Monday, December 31, 2018

Paradise Dynasty is now in BGC

Paradise Dynasty is one of my happy places here in Manila. Stuffing myself with its mouthwatering xiao long bao never fails to put a big smile on my face. And don't even get me started with its to die for lettuce roll and glutinous dishes! The only thing that keeps me away from this foodie haven is traffic. But not for long. 

Hello, Paradise Dynasty.
I was beyond thrilled when I saw Paradise Dynasty's board up in SM Aura. Finally, a branch closer to home. 

Friday, December 28, 2018

First Bite: Nikkei

With the restaurant industry packed with so many players, old and new establishments have to come up with something different to stand out and capture the ever growing discerning market. And by new, we definitely saw concepts and products that define "unique" and some "bizzare". We've also witnessed the growth of fusion restaurants. Though not all impressed the market, there are a handful of restaurants that live beyond the hype. One of which is Nikkei. 

Hello, Nikkei
Several foodies regard Nikkei as one of the gems of Salcedo worth braving the traffic for. With its mouthwatering tiradito, ceviche and sushi, it's no surprise why this restaurant grew to four branches in no time. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

New Favorite: Taco Bell

Taco Bell has been in Manila for years now but it was only last year when I had its famous tacos. Though it may not be the best taco joint in town, its no frills straight forward Mexican fare does the job in keeping my tummy happy. And a month back, I discovered that Taco Bell also offers pretty good quesadillas

Hello, Taco Bell
I usually go for soft tacos whenever I visit Taco Bell and never gave trying its quesadillas any thought. The shop after all is called "Taco" Bell giving the impression that its best item in the menu would be, you got it, tacos. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Dairy Queen's Holiday Treats this 2018

As Christmas decor start to fill the city and bring joy to many, Dairy Queen launched a product line that would make the holiday season even more festive. 

Hello, Dairy Queen
It has been a tradition of Dairy Queen to come up with Christmas flavors in celebration of the holiday season. For this year, it launches three drool-worthy flavors namely Hershey's Kisses Almonds Double Cocoa, Hershey's Kisses Mango Cookie and Hershey's Kisses Cookie Buttercrisp

Monday, December 17, 2018

First Bite: The Community Kitchen

Nothing makes me happier more than finding an off the radar restaurant. And Christmas sure came in early when I got to try The Community Kitchen.

Hello, The Community Kitchen
The insane Manila traffic usually force me to pick just one place where I could do all the things I have to do--bank errands, grocery shopping and have a good meal. It's getting rarer and rarer for me to drive out of the way just for a meal. But I usually discover a gem worth finding whenever I do. And such was the case with The Community Kitchen. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Northern Chronicles: Kiss the Tiramisu opens its second branch in Trinoma

I always look forward to December as it means cooler breeze and sweater weather. But I don't think it's happening this year as it's still scorching hot despite being only a few weeks away from Christmas. Thankfully, there are cold treats to keep me sane. And I was thrilled to find out that the famous Korean dessert shop Kiss the Tiramisu finally opened its second branch. This time, in Trinoma!

Hello, Kiss the Tiramisu.
Kiss the Tiramisu is a popular Korean dessert shop that was born from a simple idea of combining two sweet favorites-- ice cream and tiramisu. Served a bit more "extra" by having it on a plastic gold-rimmed goblet which you can bring home, it became an instant hit, not just in Korea but in several countries as well, including Canada and the Philippines!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

New Bites at The Corner Market Food Hall

With several food concepts and brands popping here and there, dining out has never been so complex. I'd often find myself presenting my friends several options whenever we eat out. And when someone isn't into any of the choices, I had to go back to the drawing board. Thankfully, there are food halls that make it easier for friends with different tastes in terms of food. Everyone gets to eat what they want without having someone compromise. And one of the popular food hall picks in the metro is The Corner Market Food Hall. 

Hello, The Corner Market Food Hall
This spacious foodie haven houses several concepts that would make you drool for days. Rounding up unique non-competing brands, you get to have more options to choose from. Made even better with its picturesque interiors and well-lit dining hall, this place is must visit for anyone who wants a few more snaps for their social media feed while making their bellies happy. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Grocery Find: Cheez Whiz Mild

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but most of us usually skip this as we rush to the office (or school) to beat the unbelievable Manila traffic. Thankfully, there are a bunch of morning hacks we can use to avoid having to leave our homes with empty growling stomachs. One of which is making a fuss-free sandwich. And cheese is usually my go to spread. 

Hello, Cheez Whiz!
I still remember grabbing a jar of Cheez Whiz every afternoon to snack on when I was young. I'd have it on bread or snack on it as is while watching my favorite television show. I couldn't indulge in more than 2 tablespoon though with its strong flavor. But Cheez Whiz introduced a new variant that might make me finish half a jar in one sitting. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

When in Iloilo: Tytche Grill & Seafood Restaurant

Tagging along R's local trips are tiring and fun at the same time. I get to see the Philippines in a different light, seeing places that are not exactly what you'd consider touristy. And at the same time, I get to experience the local life and savor the different cities' rich flavors. One of my favorite places for seafood is Iloilo and a top contender for the best seafood restaurant is Tytche Grill & Seafood Restaurant in Dumangas. 

Hello, Tytche Grill & Seafood Restaurant
This restaurant is a bit far from the city center and definitely a place I wouldn't consider going if I was traveling Iloilo on my own. Situated near the Iloilo port, it would be hard to visit this place without a car as there are not much public transportation that pass and stop by this area. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

When in Bacolod: Bilbao Cansi House

Bacolod is one of my favorite provinces in the Philippines. The City of Smiles is not just known for its hospitality or the anticipated Masskara Festival. It is also a popular destination for foodies. With every corner offering scrumptious and bang for the buck dishes, Bacolod is a haven for anyone who enjoys good food. And I always take note of the locals' recommendations. One of which is Bilbao's, a strong competitor of the famous Sharyn's Cansi House. Or so what our acquaintance told us. 

Hello, Bilbao's Cansi House
This cansi joint is located along the bustling Lacson street. With it being just a couple of blocks away from Robinsons Bacolod, I'd say that it has a better location than Sharyn's. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

New Bites: Ramen Bar's Longganisa Ramen

Watching Asian dramas never fail to make me crave for ramen. Is it just me or more often than not, there will be at least one scene where the lead character will joyfully slurp down a massive mouthful of piping hot noodles straight from the copper pot in a squat position? The low EQ foodie in me always make me want to grab a pack of noodles myself. But there are times when I want something better than instant noodles and that's when I brave Manila traffic for some good ol' made with love ramen. And this time, I went with Ramen Bar. 

Hello, Ramen Bar
This wasn't my first time in Ramen Bar. I remember I visited its first branch in Eastwood about a eight years ago with some friends. Ramen Bar is one of the first players in the ramen category 10 years ago. Sadly, it didn't stay relevant and was left in the shadows of ramen giants such as Ramen Nagi and Ippudo. But that does not mean that Ramen Bar offers mediocre food. In fact, its ramen are just as good as each and everyone's favorite! And there's one Ramen Bar variant that caught my eye-- Longganisa Ramen (PHP320). 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

First Bite: Indulge Ice N Cream

Rain or shine, ice cream is a staple treat in Manila. With summer heat lingering year round, it won't be surprising to know a friend or two who can wolf down a tub of this cold treat in one sitting. I usually could not resist the urge of grabbing a scoop or two myself whenever I pass by an ice cream parlor. And when I dropped by Novotel Manila Araneta Center, Indulge enticed me to try a few of its flavors. 

Hello, Indulge
I was in a rush to head somewhere else after a quick errand at Novotel so I zeroed in on Indulge's grab and go Ice N Cream which offers a nice mix of classic and new flavors. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Euro Trip 101: How to get a Schengen Visa

Bucket lists. Travel goals. Tourist destinations. Most of us have that inclination to travel and explore the world. To experience new things and indulge in local delicacies have been so hyped online and offline. And with Europe as one of the "goal" destinations by many, most try to squeeze in as many countries as possible when they get their Schengen visa. But before even planning your dream vacation, how do you get a Schengen visa? Is it true that it's way harder to get one compared to a U.S. visa? A few months back, I had to start from scratch and do research on how to make sure that I don't get a rejection letter along with my passport. 

So how do you get a Schengen visa? 
Just like any visa application, you have to secure an application form. Apply at the embassy of the country where you will be staying the longest or the first point of entry (if you are spending an equal number of days per country). Remember that this is crucial and that you cannot simply apply to any embassy you fancy as there is a high chance of your application getting rejected if your application does not coincide with your proposed itinerary. In my case, I applied at the Italian embassy. It was easier for me as I had no plans of visiting other European country that time. 

Requirements for the Schengen visa apply for all countries part of the Schengen region. Listed below are the documents you have to secure in both original and photocopy: