Craft Gastro Pub (Rockwell)

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I went to Craft Rockwell to reward myself for braving the Makati traffic last Saturday. I felt bad about blowing my budget but it’s alright considering I needed a break and beer is always something fulfilling (because of its effects) because I have been trying to drink my way (quite slowly) to my second hundred after I tasted 100 beers last year.

Anyway it wouldn’t have been so bad if I ate someplace else (to save some cash) but being alone, I just didn’t feel like it. I ordered Spinach Mushroom Parmesan Pouches (180 pesos) and Mixed Green Veggies (220 pesos) which incidentally were vegan-friendly (except for the parmesan part of course). I simply had to point it out because super badass meats are often the ones paired with good beer. I enjoyed Efes as I don’t like dark beer or those that are too dense. It was even sweetish for my taste. My other order St. Idesbald blond is a bit of a waste because when I showed Phil he said we already tasted that before. Craft may be just right for newbie beer enthusiasts (I heard there’s another one at The Fort). If you want a wider selection, go to others like Distillery.

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I was in Makati (a rare occurrence) because I was supposed to meet Evan but his office Christmas party was scheduled on the same day. Instead I checked if they were still selling tickets for watching the grand finalists for the Vie and Vault Pole Championship Competition (Yes they were!). And of course, I dropped by Mise-en-Scene as I wanted to see how Monica Vivar (a former classmate in a photography class under Leo Castillo) was doing. And since I had a lot of time in my hands, I also checked out Rockwell Tent’s Moonlit Bazaar. It was bland, expensive and uninspiring but I did take home some rubber stamps for my growing collection of crafts stuff!

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Al Batra (Makati Ave)

IMG_2634 We were all set for Jerusalem but they were closed. I don’t want to think that it’s for good and the sign which says soon to open is quite reassuring. We walked a bit and found ourselves in yet another Mediterranean/Indian food joint called Al Batra. It’s just across Jerusalem along Makati Ave but look up as they’re on the second floor.

Cy got an all meat one while Phil and I got the Al Batra Mixed Grill and an order of Biryani rice. Both platters were served with fries and pita bread on top and garlic sauce and mild tangy hot sauce on the side. I forgot to order salads but the kebabs were served over a hefty layer of onions and various vegetables so it was alright.

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What’s wrong with me, it’s more than alright. The place is huge (both the smoking area and non-smoking area)! They have a lot on their menu. They have breakfast items (san ka pa?!) They have a long list of beverages including hot coffee, cold coffee, teas and shakes that they’d do just fine as a coffee shop. Best of all, they’re open 24/7! I guess it’s not very fancy in terms of ambiance… oh but it’ll do! See you there!

P.S. I really enjoyed the band Soju when we watched a random gig at SaGuijo. I wish to watch them again some time. And I’ll be ready for some rockin and dancin!

Gayuma ni Maria (Maginhawa)

IMG_2232 Of course Gayuma has been a long time favorite but I think I haven’t gotten into food blogs then and posts were mostly on angst and “retarded teenage drama” or “post-adolescent crisis”. Anyway I’ve tried Gayuma ni Maria a long time ago with Phil. Then, I ordered quail, rose petals and chocolate sauce (blame it on Tita and Like Water for Chocolate), flaming cheese and Phil opted for a chicken viand. It was not as magical as the Gayuma I remember from College days. Surely most are still far from ordinary resto fare but I wouldn’t say it’s gastronomical.

I went back another time (with Mylin and Irene) mainly because I wanted them to enjoy taking photos. Then I ordered mango cream pie, banana cream pie, taro fries and nachos. The pies were forgettable for me. The taro fries was interesting not just because it’s taro but also because it’s served with cheese sauce and strawberry yoghurt dressing. And oh who can ever forget the nachos platter?! Apart from the colorful corn chips, it was drizzled in a whole lot of interesting sauces and had toppings of sliced watermelons. Seriously! It’s a specialty probably made as an ode to summer!

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And finally I went back again recently with Jodi after our failed Korean bazaar plans. We ordered lumpiang barako or dynamite (deep fried green chili with cheese in lumpia wrapper) which both Jodi and Phil thoroughly enjoyed. Another was an oriental chicken dish in lettuce wraps served with a sweet and tangy ginger sauce. I let them try taro fries too. Both of them couldn’t resist and ended up ordering mango cream pie and Pavlova.  I finally learned to appreciate Pavlova (can you believe it?). I should simply remember to ask them not to put any more condensed milk.

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Despite the not so perfect food fare I’d still recommend this place for people who are quite adventurous with the food they eat. It’s not exotic but it’s unique. The place is sweet and intimate and overflowing with creativity. I heard they’re now serving alcohol too so there are lots of reasons to love the place. It’s perfect for trigger-happy people. Cheers!

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I also attended Marlo Fisken’s Pole Groove Workshop. And I managed to watch Steph’s movie after. I think it was at least two years ago since I last saw them! and I gotta say it was one of those days when I really felt fulfilled.

Boho and Melrose Boardshop

IMG_2210I took this photo the morning after. Don handed it to me that evening. It’s his pasalubong for me from Bangkok. Cool noh? I mean for a guy to pick out something like this. He also gave Phil a shirt.

Anyway, we dropped by Melrose along West Ave. after doing a bit of window shopping at SM North. It’s a very colorful specialty shop for skateboard, equipment and apparel. From there we proceeded to Boho.

I threw a bit of a tantrum because firstly I was expecting something more than people who just took turns in singing. I mean open mic is okay as long as it’s not close to videoke music if you know what I mean. Boho also looked gloomy for me or maybe I was too tired and pissed that I did not have my way with the food and the plans. Anyway both Phil and Don raved about the chicken wings which were extra salty that evening. Ttalk about unfortunate events. It was okay I guess but I probably would have a hard time eating it without rice, celery and lots of beer. Do I have to apologize that my taste is bland, I’m choosy with music and I stick to plans? I think not especially when people I’m with also get something out of it. Pagbigyan ninyo na ako kung baga.

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Obviously, they enjoyed singing their songs. I should have grabbed the opportunity too right? Nah, I’d rather dance.

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I end with Melrose signage and the burst of color. I know the photo is not any good but I really like it. Maybe I should visit the shop in the morning.

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Tara. Cheers!

Chuck’s Grub Fish and Chips (SM North)

IMG_2155IMG_2145I simply wanted to get stuff from Deovir and I was planning to have dinner somewhere in Kapitolyo but Don was already starving so we ended up having a heavy snack at Chuck’s Grub. It’s a fish and chips place so we got a sampler of that with snapper, halibut, cream dory and cobbler. We were already there so we also ordered calamari, shrimp popcorn and tried all four of their dips. There wasn’t anything special with the dips but all the other fried junk food was good. They also offer a number of craft beers so you can enjoy downing the greasy deep-fried salty eats with flavorful beer. Phil and I have tried all of their beers so we went for local ones. Unlike other dishes, fish and chips is one of those that can easily be replicated. I mean other classics such as spaghetti, burgers, wings, chowders and the like are all very different from each other. Recipes for the beer batter seldom vary.

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Anyway, drink and enjoy something “healthier” than sisig. Hahaha! Well, it’s not really healthy but at least it’s different from your usual right?

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Here’s a photo of Phil and Don with Hello Kitty Grandparents. hahaha. Next post for the rest of the evening. Cheers!

Charlie’s Grind and Grill (Kapitolyo)

IMG_2013Rock brought me to Charlie’s Grind and Grill. He got himself a double Black Angus Burger served with fries on the side while I got a serving of the bunless burger which seemed more like small pieces of burger smothered in tasteless coleslaw. I wasn’t that hungry you see but yeah that reminded me that its best to stick to specialties especially if it’s your first time. Anyway, they had a number of beers there that I haven’t tried but I didn’t have much cash on me so maybe I’ll try those next time. I tried Rock’s but I think I really need to go back in order to get intimate with the place. I mean their menu is quite overwhelming so it’s safe to say that they have so many good ones to offer. I hope I can bring people to check it out to save me some cash. I can just ask to taste their orders yeah? Haha.

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From Charlie’s we dropped by Poco Deli but it was so cramped and it looked really fancy so I thought we should save it for another time. I also felt like I need to wait for Phil too because I like sharing firsts with him.

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Poco Deli also carries craft beers that I haven’t crossed out from the long list so yeah definitely I will check it out again probably early next year.

Rock and I ended up in Three Sisters and I was able to sample their classic pork barbecue. It was cheap, generous and saucy! We both enjoyed it. Three Sisters was way beyond their closing time so we had to transfer to yet another joint. We settled for Bullchef’s. We were quite grateful that they accommodated us considering that they don’t really serve beer . It was a shame that we weren’t able to try any of their specialties because they sure did look inviting even though we were dead full.  I want to try their food fare but they’re so far away and I think if I do visit the area the others will be first on my list but yeah if I get that chance I will.

This is how a night with rock can turn out. You eat more than you should, you spend more than what you have, you will discover things you never knew and restos will give in to his demands. Plus his stories are legendary! I doubt if you will ever get bored.

I end with Bullchef’s celebrity photowall. Cheers!

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