Makati Mania (Part I)

Andre who is based elsewhere visited and we wanted to make the most out of his day so together with Jodi, Elaine and Phil, we planned a day’s worth of activities and a list of alternatives. We started with breakfast at Salcedo Market. I tried two kinds of French viands namely persillade and ceviche. I think they may be too bland for the Filipino taste. Other viands we ordered included Thai bagoong rice, Thai pomelo salad, pigeon and Korean style fried chicken. We were greeted with drizzling at first but later on it rained like mad which pretty much ruined a lot from the itinerary.

Anyway, we still went to see Nuestra Señora de Gracia church in Makati. I wanted to visit something where we could take a few shots and that 400 year old church was the only thing I could find near Salcedo. Even if the church was closed, we were allowed to go in because they were preparing for a procession. People were very friendly and accommodating so people who love documenting churches will enjoy it there.

Jodi was thinking of going to Ayala museum but as we recently visited the place, I did not wish to go there so soon. We considered trying archery but as it was raining, I thought it was a bad idea that we weren’t dressed for it. It was a long shot and I said I knew of a place where we can play table tennis, table top soccer and mini golf but well, it was already closed perhaps even for a long time. hahaha! Things like that happen you know. I plan a lot and keep more up my sleeve so that people will not be that disappointed. This is how a tourist should be.

In other news, we brought this home and we got to enjoy chili flakes and chili oil whenever the food is a little bit too plain. A bit overpriced but it’s still great. Watch out for Little Tokyo in part II.

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Oct16th Madness: Jerusalem & Jalapeno

We were supposed to eat at Cafe Ilustrado before watching Polarity but unfortunately they close early on Sundays. This always happens to me but it never stopped me from trying again. Anyway I guess it’s fine because I got to check out the place and I am glad to discover a number of things that of course I’d keep to myself for now. It was also okay in the sense that we had little time to spare and places like that, well you need to linger a bit longer. I was actually considering to skip dinner until after the show but the problem was that I came from the championship of Manila Sevens so understandably, I was starving.

So after brainstorming, I decided we can settle for Jerusalem. I knew that it does not exactly have a great ambiance but at least good food is guaranteed. Besides, it was the only place I could think of that is near the area. It’s been ages since I last ate there and it’s exactly how I remembered it.

We ordered a mixed grill platter, a shish kebab platter and a lamb barbecue platter. I discouraged everyone from ordering any of the rice beryani variants for the reason that it’s gonna be very expensive but anyway we shared one so others can try it out. We got the cheapest which cost about 150 pesos. At least it was good for two people if they are not very hungry. As expected their hot sauce is one of those that you can’t really eat. And finally, the itsy bitsy serving of garlic sauce was just frustrating because it cost 65 pesos. I mean that’s worse than Hossein’s. The four of us only finished two of the platters and had the third one wrapped. And it would have been super cheap but accounting the garlic sauce, well. An order, I think, is not even enough for a person. I’m guessing you would need 3 to 4 orders to be really satisfied. Anyway, I’m thinking of going there with my own garlic sauce next time. Perhaps, something I got from Cyma, Ababu, Uncle’s Moe’s or Behrouz. (No I don’t like Mister Kebab’s cause it’s much too sweet) hahaha!

We watched Polarity which is a separate post. We had a couple of beers at Jalapeno. I think they ordered quesadilla and I forget what the other one’s called but it was pork. Apart from Don and Mitzi, the rest of us were too full from the dinner we had at Jerusalem but I still ended up ordering chicken enchilada so that the rest can try it out. Glorious!

We had a little chitchat over coffee at home care of phil because it is always difficult for me to wind down when I am a happy piggy.

kisses!

Oct16th Madness: Polarity

After a not so slow dinner at Jerusalem, we proceeded to Philamlife Theatre where Polarity, the second anniversary celebration and performance of Polecats Manila finally happened. I am actually lost as to what to say first. I want to be as positive as I can so that I don’t become a super antagonist but then nothing will ever improve. Anyway, lemme try my best to be angelic.

Firstly, I don’t understand why there is a discrepancy between tickets and ones posted online. The tickets says it’s going to start at 8pm and online you will see posts that say 7pm. This should have been sorted out early on for the guests’ convenience. Secondly, there was a post that clearly says they will not be allowing photographs to be taken but that night, I dunno what happened. It was announced before the show started, just as it was during Stellar, that guests can take as much photos as they want as long as they don’t use flash. Wishing everyone to cooperate then retracting it the last minute is rather inconsiderate. Perhaps it was not as disappointing for me because I was planning to focus and forget about taking pictures altogether. I left my cam in the car and that was a little okay. Others who intentionally left their cameras would, I understand, be regretful or furious even. If they loved their guests… well, you know there should be no tricks like that. moving on

There were six of us in all and the oohs and aahs I heard were more than enough to prove that my company enjoyed the performance thoroughly. I felt very proud and kept on saying who my teachers are and who’s who. It was indeed very very exciting. I don’t think it was seamless because not everyone could keep up with the pace but generally it was wonderfully done. I was expecting more from Parkour Philippines. I know that they were just guests but I thought there should be at least more than 3 participants to be associated as an organization. Their performance as a whole was fun and quite entertaining.

Though Manila Symphony Orchestra did just fine, it did not blow me away as I expected. Either the songs did not speak to me or the choreography did not jive well with the music. I love orchestras but somehow I did not get goosebumps through the course of the show so that’s quite a surprise. I was thrilled of course in almost every act but I doubt if the music helped at all. I think it was purely because of the stunts they were pulling. It could also be the songs they chose or the arrangement. I don’t really know but I don’t think the orchestra was put into good use. As for the costumes, some were really bad but most won my vote.

I think barely an hour is too short for the ticket prices. The time we waited for the show to start was longer than the actual performance. Lastly, why do you think are there no pictures here even when all six of us were dressed up like dolls? But even if I knew all these, I’d still probably watch because there’s nothing like it. Polecats Manila is just two years old. They were responsible for many firsts and I think they will continue to grow. I think I’m gonna be there watching them grow.

Oct16th Madness: Manila Sevens

The last day of BFLC’s Manila sevens was moved to October 16th, the day I have reserved for a little shoot at Paco Park, a trip to Cafe Ilustrado and watching the much awaited Polarity. I thought I’d have a lot of time to prepare for the event but hell I was wrong.

Our team’s standing was second after the 5th day after a loss and a questionable default (Paul Le declared he wants 7 players on the field and not in the tents and the perimeter of the field).

Because of the sudden change of schedule 8 of our players couldn’t. We only had 7 on the field for the championship. Trophies and placing eluded the team for the third time we joined the B-League tourneys. But we did play and we did laugh and we did enjoy the heat and sweat. Maybe it wouldn’t be the last league after all.

It’s not the first time I said it and it won’t be the last time either. I honestly don’t know what to ask more of my team. This team and everyone who became a part of it just kept on granting each little wish I had. We had players and kept on playing after all these years. We were gifted with the best hodgepodge of players with complimenting attitudes that somehow made everything clicked and that somehow made everything fun and worthwhile. We had cones and jerseys then we played our first ever league. Then we had another set of jerseys and played another league. Then we had flags and I dunno how many times we ate out, drank together, had parties  and a big etc. It’s unbelievable. Despite losing when we were sure we could have been hailed champions if it was only held a week earlier, TSG is the greatest! I love it to the moon and back and to pieces. I wish but then I know that we will keep on playing.

And oh the logo. conceptualized by Karlo, ironed by me, colored by Jed. hahaha

The Best Veggies in Town: Greens

Not exactly a vegetarian, I know little of the vegetarian joints but of those I know, Greens is the best. The truth is that Phil who is a meatlover loved Greens just the same. That is just how magical that joint is. I first went there for Fia’s despedida but I think everyone was too hungry for me to consider taking photos. I went back a bit later with Phil and Evan and I’ve yet to go back and sample every little thing you can order from the menu. Did I mention they deliver?

Alright, they may have super failed for the soup viands. I tried a total of four different kinds of soup there and none of them were any good. They are much too bland and they are much too watery. I don’t know how it is that they nailed most of their main courses and ruin all of their soups. Really, they should do something about it so they can be perfect. The mushrooms are addicting and I believe it’s veggie junk food. Why? Well, because it’s fried, it’s got no nutritional content and you dip it in ketchup. Ketchup is equal to sugar. But I love it anyway.

The “embutido” is actually alright although they can do better with the presentation. It does not look very appetizing because it looks a little bit raw. They can serve it with a golden brown crisp on the sides so that it won’t look like dumplings fresh from the freezer. “Barbecue” is the cream of the crop. Most people I know loved their barbecue because it’s perfectly done. Many of them also claim that it tastes like the real deal but I don’t agree. Besides, I am not a big fan of sweet-style barbecue sauce so I wouldn’t really know which is good and bad.

Though many people loved that, my recommendation would be the “rellenong bangus” because it is awesome and let me tell you that I don’t use that word. I am not kidding when I say it even beats the real deal. hahaha. I loved the taste, the texture and the overall presentation. I was impressed because other than the seaweed wrap and bread crumbs I’m lost as to how I can achieve it. I hope that it’s healthy because that would’ve been just icing on the cake.

Speaking about cakes, they have some desserts there. They’re not exactly phenomenal but it’s not their specialty anyway so I didn’t mind. I loved the place but they could improve on their service. The staff from this joint is probably within top 10 of the meanest servers in town. For real! When things like that happen, just keep in mind that you are there for the food.

Mom & Tina’s

Inez, Phil and I went to Mom & Tina’s the morning after a night of drinking. I forgot to take a picture of Inez’ helping but anyway I had something light because I wasn’t feeling too well. I got Caesar’s salad, soup that was served with a warm roll and a steaming cup of milk. Just ordering that actually made me feel better already. Meanwhile, to feel good Phil ordered lamb.

My overall rating is not very pretty. I’d say most of the viands I have tried from Mom & Tina’s were either bland or plain. and to think I like bland helpings. I think a little bit overpriced for something that many people can whip up on their own. Phil, just as I expected, was disappointed with what he ordered because you can barely taste the flavor that most people are after.

Okay, I also have something nice to say. It’s comforting. The ambiance, the food and most especially the warm rolls were all something you’d come looking for when you are feeling a bit down or feeling a bit confused. I love what they did to the place as well. I’ll try more of their breads when I get the chance.

Vikings and Casa Nami

Rock, Phil and I went to try out Vikings. Both Rock and I agreed that it’s our last fancy food trip before going on a diet but that is probably not true. I’d rather jog, double my football or poling than deny myself of oh glorious food. Rock’s work is until 7:30 so we were a bit late and we had to fall in line for over an hour.

I choose not to divulge what they are watching. Look at my boys all grown up! Anyway, on with the food. I intentionally did not take pictures from the buffet tables because firstly there were so many. Secondly, we did not have much time since we got in past 8. Lastly, I think it was better to take pictures of what we actually ate as opposed to what was available.

Okay I’ll try my best to remember what these are.

(1) smoked duck breast, deviled eggs, salmon and sushi/ (2)beef kebab, diablos and carpaccio/ (3)two kinds of seaweed, century egg skewered barbecued garlic, pomelo and lengua estofado/ (4) salt and peper squid, peking duck, sharksfin and hakao (5)nachos with cheese, jalapeno, caviar on cracker and grape and olive salad/ (6)halo-halo and carrot cake

and of course the highlight that is tenderloin and leg of lamb with red wine gravy, truffle sauce gravy and mint sauce

Actually, we went out so that we can watch a gig. I was curious about Casa Nami because of the number of performances with poledancing there. It was only a plus that Nina invited us and General Luna was on. It was my first trip to that nook and our first time to see them perform. Phil’s only concern is that why are they dressed up like that. They’re more like celebrity divas with their outfits and I just had to agree. Nonetheless I mildly enjoyed the gig. I felt old with the crowd but I am not after the crowd so it’s fine. I definitely enjoyed this more than the very unfriendly B-side. I want to see more of Casa Nami and maybe one or two gigs of Gen Luna. I want to find a scene that I’d really fall in love with. Help?

I’m ending the post with rock’s e cig that looks like a detonator. Did I get that right?

Distillery No. _

 

We finally tried out Distillery and it is perfect because there selection is by far the widest among all the beer places I’ve been to. I guess it’s common ’round Makati strips but since I rarely go there I don’t know any.  Anyway, I am guessing that no one will love the price range but if you are after finding hard to finds then you went to the right place.

 

What I love about the place is that you can actually bring your own food. That’s great for people who are finicky about beer matches or those working under a budget. I guess it is clear that the place is only concerned about serving the best beverages and you have to worry about your food. For our first trip, we bought four seasons from Yellow Cab. Perhaps next time we’ll bring Analisa’s crispy pata or chicharong bulaklak or buffalo wings or nachos and etc. My list is endless so I should stop myself and end this post. Cheers!

Is Bon Chon really Korean?

I recently fell in love with Korean food and I fell hard. I have dubbed it as the next best thing after the discovery of lamb from so long ago. We have our almost weekly Korean fix from 3 different Korean restaurants. Anyway, many raved about Korean-style fried chicken so I have been on the lookout for specialties for some time. I finally tried out Bon Chon and was I disappointed. haha! Firstly, I was shocked (no I am not exaggerating) that it turned out to be a fast food restaurant (trust America to ruin everything). Secondly, where the hell are the supposed staple side dishes? I don’t care if it is a measly serving, just give me something. Third, what’s up with the mayonnaise mixed in with kimchi? Ridiculous!

The one in Mega Mall had a long queue of I expect famished people. I pitied them because I was thinking many of them will not have an idea of how spicy their specialty is. I mean even I who’s supposed to love hot food needed to drink more than usual so yeah, it is hot alright. I thought they’d surely have a tummy ache from waiting too  long or from eating spicy food.

On to something positive, the garlic chicken was quite good. Both I think will be good with beer which brings me to another good thing about Bon Chon. They have Stella and Hoeegarden! Can you believe it? Well I guess it’s a little bit pricey and all but still it’s not everyday that you’d see those kinds of beer in a fast food restaurant that serves wonderful pulutan. I suggest they add some authentic side dishes and we’re good.

Alexandre: First and Last

So I finally took a cab all the way to The Fort early in the morning to have breakfast in Alexandre. Just that little thing made a little more indulgent than usual breakfasts so I was really crossing my fingers that it’s worth all the trouble. But then we know that we can’t win all the time. I have to say that the first trip will definitely be the last.I just hate the fact that we were a big group and all of us had to live through that.

When you look at the selection, it looks alright right? In fact it even looks appetizing. The problem mainly was that it was overpriced. For me and for everyone in our group, nothing was fancy at all. If that was French then French is no good. I wanted to order one of the cheese platters that I saw on the website as that was my purpose ever since I wished to eat there on my birthday but all three were not available and it didn’t seem like the servers even had an idea about those items on the menu so I suppose it’s been a long time they scratched it out.

I ordered a kind of Salmon Sandwich which was served with a bit of salad and some potato chips. No good. Not very tasty and the salmon was very thin. Salad on the right side was served with Phil’s quiche.

The one that looks like an omelette tastes exactly like an omelette. Phil can probably make something better. Wait let me restate. Phil does better. The quiche was okay but it was 360 bucks. Will you spend that much for something that tastes okay? One you can buy from Starbucks is actually bigger.

I dunno how much happy people are gonna be with the basket of bread but what are you gonna do with that if you don’t like the food? It was not served hot and it also did not leave a mark. The group ordered a set of jams that they barely touched so maybe not very good as well.

This is a savory crepe or something. It’s got bacon and egg but I think you could order something better from Cafe Breton. This is a kind of spinach pasta and I really didn’t taste the cheese that was supposed to be in there.

I wanted to skip this post so that I don’t have to put in something very negative but as I said we can’t win all the time. If you don’t risk it, you will not really discover much. Play it safe and be a bore. kisses!