Abe - Where good friends dine (or so their tagline says).

I hadn't been to Serendra for so long now, that I got excited about trying a restaurant there last friday.

I'm sure lots of people have heard about this one, but I'm not too bothered about that as the food was wonderful and and I'm just glad I had the chance to check it out.

We went to Abe, which is just across A Different Bookstore at Serendra, which serves excellent Kapampangan food. (I didn't take photos outside -- I'm too ashamed to look like an effin tourist! hahaha)

The Place

The atmosphere is a bit high-brow (as restaurants in the same area usually are), but the service is quite good. It is run by the same group of companies that owns Cafe Havana, Mojito Bay, Cafe Metro, etc.

The old photos that line the ceiling are a nice touch (just don't mind the brooding person on the left. hee!).

Order time!

We ordered the Binagoongang Baboy. It was so nice, believe me! Just the right amount of bagoong and the meat was so tender. Sorry I can't get my camera to focus better, it's just so dark inside the restaurant!

I've never tried Gising-Gising before, just because I've never been exposed to it and I don't really know what's in it (I'm not very adventurous when it comes to food you see). But when I've tried this one from Abe, I could hardly contain myself! It's basically long beans cooked with chili & coconut milk, but very tasty. It makes for a very nice vegetarian dish.

And now for the important part -- the rice.

This is Bamboo Rice, good enough for 2 people. Just imagine that it's a bit like Java rice and it also fills you up faster than the normal steamed rice. You can also opt to have all-you-can-eat rice, if you have the room for it.

For dessert, we had Maja Blanca -- so creamy! Yum!

We also had Claude's Dream (I could be wrong here, so I apologise). This is essentially buko-pandan with macapuno flavoured ice cream underneath. It was nice, but the Maja Blanca interested me more.

Wallet Damage

Be prepared to lose at least P600 for a meal here. Each dish would cost between P200+ to P300+, so if you're on a tight budget, you may not enjoy it.

I think that's the only drawback, though, as the food is quite good.

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Mamma Mia, Susmaryosep!

I don't want to write about the new Batman film. Everyone knows it's a box office smash for only one reason -- Heath Ledger. Heh.

So, I will focus my attention on Mamma Mia! The Movie.

This is one film that the BF absolutely refuses to go see with me. I've managed to make him watch Sex & the City, but he draws the line on this one. I had to enlist the services of my sister.

My Waterloo, is the songs in ABBA Gold (the greatest hits album). Because I hung out with my Auntie and her London friends a lot while I was in the UK, I guess their love for ABBA rubbed off on me. They played the CD at home, in the car and we also watched the musical at the West End. Knowing Me, Knowing You was particularly dedicated to one of their friends who had an affair in their earlier years together.

The musical was lots of fun, people in the audience imagined themselves as the Dancing Queen during the encore, singing & dancing with the cast.

ABBA had been so prolific with their songwriting that someone had managed to string all the songs together to make story out of them. So I say Thank You for the Music to the Swedish group for writing sickenly sweet songs.

The film is set in a remote Greek island and stars Meryl Streep as the mother of a bride-to-be, who has invited 3 men to her wedding -- any one of which is possibly her long-lost father. It starts with the bride (forgot who she is) singing I Have A Dream.

Streep can carry a tune but Brosnan was just awful !!!

The film was very much the same as the musical it was based on -- except for the singing. It the film, it was rather dreadful. It's silently crying out S.O.S.

It was an all-star cast, but they might have been better off casting unknowns, to be honest. However, Streep did manage to make a moving scene while singing The Winner Takes It All. The Chiquitita sure can act.

The Meditteranean setting was just breathtaking... if not for the subtitles.

Yes, my friends. The film had subtitles for the bits where the people sang. It disappeared when they spoke, but returned when they resume singing.

I guess the people making this film wanted to replicate the sing-along atmosphere that the musical exuded, but the subtitles are just plain awkward and just ruined my appreciation of the scenery.

To sum it all up, the film is like a very camp Charlie & the Chocolate Factory -- very sweet but gives the impression that a disco ball is twirling in the cinema the whole time.

But do I like it? I Do, I Do, I Do.

If you're familiar with ABBA, Take a Chance on Mamma Mia! If not, then just be a Super Trouper and go see it for fun. If you do, Does Your Mother Know? Because she might want to come along, probably with Fernando if she knows someone by that name. Money, Money, Money may be an issue, but I'm sure you'll work something out.

And with that, Lord please Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight)! Won't somebody help me chase the shadows away?

I spout a lot of rubbish sometimes and today's no exception!

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Chillin' @ Chilly Willy's

The bf had just moved to his new place in Boni and found ourselves wandering out to Robinson's Place Pioneer a lot. We've discovered this joint called Chilly Willy's and no, it's not owned by this guy --

This restaurant serves Tex-Mex food at a reasonable price. A bit more expensive than Mexicali, but a LOT cheaper than Chili's.

One thing I like about it is the artwork that has been incorporated in their theme. It's so......... Latin American. (Hee! What can I say? I'm not a walking dictionary, you know.)

The menu

The paintings

The counter

The hallway

The salt & pepper shaker. Well, that thing on the right doesn't seem quite right. Is it a taco, a hotdog or SOMETHING ELSE???

Ready for our order?

We had Chicken & Beef Fajitas (P165). I had just the Chicken before, and thought that was nice too, although the Beef had this really good aroma (much like really hot shawarma. hehe!).

Chorizo & Caramelized Onion Quesadilla (P150).

And a side order of the Cajun Fries (which was excellent as fries go) with Honey-Mustard dip (much like the one they use at NYFD). This one is only P65.

All in all, I think it's one of the places we will definitely go back to from time to time, especially as it's so close to home.

The price isn't too bad, you will need at least P200 pesos for a meal. For drinks, you can get a San Mig Light for P40 and cocktails sell from less than a hundred. Bottles of Red and/or White wine are also available from P550-P700++.

Have I convinced you yet?

Wish I had taken a better photo. Sheesh.

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