Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Local Hangout: Noveleta Plaza Café Review

Courtesy of:


Upon seeing the café, I really thought it was something else. I'm not sure what it is but I only knew that it was a café when I have asked my grandfather about it. The café was not catchy as well as their signage, the exterior looked dull. If I didn't know that it was a café, I might have mistaken it for an office as it is situated within the town hall plaza. I have been passing by the café numerous times but it was when I was forced to look for somewhere to eat that I have finally decided to try it out. The 5 peso coffee vendo machine on the entrance of the café made me hesitant to try it out because why would they put up a coffee vendo machine if they can serve coffee.


I finally got the nerve to try it although I might disappoint myself, I thought. BUT it exceeded my expectation. From a local café, I wasn't even expecting what's on their menu. What's inside the café makes up for what they lack on their exterior, maybe it's because, inside, there are a lot of portraits of the food in their menu. Nothing can be more appetizing than that and yes, it exceeds what I have been expecting but I'm not saying it is on the same level as some popular or high end café.

What I like about the plaza café?

♥ From where I'm staying in Noveleta Cavite, it's the nearest, pretty decent place to hang out. It's just a few steps away!
♥ There are variety of food.
♥ It is worth every peso you spend when it comes to the amount of food per serving.
♥ For a local shop, the interior is not bad.


If you are looking for pasta, sandwiches or mexican food like nacho and taco, it is definitely the perfect place to dine. During my first visit to the café, I have tried their spaghetti, quesadilla and taco salad. It really is mouth-watering! I have told my cousins about the experience dining in at the plaza café and so I visited back with them. We have tried their panini and strawberry- banana smoothie which is ambrosial.


We all have different taste buds but mine says it's just right. It's sweetness, saltiness and the tangy flavor are balanced. The garlic bread is toasted perfectly, it tasted good too.

♦ Quesadilla:

It is one of my favorites. The cheese and beef filling is flavorful.

♦Taco Salad: 

Basically, there isn't any difference with their taco salad and a regular taco except for the taco shell. This goes to my next favorite because they are just so generous with the serving!

♦ Panini: 

You've got your choice of chicken panini, tuna panini and bacon panini. However, I believe they could improve it, more especially the chicken panini. It is lacking something. It felt like I was eating a white bread with a lady's choice chicken spread! I'm not a fan of their panini.

♦Strawberry- Banana Smoothie: 

It is the BOMB! I love it! It taste natural, although I'm quite not sure if the ingredients are real fruits or just a concentrated syrup.

☺I have been wanting to taste their roast beef sandwich but it is always unavailable. I just hope, the next time I visited the café again, It would be available.
☺I also want to taste their mexican pizza, the portrait of it is quite intriguing!
They also serve rice meals that are perfect for breakfast. Price ranges roughly from Php 60.00 to Php 200.00


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sweet and Sour Prawn Balls Recipe

Tired of the usual sweet and sour pork or chicken? Why not try prawns?
Let me share this recipe. I hope you guys would like it and let me know if you have tried it.


500g Prawns, shelled and sliced in about an inch
vegetable oil for deep frying
1 tbs of crushed garlic
1/8 tsp. grinded ginger
2 medium sized red onion, large slices
1 green bellpepper, large slices
sesame oil

Prawn Batter Mixture:

1 Egg, beaten
1/2 cup Corn Starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
a few teaspoons of water, it really depends on the consistency of your batter.

 Sweet and Sour Mixture:

5 tbs. Banana Ketchup
1 can Pineapple Juice ( I used Del Monte Pineapple Juice, I think it's the 240ml can)
3 tbs. Apple cider vinegar
4 tbs. Brown sugar
1 tbs. Corn Starch dissolved in 4 tbs. water
Salt and Pepper


First: How to make the prawn balls?

1. In a bowl, combine the prawn batter mixture (above). Mix it well and adjust the consistency, it shouldn't be watery. It should coat the prawns well.
2. After coating the prawns with the batter, deep fry the prawns until golden brown, place it on a paper towel to drain excess oil and then set it aside.

Second: The Sweet and Sour Mixture

1. On a sauce pan, combine the ingredients for the sweet and sour mixture; let it simmer and adjust the taste base on your preference. If all is good, set it aside. This is the most crucial part because the sweet and sour mixture is the foundation of this dish. It can either make or break the dish. 

Lastly: Let's Integrate!

1. Saute the garlic and ginger. Add the bellpepper and onion. Give it a few stir then add the prawns.
2. Slowly pour the sweet and sour mixture until everything is coated and then remove from heat.
3. Add a few drops of sesame oil, give it a stir and it is ready to serve!

Notes: Eyes here!

For newbies in cooking eyes here! For the master chefs, I'm not an expert , you guys are free to leave some tips for me. :)

* Peeling the prawn's shell  when it is raw is difficult (well atleast for me but I don't know about you guys) because the shell is too hard, you can use scissors to remove the shell and other unneccessary parts of the prawn, however, I have boiled the prawns first before peeling the shell. It is much easier. You should just avoid overcooking it because it'll be deep fried together with the batter anyway and when it is overcooked, the flesh of the prawn, sticks to its shell.

* The sweet and sour mixture has corn starch, too much exposure to heat with less liquid will make it gelatinize or produce lumps and you don't want to ruin the dish right?

*Most sweet and sour mixtures are made with tomato ketchup but I have used banana ketchup because It is my preference and I think  the flavor is more balanced with banana ketchup because tomato is more sour. Maybe if you will use tomato ketchup, do not add vinegar. I do love tomato ketchup but not in this dish.

* Hold on to your horses and do not add too much sesame oil! Its taste might overpower the dish. One or one and a half teaspoon would do.

* I have added the sesame oil when the dish was removed from the heat because adding it too early in the dish will loosen its flavor.

   There you have it! Enjoy!♥
                                                                                  - Sofie ☺

Monday, December 1, 2014

Restaurant Review: Le Cou de Tou

Hello Foodies!

Looking for a hangout? A personal favorite is from the Arts Capital of the Philippines! Are you guys getting a hint now? It's in Angono! A municipality in Rizal region, located 30 kilometers east of Manila.
Something interesting is the restaurant's name which is Le Cou de Tou. It seemed french during the first encounter then I realized It sounded "LIKO DITO" , a tagalog word for "turn here". It was hilarious.

Upon the entrance, there is a counter where you can order beverages. My favorite part is the dining area. You will chow down in a nipa hut or " kubo"  in Filipino. My acquaintances and I have been hanging out in Le Cou de Tou numerous times, so we already have a favorite hut near the stage. In the evening, there's live band performances.


The restaurant serves Filipino food. Their house specialty is Budbod. It is a rice dish topped with meat, tomatoes, egg, onion and chives. It is called Budbod because a part of its preparation is to sprinkle the toppings, "to sprinkle" in tagalog means ibudbod. 

In Le Cou de Tou, you can choose the meat that goes with your Budbod. You can either choose beef, pork or tocino (a sweet Filipino breakfast dish made with pork). The best budbod is the mixed one. I liked the taste of their Budbod. It is delicious although it wasn't something extraordinary, maybe because I am so used in eating Filipino food.

They also serve other Filipino food aside from Budbod in which we have also tried but whenever we decided to hit on Le Cou de Tou, our choice will always be Budbod.

Dishes are affordable price starts at Php 60.00


Le Cou de Tou is something I would recommend, not just because of their Budbod but the place itself. It isn't extravagant or lavish but it is cozy. It really is a great hangout with friends. I wouldn't recommend it for someone who's all in for something fancy. 

Just an advice: You may want to make advance reservations for lunch and dinner because it is jam-packed during those hours, especially in the evening and weekends.

Contact number: (02) 470-0383

How to get there:

It maybe difficult to find for the first time because it is inside a subdivision, however you can always ask as it is known in the area.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Kind of Sisig: Tofu Sisig Recipe

Hey Reader!
I have learned a new tofu dish and i want to share it with you because it is so easy to make and it is so scrumptious. But first let me give you details about the dish.

What is Sisig?

Sisig is a Kapampangan (a Filipino dialect) term for "to snack on something sour". It is a Filipino dish made from parts of a pig and liver, usually seasoned with calamansi and chilies. It originated in Pampanga, Philippines.  There are different variations of sisig some are made with chicken, squid, tuna and if you are vegan your pick might be tofu.

The authentic ones are made with pork, it is so delicious but it is full of fats, it's a 100 times no for health, so I searched for its variation and I decided to try TOFU, since my mom have already bought some.  To tell you honestly eating tofu has its health cons too, I might blog it soon, and compared to super greasy pork variation of this dish I would recommend other variations. I have tried other variations such as chicken and squid sisig, it's delicious too.


500 g tofu, cubed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 finger chilies, sliced 
dried chili flakes (optional)
3 tbs. oyster sauce
2 tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbs. water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 red onion, chopped


1. Heat oil in a wok or pan. Fry the tofu until it becomes golden brown.  Don't fry it excessively. Drain the tofu in paper towels to get rid of the excess oil then set aside.
2. On a bowl, combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, water, mayonnaise and black pepper. Mix well then set aside. ( you can always adjust the consistency and the taste of the mixture based on your preference)
3. Saute garlic and bell pepper then add the tofu and chilies. Stir-in the mayonnaise mixture. 
4. Before serving, mix-in the chopped onions, the raw onions enhances the flavor of the tofu sisig. Add more thin slices of red chilies for garnish. You can also serve it with slices of lemon or calamansi.

If you want to add more spiciness, you can add dried chili flakes on the mayonnaise mixture. It is usually served with few squeezes of lemon or calamansi but as for me I personally do not like any variation of sisig with lemon or calamansi except for the one made with squid.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Negros Occidental Trip #2 ( The Ruins and Mangrove Trail, Weird Observations )

2/2 of Negros Occidental Trip Blog

Trip Highlights

First Breakfast at Silay City

It was weird walking in the streets hearing a dialect you've never known before. Since birth I have only known Tagalog and English language. A good thing in travelling to Negros, most negrenses can understand and speak tagalog and english.

Near our hotel, across the street, there is a place called " Kapehan Sang Silay". Since we've been itching for a good negrense breakfast, we've decided to give it a try. I ordered Tocino (Filipino cured meat), egg and rice and accompanied it with hot chocolate. I love their tocino, it is pretty much different from the usual sweet Pampanga's best-like tocino. Their hot chocolate tasted like the ones made with Tablea (Filipino chocolate).

We don't have a docket at the moment so we decided to go to The Ruins.  From Silay City, we rode a bus going to Bacolod City, when we have reached the Pepsi bottling plant there was a terminal, then we rode a tricycle which took us straight to The Ruins.
Bus ride to the terminal near Pepsi bottling plant

The Ruins, Talisay City

The owner of the mansion was Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson. It was built for his Portuguese wife Maria Braga. According to our tour guide, the architecture of the mansion was renaissance type. The mansion was burned down during World War II to prevent the Japanese conquerors from using it.The Ruins was listed one of the 12 most fascinating ruins in the world.

The place is so tranquil, the scenery is so grand. It's a perfect place for photo shoots, weddings, parties, etc.It's one of my trip's highlights. I wonder what it was like when it was not yet burned. I bet Maria Braga was such a beauty that Don Mariano longed to build such a wonderful place.
The restaurant inside serves Italian cuisine although there's a menu under Zone 15 Bistro which has Filipino dishes. 

Here's some links for their menu:

A Taste of Italy at The Ruins

Zone 15 Bistro

Balaring Mangrove Resort Trail

Balaring is a barangay in Silay City known for seafood restaurants. However it also homes a 50 hectare mangrove eco-tourism area. The Mangrove Resort Trail has a 500 meter bamboo bridge. A great way to see the view is through the 30 feet watch tower. At the end of the trail, there is a resort. Cottages are available. It's a great place for picnics.

Weird things that I have observed during the trip:

♣ When you eat on a restaurant and ask for a patis or fish sauce they will give you soy sauce instead.It's pretty weird because it happened more than two times. I'm not sure if they have misunderstood or there is just no fish sauce in Negros Occidental.

♠ I am nocturnal and I find it weird that at 7:00 in the evening the streets of Silay City is like a ghost town. The stores are already closed. My advice is: If you need to buy some stuff at the grocery, you need to buy it before 7:00 pm.

Food/ Delicacies

Sweets: The best place for grabbing some sweet delicacies is Merci. I have tried their piaya, barquillos, pinagsubo, baquiron and my favorite, their tarts! Merci is located near the Silay City Public Market.

Chicken Inasal is also a must-try since it's a specialty in Negros Occidental.
During the trip, I have also tried eating Cansi, it is a negrense soup dish made with beef, bone marrow, jack fruit and a souring agent.

My trip to Negros Occidental was great although I wasn't able to visit other cities like Victoria and Cadiz. I hope next time I would be able to visit more places and restaurants in Negros Occidental, God willing.

Negros Occidental Trip #1 (Arrival at Silay & Heritage Houses)

This is another one for the culture travelers out there. Negros Occidental, specifically Silay City will make you feel you are back to the old days. For some readers who cannot relate, Negros Occidental is a province in The Philippines located on Western Visayas, its capital is Bacolod City. Our guide said Negros was originally known as Buglas but during the Spanish regime, the Spaniards named it Negros because the natives were dark-skinned. 

Trip Highlights

Arriving at New Bacolod-Silay Airport

It took us 45 minutes from Manila to Silay City via Philippine Airlines. I enjoyed the flight because we made an advance seat reservation and I chose a window seat so that I can take some snapshots of the view. 
Arriving at Silay City was pretty nice the weather was great, it was neither hot nor too cold. A family friend, a local from Silay City, picked us up at the airport. 
Another thing I've noticed, there's a lot of sugar cane plantations, then  I remembered, Negros Occidental is the " Sugarbowl of the Philippines", it explains the numerous fields of sugar cane. 


People in Negros are called Negrense. Majority of the people in Negros Occidental speaks Hiligaynon, a dialect in Western Visayas, It is said that it is an Austronesian language. However most people I've been with in Negros Occidental are well conversant in English language. 
We visited Negros Occidental to visit a dear friend of my father, all throughout the trip, they have been hospitable and they smile and laugh a lot. I think Negrenses are way too happy people. Being with them feels light,no worries. They are the ones who gave us a tour to some well-known places in Negros Occidental.

Some of the Ancestral Houses

Balay Negrense, Silay City

Negros Occidental is the home of more than 50 heritage houses. One of those is Balay Negrense , balay is the hiligaynon word for house, it is also called as the Victor Fernandez Gaston Ancestral House. Victor Gaston is the son of Yves  Leopold Gaston, a french pioneer of the sugarcane industry in Philippines. 
My favorite part of the Balay Negrense tour is the mini gallery which has plentiful dose of art. You can also buy souvenirs from the gallery. I liked the art made from wires, I never thought it can be admirable.
Here's their website:

Admission fees for Balay Negrense:

Adults ____________Php 40.00
Senior Citizen ______Php 35.00
Children & Students _Php 20.00

5 de Noviembre St., Silay City, 6116 
Contact no: (034) 714-7676

Bernardino Jalandoni Heritage House, Silay City

Some Negrense called it the Pink House because it is painted pale pink. It used to be the residence of Don Bernardino and Doña Ysabel Jalandoni. On November of year 1993, the National Historical Institute declared the Bernardino-Jalandoni House as National Historical Landmark. It is said that the Silay Heritage Foundation Inc., maintains the heritage house.

There's also a doll museum, it's like the mini version of some famed people we've known. Some are Cory Aquino, Lapu- lapu, there's also a Maria Clara doll, etc. 

Admission fees: 
Php 50.00 per head
Rizal St., Silay City, 6116
Contact no: 
(034) 495-5093
Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays 9am to 5pm

We would like to visit some other heritage sites but some are only open by appointment. I truly admire the streets of Silay City, it somehow reminds me of Vigan although both are incomparable.I loved that it is so clean and away from earsplitting noises and pollution. 

I've decided to post the other half of my trip on the next blog.. Check it out too! It'll be my trip to The Ruins in Talisay City and the Mangrove Trail in Balaring, Silay City. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Random Thoughts: Discouraged Newbie Blogger

Dear Fellow Newbie,

Being new to blogging is somehow difficult. There are instances that there will be low page views which might keep you dissuaded, there are instances when you will have second thoughts if your blog content doesn't appeal to your audience. The fact that there are more than 100 million bloggers out there who are more likable, more creative and more knowledgeable than you are,it may discourage you in continuing your blog and might drive you to think your working just a dump ready to populate the blogging industry.


First ask yourself WHY  DID YOU DECIDE TO BLOG?

Surely you've got a reason to blog. It maybe because you do want to share your experiences , your knowledge  or simply because you want to express yourself. As for me I decided to create a blog because I want to keep track of memories. Somehow I want to make my blog a portal to what I've been doing lately, I know it maybe weird for some and who would even care whatever I'm doing right? To prevent yourself from being discouraged, you have to know what is the main reason why you have decided to blog.

If you are blogging just because you want to earn through monetizing the blog, FORGET IT! It will only discourage you if you'll get fixated with the whole monetizing thingy.

Do you want to know why?

Yes, monetizing your blog is a great option, there is nothing wrong monetizing your blog. You can integrate your blog to Google Adsense, Infolinks, Bidvertiser or any other money generating ad companies, however if you'll just focus on monetizing it, you'll stress yourself. You'll get discouraged whenever no one clicks your ads. Your blogging will revolve around how to increase your page views, ad clicks, where will you post the ad banners, etc. Some people thought that by blogging you'll earn right away, well yes, maybe for some who's in the blogging industry for a couple of years and mind you you're not! As well as myself.

Just to set an expectation. You have to be tough if you want to pursue blogging, in any industry there will be a lot of factors that can hold you back. 
One of those is INTIMIDATION. It can either be criticism from other bloggers or you can get intimidated by other blogger's works or followers.

Here's what you can do:

1. Don't compare your works with other bloggers', instead of comparing, how about seek for tips?, Communicate to other bloggers. Join and participate to communities.
2. Accept the fact that there will be bloggers who can gain more followers than you, give it a time and hope for the best. Aim high! ☺
3. Accept criticism, negative or positive, it'll be a stepping stone!
4. Create the content from your heart! ♥♥♥

I don't know where my blogging frustration will lead me, but one thing's for sure I'll continue blogging in accordance to my reasons why and besides I thirst for learning!