Tag Archives: Molito

Food, Friends and Fun at Sweet Bella Molito

It has happened. I am becoming old(er) and forgetful. Those of you who are my friends and followers on Facebook know that, earlier this month, I went to a restaurant to do a food review and forgot to bring a camera. That would have been okay if my phone was nice and high tech, but no. I have a BlackBerry and a very, very, very, VERY low-end Samsung. Basically, I sat down and realized that I was toast.

But, because I was with amazing friends that day, this post won’t be a boring, wordy account of what the food looked and tasted like. My new-found friend Jane of Sugar & Spice, and my neighborly neighbor Michelle of Momma ‘N Manila decided to save me by sharing their photos with me. Thank God for these two, because trust me, one look at the photos and you will want to come to Sweet Bella for lunch or dinner.

With wonderful friends at Sweet Bella - Michelle, Kathi, Patty, Cai, Jane, and owner, Veron
With wonderful friends at Sweet Bella – Michelle, Kathi, Patty, Cai, Jane, and one of the owners, Veron

All the other ladies were there when I arrived. I was really rushing that day because we had football in the morning, and then I was scheduled to enroll Little MrC at school in the afternoon. Yes, that’s my excuse for forgetting my camera at home. The other mommies actually brought their kids with them, but mine was too tired to go out for lunch. It was too bad, because they served all of his favorite things at the kids’ table.

Four Cheese and Rustica Pizzas, and Penne Carbonara

I got to try some of the Rustica Pizza (Php395), which is topped with Italian sausage, Hungarian sausage, frankfurter, pepperoni, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Yum. I could even eat this for breakfast. There was also a Four Cheese Pizza (Php395) with fontina, mozzarella, bleu and parmesan cheeses, and Penne Carbonara (Php350) served to the kids. Like I said, all of my little boy’s favorites.

Now that I think about it, a lot of the dishes served to us mommies are faves of my kiddo as well. I swear, I need to take the boys here real soon. For sure, MrC would love the Seafood Chowder (Php250), which is one of the super winner dishes in my opinion. It’s loaded bits of seafood, a definite plus considering that most restaurants have more soup than meat in their chowder. The zigzag bread stick that comes with it is a perfect complement. I also truly enjoyed the HUGE Rockefeller Oysters (Php395) served to us.

Beef Salpicao, Rockefeller Oysters and Seafood Chowder

One dish that deserves special mention is the USDA Beef Salpicao (Php450), which is served with steak rice. The rice has bits of crispy beef and bits of crispy fat in it. So, so, so good. This is perfectly flavored, very garlicky, and an absolute must-try. You won’t regret it, I promise. So worth the calorie splurge.

Gambas with Foccaccia Bread, Grilled Salmon Steak and Capellini Pomodore e Salsa Verde Pasta

Michelle says that she likes to order the salpicao, plus an order of Gambas al Ajillo (Php270) for an instant surf n turf meal. Sounds like a good idea, for sure! The best way to eat the gambas is to pop a piece of shrimp in your mouth, whole if you can, then soak up some of the oil with your bread and pop that into your mouth right after. Mmm, good. 

If you’re craving for pasta, you need to try the Capellini Pomodore e Salsa Verde (Php395). It has truffle oil, pomodoro sauce AND pesto sauce, plus crunchy balsamic-glazed eggplant on the side. This goes really well with the Grilled Salmon with Lemon Butter Sauce (Php495). I have to tell you, I don’t normally like cooked salmon. I don’t like the rubbery texture that comes from overcooking the fish. Sweet Bella’s though was cooked perfectly. It was tender, flaky and just melts in your mouth.

Actually, everything we ate that day was perfectly cooked. Even the salpicao cubes were a little bit pink inside, imagine that? Now, if the beef cubes were perfect, you can just imagine how amazingly perfect this piece of wagyu beef was. 

Steak. Enough said.

Sweet Bella is actually the pretty, pink sister of Melo’s and House of Wagyu, so you can be sure that the steaks they serve are superior-grade. I can totally eat an entire Rib-eye Steak (Php995) all by myself, coz I’m takaw like that. But, I was smart enough to only have a small piece because the best part of our meal was yet to come – DESSERT!

As you walk into Sweet Bella, you are greeted by a display of gorgeous cakes. I was so happy when I heard that we were going to be given six different mini cakes to try. I love cake! Oh, note that the prices for the cakes below are for the personal size. 

Mangotier and Chocolata

First, there’s the Mangotier (Php275), an oven-baked cheesecake with mango mousse and fresh mango coulis. The Chocolata (Php220), which has been voted as best dessert, is a chocolate cake layered with ganache and topped with chocolate glass and butterflies. So pretty! They warmed this for us before serving, making it all melty and delicious. The chocoholic in me is happy.

Trio and Mi Camille

Just when I thought that it couldn’t get any better, I had a bite of the Trio (Ph275). It has layers of coffee mousse, and dark and white chocolate mousse, and just literally melts in your mouth. This, along with the Mi Camille (Php295) are my favorites. The Mi Camille dome is made of a delicate Belgian milk chocolate mousse on top of hazelnut praline on top of French biscuit on top of an almond praline crust. Chocolate plus nuts, for the win.

Strawberry Shortcake and Pearl

These last two cakes win simply because they are pink. The Strawberry Shortcake (Php275) is a tower of vanilla cake layered with strawberry cream. This is so good with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. And oh, the Hot Chocolate at Sweet Bella is a must-try, too. If you want something unique, try the Pearl (Php295), a pink guava mousse filled with flambeed mango. This one was voted best dessert as well.

I’m really so glad that I got to borrow photos for this post! It wouldn’t be the same without them, right? I’m even happier that I actually made it to this lunch. I almost missed it because of my nutty summer schedule, and I’m glad I made an effort to be there. I know what I would have been missing, and really, it would have been a lot.

Oh, one last thing. Sweet Bella has AMAZING sugar free ensaymadas and cheese rolls. We recently got some for my lola, and she loved them. She had them as a snack, as dessert, as breakfast, and I think as lunch also, once. You have to order these in advance, though, and it takes 2-3 days before they are delivered to the branch. 

Thank you, thank you, Michelle for inviting me, Michelle and Jane for sharing your photos, and, of course, Veron for having us. I will definitely be back soon with the family! 

SWEET BELLA CAFE
Cluster II, Unit IIB
Molito, Alabang
(02) 556-4247
sweetbella_alabang@yahoo.com
sweetbellacakes@yahoo.com
https://www.facebook.com/sweetbellacafe

The Mysterious Chairman Wang and His Prime Beef Noodle House

The little boy and I joined a couple other bloggers last week at an intimate lunch mini-event in the newly opened Chairman Wang’s Prime Beef Noodle House in Molito. We have been excited about this event since mid-March when we received the invite because we are always in Molito, and we’d really been waiting for this place to open for some months now. Chairman Wang’s finally opened it’s doors last February, and I hear from their Operations Manager, Blush, that things have been going well for them so far. It’s not surprising, really, because, as we discovered, the food there is really yummy.

Hello from Chairman Wang’s!

Who is Chairman Wang

This was actually the first question that I asked Blush and the restaurant’s Marketing Malanger, Alyz. I had actually expected Chairman Wang to be a fictional character, but apparently he is real! He is a chef, an expert noodle-puller and restaurant owner in China, and he decided to open a noodle house here together with some Filipino partners. We were told that Chairman Wang trained the chefs in noodle-pulling himself, and he was also very hands-on in developing the menu for the restaurant.

We got to watch one of the expert noodle-pullers in action!

My follow-up question was, “Is he old?” Why did I ask this? Well, it’s because I kind of imagined Chairman Wang to look like those old Kung Fu masters I remember seeing on TV when I was little, when Sunday mornings meant that Chinese Drama Theater was on. As in the ones with long hair, either white or black, long mustaches, long beards, and sometimes even long eyebrows. This was pre-cable, so I don’t know if any of you younger guys out there know what I’m talking about.

Checking out the beautiful restaurant interiors with my fellow bloggers

No, Chairman Wang is not old and he does not look like a Shaolin master according to Blush, who had the chance to train under him. The restaurant, though, looks like it came straight out of a Kung Fu movie set, and I think that might be what sparked my inquiry. Lol. A lot of the accents including their wall panel decor, mural and drop lights were actually imported from China for the noodle house. I really wanted to see what Mr Wang looks like, but I guess his face will have to remain a mystery for now.

Hand-pulled noodles and Szechuan-style cooking

Here in the Philippines, Chinese restaurants usually serve Cantonese cuisine. Chairman Wang’s features more of a Szechuan-style menu, with bolder spices and stronger flavors. In contrast, the freshly made noodles in their signature dish – the prime Angus beef broth – was mild and delicate, perfectly complementing  the other food that was served to us.

Blush and Alyz did most of the ordering. Here’s what we had.

Starters

We were served a carafe of Chrysanthemum Iced Tea, which is a mix of chrysanthemum tea, longgan, goji berries, honey and mint leaves. This is super refreshing, and really my kind of iced tea. There was also some Lemon Ginger Ale, which I wasn’t able to try. For our appetizers, we tried the Smoked Duck Breast in Hoisin Wrap and the Braised Beancurd Skin with Soy Tofu. I loved the beancurd skin. It was really crispy and tasty. The duck wrap was good also, except that there was cilantro inside, and I really don’t like cilantro.

Main course and soup

I know that people would usually try new things when in new places, but because I am a creature of habit (and I had a kid with me), I requested for the Sweet and Sour Pork and Olive Fried Rice. Little MrC actually wanted to try a different kind of fried rice, but it was the olive rice that was highly recommended. He wasn’t so hot on the idea of this unfamiliar dish so he ended up eating plain rice instead. I thought that the olive rice was really flavorful and went well with the sweet and sour. Instead of the usual pineapple chunks, the pork dish had orange wedges in it. It was good, but definitely not what we’re used to.

As for the noodle bowls, we got to try the Chairman’s Prime Beef Noodle Soup, which I loved, and the Poached Sliced Beef with Vermicelli in Spicy Sichuan Broth, which was good but really flavorful and oily. It was also on the spicy side. MrC would super love this.

The kiddo and his special request + my favorites

My favorites of all were the Shrimp Hakaw (I told you, creature of habit), and the Chinese Curry Lamb Caserole, which was a total surprise because this was the first time that I ever had lamb at a Chinese restaurant. I love lamb and I love curry, and so this was an expected hit for my taste buds. This dish needs plain rice though, as it’s really so potently flavored, so I was happy to finish off what was left of the kiddo’s jasmine rice bowl.

Dessert

Little MrC and I both agree that dessert was the best part of our meal. We each had a bowl of Chilled Coconut Milk Soup with Sago and Fresh Fruits. This was soooooooo good, not too sweet, and super refreshing. It’s perfect for a hot summer snack with the fresh grapes, dragon fruit and other tropical fruits swimming in the coconut milk broth. I would go back just for this. Really.

Thumbs up, Chairman Wang!

This restaurant gets a thumbs up from me. I promised Blush and Alyz that the fambam will come visit some time, and guess what, they already did! Last weekend, my parents and my brother had dinner in Chairman Wang’s and they were pretty happy with their experience, too. One thing that my brother noted was that the servers really knew their menu. He has food allergies, and they were able to tell him what he could and couldn’t eat.

Blush told us, actually, that the servers really were made to learn their food offerings inside-out, and I noticed that when we were there. Of course, I figured they would all bring their A-game for us bloggers. So when my brother told me that the server during their visit knew his stuff as well, I was definitely impressed. I can safely say that Chairman Wang’s staff members really offer top-notch service to their customers.

Thank you, Blush, Alyz and the rest of the Chairman Wang staff!

MrC has yet to try the yummy food here, so we will definitely see everyone again at Chairman Wang’s! Thank you, Blush and Alyz for being such gracious hosts, and of course, for allowing me to bring the little guy along for lunch. I super appreciate it.

Chairman Wang’s Prime Beef Noodle House
Unit 18 Molito Lifestlye Complex
Madrigal Avenue, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
Phone: (02) 828-8477
https://www.facebook.com/chairmanwangs

Cafe Juanita: Pinoy Comfort Food At Its Finest

Last December, started adding Fashion Friday posts to this blog. I really hoped to be able to post an entry every Friday. but unfortunately I don’t go out often enough to have outfit photos taken. So, refusing to give up, I’ve decided to alternate Fashion Friday with Foodtrip Friday! It seems like an extra good idea because I have a bunch of restaurant and recipe posts waiting to be written. Here is the first one, and I’ve decided to do it on Cafe Juanita.

It was a fine afternoon in November. We got together with Ate Baban and Cy for lunch that day, after the little boy’s Family Day Presentation at school. It was a bit difficult deciding where to eat because of all the new options that had just opened at the Molito Lifestyle Complex here in Alabang. In the end, we went for a tried and tested place, Cafe Juanita. I’d already eaten at this restaurant previously with my grandparents. To say that we were satisfied with the food is an understatement. As testament to this, know that my grandfather has requested for Cafe Juanita food to be send to his house many, many times after that first visit.

Meanwhile, it was the first time that my lunch dates were going to try the restaurant, which, if I’m not mistaken, has other branches in Pasig and BGC. We were all in yellow that day because that was Tristan’s class color for their performance.

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Mr C
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The Future Mrs Cy and Mr Cy
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Little Mr C, the only one not in yellow.

 

I love the decor at Cafe Juanita. It gives the place such a homey feel, and is a perfect complement to the food. The restaurant is spacious enough, and the whole of Molito has ample parking, so it’s definitely not a hassle coming here (at least for us, since we live only a few streets away). I just love how they give you small folding stools for your bag! I always carry a big bag with me, and figuring out where to put it is always a problem for me. Plus, any restaurant with cloth napkins always get bonus points in my book.

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Table setting
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Long table, perfect for big groups
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Spacious dining area

Lunch with a view? Check out Firelake Grill in Cliffhouse Tagaytay

 

So, here’s what we ordered. This was basically a repeat of most of the dishes I had here when I ate with my grandparents. I thought it would be best to order stuff I’d already tried, just to make sure that everything was good. So, drinks first. Coffee as usual for Mr C, fresh dalandan juice for me and Ate Baban, and strawberry milkshakes for Cy and Tristan. As usual, the little boy asked to play video games while waiting for the food to arrive. We were pretty pooped from our full morning, so no one objected to his request.

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Little happy boy playing Star Wars Angry Birds
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Fresh Dalandan Juice. My favorite! Super refreshing.
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Strawberry Milkshake

 

As for the food, we ended up with a good mix of dishes, all of which were just really, really, really yummy, from appetizer to dessert. These menu items have proven to be winners twice in a row for me, so I would definitely recommend them to first timers.

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Crispy Catfish and Green Mango Salad
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Tom Yum Soup. This is the only dish we ordered that I hadn’t tried before. Upon special request of the Cuyugan siblings. My dad in law makes fantastic Tom Yum.
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Adobo cooked two ways. The top portion is super crispy adobo flakes. The botom half is really tender and tasty. And the sauce is thick and delicious. Mmmm!
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Ginataang Gulay (Veggies in Coconut Milk). This one is super yummy. There’s eggplant in there, kangkong (water spinach) and green chilies.
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And of course, a big bowl of rice.

If you like Pinoy food, you might want to check out Dong Juan in BF.

 

After all of that food, we still had room for dessert. The sweet treats offered at Cafe Juanita are also Pinoy (Filipino). I’m not a big fan of local desserts, but I do like Turon and Halo Halo. We got the Mini Turon ala Mode and the Crepe Samurai, both which I shared with my grandparents on my first time there.

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Banana fritters, deep fried and covered in chewy caramel and sesame seeds. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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Crepes, mangoes and cream. Yum!

Looking for a place to have coffee  after lunch? Try Le Petit Cheri in Molito

 

I would recommend Cafe Juanita to anyone looking for really good Filipino home cooking. Mr C and I can’t wait to go back there to try out their other dishes!

Cafe Juanita – THIS ESTABLISHMENT HAS CLOSED
Molito Lifestyle Complex
Alabang, Muntinlupa
+63917 3456568

 

Dessert and Coffee at Le Petit Cheri

After a very sad lunch at Cucina Victoria in Rockwell, the boys and I headed back south for some dessert and coffee. We decided on Le Petit Cheri, one of the new establishments in the Molito Lifestyle Complex. I pass Molito almost every day, so I know right away whenever a new place opens up. I like to wait though for good feedback from friends and relatives before I try a place out for myself. Bad service annoys me, and so does bad food, so I don’t like to take risks with new restaurants and cafes unless it’s a popular franchise. I first read about Le Petit Cheri on my friend Joei’s blog (do check out her post here for more photos).

What attracted me most to the place was this:

Book shelves!
Book shelves!
More book shelves!
More book shelves!

Continue reading Dessert and Coffee at Le Petit Cheri