grub + travels + perspectives

2013 Highlights and Favorites

Like all year-end posts, I'm going to start by saying I can't believe there's only a day left until 2014! 2013 was such a crazy, crazy year and yes, it was also bittersweet. I had high hopes for 2013 since I had an amazing year before that (I still get super giddy when I read that) and…

Ba Noi's Kapitolyo

Original image from here.
Eventhough we frequent Kapitolyo, we never got to try Ba Noi's -- until last November. We had to wait for it to open (11 AM, our work ends 9:30 AM) just to try Vietnamese cuisine (and of course, to stick with our promise to try new food everytime we go out). That's the beauty of Kapitolyo, it's a melting pot of different types of restaurants and different cuisines. You'll never get tired of it because it has so much to offer.
Ba Noi's was actually originally located in Makati, and they transferred to Kapitolyo earlier this year. It's got that cozy ambiance which somehow makes you feel the authenticity of the place. Blown up photos of their food on one side and black and white Vietnam photos (I assume) on the other. Wooden tables and chairs were arranged on the space, there were chopsticks placed in a certain angle on the plates and bamboo blinds were placed on the door and windows.

I've never been to Vietnam, never tasted Vietnamese food nor ate at that other Vietnamese restaurant known in Tagaytay, Bawai. So I have no point of comparison, really, on how food should taste like. But what I do know about Vietnamese food is that it's always on the healthy side. That and pho. Hehehe.

Arbitrary Theory

There was no intention. There was nothing else behind it. It's just what it is.

There was just something reassuring, like a dependable friend.

Well, he is.


I was thinking of putting up another Christmas wishlist that no one ever reads (I know that for a fact because people never get me anything from my list! Don't get me wrong, I love their gifts but it would be great if people took time to read my list haha) but I thought why not a list of New Y…

Shine Bakery & Cafe

When we went to SM Aura a couple of weeks back, Muffet recommended we try Shine Bakery & Cafe. She's been there once before after she won the shopping spree from L'Indochine.

This tray of sweet goodies welcomed us when we got there. Cupcakes and eclairs? I already love this place!

They actually have a small nook on the other side of the restaurant where they showcase and sell their pastries separately. When we had cupcakes and eclairs to go, I was curious why on the paper bag it said Gourmandise Patisserie.

With a little research, I found out that Shine Bakery & Cafe was previously the Gourmandise Patisserie, a desserts spot known for their eclairs and other pastries (which was located in Serendra). The shop closed and was given a new name and other items were added to the menu. The restaurant was actually named after Chef Sunshine Puey Pengson, Chef Rob Pengson's wife.

Loops & Links


1. Before Sunset was my favorite out of the Before trilogy. I found website that features this map of all the locations Jesse and Celine went to when they met again after 9 years. (There's also one for both Sunrise and Midnight.) Definitely doing a tour of these places one day. …

Now Playing: Pete Yorn - Someday

All I ask for is a state of mind / where i can keep myself in line with all the changes and all that stays the same / I think I'll leave the past behind

And now I see no reason to pretend / And I won't tell you that you're not my only friend / But say a thousand things to try to change…

Quick Bites: Fourth Quarter Finds

For the last 3 months, most of my food adventures were swept under the rug. I was such a procrastinator, I ended not blogging about food at all. Believe me, I try 9 times out of 10 but I always end up doing something else. 
Here's a few of them that accumulated since last October that I though…

Weekend Escape: Boracay

Finally was able to sink my feet in the fine white sands of Boracay! My family and I went there for a short vacation a week ago. It was really a great way to cap off my travels this year, and I loved spending time with my folks. I have to say that my wanderlust has been thoroughly fed this year, I went to so many places and Boracay was the icing on my travel cake.

Boracay was really beautiful, but I got to be honest, the roads leading there are not so picturesque. I remember Sabang Beach in Palawan and Pagudpud in Ilocos. Those are my favorites!

Here are some photos I took during the trip. There aren't really many because my phone kept on dying on me and my charger is busted. :(
I managed to get us plane tickets to Kalibo (so hard to get Caticlan tickets!) last May. I thought the December 6 weekend would be the perfect choice of dates but unfortunately all the Christmas parties we're supposed to attend were scheduled on that weekend. Hahaha.

My mom booked us at 357 Boracay for our 3-day stay. 357 is located at Station 3, which I think is the most laid back area. Not much night life happened there as far as I know, just some bossa nova gigs a few blocks from us, which is just fine with me. My mom and dad just really wanted a few days off from their corporate lives and enjoy the sand and the sea.

Truth Thursdays: Today I Leave Behind

If you ask some of my friends, they'd say leaving behind things is a skill that I may have already perfected. I was in a cab the other day with Ian and we were having this conversation about our past careers when I realized I'm already in my 6th job, considering I've finished school ju…

Loops & Links

LOOPS&LINKS We all know that the Internet is full of great things, and everything you need is right at your fingertips. The world wide web, being an infinite resource of anything and everything, sometimes, I stumble upon a few links that I find really interesting and inspirational. Here's a…

Red Onion Café

I usually keep up with the newest restaurants and food trends through Pepper.ph. And yes, that's how I first knew about Red Onion Cafe. Around late November, this Taiwanese restaurant was featured along with "an opportunity to dine for free." I am certainly no food expert and I'm only guided by the principle "Always try something new" when choosing restaurants to dine in. Taiwanese cuisine and anything that's free sounds good so I thought, it wouldn't hurt to try, right?

Long story short, I won. Haha. I got in touch with Mr. Wen-Szu Lin to make the arrangements on when I could visit.

I went there with a couple of friends (Muffet, Ian and Bell) last Wednesday since I would be out for the weekend. It was also our first time visiting UP Town Center. It was a little far from our usual Katipunan foodtrips but it was worth the trip. We really got excited when we saw a branch of IHOP and Ba Noi's, and there was so many new restaurants to try! Hehe. I have a feeling we will be frequenting UP Town in the following weeks.

As soon as we got there, I introduced myself; saying I was one of the Pepper.ph winners and showed them my ID card that I coincidentally just removed from being clipped on my right pocket.

There was this huge wall covered with a photo of different spices usually used in Asian cooking. I remember asking my father when I was young why he prefers red onions over white ones. He told me it's because red onions are more flavorful. I guess it's one of things that make Asian cuisines different from others.

Eventhough their 39 Spices Beef Noodle was a house specialty, we decided to skip it because we just felt it was a rice kind of morning.

Wen-Szu also came up to us and introduced himself. He was such a pleasant guy! He talked to us for a few minutes before excusing himself.

On the table:

Vegetable Handmade Dumplings (8 pcs.) - PhP 138
Ian picked this one because he likes vegetables and healthy food. Good thing that he chose steamed dumplings because I find the fried ones a tad bit difficult to eat and sometimes the flavor gets lost. Well, I was really surprised when I took a bite because it was very nice and chewy and the flavor was really good. I honestly didn't expect that from a vegetable dumpling!


When another week approaches its end, I keep telling myself I would blog about it. But recently, that almost never happened. Blogging is not a job and my blog is definitely not a source of income. Nobody requires me to post x number of entries a week, neither am I in any sort of deadline. I blog b…

Favorite Things #17: Alice In Wonderland

Some days I just look at things on Etsy. Here's a cute bunch featuring my favorite Disney character.

Finger Puppets | Pillow | Porcelain Cups and Saucers | Plate | Movie Poster | Leather Journal

This post is inspired by this.