Recovery Food

The search for a cure to hangovers may be almost as old as the existence of breweries and alcohol consumption. Old wives’ tales and urban legends list a whole plethora of remedies ranging from peppercorns up one’s nose (not recommended!) all the way to consumption of copious amounts of coffee. More sound cures include rehydrating as well as getting a good breakfast, two things that all-day restaurants such as Recovery Food are more than ready to provide.

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We visited Recovery Food’s branch in the BGC Stopover, and found it to be quite full even as early as 8 in the morning. The no-frills menu here featured a complete lineup of dishes from starters, rice bowls, all the way up to dessert. For our breakfast here, we picked the Amadobo rice bowl: traditional pork adobo and rice, topped with a scrambled egg. We also indulged with a bowl of Hey Jude’s Paksig: bangus belly with rice. For this venture we chose to upgrade the rice in this dish to ‘talangka rice’, or rice cooked in crab paste. We also ordered the Oriental Salad, which was comprised of greens mixed with a combination of fruits such as green mango and pineapple, with a choice of either peanut dressing or citrus vinaigrette.

22714A46-4C95-4BF8-ACD2-309F651F5130The Amadobo had just the right blend of salty-sourness that one would expect from an excellent adobo recipe, with an added kick from a crunchy garlic topping. The fluffy scrambled egg provided a good contrast to the stronger flavors of the pork and the sauce soaked in the rice. In practice it was not much different from home-cooked adobo, but it was an adobo done very well.

BF78B539-026E-477F-AC7F-62D37BA6C915The Hey Jude’s Paksig is a treat with the subtle flavors of the talangka rice and the sweet and fresh bangus blending together. Along with the well-cooked sunny side up egg mixed in, it’s a succulent experience mixing in all three.

0BC91025-6CBF-4AB2-94D4-57DB7BE4D7B9We made a good choice with having citrus vinaigrette with our Oriental Salad, since this dressing provided a light tanginess that complemented the sweetish flavors of the fruits and greens. This refreshing starter was a surprisingly good partner to our more savory entrees, thus rounding out our breakfast in a way we never had before.

Although Recovery Food caters to those who need a hefty meal to end a late night, we would recommend this place too for those who want a filling start to their day, or just plain good food to suit all hours.
The Food Score:  4/5: Recovery Food serves up its meals in two sizes: regular and Full Recovery. We tried the Full Recovery size, and found it good for two, or for one very, very hungry person. The menu here also features soups such as pho and mami, Filipino desserts, and a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, making this place perfect for dining at all hours.

Ambiance/Service Score: 4/5: Despite its simple, no-frills ambiance, this restaurant was still comfortable and well-lit. The service at this branch was prompt and courteous, adding to the dining experience.   

GERD Score: 3.5/5: While there are options for different people, Recovery Food doesn’t offer much for anyone with heartburn. And if one makes the mistake of ordering the full recovery size alone, best to have half for take out.

Epilepsy Score:  3.5/5: Some of the dishes here are prepared from canned and preserved meats, thus making them less of an option for some diners. Nevertheless there are other fresh dishes (apart from the salad) that are worth considering even for those with concerns about medication interactions or high preservative intake.   

Team Glasses Score: 4/5: Recovery Food is certainly an option not only for late nights but also for early mornings and even casual lunches and dinners out. Although this is not exactly a place for fine dining, it is one for good old comfort food to suit most everyday ventures.

Recovery Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Locavore

Sometimes there is nothing quite as comforting as ‘homecooked food’, and for many Filipinos this points to some classics such as sinigang, kare-kare, dinuguan, lechon—just to name a few.  It has become a challenge for restaurants to serve up their own versions of these favorites, especially in the face of trends such as fusion cuisine, food parks, etc. One place that is up to the task is Locavore, a sit-down restaurant/bar that caters to culinary purists as well as adventurous gourmands alike.

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I had the opportunity to dine here one Sunday lunchtime, as per the recommendation of one of my siblings. Fortunately, my family had made a reservation beforehand, as there was already a line of patrons outside the restaurant as early as 11:30 in the morning. Perusing the menu was a serious matter, as all the dishes were simply yet enticingly described; here at Locavore, tapsilog is not just meat with fried rice and a sunny side up egg! Eventually we decided on these entrees:

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  1.    Chori Silog

This is far more than simply chorizo sausage + egg + rice. What arrived at our table was an intimidating set-up of garlic rice topped with a soft and runny scrambled egg, crowned with a homemade chorizo patty. This very rich mountain of food was dripping with labuyo aioli and barbeque sauce, providing that sweet and spicy mix so beloved by Filipinos.  A side dish of picked cucumber and onion helped round out this sumptuous meal. In my opinion this meal is more appropriate for a breakfast or brunch as opposed to a family lunch. Nevertheless, it was very filling and definitely brings value for what one pays for.

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  1.       Dinuguang Lechon

Who would have thought that two fiesta favorites could make such a good marriage? The thick and tasty dinuguan makes a balance to the crisp and slightly salty lechon, especially the skin! This is not a dish that is meant to be enjoyed alone.

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  1.       Kare Kare Wings

I do have a weakness for chicken wings in all kinds of sauces, but it usually takes some persuading for me to eat kare kare (especially since most kare kare requires bagoong and I have some pretty dreadful allergies). This time I was won over; Locavore serves its kare kare wings with a choice of dips: bagoong and a special buttermilk ranch dressing. The kare kare was surprisingly light on the palate, with just the right amount of peanut flavor. The ranch dressing was an especial treat, since it lent a great contrast to the classic kare kare taste. Here’s to my adding kare kare to my list of ‘Things that Chicken Wings Must Be Dipped In.’.

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  1.       Sizzling Sinigang

It’s not every day that one gets served stew that is sizzling on a plate. Locavore does just that, with its beef sinigang sa sampaloc served with sautéed French beans and a garlic confit. The soup itself was so thick and flavorful, perfect for dipping in the French beans or spooning all over hot rice. The beef was so tender that it could melt in our mouths. It can only take culinary magic to make a dish that is this rich and yet does not overwhelm the taste buds.

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We washed all of this down with Locavore’s sorbetes, which comes in the classic trio of Tsoknut, milk (gatas) and cheese (keso). The other dessert offerings such as the sizzling pandesal pudding were just as tempting, but these will have to wait for subsequent food trips.

Although Locavore also styles itself as a bar, it also has a friendly selection of seasonal fruit juices as well as mocktails for those eschewing alcohol. We tried the Cucumber Lime Cooler and the Apple Lime Cooler mocktails. Both of these icy drinks had just the right amount of sweet-sourness to cleanse the palate and whet one’s appetite for the rest of the feast.

 

We cannot look at Filipino food (especially sinigang!) the same way again after this trip to Locavore. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to try more of its delights soon!

 

The Food Score: 4.5/5:  The food here is rich, sometimes overwhelmingly so. Nevertheless the cuisine at Locavore exemplifies the Filipino mode of feasting, all the way down to appealing to the Pinoy penchant for sweet sour dishes. And I will insist that the sinigang is sheer sorcery.

Ambiance/Service Score: 4/5: The service here is excellent and prompt, however the restaurant itself is quite crowded. The black and white décor may be appealing for patrons who will go to this establishment in the evenings for the bar aspect, but it seemed a bit dreary for the Sunday family lunch crowd.  

GERD Score: 3.5/5: Some Filipino favorites and heartburn normally don’t go hand in hand, but the wide selection of dishes makes the place worthwhile to visit. One’s best option is to share on the heartier meals.

Epilepsy Score:  4/5: Again, variety saves the day. While some foods here are definitely processed and should be eaten in moderation, there are enough fresh options such as ensalada for those with dietary restrictions. The mocktails also make this place an option for partygoers and night owls who may wish to accompany friends to the bar, but cannot partake of the other alcoholic offerings.  

 

Team Glasses Score: 4/5: Locavore is definitely a place to go if one wants Filipino food taken to a new level. Whether for a family lunch or a loud night out, this place has you covered. This is a place worth the excursion, whether for newbies to cuisine in this part of the world, or die-hard aficionados.

Locavore Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Commune

Trusting that a favourite restaurant is still in its established spot is one comfort in this ever-changing city. This was why I was surprised and saddened when I learned that the Commune had moved from HV Dela Costa Street in Salcedo Village. Here was where I had passed a few fun afternoons with friends, bonding over writing and this cafe’s crostinis and coffee. Fortunately it was not long till I learned that the Commune was now located at Poblacion, right in a neighbourhood that was fast becoming a food tripper’s haven.

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Lee and I decided to have dinner here after one exhausting work day, eager to seek some comfort in the familiar. Since we were feeling quite ravenous, we decided to try out some more substantial fare than the crostinis and sandwiches, as appealing as they seemed just from the menu descriptions alone. After a bit of discussion, we decided to try the pork longanissa and tomato pasta, as well as the pork adobo with salted egg relish.

Although the longanissa and tomato ragu was rather mild for our tastes, the pasta was cooked to al dente, lending a much appreciated texture to this dish.  The adobo was comfort food at its finest: well cooked in a flavourful sauce, and served over hot rice. The salted egg and tomato relish was a nice addition to offset the adobo, and helped round out the meal nicely.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that apart from its famous coffee concoctions, the Commune also offers a selection of juices and ‘non coffee’ drinks ranging from hot chocolate, teas, and juices. Any of these promise to be great accompaniments to the various dishes offered, both for solo scoffers and for hungry groups. However the coffee remains the main attraction here, particularly for the latte art featured in every cup.

Indeed there is no place like home for many people, and the Commune may qualify as such. It is a calm place in the middle of the big city, a touchstone so to speak. It is no wonder that it will be sought out, regardless of location.

The Food Score:  4/5: The Commune’s particular strength is in their sandwich and crostini creations, not to mention their coffee. This place does good things with rice but great things with bread.

Ambiance/Service Score: 4.5/5: The restaurant gives one a great view of the bustling neighbourhood beyond its walls, but its ambiance does not join in the sound and the fury. In fact the premises are cozy yet sleek, a place to let one’s hair down and yet have some semblance of style.

GERD Score: 2/5: At least as far as heartburn triggers are concerned with things like cheese, eggs, and fried food, the Commune offers only a small selection that can be considered friendly to people with it.

Epilepsy Score: 4/5: Again, one thing we appreciate about restaurants and cafes is their having options in terms of foods and beverages, and the Commune has plenty of them. Aside from the non-caffeinated drinks we mentioned above, the cafe also has healthy food options such as salads and sandwiches. However of course, for those sensitive to preservatives, the sausage and tocino dishes may need to be skipped.
Team Glasses Score: 3.5/5: This place is a calm, classy haven in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Poblacion. It’s a spot for comfort food, a bit of quiet before a night out, or simply just a place to unwind with friends. And for some people, that’s more than enough. \

Commune Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato