The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

Monthly Archives: October 2014

osaka ohsho

If you’d ask, I have a very little circle of friends at work. It even became smaller as the years passed by because some already left, one decided to be a homemaker, something I’d so envy of, another one passed away already, which I’m missing badly, while some are still colleagues at work the friendship is questionable by now. In any case, you can’t please everybody and probably I became a “sore eyes” to one of them, the rationale of her talking behind my back and her under-the-table deals. Poor SHE because I have people around who’d warn me of her doings. 😦

Looking back, losing her was disappointing for a while because I trusted her and I valued our friendship but like I’d always say to dear self, I don’t need to waste my time thinking what went wrong. It’s not my loss especially that I still have the other two who remained to be our common friend other than I get to hang out most with the two because they’re both unbiased and unpretentious, unpresumptuous, they’re too cool in fact, no hang ups and they can deviate work and personal issues. So, I’m seeing myself going out with these two repeatedly.

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Mid-week at work two or three weeks ago, killing time at Segafredo near the workplace while there’s a heavy downpour. Because we were too serious with our subject I forgot to take photos of the sandwiches and pasta and coffee we had. It was my first time actually at Segafredo and I’m seeing myself going back to lunch out once in awhile.

The following day, ze Friday, the close female friend invited me to dine out after work, we’ve done this before, just the two of us after a hefty work week, we just wanted to have a tête-à-tête over a good meal, it’s like a little treat for ourselves because we think we’ve ended the week well, more than at par enough. My presentation was an achievement that week, some had commended it while the superior didn’t even bother to give me a pat on the back. 😐 For a change from our usual routine of going at the nearby Promenade, we decided to take it a little distant and found ourselves at the SM Mega Fashion Hall. Because we’re not regulars of the big mall, we had a hard time picking up a dinner place, for awhile we considered getting some ramen or that famed baked bun with BBQ pork filling but both places had queues we can’t imagine. We’re old you know and thinning patience is very understandable.

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I spotted Osaka Ohsho and asked her if she would consider Japanese by any chance. You see, she is this close female friend with health issues too so I have to make my choice a lot like healthier everytime we’ll eat out. But the good thing with her she is knows her limit and embraces the word discipline with no buts and what ifs. Anyhow, because Osaka’s vibe looks very inviting and no queue at all we gave it a try.

I ordered our dinner with the close female friend’s approval of course. So to save time from getting a decent set, we had the Fuwatoro Set which was already good for 2 persons or 3 in our case. It comes with a Fuwatoro Teshin Han, two servings of miso soup and two servings of fruit.

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Our Mabo Tofu Fuwatoro Tenshin Han Set P650. Premium steamed Japanese Koshihikari Rice enveloped in a fluffy egg omelets dome immersed in a sweet, spicy, & savory sauce with soft Japanese tofu, bell peppers, and ground pork. I so loved this especially the fluffy egg. ♥

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The set came with 6 pieces of original Gyoza. Gyoza is Osaka Ohsho’s signature, as they claim it’s the number gyoza in the world. Okay, I also love their gyoza because it’s meaty, juicy and tasty. And like what the rest had said, it’s really good and you can easily finish a set. I won’t mind going back to have gyoza alone, 12 pieces for me please and Kirin Beer! Hehehe

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Had an order of Beek Sukiyaki as well which came too sweet for our taste, I think they overdo the sweet soy broth here nonetheless my CFF enjoyed the noodles to its last bits.

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We didn’t order any cold drinks and requested house tea to wash down everything. It was a lovely dinner time with my close female friend, a.k.a. Mrs. C. We might book another dinner or coffee with the close male friend soon. The never ending catching up, you know, and mind you I don’t mind the small number of friends. 😀

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*the generous close female friend who insisted on shouldering the bill, thank you Mrs. C! 



Osaka Ohsho Philippines
3/F Mega Fashion Mall, SM Megamall Bldg. D
T. +632 631-7074
M. +63 917 828-5011

sundate no.34|h&m + linguini fini

Finally a sundate! 

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For the longest time, I’ve always wanted to dine at Chelsea Market in Serendra but everytime we’re around the area we kept on skipping it right because the place looks packed (weekend nights) and intimidating (?) with all the sosyal diners, I don’t know but maybe because Serendra tends to be posh at night, my comfy get-up on weekend simply doesn’t blend well. Sigh! I’ve been dreaming of dining al-fresco and probably get some sun? I really need to get back to my old routine. Hello, beautiful mornings!  

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Anyhow, Chelsea Market recently branched out at the new wing of SM Megamall, ze the Mega Fashion Hall, a week ago and I was telling dear self that it would be the perfect retreat after expending my energy shopping at the famed H&M. Oh yes, we can’t help ourselves peeked at the newly opened flagship store, we’ve been anticipating its coming to Manila too other than we never thought the brand was too recognized and loved, among others, that people went on camping even before its opening day. Hilarious! Sorry if some maybe offended but we found it too OA to make that queue when in fact there’s not much really on sale, selected few which were not worthy enough. I was guessing that the long line was because of the promotional thing and everyone was looking forward to get free shopping vouchers or it’s just me and my wrong judgement and that they’re really very passionate about the brand because it’s trendy and cool. 🙂 On the other note, if everyone who lined up really bought a piece or two, SM people must be very happy by now.

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And yes, I scored a few pieces and my uniform subsidy this year was maximized to its last cent. The price was reasonable; it’s like buying in HK other than because the chaos was too much we’re having second thoughts of coming back. We can wait until the store in Makati is open. So, I thought of Chelsea again after paying the bills and felt the impact it had on my budget for the next two weeks. Hay!

It doesn’t sink to me at all that Chelsea Kitchen would be a big hit in Megamall especially that there were too many new restaurants in tow, so naturally I was surprised that a funnel of waiting diners welcomed us. We tried to ask the crew how soon we’ll get seated but unfortunately he can’t tell, which is understandable, but because he cannot even tell what number was serving that time and how many more was ahead of us I think there’s something wrong. I can’t remain to wait until forever, we left and dismiss the idea, perhaps not our day. We’ll try another time in a while.

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So as not to kill the mood of eating pasta and pizza, we checked also the newly opened Italian-American restaurant at the 3rd level of the Mega Fashion Hall –Linguini Fini. I read a little of this restaurant because I thought it’s the usual Italian bistro only to find out how wrong I was, they had more to offer and they specialize in fine pasta which were made from scratch, fresh, and they advocate the Nose to Tail Cooking and the Farm to Fork philosophy, so how was that naman di ba? 😀

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But because I was famished and tired by now, I had little patience to scan everything, I just wanted a good and filling meal. I ordered the pasta dish that simply caught my attention foremost because it had clams, just that and I was taken away.

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Arthur Ave. Linguini & Clams P355. Fresh clams, garlic, spicy tomato brodo. <brodo is Italian for soup stock>. I love its taste because it’s not too flavorful or overpowering, just right, only that I wish the clams were not chopped and the sauce wasn’t too much, I hate it when my pasta swims on it.


To play safe with our pizza, we ordered Cheese only. For P390 we got a 12’’ thin crust with mozzarella, parmigiano and grana padano. There was nothing remarkable to it really except that it tasted really fresh and it had my favorite cheeses! ♥

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pickled chili aioli is served for your pizza for that extra kick of spiciness 😛

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Next to pasta, Linguini’s another signature is the Porchetta. We got an order of the Porchetta Chopped <porketta is a savoury, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast of Italian culinary tradition> P485, slow roasted, fennel rubbed pork belly, chopped with chili mostarda, fennel, focaccia. Its boneless lechon in Cebu and when you speak of lechon it’s a must-order to satisfy my other half’s hungry pangs.

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*photo courtesy of ze husband for his instragramming purposes 🙂

I love the crispy skin and its overall flavor, I wish we ordered rice. Hehehe. Tho for someone who is not so accustomed with highly spiced dip the chili mostarda was ignored and we ate it on its own.

Linguini Fini is something I’d consider yet again just because the price is reasonable, meaning value for your money and obviously we’ll come back to eat porchetta and rice. Uhm, I was already dog-tired the time we were there but the place was really nice with all the graffiti murals featuring Philippines icons but I missed to take photos and scan the bistro in general, even missed to catch sight of its open kitchen. Linguini Fini is right next to Osaka Ohsho which will be on my next post. And Chelsea Kitchen, will just daydream your Classic Carbonara for now. ♥



Linguini Fini
Level 3, SM Mega Fashion Hall,
Edsa cor. Julia Vargas Ave., Ortigas, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
T. +632 531-3302

old navy + sushi-ya


Never been a fan of SM Megamall, in a year I could count the times of my visit despite its proximity and accessibility to us, it’s not that I don’t love the shops in Mega but maybe it’s all because the mall gets too crowded especially on weekends, and weekend sales, and holidays and any other day in fact, aside from the horrible traffic and parking dilemma these are the reasons why we kept on avoiding the place. So, I don’t know what charm the mall has that people can’t get enough.

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Two weeks ago we decided to pay a visit because a major sale is happening concurrent to the shop’s opening, you know I can’t dare miss it especially that we ONLY shop during sale season. Old Navy had finally arrived at SM Megamall, the 3rd store to open in the country and very much like its BHS opening day the jeans were on 50% off, tho this time only selected styles were up on sale. But despite the limit and all, we still scored some really nice deal and discounted around P4,800+ including freebies. My smile was ear to ear! ♥


Right after rummaging the shop for hours, I think we were at Old Navy for 3-4 hours, we felt the need to recharge and eat. Go on a feast if possible. I still have food vouchers from last year’s winning so to make the story shorter and to make my pocket happier we made use of it. We picked Sushi-ya at the lower level, it’s a Japanese restaurant, something new to try on besides it got good reviews way before. I love it that Sushi-ya’s menu is not limited to sushi and sashimi’s or don buri and noodles, they had teppanyaki, teriyaki, tempura, salads, all sorts.


We got ourselves the bento set which was already good for two, for the main we got Gyuniku (sirloin beef) and the set includes Kakiage, Agedashi Tofu, Kani Salad, California Maki, Steamed Rice, Miso soup and Iced Tea. It was a steal for its price, the kakiage was so filling and the tofu was so fresh.


We also had 8pcs Ebi Tempura, had Gyudon and 8pcs Tamago to go, all for P1,125 and I shelled out P125 cash only. I can’t thank heaven enough that day for the super discounts and deals, I’m blessed this way!

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This weekend another favorite store is opening in Megamall, it actually opened today but we’re visiting maybe Sunday? We’re up to scoring discounted stuffs because Christmas is coming too fast. The goal this year is to shop as early as possible to avoid the long queues and to maximize my energy and to find each of you a personal piece.

By the way, I’m not yet back on track, I still have hiccups left and right but I’m getting by day by day. God is good and I know all things will settle soon. And yes, all good things come to those who wait! 🙂


P.S. I’m drooling to have breakfast on Sunday to some place posh with omelettes and pancakes and well, with the one I love ♥



Lower Ground Floor, Building A, SM Megamall
Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
T. +632 6319998


new toho food center

I’m thinking that maybe during our past life we have a little Chinese blood or maybe we actually live right at the heart of Chinatown and was once a business folk who ran hopia factory or dimsum house. Hahaha. Imagine if it was true, I’d probably make my “stalker” a million times envious of my flawless porcelain skin, slim body structure and luscious locks. So be thankful that my ancestors decided to make a living in the highlands and do farming instead of trading.

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But you see there’s really something about the Chinese culture that we both love –its cuisine, one of the richest and most diverse culinary heritages in the world. And for that reason alone, we’d always save patience for the worst bottleneck going to busy Binondo.

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One Saturday afternoon we felt the urged to go once more, we’ve missed all the cheap frills that’s why. We left the house at almost noon time, took the public transport like we used to do when going to this side of the city, think about of traffic and parking problems and well, you’ll just love the calesa or kuliglig ride or just walk your way which we’d always do to save time. Because traffic was real heavy that time, the jeepney took a different route which led us to Sta. Cruz and to its neighboring Escolta, Yuchengco, Dasmarinas and Tomas Pinpin streets. Just right, because we’re visiting a restaurant at Tomas Pinpin to prove its oldness and its worthiness, no joke, I suddenly felt so behind after seeing a facebook post that there stood the oldest restaurant in Manila or some says in the country. Imagine it existed during Jose Rizal’s time and it witnessed too many events to account, say hello to 1888. Much as I love the vibe of new restaurant these days my love affair with the old remained to be on top, it’s always a win over experience and I can’t tell why. There’s this something in me that just love the rustic feel and all.

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In 1984 Tojo Antigua Panciteria was burned down after a neighboring restaurant caught fire, it was rebuilt and named as the New Toho Food Center. If you’ve been to Binondo restaurants, New Toho doesn’t differ at all, it’s typically Chinese with cold cuts display, tiled flooring that’s too old I guess, spacious and minimal, no-frill at all and smells Chinese-y even from outside.

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Since it was already way past lunch when we arrived at the restaurant, only few diners were there and eventually we have the restaurant by ourselves. I scanned the menu, it’s nothing out of the ordinary if I may say but I heard camaron is a must, so we had it included in our set.

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We also had Beef in Oyster Sauce, Seafood Chopsuey, Chinese Kikiam and Yang Chow fried rice. All in small serving, so we thought, small is good for two but the food we order can actually fed four. Call us gluttons but if it’s as affordable as this who wouldn’t like to go beyond the limit. Besides we can always take out the left over and reheat at home, nothing goes to waste for us because I can always reprocess it at home.

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Aside from the Camaron Rebosado this Chinese Kikiam was one of the best I had so far! ♥

Our super late lunch was super worth the trip and I’d like to go back sometime to sample their pancit and asado next.

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And because we’re just so near Divi market, we grabbed that chance to walk around, started off from Binondo Church to give thanks for the safe flight to downtown, for the food we just ate and for our daily blessing of simply waking up in good shape everyday. We skipped Eng Bee Tin this time just because we can always bought some at the supermarket now, when we passed by Ramada Hotel I told the husband that we should check-in next year in time for the Chinese New Year, so to witness dragon dancing and fireworks. We stopped at the Lucky Chinatown Mall, our first time to visit; I was wowed at how Divi has become upscale over the years especially the clean restrooms and fancy restaurants. We explored a bit and found some cheap px goodies at the annex building, they sell chocolates and chips, a tub of Pringles for as low as P75. I hoarded a bit of this and that. From Lucky Chinatown, we walked through the nearby 168 Mall but left immediately for fear that I might end up buying stuffs I’d later not use because of its poor quality. We bought plethora of fruits and vegetables because it’s inexpensive and to sustain our no-rice challenge again following that weekend. Now you know I’m kind of in a diet thing again. We almost had all sorts –apples, grapes, ponkan, atis, pomelo. We also got some French beans, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, corn and the famous fried siopao. Oh and by the way, the next time we visit Binondo, we’re trying Ying-Ying Tea House.

I wish all weekends can be like this –laid-back, no rush, I can be in my comfiest crocs and shorts and the husband is in good mood to give in to all my demands. 🙂

But while we’re having some good time that weekend somebody close to our hearts passed away 😦 , our semi-adopted aspin “Pong” already crossed the rainbow bridge. It was unexpected and I felt mournful for this lost, Pong was only four and better days are still coming his way but he gives out. I can only pray for his happiness after life, the life with no more pain, no more abuse, no more hunger. Pong deserves a better life in heaven.


Run like the wind now Pong! 


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exactly my thoughts…

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 *all photos via web