Friday, January 27, 2012

Mr. Miyagi: Eat-All-You-Can smokeless grill

From the same entertainment conglomerate who brought to you Laffline, Punchline and MetroBar comes another whimsical take, this time in a form of gastronomic amusement.

Athough food industry isn't a stranger to the de Villa as they have been franchising Binalot Filipino flair for quite some time now, Mr. Miyagi is their first spin-off from the usual bar joint and chill-out travesty.

Located at the heart of Timog, Mr Miyagi isn't hard to find with their uberly vibrant lighting and clear glass window. The interiors were a straightforwardly unassuming and unceremoniously simple, soft couches neatly arranged all over a vastly spacious dining area, and a buffet spread at the middle, much like how the Yakimix did theirs. Also the chandeliers where somewhat derivative to the Yakimix(Trinoma), although I wish it wasn't intentional.

Their grillables include a whole gamut of thinly sliced cut pork, beef, fish, shrimp and chicken meats.

Yes broccoli, it's nice to have if you maintain a proper balance of things on a table.

They have a rice, noodles, and other varieties too. It's a good thing to have while waiting for your grillables to get perfectly done.

Crab but I didn't taste this because I don't want to go through the hassle of tediously unfolding the meat inside their hard shell.

Tempura. Their most-replenished pre-cooked entree.

Spicy hot pork. Best mate for a beer? :)

Bell Pepper and mushroom contrasting the ickyness of meat.

Sweet and sour, they have done it right, with just the right balance.

Calamares style squid. Bring on the dip.

Crunchy goodness shrimp. This is close to being a shrimp chicharon.

Another shrimp. Tasty as it already is.

Fillet. I let it pass because I can get this from just anywhere.

And another variant.

Best complemented with the appropriate sauce.


They have different sauces as well. Make sure you get the right one for the right entree.

And Japanese section to include Maki, Sushi and Sashimi. I was disappointed with the Wasabi thigh because it lack a tanginess kick.

To conclude your meal, get some of these fresh fruits and desserts.

Or perhaps a salad will do.

You can also do your own garden fresh salad.

Let's see what I have on my plate. Squid, shrimp, sweet and sour goodness.

Sashimi on the far end and the grilled meats. Dip it with Ponzu or Korean Mizu sauces.

Dry noodles. And another round of sweet and sour delight.

I took the the large slice. Dessert time.

I just made this, Crepes topped with Chocolate and Strawberry ice cream with cherry on top.

Fruit salad. It was unplanned so I wasn't able to prep up a gastric stretching exercise, hence I spent it up to desserts for most of my time.

My finale was a quad-scope of ice cream, Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry and Mocha.

The damage? Monday to Friday Php499 on lunch and Php599 for dinner. Week ends will cost you at Php649. I think it's better to get it on a weekday lunch because their bottomless ice teas(Green and Red Tea) were free. But that wasn't so damaging at all. Although for this type of restaurant set up, SamboKojin still has the discernible hand, and it is perhaps because of their long experience in this industry.

At the end of the meal, the restaurant manager was nice enough to have a casual chat and handed me a 50% discount card for Laffline entrance. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Keeping life simple

I have been a Batman in the Renaissance Era whose waist, pockets and backpacks are full of utility gears for my mobile lifestyle. My affinity with these arsenals started out too early, perhaps I can say that I used to be one of the early adapters of these technological marvels and whenever there's one, I easily jump into the bandwagon of go-getters and took the first dip.

During college for instance, there were only three of us in the entire campus who owned a cellphone. Mine was a Philips Fizz, my other classmate Motorola(I forgot the model) and schoolmate friend a Nokia 100(that ice crusher model).Then onto my work, my company issued me a Motorola pager.

Until during the PDA era, and I owned a whole gamut of them too, from the monochrome Palm M105 to color Palm M130, Palm M505 to Sony Clie SJ30, then my last PDA was the Sony Clie TJ37.

Now, I am bent on sticking to just two phones, an iPhone as my main phone and a Samsung as my auxiliary unit, one a Globe line and the other a Sun. I am planning to keep life simple by just owning a few gadgets now, few and really necessary.

They can also be used as a secondary camera as both of them really churned out good photos. But I noticed somehow their output difference.

iPhone has more vivid colors but a bit grainy. It has faster shutter speed though.

Samsung leaned towards a fluorescent mode in the white balance spectra but has a slower shutter speed.

If you look at them on the phone, Samsung has e better image quality since it uses SuperAMOLED screen and has good contrast output. But you need to look at them on a computer to see real score up close.

All in all, they're good during the times when dSLR failed to keep you a company, especially during emergency purposes where you didn't expect you need to capture something.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

OLPC, only phone version

Globe Family Combo has been around was launched since 2008, but a promo like this are hardly noticed since it doesn't have any value added on me as I hail from a relatively small family.

But what caught my attention is the Samsung Galaxy Y. Sure enough, touchscreen technology has been in the midst, but touchscreen technology with an Android OS, that reminds me of the OLPC concept way back 2006.

Technology determinism has indeed foisted in into the alleys of our society that every man can now have a decent OS that does not only do calling and texting but with all the mobile connectivity functionalities as well, a feat that was once thought can only be done on a regular computer.

Globe's Family Combo meant 3 lines, 3 phones, and 3 unlimited services. Just choose your plan(Globe or TouchMobile UnliCall and Text, UnliCall to mobile and landline, or UnliTxt to all networks), choose your phone(Samsung Galaxy Y, Huawei U8350 they call "CloudPhone Temptation," of Blackberry Curve 8520 that comes with Php4,800 cash out), and choose your booster with Globe's unlimited services.

Of course, the obvious decent choice would be to get the Samsung Galaxy Y.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I know I am so heartless(and a sucker that is) when it comes to cosmetic products that even public toilets in our office are lambasted shamelessly by my uberly hygienic tendencies. Men in my fold are just as vain as I am though, so before you cast your doubts, let me tell you that these are the new breed alpha males in the urban landscape(although I am not an alpha male categorically, far from being it).

So how did I manage to do that? I lug around a backpack, almost everytime, that contains not only the tools for a road warrior(and mobile professional) like me, but also a compartment for my manity(short for 'men's vanity') kits.

And how did I manage to acquire them? I do my intensive research first(operating word here is "intensive"). And although men have usually different hygienic needs than women, and that there are only sparse information in cyberspace that you can find about men's grooming resources, you'd most likely find information that contains women's vanity board in a tropical country. That's just as nearly good as what you're looking for.

Then here goes grabbing them at the brick and mortar outlets, if shopping online isn't of a choice. Make sure that you are in your destination(Watson's, Rustan's, skin clinics, wellness boutiques, etc) right before they open. I am usually there 5min before they open so that it isn't much of incommodiously awkward to choose items amidst the thick crowd of opposite sex. I do just the same in a salon. 5min earlier. It's that important because the woman doing your hair or fingernails or toe nails have just had a refreshed energy from a night's sleep.

Besides, Sales Reps can serve you better when you're alone or there's only few people in the shop. Don't be silly by lying that it isn't for you, or it's for your partner. Come on, you'd have a better recommendation from her if you tell her with brutal honestly that you want your pores tightened, or you want skin lightening effect, or you want to remove some scars and all. Same technique applies as to how women choose their lipsticks or moisturizers, dab a small amount into the area nearly between thumb and forefinger.

And make sure you religiously and periodically apply them as recommended. The hardest part of it is during the times that you are so tired, you're having a long day and putting on a honey, mudpack, or a facial mask is laborious enough and simply a hassle.

Philippine Astronomy Convention 2012

We're closing in towards February and the Philippine Astronomy Convention is already at the horizon. People in the scientific community are already extremely busy doing the logistics and legworks as to the event organization and activity line up. We are not a skilled events organizers and we hope event activities can be encapsulated in a 'field equations' we are working. But it's not, and it takes more than just an intellectual cranial muscle to do it, most of it takes an undeniable charm to have permits approved, contracts sealed and budgets signed.

As usual, I am slated to make a talk on some astronomy topics. Since the convention's theme revolves around 2012 and its correlative doomsday hullabaloo, I have chosen a topic that is more encompassing to the end of days scenario of all life forms.

My talk is entitled "Dark Matter, Dark Energy and the Fate of the Universe."

I know I am usually crunching several equations(e.g., Newtonian Dynamic and Keppler's Law, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity) in my talks but ironic as it may seem, in the hall of the Philippine's first university to offer astronomy course, I will try as much as I can to make my talk fairly comprehensible to the very human understanding in us. :)

See? I even accounted these stars as part of the cosmic inventory. But that is partly true, we are an integral part of the ordinary matter composition(Note: I specifically term it ordinary, because there are exotic matters as much as there is a Dark Matter).

We, as human beings, are a byproduct of the death of stars. The calcium in our bones, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our entire molecular composition, are the remnants of the death of stars. As one famous astronomer, Carl Sagan, quotes it "we are made of star stuff."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Old Vine Grille Buffet at Eastwood Mall Veranda

Testing the gourmand waters, Old Vine Grille Eastwood launched its new doze of dining experience via buffet spread. This should serve as an unmistakable acid test to their skill in prepping up dishes in an epic proportion without the compromise of quality, just as other buffet restaurants had been.

Old VIne Grille is a cozy Italian and French restaurant seated at the veranda of Eastwood Mall which is generally a steak place, but also renowned for its Salmon Carpaccio with Champagne Vinaigrette or Pan-Fried Foie Gras. Apparently nothing much had been changed since the last time I was here.

It has obviously earned some culinary notoriety as some of its menu are named after its avid celebrity diners and guest chefs.

Since we were late, we were seated at the far end inside the claustrophobe-inducing conference room, hence my sign of disgruntlement.

Salad section.

Must-have for your salad. My college room mate didn't patronize me into this idea as he is not really a fanboy for raw meats.

Crunchy veggies, best to go with your meats. Not only do they get rid of the icky factor, they can also help in the digestion process.

What is Old Vine Grille without the grillables.

We were here late so the spread were already, poorly lambasted by fellow piranha like me. Poor beef.

Baby Potatoes. I love the saltiness, just right to ignite a voracious appetite.

Baby Back Ribs, loads of them. If you're after of these, then this buffet might just be right for you. You get to spend almost the same than buying these at your favorite steak houses.

Right beside this Carving Station is their Pasta Station.

A meal couldn't be complete without the dessert.

Bring them some more.

Sweet indulgences.

Sweet for my sweet… tooth.

Let's see what did I have on my table. I had the Chef whipped up a Pesto Pasta for me, my favorite pasta kind.

Then on to my main entrees.

I had the raw oysters baked in bathed in butter.

A serious take on the Baby Back Ribs. Awhile ago was just a warm up.

A soup alone is not a compromise of the quality, delicious with perfectly sliced tidbits of meats and veggies.

Am I about to conclude already with these desserts?

Oh, wait, the Baby Back Ribs are so heavenly. I can't wait for my second and third round.

And finally my salad.

For Php595, a Dad's Ultimate Buffet would be of another option if you're after of the variety. But I can't assure you of the taste though. I am not saying they're a gourmet buffet(I haven't heard of such actually), but at the very least, in Old Vine Grille, if you're spending regular meal on their a la carte menu, you'd spent just as much as you would in their buffet, so that alone is a deal-breaker for me.

So now that explains why I have to return more than three times for one variant, because they don't have that much to choose from.

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