Torimomo Japanese Barbecue

We grabbed a quick bite at Torimomo Japanese Barbecue one time. Because we were in a hurry, and it was the first restaurant that has empty table, that we decided to go here. When we looked at the menu, we were a little surprised that the prices were cheaper than the average Japanese restaurants. Their specialties, as the name implies, are barbecue. But they also offer some of our regular Japanese favorites that’s why we ordered them. We had: tempura, shoyu ramen and pork belly barbecue.

And because food is cheap, serving is also small. lol. We got what we paid for, somehow, and every bite was tinged with disappointment. Aside from the pork barbecue, they also offer salmon, squid, shrimp, bacon-wrapped mushrooms, beef and chicken. Maybe we’ll try those next time. Or maybe not. Oh, and if you have other plans after here, make sure you bring extra clothes and some perfume. The smell of the smoke sticks like crazy.

Parmigiano Pizzeria Ristorante

We seldom get to go out anymore as a nuclear family. Usually, we have my parents in tow. So despite being tired from a day out with the kids, we took this opportunity to dine out one fine day. We were surprised as we went around Molito Lifestyle Complex in Alabang! The area has grown since the last time we set foot there. A dozen or so new specialty restaurants now line up what used to be just a handful of stores. Now it is a great place for families, couples, even individuals out on a cool afternoon or night. We’ve seen dogs being walked, and lots of people just milling around and relaxing. Great place to hang out now.

We chose the Parmigiano Pizzeria Ristorante, one because it was very conspicuous and two, we were attracted by the waft of Italian. The restaurant was very cheerful and inviting. Half of the restaurant has a mezzanine that looks over the other half, which with its high ceiling, creates breathing space even though the tables were a bit crowded at the main part of the restaurant.

There was a whole variety of pasta, pizzas and other Italian goodies. It was so hard to choose, but we decided on the following: some salad, six cheese pizza and a creamy carbonara, all kids-approved! There was the ubiquitous bread basket to start everything with. All were a little pricey, but for good reason, they were just delish! For the pasta and pizza, the cheesy and creamy taste was just overwhelming, perfect for our taste buds.

Yayoi

Because we’re suckers for Japanese food, we decided to try Yayoi, which serves teishoku or full meals (rice, viand, soup, dessert, side dish). The good thing though is they have an ala carte menu too, so we didn’t have to endure the big servings. Lately, in a bid to lose weight (there’s a Biggest Loser contest in the office), we’ve been trying to cut down on our (or at least mine. lol) food intake. But I really couldn’t stay away too long from two things: noodles (ramen, pasta, pansit, pad thai, jap chae, etc.) and Japanese food.

Yayoi has a different dining experience such that you don’t have to call out your server all the time. On each table sits a touch screen pad where you can just press for whatever you need. Starting from your order, asking for utensils, having your water refilled, and so on, it is literally service at your fingertips. I wonder though how the technologically-challenged would fare on this. I guess the wait staff are still around to get you through.

The hubby had chicken jyu or chicken over rice with a special sauce and I had, guess what, niku udon. Both are quite good. Mine had sukiyaki beef in the soup, and an egg that seems to have been braised in something (sorry couldn’t really figure it out). His chicken was perfectly crispy despite the sauce on top. But I would still go for ramen anyday.

Chikos

Peruvian roast chicken is love!

We stumbled upon Chikos in the mall, which is newly opened we think as we haven’t seen it before. Good thing too as we now have a new option (sometimes this noodle freak gets tired of anything noodles too!), and quite affordable too. The restaurant is fairly small, the only have about five tables. This gives the crew more time and attention to its diners! Love it!

Tim Hortons in Manila

Because I’ve tasted the original Tim Hortons coffee during my short visit to Vancouver almost a decade ago, of course I got curious whether the one established in Manila tastes the same. I’ve been wanting to go since they opened shop last year, but the branches were out of our way. And my heart skipped a beat when we saw they opened one near MOA, yay! Finally, tried it last Friday and I wasn’t disappointed.

I actually got an overload because they were offering their signature brewed coffee for free (just because the branch recently opened) for every order. And since we already have iced coffee for our combo orders, we were Tim Hortoned till the next day, which was mighty fine with them. Love their coffee as it already has cream and sweetener. Just got their cheese panini and the hubby got the Italiano bagel, which was a lot of work if you ask me, but he seemed to have enjoyed it. We also shared a chocolate dip donut. Next time I’m having the biscuit and bagel with cream cheese.

Miao Cat Cafe

Okay, so this Christmas season, I am still all about making Ate happy. Despite my misgivings, and following our not so good experience at this cafe, I brought the whole family to another concept cafe. This time, it’s cats, and no sooner than I have set foot in the Miao Cat Cafe’s threshold that I want to back out.

You see, I am definitely not a cat lover. It must be the dog in me. For years and years before I started my own family, I have lived with dogs. At one time, I had nine of them (four or five were puppies). While I respect cat lovers and cats of all shapes and sizes, we definitely could not live under one roof. Maybe it’s because dogs make so much effort to please humans, that’s why humans are naturally drawn to them (at least this human does!). You kinda meet halfway whereas cats need to be wooed or something like that, and I don’t normally do that, even to fellow humans!

And so, only true, unconditional love could lead me to endure half an hour with these felines. A payment of Php300 per adult and Php 150 per child entitles interaction with the resident cats of the cafe for two hours, and includes a drink and pastry. There was a changing area for footwear, and they provide slippers. Unlucky day for me because I was not wearing socks, ugh! Both kids enjoyed that time spent, and time could not pass fast enough for the adults haha. This is a dream place for cat lovers who cannot have cats at home, and the owners are nice enough to share their pets to the paying public. They must have at least fifteen high breed felines there.

Rainbow Dreams Cafe

We had lunch on Christmas Day at Rainbow Dreams Cafe along the stretch of Maginhawa Street in Quezon, which is famous for being littered with rows of concept restaurants and specialty establishments. I came upon a post a couple of months before, and decided to delight Mischa with its cute concept of unicorns/my little ponies (up to now, it is still not clear what they are. lol).

Also ran into one of our colleagues who was spending Christmas there alone. Poor guy haha (seriously though, he doesn’t mind).

From the get-go, it was clear that the employees there were not happy to be on duty on Christmas day. Their Facebook page said the cafe was open at 12:00 noon, and it was half an hour past when we got there, and they weren’t ready yet. And their patrons could use some smile, but nada. There was also another family there, and just like us waited for them to get their acts together. It really seemed like they were dragging their feet. I would have thought that they would have some Christmas spirits left in them but it looks like they left these at home Oh well.

General review of food–zilch. Presentation was all they could boast of. But they were even serving it sloppy. Some of their plastic glasses had some cracks in them that water was spilling on the table. It took me at least three calls to their server to mop it up to no avail. We just decided to move on to the next empty table so they would deal with the mess later. I didn’t want to make a fuss so as not to spoil the day. So we just lapped up the tasteless dishes and took photos for posterity and that’s it.

Nachos

BBQ chops

Honey garlic wings

Crispy fish fillet

Chicken with sriracha

Carbonara

Rainbow smores

Milkshakes