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PS columnist OBELIA LACANILAO-CUTIONGCO gives two thumbs up to this trio of Manila food havens in the city that are a must-try for all  balikbayan foodies this holiday season


FREQUENT trips back home allows me to explore the many food places I see on TV  and those highly recommended by my friends. I look forward to this gastronomical experience since it’s a great bonding activity with my family and friends. Last month, I tried out six restaurants that don’t just serve appetizing, delicious food but are also beautiful creative spaces which make for a truly beautiful dining experience.Here are the first three:


M.A. Roxas Street, Marikina

This restaurant “with a fragment from the past that comes together in a totally new, delicious story” serves American and Japanese dishes plus an assortment of  sandwiches, pasta, and seafood. Apart from its distinct shoe workshop-themed interiors, Industriya boasts of a huge, highceilinged dining area lighted by chandeliers of colorful glass bottles.Machinery-turned-art pieces make for interesting convo starters  among diners. It has several function rooms in varying sizes, with seats padded either with old leather or upholstered with quaint patchwork.On two occasions, I ordered pizza and carbonara with Dalandan juice. I plan to go back a third time to take friends who haven’t been here.

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1. Obelia looks at shoe molds – part of a divider that gives the place a truly “Marikina ambiance”. FYI, the city is famous for its local shoe industry.


2. Sandra,the author’s daughter, in front of a shoemaking machinery-turnedart piece.


3. Industriya’s pizza is a must try.


4. A chandelier of glass bottles add character and colour to the spacious dining room.

Branches at SM Aura, Tomas Morato and Robinson’s Magnolia

This one deserves to be at the top of my list. I have been to three branches so far – at SM Aura, Tomas Morato and Robinson’s Magnolia. Mesa has a wide variety of items in their menu – from appetizers and soups to grilled fare and main dishes. It has a unique way of serving food and whipping up unique combinations of Filipino food served in one entrée. Among my favourites are laing two ways, tinapa flakes with shredded green mango, crispy boneless tilapia served with four types of sauces, and lastly, halo-halo.



The author went straight to Mesa at Tomas Morato after landing in Manila.

Left: Mesa’s Tinapa Flakes with Shredded Green Mango – a truly unique appetiser.



88 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City serves all-day breakfast from 7:00 am to 9:00 p.m.

I was curious to dine at this café which made primetime news last Aug 28 after it  was attacked by unidentified gunmen. The cafe is owned by TV broadcaster  Anthony Taberna. It’s just a stone’s throw away from my residence at Project 6. I wanted to try out their pastries and rice meals, especially since they serve all-day breakfast from 7am to 9pm. My  parents, sister and I ordered different meals so we could try them all. We had Tunying’s arroz caldo, chicken tocino and tapsilog – all quite generous servings for their prices.I refreshed myself with Dalandan Ginger Tea but I regret not trying the brewed coffee, which my companions said was really delicious. I bought ensaymada to take home and I must say, it’s comparable to those from more popular bakeshops.


No one leaves KaTunying’s Café without taking home these delicious pastries.

2.Its first floor bakery & dining area.

3. Their chicken tocino meal is tummy filling and so is their tapsilog

4. More seats & privacy on the second floor.