Witt's Twaddle

Saisaki’s Eat All You Can Tempura

Posted in Fests, Food by Witt on August 27, 2010

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Last night, Dads Ultimate Buffet had an anniversary special. The Eat All You Can Tempura. To celebrate Saisaki’s 33 years of existence. Abbie chose to have the regular Saisaki buffet since she is not a big fan of tempura. I, on the other hand is 🙂

For only P330, you’ll get a bowl of soup, a cup of sticky rice, bottomless iced tea & all you can eat tempura. At first, they gave me 3 tempuras & 2 crab sticks. The second round, they gave me 5. On the third, 4 more. And getting oilier by the round. For the last round, 4. On paper, I ate 16. The truth, 14 & a half. After all that, my heart was pounding like a racehorse after the Kentucky Derby. But it was well worth it.

7:52am, 27 August 2010.

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Shanghai Short Story

Posted in Fests, Food, Trips by Witt on June 19, 2010

The family celebrated the 34th wedding anniversary of our parents in Shanghai, China. Here’s a few snaps I took with my Motorola Milestone.

Not very pleasing experience here that I will not be divulging. The Consular Section is at the World Center, 330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City. Come early and take a number. Business hours begins at 9:00am. Requirements: New Visa Applicant – Completed application form, passport with a least six months validity, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if married), NBI clearance, bank certificate with OR and P50k show money. Previous Visa Holder – Completed application form and bring the old passport with the Chinese Visa.

Yes, they have flights to Shanghai. I think they just recently added Beijing to their new destinations. On time, maybe even earlier at times. Cheap. No food.

We arrived at Pudong International at around 11pm. Had some cash changed to Renminbi or Yuan (¥). They can also change your Peso, so you need not have to change it to USD ($) back home. Our chauffeur was there. It took us over an hour to get to our hotel. A series of skyways and flyovers. Simply spectacular. The moment we got out the van, cool breeze. Around 18-21 degrees Celsius. Very nice. Chun Shen Jiang Hotel is situated at East Nanjing Road in the heart of Huangpu District. Where everything is. Food, shopping, everything.

I suggested we eat something familiar for breakfasts so as not to upset our stomachs for the day. They try to be as environmentally sound as possible, no plastics or styrofoam here. No rice though, but they do have strawberry jams for pancakes and ground black pepper packets which I particularly liked.

When in Shanghai, the Oriental Pearl Tower is a must see. Fastest elevators I’ve ever ridden. Don’t forget to check out the Sight-Seeing Deck. 360 degrees of clear walking glass.

Same taste.

The Shanghai World Expo opened on the 1st of May 2010 and will run until the 31st of October 2010. ¥160 for a standard day pass, ¥100 for seasoned citizens. Luckily, we have two. Security was tight. They even held me for some time due to the Starbucks Shanghai City Mug I bought for Abbie. Expo hours begin at 8am and closes at 10pm except for times when there are special activities which can go on until midnight. The park is massive, as in colossal. Like a small town with hundreds of thousands of people. It’s impossible to scan the whole park in one day that’s why they’re selling 3-day and 7-day passes at ¥400 and ¥900 respectively. We just breezed through some. There’s a number of electric cars which serve as free ride in the long “highway” of the park. The longest queue: USA Pavilion. It has three short movies for its presentation mostly themed on saving the environment. Of course, we definitely have to see the Philippine Pavilion but unfortunately it was just a so-so. As we entered, a male vocalist sings Freddie Aguilar’s Anak followed by a lady singing a “kundiman”, a Filipino serenade. Then followed by a DJ… a DJ?! WTF! The pavilion showed the immense influence our conquerors. There is “hilot”, a Filipino massage/therapy, of course with pay. And the only one with a restaurant inside. Filipino food at skyhigh prices. The only thing good about the Philippine Pavilion, Pinoys need not queue. Another thing I noticed, Filipino travelers are one of the snobbish bunch there is. Don’t be like one, smile back. Did I say the park was enormous?  Huge portalets. Food is everywhere. Expo goodies galore. Everything is 20-30% more expensive though. Tip: Wear you favorite, most comfy footwear.

Some of the best authentic dimsum I’ve tasted are found here at the Shanghai Tea Houses near the Yuyuan Garden, center of the Old City. My favorite, the “Soup Siopao”. You stick a straw in it and sip its juices, tastes like “balut” soup. Yum!

The nearby Yuyuan Shopping  City is the “Divisoria” of Shanghai. Haggle-fest! Sub-story: Dad and the rest of us had a miscommunication on where to meet up after an hour of shopping. Hence, we waited and searched for him for four hours. We even summoned the assistance of the police. Tin went on the PA system which was funny-cool. Later he claimed that we’re the ones who got lost 😀

Boxing Cat Brewery‘s Knockout Stout. Two of this and you’re done. Crazy soccer hooligans pack the place at the time of the World Cup mania. Located at the French Concession, 82 Fu Xing Road West (Near Yong Fu Road), Xu Jia Hui District.

Xintiandi is a small district in Shanghai where old China and new China meet. The best restaurants can be found here. One is XinJishi Restaurant located at Building 9, Xintiandi beili, No.2, Alley 181 Taichang Road. The tofu is my favorite.

The vacation would not be complete without a trip for the faith. St. Peter’s Church is situated at 270 Chongqing Nan Lu. English Mass at 5pm every Saturday and 12noon on Sundays.

Free. ‘Nuff said.

Before flying out, I had a bowl of beef ramen from Ajisen Ramen at Pudong International.

To end, Shanghai is a beautiful megacity. You cannot capture it using a Motorola Milestone. Do not be discouraged if the locals turn you away when you ask them for directions or what not, they just do not speak English. Shanghainese are kind, welcoming people. Would love to go back and have more fun.

7:52am, 19 June 2010.

Ultimate Taste Test 4.0

Posted in Fests, Food by Witt on May 15, 2010

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Hands down, the best P200 spent ever!

Over 40 food choices from main dishes to desserts to drinks packed in NBC Tent at The Fort last Friday, 14 May 2010. Hundreds of amateur food tasters, including Abbie and myself, queued up to savor new and familiar delights in town.

Favorites:
1. Lattize’s Lengua Sulipena and Corned Beef
2. Dulcelin Gourmet’s Angus Short Rib Steak
3. JAM Food’s Angus Beef Tapa
4. Crave Burgers
5. Pellegrino’s Roast Chicken
6. Cambeli Patisserie’s Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Sign me up for Ultimate Taste Test 5.0 in August!

9:24am, 15 May 2010.

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Golden Spoon

Posted in Food by Witt on February 20, 2010

Courtesy of Heart-2-Heart Online

Whenever I bring the car to work, we make it a point that we’ll enjoy some Golden Spoon Frozen Yogurt. Last night, before having dinner, Abbie and I had fro-yos as appetizers. She had the Simply Tart flavor, which is ‘soury’ the way she likes her yogurt, with Rainbow Sno-Cap toppings. I, on the other hand, had the plain Boysenberry flavor. Even teased the lady server if it tasted like paint but somehow it turned out nice. Now, I’m a fan of Boysenberry.

Golden Spoon is located at Unit 105 Gateway Centre, Paseo de Magallanes, Makati City.

9:59am, 20 February 2010.

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Mesa – Filipino Moderne

Posted in Food by Witt on February 14, 2010

I’ve been hearing about this restaurant eversince Abbie went there for a college get-together. All I heard from her was “Cripchon” this, “Cripchon” that. So we decided to go there for our Pre-Valentine’s, Pre-Anniversary dinner-date. It’s usually pre- or post- for me when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Never did I went out on the very day.

She made the reservations in my behalf. Good thing she did, cause when we got there, the waiting list was already up to sixteen! For real.

Courtesy of clickthecity.com

I didn’t like the seats given to us but being a Friday before Valentine’s Day, you can’t complain. The place was cozy. The hostesses were nice & friendly and they know what they’re selling.

After eyeing the menu for a couple of minutes, we ordered. Number one, 1/6th Crispchon (P799), of course. And it was actually Crispchon not Cripchon. We got half the face of a roasted pig! For the first part, the pig skin was sliced into thin strips and then rolled in pandan crepes with some veggies plus sour cream and hoisin sauce as dips. Yum! All this was done in front of you. For the second part, the rest of the Crispchon were stir-fried in your choice of flavor, we chose chili. Number two, Tinapa Roll Wrapped in Lettuce (P135). Bad choice. Number three, Sinigang na Ulo ng Salmon (P180). Good but we had better. Final choice, Baked Scallops with Garlic Butter (P190). Über yum!

Prices were relatively cheap except for the Crispchon which can go up to P3,999 for a whole roast pig. Overall, we will definitely have a comeback.

Mesa – Filipino Moderne
G/F Greenbelt 5, Legaspi St., Legaspi Village
Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 728-0886

11:10am, 14 February 2010.

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John, Yoko and Red Mango

Posted in Everyday, Food by Witt on January 8, 2010

Tonight, we decided to treat ourselves to some fine dining. Fine for me is having somebody to order around.

Pricey!

John and Yoko Cosmopolitan Japanese, a Japanese (obviously) restaurant located at the 2nd level in Greenbelt 5, one of the more posh malls in Metro Manila. Normally, you have to wait to be seated but we got there early, around 6ish. Abbie ordered the Tendon and California Rolls, I got the Wagyu Bacon Rice and Salmon Sashimi. For starters, the Salmon Sashimi was exquisite! Perfect big slices and ultra soft salmon, it literally liquefies in your teeth and mouth. The California Rolls were so-so. The entree, Wagyu Bacon Rice was good, too oily though, as well as the Tendon. Moderately large-sized shrimps were okay. Overall, good food. However, it was a little expensive. I say, eat there to celebrate something.

After our early dinner, we headed to Greenbelt 3 to see a movie. The tickets for the 7:50 showing of Avatar are sold out. Skipped the movie and went to Red Mango instead.

Choose your poison.

For dessert, we both picked a medium size original flavor fro-yo. She had the chocolate chip toppings, I had the blueberries. Fro-yo was delectable. Yummy! Red Mango is situated at the 4th level of Greenbelt 3, near the cinemas.

11:54pm, 8 January 2010.

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