Foodgasm episode 16: Pamana Restaurant (+ Enchanted Kingdom)

A week ago, we set April 6 as the day my family and I would go to Enchanted Kingdom (EK). But, before going to EK, my uncle had to attend to a few business matters which included a project in Tagaytay.

We arrived at Tagaytay at around 1PM and we haven’t eaten lunch yet. My cousin suggested eating at Pamana Restaurant which is one of the famous food spots in Tagaytay. Pamana Restaurant is owned by Happy Ongpauco, cousin of celebrity Heart Evangelista.

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Photo © Dianne Reyno

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I love the interior of the place because it gives a homey feel. There are lots of Ongpauco family pictures, antique furniture, and quaint pieces of home accessories (e.g. rocking chair, fireplace) inside.

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We decided to seat ourselves at the second floor. I don’t know if sitting inside was the better choice. It was VERY hot that day and we only had one electric fan to keep us cool inside. I did not notice any signs of the wind blowing outside so there was a possibility of sitting outside as a not-so-good idea, too.

Front cover of Pamana Restaurant's menu
Front cover of Pamana Restaurant’s menu

Water with pandan leaf
Water with pandan leaf (free)

On to the food we ate at Pamana! By the way, I was too hungry to take note of the names of the dishes we ordered and their corresponding prices since I did not eat breakfast that day. I did my best to search for a menu online but there was none. 😦

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Bulalo

The bowl of Bulalo was really big so imagine this bone sticking out of the bowl… I thought that this was probably from a dinosaur. Kidding! We asked for extra soup and the waiter was kind enough to grant our request. Pamana’s Bulalo had a meaty flavor and the meat itself was very soft to chew. I was just a tiny bit disappointed with the soup because it was not very hot. But of course, that is already a personal preference.

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Bagoong Rice

Since the start of 2013, I have been on a low-carb diet and one of the things I did was to substitute whole-wheat bread for rice. The only “rice” I cannot refuse to eat are my mom’s fried rice, bagoong rice, and aligue rice. So, when I saw that Pamana has Bagoong Rice, I knew that I had to order it. Pamana’s Bagoong Rice (good for 2 to 3 servings) has scrambled egg, binagoongang pork, and green mango strips for toppings. It’s actually a meal on its own already. I enjoyed stuffing my tummy with this that I did not bother getting a big portion from the other dishes.

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Davao’s Baked Sugpo sa Taba ng Talangka

The aligue in Davao’s Baked Sugpo sa Taba ng Talangka went well with the cheese. This combination complimented the sugpo (large shrimp) well. I only got a piece of this since this dish was for my cousin who cannot eat pork, chicken, and beef due to fasting.

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Crispy Lapu-lapu

This was the only dish I was not able to taste but seeing the rest of my family get second helpings of this dish means that this was delicious enough for them.

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Crispy Squid in Black Ink

The squid was not overcooked so it was easy to chew. It tastes good but it was not too outstanding for me.

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Crispy Pata

Dun-dun-dun!!! The highlight of our lunch goes to the Crispy Pata (deep-fried pork leg). I saw my little sister get a huge chunk of the skin. Huli! I tried a small piece of the skin and it was really crispy. I also grabbed some meat which was easy to munch. Pamana brought out the savory and meaty flavor that I want with crispy pata.

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After our business with Tagaytay, we headed towards Laguna. Enchanted Kingdom!!! The last time I went here was around eight years ago, during my high school field trip. It was no surprise that there were a lot of people last Saturday since it was a weekend and students are now on their summer vacation.

My little sister and I were able to use our student IDs to avail of EK’s discount (ticket = P450/student). The regular rate for adults is P500 for weekdays while P600 for weekends. We were disappointed to know that EK removed the ticket rate for adults who wish to enter EK but do not have any intention of riding any of the amusement park’s attraction. My aunts and uncles had to pay P600, too. 😦

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“Kids”

The first attraction we went to was the Grand Carousel. We felt like kids again even though my little sister and I are already in our 20s. Obviously, we were surrounded by kids but who cares. My parents also rode the cute horsies. Kids at heart!

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Map of Enchanted Kingdom

Ate Sandy, Chippy, and me
Ate Sandy, Chippy, and me

The three of us decided to separate from our group so that we could ride any attraction we wanted. My parents, aunts, and uncles went with my nephew and niece to see what attractions these two kids could ride.

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Dodgem

Dodgem!!! It was my first time to drive a bump car. I was a bit nervous since while I was waiting for our turn, I saw a few people who were stuck at the sides and could not move their cars. My cousin told me to just keep on turning the steering wheel until my car moved. I was glad that I did not get stuck and I was able to drive my car. *happy dance*

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Roller Skater

Roller Skater is the roller coaster for kids and for adults who cannot ride the Space Shuttle (like me!!!). I was shocked with this attraction because we only went around the track once. Hindi man lang nag-init pag-upo namin. I know that the last time I rode this was eight years ago but back then, we went around the track two or three times. Now that would make the ride more worth it, right?

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Bump n’ Splash

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Wheel of Fate

We were not able to ride this because of the loooooooong line plus my relatives wanted to go home already when we decided to fall in line. 😦

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Jungle Log Jam

Hello to the random people in those pictures. LOL. During our ride, Ate Sandy, Chippy, and I talked about how we should smile (or at least try to) when we reach the last downhill part of the attraction. There was a camera at that portion of the ride and you can opt to have it printed on a photo paper or tumbler. Jungle Log Jam was still fun to ride but we were frustrated when we saw our picture. It was too dark! It was already past 5PM but I think that is not a valid excuse. They should have activated the camera flash at that point.

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Space Shuttle (view from Jungle Log Jam)

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Finally a solo picture!

At around 6PM, our group met with the rest of the family since we planned to ride Rio Grande Rapids. When we arrived at the attraction, the line was the longest I had seen that day. It extended even outside the attraction. We decided not to ride this anymore and headed to Rialto instead so that my nephew could watch a 3D clip.

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Rialto’s featured movie

Talk about another disappointing attraction. The movie clip EK showed was from Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, specifically the part where Dwayne Johnson and his gang were riding bees and were being chased by abnormally huge birds. I haven’t watch the film but I did not like the movie clip. I would have preferred cartoons or animation films over it. Well of course our seats moved forward, backward, and sideways to let us feel as if we were also part of the film but no, it just didn’t work.

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Flying Fiesta

I love amusement parks at night because the place becomes more magical with the colorful lights. Anyway, meet Flying Fiesta, one of my favorite rides in EK. This attraction is located just right in front of Rio Grande. Whilst the line for Rio Grande was looooooooooong, there was none at Flying Fiesta. Hooray! If we had more time, I would have ridden this three or four more times.

_MG_4343 _MG_4344 _MG_4345Our last ride was the newest attraction in EK, the Disk-O-Magic. I convinced my cousin to ride with me and my little sister since I thought that this attraction was fun. Not much screaming as compared to EKstreme Tower… or so I thought. When it was our turn to ride, one of the staff asked us to leave or bags at one corner. No seat belts for this ride but there is a cushion for the back, which magically pops out from the bottom of your seat.

So what happened to us during our ride? Screaming and screaming and screaming. The first three seconds were still fun. All of us were clapping our hands to the beat of the EK music but after that… Damn. We were spinning then we were going from one end of the ride to another. I thought I would be thrown out of the ride any moment (but I knew that I was safely tucked in my seat). At one point of the ride, I just had to close my eyes because I could not scream anymore. After the ride, my hair was all over my face. But, I swear this was really the BEST ride I had that day. I made a GIF of Disk-O-Magic to show how the ride works: click HERE!!!

After Disk-O-Magic, we left Enchanted Kingdom and went home. It was a tiring day but the happiness I felt that day made me forget how tired I was .Weekends are really the best when spent with the people you love the most. ❤

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Pamana Restaurant: Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City (near the Tagaytay rotonda)

Enchanted Kingdom: San Lorenzo South, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna

Kamay ni Hesus + Foodgasm episode 15: Buddy’s Pancit Lucban

Holy Week for 2013 just ended. Last Good Friday, my family and my relatives were supposed to do the Stations of the Cross in Via Dolorosa. It was just a ten-minute drive from the home of my relatives, which made it very convenient for us. Finding a parking slot was not difficult but what surprised us was what we saw near the entrance of Via Dolorosa. There was a horde of tourists waiting for their turn to go inside the place. “Horde” might actually be an understatement. Devotees were divided into batches, according to who came first. My aunt decided to postpone our activity then suggested that we go instead to Kamay ni Hesus (Hand of Jesus) the following day.

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So many people at the grotto!
So many people at the grotto!

And so, we did. We left for Quezon province at around 5AM. We got a bit lost since it was my tatay‘s first time to drive to Kamay ni Hesus. When we arrived at around 8:30AM, it was already hard to find parking spaces since apparently, lots of devotees were also there. Kamay ni Hesus, which was built under the initiative of Fr. Joseph “Joey” Faller, draws thousands of people especially those who are in need of hope and miracle. _MG_3883b _MG_3886 _MG_4057 _MG_4058 Upon entering the area (or even before that), I noticed that there were various stalls at one side of the pathway — there were hats, shades, bags, and of course, pasalubong. I regretted not buying a hat after our Stations of the Cross at the grotto. The heat was a killer! Later that day, I heard from the news that the temperature was the hottest for 2013. ヽ(#`Д´)ノ _MG_3885b This guy was seated near the entrance of the shrine and whenever visitors enter the place, he would ask each group which city or province they came from. He would announce that the visitors were from whichever city/province then tell them that they would surely enjoy the place. Every minute or so, he would announce how to go to the comfort room. Probably lots of people kept on approaching him for directions.

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My little sister and my mom ❤

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“Plaque” of recognition for those who pledged and donated for the shrine

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Kamay ni Hesus Church

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We left my ama (Chinese for grandmother) inside the church since she might not be able to handle the crowd at the grotto as well as the number of steps to reach the grotto’s top. There was no scheduled mass for Black Saturday; nevertheless, the church was jam-packed. Piano masterpieces of Catholic songs were played and these were even heard outside the church.

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That’s one tough polar bear! Still standing despite the heat.

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Eve and Adam
Eve and Adam

One of the attractions that kids will love in this place is the Noah’s Ark. I did not get the chance to capture photos of all the animal statues they had at the garden because we were in a hurry to get to the grotto already. Children and adults alike were going from one corner to another in order to take their pictures with the animals as well as with the huge ark of Noah. If the public was allowed to go inside the ark, I would have stayed behind and explored the ark first. Hah!

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View from the bottom of the grotto… Lots of plants plus the glaring morning sun!

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1st Station: The Last Supper

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2nd Station: The Agony in Gethsemani

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3rd Station: Jesus Before the Sanhedrin

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4th Station: The Scourging and Crowning with Thorns

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5th Station: Jesus Receives the Cross

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6th Station: Jesus Falls Under the Weight of the Cross

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7th Station: Simon of Cyrene Carries the Cross of Jesus

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8th Station: Jesus Meets the Pious Women of Jerusalem

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9th Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

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10th Station: The Repentant Thief

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11th Station: Mary and John at the Foot of the Cross

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12th Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

13th Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
13th Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

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14th Station: Jesus Rises from Death

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The resurrected Jesus Christ

I did my best to capture images of each station before starting the prayer for each station with my family and relatives. Upon reaching the top of the grotto, a huge statue of Jesus Christ awaits the devotees. People prayed here for their personal intentions; some even opted to place their hands at the granite pillar beneath Christ’s feet while praying. The heat of the sun and the number of steps we took were nothing in comparison to how much Christ suffered since He was arrested up to His last breath.

One of the things that annoyed me though is when people stopped at every station, or even every corner of the grotto, to have their pictures taken with whatever sculpture was near them. Most of the people climbing up the grotto only passed by each station; some did not even bother looking at the station. I know that I am in no position to tell these people to follow and do the Stations of the Cross properly but what they were doing took away part of the place’s solemnity. I guess it was more of a tourist attraction for them.

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My only solo picture for the day… and the wind just had to ruin my hair.

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After climbing down the grotto 🙂

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Breathtaking view at the top of the grotto

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These are just some of the statues/sculptures you will see when you visit Kamay ni Hesus.

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Buddy’s Pancit Lucban

After the Stations of the Cross at Kamay ni Hesus, we decided to have lunch at Buddy’s Pancit Lucban. The two branches of this resto that I know are in Market! Market! (Taguig City) and Kalayaan Avenue (Makati City). Of course, the first thing we ordered was the Pancit Lucban since this is the resto’s claim to fame. You might be thinking that it’s the same as pancit canton. That’s not the case though. There are three things that make Pancit Lucban special (and my favorite!): 1) lechon kawali is mixed with it; 2) the dish is not totally dry [look at the picture since there’s sauce]; and 3) mixing their vinegar makes the dish more flavorful. I’m actually big fan of vinegar. *wink*

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Buddy’s Lucban Longganisa, one dozen

Since we were also in Lucban, I made it a point not to miss the chance to eat Lucban longganisa (longganisa is the Philippine version of sausages, BTW). It was a good thing that my uncle was also a foodie so he bought it right away. Yay! Buddy’s Lucban Longganisa did not disappoint. It was a bit garlicky so this was a plus for me. My uncle told me that Vigan longganisa was more garlicky though. Can’t wait to have a taste of it!

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Buddy’s Pizza Supreme, small

My little sister is a picky eater and she does not eat longganisa. She ordered Buddy’s Pizza Supreme instead to make sure that she would be full after eating. She was very happy with the pizza since there were generous amounts of cheese and meat.

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Here’s a photo of me with my little sister. I still like to call her my “little sister” even though we only have a one-year gap and we almost have the same height. #oldersisterfeelz LOL. On another note, I must end this entry and start attending to my last college requirements. Leggo!

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Kamay ni Hesus Shrine and Healing Center: Lucban-Tayabas Road, Lucban, Quezon Province

Buddy’s Pancit Lucban66 General Luna St., Cor C. M. Recto Tayabas, Quezon Province

That Empty Feeling…

This year’s Lantern Parade was my last since I will be graduating on April. Compared to the previous Lantern Parades I’ve attended, this year’s was the only parade where I went on my own. Challenge accepted to do the #foreveralone peg in this prestigious UP Diliman event. While waiting for the parade to start, I took these pictures to distract myself…

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Palma Hall looking grand and majestic

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The only lanterns I saw were up until those from the Asian Institute of Tourism. Before I left the area, I saw College of Education’s lantern nearing AS Steps.

Reason #1 why I left early: My only companion, best friend Kim, can attend the parade but she had to go home early. Since all the good spots were already occupied and she hasn’t arrived yet, we would not be able to have a good view of the lanterns.

Reason #2: A lot of people standing had cameras and whenever a lantern was approaching, everyone would flock there. Curse my height because I could not see anything anymore; thus, I could not take any good pictures.

Reason #3: Lantern Parade is a signal for me that Christmas is approaching but for some reason, I don’t feel the Christmas vibes. The spirit of Grinch and Uncle Scrooge has probably possessed me. I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll be exorcised this week, though. 😦

Anyway, here are the only pictures I had during the parade…

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Whenever I think that graduation is fast approaching, I feel ecstatic and at the same time very sad. I will surely miss sceneries like these, especially during sunsets.

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Spent the rest of the evening with Kim. We headed to TriNoma to hang out and catch up with each other’s life. I missed you big time, propphi! 🙂

Best friends forever <3
Best friends forever ❤

Foodgasm episode 12: Dimsum Break — a.k.a. Happy Birthday Chippy!

Overdue post.

Finally found the time (and kasipagan) to post where my family ate to celebrate my younger sister’s 20th birthday. Oops. I think I was not supposed to say the age… but she does not look 20! 😉

Anywaaay, I’ve been hopping around Filipino food blogs for the past two weeks to look for hole-in-the-wall kainan or restos I haven’t heard of.  I stumbled upon The Pickiest Eater‘s post on Dimsum Break, which is the first Luzon branch of Ding Qua Qua / Harbor City. A few people know that I spent three years of my childhood life in Cebu. Even if I was not able to master the language of Cebuanos, I still feel I’m a Cebuana at heart.

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One thing that will always remind me of Cebu is the famed steamed rice from Harbor City. My tatay went back to Cebu a few months ago and I begged him to take home even just one order of steamed rice since it’s been years since I last ate one. And yes, he really bought just one order for me. Haha! So, imagine my excitement and happiness when I read that Harbor City opened up a branch in SM North EDSA. XD

Dimsum Break's menu
Dimsum Break’s menu

What’s different in Dimsum Break is they do not have people pushing around carts where you can choose the food that you want to eat. (That’s how they roll in Harbor City… or at least when I was still a kid) Instead, they have a counter where you can choose different dimsums on display. They also have a menu where you can choose noodles/soups, siopao, desserts, and beverages.

Steamed Rice (PhP68)
Steamed Rice (PhP68)

I introduce to you, my readers, the steamed (fried) rice! One bowl of it is enough to fill your stomach. My sister and I can’t help but say that it’s already expensive since back then, this dish costs PhP25 only. But that was back in 1999 pa eh! It has pork, shrimp, and peas together with Dimsum Break’s special sauce. 😉

Fried Wanton (Php65)
Fried Wanton (Php65)

My sister ordered this and I was so happy since this dimsum is full of shrimp. The “blooming flower” appearance of this dimsum gives the effct that it’s huuuuuge though it’s really enough to take away your hunger. 🙂

Crab balls (Php65)
Crab balls (PhP65)

Shrimp balls (PhP65)
Shrimp balls (PhP65)

I actually can’t remember how these two dishes were called but the names I gave them are enough to help you determine the main ingredient of the dimsum. *wink wink* Both are really delicious but I like the crab dimsum more. I’m not a fan of super oily foods so if you’re like me, you will definitely love the fried dimsum the restaurant offers.

Lomi (PhP80)
Lomi (PhP80)

So far, this is the best lomi I’ve ever eaten. There is a generous serving of meat and vegetables plus the bowl is big enough to share with another person. It’s not too salty for my taste and the soup was really hot when they served it.

Bacon Siomai (PhP65)
Bacon Siomai (PhP65)

Dun dun dun dun! Hail Dimsum Break for combining two of my favorite foods in the world — bacon and siomai. Duh! I was quite nervous how this dish would fare since the bacon is steamed, not fried. As far as I can remember, this dish was not yet present during my family’s stay in Cebu. Anyway, one bite of bacon siomai erased the doubts I had on it. Absolutely D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. I will definitely place this in my to-order mental list whenever I eat at Dimsum Break.

After eating, we went around the mall since we ate so much. Good thing we did because we accidentally spotted a Hello Kitty exhibit at The Block. ヘ(^_^ヘ)(ノ^_^)ノ Here are some pictures I took with the family.

Tatay, mama, Chippy
Tatay, mama, Chippy

The biggest fan of Hello Kitty meets Papa Kitty and Mama Kitty. How I wish I could take them home. ♥
The biggest fan of Hello Kitty meets Papa Kitty and Mama Kitty. How I wish I could take them home. ♥

Sanrio character cakes courtesy of BreadTalk
Sanrio character cakes courtesy of BreadTalk

Happy birthday to my one and only younger sister, Chippy! :D
Happy birthday to my one and only younger sister, Chippy! 😀

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Dimsum Break: 3/F SM North EDSA Annex, Quezon City

Foodgasm episode 10: Little Tokyo (Shinjuku and Kagura)

Hey there! 😉

The last day of October 2012 meant that my family would be commemorating the 40th day since a relative of mine passed away. We had mass in Ascension Columbary followed by a small salu-salo. My aunts and uncles decided to celebrate All Souls’ Day yesterday since there would be fewer people in the columbary.

With the BIG family… not complete though :p

And finally, after x number of months (or years?), Eyong’s dinner treat happened. Haha! We chose to eat authentic Japanese food for dinner and the best place to go to is Little Tokyo in Makati City. Shinjuku Ramen House was our first stop for the night. The staff were so friendly and very attentive to any customer need. We had to ask how big was a regular bowl of ramen since we were planning to eat again after our food escapade in Shinjuku. They said that a regular ramen bowl is good for two people if both are not super hungry. We decided to order two ramen flavors — Chashu and Wantan.

Chashumen (PhP290)

I did not regret ordering Chashumen since it was so yummy. The meat was very soft that it actually felt like it melted in my mouth. The noodles were firm and for me, it was good that the veggie was chopped into small pieces rather than huge chunks of ‘em.

With Eyong — we ordered the Chashumen! 🙂

My sister and cousin opted for Wantanmen because of the siomai -ish in the ramen. I asked how it tasted and all they said was “Delicious!” They put lots of chili powder in their ramen to make it spicyyy and they told me it was good that the powder did not change the taste of their food.

Wantanmen, regular (PhP245)

Chippy and kuya Paul

We were expecting though that our ramen would be really hot — a sip would be enough to burn your tongue. However, that was not the case and we were quite disappointed with that. Still, the ramen was so good that we kinda forgot about the ideal temperature for the food. My cousin suddenly remembered that we did not order sushi. I am not a big fan of this since my three previous experiences with this food were all bad. He insisted that it was really good and maybe California Maki was just not the right sushi for me. He ordered Spicy Tempura Maki, which got Eyong and Chippy excited since they looove spicy stuff.

Spicy Tempura Maki (PhP210)

One bite of this sushi and I was converted. My first and immediate reaction was “Oh my gosh! Sobrang sarap lang!” It was that good!

Spicy Tempura Maki consists of 8pcs

We went to Kagura afterwards, which boasts their okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese dish that resembles a pancake with a variety of ingredients, such as pork, shrimp, and tuna flakes. Besides offering the regular okonomiyaki, Kagura also offers a modern type of okonomiyaki, which has noodles as an added ingredient. We ordered two types of modern mix okonomiyaki — one has tuna flakes while the other has chicken skin.

Chicken skin — modern mix okonomiyaki (PhP260)

Tuna flakes — modern mix okonomiyaki (PhP260)

I preferred the okonomiyaki with tuna flakes since I could really taste the tuna inside. My cousin jokingly said after his first bite, “Uy! Century Tuna!” He told me that indeed, the tuna okonomiyaki was better than the chicken one. Both dishes were really good that we vowed to go back there when we have enough money again.

The adventurers riding in the Adventure

I thought we were going home after the Little Tokyo trip when my cousin said that we would go to Tagaytay. I thought he was just joking but when I saw that we were on the road to Bicutan….. He wasn’t kidding. Talk about a spur-of-the-moment roadtrip! And so, our Little Tokyo trip extended to a Tagaytay trip.

It was a good thing that I wore my beanie yesterday and I accidentally brought my mom’s sweater with me. Fortune teller, chos!

I’m the type of person who is afraid to do unplanned things because of possible reprimands or consequences. I was happy that the people with me were game na game with the roadtrip. It was hard not to be “infected” by their happy vibes. 😉 Guess where we chilled out in Tagaytay? Starbucks! Haha! We actually thought of going to Bag of Beans but it was around 9PM already so the resto might already be closed.

Feeling Starbucks models!

Playing around with the Warheads tapes

BB models naman daw ngayon

Awkward shot! Haha!

Cheers to the sudden but happy roadtrip!

Orion spotted!

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Shinjuku Ramen House: 2277 Chino Roces Ave., Legazpi Village, Makati

Kagura: 2277 Chino Roces Ave., Legazpi Village, Makati

My birthday month summed up in pictures

Yesterday was THE day. The day I passed my last requirement for the first semester of AY2011-2012. *tears of joy* I can finally sleep for as long as I want to. This sembreak would be my last since I will be graduating from college next year. Yes, I WILL graduate and that will be on March 2013. 🙂

My hell weeks began last September, which was actually my birthday month. Good thing there were a few stuffs to look forward to during that month, such as the Maroon 5 concert (whose opening act was The Cab, my MOST favorite band) and field trip in Intramuros. I will let the pictures do the talking since I’m still not in the mood to write lengthy entries (hangover from thesis and final papersss!).

Airport Lego @ SM MoA (09-01-2012)

Gold Mine Lego @ SM MoA (09-01-2012)

ala-Posh Town Lego @ SM MoA (09-01-2012)

Star Wars Lego @ SM MoA (09-01-2012)

Pardon for not being too familiar with the characters in Star Wars. >.<

Star Wars Lego @ SM MoA (09-01-2012)

Star Wars Lego @ SM MoA (09-01-2012)

My favorite piece in the Lego display

Sbarro lasagna

Sbarro seafood pasta meal

Sbarro pizza

Had my birthday lunch with these ladies (and sir Romanillos who is not present in this picture)

Pizza Hut treat from sir Romanillos (happy birthday to me!)

Patron tickets for the Maroon 5 concert (with The Cab <3)

With ate Kharm before the Maroon 5 concert 🙂

Sadly, that is the only picture I had during my birthday. Oh well. Had fun screaming and singing to all of The Cab’s songs as well as that of Maroon 5’s. My concert buddies (little sister and ate Kharm) and I vowed that we will look forward to every Maroon 5 concert in Manila and we will make an effort to attend each concert (hopefully, patron seats always). Achib!

My little sister with our new friends, Noreen and Del — united by our intense love for The Cab

Chantry, Joey, Singer, Dave, and Marshall doing sound check (TriNoma Activity Center, 09-21-2012)

Chantry and Alex (“Bad”)

Blast from the past!

In front of Manila Cathedral, which is actually not visible in this picture

In case you are wondering what the hell are we wearing, those are clothes that fall under the Philippine national costume. We were required to wear the national costume during our field trip in Intramuros. Quite embarrassing at first but after a few minutes we got used to the stares of people. We even had fun wearing it for a few hours. 😉

Palacio del Gobernador @ Intramuros, Manila

The building even gives off an “authoritarian” -ish vibe. One of my favorite shots during the trip.

Original copy of Dr. Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere

Original copy of Dr. Jose Rizal’s Mi Ultimo Adios

Seeing the Pasig River

I absolutely love this lamp (or whatever this display is)! It looks quite old but it’s classy. If only I could bring this home… </3

We were not allowed to take pictures, in front of this monument, with our national costumes on. We had to change to our casual clothes and we decided not to change back to our Filipiniana since it was a hassle to keep on changing clothes.

I love shooting places, especially in angles like this. Weird ba?

A belated happy birthday to me! Thank you little sister for taking this picture. Off to enjoy my well-deserved sembreak! 🙂

Foodgasm episode 7: Escolta (The Peninsula Manila)

It has been more than a month since I last posted here… I was too busy with university stuff these past few weeks — readings, case studies, novels, and thesis. 😦 So, I was really happy when my mom told me that we were invited to my tita’s (English translation: aunt’s) birthday celebration. Nomnomnom. XD

Well, hello there!

“Freedom and Homeland” — little flag in front of Escolta entrance

We had a dinner buffet at Escolta, which is a restaurant located in The Peninsula Manila, and I was quite frantic when we started to get whatever food we want since there were a lot of choices. I was not familiar with a lot of dishes there so I relied on my sense of sight and smell to help me decide which food to place on my plate. Haha!

My first plate of food

I can’t remember what were these dishes called… I can only remember that there was a dish made from veal, another dish made from duck, and a different dish made from sausage. I was too hungry to bother remembering the names of the dishes I ate during that night. I don’t have additional pictures on what were the other dishes I ate but I remember that my favorite was the “Chicken in Ginger Broth.” I had three bowls of that — perfect for the cold weather!

I actually have pictures of the desserts I ate. I pigged out on the French macaroons and fruit tarts, which my cousin noticed so he joked that I should just get the tray and bring it to our table to save me the time and effort of going back and forth to the desserts area. Whew. I’m getting hungry again. Haha!

French Macaroon

Fruit tart — strawberry

Strawberry Cheesecake

Linzer Slice

It was my first time to eat these desserts, except for the cheesecake, and I was veeeery happy because they were all delicious. Looks did not deceive me. Yay! I don’t have any idea how much per head for the dinner buffet but I highly recommend this place, especially for those who have a big space in their stomach. :> Let me leave some more pictures before I end this post. 😀

Happy birthday to my aunt (she’s the one in red)!

(L-R): The birthday celebrant, my mom, my little sister, my cousin, and my niece

The whole family!

My sister and I decided to dress up similarly… just like when we were kids!

Happy birthday tita Susan! Cheers to a longer and healthier life! 😀 Aaand, thank you to my cousin since she was the one who paid for our dinner. 😉

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Escolta (The Peninsula Manila): Ground Level, The Manila Peninsula Hotel, Makati City

Foodgasm episode 6: Ninang Bokk’s birthday @ Jay-J’s Inasal (Ortigas)

Quite successful bokeh?

I just noticed that I know a lot of people who celebrate their birthdays on May, including my mom (see Foodgasm episode 5). This week, one of my mom’s closest friends celebrated her birthday. Hello ninang Bokk! 🙂 Tita Dudut planned a surprise for her, which is our presence during her birthday celebration. And yes, tita Dudut was successful in surprising her after six years. Congrats tita Dudut! 😀

The birthday girl!

Moving on to the dinner, we had the celebration at Jay-J’s Inasal located at Ortigas Home Depot. All of their dishes were really delicious. I was expecting it to be expensive but when I looked up the menu in their website, it turns out that the price was just right. All dishes were affordable, including the crispy pata which was soooooo delicioso! Time to make you, readers, crave for their food. 😉

Pork Sisig (PhP170)

Calamares (PhP199)

Molo Soup (PhP110)

Crispy Pata (PhP425)

Pinakbet (PhP140)

Bibingka (PhP100)

The most memorable dishes for the night were pork sisig and crispy pata! Their pork sisig was really good. Everything was well done and you won’t be able to tell that you’re eating pig head and liver. :> As for the crispy pata, I do not eat pork skin but my sister insisted that it was really crispy so I gave it a try. Thank you Chippy for convincing me because the dish really stayed true to its name, especially the crispy part. Both are Filipino dishes and for those who haven’t tried these, I suggest that you do so and the best place to start it is at Jay-J’s Inasal. 😉

Besides ninang Bokk’s high school friends, her college friends were also there so there were quite a  number of people in the venue. 🙂

Happy birthday ninang Bokk! Cheers to a longer, healthier, and more prosperous life. 😀

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Jay-J’s Inasal (Ortigas Home Depot): 106 Dona Julia Vargas Ave., Brgy. Ugong, Pasig City

Foodgasm episode 5: Mama’s birthday @ Robbie’s Seaside Restaurant

Candles: a failed attempt on bokeh

Finally! I have some free time now to post this entry. My mom celebrated her birthday last Wednesday and we planned a surprise for her. She thought that our family and some of her closest friends would be having dinner. What she did not know was that her elementary friends and some of our relatives would be there as well… including her favorite apo (T/N: grandchild), Cassie. She already had a feeling that we were planning something “fishy” but she did not expect that kind of surprise. Yay for us!

I have no idea how much were the dishes served since my ninang (T/N: godmother) let the manager of the restaurant decide on the food after giving how many people would be present and how much the budget was. The food was great and my sister and I were able to achieve our goal, which was to make our mom cry. Sadistic kids. Nah. We just felt that we really made her happy and proud when we saw her cry. 😉

Let me end this post by starting the photo dumping of the food and people present during that event.

Happy birthday mom! I’m proud to say that you’re already 46 but you look soooo young. I love you so much and you know that a lot of people love you so much as well. 😀

Pancit Canton

Shrimp in Garlic Sauce

Calamari

Garlic Chicken

Sinigang sa Miso

With my best friends who are bloggers as well 🙂

My mom with her closest friends

My mom’s birthday cake courtesy of ate Sandy 🙂

My portion from the birthday cake

Caught in the act of chismisan

All girls!

Mama and tatay 🙂

There you go! Thank you to all the people who made the surprise party possible as well as to the people who sent their birthday greeting videos. That was such a big help since my sister and I were able to create a good video presentation/compilation. 🙂

PS. The restaurant is located near SM Mall of Asia. Good luck in finding this restaurant among other seaside restaurants. Hah. The food is reaaaally great here, though. 😉

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Robbie’s Seaside Restaurant: Diosdado Macapagal Blvd., Manila Bay Reclamation Area, Pasay City

Foodgasm episode 3 2/2: Krazy Garlik

I actually decided to split my storytelling of my cousin’s birthday treat into two parts so that one entry focuses on one restaurant only.

Krazy Garlik (Newport Mall)

Continuing the story… After watching Avengers 3D, we waited for my other cousins who will join us for dinner. We already had a reservation at Krazy Garlik and as the name suggests, most of their dishes have (lots of) garlic. Yay for me! I was not able to take note of the dishes my uncle ordered since he was at the other end of the table; thus, no chance of learning what was what and how much was each dish. But, being the resourceful person that I am, I searched for their menu online. I was quite surprised that they have a website and they posted their menu online. Lucky!

The face of the menu

Fried Calamari (Php315)

The texture of the squid was just right. It was easy to chew so I can safely say that the calamari was not overcooked. However, it was quite bitter for me and my mom. Good thing there was the aioli dressing which covered up the bitterness.

Garlic Snowflakes (PhP495)

Good thing they ordered this pizza since I am a huuuuuge fan of garlic and shrimp. At first glance, I thought that the garlic flakes would be as chewy as a peanut. I was wrong. They had the right amount of crispiness which was good since I was worried it would get stuck in between my teeth. All in all, this pizza was excellent! Adding a few more shrimps would make this pizza better, though.

Grilled Squid (PhP375)

Korean Style Garlic Sesame Beef (PhP275)

I was quite afraid to take a bite out of this dish since it might be hard to chew because of the litid. To my surprise, it actually felt like the beef was melting in my mouth. Whew. Delicious dish but not that garlik-y.

Garlicky Crispy Pata (PhP695)

Yay for crispy pata with lots of garlic! This is deep fried pork leg which is very popular among Filipinos. Usually, when we say crispy pata, we associate it with beer since it is one of the best foods that goes best with it.

This was my first time in Krazy Garlik and I must say, my tummy was very happy. The waiter who took our orders was basically the one who assisted us if ever we need more water or refills for the iced tea and lemonade. His smile looked genuine so that is a plus for me. It’s a bit pricey compared to Recipes by Metro Cafe but every money spent here is worth it. 😉

The birthday girl with her barkada 🙂

The birthday girl with our relatives 🙂

Happy birthday ate Sandy! 😀

Okay. So I just realized I was not able to get my cousin to pose for my camera. Boo. Oh well. There’s still next year. 😉

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Krazy Garlik: Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Pasay City