Have any of your favorite eateries ever closed down?
A number of mine already have in recent years, and I realized
how old I’m getting instrumental they have been to my dietary and social needs.
I remember many merienda sessions and night-outs with college friends inMaginhawa Street. Among our most frequented chow spots were Combi, which specializes in rice toppings, and the Persian diner Alfahkr’s (if your pronunciation sounds obscene, then congratulations, you’ve pronounced it right). Both of them closed in 2011.
Backtrack to an earlier period in my life. As a child and pre-teen, I loved spending afternoons after school at the Yum Yum Tree, what was once (huhu past tense) this cozy little café in Rustans Harrison Plaza, a stone’s throw away from where Mama used to work.
At YYT, my awkward, pimply prepubescent self developed a love for milkshakes and chicken cordon bleu. That was where I swapped stories with my parents in between bites of clubhouse sandwiches and the house burger. But all that was no more when Shopwise replaced Rustans inHarrisonPlaza.
Last Sunday, Mama and I grabbed a bite at Benny’s, a bistro with Filipino roots sprinkled with Italian sensibilities. It now stands where the Rustans Makati branch of YYT used to be. Most of their menu choices are local fare, but they do have a deli section for cold cuts and an open counter for customized pasta.
The attending waiter Arnel struck up a conversation with Mama and mentioned that he used to work for Yum Yum Tree. He had recognized her as one of the many employees who whiled their lunch breaks and merienda hours in the café.
While a sudden wave of nostalgia made me miss YYT, I happily indulged in Benny’s culinary offerings.
Clockwise from the empty plate and utensils: Bam-I, Benny’s Panini, Chico Shake
We had Bam-I (sautéed sotanghon and canton noodles with meat, seafood and vegetables) and Benny’s Panini (turkey ham, prosciutto, emmenthal, cheddar and garlic-herbed cheese drizzled with cranberry dressing on wholewheat bread). For my drink, I had theirChico(Sapodilla) Shake, a sweet, earthy fruit drink with a nutty aftertaste.
That day’s outfit had a touch of the sentimental in it. I paired a white straw hat from an elementary school costume with black shorts and a ribbony-printed chiffon blouse (P65) from an ukay-ukay. My favorite black closed wedges with golden stitched curlicues are by Gibi.
I am really loving hats right now, and I hope to collect more of them in the coming months. Look out for the next outfit post, where I’ll blog about the fun in donning a straw hat to school (schizo weather and curious stares notwithstanding).