Thursday, April 17, 2014

Taking a Break

In the observance of lent, will be taking a break from all social media sites.

blogging break

p.s. For those who are travelling around the Philippines, to Singapore or beyond (!) : do refer to my tabs found here, here and here.

Going offline in 5....4.....3....2..... *poof*

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pack and Go with Crumpler Philippines

For most of you in Manila, I'm pretty sure that you're really excited for the day to end as it will officially mark the start of your four-day weekend! Awww you lucky lucky people! I have an extra work day to go and I'm off for that much-awaited 3 day break that I've been looking forward to since February!

Who agrees with me that while traveling is really fun, packing your bags and luggage can sometimes be a chore. Despite my OCD tendencies, I really do not like packing before a trip as it means making sure that I bring the right clothes in the right quantity and to make it all fit things inside my luggage without packing in too much weight too. Paul is an pro in packing light so it really has been his frustration that his wife (a.k.a. me) always has the tendency to bring the entire closet if not the house with her. I really couldn't help it! The worst thing is to get to your destination and you realize you left something at home. I'm learning though...let's take it one baby step at a time.

crumpler philippines 3
I think choosing the right bag or luggage is key to being able to maximize the space and weight of your baggage. The first step is to check the weight. Imagine the horror of using a really heavy luggage or bag which will probably cover one-third of the allowable weight. That could really be such a hassle, agree? Let me tell you about our all-time brand of choice when it comes to our travel bags -- Crumpler! I guess you've noticed that I've been blogging about Crumpler multiple times in the past (here and here).

Well, Crumpler bags are guaranteed to be very light and easy to store away anytime. Here are some of their newest products in the market:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Authentic Filipino Cuisine : Mesa Filipino Moderne

Lately it has been extremely hot outside. Too hot that I have been avoiding all reasons to go out for lunch and instead would happily eat my homemade sandwich in the comforts of my air-conditioned office. Oh what I'd give to have a tall glass of Halo-Halo right now.

This year, someone predicted that the Filipino cuisine will be the next big thing. I'm really excited for this to happen as I honestly feel there's so much for the world to taste and to appreciate about our local dishes. Set aside the famous adobo, we got our laing, pinakbet, the really comforting sinigang, our wake-me-upper silogs and of course, all our pork dishes from crispy pata down to sisig. The Filipino cuisine will surely take the gastronomic world by storm, don't you think?

Having said that, I really miss Filipino food at the moment. Despite the many restaurants available, if you ask my Mom about her favorite Filipino restaurants, she will probably name 2-3 in a snap. One of these is Mesa Filipino Moderne. Ever since she dined here years ago, this has been her go-to place whenever someone in the family wants Filipino food or we have balikbayan relatives in town.

It was pretty much a no-brainer that Mommy would of course take her balikbayan daughter and son-in-law out for lunch to Mesa Filipino Moderne as well. No complains though and in fact, both Paul and I were very excited for this particular lunch as we can't wait to have our Pinoy favorites again.

mesa filipino moderne
Our meal began with some Tinapa Roll Wrapped in Lettuce which we enjoyed although it was a bit too oily that we could only have a few pieces each. I love anything with Tinapa and this one was even mixed with tomatoes, onions and salted egg. Dipped in vinegar, the best way to enjoy this is to wrap it inside a piece of fresh lettuce the way you'd have some Korean Bulgogi. So, it's basically a roll inside a wrap!

Mesa Filipino Moderne
My husband Paul is a huge fan of Sisig. Must be the true blue Cabalen in him that made him appreciate this sizzling pork dish starting at such a young age. In Mesa though, they served it quite differently. We tried the Sisig in a Pouch where the chopped pork sisig was wrapped inside a wanton wrapper and deep-fried to perfection. Somehow though, we couldn't pinpoint the sisig flavor and were quite disappointed with this. We should have just ordered the regular kind.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Discovering Concetto by Saveur at The Cathay

There's something about discovering a new eating place that never fails to excite me. Must be the fact that it's something new... or the uncertainty of what surprises could greet you. What makes it more fun is that we're surrounded with friends who shares the same intense love for food and who are just as excited as we are whenever a new promising restaurant has opened in the neighborhood.

concetto 6
Well, Concetto by Saveur isn't exactly located in OUR neighborhood but for food, we definitely will go the distance. 

concetto 7
Located at the ground floor of The Cathay building, Paul and cousin J decided to have dinner here a few nights ago. Silly me, I assumed that the restaurant must be big enough to sit everyone so there was no need to make a reservation. Well, look what greeted me at the front door. An automated reservation machine wherein I had to key in how big our party was together with my mobile number. It then sent an SMS to my phone giving me my reservation number. This was also my cue to go around the mall and wait until they call to tell me that our table is ready. Apparently, a lot of customers made a reservation so they were able to quickly get their table. As for us, we had to wait for 30 minutes until I got a recorded call telling me that our table was ready and to press "1" to confirm. As soon as I did, I was given 5 minutes to get to the restaurant or our table will be given to the next person in line. How high-tech! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sneak Peek: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

I promise ... NO SPOILERS!

spiderman 2 singapore
Last Saturday, Paul and I were so happy as we got an exclusive preview of certain scenes from the upcoming blockbuster movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. We are both fans of the movie so no amount of strong rains and inviting thoughts of staying longer in bed were enough to make us miss this opportunity.

What made it extra special was that we watched it at GV Max in Vivo City. The theater was almost double the size of the normal Golden Village movie theater and it's equipped with Dolby Atmos sound quality. So you can really feel like you're part of the movie and there's Spiderman swinging his way around NYC in front of you. We saw the preview in 3D so you can just imagine how it has heightened the adrenaline rush and excitement all throughout the screening. Though what we saw was just a short preview, it has brought me to the edge of my seat the moment "some characters" came out on screen. Trust me, watch it on 3D to get the best Spidey experience ever!

Here's the trailer of the movie. I'm so excited for May 1 to come (aside from the fact that it's Pan's birthday!!)!

I think I have to stop talking now as I don't want to ruin the suspense for all of you. Better yet, let me leave you with a special surprise below:

Watch out for my movie review come May! I ♥ you Spidey and Gwen Stacy!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be out in cinemas starting 1 May 2014! 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ben & Jerry's Singapore : Free Cone Day 2014

I scream for ICE CREAM!

ben & jerry's sg3
Well you would too especially when they start giving away Free Ice Cream Cones for the entire day!

ben & jerry's sg9
Ben & Jerry's is one of my favorite ice cream brands. I love the fun flavors available and the names that goes with it. For instance, have you ever tried Maple Treehugger, Clusterfluff or the Scotchy Scotch Scotch? These names will definitely get you to laugh as you wonder what makes up these creations. We love having pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream at home with the Strawberry Cheesecake as our top favorite. During the weekends, Paul and I would also drop by the Ben & Jerry's store in Vivo City for our ice cream fix.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tried and Tested at Wee Nam Kee, Singapore

Much has been said about Singapore's Hainanese Chicken Rice. Debates have sparked here and there as to which restaurant or hawker stall reigns supreme. Each one has his or her own opinion and that's perfectly fine. We all know that taste is subjective. So what tastes better for me may not be the same case for you. However, one thing is certain -- Hainanese Chicken Rice (together with the Kaya Toast) has surely put Singapore right at the center of the foodie map and for years..maybe even decades now, it has sealed its spot right there and I don't think this will change soon.

wee nam kee singapore 1
No visit to the Lion City is complete without having a taste of this delectable dish that consists of boiled chicken cooked in a rich and really flavorful stock. It comes with a cup of rice that is also cooked using the same stock and is drizzled with oil and is served with a trio of dipping sauce -- ginger oil, sticky soy sauce and chili. Friends would always ask me where's the best Hainanese Chicken Rice for me and today, I'll finally answer this question -- it's definitely Wee Nam Kee.

I grew up having Chicken Rice every time we would come and visit Singapore. However, I never really thought much about it. I liked it, yes but it was only back in 2010 when Paul and I finally found THE ONE. It was during our week-long honeymoon here that we were able to try quite a number of stalls and shops selling Hainanese Chicken Rice. Finally, one evening we tried Wee Nam Kee and right there and then we knew we found a winner. We just love the tender chicken meat which had a good balance of meat, a bit of fat and bones. It's one of the most flavorful chickens that I've had that often times, I would even forget to use the dipping sauces as I'm happy eating just the chicken and a bit of its sauce.

So, we were so excited to go back to Wee Nam Kee last year but were surprised to learn that the original site across the Novena Church has closed down. Luckily, they have reopened late last year at the United Square Mall  which is more accessible to the MRT station. Before anything else, let me talk a bit about the service. I have to warn you that you won't be getting very friendly and courteous service here. The staff are always in a hurry to the point of them making you feel like you're wasting your time if you request for additional utensils or you take your time in deciding what to order. Majority of them also are purely Chinese-speakers but the menu is in English and with a little hand gestures and pointing, you'll surely survive. :)

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