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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Luxe Nail Lounge

Note: Luxe has relocated to Level 3 East Lane, Robinsons Galleria


I've been a loyal customer of this nail spa for almost a year. I have been to more popular nail spas but this is the best I've ever tried.

I try to visit at least twice a month, depending on my need to destress and pamper myself. :)

For this visit, I had Basic Manicure (Php 180) and Basic Pedicure (Php 220). Both manicure and pedicure include soaking, shaping, massaging and painting.

What I love about Luxe:




the seats

- The privacy of the place. What I don't like about other nail spas is that they don't provide privacy for their customers.
- The couches. Luxe doesn't have uniformly-designed seats like other nail spas. :)
- The staff, I have yet to meet a nail technician that I don't like. Everyone looks neat in their black uniform, and are friendly enough to recommend a polish color that you'd like and how you'd like your nails done (cut cuticles? square cut or round?)
- The magazines. Luxe gives me a chance to read the latest international fashion magazines.
- Free wifi! Love it the most!
- The price. I tried more expensive nail spas, but they don't provide superb service like Luxe.
- The massage! If only Luxe would provide full body massage...


the rewards menu

- The rewards card. You get 1 stamp = Php 100 worth of service.


I like Luxe so much that my friends and I gave Luxe GCs for a friend's birthday. Try Luxe and you might be a loyal customer like me. :)

----------------------------------------------------

Luxe Nail Lounge
Lower Level East Lane (in front of NBI Clearance Center)
Robinson's Galleria
Ortigas Avenue corner EDSA
Quezon City
Mon-Thurs & Sun: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Fri-Sat: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Contact No. 634.5395

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Manang's Chicken

Note: This location is already closed.



Finally! The sun did shine after a few days of terrible rain. And I was able to go out for lunch at Manang's Chicken.

I did not know that it was popular because it was a regular stall in Mercato until I read about it in Our Awesome Planet. Also, a fellow pex food club member suggested that I should try it.

I have to be nice with Manang's because they are just starting with a place of their own, and it's a lot different from having a stall.

I ordered 2 pcs Manang's Chicken (Php 124) and regular Iced Tea (Php 30). I was supposed to order Sarsi but they ran out of drinks in can.



Two pieces Manang's Chicken with Rice

You can have your chicken in original, mild spicy and spicy sauce. I had mine in original sauce. They still use styro containers for dine-in. I guess they still have to improve on that and use plates instead.

My friend and I sat near the kitchen, and they were still having problems on which orders should come first. Excusable, since they are just starting. I got my orders quick, so quick that I got it faster than the people who ordered before me. :)


Juicy!

I got two huge pieces of chicken, and it was so delicious! I love the sweetness and saltiness of the chicken. It is a perfect substitute for the usual fried chicken. However, it is a bit more expensive than your McDo and Jollibee but cheaper than Bon Chon.

I see myself returning for more Manang's Chicken.

--------------------------------------------------

Manang's Chicken
AIC Gold Tower
Garnet Road corner F. Ortigas St.
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Contact No. 5848848
Operating Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00am to 12:00mn

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Persian Square

Note: This restaurant is already closed. 



The PEx Gluttony Society was planning for a "Persian Persuasion" for quite a while, since most of us were craving for kebabs, we decided to put that in our food trip calendar. A food trip for another place was postponed so I guess this was good luck for the kebab crazies (including myself). And the Persian Persuasion Part 1 happened at Persian Square.

There was a typhoon, and I was having doubts that the dinner will push through. Gladly, it did. :)

Persian Square is located at the Ortigas Business District. The area is a usual hangout for office workers in Ortigas, different restos and bars are also located in the area.

The restaurant was like a little Persia brought in the middle of the city.

the door in the resto
fountain at the middle of the resto
on the wall

As some of us were taking pictures around the resto, Reva, the Iranian owner of the restaurant, asked us to post the pictures on their FB page. (I will post later, Reva!)

Since we were a big group, it was an advantage that most dishes are for sharing.

Here are what we had for appetizers:

Mirza Ghasemi (Php 175)

Hummus (Php 125)
Pita bread (Php 10 each)

Mirza Ghasemi is grilled eggplant sauteed onion and garlic with Persian spices and served in homemade tomato sauce. Hummus is Garbanzo beans, tahini and roasted garlic. The appetizers were good. If you don't like spicy, be careful on getting the hummus because it has chili powder on the sides.

We also ordered salads:

Persian Square Salad (Php 165)
Salade Tabooleh (Php 145)

Persian Square Salad contains crisp romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomato, corn, carrot, bell pepper, kalamata olives, croutons with their secret dressing. Salade Tabooleh contains lettuce, tomato, onion, parsley, bulgur, and lemon juice. We had to mix the Persian Square Salad before we get our helping. The Salade Tabooleh is more like ensaladang pako (fern salad) for me.

The main course is the Kebab Platter (Php 995).

Kebab Platter

The Kebab Platter has two skewers of koobideh kabab, a skewer of zaferani kebab , borg kebab, joojeh kebab with grilled tomatoes and chilies.

I think 3-4 people can share the kebab platter. Included in this platter are 2 pitas, so be careful on ordering pitas. The waiter was very clever to suggest that we order 4 types of Chelos (rice) so that we can try everything. Thumbs up!

Shivid Baghali Polo (Php 165)
Zereshk Polo (Php 125)
Beryani (Php 125)
Zaferani (Saffron) (Php 135)

Shivid Baghali Polo is Basmati rice mixed with Fava beans and dill, topped with saffron. Zereshk Polo is Basmati saffron rice mixed with lightly fried red barberries. Beryani is Basmati rice mixed with mild Persian spices & herbs. Zaferani is Basmati rice with Saffron.

I liked the Zereshk Polo, it tastes a bit sweet. I think I almost finished it.

We also ordered some add-ons:

Khorma (Dates) (Php 45)
Grilled Onion & Tomato (Php 55)

Overall, the experience was superb! The service was really good, the food is great, the ambiance is awesome! I could say that the food was authentic. I almost felt we were in Persia, since many Iranians are coming in the resto while we were having dinner.

I suggest that if you're coming in a big group, call for reservations, so you can also get the best view.

For the Persian feast we had, we spent around Php 400 each. I strongly recommend that you order the dishes for sharing, it's a lot cheaper than ordering solo.

I would definitely bring my other Kebab fanatic friends there.

Here are other pictures of our group:




I had a great time guys! See you next food trip! :)

--------------------------------------------

Caspian Persian Square Restaurant
Unit 101, Ortigas Home Depot

Julia Vargas Avenue,
Ugong, Pasig City
Contact Nos. 4707700, 4707800
http://www.persiansquare.com/

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gamja Gamja Garlic Potato

Note: This establishment is already closed.


Gamja Gamja Jaja size

I hate passing by this mall's basement because I never fail in buying these yummy garlic potatoes.

Gamja means "potato" in Korean.

Gamja Gamja Garlic Potatoes are deep-fried diced potatoes then glazed with secret ingredients and sesame seeds on top. What I love about Gamja Gamja (aside from the potatoes) is the packaging. The cup (as shown above) has a lid with a hole big enough for you to get one piece at a time (they are not using toothpicks but a two-prong stick).

This is what Gamja Gamja Garlic Potato looks like:


Photo from aeriskitchen.com

You can buy Gamja Gamja in three sizes: Potpot size (Php 39), Jaja size (Php 49) and Garlee size (Php 59). Gamja garlic potato is a bit sweet and a little salty. You would also notice that there are grated carrots in the glaze mixture.

Overall, Gamja garlic potato is a good alternative especially if you're having a craving for potatoes but don't want to get messy by eating fries. It's also less expensive than Potato Corner.

It's a nice treat while waiting for a shuttle or bus ride.

-------------------------------------------------------

Gamja Gamja Garlic Potato
Basement Level, Main Mall

Robinson's Galleria (in front of Jollibee)

EDSA cor. Ortigas Avenue

Quezon City

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Photo from beyondhollywood.com

It finally ended.

The orphan boy with extraordinary bravery has finally defeated the evil wizard.

I got to watch the final Potter movie last Saturday. (As I was writing this, I found out that last Saturday was Daniel Radclifffe's birthday.)

Since it was a weekend, the theaters were almost full, so we had to watch in 3D so that we wouldn't have to wait for a long time.

The whole movie was amazing! It was gloom and doom I expected. However, Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) stole the scene. Of course, there are scenes I expected to be there but weren't there. Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is the best! He's the best villain of all time, in my opinion.

The best scene for me is when Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) casted a spell to protect Hogwarts from the evil forces. Then went giddy and said "I've always wanted to use that spell!"

Let me clarify that I'm not a Harry Potter uber-fan. I actually missed 2 movies, however, I read all the HP books. :)

What was the epilogue about? Aside from telling that Hermione and Ron ended up together like Harry and Ginny, the whole series tells us that in the end, the greatest magic is love.

And I sat in the cinema with 3D glasses on, my mouth is hanging open as I watch the boy I grew up with say goodbye.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Legend of India

Note: This restaurant is already closed. 




The PEx Gluttony Society had another food trip, and we went Indian this time at Legend of India, Makati. Chris got discount vouchers for us last month for an eat-all-you-can buffet.

I was really hesitant about trying Indian food because Indians are known to use curry and other spices. Still having this Aamir Khan fantasy, I took the challenge anyway.

The restaurant looks small from the outside, but it wasn't. The restaurant's ambiance is cozy, with only a few tables occupied. There is a flat screen TV playing Bollywood filmi (that's what you call the song-and-dance routine) non-stop.

Legend of India dining area

I arrived late, as in super late, so I wasn't able to take so many photos. I took one picture of the buffet area:


the buffet area

I could remember getting chicken tandoori, mushrooms with red sauce (I forgot the name) and some Basmati rice. I skipped lamb and the paneer. The food tastes fine, some dishes are sweet and spicy. I could taste too many spices at the same time.

My verdict: Indian food wasn't as scary as I expected it to be. Though I would not recommend it to people who have weak stomachs. However, I couldn't say that Php 650 for an Indian eat-all-you-can is worth it. I'm just too glad Chris got vouchers for us (so we paid Php 290 each instead).

Here are some pictures with the food club:




Legend of India is worth the first try. But for another try? Nah. Not unless I would meet Aamir Khan there.

Special thanks to Dwin for the ride from Rizal to Makati, and Miko for the ride from the resto to Greenbelt. :)

------------------------------------------------------

Legend of India
114B Jupiter Street, Bel-Air II, Makati City

They serve Halal Meats only.

Contact Nos. 8364232, 09178992566, 211-9864

Email: legendofindia@ymail.com

Operating Hours: 11am-10.30pm

Sunday, July 24, 2011

a Veneto Napoli Pizzeria Ristorante

I met up with the Northies for dinner at a Veneto Napoli Pizzeria Ristorante. I have heard of Aveneto from a friend, but I haven't really tried since I could always find an Italian resto everywhere. The last Italian resto I have been is Buon Giorno, which I think is the best I've tried.

a Veneto means "in Venetian" in Italian.

As we are waiting for other people, we ordered the a Veneto Family Platter (Php 300).

a Veneto Family Platter


The a Veneto Family Platter contains cheddar munchers, fries, chicken wings and crabsticks.

We also ordered Baked Ziti with Chicken (Php 315) and Seafood Pasta Parmigiana (Php 275)

Baked Ziti with Chicken
Seafood Pasta Parmigiana

The pastas were served piping hot. They have generous servings, and they are very generous with the mozzarella cheese too!

When our group's almost complete, we ordered 16" New York Style Pizza (Php 580).

New York Style Pizza

The pizza had lots of green bell pepper (which I love) and lots of mozzarella. The pizza tastes almost like Shakey's pizza with less character.

We ordered another pasta: Oil and Garlic Pasta with Sausage (Php 165).

Oil and Garlic Pasta with Sausage

This tastes good, I guess we should have ordered more oil and garlic based pasta.

Let me share with you the good and bad points of a Veneto:

Good points:
- They have generous servings of pasta, which I didn't expect.
- The ambiance is cozy, one could forget that the resto is located near the food court.
- They are generous with mozzarella cheese.
- Though I'm not a seafood fan, the seafood pasta has big toppings of mussels and squid.
- It was quite affordable. We paid less than Php 2000 (5% service charge included) for 9 persons.

Bad points:
- The parmesan cheese should be asked from the server. In other Italian restos, it should already be on the table.
- They have only 2 servers. The restaurant could accomodate around 60 people should have 3-4 servers, most especially during peak hours.
- The spaghetti pasta could have been thinner, but that's my personal preference. :)

I recommend a Veneto for affordable Italian pasta and pizza. :) I guess I should try the other pizzas next time.

---------------------------------------------

a Veneto Napoli Pizzaria Ristorante
Basement Level, Bldg A
SM Megamall
EDSA cor. Julia Vargas Avenue
Mandaluyong City

Note: Other branches include Trinoma, Mall of Asia, SM San Lazaro and many more.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Persia Grill

Note: This location is already closed. 

It's been a while since I ate kebab, which I love dearly. Good thing a dinner treat for Persian food was offered by an old friend, and I'm not stupid to decline the offer.

I have never tried Persia Grill before,but I frequent Cafe Mediterranean (my favorite), Uncle Moe's and Kebabers (a food stall) for my kebab cravings. We had dinner at Persia Grill SM Megamall, which is located along Julia Vargas. The entrance is outside the mall.

Persia Grill dining area

I like the design and ambiance of the place, and the cushioned seats.

My friend insisted on ordering salad (though I was keen on not ordering salad, because I know how heavy to the tummy eating a kebab is), and so we ordered Shirazi (Php 180, to share)


Shirazi

Shirazi is a mix of lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onion, carrots, with lemon and olive oil. Sliced grapes are mixed in, which made the salad a bit sweet. The 'to share' salad was overwhelming, I think 3-5 people can share it.

For the main course, I ordered Chelo Kebab Barg (Php 295)

Chelo Kebab Barg


Chelo Kebab Barg is grilled beef tenderloin with Basmati rice and grilled tomatoes.

My friend ordered Chelo Kebab Makhsos (Php 295)

Chelo Kebab Makhsos

Chelo Kebab Makhsos is grilled beef tenderloin and grill beef kebab with Basmati rice and grilled tomatoes.

Let me share with you the good and bad points of Persia Grill:

Good points:
- The staff would ask you whether you'd like the kebab to be well done or not.
- The salad tastes good and was very presentable.
- No service charge (though this should not be an excuse for bad service)
- Yummy yogurt dip

Bad points:
- The kebab was grilled unevenly. There are charred parts on my kebab. This must be a good thing for some, but for me it's not.
- The service was lousy. We have to wait for somebody to come out from the kitchen to get our orders.
- The guy who got our orders didn't warn us that the salad is too much for the two of us.
- The kebab was not tender. I had a hard time cutting my kebab into bite sizes. Maybe the kebab was not marinated for a long time.

Overall, Persia Grill is not a good experience for me. Considering the price, I'd rather go somewhere else with good service. Kian Kazemi (former PBB housemate and owner of the Persia Grill) must train his staff about customer service.

Food is authentic Persian food. However, the quality of the food and customer service is part of the package.

------------------------------------

Persia Grill
Mega Strip A
SM Megamall
EDSA cor. Julia Vargas Ave,
Mandaluyong City
Contact No. 470-2736

Note: Other branches are Valero St. Makati, SM Skygarden, and many more.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Army Navy Burger + Burrito

I had lunch with a friend at Army Navy Burger + Burrito since I was craving for something heavy. I've been to Army Navy several times for their soft tacos and burger. I also tried Steak Burrito the first time I went there, but it was too heavy that I wasn't able to finish my burrito! :)


I'm not sure if Army Navy serves authentic Mexican tacos, burritos or quesadillas. But it is much better than Taco Bell and Mexicali.

What I also love about Army Navy is the theme. I love the bunker-designed store, the military-style plates, but my favorite is the stamp when the order's complete: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! :)

Army Navy counter

For lunch, I ordered Chicken Soft Tacos (Php 135), Freedom Fries (Php 65) and a Large Libertea (Php 65).

my lunch

Soft Tacos and Burritos have cilantro, I always request for no cilantro for my order. Freedom Fries are like thin version of KFC fries. Libertea is brewed iced tea, and you can taste the difference with the powdered iced tea.

My friend ordered a single patty Army Navy Burger (Php 145). You can order from single patty to triple patty burger (called Bully Boy Burger).

Army Navy Burger

Army Navy uses sesame seed Kaiser bun for the burgers.

My verdict: Army Navy never fails! I would always go back and try their tacos and burger. Unlike other burger chains, they only offer a single type of burger, but this simplicity in the menu is what makes Army Navy special.

I have to try the starving sailor sandwich and quesadilla for my next visit. But for now,
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

-----------------------------------------

Army Navy Burger + Burrito
Ground Level, Strata 2000 Bldg.,

F. Ortigas Jr. Rd.,
Ortigas Center,
Pasig City

http://www.armynavyburgerburrito.com/

Note: Please check the Army Navy website for other branches.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Doing the Extra Mile

Work is getting too stressful lately, I'm having an LQ with my new love, autocadd. (I was supposed to do layouts for the new projects, so I have to re-learn autocadd.)

I have a one-month ban on eating french fries and I'm also trying not to consume milkshake daily. But this time, I have to give in to these cravings. :)

(Let us define milkshake first: milkshake is basically blended ice cream and milk. There are some shops claiming to sell milkshakes but the milkshakes they offer are blended ice, not the authentic one. So please be careful of that.)

My first stop: Dairy Queen for the Double Cocoa Fudge Milkshake (Php 59, 12oz)

my favorite milkshake

Dairy Queen offers one of the inexpensive but yummy milkshakes in the metro. It's convenient for me since 2 branches (SM Megamall and Robinson's Galleria) are within reach.

I always expect a long queue whenever I go to DQ, I'm not the only dessert freak, you know. :)

What I love about DQ is the way the staff greets the customers when they serve the orders:
"Thank you. Have a sweet night!" :) Isn't that sweet? I like it that DQ knows how to do the 'extra mile'. By that simple greeting, they earned a loyal customer (me!).

two things I love

My next stop: KFC.

KFC fries is one of the best fries for me. It's been more than a month since I tasted fries. Since I've been trying to cut down on junk food, I banned myself from eating fries. That way, I'm also not allowing myself to eat fastfood.

Going back, I ordered a large KFC fries (Php 46) for dine-in (so that I could rest and think for a while). The cashier told me that I have to wait for 3 minutes. That must be weird, they should keep on cooking fries, as it was already dinner time.

So I got a number and found a seat. After a few minutes (and it was more than 3 minutes), I was served with my fries. But I need gravy with it so I asked the server if he could get me gravy. The guy just told me (in a poker face): "Ma'am sa counter na lang po". I'm eating alone, so how can I possibly leave my things and go get myself goddamn gravy?!?

Then I looked at the guy with this expression on my face and I think he felt guilty.Haha.

Looking back, how come the DQ guys can take the effort of greeting me 'sweet night' while these KFC guys cannot even get me gravy? And to think, I shouldn't be waiting for my fries to be served because it should be fast.food.

KFC offers great food. I love everything they offer. But shouldn't they be improving on their services? or rather, shouldn't they be teaching their staff how to serve customers?

The incident didn't exactly ruin my visit.

Being too shallow, I couldn't get over the 'sweet night' greeting.

Imagine the effect of doing that extra mile. :)

Note: I should be changing the title to "Running the Extra Mile" but the post might be mistaken as a running guide. Thus, I retained the title. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ms. Polly's Specialty Cakes and Desserts

Note: This location is already closed. 


I was having a migraine yesterday and was looking for a caffeine and sugar fix. I went to my usual coffee shop (Starbucks) but realized I wasn't in the mood for whipped cream with waffles. So I went to Ms. Polly's, which I've been seeing for at least a year but never had a chance to try.

Ms. Polly's Specialty Cakes and Desserts is located in the middle of the mall with some tables and chairs. One has to be patient with the noise in the area because it's near Timezone and Tom's World.

I ordered a regular latte (Php 85) and a slice of chocolate cake (Php 85), which the barista told me is their specialty.

My caffeine and sugar fix

I wasn't expecting so much for the latte but I was expecting that the chocolate cake must be good.

Oh my latte

THE chocolate cake

The verdict: I'm a convert! The chocolate cake is a must-try! The cake was so moist and filling. I was feeling full while eating half of the cake. (Mind you, I don't get full with desserts easily.Haha.) I can say that Ms. Polly's does not scrimp of the ingredients. The cake was so moist that it would stick to the palate.

I recommend the chocolate cake for everyone who's in search of the REAL classic. :)

I would definitely try other cakes offered by this little cake shop.

---------------------------

Ms. Polly's Specialty Cakes and Desserts
4th Level, Robinsons Galleria
EDSA cor. Ortigas Avenue
Quezon City
Contact No. 703-5058
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