The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

Tag Archives: makati city

pre-christmas meet at lugang café

Maybe because our Piltel days was something very unforgettable and momentous despite the ups and downs, it’s very hard as well to put behind the people I made friends, best of friends to say. And even if age has taken its toll to each of us, and career had its fall down and pick up point, and love life has stopped to some, we remained steady and true to our friendship. No one gets judged or under estimated even else the world turns you down. I’m one happy gal with my P-boys around. 🙂

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During last Friday, Gem and I decided that we meet early this year for the annual get-together ze Christmas party. We see that the timing is perfect this November even before everyone gets busy with parties and occasions. Likewise, we thought it’s nice to hang out once in a while even though there’s no special occasion, we partly missed catching up like the old times. But because of my late notice, okay blame me here folks, Babu and George didn’t make it. They had parties of their own to attend. And surprisingly, when Gem and I thought that it’s just going to be the two of us, Pel showed up. Hooray for his coming!

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I told before that I never liked going to Megamall but these days it’s becoming the venue of dinner dates and meet ups because many good restaurants were opening now at the Fashion Hall, and I couldn’t resist visiting some. And because we’ve set to meet up in Megamall instead of the usual Makati route I picked the restaurant which I haven’t tried yet. Lugang Café isn’t new, actually its main branch is in Greenhills and I remember receiving a supplier’s invite there years ago which I politely declined. Anyhow, that was past and I’m glad I made it right this time because Gem and Pel enjoyed the food and the conversation over it.

Lugang Café specializes in authentic Taiwanese cuisine which I have no idea about, when you say Taiwan I can only account Quickly –taro drink and well the first of the many milk tea franchise. Clueless me! But Taiwan and China and the Chinese people must have done something very good that their franchises and restaurants easily becomes a hit in Manila.

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Like most of the diners that night we had to order the famed steamed Xiao Long Bao, first-grade in my own judgment because of its thin, silky skins and flavorful pork stuffing. The burst of flavors explode in my mouth in every piece, and I think I finished half of the order. Hehehe

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And instead of the regular Hainanese Chicken we went for the Chicken Topped with Scallion and Ginger Oil, and oh my this white chicken is going to be a favorite from now on despite its fatty skin. The generous scallion toppings make a perfect add-on to this incredible delicious poached chicken meal.

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We also had the traditional Roasted Meat Combination with all my favorite Chinese items – suckling pig, pork asado, cold jellyfish strips and century egg. Jellyfish and its gelatinous texture is love!

We had a kind serving of their Golden Fried Rice and House Tea to wash down everything. The little downside, house tea wasn’t free of charge, but for P40 it wasn’t bad either.

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The conversation was extended even after the sumptuous dinner because Lugang Café was very conducive, I don’t know with you but I love well-lit restaurants and Lugang Café’s chic and stylish ambiance with mirrors and chandeliers is love, love, love.

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Another downside of dining at Lugang Café’s Fashion Hall branch, the store closes early so we had to move to Shangri-la Plaza for that extended bonding. We thought of Starbucks but as usual the coffee shop was packed, so we had to move to its neighboring Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which I personally like. Not that I’m dumping SB but sometimes the coffee seems to be bland and lukewarm especially when the queue is very long and ever since they change their pastry supplier the cakes tasted sad. 😦 And Coffee Bean’s baked cheesecake is my ultimate love ♥ but because i’m still full coming from that hefty dinner I passed on the cheesecakes and had iced mocha only this time. We had a night cap at Coffee Bean while also waiting for Leoncio to arrive.

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It’s always a good feel to have the most wonderful friends around, with people who are healthy to be with because the conversation is enriching and the feeling is always communal.

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Merry Christmas Gem and Pel! 😛

 

 

Lugang Café
FASHION HALL, SM MEGAMALL
F Fashion Hall, Bldg D, SM Megamall Edsa cor. J. Vargas, Brgy Wack Wack, Mandaluyong City
M. +63 915 1742243
 

ysa’s happy 2nd!

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How time flies? And our baby Ysa is now two. ♥

I want to believe that birthdays are significant to our family that’s why even it’s small and minimal I’d like to celebrate it because it’s the celebration of life, nothing but that. And every birthday is a milestone, right?

When the parental marked their 40 something wedding anniversary last September we were supposed to dine at Tong Yang but with all the smash up and postponement we had to re scheduled it again and again until its October already. And concurrence to the beer month, oh and rosary month, is Ysabel’s birthday. 🙂 So we thought that it’s perfect to schedule that belated lunch date with fambam.

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Leoncio and I always make it to a point to be early when dining buffet, we want to see everything unscathed yet before the hungry pack arrives besides there’s a lot of advantage in being early (well, hello to me I wish I can observe the same during work days so I can be more productive and sympathetic to everyone, hehehe) because the early bird gets the worm, in our case the biggest share of shrimps and crabs. My family from Cavite arrived few minutes after us, they came without Tatay who decided to stay home because he finds it gruesome to travel to Makati. I remember last year’s Christmas shopping during the first day of December, he was complaining and holding his irritation to us all the time just because we can’t get enough of the shopping spree. Hay! He never changed, really, from being KJ even wayback our teen days. I wish I can bring Tong Yang in Tagaytay so he could experience and savor it, well, I guess he would definitely enjoy the unlimited beer. 🙂

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Anyhow, we all enjoyed the spread at Tong Yang for lunch but we have to remind Nanay on the crabs which she fancies amongst the spread, Kuya P had his usual big appetite perhaps the reason why Tong Yang charged us 7 adult rate (instead of 6 only) and persuasively says that there is no kid discount anymore, 😦 we had to remind Arman & Leoncio to watch their eating of innards and other raw food like oysters, remember the last time they had diarrhea for days. 😀 Since its Ate SAM’s first time at Tong Yang, I thought it’s something new to her, and appealing except that she had dose of tocino just like me. And because it’s the little miss birthday, she had a whole bun of siopao and a small bowl of ice cream to her delight. And we had gifts to her except that for the second time Che and I picked the same doll once again. The first time was Christmas wayback when SAM was a little girl, we got her the same Winx doll. This time we gave Ysa the same Baby Alive character, so, Che ended having hers replaced by a Barbie doll, probably Ysa’s first Barbie to count. The only thing we missed was to bring a blowing cake.

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Nevertheless, it’s was indeed a happy birthday lunch! 😛

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After a hefty lunch at Tong Yang we drove to Boni High so the kids can run around especially our birthday baby who’d never been to places nothing like when SAM was growing up –blame the horrible traffic and busy household and priorities (?) I only wish the family can troop back to Baguio again this season, but wait that would mean “extra gastos” which I’ll be watching cautiously this Christmas, so let this remain on my bucket list for now.

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Proud Ninang to these three, SAM, P and Ysa ♥

We had a light dinner at the lower level of Market! Market! before we bid goodbye to my folks, it was a day out I’d love to do over and over again, it’s one of those happy-go-lucky Saturdays when I don’t need to think of work and other responsibilities including the household chores.

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Ysa,

As you marked the second of your many birthdays, may you grow up to be God-fearing, loving and beautiful inside and out. You’ll always be our little miss at home who’d always lighten up the mood especially the grumpy grandfather. Kiddin’ aside, continue to be a sweetheart to Mommy & Daddy, to Ate & Kuya, to Ninong & Ninang and to Boi & Bei. And don’t grow up too fast, please. I love you baby! 

Love,
Ninang
 
 

kfc breakfast buffet

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Just because my breakfast routine on weekends doesn’t seem to expand here for the last couple of months now it doesn’t mean that I gave up my love affair with mornings and Sundays and breakfast, a good and sunny breakfast that is. ♥ It’s just that my weekend schedules now are quite knotty following ze husband’s erratic work plan and of course the hazy mornings ever since summer bid goodbye, say hello to rainshowers and bed weather folks.

Once a breakfast lover it’s meant to stay that way eternally, thanks to the many all-day breakfast places sprouting massively universally. Other than I still fancy breakfast food taken in the morning, it’s the law of nature I assume. 😀 So everytime I’m given the chance to date my husband on his precious day off I’d still go for a breakfast date, something to start our day early and something to make our tummy very happy.

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Two Saturdays ago we gave it a go once more, the KFC’s Breakfast Buffet to be exact. It’s one of the morning buffets we don’t want to miss so to make sure we get in that Saturday, I asked the husband to make a reservation the night before. He didn’t need to pay for the advance coupon thing as advertised and yes we were still accommodated at past 8am the following day.

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And what I thought was early because of the few diners I spotted on the 2nd floor of KFC Jupiter branch was a deceived. 😦 We should have gone earlier even before the 7:30am start because it was jam-packed at the 3rd level where the buffet area was served. I was a bit disappointed of the long line that welcomed us. Even a decent seat was so hard to reserve so we shared a long table with this guy who at first was feeling annoyed of the long line too. I allowed the husband to fall in line first knowing how impatient he is at times, I thought at least I have the time to observe and took photos for a while. And it gave me time to settle and strategize my supposed game plan at the buffet table soon as it’s my turn.

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Okay, I wasn’t able to take photos of the spread because it’s not decent to look at anymore and some chafing dishes were almost empty (while some were really empty and waiting for refills). I had everything on my plate expect rice because I was planning to eat lightly at first but all viands call for a kind serving of rice so I had to get a bowl to fully enjoy my tocino. 😀

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The buffet spread included plain rice and garlic rice, chicken tocino, chicken longganisa, chicken fillet, hash browns, pancakes and arrozcaldo, coffee and hot chocolate, orange, apple and iced tea. For its P199 price I think it’s worth your every penny. Surprisingly it passed the husband’s picky mood. By the way, for the unlimited coffee and juice, you have to add P30, not bad though.

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And if you really want to make “sulit” eat a lot of those chicken fillet. 🙂

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But never forget to save room for pancakes, their chocolate chip pancakes were a stand out that even our feeling annoyed tablemate had more than two plateful serving of it. And he went back three or four times to refill everything. I’m just guessing that maybe he hadn’t taken dinner the night before that’s why he wolfed down what three people can actually share. Hehehe.

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Ooops sorry if this promotion comes very late for you, the KFC Breakfast Buffet ended yesterday and we missed it because someone went to work again on a Sunday. 😦 And tho a lot of netizen were requesting an extension of it, KFC never confirmed any as of now. Well, let’s hope they’d come up with a second run!

 

 

KFC-JUPITER
104 Jupiter St Bel-Air 2 Subd Bel-Air, Makati City
T. +632-899 4220 
 

chili’s with friends ♥

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I have the most unpredictable set of friends, they come in different form and sizes and color…hehehe, ano ito t-shirt lang, but seriously they really are spontaneous yet awesome and genuine in many ways. 😛

Ge and wifey came home from London last April without telling anyone of us, tho I had hint of his coming home I didn’t bother asking him anymore until I received his call, “I’m home!” It probably was one of the happiest second, my brother from another mother is back home to native land, and homecoming means get-together and merrymaking even just a night.

We initially set the meeting on May 2 but a day after Ge called me up to tell me that they would be staying short only this time and we need to meet right away, that night in particular. I contacted the group right away to let them know of the changes, happily even with that very, very short notice they all made it except Pel. We miss you Pel and your biblical verses. 😀

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The usual, I arrange the venue, I wanted it at Holiday’s Inn Flavor’s Restaurant but George thought it was too much, he remained to be budget-conscious even if he’s not paying a single cent, another of the many best attributes I love about them, and I really appreciate their benevolent concern. Consensually we mutually agreed to meet at Chili’s, not a cheapo as well but I think a few pounds wouldn’t hurt our dear Ge’s pocket anyway.

I arrived past the 7pm meet up and George and Babu were already filling up with some Classic Nachos and beers, it’s a bit boring to see how their nachos look like after an hour of exposure to humid and smoke. Hay! These guys, they can’t proceed without me, I would forever be their planner, their log book, their younger sister who’d do the little errands and so. While Ge would always allow me to do the necessary, even from wayback he gives me go signal even without me asking, he practically can read me. In fact, we’re the best tandem from our pack because we see things communally and because we’re of the same age bracket we follow the same wave length, we jibe in so many ways. But lo and behold I’m that someone who forbade his womanizing and all, I never tolerated his mischievous style kaya lang he knows how to flee from my sight and do the moves. Ge and his darkest secret long ago, I’m happy that the boy already outgrew that stage and he is now a dedicated husband to Den.

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Back at Chili’s, I got us Bottomless Tostada Chips, Grilled Shrimp Alfredo Pasta, Fish & Chips, Calamari & Wings Over Buffalo tho we had to return the latter two because it was too salty for our taste, parang nabusan ng asin promise! 😦 And since they have this ongoing promotion –Margarita Madness, I decided to get myself a Frozen Top Shelf Classic Margarita with bottomless refills. It’s love! ♥

Ge and Den arrived and had the Big Mouth Burgers both, I shy away from taking photos of their gigantic burgers but it looks deli and real heavy. Our only Gem arrived late as expected. He loves being late up until now, the limelight of pacing like a VIP, the red carpet, and with everyone’s eyes locked on him. That’s Gem then and now, and I don’t think he’d ever change but we love him just the same.

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We had a good chat while dosing ourselves with alcohol and chow, tho things were a lot like more different by now, age must have taken its toll and everyone drank moderately I noticed, even George. But because it’s Monday, we had to adjourn early. After everyone washed down with coffee at the nearby Seattle’s Best we had our goodnights.

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Our friendship isn’t perfect, we had our fair share of disagreement, sarcasm and whatnot, we sometimes feel ill about the other person, we sometimes feel dullness but because we have a very solid foundation that no one can break apart, not even the wives and the husbands :D, those imperfections were too small to tell apart. We’d always be there for each other like what we used to 18 years ago, we’d always be each other’s shadow, and no matter how difficult and challenging life can be, we’d rise and conquer the same, we’re born fighters so you know.

Ge and Den, thank you for the wonderful time and hopefully we can spend a longer date in December. I won’t mind guys if you’d surprise us again. 🙂

 

 

Chili’s® Grill & Bar
2nd Level Greenbelt 5 Ayala Center Makati City 
T. +632 729-3022 / 729-2862
 

smoked golden tinapa

I’m not a fan of Pancake House even prior to that November incident. And well, for one because their food is not cheap I could easily count the number of times I’ve dined in their so many restaurants. But sometimes you get to that point that you crave for something, you want something out of the ordinary and then you saw something on IG that made you drool and then you break the rule. Hahaha.

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*photo from here

For weeks I’ve been raving for tinapa (smoked fish), even when we went home at the parental’s house I was hoping that mother dear have some leftovers at home but there’s not a bit, she was rather busy with her galunggong experiment. So when I catch sight of PH’s new offer by chance I felt I suddenly weaken and soften (to self: forget your issue for now 🙂 ), I need to rush and get a taste of that smoked golden tinapa. ♥

But because there remains a little hesitation about dining back in Pancake House I was like diddling and doodling the whole idea, I don’t want another untoward incident, I just want to enjoy the night for Christ’s sake. That was Friday and I don’t want to mess up a fridate. But even if there are 101 reasons pulling me back then, my heart’s desire won and we gave it a go! Woohoo!

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I don’t mind that at past 10pm I was eating breakfast food, I don’t mind, really. My salty-cravings taste bud was in pure bliss!

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Smoked golden tinapa (milkfish), 2 cups of steamed rice, 2 eggs sunny side up, 2 sidings of mango salsa and 2 orders of iced tea P480 

For some reasons I don’t believe sometimes when it says that the deal is good for two already, in most cases you get a small amount of food (in poor quality) and sharing isn’t probable except if you eat like a bird. Other than PH’s offer was a treat of its own, I was impressed!

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The milkfish was big enough to feed us and the sunny side egg was perfect! Kahit lalim na ng gabi nun kumain kami it brightens up my day! 😀

I don’t mind going back and ordering the same set, I rarely recommend and this one is an exemption, you should try it yourself because Pancake House hit the spot, winner ang Smoked Golden Tinapa because it’s bigger, heavier and better for sharing! ♥

 

 

Pancake House
G/F Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St., Ayala Center, Makati
T. +632 8190453

general’s lechon

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A month prior to the Christmas month I went on a sandwich diet to give way and get ready for the season’s big eats especially that parties and reunions were set to happen one after the other. I feared to gain weight and worst won’t fit in to my office clothes once my looong vacay is over. So I needed to enforce strict discipline and skipped rice and meat in most days. But during the first day of my looong vacay, I treated myself a little –a quick stop-over at Petron in Dasmarinas Village made my day. ♥

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Long before the opening of General’s Lechon at this side of my city, we’ve been ordering whole lechon from Paranaque outlet and normally pick up the pig from Bryan and Lynn’s humble abode in Sun Valley. We do that for two consecutive years during Tatay and Nanay’s 60th birthdays. I was planning to get one also for my birthday last month but the birthday party I long planned didn’t push through and I was saddened and brokenhearted until this day. Hahaha. That’s me eh.

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Anyhow, it was an early lunch for us and because we have errands following that afternoon might as well stuffed ourselves a bit. General’s Lechon offers starters, mains, rice meals, desserts and take outs, generally this is your chance to savor their lechon without ordering the whole pig because they retail in kilos here.

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I had a 200g order of their Boneless Paksiw, it was served with rice and soda for P250 only, and I couldn’t agree more, it was tasty!  As a side note, I wish it’s a little sweeter because I’m accustomed to that taste.

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While the husband got himself a 120g of General’s Lechon with rice and soda for P275, I was drooling on his plate and had some of that crispy skin. It was heaven at first bite and I want his plate now more than mine. 😀

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We had the store by ourselves while enjoying our lechon fares, it was equally laid-back which I love. I know it’s not a good business sign when the store is empty but what the heck I love that atmosphere, hehehe, probably it’s not yet meal time the reason why besides I’m pretty sure there were whole lechon pick-ups earlier that day.

Now, who cares about getting that extra pound?

 

 

General’s Lechon
2nd floor Petron Dasmarinas Village,
Edsa corner Arnaiz,  Makati City (Pasay Road)

 

T. +632 4086850 / +632 9665099/ +63917 8lechon (8532466)
Email.  the_generals_lechon@yahoo.com