I and some colleagues, during a recent trip to Naga City, dined at the Red Platter. It was recommended by our hotel’s staff as one of the best places to eat in the city. Looking at its interior, with the way it was built, it seemed to me like it was formerly an ancestral house, which was turned into a restaurant. I like entrepreneurs who do this to maximize idle real properties. It even had weathered Machuca tiles that enhanced the 20th century look of the place. The dining different areas looked like they were formerly sitting areas or family rooms. The restaurant is perfect for family style meals or intimate conversations.
And because we were in Bicol, we just had to try the sili-infused meals. Unfortunately, there was no Bicol Express Pasta that day, and that was the one I was looking forward to. Bummer! And my favorite crispy pata is a little letdown. But! This might be because I have already searched far and wide for the best ones, and this version might be good enough for some.
Laing cordon bleu
Salted egg fried chicken
Sinigang na salmon belly
They also have a bakeshop showcasing cakes and a whole lot of pastries, specializing in pili, a local product of the Bicol region.
One quiet afternoon in Naga City, I took my girls out for meryenda. We ventured into a place called Coffee Table in the lifestyle center of the city. It was nice haunt for meetings and quiet conversations. Located in the same building as a hotel, it fairly attracts students, professionals and anyone in the neighborhood looking for a place to unwind.
I was actually gunning for their specialty Bicol Express Pasta, but too bad that it was not available. So I settled for the seafood pasta and the super hot sili affogato. I almost didn’t make it the next day. lol. It was soooo spicy! I must have drunk 2 gallons of water in one sitting.
Matcha green tea
Seafood Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes
Cookies and cream crepe
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)
Binukadkad na plapla with buro
Sinigang na ulo ng salmon sa guyabano (a hit with Maxine)
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.
Cheesy tortang talong
Paella Fiesta Filipina
Mahi mahi in spicy coconut cream
As I said the whole thing looked like a ship. The little girl had fun going up and down the mini stairs.
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.
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.
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
Lime Basil Shake and Thai Iced Tea