Monday, July 20, 2009

Run For Home

July 19, 2009
The Fort
Taguig City

Run for Home will help fund Habitat For Humanity’s on-going construction of houses in "Bayan Ni Juan in Calauan," a housing relocation site in Brgy. Dayap Calauan, Laguna under the Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig Project of ABS-CBN Foundation.

Run for Home is made possible in cooperation with Ayala Land and Bonifacio Global City, and supported by major sponsors Philippine Star and Adidas, as well as by 100 Plus, Fitness First, Intercontinental Manila, Photovendo and Timex. Run for Home's media partners include ABS-CBN, GMA, Barangay LS 97.1, 99.5RT, Wave 89.1, Monster Radio RX 93.1 and Jam 88.3, and the race is organized by Finish Line Inc.

Probably the most well-organized, most technologically-advanced run I've joined... It featured a timing chip for accurate time readings. So cool! :) It's really a different thing when big companies are sponsors of an event huh?

I did better on this run: 5k at 36 mins 24 secs (UNOFFICIAL)

Update:

Wow! The Globe Run website is awesome! You can easily find race photos and results just by typing your last name or bib number. Click here to see it.

OFFICIAL RESULTS

NAME: Oliver Castro
EVENT: 5 Km Run For Home
DATE: Sunday, July 19, 2009
BIB/DIV: 2806 / M 30-39
TIME: 37m:11s (gun) / 36m:40s (net)
AVERAGE SPEED: 8.2 KpH (5.1 MpH)

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Next Best Thing

July 16, 2009
Aubergine
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

The art of cooking. The beauty of presentation. The dining experience...

Creamy Mushroom In Puff Pastry (complimentary)

The appetizer reminded me of the cream of mushroom soup that we usually had canned in the sense of how it was really comforting. This time however, the mushrooms were fresher and the herbs infused made it really haute.

Buffalo Mozzarella, Sliced Parma Ham And Cantaloupe Melon
served with arugula and assorted summer leaves tossed in balsamic dressing

How can you go wrong with mozzarella and parma ham? Well, you can't! That's why the salad we had was to die for. The parma ham and mozzarella were amazing on its own but it steps on to another level when you put everything together. It was like all the different tastes and textures paraded inside my mouth like there was no tomorrow.

Prawn Tagliolini
with zucchini and tomatoes in a light mascarpone cheese sauce

This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. Everything blended perfectly. The pasta was al dente and I loved how it tasted almost like my favorite e-fu noodles. I just love biting into a piece of pasta that has texture and toughness. The prawn was as fresh as it can be and it was cooked consistently and without error. They were also surprisingly abundant in the dish. I remember asking myself: "Fine dining doesn't usually have this much ingredients?" The sauce was also lovely. It had bits of zucchini which was perfect because I was craving for them for quite some time now. It also had this light sweet taste from the mascarpone cheese. This was a pretty unforgettable dish in my book.

Trio Of Grilled Australian Mulwarra Beef Tenderloin, Braised Veal Cheek, And Pan–Seared Duck Foie Gras
with Port wine glace, served with mousseline potatoes and vegetable cassoulet

Two things I liked about this dish was the tenderloin and of course, the foie gras. The beef was really tender and not at all stringy. Can't say it was that perfectly cooked but at least it was not THAT overcooked. Now foie gras (cooked well) is always good. The foie gras we had was not at all different. It was its usual buttery-delicate self, just the way we liked it. On the other hand, the veal was a bit stringy for me. The taste was great but the meat was kinda tough given that it was indeed veal. I guess the trio was just a duo for me...

Warm Chocolate Fondue Cake With Rosemary Ice Cream

The cake pretty amazing. The chocolate syrup oozing out of the warm fondue was a very appetizing sight. The warmth of the cake also contrasted with the frozen homemade ice cream which gave the dessert personality. The rosemary ice cream was a bit weird for us since we were used to rosemary in meats. Every spoon of the ice cream tasted like lamb chops or roast chicken to us. It definitely needs some getting used to but it's good.

After asking for the bill, we were greeted with a small plate of colorful macaroons as sort of like a parting gift. Thanks and complements to the Chef.

Aubergine is no Lolo Dad's but it surely came really close to it. The next best thing, wherein the food was superb and the service, excellent. And did I mention, it's less overpriced and much nearer (for us) compared to Lolo Dad's? After the whole experience, Aubergine is now one of my favorite restaurants in the metro.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ako Mismo!

Finally got my Ako Mismo! dog tags...

Thanks love! :)

For my pledge:
Ako Mismo ang gagawa ng mga paraan upang alagaan ang ating kapaligiran at karagatan.

For more info on the Ako Mismo movement visit them at http://akomismo.org

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Can A Table Make A Difference?

July 2, 2009
Mesa
Greenbelt 5, Makati City

Finally got the chance to do the write-up for this resto. Been quite busy with work and microblogging. This is way overdue.

Mesa is a new dining experience from the La Mesa Grill Group in Greenbelt. It is purely a Filipino/Asian inspired restaurant with all the basics. Sometimes they also offer very different and very unique takes on classic Filipino favorites. Like the HANGED Fried Chicken and the FRIED Lechon. Since we were 10+ in the table, we all decided to order for sharing. We just made sure that the viands were a good mix of veggies, meat, seafood, and soup:

Tinapa Spring Roll - A very Filipino take on the classic spring roll. It could have used a little more tinapa (smoked fish) but it was overall very good. I think the smokey flavor gave another dimension to the already perfect roll. The roll was also plated nicely giving it the illusion of quantity and elegance.

Boneless Crispy Pata - This was probably the best dish of the evening. The skin was very crispy but it was not at all bland. It was very tasty and perfectly seasoned. The meat was moist and very tender. They did a good job on this since most of the time, the meat of the pata are usually a tad bit overcooked. Overcooking leaves the meat dry and stringy. Mesa's version was so good it disappeared from our table so fast... Everybody loved it! :)

Baby Squid In Olive Oil And Garlic - Mesa's haute cuisine version of the Adobong Pusit. This was also very flavorful and we could not help but spoon some of the sauce and drippings on top of our rice. The squid were cooked pretty well and consistently all throughout the dish. A nice seafood addition to our great meal...

Until the Pochero got in the way of an almost perfect meal... To put it bluntly, it was weird! Isn't pochero just stewed pork or beef with tomato sauce? How could they have gone wrong with that?!? The soup was a bit too gamey for me... I think it lacked some herbs or spices to at least mask the strong meat flavor.

The night almost ended in failure with the Pochero... Good thing our last dish, the Stone Grilled Shrimps, were amazing. Still alive, they were placed inside the clay pot containing stones that were heated above boiling point. The shrimps were cooked really fresh and thus maintaining its sweetness. They were so perfectly cooked that I personally could not get enough of it. It actually didn't require a dipping sauce to further enhance it. It was far too flavorful in itself.

I don't know how long Mesa has been in the Greenbelt area but I'm glad there is a new Filipino restaurant in town. Finally, another place that offers good food at an affordable price and yet not that commercialized. Some establishments have shifted gears towards the alcohol-fueled public and concentrated more on the number of buckets than the number of plates. Mesa is a breathing space between that and the high-end. A last breath of oxygen for the dying Filipino restaurant.

Imelda's New Shoe

July 2, 2009
Sofitel

Mrs. Imelda Marcos turned 80 today and as a gift, Mr. Bayani Fernando gave her a pair of custom-made Gibi shoes during her birthday celebration at Sofitel.

It's so cool that this Gibi shoe will now be a part of her huge shoe collection.

I think we have a video of the actual handing over of the gift. Will post it soon once we get a copy.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

End Of Season Sale 2009

TIMBERLAND END OF SEASON SALE!!!

From July 1 to 31, 2009 Only! NO DELAYS AND NO EXTENSIONS!

30-50% Off On Selected Items! :)

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)
Amigo Mall - Iloilo
Gaisano City Mall - Iligan
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