Category Archives: Review

FOODtography: Din Tai Fung – Silvercord Branch, Hong Kong

 

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Black Truffle and Pork Xiao Long Bao

 

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Shrimp and Pork Shaomai

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FOODtography: La Crêperie, Cafe Bene and Pizza Hut Bistro.

1st stop: La Crêperie.

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Just passing by La Crêperie makes your mouth water from the sweet enticing smell emanating from inside.

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Cappuccino: Espresso, steamed milk and foam.

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La Christine: It’s a crêpe with fresh strawberries, homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream.

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This is my friend’s reaction after tasting La Christine. It’s that good!

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Make your own crêpe: Hazelnut spread (Nutella) crêpe, whipped cream, sliced almonds and salted butter caramel syrup.

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Campagne: Bacon, potato, caramelized onions, cheese and jalapeno pepper. The jalapeno pepper is optional but I had them add it in. I thought it would be spicy but it was only subtle. The side salad was just lettuce with honey mustard vinaigrette. It may not look enticing but it was so good that I had to stop myself from ordering another plate.

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We also ordered a side of bacon.

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Their teas are from TWG.

2nd stop: Cafe Bene

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Cafe Bene is a Korean coffehouse chain. It’s a great place to study or hangout with friends. They have a 2nd floor so there’s no need to worry about getting a table and there are outlets all over the area so you can plug your laptops or other electronic devices.

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Iced Misugaru Latte: homemade multigrain drink containing black sesame seed, black bean, black rice, brown rice, barley. It may not be to everyone’s taste but I like it and it’s a healthy drink.

3rd stop: Pizza Hut Bistro

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Penne in tomato cream sauce: When they added this in their menu, it became my favorite. I don’t know what happened but this order is bland so I was disappointed. I don’t know if I’ll order it again.

All 3 restaurants are located at Eastwood City, QC.


Seen and Heard: Big Bang

WARNING: This post contains the thoughts of a crazy fangirl after seeing her favorite korean boy band. Read at your own risk.

There was so many words that I can use to describe what happened to me last night so first I’ll just say that an item on my bucket list has finally been crossed out. I started listening to kpop because of them. A friend gave me a cd containing songs from their debut album and the song “B I G B A N G” was stuck on my head for weeks. Actually, I don’t consider them as kpop because their genre is hip-hop, rap and r&b. I think highly of them because they are really talented when it comes to singing and dancing plus they make their own music so you know that they are really passionate with what they do.

When I heard of the news that they will be having a concert here, you can’t imagine how crazily ecstatic I was. A lot of kpop acts have held concerts here but they’re the ones I’ve been waiting for. Yes, it’s my first time to watch a Korean idol group’s concert. Let me just briefly share the challenges that I had to face before I got to see the boys perform live: I didn’t get to buy the ticket for the seats that I wanted because it was either sold out or all the good seats were taken. Take note that the ticket prices are outrageously expensive. Before entering the concert venue, I waited for 3 hours in line. All ticket holders were mixed in line because the production company in charge didn’t even think of having separate lines for each type of ticket. So upon entering, there was almost a stampede wherein the fans were like sardines pushing each other just to get in. I wonder if there were any claustrophobic during that moment. My shoes got dirty and I almost fainted from the heat but thanks to my height advantage I survived.

Before the concert, I kept imagining how I’d react upon seeing them in person. Would I scream? Or like those intense fangirls, would I cry? Well, it was neither. After the VTR intro and when the curtains dropped thus revealing the boys in their individual pods, I was just staring in awe, oblivious to the screaming audience in the arena. It took a few seconds for everything to sink in and for me to snap out of my trance. They sang my favorite song and I got to see their personalities on stage. I had so much fun during their 2-hour performance that I didn’t notice the time pass by. After seeing them perform live, I must say that all those challenges that I had to go through were all worth it. At this very moment that I am writing this post, there is still that I’m-so-happy-I-feel-like-I’m-floating kind of feeling. It was the best concert and night of my life. I hope to see them again someday.

If it’s possible to die from too much happiness and good vibes then I must be a ghostly writer because I already died last night. 🙂

Photo from Big Bang’s Facebook Page


Coming Soon: Paalam

Paalam. It’s a Filipino word which means to say goodbye. However, it doesn’t connote that it’s the end. It could also mean a start of something new.

Silent Sanctuary will be releasing a new single entitled “Paalam”. Composed by Sarkie Sarangay a few years ago, it was supposed to be included in their album, Fuchsiang Pag-ibig, but they decided otherwise. It’s a bittersweet song about saying goodbye to a relationship. The lyrics convey having regrets yet moving on and wishing for the person to be happy. Better prepare a tissue before listening to it because it’s a real tearjerker.

Last Monday, I was fortunate to be invited to their music video shoot in a secret location. I don’t want to be a spoiler so I’m not gonna tell any detail on the concept of the video. But everything was shot in 1 night so it was tiring for the band and production crew. During breaks, the band would crack a joke or make funny antics to make the whole set burst with laughter and it lessened the fatigue that everyone was feeling. After watching them from behind the scenes, I’m so excited to see the final video for their upcoming single.

The song and music video will be released soon so watch out for it! 🙂


Seen and Heard: Set Your Goals, We Are The In Crowd & This Century

Last Friday night, I unexpectedly won tickets to a concert. It all started when I joined a contest from a radio station that sponsored the concert. All I did was collect a bunch of words then e-mailed it before the deadline. The thing is I don’t know any of the bands that will be performing at the concert. (see photo below)

I just entered the contest for the sake of trying out my luck. A few minutes later I received a bunch of congratulatory tweets and a confirmation from the station. Yesterday morning, I dropped by the station to pick up my prizes which include 4 tickets to the concert, cds and magazines.

It was short notice so all my friends whom I invited couldn’t make it plus the weather was bad. I had brunch with a good friend of mine so when she found out that I was going there alone, she decided to keep me company even though she hasn’t slept yet since she just got off work. During the concert, we took a seat with a great view of the stage, right smack in the middle. The crowd was mostly High School and College teens with raging hormones. As expected, it wasn’t a full house but still there were prolly about 1000+ people who came to the concert. My friend slept during the performance of the first two bands. I don’t know if she’s the first ever person to have slept at Araneta Coliseum during a rock concert.

The first band was Set Your Goals and their music is punk rock so it’s a good starter for the concert cause it got the crowd going. They looked like a bunch if kids but they were good, specially the drummer. After their set, I suddenly felt tired and even got a headache. I don’t know if it was because of my lack of sleep or I’m just not used to going to concerts/gigs. Next up was This Century and out of the three bands last night, they were my favorite. They have pretty good songs plus their vocalist knows how to handle the crowd, a real charmer. Now I understand why those girls love them or him. The last band was We Are The In Crowd. They have 2 vocalists, a guy and a girl. In my opinion, they actually sound like Paramore. I admire the professionalism of the girl vocalist because it was obvious that she was sick and her voice was cracking but she still did an awesome job. Although, I had no idea about the bands or any of their songs, I still enjoyed the concert.

Thank you Lord for the unexpected blessing.


Now Playing: Never The Strangers

Never The Strangers. They sound foreign but they’re actually a local band. Composed of Ace Libre on vocals and keyboards, Francis Victa on bass, JP del Mundo on guitars and PJ La Viña on drums. I immediately became a fan the first time I saw them perform live during the October Tambay Tuesdays at Route196 last year. Aside from their good looks, these guys are really talented. They are in their early 20’s and fresh out of college but they’ve achieved a lot for a fairly new band. They had the privilege of playing as the opening act when Death Cab For Cutie was here in Manila and their current single, “Moving Closer” is the new song for Close Up.

After months of delay, they recently released their self-titled album and after listening to all the tracks, it was really worth the wait. All the songs are composed by their brilliant vocalist, Ace. You get to hear his vocal ability in the song “Everything” which is my favorite among the 12 tracks in the album. It’s an acoustic song which reminded me of “Kandila” by Sugarfree. I just love the </3 line that goes “I’m happy as long as you are.” Another favorite of mine is “Moving Closer” which has this “kilig” vibe and best heard at a live gig.

They also have an LSS-inducing track called “Davenport” that will have you singing “Can you feel the rush, rush? Can you feel the rush, rush, baby?” This is actually the first song that I heard from the band. Before I got to see them perform live at a gig, a friend was raving about them so I checked out their Facebook page. They posted a bunch of demo tracks and after listening to all of it, I just had to see them live. There are a lot of bands out there but they had this new wave vibe which was something new to my ears and I liked it. They sounded good on record and my expectations were exceeded when I got to see them live. Need I say more? Be sure to grab a copy of their album cause it’s really worth it and catch them at one of their gigs.


Movie: The Holiday

It’s already December and I can definitely feel that it’s Christmas. I don’t know exactly why but it’s not my favorite season. So to cheer myself up, I watch my all time favorite Christmas season chick flick, The Holiday. It stars Kate Winslet, Jack Black, Cameron Diaz and Jude Law. The music is by Hans Zimmer, who I admire because he is a genius. The background music used for each scene is just beautiful and perfectly placed. I personally love “Maestro”, “Gumption” and “Definitely Unexpected”. I’ve seen it so many times that I’ve memorized the lines.

Let me just share a few of my favorite lines from this movie.

“I’ve found almost everything ever written about love to be true. Shakespeare said “Journeys end in lovers meeting.” What an extraordinary thought. Personally, I have not experienced anything remotely close to that, but I am more than willing to believe Shakespeare had. I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives. It was Shakespeare who also said “love is blind”. Now that is something I know to be true. For some quite inexplicably, love fades; for others love is simply lost. But then of course love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then, there’s another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. Its called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space! Yes, you are looking at one such individual. And I have willingly loved that man for over three miserable years! The absolute worst years of my life! The worst Christmas’, the worst Birthday’s, New Years Eve’s brought in by tears and valium. These years that I have been in love have been the darkest days of my life. All because I’ve been cursed by being inlove with a man who does not and will not love me back. Oh god, just the sight of him! Heart pounding! Throat thickening! Absolutely can’t swallow! All the usual symptoms.” – Iris

“I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn’t know you had inside you. And it doesn’t matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends… you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes you can even convince yourself that he’ll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you’ll go somewhere new. And you’ll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade.” – Iris

Amanda: Sex makes everything more complicated. Even not having it, because the not having it makes it complicated.
Graham: That’s why it’s better to have it, some say.

I fell in love with this movie right from the intro music and narration. I guess it’s also because I can somewhat relate to Iris, played by Kate Winslet. She’s a victim of unrequited love just like me. I also love Miles, played by Jack Black. Oh how I wish to find a decent guy like Miles.