Latest Stories


Recurring culinary pleasures

Delicious culinary experiences actually lead foodies to go back to restaurants where they had very satisfying meals coupled with efficient service and pleasant ambiance. Sometimes, we are too conservative that we would rather go back to these dining places rather than try new ones and come out frustrated.

There is one which emblazoned the greeting “Hello, Happiness”—a fitting invitation to a memorable meal, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Another one, which in its quiet, consistent way, silently beckons those seeking uncluttered ambiance and good food.


74 Scout Limbaga, Quezon City

Contact nos.: 3525492; 3520774; 0926-6959885

Established by the Almario sisters (of the famed Interior Design outfit) and their other siblings. The clan must all have the Midas—incidentally the name of the hotel that they also outfitted—touch, for they have been literally “hounded” by success.

Relish Restaurant, which first opened in Salcedo Village, Makati City, now has a branch in Kamuning, Quezon City. The place bears the tagline “Hello, Happiness” and, fair enough, one gets very enthused about a joyful dining experience here.

After being extended a courteous welcome, you must take in the romantic ambiance, sit as elegantly as you can muster, and receive the longish, laminated menu card.

Dining area: A foyer by the entrance provides a unique welcome to the guests. It feels like walking into a cozy living room of an upscale house. The romantic mood starts with the lovely settee and chairs with the softest cushions; a duo of geometrically designed towers; and a chandelier hanging from an inverted cone ceiling.

Inside, look around and “relish” the tastefully assembled objets d’art, arranged to blend with the vases of flowers in white and green. There is no unpleasant view across, seen from the glass walls, because the Almario sisters had the walls painted in the colors of the interior with decorative flowers. Even the loos are tastefully done.

Service: Impeccable. There is a greeter at the entrance. You are led to a table, the chair is pulled and the menu handed.

Staff: Mostly males, very neat and elegant in long-sleeved gray shirts tucked into dark trousers. Servicial, as a guest beckons. Unobtrusive but attentive.

Suggested orders: Chona Almario, who is credited for putting together the impressive array of dishes, most of which come from her clan’s heirloom collection, graciously makes her recommendations. For starters, quench your thirst with a very refreshing green drink.

Then select from the regulars, herbs rendering rich flavors on two appetizers: the Gourmet Pesto Cheese spread with a dollop of pesto on top, laced with a tomato-based dip with Melba Toast; and the Amazing Artichoke Dip with Tostitos.

A must is the Roasted Pumpkin Soup, so flavorful it would make you more anxious about what could come next.

An A-1 dish is the Pasta with Wild Mushrooms, so generously laced with truffle oil. This makes you sigh a happy note.

Three recommended mains: Stuffed Grilled Prawns; Slow-Roasted Beef Belly, tenderized for eight hours, turning it very soft that it falls off one’s fork, served with gravy and corn kernels; and Louisiana Pork Chop, amply thick but equally tender, served with apple sauce.

Other bestsellers: Smoked Salmon dip with caviar; Steaks; Lamb Chops; and Grilled Fish. And don’t forget the wines.

You can skip the dessert since the main entrées can be filling. But try a spoon each of the very nutty Sans Rival, the perfect Chocolate Cake and the light Bread Pudding.

Service and government charges are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored.


Conti’s Bakeshop and Restaurant

G/L Robinsons Magnolia, Hemady Street, Quezon City

This chain, which got popular through word-of-mouth recommendation, has successfully spread its wings to many parts of the metropolis from its beginnings in BF Homes, Parañaque. It all started when the three Conti sisters introduced a line of fabulous, towering cakes which captured the fancy of sweet-tooth city dwellers. Later, they expanded to full-service restaurants and a very active catering service.

Dining area: All Conti’s restaurants have been given a new look, but most retain the original green-and-yellow motif. The resto’s new branch on Hemady took on a new color scheme—beige and chocolate brown.

The place is homey and soundproof. The Baked Products section is separate but accessible from the main door.

Service: Fast and efficient.

Staff: Neat in their uniforms, accommodating.

Suggested orders: The Filipino comfort food is what brings us back to any Conti’s branch, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We give a 10 for its Tapa with Garlic Sinangag and Fried Egg. The meat is very soft, the seasoning a perfect blend of sweet and salty.

The Pancit Palabok is just how our dedicated, late Tia Bana would do it—tender rice noodles bathed with atsuete-colored sauce, with no evidence of too much thickening starch.

Other choices: Salmon comes in baked, sinigang, grilled or salpicao varieties.

Never skip the desserts: tall Viennese Mocha Torte; Oreo Cheesecake; or any pastry.

Service charge and government taxes are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored in all outlets.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Conti’s Bakeshop , Food , Relish Bakeshop , Restaurants

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. How to enjoy Buntod
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  7. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  8. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  9. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  10. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer


  • Ukraine FM: We are ready to fight Russia
  • Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  • 2 contractors fined P25,000 for delays in Edsa rehab
  • Luisita beneficiaries take over renters
  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • Love it or hate it? Kris Aquino’s new hairstyle
  • A brand for life
  • Wear a rainbow on your wrist
  • Wearing Kate Moss
  • Sail into summer
  • Entertainment

  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • OMB exec’s assurance: We work 24/7
  • Business

  • Gaming stocks gain, PSEi eases on profit-taking
  • Cebu Pacific flew 3.74M passengers as of March
  • Corporate bonds sweeteners
  • Professionals in the family business
  • Foreign funds flowed out in Q1, says BSP
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
  • Career diplomat is new PH consul general in Los Angeles
  • US4GG: Aquino should ask Obama for TPS approval, drone technology
  • Complex health care system for California’s elderly and poor explained
  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over