Star Cafe is one of the oldest restaurants in Baguio. Their sign says since 1940! That was even before the Japanese occupation in 1942. Now that's what you call historical!

My dad would bring me, mom and my sister here when we were young, when riding horses was one of my to-do's. That was way back!
I love the old photos on the wall! Just as how the old Pinoys would do their sala: pictures of achievements displayed in full glory such as diplomas and grad pictures.

On Star Cafe's walls, the presidents from Marcos to Aquino and big politicians do come by for some good ol' Chinese food. At least here, for once they agree on the same thing: that the food is mighty good. No squabbling about that!
It ain't photogenic but so what! This, I think, is the best tasting egg pie to my knowledge. At P250 for the whole thing, that's a bargain!
Located at Session Road. Surely you won't miss it.
 
When we were driving towards Eve's Garden, I was thinking: Oh boy, this should be worth the looooong trip, the gas and the effort of almost getting lost. If this will turn out to be one of those overly hyped, lousy lunches, I'll hate myself for dragging ourselves out here. 

It's been a long drive down Naguilian Road, some 30 minutes from the Baguio City proper and since Melvene and I are pretty bad at map navigating, it has already started to feel like a task.

But when we'd finally stepped into Eve's Garden, it was as if we were whisked into old rural Europe! The view of pine and mountains over the glass windows was nothing short of breathtaking. It was grand!
We were rewarded with the best view of the resto. It's as if we're celebrating our anniversary or my birthday - both very distant dates by the way. It felt that special! We're all praises and we haven't tasted anything yet! I just wished I wore a more apt attire like a summer dress so everything would seem like it came out from a movie reel. But the black boots and the black shirt would just have to do.

The spot by the window is the best table to take photos! The natural light is perfect. For food or for your companions! For natural lighting, big windows are your best buds! Whenever I see big windows, I get pumped up to take a photo! 

All my photos here were taken with my iphone friends. No, I really don't take out my DSLR for a spin unless the assignment is work. What I'm saying is that you don't need a fancy camera or lens to take pretty pictures. Good light will produce good photos. And a big window gives you just that!
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Here's my date!
For starters, we were both given a glass of freshly squeezed lemon-pineapple juice with mint and sage sweetened by mascovado. Far from your typical iced tea. This one's really refreshing! It looks ordinary, but it's not!
Then the soup. Ah, the soup with the base of onions and squash with seven herbs (a la KFC?) with parmesan and cream. We were so delighted by it! Bursts of surprising flavors with each mouthful! Fireworks! We're in love!
Next off is the salad. Eight lettuce varieties with carrots, turnips, walnuts, raisins and a dressing made from organic flax, olive and sunflower oils. If there'd be a vote, this will win the most photogenic and the most charming awards by a mile! Added pluses: it's tasty and interactive, too! 
Check out the size of this thing!
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Crazy huge!
So let me show you the interactivity of the salad. How do we eat the darling?

Step 1: Pick your greenery.
Step 2: Fill your leaves with the good stuff: flowers, nuts, raisins, turnips, carrots.
Step 3: Spread in some of the yummy green dressing!
Step 4: Roll it up like a ... Did you really think I'd say the word joint?
Step 5: Enjoy with a lot of love.
For the main course, Eve texted the choices: Grilled chicken with pesto or grilled tenderloin soaked in saki strawberry wine, honey and herbs, or steamed norwegian salmon with caper dressing.

So obviously, you will need to call at least a day in advance to book your reservations. Everything here is prepared by Ms. Eve herself. Eating time from 11:30AM until 2:30PM only. And they won't allow in too many people so that they keep the quality. They once had to decline Manny Pacquiao and entourage since they're coming in by a herd of 42 people!

Anyway, I picked the tenderloin and everything on that dish was heavenly. The beef was juicy, juicy!
Melvene who loves fish picked the salmon! Ooohlala! Seasoned right and moist. The capers with the salmon, a perfect marriage.
The whole meal ends with an oatmeal dessert, partnered with either coffee or tea. It doesn't look as poetic as the other servings, but we thought it was perfect. The meal need not end with a bang, but with a little quiet - balancing the whole meal experience with the serene surroundings. 

The entire full course is at P650/head. I'd honestly be happy to pay more than that for the whole experience!
And as if we haven't had enough buzz yet, we were very fortunate to have a happy chat with Eve's husband, Bond - Edgar Bond. When he saw we weren't taking the introduction too seriously, he showed an old ID card. Indeed, this is Mr. Bond. And to live up to his name, the 78-year-old restaurant owner-server-ex-colonel was an ex-sniper who taught how to use pistols and cannons in his heyday. He did represent the country on several competitions as a fast gun and also as a coach. Yes, the olympics under his belt.

He narrated how the resto came about. A stroke led his to paralysis of a side of his body. Too much balut and steak he fondly recalled. His wife Eve made him well by feeding him healthy. They ditched Manila to live in cold city, and they never looked back since. Now that's a wonderful story to wrap up the day and our Baguio stay.

Until next time, Mr. Bond.

EVE'S GARDEN
132 Upper Lamtang Road, La Trinidad, Benguet
0920-9476264/0917-5066264
 
Baguio City tops our favorite spots in the Philippines list with its coffee-conducive weather and its happy-honest people (taxi cabs here give you exact change unlike Manila taxis that round up to the nearest tens or hundreds!). We've been here too many times that we've lost count. So it's not a surprise that we ended up tying the great knot here in 2010. 
And we promised ourselves to always swing by so we all remember our binata-dalaga days hahaha and our love promises as well.

We brought Issa to St. Joseph Pacdal! And she was so happy running about. Maybe she felt how happy we were, too! That we were able to finally show her the church that meant the most to us.
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The happy addition running about at our wedding venue
I want to believe that as long as we are reminded of our past, we become thankful for the present and hopeful for our future. As we rekindle, sparks will fly and then we forever will be basking in the lightness of our love.
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Love here.
 
Okay the title may seem like as if I've eaten too many asado mami dishes to have made such a bold statement. But maybe I have.

No I'm not Chinese. I'm probably an eighth or a sixteenth part Chinese and some say I look like one. For the background: my dad loves Chinese food. I mean really love it that he would bring us to all the old Chinese restos when I was young - to the point of dread. Almost all our childhood family Sundays were spent in one.

Anyway, Luisa's Cafe is said to be the hangout spot of journalists. It reeks of history, its old walls serving witness to the countless of stories shared here. Regulars stay here longer than mainstays of Starbucks. Not for the wi-fi though. Mornings start with coffee and breakfast, afternoon snacking with pansit, days end in beer while Frank Sinatra serenades softly in the background. And everyone here knows each other by first name, it's like a community of sorts.
This is the Asado Mami, good for two people if snacking. For one if you're having this for lunch. At P120, this is more than a fair price for its taste.
Here's Melvene who's doing a hating-kapatid sharing.

Anyway, for those with really adventurous tastebuds ask for the Samlok. And do tell me how the experience came out for you because I won't tell what it is and I really wouldn't say. Hahaha!

LUISA'S CAFE
53 Session Road, Baguio City
 
PNKY Travel Cafe has been one of my fave Baguio spots since I had learned about it some seven years back, for its good food, artsy-quaint ambiance, clean restrooms - all check.
With photography and travel as the resto's themes, there's lots of good vibe and interesting details everywhere - fit for happy trip conversations.
Issa particularly loves the lomo wall counter, pointing to her favorites.
Meanwhile, Bruno Mars here is enjoying our spot. Haha!
There's an option to eat out, too! But we decided on staying in to contain our curious toddler.
The pumkin soup comes with our ordered main courses. Oooh I love the hint of tarragon!
My pa-healthy meal option, Dory a la Roma at P270. Grilled fish with salsa and ensalada side. Fish was a bit dry. Salad was nice. A plus for me since I prefer colored rice. White rice make my sugar go haywire. Next time I'll try a different course.
Melvene opted for the Cheeseburger at P185. The homemade bun, the patty and fries were spot on.
Yummy strawberry fruit shake at P95 to cap off the meal.
So the verdict: I'm a fan! And we'll definitely come back with more travel stories to tell.

PNKY Travel Cafe is located at 13 Leonard Wood, Baguio City
Visit their website at: www.pnkyhome.com
 
This is our second time going to Baguio with Issa and here are some things that made the trip run as smooth as it did:
1. Plan & pack ahead. Last-minute packing will surely increase the likelihood of stuff being left behind. We prepared all our bags a few days before the actual trip.
2. Jot things down. I found this app on my iphone called Listary that can help make all kinds of lists - where you can check items once accomplished. I use it for listing grocery items, even ideas!
3. That's entertainment. Our 12-hour roadtrip made Issa bored out of her witts! (Remind me never to travel on Maundy Thursday ever again!) Good thing we brought a good number of her fave toys to keep her happy and occupied. When she got bored with those too, we resorted to singing instead.
4. Time travel. We chose to travel during her nap time so both Issa and I were able to doze off to dreamland.
5. Be zen. If things don't pan out according to plan, let go and enjoy the ride. What matters is that everyone's safe and together.

I'd love to know more tips if you have any!
 
We couldn't say pass to the Aerosmith Global Warming Tour even if we dared try. The band's included in our bucketlist of concerts to watch so even if the tickets were waaaaaay expensive for our taste, we had to buy and make a long list of justifications as to why we're buying these. Like: (1) At least we won't need to fly out of the country to watch, (2) They're quite old and they might not have another tour that will make them come back to the Philippines, (3) It's going to be epic! First time in Philippine soil! Weeehoo!

 
We love Hong Kong. Who doesn't? Shopping sprees and the hole-in-the-wall food joints that me and my husband love to explore - sitting with strangers that speak in a language we do not understand. Oh like in the movie, In the Mood for Love by Wong Kar Wai! Hahaha, as if.

So when I saw Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe at SM Mall of Asia, I literally dragged my husband and imposed that lunch will be held here. We had our friends Christian and Faith swing by to enjoy this little happy dose of Hong Kong.
Interiors. Brightly lit. Nothing moody here.
Siew Mai at P100. It was fine. Normal pork and shrimp siomai.
luncheon meat 'n' dry egg noodles. Looks like breakfast a normal breakfast in Hong Kong.
Melvene ordered this
Iced grass jelly with longan 'n' nata for P95.
Nothing beats lunch enjoyed with the company of good friends Faith and Christian.

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