At Cafe D' Asie: Welcoming the New Year with a Bang!

Some Filipinos behave super-cautiously on New Year's Day than on any other day of the month. There are traditions that are being practiced during the 1st day of the New Year (apparently this is true in other countries as well) with the belief that whatever it is that you do during the New Year will continue throughout the whole year. Some say that they refrain from spending money on New Year's day for them to become more frugal the next twelve months. Others would clean their entire house to ensure a wealthy, healthy, and happy environment for the entire household.

In our case, what we did on the first day of the year was quite different, but could possibly what others have done too. We welcomed the New Year with some splurging and with a bang! Of course, that was part from enjoying our media noche, blowing horns and noise making on New Year's eve so as to attract good luck and ward off evil spirits, people, thoughts and deeds.

June and his lovely-dovey were supposed to spend a New Year's eve staycation in one of the hotels in the metropolis. Unfortunately due to heavy traffic in hotel bookings (after calling about 10 hotels with no positive response), they shelved their plans. Instead of stuffing our tummies with the media noche left overs (hahaha), we agreed to their invitation to have a New Year's (1st day of the year) double dinner date at Cafe d' Asie of The Bellevue Hotel in Alabang.


First, we had our dinner at Cafe d' Assie at the 2nd floor and surprisingly the place was not fully packed. Good for us but oh yes, probably the New Year's myth could have played a  role on this (lol)! People may have opted to stay at home instead of going out on New Year's day. Anyway, as healthy eating is in the list of our New Year's resolution, we requested for the Cafe's ala carte menu. The men and I opted for the Nasi Goreng while June had her Horse Radish Crusted Salmon.

(P350) Nasi Goreng - combination of chicken and beef satay served with spicy rice , prawn cracker, chilli and peanut sauce

(P520) Horse Radish Crusted Salmon - baked horseradish crusted salmon, accompanied with sauteed spinach, mushroom ragout and crispy polenta in saffron Beurre Blanc    

Of course, we didn't forget to order stir fry noodles Pancit Cafe d' Asie. As you may be aware, it's customary to have long noodles (any kind of noodle dish) on the table especially on New Year's Day, as it signifies longevity, that is according to our great great grandfathers! So, I don't doubt them on that!

(P300) Pancit Cafe D' Asie - combination of canton and glass noodles with mixed vegetables, shrimp, chicken and pork, served with calamansi, fried garlic and garlic bread

This was not our first time to hang out at The Bellevue Hotel. Our favorite spot is either Cafe d' Asie or the Pastry Corner both located at the main wing of the hotel. We decided to skip on the hodgepodge of culinary delights displayed at the buffet corner of the restaurant. The past Year 2015 was actually the year we gorged on food at buffet tables of restaurants we've been to. We thought the ala carte was the best alternative for the New Year to shed out the unwanted pounds from our dangerous coca-cola figures! 

One disadvantage tho was the slow service for the ala carte orders. It took probably between 30 to 45 minutes before the dishes were served on the table. Good we brought an array of thoughts to discuss over the table.

Cafe D' Asie Christmas decors

I must say that the dishes were up to our expectations. The ambiance was a bit classy maybe because of the festive Christmas decors, particularly the towering Christmas tree with the beautiful led lights and some music to boot.


After getting stuffed at the Cafe, we went to the ground floor where the Pastry Corner is located to continue the chitchatting and to sip some coffee and juices with some rich Belgian Chocolate and Cheese Cakes.

The Pastry Corner

delectable desserts

Belgian Chocolate Cake

Cheese Cake


Wow, these beautiful sweet treats and every bite of them completed a scrumptious and delightful meal, leaving the night more enjoyable and the four of us truly satisfied and happy! What a day to spend for the New Year and we hope these joy and happiness will remain steadfast in the next months, years, and beyond!


Till next time,
Written by Maven
Photographs by June

Sign Up and Receive New Posts By E-mail

My 2015 Mini Shopping Haul

Hello everyone, I know I haven't shared my purchases over the past several months so today I'm going to blog my shopping haul last year. If I compare this to my "shopaholic lifestyle" from the previous years, this is just a mini shopping haul. I only got a few items because I'm taming myself the urge to buy and trying to be smarter in choosing what I really need especially when it comes to bags and shoes. 

And one of the true joys of shopping is getting discount deals. Thankfully I managed to get some of the items for a fraction of the price. Here's what I got in no particular order.

Kate Spade New York Emerson Place Julee and Vivenna Quilted Bags bought at katespade.com

I have three cute teddy bear keychains / bag charms bought at Bomgom in Seoul, South Korea

it adds a playful touch to your bag

Kate Spade New York Gramercy watch bought at katespade.com (here's my blog about this watch click here.)

Fendi 18k yellow gold plated timepiece and Fendi Stainless Steel Quadro timepiece with white dial bought at Gilt.com
DKNY Vera and Valene leather platform sandals bought at dkny.com

bag charms at H&M Philippines shop

kate spade cedar street small stacy wallet bought at katespade.com

loving the bernie mev shoes bought at nordstromrack.com

bought two mega shopper bags in brown and grey at Cocoono bags in Poland

Y-3 ZX Zip Sneakers bought at store.y-3.com

Tory Burch double wrap bracelet bought at Tory Burch shop in Greenbelt 5

So, that's it folks. I hope you enjoyed this post. Have a wonderful Wednesday! Be well!


Till next time,
June

Sign Up and Receive New Posts By E-mail

New Year, New Adventures, New Discoveries: Ahh, That's Happiness!

It's a brand new year and so we wish to great you dear peeps a Happy, Healthy and Hopeful New Year! Did ya' notice it! Those are heaps of H's guys!

Yes, we wish you all a HAPPY 2016, with HAPPY thoughts, HAPPY memories, HAPPY moments, HAPPY challenges, HAPPY adventures, HAPPY discoveries and possibly everything that's HAPPY!


Oh, we simply wanted to welcome new year and share with you some brand new food and travel goals and experiences with a happy mindset and a positive attitude. Time is gold and once these golden times and opportunities knock, there is a reason for us to grab and claim it with a resurgence of an optimistic outlook to meet whatever fate might bring head on.

On a personal note, trying something new would be interesting. Perhaps learning a new skill, planning on cutting out our diet to shed out the excess calories from past year's food galore (lol), and developing home space techniques would comprise the top 3 in the agenda.

How about you peeps, what's your take for this new year? Feel free to drop a few lines on the comments section below. We love you all. God bless.


Till next time,
Maven and June

Sign Up and Receive New Posts By E-mail

A Very Filling Sunday

Merry Christmas everyone! Sorry for not updating my blog lovely peeps. In all honesty, my interests are on other things and still feeling lazy to really focus on blogging, so I'm just going to inject a little food here. 

Here's my food hopping last week.

HB and I had lunch at Sentro 1771 in Greenbelt while waiting for my sister and company.

(P595) Specialty of the house Sinigang na Corned Beef - corned beef short plate and boneless beef shanks in tamarind broth with native vegetables 

 (P400+) Grilled Fish of the Day Pandan -whole fish stuffed with sauteed onions, tomatoes, miso and malunggay, tied with pandan (200 per 100g)

Then we had a bazaar shopping at Passion Fly Bazaar Pocket Festivals organized by Karl Edward International located at Mayuree Ballroom in Dusit Thani Makati. I was able to grab a necklace, some blouses from Bangkok, and a lot of Vicky's Pili products from Sorsogon.

My cousin and his wife were also there and invited us to have some snacks at the lobby lounge of the hotel. We stayed there for almost four hours. I like the place because it doesn't get crowded. It has a nice relaxed atmosphere which is great to have a good and long conversations.

snack at Dusit Thani Makati

After saying goodbye to them, the rest of us decided to have dinner at Bizu Patisserie, a French casual dining in Greenbelt 2 before heading home.

I love this complimentary Ciabatta bread

(P285) Grilled Herb Chicken Sandwich - choice of whole wheat or regular ciabatta bread, grilled chicken breast, mayonnaise, sundried tomatoe, mozzarella cheese and alfalfa sprouts

(P275) Beef Bolognese Pasta - linguine pasta, angus beef bolognese sauce and parmesan cheese

(P595) Steak and Eggs - marinated prime top sirloin steak, 2 pcs. sunny eggs and garlic rice

(P275 - personal 3.5" diameter) Naomi Sugarless Cake - a combination of sugarless milk and dark chocolate mousse in between layers of chocolate cake sprayed with cocoa liqueur

(P235 - personal 3.5" diameter) Samba Cake - a combination of milk and dark chocolate mousse between layers of chocolate cake and coated with homemade chocolate sauce

We had a delicious meal. I liked the Naomi cake more because it has much less sweetness than Samba. For a healthier option try the Grilled Chicken Herb Sandwich. We all like the ciabatta bread so my sister bought some of it for us to take home. Would definitely go to Bizu again and try some other dishes.

Till next time,
June

Sign Up and Receive New Posts By E-mail

Sariwon Korean Barbecue: An Authentic Korean Culinary Place

One observation which I've not mentioned in my previous blog posts is the proliferation of Korean restaurants in the Philippines, specifically Metro Manila. I thought "Pinoys" have learned to love the Korean "wave" taking into account the growing acceptance of their culture as seen in the "koreanovela" and k-pop" shows which are popular to the viewing public. Not only that, Korean made products and fashion trends are visible and marketed in Korean-owned Manila based grocery stores and on-line. June also mentioned that even Eat Bulaga's Aldub Dance in Kalye serye "Fantastic Baby" is from Big Bang, a famous South Korean pop band. Thus, it's not surprising anymore that we have authentic Korean restos in Manila serving Korean cuisine lovers.

 Fantastic Baby by Big Bang (G-Dragon, T.O.P.,  Seungri, Taeyang and Daesung)

One of these authentic Korean restaurants in Manila is Sariwon Korean Barbecue (Sariwon for short). It was All Soul's Day when the family had a great bonding (after offering prayers for our departed loved ones) at BGC's Sariwon Korean Barbecue located at 7th Avenue, West Superblock Bonifacio High Street Central. That was my 2nd time to spend a day in this Korean restaurant.

Sariwon Korean Barbecue at BGC

Based on the web's description of the restaurant, Sariwon was first established by a grandmother, Mrs. Bun-Im-Koo, who hailed from Sariwon, North Korea and that's where this Korean resto chain got its name. I understand Sariwon Korean Barbecue resto branches in Manila are local franchises of a famous restaurant chain in Korea. Based on accounts, Manila's Sariwon owners even imported a Korean chef to assure its guest customers that the cooking strategies in preparing the food are genuine "Korean".

Sariwon is not a typical restaurant we see that has contemporary and colorful furniture and decor. When I first see the place, I thought there was something rustic feel inside. like a quaint place in in Korea, but with a modern twist to it! The table, chairs and sofa are in dark brown colors, simple wall decors and white "round" chandelier-like lightings installed above each tables.

As we were about 12 in the group, we were ushered by the staff to three, 4-seater table which were closely connected to each other so our small "talks" and "laughter" can be heard by each one of us! As expected in Korean resto, each table has a built-in grill top which can be used depending on one's order.

While waiting for the main dishes, we were served with 6 kinds of "banchans" or appetizers, which is typical in a Korean dining place. Among the banchans, I liked most the green salad and the mashed squash ball (looked and tasted like mashed potato and sweet potato or"camote"), and the hot house "corn" tea which were refillable once guests request for more! As usual, Kimchi wasn't a favorite of mine, maybe because of its tanginess and spiciness. But to make my Korean dining experience authentic, I forced myself to try a bit of it.

Sariwon's banchans or appetizer

We ordered three Value Set Menu good for 3 to 4 pax (1 value set is P1,800) consisting of Yangneum Buchaesal, Dak Galbi, Haemul Pajeon, Sariwon Bulgogi and Dolsot Bibimbap.

Yangneum Buchaesal, a flavorful, marinated USDA choice top blade steak grilled at the table, which can be eaten wrapped in green lettuce.

Yangneum Buchaesal


Dak Galbi is a grilled boneless chicken marinated overnight in a secret spice sauce for that tangy taste.

Dak Galbi

Sariwon's Bulgogi served as the highlight of our dining experience. The meat was freshly prepared and thinly sliced which was placed in a table-top cooker. Thereafter, the staff poured a different kind of hot broth especially prepared for this dish, followed by the sweet potato noodles and veggies which were placed on the sides of the cooker. I understand the hot broth is made of 12 different kinds of fruits and vegetables and mixed with red wine. Wow, no wonder the taste turned out to be authentic Korean!

Sariwon Bulgogi (not yet cooked)

Sariwon Bulgogi (cooked) Silky thin slices of fresh USDA choice beef grilled with broth at the table

One healthy, non-meat option which I also loved was the Korean pancake "Haemul Pajeon", a bit crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside, quite similar to our "okoy", made of squash, shrimps and beansprouts.

Haemul Pajeon, a traditional Korean pancake made with squid, shrimp, mussels, and green onion

The complimentary dessert drink called "Sikhye" completed our meal escapade at Sariwon. It was quite sweet to me tho, somewhat like "sago at gulaman" but it looked unique and interesting! I was told that the said drink is nutritious, a healthy alternative of sodas and fruit juices as it is made of malt and rice.

Sikhye

Aside from the complimentary dessert we also had Citrus Herb Juice (P150) and Patbingsoo (P180).

Citrus Herb Juice / Patbingsoo, a Korean shaved iced dessert with red bean

Generally, the group looked satisfied and happy after leaving Sariwon, which only means that the authentic Korean food at Sariwon satisfied their Asian palates!

As such, ton of thanks to the generous couple during that day! Free treats pa more! Hahaha!


Till next time,
Written by Maven
Photographs by June

Sign Up and Receive New Posts By E-mail

An Interesting Culinary Trip to Yoree!

Yoree may sound a Japanese name but I'm referring actually to the newly opened branch of a Korean restaurant called Yoree Korean Barbeque Dining in Molito. For our international-based friends, if you happen to visit the Philippines and stayed in the Alabang area, Molito is a relatively new dining complex located at Madrigal Avenue, corner Commerce Avenue in Alabang, Muntinlupa, and it is just across the Alabang Town Center (ATC).

food
awesome meal from Yoree

Anyway, we were gallivanting around ATC when June's HB challenged us to dine and try Yoree's way of preparing Korean dishes. We have been to other Korean dining places in Metro Manila but since this is a newly opened Yoree branch around the Alabang area, we accepted the challenge! I really don't mind spending more hours at Yoree as I've learned to love Korean cuisine during the past few years.

From the ATC area, there is a lane reserved for pedestrians going to Molito. As it was quite early when we arrived (the restaurants normally opens at 6pm for dinner time), we had to entertain ourselves with the dancing fountain on the park grounds, listening to the music orchestra comforting ourselves on the benches and tables with umbrella tents.

The time came for us to enter Yoree. The staff greeted us with a resounding "Annyeong Haseyo" (안녕하세요) which means "Hello" in Korean! It sounded like "Anong sayo"? Hahaha. I am quite a critical person particularly when it comes to cleanliness, service and food quality, particularly if there is an accompanying price to it! My eyes were rolling, but in fairness, my first impression on the resto was excellent. I liked the elegant and hip vibe of the atmosphere inside, the staff's way of treating guests, how they looked spic and span and its clean environment.

yoree restaurant

We were seated quite near the entrance door so we had the perfect view of who were coming in and out of the restaurant. Not that bad, as we were able to respond to the "smiles" of the country's concert king, "Martin Nieverra" when he entered Yoree's door together with a friend.


Just like other authentic Korean restaurants, Yoree's dining table has its own heating plate and grill but we opted not to avail of it at that time and instead we requested for the cook staff be the one to do the grilling and cooking for us using the restaurant's main kitchen.


Yoree has a wide list of Korean dishes in its menus. June's HB took charge of ordering the food. He was the one to foot the bill, anyway! But before the main entree was served, we were given a small bowl of  "Juk" or a Korean congee together with a bunch of "banchans" or appetizers which can be refilled, depending on your wants. This is what I liked in a Korean restaurant as you get a chance to have a taste of some small portions of Korean side dishes, which include the world renowned popular "Kimchi" and the sweet and spicy anchovies.

juk korean porridge
Juk (Korean Porridge)
korean side dishes
Yoree side dishes

One interesting to note that when the main dish was served, there was an accompanying some kind like a vase filled with greens, different kinds of lettuce. Then followed by other food such as  Japchae, Galbijjim and Woo Samgyeop. Then we had a juice which capped off our sumptuous meal!

japchae
Japchae (P198) Sauteed beef and vegetables with sweet potato noodles cooked "papillote" style

galbijjim
Galbijjim (P598) Popular Korean stew made with USDA Choice Beef Short Rib with carrots and radish

woo samgyeop
Woo Samgyeop (P398) Sliced USDA Choice Beef Belly, brushed with sweet soy sauce topped with spring onions


sauces
3 kinds of sauces

But what made my culinary trip to Yoree interesting was the 3 white rolled thing placed on a small platter, which appeared like a solid sugar or salt or a white mint candy. It really caught my attention. Good I didn't touch and devour it. (Laughing out loud)! The excitement went deeper when the staff poured water on it, and voila the white square like things expanded like budding tulips and turned out to be "moist white towelettes"! I thought that was magic and interesting!

Jalmokegotsumnida  (잘 먹었습니다)! 

Address: 
Yoree Molito
Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
894-0440

Yoree BGC
FORUM G/F 7th cor 25th Street, Bonifacio Global City, 7th Ave, Taguig, Metro Manila
866-0432


Till next time,
Written by Maven

Sign Up and Receive New Posts By E-mail