Coffee Shop Saturday: Coffee & Pastry Shop By Chef G

I’m trying this new thing, wherein every Saturday, I would go to a different coffee shop (that’s not Starbucks, CBTL, or other well-known coffee shops), and try on their menu.

For my first stop, I’m not going far from my place. I went to this small coffee shop just outside our subdivision called Coffee & Pastry Shop by Chef G.

The moment I came in, the first thing I noticed is this nice, elaborate crystal chandelier.


Looks really fancy, right? It made the small coffee shop a little more homey. Their wall accent is also nice. I like the black and white stripes on the wall.

I ordered Strawbery Mocha Frappe and two slices of their Hawaiian Pizza.



Their Strawberry Mocha Frappe tastes like a blend of choco, coffee and strawberry. Imagine Nestle’s Berry Mocha, but much better. You could taste the strawberry, as it almost overpower the coffee. It’s a little too sweet, maybe because of the whip cream and syrup on top of it, but somewhat tolerable.


The Hawaiian Pizza has a generous topping. It has a thick crust, but amazingly, it’s crispy. It may be inexpensive, but it tastes like the other branded pizzas.

The price is just right, that students can afford their coffee. So if you don’t have much budget, and wants some nice, fancy coffee, this is the place to go to.




Payday Lunch at The Stockpile

It’s another payday, and we decided to splurge on lunch once again. For months, days and weeks, we were eyeing to eat somewhere in The Sapphie Bloc. We had been eyeing to eat in Sobremesa, however, when we got there at 10 AM, it was still closed, although it says on their FB page that they open at 10 AM.

Also in Sapphire Bloc, The Stockpile is the only restaurant we see that’s already open. Since we were all starving, we decided to give it a try.



The inside of  the restaurant is quite cozy and homey. It has this classy ambiance. The place is not too big, but I think it can accommodate enough people either for lunch rush hour or for dinner.



I ordered their Sizzling Sisig Lengua Rice. I was surprised at how big the serving is. However, the sisig is too spicy for my taste. I’m pretty sure I see the port and the chicharon, as said in the menu, but it seems I am missing the lengua. The sisig became crunchy because of the chicharon. Now, can you say “putok batok?”



I also ordered their Key Lime Pie ice cream. It was a unique flavor for me, so I ordered it. It balances it’s sweetness and tartness, and it pairs well with the crushed graham. It helped to take out the spiciness from the sisig I ate earlier.


The food we ordered were a little bit pricey, but it justifies the amount of serving we had. The ice cream could have had been priced less. A scoop for a hundred bucks seems a little expensive.

Overall, I enjoyed the food. We also enjoyed the place, that we hang out for almost an hour, till we realized we have to go back.


Kitchen Misadventures: Pan De Sal French Toast

It’s Sunday morning, and I’m craving for something. I have to eat something before I do my usual chore for the day, which is to do my laundry. I have a bunch of day old pan de sal I bought the day before from Mr. Pot Pot (I don’t know his name, and believe me when I say I call him that), and I don’t like to eat it plainly. Then, an idea hit me -I should make a french toast out of it!

I rushed to the nearby store, and bought a pack of powdered milk. I took the egg sitting in my ref, and the honey I bought a couple of days ago.


I sliced the pan de sal into halves, and took the margarine.


I dissolved the powedered milk in hot water, then once it’s cool, I added the whole egg and a tablespoon of honey. I didn’t use condensed milk, because I don’t want it to be too sweet, as I will eat it eaither with honey or choco spread.



Then I took the sliced pan de sal, dipped it on my batter/mix, and fried it on a pan with oil and margarine.



The result – a plate of goodness! I ate it with choco spread and a cup of coffee.



1 small pack/sachet of powdered milk (1/4 cup condesned milk diluted in water)

1 whole egg

1 tablespoon honey (optional if you will be using condensed milk instead)

10 pieces Pan De Sal


Oil for Cooking






Something New To Learn: Food Photography 101

I wanted to learn calligraphy, and so, I looked for workshops that’s within my budget. Then, I saw a post in Facebook about brush calligraphy from Tavel Factor’s Kapitolyo 101. I checked out their website, and then I saw that they are also offering a workshop for food photography. I scrapped my first plan, and signed up for Food Photography 101.

Our instructor is Mac Centeno. He has years of experience in food and product photography. Just before our workshop, he went to Canyon Woods in Tagaytay to do a shoot of their menu. He showed us samples of his shots, and we were very impressed and in awe upon seeing his works.



Our instructor in action


Joining him is Tonette Asprer, a well-known food stylist. Part of our lesson is to learn and know how food styling is done. She showed us how she prepares the food to be shot.


How to make an ice cream?

She styled 3 dishes – pasta, chicken and ice cream. She showed us some tricks on how to make the food look good in billboards and advertisement. She told us the rules of food styling

  • It doesn’t have to taste good, it has to look good
  • Don’t eat what you style

Some of the sample food she prepared are not really thoroughly cooked. For example, she simply boiled the chicken, until the skin looks good enough to paint on (yes, paint.) The pasta she prepared is half cooked, and cooked in oil. Like a make up artist, she have a lot of tools and what-nots to make the food look good. And in a shoot, the food needs to be retouched from time to time.


Looks delish, right? But you can’t eat this

A food stylist and food photographer always work hand in hand. The output of the photographer would depend on how realistic and mouthwatering the food the food stylist prepared. Sometimes, due to budget constraints, its the food photographer that would end up styling the food.

Mac taught us how to take a good food picture. It doesn’t matter if it’s through our mobile phone or DSLR camera. Here are some bullet points of what he had taught us.

  • Lighting is very important in food photography.
  • Light source should always at the back, and you should use a reflector in front.
  • Shoot the subject to where the light is.
  • The reflector to use can be any piece of white paper or board. You can even use a tissue as a reflector. It just needs to reflect the light from it’s source.
  • Don’t shoot directly in front of the food, as you will lose the shadows and highlights, which makes the food look good.
  • Arrange the food neatly
  • Never use flash when taking a picture of your food, as the output will be much whiter
  • Take a photo as if it will be the final layout in the magazine, and you will have minimal editing to do.

We had our hands on practice on one of the restaurants/coffee shop around Kapitolyo. We went to United Coffee to test our skills, and ordered different kind of coffee for our practice shots. Here are some of my best (I guess) shots, taken from my Sony QX10


The best part about this is we get to eat what we shot! And of course, I met new people and found new friends, aside from learning something new.



Hopefully, they will offer a workshop on food styling. But for now, I’m signing up for their calligraphy class.



Quick Stop At Tagaytay – Josephine’s and Rowena’s

Before going home to Manila, we made a quick stop in Tagaytay. It has been years since I last went to this place, so I gave it a go. My mission here was to buy some goodies at Rowena’s, and to find an affordable honey.

We were able to find a bottle of honey along the way. If you frequent Tagaytay, you’ll usually see vendors selling fruits and other goodies along the road. I bought a bottle of honey for Php 150. It was a deal, because I also bought a bottle of honey for my Team Lead.


Then, our next stop is Rowena’s Tarts. If you want to buy “pasalubong” from Tagaytay which is not Collette’s then this is the place to go to. I was planning to buy blueberry cheesecake tarts, but I preferred the sylvanas.


Sylvanas are Php 200 each pack, and I bought two. I saw a wine with nice bottle, but I didn’t buy it. Maybe next time I’m around the place.

Next stop is Josephine’s. We didn’t eat lunch before leaving Club Balai Isabel, and only ate pizza. So, we indulged ourselves to their great tasting food.


Lechon Kawali


Kare Kare


Baked Tahong


Seafood platter

We sat right in front of the overview. It was a very relaxing combination – Good Food + Beautiful View = Relaxing afternoon.



Bulalo Stop at Rose And Grace’s

On the way to Club Balai Isabel, we had a quick stop at Rose and Grace’s Bulalo in Sto. Tomas Batangas for an early dinner. We were all hungry by the time we arrived. Of course, we are in Batangas, and of course, we need a taste of Bulalo.


We ordered a big bowl of Bulalo. Unfortunately, the bowl served to us didn’t have any bone marrow.


Then, we also ordered two servings of grilled tuna belly. I was amazed at how big the serving is.


I already took a piece to eat before I realized I had to take a picture of it.

The food is great. Although we were a bit surprised by the price of tuna, but it’s worth it because of how big the serving is.



Team Building At Club Balai Isabel

We have been stressed lately. With the last quarter of the year coming, and 2016 going to end soon, it’s almost crunch time to us. We have been too pressured lately from work, and we needed to unwind and relax, or else we’ll get burned out. As studies says, too much stress can destroy the neurons in the brain. We don’t want that to happen to us.

Good thing, September 5 is a holiday in Canada. And since we follow Canadian holidays, it’s a long weekend for us. Our team planned to have a team building for the long weekend, and luckily, one of our team mates have a membership in Club Balai Isabel, so we decided to to do our team building there.

We left Sunday afternoon in Ortigas. After a stop over at Rose and Grace’s Restaurant in Sto. Tomas, Batangas for an early dinner,  we arrived in Club Balai Isabel at around 7 PM. We stayed at Balai Laurel, one of the villas in Club Balai. Some of us rested for a while (including me), others had to go out to look for and buy some ice for our drinks.




Our Room

Our room is very spacious. It had 2 queen size beds and a small kitchen.

After everyone has settled down, we decided to roam around the place that night, and take a night swim.


After our night swim, we then began our bonding – drinking!



I wasn’t able to take much pictures that night. I was planning to wake up early to take a photo of the sunrise, but since I was too drunk the night before and slept late, I wasn’t able to do so.

We strolled the place that morning. While two of my team mates were biking around the place, we chilled at the poolside.


We went home by 1 PM. We had a quick stop at Tagaytay, but that would be for another entry.