Manila Food Trip - Foodie Finds near DLSU Taft for the Avida Towers Prime Food Hunt!

I've always wondered how my life would have turned out if I went to La Salle instead of Ateneo haha. I got to sit in once and enjoyed the teaching method. J was from there and he took me to one of his favorite (and student-friendly) tambayans in Taft before. I've always loved beef and steak but I could never forget the sauce! It was a favorite memory and my equivalent of a Manang's moment near the Ateneo covered courts..

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Fast forward to this year, I was recently invited to participate in the Avida Food Hunt Taft Edition and was glad to find out that this restaurant was still there and it was in their list. So basically, this post is about the restaurants that you'll come to love if ever you choose to reside in Taft (where the Avida Towers Taft is currently being constructed) and where you can head to if ever you just want a downtown Manila food trip or study in La Salle or one of the colleges nearby. Note: I call Manila City of Metro Manila, Taft and beyond as downtown Manila. Special thanks to Chef JJ for doing this tour with us!

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Avida (of AyalaLand) is currently conducting Avida Food Hunts in the metro and some are open to the public. If you want to join one, then you'd have to register online and just wait for the next schedule. For this food hunt, we were just told that everything will be a surprise (5 places) and the only clue is the paper below.

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To get to Taft, I took the MRT from an EDSA station (to Taft Stop) then LRT (EDSA to Vito Cruz Stop). Using this mode of transportation has its own downsides but it was the fastest route I could think of without competing with crazy buses, cars and motorcycles. The Avida Towers Prime Taft showroom and towers are located near the LRT Gil Puyat Station. This area is near bus stations and Cartimar Shopping Center (they said Japanese groceries, Korean groceries, wet market, pet shops and bicycle shops). =)

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They were actually right in saying that this is the quieter and more peaceful side of Taft. It's easy to forget that in around 10 minutes towards the DLSU side would come the jeepneys, cars and people. Avida's Towers are still being constructed at the moment but if you'd like to invest in a unit now, then just contact me then I'll provide you the details of the correct person to call. ;) For now, let's go back to Taft and explore the area. Some of the restaurants have been there for years so I guess they will still be there when you read this. 

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Just a walking distance away is the Black & White Cafeteria. I would classify it as an all-day breakfast and snack place because of what I would eat here if ever. This would be the restaurant closest to the towers.

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Since we had 5 places to go to, it will be unwise to get carried away so early. Haha.

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We had one of their bestsellers -

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the Burger & Bacon Extra Special (P78) with brewed iced tea (P35). The iced tea was bitter sweet.

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The burger had onion, lettuce, bacon, ham and cheese. The patty is a bit salty if you eat it separately (well, I tried to fill myself with the bun haha).

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I'm more of a tapsilog girl coz I only get to eat it whenever I'm travelling to provinces so I'd try their version (P110). They also have pancit (P75) and mami (P95).

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I found these drinks interesting - corn shake (P75) and gabi shake (P75)

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then they have this Che-Boom (dunno what it is) for P10.

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We hopped on to the bus and got acquainted with foodie Chef JJ Yulo of Pinoy Eats World =) Note: Oh, I just remembered!!! He's the one behind the Guerilla Dinners I wanted to go to before!!!

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And so our journey continued - filled with promises of more food and great foodie finds in Manila. We were near the LRT Gil Puyat Station (sometimes called LRT Buendia Station) so if you're office is in Makati then this would be a great place to eat as well. 

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We would normally just pass by this Japanese restaurant but it might as well be considered a Pasay institution. The Nemoto Japanese Restaurant been in business for 30 years and owned by a Japanese lady.

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True enough, it looked authentic and inviting inside.

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There's a space for manga and their Hello Kitty collections.

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Green tea is served 2 ways - hot or cold.

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They said that this was already the most expensive thing in the menu - Special Mix Maki at P450. Oh and each dish comes with a big fruit platter.

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I think their maki is different in a way that there's cooked egg in there with the mango, cucumber and crab stick then they use ketchup with mayo (maybe Japanese mayo) and soy sauce.

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I don't eat raw fish but they said the tuna and salmon were good. Proper way to eat this - pick up with your hand, flip to the other side then dip the fish part only or don't dip at all.

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The chef can make any of these. Feel free to point to what you want hehe.

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There were a couple of Japanese patrons eating while we were there. I would really love to try their ramen next time. I heard it's only P175 then P250 for a large bowl =D

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There's also a private part / smoking area and a travel agency section.

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As we headed back to Taft, I saw the rows of bus stations finally (like JAC Liner). This spot is prime and it's probably a good idea to rent out that Avida unit to people from the provinces aside from the students hehe. A long time ago, Chef said that Taft and Roxas Boulevard used to be the "it" places in Manila. Well, I hope various groups will be successful in reviving the charm of Manila (like their efforts with Manila Postal Heritage Tours and Intramuros Pasyal Sundays).

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Finally, we headed to the more youthful vibe part of the tour haha. I was actually reminiscin' a bit about college when Chef JJ told us about the hole-in-the-wall place with bone marrow gravy near DLSU. They've grown to 3 branches now, he said.

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Then I recognized this area! I looked across this Meralco power place but

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I was still a bit unsure by this time if it was the correct restaurant because I couldn't remember the name of the place that J brought me to close to a decade ago.

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This place was called RAP Steaks & Cakes.

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They have 3 branches - I can't believe there's one in Ortigas!!! Gotta tell J about that one haha.

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When I went in, I was just smiling from ear to ear. This had to be it! I recognized the stairs and layout! Haha.

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There it was waiting for me. Remember the time when the porterhouses, T-bones and tenderloins were so cheap and there were a whole lot of them serving soup and gravy. Now, I can only find them in food courts.. Sorry, J and I have never forgotten Steakjoint in Greenhills... You can ask RAP to cook the steak to your desired rareness level then this porterhouse cut (large P225, regular P195) comes with a heavenly jar of steamin' bordelaise sauce... That's bone marrow gravy - Chef said that bone marrow is not pure fat and is not so bad if eaten in reasonable quantities. Haha. 

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The rice is P15 a cup ;) There are lots more in the menu that I'd like to try but one at a time as a treat hehe.

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Let's not forget the Cakes part in their name. Since I can't have chocolate, I found some Carrot Cake! I was super full already though...

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It would definitely take a lot of times to go here to try them all haha. O_O

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Okay, so after that we were given a fun challenge LOL. Pretend to be a student! Haha. Our food hunt coincided with the freshmen orientation of DLSU and I could easily fit in hahaha.

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The challenge - You have 20 minutes to order, eat and get to class. You only have P120. You also have an exam so tailor-fit your meal to feed your mind and tummy. This is such a familiar scenario and it was so easy to get into character.

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We went to the Agno Food Court. This used to be called just Agno Street before with the super cheap siomai and street food. Well, so much has changed and this establishment is said to be owned by tycoon Danding Cojuangco... Maybe the P120 wouldn't go as far..

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I should have stuck with the Mini Donut hahaha. Sugar high, carbs and exams go well. Hihi.

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But since I was on my Barre3 Challenge, I chose Melon Juice (P35) without added sugar..

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Then went for a savory crepe.

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I got the Arroz Ala Cubana (P79).

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It had ground beef with bananas, egg and veggies.

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The dish was quite big.

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Feeling student hehe.

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There are around 10 stalls opened when we came. This place is located outside DLSU so one can still eat here at student prices without an ID hihi.

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I'd like to save the last place in our itinerary for another post!

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It was the perfect place to end the day.

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Do you get the association with one of my favorite countries in the world? =)

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I don't know how Chef JJ sensed it but he did say that this was my kind of place. Haha. He was right. ;)

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Manila Food Trip - Foodie Finds near DLSU Taft for the Avida Towers Prime Food Hunt!

Restaurant Details:
Black & White Cafeteria Address
1941 Taft Avenue, Pasay City
521-2212
Facebook

Nemoto Japanese Restaurant Address
321 Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue, Pasay City
831-5128 / 497-4461 / 379-9483

Rap Steaks & Cakes Address
1 - 879 Dagonoy Street, Malate, Manila
2 - 143 Mother Ignacia Street, Diliman, Quezon City
3 - Unit 103, Food Street, Ortigas Home Complex, 1 Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City

Agno Food Court Location
Agno Street (near DLSU Gokongwei Building)

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