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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wishes for 2016

1. Lower income tax
2. A deserving leader be elected for President
3. Good health for me and my loves
4. More travels
5. More amazing food
6. Better times

Happy New Year, everyone! :)

Pomodoro Pizza in Kapitolyo

I had a simple lunch with my college friends last month for my birthday at Pomodoro Pizza in Kapitolyo area. I have read and heard a lot of positive feedback about this place so I decided to bring my friends to try it. 

Pomodoro Pizza is a small hole-in-the-wall al fresco joint hidden in Kapitolyo. We arrived quite early so we didn't have a problem with getting a table. 

The menu is very simple, with mostly pizza and pasta, so we tried a few of the bestsellers. 

For pasta, we ordered the Pasta con Pesce (Php 99), Carbonara Cremosa (Php 135) and Seafood Marinara (Php 139).

Pasta con Pesce

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Luwak White Koffie: Now in the Philippines!

Coffee drinkers, like myself, are extremely selective when it comes to instant coffee. 

I personally prefer my coffee with milk or creamer instead of black. A variety of blends have been introduced to suit the needs of the coffee drinkers, such as the white coffee. 

Here comes in Luwak White Koffie. 

A product from Indonesia, Luwak White Koffie has changed the game with its creamy taste balancing with the flavor of the coffee, that makes it sweet but not sugary. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hole in the Wall: Mister Delicious

A few months ago, the boyfie and I went to have dinner at Hole in The Wall, the most popular food hall in Century City Mall.  Hole in The Wall has several food brands that serve restaurant-quality dishes. 

Our first stop is Mister Delicious by Jeremy Slagle. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

15 Things in 2015

First of all, Merry Christmas!

Let me be a bit personal and share the things that had happened this year. 

This has been a year of a lot of changes, a ton of adjustments and improvements. This year has made me realize that I have fully reached adulthood. 

Here are the things that changed, the things I have learned, and the things that I'm thankful for this year. 

Things I have learned

1. Communication is the key

This is what my boyfriend always says to me. Being in a relationship with somebody who lives on the other side of the world takes a tremendous amount of effort, but we try our best to make it work by always communicating. I am extremely fortunate to have a partner who is not only understanding, but willing to always talk whenever I need him. <3

2. Travelling is never tiring

I have spent much of my time this year to travel. I have been to El Nido, Puerto Princesa, Tagaytay, Baler, Taiwan and Thailand this year. Packing is always an exciting activity for me. I do hope to share all my travel stories with you, and hopefully I get to travel a lot more next year. 

3. Not everything turns in your favor, but that's okay

Probably the toughest move I have to make this year is related to my professional life. I wouldn't bore you with the details but it wasn't what I expected, but I'm taking it as a learning experience while I wait for the bigger things. 

4. Spontaneity can be fun

Last minute changes used to piss me off. Now, I'm learning to relax a little and be more zen when something happens that wasn't planned. Life shouldn't be so predictable anyway. 

5. Expressions of gratitude and kindness shouldn't be shortened

It is universally accepted that 'thank you' can be shortened to 'thanks', but it shouldn't be shortened to 'tnx', 'thnx', or worse, 'ty'. Moreover, 'happy birthday' should never be 'HBD'. A few more syllables or keypad strokes wouldn't hurt. If you want to show gratitude or kindness, do it thoroughly.

Boulangerie22: Now Baking in Manila!

A few days ago, I received a basket of freshly-baked goodies and a Christmas cake from the newly-opened pastry shop in Manila: Boulangerie22

Boulangerie22 produces a fusion of traditional and modern principles for their baked goodies, with a state-of-the-art commissary in Laguna. Though fairly new, Boulangerie22 has already opened four stores within the year. 

I had a taste of some of their breads: the Korean Sweet Red Bean Bread (Php 49), Soboro Bread (Php 39), Chicken Floss Bread (Php 49) and Cheddar Chicken Floss Bread (Php 49). I also tried the Honey Garlic Bread Sticks (Php 89 for pack of 4) and Butterscotch Rusk (Php 79).

Honey Garlic Bread Sticks, Butterscotch Rusk, Cheddar Chicken Floss Bread, Soboro Bread, Chicken Floss Bread, Korean Sweet Red Bean Bread

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Kumori Christmas Squares

Here's a wonderful gift idea this Christmas: Kumori Japanese Bakery's Christmas Squares. 

Kumori is best known for using the finest ingredients from Japan to create the best quality breads and pastries. Kumori's Christmas Squares is a box with light cookies with four flavors: Original, Cinnamon, Green Tea and Chocolate. 

Each bite of Christmas Square is flavorful with the right amount of sweetness. 

Kumori's Christmas Squares is Php 149 for a lovely box of 16 cookies. It is available in Kumori branches in Landmark Makati and SM Makati. 

Watch out for the opening of Kumori locations at The Block, SM North EDSA and SM Megamall. :)


Kumori Philippines

Monday, December 21, 2015

Charlie's Grind and Grill opens in Makati!

Note: This location is already closed. 

Charlie's Grind and Grill finally opens a third branch, this time in Makati. :)

Located at the heart of Makati, Charlie's Makati reminds me of the Kapitolyo laid-back vibe, a perfect hang-out place after a tiring day at work. 

My friend and I were able to try some of the items in their extensive menu. 

Charlie's beef burgers are either Wagyu or Angus. This time we ordered the Wagyu Cheeseburger (Php 230).

Wagyu Cheeseburger

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Din Tai Fung is now in the Philippines!

What used to be a rumor is now the real deal. The Michelin-starred restaurant from Taiwan, Din Tai Fung is finally in the Philippines. 

See my visit at Din Tai Fung in Taipei

Compared to other restaurant franchises brought here, I was extra excited for Din Tai Fung to open in Manila as I have dined in their Taipei 101 branch when I visited Taiwan early this year, and I was impressed with the whole experience - from the queueing, the food and the service. 

Like in Taiwan, the queueing system is grouped according to the headcount per table: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7 and more. Since there are 3 of us, we were given a number of the 3-4 queue. We were also given the order form and menu so we can choose our orders while we wait for our table. 

After 25-30 minutes of waiting, we were seated. The food didn't take long to arrive as soon as we got to our table. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

F7 Pop-Up: New Food Concepts in One Store

F7 Rallos is one area along Tomas Morato that has been quite popular with foodies. Housing amazing restaurant brands such as SeƱor Pollo, Purple Oven, Kanin Club and many others, F7 Rallos is truly a foodie destination. 

Here's another reason to go to F7 Rallos -- introducing F7 Pop-Up!

F7 Pop-Up! is a concept store that houses the newest food concepts for six (6) months until they can move forward and expand.  

I have tried the three food concepts currently housed by F7 Pop-Up when it officially opened last November 29. 

1. Sweet Degrees

Sweet Degrees offers two of my favorite things: ice cream and coffee. 

They serve ice cream scoops sandwiched in hot mantao buns. We tried the Chocolate Mudpie Ice Cream Bao (Php 120) and the Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bao (Php 120).

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Foodsource.ph -- Your Hub for Locally-Made Artisan Food Products

With its diverse culture and abundant resources, it is not a surprise that the Philippines has a lot to offer in terms of authenticity and creativity. Moreover, as we are known to be food enthusiasts, we have a lot of artisan products from each town or city in the country. 

Foodsource.ph is newest online food hub where you can buy all-Filipino artisan food products and have delivered at your doorstep. 

Here are some of the brands and the products that they carry:

Pik-A-Pikel Bottled Pickles

A handy baon or pasalubong to bring to family and friends, Pik-A-Pikel makes Pickled Mangoes (Php 130), Pickled Onions, Pickled Papaya and Pickled Radish that you can eat with grilled meats or other dish that you want. 


ChocoVron is a local brand with a variety of polvoron products and other Filipino snacks. 

Two of the most popular products they have is the ChocoVron Choco-Coated Polvoron (Assorted/Cookies & Cream, Php 105).

Monday, December 14, 2015

Max's Chicken: The House That Fried Chicken Built Turned 70 last October

Event hosts Paolo Abrera and Lexi Schulze Berenguer-Testa
Perfectly seasoned, satisfyingly crispy, and delightfully comforting are a few words that describe Max’s Restaurant's famous chicken, a dish that has remained a favorite among Filipinos for so long that it is an institution.  There is definitely something special about Max’s fried chicken that sets it apart from the others. It is, some might say, a palatable source of  Filipino pride. 

Not just anybody can cook chicken in the deeply authentic and Filipino way Max’s Restaurant does. Max’s fried chicken is a dish made with love through a recipe that has passed through careful hands across generations, and is suspected to comprise much more than secret seasonings and undiscovered cooking techniques. “Our goal is to ensure we replicate this Sarap-to-the-Bones chicken experience in each restaurant,” Director and Chief Marketing Officer of Max’s Group Inc., Jim Fuentebella shares.

Max’s Group Inc – Director / Max’s Restaurant – President & CEO Carolyn Trota – Salud and Max’s Group Inc – Director and Chief Marketing Officer Jim T. Fuentebella address the guests
It is this diligence and dedication to detail that some claim  “The House That Fried Chicken  Built” became what it is today.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ippudo's New Limited Edition Ramen: Gyokai Tonkotsu

Since Ippudo Philippines opened last year, it has been their tradition to introduce a limited edition ramen for us to appreciate new flavors. 

Here's the newest limited edition ramen: the Gyokai Tonkotsu Ramen (Php 490).

Gyokai Tonkotsu Ramen is a combination of Ippudo's signature tonkotsu broth with creamy chicken broth, blended with bonito and shoyu. Served with thick and wavy noodles, it is topped with chasyu, bamboo shoots, tamago and nori, with a kick from the yuzukosyo pepper. 

I love the complexity of flavors from the duo of tonkotsu and chicken broth and the added saltiness from the bonito. You certainly don't need to add anything because it is perfect by itself. 

Best paired with the Gyokai Tonkotsu is the Ippudo Hakata-Style Gyoza (Php 195). 

Ippudo Hakata-Style Gyoza

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Yabu Introduces the Menchi Katsu Burger!

Dreams do come true.

My favorite Yabu katsu is now a burger. Meet the newest item in Yabu's menu: Menchi Katsu Burger!

Menchi Katsu Burger

Replacing the Hire Katsu Burger, Menchi Katsu Burger (Php 380) is a combination of ground beef and pork with creamy cheese in the center, with shredded cabbage, shiso leaves, Japanese pickles, spicy aioli and caramelized onion jam on toasted brioche bun. Each burger is served with Chicken Salad or Furikake French Fries on the side. 

Allow me to be biased but this is easily my newest favorite burger. The cheese in the center oozes as you bite into the crunchy katsu burger. I love that the katsu is at least an inch thick that it the meat balances with the cheese. I will seriously return for more. 

Want more cheese and katsu? Here comes the Mozzarella Katsu Sticks (Php 260)!

Mozzarella Katsu Sticks

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

All-Filipino Buffet at Cafe Veranda in Taal Vista Hotel

The boyfie and I drove to Taal Vista Hotel to try their newest restaurant, but apparently, that resto was open for dinner during weekdays, so we ended up having lunch at their buffet restaurant, Cafe Veranda.

Cafe Veranda is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The lunch buffet during our visit is mostly Filipino dishes. 

The buffet has all the sections I usually look for in a buffet. I am impressed that they have interactive stations as well.  

There's the soup and bread station

The salad station

The highlight of the buffet is the Pancit Palabok and Pancit Luglog station. Since I love both pancits, I ordered both. You can request for which ingredients you like since the chefs cook it as you order. 

Pancit Palabok
Pancit Luglog

Cafe Veranda's version of Pancit Palabok and Pancit Luglog didn't disappoint. I love both!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Escan Manila: Homemade Chorizo at your Doorstep!

I introduce to you my newest favorite breakfast: Escan Manila's Homemade Chorizo. Escan Manila is the brand of Escalante family's chorizo recipe, now made available to everyone. 

Chorizo is the Spanish style sausages, quite similar to our very own longganisa. Escan Manila's Chorizo has two varieties: Hamonado and Rekado, both priced at Php 245. 

What I like about Escan Manila is the packaging. It comes in a microwaveable container that makes it easy to store in the freezer. 

It's also easy to cook: just pop it in the non-stick pan, no need to add oil as the fat from the meat will help cook the chorizo. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sam Smith In the Lonely Hour Tour: Live in Manila 2015!

It's been two years since I last watched a concert and I was too happy to be back to concert-watching (and fangirling) again, this time with Sam Smith. 

Sam Smith's "In The Lonely Hour" Tour in Manila was supposed to be last May, but was postponed to November due to medical reasons. 

I bought the tickets on the first selling date last January. Since the SM Tickets website crashed due to the demand from concert goers. Luckily, a ticket outlet is a meters away from my workplace. No sweat! :P

Almost a year ago

The magic happened last November 21 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. This was my second concert at the same venue, but this time, I purchased the Lower Box Ticket (Php 4730), a lot better than my Paramore concert seat. 

I love the whole album, "In The Lonely Hour" and his songs before the album. 

Sam Smith started the show with a not-so popular song, "Life Support" and continued with "Together". 

He sang his more popular songs in the middle of the show, alternating with his livelier songs, like "Restart" and "La La La". 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Crosswinds Tagaytay

Our favorite coffee place during our stay in Tagaytay is CBTL in Crosswinds Tagaytay. Not only that it's the CBTL branch that has the most interesting design, but it is easily one of the quietest coffee shops in Tagaytay. 

The boyfie and I enjoy the coffee: mine is the Cafe Latte while the boyfie's choice is the Caramel Macchiato. 

Aside from the coffee, we both enjoy reading while eating some food served by CBTL. A good breakfast choice is the Eggs Ben (Php 245). 

Eggs Ben
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