Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant – Kalayaan Ave., Quezon City

It’s been months since I last hung out with my friend Sharon so we made a plan of meeting up with former colleagues in Katipunan and having dinner afterward. She suggested we go to Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant. She told me I would enjoy taking photos of the place since it’s filled with interesting Philippine memorabilias. She’s absolutely right! It’s a blast from the past. I couldn’t stop taking photos of the things that reminded me of my childhood. I sounded too old with the previous statement… hehehe… I particularly liked the collection of old bottles, comic books, local games like dama and sungka. There are so many things that make this place worth visiting.

We were welcomed by the wait staff who led us to our table. I forgot to get ask her name but she’s friendly and accommodating. She checked if we were ready to place our order, she answered all questions we got about their best- sellers… with a smile. She checked on us from time to time to see if there’s anything we need. Oh…only if I got her name… this lady needs to be commended for doing her job very well. I have her photo at the bottom of the page.  🙂

We browsed the menu and searched for something we rarely eat or something we have not tried yet. We then had a tour of the restaurant as we waited for our food. Our wait staff for the night cheerfully showed us the antique collections such as newspaper articles, Filipino national costume, photos of celebrities and beauty queens, as well as glassware and metal decorations. Soon after, our dinner was served.


On the table


For starters, we had Sweet and Spicy Dilis (Php 37). It has brown sugar and chopped red chili that’s simply irresistible. I mixed this crunchy appetizer on my plain rice for some twist. It could be a perfect match for beer.

Tokwa Rebosado (Php 120). This is the only vegan entree we had. The golden brown tofu patties are crispy outside. I enjoyed eating this dish together with its salsa, however, I was thinking a tartar dip or some other sauce as an alternative would also match the tofu. This dish was the first one to get swiped out.

When I read on the menu there’s Rellenong Bangus, I instantly told the wait staff to prepare one for us. I miss my grandma’s Rellenong Bangus. It takes a lot of patience, effort, and clear eye vision to come up with this dish. Preparing it may be time consuming but remember: well prepared food is quality food.

I find Adarna’s Old Fashioned Rellenong Bangus (Php 175) okay.  It’s missing some flavor and it’s also too oily. I was expecting of a taste I was accustomed to. I’m not quite sure if it’s the sweetness of the raisin my grandma adds on her Relleno recipe. BTW, it came with a serving of home-made atchara which gives life to this dish.  The sweet and tangy guava juice I had was a perfect match for this fish meal.

We tried on something exotic. As the menu says Piassok (P335) is beef dish from Sulu. It’s an exquisite dish that comprises of different cooking techniques for preparing it – beef chunks are slow-cooked in smoked coconut cream and ten spices, then buttered, grilled, then sliced.

I swear the meat is really tender! I could slice, bite, and chew the meat with ease. The taste of the coconut cream is prominent in every bite.

We had ice cold Gulaman at Sago (Php 65) and Guava Shake ( Php 85 for all fruit shakes).


We had Platanillos con Manga (Php 165) for dessert. It’s crepe with smooth cream filling and topped with rhum-buttered mango. Thumbs up for this sweet, creamy, and tangy delight.

Just as we were about to finish our meal, Chi came and joined us for dinner. She ordered Adobong Batangas ala Adarna (Php 240).

To cap the night, Sha and Chi ordered green tea and coffee. I like the classic designed mugs and coffee cups they used.

We had a chance to speak with one of the owners of Adarna, Chef Giney Villar. Thanks for sharing your time with us, Chef Giney!

It’s a clap clap for Adarna Food and Culture for the good food and excellent service. I congratulate the owners Beth Angsioco and Chef Giney Villar for conceptualizing a restaurant/venue for people to discover, relive, and appreciate Filipino food and culture.




Adarna Food and Culture Restaurant


Address: 119 Kalayaan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
Mobile: +632 926-8712
Mobile: +63 917 961 8113




Little Store on the Hill – Little Baguio, San Juan City

Good things come in small packages. That’s exactly what Little Store on the Hill proves itself to be- a hole in the wall restaurant that offers filling and satisfying budget friendly meals.

I’d like to thank my friend Malou for giving me a birthday treat and for bringing me to Little Store. Every moment was wonderful – it’s like finding a hidden gem in the busy streets of San Juan.


Never underestimate this tiny store for it sells almost everything. One part of the store looks like a mini grocery where fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods, candies, seasonings, and spices are displayed. The food display and counter is located at the center; a wide variety of viands can be seen here as well as lots of take-home products to choose from. The rightmost part is the dining area where more or less 8 tables are situated. I like the green painted walls and dimmed lights that give a warm and cozy ambiance. Condiments and free drinking water are readily available at one side of the dining area. Feel free to mix your own concoction to your liking.




On the table:

50/50 Rice (Php 100) is composed of soy chicken, kikiam, and adobo egg on top of a cup of plain rice. The chicken meat is tender, fall off the bones, and well-seasoned. The kikiam is also delectable; I like how chunky and well-spiced the meat is.


Lomah Rice (Php 100) is made up of rice topped with adobo pork, kiamchay, and adobo egg. The adobo pork is tender and well-spiced. The vegetable dish matches perfectly with the meat.


Maki (Php85) is another store best-seller. Maki consists of coated pork slices in thick brown soup and topped with spring onion. The pork is seasoned with spices, tenderized, and coated with starch then deep fried. I enjoyed the warm soup as it is… though some say it tastes better with black vinegar. I should try that next time.


And now, here’s what my friend kept telling me to try… the famous Lumpia (Php 75). I was surprised how big and tightly packed their lumpia is.  We had it split into two for sharing. The mixture of chopped meat and veggies gave a nice texture to the lumpia. The lumpia sauce has the right consistency and flavor. Add crushed garlic for some  extra kick!


I must be lucky that day as I was able to meet and talk with Ms. Mona Chua. She recalled how both her parents Bartolome and Rosalinda Chua shared their passion for cooking that later on bloomed and led to the birth of the Little Store. The mix of Taiwanese street and home-cooked Hokkien dishes were designed to appeal everyone.

When asked about the ingredients of the lumpia, Ms. Mona explained that they only use authentic ingredients of a Hokkien lumpia. It’s the store’s best-seller…they sell about 600 pieces of fresh lumpia per day. Definitely a must-try!!!

With the great service, friendly staff, generous owner, and great food, I give Little Store a clap, clap, clap!!!




Little Store on the Hill

Address:  2 Jose Abad Santos St., Little Baguio, San Juan

Contact Numbers:  7219174/ 7236881/ 4113324/ 7212359.