I had dinner with Ea after work one night, and what was supposed to be a purely foodie session turned into a hole-in-the-wallet experience faster than you can say ‘sale season’. In my defense, I just received my pay the day before so I think a pat on the back in the form of a La Senza paper bag was only necessary. But anyway, moving on…

One of the nicest things about having a job situated in Bonifacio High Street is the plethora of restaurant choices when it comes to meal time, or as I like to call it ‘feeding time’. Seriously. There’s absolutely everything at my disposal when I step out of my office building. From glazed donuts to tomato based pastas, BGC’s pretty much got it covered. The only downside to this is actually having the money to spend on plates of food. But I’m not complaining — for now, I mean.

Crispy Adobo Quinoa Salad (P290) 4.5 out of 5 on the DO scale.

Crispy Adobo Quinoa Salad (P290) 4.5 out of 5 on the DO scale.

Slice’s Adobo fused salad may have had me raise an eyebrow upon seeing it on the menu, but that sure didn’t stop me from ordering a bowlful of it. Initially, I was preparing myself for utter disaster: (1) I hadn’t tasted quinoa yet, and (2) I honestly believed that adobo belonged with rice, and rice alone.

The only thing I held on to was my perception of Slice delivering deliciously impeccable dishes. Nothing more, nothing less.

The greens were adorned with crispy Adobo flakes, Pecorino goat cheese, quinoa, a salted egg, and tossed together in a balsamic Adobo vinaigrette. In all honesty, the salad exceeded my expectations. The bits of adobo offered a crunch (a plus for texture) with only a hint of actual adobo following after. The choice of cheese was complementary to the flavors the dish; and the quinoa, well I’ve been scouring places looking for packs of it. It was all in all, a good and healthy choice for dinner.

Hungry Man's Eggs Benedict (P390) 2 out of 5 on the DO scale.

Hungry Man’s Eggs Benedict (P390) 2 out of 5 on the DO scale.

Although Slice dubs this as the meat lover’s special, I think that a more proper version would be ‘the butter lover’s heart attack’. The Eggs Ben was placed on a lake of hollandaise so rich in butter that I think I lost a number of days in my life. Perhaps if less butter was used, I would’ve appreciated the mushroom pate and smoked ham more.

Double Choco Yema (P240)

Double Choco Yema (P240) 4 out of 5 on the DO scale.

True to its name, Slice delivers some of the best slices of cakes for people aching to satisfy their sweet tooth. One of their best sellers, the Double Choco Yema, is a testament of that. This cake is everything that you’d expect it to be: decadent, moist, sinful, and the sticky yema on top pairs brilliantly with its chocolate base.

Another commendable factor of Slice’s cakes is how the icing doesn’t melt quickly. it stayed in place and shape, yet I never felt a need to push my fork down with strong force. Because if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s me having to wrestle with a cake. I mean, come on. Dessert shouldn’t be that hard –both literally and figuratively — to eat.

The only reason why I didn’t give this cake a perfect score is because I felt that crunchy bits of yema should’ve also been included. But then again, maybe it’s just me and my stickler for childhood.

I started my 2013 with a yearning for some Eggs Benedict. Heck, I started my 2012 the same way, but never actually caved in to the cravings. There was always something there to distract me, be it a new food trend or a simple double take on Krispy Kreme’s display of glazed donuts. Bottom line is the craving was disregarded until it resurfaced, with a vengeance no less.

CBTL's Eggs Benedict

CBTL’s Eggs Benedict

Half the year has gone by and I’ve had two different versions of Eggs Ben — one of them involves the picture above.

CBTL’s version, though merely satisfactory when it comes to taste, was one of my go to lunches/snacks/dinners pre finals week at Ateneo. I guess there’s just something about stress that makes me reach for something starchy and heavy (read: CARBS) to stuff my mouth with. Stress called for food that had to be chewed. Pasta was a nuisance since I didn’t want to be bothered about having spots of tomato or olive oil on my notes, or God forbid, my Mac. And rice? Well, I had a love-hate relationship with it so that wasn’t a viable option either.

So what else did I have left to turn to that was readily available in Katipunan? Bread. And I believe that’s one of the things CBTL does best. There’s something about their crusty and toasted outside but soft inside bread that just gets me and makes me forgive the mediocre slices of ham and cheese.

Bizu's Eggs Benedict

Bizu’s Eggs Benedict

And from the uninspiring, I move on to the exceptional. Bizu’s offering of Eggs Benedict is so good that I’d rate it a perfect score on my food review scale.

I’ve always found beauty in the cascading egg yolk upon first cut, about how it slowly coats the forest ham, and drips onto the corners of the English corn muffin… And lest I forget, how the yolk forms a small lake on the immaculate white plate and how much of a dream it is to wipe every bit up with a piece of bread… I’m rambling. Forgive me.

I’m off to have dinner with Ea in a bit! The last time I saw her was during my distraught pre-employment state. Now that I actually have a job, I assume a heavy catch up session is in order!

This is a late post. It’s late by more or less a year actually. Yup, that bad. But anyway, enjoy the read!

“I have something to tell you.”

“What?”

“I want you to touch my tummy.”

“*confused…… *eyes widening* OH MY GOSH!!! ARE YOU?!!! OH MY GOSH!!!!!! *jumps up and down* I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! OH MY GOODNESS!! WAIT DON’T JUMP!!! OH MY GOSH! WAIT! OH MY GOSH, I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!”

And that my friends is how you catch me by surprise, fresh out of a thesis consultation.

A bump in the tumtum!

A bump in the tumtum!

It’s not everyday that you receive word that one of your good friends is carrying a baby in her. For the record, pregnancy is still something completely surreal to me. I don’t think any amount of birthing videos on Discovery Channel will ever meet my fascination with it. I took great care in touching her tummy. It was firm, yet it yielded a bit of give. I was tempted to poke harder but was too scared so I kept the touching on a safe level.

I told Celine that I was treating her out to late lunch the next time I’d see her since I was overjoyed upon being offered to be a ninang for her baby. Because of schedule conflicts, we ended up having our date as her second lunch for the day. Blame it on my blockmates for wanting to make sure that she and her baby are well fed. Haha!

Super Caesar Salad (P120)

Super Caesar Salad (P120)

5 out of 5 on the DO scale

The pecan praline bits completely won me over on this one. They give an added crunch to the salad and they complement the saltiness of the parmesan and bacon. The lettuce — although drizzled with dressing — still remains crisp throughout the entire meal, also an added plus.

Rafael's Maple-Glazed Ham & Honey Mustard Sandwich (P150)

Rafael’s Maple-Glazed Ham & Honey Mustard Sandwich (P150)

3 out of 5 on the DO scale

3 out of 5 on the DO scale

The glaze takes the glory on this plate. It practically cascades through when the sandwich is cut into quarters. Honestly, I’d wipe the plate clean off the glaze if only I weren’t too full at that time. I found the ham to have a little too much fat in it. If the meat were leaner, I’d rate it higher.

Banana Starry-Berry Custard Cheesecake (P120) . 3 out of 5 on the DO scale.

Banana Starry-Berry Custard Cheesecake (P120). 3 out of 5 on the DO scale.

I’ve got to give it to Banapple to try their hand at putting both custard and cheesecake together but in my humble opinion, it simply musn’t be done — at least not at the moment. I’d prefer the Banoffee pie actually, but then again it’s their bestseller so I don’t know if that’s a fair thing to say. The jam was redolent of the taste of medicine and the base of the cake (not captured in photo) is a tad bit too damp. Also, the drizzle of chocolate sauce (also not seen in the picture) was unnecessary.

_______

Blooming mother!

Blooming mother-to-be!

I can’t wait to spoil my godchild with Lookbook worthy clothes and colorful toys!

Banapple
Katipunan
Il Terrazzo Mall
Ayala Triangle Gardens
Alabang Town Center

“It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives, But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny.”

_____

“That’s the way it always is,” said the old man. “It’s called the principle of favorability. When you play cards the first time, you are almost sure to win. Beginner’s luck.”

“Why is that?”

“Because there is a force that wants you to realize your destiny; it whets your appetite with a taste of success.”

_____

“I’m already used to the way things are. Before you came, I was thinking about how much time I had wasted in the same place, while my friends had moved on, and either went bankrupt or did better than they had before. It made me very depressed. Now, I can see that it hasn’t been too bad. The shop is exactly the size I always wanted it to be. I don’t want to change anything, because I don’t know how to deal with change. I’m used to the way I am.”

The boy didn’t know what to say. The old man continued, “You have been a real blessing to me. Today, I understand something I didn’t see before: every blessing ignored becomes a curse. I don’t want anything else in life. But you are forcing me to look at wealth and at horizons I have never known. Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I’m going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don’t want to do so.”

_____

He always enjoyed seeing the happiness that the travelers experienced when, after weeks of yellow sand and blue sky, they first saw the green of the date palms.

_____

“Why would the desert reveal such things to a stranger when it knows that we have been here for generations?” said another of the chieftains.

“Because my eyes are not yet accustomed to the desert,” the boy said. “I can see things that eyes habituated to the desert might not see.”

_____

“My heart is a traitor,” the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. “It doesn’t want me to go one.”

“That makes sense,” the alchemist answered. “Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won.”

_____

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

_____

“The alchemist said, “No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”

It’s been almost five months since my last blog entry and boy, has life thrown so many blessings and curve balls in said span of time. Seriously. So many things have happened that it’s hard to believe — and accept sometimes — that half the year has gone by.

For starters…

I’ve finally graduated college! Yes, I know I could’ve done better on my grades and could’ve probably spent additional nights trying to live, breathe, and eat Virtue Ethics for my last Philosophy class… But, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I spent the last few weeks of my university life hanging out with friends (many of whom I won’t be seeing for a long while), having a blast with my fellow Wings Team members (during my 6 month stint with Red Bull), and plain letting myself breathe.

Too many years have passed with me caring a little too much about grades, so for my last semester, as soon as I had my thesis bound and creative project printed, I poured myself a glass of wine and slept happily under the warmth of my comforter.

Image

Thank you, Ateneo. Best 4 years of my life spent with you!

Graduation came along and my dad took a flight home just so he could see me walk up on the stage. I stand by what I said before, “It’s every bit my graduation as it is my parents’.” They’ve seen me at my best and worst and they’ve been nothing but supportive, from keeping me company during my all-nighters to picking me up after blueREPERTORY rehearsals just so I’d get a few minutes of sleep on the ride home. They’ve spent and sacrificed so much on my education and other miscellaneous things that I’ve always thought of graduation as my way of finally giving back to them. The end of a chapter and the start of another as some would say.

Image

Going to spoil mom and dad rotten for sure!

Next life update comes in the form of a person, someone who’s pretty much taken over my Instagram by storm.

Image

Say hello to Vergs!

Funny how life has a way of confusing you and frustrating yourself in the process.

We’re not exactly the best kinds of people when it comes to things like these — heck I don’t even think we expected this to happen at all — but a little under four months of dating and so far, we’re still at it.

I’m not going to disclose that much as I’d still like some privacy so I’ll let those pictures do the talking for now.

Third update involves a plane ticket to Hong Kong with one of my closest girlfriends.

One of the best things about traveling with Maronne is how we're so alike with eating habits and transportation options.

One of the best things about traveling with Maronne is how we’re so alike in eating habits and transportation choices.

This trip was made possible by pure spontaneity. Booking of the flight alone started with me frantically texting Maronne that there was a flight promo to HK, and well you get the picture.

6 days and 5 nights with this friend I lovingly call Macaroni and I think it’s safe to say that this won’t be a last for us. There are way too many stories in this trip alone. Maybe I’ll share them in a separate post.

& that’s about it for now, a three point update on things that have occupied me for the past couple of months. Stay tuned for more — I hope!

I’ve been keeping a low profile on my blog to help myself recover from an overly acidic stomach. Somehow, food blogging and the like made me want to hide in the comforts of my bed and stay there.

I was placed on a strict diet, banned from basically everything I loved. No dairy, no caffeine, no juices, no citrus, no tomato-based anything, no wheat, no mint, no liquor, nothing deep fried, nothing spicy or sour… And those are just the ones I can remember.

It was annoying and downright maddening at one point. I remember walking through the A-Fair of my university, almost in tears because I was hungry, in pain, and I couldn’t eat anything there.

My stomach was supposed to be on probation for two weeks and then it was to be decided upon on whether or not I was going in for an endoscopy.

Fortunately enough, I was getting better fast, thanks to the meds — which by the way, were incredibly strong. I got better fast and well, let’s just say that mom saw how miserable I was so she lifted my restrictions a few days early.

Yesterday I began eating whatever I wanted. I dove straight in with milk, frozen yogurt, tomatoes and coffee scattered throughout my day — clearly something I shouldn’t have done. Although I’m grateful that I didn’t have another acidic episode, it made me realize that dairy really might be my real problem. Yes, my stomach churned a few times. 

And so marks the start of my Paleo diet. I’m doing it with a friend and today marks our first step into primal eating.

Made a stack of mini Paleo-friendly pancakes (1 banana and 2 eggs) with a side of almonds for breakfast.

I’m quite excited actually. I’m tired of feeling bloated thanks to all the acid build up after consuming dairy. I’m tired of having to load up on carbs and feeling blegh. Oh, and an added plus is that it helps me lose weight too, because seriously, the amount of wheat and dairy that I used to consume is preposterous.

But just like everything else, moderation is key. My friend, Jes, and I are allowed three cheats every week until the 1st of March. We’ve actually even upped it by placing a bet on our goal weight. Classic.

Fusion restaurants are tricky. They can either be really good or fall flat and lose the essence of the cuisines involved.

I’ve done a review of Tokyo Cafe before and was pleased with the dishes ordered at that time. So here’s another round of plates ordered during my second visit.

Ten-Ju (P248). 5 out of 5 on the DO scale.

Deep fried prawns chucked in at the right temperature of oil and taken out not a second too late. It makes for a non greasy plate of tempura and an overall light and pleasing dish. I’m not a big rice eater anymore — thanks to my diet — but I was fairly pleased with this cheat meal of mine.

Tokyo Boneless Chicken (P207). 4 out of 5 on the DO scale.

It’s chicken generously rubbed (I think) with black pepper and rosemary then slathered with gravy after. A new way of serving up black pepper roasted chicken, if I do say so myself. Rotisseries, why don’t you add this to your menu?

Tokyo Afogard (P125). 4 out of 5 on the DO scale.

Quite honestly, I had no idea what a Tokyo Afogard meant at the start. But I guess that’s where I get to be a bit adventurous with my food — being unfamiliar with names on the menu and getting a (hopefully) delightful surprise in the end.

Tokyo Afogard is basically ice cream in espresso. Since full cream is used and not milk, the result is a thicker consistency upon pouring the espresso into the bowl. This really hit the spot for me. It’s an idea for Starbucks branches that sell pints of their ice cream.

 

Tokyo Cafe
SM The Block
SM MOA
The Venice Piazza
SM Megamall
Robinsons Cybergate Plaza