Xocolat – Loyola Heights, Quezon City

I asked my Facebook friends for a place near Ateneo that’s conducive for usapang masinsinan and that has good food especially desserts. Xocolat was the most mentioned choice.

I’m not that much of a chocolate fan, but I do like the saying, “A balanced diet is having chocolate in both hands!”

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I can’t believe I lived in Diliman for 2 years and hung out in this area of QC for a large part of last year but it was only last August 27 that I got to try Xocolat out. I guess there is really an appointed time for everything. 😀

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It was also my first time to see the enthralling-awesome-youthful Fr. Jboy Gonzales! I met him in Twitter around 3 years ago, and I’m thankful that he got to spend some time with me before he went to Davao for his new thrilling and consequential assignment .

We had pasta, cakes and chocolate drinks– stuff that you cannot not have when you are in Xocolat. We had Hot Xocolat, Aztec Xocolat (with chili!), Tablea Xocolat, Pineapple Mango Basil Mansi, Lemon Bangus Pasta, (cannot remember the pasta Fads had, I think it was Hungarian Sausage pasta), carrot cake, lemon cake, and matcha cheesecake! 

Everything was good, but I’d go back for the lemon cake and the hot chocolate made with tablea and with chili!

They do not only use chocolate in their beverages and pastries, but in their mains as well- like the Chicken ala Xocolat which is like chicken a la kiev with white chocolate and the Xocolat Pork Belly which is served with cacao-bagoong sauce.

Xocolat is a great choice for having no nonsense good food in a shabby chic setting. 🙂 I liked it so much that I went back there a couple of times by myself. Planning on bringing my South friends there soon. Well, hopefully I get to go back there to meet Father Jboy again. But who knows, the next time I meet him might already be in Davao. Ah ewan. Basta may pagkain na masarap at may masarap na chikahan! 😀

Xocolat
172 B. Gonzales Street,
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
02 9294186
Sunday-Monday, 7am to 11pm
(They also have branches in Greenhills and in Libis.)

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Goto Monster – La Paz, Makati

I only appreciate the rain if I don’t have to leave my beloved bed or if there’s food that can combat the cold. A big bowl of goto from this spot in La Paz, Makati surely satisfies. It’s been our go-to goto place (see what I did there? nyehehe) since 2014, rainy season or not.

I already blogged about GOTO MONSTER 2 years ago and I love their food so much that they deserve to be reblogged. 😀

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Needless to mention, the star of the menu is their goto- with its perfect consistency, superb taste and texture and yummy toppings. They now use turmeric, instead of kasubha, for coloring and flavoring. Just in case you don’t know, turmeric is luyang dilaw in Tagalog… the queen of spices in the spice kingdom… and has the scientific name of curcuma longa. :p It has anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant properties. Taray di’ba?

The other dishes worth having in Goto Monster are their tokwa with shiitake, bagnet or eggplants and their fresh springrolls that come with peanut sauce, chimichurri and chili.

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Their chicken adobo has got to be the best tasting adobo, even better than my Mama’s (and she already makes a mean adobo!) I wonder how they made the chicken that tender. Plus who knew chicken adobo goes well with mustasa salad? Don’t forget to drizzle some bagoong!

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ChickAdoboSilog – 120php

Their sisig is very spicy, so if you have low tolerance for spiciness, huwag niyo akong gayahin na kain lang nang kain, I didn’t realize I got to eat lots of chopped chili until it was too late! Buti na lang I had a refreshing and strong glass of Mojito (made with real lambanog… malakas ito, pwede kang ipaglaban.) to the rescue that time!

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It was my first time to try their ice cream pops some weeks ago. I had ginataang halohalo (check photo above) and leche flan (photo below). Both are so worth it for 50pesos a pop. Ang tindi nung leche flan, Napa-leche ako sa sarap. Kaya ko umubos ng lima sa isang upuan! But of course I won’t kasi I have to make way pa for their waffles!

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Leche Flan Ice Cream Pop

Their Champorado Waffles is a treat for those who like the sweet and salty combo. Champorado waffles (they use rice flour) topped with vanilla icea cream, drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with pinipig and crispy dilis. Definitely a delightful and delicious take on this popular Pinoy dish. Hindi ko akalain na mapapakain ako ng ice cream na tinaktakan ng dilis!

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Here’s my first love… Hindi si Donnie! ‘Yung Bibingka Waffles! I brought my besty a few days before his birthday to Goto Monster, hence the candle on the (rice)cake. I believe his wish was dalhin ko siya uli siya doon at isali ko siya sa Goto Monster Challenge! Bwahahaha!

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Bibingka Waffles with salted egg, ube ice cream, thick strips of bucayo, and salted caramel sauce – P135

I also brought my balikbayan friends Joel and Charm to Goto Monster because Charm loves goto and Joel wanted bagnet! Here we are with the waffles and some streetkids that the future mister and missus treated with some bagnet and tokwa. 🙂

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For drinks, I suggest you try their Kapeng Barako (served with bucayo na parang butterscotch ang dating… sara!), Iced Salabat and Iced Pineapple Kalamansi + Fresh Herbs. ‘Yung mga bote ng lapad sa table nila, condiments po ‘yon, hindi alak. Si Donnie kasi sabi ko, mag-2 bottles kami (after Goto Mosnter) tapos inabutan ako nung toyo at bagoong. :p

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A big thank you to Goto Monster for giving us monsterrific food! Thanks also to the awesome and artistic owner Jean Hill for putting art in the dishes and in the walls (check out her caricatures of famous Pinoy personalities). Keep ’em coming, Jean! 🙂

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Goto Monster
Primo de Rivera Street Corner Pablo Ocampo Sr. Extension,
La Paz, Makati City
09163002600
Open 24/7

The Study : Idea Space – Loyola Heights, Katipunan

One thing I miss about my life as a student is going to cafes and finishing my assignments. For some reason, I couldn’t do it at home. I had to be in a quiet corner of a coffee shop or a restaurant for my mind to function. I guess that reason is katakawan. Haha. My mother also said it’s kaartehan. (Aray!)

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Well, whatever. :p When I was taking my bachelor’s degree (Psychology- San beda College Alabang, 2003) my favorite tambayan was Café Francais, now Mama Lou’s. And when I was taking my master’s (Educational Psychology – University of the Philippines Diliman, 2007), my hangout of choice was Chocolate Kiss. If I were to study again, it would be in Ateneo and I would love to bring my books and my appetite here in The Study: Idea Space. The Katipunan Kids (peg ko every Saturday, hahaha) seem to love their study cubicles and food, so I tried it as well.

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Dapat kapag nag-aaral, may inspiration. Kung hindi mo kasama boyfriend mo, tingin ka na lang dito.

 

I had the Honey Oyster Chicken Rice Bowl (180php) and Mango Slush (130php) for lunch the first time I went there. The slush was average, but the chicken was sooooo good. It’s flavorful inside-out and very tender. I also loved the rice even if it has kintsay/Chinese parsley (not my favorite herb in the world).

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Hindi halata sa photo pero malaki ang serving nung chicken that’s why when I went to class, I didn’t get the free merienda anymore. (Thanks Victory Katipunan for always getting us yummy donuts!)

Gusto ko pang tumambay after class, so I went back to The Study. I had the Iced Cheesecake Latte (130php) and The Taco Pizza (280php). Good iced latte. Lasang cheesecake talaga. 🙂

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The Taco Pizza was maybe a foot long. It’s delicious, but kinda hard to eat because it’s super loaded with meat sauce and toppings”. I didn’t expect it to be that big. (There goes the “That’s what she said!” comments haha)  Super sulit for 280. I did not get to finish it, but I would have if I weren’t still full from lunch.

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I looked for hot sauce in their condiments/cutlery section and I saw these cool ketchup dispensers. Kahit man lang sa pagkain, matuto akong bumaril.

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I was in Regis center again last Saturday for the repeat of our  Day 1 topic in VCF. I left the house early so I’d have time to have lunch before attending class. That’s how much I liked eating and hanging out here. I had the Toasted Java Mallows Frappuccino (145php) and Black Truffle Pasta (240php). I liked the java part, not the mallows part of the frappe. Ang expectation ko kasi toasted rin ‘yung mallows. Hehehe! The pasta, apart from being delicious was heavy on the tummy.

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And hey! They have Pokemons! There’s Squirtel, Pikachu, orange-brown creature and sleeping blue fatty. Forgot the names! :p Sorry na, I’m not a fan, but they’re cute!

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Saw some lovely little ladies lounging outside. I think they’re talking about the love life of their friend when I snapped this. Gusto ko sana umepal eh and say “Books before boys”, but who am I kidding? That wasn’t what I followed rin naman when I was in college. Well, not until the latter part! 🙂

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Na-achieve ko naman ‘yung peg ko na studious Atenean, di’ba? 😀

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The Study Idea Space
2nd Level, Regis Center
327 Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights
0917 8222437

Kantori Yakitori – Aguirre Ave, BF Homes

I was hungry and it was raining and none of my Bene barkada was in BF yet for our scheduled catch up over drinks. I asked the Uber driver to stop the car at the first interesting restaurant I laid my eyes on as soon as we went past the Phase 1 Aguirre guardhouse.

And it was Kantori Yakitori.

It was the Japanese lanterns that caught my eye. I lovelovelove lanterns!

I started my meal with a Sake Bomb. I accidentally deleted the video where I slammed my hands on the table and the shot glass filled with sake fell off the chopsticks into the glass of beer.

Then I had a bowl of Miso Corny Soup that according to the description in the menu has cream and leeks, but I didn’t taste the cream, the leeks and even the miso. The corn sat at the bottom of the bowl and I only got to meet them when I was done with the soup.

The YummyMono Sampler was win though. I enjoyed everything on this plate- the shiitake topped with fish flakes, breaded tofu, bacon wrapped asparagus, quail eggs and pork belly. Sabi ng menu to share daw. Too late when I read the part of the menu that said “Sharing is Caring”.  Didn’t plan on finishing the platter by myself pero nagutom ako sa kakahintay sa kanila so naubos ko na pala. :p

What I couldn’t finish was my Coke in can so I did what any normal (?) person will do if there’s some leftover Coke. Get a shot of Jack Daniels, of course.

I wanted to try the Japanese whisky sampler by the time my friends arrived, but they decided they wanted to eat something sweet. And there’s no dessert being served in Kantori Yakitori.

I hope they serve some sweet matcha goodies soon. I’ll have it with my shots of Suntory, Hibiki 17, Nikka Miyagiko. Or maybe with a glass of highball.

Kantori Yakitori
51 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes
Parañaque City
02 3589079
Monday – closed
T, W, Th, Sun – 5pm-12mn
Fri, Sat – 5pm – 2am

We ended up going to Rue Bourbon where we had some beer, shooters and cocktails. And where they ate ribs and fries. Sweet pala ang gusto niyo ha?!!?? Liars! Pffffttt! 😛

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Zoo Coffee – Alphaland Makati Place

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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. 😀

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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.

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

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

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

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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

Finally, a Kanto Freestyle Breakfast in Makati!

I used to go to Mandaluyong and Kapitolyo just to pig out on inexpensive breakfast food served in a sossified way. Good thing I don’t have to anymore because Kanto Freestyle Breakfast already opened a branch here in Makati!

It’s along Burgos, very near St. Peter and Paul Church. Huwag magpapa-confuse sa waiting shed na may nakalagay na Samahang Nazareno. :p That’s already Kanto.

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We went there last week and I was amazed to see the place packed even if it’s still on its soft opening.

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Dave and I already had dinner but we still had space for baconsilog (plus extra strips of crispy bacon), tocilog, hot chocolate, iskrambol, and fried suman with strawberry syrup and ube ganache. See their complete menu here.

Kanto Makati has a second floor with veranda and a small function room downstairs that are both ideal venues for team meetings. Attention to my bosses: please dalhin niyo po kami ditong lahat. 😀

To those asking if there’s wi-fi here, here’s the hugot answer from their Instagram account:

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Welcome to the neighborhood, Kanto! You’ll surely make my breakfasts better!

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Please check their Facebook page for updates.

For my past entries about Kanto Freestyle, you may check:

https://baconandbangles.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/kanto-freestyle-breakfast-mandaluyong/

https://baconandbangles.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/kanto-and-kid-in-kapitolyo/

Kanto Freestyle Breakfast Makati
5079 P. Burgos St. Brgy Poblacion, Makati
0942-6530-433

Photo Challenge: Earth

The Narita Countryside

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Taken the first time I went out of my beloved Philippines. It was an absolutely humbling experience to see a part of Japan from the clouds. It made me feel miniscule and insignificant in this Earth so large and mighty.

Looking back, I now realize that I am truly fearfully and wonderfully made to have experienced that awesome vacation which was just a dream when I was a little girl and a prayer a few years back.