Saturday, November 12, 2011

Singapore: Tapa King at Lau Pa Sat

Today I blog about a popular local fast-food chain in the Philippines - Tapa King! 

I was ranting to a friend just before I left for Singapore that I was going to miss eating longsilog. He told me that I shouldn't fuss because Tapa King has a branch at Lau Pa Sat. I was really happy when he told me about it because Lau Pa Sat is just a stone's throw away from where I work. 

So one evening last week I headed to Lau Pa Sat because I was craving for some comfort Pinoy food. I just followed my nose and found Tapa King! I think I was so obviously excited the cashier noticed it and they gave me a large helping of tapa which came with local vinegar. So I happily brought home one order of Tapa Prince (sweet) for dinner.

And some longsilog the next evening.

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Aside from tapa and longganisa, they also have corned beef (Purefoods) and bangus and a lot of other yummy Pinoy stuff. 

Happy, happy, joy, joy.

Tapa King - Singapore
Lau Pa Sat (map)

Price Range: SG$5 to 7

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Presidential Museum and Library

I had the pleasure of visiting the Presidential Museum and Library last Friday. I love going to museums and I actually wanted to be an anthropologist, but that didn't happen so I just go visit museums whenever I can.

A few months back a friend mentioned the museum and I was really curious about it because he said that they had a lot of presidential memorablia and old books. I finally got the chance to tour the museum and I was really surprised that they had a huge collection.

Ferdinand Magellan, I just realized that I never really knew how he looked.

The museum is located in the original Malacanan Palace. We went through many different room, most named after former presidents. I confessed to the curator that if I was asked to name all 15 presidents I would likely fail. I absorbed every word she said and I was really surprised to find out that we actually have 4 presidents who took over the remaining days of presidents who died/impeached (so that's why it's very important to choose a VP who would carry on well if the president cannot complete his term).

San Miguel used to have it's first brewery in the area! 

Malacanan Palace was originally a summer rest house which was originally sold for a thousand pesos and then eventually for 5,100 to the Spanish government. It was not originally intended to become the residence of whoever was running the country, but it eventually became a tradition because whoever was head of state stayed there. It was President Magsaysay who declared it to be the 'palace for the people'.

If I remember correctly this used to be the Old Executive Secretary's room
and it used to have an elevator because directly above it was the President's office.

The high-ceiling structure was built in 1920 and the largest renovation made was done by former first lady Imelda Marcos. I got the chance to stand on the balcony where former President Marcos waved his final goodbye before he left for Hawaii. The tree out front is remarkably as old as the Palace (wow!). The second floor held "Imelda's ballroom", but is now the Gallery of Presidents. It showcases mementos and busts of former presidents and there's a special room showcasing President Cory Aquino's collection.

I love sewing and this thimble was used by Teodora Agoncillo when
she sew the first Philippine Flag. 

I did not expect the tour to last almost an hour (or maybe because we were looking at everything in each room) and I must say that the collection is well maintained. It shows our heritage as a people and showcases Filipino craftsmanship (I still can't get over the carved table legs!). I could probably spend a whole day looking at everything and asking the curator many, many questions!

This is where they used to hold Council of State meetings. Council of
State now is more popularly know as the Cabinet.

The leg of the huge table is a carving.

This was the chair that President Marcos sat on when he declared Martial Law.

The balcony where President Marcos waved his last goodbye. 

I used to have all those buttons!

Gallery of Presidents.

To visit the Presidential Museum and Library you can get more information by contacting them at +632-7844286 or 4671 or email them at presidentialmuseum (at)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Shift Restobar

I have a confession to make. In the past few years I have not been going to "gimmick places" anymore except when there's an event. Sign of old age? Haha. Nah. I guess I've just been soo busy.

Anyway, last week I got the chance to visit Shift Restobar located at Guijo Street in Makati. Guijo is known to be the home of indie music and it's where you can mingle with band members, vocalists, composers and all-types of musicians. The place is full of energy and you'd feel it even during the day.

Shift Restobar is one of the cozy bars located on Guijo. It's just been open for less than a year and is owned by a number of La Sallians. I was told that next time I visit I should try their sisig because it tastes a lot like the "Kaibigan" sisig (a resto just outside of DLSU).

I got to sample the spaghetti bolognese because they asked me what my favorite food was. I've been collecting photos of spaghetti from all my trips and hope to make a grand spaghetti post one of these days. Spaghetti is my all-time favorite food and I'm happy to say that Shift Restobar's spaghetti did not disappoint me. I love that it had a lot of cheese on top! I almost ignored the burger because I really liked the spaghetti. Hehe.

The burger, on the other hand, was huge! Good thing Norman had it halved into four pieces. The surprise though was, the burger came with garlic mayo dip. I regretted attacking the spaghetti with gusto (haha) because I realized I should have saved more space for the burger.

Well... I can always come back! :D

*Thanks Norman, Vin and Ali for the lovely company, the kwento and the yummy food!

Shift Restobar
G/F R&D Bldg., 7615 Guijo St.
Bgy. San Antonio, Makati City
Open: Monday-Friday from 11am - 2pm/6pm - 2am
Saturday from 6pm - 2am

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Little Lamb

I scheduled a lunch date today with Sweetie since he was away for almost a week. He suggested we go to Little Lamb which was located near his office. When his colleagues found out about our plan they joined our little lunch date! Haha, so we ended up having 6 chaperones to our date. It was fun though since I've been eating lunch alone during weekdays for about a year and a half now.

Little Lamb is a popular hotpot restaurant in China. I read some blog posts about it and it seems that a lot of people are excited to hear that there's a branch here in Manila! Anyway, I didn't have enough time to look up their menu online and when I got to the restaurant they already ordered (so next time I think I'll try their sweet & sour pork).

Here's what we got:

The salt & pepper pork ribs. Prepare to sweat when you try this spicy dish. It was quite tasty though, but I had to drink a lot every time I sampled it.

The bihon shrimp guisado. I only tried one fork-full since I'm allergic to shrimp.

Singapore style noodles which had curry in it. It was my first time to try noodles with curry. I especially liked the mushroom and egg since it was very flavorful because of the curry.

Beef with Ampalaya. I'm used to eating ampalaya that's not so bitter so I was quite surprised with the sharp, bitter taste.

Beef with Broccoli. Sweetie's colleagues said that they found it quite salty, but I actually liked it since it added flavor to the broccoli.

I think next time I'll save up and try the hot pot :)

And here's our chaperoneS!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Food Court Fiesta: Okuya Express

My boys and I usually eat out for lunch after hearing mass on Sundays. We oftentimes dine at a food court because it's cheaper and we get to choose what we want to eat. Last Sunday we decided to head to Glorietta and chose to eat at Food Choices. After checking out the different stalls I decided on Okuya Express since I rarely cook Japanese dishes.

For a small stall they surely had a lot of dishes and maki/sushi to choose from. I got curious with the tamago california maki and ordered one plate -- I was surprised to see that it contained 8 rolls and not just 4 (only for PhP90!). It's standard california maki wrapped with tamago (egg). It was bigger than usual, so I had a hard time dipping it in kikoman.

My diet is pretty limited (no chicken), so I got my usual katsudon. It just cost about PhP80. The top was pretty tasty, but some parts were a bit matabang. The serving was huge, so I tried to donate two strips of pork to Sweetie, but he was already full haha.

Sweetie originally planned to get some food from the Spanish-Filipino cuisine stall, but he got envious with my order. He got yakinuku beef (I forgot to take a photo) and mixed sushi/maki.

Our total order cost less than PhP400. We got our drinks from another stall because I wanted buko juice and he wanted fruit shake.

Must try: maki/sushi, definite good buy

Cost: less than PhP200 for rice topping and maki

Okuya Express
Food Choices, Glorietta Mall

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cebu: Dessert Factory

I was hungry and wanted to eat at Sunburst last week when we visited Cebu. We were already outside of Sunburst when our Cebuano friend, Evan John, suggested we dine at Dessert Factory which was just a few meters away from where we were.

We were greeted by a fridge full of yummy looking cakes! We stood there, mesmerized, for awhile despite the fact that the server already gave us a table. Haha. We eventually managed to tear ourselves away in front of the fridge and settled on our table.

The menu was simply amazing! They had a lot of stuff to choose from, but what caught my eye was the "boneless crispy pata". Without a second thought I ordered it and just mandated my boys to help me finish it.

I like eating crispy pata (much more so when I'm eating it with Juned), but one thing I have a hard time doing is peeling off the meat from the bone. I like my crispy pata, crispy and chewy. I like hearing the skin crunch when I bite into it and love it when the meat absorbs the sauce. And Dessert Factory's boneless crispy pata aced my requirements. Definitely something I'd like to eat again when I visit Cebu.

Sweetie and Miguel ordered dessert. I was so busy with my boneless crispy pata I forgot to sample their order.

Jayvee ordered corn dogs and said that they were delicious too.

Dessert Factory is more than just a place that serves dessert. If I had the pleasure of visiting Cebu again I think I'd like to visit it several times so I can try out their other dishes.

Dessert Factory (map)
Ayala Center, Cebu City

Must have: boneless crispy pata

Price range: cakes at PhP50++, meals at PhP100++

Lakwatsera Rating: definitely coming back when I visit Cebu again

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Caffe Ti-amo

It's been some time since I last hung-out at Caffe Ti-amo. I was quite hungry so I insisted Sweetie and I order some waffles. It was one of the dishes I got to sample during their opening last year (see more Caffe Ti-amo food here).

It took awhile before they served the food, but the wait was worth it. 

My dear friend, Juned, ordered his usual mint tea.

Caffe Ti-amo (Greenbelt 5)
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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cebu: The Original AA BBQ

The Original AA BBQ in Cebu is one place that we frequent whenever in Cebu because: (1) they have every imaginable Pinoy food that can be BBQd; and (2) it's very affordable! I was in Cebu with my boys a few weeks ago and we thought we'd head there for dinner because we were all really hungry and wanted down-to-earth Pinoy food.

When you dine there the first thing you need to do is choose what you want to eat. Just get whatever you want and put it on a tray, turn it over at the end of the line and then look for a table. A waiter will then approach you for additional orders (rice, drinks, soup etc.).

We went crazy and got so much stuff to eat.

Pork barbecue. 

Spicy longganisa and hotdog. 

Yummy scallops (we got 2 trays!). 

Pampaalis sawa, mangga't bagoong. 

Standard inihaw na liempo. 

The special sawsawan. 

Food for three haha. 

We thought we ordered too much, but we ended up finishing everything.

We ended up walking back to Asiatown IT Park to do penance for eating to much haha. We had some dessert after at Brown Cup which is located at the far end of Asiatown IT Park (yes, it was a looooong walk!).

Anyway, after burning off everything we ate I was too tired to walk to our hotel, so we ended up taking a very short cab ride. I'm looking forward to another pig-out session at AA BBQ when I'm in Cebu with my boys.

The Original AA BBQ  (map)
Salinas Drive, Cebu City
*it's beside Crowne Garden Hotel

Monday, June 6, 2011

Calamansi Muffins in Boracay

My friend Jayvee lot no time in telling me that I should try calamansi muffins when he found out I was going to Boracay. He also reminded me to get some when I arrived in Boracay, so I asked around and found out that you can buy them at "Real Coffee" (it's located in a nook near Astoria/Zuzuni).

Rezza bought a dozen and we sampled it after eating a hefty lunch. The calamansi muffin reminded me of Becky's Kitchen lemon squares. I had a hard time finishing one because it was siksik (packed), more siksik than Goldilock's buttered puto hehehe. I loved it though and Rezza mentioned that we both grew up with parents who love lemon squares.

Well, case closed. So if ever you are in Boracay you just gotta sample calamansi muffin. It's available at "Real Coffee and Tea Cafe" which is located between Astoria and Zuzuni. Also say hello to Mamma Lee, the owner of the cafe.

The muffins cost PhP45 each and you get a discount for a box of 6, 9 or 12.

Real Coffee (and Tea) Cafe
Boracay, Aklan
Tel. No. +63-36-2885340
(located in a nook in between Astoria and Zuzuni)