Sunday Family Affair at 26th St. Bistro by The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

It was one of those rare moments that my family was so game to drive all the way to Bonifacio Global City one Sunday afternoon that we decided to make the most of it by going for an afternoon stroll chase with our three little toddlers, checking out the long long long queue at Tiger Sugar (and resigning to the fact that it will take us months before we can try this), and ending the fun day with a nice family dinner at 26th St. Bistro.

This place is not new to me as it has been my favorite make-shift office / in-between-meetings hang out every time I'm in the area. I love how spacious it is and that they have a wide selection of hot and cold dishes which has definitely made them notch above all the other coffee shops in the area. They got free WiFi for Swirl Cardholders too which is a big plus for those working. The only thing missing is to have more provision of electrical sockets as the ones available are always taken by longer staying customer.

Anyway, as you know my Papa is the traditional kind who normally likes sticking to his usual choice of restaurants. He couldn't believe that I was taking him to have dinner in what he thought was just a coffee shop...not until he saw the menu himself. So 26 St. Bistro is operated by The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf group but what makes it different is the inclusion of dishes cooked by their in-house chef and not the kind that our friendly baristas would pop into the microwave oven definitely not your usual coffee shop food. They also have alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and for the time being, they got sangria too!

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The three little ones were starting to show signs of hunger so we quickly ordered some Fries & Dips (Php. 255) which they LOVED! It came out really crunchy and freshly deep-fried that got the three of them happily munching piece after piece. My little niece A was so happy that she couldn't help but say "it's so yummy!". It came with garlic aioli, honey mustard and pesto which complemented the fries so well. We all loved the honey mustard the most.

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While the kids were happy with their fries, we adults started our meal with some fresh salad. The Prawn & Mango Salad with Wasabi Dressing (Php. 375) is part of their seasonal menu prompting us to go try it as there's no guarantee up to when this will be available. Well, take my word for it and make sure to go try it NOW! I love the generous portion of fresh greens tossed with some prawns and sweet mango bits. I just wish the prawns were much bigger and more juicy as it was a bit overcooked but still good. The mangoes were superb! The dressing was very light and tangy and for a minute there, I forgot that it actually had wasabi in it too. Perhaps, I'm just so used to creamy wasabi dressing that this vinaigrette based version was definitely something new.

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We also tried the Open-Faced Tuna Sandwich (Php. 325) as I love and miss avocados so much! This is a nice Lenten-approved sandwich where you get a generous portion of tuna in mayo salad on thick and delicious sourdough bread and topped with avocado slices and capers. If you're the kind who loves tuna sandwiches and would like a pretty and delicious upgrade (read: pa tita-level), then this is definitely for you! Who would have thought that these would go so well together.

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We also had two kinds of soup to go with these sandwiches. Minestrone (Php. 225) for the adults and Creamy Mushroom Truffle Soup (Php. 225) for the little ones. At this point, little A was already dancing with joy as she was happily enjoying pieces of crunchy fries on both hands and a bowl of mushroom soup too. Just like my daughter L, A can also be quite a picky eater so for her to enjoy two dishes in one night is already a treat. I managed to try the Creamy Mushroom Truffle Soup  and I love it! It's not overly creamy yet it has a very rich flavor brought about by the truffle oil and mushrooms. I love how you get tiny bits of mushrooms in every spoonful too.

The Minestrone was something that Paul loved! No surprise there as he loves anything with tomatoes but this one, he said, was very comforting and good.

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After enjoying their bowl of fries and Creamy Mushroom Soup, the little ones then moved on to their main course -- Mac and Cheese (Php. 355). Wow! What a beauty! I was so excited upon seeing the creamy mac and cheese that's served on a skillet pan. We had to scoop it carefully into their tiny bowls and made sure that the temperature is just right for our little gourmands. Once again, they loved it! For our two little picky eaters L and A, this is indeed a record breaking moment as there was never a time that they'd like a meal from start to end. Of course, only my little J was pretty consistent in being a happy foodie.

At this point though, they are starting to get full so we immediately saw how they're starting to play more with their toys than focusing on their food. Well, not surprising there as they pretty much had a lot! Lucky for us adults though as we still manage to enjoy some Mac & Cheese that's left on the pan. It was delicious! I love how it wasn't too creamy and the salt level was perfectly okay.

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Moving on, we had our mains as well. The Seafood Curry (Php. 395) is something that I will surely go back for again and again. I love the delicious creamy curry sauce that perfectly went so well with the prawns, fish and veggies. It's perfect this Lenten season especially for those who are abstaining from meat like yours truly. I love anything with curry and I love seafood so this is just the right dish for me.

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As for the meat lovers, you can't miss the Steak with Truffle Mushroom Risotto (Php. 595). This was clearly Papa and Paul's favorite dish that evening and we even tried to let the kids taste the risotto but I guess they were just too full that they shied away from it. Perhaps, we can try again on our next visit. Anyway, I just didn't get the hard slab of butter that's on top of the steak. I think it was meant to melt to further coat the steak but unfortunately, it didn't. Either the butter was way too frozen or the steak wasn't that hot. We just set it aside and happily enjoyed the steak and risotto as is. My family is not a huge fan of butter anyway so it wasn't a big deal. The steak was done medium well and personally, I'd like for it to be more tender. I guess I was looking for that melt-in-your-mouth effect but at least we didn't had to struggle to chew our way through the steak, thus making me happy still.

The risotto was amazingly good! I love everything about it. The creamy texture, the flavor, the truffle oil. I went perfectly well with the steak as well so yay for this one!

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Yaya M doesn't take beef and can be quite picky when it comes to seafood so we opted to get her the Rosemary and Garlic Chicken with Rice Pilaf (Php. 395) instead. I swear, she loves chicken so much that I won't be surprise if she suddenly can fly haha. Anyway, the serving was huge! The first thing that Yaya M did upon seeing her plate was to ask for an extra plate for her to portion this dish. True enough, she just managed to enjoy half of the corn and a quarter of her chicken. We later on told her that she can have her food wrapped and she can bring it home to enjoy and share with her companions here at home. No no to food wastage, right?

Oh what a meal and more than that, what a fun family dinner! It's been a while since we really got to go out for a good meal since my sister just gave birth and little shoti S can't go out that much yet. It was fun watching and chasing after the three toddlers and we can't help but brace ourselves imagine what it will be like when Shoti S can finally walk. Can you all imagine having 4 toddlers in one room? Chaotic!

Writing this is making me crave for the Seafood Curry as well as the delicious salad! Guess it's time to head back to 26th St Bistro very soon!

Join me? Visit 26th St. Bistro by The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at the Ground Floor, Net Lima, 5th Avenue Corner 26th Street, Taguig, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

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