My Love Affair with Milkyway

Perhaps one of the oldest known restaurants in Manila, Milkyway has withstood the test of time with old favorites that are done consistently well. I love entering Milkyway and seeing a more seasoned crowd, obviously returning because the place takes them back to a different time, giving them a few hours where they can reminisce. I also love the staff because they too understand that this place serves more than just great food but allows people to re-live great memories. Every time I come in, they welcome me and excitedly comment on how the kids have grown. I’m sure this tradition will last in our family and that my girls will keep returning, perhaps one day with their children. Here are some of my choice dishes in truly one of favorite places, Milkyway.

My Lunch or Dinner Choices

Garlic Rice

This with EVERYTHING… The garlic rice is fluffy and has just the right amount of sautéed garlic and salt. I usually pair it with Filipino favorites, starting with a soup like monggo or sinigang. Milkyway’s monggo guisado is nice and thick plus the chicharon on top makes it extra special.

Monggo Guisado

Sinigang na Baka

I continue my meal with a meat and seafood option. What I love about Filipino cuisine is that each dish has its own flavor. We do not just use one or two spices for everything so you hit so many different notes. Some favorites are the kare-kare and pork binagoongan, both simple Filipino that you can find anywhere but done well here. For the seafood, I love the soft shell crab cooked in gata (coconut milk) and the crispy hito, which is a meal in itself served with a tomato cucumber salad, mustard greens and the famous Milkyway bagoong.

Kare Kare

Pork Binagoongan

Soft Shell Crab in Gata

Crispy Hito

My Merienda Choices

When I come in for merienda, I want something light enough to hold me over until dinner but good enough to make it worth the extra calorie intake. I almost always go for the pancit luglug, which is generous with toppings! Another all time favorite is the tokwa’t baboy. This is a dish I only get when I am at Milkyway. The tofu is fried to a perfect crisp and the soy-vinegar sauce it sits on is amazing. When in the mood for something a little less native, I get the good old chicken sandwich. It is hearty and comes with old school French fries.

Pancit Luglug

Tokwa’t Baboy

Chicken Sandwich

Kid’s Favorites

Milkyway is quite kid friendly, Asides from the menu having countless options for them to enjoy, they also have a lot of goodies to excite them. When I enter the building on Pasay Road, my first stop is the little shop on the first floor… This place is filled with imported snacks that make me literally feel like a kid in a candy store. From bottled sauces to different variations of Oreos and Yanyans to Trader Joes products and some great local fare too, I always leave there with a treat (for both me and my little ones). When they dine with my husband and I, here are some of their favorite dishes: My 8 year old loves the pork barbecue with java rice. It is such a colorful dish and the sauce is sticky and sweet, which tends to work well with children of any age. My 4 year old is a big fan of fresh tomatoes so the pizza margarita is her choice. It really is a good pizza, oozing with cheese so she gets  her dairy fix plus the tomatoes are good for her. It is the perfect fun but well balanced dish. For my little 2 year old, she usually eats what we eat but I noticed that she loves the MW club. The bread is nice and soft and though it has mayonnaise, I appreciate the nutritional value of the egg. And of course she also appreciates the fries!

Pork BBQ

Pizza Margarita

MW Clubhouse Sandwich

My Dessert Choices

And finally, we have come to this. If anything, this is the part I look forward to most when in Milkyway. In this case, I love their desserts not just because of my active sweet tooth but because they are phenomenal. Milkyway has taken the Filipino palamigs to a new level. If you want something light, their sago’t gulaman is nice and refreshing. I always go all the way either with the halo-halo or the ginumis. Both are made with the best ingredients, including their premium homemade ice cream. The halo-halo is filled to the brim and topped with the richest ube ice cream and a velvety slice of leche flan. I savor each bite. The ginumis is by far, the best I have tried. Made with sago balls, gulaman and topped with a frozen coconut cream covered in a latik shell… It is a true indulgence. For my kids, the banana split is the ultimate treat.

Sago’t Gulaman

Halo Halo

Ginumis

Banana Split

My girls digging in!

Milkyway Cafe’s main branch is located in the Milkyway Building, 9900 Pasay Road, San Lorenzo Makati. Call (02)8434124

 

Yabu

I’ve always been a fan of katsudon so I was excited to finally try Yabu, which has recently been getting a lot of buzz.  I must say, this place didn’t disappoint. They have great set meals, which will leave you satisfied with unlimited rice (organic brown rice is also an option) and a nice mix of sidings. The pork I had tasted great and was fried to a golden crisp. For those out there who aren’t fans of pork, Yabu has other options like chicken katsu and even seafood. If you are a Katsu fan, this should definitely be on your list of places to try!

Black and White Sesame Seeds for sauce base

Condiments – Make Your Own Dressing and Dipping Sauce!

Crush

Add

Mix

Great Sidings: Shredded Cabbage, Miso Soup, Japanese Pickles, Fruit

Original Katsudon Set

* Yabu has branches in Robinsons Magnolia, SM Megamall, SM Mall Of Asia, SM Southmall and a newly opened store in SM Aura

Hotels & Hot Cocoa

I am one of those people who enjoy staying in hotels. There is something about the room service, the fluffy sheets and the pretty little bathroom products that get me giddy. I guess it is also because when I am in a hotel I can leave whatever stress I have from work or home… at home.

Tonight I am at the The Shangrila Mactan Resort and Spa in Cebu, lounging alone in my room, enjoying the peace and quiet. Nights like this can only be completed with a steaming hot cup of hot cocoa. Through this blog, you will notice that I am not much of a coffee person… Well, not a coffee person at all. But hot chocolate? I can never resist. Good night dear readers, I am snuggling up, loving my sweet nightcap.

Hot Cocoa with Giant Marshmallows

Tavolata

Tavolata in Cebu is one of my favorite restaurants in the Philippines. It is one of the restaurants of the Abaca group and though I was under the impression that it was an Italian eatery, I am told that the chef and owner says it is only Italian inspired, using most of their ingredients to create new and unique recipes.

Indoor & Outdoor Seating

This week I was fortunate enough to have work take me to Cebu and I made sure to have at least one meal in my favorite stop.

Menu

I started with the bruschetta, which was really simple but done very well. The bread was toasted to a perfect crunch and topped with thick cut tomatoes. They were so sweet and balanced perfectly with the tartness of the artichokes. Drizzled in olive oil and vinegar then topped with fresh basil.

Bruschetta Tomato

The chopped salad was great. The greens were tossed with salumi, ham, pepperoncini, garbanzos and white beans. This salad was so hearty that it is a meal in itself.

Chopped Salad

I followed that with the salsiccia pizza, which had a really fantastic crust. It was thin with really crunchy ends. This is not the kind of pizza where you leave the crust on the plate. Plus, it was generously filled with the sausage and olive toppings. A winner for sure!

Salsiccia Pizza

Last but definitely NOT the least, as this dish is truly my favorite, was the oxtail pappardelle. I challenge you to find me a pasta dish anywhere else in the Philippines that is better than this! Imagine a sauce that is like a beef stew with tomatoes, fresh oyster mushrooms and thinly sliced garlic. Upon speaking to the manager Edwin (who, along with the rest of the wonderful staff, made the experience even better), the oxtail and beef are slow cooked for 10 hours, until they are completely tender.  This is then tossed with freshly made pappardelle. This dish is so decadent and no one ingredient overpowered another. Even if the meat was so flavorful, you still get sweet hints from the tomato and the earthiness of the mushroom. Granted, I am a meat lover, I was never the biggest pasta fan… but THIS I would fly to Cebu for.

Oxtail Pappardelle

Tavolata is located at the design center of Cebu, AS Fortuna at P.Remedio Street, Mandaue City 600. Call for reservations (032)5056211.