Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Series of Buffets

During the month of April, me and my boyfriend, E, went on food binge by wining and dining at various buffets in the Metro, in celebration of my birthday and passing the bar. Unfortunately, I got caught in the storm of food and was unable to snap photos in some of the restos we hit. Nonetheless, here's a short commentary on each buffet. Enjoy!

1. HUAT POT | Greenhills, Quezon City
E and I love hot pot so we were extremely excited to try this new hot pot buffet in Greenhills. We had high hopes for this place because the hot pot buffets we like are all located in Manila, too far from our homes. 

Sadly, this place was a disappointment. I didn't like any of their balls. I tried a LOT of those and none came even close to say, Gloria Maris', balls. E liked their taro puffs though.

Their vegetables and noodles were good. But who can go wrong with those? As long as the vegetables are fresh and washed, okay na.
Their broths were tasteless. This isn't exactly bad if only they had good and flavorful stuff to put in their pot. But they didn't. 

At least they had helpful tips on the broths and how to make dipping sauces printed out on their paper placements, and for including bottomless beer in the buffet. Good service and nice place too. Around P800 per person.
Rating : 1/5
2. LI LI - HYATT HOTEL | Malate, Manila
This was our second buffet in what turned out to be a month long eat-all-you-can marathon. I had my birthday lunch here and I could not have been more pleased! E and I had a ball trying everything on Li li's menu! 

Less than P1000 per head for their dimsum-all-you-can.

Quality of the food was EXCELLENT! They only have about 30+ items on their menu, but this is composed of all sorts of dumplings! From the basics (xiao long bao, hakao, siomai) to more complicated ones (chicken dumplings with black mushroom, spinach dumpling with shrimp, deep fried prawns with crabstick meat)! All served freshly made.

Another thing we loved about Li Li is that they don't serve their dumplings in sets of 3-4. You can specify the number of pieces you want per kind of dumpling. Our strategy was to order 2 of each, just so we can try all. Then ordered more of the ones we really liked! :)

This place is a MUST TRY! The dumplings here are the best!!!
Rating : 5/5


3. CHEF LAUDICO GUEVARRA'S | San Juan, Quezon City
We went to this Filipino buffet for Easter lunch. Most of our party were disappointed with the food, but I wasn't. Food was nothing mind-blowing, but it wasn't bad either.

I was pleased with the food selection. They had a fairly long table with a wide variety of food, including breakfast items, think sunny side up, fried rice, tapa, and a couple of my favorite Pinoy dishes, crispy crablets, kilawin. Taste was decent.

The crowd pleasers are their roast beef, sausages, and soft serve ice cream.

Will I visit again? Honestly, I would rather eat ala carte at Wooden Spoon. 
Rating : 2.5/5


4. SPIRAL - SOFITEL PHILIPPINE PLAZA | Pasay City
4.5 stars for the crazy wide selection!
Spiral has the widest selection of cheese and cold cuts I've seen, and the nicest, most fresh salmon I've had at a buffet!
And their oysters! 0.o

Their dessert spread was also pretty awesome. Aside from the usual cute little cupcakes, they have TONS of sour tape and other candies, and crepe! My favorite desserts!

Truth be told, not everything I had was good. Some of the food were so-so, some too salty, and some downright hindi masarap. STILL, no complaints from this end! A few bad dishes cannot take away the glory that rightfully belongs to this ultimate buffet! :)

Friday dinner at Spiral is around 3k.
Rating : 4.5/5


5.  7 CORNERS - CROWNE PLAZA | Ortigas, Quezon City
After Spiral, the amount of food choices here seemed sad. But I ended up being extremely pleased with their food! Quality over quantity talaga. I didn't eat a lot during our dinner here and I don't remember everything I had, but I am positive I was more than satisfied by the end of the night.

Sashimi: Spiral's trumps 7 Corners', BUT 7 Corners has UNI!

Noodle Soups: Their chicken broth was soothing after I've had my fill of different kinds of meat. Lots of noodles, vegetables, and garnishing to choose from.

Dessert: The avocado and strawberry ice cream were so yummy and tasted like real fruits! The creme brulee is a must try.
Rating : 4.5/5

Sunday, April 27, 2014

When in Bacolod

Sights and sounds of Bacolod City, Negros. Photos are from a recent trip.

1. The Ruins


2. Mambukal Mountain Resort


3. Campoestuhan Highland Resort


4. Calea Pastries and Cake


5. Chicken House


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Malaysia-Singapore Trip :)

Our KL-SG trip! Me and my sisters went to visit our cousin who works in Kuala Lumpur, and extended our trip to Singapore while we were at it. I have yet to find the time to edit and upload the photos from our short vacation, so in the meantime, here are a few snapshots! :)
Above: The Batu Caves-- a gigantic statue of the Hindu god of war, Murugan, and the 200+ stone steps leading up to the Batu Caves.
Below: The famous Petronas Twin Towers seen through the windows of our car on a rainy night.

Above: Candy trees in front of Candylicious in Sentosa Island, Singapore! If only candies grew on trees!
Below: The revolving Universal Studios sign in the USS entrance, also on Sentosa Island. :)

 I can never come upon an accessories shop and not go in and grab a couple of glitzy, sparkly items. Here are some of the hair accessories I bought for me and my girl friends. :)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Owed to a Spell Chequer

Here's a funny and witty little poem I came across years ago while I was doing some research for a Lit class in college. I forget what the topic was, but I remember submitting this poem (we were not required to give an original work), and my professor saying this was a hit in the English Department. :D

Owed to a Spell Chequer (Ode to a Spell Checker)

I halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plane lee marques four my revue
Miss steaks aye ken knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it
Your sure reel glad two no
It's vary polished in it's weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.

A chequer is a bless sing
It freeze yew lodes of thyme
It helps me awl stiles two reed
And aides mi when aye rime.

To rite with care is quite a feet
Of witch won should be proud
And wee mussed dew the best wee can
Sew flaws are knot aloud.

And now bee cause my spelling
is checked with such grate flare
Their are know faults with in my cite
Of nun eye am a wear.

Each frays come posed up on my screen
Eye trussed to be a joule
The chequer poured o'er every word
To cheque sum spelling rule.

That's why aye brake in two averse
My righting wants too pleas
Sow now ewe sea wye aye dew prays
Such soft wear for pea seas.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Toccare Spa Visit

 On my birthday, I celebrated by having some me time and pampering myself. One of my stops was Toccare Spa. I decided to check this place out since it was just on the 4th floor of my building, Antel Spa Suites!  I went at around 4pm, which was perfect because I was the only one there! :) No crowds, no waiting in line.

At their counter, I chose my treatment and the oil to be used-- I had the Classic Massage (PhP 800.00 regular | PhP 1050.00 VIP), with their Peppermint and Eucalyptus Oil. It was nice that you can customize your treatment this way :) You can choose Lavender and Rosemary for relaxation, Lemongrass to alleviate fatigue, Peppermint and Eucalyptus for aching muscles, and Green Tea for calming the senses.

Locker Room & Wet Area

After paying for my treatment at the counter, I was ushered into the locker room, which was also connected to their wet area. The room was bathed in relaxing yellow light, and they had an assortment of basic grooming items on the counter-- disposable toothbrushes, cotton swabs, a paddle brush, hairdryer, etc. Inside the locker were a pair of loose shorts, bathrobe, and a pair of cotton slippers.
Now as a general rule, I don't like using anything that's not mine, especially in establishments like these. I was particularly iffy about putting on the shorts and slippers. But after inspecting them, I was satisfied that they were clean and properly washed. :)

The wet area had a dry sauna (left), and a steam room (right). It's not visible in the photo above, but there is actually a tv installed on the wall in front of the dry sauna and steam room. You can catch your soaps while sweating it out in these rooms. Another tunnel in the locker room led to a jacuzzi pool set in a little area with muted red walls and dim yellow lighting. Super relaxing ambiance!
I took the towel and cotton slippers, and made a beeline for the whirlpool. Did I mention that they give you complimentary drinks? You can choose between coffee, or hot or cold tea! I had a nice glass of iced tea while I soaked in the whirlpool. :)

Foot Spa / Mani-Pedi Room
I got a complimentary foot spa treatment! At that time I thought it was because it was my birthday, but I read in another blog that everyone gets this complimentary foot ritual. Haha! Whatever, it was a nice gesture in any case. Who doesn't enjoy free pampering, right? :)
After soaking chest-deep in hot water, stepping into this cool room was refreshing! The foot spa area was roomy (can accommodate up to 8 clients at a time), well-lit, and also has a tv. I loved the relaxing color combination and the white curtains dividers hanging from the sides of each foot spa station.
The complimentary foot treatment was nothing special. It didn't feel amazing, like something I'd specifically go back for. If anything, I enjoyed my chat with the masseuse more. Haha. But no complaints here. It was free and for that alone, it was awesome! LOL. Oh, and free drinks here too. :)

Massage Room (Common Area)

After the foot treatment, I was ushered into the common area for my Classic Massage. I almost paid for the VIP room, but after realizing that I was the only client there,  I thought it pointless to pay extra to get a private room. I opted for the common room, which was not bad at all! Wooden floors with pink and white walls, and matching sheer curtain dividers between each massage table. 
My masseuse turned on the lights as I was taking the photo below, but after I took the shot, she dimmed the lights and played some soothing nature sounds. It was a very, VERY relaxing 1-hour massage! :)

Waiting Area / Lounge
Isn't this the nicest, most comfortable waiting area you've ever seen?? You can put your feet up (sleep?) and watch your favorite tv shows (plus, you get complimentary drinks too haha!)


Overall Comments and Recommendations:
* As far as spa rates go, Toccare Spa is on the expensive side. But their service is impeccable and their facilities top notch. Plus, they are generous with their complimentary drinks, and there's flatscreen tv everywhere! While I don't watch a lot of tv (I watch my shows online), I know that most people do, so this is definitely a point for Toccare. 
* Their interiors are gorgeous! Clean white walls with striped green accents, wood-colored furniture, and sheer curtain dividers.
* Visit during their off-peak hours, before 7pm, and chances are you will be their lone client! This way, you can have privacy without paying for the VIP room and stay as long as you want in the wet area. ;)
* They also have promos. Check them out on Groupon and Deal Grocer. :)

Toccare Spa is located at the 4th Floor of  Best Western Antel Spa Suites, Antel Lifestyle City, 7829 Makati Avenue corner Valdez Street, Makati City.