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14 Things to Achieve this 2014

The past year is a rollercoaster of emotions -- I was happy to experience new things last 2013, however, today isn't quite complete because my mom has to rush home to Tacloban to attend her sister's wake (the second sibling to die since Yolanda).
Although our family experienced tragedies this past few months, I'm still hopeful that 2014 will turn out to be more beautiful. I hope it will be a pleasant year for you as well. 
I'm a huge believer in goals. Some people might call it resolutions, but I choose to call it goals to make it more positive, and more achievable. 
Here are the things that I hope to do (or continue to do) this year... and hopefully the years after. 
1. Get out of my comfort zone.
Eat something unusual. Create last-minute trips. Move somewhere else. Who knows? 
2. Travel alone.
I was supposed to do this last year, unfortunately, I fell ill. I would love to travel alone, maybe back to Cebu? or some new place. 
3. Be entrepreneurial.
Last year was the bir…

Tous Les Jours Gift Basket

The good people of Tous Les Jours sent me this beautiful Christmas gift basket. 
Tous Les Jours is a French-Asian Bakery serving a unique selection of baker goods and beverages made with the highest ingredients. (See related post: Tous Les Jours Opens at SM Jazz Mall)

Here's what they got me this holiday:
Chocolate Chip Cookies (Php 128)

The perfect harmony of crunch outside and chewiness inside. Amazingly good!

Simple Celebration with Pancit Center

When I turned a year older last month, I decided not to throw a dinner party or any kind of celebration. It was a week after the typhoon Yolanda destroyed part of the country and I felt that it wasn't right to organize anything grandiose. 
However, some chiding and peer pressure convinced me to have a simple meryenda with my workmates. So I bought some drinks, ice cream and pancit delivered by Pancit Center


Having read about Pancit Center from other blogs, I was curious about trying pancit dishes from different Philippine regions. 

Press Release: ‘Tis the Season to Share with Tokyo Tokyo’s Sumo Meals

Take the Tokyo Tokyo Ramen Trivia Quiz and win Php 1500 GCs! Join here.

Come Christmas time, there’s nothing better than sharing, especially when it comes to food. Tokyo Tokyo serves up savory choices in time for the holidays with tasty options incorporating fresh ingredients prepared upon ordering. As pioneers of Japanese fast food, the brand has consistently elevated its approach for 28 years, adding to its loyal following of local foodies looking for a filling meal.
This season, Tokyo Tokyo’s Sumo Meals, one of the brand’s most popular items, offers huge helpings of delicious food, all with that authentic Japanese flavor. Bringing together great combinations into one complete, oversized meal, it makes the perfect alternative for those looking for bigger portions to share. Customers get their favorite Tokyo Tokyo dishes at twice the satisfaction and value. 
“This time of year is about eating together, whether it’s with a friend, loved one, or a family member. It’s especially common …

Merry Christmas!

2013 has been a colorful year. A year of struggles, changes and happenings. 
I have experienced a lot of new things this year through this blog, and with that, I'm very thankful. :)
Here's a rundown of the highlights for this year:
January: A non-alcoholic meets Long Bar, Raffles Makati
February: Spending Valentine's Day with Paramore
March: The day I fell in love with Chocolate Thunder
April: The Good (Brothers Burger's Lettuce Wrap Burger) vs The Bad (Shawarma Guys' Sisig Shawarma)
May: Saying Goodbye to a Good Friend at Vikings
June: First Staycation Ever at F1 Hotel Manila
July: Family Trip to Brunei Darussalam
August: The Tapa That Drove Me Insane at Maple
September: Rediscovering Marikina with Cafe Lidia
October: Temple Run at Cambodia
November: Meeting New Friends (Mama Bear and Brother Bear!), at Imbiss Manila, Coco Nail Studio, Marky's Chicken and JAMFoods Angus Beef Tapa
December: Loving Thai at Thaipan
To more travels and food adventures! Merry Christmas and Ha…

Lunch at Coco Lime, Subic Bay

My family frequents Subic whenever we go home to my grandparents' home because Subic is only a half-hour (or less) drive. However, we spent most of our time shopping (chocolate hoarding for me) or have a picnic. Much as I hate to admit, we haven't explored Subic for food. 
When we last visited Subic, my mother decided that we try this popular restaurant in the area: Coco Lime. 

The restaurant was just about to open when we arrived, but people were already waiting outside. We must be in the right place. 
Coco Lime serves Asian dishes, but mostly Filipino food for quite affordable prices. 
Here's what we had for lunch:

Christmas @ Brotzeit

Christmas is a time for sharing! Brotzeit knows this only too well. Serving delicious platters, Winterbier and dishes that will bring you back to a cozy winter in Germany or bring you there for the very first time!
Beef Wellington
200 grams of Prime cut tenderloin wrapped with fine leg ham and mushrooms encased in a crispy puff pastry. With sauteed beetroot, parsnip, spinach, pumpkin and slow cooked baby potatoes on the side


Lamm Hax (Lamb Shank)
Roasted lamb shank with braised purple cabbage and napkin dumplings on the side.

Tokyo Tokyo Ramen Trivia Quiz + Giveaway!

Note: Giveaway has ended. Winner is already announced here.



How well do you know your ramen? Take the Tokyo Tokyo Ramen Trivia Quiz to find out!
Tokyo Tokyo Philippines has been serving affordable and delicious Japanese food for years, and they have another addition to their menu: RAMEN. 
There are currently three ramen bowls to choose from: Braised Pork Ramen, Spicy Chicken Ramen and Tempura Miso Ramen. Available servings are snack size (Php 99) and regular (Php 150). More about this in a separate post. :)
And here's another wonderful news: a giveaway!


Affordable Steaks at Brickfire

It was a productive weekend: having been able to devote time to do some volunteer work with a friend. After a few hours of work, we decided to reward ourselves with dinner at Brickfire. 


We got there before dinner, and it just starting to get packed. Damn, I was so excited to get my hands on a steak.


Thaipan

Note: This restaurant is already closed. 


My friend Lovelee and I met for dinner at Thaipan a few weeks ago. It's been months since I had Thai food, a cuisine I have learned to appreciate through the years. I'm not familiar with Thaipan until Zomato sent me a gift certificate as a prize for their Write For a Bite contest. 



We were astounded by the gorgeous interiors this hidden Thai resto has. Any passerby would take a second look at how intricate the designs are in the walls, lighting, and furniture. Some research informed me that the part-owners are interior designers. 

Papa John's Grand Pizza Day on December 17!

Papa John's Pizza Philippines has an early Christmas treat for everyone. On December 17, Papa John's Pizza will be celebrating its 2013 Grand Pizza Day
First 100 customers for the day at any Papa John's branch gets a free 9" Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pizza or John's Fave for every transaction with a purchase of pizza or pasta. 


I was invited by Papa John's Pizza this week to have a taste of the Grand Pizza Day. The event includes a pizza making demo and a 'create-your-own-pizza' activity for us. 


Papa John's Pizza ensures that their ingredients are of best quality. Most of the ingredients are sourced from the US. 

Team Lunch at Red Buffalo Wings & Pizza, Eastwood

Note: This restaurant is already closed. 

I was truly impressed by Red Buffalo's offerings when I visited their first branch at Greenhills Towncenter, that's why I was glad to know that they opened a second branch in Eastwood last September. 
The first thing that came to mind for our project team's lunch out is Red Buffalo. I'm thankful to Red Buffalo for accommodating our huge platoon. Here's what we had during our lunch:
For chicken wings, we had Hot Original Buffalo, Parmesan Garlic (my favorite), and Teriyaki

Wings are Php 165 for Single (5 pcs), Php 320 for Double (10 pcs), Php 620 for Family (20 pcs) and Php 1190 for Party (40 pcs). I really liked that they have plastic gloves ready so we can eat chicken wings comfortably. 
The Original Buffalo flavor goes well with Bleu Cheese dip (Php 150, half-pint), so don't forget to get a dip too. :P

Avocado Cake by Lia's Cakes in Season

We are a chocolate-loving family, except my dad. Aside from rare times that he asks for a piece of whatever chocolate we are eating, he is completely repulsive with it. Way before I started blogging, I bought him this cake for his birthday. And he totally loved it! I haven't seen him so enthusiastic with a dessert that he would almost eat the whole cake. 
That cake is Avocado Cake from Lia's Cakes in Season.


Avocado Cake, the bake shop's bestselling item, is an heirloom recipe from the owner's grandmother. His mother, Lia, perfected the recipe and Lia's famous Avocado Cake is born. :)

Sincerity Cafe and Restaurant

My workmates and I found ourselves in downtown Manila one work-free day to explore the streets of Binondo. After braving a long drive from Ortigas to Manila, we were all too hungry and we deserve a huge lunch at our first stop: Sincerity Cafe and Restaurant.

Sincerity is quite popular for their fried chicken, but really, this place is more than just fried chicken. 
While waiting for our food, we were served house tea. I was amazed that they still use the vintage plates (remember the plates your grandma has at home? Same thing. :p )


Home Cooking 101: Baked Chicken with Orange and Garlic

I have started eating healthy lately - I mean, the healthiest eating habit that I have done in my life. I've been making sure that I eat 2 servings of fruits and 2 servings of veggies a day, substitute Stevia for sugar and lessen eating anything oily. I haven't felt any lighter in my life. 
I prepared this dish for baon recently. Not only is it healthy, but quite easy to do as well. :)

Ingredients:
2 pieces skinless chicken breast fillet 1 garlic, crushed 1 orange, sliced salt pepper rosemary thyme

Spiral Buffet at Sofitel Manila

One hotel buffet that has been on my list for the longest time is Spiral by Sofitel Manila. My friend Lovelee and I bought vouchers from CashCashPinoy for Php 1600 for a Php 2450 worth of food from any of Sofitel Manila's restaurants. 
Buffet dinner from Sunday to Thursday is worth Php 2800.41 so we just added Php 350 on top of our vouchers. :)


Spiral Manila has 21 dining ateliers, from appetizers to desserts. In all honesty, one or two visits aren't enough to try everything. 
Atelier # 1: Salad and Appetizer



This atelier has a great selection to create your personal salad, which the chef will mix for you. 

Rediscovering Milkyway Cafe

It's been a long time since the PEx Gluttony Society had a meet-up, but glad we got together a few weeks ago to try Milkyway Cafe for some great Filipino food. As we are into discovering and appreciating different cuisines, we have never forgotten our very own. :)
Milkyway Cafe is located on the second floor of the building where its sister resto, Cirkulo, Tsukiji, and Azuthai are also located. 
While waiting for the others to arrive, we ordered starters: Adobong Mushrooms (Php 225) and Thai Spring Rolls (Php 198).

Adobong Mushrooms is a very light and healthy dish, a simple way to start a meal. The Thai Spring Rolls have 2 huge pieces of wrapped glass noodles, pork, shrimp, and mushrooms. I love spring rolls, and I swear I could finish a serving alone. :)

The Purple Mangosteen Hotel, Siem Reap

Note: As of 2017, this hotel has been rebranded to Central Prestige D'Angkor. Check their new website for updated details.



During our quick vacation in Siem Reap, Cambodia last September, my friend and I intended to make our stay comfortable and within close proximity from all popular spots. As suggested by a fellow traveler, we stayed in this new boutique hotel called The Purple Mangosteen Hotel

The Purple Mangosteen is a small artisan hotel with 6 stylish rooms. Aside from being stylish, this hotel is eco-friendly it uses solar power.  It is located a block away from Pub Street, and it quite near the Night Market and the Old Market as well. 

Coco Nail Studio

After our lunch at Imbiss Manila and Marky's Chicken post-lunch, Mama Bear brought Jeng and I to this lovely nail spa she regularly goes to Coco Nail Studio. This nail spa is barely a year old, having started just last April 2013. 




In all honesty, Coco Nail Studio is the prettiest nail spa I have ever visited. Every detail, from furniture to displays, was well-planned and beautifully executed. The entire place looks as if it was lifted from a lifestyle magazine.


Marky's Chicken

Note: This establishment is already closed. 



After our hearty lunch at Imbiss Manila, Mama Bear brought us to the home of one of her readers, Michelle of Marky's Chicken. Their Chicken Poppers is one of the finalists of The Next Big Food Entrepreneur 2013
That afternoon, Michelle served us their Original and Soy Garlic Chicken.


I loved both flavors and I also love that the soy garlic has real garlic bits, which makes it more flavorful. I love how crunchy the original flavor too, and I'd love to smother it with gravy. :)