Agimat Foraging Bar and Kitchen

5972 Alfonso, cor Fermina, Makati, Metro Manila

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Located in the nightlife but quieter scene of Poblacion, Agimat is a food and drink treasure box you sure don’t want to miss out! You’ll be led upstairs of a rustic Filipino home, and be greeted a staircase lined with red candles. There’s a narrow outdoor area for smokers and beside it, are the toilets. I had initially checked out the place, through their instagram and was surprised with their jungle concept. Located behind the bar, is a gorgeous tree with vines flowing down the trunk and its branches reach, almost crawls under the ceiling. There are low as well as high tables, we unfortunately got the unstable high table, but later moved to a low seating table when it was free.

As you can see by my pictures below, we ordered a lot of food! Agimat’s dishes were quirky, in a sense that they presented Filipino food in oddly-shaped plates and with a modern twist. The ingredients are truly special, using local ingredients and delicacies, such as ant eggs and day old chicken. I am a bit biased, but I love tapas food because you get to try a bit of everything, and Agimat wonderfully delivered. The highlight was the balut, there’s no chick inside, so you get to taste it without freaking out haha. It was creamy and with the right amount of salt.

Agimat’s craft cocktails were interestingly categorised by elements. I’m not sure if all ordered cocktails had performances, but when they did, it was super fun watching the mixologist do their thing whilst a drum was played. They had these cute sun masks on! Loved the vibe. The flavour in these drinks were amazing, I could taste little of the alcohol and more of the other ingredients used. If I had a higher tolerance, I would ordered a bit more, but alas after a few drinks these deadly cocktails got me. These cocktails not only had Tagalog names, but were also entertainingly presented.

I highly recommend pre-booking by calling Agimat, as the place is quite small. I did see some walk-ins and they were seated at the bar. They looked more like they were there to drink. But if you decide to check out the place for dinner, make sure to pre-book. Prices are mid-high, and by the time we left (about 9pm) the place was getting crowded.

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StrEAT Maginhawa Food Park

91 Maginhawa Street, UP Village, Quezon City

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A great place to hang, honestly, I was super surprised with its location because the food park is smack in the middle of a very quiet, suburban area. StrEat starts operating at 5pm up until 12am, Tuesdays to Sundays! Great to start eating and drink after a long week of working or studying. The food park is not large, so make sure you come in early.

The parking is limited, so it’s best to either get dropped or take public transport. Once you enter, the place is lit up, you’ll see cute colourful lanterns in the ceiling, plants and quaint looking chairs. The place sure looks inviting! I don’t believe there was any background music from memory, so you won’t need to worry about shouting when talking. There are a small number of food outlets to choose from, conveniently surrounding the seating area. We just walked-in, but I did see some outlets had reservations.

 There was only one food outlet that was closed, a few names of the food/drink outlets include: Epicure, The Lost Bread, Schmidts Hot Dogs, Fujimama Manila and much more! Best to order a bunch of small plates so you can try a variety. The price was low-mid range, very affordable. The highlight for me was the delicious bucket cocktails from Epicure Mixology.

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Gallery By Chele

5/F Clipp Center, 11th Avenue corner, 39th St, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines

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I had Gallery By Chele down on my food list, when checking out awesome restaurants in the Philippines. Fortunately, I decided this restaurant is where I would be having my pre-dinner birthday celebration! Gallery By Chele did not disappoint.

Located within  Clipp Centre, was a bit hard to find at first because there were no signs, so keep your GPS switched on. You take a life up to the fifth floor, and you are warmly welcomed by their first of house team member. Pre-book if you plan to feast! I believe they have a few private rooms at the back. There interior was stunning, warm with all different tones of wood, lines with hints of grey marble. Screams elegance mixed with South East Asian interior flavour.

What drew me to this restaurant was its mission to source local produce and flavours, unique to the Philippines and South East Asia. As you can see by the images below, we ordered a few colourful dishes. All the dishes were amazing; the highlights for me was the Coquille starter, Tunamansi main and the Single Origin dessert.

Service was amazing, not over bearing and were very attentive. Food timely came out and no dish disappoint. Highly recommend if you have something to celebrate or even have time to get your tastebuds alive and kicking! Almost forgot to mention their impressive drink list and make sure to try a glass of their moscato… it was delish! Hats off to the sommelier and the waitstaffs that night.

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Hawker Chan

Ground Level Entertainment Mall SM Mall of Asia, Pasay, Metro Manila

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Sceptical at first, with its Michelin-star but still insanely super affordable… this all disappeared when our dishes came out! Hawker Chan is a well-known Singaporean quick dine-in restaurant, serving you with popular noodle and rice dishes, but with its own unique flavours. There’s now a number of franchise restaurants around the world, with 6 branches in the Philippines.

Service was quick, the food came out efficiently without loosing any of its flavours. I ordered their season vegetable, freshly steamed and poured with a generous amount of garlic bits and sauce! Our mains was the Char Siew Noodle… I am salivating thinking about this dish. The pork belly was cut proportionally, soaking in the delicious sauce. It was not too oily, just right. I believe they used egg noodle, just because of its fuller and creamier taste. I highly recommend dining in Hawker Chan, the fullness of its flavours, you won’t be disappointed.

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Two By Four Cafe

Fairwater Boulevard Fairwater Sales and Display Centre, Blacktown NSW 2148

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A new local community popped up recently, which has their own lovely cafe. The cafe is surrounded by leafy greens, a waterfront and has a verandah on the side if you prefer eating outdoors! We were fortunate to be eating on a clear, blue sunny day, as the wide windows in the cafe allowed a flood of sun to enter. There’s a mixture of table sizes in the cafe, small and large groups can be accommodated.

Two By Four Cafe did not kid, with the bowls, I was struggling with the size of mine. The chicken strips/cuts and vegetables blended great together, it tasted clean and was not heavily sauced. The juices were cold pressed, which was definitely refreshing. The highlight, that I really want to go back for, is their french toast. It was delicious, dangerously soft and not too sweet.

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A-Team’s Kitchen

4/52 Rooty Hill Road North, Rooty Hill NSW

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Located along Weston Lane, you’ll find ample parking and it’s less than a 3 minute walk from Rooty Hill station. I believe A-Team’s Kitchen has been at the current location for 2+ years, however have re-branded and re-named the restaurant. I liked the relaxed feel, simple interior reminiscent of food eateries in the Philippines.

Specialising in authentic Filipino meals, desserts and has a coffee-maker for coffee lovers! I would have loved to taste their own version/creation of taho. The mass-produced taho lacked in sweetness and freshness. Though can’t complain, it melds well after a heavy feed. You will find all the classics here, from rice meals, main dishes and BBQ meat sticks! It was glossing in oil and surprisingly it didn’t taste oily at all, it was sweet and tender. Just scroll through the glorious food below, try not to drool.

Averagely priced, it has positioned itself as an ultimate food stop, when you’re craving for that comfort food! I highly recommend their turon, it was amazing! Sweet whilst being soft inside and it’s a decent size. A-Team’s Kitchen is the type of restaurant you’d come back to again and again.

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Poké Bros.

6/71 George St, Parramatta NSW

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Only found in two Sydney locations, Parramatta and Cabramatta, Poke Bros is easily walkable and accessible from Parramatta station. Poke bowls out in Sydney’s West, is not very common, compared to Sydney’s CBD. It’s great that more and more of these types of establishments, are increasing available out west!

Poke Bros’ menu is filled with pre-set bowls, main ingredients ranging from salmon (raw/cooked), tuna, prawn, tofu and spicy korean chicken! Comes in two sizes small and large, additional ingredients can be customised or once again chosen from their best sellers. Boy was the large bowl a deep dig, I had trouble reaching to the bottom of the bowl. I also added their premium milk tea to compliment the deliciousness of the bowl. I forgot what meat I had chosen, however it was tasty, fresh, the ingredients blended well and had me full for the rest of the day.

We came on a quieter day so the service was quick! I unfortunately could not fit in any of their desserts, they have two options, but I’ll definitely be stopping by soon.

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Jambo Jambo African Restaurant

93 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe NSW

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Jambo Jambo is an Ethiopian restaurant, serving cuisines that are normally served in Ethiopia. Don’t be fooled with the size of the place, because it actually goes all the way back, accomodating to small-large groups comfortably. The interior was beautifully lavished with colour, quite entertaining actually, seeing works I believe was from Ethiopia and other parts of Africa.

The menu is filled with meat and vegetarian options, meat such as lamb, beef, goat and chicken. There’s actually quite a bit of items that are spicy or hot, which I think really makes their dishes come alive. We ordered the Jambo Course, which allowed us to choose up to 3 dishes, comes with a mixed entree and dessert afterwards. I found this super interesting and enjoyable, got to use our hands to break off chapati and fill it with our chosen meats! I highly recommend you ordering this, which is perfect for 2 people.

Service was quick, efficient, explained what items we had and I recommend you asking the team for recommendations if it’s your first time. The owner came out and kindly checked up on all the customers dinning, which I found was lovely. I’d love to come back, maybe with a larger group next time!

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Three Williams

613A Elizabeth St, Redfern NSW 2016

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Set inside a warehouse interior, this refreshing cafe was a sure welcome to kick start the day ahead. The minimalistic space is so wide, that you can stretch your legs comfortable and take your time enjoying the food.

A health conscious ‘all day’ menu, with a cheeky cocktails menu which I didn’t get to try, its kitchen runs from 7am to 3pm. I ordered a regular almond milk latte, it was beautifully roasted as well as the vegan bowl. The creamy blend of roasted pumpkin, pumpkin hummus, shredded kale and the crunch of the roasted hazelnut was superb. The prices are what you expect to find in Sydney cafes, and the quality that was served made it Got seated quickly, meals got delivered quickly and got the day started off in the right direction!

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Avenue on George

200 George Street Sydney 2000, Tenancy 2

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 I had visited during the busy lunch hour, found right across from a major company. You can either order your coffee and be off your way, or choose to casually dine amongst business suits.

The menu consists of modern, seasonal produce and serves from breakfast to lunch. I loved the interior, mostly consisted of browns against white and grey, I can imagine people having frequent meetings within. Enough about the interior, let’s talk about the food! Fresh, it deceivingly does not look filling but it sure was. I had particularly liked mine, which I believe was the Avenue Veggie Breakie Bowl.

Service was efficient and looked polished. The only downside is that the waiter got my coffee mistaken, but hey it still taste good!