September 26, 2011

DINING: Manila Top Eats

The ride to the airport was smooth as it was only half light and the city has not thoroughly awakened. We were first in line to check in at the domestic T3 airport and it was a breeze. Our 910 AM flight to Legazpi from Manila on 5J 323 was surprisingly on time and half hour before take-off we were called to board the aircraft.

we were early that we even had time for a snooze before boarding

It was a gorgeous day and we’re more than happy to be on a holiday. 30 minutes into the flight, the Captain went on air to update that we’re beginning to descend and we will soon land to the home of the majestic Mount Mayon.

gorgeous day for flying

We re-fastened our seat belts, straightened our seats, stowed our tray tables, and pulled up our window shades as we craned our necks trying to get a glimpse of what’s on land only to see the window suddenly enveloped with thick milky white clouds. As if on cue, the plane started to fly through some heavy turbulence, the kind where a few passenger passengers audibly expelled their breakfast on disposable bags found in the seat pocket and FA’s rushing to their seats to buckle up all the while struggling to keep a poker face but doesn’t quite muster it. We were seated on the first row and faced with the expressions they’ve managed might have been funny had it not been scary. Just then, the pilot droned on confirming that the weather has fast deteriorated and landing in Legazpi’s airport may no longer be possible because of the negative visibility. He tried 3 times more until deciding that the best course was to go back to Manila. After over an hour into the air, with almost half the time really bumpy, we have safely landed back at the NAIA Terminal 3 with a huge urge to kiss the ground.

relieved to be back safely on land

So what do we do then with 4 days approved leave with a botched-up itinerary? Why but turn our cancelled road trip into the next best thing - a favourite pakunswelo de bobo - full blown food trip (with some sidebar on shopping) and here is our Manila top and regular eats.

PEPPER LUNCH Mj’s favorite. Aside from being a big fan of Chuvaness’ blog, she’s also a very big fan of Chuvaness’ DIY fastfood steakhouse. A variety of choice cuts of beef, pork, chicken and salmon to choose from and cook it yourself over an electromagnetic plate that is heated up to 260 degree Celsius. Our favorites are, Salmon Pepper Steak and Beef curry pepper steak, Chicken Pepper Steak, and for dessert, black sesame ice cream.

Chicken Pepper Steak (php215)

Black Sesame Ice Cream (php55)

PRICE: php99-600
LOCATION: Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Power Plant Mall, Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 5, Robinsons
Ermita, SM Megamall A, SM Mall of Asia

CAFÉ PROVENCAL prolly the best Lamb Chops MJ’s ever had.  Their signature herb marinated lamb chops on earthy sun-dried tomato-shiitake mushroom gnocci says MJ is simply the best.  Me, i like the Classic Charbroiled Imported Tenderloin served with a generous amount of fries and a choice of peppercorn, mushroom or bearnaise sauce.

Lamb Chops with Herbe De Provence Gnocci (php520)

 Classic Charboiled Steak (php530)

CUISINE: French, Mediterranean
PRICE: php160-1,000
LOCATION: Shangri-la Plaza Mall Mandaluyong

DAD’S ULTIMATE BUFFET the daddy of all buffets! Over 200 buffet dishes from steaks, turkeys, sashimi,tepanyaki to binagoongang baboy and crispy kangkong. Whatever it is you are craving for, I assure you, Dad’s will satisfy every bit of it.  Dad's ultimate buffet for less than 600php includes dishes from Kamayan (Filipino) and Saisaki (Japanese).

CUISINE: Buffet (America, Italian, Japanese, Filipino)
PRICE:less than php600 for ultimate buffet
LOCATIONS: Padre Faura, EDSA, SM Megamall, Glorietta 3

AMICI imagine authentic Italian with a canteen setting. The restaurant first started as a canteen in Don Bosco Makati and because of its reasonably priced good food it now has several more branches in Metro Manila. If there’s such a thing as Italian comfort food this is it, generous serving of pasta with unlimited grated parmesan cheese, brick oven pizza, dozens of gelato’s to choose from, and their Merry Berry ice
cream cake, it certainly makes my world a happy place!

 Tutta Carne - Italian sausage, ham and pepperoni (php340)

  Penne Al Salmone Affumicato Pasta (php295)

Merry Berries - blueberry and strawberry gelato on a crust of crusted graham
(Whole php760.00 / Slice 110.00)

CUISINE: Italian, Gelato, Dessert
PRICE: php180-1,000
LOCATIONS: Don Bosco Makati, Alabang Town Center, SM Megamall Atrium, Bellagio Square TomasMorato, SM North EDSA, Missouri St. San Juan

LAPIDS CHICHARON for that ultimate cholesterol goodness. With very little regard for my health I grab at least 2 large bags of Chicharon with Laman (crispy porkloin skin with a bloodcurdling amount of fat and meat) every time I’m in Manila. Makes for good pasalubong too.  Look for the label "freshly popped" and "the rolls royce" of chicaron for the original Lapids brand. 

Special Chicharon with Laman

CUISINE: Chicharon
PRICE: php75-175
LOCATIONS: White Plains, E. Rodriguez infront of Christ the King, Shopwise Araneta Center, Vito Cruz

TENDER BOBS satisfies all my meat cravings. There’s no better sight than a slab of juicy premium tenderloin believe me. The resto feels like an all American diner, not that I’ve been to one but it sure looks like those I see on Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives. As for the steak, it’s tender and perfectly grilled, comes with corn and veggies on the side and a choice of rice or mashed potato. They also serve pastas, burgers, ribs, US steaks and classic American appetizers.

 Tenderloin Steak 10oz (php520)

Braised Assuie Lamb Shank (php395)

CUISINE: Steaks and BBQ
PRICE: php100-1,500
LOCATIONS: Promenade Greenhills, Greenbelt 2, SM The Block, Shangri-la Plaza Mall

TACO BELL Mexican food in less than 5 minutes, how great is that. Never thought fast food could be so damn tasty. I wouldn’t mind having their ½ pound beef & potato burrito for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s heaven in a wrap!

Churros, Nacho Sprinkles and Burritos

Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes (php40)

CUISINE: Mexican
PRICE: php40-200
LOCATIONS: Gateway Mall Araneta Coliseum, Trinoma North Edsa

DAIRY QUEEN a worldwide chain of ice cream and snacks. I use to not like ice cream at all but with DQ, I keep coming back for more. That smooth, rich and creamy Brownie Temptation Blizzard bursting with chocolate goodness has a life changing effect and their ice cream is so thick it’s served upside down how awesome is that!

Brownie Temptation Blizzard

pick your cone

CUISINE: Ice Cream, Shakes and Cakes
PRICE: php100-200
LOCATIONS: scattered all over Manila, visit their website for a full listing: http://

CHUCKS DELI is relatively new to our list.  Opened only sometime last year, it has garnered a lot of followers already and they can count us in as one of their fans. Massive sandwiches that is not for the faint of heart. Their Waki salad and the crunchiest onion rings are also a must have.

Waki Salad - crispy greens, crab sticks, eggs, mangoes and wasabi mayo (php185)

1/2 slabwich of Angus Roast Beef  with crispy Onion Rings on the side (php255)

CUISINE: Gourmet Sandwiches
PRICE: php175-455
LOCATIONS: G/F Serendra, Bonifacio Global City and G/F Eastwood Mall, Libis, QC

DUO STEAKHOUSE for the best steak that we both have had in a very long time. Juicy, tender, flavorful grilled over coals. Couldn't get better than that.

U.S. Angus Beef Tenderloin rubbed with Organic Herbs and Spices, Olive Oil Parsley, Garlic, Salt and Pepper and served with Rice or steamed Vegetables (php750)


  1. Not a bad alternative at all, in fact it's a delicious and filling itinerary :) I remember reading Mervin's post about his flight to Palawan and returning back to Manila because of bad weather as well. Sometimes we're really at the mercy of mother nature.

  2. LECHE... gigutum kog tan-aw sa mga mouthwatering photos ninyu! Grrrrr!

  3. haha. dapat habhab sa pagkain jud! pambawi sa stress ng cancelled trip! :D
    great shots! :D

  4. Food, glorious food indeed makes life so much better and tastier!:-)

  5. What a way to turn your Legazpi trip to a Food trip. Akala ko mga one or two lang. pero 10! Amazing!

  6. Pagkain lang kasi makakapagpalubag ng aming damdamin, pero dapat madami hahaha! Katakawan post:-)

  7. Ay, bakit ako pumunta dito ng gutom :| Hehe nakakamiss mag-buffet with buddies na matakaw rin :D

  8. Oooppps, sorry! Should have put out a disclaimer not to read on an empty stomach hehe.

  9. Waaaaa. Uber mouth watering. Love the food pics!


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