May 27, 2017

Shū Reflexology and Foot Therapy- Foot Reflexology and Back Massage in San Juan

After weeks of traveling in the US, I am finally back in Manila! Some things I missed the most? A really good full body massage, and a relaxing foot spa. Good thing I discovered this new place in San Juan called Shū Reflexology and Foot Therapy.

Shu Reflexology and Foot Therapy specializes in foot reflexology which involves the application of pressure to the feet, with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques. 

I usually frequent spa establishments for full body massages, and nail salons to service my foot spa needs. Shū Reflexology and Foot Therapy hits two birds in one stone with their Foot Reflexology with Back Massage which we tried last weekend.

Foot Reflexology with Back Massage:
1 hour & 20 mins- P550
1 hour & 40 mins.- P680
2 hours- P825

While the foot therapy didn't involve choosing a polish for my nails, it allowed me to choose a signature foot soak before the session. There are three types of soak available: Ginger Soak, Green Tea Soak, and Salt Detox Bath.

I chose the ginger soak that targets to improve circulation, and helps with conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, and varicose veins, while D got the green tea soak that helps detoxify, soothe, and heal stressed skin.

We were led to our own cozy private room equipped with two large massage chairs, a tv for us to watch some shows during the session, slippers, towels, and massage clothes.

What Kind of Activities Are Included in a Vacation Package?

You’ve heard of travel companies that offer an all-inclusive vacation package and understand they typically include hotel, car rentals, and travel arrangements. What you may not know is that many of the bundled vacation offerings also include activities that are covered in full or at least provided at deep discounts. If you are thinking about taking a vacation and wonder what sorts of activities are likely to be included in a package, here are some examples of what you will find. 

Concert Tickets

April 20, 2017

Healthy Options All-Natural Summer Beauty Travel Essentials #KnowTheWholeStory

Sun's up! Summer is finally here! And what better way to enjoy the summer, than to travel and go on a vacation! After visiting Japan, China, and Korea, this time, I'm finally heading to the west! I'll be gone for 3 weeks, but you can still follow my travel adventures on Instagram @itsberyllicious. 

Just in time before I leave, I received a surprise delivery from Healthy Options.

Healthy Options is a one-stop-shop for healthy, organic, and all-natural products. We're no strangers to Healthy Options' wide variety of healthy snacks and other food products, but this delivery is all about their beauty and personal care product line. 

As much as I wanted to get a bag of some delicious goodies, I was very curious about Healthy Options' all-natural summer beauty travel essentials. 

The scent of Blackberry and Coconut Milk filled the air as I opened the bag. 

Inside were samples of Giovanni Cosmetics' Eco Chic Hair Care line- 2Chic Repairing Collection.

April 17, 2017

US Potato Vegetarian Poutine Recipe- Go Healthy & Nutritious This Lenten Season

There are several misconceptions about US potatoes being unhealthy and high in calories. "US potatoes will make your thighs bigger.", "US potatoes are high in carbohydrates that will eventually make you gain weight.", "Eating US potatoes have no nutritional value hence they are just empty calories." These are just some of the myths we commonly hear from other people when talking about US Potatoes.

Contrary to these beliefs, US Potatoes are in fact one of the healthiest and most nutritious types of food. US Potatoes, when prepared and cooked properly, can offer a lot of health benefits to the body.

In this post, I'll be sharing a simple and healthy US Potato recipe, while discussing more about the nutritional facts of US Potatoes.

This recipe was inspired by our cook-off award-winning dish at the US Potato Safari 3 in Davao.

April 12, 2017

Bai's Boneless Lechon Cebu: Crackling Pork Belly Goodness in Alabang- Ato Ni Bai!

The festive yuletide holidays may be long over, but that doesn't mean we can no longer enjoy the much-anticipated food on every Pinoy feast or gathering. The famous roasted pig of the Philippines, is probably one of the most sought-after dish in the country, both by locals and tourists. Holiday or not, we crave and give in to this glorious roasted pork dish that is Lechon.

Last week, I was introduced to Bai's Boneless Lechon when I received this box of happiness.

With Cebu being the lechon capital of the Philippines, it wasn't a surprise when internationally acclaimed chef, foodie and traveler Anthony Bourdain, dubbed cebu lechon as the "best pig ever".

However, as much as we want to enjoy a little piece of Cebu lechon heaven, traveling all the way to Cebu is just too impractical. Unless you have relatives from the Queen City of the South who can bring you some on a regular basis, then you'll just have to suffice yourself with the classic lechon from Manila.

Good thing I don't have to travel far just to get my hands on this glorious and heavenly crackling porchetta. You'll be happy to learn that Bai's Boneless Lechon Cebu is just located in Alabang, and delivers to most parts of Metro Manila.

Ching Kee Beef Noodles and Shrimp Wontons- Homestyle Noodle House in Banawe

Our regular weekday night normally involves driving along Banawe, scouting for new restaurants to try. This may sound costly to do on a regular basis, but we do our best to look for affordable places to eat without hurting our pockets. While we have our go-to restaurants for our usual quick fix dinners, we are always on the lookout for new and affordable eats. 

So when we saw this small noodle house with a red signage called Ching Kee Beef Noodles in Banawe, we decided to check what it has to offer. 

April 11, 2017

Thai Original BBQ & Restaurant L.A. to Manila: Family-Style House Specials in BGC

Thai Original BBQ is a franchise that originated in Los Angeles, California back in 1978. The two founders, Pat and Tammy Ngamari, wanted to introduce the flavors of the East, to the growing number of foodies in the US, hence, they came up with an original bbq concept, that will showcase the playful and complex flavors of Thai cuisine.

Now, Mr. George Pua, president of No Limits Food Inc., the same group behind Tony Roma's, Ogawa Traditional Japanese Restaurant, Modern Sichuan, KPub Bbq, and Oppa Chicken, brings that sought after flavors of Thai Original BBQ to Manila.

Located at The Fort Entertainment Complex in BGC, Thai BBQ opened its doors last November and has recently been awarded as Thai Select for authentic Thai cuisine by the Ministry of Commerce Thailand.

Few months after its opening, we were invited to try some of Thai BBQ's key dishes and House Specials.

Aside from the restaurant's best-selling classic dishes such as the Green Papaya Salad, Yum Pla Dook Foo or Catfish Salad, Tom Yum GoongThai Curry, Pad Thai, Pineapple and Bagoong Fried Rice, Thai BBQ is also known for its House Specials that are generous in servings and ideal for big groups and families.

Tom Yum Goong

Jack 'n Jill Calbee Honey Butter Potato Chips- The Newest Asian Craze!

Move over salted egg chips, there's a newest craze in town, as Jack 'n Jill Calbee brings in the latest snack innovation from Japan- the Honey Butter Potato Chips

Since 2014, Honey Butter has been flying off the shelves of stores in Japan and Korea. Finally, the sought-after flavor has finally come to Philippine shores!

April 9, 2017

Char Casual Dining- Cantonese Roasts from Singapore in Uptown Parade, BGC

After our Namoo House experience, we've been eager to try other restaurants located in Uptown Parade near Uptown Place Mall in BGC. But since we don't frequent BGC as much as we did before, the plan was immediately pushed aside. Fortunately, the recent Gourmand Market gave us a reason to visit the Fort area since D's brother joined as one of the concessionaires.

After going around the restaurants, we ended up at Char Casual Dining located at the second level. 

The name doesn't remind me of a particular cuisine, but from the sound of it, I thought it should be serving grilled, savory, and aromatic dishes. Turned out, Char Casual Dining is a franchise from Singapore that specializes in Cantonese roast meats. Since we were quite famished after coming from an archery session in Kodanda Archery Range in Eastwood, we thought of ordering some of Char's best-sellers.

Yo! Panda- Quick Bites and Savory Asian Delights in SM Megamall

We were strolling around SM Megamall when we caught sight of a hipster panda with afro hair and cool sunnies. Yo! Panda occupies a small corner space at the 4th level of Mega A near the escalators, so it is hard to miss the spot.

While it seemed most diners were ordering desserts, particularly Yo! Panda's Hong Kong-style Bubble Waffle Gelato, we were keen on trying some of their savory dishes. 

We weren't really hungry so we ordered only a few interesting dishes. First was the Shrimp & Cheese Balls (P290) which were deep fried crunchy shrimp balls, topped with pork floss and served with sweet soy and Japanese mayo. 

April 7, 2017

Canton Road- A Journey of Modern Cantonese Delights in Shangrila at the Fort

Many times in my life, I’ve taken the high road, the crossroad, and the road less traveled by. But one of my best travels recently was a gastronomic journey to Canton Road.

Canton Road is the in-house Chinese restaurant of Shangri-la at the Fort in BGC. The fine-dining restaurant specializes in contemporary Cantonese cuisine that takes traditional dishes to a whole new level. Inspired by the mild and sweet flavors of Huaiyang cuisine, Canton Road offers a refreshing take on the usual bold and rich flavors of Chinese-style cooking.

I was invited to a lunch preview of Canton Road's new menu, and for someone who loves Chinese food, I just couldn't say no. Add the fact that one of my favorite Chinese food is dimsum, which apparently was made popular by the Cantonese in Southern China.

Our feast started with a Huaiyang Appetizer Combination featuring 4 kinds of cold cuts:
Garlic Tossed Dried Bean Curd, Spicy Green Papaya and Pomelo Salad, Chilled Cherry Tomato infused in Osmanthus Sauce, 24-hr Marinated Salted Duck.

April 6, 2017

Mati's Meat and Bread- Wagyu Steak Night at the Venice Grand Canal, McKinley Hill

Once in while, we deserve to indulge in some good 'ol steak, and treat ourselves with some premium meat goodness that is Wagyu. Wagyu, as we all know, is quite a luxurious choice of beef, with its intense marbling and high quality meat. While a regular working class like me couldn't afford to enjoy wagyu steaks too often due to its hefty price tag, I'm glad I was introduced to Mati's Meat and Bread for their affordable steak options.

Mati's Meat and Bread comes from the same family who owns Melo's and House of Wagyu. That being said, you'll know that you're in good hands, and stepping inside Mati's won't be a one big missed-steak.

We visited their newest branch at the Venice Grand Canal in McKinley Hill to try their new wagyu specials. I've heard about Mati's Meat and Bread in Filinvest before, but since the first branch is quite far from our place, we never had the chance to try it out.

Our meal started with an appetizer of Mama's Buffalo Wings (P380) which was a different take on the classic buffalo recipe usually marinated in hot sauce. Mati's version came in a honey-glazed version with a sweet and buttery taste.

April 5, 2017

Gigi Gaerlan Custaroons- Delectable Sweets Match Made in Heaven ♥

It's been years since Gigi's Custaroons rose to fame with its signature product, the Custaroon- a smooth and creamy custard flan, topped with a chewy and buttery crust of coconut macaroon. Truly a match made in heaven, that could make someone like me, who doesn't even like coconut, indulge in this heavenly piece. 

March 31, 2017

10 Restaurants To Try at the New North Wing of SM Mall of Asia #MOAEATS

SM Mall of Asia welcomed this year with a bang as more restaurants opened up on its new North Wing of the Entertainment Mall. The new wing features upcoming gastronomic destinations and promising food establishments, in addition to the mall's wide selection of restaurants.

Experience a palatable journey around the world, and explore the different cuisines from Japanese, Thai, Southwestern, American, and Filipino.

Last month, I was invited to attend the media launch of the new North Wing to discover more of #MOAEATS.

More than 15 restaurants will be found in the new food zone, but only 10 stores are currently open today.

We went on a food crawl to discover what each must-visit restaurant has to offer.

1. Agos by Chef Tatung

Agos is a Filipino-Spanish restaurant by award-winning chef-journalist Chef Myke "Tatung" Sarthou. It features Fil-Hispanic cuisine, inspired by local dishes, ingredients, and flavors of the Philippines.

One of Agos' signature dishes is the Paella Fiesta Filipina (P580)- a festive mix of seafood, chicken, smoked chorizo and vegetables on paella rice with achuete oil.

2. Basil

The Thai restaurant in While Plains now opens another branch in SM Mall of Asia. We've been to its Makati branch before, and I could still remember how we fell in love with the place and food.

Not to miss are Basil's bestselling Pad Thai (P360) and Crispy Fish with 3 Flavored Sauces (P825).

3. Botejyu Authentic Japanese Cuisine 

Botejyu is popularly known as one of the pioneers and innovators of the legendary Okonomiyaki of Osaka. It is also the inventor of Okosoba or "modernyaki", which is a combination of okonomiyaki and yakisoba.

Some of the must-try dishes at Botejyu are the Takoyaki All-Star (P245) and Premium Moonlight Okonomiyaki (P360).

4. Fiery Style Southwestern Flaming Grill

Fiery Style offers Southwestern Tex-Mex flaming grills with a complementing cocktails bar perfect for a good night out with friends and family.

This Chicken & Rib Combo (P998) offers the best of both worlds, with a half roasted jerk chicken, and smokey BBQ pork ribs, served with southwest rice and corn on the cob.

5. Morganfield's 

Home of the sticky bones, Morganfield's boasts to having the biggest ribs in town. Their baby back ribs and spareribs are cut from Iberian pigs, flown in all the way from Spain.

Here is a full slab of Inasal Pork Spareribs- a sweet and smokey baby back ribs suited to the Filipino palate.

I remember spotting these cute his and hers Think Pig mugs (P250) when we dined in their Uptown Mall branch in BGC.

6. Paper Moon Cafe 

The Japanese cafe of Tokyo, known for its signature mille crepe cakes hit the country by storm. Their Original Mille Crepe (P225/slice) is made with at least 20 layers of delicate, paper-thin, handmade crepes, with a heavenly light pastry cream in between.

7. Tenren's Tea 

For Taiwan's best-tasting tea, Tenren's Tea is the place to go. 913 King's Tea is an exclusive blend of high quality oolong, with a touch of ginseng to create an incredible aftertaste.

Tenren's tea uses milk powder for their milk teas, and fresh milk for their tea lattes. They also have fruit teas and slushies for a more refreshing drink option.

8. Tenya 

Tenya, home of the famous tempura and tendon of Asakusa, Tokyo, specializes in tempura and tempura donburi (tendon). Their best-selling All-Star Tendon (P295) has a little bit of everything like black tiger prawn, squid, salmon, kani stick, green beans, and mushroom, served atop steaming Japanese rice drizzled with their signature dontare sauce. 

The highlight of our visit was Tenya's new flavored salts- curry, yuzu (calamansi), and wasabi powder to heighten up the tempura experience. 

9. Tori Ichi Yakitori & Bar 

Tori Ichi specializes in yakitori or grilled meat skewers. They have a wide variety of meat and vegetable selections, plus classic Japanese ala carte dishes as well. 

We tried their Butabara (P75)- pork belly skewers, and Hasami (P75)- chicken and scallions skewers which were both tender and savory. 

10. Caramia Cakes & Gelato

For dessert, there is always Caramia to fix your gelato cravings. 

Good news to coffee lovers, there's also a Seattle's Best Coffee opening in the new north wing soon.

Head over to the food zone of the new North Wing of SM Mall of Asia, and discover what #MOAEATS is all about. 

March 30, 2017

Ready For A Leveled Up 2017 with #PiattosTime

Can’t believe March is over! It’s crazy how quickly time passes. Weren’t we just celebrating New Year’s Day a moment ago? I can still recall listing down my 2017 goals- every start of the year, we all have that urge to level up our past activities and be a better version of ourselves. Somehow, we want to beat our previous years' achievements and goals. That is why most of us come down with a list of resolutions to remind us of the challenge we are readily accepting for each new year.

Since we want to be a better version of ourselves, we find ways to level up the things we normally do.

This time, I am leveling up my year by enjoying more the good things that life brings. I'd like to travel more with friends and family, and enjoy delicious and good food both locally and internationally.

Started my resolution early when the parents and I went to China during the holidays. Of course, I didn't forget to bring my favorite snack with us while exploring the natural beauty of Guilin, China, definitely a fun and exciting #PiattosTime.

March 25, 2017

Namoo House Premium Korean BBQ- Experience Seoul BBQ in Uptown Parade, BGC

One of our family’s favorite cuisine is Korean. We used to dine at different Korean buffets around the metro because we get to enjoy various meat selections and Korean dishes to our hearts’ content. But ever since my dad underwent angioplasty a year ago, our family became more conscious on the food we eat, when dining at home and in restaurants.

While we stayed away from buffets and other eat-all-you-can establishments, we still enjoyed eating Korean food since it is has a lot of healthy grilled options and vegetables.

It was a post-birthday celebration for my Dad and the brother decided to treat the family. We went to Uptown Parade in BGC and chanced upon this Korean restaurant called Namoo House

Like most Korean restaurants, we were served with some complimentary banchans while waiting for our orders. Their appetizers consisted of mixed greens with sesame dressing, kimchi, anchovies, omelette, steamed and pickled veggies.

March 22, 2017

Boulangerie22 Pokémon Cakes and Macarons- Gotta Eat 'em All!

Still hooked with the addicting Pokémon Go craze? Good news to all Pokemon fans! You don't have to walk, run, or drive far enough to catch the sweetest Pokemon creatures around. 

Boulangerie 22, a bakery and dessert cafe serving specialty cakes and pastries, recently launched their Pokémon Cakes and Pokémon Macarons, to add to its growing selection of delectable and fun character-themed cakes and macarons.

For my birthday, I got myself the Jigglypuff Strawberry Cake (P699) which is a vanilla chiffon cake layered with strawberry buttercream of real fresh strawberries.

March 17, 2017

SM By The Bay: The 8th Philippine International Pyromusical Competition- Germany

The Philippine International Pyromusical Competition is now on its 8th year of illuminating the city's night sky with a spectacular fireworks display, coupled with a magnificent play of thrilling sounds and vivid colors. 

The annual extravaganza gathers some of the best fireworks manufacturers around the world, with two participants showcasing their pyrotechnic artistry and craft every Saturday night at the SM By The Bay in SM Mall of Asia.

This year's competition, is joined by France, Germany, China, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia, with an opening and closing exhibition by the Philippines as host country. 

I haven't witnessed a single pyromusical competition during the last seven years, but finally, I experienced the outstanding performances of Germany's Steffes-Olig Feuerwerke, and Nico Events last February 18.

Instead of going out to a fancy dinner, we spent our Valentine weekend at SM By The Bay to witness this grand and majestic spectacle.

Doors open at 4pm, and first firing starts at 8pm. Since we arrived early for the event, we decided to check out the Love Locks by the bay near the patron area.

There were also some carnival-inspired game booths to enjoy while passing the time until the show starts.

Here are the ticket prices for the event:
Patron with dinner- Php 1500
VIP- Php 600
Gold- Php 300
Silver- Php 100

While I used to think that it is better to watch the fireworks display at a far distance, getting front row seats got some perks as well. One, the patron and vip area are much less crowded than the gold and silver section. Secondly, watching the whole exhibition at a very close distance was most certainly a sight to behold. It was like the whole display was within arm's reach as lights illuminate the sky with a bright spectrum of colors.

The first presenter from team Germany was Nico Events.

After the first show, an intermission performance by Kitchie Nadal entertained the guests.

The second presenter was Steffes-Olig Feuerwerke of Germany.

While both German competitors put up a magnificent show, I personally liked Steffes-Olig Feuerwerke better. They literally lit up the sky and filled the night with colors and music. It was such an overwhelming spectacle, and I couldn't think of a better way to have spent the Valentine weekend than watching the 8th Philippine International Pyromusical Competition in SM Mall of Asia.

You can still catch the last exihibition on:
March 18- Australia & Philippines (Closing Show)

Get your tickets now!!