Monday, April 30, 2012

Milky & Sunny : Foodie Find in Kapitolyo Pasig Part 2

With the number of restaurants in Kapitolyo, Pasig, and how much I can eat, it will be impossible to visit all of them in one day.  On my last blog entry about the food finds in the area, I am still left with 2 establishments,  Milky & Sunny and CAB Cafe.

Last Saturday, we finally had the opportunity to visit Milky & Sunny.  It's actually an all day breakfast place serving pancakes, omelettes, and choose your own breakfast platter. They also have pasta, sandwiches, toasts, waffles and cereals complemented wide a selection of drinks and shakes.
It was late afternoon when we arrived and we tried the Mama's Meaty Spaghetti and the Chicken and Asparagus Fritata.  We also had the fruit platter to cool us from the hot weather outside.  The food was so great that we definitely need to go back to try out the other items on their menu.

The interiors is very calming with white and blue walls and art on one side, and different framed words on the other.  I love the denim pillows  and place mats.  The food served in colored plates stood out against the blue and white background.

Visit Milky & Sunny at 9 East Capitol Drive, Barangay Kapitolyo, 1603 Pasig, Philippines
also check out their facebook page for infos:

Sulyap Gallery Cafe, San Pablo, Laguna

It was the day of our company summer outing.  Thinking I was already late to go to the meeting place, I decided to drive my way to Kabayan Resort in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas.  I left the house around 4 am, and breezed thru SLEX and Star Tollway arriving at the resort 2 hours later.
I arrived at the resort just in time for sunrise, and it was the first time I get to appreciate the beach this early in the morning.  It wasn't long until bus loads of my co-employees arrived at the resort.
According to the news, the mid day sun can be harmful so we decide to spend the first few hours swimming.  Like Boracay, the beach in Laiya, slopes gradually and the water gets clearer as you move away from the shore.
By lunch time, we decided rent a boat and go snorkeling.  Don't bother to go to the cave, since there's nothing much to see there.  Its best that you bring your own snorkel set or goggles, otherwise be prepared to shell out another 100php on the top of your boat rental for the snorkeling set.  The snorkeling site was teeming with small fish.  Although the look of the corals looks a bit disappointing, its thriving and I have actually seen worse.

What I am really writing about is my find on my way back.  Since I am driving by myself and it was still early in the afternoon, I decided to take the Candelaria, Tiaong route to Manila.  This way I will pass the town of San Pablo, Laguna.  Originally I was  going to check out Casa San Pablo.  I remember being referred to the resort by one of our Office Furniture Supplier, but I missed it due to a road construction near the gate entrance.
And since I was driving alone, I thought, Casa San Pablo is best visited with friends.  I tried to Google up other interesting cafe in the area, and Sulyap Gallery Cafe was on top of the search list.  Since I am in the vicinity, I looked it up on my foursquare and follow the pinned location on my Iphone map.  I missed the turn to the entrance, since the sign is facing the other direction.  I have to turn around since i am moving the opposite direction on the map.  The street leads to the Iron Gate Entrance of Sulyap Gallery Cafe.  My first impression of the compound was an old institutional building, but right across it are two Fil-Hispanic Houses, and one of them is the Cafe.
I was the only guest when I arrived, and immediately I was drawn to the wooden furniture, the white linen and the antique collection at the ground floor dining area.  I choose the table with a window view of the garden.

The menu consist of creative preparations of using local ingredients.  I tried the Tulingan Pasta and their brewed coffee in preparation to the long drive back to Manila.

The pasta was great, although I would have wanted to try more items from their menu.  At least I have another reason to go back.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Holy Week, Puerto Galera 2012


White Beach, Puerto Galera is a popular destination during Holy Week, mainly because of its proximity to Manila.  Now, with the opening of the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road, the travel time to Batangas Port is faster and convenient.  I have been spending Holy Week in Galera yearly since 2004 except for 2010 when we got lured into exploring Palaui Island in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.

It's good to note the improvement made by the port officials and the local government of white beach this year.

I started to pack my things due to the last minute decision to actually go.

Things to bring:
1 pair of walking shorts
1 Lightweight Pants
3 Winkle Free Shirt
2 Tank Top
1 Board Short
1 Swimming Short
3 underwear
Phone Charger
(though costly, other essentials are available on the stores along the beach)

Took a shower, had coffee, did a last minute check.

Walked our way to Buendia.
Withdraw cash from the ATM.  The nearest ATM in Puerto Galera is in Calapan, or the one at Batangas Port.  Never assume that your companions will be able to lend you money otherwise you'll starve.

Boarded the Bus at JAM Bus Terminal

Cruisin along SLEX

Arrived at Batangas Port
At first, I was expecting chaos.  I remember the long lines years back.  But this time, it more organized with separate terminals for those going to Calapan, Puerto Galera, and Super Cat.  We were assisted by a local for tickets and terminal fees for a tip, which is actually made it more convenient.  We were able to purchase tickets for the 5:00AM Father and Son boat bound for White Beach, Puerto Galera.
Inside, people are in line to board at the different gates.  I'm not really sure why people would like to get ahead of everyone on a scheduled boat departure.

Finally boarded the boat, after the long line at the gate.

Halfway through the 2 hour boat ride along Verde Passage

Trying to Dock

Boat had to turn around, we actually though we were going back!

Landed on White Beach Puerto Galera

Got settled at the resort.  During Holy Week, beach front accommodations are usually booked so better reserve in advance.  Its also good to establish a relationship with resort owners so they can give you good rates.

Had to sleep sideways, 7 in a room, there was a time when we were 9.
Cheaper residential accommodations are available but their located a few distance from the beach.  Tent areas are also available.

Typical White Beach Puerto Galera Itenirary:
Sleep all morning

10:00AM Brunch, Expect to wait for the service since most of the kitchens are not equipped to accommodate the outpour of guests during this time.

11:00AM WAlk around the beach, shop early before you consume all your cash on drinks.  You can also just chill at Coco Aroma.  The service sucks but its a good place to hang out.

2:00 PM Late Lunch, its best to take a late lunch since there's less diners.

4:00PM Start Drinking, some would start earlier.  Mindoro Sling is the drink of choice
You can also opt to get a massage, swim or explore other beach activities.

7:00PM  Dinner, Try the Kebabs available on most establishment.

8:00PM  Continue Drinking, Buy promo drinks from the ladies roaming around. You would not miss them.

10:00PM Party at Miggy's or Hiyas

1:00AM Sober Up at the Beach or Explore Jurassic (But the Dinosaurs are being haunted, so not much action lately)

3:00AM Sleep (Depends on whose bed)

10:00AM Brunch (start of another day)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Foodie Finds in Kapitolyo Pasig

Cafe Juanita
When we talk of dining in Pasig, the first restaurant that would come to mind would be Cafe Juanita.
The restaurant is known for creating innovative ways of preparing our home cooked favorites like the sinigang, adobo and sisig.  It has a unique interior that showcases an eclectic collection of antiques and and items from all over the world.  It's usually full during lunch and dinner and is best to make reservations and order ahead of time.

Corned Beef Sinigang

Tofu Sisig

Cafe Juanita's Eclectic Interiors

The Catfish Salad, Almost did not make the shot!

Antique and Crysta Collection at Cafe Juanita

Kainan Augusto
It is owned and operated by the same people as Cafe Juanita.  It also takes on the same eclectic vibe with the miss match chair and vast collection of antiques and found items.  The difference is that they have pre-prepared dishes "Turo-Turo" style.  My favorite is their Kaldereta.  The meat is so tender that it literally melts in your mouth.  Although the portion is small, you can easily finish more than 1 serving of rice.  They also have the usual Filipino favorites like the rellenong bangus, laing and morcon among many others.
I am coming back to try their merienda offerings like the ginataan halo halo and pansit luglug. For those who love our native kakanin, they have different types of puto and maja on a stand.

The Entrance to Kainan Augusto

The Turo Turo Stand with the Pre-Prepared Dishes

The Ginataan Halo-Halo and Maja

Same Eclectic Vibe as Cafe Juanita
Three Sisters
A block away from Kainan Augusto along East Capitol Street, is a small restaurant known for their pork barbecue and grilled items..  The sign says they've been grilling since 1941, so this must be really good to survive those decades.  I drove past to take out 3 sticks and scent just filled the car and the barbecue was consumed in seconds.

The Famous Pork Barbecue
Poco Deli
I love this restaurant.  The interior is simple, and made to look like a rustic cellar with the use distressed wood, crates and the wooden furniture.  One wall houses the wine collection, and chillers showcase their sausages, cheeses and other deli items.  The chalk board wall reminds you of a neighborhood diner. The menu consists of salads, tapaz, soups, pasta and pizza.
We tried the truffle oil pasta with seafood and the four meat pizza so we can sample their sausages.
It was really good, and the pizza could easily serve 2 to four person. The price is very reasonable considering the serving and taste.

Entrance to Poco Deli
The Wall with their Wine Collection and Chiller for the Deli

Truffle Oil Seafood Pasta

Four Meat Pizza
I owe my trip to East Capitol Street to this restaurant.  I saw a post on facebook about the chicken salad on this establishment which prompted my visit one lunch afternoon a few days back.  I was having a hard time looking for parking and as I was driving, found these very interesting places to eat.  Thaidara has a lunch special that comes with a drink and dessert. I tried the chicken basil for 179 pesos.  The meal portion was enough, although I wanted more of the savory spicy ground chicken, with a hint of freshness coming from the basil.  The dessert was so cute, its a cookie topped with ice cream.  I'm not sure if its the taste or the portion, but I left the restaurant still hungry. maybe it's both.

Entrance to Thaidara

Lunch Special: Chicken with Basil that comes with a drink

The dessert that comes with the lunch special

Lia's Cake in Season
After having lunch at Thaidara, I noticed the small cake shop beside it with a sign that says "home of the best avocado cheesecake".  This something new to me, so I immediately went in to get myself a slice.  It was only the avocado cake that's available that time, and was only able to taste the cheesecake on my second visit.  They also have other cakes on their chiller like red velvet, chocolate cake, strawberry and the avocado sylvannas.  Actually they have a more creative name for the cakes, i was just basing it on appearance.

Its gonna be hard to choose....

The famous avocado cake and cheesecake
My Yet To Try
Since, there are more restaurants than how much I can consume in day, these are the establishments I am eagerly wanting to try in the coming days.

Day 5: Tito's Roadtrip Travel Guide to Bicol

Our last day in Bicol is dedicated to our long drive back home. We decided to leave early around 3AM in order to reach Manila late in the ...