Business Lunch at Chateau 1771

When we passed by Chateau 1771, we knew this was the best lunch option for us. We felt a good vibe as soon as we entered the restaurant. It was hard not to feel captivated by the classy Parisian cafe charm. 

The restaurant boasts an extensive selection of different French, Swiss and Italian cuisine but seemed a bit on the expensive side. We were quite daunted by the menu list. Since it was our first time we opted for "Business Lunch" complete with choice of starter, entree and dessert, which makes it a 3-course meal. We weren't quite sure as to what exactly we ordered, but something led us to go for it anyway.

While waiting for our starter, we were given a complimentary toasted bread and eggplant relish.

For starters, HB opted for Lentil Soup while I had a Grilled Watermelon Salad.

Lentil Soup: A green puree and vegetables with white cheddar cheese

Grilled Watermelon Salad: A refreshing salad of watermelon, fries capers, arugula and feta cheese

We moved on to the main course, HB chose the Grilled Spice-Rubbed Chicken. 

Grilled Spice-Rubbed Chicken: Grilled chicken breast rubbed with paprika and turmeric with a yogurt and dill sauce; red and brown raisin rice

I decided on Salmon Teriyaki, which I think had a wonderfully light balanced flavor and my hands down favorite. I'm dying to figure out how to make this myself because it was just so delizioso.

Salmon Teriyaki: Salmon fillet glazed with a house made teriyaki sauce with sesame rice

The we finished up by gorging on two tiny desserts such as Coffee Semifredo & Raspberry and Mango Pavlova that tasted like crusty meringue.

I've been having a hard time looking for restaurants that offer 3 or 4-course menu, so the "Business Lunch" of Chateau 1771 really filled my full course craving! The small portions boost to make the food presentation more artful.  This is also good for those who are on a diet. A Business Lunch set is offered from P750 to P950. Chateau 1771 is ideally located at the corner of Greenbelt 5, Makati.

Till next time, 

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Hongdae and Sinchon Area

After N Seoul Museum, we were already exhausted but we couldn't get enough of Seoul so the rest of the afternoon was spent roaming around the city. We went to "I Park" first to check out the Studio Ghibili exhibit but turns out the mall just hosted the event for a very short period of time. 

Soon we headed to Hongdae and Sinchon area, surrounded by Korea's major universities like Yonsei, Ewha, Sogang and Hongik.

Hongik University

You'll find plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes here.

There's this neighborhood where they transformed their walls into a colored graffiti artwork. 

Another thing that caught our attention was the unusual name of the shop "Condomania". We didn't get to see inside but we assumed they're selling various kinds of condoms. Well, for obvious reasons, the store's name speaks for itself. ;)

We also passed by Mapogu Kiosk zone selling some knick knacks and handmade Korean items.

There's another section that most of the shops are selling fashionable clothing and trendy accessories.

We stopped for a quick look at Artbox that offers diverse character items, cute fancy stuff, stationery, school and office supplies. I did find some pretty awesome travel luggage accessories.

Our last stop I think was Nandaemun market, billed as the biggest traditional market in Korea.

You can't also miss the street vendors selling various kinds of goods mostly clothing.

Overall, the massive amounts of crowds and shops at Hongdae and Sinchon area was pretty overwhelming. It involves a lot of walking but definitely worth the visit.

Till next time, 

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Classic Buffet of Sonya's Country Fare

The three of us decided to hit up Sonya's Garden because we wanted to try healthy organic food and to spend some time in nature. The place is tucked away off the main road and nestled in a quiet neighborhood. If you're a first timer, it's a little difficult to find but this hidden place near Tagaytay is worth the hunt if you want something different from the usual smorgasbord buffet offering.

We had the so called Classic Buffet of Sonya's Country Fare which is available daily (lunch and dinner) for P683 per person at one of their greenhouse-restaurants that looks like under a translucent white canopies with chandeliers.

We started with freshly baked whole wheat sesame bread with an array of homemade dips like basil pesto, bruschetta, tomato toppings, mushroom pate, anchovies, black olive tapenade, and white cheese. They also served us bottomless freshly-squeezed dalandan juice (green mandarin).

Followed with the garden salad greens, which is the highlight of our lunch. Consisting of freshly harvested lettuce, arugula and a little bit of colorful edible flowers, which comes with plentiful assorted kinds of toppings such as mango, broad beans, eggs, cucumber, jack fruit, pineapple and white corn. Drizzled with Sonya's Secret Salad Dressing.

Next was Pasta served with two choices of sauce; sundried tomatoes, and chicken cream with mangoes. You can top it off with salmon belly, shiitake mushrooms, ratatouille, black olives, capers and grated Parmesan cheese.

Later on we enjoyed the desserts like sweet potatoes, banana rolls with sesame and jack fruit, and a tiny slice of homemade dark moist chocolate cake. But soon we washed it all down with a cup of hot tarragon tea.

The food was healthy and the service was efficient. We were so full that we didn't have room for their optional dishes like Braised Chicken with potatoes (P728) and Roast Chicken (P554), so I can't attest to that.

Sonya's Garden is a lovely place for a stroll. There are variety of flowers, herbs and trees either side of the walkways. There are benches and canopy chairs to sit on and this way you could get some fresh air. But we just walked around and took photographs to our heart's content.

There are plenty of choice for you to pop in some stores like The Apothecary and Country Store selling handmade wares, hand-embroidered linens, various goodies and trinkets, sweet-smelling soaps, ointments, scented sprays, massage oils, shampoos, balms, candles, body scrubs and etc.

The Apothecary

Country Store

Surprisingly some of the plants you see in Sonya's Garden are for sale. We stumbled upon a small hut selling ashitaba and tarragon plants (P50), organic basil and tarragon leaves (P50), organic mesclun salad (P150), dried danggit (P100), dried tawilis (P100), dried biya (P100) and fruits.

They also have a bakery named Panaderia selling freshly baked breads and traditional Filipino pastries.

Overall, we had a great walk and a nice healthy light buffet meal. Sonya's Garden also offers wedding packages, spa and B&B accommodation. It is located at Barangay Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite (near the vicinity of Tagaytay City).

Till next time, 

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Seoul: National Museum of Korea (국립중앙박물관)

We ventured to National Museum of Korea, which is the largest museum in Korea and showcases precious Korean cultural assets that reveal the story of Korea's fascinating history, from ancient times to modern era. Although the exhibits were pretty great we didn't really get the chance to see all of it.

Part of this place is a Children's Museum with hands-on experience gallery where youngster can learn history and culture by means of play and experience. It also provides various educational programs.

In the Outdoor exhibits area, visitors can enjoy a variety of stone works such as pagodas, stupas, lanterns, and steles. There are also restaurants and cafes at various locations in the museum.

Admission fee for Permanent Exhibitions is free. There is a charge for Special Exhibitions, and tickets are available from the ticket office until 1 hour before closing. The National Museum of Korea is located 1.5 km away from Yongsan Station.

Museum Hours:
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9:00AM to 18:00PM
Wednesday and Saturday: 9:00AM to 21:00PM
Sunday and Holiday: 9:00AM-19:00PM
Closing Days: Mondays and January 1st
*However, the museum will open during any public holiday if it falls on Monday. Instead the museum will close on the first weekday immediately following the holiday.

137 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, 
Seoul, 04383, Republic of Korea

Till next time, 

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