and maintain its wholesome image.

front area

shane1

THE FOOD

family pic

These are some of the bestsellers that we have tried.  For the starter, we were served with a bowl of Sinigang sa Sugpo.  Not only the adults loved it, but the kids as well.

sinigang sa sugpo.jpg

Sinigang Sa Sugpo P280

diced chicken with veggies

Diced Chicken with Mixed Veggies P280

Chicken is one of my favorites and I was really glad that we were served with this dish.  That made it even better because it was served with half-cooked veggies (very good for health-conscious eaters).

sotanjon guisado

Special Sotangjon Guisado –  P280

This is an all-time favorite especially during parties.  What made it more special is the pork and veggies.

tanigue steak

Tanigue Steak     P380

The Tanigue Steak is one of their bestsellers because of its taste.  This is made of fried fish steaks cooked in soy sauce, topped with white onions and red bell pepper.

bulalo

Bulalo     P480

This soup is made of beef, cabbage and potatoes.  This is a hit for the adults but the kids prefer Sinigang sa Sugpo.

pancakes.jpg

Pancakes    P280

This is what I will remember about Park, Rest & Dine– I had the best and most delicious pancakes here!  Their pancakes are quite big and thick and they come with scrambled eggs and sliced hotdogs.

unli coffee

Unlimited Brewed Coffee   P60

Here at Park, Rest and Dine, you can have unlimited brewed coffee for only P60.  Yes, you read it right!  So for coffee lovers, this is surely something you won’t like to miss.

If you would like to have a unique dining experience, go out with your family or barkada and  give this a try!

PARK, REST & DINE

Marikina-Infanta Hi-Way, San Jose, Upper Antipolo

Mobile:  0926-0560103

 

Special Occasions @ Comida China de Manila

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family pic1.jpg

 

       Special ocassions are meant to be celebrated with people who are dear to you– friends, colleagues, your someone special and family.  In my birthday month, I am featuring cafes/restaurants that are perfect for celebrating special events.  In my previous post, I already have featured a cool place to chill with stunning ambiance and cozy hang out place in Antipolo- Yellow Lantern Cafe. This time, because I will be sharing about my birthday celebration as well, I decided to celebrate my special day in one of the premier restaurants in Pasig– COMIDA CHINA DE MANILA.

Comida China de Manila is formerly known as Panciteria San Jacinto– one of the few restaurants that serve authentic Chinese food.  It was established in 1894 in Manila and in 1996 it has moved to E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue in Ugong, Pasig City( along C5 across SM Hypermart).  It was just in 2011 when the management has decided to change the name to Comida China de Manila– new name but still the same touch of authentic Chinese food that they serve to their satisfied customers for 124 years.

MY COMIDA CHINA DE MANILA EXPERIENCE

       Upon entering the restaurant, I couldn’t help but to appreciate everything that I see.  Others might visualize the place as a typical Chinese restaurant because of the table designs– I couldn’t help as well but to reminisc the days when I was a kid, we always go to Mamon Luk where we eat mami noodles), but here @ Comida China de Manila, everything is exquisite– from the contemporary furnishings, cleanliness of the place, delectable food and first class service. 

       In my press trips for restaurant reviews/features, we do not just check the ambiance, food and staff, we actually check the restrooms.  It was similar to the five-star hotels that we’ve visited like Shangri-la and Marco Polo because of their impressive, well-maintained and very clean washrooms.

       The restaurant is commodious enough to cater families and barkadas and other groups for lunch, merienda, dinner to late snack.  They open from 11am to 10pm from Mondays to Saturdays and 10am to 10pm during Sundays.

       They have a conference room (good for 20 pax) for business meetings and function rooms where you can hold events like christening, weddings, birthdays and Christmas parties.  (You can get info about the function room rates here).

function rooms

MY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION @ COMIDA CHINA DE MANILA

On my special day, I wasn’t feeling well, so instead of having an overnight staycation in a hotel, I opted to have a simple birthday dinner with my family @ Comida China de Manila.   After waiting for hubby and the kids, we headed there right away.  I thought this will just be a simple dinner, but I was really dumbfounded when I entered the place.  I was treated with such royalty that I was indeed wearing an invisible crown and dazzling diamond jewelry set.   Well, I was quite speechless but after a second that seemed like eternity, I was back in my senses.  There we were, escorted by Harry, Norlan and Racquel to  the conference room to use which can accommodate 20 pax.

table1

        Actually, the room was too big for us–there were two long tables in the airconditioned conference room.  We occupied one table and because we have a hyper 5-y/o kid with us, it’s fine for him to run around the room because the door is closed.  At the time that we arrived (8pm), the restaurant was already jampacked with people.  I suggest that you reserve the conference room (if you will come in small group) if would like to have privacy and enjoy the ocassion with your visitors/companions.

THEIR FOOD

          Are you wondering why people keep coming back to Comida China de Manila?  I will share the bestsellers that we have enjoyed in my birthday celebration.

menu

            At Comida China de Manila, they have set menus that you can choose from (for meetings and events) but you can customize your own.  If you plan to just hang out and have simple lunch or dinner, you can order ala carte instead.  Here are the recommended dishes if you will be holding your event here.

cold cuts

Cold Cuts Platter (M) P603.00

This comes with their famous Asado, Pata Jamon and Lechon served with Chinese Sausage, Century Eggs and Seaweeds.

Comida China Soup

Comida China Soup (M) P522.00

Comida China Soup is their House Special (also known as the “balut soup” ) because it looks and tastes like “balut.”  This is made of eggs, minced porl, peas, carrots and seaweeds.  This is a must-try for first timers in this restaurant.

Bird's Nest with Quail Eggs Soup.jpg

Bird’s Nest with Quail Eggs Soup (M) P420.00

When the staff saw that we have kids, Ms. Raquel suggested that it would be better if we will have either Bird’s Nest qith Quail Eggs Soup or Sweet Corn Soup.  I chose this and I was right– my five-year old kid loved the soup!  This is their version of the traditional soup made with nido, minced pork and quail eggs.

Comida China Chow Mein.jpg

Comida China Chow Mein (M) P552.00

Because it was my birthday, and as part of tradition (I’m 1/4 Chinese), we have noodles or pasta on the table everytime we celebrate our birthday.  The Chinese believe that the noodles/pasta will give you long life.   It has shrimp, pork and Chinese brocolli leaves, carrots and black mushrooms.  I loved the sauce and the half cooked veggies.

Yang Chow Fried Rice

Yang Chow Fried Rice (M)P441.00

I love flavored rice that’s why I was delighted when I saw the Yang Chow Fried Rice.  I didn’t even force the kids to have more rice because of its taste.

China Chicken.jpg

China Chicken  (1/2) P428

I always look for chicken in parties and I was really glad it was included in the dishes for my birthday celebration.  My father told me that my Chinese grandfather used to cook something like this before– golden brown chicken with soy sauce gravy.  Of course, the presentation here is quite different– they topped it with crispy shrimp crackers. 

Sliced Fish With Sweet & Sour Sauce.jpg

Sliced Fish with Sweet and Sour Sauce  (M) P524.00

For fish lovers, this plate of golden-fried sliced parrot fish topped with fresh julienned vegetables with sweet and sour sauce is also a must-try.  

fried shrimp bals.jpg

Fried Shrimp Balls (M) P1,116.00

This is the star of our feast and a big hit to the kids– we loved the scrumptious shrimp balls.  Every bite is sooo heavenly that we had to eat slowly to savor every minute of it.  This is one of their most expensive dishes, but this should be in your list especially if you have kids in the event.

Butchi

Butchi (3 pcs.) P99.00

          My hubby and father enjoyed the butchi but the kids and I wanted and was craving for something.  I was feeling dizzy even the day before (abnormal uterine bleeding and mild anemia), so I just stayed in my bedroom and didn’t even manage to order a cake and ice cream for myself.   After few minutes, Sir Norlan came in with a birthday cake from Mom and Tina’s Bakery Cafe. That made my day!  I’m a kid at heart so definitely the sumptuous meals won’t be complete without the luscious cake 🙂  

             We were extremely satisfied with the food but we didn’t manage to have another plate for another round– it’s because our tummies are already full.  

feast

          Thank you again, Comida China de Manila— that was so sweet!  I was speechless for a while but I managed to express my gratitude to them and to their staff who were with us in the conference room to attend to our needs.   

staff

Comida China de Manila’s staff


with norlan

With Sir Norlan

For a hassle-free meetings and events, Comida China de Manila will take care of all your needs.  No need to worry about cakes and other desserts because Mom & Tina’s Bakery Cafe is just beside the restaurant.  

mom and tina's facade

 

 

TBIP highly recommends Comida China de Manila. 

Please refer to these details:

 

 

Address:  FRDC Bldg., 106 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City 

Tel Nos:  (02) 671-5942 /(02) 914-0832

Website:  https://comidachinademanila.com/

 

Celebrations @ Yellow Lantern Cafe

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Few cartwheels and somersaults away from my home in Antipolo City is the Xentromall, but my brilliant discovery that I would like to share with you is the Yellow Lantern Cafe, a cool place where you can hang out with your friends, chill during weekends, bond with your family and celebrate your special occasion.  I had my pre-birthday celebration here last weekend and we really had a blast!   Yellow Lantern Cafe is situated in Comoda Ville in Mambugan, Antipolo City (near Cafe Lupe).

jas tables

Upon entering the cafe, you will be filled with positive energy and happiness because of the yellow vibrant color that eliminates all the negative vibes. The cafe is furnished with tables and yellow chairs with a mini yellow lantern and sartin cup on top of each table.  I couldn’t help but to notice the creative yellow chandeliers made of bottles.

lantern

yellow lantern and sartin cup for each table

Christmas is already in the air!  They have the Christmas tree and Santa Claus in the entrance door and we couldn’t let the day pass without having a photograph beside it.  The atmosphere creates a homey feeling wherein you can simply stay and enjoy the place with your friends and family.

The interior design of the cafe is impressive– it actually displays the artistic side and showcases Filipino touch in their furnishings and displays.

tables.jpg

Each table inside the cafe can accommodate 5-6 pax.  They also have tables in the veranda wherein you can enjoy watching the overlooking view and sunset.

sunset

In time for meetings, videoke sessions, celebrations or special events, YLC has two function rooms (Simone’s Room and Sadie’s Room) which can be rented for P5k for 3 hours (with consumables and videoke) and can accommodate 20 pax.  The 2 rooms can be combined to accommodate more people (10k for 3 hours with consumables and videoke).

So, what else made YLC exceptional?  Aside from the charming and homey ambiance, what you should check here in YLC are their bestsellers.  Traditional dishes are complimented with Filipino touch– It’s comfort food presented in a classy style and affordable prices.

 

menu

menu1

THE APPETIZERS:

gambas

GAMBAS P230

We had Gambas for the starter.  The kids and I loved this shrimp dish because of its sauce. (What makes the marinate special is the shrimp extract that gives the dish extra tasty flavor) I am not much into seafood but this definitely is a must try 🙂

battered chicken fingers

Battered Chicken Fingers P385 (3-4 pax)

Battered Chicken Fingers is served with camote chips.  For picky eaters like me, this one is a life saver! It is also best to order this if you have kids with you.

MUST-TRY SPECIALS

umaapaw in paellera

UMAAPAW IN PAELLERA  P450 (5-6 pax)

This is YELLOW LANTERN CAFE’s  signature dish.  We were amazed to experience having the traditional paella served in Filipino style.  Instead of the usual seafood and meat in Spanish Paella, Umaapaw in Paellera has bagoong rice, topped with dilis, scrambled eggs, salted duck eggs (itlog na maalat), longganisa, eggplants, onions, and mangga.  They serve it with homemade spiced vinegar and chili garlic.  Instead of lemons, it is served with calamansi.

papa bbq ribs

american bbq ribs

American BBQ Ribs with Hickory Sauce   P585  (5-6 pax)

This is also one of the kids’ favorites in YLC.  The meat is so tender and tasty.  We loved the potato wedges as well.

DESSERT

chocnut cheesecake

Chocnut Cheesecake  P145

This is their signature dessert– cheesecake combined with Chocnut.  I couldn’t help but to reminisc my childhood days wherein I used to eat a pack of Chocnuts (hihihi!).

fruit platter

FRUIT PLATTER     P275

We had a platter of fruits for finale –  slices of watermelon, apple, orange, pineapple, etc.

DRINKS

The drinks were refreshing, but I prefer the fresh lemonade.  Thank you, Sir Oliver for preparing these drinks!  They also have a bar wherein you can enjoy having your favorite drinks with your friends.

bar

The meals I presented above are their bestsellers.  They still have other dishes in their menu which you can check out here.

YLC is open everyday except Mondays from 11am to 12 midnight.

jas and shane

We really had a blast!  Aside from the family bonding and the sumptuous meal that we had, we felt at home.  We would like to express our gratitude to the YLC staff  especially to Chef Carl Bautista in making my pre-birthday celebration extra special.

staff yellow lantern

The YLC Staff

with Chef Carl Bautista

With Chef Carl Bautista, Operations Head of YLC

What are you waiting for?  Come and check this out!

YLC_Logo_lowres(with-background)-1

267-268 Comoda Ville, Sumulong Highway, Brgy. Mambugan, Antipolo City

(02) 631-5648 / 0995-0898538

YELLOW LANTERN CAFE LILAC

84 Lilac St., SSS Village, Marikina City

(02) 231993 / 0923- 4471158/ 0995- 0898538

Email:  yellowlanterncafe@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Afternoon Tea Bonding @ CONNECT Marco Polo

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with shane

with my daughter, Shane

I was with my daughter one time in Marco Polo (we took advantage of the class suspension).  I wanted to try a new cafe, but that particular day, I think I had 5 or 6 cups of coffee already– I wanted to try something new instead.  The next thing I knew, I was dialing Marco Polo’s phone number and inquired about their afternoon tea @ Connect Lounge and  I successfully reserved seats for two at 3pm.

shane

iced tea for kids

at your service

CONNECT Lounge is located in the 24th floor of Marco Polo Ortigas– near the lobby where hotel guests check in and out.  Usually, business meetings and coffee breaks are held there.

Upon approaching the staff in the counter, we were immediately ushered to our reserved table.  We were given our drinks first– tea for me and iced tea for Shane.  We super loooooved the view!  While sipping our drinks and enjoying the snacks, we also watched the view from the glass window.

shane2

tea.jpg

When I was asked to choose between Asian and Traditional Afternoon Tea, I instantly have chosen the latter because I like sandwiches and sweets than Asian treats.

tea n caketea with snacks

TRADITIONAL AFTERNOON TEA (Php 1,200)

1st Tier (FINGER SANDWICHES)

  • tomato and mozarella
  • egg and cucumber
  • ham and mango relish
  • smoked salmon

2nd tier- SCONES

  • cream
  • raspberry jam

3rd tier- DESSERTS

  • English fruitcake
  • Chorix swans with passion-fruit cream
  • Chocolate eclair
  • Strawberry tart

Honestly, we couldn’t eat everything and we had to ask the staff to prepare the leftovers for takeout.

My rating for CONNECT’s  Afternoon Tea

5 stars

Why did I give a 5-star rating?

AMBIANCE:  Perfect!  The place is clean and has a nice view of the buildings.

STAFF: very friendly and attentive.

PRICE:  quite expensive but it’s worth the price I paid for

TASTE:  above average

CONNECT LOUNGE

24/F Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

Phone # : (+632) 720 7777

 

A Morning of Dismay at Heat, Edsa Shangri-la

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After spending a fabulous night in Edsa Shangri-la’s Garden Premier Suite, I was expecting that the following day would be as perfect as it was– but it didn’t turn out  that way.  I was excited to experience their buffet breakfast that’s why I made it a point to be there with hubby and Shane at past 6am.  I knew that it would be jampacked with people if we came late.

 

When we arrived, we were greeted by Shai, who immediately asked us about our room number.  After few minutes, I sensed that she was having trouble in finding our names in her list, but she escorted us inside and let us be seated while she was double-checking.  When she came back, she asked us if nobody informed us that breakfast is not included in the room that we booked.  It’s a good thing that I asked because it was unbelievable.  How come that breakfast in Heat wasn’t included but one of the inclusions in our booking was access to their exclusive Horizon Club Lounge?  From there, something wasn’t right.

welcome letter shang

I told Shai that I was given that letter and I had the option to have my breakfast in either Heat or the Horizon Club Lounge.  She excused herself for few minutes to check again.  I was getting impatient at that time because I myself couldn’t visualize the looks on our faces if we would be escorted out of the restaurant.  Of course that would be very humiliating on our part– how stupid I was on that part— that I didn’t check beforehand that our breakfast wasn’t included.  I was about to give up but another part of me was insisting that it was part of our booking, so I grabbed my wireless landline and called their hotline.  A male agent answered my call and clarified that breakfast was included in our booking.  I was put on hold because I think he was already calling Heat at that time and when he talked again on the line, Shai already appeared and explained to us that breakfast for 3 pax  was included in our booking since we were staying in a suite.  In that point, I told the male agent I was speaking with that it has been settled already.  It was normal for a person to commit errors– it’s part of being human, but what we noticed was that Shai didn’t have the humility to accept her mistake.  She didn’t even apologize 😦  Because I was not in the mood to make any argument at that time,  I didn’t make a formal complain to her manager/superior.  Probably it was also because we were starving as well.   Anyway, I just shared about our experience– the fault of one person doesn’t reflect the entire property.  Let me show you what they had in the restaurant that morning for the breakfast buffet.

Table at the Heat

BREAD AND PASTRIES

Ensaymada

Jams

Yogurts

Yoghurt

Chocolate loaf and banana bread

ASIAN FAVORITES

Noodle station

If there’s one thing I regret about this, it was because I didn’t try their taho!

Taho

My daughter tried the Pork Siomai.

Siomai

Chicken sausage

INFUSED WATER

Infused water

The Juice Station

 

Juice station
DIFFERENT KINDS OF MILK

Milk station

FRESH FRUITS

Fresh fruits

Here are few of my favorites in the buffet:
1.  NOODLES
2.   Pizza

Pizza, quiche tart and blueberry tart

3.  Pancit Canton

Pancit canton

4.  Roasted Potatoes

Roasted potatoes hash brown

5. Corned Beef
I’ve tried this but was kinda disappointed– it was too soft:-(  I asked hubby and he had the same opinion as mine.

Corned beef

6.  Ice Cream
I super loved their ice cream.  I tried the Peanut Choco with Strawberry– super yummy 🙂

family pic 1

Honestly, the food was okay, but nothing special.  Probably, I actually lost my appetite because of the incident. How would I enjoy the food if my day was already ruined?  But the ice cream saved the day!  Too bad there was no chocolate cake– if there was any at that tme, I could have forgotten the whole incident (hihihi!).  Anyway, I plan to go back some other time.  I hope that this won’t happen again.

 

Affordable Meals @ Route 55 Baguio

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One of the reasons why I blog is because I would like to share something to the readers that they would be beneficial of.  In my recent press trip to Baguio, I am very fortunate to have managed to squeeze a visit to Route 55 in my Baguio Day 3 itinerary.  I’m pretty sure, if you are a tourist in Baguio City, you are not yet familiar with the restaurants and cafes that you need to try and I’m very pleased to share with you guys a cozy place in Baguio where you can just chill and have an affordable meal.

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Route 55  Diner is situated at 55 Legarda Road, Baguio City.  When we visited last month, it was under renovation but they were still operating.   During our Baguio tour with Mang Domeng, our driver and tour guide, he informed us that Route 55 was utilized by the Forevermore cast particularly Enrique Gil in their episodes where the latter was a vocalist in a band.  Upon entering the restaurant, it will give you a homey feeling because you can relax and enjoy Baguio’s fresh and cool weather.

 

Here are the meals and beverages that you should try when you are in Route 55:

  1.  LEMON BASIL FRUIT SHAKE
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Lemon Basil (P95)

Well, it was my first time to taste this kind of fruit shake, but I liked the taste of basil combined with the lemon.

2.  CLASSIC PIZZA

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Classic Pizza (P245)

I’m a pizza lover and I am glad that there’s still a restaurant that offers a classic pizza for simple customers who don’t want unusual ingredients in their pizza.   I remember when I was a kid, I used to eat this classic pizza topped with salami, mushrooms, white onion, bell pepper and quick melt cheese.  At home, especially during New Year’s Eve, this is what i also prepare.  The only difference is that they use thin crust which makes it even tastier.

3.  CHIPS AND DORY

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Chips and Dory (P215)

I was quite surprised of the price– I don’t think it should be P215.   My daughter loved it and to think she doesn’t like fish but she loved the crispy dory fillet served with chips.  This is good for those who would just like to hang out and talk with your pals while watching TV at the restaurant.

3.  CHICKEN WINGS & RIBS COMBO

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Chicken Wings & Ribs Combo (P265)

This is one of my recommended meal.  I liked the honey-glazed chicken wings  served with flavored rice and chips.  If you need to be fueled up but you have limited budget, this one is perfect for you.

4.  ROAST BEEF

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Roast Beef (P285)

I liked the tenderness of the beef and Mang Domeng actually liked that it was paired with mashed potato instead of rice.

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Strawberry Cheesecake 

A trip to Baguio won’t be complete without strawberries.  Hehe, this dessert was the finale to our happy and satisfied tummies.

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Route 55 is open from 8am to 12 midnight.  They also serve alcoholic beverages aside from the delicious meals.  According to its manager, Ms. Apple, it’s actually the food that the customers are raving about and I agree about it.   Thumbs up to the owner, Mr. Adrien Tagumpay for the excellent job— good food plus affordable price = ROUTE 55!

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With the manage of Route 55, Ms. Apple

Check them out the next time you visit Baguio City.  I’m sure you will love the food 🙂

ROUTE 55

55 Legarda Road, Brgy. Burnham, Baguio City

https://www.facebook.com/Route55/

SAGE: A Prime Cafe in Baguio City

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If you are planning for a Baguio trip and you are a picky eater like me, I highly recommend SAGE Cafe in Military Cutoff Road.  It’s very seldom that I eat meat– particularly pork and beef and only my relatives and close friends know how fussy or finicky I am when it comes to food.  Who would believe that in my recent Baguio trip, I would try the dishes I used to reject– and that is all because of SAGE Cafe.

 

 

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Outside the cafe, you won’t imagine how elegant it was inside, but as you enter, you will be amazed on how they manage to maintain the cleanliness and  style of the establishment, professionalism of their crew and quality of their food.  Since the name of the cafe was derived from the sage plant its dominant color  is purple.  I admired the lighting, the tables and tiffany chairs with purple cushions and table mats.  Even the printed menu is very classy.  If it’s your first time to visit SAGE- because of its first class ambiance, you might think that foods are pricey.  Well, we were surprised to find out that they offer quality meals that everybody can afford.

As soon as the crew greeted and guided as to our table, we were given their menu and served a pitcher of water with lemon slices.

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pitcher of water with slice of lemon

Here are  meals and beverages at SAGE Cafe that we have tried:

  1.  ICED DELIGHTS
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Iced Delights:  Mango Surprise (P90), Cucumber Lemonade (P110) and Salted Caramel Macchiato (P110)

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We started our Baguio tour since 8am that day and even if we have a transpo service, it was still very tiring on our part because we had to maximize our time.  It was past 2pm when we reached SAGE and it was worth the wait when we tasted their iced delights– those were thirst-quenching and refreshing.  Of the three, I liked the Cucumber Lemonade best, but I also tasted the Mango Surprise and even consumed half of the Salted Caramel Macchiato.

2. CREAMY BULALO STEAK and BAKED PRAWNS

 

 

The photos above are two of their house favorites:  On the left is the Creamy Bulalo Steak served with Mashed Potato (I loved the tenderness of the bulalo steak and its creamy taste). and next is the Baked Prawn with Boursin Garlic and Herb Cheese.  (I am not a seafood lover, but would you believe I actually loved it?).  I think one of the reasons why customers love the food is because of the way each dish or meal was presented.  It was really appetizing that you would have the urge to taste it and SAGE was successful on that part!

3.  NACHO PLATTER 

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Nacho Platter in Cheese, Ranch and Salsa Dip

I enjoyed their Nacho platter as well and it is best (for me) if you will try it in the Cheese dip.  I only eat ground beef in spaghetti that my father personally cooks, but this time I tried it with the nachos.  Usually I would prefer plain nachost the ground beef– hehe, I don’t know what kind of spell did Sage cast over me that I actuallu loved the nachos with the ground beef!  For its huge serving, it can actually fill the tummies of 4 to 5 people.

4.  BACON CHICKEN BOMBS

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Bacon Chicken Bombs (P150)

The chicken bombs are one of my favorites too!   I liked the way the chicken was wrapped with the bacon and the cheese inside and the spicy taste of barbecue sauce and pepper.

5.  SHRIMP POMELO WITH SESAME DRESSING

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Shrimp Pomelo with Sesame Dressing (P180)

These shrimps taste even better with the sour blend of pomelo.

6.  SOUP OF THE DAY:  SEAFOOD CHOWDER

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Seafood Chowder (P85)

I found this unusual, that was the first time I have tried a soup (made out of shrimps and salmon) inside a thick bread.

7.  DESSERTS

And this is my favorite part: their sweet endings!

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The Apple Cinnamon Tortilla

Personally, I prefer the Calamansi Dulce De Leche (I like leche flans) blended with the taste of calamansi.  I also like the taste of the Peaches and Cream Roti– the way it was placed on top of the Indian bread and garnished with vanilla ice cream and caramelized sugar.

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with the SAGE staff who accommodated TBIP.  Thank you so much!

With what I have personally experienced at Sage, they are successful in their mission and vision.  They are consistent in serving delicious food and refreshments to their customers and you can depend on their team as far as customer service is concerned. They make you feel cozy and at home in Sage Cafe.  There are still a lot of interesting affordable, quality and tasty dishes that you must try in their menu (The dishes are Asian-Mexican fusion). 

Kudos to the owner of Sage Cafe, Ms. Arlene Alcantara-Sy and to the crew for making Sage one of the restaurants in Baguio that the residents will be proud of.

SAGE CAFE

95 Military Cut-Off Road, 2600 Baguio City

(074) 4222954

https://www.facebook.com/sagebaguio/

Baguio Trip 2017 Day 2

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Our previous day in Baguio was kinda stressful because of our struggle in finding a cab and Grab car, so we decided  to just explore some places in the morning by walking.  We went to Te Quiero Tapas Bar & Restaurant at 6:30 a.m for our free breakfast buffet which was already included in our room accommodation in Microtel Inn.  After our breakfast, we walked from our hotel to the market.  It was fun discovering places and burning some calories at the same time.

Breakfast @ Te Quiero

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We followed the signs to know where the market was

We passed by the Igorot Stairs and were impressed by the giant statues.  There are restaurants in the area like Pamana Restaurant, Barrio Fiesta and Tsokolateria.  As much as I would like to try the hot chocolate and some food there, we had to go right away because we have an appointment after lunch.

 

 

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SM Baguio

We also passed by Casa Vallejo and North Haven Spa.  We walked until we reached SM Baguio and walked again until we reached the market at Session Road.   There were Ukay-Ukay finds, but the clothes and footwear were kinda expensive that’s why we haven’t bought anything there except for my daughter’s brand new pair of slippers.   (Too bad, Microtel Inn Baguio doesn’t include free pair of slippers in the room.)  As usual, we didn’t find a cab AGAIN so it was a wise decision to walk back to the hotel from the market.

I finally saw North Haven Spa in Casa Vallejo but it has a creepy feeling that will make you have second thoughts of going there.  Honestly, I wasn’t impressed with the exterior, but I haven’t tried the service yet so I can’t judge it yet based from what I see from the outside.

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We walked from the Igorot Stairs to the Session Road

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While waiting at the Microtel entrance

When we got back to the hotel, we rested for a while and had our lunch (sandwich and water for me since I am on a diet).   We were picked up by Ms. Jonie Flores, marketing consultant of JIC English Academy Baguio before 1pm and we had a tour of JIC Baguio located at 73 Nacia Apts, Upper West Kennon Road Camp 7, Baguio City.  It’s interesting to know that finally, there is an English academy in Baguio that offers accomodations to students who are enrolled in their courses.  Just to share,  I am a licensed teacher here in the Philippines (currently teaching English to Grade 8 students) and also a certified TESOL teacher (I got my certification online via LTTC-The London Teacher Training College).  Before I got hired in DepEd, I planned to study onsite in Thailand, but I need to consider the tuition fee and other expenses, so I looked for a school here in the Philippines and the only city offering TESOL in 2009 was Cebu.  I opted to enroll online instead and tried my luck in Deped Antipolo.  I didn’t know about JIC Baguio; otherwise, I would have enrolled there.  I will have another blog post about JIC Baguio– watch out for that!)

 

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With Mr. Takashi Mitsumoto, part of the JIC Baguio Marketing Team in their famous wall.

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The IB/IELTS Center

After the JIC Baguio Tour and meeting some of the managers, head teachers and some foreign students, I had the chance to meet the President, Mr. Leo Im in one of his restaurants, the Baguio Red Station in 12 Legarda Road.  Beside it is a bakery that he owns, Le Vain Bakery.

 

 

We also visited the main branch in Outlook Drive and I was not surprised why many people go there and why they have positive reviews.  The Korean bakery is pleasant to the customers’ eyes not only with the cute interior design, but because of the variety of breads and pastries that they offer.  (I will have a separate post about Le Vain Bakery to showcase the breads and pastries that they offer).  We were able to taste some of their cakes and they were all DIVINE.  My diet was ruined, but it was a temptation that I won’t regret for the rest of my life, hahaha!

The sweet temptations @ Le Vain Bakery

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With Ms. Jonie Flores (Marketing Head of JIC English Academy) and Mr. Leo Im (President of JIC Baguio and owner of Le Vain Bakery)

 

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i had the chance to strike a pose with the Korean manager in Le Vain Bakery

After that, we headed to Samgyeop Pocha and a dinner was arranged for us at 7pm.

 

While waiting because it was too early, we went to Café Lusso in Gen. Luna Road cor. Assumption Road, one of the popular cafes in Baguio City.  I won’t let the day pass of course without having coffee there, but unfortunately there was no hot Café Mocha that time so I just had the cold one.

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Cafe Lusso

 

Because my hubby was not feeling well and was having LBM at that time and bad timing that we couldn’t get a cab, we were not able to go back to Samgyeop Pocha for dinner.  After waiting for almost an hour, we finally got a cab back to Microtel.  I transferred the payment for the bus tickets online to Iwantseats.com for a hassle-free trip (I didn’t know that it will be a total disaster!)  We slept early to recharge our bodies because we booked for a whole day Baguio tour the next morning.

NOTE:  I promise to feature the food in Baguio Red Station, Samgyeop Pocha and Café Lusso the next time I visit Baguio City. I might be able to feature the rooms in their dorm in JIC Baguio.  Thank you so much to JIC English Academy for making this post possible.