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Lovely Meals and Desserts at Icings Bakery & Cafe

The cafe’s teal and coffee brown color scheme doesn’t scream. Instead, it welcomes you to their quiet place where you can enjoy a lovely meal.

Before catching the Festival of Lights at the Vertis North Event Grounds, my family and I decided to have dinner first. Since the restaurants at the ground floor were already full, we went to the second level of the mall. That is where a simple yet Instagram-worthy bakery and cafe caught our attention. Read More

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December 2018 Blog Roundup + Welcoming 2019

Hola, amigos! Feliz Pascuas y Prospero Año Nuevo. 🙂

Sorry! I’ll be writing in full English starting now. It’s just that I’m spending a lot of time with my relatives and the main language is Chavacano which is making me confused at times. Should I answer in Filipino or Chavacano? Anyway, I’m glad to be writing this entry on New Year’s Eve because I get to take a very short break from all that!

Moving on! Do you remember the last thing I said on my November 2018 Blog Roundup + December Plans? Just a recap: My November was full on bad but it ended great which made me very hopeful and thus, leaving this statement.

“Let’s see where December takes me.”

I am happy to report that my December is/was great and I intend to bring the good things over to 2019. It has been a very long time since I felt that kind of joy. I literally went with the flow and I enjoyed every moment.

For more than 10 years, I guess, I keep counting the seconds because I have to make sure i get to everything for my family. This month, I got to do that and have fun at the same time. Sure, I didn’t have a grand vacation. Heck, I didn’t even leave the city or the country. But it was pure bliss. Thank you, universe! 🙂 Thank you, papa Jesus!

Blogger Life

For my second life. Yes, most people are living a double life and I mean that in a good way. 🙂 I want to share that I wrote several food reviews this month because I finally got the chance to attend a foodie meetup and also go out with my family and friends.

Full list of reviews here: November Food Reviews

For the foodie meetup, I got to experience this New Restaurant – Bistro Charlemagne at Ayala Malls Feliz. Since I do not live in the area, I decided to have a lunch with my family before the event. Cafe Perene caught my grandmother’s eye. ❤

Btw, have you seen SM North EDSA’s newest wing? Since I wanted to check their Art Walk, I brought my abuelita and ninong along and enjoyed a hearty feast at Hukad, North Towers. Oh, I also made a video about this!

Here you go!

VLogs

Speaking of videos, have you been to Liwanag Park? It’s been raining a lot lately making it difficult for people to visit the park. If you haven’t had the chance yet, I have a walk through video on my YouTube channel as well as other family Christmas attractions in the north.

Make sure to subscribe and follow me on social media!

Now for my last update. It’s about my film reviews. I really have to work on my schedule here. I know I’m already writing food review and making video but I really love watching films and sharing my thoughts.

For now, you can check my latest post featuring Filipino Films You Can Stream on NETFLIX Right Now. I’ve seen some of them in theatres and already wrote a review. If you want to read them, I have included the links as well.

I hope you enjoy reading and watching the videos!

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Gracias, amigo!
Clari

Enjoy a Hearty Feast at Hukad, North Towers

Golden Cowrie, Cebu’s homegrown restaurant has been bringing families together since it opened its doors in Lahug, Cebu City in 1982. Fast forward to 2018, the Filipino restaurant continues to offer traditional Filipino flavors along with its restaurant venture – Hukad.

The brand Hukad which means “limitless servings of food” was developed in 2008. Like the Golden Cowrie, Hukad also brings native Filipino cuisine WITH THE ADDITION of fresh and exciting dishes to welcome the new wave of customers. The Cebu-grown brand now has branches all over the country one of which is located at the newly-opened wing of SM North EDSA.

Hukad, North Towers

If I’m not mistaken, the North Towers opened on December 7th along with their art walk installation. I really wanted to see the creations of our young, talented Filipino artists so my family and I decided to hear the mass early and go straight to the North Towers.

Thank goodness the building have plenty of parking spaces. It really helped lessen the traffic due to the Christmas rush. Anyway as I was looking for the art walk, my grandmother noticed a line building in front of this well-lit restaurant. Since it was almost lunch time, we decided to enter Hukad.

Hukad has a simple signage and interior but the vibe; not to mention, the staff are very welcoming. They were also very conscious about the elderly and would really help them out. Speaking of which, my grandmother accidentally spilled her iced tea twice. We feel very sorry but they very kind, understanding and quick to react. *Thank you so much – I don’t know your names but we visited on December 9th lunch time.

Moving on, Hukad offers classic Filipino dishes as well as new notable dishes perfect for sharing. They actually have various choices which include: Bicol Express, Crispy Pata, Lechon Belly, Baby Prawns Sinigang, and Baked Bantayan Scallops. For our first visit, we enjoyed the following dishes:

Hukad Gambas

Hukad’s gambas is cooked with egg, stir-fried in spices and chili peppers for a spicy kick.

Adobong Talong

This sweet and savory eggplant dish is a crowd favorite.

Baked Bantayan Scallop

Fresh Bantayan Island scallops topped with special cheese.

¼ Kilo of Lechon Belly

Of, course we didn’t pass up the chance to taste one of the things Cebu is famous for! This lechon belly is crispy on the outside and juicy, tender and so flavorful pork belly meat on the inside.

Sago’t Gulaman

Hukad’s takes this Pinoy thirst-quenching sweet refreshment to the next level with sweetened pearls and colorful gulaman.

My family and I had a great Sunday feast here at Hukad. Their food are delicious and worth every Peso. If you want to try their lechon belly, I can honestly say that it is good. But keep in mind that there are also other great dishes Hukad has to offer such as the Baked Bantayan Scallop and Hukad Gambas. Both of these especially the scallop are so tasty. You’ll definitely every bite. And oh! I love their Sago’t Gulaman. They really did level it up. It made me forget I was craving for milk tea that day.

Want to enjoy a hearty feast with the whole family?
You can find Hukad at the Second Floor North Towers,
SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
Happy eating!

Cafe Perene: Ayala Malls Feliz

Ayala Malls Feliz opened its doors on December last year. Since I don’t live in the area, I was not aware of its existence until I received an invitation from a friend. It was for a foodie meetup which was set in the afternoon. But since it was a Sunday, my family and I went to mass early and travelled to Ayala Malls Feliz, Pasig City for a little family bonding.

We got there just in time for lunch. So the first thing we did was check the restaurants. The mall has various good choices but the one that caught our eye is Cafe Perene.

Cafe Perene is the sister restaurant of Forget Me Not Cafe which is a homegrown restaurant and a pioneer of the Lilac Food Strip in Marikina. The latter is known for its delicious comfort food and homey experience. If you want to experience that as well as other local favorites and homemade cakes, Cafe Perene is the perfect place.

Just look at the photos I took. Even if you’re outside, you still get a good look of their beautiful and cosy cafe. The walls are clean complete with a simple design. The light fixtures vary per area that provides a bright and warm atmosphere. The tables and chairs are also pretty; not to mention, the arrangement gives diners and staff plenty of space.

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For the food, Cafe Perene offers a variety of soup, salad, quick bites, sandwiches and pasta as well as heavy main dishes, platters and set meals. For our first visit, we ordered the following:

Tomato Soup

Ravioli

Lasagna

Stuffed Chicken Breast

Strawberry Milkshake

All of these dishes tasted great! I honestly can’t pick a favorite but if you love pasta, I suggest the Ravioli. Their handmade ravioli with spinach and ricotta cheese on alfredo sauce is very flavorful and in a way comforting. Their lasagna, on the other hand, is also good but quite different (well, from the ones I tasted).

Their lasagna is also handmade with lots of cheese, meat and béchamel sauce. According to research, béchamel sauce, also known as white sauce, is made from a white roux and milk. It has been considered, since the seventeenth century, one of the mother sauces of French cuisine. It is used as the base for other sauces.

If you prefer their main dish, you’ll never go wrong with their Stuffed Chicken Breast. It’s poached chicken breast is stuffed with spinach, cheese and bacon. All the flavors blend well together. We just wish they added more sauce. It made the already tasty dish even more tastier. ❤

Since we were fully satisfied, we weren’t able to try their cakes. We did; however, try their Strawberry Milkshake and boy was it good.

The question now is, will we go back? Sure, but it will take a while because we do not live near the area. I do hope they have other branches we can easily visit.

P.S Their staff that day was really friendly and accommodating. When we passed by in the evening after my event, they still have a smile on their face.

Want to enjoy a meal or a cake at Cafe Perene?
You can find them at the Upper Ground Floor,
Ayala Malls Feliz, Dela Paz, Pasig City
Happy eating!
Cafe Perene Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Mary Grace: A Taste of Home

There are times when my family and I attend mass at The Block – SM North EDSA. If we do, we usually go to the main building or the Skygarden for lunch. But one Sunday a beautiful cafe near the second floor entrance caught my abuelita’s (grandmother) eye.

That cafe is called Cafe Mary Grace.

I’ve noticed this cafe before and wanted to take my abuelita there but they’re almost always full. And if you have a grandparent with you, they usually can’t stand the waiting game. Good thing, we were there early and there were still a few seats available.

When we got there, the staff were all busy but the manager or supervisor was there and she was very friendly and accommodating. She said she’ll get a table ready for us. In just a split second, the table was ready and we were ushered to our table beside the window. Lovely!

While contemplating on what to order, I noticed that the staff follow a system. When you order, they’ll add it in a tentative receipt. If you decide to add more, they’ll update it again. I honestly think it’s a waste of paper but then it actually helps. In that way, both the diner and staff will be able to keep track of the order.

In terms of serving them, well, our food did take a while to arrive. It wasn’t annoying though because they’re not a fast food chain. After all, the essence of Mary Grace is the GOODNESS OF HOME, where fresh from the oven pastries and good home-cooked meals warm the heart and soul. So expect the food you order will be prepared well and taste great.

I can guarantee that with the dishes we ordered:

SIRLOIN BEEF TAPA: With sunny side-up eggs

SEAFOOD PASTA: A medley of fresh clams, mussels, prawns, squid and cream dory enhanced with herbs, olives and mushrooms.

SMOKED SALMON & CREAM: Smoked salmon sauteéd with garlic cream and dill.

Obviously, there were three of us. But as always I tasted all the dishes! 🙂

Let’s start with the breakfast plate – Sirloin Beef Tapa. This one can be served with scrambled eggs or sunny side-up eggs. You can even choose your rice – Signature Rosemary Fried Rice or Garlic Fried Rice. This taste good with their Signature Rosemary Fried Rice. Furthermore, all their breakfast choices are homemade without preservatives and marinated fresh daily. You can tell that it truly is because the beef is so tender and flavorful.

Next is the Seafood Pasta and Smoked Salmon & Cream. We ordered two different pastas just in case my abuelita don’t like the one she ordered. Lo and behold, she enjoyed her original order which is the Seafood Pasta. It’s a beautiful medley of fresh clams, mussels, prawns, squid and cream dory. What put this dish together is the delightful flavors from the herbs, olives and mushrooms. Oh by the way, their garlic bread is to die for. It’s so good.

Now for the Smoked Salmon & Cream pasta which ended as my lunch was great. I usually go for my favorite Pesto or Carbonara sauce. But my abuelita was for craving for a seafood pasta so we ordered two different seafood ones. I’m happy I had the smoked salmon. The flavor of sauteéd with garlic cream and dill were intensely satisfying. Again, the garlic bread which already tasted good became even better when I dipped it in my pasta sauce.

Cafe Mary Grace really do serve quality homemade dishes. But since their price are quite steep, I would only go here once in a while and during special occasions!

Want to give them a visit?

You can find Cafe Mary Grace at the
Second Floor, The Block, SM City North EDSA,
Bago Bantay, Quezon City
Cafe Mary Grace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato