The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

Tag Archives: saturdate

date nights|ucc, starbucks, rustan’s

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As a couple for the last 8 years the path we crossed was not always a smooth one and free of disagreements, we have difficult times but that’s part of married life, the real one that is not fictionalized. We’re not perfect and nobody is and at this time and age when some of my friends remained alone and single, some were already at odds with their spouses, some have financial and marital issues and some had lost their partner naturally, I feel luckier that despite the many imperfections we still have each other to wake up each morning.

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*excuse the messy hair

And there’s no real secret to it because we’re just choosing love everyday, we still go on dates like it was the first few months of being together, we goof at coffee shops –we enjoy the little things that’s it.

Ssshhh, it makes a little perfect if you have the same sweet tooth and love for coffee and Chinese food and cheese and chocolates!

The truth, I just want to make way for these foodie pics! 🙂

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UCC Iced Cafe Mocha

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UCC Hot Cafe Latte

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UCC Mixed Fruit Crepe

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cheese shopping ♥

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Have a lovely Sunday folks! 😛

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new toho food center

I’m thinking that maybe during our past life we have a little Chinese blood or maybe we actually live right at the heart of Chinatown and was once a business folk who ran hopia factory or dimsum house. Hahaha. Imagine if it was true, I’d probably make my “stalker” a million times envious of my flawless porcelain skin, slim body structure and luscious locks. So be thankful that my ancestors decided to make a living in the highlands and do farming instead of trading.

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But you see there’s really something about the Chinese culture that we both love –its cuisine, one of the richest and most diverse culinary heritages in the world. And for that reason alone, we’d always save patience for the worst bottleneck going to busy Binondo.

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One Saturday afternoon we felt the urged to go once more, we’ve missed all the cheap frills that’s why. We left the house at almost noon time, took the public transport like we used to do when going to this side of the city, think about of traffic and parking problems and well, you’ll just love the calesa or kuliglig ride or just walk your way which we’d always do to save time. Because traffic was real heavy that time, the jeepney took a different route which led us to Sta. Cruz and to its neighboring Escolta, Yuchengco, Dasmarinas and Tomas Pinpin streets. Just right, because we’re visiting a restaurant at Tomas Pinpin to prove its oldness and its worthiness, no joke, I suddenly felt so behind after seeing a facebook post that there stood the oldest restaurant in Manila or some says in the country. Imagine it existed during Jose Rizal’s time and it witnessed too many events to account, say hello to 1888. Much as I love the vibe of new restaurant these days my love affair with the old remained to be on top, it’s always a win over experience and I can’t tell why. There’s this something in me that just love the rustic feel and all.

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In 1984 Tojo Antigua Panciteria was burned down after a neighboring restaurant caught fire, it was rebuilt and named as the New Toho Food Center. If you’ve been to Binondo restaurants, New Toho doesn’t differ at all, it’s typically Chinese with cold cuts display, tiled flooring that’s too old I guess, spacious and minimal, no-frill at all and smells Chinese-y even from outside.

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Since it was already way past lunch when we arrived at the restaurant, only few diners were there and eventually we have the restaurant by ourselves. I scanned the menu, it’s nothing out of the ordinary if I may say but I heard camaron is a must, so we had it included in our set.

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We also had Beef in Oyster Sauce, Seafood Chopsuey, Chinese Kikiam and Yang Chow fried rice. All in small serving, so we thought, small is good for two but the food we order can actually fed four. Call us gluttons but if it’s as affordable as this who wouldn’t like to go beyond the limit. Besides we can always take out the left over and reheat at home, nothing goes to waste for us because I can always reprocess it at home.

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Aside from the Camaron Rebosado this Chinese Kikiam was one of the best I had so far! ♥

Our super late lunch was super worth the trip and I’d like to go back sometime to sample their pancit and asado next.

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And because we’re just so near Divi market, we grabbed that chance to walk around, started off from Binondo Church to give thanks for the safe flight to downtown, for the food we just ate and for our daily blessing of simply waking up in good shape everyday. We skipped Eng Bee Tin this time just because we can always bought some at the supermarket now, when we passed by Ramada Hotel I told the husband that we should check-in next year in time for the Chinese New Year, so to witness dragon dancing and fireworks. We stopped at the Lucky Chinatown Mall, our first time to visit; I was wowed at how Divi has become upscale over the years especially the clean restrooms and fancy restaurants. We explored a bit and found some cheap px goodies at the annex building, they sell chocolates and chips, a tub of Pringles for as low as P75. I hoarded a bit of this and that. From Lucky Chinatown, we walked through the nearby 168 Mall but left immediately for fear that I might end up buying stuffs I’d later not use because of its poor quality. We bought plethora of fruits and vegetables because it’s inexpensive and to sustain our no-rice challenge again following that weekend. Now you know I’m kind of in a diet thing again. We almost had all sorts –apples, grapes, ponkan, atis, pomelo. We also got some French beans, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, corn and the famous fried siopao. Oh and by the way, the next time we visit Binondo, we’re trying Ying-Ying Tea House.

I wish all weekends can be like this –laid-back, no rush, I can be in my comfiest crocs and shorts and the husband is in good mood to give in to all my demands. 🙂

But while we’re having some good time that weekend somebody close to our hearts passed away 😦 , our semi-adopted aspin “Pong” already crossed the rainbow bridge. It was unexpected and I felt mournful for this lost, Pong was only four and better days are still coming his way but he gives out. I can only pray for his happiness after life, the life with no more pain, no more abuse, no more hunger. Pong deserves a better life in heaven.

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Run like the wind now Pong! 

 

uncle cheffy|eat-all-you-can-order

We started our Saturday at past noon, drove to Burgos Circle to lunch out. The weather was gloomy then which I like, you know how Manila weather sucks when the sun is on its mighty, so, I’d always prefer the gloomy one, a bit windy and friendly. Burgos Circle is my kind of place, foremost because the place wasn’t overly crowded, tho not so sure if its the same during peak hours or during the work-week, the restaurant choices seem to vary from one another and you feel transported to some European cities with all that al fresco dining. I feel sosyal lang, bakit ba?

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Only that the restaurant of choice that afternoon wasn’t really so sosyal and we gave it a go once more and ate like no tomorrow. Kain construction worker lang ulit, hehehe. I’ve been seeing post of panizza and its famed BBQ ribs on IG and facebook, you know how social media works on you –it kept you drooling and drooling until you finally join the bandwagon. So, finally Uncle Cheffy here we are. The restaurant interior wasn’t impressive as I thought but because there weren’t too many diners that time, the place was spanking clean and reserved–a good option for some we-time.

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The menu was very thick, something I dislike at times because it’s gives me a hard time to browse and decide on what I really want. It’s like shopping with so many options, sometimes it’s being limited has its good purpose and worth. Anyhow, to cut our ordering short I requested for the eat-all-you-order list, it’s a lengthwise sort of paper with choices from appetizer to dessert, what can you ask for? It’s the second time I encountered this eat-all-you-can routine, wherein you’d just check your choices and it will delivered right to your table. This is perfect for those who love to eat and find it grating to get up from their comfy seat. The downside, it makes you bloated easily, no chance for you to walk a little and burn a little all those carbo-loading meals because you’re stuck at your table for the rest of the feast but on the contrary, literally, you eat like a queen. 😛

For our first round we had ceasar salad, calamares, 2 slices of panizza, al pesto, tuna belly, pork belly lechon, garlic rice and marble potatoes. I believe I had an order of that really famed BBQ pork ribs but none had arrived at our table, when I followed it up I was disheartened to find out that it was not available. My take on this, when you claim for it to be one of your bestseller, most requested item, make sure it’s always available because that’s how you are going to be rated.

Amongst our first set of orders, it’s the al pesto that left a little impression on me, it wasn’t too oily and the pesto wasn’t too strong for my taste. Its light, even the serving size was just right. Nothing to rave on that mouthful serving of greens, calamares wasn’t a happy sight, sorry but its like fried in used oil and thickly coated, and pork belly was too fat just like ours. Hahaha.

I know Dadi wasn’t really enjoying his food, I can tell because he’s rather interested to come out of the restaurant and make selfies on the line-up of luxury cars which were parked right across of the restaurant. This out of topic but if you are a car aficionado that do not have the millions to expend on a Ferrari, you could chance these good-looking drivers este cars parading their big toys at Burgos Circle on weekends especially on Sundays. Calling all single ladies, you know the drift –wear your killer heels and your sexy lips when you come around.

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Back at our late lunch, we gave Uncle Cheffy’s a second round and we got baked oysters, assorted seafood oriental, beef salpicao, another round of panizza and that top blade steak which we requested to medium well-done.

Panizza wasn’t impressive, believe that the first serving doesn’t even have that alfalfa sprouts and the crust was half-cooked, it tasted floury. Sorry, I would forever remain partial to C’ Italian for their authentic panizza. Beef salpicao was swimming in oil and that order of seafood oriental was like all sauce & mushroom minus the seafood. 😦 Top blade steak was salty and the cut was a little weird for me, or maybe it wasn’t really appealing and all. Le sigh! Baked oysters saved our second round, thank God for it! ♥

At P495 each, iced tea was bottomless but you have to call the attention of the wait staff every now and then, yes, even at that time when diners were numbered. And if you’re thinking that maybe we just half-finished our food because of my not so pleasant comment above, you’re totally wrong because I can’t stomach either paying P650 for the left over charge. It would be a total rift off if we’d allow that to happen, so thank goodness for the small serving of each, at least we were able to finish off everything easily.

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With these, I’m not really closing my doors, I’m willing to give Uncle Cheffy another try but the next time we’ll go ala carte only, we’ve learned our lessons well –you always get what you pay for, and by then I think I’ll be fair enough to review if Uncle Cheffy is POP or is just another of those your run-of-the-mill restaurants. I didn’t mention about dessert, forget it anyway and go somewhere else. 😀

 

 

Uncle Cheffy
Bellagio 2, Forbes Town Center
Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
T. +63 02 6598031,
M. +63 9209243044
 

italianni’s, illy and cucina andare

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A Saturdate. I had a quite fulfilling, tiring day yesterday but I’m no way complaining despite Manila’s very hot climate, despite the scarcity of fund to splurge and shop, despite the aching toes from window shopping. It’s the day of the week I always look forward to aside from Sunday. It’s the day I could care less of all the issues I have in my bag. And it’s a day I can snatched my husband from his pestering routine. 😦

Like most weekend I have plans for us but most of the time those plans but becomes the next weekend plan and so on and so forth until we really find time. You know how I’d love to wake up on weekends before and indulged to some breakfast plate, I love it when most people are out early, savoring their hot cup of coffee while reading the papers and chitchatting with family. I love it when the sun is up and kissing me gently. ♥ But because we tend to go out more often on Fridays this time (he’s mostly off on a Saturday so it’s permissible even if we stay late, very late on Friday nights) we’re more likely to extend sleeps on Saturday mornings and get up late for breakfast, it doesn’t took any advantage for me that there are a lot of restaurants these days offering all-day breakfast, still I want to eat my breakfast at around 7-8am, the best time for pancakes and omelets, ham and bacon, corned beef and spam, dried fish and hotdogs, coffee and oj, and cheese and butter, hmmm…I’d die with the smell of breakfast alone!

Other than we missed breakfast again yesterday, and it was past lunch already when we arrived at the mall. I have nothing so specific in my list for lunch tho I’d easily discarded the husband’s penchant to eat Chinese-y. I’m not in the mood for dimsum and chili flakes and noodles, I’m not in the mood to eat rice either, so we’d happily found ourselves settled at this not so cheap bistro. That normally happens when we’re not decided for anything it’s either we end up in turo-turo or in a fancy restaurant that we feel like.

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Italiannis isn’t our run of the mill restaurant; sometimes we need to wait for a special occasion to come by to excuse its pricey pasta and pizza. But yesterday was like a form of reward, I had a pretty good week or probably it’s what I’d like to believe. 🙂 Seriously, I think I’ve said what I needed to say, I think I made myself very clear, and I was able to listen in as well. And for that, I’m not so guilty to eat to my heart’s content.

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*this was the second serving, tuscan bread

To start we had complimentary home-baked Foccacia bread which we dipped in olive oil and aged vinegar, and because we were famished already we had a second serving of Tuscan bread this time.

I would have wanted to eat a refreshing healthy salad but calculating my resources I can make my very own feast at home, so we skipped and rather picked the pasta of our choice.

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Shrimp Fra Diablo. Fettuccini sautéed with shrimps, garlic, spinach, asparagus and feta cheese in tomato cream sauce. It’s a default for us that we order our pasta with seafood, we loved it especially the generous serving of shrimps.

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We’re a bit thorn between Truffle Mushroom and Quattro Staggioni pizza, I love the latter because its four flavored already however the former won because of the black truffle cream and prosciutto which were both very foreign to me.

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The dough which we both love had some bite and chew; I can attest that it’s freshly made.

By 3pm we’re done, satiated and all, I couldn’t afford to have dessert unless it’ll be given free. Hehehe. Italianni’s once again impressed me with another great experience –good food and service was evenly superb! Burp!

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Husband and I split ways after, he was running some errand without me so I was left in the big mall. But sometimes I love it that we have our alone time, and I guess it’s another secret to a happy marriage, me-time! 😀 Tho the downside of it I always end up with the luxury side of self-nurturing, and retail therapy becomes a necessity. Hahaha. I went to window shop but eventually end up with a loot from Forever 21.

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By the way, for the first time I was able to try Illy Café Delizio at the Ground Level of National Bookstore, I thought it was the perfect break from the sweltering summer heat plus I need a good place to sit down, a bit remote from the clatter of mall ambiance.

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I had Iced Mocha, it was steep at P181.50 and I swear to myself that I’m not going back there for coffee or frappe, its way over my budget. I’d probably go back for the Tiramisu alone.

Before dinner time the husband and I met up once again, we had a quick round at Rustan’s Supermarket and bought our weekly supply –forest ham, cheddar cheese, paper towels, chips and fruits. It’s a must that we have a good stock of fruits at home because that aids me from digestive disorders, the limitation of being old and out of shape.

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And because I’m maximizing our couple time, we made a trip at Cucina Andare’s new location. I wanted a carefree dinner and The Link’s roof deck was perfect for Manila’s very warm climate now, it’s windy up there. Other than the food market need more ads to continue its operation. Unlike at its old location, it’s in plain sight and people who are just passing by would normally stop and peek around. I noticed that there’s not even a tarp at the entrance of the Link, and the visible signage so far was placed no more than at Level 7 of the parking area. I suggest that they put a classified at the elevators so people would see it right away. 🙂

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Anyhow back at Cucina Andare, the choices were a bit limited now, but we happily settled with one of our favorites –baby back ribs! Cheap at P120 only with a kind serving of rice already.

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We got another order of Cajun Pork Chops with mashed potato at P130 only, everything was so dirt cheap and that gave me no guilt to splurge on sweets, all from Cakes by K.

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We stayed late because my BIL made a call, he was pretty enjoying the video calling thru facetime and we thought our signal would slow down if we move out right away.

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My Saturday was far from being dull, it’s a day out I’d love to go over again, it’s just right that we spent time together and it’s rational that we enjoy what we earn. Tomorrow is the start of another workweek and I’m more than ready to face all the challenges coming my way, after all I believe everything has its own resolution, I’m confident you know. 🙂

 

 

Italianni’s Restaurant, Glorietta
Level 2, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City
T. +632 757-1323 / 757-1324
 
 
Illy Café Delizio
Ground Floor, National Book Store, Glorietta, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
T. +632 4753834
 
 
Cucina Andare
Roof Deck, The Link Glorietta
 

matgalne korean restaurant

If you’d notice husband and I slowed down our eating habits on weekend, we don’t frequent buffets like before, we don’t go to American restaurants that normally serves big plates nowadays, tho we’d like to think that we’re still young and healthy to consume anything fatty and oily our body whines naturally. Sometime in November last year, husband and BIL went through intestinal distress for days after a hefty dinner at Tong Yang, we assumed it’s the unlimited pork intestines and innards other than they really overfed themselves. Hahaha

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But you know when buffet is as cheap as P399 only, sometimes you can’t sleep right and couldn’t wait to stop and dine there soon. Husband and I regularly pass by Kalayaan Avenue coming from Rockwell and everytime traffic slows down at the façade of this Korean restaurant I couldn’t help but crave for samgyupsal (pork belly) and kimchi. Yes, I’m no pork lover but samgyupsal is a different thing, I couldn’t describe more how it creates a flavorful sensation in my mouth.

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The weekend before Valentine’s week, husband and I decided to visit the place and have dinner, finally I was able to convince him that with its unlimited serving of pork and beef our money will be worth it and that kimchi is a healthier option. We arrived at the restaurant around 7pm and good thing that the parking spaces alongside the building were still vacant. If you’ll plan to dine there I suggest you go early so you won’t worry about being towed.

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Matgalne Korean Restaurant is easy to miss if you’re not too familiar with the place, the signage outside is written in Korean except for the word Korean Restaurant. But if you happen to know Makati Prime Tower the restaurant sits next to it. It’s interiors is bright and welcoming, tho I’d love it better if tables would be place a little apart from each other, talk about a little privacy here. During our visit the restaurant was half-filled of Korean nationals, I’m guessing the food must be authentic tho I can’t really tell because I haven’t been to Korea myself, and the closest I could get is here with plentiful of banchan (side dishes).

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I scanned the spread, it was cleanly plated tho some needs to be refilled. I had some japchae, kimchi, Korean pancake, kimbap and more. Kimchi was so good!

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I had fried rice on my second serving which was so good paired with beef and kimchi, I rolled even some in lettuce with soybean paste and popped it my mouth like what real Koreans do. Sarap! I can live everyday having this, the lettuce put balance to my meat consumption. 🙂

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Leoncio always find its fun to cook and eat at the same time, so he’s in-charge of grilling everything raw. We had four servings of beef and one serving of pork only. I don’t know but I end up liking their chadolbaegi (beef) more. The thin slices of beef were to die for and shredded cabbage is so good! The spread maybe minimal but with its price I think it’s not bad at all.

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For dessert they have banana fritters and glazed sweet potato. I hope they will give away at least one Melona ice cream bar to all dining customers, honey dew please! 😀

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We left stuffed, I felt a bit giddy, I’m wondering if its protein overload or the oil I consumed from the fried dishes nonetheless I had a wonderful dinner, we had a lovely date night and the best thing –it doesn’t hurt our pocket so much. And for that it deserves a second come back! ♥

 

 

Matgalne Korean Restaurant
4768 Kalayaan Avenue cor. Mariano Street, Poblacion
Makati City, Metro Manila
T. +632 8902949
 
Operating Hours: 11:00 am to 12:00 midnight, Monday to Saturday
 

general’s lechon

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A month prior to the Christmas month I went on a sandwich diet to give way and get ready for the season’s big eats especially that parties and reunions were set to happen one after the other. I feared to gain weight and worst won’t fit in to my office clothes once my looong vacay is over. So I needed to enforce strict discipline and skipped rice and meat in most days. But during the first day of my looong vacay, I treated myself a little –a quick stop-over at Petron in Dasmarinas Village made my day. ♥

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Long before the opening of General’s Lechon at this side of my city, we’ve been ordering whole lechon from Paranaque outlet and normally pick up the pig from Bryan and Lynn’s humble abode in Sun Valley. We do that for two consecutive years during Tatay and Nanay’s 60th birthdays. I was planning to get one also for my birthday last month but the birthday party I long planned didn’t push through and I was saddened and brokenhearted until this day. Hahaha. That’s me eh.

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Anyhow, it was an early lunch for us and because we have errands following that afternoon might as well stuffed ourselves a bit. General’s Lechon offers starters, mains, rice meals, desserts and take outs, generally this is your chance to savor their lechon without ordering the whole pig because they retail in kilos here.

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I had a 200g order of their Boneless Paksiw, it was served with rice and soda for P250 only, and I couldn’t agree more, it was tasty!  As a side note, I wish it’s a little sweeter because I’m accustomed to that taste.

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While the husband got himself a 120g of General’s Lechon with rice and soda for P275, I was drooling on his plate and had some of that crispy skin. It was heaven at first bite and I want his plate now more than mine. 😀

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We had the store by ourselves while enjoying our lechon fares, it was equally laid-back which I love. I know it’s not a good business sign when the store is empty but what the heck I love that atmosphere, hehehe, probably it’s not yet meal time the reason why besides I’m pretty sure there were whole lechon pick-ups earlier that day.

Now, who cares about getting that extra pound?

 

 

General’s Lechon
2nd floor Petron Dasmarinas Village,
Edsa corner Arnaiz,  Makati City (Pasay Road)

 

T. +632 4086850 / +632 9665099/ +63917 8lechon (8532466)
Email.  the_generals_lechon@yahoo.com