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Not too long ago, when I found myself on Rada Street in Makati’s Legaspi Village at mealtime, there wasn’t really anywhere proper to go to except for Swagat. A small and cozy eatery, almost next to the Union Church. Decent home-cooked Indian food at a decent price. The restaurant belongs to Sanjay and Komal Khanchandani — their story is they visited the Philippines as tourists, fell in love with the country, and set up a new life here. Swagat has been around since 2003. It has been a while since I’ve last been and I can’t find the photos I took, so I think I’ll go back soon. It’s open from Monday to Sunday, from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm.

Lately, though, very interesting restaurants have been popping up on Rada St.

Mondo Juice + Sip. It’s not just a juice and milk tea bar, it’s actually a modern cantina as well, serving hearty sandwiches, healthy salads, great breakfast and pasta dishes, too, A smart and modern cafe with huge windows that look out onto the street where you can watch the world go by… or cars get stuck in traffic. This was where the Trilogy Boutique and Chef Fern Aracama’s Canteen used to be. Mondo J+S is one of my go-to places when I want something light and healthy yet satisfying for lunch.

Rural Kitchen of Liliw, Laguna. Kinda hard to spot because its location is almost inconspicuously tucked just off to the side of the Planters Bank and a 7-11 store at the HRC Center Building. But when you find it, you’ll be really glad because it’s worth squeezing into this tiny, narrow but charming restaurant. Rural Kitchen’s Chef Justin Sarabia pays homage to his grandmother, gleaning from her recipes of traditional Laguna comfort food and putting his youthful, modern take on each dish. He uses ingredients sourced locally in Laguna itself. It’s Laguna cuisine at its best.

And nearby there’s Sarsa Kitchen + Bar. It specializes in contemporary Negrense cuisine interpreted by Chef Jayps Anglo. To those who do not know, Negrense means indigenous to the Visayan island of Negros (Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental). The sizzling kansi is to die for (figuratively speaking, I hope). It’s namets!

And more great eating spots should be coming up soon on Rada Street. One that I am looking forward to is my favorite Wildflour Cafe + Bakery which will be opening at the newly built Frabelle Business Center. Very very soon, I hope!

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