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Monday, April 27, 2015

Steak-Off Grill, Marikina

You know you're in the right place when the restaurant is packed way before dinner time. 

Steak-Off Grill is an open-air grilled steak place located across SDS Hospital. More than a month old, Steak-Off Grill is drawing large crowds until late night. 

The menu is straightforward with 3 types of steak: T-Bone Steak (Php 149), Porterhouse (Php 189) and Tenderloin Steak (Php 249). Each steak is served with rice and gravy. The choices for sides are limited as well. 


Friday, April 24, 2015

How to Apply for a Japanese Tourist Visa

I have just obtained my first visa: a Japan Tourist Visa. :)

Applying for a Japan Visa (specifically 1-B Tourist Visa with no guarantor) isn't difficult, as long as you secure all the necessary documents. 

All Japan tourist visa applications must go through accredited tour agencies. See the list of accredited agencies here. I applied through Reli Tours & Travel Agency in SM Megamall while my friends applied through Discovery Tour Inc in Makati. 

Here are the documents I submitted:

1. Philippine Passport

This at least 2 blank pages and should be in good condition (no damage on the lamination, pages, etc).

2. Visa Application Form

You may fill out this form and print this out once accomplished. Put NA on blanks not applicable to you.

3. Photo

2" x 2" (4.5cm x 4.5cm), white background. Paste this on your Visa Application Form.

4. NSO Birth Certificate

I got a copy of my birth certificate from SM Business Services for Php 160. It takes 5-7 business days before you can claim it.

5. NSO Marriage Contract

Not applicable to me, but required for married applicants. 

6. Daily Schedule in Japan.

You may download the form here. Also known as TAIZAI YOTEIHYO. It's a detailed itinerary of the activities you plan on doing in Japan. Make sure the dates indicated in your Daily Schedule is as same as the dates in your Visa Application Form.

7. Bank Certificate (original)

I requested a Bank Certificate from BPI for Php 100 (debited from my account). My bank certificate was printed as I wait, but I'm not sure about the process time in other banks. 

8. Income Tax Return (Form 2316), original and photocopy

I requested for a copy from my company's HR Department for this. However, Reli just got the photocopy and returned the original copy to me. 

9. Additional Document: Certificate of Employment (COE)

It wasn't in the list of requirements but Reli accepted it when I presented my COE to them. 

10. Visa Fee

I paid Reli Php 1200 for the visa processing while my friends paid Discovery Tour Php 800.

The expected processing time is 7 to 10 business days but I got my Japan visa approved in 4 business days. 

I got approved for a single-entry tourist visa, which is valid for 3 months from the date of issue. I spent a total of Php 1520 for all the documents (excluding the passport). 

So where am I heading next? Find out soon. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

2015 Cocktail Festival with Matthias Giroud at Buddha-Bar Manila

Last Friday, my friends and I witnessed the amazing one-night only Cocktail Festival with Matthias Giroud at the Buddha-Bar Manila.

Matthias Giroud, the Chief Bar Manager of Buddha-Bar Worldwide, demonstrated 8 cocktails he created himself. A few guests were lucky enough to be served the cocktails personally prepared by Mr. Giroud. 

Here are the cocktails he prepared that evening:

BB World Fusion Concoction. When Japan Meets The world.

1. Japan Mexico
Tequila-infused Japanese tea-flavoured cherry blossom, yuzu juice and Japanese sake syrup

2. Japan Brazil
Cachaca-infused Jasmine green tea, plum mix, lime juice, agave syrup and sparkling Japanese sake

3. Japan France
Cognac from France, yuzu juice, honey and homemade Japanese smoked tea soda

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lunch at Sumo Sam Legacy

Our cravings for Japanese food brought us to SumoSam Legacy at The Podium. 

Based from my research, the "Legacy" brand is exclusive to SM Premier Malls. There must also be a difference with the menu. Also, The Podium is the first SumoSam Legacy location. 

I wasn't feeling quite well so I quickly requested for the complimentary hot tea. The stone container looks beautiful. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A New Ramen Experience from Ippudo

Ippudo Philippines has introduced a new kind of ramen that will excite your taste buds: the Miso Akamaru (Php 450), a limited-time offering starting April 15, 2015. 

What makes this ramen different from the classics is the thick and wavy noodles, the flavorful combination of 3 types of miso with Ippudo's signature tonkotsu broth with a slice of torched rolled chashu. 

Miso Akamaru

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Affordable Filipino Fare at Salo BGC

My workmates and I went to BGC for an awesome night out, but before we headed out for the late night, we had a sumptuous dinner at Salo, located at The Fort Strip. 

Salo is a popular spot for dinner and drink after office hours. This Filipino restaurant replaced the space Shawarma Guys was formerly located, but has retained the take-out window for customers who liked to stay at the al fresco area. 

Since we were a group of six, we decided to have the Salo-Salo dishes which is good for 2 to 3 pax. 

I requested for my favorite, the Gising-Gising (Php 75).


The serving was more than what I expected, and the taste wasn't disappointing. I loved the amount of heat put in it. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wasabi Warriors: Eat Good, Do Good and Feel Good

I'm a huge fan of sushi. I never miss having sushi wherever I can get it, in buffets, Japanese restos, homemade sushi by friends, FamilyMart, etc. I wish having a sushi would be more convenient for me. 

What fun when I was invited by Wasabi Warriors to try their first Philippine location at the Gramercy Residences in Makati City. Wasabi Warriors is an Australian sushi chain with a green heart, with locations in Australia, UAE and Hong Kong. 

In support of the future of the Philippines, Wasabi Warriors sources organic ingredients from local farmers and suppliers and as part of their recruitment program, collaborate with local youth organizations in assisting the social and professional integration of young adults living in extreme poverty. Moreover, daily leftovers are donated to a local foundation to minimize food wastage.

Wasabi Warriors Gramercy location is the first location to have a sit-in area, as majority of the locations are to-go kiosks. Kimmi Siu-Dewar, the general manager for the Philippine franchise, mentioned that Filipinos love to sit down and eat hence the spacious sit-down area for the first Manila branch. 

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