Manila 2017 || Where to go, what to eat

If I had to pick one thing to love about the blogging community I’m surrounded with, it would be the sheer amount of support you get from the friends you gain online. The outpouring of love and “please don’t throw yourself in front of the bus” I’ve gotten from the comment section and private messages I received from that previous post really touched me. Don’t worry! I don’t plan to. I feel awful complaining about life when I know I’m already privileged – all my life I’ve never had to go really truly hungry, always knew there was a bed for me to sleep in, I have enough clothes to go a month without repeating outfits, I have been employed by jobs that pay well/allowed me to help my family/finances my travels and the things I enjoy doing, and I have more than a handful of people that loves and supports me throughout all of it. But that crushing feeling of being overwhelmed about not having a “purpose” is not something I can accurately put into words. As I’ve said, I’ve been getting sick more frequently – there’s nothing wrong with me that can’t be fixed by getting a good amount of sleep, some weight loss, and a cleaner diet. But it’s also made me think about my inevitable death and how much I don’t want to die regretful. It has made me take a look at my life, what I spend time on, and I guess I just wanted to take a break to examine just that. And maybe get my head out the water and just keep breathing. But enough about death and all this sad talk guys and girls, I’ll get over it. I’ll just be extra and dramatic about it first. Haha! This post was about something more cheerful and the entire opposite of death. So here’s a rundown on how I spent my 26th birthday weekend! 🙂

I usually go out of town for my birthday on a solo trip. I’ve always found solo trips a gift to one’s self. I know it’s just not me who enjoys traveling solo, but I also like that I get to make decisions based entirely on my preference. This year, however, I decided to stay put and just go on a staycation with my family. My birthday is a day before a national holiday which always guarantees that I either get a long weekend or at the very least, an excuse to stay in post birthday celebrations. C kicked off my birthday weekend by handing me a huge pink Aranaz paper bag. I’ve always had a thing for structured boho bags. I really liked the ones that are available in dozens of online shops now but I’ve seen it on a lot of people now that just seeing it made me tired of looking at it. Haha!

WHAT I DID

As usual, I didn’t really have a solid plan of what I wanted to do during our weekend. While C loved doing nothing for his birthday, I wanted to sleep in before heading out to visit the museums in Metro Manila for mine. It’s weird because I’ve lived in this country my whole life. I head out to travel and visit museums, but rarely do so when it came to local ones. Unless it was a school requirement, I never bother, so I decided to change that. Of course, our first stop was the National Museum of Fine Arts. It’s a four-story building that used to be where Congress and Senate meet until it got turned over to the National Museum of the Philippines, and was in turn, filled with exhibits by Filipino artists and houses the famous Spoliarium by Juan Luna. Before I started looking into museums to visit, I thought this was the actual National Museum, and didn’t realize that the title is used for the governing body who manages all the National Museums. Entrance fee to all the museums they handle is also free since relying on visitors fees proved to be detrimental in managing the museums, hence, taxpayers now fund the upkeep. I think it worked because it was packed with locals and tourists alike on a rainy Saturday afternoon, more than a year since the fee has been revoked.

Juan Luna’s portraits of daily life in Paris
Philippine Hero, Jose Rizal

An artistic representation of me at work LOL

We attempted thrice in the span of two days to watch the shows at the National Planetarium but was unsuccessful because we always get stuck in traffic. It recently re-opened early this year after renovations to upgrade the facility and I really wanted to see whether it lives up to my memories of being in awe of it back when I was in grade school. The nearest miss was when we missed the 10 AM show by 5 minutes and the next one was for 2 PM. Instead of hanging around and waiting, we headed to BGC for another museum.

Adult responsibilities aside, I still feel like a child at heart and interactive museums never fail to entertain me. We went to The Mind Museum where I’ve been itching to visit.. but I also don’t like heading to anywhere in Taguig (the office included) because that place is like a bubble. Getting in and out of it is a journey on its own because traffic is horrible. It takes me a full hour on normal work days to get from the BGC bus terminal to the office building I work in even when I get off at the third stop. Ugh. But I digress. The Mind Museum is not as extensive as other interactive museums I’ve been to, and they know that which is why they have three-hour time slots which are ample time to explore the entire museum. Unlike the National Museums, admission is not free. If you’re going with a student (or anyone you know that has an ID for discounts), have them bring their ID. My brother goes to a state university and his discount is huge (since my sister attends a private school, hers is minimal but discounts are discounts haha).

After visiting The Mind Museum, I wanted to head back to Rizal Park and take our chances at either the Planetarium again or Museong Pambata. But we knew the museums close early and all this rain is undoubtedly going to foist our plans once again that C just drove around while we thought of what we wanted to do next. He remembered how I wanted to go to a gun range, and headed to Makati Cinema Center where there’s a bowling alley, a gun range, and an archery range. When we got there, we had a vote on what we wanted to do (I’m all for democracy, even on my birthday haha), and archery won. Off to Kodanda Archery, we go.

WHERE I STUFFED MY FACE SILLY

I also think that birthdays are a good excuse for stuffing your face silly, and I had three days to do so (which was, unfortunately, also detrimental to losing weight). We had a late lunch in Binondo on our first day and I over ordered that it ended up as both lunch and dinner for us. C & I have made the walk to Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant from Binondo Church since we were in college, mainly because it was C loved their fried chicken, plus it was cheap and we didn’t have a lot of cash to spend on dates. This time we went to their branch in Lucky Chinatown Mall and had our patience, with the traffic and the almost full parking, tested.

Sincerity Fried Chicken
Sincerity Patatim with Cuapao – I’M A BIG FAN
Sincerity Fried Rice
Kikiam
Oyster Cake – NOT a fan at all

Anyone who spent their childhood in the Philippines in the 90s grew up with Jollibee. I’m not gonna lie, as an adult, it still is my favorite fast food. When I was younger, all I wanted for my birthday is a Jollibee birthday party which I didn’t get, so I’ll make do with a birthday lunch from Jollibee.

The last leg of stuffing my face happened during my birthday dinner at Niu by Vikings. I was looking into dinner buffets that had a birthday promo and wasn’t too expensive (no hotel buffet dinners for me) but still served quality food. When multi-cuisine buffets started popping out of nowhere the past few years (beating the classic Pinoy buffets that have been around forever), cheaper ones followed suit. I didn’t want to gorge with so-so food, as quantity over quality has been quite the theme in some buffets I’ve been to. I did my research and ended up here to ensure a nice birthday dinner. I, unfortunately, didn’t get to try all the cuisines they offer because I got full around my third plate of food. Haha! 🙂

I had a number of restaurants that I wanted to try on our third day, but I still had a large amount of undigested food in my tummy. I was also starting to show symptoms of the flu. The feeling of being bloated and runny nose does not mix well together, and we spent the rest of our staycation utilizing the bed for sleeping. Overall, I had a relaxing and [literally] filling birthday weekend with my family. I honestly was dreading turning 26 for a bit, because 25 is a good number to achieve a lot of milestones in life (admittedly, a lot of my plans were thwarted but it happens). 26 sounded so close to 30 – and it meant I only had four remaining years to tick off the remaining items in my ’30 before 30′ list. But good food and great company (with their thoughtful birthday gifts) make for awesome birthday memories. Cheers to turning 26! 🙂

Suitecation at Infinity Tower Suites + Eating our way through Makati

I already had a draft of this post just sitting there, waiting for me to fill the gaps with words, for almost a week now. However, before I even got to doing so, the stats on my old posts kicked up for some reason. I had been putting off updating them because there were a lot, but since I was getting comments on some of them, I knew I had to go back and do a clean up of sorts. I went and deleted most of them that were basically just a college student’s rants, and my posts went down from 700+ to 275. I also worked on updating the posts with missing photos (such as the ones from a 2013 travel series/my first foray with a Schengen visa) and even got to upload a video of old clips with it. I’m now working on another old travel series where C and I went to Singapore for my birthday. Thank goodness I have the long weekend to work on this. Now all I need is another staycation, and this weekend would really take a turn for the better.

Last weekend, we did just that. I bought a Dealgrocer voucher for a room in Makati and booked one for me and the sibs. Since all of us had different schedules, last weekend was the only one we could free up without it being a holiday/long weekend, and totally avoid the crowds. When we got to Makati, the first thing we did was go to Glorietta for a little shopping. C was busy with weekend work, but we had lunch together at Kanto Freestyle Breakfast in Makati. Every time I didn’t work from home and worked the night shift in the office, we make it a point to have breakfast. We often end up here or Crepe Amelie, so we decided to have the sibs try it out too. Both siblings had Crispy Corned Beef, C had his usual New Zealand Beef Tapa, and I ordered my favorite Tuyo Flakes with Kesong Puti. We all had Scramble after our meal, to try and beat the heat.

We stayed in a 2-bedroom suite at Infinity Tower Suites. It was huge and looked more like a condo than a hotel room. The master bedroom had its own bathroom and too many cabinets for a hotel room. Honestly, if I had a condo, this would be how big I want it to be (but it would be too expensive and I’d just buy a house instead lol), and the location is great as well. It’s located in the heart of Makati’s business district, and would be perfect for anyone who works within the area. You can just bike or walk to your workplace! That’s what I would do if I lived there.

The master bathroom had a tub, although it was a little faulty since it drains slowly even while it’s plugged. The bathroom does look dated though.

The common bathroom looked even more dated than the master bathroom. It did function properly, although the bidet in this toilet had a super strong pressure.

The other bedroom had two single beds where the siblings slept in. All of the rooms had the AC temperature control panel, but the entire flat was really cold no matter how much we fiddled with it.

The kitchen was equipped with a fridge, an old electric stove top oven (you can tell it has been used countlessly in the past), a microwave, and complete utensils. We were weirded out by the door here and found out that it leads to a laundry room, and the maid’s quarters.

The living area had a huge 2-piece lounge set and a small dining table.

I bought a bath bomb from LUSH to use on the tub! I never knew how amazing they were but even if I had a tub at home, it would be too expensive to use it.

After spending the afternoon filling ourselves with junk food and binge watching movies, we headed to BGC with C to have dinner in Genki Sushi. It’s unfortunate that Japanese cuisine in this country is a bit on the pricey side. I wish I can crave for sushi and sashimi anytime I want and not worry about my wallet. What’s special about Genki Sushi is the automated ordering system and the food train that delivers your food.

When we got back, we spent the night hanging out again with drinks and ice cream! Even though we all live in the same house, we don’t really see each other often because of our conflicting schedules. I work the night shift, my brother attends the university, and my sister still works on her academic prowess even during summer vacation. *cough nerd cough*

The next morning, I was lying in bed thinking what our breakfast would be at The Wholesome Table. I knew it was an organic restaurant so I decided on eating an ice cream cookie sandwich before we headed down there. I know, I know. For someone who is trying to eat healthily, I eat so much junk.

Our stay in Infinity Tower Suites comes with free set breakfast in The Wholesome Table. It’s an organic restaurant and the interior is heavily inspired by nature. It uses wood, fake plants, and warm lighting. There were floor to ceiling windows to let natural light in, and tons of flora outside these windows to complete the one with nature feel of the restaurant. The decor is dreamy and similar to how I would decorate the breakfast nook on my future forever home. As hotel guests, you get a one-page menu to order your set breakfast from. The selection was understandably limited compared to their actual menu.

C and I both had the Meat & Eggs Plate. Our meat was our choice of Nitrate-free Bacon, scrambled free-range eggs, and breakfast salad. To be completely honest, everything tasted okay although all I could think of while eating was that it could use a little more salt. But that’s just me and my taste buds. My brother had their Gluten-Free Lemon Yogurt Pancake, while my sister had their Gluten-Free Waffles. Both came with coconut vanilla butter and raw honey. I’ve had quite a lot of vegetarian, vegan, and, organic meals in my life (I am fascinated by them), but this was, unfortunately, my least favorite.

He was not happy with me when I told him where we were having breakfast

We wanted to have dessert after our meal and went out in search for something sweet. I initially thought that the Salcedo Weekend Market was open on Sundays and it was a short walk from where we were, so we headed there. But I was mistaken, and our search ended with the suggestion of going to another of C and I’s favorite breakfast places. Crepe Amelie has been an establishment that we frequent for years now, and I can order from them without looking at their menu. Their floor to ceiling windows are similar to the ones on The Wholesome Table, and this is actually where we conceptualized that we wanted a breakfast nook with great windows to let the morning sun in.

Our Pink Lemonade came into this cute honeycomb glasses. Can I just say that I really want to own a set?

My brother was still not full from the meal so he had the BLT sandwich. I think I may have already mentioned before that my sister and C have the SAME preferences in food, and she ordered C’s favorite, Banana PB & Nutella Crepe. C and I shared his because we were both already a bit full and didn’t want to overwhelm ourselves with food.

After our lengthy breakfast, we headed back to our room to pack our things up, while C headed back to his office to work on a Sunday. Boo! The reception called 30 minutes before checkout to remind us of their checkout time, but I decided to stay inside the room on the dot. Haha! After getting our incidental deposit back, we headed to SM Makati for some more window shopping and then to MINISO for some actual shopping before heading home. I ended up with three of MINISO’s Php 99 eyeshadow trios, cotton pads, and phone cases. $2 shopping is so much fun!

Overall, our stay in Infinity Tower Suites was a success as our main goal was to relax. I guess it is value for money if you’re just looking for a serviced residence somewhere you can crash and not clean up afterward. The location in Salcedo Village is ideal if you plan on exploring both upscale side of Makati, and the booming foodie area of Poblacion. However, I am betting that for the price we paid for it in DealGrocer (Php 6900+), you can get a nicer room via Airbnb (this is an affiliate link where I can earn travel credits when you sign up via that link and book a place).

The long weekend is almost over! How did you spend it? 🙂

Weekly Vlog #2 || Tagaytay Weekend

Hello! I’ve been a bit MIA – the past few weeks have been quite busy. It was hectic enough that C and I decided to book a weekend off the grid so we could relax. And where else do we go but in Tagaytay? (I was giggling when I wrote this because I literally live less than an hour away from Tagaytay haha) I’m a big fan of staycations and I always have an eye out for interesting listings or hotel rooms (I’m pretty sure everyone who reads this blog has noticed by now). I have so many Airbnb listings saved up, just waiting for the right moment to be booked! Moongarden Casita has always been an eye-catching one, and we decided to finally book it. You can sign up via this link and get Php 950 off from your first booking! 🙂

The pictures of the casita online looked exactly as it was in person. The room itself is quaint and cozy. The slightly unfinished theme of the decor worked very well. C and I were a little hesitant if we c

We didn’t really see any other guests that weren’t couples.

The bathroom had enough towels, soap and shampoo bottle from Ilog Maria, and even insect repellant lotion. C kept getting bit by insects but I wasn’t.

It wasn’t called a garden for no reason. No wonder Tony (one of the hosts) was thin! He gets to walk up and down a number of stairs every day.

We’re almost always in Tagaytay every weekend and we already have our favorites. But for this weekend, we wanted to try restaurants that we haven’t tried before. I, of course, wanted to try the ones that are located in the side streets to which C replied “hipster!”. We ended up at Lime & Basil Thai Restaurant. It’s probably one of the best decisions ever.

This is your usual fish crackers – it’s the sauce that was the star of the show!

I honestly did not expect the fresh spring rolls to be this big and this many, but here it is. The prices at Lime & Basil are pretty average in comparison to the usual Thai restaurants in Makati, but the serving is bigger. The establishment looks like it’s part of the house that’s in the same compound.

We also had Bagoong Rice, Chicken Sate, and Tofu Curry. One of our travel goals is to someday get our asses to Thailand to stuff ourselves silly with Thai cuisine. #ThisIsWhyWeFat

Banana Fritters with Langka icecream! (C thought it was cheese ice cream though)

We went back to the casita to just chill and relax. (we were also too full to move haha)

We went out for dinner and was planning to check out the mall when we passed by the Red Bus Mobile Diner. (On a personal note: I believe the abundance of malls and condominiums in Tagaytay have overall abolished the relaxed vibe)

To be completely honest, we’ve had better burgers.

Our stay is inclusive of free breakfast. Tony asked us for what we wanted when we checked in and informed us that they start serving breakfast at 7 AM.

C had Adobo Flakes while I had Longganisa. I liked his breakfast better, which is a surprise in itself because I usually have tastier orders haha!

We had lunch reservations for Marcia Adams after checking out. I’ve always wanted to try it because it’s basically insta-famous. I mean, come on, look at that big ass window transporting you all the way to Italy.

The restaurant serves three-course Mediterranean cuisines. C and I both had hummus for starters. While good, the hummus from Kismet Cafe still tops the list of all the hummus I’ve tried.

I had Grilled Pork while C had Chicken Kebabs. Both our orders tasted great, and once again, C got the better tasting one. The kebab was so flavorful – I wanted to lick my spoon clean.

For dessert, C had banana split where they serve the banana slightly grilled(?) and still within its peel.

I had the strawberry yoghurt ice cream. I’m drooling while writing this!

It was overall, a rejuvenating weekend. I think the time we spent out of the hustle bustle of our weekdays and into the relative calm of [not so] chilly Tagaytay did us well. Now I hope this renewed energy lasts me the entire work week!

Yuan’s Wings

It’s been a while since I last updated. Real life has been hectic, to say the least, and to add to the everyday battle is my fight against anxiety. Most days, I feel like I have spread myself out too thin, but I always have to remind myself that a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s got to. *cue Iggy Azalea: pledge allegiance to the struggle* I expect the remaining days of 2016 to be busier as ever, as the reason for my self-imposed travel ban for the first half of the year is to save up for all my travels at the latter half. So yay for traveling and [most probably] blog content! 🙂

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Thank goodness for great food and great company, though. Even if my social interactions are limited to sporadic dinner out with friends (and in this case, it was to have our own OTWOL finale viewing party lol), it always turns out to be a fun night.

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Garlic Parmesan is a crowd favorite!

Rachel (and hubby, Jem) has had the recipe for her famous wings way before I even knew her, and when she finally launched Yuan’s Wings, it easily became an office party favorite. Now that she opened a restaurant (please see top photo for the address), we all went out to support her. Surprisingly, I haven’t tried Honey Barbecue yet lol.

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Yuan’s Signature Wings is what made the brand popular. It even won an Ultimate Taste Test! It’s not sweet, tangy, and not too spicy. It’s a must try!

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The first of our orders. When we started digging in, more wing orders were made than photographed lol.

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They were still on their soft opening when we went, and for the life of me could not remember what this was called on the menu but it’s chicharong bulaklak. Everybody loved it, even Benj who shouldn’t be eating this lol.

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Bacon-wrapped crab sticks. Anything wrapped in crispy bacon is good, guys.

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Tokwa’t baboy. Classic Pinoy favorite.

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Rachel and Jem are continuously working on improving the interior as well as the menu. I can’t wait to go back and try all the other flavors! 🙂

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Interior

Figtree Cafe

Menu

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My handsome date
My handsome date
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Chicken Pastel
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Lechon Kawali

This place looked really cute from the outside and it took a while and a lot of pouting to get my way, uhm, I mean get C to try it out with me. The ambiance is superb and honestly, I even started to include it in my list of places where to hold my birthday party in.. That is until we tried out the food. C and I are unfortunately huge fans of salty food, and that is probably the reason why we found the taste lacking.

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So I ordered a cheesecake to cheer us up. It tasted quite nice although my gripe about it is that the texture started changing the nearer we were to the narrow part of the slice (middle of the cake).. So yup. Probably not somewhere C and I will be going back to soon.

Solo Travel for the Female Foodie

There are different kinds of travelers out there with varying takes on how to really ‘see the sights’. Some prefer to go backpacking and roughing it up, quite a lot likes to go shopping at flea markets for great finds, there are people who adore exploring a city by biking, and talented photographers go on photo walks. Then there’s us, the ones who yearn to try the local cuisine for the authentic experience. Eating is a common experience for everyone! Although it sounds lonely to eat out when traveling alone, it’s easy to make it a fun venture. Here are a few tips on how I enjoy eating solo while traveling.

Always bring bottled water. Tap water is generally harmless to locals since their tummies are already accustomed to it, but it’s different everywhere. Go down the safer route (no one’s going to take care of you when you get sick traveling solo) and bring bottled water with you. You also get to save a few extra bucks by not paying inflated prices for it in tourist spots.

Ask the locals for recommendations. Or better yet, eat with them!

l used to print out lists I found online of food to try in a specific place, but the best tasting ones are usually suggestions from the locals. I usually ask them to write the address and the name of the dish for me, but a lot of friendly locals will even volunteer to go eat with you. It’s pretty easy to bridge cultural gaps through dining together (it’s important to note that you still have to take necessary safety precautions when eating with strangers).

I asked for recommendations regarding Khmer cuisine and was treated free lunch!

Line up for street food.

At the Dong Xuan night market in Vietnam

I find street food interesting because it’s diverse in a way. Copenhagen has their crepe bikes, waffles on a stick, and hot dog stands. Orange quail eggs, chicken innards, and blood cubes can be found in the streets of Manila. They sell coffee and soy pudding with ginger sauce in Hanoi, while you can find $1 fresh fruit shakes at Pub Street in Siem Reap. The concern people usually have about street food is its cleanliness. While there is no way for you to know that everything you eat on the streets is clean, stalls that have the longest queues usually means that they have high ingredient turnover.

Lined up for one of the food stalls in Nyhavn, Copenhagen for waffles on a stick

Try something at least once. You know what they say – when in Rome do as the Romans do. Unless it violates your personal dietary restrictions, go try it out before giving judgment. It may not be as bad as you think it is and it ends up being your favorite, or it could be worse.. but you’ll never know until you try.

Late night dinner of grilled frog and cold Saigon beer in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.

Join food tours! The downside of eating solo is that you can only eat for one person, and ordering everything is not practical at all. This may be cliché already, but joining food tours is the easiest way to get around to trying a lot of food and sharing it with like-minded people. Now, isn’t that fun?

Saigon food tour

Enjoy exploring the world through eating, female foodies! 🙂

*As published in MAGPIE, the world’s first private membership club for female travelers. I was so excited when Cathy asked if I can write a quick article for them about solo female travel. So I thought, hmmm, why not write about eating solo? Thank you Cathy and MAGPIE for the opportunity. 🙂

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen + Bag of Beans

I feel sad writing this while munching on instant pancit canton (meaning it’s bland and just noodles) because now I’m craving for quality Italian food. But I have a terrible head ache and I was hoping that the MSG in this will get me to crash back into sleep. Being in night shift will be the death of my fitness goals, I swear. I have now added sleeping during the day (too many distractions) in my list of things I do not like doing. It’s quickly catching up on to going out on rainy days – which is precisely what we did during my brother’s birthday. Haha!

Proscuitto Funghi (Php 425)

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We usually only ever go to the Sta. Rosa area for two things: to go shopping and to go shopping then eat at Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen. Haha! We’ve tried to eat at their original branch in BF Homes but it’s always so crowded, probably because they have great tasting dishes. So anyway, the brother wanted Italian food for his birthday, and C suggested we brave the ongoing rain and head to Nuvali. Whenever we eat here, we have at least one order of their risotto along with their house blend iced tea (seriously one of the best ones I have tried). C’s favorite is the buttered one while I lean towards their Risotto Pesto Al Pollo (from the name itself – with pesto and chicken) – and we ordered both dishes so the sibs can try it for themselves. Surprisingly, they enjoyed the pesto one even though they steered clear of anything pesto after my first attempt at making it at home (they said it tasted strongly like grass haha). The appetizer samples was nothing special though, which is the first miss we’ve had from all our visits to the restaurant.

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City Sampler (Php 495)
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Buttered Risotto (Php 295)

After roaming around Nuvali (roaming = a little bit of shopping), we headed back to Cavite via the Tagaytay-Calamba road. While rainy days in Manila meant being stuck in traffic for what seems like forever, rainy days in Tagaytay meant an overall cuddle weather. Thank goodness I had a thick black pullover on (plus my thick knee high socks under my rain boots), only a little part of my legs was in danger of freezing (not really) because I wore a mini skirt lol. We had the windows down when it started getting foggy, and the chills had everyone craving for coffee. Where to go next then? Nope, not Starbucks!

We headed to Bag of Beans for some dessert, hot chocolate (for me and Tin), and coffee for them guys. Bag of Beans’ fame grew rapidly over the years that they have opened more branches in Tagaytay. Our favorite is still their original one, although the service is not what it used to be (it usually takes a while before you get their attention for your orders/your bill/etc), mainly because the place is too big and it’s always so crowded during weekends and holidays. Fortunately, their menu is something one would come back for. 🙂

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Birthday Boy

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Neil’s Kitchen (Part 2)

When the sibs were younger, they hated tagging along to my dates with C because they didn’t like being the third wheel. When they realized how much we liked eating out and shopping, they started aligning their schedule with ours to turn our dates into family day lol. Although C and I became a couple in the latter part of 2009, he’s been bringing goodies (donuts, ice cream, etc.) whenever he visits me at home “as a friend” since 2008 which effectively won over the sibs (they were chiding me to just be with him already hahaha).

BBQ Pork Belly with Java Rice (Php 395)
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Chicken of the South “Alabang Fried Chicken” with gravy rice (Php 395)

On one of our ‘family days’ (C and my brother has a tendency to wear matching outfits since my brother usually shops with C), we brought the sibs to Neil’s Kitchen. It was a win-win situation because they have HUGE servings and I wanted to try out other dishes. Chicken boy surprised everyone by not ordering chicken since he fell in love with their sinigang paella, so my sister who has the same food preferences as C fyi, ordered the chicken. She loved it but preferred the sinigang paella as well. Tristan ordered the pork belly while I tried out their bagoong paella. Both dishes are flavorful and something I’d order again.. if the sinigang paella is not available. Haha!

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Sinigang Paella with Grilled Pork Belly (Php 350)
Bagoong Paella with Kare-kare (Php 395)
Bagoong Paella with Kare-kare (Php 395)

 

Seoul Garden Hotpot

I’m a huge fan of Korean food. I don’t think I may have emphasized that enough in this blog. Haha! There are so many Korean restaurants (and Koreans as well) in Cavite that eating out in one located at a mall seems like a lame attempt on authentic Korean cuisine.

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Banchan

C and I were roaming around The District – Imus when we decided to try it out. But we’re not huge fans of hotpot so no hotpot for us. Haha! C had their crispy fried chicken with noodles while I had one of their bibimbap with a twist. One thing you must know about me is my parents trained me to finish everything on my plate.. but I didn’t finish mine because the flavors were so unremarkable that I had to ask for condiments to mix it with. However, C’s order tasted great! I was taking spoonfuls of his noodle soup all throughout our meal that he kept asking me if I wanted to switch orders. I guess it’s because he couldn’t eat in peace. 😛 It’s actually one of the things I love about this guy – it’s like having a ‘best friends with really good benefits’ kind of relationship. He teases me, annoys me, and has all these little quirks that frankly, I can live without, but it makes him him. And that’s more than enough for me. 🙂

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Chicken Bulggogi Bap (Php 248)
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Dak go gi myon without the soup (Php 248)

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Shots (I honestly can’t remember how it tasted like sorry lol)

Al-Shams (Part 2)

Hummus (Php 145)

I don’t think C and I will ever get tired of great tasting Middle Eastern cuisine. I’m not sure how authentic ones should taste like, but C and I visit Al-Shams whenever we have the craving for it. We tried out a new dish which was the Beef Korma. It’s a good thing that they ask the level of spiciness for spicy dishes (that sounds redundant even in my head) because I’m not a huge fan of burning hot dishes (read: Crying Tiger). It’s good! C ordered chapati as well, which I dipped into the beef sauce when my rice ran out. We didn’t get to finish everything though because we were too full. FOOD COMAAAAAAA

Chicken Tikka (Php 240)
Chicken Tikka (Php 240)

I wish I can always apply this method in my life – just try out everything and leave every fear behind. People think I’m like that, and in a way I guess I am. I enjoy trying out new things, but I don’t like having to.. get people to pay for my services. Oh gosh, that did not sound like that in my head. Haha! What I meant, though, is that I do not have the same level of confidence that I usually have when people ask me to do something for them for a price – like bake a cake or write for them. C is always pushing me to take pastry orders or accept writing prompts, but I’m always hesitant to put a price tag on it because there’s this nagging thought of “what if it’s not good enough?”. So yeah, no talent for bullshitting here. Sigh. Maybe it’s a good idea for a resolution this year? 🙂

Beef Korma (Php 350)
Beef Korma (Php 350)