Weekend Starter

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Manila by sunset
I love weekend’s and I am sure everyone who reads this loves the weekend as well. It’s that perfect time in the week where work doesn’t have to bother me or Tricia, all of my email accounts are closed and whatever concerns I have in school are moved to next week. A few weeks ago, Tricia and I started and ended our week with a heavy stomach in two great places, one in the heart of old Manila and the other in the breezy Alabang.

Bayleaf Intramuros

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Seafood paella
Bayleaf Intramuros is known for two things: it has a wonderful skydeck perfect for viewing the magical sunset of Manila, it’s a hotel located in the historic quarter of Manila so it is perfect for tourists wanting to start their history lesson of the city. But the one thing I never knew about Bayleaf was how good their buffet was.
Like most buffets I usually go to the most expansive or at the very least the most interesting one, and that night the most beautiful one was a red dish garnished with all manner of seafood arranged like a rising Venus from the depths of the sea. It was the restaurant’s paella, that all in one Spanish national dish that makes my body shiver and my mouth froth with sheer hunger and salivation. I did not waste time scooping up large amounts on my plate and forgetting that I should be watching my food intake (imagined diet be damned!).

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Short rib
Like a shining beacon of pork goodness similar to the piercing lights of Manila port and the Manila Cathedral was the restaurant’s pork short rib. Its skin roasted to crispy and crusty goodness and the meat as soft as a perfectly roasted chunk of pork there was no denying that their rib would be the star to my already loaded plate.
After having eaten the rough equivalent of breakfast, lunch and dinner it was time for dessert. The buffet had the usual short cakes and fruits (which I begrudgingly ate), my eyes set on small bars sprinkled with confectioners sugar. The bars were lemon parve’s and for some weird reason I couldn’t seem to get enough of it.

Romulo Cafe

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Romulo House Salad

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Callos
I love home cooked food, there is always that feeling of completeness when you sit  and dig in to a meal that has been lovingly and knowingly prepared just for you. What makes home cooked meals even special is that you know all of these meals come with its own layers of stories and traditions that add to the flavor of any dish. Last March 15, Tricia took her family and me to have a sampling of the Romulo’s famous meals.

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Kare-Kare
Our lunch consisted of a wide-variety of dishes: greens, pork, beef and had a variety of flavors. My favorite was the adobo beef ribs with little cloves of fried garlic garnishing the entire dish. It was sweet and tangy at the same time but elevated ribs and the gentle adobo into a world class dish. The dish is something worth taking a second look at.

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Beef adobo ribs

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Chocolate sans rival
Second to the ribs was the kare-kare, there is nothing special or grand in Romulo Cafe’s concoction of everyone’s favorite peanut and pork dish. I just simply liked it, rich in flavor and full in color you could just go on and on until everything in the bowl was finished. The tripe was soft and the pork tender enough to melt in your mouth and despite my aversion to all things green, I ended up eating a lot of it. At the end of the meal, there was still enough to go around.
Bayleaf is located at Muralla corner Victoria Streets, Intramuros. Manila 
They can be contacted at 318-5000 or 328-3170 or you can visit their website here
Romulo Cafe is located in the following cities: 
32 Scout Tuason Street, Quezon City
148 Jupiter Street, Makati City
2205 Market Street, Azumi Boutique Hotel. Alabang. Muntinlupa City
You may visit their website here.
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