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Moved!

14 May

Moved!

Moved to a better place 🙂

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Quote 29 May

A real life doesn’t mean getting what you want; the achievement, the priviledge, too, is knowing what you love. But getting what you love? Having what you love love you back? Oh, my friend, its a miracle: your one tiny life’s head-on collision with divinity.

Quote of the day: May 29, 2013

“Having what you love love you back.” Enough said.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

28 May

So, how many times have I mentioned that I’m a sucker for Japanese food? Hundreds of times perhaps? Yeah I passionately love Japanese cuisine and I can eat it every single day! 🙂 For real! Hence, I am always on the lookout for new Japanese restos in the city (aside from visting my regular favorites). Thank God for the ramen craze in the Manila, more and more authentic Japanese restos have been sprouting here and there. An old time favorite would be Ukokkei Ramen Ron in Pasay Road Makati but the parking is always full and the resto is always cramped.  It’s good to have alternatives especially during rainy “craving prone” days/nights. I’ve discovered that Hokkaido Ramen Santouka is a great alternative, in fact it might even be better! 🙂

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka is the legendary ramen brand that offers the same family recipe since 1988, enjoyed throughout Japan and in other international cities such as Taipei, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, Indonesia, USA, Canada and now in the Philippines! It is one of the best ramen franchises originating from Hokkaido, north of Japan. (Source: OurAwesomePlanet)

I deem the word legendary to be an apt adjective to describe Ramen Santouka. Their ramen was indeed soooo good it looks like they have maintained the quality of their food for a long time and regardless of the location. I enjoyed my meal so much! My Shio Ramen had a the perfect Japanese taste. I chose the mild salt flavor that night instead of my usual hot and spicy but it didn’t fail to please my taste buds. My only concern would be the serving size – it was a bit too small for me. I imagine it would be okay for “normal eaters” and not “piggy eaters” like myself haha! My Sake Ikura Gohan (Grilled Salmon & Salmon Roe Rice Bowl) was also delicious and so cheap! Such a bargain for P170. And of course, any meal wouldn’t be complete without dessert – the Matcha (Green Tea) Cake was oh so yummy! Everything was commendable and my tummy and taste buds enjoyed. 🙂 Oh and service was not bad as well.

Sorry for the lame photo – I was too excited to eat.

Ramen, Rice Bowl, Matcha Cake

Ramen, Rice Bowl, Matcha Cake

 

Unfortunately, many people have discovered this gem of a resto in the busy Glorietta mall so there’s always a line as you wait to be seated. But I don’t mind waiting for 10-15 minutes, the food is worth the wait. Just come earlier during peak hours (lunch and dinner time). For private/group functions, they have I think about two function rooms you can reserve.

Can’t wait to visit Ramen Santouka again! If it rains this Friday, I’m so going to drag my hubby with me. Haha! 🙂

 

 

 

Japanese-food-a-holic,

♥ Abby Wasabi

Gyu-Kaku

27 May

Konichiwa, friends! 🙂 So here’s something interesting – though I’m a Japanese food addict,  I never really became a fan of Yakiniku or Japanese BBQ. Kinda weird right? The “cook-your-BBQ-on-the-smokeless-grill-in-front-of-you-concept” just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe because I’d rather cook in my kitchen and when I eat out it means I do not want to cook! 🙂 Also, the taste of Yakiniku doesn’t excite me that much. It’s just grilled meat for goodness sake, nothing special haha! Okay, sorry, enough pessimism.  I’d still end up eating Yakiniku one way or another anyway. Since people were raving about the the much-anticipated opening of Gyu-Kaku in Manila (Apparently it’s the world’s No. 1 Japanese BBQ Yakiniku brand), we decided to give it a try. 🙂

Gyu-Kaku is located at the W Center near Bonifacio Highstreet.  It’s right beside iHop. The resto is not that big, although it has two floors. I prefer the ground floor because of the high ceiling but unfortunately we were seated on the upper floor. I automatically disliked the table because I couldn’t stretch my legs. Space was cramped for six people. 😦

Now onto the food… well I can’t really say much about the food except – I LOVED THE WAGYU. That’s it. Apart from the Wagyu, there was nothing else special. The Bibimbap was decent but not great. The Assorted Mushrooms were so-so. Only the Wagyu beef made my dining experience delightful. Sorry for the Yakiniku fans out there but really, I don’t get it! 🙂

Ishiyaki Mentaiko Bibimbap

Ishiyaki Mentaiko Bibimbap

 

Wagyu (Raw)

Wagyu (Raw)

 

By the way, Wagyu being Wagyu, came with a somewhat hefty price tag so be prepared to shell out P1,750 for Wagyu ribeye, P1,850 for Wagyu Sirloin, and P2,350 for Wagyu Tenderloin. All 200 grams.

For Yakiniku lovers, I think you might enjoy it here so give it a try but for people like me, hmm I suggest we stick to our good old Little Tokyo restos/Sugi/Magetsu/Nihon Bashi Tei/et al. 🙂

 

 

 

Convince Me More Yakiniku,

♥ Abby Wasabi

A Wanderful Night

23 May

2013 is the year of music festivals! So happy to know that we’re now getting into this scene. Filipinos love music and we should do more of these. 🙂 Last month, the popular tooth paste brand launched a Summer Solstice music festival and I heard it was a hit (especially to teens).  Then last week we had the first ever WANDERLAND MUSIC FEST. This is the one I went to. Negative people would call it a “trying hard” Coachella slash Tomorrowland. It’s actually true but so what! It was hella fun! 🙂

I’ve always wanted to go to Coachella, it’s in my bucket list ’til now. So having some kind of a Philippine version is fine by me! Besides, I don’t go to concerts/music festivals if I don’t like the artists. I’m not just there for the “Coachella vibe”  (that’s just a bonus), I’m there to see Up Dharma DownNada Surf, Neon Trees, and Temper Trap!  All in one night! (there were more bands I didn’t mention)

And as expected, they totally rocked! Woohoo! I particularly fell in love with the performance of Neon Trees! They were realllllyyyy good. I didn’t expect them to be THAT good awesome! Their performance made me dance and jump up and down. Their voice quality was even much better live I couldn’t stop raving about it. 🙂

Hub and I didn’t pay for our tickets cos they were given by a friend (thank you, Jap!), but even if we did pay P5,000 each, it would have been totally worth it! The bands were awesome and it was one great experience. Wanderland really brought out the inner hipster in me! 🙂

 

Wanderful Night
Wanderful Night

 

P.S. Of course I was totally feeling the hipster vibe and wore my favorite boho-print shorts with matching boho-braids and the flower clip. [Outfit from H&M and Cotton On]

The first ever Wanderland Music Fest was a huge success! Kudos to Karpos and the sponsors! Can’t wait for what’s in store next year! 🙂

 

 

 

Your Wandergirl,

♥ Abby Wasabi

Laboracay 2013

15 May

And it gets better every year!!!

Yep ladies and gents, Boracay Labor Day weekend did not fail us once again.

It was another weekend of fun partying (and pigging out) with friends at the beach! White House/Sur HAPPY HOUR FTW! And who doesn’t love Boracay’s sun, sand, and sea water. ♥

My Laboracay Ladies

My Laboracay Ladies

LABORACAY buddies

LABORACAY buddies

Too bad I wasn’t able to prepare for the trip. Every year I say “I’ll have abs next year promise” but nah it never happens. Check out my birthday belly (Spiral buffet birthday belly for that matter). Lots of bikini clad ladies showed off their toned bodies while I looked like a whale! 😦 Oh well, at least my hubby thinks I’m sexy HAHA! (He doesn’t have a choice) 🙂

Of course while on the island we took advantage of our faves – Real Coffee’s Calamansi Muffins, Fruit shakes and chocolate shakes, Cafe Del Sol cheesecakes, Ole Mexican food, and Dos Mestizos Spanish cuisine.  🙂

A trip highlight for me would be having breakfast with hubby at the veranda of our hotel while appreciating the beautiful view of Boracay Station 1. It was our first time to stay at Nigi Nigi Too, the not so popular Polynesian hotel beside Willy’s (because Sur and White House were fully booked) but we loved it! Excellent service as well. Wouldn’t mind staying here again next time.

See you next year, Boracay! Ciao!

Your Laboracay Lady,

♥ Abby Wasabi

Birthday Dress

20 Apr

Since I got a lot of compliments on the dress I wore for my birthday (thank you!), I just wanna share with you where I got it.  This dark coral / red-orange dress is from MANGO.  [Not sure if you’ll recognize it here]

I love the cut and the light material – very summery but still appropriate for the office. This year’s hot hot summer has brought out my weakness for halter cut tops. Unfortunately, some of them are quite too skimpy to wear for work.  This particular cut however has caught my taste as it shows just the right amount of shoulder with matching super cute mao collar. 🙂

I’ve been liking MANGO‘s latest collections recently and I wanted to buy a loooot the last time I went to the store! Their new skirts and dresses are particularly nice – even nicer than the ones I see in Zara. Great job, Mango! Looking forward to another shopping spree on my next visit! Hopefully my wallet has already recovered by then. 🙂

The Birthday Dress

The Birthday Dress

MANGO Stores I visit are in: Powerplant Mall Rockwell, Greenbelt 5,  and Alabang Town Center 

 

 

Shopaholic Forever,

♥ Abby Wasabi

Plus One

17 Apr

Another year has passed and another year has come. Yep, that’s right folks, put a plus one on my age digits! 🙂

Yesterday, April 16, I turned a year older, a year wiser (hopefully), a year stronger, and with a different surname! 🙂 It’s my first birthday as a married woman! And thanks to my ever so sweet and thoughtful husband, it became a memorable one.

My all-day birthday celebration began early in the morning. My hubby woke me up and placed his big birthday present on the bed. 🙂 I was still so sleepy but I couldn’t help but open it especially since i saw the huge Michael Kors label hahaha! I loved it! 🙂 We also had breakfast with my parents and they also had a nice present for me yay! 🙂 Hubby then brought me to work (yeah I had to work people, no birthday leaves) and I was happy to have a light day with no meetings. Woopee! Some gifts and cakes were delivered from partners/clients and finally hubby picked me up again for our birthday dinner date in…SPIRAL SOFITEL! 🙂 Oh but I also passed by the Sacred Heart Church to say a thanksgiving prayer. 🙂

Two words: FOOD COMA! The Spiral buffet in Sofitel always leaves me in this state – a food coma – a good kind though. Of course we enjoyed the vast scrumptious dinner spread especially the newly improved L’Epicerie, Salad bar, French Corner, and Dessert Station! 🙂 It was a gastronomic feast! Perfect for special occasions like MY BIRTHDAY! Haha! 🙂

We finished eating at around 8:30PM and we left Sofitel with our happy tummies!  Little did I know that the celebration was not yet over and I was in for a surprise!  So we drove to The Fort Strip, I kept bugging him in the car cos he wouldn’t tell me where we were going, and we finally reached Aracama. To my surprise, my friends were there waiting and they all greeted me a happy birthday! 🙂 It was a fun night of celebrating with cupcakes, wine, and Mr. Daniels. We all enjoyed and became zombies to work the next day haha!

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me!

Indeed it was an all-day celebration and it was perfectly planned thanks to my hubby. 🙂 What better way to celebrate my coming to this world – with my Love, my family, my close friends, and of course a thanksgiving prayer to HIM! 🙂 Thank you, Lord, for another year. I feel blessed everyday. Everything I do, I lift up to You. ♥

May this year bring even more blessings, learning, and meaningful memories. Cheers! 

P.S. Never mind the asking me of my age. Haha! 🙂

 

 

Grew older but looking younger (HAHA),

♥ Abby Wasabi

Summer Essentials Part 1

11 Apr

IT’S SO HOT OUTSIDE!!! Sheesh this is probably one of the hottest summers I’ve ever experienced! I worry for how it’s gonna be next year. 😐

Don’t get me wrong, I like summer. I like summer for the beach trips and pool parties, upbeat music, beautiful clouds and longer daytime, enjoying fruit shakes and slurping ice cream, and thanking the inventor of showers. 🙂 Most importantly, I like summer because well, there’s NO RAIN.  Yes, I dislike rain very much.  Anyway, before I continue to ramble… I’ve decided to post summer essentials every week and this is part one. 🙂

Here goes the list. Sharing with you three of my hundreds dozens of summer essentials:

1) HAPPY NAIL POLISH

I don’t usually wear nail polish.  Ever since I was a kid, I’ve never really accustomed myself to liking color on my nails (any color at that).  At most, I’d put on some clear polish just to make them look shiny but that’s it. I like them clean and looking like nails of boys. Haha! Summer is an exception though. During summer I have the urge to paint my nails bright! 🙂 I just got a mani-pedi last Tuesday and here is my favorite summer nail color – coral. 🙂

Summer Nails

2) COOLING SPRAY

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the heat outside is terrible! The scorching hot sun and humid high temperature makes my skin look and feel horrible. So I always keep my Avene spray in my bag. I bought this in France but I’m happy to know that last week Mercury Drug now sells Avene products! Hooray! No need to hoard these stuff from France. 🙂 This is just natural spring water so there are no chemicals. I’m a fan of natural stuff so thumbs up for this one. Try it and spritz the summer heat away! 🙂

Cooling Spray

3) I SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM!!!

Are you surprised? Of course this is my ultimate summer essential – my all time favorite ICE CREAM! As if I don’t eat this on rainy days hahaha! 🙂 What can I say, it’s a happy food/comfort food/I can eat it anytime food! Obviously, this cold treat helps us beat-the-heat! I like all kinds and flavors of ice cream (oh yes believe me) but right now, my favorites are Pinkerton and M&M’s ice cream cookie sandwich. *Drooool*

Ice cream!

That’s it for now. Watch out for more of my summer essentials soon!

HAVE A GREAT SUMMER! 🙂

 

 

Summer Goddess In The Making (whut? haha),

Abby Wasabi

First of Summer 2013

2 Apr

The weekend before Holy Week, my hubby planned a weekend beach getaway for us to celebrate our second month of being Mr. & Mrs.! Isn’t he sweet? 🙂  We left Saturday noon (because I had to be at a work event in the morning), drove for about three hours, and arrived Laiya at around 4:30PM. It was a hot summer afternoon and we were both so excited to go to the beach.

Hooray for summer!

Hooray for summer!

Upon arriving, the first thing I noticed was the resort’s unattractive entrance.  We had to traverse a few feet of the tiny rough road leading to the resort gate. The popular Acuatico resort is right beside Acuaverde – Acuatico gate on the left and Acuaverde gate on the right. They’re sister companies by the way.  On the offset, I liked the tight security. Manong guard had to stop us at the gate, inspect, and ask for our names to make sure we have a booking. Parking was average, secure and close to the reception. The reception area was a big cottage with high ceiling at the center of the resort and the staff greeted us politely. Since we arrived later than the check-in time, they were already expecting us. Check-in was smooth and easy, the courteous staff escorted us to our room with welcome drinks.

SUN SAND SEA

SUN SAND SEA

So our beach weekend began as soon as we stepped in our room. We got the sea view room at the second floor – more expensive than the garden view (because of the view obviously) but I think the room sizes are all the same. The sea view room size is average, large enough for two people. It had the basics – double bed, TV, desk, aircon, closet. Nothing special. The bathroom was good enough too – clean with a decent shower and toilet. Like I said, nothing special. The rooms are in fact quite overpriced compared to other resorts in Laiya. But for me it was worth it and I’ll tell you why in a bit. I would recommend that you avail of the sea view rooms despite the price difference because the view of the beach and the breeze coming from the sea are really relaxing. When it’s too hot during noon, we hang out by our veranda and we already get what we paid for. 🙂

View from our room

View from our room

Now here are the reasons why we didn’t mind paying a little extra for Acuaverde: 1) Privacy – the resort is very private compared to the other resorts in Laiya. While other beach resorts were crowded; 2) Crowd – I’m sorry to sound obnoxious but the people around us matter. I won’t elaborate on this part but we did like the crowd in Acuaverde. 3) Convenience – the room packages included all meals already and we really liked that.  We don’t have to think about where we’ll eat, where to buy food, or what to bring if food wasn’t provided. Not to mention that all meals were buffet and pretty good too.

Happy second month! :)

Happy second month! 🙂

Don’t expect too much from beaches in Batangas. Of course the sand is not powdery white and fine but I think it’s the “best” beach you can find in a three-hour drive from Manila. So we did what we do best – “chillin like a villain” hahaha!

Sand on my toes

Sand on my toes

We are total beach bums and we enjoyed this first summer trip for 2013! MORE TO COME!

Have a GREAT SUMMER!!! 🙂

Always a beach lover,

Abby Wasabi