Thursday, August 20, 2015

1000th Post! Off to Turkey...

This is my 1000th post... I just want to say thanks for all the blog love for the past three and a half+ years!!!

Ironically, it's also my 14th year anniversary working for the same company, so it's time to take a short break. 
If you can guess from my hat and my coffee maker...
I am off to Turkey!!!

I am ticking off another country from my bucket list... with a bonus side trip to Greece since you just need to cross a bridge to get from Asia to Europe. 

If I'm not mistaken, I think only Russia is left on my bucket list after this trip.

This blog will be on a break too! Will be back soon with more food, shopping and travel tales for sure, so just sit and read my old blog posts for now. Hahaha. just saying.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

DIY Iced Espresso Latte

Ever since I tried the Iced Espresso Latte from Roast, a winner brunch place in Bangkok which you can read about here, I've told myself, it should be easy enough to do this at home. Ofcourse, I never had the time to try it out...
Iced Espresso Latte from Roast in Bangkok

And I was right! It's super duper easy to do... and yummy too.
I just made espresso using a 3 cup Bialetti Moka, which is a staple in my
kitchen, no matter what country I live in.
You can read about my love for Italian Espresso and Bialetti here
Note: The three espresso cup serving is just enough for one Ikea flower ice tray. One flower wasn't as full as the rest from all my spillage. Hahaha.

The Ikea ice trays actually say For Water Only but we've used them for DIY
Rainbow Crayons before, which you can read about here.
I guess you should just remember what shape you use for what, so you
don't use it for water again afterwards.
After a few hours in the freezer, my espresso cubes were ready.
Voila! There you have it. My own version of Frozen Espresso Flowers Latte!
Serve with steamed milk, and mascovado syrup.
Yummy!!! I no longer need to go to UCC (Kori Kohi) or Bangkok for my
Iced Espresso Latte fix! Much cheaper too!
Just add milk and syrup to taste.
Perfect drink for a coffee lover on a humid day. just saying.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Pie Face for Savoury Pies, Great Coffee and the Best Lemon Pie Ever is now open in Eastwood!

I love savoury pies. They're not too common in the Philippines, aside from the usual Chicken Pie, good thing my mom makes a killer one which she used to send me frozen when I lived in Singapore and I'd live on it for months, so whenever I traveled to Savoury-Pie-Eating Countries like UK or Australia, I normally ate my fill. 

Good thing, Australia's famous savoury pies are now in the Philippines! Pie Face just opened their Eastwood branch (Hooray! It's so close to us!) and they also have a branch in SM Mall of Asia too.

I first heard about Pie Face when my friend sent me a box a Frozen Pies.
Thanks Criz!
An adorable concept of savoury pies with different
faces to tell you which flavor you're eating.
Criz sent me a box of assorted mini-pies and I couldn't wait to try them all.
But the OC part of my had to sort and arrange them first,
The cooking instructions Criz sent was pretty straightforward, but I guess the cooking time varies depending on the oven that you're using. Since I was just heating up four mini pies, I decided to use the toaster oven instead.
I followed the instructions carefully, but I must admit,
I got the temperature wrong.
I was so excited to try the pies...
But oops! They were sort of just half baked! Hahaha.
The good thing though is that they're not sensitive.
You can just pop them back into the oven until they're fully cooked.
The first one I tried was Pulled-Pork and I must say, it's one of my favorites.
The other three pies came out better.
But if you do them right from the start, this is how they should look.
The bottom crust will cook better if you don't use a pan under.

The verdict after trying almost all the flavors:
The mini-pies are great for a snack or for as a sampler when you want to eat more than one flavor. However, because the pies are smaller, it's a bit on the crusty-side, with a higher crust to filling ratio than what I would like. The good thing though is that they use Filo Pastry, or Puff Pastry for the crust, so if you like that, then that won't be a gross negative.
Their bestseller is the Chicken and Mushroom Pie
Their other bestseller is the Chunky Steak (upper right),
pictured here with the Aussie Mince (left) and Steak, Bacon and Cheese (big). 
My personal favorites are: Philly Cheese Steak (pictured), Pulled-Pork,
and Spicy Chili Con Carne (which I think we ate before I took a photo).

Since Criz sent me the pies, I have started stalking PieFacePH on Facebook so as soon as I saw that the Eastwood Branch was open, I immediately dropped by on my way home from the office.
Pie Face Eastwood is in the same building as the Supermarket.
I couldn't wait to try their coffee too!!!
I'm a fan of Australian Coffee ever since I tried Holybelly Cafe, my favorite brunch place in Paris, ironically run by Australians, which serves the best coffee ever. You can read about it here.

I was rushing to go home so I just told my driver to double park or go around while I went in to buy take away.
Hello Happy Savoury Pies!
So nice to have you all in a place so close to me!!! 
I was glad to see that they had bigger pies, hooray!
I ordered the Philly Cheese Steak to try it.
I wanted to try the sweet pies too, since I've only tried the Savoury ones.
The Lemon one looks so drool-worthy, reminding me of my favorite
Tarte Au Citron from Paris.
I asked what the best sellers were, so I tried the Chocolate, Lemon and
Cappuccino. I was too scared to try the Raspberry (too pink for me!).
You can get a mix of Savoury and Sweet Mini Pies in boxes of 3 or 9.
Since I couldn't resist leaving without coffee, I ordered their bestseller,
 and what a good flat white it was.
I had my Philly Cheese Steak Pie for diner and it was still a bit warm.
I think it would have been even much better if I ate it at the shop.
It was so good!!! Generous beef filling and oozing cheese with every bite.
The big pies are so much better if you're having one for a meal.
I gave the pies to Sofia for dessert and she wanted to try the Lemon first.
The Sofia Verdict: Ang asim!!! (Too sour) Then she continued eating
the crust around it anyway.
But if you ask me for my verdict, it was absolutely the best Lemon Pie I've had in the Philippines. The lemon filling was just the right mix of tart, creaminess and it wasn't too sweet! Really great value too at only Php49 each, and cheaper when you buy it in a Sampler box.  It's even better than some of the Tarte Au Citrons I've had in Paris.  just saying.

Note: I haven't tried the Chocolate and Cappuccino Pies, but if it's anything like the Lemon Pie, I'd be really happy.

Pie Face Eastwood
Ground Floor of Techno Plaza 2 
Eastwood City

Friday, August 14, 2015

Indonesia Rota+ Finds

I always say, it doesn't matter where you send me, I'm sure I will find something to buy. It's nice to know I have not yet been proven wrong. Hahaha.

On my first work trip to Indonesia, we attended a workshop, so I was in a bit of a panic, grabbing everything I could find from the 1 mini-mart we stopped at on the way to the airport just so I could buy something! I must admit, that trip was a bit desperate and I ended up bringing home a lot of Indomie, as well as Oreos for Sofia, which in my defense came with stackable food containers!

This time around, we went for a trade visit, which means more stores... and more shopping opportunities! I even have a recommended to buy list:

1. Silver Queen Chocolates
Local chocolates with Cashew that my office mates from Manila asked me to buy. I like the Dark Chocolate version.

2. Oishi Strawberry Crunch
Made by a Filipino company, but ironically, the Strawberry flavor is not available in the Philippines. Hooray for something to hoard from Indonesia. 

3. Ceres Chocolate Sprinkles for sandwiches or topping
I was actually tempted to buy this when I saw it last trip, I knew I wanted
it for sure when I tried it from the Sweet Martabak filling
(which you can read about here). I've been told Ceres is the best brand.

4. Must try sadly not for bringing home are the cool Ice Cream Innovations
Red Velvet Cornetto 
Paddle Pop Banana Boat
Peelable Grape Gummy on a Vanilla Ice Cream Stick

5. My favorite discovery of all are the Sanrio x Softex Feminine Products
Available in a whole range too!!! We're just missing Kiki and Lala!
Good Quality too at a reasonable price so I definitely want to hoard more
of this on my next visits!

I say Rota + because due to the flight schedule, I had to stay in Jakarta an extra night so I got to visit Senayan City Shopping Mall.
and at the basement, they have my favorite local cafe which serves their specialty Avocado Coffee!!!
Super Yummy! I just slurp around the Ice Cream to make it less fat.

So there you have my Indonesia Shopping List, and that's only after two visits! You can just imagine what else I'll find to buy after two years! Hahaha. just saying.

Senayan City Mall
Floor L-20
Phone +621 - 72781187

Opening Time 10.00-22.00

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Terminal 21 Shopping Mall Bangkok

During my past personal trips to Bangkok, we always stay in the Pratunam area because we go there to shop in the wholesale shopping area (and to eat of course!). So, it was only when I started travelling for work again was I able to explore the other malls in the Sukhumvit Area, like Terminal 21, which is around a block away from where we stay for work.

It's conveniently located beside the Asok BTS station too.
You won't even get wet if it's raining.

The nice thing about Terminal 21, is that it's new and modern, plus it includes a good mix of mainstream and independent stores. Since a lot of the chain High Street stores (like H&M, Zara, etc) are now open in the Philippines, I've actually shopped less abroad, so it's really the local stores I like visiting more.
Terminal 21 is set up like an Airport and different floors are named after
differed cities.
The lower floors have the more mainstream shops, once you get to the higher floors, you'll have the independent local stores.
Tokyo and London floors have local stores.
Some floors have really nice gimmicks.
Sumo wrestlers in Tokyo
and my favorite, Red Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco,
on the top floor with all the restaurants.
Look at all those cars.

I really didn't do much shopping because the main stream stores were all available in the Philippines, while the local stores were already starting to close. So this were my favorite finds:

1. TaokaenoiLAND
Taokaenoi is our favorite Seaweed Brand, and it has it's own store here!
The mascot was so cute I did numerous selfie attempts.
Since it's a company store, most of the stock and visibility was seaweed.
But they also had other stuff normally bought from Thailand.

2. Daiso
First time I saw Daiso in Thailand! I love Daiso so much,
I normally find something to buy, no matter what country I see it in.
But this time around I didn't buy any.
But I love how they rank their best sellers so it's easy for shopper to find
what are the popular finds, and normally with Daiso, these are things you don't
even know you need - or want! 

3. Gourmet Market
I love the Gourmet Market Food Hall and Supermarket set-up.
The leading Thai Iced Tea brand.
Food wise, I tried Tokyo Teppanyaki. Not too bad.
Service was fast which I needed because I was rushing.
The replenishment and assortment of this branch is not too good though.

Terminal 21 is now my favorite mall in the Sukhumvit area. just saying.

Terminal 21
2.88 Sukhumvit Soi 19 Sukhumvit Rd, 
North Klongtoei Wattana 
Bangkok 10110, Thailand