Tuesday, December 31, 2013


(December highlight: Wild night at Chihuahua!)

         I'm gonna go all out and say it. 2013 was the best year of my life.

       In a way, its kind of unfair, because ever since Rain was born, it pretty much became understood that every year that I spend with her, watching her grow, will just get better and better. But no doubt, despite the fact that 2012 included an all expense paid trip to New York for Rina and I, 2013 was the best year ever. Maybe not for my blog, but for more personal reasons. 

        My goal last year was to expand my blog to include more travel posts - not just food from different regions, but hotels as well.. And I think We did a pretty good job for one year.

       I'm looking forward to more food and travel posts in 2014! I hope you are too!

        Here's a quick review of 2013.. The Year That Was...

Thursday, December 26, 2013


        I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I spent the first few years in my life growing (or not growing) in the good ol' U.S. of A (Which probably contributed to my picky palate). I was six years old when my family and I moved back to the Philippines after a five year stay in America. 

      The day after I had arrived, I still remember the first meal that my grandmother prepared for us. That images of that dish is still ingrained in my memories, to this very day, simply because what I saw scared the living crap out of me. It was a big bowl of black slop, with little bits of animal parts I couldn't make out floating around. I asked my yaya, "What is that?" and she answered, "Dinuguan.". I looked up at her and asked, "What's Dinuguan?". Never one to B.S. me, she got straight to the point and said, "Pigs blood". I made a face and answered, back, "Yucky!". My mom called me to come eat lunch, and I said, "I don't want to eat the blood of a pig!" and run up the stairs and into my room. Seconds later, my brother followed me into the room. I went up in tears, because in my six year old mind, I was afraid that moving to a strange land such as the Philippines meant being forced to eat food made from the blood of an animal and other exotic dishes.  

    Two minutes later, my mom and dad came into our room, saying that I shouldn't have stormed off, and I should apologize to my grandmother for insulting her food. I was in tears and said, "I hate Filipino food!". That moment, my grandmother entered the room with a tray in her hands, and a warm smile. I didn't have the guts to tell her that I didn't want to eat the food she brought, but thankfully, I didn't need to say anything. She walked in the room, and said, "Richie, you don't have to eat the dinuguan if you don't want to. I prepared this for you.". 

     I was half expecting to see an animal's head perched on to a plate, but instead, I found two plates (for me and my brother), with six slices of Spam, a cup of rice, and a bit of ketchup on the side. Needless to say, we tore into the plate like ravenous cheetahs having a field day with the carcass of a gazelle.  

    Later that evening, at around dinner time, my dad walked into with a bag of food. I won't lie to you. Whatever was in that bag, smelled really good. He said, "Hungry?". I was being bullheaded, and I just replied, "I don't like Filipino Food.". He dipped his hand into the bag, and pulls out a sandwich unlike any other I had seen before. "Its a flying saucer". he said of his strange, round, sandwich. He went in for a bite, and I gotta say, it looked really good. My dad continued to pretend that he didn't notice me watching him, and continued to focus on the TV. He then pulled out another sandwich from the bag and said, "All yours.". I hesitated for a minute, but in my mind, decided that sandwiches are considered American food. 

   I was pleasantly surprised with what I found inside after my first bite. It was definitely new territory for me. It was very meaty, but the flavor was something I had never experienced before. It was only after I had finished my last bite that my dad took the empty sandwich wrapper from me, to throw in the trash, and with a smile said, "That was called "Adobo Flying Saucer". It's made with Chicken. A very popular dish in the Philippines.". I was a little annoyed that I had been had, especially since my Filipino food boycott was still in full effect. My dad, with a laugh, said to me, "See? Filipino food isn't so bad, right?".

   The days following, my dad would bring for me take out food at least once a day, introducing my brother and I to basic Filipino food staples, such as their Chicken BBQ, Liempo and Pork BBQ.. All from Aristocrat.     

     More than 30 years later, I found it ironic that my journey into exploring Filipino Food would continue where it all began: At Aristocrat restaurant, whose standards in food and service still stands tall, till this very day.  

Sunday, December 22, 2013


       It’s already mid-December. I’m trying to be as calm as I can. But it’s hard to, knowing WE HAVEN’T STARTED WITH OUR CHIRSTMAS SHOPPING YET!!! Things have been crazy at work for Richie and I so we kind of lost track of the date. Thankfully, a brilliant person thought of inventing the internet thus leading to another person inventing online shopping! (Bless you whoever you guys are!) This means we can do some last minute holiday shopping from Deal Grocer! Not only that, by shopping at Deal Grocer, we’ll also have the chance to win a trip for two to Cape Town, South Africa! AW HELL YEAH!!! I’ve never been this motivated to go online shopping! Hahaha!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


  Here I am again with yet another attempt on “cooking”. I wish I could learn how to cook amazing dishes. But I don’t want to. Haha! I leave that all up to chefs! After all, that’s what restaurants are for!

  But this doesn’t mean that cooking or preparing a meal is hopeless for me. There’s still hope! That is why I truly appreciate things that are easy to prepare. It makes my life as a work-from-home Mom easier somehow!

  Today I decided to whip up an Italian meal using these amazing Gustazo goodies that I bought from Greenhills! They’re gourmet fish in jars! Sort of like sardines but on a whole different level! They have Gourmet Tuyo Mild, Pomodoro Tinapa, Bangus Ala Pobre, Chunky Bagoong, Bacalao De Manila, Lemon Garlic Sardines, Sundried Tomato Sardines, and Gourmet Tuyo Regular. I’m sure judging by just the names you can already tell that this is not your ordinary bottled sardines. It has that top quality taste which you can create a lot of simple but scrumptious dishes with. And you can be sure your family will love them too!

Check out what I did with these jar wonders!

Friday, December 20, 2013


krispy kreme holiday tin can

       After the creative Monsters donuts, Halloween Donuts, branded chocolate donuts, it's only apparent that Krispy Kreme creates delicious treats that are beautifully decorated with happy Christmas cheers! 

Monday, December 16, 2013


           I'm not gonna lie to you, I got into the Ramen game rather late. I'm really more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so as my foodie friends were talking about the richness of a ramen's broth, the firmness of their noodles and the like, I was wondering why people were going nuts over something that you can buy at the grocery by the pack. 

        Naturally, as my food blogging career went on, so did my education in the art of Ramen, courtesy of my other foodie friends.  A few months ago, I was invited to visit a taste test of the newest Ramen place that would be arriving in our shores. I had the pleasure of tasting some Ramen dishes that were completely out of the ordinary, and anxiously awaited the day that their doors would finally open. 

       As December came, I got the call I had be waiting for. 

       Rejoice, Ramen Lovers! Ramen Nagi has opened its doors in SM Aura. 

Friday, December 13, 2013


            My first visit to Mad Mark's was a memorable one. You throw in a Beef and Chicken Sandwich in front of me the size of a battleship, and yes, that will definitely leave a mark in my memory for ages to come. Although the first branch had a cool, hole-in-the-wall vibe to it, the popularity of Mad Mark's food made it impossible for their progress to remain stagnant. Considering its fan base, it was only a matter of time that Mad Mark's would expand, and go to a more mainstream venue. 
  Sometime in October, the inevitable happened.. Mad Mark's opened their second branch at Glorietta 5 in Makati. I always knew that they would go mainstream, but I didn't think they would go THAT mainstream hehe. 

       Agent Smith said it best:


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

AirAsia Zest Brings Good Food in the Skies!

“Airplane food sucks...”

       You’ll usually hear this complaint from a lot of people when talking about food being served in airplanes. It’s become a known fact that one can’t really expect a scrumptious feast when on board a plane. First of all, servings are small. This part is forgivable because of course they have to take into consideration the weight and space in an aircraft. But they could at least make the taste good. I do not recall eating an airplane meal that is not bland. (Thank goodness they serve those meals with a sachet of salt.) But wouldn’t it be better if airplane meals actually taste good?

       Thankfully, AirAsia Zest is now in Manila and has made yummy airplane food become a reality!

       Meet AirAsia’s Hot Meals! It’s AirAsia Cafe’s pride and joy. Real food bursting with lots of flavors at very affordable prices! Sounded almost too good to be true!

Monday, December 9, 2013


             I'll be honest with you. When I first found out that a restaurant that specializes in "Toast" opened at U.P. Town Center, I was a little wary. What were these people thinking? A restaurant that revolves around different types of toast? Are you serious? 

         I thought to myself, in order for this to work, their toast has got to be pretty good.

      So during for our second stop at U.P. Town Center (Check out our first stop here), me and my food blogger friends went straight to Cafe Shibuya, and discovered that their Toast... Was nothing short of spectacular.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013


To the Winner....

      You have no idea how huge this package is! So make sure you pick it up with someone and take a car!! :-) It's awesome!! Now you can sit back and relax with your Oishi snack stash!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


               I've been hearing about the growing food haven that is U.P. Town Center for quite some time now, but I unfortunately never had the time to go check it out for myself. During my work "hiatus", Rina and I decided to go with some of our foodie friends to check out the first two restaurants that were kind enough to extend an invitation to us to try their food (Yes, all in one day. One after another. We're Food Bloggers. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.), with Tokyo Tonteki the first on our list.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


         During our amazing Staycation at Crowne Plaza a few months back, Rina and I capped off our epic weekend with a late lunch at the Hotel's resident Chinese Restaurant, Xin Tian Di. Although Rina and I were seriously contemplating ordering a whole bunch of Chinese dishes, the instant we found out that they offered an Eat-All-You-Can Dimsum feast, we dropped our menu and told the restaurant manager (who was kind enough to welcome us to the restaurant), "GIMME SOME OF THAT!"


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