Thursday, May 31, 2012

Random: Bloggers United Summer Bazaar and Crocs Mega Sale 2012

Random announcements!  This is TOO GOOD not to have a special place in this blog:

June 2, 2012 (Saturday),11 AM to 9 PM
Grandview Events Place, Metropolitan Avenue, Makati City 
Entrance: P100

I got excited when I saw my friend Danika in the poster. Turns out that she's gonna be there to sell clothes from her own line (RIO) and shoes that she designed (which you can check out here).

Then we also have a super great treat from Crocs. It's their annual mega sale that's up to 90% off!

June 1-3, 2012 (Friday-Sunday), 10 AM to 10 PM
NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
Entrance: P50
(but it's FREE for Citibank card holders + one friend OR...
 if you apply for a Citibank card there)

Yes entrance is free BUT the crowd and the cashier line last year was horrible! It was sooooo long-- and I think the wait will only be worth it if you buy a number a pairs. Why the fuss? Look at last year's sample of their price list (2011):

Amazing drop in prices. And this is Crocs we're talking about! They last long, they're comfy and fashionable, and it's GREAT FOR THE RAINY SEASON WHICH IS ALMOST NEAR.

This is certainly gonna be one good weekend! Looking forward to it! :)


Wednesday, May 30, 2012


For the past week, I've been craving for cookies-- EVERYDAY.
I reach office, I want a cookie. I go to the mall, I look for a cookie.
I overspend because of overpriced cookies! Save me!!!!!
I'm especially crazy about Starbucks' Chocolate and Macadamia cookie (P55/ cookie). You have the option to have it heated so the chocolate melts and drips away from the crispy outside and soft inside cookie dough.

I could eat 5.

Happily Addicted,
Sam :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ratatouille (Ra-ta-too-wee)

"Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere." - Anton Ego (Ratatouille)
We watched the Disney movie Ratatouille -- a story of Remy the rat with a dream of becoming a chef in the world of rat-hating humans. In the end, he finally makes it and pleases France's top restaurant critique, Anton Ego, with Ratatouille. His review was tear-jerking by the way.
"Ratatouille? It's a peasant dish. Are you sure you want to serve this to Ego?" - Colette (Ratatouille) 
True enough, you may call it a "peasant dish" since we bought all the ingredients needed below P200 (that served around 5-6 people). The ingredients of Ratatouille are:
Mainly tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, herbs, and zucchinis (you wont find zucchinis in markets, so better check your nearby groceries like Rustans, SM, or Robinsons). Of course, I won't tell you how it's done since I'm no expert PLUS I don't even know how it really tastes like. :)) But it's really fun when you're doing it with a friend! Thanks, Rikka! :) Love you to bits!

We got our recipe here if you wanna make your own. I suggest that you don't do it like we did. Instead of buying tomatoes in can, we used tomato paste so our ratatouille tasted more like spaghetti sauce. But it's okay-- vegetables are friends, we ate them anyway. 

Because of pinoy biases (yum, sebo!), the dish was very foreign to my taste buds and my eyes. It was sour in taste, healthy in feel, and colorful in sight. So not like adobe, crispy pata, kare-kare, or menudo which are all fatty and "unicolor". :))
Ratatouille was supposed to be stew-ish, but like I said, we made it into a spaghetti sauce. Actually some recipe sites suggest that this may be eaten with pasta or bread. Anyway, after cooking, I then tried to plate it. No laughing, please. That was supposed to be a pretty sun. ☀
I bet I would live to be a hundred if I eat this healthy everyday.
A little more practice and I bet I can please Anton Ego as well in the future. ;) P.S. Watch the movie before appreciating this entry. :))

Loves food but hates rats,
Sam :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Ahlee @ Friday's, Glorietta 3

Warning: Yellowish and blurred pictures that resulted from a yellow- and low-lit themed restaurant!

My college friends and I decided to meet up at T.G.I.Friday's-- where the unlimited mojitos are! Definitely their selling point since we had other choices (like Chili's and Baja that serves unlimited margaritas).

There you go Rashyyy-- you're my blog entry model, as promised! ♥

I'm not a fan of alcoholic beverages but I found this super yummy and REFRESHING (as my friends would describe it). Mojito is basically made up of white rum, sparkling water/soda, sugar, lemon/lime juice, and mint. It was perfectly citrus-y and minty, and I love how you won't taste the alcohol too much. This costs only P305 (and additional P20 for strawberry or apple flavor).

We tried the first pasta in their menu that's also I think their most expensive at P695 (good for 2-3)-- the Cajun Shrimp and Chicken Pasta. It's definitely worth the money because it's loaded with big chicken chunks and big juicy shrimps. Plus it's perfect if you're torn between white or red sauce-- since it has the creaminess of white and the strong flavor of red. It's spicy and that just makes it a more exciting dish.

Then for the side, we bought their famous chicken fingers (served with honey mustard dip) for P295. Their chicken fingers AND fries are just the best! I don't know anyone who would attest to that. 

And their Buffalo wings (with sour cream and green onion dip) for also P295. Their buffalo wings were tasty and you can even smell the spices from far away. Their sour cream dip is strong and others might not like it. But it's great to get something new for the buds.
Of course, we didn't want to end the day without "surprising" Ahlee since it's (nearly) her birthday. The pictures are blurred because of a lot of movement but I think they're funny and nice that way.

The Friday's Staff were sweet enough to perform a special happy birthday song and dance number for Ahlee. And of course! A scoop of their super yummy vanilla iced cream and whipped cream drizzled with caramel syrup.

After that, we stayed for a super long time. Long enough to be the last people standing. So I took some interior photos with all their American pride and icons all over. They have lots of space, great for groups. (Ugh! It's so hard to take pictures when it's dark)
The place is also amazing for romantic dates. They have their "date spots" all around the area either the intimate corners or the ones overlooking the Makati buildings:

Then they also have their smoking area encased in glass: (thank you to my models haha)

Or how about a bar setting for casual talks while watching your favorite sports channel?

Whatever you came here for, whatever your preference may be, or whatever day of the week you came in:

"In here, it's always Friday." -- 
and that's the best feeling in the world. :) 
Thank you Rashy, Ahlee, Obie, and KC of! I hope the others can join us soon too. Love you girls! ♥

Until Next Time,
Sam :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Addi's 1st Birthday

Random post. Last mothers day we celebrated the birthday of my pretty (mana-sa-mommy and ninang) godchild Addi! Which I fondly call Addi Waddi. <3

We had a blast celebrating her birthday with great catering and lots of sweets! And of course the place was just extravagant. I stole the pics, by the way, from the party's official photographer.

It was a heaven for all the sweet tooths. We had unlimited sorbetes (dirty ice cream), candies, cakes and cupcakes, and chocolates. Hooray for dessert wonderland!

Pretty cupcakes, right? It's not just pretty, it's delicious too! (since I hate pretty cakes and cupcakes that "don't taste good as it looks")

Here I had a picture with my "tablemates" which are mostly my friends from high school (and at the extreme left is the mom of Addi) <3
 Spending first birthdays has never been this fun and yummy! :) Happy first birthday Addi!

Your ninang,
Sam :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

California Pizza Kitchen @ Shangri-la Plaza Mall

Thank you Ms. Maggie Yoingco for treating me, James, and Kuja to California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) last weekend. INTRO: Maggie treated us because she passed the LET! Woot! Congratulations! You are now a licensed "Teacher Maggie"! :)

Actuallly, I'm writing this post not because of California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) but because how great Maggie is. Here is a sample of her work that you can find at her inspiring and magical blog:

 Go, check her blog!

Anyway, back to CPK, I arrived earlier than the others and told Maggie that it was my first time to eat at CPK. Then she said in shock but still in her ever mahinhin voice, "Oh my gosh! Sam! I can't believe you haven't eaten here! Super sarap dito!" and started frantically flipping the pages of the menu :))

We bought two pizzas. One is the BBQ Chicken with Applewood Smoked Bacon (P475):
This stuff was filled filled filled with, I assure you, quality toppings. If you love Pizza Hut's Chicken BBQ pizza, then you will love this BBQ Chicken Pizza WITH (Ooh, a twist!) Applewood Smoked Bacon (it's cooking bacon using applewood chips). It's more tasty and the amount of sweetness will leave your taste buds tingling.

Then we also bought the thin crust Four Cheese (P525) with smoked Gouda (orange-y cheese), Fontina (classic Italian cheese), regular Mozzarella (yellow and dry) and fresh Mozzarella (white and moist):

Their thin crust is crispy:

Their pizzas were tasty and they obviously use LESS OIL than other pizza joints. Kind of expensive though and their biggest pizza isn't as big as the biggest pizzas of Pizza Hut and Greenwich. So aside from ordering pizza it's suggested to buy another dish if you're really hungry.

Will have to eat here again to taste their salads and pastas. I heard they were awesome! Then I shall blog about it again. :) Again, thank you Maggie for the treat! :)

Check out their menu here via munchpunch. They have branches in Alabang Town Center, Glorietta 3, Greenbelt 5, Powerplant Mall, Trinoma Mall, Promenade Mall (Greenhills), and the one in Shangri-La.

Sam :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Banapple @ Ayala Triangle

Banapple is ultimately one of my favorite pasta houses in town. Not only does it serve good pasta, but also great rice meals, heavenly pies, AND CAKES at really affordable prices. Check out their complete menu and prices here.You can already eat a satisfying meal with below P200. Promise, both your stomachs and taste buds will be happy. <3

Anyway, it's my first time to eat at Banapple Ayala Triangle although I've been to the Katipunan branch a couple of times. Great scenery by the way before reaching Banapple. I remember that we watched the dancing Christmas lights here last year which was superb.

I went along with my office mates who just wanted to eat out today. :)) Talk about spontaneity. 

When we arrived, I recognized their famous "country style" that's both homey, friendly, and sweet. Although I must say that the ambiance is better in Katipunan because it's bigger and actually built to look like a house.

They also have these great "marble"-tables used in all their stores. Can you spot the sunflower?
 Here's what we ate... I chose:

The Baked Creamy Cheesy Penne (P185) that comes with this soft pesto bread that has a melt-in-your mouth cheese inside it! This is what I always order-- always.

Ms. Bless bought:
Breaded fillet of cream dory with honey thyme mustard sauce (P185), that according to their site has "fresh fillets of velvety dory fish, blanketed in herb crust (Oh I see the herbs in this picture), and drizzled with warm honey thyme mustard sauce". Ain't that a treat?

Lastly, Sandra and Chriss picked this "guilty pleasure": (lol)
Bacon fried chicken steaks with milk'shroom gravy (P175). Bacon is love, gravy is creamy, milk is sweet, and mushroom is... well, mushroom! You can't go wrong with mushroom. :) Mix it all up together and you get this platter of goodness. 

We weren't able to eat cakes because we were soooo fuuullllll. I even had takeout. But cakes are wonderful especially their Banoffee pie. It's a Banapple must-try. Plus everyone should also try their pies because their big and super stuffed. :) SULIT! 

Super na-sulitan,
Sam :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Giligan's Restaurant @ Glorietta 5

They say that it's tradition to eat out every time we receive a bonus, so yay! My office mates asked me where we should eat so I suggested John and Yoko, Kitchen, and another one that I forgot. I assumed that we were on a P400 budget (since it's bonus day anyway) but I was wrong! Haha! They wanted it below 200 so we went to our usual "eat-out" place-- Giligan's Restaurant in Glorietta 5. (Disclaimer: I do not know these people, I just took a picture of them. Sorry!)

I'm not a fan of sizzling pork/beef but Giligan's serves great sizzling dishes because of their perfected sauces. This is pulutan at its finest plus they have all sorts of alcoholic beverages. AND, THEY'RE AFFORDABLE TOO usually in "Groupies" (Food good for 4, 5, or 6, with prices ranging to P550 to P1100). They have a clean, yellow-light, and boat-like ambiance (with matching artifacts and props) that makes it even worth it.

Sweet and Sour Squid

Inihaw na Baboy

Sizzling Peppery Steak (it's amazingly tender!)

Lumpiang Shanghai (comes with sweet and sour sauce)

Their famous sisig!

I don't know the individual prices because we ordered a "good for 6" promo plus the sisig, and paid only P200 each. 

In the end, me and my office mates were fully satisfied with the meal and their prices-- all clean plates, see? I also had to take a picture of our waiter who was "buff" and saw his name tag: HAZEL. =)) And I also took a picture of the deep sea diver statue with the LIPTON. I'm a big fan of Lipton Iced Tea! <3 

True enough, you don't really need to spend so much to eat good food! Thanks Ma'am Bless, Sandra, Chriss, and Sir Lester! *It's rare that we get to eat-out together*

Group photo by Mr. Hazel. =))

Can't Get Over Mr. Hazel,
Sam :)

Secret Recipe @ SM Megamall

Secret Recipe-- their cakes will entice you to eat here (Click on the links to check full menu + prices)

They have fresh cream cakes like almond coffee, chocolate chip walnut, white chocolate macadamia, pecan butterscotch, fruity special, green tea, etc. Now where can you find amazing flavors for only P95 a slice? Though okay, their fresh cream cakes are a bit bland as compared to cakes of Red Ribbon. But I bet this one's healthier because of less sugar content.

Aaron* and I tasted the Mango Delight. Behold! Fresh cream and mangoes with a twist of gelatin on top.

Aside from their fresh cream cakes, they have a wide choice of cheesecake flavors (like cappuccino, dark chocolate, espresso, and lemon) for only 150 per slice. Their cheesecakes are waaaay better-- like a crowning glory. lol. For our cheesecake choice, we got the caramel cheese:

The cheese part is super duper yummy since it's thick, creamy, and flavorful-- plus it had randomly placed nuts which was exciting. :)) I also loved the base since it already had a sweet taste of its own. Texture wise it stays intact when you eat it and doesn't crumble too much. Perfect!

Aside from the cakes, we decided to also taste their meals. I had a hard time choosing what to eat because I was torn with Pad Thai or something western. They have so many and diverse categories-- you can choose from Asian, Western, Pasta, Salad, etc.

In the end, I got the Grilled Black Pepper Chicken (P245)-- which was great! The chicken was tender and I loved the sauce-- you can very well taste the pepper but not too much that it overpowers the chicken.

Then Aaron got his mozzarella baked fish (P315). He thought it was ordinary but since I'm biased for juicy white fish meat AND cheese, I loved the combination!
See how they always divide their dishes into three? They always have something green and red to put. At last, a restaurant that cares for your health! :))

Secret Recipe is very ideal if you want something fresh and a variety of cakes for that after meal dessert. So thanks Aaron for the treat!!!!!!:) Two years was a loooooong time. I'm glad we got to see each other again! Until next time! P.S. You still owe me orchids. HAHA.

Thanks again,
Sam :) 
*Aaron and I became friends when we both joined the same campus organization. He graduated Civil Engineering and passed the Board with only a 0.1 to make it to the Top 10. But even with his license, he's working for a... uhm... water specializing company? HAHA. And aims to be a Marine Biologist someday. :))

Monday, May 7, 2012

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar @ Westgate, Alabang

Once upon a time, I saw this deal for Max Brenner and immediately got one because food there was expensive (so I thought it was a great buy) AND because it was a restaurant specializing in CHOCOLATES! Chocolates!!!!!!!!!!

Unluckily, I thought the Max Brenner was still open in Greenbelt but eventually found out that it was closed so we had to go to their far, far away branch in Alabang.

When Sandra and I reached the well-hid place, we were just excited to taste EVERYTHING. We arrived hungry, tired, and sun-scorched, so imagine how easily it would be to please us (PS. Sorry for the bit grainy photos, we had to use our cellphone cameras).

But, sadly, Max Brenner did not reach our expectations. :( We ordered their pasta and..... nothing special about it. It tasted something that we could order anywhere that's even less their price. Well okay, I did like their chicken topped with cheese and tomatoes.
Chicken Parmigiana (P298)

White Chocolate Carbonara (P268)
Don't let the name fool you, you can't taste it. It just made the pasta a bit sweeter.

Then we also tasted their chocolate shakes which, by the way, tasted so much like those we can buy at Starbucks. Like what Sandra said, "a good restaurant should not taste like any other restaurant".... or something like that. But it's true! It tasted just like Starbucks!

Chococcino (P188)

Rocky Road (P188)

Then we also tasted their legitimate chocolates and, agaaaaiiiin, nothing special... especially their fondue. You know what's funny about our fondue? They didn't have the strawberries that were in the menu's picture.We asked the waitress if our order really did have strawberries, and surprisingly said "YES... wala po ba kayo nun?" and did not do anything about it. *straight face*

Single Serve Chocolate Fondue (P288)
One bowl had fruits (apple, banana, and pear slices-- NO STRAWBERRIES) while the other bowl had pieces of brownies, biscuits, and marshmallows

Chocolate Souffle and Shake (P298)

So.... okay. So-so meal, but what really made this more memorable was that our bill reached around P1600. It was also our fault for pointing and pointing and not looking at the prices.... But I don't think it was "super" worth it. Plus, they had amazing service charge around P140, which was funny because Sandra commented on how the waitress kept dropping utensils on the floor. I bet she even counted the times. Haha. :) 

To end, yeah, I don't know how to end this. O wait. Remember how I said the place was well-hidden? The whole place actually looked like a ghost town. Which is cool.

Thanks Sandra for accompanying me to this very expensive adventure! :)) And for most of the pics!

Until next adventure,
Sam :)