Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hong Kong

Lately, I’ve been missing HK and so I felt that strong urge to reminisce about the city.

I love the vibe of HK. It seems to me a city that never sleeps and is always full of activity.

This was my second time at HK and we did less tourist-y things. This trip we spent more time walking around the streets and of course, shopping.

Tsim Tsa Tsui is an ideal place to look for a hotel and stay. It is near the metro and just the center of everything. Most of the restaurants at the area are still open if you are going to have really late dinner. There are shops everywhere for any last-minute shopping. And it just seems to be the center of most activities.

The first agenda was to satisfy our (by this time) really hungry stomachs. There are a variety of restaurants at TST. Mostly offer Chinese cuisine but I also saw some resto offering Thai and Vietnamese food. Restaurants there have menus outside which you can check. Some are in Chinese characters so you can just look at the picture and see if you like them or not. Most look scrumptious anyway.

Eee Lai Cha (or hot milk tea)

After stuffing ourselves, we just walked around the area. Then we chanced upon this store – where my friends probably spent at least 2 hours shopping.

After which, we went to The Peak, probably one of the highest peak in HK. The tram going the peak is an adventure itself especially for someone like me who is afraid of heights. The tram goes up at probably 45 degrees angle, now ain’t that scary? It was March when we visited and the weather was really cold. Here you can see me with my mittens on. Yes, the cold and the wind bring a deadly combination.

Our second day was spent at Macau but that deserve a whole different post.

On our third day, we went to the HK Flower festival. I knew that it’ll be huge but I didn’t imagine that it will be THAT huge. The event was held at Victoria Park. It was really a treat to the eyes to the see colorful and amazing flowers in bloom. There were various children who seem to be in art class and were painting and drawing the flowers.

One also can’t get near the flowers because photography enthusiasts are just all over the place. As I told my friend, if you can’t take pictures of the flowers, just take pictures of the photographers.

When my friend and I got tired of watching the flowers, we went round Central and then chanced upon Ikea.

Ikea is just heaven especially for someone like me who is planning to buy a house soon. The place is just full of things for the house that I want to bring home (well, of course, I cannot do that with the luggage limit). I managed to buy a few bed linens though.

The rest of the afternoon was spent around Central, Wan Chai and back to TST.

The fourth day was spent to one of the farthest station in the MTR, Tung Chung. This is the point that leads to Ngong Ping where the Big Buddha is seated. As we are scaredy-cats, we initially planned to do this but backed down on the last minute. We then spent the day shopping (again) at the Tung Chung mall where most stores are on sale (Adidas, Puma, Nike, Bossini, Giordano, ettc.) and branded stores like Coach, Kate Spade etc.

But beyond shopping, I really enjoy the train ride from Tung Chung back to Central where we pass by the ocean and the fishing villages. I feel serene just looking at the view from the train.

On our last night, we ate and shared comfort food at restaurant with a very unique concept – The Charlie Brown cafĂ© – where as the name puts it, everything is dedicated to the much loved character – Charlie Brown. There were images of Snoopy and his friends everywhere.

Sipping peppermint chocolate while talking to friends is just comforting.

I am missing the busy streets of HK, the food, the shopping and the adventures. I’m crossing my fingers that I get to visit next year. I will definitely muster up the courage to take that cable car rode at Ngong Ping.

I am also missing the tong lai cha (iced milk tea). :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010


The Banapple branch at Katipunan, south bound, on any given day would always be full. Parking would be a difficult feat as there are only about 3 or 4 spaces available. E and I once ate there for a late dinner. The food was really good. But aside from the parking issue, the place was small and air conditioning could not keep up with the volume of people going in and out.

Recently, a new branch opened. Same venue, but just on the opposite road. This time, north bound, a bigger space, with a fresh look. Last Friday night, I was craving for the chicken roulade at Conti's. But eating dinner at Serendra meant we have to brave the C5 traffic afterwards and so we decided to just skip the Serendra dinner and look for a place much closer to home. Thus, we found ourselves at the new Banapple branch. Parking was still hard but they have already hired guards who would assist you with parking.

The menu includes dishes served with rice where prices are fairly reasonable (ranging from P165 to P180). I ordered a chicken dish served with creamy sauce while E ordered porkloin with gravy and mushroom.

E and I both loved what we ordered that we finished our entire plate. The dishes were very much worth the price. I was observing the people around me and noticed that a lot were ordering the sparerib dish and baked creamy penne pasta. I'm going to try those next on our next visit. We were seated just in front of the counter where the food was being served and I actually had a good time looking at the variety of food. They all looked scrumptious.

For dessert, we had the Santa's Chocolate Chipper Cookie Cheesecake. It was good but we wish it had more of the cheesecake part and less of the top.

Overall verdict, we loved our Banapple experience and we are definitely coming back to try more dished from the menu.

I had the banapple bread loaf for take-out! :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ted's La Paz Batchoy

It has been raining lately and the weather is cold. This is the best to enjoy a bowl of warm soup. I remember reading an article about the anatomy of a good soup. Probably due to the Chinese influence, Filipinos also enjoy a bowl of noodle soup. Over the weekend, I chanced upon a branch of Ted's La Paz Batchoy where I had one of the tastiest noodle soup. La Paz batchoy originated from the province of Iloilo. E told me that the dish itself was an accident. It was created from making use of leftover meat. I am not exactly sure if that is true but yes, the dish has meat on it. The famous Ted's Old Timer La Paz Batchoy was created by Ted Lapura in the 1930's when he was a teenager. It started as a small stall in the province of La Paz, Iloilo. During that time, they only served the "original" version of La Paz batchoy. Now, it has evolved to dishes like miswa batchoy, bihon batchoy and sotanghon batchoy. As well, they have expanded and has now several branches. At least to me, the most accesible branch whereI can satisfy my batchoy craving is at SM Mall of Asia.

The batchoy has three varieties: special, super special and extra super. The extra super comes with pork meat, isaw (pork's large intestine) and atay (pork liver). One serving costs P80.00. Side dishes include rice, pandesal and puto. I had mine with rice.

Extra Super La Paz Batchoy

It was really tasty and filling. I added a dash of pepper on my serving because I wanted it extra hot. An extra bowl of soup can also be asked, free of charge. I was so satisfied, I came back the next day and had another one.

Ted's also offers namit meals. This meal with sisig, rice a small bowl of La paz batchoy and a glass of softdrinks is very filling at a cheap price of P120.

(Namit meal - sisig, rice, La Paz batchoy)

Batchoy maybe Chinese in influence but is very Filipino in culture. It is very simple yet very delicious.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Red Mango

I was at SM Megamall earlier and after some time of not going there, I found myself discovering several new stores and restaurants there. There were several food stalls and restaurants waiting to be tried and I can't wait! Bread Talk has moved location and beside it is Red Mango. I knew there was a yogurt craze happening and so I didn't hesitate in jumping in to the wagon. I am not exactly a fan of eating yogurt but I am definitely a fan of trying something new.

Red Mango offers yogurt with the smallest size prized at P80. That size can easily fill a person's craving. Green tea yogurt is also being sold at P85 for the smallest size. Adding one topping costs an additional P20; while it costs additional P30 for 2 toppings and P40 for three toppings. Toppings range from nuts, varieties of cereal, cornflakes to various fruits like mango, kiwi, banana etc. I chose the Special K (Kellog's cornflakes) and mangoes.

The yogurt tasted really good. Of course, it was quite sour but the combination of cornflakes and mangoes was perfect. I'm clarifying though that my only experience with yogurt is that with Nestle. I've yet to try the other yogurt craze and by that time, let me be a better judge about this. But so far, I'd be willing to buy this again. Although it was quite pricey for P110. Does yogurt really cost that much?

Anyway, I am glad that I ate something healthy today and something new. Although, I may have to clarify the exact number of calories I had! Oh, and probably next time, I will also try the green tea flavored yogurt.

Red Mango also offers yogurt smoothies.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Kanin Club

Last Saturday, E and I braved the rain and headed to the far South. We have been reading good reviews about Kanin Club and not having done something exciting for the past weeks, we felt that was the perfect time to try a new place. We arrived at the Westgate area at around 5pm only to find out that the resto opens at 530 pm. We then decided to stroll and explore the ATC mall. It was also my first time at the mall - and well, maybe that deserves a different review.

There varities of rice in the menu - from the conventional brown rice, plain white rice and bagoong rice to the unique sinigang rice, aligue rice and daing rice. We've decided to sti k to the plai white rice and be non-adventurours about it because we were craving for yet another specialty of the house - crispy dinuguan.

Crispy diniguan, I assume, is made up lechon kawali fried until it reached a crunchy and crispy consistency. And then cooked in the usal diniguan stew. Oh, it was worth every penny. One should watch his cholesterol level though - bu this dish is worth taking once in a while.

Being a sinigang lover, I ordered sinigang na baka. The soup was so sour and I loved it! E was cringing everytime he sips the soup. The meat was also tender and the vegetables were cooked just right.

Both dishes were too much for us to finish. We had some taken home. Those two dishes plus 4 servings of rice were priced at around P700. It was reasonable for the food we ate. Although, Kanin Club has only branches - the one at Westgate, Alabang and the other at Paseo de Sta. Rosa. It was a afr drive for us though. If you are at the area, it is definitely worth the visit.