Vina Trang – Authentic Pho and Vietnamese Coffee in San Antonio Village, Makati

I saw memes of pho puns in Pinterest like restos named Pho Shizzle and Are You Pho Real? I thought if I were to open a Vietnamese noodle soup resto here in Pinas, I’d name it #MayPhoEver. Forever wala, pero noodles meron. :p

Anyway, enough of my kakornihan! (Yeah right) One chilly Saturday afternoon that I was walking to Suzu Kin for some Nabiyaki Soba, I saw this fairly new Vietnamese resto sa may kanto and thought of satisfying my craving for some hot noodle soup here instead.

Vina Trang sells the usual Vietnamese favorites pho (pronounced as FUH), bahnmi, and iced coffee. They’re open from 9am to 11pm daily. And they have free wi-fi.

I ordered a Well Done Flank Brisket Pho (the bestseller), a traditional bahnmi, and iced coffee. I wanted the grilled fish sandwich but it wasn’t available. The leche flan wasn’t available either. I wonder if they made any Vietnamese twist to the flan.

The pho was phontastic (nyehe, last ko na ‘yan)… the beef was tender, the noodles where firm, and the soup was flavorful. The bahnmi had all its must-haves generously stuffed in the crusty baguette. The iced coffee was strong and smooth, but I wish it had more milk. :p

Vina Trang also sells coffee, noodles and condiments. I make a mean Vietnamese iced latte. Will share the steps  when I get around buying the ingredients.

I have to go back to try their spring rolls and rice meals. I also need to ask what Vina Trang means! I know that “trang” means pure or purity in Vietnamese but I’m still phocking clueless (stop na talaga ako!!!) about what “vina” translates to!

Vina Trang
8839 Sampaloc St. Cor. Estrella St.
San Antonio Village, Makati
Open daily 9am – 11pm


Zoo Coffee – Alphaland Makati Place


Because the panda is my favorite (or spirit?) animal, I went to this Korean café that recently opened in Alphaland Makati Place which has animals like pandas, gorillas, ex-boyfriends, tigers that you can play with. 😀


Zoo Coffee is a Korean-franchised café that has over a 100 stores in Korea. The one here in Makati is their first one here in the Philippines. They have specialty coffee, bingsu (shaved ice dessert) teas, gelato, smoothies, honeybread, waffles, frappe, waffle, honey bread, sandwiches, pasta and salads.


Loved their Ferrero Rocher Gelato and Green Tea Gelato– both rich in flavor and deliciously creamy.


Here’s me with my coffeedate. Hayop siya sa cute at animal siya sa cuddliness. Literally. :p


Zoo Coffee is a great place for solitary coffee breaks or for hanging out with friends.


G/F Alphaland Makati Place,
Ayala Avenue Extension cor. Malugay Street,
Bel-air, Makati
+63 9266308699, 02 9987608
M-F 7am-11pm
Sat 8am-10pm
Sun 10am-9pm

Weekend in La Union (Part 2)

Woke up early to watch some of my  friends surf and paddleboard. The line up isn’t that crowded if you get to it 6-8am.


Some of us just lounged around, exercised, buried friends in the sand,


and posed as a surfer. Literal na poser. :p


Dropped by the (arguably) most popular coffee shop in Elyu which is El Union. Only got some take out coffee because there were no available seats.


Didn’t get to ask what makes their horchata dirty.


Went to Gefseis Greek Grill for brunch which made me swear that I will not die without getting to visit and enjoy Santorini.


Gefseis doesn’t have a lot of dishes to choose from. The sandwiches and omelet were so-so. We liked their yogurt, iced coffee and lemon cake.


Some of us went back to Flotsam and Jetsam for Makai Bowls, while some of us went back to the beach and had a bottle or two of ice cold beer. Hulaan niyo kung saan ako d’yan. :p


Ended our LU weekend with a late lunch at Seanymph Café, where we all ate grilled tuna with spicy mango salsa. Mmmm… why can’t we be in the beach everyday?

Weekend in La Union (Part 1)

This trip happened 3months ago. Only blogging about this now because I’ve been lazy plus the prime time to go to La Union (LU/Elyu) is during this rainy season anyway. That is if you plan to surf.

I got used to staying in LU for 4-5 days, that our 2-day vacay was definitely bitin. I had fun nonetheless. 🙂

First order of business was to see Tangadan Falls. Click this to see my very first time to get into this kind of adventure!

We were famished when we got to San Juan that we didn’t bother checking out our rooms in Sebay first. We headed to the Seanymph Café for a superlate lunch.


Thank you Randy for recommending this gem! Mura na ang chibog, ang sarap pa! Kahit ang layo ng itsura at lasa noong ibang dishes sa kung ano ang nasa isip ko, masarap pa rin! Hehe! We liked this place so much that we went back here the following day for another late lunch. 🙂


Some of the dishes we had were stir fried pork, broccoli salad with tausi, Greek salad, gambas (na masabaw at hindi maanghang pero panalo sa lasa), and the pinaka-panalong dish… grilled tuna with mango salsa. All of us had grilled tuna on day 2 kasi lahat kami nainggit kay Randy noong day 1. :p


After lunch, we went to Sebay- our home for the weekend- to rest and be really close friends with the aircon. Remember how hot it was in Manila last Summer? Multiply it by 3 in La Union.


We left our cool cozy rooms in the late afternoon to lounge by the shore and catch the sunset. Here’s our happy group also known as Randy and Friends (hahaha)- Randy, Ruth, Red, Biel, Gerald, Mitch, and me. James was sleeping when this was taken and I don’t know where Joy was, but then again, her blog isn’t called JoyGoesPlaces for nothing! 😛 (Joy, nasaang place ka ng panahong ito?)


The beach… in fairness to the locals, they really make it a point to keep their beaches clean. I encourage all us tourists to do the same!

Do remember that the Urbiztondo beaches tend to be really crowded during summer, and


it’s up to you to find spots where you can still find peace and quiet in the afternoon. Glad I found this part of the beach where I was able to witness the sunset and a kid flying a kite. Note to self: bring a kite to the beach next time.


In the evening we went to Flotsam and Jetsam. It’s an artist beach hostel that has excellent ambiance. There’s live music (loved the singer’s mash-up of an Adele song and a Daft Punk hit), outdoor film showing,


delicious cocktails and delicious food. Food’s kinda pricey, but worth it– especially the pizza and the porkchops with banana blossom side dish.


My friends went back there the following day for Makai Bowls. That’s a smoothie bowl with granola and fruits and other yummy stuff. I wasn’t able to go with them because I had too much to drink and I’d rather stay in bed. :p

Crepes and Coffee at Crepe Amélie

Waking up early- especially on a weekend- is one of my least liked things to do, but I particularly enjoyed one Saturday morning with my girls that we spent chatting over crepes and coffee at Crepe Amélie.

I can’t really say no to a place that serves breakfast all day every dang day.

This place has cozy interiors with cure décor. Kapag may kasama ka na pasaway, hampasin mo nung hammer-looking thing. Haha! It’s quite accessible too. It’s just in A Venue Mall, along Makati Avenue. It’s near the supermarket, so don’t get sidetracked by the CBTL in front of the mall.

They have savory crepes, dessert crepes, sandwiches, pasta, Greek yogurt, different kinds of coffee, and milkshakes. You can check out the menu and prices here.

Photo by Ruth Grace Perez

Not really sure if they make latte art apart from hearts. :p

I had a Caramel Latte, Mango and Strawberry Yogurt and Shrimp Mornay (with sautéed shrimps, cheese and asparagus) crepe when I was with the girls.

I didn’t expect that I’d be full from what I ordered that I didn’t get to try a dessert crepe anymore.


But because I liked their crepe so much (better than Cafe Breton’s) and I found the place conducive for a nice chat with friends or hanging out alone, I went back one Sunday evening.


I spent a solid minute deciding whether to get a traditional dessert crepe or a crepe cake. The Dulce De Leche and Strawberry Fields both look divine!

I decided to get my all-time favorite crepe though- Crepe Suzette (fresh orange juice, orange zest, and gand marnier) with Vanilla Ice Cream! And I paired it with an Espresso Latte. Mmmmm hmmm! Perfect combo!

There’s a bazaar with live entertainment in the A Venue parking lot (across the creperie) so it won’t be the ideal place if you plan to spend some quiet time there. Kain ka na lang. 😀


Crepe Amélie
M/T/W/Th/S – 7am – 11pm
F/Sat- 7am – 1am
GF A Venue Mall,
Makati Avenue
02 7509946, 02 7509948

Brunch at Wildflour Salcedo

One of the best things in life is the smell of freshly baked bread. And just one whiff of the goodies in Wildflour would easily make one forget about her diet. :p

Good thing I was with my friend Mike who’s a crossfit trainer/mma person (seriously Iya, mma person? lol) so hiyang-hiya naman ako magkain construction worker that time. Got me some Vietnamese Latte and I think Mike’s is the Good Morning Sunshine Smoothie with strawberry, pineapple, mango, banana, yogurt.


I had the salad-soup-grilled cheese plate. I liked the tomato soup, but the sandwich was blah. The salad barely had vinaigrette, but it’s okay because I was delighted with the greens’ freshness.


Mike enjoyed his Mediterranean Salad, especially the fresh tuna. The other things in this plate are Israeli couscous, olives, tomato, French beans, garbanzo.


Be sure to make a reservation before heading there for lunch, because if you don’t, you will eat at the bar or outside. :p


If there’s no space at the bar or outside, you might want to eat at Toby’s Eastate instead which is just right beside it. There’s also The Wholesome Table at the Corner.


You can check out the menu here.

M-Th – 7am to 10pm / F-Sat – 7am to 11pm / S – 8am to 4pm
V Corporate Center,
125 L. P. Leviste Street,
Salcedo Village, Makati City
02 8087072

Pahabol: If you find youself getting fat because you ate too much in Wildflour, go to Crossfit Salcedo to get your sexy back. Look for Coach Mike. Hehe. 😀

Dinner Date and Discussion with The VG Girls at Chaplin

Once a month, we have a discussion that’s exclusive for girls in a new café or resto. Last week of May, Lou and I facilitated the discussion with one of the most exciting topics in the history of ever… GOD’S WILL. It’s a lot to process so it’s a good thing there were a lot of food to go around as we talked about the word and shared our experiences relevant to the topic at hand.

We had some Chaplin Pizza, which is pizza with shakshouka. This hard to spell dish (haha) is popular in North Africa and Middle East is made with eggs, tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin. Not sure if cumin was the spice I tasted because it wasn’t that strong. Pabor kasi hindi ako mahilig sa cumin. 😀


We also had shakshouka without the crust, two kinds of salads (Greek and Feta), chicken steak, and eggplant with tahini. Not really sure bakit puro pang-diet ang mga inorder naming that night. :p Must be a twisted effect of the framed quote near our table that says, “I could lose weight, but I hate losing.”

I liked their freshly baked bread served with 4 dips- eggplant salad, pesto, cream cheese and tuna.


For dessert they have Alfajores cookies with dulce de leche filling, cheesecakes, apple pie, and several kinds of mousse.


As for our discussion, we were all reminded that God’s will is good, pleasing and perfect. That we will not be able to understand it if we focus on our own wants or what the world wants for us.

What I learned recently that helped me out a great deal in checking if a dream or a goal is in line with God’s will is that it will meet the following- 1. It will be known through God’s Word.(Because what better way to know what He wants to say but through the Bible) 2. It will be confirmed through God’s Word or through godly counsel. (God is a God of clarity, He will definitely send something or someone to bring confirmation.) 3. It will be a situation that will need you to rely on God. (So that the glory will be His not ours!)

So there. Isn’t it nice to eat good food and talk about things that matter with your girl friends? 🙂

Check out Chaplin’s menu here.


Fourth Floor, Century City Mall,
Kalayaan Avenue Corner Salamanca Street,
Poblacion, Makati City
02 9465335