Monday, March 30, 2015

Crystal Jade Shanghai Delights @ Greenhills!

Never in my life I win in any raffle. Not until the moment that our friends from Crystal Jade Dining IN had a raffle and luckily, the jinx spell on me has been broken thanks to our friends from Crystal Jade Dining IN!
It's our first time going in there Greenhills branch. Which is widely popular for their XLB offerings. (now available in the BGC branch. yay!)
Still, my vote when it comes to greatest XLB goes to Crystal Jade. :)
For a change, we tried their Crispy Noodles. This is my favorite when it comes to noodles. Crispy Noodles served with thick noodle sauce on the side. Different playful textures in your mouth. Crispy and saucy at the same time! 
Lechon Macau - You know that boyfie ordered this one right? haha! Crispy on the outside, yet tender on the inside. I also appreciate that it's not oily at all and has thin layers of fat. (Since others usually have half equal part of fats.). But boyfie still dreaming of dipping this one on liver sauce (Mang Tomas). Yeah, we know that this is a Chinese Restaurant so no one to blame! ;)
Since I devour myself with 1 basket of XLB, I decided to order the lighter one. Fish and Tofu (forgot the exact name though). A medley of Chinese spices on their fresh and custard like tofu, plus the tender chunks of fish. Perfect this Lenten Season! :)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Seafood Galore at Dampa sa Libis!

Last Valentine's Day is probably one of the most unusual Valentine's Day that Aldrin and I had. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably read about our previous celebrations we had and yes, mostly are buffet. 
 When boyfie asks where I wanted to celebrate it, I simply said something like the seafood we had in Boracay for Paluto. He was also surprised when I gave him that answer. He asked me a couple of times if I'm sure. I even said that I hate to embrace all the traffic in Manila if ever, especially it's a Payday-Saturday-Valentines Day combo. URGH! But he insisted that we can dine at HEAT so it's closer to us or Spiral like the usual. Little did he know that I'm searching for some hashtags on instagram about Dampa sa Libis. (especially the buttered shrimps. GAHD!)
 Upon reading with other blogs, Dampa sa Libis is on top of the list. It is clean and sanitized, huge dining area and parking lot. Don't expect some fancy shmancy type cause you know, it's a Dampa right? They have two dining areas. The al fresco and the air conditioned that can maxed up to 700-800 diners
The air conditioned room is small compared to the one outside, so if you want to stay in a cooler place better go here as early as possible. We went around 11 am to dine for lunch, and I must say, it's one of the greatest decision ever. Aside from the fact that we avoided all the traffic, the place was packed after 30 minutes. 
 But of course, before anything else, you have to shop for your goods before directly seating on your table. The in-house market is clean and well categorized according to variety. You can see that other stalls were not open since it's still early but everything you need is readily available from the stalls that opens early. 
The process is as follows. Buy everything you want, weigh it, and decide what type of dish you want them to cook for you. You can choose between 1 or 1/2 kilo for a corresponding price per dish. Since we were just two, I asked them if I can split a 1/2 kilo of seafood for 2 kinds of cooking preparation. Yes, it is allowed but it is still counted and charged as two. 
 Tiger Prawns..
 Suahe (perfect for Buttered Shrimp! YUM!!!)
 Boyfie was shocked when I told him that there is such thing as gay crab. He didn't believe me at first, but when he saw this signage, he was surprised that I am not lying at all! :D
 Tons of shell fishes and more!
 Here's our total bill: 1 piece of lady crab (Szechuan), 1/2 kilo of Tiger Prawn (1/4 for Tempura and 1/4 for Sinigang), 1 Kilo of Suahe (Buttered Shrimps), 1/4 Kilo of Mussels (Baked Tahong). The price above is not the total bill since we had to go back again for the crab. (Additional: more or less 500 pesos from the above receipt.)
 Upon paying at the cashier, you will be asked for what "Paluto" you want it to be. Then they will give you this number.
 Aside from the usual paluto, they already have ready made dishes that you can try.

 Garlic Fried Rice (140 pesos) - This serving is good for 3-4 persons already. haha. 
 Sinigang na Hipon (1/4 Kilo of the Tiger Prawn) - Boyfie really wanted to order Sinigang na Hipon because it's his favorite dish of the Tiger Prawns. The Sinigang was good, and you can really taste the freshness of the seafoods, but then again, it lacks some tamarind flavor and tasted somewhat an artificial flavoring? Okay, I don't make sense anymore. haha! But still, it was good! Tiger Prawn is perfect for Sinigang like this one! 
Buttered Shrimp (1/2 kilo of Hipon Suahe) - OH BOY! This is what I am talking about!!! Our favorite during the entire feast! The buttered shrimp was just so heavenly! The thick sweet,salty butter sauce was so divine! Make sure to choose the hipon suahe for this dish so you can smother the thin skin on the sauce. Must Try! 
 Tempura (1/4 kilo of Tiger Prawn) - Though I've read somewhere that the tempura at Dampa should be ignored, I can't help myself but to try and see for myself. And they were actually right. I am not saying it's bad, but it's not good either. The batter was too thick that you can't appreciate the crispiness anymore. It's like you are eating a chicharon. haha! But paired with the sauce, it's decent enough. 
 Szechuan Crab (1 piece of Crab) - Man, this is a contender between our number one spot. It's actually just a strand of hair decision between the Buttered Shrimp. It's so good! It even reminded me of the crabs we have tried in Chinese Restaurants. The sauce was good and can be viand on its own. How about the crab? 
 Aligue all the way! *once in a while lang naman! hahaha! :P
 Baked Tahong (1/4 mussels) - One of the dish that I can't wait to try! I'm such a fan of Baked Tahong but not this one. Yes, it was generously topped with garlic and cheese, but it doesn't have any butter on top! Who does Baked Tahong without butter on top anyway? huhu! *but it is still good though! 
Fresh Buko  (40 pesos) - This was served when we're almost finished already. haha! 
 Leche Flan (110 pesos) - I also read that, YOU MUST TRY their Leche Flan. I was curious since for me, all Leche Flans are the same. But a sneaky me cannot resist trying it for myself and would you believe that it's the greatest leche flan that I ever tried? It's so smooth, creamy and rich. Melts in your mouth! Promise!
 For less than 2000 pesos (seafoods + paluto already) we had such a fantastic feast!!! And oh, don't think that we consumed that all. As you all know, we are well-trained with buffets, but we still can't manage to finish everything. We had tons of take home after. I think, our food can be shared with 4-5 regular eaters. Super sulit! 

I really can't contain my happiness with all these freshest seafoods! I really can't wait to go back! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Wedding 101: Wedding Photographer Scouting!

One of the main supplier priorities is the Wedding Photographer. It is something that you shouldn't take for granted because this is the only tangible remembrance that you will have after that magical moment right? 
Photo credits here
They are the ones who will capture every single detail, as you both go into the process of binding as one, 
that's why no single details shouldn't be missed.
So, as soon as we started planning, I am searching the web for different Wedding Photographers in Manila. Before, I already had something on my mind. My first choice even way back is Metro Photo. I really fell inlove from the time I saw their pictures. I even put their details on my email for future reference. The crisp quality of their photo is really stunning. They are also well known for their different "posing" techniques that it's as if you are a model. Which I don't think that Aldrin and I can pull that off. But as time goes by, I realized that what you have in your mind will suddenly change once your are planning the wedding, fantasizing on different pegs and maybe, maturing at the same time. Metro Photo isn't really for us. Since what they have is an HD quality, wherein what I liked is the light and soft qualities of pictures. 

So, I scout online and read lots of forums that offers the Dainty quality that I'm looking for.

I'm pretty sure that with the list I provided above, you know the quality of the pictures that we are looking for right? Isn't pretty? :) BUT! Would you believe that 95% of my inquiries including the whole bunch of known wedding photographers that I can't remember anymore, turned us down? They were already booked on our date. The fudge! :'( I was really stressed out that time looking for photographers that is available on our date. That's probably one of the hardest tasks in preppin' for the wedding. It is when you already have the desired photographer that you are dreaming of, turned out that, they were booked already. That's the moment when bridezilla and groomzilla will come out. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rita's Ice Custard Happiness @ Greenhills!

Just like every other food hubs that came from other countries, Rita's is one of those that took Filipinos by storm when it arrived here in the Philippines last November of 2014.
 Originated in United States with over hundreds of stores, no wonder that it is labeled as the most popular Italian Ice store in US. Since it's on our way that time, boyfie and finally tried their offerings.
 The place is small. But no worries since half of the customers prefer to have it as to go. The interiors were bright and relaxing, while the service is so-so. I feel the coldness of their service just like their products. hehe!
Cookie Dough Ice with Chocolate Custard Gelati (130 pesos) - I honestly expected a lot from this one hearing good raves with their ice offerings, but I was a bit disappointed. The Cookie Dough Ice was really smooth and refreshing. Perfect for summer weather. But it seems that I'm eating fine ice with sugars. The cookie dough flavor was not that prominent when it comes to its taste too. If ever I'll be trying their gelati again, I guess I will order the fruity versions next time.
Chocolate Frozen Custard Sundae (160 pesos) - Now this is what I'm talking about. Even though I was disappointed by the first one, now this is a great comeback! This is probably part of my list when it comes to great chocolate ice cream. The texture was really thick, smooth and super chocolatey! Their sundae comes with two toppings of your choice, whipped cream and cherry on top. I choose to have Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and M&M's! I have to commend the hefty amount of toppings they put on this one. Great job! :)

Check out their menu! For more details, see their page here

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Movie Review: The Kingsman Secret Service

I almost forgot that I have some space here on my blog for movie reviews. haha! My blog is currently rotating in food reviews recently. Watching cinema is one of our favorites aside from eating. One of our favorite part is the trailers since we can have some idea for the upcoming show that might get our attention. We always allot 15 minutes early to make sure that we can watch all the upcoming shows and The Kingsman Secret Service is one of those. 

This movie directed by Matthew Vaughn surely catches our attention and we were both glad that the movie is worth watching for! The movie is about a organization that trains and protecting everyone from the "bad guys". The movie line was kinda entertaining and one of a kind twist. Though I wasn't impressed with the effects on their fighting scenes itself (since I was expecting the literal morbit and bloody happenings, because the graphics is kinda funny), I was able to appreciate it by the time we finished the movie. I guess they actually did that intentionally to have a lighter scenes that can be suitable for majority of viewers. If I'm going to rate this movie, I will give this 8/10. ;)

See their trailer here

Quick Grub at Madeca, Podium

This visit is a long overdue. I only realized that I haven't posted any reviews with Madeca (Okay, excuses. haha!) This is when the time when I asked boyfie to join me in the cinema to watch Feng Shui 2 (and it's pretty good).
 We were about to dine at Brasas but we have limited time to indulge ourselves with heavy meals. But to be honest, Madeca has been on my must visited list for a looooong time already. 
 Everything on their menu is affordable and straight to the point. No frills, just pure comfort food. 
 I loved how they have their wooden number for their customers.
 Spinach Mushroom Quesadilla (125 pesos) - We started our snack with a light and cheesy quesadilla. It was generously filled with cheese, spinach and mushroom, and served with chips and salsa. I will surely order this the next time!
 Sisig Burrito (225 pesos) - This is the dish that I wanted to order even from the start. I have been reading really good feedbacks with this one. And in all fairness, it did not disappoint! The sisig filling was really generous and flavorful when it comes to flavor. The serving size can be good for two as well! 
Lechon Kawali (265 pesos) - If there is LK on the menu, then Aldrin will order that fosho! And sadly, it was really disappointing. The LK was really bland at all. I don't mean to be harsh but it's really tasteless. :( Oh well, I guess it's boyfie's fault anyway. What can you expect from a Filipino food in a Mexican place right? hehe!

But in general, we still enjoyed their food and place. I can't seem to mind anymore their LK since their service crew was really outstanding! For more details, you can visit their page here.
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