Coming Home to Manila Hotel!

Christmas is less  than ten days away!  Simbang Gabi started yesterday morning and everybody just wants to go on vacation already!  For those people who want to sit back and relax during the holidays, you better start booking your hotels.  It’s very difficult and quite pricey to reserve rooms during the “peakest of the peak”  season.  And if you want the creme of the creme in hotels, you may want to consider staying at THE MANILA HOTEL.  My family and I were very fortunate to spend a weekend at the Grande Dame several weeks ago.  The hotel has undergone major renovations and this is noticeable once you step in the front door.  The lobby is alive with people and activities.  The ambience is warm, inviting, and quietly luxurious.  It’s like returning to a well-appointed home.


At the time of our stay, the whole lobby was decorated like Disney’s Haunted Mansion.


Sitting with the skeletons.



We were given two de luxe rooms.  One which had twin beds was shared by my boys while the other one with a large master bed was occupied by my daughter and I.  Ahh, my daughter loved the ocean view.  She loved that she could also watch her favorite cartoon show while taking a bubble bath!

Manila hotel rooms



It gets tricky for us as parents when we go abroad.  Sometimes hotels really do serve “blah” food and we end up ordering from fastfood chains. But believe me when I tell you that the best buffet in town is defintiely Café Ilang-Ilang.  The café boasts of  eight live cooking stations which feature cuisines from Asian, Western, European and the Mediterranean.  My boys loved the Japanese station (katsudon and tempura overload!) as well as the Italian kitchen which is equipped with a wood-fire pizza oven AND a dough-tossing chef!




Pizza toss

Some aerial moves before we get our pepperoni pizza!



I give this gastronomic spread a triple “A”! My kids loved the soft rolls, the crispy lechon, ebi tempura and pork katsudon from the Japanese station and the dessert bar,of course.  The salad station was a delight too!


The dessert bar and ice-cream station was a hit with my daughter!  I liked that low-sugar/sugar free decadent delights were also served.

Manila Hotel Dessert Bar

Cereals, cakes, chocolate fondue, pies and even puto! We made many trips back to this station!


Manila Hotel Ice Cream Bar

My favorite? The coffee flavored ice cream, no doubt!



To make our stay even more enjoyable, the hubby and I indulged ourselves in relaxing massages at the Manila Hotel Spa.  I loved it!  Aside from my therapist’s skills in kneading the stress off of my tired muscles, it was the scented oil that she used which sealed the deal for me.  The orangey-minty scent sent me right into relaxation heaven!

Manila Hotel Spa

Book your appointments early on in the day as the SPA gets very, very busy.


Manila Hotel Spa pics

After the signature massage, guests are treated to a pot of tea and fresh fruits.



No stay will be complete without the mandatory pool visit.  My kids are like fish and crave the water.  They really had a great time playing in the pool.

Manila Hotel Pool



Manila Hotel Final Pic

Really the most festive Christmas lobby display I’ve seen. There is Simbang Gabi every 6pm, after which you can listen to different choirs at the lobby and if you wish to eat local delicacies like puto bumbong ang bibingka — well, The Grande Dame has it all! You many call 527 0011 for reservations.


Enjoy the first class amenities and world class service only at the Manila Hotel!  It truly feels like coming home!   Thank you Manila Hotel for hosting us! image001 (1)

Mrs. Fields – Gift a Child With A Smile This Christmas


It all started in 1977 when a Mom with no business experience opened her first cookie stall in Palo Alto, California.  With the odds stacked up against her, Debbie Fields proved her naysayers wrong  by becoming a worldwide celebrity and making her company the cookie empire it is today.   Her motto, “Good Enough Never Is”  reflects the brand’s  utmost dedication to its consumers’  experience.  By creating treats of the highest quality possible and at the same time satisfying the personal indulgences of consumers, MRS FIELDS  (MF) is now known and enjoyed globally.



I sat down with MF’s President Gerwyn See at the MRS FIELDS CAFÉ located at the ground floor of Treston College in BGC, Taguig.  “The franchise was brought to Manila in1994.  In 2006, we took over and refreshed the brand.  From the initial chippery set-up where only baked goodies were sold, we have introduced the cookie café  concept. Presently, several café’s have been opened in Metro Manila (Taguig, NAIA 3 pre-deaprture area and Mall of Asia ) which serves baked treats as well as meals, beverages and ice cream, “ Gerwyn says.   “In Manila, eating a  MF cookie  is considered an indulgence.  Through our “Love it , Share It “ campaign,  we encourage that this singular  experience be shared and enjoyed by  everybody.  Hence,  we have come up with wonderful gifting ideas,” adds Mr. See.

With Gerwyn See

Mr. Gerwyn See is the visionary behind the Mrs. Fields brand here in the Philippines. “We have more exciting plans for the future!” he says.


Boxes & Cans

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How elegant are these reusable felt boxes?


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Customers may also opt for these cute canisters.

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Choose your packaging and your baked treats! Did you know that the top three  bestselling MF cookies are : Milk chocolate chip , Semi Sweet and White Chocolate Macadamia? 


Indulgent Creations

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Topped with Hershey’s chocolate and Kisses, these cookie cups are sinful delights!


The Bear Necessities

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Give something that you would like to receive yourself. These bear packages will surely bring a smile to whoever gets it on Christmas morning.


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I LOVE BEARS! These adorable huggables are definite must-buys!




Gifting is made easy by MF for everyone.  Just look at the holiday delectables that are offered in their stores!


Cookie Cakes

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Who got the cookie from the cookie jar?

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This Christmas Season,  MF has partnered with OPERATION SMILE Philippines Foundation, Inc.  , a non-stock, non-profit organization that aims to provide free life- changing reconstructive surgeries to children born with facial deformities.   For every  purchase of MF signature box, consumers can help children with cleft palate have  a brighter future.

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This wonderful gift includes cookies, signature cookie cups and bars.



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Christmas starts early here at the BQP Blog! Answer the following questions and get GIFT CERTIFICATES from MRS. FIELDS!

1.  What are the top three bestselling cookies from Mrs. Fields?

2. Which gift/s  would you like to  give your loved ones this holiday season?




Christmas, undoubtedly, is the happiest time of the year.   But this time, YOU can literally give a SMILE , heal a soul and transform a life.  Wouldn’t that be a gift unlike any you have ever given?

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Be sure to visit the Mrs. Fields store nearest you!



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French Baker’s 25th Anniversary Treat! – Visit Paris In Summer 2015


Joyeux Anniversaire !

Big things really do start from humble beginnings.  French Baker  (FB) opened its first branch at SM CITY North Edsa in 1989.  Initially, the bakery only offered French inspired breads such as baguettes, croissants and tarts along with local breads like pandesal and ensaymada.  Later, the menu expanded to offer soups, salads, pasta and pizza.

It was a trip to Europe in 1985 that inspired owner/CEO JOHNLU KOA to come up with the now much loved patisserie.  “I fell in love with PARIS and her baked goodies.  Since then I’ve dreamt of bringing the French experience to Manila.   FB is the first establishment to introduce European breads and pastries to the local market, and the first to employ the nightly half-price sale to ensure the freshness of baked products to be sold the next day.”

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French Baker now boasts of 52 branches all over the country and has recently added THE FRENCH BAKER “Salon De The ” edition (photo, upper left).


Je Vais À Paris!

Last November 4, 2014, FB marked its 25 years by launching the “Visit to Paris 2015” promo at the Fashion Hall of SM Megamall. .  This  allows one lucky winner and three of his companions an all expense paid 10-day trip to Paris through luxury escorted tours provider Insight Vacations, together with Rajah Travel Corporation and Etihad Airways as the official airline.

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Every P500 worth of dine-in and take –out single receipt  from any FB store entitles the customer to one raffle coupon.  The promo will run from November 5, 2014 until March 15, 2015.  The grand winner will be announced on March 2015.  He/ She will be flown first class by Etihad Airways to his/her dream vacation and will spend three days each in  key cities including  Paris, the old Roman City of Nimes and lastly in Monte Carlo.  How fun is that?!!!  It will be a check on my bucket list if I win!

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Founder and CEO Johnlu Koa thanks friends, family and guests for supporting French Baker. Photo also shows host Cheska Litton and the partners from Insight Vacations, Etihad Airways and Raja Travel Corporation.


Wined, Dined  and Serenaded by Gary V!

Guests were treated to delectable entrees at the Food Tableau ,French wine and a variety of  exquisite cheese at the Wine and Cheese Tableau,  the best of FB pastries with works of art at the Art Tableau,  and  even a sampling of Parisian chic at the Fashion Tableau.


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The BUSY QUEEN P at the ART Tableau. The French Macarons were to die for! I loved the lemon flavor!


French Baker - wine and entrees

My friend M and I certainly enjoyed the sumptuous feast that night! CONGRATULATIONS French Baker!


To make the evening even more special, Gary Valenciano performed  “Pasko na Sinta Ko” , “Jump For Joy” and three other songs .  It was truly a night to remember.


Gary V at French Baker 25th Anniversary

It’s everyone’s dream to go to Paris.  I certainly would love to spend ten days in Europe!  So head on to French Baker and don’t forget to fill up your raffle coupon!

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Au Revoir!

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A Feast At Mesa!


Filipinos love to eat!  That’s an undeniable fact.  I remember hearing on the news that Pinoys are also one of the happiest people in the world so it’s not a coincidence that we like to celebrate a lot.  We whisk our balikbayans from the airport straight to a Pinoy restaurant,  order lechon to make birthdays extra special and  enjoy eating  with family  and friends  no matter how trivial the occasion may be.

MESA has been and continues to be a favorite choice of Pinoy revelers.  Seven years ago , the restaurant (LA MESA)  started with grilled food as its specialty.  Now,  the menu has been revamped and is aptly called Filipino Moderne.   “The food is decidedly Filipino but served with a twist.  It’s familiar, it’s comfort food but at the same time, it’s novel,”  says  Alexis Tan.  “It’s not only the locals who patronize the restaurant. We have a lot of foreigners who are  also regular customers of MESA.”


I asked Alexis what their bestsellers are and she reveals that the following are fastmovers : LAING (taro leaves with pork, shrimp paste cooked in coconut cream topped with adobo flakes),  CRISPCHON and CRISPY BONELESS PATA.  Hearing her name the top three made my mouth water already!




MESA - tinapa roll

TINAPA ROLL WRAPPED WITH LETTUCE (P155) -made of flakes smoked fish with tomato, onion and salted egg. Meant as an appetizer but perfect as meal for those on a diet too. Tasty and filling!

MESA - baked scallops

BAKED SCALLOPS WITH GARLIC BUTTER (P225) – MUST TRY! The butter compound makes this starter dish a winner!

MESA- Tofu Salad

Something COLD perhaps? Try the TOFU SALAD (P255) made of soft bean curd topped with century egg and shrimp.



MESA - Soup and Veggies

DO TRY the SINIGANG NA SALMON HEAD (P260), It is salmon head simmered in tamarind broth and fresh local vegetables.
SIGARILLAS (P195) – Winged beans tossed in coconut milk with shrimp. Truthfully, i had only SANG this vegetable (Bahay Kubo) but I’ve never tasted it. Glad to say I liked it. Crisp and served with a creamy sauce…perfect!




FAMILIAR AND FLAVORFUL! BAM-I (P175)– a combination of egg and rice noodles done right!

MESA - Tinapa Rice

MEAL-IN-A-RICE . Even the rice is reinvented to capture Pinoy flavors. TINAPA RICE (P170) – Stir fried rice tossed with smoke fish flakes and topped with tomatoes and red salted egg.




MY FAVORITE! BANGUS BELLY BISTEK STYLE (P310) – braised in soya and calamansi. This hefty serving of fish belly will certainly make you order an extra cup of rice! I especially like the savory , tangy sauce.


MESA - Squid in olive oil

BABY SQUID IN OLIVE OIL (P310) – Squid sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with garlic and laurel. Just one of the many ootions at MESA. They also serve baby squid CRISPY or ADOBO IN ITS OWN INK.



MESA - Chicken

GARLIC CHICKEN (P220) – Chicken tossed in honey and garlic glazed. Crunchy and sweet on the outside , tender on the inside.



What diet?!!! When the lechon calls, we answer “YES!”

MESA - Crispchon

CRISPCHON (1/4 P1,400) may be served in TWO WAYS – wrapped in pandan crepe or tossed n chili garlic sauce. Either way —GRABE, ANG SARAP!



CRISPCHON CARVING 101 – After the skin is carved, it is mixed with lechon meat, leeks, cucumber and wansuy then wrapped in pandan crepe. You can choose three sauces to accompany this dish.  We chose RikKi’s choice, Garlic Mayo and Spicy Pork Liver. You can always hit the gym afterwards. In the meantime, sit back, relax and devour!!!



MESA - Rice Cake

I love  native desserts. I ate spoonfuls of this BIKO WITH LATIK!


MESA -fried leche flan

My son ate this like there was no tomorrow. Bite and leche flan will ooze from the crispy lumpia wrapper. ONE MORE ORDER PLEASE!!!



1. What featured dish would you like to try and why?



That particular Friday night, MESA was full of people dining and celebrating.  On at least two instances, I heard the “Happy Birthday” song being sung .Everybody was in a jovial mood.  Great food really does bring people together. As for us, it’s an understatement to say that we came out of the restaurant feeling full.  Regret does come in the end but ours was an ecstatic kind of regret — the kind that is coupled with a resolve to do it all over again! 🙂  SEE YOU ALL AT MESA!

MESA - Resto Collage

MESA has 10 outlets in Metro Manila. We visited MESA at the SM AURA SKYPARK. Shown in the pic is my daughter enjoying a slice of crispchon, the MESA crew, and the happy diners .


Happy Dining!

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Halloween Treats From Sweet Art By Arleen

BOO! Hallow’s eve is just around the corner! Have you transformed your lawns into graveyards yet?  Are the bats up and the spiders too?  Arleen Sevilla- Agustin  of Sweet Art by Arleen has baked  some spooky cupcakes and cookies that will surely delight all the trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood!

“In high school, I would always  come home to the smell of cookies or brownies baking  in the  oven.  It was my mom who taught me how to bake and over the years I just kept on practicing and improving my skills.  It’s a very precise art and very therapeutic too,” Arleen narrates.  “ On Fridays, I like to listen to  80’s music while I bake, mold and sculpt.  I’m able to give my best when  I have enough time to work so I really try to discourage rush orders. “



Sweet Art - Ghost cookies

Ghosts, bloodied fingers, a black cat, bat and some eyeballs …. SPOOKY !


Sweet- Witch's Brew

The Witching Hour is close at hand! HURRY and ORDER these green-faced witches and ghastly cookies! Price starts at P34/piece, minimum of 25 cookies per order.



SWEET - CUPCAKE Construction

Top row (L-R) 1.Chocolate flavored cupcakes with buttercream frosting 2. Arleen decorates the cupcakes Botom row (L-R) 3. Cupcake toppers made of fondant, marshmallows, Oreo cookies, pretzels and pretzel sticks. 4. My daughter  R watches as Tita Arleen works her magic in the kitchen.


SWEET- Ghoul cupcakes

HOW CUTE ARE THESE ???!!! Mummies, tombstones, Little Frankensteins and a skeleton made of pretzels.  TRICK OR TREAT!!! Halloween cupcakes (P1300/2 dozens)



Arleen is known in the South for making delicious cakes, cookies and other baked goodies.  I have collaborated with her on my daughter’s baptism as well as her  first birthday and have brought her “ANGRY BIRDS” cupcakes to school as a surprise to my then 8 year old son.  She understands the needs of her clients and always comes up with a masterpiece.  Here are some of her popular treats and creations.


Sweet- C is for Cookie

Arleen’s bestselling cookies TOP ROW -1. Big, Fat and Chewy Chocolate Chips (P850/16 pcs). Definitely my favorite! SUPER DELICIOUS! Your kids will surely love every bite!
BOTTOM ROW – 2.Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Cookies (P840/20pcs) 3. Peanut Butter Cookies (PP650/36pcs)


SWEET - Themed cakes

“Creativity is key in every project. I try to give my clients a little more than what they expect.” Arleen’s themed cakes are certainly one of a kind. The artistry on that GYMBOREE (clown) cake is  awesome!


SWEET- Pram cake

We had a ROYAL BAPTISM for my daughter. She was born on the same day Prince William and Princess Kate got married .  For this occasion, Arleen created an English pram (stroller) as a cake topper. Just look at all the details! She used wires, fondant and edible pearls on this project. My guests didn’t want to eat the beautiful crown cupcakes either. After perfectly molding each crown, she AIRBRUSHED the toppers with LUSTER DUST.  This truly is a work of art!



1. What is my favorite cookie from SWEET ART by Arleen?

2. Which among the baked treats would you like to try and why?




I’m sure you all went “ooh” and “ahh” when you saw Arleen’s creations.  If you see the cake she made for my daughter’s first birthday , you’ll be amazed some more (but that’s for another feature).  🙂  I recommend that you try her cookies and cupcakes first. Please feel free to contact Arleen at 0920 922 5145 for orders.  Her products are really the sweetest things!

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The Big Bites of Size Matters


Big appetites require hefty servings.  From the south, we travelled all the way to  THE BLOCK (SM NORTH) famished and ready to sample the bestsellers of SIZE MATTERS .   With a name like that, my party of four had to be prepared!

SIZE MATTERS started as a sausage and burger joint in Tomas Morato.   “My wife Marge makes the most delicious sausages,”  says proud husband and owner JR Dela Paz.  “The sausages we serve in the restaurant are all her creations and cannot be found anywhere else. From our initial food offerings, the menu has  expanded  and now includes ribs, barbecue, pasta etc.  Our Executive Chef Ansel Shotwell has come up with dishes that are sure to satisfy everyone’s cravings. “


Size Matters- collage

The top three bestellers are the house flame-grilled burgers, the southwestern BBQ meals and the sausages.  SIZE MATTERS currently has three stores which are located on the 4/F of The Block (SM North), Kapitolyo and  Alabang Town Center (cinema).  You may call 87878 for delivery.





CAJUN PASTA (P209) – Spaghetti noodles topped with tomato cream sauce and chicken bits.  The spice is just right!  Perfect for the kids and adults alike.


Size Matters -Platter of Sausages

We loved this starter dish! One serving simply wasn’t enough. The BQP highly recommends you try the SAUSAGE SAMPLER (P299) – 4 kinds of sausage (Hungarian, Bratwurst with Cheese, Kielbasa and Schublig) served with steak fries.



To share or to devour alone? Your choice! AMERICAN RIBS (Sharing P745 or Single P435) – Succulent baby back ribs smothered in Size Matters signature barbecue sauce served with corn and mashed potato. We’ll definitely order this again!



SIZE MATTERS knows how to quench all kinds of thirst! Choose which one is the right size for you!


Size Matters- Burger

THE TITAN (P449) – 1lb All beef patty with three slices of melted American cheddar cheese and strips of bacon. DELICIOUS through and through! Honestly, one of the best burgers I’ve tasted. The meat is tender and really juicy. MUST TRY!



DESSERT IN A JAR. MANGO FLOAT (P89) -Fresh mango and crackers in sweet cream dressing. A sweet ending to our big meal.


Size Matters- Monster Challenge

GOT A BIG APPETITE? Take the Monster Challenge and eat for FREE! Ongoing at SIZE MATTERS (THE BLOCK).



My family is always on the look-out for new places to eat in.  SIZE MATTERS is a good discovery for us.  Comfort food, laid back ambience and reasonable prices.  The menu is kid friendly as it is appetizing to the adults.  It’s like a local Friday’s really.  I mentioned to JR that their food is perfect for a children’s party!

What’s next for the restaurant?  “We’ll be opening bigger stores soon — in and out of Metro Manila.  Watch out for Size Matters at a location near you!”


Size Matters 4 by door 2

THE YOUNG GUNS OF SIZE MATTERS – (L-R) Chef Ansel Shotwell, Owner JR Dela Paz and franchisee Diane Uy (The Block branch). “The customers will get the best value for their money in our restaurant.”



1.  What is the name of the 1lb all beef patty burger of Size Matters?

2.  Which dish would you like to try from Size Matters and why?


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Persiana – Twenty Years of Delicious Mediterranean Dishes

Back in the nineties, shawarma was all the craze in the metro.  This prompted Catherine “Cathy” Villanueva to try her luck in the food business by opening a small  stall along Pioneer St. in Mandaluyong.  Her shawarma was so good that people just kept on coming back for more. “They asked me if I could come up with meals. Naghahanap ng kanin and ulam.  That’s when I had to research and put my cooking skills to the test to come up with Mediterranean dishes suited to the tastebuds of my customers.” narrates the owner.  With no formal culinary education, Cathy sought the help of an Iranian cook to help her with the menu.  “Mahilig talaga ako magluto.  Everything that is on the menu is my own creation. ”

PERSIANA is a favorite among office workers during weekdays.  I’m told by the staff that it’s always a full-house Mondays through Fridays. We came on a Saturday and found families dining in.  The place is unpretentious which is really part of its charm.   It’s a one level diner that serves food made popular by its taste as well as by recommendations from its loyal customers.  We travelled all the way from the South to sample the fare.  This early Ill tell you that coming to PERSIANA was worth the trip!


Per- Resto collage

PERSIANA has been a familiar fixture along 126 Pioneer St., in Mandaluyong. The resto is celebrating its 20th year of operations next month. What’s next for this neighborhood favorite? “Another twenty years of great comfort Mediterranean food!”




Fruity Shakes

Per- Yogurt Shakes

REFRESHING BEVERAGES! – YOGURT SHAKES (PHP110) Made from fresh fruits mixed with homemade creamy yogurt. Comes in banana, melon and strawberry flavors.



Per- crostini

PITA CROSTINI WITH HUMUUS DIP (PHP75). Humuus is made of garbanzos, tahini sauce, olive oil and lemon. Alternatively, you can opt for the  CROSTINI WITH SPINACH DIP (PHP85) which is made of spinach, cream and cheese.


Per- beef boreks

ABSOLUTE MUST-TRY! GONE IN SECONDS! My son devoured this like there was no tomorrow. Hahaha.  My favorite too!         BEEF BOREKS (PHP70) . Normally phyllo is used for this dish but its quite difficult to source the pastry sheets. Contains sauteed beef and cheese stuffed in crisp pita bread and served with garlic sauce. Over-the-top delicious!



Per- chicken fingers

KIDS’ FAVORITE! CHICKEN FINGERS (PHP150) -deep fried strips of breaded chicken breast fillet

Per- melt in your mouth cheese

Coming soon on the menu— FRIED FOUR CHEESE WITH PITA (PHP150) You must eat this as soon as it is served to savor the melted combination of white cheese, feta, mozarella and parmesan cheese!





Per- Beef shawarma

ROAST BEEF SHAWARMA (PHP75) – sliced sirlion beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onions with garlic  sauce stufed in a pocket style pita bread. One bite and you’ll become a fan!


per- chicken pizza

SAY YES TO PITA PIZZA! Adults and kids will love this for sure!
CHICKEN PESTO PITA PIZZA (PHP290) – Extra thin pita topped with grille chicken, pesto sauce, mozarella and parmesan cheese. Mouth watering to say the least!

Per- Grilled Pork spare ribs

GRILLED PORK SPARERIBS IN TOMATO SAUCE (PHP290) – mildly spiced tender pork spareribs cooked in a sweet/tangy tomato sauce. The meat is so tender it falls of the bone. BQP RECOMMENDED!


Per- Baked Beef Moussaka

BAKED BEEF MOUSSAKA (195) – layered ground beef and eggplant dish topped with creamy bechamel sauce .  Tihs can be eaten with rice or pita bread.

Per- chicken and beef kebab

BEEF KEBAB AND DEJAJ COMBO MEAL (PHP165) – Ground beef molded in a skewer and grilled marinated chicken breast served with buttered tumeric rice. A favorite among lunch-goers.

Per- tuna kebab

GRILLED TUNA KEBABS (PHP220) — skewered chunks of grilled tuna belly. The delicious healthy choice!

Per- Sauces

UNLIMITED GARLIC MAYO! We smothered everything with this sauce — the pizza, the boreks and the shawarma of course!


Per - Bak' lava Pastry

BAK’LAVA PASTRY (PHP75/slice)– Baked with layers of Phyllo sheets filled with chopped nuts and drenched in sugar syrup.  Available in Pecan Choco Chip, Cashew Walut, and White Choco Chip.





PERSIANA is simply good food at great prices.  Cathy values her customers so much that she has managed to maintain the quality of her food without charging sky-high prices. Many restaurants have come and gone but PERSIANA is  definitely here to stay.

Per- celeb collage

You just might bump into you favorite stars when you come and visit PERSIANA!

Spatzle – Euro Cuisine Fused with Filipino Flavors

SPÄTZLE (pronounced as “spech-lee”) is a sparrow shaped  pasta that  is eaten all over Europe.   It is also the name of  the restaurant which has been serving Euro dishes to the Manila crowd since it opened a year ago at the East Wing of Edsa Shangri la Mall . Co-owners Jennifer Pe ,  Gail Gochango and Chef RJ Ungco  joined my family for lunch and eagerly explained the inception of  SPÄTZLE Euro Market Cafe.  “We wanted to veer away from the regular fare and offer something new and exciting.  SPÄTZLE  introduces Swiss- German and French cuisine in a novel way  to the discriminating Pinoy palette, “ said Gail.  “Here, everything is  freshly made  –from the pasta (they only serve two kinds- the gnocchi and spatzle) , to the potato chips to the  dough in our tarte,”adds Jen.

SPATZLE -collage

Credit goes to Gail for the  homey yet modern look of the cafe. A chalkboard on an easel greets the customers. Mini greenboards are placed on top of the tables to announce the day’s menu.

Resident Chef RJ Ungco, who is a graduate of the prestigious Le Roches International School in Switzerland,  is responsible for the restaurant’s menu. “I want to serve dishes that will make customers come back for more.  I’ve tried to make European cuisine more enticing by injecting it with Filipino flavors.  So  instead of being perceived as too high-brow, Spatzle has made it possible for Swiss/German/French  cuisine  to be appreciated as comfort food. ”

SPATZLE - owners

Here with Chef RJ, Jen and Gail. “Our menu is a work in progress. I try to offer something new every weekend and see how our customers receive it, ” says the chef. The battered veggie chips in front of me is not yet on the menu. I told them it should be!



Fruit and Veggie Cold Drinks



GRUN JARS (PHP160) (L-R) – 1. Our favorite among the three drinks – the Z-SLUSH! Made of zucchini, honey and lemon, this drink is so refreshing. Who would’ve thought we’d be gulping zucchini! The perfect choice to quench your thirst. 2. SUMMER SOOTHER – has apple, carrot, celery and orange 3. RED COOLER – has cucumber, watermelon, carrot and mint.


Chips n’ Dip

SPATZLE - potato chips

PAPRIKA POTATO CHIPS (PHP145) – Crispy and zesty haus cooked chips served with mayo. The kids demolished this in minutes!


Is that a Pizza, Mom?


MUST- TRY! MONTE BLANC TARTE FLAMBE (PHP325) – Pancetta, bacon, spinach, mushroom and cream sauce based tarte flambé topped with fresh made spiced potato chips.We’ll order this for sure in our next visit.   GREAT FOR SHARING!


Salad in a Wrap

SPATZLE - Buckwheat wrap

THE HEALTHY CHOICE – You may also opt to eat your salad in a wrap.  SALMON NICOISE GRUN WRAP (PHP315) – Smoked salmon, fresh mesclun greens, boiled egg, capers all wrapped in a healthy buckwheat galete.


SPATZLE - Carbonara

NO SPAGHETTI! Only sparrow shaped pasta us used in the  SPATZ CARBONARA (PHP275). The serving is intentionally modest because the pasta is freshly made ( not dehydrated) and is surprisingly very filling. This dish is a favorite of the kids and grown-ups alike!


Patty and Potato


ROESTI HAUS BURGER (PHP355) – This Swiss potato pancake is golden and crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Paired with an all-beef burger, sunny side-up egg with a side of sausage gravy, this meal can definitely satisfy your hunger pangs!


SPATZLE- Weekend Market Special

Due to the limited availability of ingredients, some dishes are only served during the weekend.  Glad that we  DID come on a weekend -otherwise we would’ve  missed out on the next dish. IT TASTES EVEN BETTER THAN IT LOOKS!


Pìece De Resístance

Roast Pork Belly

SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST! — WEEKEND ROAST PORK BELLY (PHP685) 500 g of slow roasted pork belly with citrus and rosemary rub, served with peach-pork jus, side salad and garlic rice overload!  The skin is so crispy and the thin layer of fat melts in the mouth!  “SUPER SARAP!” Just look at the picture and pay no heed to my description.  This dish scores an 11/10!


Delightful Desserts!

Frozen Brazo (1)

FROZEN BRAZO  (PHP285) – Meringue, egg yolk and a serving of ice cream in the middle —- need I say more? 🙂

spatzle Fondue

My three year old’s favorite – FONDUE TASSE (PHP285) – A simmering pot of Swiss bittersweet and Toblerone chocolate served with an assortment of dippers (banana slices, marshmallows and choco sticks) — a sweet end to a delighful meal!



Our dining habits are changing because of the different cuisine that I’m able to expose my family to.  It’s a good thing! I, for one, was skeptical at first about eating in a restaurant with  a name I can’t even pronounce.  Having hurdled that,  I am confident that you will enjoy the many dishes offered by SPÄTZLE.  Congratulations to the innovative Chef RJ Ungco!  I’m looking forward to more savory eats at the café!

SPATZLE - Finale Pic

SPÄTZLE Euro Market Cafe can be found at the 5th floor , East Wing of Edsa Shangrila Mall in Mandaluyong. Come and visit soon!

26th St. Bistro by Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – Making Everyday, Extraordinary !

We have all seen the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf  (CBTL) stores all over the  metro.  Most of us have  enjoyed their hot and cold beverages and sampled their delicious baked creations. The great news is that CBTL has expanded its delightful offerings to include a full- course cuisine via its restaurant launched some two years ago.  The 26th St.  Bistro is the essence of CBTL expressed as a unique dining concept.

The BQP was invited to the 26th  St. Bistro flagship restaurant over at the Bonifacio Global City.  The place had an all glass façade  which allows light to enter into its cozy  and welcoming interior.  Nina Gregorius and Nella Lomotan of the CBTL group warmly welcomed my brood.   After suggesting what drinks we should get, Nella said  “Did you know that CBTL is the first coffee shop to offer Ice Blended Drinks and Tea Lattes? The others just followed suit.”    “Now that the bistro is open, aside from the drinks. we are able to offer a whole range of products to the public –from soups, salads, sandwiches, cakes , pastries, pastas and meals.  We also have a selection of premium wines and international  beer,” added Nina.

CBTL- Store collage

The 26th St. Bistro is located at the ground floor of Net Lima Bldg, 26th St. corner th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. You may also want to visit their other branch at the 5th level of Shangri-la Plaza East Wing, EDSA corner Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong. Shown here are the friendly staff , CBTL sous chef as well as Nina and Nella of the Marketing group.



Cold Drinks

CBTL- Cold Drinks

We had CARAMEL (PHP185) and DOUBLE CHOCOLATE (PHP185). Both are sooo deliciously good! My daughter opted to eat the whip cream from her DOUBLE CHOCOLATE drink and not mix it. 🙂


Starter Salad

CBTL- Salad

GRILLED CHICKEN CAESAR SALAD (PHP295) -Romaine lettuce, boiled egg, grilled chicken, croutons and shaved parmesan cheese with the house’s signature dressing. I enjoyed eating this salad. The large shavings of cheese added that extra “oomph” to the greens.



Fish Patties

CBTL- fish cakes

SALMON FISHCAKES and GREENS (PHP345) – Deep fried Norwegian salmon cakes served with smoked paprika aioli and a side of mixed greens , drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. If you want to have meat with your salad, you can opt for this.


Healthy Choices

CBTl- Vegetarian

The health conscious can find a delicious fix or two at the bistro . On the LEFT, ROSTI with smoked salmon , sunny side up egg with sour cream (PHP345) is a Swiss potato cake made from layers of grated potatoes and delicately fried until golden brown.
On the RIGHT , PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM CIABATTA (PHP395) has grilled mushrooms, zucchini and asparagus served with feta cheese. I’ve never tried eating a mushroom this size. It tasted a bit bland at first bite but the flavors develop in your mouth as you eat. I later found out that it had eggplant puree.





CBTL- Burger

26th St. BISTRO BURGER (PHP395) This is definitely a WINNER! 1/2 pound burger with garlic cream and cheese spread, sauteed shitake mushrooms, mozarella and parmesan cheese on a wheat bun. The meat is so soft and juicy! GONE IN MINUTES!


Perfect Pasta

CBTL- Pasta

MUST TRY! TIGER PRAWN AND SHITAKE MUSHROOM LINGUINE (395) – This white based sauce pasta is so delciously creamy. The prawns were cooked just right and again the large slices of parmesan made the dish tastier. We’ll definitely order this when we come back!


Salmon Special

CBTL - Salmon

My son’s favorite dish from the lot – HERB CRUSTED SALMON WITH LEMON RISOTTO & HOLLANDAISE SAUCE ((PHP 495). The pairing of pan seared salmon and saffron lemon risotto is just a gustatory delight! We give this dish a perfect 10!


Tapa Extraordinaire

CBTL -Angus Tapa

TAPA taken to the next level! “Ang sarap!” Served under FILIPINO BREAKFAST, US Angus Tapa has strips of tender beef with garlic rice, sunny side-up egg , baked tomato with pesto, achara jelly and chili balsamic reduction. MY FAVORITE!


Prawn and Steak

CBTL- Surf and Turf

SURF N’ TURF (PHP495) – Pan-roasted hanging tender steak and grilled butterfly prawns topped with marsala sauce and served with mashed potatoes. Come hungry if you want to order this big meal!


CBTL - Cakes

I LOVE THE CAKES! —- My ultimate favorite? The GUILTLESS CHOCOLATE DELIGHT ! Melt-in-your-mouth-chocolate-goodness! YUM YUM!



CBTL - Panna Cotta

PANNACOTTA SAMPLER (PHP 235) – This trio of a dessert has Espresso, Vanilla and Earl grey flavors. Served with two chocolate cookies. The boys and I liked Earl Grey the most. Best shared!

CBTL- apple crumble

APPLE CRUMBLE ALA MODE (PHP235) – Served warm and topped with vanilla ice cream. Very filling indeed!


CBTL- Pancake

TOBLERONE WITH SALTED CARAMEL (PHP235) – three layers of pancake heaven goodness smothered with salted caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream and Toblerone bits! Who can resist this?!!! Tastes even better than it looks! 🙂



YOU MUST SHARE this post, TAG friends,  and ANSWER the questions on the COMMENT SECTION of the BLOG.

1.  What is my favorite dessert from the bistro?

2.  Which dish would you like to try and why?



Did we eat all the food that was served here? YES!  I took a bite out  of everything and took an even bigger bite of the dishes that I favored!  The philosophy of this bistro is best captured in the hashtag  #everydayextraordinary.  The cuisine is creative, delicious and served in generous portions.  I’m sure the food shots in this post made you hungry!  You won’t be disappointed.  Come and let your day be extraordinary by dining at 26th St. Bistro!


CBTL- Welcome Sign


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Hungry? – 212-1212 delivers twoanyone!

You’re craving for your favorite Italian pasta but don’t feel like going out, you have unexpected guests coming over,  your meeting is running late  and everyone is hungry— who will you call to have food delivered?   212-1212 , of course!  Gone are the days when your choice is limited to fastfood delivery.  Now you can order Japanese, Mexican, All-American, Mongolian and just about any cuisine  you prefer  and it will be conveniently brought to your doorsteps.

QUICK DELIVERY the company behind the TWOANYONE brand   has partnered with over 250 dining establishments spread thoughout 500 locations all over the metro. Customers can order by phone, internet or texting .  Mobile ordering is also available by downloading the CLICK THE CITY Lifestyle application on your cellphones.  Super easy right?

QD - Top Brands

The Top Brands of QUICK DELIVERY. Choose from among these and hundreds more! MINIMUM ORDER IS PHP500.



I’m certainly living up to my name “BQP” – make that a bold “B”  for BUSY!  So when the hubby told me that he  had  VIP guests coming over for dinner last weekend,  I felt a bit anxious. I had two interviews that day which left me no time at all to cook! It was the perfect time to call 212-1212.


The Call

I wanted to order from PF Chang’s.  It’s one of our go-to restos when abroad . We are also frequent diners since  it opened in Manila.   I’ve seen the  212-1212 sign in their doors at Alabang Town Center so I know that they deliver in our area.  I placed the call, the Agent asked for my information/address and I gave my order.  “I can’t make up my mind, “ I said. “Miss, ano ba mas ok? (Which ones tastes better?) The Mongolian Beef or the Northern Spare Ribs? “  “Wait lang po, Ma’am, I will call the  restaurant and get back to you.”   She promptly gave me feedback after a few minutes . “Ma’am PF Chang recommends the Mongolian Beef.  The sauce is a perfect blend of sweet and salty. “


Jordan, Twoanyone’s delivery guy, arrived early! Orders may be brought within the hour or twenty-four hours after your call is placed.
I was able to host a successful dinner party last Saturday. Included in the menu : PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef, Crispy Honey Shrimp and Almond and Cashew Chicken. DELICIOUS!


Text and Callback

I felt like cooking my famous spaghetti recipe on a rainy Monday and thought it would best be paired with Chicken Fingers from Friday’s.   This time I ordered via texting. I texted the word “ORDER” to 0918 -2121212.   In less than five minutes,  “Ola” the agent called me.  “I would like two orders of chicken fingers—don’t put pepper on the fries please.” “Ma’am would you like to add salad or drinks to your order?”  “Yes to the salad please!  One small order of the Friday’s Caesar salad.  Can you  have it delivered by 6:30?” I ended the  call by asking Ola to have change ready for my payment.

QD- Friday's collage

We had FRIDAY’s dinner on a rainy Monday! The kids’ favorite Chicken Crispers was served hot. The Caesar Salad was the perfect started course for the fambam! Thank you MARC (delivery guy) for bringing our food inspite of the heavy rains.

Presently, Twoanyone delivers all over Metro Manila  and Cebu 24 hours/7days a week (with the exception of New Year when they deliver until 7pm) .  In need of catering, party packs, or even school supplies?  You want to open a corporate account to cover all the meetings/ events?  What if  you just want to order in advance from your favorite resto and want to pick it  up yourself?  No worries. The able agents can arrange for these too.  You can even pay for an order and have it delivered to the person or place of your choice at the time you prefer (Regalo Delivery).  For more information on the services offered, you may visit the Twoanyone Facebook page at , Twitter  account at and Instagram account at .



1.  What beef dish did I eventually choose for last Saturday’s dinner?

2.  Would you consider using Twoanyone’s service in the future and why?

QD- Giveaway

*Contestants must have a valid Metro Manila address that TWOANYONE can deliver to. For complete list of areas served, visit


Thumbs Up for Prompt and Efficient Service

The BQP tried the delivery service twice and is vey satisfied with the service.  The agents were very courteous, took the  time to explain the menu and listened very well to my instructionss.   On the separate occasions that I used the service, my orders came fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. Now, that’s quick delivery indeed!


The enterprising men behind Qucik Delivery – Business partners Jin Gonzalez (left) and Marco Katigbak.



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