family collage

Thursday, May 30, 2013


There was a time in my life when everything I think about was food.

I was not yet finished with breakfast, I would already ask what is for lunch.

While having lunch I will dream of what is for "merienda"

Then... before dinner, coffee...

Then dinner...

After dinner coffee...

Then snacks....

I remembered long ago that I would never set foot at my home unless I get something in my mouth other than the carbo heavy meal I had for supper.

And THAT was how we came upon TAMAYAKI!

From what I remember, my husband and I already had a great meal somewhere. My tummy was bulging and I was looking forward to snoozing my gluttony to bed. 

But then, I felt a certain urge brainwashing me that the night is not over yet. 

I just HAVE to get some munchies! And my foodie angel smiled then led us to TAMAYAKI.

I'm sure that even if you are not as a loser like me, you would still be hypnotized into passing by TAMAYAKI because of its inviting pink lights along the dark streets of  P. Guevarra :)

Somebody seems to have made himself at home!

You would too if the staff welcomed you like crazy even if it was about 5 minutes till closing time. 

Now that's service!

And that made my Chinese stalker more happy! He will be able to relax at a comfortable and cool place while I gobble things up!

I love their interiors and how everything transports you to anime-world! I bet you could not tell that TAMAYAKI is a franchise from China!

Time to order!

I love TAKOYAKI or octopus balls. There is something about the play of flavors encased in a sweetish ball then doused with a healthy dollop of their mayonnaise. It's cloud 9 in a bite! ARIGOTO!!

However, upon seeing their menu, I was in a dilemma... what to order? Everything seemed to good and I want to order more than 2 viands but my husband, a very "sensitive" eater, abandoned me by declaring he does not eat octopus balls.


So I just ordered the basic... TAMAYAKI'S Seasoned Octopus (P105.00).

They asked what sauce I would like on m Takoyaki and I requested to have one half to be regular while the other half is spicy!

Boy was I excited with what was laid down before me. I got not just 3 but 4 big Takoyaki balls heaping with bonito flakes and nori strips. 

I am so ready to dig in!


I tried my darnest to act like a lady but I failed. Since I was not able to pop the whole thing inside my mouth, I just took a huge bite then let the other half dangle down to my fork.

I was pleasantly surprised that unlike other Takoyaki balls, TAMAYAKI's had that slight crunch. Once you munch on a morsel what surprises you are the glorious fillings all meshed together but still identifiable!

I got a big chunk of meat there and veggies! YUM!!! I loved mopping it up my plate for more mayonnaise!

By the way, I have a high tolerance for spicy grub but I found myself chugging down glasses of water with their hot sauce which is mostly curry based. I still liked it though and was worthy for a secondary visit from my gnarling teeth... 

Just a thing of beauty!

It is a shame that I was not able to try their other balls and milk teas but it made us look forward MORE to coming back to TAMAYAKI!

And this time we'll not only be guided by their bright lights, but we'll follow the calling of our taste senses as well!


453 P. Guevarra St.,
San Juan City

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Even though I came from the wonderful land of (beauty queen shout and pause) MANDALUYONG CITEEEH, I always have a soft spot for Lucena, Quezon Province. 

For one, Dad being an Engineer, had a lot of construction jobs in the area that we would usually stay there for the weekend with him at the Fresh Aire hotel. I vividly remember me and my sister going around the Fresh Aire park and playing with this cocky monkey who would pull a raspberry on us when we get near. 

Come to think of it, I seem to remember a chinese snotty boy whose hair was pulled by this arrogant monkey. The little thin guy was too near, taunting the monkey that the beast got the better of him. Ha ha ha! I hate the monkey but that boy got what he deserved!

Also, my favorite cousin Kuya Nap (see him HERE !!!) met the love of his life in Quezon Province and got married in Lucena. Guess who was one of their flower girls?


Guess where they had their reception?


That's why besides volting up with my husband's wonderful family when we go to Lucena Province, we love eating at CAFE ANTIGUA. Not only because they have such delicious and cheap food, but they are a structure of many wonderful memories since they have been in area for about 30 years or more.

To think that when we would eat here when I was a little girl, my soulmate and future significant other was just meters away, hair being pulled by that mean monkey.

Yes that snotty chinese boy grew up to be my chinese stalker.

THE love of my life. My home...

And he's sitting across me at CAFE ANTIGUA where I ate 30 years ago :)

But you do not need to have the same eeewy sentiments to enjoy the food at CAFE ANTIGUA. Just one taste and you'll agree, it would cause your soft spot too in Lucena, Quezon Province.

It's like coming back to YOUR home. Now don't blame me if you get all too mushy and squishy. Food always does that to me.



Where food is so good your dreams will come true! He he he he!

CAFE ANTIGUA serves food similar to what you will find in Binondo but restaurant is clean, spacious, and aircondition blaring. I love the comfort they bring to the diner and I'm impressed that they were able to maintain it for over 30 years.

CAFE ANTIGUA had wide function rooms in their upper floors which served as venues for many weddings years ago. I am not sure if they still offer function rooms, but I remember that for Kuya Nap's wedding, I really enjoyed the food. I even felt that we were in a hotel because of how they made up the place and the service!

We arrived straight from Manila and guess where we had our "upon-arrival-to-Lucena" lunch?


We were joined by Yub's younger brother Syoti and his cute daughter little Isha!

My sons, Mati and Andrei, just adore their ninong Syoti and cousin Isha that they demand to see them once we get to Lucena!

Check out the prices? Cheap right?


Yub said locals would usually take out in CAFE ANTIGUA since their food stays delicious even after you get home. Tourists and former residents of Quezon province are the regular diners of the restaurant since, like I said, eating there brings back loads of memories!

If you are from Lucena, what do you prefer when eating the food in CAFE ANTIGUA? Eatin in or take out?

Yub and Syoti at CAFE ANTIGUA!

Andrei and his lovable cousin Isha!

Me and my favorite little man Mati!

When you go to CAFE ANTIGUA, please try their BLACK CHAMI (P120.00). If it were not for the kids, we would have them do the usual on the noodles and have it cooked the sweet, spicy, and delicious way!

(We might do it next year whether they like it or not. We have sacrificed long enough! Ha ha ha!)

It is black because of the soy sauce they put but don't worry, it is not salty at all. Just the perfect scrumptious  and savory filipino pancit that will be sure to be one of your comfort foods once you get a taste of it!

I love that it is extra saucy as always! Just in case you do not get the same serving of that glistening oily stream of awesomeness, the servers of CAFE ANTIGUA would most likely give you a cupful more when you ask for it. 

We always do!

Oh yeah come to mama....

CAFE ANTIGUA'S Morisqueta Fried Rice (P180.00 for large)! This is another one of CAFE ANTIGUA's must tries as it is also a perfect epitome of "Kanin Pa Lang Ulam Na" (or complete meal in a rice dish!) Each spoonful would give you that meaty flavorful sausages, egg, and perfectly seasoned rice. I love this! We cannot have a meal at CAFE ANTIGUA without it.

Actually when eating at CAFE ANTIGUA, just order their Black Chami, Morisqueta Fried Rice, and softdrinks and you already got yourself one helluva meal.

But knowing EricJaz foodies, we always want more... SO we will get more!

Brothers Yap!

The kids always need some so we order CAFE ANTIGUA's Nido Soup!

It may taste like the instant version, but we don't mind. It's hot and a filling side dish for the other heavily flavored grubs in CAFE ANTIGUA. The kids love it! Especially the quail eggs.

CAFE ANTIGUA's lumpiang shanghai! Andrei's favorite!

CAFE ANTIGUA's Crispy Chicken (small P160.00) are always fried perfectly with crunchy and yummy breading! 

Of course, when there's pancit, there should always be chicken!

... and if it is this juicy, we would not mind ordering it everytime!

Plus it comes with this special CAFE ANTIGUA sauce which is perfect on everything! The chicken is very delicious already, but will be the bomb once you add this!

I sometimes add this on my CAFE ANTIGUA morisqueta fried rice. Oh don't judge me till you have tried it! So appetizing! YUM!

We now have a full table in CAFE ANTIGUA... let's EAT!

I love eating at CAFE ANTIGUA because I don't have a hard time feeding my finicky eater Andrei. He loves their saucy pancit and crispy lumpiang shanghai!!!

BUT! He still wouldn't let his picture taken with the group in CAFE ANTIGUA. It's okay! As long as he's enjoying his food, I'm happy!

Don't look at my big thigh.... OOPS! Made you look! Grrr! :)

This is what I love doing with my CAFE ANTIGUA Black Chami... I crush some red chili's and mix it with the saucy pancit.

Very spicy and MORE delicious! 

(AAAAUGH why do I have to do my writing for EricJaz Foodies here in Manila and in the middle of the night! I am getting hungry again!!!)

My plate! My wonderful plate!!!

The kids are quietly eating at CAFE ANTIGUA....

While my Chinese Stalker... Soulmate... Love of My life... is checking me out...

Or is he just glaring at me to stop taking pictures so he could eat already?

Mati stuffed himself silly at CAFE ANTIGUA too! I remember him telling me after this meal that he ate too much and had a hurtsy tummy!

Almost done!

Just finishing the last few bites of my CAFE ANTIGUA plate!

All done! (Mati so full already hence the face)

Our bill in CAFE ANTIGUA! Cheap right? I think we even ordered take home for my yub's family!

When you are in Lucena, don't forget to check out CAFE ANTIGUA and it may also become YOUR soft spot for the area. You may not  meet somebody who could be your soulmate (like I unfortunately did... Blech! Ha ha ha!) but the delicious food will surely get you coming back for more.

As we (now being EricJaz Foodies) would fortunately do. :)


Quezon Avenue cor. Gomez Street
Lucena City
Quezon Province

ERIC JAZ FOODIES note (January 17, 2014)

We recently had lunch at CAFE ANTIGUA and though the food was still as delicious as we remember it, we discovered how they could be unsanitary in preparing the dishes. Nothing happened to us though but it may take a while before we eat there again :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013


My husband and I have been married for 10 years now (eew I know) and though we may appear to be complete opposites, we are very similar/connected in MANY ways:

  1. Many times we would simultaneously receive texts from each other with almost the same content. This really gives me a thrill because it means that without any prodding or imposing anything, we both thought of each other AT THE SAME TIME and sent a text (enter schoolgirl giggle... hi hi hi hi).
  2. We oftentimes dress alike and I DON'T mean wearing the same blouse or gown (D-U-H). If you would browse through some of our pictures, usually have the same pattern or color of what the other person is wearing. Often times after I get dressed and see him enter the room, I would always remark "Ginaya mo ako!!!" (You copied me) when he has not seen me yet before changing. Great minds think alike as they always say! :)
  3. When we are going to Lucena for the weekend, both of us in secret would already be mentally planning where to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, then next day's breakfast and lunch. Then when we get there, it's a relief that both of us were thinking of the same restaurants to pig out in for the weekend.
However for the third weekend of May, 2013, even though both of us were thinking of the "usuals" for our Lucena food trip sessions, we were in a for surprise that his former "boss" aka his mother, was thinking of some other place for us to eat in for our family dinner.

Though we were initially disappointed that we will not be eating at our favorites, our minds changed after we wiped out all the greasy plates of food that my Mama ordered.

And once again we were thinking of the same thing just by looking at each other:

KOON LIN will DEFINITELY be in our foodie mental list every time we're in Lucena!


The meynuh at KOON LIN!

KOON LIN is located at the 2nd floor of the new Mei Yuk building. I'd like to give you tips on how to properly find this restaurant but you just have to ask around since I have forgotten already (ha ha ha! Epidural effect I guess! :P)

KOON LIN, being a newly opened restaurant, was very cool (literally) and well lit. I am not sure if they have special events here but from the looks of it, you could have an enjoyable birthday celebration here or a cozy reception for your wedding or baptisms!

We appreciated all the extra space in KOON LIN so that the little rugrats could play all they want and not hit a table, chair or diner!

KOON LIN has an open kitchen which thankfully has a working exhaust system so that we did not smell like Chinese food afterwards.

However, I did smell like somebody who was hugged by a Chinese afterwards...

Kidding! Sorry can't help it! Ha ha ha ha!


From l-r, Syoti (Yub's younger brother Enrico, hence the name "Syoti"), Mama (Yub's mother, hence the name "mama"), and... my Chinese stalker!

The newlyweds pretty Ivy, and Yub's other younger brother Allan.

(Jaz - If "Syoti" means second boy in the family, what do they call the third boy then?)

Looking like newlyweds, lovely Hennie and Syoti... 

Yub and our long lost daughter... Kidding! That's Syoti and Hennie's adorable Shobe (younger girl) Hiley!

My husband really has a way with babies and children. That's why I fell in love with him in the first place!

I think i'm coming down with a fever...

The whole crazy gang l-f (Hiley, Yubskers, Masters Mati and Andrei, and little Isha (Hiley's older sis).

I bet you could tell that this little lady is my inaanak!!

You go Isha! You rock that Mr. Pogi pose like Ninang! :)

KOON LIN gave complimentary salty peanuts for us to nibble on while waiting for the food.

Andrei and Isha are the best of "friends" and as birds of the same feather flock together, they immediately owned the peanuts leaving us all "peanut-free". He he he he!

First on the table was KOON LIN's Mixed Seafood Crab Soup (Medium P378.00). Sorry if I was not able to take a picture of this big bowl fit for our party of eleven but that was just how hungry we were. 

To make up for that disappointing pic up there, here is my full bowl of KOON LIN's soup here. He he he! This may not look much because it gives you the impression of just plain nido soup and not "seafood crab" but it still tasted very good. This is also very kid friendly as the little rugrats drained their bowls to the last drop!

Of course, what's ERICJAZ FOODIES without carbs? With that we present to you KOON LIN's Yang Chow Fried Rice (large P398.00). We loved the mild flavors of the meats and shrimps mixed into the rice as it complemented the rich dishes we ordered with it. I noticed that everybody kept refilling their plates with spoonfuls of this Chinese restaurant staple!

KOON LIN'S Steamed Prawn with Garlic (P384.00 for 300g) was a winner for me. The prawns were just plump and perfectly steamed then wonderfully infused with the chopped greens, garlic, then sesame oil.

I was especially grateful that it had some bits of sotanghon because I can't imagine eating at a Chinese restaurant and NOT order noodles ("pansit"). Mama realized this as well and was about to order a platter of their chow mien then I told her that I should diet anyway. Tee hee!

After everybody got their serving of the KOON LIN prawns I spooned over the oils and garlic to my yang chow fried rice for a whole level of delicious!! YUM!

My little greasy heaven!!!

KOON LIN salt and pepper squid (large P438.00) was crunchy and tender to the bite!

I think Mati got about 4 pieces of this KOON LIN dish and ate it happily with his Yang Chow rice.

The kindly servers of KOON LIN noticed that Andrei and Isha kept the first serving of peanuts to themselves that they gave us another small saucer of it. Yohoo!

I was happy until Andrei swiped this one again with a matching "zoink!".

KOON LIN'S Steamed Lapu Lapu with Soy Sauce and Sontanghon (P640.00 500grams)! I found this dish priced reasonably considering how good it was and how it was enough for the whole group. The fish was still all juicy even after steaming while the sauce was not salty or overpowering. 

The "oldies" finished this dish off (and by oldies I meant Mama, Yub, and ME!) and I was just all too happy to suck the bones dry out of this fish... Tee hee!!!

Come to think of it, we kept this KOON LIN fish to ourselves since youngsters don't need to be healthy. Ha ha ha ha!

Of all the dishes in KOON LIN, their Prawn Ball in a hot salad sauce (large P508.00) was the one I was least happy about. I thought it would be like the other prawn balls with hot salad filling which I had in Gloria Maris or Mongkok but this was more like a vegetable spring roll with cream. 

The flavors were good but not what I expected. 

Still, I piled 1 whole piece onto my plate and ate with mucho gusto!

My plate! My wonderful plate at KOON LIN!!!

Let's EAT!!!

Let's eat with flash! Check out Mati who did not want to have his picture taken while eating, while little Andrei just wanted to be naughty and did not want to appear in the picture at all. He wanted to be INVISIBLE.

Nice try Andrei. Attempting to hide behind your whale of a mom!

We loved KOON LIN's mugs... Here's mine with my Mango shake. They had another groovy one for the cucumber shake but I was just not able to take a picture of it. You could see it at the picture of the family above in front of Mama.

Kudos to our KOON LIN servers namely Raven and Lea! They were very attentive, friendly, and served our every whim! I hope we get them again the next time we eat at KOON LIN!!

Overall Mama paid around P3,000 for our meal at KOON LIN. Not bad right since we were a group of eleven! I was not able to take a picture of the receipt because if I asked for it, they might expect me to pay for the dinner. HA HA HA HA! Kidding!

... or am I?

The reason why we were in Lucena was because it was their yearly fiesta. And when we got downstairs, there was a street concert. The cousins danced and pretended they were playing instrments : Andrei "air-drummed" while Isha "air-guitared".

Okay so this is the side to look for in Mei Yuk building in order to get into KOON LIN. I will look at this picture right now so as to have a mental picture of it to help me the next time were there. 

Hopefully that will be soon because I'm not sure how my brain cells could hold another load in it's mother ship. Tee hee!


Mei Yuk Building, M.L. Tagarao
4301 Lucena City, Philippines




By the way, here's proof that we tend to wear matching clothes. I swear that this is all by chance and not something we planned!!!! This is just a few of them. We have MORE... much MORE actually!

Black and black for a Sunday TEAM YAP dinner!

Red and white plus red for my birthday in KIMPURA. Although the reason why he's wearing red is because it's tradition in Chinese to celebrate birthdays wearing that color.

Red and light red in Gansu Shabu shabu!

This is my favorite! Matching black, yellow, and a bit of white for our anniversary in Chili's. Based on my fingers this was our 9th year anniversary.


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