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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What I Love About Pasig City

One of things I love about working in Pasig City is its city government's utmost effort in making the city as green as possible. From the funding of KILUS Foundation (the organization behind the tetrapack bags or "Zesto" bags) to the E-jeepneys roaming around Ortigas Business District, Pasig City now implements "No to Plastic Bags" to food establishments.

Since I started going solo on this project, I was used to take away lunch.

I went to KFC to buy lunch and my take away lunch looks like this:


Moreover, KFC doesn't provide straws too.

One morning, I went to 7-11 near the office and bought lasagna. And my take away brunch looks like this:


Yep, no plastic bag either. :)

Kudos to the food establishments for being obedient. :)

Thumbs (and toes) up to Pasig City! I hope other cities will emulate you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Paradizoo Theme Farm and Zoo



As promised, I will share with you my experience in Paradizoo.

Paradizoo is a theme park and farm zoo located in Mendez, Cavite. Paradizoo belongs to the Zoomanity group which also includes Residence Inn in Tagaytay and Zoobic Safari. Paradizoo is more of a farm than a regular zoo, so expect it to be more like Farmville come to life.

Paradizoo Map

The entrance fee is Php 90, but if you want to visit Residence Inn after Paradizoo, you may pay Php 249. Residence Inn is 15 minutes away from Paradizoo.

A guide will orient you on the map (picture above) and you'll be free to walk around the area.

This cute pony will welcome you upon entrance. You may take a picture with this cutiepie first. :)


Let me share with you some pictures I've taken in Paradizoo:

A quote from Mahatma Gandhi.

This goat's just so adorable.
One would think that it was posing for my camera.



This is the first time I saw camels in real life. And they're so huge!


This view almost made me sing "Almost Paradise" (cheese.hahaha)

Beautiful flower. Do not pick please!


I was trying to capture butterflies but they kept on flying around.
Lucky I got a single picture of one butterfly. And a caterpillar too.



It felt like a second chance for childhood in Paradizoo.

But as I left the place, I kept thinking: did I really grow up?

Nah. :)

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Paradizoo Theme Farm and Zoo
Mendez, Cavite
http://zoomanity.com.ph/2011/03/paradizoo/

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Casa Xocolat


On any of the food trips, PEx food club usually goes to another place for coffee and dessert if both are not available in the resto that we tried. After our dinner at Grilled Tomato, we went to Casa Xocolat, which is only a few meters away from Grilled Tomato.

Casa Xocolat is an old house converted into a cafe, or chocolate shop (for a lack of a better term). The place is mostly al fresco, though there is an indoor area also.

True to its name, Casa Xocolat offers mainly chocolate cakes and drinks, but they also serve pasta, panini and salad.


Am I dead? It seems like I'm in heaven
Seeing a counter-full of delicious cakes made me dizzy! I can't choose which one to order! hahaha

I ordered That Xocolat Cake (Php 95 per slice) to share with my partner in crime.


That Xocolat Cake (and my camera reflecting on the glass)

That Xocolat Cake has a big white X design (as seen on the picture above). It is deep dark chocolate cake for the "absolute chocoholics" (like me).

I also got Taza de Xocolat (Php 145), which is Xocolat's signature blend.


Taza de Xocolat

Partner in crime got one of the Cold Caprichos, Vanilla Mudslide (Php 115).


Vanilla Mudslide

Vanilla Mudslide is an ice-blended Oreo cookies and vanilla ice cream laced with Bailey's.

That Xocolat cake reminded me of Ms. Polly's chocolate cake, but a less sweeter version. I would love to have this cake for my birthday. :)

One thing that surprised me was the Taza de Xocolat. I love the way it was presented, in a old looking cup with mint leaf on top. However, it was too thick that I wanted to get some pan de sal and dip it on my drink. The Vanilla Mudslide is good too, though it looks like a kiddie drink, it is not because of the Bailey's.

Overall, I like Casa Xocolat. I love the cake and the ambiance. Though I'm a chocolate addict, I should have ordered coffee instead of hot chocolate.

I would love to go back and try the other cakes. :)



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Casa Xocolat
172 B. Gonzales St.

Loyola Heights,

Quezon City

Contact Nos. (632) 929-4186, (632) 927-1990

http://www.xocolat.com.ph

Note: Other branches are Eastwood and Greenhills

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grilled Tomato: Kebabs, Keemas and More

Note: This establishment is already closed.


PEx Food Club was planning to try this Dutch place near Katipunan. However, it was closed a week earlier so we had to find a Plan B, which brought us to Grilled Tomato.

the indoor area

Grilled Tomato is a small Persian resto located near Miriam and Ateneo. Personally, I thought the name is kinda awkward, it sounded like a burger resto or an Italian resto at first. The place has al fresco and indoor areas. From the indoor area, one has to go outside to order. The place reminded me of Uncle Moe's, another Persian resto located in Ortigas.

I ordered 2 pcs Beef Kebab (Php 110), extra pita (Php 10) and one of their specialties, Milo Overload (Php 70)


Beef Kebab

Beef Kebab is served with butter rice, grilled tomato and iced tea.


Milo Overload

There is nothing special about the Milo Overload. It's just iced chocolate topped with cream and more Milo.

A fellow food club member ordered Kebab Gyro (Php 60)


Kebab Gyro

Kebab Gyro is grilled meat and chopped vegetables wrapped in pita bread. She dismissed it as too dry.


BEER!

Good thing the resto serves Coors beer and Manila beer that some fellow foodies usually require (hahaha).

I found the kebab bland. Worse, the yogurt-garlic sauce is bland too. Being a Persian food uber-fan, I was quite disappointed, thinking that it would reach Uncle Moe's level.

And now I miss the authentic Kebab. :(


On a lighter note: BF, thanks for surprising me! :)

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Grilled Tomato
Kebab, Keemas and More
329 B. Gonzales cor. Katipunan Avenue
Quezon City
Contact Nos. 3452721, 09237305291

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wan Chai Tea House



PEx Food Club met once again for another food trip and we went to Binondo this time. And one of our stops is Wan Chai Tea House. Wan Chai Tea House is one the oldest restaurants in Binondo. Our food trip organizer, Kenny, wouldn't let us miss this restaurant. Wan Chai has several branches around the metro and Binondo is the main branch.

My apologies in advance since I wasn't able to take note of the names of everything we ordered. I tried my best to remember some items though.

Kenny ordered dimsum for us.


Wan Chai tea

Wan Chai is a tea house so tea should not be missing.

Here are the dimsums we tried:

Hakaw

Hakaw (Php 80) is a shrimp dumpling. I had to use two forks to transfer it from to my plate. Nevertheless, it's still yummy!


Steamed Lumpia

A personal favorite is Steamed Lumpia (Php 70). I love the sweet sauce!


Fried Raddish Cake

We also had Fried Raddish Cake (Php 60). We were hesitant at first but it doesn't taste like raddish, the heaviness of this dish is similar to tikoy.


Mango Crabstick Roll

A crowd favorite is the Mango Crabstick Roll, which also served as dessert.


Shrimp Rice Roll


Asado Rice Roll


Dry Shrimplet Rice Roll

We also tried the Rice Rolls (Php 60-70). The rice rolls are kinda heavy that we weren't able to finish everything, like the dry shrimplet rice rolls (or hibi-hibi).


We also had this dimsum, but I forgot the name. :( It contains shrimp though. Of course, it's delicious.


Ponchotay

We ended our meal with a soup called Ponchotay (please correct me if I spelled incorrectly).

Overall, Wan Chai is a must try! I went giddy when I found out that it has a branch in Ortigas (yehey!). The food is so good that thinking about it is enough to make me drool.

Love it!

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

Wan Chai Tea House
918 Benavidez St.
Binondo, Manila
Contact Nos. 2454406, 3383333, 3388786


Note: Other branches include Del Monte Ave, Tomas Morato, Congressional Avenue, Ortigas and many more

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bag of Beans


My friend and I are about to leave Tagaytay but before we did, I asked (requested, commanded, appealed..) that we eat dinner at Bag of Beans.


The dining area

The cafe is mainly al fresco though there is a closed area for big groups. There are also cabana-like areas if you like some privacy. The ambiance is cozy and romantic, it's a perfect date place sans the usual Tagaytay view. Bag of Beans is a bakery and cafe which offers delicious comfort food (think Banapple in Tagaytay).

I ordered one of the main courses, Chicken ala Kiev with Mashed Potato (Php 350) and my friend got Lasagna (Php 195).


Chicken ala Kiev with Mashed Potato

Lasagna

Both dishes are overwhelming in size, and very delicious too! The Chicken Kiev is not too dry for me the lasagna is a bit sweet, which I prefer.

For the drinks, I got myself Kapeng Barako (Php 90) and my friend got Mocha Frappe (Php 110).


Kapeng Barako


Mocha Frappe

The Kapeng Barako is a hit! I love the Bag of Beans mug. I wish I got myself a Bag of Beans mug also. My friend liked the Mocha Frappe, he thinks the whipped cream tastes better than Starbucks.

Overall, Bag of Beans is a must try if you're going to Tagaytay. I suggest that you go for dinner if you're on a date, so you can enjoy the ambiance that Bag of Beans has to offer. I have to try the breakfast meals next time.

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Bag of Beans
115 Aguinaldo Highway,

Mendez Crossing West

Tagaytay City

Contact Nos. +63923 720 9970 or +63920 954 6370

http://bagofbeanstagaytay.net/

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Legendary Tagaytay Bulalo




I went to Tagaytay recently for a quick getaway with my partner in crime. One thing that we didn't miss was the (legendary) Bulalo. Having spent the morning in Paradizoo (will do a separate blogpost about it), we were kinda hungry when we reached Mendez Crossing. So we accidentally discovered Diner's Restaurant, which is known for its bulalo.

Personally, I haven't heard of Diner's, I'm more familiar with Josephine's and Leslie's.

An order of bulalo costs Php 400, which is good for 3-5 persons.





True enough, the bulalo is a bomb! The meat is so tender! I could really say that Diner's Bulalo is the best!

Hands down to the legend!

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Diner's Restaurant
(near Jollibee and Shopmore)

Aguinaldo Highway
Mendez Crossing West
Tagaytay City

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Las Ruinas del Corazon

Let me share with you one of my favorite poems. An excerpt is on my blog description (see above) Please excuse the gruesome details, but if you'll reflect on this, it makes perfect sense.

Las Ruinas del Corazon
--Eric Gamalinda

Juana the Mad married the handsomest man in Spain
and that was the end of it, because when you marry a man

more beautiful than you, they say you pretty much lost control
of the situation. Did she ever listen? No. When he was away

annexing more kingdoms, she had horrible dreams
of him being cut and blown away, or spread on the rack,

or sleeping with exotic women. She prayed to the twin guardians
of the Alhambra, Saint Ursula and Saint Susana, to send him home

and make him stay forever. And they answered her prayers,
and killed Philip the Handsome at twenty-eight.

Juana the Mad was beside herself with grief, and she wrapped
his body in oils and lavender, and laid him out in a casket of lead,

and built a marble effigy of the young monarch in sleep,
and beside it her own dead figure, so he would never think

he was alone. And she kept his body beside her, and every day
for the next twenty years, while pungent potions filled the rooms,

she peeked into his coffin like a chef peeks into his pot,
and memories of his young body woke her adamant desire.

She wanted to possess him entirely, and since not even death
may oppose the queen, she found a way to merge death and life

by eating a piece of him, slowly, lovingly, until he was entirely
in her being. She cut a finger and chewed the fragrant skin,

then sliced thick portions of his once ruddy cheeks. Then she ate
an ear, the side of a thigh, the solid muscles of the chest,

then lunged for an eye, a kidney, part of the large intestine.
Then she diced his penis and his pebble-like testicles

and washed everything down with sweet jerez.
Then she decided she was ready to die.

But before she did, she asked the poets to record these moments
in song, and the architects to carve the song in marble,

and the marble to be extracted from the most secret veins
of the earth and placed where no man could see it,

because that is the nature of love, because one walks alone
through the ruins of the heart, because the young must sleep

with their eyes open, because the angels tremble
from so much beauty, because memory moves in orbits

of absence, because she holds her hands out in the rain,
and rain remembers nothing, not even how it became itself.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Photo from beyondhollywood.com

I was really skeptical about watching this film because I was discouraged beforehand since I was told that it was only a remake. However, a choosy movie watcher (Papa) told me the movie is great, so I was finally convinced to watch it.

The movie is about an ape, Caesar, who was born to an experimental ape who was killed during a rampage when it felt it was threatened. Caesar was raised by a scientist, Will Rodman (James Franco), who discovered that Caesar inherited extraordinary intelligence from its mother.

Caesar grew up showing human-like intelligence, which made Will decide to try the experimental drug to his father, who is suffering from dementia. Circumstances led to Caesar being admitted to a primate facility, with employees mistreating the apes in the facility. This led Caesar to create a revolution with the other primates in the facility.
Photo from beyondhollywood.com

Overall, the movie is great. Both the story and the effects are exceptional, though I was more particular with the story, which focuses on mistreatment of animals, particularly with using animals for testing and poor maintenance of animal facilities. James Franco, as usual, is great. I should emphasize Tom Felton's acting abilities which made me hate him more (yeah, I still hate Draco Malfoy to this day.)

Research made me discover that the story is different from the past Planet of the Apes movies. However, times have changed thus special effects became a necessity.

I could say that the movie is worth watching, the storyline and the effects is a good combination (because sometimes only one of the two exists in most hollywood movies).

Thumbs up! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Red Mango

Note: This branch is already closed.
  Yummy!

I'm a certified dessert freak, I really am. And frozen yogurt is on top of my list (okay, second to ice cream.hehe.). Pre-blogging days, I did a frozen yogurt streak, eating and trying out different froyo shops every single day and I'm planning to do it again soon. :)

One of the creamiest froyo I've tried (and a personal favorite) is Red Mango.

I always try to stop myself in eating Red Mango whenever I pass by it. Most of the time, I can't help it!

Last time, I ordered 4oz Original Froyo (Php 80) with 3 toppings (Php 40): banana, chocolate syrup and cheesecake. Most of the time I just want my froyo with chocolate syrup and cheesecake.

I would always go back to the same creamy goodness of Red Mango froyo. I love the dine-in dish too. :)

Red Mango, more branches please!

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

Red Mango
SM Megamall

Upper Ground Floor
Building A
EDSA cor Julia Vargas Avenue

Mandaluyong City

Contact No. 4701132

Sun - Thurs: 10:00am - 9:00pm

Fri - SAt: 10:00am - 10:00pm

http://www.redmango.com.ph

Note: Other branches include Eastwood, TriNoma, Greenbelt, and many more

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sambokojin Yakiniku Smokeless Grill


I haven't seen my college friends lately and since a friend is getting transferred somewhere a little farther where Sambokojin branches are located, we decided to meet at Sambokojin.

Sambokojin is a Yakiniku-style, eat-all-you-can restaurant. Yakiniku means "grilled meat" in Japanese. It is one of the newest restaurants of the Triple V group, who also owns Dad's, Kamayan, Saisaki and Something Fishy.

I went to Sambokojin a few months ago to do a food review for my company's food club and I must say that I loved the whole experience that I brought my college friends with me this time.

I called Sambokojin that afternoon to reserve a table. This is a must-do for everyone, and you must arrive between 6:00pm to 6:15pm to secure your reservations.

Luckily, my friend and I arrived before 6:00pm. While waiting for others to arrive, we got few meats to grill.


The meats are marinated to different sauces like Bulgogi, Teriyaki, Sambokojin sauce and many more. There are also plain ones like ox tongue (a personal favorite) and pork liver. Also available is fish, vegetables and other seafood.




There is also a sushi bar and other cooked dishes available, but we really love to grill. hahaha. :)
Our friends finally arrived, and after a few trips back to the buffet table, we finally got dessert.


my ice cream creation

My friend got us pastries like cheesecake, brownies and eclairs. And I got myself ice cream (of course), Sambokojin serves The Big Scoop ice cream! Yummy! :)

True enough, the first-timers fell in love with Sambokojin that they couldn't stop grilling the beef. Personally, I love the thinly sliced beef that you'd want to eat it straight from the grill.

The dinner costs Php 595 per person during weekdays, which is worth the taste and the experience and the good service.

Here are other pictures:


We ended our dinner with "Let's go back next month!"

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

Sambokojin Yakiniku Smokeless Grill
(across Manor, behind Somehing Fishy)

Eastwood Citywalk

Quezon City

Contact Nos. 4210145 to 46

Mon to Sun 11am - 2pm

Mon to Thurs 6pm - 10pm

Fri to Sun 5:30pm - 10pm

http://www.sambokojin.com/

Note: The second branch is located at EDSA, Greenhills, Mandaluyong City
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