Quick Bites: Elephant Grounds, Harlan + Holden Open in BGC

Elephant Grounds

I have mixed feelings for newcomer and Hong Kong import, Elephant Grounds. The food, while good, is a tad overpriced. I ordered the Yuzu Salmon Eggs Benedict because of "yuzu" but was disappointed to find no bright pop of the yuzu flavor at all (I must be numb, LOL. But yuzu is like truffle and other strong ingredients—if it’s missing, you notice). It was very delicious, but still, my unsolicited opinion is that it should've just been called Salmon Eggs Ben. Their sourdough, which they make from scratch, is incredible and I will buy these by the bulk if they start selling them. The avocado pesto toast, says my trusted friend, is delicious and worthy of a repeat visit. As for the drinks, I'm not sure if I really like whipping cream solidifying and floating on top of my coffee (I ordered the Black Tie) so I guess I'll just stick to my regulars. Skip the waffle.

Elephant Grounds is at One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

Friends and Family

If you're looking for classic Filipino fareFriends and Family is probably your best bet in BGC. With a menu composed of every single Filipino dish you can possibly crave for (including lomi, embutido, etc.), Friends and Family serves food that is familiar and straightforward. I loved the lechon kawali, lumpiang shanghai (who doesn't?), and the ensaladang talong. The laing could use a lot more spice (it was sweeeet) and I prefer the sloppy, saucy version instead of the dry one, which is what's served here. The real surprise was the incredibly tasty Squid Ink Japchae, topped with fried calamari (some bits were crispy, some were tough, reason why I'm never a big fan of squid) and served with delicious soft rolls. Coming back to this restaurant when intense craving hits and home cooking is impossible.

Friends and Family is at Bonifacio High Street, 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

Harlan + Holden

I've been in love with Harlan ever since I stumbled upon their beautiful pod in Greenbelt. Their coffee and desserts are ever-reliable, and I'm glad that they just opened in BGC. This new branch is completely cashless; you can use debit card (Visa or Mastercard), credit card, PayMaya, or G Cash. They even have an app with their menu in it and you can pre-order! I often get their latte or flat white, upgrade to almond milk. Try their toasted walnut and double chocolate cookies! Plus points for having clean, minimalist interiors and warm, friendly, and approachable staff—you never get that coffee snob vibe you get in other cafés.

Harlan + Holden is at G/F, One Bonifacio High Street, 28th Street Corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Trufa Pasta Bar

When you go to Trufa, get the signature truffle pasta—it’s honestly a stupid idea not to. The creamy, earthy sauce had just the right amount of truffle, not too overpowering but still felt, tasted, smelled. I love how they make their own pasta from scratch and how you can even upgrade to whole wheat at no extra cost. Fresh pasta is always a good idea, and whenever fresh is available, it is the only way to go. The restaurant also offers set menus where you can choose 1 pasta, 1 drink (coffee or juice) and a choice between salad and dessert. I chose the Asiatica salad composed of greens, mangoes, queso de bola, and delicious crispy fish—so tasty! Skip the coffee; after all, Yardstick is just across the street.

Trufa is at G/F Paseo Parkview Suites, Valero St. cor, Sedeño St., Makati City.

Bonne Cha

If you love the Vietnamese dish bun cha, worry not because you can satisfy your cravings right at the comfort of your own home. Online food seller Bonne Cha makes renditions of this noodle dish that are so close to what you can get in Vietnam—try the Buncha Munch which has all the trimmings: grilled pork, chicken balls, sticky tofu, and zesty shrimps alongside carrots, basil, onions, and cilantro. They make a mean nuoc cham dip as well that pairs incredibly well with the noodles (caution: you will want to drink it). You can upgrade to adlai for a healthier option too.

Place your orders through their Instagram: @bonnechalove.

Soru Izakaya

Japanese is always a good idea, and if you’re craving for mouthwatering sushi, head over to Soru Izakaya for their unique take that combines traditional and modern elements. I really loved the Saba Aburi—torched mackerel sushi—that sent my eyes rolling backward at first bite. Everything on their poke bowl is fresh, and the maguro sashimi was amazing (and I rarely order tuna). The Rising Sun Takoyaki, a dessert made of cream cheese-filled balls (like cream puffs) topped with chocolate ganache, peanuts, marshmallows, peach, and strawberries, is lovely—a perfect way to end any meal at Soru. 

Soru Izakaya has branches in Maginhawa, Diliman, Quezon City and Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

What are your latest food finds? Let me know about it in the comments section!

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