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To celebrate the end of one of the most difficult and trying semesters of our college lives, May and I had decided to go out after the exams and pig out at Mercato in Taguig. I had already heard of it from my parents and some other people, and May and I were eager to try out food that was relatively cheap for it’s quality and taste. I had prepared around a P1000.00 for food alone, but I was pleasantly surprised at the cost of the food there.
Upon arriving, the first thing we did was go around and have a look at all the food before we bought anything. There was so much food! Almost any kind of cuisine you could think of was there. We saw Middle Eastern food, Spanish food, pizzas and pastas, Japanese, Korean and Chinese food, burgers and steaks, and even Filipino classics like lechong kawali and even street food like isaw. We had a really hard time picking out what to get and I think we went around twice because of the sheer amount of food on display.
Casa Goni - A LOT of paella flavors to choose from! Everything’s around 80 pesos
Mozzarella Chicken Teriyaki Paella
Mozzarella Chicken Teriyaki Paella
Big stick of isaw
Baby Back Ribs
Baby Back Ribs
Turkey (next time :>)
In the end, we decided to get BBQ ribs, a stick of isaw, mozarella chicken teriyaki paella, wagyu beef paella, beef kebab, cheesy potatoes, and lasagna. The ribs were so tender, the meat just tore of the bone without any trouble. The Mozarella Chicken Teriyaki Paella was so good, and the cheese and the herbs combined beautifully. The Wagyu Paella was kind of a disappointment, though. It wasn’t bad, but it just lacked any real defining flavor. The Cheesy Potatoes we ordered were a really pleasant side dish to everything we had. There wasn’t really anything special to it; they were just baby potatoes covered in a cheese sauce, and it’s that simplicity that made it all the more endearing. The Beef Kebab, to me, was the best of all, even if May didn’t enjoy it as much. It tasted very authentic; I felt like I was in the Middle East or something. It had a great grilled smoky flavor, and the beef and vegetables were great together. And lastly, was the Lasagna, which was May’s favorite out of everything we ordered. I’m a sucker for good lasagna, and safe to say, we weren’t let down. The pasta was cooked just right, and the sauce had so much flavor.
For the drinks, there were certainly a lot of options, but we chose the special flavored lemonade, although we only ordered the regular house lemonade. They also had a spicy lemonade flavor, but sadly, they were all out.
And as for dessert, there were just as many options as there were for the main dishes. There was a lot of ice cream and cakes and stuff, but I decided to go for the Red Bean-flavored Ice Cream Mochi that I had been craving for a long time. May, on the other hand, decided to go for something more unique: Candied Bacon Ice Cream from Merry Moo! Whoever thought of that one is a GENIUS. The ice cream was sweet, and the bacon bits were big enough to taste properly, yet small enough so that the texture doesn’t interfere with the taste. I actually went back for more bacon ice cream when my stomach had time to settle a little.
Merry Moo Artisan Ice Cream
Candied Bacon flavored ice cream
At the end of the night, may and I were already super full and extremely satisfied at our glorious feast, and safe to say, we’ll be going back to Mercato very soon. And as for our total expenses, we only spent around 700 pesos, and that’s already for the both of us. - Enzo
After we had dinner at Persia Grill, it was already getting late and we were planning to head on over to Cha Time at Archer’s Place but decided against since it might already be closed by the time we get there. So while we were looking for a place to just sit down and chill out at, May remembered this cafe, Noriter, that had she read about somewhere that serves great iced coffee and frappes and stuff, so we decided to go there.
A wall full of paper cups
And the other wall, also full of paper cups.
Paper cup robot
The place was really hidden from view and is kinda hard to find, but when I asked my brother about it, he told me mostly everyone he knew at Taft knew about it. Once got up to Noriter, we immediately noticed the interior of the place. The walls were white and they had wooden furnishings, but what really got our attention was the wall of paper cups on near the counter. Each paper cup had drawings on them designed by the patrons of the cafe, and they chose the best ones to put on the shelves, and everything else was arranged on another wall next to it. There were also sections of the cafe where they had pillows you could sit on while you were on the floor, and even the wooden floor part of the cafe had writings from the patrons.
They gave us colored pens and paper cups to draw on while waiting for our food!
Enzo’s Monster drawing
May’s rainbow/robot cup
But enough about the interior; this is a food blog, so before I forget, here’s what we thought of the stuff we ordered: The frappes were okay, they were delicious without a doubt and a bit cheaper than what you’d normally pay for them, I’d rather go get a frappe at Starbucks or something. As for the banana split, it was actually really good, the ice cream was, well, very creamy, and the chocolate syrup and bananas really completed the dessert. So for anyone looking for a place to just sit down and relax at, if you’re in the DLSU Taft area, we recommend that you stop by Noriter for a bit and chill out.
Frappes (Caramel and Cookies & Cream)
Persia Grill has been on our hit list for quite some time, but we just never got around to eating there because we were always so busy with school and everything. So when our 2nd anniversary came up, despite the limited time we had because we had classes that day, we decided to go out and eat at the Taft Avenue branch of Persia Grill.
The atmosphere of the place was very fitting for such an authentic (well, mostly, anyway) restaurant, and also because there wasn’t anyone else around. Since we were also on a tight budget, May got the Beef Kebab, and I got the Chelo Kebab Kubideh. May, being the more adventurous eater between us, decided to get Ox Brain, while I only got Nachos as a side dish.
Chelo Kebab Kubideh
The beef kebab wasn’t really the best I’ve had, but it tasted really authentic, so it was great enough. The Chelo Kebab Kubideh, on the other hand, is basically just a beef kebab, but spicier and with added herbs and flavoring. I really enjoyed it, the flavors were spot on. The nachos were okay, nothing special. As for the Ox Brain, I actually didn’t taste it, but May said it tasted like eggs. It looked really gross, but she enjoyed it. The verdict: Persia Grill offers authentic-tasting Middle Eastern cuisine, along with a few more familiar food items, but all in all, it was a great dining experience.
To celebrate May’s birthday (in advance), we decided to eat at Buffet 101, a restaurant at the opposite end from Vikings at SM MoA’s San Miguel by the Bay. We got there at lunch time so that there woulen’t be as much people. Once we got in, the first thing that struck me was the look of the place. There were beautiful chandeliers, marble counters, and fine wooden tables. It looked like a 5-star hotel, which added to the ambience and overall dining experience. When we got settled in, we couldn’t wait any longer and we went straight for the food. We didn’t know where exactly to start, so we went around randomly and started picking food out.
For my first plate, i got pasta in meat sauce, nothing fancy but it wasn’t bad either. I also got two sticks of Dynamite, which were green chilis that were cleaned out and filled with cheese and a bit of pork, and then deep fried in lumpia wrapper. There was also Portuguese Pork, which, despite being tender and juicy, was just a pork curry, although it had a southern europe taste to it. I also got some Broccoli in cream, Pasta, French Fries, and some bread. May got Paella, Mussels, Oysters, Crispy Pata, a Bacon-wrapped thing and Fish Fillet.
For the second plates, we decided to go easy and get just steaks and a few other things. We got us Prime Beef Ribs, and after requesting it to be cooked well done, they did it perfectly. The kicker of the second plate was the Lamb Chop. I hadn’t eaten lamb before, so it was a nice experience for me because the lamb chop i ordered couldn’t have been cooked any better. It was so tender and the cut was huge, I just had asuch a great time with it. Though we didn’t go through them that much, they had a Chinese and a Japanese section, though the Japanese section was mostly sushi, sashimi, tempura and soups. The Chinese section looked the more diverse of the two, and there was even a shrimp tank where you could pick your prawns and have the chefs cook them.
They also had a nice dessert bar with the buffet-staple: the chocolate fondue fountain with marshmallows on sticks. They also had cheesecakes, jellies, candies, and even a make-your-own-crepe bar. They also had fruit shakes and a halo-halo bar, and even frozen yogurt. To be honest, they didn’t have a whole lot of food, just enough to keep you busy. But overall, the food was really good and the whole dining experience was so enjoyable that you’d want to come back again very, very soon. And that’s exactly what we plan to do. - Enz :D
The center buffet
Soup with bread
Bottomless drinks (coffee, water, mango juice, blue lemonade, iced tea, draft beer, soft drinks, root beer)
Station for shakes, milk teas, and Halo-halo
Chocolate fountain and fruits
Enzo’s first plate
May’s first plate
Enzo’s second plate
May’s second plate
Marshmallows dipped in chocolate with sprinkles
Kiwi Jelly and Blue Lemonade Jelly