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Monday, December 23, 2013

Heaven in a bag- Lay's wavy potato chips dipped in milk chocolate

I like eating things that are a combination of sweet and savory, so the concept of chocolate covered potato chips (incidentally two of my favorite things), is appealing to me. I know a lot of people are grossed out by the thought of eating something like this, but this particular thought has the opposite effect on me. It makes me salivate and want to have some immediately.

I have long been a fan of the chocolate covered potato chips produced by Japanese chocolate manufacturer Royce'. I don't often have it, because the calorie count is too immense to be consuming them on a regular basis. I consider it more as a treat, to be had on special occasions, or during emotional emergencies (usually brought on by PMS). They are a bit pricey too, and I have to go out of my way to buy them in Manila as they are only available in Royce' stalls.

When I found out that Lay's would be launching their own version of the product while I was in the States, I thought that this meeting between us was meant to be. How opportune that I would be close by when this concoction was introduced to the public.

My sister had informed me via email that this product would be available in Target, so I checked the chips section whenever I went there. I never chanced upon some, so I believed that they had not yet been launched. Yesterday though, during some last minute Christmas shopping, Liz spotted one in one of the aisles and showed it to me. I was very happy to know this was not an urban legend but an actual pack I could hold in my hand.

At long last! I have you in my hand!

We scoured the aisles but we couldn't find another pack. We inquired from the Target staff, and apparently, the product was featured in the seasonal section. This explains why I hadn't seen it in the chips section where I had searched for it in the past. They also informed us that they had no more bags in stock, and suggested that we look in other Target outlets.

I will continue looking for them, but in the meantime I had to try the chips. I opened them as soon as I could, and it was as sinful and enjoyable as I expected it to be. I loved it, although I did think that the chocolate overpowered the potato chip's flavor. The Royce' version was more balanced, in terms of sweetness and saltiness. I liked the chocolate though, it was smooth and creamy. 

I will be on the lookout for more of these bags. I'm sure my chocolate loving friends (including my sister who pointed them out to me in the first place) would love to get a bag when I get back.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A light post-yoga meal at Omakase

I'd been slacking off in terms of exercise recently, so when Girlie invited me and Z to join her for yoga at Beyond Yoga in Il Terrazzo, I was game to go. She was joining the Yin Yoga class, which I'd never tried, so I was looking forward to learning something new.

Yin Yoga turned out to be more meditative than physical. It wasn't very strenuous (on the body at least), so I didn't really burn all that many calories. It was good for focusing the mind, but I guess I was expecting a sweatier workout.

Because we didn't feel like we deserved to eat a big meal after minimal exertion, we decided to have a light dinner downstairs at Omakase Restaurant, where I hadn't gone to in a while. Here are some of the things we ate- tekka maki, tamago, and Omakase soup. Admittedly, that's not all we ordered, so it's not as light as it looks. But at least we didn't order anything fried.

(We did have some decadent chocolate cake at nearby Jack's Loft after though.)

Tekka Maki

Omakase Soup


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday night celebration at Rue Bourbon

My friend Kate wasn't joking when she said she wanted to celebrate her birthday all month long. This afternoon, she, along with other June celebrants Gel and Estelle, held a birthday party at McDonald's in Libis. This was a form of throwback celebration since they (along with Joan, who wasn't at the latest party) also had a joint McDonald's birthday bash in 1999.

After the "children's party", Kate, Gel, and I went to nearby Starbucks to hang out. I hadn't seen Gel in years, and it's always such a joy to see her, so it was great to catch up with what's been going on with her. Our extended get-together over coffee was still not enough, so Kate proposed that we go to Eastwood for some drinks. Since it was a slow Sunday evening with nothing to do, Gel and I agreed it was a good idea.

Kate suggested we go to Rue Bourbon, owned by currently-very-popular actress Jodi Sta. Maria. Since the restaurant offered New Orleans cuisine, I was eager to try their dishes.

Since we were still full from our fastfood feast, we just ordered a couple of appetizers. We had some Cajun Shrimp Pizza, and Creamy Spinach Dip.

Cajun Shrimp Pizza
I liked the pizza because the crust was very thin and crispy. It didn't taste particularly cajun-y to me though. The creamy spinach dip was not memorable, although I did like the garlic bread that came with it. The dip didn't go too well with the potato chips that also accompanied it, I really wished they had just given us the bread instead.

Creamy Spinach Dip
With these appetizers, I had a mug of beer. Although the word "pitcher" might be more appropriate. It was practically a workout for me just to lift the mug to my lips. I liked their caramel beer, because it was quite sweet.

Giant Mug of Beer!
We stayed at Rue Bourbon until it was closing time. I certainly didn't expect a celebration that started at 4pm to extend until way way way past midnight, but catching up with these dear friends was so much fun that the time wasn't nearly enough. Happy birthday Kate! I hope to see you and Gel again very soon!

Rue Bourbon
Eastwood City Walk, Orchard Road
Bagumbayan, Quezon City
Tel. No. (632)570.0984

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Late night snack after World War Z

I’d been waiting to watch World War Z since I first heard that Brad Pitt was going to produce it. It seems he read the book and liked it, so he decided to get the rights to transform it into a movie. I really liked the book, and I really like zombies in general (yes, I am ready for the apocalypse of the undead), so I was anticipating the book’s transition into the big screen.

The movie was nothing like the book, and I was a bit disappointed in that regard. But Brad Pitt is still very hot, and I liked the effects, particularly the tsunami of zombies, so I did enjoy the movie.

I’d had dinner before the late night show that I caught, but I still wanted to munch on something after the movie. I dropped by nearby Italianni’s and had a couple of appetizers- truffle fries and calamari.

Truffle Fries
One thing I like about chain restaurants like Italianni's, you get almost exactly what you expect. The food is pretty consistent. The way it tastes one day is most likely the way it will taste the next. So, since I was in the mood for oily sinful finger food, that's exactly what I got. Who cares about the calories? The zombie apocalypse is coming soon anyway.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Super early breakfast at Sweet Ideas Cafe, NAIA Terminal 3

I just downloaded the blogger app on my phone and this is the first time for me to use it. I'm hoping that the app will help me update my blog more regularly. I've hundreds of photos I haven't uploaded, so I hope this will help with the backlog.

I'm at the airport now, waiting to board my flight to Bangkok. I'm killing time at Sweet Ideas Cafe. It's my second time here, and I had spanish sardines with garlic rice and egg. The sardines were straight out of a bottle, so were nothing great. I liked the garlic rice though.

Oops gotta run, my flight's boarding already.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A new find: Relish, Hello Happiness! Restaurant

I'd seen the construction of this new restaurant "Relish" going on, because it's right beside Cerchio, where Chi and I so often have lunch. This week, we decided to finally try this new place. The facade amuses me, because it's so positive about how your experience will go. In fact, the complete name of the restaurant appears to be "Relish, Hello Happiness!" (Yes, it comes complete with exclamation point.)

When Chi and I entered, our first impression of the place was that it was a restaurant for "ladies who lunch", probably because a lot of the clientele at that time were, well, ladies. It was perfect for our purposes, as we wanted a place to chat and catch up on gossip since we hadn't seen each other for a few weeks.

I ordered the pumpkin soup to start, since I am still in search of the best pumpkin soup in the city, and Chi and I both ordered the Cream Dory with Lemon Pepper Sauce.

The pumpkin soup tasted a lot like those of other restaurants, except that it was a little too sweet, even for me, and I often like sugar in my food. It would have been better if it were not too sweet. I liked how the croutons were so crunchy, though. I might order this again if it were less sweet the next time around.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Next up, the cream dory. This was a hit with both Chi and me. We both liked the creamy sauce, and the garlic mashed potatoes that we chose as our sides. This one's a keeper; I will definitely have it again in the future.

Cream Dory with Lemon Pepper Sauce

For dessert, we had a hard time deciding which one to have, since they have a rather long list to choose from, and the waiter had several recommendations. We went with one of them and ordered the Peanut Banoffee Pie. We enjoyed this dessert as well. I particularly liked that the cream was frozen.

Peanut Banoffee Pie

As we were about to leave the restaurant, a sweet lady (presumably the owner) approached us and thanked us for coming, gave us the restaurant's business card, and then asked us to come back.

We definitely will.

Relish Hello Happiness! Restaurant
74 Scout Limbaga St. cor. Tomas Morato
Quezon City, Philippines
Tel. No. +63 2 352.5492/352.0774
Mobile +63 926.695.9885

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sweet treats before leaving Bangkok: Swensen's Ice Cream and Dunkin' Donuts

I had a few hours to spend in Bangkok by myself before my flight, so I did what I do best, look for places to eat. I was in the mood to eat a lot of sugar, and since it was a very hot, sweaty, sticky afternoon, I decided to have some ice cream at Swensen's. Bangkok is the first place I tried this particular brand of ice cream some time back, so I revisited the exact same ice cream parlor where I had that experience.

Since I don't get a chance to eat at Swensen's very often, I easily justified to myself ordering three scoops. I had macadamia, chocolate peanut butter cup, and chocolate rain forest. Unfortunately it was gone all too soon. I usually eat very slowly as a rule, but this does not seem to be the case when I eat ice cream. This practice ends up making my teeth ache from the freeze. But Swensen's is worth it.

Macadamia, peanut butter, and chocolate ice cream
After a few hours, I was in the mood for yet another sugar boost. (Hey, I was on holiday.) The place that was closest to me was Dunkin' Donuts, and since I was all out of EQ, I just decided to have what has been described in many nutritional studies as absolutely the worst food in the world, doughnuts. Of course, I had two. I couldn't resist that smiley face.

Dunkin' Donuts
By the time I boarded my plane, I had already crashed from my consecutive sugar highs. I tried not to feel too bad about all the sugar I had consumed. I told myself that all that climbing I did the past three weeks gave me some leeway to indulge. Of course that's what I'd been telling myself the whole trip...