Refreshing Island Flavors @ Lemoni Cafe Boracay

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It was my first time to visit Boracay on a labor day and I was really clueless that time what to experience.  Before, when it’s LABORACAY week, you can see parties everywhere– dinning music and people getting wild and drunk.  Since I am not much into partying, I was contented to watch the firedancers while walking from Station 1 to 3.  Ever since Boracay has closed due to its rehabilitation, there has been a lot of changes.  When the island opened on October  2018, the tourists and the locals love and embraced the NEW Boracay and I must say that though many have sacrificed, it was indeed worth waiting for.

I never thought that I would have my instant vlog launch at Lemoni Cafe & Restaurant on May 1, 2019 because it was unplanned.  Supposedly, it will be done in the island hopping activity after our renewal of vows on April 30, 2019.  Unfortunately, our boat was caught by the Boracay policemen and the boat provider was fined P11,000 and the boat was put on hold, so were dropped to Station 1 right after we docked in Ilig-iligan Beach.  The boatmen were not aware that docking there was prohibited–so in other words, there was NO activity right after the renewal of vows 😦  Just for the sake of formally introducing my YouTube channel to the people, I decided to go live on Facebook and do it.

Surprisingly, the people were very disciplined and they do have parties, but those were done inside the establishment– no more people dancing in the beachfront.  It was then that I used #loveboracay for my hashtags instead of #laboracay.  One of the highlights of my Boracay trip is to feature a cafe/restaurant that serves fresh, delectable and healthy food and beverages for a reasonable price — that is Lemoni Cafe located in the heart of D’ Mall.  Whether you are just exploring for pasalubong shopping, just walking around, or searching for the perfect place to dine for breakfast, siesta or dinner, you can’t miss this one.  You will see their bright lime and yellow colored sign outside (It’s just that we came at dinner that’s why it looked like this, hehehe!)

lemon cafe logo

Though we came at dinnertime, we still felt the vibrant energy of the cafe.   Upon entering, you will be relaxed with the welcoming ambiance.  You can opt to be seated outdoors or inside the cafe.  At that time, ’twas humid that’s why we have considered sitting outside but we wanted more privacy so we settled inside instead.

 

 

While we were waiting for the food to be served, we were given glasses of lemon water.  This is exactly what I need- a drink with Vitamin C that would also help in the blood circulation and good for those who have UTI.  In one of the articles I’ve read in Medical News Today, it states that according to human studies, lemon can help treat kidney stones.

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lemon water

THE BESTSELLERS

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Lemon Cafe is not only a hit to Filipinos but for the health-conscious tourists as well.   Based from the name itself– the cafe’s inspiration is none other than the Lemon family (Lemon- Lime-Calamansi- Dalandan- Pomelo- Orange-Grape Fruit and Lemongrass).  Their dishes and refreshments are done with a twist that you will definitely enjoy.

BEEF TERIYAKI

My son Kyle had the Beef Teriyaki and he was speechless after eating this.  His feedback:  meat was tender and juicy — perfect with the savory teriyaki sauce.

Beef Teriyaki 420

Beef Teriyaki  P420.00

GRILLED PORK CHOPS

This flavorful dish (with sauteed vegetables, marbled potatoes and yogurt mint sauce)  is also a big hit to the kids.  I took advantage of their excitement in devouring the Pinoy Tapa and garlic rice (for Shane) and the Beef Teriyaki (for Kyle),so after trying this, I already secured something for their grandpa who was waiting for us in the hotel before it vanishes in a matter of seconds, hahaha!

I ate  the 2 eggs, garlic rice (part of the tapa dish)  and a little bit of the other dishes that’s why my tummy was in full tank that time.

grilled pork chops 1

Grilled Pork Chops   P490

HERB NICOISE

Another dish that we had was the Herb Nicoise– this is a healthy salad (fresh pan-seared tuna, potato, eggs and kalamata olives).  We loved the fresh lemony herbal flavor and because I know my father would love this, we brought something for him too.

Herb Nicoise

Herb Nicoise  P490

SALMON POKE BOWL

This is what hubby selected–salmon with mango, cucumber, coriander , grilled and pickled veggies.  I recommend this for those who do not like meat but loves seafood 🙂

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Salmon Poke Bowl  P480

LEMON FISH CAKES

This crispy golden lemon fish cakes served with saffron sauce was only in the table for few minutes because after it was served, it totally disappeared.

Lemon Fish Cakes

Lemon Fish Cakes P300.00

DESSERTS:

My tummy was already in full tank by the time we have already finished eating all the dishes, but when the mouth-watering desserts were served, I couldn’t resist the temptation.   These are my favorites:  the heavenly Salted Caramel and the tangy Lemon Meringue.  I’m a huge fan of chocolates and other sweets and I never thought I would love the taste of the lemon meringue.  This is a must-try dessert if you are in Boracay.

sweets

Sweet temptation 🙂  Lemon meringue P160, Salted Caramel P150, Mango Madness P150 and Cherry Cheesecake P150.

desserts

 

REFRESHING JUICES

mint pineapple

Mint Pineapple   P130

Mango lemon shake P150

Mango Lemon Shake P150

carrot orange tormeric

Carrot & Orange Turmeric P250

Of all the beverages we had, I liked the mint pineapple, which is a hit to their Filipino customers.  For international customers like the Koreans, they like the Mango Lemon shake.  For health-conscious customers, they prefer the Watermelon Ginger Crush and the Carrot & Orange Turmeric.

Lemoni Cafe is not just your typical cafe that offers standard comfort food and regular beverages.  This is a perfect place to hang out when you are in the island as it offers variety of healthy snacks and meals from breakfast to dinner.  The kitchen team really make an effort to make all the meals appetizing and not only that, everything that we had that evening was scrumptious.  You can also check out their cakes and pastries– they make birthday and wedding cakes.

So, what’s the verdict?  Of course, LEMONI CAFE is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.  Not only barkadas, couple and individuals will love the food, even the kids will ask for more, especially the desserts and beverages.  I will post my vlog about Lemoni Cafe soon– watch out for it.

LEMONI CAFE & RESTAURANT

4 D’Mall de Boracay, Malay, Aklan

 Phone:  (036) 288 6781

                                                       Website:  http://www.lemonicafeboracay.com/

 

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My Boracay 2019 Day 5 (Summer Diaries Special)

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Hubby and I really wanted to go back to Puka Shell Beach because the kids wanted to collect seashells and have a morning swim, but if we will push through with that itinerary, nobody would buy food for the rest of the family members who will stay in the loft room for lunch and dinner.  We made sure though, that we squeezed our time in the morning to swim with the kids in the infinity pool.  Though we were not satisfied with the loft room in Alta Vista de Boracay, our consolation prize is the swimming pool.  As long as the kids are enjoying, I can temporarily forget that I was totally disappointed.

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buding

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As early as 6:15am , we were already in the lobby so we can wait for L’Altura where the buffet breakfast is served to open.  While waiting, I spoke to the front desk officer that we would be out to transfer to another hotel but two adults and 1 kid would be staying and the senior citizen will be the one to check out the following day.  We also paid the excess fee for breakfast of P175.00 for two days so my father won’t be having trouble during the check out.

at the veranda morning

We had our breakfast first before the morning swim and luckily, we were able to dine with a mountain view– so far, it was a great morning.

l altura

 

 

 

The kids can survive with cereals and egg and I can survive with chicken, pasta, eggs and hotdogs.  What I don’t like is that they don’t have an egg station where you can order on the spot and they cook on the spot too.  Hubby had to request the staff for eggs to be served in our table.  As for the sweets—Uhmmm, it’s understandable that they don’t have cakes and ice cream cos it  isn’t a five star hotel anyway.

After the breakfast, at past 7am, we got ready to swim with the kids.  Morning swim was our bonding with the kiddos and we had the fulfill that promise.

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SWIMMING TIME!

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family pic pool

After swimming, we went to Citymall to buy groceries for the rest of the family members and lunch.  We have discovered an eatery near BDO in Citymall (you will just walk across) where you can buy affordable “lutong bahay” dishes– lumpiang gulay for only P10 each, 1 cup of rice for only P10, the pork dishes for P40 and fish for P50.  Most of the people eating there are tricycle drivers.  You can come here if you are in a tight budget.  Too bad, we just discovered this place on that day 😦

 

Just across the eatery, you will find Belmar’s store where you can buy plastic bag and other stuff.

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After having our lunch in our hotel room, we packed our things, sorted out the wet clothes

We were transferred to Estacio Uno Boracay by BPHT and after few minutes of verification, we were given seashell necklaces and welcome drinks.

check in estacio

This is my second time in Estacio Uno and though the hotel is kinda small compared to other beachfront hotels, I like the interiors and the service.    There are only few things they have to improve but overall, I recommend this hotel and probably would be back some other time.

bruce and hubby waiting

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Bruce enjoying his welcome drink

We loved the room though it is small because of its chic design.  We only brought 1 kid with us because we would pay extra for additional guests.  Aside from that, the room is only good for two adults.

estacio room 1

After checking in, we rested for a while because it’s still freakin’ HOT outside and I had a cup of coffee while picking what we will wear for the rest of the day until the following day.

 

After the coffee break, we went out for the afternoon swim.

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I super loved their free toiletries and what they don’t have in other hotels is here– the sewing kit for wardrobe malfunction.

SWIMMING @ THE WHITE BEACH

afternoon swim beach

 

SWIMMING AT THE POOL

 

After the swimming, we got ready for our complimentary dinner in Estacio Uno and I thought we would have a problem because the front desk staff were not aware of that.  They told me that they only provide the guests with complimentary breakfast but the dinner is NOT complimentary.  I informed them that I only got the info in the hotel voucher and after a minute of verification, they asked us to choose from the menu of worth P1,000.

Surprisingly, the food is affordable– you can buy double burger patty with fries for only P185.  Other dishes were only averaging to P200 up and the food tasted good.

 

We just had the food served in our room because we were not comfortable eating in the lobby, hahaha!

dinner estacio room

After the dinner, we decided to sleep early because it will be the last day in Boracay the following day and whether we like it or not, we have to go back in Manila 😦

REFLECTIONS:

  1.  This day, I have realized that despite of being upset for different reasons, we still have to manage how to smile and be positive.
  2. We just realized we should have discovered the affordable eatery right away.  In that way, we could have saved a lot of money.  We just chilled in the first few days because what we have in mind is that we still have the time to explore.  Lesson learned:  Do what you have to do before it’s too late.
  3. We were glad we have organized everything in advance that’s why we didn’t have any hassle this day.

For the hotel review of Alta Vista and Estacio Uno, watch out for my next posts and my vlogs as well in my Youtube channel.

 

My Boracay 2019 Day 3 (Summer Diaries Special)

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It was our last day in Ambassador in Paradise, so sad to leave because of the super nice location– just few steps from our suite to the beach (That’s what I actually loved about a beachfront hotel) 

I didn’t want to cram at the last minute so the night before, I already have organized our stuff.  I have separated what we will wear that morning and prepared a separate bag for the wet clothes.  We had our morning walk and swim at the beach and we were able to have a family picture taken before heading to the breakfast buffet at Al Fresco Restaurant.  

family pic 2

THE BREAKFAST

It was our second day of having our breakfast in Ambassador in Paradise and still I didn’t have any complain with the TASTE of their food though they only have LIMITED selection.  I have survived that morning with chicken, hotdogs, egg and pasta.  The only thing that I have noticed is that they do not have sweets.  It would have been a nice treat if they have served cakes or other desserts like what they have in other hotels.  (The Linden Suites which I did not recommend served cakes and Edsa Shangri-la served ice cream in their breakfast buffet). The hotel was categorized as five star so the guests would really look for that standard.  It would be safe for the hotel not to claim itself as a five star when in reality it’s not.  It’s already evident -it’s not a 5-star hotel.– I would rate them as a 4-star hotel.  (For the complete details, please check my separate post about my hotel review).

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After the breakfast, I just stayed in the beachbed in the pool area and watched my kids enjoy the pool for the last time.

beachbed ambassador

After we have taken a shower, we already prepared for the check out.  I was prepared to have my vlog launch at Alta Vista de Boracay as I have already pictured something like Fairways & Bluewater Boracay .  Last year, just before the Boracay closure, we were able to book a 3d/2n stay there and we were totally impressed with the breathtaking views and we have enjoyed our “pool-hopping.”  Even if it’s not situated in the White Beach, everything you need is already in the property (different restaurant choices, high class facilities like the gym, spa and swimming pools).  They have their own convenience store near the gate but in case you need more stuff to buy, Citymall is just across the property.  They also have a shuttle service that will take you to the D’mall for free.

check out ambassador

So, I was excited to transfer to Alta Vista de Boracay because of what I have visualized in my mind.and what I saw in the room photos.   We didn’t have any problem checking out in Ambassador, but we stayed there in the lobby for few minutes to wait for the multicab service provided by BPHT.  ‘

At the time we were in the lobby of the hotel, there were many guests but we were able to check in after few minutes.  Ms. Maricel explained everything clearly (including the breakfast stubs and the shuttle service to Citymall and Puka Beach).

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the friendly front desk staff

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After filling out the form, we waited for a while then we got our breakfast stubs, wristbands for the shuttle service and the old-fashioned room key.  (Yes, you read it right, an OLD FASHIONED KEY!).  Oh well, so this was the start.  I expected that they would give us the keycards like they do in luxury hotels and even in a 3-star hotel like Microtel, but I didn’t mind that at first because I thought we would have a nice loft room anyway.  

stubs and wifi password

We had internet access that we were not able to use for 4 days and 3 nights so we ended up using our LTE connection instead ALL THE TIME.

lobby while waiting

We were given welcome drinks while waiting for our loft room

hymettus

We were assigned in the Hymettus Bldg. on the 3rd floor where loft rooms are located.  I booked a loft room because we are 6 in the family and because we only have 2 room choices (the studio/de luxe suite and the loft suite), that’s the best choice that we have.

luggages

When I entered the room, I didn’t get impressed.  You will see my reaction caught in the video in my review about Alta Vista de Boracay.  It was just a STANDARD  loft room— nothing special and pleasant to the eyes.  At the back of my mind, I thought “There’s NO way I would formally launch my vlog here as this property didn’t even pass to my standards.”  So since I was scheduled to have a feature of Lemon Cafe that night, I opted to just have my vlog launch there.

veranda jasmine

the veranda

veranda view

(It’s a nice place to dry the clothes but hubby told me he doesn’t like the view either.) 

After putting our things in the loft room, hubby and I, together with the 2 kids got ready for our afternoon walk in D’mall.    There’s a waiting area for the shuttle service going to Citymall.  The road was still under road construction at that time, so they only drop their guests there.  You need to get a multicab going to D’mall.

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We had a hard time waiting for a ride; luckily, we were able to spot one and we paid P15 per head.

waiting for ride to dmall

while waiting for a ride in Citymall

After the short walk to Station 2 beachfront, we walked in D’amll where Lemon Cafe is located.

 

(For the details about Lemon Cafe’s bestsellers, I will be writing a separate post about it.  )  I formally launched my vlog here so it was something special for me.  I will allot a year for me to have more subscribers and content.  i am still new with vlogging so it takes time for me to edit one vlog post coz I have to put raw videos, selected pics together, trim or cut unneccesary clips and apply music and graphics to it– it requires a lot of time.  Probably in my next visit to my favorite summer destination, there will be two major celebrations (the renewal of vows we had on April 30 and the vlog launch on May 1).  I think I will be relaunching my vlog too– so BACK-to-BACK celebration!

 

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I chilled with a glass of watermelon ginger juice

Our tummies were fueled after the hearty dinner and I was even more speechless when I saw what they have prepared for dessert.  That’s my weakness— DESSERTS to temporarily forget the disappointments I had experienced.  I was in cloud nine that particular moment and I felt like a kid again.  I liked the salted caramel and lemon meringue especially.

sweets

I would like to thank the staff of Lemon Cafe, to Ms. Sarah who let us taste their bestsellers (main dishes, juices and desserts ) and to Jenny for taking care of our needs while we were there though they were super busy at that time, but they have given us an excellent service.  Kudos to the team and cheers for more years of serving Boracay tourists with delectable food and exceptional service.

with the staff

with the staff of LEMON CAFE

After the sumptuous dinner, we checked the beachfront to see whether there were still parties just like the old Boracay that we have known for.  They still have the parties but the dancers or party people were not in the beachfront, they were inside the establishments.  So you see, there was a BIG improvement in terms of DISCIPLINE and though it was quite strange because for so many years, we got used to see people and firedancers party in the beachfront, but I actually loved the NEW Boracay.

After that, we went to Budget Mart to shop for groceries and just like what we have experienced in Crafts of Boracay, the prices of the products were higher compared to the groceries here in Manila.  It would be better to buy in Citymall because the prices compared to the groceries here are the same.  At that time, we have not been to Citymall yet so we didn’t know that.  (It’s OK, we learn from our own experience.).

We had a hard time looking for a multicab that would take us to D’mall.  We found one but the driver contracted us to pay P150 and because we were exhausted already and we were desperate to go back to the hotel and rest, we agreed. We waited for the shuttle service from Citymall to Alta Vista and then because we were dead tired, we didn’t manage to have a night swimming like what we have planned before.

Before sleeping, we had to move the other bed in the loft because my hyper five year old kid jumps and we were afraid that he might fall if we didn’t do so.

REFLECTIONS:

  1.  I didn’t make  a wise decision to book a loft type room in ALTA VISTA De Boracay.  If only I have booked in advance, I would have booked a one or two bedroom suite in Fairways and we won’t be disappointed like this.  There was only ONE television in the living room and that was already occupied by my father so I couldn’t watch my favorite TV programs.  There was no privacy as well if you will stay with your whole family.  It was just applicable for smaller groups.  (The detailed description about the review will be written in a separate post). 
  2. It would be better to organize everything so there would be no cramming on your end– we were able to do that when we have packed everything in advance prior to the check out in Ambassador in Paradise.
  3. I super loved the NEW Boracay and it would be an excellent example to the youth on how they should preserve the environment and dispose garbage/trash properly.  i would love to integrate these in my lessons.
  4. We gave time for ourselves to rest and we didn’t abuse our bodies at all.  It’s a good thing that we are disciplined as well.

NOTE:  You can view Day 3 of My Boracay 2019 Vacay VLOG here.

 

 

 

 

Vietnamese Food Experience at Ban Be Ca Phe’

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Dining @ Ban Be Ca Phe is definitely one of my memorable press trips I had in 2018. Aside from this was the last restaurant that I had to review for the year because I’ve been very busy also with work and and there were lots of activities everywhere, , this family dinner was special because that night, we also celebrated my son’s birthday.

Ban Be Ca Phe is located in upper Antipolo, (near the Pasalubong stores if you will be coming from Masinag Market). The cafe is in the left side contrary to the Waze’s directions that it is located on the right side. I was so excited because it was my first time to visit a Vietnamese Restaurant and taste Vietnamese food. As expected, I was not disappointed with the food; however, the challenge is for you to get a nice spot to park your car.

In this post, you will be able to tell why you should vsisit Ban Be Ca Phe if you haven’t visited the restaurant yet and try their food 🙂
THE AMBIANCE

The cafe can can accommodate 50-60 people. It has 3 areas where you can hang out.

  1. The Veranda (Outdoor/Smoking area)

This is perfect for barkadas or groups who like privacy (if there are many people inside) and you would like to breathe fresh air.

2. INSIDE DINING AREA

Upon.entering, there are usual tables and chairs that you can.use.

3. VIETNAMESE SEATING AREA

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As much as we would like to experience dining in the traditonal Vietnamese seating area, we opted to stay in the traditional dining area because there were people who were sipping coffee and playing board games at that time.

The place inside is not too spacious, but there is a homey feeling that will make you feel comfortable and I think it’s one of the reasons why customers keep on coming back aside from the food.
THE FOOD

Now, let’s talk about the main reason why you should try BAN BE C PHE. It is my pleasure to present to you their bestsellers.

Because I’m a coffee lover/addict, just as what I previously confessed in my past blog posts, I wouldn’t let it pass without trying their Vietnamese coffee.

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CA PHE SUA (HOT COFFEE) P75

iced coffee

CA PHE SUA DA (Cold Coffee) P85

DRY NOODLES

BUN TTHAP CAM

BUN THAP CAM P160

This is one of their dry noodles made of white noodles, pork, Shanghai and beef rolls.
SOUP NOODLES

Pho No.jpg

PHO BO P110

Lau

LAU (Hot Pot)

Because December was super cold, I prefer to have hot soup. It’s a good thing they have different soups that will suit the preferences of each individual. I liked the simplicity of the Pho Bo which is made of white noodles and beef while my hubby liked the sweet and spicy taste of the Lau. For the Lau, you can choose whether you will be having the egg noodles (P250 medium) and white noodles (P290 medium). Additional ingredients are available at additional cost like squid balls, veggies, shrimps and beef.

VIETNAMESE CUISINE

Goi Cuom

GOI CUON P110

This is one of my favorites and I was amazed because it was my first time to eat Vietnamese spring rolls made of veggies, shrimp and fresh noodles, served with peanut sauce. I am a very picky eater and this dish has passed my standards. Well, it’s not just delicious, but healthy as well. THUMBS UP!

Vietnamese Shanghai

SHANG HAI (Ban Be Shanghai) P130

If I was impressed by the Goi Cuon, how would I describe what I felt when I have tried the Vietnamese Shanghai? I was super impressed! Actually, it’s hard to find an adjective to describe that feeling. I am not much into seafood and meat though I eat Shanghai rolls (but very seldom)– so when I discovered that this is not made of pork, but actually noodles and veggies, I was indeed very pleased because I could eat as many as I can. And if I haven’t known what it’s made of, I would have thought that it’s made of pork because there is no difference with the taste and the good thing is that this meal is healthy for the body.

com chien

COM CHIEN P160

Another thing that I liked is their Vietnamese Fried Rice– it is so flavorful that even without viand, I would be pleased already, but that would be very impossible for us to resist such tasty and healthy dishes. If you will be coming as a group, 1 order won’t be enough cos I’m sure you will be requesting for more.

viet grilled pork

VIET GRILLED PORK

And because we had 2 kids with us at that time, there was no question why the dish vanished in a matter of seconds, hehehe. My faher and I wasn’t able to try the Grilled Pork and he wasn’t even aware that we had tha on our table. Obviously, the kids enjoyed that 🙂 So, if you will be coming with your family and you have kids with you, you know what to order.
FAMILY BONDING

After we have enjoyed the Vietnamese food at Ban Be Ca Phe, it’s hard to leave without having photo session in their traditional Vietnamese seating area. After the pictorial, the kids played boardgames and bonded with each other.

vietnamese seating

shane with guitar
OVERALL EXPERIENCE

I was very pleased with their food. Their dishes were done with a twist– suitable for the Filipino customers. I highly recommend this place to those who haven’t been here. This is a kid-friendly place as well as I didn’t expect the kids to enjoy the food, but they did. Aside from serving Vietnamese food, they also have Chicken sisig in their menu for those who are craving for Filipino dishes. Kudos to Ms. Redd and to the staff who made the restaurant a big click to those who would like to try Vietnamese food but in very affordable prices.

What are you waiting for? Ban Be Ca Phe is worth a visit!

BAN BE CA PHE

Banker’s Village 2, Sumulong Highway, Dela Paz, Antipolo City

0966 814 4492

A Taste of Italy inthe Heart of Mandaluyong City

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I always love Italian food since I was a child.  I  always have spaghetti in every birthday celebration and in my shopping and mall sessions, I always go for pizza.  The explanation to this is–probably in my past life, I was born Italian 🙂  I know that there are already many restaurants that offer Italian cuisine, but I am already sick and tired of the same brand and taste.  I thought of trying something different and I was lucky to have an opportunity to taste an authentic Italian food @ BURP RESTAURANT.   The restaurant is located in Uptown Pioneer (near Legend Villas) in Mandaluyong City.

The place looks small but it can accommodate up to 40 people inside and 12 more pax outside.  It is very cozy when you enter– you will feel at home.  In fact, while waiting for your food, you can read their books in their mini reading nook, watch TV or simply have a casual chitchat with your relatives/friends.  The staff are also very polite and friendly.

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Upon entering, you will be greeted by one of their staff and will be given a menu for your orders.  The glasses and refreshments will be prepared as well while waiting for the meals.

They have ala carte food in the menu but they also have exciting promos ideal for those who will come in groups.

promos

The group meals (good for 3 people) can be availed for only P410 with a choice of fish or chicken and 1 pasta in the list.  For this, we have tried both fish and chicken and two of their pasta meals.

THEIR FOOD:

Fried Mozarella Sticks

Fried Mozarella Sticks

This is one of my favorites @ Burp because I loved the cheesy taste.   I knew that it’s not yet the main course so I controlled myself in eating all of the mozarella sticks, hehehe!  Oh, well, it was served with the Pomodoro sauce that made it even more yummy!

rice

Rice

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Fried Chicken Strips

Chicken is a must in all my press trips that’s why I am very particular with it.  It’s not a shame because their chicken is crispy and I liked their honey mustard dip as well.   I was kinda guilty because I ate the last piece that was supposed to be eaten by our youngest child.  I didn’t know that he only liked chicken that time.

 

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Fish Fingers

I’m not much into seafood but my family especially my father and hubby loved the breaded fish served with pesto mayo.

Of course, our visit at BURP won’t be complete without tasting their pasta.  I prefer the Creamy Mushroom Pasta but I also liked Spaghetti  Pomodoro.

spaghetti pomodoro

Spaghetti Pomodoro

The kids didn’t like the Spaghetti because they’re used the usual sweet Filipino style spaghetti that we cook at home.  What they have at BURP Restaurant is an authentic Italian spaghetti.  Spaghetti Pomodoro is  actually one of their bestsellers.   Its main ingredients are:  spaghetti, onion, garlic, butter, tomato, basil and pomodoro.

Cremy Mushroom Pasta

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

This is my favorite!  Even the kids love the creamy taste of the pasta.  The main ingredients are: penne, shitake, button mushrooms, garlic, bechamel and cream.  One plate (to share) isn’t enough for a family of 6 members because I’m sure they would be requesting for another plate.

DESSERTS:

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Mango Creme’

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Coffee Jelly

Burp Restaurant has been in the food business since 2013 and for 5 years, they have served customers who craved for authentic Italian food.   The restaurant is managed by Ms. Ara, who worked as a manager for Italliani’s for 5 years.  She is currently helped by her siblings, Dan and Ms. Sofia, who accommodated us during our visit.

Too bad, I wasn’t able to taste the pizza and their coffee– probably next time 🙂

For Italian food lovers, BURP Restaurant is open from Sundays to Saturdays from 7:30am to 10:30pm.

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BURP Staff

 

Wait, do you think that their food is only available at the restaurant?  It’s good news because they also have catering services for different occasions or events.  For catering, the food isn’t limited to Italian cuisine as you can customize your own list.  You can avail their catering services for as little as P15k for 20 to 30 pax.

 

BURP RESTAURANT

G/F Uptown Pioneer Center 56-58 Madison St., Mandaluyong City

Phone:  (02) 531 8384 /0917 5066 168

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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

A Weekend Family 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

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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.

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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.

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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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       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.

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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. 

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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.  

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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.

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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