Lei, Ariel, Lico and I spent a hot Saturday touring old and new destinations in Quezon City, from icons of chinoy cuisine to a trendy komiks watering hole.

We met up at 11am in the historic Ma Mon Luk restaurant in Quezon City corner Banawe Street. The specialty here is siopao, a large steamed bun filled with savory pulled pork and salted egg. Less enjoyable was the mami, which had a musky aftertaste. The place itself was past its heyday: non-airconditioned dining hall, indifferent servers. To reinforce the fact, the entrance is decorated with faded photos of 80s celebrity diners: Jestoni Alarcon, Stella Suarez, Richard Gomez. A news clipping with the header SENIOR CITIZENS WARNED NOT TO ABUSE DISCOUNT is placed prominently next to the cashier, desperately trying to wrest control back from its now predominant demographic. On the plus side, the food is served quickly enough once you do catch the attention of the staff.


Next up, I suggested we visit the new dog cafe along Katipunan Avenue. We arrived at the street next to Shakeys, and found out the place is called Barking Blends. For P180 per person, visitors will be led into a glass-enclosed room where they get to cuddle with pedigreed dogs and puppies. They can enjoy a sealed cup of beverage as they frolick with these playful pets. Having plenty of dogs at home, however, we declined joining in the fun. Its always difficult trying to explain the smell of strange dogs on your clothes to the hounds you own.


Finally, Lei wanted to visit Uno Morato bar, the komiks-themed diner co-owned by Carljoe Javier, Adam David and other fanboy buddies. The bar is tucked away in a parking space at the corner of Tomas Morato and E Rodriguez Ave. There, dozens of komik books line the shelves; an acoustic set is waiting at the far end of the room. Lei, Ariel and I spent our time there playing a never-ending game of Uno. I myself enjoyed a plate of Pasta Alfredo,  San Mig Light, Calamansi Bar and Cracklings.


All in all, it was an adventure-filled weekend, well-spent among friends and loved ones. Sa uulitin!