Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lunch for the Queen : Tapenade at Discovery Primea in Makati City

January flew by so fast for me. With three quick trips to Manila, the entire month went by like a blur but it was a fun and eventful one, I must say. The last trip was my favorite though as I was able to spend every waking hour with family. After all, it was to celebrate Mommy's birthday and we made sure to shower her with all the love that she deserved for days.

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On her actual birthday, we took her to her favorite restaurant -- Tapenade at Discovery Primea. Mommy can be a very picky eater and for her to rave about a particular restaurant for months on end definitely means something. She first told me about Tapenade last October but since we had a very hectic schedule then, we were not able to push through with our family dinner at Tapenade. Then, the December holiday came and went, again another failed attempt to visit Tapenade. So, on her birthday, Pan and I made sure that we push through with it and while we miss Paul and my brother in law E who were both busy at work, it was a nice family lunch just like old times. Of course, this time, we have my beautiful niece A joining us.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Shrimp Fiesta at Choobi Choobi in Panay Avenue, Quezon City

After my Afternoon Tea date with D here in Singapore, we promised each other to meet up once again in Manila over the Christmas break. Given how everyone is normally busy during this time of the year, I was so touched to receive a message from D as soon as we landed in Manila asking when can we meet up for lunch. She surely kept her promise! Isn't she just so amazing?

We agreed to meet up after Christmas Day and she told me that fellow bloggers K and C will be joining us too. I've never met K and C in person despite knowing of them and following them on social media for years. I always love meeting new friends so I was so excited for this particular lunch date. D suggested we go to Choobi Choobi in Panay Avenue which is one of her favorite restaurants at the moment. I've never heard of Choobi Choobi and after a quick search, I learned that this restaurant originated from Cebu and they're known for their bags of shrimps. Hooray!

choobi choobi panay 2
Guess we were just so excited that Paul and I were the first ones to arrive for lunch that day. D arrived shortly after followed by K, C and K's son R. We left the ordering to them as they really seemed like pros. Imagine, they didn't have to browse the menu to know what they wanted to get. I wonder how often have these ladies been frequenting the restaurant? The first thing that D ordered were the bags (yes PLURAL) of shrimps. For 6 people, we had 3 1 pound bags of shrimps (Php. 395)! I initially thought that was a bit too much but after taking my first spoonful of rice with the sauce, I knew that 3 bags are just right but in reality, I think we can easily manage to have our own bags too haha.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lunch Crowd Special : A Poke Theory in Boon Tat Street

One of the biggest food trends that rocked Singapore last year was the entrance of Poke Bowls specifically to the lunch crowd. In case you're not sure what on earth poke (poh-kay) bowls are, these are pretty much a raw fish salad served in a...bowl. All over the world, there are several variations closely similar to it. Ceviche from the Latin American region, Kinilaw in the Philippines and somewhat close, Yusheng here in Singapore. What makes Poke extra special is that the fish/seafood are marinated making it so tasty and it's served on top of a bed of rice or greens.

a poke theory 3
During one of my lunch errands, I stumbled upon A Poke Theory along Boon Tat Street. I seriously love this part of Tanjong Pagar as this was were my first office was located. I just love the quaint shophouses, the endless rows of restaurants and how this area has maintained this old Singaporean charm in a very modern setting. So, I really love it whenever I get to walk around this area for lunch again.

A Poke Theory was bustling with busy customers and servers for lunch that day. Looks like this was the common lunch scene and I decided to just do my errands first and come back towards the latter part of lunch hour in hopes that the crowd will start to thin out. My plan worked and as soon as I was able to secure myself a table, I headed to the counter to create my poke bowl.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Tea Time for Tea-tas : Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre

They say, once you have reached the age of 30 you're officially a "tita" or auntie in English. Well, I am legit a tita with the birth of my niece J 9 years ago and this was followed by my nephews J1 and J2 and of course, with the recent arrival of Baby A too. I'm tita x 4 and what does most titas do? They go for tea time, of course!

Kidding aside, it seems like I have discovered a new weekend hobby and this is to go for a nice afternoon tea bonding sessions with my girl friends here in the Lion City. Thank god for sweet loyal girl friends like S, T and D.

holiday inn orchard 1
Recently, my friend Didi came to visit and since we both had really jam-packed weekend schedules, I suggested we go for tea time instead to which Di was super game for. We tried Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre's High Tea Set as it's really accessible to where Di was staying and I also got dinner plans in the same area that evening. I love how spacious the lobby was and they were so nice to give us a nice quiet corner too.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mellben Signature at Tanjong Pagar Plaza, Singapore

When it comes to answering the question "where is the best chili crab in Singapore?" Rest assured that you'll only be able to get the answer after surviving a long debate. With hundreds of zi char outlets all over the island and long time restaurants with histories spanning for decades, this question will never ever have a singular answer. Taste is subjective, after all so while some might like their chili crab burning hot with spice, I like mine with a hint of tangy notes and a bit of creamy texture coating the meaty crab.

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Whenever we have guests over, Paul and I would make it a point to take them to either a new, unique restaurant, or perhaps to one of our favorite foodie places or to Mellben Signature to feast on some local favorites. There are actually two zi char places that we frequent but since Mellben Signature is located just in Tanjong Pagar, this is the best choice in terms of accessibility. Recently, we had my first ever friend (I kid you not) A, as well as my cousin M and her hubby E here in Singapore. While A doesn't really know M and E, I still decided to host all of them together because.. time is gold and it doesn't hurt to gain a friend or two. :) There were just 5 of us but of course, I wanted to make sure that our guests are well-fed so I think I might have ordered a meal that's good to feed an entire basketball team. Oops!

Check out what we ordered that evening:

mellben tanjong pagar 6
Chili Crab (seasonal price)
This was E's special request after hearing my brother-in-law E rave about Singapore Chili Crab. While he surely had high expectations, I was confident that Mellben Signature's version will definitely impress him. Together with the meaty crab, I ordered a plate of fried mantou which was perfectly used to mop up the delicious tangy, spicy sauce that I love so much. I'm personally not really into eating crabs in public but it's only in Mellben Signature where I would make an exception. I just can't help it! The crab is always so meaty and you can taste the slight hint of spice in every bite. Yummy! Together with the mantou, I also recommend that you get a bowl of rice too.

Monday, January 30, 2017

8 Cuts Burger Blends in Greenhills Promenade, San Juan City

"I want mah burgers!!"

That's my stomach growling from time to time. While I'm not really a big fan of meat, there are just those moments when I find myself craving for a good piece of burger. Nothing too fancy but one with a thick cut of juicy beef, nice fluffy bun and just the right condiments to go with it. Over the Christmas break, Paul and I went on a double date with my best friend L and her hubby T. It's just amazing to look back and realize that we actually have been double dating for close to 13 years as T and Paul courted both L and I almost at the same time. It's just so nice that L and I are always in sync in every big milestones in our lives. From dating T and Paul respectively to being their girl friends and later on, marrying them and being their wives. As for L, she's now a hot momma to two beautiful kids, one of which is my super smart godson and someday she'll definitely a godmother to mine too. That's one great friendship story, if I must say so myself.

We were supposed to meet at Cibo but with the holiday rush, the place was packed when L and T got there so we quickly decided to move to 8 Cuts Burger Blend which was inside Greenhills Promenade. I was so happy as I've been wanting to try 8 Cuts for the longest time! Yay!

8 cuts manila 3
While L and I are almost always in sync, one thing that sets us apart is our appetite. L has the smallest appetite known to man while I am totally the opposite. Well, I guess, that's why we love eating out as she would nibble here and there while I can eat like there's no tomorrow. So, I wasn't surprised at all when she told her hubby T that she just wants to share while Paul and I shamelessly went ahead and ordered one burger EACH. Not only that, we started our meal with the Loaded Tex Mex Nachos (Php. 345) which was delish! I love how it's piled with sweet mexican beef, tomatoes, sour cream and jalapenos. The menu says that it comes with smoked guacamole but either avocados were out of season of the kitchen staff totally forgot to put that onto our nachos. Oh man! It was good alright but I want my guac, please!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Cooking Live : Cucina at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

For a country, like the Philippines, who loves to eat, it's then expected to have such a booming food industry and boy, competition can be very very fierce! There's basically a lot of options to eat from such as the basic carinderias, to the growing number of food parks, then there's a wide array for restaurants specializing in all sorts of cuisines and cooking techniques then we have our hotels. Within one hotel, you can expect to have more than 3 F&B outlets such as a traditional Chinese or Japanese restaurant, a coffee shop and our favorite -- an all-day dining restaurant which offers its culinary masterpieces buffet-style. Now, it's not really a big surprise how come Paul and I would always pack on so much weight after spending a couple of days back in Manila. Most of the time, we just eat, eat and eat!

cucina marco polo 15
During our recent visit home, we checked out Cucina at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila. We've loved this hotel after dining at Lung Hin and we told ourselves that we should definitely go back. Right after Christmas, we were invited to have a dinner date at Cucina. To be honest, I was so excited for this and was looking forward to this dinner even before actually flying home to Manila then. Cucina is an all-day dining with 9 live stations. With all the hotel buffets out there, I think this is one thing that makes Cucina unique. You can pretty much customize your dish down to how you want it, how much you want to have and if there's any special request that you have, who knows maybe the Chef might be able to grant.

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