Tag Archives: Comfort Food

Skippy’s Bar and Grill: Ripper Tucker, I Reckon!

the forum bgc australian bar restaurant

If you bludgers want to bog in and get some Ozzie grog and footy, Skippy’s (The Forum, BGC) is the boozer for you.

It’s a spiffy joint for earbashing, billiards and booze. There’s a roo on the wall too—so give it a burl why don’t ya?

Skippy's Bar and Grill Sports Bar

Seriously, Skippy’s Bar and Grill located at the Forum BGC is the dinky-di (real thing) if you are looking for Aussie grub and drinks. It’s the place you go to after work to unwind, grab a pint, watch a game or just get the billiard table humming. It’s at the GF of The Forum, BGC, so if you want to run on the grass or just get some sun, you’re at the right place!

What’s ripper about Skippy’s is that they’ve got nightly bands too on a rotating basis, so if you’re tired of balls and bar fights, you can just chill or sing along (if they let them blokes). The place is practically adorned with Australian relics, road signs and whatnot, it’s like taking a dive Down Under, and that’s even before the grub came.

Skippy's restaurant fort bonifacio band

Skippy’s Bar and Grill specializes in Australian food, which I knew nothing about beforehand. I had imagined skewered roos or beer battered vegemite—or anything with vegemite for that matter—but they’ve got the usual fares, like pizza, salad and meats with some Australian flare—deep fried, heavily battered and big on breakfast!

australian food manila philippines

If you’re big on drinks, Skippy’s menu will also not disappoint. It probably allots a half its menu pages on drinks, cocktails and liquor. Non alcoholic drinkers (like me!) will go crazy too over the choices on fresh fruit shakes and juices.

Personally, that freshly squeezed lemon juice was just so “Good onya” it went well with the deep fried fares.

drinks bar forum bgc

Skippy’s is not just a bar with a billiard table; its TV screens are dedicated to showing sports shows, including the World Cup. Did I say World Cup?

Indeed the bar intends to stay open during the wee hours to show the 2014 World Cup because there are a lot of fans, and heck, a lot of them who are already sick of streaming and eating just popcorn!

aussie food drinks manila taguig

 

But back to the food. As mentioned, Skippy’s has this whole barrage of Aussie food and snacks, it’s not just a footy affair. It’s got breakfast, salad and even rice meals; craving of any sort, including lamb or tapa, is guaranteed to be solved.

Here’s a quick peek on the roster (in no particular order):

breakfast menu fort bonifacio global city

Breakfast platters for the hungry!

Big Breakfast has 2 eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, tomato, mushrooms, hash brown, toasted bread, and butter. Basic Breakfast is, well, a subset of the big one, as it depends on your appetite. Not limited to mornings.

 j.anne gonzales blog review Skippy's

Drinks Galore! Too many to mention but personally, as a boring drinker (aka non alcoholic), the fruit and juice selection is sufficiently well stocked.

The Greens are in. Part vegetarians and dieters have something to rejoice about with the salad selections.

salad bgc forum fort

Skippy’s Salad – Fresh lettuce, veggies with egg, grilled chicken and cheese, served with homemade dressing.

vegetarian fort restaurant bgc

Green Salad – Fresh lettuce mixed with assorted green vegetables and tossed with cheese, ham and egg, served with home made dressing.

lazy black cat food review restaurant

Spicy Chook Fingers – Coated breast chicken fillet fingers. Best served hot and eaten with… your fingers!

j.anne gonzales lazy black cat blog manila

Potato Scallops – Such wondrous deep fried spud creation. Golden crisp and sprinkled with sea salt, it’ll be your number one spud serving!

food where to eat fort bonifacio

Chicken Parmigiana – Tender cheese and crumbed chicken are topped with homemade tomato sauce and grated cheese. This one was a winner since it combined all that cheese and chicken goodness with chunky fries–comfort food variety!

Here’s more to feast your eyes on:

pizza pasta skippy's bgc

Shawarma Pizza

australian food manila philippines review

Aussie Burger

food review the forum fort bonifacio

Shepherd’s Pie – Homemade pie from fresh ground lamb and vegetable, oven baked

appetizer skippy's bar and grill

Dim Sims

Skippys baby back ribs

Baby Back Ribs 

Skippys Sirloin Steak

Sirloin Steak

It’s a lot to bog in, yeah?

Give Skippy’s a burl and while at it poke some balls or chill with the band. It’s a sport bar for real, right in the middle of BGC–with a live band inside and grass outside, so it’s got all the elements of fun and frolic.

If, like me, you insist on having Vegemite Sanger (Sandwich) on the menu, you can make suggestions in their FB page or Instagram account.

I reckon, with Skippy’s own set of sanger, desserts and whatnot, you’d forget about Vegemite entirely. I sure did.

 

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Have Some NomNomNom

nomnomnom blog review lazy black cat

It took me years before I could finally eat at Nomnomnom Happy Food, never mind if I live in the very same Quezon City. Actually, it was THAT long since they moved to their new posh location along Tomas Morato, which is quaint, dainty but still small.

 comfort food vegetarian manila

Of course during predictable circumstances, I would do the impulsively dumb-founding, and in this instance, NOT order salad. Why I did that, I still cannot fathom. But with Nomnomnom’s exquisite and gluttony-inducing menu, a few might understand the behavior.

Going back to gluttony-inducing, I believe the all-white interiors and book pages-cum-wallpaper décor, have created my inept and deprived state. Hence, fried food!

 mozzarella sticks nomnomnom

We had 2 appetizer choices, both of which are fried! Not a sign of happiness; more of stresssssed!

The Mozzarella Sticks were served with 2 kinds of slurpy sauces that seriously make you scoop, slurp and scoop even more! There was a lot of that sour cream and salsa to get us till the next appetizer.

Oh darn I forgot to describe the mozza sticks! They were chunky cheese rolls, made chunkier by the batter. Hmmm-kay would’ve been OKAY! if they had served this right after cooking. In short, the cheese did NOT ooze at all, which is the benchmark for cheesy perfection, in general.

fried ravioli vegetarian appetizer

It must be the NomnomNORM to serve the appetizers with 2 sauces/sidings – which I cannot complain about. The Fried Ravioli (Cheesy Kangkong and Shrooms inside) was just as deep fried as the mozza sticks, and went well with the chopped tomato salsa and yogurt (?) sauce. You can actually mix and match the 4 sauces and still enjoy your mishmash meal.

The ravioli had that musty taste about it, which I blame the shrooms for! Either that or the Kangkong did it. Still, the cheese saved the day; oozing not needed in this scenario.

restaurant vegetarian quezon city

For a change, I ordered Seafood Cartoccio all because I wanted my pasta to be baked and served in foil! I don’t get that a lot at home, except for leftovers. That Seafood Cartoccio came with tomato sauce, shrimp, clam and squid. If I were a clam lover, this dish will disappoint. About half the shells were closed and experience tells me never to pry open these nasty shells.There are no girl-opens-clam-and-gets-the-pearl stories that happen in real life, just a messy plate and tomato splattered dress!

Good thing I like shrimp more – but the shrimps were hmmm-kay too, not so fresh but at least they were easily de-shelled! The pasta was warm and cuddly, the type you eat after a long day at work and intend to eat un-hurriedly. What wonders foil makes!

seafood pasta nomnomnom tomas morato

The Tomato Aligue Pasta was not mine but gleamed its orange hue for the world to see! The pasta though took long to serve. At first we thought that Aligue has become a complex cooking ingredient, but it would seem otherwise, it came in a breeze! Waiter forgot about the order, I think, or perhaps he just hated saying the word Aligue.

What is it even, crab fat?

Still, despite its jaundice appearance, the pasta was more tomato and less crabby and was topped with what looked like Eden cheese. If you’re gung-ho for aligue, don’t expect that crab fat to jump off the plate. If you want a creamy aligue-tomato pasta though, go for it–and make sure the waiter jots it down.

 A-li-guet it?

dessert nomnomnom

To make my stay worthwhile, I needed a a full course, and so it was imperative to order dessert. Since I have been staring at the chiller the entire time, I had made up my mind to order the Turtle Pie. Of course earlier, I thought it was just some Chocolate Mousse type sans the cream but no, Turtle Pie it was!

Great, more “slow” references.

I opted this over the crepe cakes that the girl claimed were the bestsellers. The cakes looked plain and too pale, and the mango-cream combination did not seem to suit my palate after the tomato-on-my-dress episode! The Chocolate Cake looked like a little devil, but the Turtle Pie looked maleficent–so we know who the winner is!

The Turtle Pie was just a chocolate cream over an Oreo crust. Topped with some walnuts and caramel and chocolate sauce, that was it! I was glad to have brought it home (yes, I still had some EQ left) and stored in the fridge for a mega breakfast dessert. It got better and more firm. Would I try it again? Not sure, not with Banapple and others over at Il Terrazzo and it would seem that sweets are not the core products of Nonnomnom.

drinks food nomnomnom

Anyway, Nomnomnom has so many other dishes and creations that I WANT to try. Forget dessert.

I could actually live off on its appetizer listing alone – with all those ravioli offerings! Plus, with pasta and pizza, this definitely necessitates future visits.

Oh dear, I even forgot to mention. They have salad! Uh-oh, who to invite next? 🙂

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The Village Tavern: That Scrummy Supper

jenina gonzales food

The Village Tavern is perhaps the closest thing to an Irish pub that I would find in this life—unless I manage to sneak into someone’s luggage to the United Kingdom, an idea I find rather feasible given my size. I have always envisioned the authentic pub as brick-layered, partly rustic, showing the occasional football game with screaming-jostling abound. A leprechaun or Ron Weasley might make a surprise visit but other than that, mugs clicking are the staple.

bonifacio restaurant bar

The Village Tavern in BGC offers a different perspective to the classic pub theme, elevating the experience to high end, grandiose American, gastronomic experience. Perhaps relying entirely on the word Tavern is a misnomer worth welcoming, since focus on meticulously prepared food will find greater appreciation in a hunger stricken place like Manila. The meticulously prepared food also has a price, a bit too much of it. Let’s just say Ron Weasley would go all “Blimey!” once he reads the menu and might have to skimp on Butterbeer for a week.

restaurant taguig

The serving size ought to make up for the costly meals, but for those served for the solitary diner, best to credit presentation and restaurant lighting as contributing factors to the food cost.

bonifacio high street restaurant

The Tavern Nachos are the usual kind, glammed up a bit with monterey jack, cheddar, salsa, sour cream. Being the resident vegetarian, the beef was requested to be placed on the side—to which they obliged. There is nothing absolutely special to say about the nachos, since nachos are always exemplary unless topped with Kraft cheese, so as a default appetizer, nothing beats nachos. Except anything with mozzarella.

jenina gonzales restaurant article

The Onion Rings are probably the cheapest item in the menu, probably because they were more batter than onion. As an inexpensive siding, they were hmmm-kay. As a person allergic to oil, grease or trans fat, stay away.

j.anne gonzales fort bonifacio

The Jalapeno Poppers are said to be the bestselling items in the menu, frequently favored by food bloggers or anyone who loves to get creamed and spiced up at the same time. Unfortunately, the bacon prevented me from digging in, but with the sour cream cheese and fried presence, these poppers find it impossible to be everyone’s favorite. Again I’d be bound to ditch this over something with mozzarella, or the nachos for that matter—and the meat eaters will agree.

j.anne gonzales food review

Another strange and fatty concoction of Chorizo and Cheese – not mine.

food trip bonifacio highstreet

The Flash Fried Calamari was a dash of seafood splendor. Albeit a small serving, the bite size pieces found themselves all over my salad and plate. They were cute to look at and left a lasting memory in my palate. They also disappeared in a jiffy – like a flash someone ate ’em all!

Taguig american comfort food

What I am grateful for is salad. Anywhere I go, salad is normally the safest choice. Having seen the Chicken Thai Salad served about 4 times since I got to The Village Tavern, it warranted an order – just for me! Maybe it was the towering greens or the wonton strips or the Asian allure. For me, it was the curiosity. A bit on the sweet side, but with cabbage, edamame and delectable chicken strips, this was worth the rare caloric fest.

bonifacio central restaurant

The Black Pizza is sadly not mine. Topped with meat and pepperoni, I can only stare and sniff. My, my, the black crust alone was drool-worthy so I needed a bite, at the very least! Look at those herbs; they were calling out to me!

Black Pizza Bonifacio global city

Good thing there was a meatless niche and graciously sliced for me. Ah yes, this cheesy chunk of black pizza was fantastic, chewy and teary-eyed yummy all throughout. Being a crust hater, this is one of those rare occasions I happily finished the crust. It was a mind boggling crus-terrific slice. I wish there will be vegetarian or seafood options for this one!

mussels cappellini seafood

The angel hair Mussels Cappellini is exotically named and brandished on a soup bowl. The pesto-white wine sauce complements the mussels but others, like myself, may find it on the sea-salty side. Perhaps my parmesan was uncalled for, or my palate is just unfamiliar with Chilean mussels, which is strongly the case. Pardon the seafood deficiency since my most extensive background hails from the overly bland cream dory. Overall though, the angel hair and soupy texture lighten the saline rush and we get a pure mussels madness—with all that iodine and zinc, we should be getting smarter, awright?

dessert lazy black cat

I Instagrammed my Double Decker Cheesecake, labeling it as death, or a welcome to it as such. Though double in layers, it could perhaps feed a family, a large one for that matter. The layers of Chocolate and Cheesecake make you forget that you are in a watering hole where drinks and friends are the reason for convening; with this giant slice in front of you, only the cheesecake matters. It’s brick of a cheesecake will make you forget even your BFFs, guaranteed a near sleepless night and will make you wish you didn’t order those jalapeno poppers instead.

vegetarian bonifacio restaurant

Trying to personify vegetarian in the dessert arena, ordering the Very Best Carrot Cake was imperative! The cream cheese icing was a tad too much after having a creamy salad, but a dollop here and there could be spared.

Chocolate torte lazy black cat

That St. Barths Chocolate Torte at the background was not to be messed with. Sweet through and through and only with the vanilla ice cream to counter the sugar kick, this was the devil in disguise. Good and evil on a plate. You ought to consider confessing after this uber-sweet-treat.

If there’s a reason to go back to the Village Tavern, it’s to eat all those blasted desserts. Big enough to feed a village—so that’s where the reference comes from, mate!

restaurant bar fort bonifacio

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To be or to Chelsea

serendra restaurant

Having a collection analogous terms, “Chelsea” can spur quite a debacle in our household.

Imagine the common name, like say, Chelsea Clinton or Chelsea Dagger. Then here comes the futbol fanatic saying he adores Manchester United and that Chelsea FC is bleh. All right, understandable.  Not to be forgotten, we next get a smothering list of London and NY related places, which are more than a handful.

Oh, the Chelseas of Webster! No wonder Wikipedia can’t get enough of you!

lazy black cat review restaurant

But really now, being a food blogger in Manila, when I say Chelsea, it can only mean one thing: Chelsea Market & Café, at Serendra, Bonifacio High Street (there’s another at Podium). Sure, it’s a copycat version of the “real” Chelsea (NY) but what can I do, I live in the Pacific so I have to make do with what I can access logistically.

To be honest, I did not want 2013 to end without having visited Chelsea Market & Café. What a silly wish, you might wonder, but for a northern dweller like myself, trips to BGC can be quite arduous. Luckily I did get my wish –  that was 3 days before the New Year –  one cloudy Saturday (or the last for 2013), we finally hopped in our car and decided that yes, Chelsea it is!

jenina gonzales blog food

I did make a reservation 2 days before, but the bookkeeper seemed to be lost in his own battle with his body piercings, so that reservation was made in vain (and his chunky planner may have been a spells book in disguise, I did not bother to inspect). Good thing we were quite early and managed so secure a couch adjacent to the IKEA wall. If IKEA were to partner with a restaurant, this would be it.

Bonifacio Highstreet restaurant cafe

Before orders were made and inquiries tossed around, let me tell you that the place already screamed of slow service. It was in the air—oh, and my nefarious instincts are rarely wrong! Slacking pace—New Yorkers would have a riot on this objectionable trait!

When the order taker finally came to mind—perhaps perked up a bit with a sip of Red Bull—our orders came crashing in. The hunger we kept to ourselves suddenly materialized and out came words like pizza, confit, warm water, cheese, red wine, and no, make it 5 cheese! It was a mess of a notepad.

appetizer chelsea market cafe

To top off the chaos, my auntie decided to twist things a bit more—had the pasta sauce changed from pesto (Oven-Roasted Seafood and Tomato Cream Pesto) to Marinara. It was an entirely new dish—and the chef permitted this common abomination we like to call Seafood in the Red. Really now, it was just a bit of Ragu mixed with seafood and voila, customer service at its finest! As for gastronomic satisfaction, I leave that to the lucky diner—not me!

appetizer chelsea serendra

For starters we had a wee serving of the Warm Gorgonzola Dip with Vegetable Sticks and Potato Wedges. I am not kidding when I say “wee” since each vegetable type must equal 4 servings and not a sliver more, except for the caper—but who likes capers? The potato wedges came in a bit of abundance in proportion, so we thank the chef for this oily bounty. The gorgonzola dip was warm and creamy with this hearth flavor, but with a very small amount of vegetables for dipping, all that good cheese was left to waste.

salad chelsea fort

The Roasted Garlic Portobello Mushroom Confit came in a surprise platter because what landed on our table was a nest of arugula—lovely! Underneath the rocket forest came the sweet and succulent Portobello which made hearts out of our eyeballs for a nanosecond. With pesto spritzes, shaved cheese and cherry tomatoes, this made the gorgonzola dish hide in the shame of its scarcity.

pizza pasta fort restaurant

The Pizzas (All Meat and Five Cheese) came in thin crust variety and were consistently topped with arugula. Now I know whose pantry to raid when the arugula stocks in groceries are depleted, which is like, always.

vegetarian pizza bonifacio fort

The Five Cheese Pizza has that star beside its name in the menu, so I figured it should be the better pizza—not! Well, it tasted so-so and hmmmm-kay—for a Chelsea dish. It wasn’t that spectacular and was served not-so-piping-hot. Even the wee slices of apples alongside the arugula could not make a difference—since they were miniscule to begin with. Had I known it would be a mediocre cheese dish, I might have gone for that Greek Panko salad instead. At least the cheese on that one is more, apparent.

j.anne gonzales blog food

When the Southern Style Cornflake and Oatmeal Crusted Fried Chicken came, it looked like something that came from grandma’s kitchen. Still with arugula and potato wedges, the breading is a meal on its own—cracking sweet and oaty! A good pairing with the sickly pizza.

steak salad fort restaurant

Just a photo of the Grilled Roasted U.S. Rib Eye Steak, though nothing can be said about it. If you press for information, call my Ossan, but I really, really doubt if he can give any helpful input. Best he could say is: It did not go with red wine. Because really, it did not go with red wine. I warned you.

fort bonifacio restaurant menu

Despite a heavily starchy lunch, we still went for dessert. A trip to the Fort necessitates the hoarding of more calories, to bring us home safely, and with the chiller so close to our table, EQs are lost as hunger surges once again.

best cheesecake manila

100% mine, the New York Chocolate Chip Brown Cookie Dough Cheesecake. Longest name in the bunch with perhaps a proportionate amount of saturated fat. With cheesecake interspersed with cookies and more cookie dough in the base, it was cheesecake heaven until I finished half the slice. The other half called for tea and a kilometer of walking. Still, I persisted and finished the damn slice. Pretty damn good—but I doubt if I can take on this challenge again!

ice cream gelato dessert bonifacio

The others had the Super Ice Cream Sundae, Nocciola Gelato and that  Four Layer Toblerone Torte.

dessert serendra fort

The Ice Cream Sundae is Super because of the obvious add-ons, most of which seemed to be cream. If you’re a fan of cream and just 2 scoops of gelato, you will delight in this. If you hate cream like me, get a cake.

cake dessert chelsea

The Four Layer Toblerone Torte has repetitive layers of that cake/merengue and crème filling. The novelty is in the height and not the assortment of the layers, if you’re thinking Mango Bravo. If you like uber sweet and Toblerone, go for it. Otherwise, check the menu for something that summons your dark gluttonous self.

lazy black cat review food

Our local Chelsea experience can be summed up as a calorific, overpriced slacker’s meal. The food was on the mediocre side and did not exactly fire stars from my eyes. Whilst we know the ingredients were of the supreme and fresh kind (well I do hope so), the overall package is not worth waiting for again.

So if you’re going to summon New York, that hurry-that-pace-and-move-in-a-flurry because that’s how they are in we-hate-waiting East Coast—then our local Chelsea will freeze you in time and you better pop in a microwave dish instead.

food trip manila

But since I’m in the New Year positive chakra forgiving mood: As for Chelsea Market & Café, you’re almost there; buy a watch with a timer and get back to me once you remember to serve the Toblerone Torte. (Yup they forgot about it.)

Fair enough, yow.

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TORCH that Diet!

Torch restaurant review

Torch is supposed to be this comfort food hang-out, but it was really funny because when we first visited their U.P. Town Center branch, it was filled with properly clad seniors and a backpacking baby—we literally stuck out like a sore pinky. Us, in our near pambahay-hipster garb and bagong gising look, the supposed cherished target market.

lazy black cat quezon city food

Anyhow, we still managed to get ourselves seated, perhaps proving ourselves financially capable by means of good English, proper courtesy and my brother’s wolf tattoo + mine combined. #feelingbadassagain

bottomless nachos torch

With BOTTOMLESS NACHOS as the first item to welcome my hungry eyes, it was inevitable, without another second of breath or thought  that we go for. DUH, BOTTOMLESS NACHOS. It was that or get out and stay out.

With the bottomless nachos comes the expected bottomless salsa. Unlike Chili’s similar counterpart, Torch serves its corn nachos on the thicker side, like Orale Mexican Taqueria at the Fort. You don’t get a crisp (like Chili’s), it’s more of a massive crrrrruunch and oops there goes my tooth.

On the bright side, it doesn’t leave the nasty crumbs on your clothes, which can be a drag if you’re wearing black or velvet or both.

comfort food manila

The salsa is fabulously chunky and slightly on the sweet side—but not horribly Jollibee spaghetti sweet—just pleasantly semi sweet. The good thing about it is that it does not taste like it came from a can, which can be the rusty sour taste we’ve gotten used to. This salsa isn’t conducting any energy.

To quote my bro: it’s like mango. Right. Mango. Comfort food. Riiiiiiight. So smart.

Of course it would be quite embarrassing to leave as is. I know I’m stingy but since I was treating my brother, I should offer the courtesy of a secondary dish.

quezon city restaurant

And so we had the Gambas Pizza. More carbs, woot! The pizza crust is so remarkably thin, you will really need floss if you’re out on a date. Otherwise, who cares?

Crisp, slightly toasted but brimming with cheese, what’s desirable about this minimalist pizza is that the shrimps have that Chipotle flavor that goes well with the salsa. Actually it goes well with everything! Unfortunately with that much carbs in one meal, one can only eat this much—like at least 3 refills of that salsa.

restaurant up town center

The old people seemed to enjoy their flamboyantly presented meals, so did the backpacking baby and what seemed to be his dad’s flambé. Ours was a festive feast for 2, and even lacking a proper family, turned out to be an indulgent experience. 

Still do not know what I’ll be having the next time around – but surely, this calls for a next time. Like next week?

I had to have the Family Mart twirl-all-you-can Green Tea ice-cream to cap off that comfort lunch at U.P. Town Center—couldn’t think of anything else! Twirl-all-you-can! #IcanDIEnow #Socanyou

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