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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

Bono Yaki Family Restaurant- Libis

Two big events in one day. First was the Canon Photomarathon 2011 held in Pasay City.  My nephew Vandyke and I, together with more than 2,000 photographers, participated in the event. We woke up 4:30am and ate hot pandesal and spanish bread for breakfast. I brought some chips and bottled water for snacks because I knew it would be an exhausting day; the contest required a lot of walking aside from photography skills.  Lunch and snacks were provided during the event. We had 1pc chicken from Mang Inasal and cup noodles for merienda. We left the place 5:30pm for a family dinner in Libis as it was my niece’s 2nd birthday- the 2nd big event of the day. Traffic was heavy that we arrived past 6:30pm in Bono Yaki Family Restaurant.

What welcomed me was the spread of Asian dishes that are festive to the eyes. The sight and aroma of the food seemed to liven up my tired body.  I immediately brought out my camera and took photos of the buffet table.

They have a wide selection of dishes to enjoy… from soup, appetizers, salad, viands, and dessert.  You can start your meal with a Pumpkin soup or Crab and Corn soup. Both were hot, thick, and tasty.

There’s a salad station with the freshest veggies and greens. Mix and match the ingredients and  dressings for your salad. They have also prepared Caesar salad, potato salad, and coleslaw… all you have to do is dig in.

Right beside the salad station, you can find 19 different kinds of maki/rolls. There’s the famous California Maki and Philadelphia roll. There’s Black Mamba roll, Tempura Maki, and Norwegian roll, to name a few.

Next is the dimsum and steamed seafood (crabs,etc) station. Siomai dumplings and hakao (shrimp dumplings) are steamed on bamboo baskets. (Note: Hakao disappears instantly, they are so good!)

On the other end of the center table are some Asian dishes like Spareribs Salt and Pepper, Chicken Lollipop, Butter Garlic Chicken, and Tempura. It extends to one side of the center table where Jap Chae Korean stir fried glass noodles, mixed veggies, beef brisket, and pork ribs, etc. are. There’s a lot of food choices I wasn’t able to take photo of that part of the table… Ooops…

Oh! There’s also this small wooden ship filled with appetizers, cucumbers, sashimi and kani sticks. It’s colorful and creatively done no one wanted to touch it.

My eyes were fixated on this side of the table that I didn’t bother to try other dishes. As much as I wanted to try everything, my tummy was already filled with the “good stuff” a.k.a. all the meat I grilled. There’s rib eye marinated & plain, beef belly marinated & plain, pork belly marinated & plain, pork bbq, chicken teriyaki, yakiniku pork, gizzard bbq, chicken bbq and salmon belly.

I grilled bacon wrapped veggies and sprouts, pork bbq, chicken bbq and about 1/4 kilo of marinated rib eye and salmon belly. I ate it straight off the grill together with some fried rice.  *drooool*

Food is best enjoyed with family and friends. We shared stories and jokes, I took more photos, and teased those who already had 4 or more plates. I was still grilling and eating my favorite bacon and ribeye while most of them are already enjoying their desserts. I could hardly stand up now. (This is true!) I asked my nephew to get me 4 different kinds of desserts and these  were the ones he got for me.- choco bar (jello like), another jello (pink/yellow), mango graham, and pudding. It was okay. Not so sweet. The dessert line up is something they can improve on.

There’s ice cream with different toppings you can add on. There are mini cupcakes, I didn’t get to try. That’s reserved for my next visit. There’s halohalo and maja. There’s marshmallow and mini peanut butter cookies you can dip on the chocolate fondue. I like the cookies and the bitter sweet taste of the chocolate  dip… yum!!!

We were surprised when the staff greeted my niece with a birthday song. Thank you Bono Yaki. You made Vyone’s 2nd birthday extra special.

I like the ambiance, the good quality of the food, the friendly staff. The service is one of a kind. There will always be someone to assist you.

Bono Yaki is a perfect place for casual type family dining. It delivers great dining experience to customers with the quality of service they give matched with the delicious food and great atmosphere. I enjoyed my experience so much. It’s obviously a clap, clap, clap for Bono Yaki.

Make your reservation now!!!   🙂

Bono Yaki Family Restaurant

Address: 2/f Corby Building, Bagumbayan Libis Quezon City, Quezon City, Philippines

Contact Number: 6554353/ 631-0556

Schedule
Mon – Fri: 12:00 pm 2:30 pm
6:00 pm 10:30 pm
Sat: 11:30 am 2:30 pm
5:30 pm 10:00 pm
Sun: 11:30 am 2:30 pm
5:30 pm 10:30 pm

Stackers Burger Cafe- Resorts World Manila

After a 3-hour prenup photo shoot in Paranaque, my friend and I headed to Newport Mall to grub on snacks at Stackers Burger Cafe. Both hungry and exhausted, we hiked to the 4th floor, dropped our bags, and called in the wait staff to get our orders. It took some time for me to browse the menu and decide what to order as it was my first time to dine in Stackers.  Being a burger cafe, the menu offers a wide burger variation; it’s quite confusing for me which one to get. I want to try everything!!!

On the table:

Caesar Burger Bowl (Php 148) contains a quarter pound Australian burger patty, fresh lettuce, bacon, croutons, and Caesar dressing.

It’s quite interesting to have both burger and salad greens in one dish. To date, Stackers has the most succulent and flavorful burger patty I’ve tasted. The Caesar dressing is light and runny. It didn’t overpower the flavor of the patty. I enjoyed every bite of  this dish.

Stackers Fried Mozzarella Sticks (Php 125) consists of 5 pieces breaded mozzarella sticks deep fried to golden perfection served with a tangy tex mex ranchero dip.

This crunchy outside -gooey inside deep-fried cheese snack has a fantastic crunch and flavor. The tex mex ranchero dip compliments the chewiness of the melted mozzarella cheese.

Philly Cheese Burger (Php 155) is made up of a quarter pound beef patty topped with sautéed red and green bell peppers, onions, mozzarella cheese, and ranch dressing on a long bun.

It’s like the famous Philly Cheesesteak using burger patty instead of the traditional thinly sliced pieces of steak. This burger variation is so awesome, I wolfed it down in no time.

For an additional (Php65) on top of the burger price, you can get crispy chips and a drink.

Vanilla Milkshake (Php 90) is one of the many flavors of milkshakes on the menu. Milkshakes otherwise known as thickshakes are smooth, thick, and creamy beverages that are ice cream based and mixed with flavors for that refreshing milky goodness.

Sipping on this deliciously thick and creamy vanilla milkshake can absolutely bring a smile to one’s  face.

Overall, I give a clap, clap, clap to Stackers Burger Cafe! The Auss’m burgers, lipsmacking sides, and thick icy cold milkshakes are to die for… yes, I am coming back for more!

 

Stackers Burger Cafe

Address: 4th Floor, Newport Mall
Resorts World Manila,  Pasay City
Contact Number: (632) 659-8271 or (632) 659-8287

AC RUMPA- Angeles City, Pampanga

AC Rumpa, short for Angeles City Retired US Military Personnel Association, serves classic American- Spanish influenced food. It is by far my favorite restaurant in Pampanga. I remember it was my cousin Ate Maya who introduced to me Rumpa more than five years ago. I’m so glad she did. From then on, Rumpa has become part of the itinerary every time we go to Pampanga. Just like last February when we were in Angeles City for the Hot Air Balloon festival.

We went to Rumpa twice that day, one was for lunch and the other was for take-out dinner.  It was our last stop before heading home to Manila   🙂

Good Ol' wooden sign

Enter the Gates of Food Haven

The interior gives a cozy feel, with dimmed lights and a blend of natural colors of the wall and furniture.

Neutral colors...basic and bold

Ready to be filled up with hungry customers

yum!!!

On the table:

The House Salad priced less than Php150 is good for sharing. The huge plate consists of lettuce, strips of green bell pepper and carrots, onion slices, tomato, ham, egg and cheese. It comes with thousand island dressing and crackers on the side.

The crispiness of the fresh veggies makes it special. They could however improve on the dressing.

Caesar Salad with crackers on the side...

Next is the Spaghetti Bolognese which Baloogs and I shared. It is served with toasted bread with butter. The thick tomato sauce is loaded with meat. It didn’t leave any impression on how it tasted. What stuck on my mind was the generous serving and that grated cheddar cheese was used instead of parmesan.

Spaghetti Bolognese with bread toast

Rumpa’s BBQ Spareribs is one of their best-sellers. This keeps me coming back to Rumpa. Its tender, fall off the bone meat is heavenly delicious. With less than Php 200, you seriously can now have ribs that are as good if not better than all the famous rib places.

It’s coated with rich, thick barbecue sauce that’s absolutely lip smacking. We love eating it with the sweet, tangy barbecue sauce poured on hot rice. Yum!

It’s so good that we each ordered a plate of this.  🙂

House Specialty....BBQ Spare ribs

This is what I had for dinner, Rumpa’s Burrito. Two large burritos for less than Php150. It’s loaded with beef, refried beans, onion, and cheese. It’s actually a “wet burrito” or enchilada style burrito, as it is smothered with red chili sauce. I like how the sauce covered the entire burrito; really delicioso! I just added hot sauce from taco bell since I wanted it HOT. Burrito locos can get true value for money as this Rumpa specialty promises a satisfying meal.

My Burrito to go...

I give AC Rumpa a clap…clap…clap for the excellent food, quick service, and value for money.

AC RUMPA
Location: 1307 Surla St., Balibago/ Sto. Rosario St., Angeles City
Contact: (045) 892-6659 (Balibago) / 331-4805 (Sto. Rosario)

World Class Persian Kebab- E.Rodriguez Q.C.

When Baloogs and I crave for spicy food, we usually rush to restos that serve Mediterranean food. The urge for something spicy has been going on for a month already…weird but true. And so we tried eating here in World Class Persian Kebab. The facade isn’t that appealing…sorry to say…it didn’t look world class. But what the heck, it’s the food we’re after anyways. We had our food outside since we didn’t want to smell like shawarma.

The extensive menu delighted me, seeing prices not exceeding Php250. The food here is priced really low compared to other mediterranean/persian restaurants. Imagine 200 plus for a lamb chop. Sweeeeet!   😀

We had Shawarma on plate for Php55. Nothing special. Some parts of the beef are chewy…tough and dry. I had another pita for Php10 because 1 order isn’t enough. It was way too thin for a pita bread. It’s crispy and was served hot. We added yogurt/garlic sauce and hot sauce for some kick.

The salad that came with the shawarma consists of onion, tomato, cucumber, and lettuce. Just as expected for a Php55 meal.

We also had Shawarma rice for Php60. Don’t be fooled by the biryani rice. It’s yellow not because of the saffron, it must be some other spices or margarine they put there. The menu sounded delectable but…nottttttt.

I wish they seasoned their rice to make it “biryani” and not just call it one because it’s long grain rice they’re serving. Last and the definitely the best for the night is the chicken kabab for Php44. What we liked about it is the flavor and juiciness. It’s tender and cooked way better than the previous dishes. See I couldn’t control myself from getting a bite before we had the picture taken.

All in all, dining here is ho-hum, so-so… just okay. If you want persian food late at night and there are no other options, go here. They are open 24 hours. Get what I mean?

World Class Persian Kebab

Address: #1 E. Rodriguez Avenue (Corner Tomas Morato Avenue), Quezon City, Philippines

Shawarma Snack Center- Malate

A lot of Mediterranean restaurants have mushroomed in the metro but I prefer this tiny hole-in-the-wall resto that serves mid-east food in Malate. I don’t frequent Malate that’s why I was so amazed to find this “gem” maybe most of you have known already. Thanks to my partner-in-crime for not letting me the last one to know about SSC.

The place is small with just about 8 to 10 tables, it’s not classy but I assure you the food will tickle your taste buds.  If you like classy ones, they got one across the street…a high-end version that serves almost same menu, only the ambiance is different.

What I like about this tiny shack is that it offers authentic mid-east goodies without hurting your pocket. Check out the menu below.

Unlike other shawarma places that try to clone the genuine shawarma flavor, most of the ingredients used in SSC are imported from middle east.

That’s my beef kabbab on the grill. *drool*

On the table, we had shawarice only for Php95. A plate consists of beef shawarma, salad, and biryani rice. With other Mediterranean restos I’ve tried, SSC so far has satisfied my palate. Though the tenderness of the beef isn’t consistent, my mouth still agrees on liking this dish as it is compensated well by its flavor- add chili sauce and garlic sauce to get the real shawarma goodness. The biryani rice is again…not a clone! Long grain rice cooked with authentic spices makes me think I’m in Persia. Taste it to believe. I promise this dish won’t disappoint you. SSC’s biryani rice is definitely better than World Class Persian Kebab’s, the latter serves bland pale yellow rice that looks like food coloring.

SSC serves arabic/pita bread for Php10 each. Perfect for the well-seasoned tender beef kabbab I ordered. Yummmeh!

Here’s the dish of the night. Beef Kabbab for Php195. It comes with 3 beef kabbabs, salad, grilled tomato, grilled onion and arabic bread. This is surely a winner! The beef is tender and flavorful. The salad with onion, green bell pepper, and herbs matches well with the flavor of the meat. The arabic bread was warm but I think isn’t enough for the 3 servings of meat; a cup of Biryani rice would do.

If you happen to be in Malate or if you just want to try authentic mid-east food that’s delicious and affordable, here’s how to go to Shawarma Snack Center in Malate :

Drive along Mabini going to Hyatt Hotel and Casino and turn left on Salas Street. You’ll find SSC along Salas St.; it’s on the right side.

Come in anytime, they’re open 24 hours.   😀

 

 

 

 

Shawarma Snack Center


Address: Shawarma Snack Center
45 Salas Street, Ermita,
Manila, , PHILIPPINES

Contact #: (02) 525-4541