Monday, April 30, 2012

Battleship: A scientific take on scifi

I like science fiction movies. I love how it inspired scientists to speed up the breakthrough process. I love how it primed the leading research bodies to come up with a sensible products that are first deemed to be existing only in the aspect of fictional thought, things like teleportation, light saber, space travel, time travel etc.  And while I'm weltering with fondness over it, I can't help but point some factual inaccuracies which is a given factor in a science fiction movies since writers are not physicists and scientists. But that is the whole point of fiction, I should say. Lately, I watched Battlefield(I am a sucker for Liam Neeson movies. He is good as he is tough). And here's are some enlightening truth as far as scientific perspective is concerned:

1) NASA discovered a "golidlocks" planet - True enough, there are already few of them found, but the golidlocks principle only assumes right proximity to the star system, which is neither too cold nor too hot to be able to possibly sustain life. The operative word here is "possible". It doesn't guarantee that it harbors life. If the planet is too large, it may have a densely gaseous region that it wouldn't be able to process building blocks of life in the ground. If it is small, it may have an extreme level of volcanic activity, lunar effects, and the entire landscape is maybe a shroud of radiation. Even if it has the same size as Earth, without the right moon to stabilize its axis, it would have suffered erratic seasonal condition. 

2) NASA transmits beacon of signal into the goldilocks planet in 2005. By 2012, aliens responded and came into the Earth - We have a lot of exosolar planets found and the current database suggests a figure close to 600. But the closest goldilocks planet we have so far is the Gliese 581c which is 20light years away. If we send out a radio signal(electromagnetic wave) traveling a speed of light, it would take 20years to reach. But you can't do it in one perfect instance. It has to be sent repetitively in several succession because of the signal degradation. Remember that a vacuum is not absolutely vacuum, it has Hydrogen atom per cubic centimeter of space, and photons, a highly interactive particle of any light source, will have a high probability to hit these. 

3) Aliens are sensitive to light - This is a question on evolutionary process. I mean how are they able to evolve into a highly complex biomechanical beings but unable to acquire gemmules, a hereditary particle secreted by cells necessary for environmental adaptations. Ok, a colleague of mine, a biologist, suggested that maybe they live in a dimmer place where the Sun is 30-40% darker than our own. Well, a star to that luminosity and temperature wouldn't be able to fuel energies necessary for life to consume. Vegetations wouldn't flourish, flora and fauna will have an extremely difficult time to withstand. 

All in all, the movie is great and I would like to end my point by the statement being hurled in the movie, that during the alien invasion, especially those with highly developed technological advancement, it would be like the Columbus and the Indians, except this time, we are the Indians. 

Check my other movie critique at Another Earth and Thor and the Einstein-Rosen Bridge

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Choi Palace Seafood and Shark's Fin Restaurant

Although not the first, Choi Palace may stand as a matriarch establishment of the Choi restaurant group that includes Choi Garden located in Greenhills(it's probably the first), Robinson's Galleria, and the HK Choi by Choi Garden at the SM Megamall. As Choi Palace is tucked in inside one of the country's renowned hotels, Eastwood Richmond Hotel, and facing the mall's veranda, it speaks in itself a certain allude of class and elegance that makes the passersby gets intimidated. But contrary to the belief, the prices were actually very reasonable. 

Much like its Choi Garden Seafood and Shark's Fin Restaurant in Annapolis,  Choi Palace Seafood and Shark's Fin Restaurant exudes a grandioise dynasty Chinese era with the dominantly red and gold fixtures and furnitures, round tables, and large aquarium, almost the way every authentic Chinese restaurant is arrayed. 

Lately, the gang of the Tales of the Tongue was joined by the Boss to dine in at the Choi Palace Seafood and Shark's Fin Restaurant and here it goes.

The courtesy peanuts. I wonder if they serve Tsingtao beer too? 

The main staple, what else but a Yang Chow Fried Rice(Php480 + 10% SC). They say it's good for 6-8 pax, but for MobilityReel and me, it's only good for two. :)

Fried Squid with Salt, Garlic, and Chili(Php320 + 10% SC). The salty ingredient is good to ignite your appetite in full throttle. 

Minced Pork with Eggplant(Php320 + 10% SC). This captured our heart's delight. Despite the strong ingredients, you can still taste the eggplanty flavor. 

1/2 White Chicken(Php450 + 10%SC). Although me and MobilityReel's standard to thyme type of chicken is exceptionally high as we have been eating at Chinese restaurants for the past decade or so, this is close enough to that vein. 

Jelly Fish with Slices of Century Egg(Php350 + 10% SC). This was Trent's first take on this exotic entree. Apparently, he didn't like it. My first take on this was a long time ago, circa 1999, at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao. 

Xiao Long Bao(Php240+ 10% SC). It's a steamed baozi(hence the name) originating from Eastern China. This is usually served along with the dumplings and is eaten using a ceramic soup spoon so as not to drip off its filling and fluid. Also Trent's first, and this time he liked it. 

I ended up too full but still wanting more that the day after, I have to be at the Causeway near my place the moment they opened to eat some more. Speaking of full throttle. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Oakroom at the Oakwood Premiere Joy~Nostalg Center

You know what makes for my perfect brunch? A semi-crunchy, semi-soft bacon, a steak and a glass of fine wine. All these and more are realized in the Oakroom, Oakwood Premiere's signature restaurant. 

Located at the heart of Ortigas business district, Oakwood Premiere Joy~Nostalg Center is the country's first luxury apartment service residences. 

And with the association of its deluxe amenities, it has one of the best restaurants to boot, offering an exquisite selection of continental cuisine by using the best and freshest range of ingredients to churn out a culinary masterpiece for the discriminating tongue of the traveling customer. Sit back and relax at large couches and comfortable chairs. 

Sundays are no exception for a relaxing, laid-back meal because of its buffet that includes live cooking station, freshly prepped up dishes, and a free flowing sparkling red and white wine. It is indeed a "Bubblicious Sunday" here.

And they even have an acoustic duo to sooth the sensual mood.  And oh, I fell in love with the singer already. She volunteered to have a photo op with me but my shy demeanor(torpe-ness galore) heartlessly declined the beauty. :)

Assorted bread.

Live cooking station. 

Cheese, salami, and a lot more. 

Pasta section. select a pasta and your choice of ingredient. 

Salad section. Do it yourself, or have them do it for you. 

Let's see what they have on their main entrees. 

This is the essence of a brunch buffet. Sausage and a bacon. 

People came in a little earlier so they have to stay at the bar first while the restaurant staff has to prepare the buffet spread. They ended up to be extremely hungry and when the buffet opened, this is what happened. Lambasted entree. 

And this one too. 

And another one. I love the beef in barbecue sauce. 

Let's see what they have in the dessert station.

Sweet sensation smorgasbord at the dessert station.

And more sweets. 

Ice cream and crepe station. Sadly they don't have a Halo Halo section but this is brunch so it's ok. 

They even have fresh fruits too.

Another look from the dessert station

The dessert station is filled with tempting diet-busters, pastries, cream puffs, creme brulee, and a lot more. 

Carving Station presents…. US Beef Prime Rib. 

The shrimps are really huge. I asked the chef to grill some for me. 

I was the first to invade the Carving Station. I always go with the most expensive piece of meat first. 

I asked the chef to make a pesto pasta for me with grilled pork belly and beef satay. 

Bacon strips and baby back ribs combo. 

A little bit of everything.

Australian red wine. This is life. 

And white wine too. This is not just life, this is a charmed life. 

I can't leave a buffet without an ice cream, so i got all the flavors they have. 

Dessert-ing my heart out. 

Who would want to leave a buffet without your best dessert, a Banana and Mango-stuffed crepe, topped with a chocolate ice cream and grape. 

With the Php880 discounted price from the Php1,199 value, I think it was well worth it. And it could even be an early out-of-the-box date with your special someone. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cibo: Italian comfort food

For years, Cibo has earned some kind of a gustatory notoriety of being one of the best comfort food places around. Now after several years of existence, it has spawned into several branches already, Greenbelt, Trinoma, Rockwell Powerplant, Corte de las Palmas Alabang, Greenhills, Eastwood, and the one inside ABS-CBN compound. 

It is a no-frill, casual Italian-themed restaurant with the charm of a distinctive side walk cafe sandwiched between upscale boutiques, a nice place to hang out, talk while treating the tongue and not the other way around. 

Together with the daring dining troopers of the Tales of the Tongue, we stormed the Eastwood branch and declared the verdict.

We started it with the Dip Al Forno Cristini(Php235 + 10% SC) - it's a rounded baked bread with a dip.

Trent's order is Farfalle Alla Genovese(Php263 + 10% SC) - mushrooms basil pesto and cream-based pasta.

MobilityReel's order. Pollo Chicken(Php338 + 10% SC) - Pollo Arrosto Limone, it's a roast chicken with lemon, black
pepper and parley rice pilaf.

And mine is the Fontina Pomodoro(Php443 + 10%SC) - it's a roast beef tenderloin, sliced focaccia, fontina and tomato. 

While we are happy of how it tasted, our tummies are screaming "more more more". The place serves a lean recipe and is not a haven to engorge to the last centimeter of your stomach space.  If you just want to hang around, this is a spot for you. But for the gastric monstrosity in us, this isn't enough. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cafe in the Park at the Century Park Hotel

Bustling at the heart of Manila's commercial melting pot is Century Park Hotel, it is one of the premiere structures of the contemporary Manila with a grandiose lobby that is torn between the modernist and the medieval.

Archaic wooden structures, a large symphony orchestra lobby, a cascading waterscape are some of its interior highlights. One may think that it is astutely fitting for its location being in one of the oldest places in the metropolitan Manila.

It is graced by themed restaurants to choose from, Century Tsujuki, Deli Snack Bar, Atrium Lounge, Palm Grove, Top of the Century and Cafe in the Park.

Cafe in the Park serves an indulging meal that is both Filipino and continental.

Let's see what they have in its sleeve.

Assorted bread to jumpstart your meal.

Start it off with this.

From the salami and other thinly sliced meat section.

And more.

And more.

And more.

And more.

And even more variants.

Salted egg.


Fresh tofu.

And a lot more.

At the Japanese section.

Or you can DIY your salad.

Salad Station

Seafood Station.

Grillables include Salmon Head, Chicken, Sausage Medley, Bangus, Tuna Belly and Liempo.

Another one from the Asian section.

Scrambled Egg.

Bola Bola.

Chicken Feet and SpareRibs with Tausi and a lot more.


Chicken Releno.

Beef Medallion.

Japanese Siomai, Pork Siomai and Chicken Siomai.

Taosa Pao, Bola bola Pao and Asado Pao.

Noodles of you choice.

Asian Station includes noodles with your own preference of chicken or beef meat ingredients.

Fried Chicken Wings.

Relenong Alimasag.

Sesame Crumb Pork Chop with Plum Sauce.

Fish Fillet with Black Beans.

Buttered Vegetable of the Day and Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa.


And the star of them all, the Carving Station presents… Roast Prime Rib.

Tower of fresh fruits.

I haven't tasted most of the sweets here.

More sweet indulgences.

Halo-Halo factory.

And another one from the dessert section.

Let's see what's on my plate:

I asked the chef to make a Chinese Noodle Soup with a Beef and Chicken combination.

Salmon, Tuna, Beef and a Sausage Medley.

This is well done and medium well. I should have tried Medium Rare too.

Dimsum and they are really large. One of the largest pieces that I have eaten so far.

Maki and Sashimi. Thank goodness, their wasabi has a roundhouse kick.

Grilled Shrimp, yum yum. Whenever you ask the waiter to grill something for you, they deliver it to your table with a dip already.

Relenong Alimasag, Crab in a Marsala Curry Sauce and Chicken Relleno.

Chicken Vegetable Soup.

Fruits - my favorite Mango and Watermelon.

My Halo-Halo with ice cream on top.

They only have two variants of ice cream, Vanilla and Ube.

I asked a chef to make a crepe for me. Mango is my favorite and because it has lots of them, it pleases my tongue already.

I have noticed though that their servers/waitresses are in between late 40s to almost 60s years old. Not that there's anything bad with it but they reminded me of my school teachers. The younger ones provided excellent customer service while the elderlies did not. The way they dish out customer service is somewhat akin to any government agency, where customers service is close to none, and is not one of the tenets of their existence.

For a price of Php998, i don't think it was well worth it. You'd rather have Vikings or Buffet 101 for that range.

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