Although I’ve been living in the metro-center for over a year now, I still consider myself a South girl at heart. I try to visit the South at least once or twice a week–especially since both our families and most of our friends are in Alabang/Paranaque. Valentines is just around the corner so I’m dedicating this entry to my beloved South Peeps who are looking for V-day worthy spots in the area—and as a bonus, these spots are family friendly too. I’ve noticed that I have quite a number of readers who are young parents, so I thought it would be nice to come up with this list so you could celebrate V-day with your little tots too.
My Little Buttercup
2nd Floor, SM BF Paranaque
I remember wailing desperately to Patrick at 10PM (nakalumpasay pa sa kama like I was possessed by some demon) saying “I waaaaaaaantttt a cuuuupcaaaaaake! Get me a cupcaaaaaaaaake or I will dieeeeee”. And of course, Patrick was just shaking his head and looking at me like “Woman, get a hold of yourself!”. Well, if you find yourself stuck in a similar cupcake psycho phase–I urge you to buy an entire box of cupcakes from My Little Buttercup. I’ve tasted a LOT of cupcakes (from homemade to store bought ones) and I say this with confidence, My Little Buttercup cupcakes are right UP there in my cupcakes to die for list.
Kelly is good friends with Chefs Victor and Ros Gelano, the good looking and super sweet couple behind My Little Buttercup. Kelly kept raving about their home-cooking and Ros’ cupcake line—I knew I just had to try it for myself. So we set a girly date, right after our killer Pilates session. Work out to pig out! Hehehe! It was so funny because Kelly and I kept crying in between our drills, yelling “CUPCAKE!!!!!” while holding our planks and doing our lunges! Hahahaha. My SIL, Cecil, met us at SM too with her little barangay of kiddos. The girls loved this restaurant so much they didn’t want to leave! hehehe!
WHY I LOVE IT:
1) The interiors are so fresh and welcoming. It’s almost like having lunch at a friend’s home.
2) Very kid friendly! They even have a little nook in the side where kids can color, play and watch a movie.
3) Their savory and sweet dishes are equal superstars in this restaurant.
4) The have very good price points. For the quality of the dishes they serve, I was really surprised to see how affordable their meals are.
TOP 5 THINGS TO ORDER:
1) Chorizo Cheese Dip– THIS IS THE BOMB!!! I could eat this all day, everyday. I suggest you take out an extra order because this is the perfect pica-pica for movie marathons at home. Sobrang addicting!
2) Angus Burger– If your hubby/bf thinks that this is a girly kind of resto with frou-frou kind of food, order this! The juicy patty paired with the ooey gooey cheese is a sure winner even for the manliest man in town.
3) Pumpkin Soup– Rich and delicate at the same time, I really enjoyed the flavors in this soup.
4) Hot Chocolate with a Giant Marshmallow– The cure to any ailment! Whether you’re nursing a headache or a broken heart, this drink will make all your aches and pains go away.
5) Red Velvet Cupcake and Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcake– Ros is a GOD-SEND!!! She is the ultimate dream girl: pretty face and a goddess in the kitchen! Her cupcakes will definitely send you to dreamland.
Commerce Center, Alabang
What’s not to love about Maple? My first visit to Maple left me tummy-happy (check out my post here) so when I heard they were opening in Alabang I was sooooo ecstatic. Finally, a quality comfort food joint for my peeps!!!
Patrick plays basketball with his friends in Alabang every Monday, which works perfectly for me because I’m able to spend my Monday nights bumming with my family. So last Monday, I set a date for me, my folks and sister at Maple in Commerce Center. As expected, everyone was very happy with their respective orders. Thank you again so much Kar for taking good care of us.
WHY I LOVE IT:
1) I’ve always been a fan of Chef Patrick Corpuz. This whiz kid in the kitchen always leaves me stunned with his creative dishes. I still can’t get over the fact that he’s only 25! He really is a gem in the local culinary industry.
2) Although they’re famous for their fluffy pancakes and waffles, Maple is definitely more than just an All Day Breakfast joint. It’s now a popular after 5 hang out spot with cool cocktails and pica-picas.
3) If you’re a family that is on the lookout for a “you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu” type of comfort food—then this is the place for you. The servings are VERY generous so each dish is perfect for sharing.
TOP 5 THINGS TO ORDER:
1) LOVESTER– This cheesy fusion between lobster, crab meat, salad and pesto definitely hits the spot! This is something that will wow your Valentine. Better hurry because it’ll be on the menu only for February.
2) CHICKEN STEAK– Next to their tapa, this has got to be my next favorite. But before you get confused, let me clarify. It’s called Chicken Steak but it’s not chicken—it’s actually Wagyu beef cooked to taste like chicken. Believe me, it’s worth trying!
3) SIGNATURE COCKTAILS– I’m not really much of an alcoholic drinker but for resto reviews and some social gatherings, I do take a few sips just to try. Their signature cocktails are all very fun and flirty with a twist.
4) AFTER 5 BAR MENU- Make sure you order their Pizzadilla (If a pizza married a quesadilla, this would be their offspring!), Baked Oysters, and Croquettas. Pair them with the signature cocktails and you’ve got the perfect happy hour!
5) CHOCOLATE SKILLET COOKIE- Everything you could possibly dream of in one hot skillet. Chocolate, walnuts, and ice cream—ayyyyy!!!!!! Happiness overload!
The Lobby at Acacia Hotel
Commerce Avenue, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang
My inaanak Rocco just turned two recently so I wanted to plan something special for Team Gonz. Thanks to the charming Marla Mendoza of Acacia Hotel for planning a little birthday-slash-pre Valentines celebration for our group. I always love getting invitations from this hotel because the food is great, the interiors are so inviting, and the service is just outstanding. I have nothing but praises to give about this Alabang based hotel 🙂
WHY I LOVE IT:
1) You can still enjoy a posh, dressed up date with the kids in Acacia Hotel. Check out Rocco and his bow tie—classy baby, ey??:)
2) They have valet parking which makes it less stress free for you! Parking on V-day is a nightmare so this will be a lifesaver indeed.
3) The staff are so amazingly kind and accommodating! They really went out of their way to take care of us during our dinner. They even chatted with Julia and Rocco and made them feel so comfortable. One of the waiters even brought coloring materials for them to doodle on while waiting for our orders.
TOP 5 THINGS TO ORDER:
1) February Chef’s Special – Anne ordered this set menu and she kept raving about it. The menu comes with: Triple Mushroom Soup with Truffle Cappuccino and Herb Crostini, Teriyaki Miso Glazed Pan Fried Salmon with Chorizo Java Rice and Steamed Bok Choy, and you end with a special Strawberry Shortcake. The Chef’s Special menu will be available at the Lobby all month long.
2) It’s A Date Special– Dre, Patrick and I had this set menu. It includes Triple Mushroom Soup with Truffle Cappuccino and Herb Crostini, Citrus Marinated Shrimp Salad with Grilled Onion, Orange Beef Fillet Mignon with Grilled Prawns, Broccoli, Palm Sugar, and Coconut Glaze and a happy Chocoholic dessert: Chocolate Decadence. This special will only be available on Valentines Day so make sure you book for this ahead!
3) Carbonara Pasta- We ordered this for the kids and it was a big hit! It was just the right amount of creamy goodness—a classic that will always win me over.
4) Banana Split- Speaking of classics, this is still a fun dessert for sharing. Both kids and adults will love it! You can also customize the flavors of your Banana Split.
5) Special House Iced Tea- I ordered this halfway through my meal and when I took a sip, my only regret was not ordering it sooner! Their iced tea was really yummy and refreshing!
So there, that wraps up my Family Friendly V-day Spots in the South list. This list is also perfect for bark So take your pick and make sure you reserve ahead of time 🙂 May you all feel the lurve on Valentines Day and all year round!!!!