Friday, June 22, 2018

Hong Kong Bites : Kam's Roast opens in SM Megamall

It's been a while since my last trip to Hong Kong and even that was the quickest visit that I've ever had. I can't remember much about that trip as we basically were there for a client meeting so it was a blurry shuttle from the airport to our hotel to the client's office and a mad dash back to the hotel to catch out flight to Singapore. Prior to that, my last leisure trip to Hong Kong was back in 2011 if I'm not mistaken. I think it's time for a return soon.

Read: At a Glance : Hong Kong and Hong Kong Itinerary Must Haves

When you say Hong Kong, images of delicious Cantonese food quickly comes to mind. The best dim sum creations and the most succulent and savory roast meats too. You can literally eat your way around Hong Kong and would still continue to want more. One thing that you shouldn't miss is Hong Kong's roast goose or duck. A very simple dish paired with a bowl of warm white rice. The best ones can actually be found on random alleys and most likely they don't have an English menu and the owner could barely also utter anything other than Cantonese so do your best to just point and pray that they get your order right.

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Anyway, since I have yet to plan that return to Hong Kong, I was so happy when I heard that Michellin-star awardee Kam's Roast has landed in Manila! Perfectly located in SM Megamall, it won't be hard to spot the restaurant as there seems to be a permanent line forming in front ever since it opened to the public a month ago. You have no idea how much joy this has brought me! This is because Kam's Roast opened in Singapore two years ago and I failed to visit that branch so I'm so glad that it's finally available locally.

Just to let you know how popular Kam's Roast is, even the late Anthony Bourdain personally visited their Hong Kong branch and featured this in his show. In Hong Kong though, Kam's Roast is known for their roast goose but sadly our Manila restaurant is not carrying this due to the strict regulations on China-imported poultry. Not to worry though as while goose won't be part of the menu, there's still a lot of dishes you can look forward to when you dine at there.

Let me share with you some of the things that we tried and truly loved:

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Marinated Cucumber with Vinegar and Garlic (Php. 220)
Start your meal with this very refreshing appetizer. I love the crispy strips of fresh cucumber that's submerged in a delicious vinegar and garlic dressing. It's actually a good palate cleanser too before you start your meaty feast.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

#FrannyCooks : Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and more on California Raisins

Did you know that raisins can aid digestion? Furthermore, it can be a cure for anemia, insomnia and hypertension? In fact, a quick search online will point you to more benefits that eating raisins can bring however... I got to admit that I'm personally am not a fan of this healthy snack. I know that it has natural sugar making it a good treat option for young children. Perhaps, someday I'll train my twins to have raisins and pray that they won't grow up to be as picky as me. I hope they'll take after their Dad who doesn't have a single food aversion and he loves raisins too.

#frannycooks oatmeal cookies
So, if I don't eat raisins, then why would I make one with it? Simple. It's because my family loves it and since I love them so Oatmeal Raisin Cookies it is! Another reason is because I got this huge bag of raisin sitting on my kitchen counter and OC me just can't bear seeing it untouched. I have to make good use of it and so here I am, baking away again while the twins were busy playing. Thankful for my sweet twin stars who are always so behaved when they know that Mommy is busy baking. Guess the smell of butter and sugar has a nice calming effect, don't you think?

#frannycooks oatmeal cookies
It has been a dream of mine to create giant sized cookies. The kind that's just about the size of my palm. This time, I took a bold step and attempted to create these large cookies. Luckily, it turned out yummy but I must have molded it too thinly that some pieces fell apart as I tried to lift them out of the baking pan. *sigh* I shall try again with a smaller mold next time.

Here's what you'll need:

Monday, June 11, 2018

Back at Blackbird at the Nielson Tower in Makati

It's been four years since my last dinner at Blackbird yet it was one of the most memorable too. I remembered flying home to celebrate Papa's birthday and who would have thought that a year after that, my dear Ama (grandmother) would be leaving us. *sniffle* Needless to say, I'm glad that I was able to spend time and have several meals with her while she was still with us. Even then, Ama was already weak. Having difficulty in walking, I remember how we have to slow down our pace and take smaller steps so as not to tire her out despite how short the walk may be. One thing that I will remember the most about my Ama is how appreciative she has always been. She always have something nice to say about everyone and it's not surprise then why we all love her to bits...making her passing so hard on us too. I remember how she would always be so excited whenever we take her out for a meal saying that I always take her out to nice, delicious restaurants.

Often times I would wonder how she'll be as a great grandmother to my twins. Oh, I'm sure she'll shower them with so much love and affection that same way she did to Pan and I. I can just imagine how she would probably call me every single day to check on them and whenever she can, she'll come visit them as often as possible. My twins, on the other hand, will surely love her. L reminds me so much of my Ama. How she has the same slim and long frame, the way she would slightly bang her head against my body as her way of lulling herself to sleep (Ama would gently bang her head against the cushion whenever she tries to fall asleep)..yes, they're kinda weird that same way. Ama will love J's little gentle personality. She may not be with us physically but I am pretty sure that she's up there watching over our three little babies -- my niece A and my twins L and J.

Going back to Blackbird, I was so excited to revisit this restaurant as it was where #thebestbottleever, Como Tomo, was launched! Clearly, it was a Mommy event but the foodie in me just can't help but document our food too. Here's sharing with you our delicious four-course meal at Blackbird:

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Buffalo Mozzarella, Peperonata, Basil, Rocket and San Danielle Prosciutto (Php. 680)
Fresh greens topped with a generous slice of buffalo mozzarella with chopped peppers for that added kick. I loved it! I must have inhaled my salad a wee bit too fast. Oops, there goes my poise.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Franny Mommy : Post Partum Depression and the realness of it

I still can't believe it. I was having dinner with my family last night when my brother-in-law shared a link with me. Anthony Bourdain is found dead at 61. I immediately thought it was a fake news as that's pretty rampant nowadays then when I showed the link to Paul, he pointed out that it was from CNN and they can't possibly come out with fake news. Then reality set in. WHY? This was the main question we all had around the table. He was at the top of his TV and food career, travelling the world, eating in all the most sought after places, he was leading the game. HOW? He died by taking his own life..his own precious life. A few days ago, fashion icon Kate Spade also passed away due to suicide. Mental illness is no joke and it's one that we all can play a role to fight it.

Let me tell you something that I have kept a secret for 7 months.

franny mommy
L's little hand holding on to me
I almost fell into what they call "post-partum depression". I never thought I would. After all, I've always been a jolly person and definitely having my twins is something that I've always hoped, prayed and longed for. However, as I've mentioned a couple of times before, our first month was pretty challenging. The twins were immediately placed in the NICU for 2 and a half weeks because they were born underweight. So tiny that it was quite scary to hold them. Every day, every single morning, I would call the hospital to get updates on their weight. Every single gram gained would earn a cheer from us. There were good days, there were bad days. L was a very fragile baby as she was born with very immature digestive tract and a little more milk would make her throw up. At barely a week old, she was already taking motillium every 8 hours. That's not something a normal baby would have. At 3 weeks, the doctor found out that she has inguinal hernia thus she has to be operated upon. Just before her scheduled operation, her blood results showed that she has low blood count and we were asked to see a pediatric hematologist/oncologist. Let me repeat that. pediatric oncologist. Believe me, as a new mom, a lot of things went in my head and it didn't helped that our pedia didn't want to say anything more but for us to just get advice for the specialist. As I cradled my little girl in my arm, I just cried...and cried and cried. She was so tiny, so weak and there's nothing I can do to help her. Thankfully, all went well and her operation was a success.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Franny Mommy Favorites : Bonjour Baby Playmat

"Wait till they start crawling!"

I still remember my Mom telling me this when I once told her how excited I am for my twins to grow faster when they were just newborn. I still get scared carrying newborns..most especially tiny babies as I have this great fear that I might accidentally drop them. My Mom and other Mommy friends would tell me to take it slow and savor that moment as a new challenge would arise once my babies would start crawling..or would start walking or worst..running.

Well my friends, the time has come when both J and L are now considered crawlers. Actually, they're more like tumbling tots who would go from one corner to another by tumbling all over the place. It's scary though as they have no concept of pausing or slowing down thus my fear of me dropping them has been quickly replaced with the fear of them just falling off the bed one day. For the past months, I've been bugging Paul that it's time for us to scout around for a good playmat. The kind that is well cushioned just in case they fall yet firm enough to aid them as they learn to sit up, be on their knees, crawl, walk and yes, run. I'm lucky though the choices are quite wide here in the Philippines. However, with a lot of good and not so good brands around, it's then confusing for first time Mommy like me to choose which one to go for.

bonjour baby 2
I've been eyeing Bonjour Baby's Playmat (Php. 2,595) after seeing this from my schoolmate A's Facebook feed. I just love the clean, neutral-colored design which means I can use this for both L and J. It's a puzzle mat too so it will allow me to just use the right amount of pieces to cover the space available in the room. I can make it from square to rectangle as well! Even my Mom saw their Facebook page and told me that it seems to be a good choice for the twins. I've been delaying my play mat purchase until we had a close call with L one night. She was already asleep on our bed and Paul just stepped out of the room to talk to me. He was confident though that she'll be alright as he surrounded her with lots of pillows. Luckily, Yaya D decided to peek one last time before heading down to her room and she was so shocked to see L awake and she has crawled up until the corner of the bed. One swift move and she would have definitely fell down to the floor.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Missing Singapura : Paradise Dynasty at The Podium

It's been a year since we bid beautiful Singapura farewell. I got to say that I really do miss our life back in Singapore where everything is simply so efficient and definitely so so so safe. Back then, I've envisioned a life where Paul and I would be raising our baby in Singapore.

Take note, baby. Singular.

Guess, He has a different plan for us when He blessed us not only with one but two beautiful babies which also means me temporarily bidding the corporate world good bye and us, relocating back home to be closer to family.

paradise dynasty 5
Aside from the over-all peace and security, I do miss the food and people in Singapore. Luckily though, one of my favorites has opened already two branches here in Manila! Hello Paradise Dynasty.

paradise dynasty 8
Away from Mommy and Daddy duties 
To celebrate the birthday of our Pareng A, we took a break from our Mommy and Daddy duties to have dinner with our foodie friends. (side story: L wasn't very happy about this and ended up crying her heart out while screaming "mamam" for an hour at home huhuhu knowing that broke my heart. Therefore, no more nightlife for me at the moment. No thanks to Mom Guilt!)

Monday, June 4, 2018

Summer Party Vibe with Greenwich Hawaiian Overload Pizza

Recently, I was invited to a birthday party. Not mine but that of two ladies who are very known on TV. In fact, Yaya D subtly gasped when she found out where I was heading to that one afternoon in SM Megamall.

greenwich pizza 3
It was to celebrate the birthdays of Yassi Pressman and Bela Padilla, two very prominent personalities on local TV today. Yaya D adores Bela Padilla who stars in her favorite TV series Ang Probinsyano. Trust me, ask her one thing and she can go on and on and on about that show. Haha!

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This party was hosted by Greenwich Pizza and just like any birthday party, we were in for a yummy treat!

While waiting for the celebrants, we feasted on a buffet of party dishes such as tea sandwiches, nachos with dips...

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