Feast your eyes on The Balcony Gastropub




There were a couple of reasons I was excited to try the food at The Balcony Gastropub.  First, I heard that their sisig is really good and I really love sisig.  Also, I was ecstatic to meet owner Christine San Diego.  She is someone who I always see in the lifestyle section of various newspapers rubbing elbows with the country's most famous personalities.  She is also the owner of Ti Braz Creperie Boracay.  When we got to meet her, I found out she is a very humble person and a very smart entrepreneur.

 



I decided to brave the very heavy traffic at EDSA in order to get here.  It actually took me two hours of travel time to get to the Balcony Gastropub.  Was it worth it?  

Yes.

I admit I underestimated them as I thought they only served finger food.  Boy, was I ever wrong because their main course choices are magnificent thanks to Christine's brother and co-owner Peter San Diego who has an extensive background as a chef.  
 




We started off with the dish that I was really anticipating, the Pork Sisig (P245).  They certainly defined what sisig should be like as theirs is really crunchy and tasty.  I think Pork Sisig has never tasted this good before.  With a dish like this as the curtain raiser, I got excited to try the next dishes and they did not disappoint me one bit.





The Twin Mac & Cheese (P345) really went well with the sisig so I was glad it was served second.  The first one was truffle scented with gruyere while the second half was cheddar & fontina with bacon.  It is without a doubt a side dish for the ages.





The highlight of the night belonged to the Chicken Alfredo Pizza (P335).  I told Christine how thin crust pizza is better than thick crust and she agreed because you would not be able to appreciate the flavor of the pizza with a thick crust pizza.  She could not be more right as we were able to appreciate the flavor of this pizza in more ways than one.  The pizza had  mozzarella, parmesan, spring onion, chili and chicken breast and this is one dish you should order right away on your first visit here.





The Chicken Pot Pie (P230) came with a flaky homemade crust that was really good.  Underneath the crust is wonderfully baked chicken that was so delicious that I kept on eating it and forgot that I was with other people.  It also came with vegetables that were ignored due to the goodness of the pie.





By this time, everyone was already grabbing their tummies because we were all so full already.  However, the Sheperd's Pie (P385) is one dish that deserves more than just a taste.  It contains ground beef, garlic mashed potato and cheese.  There is no doubt this dish will become a favorite in the eyes of many foodies.





I did not expect them to have Chicken Inasal here but they had it.  The different parts of the chicken had different prices as the leg & thigh part is P110, the breast part is P99, the wings part is P76 and the butt part is P69.  This dish is a perfect match with the cocktails of The Balcony Gastropub.






The shoestring fries of the Balcony Burger was really addicting.  In fact, they taste like Piknik.  Customers have the option of having hand-cut fries, shoestring fries or potato salad alongside the burger.  That does not take away the fact that the American Balcony Burger (P285) is very good.  The fact that it contains cheddar and bacon makes it a dish I would still want to devour even after a heavy meal.





The Mexican Balcony Burger (P285) contains jalapeno but it is separated from the actual burger.  The burger already contains cream cheese sauce and tomato salsa and that makes it an instant classic.





Despite not having any more space in our tummies, we were still delighted when the Lava Cake (P120) came out.  It is chocolate cake with caramel sauce and we all agreed that we could have finished this one even if there was one for each of us.  It was that good.








The Balcony Gastropub is known as a place where people who work at Makati would have long conversations with friends and officemates after a long day's work.  Because of that, everyone would think they have good cocktail drinks and guess what?  Their drinks were pretty impressive.  We had the Rum Juicy (P200), Ginger Daquiri (P200), Baccardi Cocktail (P200) and Rum Peachy (P200).  They are all drinks that will make you say "Ahhhhh!" after drinking them.





When people find out I am a food blogger, they always ask me for a restaurant to recommend to them.  The problem is I have tried so many restaurants over the years that I could not really decide which to recommend right off the bat.  The creation of Christine and Peter San Diego changed that perception though as I now know what I will recommend first.




The Balcony Gastropub
110 C. Palanca Jr. St. Legaspi Village, Makati
(632) 818-1551



The Best Food Picks at Robinson's Magnolia

Robinson's Magnolia is one of my favorite places to go to because of its nice atmosphere and awesome food choices.  When I received an invitation for a food tour at the restaurants here, I did not hesitate to confirm.  In this foodie tour, RJ Ledesma played the Pied Piper of Magnolia and food bloggers played the mice.  He did not have to play any music because the sound of good food was already music to my ears.

We made several stops that started in the food court and ended in the Magnolia Ice Cream house which was ironic since it was what was originally here before the mall took over.  In fact, Robinson's is only at the early stages of a plan that will make this the Magnolia Town Center that consists of high rise residential buildings and a commercial complex.  A lot of establishments are within reach including schools like Xavier School, La Salle Greenhills and Immaculate Conception Academy and the LRT Line 2.  

It is going to be a dream living in the Magnolia Residences as amenities include a swimming pool, jogging path, table tennis room and a private theater.  Visit their showroom now at Level 1, East Lane, Robinson's Galleria and take a look at what could be your future.

Here are the food picks that we got to taste throughout the night:



Zigla!





It won't be a matter of time before I become a vegetarian even though that is always getting delayed.  When that does happen, one of the places I will certainly frequent is Zigla!.   We were given a taste of their Tuna and Cheese Sandwich which is composed of high fiber whole wheat loaf, tuna, onions, celery and egg pimiento spread.  I took one bite of the sandwich and I knew right away that I will be coming back to Zigla! often in the near future.



House of Silvanas





We were treated to some delicious silvanas thanks to the House of Silvanas.  They offer different flavors such as ube, mango, pandan and strawberry.  They certainly came a long way from becoming a home based business.  I was not a Silvanas fan before but now I'm always craving for it thanks to the silvanas from the House of Silvanas.



Pad Thai and more!





Coming from the same team that brought you Thai Bistro and Silk Road, the specialty of Pad Thai and more! is Pad Thai (duh).  I already got to sample their pad thai when I ate at Thai Bistro and Silk Road before so I was really excited when I found out they were one of the places we were going to visit in this food tour.  When I got a plate of their Pad Thai, I was able to finish one whole plate while other bloggers shared one plate.  I guess they were saving their appetite but I threw that option out of the window for this one.



Villa del Conte






Who would have ever thought that we would sample chocolates in the middle of the food tour?  The chocolates at Villa Del Conte were absolutely tasty.  I understand why chocolate lovers would come up in groves just for their chocolates.  

 

The Clubhouse










The Clubhouse is one of the restaurants I have been wanting to try for a long time and my wish finally came true thanks to this food tour.  They have a homey ambiance and nice comfort food for all ages.  My cravings were certainly satisfied with the food they served which were Tuyo Rice Bowl, Vigan Longganisa Hash, Hungarian Sausage and Eggs and the Truffle Mushroom Scramble.  I loved everything here and there was nothing to dislike.  I can't wait to come back and celebrate a special occasion here.



Gaucho






 
I always pass by Gaucho and was always curious as to what was inside it due to the amazing interiors.  Wow, now I know what I was missing as I saw all those delightful meaty dishes.  I knew this was the restaurant that will give me a full appetite when the night is over.  They served Cordero Entero a la Cruz (Australian lamb), Cochino a la Cruz (Suckling pig), Falda a la Cruz (US beef shortplate) and El Pozo de Fuego (slow roasted from the fire pit).  As a meat lover, all the dishes left me speechless and my tummy told me that it was more than satisfied.



Magnolia Ice Cream Flavor House











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The last stop was none other than the Magnolia Ice Cream Flavor House.  There was barely any space left in my stomach for dessert.  Not only do they have ice cream but they also have sandwiches and pasta choices.  We were given lots of ice cream and I loved all of them.  There is no doubt in my mind their ice cream is one of the classic Filipino favorites.





Max's officially partners with Smart Gilas





We are just three months away before our beloved Smart Gilas goes to Spain to compete for a spot in the 2014 FIBA World Cup.  Because of that, Max's Restaurant has launched a social media campaign to support the national team.  Fans can use the #pusotothemax when posting about Smart Gilas on their social media accounts.




Me and other bloggers were actually surprised by Max's that we were going to meet the Smart Gilas team.  The other bloggers thought that it was Coco Martin or Bruno Mars but it turned out to be the best national team ever assembled according to coach Chot Reyes.  It was a big meet up as Max's branch managers and staff were also on hand to meet them and take pictures with the players.





We watched the beginning of the practice of Smart Gilas and the players started off by launching a bunch of half court shots.  Former Ateneo standout Larry Fonacier nailed a bunch of them.  It was like they were playing a game of H-O-R-S-E.





They proceeded to do some shooting drills and we were also treated to some rim rattling stuffs courtesy of 6'9 Japeth Aguilar.  Its been a long time since I saw some professional basketball players in person so I have to give credit to Max's for the nice surprise.  Basketball fans actually have a chance to watch the Smart Gilas games live in Madrid when they post the #pusotothemax on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts.





It did not take long before I challenged 6'10 June Mar Fajardo for a short game of one on one.  I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to try my luck in street clothes.  I told him that the next guy to score wins the game though so I would not have to sweat much.  He decided to post me up then as I was about to guard him, he drove to the hoop.  I knew he was going for a lay up so I decided to challenge him and he just dunked OVER ME.  After that, I.......



woke up and saw the other bloggers leaving for the bus.  Bye Smart Gilas.





Summer Reign Benefit Bazaar - Better than Advertised



Aldous ate the World was one of the media partners of the Summer Reign Benefit Bazaar which happened last weekend at the Rockwell Tent.  Tickets for the bazaar were being sold for only P50 and the proceeds went to their beneficiaries Gawad Kalinga and GK Enchanted Farm.  It was organized by Regina Iustitiae, a sorority composed of Ateneo Law School students.  

 











The products sold at the bazaar were a mix of everything from foldable shoes, healthy juices, designer bags, Indonesian food and clothes at affordable prices.  The concessionaires also participated in giveaways throughout the night as lucky shoppers won gift certificates.













The beautiful girls of Regina Iustitiae Sorority showed the true meaning of the word United as they pooled their talents to give everyone a bazaar for the ages.  I really appreciated the hard work that each of them put through in making the bazaar a big success.