Location


I absolutely love Mexican food. The very first dish I learned to cook was beef filling for my taco. Comfort food for me is tacos, nachos and chili con. Imagine my joy when I learned that there is a mexican restaurant in Pampanga.
Zapatas

Zapatas

 

Zapatas Interiors

Zapatas Interiors

The place itself is done in typical Mexican decor with knick knacks all over to give it a very authentic feel.

Quesadillas

Quesadillas

Quesadilla Supreme – Beef or Chicken Php 180. Perfect with ice cold beer!!!

Chilli

Chilli

Chili con carne – Php 95 …. Ahhhh, Piping hot. We wolfed down this yummy bowl of chili in minutes.

Rating : Love It

Food   : Quesadilla

Summary : I love Mexican food and I can have it everyday. Zapata’s was authentic and better than the Mex restaurants found in Manila!

Zapata’s

Fields Avenue, Pampanga

I’ve read so many great reviews about C’ Italian that I just had to try the place during my Pampanga trip.

The place itself is located along the restaurant row of Fields Avenue.

C' Italian Bread

C' Italian Bread

They served complimentary bread with pesto in olive oil for dipping.

Panizza Kristina

Panizza Kristina

We ordered the Panizza Kristina – Bacon and Ham, caramelized onions and mushrooms Php 570. Panizza is a thin crust pizza-like dish rolled and eaten with arugula. The panizza is a house favorite.  A very thin crust with good quality ingredients for the topping. But I guess I had really high expectations for the panizza since everyone was raving about it. It was good but I actually liked the chicken more.

Tuscan style chicken

Tuscan style chicken

The wood fire roasted whole tuscan style chicken infused with lemon white wine and virgin olive oil served on onion, roasted potatoes and garlic roated italian broccoli Php 750 was a very good. The chicken was moist and succulent. It had marinated well and the flavors had infused into the chicken. I would highly recommend this dish.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

The tiramisu wasn’t that great. More of a sponge cake with cream filling and wasn’t authentic at all.

Summary : I would come back. The panizza was good and the chicken superb. I would definitely look forward to trying out more of the dishes from the menu.

Rating : Like It

Food   : Tuscan Style Chicken

C’ Italian

Fields Avenue, Pampanga

http://www.citaliandining.com

Bagoong Club

Bagoong Club

Bagoong or shrimp paste is made from tiny fermented shrimps. Flavour is then added by sauteing the shrimp paste with various condiments. Bagoong is very much part of Filipino cooking and well loved by Filipinos.
Traditional Bagoong with Singkamas

Traditional Bagoong with Singkamas

Bagong Lipunan – Traditional Bagoong with Singkamas is served instead of the usual complimentary bread.

 

Bulalo sa Monggo

Bulalo sa Monggo

Bulalo sa Mongo Php 250 – The beef broth mixed well with the flavor of the monggo. Really really good soup. Must order this dish.

Crispy Pork Binagoongan

Crispy Pork Binagoongan

Crispy Pork Binagoongan Php 220 – The pork was very tender and crispy on the outside.
Bagoong Varieties

Bagoong Varieties

Bagoong Umaga Php15, Bagoong Club Special ( has crab fat ) Php 15, Bagoong Europa Php 25 – For a restaurant named Bagoong club, the bagoong itself wasn’t anything special. They lacked flavours which comes from sauteing shrimp paste with various spices. The bagoong Europa was an interesting variation though since it mixed shrimp paste with pesto.

Pastillas de Leche Cheesecake

Pastillas de Leche Cheesecake

Pastillas de Leche Cheesecake Php 130 by Chef Pixie Sevilla-Santos – It’s like having pastillas in a cake form with a nice biscuit bottom layer.

Rating    : Like It
Food       : Bulalong Monggo

Summary : A very nice concept with a lot of food served using bagoong. The bagoong itself isn’t outstanding but the food is cooked well. Prices are also affordable. A refreshing alternative to the normal Pinoy grill restaurants in the QC area.

Bagoong Club
122 Sct Dr. Lazcano Sacred Heart
Quezon City
Phone : 632 9290544

We saw this small yogurt place in Clark while driving along Fields Avenue where most of the restaurants are found.
Haven Yogurt Exterior

Haven Yogurt Exterior

I’m not sure why the name has been whitewashed from the signboard. It might have been a different yogurt shop before.

 Haven Yogurt Interiors

As with other fro-yo shops, you can pick your topping for your frozen yogurt. Toppings range from cereals, chocolate pieces to Comstock preserved fruits.
Haven Yogurt

Haven Yogurt

 Rating  : Love It

Summary : I really liked this yogurt. It had the right balance of being creamy and tangy at the same time. I liked their strawberry yogurt. Not all the fro-yo shops in Manila have flavoured yogurts. When in the Clark area, do try out this little fro-yo shop.

Haven Yogurt
Fields Avenue
Beside The Maharajah Hotel and R&B Jazz Bar

If you’re in the mood for Korean food  then Malate is your best bet in finding one. Korean restos sprout out within this area like lechon manok during its heyday. A lot are Korean owned and hopefully this lends to the food a more authentic taste.

 Mr. Moo signboard Mr. Chicken resto

I liked how the Korean restos had such catchy signboards. There is a Mr. Moo and a Mr. Chicken signboard.

 Hoa ro exteriors

We opted for this Korean restaurant along J. Nakpil street just because…

 Hoa Ro interiors

it looked really cool! There were this strange exhaust fans hanging out from the ceilings. You can pull them nearer to the bbq pan while meat is being cooked to absorb more of the smoke.

The place made me feel that I was in Korea actually. The customers coming and going were all Korean and the menu was even in Korean.

One thing we found initially strange about this small Korean restos was that there is a mininum order per table of Php600. The Mr. chicken signboard across the street also offers the same minimum Php600 deal. Quite expensive for 2 people but our curiosities have been piqued enough by these small restos and we decided to give Hoa Ro a try.

 Korean spicy soup Egg soup

I understood why there was a minimum order per table after the free appetizers were served. The appetizers were a *lot*. It’s more than any other Korean resto I’ve been to in Manila. Aside from the standard kimchi, potatoes and spicy pickled vegs, there was also a sweet corn and cabbage dish and two types of soup which were very nice. The appetizers were a meal in itself!

 Hoa Ro BBQ meat

Doi Ji Gal Bi Gui Php300– grilled boneless pork ribs marinated in soy sauce

Gal Bi Sal Php350 – beef marinated in soy sauce

Unfortunately, I think the appetizers were the best part of the meal =). The meat were very very tough and chewy. My jaw actually ached from chewing on the meat after some time.

 Korean clam shell soup

Ba Ji Rak Kal Kuk Su Php250 – Kind of like our halaan (clam shell) soup only with noodles and some veg. Refreshing but not something I would go out of my way to have.

Summary : Our first Korean hole in the wall foray turned out to be a disappointment but there must be a better one in the area with so many Korean restos! So I would continue to eat on…

The trend with these small places is to offer just a few items on the menu. With Hoa Ro, we had actually ordered 90% of their menu already =). It was just around 5-6 items to choose from. There is also a minimum order per table which seems to be in the Php600 area so that they could offer unlimited appetizers which their largely Korean customers are used to.

Rating : One-nighter
Food   : The free appetizers

Hoa Roa 92
640 J. Nakpil St. Malate Manila

Charcoal Roasted Coffee 

This charming coffee shop is found in the center of the Tiendesitas food village. I enjoy dropping by this place whenever I’m in Tiendesitas ( for dog stuff =) ) to have a cup of local coffee and a snack.

The shop sells four types of brews – Kalinga, Tagaytay, Malay Balay and Kanlaon. I always go for the strongest brew, Kalinga. It’s a good cup to enjoy with a pick of their homemade snacks.

                     CRC Cookies 

CRC cupcakes CRC Croissant

               CRC Ensaymada

My perfect Tiendesitas snack. Ensaymada with Guava jam and Cream Cheese Php50 with Kalinga coffee Php50.

Summary : Charcoal Roasted Coffee is a welcome sight in Tiendesitas among the row of inihaw kiosks which offer the same kind of food. They serve local coffee beans and enjoying a cup of their brew also help support the local Philippine coffee industry.

Food   : Local coffee and Ensaymada with Guava jam =D
Rating :  Like It

Charcoal Roasted Coffee
Tiendesitas Food Village

Cantinetta Exteriors

I particularly like the ambience in Cantinetta Pasong Tamo and the Rockwell branch didn’t particulary strike me as something I would want to try out. I only got to try out the Rockwell branch when my family was shopping in Rockwell and wanted to eat in the area. Cantinetta came to mind as something my family might enjoy.

Cantinetta Interiors

Cheese shaving

Parmigiano cheese and prosciuto ham weighing station

Our orders :

Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmagiano Reggiano Php590 – The dippings really complemented the cheese but this is way too expensive for a few hundred grams of Parmagiano with Honey and Cream Balsamic. My suggestion is to buy good cheese from Santi’s and enjoy this at home!

Prosciutto

Prosciutto d Sn Danile Php550 – We ordered melon slices to complement the prosciutto

Cantinetta Classica

Cantinetta Classica Php450 – Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Italian Sausage, Peppers and Minced Beef. I’m not raving about the pizza. Had better pizza in other places.

Contadina

Contadina Php440 – Italian Sausage with Mushrooms in tomato sauce. Nothing great about this dish.

Tartufo

Tartufo Spaghetti Php510 – Better pasta dish. The pasta servings are generous.

Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco alla Milanese Php 920 – Classic Beef Stew served with Saffron Risotto. I find this expensive for a medium sized piece of meat.

Grilled Pork Chops

Costolette di Maiale Php 500 – Grilled Pork Chops. My first visit in Pasong Tamo was a better pork chop experience. Still I would give this another try.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake Php230 – Nothing great.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu Php240 – Not great at all. Not authentic.

Summary : As I’ve said, I particularly liked Cantinetta Pasong Tamo. My first visit was extremely enjoyable, shared a plate of Grilled Porkchops which was juicy and flavorsome. A bottle of good wine was also affordable at 1K. It is obvious that Cantinetta uses ingredients which are fresh and of quality. I  felt that some of their items are overpriced though and you need to keep track of the prices and order the specialties. If anyone has other dishes they rave about in Cantinetta, let me know. So far, I would only re-order the tartufo or the porkchops.

Rating : Chance Visitor
Food   :  Tartufo or Pork chops

Cantinetta
Rockwell Drive, cor Estrella Street
Makati City
Tel – 632 4030145
and
Ground Floor, Karrivin Plaza
2316 Pasong Tamo Extension
Makati City
Tel : 632 8929873

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