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


This Vigan Empanada shop can be found in Tiendesitas. They also have a branch in MOA.

Vigan Empanada wrapper is made from rice flour mixed with atchuete to give it a little color. The filling is made of mixed veggies ( green papaya, monggo), longganisa and a piece of fresh egg right in the center of everything.

 Empanada making

The manangs were quite efficient with the first manang kneading the dough and the second manang spponing the filling on the dough and shaping it into an empanada.

 Empanada making

The empanada piece is dropped into the oil to deep-fry and…

 Vigan Empanada
Voila, Vigan Empanada. I had broken this piece into half. Goes really really well with native vinegar. I piled up on the chilli.

Rating : Like It

Vigan Empanada by Mac’s Deli
Tiendesitas Food Village
Tel : 6342893 / 6353152
Another branch at SM Moa

There was a Korean Grocery Store right across Minato. We browsed around while waiting for our food.

Korean Grocery Aisle

Korean Grocery          Korean Breadcrumb Packs

Rows and rows of Korean items. From Toiletries, Biscuits, Junk Food, Cooking ingredients like potato flour, breadcrumbs, pancake mixes etc.

Fish Ice Cream Packs   Fish Ice Cream

I came out with a fish ice cream. Picked it just because it looked weird. The wafer tasted like communion wafers. Fish-shaped wafer cone wrapped around vanilla ice cream and a layer of red bean. Not  a bad dessert for Php 40 bucks.

A Korean friend recommended this Korean restaurant in the Ortigas area to us saying it’s one of the best Korean restaurants in her opinion. With that declaration, we would of course be trying the place out. I grew up used to Korean food. If the other Fil-chi families go to Chinese restos for their Sunday get togethers, my family frequented Korean Village and Korean Palace growing up.

 Minato posterMinato

Minato has a very very authentic Korean feel to it. From the tables and chairs, wall panels to the Korean signboards pasted on the walls. Good sign.

 Minato Appetizers

 Another plus were the free appetizers which were considerable more that what you get from commercialized Korean restaurants like Kaya or Korean Village.

 Spicy Korean Soup

Spicy Stew with Uncurdled Bean Curd Php200 – Good, authentic, lots of seafood

 Grilled Pork Belly

Grilled Pork Belly Strips Php240 – The meat barbecues were the specialty. All the barbecued meat were out of stock on our visit! Spicy pork, chicken were all finished. Grilled Pork Belly Strips was the only barbecued item left and we now know why. It was too fatty. 70% fat and 30% meat and too salty. I’m optimistic the other barbecues are better ( since they’re sold out =) ) and would try them out next time.

 Potato Pancake

Potato Pancake Php250 – Best Potata Pancake I’ve had. This was really really good. Order this before anything else. The pancake was fried really crispy as you can see from the brown bits. Full of seafood and not just potato starch.

Summary : Good Korean food at affordable prices. I would definitely go back.

Rating     :  Like It
Food       :  Potato Pancake

Minato Korean Restaurant
Escriva Road, Ortigas Centre

 by Fabian

This blog post has been a long time coming. I offer no excuses for why it took so long to write this post, except that I am a procrastinating and lazy person by nature. Some of us only do things when we absolutely have to. While there have been no death threats or bribes from a dear friend who is now in Melbourne, what spurred me on tonight to write, finally, was another pleasant meal that had taken place last night, and now it would seem to be a true shame if another pair of pleasant meals that I also had were not documented as well.
JV’s underwater hockey friend, Marion, had flown in from Australia for a couple of weeks, and in proper Pinoy fashion, we used our hapless foreign visitor as an excuse to eat out. Her stay here was sandwiched between two dinners at Gloria Maris in Shangri La.  Both of these dinners were accompanied with enough wine to tranquilize a horse, courtesy of Dennis (and another oenophile Elmer!). I forget exactly the names of the wines we drank, but I do remember that Riesling and Chinese food are a decent combination. Chardonnay isn’t too bad either.

 Duck Salad
Duck Salad
My favorite appetizer in Gloria Maris is this. I’ve had this more than a few times, and each time I grow more appreciative of how nicely made this is. This is a cold salad made of duck, seaweed, mayo, and pili nuts. The combination can make for a slightly sweet salad, but it is refreshing and delicious. I ate a bit of it in the beginning, and some of more of it in the middle of the meal, and at the end you think, what the heck I’d like a little bit more. Good stuff.

 Wintermelon Soup
Wintermelon Soup
This is another fairly decent starter. Wintermelon is what it is: melon-ny, pulpy, and quite nice. I quickly realized that this would fill me up fast, so I didn’t finish my whole cup. In terms of starters thus: Duck 1, Wintermelon 0.

Crab with Sotanghon Deep fried Crab
Two Crabs
There were two kind of crab. I did not eat much of this, but I do recall that they were quite good. I always enjoy crab especially when there are sliced garlic and peppers on top. Crab, like other white-fleshed seafood has a relatively mild taste. It’s all about the condiments.

Stuffed Chicken 
Stuffed Chicken with Chestnuts
We had some chicken stuffed with sticky rice and chestnuts. This seem so classically Chinese to me, and I picked on this a bit.  Also delicious and very rich. Thank God there’s a glass of wine nearby.

 Peking Duck
Peking Duck
Nothing is as plainly tasty as Peking Duck. Within the wrapper is an onion to cut the richness, and of course we dip with hoisin sauce. Goodness. I can eat maybe one or two pieces of crackling lechon; I can easily eat triple the amount of Peking Duck. These weren’t carved out in front of us during the meal, but as presented here, they were already pre-sliced and in nice little wrappers. Innocuous looking, tasty things.

Prawn Curry
JV has said that she wanted some curry, so the cooks of the kitchen whipped this up. Not my favorite of curries. I generally don’t like curries in Chinese, Japanese or Korean cuisine. It was still okay though, but I didn’t eat a lot of this. Very yellow.

 Taro Duck
And More Duck
Before you get the impression that we’re a bunch of duck gluttons, recall that these food represent what we ate for two meals. 🙂 The Duck with Taro is a deadly combination. You can really eat only so much of this because fatty duck is fried with a layer of taro that does an excellent job, as with most starches, of absorbing a lot of fat. Another glass of wine please.

 Cheese Platter Cheese Platter 2
Prosciutto and Various Cheeses
It was a trifle odd to have this Italian commercial in the middle of the meal. But I’m not one to turn away very thin salted Italian meat. Dennis brought over this spread from Galileo Enoteca, a place that I have unfortunately still not visited. Would have been nice also taken outside the context of a Chinese meal. But somehow, it fit the meal. It helps when people all around the table love cheese. 

 Mango Sago
We had mango and sago. I didn’t get to taste this. But I think Marion enjoyed it. It looked sweet, gelatinous and nice. Normally, I wouldn’t mind having dessert, but as you can imagine, I was stuffed beyond dessert.

Summary : I enjoyed most things, but especially enjoyed duck (and wine). These were two great dinners. I am embarrassingly always available every time JV and Dennis call me for a meal at Gloria Maris.

If you want to get a good idea of what I ate, you’ll have to go to the Shangrila Plaza Mall branch. I don’t think they serve the above dishes in all the branches (and no branches serve the prosciutto!). The quality and taste of the food is dependent on the branch chefs, and you might have to request for them to prepare a particular dish.

Rating  : Love It

Wine for our Gloria Maris dinners.

Chateau Batailley Pauillac 2007, Bordeaux
Wente Merlot 2001, Central Coast California
Cliff Edge Shiraz 2002, Mount Langi Ghiran

Chateau Bataille 1997Wente MerlotCliff Edge Shiraz

Yaku is a modern designed Japanese place located at the 5th floor of the Podium. It’s all modern minimalistic dark wood and dim lights. Its funny how appearances can really influence a person’s perception. The first time a friend dragged me over to try Yaku three years ago, I had thought Yaku would be expensive since the place was tastefully done but surprisingly prices are reasonable.


Agedashi Php95 – This tofu was soggy! I suddenly remembered that I had ordered this years back and it tasted the same. Left me wondering how someone could botch up plain old agedashi.  I did NOT like this tofu. 

 Tuna Sashimi

Tuna Sashimi Php221 – Top sushi restaurants would have springier tuna sashimi of course but their sashimi quality was good for the price.

 Gindara Yakitori

Gindara Yakitori Php120– Grilled gindara with grated radish on top. Nice sour bite to the fish.


Shisomaki Php116 – Shisho means basil in english. This is grilled chicken with basil leaves on top Interesting mix of flavors.

 Spicy Tuna

Spicy Tuna – Nothing great. There are other places which serve better spicy tuna.

Ebi Teppanyaki

Ebi Teppanyaki Php 293 – Too much butter? Look at the picture, it sure didn’t make the whole look pretty! Prawns were a bit overdone for my taste. The dish has potential though with a little improvement.

Summary : If you’re a Teriyaki Boy fan and want the ambience in the package, then try this place out. Food is at the same level including price range.

Rating : Chance Visitor

Food : Yakitoris -especially the Shisomaki

3rd Level
18 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center
Mandaluyong City, Metro ManilaPhone : 687-5368

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Secret Recipe

Secret Recipes is a cafe-cum-bakery which originated from Malaysia since 1997. They offer more than 40 types of cakes and pastries and over 20 types of fusion food – a blend of specialty food from different countries

Irish Lamb Stew  

Irish Lamb Stew Php430 – The menu says its one of their award-winning items. I would not say it really is Irish based cooking , there was a tinge of Chinese influence there. But it’s still pretty good stew with the meat being tender, ditto for the mashed potatoes!

Prawn Macaroni with Cheese 

Prawn macaroni with cheese Php280 – I liked it. Butter and cheese based. Didn’t scrimp on the gooey cheese and prawns on top of the pasta.

 Tom Yum Goong

Noodle in Tom Yum Kung Php240 – I’m impressed. For the price of Php340, the tom yum goong comes with two king sized prawns. Noodles are al dente, I like them this way! The soup broth has also the right mix of herbs to give it an authentic taste.

Tom Yum Spaghetti Php180 – Tom Yum lovers would love this. Its Tom Yum flavored meat sauce pasta which is very intriguing.

Secret Recipe Cakes

Banana Chocolate cake Php110 – Multi layered sponge cake with banana bits in between mixed with banana flavored choco mouse. Very interesting mix and good.

Marble Cheesecake Php110 – Our waiter recommended this saying the marble cheesecake is the base for all of their cheesecakes. Balanced flavours, not too sour , not too creamy. The base of the cheesecake is made of oatmeal.

Secret Recipes imports all their cheesecakes from Malaysia. I guess they really are secret recipes! Only the sponge cakes and bars are baked in Manila.

Summary : Secret Recipes is someplace I would go to for good cakes and Asian meals with a twist. Prices are affordable without scrimping on the quality. They have around 100 branches already in Asia so they must be doing something right. The food is consistent. It tastes the same as when I tried out Secret Recipes in Malaysia.

Rating : Like It

Food   : Marble Cheesecake

Secret Recipe

Fort Bonifacio/ Robinson’s Midtown/ Shangrila Plaza Mall

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