Friday, July 19, 2013

Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico–Gastronomical Adventure + Quaint and Charm of Art Deco

 I had always been in search of secret nooks that do not require one to go out of the city. I do love to explore places but it has to be accessible by commuters. I like places where one can find some solace, peace or just about anything that helps you commune with nature or simply a place where you and your loved ones can spend time with each other. When you find all of these stuff under one particular place and add on the chance to feast on some fantastic gastronomical experience, you know pretty much that you’re able to find a very rare gem of a place—and for me, that’s how I could describe Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico.  Discovering such venue in the suburbs of San Juan created happiness in my heart with rippling effect.

I actually got lost while looking for Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico. As a commuter, I had to admit that my knowledge of San Juan is limited to that of the Greenhills area. Good thing, the locals knew the place so it was easier to locate. So getting there may not seem to be a problem at all. Besides, I highly recommend that you visit the place; it’s definitely worth the trip.

 The minute I entered the huge gate, I knew I was in for surprises. A lush garden greets every visitor by the entrance. But what certainly captivated me was the charm of the white vintage house-converted-into-restaurant. Indeed, Guevarra’s was such a delightful place to explore. Entering the said restaurant felt like I was transported into a 1940’s film with its combination of Art Nouveau natural motifs and Art Deco architectural design. It had that sense of affluence and old-world charm where one can see traces of both Chinese and Spanish influences. With its high airy ceilings, expansive windows with huge “picture” windows that feature images of former senator Pedro Guevarra, the restaurant’s namesake. It also had a few paintings from artist Vincent Padilla. Every detail of Guevarra’s is such a sight to behold. It also boasts of chic and avant-garde interiors, which brings out the beauty of each detail.

 Coming to Guevarra’s felt like coming home to the house of your grandparents in the province—with wooden ancestral house and all.  While dining from the inside, the view of the garden reminds me of some picturesque Baguio City inn as well. Guevarra’s is an ideal venue for an intimate feast or a sumptuous banquet. One can have a private dinner set-up on the garden illuminated by a thousand stars or simply by candle-lit. If you’re not the romantic outdoorsy type, even while you’re inside any of the air-conditioned rooms, guests are ensured of a truly memorable dining experience.
Female Filipino folk dancers danced during the opening to the audience's delight.

Filipino male folk dancers danced during the grand opening.

The author is flanked by culinary idols Chef Jackie and Rolando Laudico

Owners Chef Jackie and Rolando Laudico

Senator JV Ejercito-Estrada, Mayor Guia Gomez and San Juan Vice Mayor Franci Guevarra graced the opening day.

Taken during the opening: Chef Jackie and Rolando Laudico flanked San Juan Mayo Guia Gomez during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Adding charm is an old bucket like this one.
 Of course, like in other restaurants owned by the Laudico’s, the buffet spread is to die for! I believe that for you to truly enjoy dining at any restaurant, you need to sample and try the different mix of flavors—more than the usual main course choices. By doing this, you are elevating your gastronomic experience to a higher level and try to be your own food gourmand. Try anything that pleases your palate, from Fried Dory with Mango Curry, Mahi-Mahi Ala Pobre, Halabos na Hipon, US Angus Beef Kare-kare, Pork Liempoin San Miguel Pineapple Humba, Callos, Chicken Pastel, Pakbet Bagnet, Roasted US Angus Beef Belly, Chili Crabs, Sinampalukang Manok, succulent Lechon, Fish Kilawin, Grilled Squid, Chicken Barbecue, Pork Barbecue, Baked Penne pasta, grilled vegetable, to finger foods such as Karnevorous Pizza, seafood pizza, Pork Sisig Baskets, Lumpiang Shanghai, Camote Croquettes, spicy Bicol Express Supreme, Crispy Crablets, Grilled Corn, or perhaps feast with a wide array of desserts such as fruits in caramel or chocolate fountain, ice cream with your own choice of toppings, small slice samples of cakes. Oh, while you’re there, make sure to sample Chef Jackie’s Kalabasa Pastillas (Pastille made from Squash). It’s really good—not too sweet, not even sticky, just right to keep your sweet tooth satisfied.

Chef Jackie’s specialty cakes such as Mango Cream Pie, Tablea Tart, Chunky Monkey, Queso de Bola Cheesecake, Classic New York Cheesecake (in Blueberry, Strawberry and Mango topping), White Chocolate Cheesecake and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake are sold by whole, JR sized, mini sized or by the slice. Chef Jackie Laudico’s creations of truffles and pralines made from the finest Swiss and Belgian couverture (read: chocolate made with extra cocoa butter to give a high gloss, used for covering sweets and cakes) with best Filipino flavors are also sold at Php55.00 each piece and are sold in boxes. Available in unique flavors such as Calamansi, Sugarfree Champorado, Rosas, Tanglad, Cacao, Rosas, Sugarfree Salabat, Dulce de Leche. 

Cute Sugarfree Salabat pralines and Lip shaped Dulce de Leche

Our favorite: Kalabasa Pastillas

Tanglad flavored pralines

The food at Guevarra’s is wonderful and I ate (again) to my stomach’s content! I went home happy to have met the lovely and gracious Laudico couple (Chef Rolando and Chef Jackie) and to have visited such awesome restaurant! So if you’re looking for a place that captures the feeling of the old-world without having to travel far, replete your hungry stomach with sumptuous yet affordable buffet meals at Guevarra’s. 

The author with Chef Jackie Laudico

Guevarra's at Night time is so romantic.
 Garden restaurants have sprouted all over the metro, with the most bragging gourmet cuisine and top service. Guevarra’s may be a new comer (and as of this time, still kind of a kept secret) to the city’s ever increasing gastronomic attractions. But it is fast gaining popularity among foodies by word of mouth.

If you’re up for the challenge of a Filipino buffet, Guevarra’s is open from 11:00AM to 2:00PM and 6:00PM to 10:00PM. A word of advice though, it’s best to call ahead to make reservations as they are in-demand. 

 Here are the prices and schedules:
Weekday Lunch (Monday to Friday)- P399 + 10% Service Charge
Weekend Dinner (Monday to Thursday)- P499 + 10% Service Charge
Weekend Lunch and Dinner (Friday Dinner to Sunday Dinner) –P599 + 10% Service Charge
Lunch is from 11:00AM -2:00PM while dinner is from 6:00PM-10:00PM.
Those interested to come in the in-between time, they do serve merienda on special occasions (events of 50 pax and above) at P399 from 3:00-5:00 PM.
Guevarra’s by Chef Laudico is located at 387 P. Guevarra Street corner Argonne Street, Addition Hills, San Juan

Call 705-1874/705-1811  or through their mobile at 0917-311-2222
Special thanks to Ms. Joy Calipes-Felizardo.

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are my own. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nestle Acti-V: The Only Yoghurt with Active Fiber that Helps Alleviate Constipation

We all know that fiber is good for our bodies. It aids in digestion and helps eliminate and flushes out toxins too. Fiber is a dietary material containing substances such as cellulose, lignin, and pectin, which are resistant to the action of digestive enzymes. Research and studies have shown that fiber has long been proven to be beneficial in regulating bowel movement. Women in particular needs an average of about 21-25 grams of fiber daily, while men needs around 30-38 grams per day. Unfortunately, with the kind of foods that we usually eat nowadays (C’mon, most of us are guilty of this), these fibers needs are not met. And that’s exactly where Nestle Acti-V comes in. Nestle Acti-V is the only yoghurt in the market that has fiber!  

The active fibers in every cup of Nestle Acti-V called ACTIFIBRAS has been scientifically proven in a thorough studies conducted by the Nestle Research Center to help provide the maintenance of a healthy bowel movement. It aids in the improvement of intestinal regularity and with daily use helps reduce the inconvenience of constipation and abdominal bloating.

Each cup of strawberry flavored and naturally delicious Nestle Acti-V yoghurt contains 5 grams of fiber—which experts says is tantamount to consuming one full bowl of salad greens!
Who says that yoghurts are sour? Well, you should try Nestle Acti-V yoghurt because it will surely change the way you look at yoghurts. I should know, because it had just changed mine. I used to think that all yoghurts taste sour and are made for those who are on a diet mode. I enjoy drinking lassi shakes made from yoghurts but I’ve never really enjoyed a cup of commercialized yoghurt until I came across Nestle Acti-V yoghurt.

A spoonful of this awesome strawberry yoghurt was enough for me to realize yoghurts can actually taste good! It’s totally creamy; a perfect blend between sweet and savory plus it had real strawberry bits.

I used to feel somewhat constipated but upon taking a cup of Nestle Acti-V yoghurt each morning, and true enough, I’ve noticed the changes of my condition. I no longer had any difficulty in emptying my stomach. Going to the johns every morning seems pretty easy with the help of Nestle Acti-V yoghurt. Now, I like having the yoghurt during breakfast so I can be assured that I am taking in fibers the natural and easy way. I no longer have to worry about constipation nor do I need to resort to any medication. With Nestle Act-V yoghurt, I can go on with my day knowing fully well that I’m well taken cared of.

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are my own.