Monday, October 7, 2013

A Boracay Sojourn

In a place where the breathtaking view of the sunset casting grandiosely and sailboats' silhouette slicing through it, I can probably be found just curling up in bed, glued to my favorite TV series "The Big Bang Theory" or "Agents of SHIELD". Yes, I am that resistive when it comes to anything beach-related. 

Until along came a Polly(albeit important)... the "polly" of my life. 

I planned out the proposal last March and so when August came, everything was almost already cleanly arranged. September came, and I have to face my most aversed environment, the beach-- the Sun-wrought, hot and melanin-awakening beach. Yes, I have to fly to Boracay to ask her to marry me. It was a surprise since she was thinking she's just with a family and her best buddy Janey, while I am left working my butt out.(I was still working for our astronomy yearbook that night when I got there). 

All my bags are packed(I travel light and I only have a small trolley bag for my clothes and a backpack for my laptop), ready to go, but only to be humstrung by a mishap along the way prior to the smoothly arrayed proposal: I was delayed for my flight that I have to have it rebooked because I overlooked and was fixated at the arrival date instead of the departure date, that I have to have my flight rebooked to the next one. 
Good thing, the folks at the Boracay Mandarin Hotel waited for me. I can just imagine them waiting from 9:30am to 11:30am. I arrived at the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport in Caticlan surprisngly on time(surprisngly since Cebu Pacific are never known to be sticklers of punctuality, for several reason, both sensible and senseless).

The Boracay Mandarin welcoming entourage took me to the cabin cruiser type boat alone, a la Napoles lifetyle privately charting a yacht for my own caprices. 
The event happened at the Don Vito Restauramt, an Italian restaurant heralded as the Philippine's Best Restaurant in 2011 by Asia Tatler Dining. My calculated thought process says it is maybe partly because they have a luxurious ensemble of fine wines to which Asia Tatler would really find it enticing.

The music "I would take the stars out of the sky for you... stop the rain from fallin' if you ask me too..." played. 

Then there goes a restaurant server handing her over the cake that says "Will you?" because I dread the entire "Willl you marry me" might not fit the cake surface. 

Then me, the 'kabogable me' in sudden apparition, bringing huge flowers. It's really huge, it's probably around 4feet tall(imagine forlorn flowers minus the stand). And a diamond ring that sealed it all.
The next day, we dined in at the same restaurant and the staff are apparently ogling at her ring finger. We became an overnight sensation that everyone knew and greeted us already by our name in a cordial manner. 

Let's see what they serve:
The bacon strip.
Dip-fried chicken.
Spanish-styled sardines
Pancakes and steamed hot potato. 
Filipino staple vermicelli and a fried milkfish. 
Sausages and Shanghai roll. 
Bacon and beef strips. 
Assorted bread. 
Fruit medley. 
Salad toppings.
Freshly squeezed juice. 
Our welcome drink that we availed the morning after arrival.
We thought of daring to parasail but since she has a slight acrophibia(though medically undeclared), we just stayed at the boat. Then we scoured the expanse of the seashore, walking barefooted, hand in hand and feeling the murmur of the breeze from the glistening sea until we reached our hotel lobby.
Upon going home, we took the same cabin cruiser, just the two of us. We have all the spaces to dance our heart out.
And when I said WE, it includes her flower. The picture you see above is already at a plane. 

And here we are again, in Manila, working our ass out, so we can give each other a good and comfortable life. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Johnny Chow Amazing Asian Cuisine at the Resorts World Manila

From the makers of Sumo Sam, Mr Kurosawa, John & Yoko comes another welcome addition to the Asian fusion restaurant concept called Johnny Chow Amazing Asian Cuisine. You got it, this is Marvin Agustin and partners'(including Chef Florabel Co and Manila's renowned restauranteur Ricky Laudico) brainchild. 

The restaurant whips up a mix of contemporary Thai, Korean and Chinese flavors thrown into a kitschy-pop dining space as boldly displayed in its interior. 

But when you go inside, you'd be entranced by finding old Chinese books neatly stacked in its shelves, a surprising defeat of its modern perspective, and to which it will make you say that it's an amalgamation of classic meets pop design element. 

Some design aspects, the server's costume and hairstyles, are perhaps derived from some of Marvin's restaurants, John&Yoko Cosmopolitan Japanese and the chairs similar to that of Robotosan

Mixed Seafood Noodles.

Quarry Bay Dumplings because I am so fond of it. It's a Pork Siomai with Edamami.

Another one, Hongkong Sunset, Seafood Siomai writhe Kani. 

Genghis Khan Chicken. It's a crispy Johnny Chow chicken with soy garlic sauce. 

The basic staple, Johnny Chow Fried Rice

The name of the entrees are famous Asian celebrities like actor Jackie Chan, director John Woo, sportsman Yao Ming, martial artist Bruce Lee, actor Jet Li, actress Zhang Ziyi, etc. Oh well, except Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal whose names are also in the menu. 

I noticed that all of Marvin's restaurants have excellent concepts. I am still hoping that they'd do good on their taste as they do with marketing positioning. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Slappy Cakes in Eastwood City

The first wave of pancake sensation and all-day breakfast revolution was first sparked by IHOP, stands for International House of Pancakes, at the Fort. And where foodies are raving(and equally ranting about), I must be, if only because of my work that impedes most of my gastronomic adventure, especially now that I am rendering three jobs in one fold. 

The closest to its vein is the Slappy Cakes, a breakfast joint located just a lift-away from our building, so missing this shouldn't be impossible. 

Slappy Cakes traces back its culinary roots from Portland, Oregon, where one of a kind and interactive breakfast setting is, as the adage goes, selling like hot pancakes.  

That early morning, we tried our very first pancake DIY experience. 

I had a high fever so I just ordered steamed Milk. 

She ordered Lemon Iced Tea.

The restaurant is defined by a unique selling proposition by installing griddles so diners can make their own pancakes of their choice of batter, fixin', topping, and syrup. She leisurely enjoyed it all. 

We ordered Blueberry for the fixin' and Lemon Curd for the topping.

Mixed veggies for me. 

Since she has an affinity to fish meats, she got herself a boneless milk fish.

We took out some. 

The experience is fun itself because you can choose to make pancakes out of your own shapes, so I made heart for her, a star signifying my astro slash gastronomic inclination and an airplane to symbolize my defunct dream of becoming an airline pilot. 

No Signboard Seafood Restaurant at Esplanade Mall Singapore

A gaze-away from the Marina Bay Sands, No Signboard Seafood Restaurant used to be one of western Singapore's maiden proponents  in the hawker-style dining scene. Now a full-fledged restaurant, they established their own culinary haven at an Esplanade prime spot, and so prime that it has been tagged as a "gustatory Venus trap" because it is the first you notice when you're at the place. 

Well-lit interior, large circular tables, replete with fine tapestries, and a platoon of diners are but reminiscent characteristics of a restaurant with Chinese descent. Or perhaps the owners are. 

No Signboard Seafood Restaurant has been known as a Singapore mainstream home of chili crab, a kind of dish Kate, one of our hosts, coined as delectably Singapore. 

Let's see what else we've got. 

Mixed seafood

Spice-induced fresh Sri Lankan Crab cooked in chili sauce flavored with prawn paste, garlic and many others. 

Mantao Bun for the chili crab. 

Cereal-encrusted deep-fried crayfish sprinkled with cereal with sweet and salty mix.

We were just a group of four and because of their enormous table, we just occupied 40% of that. 

Thank you to Kate and Princess for being such a warm and fun hosts that night. Till next time… there will be next time. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Crab Deli & Bar Restaurant at One Fullerton, Singapore

Haze or no haze… Singapore at its unlikely form is a limited edition. When we cruise around the area, we noticed that the locals wore mask and the tourists didn't. Something tells me that they(locals) weren't used to the level of air particles scathed all over the entire city, especially the one that was caused by combusted materials. 

Al fresco dining were closed, even Singapore Flyer, world's tallest ferris wheel, suspended their operations because of the almost zero visibility.  To preserve an impeccable brand of customer service, they just had to refund our ticket which we bought a day before. 

Local shop owners definitely felt the sudden crunch of economic challenge when less and less people go out to buy stuff. Even Starbucks had to close the smoking area outside because of the health risk(isn't this the same as the risk caused by smoking?) 

Although by noontime, haze level receded because by at a certain thermal level, air rises its shimmy upwards. So we took the chance to go out for a lunch. The stop is at the unpretentious, casual Bayside Crab Deli & Bar Restaurant fronting the giant Merlion at the Marina Bay area. 

Chicken in Barbecue Sauce. 

Sunday's Roast Chicken. 

Deep-fried chicken. 

Satay - seasoned skewered grilled pork. 

Fish fillet. Crunchy and tasty. It was a good experience but the restaurant don't serve house flat water which happened to be a de facto service on restaurants. 

See? Nothing can stop us. Not even a haze that is more than thrice the strata of our local pollutants(Na+ K+ CI NO3 and SO4(2)) polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Thank's to our magic facial blanket. :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Melting Pot Cafe at Concorde Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia, being truly Asia, brims of a cornucopia of food from regions of around the world. The country's multi-racial mix already ensured a variety of cuisine from native and homegrown Malay to the neighboring Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese and others. 

And to say this is indeed a melting pot is but an underestimation especially in the culinary department where some of the entrees you might not understand if you're not familiar with the other Asian continental niche. 

Lately we had an Asian tour and one of our stops is KL where we stayed at Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur. 

We were both tired from long flights so we just had to doze off so we will be able to brace the next morning's buffet at Melting Pot Cafe

Located at the lobby level of the hotel, Melting Pot Cafe can host more than 200 pax offering a fine ensemble of Asian and Continental cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Assorted bread. 

Danish bread and croissants. 

Bread and cupcakes. 

Loaves of bread. 

Cheese overload. 

The "un-pork-ed" salami section. 

Hash brown.

This must be used as well for dipping their bread. 

Chicken hotdog. 

Their version of pasta. 

Pork and beans minus pork. :)

Malay something. I forgot the name. 

Spring roll, except that theirs is never oily.


Potato fritters. 

Beef strips. Their version of as bacon since they don't eat Pork. Delicious nonetheless. 

Salad bar.

You can top your salad with these. 

Chicken Laksa. Delicious. 

Chicken strip. This is their ham version, only chicken since they don't eat Pork. 

Malay bread. 

I think this is made of soya but I just forgot how it is called in Malay. 

Egg Omelet section. 

One of the basic staples of a Malaysian diet. I forgot the name. 

Pancake and waffles section. 

Pink Sio-Pops - we fondly call it, just as how little J.Co donuts are named, "J.Pops."

Sio-Pops white. 

Laksa Noodles section - if you want hot and spicy soup. 

Laksa Noodle section. 

Cereals section. I had a fresh milk but she didn't since she has lactose intolerance which will make her stomach grumbling all day.

Fruit medley. I brought some to my room.

Melon Fruit.  

Dragon Fruit. She said it's healthy for a diabetic like me.

Different juices but my favorite is the Guava Juice.

The mark of a happy face. 

If you're familiar with Asian cuisines of different takes and taste, this is a perfect cafe to melt your hunger.  

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