Camiguin’s best kept secret: Peninsular Kape Art

Camiguin’s best kept secret: Peninsular Kape Art

Camiguin has a gem of a restaurant at its helm serving delicious Spanish cuisine.

Good food at island destinations usually means a visit to someone’s home or a quick trip to the public market, where small eateries usually reside. Visiting Camiguin will almost tempt you to do this—until you actually explore the area around where most of their resorts reside.

Tucked away among the homestays, apartelles, and resorts of the closest beach to White Island is Peninsular Kape Art, a quaint restaurant that not only serves great coffee but also acts as a place where most foreigners, especially Spaniards, flock in.

It feels like home. It’s all wood, and has that vibe of a Spanish villa.

The all-wood interiors give off a vibe unlike any you’ve seen in Camiguin, apart from the ultra-high-end Bahay Bakasyunan. You’ve got a near-perfect view of White Island with tables set-up so you can enjoy your meal alongside the sounds and smells of the sea.

Food

Their Seafood Paella is to die for, and is as close to authentic as you can get in Camiguin.
The Gambas ajillo is simple enough: shrimp, garlic, and olive oil. Do it right and it will be a good start to your night.
This is Laura, the woman behind all that is good at Peninsular Kape Art.

The lady in the kitchen, Laura, is a Spaniard, and she whips up some of the best grub on the island. Make sure you get the Arroz Negra or the Seafood Paella. It’ll blow your socks off. Can’t decide on your tapas? Go for their sampler plate!

Drinks

These imported cold cuts go well with beer… or a red sangria. Or both.
Make sure you ask for at least ONE of these after your meal (from left to right): brownie with ice cream, frozen cheese cake, mango float. They’re all so good!

Another thing that sets this place apart from other restaurants in the area is their extensive drinks menu. They serve a mean pitcher of sangria made with fruits that are in season. Don’t forget to ask for craft beers from Cebruery if you’re in the more for more booze.

The basics
Php800 (USD16) per person
Rocky Village, Yumbing, Mambajao, Camiguin
Tel: +63977 855 2050
Facebook.com/PeninsularKapeArt

SkyJet Airlines offers direct flights to Camiguin 5 times weekly.

Experience all-in hassle-free tours of Camiguin by booking #DashHolidays
Tel: +63917 840 6853, +639917 627 6179
Solar Century Tower, 100 Tordesillas cor. HV Dela Costa Streets, Salcedo Village, Makati City

Words: Andrew De Rosario Photos: Daniel Soriano

It’s 90s all over again at newly opened Sobre Mesa

It’s 90s all over again at newly opened Sobre Mesa

Relive the era of new wave and cassette tapes as you wine and dine at Sobre Mesa, Shangri-La Plaza Mall’s newest restaurant.

It’s familiar in more ways than one.

Sobre Mesa is a bit hidden (or as hidden as can be) if you’re ever in the area of Ortigas. The nearest (and by far, the most accessible one) is at the fourth level of Shangri-La Plaza’s East Wing, home to some of the business district’s top and trendy restaurants.

The whites and oranges give off a 90’s vibe in a way that other places don’t.
Add this to the mix and you’ve got a semi-nostalgia-inducing pregame resto for the night.

Sobre Mesa doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb from the hallway of said fouth level until you get into within a couple of meters of it. It’ll hit you (if you’re of the right age) with nostalgia, what with posters of hit TV series Friends and Backstreet Boys greeting you as you enter. The colors are a bit of a throwback, with whites and oranges dominating the scene. You’ve got your classic wooden counter with bottles of brews/spirits on the top shelf, with aforementioned posters just a little bit below that.

Food

If you’re in the mood for large, comforting servings that you can share with friends, Sobre Mesa will not disappoint.

Who is Tito Japs? We’re not sure, but we understand why he likes this so much.

The biggest hit we tasted for the rebranded Sobre Mesa was Tito Jap’s Bulalo Estofado. It’s a unique take on the classic bulalo with beef that’s tender enough to be cut with a spoon swimming in a combination of rich broth spiced up with soy and citrus sauce. That zing from the citrus makes this dish worth hogging, but it is for sharing so don’t.

Go for the red Arroz Con Pollo y Chorizo if you want something familiar.
Or Arroz Negra for a Spanish resto staple.

Their paellas (which they call Arroz) are also a winner in our books. If you want something that has a bit of an interesting look and flavor, try the Arroz Negra. Not feeling black? Go for the tomato-ey Arroz Con Pollo y Chorizo.

This was one of the best cheesecakes a couple of years back. Still is in our book.

Save some room for their Salted Caramel and Banana Cheesecake. It’s worth its weight (and the wait) and will not drive your palate nuts with too much sweetness, thanks to the salted caramel.

Drinks

Not much can be said for Sobre Mesa’s drinks. They’ve got the “good for everyone” set of sodas, juices, and what not, but they also have some of the more interesting stuff like the Sangria.

The sangria’s done really well and goes with the food instead of being the star.

By the way, the first round of sangria is on them when you visit, so go ahead. It also comes with their homemade bread so you don’t have to completely starve before your orders come in.

Verdict: 8/10

Flavors at Sobre Mesa won’t blow you away (unless you get their cheesecake, which will). Everything meshes well at Sobre Mesa, from the food to the drinks to the atmosphere in either their Shangri-La Plaza or Sapphire Bloc (the original) branches.

Up the whole value-for-money gig with this big Chicken and Steak Platter.

It also helps that they’ve got a couple of tricks up their sleeve with promos like a pre-senior discount (16%) every Wednesday (only if you’re born between ‘75 and ‘90) dubbed Titos and Titas Day and Happy Hour, Every Hour from 5pm onwards.

If you ask us, it’s a place for your pregame before you head out and paint the town red. Or a good way to end your workday. Either way, if you’re a certified Tito/Tita of Manila, this place is worth a visit.

The Basics
Php2,500 (USD50) for two or three people
L4, East Atrium, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
Mobile: +63917 624 5470
Facebook and Instagram: @sobremesaph

Words: Andrew Del Rosario

Eat and sip Ilocos in Makati at Agimat Foraging Bar

Eat and sip Ilocos in Makati at Agimat Foraging Bar

Beginning this sunny month of April, Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen will take us all the way to the bountiful northern province of Ilocos for a tasteand sipof its wonderful exotic flavors.

If you live and/or work in Makati yet have never been to Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen, then you need to get to this place pronto. They’ve been a hit with Poblacion’s regulars thanks to the way they present flavors from Chefs Kalel Demetrio’s and Niño Laus’s foraging trips across the country.

Sit under this tree in Poblacion and you might just get the most interesting drink you’ve ever had.

Agimat carried the flavors of Batangas from the day they opened late in 2018, but we’ve got news for you: some of those are out starting this April. Where are they taking us? Ilocos. That’s where.

For the uninitiated, Agimat’s menu is nowhere near traditional. What Chef Kalel and Chef Niño do is present ingredients they foraged from a certain province (or, in this case, provinces) in a way that you will certainly remember.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store for your tummy for the next four or five months at Agimat:

Start your meal with this. Or let it BE your meal. We won’t judge.

For your appetizer (and yes, it qualifies as an appetizer), a plate of savory alimasag (blue swimmer crab) with Alavar sauce from Zamboanga (yes, it’s not Ilocos, but it goes so well with crab), Patani hummus (see what we said about the menu not being traditional), Caramay foam, and rice wrapped in a Gamet (seaweed grown in Ilocos Norte) crust.

A duck leg on top of some delicious and healthy adlai and kinuday sausages. Good eats. Good eats.

A serving of itik (duck) a la pianggang (a Tausug classic, but not an exact recreation) on a bed of adlai (healthier rice substitute) with inuday (the Ibaloi version of smoked meat) sausages as your main dish.

There’s a short rib underneath all that beef floss and green, squiggly (yet delicious) alokon.

Alternatively, you can get their tender kitayama short ribs buried deep-ish beneath a pile of beef floss and alokon or Birch flower (though it’s not even related to the birch tree).

The drinks (the part menu that Agimat is well-known for) still follow their theme of “five elements:” fire, water, earth, air, and life, with a couple of mainstays making it over from the Batangas menu.

Diegong Bagsik. It lives up to its name if the ingredients are anything to go by.

Take this northern-inspired drink aptly called Diegong Bagsik. Imagine drinking something from inside a candle (no, you’re not using the candle as a glass) that has gin AND a cold brew liqueur.

Then there’s this beauty: Laban ni Gabriela.

The Laban ni Gabriela looks like something straight out of a fairy tale, making full use of everything local: blue pea gin from Liquido Maestro’s own distillery in Aklan, basi (a drink from Ilocos made with fermented sugarcane), and some good old mountain tea.

Yes, Agimat is tucked away in one of Poblacion’s hard-to-park streets, but a trip to this unique bar and kitchen (since we’re not willing to call it a restaurant) is a risk worth taking.

Verdict: 10/10

The Basics
About Php1,000 (USD 20) per person
Alfonso corner Fermina Streets, Poblacion, Makati
Fb.com/agimatbar

Words: Andronico Del Rosario
Photos: Daniel Soriano

Eat the city with love

Eat the city with love

If you are looking for a unique date night, why not try resto-hopping and taste these 10 recommended bites from foodies JJ Yulo and Mark Del Rosario? The adventure may just stir something up!

Oyster Sisig from Locavore

The restaurant is known for putting a twist on classic Filipino dishes, and while they are known for their famous Sizzling Sinigang, their Oyster Sisig is an underrated must-try. At Locavore, it comes in two versions: the fried Oyster Sisig (Php370), which is exactly what the name suggests, and the Lechon Oyster Sisig (Php380), which is the same thing, except with crunchy lechon bits.

Locavore.ph

Bibingka & Puto Bumbong from Via Mare

Something sticky and good for sharing like the bibingka of Via Mare, for sure, is a winner to dating couples. Photo by Jocas See

Filipinos love rice so much, they put it in every dish, including desserts. The bibingka and puto bumbong (Php80) are rice cakes that are particularly favored no matter what time of the year. At Via Mare, they are available all year round, and are best eaten as a snack. The bibingka comes in three versions: one with Laguna cheese and salted duck egg (Php130), one with Laguna cheese and edam cheese (Php160), and the last one made out of cassava (Php100).

Viamare.com.ph

Ube dirty ice cream from your friendly neighborhood ice cream man

It’s delicious, it’s cheap, and you can find them everywhere in Manila. Photo by Jocas See

It is not uncommon to see an ice cream vendor wheeling around a colorful ice cream cart on the streets of the metro. If you happen to encounter one, there is your golden opportunity to try the delicious cool purple treat flavored by purple yam and coconut milk. Most days, a scoop or two of ube ice cream is all you’ll need to cool down on a humid day. Don’t worry; it’s not really dirty.

Powerplant Mall in Rockwell, Makati

Halo-halo at Milky Way Cafe

It may still be cold, but you’ll be wishing for one of these soon enough. By Jocas See

Described by food writer JJ Yulo as “Manila in a bowl,” this dish is a hodgepodge of shaved ice, evaporated milk, sweet beans, tapioca pearls, coconut slices, flan—and yes, ube ice cream again. Many restaurants serve this dish, but the one at Milky Way Cafe is considered by many to be the best.

Cafe.milkywayrestaurant.com

Buko pie by Little Flour

The Filipino version of apple pie, Little Flour’s buko or coconut pie (Php220/slice), with its perfectly flaky crust, is a cult favorite.

Wildflour.com.ph/littleflour

Boneless Crispy Pata by Pamana

Sharing stories over ice-cold beer paired with the right food is distinctly Filipino. In most cases, it’s crispy pata–deep-fried pork knuckles served with soy sauce and vinegar. The one served at Pamana (Php650) is a favorite because it’s boneless and oh-so-tender.

Pamanarestaurant.com

Watermelon & beef short rib sinigang by Manam

Manam has managed to find a new way of giving this staple Filipino dish its signature sour flavor. This warm bowl is perfect to be shared by a loved up couple.

If you really want to get a handle on Filipino cuisine, sinigang is a dish you just have to try. To make the experience more memorable, try Manam’s unconventional take on the beloved Pinoy sour soup (Php245/small serving).

Facebook.com/ManamPh

Isaw by Sarsa Kitchen

Yes, those are chicken intestines; and they taste bloody brilliant.

Filipino street food is always intriguing, but very few visitors and even locals are willing to take the plunge and actually try them straight from the streets. That’s where Sarsa’s isaw (grilled intestines) comes in. This version is cleaned out and flavored to perfection. You can try the chicken or spicy chicken isaw (Php185), pork isaw (Php195), or beef isaw (Php210).

Sarsa.ph

Mutton adobo by Abe

Another unbeatable Filipino favorite, adobo, comes in as many versions as there are cooks. This dish from Abe (Php545) is particularly delectable, and unique in its use of mutton as the main meat.

Ljcrestaurants.com.ph/abe

Toyo Eatery’s tasting menu

There’s always something new at Toyo Eatery, but it’s not so new that it’s not familiar.

Toyo Eatery’s food has gotten much praise for its creativity in using local produce. Their food is not no-nonsense fare for people who just want to fill their bellies. Every dish comes with a complex story that is inspired by a facet of Filipino culture. Their tasting menu (Php2,900) includes dishes such as burnt squash soup, Aklan oysters, and garden vegetables served in unique way, and is the best way to sample what this exciting restaurant has to offer.

Facebook.com/toyoeatery

Who are JJ Yolo and Mark Del Rosario?

  • JJ Yulo, a popular food writer, published in the likes of Esquire and Spot.ph, and the founder of the blog Pinoy Eats World.
  • Mark Del Rosario, founder of Let’s Eat Pare, a top online food community.

Words by Amelie Llaga

A beach bar in the middle of high rises

A beach bar in the middle of high rises

Craving the beach but stuck in the city? Tropical themed Coconut Club at the heart of trendy Bonifacio Global City in Taguig might help cure your woes.

This would have been a seaside bar if BGC had a beach.

With the Coconut Club’s tropical interiors and a bit of imagination, you can easily pretend that the ocean is right outside the door–even for just a few hours.

The Piña col piña, a house specialty.

The bar serves up several fruity cocktails to go with the tropical theme. There are mai tais and piña coladas that are given a Coconut Club twist, but even better, there are liquor-laced slushies at just Php120 that are as refreshing as they are buzz-inducing. With fun drinks, a pop playlist, and tables that are set very close to each other, don’t be surprised if you end a night here with a few new friends. Head there from 2pm to 7pm to catch their Happy Hour, where the slushies are available for only Php95.

Average cost per person: Php300 for drinks; Facebook.com/raintreecoconutclubph

Words by Amelie Llaga

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