BOON TONG KEE…

Boon Tong Kee Singaporean Restaurant

Our hungry tummies brought us to this Singaporean restaurant in MOA since most restaurants there, we already tried in the past years.

We ended up burping from this Chinese/Singaporean restaurant where we satiated our cravings.

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Some clippings on the wall..
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Since 1979..

Shopping gets so tiring and we ended up like hungry wolves and didn’t have the luxury of choosing where we really want to dine and upon being sitted. Our fingers are crossed hoping that we made a good choice.

To start, we were served a very hot bird’s nest soup. We were waiting for a free tea too though there was none. Ahaha! Freebie junkies! (–,)

The usual condiments are there. Boon Tong Kee is famous for their expertise in creating variants of sauces. Chili sauce, a nice soy sauce, oyster sauce and calamansi are readily available. I remember my Chinese uncle who taught me how to prepare an authentic Asian chili sauce, all I can recall are the chilis, peanut butter and Hoisin sauce. I bought them I haven’t made one since papa and I aren’t fond of chilly sauces.

Here’s what we opted to try:

Hakaw – steamed shrimp dumplings (which is best in Hap Chan and Gloria Maris)

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Yum yum!

Char Siu honey-glazed pork

(Slices of ham smothered with sweet syrup)

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Sweet ham..

Signature boiled chicken

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For my foodie buddy!

And Yang chow rice.

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We consumed this bowl that’s good for 3-4 persons!

Said rice is good for 2-3 persons and we consumed it. We must be very hungry! Ahaha!

Their place is clean and there was no music because there is a wall-mounted TV showing a late noon show, the temperature isn’t so cold and isn’t so hot, it is just right and we were comfortable asking for this and that and that and this because their staff are very friendly and attentive and speedy or maybe we were the only customer at that time. It is off peak. But the Manager is vigilant enough to ask us how was our dining experience. It couldn’t be a “5” since there is nothing special about them, just meeting expectations from an authentic Singaporean restaurant.

Eating out more than the usual is sometimes a necessary luxury. We do  not need to spend an hour in the kitchen to prepare our food. Some reward for a hectic week.

As a blogger, my list to try and visit is endless. It’s just that I have to prioritize my foodie buddy’s cravings. Our next stop is that “Eat all you can” dessert buffet somewhere in Quezon city – “Love desserts” and probably drop by at “Dolcelatte” too as recommended by my soul sissy. I also told her to try “Rubs” or “La Taquiera” first before we raid the unlimited desserts. We’re going farther soon I guess. While for now, We went back home with happy tummies. Please note that I am not a Food blogger, because I blog anything under the sun, it is just that I am a foodie and my bff is and my family and my soul sister is and my son is, so I might as well share the experiences via this blog.

Chocolat..

Chocolat…

“Eat, drink and be merry.”

Satiating our cravings from Boon Tong Kee. As expected, we craved for sweets after. And since they do not have much choices for desserts. We opted to allow our feet to navigate for us to the nearest desserts shop in the vicinity.

We passed by several stores that aren’t much exciting until we finally spotted Chocolat.

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Yey!

Foodie buddy is a chocolate addict!

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Chocolat! ❤
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Lots lots of chocolates in their chiller!
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I wish I could bring them home! ahahaa!
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Luscious!

We hurried to it’s entrance like kids and immediately asked the attendant if they have blueberry cheesecake. Ironic to be heading to a Chocolate bakery and ask for blueberry cheesecake! Lol!

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(–,)
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Menu board..

And surely, they have! What we loved about their version is the crunchy caramelly taste of their graham crust.

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Blueberry cheesecake! ❤

Usually, it’s just grahams, sugar, salt and butter. I asked the attendant and she just mentioned those four, though I suspect that there is something else. Of course its’ meant to be a trade secret. They also didn’t scrimp on their blueberry cheesecake itself. They didn’t just top them, they’re on the cheesecake itself. P140.00 per slice isn’t that bad knowing the others priced theirs at that range considering the difference in taste.

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Carrot cake!
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Beautiful!
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Vintage poster!

We had the usual drinks too. My cafe latte and mocha for Jen. Both iced. Summer is fast approaching and even if the mall is provided with centralized ACUs, it’s already humid proving that Summer is here.

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It’s Summer time!
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Sweeteners please!

Having luscious dessert is like a finale after a hefty meal. You looked forward to it, they dance in your mind and it spells happiness! (–,)

PS

Death by Tablea is so intriguing.

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Death by Tablea..
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You can choose from their many offerings!

Di’Marks Pizzeria…

Di’Marks Pizzeria

Pursuing one of my passion to write through blogging is something I do unequivocally.

Looking at my blog site from outside the box, I could not classify it in one specific direction if its a travel blog or a food blog or a fashion blog not even a lifestyle blog. I am still in the process of classifying this page of mine. Carefully taking each step with decisiveness to literally gather likes and hits and views for my page. Their like medals and trophies to hopeful bloggers like me. Not caring for the annual awards but each increase on the page views definitely gives us a different kind of bliss. Besides I created this as portal of this book I am wanting to publish for the longest time. And the fact that I was able to share my everyday experiences to people who might fond them interesting.

However, just recently, binging just like everyone especially this past Christmas Holiday, I see myself blogging more on food.

There’s this one place I do not wanna miss in my “To blog list”, if you will ask, there’s more than 50 drafts that I have yet to post if I have the luxury of time like posting 3 different blogs while on vacation which includes a Gratitude blog for the year that was.

My first blog for this year is about this restaurant that is very familiar to me back in college days. Being one of the oldest pizza parlor in the Philippines. I have spent almost 10 years working in Makati and seen and tried a lot of pizza parlors from said CBD (Commercial Business District).

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Di’Marks Pizzeria…

Though this one is especially special as it reminds me of my younger years. Literally, it brought me back my old carefree self. College days is one of the best years of my entire life. As Di’Marks has a branch in Taft, Manila during that time. The place was just a stone thrown away from our school. It saddened me to discover that the place I used to love had been not operating years ago.

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More than 50 years…I wonder how many pizzas were served then?

Now that my workplace is in Shaw, Mandaluyong City. I discovered that there’s a branch just across our building. I also learned from the attendant that there’s a branch in Alabang. Yey! The Tomas Morato branch is too far from me. It was a relief to know that there’s one near me. Instantly, I dine there with friends, colleagues and at times just by myself.

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Neat!

Tonight, sharing the experience with my foodie buddy (I am by the way 10 years ahead her Seniors), she insisted to try Di’Marks. And I gave in to her wish.

I knew she will like their pasta because unlike me who wants it the Filipino version, lightly sweet. She prefers the Italian way which is a bit sour to me.

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Look at those cheese!=)

I especially like the way D’Marks provides me with plenty of my favorite: cheese. Toppings of mozzarella, cheddar on the pasta and the Parmesan too. They do not scrimp on them besides aside from the overflowing grated cheese on top of their pasta, they also have a ready dispenser of Parmesan cheese for you to taste as much as you wish.

We had their best seller. Mad scramble pizza.

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Wow!

She loved the stuff they utilize as well: Personalized plates and napkins. She was surprise to find logoed tissues too. Ahaha!

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We both agreed to come back and try the Big 22! Their pizza with 22 different toppings! ❤ And the “Tapas”!

I surely can’t wait! ❤

Sweet treat Wednesday – Scarsdale Artisanal Delights…

Scarsdale Artisanal Delights

Scarsdale is a familiar town down the countryside part of the City that never sleeps (New York). It is explicitly a delight to see names of shops here in our country inspired by other places. It meant that the curator might have been exposed to a lot of amazing places and to bring it here signifies that Filipinos has a discriminating taste when it comes to food along with most of our “needs and wants” as well.

The first Scarsdale Artisanal Delights branch you will find along Shaw boulevard in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila. It is actually inside S&R’s building and fronting other newly opened food destinations such as Project Pie, Starbucks (which recently transferred, they are originally located at the ground floor of Lee gardens, and due to lack of space, the transfer took place just late last year), B&P Just like home, and soon to open Family Mart.

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Chalk-written mural..

I learned from one of the friendly attendant that Scarsdale is a sister company of Go nuts Donuts. This move is with pride I’m sure to put up these place offering home-made doughnuts in limited yet irresistible I can’t make up my mind variants. Part of their menu is the latest doughnut craze of combining a doughnut with a croissant. Some call them doussant, some call them croughnut, whichever way you want to call it, it is equally delightful to the bite.

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Made me fickle..

During their soft opening, my soul sis dragged me fervently telling me with excitement that there’s a new dainty shop that sells specialty doughnuts and it was so timely, we were very busy lately and it’s like capping the day with a good chat on top of some sweet treats.

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My “in any angle” beautiful sistah!

Mine was S’mores.

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My S’mores..

And her’s is green tea glazed doughnut which photo I forgot to take. (–,)(she has always been very health conscious opposite myself that I eat anything regardless of the fats and calories and cholesterol maxed out in a day).

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Donuts!!!!

We were about to be sitted when one of the owners directed our bags to these small hooks under the table.

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Hooks under the table..

When you are so engrossed chatting with your buddies and you forgot about your bag, those little hooks under will secure your valuables. I didn’t mean to discriminate concerns on safety, though those little things adds value to the service and whether we like it or not, it meant a lot.

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So witty yet caring..

Their menu is somewhat special,

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Menu-board..

they do not mass-pro, each variant were made in little quantity, so they’re always guaranteed fresh,

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They have croughnuts too..

they have sandwiches too making use of the dough for their doughnuts as sandwich buns itself

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Is that a sack of flour?

and they have spreads too which bottles are adoringly packed with a country-vibe feel.

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So artistic..

The place is idyllic with those chalked written menu boards that specially appeals to me. There’s a second floor though according to them they are still finishing it up. I overheard that one artist is doing another mural upstairs and I can’t wait to go up once its done. I love murals! That’s the reason why I asked my buddy once to search for Chef Del Rosario’s restaurant in Makati, just because of the mural. ehehe.

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Sacks of flour..

Going back to the doughnut, I liked it being chewy and doughy. Aint a food blogger so I do not know how to describe it, though its incomparable with the doughnuts that most of us is familiar with, and the real deal here is they are very affordable.

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Cutie knick knack holder (utensils, ads, menu).
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A transparent mural. I termed it transparent because they directly draw on the wall’s surface..
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View from the second floor..
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Another mural on the second floor..
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And I thought they are real apples..

With the ambiance that they’ve created, the manner of how they packaged their products,

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Cool boxes for take-outs/ take-aways/ to-go orders whatever..

the sense of Art incorporated in every corner,

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Choices of Drinks..
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Black, with fresh milk..
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Sugar, sugar, sugar..
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The power of media…

the showcase of ingredients and a kitchen/ working area that’s transparent to the customers, they can wrestle with the other brands that sells equally noteworthy doughnuts in the country, this I guess is going to be one of the best doughnuts of our time. I am actually collating all of the doughnuts I’ve tried here in our country (just like what I did with my blueberry cheesecake adventure) and probably enumerate them here and claim a personal all-time favorite.

We are actually coming back, and I cant wait to try their version of croughnuts, I’d be getting the apple pie variant. Scarsdale Artisanal Delights is worth your more than one visits.

What is behind the walls of Intramuros?

The Walls of Intramuros

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t it is a part of a tree.”~Michael Crichton~

There will come a time when our best appreciation of the past more so of history and art can come only later in our lives. Mine came during my mid-30s. Although my father has exposed me to several galleries as early as my childhood days, brought me to a few shows at the PICC (Philippine International Convention Center) and CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines) with my mom (who will just sleep from the beginning up to the end of the show). Introduced me to the most famous painters of all time (from his library). That was our world then.

One of my uncle was a self-made painter too. Some of his works still hanging on our walls. While papa was an illustrator and had been in the top 10 list of the most sought after artists during his time. It was a time when illustrated comics are a staple to every house in our country.  Said industry died, at that time when modernization occurred when this used to be a very strong industry but took a back seat when internet went into the scene. It left my papa heartbroken (but that’s another story). The manner he expose Arts to me I thought then was enough. The bohemian blood runs in the family. 2 of my cousins are professional dancers (one of which was a beauty queen), another one is an Architect. And my mama took up Fashion designing. The last of brood with traces, was me, who took up Interior Design during the early 90s. Yet, it was papa whom I consider as the most influential human being in my entire life. I was his legacy. He didn’t fail to share with me his world.  They were illuminated by the music we’ve favored, the stage plays we’ve watched, the paintings on our walls, the books that we’ve read. Even in the food that we served, art is incorporated at all times.

Little did I know, that there was a certain hunger in me to personally capture “Art” face to face. Go out of my way to witness them in my own eyes just so to validate my father’s claim of how beautiful and special that world is.

Realizing this, I prepared my list. The first of which to take an actual peek is the historical Intramuros. It is located at the heart of Manila, tucked within stoned walls that’s estimated to be 15 feet high. It was meant to protect the Spaniards from the Japanese soldiers and eventually from the Americans at that time when attempts were made to conquer the land which originally known then as “Las Islas de Filipinas”.

Neighboring countries fought over the land, living proofs as to how enticing our mother land specially during her prime. Beauty that is still evident now.

I woke up early and double checked my itinerary for this particular day. It’s just a day trip anyway, still, I am usually excited. We reached the place afternoon. The welcome arch literally welcomed us and triggered our curiosity like telling us to proceed and discover what’s behind these walls.

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Our first stop was the walls itself. Visibly, they were made of pre-cast stones and a lot bigger than the usual that we see at present times, according to my college professor, the size of the block is an indication (if it’s bigger) that it was constructed hundreds of years ago.

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As nowadays, they utilize the smaller ones. I remember myself during college, if time permits, I visit my high school friends who were studying in Mapua Institute of Technology, Letran College and Lyceum of the Philippines (universities lined up outside the walls) and I passed by these walls several times and during then, I do not care at all. Now, it struck me, I imagined my country when she was still young and it gave me a kind of pride, and a kind of genuine concern recalling what she has gone through hundreds of years ago.

This city was the seat of Spanish sovereignty in the Orient for over 300 years. A pentagonal wall enclosing an area of almost 64 hectares. A lot has occurred within these walls from 1571 to 1946, but it was only in 1979 where restoration and development was given a serious thought by the government to create a monument to the Hispanic period out of it realizing its essence being part of the richness of our culture and history for futures genres to see.

We then headed to this Casa.

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Casa Manila

It’s a sort of museum that charges a very minimum amount for the maintenance of the place and to pay for the employees manning the museum.

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“I like the vintage door knocker!” =)

We were ushered to the sala, the bedrooms, the kitchen, the dining room, even in the comfort rooms. If I may use the word “cute”. I will. I find their comfort rooms cute. Ahaha! I was saddened that we were not allowed to take pictures of the Casa’s interiors. It’s cute for me as the way life was lived then, Art was in synch in all facets. I even saw a vintage watering can, condiments in the kitchen, but I was not allowed to take pictures of them as souvenirs. =(

My favorite part was the azotea.

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During then, events were held here. It just so happen that during our visit, there was an event as well. A wedding. =)

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Meaning, I can wave at my mom or dad or my siblings from these windows? It’s so cute!!!

Usually, the wedding is held in San Agustin church or Manila Cathedral and reception follows at this Casa. Now I kept dreaming of Crisologo street. The cobble stoned streets symbolizes the Spanish era.

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I especially like the sound of horses and their shoe against the cobble stones. And just in time I saw one.

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Hey Mister!=)

I am so excited I wanted to ride in one which we eventually did. They will charge you a hundred to bring you around the Intramuros.

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The “kutchero” (the guy driving the horse), brought us to the Manila Cathedral which brought me to a time when my papa and mama used to bring me here as little girl. As little as I was, I dreamt of being married there, it was so big, and a long train will look pretty while you are walking the isle of the church. Instead of a car sending me off, I’d choose the calesa! ahaha!

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Manila Cathedral at night…

We were supposed to have dinner at Illustrado, but luck wasn’t on our side, it was already closed when we arrived.

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Illustrado’s entrance…

We ended up shopping in the store in front of it. So in way, I was still smiling when we headed back home.

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Souvenir shop in front of Illustrado restaurant…

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Leaving Intramuros, the hunger is torturing me once more to keep learning. It is an endless thing anyway. My list still includes a lot from Manila. See you soon! (–,)