Martin Del Rosario Means Business: THE ARMORY in QC

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The last time I talked to Martin Del Rosario was during a charity birthday party held last year. He's one of the most impressive actors in the stable of GMA and with good reason. He's never held back in BENCH Body photo shoots either and was dubbed once as an "unbelievable subject" during the last Denim and Underwear show of the same brand. He's also gone through a lot of shows, done extremely well with drama, even if it requires him to play homo roles, with or lesser clothing. 

He just finished a series on GMA and had a short break for a couple of weeks. He made sure he got to spend these few days wisely and put it to good use. Martin together with his partners just opened a bar at Congressional Avenue Extension in Quezon City called THE ARMORY. With the congested Makati scene and pretty toxic Tomas Morato area, he wanted people in this side of Quezon City to have their own hangout and he did it with good research.

The Interiors

Martin used to always go to BGC and Makati just to go to bars that serve excellent drinks. The problem is, it is really far and it takes hours just to go to and from those clubs. Not to mention how pricey the drinks were each time they order off the bar. He's just like most of us in QC, much like his partners. We want to take it easy, have a place to chill, have fun, wanted it affordable, plus really close to where we lived. This is where THE ARMORY was born.

THE ARMORY is divided into two areas. The one upstairs is for dance music, where they play the best in the music charts. Expect the second floor to be a little more intense, VERY PACKED til the wee hours of the morning. They've got a few tables, but most of the folks are really gonna dance so it won't be a walk in the park to find seating. The bar they have upstairs and downstairs only serve drinks, so don't expect food to be served in the first few months. They're building a kitchen outside via a Volkswagen which will serve streetfood and small bar chows that would be easy to serve and fast. Downstairs is a space they call BUNKER which houses their main bar, plus a couple of tables so people could chill, talk and listen to music. By design, they wanted this to replicate a warehouse, something raw and industrial but NOT intimidating. They want younger people to frequent the place and not think that it isn't a place to hang out because it would look pricey. They've done a remarkable job in that part. They're also planning to build an extension up front with more tables, seats, with just easy listening music. That will be built perhaps within this year. That's the same period where Martin and his partners wanted to get the return of their investments, it's quite achievable judging from the people going to the place these days.

Martin will be still prioritizing his career just like his partners, but assure that they're running this business with their eyes on it. You'll even get the chance to see Martin himself man the bar when he's free, whenever he can.

Here's our interview with Martin that evening. We got the chance to talk to him before chaos ensued.

Part 1

Part 2

The Drinks

If I were to recommend a drink, this is it. It's the White Sangria. Martin and his partners hired a real deal mixologist who also did the bars in Makati so they could get these lovely drinks served in the place, without the "Makati/BGC" pricetag of course! I love this as it is fruity, but still gets you dizzy. Lovely and fancy, but totally worth the price.

This Red Sangria on the other hand is a bit stronger than the white version.  Both are good don't get me wrong but again, my favorite is the white one.

The ladies on the other hand loved this Grapefruit Mojito. It's the usual but a little on the fruity but sour side because of obvious reasons - the grapefruit! These are what I recommend you order whilst at THE ARMORY.

Congratulations Martin Del Rosario! Hope this thing becomes BIGGER than you hope for! 

Visit for more details! You can also drive by at Congressional Avenue Extension and see it yourself!

For more information about their artists:
Official GMA Artist Center
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Luna J Filipino Gastropub and the Wonders of Lee Kum Kee

Friday, May 27, 2016

I'm sure you still remember my little adventure down south when I judged the recent semi finals of Lee Kum Kee' s Big Grill Masters (remeber BAGA Manila?). Well apparently they're not stopping there. They're partnering with several restaurants now in hopes that they too would benefit from the lovely products that they have today. A stones throw away from my house is Luna J Filipino Gastropub in Sct. Madrinan corner Tomas Morato in Quezon City. They serve real deal Filipino comfort food dishes and I must say, their version of ribs just spoke to me. I wanted to whip out an ouijia board and some glasses so I could spread my mumbo jumbo, but it's not magic or incantation that was happening, the Baby Back Ribs was cooked with Lee Kum Kee Panda Brand Oyster Sauce.

It was savory as savory as can be. It was a little on the salty side as you'd probably have to pair it with rice. The sauce says it all, dabbing a few of it on the blanched vegetables, corn and carrots just made that perfect bite happen. 

It wasn't fall off the bone soft, but it had the right bite to it that you can still distinguish it as meat... as it should be. It was easy to bite off the bone, so if you're in Luna J, don't hesitate to get a little messy when you have to hold the ribs with your bare hands. Make sure the white rice is piping hot too because it really completes the experience!

Aside from those lovely ribs, they have other greats like this Bagnet Kare Kare. I've had several ABSCBN friends who swear by this as their favorite. They'd walk a couple of blocks just to have this for lunch and walk a couple of minutes back because they want it. It was pretty good! 

Now I adore crunchy veggies and this version of Bicol Express was just lovely. Aside from the finger chili, I think this has string beans, winged seguidillas beans and the oh so soft (binagoongan) shrimp paste laden pork. The coconut cream makes it creamy, hearty and lovingly perfect to pair with steaming hot white rice. This is joy!

To end our meal, we also had this plate full of Palitaw. It's rice cake formed and boiled til it floats. Then after that, rolled in coconut, sprinkled with sugar with roasted sesame seeds. It was nutty, sweet and so nice to have that afternoon. I almost finished the whole plate by myself but thought of the others who haven't had it yet LOL! This was really good, don't go out of the restaurant without ordering it!

While you have your old stuff in the kitchen, try something new like the Lee Kum Kee Panda Brand Oyster Sauce and maybe you, your friends and family would love it. I'm experimenting with their soy sauce in the kitchen too and getting great feedback with my steaks and sauces. There are going to be a few more restaurants that will try their hand on the Lee Kum Kee products, I'll keep you posted about that!


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The Launch of Alviera's GO PLAY

It looks like a fine day for adventure so we're in TGI Fridays in Glorietta for the launch of Alviera's GO PLAY. It's the world's first game show inspired playground so if you're fond of Takeshi's Castle, Wipeout US or Canada and Gladiators, then this is the place for you. Alviera is located in Porac Pampanga and the place is up for development. GO PLAY is going to be open on June 11 and will be situated inside SANDBOX which is the outdoor adventure haven inside Alviera's property. No, this isn't inception, but it's just another fun place to get rid of you stress, enjoy activities with friends and family.

Regular attractions will include the Wacky Inflatable Challenge where you can bounce, crawl, climb and conquer a time pressured course in hopefully less than 2 minutes. Aside from that, you can venture into BREAKOUT PHILIPPINES' Escape Room Game where you would have to find clues, so you can go out! There's also the Drink Challenge where you have to fill up mug, drink from it, slide back so you can finish this team game. There's Binocular Basketball where you have to lay up thrice while wearing a binocular helmet. It's impaired vision gone wild while playing a basketball game, you'll be doing something foolish, something fun, all inside the sprawling property of Alviera because FUN is their last name. There are lots more fun attractions inside GO PLAY but instead of reading about it, go experience it yourself. Head on to Alviera this June 11 and experience GO PLAY first hand. Bring your friends, family, and wear proper gear so you won't get hurt. Aside from fun, safety is their priority too.

Visit or email if you wanna go!

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