Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Subi-Monte First Timer

I have a confession to make.

I was born and raised in Cavite but since I hardly go out unless necessary, I am probably the last person here who hasn't been to Subi-Monte Cafe. Well, that was until a few weeks back.

DB and I had to run some errands in Kawit and when we arrived around lunch time, we decided to have lunch first before meeting up a friend. Another surprising revelation to me was that most restaurants around town is closed on Sundays. We were lucky that Subi-Monte, which I've been hearing a lot from friends and family for years now, is open for lunch!

If memory serves me right, Subi-Monte started out as a coffee shop then later on ventured into a casual dining place with menu that ranges from your favorite breakfast meals to pasta, sandwiches and other rice dishes.

What we ordered

Basil and Lime & Strawberry Peach Tea - Php50.00 each

The waitress recommended for us to try their own tea mixes. I chose the Strawberry Peach Tea which I liked very much though I hardly tasted the Peach in it but it was good nevertheless. DB had no choice but to go for the Basil & Lime because we wanted to try both. It was a mistake! It tasted medicine and it was so bad! If you still remember Frosty back in the 90's, it tasted like that but this one's 10 times worse.

Beef Tapa - Php79.00

The Beef Tapa was delicious but the serving size was too small (it only had a few pieces of meat) it looked like DB was eating a kiddie meal.

So to make up for the size of his order, we also had Spaghetti Pesto to share. It was okay but could use more flavors and seasoning.

Spaghetti ala Pesto - Php79-00

Salisbury Steak - Php130.00

I wanted to try the Liempo, Subi-Monte's bestseller, but it was unavailable that time so I settled for this Salisbury Steak. It was surprisingly good and I was definitely satisfied with the serving.

The staff were courteous, the place was clean and nice and the menu was affordable. I think I found a new hang out place.

Or should I say, I can totally relate now to my friends' Subi-Monte talks.


Subi-Monte Cafe
Centennial Road, Kawit
Cavite, Philippines
Tel.: (6346) 402-3759

Monday, October 29, 2012

Seafood Bibimbap at Bulgogi Brothers

I'm happy to share that my favorite Korean restaurant Bulgogi Brothers recently added new treats on their menu including this Seafood Bibimbap!

To start off the sumptuous dinner, we were treated to plates after plates of Korean appetizers or Banchan. The first one to came out were Sweet Corn, Quail Eggs and Sweet Potatoes. All of which are refillable for free by the way.

Tip: Leave all the Sweet Potatoes to me and I can be your friend. *wink*

Complimentary Tea of the Day: Bori Cha (Barley Tea) which you can have hot or cold.

Other Banchan include Spicy Lettuce Salad, Kimchi, Spicy Eggplant and Kangkong.

This is really the reason why I keep coming back to Bulgogi Brothers!

Seoul Style Bulgogi (Good for 2) - Php595.00

It was sweet, it was delicious, it was bursting with flavors and it was perfect for me! The order also comes with one cup of rice but I tell you, one is not enough!

I've been to numerous Korean restaurants in the past but this is the first time I saw Seafood Bibimbap on the menu. We had to try it of course!

Seafood Bibimbap - Php395.00

The Bibimbap also comes with this Kimchi-based soup which was so spicy!

Good thing the Seafood Bibimbap only had a mild tangy taste. I ate my share without even a sip of the Barley Tea.

Bulgogi Brothers is one of those restaurants I would never have second thoughts of going back. Even order the same food over and over again!


Bulgogi Brothers
2L Entertainment Mall, Mall of Asia
Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Tel.: (632) 823-2778

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Impromptu Dinner at Oishinbo

DB and I were supposed to go to an event but had to cancel the last minute due to some unforeseen circumstances that I would spare you about. Anyway, since we were already in the Makati area, we decided to go to Oishinbo for dinner. Good thing restaurants at Little Tokyo close a bit later than others. It was 9pm but the place was still half full.

Imported Japanese wines and beers are readily available for ordering.

But since DB and I are not alcohol drinkers, we asked the waitress for two glasses of cold house tea which was so refreshing!

On the table

Futo Maki - Php300.00

Superb taste as always but the presentation could have been better.

Salmon Maki - Php280.00

It's the first time we've ordered Oishinbo's Salmon Maki and I must say that it was worth every centavo! It's simple, fresh and delicious!

Jyo Chirashi - Php590.00

No matter how long I look at the menu, I always end up saying Chirashi to the waitress! It's like my lips has its own mind and doesn't say what my brain is thinking! But I'm not really complaining here because everything is so fresh! They also serve huge portions and you won't feel bitin with just a couple of pieces of Salmon, Uni, Tuna, Maguro, Squid and Shrimp.





Now this is something new.

The moment we entered the restaurant, the smell of smoke and grilled meat instantly clung into my clothes and my hair. I knew right there and then that I have to try what they are grilling!

Oishinbo should work on their exhaust as the entire place is engulfed in smoke whenever they use this tiny grilling station.

Among the rows of meat ready for grilling, I chose this!

It was actually a no-brainer! Golden Mushroom + Bacon = Mmmm.. Pure Bliss!

I wanted to order another one to go but it was late and I can barely walk with my full tummy.

Definitely next time!


Little Tokyo, Chino Roces Ave.
Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (02) 894-3915

Friday, October 19, 2012

Palawan Adventure: Puerto Princesa Underground River

Chosen as one of the 7 Wonders of Nature, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is the main reason why I decided to spend my birthday in Palawan.

I sent an email to Hibiscus Garden months before the trip to inquire about the rates and the Underground River Tour since I read that it is now required to book in advance if you want to see the spectacular river.  During peak season, you will be asked to book as early as two months before your trip! According to our guide, UNESCO sets the number of guests that can enter the Underground River in a day so the government is very strict about the booking process.

We were still undecided up to the last minute so I never paid for the tour before the trip hoping they can accommodate us upon arrival.

When we arrived in Puerto Princesa, I got a call from Hibiscus Inn asking if we pursued our trip to Palawan and if we still wanted to go to the Underground River the following day. I was surprised since I never paid for the reservation but thankful that Sanctuary Tours (contact them at +639175911234) decided to secure us entry permits even without deposit.

Our guide fetched us around 8am from Purple Fountain Inn then traveled for an hour until we reached the entry point. The place is packed with local and foreign tourists waiting for their guides who line up at the registration area to pay the fees. It was so convenient having a guide here rather than doing it by ourselves like we usually do.

Apparently, no entry permits are being issued to walk-ins. Thank you Sanctuary Tours for making my dream of seeing the Underground River possible!

Another line is formed for the boat ride. We waited for about 30 minutes here before it was finally our turn.

Everyone is required to wear a life jacket. Safety is a must!

Our ever reliable and kind tour guide

The view going to the Underground River is so beautiful! It's really More Fun in the Philippines!

Another registration well taken cared of. No more queuing for us.

The pathway going to the waiting area of the Underground River is built with woods and rocks.

Be cautious on where you are stepping because there are animals roaming around freely here. You wouldn't want to hurt them right?

Or the other way around.

A few minutes after we arrived, I heard a loud scream and when I looked around, I saw this money climbing the tree with a bag of chips he got from a lady's tote bag! I was amazed he knew how to open the bag and eat the chips like a human being.

"Dito po susubukin ang pasensya nyo," our tour guide said.

According to her, some tourists are made to wait for a minimum of 2 hours during peak season before they are given the chance to go inside. Lucky for us the waiting only lasted for about 40 minutes.

So, what's so special about this Underground River?

"It features a spectacular limestone or karst mountain landscape with one of the most impressive cave systems in the world. It contains an 8.2 km long underground river that flows directly to the sea. The lower half of the river is brackish and subject to the oceans tide. A subterranean river flowing directly into the sea and the associated tidal influence makes it the most unique natural phenomenon of its type to exist. The discovery of 11 minerals, scientifically and aesthetically unique speleothems, and a 20 million year old Serenia fossil permanently embedded in the walls of the cave justifies the declaration of the Puerto Princesa Underground River as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature." Source

The smell of bat poop was unmistakably strong as you approach the entrance of the cave.

But it will disappear as you go deeper into the cave. Besides the fact that you will be blown away with the sight you are about to see.

Bats everywhere!

It's so dark inside and without a flashlight, you won't be able to see anything at all. Good thing we brought a camera that's great for low light setting such as this.

The boatman/tour guide with his hilarious antics kept us entertained during the tour. At this point, we are now entering the market place as what he said.


Bell Pepper

There's a lot more fruits and vegetables we saw along the way until we reached the end of the unrestricted area and we had to turn back. More than half of the river is still left unexplored and undiscovered.

The guide told us to look out for Simba then I heard one of our fellow tourists shout, "There!" pointing upwards.

And there was light.

The tour inside the Puerto Princesa Underground River took only an hour but all the queuing and waiting is all worth it! I really hope that the city government will do their best to maintain the cleanliness and orderliness of the place not only to keep its 7 Wonders of the World status, but most importantly, so that our future kids and grandchildren can still see it in its full glory.

We took another boat ride going back to the port to have lunch as part of the package. Our guide ushered us to a reserved kubo in one of the beachfront restaurants. It took no time before everyone was on their feet again to line up at the buffet table.

Food was okay but not one worth raving about.

Chicken Inasal

Adobong Kangkong

Fried Kalabasa


My Bucket List

24. Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour -- Check!
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