Friday, February 22, 2013

Off to Taipei

We're off to Taipei for the weekend.
I can't wait to eat...

Din Tai Fung
Home of the famous Xiao Long Bao chain
I hope they also have PorkChops and Egg Fried Rice

Walang Kamatayang (Never-ending) Chicken Chops, Misua and Bubble Tea

From Shilin in Singapore. I can't wait to go to the Shilin Night Market.
Looking forward to Tea with Pearl galore.

I hear, there's also Ippudo

My favorite Ramen. Ever.

I hope there's some shopping too. but i'm sure i'll manage to find something to buy. just saying.

The Cake Club's Foie Gras Macaron = Pure Bliss

I love Foie Gras.
You can read through my ode to Foie Gras in different places in this archive.

I love macarons too.
They remind me of Paris and they are the perfect delicate dessert when you need to be cheered up.
In Singapore, I loved TWG macarons. They are also available in the Philippines, but for some reason, my sister and I think the TWG macarons in Singapore are better.

To me, just the thought of combining Foie Gras and Macaron is heavenly!
My aunt surprised us the other day with two pieces of macarons that were not that much too look at, though they were big in size. As soon as she brought it out, I knew that it for her to go to the trouble of bringing home macarons for us (She is our guest from the States, so it's normally us who brings her food to try), it has to be something extra special, and I was right, because she brought us two Foie Gras Macarons (as soon as she tried them when she met her friend for coffee, she ordered the rest of what they had to bring home for us because it was so good.- Wheeeeee! Thanks Auntie Celit!).

Foie Gras Macarons from The Cake Club by Diamond Hotel

I have never been to The Cake Club, but after tasting these deadly yummm treats, I want to go!

The cross section of the Foie Gras Macaron.

The macaron shell is crisp on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside. It's a little bit sweet, but it brings our the savoury tones in the Foie Gras very well. As you can see from the picture, they didn't scrimp on the Foie Gras, so you get to taste it in almost every bite (a bit more faint on the edges).

Diet Portion.

If you are health conscious, a fourth is actually enough to hit the spot. I just channel my French roots and tell myself to only eat a portion Ok fine! I ate close to three fourths!, and savour it, because that's why French Women Don't Get Fat (book by Mireille Guiliano). just saying.

The Cake Club by Diamond Hotel
UG/F Bonifacio High Street Central, East Superblock, 7th Ave cor 29th St
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
(02) 621-3176

TRIVIA: Do you know that the 20th of March is World Macaron Day? You can read about it here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Turning a year wiser at Wrong Ramen

In our family, birthdays are normally celebrated by going out for dinner with the birthday celebrant choosing where he or she wants to eat (so the other day, I got to choose). For this birthday, I was desperately craving for  good ramen, specifically a ramen place I read about that serves breakfast ramen. Ramen with Bacon, Spam, Egg and Cheese. In short, Ramen with all the good things in life. If you haven't figured it out yet, my favorite meal is brunch and foie gras!

The stuff ramen dreams are made of.

I dragged my family to Wrong Ramen, a new place in Burgos Circle, and they humored me because it was my birthday. Wheeeeee! I love playing the birthday card.

I made reservations for us because we were a group of 9, and it was good that I did so because the place turned out to be quite small. They told me on the phone that they are quite strict and they only hold the table for five minutes, so I moved our reservation to 7.45pm instead of 7.30pm as traffic in Manila at dinner time is really unpredictable.

Wrong Ramen is beside Bugsy's across Serenitea in Burgos Circle.
"The last guy who ate here left screaming in pure ecstasy."
A bit of an overstatement, but the place is still good nonetheless.
Sofia before we entered.

There was barely any traffic from the office so Sofia and I arrived earlier than our reservation. They told us we could sit on the bar stools while waiting for the guests to leave, as it turned out they only had 1 long table on the second floor. They just have dividers so it's possible to eat alone (bar stool) or by twos (long table) with privacy.

Sofia showing her lolo how to play the Barbie app while waiting.

I had a chance to take a lot of pictures because I was trying to distract myself from dying of hunger.
They have a brief introduction about their Tonkotsu.
They liken it to wolfing down a plate of lechon-
"You'll hate yourself for it, but you'll come back for more".
I came for the SPAM!
The fatty part is just a bonus. Hahaha.
They also have the cutest Salt and Pepper shakers,
just in case you're low bat. Hahaha.

Timmy and I finally ordered starters because we couldn't wait anymore.
Enoki Mushroom Fries
This dish has an overwhelming fried taste,
with barely any mushroom flavor.
You'll get umay in 2 bites, but it's quite good when eaten
with the Katsu Ketchup sauce that it's served with. 
Timmy ordered the bacon of course!
Bacon Tonkatsu
This one was really good.
The alfafa sprouts are a good attempt to neutralize NOT! the bacon.
Sofia and I were clowning around., as usual.
We were so happy when everyone arrived so we could eat na.
I think my dad got scared of the "it's as deadly as lechon comment",
he ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen Light instead.
Sofia gave this dish two thumbs up. She normally does not like ramen.
My mom ordered the Tonkotsu Ramen Rich.
In hindsight, it was only when the orders arrived did we realize that the difference in the orders may not be the soup (unlike in Osaka - it's the broth the refer to when they say Light or Rich), it was in the pork. The light order had shredded cha shu while the rich order had 2 slices of pork.

My aunt ordered the Wrong Ramen Tantanmen because they said it's their best seller. It also happens to be the dish in the restuarant's Facebook Cover Page, it looked so much better there compared to what they served.
It tasted good anyway.  The broth was very tasty.
Timmy ordered the Buffalo Chicken Ramen,
with the broth served separately for dipping.
He said it was good. It was gone before I got to try any.
The last dish served was the F.U. Ramen
The Breakfast Ramen I've been craving for.
It has 3 strips of bacon, 1 thin slice of over done black pepper spam,
an overdone egg and melted cheese.
The tostado egg went so well with the Ramen which was a surprise for me
 because I normally like the slightly runny egg.
Next time, I'll make sure to ask them not to overcook the SPAM.
What a waste of good SPAM. Booooo.

A nice touch they do is to serve everyone a shot of yogurt drink after the meal. It cleanses the palette.
Imagine Yakult, in a nice shot glass.
It's just this small, but it's very refreshing.
Obviously a hit with Sofia.
In a nutshell, while my gold standard for Ramen is still Ippudo whether it be in Singapore or Japan, I like Wrong Ramen because it attempts to be different, therefore I don't compare it to Ippudo so it doesn't fail or fail miserably. Their tasty, rich broth + bacon & egg is a clear win for me, with SPAM done right, it can only get better. just saying.

After we stuffed ourselves, Jem brought me out our favorite "Matter of Pride" (kelangan ubusin even if we're only 3 kasi it's a matter of pride!) cake.
Thanks for the cake Jem!
More Cake Shots!
We miss you TIM!!!
What happened to you?
Nine Years Ago, TIM looked like this!
and yes, it's the same kind of cake.
And most likely, 9 years ago, only the 3 of us finished it,
because It's a Matter of Pride.
Don't Judge!
Back to 2013
Oooooh, I hope my wishes come true!
I made quite a lot of wishes because Sofia wouldn't stop singing.
If you're still wondering what happened to Tim in 9 years,
he finished too many  "Matter of Pride" cakes.
Sofia is joining the Matter of Pride tradition.
She had two servings. I think she ate more cake than Ramen.

Thanks to everyone who greeted me and sent gifts!
My favorite presents are:
The flowers I got from my team.
Thanks Noel, Peach & Aina :)
and all my travelling stuff. Wheeeeeeeeee! Can't wait to use it for Taipei.
Thanks Anna (and family) & Jem (and Ivan)!
That's all for now because I just remembered Tim's share of the cake is still in our fridge and I want to have some of it. After all, it's still a matter of pride! we've just outgrown time limit. Hahaha. just saying.

Wrong Ramen
Burgos Circle, Fort Bonifacio
(02) 823 8249

Wrong Ramen is still on their soft opening.
Their menu may be crappy, but their service isn't.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Proud to be a Sige Mom!

Sofia and I attended the Breeze "Sige Sa Mantsa!" (literally translated, it means something to the effect of Go Get Dirty!) event last Saturday, not because I am a blogger. Hahaha, I don't think my 6 official followers count, though I swear I get more visitors than 6! When I arrived at the Manila Polo Club, the agency running the event asked me if I was on online blogger. I was so tempted to say yes! Hahaha... but I said, no, I work for the company.

For full disclosure, I will admit that I got invited to the event because I work for the company that makes Breeze (hooray!!!), but I am not writing about it because I have to, and I am not writing about it because it's my job to do so (if you have been reading my blog you'll know I never write about work), but I am writing this post because my daughter had so much FUN!!!

Sofia and Jillian enjoyed the playground before the games started. Sofia went directly to the playground even though the event was on a Saturday morning, and she was asleep in the car until we got dropped off.
Sofia loves playgrounds.
Jillie on the swing.

There were four booths inspired by each of the Breeze endorsers who were there with their kids. The children are given stickers when they participate in each of the activities that they can use to collect prizes.

In the sand box, the kids had to make a sand castle.
Sofia and Jillie attempting to make one.
Then there was a booth with colored powder.
The kids throw it on the wall to color the picture.
Jillie didn't want to get dirty. Hahaha.
Then there was a booth where you shoot stains on two shirts.
You get two stickers if you hit the target.
Then you get another sticker for washing the shirts.
The shirt washed in Breeze was always visibly cleaner
vs the shirt washed with the 5 other brands.
Then Sofia did the relay where the kids need to walk
through Jello,
Then go up and down the slide,
Then walk through a pool that looks filled with Grape Juice.
All Sofia could talk about when we got home was home was how she walked through jello, walked on the grass, then walked through the grape juice pool. Hahaha.

After Sofia did all the games, we went to see what prize she could claim, and of course she decided she wanted the biggest toy.
She counted her stickers, did her own math
 and told me we needed to play to get 3 more stickers. 

The Sige Moms of Breeze who say Yes to Stains, and yes to life experiences!
Tessa, Carmina, Senator Pia and Dawn.
Sofia and I with self-proclaimed Super Duper Sige Mom
Tessa Prieto-Valdez.
Jay and Lia with Tessa.
With The Breeze Team!
Lia, Jillie and Jay.

When we got home, Sofia wanted to immediately play with her prize. 

She got the Mould & Paint set because she used to have a similar one
where we made Safari Animals.
We oiled the mold even if it was not in the instructions,
because we remember that from the other toy.
Then we know that you need to be really quick when mixing the plaster.
Using a rectangular disposable container is not such
a good idea. Next time, round would be better.
We were quicker now than before, so we got all the plaster in the molds
before it because hard and lumpy.
It's quite tricky to put in the pins though, because the pin also sinks.
Sofia loves doing Arts and Crafts!
Voila! Sealife magnets.
Thank you Breeze!

As a mom, I've always encouraged my daughter to do what she wants even if it means she may get a bit dirty. But before Breeze was launched, I'd tell yaya to let Sofia wear her not so nice clothes, so that she can disaster it all she wants. The other day, Sofia came home from school and told me "Mom, I got paint on my pants." I just said, it's ok, just tell yaya to wash it with Breeze! :) 

I am proud to be a Sige Mom! And now, my daughter can be as stylish as she wants as she enjoys life. just saying.