Friday, February 25, 2005


Lolo Dads (Quirino corner Leon Guinto St.) tel. 522 2941, 524-2295
Continental Bistro fare. Call for reservations. Perhaps the best bistro of its class in Manila today. Set inside the converted dining room of a mid-20th century mansion; the ambience is old world but not stuffy at all. Its also really small so make sure to call for reservations. Generous portions. Perfect Foie Gras. Valet Parking. Pricey but worth it.

Sala (J.Nakpil St. between Bocobo and Orosa Sts.) tel.524 6770
Continental Bistro fare. Call for reservations. Not as pricey as Lolo Dads but still great value with its perfectly starched napkins and gracious ambience. Set amidst the rough and tumble of the J.Nakpil district, its a classy respite with their buff and all-black clad waiters. Great Martinis. Great duck. Parking sucks on weekends. Pricey but worth it.

Casa Armas (J.Nakpil St. between Bocobo and Orosa Sts.) tel. 523-5763, 521-0736
Spanish Home Cooking. Call for reservations.Despite its faux stucco wall treatments and furniture that looks like it was stolen from the grandmother of some Paranaque mestizo, Casa Armas never ever disappoints. Be prepared to pay top peso for the best paella, crabs, and sangria in the city. Simply a must. Parking sucks on weekends. Pricey but worth it.

Hot! Cafe (Bel-Air Apartments, Roxas Blvd, corner Luneta Park) tel. 525-7684, 525-7685
Filipino and Continental Cuisine. No need for reservations.An alternative to the sticky ambience of Aristocrat Restaurant by Malate Church, Hot! Cafe offers the public a cleaner Filipino restaurant experience. With a rather modest menu that includes Milkfish (Bangus) belly, deep fried clubhouse sandwiches, and coffee shakes, everybody will definitely find something to their taste at this little restaurant located right across from the American Embassy. Some parking available. Not Expensive at all.

Cha-Gio (J.Quintos Street, between MHDel Pilar and A. Mabini)
Opened by Vietnamese expats in the Philippines, Chao Gio serves authentic no-nonsense Vietnamese street food. Great Springrolls (Cha Gio), Great Cold Noodles, Good Baguette Sandwiches with their signature pork stuffing. Interesting Green Muffins. Lots and lots of parking upstairs. Not Expensive

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


If you've finally had it with the usual menu of bubbly boy bands and screeching sex sirens on Metro Manila radio, then turn on to 104.3 on the FM dial for a much needed change of diet. Currently known as DWBR or DW-Business Radio; it was formerly known as DWIM-FM (For DW-Imelda Marcos-Ferdinand Marcos) - betraying its eminent role as the official station of the Philippine Government and the Philippine answer to America's NPR. But with most of its programming (and quite a few of its deejays) remaining unchanged since the declaration of martial law, the station has become a time tunnel definitely worth tripping through. On any given day, you could listen to Sammy Davis, Nina Simone, Edie Gorme, or Sylvia La Torre belting out their greatest hits. Or if you are so inclined, you could also catch Margie Jao Grey and Mel Vidaya giving tips on how to open a business, Emily Marcelo and Vic Milan blabbering on about the state of the city's smog, and Larry Henares just being his regular annoying self. All of the news, weather, and stock reports are in English. Radio is dead. Long live the radio.