Kebabers – Katipunan Ave.

We drove along Katipunan Avenue about 2 weeks ago and saw this new resto with bright yellow signage shouting KEBABERS. The name itself was catchy and made us want to try their food.

The interiors exude a modern, casual, and urban feel from the furniture to the wall designs and decor. Now let’s check the menu. Menu is limited, offering only shawarma and kebab rice meals and a few quick and easy to cook sides/snacks. Price fits a student’s budget, ranging from Php60 – Php160.

On the table:

Keema Shawarma (Php 85) has diced tomatoes, onion, and crispy potato strips. Taste is ok, nothing really something to rave about. The potato strips gives a texture at every bite.

It comes with a sauce, either Chili or Garlic. Unlike other kebab/shawarma resto or food stalls that allow customers to freely put how much sauce they want for FREE, KEBABERS does not. There’s an extra charge of P10 for a teeny-weenie cup of sauce.

 

Beef Kebab Shawarma (Php 70) has beef kebab, diced tomatoes, onions, and crunchy potato strips. The beef kebab looks like a slice of spam/meatloaf. Taste is ok but far from an authentic persian kebabs. It helped a lot by drizzling chili or garlic sauce for more flavor.

 

Twisted! fries (Php60) are fried potato spirals. I like the crunchy potato skin. Taste is just the same as the twisted fries of Mickey Dees. Errr… I find this a bit overpriced because of its small servings.

 

Their Onion Rings (Php60) are thick-coated and cooked golden brown. I didn’t enjoy munching on this coz’ I want onion rings with a crunchy outside texture and not like i’m eating a donut or pancake. It’s sad that there’s only 7 pcs of rings for 60 pesos. Boo-hoo!

 

Chili Fingers (Php60) are chili peppers with cheese inside then deep fried. I remember I made a version of  this last January. I filled it up with ground beef and cheese which tasted better than just chili and cheese. KEBABERS serves 4pcs of chili fingers but it’s actually just 2 pcs chilis cut in half to make 4 portions. Errr… Again… price is too much.

 

Kebab Meals have different versions, they have ones with cheese inside, others with breading then deep fried, and the regular kebab. You can choose beef, chicken, or fish kebab. I chose 2 pcs Beef Kebab (Php79), just the regular kind. It came with kebab rice, a slice of tomato, and chili/garlic sauce. It tasted ok, a bit better with the chili sauce for some flavor. Their version is made for the Filipino palate; just a thought… because it’s somehow sweet meatloaf/embuto like with less spices.

I give this place a clap for serving easy to prepare meals at affordable price. The store is relatively new and there is a big room for improvement in terms of serving size and flavor.

 

KEBABERS

 

Address: Katipunan Ave. Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Contact Number: 3755755

Email: kebabers09@gmail.com

 

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Carinderia Buffet- V.Luna

This is probably the cheapest buffet restaurant in Quezon City. It opened with a P99 pesos price tag then added a few more bucks the following year. What’s awesome about dining here is that there’s no time restriction, unlike other buffet places that gives a time limit of 2 or 3 hours.

We arrived just in time for dinner and a number of customers were coming in. Ambiance is rustic and cozy. Don’t expect fancy interiors or food presentation as this place is styled with simple Filipino decorations.

The dishes they offer are Filipino home-cooked meals you can also find in a carinderia. They have all sorts of fried fish- galunggong, tilapia, etc. There’s lumpia  and fried chicken.

They have sarciado, dinuguan, menudo, afritada, tokwa’t baboy, binagoongan,  adobong pusit, bopis, and more.

Breakfast items are also offered such as the longganisa and tortang talong.

Watch out your cholesterol level as some food items are oily and have more fat than meat content.

For dessert, they offer minatamis na saging, gulaman, and ginataang halo halo.

I had ginisang petchay, adobong pusit, tortang talong, longganisa, and binagoongan for my 1st plate. My 2nd plate had menudo and friend chicken, and a few more longganisa. I wasn’t able to try everything on the spread as I was full drinking bottomless pineapple juice (plus Php 45).

If you are in Quezon City, particularly near V. Luna, go drop by Carinderia Buffet for a tummy-filling lunch or dinner. This is the place to dine if you are on a budget.  🙂

Note: Carinderia Buffet also accepts reservations as a party venue for Birthdays, Christening, and other special occasions. Feel free to contact them anytime using the number posted below.

Update: June 8, 2012- I was here this afternoon, buffet price is now Php 144 per head…vat inclusive.

Note: They are open from 10:30-2pm and 5:30-9:30.

 

Carinderia Buffet

Contact: Ms. Minie Bergado

Address: Mabilis St. corner V. Luna Road, Quezon City
Contact No.: 435-9196

Gloria Maris – Araneta Center, Cubao

It was past 7pm and my mom didn’t have enough time to prepare dinner… and so we had an impromptu dinner. It took us more than 30 minutes to arrive in Araneta Center due to heavy traffic. It was James Ingram’s concert that night, hence the heavy traffic and the full parking lot. We spent another 10 minutes looking for a parking space in Gateway Mall. Oh… I was thinking, dinner should be good…

We headed to Gloria Maris for some tummy-filing Chinese meal.

 

On the table:

 

We couldn’t decide what dimsum to order; I thought the Dimsum Combination platter (Php 247) is a great choice. It has assorted dumplings like hakaw, japanese siomai, siomai, beancurd roll, and some sort of seaweed with sesame seeds. It was a solid starter while waiting for our main course to arrive.

 

The Asado Noodle Soup (Php 178) arrived steaming hot. Each sip was packed with the tasty Asado flavor. The meat was tender and easy to cut and chew, same with the noodles that remained firm yet tender.

The Lechon Macau (Php 268) was cooked nice and crisp. I love the sauce that came with it, it went well with the tender meat and crispy skin of the lechon.

Mom wanted a fish dish and chose Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet (Php 268). The seemingly ordinary dish turned out to be a flavorful meal. Not to mention, healty too! The fish fillet was loaded with sweet and sour sauce with lot of carrots and bell peppers, and onion strips. The flavor brings fireworks to the mouth… yum!!!

Among all the food on the table, the Fried Squid with Salt and Pepper (Php 278) was my favorite. Dunk it on the vinegar with chili and chow it down… ooohlalala… It’s undeniably the best dish for the night. I love the easy to chew squid… not gummy, and the crunchy breading. It explodes in the mouth like a bomb!!!

We thought we should get a noodle dish other than the Asado noodle soup so we ordered Crispy Noodle with Mixed Vegetables (Php 228). It is like the usual noodle/pancit dish just with a crispy noodle. I didn’t get to eat much of this pancit.

I ate and ate until such time I realized I ate too much there’s no more room for the Seafood Mango Salad (Php 168) or for dessert. Still, I ate about 2 spoonfuls of this salad. I find it interesting to combine seafood and fruits, though I’m not a big fan of it. As for the Seafood Mango Salad, it has crabsticks and shrimps and mango chunks topped with cream and cherry. Surprisingly, it was good. The sweet and tangy mango chunks paired well with the crabstick and shrimps.

Overall, I give Gloria Maris a clap, clap, clap for the good food that we had. Though I hope you could improve more by maintaining clean and presentable tables/seats. Some of the  seat covers are already torn and badly need a replacement.

For families and friends who are looking for some good tasting Chinese food, visit Gloria Maris and you will definitely leave the place with a smile… and a heavy tummy.   🙂

 

Note: I didn’t bring my camera that night and so I would like to thank my sister-in-law, Cy, for taking photos of the food using her Iphone.

 

Gloria Maris

 

Address: G/F Coliseum Circle, Araneta Center Cubao, Quezon City

Contact Number: 63 (2) 421-7362

Dampa sa River Banks- Marikina

I’ve heard about this Dampa sa Marikina and would personally want to try it out, so I brought my family there for dinner the other night. I was thinking Dampa like the ones in Macapagal and Libis, unfortunately, the size of the Dampa in Marikina isn’t quite so near.

There are more or less 12 stalls in the area, each with color coded tables guests can occupy. It is overlooking the Marikina River (ampitheater side); perfect place for dining al fresco.

We looked around for what type of food they offer and found out it’s mostly grilled/inihaw. We settled and decided to have our food ordered at Fortune Grill.

Price is cheap and they cook your food upon order. They give freebies “Mangga with bagoong” and soup “Sinigang sa Miso”.

This is what we ordered for:

2 pusit (Large 130 each) – 260

1 chicken (3pcs in a skewer) – 70

1 tilapia-  70

1 bangus- 90

2 liempo (70 each) – 140

1 sisig – 70

5 cups of rice- 50

1.5L Coke- 60

Total: 810

 

I knew we ordered to much. There were six of us and we were completely full. We miss grilled food and this satisfied our craving.

If you are around the area, go ahead and try Dampa in Marikina. You get real value for your money.

 

 

 

DAMPA SA RIVERBANKS

 

Address: A. Bonifacio Ave, Riverbanks Mall
Marikina, Metro Manila

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

 

 

Merco- Quirino Avenue, Davao City

 

Merco became my instant favorite when I was in Davao last March 2011. I like the simplicity of the interiors, the quality of service, and the food they offer.

Merco has been in the market since 1946, and with more than 35 branches all over Davao, it has made a mark in serving quality food in the entire province.

I was in Davao for the Araw ng Dabaw Festival and Merco gave discounts and freebies during the week. We got free milkshake for every rice meal. I was ecstatic that I ate breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner in Merco, and I wanted more of it. The servings was just right for the price and the taste is truly matches the pinoy palate.The waitstaff were friendly and attentive to the customers needs.

Below are some of the meals we ordered: (clockwise)

Chicken strips, Spaghetti with bun, pritong bangus with garlic rice and egg, and tapsilog. Sorry for the photos, I was halfway my meal when I remembered to take photos. Oooops…  :/

 

I’m missing these free milkshakes we had. It came in vanilla, ube, chocolate, strawberry, mango, and durian flavor. I tried everything except for the durian -it out of stock. The milkshake was thick and heavenly!!!

There’s nothing in the menu that’s more than Php120 so think about how affordable and satisfying it is to eat in Merco. By the way, it is known also as a bakeshop and ice cream parlor; you can smell bread fresh from the oven.

Start your day right by having your breakfast in Merco. Spend your day, have snacks, or end the night by a great meal or a cup of coffee without spending too much. Merco is all over the metro.  🙂

Coron Island Loop Tour

I can’t think of the exact adjectives to describe this place. Words and pictures aren’t enough to tell about the experience. Coron = Paradise!

We went to the market around 630am to buy food to be cooked by Ate Luvy, the wife of Kuya Ricky who was our boatman aka our “el kapitan”. By 730am we met along the pier to hand everything to Ate Luvy. We agreed to meet around 830am at the pier.

Our itinerary for the whole day tour was: Siete Pecados, Kayangan Lake, Banol Beach/Batch 91 Beach, Skeleton Shipwreck, Twin Lagoon, and Barracuda Lake. Note: Fee for the boat rental (Coron Tour) is Php 1500, good for 1-5 passengers.

Entrance fee for the different islands is Php100 per person,  for each destination, except for the Kayangan Lake which is Php200.

Siete Pecados was our first stop. A few live corals can be seen at the bottom and lots of colorful fish that I don’t know of. Note: Beware of sea urchins and jellyfish. Don’t forget to bring slices of bread to feed the hungry creatures. It was fun seeing them scramble for food.

It’s amazing how the color of the water change from one island to another. It’s turquoise on one end and dark blue on the other. Kayangan Lake was next. This time we had to climb 60 or more steps and go down another 50 or so steps to get to the lake. It’s known as one of the cleanest lakes in the world and I truly agree on that. No large fishes, jellyfish, or sea urchins this time, just small friendly ones not to be afraid of.

The photo above was the view of the islands from the cliff going to Kayangan Lake. There’s also a cave but we didn’t get in. This breath-taking view is the most photographed part of Coron and can be seen in most post cards.

By noon, we headed to Banol Beach but it was crowded and so we opted to stay in Batch 91 Beach instead. It has white sand, clear and pristine water; it was just a small island you can call your “own” – for the day. There are 3 nipa huts where you can relax after eating the much awaited lunch. I’m sure you’ll be drooling once you see the photos of what we had for lunch. Hahahaha!!!

More colorful fish can be seen here, and yeah there were just waiting to meet us along the shore. We gave them bread and shared our left over rice, which they really liked. My cousin, my mom, and I swam while our boatmen took a nap.

This is ALAS, our tricycle driver turned tourist guide and personal body guard. He joined us in the island tour and became our instant tour guide. Hehe! He’d give you a hand in getting you to places and in buying seafood and pasalubong. Next time you go to Coron, contact ALAS thru his mobile phone (09124069457). He’ll tell you the best deals in town.

Here are the hungry fish…ready to attack (the bread)!

WARNING!!! The photos below are tempting… *drool*

We continued the tour and sailed to Skeleton Shipwreck where you can find one of the 15- 18 Japanese World War 2 shipwrecks. Next were Twin Lagoon and Barracuda Lake. Climbing up the the limestone mountain can be challenging but the experience is definitely worth it. Expect to feel cool freshwater on the surface and warm saltwater underneath.

Come visit Coron and have fun! You can opt for a DIY tour and save extra dough… Call Ate Luvy/Kuya Ricky at 09282529862.

ENJOY!!!   🙂