Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ganso-Shabuway Introduces Its Newest Dishes

I remember the last time I was at a hot pot place was at Tong Yang at SM Southmall. I think I was sophomore in high school so that was around 1998. It's been that long since I stepped into a shabu-shabu place, so when I got invited to Ganso-Shabuway, I was excited to see how the hotpot industry has evolved since the late 90's.

Ganso-Shabuway was introducing some non-hotpot items to their menu, dishes that are considered to be Japanese comfort food and that would go perfect with any hotpot in this rainy weather. I checked it out with Jericho, as this was a nice way of easing my way into the whole hotpot concept without feeling apprehensive of having to cook my own food.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ritchie's Diner: Classic American Favorites at BF Homes Parañaque

BF Homes Parañaque is the foodies haven of the south. You have a little bit of everything there: an authentic Irish pub, cheap Korean bbq joints, a Japanese restaurant that serves the most creative Japanese dishes I have ever seen, and to my delight, a 70's Diner!

I would usually pass by Ritchie's Diner whenever I need to run errands to and from BF Homes, or when I'd visit my favorite Korean joint for some good ol' Korean bbq or hit up one of the Korean groceries for lots and lots of kimchi and aloe vera juice.

Once night, after hanging out with friends over sushi, Jericho and I were left with our tummies still growling, pleading to be satiated. What can I say, we're naturally greedy people - we just love good food. Passing by the bright yellow sign of Ritchie's, I had a sudden craving for buffalo wings, and that was enough of an excuse for us to pull over and check the place out.

Read more on restaurants in BF Homes Parañaque:
Sexy Comfort Food at Borgo Café in BF Homes Parañaque
Mediterranean Made Simple: Sophia's Cusina at 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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

PODE!: Droplets of Nature's Eco-Friendly Products

I have always been partial to all-natural, Filipino-made products. Whether it be beauty products from Vanilla & Company, cleaning products from Messy Bessy, heck, even all-natural sound amps from Loudbasstard, I believe the best way to lessen your carbon footprint and doing your part to keep the Earth clean and green (whatever that shade is nowadays), then there's no reason why we shouldn't be doing it. And if those all-natural products come from Filipino ingenuity, then all the better.

For this PODE! (Project: Overcome Domestic Entropy!) I have a new favorite all-natural, proudly Pinoy brand I wanted to share, and that is Droplets of Nature.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dessert Series: Spätzle Euro Market Café

Being a dessert junkie, I'm starting the Dessert Series! Ask anybody who knows me: dessert is a must come dinner time and I need my sugar fix.So after having dinner at a hot pot place at Shangri la Mall, Jericho, Gerry, and I headed off in search of the perfect dessert to end the night.

As it was already quite late, most of the other restaurants were already closed, yet we chanced upon Spätzle Euro Market Café, enticing me with the promise of Nutella Cheesecake. Who can resist Nutella Cheesecake?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Figaro Introduces Its Newest Dishes for July

When I was in college, Figaro used to be my go-to cafe when I wanted to an escape from the other busy coffee shops. Because I frequented it so often, Eduard, the manager at Figaro at Starmall in Las Piñas, knew me enough to always give me a triple shot of espresso in my cappuccino. Oh, and they could make a pretty mean chicken sandwich!

So when I got invited to check out their latest dishes for the month of July, I was curious to see what my old haunt had turned into. I met with some of the marketing people and chefs at the Figaro branch at the Shangri la Mall to sit down and try their latest concoctions for the rainy season.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Al Batra Restaurant & Coffee Shop: Authentic Middle Eastern Cuisine in Makati

Whenever most people feel stressed or burnt out, they splurge on shopping, hair treatments (I'm looking at you, Jane!), drinking, or some other form of debauchery. As for me - I go to Al Batra Restaurant & Coffee Shop.

It doesn't matter the occasion - stressed, euphoric, or just plain hungry - Al Batra is one of those places that give me the warm and fuzzies every time I eat there, service aside. Their service sucks - you have to wait for over 15 minutes for bread to be served, they remember to serve your fruit shake in the middle of the meal (no matter how many times you ask for it), and sometimes they try and serve you food you never even ordered. This is just something you have to put up with when you go there, but nevertheless, they make up for it with delicious, authentic Middle Eastern food.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Smoper Chicken: The Best Korean Chicken in BGC!

Yup, you read it right, I swear by this place! This restaurant (for me at least) serves the best Korean fried chicken in the whole of Bonifacio Global City! Move over Bon Chon, 'coz you got nothing on Smoper Chicken!

Living in BGC for as long as I did, Smoper was my version of BGC comfort food. The servings were big, the chicken was spicy, and the price tag was pretty cheap! So when I got an invite to check out Smoper Chicken's new dishes, the immediate answer was, "Hells yeah!"

Monday, July 22, 2013

Giveaway: loudbasstard™ Sound Amplifiers

I love my loudbasstard™! It's about time you get on the green technology train and have one for yourself, too!

As my way of thanking everyone for reading and supporting Mucking Around Manila, I'm giving away three all-natural sound amps, thanks to the generous folks at loudbasstard™!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

PODE!: 7 All-Natural Solutions to Annoying Cleaning Hassles

It's a Sunday, which for me means cleaning day at the condo. Cleaning has never been fun for me, per se, but let's face it, some cleaning chore can be a lot more torturous than others. And it's these cream-of-the-painful crop kind of chores that give cleaning a bad name.

So for this week's PODE (Project: Overcome Domestic Entropy!) and in the interest of helping out cleaning's reputation, I've scrounged the interwebs for the top seven household hassles and provided a quick, easy, natural solution for each one.

I try to stay away from harsh chemical cleaners since I have dogs who live with me and I wouldn't want them licking floors or inhaling fumes from harsh cleaning chemicals. I use a lot of Droplets of Nature and Messy Bessy when it comes to cleaning products, which leaves less of a footprint in the long run and doesn't irritate your dogs or small children.

You can probably relate to these common annoying cleaning problems:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Angel's Pizza Pasta Combo Introduces the Chicken Parmigiana Pizza

I love me some chicken parmigiana! Imagine a generous piece of chicken breast lovingly coated with egg, flour, good quality grated Parmesan, and Italian breadcrumbs, fried to a beautiful golden hue and served with a rich, full-bodied tomato sauce based pasta.

I had been hearing a lot of good things about Angel's Pizza Pasta Combo, but haven't been able to check them out for myself yet. So one night, Jericho and I made our way to Makati to check out Angel's Pizza's newest pizza flavor: The Chicken Parmigiana!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hotel PonteFino: The Philippine Azkals' Second Home

When I got invited to check out the Hotel PonteFino for the weekend, I really didn't know what to expect. I thought we'd be in for another weekend of eating, sleeping, and lounging out by the pool - but I was wrong. If I had known we'd be meeting some of this country's football superstars and get to hang out with them for most of the day, I would've broken out the cocktail dress and high heels!

Read more on the PonteFino Series:
PonteFino: The Prime & Residences Properties
Hotel PonteFino: A Cultural Tour of Batangas City
PonteFino: A Groundbreaking Event for The Terraces
Hotel PonteFino: The Pride of Batangas City

Thursday, July 18, 2013

PonteFino: The Prime & Residences Properties

While spending a marvelous weekend in Batangas City at the Hotel PonteFino, Jericho and I, along with the rest of media and bloggers, took a tour of PonteFino's other investment properties. On our way up the driveway to the hotel were quaint Amsterdam-looking houses that also reminded me of the brownstones back in New York.

Read more on the PonteFino Series:
★ Hotel PonteFino: The Philippine Azkals' Second Home
★ Hotel PonteFino: A Cultural Tour of Batangas City
★ PonteFino: A Groundbreaking Event for The Terraces
★ Hotel PonteFino: The Pride of Batangas City

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hotel PonteFino: A Cultural Tour of Batangas City

With my mom being a true blue Batangueña, I spent most of my childhood here visiting our province in Ibaan, Batangas to attend everything from the town fiesta, walking around as some kind of empress or queen come Flores de Mayo, singing along (or just joining the crowd while everyone else sang along) during Halloween, otherwise known as Pangngaluluwa, and of course, the clan gatherings and Christmas parties that come with asking for aguinaldos from my respective ninongs and ninangs.

Most of what I considered as totally normal Filipino activities growing up was quite odd for the rest of my friends. They wouldn't be caught dead parading around town in a full on gown and a tiara (I always had to be guilted into it, so I see what they meant), they had no clue what Pangngaluluwa is, and the only thing they could relate to was being stuck with a whole lot of relatives come Christmas - but I highly doubt the normal conversation volume with their relatives was on 'constantly shouting at each other'.

The reason behind me giving a bit of a backstory on my awkward family moments is becuase I was staying with Jericho at Hotel PonteFino for the weekend and their very sweet COO, Ms. Fely Ramos, was nice enough to arrange a cultural tour for us to better appreciate Batangas City and all of its idiosyncrasies. I would finally understand what it is to be a Batangueña - or at least half of one -from an outsiders perspective, and it proved to be a very amusing eye opener.

Read more on the PonteFino Series:
★ Hotel PonteFino: The Philippine Azkals' Second Home
★ PonteFino: The Prime & Residences Properties
★ PonteFino: A Groundbreaking Event for The Terraces
★ Hotel PonteFino: The Pride of Batangas City

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

PonteFino: A Groundbreaking Event for The Terraces

Jericho and I took a trip up to Batangas City the other week for a bit of r&r as well as to check out and attend the blessing of the new property at PonteFino that is currently underway: The Terraces at PonteFino.

Located in the port city of Batangas, PonteFino, the PonteFino brand is expanding it's Hotel & Residences, after the uaint PonteFino Prime, and the elegant extension of their hotel, PonteFino Residences.

Read more on the PonteFino Series:
★ Hotel PonteFino: The Philippine Azkals' Second Home
★ PonteFino: The Prime & Residences Properties
★ Hotel PonteFino: A Cultural Tour of Batangas City
★ Hotel PonteFino: The Pride of Batangas City

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hotel PonteFino: The Pride of Batangas City

I had been itching to go out-of-town for a few days and just get away from it all, so when I got an invite from the guys at Hotel PonteFino to check out the three-star hotel in Batangas City, I was all for it and brought Jericho along for the ride!

We met up with our guide and the rest of the media people at Starbucks at 6750 in Makati early on a Saturday morning and took PonteFino's shuttle bus all the way to Batangas City. It was too early for comfort for me, and having come from an event the night before that ended at 3 o'clock in the morning, I was passed out for most of the ride up there.

Coming up the driveway, the impressive hotel façade is the first thing you see - it is welcoming without being intimidating, the big red-and-cream being a sight for sore eyes, especially mine, as I barely got two hours of sleep in the night before.

Read more on the PonteFino Series:
★ Hotel PonteFino: The Philippine Azkals' Second Home
★ PonteFino: The Prime & Residences Properties
★ Hotel PonteFino: A Cultural Tour of Batangas City
★ PonteFino: A Groundbreaking Event for The Terraces

Friday, July 12, 2013

Yabu: House of Katsu Unveils Their Imporkted New Dishes

Miso curious no longer, Yabu: House of Katsu! They have really outdone themselves this time with their newest offerings, and because I couldn't wait to check it out, I dragged good ol' Jericho with me all the way to Megamall (with his car dying on us twice) so we could bear witness to the deliciousness that emanated from the belly of the beast - Yabu's first branch.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Seafood Dishes at Yabu: House of Katsu

Yabu: House of Katsu is more popularly known for its pork and beef dishes - the Hire and Rosu sets are a crowd favorite, as well as the new minced Menchi set. But did you know that Yabu also makes some mean seafood dishes, too? I sure didn't - I was too busy with my Kurobuta Katsu.

Trying my best not to go for the Premium Kurobuta Pork set on my last Yabu adventure, I once again found myself staring at their extensive menu of delicious set meals, scratching my head trying to figure out what to order. In the end it wasn't so hard, everything was bound to be delicious anyway.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 Delivering Crisostomo to My Door

With typhoon season on the horizon, it'll get harder to go out to a nice restaurant to enjoy a good meal.  First, there's the traffic you need to reckon with, plus the flooding in certain areas, and most of the time the rainy weather just makes you want to spend the day underneath the covers and order in. I was feeling particularly lazy one Wednesday and wanted to try - a new online ordering system for getting takeout at my favorite restaurants.

Monday, July 8, 2013

King of the Cage: Fight Night at the Mall of Asia Arena

It was one hell of a crazy night at the Mall of Asia Arena last Friday, the 5th of July, where all the kids came out to play. King of the Cage was pulling out all the stops with the special appearance of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Herb Dean, and the headline fights of Sean "Tarzan" Strickland, and Yuske Sakashita, to name a few.

What was impressive, for me at least, were the 10 undercard matches that featured 20 Filipino fighters from all over the Philippines, debuting into the world of MMA (and each with a five-year contract, mind you) thanks to KOTC's Founder and President, Terry Trebilcock.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Unpretentious FIlipino-Spanish Cuisine at Galli Village Café

Stepping away from the popular franchise restaurants and regular mall tenants and discovering a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that serves exceptional food is a special thing, an art unto itself. It takes a lot of mucking around and going through some not so good and so-so joints before discovering the hidden gems in the metro.

Galli Village Café is one of those hidden gems. The obscure cafe is located below the YMCA Hotel in Makati, next to its more popular neighbor, Purple Oven. Thanks to the guys at Zomato, Jericho and I passed by for a late lunch with a friend to introduce him to our love affair with good food.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Healthy Choices by Sugarleaf

With all these new restaurants popping up, it's getting harder and harder for me to stick to a healthy, balanced diet. So when I saw a deal for Healthy Choices by Sugarleaf on Metrodeal, I thought, "Why the heck not?" I had been hearing some really good things about their Greenhills branch for a while and had been wanting to check this out for a while.

So one weekend, when Jericho and I found ourselves mucking around Makati, we stopped by the MEDIcard Lifestyle Center opposite the First Academy building and sat down for a quiet, relaxing lunch.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Kimpura: The Art of Japanese Teppanyaki

I got a pleasant surprise a few days ago when the guys at Zomato invited me to dinner at Kimpura. Who says no to Kimpura? Who says no to Zomato? Hihi. Synonymous with out-of-this-world Japanese food, I was counting down the days 'til I'd see, smell, and taste the beautifully prepared dishes at this Japanese institution at Greenbelt 5 again.

And so, when that day arrived, Jericho and I, armed with our appetites and all the self-restraint we could muster (it really is so easy to go overboard on ordering there), headed to Kimpura to meet with Kat and Rai.