Friday, August 25, 2017

Discover a Village of Flavors at Westgate Center in Filinvest City, Alabang

The South of Metro Manila is known for having a relaxed and cool environment. I should know because this is my turf! Here in Alabang, Muntinlupa particularly within Filinvest City, residents and guests alike get to enjoy a more laid back vibe such as what Westgate exudes.

awaken your artistic side at Neil's Kitchen in Westgate!
With its open spaces and pockets of greenery as well as water fountains that delight the young ones and young once, Westgate Center is a great place to have a relaxing meal with family and friends any time of the day.  

open spaces and greenery in this village within a village
The development's open-air retail concept challenges the confines of the mall setting. Instead of a huge air conditioned building, Westgate looks like a "village within a big village" with a main street ambiance that's conducive for relaxation and recreation. It combines innovative dining, retail, and lifestyle concepts in a street-style, neo-cosmopolitan setting.

lunch with a view
Westgate is where you'll see how a lot of Southeners live the lighthearted Alabang lifestyle -- playful and passionate; adventurous and artistic.  

whimsical decor always pulls at my heartstrings
Here are five establishments I recently had the pleasure of visiting and what dishes I'd recommend you to try there:


Love honest-to-goodness burgers? Find juicy and delicious ones at Brother's Burger. They use only 100% prime choice imported beef and the freshest of vegetables. I honestly found it hard to finish a whole burger because the ones served there are bigger than what my tummy can usually handle. 

burgers and wings bursting with flavors
It's also hard to choose which flavor to order because they have several delicious ones. Some of my and my son's top picks: The Boss Burger (with one-pound patty!) and the Ranchero Burger with onion rings. I love its smoky flavor and barbecue sauce.  

friendly staff of Brother's Burger
Apart from the burgers, you also have to try their wings that are crispy outside but juicy inside. Very flavorful!


In the Philippines, this restaurant has been synonymous with traditional Spanish cooking for more than half a century already! Founded by Don Anastacio Alba in 1952, the establishment has not only become a mecca for foodies seeking to indulge in authentic Spanish cuisine, it is also a preferred meeting place for many of its loyal patrons. 

some of Alba's delicious offerings
Alba's buffet is expectedly very popular because diners get to taste many of the best dishes the restaurant offers -- Pollo al Ajillo, Solomio a la Pobre, Lengua a la Sevillana, Pescado en Salsa Verde, Chipirones en Su Tinta, and Paella Valenciana, among others. 

my forever favorite Canonigo
I love many of the main dishes but, when it comes to dessert, their Canonigo remains my top favorite. It has been for years. Oh, and if you're celebrating something, go splurge on a Cochinillo and enjoy the tender meat and crunchy skin with your loved ones! 


The name of this specialty ramen shop is translated from Japanese as "pork circle" and it provides authentic Japanese flavors through Chef Jerome Lim's creations. He has trained under Sugimura-san of the Menko Noodle Company in Japan.

Butamaru's different ramen variants are a must-try when in Westgate
Butamaru's menu is based on five basic kinds of ramen -- shio, shoyu, miso, tantanmen, and curry tantanmen. They use traditional Kyushu tonkotsu broth made for 16 hours. No wonder the soup is so flavorful! 

savory takoyaki and gyoza
When you visit, make sure to also try their other specialties such as the fusion dishes. Two of the must-trys are the Curry Gyoza and the Cheese Hane Gyoza.


Once you get inside this place, you will not be surprised why this is considered one of the hottest dining spots in the South today. Apart from the great tasting and innovative dishes concocted by Chef Neil Ramos, there are so many sweet spots ideal for getting Instagrammable shots.

me and son number two
I deeply appreciate how Chef Neil has given classic Filipino dishes a modern twist allowing diners to rediscover old-time favorites presented differently and creatively, yet still having that comfort food satisfaction on one's palate.  

delicious is not enough to describe the dishes at Neil's Kitchen!
Check out the beautifully plated Sinigang Paella with Grilled Pork Belly, Ooh-La-Laing Burger, Alabang Fried Porkchop, Menudo ManiaTokwa and Seafood, and so many more!

never thought I'd find a pretty reading nook inside a restaurant!
In addition, if you love reading books as much as I do, sit near the My Father's Bookstore area and browse the various titles on the bookshelves. Imagine my delight when I spotted a copy of Heirlooms: Timeless Truths for Mothers and Daughters, which I edited for CSM Publishing that was launched two years ago at the Manila International Book Fair. Of course, I had to have a photo taken with it at the lovely reading nook they have thoughtfully provided!  


Honestly, I only knew UCC as a popular place to get good coffee but wasn't aware that they also serve savory meals and scrumptious desserts until I visited their branch at Westgate! 

capuccino and choux cream cake = perfect pair!
They have so many offerings on the menu that I would have to come back for. This time around, let me praise the mouthwatering pasta and sandwiches I got to try as well as sensational Japanese-inspired treats like the Mille Crepe and the Choux Cream Cake

so glad to find out that UCC serves these and more!
For sure, there is something for everyone at Westgate Center. Even if you live outside Alabang, going there would be worth it. Promise! 

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