And here’s ANOTHER STORY

And here’s ANOTHER STORY

“Friendship is the comfort of knowing that even if you feel alone, you aren’t.”

I am not much of a mall rat. But one mall near our place that I can’t resist is Evia Lifestyle Center. 

I’ve been there for only several times, and my most recent visit, I noticed a lot has changed already.

There’s an on-going renovation, a pizza parlor is no longer where I last saw it, I’m lost and figuring-out where is the old parking lot and the Mediterranean structure you’ll see from afar. It is now converted into a high-ceiling dome in glass. And they say, we should expect more changes to come.

But we went there just to try “Another Story”. I have been fascinated by it for a long time, it’s being dreamy and whimsical. Just like Cafe Voila (which owner happens to be also the brain behind Another Story), 4th street cafe, Dreamland Arts & crafts Cafe, Cafe Juanita, Vanilla Cupcake, Secret Haven Cafe, among many others. And I’m glad that my two high school friends willingly granted my wish. =)

Character-filled Interiors like this makes me feel like I’m not just in Another story but in another time too.

Like I’m a character in a Fairy tale story, embodied the spirit of someone significant in a story line.

I admire how intricately they put attention to all the details and be unique thus standing – out from the rest.

You will see and feel the owner’s passion even from the way she describes each offering from the menu like sharing her experiences as if we’re her friends or family, or as you choose your order, it felt like you’re reading a story.

And it is not just the ambience, or the interiors, you’ll enjoy their offering too.

We only tried 2 kinds: a green salad: “Another Story salad”, we chose it instantly because it has prawns on it. And as recommended by one of their very affable attendants, we had one of their best-selling pizza. And we truly enjoyed it and all agreed that these people are taking their jobs seriously. We even agreed to go back on a weekday to enjoy the “Eat all you can pizza”, their paella and the other flavors of their cake as we definitely liked the Tiramisu cheesecake that they served as a treat for my birthday. Surely, I’m planning to
try their All-day breakfast and maybe some pasta too. =)

Complimentary bread.
We all love veggies.
And their pizza is delish too. =)
This really surprised me..=)

If you haven’t been to Another Story, please do. It is truly mesmerizing. =)

Moment of beauty…

Second Floor, Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang Hari Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

PS

The birthday cake is such a sweet gesture for me. I really appreciate it. =)

 

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Great finds at LANDERS Superstore (Alabang West)

Great finds at LANDERS Superstore (Alabang West)

“What once loved in childhood, stays in the heart forever”. ~Mary Jo Putney~

I have been hearing a lot about Landers from my kids. My son in particular have been so excited each time he will mention to me that like S&R, Landers has a pizza parlor too. And we all know, that for him, pizza is synonymous to the word “happy”.

I can’t blame him, I remember myself as a child, I almost can’t sleep if my father announced that we will be going to the supermarket the next day, I recall the cart being pushed by my papa and mama’s the one scrutinizing items displayed on every shelf, and it literally put a smile on my face to remember times like this as a child. The same excitement I was able to inject to my son as well. As he used to go with me as a child, during visits to the supermarket. Maybe just like my parents, I must be ready (or my wallet) if my son is with me during each visit. =)

So one weekend, My son and I decided to finally check this newly opened branch in Alabang with his girlfriend – Gela.

Photo grabbed from: http://landers.ph/about-us

I was thinking of only a few things that I’m hoping to find at Landers which I didn’t find from the other (S&R). Echo eyed just one or two, his barbecue sauce.

I got the 2 kids one bottle for each. #skewerjunkies

And of course not to miss the New York style pizza from Landers Central.

Left photo grabbed from: http://landers.ph/about-us
My son said the dough are hand-tossed. While I like their pizza better, since it isn’t too oily. =)

Similar brands are at hand, there’s also a corner for pastries via Dough & Co. For non-food, I also spotted super soft bed coverings and towels, the usual corners I visit and of course: toiletries.

My favorite brand for pistachios.

The brands for popcorn such as Garretts, Act II, Butterkist, Werthers I didn’t find, but I found this. So I’m happy too. =)

Some staple brands like Bragg ACV, Combos cheese, I found them cheaper from local supermarkets.

This hard to find mayonnaise is available too. =)

Basically, whenever you already prepared a long list of what to cook for a week, everything you need is there. From condiments to flavored meats, delis, veggies, name it.

They also have our own Carmen’s Best, lined up along Double rainbow ice cream, Baileys, Cadbury, even wine flavored ice cream to mention a few. And the sausage I need for gumbos.

What made Landers interesting to me is that they put special attention to their interiors. They didn’t look like an air-conditioned warehouse of grocery items, they took care of the ambience that it felt good doing your groceries. Definitely blissful. =)

And, this part I find amusing, there is a Barber shop inside. What I thought of instantly is that since some men aren’t that patient to accompany their wives, girlfriends or daughters while shopping. They dedicated a special place for “The Boys” to stay or do something while waiting for their ladies. Isn’t it a cool idea? =)

Check them out, one might just be near your place. Here are their locations (more branches to open they say):

-Balintawak, Quezon City
-Otis, Paco, Manila
-Cebu City
-Alabang, Muntinlupa City
-Arcovia, Pasig City

Alabang West

You can also check them out here: http://landers.ph/

PS

It was great to know that the membership fee (P800.00 for non-business) is half the original price when we visited. =)  Apply online, and you’ll get the same perk too. Hurry!

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! =)

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.