Gi-Chi’s Lugawan

It is a Saturday.

The torrential rain which came with lightning just stopped and my stomach is churning.

What to eat?

Time check 4 PM.

I sent a quick message to my eating buddies. They have just finished having Korean Samgyupsal. What’s for dinner? I asked.

They have no idea.

I said why not have some lugaw? In that unlimited lugawan they have always been telling me about.

Weather is just perfect for that warm bowl of congee. I asked if they also serve tokwa’t baboy. They have, they said.

Great.

See you at 6:30 PM then.

And I continued reading blogs until I need to get up and prepare for the night.

Gi-Chi’s Lugawan is located in the street near Diamond. If you are from Angeles, you know where Diamond is. It is a subdivision where lots of restos, cafes and videoke houses have sprouted. That is the destination.

We arrived and was welcomed by a garage turned carinderia.

Lugawan

Plastic chairs and tables covered in linoleum. A counter which houses the steaming goto and some side dishes for accompaniments.

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I ordered EggCaldo. 30 pesos. Not bad. I paired it with tokwa’t baboy worth 25 pesos and a bottle of Pepsi for 10.

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A big bowl of steaming white delight arrived with those golden brown tokwa’t baboy. Stomach problem solved.

For only 65 pesos, Saturday dinner, check.

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Rating:

Parking 4 out 5

Park at the sidewalk at your own risk. There were plenty of spaces though when we arrived.

Taste of food 3.5 out of 5

Limited condiments. Friend garlic is rationed. You can have all the kalamansi, patis and pepper you like though.

Hygiene 2.5 out of 5

My measure for this will always be “Will my Mom eat here?”. Definitely not. Exposed washbasin with your typical curtain covering the bottom part. Possibility of crawling critters but I did not see one.

Price Soundness 5 out 5

For 30 pesos a bowl. You cannot complain.

Will I eat here again? It will not be a favourite place but for those times when budget is low and craving is on full mode, why not?

Also, there are several videoke and bar restos in front all blaring their own music. Conversation is not possible. Stress from noise pollution? Guaranteed.

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Work-Life Balance, Eating and Writing. Yay!

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It has been almost 10 months of living in Clark and I have to give the self a pat at the back.

I got what I wanted. Yay!

I am living independently, doing work I love and having a real awesome WORK-LIFE balance.

Work-Life Balance, something that has become a stranger to me in previous jobs. Something that I was able to own back for the last 10 months. Hurray!

So what is the life in this work-life balance anyway?

Aside from having weekends off which I rarely had before because it was either I was travelling or working, I now have the opportunity to nurture my loves. Which are? Doing things I cannot do before such as cooking, maintaining a home, reading, napping, exercising(?), and eating!

Nothing spectacular really, I know. But they are to me. Especially if you have missed them for a long time.

And I am very grateful that I live in Clark now. It has everything I need and want and sometimes more!

One of which is the abundance of great places to eat. 10 months and I am still not even a fraction close from trying and dining in all the gastronomic delights this place has to offer. And I like food at that and often eats out when time and money permits. So there really are a lot!

This place is foodie haven!

Colleagues have noticed this passion for eating and some has been suggesting to blog those food-sojourn. Share the experience. Recommendable or blah. Some sort of an advice kind of blogging.

And I said yeah, why not?!

My blog has been in hiatus for quite some time. And this project might keep my fingers to start tapping again.

Marrying two loves. Eating and Writing.

So here goes.

To more gastronomic adventures and beyond.

Matam-ih

If you are a Clark mainstay, you have probably noticed that carnival-looking place near Mimosa Leisure Estate and have wondered what the heck it is. No, it is not a carnival (really) or a perya of some sorts. It is one of the new restaurants in the place. A real, legitimate restaurant. I kid you not.

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The resto is called Matam-ih which stands for delicious in one of the Aeta dialects in Tarlac.

We tried the place one time when we have something to celebrate with colleagues and believe me when everyone was a little bit hesitant and unsure when it was found out that it was the chosen destination.

The place was a combination of steel, wood, lights and some indigenous material, all beautiful in their own right, but looks odd and disharmonious when combined together (or is it just me?). We got seated in one of their gazebo-looking place attached to the main area of the resto and was welcomed by one smart-looking chap who took care of us all throughout our stay. We don’t know what’s in store for us.

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The hesitation and ambivalence to the place stopped when the food was served and everyone digged in. The food, the taste, unexpected. They were all just mouth-watering delights. To say that they were all yum will be an understatement. They were divine.

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Everyone was happy filling in his plate and taking in serving after serving of what were on the table. All dishes were cleaned to the last morsel and everyone got so excited when it was time for dessert!

When they say don’t judge the book by its cover I guess they were talking about Matam-ih. It is one gastronomic delight. Now, every time I pass by that place and people ask what the heck it is, I am all just praises and very generous in citing a very unexpected experience I had with them.

I will always remember that night when I went home with one very happy tummy.

Try it.

Giada’s Cafe and Kitchen

It was a lazy Sunday.

After spending my whole Saturday nursing an unknown illness, the body has recovered and is ready for anything other than lying down.

I decided to have a lunch out.

I haven’t done it in quite a while as most of my lunches are either at parents’ home when I visit them during weekends or at my place with my measured lunch as I am trying to lose weight.

I found myself in Berthaphil, Clark rounding some restos. I zeroed in on Giada’s Cafe and Kitchen.

A lady opened the door and welcomed me. There were only two persons inside that time plus two new customers who came a little over a few seconds before me.

As I got seated and was handed the menu, I looked up and there was no one to take my order. I have to catch the attention of somebody from the counter (there were a lot of them huddled together) so somebody can attend to me.

I asked for the bestseller. The baby back ribs was mentioned as well as the chicken steak. I was waiting for some nice explanation on why but did not get any. Just curt responses.

I ordered barbecue grilled spare ribs and Italian soda, kiwi fantasy flavor.

While waiting for the food, I noticed that the interior looks nice. There is a great wall paper on the far end of the wall, nice cushioned chairs, decors by the counter and some wall art. Music was also being played adding to the place’s ambiance.

What I find distracting though are the people in the counter. There were just too many. Maybe because it wasn’t so busy yet so they can have time to chit chat before crunch time.

Drink and food came.

The Italian Soda – Kiwi Fantasy, I must say tastes refreshing. The lady who served me said it is made from Sprite and some syrup. I saw the bar man pick up a Torani so I am assuming that is where the flavoring came from.

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Then lunch arrived.

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The mashed potato tastes normal and the gravy tastes like it came from a packaging. Too seasoned, maybe. The barbecue spare ribs looks yum and tastes ok. It was the buttered veggies which I enjoyed the most.

For the value relative to the price paid, I would say it is ok. I have tasted similar food at a better price and service.

Will I come back again? Maybe yes.

Or

Maybe not.

Giada’s Cafe and Kitchen is located at Berthaphil III, Clark Center along Jose Abad Santos Avenue, Clark Freeport Zone , Angeles City, Pampanga.