Or, at least, we get to a point (and age) where we become one, when we settle into doing things a certain way each time, all the time, or frequent the same places because we liked them at first try. And then we went back a second, a third time, and they grew on us, like well-loved PJs—cozy, warm, comfortable and uncomplicated, the sort of familiarity one yearns in a city that’s constantly changing.
At Rockwell in Makati, there is quite a number of such places, little corners we like to call our own, removed from the noise and crowds. The neighborhood bustles from all that it has to offer, but it’s still intimate at the same time.
Apartment 1B and Grace Park at One Rockwell, Mamou and Tuan Tuan at Power Plant, Ooma at Edades Tower, and Rambla at Joya Tower. These are some of PR firm boss and Rockwell resident Annie Ringor’s favorite dining spots.
Apartment 1B in her building, where she dines some three times a week, tops her list; she calls it the extension of her kitchen. Her favorite dishes are the Spaghetti Vongole, Buffalo Wings and Grilled Pork Chops. “I just like it there. It’s comfortable,” she says.
At Tuan Tuan, she swears by the pork buns and desserts. For cocktails and tapas, she goes to Rambla.
Wherever dogs are welcome after a visit at the vet’s nearby, is a winner to me. Can’t hurt if the food is good and the staff is pet-friendly. That’s Fireside by Kettle at Power Plant—the 50/50 Meatloaf (half bacon, half Angus beef) and Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers (pug-approved) are topnotch.
When a craving for down-home cooking sets in post-grocery run, it’s always a toss-up between Wooden Spoon (Bagnet with KBL, Sigarilyas at Daing) and Wild Ginger (Monggo Soup, Crispy Tawilis). Or good old Cibo (Bimbi, on the children’s floor) for the always satisfying Tagliata di Manzo. Creatures of habit.
We like to joke that Via Mare is too tita owing to the number of dining pensioners at any given time, but we confess to going there for comfort food, too.
Then, some La Lola churros to go. We also love Dean & DeLuca for the al fresco seating (dogs!), and the pizza, and the croissants, and the pastries, and the baked yummies…
For detox days, thank god there’s now a Salad Stop at the cinema lobby, where we could grab our Iron “Wo” Man—baby spinach, feta, raisins, almonds and pumpkin, what’s not to love? The salad bar is also our Lifestyle boss’ top spot.
Discerning shoppers have their niche and global luxury brands at One Rockwell (Univers) and 8 Rockwell (Lanvin, Balenciaga, homme et femme). At Power Plant, there’s a fine mix of high street (Topshop, Zara, Uniqlo, Charles & Keith) and homegrown brands (Bench Edited, Harlan & Holden, Aranaz, Rajo!), and a slew of little labels on the second level, just behind TWG.
We can spend hours at True Value at Power Plant, perusing all the little knickknacks and curiosities we never knew we needed until we stumbled upon them here—wooden breakfast trays, dozens and dozens of mason jars, pre-moistened lens cleaning wipes, Tide To Go, quick-fix emergency sewing kit, sinus compression eye mask… I could go on.
Marketplace by Rustan’s—it has all my stinky cheeses, and now even some of the butters I (shamelessly and unapologetically) hoard and bring home in Ziplocs from trips to France. It’s the one supermarket where there’s a semblance of civility and order—despite the crowds.