family collage

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


When my husband and I were in the Secondary level, you could say that we went out to "different" High Schools -- both figuratively and literally:

I went to an all girl school run by very strict nuns (think half-slips and sandos plus a fingernail length requirement), while my guy went co-ed and... Oh you know what guys would normally do with co-ed!

I had a different set of classmates every year while my Yub was in the same class from Kindergarten to High School (that is why his group from Lucena is so tight).

I was a artist geek (yup I love to draw) while my husband was a jock (patintero player.... kidding, he's in their basketball varsity).

But it was safe to say, that both of us were very well behaved in High School that we never cut classes nor were we late for the first class.

I carried through that "good girl" act all the way to the present where I always made it a point to be on time for work and never leave until my boss needs me. Even though we were allowed to go out for lunch, I still stayed at the office not because our food is provided by the company but I just felt it was my duty to be on stand by.

But all of that changed when somebody from my "High School" past decided to kidnap me for a lunch date and declared she would bring me to RUSTIC MORNINGS by ISABELO.

With that no matter how good a gal I am, I was powerless and surrendered to her invite. Either because this gal was the "evil twin" from High School and I was concerned for my welfare (he he he he he) or I was really curious of RUSTIC MORNINGS by ISABELO that I went against my High School "principles".

I would say curiosity won the better of me because the raves on RUSTIC MORNINGS by ISABELO were endless... but still, where was my Chinese stalker/knight-in-shining armor when I needed him to protect me from this "evil twin" from High School???


RUSTIC MORNINGS is the AM counterpart of ISABELO GARDEN RESTAURANT deep in the heart of Marikina City. It serves hearty breaksfasts, brunch, desserts, and wake up drinks. I haven't tried CAFE ISABELO by night but also read a lot of good reviews of the great food and how getting a table may be difficult because of the many diners who crowd in during that time. With my homefront in Mandaluyong, I hope I'll be able to try it sometime....

But for now, I am very much looking forward to having this RUSTIC MORNING for my first ever lunch out date!

For a first timer in the area like me, it's great that they posted a banner telling diners where their restaurant is.

And we are here at RUSTIC MORNINGS!

RUSTIC MORNINGS has  a wonderful al fresco set up. I could just imagine how romantic this looks at night.... Ala Mid summer night's dream perhaps?

There were some diners who relaxed themselves and enjoyed the noon breeze.

The furnitures of RUSTIC MORNINGS have this comfortable, country, and of course, "rustic" feel that would make you while the time a little bit more than usual. I could imagine myself having coffee al fresco and just reading a good book.

NOT 50 shades of Grey shame on you...

... Mills and Boone naman... Kidding!!!!

But I was kidnapped and I only had a limited time before I get back to work.

Here's a picture of ME just in case the evil twin does not get me back and holds my awesomeness for ransom.

Oh I'm kidding. :)

Yes, that's how I wear my jacket by the way. At least half of me is "al fresco".

My other half (the one wearing the jersey jacket) was getting warm so it was relieved that we were seated in the RUSTIC MORNINGS airconditioned dining area. 

Though I was hungry and excited to look at the meynuh, I admired the interiors once more.

Long table!

I wonder if this fragile display would survive a day in our house?

Everything was just so homey and inviting at RUSTIC MORNINGS. As if you visited somebody's country beach house with great food!

I'm no interior decorator, but the blue works for me :)

By the way little laddie, do not talk when your mouth is full. Kidding :)

Okay dear reader, let me introduce to you my kidnapper for the day, Chef Tricia Ignacio-Fragante. She has so kindly invited me to have lunch at RUSTIC MORNINGS and I was happy that she did because there was no way I could go here with my little knowledge in navigating through the Marikina area. 

Dear Chef Tricia is a Pastry Instructor at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies, teaches Culinary Arts in St. Paul Pasig, and owns a Sacocina Catering. It is always fun to have food trips with her because she knows some of the best places there is.  Of course, it's more fun going down memory lane with her and reminisce of our times being students in St. Paul Pasig!

Take a guess which one is the cheerdancer and which  is the artist geek? :P

Here we were during our High School field trip. She has always been nice to me but I have not forgotten that she did not give me a piece of size 4 paper when I forgot to bring a pad for myself. So generous!!!

I am being sarcastic by the way. H aha ha ha ha ha!

Apparently, she has not forgotten that there would always be forgetful students like me in school because now, while teaching at St. Paul, she would now bring and provide her students extra size 4 paper.

See? My neediness produced angels in everybody.


Back to my flashback, from then on I would always tease her that she is the "evil twin" (because she has a twin sister) and that she was a mean bully. I am kidding of course!! She is one of the nicest gals in the batch and it's always a great time meeting up with her.

Or am I talking like somebody who is being held for ransom? Ha ha ha!

Such a simple condiment's container that works into the RUSTIC MORNINGS feel!


Meynuh again....

And their Meynuh once more...

I don't know about you but hanging lamps just give a touch of simple elegance for me in any place.

First off... RUSTIC MORNINGS Iced Tea (P80.00 bottomless). Nothing instant about this one! Fruity, tangy, and refreshing!!!

Chef Tricia went on the healthy route and ordered RUSTIC MORNINGS All vegetable Omellete (P195.00). 

After much forcing from my part, Chef Tricia finally let me try it (damot!)! The eggs were creamy and complemented the woodsy flavor of the veggies. Light and filling for somebody on a diet!

Chef Tricia's long time knight Mang Bert, who managed her auto steed, joined us. He was looking at me funny while holding his cellphone.

Ha ha ha ha! This was why. He shared the picture of Chef Tricia and her twin sister Corina when they were little tots wearing flowery red (or is that leafy) dresses. He proudly declared he was there for the twins years more before that.

I was yearning to ask if Chef Tricia was adopted....

Kidding! Love you classmate! Har de har!!!!

Mang Bert had RUSTIC MORNINGS Chicken Salad Sandwich because he was also watching his figure he he he he! 

He gallantly offered me to try some but I got shy and just thanked him. I actually got a whiff of it and it smelled so good that I wanted to swipe the whole thing away from him. 

I was able to refrain myself because I thought, NOBODY will take me back to the office then. And I will just look like little Puss N' Boots in the middle of busy Marikina! Eeep!

Chef Tricia's niece, angelic Bea also joined us for lunch! 

If Chef Tricia got the healthy All vegetable sandwich, I followed suit and ordered RUSTIC MORNINGS Barbecue Pulled Pork Crackling Sandwich (P260.00).

Tasty barbecued pork with crunchy cracklings on buttered panini bread is healthy right?

Oh and do NOT forget the mayo....

I have a side of potato salad anyway so this RUSTIC MORNINGS meal is healthy!

That is my view on it and nobody could thwart it for me.

Oh yes I use the words such as "thwart" now because of Game of Thrones... Tee hee!!!!

I cut my RUSTIC MORNINGS sandwich in half and HELLO! This greeted me! Butter, mayonnaise, pork, onions,.... Oh I am so drooling!

Every biteful gave me that flavorful crunch from the pork and cracklings and chewing on it just made me go to a scrumptious heaven....

It made me want to take another bite and another... and ANOTHER huge one!

(Me doing Thor : This sandwich, I like it... ANOTHER!)

Wait a minute, that didn't sound right.... Ha ha ha ha!

Ugh! I just got back from Hong Kong when we ate at RUSTIC MORNINGS and I am 142lbs here!!! Ugh! Ugh!

Oh and one more UGH!!!!!!!!

Btw, I just realized, this is my favorite blouse. I also wore it HERE!!!!!


Great food matched with fun chika!!!!

Almost done!!!

For dessert we had some RUSTIC MORNINGS Frozen Brazo de Mercedes (P140.00).... 

... and RUSTIC MORNINGS Red velvet cupcake (P90.00). Both desserts were moist and satisfied our sweet tooth.

Not that there was anything sweet about us. Here we are "sparring" again....

Me : "I don't know about you but it was only ONE size 4 paper. Just ONE!"

Chef Tricia ; "Stop it! It was STILL one piece!"

Kidding! With true SPCP sisterhood, we truly love each other and always have fun goofing around! He he he he he!

Hark daughters of the Great St. Paul!

Our bill!!!

Thank you so much dear Chef Tricia for the kidnap! Truly had fun with our mini-date! Looking forward to our next lunch getaway.

Yub Eric felt so sad he was not able to join us and put his stalking into use. He blamed me for going out on my own when it was supposed to be EricJaz Foodies.

I told him : "It's okay, you footed the bill anyway."


Let's EAT!!!!

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo
11 Isabelo Mendoza Street, Marikina, Luzon, Philippines

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Hello! Hello! Sorry if I have been quiet for a period of time but I was out somewhere food tripping with my EAT BULAGA buddies and seeing the sights of uber wonderful Binondo, este, Hong Kong....

(Oh yeah... 4 days since my last entry is indeed a period of time because... because.... I just miss you.... (aw shuckers)...

AND, we were not really there to food trip... I think I was the lone ranger in that aspect because I was the only woman with a mission to eat at the restaurant I have been fantasizing about since I read it in a blog.

... which brings me to..... (drum roll with an extra ting at the end)...


BUTAO RAMEN is one of the most popular Ramen Houses in Hong Kong. If you check other foodie blogs, you'll see a loooong line of hungry foodies who are all patient enough to have some of the best bowl in town. 

We dropped by the restaurant at about 2:00pm on a Saturday. Thankfully, the line has ceased down... 

Well maybe just for our group because food gods were smiling my way... He he he he he he!

I know! I know! My little silly foodie blog IS entitled ERICJAZ foodies... But try as I might to shove him in my luggage, this was only an all girl trip for the Admin girls of TAPE INC., Don't worry, he's with me in spirit.

BECAUSE even if he does not really fancy ramen... I ate for him since that IS the title of our blog... ERICJAZ FOODIES.

By the way,  having lunch at BUTAO RAMEN was not really part of the itinerary since it was sorta out of the way from our hotel, but I'm really grateful my officemates agreed to go here for lunch. Well maybe because of the following reasons:

a: They found me cute and lovable....
b:  Their ears got tired of me begging every single day... 
c: They will do anything to shut me up (related to B)
d: They got curious of what BUTAO RAMEN has to offer.

So I guess it's ALL OF THE ABOVE????

Wait a minute..... ... moving on.... ha ha ha ha ha!

The meynuh (could anyone translate for me word per word??)

Welcome to BUTAO! 

You would be assured of the good food of a restaurant when they confidently offer only a few dishes to their menu but still manage to fill up the whole space. So BUTAO RAMEN only has 4 choices for you... the BUTAO KING... BLACK KING... RED KING... and GREEN KING.

If some of you wise guys suggest WHITE KING, I'm walking outta here. 

Everything is so simple in BUTAO RAMEN. While waiting, they give you a piece of pad paper for your order. 

By the way, if you're questioning the neatness and legibility of the penmanship here, I let a 5 year old kid do the writing for me. Yup that's what I did for sure because... because... I was busy taking pictures... (yeah riiiight).

If you're wondering why I did not have Chasiu pork on my ramen it is because I am on a diet. But I truly recommend you to add that protein in your bowl since it was very tender and tasty! So worth the extra fat!

See their small space? I still found it homey....

The young chefs of BUTAO RAMEN very busy with their noodles! It was nice of them to let me click away. That guy with the bandana is was also cute. TEE HEE!

The Chasiu Pork all tender and ready to be dipped into their boiling tonkatsu soup!


Yup! BUTAO RAMEN is multi-awarded and everything! They proudly displayed this on their window.

Yey! We're finally seated. The waitress took note of where I sat for easy matching my ramen.

After settling what was needed to be settled, I checked their plate of condiments....

I think this is spicy pickled pechay while the other one was bean sprouts. It really depends on you if you want to add these extras in your ramen but I loved my bowl as it is!

Of course, all of it are worth a try though....

He he he he! We got seats and you don't!

Like I said, BUTAO RAMEN's place was kinda small compared to the number of hungry foodies who want to eat their noodles.  But what is an hour wait to get the best ramen in Hong Kong? If there is a line the next time I'm there, I would suck it out!

But still, all I can say is...

Har de har har! We got seats and you dont! ha ha ha ha ha!

Me with Mam Josie and Ate Yogie! We are all excited to eat our Ramens!!!! I'm so grateful to them that they understood my obsession to having a meal in BUTAO RAMEN that they agreed to having our late lunch there.

Even this little kid was gobbling up her noodles.... after this pic was taken! He he he he!

First bowl on our table was the BUTAO KING ($80)! I was able to take a sip of the soup and found it so milky and flavorful! It was obvious that the pork bones was indeed boiled for about millions of hours to get the ultra taste!!! If I was not curious with my Squid Ramen, I would have ordered this too!!!

When will the other bowls come??? When???

It was nice of my officemate Tonette to let me a taste. It would have been nicer if she gave the whole bowl to me afterwards.


Chris and Sheryl said they loved their BUTAO KING ramen too. But, they did not let me take a taste.

Yup! One should take a sip from every bowl to ensure the quality of ALL of their ramens. It is just my duty to do so.

The GREEN KING ramen (hkd 90) is rich soup consisting of basil, cheese, and everything creamy. If I was not curious of my BLACK KING ramen, I would have this too!

It's great that Ate Yogie ordered this and kindly let me have a spoonful. She did offer to give me more of her ramen when I was salivating and drooling like crazy after a taste. But I tried to be a lady and declined. 

(I'll just hope she has leftovers... Then, I'll just swipe it when she's not looking)

Unfortunately that did not happen. She said she loved her ramen and finished everything. Boohoo me.

Nobody ordered the RED KING ramen because our waitress (see below) warned that it was very spicy! If you have tried this hot bowl, how did you find it?

I said it once and I'll say it again... If I was not curious of my Black King Ramen I would have tried that Red King as well... tee hee!

BUTAO RAMEN has a filipina waitress named Mabel who loved having her picture taken with us. Here she is with Larlene and Sunshine.

..... then with the whole group (clockwise - Mam Josie, Waitress Mabel, ME, Ate Yogie, Ate Dalden, Chris, Sheryl, Larlene, Sunshine, and Tonette). Maybe she wants to join Pinoy Henyo, I don't know. Ha ha ha ha ha! Still, she gave us exceptional service and our meal was more enjoyable with her caring and fussing! 

Oh please where's MY order BUTAO RAMEN???? Save a hungry lady here please!!!

... and finally my BLACK KING RAMEN (hkd 90)! Oh it was as beautiful as I dreamed it would be!

As soon as it was laid down in front of me, I took a looooong  and nasal free whiff of all that BLACK KING goodness! Everything just smelled so glorious and wonderful that I can't WAIT to slurp my way to BLACK KING ramen heaven!

Happy... happy me! Finally! One of my foodie wishes came true!!!!!!!!!!

I specified on my order paper that I wanted my noodles to be thick and super hard. I loved getting a chewy bite from my ramen and if you want the same firmness that you have probably enjoyed in other ramen houses, then request for SUPER HARD noodles in BUTAO RAMEN as well!

Oh yeah I will slurp you to kingdom come!

With my first slurp and bite of their ramen noodles, I was deliriously happy! The soup was so tasty and divine that I wanted wolf down everything in one bite!

But like I said, I was trying to act like a lady here... so I controlled myself.

Yup... the lady DID get black "tinga' in her teeth afterwards but I DON'T CARE!

This big spoon? Yup, I put it all inside my mouth!

He he he he! I wanted to do the same thing but I was not yet finished with my own bowl....

As much as I wanted to slurp everything away, we were going shopping afterwards in Granville and my tummy somehow has an aversion to squid ink and tenga ng daga.

... Yup Squid Ink... and that's what I ordered. Anything for food. I hope I won't suffer later. Ha ha ha ha ha! 

My tummy DID grumble like crazy while we were buying I LOVE HONG KONG magnets but I just daydreamed of happy thoughts....

Like me eating there again... he he he he!

In the meantime... I was savoring the goodness of my BLACK KING ramen and Larlene's leftover soup.

I don't care if I will get black squiddy or greeny things lodged between my teeth. It is my duty to take these all down. Like all Mom's would say... "Dami kaya nagugutom sa (insert country)!!!"

When we stepped out there was indeed a LOOOOONG LINE of foodies hungry for some BUTAO RAMEN! If only I had wide lenses, you would see the line almost at the edge of your monitors! And I don't blame them...Because...

Even if I got United of Colors "thingies" between my teeth...

Even if there will be a long wait the next time I go there...

Even if my tummy will grumble and diss me like crazy after the meal because of the squid ink...

Even if I encounter another waitress who would like to take pictures with us since we are popular (tee hee)...


Even if from 130lbs my weight shot up to 142lbs after our Hong Kong trip.

I WILL STILL GO BACK HERE by hook or by crook!!!  Yes it is THAT good! Believe it or not, a meal in BUTAO RAMEN is an item out of my bucket list.

I hope I will be able to cross out item number 24: "EAT AT BUTAO RAMEN 10 TIMES".


Butao Ramen
G/F, Kam Wing Commercial Building, 28 Minden Ave, Tsim Sha Tsui

G/F, 40 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay

G/F, Wo On Building, 8-13 On Lane Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central
telephone: 2530-0600

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