Here, There, Everywhere! – Hook’d Up, Kai Cafe, LeFern’s 181 R&B … and Le Coq Bleu
Have I got a loaded post for you, today, dear reader. =)
It’s mostly so that we could make good time since our list is growing longer by the day. (I’m not the only one scouting for new places to eat at now. I really appreciate your input and finds, eatsplorers, Ela and Jo!) For the past few days, P3 and X+1 have been here, there and everywhere in the name of our food quest.
Let’s start with a booth that falls in a number of categories, Simple but Staple, Student Fare as well as Eats Around Baguio.
1.) Hook’d Up Mediterranean Cuisine
Located (UPDATE 08/26/2015) on the 2nd floor of Palangdao 2 Building, across NOVO on Lower General Luna Road, we’ve got another source for affordable and simple AND healthy Mediterranean dishes. From the foodstuff, my foodie lovies and I have sampled so far, I found me another salad that deserves to be a favorite: Tahini salad, which is cubes and shreds of Baguio’s freshest veggies drenched in tahini dressing (also sold at the booth). As I’m already loving the dainty sesame seeds on burger buns, it’s no wonder, I love it as a dressing, too. ^^,
Race and I got so intrigued about the other offerings of Hook’d Up that we didn’t stop with ordering salad to go. It was beef shawarma (mega spicy that took away my brother’s cough in a snap \m/), falafel, pita bread to be dipped in hummus and a yogurt drink while waiting, one day; and then chicken shawarma (still mega spicy), more pita, this time to be dipped in avocado hummus, the next.
With the bread here fluffier than the ones at Ali’s, it quickly felt as heavy as a bag of coins in our tummies … tastier though with the avocado hummus dip. And my, those pickled vegetables decorating both kinds of hummus, zingy good! The falafel was okay; I think I might need to eat that on its own to fully appreciate it. As for the yogurt drink, that’s another beverage whose taste I failed to acquire. *hihi
Ambiance: TBD, once they open their dining establishment in the lower floor of this very building, the game is on (again =b).
UPDATE 09/13/2014: I just got word that their lounge/resto in the second basement is open and ready to serve us all from 10am-8pm. Looks like we’re going to be hooked once again. Weee!
UPDATE 10/04/2014: Ambiance: Maybe more because of their carpets on couches, the shisha and falafel cafe felt a bit cramped. [BUT I’ve a bigger qualm about the building itself – (small staircases to what was that?, FOUR basement levels under what seemed like never ending upper floors, I sure hope this building is structurally sound.) I kept thinking, “Wait, do I know where all the emergency exits are?”]
UPDATE 08/26/2015: Hook’d Up has moved to the building next to it, Palangdao 2 Building, 2nd floor (across NOVO). Balcony dining plus people watching while lazily enjoying shisha, anyone?
*Adding Hook’d Up Shisha Falafel Cafe to my list of resto faves. Hip-hip, hooray!
Continuing with the La Trinidad Food Quest, we, one day, had brunch at …
2.) Kai Cafe
This is a find by another one of our food adventurers, Ms. Fuwa Rinni; thank you so much! It’s a cafe with a wide area on the second floor of the yellow building across from Shell Gas Station in Km. 4, Pico, La Trinidad.
Since we haven’t eaten a bite … but we were preping for a day of food adventures, we chose to go a bit light with dishes like the cafe’s liempo classic rice meal, cheesy pesto panini, Hawaiian shore salad and a couple coolers: Cappuccino frost and blueberry cream frost. (I bet you know who got what. =D)
Race’s rice meal was the perfect pick. The serving was neither too big nor too small for the munching spree of a day we had planned out. The vegetables topped on the pieces of meat were nicely cooked and the piece de resistance of the dish was truly juicy and flavorful.
I wasn’t expecting there to be two sandwiches (four pieces when cut into triangles) for my order, but there they were. It was a good looking plate of panini that was pretty mild in taste. I was thankful for that since the drink I got was uber sweet in a way that even I, a lover of intense flavors, didn’t enjoy. It was more drinkable than one cafe’s blended mix though so I got it transferred to a take away glass (for drinking watered down later) after a word to the staff about maybe including sweetness levels to their refreshments. (Race’s cappuccino cooler was also perfect. Dang, I missed the mark a tad with my choices that day.)
I couldn’t stop myself from ordering salad for its curious name. It turns out, it was fruit salad with a twist … the dressing was both sweet and creamy as well as tangy AND salty. Innnteresting … and surprisingly, we kept spearing at the cubes of fruit in the small bowl until it was all gone.
Ambiance: I don’t know about you, but I like wide spaces. It’s a plus, plus, plus, too, if it isn’t crowded (lots of different seating places in Kai, very nice!) (although I know what they say about busy restaurants where the food is always fresh since their stocks get replenished a lot *hee).
3.) 181 R&B at LeFern Hotel
After starting out early for musical chair errands at SSS and Pag-ibig today, we were hoping that the new Bay Leaf establishment would be open for breakfast. Sadly, it was going to be an hour later from when we finished our business in the Pag-ibig building, and so we opted to go back a few blocks to LeFern’s in-house restaurant, 181 R&B (behind NBI building, what used to be The Gallery).
I’ve since had an idea of what they offer at this restaurant and bar, thanks to Ms. Angeline and with so many intriguing dishes on the menu, we had to ask our attendant how this dish came to be named that way, what salamanderized oysters and octopus hotdogs were, etc. We zoned in on the crab and mango salad (I originally wanted Mediterranean salad but that wasn’t available so …), the viand, lechon paksiw with two orders of extra rice and green tea smoothie.
Oh, man, that salad! Crunchy greens, mango slices that tasted just right, sprinkles/strip of crabstick broken in smaller pieces with a salty dressing, I wanted another serving of that right after we cleaned off the plate. The green tea smoothie was well blended too in that it tasted like tea … not like nori. (Well priced as well.) And look, it’s in a mason jar. =))
The lechon paksiw had a delicious sauce but the meat in it was hard and dry … double dead as our new friend called it, slaughtered and killed a second time in the frying. *tee hee With every mouthful with the pork, I wished Race went for the pork humba instead. It also made me think of digestifs, where the French had salads/drinks at the end of the meal to help with digestion. Encore, crab and mango salad!
Wait, there’s more …
*Le Coq Bleu
Though it’s not a restaurant per se … but a homestay for two people (three, at the most) looking for a place to stay to get away from the flurry of activity in the city center if only for a little while. (For more info about this humble B&B, please feel free to send a message to the blog’s FB page.)
It was such a privilege to get to sample the food preparation stylings of our newfound friends here. Wonderful, wonderful to meet you; thank you for opening your beautiful blue house to us. (“,)
X marks Hook’d Up Mediterranean Cuisine (I’m definitely hooked! *snickers), Kai Cafe, 181 R&B (… and Le Coq Bleu) for good food in Baguio.
There you go, afoodionados, new eating places in the City of Pines that you might like to check off your lists as well. I hope that will hold you till next week. *giggles Wishing you all, rewarding dining experiences wherever you choose to get sustenance!
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Search for Good Baguio Food
X Marks the Spot for Good Baguio Foods is a personal blog. Everything posted in this blog is PERSONAL OPINION DERIVED FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and since TASTE can be pretty SUBJECTIVE, should NOT be taken as THE NORM or the LAW OF DINING around in the City of Pines.
Its (prosaic =b) contents are meant to help with the question “san tayo?”/where do we go? in relation to eating out in Baguio, to ENCOURAGE EXPLORING (eatsploring) and TRYING NEW THINGS offered in the City of Pines.
By all means, eat where you want to eat and eat what you want to eat. May you have a great experience with all the places you visit and may all the restaurants you go to deserve a ton of treasure chests! (“,)
(Also, if you have any second thoughts about a certain place you arrive at, please DON'T LET THIS BLOG BE THE REASON YOU ARE FORCED into ending up anywhere. If the restaurant doesn’t have what you want, please FEEL FREE TO WALK AWAY.)
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