203 – On A Hypothetical Cubao-Rosario Day: Triptych 27

I have been riding the Cubao-Rosario jeepney ever since I started working in Eastwood City some years ago, and now I’m riding it again on a regular basis.

The route starts at Araneta Center in Cubao, which is considered as a main transport hub in Metro Manila. It passes by Aurora Boulevard, 15th Avenue, Boni Serrano Avenue, and enters a section of Circumferential Road 5 (C-5) at E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue. The jeep then turns left at the intersection of Ortigas and E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenues, at the old Integrated Pipe Industries factory (now defunct). It then goes straight ahead to the Rosario and De Castro areas in Pasig, culminating at SM East Ortigas (formerly the Ever Gotesco mall.)

Today’s triptych features three food spots which I will visit on a hypothetical day. Ready to hop on?

Just like they say: nothing beats a good breakfast to start one’s day. Boulangerie 22 at the ground floor of Gateway mall is one place to have breakfast at. Occupying the former spot of The White Hat Frozen Yogurt, this bakery features breads from various parts of the globe: South Korea, France, Japan, the United States, and more.

I order a Chicken Floss Bread and Cafe Americano combo for P99, with an extra order of the Holy Cheesus bread for P149. The Chicken Floss Bread has the right amount of sweetness and salty taste. Compared to rival Bread Talk’s version, the floss used in this one has longer strands. The Holy Cheesus bread, on the other hand, is a Korean-inspired creation featuring real cheese inside. Stringy and savory are the two common words to describe this bread. However, I find the richness of this bread rather cloying that I am unable to finish it in one sitting. Good thing there’s the Cafe Americano to wash stuff down and the Chicken Floss Bread to neutralize the richness.

Block 040S, G/F Gateway Mall
Araneta Center, Brgy. Socorro,
Cubao, Quezon City 1109

A jeep ride later and I’m at Bridgetowne for lunch. This new office district at the intersection of Ortigas and E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenues is home to a bunch of companies including Concentrix and Universal Robina Corporation. Eat Fresh Bao Dim, an offshoot of the Eat Fresh restaurant in Banawe which I reviewed prior, is one of the newly-opened joints in the business park catering to the working-class crowd.

I order a classic dim sum staple—Chicken Feet and Spare Ribs Rice—with a side dish of Fried Scallops. A regular-sized White Gulaman drink is also part of this hypothetical lunch. I would say that this dish is sort of a yin-yang. The chicken feet are soft and tender, but lacking in flavor. The ribs are slightly tough, but their flavor compensates for what the chicken feet lack. The fried scallops are a welcome respite from the dim sum, with the addition of peanut sauce brightening up things. The White Gulaman drink is equally commendable. Not too cloying, and the lychee (or was it almond?) jelly provides a chewy note.

Eat Fresh Bao Dim
G/F Exxa Tower, Bridgetowne Business Park
E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue,
Brgy. Ugong Norte, Quezon City 1110

It’s already dark by the time I reach Cubao after one last jeep ride. This time, I head to hipster central Cubao X. Formerly the Marikina Shoe Expo, the compound is now a home to specialty shops that cater to certain subcultures and lifestyles. Among the jumble of counterculture hubs and watering holes for the enclave’s nonconformist denizens lies Habanero Kitchen Bar.

My dinner consists of this Smokey Tapa Steak, extra Bagoong Rice, and a bottle of Smirnoff Mule. The radical approach to tapa (dried beef jerky) cooked sous-vide locks in flavor and tenderizes the meat. Sous-vide cooking involves sealing the meat in a vacuum bag and submerging it in a hot water bath for a prolonged period. This cooking method works well for the meat—you could flake its long strands with a fork. It comes with garlic rice, truffle scrambled eggs, and a side salad of tomatoes and onions for that perfect breakfast any time of the day. The Bagoong Rice, on the other hand, gets its sweet and salty taste from the Filipino-style shrimp paste. The green onions mixed in the rice offset the savory explosion. Last but not least, a bottle of Smirnoff Mule gets everything done. Its ginger and lime flavors cleanse the palate and leave a refreshing kick.

Habanero Kitchen Bar
Cubao Expo, General Romulo Avenue,
Araneta Center, Brgy. Socorro,
Cubao, Quezon City 1109

There you have it – breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in one route. Until the next post, bon appetit.

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