Category: Restaurants

Mentore Coffee + Bar by UCC

Mentore Coffee + Bar by UCCC

We have a lot of western coffee shops in the Philippines.  UCC, on the other hand, is the Japanese version of the coffee shop and it has been running very successfully in the country.

Now UCC has opened up a new venture related to the coffee business.  They called it Mentore Coffee+Bar.  Mentore is an Italian word which means mentor or to teach.  I went to their first branch at SM Aura two months ago and discovered the place with other foodies.  It’s nice to see a different concept of coffee shop.  Mentore has a lot of things to offer.  They have coffee, tea, juices, food such as omurice, spaghetti, soup, curry, rice dishes, grilled food, sandwiches, salads and dessert.

AMBIENCE

Mentore Coffee+Bar by UCC has a pretty big space at SM Aura.  It’s located at one end of the mall.  You can hang out at the middle of the mall which is a pretty good position for friends & families who are waiting for their loved ones in shopping.

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Don’t be fooled by the Mentore entrance at the side.  I thought they only had 2-3 tables inside but I was pleasantly surprised to see how big it was.  It has ample space for coffee aficionados out there 🙂

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My favourite, and the biggest surprise for me is the veranda.  Not only does it give you a very good view of Serendra.  You can even play mini golf!  How cool is that?

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You see, we used to have a mini golf course at the Fort but it didn’t last long.  So when I saw Mentore adding this to their beautiful SM Aura branch, I was just in awe and excited even!

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COFFEE

While UCC offers great coffee, Mentore stretches it by offering more varieties in preparing coffee.

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  1. Syphon highly charismatic visual appeal in coffee making.  Produces a smooth medium body and flavourful cup using a medium ground coffee.  Best with high acidity coffees.
  2. Pour Over – basically the drip method, a cone-shaped paper filter is utilised to extract coffee.  Water at off-the-boil is carefully spread over medium fine grind coffee with an unfailingly clear, fragrant, and seductive coffee cup.
  3. Water Drip – precisely measured cold water is allowed to drip over medium coarse ground coffee over 8 hours.  This produces a brew which is silky with deep coffee nots without the usual acidity.
  4. French Press – first used in French restaurants.  Uses a fine mesh filter plunger unit attached to the lid to separate ground coffee from hot boiling water.  Uses coarse ground coffee and produces a heavy-bodied coffee.
  5. Espresso – coffee done with the espresso machine extracted from 7 grams of fine grind coffee at temperature of 95 degrees celsius with 9 atm in 25-30 seconds.  Produces an ounce of very rich, syrupy, and robust brew.  Not for the fainthearted.

PERRI-ESPRESSO

Mentore’s most popular concoction is the Perri-Espresso (Php 180).  This drink really caught my eye and I was really curious how it tasted and how it is prepared.

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It’s basically a combination of Mentore’s espresso, Perrier sparkling water, and honey syrup.

I love that we get to partake in mixing all the ingredients.  All we need to do is to pour in the espresso, the sparkling water, and the honey syrup into the glass and we’re good to go!  Here, I took a video on how it should be done! 🙂

MENTORE FOOD

Mentore’s food items are a combination of two types of cooking: Western and Japanese.  I’ve tried a couple of dishes during my visit.  I tasted each of the items and I must say, they are definitely yummy!  I’m pretty positive that Mentore will be a household name in the coffee world real soon.  It’ll be just as successful as UCC in Manila 🙂

Let me give a photo diary of some of Mentore’s food items:

  • Omurice – omelette stuffed with buttered tomato rice with your choice of tomato or beef sauce

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Pork Omurice Special with Hamburg (Php 400)

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Mushroom Omurice Special with Vegetable Kakiage (Php 400)

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Chicken Omurice Special with Fried Shrimp (Php 400)

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  • Yoshoku Spaghetti – Mentore’s western-inspired Japanese spaghetti!

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Yoshoku Spa-Butter & Soy Sauce with Egg (Regular – Php 300, Large – Php 390)

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  • Japanese Curry – curry meat sauce mixed with vegetables poured over steamed rice.

Fried Shrimp Curry with Rice (Php 400)

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Hamburg Curry with Rice (Php 400)

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  • Gratin & Doria – dishes with butter, creamy Japanese white sauce, & melted cheese

Shrimp Penne Gratin (Php 340) – if you’re a pasta lover, you’ll love shrimp penne gratin which is pasta-based.

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Shrimp Doria (Php 350) – for rice lovers (like me), the shrimp doria will be our choice as it’s rice-based.

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  • Grilled and Fried Food – served with rice or garlic toast

Grilled Chicken & Fried Shrimp Combo (Php 400)

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  • Salad – fresh leafy greens with Mentore special dressings

Thai Yam Unsen Salad (Php 290) – when ordering salad, I would suggest you get this one.  The spices were just spot on.  You can taste a bit of spicy, salty, sweet and sour in this Thai Yam Unsen salad.  Perfect for picky eaters because I do not think this salad will disappoint anyone.

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Spicy Shabu Shabu Salad (Php 340)

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  • Side Dishes – complements to any meal.

Fried Chicken Wings (Php 130)

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Spinach with Cheese (Php 180)

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  • Dessert – sweet endings to your meal.

Clair Berry (Php 200) – waffle & crepes.  get it? 😉  The way to eat this is by cutting the clair into 4 parts, putting all the berries & ice cream equally unto each part, wrap and bite just like eating crepes.  Yum!

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Kobe Baked Pudding (Php 180) – this might looked simple but boy, this was cooked perfectly and I’m not exaggerating!  a MUST-order!

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Now we all have another place to go to when we are going to hang out with friends.  Mentore will be a very good choice for a good meal + very nice coffee & dessert, all in one place!

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Mentore Coffee + Bar by UCC
SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City, McKinley Parkway corner 26th street, Taguig City, Philippines
Park Terraces, Glorietta, Ayala Center Park Drive corner West street, Makati City, Philippines

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Serenitea Exciting News!

Serenitea Products Promos

Last weekend I got invited by Serenitea Manila for a holiday gathering,  I thought it was just a simple meet up of bloggers.  I was totally shocked when we were given many exciting development news about Serenitea.

I was very interested in the news.  In fact, I just availed of Serenitea’s anniversary promo the week before.  Serenitea would give paying customers from December 18-20, 2013, a free upgrade to 1 liter drink.  Wasn’t that great?

Serenitea Jumbo Drinks

So that time, I was still on a Serenitea high.  You wouldn’t believe that I was able to drink three jumbo drinks last December 20 (yes, three!).  That’s how I’m addicted to Serenitea especially when they have their jumbo promo.

Anyway, enough of my stories.  I know you are eager to know what the new products and promos are.  Without further ado, let me share with you four exciting information about Serenitea!

Low Sugar Pearls

Serenitea Low Sugar Pearls

I know some people who choose 0% on the sweetness level of their drinks because they are very conscious about their health.  Their way of looking out for themselves is to eliminate as much sugar as possible.

Serenitea’s pearl sinkers are good!  I always order them with my drink.  Little did I know that the pearl sinkers are cooked in sugar thus giving our body additional sugar when we take them.  Serenitea’s solution to this is to offer low sugar pearls!  How cool is that?

New Snacks

One of the things that I really like about Serenitea is its snacks particularly the Chicken Chops.  If you remember I was raving about it here in my blog 3 years ago, and I continue to do so.

Serenitea Original Chicken Chops

Starting 2014, Serenitea will be introducing more variants of the chicken chops.

    • Formosa chicken chop – tomato and basil.
    • Western chicken chop – onion & mustard.
    • Thai pepper chicken chop – chili & garlic.

My choice would be the western one.  If you like super spicy food, then I bet your choice would be the thai pepper chicken chop.

Serenitea Chicken Chops

Of course, the corn on a stick will have new variants too!  Tired of pepper?  Then wait till you see the new flavours!

Serenitea Pepper Corn

Seaweed, Curry Wasabe, Wasabe and Cheesy corn.  I believe the name describes the taste pretty clearly.  My choice would be the seaweed corn.  However, the wasabe variants were very interesting.  You get the same feeling when you are dipping your sushi in the wasabe sauce at a Japanese restaurant, and with every bite of Serenitea’s Wasabe corn.

Serenitea Corn on A Stick

You love chicken?  Here’s a new take on chicken wings.  I didn’t taste this at all because I was scared when I saw the chicken wing.  I heard the other bloggers mentioned that it tasted like chicken with spice.  Simple as that.  The chix-on-sticks is priced at Php 85.00.

Serenitea Chicken Wings

I’m just hoping that Serenitea will offer their snacks on all their branches.  Currently, they are only offering food items to select branches namely: Banawe, D. Tuazon, BF Homes, Eastwood, Fort-One tech tower, Greenfield, Katipunan, Rada St., Resorts World, Rob Galleria, Rob Manila, Tomas Morato, The District-Dasma Cavite, Alabang Metro Gaisano, Nuvali Sta Rosa, Evia, 2Ecom Moa, Shangrila Mall and Congressional.

Premium Cakes Available at 2 Serenitea Branches

Serenitea Cakes

Serenitea is definitely gearing up for the new year.  They will be offering a line of premium cakes in their 2 branches: Congressional and Shangri-la.

Cakes like rainbow cake, almond matcha cake, moist chocolate fudge cake, chocolate nutella cake, baked blueberry cheesecake, baked strawberry cheesecake, mango cheesecake, and red velvet cake will be available at those 2 branches.  Wow, so many things to order now at the milk tea place.  Serenitea truly evolved already!

Helmet Umbrella

Serenitea Helmet Umbrella

Last, but definitely not the least, the fad nowadays especially in Makati is…… an umbrella!

Yeah, and I have a certain fondness to Serenitea’s umbrella because it’s uniquely shaped and it’s sooooooooo darn cute!  You have to see it in person to see how stylish it is!

Starting January 15, 2014, Serenitea will be offering the Helmet Umbrella for Php 499 with every purchase of Serenitea products worth Php 300 in a single receipt.  I suggest that if you like it, then purchase it already because Serenitea will only allot 21 umbrellas on each branch.  Thus, the promo will only last until all umbrella are sold and they are not many 🙂

So to summarize — four news for Serenitea customers: Low Sugar Pearls, New Snacks, Premium  Cakes, and the Helmet Umbrella!  Oh just make sure you get the umbrella, it’s really cute!

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Mad for Garlic

Mad for Garlic

I heard about Mad for Garlic from a church friend who have been raving about it over and over.  Due to that, I had this thought that one day, I will try out their food to validate the good review.

I live near the area.  Whenever I pass by the restaurant, it would reminded me that I need to set some time to finally devour the garlicky food that Mad For Garlic serves.  So when friends asked me where to eat for dinner, I suggested we all try out Mad for Garlic.  To my surprise, everyone haven’t tried it!  We were all first-timers!

There are two things I noticed when we entered the restaurant: wines and garlic!  Usually, restaurants have one section where they showcase their wine selection.  This is different for Mad for Garlic as they used most of their decorative space for Wine bottles!  It actually looked very slick!

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The garlic lamps displayed on brick walls showed personality to the place.  It sets the expectation that Mad for Garlic is all about garlic.  I was getting excited but I wondered how the restaurant came about.

Wondering if the garlic they used on their lamps are real?  They aren’t 😛

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Upon research, I found out that Mad for Garlic is actually a popular food chain in Korea.  Mad for Garlic doesn’t serve Korean food though.  The cuisine they serve here was inspired by the many travels of the owner to Italy.  However, there will always be that Korean touch and we can taste it with the spices that Mad for Garlic used.

We asked the waiter for recommendations as we only knew two dishes that are popular in Mad for Garlic.  Being good children (haha!), we followed the advice.

  • Dracula Killer (Php 195)

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Soft Garlic Bread Served with Garlic cooked in Olive Oil and Anchovies.

This must be the most delicious garlic bread I have ever tasted in my life so far!  Thanks to the yummy garlic spread!  The garlic was so soft that you can spread it around the toasted bread to eat together.  The spices were just spot on!  This is a must-order!  Don’t miss ordering this at Mad for Garlic!

  • Garlic Snowing Pizza (Family – Php 545, Personal – Php 325)

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Mad for Garlic Special Sauce topped with Shrimp, Pineapple, and Fried Sliced Garlic.

My friend who was raving about Mad for Garlic caught up with us.  Guess what?  He even ordered this pizza for take out!  I guess it was that good, huh?  For me, the garlic snowing pizza was just okay.  What I especially liked about the order is that they grate the Grana Padano cheese right in front of us. This made quite a difference with the overall experience in eating the pizza.

  • Old Ham & Sausage Pizza (Family – Php 495, Personal – Php 295)

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Creamy Pizza topped with sausage, ham, bacon, and black pepper in Mad for Garlic Special Sauce.

Among the 2 pizza dishes that we ordered, I liked this the most.  I guess I’m just a super meat lover, haha!  Oh, another thing that I really enjoyed with Mad for Garlic pizza is their dough.  It’s thin just the way I like it!

  • Grilled Chicken and Mushroom (Regular – Php 450, Single – Php 275)

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Risotto cooked with Spinach and Three kinds of mushroom topped with grilled chicken.

This is what I call a perfect harmony between two distinct dishes: grilled chicken and mushroom risotto.  The flavours were just perfect, al dente!  I think I would want to devour this all by myself next time.

  • Dancing Salsa Rice with Steak (Family – Php 395, Single – Php 245)

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Garlic Rice served with Wine-Marinated beef, topped with Fresh Bean Sprout and Fried Egg.

We got this dish for free.  Apparently, Mad for Garlic provides a free garlic dish card for paying customers that we can use for our next visit.  The card is good for one month.   I think this is a good bonus for us even though they don’t really need to convince us to come back 🙂  The food speaks for itself.

  • Arrabbiata (Regular – Php 475, Single – Php 285)

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Three kinds of Chilis with Bacon slices in Homemade Tomato Sauce.

Last but definitely not the least is the Arrabbiata.  This tomato-based pasta was made with different kinds of chilis and slices of bacon.  There’s no argument that any dish with bacon taste good.  Enough said.

Mad for Garlic definitely didn’t disappoint!  Oh boy, would you believe we finished all the dishes that we ordered in less than an hour?  And take note, no leftovers!  We were all super satisfied and happy with the food that we ate.

I have to commend Mad for Garlic for their innovative style in preparing the dishes with garlic.  I don’t think it’s as simple as putting garlic in all their dishes.  Especially with the dracula killer, I felt that the chefs did their research.  They may have mastered the art of preparing garlic in so different ways!

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I will be back for sure!

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Mad for Garlic – Italian Wine Bistro
W Global Center, 30th St cor 9th Ave., Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Philippines
+63-2-808-9517

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A Merry Merry Christmas from Seattle’s Best

Seattle's Best Christmas

If you follow me via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you might have noticed my posts yesterday about sampling new drinks from Seattle’s Best and being able to see firsthand their 2014 Dream Journal.  I was lucky to be one of the first few bloggers who were invited for a preview of Seattle’s Best christmas offerings!

So here I am sharing what I learned from the event.  It was truly an enjoyable experience considering we didn’t have a slightest idea on what was in store for us.

We went to their dela rosa branch where we were greeted by Seattle’s Best friendly managers.  They were obviously excited about what they were sharing with us.  It’s funny how they were trying to be composed yet it was pretty obvious how eager they were! haha!

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Look at that big smile Eric gave us!  You see, he was only on his first slide!  I said to myself, this must be good.  He started with sharing what the upcoming holiday drinks are.  As Eric showed the slide about one drink, we saw a server bringing the drink to us.  And boy, we were all in awe!  I thought candy decorations are only fit for cupcakes but apparently, it also works for coffee!

Apart from the holiday drinks, Eric showed us mockup photos of Seattle’s Best Coffee shops with the christmas decorations.  Lastly, he explained the different features of the most awaited Seattle’s Best 2014 Dream Journal.  We got ourselves a planner to bring home!  Whee!

seattles best presentation

Ready to know what kind of treats Seattle’s Best has in store for us?  Here! 🙂

Seattle’s Best 2013 Holiday Drinks

The holiday drinks are composed of four different flavored coffee based on Seattle’s Best famous White chocolate mocha and classic mocha.  What I love about them is the decoration and the distinct taste & flavour of each drink.  Never have I imagined that I would see gingerbread man on my coffee!  It works and I just love it!  How can coffee be so cute?!?! <3

  • Gingerbest

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SBC’s white chocolate mocha infused with gingerbread syrup, garnished with whipped cream, topped with Christmas tree candy sprinkles and gingerbread candy man.

  • Roasted Hazelnut

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SBC’s classic mocha harmoniously mixed with roasted hazelnut and coffee syrups topped with a cloud of whipped cream, crushed hazelnuts and snowflakes candies.

  • Eggnog Frost

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SBC’s white chocolate mocha perfectly combined with eggnog and cinnamon vanilla flavors topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with silver candy beads.

  • Cookies & Mint

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SBC’s classic mocha with a tempting mix of Oreo cookies and mint syrup covered with whipped cream and crushed Oreo cookies. An SBC all-time Christmas favorite.

If I have to rank the 4 drinks, I would say Eggnog Frost is my first choice, Gingerbest is second, Roasted Hazelnut as third and Cookies & Mint as fourth.  It’s pretty obvious that I would choose Eggnog Frost and Gingerbest because I super love Seattle’s Best white chocolate mocha.  In fact, it has been my staple order whenever I visit Seattle’s Best! hehe 🙂

Once you tried any of Seattle’s Best 2013 holiday drinks, let me know which one you like!

The Seattle’s Best 2014 Dream Journal

As we enjoy this year’s christmas drinks, it’s time to get ourselves and/or our friends a Christmas gift.  In normal coffee shop fashion, Seattle’s Best is offering its 2014 Dream Journal!

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The Dream Journal comes in four colours: charcoal gray, brown, peach, and purple!

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While listening to Eric present about their 2013 Christmas Plans for Seattle’s Best, I can’t help but notice their attention to detail.

Just look at the many features of Seattle’s Best 2014 Dream journal: monthly calendar, a music CD compilation (love this! <3), coaster, cute metal bookmark, notepads, stickers, and Php 3,000 worth of freebies!

seattles best planner

There are indeed a lot of features about the Seattle’s Best 2014 Dream journal but the best one is that every redemption of this beautiful item will help the children of World Vision!  After all, we celebrate the holidays by giving! 🙂

So how do we get one?

  1. Accumulate 18 stickers by purchasing 8 holiday drinks and 10 regular Seattle’s Best drinks from October 24, 2013 to January 15, 2014.
  2. Once complete, present your SBC Dream Card to the cashier to redeem the 2014 Dream Journal.  You can do this from October 24, 2013 to March 16, 2014.

One day more to go and we can all start collecting stickers!

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Indeed, it’s a merry, merry christmas from Seattle’s Best Coffee!

Get ready for some nice holiday decorations on all their branches starting tomorrow!  We saw a bit of preview during the event earlier and I must say, entering a Seattle’s Best branch will remind us of our childhood Christmas.  Think of alphabet toy blocks, drummer boy and choo choo trains!  It’s like entering Santa’s workshop!  So make sure to visit any branch of Seattle’s Best during this holiday season and you’ll feel the joy of Christmas!  Ho Ho Ho!

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Seattle’s Best Christmas Treats
October 24, 2013 to January 15, 2014
http://www.seattlesbest.com.ph

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Relik New Lunch Specials at Php 199

Relik New Lunch Specials

I’ve written about Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge  already.  I mentioned how it changed my outlook about bars.  Places like Relik Bar while popular at night time, do serve delish food during daytime too!

Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge used to have the Php 350 lunch sets that include a main dish, soup, and salad.  I guess after more than a year of operations, they realised that some people prefer to spend only minimal amount on meals.  Just last month, Relik launched their new lunch specials that include free iced tea!  And now, they’re offering it at Php 199!  I got to try some Relik’s lunch offerings a few weeks ago.  I must admit, I liked them all.  However, my favorite has got to be the Chorizo pasta just because they didn’t scrimp on the main ingredient.

  • Cheesy Tomato Pork Belly

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24 hours sous vide port topped with tomato cheese fondue and baked in the oven.

Who wouldn’t want to eat several pieces of uber-tender pork belly?  I certainly want it!  Relik made a twist by putting tomato and cheese on top of it (usually restaurants use mushroom sauce)!  Served with fries.  I would probably request for Relik to change it the side dish to rice.  Other than that, well-done dish!

  • Relik Solomillo

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Photo from Relik’s FB Page

Grilled sirloin steak with garlic rice and buttered vegetables.

The steak wasn’t available during the time that I was sampling the lunch specials.  I saw the photo in Relik’s Facebook page.  Look at how big that steak was!  The next time I try to eat lunch at the Fort, I will order this one.

  • Pesto Fish Fillet

fish pesto

Photo from Relik’s FB Page

Poached dory drizzled with home made pesto sauce with a side of grilled potato hash.

For health conscious people, the pesto fish fillet is the lunch special to order.  I wasn’t able to try this too but I will most likely order this as I have a special fondness to fish.  Mostly because I want to lose weight 🙂

  • Chorizo Chorizo Pasta

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Spaghetti with an olio based sauce and two types of Spanish chorizo

For pasta lovers, Relik offers the chorizo pasta.  If you like Italian pasta, then you will love this as they put garlic, olive sauce, parsley & parmesan cheese.  What made me like this dish is the generous amount of spanish chorizo.  Every forkful of this chorizo pasta was just heavenly!

  • Boneless Fried Chicken

Relik Lunch Special 3

With honey tomato fondue and chorizo fried rice.

One of my friends ordered this for the second time because the chicken tasted really good especially when it was freshly served.  The skin was crispy, chicken wasn’t too oily, and we didn’t need to do much work as Relik already removed the bones for us!

So there, if your office is located inside Bonifacio Global City, you have one more option for lunch!  Try out Relik’s new lunch specials at Php 199 with complimentary iced tea.  They are available mondays to fridays, 11:30AM to 2:30PM.

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Relik Tapas Bar and Lounge
Lunch: M-F, 11:30am to 2:30pm, Dinner & Cocktails: daily, 5:30pm onwards
2nd floor, Commercenter Building, 31st Ave cor. 4th St. Bonifacio Global City, 1200 Taguig, Philippines
+63-2-6248251 & +639175298333

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