Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Restaurant Discovery: Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

I mentioned in my previous entry (The Strip Hollywood Steakhouse) that I was targeting to try this new ramen place beside it but they close from 3 p.m to 6 p.m. every day. But I was destined to try dine there soon as when I met up with Frannywanny and P, we all agreed to try that place out.
Hello, Ikkoryu Fukuoda Ramen!
The place has really cute interiors. Wood everywhere with Japanese writing with red chairs!

The menu is a bit more extensive compared to Kichitora. Ikkoryu Fukuoda Ramen also offers rice meals, salad, appetizers, and they also have more desserts (though the one I want wasn’t available).

After a while, I finally decided to go with the Black Garlic Tonkotsu (PHP380) and Chasu Maki salad (PHP230) as my appetizer. I simply chose those with the chef recommended stamp beside the names. :)

Service was quite quick as in less than 10 minutes, my salad is on the table. 
At first, I was hesitant to eat it as it looked dry and bland. I was looking for a dip for it. But since I couldn’t figure out if dipping it in soy sauce is a good idea, I opted to eat it as is. Cold… and savory! I was surprised that it was very flavorful. The chasu was well seasoned and despite the dry and bland look, it sure was juicy (to some extent). I just love the tenderness of the pork and the crunch of the vegetables. It sure was a great way to start my meal.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Staycation 2013 Mini Projects

These past few weeks has been pretty productive. I'm learning how to drive (manual!) and I'm also learning how to cook one dish every weekend.Come Holy Week, I plan to be more productive as looking back, I just bond with my bed together with my BFFs Chips and Soda. It'll be different this year! So here's what I plan to do...

Since I won't be going out of town or visit my hometown (as my hometown is Manila!), I will do the following:

Hang around.
Not hang around the mall as the malls will be closed but hang stuff that needs to be hooked to make my space clutter-free. (Oh, we'll have a blast Command!)

Maximize space.
I'll be exploring the highs and lows of my room to see if there's extra space that I can use. As how IKEA says it, sometimes the space that we're looking for is there all along, it's more on just working with the space you have with a bit more of imagination. I so love IKEA. I even cried when I visited a branch during one of my trips!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sweet Find: Chez Karine

I first heard of this store from B and ever since she bought a box of macarons, I’ve been curious if it really tastes good (as B was really looking forward to buying a box of it). Months passed by and finally, I managed to grab a few macarons.
Hello, Chez Karine!
This small pastry shop has a charming feel to it. Filled with light colored items, it sure screams “cute”. I went straight to the macarons and asked the friendly server for their best sellers.
She suggested that I get the Earl Grey, Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate and Strawberry (all macarons are priced at PHP50/each). I decided to get the first three and opted to get coffee instead of strawberry as my sister is not very fond of it. 
I also bought one Muscovado Pudding (PHP100) and Mango Panna Cotta (PHP100).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Restaurant Love: Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que

Ribs… what’s not to love? Soft meat, lovely sauce, dirty fingers… bliss. And where can we try out one of the best tasting ribs? Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que! 

It was a tiring day as we just flew back to California from New York and it was one gloomy Thursday. N and I were quite hungry and decided to have lunch out. Since I haven’t visited Lucille’s yet and N was craving for meat, we drove to the popular ribs place.

Hello, Lucille’s!
It has this diner feel and it is pretty charming!
We decided to go for a BBQ Lunch Platter with a combination of St. Louis spare ribs, tri tip, one quarter smoked chicken ($15.99) and ordered a salad and mashed potatoes on the side. N also ordered the Lucille’s BBQ Tri Tip Sandwich ($13.49).
While waiting, we were given complimentary bread which I recall Frannywanny raving about. It was sweet bread to my surprise. I was expecting the typical bland bread with butter so this was a pleasant surprise. I guess it is to prepare the taste buds to the savory ribs.
The salad was your typical greens so let me focus more on the “meat”.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Driving 101: How to get a Driver's Permit

I mentioned in my previous post that I visited LTO (for the first time) to get my student driver’s permit and it was such a breeze. For those who have yet to get their permits, here are some things to know.

My mom warned me that it’ll be really warm while waiting in line so she told me to bring a fan to help me cool off. (TIP: Wear light clothes too.)
To my mom’s surprise, there was hardly a line. She thought that it must be because it’s the third Friday of the month. I’m not really sure if that’s something to take note of but it doesn’t hurt to pay a visit on the third week. There might be really less people renewing their licenses around this time.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Restaurant Discovery: The Strip Hollywood Steakhouse

Last Friday, I filed for a half day to work on my student permit as I am now learning how to drive! Horrah! Getting a student permit was really easy and quick. I arrived around 2 p.m. and there were only a few people around. In an hour, I was done! But this is another story. For now, I want to talk about this new wing of Shangri-La mall and the steakhouse I fell in love with.

Hello, The Strip Hollywood Steakhouse!
I wasn’t really planning on visiting this steakhouse as I was targeting the ramen place beside it. However, they are closed from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to [I guess] prepare for dinner or something.  Anyway, I was really down when I saw the closed sign but smiled in an instant when the server at The Strip Hollywood Steakhouse told me that they’re open and happy to serve!
So, steakhouse it is then.
I was planning to order a big slab of steak until my mom told me that it was Friday. I don’t really practice it (and I even had tapa for breakfast!) but since my mom was hesitant, I finally gave in and decided to order The Pink Meat (PHP500) while my mom opted to order Stuffed Calamari (PHP360). Since I wanted something more, I opted to order the Goat’s Island and Berry Seas (PHP220) as dessert. We also had two glasses of their Signature Iced Tea (PHP108)
While waiting, we were given complimentary bread with butter drizzled with some herbs. My mom enjoyed it as it was crisp outside yet soft and warm inside. My mom though preferred if they served it with cheese while I was pretty content with the melted butter.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Deal of the Day: 40-Daytime Unlimited Pass at Urban Ashram Manila

The road to fitness sure is tough. I grew up with a lifestyle of eating and physical activities play a very small part which is more popularly known as P.E.. Yes, after graduating, I practically just wake up, eat, go to work, eat, go home, eat, and sleep. That’s pretty much my life until I felt the need to be more active, especially when I realized that at this stage, I just have to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Last January, I availed the 15-day unlimited pass of Urban Ashram and decided to give yoga a try to get my body in shape. I wasn’t able to maximize the whole 15 days as I had some days where I have to stay late at work or when I just feel… lazy.
However, I really enjoyed yoga. I loved it that I get to sweat it all out and that I feel a lot lighter after. I still can’t reach my toes to save my life but I reached the point that I could touch it for a millisecond before snapping back up like a spring.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Digital Age: McDelivery Online

Don’t you just have those moments when you just feel like pigging out? When you’ll find yourself staring at some random food or your fingers automatically typing a fast food’s online delivery website? Well, it happened to me just now and I am not regretting it… yet.
So a little past 3, I find myself mesmerized by the McDelivery website. I was staring at the menu and getting hungrier and hungrier by the minute. Soon, T and S passed by my cube and I immediately asked them if they feel like ordering. T hesitated while S gamely said yes.
Since it has been the norm in the office that if you plan to order, you have to ask people around first unless you want them to give you the why-didn’t-you-tell-me-you’re-going-to-order-and-now-you’re-making-me-very-jealous glare. I asked around and ended up ordering for 9 people.
It was fun ordering online. Plus human error has been minimized as the one ordering can read his or her order before clicking “done”. I love that there is also the option “change for” which I find perfect as we normally do not have the exact amount ready. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy Lunch: Maui Style Hawaiian BBQ

I remember the first time I explored L.A. alone was the day I shopped my heart out. I got a free ride from G going to Americana (one of my favorite places), then I went straight to Forever 21 and H&M in search for thicker clothes. After a while I decided to go to Galleria and visited Cotton On, another Forever 21, and The Body Shop. It took me a while before I realized that I missed lunch time. So with paper bags in tow, I went straight to Galleria’s food court to grab a meal. I remember that the meal was around $10 and it was HUGE. I had a hard time finishing it. So when N1 and I went to Citadel with N2 and S, I made sure that the meal we’ll order will be for sharing.

It’s shopping time again. Funny how most people tend to be on extreme shopping mode whenever their vacation is about to end. It happens to me every time and I spent a lot of time in Walmart buying chocolates.
It was past noon when we decided to have lunch and headed to the food area of the outlet. We spotted Maui Style Hawaiian BBQ and since they offer heavy meals, we went in. (Oh rice, why are you so attractive?)
There's rice there somewhere.
N1 and I ordered the Beef and Chicken meal ($7.49) for sharing while N2 and S ordered a meal each—beef and shrimp combo and beef and Maui Crunch Roll.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A First: Countdown to Tuesday

I can’t wait for Tuesday! And I also can’t believe that I’m saying this on a Friday!

I used to hate Tuesday as this is our coding day and most of my PE classes fall on Tuesdays and Fridays. I don’t hate PE itself, in fact I like it as it helps me be fit! But what I don’t like about it is that no matter how hard I try, I just can’t manage to excel in any ! (Competitive kid here.)

Anyway, yesterday, a cool reason arrived in our office and that’s the reason why I just can’t wait for Tuesday. Perhaps now you’re wondering what I’m babbling about. Let me give you a little peek.
Fine, fine. Just teasing. :P 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Not Just Toasts: Toast Box

After an afternoon of being tea-loving friends, we decided to stop by Toast Box, a cute little restaurant that I thought only serves toasts. Hey, the name was deceiving. 

Hello, Toast Box.
N was drawn to this restaurant while we were trying to burn some calories (and J mesmerized by LEGO). I was pretty surprised that the restaurant has a lot of dishes to offer. They serve Nonya Laksa (PHP225), Hokkien Prawn Mee (PHP220), Chicken Sausage Noodles (PHP149), and a lot more aside from toasts. N, J and I ordered the three I just mentioned. We all added PHP30 to get a glass of Iced Barley.
The place was really packed when we entered but were lucky to spot an empty table right away. Despite the crowd, service was pretty quick. We were still digesting our brunch when our bowls arrived.
I wasn’t really able to taste the bowls of N and J as the itsy bitsy taste of their soup made me drink a third of my drink. It was SPICY! I have mentioned in my previous blogs that my tolerance for spicy food is pretty much non-existent. I try but there are just some I really could not eat as I’ll just cough throughout the whole meal.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tea Party: TWG Tea Salon and Boutique

The T3 (The Takaw Trio) is back and this time, we are a bit more posh! We decided to have lunch at this new tea place in Greenbelt 5 and it was the start of an amazing day.
TWG, does that stand for “The Wonderful Gastronomy”?
The place has a high ceiling and we noticed that it has this masculine look that Sherlock Holmes will not look odd in. N also noticed that the place has a lot of male customers as well. Tea party is just for girls? Nah!
When J and I arrived, N was waiting for about 2 hours already. But to my surprise, she was able to resist finishing the yummy raspberry tart she ordered. It was fluffy in the inside, tangy on the outside and the crisp yet creamy dark chocolate chip made all the difference. Sorry, no picture but just say, “one awesome tangy raspberry with dark chocolates on the side tart!”
It took us a while to decide on what to order. I was overwhelmed with the menu as it had a lot of yummy choices. In the end, I chose the first thing that caught my eye… Gourmet brunch set (PHP750). 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Save the Date: Good Housekeeping Family Fun Run 2013

New Year’s Resolution #1: Get fit. I somehow checked it last January when I signed up for yoga. I also “tried” to avoid snacks and soda. But come my favorite month, the month of love (hey, it’s also because I’m a February celebrant), the motivation disappeared. This will change though soon as I can’t wait to join one fun event this coming April!

Cute dogs! Fun activities! Great food! Where can you find all in one venue? 

Happening this April 6, 2013 at the 34th St. corner 9th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, expect a lot of huggable dogs, sporty kids, and activities the whole family will enjoy. There will also be food concessionaires during the event worth trying. Kids will have a blast as this time, K-Zone and Total Girl (aside from Good Dog) are on board as well!