Alabang has become nearer to us ever since the family moved south of Manila. And in this district, I discovered a charming place which endeared me the first time I went there. It’s called the Westgate Center in in Filinvest Corporate City (FiliCity), an all-in-one complex to shop, dine, play with the kids, indulge in beauty routines or spend on one’s favorite hobbies like bikes and cars.
The Kanin Club was the first restaurant I discovered and where I savored my first taste of crispy dinuguan. I remember how I promised to myself then that we’ll come back to try all the restaurants there and have a date with hubby (who was then abroad). I simply loved how it was away from all the hustle and bustle of Manila, with pretty landscaping, the shelter of trees and of course, the cozy restaurants with their well-planned assortment of cuisines.
My prayers must have been answered because the people behind Westgate (and their publicist) invited me for a media tour of the food establishments in the area. The itinerary appealed to me because it included a tasting in restaurants I haven’t been to before. So yeah, that’s how we all ended up eating in eight restos in eight hours or so, with only a few breaks in between. If there’s such a thing as shop till you drop, this was a case of eat till you burp, and more. What an experience!
First stop: Red Kimono. I’ve seen this resto in The Fort but managed to pass over it each time. I got to learn that their take on modern Japanese cuisine is worth a try, and their prices aren’t bad either. On the menu: a wide selection of sushi, sashimi, maki, and even teppanyaki. I came late, and managed to have a bite of what everyone ordered, like this dessert – the banana katsu roll dipped in chocolate sauce.
Then, off we go to The French Corner, the upscale resto of renowned chef Billie King. This was the establishment which gave us the best welcome and we were greeted by no less than the young general manager Kevin King. A look at the prepared menu told us that the lunch was going to be very French.. and heavy. Especially as we learned that the main course wasn’t going to be a choice between the Chilean sea bass OR beef tenderloin. We were going to have both, plus dessert! So impressed was I with the experience that I’ll write about The French Corner in another post 😛
We were still full (of course) from our Continental meal , but then again, a little more walking led us to the doors of Alba Spanish Restaurant where a sumptuous buffet was awaiting us. Who can resist their specialties like paella, lengua, callos, gambas, chorizo and jamon serrano? I made sure to top off my meal with their freshly-served cochinillo (roast suckling pig) and then a dessert of canonigo, a white-colored meringue dessert of Spanish origin. Alba’s buffet is value for money, at only P595 for lunch and P695 for dinner and I vowed to go back with the family soon.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, here’s how the rest of the tour went:
Gonuts Donuts is known for their donuts, but their ice cream is especially creamy and a must-try at P60 to P80 per scoop. I opted for the bestselling pistachio flavor 🙂
The Bohemian Trading Nation inside the Serenity Place is the one to go to if you’re looking to furnish your place with hard-to-find Indian, Moroccan and Tibetan furnitures and accessories. The Indian jewelries are a must-buy too. Inside the Serenity Place compound, you can opt for world-class pampering at the Sujivana Salon and Spa, or savor the tasty muffins (and free wifi!) at Bona Coffee.
Sophia’s Mediterranean Deli is one place to try hard-to-find halal food in Alabang. Their lamb dishes are certified halal. Their menu ranges from Italian to Indian to Turkish and French. The owner, Melvyn Whitfield, is an experienced chef who used to run his own restaurant in London. We got to try their pizza and it was excellent.
The Oyster Boy was a revelation. This resto is a good place for affordable family meals where dishes range from P120 to P200. Their oysters, which are sourced from Iloilo, are cooked in different ways. It was already dinner time when we tried Oyster Boy and on the table were their delectable specialties: mangga talaba salad, the Ilonggo version of binagoongan baboy, the adobong pusit at baboy sa pinya (adobo in pineapple), and mango float for dessert.
Our last stop was Congo Grille where the group engaged in videoke singing while waiting for dinner to be served. Congo is a great place to unwind and their promos of beer plus food is ideal for families and the barkada. I only had a glimpse of the crispy pata, sisig and other specialties before I decided to pass up and head home instead. The food tour was impressive and much too filling (note: proper pacing is key) Eight restaurants in eight hours… whew!