Being a foodie is a cultural appreciation. But, my cultural appreciation is not limited to food. I'd like to believe my family is the same which is why I am very grateful that we all got to Batad in the Ifugao Region. We stayed at Batad View Inn and Restaurant which we found on the interested where we had numerous meals which I can now share with you.
The reviews we read about this place were mostly made by foreigners. During our entire stay, we were also in the company of foreigners. Isn't it ironic that they got to visit this place before most Filipinos?
The view and Ifugao vibe is priceless.
I enjoyed dining here when I was restless from trekking and even so after a comfortable rest. To breathe and feel the fresh cool air has become a rarity for me.
Although there has been some influene of mcivilization , I still find that they have their own identity.
Longsilog with Coffee or Tea (165 php)
I was expecting food to be a bit ethnic like the Pinikpikan and such that we encountered in Baguio. But, the food is pretty much the same as here in Manila. The server highly recommended the Batad SpecialtyLongsilog as something we should try. She told us that it is different from Ilocos and Baguio but as far as I can tell it was not significantly distinguihsable. Here in the Philippines, it seems every household has their own blend of longganisa right?
Chicken and Pork (With Rice)
♥ Fried Pork Chop (175 php or 3.25 USD)
If there's one thing we went crazy over its the Fried Pork Chop! This is so good thatwe ordered this as much as we can - breakfast, lunch and dinner for days!
♥ Fried Pork Chop (175 php or 3.25 USD)
Sometimes, we even order extra Fried Pork Chopala carte! But, there was one time where it was cooked by someone else. We got so disappointed because the taste and texture was different. I hope they can keep this consistent cause it is the best home made pork chop we've tried!
Fried Chiken (175 php or 3.25 USD)
Compared to the Fried Pork Chop, the Fried Chicken seemed like a failed mimicry.
Curry (175 php or 3.25 USD)
Nothing particularly noteworthy with the Curry.
Spicy (175 php or 3.25 USD), Tinola (175 php or 3.25 USD), Pork Chopsuey (175 php or 3.25 USD), and Ham & Chesse Omellete (100 php)
As you can see, the dishes looks like a typical FIlipino home-made meal. The Spicy is just a spicy version of curry.
Rice here is very sacred so they can't stand even a grain being wasted. Aside from being brought down sack by sack placed on their backs, we were also shown and taught how this was meticulously processed.
Ginger Tea (50 php)
The coffee and tea here is instant. But, with the atmosphere, you'd still want to have some as often as you can.
Tsinoy Foodies Verdict It takes more than 10 hours and hundreds of trekking steps to reach Batad View Inn and Restaurant from Manila. Yet, for its breath-taking rice terrace view, fresh dewy cool air and addictive home-made pork chop, I would definitely want to go back here. I found the expensive pricing of the dishes to be well-substantie by the labor it requires for them to to carry the ingredients through a long trek. Let's support our ethnic "katutubo" (tribes) guys. Please visit this place!
Tip: To find this place, contact them prior so they will meet you in Banaue and trek with you. (Cellphone signal is not so good so expect delays in communication)
It is part of Filipino culture to make a stop from churches and religious shrines. Located on the way to the National Shrine of Mount Samat is Ima's Pamangan.
Ima's Pamangan is a huge eatery that offers an unbelieavably affordable buffet for 200 php and ala carte budget meals ranging from 70 php to 400 php.
The dishes it serves are popular Filipino home dishes.
It offers a refreshing wooden cabin ambiance.
Buffet (200 php)
We opted for the buffet because it is a steal deal! Look at all the dish options for only 200 php!
These are replenished quite often.
Among the dishes I enjoyed the most are: ♥ Crispy Talangka, ♥ Langka, ♥ Green Mango Salad, and ♥ Sweetened Cassava.
Big groups are very welcome here as it has really long tables.
You can see different kinds of people dining here from families to friends, bikers and both locals and tourists alike. Did I mention, it also offers free WiFi? Tsinoy Foodies Verdict Before or after heading of to the National Shrine of Mount Samat, make a meal stopover for Ima's Pamangan. You won't regret it! It also has a pasalubong store which I found to be convenient.
While the international chain of Starbucks is dominating most towns in the Philippines, I'm happy to find out that Bataan begs to differ. Both tourists and locals visit Saverde Coffee Shop.
Saverde is not located on a famous mall or at a main stream corner lot. In fact, it is found in a conspicuous alley.
Yet, it is full even on a typical weekday.
It may not look much from the outside, but you'll find it cozy once you step in.
Saverde has a lot of options from food to drinks. I noticed most customers already know what to order so they could probably tell that we were tourists as we took a lot of time in deciding what to order. What shocked us was the unbelievably cheap pricing!
If you're a fan of nighttime al fresco, don't you agree this is a decent spot? It's not as popular as the air-conditioned areas though.
Saverde also has this pink hue function room.
Buttermilk Toast (20 php)
When I first saw this, what I thought was. Why don't they raise the price? Are they even earning? If I ordered a toast like this in any cafe in Manila it would surely be over a 100 php. Believe me this Buttermilk Toast is as good as it looks! I am so willing to pay much more for it.
Beef Tapa (75 php)
My favorite Filipino breakfast is actually Tapa. I have a narrow preference when it comes to tapa. Believe it or not, I am one of the few who did not fall in love with the tapa of famous Tapa chains like Tapa King and Rufo's. But, I loved Saverde's Beef Tapa. It looks so gourmet yet check out the price and you'll surely be surprised!
Chicken in a Basket (130 php)
The Chicken in a Basket is a great dish to order for sharing. Because of the cozy ambiance, I'm sure you and you're companions would want to stay a bit longer. You can munch on this to enjoy your stay even more.
Iced Cafe Latte (60 php)
This is by far the cheapest coffee drink I have ever encountered! I found it to be a bit sweet for my taste because I'm a black coffee drinker but my companions loved this! Plus points for presentation too right?
♥ Mango Burst (60 php)
For a hot summer day, I can't help but be pleased by the refreshing Saverde Mango Burst upon first sip! I truly enjoyed this that I would order this over coffee drinks.
Tsinoy Foodies Verdict Saverde Coffee Shop reminds us that there are so many homegrown industries out there that deserve to be discovered! When visiting Bataan, check out Saverde Coffee Shop - Bataan's Leading Homegrown Coffee Shop in Abucay, Bataan.
If you've been to Hongkong, I'm certain you've encountered Hui Lau Shan 许留山! It's so famous that you'll find in almost everywhere especially the busy districts.
I was lucky to be invited for a sneak peek prior to its opening. I'm sharing here what I had then. I'm aiming to go back soon to try more!!!
Handmade Mango Desserts
Mango Romance (170 php)
The Mango Romance is Hui Lau Shan's world-famous set because as you can see, it seems like an ideal sampler to order. You get three desserts in one plate: (1) Mango Chewy Ball (2) Mango Crystal Jelly (3) Mango Mochi. All of them are equally good! I noticed the pricing here is cheaper than in Hongkong perhaps because their mangoes are sourced here in the Philippines. Lucky us!!!
Mango Mochi (90 php/3 pcs)
While we do have some Chinese restaurants here offering the Mango Mochi, I dare say that it is not at par with Hui Lau Shan's Mango Mochi. The soft and chewy texture of the mochi with the sweet and tangy mango cube filling will surely delight you.
Mango Pancake (140 php)
The first time I've tried a Mango Pancake was in HK 88 Dessert in 999 Shopping Mall Food Court back in 2012. Unfortunately, it closed down and I haven't had one since. While I loved the Mango Pancake upon first try, I never thought that it could be as good as how Hui Lau Shan made it out to be. The pancake had such a light and velvety texture that was well-complimented by the light and fluffy cream-filling and refreshingly sweet and tangy mango.
Mango & Coconut
Mango & Coconut Juice with Red Bean (110 php/18 oz)
When it comes to coconut juice desserts, I can only think of Buko Bar and Haokang Hongkong Desserts who offer the same. While I am also still a fan of Hao Kang, I would say that this Mango & Coconut Juice with Red Bean is just as good. Both of them offer them at subtle sweetness. I think some would prefer this to be sweeter though.
My companions had these... I will try these out soon!
Hui Lau Shan 许留山 also offers desserts as take away! I will buy some of these on my next visit for the family!
Welcome to the Philippines Hui Lau Shan 许留山! I hope you can be consistent with the sweetness and pricing cause I will surely keep coming back for more!
Don't you agree that the Omelette Chorizo Rice takes the semblance of the Japanese Omurice dish? Taste-wise, it is very different. The glaced sauce and savory chorizo is specially chosen to appeal to the Filipino tastebuds.
Sisig Tacos (220 php)
I must say that this is not the first time that I've encountered a fusion dish like this. What I like about Little Owl's Sisig Tacos is the harmonious ingredients. However, Ifelt that the shell isn't at par with my standards for soft shell tacos.
Glazed Cauliflower (220 php)
It's amazing to see everyone addictively popping vegetables into their mouths because of the Glazed Cauliflower. The flavor and texture is perfect that even the pickiest kids will eat this for sure!
Lechon Kawali Bibimbap (320 php)
I've always been a fan of the Korean bibimbap dish. Yet, I never imagined that the Lechon Kawali Bibimbap would work so wonderfully.
Chicken Satay (350 php)
If I would choose between the rice bowls, it would be the Chicken Satay. I found the skewers to be fun to eat and the flavor goes well with the fried rice.
Chicken & Waffle (270 php)
When I first tried the Chicken & Waffle, I felt that waffle was not complementing the fried chicken. But, they must have revised the recipe because it was perfect!
Beef Tapa & Cheese (295 php)
I love cheese steak sandwiches but there aren't much remarkable ones to take note of here in Manila. Now, let me add the Beef Tapa & Cheese on the list!
Truffle Mushroom (350 php)
When presented with a glorious pasta dish like the Truffle Mushroom, how can I not oblige myself? I loved this to bits!
Shrimp & Aligue (350 php)
Forget about the cholesterol because the Shrimp & Aligue will completely woo your taste buds.
Beef Rendang (420 php)
With some staple, the tender and supremely succulent Beef Rendang is an excellent choice when you're craving for a Malaysian spiced dish.
Kimchi Salmon Sinigang (420 php)
If you're looking for a unique and unforgettable new dish to try, then go for the Kimchi Salmon Sinigang. This is a really ingenuous! I am very much impressed with the menu update! A perfect execution for Little Owl Cafe! My primary visit here would always be for the Toby's Estate Coffee. Now, I would certainly order good food to go with it.
A hotel staycation should always be complimented with great food. During my stay at Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle. I found it convenient to have my dinner at the hotel's mainstay restaurant - Cafe Romancon.
Located at the ground level by the entrance, you surely can't miss it. For hotel guests, they are acquainted with it as soon as they arrive as this is where they can claim their welcome drinks. During mornings, they also offer a buffet breakfast.
Kani Mango Salad (190 php)
The Kani Mango Salad really surprised me because it was very different from the usual Japanese kani salad I've had. It had crunchy rice noodles, dried mango, crab stick bits and lots of greens. I loved it! I appreciated the creativity that was invested into this.
Friesian Express (350 php)
I'm not sure where the name Friesian Express came from. But, this looks like a good piece of steak to me at an unbelievable cheap price.
Friesian Express (350 php)
It is cooked medium which I appreciated for having the tenderness and juiciness that I preferred.
Sizzling Brownies (225 php)
A great finale to have is the Sizzling Brownies. It was a fun experience to pour the milk and watch it sizzle. The brownie which swims in it like a hot spring gains flavor as well. You have to experience the fun for yourselves! Bring company because this is more fun to be shared.
TIP: Avail of Cafe Romancon and Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle seasonal promos for more savings!
Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Cafe Romancon is very affordable compared to other hotel cafes. Yet, its offerings are quite creative and impressive. I would surely love to dine here again.
Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating
Cafe Romancon Menu
♥=Favorites or Recommended
Hotel Benilde, Arellano Avenue Corner Estrada Street, Malate, Manila
It has been five years since I last posted about Amici! That is a long time ago so a revisit and an update of its new menu is only proper.
Smoked Salmon Dip (390 php)
Since dishes are freshly prepared at Amici, its a wise choice to order their dips that you can munch on while waiting for your main course. When it comes to dips, my favorite is the spinach and artichoke. But, when I tried the Smoked Salmon Dip, I feel that my favorite has a new contender. I may order this again next time.
Creamy Tomato Soup (195 php/bowl)
The Creamy Tomato Soup is not a usual offering so I was really intrigued by it. It tanginess gave a refreshing kickstart for the palette. The warmth and creaminess was an instant comfort to the tongue.
Chorizo Puttanesca (725 php)
I can imagine the Chorizo Puttanesca being a popular choice. Its flavorful yet not overwhelming.
Salmone Alffumicato (780 php/grande)
Salmon lovers rejoice! The Salmone Alffumicato is the perfect salmon pasta! The salmon taste was brought out wonderfully!
Italian Seafood Rice (395 php)
Surprising to find the Italian Seafood Rice to be my top pick! Just look at the generous amount of seafood! I especially appreciated the scallops.
Salami and Bleu Cheese Pizza (525 php)
I absolutely loved the Salami and Bleu Cheese Pizza! I usually pass up on salami as cold cuts selection but I enjoyed it on Amici's pizza.
Ube Cake and Ube Gelato (195 php)
Who would have thought that double Ube work? The Ube Cake (135 php) and Ube Gelato Scoop (95 php) eaten together ala mode style works wonderfully! Order them both as a secret menu and save 35 php!
New Gelato Flavors
Dulce De Leche (95 php)
For those who crave for the sweet caramel bliss, the Dulce De Leche is for you.
Vanilla (95 php)
The Vanilla is a classic. Whenever I don't feel like trying out other flavors, I always go for Vanilla. Wonder if others appreciate it the way I do.
Ube (95 php)
If there's an Ube option, that's definitely my choice! If on the go, I'd get a cup but if dine-in, the cake and gelato combo I shared about is the best!
So there you go! The secret is out! Hope you get to try it. Happy with the other new offerings as well. I'm definitely coming back so expect some of that on my IG feeds and post.
The Philippines has a long history and culture to showcase. Did you know that there are many ways to discover its stories? Las Casas tells the tale of Filipino history and culture through its heritage homes.
I was fortunate to have visited the first Las Casas in Bataan. It was were my cousin held her premuptials. I was truly amazed!
I've been wanting to share the experience with my family for so long. But, my mom doesn't want to leave home for so long because of our six dogs.
Then, a miracle happened as Las Casas decided to open here in Manila, specifically Quezon City!
While it did not occupy a vast land, it surely did not have less flair in terms of interior to the Las Casas in Bataan.
My favorite part is the spiral staircase overlooking the dining area and the outdoor pool.
It leads to more rooms on the second floor.
The best room is the one in the first floor. If you've been to Bataan, you'll see a resemblance.
From this, you can see how high the ceiling is.
Table set up is way better than in Bataan. I guess that's what the touch of Chef Margarita Fores can do.
Wherever you dine, you are free to roam around the place.
I can't recall the last time I've been excited to try a newly opened Japanese restaurant. So I was quite intrigued when the family discovered one originating from Japan called "Washoku Musashi-Tei".
It may not look big from the outside but you'd be surprised once you go inside.
The place is usually crowded with foreign and Japanese guests. They also have function rooms for group privacy.
This is set on the table while we were waiting for our orders.
It also serves complimentary brown rice tea.
♥ Aburi Salmon Don with Miso Soup (430 php)
The aburi I've encountered are usually very extravagant. But, I've always believed that the best things are the simple things and this Aburi Salmon Don.
♥ Seafood Tokujo Ramen (470 php)
One of the pride dishes of Washoku is their ramen. I don't think you can go wrong with any of their ramen options because its their milky tonkotsu base that makes them so good.
♥ Teppan Cheese Hamburg Teishoku (430 php)
I'm very picky when it comes to hamburg. The Teppan Cheese Hamburg Teishoku passed my standards!
♥ Fujisan Katsu Curry (450 php)
I've always loved curry. It's quite interesting there are a lot of version of curry. I especially love Japanese curry the most. This Fujisan Katsu Curry is one of the best Japanese curry in the Metro!
Fillet Katsu 3 pcs. ala carte (380 php)
Just looking at the Fillet Katsu, you can already see how perfectly fried it is right?
Tsinoy Foodies Verdict Washoku Musashi-tei is a well-rounded Japanese restaurant that will surely satisfy you whatever your Japanese dish craving is. Given the food quality and portion, I find the pricing to be justified. I believe the quality is as high as prestigious and expensive hotel Japanese restaurants.