Category: Restaurants

Buffet Lunch at Sonya’s Garden

Almost a month after our college mini-reunion, I’m still craving for Sonya’s Garden buffet lunch. BIG TIME.

I’ve been to Sonya’s twice already. First was in 2009 during C and I’s first out-of-town trip to try their spa treatments. We went back a year later to buy some “pasalubong” spanish bread in their bakery. Both times we did not eat nor stayed there overnight. I wasn’t really interested to try their in-house food simply because I’m not really a fan of vegetables and “healthy” food. When in Tagaytay, the first food that comes to mind is that ever-sinful-but-super-yummy-BULALO. 🙂

So when I had this opprotunity to experience what dining is Sonya’s is about, I was so excited. Moreso, it’s my chance to reconnect with my college buddies who I haven’t seen in years!

We were there on a Sunday on a long weekend and the place was packed. Good thing, we had prior reservations so even if we were late for about an hour, we were immediately seated. Upon entering Sonya’s Garden’s dining hall, we were already awed by the cool ambience and relaxed vibe. White is the motif of the hall and even the tablecloths are white. I kept on thinking, they must have a hard time with the laundry. hehe.


A Tribute to Laya

I only learned about the sad news today – Laya, that beautiful and cozy personal dining restaurant in Antipolo that went we to last July 2010, has closed down.

It is so unfortunate – both for those who have not been given the chance to experience the incredible dining experience at Laya, and for those people like me who have tried it, but couldn’t wait to eat there again.

Laya is just perfect – it is near the metro but far enough to avoid the pollution and usual rush. The place is pretty, the owners and the servers very friendly, and of course, the food is superb. Even if they charge 750/head, it was all worth it. Even cheap actually, considering the quality.

I haven’t had the chance to blog about our unique experience there last July, so allow me to share with you some photos of the place, and the food that we were served, as a fitting tribute to Laya.

Both C and I had the Laya Signatures Menu. It is composed of a 5-course lunch set with unlimited Laya Signature Pandan Iced Tea (that is so refreshing I think I gulped 5 tall glasses during the whole meal!

Refreshing Signature Laya Pandan Iced Tea
Trio of Appetizers: Crabstick & Cream Cheese Dumpling with Spicy Mango Sauce; Shrimp & Chicken Wanton Bag with Thai Sweet Chili; and Stirfried Kaffir Lime Pork in Lettuce Wrap
Spiced Pumpkin & Cashew Nut Soup with Coconut Cream Froth
Grilled Spice-crusted Chicken Strips with Mixed Greens in Ginger Soy Dressing
Fresh Lime & Mango Sorbet
For the main course, we both had Herb-Marinated US HangingTender Steak in a Red Wine & Rosemary Reduction with Spiced Crushed Potatoes
Dark Chocolate and Black Pepper Tart with Candied Ginger & Basil-infused Crème Anglaise
So sweet! complimentary turon in chocnut dip (we were celebrating our 14th monthsary at that time)

We were so full after eating all those yummy food! It was one of those situations where in you are already full but can’t stop eating because all that were served looks and tastes yummy! This, coupled with the great ambience from our table.

Thank you to the talented husband-and-wife duo of Irene and Chef Ricci. Whatever your plan is, we’re all excited to see and feel your awesome existence in the scene again! 🙂

Rodic’s Never Fails to Bring Back Memories

This morning, while I was browsing the internet, I came accross this informative article on regarding their Top 10 carinderias in the city:

I haven’t even tried any of them (hehe), but I am a sucker for carinderia food. Haha! I even get more satisfaction with their cheap, and sometimes unhealthy viands than their more expensive “counterparts.” Hehe.

So what’s my favorite carinderia in the city? Definitely, Rodic’s. 🙂 I have been a regular customer of this quaint eatery inside the UP Shopping Center while I was still in college. I dined there as a freshman with my blockmates, during lunchbreaks with classmates, Saturdays after outreach activities with my orgmates, during presswork breaks with the Collegian staffers, with my (ex) boyfriend. Hahaha. Rodic’s should in one way or another, play an important part in a UP student’s life.

So everytime we see ourselves in UP (C is also an alumni :-]), we always make it a point to eat here. And you will always see us savoring these:

Hotsilog: This is our favorite hotdog of all time!
Tapsilog: Definitely, their bestseller. I've only seen this kind of tapa here. Reminds me of Breadtak's floss - another favorite. Hehe.

We’ll be in UP again on Saturday for the iBlog Summit! Lunch is going to be at Rodic’s again, for sure! 😉

What’s your Rodic’s story? 🙂

Our Girl’s Birthday Dinner at Chelsea

My sister Nini celebrated her 21st birthday yesterday over dinner at Chelsea Market and Cafe at Serendra. As you know, I recently won Php 1,000 worth of GCs in an online contest in Ironically, that contest was about honoring the most important women who were able to make a big influence in our lives – and for me, that’s Nini.

At 16 years old, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia. For more than two years, she endured the pains and sacrifices of her chemotherapy treatments. We thought we already lost her several times. But she fought the battle. And won! She’s now in remission from her illness, and is now back to her normal self. 🙂

How she survived the battle is a miracle for all of us. I was a witness to all of what she has to go through . But I guess her strong faith overpowered it all. And I’m proud of her. She made me believe in happy endings again.

Chelsea, our restaurant of choice, is a modern American restaurant just beside Mary Grace, another favorite of ours. We were with our pet dog Brix and had to sit in one of the tables outside, so we weren’t able to take pictures of the interiors. From the outside though, the place looks bright and happy. Looks more like a deli restaurant to me actually.

as appetizer, we were served free foccacia bread with a bulb of garlic. I like the ones being served at Italianni's though, but it's free so we're all happy! 🙂

Beer Battered Fish and Chips (Php 495) - comes with two big slabs of breaded fish and a handfull of fries. for me, the fish was too salty (though C says it's supposed to taste that way) and oily. the mayo dip kinda balances the taste though

The Classic Carbonara (Php 450) - loved the crunchy bacon bits and the flavorful sauce!

Seafood Linguini (Php 495) - we ordered another pasta because the waiter told us that their pasta servings are only good for two. t was too late when we realized that a pasta is good enough for the four of us. The seafood pasta is okay and nothing extraordinary though. I was shocked to see super big mussels though! I wish they'd have more seafood toppings still.
Five Cheese Pizza 10" (Php 495) - Didn't like this pizza as much. It looks good but wasn't able to meet my expectations after one bite.
Toblerone Torte (Php 310/slice) – It was supposed to be a surprise, but the staff wasn’t able to pull it off very well. I was expecting the waiters to sing a birthday song, instead, they just gave the cake to her. I specifically requested for a candle, so there. 🙂

All in all, ambience was very nice. The food was average though. And for the price, I think I was robbed. Hehehe. I will probably go back here again, to try the other food in the menu, in order for me to fully understand what the rave on Chelsea is about. 🙂



Chelsea Market & Cafe
Foodparks by Raintree Inc.
Piazza Serendra
Open daily: 11am-11pm

Gotti’s Ristorante

After watching How to Train your Dragon in 3D, we went to Gotti’s Ristorante for some light dinner over pizza and pasta. It was my first time to hear about the place, so I gamely agreed when my sister suggested this restaurant.

Gotti’s menu reminds me of Amici. However, I realized when they served the food that they have much bigger servings than their more popular counterpart. As for the taste though, I think I’d still vote for Amici.

Pesto Nettuno (Php 245, for sharing). Their pasta dish for seafood lovers. Pasta linguini topped with mussels, squid, and shrimp. I didn’t really enjoy their version of my favorite seafood pasta. Not so many seafood toppings, and the taste is yeah – bland – for me. I don’t think I’d come back here to order the same.

Mi Mama’s Quattro Formaggi (Php 295). My sister doesn’t eat meat, so we had to order either the vegetarian pizza or the four-cheese. We chose the latter. Again, nothing to rave about. The taste is average for me. I even liked The Market’s four-cheese pizza better.

All in all, Gotti’s is good to try once, but i’m not going back soon, for sure. The food is reasonable, but average. The waiters are attentive and the service was fast, though. But for an Italian quick fix, I’d still go to good old Amici and/or Fazoli’s.

What’s your Comfort Food?

Ours is Paella. Yum.

So one day, when things were getting too rough for both of us in the office, we went to Terry’s Selection to get a taste of their famous spanish dish.

 Upon entering the restaurant, you’ll be greeted by the exquisite off white interiors and modern furnitures. The whole place embodies an aura of relaxation and good times, and would be a perfect hideaway with friends or a quick date.

The second floor is ideal for big groups.

There’s a deli store in the third floor selling interesting, imported value-for-money items.

The third floor is ideal for couples who want more privacy. I love that it’s overlooking Valero Street, partly hidden by some trees.

Some of the items being sold in the deli.

Some more.

If ou want to buy wine, they have it also.

For dinner, we had authentic paella de marisco (Php 560, good for sharing)….

… and in-house red wine.

And this for dessert. 🙂

Happy, stress-free  faces!

Terry’s Selection, Salcedo Village
G/F Lafayette Square, Salcedo Village
Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 889-3198

Fine Dining at Chateau Verde on our 3rd

Where else should we be celebrating our 3rd monthsary but in our Alma Mater? UP houses several yummy and affordable restaurants and eateries but only Chateau Verde gives the “fine-dining” feel, perfect for romantic dates and celebrating special occasions, such as ours. 🙂
Chateau Verde is a small, open-air restaurant located just at the back of PNB near shopping center and UP Infirmary. The menu boasts a lot of food offerings: from Spanish to Italian to Filipino, at affordable prices as compared to its counterparts outside. We were craving for C’s favorite Paella at that time, so that’s the very first that we ordered.
The yummy Paella (complete with crabs, shrimps, shells, chorizo, and everything else one can put in a paella) was complimented very well by the Salpicao.
After the heavy meal, we ordered Mango Jubilee for dessert (it’s Vanilla Ice Cream topped with hot mango puree with a certain kind of alcohol). We were disappointed with this one, but still can’t forget the heavenly Paella, so it’s okay. 🙂
Overall, I’d give Chateau Verde a nine for providing us with a nice and quiet ambience, great food and equally good service. I just hope they could add more offerings in their menu, and that they make sure everything is available (we tried to order something but was told it’s not available).
Can’t believe how time flies. Three months seem to pass by ever so lightly, but still very memorable. Everyday, I’m thanking God for this blessing. I’ve never been happier. 🙂

First Monthsary @ Cafe Juanita

Yes, he’s the reason why you always see me smiling these days. I’m even smiling more last June 2 because that day marks our first month as a “couple.”

And to celebrate it, he surprised me with a romantic dinner at Cafe Juanita. It’s my first time there and I had no idea where we’re going until we reached the place. He said he wants to keep it a secret (after bugging him in ym earlier that day though, he gave me two clues: that we’re going to a resto that serves Filipino cuisine, and that the place is colorful – yes, colorful indeed!) 🙂

The ambiance is great – so many colors and shapes put together but somehow, it’s able to create the unique atmosphere. No wonder it’s become a popular destination for dates in the metro.

ringing the bell is the easiest way to catch the waiters’ attention

Guess who? (lol)

Love how they decorated the place. I guess they do pay a lot for cleaning.

Different masks adorn the walls
It was raining on our way to Pasig, hence, there’s heavy traffic especially in Shaw Boulevard. We were both hungry already. And it didn’t help that just by looking at the menu and reading the descriptions, I can already taste it. Hahaha. So here’s our take on the food that we ordered:

We were disappointed with the Burong Filipino…

But were so satisfied with the Crispy Pork Binagoongan!
… and shared creme brulee for dessert. Sweet.
Overall rating: Happy and satisfied. Food was great. Ambiance, even better.
Perfect place to celebrate such a perfect moment, with the perfect person . 🙂
He gave me a bouquet of flowers the previous day (June 1) because he thought I said “yes” May 1. Flowers were lovely anyway, so who am I to make a big deal out of it? 🙂 At least, we’re clear now, right?
As for me, I prepared a cheesy powerpoint presentation of how we started. It was two days in the making! The idea was to send it to his office email at midnight so it will be the first email he’d read in the morning.
I guess by now you know how head-over-heels in love I am right now. Everyday, I thank God for giving me the man that I’ve always dreamed of. Even if we’re officially together for just a month, I know he’s someone who I can trust my heart with. And I will forever treasure each moment that we are together.
Watch out for more of our stories soon!
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