Tag Archives: restaurants

PastAmore in Kapitolyo, Pasig | steppanyaki

On a regular Tuesday night, my boyfriend and I decided for a change to have dinner in the Kapitolyo area. It had been a while since we had last had dinner out, and it felt like a refreshing change.

We initially decided to eat at Oriental Pearl–formerly known as Jade Palace–but having passed by and seeing that the parking area was fully occupied, we  decided to cruise around the area until we could see a random restaurant we hadn’t tried, and one that had ample parking space.

Just past Juanito’s Bistro, we noticed a new restaurant, PastAmore. I had noticed it before a few months back, when I had a random dinner by myself in the area, at Red Panda.

They were on soft opening and had plenty of parking slots available. A huge green tarpaulin banner outside bearing free wi-fi care of Sky Broadband also caught our eye.

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At that time, there were only two other customers. I had no idea what to expect with the food as I entered the restaurant. Ambience-wise, you would put PastAmore into the family-friendly establishment category.  Brightly lit, with hanging orb lights, black leather-upholstered wooden booths, with red brick accents adding a contrast to the stark off-white flooring and ceiling.

I also noticed that the restaurant has a second floor, though I wasn’t able to investigate if you can also dine up there, or if it’s just plainly storage space.

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We were immediately greeted by a server and were handed the menu, and we discover that PastAmore’s unique selling point is unlimited pasta and DIY pizza.

While on a different day we would gladly dive into the customizable pasta and pizza option, we weren’t exactly that hungry at that time; we only wanted a place to hang out with and enjoy a light shared dinner.

My boyfriend marveled at PastAmore’s logo–featuring a fork with swirled spaghetti noodles, enveloped in a heart. Pretty clever, huh? Really simple, but it captures the essentials of the brand in a single stroke.

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We decided to get some Nachos (P149) and Garlic Shrimp Pesto (P239). While waiting, we looked around and noticed an assembly line counter.

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If you make your own pasta (just for P249), you go through a three-step process.

First, select the kind of pasta you’d like for your creation. You can choose from spaghetti, penne, fettuccine, angel hair, macaroni and whole wheat spaghetti (something for the more health-conscious folks out there!).

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Next, choose your sauce. You can opt for alfredo, bolognese, sweet spaghetti meat sauce, chunky tomato, pesto cream, tomato cream, hot tex mex, garlic cream, meaty palabok, spicy curry, satay, queso fundido, eggplant pomodoro and wasabi (imagine that!).

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Finally, have a go at your toppings. You can choose from ham, grilled chicken, bacon bits, beef mix, pork floss, sliced jalapenos, dried luncheon meat, powdered chicharon (oh yes!!!), sweet corn, roasted mushrooms or roasted vegetables.

The final touch is choosing your cheese–either orange cheddar or parmesan.

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If you’re creating your own pizza, it’s essentially the same process without the pasta selection part.

For the less adventurous diners, you can just go for the chef’s specials, where you have fettuccine carbonara, spaghetti puttanesca, squid ink fettuccine, kung pao chicken pasta, aglio oglio, ligurian pesto, OMG! pasta (why didn’t we see this?), somethin’ porky spaghetti, somethin’ fishy fettuccine or classic lasagna.

So our nachos arrives and the portion is pretty glorious for sharing. Okay, I have a thing with chips so I pretty much wolfed this down on my own. Topped with a generous serving of cheese sauce, ground beef and salsa, this one was not difficult at all to consume in a few minutes.

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Next, our garlic shrimp pesto! We weren’t able to take a photo, but they also served us complimentary crusty bread. At first, I couldn’t really taste the pesto, but after a few forkfuls, I tasted just how rich the sauces and oils were in my mouth. The pasta was just the right springiness, and the portion, again, is good for sharing (Or maybe we’re just light eaters).

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One setback, I would have to say, was that we didn’t know they served dessert, which was what we could have settled for initially. But at least we got to try their specialty–making pasta!

Also, they should do something about the free wi-fi. It involves a really slow loading login process, and I hardly got to check anything online.

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For sweet endings, PastAmore has strawberry cheesecake, blueberry cheesecake, avocado cheesecake and oreo cheesecake (all at P120 per slice). Something to try next time, too!

By the time we were done with our dinner, the place was packed–from couples, to friends just chilling. There’s just something comforting about good pasta dishes during this rainy and unpredictable season.

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Whatever you’re hankering for, there’s literally something for you in the menu at PastAmore. Now, obviously, we have to go back because the options are endless!

PastAmore is located at 52 East Capitol Drive, Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City, and is open every day from 11 am to 12 midnight–perfect for those late night cravings! For inquiries, visit their Facebook page.

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.