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.

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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 🙂

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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.

 

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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.

Lusso night

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.

TORMOJ CAFE- An Alternative Hangout in Ortigas Center

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It’s quite unusual to discover a cafe that offers inexpensive food and drinks. especially if you are in a business district like Makati or Ortigas Center– Well, I’m fortunate enough that I have discovered TORMOJ Cafe in 8137 Plaza, Escriba Drive, Ortigas Center, pasig City.   You might be amazed why the prices are affordable and you might think as well that they just offer the usual food that you see in sidewalk eateries or cafeterias.  The menu can be compared with the popular restaurants or cafes, but the difference in Tormoj Cafe is that even the students and ordinary employees/workers can afford to hang out here.

 

Just last week, my kids and I were able to try their bestsellers.   As a food blogger, a visit to a restaurant or cafe won’t be complete without trying chicken, dessert and the coffee.  We started with their rice meals since we arrived at past 1pm already.   When the lemon chicken was served, I felt the excitement.   I liked the blend of cream and lemon in their sauce.   Even my daughter who is also a picky eater like me enjoyed this and the Pork Belly.  (Usually it would take her an hour to finish her meals, but not this time!)

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Lemon Chicken for P139.50

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Pork Belly for P129.00

I tried the Pesto Pasta which was very tasty but because my son Kyle enjoyed it, I ended up having the Chicken Cajun Pasta instead.  I actually prefer it over the Pesto Pasta because I don’t get sick with the spicy and strong taste.   I do not have any complain at all– the noodles were cooked al dente and no unpleasant taste.

 

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Pesto Pasta for only P105.00

 

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Chicken Cajun Pasta and Iced Coffee

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Chicken Cajun Pasta and Choco Java Chip Fraffe

And because I am a certified COFFEE ADDICT,  my visit won’t be complete without trying their coffee.

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Iced Coffee

I loved the Iced Coffee– not too sweet and strong.  It was perfect to pair with the Chicken Cajun Pasta.

 

The kids loved the Choco Java Chip Fraffe and Halo-halo.  If you would just like to chill or have a place to do your assignment, finish a project or conduct business or group meetings, this place is perfect for you.

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Vietnamese Coffee with Kahlia

The highlight of my visit is experiencing their Vietnamese Coffee with Kahlia.  I couldn’t get over the taste- soooooo addictive!  Below is a video of the actual preparation of their Vietnamese Coffee (personally prepared by Ms. Sharen Mojares)- the daughter of the owner, Tita Mojares.

 

The only thing that they need to work on with in the future is providing more space to their customers.  They already have a clean, decent place with cozy ambiance, but it can only accommodate up to 15 to 20 pax.  Other than that, we do not have any issues at all.  They serve delectable dishes and you can even request them to cook a special dish if ever it is not in the menu.  They are open from Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm.

I highly recommend TORMOJ CAFE– this cafe is worth a visit when you are in Ortigas Center or near the area.

TORMOJ CAFE

8137 Plaza, Escriva Drive, Ortigas Center Pasig City

Mobile Number:  0917 4282879

 

Weekend Lunch: A Review of Maria’s

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After we had a visit to Subspace Coffee House in Ortigas Center last Saturday, we looked for a place where we can have our lunch because we haven’t had our breakfast yet.  All we had is just coffee @ Subspace– luckily, we saw Maria’s at Eton Lofts.   I knew everything would taste good even if it really tastes like cardboard–because we were really starving at that time.  I ordered Fried Chicken and ice cream for my daughter and Chicken BBQ Sub for myself.

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Yep!  Everytime I go out for a restaurant visit, I check out their chicken and desserts as I do not eat pork and beef 😦  Hmmm, so we waited patiently for our food and prepared to devour it.  When the fried chicken came, I didn’t have any complain about the taste.  I recommend their garlic rice– not only it is a healthy food, but their version of it was  flavorful.  What I didn’t like though is my Chicken BBQ Sub 😦  I LOVE Chicken BBQ but I didn’t want it to be that salty.  There was no problem with the presentation– I just didn’t like the taste.  I liked the potato wedges and the complimentary iced tea.

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Fried Chicken Meal for P180

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Chocolate Ice Cream for P60

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Chicken BBQ Sub for P240

The staff are very polite and they even allowed me to charge my phone.  The ambiance is also cozy and the CR is also clean.  Would I go back?– Hmmm…. probably, when I visit the area again.

Maria’s

GF Eton Lofts F Ortigas Jr. cor. Garnet Street, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

A Visit to Subspace Coffeehouse

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I’m a coffee lover so part of my weekend is not only to scout for beauty salon or spa service that suits my taste, also to visit selected restaurants and cafes.  Just this Saturday, I was able to check Subspace Coffehouse, located in Garnet Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.  It was established in 2011 wherein the KPoppers were usually their customers.

 

 

 

 

The place was just enough for 25-30 people to hold their business meetings or  just to have a casual chitchat.   They play Korean movies every Friday exclusively for their customers.

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Well, I only had the chance to taste two of their coffees– the coffee latte and the Purple Potato Latte which is their signature coffee.  Personally, I prefer the simple coffee latte– it was perfect already that I didn’t have to add any sugar at all.

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Purple Potato Latte- their signature coffee

In the video below is a demonstration of how the barista prepares the coffee.

 

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Their desserts were kinda tempting, but unfortunately, I cannot have a feedback about their rice meals and desserts because I didn’t have the chance to try the bestsellers for their food.   What I can recommend though is for you to try the COFFEE LATTE.

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SUBSPACE COFFEE HOUSE

Unit 103, GF Grand Emerald Tower, F. Ortigas Jr. Road cor. Garnet Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

The Alagao Salad @ Crescent Moon Cafe

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Crescent Moon Cafe located in Dalig, Antipolo is well-known for its one of a kind dishes served in their weekend lunch buffet and one of its renowned dishes is the Alagao Salad.  It’s like the usual salad station wherein you put the ingredients on top, but the difference with this one is that you put the ingredients (basil, dried coconut, chili, ginger, kamias, onion, shrimp and sweet peanut sauce) on the alagao leaf.  Hmimm, it it the first that you’ve heard of this appetizer?

 

 

The Alagao is one part of the Pito-pito (the combination of seven wonder herbs and seeds considered effective for lowering cholesterol and increasing blood circulation).  Yes, you have to eat this raw and fill it in with the ingredients and roll it like a lumpia.  In the video below, you will see how I create mine and my reaction when I tasted it.

 

 

 

 

 

I actually couldn’t describe the taste– the fusion of the sour, spicy and menthol-like tastes is very dominant in the crunchy leaf.  My Alagao wrap was more of sour because I put more kamias.  I recommend only having it once because if you had more, you might not be able to have appetite in trying the other dishes because of its strong taste.

Anyway, the Alagao Salad tasting is one of the highlights in my visit to Crescent Moon Cafe and it’s definitely one experience I couldn’t forget. Below is the contact number of Crescent Moon should you decide to try it.

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A Hidden Must-Try Cafe in Antipolo

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Antipolo is known for its famous suman and kasoy and also for the innumerable private resorts.  It’s just lately that I have discovered Crescent Moon Cafe and Pottery Studio, located in Brgy. Dalig, Antipolo City.  Upon entering the gate, you will feel the homey and relaxing ambiance (perfect for nature lovers!).

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It’s just as short walk from there to the restaurant/cafe. The staff are attentive and professional– they will usher and assist you to make sure that you are comfortable.   What makes it distinct to the other cafes/restaurants is that they offer uncommon dishes– Yes! In fact, it’s my first time to try the Alagao Salad (appetizer) and it was really undescribable. (There will be a separate post about this Alagao Salad Experience).

 

This video features their lunch buffet dishes.  The buffet is only offered during weekends- P500 during Saturdays and P600 during Sundays.  The cafe is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm.  Their menu is posted in their Facebook page so you can take a look in advance.

 

 

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The Alagaw Salad 

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Red Rice

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The Three Cup Chicken

 

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Catfish

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Tom Khai Gai

This one tasted like the ginataang gulay because of the coconut milk.  I liked the spicy taste of it.

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Suman and mango for dessert

I super liked the suman because it’s already sweetened and I liked the ripe mango as well– perfect combination!

 

We also had the chance to observe their workshop and participate as well– they offer variety of workshops but when the day I visited, they had the Musical Instrument Making Workshop at the Glass Bar.  It was really an amazing experience because I have observed how they create the instruments and i think as an educator, especially if you are teaching MAPEH in Junior High, you should also be knowledgeable in creating instruments (the students will appreciate it more if you will be the one to demonstrate it or let them experience how to create it instead of just watching the video. (A separate post will be written about my experience in this workshop)

My daughter Shane playing the Rattleseed 🙂

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With Sir Jose Vufourth (the lecturer) and Divia, a participant in the Musical Instrument Making Workshop

If you have not visited The Crescent Moon Cafe yet, don’t let the opportunity pass!  You may get in touch with them through the contact numbers below.

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Disclosure:  This experience is courtesy of the Crescent Moon Cafe but everything that is written here is based from my honest opinion.