Sunday, May 31, 2009

Family weekend at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila

Hyatt Manila King Room entrance and bathroomMy hubby, two children, and I spent the weekend at Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila courtesy of our cement supplier. We were given a King Room with free breakfast for two adults. It was our first time to spend the night at the Hyatt and I must admit I was taken aback by how big the room was.

Hyatt Manila's king-sized bedAlthough the room was really spacious, one king-sized bed was really too cramped for two adults and two kids aged 4 and 8. I ended up with a stiff neck the next morning, but the kids slept well. The air-conditioning was excellent -- cool and quiet, just the way we like it. The hotel was on Skycable so there were ample TV channels to choose from. There's a DVD player too, which is rather unusual.

Hyatt Manila's King Room TV and studyAlthough wired high-speed internet access was available in the King Room, the ludicrous charge of P25/minute was enough to deter me from even attempting to use it. The room is fully equipped with a safe, mini-bar, and an electric kettle with complimentary sachets of coffee, creamer, and tea. Little things like toothbrushes w/ toothpaste, slippers, shaving kits, cotton balls and buds, etc. were also provided.

Hyatt Manila swimming poolThe highlight of our stay at the Hyatt was definitely swimming at Hyatt's impressive pool area. It had a kiddie pool, an adult pool, and a hot bubbly jacuzzi! The pool is located on the 8th floor. It opens at 7am and closes by 8pm. We were there by 7:30am and it was just the four of us for more than an hour. It was great having the pool all to ourselves. The pool area is fully equipped with bathrooms, lounge chairs, towels, and a bar.

Breakfast at Market Café was lovely. There was dimsum, congee, and noodles at the Chinese area, an assortment of milks and yogurts in the chillers, freshly brewed coffee, fruit juices, rice, Pinoy fare like tocino and daing na bangus, freshly cooked pancakes and omelet, a wide variety of breads... the food stations just seemed to go on and on. Alas I was too busy taking care of my two little ones to take photos of the wonderful buffet spread. Kids aged 5 and below eat for free while kids aged 6-12 pay only half. Since hubby and I had provisions for free breakfast, we only paid for our son who's 8 years old. The total bill for breakfast came out to P550+, which is really great since all four of us were stuffed. We totally skipped lunch since we had such a heavy breakfast from 9:30am to 10:30am.

Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila's staff are all very courteous and knowledgeable at whatever it is they are tasked to do. If you're worried that the kids will get exposed to gambling and casinos, you need not be since we never once needed to pass by or through one during our whole stay there. There are also convenience stores located all around the hotel vicinity so if you need anything, they're just a stone's throw away.

Room rates start at about P4,000+.

Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila
1588 Pedro Gil cor M.H. Del Pilar, Malate, Manila

A whiff and a taste of Hong Kong at Hanobe Express

*This establishment is now CLOSED.*

If my hubby had his way, we'd be having Chinese food 24/7 all day every single day. Suffice to say, I've dined at a great number of Chinese restaurants both here and abroad.

Hanobe Express and Rice Topping with Beef KenchiLast Saturday, we stumbled upon two places called Hanobe. One was a bigger, more spacious Chinese restaurant which served only short orders. While we originally wanted to eat there, there was only two of us and their viands are good for 3-4 people. It was the ideal group meal place but it was much too serious for a rush lunch. We wanted something quick and less bountiful, so the waitress pointed us to Hanobe Express, which was located one unit to the right of Hanobe.

The exteriors practically screamed "Hong Kong" with the variety of cured meats which hung behind the glass window of Hanobe Express. I expected the place to be hot, smokey, and cramped like most quickie Chinese places but we were greeted by a very coolly air-conditioned and clean place. It is admittedly small. Hanobe Express can probably seat three groups of four people max.

Don't bother asking for a menu -- there's none! Everything they have to offer is printed on a large mirror on the wall, which is again, very Hong Kong-ish in style. Hubby ordered Rice Topping with Beef Kenchi (P145, pictured above right) while I settled for Rice Topping with Lechon Macau (P165, first photo below). We wanted to try their noodle soup so we went for a bowl of Honey Roast HK Asado Noodle Soup (P145, second photo below).

Hanobe Express Rice Topping with Lechon MacauHanobe Express Honey Roast HK Asado Noodle SoupI loved my Rice Topping with Lechon Macau. The lechon skin at the edges was very crispy and crunchy while the meat was soft and tender. They also served it with this vinegar-based spicy ginger sauce which went with the pork so perfectly. We didn't really fancy hubby's Rice Topping with Beef Kenchi. Yes, the beef was also tender but the smell and taste was reminiscent of Chinese temple fare. There was this medicinal aroma that I just couldn't get used to. Honey Roast HK Asado Noodle Soup was okay -- the taste of egg in the noodles and soup was very strong. I liked the fact that the soup was not oily and MSG-laden. In fact, it had a nice clean taste which you would probably enjoy if you don't have an aversion to eggs. The asado was perfect. The pork was lean and it had just the right amount of sweetness.

Lunch at Hanobe Express was a very HK-esque eating experience indeed. It reminded me of those small eateries in the sidestreets of Hong Kong I'd make quick stops at while shopping. The next time my Chinese food nazi father-in-law feels like eating out I'll surely recommend the full-fledged Hanobe restaurant next door.

Hanobe Express
99 Maria Clara St. cor Banawe, Quezon City
731-4381 / 731-4371

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Breakfast at The Bread Bag

The Bread Bag at Ortigas Home DepotIf there's one particular establishment that has always caught my eye at the Ortigas Home Depot, it's The Bread Bag. We were in the area one sunny morning searching for the elusive perfect toilet bowl when we decided to grab a late breakfast there.

Regular PandesalSince it was our first time at The Bread Bag, we spent quite a bit of time scanning the sprawling menu posted behind the counter. The server noticed our dilemma and immediately offered us a free taste of their Regular Pandesal (P6, pictured above) and Hot Chocolate (pictured below left). I noticed that they stress a lot on the fact that they serve the original Casa Marcos pugon-baked pandesal. Casa Marcos is an old restaurant which closed down back in the year 2000. I remember eating there during a couple of occasions when I was younger.

Since I was having trouble making up my mind I welcomed the free stuff and settled for an order of Kesong Puti with Pesto (P77, pictured below right) while hubby decided to avail of the breakfast special - Mushroom Omelette Pandesal with a free cup of Hot Chocolate (P88).

Hot Chocolate and Kesong Puti with PestoOur pandesal dishes were served with fried kamote (sweet potato) chips on the side. My order came with a small bowl of pesto. I liked my meal. Although my sandwich was nothing mindblowingly special, it was satisfying. The pesto went well with the kesong puti, tomatoes, lettuce, and freshly toasted pandesal. I'm always iffy about pesto because some pesto just taste weird. The good news is, The Bread Bag's pesto is actually pretty good -- so much so that I ended up dipping my kamote chips in it. The Hot Chocolate was rich and light at the same time. It glides down smooth so you don't need to wash your throat with gulps of water ever so often. I was told it is made from native tablea from Davao. My only complaint is that the kamote chips weren't as crispy as I would've liked. I imagine they'd taste a whole lot better freshly cooked.

Although it's pretty much a self-service establishment, everything is within easy reach and convenient. We had a lovely breakfast at The Bread Bag, made more so by the fact that the staff are just so friendly and accommodating.

The Bread Bag
Unit 20A/21A Ortigas Home Depot
J. Vargas St., Pasig City

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blue Water Day Spa launches new endorsers Karylle and Akihiro

Blue Water Day Spa Endorsers Karylle and Akihiro SatoBlue Water Day Spa launches its two new endorsers, singer-actress Karylle and Japanese-Brazilian male model Akihiro Sato. In a press event held at the C3 Events Place last May 26, Karylle and Akihiro were unveiled as Blue Water Day Spa's latest image models.

Event host Phoemela Baranda with Karylle and AkihiroKarylle has been a loyal customer of Blue Water Day Spa for a long time now. It has always been a dream of hers to be one of its endorsers, and now finally that dream has come true. Karylle is a fan of the Brazilian Crystal Massage (P950). She says that her pampering sessions at Blue Water Day Spa helps her relax and work on her musical compositions more effectively. Meanwhile, Akihiro favors the Traditional Filipino Massage (P950) -- a serious deep tissue massage that physically breaks down muscle stress, relieves pain, and restores body movement. Going to the spa regularly is part of Akihiro's physical regimen as a model to keep his body toned and his skin in perfect condition.

Two new treatments were also launched that night: Comfort Zone Monticelli Mud Treatment and Biovegetal Enzyme Skin Peeling. Straight from Italy, the mud treatment detoxifies and softens the skin. The skin peeling treatment utilizes the latest technology from Switzerland. It restores softness, smoothness, and suppleness of the skin without the harsh effects of a chemical peel.

Aside from its state-of-the-art and unique treatments, Blue Water Day Spa is also the first spa in the Philippines to introduce the Spa Theater, wherein one can enjoy a spa treatment while watching a movie on a big theater screen.

For more about Blue Water Day Spa's services and spa locations, log on to

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coming home to SM City North Edsa

SM City North EdsaThey say home is where the heart is. It's clichéd, I know. But somehow, having spent the last few days revisiting SM City North Edsa, I think I understand exactly what the old cliché is trying to say.

I still recall our household's excitement when SM City North Edsa first opened. Having lived in Caloocan City ever since I was born, having a big mall that was so close to home was just about one of the best things that ever happened to us.

SM City North Edsa walkwayI remember spending weekends with my aunts at SM City. My parents separated when I was very young, and so my sister and I lived at our grandmother's house with our aunts and uncles. It was always great fun to walk around the vast mall. We'd try to win stuffed toys from Whimsyland or go roller-skating at the SM Annex. We'd eat a big pan pizza afterwards at Pizza Hut located in the main building. Now that I am a parent myself, I look back at all these fond memories and come to appreciate my aunts more for trying their best to give us a happy childhood.

SM City North Edsa is a place of many firsts. The first time I commuted during high school, my destination was SM City. When I got my driver's license, the first mall I drove to was SM City. SM City also bore witness to the first time I cut class, the first time I went out with my barkada, and the first time I used a credit card.

When I got married, I moved to another city and visits to SM City became few and far between. I was both excited and nervous when I got invited to the SM City Sky Garden's Blogger Event. I hadn't been to SM City in a long time and the feeling was akin to a person who was going back to her hometown after a long absence.

SM City North Edsa's Sky DomeNothing could've prepared me for the sight that met my eyes. I barely recognized the new facade of the mall that I used to frequent so much. Everything looked shiny and new, and yet as I made my way from the Car Park Building to the mall proper, I felt a certain familiarity and affinity to the place. I realized that it was something that I missed. To top it off, I was surprised to find that SM City North Edsa is only a mere 15-minute drive from where I am living now.

Walking through the Car Park, the Main Building, and the Annex was like turning the pages of an old photo album in my mind. Although much has changed, the feeling is very much the same. I hope to be able to create new memories with my husband and children this time because it's true what they say -- there's no place like home... and after all these years, I've finally come home.

For more about SM City's latest attraction, the Sky Garden, click HERE.

Mom & Me Activities at Rockwell!

Mom & Me Activities at RockwellI registered my two children for Power Plant Mall's Mom & Me Activities, which they promoted via Multiply. This is part of Rockwell's celebration of May as Mother's Month. Free arts and crafts lessons were to be provided by The Tutoring Club and Creative Hands.

arts and crafts materialsWhen we got to the Archaeology section, tables and chairs were already set up and some kids were in the middle of their arts and crafts activities. There was a lot of projects to choose from: finger puppets, fish mobile, paper weave, popsicle stick jewelry box, wrapped pencil, and the yarn squares pictured above and below (I don't really know what they're called).

yarn squares?
fish mobileI liked the teachers who took care of the kids (and moms) during the sessions. They were all very accomodating, patient, and nurturing. Aside from the arts and crafts activities, there was also free face painting for everyone.

Free face painting!Thank you Power Plant Mall, The Tutoring Club, and Creative Hands for a great morning of fun arts and crafts!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kids Golf Party!

Last last Sunday, I read a small notice on the Philippine Daily Inquirer about a few slots left for Kids Golf Party. The party was designed for kids ages 7-12 years old with zero golf knowledge, and everything would be provided for free -- food, a golf lesson, and a loot bag. I told myself I'd call them first thing Monday morning. My son has always been pretty interested in golf and when we're in a toy store he'd sometimes ask me to buy him one of those toy golf sets. What better way to satisfy his curiosity than by exposing him to the real thing, right?

Unfortunately, when I called the next day, the receptionist told me that there were no more slots left and the best thing she could do was put my son on the waitlist. Because of this development, I decided not to post about Kids Golf Party registration anymore, since there really was no more point.

Last Friday, I got an email from the Kids Golf Party Secretariat that my son made it into the final list of participants. I really wasn't expecting it so I also made other plans that day. I knew this was an excellent opportunity for him so I cut my other engagement short and took him to Urban Golf during his assigned timeslot last Saturday afternoon.

Kids Golf Party at Urban Golf with GuyitoWhen we got to Urban Golf in Makati, we were met by Guyito, Philippine Daily Inquirer's carabao mascot. This was after all an activity endorsed by the Junior Inquirer Club. My son was given a name tag and some food stubs. He was ushered upstairs to the lecture area while I stayed downstairs at the café area to wait for him. After a brief lecture, the kids went down to the golf simulators where each of them had a chance to play a hole of golf with the instructor's guidance.

Golf simulator at Urban Golf and kiddie mealAfter the simulator session, the kids were served a kiddie meal consisting of spaghetti, fried chicken, pizza, and food for the gods with a tall glass of orange juice. They were also given a chance to participate in some parlor games and were each given an additional burger and drink courtesy of McDonald's.

Loot from Kids Golf PartyOf course, what kiddie party is complete without a loot bag? Each child got a fully illustrated golf book, an issue of Manila Bulletin's Fun Page, Mr. Chips, a jelly drink, McDonald's stuff, and a Certificate of Participation from GDAP (Golf Distributors Association of the Philippines).

All in all my son had a great time at the Kids Golf Party. A big thank you to the Kids Golf Party Secretariat, GDAP, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and Urban Golf for making it all possible. :)

Check out the state-of-the-art golf simulators at:

Urban Golf
12 Jupiter St., Bel-Air, Makati City

I think this is a great alternative way to spend some family bonding time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Sky Garden at SM City North Edsa!

SM City North Edsa Sky GardenTwenty bloggers were invited for a sneak preview of SM City North Edsa's latest attraction, the Sky Garden, last May 23, 2009. The Sky Garden is part of SM City North Edsa's ongoing renovation and will formally open its doors to the public this coming Friday, May 29.

SM City Sky Garden's Roof GardenThe Sky Garden lets you take a breather from all the indoor shopping and malling activities. Its attractions include the Roof Garden (pictured above), the Sky Dome, Water Features, and even more retail, dining, and entertainment outlets on the sides of the canopied walkway. The Roof Garden has about 55 different species of plants, grass, and trees.

We were told that the restaurants located at the Sky Garden will be mostly grills, dessert places, and coffee shops. The establishments promise to be very zen in terms of ambience, since most of them are situated on top of the flowing waters of Sky Garden.

SM City Sky Garden's Sky DomeThe Sky Dome is a multi-purpose 1200-seater performance venue which can be used for live shows, concerts, and other similar events. When we dropped by for a quick look, director Fritz Infante was there directing the Mossimo Bikini Summit 2009 show.

SM City Sky Garden's canopied walkwaysAlthough SM City's Sky Garden has not yet been formally opened to the public, one can get a preview as early as now as to what's coming up. Enthusiastic SM patrons are already frequenting the canopied walkways, checking out this welcome new addition to the sprawling SM City North Edsa complex.

For more photos of SM City's Sky Garden, click HERE.

Red Ribbon's Cookies & Cream plus everything in between...

Being part of a Chinese family, it's the norm to work on Saturdays. My son is always complaining that we don't have enough family time during weekends because we always have only one day left to us, which is Sunday. We have to make everything fit on a Sunday, be it family outings, parties, and other occasions that may arise.

Yesterday was one such working Saturday. My son had a trial golf lesson from Urban Golf that afternoon, so I took a couple of hours off from the office to take him there. He did very well for a first-timer, and he actually hit all the balls during his turn on the simulator. I told him we'd have to go back to the office after his golf session, but that I had a surprise in store for him afterwards. I planned to treat him to a slice of his favorite Red Ribbon Cookies and Cream Cake. How I prayed that the branch near our house would have it in stock. I had been going back and forth for a few days now, and they were always all out of it.

A slice of Red Ribbon Cookies and Cream CakeIt must have been our lucky day because when we got to Red Ribbon, the nice lady told us that that Cookies and Cream Cake was available! My son was so happy, because he had been craving for it ever since the day I brought a whole cake home. He ate it happily and he was definitely in good spirits for the remainder of the day.

Red Ribbon's Cookies and Cream Cake brightened up not only my little boy's day, it also did wonders for mine. Seeing his happy face as he dug in the creamy frosting and soft chiffon layers made all six days of work-related stress evaporate...

A slice of Red Ribbon Cookies and Cream Cake...and that's just a slice of it!

Another Red Ribbon cake story:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Free comics and milk day!

My original plan for today was to take my kids to the nearest Fully Booked branch 10am sharp so we could all get a free comic book. Plans changed the last minute. I was invited to the SM Sky Garden Blogger Event. The invitations were very, very limited (only twenty to be exact) and I felt privileged to be one of those considered. The meeting time was 11am but I had to go on collection from early morning onwards so I had to forego our Fully Booked trip. Luckily, there was a Fully Booked outlet in SM The Block and so I still got to take home a comic book for my son. I opted for a Bart Simpson comic since I knew that had he been there with me it was what he would've chosen over GI Joe, DC Kids, Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Green Lantern, and Wolverine among others.

I posted about Fully Booked's Free Comic Book Day last April 28, 2009 at

After we got home from an activity-filled day, we found our Chuckie surprise packs waiting for us at our doorstep. Both of my kids got one!

I posted about these free Chuckie gift packs last March 27, 2009 at

It was a long time coming but it's finally here!

Stay tuned for more freebies which I will post on this blog as I discover them. Better yet, subscribe to this blog by clicking HERE. :)

Did you get your free comics and milk today?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Blocked from!?!

I am offended. I am disappointed.

For many years I've been going to to check movie schedules and new happenings around the metro. I've even recommended it to my relatives and friends. It's the default site I consult for movies. I even join their promos and contests.

Imagine my surprise when I was reading through one of their articles today. I wanted to share something via their disqus comment form, and I was informed that "You have been blocked from commenting on this site,". I switched to my Facebook account and my Twitter account. Everything was blocked. Why? I've never violated any of their site guidelines. I've never spammed, never advertised. I'm a responsible surfer and net user. Why? The ctc admin really went through a lot of trouble to ensure my blockage from their site. It made me feel like some sort of net criminal.

The only reason I could think of was, could it be because I contribute dining articles for Do they look at me as a "spy from the enemy camp"? Why are they taking this on a personal level?

I guess I'll just take my business elsewhere.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Free food from Sentro 1771!

Sentro 1771In celebration of its 7th anniversary, Sentro 1771 is giving away orders of its Fresh Smoked Fish Spring Rolls to everyone who will participate in this email promo. Simply email this promotional flyer image (download by clicking on the image and then saving it to your computer) to twenty (20) people and Sentro 1771 will send you an email on how to claim your free dish. Absolutely no purchase necessary! :D

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Aquaknox Restaurant -- Vietnamese food in Makati!

Aquaknox Restaurant is a Vietnamese restaurant that looks nothing like a Vietnamese restaurant by any stretch of the imagination. I must admit, when you say Vietnamese, Pho Hoa Vietnamese Noodle House is what immediately comes to mind. Bright, informal... and even boisterous at times. Aquaknox is none of the above. In fact, it comes across as more like a wine bar and/or intimate date place with its dim lights and cascading water walls.

Aquaknox Restaurant Makati ReviewUpon being handed the menu, "Bo Luc Lac" Aquaknox Shaken Beef (P440, pictured above) immediately caught my eye as it was marked as the house specialty. For a balanced meal, aside from the beef, we decided to go with "Cha Ca" Hanoi Grilled Cod Fish (P340), Sugar Snap Peas with Shitake Mushrooms (P170), and Vietnamese Fried Rice (P80 per single-serve bowl).

Aquaknox Restaurant Makati ReviewWithout a doubt, Aquaknox Shaken Beef lived up to its reputation as the house specialty. I mistook it for a salad because the thick, tender, and juicy beef cubes were served on a bed of greens, tomatoes, and onions. The beef is flavorful and cooked with just the right doneness that it puts most steak places to shame. I wasn't impressed with the Hanoi Grilled Cod Fish (pictured above, left). It had this um, fishy (malansa) aftertaste and aftersmell that didn't really sit well with me. Garnished with sausages, green onions, eggs, and garlic, the Vietnamese Fried Rice (pictured above, right) doesn't really work with equally tasty viands for me because there's an overload of flavors. It was very popular with my dining companions though.

Aquaknox Restaurant Makati ReviewI'm normally not very fond of peas but the savory Sugar Snap Peas with Shitake Mushrooms (pictured above, left) was surprisingly crisp and delicious. After our sumptuous meal, the waiter offered us a new dessert that wasn't on the menu yet -- Caramel Mousse. Like most of what we had for dinner, it was excellent. Rich and creamy but not too sweet, I couldn't quite place if it was mousse-like or cheesecake-like -- not that it really matters. Everyone agreed that the dessert was divine.

Surprisingly, our dinner for four set us back only P1,600+, which really isn't pricey at all given that we also had some drinks to go with our meal. Not bad at all for the ambiance, service, and overall quality of the food.

Aquaknox Restaurant
800 Arnaiz Ave., Makati City

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Sign up and get a chance to win a laptop from EYP!

EYP adEYP, or Electronic Yellow Pages, has an ongoing promo right now where all you have to do is sign up and invite your friends via email. They are giving away a total of nine laptops so register now by clicking HERE.

I can personally vouch for the reality of EYP's promos. My hubby and I have managed to win cellphone load and 10k worth of SM GCs from their text promos in the past. So when they say they're giving stuff away, they mean it!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Want to model?

Cosmopolitan Promotions and CastingCosmopolitan Promotions and Casting Agency is urgently looking for the following talents:

40 to 50 yrs. old, lean, fit and athletic. Pinoy-looking.


40 to 50 yrs. old, Pinoy-looking. Fit, lean,and athletic.


40 to 50 yrs. old, Pinoy-looking. Fit, lean,and athletic.


7 to 10 yrs. old, Pinoy-looking. Fair skin, can act and must know how to play basketball.

Potential models should be engaged in the aforementioned sports activities. For more details pls. call 8128214 / 8172460 / 8927921 or 09209535349 / 09275975656. Look for Nestea Naesa or Kaye Canlas.

SM Hypermarket Mandaluyong Opens

SM Hypermarket Mandaluyong location mapSM Hypermarket Mandaluyong formally opened last May 14, 2009. The event was limited to mostly suppliers and media practitioners, which included bloggers. The opening ceremony couldn't be more timely since the very next day was payday Friday.

Henry Sy and Kim Chiu @ SM Hypermarket MandaluyongSM Hypermarket Mandaluyong's opening ceremony kicked off with a mass at 3pm. SM founder Henry Sy himself was present during the affair, flanked by teen star Kim Chiu. Also at the event were SM officers and executives, and celebrities like Marian Rivera, Jodi Sta. Maria, and Valerie Concepcion. By 4pm, everyone was allowed to ascend to the second floor where the main shopping area is located.

Valerie Concepcion, Jodi Sta. Maria, and I @ SM Hypermarket MandaluyongIn true SM fashion, there were a lot of good deals during the opening. Buy one, take one Gardenia bread loaves went by so fast. The Gardenia girls had a hard time re-stocking the shelves as people would grab the twin packs and pile their carts like there was no tomorrow. There was also buy one, take deals on Ceelin vitamins, Magnolia juices, Pond's facial creams, and lots more.

Magnolia Orange Drink @ SM Hypermarket Mandaluyong
Ponds Age Miracle @ SM Hypermarket MandaluyongAside from the shopping deals, there was also a lot of product sampling that day. Everything from Del Monte's latest diet tea to pancakes to milk to coffee. We got to try the entire Selecta Gold ice cream line, which was especially designed by three of the Philippines' top chefs. My favorite was Chef Rolando Laudico's Chocolate Truffle. This says a lot because I hate chocolate ice cream. I can't wait to go back to SM Hypermarket Mandaluyong and get some more of it for my hubby and kids!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Mickey's Delicatessen: German Cuisine for Sharing

*This establishment is now CLOSED.*

It was a toss-up between T.G.I.Friday's and Mickey's Delicatessen one Sunday for a nice family meal. I remember telling my hubby, why don't we go to Mickey's? We haven't tried Mickey's and I was pretty certain that having lunch at Mickey's would cost less than having lunch at Friday's. Wrong!

Suffice to say I was flabbergasted when I took a gander at Mickey's Menu. The Cheese Spatzle with Caramelized Onions pasta dish my son wanted to order cost P410. The Grilled Sausage Sampler that's supposedly good for two cost P1,200. Anyways, my mom won some Mickey's Delicatessen GCs from a text promo and so we decided to take the plunge.

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara and Spit Roast ChickenWe had to settle for Spaghetti Alla Carbonara (P380) in place of the Cheese Spatzle because the latter was unavailable. Hubby ordered a whole Spit Roast Chicken (P552) -- a dish which I'd say is the one with the most value for money in the menu. One whole roasted chicken split in half, served on a bed of rice pilaf and mushroom sauce on the side. We kept asking the waiter how the serving sizes are, and he kept insisting they were all good for one, except for some like the whole Spit Roast Chicken which was good for two. We ended up ordering Salmon Steak (P620), Bavarian Potato Salad (P78.20), and Sauerkraut (P88.30).

Salmon SteakTo Mickey's credit, the Spaghetti Alla Carbonara was very creamy and tasty. They definitely didn't scrimp on the bacon. I liked the buttered bread on the side, it had this distinct smokey flavor and aroma that gave me the feeling that it was baked in a rustic stone oven or something. My son didn't appreciate it as much though, he claimed it tasted weird. Spit Roast Chicken was okay, nothing really special, just your usual chicken with gravy. One whole is definitely good enough to feed well more than two people. Salmon Steak was okay. The fish was thick and juicy, and it was topped by this flavorful pesto-like sauce. We had mixed reactions with regards to the Bavarian Potato Salad and Sauerkraut. Bavarian Potato Salad is nothing like the mayonnaise-based potato salads we're used to. This one is cooked in vinegar and wine. I liked it, unfortunately everyone else did not. Sauerkraut is best described as German atchara -- again, it takes getting used to but I imagine it'd go really well with sausages and red meats.

Dessert SamplerFor dessert, we went for the Dessert Sampler (P920) which the menu stated was good for 3-4 persons. The sampler consisted of Original Austrian Kaiserschmarm (caramelized shredded pancakes with flambéed apples and raisins), Grandmother's Famous Apfelstrudel, Rhum Pot with Marinated Berries, and Gelato. We loved everything except Rhum Pot, which I'd describe as fruit pieces in hot alcohol. Mickey's Apple Strudel is nothing like those puff pastries sold in bakeries. This one was open-faced, warm, saucy, and just lovely. You can clearly taste the vanilla sauce even if you can't see it.

Service was okay, except for the fact the waiter insisted everything is good for one person only -- despite the fact that we had two kids with us. The air-conditioning couldn't cool the area we were seated at sufficiently, and there were a couple of pesky flies buzzing about our table.

All in all, we had a pretty nice meal at Mickey's. I just wish they'd do something about the air-conditioning and the flies (which seemed to inhabit just that area we were occupying and not the whole restaurant). Just don't believe that everything is good for one (well, except maybe if the one being referred to is a huge guy with an empty stomach) and you might end up with a smaller bill.

Mickey's Delicatessen
144 Jupiter St. cor. Orbit St.,
Bel-Air 2 Village, Makati City

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Pond's 7days Community

Pond's introduces the Pond's 7days Community, a mobile service which lets members avail of special privileges, freebies, and exclusive content:
  1. The Pond's 7days Community is open to all Globe, Smart, and Sun postpaid and prepaid subscribers.
  2. To join, text 7days ON to 2948.
  3. When you join, you'll get special privileges from Pond's partner establishments plus exclusive content about beauty and romance.
  4. Starting May 16, 2009 partners will include Red Mango, Breadtalk, and UCC.
  5. To pull a mobile coupon from Red Mango, text 7days REDMANGO to 2948. With this, you can claim 1 FREE topping for every frozen yogurt purchase (1 topping/ transaction), or FREE size upgrade from 1 Small to 1 Medium for every 2 fro-yos purchased.
  6. To pull a mobile coupon from BreadTalk, text 7days BREADTALK to 2948. With this, you can claim 1 FREE slice of cake of your choice with every P300 single receipt purchase at participating outlets.
  7. To pull a mobile coupon from UCC Coffee starting May 16, text 7days UCC to 2948. With this, you can claim 1 FREE coffee of the day with every P500 minimum single receipt purchase.
  8. To unsubscribe to the community, text 7DAYS OFF to 2948.
Please take note that this service will cost P2.50 per text for Globe and Smart subscribers, and P2.00 for Sun subscribers. For more information about Pond's 7days Community, log on to

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Free copy of "Do Hard Things" for bloggers

If you:

a. like reading
b. have a blog
c. want to write a book review

Email with your name and link to your blog. Twenty bloggers will be randomly selected to receive a FREE advanced copy of the book "Do Hard Things" by Alex and Brett Harris. Upon receipt of the book, all you have to do in return is read it and post a review on your blog and on the OMF Literature website. This book will retail for P225 and will be available to the public by June 2009.

Personally, I'm interested in this book because it teaches one to make the best out of life. It addresses teenagers in particular, encouraging them to "rebel" against society's low expectations of them. This is definitely something I'd want to pass on to my kid.

For more about Alex and Brett Harris' Rebelution, log on to

Kraft launches Tiger Energy Biscuits!

Kraft Tiger Biscuits Launch InvitationKraft Foods Philippines launched Tiger Energy Biscuit with ENERMAXX last May 13, 2009 at the Philippine Trade Training Center. I was quite excited about the event since one of my dilemmas as a mom is what to feed my kids. My eldest child is 8 years old and is an active grade schooler, so preparing his daily baon is a challenge. Since the invitation stated that kids 6-12 years old were welcome to join the event, I brought him along.

My son and I with Tigo, Ms. Jackie Lou Blanco, and Mr. Elio MachillandaKraft's Tiger Energy Biscuit aims to help Filipino moms provide their kids with the energy needed to win. The launch kicked off with a presentation from nutritionist Ms. Joan Sumpio, RND. Ms. Sumpio discussed the importance of sports and the role of proper nutrition in getting kids into competitive sports. Kraft's Category Marketing Manager for snacks, Mr. Elio Machillanda, also flew in from Venezuela to launch Tiger Energy Biscuits in the Philippines. Celebrity mom and fitness buff Ms. Jackie Lou Blanco was formally introduced as Tiger Energy Biscuit's official endorser along with Tigo, Kraft Energy Biscuit's mascot.

Kraft Tiger Energy BiscuitsKraft's Tiger Energy Biscuit contains ENERMAXX, a combination of 9 vitamins (vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, D, E) and 6 minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, zinc, and sodium) formulated to give children extra energy. It comes in two flavors -- vanilla and chocolate. A pack of 4 biscuits retails for a very affordable P3.60, so everyone can enjoy the nutritional benefits.

Kraft Tiger Energy Biscuits in chocolate and vanillaMy son loved the chocolate-flavored Tiger Energy Biscuit. It wasn't overly sweet or sugary like most of the kiddie biscuits or energy bars being sold in supermarkets because Ms. Sumpio explained that its primary ingredient is wheat flour instead of sugar. Kraft's Tiger Energy Biscuit is a great option for snacks, so I'll definitely include it in my son's baon line-up come school opening.

*Event photos by Agatep Associates, Inc.
**Product photos by Rowena Wendy Lei

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