Friday, June 27, 2008

Laguna Garden Cafe, Cebu City

I recently flew with some friends to Cebu to join a Dive Safari- a scuba diving trip that took us to various underwater sites off Cebu, Bohol, and Dumaguete. The diving was fantastic, and the food, just as great.

One of the restaurants we went to was called Laguna Garden Cafe. We went there after all our diving was done, and we were just spending some time around Cebu City. The cafe served traditional Filipino food, and frankly, we wanted to order everything on the menu (and very nearly did). When we got there, it was early enough to have breakfast. So we ordered Pandesal with Kesong Puti, and Suman, Mangga, at Tsokolate (among other things).

SMT-Suman, Mangga, at Tsokolate

Pandesal with Kesong Puti

We enjoyed the food so much that we stayed there long enough to have lunch. I ordered Baked Scallops, while my friends ordered various dishes with rice. Looking at our second round of orders, you wouldn't suspect that we all just had breakfast a few minutes earlier.

Baked Scallops

We stayed in the restaurant for quite some time, and it wasn't just because the food was good. The ambience was also perfect for whiling away time with friends. The lighting, the comfortable chairs, and the decor all contributed to a very enjoyable, leisurely, and pretty long meal.

I want to go back to Cebu soon, for the diving, and the dining.

Laguna Garden Cafe
Garden Row 1 Biliran Road
Cebu Business Park
Cebu City, Philippines
Tel. No. (032)233.8600

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Likha Diwa sa Gulod, Quezon City

I've been going to Likha Diwa sa Gulod for a few years now, usually with my friend Yvette. The place is pescetarian and vegetarian-friendly, so I like going there knowing there are many things I could have from the menu. The place is frequented by people who work in NGOs, as well as students and faculty from nearby UP Diliman.

Yvette and I used to work in an NGO along Katipunan, which is probably when we got to hear of the place. She now works with the UN (specifically, in Lebanon), and I work in media, but we still both like going to the place when we do get together. We see familiar faces in Likha Diwa, people we used to work with in the past.

A few years ago, we would go there often after an afternoon of wall-climbing in PowerUp Tandang Sora. The restaurant is quite near the climbing gym, and having the choco-banana dessert at Likha Diwa was always a good way to reward ourselves after a particularly gruelling workout.

Choco Banana Dessert

During our most recent visit to the restaurant, I had some salted egg salad, and daing na bangus which also came with salted egg. That was not really the most healthful of choices, but again, I don't go there necessarily to eat healthfully. I like salted egg, and I felt like having a lot of it that evening.

Salted Egg Salad

Daing na Bangus with Salted Egg

There are actually a lot of healthy choices on the menu of Likha Diwa. However, I sometimes choose not have these. I just go there usually to have the choco banana dessert. Everything else is considered a prelude to the main event.

Likha Diwa sa Gulod
Vegetarian and Seafood Cafe
C.P. Garcia, Krus na Ligas
Quezon City
Tel. No. (632)925.5522

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tang's Asian Fusion Restaurant

My friend Gines invited me and our friend Alain to pig out on Chinese food at Tang's, which is owned by the company he works for. He said that the restaurant had the best Pata Tim (made of pig's leg) in town. I wasn't enticed by this, understandably, but it was enough to get Alain's interest.

I was sure there would be a lot of seafood I could eat, as is usual in Chinese restaurants, so it didn't take much convincing for me to come along.

There were so many dishes, I wasn't quite sure where to start. When I saw the Century Egg with Japanese Tofu, I made it my first stop. The dish made me sentimental because my friend Yuying used to prepare this for me. It wasn't the exact same recipe, but the taste was similar enough.

Century Egg with Japanese Tofu

After that, I went through the crab, more century egg, this time with jellyfish (Yuying also used to make a similar dish), some fried shrimp, and many others. With a lot of Shanghai Fried Rice on the side, I might add.

Golden Brown Crab

Century Egg with Jellyfish

Shanghai Fried Rice

While I was attacking the seafood dishes, Gines and Alain got busy with the Pata Tim, which Alain declared to be excellent.

Pig out, we certainly did. It's difficult not to do so in a Chinese restaurant, especially in one like Tang's.

Tang's Asian Fusion Restaurant
Glorietta 3 (Besides Gold's Gym)
Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel. No. 816.1340

Monday, June 02, 2008

Proud Mary Cafe and Diner, Quezon City

A restaurant that my friend Chi recently invited me to try is Proud Mary Cafe. It's very near our office, and she said she noticed the place because she has passed by it so many times. She finally decided to give it a shot, so off we went. It's walking distance from the station, so it's convenient for us as well, considering gas prices.

It's a small place, but clean and quiet. (According to Chi, it's owned by some people from ABS-CBN.) We got there a bit early for lunch, so there were no other people around. Just the way I like it.

I ordered their fried catfish, which is served with eggplant and bagoong. The fish and bagoong went perfectly with the rice. I don't normally like finishing a whole cup of rice with a meal, but this time I just couldn't help it. I would classify this meal as Pinoy comfort food. Lots of salt and rice... yum.

Fried Catfish

Since we were feeling a bit sinful and indulgent, Chi and I had the banoffee pie. (One slice each!) I miss the banoffee pie of the now-defunct (?) Area Cafe in Megamall, and this was a perfect time to honor its memory. Having the dessert was also a good way to wash off the taste of the fish and bagoong.

Banoffee Pie

It's a good thing we just walked to Proud Mary. That meant we had to walk back and burn a few of the calories that we had consumed. The place is so near though, we probably just burned five of those calories on the walk back.

Proud Mary Cafe and Diner
233 Tomas Morato Extension
Quezon City
Tel. No. (63 2)473.7742