East Cafe in Rustan's Makati

I believe that shopping and eating goes hand and hand. Like peanut butter and jelly. Like salt and pepper. Perhaps, even like strawberries and cream. Both fills a need, are pretty much therapeutic and at the end of doing either of the two, one always ends up feeling extra happy. No need to pop in the happy pill as this is a natural way of achieving that ultimate satisfaction and happiness. Agree?

Rustan's Department Store has been around for years. This has been almost every grandmother's favorite shopping place and to this day, Rustan's has been my go to place when buying a wedding gift. In fact, it was also here where Paul and I did our gift registry for our very own BIG day. I love Rustan's for its quality choice of brands be it for the home, for your personal use or even for men.

I really love it when department stores also think of their client's well-being in the middle of having their retail therapy. Shopping can be tiring and what better way to take a break than to treat yourself with a good meal before hitting the racks again. In Rustan's Makati, there's East Cafe. This restaurant specializes in Asian favorites such as the Japanese Tempura, Thai Red Curry, Chinese Mooshoo Pork and a lot more.

One Saturday lunch, Paul and I joined The Food Club as we were all invited to try the new menu items in East Cafe. Let me share with you what we were able to try that day:

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Our meal began with the Thai Pomelo and Shrimp Salad (Php. 240). I love it whenever we start a meal with a refreshing salad and this one perfectly hits the spot. The perfect blend of sweet and juicy pomelo with the crisp cold shrimp was just perfect. Paul and I couldn't stop raving about this and take note that this was just the start of our meal.

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Next was the Chorizo Quesadilla with Grilled Onions. At first glance, it looks nothing like a quesadilla but more like a homemade pizza. Chef clarified that this is an open-faced quesadilla, a first time for me to encounter one. We all know that you'll never go wrong with chorizo and true enough, this was one of my favorite dishes that day. It was literally bursting with flavor and since the plate of quesadilla was conveniently placed in front of me, I happily munched away.

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The Salt and Pepper Pork Ribs (Php. 320) was also pretty good. Deep-fried pork ribs seasoned with salt and pepper. We all love Salt and Pepper spareribs yet always feel that the tiny spareribs is not enough. This one had a bigger cut yet it stayed so tender allowing you to enjoy it to the fullest. My cousin Kat, who's a big spareribs fan, will surely love this!

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Followers of this blog must have probably noticed that I love Pad Thai Noodles (Php. 260). Among all the Asian noodles, I particularly like this hofan dish cooked with shrimps, crispy tofu, spices and chopped nuts. I loved it so much that I had it every single day when I was in Bangkok and even tried replicating it the moment I got back from my trip. East Cafe's version was good. The noodles al dente, the filling abundant and I enjoyed the sweet-salty sauce that covered the entire dish.

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Aside from the Chorizo Quesadilla, I also enjoyed the Thai Red Curry Shrimps and Lychee (Php. 350) very much. This gave a good twist to the traditional spicy red curry with shrimps. East Cafe added in some sweet lychees making this one so sweet, juicy and totally addicting. Have this dish together with a cup of rice and you'll surely have an amazing meal. The sauce was rich and creamy, just the way I love it.

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We also had the Mooshoo Pork (Php. 290) which I sadly wasn't able to try. However, judging from the empty plates, it seems to be a hit with my lunch companions. This is quite similar to the famous duck/pigeon lettuce cups normally served in Chinese restaurants. Here, you get thinly sliced sauteed pork served with tortilla wrap.

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The group also tried the Fried Whole Lapu Lapu with Mapo Tofu (Php. 450) which got raves as well. No tofu for me so I sat out on this one as well. 

We had quite a feast and I could hardly take in another bite. However, the chef wasn't done yet as he had prepared a number of signature desserts for us to enjoy. Guess who was very happy with the Pinoy-inspired desserts that came out after? My husband, of course, as he grew up enjoying all these glutinous sweet treats back in his hometown in Pampanga. Here are just a few of what we had that afternoon:

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Ube Cheesecake

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Pinipig Suman

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Now that our tummies were all singing with glee and happiness, we can go back to our shopping spree!

Check out East Cafe at the 2nd level of Rustan's Makati, Ayala Center, Makati City.

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