GERDVENTURES 007: BAMBA BISTRO

One of the many perks of living in the South is having options – A LOT of options – of where to eat. BF Homes, Parañaque is the home of an amazing stretch of bars and restaurants of different cuisines. Before my then-boyfriend, now fiancée (hehe) left for the States last year, we had our last dinner at Bamba Bistro. And yes, definitely had no regrets with this one.

Bamba Bistro is owned by Chef Tina Legarda, who trained with world-renowned chef Mario Batali at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Her restaurant is known for the homey and chic ambiance that features her family’s recipes for comfort food that is to die for. Chef Tina offers a variety of Spanish, Italian and French cuisines.

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The first time I went to Bamba Bistro, it reminded me of one of my all-time favorite movies, Serendipity. They have an al fresco area for smokers and customers who just want to experience the breeze outside (especially during Christmas season). The main dining area is more of an old-fashioned home turned into a restaurant.

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Empty wine bottle stacks in the al fresco area
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Main dining area with B&W travel photographs and restaurant reviews

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Aside from the great ambience this place offers, their menu is spot on! It’s a little bit pricey but I have to say it’s totally worth the price. The unique flavors of everything that we ordered that night makes you wanna go back and try the rest.

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Le Cochon Sliders (P350)

The Le Cochon Sliders is my personal favorite. These mini sandwiches are made of crispy pork belly, red cabbage slaw, fried wonton and eel sauce. What brought it all together is definitely the sauce; brought out the Asian flavor of all elements.

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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner (P495)

This is one of their specials and my pick for my main dish, the Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. It is made of asian barbecue chicken, curry fried rice, pomelo salad in honey-patis, coconut, cucumber, wansoy, chilli and shallots. The serving is really big, I had to bring home almost half of it. For me, this was a winner winner.

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#HangoverKiller Bowl (P390)

Of course, my fiancée got another Specials meal that best fits his drinking habit. Haha just kidding, love! The #HangoverKiller bowl is a combination of sriracha fried rice of shrimps, squid, sprouts, chicharo, poached egg, crispy chicken skin and Tamarind sauce. I have to admit, I liked this one better than my order. Anything with crispy chicken skin is a delight for me.

By the time we finished our mains, we weren’t able to reach the end goal – dessert. I was almost bursting full that time and had no extra space for even a bite of anything else. Definitely gonna try it next time; I heard they serve one of the best pizzookies (served ala mode w/ salted caramel ice cream and walnuts) in the South.

For their updated menu, you may check here.

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Last dinner with my love for 2016

PERSONAL TIPS:

  1. I recommend that you reserve a table during weekends especially for dinner since this place gets high seating capacity all the time.
  2. I remember that they only have 2-3 parking slots in front of the restaurant so come early to avoid hassle. There are other parking slots available in the vicinity as well, but you don’t want to get all stressed out before having your meal here, don’t you?
  3. Menu is a little bit pricey so bring extra cash. You don’t want to miss out on the great food they offer.

SCHEDULE & CONTACT DETAILS:

  • Store Hours: Closed on Mondays; 11AM – 10PM from Tuesdays to Sundays
  • Address: #55 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City
  • Landline: (02) 519-7097
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bambabistro/

**Prices and details are subject to change.

♥ G

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GERDVENTURES 005: CAMPUESTOHAN RESORT, BACOLOD

It’s been a while since I last posted and it’s probably because I wasn’t able to do much traveling this year. Since it’s been raining hard the entire afternoon, I decided to do a throwback post of my travels last year (more posts coming up!).

I was able to visit the beautiful city of Bacolod, also known as the City of Smiles, twice last year. The first time was more of a business trip; I wasn’t able to go around and I promised myself I’d go back and yes, October 2016 I had a leisure trip back there.

One of the places that was part of my agenda was the Campuestohan Highland Resort. I did some research before the trip and checked out some blogs as well of recommended places in Bacolod and this resort kept on popping up in articles so I thought, why not give it a try.

Campuestohan Highland Resort is located at the boundary of Bacolod and Talisay cities. It is a 5-hectare property that I pretty much consider as a wonderland for kids and adults. Let the photos below do the talking for me.

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Entrance to the resort is P150/head for day trips. They also have cottages for rent for big groups who want to stay longer inside. Rates can be found here. I had to reserve three days before we went there since the date fell on a weekend. Tip: make sure to get your tickets really ahead of time and arrive early in the resort because it gets crowded on weekends. You don’t wanna fall in line for the rides and wait for people to disappear to get an IG-worthy photo (if you know what I mean).

 

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This is definitely one of my personal favorites. The Bonita Huts are actually rooms for guests who want to stay over the night at Campuestohan. We didn’t stay there but you may check the rates and inclusions here. The architectural design is amazing; looks like a local version of igloos.

Continue reading “GERDVENTURES 005: CAMPUESTOHAN RESORT, BACOLOD”

GERDVENTURES 004: CALAGUAS ISLAND, CAMARINES NORTE

JUNE 10 – 12, 2016

Since it is summer again, and I’ve been enjoying the comfort of working overtime for the past few weeks, there’s no better way to kickstart my blog this year with a throwback beach vacation entry. And yes, the calling of the sea is always stronger than any storm. With the help of our travel & tours agency partner, Alt3rnate Route, the #Crewlaguas had its first visit to Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte. (Note: we have prepared a lot of annoying, funny hashtags for this trip, sorry in advance.)

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#Crewlaguas

The package tour we had with Alt3rnate Route was a 3-day tour but technically our stay at Calaguas was just overnight because of the long land travel. Our meet-up time with the other joiners was last June 10 at the SM Mall of Asia at around 9PM. An air-conditioned van was provided for us. It took us 8 hours before we finally arrived the Paracale Port at Camarines Norte where we took a 2-hour boat ride going to Calaguas Island.

13450999_10206159164970757_3291271223393349078_n13445382_10206159123489720_4526404800642614980_n Continue reading “GERDVENTURES 004: CALAGUAS ISLAND, CAMARINES NORTE”

GERDVENTURES 003: THE SMOKING JOINT x OUTRE MANILA

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on my blog due to unexpected life circumstances, but now that I’m starting to put myself back together, I’m back on writing.

I’ve been planning to do this food review post for a long time already, and I’m not even having any second thoughts now on whether or not to push through with it because you guys deserve to know how awesome these two food establishments in the South are.

If you’re thinking of passing by the South (FYI: when I say South, I refer to the vicinities of Las Pinas, Paranaque & Alabang), I absolutely suggest that you go to these two heaven-sent establishments to make your trip worthwhile: The Smoking Joint and Outre Manila.

THE SMOKING JOINT

The newest southern style barbecue joint in the South has been making huge clouds of smoke since they opened early 2015. From its name itself, The Smoking Joint cooks their meat low and slow. They even open their store, or as their staff say it, they start spreading the rub at 4:20PM! Witty, I must say.

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Photo courtesy of The Smoking Joint
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Interior of The Smoking Joint

For steak lovers like me, visiting The Smoking Joint is a must because you can really taste how much they differ from other steak joints. They offer meats that are “simple, authentic, rustic, flavorful, juicy, tender with flavors adjusted for the Filipino palate.” Aside from their main attractions, their side orders are the bombs! Don’t even forget ordering their mac ‘n cheese (P100/order) to complete the experience. Continue reading “GERDVENTURES 003: THE SMOKING JOINT x OUTRE MANILA”

GERDVENTURES 002: BAG OF BEANS, TAGAYTAY

APRIL 02, 2015

As promised, GERDVENTURES Travel Blog will not only cover road adventures but it will also feature my love for food. I always make sure that everytime I go to a new city, I try their talk-of-the-town restaurants to see what the fuss is all about.

Tagaytay City has always been my favorite escape city in the Philippines. Aside from the fact that it is only a one-hour drive away from my place, the scenery there is so captivating, the cold breeze just sweeps my feet away and the food is so great. (Everybody must try their local bulalo! I will be posting a blog about this soon!)

I’ve been going to Tagaytay ever since I was a kid, but I was not able to really go around the city that much. So when I got myself a job, earned my own money, and had the ‘freedom’ to do what I want, I decided to go back to this place and try one of the most talked about restaurants in the city, Bag of Beans. I remember everytime we try to get a seat on this restaurant, we always fail to do so because of the long line of people who are also trying to get their chance to check out what Bag of Beans has to offer.

11083864_10153220964804173_8570739079671520278_nBag of Beans is the ultimate one-stop restaurant in Tagaytay that specializes in gourmet and all-time favorite Filipino and international dishes. They also serve one of the best freshly-baked breads I ever tasted, homemade pies, and of course, I can not forget to mention their heaven sent freshly brewed coffee.

When I brought my family with me last summer here at Bag of Beans, the first thing that really caught my attention upon entering the restaurant is the interior design. It was so homey and pleasing to the eye.

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Glass lanterns used as drapes around the hallways of the restaurant.
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Recycled colored bottles that served as mini chandeliers.

There are different kinds of seats that welcome the hungry guests of Bag of Beans. For couples who wanted to have a romantic date, they have their gazebos covered with white sheets for privacy. This is usually decorated with Christmas lights to give a sweeter touch. On the garden area, series of wooden tables and chairs are placed for a casual coffee afternoon with friends. My personal favorite is their set-up for family lunches. It makes me feel like I’m home.

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Like I said earlier, Bag of Beans offers a wide variety of food and drinks. We went there for a quick dessert stop, and I was not wrong with my decision. With the scorching heat during that time, they really quenched our thirst for a cold treat.

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Bag of Beans’ own version of the Filipino dessert, halo-halo (made of beans, gelatin, jackfruit, banana, leche flan, ube jam, shredded ice, and topped with your choice of ice cream).
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Homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream & choco mocha milkshake
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One of my favorites: homemade blueberry cheesecake
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Oreo vanilla milkshake

We definitely enjoyed our visit to Bag of Beans, and I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t be the last, considering they also allow pets inside! (Plus points for dog lovers like me!)

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PERSONAL TIPS:

  1. If you are going on weekdays and/or holidays, make sure to do a table reservation. They are always full on the said dates.
  2. Bring a camera! You’ll fall in love with the place, you’ll regret not capturing your visit.
  3. Prepare at least Php1,500 for 2 persons. One meal is not enough for a person, you’ll keep on asking for more. (But don’t worry, their prices are reasonable.)
  4. Visit their bakery when you visit Bag of Beans, they usually hold sales on their pastries but don’t forget to check the expiry date!

CUISINES OFFERED:

  1. New & Traditional American
  2. Asian Fusion
  3. British
  4. Filipino
  5. Italian
  6. Seafood & Steakhouses

SERVICES OFFERED:

  1. Table Reservations
  2. Walk-Ins
  3. Take Out Service
  4. Waiter Service
  5. Outdoor Seating

SCHEDULE, MODES OF PAYMENT & CONTACT DETAILS:

  • Breakfast Buffet open from 6:30am – 11am
    Price: P395+ per person
  • Brunch Buffet open from 11am – 3pm
    Price: P495+ per person
  • Buffets are served every Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.
  • Children from ages 7-10 get a 50% discount.
  • Senior Citizens get a 20% discount upon presentation of Senior Citizen’s Card.
    Cash and Credit card payments are welcome.
  • Address: 115 Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West, 4120 Tagaytay City, Philippines
  • Operating hours: Mondays – Sundays (6:30AM – 10:00PM)
  • Contact number: +63 922 881 8265 for dining & reservations from 6:30AM – 10:00PM.
  • For inquiries, message them through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BoB.Cafe.and.Restaurant.Inc

** Prices and details are subject to change.

♥ G

GERDVENTURES 001: SANDBOX, PAMPANGA

MARCH 21, 2015

To kickstart summer this year, me along with my De La Salle University (DLSU) friends decided to take a trip from Manila to Pampanga, a province in the Central Luzon region here in the Philippines. It usually takes two to three hours of land travel from Manila depending on the traffic situation (which is probably the worst here in MNL I should say).

Our main itinerary for this trip was to try one of the famous attractions in the said province, Sandbox. It is located at Alviera, Porac, Pampanga which features a full stretch of outdoor activities for all ages.

SandBox at Alviera is a unique getaway for families that redefines outdoor adventure and fun. It features a full stretch of exciting attractions that will surely make everyone appreciate the outdoors. Everyone in the family has something to do here from playground for the toddlers to Mini Golf for the grandparents! With a mountain range along the horizon and the surrounding wide plains, SandBox is definitely the place for family outdoor fun!

Source: Alviera

The Sandbox Crew

Continue reading “GERDVENTURES 001: SANDBOX, PAMPANGA”

GERDVENTURES 101

This year 2015 has opened a lot of opportunities for me to be able to explore the beauty of my home country, the Philippines.

I have decided to start a travel blog to keep track of all the places I’ve been to, and share my experience with everyone. I have always loved the idea of traveling and photography, and thankfully I am able to do both at the same time on my adventures.

This travel blog will be the outlet of my quick but sweet escapades here in the Philippines (and hopefully in other countries, soon!). It will be a compilation of personal stories of my experiences in visiting provinces, cultural sites, trying out signature dishes of the places I will be at, conversations with the locals, and other amazing detours that I will encounter along the way.

The photos that I will be using in this travel blog are mine unless credits were used to acknowledge the owner of said borrowed photos. With everything else said, enjoy the trip and take an adventure with me.

♥ G