Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bigby's Cafe and Restaurant

I don't see my family often enough, but when I do it's usually over a meal. This was again the case, as my sister invited us for dinner to celebrate her birthday. She held her birthday dinner at Bigby's Cafe and Restaurant at Megamall. (I think she's partial to Megamall because she and her husband hold their clinic there.)

Everyone was in attendance, and I was glad to have a chance to see my niece and nephews. Meals with the kids are usually noisier than I am used to, but it's fun to see them play with each other.

I ordered the Deep Sea Pasta, which had a thumbs up stamp beside it. Since it was one of their favorites and/or specialties, that's what I had. Also, it was described as "garlic shrimps and rich crab fat sauce on top of noodles and served sizzling hot". Garlics and crab fat... how could I resist?

Deep Sea Pasta

You can't really go wrong with that combination, so I enjoyed my meal. More than the food though, I appreciated the time that I got to spend with my parents, my siblings, and their kids. I really should see them all more often.

Bigby's Cafe and Restaurant
SM Megamall Atrium
EDSA corner Julia Vargas Ave.
Metro Manila
Tel. No. +63(2)706.5642

Monday, May 18, 2009

Seafood Roll at King Bee Chinese Restaurant

It was my parents' wedding anniversary, and they decided to celebrate it with some Chinese food at King Bee Restaurant. My family was in complete attendance, (well, except for my brother's family in the US), and we all brought our formidable appetites.

My father very thoughtfully made sure that there were a lot of pescetarian dishes for me to eat. I guess after all those years, my parents are used to my dietary needs. He ordered fried rice and noodles, and asked that these not have any meat other than seafood. Actually, they forgot to remove the pork from the rice, but I told my dad that it was all right because there were a lot of dishes I could choose from, and could do without the extra carbs.

What I liked best among all the dishes served (and there was quite a number of them), I like the seafood roll best. Its taste reminded me of a similar dimsum dish from Causeway Seafood Restaurant.

Seafood Roll

I ate way too much as I invariably do in Chinese restaurants. I don't know what it is about these places that makes me stuff myself silly. My excuse is that it was a celebration, and there's no better way to celebrate the many years of my parents' togetherness than with a very hearty meal.

King Bee Chinese Restaurant
120 King Ville Arcade JNF Bldg.
Marcos Highway
Antipolo City, Rizal
Tel. No. (632)681.9570

Friday, May 15, 2009

Amici, Tomas Morato, Quezon City

I first heard of Amici several years ago when I was still working for the now-defunct lifestyle TV show “F”. At that time, Amici could only be found in Don Bosco in Makati, and was thus called Amici di Don Bosco. It started out as an Italian canteen which became known for its gelato. We featured it as a reasonably priced Italian restaurant with good food, at an unexpected location.

Linguine Alla Puttanesca

Seafood Pizza

Now the restaurant’s popularity has grown, and it already has a few branches. A couple of years ago, one opened along Tomas Morato. I’ve eaten there several times, usually in a big group. I find that’s the best way to go there, in the company of many friends. (Its canteen-like atmosphere is not exactly the best setting for a romantic one-on-one date.)

Four Cheese Pizza

There’s a lot to eat there for a pescetarian like me, and I especially like their four-cheese pizza. I also like their vongole pasta. I always top off a meal in Amici with some of their gelato, usually the hazelnut flavored one. It's another restaurant where it's difficult NOT to overeat.

Spaghetti Vongole e Gamberetti

Bellagio Square
243 Tomas Morato cor. Sct. Fuentebella Sts.
Quezon City
Phone Number: (632)376-6458

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Food Trip in Legazpi, Albay with Tropical Depression Dante

Some friends and I planned to go to Donsol last weekend to snorkel with whale sharks and to dive the Manta Bowl in Ticao. It had been raining in Metro Manila early last week, but the skies cleared up a bit on Friday, which as it turned out only gave us false hope.

Choco Fudge Sans Rival

We'd heard that there was a storm brewing in the vicinity of Albay. But I guess our great desire to see butandings and mantas put us in a state of denial. We thought that because it was getting sunny it Manila, it would follow that the skies would be clear in Sorsogon too. (Despite all evidence to the contrary, of course.)

Well, the low pressure area hovering in the area DID turn into a tropical depression named Dante. The storm caused floods and big waves that foiled all our plans. After a 19-hour bus ride (the delays caused by sitting out floods), we ended up in a hotel in Legazpi, Albay. To comfort ourselves, we decided to go foraging for food. The locals suggested Small Talk Cafe and Restaurant. After an overpriced tricycle ride, we got there a bit wet from the nonstop rain.

Crispy Tilapia

We immediately liked the place. It had a homey ambience, and there were not many people due to the storm. It also had an interesting menu, which tried to infuse local flavor into otherwise staple fare, like Pasta Pinangat/Laing and Bicol Express Pasta. I had their Crispy Tilapia, and some of their Crispy Squidlets. My only complaint would be that the squidlets were not that crunchy. We all had dessert (I had the Mango Crepe with an additional ice cream scoop), so at the end of the meal we were all stuffed.

Mango Crepe with ice cream

The next day, we decided to go for lunch at Chili Peppers, a restaurant that caught our eye during said overpriced tricycle ride the day before. We had a few hours to kill before our 6:00pm bus ride back to Manila so we wanted to hang out in a nice place. It turns out that Chili Peppers was a good choice. The food was good, and they didn't at all threaten to kick us out during our five hour lunch, despite the ruckus we created from playing Pusoy Dos at our table.

Tuna Salpicao

I had their Tuna Salpicao with garlic rice, and their Choco Fudge Sans Rival, which I thought was heavenly. The only thing I didn't like was the green mango shake that my friend Ismael had. It was also the only thing that wasn't demolished among everything that we ordered.

So... we didn't get to see the whale sharks, nor did we get to dive with the mantas. But we did find out that if you are stuck in the middle of a storm and just aching for a good meal, Legazpi City is not a bad place to be.

051 Doña Aurora St.
Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines
(63-52) 480-1393, 820 1477
+63 917-5583275

Rizal St. cor. Doña Aurora
Old Albay District
(63-52) 481-7142