Bench Clothing’s Restaurant? Bench Cafe BGC – Blog Review + Menu

If you love fashion and are into 100% Filipino brand, you probably own a piece of clothing from the Philippine’s largest clothing brand – Bench. In 2018, the brand opened its flagship store in Bonifacio Global City. Apart from the huge retail store, the building is also home to its first ever restaurant – Bench Cafe.

Bonifacio High Street’s Newest Cafe

Bench Cafe, BGC, Taguig
Bench Cafe BGC

Bench Cafe is situated on second level of Bench Boutique BGC flagship store in 9th Street Lane O. It  is along Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig. If you are walking along Bonifacio High Street, you can easily spot the Bench Boutique Store for its signature red and white store branding.

We were surprised and intrigued the moment we discovered about Bench Cafe.  I must admit that I was a bit sceptic about Bench’s very first cafe/restaurant. The brand is undoubtedly the most popular in the Philippine’s fashion and clothing industry. But wasn’t really sure about their food. So Jen and I decided to try Bench Cafe.

Simple, Classy and Homey Interiors

Bench Cafe’s interiors was not something I expected. Since it’s a cafe, I initially thought that the interiors would be like that of a typical coffee shop around Metro Manila. I was wrong. The interiors of this BGC cafe is simple, classy and homey. I personally love the golden hanging lamp ceiling lights. They give a classy vibe to the restaurant. The wall canvass art around the cafe provides a homey feel to its diners. The entire restaurant is very clean.

Glamorized Filipino Food

Just like the Bench clothing line which is 100% Filipino, Bench Cafe BGC serves 100% Filipino food with a twist. This BGC restaurant elevated and glamorized local favorite dishes.

On their menu are salads such as Pinoy Caprese (149 Php) and Shrimp Suha salad (239 Php), soups such as Tinola (119 Php) ang Monggo (119 Php), all-time favorite Filipino desserts like Classic Halo-Halo (13 Php) and Mais Con Yelo (89 Php).

Bench/To meals are the most popular on their menu. The Bench/To took inspiration to Japanese cuisine’s Bento meals. If you order a Bench/To meal, you will get 2 viands, Bench salsa, atsara and steamed Ifugao rice. You can choose among 10 Bench/To meals on their menu. If you are on a budget, the cheapest is meal number 2. At 299 Php, you get to enjoy their Lechon Kawali and Pinakbet. At 439 Php, Bench/To meal #10 is the most expensive. This meal consists of US Angus Short Ribs Bistek plus inihaw na pusit and gising-gising.

Bagnet kare-kare
Bagnet kare-kare

Since it was our first time in Bench Cafe BGC, I made sure to try my favorite kare-kare. I ordered Bench/To number 6, Bagnet kare-kare with bagoong and tortang talong that come with Bench salsa, atsara and steamed Ifugao rice. Bench Cafe’s kare-kare uses Bagnet instead of ox tail or pork hock.  For my drinks, I ordered one of their special beverages – Pandan Latik Latte.

I should say that Bench Cafe’s kare-kare is very delicious! The bagnet is very crunchy and the kare-kare sauce is extraordinary! The Pandan Latik Latte was good.

Beef Tapa at Bench Cafe
Beef Tapa at Bench Cafe

Jen ordered her favorite beef tapa. Interestingly enough, the tapa is topped with vinegar bubbles. Bench Cafe’s food presentation made me feel we were in a fine dining restaurant.

Great Customer Service

I’m very particular with customer service. I expect to much especially to restaurants where food are not cheap. Fortunately, Bench Cafe did not disappoint. We were warmly welcomed by the staff the moment we arrived in the cafe. Most of the servers were pleasing and friendly.

Recommended Restaurant in BGC

If you are looking for Bench Cafe branches, unfortunately, you will only find Bench Cafe in BGC. So, if you happen to visit BGC, give Bench Cafe a try! This BGC restaurant serving local favorite dishes is truly promising!

Bench Cafe BGC Menu

Bench Cafe

  • Address: 2nd Floor Bench Boutique BGC Flagship Store, Bonifacio High Street
    9th St. Lane O, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Philippines
  • Contact Number: 0917 702 1133

Look: Kape Brew – Local Coffee Shop in Taguig

Kape Brew Taguig City

Kape Brew is one among the few promising local coffee shops in the Taguig City. Located along Levi B. Mariano avenue, Usuasan, Taguig City, Kape Brew is a few minute drive from The Nest Taguig, Taguig City Hall, All Home Taguig, Camella Grenville and Acacia Estates. This humble coffee shop is walking distance from Tres Palmas Condominium, Hafele, Panglao Oasis and Taguig Medical Center.

Kape Brew Taguig City
Kape Brew Taguig City

Kape Brew’s façade is truly eye-catching. The huge signage engraved in wood makes it stand out in the area. You wouldn’t miss Kape Brew when you’re passing by Levi Mariano. If you are bringing a car, note that there is only a limited parking space in front of Ministop.

Unlike the more popular and commercialized coffee shops, Kape Brew’s limited real estate makes it private and quiet. A perfect place to read, study or even work while enjoying coffee. Truly a haven to those who do not want crowded and noisy cafes.

Simple and Homey Interior

Kape Brew Interior
Kape Brew Interior

Being a local coffee shop, I was not really expecting fancy interiors when we entered Kape Brew. Surprisingly, it’s interior is well thought of. Chairs and tables are carefully arranged. The furniture and fixtures are consistent with the huge Café Brew signage on its facade. Given its small space, the entire coffee shop looks spacious. I personally love the wooden tables and chairs along with the wall writing quotes and art. Overall, the interior is simple, clean and homey.

Wall art
Wall art

Affordable Coffee Shop

We checked out the menu and were surprised that their coffee and food offerings are very affordable! Since we visited after lunch, we weren’t able to try their food. We ordered Wintermelon Milktea (90 Php) and Salted Caramel Frapuccino (135 Php) instead.

Kape Brew's milk tea and frap
Kape Brew’s Wintermelon Milk Tea and Salted Caramel frap

Kape Brew Menu

Cold Drinks
Small (12 oz) Big (16 oz)
Iced Latte 100 110
Iced Mocha 110 120
Iced Chocolate 110 120
Iced Matcha Latte 110 120
Iced Caramel Macchiato 110 120
Wintermelon Milk Tea 90
Classic Mocha 120 130
Classic Chocolate Cream 120 130
Chocolate Java Chip 125 135
Cookies & Cream 125 135
Salted Caramel 125 135
Matcha Cream 125 135
Hot Drinks
Espresso Single 25 Double 75
Short (8 oz) Tall (12 oz)
Americano 80 90
Latte 90 100
Cappuccino 90 100
Mocha 95 105
Caramel Macchiato 95 105
Classic Hot Chocolate 95 105
Matcha 90 100
Tea 70


All Day Breakfast


Beef Tapa

with garlic rice & egg

Classic Adobo

with garlic rice & egg

Pork Embutido

with garlic rice


with garlic rice & egg

Chicken Sausage

with garlic rice & egg

Pasta (with 2 pcs. Garlic bread)
Beef Lasagna 150
Baked Macaroni 150
Pesto Pasta 150
Pandesal with homemade chicken spread and lettuce 90
Pandesal with smap, egg and lettuce 90

Kape Brew Loyalty Card

This must visit Taguig coffee shop also offers perks to their loyal customers. They now have a loyalty card where you can get 50% off on any beverage and even get free beverage and pastry. Just make sure you have your loyalty card signed every you visit Kape Brew.

Kape Brew Loyalty Card
Kape Brew Loyalty Card

Highly Recommended Coffee Shop in Taguig

If you are visiting Taguig city, I would highly recommend Kape Brew. The place is nice, calm and peaceful.  As for the service, the owner along with the baristas are very welcoming and accommodating.  Coffee and food on their menu are very affordable! So, forget the mainstream coffee shops in the area and give Kape Brew a try!

Kape Brew

Kape Brew

  • Tres Palmas Commercial Arcade, Levi Mariano Ave., Ususan, Taguig
  • Contact Numbers: 8744172 / 09052347929 / 09957227880

Where to eat Authentic Japanese Food in Makati? Little Tokyo

Oishinbo Little Tokyo Makati

If you are a food adventurer, you must have tried a number of food places and food parks in the metro. If you particularly love Japanese food, there is a compound packed with authentic Japanese restaurants right in the middle of the busy and bustling Makati City – Little Tokyo.

Little Tokyo Makati City Philippines
Little Tokyo Makati City Philippines

Little Tokyo Makati Location

This must visit food place is located in Chino Roces corner Fernando street in Makati City. Being in the central business district, Little Tokyo is very accessible and is near to various offices and malls.

Little Tokyo Makati Philippines
Little Tokyo Makati Philippines

Tip: Being in Makati, parking can be a bit difficult. You can comfortably visit Little Tokyo by Uber. I am giving you 50 Pesos off on your first 2 trips with uber. Details here.

Related Blog Post: 2 Hidden Budget Food Places in Makati City, Gabs & Tsabs

Japanese Feels

As expected, once you enter Little Tokyo, you will feel like you are on a different place. The restaurant’s facade along tables and chairs in the al fresco area give Japanese feels to visitors and diners.

Little Tokyo Restaurants

  • Oishinbo
  • Nodasho
  • Riozen
  • Hana
  • Kagura
  • Urameshiya
  • Oishinbo
  • Yamazaki
  • Bunchum
  • Shinjuku Ramen
  • Kikufuji
  • Chotto Stop
  • Sekitori

Jen and I arrived a bit late for dinner. We were clueless where to eat as all restaurants seem to offer same menu of authentic Japanese food. We initially checked-out 2 restaurants and ended up dining at Oishinbo.

Dinner at Oishinbo Restaurant

Oishinbo Little Tokyo Makati
Oishinbo Little Tokyo Makati

Among all restaurants in Little Tokyo, Oishinbo has the most eye-catching facade. I must admit that it’s facade was our deciding factor in choosing Oishinbo for our first Little Tokyo visit.

Oishinbo Little Tokyo Interiors
Oishinbo Little Tokyo Interiors

To me, the restaurant’s interiors look a bit old. Oishinbo has this feel you get when you visit old restaurants in Manila’s China Town. Nonetheless, the restaurant is air-conditioned and very clean. As for the restaurant’s set-up, there are a couple of tables for groups. There is also a bar table for solo diners.

Oishinbo Menu

On their menu are Chuhai, Toriaezu, Yakitori, Nabemono, Kuysikatu, Sashimi, Sushi and Yakimono. If you drink, they offer Japanese beers such as Kirin beer and Asahibeer.

For the complete Oishinobo Menu, visit the links below:

Since it was our first time dining in Little Tokyo particularly in Oishinbo, we tried Japanese dishes that are familiar to us. We ordered Yakisoba and Pork Tonkatsu.

Pork Tonkatsu Little Tokyo
Pork Tonkatsu Little Tokyo

I was surprised the moment pork tonkatsu was served! I should say that the serving was good for two. The cut of pork tonkatsu is thick. Not the typical cut you get when dining in other Japanese restaurants. Along with the miso soup, rice, vegetables and Japanese potato salad, I should say that the serving is generous!

I personally loved the Japanese potato salad. As for the Yakisoba, it was a bit salty for our taste. Nonetheless, it was good.

Overall, our Little Tokyo experience was good. Oishinbo’s serving was generous and just right for the price. We will definitely return to search for the best Ramen in Little Tokyo. If you love Japanese food, Little Tokyo in Makati is worth a try!

  • Schedule: Little Tokyo Makati is open everyday from 11 AM and closes at 10 PM.
  • Contact Number: 02 8195008

The Nest Taguig – Food Park in Taguig City

The Nest Taguig Eat Shop Enjoy

The Nest Food and Lifestyle Park or simply The Nest Taguig is the newest food park in Taguig City. Opened last September, this food park is home to various food stalls offering unique dishes that would truly satisfy your taste buds.

The Nest Taguig Eat Shop Enjoy The Nest Taguig – Eat Shop Enjoy

The Nest Taguig Location

This Taguig city food park is located along Cayetano Avenue and is few meters away from Vista Mall Taguig. With no traffic, The Nest Taguig is approximately 15 minute drive from Bonifacio Global City or McKinley.

Cool Ambiance

The Nest Taguig can easily be spotted for its eye-catching facade. The food park’s area is a bit spacious compared to other food parks in the country.  Just like other food parks, The Nest Taguig has this cool and hip ambiance. Food stalls are artistically designed and so as the tables and chairs. The Nest Taguig has second level where guests who drink and smoke can hang-out. If you want a picnic style dining experience, The Nest has a mini field covered in Bermuda grass.

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Related Blog Post: South Streat Gourmand Container Park Tagaytay 

Food Stalls at The Nest Taguig

There is a wide array of food choices at The Nest Taguig.  Go to Oishi doha and Sumo’s Daidikoro if you want a taste of Japan. Love Korean food? Visit K Shack.  For Mediterranean food lovers Halal Kabab express is the food stall to visit. Craving for pizza and pasta? Cuoco Felice serves Italan food! And of course for Filipino food, F2 serves Filipino food with a twist.

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Here is the complete list of food stalls at The Nest Taguig:

  • Oishi doha
  • Sumo’s Daidikoro
  • Halan kabab express
  • Shifud yata
  • Bbq boss
  • MNL Breakfast Club
  • Beachplease (seafood boodle fight)
  • Taste of heaven
  • Lush up
  • Nori sushi x burrito
  • Lush up
  • Raftel chicken wings
  • Concoktions
  • The pacifier
  • Palayok ni Goryong
  • Luchador
  • Joe’s Belly Lechon
  • Quarterback Burger
  • Pedxing

Yummy Dinner

Since we visited the food park during dinner, Jen and I searched for a food stall serving Filipino food. We chose F2 food x fusion as they serve tapa. We ordered Angus beef tapa (220 Php)and their bestseller – crackling kare-kare (220 Php).  Our order were served after 20 minutes. I guess it was an indication that their food are freshly cooked. While waiting, I checked-out the entire food park.

crackling kare kare F2 crackling kare kare F2

I loved the crackling kare-kare. This white rice topped with deep friend salted egg chicharon bulaklak in kare-kare sauce is undoubtely F2’s bestseller. Just like the typical kare-kare, F2’s version comes with a blanched vegetables and their very own bagoong.

Angus Beef Tapa Angus Beef Tapa

This 100% Angus beef infused with Pinoy Tapa sauce is something unique. This dish comes with a kapeng barako rice, fried egg and in-house mango champoy salsa.

Overall, we enjoyed our first visit to The Nest Taguig. The place looks really hip and cool. We’d definitely return to try other food stalls.

The Nest Food and Lifestyle Park Taguig

Contact Number: 0920 9563343

Schedule: Open from 4 PM to 12 AM every Mondays to Thursdays and 5 PM to 2 AM every Fridays to Sundays.

Parking: If you are bringing a car, they have a parking lot that can accommodate 200+ cars. They also allow parking on the roadside of Cayetano Avenue.

Seaside Dampa Macapagal – Where to eat seafood in Manila

Philippines is undoubtedly a must visit country for its countless beautiful islands with white sand beaches, waterfalls and welcoming and hospitable people. Being an archipelago, Philippines is also rich in marine life. Thus, backpacking the Philippines will not be complete if you will not try to eat delicious seafood. Roxas City in Capiz province is the country’s seafood capital. (Related: Where to eat in Roxas City, Seafood Capital of the Philippines) If you are travelling to Manila, the country’s capital city, You need not to visit Roxas City to enjoy delicious seafood. There is Seaside Dampa Macapagal, a seafood haven right in Manila to fulfill your seafood gastronomic adventures.

Where to eat seafood in Manila?

Seaside Dampa Macapagal is probably the largest seafood place in Manila. It is perfectly situated as it is near to various hotels, shopping malls and casinos. Seafood Dampa Macapagal is also few minute taxi or uber ride away from the Manila Airport (Ninoy Aquino International Airpbalatort).  If you are bringing your car, there is a spacious parking area.  Parking fee is 20 Pesos.

TIP: If you don’t have a car, it is easier to go to Seaside Dampa Macapagal if you will take uber from any point in Manila. I’m giving you 200 Php off on your first two rides.  Just use promo code ‘edp1000ue‘ when you sign up HERE.

Seaside Dampa Macapagal Location Map


Shop for fresh seafood

Market at Dampa Macapagal
Market at dampa macapagal

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Interestingly enough, dining in Seaside Dampa Macapagal is more exciting as you get to shop and choose among the fresh seafood in the palengke or wet market. There is a number of stalls in the market selling fresh sea foods from small shells, shrimps, crabs, lobsters and many more. Just make sure to use your haggling skills as prices may be quite expensive compared to a typical wet market in the country. Nonetheless, you can get discounts from the sellers if you practice your haggling skills.

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Jen and I visited the place for the second time. I let Jen do the haggling and we were able to buy a kilo of shrimps for 550 Pesos and a kilo of crabs for 650 Pesos. Note that the price ranges based from the price of the seafood. The bigger the seafood, the more expensive.

Find a restaurant

Once done shopping for fresh sea foods in the wet market, the next step would be finding the restaurant to cook the seafood. There is a number of restaurants in Seaside Dampa Macapagal, all of which basically offer almost the same prices for the ‘paluto’ of sea foods. Paluto means to ask someone to cook for you. Basically, you shop for seafood and you go to a restaurant and ask them to cook the seafood depending on the dish you like based on their menu.

List of restaurants in Seaside Dampa Macapagal

There are various restaurants in Seaside Dampa Macapagal. Some even have karaoke which are perfect for family gatherings or birthday celebrations.

  • Aling Marya
  • Claire dela fuente
  • Cyrill grilled restaurant
  • Huey ying
  • Super wok
  • Papa dann’s grill
  • Seazars seafood paluto
  • Kayming
  • Ocean bay
  • Youjie restaurant
  • Hongkong Mastercook
  • Cuzina

Since it was our second time in Seaside Dampa Macapagal, after buying sea foods, we knew which restaurant to go – Hongkong Mastercook restaurant. We enjoyed our first experience of ‘paluto’ and dining in the restaurant.

The restaurant is spacious and probably the biggest in Seaside Dampa Macapagal. The service is good too! Their staff from the security guard to waiters are very courteous. Food is served fast and the dishes on their menu are very delicious. Patrons are mostly Chinese.

Hongkong Mastercook seafood paluto restaurant
Hongkong Mastercook seafood paluto restaurant

We checked the menu and instructed the restaurant’s staff of the dish we wanted for the seafood. We fell in love with shrimp and crab in red egg sauce the first time we dined in the restaurant. Jen and I asked the staff to cook 1/2 kilo of buttered shrimps, 1/2 kilo of tempura and a kilo of crabs in red salted egg sauce.

Menu of Hongkong Mastercook seafood paluto restaurant

Except for short order, note that the prices in the menu are only for the ‘paluto’ and are exclusive of seafood.

Crabs in salted egg sauce
Crabs in salted egg sauce


buttered shrimps
buttered shrimps


tempura, buttered shrimps, crabs in salted egg sauce
tempura, buttered shrimps, crabs in salted egg sauce

Basically, you will just order rice and drinks after giving instructions on the dishes you want for the seafood you bought in the wet market. We ordered a platter of rice, bottomless blue lemonade and mango juice. After few minutes, the drinks and the shrimps and crab in red egg sauce were served. The tempura was served 15 minutes later. We had no issue with the delay in tempura as the cooks had to remove the shell of the shrimps.


Dining in Seaside Dampa Macapagal can be a bit pricey if you’re a couple or if you’re dining alone. We spent 2,321 for a sumptuous seafood meal. For the price, the servings were actually good for 4 to 6 persons. We actually had to take-out the leftovers as we barely consumed half of seafood we ordered. Here’s the breakdown of our expenses when we visited Seaside Dampa Macapagal:

seafood (wet market)

  • shrimps – 550 (1 kilo)
  • crabs – 650 (1 kilo)

Paluto (in Hongkong mastercook restaurant)

  • buttered shrimps – 175
  • crabs in salted egg sauce – 328
  • tempura – 198

Others (in Hongkong mastercook restaurant)

  • rice platter – 250
  • lemonade -75
  • mango juice – 95

Total: 2,321 Pesos ($46)

Related read: Where to eat cheap seafood in Boracay

Overall, if you are a seafood lover travelling to Manila, I would highly recommend Seaside Dampa Macapagal. Being a local, I could not think of any place to fulfill my seafood gastronomic needs aside from Seaside Dampa Macapagal. The experience of shopping for seafood and having them cooked on the dish you prefer is something unique and memorable!

Visiting Manila, Philippines? Book your affordable hotel HERE.


Hotel in Bonifacio Global City: F1 Hotel Manila

F1 Hotel Manila

F1 Hotel Manila is the very first premier hotel in Bonifacio Global City or popularly known as BGC – a Philippine leisure, lifestyle and business hub situated in Taguig City.  F1 Hotel Manila is located along the 32nd Street of Bonifacio Global City and is just a walking distance from various corporate offices, shopping malls, banks and a world-class hospital.

F1 Hotel Manila Facade
F1 Hotel Manila Facade

Since I will not be able to travel on Christmas, Jen and I decided to book a hotel for a holiday staycation instead. Since we did not want to go farther for our staycation, we considered hotels in BGC which is just a 10 minute drive from home. After comparing prices, we decided to book a room at F1 Hotel Manila.


We arrived at F1 Hotel Manila at around 3:00 PM. The hotel’s parking was full, perhaps due to the holiday season where many guests visit F1 Hotel for their sumptuous lunch and dinner buffets.  We had to temporarily park at Parkade 3 and soon transferred to the hotel’s parking later that day.

I should say that F1 Hotel Manila’s entrance is not like any other expensive hotels in Bonifacio Global City. It was simple yet modern.  We approached the concierge at the hotel’s ground floor and we were courteously informed that the hotel lobby is on the 5th level.

The lobby in the 5th level was simple and modern. The check-in process was a breeze. Special thanks to F1 Hotel Manila’s front desk officer Joanne! Unlike in other hotels, I was surprised that we were given 2 key cards for our room.  Joanne also provided a personalized WiFi password for our internet needs throughout out stay. Just make sure to prepare your credit card or 3,000 Php cash for the hotel’s security deposit. Don’t worry as this is refundable after check-out.

F1 Hotel Manila Deluxe Room

We stayed at room 702 which is at the end of the hallway and appears to be corner unit. As we entered the room, there was an element of surprise as there is a mini hallway leading to the main room area. I should say that I was really surprised with the interiors! The room is stylish and has this executive and businessman vibe. The grays, reds and browns perfectly complement each other resulting to a modern and classy appeal of the room.

The king size bed and pillows were very comfortable. Pillow cases, linens and comforter were of high quality and at par with that of 5-star hotels in the metro. I personally love the soft gray headboard.

Executive feel

There is a life-size gray wooden dresser that come with safety box, bathrobe, iron and even fire extinguisher. Beside the dresser are the complimentary tea, coffee and creamer sachets along with complimentary water bottles. Beneath is a personal refrigerator.  Across the dresser is a mini living area with a high-end sofa and table.

The Deluxe room also comes with a 32 inch flat screen cable TV placed in a long desk paired with a comfortable stylish chair. The desk also serves as a work area in the room. On the other end of the desk is a stylish lamp, a welcome letter from F1 Hotel Manila, F1 Hotel Manila notepad and a booklet containing hotel’s menu and offerings.

The toilet and bath were also a surprise! The sink and the toilet are adjacent to one another. F1 Hotel Manila branded toiletries such as soaps, shampoo, conditioner, cotton buds, toothbrush, toothpaste and even a comb are provided. Just above the sink is a long mirror that covers the entire length of the bathroom. The shower area is separated by a glass door. The rainfall shower is my favorite!

Aside from the cozy and upscale ambiance, the floor to ceiling glass window sets this F1 Hotel Room apart from other upscale hotels I have been to. Despite of this, the room does not get hot during daytime due to the floor to ceiling curtains and not to mention the strategic location of its air-conditioning unit.

F1 Hotel Manila Published Room Rates

  • Deluxe Room – 10,000 Php a night

1 King-Size Bed
36-38.89 Sqm

  • City Suite – 11, 200 Php a night

2 Double-Size Bed
39-40 Sqm

  • Fort Suite – 13,600 Php a night

1 King-Size Bed
42.15-43.82 sqm

Tip: We booked a Deluxe Room and only paid 4,200 Php instead of the 10,000 Php published rate. Get huge discounts if you book your F1 Hotel Manila room HERE.

F1 Hotel Manila Facilities, Amenities and Services

  • F All Day Dining Restaurant – Located on the hotel’s 3rd level, F All Day Dining Restaurant serves contemporary Filipino and international lunch and dinner buffet.

Since our booking includes breakfast, we had our breakfast buffet at F1 All Day Dining Restaurant. Breakfast buffet is only served from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

  • Swimming pools – Located in the 3rd level, F1 Hotel Manila has three pools – a kiddie pool, family pool and a lap pool. These pools are open daily from 7:00 AM until 8:00 PM.
  • Fitness Center – If you are a regular gym goer, do need to worry about missing your daily gym regimen. F1 Hotel Manila has a fitness center fully equipped with treadmills, weights and many other gym equipment.  The gym is located in 3rd level mezzanine and is open 24/7.
  • Spa and Wellness – To those who want to simply relax, F1 Hotel Manila offers a selection of signature and traditional massage services. The Spa and Wellness is located in 3rd level mezzanine and open from 1 PM to 5 AM during weekdays and 10 PM to 5 PM on weekends.

Other Facilities and Services

  • Complimentary Shuttle Service – Shuttle service going around Bonifacio Global City is available for in-house guests. Prior reservation is needed and maximum of 10 passengers per trip.
  • Airport transfers – Available upon request. Minimum rate of 1,500 for a sedan car and 2,200 Php for a van per way.
  • Make-Up Room – F1 Hotel Manila offers 1 complimentary make-up room service per day. To avail the service, simply tap to activate the make-up room icon near your room’s door. High-tech!
  • Concierge Services
  • Meetings and Events Facilities
  • 4 level car park
  • Wi-Fi in all rooms and public areas
  • 24-hour Guest Services
  • 24 hour security
  • In-Room Dining
  • Laundry & Valet Service
  • Babysitting Services

Overall, we enjoyed our F1 Hotel Manila staycation. The hotel did not disappoint. The hotel staff, from the security guards to front desks are very welcoming and accommodating. The room was very stylish, classy and cozy. The breakfast buffet was good. I would highly recommend this hotel not just for a staycation but also for business and corporate travelers who are visiting Bonifacio Global City.

Discounted F1 Hotel Manila Rooms  HERE

F1 Hotel Manila
Address: 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City
Contact Number: 908.7888 / 928.9888
Email us at: [email protected]

Venice in Manila: Venice Grand Canal Mckinley Hill Taguig

Venice Grand Canal Mckinley

Located in the 50-hectare Venice Piazza under the development of Megaworld Corporation, The Grand Canal Mall’s Venice Grand Canal is fast becoming tourist hotspot in Taguig City. Inspired by Italy’s Venice Canal and Macau’s Venetian Grand Canal, wandering around the mall will make you feel you are in Venice or in Venetian Macau.

The Grand Canal Mall Mckinley Taguig

The Venice Grand Canal is the center of attraction among the tourists in The Grand Canal Mall. Due to its uniqueness and picturesque views, you will see countless visitors taking selfies and groupies by the canal. For first time visitors like me, it was such a delight to see the beautiful architecture resembling that of Venice. Being a mall, there is no entrance fee to see and enjoy the beautiful Venice Grand Canal.

Venice Grand Canal BGC

The mall itself is yet to be completed. As of this writing, there are still many shops and stalls that are yet to open. Nonetheless, there is already a good number of restaurants in the mall, most of which are high-end and a bit pricey for budget travelers.

Restaurants, fastfoods and shops at The Grand Canal Mall

7 Soles
Almon Marina
Bose london
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
Burger king
Cafe Mary Grace
Cafe Seolhwa
Chiara’s Gelateria
Churreria La Lola
Coffee Bean Tea and Leaf
Comfort Tuesday
Cotton candy
Deli cieux
Empire bar
Erb and chet
Gran caffè
Grand Cafe Lavena
Hearts arrows
Hokkaido Takoyaki
Little Manila
Man hann (opening soon)
Mati’s Meat and Bread
Milk Cow
Mitsuyado sei-men
Mu thai
Munch roasts and salads
My Thai Kitchen
Nacho Bimby
New Bombay Royal (opening soon)
Office warehouse
Pepper Luch Express
Pho hoa
Pie Face
Ponte Rialto restorabte italiano
Ramen Kuroda
Rice and Dough
Rice Paper
S & R Pizza
Holland Tulips
Shoe salon
Skin station
Sky castle
Starbucks Coffee
Sunglass Haven to
Sweet bites
TGI Fridays
Tgi fridays
The Meatball Revolution
The Travel Club
Toni & Sergio
Toy town
Watsons to o
World balance
Yellow Cab Pizza

Gondolas at The Venice Grand Canal

Gondola ride pick-up and drop-off point

Just like that of Venice in Italy and Venetian in Macau, the Venice Grand Canal offers gondola ride that will cruise the entire stretch of the canal. The gondola ride costs 500 Php per person. This may be a bit pricey but seeing the mall’s architecture from the canal’s perspective must be a different experience.  Gondola ride only operates during weekends from noon time until the mall closes at 10:00 PM.


Interestingly enough, to make your Venice Grand Canal gondola ride experience memorable, boat paddlers wear the traditional “gondolier clothing”. While watching gondolas cruising the canal, we have also witnessed one boat paddler singing a classical Italian song to his passengers.

How to get to Venice Grand Canal

Getting to McKinley Hill particularly the Venice Grand Canal by commute may be a bit difficult. Visit this link for the complete instructions on how to get to McKinley Hill.

Tip: Visit the Venice Grand Canal without any hassles. Enjoy 100 Pesos off on your first 2 Uber rides!  Just use the promo code edp1000ue to avail the discount when you sign up here.

Hotels Near Venice Grand Canal

There are a couple of hotels nearby Venice Grand Canal. You may stay choose from Seda Hotel, Ascott or F1 Hotel Manila. (Read my full review of F1 Hotel Manila).

Overall, we enjoyed our quick visit to The Venice Grand Canal in McKinley. The place is unique and is new to Filipinos who have never visited Venice or Macau. Kudos to Megaworld Corporation for bringing a taste of Venice in Manila.

Little Beijing Restaurant Karuhatan Valenzuela City

Chicken with Cashew Nuts Little Beijing

Little Beijing is one among the few restaurants in Valenzuela City that is not located in malls or food centers. Located along McArthur highway in Barangay Karuhatan, Little Beijing Restaurant is literally a few steps away from Meaco Hotel and SM Center Valenzuela.

Little Beijing Restaurant Valenzuela City
Facade of Little Beijing Restaurant in Valenzuela City, Parking area is in front of the restaurant

From the name of the restaurant itself, Little Beijing serves Chinese cuisine. On their menu are the typical Cantonese dishes ranging from dimsums, seafoods, century eggs to noodles.

Little Beijing Restaurant Menu

Since we were staying at the nearby Meaco Hotel, we did not hesitate to check Little Beijing Restaurant for our late lunch. As we approach the entrance of the restaurant, we were greeted by the courteous security guard. As we entered, we were immediately assisted by one of the restaurant’s staff.

Little Beijing Restaurant’s interior is at par with that of famous Chinese Restaurants in the Metro. Fixtures look new and the entire place is clean. The cozy atmosphere sets Little Beijing apart from other Chinese restaurants in Valenzuela.

Since we visited for lunch, it was surprising that only a few tables were occupied. Compared to Golden Crown, another Chinese restaurant in Valenzuela, Little Beijing is less busy and more quiet. Perhaps due to the fact that Little Beijing Restaurant is more upscale than the former.


We ordered Chicken with Cashew Nuts (220 Php) and Yangchao fried rice (220 Php) and Siomai (48 Php). While waiting for our orders, tea was served.

Little Beijing restaurant has a dimsum promo everyday from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM where dimsums are discounted. This promo is valid for orders placed between the said time. So we only paid 48 Php for the siomai instead of 70 Php.

We learned from the waiter that the Chicken with Cashew Nuts is a new addition to their menu. Given that I’m not really a fan of dishes with nuts, the dish was good. I loved the mixed vegetables and the cashew nuts complement to the overall taste of the dish. The Yangchao fried rice was also good and the serving was generous. What I loved the most is Little Beijing’s freshly steamed Siomai. It was tasty and by far one of the best siomai I’ve tasted!

Overall, we enjoyed our Little Beijing Restaurant dining experience. The staff, from security guard to the waiters are friendly. Food are good (especially the siomai).  We are definitely coming back to try their other dishes!

Little Beijing Restaurant Valenzuela City

Contact Number / Delivery hotline: 63-2-4321352 / +63-2-7823924
e-mail: [email protected]
Address: 196 MacArthur Highway, Karuhatan
Operating Hours: 10 AM – 10 PM

Budget Hotel: Meaco Hotel Valenzuela City

Affordable hotel in Valenzuela

Meaco Hotel in Valenzuela City is one of the newest hotel chain of Asia Novotel Incorporated. Located along McArthur highway in Baranggay Karuhatan, Meaco Hotel Valenzuela is strategically located as it is few meters away from SM Center Valenzuela and a few minute drive to Our Lady of Fatima University and Fatima Medical Center. If you love to try local restaurants, Meaco hotel is literally few steps away from Little Beijing and a few minute ride to Golden Crown food center.

Meaco Hotel Valenzuela facade
Meaco Hotel Valenzuela facade

The facade is simple and barely noticeable from McArthur highway. Parking area is right in front of the hotel building.

Meaco Hotel Lobby and Hallway

I should say that I was not expecting much from Meaco Hotel. As we arrived in the area, it was raining and we were greeted and assisted by the hotel’s security guard to the parking area of the hotel. As we entered the lobby, it was clean and well-maintained. There is nothing much to see except for the reception, small LCD TV, a couple of chairs and tables, dining area, a mini store where guests can buy snacks.

We informed the receptionist of our online booking. Unfortunately, it appears that they overlooked our booking for that day and reserved a deluxe room for us the next day. It was late night and we were advised to wait for an hour. Given that the hotel is quite new, we tried to understand the situation as the receptionists might not be used to online bookings and reservations. Surprisingly, unlike other hotels in Metro Manila where check-out time is 12 noon, Meaco Hotel allows literally 24 hour stay from your check-in time. So the delayed check-in was not issue to us.  While waiting, we ordered their yummy longsilog (for only 80 Php each) and had our dinner in the hotel.

Come check-in, we took the stairs to the second floor as there is no elevator in this 3-storey hotel. Hallways are consistent with the lobby, very clean and well-maintained. The rooms are surprisingly powered by key-card locks.

Meaco Hotel Valenzuela Deluxe Room

The room is spacious.  The queen size bed with a golden headboard is comfortable but surely not at par with that of upscale hotels in Metro Manila. Nonetheless, it was good enough for a good and sound sleep. There are also bedside tables with a hotel room phone on one table. There is a cable LCD TV screen with limited channels facing the bed. On the right of the LCD TV is stylish mirror in a golden frame.  If you are bringing work to Meaco hotel, right below the TV is a long table that can serve as a work space. All rooms also come with free WiFi access.

Meaco hotel room’s toilet and bath  is very clean and spacious. Fixtures look modern and new. The hot and cold shower is working perfectly. Toiletries such as bath towels, bath gel, shampoo and toothbrush are also provided. My only rants were the slightly clogged water drain in the shower and the very small slippers in the room. Nonetheless, issues like these can be reported to the reception.

Meaco Hotel Valenzuela Room Rates

Apart for the affordable room rates, Meaco Hotel also offer 12 hour rates for those who are visiting Valenzuela on short trips.

  • Deluxe 12 hours – 700 Php / 24 hours – 900 Php
  • Twin Deluxe 12 hours 800 Php / 24 hours 1,000 Php
  • Family 12 hours 1,100 Php / 24 1,400 Php
  • VIP Family 12 hours 1,500 / 24 hours – 1,800 Php

Tip: It is cheaper if you book online using a voucher. My girlfriend booked via and used a voucher for our two night stay at Meaco Hotel Valenzuela. We paid 1,400 Php instead of 1,800 Php!

Affordable Hotel in Valenzuela City

Overall, we enjoyed our 2 night stay in Meaco Hotel Valenzuela. For the price, the hotel exceeded our expectations. The security guards and most of the staff were very friendly and helpful. The rooms are very decent and clean.  The hotel is very accessible and strategically located. If you are visiting, travelling or backpacking Valenzuela, you would never go wrong if you stay in this budget hotel.

Meaco Hotel Contact Number – +63 2 4439021 / +63 916 3491030
Address – 349 McArthur highway, Karuhatan, Valenzuela City

Aside from Valenzuela City, Meaco Hotel chains are also available on the following Philippine provinces:

  • Legaspi, Albay
  • Solano, Nueva Vizcaya
  • Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte
  • Calbayog, Samar
  • Anilao, Batangas


2 Hidden Budget Food Places in Poblacion Makati, Gabs & Tsabs

Bacon Mushroom Melt @ Tsabs

During our budget staycation in Makati, Jen and I were determined to find cheap eats in the area. We left BRBlock Boutique and Residences for dinner and started driving in search for cheap food places in the country’s most expensive city.

Here are the 2 hidden eateries we discovered in Poblacion Makati that will surely satisfy your taste buds while not emptying your pocket:

Gabs Good Grabs

Located along  Mabini street and is just few meters away from Makati Museum, Gabs Good Grabs is truly a hidden gem for budget conscious food lovers. This 24 hour diner offers a wide array of delicious and affordable food on their menu, from starters (starts at 30 Php),  all day heavy breakfast (starts at 60 Php), rice meals (starts at 70 Php) to burgers and pastas (starts at 75 Php).

Gabs Good Grab, Poblacion, Makati
Gabs Good Grab, Poblacion, Makati

With its limited real estate, Gabs Good Grubs can accommodate approximately 20 diners at a time. We visited this hidden gem in Poblacion at around 10 PM and we had to wait several minutes as the place was fully occupied. As we entered the open air dining area of Gabs Good Grubs, we were greeted by the courteous waitress while handling us their menu.

Gabs Good Grub Menu

We ordered Seafood Ysabella, Supreme Salpicao and their signature Iced tea slush.

Seafood Ysabella
Seafood Ysabella

Seafood Yssabella (85 Php),  mixed seafood in creamy sauce topped with Parmesan cheese served with rice and sides.

If you love seafoods and white sauce, you would never go wrong with Seafood Ysabela. The chopped fresh squids, shrimps and fish in creamy sauce is truly a must try! We super loved Seafood Ysabella! We even ordered a second plate of this yummy Gabs Good Grubs dish.

Supreme Salpicao
Supreme Salpicao

Supreme Salpicao (85 Php), combination of beef, shrimp and squid sauteed in soy garlic concoction served with rice and sides.

Given the affordability of Gabs Good Grubs rice meals, their generous serving (especially the rice) and plating/food presentation will make you think that you are not dining in an affordable food place in Makati.

Iced Tea Slush
Iced Tea Slush

Iced Tea slush (35 Php)

Location: 3273 A. Mabini St. cor. Doña Epifania St., Poblacion
Delivery contact Number: +63 2 6684340
Operating Hours: open 24 hours

Tsabs Sandwich Bar

This must visit food place is Poblacion is also located in A. Mabini street and is also few meters away from Makati museum.

Tsabs Poblacion Makati
Tsabs Sandwich Bar

If you are a burger lover, Tsabs Sandwich Bar has a pretty good selection of burgers. Choose among the 8 burgers on their menu, from the cheapest sulit Burger (50 Php) to their signature Tsabi Tsabs burger (145 Php).

Tsabs Sandwich Bar Menu

Unlike Gabs, Tsabs only has 2 small tables set-up in the street that can roughly accommodate 8 guests at a time.

 Bacon Mushroom Melt @ Tsabs
Bacon Mushroom Melt

We ordered cheeseburger (60 Php) and Bacon Mushroom Melt (120 Php).

Location 3259 A. Mabini Street, Poblacion, Makati City
Tsabs Contact Number: +63 9077725732
Operating Hours: 4 PM to 12 AM

Tip: I highly recommend to visit these places late night at there is only limited parking space in the area. Parking is at the front of Makati Museum.

Overall, we enjoyed the budget dining experience in Gabs Good Grub and Tsabs Sandwich Bar. If you are visiting Poblacion in Makati, forget Makati’s expensive restaurants and give these two budget-friendly food places a try!

Visiting Makati City? Book your hotel HERE.