Where To Eat In Manila: Save VS Splurge

Hello, dolls! Hello, Throwback Tuesday! I am now 2 days away from my due date and feeling every symptom that I could be in labor soon except for my water breaking. I have never felt this restless after 2 weeks of relaxing — how is this even possible? There is no doubt that I am in full on pregnancy brain mode now and just 1 million percent nesting! I have been trying to get our house organized and I find it really….soothing.

Our trip to the Philippines is still 7 months away but it feels like it’s going to happen tomorrow. It’s going to be a big trip for me since I will be traveling with both kids so I guess that’s why I started planning everything as early as January of this year lol. I started a list of restaurants I miss and would love to try and I just hope I have the time to go to all of them!

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I have been on many adventures with my boy, but I know nothing will compare to the joy he will feel once he becomes a big brother <3

TICKLE YOUR SWEET TOOTH

Were you even on vacation if you did not indulge in sweets? Whether it’s a refreshing milkshake or a dessert I’ve never heard before, I always look forward to satisfying my sweet tooth every day when I am in the Philippines!

SPLURGESUNNIE’S CAFE – The Fort

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Sunnies Cafe is a growing brand in the Philippines. They started as a sunglass hub that blossomed into different branches like the cafe and their cosmetic line that a lot of Filipinas go gaga for!

Since food is closest to my heart, I knew I had to go to Sunnies Cafe and try their milkshakes! Lucky for me my sister came with us so I was able to try their KimYe and Matcha milkshakes.

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Sunnies Risotto

(cheese risotto, crispy bacon, sous vide egg, caramelized onion, homemade gravy)

I loved this so much because it was creamy and extra cheesy. I was impressed to see a cooking method that I know is not commonly used in restaurants in the Philippines — sous vide! Every ingredient complimented each other so well. Honestly, I would go back to Sunnies Cafe just for the milkshake and this perfect plate of risotto!

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Creamy Carbonara

Same ingredients as the Sunnies risotto above minus the gravy! My sister’s all-time favorite is carbonara, if she sees it on the menu, she’ll order it!

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The matcha milkshake was worth every calorie!

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The main purpose of our Sunnies Cafe trip, for these babies to meet and for the Moms to catch up 😛

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These cuties are only weeks apart! Angela and Hannah were my seatmates in college and it’s funny how we all had babies at the same time (pretty much).

SAVE: VANDERLUST BISTRO + PATISSERIE – Quezon City

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Living in Quezon City is so convenient because we are so close to a lot of restaurants that are open late. My siblings love to take me to new dessert places whenever I am home, and I don’t mind if it means going there right before bedtime 😛

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They know I love to try new things so they picked Vanderlust, a European inspired dessert place in the heart of Quezon City.

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Cannoli

Pistachio, White Chocolate Lemon, Purple Yam

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Red Velvet Churros

Being a red velvet lover, this was heaven for me!

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Paired our desserts with delicious drinks.

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My choice? Matcha forever! Look at my delicious cup or Matcha Latte <3

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A’s drink of choice, beer! 1906 Black Coupage brewed in Spain.

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Cookies and Cream Schneeball

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This was a whole experience for me! I’ve never had a dessert that I have to smash before so there was no doubt I enjoyed it so much! lol

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Peanut Brittle

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Schneeball reminds me of chocolate bark. I like how both flavors were not overly sweet! One Schneeball is perfect to share.

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ITALIAN FOOD

A is half Italian and loves pasta SO much. Taking him to Italian restaurants in the Philippines gives me anxiety because I know how he could be when it comes to food, and I am the same when it comes to Asian food here in the US. I think since we know a lot about the cuisine and food itself, we tend to have expectations when it comes to certain price points or restaurants — we do not expect gourmet food from a fast food restaurant of course! lol

SPLURGE: PARMIGIANO – Resort’s World Manila

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Parmigiano is one of the best restaurants in Resort’s World Manila. I think the fact that they’ve been around for more or less a decade now show how well-loved their food is. My first time going there was in 2011 and the food was just as good!

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The best way to start an Italian meal!

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Caprese Salad

FRESH everything — tomato, mozzarella, and basil. YUM

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Insalata Di Greca

Risotto Al Funghi E Crema Di Tartufo, Risotto Al Parmigiano

Margherita pizza, 6 cheese pizza

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Going to an Italian restaurant means loading up on carbs and CHEESE!

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Spaghetti Calamari Nero

Come to Mama!! Squid ink pasta is one of my favorites and this did not disappoint.

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Rigatoni Ala Grica

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Chicken Parmigiana

The only dish we ordered with meat! 😛 This was a little disappointing because the breading was too thick, the hefty amount of mozzarella on top made up for it though.

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SAVE: SHAKEY’S

This is probably not too “Italian” for this category but I think the pizza and pasta dishes will make do. Shakey’s is a fast casual restaurant in the Philippines that has been around for decades. My siblings and I love their “mojos”, who doesn’t really? I also love how you can get “family meals” that you can customize.

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Thin crust or thick crust? Growing up thick crust was my choice because that’s what we were used to eating. Now that I understand calories and all that, thin crust has been my go to! And I actually prefer how the crunchy the crust gets.

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Aside from pizza, Shakey’s has delicious fried chicken too — lightly breaded and friend to perfection! YUM

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Another reason why Shakey’s is on my list every time I am in the Philippines is because of their caesar salad with tuna that A and I got addicted to 4 years ago! It’s not very special but for some reason, everything just works together. Sometimes when we just want a relaxing night at home with no added pressure on dinner, we just make caesar dressing and croutons, toss them with freshly cut romaine and top off with tuna — all inspired by Shakey’s!

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Best of all? This cost us less than $100 and there were almost 10 of us!

EASY FIX

Since we always have a gazillion things to do whenever we are in the Philippines, there are times when we know we do not have more than 2 hours to spare for dinner or lunch. Luckily. there are a lot of options for quick meals in the Philippines.

SPLURGE: TONG YANG BUFFET – Greenhills

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If you are really hungry but pressed for time, buffets could be a good option! food is ready and all you have to do is serve yourself.

My relatives wanted to have dinner with us before our flight to Baltimore. They know how much A loves Asian food especially noodles so they picked Tong Yang.  The selections were amazing! From having your own pot of soup to cook your noodles and “hot pot fixings”, smokeless grill for barbecue meat, sushi, other Asian favorites like fried rice and savory dishes, and of course DESSERT to end the meal!

 

SAVE: MISTER KEBAB – Quezon City

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Mister Kebab is another all-time favorite! I have so many memories here, especially with friends. This was our “3AM” spot after bar hopping in Makati, go-to place when we feel like hanging out, pretty much one of the constant things in our friendship.

Their keema, beef kebab, and YOGURT SHAKE are to die for! It was hard to type these without salivating for real lol.

 

Little A’s first trip to the Philippines was unforgettable because of our family who planned adventures for us every day.

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Can’t wait to have an updated family picture in 6 months! <3

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…and feel like a kid again around my Dad because he loves to spoil us lol

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Are we going to be a family of 4 in 2 days? Let’s see! The anxiety is killing my sanity and I know it’s not ideal because I am only adding pressure to my mind and body! But really, I am so ready to push this baby out! lol

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Little A’s life is going to change and I know his excitement will bring so much love to his sister once she’s home. I can’t wait for him to have the playmate he’s been wanting! I know he is going to be an amazing brother <3

xx

R <3

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One thought on “Where To Eat In Manila: Save VS Splurge

  1. I never got to go to these places when I lived in the Philippines! I will definitely refer back to this when I finally get to visit in the future! Red velvet churros here I coooooommeeee!!! Also, sending you good vibes during labor and delivery!! Go momma!!!

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