Normally, when we go caroling, we would at least sing for three households or groups. Unfortunately, some of our hosts had other appointments(some just sent envelopes and other "gigs" were postponed), so we were only able to sing for one household and their neighbors.
Since the night was still young some of us decided to have dinner somewhere near. We gave some suggestions, but somehow all of us wanted to try something new. Well, at the very least, somewhere we have not tried before.
We went restaurant surfing along Aguirre Avenue and found MANNA CAFE. There were some people in the battery, but the cafe was empty, They were preparing for a wedding anniversary celebration to be held the next day at 4pm. This made us doubt the quality of the food at first, but since we were already there and hungry at that, so we decided to stay.
Since they didn't yet accept credit cards, we were on a limited budget so we just chose stuff that seemingly gave value for money.
When our orders arrived, we were amazed that the food was plated well and were very, very delicious. We just had to compliment the Chef.
Chef Robert Guevarra. He had a nine(9) year stint at Antonio's...yes, that place where you have to reserve for days or weeks or months(depending on your ability and timing) before finally dining there...then earlier this year, when he was offered to be Head Chef "here" at Manna Cafe, he had to leave Antonio's. Since there's this consultant(*Chef Off) who is also a chef, this very humble person considers himself as a Sous Chef.
One Sycamore Food Ventures and Ephesians Management Corporation:Manna Cafe and Bread Shop are sisters of The Coffee Republic & Asian Noodles and More
*Chef Off (That’s short for Nasawoothoff Thomapoon, Thai Executive Chef) is the consultant and business partner of Mr.and Mrs. Rafael of Davao and LA. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He used to be at the helm of Kafe Yen, an award-winning family-owned eatery in Bangkok. (info taken from this website: http://entertainment.inquirer.net/13191/for-claire-dela-fuente-who-loves-to-eat-a-fourth-resto)
Favorite Dish: ❤English Style Fish and Chips❤
❤Pesto Pan de sal ❤
❤❤❤Three Cheeses Baked Lasagna❤❤❤
Chef Mervyn Whitfield's Story
Fab Chef's Spicy Story
Food-Fever: Chef Mervyn Whitfield
When we learned that one member of our "trio" was not available that night of the 4th of December, we decided to go "Resto Surfing" along Aguirre Avenue. We wanted to try a place place where we have not eaten before. There were lots of fairly new places so we could not decide. Upon reaching El Grande we decided to make a U-Turn then "browsed" the avenue again.
For some reason both of us craved for something Mediterranean that night. We could have gone to Le Souk, but it looked so crowded, and at least one of us has been there before. We continued our search until we "discovered" SOPHIA'S CUISINA.
Rolly, the one who served us with gusto, recognized my "Big
Sis". It took as a few minutes to realize that the man who
welcomed us was THE Chef Mervyn Whitfield(there are links
above just in case you do not know who he is),
the former chef of the Beatles, and that Sophia's Cuisina is not really new. It used to be at West Gate, Alabang, but a few months ago, they decided to transfer to 225 Aguirre Avenue, Phase 3, BF Homes, City of Parañaque.
Unlike their former Taverna, this one is homier and has a
great atmosphere. We were very lucky that the owners were
there that night. There were other diners, but they were
almost done when we arrived.
Josie, the very gracious wife of Chef Mervyn, chatted with us a bit. It is easy to tell that she is very unassuming and has a good heart.
The food is great!
Cash and major credit cards are accepted
Spaghetti all'amatriciana -alla matriciana (in Romanesco) is a traditional Italian pasta sauce based on guanciale (cured pork cheek), pecorino cheese, and tomato. Yummy! The pasta, I don't know if it's obvious here, is al dente...the sauce is divine!
Falafel Platter with Pita, Fries and Hummus- Delicious! Reminds me of New York!
Mango Panna Cotta-After being disappointed with a so-called "Panna Cotta" somewhere along the same avenue, we were satisfied with this one. ❤❤❤ (Although we have a favorite panna cotta in the City of Parañaque, this one is good too!)
The Baked Lasagna- For only PhP 99.00, you will be able to enjoy this very scrumptious BAKED LASAGNA! ❤❤❤
This is NOW my favorite restaurant in the area. :)
MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
From the outside it looks like just one of those other posh restaurants in the vicinity, presentable, and all that jazz, but once you enter the place, you would pinch yourself hard before you could believe you are awake. Yes. There is such a place just around the corner.
The place's ambiance is comparable to a hotel lobby(a very beautiful boutique hotel). It is clean and spacious, but often full, not just because it is fairly new, but because of the delicious, mouthwatering food, and the good service.
I can't call the service great yet, but they are getting better everyday.
One thing I know for sure is that almost everyone I know from the area is RAVING about this place.
So why not give them a visit and see for yourself? You won't regret it. While you're at it, why not check their Culinary store below too? :D I heard from the grapevine that it's also going to be a culinary studio or school.
Major Credit Cards are accepted
Sunday to Thursday
10:00am - 10:00pm
Friday and Saturday
10:00am - 11:00pm
Tito Chef @FoodSpotting
Temporarily, they are not open for breakfast everyday, but they do have Great Weekend Breakfasts(launched last on AUGUST 11, 2012)!
PLEASE CHECK OUT THE BLOG ENTRIES I WROTE:
My Blog entry about Tito Chef and his resto.
No, I don't own the place!
Favorite Dish: HERE ARE MY FAVORITES:
CEDAR PLANK GRILLED SALMON: I seldom like eating salmon because of the seemingly high sodium that give me nape pains. For some reason, there are also very few restaurants/eateries that make salmon appealing to me.
How can I not love the very scintillating scent and the very, very delicious taste? Sigh. This baby got me hooked!
Another salmon "dish" melted my heart. SALMON TARTARE. It's served with melba toast, but when I order this, i order it with dinner roll so that my dentist won't scold me. LOL.
The TRUFFLED MUSHROOM SOUP PUREE is one of the best mushroom soups in town.
The CUCUMBER LIME SHAKE is very, very refreshing!
Oh, the BRAISE OX TONGUE BORDELAISE is not only nicely plated, it is also very mouthwatering.
The salads, the desserts...I could go on and on.
MY ULTIMATE FAVORITES:
BLEU CHEESE ALFREDO, BARBECUE SPARERIBS, and for dessert, it's the MACHA PRALINE TORTE.
They also offering Pot Luck and Take Away Dishes...they cater too!
Call (+632)2380968 for more details
FYI, they are more expensive than average compared to other restaurants in Parañaque, but they are about average among the great restaurants in the vicinity.
Still affordable and there's value for money. :)
Raaz Mahal roughly means secret palace, so I guess it means that the owners have unravelled the secret recipes of the royal family.
The restaurant does look like a palace and you would definitely not miss it when you pass Aguirre Avenue.
Mon - Fri: 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Sat - Sun: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
MODE OF PAYMENT:
Cash and Major Credit Cards
Raaz Mahal is owned by the Arshad Family
They serve Punjabi Cuisine and is a RestoBar. (Serves Indian and Pakistani Cuisine)
Punjabi cuisine (Punjabi: ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਪਕਵਾਨ, Urdu: پنجابی پکوان) is food from the Punjab region of northwestern India and eastern Pakistan. It can be non-vegetarian or completely vegetarian. One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes. Home cooked and restaurant Punjabi cuisine can vary significantly, with restaurant style using large amounts of ghee, clarified butter, with liberal amounts of butter and cream, with home cooking concentrating on mainly upon preparations with whole wheat, rice and other ingredients flavored with masala. Within the Punjab region, there are different preferences. People in the area of Amritsar prefer stuffed parathas and milk products. In fact, the area is well known for quality of its milk products. There are certain dishes which are exclusive to Punjab, such as sarson da saag. The main masala in a Punjabi dish consists of onion, garlic and ginger. Tandoori food is a Punjabi speciality especially for non-vegetarian dishes. Many of the most popular elements of Anglo-Indian cuisine - such as Tandoor, Naan, Pakoras and vegetable dishes with paneer - derive from the Punjab.
Favorite Dish: Vegetable Biryani-Biryani, biriani, or beriani is a set of rice-based foods made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables. The name is derived from the Persian word beryā(n) (بریان) which means "fried" or "roasted".
Biryani was originated in Iran (Persia) and it was brought to South Asia by Iranian travelers and merchants. Local variants of this dish are popular not only in South Asia but also in Southeast Asia, Arabia, and within various South Asian communities in Western countries.
I love their Biryani rice...the mixed of the spices and the bite of the rice is simply Swaadish(delicious/very tasty)!
Onion and Potato Pakoras(garbanzos/chick pea batter...something like hummus in flour, potatoes, onion) with tamarind sauce...I love the combination of the pakoras and the tamarind sauce. Simply delish!
Fish Curry Just imagine the best chiken curry, but change the meat into fish. :)
Papadum or simply papad- thin and crispy flat bread served with yogurt chutney with coriander...their version simply melts in your mouth and it's very, very delicious too!
Raaz Mahal Caramel Cake (with pistachios on top)3 3 3 At first we thought this was the Gulab Jamun Celebratory Cake, but it turned out to be the Raaz Mahal Caramel Cake. The Gulab Jamun traditional celebratory desserts are roundish small sweets.
Strawberry Lassi Strawberry flavoured yogurt drink
Mutton Korma/Lamb Curry Delightful!
Sabzi simply means Vegetarian... Raaz Mahal's sabzi is mixed veggies cooked in herbs and spices. ;)
There's just something about this place that would make you want to enter when you drive along Aguirre Avenue. It is very, very inviting.
Once you enter the place, you would not regret a single thing. The service is fast, without compromising the quality and taste of the food, unless the thing you order requires longer cooking.
When you start eating you would want to concentrate on the food that you eat because they are very, very mouthwatering.
From the simplest appetizer, to the soup, to the main dish, the desserts, and even the beverages, you would not be disapppointed.
Opens 11:00 am to 10:00 pm (Sunday to Saturday)
Major credit cards and cash are the modes of payment
This place used to be where a family friend resides, then it became a Pre-School, and for sometime now, it transformed into BI WON KOREAN RESTAURANT. Bi Won(비원, 秘院) means Secret Garden. If my friend Jay had not invited me to meet his friends and to dine with them, I wouldn't know how affordable their set meals are.
They do have more expensive dishes, but we were six and dividing the bill among ourselves, the average per person is around PhP167.00.
The side dishes are yummy and I love the way the Bibimbap was served.
Service is good too.
I have to go back there to try the other stuff.
M, T, W, F, Sa, Su: 11:00am - 10:30pm
Th: 11:00am - 11:30pm
Mode of payment:
Cash and major credit cards
Restaurants have been popping here and there in the BF Homes area and the competition is stiff. Sometimes the patrons are what we call ningas cogon. Cogon is a type of grass that when you put to flames, will first burst into big flames, but will burn out quickly. Sadly, this is one of the traits Filipinos are known for. There is a restaurant closer to home that is slowly being the favorite of people in the vicinity, but Big Plate is still a tough contender.
Compared to that other restaurant, Big Plate is still more affordable than they are and they offer certain things that they don't.
The servers are nice. Maybe they won't be listed as the world's greatest, but they are definitely helpful and courteous.
They were very, very nice to my brother, RJ, who is now in heaven, so they will always have a soft spot in my heart. You might say they were just doing their job, but we did encounter a few places around the metro that did not treat him well. :(
I love the way they make us feel at home and they will always be one of the places in the area that will be always on my list.
Favorite Dish: The food is tasty enough for the foodie, and healthy enough for the people who are conscious of what they eat.
They have a wide array of appetizers, main dishes, desserts, and the like.
What's my favorite?
I love the Breakfast meals, the salads, and the fish.
You must also try their cakes and other desserts.
They have buffets during breakfast, lunch, and dinner with two options: Get all you can(in one plate) and Eat all you can(self explanatory).
Big Plate's Facebook page
Aling Asiang’s Best Kept Memories and Recipes
Clara Reyes Lapus, President of Mama Sita Foundation
Mama Sita's Official Website
I chose to put the links on top to introduce to you two great women of our history who became a part of almost every Filipinos kitchens and homes: Aling Asiang and her daughter, Teresita (Mama Sita).
Since I'm not on my %[http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/cfc2c/702/]PHILIPPINES page, which I have to update soon, I will just focus on this branch found at Santana Grove.
It is a bit pricier than the other restaurants in the whole Parañaque City, but I think about average, if it's only the area we are going to talk about.
They have wines, teas, coffees, cakes, known Filipino dishes and some International favorites.
Favorite Dish: I love the Sweet and Sour Lapu Lapu, Kare Kare, Sinigang, and the barbecues the best.
Serye is the anagram of Reyes, the family name that brought to us the famous Aristocrat Chicken with java rice, Reyes Barbecue, Mama Sita's sauces, etc.
Restaurants, barbecue places, and so many other food establishments, are appearing like mushrooms at the Aguirre Avenue Strip that sometimes you don't know which one to try first.
Laiya Grill is one of the famous food establishments in their category and at first glance, it wasn't something I was excited to try in BF Homes, because it looked too dark, but I was also curious about it.
It took a while before I finally got to try eating at this famous spot known for mouthwatering sisig, barbecues, and grilled food. I brought along my friends who are not so easy to please when it comes to food(visual appeal and taste) and like me, they love it there.
The place from the inside, except maybe when it's a bit late and everyone's drinking, could be a bit romantic too.
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 4:30 pm - 2:00 am
Mode of payment:
Cash and Credit Card
Favorite Dish: You must try the grilled food. I think the secret to their delicious taste is the way they marinate them.
When this Cakehouse opened a few years ago I thought it was going to be just another bakeshop. Baking and Churning are my specialties so I am very, very critical of those people who claim that they can bake moist cakes and pastries, but do not meet my expectations.
The time I was able to walk in this Cakehouse, I was not disappointed at all. They may not be designer cakes, but the quality of their cakes, bread, and pastries are world class.
Favorite Dish: Moist Chocolate Cake
This restaurant belongs to the family of restaurants with different themes found in Aguirre Avenue(i.e. Le Souk and Alma de Cuba) and it offers you authentic Thai food at an affordable price.
Songkran(สงกรานต์ It literally means astrological passage or a portal that could bring you to another dimension) Restaurant was named after the famous festival in Thailand, though different in origin, is similar to the way the feast of St. John the Baptist is celebrated in the Philippines.
The place looks good has a welcoming atmosphere that you can feel very relaxed there.
Service? The people are very, very nice.
Favorite Dish: I don't have a favorite yet, but the food is OK. The plating still has room for improvement, but they are not bad to look at and the ones I ordered taste good too.
My favorite Thai restaurant is still People's Palace at Greenbelt 3, but this place is OK too.
I think I can compare the prices of their dishes to Oody's, but Sen Lek is still more affordable.
Cash and Credit Cards are accepted
For lack of a better term, I think I could call this a Thai Diner. Maybe I could even call it a kiosk, but I think it's slightly bigger than a kiosk, but its atmosphere is like that of a restaurant.
Like in a fast-food eatery or restaurant, you should order and pay first before you sit down. Since the place is rather small compared to the crowd that goes there, my advise is, if you have at least one companion with you, to let one person go ahead to the booth or table of your choice.
The food is very affordable here and if you eat light, the price per person could go down to just slightly higher than a dollar or maybe two, depending on what you will drink.
Favorite Dish: The noodle soups are mixed with herbs and spices that will give you a fresh feeling inside. Their Thai Milk and the Green Tea concoctions are very delicious.
I'm a "hopeless" romantic and I must say this place is an ideal "date" place for me. If someone pops "the question" here, I "might" say yes. Haha.
Yes, there are those that look more posh than this, but this place is very, very cozy.
The minute you arrive you feel like you are transported into another country and at times, there's live music you can enjoy too.
They also have an array of the finest wines you can choose from and the service is great too!
All major credit cards are accepted
8:00am - 11:00pm daily
Favorite Dish: The Tapas Sampler
Gustos de Tanguigue
Patatas a la Catalan
Callos a la Madrilena
Mejillones y Almejas Horneados En Su Concha
Pavo con Patatas y Setas (Turkey with Potatoes and Mushrooms)
Cordero Asado (Roast Lamb)
I often visit th BF homes area of Paranaque City when I'm in the area since i have many friends and some relatives there and also because thy have a large and ecletic collection of restaurants and bars and watering holes in the area. BF homes is like a self contained Mini City and this thai restaurant called Songkran is one of the Restaurants that are packed with people everyday. Songran is a thai New Year Festival and they named their restaurant after it.
Favorite Dish: they have the typical thai selections like the pad thai at 150 pesos an order, khao kluk gapi (bagoong rice to filipinos) at 130 pesos an order. Phat Sieu at 200 pesos an order and Cha Yen (Thai iced Tea) at 80 pesos an order.
Opens from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Su, M, T, W, Th, F, Sa: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
part two of my Okiiniri tip with more pictures.
Okiiniri is a Casual Japanese Restaurant and Izakaya at the Aguirre Avenue Area of BF Homes Subdivision in Paranaque City. It is one of the popular Japanese restaurants that populates the area due to its affordable price and nice location. The place is not that big but still it is packed full of people suring lunch time and dinner.
Favorite Dish: A lot, they have assorted sushis and sashimis and they costs from 150 to 300 pesos an order, depending on the type of sushi or sashimi you ordered. Beef Sukiyaki costs 280 pesos an order, ebi tempura at 350 pesos an order. Beef teppanyaki at 250 pesos an order and more.
Opens 11:00 am to 10:00 pm everyday