Tuesday, February 12

Design & Food, The Philippines {Part 2}

It's probably time for me to wrap up my series about The Philippines... If you have missed with {Part 1}, you can catch up and read it here. In this post I will highlight a couple of shops and restaurant I really liked during my trip. If you like eating, there is no doubt you would enjoy exploring the extensive range of Filipino dishes!

I don't have pictures for most of the dishes however, they seem to disappear before I could even get my camera out!

When we went to Tagaytay, my husband surprised me as he had booked a table for lunch at a gorgeous restaurant called Antonio's, nestled in a luxurious garden lost on the country side. The setting was wonderful and quite romantic, and I can only imagine how a great venue it would be for a wedding! We chose the menu, which had very generous servings - each of them very tasty and artfully presented (menu includes a starter, soup, main and dessert).

My main dish at Antonio's - fish filet and gratin dauphinois

I liked the interior design of the bungalow the most, with its saturated and bold colors - not everyone's cup of tea but totally suitable to this atmosphere!

Views of the interior at Antonio's

After our short escapade at Lake Tagaytay we spent the entire weekend in Makati, the business district of Manila. We tasted local food at various food joints, including the famous chain Max's Restaurant. The food wasn't amazing, but the story behind it is worth telling. Max's Restaurants started in 1945 at the end of WWII, when Maximo Gimenez befriedend the American occupation troops stationed at Quezon City. The GIs were often coming to his home to have a drink, and quickly insisted to pay for their drinks. Gimenez then opened a cafe that was serving some finger food such as a delicious fried chicken. The first restaurant was born when the food started gathering enough interest from the local people as well! The tagline says: "Max's Restaurants, the house that fried chicken built". They even have restaurants in the US!

The photo below of the crab was taken at a restaurant called The Red Crab Seafood & Steaks in Greenbelt 3 (2F) - a famous shopping mall in Makati. We picked that one without checking out any review first - it was a late dinner and all we wanted was a pleasant meal. We weren't disappointed by our choices: a Thai chili crab (photo below) and Adobong Pusit 3 ways, served with rice. The service was fast and it was also reasonably priced, a good choice if you are in the area for lunch or dinner.

While in Makati, I couldn't wait to pay a visit to Heima Store, which I had been following for a while on Facebook and Twitter. I was already a fan of their designs, and I wasn't disappointed once I reached the store: it looked exactly as I had imagined! It's located in Design Plaza and worth a visit to my opinion. I purchased an old issue of Uppercase magazine - the one with the interview of Irene of Bloesem Blogs which also featured the cloud plush toy by The Cookie Cutter. I am also the proud owner of two new plushies in felt and a 2013 calendar by Riffle Paper & co. Too much shopping, huh?

Heima Store at Design Plaza

While at Design Plaza, you should take a tour and see if the other shops may have something in store for you. We liked Living Space (2F) where you can purchase replica pieces of furniture, and we LOVED Triboa Bay Living featured below. We fell for the light (right picture, light on the right) but as we couldn't find a suitable and easy way to bring it back home, we quickly abandoned the idea of making our purchase. They are using a lot of wood in their designs, and the pieces I liked had an industrial feel... Oh, well next time then!

Triboa Bay Living at Design Plaza

I shall end up this post with a picture of my favorite Filipino dessert - at time of writing, the leche flan! I tasted many many leche flans during my stay at various outlets, and the best I had was at the Crisostomo restaurant located in Ayala Alabang shopping mall... Bon app├ętit!

Leche flan

Dishes you must try while in The Philippines - my personal recommendation:
- Lumpiang sariwa: vegetable dish composed of different veggies in a soft wrapper and served with a sweet sauce and crushed peanuts. 
- Adobo (chicken, pork... you will love it!)
- Lechon manok: Filipino roast chicken
- Lechon baboy: roasted suckling pig 
- Sinigang: sour and savoury soup, traditionally tamarind based
- Pinakbet: popular Ilokano dish from the northern part of The Philippines
- Boneless bangus fish: eaten fried with rice 
- Kaldereta: a stew made of goat shoulder, tomato paste, potatoes and liver spread. It may not sound good, but it certainly tastes awesome!
- ... 

Desserts: leche flan, Halo-Halo (my husband said the best one he had was from Chowking restaurant chain), the macaroons from Goldilocks, the doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

There is so much more to talk about, but I need to study further the Filipino cuisine! I promise to take notes and pictures the next time. I can only wish I had pictures for each & every dish I mentioned above! Please bear with me and check out the links to have a better idea...


Katrina Alana said...

It would have been awesome to meet-up with you guys when you were in the Philippines. Glad to see you were able to go to Heima. Did you get any craft stuff in the Philippines?

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