1.30.2011

Happy Lemon's Rock Salt, Cheese and Green Tea?

Who would have thought that Rock Salt, Cheese & Green Tea would be an awesome drink? Pretty weird but it is! And it's here in Manila! Hong Kong's famed Milk Tea Place is already here. The other day, my husband Joel surprised me with this tea treat. He bought me one of Happy Lemon's signature drink.

Green Tea with Rock Salt and Cheese
(Php 90.00)



Oh and apparently there is a right way to drink it : NO STRAW! You have to take a sip without using a straw so you can really taste the creamy foam with the salt and cheese!

So that's exactly what I did. I carefully took a sip making sure to get the salty flavor from the phone before tasting the milk tea itself. I was pleasantly surprised that the combination worked! Happy lemon = Happy Me!

I'm so curious about the other flavors too so I will surely check out the place myself the next time I'm in Greenhills. 


Happy Lemon
G/F Promenade, Greenhills
San Juan




  

1.23.2011

Sunday Night at Ramen Bar Eastwood

Maybe it's the January cool weather but lately I've been craving for ramen a lot. For many years, I would always end up in Shinjuku (particularly the one along Makati Avenue) to satisfy my japanese noodle craving. Lately though, we've discovered Ramen Ron along Pasay Road which is actually quite good and very authentic as well. Tonight I will add another one on my growing list.



After hearing mass at the Chapel of the Holy Family inside the Eastwood complex earlier, Joel and I decided to check out Ramen Bar at the ground floor of Eastwood Mall. There was a 15 -20 minute wait when we arrived but since we were only 2, it was more like 5 minutes. The interior of the place is very zen and minimalist. Their menu is simple, straight-forward and is written down on your paper placemat.



Since we are suckers for pork buns, we had to start of with their Kakuni Buns - Php 180.00


The description of these pork buns in their menu is "melt in your mouth" braised pork belly wrapped in a special white bun. The pork belly could be a little more tender (maybe by braising it a bit longer) but the sauce mixed with the japanese mayo and the bun are all good! I would recommend it!


As for our ramen, I stuck to the classic Shoyu Ramen- Php 280.00


It's a soy-infused Tonkotsu (pork boiled soup boiled for 20 hours!) Ramen topped with the following:
Tamago - Soft Boiled Egg marinated for 48 hours - the egg in mine was already bordering on hard boiled and I would have really enjoyed it if it was soft boiled. I guess it was because the hot broth cooked it more when it was mixed together. 
Naruto - Fish Sticks
Negi - Spring Onions
Chasyu- Sliced Pork

Joel decided he wanted something spicy so he chose the Spicy Karage Ramen - spicy ramen topped with fried boneless chicken. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take a picture because my order came about 5 minutes earlier than his so I got engrossed already with mine! gulp! But I tasted it as well and the hotness level was just right and not too overwhelming and it had a generous amount of chicken pieces. 

Incidentally, one of the part owners who was there earlier turns out to be Joel's friend from a business organization. Paul was nice enough to approach and greet us. He explained a little history about the resto. He said that they opened last August and it's been doing pretty well especially on weekends. The Head Chef is Japanese and all their main sauces are actually shipped from Japan. Nice! How much more authentic can you get? 


Joel as if holding the huge chopsticks (umm fail!) His index finger is too high!

Now I know that if my tummy suddenly feels that it needs a nice warm bowl of hearty japanese ramen, I don't have to go all the way to Makati. But if I have to do a forced ranking among the three it would still be Shinjiku on top (for their Mabo Tofu Ramen and their Seafood Ramen)...Ramen Ron and Ramen Bar are very close.

Slurp away...

Ramen Bar
G/F Eastwood Mall
Libis, Quezon City
Open from 11 am- 11 pm

1.21.2011

Mercato Centrale : Newest Lifestyle Weekend Market

I'm a morning person so weekend markets get me excited (i.e. Salcedo Market and Sidcor). I've been hearing and reading a lot of buzz about this newly opened weekend market at the Fort (well I think it's been open for maybe 3 months now) so last night I told Joel that we should check it out before he goes to his morning class. Usually my weekends are spent in Corito's Garden in Batangas for work and semi-relaxation but since my schedule to go there moved to Sunday, I decided to make the most out of my Saturday here in Manila. 



We got there about 8 am and there was already a good crowd inside (mostly runners and morning people). I actually blended in pretty well because I was in my gym get-up! hahaha :) Unlike Salcedo Market which is just one big parking lot turned into a market, Mercato is divided into three covered areas (2 air-conditioned tents and one that is not).


The concept of Mercato is taken from the weekend markets in Florence Italy and borough markets of London.  It offers an extensive selection of different food, snacks, drinks, organic produce and other unique products. Here are some interesting things that caught my eye this morning...


1. Baked by Anita Mini Cupcakes


They made me try 3 different flavors which I all enjoyed; Red Velvet, Bacon & Maple and their  Mango Tamarind which had the right amount of sourness (and SOUR is something I really enjoy nowadays!).

2. Bap-chi - I really wanted to try their S'Piggy but it was already sold out. I'll try it when I come back next time. It's pulled pork with cabbage slaw and kimchi  on top of a crusty roll.

3. Joel and Hip got excited with the Offbeat Burger - The owner said it's his spin on the Offbeat burger that was featured on the show "Man vs. Food".

Offbeat Burger - Php 180.00
Krispy Kreme Honey Glazed Doughnut as buns, Fried Egg, Bacon and Burger Pattie

 Morning Look - Why the expression guys? 

 They split the burger

 I had a bite myself - well it's not exactly the healthiest breakfast but I give it A for effort!

4. Purple Mustard's Homemade Ravioli

 They have Roasted Squash, Spinach Cream, Three Cheese, Blue Cheese & Pear, Salmon Dill, Shitake Pecorino, Eggplant Parmigiana

5. Cheesy Cheesecakes - They have Parmesan, Kesong Puti and Keso de Bola Cheesecake


6. Mochiko Mochi Balls


7. Simply Pie - Baby Pies, Puff Pies, Muffins and Healthy Cakes



8. These super cute cupcakes (too bad I forgot to get their name and calling card). They have angry birds and plant vs. zombies cupcakes! Hahahah :)


9. Empire Macarons - They just look so pretty but I actually didn't try any of them! Maybe next time...

10. Ha Yuan's Pulled Pork - Shredded lean pork asado, pickled cucumbers, chopped nuts, crispy shallots and greens... a.k.a The Yao Ming - Chinese guy playing for Houston... Texas bbq! Get it?


The Yao Ming - Php 60.00 - not bad for the price. It's filling and the asado is tasty and blends well with the veggies. 

We were already on our way out when I saw someone drinking Bubble Tea. You guessed it right, I had to get one for myself...


Tea.ology's Assam Tea Large (Php 80.00)

For all the morning people out there who want a new place to try, explore Mercato Centrale!

** Located at the heart of Fort Bonifacio, Taguig (parking lot beside The Spa in Boni High Street). It's open from 7 am-4 pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Good Morning :)

1.20.2011

Birthday Edition : Feeling Fab at 30 :)



This will be one of my special blogs that won't be just about a restaurant, an ingredient, a recipe or anything about food for that matter but more about...well... ME :)

Today is my 30th Birthday.

I woke up with our son's morning cry. It was a cry of hunger, he either wanted milk or breakfast at 6:15 am. Lucky for me, I have Henri as my human alarm clock. I set my phone at 6:30 because I wanted to catch the 7 am mass at Christ the King but I didn't need it. I was awake earlier than I planned (which was actually good! It gave me more time to prepare). I took a quick shower and woke up my husband as well. He told me that he wanted to come to Church first before going to his MBA class. Going to an early birthday mass has been a traditional in our family that I've practiced all these years. My mom used to say that giving thanks to the Lord for all the blessings you've received is the best way to start your birthday. I completely agree, I felt good, rejuvenated and ready to face the whole day after mass.

I turned on my laptop the moment I got home and was overwhelmed with all the greetings I got. I patiently thanked everyone in fb who remembered and made a general "Thank You" status. Since Jo had to leave for class, I quickly whipped up a healthy breakfast of whole wheat tuna melt sandwiches with small dill pickles on the side. Then it was time to open presents. I had three waiting for me in our bedroom.

Thank you Ninang for the salad spinner and dressing stirrer! I will be able to use both for sure because we've been making a lot of salads lately! Thank you Maan for the personalized Manila bag! I love it!


Before lunch, I received a lovely lovely surprise arrangement from the Sisons! Thank you guys... you made me feel so loved!

Then we were off to lunch at Cafe 1771 formerly Chateau 1771, my new go-to place for breakfast/lunch/brunch because I love the ambiance and it's close proximity to our house (the food just comes third! haha!)

With my siblings  

 Dad and I 

 Addie's Caesar Salad (Php 280.00)

 Dad's Swiss Toast with Poached Egg (Php 280.00 + Php 30.00)

 Migo's Chorizo Pasta (Php 390.00)
My Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes (Php 290.00)


 Cute and Dainty Bathroom ;)


 Female Bathroom Door

 I love the blue, dark pink almost fuschia-paisley interiors


One part of the dining area is like a library...you're surrounded with books and shelves! Pretty cool, right?

After lunch, I had to do some "Mommy duties" so I asked Migs to drive me to Hypermart so I could buy Henri's diapers. Yaya said we had only 4 left so we needed stocks. Since I was already there, I decided to get a hair spa from Fix Salon. I considered it my guilty pleasure for the day!


At the Basket counter in hypermart with the bag filled with diapers!

Before going home, I couldn't resist it. I had to get my plain yogurt fix from Life, Coffee and Tea  - Php 100.00 

  I spent the whole the rest of the afternoon with my son at home and actually started writing this blog. Around 6 pm, we dressed up and got ready for my family dinner at Gloria Maris Greenhills. It was my Dad's dinner for me so he chose the venue. We had it there because one of the owners is his client so we get lots of freebies (I honestly think the dinner was my Tito's gift~ hahaha!). I invited my Consunji and Palma Gil relatives to join me for dinner - about 30 people made it despite the rain. 

 My favorite appetizer in Gloria Maris : Steamed Jumping Suahe (small shrimp) - it's easy to peel because it's so fresh that the shell just slides of. The meat is so sweet and juicy -- served with a mildly sweet soy-sesame dipping sauce! 

 Birthday kiss from Dada


 My little one waiting for the food to arrive

 Ninang Addie feeding Henri dessert

 He liked the chocolate fudge cake

 Gifts, gifts and more gifts... Please look closely: Notice the one wrapped in newspaper??? It was the special present from the sweetest hubby in the whole wide world. Turns out, it's a

 New MacBook Air! Wooohooo! I can retire my ultra heavy duty MacBook Pro (it's about time)... though I honestly think I'll experience some sort of separation anxiety from it! Hahaha!

 It's funny though that I even told Jo that his gift looked like it was bought at the last minute because he didn't even have time to wrap it nicely! The newspaper wrapping fooled me!?! Bwahaha! :)

Joel was excited to migrate all my old files from the old Mac to the new one but after awhile we decided to just do everything tomorrow!


 Phew! What a perfect day this turned out to be... from the early mass to the lovely surprises during the day, Cafe 1771 lunch, Hair Spa, our MSG-infused dinner sponsored by Gloria Maris... and ofcourse the surprise gift from Joel to end the night. What more can I ask for?

I believe the big 3-0 is not something people should dread (shout out to all the people who do!) but rather embrace it with open arms. Whether you are single (even if it's not by choice!) or married... a boss of your growing enterprise or still waiting for your big break and climbing the harsh corporate ladder...whether you've accomplished a lot based on your 10 year plan or still at a lost with what to do with your life... Accept the state you're in and bask on the journey it's been so far! Don't waste your time whining, complaining and regretting what happened or didn't happen for that matter. There are far more things to look forward to. Life is too short and too good. 

Blowing my birthday candle with the help of my boys! Thank you Lord for the past 30 years...

Today I'm officially 30...and I feel absolutely fabulous! :) Cheers!