Friday, May 31, 2013

Celebrate Family Gatherings with Hillside Ranch's Premium Meats

You don't mess with the Tayags when it comes to food. Never. If you ever find yourself at Bale Dutung in Pampanga and describe the food as 'ok lang', you'd probably get a scathing letter from the MMDA chairman likening the restaurant to the gates of heaven, the title persona non grata from the Philippine government shortly after, and scathing remarks from indignant foodies with retorts like, "You know nothing about good food, Jon Snow!" That's also how you attract a Pinoy lynch mob, in case you were wondering.

It looks like the family of culinary geniuses have done it again, with the launch Hillside Ranch at Trellis last week. The young husband and wife team, Atoy and Chay Tayag of Angeles City, Pampanga, both from famous foodie clans in the province (Atoy is Claude Tayag's nephew, while Chay's mother owns the famous Binulo Restaurant in Clark) decided to apply their years of expertise to make dishes that would rival what restaurants can produce - right in your own home!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mediterranean Made Simple: Sophia's Cusina at BF Homes Parañaque

Every now and then, Jericho and I like to check out a new place in the vast and ever changing restaurant scene in BF International. The landscape seems to change every three months - bars and restaurants open and close, hoping to be the next best thing that's ever happened to the huge village.

On one particularly hungry evening, we once again made our way to BF International in search of grub that would fill our growling bellies. After cruising Aguirre Avenue, Sophia's Cuisina caught our eye. Were were warmly greeted by the owner, Chef Mervyn Whitfield, coming in, and we had a nice chat about why he thought of bringing a Greek-inspired restaurant down south whilst waiting for our orders. Not that I'm complaining - it's high time we had good souvlaki over here!

Read more on restaurants in BF Homes Parañaque:
Ritchie's Diner: Classic American Favorites at BF Homes Parañaque
Sexy Comfort Food at Borgo Café in BF Homes Parañaque
Super Cheap Korean BBQ at Chang Teo
Dim Sum Delights at BF Homes Parañaque's Mandarin Palace
Don Limone at BF Homes Parañaque

Monday, May 27, 2013

Coco Royal Officially Launches at NamNam

Coco Royal, a Thai company that produces the rare Basil Seed with Honey Juice, has now come to the Philippines! It's about time, too! I thought the next time I'd taste this was when I visited Thailand and scoured the grocery store looking for it because I wanted to know what basil seed, or tulsi, tasted like.

I was lucky enough to get invited to Coco Royal's official launch and try their other flavors, too!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

PODE!: 3 Easy Ways to Save Money by Going Green

Plant a tree. Switch your light bulbs. Use less water. In this day and age, there's a lot of information out there on how to use only what you need. And while going green for the sake of the environment is important, there's another compelling reason to change your habits: your wallet.

Project: Overcome Domestic Entropy is all about the little things you can do to save the planet and saving money in the process. By taking these simple steps, you could potentially save up to P40,000 a year.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Convenience of SM's e-PLUS Card

I visited SM Southmall for the first time in a long time last December and I was floored. Gone was the cramped, overcrowded mall with the boring, outdated stores and a grocery store that reeked of raw meat. No, this Southmall was spacious, filled with fresh, modern brands with the likes of Aldo, Terranova, and La Senza, with a food strip outside that slightly resembled Serendra, and a cinema that required a card to gain access to the movie house.

Monday, May 20, 2013

RELIK Tapas Bar & Lounge & It's Spanish Roots

Tucked away in second floor of the CommerCEnter is a little place known for it's good food that's been sought after by many a hipster. When you talk about RELIK Tapas Bar & Lounge, images of a dark bar with good music and quirky cocktails come to mind. But what's not to be forgotten, at least in my opinion, is the food.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Slappy Cakes Opens at the New Eastwood Mall

Pancake mania has overtaken the Philippines! After the head-scratching IHOP phenomenon, another popular American pancake place makes its way - to Eastwood this time - to launch their take on the favorite breakfast item. For the breakfast lover who's also a kid-at-heart, Slappy Cakes will be a place you'll keep on coming back to.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

COVA Tapas y Sangria Serves Up New Dishes & Old Favorites

The tapas scene is making its return of the comeback in fair Manila, with haughty-taughty tapas bars springing up in Makati and Bonifacio Global City, catering to expats, the occasional  tourist, and Filipinos who want an upgrade from your usual San Miguel beer and  nachos with the boys.

Just recently, I found myself at Cova Tapas y Sangria, having a lot of laughs and even more drinks with friends as we wait for Chef Patrick Hesse's newest creations to make their way out of the kitchen.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The MiPow Power Tube is a Mobile Lifesaver!

Having a job that involves being online 24/7 can really take a toll on my iPhone's battery. I'd start out with a fully charged battery at 9 in the morning and would sorely need to recharge come 12 noon. That's only 3 hours of my phone being unplugged. My iPhone is fine, it doesn't need a new battery or anything, but using my 3G eats up so much juice, even charging breaks in the car don't seem to cut it when I'm out and about.

I discovered MiPow Power Tube 2200 mAH (P1,559) a few weeks back. It's a universal mobile charger for most mobile phones and game consoles. It comes in a variety of different colors, I just happen to like anything that comes in a fluorescent pink. Looking like a mini vibrator is an added bonus - it raises so many eyebrows whenever I pull it out. Haha!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Celebrating the Life of Li Li with Dim Sum at the Hyatt Hotel & Casino

When I think back to the best dim sum experiences I've ever had, it's definitely the one that involve a large dining hall, Chinatown in New York, and a crowd of people waiting about the lobby waiting for their number to be called so they can start their dim sum feast. You feel like you're being herded in like cattle a little bit (or the Chinese receptionist just got tired of smiling) , but the wide variety of dim sum, tea, and other Chinese dishes definitely makes up for it, at least in my opinion.

I got to try a different kind of dim sum lunch buffet in Manila thanks to the good folks at the Hyatt. It was a totally different vibe at Li Li compared to the crowded Jin Fong restaurant in NYC. Walking down the steps to the restaurant at the Hyatt, you are greeted by the beautifully designed space with modern Chinese furnishings, reminiscent of a posh Hong Kong living room. This was definitely far from the overcrowded dining halls in Chinatown!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Favorite Must Have Summer Beauty Products

Summer always doesn't the weirdest thing to my skin. It gets all oily and sticky, with dry patches all at the same time - it's just gross. So I've been trying out new beauty products for the past two weeks and have found a few I like enough to incorporate into my regimen all year round.

Here's what I've added to my list:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Take Home Filipino Favorites at The Blue Kitchen

I used to just pass by this store on my way to one of the restaurants at Rockwell. If you've been reading my blog long enough, you'd know that I don't really eat much Pinoy food. It's not that I don't like FIlipino fare, just that I'd prefer American comfort food, Indian, or Middle Eastern cuisine over Filipino - they make my palate happier. Then I discovered The Blue Kitchen sold Belgian Lace Cookies (P350) at Patisserie Kyo's Miyabi Bread, the rest, as they say, is history.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

PODE!: Chores - Stop Cramming & Start Planning

I used to hate Sundays. Sundays for me was dreaded chore day -I felt like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia. I'd stare at the pile of laundry waiting to be put in the washing machine, the stack of plates I haven't washed in two days, the toilet that needed a thorough scrubbing and don't even get me started on my my floor. So this used to be the routine every weekend, until I realized: It doesn't have to be this way - there's a smarter way to go about it.

For this week's Project: Overcome Domestic Entropy!, I'm helping you to stop cramming and start planning your attack on getting your place clean. It'll go faster if you share a place with friends and divide the workload with everyone. So get a piece of paper and a pen, your favorite cup of tea, and get comfortable 'coz we've got some work to do.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the 4th Be With You

It's Star Wars Day according the Wookieepedia.

What are you doing to celebrate the 4th of May?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Rastro: Spanish Comfort Food at Burgos Circle

I have to admit, the idea of having tapas before dinner - like how they kick it in La Barceloneta - makes me uncomfortable. Not because I don't like tapas, but because it just poses too many questions about decorum for a foodie like me.

How many kinds of tapas does one usually order? How much is too much? Is it alright to have a few cocktails with your tapas before dinner? Will the waiter give me a disparaging look if I order half the tapas on the menu and then dig straight in to two kinds of paella and then some before enjoying two kinds of dessert?

Luckily for me, nothing is considered taboo at Rasto. I'd always pass by this place at Burgos Circle, but have never really stepped into the restaurant 'til the other night. Rasto has had a change of management, and with that, a breath of fresh, new ideas as well as a few additions to the menu while keeping most of the customer favorites.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Make Your Own Havaianas 2013

Ah, it's that time of the year again. The time when Havaianaticos from far and wide to the Rockwell Tent in Makati to line up, feverish with creative color combinations on the brain, excited at the prospect of owning a new pair of custom flip flops once more. Who's stoked for Make Your Own Havaianas 2013? I am!

Living in flip flop country, the slippers you wear on your feet seem to be regarded as a status symbol as well as a personality tell - wearing Islanders give the impression that you're a practical, no nonsense type of guy, Jelly Beans are for the cutie patooties, Ipanemas are for the hipsters who want keep with the trend without being too mainstream, Crocs are, well... fugly, and then there's Havaianas.