Sunday, July 29, 2012

Makan Makan Asian Food Village at Manila Ocean Park

You can never have me sauntering around beach fronts, more so fancying at any aquatic-themed leisure spots. But today is not that day. It was raining like crazy the entire afternoon as if here was an endless sprinkle of waterscape of some sort. Literally a cold day that is. And being a cold-blooded that I am, it was a perfect time to dine in at the Manila Ocean Park.  

Makan Makan Asian Food Village derives its name "Makan" from Bahasa Indonesia origin which meant "eat" and to eat that is, me and my college room mate stormed the place to show to them our definition of the word. It posits on a concept of a hawker style Singaporean dining, which also makes it a culinary melting pot of the orient, with cuisines coming from Chinese, Indian, Thai, Malay, and Filipino. 

With just a glass-walled kitchen, one can witness how a multisensory feast is prepped up, whipped up, and done to your likeness. 

During my reservation request, I particularly asked the waiter to place us at a table facing the seawall. 

We grabbed a Filipino set meal(Php1,500 from a group buying site) comprising of Pork Sinigang, Kilawin Tangigue, Kangkong with Sambal and Garlic, Garlic Fried Rice and Crispy Pata. The meal is accordingly good for 4, hence the 4 rounds of iced tea that comes along with it. 

Pork Sinigang that consists only of 4 cube slices of pork. :)

Kangkong with Sambal and Garlic.

Kilawin Tangigue. I am not really fond of it, so this is my first time to try one with a peppino. It's normally just tomato, mango, onions, and ginger immersed in white vinegar that I know of. 

Brave for a mountain-pile of Garlic Rice to prep yourself up for a good, crunchy, and cardiac arrest-friendly Crispy Pata.

Crispy Pata. 

If you're looking for a bolder kick, you can also order alcoholic beverages, they have a whole slew of it. 

The place is wifi-enabled but you need an e-wrist tag to use it. The e-wrist is reminiscent of my first and only Wensha experience. 

The set meal was accordingly good for 4. But by my lengthy years of gustatory experience, serving sizes always meant half the indicated quantity. Say for example a good-for-sharing meal is good for 4, it's practically just good for two, especially for the dining hyenas like us. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Celina's Cafe and Restaurant at Vista Point Tagaytay

Because of a shorter travel time(only 2hrs), Tagaytay has been my favorite escape from the urban jungle and corporate hubbub without going too far. Not only does the place please my ever quiescent longing for a peace and quiet week-end, the climate is perfect especially for my arctic tendencies, it's cold and winter-like. 

So after doing my week-end vanity trove, sauna at the gym, and hair reborn and foot spa at a salon, I immediately whisked my way out to Tagaytay.

And my sojourn wouldn't be complete without the need to fill my gastronome with good food. So I placed a reservation at Celina's Cafe and Restaurant. The restaurant is from the forerunners of, a specialty weddings and events management company based in Tagaytay. 

Located at the Vista Point Complex, the place is just a walk away from Summit Ridge Hotel, where I have stayed in at the last time, and right besides Josephine's Restaurant

The place outside gets so foggy starting 6PM. By 8PM, I can hardly see the lighted signage of Summit Ridge Promenade tower.  


Desserts section, Garden fresh salad, Pineapple, Watermelon, Leche Flan, and Fruit Salad. 

Breaded Fried Chicken. 

Kare Kare. 


Squid Calamares. 

Boneless Bangus. 


Soy Chicken. 

Grilled pork belly. 

Papaitan, everyone's favorite post-beer smirching session, aside from Bulalo.

Sisig, everyone's favorite mate for beer smirching session. 

Fish. I came in late so the fish is already monstrously lambasted. 

You can either choose whatever sodas do you like or go with their iced teas. And this isn't just an ordinary iced tea. Trust me, our company serves unlimited iced tea and lemonade, so I can tell. Theirs comes along with certain herbs and tanginess. 

Crab, a huge one that is. 

Little bit of everything: Squid Calamares, Seashell, and Breaded Chicken.

Kare Kare, just the right mix, but the Shrimp Paste is driving me crazy, as it had always been.

Papaitan, done perfectly. 

Bulalo(who can leave Tagaytay without their famous Bulalo, after all it is just at the brethren of Batangas, the country's cattle capital). Although their beef is a little bit hard. 

Fish and Sisig. 

Leche flan(delicious although I still like JT's Manukan Leche Flan). 

Fruit salad. 

Chicken and Sisig. Chicken breading makes it crunchy and very tasty, Sisig is so robust with its cut and flavorful. 

DIY salad and fruits(Watermelon and Pineapple).

My first lobster.

My second lobster. 

Lobsters come as an add on(+ Php200) on top of the regular buffet price of Php299. But you don't just come in and ask for a lobster. You have to call in for reservation if you want lobster to be included so that they can stock it in the kitchen, and that is fair enough to ensure freshness because it has to be ordered the day your reserved date fall in. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Universe from Nothing

"What is the beginning of space and time. Where did our universe come from. What was before time. What is the future state of our universe. And why is there something rather than nothing."

These and more are some of the neurally arresting questions in Lawrence Krauss's book, "A Universe from Nothing." 

Riveting theories pondered by theoretical physicist claimed of a universe, particularly our universe, exists because of quantum gravity. Krauss explained in all with an imminently provocative theories encompassed with wry humor, presenting the physical mechanism, the observable evidence, and the experimented variable on how the universe evolved from what seemed to be a primordial atom that is non-zero in size but close to zero. Beautifully smithed with words, his explanation on quantum field theory is something that most people will understand. 

However claims made by scientists may change in the distant future, as there are astounding theories one after the other that support our current model of physical laws. 

In Newton's time for example, accounts that every matter is a composite of elementary particle, and that is followed by an era where physicists discovered the force carriers  being an important factor that make up regular matters. 

The book though has somewhat fast-paced tone, and perhaps utterly fast-paced for those who are not really into a scientific discipline. While you can understand as how the words cadenced to make up an imagery analogy in your head, there are non-sequitur terms that randomly pops up into existence, such as "vacuum energy" and "negative pressure", which are purely an abstract concept and best understood using the mathematical components of expansion rates, pressure and energy density. 

Whether is will be embraced with reading fanaticism from both religious community and scientific sector, no one would really know. One thing is for sure though, he presented a cutting-edge cosmological model on how nothing evolved into something. 

Prometheus: Are we? Or are we not.

Riddely Scott's return to the sci-fi cinematic undertaking since the Alien franchise and Blade Runner, Prometheus, similarly received remarkable undulation as it it does on frowning disgust. 

Although not new to the concept being a human DNA to be a possible fruit of intergalactic seeding, the movie portrays a clearer picture to the most uphill debate of the century since Charles Darwin's Evolution Theory.

The movie house, Rockwell Powerplant Mall Cinema. The movie setting, 2093. The movie plot, an exploration crew is sent out to a cosmic wilderness for an archaeological mission. After discovering cave drawings which has been dated several thousand years, they interpreted such construct to be an invitation by human race's forerunners they fondly and conveniently call "engineers", most likely to denote genetic engineers.

The journey ended up in an uncharted planet, having a toxic, corrosive atmosphere, and a whole gamut of treacherous conditions. 

There they encountered catacombs of giant, muscular, alabaster-biped humanoids that finally confirmed the cave drawings they have unearthed. 

The movie set is mesmerizing to be close to realism and the story provocative take for both scientific understanding and religious doctrine. 

For one, the only plausible way for intergalactic travel is to place the human body in a cryogenic chamber where tissues and other biological components will be preserved for the long haul. 

Second, the fact that our DNA developed in just a short span of time longs for answer as to how or who propelled it. Francis Crick, world's renowned molecular biologist, stated that "genes couldn't have developed because there is not enough time for the DNA to evolve by accident." So the question is then, who sparked this drastic change to our genetic structure. 

Third, it will only take 5% of our DNA to clone ourselves. What will then rest of 95% of our DNA do. The figure is just too huge to be considered a genetic waste. Geneticists theorized that DNA is the most viable to store information, information of our beginning, information of our ancestors, information science's most elusive "missing link" from the Neanderthals. 

The engineers portrayed in the movie are descriptive to the one written in ancient Sumerian texts, the Nephilim, a breed of giants they exalt as those who descended form the sky. 

In another side of the world, Hopi Indians from the northeastern Arizona, also foretold their casual encounters with pale, tall men who came from the stars. 

Of course, the stone carvings in that planet almost resembled with the ones we have in Inca in Peru, Easter Island in the Pacific, Giza of Egypt, Pumapunku of Bolivia, and Palenque from the Mayan Culture, but that part is a another story. 

So the questions remains, in our quest to seek the truth of our origin, should we divert SETI radio telescopes and look ourselves instead, microscopically, and dissect strands of our DNA to find tantalizing clues of our very beginning. Are we the hybrids of both ancient Earthly bipedal and extraterrestrial entities. If so, who are these extraterrestrials that shaped ourselves into what we are today. Where do they come from. Why did they extend their genetic lines to us. Will they return. and if they will, how are we going to accept it both scientifically and spiritually. 

Whether or not we are, there's something in us that make us leap from people who simply ignite fire from the cave shelters to the kind of civilization that builds megalithic structures using only ancient tools to boot, one that our modern engineering still find hard to do. 

The answer to the question for now may rely largely on our belief system, but someday truth will come out and science will be there to attest it. 

Are we? Or are we not. 

The movie is presented with less plotting complexity but left a whole slew of questions unanswered. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Li Li Restaurant at Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila

Despite the atrociously horrible weather condition last middle week of June, I still managed to storm Market Cafe at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila

Now, I have weathered the despicably horrid Malate traffic just to go to the Yam Cha Buffet Sunday at Li Li Restaurant, Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila's signature Cantonese restaurant famous for their Chinese imperial delicacies whipped up in the highest regard for quality. 

I have been to a plurality of authentic Chinese restaurants and Seafood Houses and had a zenith of my dining experience especially at Peking Garden, Greenbelt 5 but Li Li Restaurant toppled all that.  At Li Li, every detail of preparation from the traditional Gong Fu Tea Ceremony to the actual food presentation, from the exquisite details of the furnitures to the dining increments like spoon, fork and chopsticks, are all splendidly done in the finest artistry. 

The restaurant interior is very classy, it is like walking drown to a visual nirvana. Descending down from the spiffy stairs, it has a residential feel of some sort, having the receiving lounge, the dining are, as library and a wine cellar. 

Boiled peanuts and a Guava Iced Tea awaits you once you come in. 

A courtesy Deep-fried Taro and Assorted Seafood Dumpling is their welcome treat.

Honey-Roasted Spare Ribs.

Barbecued Pork Belly. 

Soya Sauce Chicken. 

Pig's Knuckle and Jelly Fish. 

Beijing-style Wok-Fried Pork Dumpling. 

Fruit Medley. :)




They even have a Chocolate Fountain. 

I don't know how this is called but this taste like a mantao bun with a sweet filing inside. 

More sweets. 

And more sweets. 

Mushroom Jelly and some other sweets. 

Utensils. Let's see what I got on my table. 

Pan-Fried Garoupa Fillet in Chilli Garlic and Coconut Sauce. 

Har Gao Steamed Shrimp and Bamboo Pith Dumplings. This taste so good. So does the Pan-Fried Spinach and Shrimp Dumpling(although not in the picture). 

Steamed Chinese Sausage in Glutinous Roll.

Shanghai Style Steamed Pork and Crab Meta Dumpling.

Wok-Fried Beef Fillet, Mushroom and Oyster Sauce. 

Wok-Fried Shrimps and Cashew Nuts. 


Eggplant, Shrimp Mouse, Black Pepper Sauce. 

Deep-fried Bean Curd Sheet and Shrimp Roll.

Little octopus and stuff.  

Steamed Shrimp and Golden Mushroom Rice Roll. 

At Php995 from a discounted price of Php1,350++, it was well worth it, and worth coming back. 

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