WATAMI – Casual Japanese Restaurant

Watami – Casual Japanese Restaurant

“Japanese food makes me feel particularly good.” ~David Mitchell~

Jen and I haven’t been hanging out lately and when we did. She suggested to veer away from our usual favorites.

After we got the stuff we need from some specialty shops at Shangri-la mall, our feet led us to this casual Japanese restaurant: Watami.

When it’s casual, does it mean that there would be no Geisha’s to serve you, there’ll be no Tatamis but the usual dining tables, still if it’s a Japanese restaurant, I normally think of the sublime execution of an authentic cuisine. Which is why it is one that always fascinates me. Refined, unmatched manner of preparing and serving each entree, this specific Art and not to forget that Japanese hospitality which is popularly known as “Omotenashi”. Lastly, theirs is healthy.

We’ve been to Akira and Sumo-sam in the past so Watami deserves a try. Besides, we haven’t had Japanese food in a while. =)

This friendly barker helped us decide right away after reviewing the menu that’s displayed outside. There was no mention of miso soup from the menu so we asked him if they have my favorite soup and they have it in 2 variants. A plain one and another that is spicy.

This is faultless, all of the restaurants I’ve tried didn’t fail to pour their guests some cup of tea.

Watami is one of the many restaurants under the Bistro Group:
#tastethelove

 – Plank Sourdough Pizza – Conrad Hotel Manila
 – TGIFridays and Italianni’s – with more than a dozen branches all over the country
 – Fish and Co – Mall of Asia and Trinoma
 – Krazy Garlic – Greenbelt 5
 – Bulgogi Brothers – Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 5, Harbor point, SM Lanag, Mall of Asia
 – Village Tavern – Bonifacio High Street
 – Modern Shanghai – Mall of Asia
 – Tonkatsu – Ayala Cebu
 – Buffalo Wild Wings – Glorietta 1, Conrad Hotel Manila, Estancia Mall, Uptown Mall, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Texas Roadhouse – Uptown Mall, Conrad Hotel Manila
 – Denny’s – Trinoma, Bonifacio Global City, Eastwood, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Baker & Cook – Conrad Hotel Manila, U.P. Town Center

Sometimes, it is slightly annoying that while you’re enjoying your food, an attendant will approach you to offer the advantage of getting the Bistro Frequent Foodie card or popularly known as BFF Card.

Photo grabbed from: https://www.bistro.com.ph/

But come to think of it, if I review all of their restaurants, they are the most frequented and been thriving all these years and some of the best restaurants in the country. I must assume that those annoying attendants are one of their most effective Marketing Strategy for a continuous growth and carry one brand after another.

Personally speaking, I have been a regular customer of TGIF and TEXAS Roadhouse. I’ve tried Fish & Co when they still have one at Alabang Town Center. I even got this chance to see some contestants of “American Idol” (Jessica Sanchez’s time) since they held one of their activities at Italianni’s when they had their concert tour years ago.

So even if we haven’t seen and tasted our orders yet, we’re counting on that we will enjoy this early dinner. Later I learned that there are more than 700 branches of Watami all over the Asia Pacific region.

Take a look at what we’ve had:

Chasu rice for me and Jen, special curry Udon with cutlets for Jen and assorted tempura for me. Prior to deciding what to order, I had a miso soup called in advance.

All of these except for my soup were recommended by the attendant who took care of us.

The Chasu rice is truly delicious and its’ flavor matched my tempura. Jen’s Udon is tasteful too but is a little spicy and the hint of curry is just right, it is very mild. I enjoyed my tempura, however, I missed something from the sauce that came with it.

Over all, it was another gastronomic experience. Not to forget mentioning the intricately planned interiors of this casual Japanese resto.

I’ll ask Jen to try the sourdough pizza from Plank and pastries from Baker and Cook soon. =)

Aside from the New Wing of Shangri-la Mall, You can find Watami at the following locations:
– Greenbelt 2
– Mall of Asia
– Uptown Mall

Itadakimass! =)

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Why BURGER GEEK?

Why BURGER GEEK?

“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.”

My sons’ girlfriend and I were trying to to look for a place to try at Molito’s in Alabang since we are free that weekend.

a boutique mall
Molito is a Boutique mall down in south.

Out of the many establishments to choose from, we filtered our choices with just two: Burgers or Pizzas. And at last, we found and opted for this odd though uniquely named burger joint: The “Burger Geek”.

facade

It sounded cute, it brought to my mind bevy of millennials enjoying each other’s company. It is so them. My kids. The ones born during the early 1990s. That one of a kind generation! The babies of the Gen X which where I belong! =)

my kids

Burger Geek is just small in terms of space, you can call in advance to reserve a table. Still, they were able to splash the desired effect of the theme that they’re trying to imbibe.

mural burger

different elements concept
Courtesy of: http://molito.com.ph/dining.php?tab=burgergeek

This mural resembled the Periodic table of elements only that each letter represents ingredients and tools that they use in their kitchen.

menu

So here’s what we’ve got:

nachos burger geek

Echo my son opted for the “Hangover” (because the ingredients of the patties has beer in it), I had my usual nachos and our baby girl ordered for “B+” (B stands for bacon) =).

We were served with a complimentary prawn crackers which is known locally as “Kropek”.

kropek

It was a short dining experience but was very memorable as I was with my son and someone very close to him and me as well. They are my family.

iced tea
It is bottomless. =)

I’ve always known the importance of spending quality time with kids because we are not the only one who’s busy, they are quite busy too and to find time being with each other allows us to create memories that we can look back at later in our lives.

We intend to do it more often, and had plans laid out already, different activities to bond aside from eating. =)

I assumed that Burger Geek have a specific market that they want to target, however, I guess they attracted several markets due to the uniqueness and tastefulness of their food.

kinda eyesore
Slightly “eyesore” (in my opinion)

It is located at: 16A, Molito Lifestyle Mall, Madrigal Ave, Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila. You can contact them thru: 02-801-2903 and/ or email them at: burgergeekph@gmail.com

They are open daily from 11:00am to 11:00pm

burger geek map
Courtesy of: http://molito.com.ph/

 

Cintai Corito’s Garden – “Bali be like”

Cintai Corito’s Garden – “Bali be like”

There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” ~George Sand~

I’ve been hearing a lot about Cintai Corito, photos I’ve seen whenever I come across it is so inviting. I first thought it is not in my country. The place used to be a private sanctuary for its’ owners, especially for the wife (and mother). This place was dedicated for her. Like a local “Taj Mahal”.

It has been open to the public for the past 10 years, and it was only later that I was able to convince my foodie/ travel buddy to accompany me to witness its’ grandeur.

True enough, it is very beautiful and so relaxing. Everything is green, it brings you closer to nature. You hear birds chirping, pretty flowers,

and even peacocks making sounds like they’re trying to communicate with you. These peacocks are the first and primary reason why I included Cintai in my places to visit. I have this certain fascination with peacocks. They used to roam around according to my friends who’ve been here. When we visited, all of them are inside a huge cage then.

peacock fr cintai

There are areas to meditate, pavilions for events, picturesque villas and a Balinese themed restaurant: Abadi.

There’s a special corner for a spa, swimming pools in varying sizes and a TV room too.

We arrived in Lipa, Batangas a little late than expected, still, we were able to catch their buffet spread.

After which spent all the afternoon roaming. I truly enjoyed it and breathe easy. Everything I see, hear and smell are all pleasing. The place is good for all the senses like a serene refuge. I also had this great admiration that everything were executed in meticulous details.

This would surely be one of your choices to stay when you’re heading to Lipa. There are also equally nice establishments in the vicinity, which made me want to go back soon. It is more or less (depending on the traffic – I do not recommend leaving on Saturdays even in the morning – as you’ll get stuck in traffic) than 2 hours from Manila.

In the midst of seeing mostly several images of Buddha, this image of Mother Mary brought solace to my heart. Our Lady of Guadalupe seems to be showing up to me lately mostly in unexpected places and time. I hope to see her in Mexico one day. =)

By the way, “Cintai” is the Indonesian word for “Love.” You can contact them thru their mobile: 0917-833-1508/ 0977-811-9593. Or email them at: reservations@coritosgarden.com. They are located at: Sitio Pandayan, Malabanan Balete, Lipa, Batangas.

 

   

Dean and DeLuca

Dean and DeLuca

Courtesy of: https://www.coolfunnyquotes.com/author/anonymous/friends-buy-food-best-friend/

I am visiting my niece’s booth at “The Good Neighbors” at Rockwell Club, Amorsolo Square, Makati City.

It is just a little across Edades Tower and Powerplant Mall. We arrived a little earlier, and when I saw Jen’s eyes, looking at her left and her right in random, she was either saying something like Powerplant mall or Dean and
DeLuca? Instantly, she asked: “Coffee?” And of course, after checking the time in my watch, I just said: “Come on!” =)

As planned, we ordered for our coffee: Cafe Dulce de Leche (the dulce served separately) for Jen and Caramel Machiatto for me.

d19

We had two kinds of desserts to match it. It was unlikely that we didn’t get blueberry cheesecake this time.

I was totally enticed by that Dutch apple pie,

and as usual Jen had her salted caramel cheesecake.

Over varying topics while devouring on what we’ve ordered, we realized they were too sweet we had to get something like a stasis to balance our palates.

We opted to choose the Pasta E Pomodoro, it is an organic pasta with fresh tomato, basil, garlic in olive oil. It came with a garlic bread which Jen and I shared equally.

The attendant asked if we wanted it with chicken or meatballs, and we both decided to have it done meatless.

It surely balanced that sweetness from our desserts and drinks. Jen liked it a lot, (she consumed all those Arugulas) since it was cooked the Italian way, as her preferences are pastas that are never sweet.

Her salted caramel is something we can tagged as “TDF” (To die for), it is one of of the best salted caramel cheesecake we’ve tried so far, and my apple pie is really good too.

These epicurean treats definitely made us want to go back and we already know what to try next time, we intend to try their branch at Eton Tower, Legaspi Village, Makati City, which happens to be nearer from Jen’s workplace.

Dean and DeLuca, on its’ 40th year originated from lower Manhattan, USA. At present, due to demands, they were able to put up branches across USA: New York City, Washington D.C., Charlotte, North Carolina, Leawood, Kansas, Napa Valley, California and Honolulu, Hawaii. They are also in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.

In our country, Dean and DeLuca has two branches: the one at Edades Tower, Rockwell Makati and the one at Eton Tower.

Everything you’ll ever need is at Dean and DeLuca. They’ve got choices for Starters, Salads, they have Quinoa too, they have soups, they offer a wide range of Main delicious dishes, from Sushi and rolls, Grain bowls, Burgers, Sandwiches, Tapas, Pancakes & waffles, Pastas and sourdough Pizzas and of course Desserts, even organic ice cream!

Beverage list is almost endless from Cocktails, coffee and teas, milk shakes and wines (red and white).

They have gourmet and gift items too.

d9

I’m not wondering why Tatler voted for them. Everything at Dean and DeLuca is sumptuous. =) It instantly became our favorite! =)

 

 

 

Rovia Nail lounge and Body spa

Rovia Nail lounge and Body spa

calm mind
Photo grabbed: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/362962051201994358/

Most of my weekends I spend like it’s my “Me time”. Sometimes, I have to agree that being alone can sometimes be lonely, however, I am not supposed to tolerate myself to think that way.

One of the things that helps me get by, is a good massage. So one afternoon, I came across this one Spa 15 minutes (30 if there’s traffic) from my place. The name is Rovia.

Photo grabbed from: https://www.facebook.com/RoviaLoungeSpa/

Their page says reservation is necessary in advance. And so one weekend, I was able to get one slot for an hour of Swedish massage.

The place is quiet, it felt quiet too. The soft music being played created a more soothing atmosphere. Not to forget mentioning the timeless beauty and classic feel of their “black & white” interiors. There are different accent pieces in every corner that isn’t straining to the eyes. I felt relaxed instantly.

It isn’t peak yet when I arrived, the smiling attendant: Joanne, asked me to fill up a Membership form, there are several questions there like where I do not want to be touched, medical history, etc. I appreciate it than some spas which will direct you to the room right away without any inquiry of your preferences.

After I finished filling-out said form, Joanne offered me to sit and asked me to soak my feet in this small black tub with warm water with a few suds in it. She carefully dried my feet with a towel and guided me to our assigned room.

r3
Photo grabbed from: https://www.facebook.com/RoviaLoungeSpa/

Without waiting for her inquiry, I asked her to do it lightly and as she started doing her strokes in my back, she asked if the pressure is okay with me. With that clock on the wall, we finished exactly after an hour and she readied a hot towel and hot tea while I am resting.

For less than P500.00 and even less if its off peak, I have found now a place where to get a good massage. Those I’ve kept for years in Pacita Complex somehow deteriorated and I noticed that there is a fast turn-over of those who’ve been my favorites. I miss “Manang”, she took care of my back pains for years and I have been searching for her upon knowing she resigned because she had to take care of her sick husband.

Rovia has a cafe too though what’s only available are the drinks.

Illy is the brand that they carry for their coffee drinks.

Rovia Nail lounge and Body spa is located at Km. Canlalay ( Half Km. from Pacita-Binan Boundary) Praferosa Bldg (Beside Right Choice Thriftmart & Fabric Clean Laundry Services), 32 Manila S Rd, Biñan, 4024 Laguna

Mobile phone: 0915 818 8772
Email: rovianailloungebodyspa@yahoo.com
Instagram : @rovianailloungebodyspa

I intend to have my nails done by them too. They use my favorite paint brand: Orly and Essie. =)