Neil’s Kitchen

This is too late a post but I was out of town for a while then had to keep up with things at work. Anyway, nearly every year, our family always celebrates Mothers’ Day, Mama’s birthday and my birthday, whichever comes first, in one weekend. This year, since we were anticipating the usual crowd in malls, I decided to look up restaurants in stand alone parts in the Alabang area. My Google search turned up several choices and I narrowed it down to Neil’s Kitchen in Westgate. Good thing I made reservations two days prior because the place was jampacked that day. I guess many have already heard (or read) of its good reviews.

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The place was totally bustling and it has a frenetic kind of energy. Everything just feels alive, mostly because of the personal decors dotting the place.

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However, we were given a table at one of the function rooms, and I felt cheated because we didn’t get to enjoy the main dining area. But ’tis okay.

The food on the other hand, while I thoroughly enjoyed and every one, took forever to be served. I have to forgive the place though. As I said, the day of our visit fell on a “celebration day” so they probably couldn’t keep up with the demand. But they have to do something about it in the future. Their saving grace was really, everything was superb! The twists on all Filipino food were done in excellent taste!

Calamares with Saffron Aoili. Ironically, our appetizer was the last to arrive. We have already finished with everything so this was like an anti-climactic ending.
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Tokwa’t Baboy. Good, good.
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Chicken of the South. This was for Mischa who normally orders fried chicken no matter which restaurant we are in. But I ended up liking it so much. It was boneless, flavorful, and the mushroom rice that went along with it was perfect for my taste buds!
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Spanish tempura. I’d already forgotten how this tasted so…
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Sinigang na Grilled Salmon. Yummy! I love the burst of flavors when you take a bit of the salmon, resting on a bed of crisp vegetables. I don’t think anyone can ever go wrong with salmon, could they!
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Carbonara. Creamy and perfect. Lots of bacon = happy tummy
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Bagoong Paella with Kare-kare. Just the right saltiness.
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And what made my heart skipped a beat – Sinigang Paella with Grilled Pork Belly. The restaurant truly did something magical with this dish. The sourness of the broth-infused rice with the grilled pork dripping with oil…ahhh…so unhealthy but so heavenly. All the waiting we had to endure and the lack of a perfect view were all erased because of this. So good, I will really come back for seconds or thirds or fourths with this one.
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Maxine at 7

Our little girl celebrated her 7th month yesterday. We weren’t able to buy her her monthly cake because we came from the airport the day before (husband picked me up after being away for 6 days). It was late by the time we got to the bakeshops and there were no cakes left. So I just took this photo at 4:45 in the morning to capture her this day.

All smiles in the wee hours of the morning!

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But we still got to buy and blow her cake when we got home later that day. I was glad she woke up for it.

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We love you so much anak!

Larena reunion 2015

My favorite aunt/godmother came home from the US for a very, very brief period together with one of my cousins. They were here to visit another ailing aunt (my cousin’s mom, and the favorite aunt’s and my mom’s youngest sister). I wished they could have stayed longer, especially my aunt. They were here for a total of five days so we had little time to do things. Only had a couple of dinners, visits to the hospital, and made a quick getaway to our home province for the two balikbayans to pay homage to our grandparents. We didn’t even have time to reminisce.

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Limbaga 77

Our family dined at a newly opened restaurant at the Tomas Morato area, in yet another restyled/refurbished old family home. It is found on No. 77 Scout Limbaga St., hence the name Limbaga 77. It’s hard to miss, especially at night, with its bright facade and conspicuous name.

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But among the last few ones I went to (Victorino’s, Adarna Food and Culture and Lola Cafe), its interior is one of my favorites. It has two floors, and both had their own bars and restrooms. As it is new, the place is definitely eye candy. I especially liked this statement staircase, with its steel and wooden railings.

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And yet again, it has the same take on modernized Filipino food. Did not get to choose any of the food, though. Not complaining, but most of those we had were not my cup of tea. So I would say that everything was average and just okay, and that I had better.

House salad. The prawns were big and generous so that’s a total plus for me. However, this one had bananas. Whoever thought of putting bananas there? It was weird.

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Poqui-poqui rolls. The Ilocano classic dish of eggplant and egg but wrapped in lumpia wrapper and fried.

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Bangus flakes in mustard leaves. This is good and healthy. One of the better meals on their menu.

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Binusog na pusit. Literally, a squid with its belly full. Now, this one is a winner! Perfectly roasted with pesto on top, and just the right sweetness and tartness of the dipping.

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Pochero. Didn’t get to taste this one, but doesn’t hold much for me anyway.

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I forgot to take a photo of the herb fried chicken. Mischa just took a few bites but I really can’t tell if she didn’t like it or she was too busy running around to enjoy it. Also the sinigang na salmon of the hubby.

If I had my way, there would be crispy pata or lechon kawali on the table that night. Then I would have totally enjoyed the meal. I got to content myself that I was with family. Maybe I need a second round for another verdict?

Kiddie Crew

Due to budgetary and time constraints (of the parents), Mischa was not enrolled in any summer activity this year. I thought that this would be the year she would learn piano or level up her swimming, but circumstances made us push these in the backburner for now. So sorry little girl (although the summer is not yet over).

I intended for her to be part of the McDonald’s Kiddie Crew ever before summer began and we almost missed it. Thank God, we were still able to do it. Even though it’s only a week thing, I am glad to see her out of the house. Our bad for letting her have an iPad/TV summer.

Also took off time from work since Mama was out because her sister came home from the US. Happy to bring Mischa and see her in action.

She went with her cousin, Lee.

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Their days start with short lectures. This day, they were made to understand teamwork. I know that the managers from McDonald’s who run the show here aren’t teachers but I still wished they would consider the ages of the participants when giving their spiels. The one who lectured yesterday kind of droned without looking if her wards understands what she was talking about.

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Then they were assigned on the floor on different rotations: counter to take orders and prepare them, drive-thru and lobby to greet the customers.

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After that, they were served with meals. Happy that my girl ate by herself. She should but she always acts up at home.

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And they have to memorize and perform later this week the Kiddie Crew song. Also have to prepare a talent number. Still racking my brains for this.

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For Php595 for the whole course, including shirt, cap, bag, meals, materials, etc., this is truly a worthwhile activity for kids her age. I hope she learns something out of this. She can be shy and doesn’t easily interact with people she just met so this might be another good venue for her to get out of her shell.