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MANILA, Philippines – Greenbelt.
For stylists like myself, the word immediately brings to mind high street brands, fashion shows and my favorite Filipino Zone at the second floor of Greenbelt 5:
- MYTH: The best of all worlds
- Ana Rocha: Beautiful bijoux
- Charina Sarte: Color. Print. Flow.
- Tan-Gan: Romancing the knit
- Religioso: Fashion is their religion
Fashion-wise, Greenbelt was a territory well-explored. The enticing restaurants were another matter.
So imagine my joy when I received this #FoodTrip assignment. I stepped into these restaurants for the first time that day, and immensely enjoyed my afternoon party of one.
FELIX: Asian-Continental fare
I arrived at Felix at 10:30 am, 30 minutes before their opening at 11 am. Officer-in-charge Susan Salicanan and her staff gave me a warm welcome.
“Felix” is the name of the father of Chef Florabel Co, the restaurant’s owner. Chef Florabel is also the lady behind the restaurants Crisostomo, Elias and the restaurant named after her, Florabel, in Podium.
Felix opened on April 3, 2008 and has been serving cuisine that Susan described as “Asian-Continental.”
“Our dishes are a mix or fusion of dishes of the different Asian countries,” she said. “The way we prepare them is not traditional. There is always a twist.”
After tasting these dishes, I completely agreed! My verdict: Felix has such an extensive menu that one visit is not enough, and having the same dish over and over is doing yourself injustice. I recommend you try them all.
Felix is offering a “buy one, take one” promo on wines for the Christmas season. Cocktail lovers will also enjoy their “buy one, take one” on cocktails every night. No need to wait for happy hour!
Business hours: 11 am to 11 pm
Contact numbers: 729-9062 / 945-7912 / 710-1696
Kai was probably the oldest of the restaurants I visited that day, having opened in Greenbelt 2 in 2002. They transferred to Greenbelt 5 in 2008, where they now also enjoy an al fresco area.
According to management trainee Shella May Layno, “Kai” means “gathering” in Japanese. This Greenbelt 5 branch is the only branch they have in the Philippines.
“We serve modern Japanese with a twist,” said Shella, who told me they also offer catering services.
By the time I got to Kai from Felix, it was full-on lunch time, yet the restaurant’s atmosphere was not at all noisy. In fact, it was very relaxed and calm — very Zen, very Japanese.
Kai has been around for 11 years and has a loyal costumer base. First-timers are very much welcome.
The verdict: I recommend Kai to everyone, including solo diners, for the ambiance, the simplicity yet tastefulness of the food and the warm service that was extended to me.
Business hours: 11 am to 2 pm, 6 pm to 10 pm (Friday and Saturday, 6 pm to 12 mn)
Contact number: 757-5209
Facebook: Kai Neo Japanese Cuisine
LORENZO’S WAY: Mediterranean with a Filipino touch
The day was not going as smoothly as I hoped for my #FoodTrip, and I almost thought I was going home with reviews of only two restaurants. Thankfully, the well-trained staff of Lorenzo’s Way opened their doors for me, even if I had arrived while they were closed for the afternoon.
I remember posting a photo of the restaurant on my social media accounts and thanking them for saving my day. They continued the warmth and hospitality first extended to me at Abe in TriNoma, also a member of the LJC Group.
According to marketing manager Malou Evidente, Lorenzo’s Way was envisioned by founder Larry J. Cruz to be a couscous bar that featured his favorite Mediterranean dishes — Seafood Couscous, Baklava, Race Course Road Fish Curry (from Singapore) and Paella (from Spain).
Lorenzo’s Way opened in Greenbelt 5 in May 2009. The second branch in Bonifacio High Street opened in February 2012.
The verdict: Lorenzo’s Way is perfect for everyone who appreciates good food and who takes their time having it. Great for dates or nights out with friends, and on weekend lunches or dinners with the family.
Business hours: Monday to Sunday, 11 am to 3 pm, 5:30 pm to 11 pm (Friday and Saturday, 5:30 pm to 12 mn)
Contact numbers: 729-0013 / 729-0014
Read our other #FoodTrip stories:
- #FoodTrip: High dining at SM Aura Sky Park
- #FoodTrip:Regional cuisine at Northern Food Festival
- #FoodTrip: A feast of flavors in TriNoma
- #FoodTrip: Oriental fare, Filipino flair
- #FoodTrip: Magnificent noodle mania
- #FoodTrip: Sweet tooth treats
- #FoodTrip: Moveable feast at BGC Eats
- #FoodTrip: Variety, affordability at Market! Market!
- #FoodTrip: Flavor Fusion at Edsa Central
- #FoodTrip: Food Truck Park at Capitol Commons
Kai Magsanoc is the former editor of Rappler’s Life and Style section. She is back to freelancing, covering lifestyle events for Rappler, and styling campaigns for her retail clients. Follow her live event updates on Twitter at @KaiMagsanoc. Watch out for her blog, Coffee with Kai, coming this December.