After months of hearing my Dad wonder about whether or not he should get a selfie stick, I finally caved and bought him one for Father’s Day. This Father’s Day was a little different from the ones before. I feel like I’m stepping into that stage in my life where I’m stable enough to give my parents gifts beyond a kiss and a card, because now I can buy them meals and stuff. Feels pretty good actually.
Before I start the retelling of this day, I just want to say this post is not sponsored at all in any way. My Dad wanted to head to Century City Mall for the day so I planned some activities within the area that might be fun. First order of business when we arrived of course– LUNCH! They say the early bird catches the worm, but that is not the case for all-day breakfast places like the Early Bird Breakfast Club.
I’m a breakfast girl through and through. You can keep me from lunch or dinner, but never ever take away my breakfast. I get super duper cranky, and I’m not even kidding. In a perfect world I’d be brunching everyday with a good book in hand, alas, reality dictates other practices. It’s a nice thing to imagine though.
Ironically, despite my love for all things breakfast I never quite felt the pull towards the Early Bird Breakfast Club. Looking through the menu (which takes the breakfast concept to another level since it looks like the morning paper!), it seemed a pretty expensive place for Filipino breakfast staples that were just made to look more gourmet with the plating. But my dad has been wanting to try this place out for a while and since it was Father’s Day, I decided to go ahead and reserve us a table.
In fairness to Early Bird Breakfast Club, it both surpassed and somehow confirmed my expectations of it. It’s a cute and inviting little place you’d want to hang out in, although the Century City Mall branch is a bit hot. The inside is filled with lovely good-morning-vibe wall paintings, but you can opt to dine al fresco as well. But not only is the interior photo-worthy, it’s also got some of the most Instagram-able food ever. (Not so much the ones we ordered, but I couldn’t help peeking at the food being brought to the other tables!)
I think the trick here is ordering the right kind of food– either your ultimate Filipino breakfast faves or something you normally wouldn’t have in your regular breakfast setting. (You probably don’t want to order a 295-peso tuyo dish, is what I’m saying.)
In general, the food to me was okay. It wasn’t spectacular, but that is not to say it was bad. Putting it in numbers, it gets a 3 out of 5 rating from me. Decent, but not quite something I would go out of my way to recommend to my friends. That said, I think this place probably caters to a different demographic than myself– you know, rich moms who brunch? Just remember that I am neither of those things while reading this review. 😛
So I tried to get a taste of everything I could of the dishes each person in the family ordered, and I have to say the standout to me was my brother’s Adobo Sunrise (Php 325). It’s one of the house specials, with Early Bird’s famous adobo flakes over sinangag.
The adobo flakes were very flavourful with that mix of sweet and salty, and maybe if you ate the whole of it without rice it can get too much. However it is perfectly flavoured for consumption with rice and the texture of those flakes is nice as well.
My mother’s Lemon Butter Bangus (Php 325) according to her needed a little bit more of that lemon zing, but presentation-wise it’s extremely mouth-watering!
Basically it’s pan-seared bangus fillets over rice, plus a poached egg. There is some Garlic Lemon Butter Relish decorating the plate you have to eat with the bangus for that boost of flavour.
My youngest brother practically inhaled his Sunny Salpicao (Php 345), and before I could get a taste he had already cleaned his plate out. I guess that means this dish was good.
Tender pieces of chicken were marinated in Early Bird’s signature sauce then sautéed with button mushrooms. This sauce gives the chicken a really nice colour and it only serves to increase my curiosity over this dish. Too bad I didn’t get to taste!
My dad and other brother got the Full English Breakfast with authentic English Black Pudding (Php 570). This is actually just Php 495 if you don’t plan on getting the Black Pudding or Blood Sausage, which is basically boiled pig’s blood mixed with pork fat. I know not everyone likes to eat this kind of stuff haha! I went for a taste and while I can’t vouch for authenticity since I’ve never been to England to have the real thing, it’s got a grainy texture and mild flavour that I’m not much of a fan of. I definitely prefer Korean soondae.
Without the black pudding though, this plate is still packed full of stuff that I’d be surprised if you don’t come away full after eating everything: Bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, eggs, beans, and bread!
My order was the Poached Salmon Aioli (Php 310) and it wasn’t until it arrived that I realized I had eaten this before, albeit on a smaller scale, when I attended the Food Magazine event where their head chef Matthew Bates was a guest.
I’m not a fan of salmon being poached to this texture but with the addition of the yummy garlic aioli and my ever favourite poached egg, I can’t deny I enjoyed this with the crunchy whole wheat toast. But really, I’m a sucker for poached eggs so I was feeling very forgiving. Joke.
This meal was a lot more expensive than I felt it should be, considering that the servings weren’t that big for the price. However, the staff was really great and attentive, and I really have to commend the plating for the dishes. The higher and more colourful, the better. They do look like masterpieces, I have to give them that!
Dads got a complimentary cup of coffee because it was their special day, and I still haven’t decided if it’s enough of a consolation for not being able to use my Gourmet Society Card for a discount haha!
After our meal, we decided to grab some dessert from the bingsu place downstairs. I’m quite confused as to the name of it since I thought it was Seolhwa but on the restaurant’s signages itself you don’t see that name anywhere. It just says Korean Dessert Cafe. My best guess is that this used to be a Seolhwa franchise or branch, but now it isn’t anymore? Someone enlighten me.
Just like any self-respecting Korean place in the metro, the TV here was showing K-Pop music on repeat. A music video of the rapping G-Dragon from Big Bang was on when we got here and the volume was a bit high. Thankfully they turned it down when more people started to arrive because it was getting really loud in such a small place!
Anyway, I have a special love for bingsu. I like it better than most Filipino Halo-Halo I’ve ever tried. While these are not the best bingsu I’ve had by any means, they satisfied my craving quite well nonetheless. Since the bingsu come in two sizes we ordered the small bowls in several flavours so we can do taste tests! All the flavours have that lovely milky ice base I love so much but some toppings were simply better than others.
The Strawberry Bingsu (Php 240) had toppings of fresh strawberries, and they were so sour! Instead of ice cream, this one is topped with whipped cream to emulate the classic Strawberries and Cream flavour. I do believe that drizzling of syrup is thinned out strawberry jam, but it sadly did not help to sweeten those strawberries.
A good bingsu always has a little layer of surprise in the middle. This one I think is strawberry jam, which I love!
The Mango Cheese Bingsu (Php 240) was something I expected to go head over heels in love with. Unfortunately the mango they used was strangely sour too– and I say strange because mangoes in this country are the best and yet I’m getting sour mangoes here. I wish the blocks of cheesecake could have been more savoury because they were kind of bland.
But digging into the center of the bingsu we get this delicious sweet mango puree that is perfection with the milky ice shaves! I’m guessing this is the same puree drizzled over the vanilla ice cream.
Lastly we have the Brownie Chocolate Bingsu (Php 250), which every choco lover should order for sure. It’s topped with chocolate ice cream and made with chocolate milk shaved ice. The brownies are more like solid fudge, and you just want to keep popping cube after cube into your mouth along with the chocolate milky shaved ice. Yum!
At the center of all that shaved ice is actually not chocolate syrup. It might be crushed chocolate cookies… However I do think we get some chocolate syrup at the bottom. This one was wiped out real fast!
While one could argue bingsu is expensive for something that is really easy to make, the creative and generous topping combos do compensate for the price. I haven’t found my favourite local bingsu place yet though.
After dessert we prepared to flex our brain muscles as we made our way to Mystery Manila Century City Mall. It seemed like a different kind of activity to do with Dad and the family, but having never tried it out I had no way of knowing whether that was true. Good thing my Dad is game for pretty much anything!
The top two mysteries we wanted to do were already booked for the timeslot we were aiming for so we kind of eenie meanied the rest and landed on Virtual Voyage. Turns out this was the second to the hardest room in the branch (says our facilitator), so as first timers we were a bit stumped as to what to do inside. It was a pretty interesting experience though. Definitely not for everyone I imagine, but I’d like to go back in the future and try another mystery with friends. Not something to be done regularly since it is pricey, but it can be a spot of occasional fun and bonding.
In any case, an Almost Solved is still waaaay better than a Mystery Failed! I only hope we didn’t fail Dad this day. Hope you all had a lovely Father’s Day too! 🙂
Early Bird Breakfast Club
Korean Dessert Cafe
Lower Ground Floor, Century City Mall,
Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City
Hours: 11 AM to 10 PM
Tel. no: (02) 8012910
Mystery Manila Century City Mall
Third Floor, Century City Mall,
Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City
Hours: 1 PM to 9:30 PM Mondays to Fridays / 10 AM to 10:30 PM Saturdays / 10 AM to 9:30 PM Sundays
Tel. no: (02) 718 92 51
Mobile no: (+63) 917 820 64 69
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Full disclosure: This post was not sponsored in any way. All opinions stated above are my own.
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