Don Juan Tamad Restaurant: Exotic, Ihaw-Ihaw and Warming Dishes On a Chilly Lazy Night (Tagaytay City)

During an overnight staycation in Tagaytay City, my companions brought me to Don Juan Tamad Restaurant

don juan tamad restaurant
It was located at the corner of Aguinaldo Highway and Magallanes Drive.  Although it is a corner lot, it's front is covered by signages and tarpaulin so you'll hardly notice that it's there.  You can enter either from this side...

don juan tamad restaurant
or this side which is more convenient coming from the parking area.

don juan tamad restaurant
I was amazed at how beautiful and huge it is in the inside.  It's like a secret club or havenGiven the natural chilly weather of Tagaytay plus this set up, your dining experience will surely be relaxing.  That's what Don Juan Tamad is all about... enjoying a chilly lazy night... a slow-life which you can rarely have when you're in the busy city.

don juan tamad restaurant

It's has private rooms, bars and hut or kubo style dining set up.  There were a lot of foreigners from asians such as Korean to westerners.  At late hours, there are live bands.  Diners can also volunteer to sing with the band as back out. 

Exotic Foods & Pica Pica
don juan tamad restaurant
Kalderetang Kambing (330 php)
The dishes here are interesting especially the exotic onesThe Kalderetang Kambing is goat stew.  It is a bit sweetened.  The meat was tender enough.

don juan tamad restaurant
Tapang Kabayo (310 php)
 The Fried Mountain Range Horse Meat is peppery and a bit tough to chew.  After a while, I got the hang of it.

don juan tamad restaurant
Adobong Baboy Damo (355 php)
I liked the Adobong Baboy Damo the most.  My only dislike would be that it had so many bones that there are smaller portions of meat left.

Quick-Serve Best-Seller List
Beef Bulalo M (340 php)
The Beef Bulalo is served warm so it was really comforting to drink at such chilly night.  It was very tasty too!  Sarap!

Don Juan Beef Pares Beef Soup Special (115 php)
The Don Juan Beef Pares Beef Soup Special is one of the most flavorful and chunky pares I've encountered.  So good!
crispy tawilis
Crispy Fried Tawilis (140 php/8 pcs.)
I'm not very picky with the establishment when it comes to
Crispy Fried Tawilis.  All restaurants here in Tagaytay seem to know the technique of cooking it right.  I've tried buying fresh tawilis in Fisher Mall and I always end up frying an uncrispy one. =(

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Don Juan Tamad offers one of the most relaxing places to dine in Tagaytay.  I really love the native kubo non-intimidating and fun atmosphere.  The food is also delicious!  It's also convenient that it's open 24/7 so it's also a great breakfast place.  But for me, best time to go is at night because of the enchanting lights and fun entertainment.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Don Juan Tamad Restaurant Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2
=Favorites or Recommended 
Don Juan Tamad Restaurant
Business Address No. 1 Magallanes Drive, Aguinaldo Highway corner Magallanes Drive, Maharlika East, Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines
Business Hours 24 hours
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 150-1,000
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (046)483-BEER
Other  Website
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Baker's Hill: Tourist Stop for Hopia and Other Pastries (Puerto Princesa Palawan)

We had a jam-packed itinerary during our Puerto Princesa Palawan trip.  As we've researched, Baker's Hill is a popular recommendation as a tourist stop.

bakers hill
There were many pictorial spots in the area before reaching the actual bakeshop.

bakers hill
I initially thought these were real food.  But, these are just for display.  =(

bakers hill
Taiwanese Bread (10 php)
I could tell from the products that their pastries were had Taiwanese or Chinese influence.
bakers hill
Hopia Monggo (45 php)

bakers hill
Hopia Monggo (45 php)
We tried the Taiwanese Bread and Hopia Monggo as they were highly recommended by reviewers.  Since we were short of time, these was already our lunch.  We did not enjoy this despite our grumbling hungry tummies.  Although this may be the best in Puerto Princesa Palawan but this is far below the standards of Chinese Hopia sold in Binondo we've grown to eat.

Update: Just tried their Chocolate Crinkles.  Surprisingly, I'd prefer it more than the Hopia Monggo.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Baker's Hill has really nice attractions.  Pastries are just okay.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Baker's Hill Menu
Ambiance N/A
Price ★★
=Favorites or Recommended 
Baker's Hill
Business Address Mitra Road Sta Monica, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
Business Hours 7am-9pm
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge

Budget/Person 10-300
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (048) 433-0172
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Jun Jun's Bibingka and Barbecue Restaurant: Good Food Since 1968 (Pampanga)

If you ask the locals of Pampanga where the best barbecue is, everyone will point you to Jun Jun's Bibingka and Barbecue Restaurant.

jun jun's bibingka and barbecue restaurant
According to the menu, Jun Jun's began as a small barbecue stand along the railroad tracks in Dolores, San Fernando PampangaNow, it has several branches.  Seeing that it even has a playground hinted mee that it is a family friendly place.

jun jun's bibingka and barbecue restaurant
There are air-conditioners in the dining area.  But, during our visit only fans were working.  We didn't mind though.  Being spacious, the ventilation is good.  For the price, we even didn't mind guarding our food from the flies.

All-Time Favorites
jun jun's bibingka and barbecue restaurant
Chicken BBQ (70 php) and Pork BBQ (65 php)
We had the impression that the Chicken BBQ and Pork BBQ would have the same marinade.  But, upon trying both, we could tell they are slightly different.  Both blends are trully and uniquely delicious.  Between the two, we prefer the Chicken BBQBased on portions, it is also more bang for the buck in terms of portions.  There's a bottled barbecue sauce which is sweetly delicious and perfect for their bbqs.

Lomi (120 php)
The Lomi is the pleasant surrpise for us at Jun Jun's.  Sure, we expected the BBQ to be great but the Lomi was something we didn't expect.  Having tried a lot of lomi in our lifetime especially the ones from Binondo and yet, one of the best and most affordable lomi we've tried is just right here at Jun Jun's.

jun jun's pampanga
Fried Rice (20 php)

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
If you're in Pampanga don't miss out on Jun Jun's.  The price is so affordable so there's no way you'll regret it even if you don't like it. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Jun Jun's Bibingka and Barbecue Restaurant Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Party Packages | Beverages |
=Favorites or Recommended 
Jun Jun's Bibingka and Barbecue Restaurant
Branches Dolores Homesite
MacArthur Highway, San Fernando Pampanga
(045) 961-3415

Fil-Am Friendship Highway
Brgy. Anunas, San Fernando Pampanga
(045) 625-6556 

Jasa Road
San Matias, Guagua Pampanga
(045) 458-0562
Business Hours Weekday: 10:30am-10:30pm
Weekend: 10:30am-11pm
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge
Budget/Person 50-200
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None

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25 Mushrooms Kitchen Class with Five Oriental Recipes Cooked with Kikkoman

Last month, I was invited by Kikkoman to a cooking class at 25 Mushrooms Kitchen.

25 mushrooms kitchen
I've been familiar with Kikkoman since childhood.  But, I was amazed to find out that it originated in the 1700s in Noda City, Japan.  With its long years of perfecting its brewing process, it's no wonder that it is now distributed to around 100 countries.  Before we began our class, we blind tested Kikkoman Soy Sauce with a mystery soy sauce.  We could see, smell and taste the superiority of Kikkoman and that's because of the quality ingredients that they use and the proper way of aging and fermenting the naturally brewed sauce.

California Rolls Recipe (Serving Size: 6 bite-sized piece)
california roll
California Rolls

My first encounter with Kikkoman is actually as a dip for sashimi so this is a nice coincidence.

Sushi Rice Ingredients
1 cup Japanese rice (uncooked)
1 1/4 cups Water

Sweet Sushi Vinegar Ingredients:
1/4 cup Japanese Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sugar
Pinch Salt  

How to Make Sushi Rice: Rice 
Step 1: Wash the Japanese rice till water is clear (6 times)
Step 2: Soak in water for 15 mins.
Step 3: After washing and soaking Japanese rice, cook it in the rice cooker (same as ordinary rice)
How to Make Sushi Rice: Sushi Vinegar Mixture for Rice
Step 1: Mix the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan
Step 2: Put the pan on low heat and heat until the sugar dissolves
Step 3: Cool the Sushi Vinegar Mixture
Step 4: Spread the hot steamed rice into a large plate or a large bowl
Step 5: Use a non-metallic bowl to prevent any interaction with Japanese vinegar
Tip: It's best to use a wooden bowl.
Step 6: Sprinkle the Sushi Vinegar Mixture over  the rie and fold the rice by rice spatula quickly
Caution: Avoid smashing the rice
Tip: Use electric fan or fan to cool and remove the moisture of the rice well so it will be shiny and use it immediately upon being cooled.     

california roll
  • 2 cups Sushi Rice (1/3 cup/roll)
  • 2 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
  • 1 pc. ripe mango (slice into strips)
  • 8 strips cucumber 
  • 4 pcs. kani
  • 4 tbsp. Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Tbsp. Ebiko -ika eggs (orange)

Step 1: Roll the Sushi Rice into a ball.
Step 2: Peel a mango and cut it into strips
Step 3: Slice kani into 2 pieces lengthwise
Step 4: Cover a bamboo mat with plastic wrap.
Step 5: Put a sheet of dried seaweed on top of the mat.

california roll
Step 6: Spread Sushi Rice on top of the seaweed and press firmly.

  • Have a bowl of clean water so you can dip your hands in when it gets too sticky.
  • If the rice is too thick, pull the excess rice out and don't try flatten it by pressing harder.

california roll
Step 9: Roll the bamboo mat forward, pressing the ingredients inside the cylinder-shaped sushi.
Step 10: Press firmly the bamboo mat with hands, the cylinder-shaped sushi.

Tip: Pay attention on how to hold the mat.  It is the key to shaping your california roll right.

Final Step: Wet your knife and cut the sushi roll into 6 bite-size pieces.

Tsinoy Foodies California Roll Recipe Rating
Recipe Difficulty Level

Estimated Preparation Time
10 minutes

Estimated Cooking Time
Chicken Teriyaki Recipe (Serves 4-5 persons)
chicken teriyaki


  • 1/2 kg Chicken thigh fillet
  • All-purpose flour 

  • 1 Tbsp. Kikkoman Standard Grade Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp.  Rice wine
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. Brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade & Sauce with Roasted Garlic 
  • 1/4 Tbsp. Toasted sesame seeds (optional) 
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Hot water 

How to Deboned Chicken Thigh (optional as you can buy prepared thigh fillets but in smaller portions)

chicken teriyaki
Deboned Chicken Thigh Fillet

Cooking Procedure

chicken teriyaki
Step 1: Combine marinade.
Step 2:  Marinate chicken in the mixture overnight in the refrigerator.
Step 3: Drain meat.

chicken teriyaki
Step 4: Sprinkle chicken with flour.
Step 5: In a pan, heat 1/4 cup of oil.

chicken teriyaki
Step 6: Fry chicken until cooked on both sides.

chicken teriyaki
Step 7: Pour in the sauce.

chicken teriyaki
Step 8: Cook until sauce thickens.
chicken teriyaki
Final Step: Chop into slices using up down movement so it doesn't tear the chicken meat.

Tsinoy Foodies Recipe Rating
Recipe Difficulty Level

Estimated Preparation Time

Estimated Cooking Time
15 minutes per batch
  Gyudon Recipe

  • 200 grams sukiyaki cut beef, rib eye or sirloin
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 cup thinly sliced soaked dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 3/4 cup Kikkoman teriyaki sauce 
  • 3/4 cup dashi (1 Tsp. hondashi + 1 cup water)
  • 1/4tsp. sugar to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 tsp water
  • 2 cups cooked Japanese rice
  • 3 pcs. egg yolks (optional)
  • sliced nori (for garnish - optional)

Cooking Procedure
Step 1: In a skillet, add oil and saute beef.

Step 2: When beef is half cooked, add the sake, teriyaki sauce, leeks, onions and mushrooms.
Step 3: Simmer for 2 minutes.
Step 4: Add the dashi and cook for 2 more minutes. (sugar optional)
Step 5: Add a little cornstarch mixture to thicken the sauce.
Step 6: Pour beef mixture to top steamed Japanese rice. 
Final Step: Add egg york in the middle (optional)

Tsinoy Foodies Gyudon Recipe Rating
Recipe Difficulty Level

Estimated Preparation Time
10 minutes

Estimated Cooking Time
10 minutes per batch

Japanese Fried Rice Recipe
japanese fried rice

japanese fried rice
  • 1/4 cup Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Sake
  • 1/4 cup Mirin
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup ground beef
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper chopped finely
  • 3 pcs thinly sliced dried mushroom 
  • 4 pcs shredded kani stick
  • 6 cups Japanese rice
  • 2 pcs. eggs - lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp chicken powder
  • 1-2 tsp sugar (to taste)  
  • 1-2 tsp salt and pepper (to taste)

Cooking Procedure
japanese fried rice
Step 1: In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, mirin and sake. (Set aside)
Step 2: In a skillet, saute onion, ground beef cook till liquid had ran out.
Step 3: add green bell pepper, carrots and saute until carrots are cooked.
Step 4: Add mushrooms and cooked for 1 minute.  
Step 5: Add shredded kani stick.
Step 6: In another deep skillet, reheat rice in medium heat.
Step 7: Add soy sauce mixture that was previously set aside on the side of the rice.
Step 8: Add eggs, mix well until eggs and soy sauce mixture has been absorbed.
Step 9:  Add beef mixture and mix well.
Final Step: Add chicken powder, sugar and salt and pepper.

Tsinoy Foodies Recipe Rating
Recipe Difficulty Level

Estimated Preparation Time

Estimated Cooking Time
10 minutes per batch

Bonus Recipe: Kohi Zeri / Coffee Jelly Recipe

Tsinoy Foodies Kohi Zeri / Coffee Jelly Recipe Rating
Recipe Difficulty Level

Estimated Preparation Time
5 minutes

Estimated Cooking Time
minutes per batch

Now you can have your home-cooked Japanese feast.

You can also win a Class at 25 Mushrooms Kitchen (worth 1,500 php) by uploading your cooked recipes using kikkoman add the hashtag #cookedwithkikkoman and then follow and tag @tsinoyfoodies.

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