Crisp on 28th at FasT4ward Christmas Brunch

Crisp on 28th Al Fresco Area
Source: Crisp Facebook Page

Every year, the JG Summit Management Trainees Batch 4 – we call ourselves FasT4ward or T4 – get together for brunch to catch up on each other’s lives.

I owe the jump start of my career to the MT program of the Gokongweis. I will be eternally grateful. While I haven’t graduated from the program because I joined the C2 Marketing Team immediately, I am lucky and thankful to have met 29 wonderful people (my fellow MTs) and all my mentors in this awesome program.

So this was us nine years ago — all skinny and young!

Our MT family has doubled after almost a decade with most of us having our own families. Every year, we need a bigger venue to accommodate cute kids and our spouses/partners. 
Our mandatory group shot

This time around, we gathered at Crisp on 28th. This establishment is partly owned by Erwan Heusaff.

Photo from Crisp’s Facebook Page

Bacon and Eggs!

Husband’s awesome breakfast plate.

The breakfast serving was huge (at least for me). I wasn’t a fan of the fluffy eggs though. I want to try one of their healthier dishes one day as I’ve heard that they were good.

Lastly, I loved the ambiance of the place and that the attendants were courteous. <3

Crisp is located on 28th St. in Bonifacio Global City. 
Tel: +639175846883
Facebook: Crisp On 28th
Instagram: @crispon28th
Any favorites from this place? Let me know and hit me up! 🙂 
xx,
Balot

Ukkokei Ramen Ron and Bacolodian Friends

I have a love-hate relationship with the holiday season. I love it because it is usually the time when friends and family get together. I hate it mostly because of the congestion everywhere – on the roads, in the malls and restos, ugh.

So anyway, two of my college friends invited to meet up for hot ramen one December night, and Tuscany in Mckinley Hill was the safest bet because we presumed it would  not be as congested as the malls. And of course, the other reason was Ukkokei Ramen. YAY!

K and F are my MassComm buddies back in La Salle Bacolod. K would usually visit us in Manila when she has conventions or gatherings here in their head office and F is my surfer, kikay friend working for a famous cosmetic brand.

The two haven’t tried Ukkokei yet and so me and the husband were more than happy to comply because we LOOOOVEEE Ukkokei!

We were lucky that the place was not crowded during that time. 

Back in their Arnaiz (Makati) branch, their specialty Tantanmen was only served for a specific time and I have always missed it. I was so glad that I could finally try it that night. Yay 🙂

The mandatory photo op while waiting for the food —

The service was fast and all of us ordered the Tantanmen (PHP390). It was a huuuge serving.

 We also had gyoza. Edzel is not fond of gyoza except for this one at Ukkokei and at Ikkoryu.

The famous Tantanmen Ramen of Ukkokei!

Me, K and F barely finished the whole thing because it was such a huge portion. Husband gobbled it though despite the fact that he ordered a much spicier version. Crazy guy.

So there you go! It was a fun night for all of us – full of catching up, chismis and laughter. I treasure these moments because as I always say, it is hard to find real friends in the city especially if you are not from here. This is the reason why I keep on convincing my Bacolod friends to stay over at my place when they are around because they bring the warm, Bacolod vibe with them.

 xx,

Balot

Century City Cinema and Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen Experience

So last Saturday, husband and I finally went to Century City for our scheduled Mockingjay movie date. We haven’t been there yet so we figured we check the place out.
I booked a ticket online because I didn’t want the hassle of lining up at the ticket booth. However, you can only reserve seats at the website but still have to pay at the cinema. You also have to be there two hours prior to your movie schedule to pay for the tickets. If not, they will give your reserved seats to someone else. Hmm, that’s a little disappointing, don’t you think?
Since we didn’t have anything to do, we went around the mall and loitered. (Two hours! Geez!)
We, then decided to have an early dinner instead and I asked Edzel if he was  up for some ramen action. We decided to eat at Ikkoryo Fukuoka Ramen.

I remember the best ramen I’ve had in my life. It was in a very small ramen place in Dazaifu at Fukuoka Prefecture which sold for 700 yen.

I like the vibe of the place. The attendants are also very nice 🙂
The place kind of reminded me of this famous Starbucks at Fukuoka (en route to Dazaifu).
The husband, of course, ordered something spicy.
Why so glum, babe?
He got the Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu which consists of spicy Tobanjan (a spicy, salty paste made from fermented broad beans, soybeans, salt, rice, and various spices) paste at PHP380.
Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu which the husband claimed to be not that spicy.
He has really high tolerance for spices though ^__^
I ordered the Chef’s Special Ajitama Tonkotsu which was topped with a special half-boiled egg that was fully marinated with a special blended soy sauce base (also at PHP380).
Ajitama Tonkotsu
We totally enjoyed our little ramen dinner that we even forgot to take a picture of their gyoza (PHP150) which Edzel liked! For the first time (read: he is not a fan of gyoza). Hurray for happy tummies!
Shop Information:
CENTURY CITY MALL
Level 3, Century City Mall, Century City,
Kalayaan Avenue, Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City
Telephone Number
811-0333
Operating hours:
Monday – Thursday 11am – 9pm
Friday & Saturday 10am – 10 pm
Sunday 10am – 9pm
Visit their website here.
xx,
Balot

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery: More Than Just Cupcakes


So… I have been wanting to bake as of late to learn something “new” while staying at home. Me and Edzel have already bought some ingredients last Sunday and I already have an electric mixer (yey!) but unfortunately, I still lacked some ingredients (I thought baking powder and chocolate bars would suffice but apparently, I need baking soda and cocoa powder, tee-hee!). I should probably grab the rest of what I need for my mid-week rendezvous tomorrow.

In the meantime, indulge me with this ubbberrr late post in celebration of my newly-discovered sweet tooth!

So this lovely little cupcake shop named Vanilla Cupcake Bakery (drool!) is all over the metro now. They now have six branches but I have only visited the one in Global City. I passed by their branch in Alabang Town Center but haven’t really had the chance to eat there (we were always so full after a heavy lunch at Yabu). 

This place is soooo pretty! I brought my balikbayan friend here last October and she loved it! Of course, anyone who loves cupcakes should have no reason not to love this place but all the more because of the ambiance that this “bakery” offers. 


I am seriously jealous of the designer of this place. It is soo hard to mix and match these pieces together and make it look this fabulous. 


I also love these framed inspirational quotes at the counter. While you are waiting for your turn to order, you can just browse through the positive “walled” statements. 


Those giant cakes in Wonderland!




And the littlest details that complete the whole scene.



And of course… yes! How can I forget? The cupcakes… *sighs*
Cupcake prices would range from PHP80 to PHP120 (around USD2-3).


Salted caramel cheesecake, yum!


And when you think there’s nothing more for your eyes to feast on, just try going to the comfort room!


 It is a fun place to have a little get-together or catch-up session with friends because the place is conducive for conversations. This was taken earlier this year with my kids 🙂

This place is sooo dreamy. Go ahead and check it out! Be sure to get your cameras ready because you would not be able to resist taking pictures of this place. 


If you want to visit, Vanilla Cupcake Bakery is located at the following areas:

Taguig City
 Two Parkade, 30th Street Corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City



Quezon City
Second Floor, Trinoma Mall, North Triangle, Quezon City
Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City

Makati City
Ground Floor, Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
Third Floor, Glorietta 4, Ayala Avenue, Glorietta Complex, Makati City

Muntinlupa City
Second Floor, Alabang Town Centre, Alabang, Muntinlupa City



Coffee + Pups + Everything Nice

Staying at home most of the time is really unnerving. This is especially relevant to people who have always been “out” all their lives. Out for a meeting. Out for  a party. Just out. Transitioning from a phase when you were all over the place and to now when you are cocooned to take things slow and stay at home can be pretty  hard. However, there is one little trick to make it a little easier for you… for us, homemakers. Injecting a little extraordinary activities to our dreary routine.So I am sooo glad to be able to go out last weekend (Saturdays and Sunday are sacred to me and the husband now, to solely spend together and/or with family) and stumble upon this awesome new place in the north.

So….

Do you like coffee? How about dogs? Let’s say we throw in a little pup, I mean, cupcake? Would that be something of interest to you? If you said yes to the first three questions, then I would like to introduce to you some cuteness overload — Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe!

Pet cafes first started in Japan with cats as the “residents”. The Japanese believes that it is therapeutic to be in the company of felines at the end of a stressful day. The idea for these places is for you to be able to “pet and play” with the kittens especially if you cannot own one. Dog cafes are now becoming popular in many places around the globe such as in Korea, Singapore and Thailand, among others.

I could not stop being giddy just writing about this post because I am still in dog haven. So, Edzel’s boss posted these cute lil pups last night. Curious as I am, I asked her what it was and she introduced me to this new coffee shop in Katipunan, Barkin’ Blends.

Barkin’ Blends just opened last September and is located just behind Shakey’s Pizza in Katipunan.

Source: Barkin’ Blends’ Facebook Page
It is located at 91 Rosa Alvaro Street.
Cute little paw prints will guide you to the cafe.
This is how it looks at the outside.

Barkin’ Blends has two areas: the Human Zone and the Dog Zone.

This is the human zone.
You can order some beverages. Here is the list of their menu.
And they have pupcakes, too! Yes, you heard that right! PUPCAKES!
You can enter the dog zone for PHP180 for two hours inclusive of a drink of your choice.
Here you can spend time with pooches while enjoying your drink. I think this cafe will be good for:
  1. Dog lovers who cannot own one because they live in a flat where pets are not allowed. 
  2. Those who would like to know what if feels to be around a pup. I have a friend who likes the idea of dogs but is scared to be around them. This could be a place to get rid of their phobia because the dogs are sooo cute and gentle. 
  3. Someone like me who just wants to spend time with dogs, dogs and more dogs. (And because I have two already and cannot afford to take care of another one.) 
Okay, so the Dog Zone — I lifted this cafe guide from Barkin’ Blends Facebook Page
 
 
 
All the “resident dogs” have been vaccinated and the area is well-maintained. 
 
 
 
 
 
Once you enter, you will be asked to change into slippers and sanitize your hands. The cafe “seals” the drinks to avoid spillage inside the Dog Zone. 
 
Most of them were there except Skye ad Psyche.
 
But before I show you the cuties, let me show you some nice touches of the cafe.
 
 
Punny!


And now, let the dog smooching begin!!!!

This is Ella. She is a cross between a Chihuahua and a Dachshund.
She reminds me of Chow, our Dachshund at home.


Cuddle cuddle cuddle!


Of course, I lingered with the one who looks like Sachi. 


And oh yes, his name is Piolo. Hahahahaha!


Hmm, I will just stay here. Zzzz..


Cuteness overload! What’s your name again, bud?


Meet Stitch, uhh. Noo, meet Fiona! This is my first time to cuddle a Shar-pei!


Edzel’s first time, too!


Isn’t she adorable??! Can you see that she has twin nails on her paw?


This is Stoic and Sleepy Marley. 


And the Prima Donna Martha.

Oh and just before I end this, let me say my kudos to the three caretakers of these puppies. They help the dogs warm up to the visitors and made my photo-taking with the dogs possible! Yay!




That was one of the best two hours of my life. And you can see that there is really a community of dog-loving hooomaaannss!

 
 
What are you waiting for, dog-lovers? Cuddle a dog and get yourself some two hours of canine fun! Go and check out the place now! <3
 
xx,
Balot
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