The Titaness of Cafe Dominique

The Titaness of Cafe Dominique

I get overwhelmed when friends ask me where to eat in my neighborhood. I hate to be in a position where what little of my expertise, and one I’m particularly proud of — eating — is tested. There is the fact that there are a million and one options available in Scout area. And then there the effort of trying to align my recommendation to my friend’s preferences: what do they feel like having? That, of course, narrow options down significantly and relieves me slightly of my anxiety.

And then I get shit feedback like: I don’t know. Whatever. You decide.

If you’re going to make me decide, and if your dining choice today depends completely on me, I’m going to send you to that pares place we go to in Sacred Heart, but I don’t think you’d go all the way to QC for low brow al fresco dining, no matter how good the butter chicken there is.

Luckily, I discovered a new place that ticks off most considerations for the category of friends who most frequently ask me where to eat in QC — the titas who lunch, or merienda.

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Fresh urban, chic industrial interiors – check.
Wide array of food on the menu to cater to every taste – check.
Good lighting for IG food photos and facebook group photos – check.

There are places where Jr and I entered and we would comment, “I’d like our house to look like this”. One such place is Cafe Dominique in West Triangle. It’s spacious and with glass panels for walls, has generous lighting. The food they offer ranges from salads, to pizza, to all-day breakfast to kare kareng bagnet. Cafe Dominique will have an option for all your tita friends and their various diet levels.

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Since were passing time before eating dinner by eating merienda — another very tita thing to do — we just ordered two things: their bestseller four cheese pizza and the smores. Their pizza looked like a panizza and came topped with alfalfa and it was good. Their smores was actually why I know of Cafe Dominique. I read it off some random listicle on facebook and pinned it to be tried somewhere in the future. Jr and I have blood sugar issues and we normally don’t have desserts when eating out. Desserts we save when we have company so we can share the sugar with friends.

And Cafe Dominique is definitely a place where you share sugar with friends.


Cafe Dominique
42 Examiner St. West Triangle
Quezon City, Metro Manila

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VIDEO | Vlog #33 – Art Appreciation Day

VIDEO | Vlog #33 – Art Appreciation Day

Jr and I are never ones to claim we know a ton shit about the arts. But we love to support the arts, even if it just means showing up. When we heard there’s an art fair again in Makati, we endured the heavy, rain-induced traffic across the Metro. So did a million other people.

I am not exaggerating. Art Fair Philippines 2017 was held at The Link, a multi level car park on a normal day. The community response was so great they had to control the crowd entering the carpark. We arrived at the Link to a growing line extending on both ends.

I, for one, never go on lines where there’s no donut in the end. But for art, we can make an exception.

The Art Fair is 3 floors of celebration of local and international art. There’s a 250 pesos door fee, but the art kids were out in bulks because it’s 50 pesos for students and free if you’re from Makati. Art appreciation can be challenging with the amount of people on the floor. Most of the time, your view is blocked by a limb, or several limbs. Since I’m a little girl, I’m used to seeing back of people’s necks instead.

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After a couple of hours rummaging the floor for the secret Ben Cab room and massive sculptures of the entire Cacnio clan, my little bladder called a break. I found a airconditioned portalet at the top floor and this.

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All the art and the world, but nothing compares to a great sunset. Good job kids.

Watch the video here:

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Mandarin Sky Wok at Panay Avenue

Mandarin Sky Wok at Panay Avenue

In days when we are not quite sure what we want to eat, Jr and I would always tell each other we want something “light”. Something “light” is as vague a term as it can be, and it had since been a running inside joke between us. Through the years of wanting something light, we have crafted what light means to us: No rice. It may be sandwiches, or milk tea with appetizers, or even dimsum — just as long as we do not have it with rice. So basically, if we want kare kare, and we don’t have rice along with it, it’s still a ‘light’ meal.

Recently, something light has evolved into something soup-based. And over the course of our relationship, we have grown a fondness for shabu shabu. And shabu shabu is best eaten when there’s overcast — sweater weather. If there’s even just a cloud blocking the sun, and we’re eating out, we’ll probably end up somewhere where there is hotpot.

Lucky for us, our favorite hotpot place in Banawe opened up a branch in a location nearer us, like walking distance near. Mandarin Sky Wok opened in a dining compound along Panay Avenue, which is extremely convenient when we’re at a lost for where to eat.

That’s marriage for you. If you’re still single and have not yet taken the big plunge, here’s a news flash. Being married is mostly deciding where and what to eat. And if you do get married, get a guy or girl who looks at you the way my husband looks at shabu shabu.

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Mandarin Sky Wok
23 Panay Ave,
Brgy. Paligsahan, Quezon City
Opens from 10 am to 10 pm
022469069 ext:865

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Bugis Singapore Street Food

Bugis Singapore Street Food

Aside from the Timog-Tomas Morato area, one of the most competitive dining scenes in Quezon City lies in Banawe. Catering to a mostly Chinese neighborhood, restaurants here are mostly dimsum places and asian cuisines. You have to be relatively affordable, quick and delicious to survive this market.

On our first dinner out for the new year, we drove out to Banawe hoping to catch a table at Eat Fresh. After seeing that Eat Fresh is closed for the New Year, we set out to look for the next open restaurant. And then we saw Bugis. Or we saw the cars parked in front of Bugis Singapore Street Food. The place was packed.

Although there was a line for bigger parties, they had an open table for 2 so we got seated immediately. The crowd that night was made up of large chinese families looking for a quick dinner and there was a queue willing to wait outside. Everybody waiting has menus on hand and were already ordering so they can have their food as soon as they were seated. Everybody seems so hungry and out for blood.

I’ve heard of Bugis before but we never really made an effort to try it out. Jr has tried it out before and had their specialty, the Singaporean Laksa. He loved it, but he never really thought of bringing me here. Because, well, laksa. I was never really a fan. But we were hungry that night and don’t want to drive any further. I’m sure I’ll find something I like.

Like Eat Fresh, they had fried things on sticks so we ordered a couple for starters. After a discussion with me telling me he can order it even though I won’t try it no matter how much he convinces me to, Jr ordered the Laksa. I and my choosy tastebuds went for the more familiar Hainanese Chicken. The chicken was the small yellow native chicken variety, which was less meaty but otherwise flavorful. The num nums on sticks lived up to their name. The Laksa, which Jr finished, looks delicious. He said it was delicious. Let’s take his word for it.

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Bugis Num Nums On sticks
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Bugis Hainanese Chicken


Bugis
78 N. Roxas Street
Santo Domingo, Banawe
Quezon City

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One More Chance at Bellini’s

One More Chance at Bellini’s

There are two movies that no matter how many times I’ve watched it, if I come across it on TV, I must stop everything I am currently doing and just sit down and watch. It doesn’t matter whether I caught it from the start or in the middle or ten minutes to the end, everything will just be put on hold and resumed once the credits roll in. One of them is Notting Hill. The other is the ultra classic, John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo’z One More Chance.

You know those movies where you can unknowingly recite the script by heart. Here I am who can’t tell you my BPI Account Number or my Mobile number without looking at my phone, but I can drop the famous “Ang totoo hanggang ngayon umaasa parin ako na sabihin mong ako parin. Ako na lang. Ako na lang ulit.” perfectly on cue.

Also, remember the 3 month rule scene? Just in case you and your friends would like to reenact that well, just because, you can head to Bellini’s, and reserve that table.

Bellini’s is the old Italian restaurant and a stalwart in Cubao Expo. It’s a little too old for the young and hip Cubao X crowd, but on the many times we’ve been there has never been empty. Families, friends and couples out on dates are the usual crowd. Reminders of Italy are splattered and mounted on walls. It’s loud and frantic — the staff run more than walk here. It’s bordering on gaudy, where I think it finds its charm.

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We have been going to Bellini’s for years, maybe at least once or twice a week. Our orders never stray — I’ll always have my favorite, the Spaghetti Al Cartoccio — the seafood pasta cooked in aluminum foil. Sometimes, we’ll have a pizza or maybe another entree, this time, the Milanese pork — fried pork dipped in eggs and bread crumbs. It will be taken down by an able staff and followed up by Signore Roberto Bellini, the owner himself. I have seen the man on every visit since the first time JR took me there. He’s there to hand menus, say hi to his patrons, and yes, at his age, bus the tables. Signore is amazing.

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As always, we stood up from our table full and content. We headed to the door, and Signore, as he does, would say, “Thank you for coming!” Always since my first visit, and on cue.

Never change, Signore. Never change.


Bellini’s
Cubao Expo, General Romulo Ave,
Cubao, Quezon City

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