September 19, 2018

Siem Reap 2017 Travel Diary: Tanei Boutique Villas

I’m one of those people who believes that travel breaks down routines, monotony and brings back some adventure, excitement, and exploration to people’s lives. For the most part of last year, my life was just pre-occupied with work, blogging-related events and random brunches and night-outs with friends. Nothing really spectacular or mind-blowing. And that, if not for most people, will cause some burn-out. And nothing can cure that for me than board a plane or a boat or a bus and go somewhere, wherever... You know, to fall in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met. (Yes, I got that from a quote which I like so much.)

Together with three of my friends, we planned for an out-of-the country multi-city trip. And these places were our dream destinations for years now. This trip was supposed to happen last 2016 but got put off for unforeseen reasons. Since June of 2017, after booking our flights, I’ve been looking forward to the day when we finally get to board the plane and start our 6-day journey. 

September 18, 2018

Fastbreak Sports Bar and Grill - Antipolo

Most people picture Antipolo as a suburban area and that their minds automatically wander to a mountain place with cool breeze and green sceneries; like a quick sanctuary from the busy city life.  However, Antipolo throughout the years have transformed into a full-blown city with malls and establishments springing like mushrooms here and there. Although its allure is still there because it still possess places with great vantage point of the lowlands below especially at night. 

We all know that a few things unite the human race, especially Filipinos is sports. It’s a way of life, and the ultimate escape from whatever phase in our lives that we are locked into at the moment. But it’s also fun, social and a great way to meet new friends thanks to alcohol and team spirit. Welcome to the sports bar, where you can find just about that. 

September 17, 2018

Gata - Flavors of Bicolandia Atbp.

The Bicol Region is known for spicy cuisine. After a quick researching about their regional cuisine, I also found out that this region is also known for their gata-based (coconut milk) way of cooking. Probably because the region is also known for its agricultural industry of copra – the dried meat or kernel of the coconut. Thus Bicol region has blessed the Filipino cuisine with Bicol Express and Laing. I have very low tolerance for spicy food, but anything with coconut milk, it’s another story for me. 

I am basically someone who loves any dish with coconut milk. Be it a viand or dessert, I would eat it. Gata makes every dish naturally sweet, creamy and rich. Some may have problems with gata especially that it can make someone run for the comfort room. As for me, I am so desensitized to it that the only feeling I get after eating a dish with gata is a happy tummy. 

September 16, 2018

New Creations and Refreshing Drinks at Banh Mi Kitchen

My first exposure to Vietnamese cuisine was when I dined in a Vietnamese restaurant at Eastwood but I only got to try pho and fresh spring rolls and I love both of them. When I planned a trip to Palawan, I was surprised to find out while researching places to visit that there are a couple of authentic Vietnamese restaurants in that area. Owing to the fact that Vietnamese refugees once settled in Palawan.

It is then that I got to know banh mi, chao long noodles and Vietnamese coffee – which I totally loved eating while I was on that trip. Vietnamese food is an underrated cuisine in the Philippines but lately has been gaining popularity in the Manila food scene. And I think we should all need to explore it more as this fare is considered healthy and refreshing eats.

September 15, 2018

Paradise Dynasty's New Dishes! (Podium Mall)

According to Wikipedia, Xiao Long Bao is a type of Chinese steamed bun from the Jiangnan region, especially associated with Shanghai and Wuxi. It is traditionally prepared in Xiaolong, which is a kind of small bamboo steaming basket, which give them their name. Xiaolongbao is often referred to as a kind of "dumpling", and they are also called a "soup dumpling" because they are filled with hot soup and must be eaten carefully.

One of the places you can get the best xiao long bao, not only in the Philippines, but across Asia is at Paradise Dynasty. A few days ago, I was lucky to get invited to try their new menu additions at their branch at The Podium Mall. I’ve heard so many great reviews of this place and I was excited beyond my wits because it was my first time to try what they have to offer.

September 13, 2018

Hearty Breakfast Buffet at Spice Cafe - City Garden Grand Hotel

It is widely known and accepted that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is not just fuel for the activities that lie in the day ahead; a great breakfast should awaken the senses, satisfy the taste buds, and lift our spirits. As John Gunther said: “All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” Just like all other meals of the day, breakfast should nothing but put a smile on our faces.

I’m not much of a breakfast person especially when my body is so used to the graveyard shift. But hotel breakfasts speaks volumes to me. This is what I look forward to whenever I stay in a hotel. Because besides being able to stuff myself with massive amounts of bacon, with breakfast buffets there is a variety of dishes that appeal to different cultural and national backgrounds.

September 11, 2018

Meet the Mega Meat BBQ Set from Soban K-Town

I always deny that I like things that are Korean, but actually, I do. I buy a lot of makeup and beauty products from Korean brands. I like their fashion style, a select few of their K-Pop bands and I've watched 1 or 2 of their telenovelas too (back in college). As for their cuisine, I was just ok with it. My liking of Korean food was turned 180 degrees until I tried Soban K-Town Grill. I have tried a few Korean restaurants before, even during my childhood (my late father loved it) but all I can remember was that how I hated Kimchi because it is super spicy and I'm not really big into spicy food.

Soban means small tray or table. Soban K-Town Grill is a collaboration between award-winning Korean restaurateur, Mr. Sung Rah of Sariwon Korean Barbecue and their Philippine franchisee, the Happyfoods Group. It is inspired by K-Town in Los Angeles where Korean immigrants settled and began fusing traditional Korean ingredients and techniques with American comfort foods and the Mexican street food scene, charting a bold a new flavorful path for Korean cuisine. At Soban K-Town Grill they aim to serve their client's favorite Korean pork, chicken BBQ and tacos in a bold, new flavorful way.

September 9, 2018

Spice Cafe at City Garden Grand Hotel

We are in the age where hotel restaurants are climbing back to popularity and respectability. I remember when I was young and life was better than now, my late father would hold meetings at hotel restaurants for when they would meet foreign or local clients for their business. He and my mother would usually debate if it’s practical do so. My father would argue, the food is great and that it is a way to impress their clients. 

Ever since then I’ve always thought, dining in hotel restaurants has always got to be expensive plus extravagant. Only that I’ve started earning money and want to reward myself once in a while and getting invited to events where the venue is a hotel, that I understood why my father prefer eating or bringing his clients to hotel restaurants. 

September 8, 2018

Take Your Dining to New Heights at Firefly Roofdeck - City Garden Grand Hotel

If you have been a regular reader or visitor of my blog or other social media, by now, you have an idea that I am someone who loves roof deck or roof top restaurants and/or bars. Whether or not the fickle Manila weather allows, my fondness of alfresco dining and drinking has taken me to a higher level of fun by seeking out the Metro’s best rooftop places. Places where solitude and calming breezes offer me a break from the noise of the real world down below.

In Poblacion, Makati, there’s a couple of rooftop restobars you can hang out at. I don’t know for sure if you’ve heard about Firefly Roofdeck. Well, Esquire Magazine Philippines included it as one of Manila's 7 Coolest Roof-Deck Bars. And I couldn’t see any reason why they shouldn’t include Firefly in that list. 

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