Thursday, September 21, 2017

When in Davao: Paradise Island Park & Resort

Mindanao used to be a place I was afraid to visit. With media and elders saying that this part of the Philippines as an unsafe place, I didn't even consider to travel and spend my vacation down south. Sure, there are cities that are considered safe like Davao. But it being a few miles away from NPA surrounded areas and even a war zone made me feel even more afraid. But all that changed this year when I visited President Duterte's hometown not just once but thrice. And for this trip, I got to enjoy Paradise Island. 
Hello, Paradise Island Park & Beach Resort

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

First Bite: Marugame Udon

I've been eying this new Japanese restaurant franchised by Suyen Group for quite some time now. Sadly, my uncooperative schedule keeps me from visiting High Street. Hence, when my client requested for us to meet in Marugame Udon, I quickly said yes. 

Hello, Marugame Udon
I dropped by the newest Japanese udon joint around 1pm so I was able to avoid the lunch queue. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Love at First Bite: Auntie Anne's Two-Cheese Pepperoni Nuggets

I love scoring deals as much as food and combining the food makes me giddy like crazy. With the food scene becoming more and more competitive, eating out has never been this fun and affordable. There are several apps and websites offering attractive deals that slashes at most 70% off your bill. Lately, I'm hooked to Booky's Buy One, Get One (BOGO) deals. And I've recently claimed another deal from Auntie Anne's.

Hello, Auntie Anne's.
I dropped by its Greenhills branch before heading to my meeting in Promenade. Since I haven't had lunch yet and needed some serious thirst quenching drink, I decided to claim two of Auntie Anne's BOGO deals, Large Lemonade (PHP80) and Two-Cheese Pepperoni Nuggets (PHP99). My total bill was PHP179 instead of PHP358. Not bad at all!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Love at First Sip: Up in the Clouds Ice Cream & Milk Bar

With Manila's crazy heat getting worse and worse, it's not surprising to see milkshake shops and ice cream parlors to pop here and there. Though I've had my fair share of horrible experiences with new dessert places, I always keep an open mind and tummy for new ones. And this time, I tried Up in the Clouds Ice Cream & Milk Bar. 
Hello, Up in the Clouds.
I decided to reward myself after a smooth shoot with something sweet. Given that I haven't had lunch yet and it was already past 6 p.m., I figured that ice cream will just cause an upset stomach. I then zeroed in on the shop's iced tea variants. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Unagi Festival at Izakaya Sensu

I think Izakaya Sensu is out to make me fat. It wasn't enough for them to rollout delicious and bang for the buck rolls so they released its mouthwatering wagyu sukiyaki. And now, they released an unagi line for its Unagi Festival. Izakaya Sensu, you have already won my heart and tummy so why do you keep making me drool?! Well, not that I'm complaining or anything close to that. 

Hello again, Izakaya Sensu
I got an email from the lovely Mela of Raintree Restaurant inviting me to its Unagi Festival last August but I was out of the country that time so I missed its launch. Thankfully, the unagi festival is until the end of the month so I got my unagi fix as soon as I got back in Manila. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

National Gem: Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

This year has been a crazy year packed with travels to different provinces. And I started the year visiting one of the places I've been dying to visit... Puerto Princesa's Underground River. Hailed as a World Heritage sites on December 4, 1999, this gem has been one of the must visit destinations when in Palawan. 

Hello, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
R and I booked a tour to this beautiful site and paid PHP1,800 per head which covers round trip van transfer to and from the underground river, buffet lunch, motorized boat transfer, fees and permits, tour guide and audio device you'll use while on the underground river tour. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

First Bite: Teppan Okochi

We've been searching for good wagyu places for almost a month now ever since our favorite Buta + Wagyu closed. We've been to Wagyu Japanese Beef which was said to be very close to our love but we found it different and underwhelming. This time around, we decided to go with Teppan Okochi, a new Japanese teppan restaurant raved by many. 

Hello, Teppan Okochi
It was a sudden decision for us to dine here as we originally planned to have dinner at Edsa Shangri-La's Senju. However, R's dad suggested that we try something new so I thought of Teppan Okochi which is just two months old. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

When in Bohol: Chocolate Hills

I'm definitely no mountaineer but I can climb hills. Well, sort of. Okay, it was far from what could be called a hike but I did witness one of the most popular tourist spots in Bohol... the famous Chocolate Hills. 

Hello, Chocolate Hills.
I visited Bohol for the first time last December and one of the places I was dying to visit was Chocolate Hills. Though I've heard that it has lost its charm throughout time, I still wanted to take those few hundred steps up to see the famous local Kisses' inspiration. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

First Bite: Crosta Pizzeria

Aged pizza dough? It's something I've heard in the US but I haven't really tried anything like it here in Manila... till a few weeks ago. A pizza stall at Social on Ebro offers scrumptious premium pizzas at reasonable prices. And what sets it apart from fancier savory pies is its 48-hour aged dough. 
Hello, Crosta Pizzeria

Thursday, September 7, 2017

First Bite: Charlie's Pritchon

One of the things I love about the Philippines is the long celebration of Christmas. As our Facebook and Instagram pages become filled with Jose Mari Chan's face and recycled memes, I only think of one thing... lechon. Though lechon is a staple in all kinds of celebration, it is more associated with the festive Christmas where the crispy roasted pig is shared by the whole family (and more). And Christmas sure came in early when I was invited to sample Charlie's Pritchon. 

Hello, Charlie's Pritchon

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Beauty 101: Clarence launches PicoWay, a Revolutionary Solution to Skin Pigmentation

I never considered having a tattoo for various personal reasons. Growing up with people who never even tried henna didn't help me become more open minded to getting inked. I guess, aside from my fear of a cute heart design turning wrinkly after decades, the lifelong commitment to it made it impossible for me to even think about it. But technology sure can change someone's perception on things. 

Hello, Clarence Anti-Aging, Slimming, and Dermatology Centre
It's interesting to visit dermatology clinics as you learn a lot about how to take care of your skin. I have to admit, I was once a victim of wrong information. I thought that weekly facials can help address my intense acne problem. But it took a very pricey dermatology session than made me realize that it had to be addressed differently and what I was doing was just aggravating it. 
This time around, I've already "graduated" from acne breakouts and my biggest skin concerns now are fine lines and age spots. Though I swear by a famous moisturizer known to combat these, it seems like age (and reality) is catching up fast.
I've learned though from my visit at Clarence that there's another effective way to combat these signs of aging and that is through PicoWay
PicoWay is the "latest and most advanced laser solution for benign pigmentation" and could be the easiest way out to those fine lines. It is also said to have less discomfort and you'd see improvement in fewer sessions. This means that you get to save time and money. 
During our visit, we were lucky to witness how one guest had her tattoo removed in less than 5 minutes! (Of course, that excludes the prep time of putting topical anesthesia cream on the inked area.)
The head of Clarence, Dr. Joan Clarence Morallo, was the one who facilitated the procedure and told us that the PicoWay machine used for tattoo removal and skin pigmentation is the same. It just uses different laser heads (if I remember it correctly). 
It would seem like Dr. Clarence Morallo did magic and just waved a wand over the tattooed finger as the ink disappeared in no time. Though the patient said that it was painful, it was not as painful as the usual tattoo removals available in the market. Though it would create redness, this procedure ensures that it won't leave scars. 
This first in the Philippines technology sure is impressive. And having an international beauty expert like Kristi Burns to vouch it says a lot abot this one of a kind technology. I can't wait to try its PicoWay Facial soon. I just hope that it won't hurt that much. (Then again, no pain, no gain.)

Clarence Anti-Aging, Slimming, and Dermatology Centre is located at 2nd Floor, Mila Holdings Building, 28 Jupiter Street corner Astra Street, Bel Air, Makati City.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

When in Korea: Raccoon Café Kkukkune

I've been to various kinds of cafés. There are the common ones like dog and cat cafés and more interesting ones like owl café. But on my trip to Seoul, Korea, I chanced upon another quirky cafe. A raccoon café! 

Hello, Raccoon Café Kkukkune!
Apparently, raccoon cafés are now the craze in Korea and we were lucky to experience this one of a kind trend during our stay in Seoul. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

First Bite: Wagyu Japanese Beef

I hate it when one of my favorite restaurants suddenly close without any notice. It felt worse than a break up text message. And Taylor Swift should definitely compose a song about this kind of heartbreak. One should be named "Buta Wagyu, Why You". Okay, perhaps that won't make it to Billboard's Top 100. But I was devastated when I found out that favorite wagyu restaurants closed. Then again, it gives me an opportunity to explore and find new loves. And I finally have a reason to visit Wagyu Japanese Beef in Forbestown. 

Hello, Wagyu Japanese Beef.

Friday, August 25, 2017

First Bite: Ally's All-Day Breakfast

Moms say that breakfast is the important meal of the day. But for us busy bees, we'd be lucky to be munching on a cracker on our way out. I admit, I usually skip breakfast just to get from point A to point B on time. (I blame the intense traffic we have in Manila.) Don't get me wrong. I love breakfast. It's just that I love sleep more and couldn't find the energy to wake up an hour earlier just to cook my morning meal. Thankfully, there are days when my schedule's not as packed and I could enjoy a classic breakfast at a slow pace. And on lazy days, I'd head out for breakfast and one of the spots I've recently discovered is Ally's All-Day Breakfast. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

First Bite: Lobby Café by B Hotel

I find it fascinating how small boutique hotels are starting to grow in Tomas Morato. I could see it slowly turning into Kalayaan of Makati, an area budget travelers frequent. And the best part of staying in this area is that you'll never run out of places to go to for food. But when your hotel already offers reasonably priced food, why head out?

Hello, B Hotel
B Hotel is one of the many reputable establishments under The Bellevue Group of Hotels. It opened two years ago and since then got a steady number of patrons and is even commissioned as the accommodation of some beauty pageants. I'd know since there were several gorgeous ladies when we visited for dinner at Lobby Café sashaying their way around the lobby with their sashes on. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

First Bite: LAVA Cheese Tart's Lava Eruptions Premium Cheese Ice Cream

I've been a big fan of LAVA since it opened in SM Aura. Its delectable cheese tarts are amazing. And I feel great supporting a local brand using local products. I've heard news though that Lava launched a new line and I just have to try it myself!

Hello again, LAVA Cheese Tarts.
I've been busy with work lately that I hardly get to visit malls. But an opportunity to drop by Uptown Mall came one day and I decided to swing by LAVA before attending an event. Luckily, this LAVA branch offers its newest product, Lava Eruptions Premium Cheese Ice Cream (PHP85, cone | PHP135, cup with three toppings of your choice). 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

First Bite: Kenshin Japanese Restaurant

I love pretending to be a master chef like Gordon Ramsey. Though I may lack the skills to do all those French culinary terms, I appreciate that there are several restaurants now that let us experience cooking our own meals. We have grill your own Korean barbecue, create your own pancake, mix your own hotpot and make your own takoyaki. Yes, I'm talking about those famous Japanese street food treats. 

Hello, Kenshin Japanese Restaurant.
This Japanese restaurant along Yakal Street is a gem in the city. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Love Story: Twister Fries and I

McDonald's Twister Fries never fail to make me giddy. Its smacktacular taste is so good that my tummy weeps whenever it bids goodbye. This time around, dear ol Ronald McDonald teased us by having its curly fries available in selected stores first before rolling out nationwide. And since I try to avoid the crazy Manila traffic, it took me a while before I got hold of this yummy treat.

Hello, McDonald's!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Eastwood Mall Launches its First Ever Rainbow and Unicorns Fair this August

There's something about unicorns that make it so appealing to kids and kids at heart alike. I have to admit, I don't find unicorns that cute. But for some reason, I always find myself with goo-goo eyes whenever faced with some of these adorable fictional characters. And I drool whenever I see it in edible form. And if you happen to be fond of these colorful creatures or in denial to loving it, then you'd love what Megaworld has in store for you!
Eastwood Mall celebrates everything colorful this August with the first ever Rainbow and Unicorns Fair. It'll take place every weekend of the month at the mall's atrium. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Create Inspiring Memories with Marquis

Everyday is a celebration. Literally. There are countless people celebrating their birthdays, anniversaries and what-have-yous right now while there are numerous brands launching their newest collections or ambassadors. We're not even counting yet all those fancy business and social gatherings just because they have a budget for a fancy venue. And yesterday, I witnessed how an event can become even more memorable, inspiring and worthwhile. 

Hello, Marquis!
Marquis is the newest events place in Bonifacio Global City and it is designed to impress and inspire. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

First Bite: Roadster Roasters

Several restaurants open every day making it impossible for me to visit them all. But when a new restaurant gets nothing but praises from foodies, I find myself rushing to the place hoping to have my taste buds delighted as well. Though there were several instances when I was more disappointed than impressed, there are also pleasant experiences where I could say "worth the drive/getting stuck in traffic for". And last weekend, I was happy to say that the new restaurant along Sheridan was worth the trip. 

Hello, Roadster Roasters.
It may be a bit challenging to find this restaurant on the ground floor of TV5 Launchpad as it's not that visible from the road. There's also a tree blocking its facade making it more hidden. Thankfully, I'm familiar with the area and I easily found the home of 12-hour brisket.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

First Bite: Aruga Cafe by Mesclun

Mesclun is a familiar name for those who frequent Ortigas and Serendra. It has been a favorite of mine ever since my first bite of its Sisig Spaghetti. And last month, this superb restaurant found a new home in Aruga by Rockwell.

Hello, Aruga Cafe by Mesclun.
Mesclun's newest cafe is the first thing you'll see once you enter Aruga. And I was warmly greeted by the front hostess who introduced me to Chef Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara, the talented chef behind Sisig Spaghetti and a lot more.

Monday, August 14, 2017

First Bite: Blue Rocket Cafe + Kitchen

I love going around quiet and residential areas of Quezon City as I usually spot a gem or two. And my trip last week did not disappoint when I finally dropped by one of the restaurants I've been eying for quite some time--Blue Rocket Cafe + Kitchen.
Hello, Blue Rocket Cafe + Kitchen.

Friday, August 11, 2017

First Bite: Falafel Yo!

Tired of the usual popcorn, chips, candy, soda and iced tea as your movie snacks and drinks? Then how about some Israeli treat? No, I'm not talking about moussaka, shakshouka or kebab. I was referring to a more easy-to-eat snack--falafel.
Hello, Falafel Yo!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

First Bite: City Garden Hotel's Encima Roofdeck Restaurant

Dining in hotels could be intimidating especially for the wallet. But I've noticed that a lot of well-known posh establishments have developed reasonably priced menu for those who are dining on a budget. And one new discovery of mine is Encima Roofdeck Restaurant's Everything Bottomless promo. 

Hello, City Garden Hotel.
City Garden is no new name in the hospitality industry but it was my first time to visit City Garden Hotel. I blame Makati due to crazy traffic and confusing one-way streets. But last weekend, I finally made it!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

When in Bacolod: The Ruins

It was my first time in Bacolod last month so I planned to do the most touristy activity... visit The Ruins. However, Mother Nature seemed to be against the idea as it kept raining when we were there. But after some (sweet) nagging and not so beautiful eyes, I managed to convince R with the help of his local dealers. 

Hello, The Ruins.
I was so excited to take photos of the beautiful architecture. I even checked Instagram for inspiration. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Love at First Bite: Zoey's Cakes and Pastries

I love receiving home baked goods. I always feel that it has been prepared with so much love and passion making it extra special. And a bite of Zoey's Cakes and Pastries would make you think the same. 

Hello, Zoey's Cakes and Pastries!
I randomly got a message from Mae, the person behind Zoey's Cakes and Pastries. She asked me if I would be interested to try some of her baked treats. Since I have a sweet tooth, I quickly said yes. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

First Bite: Calea

A trip to Bacolod is not complete without visiting Calea, one of the famous dessert places in Bacolod. It has delighted countless foodies with its wide selection of pastries and I was excited for it to tickle my taste buds. 

Hello, Calea.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Love at First Bite: Pilyo | Cheeky Filipino

I am a big sucker for Filipino snacks. No, I'm not talking about junk food (though I like it too). I'm referring to what we call kakanin. Sticky rice, fluffy flavorful chiffon,  and shaved coconut mixed with sugar is an equation for a lovely afternoon. And a few weeks back, I indulged in some seriously good bibingka cheesecake soufflé. 

Hello, Pilyo
It all started with an Instagram direct message notification from Chrissie. She asked me if I'd like to try some of her bibingka cheesecake soufflé. BIBINGKA CHEESECAKE SOUFFLÉ... how can one resist that?!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

First Bite: Sisig Society

Sisig has been part of our local cuisine for decades and it has been named as one of the uniquely Filipino dishes. Its crunchy and slight chewy texture topped with egg has always been one of my top choices when in a Filipino restaurant. And when I heard that there's a restaurant that offers DIY sisig, I just have to go.

Hello, Sisig Society
This restaurant is one of our stops for Unang Hirit's DIY restaurants segment.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

First Sip: Cattle Milkshake Bar

Milkshakes are like fashion. It has its classic and crazy years. We've seen and tasted clean, creamy milkshakes and we've also witnessed these drinks topped with burgers and what-have-you. As much as I love milkshakes, I often find myself avoiding it when I see it being ridiculously topped with everything in the candy store. I make a few exceptions though especially when I hear that the place is good.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

First Bite: DaTang

Venice Grand Canal Mall has been a destination of choice for new establishments. When it first opened, the strip near the picturesque attraction is filled with never heard of before restaurants offering European fare. But it is now slowly adding more establishments offering other cuisines. And one of the newest additions has a familiar name. 

Hello, DaTang.
DaTang is Datang Jardin's newest sister. Though the two share the same name and concept, everything else is different. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

First Bite: Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie

Missing the dishes you've had during your European tour? Or curious what Germany, Italy and Spain have to offer aside from the usual fare you get from other restaurants here in Manila? Look no further as Vanderlust is here to satisfy your tummy's wanderlust desires. 

Hello, Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie!
Tucked inside one of the small streets of Tomas Morato is this quaint restaurant that became popular for its Schneeball, a traditional German pastry that you smash with a mallet.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Dynamic Duo: Ramen Nagi and Tendon Akimitsu

Ramen Nagi hit Manila like crazy back in 2014. You have to wait in line just to have some of this famous ramen shop's butao. And unlike other restaurants that started with a bang and slowly faded away, Ramen Nagi never lost its charm. With its limited edition ramen flavors and expansions, it holds a special place in the market's hearts (and tummies). Honestly, I'm not a big fan of Ramen Nagi as its ramen flavors are too bold for my liking. But when I was asked to try Veggie Ramen, I have to give it a try as I've never had any. Also, it was hard for me to comprehend how Ramen Nagi married healthy greens and sinful ramen

Hello, Ramen Nagi (and Tendon Akimitsu)
R and I decided to swing by Ayala Malls the 30th, one of Ramen Nagi's newest branches, to try its limited edition ramen. We were warmly greeted by the staff who ushered us to the table near the window for good lighting. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Gavel & Block Brings Food and Art in one Scrumptious Weekend

I love going to museums and being immersed in historical artifacts and beautiful art pieces. But my crazy food blogging schedule always get in the way. But an event this coming Friday gives me no excuse to skip art appreciation day. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Love at First Bite: Sharyn's Cansi House

One of the dishes I was excited to try in Bacolod is cansi (or kansi). I've tried it before here in Manila but I was not impressed with its extremely salty taste. Apparently, the taste of real cansi is quite far from the one I had. Hearing that it's supposed to be tangy (thanks to this local produce called batwan) made me excited to give it a second chance. And to avoid disappointment, I went to the best cansi place in town, Sharyn's Cansi House.

Hello, Sharyn's Cansi House
This no-frills cansi restaurant is located in what the locals call Shopping Center of Bacolod. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

When in Bacolod: Mimi's Café & Restaurant

I heard that Pendy's in Bacolod is another must visit restaurant in the City of Smiles. With a few dishes in mind, R and I headed to Pendy's for lunch. But Waze brought us to Mimi's by accident. Apparently, Pendy's used to be where Mimi's is now located. Locals say that the owner of Mimi's used to work for Pendy's and things got sour between the two parties hence the split. Mimi's for some reason got the original spot and Pendy's had to move to the lot across the street. And since we were already at Mimi's and got mesmerized by its various delectable pasalubong items, we decided to stay and give it a try. After all, the staff highlighted that Pendy's original chefs now work for Mimi's. 

Hello, Mimi's Café & Restaurant

Friday, July 21, 2017

When in Bacolod: Aboy's

It was an endless eating spree for me last week when I tagged along R's business trip to Bacolod. I had zero expectations for this trip as I've never been to the City of Smiles. I was even worried that I might get bored as my research on things to do in Bacolod only says The Ruins, Negros Museum and Butterfly Museum. Food-wise, I just wanted to visit Calea. But my friends (and clients) were very excited for me. They gave me a long list of restaurants and highly recommended several dishes for me to try. And I must say, their excitement was contagious! I was so excited just staring at the list they gave me. And on my first day, I visited Aboy's. 
Hello, Aboy's.

This Filipino restaurant is one of the highly recommended establishments by my foodie friends and R's dealers. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Love at First Bite: The Oriental Spice Gourmet

Cebu has become a foodie destination with awesome local restaurants and cheap finds. One of the restaurants that seem to be off the social media radar is this Asian restaurant that is known by, surprisingly, expats, as one of Cebu's finest gems.

Hello, The Oriental Spice Gourmet.

It is easy to miss this restaurant located along Maximo V. Patalinghug Jr. Avenue as it's huge signage simply says TOSG, the initials of the restaurant. But thanks to Waze, we didn't miss our stop.