10.30.2014

Tayo Na Sa Antipolo Part 3 : Pinto Museum

Since we already drove all the way there that Sunday, I decided to maximize and make the most out of the whole day. My friend and aunt mentioned about Pinto Museum being an interesting sight so we headed over there to check it out in between our lunch at Crescent Moon Cafe & Pottery Studio and merienda cena at Tipulo Filipino Modern Cuisine.

Pinto Museum houses priced modern art pieces by local artists in charmingly bucolic Mediterranean style structures. It was definitely our type of architecture ; whitewashed cement walls, massive rustic wooden doors, trellises and high ceiling. My husband and I took some serious notes on some areas that we want to use as pegs when we build our future house.









Amusing and somehow fitting for our two little rascals! Hahaha!




Love this shot of them on the mosaic cow

We chanced upon a small group listening to a talk about Social Realism at this biggest hall of the museum filled with paintings depicting the topic. This whole section focuses mainly in the everyday mundane conditions of the poor, working class and those who are critical of the social structures that maintain these conditions. I wanted to stay and listen to the professor's talk if not for my kids who couldn't stay put just yet... hopefully when they are older they will come to appreciate art in a deeper sense!



Grabbed the chance to have a quick family photo with some Ed Borlongan paintings in the background




VERDICT A fun and memorable afternoon of art and culture appreciation for both adults and kids alike. The 2 hours we spent was actually not enough. I would stay longer and maybe try out the Pinto Cafe next time. Totally worth it!


Cheers,
Pattie


Pinto Art Museum 
Hours : Tuesdays-Sundays 9am-5pm
Entrance Fee : Php 150.00  and Php 75.00 for students (please bring a valid ID)
Photoshoot reservations : :http://www.jotform.me/pintoartmuseum/pintoartmuseumreservation



10.28.2014

Tayo Na Sa Antipolo Part 2: Crescent Moon Cafe

Crescent Moon Cafe in Antipolo started out as a small pottery studio by artist/ceramist Ms. Lanelle Abueva-Fernando before it eventually blossomed into a full-blown restaurant-cafe. Lanelle happens to be the niece of National artist Napoleon Abueva and daughter of former UP president Jose Abueva (she is totally legit coming from this long art lineage) so it's no surprise that she ended up in the field of the arts and pottery. 

We arrived quite early for lunch as I estimated about 2 hours travel from the South but since it was a Sunday, it only took us about an hour and half to get there. It was perfect though because it gave us time to explore the place and roam around the grounds.


The main restaurant is found at the heart of the property alongside the pottery house/workshop which unfortunately I didn't get to visit (this gives me a reason to come back!). Lush refreshing greens envelope the naturally idyllic area together with beautiful lily ponds, a koi pond and a small fountain area which produced that soothing calming sound of flowing water...truly music to the ears!







The pathway going towards the main entrance. As you could see, my darling daughter was all too exited to get in!


She wanted a photo with the koi fish and she gave me the biggest sweetest smile. 

 While waiting for the buffet to be ready, the kids were given a small bowl of fish pellets so they could feed the koi. They were giddy with excitement and had a real blast interacting with the fish.






Inside the main dining hall, one can find a small area where Lanelle sells her products. 



My friend Dianne gave me a tip to go to the back of the restaurant and view the SALE items there. They have a whole area of the ceramic products with slight (almost unnoticeable even!) defects but still very much functional which they sell by bulk (Php 200 per kilo). I was able to get about 7 different items (tea cups, a small serving plate and two bowls) for just Php 300.00! 

After roaming around and shopping, it was finally time to eat. We were escorted by our friendly server to our table with the view of the koi pond.

Dining under a crescent moon (literally)

They do not have a standard ala carte menu but instead serves a different menu per day depending on the local ingredients available. The chef creates daily specials so you won't know of the menu until you get there. The only constant dish on the buffet is their signature appetizer called Alagao.  


The Lunch Buffet Set-up that welcomed us. They serve daily buffets : Monday- Saturday Php 450.00/head and on Sundays Php 550.00/ head




This is their signature appetizer "Alagao wraps" which is inspired by the Thai dish Miang Kham which literally means "eating many things in one bite" from miang (food wrapped in leaves) and Kham (bite). It often consists of fresh leaves that are filled with roasted cocout shavings and small pieces of ingredients such as shallots, fresh bird's eye chili, ginger, garlic and lime. Roasted peanuts and small dried shrimps are also added to the mix. The leaves are then topped with a special syrupy sauce made of palm sugar cooked with lemongrass, galangal, ginger and fish sauce. 


Known as the restaurants specialty, they served their own version of this Thai appetizer at the center of the buffet table as a DIY (or should I say warp it yourself) station where you get to pick your leaves and top it with the sidings you want : chilies, chopped basil, fried coconut flakes, roasted peanuts, ginger, green mangoes, shallots and their own sauce. 

 Voila! Roll, Wrap and Enjoy! It's an experience getting your hands dirty and eating this unique dish. The back of the alagao leaf has a cottony and slightly furry texture which might seem a bit daunting to some but you just have to give it a shot! No regrets because not only was it a delight to eat, the Alagao/Alagau leaf is healthy and medicinal as well. This leaf can only be found in the Philippines and for many years has been considered a "drug" used to loosen phlegm and relieve cough. It is also claimed to benefit tuberculosis and headaches. Win-win situation if you ask me!

I really enjoyed this heartwarming Spiced Pumpkin Soup with Buko/Coconut Meat : vibrant silky textured soup with the gentle bite of sweet coconut meat. 


 Pork cooked in Green Mango

 Penne with Peas, Asparagus and Brocolli

 Grilled Salmon

Suman and Mangga (Sticky Rice with Mangoes)
The sweetness of the ripe fragrant mango and the glutinous texture of suman is always a winning combination to me. What a joy to end the meal with this native treat!

As always, one of the best parts about doing a restaurant feature is getting up and personal with the people behind it. After our satistying lunch meal, I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with the owner/artist/ceramist Lanelle Abueva-Fernando herself. She imparted the story about how Crescent Moon started, the legend behind their bestseller "Alagao", her precious family, her late husband who was the genius behind the menu offerings of the restaurant, her two wonderful daughters and so much more... We were joined by my friend/co-yoga teacher Dianne who happens to be Lanelle's Ashtanga instructor as well. One afternoon was definitely not enough since there was so much more to learn about this genuinely lovely lady. I invited her to come visit our family resort in Lipa (www.coritosgarden.com) and our newly opened restaurants in Manila and she promised to drop by when she finds the time.  

Crescent Moon is a must-try in Antipolo if you want to enjoy a day of nature and some healthy hearty food that warms the heart...unpretentious, charmingly rustic and uniquely authentic. 


Cheers,
Pattie

Crescent Moon Cafe
Ascension Road, Barangay Dalig, Antipolo City
Tel No. 630 5854 
Mobile : 0917 523 2356
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CrescentMoonCafeAndStudioPottery
Website : http://lanelleabuevafernando.wordpress.com/


Directions/Map:
Via Ortigas Avenue 



Via Sumulong Highway :




10.27.2014

Tayo na sa Antipolo Part 1 : Tipulo Modern Filipino Cuisine


Tipulo is a Modern Filipino restaurant located inside the First Pacific Leadership Academy along Sumulong Highway. They serve modern fusion cuisine in a very tranquil and relaxing open-air setting allowing you to appreciate nature the fresh Antipolo breeze.





They have quite an extensive menu composed of all time classic Filipino favorites. It took me awhile to narrow down my choices. I had to seek help from our server who happily suggested their new items and signature dishes. 

My little S enjoying her refreshing fresh grape shake 

The tired (he went around the grounds before our meal) and hungry little boy sipping his iced tea




Tinapa Lumpia Php 135.00
We started off our meal with these appetizers. Smoked Bangus flakes and vegetables spring roll served with spicy vinegar dipping sauce. The dynamic combo of smoked bangus and veggies to me is always a sure winner. As a starter though, I expected the size to be like the lumpiang shanghai (finger size in length and diameter) but they served it the large size so it was filling. I only had one because I wanted to make room for the rest. 

Sinigang na Baboy Php 300.00
Pork belly in tangy tamarind soup with native vegetables. * Note : I didn't sample the meat since I do not eat pork but I tried the soup and the vegetables. 
I'm so critical when it comes to sinigang because I make it at home every week and one particular thing I always look for is for the thickness of the soup. I like it cloudy and not clear because it tells you a lot about how the broth was made. A slow, gentle and long simmer results to this thick opaque consistency. Their broth passed that test! I may be biased but I like my soup to be overwhelmingly SOUR. This needed just a little bit more kick to it! Maybe I will I specify this next time. 


Boneless Chicken Inasal Php 215.00
Flame-grilled lemongrass and ginger marinated chicken fillets served with papaya atchara and spicy vinegar sauce. Chicken was grilled well and the meat was juicy and tender. My kids enjoyed this. 


Crispy Hito with Green Mango Salad Php 320.00
Deep Fried Catfish served with green mango salad and atchara


Bagoong Rice (for sharing) Php 165.00


Mango Cashew Torte Php 190.00
Layers of meringue, calamansi chiffon, rich custard topped with fresh mangoes
I can never get enough of mangoes so I had to try this signature dessert. It's like eating sansrival because of the crunchiness of the meringue with mangoes.  The thick layers of cream and custard accentuated the richness and flavor a tad bit sweet for my tastebuds. A few bites was enough for me! I had to get reinforcement from my husband who willingly finished the rest. 

They also sell their homemade goodies like Alfajor, Chocolate Crinkles and Meringue if you want some pasalubong to take back to Manila with you.

Tipulo is best for big groups (balikbayans, barkadas, etc) who are looking to enjoy a salu-salo meal in  an immensely serene and secluded setting. Their portions are huge and almost all meals (at least the ones I sampled) are for sharing. Prices are as friendly as their staff who were nothing short of accommodating. Diners can enjoy a refreshing experience of modern Filipino cuisine while enjoying a green ambiance that takes our mind away from the clutter and stress of the city.


Tara na sa Antipolo (Let's go to Antipolo),

Pattie


Tipulo
First Pacific Leadership Academy
Km Sumulong Highway, Antipolo City
facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TipuloFPLA
Tel No. 02 632 8111 loc. 618

Directions/Landmark :  Pass Sumulong Highway and head towards Antipolo church. Before you reach the Church you see a GALAXY (Gas Station),  enter the First Pacific Leadership Academy compound and you will find the restaurant inside.