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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

When someone asks me where to go for lunch, I usually say let's go to a buffet. The upside is that you get tons of choices and you won't need to wait for food. One of my go to places would be THE ALLEY in UP TOWN CENTER KATIPUNAN. Recently, they just opened their 4th branch of the same concept in BGC.  This newer place is hipper and more instagrammable.
Since this is owned by the VIKINGS GROUP, you could be sure of its quality and quantity. One thing that differs between the usual Vikings buffet is that THE ALLEY is patterned like a food hall. They have 14 different stations that you could choose from.
You just have to remember that this is a buffet. You go for the meanest and best bang for buck dishes.
If it was me you're talking to, I usually head on over to their Japanese section first. NAMED as YATAI, this stall offers sushi and sashimi. Other Japanese dishes are also found here. 
It's tempura all you want as well. If they don't have a single one waiting for you, the staff is willing to bring newly cooked ones to your table. So don't forget to get your table number.
After starting with my go-to's, I would suggest that you visit the stations that offer the carved dishes. IN BUONO, you are greeted with the big guns. Aside from turkey, lamb, and beef, they also have deep fried pork aka liempo. Surprisingly, they offer chicharon bulaklak here as well.
Another must try would be their baked oysters. Topped with tons of gooey cheese, you won't go wrong with these babies. Just remember to eat them when you have something in your stomach already.
As you enter THE ALLEY in BGC, you have a choice between the left side and the right side. Don't get me wrong, both sides are perfect places to sit at. My only tip is to stay somewhere at the back since most of the main courses are there. One stall named as HAO CHI, offers Chinese Dishes. Aside from the deep friend pork, you could also go for the soy chicken. Really good stuff.
The choices here are extremely limitless. You can never go wrong with any.
I appreciate that they also serve street food. They have a fishball cart that sells deep friend goodies. Beside it, they offer bibingka and puto bungbong. You could also have some dirty ice cream, taho, and balot.
Another thing that makes me like THE ALLEY is that they have an extensive list of drinks to choose from. You can go for something alcoholic like their cocktails of the day, or fruits juices and even freshly brewed coffee.
THE ALLEY BY VIKINGS in BGC is their 4th branch with the same concept. It is located on the second floor of Bonifacio High Street Central.

C1, Upper Ground Floor, Bonifacio High Street Central,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Philippines
(02) 8-VIK-INGS (or 8-845-4647) 
+63 917-188-9488 • +63 918-919-7888 • (02) 8-805-7888 • (02) 8-805-9888


Adult Weekday Lunch: 788 (+5% service charge)
Adult Weekday Dinner: 988 (+5% service charge)
Adult Weekends/Holiday Lunch & Dinner: 988 (+5% service charge)


Kids below 3 ft: FREE
Kids 3 ft - 4 ft Weekday Lunch: 238 (+5% service charge)
Kids 3 ft - 4 ft Weekday Dinner: 338 (+5% service charge)
Kids 3 ft - 4 ft Weekends/Holiday Lunch & Dinner: 338 (+5% service charge)
Kids 4 ft - 4 ft 4.6" Weekday Lunch: 448 (+5% service charge)
Kids 4 ft - 4 ft 4.6" Weekday Dinner: 648 (+5% service charge)
Kids 4 ft - 4 ft 4.6" Weekends/Holiday Lunch & Dinner: 648 (+5% service charge)

Disclaimer:Wrote this based on my experience. Was invited to try out this place.
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Tuesday, November 19, 2019
PROLOGUE: Opening Up To Good Food And Drinks In Quezon City

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It's one saying that our parents keep on telling us. Eat eat eat every morning! At PROLOGUE, they now cater to your morning needs. They make our parents proud by offering goodies for our tummies. This time they offer breakfast!
PROLOGUE starts you off with some coffee. They even serve alcoholic version that I will definitely try next time. Some are infused with gin. Others with Vodka. Technically, it's coffee so it works for breakfast.
With an open kitchen, diners are treated to a feast for the senses. One could smell everything that would lead to a bout of salivation. Then, your eyes are treated to glorious looking dishes.
Since I visited during their grand opening, I tried out the breakfast offerings. One dish that really stood out (well everything I tried was pretty good). THE BREAKAST IN BREAD. It's their own sourdough packed with everything you want in for breakfast. It was intense and a complete meal to boot.
You can choose from vegetarian and an original version that you could add smoked salmon or iberico that they cured in house. In essence, you get spinach, onions, mushroom, tomato, sausage, iberico bacon, cheese, and egg. You can't have a bite at it in one go. Because of the sheer amount of food, it's best that you use a knife or your bare hands to eat. The egg porn that greets you though is just amazing as well.
Something familiar yet healthy would be the CHIA PUDDING. This bowl is filled with a lot of healthy goodies. It's simple but healthy.
They have a number of rice bowls that you could pick from. My top choice would be the RIB EYE TAPSILOG. Their take on the local favorite, they use premium cuts to make it all work.
IF you're into classics, you might want to go for the BRIOCHE FRENCH TOAST or the SOUFFLE PANCAKE. They have an in-house bakery that makes all the bread that they use. The French Toast is topped with Cream Cheese Ice. My other favorite would be the SOUFFLE PANCAKE. This fluffy concoction is made of legends. It's airy and stands on its own. 
PROLOGUE is a restaurant that caters to all your day needs. From breakfast to night time, they have your wants. They have a new breakfast menu that you can compare with other restaurants but with better quality and price point. They offer breakfast from 7am to 10:30am. Prologue is the sister restaurant of EPILOGUE and BIJIN NABE.

87 Sct. Gandia St, Diliman, 
Quezon City, Metro Manila

Disclaimer: Thank you for having us Alyanna.
Wrote this based on my experience.
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Monday, November 11, 2019

And he is back. CHEF TATUNG is back with a vengeance. Wildly known as the go to guy for PYANGGANG MANUK and BRINGHE, he opted to open a new restaurant. At first he wasn't actually thinking of opening another one but now, he has TALISAY.
TALISAY sits on a renovated house along MAGINHAWA in QUEZON CITY. Here, they make their own bread and everything is done in house.
The food is simple but surprisingly good and straight to the point. Done extremely well, it's all FILIPINO FOOD with a little twist here to make your palate interested. One could start off with the bread of the day. For us it was the sourdough pandesal. Later on, you could go for some FRESH UBOD LUMPIA. With a peanut and garlic sauce, you're transported back to your province.
For the SALAD, you could get the GOAT'S CHEESE. The cheese is locally sourced. It compliments the greens extremely well. Dressing used was a herb vinaigrette. It was tangy and sweet at the same time. The flavor worked well with me.
One could never go wrong with KINILAW. According to Chef Tatung, the fish are all fresh. They never get to spend overnight in the freezer. They use every single one each day.
Initially, Chef wanted to do a small tasting dinner type restaurant. Something with a few seats, when he visited this empty place along MAGINHAWA, he knew he had to get it. A few meetings here and there, brought him to the family that owned the place. There, they became partners and opened up TALISAY.  Chef really made each dish from the heart. The dishes are all cooked step by step as they should. No shortcuts according to the chef. The KALDERETANG KAMBING is known as a best seller. This mild spicy goat stew is perfect with rice. A Cebuano Classic, the BALBACUA is tender and quite different. You rarely see Filipino restaurants in the metro serve this. It is oxtail and tendons that really works.
Another perfect dish to partner with rice would be their LENGUA IN MUSHROOM CREAM SAUCE. The ox tongue is spiked with a 3 mushroom gravy. Super delicious.
The PESCADO Y COCO is a whole fish cooked in spicy coconut cream with tomatoes and ginger. This dish reminds me of my childhood when my grandmother would make the same. As I mentioned the meat of the fish was extremely fresh.
Chef's take on DINAKDAKAN was interesting. The flavor profiles were all there. Something different though was his use of pork chop. Rather than having everything cut up, he served it whole.
Something really decadent would be the JAMON DE TALISAY. A brick-oven slow-roasted ham is cooked with pineapple glaze and vegetables. This sweet little thing makes you want to get more rice.
The PAELLA MIXTA is his special blend of seafood and chicken. The rice were plump and the socarrat or burnt rice were really good. The PALABOK NEGRA seemed like fideua. It is the chef's take on the classic noodle dish. 
These are meals into themselves. No need for viands or other things. Just try them and you will know what I mean.
To top everything off, you have to order dessert. People would usually go for their CASSAVA CHEESECAKE. It is somewhat different but their DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE with YEMA filling is to die for. No, it isn't extremely sweet. It is perfect with a cup of coffee. Just incredible honestly.
TALISAY THE GARDEN CAFE is a great addition to the bustling food scene in Maginahawa. Located on Number 44 Maginhawa Street, UP-Village, Quezon City. They open at 11am and closes at 11pm. They have available parking infront.

Disclaimer: wrote this based on my experience. was invited to try out this restaurant.
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Thursday, October 31, 2019

A good Korean restaurant doesn't have to be an eat-all-you-call buffet place that serves unlimited quantity of meat. Rather, it could be a place that is not smoky nor noisy. At GAJA KOREAN KITCHEN in POBLACION, MAKATI, the dishes are well thought off and cater to both Korean and Filipino palate.
Located on the second floor of a building along Kalayaan Avenue, this place caters to late night eaters and korean food cravers. One starts off with the traditional banchan. A set of appetizers are served which could be a mix of kimchi, deep fried small fish, egg, and fish cakes.

If salads are your thing, they have a couple that makes use of a mix of korean flavors. One is the Beef Bulgogi and another uses a sweet and spicy gochujang. One of my favorite is the DEEP SEA PAGEON. This Korean pancake is crispy and you'll find yourself just munching on it.
Rice meals are an integral part of the restaurant menu. They have lunch box sets from 11am-4pm or one could pick from a curry plate with deep fried pork cutlet, chicken, and even hamburger.
The crispy batter is perfect with the juicy meat of the chicken. The curry is mixed with a bit of kimchi flavor that spiced things up.
Extremely well cooked, the GALBI-JJIM or short rib is cooked for 48 hours. Sous vide, this is extremely tender and soft.
Partnered with a potato and carrot puree, this beef would be perfect with tons of rice.
The BULGOGI HAMBURG is a a joy to eat. It's like a complete burger meal. The meat is cooked to work well with the sauteed vegetables and mushrooms.
GAJA KOREAN KITCHEN is not your ordinary KOREAN BUFFET PLACE. It's a place to relax and eat dishes catered to the Korean and Filipino tongue.

8445 Kalayaan Ave, Makati, Metro Manila
Parking is available in the basement. 

Disclaimer: wrote this based on my experience. was invited to this event.
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Friday, October 18, 2019

I found myself driving to a familiar location in the metro. Granted that I live up north, I figured that this Japanese restaurant would be able to give me my fix of wants and needs food wise. Nestled in a quiet spot just off the Tomas Morato/ Timog Area in Quezon City is NANKA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE. Generally speaking, the place serves Japanese food. In particular, they brand themselves as a Japanese Steakhouse.
What makes it different from a normal steakhouse? They prepare and serve the meat in a way that accentuate the flavors. The sauces are also leaning towards the Japanese side of things. If steaks are their bread and butter, then their appetizers and main courses follow suit as well. One could start with some Fried Oyster Mushroom. This would go well with an ice cold beer. Speaking of, this combination would work well during the night as they have live bands perform.
It seems that seafood is also one of their specialty. They make sure to get to freshest ingredients that the market could offer. The Grilled Ahi Tuna is made from fish that is flown in twice a week. It doesn't get any better than that.The Togarashi Shrimp are plump and juicy.
Oysters are also a champion choice when visiting NANKA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE.  Each bite is just perfect. It does what it needs to do.
For pasta people, the Prawn Garlic noodles does its job. The pasta is cooked perfectly and the shrimp easy. If one could just slurp everything they could.
Another must order for seafood lovers would be their GARLIC CRAB. Although it might be a little pricey since it is based on market price, you are assured of its glorious meat and sauce. In all honesty, you could scoop everything and dump it on a cup of rice.
It isn't a steakhouse if it doesn't serve steak. The kitchen can prepare a number of steak choices. Of course they ask for your preference in terms of doneness. At most, one should choose medium well. Never well done. Granted that some find it too much to see the red in meat but that is just a mixture of water and protein. This BLACK ONYX TOMAHAWK goes perfectly well with the different sauces and side dishes that it comes with. One could go for simple rice or deep fried potatoes or other choices as well.
Dessert is made by their in house chef. Another thing that NANKA is known for would be their in house bakery. They offer different cakes and has tons of dessert to go with your meal.

NANKA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE is located at 1810 Mother Ignacia Ave Cor Roces Avenue, Quezon City. Near the rotunda. Parking is available.

Disclaimer:wrote this based on my opinion. was invited to try out the dishes.
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