Food Guide in Metro Manila

Food Guide in Metro Manila

Maybe you’re thinking of where to eat in Makati, BGC, or anywhere in Metro Manila.

But before that, why not think of how to hack your way by dining out at fancy places without making your wallet cry. You can still be posh without scamming someone to treat you.. woop, sorry cynical thought right there.

Despite high cost of living in Metro Manila as compare to other provinces, you can still hack your way around it. Thanks to friends who gave me insider tips.

Besides, a probinsyana should equally enjoy traveling the concrete jungle just like city people enjoying the greeneries. That way, we’re creating an equal world.

I just hope that people in Metro Manila are regulated coz the population is just very many I felt that people are running out of oxygen already.

Anyway, for those who wants to do food trips in Metro Manila, here’s random ways on how to have a happy tummy that is value for your money.

metro manila buffet

1. Eat at food courts in Malls.
This is usually a place in the mall where all eateries are beside each other. You can find different kinds of foods from all over in this area, plus you get to enjoy aircon. Tip is to find a store where there are lots of people who are lined up to order. If a store doesn’t have a patron, the food is probably not that good so don’t bother unless you want to have an adventure at your own risk.

2. Take advantage of unlimited rice.
You can opt to diet the whole day and then eat once in restaurants with unlimited rice. One order can range from around 130pesos or 2.6usd, then you can request for as many additional rice after. But if you’re from the province, why do you need to this when there’s unlimited rice in the rice fields. I recommend to eat something else instead like international cuisines. I see your reaction – ekpensib ba? I’ll break your logic in my next article.

3. Book hotels that provide buffets.

For the posh but still wants value for the money, you can opt to stay at hotels that provides buffet breakfast.. you can start at 10am so you can have breakfast and lunch at the same time.

4. Hack Buffets.
But if you don’t need to stay at hotels, you can still opt to eat at buffets.. for free. Yep. Make sure it’s your birthday, then go with your friends to buffets where there are birthday freebies and you get to eat free… if your friends don’t want to treat you, ditch them.. you don’t need fair weather friends :D

veggie buffet

5. Break stereotypes
For those who wants to break the stereotype social class boundaries, you can still visit posh places without breaking your wallet. Buy that kakanin from aling tindera, then eat it while sipping your expensive coffee. If someone stares at you, stare at them back hypocrites.

6. Look for discounts or deals.
I learned this late because I’m antisocial and so behind in the grapevine. You can look at websites of restaurants or deals website like Metrodeal and usually there is a link there that gives discount information.. I actually want to be like those kinds of websites too. Let’s see what the future holds.

7. Get invited in parties.
Because I’m antisocial, I rarely get invited into parties. If I do, I’m the one paying for the party : ))))… so be lucky to be invited, this means free food too.

pizza and spaghetti

8. Get to eat for free by mystery shopping.
I did this gig when I was tasked to scrutinize different branches of a posh restaurant. Yep, I get to travel to eat and do what I do best, make okray in a professional way.

9. Healthy option – cook your own food.
You can do a day trip in a nearby Palengke to shop for ingredients of your food. I recommend the wet market rather than the grocery store coz it’s cheaper and you get to help the vendors in their livelihood too. Just make sure what you’re buying is fresh. Sometimes cooking is a cheaper and healthier alternative than eating out. I’d do this if I’m in Metro Manila and have a proper kitchen.


10. Hole in the wall options.
This is not for the faint hearted. But I survived my college and yuppie days in Metro Manila eating hole in the wall food.. and I’m still healthy and alive as far as my health checkup is concerned which was just last month. Just make sure the hole in the wall or carinderia has many customers, that means it’s trustworthy.

Here you go. Do you have some tips to share? Please put them in the comment section and let’s give blessings to others. May you find happiness in food theraphy.

A guide to buffets in Metro Manila

A guide to buffets in Metro Manila

Whenever I go to Metro Manila, I always look forward to do food trips.

Let’s admit it, despite the abundant food in the province, there’s not enough choices of food dishes to eat. That’s why I urge people from the province to travel too, so their creativity be nudge a bit and invent more dishes than their traditional ones.


vietnamese food

I do this when I go back to our forest in Antique, I try to cook different dishes and hopefully my nieces and nephews gets to continue the hobby of cooking foreign dishes too.

Going back to Metro Manila, food choices are unlimited. Korean, Japanese, Indian, French, American cuisines are within reach.. I just need to be careful because I don’t want to be obese because of all these eating.. excessive fat is not healthy too. Here’s a sample of my food intake at buffets:

metro manila buffet2
Food trip is indeed one of my favorite activities to do whenever I travel.. and it’s best to experiene this eating activity in buffets. Because all types of food are in front of your eyes. Sushi on one table, turkey roast on the other table, then unlimited cakes are literally almost like 5 steps away.. oh and the drinks, you can break away from the usual softdrinks, iced tea or orange from fast foods, and delight your taste buds with chai, melon, chocolate, all seasons, and all other drinks possible.

buffet in chiang mai
Did I made you feel hungry? I’m sorry. I feel sorry more if you’re in the mountains reading this and suddenly you crave for your favorite food.. but then it’s like miles away and ingredients are faaarview.

To make those who are in far flung areas feel better, rest in the thought that at least you won’t be obese when you’re not always on a buffet.. too much fat is not healthy too you know, enjoy your fresh food.

Here’s my mom not being impressed in a japanese buffet restaurant.

mom in buffet
Anyway, there’s a catch when you eat at Buffets.. they’re expensive.. coz it’s Metro Manila dear, everything here is expensive and requires money.

Now I miss those buffets in Thailand where 100 baht can solve your hungry tummy specially if you can eat once but the food intake is for two days.

veggie buffet

However, I found ways to hack this, thank you to friends who are also lifehackers. There’s still ways to eat buffets without breaking the bank. Here’s a few ways:

1. Enjoy buffets in parties. This is good for those who have wide friends in the Metro. However, if you don’t have that many friends, welcome to my world. We suck at this tip LOL

2. If it’s your birthday, you get freebies in expensive buffets, just get another paying person and you’ve got no problem. So far, I’ve tried it out in Vikings, Dads Saisaki, Cabalen, and Yakimix… don’t forget to diet before the event.

3. There are actually buffet that are not very expensive and costs only around 300 pesos or 6-8USD. I don’t like to promote it because once I do, when I go back, it might be toooo fully booked and I won’t be able to enjoy my buffet… but feel free to ask and email me and I’ll virtually whisper the tip to you.

4. No birthdays and no parties in sight? There are conferences where member participants are allowed to get 1 companion for free, if you’re worthy, you’ll be invited.. if you are worthy. ^_^ If you’re just another regular gal like me, the next tip is always applicable.

5. Are you located in the province? You might not enjoy buffet selection of international dishes but there’s always fiesta you know… and the best thing about it? It’s free.

metro manila buffet3
Here you go. Do you have some tips to share? Please put them in the comment section and let’s give blessings to others. May you find happiness in food theraphy.

10 Indonesian food that you need to eat in Indonesia

10 Indonesian food that you need to eat in Indonesia

1. Rendang – Rendang is a really popular dish in Indonesia. Wherever you come to a local restaurant, it’s easy to find this dish. It is cooked with coconut milk and spices so sometimes you will feel it tastes similar with dry curry. Rendang is a kind of spicy meat, normally beef or in some area they cook goat, chicken or liver, which is originally from Minanglabau people that’s why the local people call it Rendang Padang or Rendang Minangkabau.


Image by stu_spivack

2. Tahu – This is one of the famous and popular street food in Indonesia. You can easily see it on the road even in the city or the rural area. The price is so cheap. Local people normally eat it with chili sauce. Tahu street food in Indonesia is really crunchy and spicy, this will be fantastic experience for your first time visit this country.

tahu - indonesia food

Image source: Wiki Internet

3. Bebek Goreng/Fried Duck

One of the fantastic food in Indonesia is Bebek or Fried Duck. The local people normally sell it as street food. One of the most delicious Bebek I ate is opposite with the train station in Jogja. One thing that makes you addicted with this dish is that it’s supper spicy but the taste is so yummy.


Image source: Ben Stephensonon

4. Fried Rice – Fried rice is so popular and typical in Indonesia. This picture is one the the Fried rice with egg and bean. You also can find another kind of fried rice here such as sea food fried rice, vegetable fried rice, chicken fried rice or mixture fried rice which is supper Indonesia that you should try once when you come there.

fried rice

Image source: Caspian blue

5. Oxtail Soup/ Sop Buntut – This is one of the tasty and yummy soup ever in Indonesia which is obviously cooked by oxtail with onion and chili. The oxtail normally is fried or grilled then combined with a tasty soup. This soup is one of the favorite soup in main meal of the day of local people because it is so healthy and hearty.

Oxtail Soup

Image source: Gunkarta

6. Dumplings/ Siomay – This is also one of the best street food in Indonesia that you should try once you get there. Indonesian normally use bean, chili and peanut sauce to create great street food in this world. Indonesia Siomay is combined potato, cabbage, egg and of course peanut sauce, this mixture is supper yummy.


7. Nasi Uduk – If you come to Indonesia in festival season, you will easily see this kind of dish which local people call Nasi Uduk. Rice is so aromatic and the meal around this rice is cooked with coconut milk. Nasi Uduk always serve with fried chicken , soybean cake, shredded omelette, fried onion, anchovies and topped with sambal and emping. This is an Indonesia’s National dish and local people normally eat for lunch.

nasi uduk

8. Satay – If you walk on street and finding some food to eat in Indonesia, this is one of the famous and popular that you will addicted once you eat it. Indonesian has horse satay, lamb satay, chicken satay, pork satay,… You will eat this dish with spicy peanut sauce and if you want to eat with fried rice. This is an Indonesia’s National dish that was conceived by street food vendors and has become one of the most celebrated food in Indonesia.


Image source: christian r

9. Bakso – This is a meatball dish made from beef surimi. This is normally served with a bowl of noodle, vegetables, tahu and eggs. It is similar with Chinese meatball if you first see. This is one popular Indonesia’s street food across the whole country.


Image source: christian r

10. Gudeg – This is a stew made from young jack fruit cook with palm sugar, coconut milk, meat, garlic and supper spices. This is so popular and local people really love to eat this every day. It comes from Yogyakarta and becomes one of the most flavorful food in the world that you should never regret to try once.


Image source: christian razukas

Contributor: Hong Nhu lives in the most beautiful and peaceful living city in Viet Nam, it is called Da Nang. An out going person, Nhu is addicted to reading and travelling. She spent her youth devoted to community volunteering

Buffets in Chiang Mai, Thailand

People are currently celebrating Yi Ping and Loi Kratong Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand.. and I was privileged to experienced it a few years ago.. Although environmentalists actually frown on the idea of lighting up several lanterns in the air that releases more CO2. *sigh*

For those who are in Chiang mai, or are planning to go, you should not miss the buffet experience too. Shayne, a couchsurfing ambassador I met last 2013, shares with you more about where to eat in the fairy city.


buffet in Chiang Mai

Like most cities these days, there are so many options for eating in Chiang Mai. There are so many street vendors, restaurants and buffet options available. I am going to give you a personal selection for the best of those buffet options around Chiang Mai. One of the best things about buffets is you can try a little bit of everything and when you see the same thing on the streets, you can buy it knowing whether you like it or not. You can be adventurous and taste some of the many wonderful dishes Thailand has to offer.


Thai Style BBQ Buffets

There are so many table top, self-cook, Thai style BBQ (called moo-gra-ta) places around Chiang Mai. You can usually find them by looking for big tin sheds with lots of tables and some versions will have a blackened hole in the middle your table. People will fill their tables with many plates of uncooked meats and vegetables and sit there for hours, slowly getting through all the foods they have taken. The biggest is Sukonta Moograta which when full is a site to see and includes interesting live Thai entertainment. You will pay between 99-299 baht (US$3-9) with some including soft drinks and water in the price, alcohol isn’t included. Dinner Only.

buffet in chiang mai

International Buffets
Many of the big hotels serve buffet lunch or dinners only and some offer differing options for both lunch and dinner. Mid-range hotels like the Chiang Mai Grandview, The Empress, Holiday Inn and the Siripanna Hotel offer lunch time business buffets. They have many northern Thai style appetizers, other Thai dishes, soups and noodles available as well as a good selection of international options. They also have a varied salad bar, with delicious cake and dessert offerings. Usually around 200 baht (US$6). 11:00am-2:30pm. Each of these hotels has a dinner buffet for around 400 baht with a wider Asian variety of foods. Many of the bigger hotels around the famous Night Bazaar offer buffet dinner dining, at slightly higher prices. The quality is superior to all the other buffets in Chiang Mai and outstanding at the Le Meridien, Shangri-La and Centara Duangtawan. These are usually fairly quiet as they are out of most local’s price range. They are great for a special occasion.


Random Buffet Restaurants
Chiang Mai has a few very popular buffets that don’t fit into the above categories, their offerings can be quirky but their food is quality and delicious. There is Memorize on Nimman Soi 12, Retro Steak Café and Brownies and my personal favourite and a winner with the Germans, Auf der Au, a restaurant full of home made German sausages, meats, desserts and more meat. Some of the are very cheap at around 150 baht (US$5) and others are around 300 baht (US$10).


chiang mai buffet


Shopping Mall Buffet Chains
In recent times, several new shopping malls have been built and each of these will have invariably have a Sizzler, MK Hot Pot or Shabushi chain restaurant. These are similar to home, so many more local generally visit these establishments. Prices are around 400 baht per person (US$12). The food quality is generally good.

sushi at shabushi

shayne rochfort
Shayne Rochfort is a local who loves Chiang Mai and loves to eat. He has been volunteering in Thailand for 6 years and enjoys helping people get connected to others and things they need.

Cost of Living in Da Nang City – Vietnam

The only way to know a place is thru people that reside there. So to be able to know Vietnam more, I asked my beautiful Vietnamese friends to contribute. ^_^ And here’s Nhu’s article about her place. I have not been to Danang yet but maybe I can visit the place once I get back to Vietnam:

Da Nang city attracts and impresses residents and tourism around the world because it was voted as the most worth- living city in Viet Nam.

Not only is Da Nang beautiful, but it is also clean. And one of the most important reasons that the number of tourists who comes here increases is that the quality and cost of living are really good compare to the other big city in Viet Nam.

(Image of Tran Thi Li Bridge of Da nang city through my friend’s camera)

Let me help you figure out the local lifestyle and you can survive here with only 200.000- 250.000 vnd per day (from 9 USD- 11 USD)


You can simply find a really cheap breakfast in this city, around 20.000 vnd (1 USD). And you will feel you are so lucky and get lost in the foody paradise because you can change your breakfast every morning with different kinds of delicious dishes. Such as, Bánh bèo, bánh lộc, Bánh nậm, Mỳ Quãng, Bún bò, Bánh Mỳ (bread), Xôi gà (chicken sticky rice), bánh canh, etc.

Banh Bèo- Beo Cake
(Banh Bèo- Beo Cake)

For lunch and dinner, you can choose level of your budget if you just wanna try local food with Vietnamese lifestyle, you just need to spend around 30.000 vnd per each (1.5 USD). And the same with breakfast, you can change for your diet everyday with so many kind of rice and noodle.


danang food2
(Bún mắm)

The local people here often spend time to have coffee in the morning. They always enjoy their life and want to start a new day with fresh air beside the river or a small street corner with a very nice price around 15.000 vnd under 1 USD).

If you are a real traveler then you can choose couch surfing Da Nang, they can help you have free accommodation and you can help them practice English. If you want to choose another way to have a better place to take a rest after a long day traveling, you can find a cheap hotel here with a nice price around 150.000 vnd- 200.000vnd per 24 hour (7USD- 9USD). It includes all convenience stuff such as fan, aircondition, television, warm water, pillow, blankets, etc.

And you will be happy because the traffic here in Da Nang city is better than Ho Chi Minh and Ha Noi. If you want to rent a motorbike, you just need to pay 120.000 vnd per 24 hour (5 USD) and you have to refuel by yourself.
If you want to travel from Da Nang city to Ho Chi Minh city, there are 4 ways that you can choose such as: motorbike, bus, air plane or train. The cheapest and safest is train with 25 USD only for around 15 hours.
I do hope that you will have very amazing experiences in the most beautiful and worth living city in Viet Nam

Contributor: Hong Nhu lives in the most beautiful and peaceful living city in Viet Nam, it is called Da Nang. An out going person, Nhu is addicted to reading and travelling. She spent her youth devoted to community volunteering