Archive for November, 2009

30
Nov
09

A DAY OF SCIENCE

Now, how did my son’s head get separated from his body and now served on a platter with fruits? Where the heck are his other body parts? :D  Amazing isn’t it ? This and many more are the things we experienced at Philippine Science Centrum.

Last Saturday afternoon, my wife, Tina while still on duty in the O.R. agreed to my suggestion of going to this educational place for our son, Gabby.  After receiving her confirmation via SMS, we met up after her work near our place; we all hurriedly grabbed a bite at McDonald’s and off we went to Marikina Riverbanks where Philippine Science Centrum is located.

I recall joining field trips during my elementary years back in the 80s when one of those itineraries we visited was Science Centrum somewhere in Pasay (or was it in Manila?).  But just last week, I found out that PSC is already in Marikina (or is it only a branch?).

So what else did we see in the exhibit ?  …Don’t you wish to have 3 colored shadows ? :D

There’s that LASER HARP or a wonderful string instrument less the strings! :D

In this Laser Harp, each laser is focused and concentrated to sensors (photocells). These are connected to a computer and corresponds to a specific note. When the harp is tapped and lasers are blocked by a visitor’s hand, the sensors send signals to the ‘microcontoller-synthesizer’ to play the corresponding note.

Another interesting we’ve seen was a demonstration of how tsunami can occur.

With just press of a button, an ocean-calamity can be simulated.

This is the saddest part… Visitors can also view actual clips from that scary incident in Thailand and other parts affected.

Moving on…to OUTER SPACE! :D  C’mmon, fly with us to the moon :D

This greeted us at the entrance to SPACE GALLERY of the centurm…

The rings to simulate rotation outside our planet were tied up allowing no one to use it that day. I’m not complaining for I don’t think we’ll permit Gabby to stand on those ‘roller-blade-like-shoes’ which I consider septic. The staffs of the PSC should spray antiseptic to each exhibits at least after a day’s work so as to prevent transmission of diseases. Good thing we always bring alcohol and Gabby always keeps an alco-gel at hand.

But the part where anyone can check his weight on other planets by stepping on a scale is cool! :D

There’s this monitor where one can peek through and take a photo of his face; then with a press of button, the picture will be shown in the face part of an astronaut model for few minutes.

This one is called ARCHIMEDES’ SCREW…

In Archimedes’ Screw :  As the visitor rotates the wheel and at each turn of the screw, the open lower end scoops up a volume of water. The water becomes trapped in the air pockets between the screw thread. By continously turning the screw, water slides up the length of the screw and pours into a reservoir.

Do you want to enclose yourself in a giant soap bubble?

or witness how a miniature SOLAR CAR can rotate around an axis ?

Would you like to know if you can run faster than Elma Muros ?

or try to move a skeleton by being a stationary cyclist too?

Everyone not only kids, should know and practice this for Mother Earth’s sake.  Press the button to identify biodegradables from those that we have to recycle, reduce, reuse.

Other than those hands-on-interactive exhibits, there are also giant posters for good read :D

PLASMA SPHERE !

Have you ever heard of a SYMMETROSCOPE ?

SYMMETROSCOPE : What’s going on ? The drawings on the disk are parts of a circular object. As a drawing fits a corner formed by the sides of the tube, this drawing is reflected by the three mirrors.  The reflections bounce back and forth. This is why you can see many reflections of a whole circular object- a slice of a pizza becomes a whole pizza! :D 

BTW, we arrived at Science Centrum last Saturday with only few kids and a pair of parents and after few minutes, the children and teachers from schools came in troops for their field trip.  Their visit was guided by the staffs who explained everything inside the building.  And since we came as walk-in, we had all the time to enjoy each exhibit.

Gabby’s educational field trip was initially scheduled last October but since the country was devastated by two great typhoons (who could forget Pepeng and Ondoy?), it was moved to January 15, 2009.  Tina and I decided to come as it will serve also as Family Day of their preschool.  Although we’ve been to the itineraries up North, we’re still excited to ride a bus again with Kindergarten kids, their parents and teachers. :D 

We didn’t join during Gabby’s Nursery year so this will be his first field trip ever!  And of course we’ll take you there with this site next year. :D

So how did my son’s head get separated from his body ?

The direction was : Ask the visitor/friend to go inside the exhibit and position his/her head above the opening.  Then stand 2 meters from the exhibit and face the visitor/friend.  How does he/she look? 

What’s going on? You can see the head on top of the platter because it is the only part of the body uncovered. The table footings have grooves that clip the mirror’s edges so that you hardly notice that the front side of the table are actually mirrors. The mirrors reflect the side walls and flooring. This gives an illusion that the head -the only visible part is separated from the body. :D 

There are so many framed optical illusions in Philippine Science Centrum but this one I found special :D 

My wife and I were only disappointed on the poor maintenance of the facilities. This type of educational place should be given utmost importance by the local and national governments and be supported by NGOs.  It has so many potentials to be at par with similar museums and exhibit areas abroad but without much-deserved improvements, it may not be seen by the next generations. Sayang lang kasi  it’s worth the visit. 

The entrance, if I may state, is at the far end of the E-Com building making it difficult to locate unless you’ve asked via phone of its landmarks like Figaro, 711 and Mang Inasal restaurant.

If you must know, I won first place in our school’s Science fair on my fourth grade. My exhibit then was as simple as soil erosion. Perhaps more than those box with soil and bean sprouts and a box of only soil, what made me win was my explanation of the relevance of the subject.  

Thanks for reading!  It’s almost midnight as I post this and I have to doze off for my lecture series at work tomorrow. :D

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Philippine Science Centrum, E-Com Building, Riverbanks, Marikina City.

Admission for walk-in : PhP 100.  For more details, go visit their website here (enjoy the animated intro!)

29
Nov
09

A VILLAGE IN OUR HOME

It took us more than an hour to build and spruce up our 6-feet-Christmas tree with  medium-sized balls in different shades of purple and a few in aqua and navy blues. We used the old decors and kept it simple but nonetheless, it made our home more cheerful and ready for the holidays. :D 

Then my wife, Tina with our son Gabby and I spent another hour in arranging the contents of these boxes under our tree; after I brought them down from the upper part of one of our wardrobes, so carefully, piece by piece.

That  volume of boxes is only half of the collection of my dad-in-law who stays in Ca with the rest of my wife’s immediate family. The tags of the price per box and warning  signs for its lead coated wires are still there (FYI, lead if ingested will lead to poisoning and eventually to anemia).

After we’ve put up our tree, we’ve raised a village under it!

Don’t you find these ceramic pieces fascinating ? :D  Look at those snowy roof. Don’t you just wish for a white Christmas? :D

I like the attention given to those intricate details …

and that wonderful craftmanship and colorful use of pallettes made it really special :D

The facade of this church  appears so inviting!

and look, there’s a castle too!  :D

The structures are amazingly beautiful when put together side by side…

A community isn’t complete without its people.  So meet the happy villagers under our tree! :D 

Love is apparently in the air …even with just figurines! :D

Everyone is joyful when it’s Christmas!  Even chirping of birds makes anyone happy :D

I have seen and touched a ball of snow several years ago in Fresno and Sequoia National Parks (or was it in Yosemite?) and an episode of  hail  in Auckland, New Zealand.  I wish one day that I’ll get a chance to  bring my family to a real snowy place and together we’ll create a snow man :D  The kid-in-me strikes again! :D

Have you experienced a white Christmas?  How does snow man making feels like ?

Who would not appreciate the harmony and melodies from an orchestra or whenever a band plays, moreso if a choir serenades us with Christamas carols ?

Christmas is really for kids and kid-at-hearts ! :D

Of course Christmas won’t be complete without those reindeers and the white-bearded-old-stout-man clad in red! :D

Ho Ho Ho Ho !  Have you been naughty or nice ? :D

When dusk falls,  it’s high time for the entire village to glow!  :)   So let there be (fiberoptic) lights !

We’re done with our tree and the village with its people were already nicely put underneath. 

We haven’t started shopping yet;  afraid if there’ll be an extra budget for it!  ha ha!

However grand we plan and prepare for our celebrations this holiday, always bear in mind that decors and other material things are irrelevant to the ‘reason for the season’ :D 

The biggest question is,  are you ready for CHRISTmas?

May all of us be happier with our families this coming Christmas and beyond!  God bless. :D

27
Nov
09

BAGONG BUWAN

When my wife, Tina simply celebrated her 33rd birthday last Monday, with me and who else but our cute and smart son, Gabby in  Gateway Mall, we watched Bella turned 18 in their movie.

Incidentally, the night before watching New Moon in Gateway Cineplex, we got a chance to view Twilight on cable.  Excuse me, but I find these movies too cheesy; or maybe it’s just me.  However, I prefer the sequel rather than the initial film. With New Moon, I enjoyed the intense fight scenes between humogous warewolves and those too-pale-for-comfort vampires.  I also liked the parts when vampire Edward met Marcus, Caius and Aro who happens to be the governors of the vampire world in that so-called Volturi council chamber.  Those digitally enhanced scenes were done nicely.

My wife and I almost enjoyed the entire movie if not for the loud oooohs and aaahhhs from oggling youngsters whenever ripped torso of Taylor Lautner who played the wolf Jacob Black comes out on screen.  We certainly understand that a movie house is a public place and everyone is entitled to their own reactions.  But those female teenagers  who occupied an entire row in front of us were still geared in white uniforms complete with bar pins and IDs.  We don’t think their nursing school authorities  neither their parents will be proud seeing and hearing their kids oggling!  Little we expect, that we’ll be entertained not only by the movie itself but by its audience too! :D

Have you seen New Moon?  How did you find it?

27
Nov
09

WHAT’S FOR MERIENDA?

My wife, Tina, our son, Gabby and I are just like most Pinoys who love eating and eating in between meals. :D  Whenever at home, particularly during weekends, we usually have morning light meal few hours after breakfast or more likely before lunch. Same thing goes in the afternoon; a snack is always perfect as a prelude to dinner. :D  But unlike others, we oftenly skip midnight snacks for the fear of taxing our pancreas too much that might lead to its rupture during sleep; now that’s another topic.

Merienda or midday meal is one of Spain’s legacies to Pinoys that I am thankful for, aren’t you also? :D

Here are some of the yummies we enjoy during merienda. 

Are you a popcorn-person?  Have you tried Chef Tony’s?  What flavor/s do you like?

I don’t know about you, but Gabby and I just love it when Tina fries fish balls and serves it hot off the pan with vinegar+soy sauce+onions!  :D  We prefer only fish balls cooked at home rather than those sold in streets.  And you?

Other than chips ahoy, oreo, or the locally made m.y.san buttercookies, lady fingers or broas (I love broas!), prima and marie (which reminds me of my childhood), I and my family also enjoy munching these cookies…

  

Try it, make sure it’s Double Fudge Sugar-Free! They’re heavenly delicious in each bite! :D

Sometimes, we have fruits during snack time and nothing compares to sweet and plump bunch of lanzones which happens to be in season until now.  Do you like lanzones too?

I usually grab two large orders of  Khaleb Shawarma for Tina and me as our merienda before we go grocery shopping.

  

We also like dimsum! Among our favorites are shrimp cheong fan and shrimp dumpling a.k.a. hakao!

 

And who would say no to pizza for merienda ?

or to either venti of frappucino, iced macchiato or any hot blends from Starbucks Coffee and pastries or a slice of cake perhaps…

Our latest to-go purchase was done just yesterday afternoon, soon after Tina and Gabby tagged along with me as I went to my dentist in Marikina, we spotted a carinderia that sells freshly cooked rice cakes…

Nevermind if it’s cheaply priced at PhP 25 per bibingka and at PhP 20 per order of puto-bumbong;  regardless whether these two are far from Ferino’s or Via Mare’s or even from Kamayan’s, what was important yesterday was the fact that we enjoyed our first bites at these Holiday season favorites. :D If only we have muscovado, everything could have been almost perfect with Anchor butter and those coconut shavings.  

Tastes, smells and feels like Christmas already! :D  Aren’t you excited ?

Well, we are!  Both for Christmas and enjoying another satisfying snack! :D

What’s your usual merienda?

26
Nov
09

FREE MASSAGE, ANYONE?

My wife, Tina has been stressed these days, not because I am her stressor, LOL :D but due to inevitable daily hassles -both at work and at home.  Primarily, we don’t have a housemaid for more than a month now!  Our maid got pregnant, so she and her husband left to their province down south to give birth next month with uncertainty of reporting back to work. God knows how difficult it is to find another trustworthy housemaid.  

Other than people living independently abroad or solitaries in dormitories, I am not sure if you have experienced a life without a maid or at least to have ideas  how hard it is to juggle work and household chores.  I, myself do some laundry especially on my days off at work; thanks to the fact that our ‘jurrasic’ washing machine with spin-dryer is still functioning!  Tina and I also take turns in accompanying and fetching our son, Gabby to and from his preschool and whenever we’re both unavailable, we can always import my dad from my folks’ place in Pasig to pitch in for us.

I want to give Tina a break from all those loads she usually get from her job as an Operating Room nurse-Clinical Instructor, and from fatigue-inducing roles she does at home.  

Unlike most women, she hates shopping (How lucky I am to be her husband, right?).  She will only buy clothes and shoes whenever there’s a need or an urgency to do so, say for an event or an occasion that we have to attend. She’s like my mom when it comes to prudence and  practicality and admittedly, I am  their total opposite. :D  We compliment each other and we like it that way :D   Tina prefers to eat out with us rather than buy herself a new pair of shoes or jewelries. She  hates spending too much and wouldn’t want anything illogically priced.  

Certainly, my wife deserves pampering. I would like to take her to a spa and treat her to a massage. Then again, if I get to spend more than our domestic budget, she might not enjoy the entire experience.  Good thing that few days ago, Doc Grace of   Doctor is vaIN, the 2009 Philippine Blog Award Best Beauty Blog, wrote a comment on one of my recent posts, inviting me to participate in her blog contest in which she’s giving a lucky winner a chance to experience  Terra Wellness Spa in Discovery Suites, Ortigas, Pasig City. 

What’s up for grab from this contest?  

Terra’s Signature Massagethis deeply relaxing massage combines slow and graceful gliding strokes that are applied to the different key pressure points of the body to relieve tension and aid blood circulation. The experience is enhanced with the use of specially blended therapeutic oil.

Take a peek into Terra Spa…

Note : All photos were sourced here.

I do wish I could win this for Tina for I know she’ll definitely appreciate it; not only because it’ll give her the full-75 minute sublime relaxation (worth PhP 1,700) from Terra Wellness Spa but even affordable as it is, she loves anything FREE!  Who does not want freebies? :)

If you want to join this blog contest too and would like to know more details and mechanics, click here.    And to Doc Grace, thanks for the invite and more power to your site, Doctor is vaIN. :D

If luck won’t be on my side, I’ll just do the massaging for my wifey, but it might lead to something else, hehehe “evil grin”... :D

Excuse me, I need to go to ‘work’. :D

24
Nov
09

SMOKELESS GRILL, SUSHI AND MORE!

Last week, everything was unplanned when my family and I had a glutton’s gastronomic adventure from breakfast at Starbucks Coffee and lunch at Filipino restaurant, KKK,  to ultimate dessert at  HAAGEN-DAZS and ending the day at YAKIMIX!  

My wife, Tina, our son, Gabby and I, all came with hungry tummies with my youngest brother, JC  for dinner to this buffet-and-grill-all-you-want-restaurant that we’ve been wanting to try for several weeks now.  Initially, we planned to try it months ago as we spotted Yakimix in their branch along Macapagal Avenue in Pasay City near those seaside-’dampa’ restos. But unexpectedly, after long hours of strolling in SM-Mall of Asia last week, finding difficulties in deciding where to chow down from so many choices, we’re just lucky to find Yakimix’s  posters at the entrances of the mall as one of its newest food places. 

We had to wait for few minutes when we came to Yakimix-SM-MOA before 5:30PM as it re-opens in the evening.  When we’re ushered in to our table, we saw this impressively spacious buffet place…

This was just one view taken from where we’re seated. Another section is available to accomodate, more or less 60 to 70 pax inside and few more tables are outside catering to those who prefer al fresco dining.  Believe it or not, before we get to taste our first choices from the spread, the place was packed in a heartbeat…

I know you’ll agree with me that whenever an oriental food place is full of chinky-eyed diners, then it verifies the taste of Japanese and Chinese foods it offers. :D  That was so apparent when we dined at Yakimix; the more we got excited to try all dishes at the buffet table.

I got this plate filled with raw seafoods and marinated meat for us to cook in our smokeless grill at our table…

Soon after the wait staff smeared oil on the grill and turned it on, our little ‘chef’, Gabby became too busy :P

Obviously, our son enjoyed cooking for us :D  Look at his ‘masterpiece’…

We’ve tried Shabu-shabu few times before and still enjoyed Yakimix for it’s purely grilling pleasure.  Everything was browned by Gabby to almost perfection :D

There were more seasoned cut meats and seafoods on the buffet spread; skewers which we failed to sampled; there’s always a next time. :D

It may not be the best Sukiyaki in town but it satisfied my craving for that sweet and salty Japanese soup. For me, UMU in DUSIT THANI, Makati City serves the best Sukiyaki.  My brother, JC had the other bowl of Hot and Sour soup which was also just OK.

I got few sushi and two slices of sashimi :D

On Tina’s ONLY plate :  ebi tempura, fried unbattered prawns, california maki, bacon-wrapped shrimps,  crab sticks, mushroom and veggies,  and according to her, the best among she tasted from Yakimix were those “seafood balls” .  I cannot agree because I failed to bite at them :(

On my plate : almost the same thing but I got to try the noodles.  There were more on the spread that we passed on simply because we’re so satiated already. And unlike what you might be thinking, we don’t have bottomless gastric pits, LOL.  :D   There were just so many dishes, but so little time! :D

There were salad bar, fresh tropical fruits and yes, cakes and pastries too, mostly from Red Ribbon and Goldilocks. :)

On our table :

Yakimix offers Selecta Ice Cream included in the buffet! Gabby went several times to the dessert table for these ice cream sprinkles…

Although I found Yakimix’s dishes plain and ordinary,  it gets our nod because of its wide-array of choices, better traffic of diners and spacious ambiance.  Our drinks were refilled at an instant even without asking, but nothing special for the commonly tasting instant juices and iced tea.  Far from the other blog reviews of Yakimix-Macapagal branch,  service at SM-MOA was quick and friendly exceeding my expectations.  :)   Yakimix’s buffet costs half as hotel buffet prices and can surely give Dad’s Saisaki Kamayan Ultimate Buffet a stiff competition.

Another reason to give Yakimix a try :  where else can you find an eat-all-you-want-Selecta Ice Drops ? LOL :P

We’ll visit their branch in Tomas Morato, Quezon City whenever possible because it’s closer to our place. :D

Have you been to Yakimix?  How’s your experience ?  :)

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YAKIMIX /Unit 122-126 Ground Floor SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City /

Yakimix Weekend Buffet rate : PhP 580 per pax; bottomless drinks at PhP 55.

PS : Gabby ate for free :D (children below 4 feet get to dine free of charge)

23
Nov
09

MY WIFEY’S DAY!

Happy Birthday to my beautiful and caring wife, Tina!  I and Gabby love you so much! :D  No words can describe how thankful I am for your understanding and endearing love for me and Gabby.  I know we’re going through bumps and humps but together and with God’s grace, we can smilingly pull it through. :)  I love you so, ‘ney!  :D

 

22
Nov
09

THEIR SIXTH; OUR FIRST

Usually, most special gifts don’t come in huge boxes and colorful bows but intangible things.

Last Friday, I came home dead tired from work;  thankfully, what put the widest smile on my face and saved my day was this present : 

Our 5-year-old son, Gabby ranked 6th in his 30 student-Kindergarten class.  :D  My wife and I are having PPS! (read : Proud Parent Syndrome!) :D

We’re so glad that he made it this second quarter to the list.  I attribute Gabby’s achievement to Tina’s efforts of guiding him on his academics.  His remarkable class rank reminds me that I should also give more quality time tutoring him on his school assignments.  I also sit with him and help him do his homeworks but not as usual as his mom.  We’re not pressuring him though, but we know he can exert more because his interest in learning is so apparent in attending school and even in participating in those so-called extra-curricular activities.  He also behaves well in and out of his classroom.

If you must know, preschoolers now study the concepts of  greater than and less than and  addition and subtraction in Math;  personal hygiene and body parts as well as parts and functions of a seed, a plant and its flower, so with number of legs of insects in Science. In Language, they’re done with the use of has and have, pronouns- he, she, it, verbs /action words; plural and singular nouns and more!   In Reading, they’ve studied community helpers and their jobs;   and Gabby now knows how to read short sentences. :)

During my preschool year (I was then accelerated from Nursery to Grade 1 after passing an exam), I know little of those topics but I ranked 5th of my Nursery class. Basic Computer subject during my time was taught in High School but with Gabby’s generation, they’ll soon be having Computer and Filipino subjects as early as next month!

Our son enjoys watching Asian Food Channel (other than his favorites -Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network) and he dreams of becoming a chef one day.  And (defensively,) we didn’t spoon-fed him of what he should be like in the future because as young parents, we believe that we’re only here to guide him all through out his journey. :D  Perhaps what influenced him to wish to work in a kitchen someday are the things we do best – eating and enjoying every gastronomic adventure!  He isn’t a chef yet but our little foodie has already developed his own preference to some delights that never fail to please his palate :)

He may not have ranked first in their class but he is and he’ll be our Number One!

Congratulations, anak!  Keep it up! :D

Always remember you’re our greatest gift from the Lord and we’ll be forever grateful to Him :)

20
Nov
09

PINOY COMFORT FOOD

My family and I like Japanese and Italian foods but indubitably, we love Pinoy dishes the most!  Nothing beats the combination of rice and viands that are very Filipino. :D

In as much as we usually less favor anything that can be easily prepared at home, my wife, Tina with our son, Gabby and I still welcome the thought of eating ordinary Pinoy dishes in food places where we haven’t dined before or at least in restaurants that we have tried and tested  tasted that are known to satisfy our palates.

Few days ago, we had a chance to taste few of our favorites in a restaurant named after a group that sparked the revolution in Pinoy history…

KKK actually stands for Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangan na Katipunan  Kainan sa Kalye Kanluran because its pioneer restaurant is located at West Avenue, Quezon City.

The branch in SM-Mall of Asia is not that huge but it’s adequate enough to accomodate hungry diners’ cravings for our very own cuisine.

The interiors boasts of a poster of our national heroes appeared to be brainstorming over a grand feast. The walls were also adorned by woven bamboo-like material drooping gracefully.   

Upon receiving KKK’s simple laminated menu, I was ready to order two local dishes that I so love.  The first on my list was…

SINIGANG NA SUGPO, PhP 358+.  I’m one big shrimp/prawn fanatic! I like them buttered, grilled, steamed and yes, in sour stock with veggies. I guess other than the famous adobo (that I know originated from Mexico), sinigang is one viand that every Pinoy tongue is familiar with. And KKK’s version of Sinigang na Sugpo did not disappoint. The huge hot bowl contained 5 huge prawns to our delight! The veggies were still crunchy and were cooked with the plump prawns to almost perfection!

Here’s my lion share…aren’t those prawns a beauty? LOL! :D

My other all-time favorite Pinoy dish is Kare-Kare or Beef and ox tail in peanut sauce. I could have ordered it as well if I did not consider Tina’s choice….

KALDERETA SAN MIGUEL, PhP 280+.   It’s described in the menu as “baka niluto sa cervesa”.  Those beef cubes were so tender that once you dunk your fork into it, it shreds off effortlessly.  Its tomato sauce with carrots and potatoes stewed (with beer, hence the name?) to a creamy but not-so-thick base.  We only wish for its serving to be more than enough to meet one’s appetite :D

While Tina and I were sharing bowls of our comfort foods, Gabby was also enjoying his take on the sweets…

LECHE FLAN NA GATAS NG KALABAW, PhP 68+.     The use of Carabao’s milk made this dessert different from the usual leche flan, plus it’s  topped with macapuno strips.  Although Gabby had to asked me to scoop those macapuno strips out of the flan for he, I think, at an early age is a purist. :)

For our drinks, Tina had her usual serving of agua while Gabby and I ordered these..MANGO and BUCO JUICE!  I liked KKK’s  chilled coconut but I liked it better when the wait staff didn’t hesitate to give in to my request in a blink and made a small opening that gave me the moment to scrape its chewey soft pulp. And I tell you, I missed doing it when we were in Boracay last month. 

Other than the quantity of the Kaldereta, we’re happy with our lunch at KKK. :D  On our next visit, I’ll make sure we get to taste that Kare-Kareng Baka and I’ve heard that Adobo ni Jake Espesyal is another must-try. 

We join the owners and staff of KKK in saying yelling their battle cry- “Huwag matakot, Maki-Kain!!!” :D

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KKK Comforts of Pinoy Food G/F Entertainment Mall SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City / Tel # (63-2)556-0755. with branches at Level 3, Midtown Wing, Robinson’s Place Manila / Tel # (63-2)567-2186.  Kainan sa Kalye Kanluran 74 West Ave., Quezon City /Tel # (63-2)371-9099.

17
Nov
09

MERRY SPOONFULS

One of the perks of being a father that I enjoy the most is having kiddie moments with my own child.  I’m such a kid-at-heart, so dealing with my preschooler son’s cravings isn’t a big deal especially if it concerns his appetite for ice cream….

Can you imagine a world without ice cream? :(

We may have different views about it but you will surely agree that this is too hard to resist…

HAAGEN-DAZS FONDUE, PhP 790+.

Share a luxurious Haagen-Dazs FONDUE created from molten DARK chocolate sauce combined with an assortment of mini scoops, fresh seasonal fruits and patisserie… 

Pieces of chocolate chip cookies, wafer sticks, marshmallows or a heavenly soft pastry….

Selection of fresh tropical fruits : perfectly thin slices of bananas, apples and strawberries…

  • Every Haagen-Dazs Fondue comes with :
    • four mini scoops of Macadamia nut,
    • four mini scoops of Strawberry,
    • three mini scoops of Cookies and Cream
    • three mini scoops of Choc Choc chip

The extra regular scoop of Hazelnut Chocolate isn’t part of the Fondue but an extra order, PhP 150+.

My wife, Tina, our son, Gabby and I met up with my youngest brother, JC at SM-Mall of Asia last Sunday (after hearing mass and eating breakfast at Greenbelt, we mall-hopped to MOA!) afternoon and experienced this elegant taste bud-stimuli. :D

My wife’s guilty pleasure was also apparent on her serving plate…

I personally prefer dark chocolates over other variants and because this Fondue comes with dark chocolate sauce, it makes the experience more  sinfully delicious!

Every dip   dunk is like a piece of heaven! :D

Go ahead, feast your eyes… Haagen-Dazs is such an irresistible temptation. Each layer of  velvety creamiest ice cream comes with layer of taste, sensation and pleasure…

Our son, Gabby can make himself a good endorser, don’t you think so?

Oh and I almost forgot to tell you that we enjoyed this finest ice cream creation without spending a cent…

I still believe in the saying, “The best things in life are FREE!” …

Forgive me, I am only sharing these GCs with my family; I know you also agree in the saying, “Family First Policy!”

Don’t worry, I’ll let you peek again at our next Haagen-Dazs intensely rich experience. :D

Haagen-Dazs is truly a pleasure in its purest form!  Go ahead, inspire your senses…

If indulgence is a crime, then my family and I are guilty as charged! :D

PS : We got the GCs from here  :D

And will you agree with me that HD Fondue in the Philippines is better than HD Hong Kong’s? view here 

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HAAGEN-DAZS. 2/F 203-204A  SM MALL OF ASIA, PASAY CITY / Tel No : (63-2) 556-1111

16
Nov
09

SPECTACULAR SUNDAY MORNING!

“Congratulations and Mabuhay to Manny Pacquiao! You made us all proud!” – Hon. US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney on a local TV news comment about the boxer’s win against Puerto Rican, Miguel Cotto. 

Few hours before she made that statement in Greenbelt, Makati City where she was reported to watched  Pacman’s another record-breaking success yesterday, Sunday, 15 November, we had a wonderful time of casually meeting the Ambassador and this was our starstruck moment with her… 

gabby with US ambassador kristie kenney

My wife, Tina and our 5-year-old son, Gabby and I heard mass at Sto. Niño de Paz Chapel in Greenbelt Park in Makati yesterday morning. After the Holy Mass, we headed straight to Starbucks Coffee in Greenbelt 3 to eat breakfast. 

While sipping our drinks and munching on Starbucks yummies, Tina immediately spotted the Honorable Ambassador who came to coffee shop and  just like any common individual and very unlikely of other local celebrities and politicians, she went to queue for her order. 

It was already our second time to see her up close;  the first was few weeks ago at HAAGEN-DAZS BRANCH OPENING in Robinson’s Place, Manila where I was fortunately invited to cover the event for my blog.  She was fully guarded then as expected but still, I managed to get good photos of her during the ceremonial ribbon cutting for that new store.  Seeing her again in person, barely unguarded proved to us that she’s one of those down-to-earth diplomatic representatives. 

While she was waiting for her turn at the counter, I didn’t waste time of greeting her and asked if I can take a photo of her with my son.  In a heartbeat, she smiled and politely obliged to my humble request.  I was quietly jumping for joy when she even bent her knees and put her hands over my son’s shoulder for the shot. :o 

Tina, who was seated at our table and I were really starstruck!  Had Gabby knew her contributions to our country beyond politics, my son probably had smiled better wider than he did.  

After I clicked the cam, I thanked the Ambassador and shook her hand with utmost gratitude. :D   The moment was really awesome!

To Hon. Ambassador Kristie Kenney, thank you so much for such remarkable gesture.  For some it may be petty, but for us, Gabby’s simple photo-op with you was really one for the blog  books.  Maraming Salamat po! 

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The poinsettias are now in bloom….docgeloand the race to get those 2010 STARBUCKS PLANNERS (in 3 cover-choices) via promo stickers is on!starbucks promo stickersThis year, a promo card with 17 completed stickers :   9 cups of any Holiday flavors (Toffee Nut, Dark Cherry Mocha, Peppermint Mocha) and  8 cups of any Starbucks Coffee blends entitles anyone to a coveted Starbucks Coffee 2010 planner. 

I like those Toffee Nut and Dark Cherry Mocha offered during holiday and Caramel Macchiato, Java Chip and other blends at any time of the day! My wife keeps her loyalty to her favorites :  White Choco Mocha frappuccino and Dark Mocha, twice blended please! :D

FYI, I had the 2008 and (Tina and I had the) 2009 planners which were very useful (until now and for the remaining days of the year) to me jotting down notes and scheds etc. 

Not only that the promo card and red cups are present but Christmas goodies from the same coffee shop we love like…starbucks coffee's gingerbreadSTARBUCKS COFFEE’S GINGERBREAD COOKIE, PhP 50+.   I am far from being partial to ginger and anything baked with it but surprisingly, my palate likes this pastry so much. It was Gabby’s order turned out to be eaten by a cookie monster (ehem!) :D

turkey sandwichsausage roll

I had Starbucks’ Turkey Sandwich, PhP 130+,    while Tina’s choice was Starbucks’ Sausage roll, PhP 75+ for breakfast.

We had a long but fun day and I’ll share it with you bit by bit. 

It was indeed another wonderful Sunday morning for us. What a way to start a new week! :D

gabby in greenbelt, makati city

It’s already official –that NO amount of typhoons can ever stop Pinoys in celebrating Christmas!

docgelo's gabby

Got to find time to put up our X-mas tree soon… :D

Have a great week ahead!

14
Nov
09

ANYTHING GOES AT…

One lazy afternoon more than a week ago, I brought my wife, Tina and our 5-year-old son Gabby to Gateway Mall to have an early dinner in a restaurant that isn’t new to our palates. 

While  waiting for our order, Gabby became too busy with the crayons provided by the waitress clad in neck tie and apron while Tina and I were preoccupied doing nothing. :D

I and my wife usually oblige whenever a wait staff of a restaurant asks us to fill out a comment card to evaluate the food, ambiance, their service and whatnot to help them with the improvement.  But since there was no one in that restaurant had asked me to do so, I just kept the comment card and brought it home. 

Here are my comments on that particular eat-out :

  • GUEST VALUE CARD
  • Our goal is to give you the best!
  • You’re here for : DINNER
  • How often do you dine with us ?  once in a while
  • Please rank each of the following on a scale from 1 (Poor) to 5 (Excellent)
  • The LOBBY :
  • Were the lobby staff friendly and did they welcome you to the restaurant ? 3
  • Were you seated in a timely, efficient manner ? 4
  • The SERVER :
  • Was the server attentive and there when you needed him/her ? 4
  • Was your server knowledgeable and able to answer your questions about our food and beverages?  5
  • How was the pacing of your meal ?  4
  • The FOOD :
  • How’s the taste of your food ? 3
  • Please rank your visit on the value for money. 3
  • Would you recommend this restaurant to a close friend or relative ? 4
  • What did you like most about your visit ?  I like the fact that you’re friendly to family with kid/s. 
  • What do you want us to improve on?   Overall taste; it should always exceed our expectations.
  • Whether you give us a very good rating or not, we assure you that we will do our best iin giving you nothing but the best. Thank you very much and enjoy your meal.

After 15 minutes of waiting, what we favored from the menu were served with a smile :D

seafood caesar saladSEAFOOD CAESAR SUPREME, regular PhP 395+ (large PhP 445+).  Traditional Caesar salad topped with fried calamari and grilled shrimps, crabmeat and parmesan cheese.  I so love its ingredients but I wished they could have added more dressing into it. I didn’t ask for more but should I?

supreme samplerSUPREME SAMPLER, regular PhP 395 (large PhP 595 +).  A combination of Buffalo wings, Sta Fe spring rolls, mozzarella sticks and onion rings.   My wife likes the spicy hot Buffalo wings which are served with celery sticks and bleu cheese dressing. This platter also has deep fried onion rings coated with seasoned mix, served with ranch dressing which I personally like.  Another inclusive in the plate are mozzarella sticks which are Gabby’s favorite.

Since this wasn’t our first time to dine there and already have tried other yummies from their other branches, I was no longer surprised that the wait staff knows every ingredient there is in Sta Fe spring roll when I asked her about it. That is really impressive in a server. :D I usually ask them of their bestsellers and I just hate it when someone doesn’t know anything about the food they offer and gives you nothing but blank stares. :o But this restaurant’s people are really exceptional; well-trained.

However, the three of us didn’t  like that Sta Fe spring rolls at all, sorry. They are stir-fried long stem bean sprouts, cilantro, chicken strips, Monterey Jack cheese, wrapped and dip fried till golden.  Perhaps it’s only us that we found every single ingredient incompatible in that roll; or we’re only partial to the Pinoy version of wrapped and fried bean sprouts deliciously dipped in vinegar! :D

supreme sampler plateIMG_5167

We made sure Gabby enjoys that dinner by having his other favorite; what else but pizza!

pizza samplerPIZZA SAMPLER, regular PhP 375+ (large PhP 475+).  My son has been biased with QUATTRO FORMAGGI or four cheese pizza but there was none on their menu, so we had the sampler instead, which is a combination of 2 to 4 pizza flavors of your choice.  For Gabby, we ordered MARGHERITA in half serving, with mozzarella and parmesan in fresh tomato sauce, less the basil leaves and the other half we tried FRUTTE DE MARE topped with shrimps, calamari,  mussels, bell pepper rings and onions. We like any pizza that’s stone-baked, so we give this Pizza Sampler our two-thumbs-up! :D
pizza sampler 2

You might think we finished all these plates, WRONG! We have huge appetite but we’re too full for all of these yummies. We had the left-overs to-go and reheated as our breakfast the next morning but nothing was left in the plate of our dessert..

mississipi mud pieMISSISSIPI MUD PIE, PhP 155+. The plating and the mud pie itself are enticingly divine!

IMG_5178IMG_5154IMG_5184tina & gabby 

So can you perfectly guess where we dined last week ?

 

11
Nov
09

MORE THAN A GRILL PLACE

Other than great-tasting food, enticing ambiance, impeccable service, location and figures on the menu, my wife and I always look for family-friendliness in any food place.

IMG_5195Because we love our Kindergarten son, Gabby so dearly, he’s our topmost priority of course, particularly in choosing a place where we can chow down;  either in a  turo-turo, a fastfood joint or a restaurant in hotels or somewhere, there should always be something for Gabby to munch and/or to keep him busy.  

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Before heading to the Century Corned Tuna Bloggers’ Cook Off at The Stock Market where I was invited to be one of the foodie-judges, we had our late lunch at TEXAS ROADHOUSE GRILL in Bonifacio High Street last Saturday.  It was our first time to eat there and you know our expectations.

We’re really really ready to grab a bite at something for it was past one in the afternoon already.  As we’re quickly ushered in to our table; we immediately browsed the menu and we’re offered dried peanuts as appetizers while waiting.  Luckily, not too long after we ordered, the cowboy and cowgirl wait staffs of Texas Roadhouse Grill brought to our table these…

IMG_5211WILD CHEESE FRITTERS, PhP 200 but we got it for FREE because we have a coupon stapled at their flyer valid until 15 November. KIDS also EAT FREE every weekend at Texas Roadhouse Grill but since we availed of this promo already; we only got one freebie.  No worries, for cheese sticks are one of Gabby’s favorites.  It’s a bunch of fried mozzarella sticks in marinara sauce.  It’s a really good starter! :D

While Gabby was enjoying his wild cheese fritters, Tina had this…sweet soy marlinSWEET SOY MARLIN, PhP 385+.  It’s a great serving of grilled Blue Marlin drizzled with melted garlic butter, served with Texas rice and fresh veggies.  I, of course tasted what’s on Tina’s  plate and like her, I was amazed at how they grilled the fish into almost perfection!  It was so flavorful I almost forgot it wasn’t my plate, LOL :) One thing that I like best with most restaurants is when they serve freshly blanched veggies that they cut and sliced themselves.  I am so partial to those who try to avoid using instant corn and carrots that are readily available at most supermarkets. :)

It was definitely a late lunch for us without red meat because I also chose seafood to pig-out.shrimp and salmon skewersSHRIMP and SALMON SKEWERS, PhP 420+ .  Three skewers of juicy shrimp and salmon, grilled and seasoned with Roadhouse herbs and spices. Served on a bed of Texas rice and fresh veggies.  The cowboy-server was so compelling that their dishes are best served with sauteed mushrooms, so I requested an add-on; but little that I know it’ll cost me PhP 95+, a  price that’s equivalent to 3 cans of button mushrooms already!  Ayos lang,  it really complemented my plate well. 

If you’re a frequent reader of my posts, you know by now that I do love almost anything with shrimps. I like it buttered, steamed and yes, grilled.  This plate of shrimps and salmons + veggies and lemon butter sauce was my HAPPINESS last weekend! It may be pricey yes, but a sure treat to someone who likes seafood so much.

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Of course, a better way to cap a nice meal is to have a sweet ending.

Gabby’s choice for our dessert-to-share :   cowboy chocolate cakeCOWBOY CHOCOLATE CAKE, PhP 220+. This is described in their menu as the most decadent chocolate cake in the West. Rich, moist chocolate cake; you’d ask for more! It’s topped with vanilla-flavored ice cream coated with melted chocolate. It was so heavenly! (that my wife told me its price sky-rocketted to 7th heavens! She meant was there are some who offered almost the same kind of dessert for less)  :D  Good thing about this was the fact that Gabby liked it.

The place is cozy; we like the  tavern look made up of wooden planks and swaying doors to the kitchen and toilets. One side of the resto has the bar where one can enjoy a good drink while watching a nice play at their flat screen TV. 

The wait staffs clad in plaid long-sleeved shirts with scarves and in boots were commendable for being courteous and smiley.

We dined there at Texas Roadhouse Grill with other families who were also enjoying their weekend.  It’s enough proof that it’s a good place not only to hang out with friends but a venue where wholesome family fun can be enjoyed. :o

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TEXAS ROADHOUSE GRILL, Bldg 1 Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.  Tel # (63-2) 856-1547 / 856-2499.  Other branch at Ruby Road, El Pueblo Real de Manila, Ortigas, Pasig City. Tel # (63-2) 635-6715.  

 

08
Nov
09

EATING TUNA HAS NEVER BEEN BETTER

If you must know, my family and I have been eating CENTURY TUNA for decades now. Personally, it’s one of those canned goods I like on my sandwich, or as simple as rice toppings and appreciate it more on some dishes. I like my Century tuna flakes or chunks in brine, oil, water, hot and spicy and their flavored variants of Mechado, Bicol Express and the like. So when this brand came out with their newest innovation, adding to their line of products a few weeks back, I was one of those many who became so curious of how it’s going to taste like.

I love corned beef particularly a local brand and Century tuna a lot like I love eating; and I honestly never thought that these two can make a great fusion and can transform any instant dining into a healthier experience and a little more edgy until they introduced CENTURY CORNED TUNA

Saturday, 07 November ’09  – I went with my wife, Tina and our 5-year-old son, Gabby to THE STOCK MARKET (the restaurant, not the stock market we all know! It’s called as such because it’s where Del Monte showcases its stock of products from salad dressings to fruit juices etc.) at Bonifacio High Street in Fort, Global City in Taguig City for the CENTURY CORNED TUNA BLOGGERS’ COOK OFF.

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We were served with these plates and a choice of iced tea or lemonade…IMG_5261The sandwich and the pasta was made better with what else but Century Corned Tuna.  :)

So did I cook? Did I participate in the ala Iron-Chef-Bloggers’ Cook Off? 6I was fortunate to be invited via e-mail last week as one of the (self-proclaimed) foodies and food bloggers to this event (Yes, this blog remains to be about my family and our adventures beyond dining!).  My participation was upgraded to the next level when I was asked (via e-mail again) if I can sit as one of the…ehem,  judges.  :o Who says doctors &/or educators can’t be best food tasters  critics ? We also have our own discriminating palates, LOL!  :D  Needless to say, I obliged. 

7The contest was lively hosted by celebrities JM Rodriguez and QTV QUICKFIRE Chef-Mom Rosebud Benitez (my family is a fan of her cooking show).  

Here are the ingredients that the bloggers had to include, but not necessarily all, as they were tasked to prepare an appetizer and an entree per team.

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While the food bloggers in Team A and Team B were busy preparing for their dishes… 

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my name was called by the hosts as one of the GAME participants!  C’mmon, can you spot me ?  :o 

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While I was busy guessing the condiment as we taste it blind-folded, our adorable son, Gabby was busy too posing for the cam :D  Isn’t he the cutest 5-year-old kid?  You cannot agree less and I cannot blame genetics, hahaha!  :o

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My fellow foodie-bloggers made sure that their pasta was cooked al dente!  I’m no chef but I follow my own rule of  no-cooking-beyond-ten-minutes to make it pasta-perfect!  It usually works.

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While waiting for their contest-entries, my co-judge, Ariel was so generous to take our pic with the 2009 Century Tuna Superbod Model Winners…(papasa na din ba kaming Tuna models? hehehe :o )

with 2009 century tuna superbod winners 

On with the judging thing… Team A and their starter…

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Team A’s appetizer was canape made of soft white bread topped with Century Corned Tuna on slices of tomato with asparagus.  Their main dish was…20Fusilli in olive oil highlighted by the main ingredient plus tomatoes and parmesan.  

On the other table was Team B with their starter…

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It was a salsa made of….pears! and pita tortilla with Century Corned Tuna filling ala quesadilla… and their entree was the bomb itself!  

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Tagliatelle in olive oil topped with the main ingredient, asparagus and chopped almonds.  Believe it or not,  it was delicious!  Now, can you guess who won?

gabby with chef rosebud benitez and jm rodriguez 

Judging was damn easy; given a set of criteria and my own gastronomic instincts, I believe I was fair enough for the two teams.   It was a unanimous decision actually. And it was fun doing it :D

They’ve proved that they’re not only good on food blogging but knows culinary as well.  And they did their best dishes with Century Corned Tuna!

There was a dinner buffet after the contest but we beg off as my family and I were still full. After I was given a token of  box of 6 cans of Century Tuna Bangus Fillet Spanish-Style Gourmet, I thanked the people who invited me and politely exit to Timezone and Starbucks. :D

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Sarap itong Century Bangus fillet! Try it too! I’ve never enjoyed bangus like this before. :D

 Have you tried CENTURY CORNED TUNA already ?  Grocery shelves are running out of stocks. 

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Thank you to the management of Century Corned Tuna and all the people behind this event particularly Mr. Christopher Santos (not my relative)  for inviting me here. Salamat ! :D

06
Nov
09

INSPIRE YOUR SENSES

Guess where my family and I spent our Thursday afternoon?haagen-dazs robinson's place

            The world’s best ice cream + priceless family bonding moment = absolute bliss !

I got an invitation to attend Haagen-Dazs branch Opening at Robinson’s Place Manila.  How can you resist such wonderful event ?  How can you say no to such luxurious indulgence ?

Haagen-Dazs continues to allow Pinoys to enjoy the world’s creamiest ice cream by opening a new branch at the ground floor of the Midtown Wing of Robinson’s Place Manila.  The set up of the new shop boasts not only of Italian designed furnitures, freezers and dipping cabinets but moreso of those remarkably delicious ice cream flavors.  robinson's place manila branch

The well-organized occasion started with a simple yet satisfying cocktail party by TGI Fridays…tgif + haagen-dazs

I only had a plate; kept my cravings in control and left more gastric space for those dense velvety ice cream!

indulge!

They initially served Haagen-Dazs Dark Chocolate Orange cups. It’s a perfect sweet ending to a stimulating quick bites and a wonderful prelude to the program.

Unlike the other press launches, the event forego of  the usual fashion show and whatnot; it was made more special by having short three-act show by 3 gorgeous models.  The play was about 3 different women living in the same building with a common search for an inspiration.

A young, hip and edgy had been stuck with nothing to complete her lyrics for a song until she was totally inspired by a tub of Haagen-Dazs :D

HAAGEN-DAZS 1HAAGEN-DAZS 2

Then there was a damsel who got troubled by her boyfriend over the phone who eventually found solace in a tall glass of that irresistible delight :D

HAAGEN-DAZS 3lovely

Who would not agree that Haagen-Dazs is such a perfect partner to celebrate success of whatever magnitude?  This was also depicted in the last scene wherein a yuppie got her promotion at work.  She immediately called her friends to share her happiness expressed in cones and cups of  Haagen-Dazs ice cream. :D

HAAGEN-DAZS 5HAAGEN-DAZS 6  

Any shop inauguration is never complete without that ceremonial ribbon-cutting.  And I don’t think there’s anyone more appropriate to to do such act but United States Ambassador to the Philippines, Hon. Kristie Kenney.

Ambassador Kenney

FYI, I follow her blog; check my sidebar on the right -I even commented on some of her previous posts. You could just imagine how thrilled we were to have attended this event with her. She’s so wonderful up close. She smiled and smiled sincerely. She simply radiated and represented effortlessly not only her country but everybody who loves ice cream!  We liked her most when she said that everyone she left at the embassy was so jealous of her attending Haagen-Dazs Opening . :D

Haagen-Dazs Robinson's Place Manila Branch Opening

Ambassador Kenney was graciously assisted by Haagen-Dazs-Philippines General Manager, Ms. Tess Panganiban and Robinsons Land Corporation Business Unit General Manager, Mr. Cornelio Mapa.

Hon. Kristie Kenney at Haagen-Dazs Robinson's Place Manila

They also had that ceremonial scoop wearing those HD head caps and enjoyed Macadamia and Chocolate flavored yummies. :D

Ambassador Kristie KenneyHaagen-Dazs + Hon. Kristie Kenney

When we were ushered back to the lobby, these great tempting treats were served generously…

my son gabby with Chocolate Temptation

Isn’t it apparent on Gabby’s smile that he’s so excited to try that plate?

CHOCOLATE TEMPTATION is one of Haagen-Dazs’ Christmas menu. It’ served with pretzel sticks on top of two butter cookies, layered with scoops of DARK CHOCOLATE ORANGE, MIDNIGHT COOKIES and CREAM, BELGIAN CHOCOLATE, CAPPUCCINO TRUFFLE and TIRAMISU, garnished with almond bits and cherries. 

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That’s sinfully delicious. :D

docgelobeauty + bestIMG_5127docgelo and gabby

Chocolate Christmas Spire

CHOCOLATE CHRISTMAS SPIRE : consists of scoops of BELGIAN CHOCOLATE and DARK CHOCOLATE ORANGE ICE CREAM, served on top of a layer of COOKIES and CREAM ice cream and warm BROWNIE CAKE. :D

What a divine creation from Haagen-Dazs! Truly, impeccable…I, my wife and our kid just love it!  

tina & gabby with haagen-dazs chocolate christmas spire

Indeed, it was another glorious fun-filled family activity for us! We’re definitely coming back for more!!!

gabby + haagen-dazs robinson's place manilaIMG_5136IMG_5135gaaby + press kits

And did I already tell you that we went home with press kits + freebies too?

gabby and haagen-dazs

Haagen-Dazs is not only the world’s best ice cream;  it’s such an experience!

So what Haagen-Dazs ice cream flavor/s is/are your favorite/s ?

Thank you so much to Haagen-Dazs Philippines, particularly Robinsons Place Manila branch!

Maraming Salamat to Ms. Nadal, one of the nicest PR and events manager we’ve ever met for the invites.  I look forward for more to come, hehehe :D More Power to Haagen-Dazs!  God bless :D

HAAGEN-DAZS Robinson’s Place Midtown Wing is open from 10AM to 9PM daily. 

Other Haagen-Dazs branches are located at SM Mall of Asia (5561111), SM Megamall Atrium (6382971), Shangri La (634-8108), Glorietta (7527299), Greenhills (721-0111), Alabang Town Center (809-2016), Power Plant Mall (899-3274), Greenbelt (757-7570) and Eastwood City (687-1839).

03
Nov
09

EAT AND BE MERRY

john lennon

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Yoko_Ono_Biography

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IMG_4963It’s not our first time to dine at JOHN AND YOKO in Greenbelt 5, Makati City.  We’re also quite familiar with the other themed restaurants within its group of companies-  MR. KUROSAWA  Euro-Japanese in Eastwood Mall and SUMO SAM in Shangri la (and other) malls as we’ve tried them a few times already.

John and Yoko, Cosmopolitan Japanese almost appears (and tastes) like the other two mentioned food places which are all co-owned by the local celebrity, Marvin Agustin.  They all feature union of the East and the West from their modern ambiance to whatever is served on the plate.     

The last time my wife, Tina, our preschooler son, Gabby and I ate there was a few months back.  I took pictures of what we enjoyed but unfortunately, I cluelessly pressed something on our cam that deleted every photos I had.  It taught me a lesson, big time! 

Last Saturday, after few hours of trick or treating, Gabby was finally convinced  that we had to munch something as our late lunch before he continues with his Halloween event at Greenbelt.  Thankfully, he and his mom agreed on John and Yoko and I was too weak to resist. :D 

It was our first time to try this dish last Saturday and we’re missing it already…   

2JAPAELLA, PhP 378+.   One of Spain’s well-loved dishes was twisted anew with generous slices of chicken teriyaki, bite sized chorizos, my favorite prawns topped with nori strips. These ingredients rest on the most flavorful rice I’ve tested. Japaella also won my wife’s discriminating taste; we’re one in saying that we’ll definitely have this again next time we visit John and Yoko. Did I tell you it comes in enormous serving that’s good for 3 pax?  But since it was just perfect for our appetite; I don’t think Tina and I would share it with other friend/s or relative/s, LOL :D

Gabby ordered one of his staples…3EBI TEMPURA, PhP 368+ /5 pieces.  Our son nearly finished the entire plate!  He had 4 out 5 of those battered prawns. He must be so tired and hungry then or it must have been that delicious for him, or he just really favored it over other Japanese yummies on our table. But I know he also likes kani (crab).  He enjoys dipping them on tempura sauce.  As for my two-cents worth, it may not be the best tempura in town but heck, Gabby was satisfied so we like this too.

4IKA LINGUINI IN TOMATO CREAM SAUCE, PhP 228+.  This was my brother’s choice and because of its large serving, of course he had no choice but to share it with us. :D  Crunchy fried squid served as toppings in creamy pasta; not bad…but where’s the tomato?

5CHISAU RICE, PhP 208+.  Tina ordered this bowl of rice+mushroom+chicken and nori strips. As she puts it, “Masarap naman.” but you know now that she likes my order better than this. :D

6ICED TEA in BLUE (Dalandan), RED (Calamansi), GREEN (Lime), PhP 108+ each/refillable servings.  I like my glasses in BLUE and its flavor doesn’t disappoint.

FOOD : A bit pricey as expected of Japanese restaurant, but Japaella will keep us coming back. We also appreciate the use of (heavy) stone wares as plates and serving platters.

AMBIANCE :  Although we like its cozy, dim lights with black and white film of Akira Kurosawa being projected on one of its wall the last time we visited;  it’s a bothering thought that it can be so congested and a bit noisy during peak hours.    

SERVICE : Now, allow me to be extra serious with this.  I certainly profess that this resto, along with SUMO SAM and MR. KUROSAWA  ULTIMATELY NEEDS IMPROVEMENT when it comes to this department.  Their wait staffs, although clad in sexy black uniforms, should attend vigorous trainings on PUBLIC RELATIONS and HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT.  Read : THEY’RE NOT SERVICE ORIENTED as they don’t offer smiles and are far from being family friendly compared to other restaurants of the same cuisine.  

We waited for several minutes before they attended to our requests with no signs of being apologetic whatsoever.  

I controlled my temper during and after we dined but it doesn’t mean I won’t blog  do anything about it.

WE ARE PAYING CUSTOMERS and DESERVE nothing but THE BEST SERVICE THAT ONE CAN OFFER. Gaano ba kamahal ang ngiti ngayon?  What’s with their 8% service charge if they’re not on their best foot during work? 

Let me remind all the UNfriendly wait staffs of John and Yoko that other than the dishes on the menu, SERVICE COUNTS A LOT in restaurant business.

As I’ve stated on this free and unpaid advertisement for John and Yoko,  WE LIKE THEIR FOOD BUT PLEASE, they have TO IMPROVE SERVICE….They have to… It’s never too late for change before they lose customers who are supposed to BE VALUED.

Eating should always be a happy activity especially with family.  It shouldn’t be less interesting.

We will revisit this resto whenever possible not only to grab a spoonful of that Japaella again :o  but particularly because  I am STILL optimistic that they’ll change for the better.  

 

————————— :o

JOHN AND YOKO, 2F Space 205 Greenbelt5, Ayala Center, Makati City. For more of John and Yoko’s menu, click  here




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