Tuesday, September 27, 2011

another manang is in the neighborhood

Manang, no, not the Manang we have in the Ateneo campus who serves great pork chop, is also now here in Katipunan just as eager to feed us this time with her own chicken recipe. I have heard about this from fellow food hunters and the reviews have been nothing but awesome. Imagine my excitement when i saw a signage weeks ago. 

Their tiny place opened today, Monday and even the rains brought about by Typhoon Pedring did not deter the flock that wanted a taste of Manang's Chicken. And oh, everyone of us got a free sundae cone as their opening day promo!

I ordered their two-piece choice cuts for take out and it costs P154.00 which already includes a regular drink. They will let you choose what type of sauce you want for your chicken that is, regular, mild, spicy, extra spicy. i wanted to play it safe so i chose the mild sauce. I shared my meal with my office mates and they all like the chicken. i like it's crunchy skin and the size of its cuts are satisfying enough. but the meat seems to be tasteless, uh-oh. 

An extra order of their regular potato chips costs P30.00. I am quite used to having fries but this one's addicting, it is crunchy and crisp and it seemed liked they were baked since it is not too oily. 

I'm not too sold on this just yet but I'd definitely like to give them a chance.

And contrary to popular complains, this branch uses real plates for their dine-in customers (I got this photo on the counter while waiting for my order hehe)

Manang's Chicken Katipunan is located at the ground floor of the Burgundy Plaza just beside 7-11. They also deliver around the area with their number 9215907.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

good morning!

it was just about 9am on a Sunday morning, i was still sleepy since i had a late night gimmick the previous night but i had to head off to Antipolo to work. yes, work on a Sunday morning.  I was running late (as usual) and could not think of anything but my bed and catching more zzzzs
then my officemate sent me a text message,
  "hintayin ka namin dito sa Starbucks".
ahh, that just jolted me up.
in Antipolo.

Starbucks in Antipolo opened a few weeks ago and is located at this new mall right in front of the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage or simply known as the Antipolo Church.

My current favorite drink- a hot cup of creme brulee macchiato...what a good morning indeed!

Friday, September 23, 2011

So what is a winter melon?

i first encountered winter melon as drink when i went to mercato last summer. it was served as winter melon iced tea with its chunks of ice and sweet flavor thereby reminding me of, er winter.

 a quick search on google tells me that winter melon is also called the white gourd or more popularly known as kundol here in our country. yes, that sweet candy you love when it is sugared and dried.

winter melon is also a current favorite flavor among milk tea patrons, ahh there, i believe it's time i compose my milk tea blog post soon. teehee!

Il Mercanti

 Similar, i guess to the Banchettos that have sprouted in the different areas in the metro, Il Mercanti offers the same concept of showcasing a lot of different varieties of food stuff. I have never been to any Banchetto site so i can't really compare, I have been to Mercato and although i prefer their food line up there, Il Mercanto is more airy and spacious not to mention more accessible since it is located just right inside Metrowalk.

spacious halls
a short walk from the main establishments of Metrowalk towards the parking lot will lead you to this...

roast pork loin, pastas, potatoes

just follow your nose, the waft of the different aromas of food will definitely entice you. 

there are different varieties of food to choose from, there's rice and viands combo, or  meats and potatoes and pasta, there's different kids of pizzas...

the Korean food stall

 there's a Mongolian stall somewhere, and this Korean food stall which i personally love, and some Japanese sushi and rolls too.

street food all-you-want
 street food abounds as well, i must have seen two or three stalls in there somewhere. there are also different varieties of seafoods and even lechon!!

desserts table
 there is also a wide selection of dessert items for your sweet tooth.

the spacious dining area

I'm not quite sure if it was just a slow night or word still hasn't gotten around much but there  were but a few people when we got there that we never had any problem getting a table. and several helps were around to clear the tables at once when the guests leave.  we must have spent a considerable amount of time checking out each stall, taking photos and deciding what to sample. we wanted to try different varieties and here's what we finally got:

some Korean dumpling soup--spicy!
 i don't know what it's called, it's sold for 99 pesos per order. it's like a kimchy soup, spicy and sour with some rice/ flour dumplings. it tasted like rice balls hehe...good enough for me.

chap chae noodles (80.00)
 this noodles is part of a combo meal which you could pair with rice and chicken or pork dish which costs 99 pesos. we didn't want any rice so i merely ordered this dish. it is cold but very tasty, i like it.

baked lasagna
 this baked lasagna is so-so...

Smore's bar at Med's 59.00

this smores bar is really good, it's like a moist chocolate bar with burnt marshmallow toppings. too bad we were so full when we got this that we didn't finish everything. i took this home along with other revel bars we bought for 3 kinds for 100 pesos but i ended up giving them to the taxi driver who took me home. i felt too stuffed already and i didn't want more temptations teehee! i hope mamang driver liked it.

steak sandwich, a bit mediocre for 135.00
 the steak sandwich was one of the first stuff that i bought, it's supposed to be beef steak cut into strips and garnished with onions and bell peppers topped with cheddar or blue cheese. i let them take out the onions and pepper because i don't eat them and chose blue cheese as condiment, ahhh it tasted blah. the beef was bubble gummy, the blue cheese tasted different, the bun is mediocre. it's too expensive for me for 135.00. maybe i should just have tried their pulled pork sandwich.

wintermelon milk tea, quite expensive for 90.00
 milk tea!!! i've been on a milk tea frenzy the past days, this was actually my second cup for the day. it tasted alright but i find it expensive compared to Moonleaf which only costs 70.00.

this is a winner, taro ice cream for 25.00, yum!
we capped the night, er morning with this yummy taro ice cream. and it's a steal for 25.00 per small cup. it's so creamy and delicious indeed. we were there from 10:30pm to about 12:30am stuffing ourselves crazy and digesting all the food sights and smells and some sightings of a few celebrities. Reporter, TV personality Connie Sison was there and i just learned that she's one of the organizers for this event. 


this was our STAR OF THE NIGHT...

The Juicy Lucy stuffed cheeseburger...

uhm, it's got fried mozzarella cheese hugging the enormous beef patty which has more melted cheese stuffed in it. cardiac delight indeed but it was really yummy! ;)

I'm not sure when we are going back to Il Mercanti, i guess we need more time to digest everything that we ate there that night (till morning). teehee!

Il Mercanti is located at the parking lot of Metrowalk in Ortigas and is open Wednesday to Friday nights at 10pm onwards.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

the fuss on Jollibee's hash brown burger

i've been hearing so much noise and raves about it that i just have to try and see it for myself. i love hash browns but i am not a fan of jollibee's patties, i find it a bit smelly and it has this overpowering taste and smell that could stick to you palate, and even your hands and clothes LOL! but i love their burger steak, weird, i know but it's only because of their mushroom gravy.

so i trooped to Jollibee anyway and tasted it for myself merely to satisfy my curiosity and see what the fuss is all about.

indeed it is baked but i find it oily just the same. the patty is still the same patty that i don't like and i don't like their cheese too. it's a bit dry and tasteless. i merely slathered it with lots of catsup, and yum, there it tasted okay.

 i still prefer mcdonald's hash browns, sorry. i like it when there's more texture, more solid bits that i could still bite on. here it's more like mashed potatoes shaped and fried, err baked.

maybe i could appreciate this more if they take away the cheese and add some lettuce and tomatoes perhaps? 

or let it be and i'll just stay away from it hehe...it's still quite a steal though for P80.00 including a regular drink. 

(my apologies for the quality of the photos, i merely used my phone)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sambo Kojin

After about 3 hours of enjoying the hydro-massages, hot pools, water jets at Ace Water Spa, we immediately set off to Eastwood, Libis where Sambo Kojin is.  This is my first time at Sambo, we've been warned of the long wait for tables so we made sure to call in advance to reserve. The place was packed indeed when we got there but a table was already waiting for us, bliss!

Ahh, there is indeed an array of food stuff from sushi, sashimi, to fresh meats in different special sauces to cooked items like tempuras, beef stews, noodles, etc. It was food heaven to say the least. And grilling them ourselves is another interesting activity in itself. I am amazed that indeed it is smokeless that the smell of food won't stick to our clothes at all. I heard a vacuum-like contraption is being installed somewhere under our tables to suck in all the smoke and release it all somewhere else instead of inside the restaurant, how cool can that get!


i must have eaten a lot of their beef varieties and shrimp tempura, uhm, i ate a lot of everything indeed!

the dessert items which consists of pastries, fruits, ice cream didn't disappoint as well. they also have a chocolate fondue for marshmallows and diced fruits.

it would be great to come back and stuff ourselves silly again but i believe we need to run around the oval a few times or lift some more weights before we could dare go back. teehee!

the buffet meal costs P595 per person, a bit steep but hey, the quantity and quality of food and the entire experience is all worth it.

Sambo Kojin is at 207 EDSA Greenhills, Mandaluyong (726-4466) and at Eastwood City Walk, Quezon City (421-0145)

ACEd anew!

i am no longer an Ace Water Spa virgin since i've been here twice already a couple of years back. this is however the first time that i was able to experience their Pasig-Pioneer branch, thanks to a groupon promo a friend got for us, yay!

Ace Water Spa is definitely a perfect venue where we could rejuvenate and at the same time bond with friends and family. This branch has exactly the same features as they have in their Banawe branch. And i appreciate it more that they are stricter as far as following the dress code is concerned. Everyone is in their swimsuits and trunks, although a few still get away with wearing shorts even on top of their what look like a pair of cycling shorts, duh!

Boasting of 25 massage systems, a lazy river, water falls, saunas, steam rooms and mint pools, a floor fountain, etc, etc...one is never left with nothing to do or explore in the facility. and since it is indoors we can all enjoy this rain or shine or stormy.

Regular rates for 4 hours of spa service is P550 for adults and P250 for kids. Check out their promos though who knows you might be able to get a good enough deal. ;)

Ace Water Spa is at:

399 Del Monte Avenue, SFDM, Quezon City

and at United Cor. Brizton Sts., (near Pioneer) Pasig City 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Boy's Baler Adventure

this trip took place last summer making this post long overdue. but i miss my little boy and i miss traveling i just have to post this now. 

it was rainy in Manila when we traveled to Baler. we left around 4 am aboard a luxurious Genesis bus with its lazy boy-like chairs. the trip took about 7 hours, arduous yes, but we slept the entire time. 

ever since he was a baby, my boy has been so used to traveling long distance that i never had a problem taking him to different places. now at 5 years old, i could not count anymore the number of places he has been to. he's been to Davao, Dakak in Dapitan, Bantayan in Cebu, Baguio, Tagaytay, Zamboanga, even Vigan in Ilocos. i have a wanderlust of a son just like his mommy.

we checked in at Bay's Inn, Sabang around 11am, ate our lunch and rested till afternoon. by late afternoon, we got on a tricycle to take us to nearby spots we could check out.

Baler is actually a very idyllic town, quiet and charming with its very inviting beaches and other attractions. although this is also a surfing town, this little boy is afraid of rough seas he never bothered setting foot in the beach just across the hotel in Bay's Inn, in Sabang where we stayed. But he gladly waded on the sand and shallow waters at serene Digisit Beach a good 15 minute tricycle ride form Sabang.

Baler Church

On our second day, we started with a day tour around  Baler and the nearby towns of Aurora, also aboard the tricycle. We first passed by the Baler Church near the town plaza. 

In the Siege of Baler, this is the church where the remaining Spanish soldiers hid for months. I remember watching the local movie Baler when i got back home in Manila only to reminisce most of my trip there.

ayan na pala ang ating bida, parang naka snatch lang ng bag hehe...

this was the stage when the little boy is still in his Thomas the Train obsession. that is supposedly his school bag we just bought from Greenhills. he never wanted to part with it even as we toured around Baler. the get-up consisted of course of his Thomas shirt and flipflops. inside the bag is his toy train, a Thomas pencil case, among others.

while we looked around and took photos of the church, we left the little boy here playing with the local kids. i wonder how he got that empty seat, eh!

from the church we proceeded to this long expanse of pebbly beach near Maria in Aurora. It was almost 12 noon, the sun was glaring brightly and the little boy didn't really like it. and he detested walking on pebbles and bits of sand but mommy still wanted to check out the place and take photos!

after having lunch at some nearby carenderia, we proceeded to the big balete tree and i mean BIG! this 600 year old balete tree has been designated as the Millenium Tree. 

the little boy's face lit up when he saw an ice cream vendor. he then gladly posed for photos. 

i'm in Baler and i have ice cream, bleh!!

next stop was the Ditumabo Falls. i was hesitant at first upon learning that there will be a 15-20 minute trek passing through rivers and rocky, unpaved roads. but i remember this little boy has gone to Katibawasan Falls in Camiguin when he was about a year old and he walked along with us. without complaint as always.

it was not just a 15-20 minute walk for us though. we must have passed through three or four make-shift bamboo bridges. a few times we had to ask the little boy if he's tired and wanted to be carried but no, he kept on and ambled and was really enthusiastic. my, this 35 year old mommy indeed had a hard time keeping up with the agility and gait of her 5 year old, but of course! i guess he just got really excited when we told him we're going to swim!

the falls was breathtaking literally and figuratively, the water was ice cold but the little boy totally loved frolicking and splashing around. we stayed for an hour and he almost didn't want to go till we told we would still be swimming on the next stop. after the long walk back towards the main street, we let him wade for a short while on the nearby river until he finally bade goodbye to "swimming".

On the way home, while mommy shopped for souvenirs, the little boy had his eyes fixed on Pres. Manuel Quezon's vintage car which was on display. Aw, sorry, son, but we cannot take that home.

we left Baler and the town of Aurora the following day sun-kissed and sated. we had so much fun and the little boy enjoyed himself. now on to more destinations!