HongKong Roastings at Famous Kitchen

HongKong Roastings at Famous Kitchen

Sometimes, you just want a quick bite. Most likely, sometimes is a friday and you just want to avoid the weekly expected carmageddon. You want to park somewhere, grab a table and have something in front of you in a jiffy. Hopefully it’s something the kitchen can just slice off their well prepared mise en place and assemble in under five minutes. Sometimes, you just need a fast and filling meal.

Lucky for us, Famous Kitchen popped up in the neighborhood and ticked off every box.

Famous - Interior
Famous - Char Siu BBQ Rice
Famous - Peking Duck Rice
Famous - Roast Pork Belly
Famous - Exterior

So on every given Friday night, when on a pinch as to where we want to eat, we can just park somewhere along Tobias, hope for a table (or have it to go) and choose from the many roastings over rice they offer. It’s delicious and it’s hearty and it’s satisfying. I would probably have peking duck, Jr would most likely have the char siu BBQ rice and because I am Lallie, there will be roasted pork belly on the table.

And I will be home in under five minutes — full and happy.

Famous Kitchen
Scout Tobias Corner Scout Gandia Street
Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City

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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 003
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Mandarin Sky 001

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

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Mrs. Graham’s Cafe and That Bibingka With Salted Egg Macaron

Mrs. Graham’s Cafe and That Bibingka With Salted Egg Macaron

I am a solitary being. I have long accepted the fact that I am an introvert. When I was a kid, I’d spend whole summers inside my room, while my sisters played with cousins and neighbors outside. People would think I went to the province because two months would pass without them seeing even the shadow of me. And I’ve carried it as I grew. I am very much fine with staying at home. I like to keep my fridge and pantry stocked up as if I was preparing for a zombie apocalyse. I can cook so even though there’s a million and one food establishment within walking distance from me, there is really no need to go out. I have better coffee than most coffee shops in Timog. I like cute coffeeshops, but it pains me to cough up good money for bad coffee. There are corners in my house that always needs to be cleaned. There are unread books on my shelves. There are unedited clips waiting to be youtube videos on my harddrive. If ever I found myself in the miraculously on the bottom of both those files, I can write. And I can write about things endlessly. I can write about anything, about something and some things about nothings. If there’s one thing I am confident about, it’s that I will never get bored.

Then suddenly, one day, the dsl decides to conk out. Knowing that I do not have internet is unsettling. I start to get anxious and I quickly forget that the things I mentioned above do not really need internet to get done. There are loads I can do without internet and yet, the fact that I cannot get to instagram and twitter and facebook and youtube annoys me. And then I start charting the coffee shops near me that I wanted to try out someday if in case I have a reason to go out and pray to the internet gods that they have wifi.

If you want to smoke me out of my hole, cut my internet line off.

The first thing on my list, and nearest my place is Mrs. Graham’s Cafe. It’s a cute little homey cafe which is about 8 minutes (tops!) walking distance from my place. Mrs. Graham keeps popping up on every list of must try places when it comes to milkshakes, smores or macarons. Of course, such lists need to be verified. And today, my (lack of) internet in the house is the perfect excuse.

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I hauled my laptop, harddrive and chargers to this lovely cafe in F7 Rallos. I opened the door and the asked the staff cleaning the nearest table if they had wifi. Yes, she said, and so I stepped in and commited my spot as I placed down my stuff on the table by the window. I walked over to the counter, glanced over the macaron display and tried to apply a rarely practiced virtue, SELF-CONTROL. Lallie, you can have everything, but not in the same time, especially when it can cause diabetes. I held off from ordering the smores milkshare, which I really wanted to try. I know how milkshakes are served these days in the city. They’re massive and overflowing and ridiculous. I’ll try to save it when I have company. I looked at the chalkboard menu above the counter, basic for such chic cafes and settled for an Americano and the smores macaron. I glanced at the refrigerated display one more time and another macaron caught my fancy: Bibingka with Salted Egg. I’m getting one of those too.

Look, ma. I just got two. Self-control!

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I took a couple of pictures with the generous afternoon light by the window, and took a sip of the coffee before it went too cold. I picked up the smores macaron first, took a bite and it was okay. Macarons with a big burnt marshmallow in between. I bet my life the milkshake versions is much more impressive, but I didn’t feel like piling on the sugar. I reached for the Bibingka with Salted Egg macaron, took one bite and angels sang. This thing was too dang good. Like good in the levels where I was listing down who I’ll give these to on Christmas. I took my another bite, my last, and like I do so whenever I have great things resting in my palate, I danced a little dance in my seat. If I can marry that macaron, I would, even if I’m already married.

I fired up my laptop and tried connecting to their wifi. Let’s just put it this way: The Bibingka with Salted Egg macaron is so good, I immediately forgave Mrs. Graham’s cafe for their making me sign in for their wonky wifi service. I finished my coffee and gathered my things and off I went on an impromptu Morato-Timog coffee shop tour.

That macaron though. That macaron was a promising start of a wifi hunting afternoon.

Mrs. Graham’s Cafe
51-C Scout Rallos Street, Brgy. Laging Handa
Tomas Morato, Quezon City

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CHEAP CHOWS | Burger King’s New Hipster Look

CHEAP CHOWS | Burger King’s New Hipster Look

First time I saw the redesign was at Burger King Welcome Rotonda. We were meeting up with a friend who lived around nearby and chose to eat at Burger King.

Burger King happens to be one of those rare cravings. I’d always go for Jollibee for familiarity, McDonald’s for the speed of delivery, but sometimes, you just want a good old simple whopper. Very rare times, still. Maybe because I see one everyday. Practically live across one. You see it everyday on the way to work and think, I’ll get the whopper when I get back home. You get home from work and you think, I’m too tired for the whopper. I’ll have it tomorrow. Next thing you know, it’s been 2 years since you’ve actually been inside burger king.

So when we went to the one in Welcome Rotonda, I was nicely surprised by the new interior — hipster industrial chic and very instagrammable. And I thought: why isn’t our Burger King like this Burger King? I could’ve visited a lot more often.

And then one day, they closed down the Burger King in Timog for renovation. I got excited.

It opened up again after a couple of months being revamped. True to form, it took me several weeks to visit it. Not until we need a place for a business meeting did I think of actually visiting something I walk by everyday.

Ours is prettier than Welcome Rotonda’s. My hipster heart is happy.

Burger King TImogBurger King

“Upo tayo dun?”
“Bakit dun?”
“Eh maganda eh. Order ka ulit.”

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Dong Juan | Spacial Love


The dining room had a high ceiling. A tiled column anchored the center of the main wall and emphasized how high the ceiling was. There’s a loft on the other half of the main dining space, under which were two wooden booths and the closed busy kitchen — its door flailing every other second. There were about two other rooms on the first floor, plus another dining nook under the stairs. Come up the stairs and there were about 4 more private dining rooms, in addition to the loft space where you can peer over the diners below. New recessed lighting was added — for dark nights probably, because the large windows made way for plenty of morning sun. They had big paintings of rice fields and the Santo Nino. The cherub wall decor freaked me out a bit, but those are easy to overlook (or chuck. :D). They hid new electrical lines in visible rod enclosures, for structural integrity, I guess. It would be a travesty to drill into those beautiful planks of wood and bricks of this old rustic house.

The new restaurant in our neighborhood, Dong Juan, is a Cebu implant. It follows the recent trend in the area — old homes being converted into restaurants. It is a beautiful space.  I was in love. If I had the money, I’d buy it and convert it back to a house. But I don’t, so I guess I’ll be coming back for the food often just to be able to admire the place.

The task wouldn’t be such trouble. The menu is massive and everything looked great. They have the usual crowd pleasers. We ordered the burger steak, which was one of the better burger steaks we had in a while. That might not be saying much because my unsophisticated palate thinks Jollibee’s burger steak is the bomb, (Who says the bomb anymore?) but it is good. The meat was juicy and tender and the gravy was generous but not overpowering. There is nothing special about it, but it is made well. And sometimes, that’s good enough.

We had the baby back ribs as well. I loved certain parts of it, particularly the tender middle part. The outside, slathered in red barbecue sauce, was too well done and dry, I couldn’t bring myself to swallow it. I wanted to love it, but I cannot go all out John Legend on it. If you’ve been to Cebu and already made the touristy culinary rounds, this one tasted so similar to Casa Verde’s Brian’s ribs.

What I suggest you try, and the thing I’ll probably make my constant excuse to ogle at this gorgeous house, is the Gambas Al Ajillo Pasta. The pasta was perfect and for the price, they did not scrimp on the shrimp. It came out of the kitchen piping hot; the bonito flakes dancing in the steam. It puts up quite a table show and it did not disappoint in taste. This pasta and the house, I covet.


Dong Juan
72 Mother Ignacia Ave cor Scout Reyes
Quezon City



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