Sunday, June 28, 2009

Run For The Forest, Run!

June 28, 2009
UP Diliman
Quezon City

The 2009 GIG Run. A run for the benifit of the Ipo Watershed Project and the Padyak Project Foundation of the UP Mountaineers.

(L-R) Patrick, Warren, Aileen, and I

5 km in 37 minutes 33 seconds. Will do better on the next run, I promise! :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thriller In Manila

I spotted this guy at the airport on June 26, 2009 (Philippine Time). The same day Michael Jackson passed away. Eerie Coincidence or Personal Tribute?

Rest In Peace, King Of Pop!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Half-y Father's Day

For every purchase of two (2) REGULAR items, get 50% off on the cheapest item.

Participating Branches:
Shangri-La Plaza Mall (3rd Floor)
SM Cebu North Wing (Ground Floor)
SM Marikina (2nd Floor)
SM Megamall Building B (2nd Floor)
SM North Edsa Annex (2nd Floor)

Promo runs June 19-21, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thai Patio

June 19, 2009
Thai Patio
Greenbelt 5, Makati City

One of my favorite cuisines in the world is Thai. I still have yet to try the REAL THING in Thailand but I guess I have to settle for our restaurants here in the Philippines (for now). Hopefully next year, I get the chance to go to Thailand and experience their cuisine firsthand.

Thai Patio is a fairly new restaurant that opened in Greenbelt 5. It caters to the AB Market and reminded me of People Palace minus the dark ambiance. The atmosphere of Patio is a bit more bright and had a more hole-in-the-wall feel to it. Even the design of the kitchen window/divider was likened to hawker carts/shops. The place was pretty modern and minimal with some touches of the classics here and there.

One of the classic dishes is Tom Yum. Their version, however, was a bit TOO classic. The soup had no identity and I personally couldn't figure out if it was sour or bland or what! The serving was a bit small for the price. It was actually ONE serving for a price that could accommodate the whole table. I mean, setting the price issue aside, I expected a more special Tom Yum.

Breaking the normal routine of ordering the basics, we decided to try out the Roasted Duck In Red Curry instead. We were still hungry from that "cup-of-soup-for-two" that we really hoped for the best this time... The duck was very succulent but the cooking was a bit inconsistent. A few duck pieces were a bit tough while the others were cooked perfectly. The roasted duck added a new dimension and flavor to the dish. The red curry sauce was amazing. I love how the sweetness of the sauce was pretty evident amidst the smoky curry flavor. I was surprised at how the duck blended perfectly with curry. This is definitely a must-try at Patio.

Some of our friends ordered Pad Thai so we had a chance to sample some also. Presentation was kinda cool as they placed a net made from eggs over the noodles. A pretty good use of egg plus the waffle maker, don't you think? The Pad Thai was pretty good. Basic, but good.

Eating at Thai Patio made me realize more how important the balance between steep price, good food, and serving size is. I wouldn't mind paying a lot as long as the food is great and (not or) the serving size is ample. I think the restaurant has good food but they should revise their recipes a bit in terms of flavoring and serving size. Being pretty close to rival People's Palace doesn't really help since they have bigger servings there for the same price.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Burrito Heaven

June 2, 2009
Ristras, Mexican Grill
J. Abad Santos Street, San Juan

We decided to try this newly opened resto by Chef Robby Goco and partners called Ristas, Mexican Grill. Chef Robby is known for his creations like Cyma and Charlie's Grind & Grills. I've been hearing and reading raves about Ristas from fellow bloggers like Fran and Anton so even if Mexican food is not necessarily the healthier option after a round at the gym, we (against better judgement) followed our stomachs instead. Thanks to Philip (manager) for accommodating us and for being a gracious host. He told us which dishes were the ones to order.

Steak Burrito - The meat was really tender and was not stringy. The serving was really big and the burrito itself was jam-packed with other fixins. The initial thing I liked about the burrito was the fact that you could choose what you actually put inside your meal. Having control over your dish is a pretty good thing, since people are very particular with specific ingredients inside the burrito like beans and/or jalepe├▒os.

The burrito was their best seller and now I know why. It was best I've ever tasted, even surpassing Zapatas. As I experienced every bite of my order, I thought to myself: At least, I don't need to go to Pampanga anymore to get some good Mexican food. Every bite seemed better and better, the burrito had so much complex and contrasting flavors. It was really an explosion of flavors in one dish.

Soft Tacos with (1) Chicken, (2) Carnitas, and (3) Barbacoa - The soft taco was amazing. The Carnitas (pork) and Barbacoa (beef) had pretty strong flavors compared to the mild Chicken. This may be the main reason why I liked the Chicken more because it absorbed the other ingredients from the taco instead of changing the dimension of the taco, overshadowing its overall flavor. Generally, it was a good sampling of the soft tacos and I wouldn't mind ordering it again. Next time I'm ordering ALL chicken! :)

I was really hoping to find some fish tacos though but unfortunately it wasn't part of the menu. Fish tacos are a classic in Mexico. Maybe they can have some here at Ristras next time, what do you think?

Albondigas Soup - Their version of a classic soup dish was very very good! It was very hearty and flavorful. The meatballs were amazing and excellently prepared. As I sampled the soup, I couldn't help but feel comfort from it. The timing was perfect. Nothing beats sipping on some warm and hearty soup on a cold and rainy night.

This new creation of Chef Robby is really sort of a Mexican taco/burrito bar that really requires no complex descriptions. It is as straightforward and direct as it sounds. Currently on their soft opening, the service is impeccable and the food great. Keeping it as straightforward and direct myself, Ristas definitely holds the record as the biggest, baddest, best burrito I've ever tasted!

Bicol Specialties

Thanks to friends Jarvey Belo (not related to Vicki, FYI) and Ann Benwick for the

Sizzling Hot Bicol Express

Oh La La Laing

They got us from their Bicol trip. It was Y-U-M-M-Y!
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