South America is a country with a cultural and culinary diversity. Comprising over 12 different countries and varying influences from their European neighbors. South America has some of the best dishes in the world, and their lasting legacy and flavors have already made an impact […]
We want to give homage to the OG- of the Pinoy fast food playground. The almighty Tropical Hut Hamburger. Find out which menu items are our staple and why we always choose to return despite of their dilapidated fixtures.
We wouldn’t peg Islas Pinas as just another food hall that seemed to be sprouting from your typical urban districts. This new venture by Margarita Fores is quite different. Imagine Nayong Pilipino and SM Kultura having a love child and that beautiful newborn is Islas Pinas. The result of the collaboration between DoubleDragon group and chef Margarita Forés, Islas Pinas is a project that aims to spark an unacquainted love for the Philippines and to cultivate patriotism through a diorama heritage display and Filipino cuisine.
Popular flavors of the Philippines and postcard-popular landmarks found the perfect space to be showcased inside a well arranged 2,500 sqm food hall. Staple dishes, familiar beverages, Pinoy street food carefully curated by Chef Fores.
As a Heritage Village (The Space)
Islas Pinas is divided into themed sections which represent Philippines’ famous roster of destinations like Vigan’s Calle Crisologo, Walls of Intramuros, The Rice Terraces, and even a lifesize Vinta from Mindanao.
The whole 2,500-square-meter space is designed by Lara Fernandez and she uses diverse Filipino icons to compel home as the theme. Artistic re-imaginings of Chocolate Hills of Bohol, Vigan’s Calle Crisologo, and a replica of the Ifugao Rice Terraces.
A Sarao jeepney stands proud and shiny as one of the staple fixtures inside Islas Pinas, a vegetable kariton, and a sari-sari store diorama that are all interactive displays!
The facilities are pretty wonderful you can spend hours just roaming around taking photographs (yes, that is mandatory), order your meal and eat slowly while sitting comfortably with a proper OPM playlist being played at the background pipe music from Dong Abay.
NEW UPDATE- August 2019: As of early this year, they transitioned into a buffet style all-day merienda for 200php/4 USD.
Various regional dishes are prevalent with each assigned stations which covers everything areas between Batanes to Jolo. The menu changes daily to provide proper roulette of choices. These stations are themed along the Calle Crisologo strip.
Here, you can find a number of stations that serve homegrown hits in a comfortable air-conditioned space that brings together elements of our rich heritage. You start off with, the Tagalog statement for ‘ray of light’ offers all-day Filipino breakfast staples like the roster of SILOGs, various types of Longanisas, and Batchoy.
Just down the hall is ALAMAT or “a legend”, SINAG is the story of the different regions of the Philippines through its signature dishes.
Next door is BILAO, which is coined after the familiar woven basket where comfort snacks like pansit (stir-fried noodles) and puto (sticky rice cakes).
The PANADERYA (Bakery) carries freshly baked Pinoy bread and pastries like your comfort food pan de sal, pan de regal, among other staples. — Oh! by the way, Margarita Fores’ ADB Crinkles are available here.
The future pipeline of culture-centric activities are lined up that aims to highlight traditional regional dishes across the Philippines.
The TUSOK-TUSOK for our quick Pinoy snacks where can have our pork bbq fix, isaw lineups, and fishballs!
There’s also a dedicated station for Halo-Halo for the delightfully “mix-mix” of dessert after a good heavy meal.
Overall Food Taste and Experience
The food preparation and taste is pretty basic. Nothing too grand just the usual comfort and familiar taste that we all grew up with If we are to rank the overall dining experience using the Fat Girls Day Out CX Rating (you may read more on our FAQ)
- Ambiance: 4/5
- Customer Service: 4/5
- Food Quality (sourced ingredients): 4/5
- Food Flavor: 3/5
- Variety of available in the menu: 4/5
- Facilities, Ergonomics: 5/5
- Price; Does it give value to your money? Whether expensive or cheap: 4/5
A 5 point scale average of 4/5 Extra Rice Rating! from these 7 elements of our Customer Experience metrics.
Why we Need more business ventures like this
Islas Pinas promotes Filipino culture nonetheless not only to your typical balikabayan Titas & Titos, foreigners, but it is being geared towards the younger generations. The previous greater segment of older generations (we included, sad to say) lacks a sense of culture and ownership to love to our own cuisine and history. Business like this somehow helps create or even spark a curiosity to help us understand what really is to be a Filipino.
NEW UPDATE- August 2019: As of early this year, they transitioned into a buffet style all-day merienda for 200php/4 USD.
- Location: G/F DoubleDragon Plaza DD Meridian Park
Pasay City, Philippines 1308
- Operating Hours: Hours 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Average Spend: 300php/pax
- Official Facebook Page
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- Zomato Reviewer Profile
- TripAdvisor Top 3% Contributor
“Food Halls” are yet another trend in the food scene this 2018. You see a number of concepts being drawn to another glorified food court. With interiors that are ‘instagrammable’ centric, cold AC, and variety of choices of food that are pretty reasonable. Open Kitchen […]
A fusion of delightful dishes makes a restaurant stand out from the rest. Maintaining a good portfolio of food for the past years makes you more credible on your craft.
CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT YOUR COMFORT FOOD IS?
It is a dish that our mother or our Lola used to make us during our childhood – it can be that good bowl of Sinigang, Arroz Caldo, or Mac & Cheese. Regardless of what the food is, it soothes our souls and comforts us in such a way having that dish makes everything seem okay. A dish that provides emotional comfort to us and linked us to a place or time when we were kids when situations and life weren’t this complicated.
In this Food Crawl Guide Paula and I will share our calibrated initial Top Five (5) places where we grew up eating and thru a random select group who also provided their consensus stamp of – YES! to these five spots.
Choc Full of Nuts has been in the old Greenhills Shopping Center since the 80’s. During that time, there were only a few malls around and Greenhills used to be a go-to for those who live in the North and South. It’s one of those places that are familiar to those of us who would visit their halls.
Ever since I can remember, my grandma and my mom would take me here to have some of their tasty siopai and siomai. Every visit, we would order one to eat on the spot with a side of coke and a dozen to take home and reheat. Their Siopao has a soft exterior bun and when you break into it, shredded asado filling would be seen.
To be honest, I’m not a fan of Siopao but something about theirs has me coming back every time I visit this day. Add their sweet sauce, and every bite is a reminder of days with my mom and my grandma.
Another favorite is their siomai, it’s big plump and tasty. You can tell the filling uses pork, shrimp, and vegetables. None of those fillers to be found here, it’s simple, well done, and delicious.
Recommended: Asado Siopao, Siomai
Originally, called “Rendezvous”, Irineo Bartolome is a Kapampangan native who put up a small eatery in UP Diliman in 1949. He changed the name to Little Quiapo when patrons would describe the place as like Quiapo, as it’s a busy place with a lot of people.
68 years later, they have already expanded their menu, and have more branches but they remain to be one of the best places to get your Palabok and halo-halo fix.
Little Quiapo, reminds me of afternoons with my Aunt and Uncle we would go here specifically when they were craving for the halo-halo-tokwa’t baboy-palabok combination. Even now, that’s what I also do when I have my cravings.
Their Special Halo-Halo is topped with a scoop of ube ice cream, the mix of beans, sago, kaong, milk, and ice is a welcome treat for any warm afternoon.
Drizzle a bit of Calamansi and you’re set. Bouncy noodles topped with Palabok sauce. It’s rich, well balanced and perfect with their tokwa’t baboy. It’s one of the 10 oldest restaurants in Metro Manila.
Recommended: Special Halo Halo, Tokwa’t Baboy, Palabok
Betty’s has been a family favorite since before I was born. My family is a big fan of Sansrival, they have been a loyal customer of Betty’s since the 60’s. Currently, Betty’s has several branches around Metro Manila and has expanded into a casual dining restaurant that’s affordable and tasty.
Thick layers of buttercream, crispy meringue, and cashews. Each bite melts in your mouth.
Dayrit’s started as a hole-in-the-wall type restaurant on Taft Avenue in the 70’s. Those who studied nearby frequented their establishment. From there they expanded to several branches in Northern Metro Manila, to BF in the South. Every time, my aunt and I would pass by a branch she would always tell me the roast beef it is good. Finally, we were able to try it and it is good.
Thin slices of sirloin beef with gravy. Perfect with bread or rice alike. Another recommended item on their menu is their porkloin ham, it’s thick, juicy, meaty, and so flavorful.
Recommended: Roast Beef, Ham
While most learned about churros thru La Lola Churreria, I’ve been having this delectable snack since I was a kid. The bitter chocolate was rich and thick and was a perfect match for the crispy fried dough. The oval shape is not too thick, crispy on the outside but soft on the inside.
This was afternoons spent with my grandmother after she went shopping, and she would visit me in our home in Alabang. It would always be Churros for me and my sisters, cream puffs and eclairs for my mom, Napoleon for my dad, and a chorizo pastry for my grandmother. While the branch I recall is already closed I’m glad that there are others that are still striving and serving the same kind of food I’ve had when I was younger.
Recommended: Churros, Chorizo, Cream puffs, Eclairs, Napoleon
These five places remind me of my childhood and how I used to spend time with my family whenever we ate here. Having them now, as an adult, it brings back nostalgia and sentiment while having an excellent meal.
Why These Establishments Matter?
For us, Good Food is Good Food. Food quality and the taste is KING. No matter how “IG-worthy” a pseudo-fusion restaurant is people will continue to come back and will turn into as a repeat customer if the food that is being served to them is something valuable, good and comforting.
Their facilities may be rough around the ages, but it cuts through that the glam facade and continues to serve their loyal patrons’ valuable products for years. More than 20 years in the business? Heck! they must’ve been doing something right.
Let these classic establishments serve as a good example to the current and incoming entrants in the market that instead of focusing too much on over-hyping certain food trends who will only provide short-term success.
You go to this kind of place for the food, for the consistency of taste and for the memories.
Thank you for dropping by! We’re still sticking to our Mission Statement and that is to provide unbiased reviews (for curated contents), raw, honest and sensible recommendations for our readers.
Please comment below for your recommendations! as we will be doing another round of our Top 5 Comfort Food Series – For June 2018. Please follow us on our official Instagram Page and Facebook for real-time updates and use the #FatGirlsDayOut during your #DayOut photos!
- All list are researched for, paid for, calibrated against our CX rating, and curated by the content creators. The Fat Girls Day Out team were discreet during their visit.
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The 2018 run is crisper compared to the 2013 and 2017 shows. Everything made sense and on point for each character’s journey. Wonderfully flesh out complexities of each individual character play. Minced, brined, and savored for who they are.
Gloria Maris is consistent, impressive, and grand. Whether you go for dim sum or hot pot, or a graceful lauriat. I like their elegance but still has this approachable ambiance. Solid facilities that are conducive to family celebrations, knowledgeable staff, and of course their wonderful dishes.
We spent hours in front of our computers and everything is on repeat, everyone is in a hurry to get things to do, to go from point A to point B, and experience the same mundane things. We’re in the loop for the next 4-5 days. The crowded city life makes us numb and mindless most of the time, but it is our own way of coping up with our current environment. We’re supposed to stop feeling and engaging to get through our chaotic day. We often think of escaping, daydreaming that we’d rather be spending one lazy afternoon disconnected and just staring at the sea. We daydream of tranquility and serenity. Bauan, Batangas is the perfect getaway from all of the busy, chaotic, and bipolar Metro Manila. It is just a 2 1/2- 3 hours drive from the city. Far enough for that much needed quick retreat yet close enough to return back home.
Whenever you here Batangas, our top of mind recall would always be Anilao (diving and snorkeling), San Juan (beach), and Nasugbu. Bauan never really takes the spotlight for us. Bauan is one of the municipalities in the province of Batangas. Most of its barangays are situated near the coastal area. There are a lot of wonderful beaches in the municipality but most are not composed of fine sands and wide shores. The place is also known for dive sites which have ridiculously abundant in marine life.
The Fat Girls Day Out crew were invited to experience what Bauan has to offer which is thru an intro dive course and a whole day snorkeling. Thanks to the lovely folks at Bus Stop Dive Resort. Skip your typical malling or heading up to Tagaytay City. Go on a retreat and partake what nature has to offer.
How to get to Bauan, Batangas
From Manila, you can take the bus from Cubao or LRT Buendia going to Batangas Pier for 165 or 157 respectively. Then take a jeep from Grand terminal to Bauan. Travel time: 2 and ½ to 3 hours depending on the traffic.
From Dasmariñas Cavite, you can take a van from Pala-Pala terminal. A little tip is to take the van route that goes from Lemery to Bauan, saves you from the traffic plus you get to have a peek of Tagaytay.
Where to Stay
Bus Stop Dive Resort
Proper beddings and memory foam pillows to make sure that you get that much-deserved rest after a good dive or swim.
What’s important after a dive sesh is a good solid sleep. Check out their comfortable rooms here BusStop DiveResort rates starts at 2,200php/ 43USD per person including full board meals and boat transfers. Minimum of 3 pax to reserve a room.
What to Do
SCUBA diving is known as a thoroughly enjoyable and sometimes adrenaline boosting sport, however, most do not know that SCUBA diving has many health benefits. Especially for your mental health. Most consider diving as a way of meditation. When underwater all you hear is your own breathing, the sound of your heart and the tranquility of your surroundings.
Initial on-boarding and safety procedures will be cascaded before anything else. Safety is the primary priority.
The sea is clean and has no garbage. It is a great place to snorkel or dive. There was a school of fishes when we went there, and it was really beautiful.
World-class diving and snorkeling experiences are right in our front yard – there’s no need to travel elsewhere in Anilao or in El Nido perhaps. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned diver, or even a casual snorkeler,
Enjoy Bauan’s Beautiful Sunset
The best part of the day was when we watched the sun set slowly. The entire island turns into Sepia color and will make you make sappy and look for your old 90’s rock-ballad music on your playlist. Find a good spot under a nice branched tree and just wait.
Come thru this isolated cove in San Pablo, Batangas. Explore the wonders of the deep blue ocean. All in just a 2 ½ hour drive from chaotic Manila.
As we always say. Go forth and wander and become your own storyteller.
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Dinner In The Sky is the type of experience, that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Reaching beyond the norm by creating one of the most exclusive dining experience you can experience during your lifetime.