Tuesday, July 27, 2010

said the spider to the fly

I could not walk past it. Really. It called my name. I stopped dead in my tracks, and said to Bunny Rabbit, "Don't let me go in, don't let me go in!"

We went in.

This store is just. So. Cool. Note the murals. Are they hand-painted? I couldn't tell.

The first thing that grabbed me was this fabulous tote:
Only US$12! Why, why didn't I buy it? Because I already have too many bags, but... Argghh! When I put it on my shoulder, the sales attendant gave me a knowing smile. She was unfazed when I put it back. She probably knows that I'll be back for it.

The displays were exquisite, but very casual. Every single piece was delightful and intriguing. And very affordable.

Case in point:

Unfortunately, both tops which I tried on made me look fat. The material? The fit? I don't know. I don't much care, actually. I just like being inside just G.

And I loved, loved, loved the dressing rooms!

just G. Somewhere in SM Megamall. (I can never remember where anything is in that mall.)

well, i bought socks

OK, I am NOT 21 years old. I must admit that the store is very appropriately named.

First, let's take a look at this cool picture that my LX3 took:
Notice that the security guy is perfectly vertical. So is the lady about to come out of the store. So's the mannequin. So how come the floor is not level, hmm? Optical illusion?

I've recently discovered the "Vibrant" setting of my camera. This is Auto:

And this is Vibrant:

Interesting. It's like hitting the "Saturate" button on Picasa. I must remember to try this outdoors, maybe with a blue sky with puffy white clouds.

Anyway, at first glance, Forever 21 overwhelms you with the sheer amount of merchandise inside that cavernous space at SM Megamall, but upon closer inspection, the quality of the clothing leaves something to be desired. The material's so-so and the stitching is downright icky. Still, I suppose if your aim is to be fashionable RIGHT NOW, these clothes will last you through the season. And then you can go shopping again for new stuff! The less than US$25 price tag per piece won't make you feel bad about retiring, donating or gifting last year's Forever 21 loot.

They have some outfits which are within the US$25 to US$40 price range. The quality is slightly better and the styles are undeniably for people slightly older than 21. This probably follows the premise that you have more moolah as you get older and can afford to spend more on clothes.

In general, Forever 21 is not my style. Being in the store feels a bit like checking out Madonna's closet from 20 years ago, but revamped by her daughter. OK, correction: Perhaps the next season's collection will be more my style, but for now, Forever 21's current collection is not my style.

I did buy some very nice socks and tights, though. And the accessories section is very satisfactory. I would go back for the burloloy (accessories).

Afterwards we ended up at the Food Court where I tried Kipp's Fried Chicken, which some guys raved about in the Comments section of spot.ph's "10 Best Pinoy-Style Fried Chicken in Metro Manila", here.

Verdict: At 81 pesos for a huge piece of chicken, a cup of orange-colored rice, some gravy and an 8 oz. soda, it's pretty good value. However, I found the chicken kind of bland without the gravy. It was crispy outside and moist inside, so nothing wrong there. It was just kind of tasteless for me. As Bunny Rabbit said, Max's Fried Chicken is still the winner. But hey, Kipp's meal is less than US$2!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

tiramisu = love

About a month ago, I discovered Jin Perez's blog, where she raved about this tiramisu that apparently, can only be found at UCC Manila.

I agree, Jin. It really is the best tiramisu in the world.

It's kind of pricey, but... who cares?! It's lovely-- soft, creamy, chocolatey, but not too sweet. I could eat it everyday. Of course, that would mean not eating anything else because one slice costs as much as an entire meal, practically.

I had it with a cup of Sumiyaki coffee.

Yup, it's the best coffee in the world! The first time I tried it last year, it gave me palpitations. It's a really strong cup with a roasted rice flavor (in Tagalog, tutong) that blends very nicely with cream. I wouldn't recommend drinking it black because it has top, middle and end notes which strangely enough, CLASH without the cream to bring everything together. This time, recalling the palpitations, I took my time and drank very slowly. Great to the last drop.

Why I love jinlovestoeat.com:

1. She blogs about (almost) everything she eats.

2. She has this great rating system, which makes the food/ restaurants she reviews searchable by rank. There's four hearts best of the best, three hearts her favorites, two hearts pretty good, one heart not going back and lastly waste of time and calories.

3. She knows what food she likes and what she doesn't like. No pussyfooting around.

4. She has a mom who prepares what looks to me like really elaborate, healthy and yummy meals. I especially like the required servings of fruit with every meal. The longans have been peeled, for heaven's sake! Jin, I would trade mothers with you, but only for a week. I, too, have a Chinese mother, so I know what it's like. Except mine can't cook.

5. She wrote a blog entry for me, here. Wiwit!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

cute food

Why is it that there's sure to be a Filipino in every corner of the world, but Filipino cuisine is not well-known outside the Philippines? Our dishes are very flavorful, comforting and tasty, but somehow, while Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and other dishes from Southeast Asian countries are becoming staples and are being devoured everywhere, Pinoy food remains on the back burner.

Is it because our food is ugly?

Well, let's face it. We eat with our eyes, and our food lacks color and presentation. Thank gad more and more Pinoy chefs and bakers are becoming aware of this, and slowly but surely, our cuisine is attaining a certain sophistication.

To be world-class, we have to LOOK world-class.

Take the humble piaya. Most people know it as a souvenir foodstuff that's being sold in every airport in the country. Make them really tiny and call them piayitos.

Make them as thin as possible. Obviously, there won't be space for the filling, but you're looking for that crispy, crunchy texture.

Sprinkle some organic muscovado and sesame seeds et voila. The piaya is reinvented, and with really cool packaging. Actually, it's the perfect size for your purse-- just right for snacking. I can imagine crumbling them up over a bowl of ice cream.

Congrats to Casa Carmela Kitchen of Bacolod! Good job, thumbs up! See more of their products here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

letter to the lourd

Dear Lourd,

Omigod omigod omigod! You have Lhasa Apsos, too?! Aren't they the cutest little furry furballs yes aren't they?

I just loved what you said about them in your blog: So I got myself two more dogs, this time, a pair of mahogany-colored Lhasa Apsos. They're also small, not quite lazy, but frighteningly furry sometimes I can't tell between their front and back.

You're so funnnnyyyy!!!

Here's a picture of our puppies. Well, they're actually three years old now. That's Kisses and Teddy and Ginger. Aren't they adorable yes they are!

Here's their mommy, Tootsie. She's our very first Lhasa Apso. I saw her in the window of Bio Research Mega and I just had to have her. She's so preeeeeetttyyyy!!!

And here's their daddy, Toby Too. Isn't he as cute as a button?! But he was a little retarded, I think. He had that crazy look in his eye. He ran away from home a couple of years ago, but in our hearts, we know that he's still out there and someday, he'll come home to us.

Anyway, I'm bringing Teddy to Manila next week because he needs a haircut. He's at that woolly mammoth stage right now.

I'll be watching Legally Blonde the Musical at Meralco Theater, I'm so excited! Hey, maybe I'll see you there huh??? Omigod, bring your doggies and we can introduce our super-cute babies to one another! Yay!

See you there!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

from bacolod, with love

Our friends from Bacolod-- BenG, the Mayor, Attorney Gold, the Architect and a bunch of other other people (I counted about 30!)-- came to Boracay this past weekend to celebrate the Mayor's victory in the local elections. Congratulations!

As usual, BenG knows the key to my heart... Good eats, of course.

This is the first time I've heard of Casa Carmela. I really like their simple yet dramatic packaging-- Pinoy Zen. It says on the box "heritage Philippine recipes redefined", but I didn't know what it meant until I opened it up.

A turron is usually tube-shaped, about the same thickness as a pencil. The outside is a crispy white edible wrapper-- what we called "the paper that we can eat" when we were kids. The filling inside is commonly peanuts. We used to pretend to smoke the turrones because they were shaped like cigarettes.

What's this giant pancake thingy?

Redefined, indeed. I am impressed. It's a turron unlike any I've ever seen, but the taste is undeniably turron, made with premium locally-sourced ingredients. The entire product is so INTELLIGENT without being pretentious. And tastes good, too.

The only problem is we had to finish it quickly so that it wouldn't get soggy... OK, we didn't really HAVE to finish it. We could have kept the rest in an airtight container. I couldn't stop eating it, I admit. I'm looking forward to tasting their other products.

Casa Carmela Kitchen, 54 Lizares Avenue, Bacolod City. They have a website: www.casacarmelakitchen.com

Thanks, BenG! See you again soon.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

pyschedelic saturday

In the old days, a single light bulb was enough. Ten years ago on Boracay, walking on the beach in the dark, the only way you could tell where you were was by looking for a tiny light on a coconut tree.

Nowadays... Classy or cheesy, watchuthink?

At first I thought there was something wrong with my LX3's white balance. Notice that the left portion of this last picture is warm, while the right is cool.

Switching to energy-saving bulbs in stages, maybe. But why different colors? Trip lang?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

when i grow up

I don't think I'm a food blogger. I just like to take pictures of food. I find food very interesting as photography subjects. I like how the colors and shapes come together-- so organic, you know what I mean? Food is easy because it's not moving, but at the same time, challenging, because the longer it sits there, it deteriorates and the camera can see it.

I like food that looks good, which is why I like chefs who make good-looking food. But ultimately, it has to taste good. Otherwise, it's just a waste of time and calories. (I'd rather eat ugly but yummy food. Wouldn't you?)

So, anyway... I am surfing the interweb, looking at other people's food photos, comparing my style with theirs, when I find Akiko Ida.

More images here. Cuteness.

I want to be like Akiko Ida, mommy!