Text and Photos by Henrylito D. Tacio
Okay, you can now dine-in restaurants. Now the good news: the liquor ban is now lifted. This means you can now drink your favorite alcoholic drink in bars.
Even better is the good news: you can drink your favorite drink and delicious Chinese foods in just one place: Mixed Temptation.
Yes, you can have both pleasures as it has just opened the Mixed Temptation Chinese Restaurant at the Phoenix Complex Lanang – just beside Go Hotel and fronting Guadalupe Village.
The Chinese restaurant is open from 11 in the morning up to 2:30 in the afternoon (for those who want to eat their lunch) and then opens again at 5 pm until 10 pm (for dinner and some drinks).
If you don’t like indoor dining, you can always request for outdoor dining. But there are other things you may like about it: romantic atmosphere, child-friendly, comfort food, fine dining, large menu, healthy options, good salad, great dessert, classic cocktails, and a large wine list. Name it, and it has it!
Inside, you get to notice its stylish interior and chic décor. It is as if you are inside Beijing or Shanghai.
Mixed Temptation started in 2012 as a mobile bar, whose main office is located at Ponciano Reyes Street fronting Kapitan Tomas Elementary School. “I personally chose drinks at that time because I myself am a bartender and I really enjoy mixing cocktails and mocktails,” revealed Rogelio “Budoy” Canales, owner and the operations head.
It was a great success. But when the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic hit the country in 2020, the mobile bar was one of those affected. This was because the government banned alcoholic beverages.
He decided to shift to a restaurant, and so he contacted a chef that could help him. Another reason for doing so: “I don’t want my people to lose their job.”
On why focus on Chinese foods instead of Filipino foods, he replied: “Because it is my personal favorite. I was also a former supervisor of Lotus Court Chinese Restaurant in a 5-star hotel in the city.”
Mixed Temptation offers a lot of Chinese food from its menu. However, the top five best-selling ones are the Peking duck, patatim, Hainanese chicken, dim sum, and homemade tofu.
For those who want to dine in at the Ponciano branch, don’t worry about the parking area. The restaurant has a parking area for those with vehicles. You can also order your favorite foods while waiting inside the air-conditioned restaurant. Or, you may opt to pick up your order later on.
Even with the pandemic going on, Mixed Temptation became popular. People order from them, and they deliver their orders – just like Food Panda.
Early this year, Budoy decided to open a new branch somewhere in Lanang, which will be accessible to those living in the northern part of the city. “In addition, most of the regular guests that we have are from the north,” he said.
With two restaurants, which is better: “The strength of our main branch in Ponciano Reyes Street is the take-out orders; in fact, 80% of the sales comes from take-out. In the Lanang branch, 90% of our guests can dine in as it has a bigger place.”
There were some lessons he learned from the current pandemic. “My mobile bar and bar business was closed temporarily by the pandemic, but we also discovered Chinese food also through the pandemic,” Budoy said.
Since drinks are now allowed, he is planning again to bring the drinks to people?
“We will still continue to operate as a mobile bar or beverage catering. But there’s a twist: we will be offering a mobile bar that comes with food. Our new tagline right now is”: ‘Tell me where the party is, and we’ll bring the bar and the Chinese Food.”
You can never put Rogelio “Budoy” Canales down. He is a man with sheer determination and is full of ideas. He is a perseverance incarnate.
“In this pandemic, I learned that you should never quit. Never lose hope to the things that you really love to do. If it doesn’t work, then change the system,” he pointed out.
As if echoing the words of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Budoy said: “Don’t lose hope. Never quit, choose a business that you love the most.”