Chi’s Burgers Company in Antipolo | steppanyaki

I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about the food scene in Antipolo. I must admit, I’m pretty biased when it comes to this city because I spent 13 years studying in its confines.

During a recent visit to Pinto Art Museum, we decided to make the most of our trip and experience the gustatory offerings in the area. A quick Google search on where to eat and we decided to check out Chi’s Burgers Company. We checked its Facebook page to gauge its popularity, as well as see reviews by customers. It was reassuring to find out that it had received an award for being the best gourmet burger in Antipolo.

A tip to finding your way to Chi’s Burgers Company is to locate the Shopwise in downtown Antipolo. If you’re coming from Ortigas extension (via Cainta, Tikling), just go straight and follow the route of the Antipolo-Tanay jeeps. Once you see the intersection at Shopwise, take a right.

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You’ll know you’re headed in the right direction if you pass by the Lores shopping center  (to your right) and the Nayong Silangan subdivision (to your left).

Right after Nayong Silangan subdivision is this commercial compound with a salon and laundromat downstairs. Look for the signage on the second floor:

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Take the stairs. Chi’s Burgers Company is right on top of the Heads & Hands Salon.

You’ll be greeted by a view of their kitchen. I liked this touch because I got to see how clean their prep area was and how sanitary their process was when handling the meat and other ingredients.

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We chose to take one of the low tables to appreciate the interiors of the restaurant. The black walls with chalk-like illustrations add a hip, youthful vibe. It also helps lend a cozy feel to the humble space. Plus, they make for an instant selfie-worthy backdrop.

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I liked the different hanging lightbulbs that adorned the high table, as well as the industrial lamps on the lower tables.

Their menu consists of burgers, sides, add-ons, drinks and desserts. Burgers can go for as low as P100 (3-inch all-beef burger patty sliders) to P240 (Double Chi’s Burger–a two quarter-pounder burger with a toasted black seasame glazed bun and cheddar cheese).

You also have the option to go for add-ons like bacon, blue cheese, emmental cheese, jalapeno, garlic mayo or egg over easy. These range from P20 to P30.

Fries cost P50 to P100, depending on the size. You can also order a side salad for P50. For beverages, they have root beer, pink lemonade and Ovaltine Milkshake, which unfortunately was not available that day. It was disappointing to find out that even their desserts weren’t available that day–both the Chi’s Cake, P150 and the Mud Pie (P150).

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While waiting for our order, the waitress gave us a Tic-Tac-Toe to keep us entertained. I like it when restaurants come up with simple gimmicks like this to add value to the whole dining encounter. It may be simple, but hey, it works.

I decided to go for the Chi’s Burger, a 1/3 pound all-beef burger patty with lettuce, tomatoes and cheddar cheese, sandwiched between toasted black sesame glazed buns.

Since we chose a combo, we also got fries, onion rings and a drink. I went for pink lemonade. I must say, this platter looked pretty impressive. I like having my drink in a mason jar, my fries in a bucket, and the Flat Tops for a sweet ending and the Clorets to freshen your breath after the meal.

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If you’re a small eater like me, you can share the burger with a friend. I had to ask my boyfriend for help because I easily got stuffed from just the fries and rings.

We had the privilege of meeting Chi himself, who really helped make us feel right at home. He even offered us plastic gloves and gave us a tip on how to properly “anchor” the burger with your pinkies so none of the patty, lettuce or tomatoes fall out of the sandwich. Chi also gave my boyfriend a complimentary drink, the house blend iced tea.

We got to chat with him a bit about the restaurant, and apparently they had just opened in October. Thinking about the 3,000 people that had already liked their Facebook page, I must say, that was quite a feat under a little over a month. Chi was friendly, courteous, and getting to meet him gave an even more personal dimension to the whole experience.

The burgers were especially juicy. Sinking my teeth into the patty, I felt how moist the meat was, and saw how much beef juice dripped onto the platter. I like how singed and crisp the patty’s edges were, and enjoyed how it was seasoned. The burger was a bit on the spicy side, which I instantly took a liking to. I’m not a fan of putting ketchup on my burgers.

The fries and rings were a bit on the oily side too, but not to the point they were soggy. They were actually delightfully crispy and salty.

Since the restaurant can only house a few guests at a time, you don’t get that crowded, busy feel, and you get the attention you require from the waitstaff.

They also have a restroom but my only comment is they didn’t have tissue. But I had my Kleenex anyway so problem solved.

They also made us answer a survey (I even took note of how nicely printed they were) and two thumbs up for this because they really value the customers’ feedback and suggestions.

Overall, the meal can be equated to something you’d get at an even higher-end burger joint (we thought of one in Kapitolyo), at one to two thirds of the price. That in itself is reason enough to go back.

Chi’s Burgers Company is located at Quezon Avenue, 1870 Antipolo City, and is open every Monday and Thursday to Sunday from 12 to 9 pm. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

I do not claim to be a food nor burger expert, and I personally paid for this meal.

Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo | steppanyaki

During the second day of the APEC holiday in the Philippines, my boyfriend and I decided to go on a trip to Antipolo.

I had never been to the Pinto Art Museum, despite Antipolo being a stone’s throw away and many friends in the area. That day was finally my chance.

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Facade of the Pinto Art Museum
Ring the bell when you enter. That's the boyfie standing under the welcome arch.
Ring the bell when you enter. That’s the boyfie standing under the welcome arch.

It was a really hot day, and good thing I had worn a sleeveless blouse that time. We arrived at around 3 pm and noticed the many visitors that day.

Tickets cost P180 each and come with a photocopied layout of the compound. Maybe because the map had been photocopied too many times, most of the text were already hard to decipher. But it can still be useful if it’s your first time in Pinto, because you can still see where the different galleries are set up.

 

Design / layout

Pinto is not designed like your typical art museum, primarily because the exhibits aren’t housed in one building. Also because the entire place isn’t air-conditioned. It’s a mix of installations, sculptures, and your not-so-average paintings scattered throughout the Mykonos-like structures.

Watch your step if you're climbing up to the second floor galleries.
Watch your step if you’re climbing up to the second floor galleries.

The white buildings can be a majestic sight on clear, sunny days, punctuated by the greenery and the stairs running along its sides. We noticed that a lot of couples were having their photos taken on these staircases. The whole place is rather picturesque, probably why Pinto already has packages for prenuptial shoots.

I also appreciated and really liked how they had several couches, benches scattered throughout the vicinity which not only allows visitors to rest but also creates a relaxed, laid-back vibe.

Cozy window nook :)
Cozy window nook. Yes, that’s an actual bed outside. 🙂

I had a bit of a hard time walking around since I was only wearing sandals. Because you’ll be passing through a lot of gravelly paths, I highly suggest you wear rubber shoes or sneakers when you visit.

The large windows let plenty of light in, adding natural drama to the hallways.
The large windows let plenty of light in, adding natural drama to the hallways.

 

Visual displays

I had no idea the visual displays would be that eclectic. They ranged from traditional portraits, somewhat animistic-looking statues, X-rays, to chairs with wings.

This mix of religious and strange sculptures were the first things that greeted us.
This mix of religious and strange sculptures were the first things that greeted us.
Really love these hexagonal frames. If I had a restaurant, I'd use these to mark the men's and ladies' rooms.
Really love these hexagonal frames. If I had a restaurant, I’d use these to mark the men’s and ladies’ rooms.
Make a wish!
Make a wish!
Pinto Art Museum also has a chapel where you can light a candle and say a short prayer.
Pinto Art Museum also has a chapel where you can light a candle and say a short prayer.
A charming image of the traditional ox-hauled carts selling woven wares.
A charming image of the traditional ox-hauled carts selling woven wares.
There are plenty of cafes throughout the vicinity in case you get hungry.
There are plenty of cafes throughout the vicinity in case you get hungry.
This massive mural was a collaborative work of several artists.
This massive mural was a collaborative work of several artists.
Here's a panoramic view of one of the galleries.
Here’s a panoramic view of one of the galleries.
Looks like one of those photos that make it to a berlin-artparasites Facebook post.
Looks like one of those photos that make it to a berlin-artparasites Facebook post.
Lots of people that day!
Lots of people that day!
There's a dining table where people can chill out and chat. That second floor has a bed that we weren't sure was meant for resting or part of an art installation.
There’s a dining table where people can chill out and chat. That second floor has a bed that we weren’t sure was meant for resting or part of an art installation.
This artist actually x-rayed images of saints, crucifixes and what have you. The result? Spooky but also quite cool.
This artist actually x-rayed images of saints, crucifixes and what have you. The result? Spooky but also quite cool.
We snuck into one of the rooms and we were pleasantly surprised to discover this zen-like setup with rocks and water dripping and calming music playing.
We snuck into one of the rooms and we were pleasantly surprised to discover this zen-like setup with rocks and water dripping and calming music playing.

 

The good and the bad

The great thing about Pinto is that it’s not so far from Manila, it’s chock-full of art eye candy (hence, making it selfie-worthy too), and it even has its own cafe in case you get hungry during your tour.

A drawback is that it might not be for your more elderly friends and loved ones, as climbing is required to check out other paintings. Also, climbing stairs should be approached with caution, especially if you’ve got kids with you.

Check out my posts too on Chi’s Burgers Company and Monte Cafe, also in Antipolo!

Pinto Art Museum is located at Sierra Madre Street, Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo City, and is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9 am to 6 pm. For more information, visit their Facebook page