Friday, October 19, 2018

Midsummer Manila Trunk Show Finds

I used to be so addicted to bazaars that I mark each and every one in my calendar. And yes, it definitely drains the budget. I still remember how excited I was whenever the Rockwell or Noel bazaars will announce its dates and I make sure to block at least 2 of the three dates for shopping. But as I grew older, my priorities changed. I started to save more and smarter on where I spend my hard earned cash. Needless to say, I've grown more mature and learned when to splurge and save. But when I got invited to Midsummer Manila's trunk show a few weeks back, the shopaholic in me was back.

Hello, Midsummer Manila
Midsummer Manila is a bazaar and trunk show organizer that has been roaming around Manila specifically Makati and BGC with its curated concessionaires offering unique finds. 

I was invited to (I think) its second trunk show which took place in one of Arya Residences' function rooms and I was impressed with the selection. Hardly any can be considered mainstream. Most are beautifully hand crafted and worth every penny. 

Here's a rundown of my favorite finds:

Thursday, October 18, 2018

First Sip: Black Scoop Cafe

Manila has turned into a milk tea crazy city. Most, if not all, milk tea stores in malls are packed with customers. Coco, Gong Cha, Dakasi, Serenitea, Happy LemonYiFang, ChaTime, Macao Imperial, Dakasi, you name it, each one has a strong following. But one brand that was quite off the radar is Black Scoop. 

Hello, Black Scoop Cafe.
Black Scoop opened its first store along the foodie strip Maginhawa last July. It didn't really make much buzz when it opened and I wouldn't have heard about this place if Let's Eat Pare's founder, M didn't mention it during an event we both attended. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

First Bite: Muang Thai

I love Thai cuisine but it was my recent trip to Thailand that made me appreciate it in a whole new level. With its scrumptious and colorful food everywhere, I was tempted to go on a food crawl every day during my 2 week visit. Thankfully, we have a handful of reliable Thai restaurants in Manila to satisfy our Pad Thai, Tom Yum and Satay cravings. One establishment stood the test of time and has been delighting foodies for over two decades. 

Hello, Muang Thai
Tucked inside Teachers Village, Muang Thai has been serving scrumptious Thai dishes since 1996. Fast forward to 2018, it now has a new look but continues to offer classics that would tickle anyone's taste buds. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

New Look: McDonald's NXTGEN

I've always been so envious of how advanced other countries are. We have several Asian countries with awesome transit system and others have gone digital in pretty much everything. If you haven't heard of Apple Pay or WePay, then you must be living under the rock. I love it though that we are slowly embracing the digital age with the growth of several apps that make things a lot more convenient for us. And McDonald's has something new to enhance our dining experience!

Hello, McDonald's.
McDonald's played a big part in my childhood. I still remember how excited I was whenever my mom would surprise me with a Happy Meal. In fact, I still find myself collecting its toys and I'd drop by regularly for McNuggets and its world famous fries.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Ippudo Launches Zero Ramen

Ippudo has been one of my favorite ramen joints in town. It has the right balance of flavors--umami yet not overwhelming. And to celebrate Ippudo's 33rd year anniversary and 4th year in the Philippines, it goes back to its roots and features its base ramen--Zero. 

Hello, Ippudo.
I was invited to Ippudo's anniversary celebration not knowing what to expect. So it was a big treat to be able to sample the ramen that started it all. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Restaurant Love: Paradise Dynasty and its 4 New Dishes

Paradise Dynasty has been one of my favorite places to dine in ever since I had my first bite of its delectable xiao long bao in 2017. The picturesque restaurant paired with scrumptious and pocket friendly feast is so easy to love that I continue to brave the distance just to get hold of more. Needless to say, my heart skipped a beat (and a flip too) when it opened its second store at Podium Mall. And its newest dishes sure kept me wanting more!

Hello, Paradise Dynasty
Known for its Specialty Dynasty Xiao Long Bao, Paradise Dynasty launched four new dishes that would tickle your taste buds with glee.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Keep the Fire Burning: New Ways to Enjoy Samyang

You must be living under a rock if you haven't heard of Samyang or better known as the spicy noodle challenge. This popular Korean brand definitely piqued our interest after seeing several famous personalities giving it a go. But the hype eventually dwindled down as soon as the fire in one's mouth disappeared. This is not the last of Samyang though as it introduces new ways on how to make your pack of spicy noodles more interesting. 

Hello, Samyang.
This well-loved Korean brand has been around for quite some time delighting foodies, especially K-Drama fanatics. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Fight of the Bulges: Stesso

Staying fit has been a challenging task for me ever since I've reached the stage when my metabolism started to slow down. What used to be a few days to lose a couple of pounds now take months paired with 100% dedication and effort. It is even harder now that I'm more active blogging about food and less active in being... well, active. I've considered availing of some slimming treatments and services but reading about how painful it could be and its adverse effects made me back out. It definitely took me a long time before going for it. 

Hello, Stesso.
Stesso has been in the market providing slimming and skin care services since 2012. Established by Lalaine Ambulo, M.D., the clinic gained popularity with its use of the latest non-invasive devices that do not just do the job but also make you feel good. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

First Bite: Katsu Sora

R's impeccable taste never fail me. Every single restaurant he mentioned to be great is indeed a haven for foodies. And when he mentioned that one of his favorite katsu restaurants is Katsu Sora, I was giddy to give it a try. But it felt like I have a curse with this place as all our planned visits to Katsu Sora gets cancelled. Then again, I guess 9th time's the charm. 

Hello, Katsu Sora
Known as a premium katsu restaurant offering four kinds of pork tonkatsu--Japanese Kurobuta, Spanish Shimofuri, Canadian Sakura Pork and Spanish Iberico, it has been a favorite by many. Unlike most katsu places that offer unlimited cabbage, Katsu Sora offers a bit more with its salad, soup and rice buffet bar filled with various kinds of greens, dressings, two types of miso soup and three kinds of rice. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Christmas Hacks: Mr. Cochinillo

With Christmas just around the corner, most of us are starting to get busy working on having a stress-free holiday. But with traffic becoming impossible as early as now, we have to plan smarter. And with holiday equating to endless feasts, one of the daunting tasks we have to face is to prepare food which means constant trips to the supermarket. Thankfully, there are a lot of places to get scrumptious ready to eat dishes and one of my top picks this year is Mr. Cochinillo. 

Hello, Mr. Cochinillo
Cochinillo is known as a popular delicacy in Spain with its tradition of slow-roasting the suckling pig over wood fire in brick ovens. The result is crisp, succulent and juicy pork that would make any gathering or festivity memorable.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Cruising Around: Star Cruises Superstar Virgo

To travel around the world is every wanderlust's dream. It is always fun to see new places and experience different cultures. But one thing I absolutely hate when traveling is going through airport security. It's a pain to queue and to keep having your bag screened for security, especially when you have a laptop in your luggage. Thankfully, Star Cruises occasionally dock in Manila which gives us an opportunity to travel to different parts of Asia without having to deal with airport mayhem. And the best part... no luggage weight restrictions!

Hello, Star Cruises Superstar Virgo!
Star Cruises Superstar Virgo was back in Manila last March and with Taiwan and Japan as its destinations, R and I figured that we give this cruise another try. We boarded this cruise ship back in 2015 where its port was in Hong Kong with Sanya, China and Ha Long Bay, Vietnam as its destinations. Though our experience then was mediocre to terrible, we gave it another shot after hearing that some of R's relatives booked as well.