Starting as a place that serves hot chocolate, Xocolat quickly evolved from a drinks place to serving sandwiches and pasta and now to a full-blown restaurant. They maintained their mantra of serving chocolate not just in liquid form but found a way to incorporate it […]
Tag: What to eat
A charming tradition awaits afternoon tea aficionados as Writers Bar offers a Champagne Afternoon Tea with luxury brand Veuve Clicquot from April 23 to June 30, 2019 at Raffles Makati.
Marikina has been a secret munch-worthy destination which echoed its way through the ears of many food connoisseurs way back 2009. The city has become quite the food destination for East and North residents, as well as hard-core foodies from the South (like us!) who are willing to go beyond the toll gates. This eclectic area is touted as the “Shoe Capital of the Philippines” has become a hub for many food concepts, from Japanese to Italian and everything in between, drawing visitors from all over the Metro.
But with great fame comes great expectations. The more hyped a certain neighborhood scene is the bigger the risk of being stamped as “just another fusion- millennial themed concept”. That’s our immediate bias as food writers. Neighboring areas become a crowded scene, literally and figuratively, turning what used to be a celebration of start-up concepts into a survival of the fittest, restaurant edition. Countless restaurants have closed down in sequence, an ominous trend that does not promise well for even the most solid of businesses.
I have learned about this Fil-Mex place from a good friend and a long-standing invitation which lasted for a few months. I was pretty skeptic going to another Fil-Mex restaurant. Telling myself, how can this place be different from the rest, and is it worth the drive from Alabang to Marikina?
On a random Saturday night, I found myself in Bodega Casa Villa, it is still relatively a new entrant to Marikina’s roster of restaurants & bars. The new hopeful kid on the block which has lots to offer to the current dining scene drawing us into a conclusion that the kid has the potential to outlast the rest of their co-siblings in the neighborhood. Let me tell you why.
What Made Us Stay
The intricately-carved wooden double doors opened widely that night, leading me to the airy alfresco dining space. It already feels homey and warm. The yellow walls, cream tufted booths, and wooden tables & chairs were so inviting.
As we make our way through,
The open space, warm lighting and a solid live music playing in the background made it more conducive for my friends and I stay for hours sharing a drink or two
Warm, inviting Mexican case. Walls painted bright canary yellow, intuitively accented with murals. My favorite place was the alfresco part of the Bodega CASA Villa. It is complete with a complete bar counter.
Owned and operated by Karen Villa (head chef), Keanne Andeza (in-charge of Marketing & Entertainment), and Jan Junsay highschool friends turned into business partners visioned Bodega Casa Villa as your next home away from home destination and make you feel as if you’ve been invited by a friend’s home.
The Food: Fat Girls Day Out Picks
Bodega ’s menu as fusion, taking after Latin American cuisine, with familiar Filipino taste elements.
Mucho Nacho Bodega (220php)
is a mountain of nachos mesh together with fresh salsa, longanisa, jalapeno, kesong puti, loads of garlic and queso sauce. Best shared as pulutan.
The Taco Trio (295php) crispy buttered ox brains, beef barbacoa, and bagnet sisig.
Their take on the taco is by adding rich ingredients and balancing it with other flavors. These flavors are created by pouring in some of their sauce, a garlic yogurt sauce, salsa, and spicy sauce. Each rich in flavor and complementing the base protein of the taco.
Alique Squid Pasta (275php) Cappelini, Aligue and Grilled Squid.
The Aligue pasta topped with baby squid sauteed with garlic was a nice tag team on your tongue. Served with pita instead of the typical bread.
One notable drink that you should order is the Sili Mo Rita (140php/shot, Bodega’s Jalapeno infused tequila-based alcohol shot. Rimmed with half salt.
Check out their full menu selections here. Please take note that menu roster is subject to updates/changes:
The playful execution of Chef Karen Villa for this restaurant is instinctive and comforting that is prevalently shown on the food that they’re serving. Their price point is competitive considering their portion sizes are generous.
This special nook in Marikina City is a place of refuge where you can end your stressful day. Their dishes are comforting, drinks are strong and people are open and inviting. A CASA I wouldn’t mind going back to every now and then.
The Marikina community has become so diverse, That we are given a chance to try dishes in small quantities to test on customers who would actually have an appreciation for bold flavors. The city will always be a destination, even if currently, the other counterparts such as BF Homes Pque and Maginhawa scene has a lot of ebb and flow. Marikina has a lot of gems worth seeking out – and Bodega Casa Villa is one of these gems.
It’s pretty refreshing to see a well-thought-out concept for the Filipino market. For the interiors, dynamic menu selections with generous servings and yet partnered with reasonable pricing. It is really a value of your time and money to check out this place.
Our extra rice rating/CX Rating of
- Address: 48 Dragon Street, San Roque, Marikina City
- Contact Details: +632-6451952
- Operating Hours: Tuesdays-Sundays, 5:00PM-12: 30 AM
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- Zomato Reviewer Profile
- TripAdvisor Top 3% Contributor
I would definitely still vouch for the VALUE FOR MONEY line without compromising quality. You’d be able to enjoy a good old steak plate for less than 500php. Generous serving, attentive wait staff, and their ice creams are still really good.
Da Gianni is everything you want in a casual neighborhood Italian restaurant —flattering lighting, plenty of exposed brick, terra-cotta floors, and wood tables with just the right amount of space between one another
When Yuval and Norfar Mann moved to the Philippines from Israel about eight years ago, Norfar struggled to find restaurants that cater to vegetarians like her and most of the times vegetarian dishes that were being served to her wasn’t really 100% vegetarian at all. On February 2016, the couple opened Chaplin at Century City Mall in Makati. Chaplin serves authentic Israeli cuisine, pastries, fine coffee and curated cocktails.
Just on the 4th floor of Century City Mall, Chaplin is a great quick refuge from the bustling chaos of Kalayaan Ave and Poblacion. Its standalone restaurant has a breezy and nice Al Fresco set up and a minimalist interior fixture from the inside so customers won’t divert focus away from the food.
The Fat Girls Day Out crew immediately had an impression that once we sat down we would definitely stay for hours. Glass walls, plush couches, and the soft indoor lights all contribute to the laidback ambiance.
Chaplin takes its cue from no less than the Charlie Chaplin. The owners are fans of the legendary comedian.
The Essence of Israeli Cuisine
Israelis have developed and continue to enjoy a delicious cuisine rooted in the uniqueness of Israeli society itself. Israeli cuisine demonstrates the true melting pot that is Israel. Coming over from over 80 countries, Jews have returned to their motherland, bringing with them the food ideologies and recipes they developed during their journeys. Such culinary traditions and methods span 3,000 years of history. Imagine that. Of course over the years these cooking traditions have been shaped over time form Africa, Europe, and even Asia.
Basically, all cuisines are an interplay of many forces- from history, sociology, and agricultural. Israeli is the best example of that. Coming from many confluences “Israeli” originated from the wider spectrum of Middle Eastern cuisine. Popular outtakes are their Falafel (deep-fried chickpea balls served in pita bread), Israeli Salad which consists of cucumbers, tomatoes that are chopped distinctively into small pieces. Eastern European influence is also integral to their cuisine, with the use of sour cream. Expect heavy use of olives and olive oil, wheat, chickpeas, and fresh yogurts.
We like starting off with a nice aperitif. We ordered their house-recommended house Mojito.
Tel Aviv Mojito (375PHP)
Thick sweet cream layer with lemon zest on top which complements the drink below
A sampler platter of cheese sticks, samosas, and falafel. Try it with their 3 sauces (roasted bell pepper, yogurt, pesto)
Tons of fresh greens, juicy tomatoes, crispy red onions, toasted pita bread, crunchy cucumbers, a zesty lemon dressing.
Pureed chickpeas mixed with tahini, lemon, olive oil, salt, and garlic. This particular dish was quite overwhelming with the generous serving size and different texture. they added some crushed green chilies, cilantro, and whole chickpeas to the top that just changed the experience. Add this to the kebab, to the pita, or to any dish they serve.
Roasted eggplants, tahini, garlic and lemon topped with almonds and parsley.
The combination of bulgur mixed with lots of fresh mint and parsley is sensational. A bit of olive oil and lemon juice finish it off beautifully. They mixed in some dried cranberry and added some sweetness to give the dish a more balanced taste.
Deep fried Cauliflower with a tinge of sweet soy based sauce, parsley, and chili. This is not a dish we usually order in Mediterranean restaurants but this is wildly addicting.
Baked filo pastry with amba eith, ground beef, lamb fat, spinach, herbs, and pine nuts.
Bourekas are nothing short of edible perfection — heavenly little parcels of dough crisped with hot oil or melted butter and stuffed with any number of delicious savory ingredients.
Chicken Thigh Kebab
Served with grilled vegetables, long grain rice, and side of pita bread.
Traditional Turkish Coffee with Baklava.
Strong dark coffee with notes of cardamom and cinnamon served in a traditional Turkish coffee pot. Pair it with the crispy, nutty, and creamy baklava. These two elements together create balance for your dessert.
Why Dine at Chaplin?
Makati is an active city with full of ADHD individuals making you want to randomly move for some reason. It’s hard to find time to just sit back, relax, and enjoy a solid meal with friends or family. The food that we sampled was excellent and comforting. Israeli food has a lot of similarities in terms of character to Asian-style dining. Their food is served in big portion sizes that is meant to be shared family-style.
Israeli cuisine is a well worth dining experience worth sharing with our loved ones.
- Location: 4/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave. Makati
- Operating Hours: 8am-11pm
- Spend Ratio: 1,400php for 2 pax
Ang Bistro sa Remedios is the perfect place to visit if you want no-frills honest to goodness traditional Filipino fare. From the moment you step in, until the end of your meal, you get to experience Filipino hospit
Sprouted from Makati’s hidden gem and sexy neighborhood Poblacion or P. Burgos. Traditionally, it was known for years as a red-light district, Poblacion is trading its spunky reputation for seediness and skewing itself to be a place where cool is redefined. Heavily wheeled by white-collar Filipinos and expats, they infiltrate the mushrooming dining and drinking scene. Burgos is humid, has sketchy roads, one to none parking space yet its community kept on growing progressively. Wantusawa Oyster Bar is a relatively new kid on the block. A down to earth nook along the Tambai Alley in Felipe Street. The main premise of this establishment is its glorious fresh oysters being flown in daily from Aklan.
Chef Christin Zarandin and Sous Chef Ken Blardony are both veterans of the kitchen stage of the Raffles Hotel conceptualized and built Wantusawa’s backbone core menu and concept.
New Kid’s Stage Performance
A 16-seater laid-back space. Modern, noir in color temperament, reclaimed wood, industrial steel and low-dimmed bulbs. The whole room is very narrow, and yet oddly comfortable- comfort in such sense that it felt cozy and the ambiance of the whole place is warm. They even have their own Spotify Playlist! Play some of the tunes to get the whole vibe of the place.
As you listen to their cool ambient tracklist plating at the background, you can watch your oysters being shucked right in front of you. As they open each piece you can immediately smell the freshness.
Forefront theatre is their open kitchen that serves as their playground. As we slated, their oysters are air-flown daily from Aklan having this operating premise it’s pretty evident that it is a homage pedestal to Philippine oysters.
Aklan Oysters in all its glory
You can have your oysters fresh, baked, or grilled for 50php per pop. Their oysters are ultra fresh, clean to the taste, delicate in natural texture which leaves a subtle sweetness to your palate.
We suggest that you start first with a few pieces of fresh ones. Dot it up with their hot sauce and squeeze in a little calamansi juice. Compliment it with a shot of warm sweet Japanese sake.
Then again, their oysters are so fresh that there isn’t any need to blanket its taste. Just suck it out of its half shell.
After which, have some baked oysters as well, the miso crust perfectly coats the flesh. Perfect umami to the taste.
Compliment to the taste
We also tried their Grilled Prawn Laksa (250php). It is rich, punches you with flavors. They put a spin on its soup by making it thicker which translated to more compact flavor profile comparable to a Bisque.
Other crowd pleasers are their Shiro Butter Pawns (300php) and Siracha Fried Chicken (200php).
To cleanse your palate order a plate of their Cold Tofu Salad (100php) or with cold sake or beer.
Come for their oysters and scallops. You’ll see the number of oysters available for the night written on the board by the wall as supplies of oysters are limited. Come early as Wantusawa is already packed by 7-8pm.
A pretty solid concept, product output, customer service was an excellent and awesome quaint ambiance. We’re giving Wantusawa a whopping 4 Extra Rice Rating for under our CX scoring system.
WANTUSAWA OYSTER BAR (MAKATI)
- Location: Tambai Alley, 5779 Felipe Street, Poblacion, Makati City
- Open: Tuesday-Sunday 7pm-1am
- Official Facebook Page
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- Zomato Reviewer Profile
- TripAdvisor Top 2% Contributor
Golden Estero (Makati) guarantees to satisfy your seafood cravings with generous family style serving and hefty value for money.