Manam

If you are looking for traditional Filipino food livened up with a twist, then Manam is for you. The restaurant is an ideal place for families or a group of friends sharing a hot meal, or even couples of bffs chilling out or plain relaxing. Each of their dishes come in three sizes: small, medium or large, so you can order according to the size of your party or your heart’s desire. You need not worry about ordering too much or too little.

You can start off with drinks concocted with ingredients that you would not think are possible together:

Banana melon sago

Camias with lemongrass

Papaya with black pepper

For the main dishes, there were so many to choose from. If I had my way, I would have gotten their bestseller sisig and the sinigang na corned beef sa watermelon. But as I was with hypertensive and people watching out for their sugar levels, we opted for the safer though still yummy dishes.

Batil patung (famous in Cagayan where the husband is from)

Braised then fried pork and chicken adobo (a hit with Mischa)

Gising-gising

Binukadkad na plapla with buro

Sinigang na ulo ng salmon sa guyabano (a hit with Maxine)

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Agos

We tried this ship-inspired restaurant in Mall of Asia for dinner with the whole family. When we looked initially at their menu, we saw that their specialties are Filipino dishes as influenced by the Spaniards. I really don’t know the story behind the restaurant, but it looked to me that the food looked like heirloom pieces, maybe passed on from grand- and great-grandparents.

And as we are just coming off medical check-ups for the kids and the seniors, and the seniors have high blood pressure, our fare consisted of relatively healthy dishes so as not to further add to the high levels of cholesterol. The food was good enough in general, but I was like, 60% happy with it, owing to the lack of meaty goodness that my tummy was craving for. And it was a bit more expensive for the quality and taste. Service was great though.

Agos salad

Cheesy tortang talong

Paella Fiesta Filipina

Mahi mahi in spicy coconut cream

Monggo

As I said the whole thing looked like a ship. The little girl had fun going up and down the mini stairs.

Cheesecake Fairy

Coffee is a always a good, especially when you’re with family on a perfect afternoon, and drinking it over cheesecake.

OMG, I totally dig those cups actually more than the coffee. Hehe. They’re so Martha Stewart or Cath Kidston. I also love the feminine interiors with the chic couches of the Cheesecake Fairy. But the Vietnamese latte and the Nutella cheesecake are really to die for. And chocolate ice cream is always a winner with the big little girl. The cafe, located at the Evia Lifestyle Center, is a perfect spot to wind down after going around the mall. It gives one the opportunity to catch his breath after moving about.

I love lazy afternoons like these.

House of Lasagna

After the kids’ check up and flu vaccines last Saturday, we passed by the mall (as usual) primarily to buy some last minute stuff for school. But…lunch first.

We chanced upon the House of Lasagna, which was fairly new in the MOA Eats section. And can you guess what we had? Harhar. Lasagna of course! But kids still chose their Southern Fried Chicken. Being fried chicken experts, this was a letdown, especially for Ate Mischa. She was asking if the restaurant even used salt for the dish. True enough, it was bland, even with the gravy. Maxine was happy with the unlimited bread.

I had the chicken lasagna, while the hubby had pesto. They looked kinda the same, right? I was actually gunning for the 3-cheese dish, but they didn’t have it, so I made do with this one. Both were good, considering lasagna is their bread and butter. I would have expected nothing else. Service was on the slow side, good thing we weren’t that hungry. Or maybe it’s because of all the bread they kept refilling on our table. Lol.

We went home with full, warm tummies. Lasagna just does that to you. Comfort food at its best.

Basil

Rainy nights call for Thai food! The spice and flavor which made this cuisine famous would surely heat up and cheer up gloomy nights. This new restaurant in MOA did just that after we finished our dinner here. It was a weekday, and as I said, a rainy one at that, and the place was practically empty. I liked its modern vibe, with a smattering of Thai elements, but still has some Filipino aura to it. Maybe it’s the wood, or the plain and obvious hospitality and warmth of the staff. Whatever it was, it was a great dining experience.

Their servings were huge (hence price was not cheap) so we couldn’t order a lot. We settled for our favorites, his green curry chicken, and my pad thai. We washed it down with basil lemon shake and Thai iced tea.

Green Chicken Curry

Pad Thai

Lime Basil Shake and Thai Iced Tea

Breakthrough

This post has been languishing in my drafts for the longest time, among other posts. An unexpected, heartbreaking event happened the days following my going to Breakthrough. It didn’t occur to me (or to anyone if I may add) that this could be the last fulfilling and enjoyable meal for one of my dear friends at work. I will write more about that soon if I summon enough strength or will. I just take comfort in the knowledge that she was happy here, and we both enjoyed ourselves, feasting on the food whilst basking in the fresh air and the sounds of the ocean nearby. It makes me a little happy that she was happy this day at one of the famed restaurants in Iloilo.

Hillside Cafe and Juice Bar

After binge-ing for the past couple of days, time to detoxify! This restaurant is not typically my cup of tea, but we were meeting Mico halfway from the north to our home, he suggested this as it was near where he was working out. You could guess that, from among what we ordered, mine was not green 🙂

Hillside Greens (spinach, moringa, mango, chia seeds, coconut meat and water)

Raw zucchini pesto pasta

Tofu teriyaki

Corned grass-fed beef short ribs

Squid ink pasta

It’s not so bad. For someone like me, doesn’t really look appetizing, eh? But it worked for the rest of my family.