Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Songs Playlist, 4 Hours Worth

I've been tasked to take care of the music and entertainment on Christmas day and I've compiled a list (around four hours worth) of classic Christmas songs for everybody, Filipino songs included. Christmas in Manila will not be complete without these carols in the air.

Click to play this Smilebox greeting

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ba Noi's Makati Vietnamese Restaurant

A dear friend once told me to try out a restaurant's simplest dish and use it as a gauge once in a while especially if it's my first time to eat there. I've carried that idea from him that if a restaurant can produce the simplest of dishes well, then there is a bigger possibility and capability that the complex and more expensive dishes will not disappoint. This was the idea behind ordering Ba Noi's Beef Pho.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Recovering from German Measles

No more stressful days worrying about what I have - red spots that spread fast in my arms, my neck, my face, my body, my back and now, my feet. It's becoming super itchy during the last few days and the sore throat plus the coughing was getting worse. My face is peeling like crazy and it's weird because I had downed the most glasses of water in a day. I've even put a straw to make it fun and make me drink more.

AntiGravity Yoga in Manila!

Christopher Harrison has just invaded Manila and blew me away completely with excitement and anticipation for AntiGravity Yoga. I can't wait until Beyond Yoga finishes with the AntiGravity Yoga studio in Tomas Morato early next year! Aerial yoga fitness just changed my idea of yoga and brought out my hesitations about going to yoga class in Manila - that you don't have to feel out of breath in a hot room (I enjoyed doing yoga in the cold in Baguio) and that it is possible to do a headstand or do a plank in a few sessions or at the very first day of yoga class.

KBOP Venice Piazza, Korean Fast Food in Manila

I'm a Korean food lover. It all started when I lived in Beijing for a while and discovered that there is a country called South Korea, for real. Almost all of my classmates there were Korean and they introduced me to Korean food. I didn't like it at first but it kinda grew on me. Chinovelas were replaced by Koreanovelas. When I came back to the Philippines, J and I were there when Yedang was still 9 Pizza 7 Chicken near Metrowalk. We were also one of the first Yedang fans and the craze quickly took over our entire family. J and I would occasionally go to Sarambang today for some cheap Samgyeupsal and Chadol. I tried to learn as much Korean cooking a few years ago but I was happier eating. Then I went to Seoul and my palette just expanded. The quest has never stopped to find more Korean restaurants that fit my palette and budget in Manila. KBOP Quick Korean came up again a week ago and here are the dishes that caught my attention.

Friday, December 9, 2011

L' Opera The Fort & The Best Truffle Pasta in Manila!!!

Have you ever heard of truffles? J and I came back to the very restaurant where I first tasted it a little over three years ago. Yes, I will never forget L'Opera Ristorante Italiano at The Fort. I've been craving for Taglierini al profumo di tartufo in camicia di prosciutto to be exact. That's thin egg noodles with truffle sauce and Prosciutto in English. It was still there, with that same great taste, waiting for me to come back.

HTC Rhyme Now in Manila!

The HTC Rhyme caught my attention during its recent launch in Manila with the HTC Explorer and HTC Radar. It's the most stylish of the three and the most user-friendly to me. The design is sleek and clean plus the home screen is not as cluttered or manly as the other two.

Big Better Burgers New Menu Picks from the Food Court!

So J and I did some shopping at Robinsons Forum Pioneer last week. I looked around the huge Olympic Village for some camping gear for our trip and some novelty items from the Department Store while he went hunting for a mouse. We stopped over the food court, something we occasionally enjoy because I'm a fan of cheap sizzling steaks smothered in gravy. We chose to try out the new menu of Big Better Burgers given that we were very satisfied with our last BBB burger experience. This time, it was BBB food court style.

Annabel Lee Cafe Piano Bar, A Manila Reunion Suggestion!

'Tis the season for many holiday reunions in Manila - family reunions, friendly reunions, high school friends reunions, college barkada reunions, other barkada reunions, anniversary reunions, association reunions and Christmas reunions. This has been in my wishlist for so many months now - to go back to Annabel Lee with music-lover friends for a reunion and to sing with a real live professional pianist every week. Hahaha.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Social & Business Etiquette Basics, John Robert Powers Manila

With all the food-tastings, events and formal dinner invitations, I knew I was bound to encounter foodie experiences like my recent Thanksgiving Dinner at the exclusive Cafe 9501, Hotel Buffets like Sofitel's Spiral, Enderun-type and Culinary Restaurants, 5-Course Meals like what we had in Society Lounge or other fine dining and multi-cuisine restaurants like Aubergine especially this holiday season. Learning the ropes of social and business etiquette, understanding table settings, cutlery and seating arrangements when it comes to dining took around 2 hours with John Robert Powers.

The New Red Box Manila

Music is an integral part of my life and I think it has a lot to do with my name. In the past months, the radio always kept me company whenever I work. I think their playlists should include more Christmas songs, especially now that it's December already. When I've grown tired of waiting, I might just go back to Red Box in Eastwood to experience the new karaoke scene in the metro - to sing, to dance, to listen, to eat, to drink, to play, to work, to go online, to be with friends and to rock and roll. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

On Goodbyes in Manila

All the tears began to well up inside. It's a mix of gratitude and of a strong desire to see them again soon. At some point, you think of how great it is to have them greet you with a smile every morning and the unusual bountiful feast you have every day at every meal. The confusion that goes into choosing to be with something that will end soon over a few hours of work, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where everyone you care about are there for example, can leave you in limbo for a few weeks too. Somewhere in Manila tonight, there were hugs, kisses, pictures, conversations, songs and dances of goodbyes. 

Kashmir Indian Food in Makati

J surprised me one day and said we were going Indian for the night. I had my first taste of Indian food when an Indian elder brought us to this Indian restaurant in Shanghai and I've loved it ever since especially the sweet, sweet dessert called Gulabjamun. My picks gradually extended to Mango Lassi in Beijing and finally, Masala and Palak Paneer here in Manila back when New Bombay Restaurant first opened in Wilson Street in Greenhills (J got his first taste from this one). Time for Kashmir Indian Restaurant in Makati! They serve Indian, Malaysian and Middle Eastern Cuisine.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner in Manila, by US Potato Board and USDA

This was my first ever Thanksgiving Dinner and Turkey bird experience. It was made special by the invitation from the USDA Potato Board and the US Department of Agriculture. It was also held at the Restaurant 9501 in Quezon City and the dishes were specially whipped up and prepared for us by Chef Myrna Segismundo.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Papa John's Jr. Papa's Meal in Manila

I grew up with Pizza Hut, Shakey's, Sbarro, Greenwich and Domino's when it comes to pizza cravings in Manila. Over the years, players like Yellow Cab, California Pizza Kitchen, Brooklyn Pizza, Don Henrico's Pizza, Sicilian Pizza, Sandy's Pizza, Calda Pizza had slowly introduced me to even more variety of specialty pizzas in all shapes and sizes. I was already having a hard time choosing among all of them. Now, there's one more contender vying for my attention. I hear of Papa John's coming to Manila for the first time almost a year ago.

Nomama Tomas Morato

I did a post a while back on the significance of having noodles in my life. Naturally, I said yes to my friends when I heard there's a new ramen shop in town. Nomama was located a street away (parallel) from Tomas Morato across Max's Fried Chicken.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pizza Hut Manila Tuscani Pizza!

Meatlovers, please! This is how I remember our family Pizza Hut ordering days when everybody was at home during summers or weekends. It didn't matter if the crust was thick or if it was oily or if there was only hot sauce and no chili flakes yet at that time. What mattered was - even my mom was game to give us money to order that pizza and we would always look forward to those afternoon pizza snack with the family together. We're all grown up now, with our different sets of lifestyles, eating habits, healthy options and soon-to-be separate lives. 911-1111 was a thing of the past for me until J and I had a Pizza Hut Bistro dinner in Megamall. This shot was taken via Blackberry so pardon the quality.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chocolate 101 at Heavenly Chocolates

I got a tall Honeydew Bubble Tea to curb my cravings before we headed to the Heavenly Chocolates. Better be prepared or succumb to the temptations of chocolate from the Heavenly Chocolates Nama Chocolate collection. 

Pearl Milk Tea in Wilson Greenhills Manila

I've had this drink two times in a row this past long weekend. The whole house is just craving for pearl milk teas, it seems. Chew loudly, Sip Mightily. Order a big one (at P100) and Say Ahhh...

KFC Zinger Double Down is in Manila!

My three all-time favorite things to eat in KFC are the Zinger, the Macaroni Salad and the Chicken Strips Meal. Let me tell you why. It's a given that almost everything in KFC tastes good. How I came up with the two chicken favorites is simple really, there are no bones to bite into and I used to eat them in college for a quick and non-messy lunch or dinner. Sadly, the third is no longer in the menu.. Along comes the KFC Double Down craze a few months back and I said no thank you. Then came the KFC Zinger Double Down in my kitchen counter just recently thanks to J. Zinger was the magic word that keeps me coming back to KFC.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Flapjacks Power Breakfast

I'm not fond of eating breakfast. It usually means "store up because you'll need it for what you're about to do before lunch" like hiking or sports activities or travel time on a bus or studying or working or too much brain activity. I almost always hear my stomach already growling before 11 a.m. if I wake up early and eat breakfast. I tell you, it gets really annoying. But how can I refuse when J asked me out for a Flapjacks breakfast the night before?

Balikbayan in Manila

You know there's a Balikbayan from the States in Manila when the you see these (at least in my case)...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On Reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

I was first introduced to Les Miserables through a cartoon show that I chanced upon as a kid of ten in Hong Kong. I didn't know what it was all about, it was dubbed into Cantonese. All I remember was a scene of an old man holding the hand of a little girl with a pretty doll on her other arm. That was it and I had concluded that it was a good film to watch. Les Miserables was stuck with me ever since. Whenever I heard of it, I would say, "Someday, I would watch the Broadway Show or maybe find that cartoon or read the book and I would finally know the story of this childhood favorite." In time, I managed to buy a copy of the book that I would finally discover in my stash just a few months ago, still untouched and unread. I was resolved to read it when I had the time. I grew concerned that I never seemed to have enough (time) and although I was excited to read about the next few pages, I would find myself putting the book down due to something like sleep, exhaustion or work time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sol Gelato: Goodbye 290 Days of Being Cocoa-Free

I made sure I didn't eat chocolate for 290 days. It took me the whole year of constantly giving the temptation up. I was fine that I wasn't gonna taste 12 towering scoops of Sol Gelato. I made a request to separate one non-chocolate flavor for me. I was fine with Mascarpone gelato.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Food Galore at Venice Piazza, Platter for 8

I was a mighty Plus One on this day. There were 14 platters to choose from and we were only 5. To be a glutton by glancing is what happens when there are so many choices in front of you, when a swarm of eager waiters from each restaurant approaches the table and you're hungry. There's Blackwood Bistro, Carlo's Pizza, Empire Deli, KBOP, Kuse, Little Asia, Old Vine Grille, Pincho's Restaurant and Bar, Ramen Bar, The Red Crab, Sol Gelato, Stacker's Burger Cafe, Sweet Pea and Tokyo Cafe.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Watch 3D at Resorts World Manila! - What to Do, A Long Weekend Suggestion

J and I went to watch Puss in Boots in 3D at the Newport Cinemas the other day and I finally got a breakthrough in watching 3D cartoons. I think my fear developed out of my Disneyland and Universal Studios 4D experiences, the ones where the droids or aliens or terminators and even Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse or swarms of insects are in front of you. I would always place my 3D glasses half-way down my nose to remind me that everything was not real. I would never pay attention to the story and I passed on the chance to watch Shrek and even Toy Story in 3D. Yes, I let cartoons torture me then and I have a super active imagination.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

With Dad at Yue Lai Restaurant Manila

I had the opportunity to dine with Dad one-on-one this month. Some time during the meal, he just smiled and said, "It's (Eating this and eating like this is) so simple, right?" I marveled at how opportunities for appreciating the grace of eating with the family were so rare nowadays and how simple a happy day can be created. By the end of this simple Chinese meal, I finally realized where my love for food, traveling, China, the Chinese language and music came from. I actually can't believe that I had forgotten at all. It was no accident that I chose to be a travel blogger and it has been brewing ever since I was a child.

Unlimited Cravings Festival

While a lot of mall-goers took the opportunity of a payday weekend coinciding with a sale period, my friend and I were busy shopping in a non-sale mall and enjoying the Unlimited Cravings Festival in Shangri-La. It was a very happy Sunday dinner. Imagine, P450 for unlimited Cravings salad, soup, roasted chicken, dessert, coffee, cake and iced tea! I didn't notice the come in a full orange outfit and get it for free part until today.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spanish Tapas at Cirkulo Restaurant

The Filipino tapa has always been one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast when I'm on a provincial trip or for a midnight snack at Tapa King. As we left the Cirkulo restaurant, I became aware that my new favorite dish is categorized as Tapas with an S in Spanish. I saw the Tapas Festival celebration and incidentally chanced upon a PDI article about "The many flavors of 'tapas'" by Rina Jimenez-David. I came to understand that the initial fascination with Tapas started with association with Tapa and the curiosity grew because of an extraordinary dinner at El Cirkulo.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blogger Manila and New Jollibee Menu Picks!

Blogger Manila just celebrated it's first year in the blogosphere! Many thanks to Jonel for the invitation and for including us in the Jollibee party. You were one of the first bloggers that J introduced me to in my early years of attending blogging events and gigs. Thank you for always being around and congratulations on your most recent awards and milestones. I acknowledge you for creating the Blogger Manila apprentice program and being of service to fellow bloggers. Lastly, thank you for the prize and the new Jollibee experience =)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Easy Pha-Max Wheatgrass Stories

I'm not a horse, you can't make me eat grass. I swallowed one big gulp of wheatgrass in S&R and I tasted grass for the first time. I smiled at the lady who gave me a very generous serving, turned around and walked away.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Blogapalooza Manila and Pure Imagination

I was invited to be a part of the first ever Blogapalooza in Manila and I came as Girl Kuripot. I was on the hunt for new opportunities and to be a part of a new, old community. Old because it is actually made up of friends whom I've grown to love and appreciate especially this past year when I finally chose to be a blogger myself. New because there were more people there whom I don't really know yet and it made me present to how much I can still grow both in blogging and in creating relationships. I wanted to say that I'm more than Girl Kuripot and this post along with the reviews of the companies that caught my attention in that event rightfully belongs and is most appropriate to Manila Overload. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thai Dara in Gilmore, New Menu Picks

One of the things I love about coupon sites is that I get to try out new food at an old favorite restaurant. My eyes widened when I saw Thai Dara. No doubt about it, one coupon was sold in Manila.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

NACI Dessert Bar in Greenhills!

Let's all drool over together and give it up for NACI Comfort Food & Dessert Bar in Fox Square Greenhills! Naci is named after Nacy Nocom, the restaurateur behind the former Cosmopolitan Bar and the husband of celebrity Lovely Rivero. Together with daughter Nadine and son Nate, they have decided to give us some comfort food and desserts that is meant to be shared with family and friends. This post is dedicated to chocolate and dessert lovers. If you are a comfort food lover, please visit the post before this.

Friday, October 14, 2011

NACI Comfort Food in Greenhills!

The long wait is over. Now, there's a new restaurant that serves food to crave for in Greenhills, to add to my recent encounter with Yumemiya's Curry Udon! NACI Comfort Food & Dessert Bar opens this October 16, 2011!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Winebar at Cafe 1771

The Winebar is nestled "upstairs", just above the Cafe 1771 in El Pueblo, Ortigas. It looked like a quiet fine dining place and felt like a secret library or secret society (with the matching "books", some gentlemen's chairs and quiet corners). I was impressed with the ambiance before I got to the food.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yumemiya Cafe's Curry Udon

I absolutely hate curry and onion, both big and small chunks, while I absolutely love soup noodles and beef. What happens if you combine my two extremes all in one dish? It gets to be the center of the conversation for this post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Flapjacks is Back... Better... Best!

J and I had a great time re-trying out Flapjacks in Greenhills the other day. We haven't been here for years. They have 4 "new" dishes that have been revived from the Chef's old signature menu. The come-Back was truly a Better Flapjacks in terms of service and food choices. I'll reveal my Best out of the four below. By the way, J is giving away a Flapjacks GC in his blog.

Stand-Up Comedy in Manila

I told you about The Grillery and their superb buffalo wings a few reviews ago. I didn't tell you about the stand-up comedy show that was staged upstairs while I was there. I was actually there for the launch of The Suplado Show of Stanley Chi and get my Suplado mug. Read more about the show here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Food Trip: MAGYAR for Under P350, Hungarian Food in Manila for 2!

I had my first taste of Goulash with Sauerkraut in MAGYAR more than a year ago and I hadn't forgotten it ever since. I was so sold on that particular dish that I wouldn't order anything else on the menu. Then I fell in love with the Spaetzle that came with some of the paprika dishes. It's Hungarian dumplings that I substitute for rice and I still can't pronounce it. I would always end up in my own world and putting my Spaetzle in the Goulash. MAGYAR is listed in My Favorite Guiltless Restaurant Picks in Manila.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Eating a Society Lounge 5-Course Meal!

It was a repeat of our holiday French degustation last year, divided by two since it's not yet Christmas. My siblings and I went out together for a Friday dinner date at Society Lounge in Makati. Attire for the night was "dressy". 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Yen Yen Taiwan Street Food in Gilmore

I know J loves Taiwan food and I was on the lookout for it in Manila for our next food trip. I found an article online which introduced Yen Yen in Gilmore as the place for cheap foodie finds. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alexandre, French Lounge in Manila

If I'm looking for a quiet place for a business meeting or to hang out with girlfriends or work online in my laptop, I think I'll go to Alexandre at Fort Bonifacio again. You could order food to share and spend the day in this French patisserie slash lounge and perfume shop. J and I took a few hours to finish the big servings.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Saturday Legaspi Market in Makati

After 2 rounds around the Legaspi Market, I finally chose what I was going to have for lunch - The P30 Melon Juice. There were too many expensive choices and too many people for me at 12 pm. My sister bought pasta with Mussels drowned in Vodka Sauce. 

On Losing Weight

I'm dreading the tasks I have to do to lose weight again ever since I realized I ate too much from my Mindanao trip a few weeks ago. My thought at that time was to eat as much as I can and what was available because it was already right in front of me so freely given and that I don't know when I'd be back in GenSan. Now, I'm faced with how to lose weight in Manila and still go on those awesome food trips with J. I've figured something out last night.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Currently Craving The Grillery's Buffalo Wings

The Grillery was a good find for another comfort food - signature Buffalo Wings. The place reminded me of the lineup of restaurants in the UP Teacher's Village, only this one was not out of the way in Guijo Street, Makati. The first thing I said was, "May ganito pala sa Makati." Just imagine being in a remodeled house with walls covered in art. Then for food and entertainment, there's buffalo wings, good old barbeque, Tanduay ice and stand-up comedy.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Estrel's Dessert Comes First

It was 6 p.m. and I didn't care if dessert came first. I've always been a Hizon's Cake fan and I've stopped eating their mocha cake because of my cocoa sensitivity. I switched to Carrot Cakes and Estrel's Caramel Cakes a few years ago and it meant that I can still eat my dessert merrily around people devouring their moist chocolate cakes. Today, there was an Estrel's Caramel Cake in the fridge waiting for me and I wanted an icing rush reward.

All-in-One Light Munchie in Pho Hoa!

I found light food that is good for my rainy days and when I'm a little sick. It's not rice. It's salad, noodles, appetizer and main course all-in-one! I stumbled upon it in an old favorite joint at Greenbelt 1 - Pho Hoa!

All-Day, All-Night Tapas in Manila!

I wonder where I put all these food... I'm still eating and craving for tapa whenever I'm in Manila at past 12 midnight. There's always Tapa King and there's Rufo's Famous Tapa, both open for 24 hours. By the way, there's a Tapa King inside the Lau Pa Sat Festival Market too (24-hour hawker in Singapore, but it was closed when we went there, only we have 24 hours in Manila)!

Hainanese Chicken: Comfort Food for the Sick J!

There are certain privileges when you are sick and for J, me agreeing to eat Hainanese Chicken. We were almost on our way to Yoshinoya when he saw Hainanese Delights in Robinsons Galleria. The dish always gets J's attention from Chocolate Kiss to Singapore.

A Taste of Philly!

I was supposed to try Goodfellas in QC for their burgers! My eyes darted towards the Philly Cheese Steak on the menu. I had my very first Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia and I thought one 12-inch cut in half was enough for our Greyhound trip onto the next state. My sister and I ended up finishing it in around 10 minutes after we got on the bus. Every now and then, there would be another restaurant who will attempt to bring the Philly Cheesesteak here.

Jumbo Yoshinoya Double Beef Treat!

I've known Mr. Boy Kuripot J for 10 years now and we met in a Taiwan trip where we were also first introduced to Yoshinoya. Now that I think about it and established the connection, it's been 10 years since I started eating only Beef Gyudon in Yoshinoya. Today, I've got a confession to make and no, it's not TT's Beef Misono. Old habits die hard and new ones can always emerge.

Singapore Food Hangover!

It seems I'm still a little hung over after my 2 consecutive Singapore trips. I'd jump at the chance when I see Singapore food in Manila now. I talked about the Bottomless Pit Syndrome in this post. I've heard about Shiok at the Fort, too bad we were only there for a quick merienda.