My Birthday Bash at Solstice by Ilustrado

 Cucumber + Mint + Orange

I had my birthday dinner at Solstice by Ilustrado located at 8 Rockwell. Heavy rain poured down so while waiting for the other bloggers, I had Cucumber + Mint + Orange. It automatically became one of my favorite drinks of all time. Seriously, it was that good and I wish they have an unlimited option for it. The combination is something I couldn't refuse.

 Stuffed Chicken Ilustrado

Solstice by Ilustrado is a Filipino-Spanish cuisine that reinvented the menu of Ilustrado, one of the famed restaurants at popular tourist spot, Intramuros. There's a fine selection of cocktails and wines here too, making them the perfect hangout place after work. 

The Stuffed Chicken Ilustrado made me ask for the name of the chef and I found out her name is Bernice Pimentel. She appeared twice in Inquirer Lifestyle's Best Desserts book. We found out that not only is she a master of desserts but appetizers and main course dishes too. 

 Kapampangan Sisig

A Filipino restaurant isn't complete without the traditional sisig and theirs is absolutely crunchy and tasty. You wouldn't have to pour kamatis all over it to improve the taste because the taste is already top notch.

 Roast US Long Island Duck al orange

Who wouldn't want duck on his birthday? I certainly got my wish and their roast duck made this a memorable night. 

 Adobong Bagnet with Crab Fat

It's the first time I tasted Adobong Bagnet and it didn't disappoint one bit. In fact, I applaud chef Bernice for this wonderful recipe. I will certainly order this again when I come back. The meat is so tender and the sauce got me curious on its ingredients. 

 Shroom Pizza

 I heard a lot of good things about their pizza and the Shroom Pizza is something they could brag about. It had farm fresh mushrooms just the way I like it.

 Paella Ilustrado

Their specialty paella is filled with chorizo, bell peppers, eggs, green peas and shrimp. I have tasted a lot of paellas before and this one is definitely at the top of the list.

 Chorizo Pizza

The Chorizo Pizza looks and tastes like Pepperoni pizza but it is a lot better than that. I love how the cheese stands out. 

 Mango Jubilee with Sampaguita Ice Cream

 It was finally time for my favorite part in any meal, dessert. Since Chef Bernice has an outstanding background in making dessert dishes, I had high expectations and guess what? Their dessert dishes exceeded my expectations especially the Mango Jubilee.

 Matcha Cookies and Cream

I thought I've seen all the Matcha desserts there is but I guess I was wrong. Lo and behold, their matcha cookies and cream satisfied my Matcha cravings in more ways than one! For those who don't know me, I crave for Matcha everyday and I highly recommend this dish.

My birthday cake was none other than a slice of their Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake. It was actually my fourth birthday cake of the day and this one just made me have one slice after another.

Solstice by Ilustrado
G/F 8 Rockwell

Ice Cream Sandwich Galore at Phat Boys

It's great to have the concept of ice cream sandwiches present at one of the most renowned food parks in the country. The owners told us that they are a thing in the States and I am confident it won't be long before they become one here. All the flavors are da bomb!

The O. G. (P170)

The O.G. consisted of yummy chocolate chips, double chocolate chip, vanilla ice cream and chopped nuts. I loved the combination of vanilla ice cream, nuts and chocolate chips. It is a like a combination made in heaven. It's perfect for those who have the sweet tooth.

Pretty Ricky (P160)

The Pretty Ricky had snickerdoodle, double chocolate chip, strawberry ice cream and fruity pebbles. This one is an alright flavor as I am not actually a fan of strawberry ice cream and fruity pebbles but I highly recommend it to those who are.

I can't wait to try the other flavors the next time I visit Phat Boys. I can't thank enough the lovely owners who brought the ice cream sandwich concept to the Philippines.

Phat Boys
The Yard at Underground

Halal Kebab Express - A Fast Rising Star

One of the slowly rising food stalls is Halal Kabab Express. They are making their presence felt in food parks all over the metro. They first started out in the Yard Xavierville and they now have two branches in the Yard Underground and Katipunan.I guarantee it won't be long before you'd see a lot of Halal Kabab Express stalls popping up because of their good food.

Beef Kebab Kubideh

Chicken Morgh Kubideh

Their chicken and beef kebab have a lot of flavor in them. I got used to other Persian restaurants where you need sauce so the chicken and beef kebab would actually have good taste. This time, it wasn't needed. I still highly recommend you to dip the meats into their two specialty sauces though.

Breaded Chicken

I love it when a chicken dish is so crunchy and their breaded chicken is exactly that on the outside and yummy on the inside.

Chicken BBQ

When it comes to meaty dishes, this Persian cuisine has it all. The Chicken BBQ is no exception. I loved the Biryani rice that came with all the dishes too. There's nothing to hate about all of their dishes.

Chicken Biryani Special

I heard so many good things about their specialty, the chicken biryani special. When we got to try it, it didn't disappoint one bit. In fact, I'm already looking forward to having this one again.

Halal Kebab Express
The Yard Underground
Official Website

Soothe your Soul at Antara Wellness Spa

If there ever was a budget spa, Antara Wellness Spa would be it. Despite offering their services at affordable prices, they have a nice place with a comfortable atmosphere. Their best promo is they offer their full body massage at only P300 during off peak hours at 1 to 6 PM. If that doesn't get you to go to their spa in groups, then I don't know what will.

For their couple room, they don't charge extra for couples who want a bit of privacy. Other spas charge a bit extra for private rooms but they don't.

As you can see, their services are extremely affordable. I tried the antara signature massage and it involves bamboo sticks getting whipped at your back among other things. It was one of the most relaxing massages I have ever felt.

They are also located right in the central business district of Makati so if you just experienced a tiring day at work, avail of one of their packages now.

Antara Wellness Spa
1289 Zobel Roxas Street

One Meaty Night at The Carnivore Cookery

One food stall that has caught my attention is the Carnivore Cookery. Their meat dishes made me want to order everything being a carnivore myself. However, since I already ate a lot at the food park I opted to try their best seller.

Smoked Pork Belly Rice (P200)

Their smoked pork belly is slow cooked for 12 hours. It was a little salty but that quickly disappeared when I dipped it into the mango salsa sauce. It has a heavy price tag but that is forgiven given the amount of meat in it.

Next time you are at the Yard Underground and craving for some meat, give the Carnivore Cookery a try. I guarantee you will love the experience.

The Carnivore Cookery
The Yard Underground

The Humble Beginnings of The Good Tapa

Every place has its own unique story and I was surprised to know the story behind the Good Tapa. One day, lovebirds Geremy and Monique decided to dine at a cheap tapa place somewhere in Timog. In a strange turn of events, Monique's bag got snatched in a stick-up despite there being customers at the resto. The bag contained both of their cellphones, wallets and a lot more personal belongings. Monique was pretty sure it was an inside job but they could not do anything about that anymore. 

They did decided to build their own place, "The Good Tapa" since tapa places should not be known as the scene where robberies happen. It should be a good place to have good food and hang out and that is exactly what they started.

Beef Good Tapa (Regular P100, Hungry P150, Starving P250)

The signature dish of the place does not disappoint one bit! The best part about their best sellers is that they come in 3 sizes but always-hungry guys like me would always opt for the starving version. Their tapa is not the type that gets stuck in your teeth. It is made with prime beef that is so tender, it will get you hooked right from the start.

Beef Garlic Salpicao (Regular P100, Hungry P150, Starving P250)

When Geremy was still courting Monique, he would always cook Salpicao for her. We now understand why this is one of their best sellers. In fact, it is an improved version of the salpicao Monique enjoyed back in the day. I highly recommend getting the starving version of this one. You won't regret it.

The Good Tapa
The Yard at Xavierville

8 Dishes to Try at Pink Panda

I was so giddy about our visit to Pink Panda because I have been wanting to try their food for the longest time and guess what? It was all worth the wait! Out of all the dishes we tried, here are the ones that caught my attention the most:

 Pork & Shrimp Laksa (P245)

Being a Southeast Asian favorite, you can be sure they would have laksa. It had the right amount of spiciness in it too. It had both pork and shrimp and nobody is complaining about that. To top it all off, it even had sesame buchi which is a major first for a laksa.

 Fresh Lumpia (P180)

I'm very at home when eating at Asian restaurants and the fresh lumpia is one of the main reasons why. There is delight in every crunchy bite in this dish. Of course, don't forget to dip it in the peanut sauce for the maximum taste.

 Chicken & Dumpling Noodle (P240)

This dish is a big hit for those who are a little health conscious. It is something you will find people ordering in every Chinese noodle house. I actually liked this more than I liked the Laksa but of course the gap is not that big.

 Chili Prawn Fried Dumpling (P210)

It is always great to see fried shrimp dumplings right in front of you. In fact, I decided to swallow each piece as a whole and I was the one who had the most dumplings. I absolutely loved every bit of it.

Sisig Siopao (P220)

I have to admire the creativity of the chef. I never thought I would ever see Sisig Siopao in a menu but there it was right in front of me. The best part about it is that it tastes great too. Don't make the mistake of getting too excited to try it though or else you might accidentally swallow the wrapper like I did.

Crispy Beef Rendang (P220)

If had to pick one thing I loved about the Beef Rendang, it was the tenderness of the beef. The sauce was so grand too. I would definitely order this again in the future.

Panda Balls (P120)

For dessert, we had the Panda Balls. They were sesame buchi balls with either chocolate or peanut butter & jelly inside them. All of us agreed that we liked the chocolate flavor better but the peanut butter & jelly flavor is not something you would want to underestimate.

Pink Panda Pork Bun (P190)

This has got to be the cutest pork buns I have ever seen. It makes you not want to eat it because it would ruin the staring panda. I have to give mad props to the chef for designing this one. It contains chinese sausage, wood ear mushroom and salted egg. Judging from the taste of it, that is such a lovely combination of the ingredients of a pork bun.

Pink Panda
G/F Y2 Residence Hotel