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Birthday Events Restaurant Review

Yuri’s 6th Birthday Celebration + Review of Cafe Andessa

Cafe Andessa is one of my favorite local restaurants. Aside from being one of the restaurants closest to our suburb (read: mountains lol), I love the ambience and their food is always delicious!

But it’s only late last year when I discovered that they can be exclusively booked for events and private dinners. We were invited by our clients (in real estate), and I made it a mini-mission to know how much they charge for exclusive bookings. Of course, I promptly forgot about inquiring until it was almost Yuri’s birthday. We actually booked the place just a week before our desired date. Good thing they were still available!

Aside from Yuri’s birthday, we were also celebrating his Moving Up and my sister’s Moving Up, which is why we chose to have the celebration on the 28th (the day of my sister’s Moving Up). Also, it was the day before the long weekend, which was ideal.

Let me tell you upfront that I am very very satisfied with Cafe Andessa! But before I explain why, here are some pictures of the event. First, the OOTDs taken at home! Hihi pagbigyan na

And the photos taken at Cafe Andessa. I really reaaaally regret not being able to take a lot of pictures. I don’t even have a single picture of the dishes! But these were on our menu: chicken pastel pie, beef caldereta, sweet and sour fish, spaghetti, fried suman, fresh fruits, and pineapple-orange juice.

We had so much fun that evening, and I can say that our guests — both the kids and the adults — had a great time, too. We prepared silly games, guessing games, which was kinda hard because of the venue’s limited space. But we were able to do it, much thanks to Cafe Andessa’s superb customer service. Here’s my verdict!

Photo grabbed from MJ Crave’s Escape

Location

As of now, though you can easily reach the restaurant by commuting, its location is still a bit hidden. However, it’s right in front of the new Gaisano Mall that’s currently being built, so once the mall’s done, it wouldn’t be so hidden anymore! Parking is okay; there is enough space for several cars.

Price

When you book the place exclusively for your event, you have two options. First is booking the entire place and second is booking half the place. In order to book the entire place — which we did — they are asking for a minimum headcount of 45 pax. I’m not sure whether they count the kids or not, but I counted the kids on my guest list just to be on the safe side.

I’ll let you in on the price. It’s just P250 per head! It’s very sulit given these inclusions: use of the place for 4 hours, 3 viands, 1 vegetable/noodle dish, dessert, and unlimited drinks. I’ll discuss the food next.

Food

The primary reason why Cafe Andessa was on top of our choices was the food. Their food is always so delicious, authentic, and they don’t scrimp at all on ingredients. When we inquired, we were surprised at the amount of food included given the low price. Other restaurants charge much higher for less food!

It’s already a given that their food is yummy, so I wasn’t surprised when our guests went back for seconds, thirds, even fourths. But the biggest pleasant surprise was the serving. When we got there, there were already warmers for each dish. I thought that was it. As the night went by, I noticed that they kept on refilling each warmer. Super sulit! 

And that’s not all. When we were getting ready to leave, the waiter immediately packed all the food left from dinner. I thought that was it (are you noticing a pattern now?), but the manager told us to wait for a while as they’re still packing the food from the kitchen that wasn’t served. What, meron pa?! We went home with so much food that we had to distribute most of it to our other guests who remained. Super duper sulit!

I only got to take a picture of the buffet table huhu

Unfortunately, I don’t have a single photo of the cuisine because I was very busy jumping from table to table. I don’t think the other guests were also able to take a photo.

Customer Service

As if my rave about their food and pricing is still not enough, I will add one more thing. The staff from Cafe Andessa is one of the most pleasant, polite, and approachable restaurant staff I’ve ever talked to. They’re really easy to talk to and was okay with most of our requests (nothing outrageous!). I called the manager a couple of times before the event and was never unpleasant or unprofessional.

During the night itself, they were very accommodating to us and all our guests and we never felt intimidated. Plus, they didn’t even have to tell us that there was still food left in the kitchen because, in the first place, we never even considered that there are still leftovers after all those refills. But they did! So thank you because the leftovers served as our food for the next couple of days LOL!


So do I recommend Cafe Andessa? If it’s not yet obvious, I very highly recommend them! The price is very reasonable (it was actually unbelievable IMO), the food is absolutely delicious, and you will be met by the kindest staff. If you’re planning on hosting a dinner and live somewhere near the north of Davao City, consider Cafe Andessa!


For Cafe Andessa’s menu for exclusive dinners, please click here.


 

Food Restaurant Review

BFF Bonding at Munchtown Grill!

I am trying to go on a diet now (keyword is trying), but there’s still nothing I’d rather do than bond with my friends over good food and yummy conversations.

Hazel and George, AKA the two closest friends I have who still live in Davao, and I don’t meet that often. In fact, we just meet each other once a month (at most lol) on special dates because of our crazy schedules. So we try to make sure to find a good restaurant that serves really good food!

Not an easy thing to do, though, because we’re trying to save money at the same time. We used to spend too much on food and regret our life decisions afterward haha so now we’re looking for places that serve good food and, at the same time affordable. Good thing we discovered Munchtown Grill through Davao Food Guide on Facebook!

It’s pretty easy to locate — it’s just beside Cafe Demitasse — and you can immediately spot it because of its outdoor setup. If you’re an indoor with A/C fiend, don’t worry. They totally have air-conditioned seating, which was where we sat. I had so much fun catching up with my friends. The downside is that I forget to take pictures when I’m busy with chismis lol! With that said, I grabbed this picture of the restaurant off another website hehe.

The decor was industrial chic. Here’s what’s inside the airconditioned room (we think you can hold small meetings in there):

When we initially found out about Munchtown Grill, what we wanted to try was their Kimchi Rice.

But we weren’t able to try it because we were in the mood for other things hehe. Here are the things we ordered instead:

Munchtown Fries – P130

This was a winner. The fries were fresh, not frozen, as promised, and it had the right amount of kick and savory flavor. It surely doesn’t hurt to have all those pieces of bacon in there.

Chili and Cheese Dog – P85

This was my order, and I can still remember how it tastes! On the menu, it says that they use all-natural beef hotdogs. I have no way of proving that, but the hotdog didn’t taste too salty as commercial hotdogs often do. However, it was really flavorful. The ratio of chili to cheese to hotdog is p-e-r-f-e-c-t! Even the bread, which was not too thick, was great!

Carbonara – P130?

This is admittedly an ugly picture haha. George ordered it. She was seated across from me and she was also busy documenting it through Instagram story lol so I couldn’t get a pretty angle. Here’s a picture from Munchtown Grill that is heaps better nyahaha.

Cheeseburger – P160

And here’s Hazel’s cheeseburger. She was kinder and actually lent me her platter haha. I wasn’t able to taste their orders (friends do that all the time, don’t they?) because I just recovered from sickness, but based on their reactions to their food, I’m sure they all tasted fantastic!

Fresh Watermelon Lemonade – P50

OMG I was so in love with their Fresh Watermelon Lemonade! It tasted really, erm, fresh! Seriously, it’s a very refreshing drink. It had the right balance of sweet and tangy, and on top of that, it’s cheap at P50!

Yuri also had the Oreo milkshake, which I forgot to take a picture of, so here’s one from Munchtown Grill’s FB page again #parasite

I had a tiny sip of it, and I loved that it didn’t taste like shave ice. In fact, I didn’t detect any piece of ice at all! It tasted like ice cream — what I think milkshakes are supposed to taste like. And it’s just P98!

What affordable place have you discovered lately?

Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Lunch & Dessert with Friends at Tiny Kitchen

Tiny Kitchen Davao

I’m actually on a diet but last Saturday, I just had to have a cheat day.

(I am not even losing weight yet and I already had a cheat day. Something’s not right lol!)

Anyway, the reason behind the obligatory cheat day was a pre-planned lunch date with my work colleagues. I would say we felt like catching up but, really, we were just craving for cheesecake. Yummy, creamy, delicious cheesecake. Yikes!

Photo grabbed from Jona

Photo grabbed from Jona

Two things to notice: first, Yuri’s photobombing face, and second, my round face. Ugh.

Because we wanted cheesecake, it was obvious that we would go for Tiny Kitchen. And here’s what we ordered:

Tiny Kitchen Davao

Strawberry Blush (P120)

Tiny Kitchen Davao

Yuri’s Frito *rolls eyes* (P175)

Tiny Kitchen Davao

Sarah’s Chorizo y Tomate (P230)

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Dinner At Rustic Kitchen Restaurant

Rustic Kitchen Davao

A new restaurant has opened just 5 minutes away from home!

Technically, it’s not new-new because it’s been there for just over a year now, but it’s still an awesome new addition to our “small-town-feels” barangay. I love where I live (the highlands of Cabantian, Davao City!), but I must admit that the lack of good dining options (that is not Dexter’s or Santino’s Pizza or short order food counters) can be depressing sometimes. So when I saw Rustic Kitchen, I knew I should try it!

Rustic Kitchen Davao

We were finally able to try their dishes a month ago, during Mother’s Day.

I wanted my future house to be all white and minimalist, with clean lines and natural light coming in. I was conflicted when I entered Rustic Kitchen. I want a country-style cabin, too! Perhaps I should reserve the latter for a vacation house in the province. #librelangmangarap #becausewhynotchocnut

Here are pictures of the charming interior:

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Food Trip at Red Corner Burger Cafe and Tiny Kitchen (Dulce Vida)

Red Corner Davao

I still get random cravings for Red Corner’s Pacman burger and TK’s red velvet cheesecake.

Which is quite unfortunate because I’m trying, trying, to lose weight. 🙁

Well, anyway, for those of you who can afford to eat burgers and cheesecakes without worrying about their figures (let’s switch lives? no? okay), especially if you’re planning to grace Davao City with your presence, you need to visit both Red Corner and Tiny Kitchen.

Ready for food trippin'!

Ready for food trippin’!

Red Corner Burger Cafe

Red Corner is a small ~ actually it’s tiny ~ boxing-themed burger place in downtown Davao. If you’re not careful, you can easily miss it. But it’s worth the trip.

Via Trip Advisor

Via Trip Advisor

Red Corner Burger Cafe Davao

The place is not the only thing that is boxing-themed; their burgers are, too. I don’t know a lot about boxing — heck I don’t even always watch Manny’s fights — so let’s leave that detail out shall we lol. Let’s talk about the food instead.

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Sarah and Jona, my work colleagues, including Sarah’s hubby, Xandy, have already been there before and they recommended two burgers to me: Pacman and El Terible. Since I am only one person and can eat just one burger at a time (Yuri was there but cannot eat an entire burger on his own), I opted to buy a Pacman for dine in and order an El Terible, to go. Continue Reading

Food Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Family Dinner at Kuya J

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

I’ve been writing about restaurants since last week (and I still have two more in my drafts plus a couple of travel posts!). Bear with me — I’m just trying to clear my overdue drafts and I’ll be back in regular programming.

A couple of months ago, we had dinner at Kuya J. I’ve been hearing and reading about Kuya J on my social media fans that I just couldn’t resist trying it! The good news? It was so worth it — we had a hearty meal at an affordable price. Read on!

Kuya J Davao SM Lanang

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Food Friends Restaurant Review Worth the Weight

Brunch with Girlfriends at Dong Juan

Dong Juan Davao Abreeza

More than a month ago, I think a couple of weeks after Yuri’s birthday, I met up with my girlfriends, Hazel and George, to watch the movie, Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis.

Well, it was supposed to be Hele. Until a series of unfortunate events (conflicting schedules, conflicting mall locations, et cetera) led us to cancel Hele. Instead, we ended up watching Batman Vs. Superman. Wut. It was waaay waaay below Hele standard, but hey, at least we were entertained for almost 3 hours.

Because Hazel and I were there at 11 and the movie didn’t start until 2:30, we started to eat an early lunch. We looked for a restaurant that none of us have ever tried before, thus Dong Juan.

Dong Juan Davao Abreeza

Hi, Hazel!

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A Simple Birthday Lunch at Yellow Fin

Yellow Fin Restaurant Davao

Yuri turned 4 almost a couple of months ago. Ergo, this is a late post. Tee hee.

Yuri’s birthday celebration was a very simple one because it coincided with this year’s Black Saturday. Many establishments were closed the day before so I couldn’t really plan a day-out. Also, it was expected that people would be flocking to the resorts so that idea was scrapped as well.

Instead, we just went to Yellow Fin, one of the best restaurants in the city, bought a birthday cake at Bistro Rosario and grabbed a tub of ice cream, and went home. Simple as can be yet the little boy had fun!

Lit it up with the prettiest candles which we've had for more than a year now! And some ice cream (background)

And we had a very happy little boy with a full tummy. Happy birthday!

I couldn’t believe I haven’t blogged about Yellow Fin yet. Along with Tiny Kitchen and Lachi’s (both of which I believe I haven’t blogged about yet, too!), Yellow Fin Seafood Restaurant is one of the must-visit restaurants in Davao City. So let’s talk about Yellow Fin!

There are currently 4 branches in the city (at least that I know of) — the original one in Sandawa, one in Torres, one fronting SM Lanang Premier, and another one in Lanang in front of Guadalupe Village (where we used to leave). The last one is the branch nearest to our house so we went there.

It’s a very simple looking-restaurant but I like that it’s spacious, clean, and cool. Here are the interiors:

Yellow Fin Restaurant Davao

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Celebrating My Friend’s Pregnancy at Vikings

Vikings Davao

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.

Ideally, the reason why my colleagues Jona and Sarah and I went to Vikings a couple of weeks ago is to celebrate Sarah’s pregnancy.

IMG_0272

That’s what we’d like to think. Truth is, the lunch at Viking’s had been planned because Sarah had a 50% discount thanks to her credit card. When she asked us if we’d like to go, of course we said yes. We never say no to food and we’re notorious for being eating machines.

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Let’s just assume we were celebrating this lady’s pregnancy…

IMG_0280

Me, Jona, Sarah

Then a day before our Vikings date, Sarah found out that she’s having a baby girl. Wee! So it made perfect sense to tell people that we’re going on a trip to food-coma-land to celebrate.

And not because of the 50% discount.

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Food Restaurant Review

Pizza Afternoon at Picobello!

Picobello Davao

Woot thank God it’s Friday!

(Except it’s not really the start of the weekend in my case since I have to attend a CPD session tomorrow and on Saturday. CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development, which is a requirement for PRC professionals. Oh well, that’s life!)

I’m keen on going through all of my backlog before mid-February so here’s another one. My college friends and I always get together every year for a little Christmas luncheon and gift exchange. Last year’s venue was Belito’s Vineyard while this year’s was Picobello.

If you’re from Davao, surely you’ve heard of the iconic Picobello, an authentic Italian restaurant that serves the best pizzas ever. It used to be located at Gaisano South Mall and then it closed (much to the dismay of perhaps every Davaoeño who loves pizza). Just recently, it reopened in another location at The Shoppes at Woodlane. Upon hearing this wonderful news, of course, we just had to visit it.

Here are what we ordered:

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Food Restaurant Review

An Afternoon at Cafe Annabelle’s

Cafe Annabelles'

You have been redirected from my review of Cafe Annabelle’s on DavaoMommy.com.

I’ve been noticing Cafe Annabelle’s for a while now. It’s this quaint and dainty cafe right in front of Ayala Abreeza mall’s Robinsons grocery; it’s hard to miss it in its pink and white glory!

I’m not sure when it opened exactly since I rarely grocery-shop at Abreeza, but the first time I saw the cafe, I knew I had to try it sometime! You know naman, anything cute and pretty with food thrown into the mix piques my curiosity. 🙂

Finally, I was able to try Cafe Annabelle’s last Sunday with my super-friends.

First Impressions

I already knew it would be a convenient choice since it was inside a mall and had a small play-area. However, I did think that the cafe itself would be cramped. Upon entering, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the cafe was actually spacious!

I also super love the decor. I couldn’t leave our table to take photos of the details (dalang dala sa chismisan), but I keenly observed the little things they included to build a relaxing (and kikay) atmosphere. You can take a lot of Instagram-worthy photos here!

Seating

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Lunch at Sea Green Cafe and Lifestyle Shop

Sea Green Cafe and Lifestyle Shop

You’ve been re-directed from my review of Sea Green Café and Lifestyle Shop on DavaoMommy.com.

Sea Green cafe is only the hippest healthy restaurant in Davao City. Or so I heard. So from the first time I came to know about it, I knew I should try it.
After months of craving, I was finally able to eat at Sea Green last Sunday. I was one happy gal!

Sea Green is this quaint little restaurant in the middle of the city that gives off strong country vibes. It’s popular for serving only fish and vegetables and only fresh ingredients. Thus, Sea + Green. Love! Also, I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s tucked in somewhere in the middle of the city. We almost got lost because we’re from the north and not very familiar with Torres-Marfori area. (Just go to Mercury Drug Garcia Heights and make a right. Or left, depending on where you are from. Ang labo ko lang.)

I wasn’t kidding when I said it was little, too. There were only a few tables inside. I tried to take many photos of their charming interior but I could not move so much because the table next to ours was occupied. But here are what I was able to get:

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An Afternoon at Ice Giants

Ice Giants Review

One sunny afternoon last summer (way before my dad had his blood tested for various illnesses), we were all craving for ice cream. Since we wanted to try something new, we decided to go to the nearest Ice Giants to eat what else but a giant sundae!

Before that, we ordered some “real food” because we haven’t had lunch yet. Since we’re going to be eating a giant sundae, we stayed away from rice meals. But the dishes we ordered were still calorie-laden so I don’t understand my point. Here they are:

Ice Giants Review

I forgot the exact price, but it should range from P250 to P300

Ice Giants Review

This was just a small serving of lasagna – P120

Who knew Ice Giants served savoury dishes? I didn’t! While we were eating, we ordered our giant sundae to be served later. We wanted either the mango or the halo-halo flavoured ones, but the young’uns really wanted chocolate so chocolate it is. Lo and behold, the chocolate giant sundae.

Ice Giants Review

Why does my 3-year old look so binata here?

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Lunch with Friends at Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar

Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar Davao

I had a great time last Sunday! Well, I always have a great time whenever I find myself spending the day with my friends since college. Last Sunday was another of the days (although one of our friends, Christine, was sorely missed because she’s now living in Japan!).

We wanted to try the new Picobello at first, but on Saturday, we decided to try Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar instead. We’ve heard a lot of great reviews about it, and upon checking out their menu, we couldn’t wait to try their Filipino dishes with a twist.

But first – OOTD! I didn’t want one taken because I was feeling fat that day (yet I ate to my heart’s delight), but Hazel insisted, so here it is 😀

Midi dress – bought online | Denim bolero – Mags, given by George | Sandals – Gibi | Bag – Aldo, gift
On Yuri: Shirt – Garanimals | Shorts – Mothercare | Shoes – Nike | Bag – Disney

I had a crisis that morning because none of my clothes fit me. I hope I’m only kidding but I’m not. I’m so sad. How do you lose weight? Huhu.

Okay, back to Perch. I only have phone pictures here; I can’t believe I forgot to bring my camera! It was just lying beside my bag, but I grabbed my bag without putting the camera in. Blame it on my weight crisis (or is it the anaesthesia?).

Perch Modern Kitchen + Bar

Freaky picture – the upper side looks cropped diagonally but it’s not

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Bon Appetit

Bon Appetit La Boutique Davao

Disclaimer: I apologise for the quality of the pictures – my Samsung WB150F doesn’t do very well in low-light settings. Perhaps it’s time to invest in another camera? Haha.

Hi, everyone!

Whew, what a busy week. I’ve done a couple of overtime work this week – good thing I actually enjoy doing my job – and there were a handful of power interruptions. The longest one happened last Thursday, where we had a 3-hour brownout. Coincidentally, that was also the evening when a Payoneer event I was invited to attend was scheduled.

Payoneer in Bon Appetit La Boutique Davao

It wasn’t technically a blogger event, but this was the first event I attended ever since I started blogging here in A Joyful Mess. Also, I think I was the only one there who wasn’t technically a freelancer and didn’t have a Payoneer account yet… Hehe. The guys from Payoneer hosted the dinner as a way to give thanks and/or introduce themselves to the online workers and freelancers (more on freelancers) in Davao City. As it wasn’t really a blogger event, let me just tell you about the restaurant where we had dinner: Bon Appétit La Boutique.

A quick research about this restaurant reveals that it’s Davao City’s number 1 restaurant, according to Trip Advisor. I was super thrilled to go to that dinner and discover why it’s #1.

Owned by a French man and his wife, Bon Appetit La Boutique is a really tiny, tiny place tucked into the inner corner of a restaurant compound in the heart of Davao City. When they said it’s a hidden gem, they really weren’t kidding. It actually reminds me of Belito’s Vineyard, another secret gem tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Anyway, back to Bon Appetit.  It looks unassuming when you see it from the outside, but wait until you get a taste of their dishes.

Here are the dishes served in our dinner:

Complimentary Side Dish

Bon Appetit La Boutique Davao

Freshly-baked bread with Black Olive spread

This picture was taken when the power was still out. This explains the candle hehe. It was my first time to eat black olive spread, and I liked it!

Appetizer

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