Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas celebrations

This Christmas season was a really stressful and hectic one - quite possibly the most it has ever been for me - but on a good note, I got to spend a lot of quality time with my family and friends.

For my family's Christmas day celebration, instead of getting a cake which I usually do, I got kouign amann from Brasserie CiÇou. I know my family enjoyed these desserts when we ate there a few months ago and when I learned that Brasserie CiÇou was closing on December 31 (such a shame that I was only able to dine at this restaurant once), it made perfect sense to bring home a couple of boxes.

kouign amann from Brasserie CiÇou

I also got a half gallon tub of Baskin Robbins Baseball Nut ice cream (which I got at a big discount thanks to my Metrodeal voucher). My family really enjoyed this a lot too.

A couple of days later, I took my family to Megamall to have dinner at Din Tai Fung, the Michelin-star restaurant from Taiwan that opened in Manila last December 8. We got there around 5pm and we got seated in about 20 minutes (which is not really a long wait considering this is the hot, new restaurant in Manila). I looked up some of their most popular dishes to help me know what to order. These include the Pork Xiao Long Bao, Crab Roe and Pork Xiao Long Bao, Black Pepper Beef, and Salted Egg Yolk Prawns, among a whole lot of other dishes. Despite ordering a lot, we actually managed to eat everything! My family really love the food here. Special call-out to the Chocolate Xiao Long Bao, which is a dish that is featured only in Din Tai Fung Manila (it isn't offered in this restaurant in other countries). I will certainly be dining here again.

My high school friends and I also celebrated differently this year, with an out-of-town trip. We wanted some place not too far from Manila so we decided to visit Thunderbird Resort in Rizal.

Thunderbird Resort in Rizal

Unfortunately, I couldn't stay overnight but I was able stay from check-in until very late night. The kids all went swimming but us adults just lounged by the pool most of the afternoon. We also took lots of pictures of the resort, the views, and each other. :) The cool thing about Thunderbird is that it faces the sunset, providing a lot of good photo opportunities.

pool at Thunderbird

After exchanging gifts, we played a few rounds of Splendor (Joyce bought this game recently) before having dinner at Olives (the only other dining option was the restaurant in the casino but kids aren't allowed there). There was time to play one more round of Splendor before I had to go home.

Beautiful Christmas display at the resort

My #AchievementUnlocked moment: I don't have Waze or GPS so I had to keep looking at my map on the way to Thunderbird. Thankfully, I only got lost at one point, when I missed my final left turn that leads straight to the resort. However, on the way home, I actually managed to remember the directions and I found my way without once looking at my map or asking for help. Cool!

Speaking of high school, my friend Jeff was in Manila (he is now based in the US) so a few of us met up with him at Elias in Bonifacion High Street. It was good for me too because I got to hang out with a couple of my classmates who I don't often get to see. The intent was to get at least one person for every section that Jeffrey was in - my presence there of course made it a lot easier since Jeff and I were classmates for three years - so when Joyce arrived, all of Jeff's sections were represented.

 My college friends and I also met in BGC, this time at the Burgos Circle area. We had dinner at Tipsy Pig before moving to Casa Italia for dessert. The reason we met up that night was because I wasn't available for our official get-together. Since I wanted to see at least some folks over the holidays, I requested for another one. (As it turns out, our reunion got rescheduled and I am not available to meet up, but hey, no harm in meeting up with good friends a couple of times instead of just once. :)) I also got to see our batchmate, Kristine, who I last saw a few years ago.

For my work friends, we did what we normally do, which is to meet at the house of my friends Joh and Raffa. The fact that there are lots of kids now makes it difficult for us to meet anywhere else. For the first time, we had lunch on a workday (most of us were already on holiday break). While a lot of other people were not in Manila and couldn't join us, we did get to talk to one of them - Me-Ann - via facetime.

I also did my first Maginhawa Food trip during the holidays with my travel buddies. We first met up at Theo's Baked + Brewed in the late afternoon for coffee and  snacks. (I particularly enjoyed their Cookie Shot.) We then walked down the road to have dinner at Friuli Trattoria. The food here is just okay. The pizza is quite good (especially considering that it's cheap) but the pasta is hit or miss; the Capellini alla Putanesca was good but I would advise you to stay away from the spaghetti with bacon and eggs (we all found it pretty flavorless). After dinner, we had coffee and dessert at Magpie Cafe at StrEAT. This place serves really good bingsoo (which is like a Korean version of halo-halo). To end the evening, we went to Music 21 in Timog and sang our hearts out until the wee hours of the morning. Oh and one thing I learned from this karaoke night: I'll make a man out of you from Mulan is a cool song to sing. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Farewell, Intercon

I learned earlier this year that Hotel Intercontinental Makati is ceasing its operations on December 31, 2015. This is quite sad since the hotel has been around for 46 years.

hotel lobby

It follows in the footsteps of Mandarin Oriental which closed its doors to the public last year. While I missed out on staying at the Mandarin before it shut down, I managed to book a room at the Intercon on its last few days.

my room

I've had a few memorable experiences at this hotel. Earlier this year, I took my family to Prince Albert to celebrate my grandmother's birthday. This after I enjoyed the prime rib a few times before. I also attended the wedding reception of my friends Chris and Joy which was set up at the pool area. (Side note: that wedding was made even more memorable by the fact that at the last minute, I was asked to be a co-emcee because one of the emcees was running very late. Thankfully, even with no prep time, I managed to hold the fort well enough until the other emcee could join.)

swimming pool

Breakfast was at Cafe Jeepney. As it turned out, there were so many people who decided to stay there at the same time I did (probably for the same reasons) so there was a waiting list to get in. There was an option to have breakfast at Gambrinus or the Legaspi room but I wanted the experience of dining in Cafe Jeepney so I opted to wait for an available table.

Cafe Jeepney

There used to be a big jeepney inside but they had replaced it with a smaller replica. There were also jeepney-inspired decorations on the walls.

jeepney decoration and light source on the wall

Prior to my stay, I got to try a few Intercon cakes, thanks to the Deal Grocer vouchers I purchased a while back. The Double Chocolate Royale looks very sophisticated with its bright color streak and chocolate ball. However, of the three cakes I had, this was probably my least favorite because it was mainly a marshmallow-y mousse. Nevertheless, it does look really beautiful.

Double Chocolate Royale

The Black Forest is probably my favorite of the three I tried. Its combination of whipped cream, chocolate and cherry make for a great cake.

Black Forest

The Fresh Fruit Tart is arguably the most attractive and vibrant-looking because of its cornucopia of glazed fruits that are beautifully laid out on top of the tart.

Fresh Fruit Tart

I heard that the Intercon may actually find another home in Makati (possibly in the place currently occupied by Shangri-La Makati which is supposedly going to close down once the one in BGC is fully built; of course, these are all rumors). Hopefully this rumor is true and that when a new Intercon is built, it reestablishes Prince Albert.

Farewell, Hotel Intercontinental! I hope to see you again some time in the future.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Star Wars The Force Awakens earns $1 Billion in record time

Congratulations to Star Wars: The Force Awakens for breaking the US$1 billion mark in the global box office and becoming this year's blockbuster juggernaut. Among the records it has achieved:

  • Fastest to $1 billion globally (achieved in 12 days, beating the previous record of 13 days set by Jurassic World)
  • Fastest to $500 million in the US (achieved in 10 days, smashing the previous record of 17 days set by Jurassic World)
  • Biggest global opening weekend ($529B, overtaking Jurassic World's $524.9) and biggest US opening weekend (US$248, breaking Jurassic World's previous $208.8 record)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now on track to be the biggest movie in North America and is almost certain to dislodge Jurassic World as the 3rd biggest grossing film. (I kinda feel bad for Jurassic World for achieving all those big records this year only to be dislodged by Star Wars later in the year. It still does have two records though - biggest Saturday earnings and biggest international opening weekend - and it did earn $1.6 billion globally so I guess I can't feel too bad about it.) The question now is whether The Force Awakens can earn more than $2 billion globally, something that only Avatar and Titanic have achieved. I am hopeful that it will. I also can't wait for it to return to local cinemas so I can go see it again.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Kafé Batwan

Over the Christmas holidays, I got to try a new restaurant: Kafe Batwan in Rockwell. This restaurant serves Filipino food with a bit of a twist, almost fusion style. The restaurant is quite spacious due to it's loft-style design and the floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to brighten up the already charming interior. It's location, at an almost hidden corner of the Joya building in Rockwell, and the color scheme give the place a quaint, cozy feel.

Probably the best dish I got to try is their Grilled Sugarcane Porkchop (P380). It's a decent-sized piece of meat and the kamote mash works very well with the pork.

Grilled Sugarcane Porkchop

Taste-wise, I would probably say the Grilled Kurobota Liempo (P595) is better than the Grilled Porkchop. However, it's not a huge serving, it doesn't come with any starch (you may want to order rice to go with this dish), and it's really expensive.

Grilled Kurobota Liempo

The Madrid Fusion Super Batchoy (P480) is served ramen-style, what with its kurobota chashiu and soft-boiled egg on the side). The soup is very flavorful and the kurobota pork is tasty. It seems that Kafe Batwan really knows how to cook their pork perfectly.

Madrid Fusion Super Batchoy

The dish I enjoyed the least is the Kansi Corned Beef (P375), quite possibly because the way it is served makes it look and taste more like adobo flakes rather than corned beef. The scrambled eggs were very well prepared though and the garlic coconut rice is really good too.

Kansi Corned Beef

With all that food, there wasn't a lot of room left but there was still a little room for the Bibingka Cassava (P85). This dish was quite good and was a sweet way to end the meal. The only thing about this was that it was neither like bibingka nor cassava. :) It was more like biko.

Bibingka Cassava

Kafe Batwan serves good Filipino fusion food - especially the pork dishes, in my opinion - although it is on the expensive side.

Kafé Batwan by Sarsa
122 Joya Lofts & Tower, Amorsolo Drive, Rockwell, Makati City
(02) 625 5166
(0917) 529 6351

Saturday, December 26, 2015


I recently got to visit City of Dreams for the first time. My friend Tim and his fiancee Janice were in Manila recently and they stayed at the Hyatt in City of Dreams while they were here so I met up with them there. We had a few drinks at the lounge before we headed to the casino. I didn't really gamble while there but Tim did and he played roulette while I watched. It was a good night for him as he actually won. Note: you cannot go right into City of Dreams from Roxas Boulevard; you have to go here via Macapagal Avenue. I made the mistake of assuming I go into it from Roxas Boulevard so I ended up having to go all the way back around.


I have now gotten to play a whole lot of new board games and tabletop games. My friend Kat introduced me to her friends at DyceNDyne and there we played several games. Lanterns is like Splendor but while it is fun to play, I find that the luck factor in this game is a bit higher than other games (I won one game because I kept getting very good cards). I enjoyed Blueprints because it's different from everything else I played. For a first-timer I was told I did quite well. Another game I really enjoyed is Between Two Cities because you actually have to collaborate with the people right next to you and you can only win if you collaborate well with both of them. I also got to play two other games over the holidays: Imperial Settlers (I also find that luck plays too much of a role in this game since I lost badly because I couldn't get a good set of cards that worked well together) and Rococo which is really interesting but is probably one of the more complicated games I've played. As I have now been introduced to more people who play these board games and tabletop games, I figure that I will get to try more and more games next year (as well as some of the other games I have already played.)


For the first time in many years, I finally got to have a proper annual physical exam this month. I somehow managed to sneak it into my very busy schedule. I just got the results and I do have to start eating a bit healthier (and less!) and getting exercise. To some degree, I am surprised that the results aren't worse than they are considering how much I eat sometimes and and how much unhealthy food are in my diet. Nevertheless, I should definitely work on having a better and healthier lifestyle.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone!


Here is my favorite Filipino Christmas song. It is popularly called "Ang Pasko ay sumapit" but apparently the full name is Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon (Ang Pasko ay Sumapit).

The Philippine Madrigal Singers perform "Ang Pasko ay Sumapit"

video uploaded in youtube by pasawaybabe

This song was originally written in Cebuano by Vicente D. Rubi and Mariano Vestil in 1933 as Kasadya ning Táknaa (in English, How Blissful is this Season). In the 1950s, National Artist Levi Celerio wrote the Tagalog lyrics which most Filipinos are familiar with.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Help victims of Typhoon Nona

Typhoon Nona (international name Melor) entered the Philippines on December 12. It dissipated into the West Philippine Sea on December 17 but not before leaving behind massive destruction and death in its wake. The current death toll is reported to be 40, with some people still missing. Property damage is estimated to be P250 million. You can help the typhoon victims in many ways.

Donate through the Philippine Red Cross. Steps:
  1. Click on this link.
  2. Select campaign (it can be Typhoon Nona (MELOR), past campaigns such as Lando and Haiyan, or a general donation).
  3. Select amount.
  4. Click the "Donate Now" button. From here you will be directed to a paypal donation page.

 More ways to donate to the Philippine Red Cross:

Rappler also provides a list of ways you can provide assistance. Large trucks, specifically 14-wheelers, are also needed.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Philippines' Pia Wurtzbach is Miss Universe

Congratulations to Pia Wurtzbach for winning the Miss Universe crown!

The Philippines can now finally celebrate a crown after many years of getting very close. Since 2010, our candidates have been making it to the top 10 (and in 4 of those 5 years, our candidate made it to the top five.) This Miss Universe title is the Philippines' first since 1973 and Pia Wurtzbach now joins Gloria Diaz and Margie Moran as Filipino Miss Universe winners.

Of course, this year's Miss Universe will be remembered for its massive controversy: host Steve Harvey incorrectly announced Colombia as the winner before correcting his mistake and announcing the Philippines as the winner. Watch a video of this very controversial moment here (and jump to around 2:40 of the video to see when the immense awkwardness starts). I can't help but feel sorry for everyone involved. Pia Wurtzbach didn't seem to know what to do, Miss Colombia must have been utterly devastated, last year's Miss Universe - who also happens to be Colombian - had the unenviable role of having to remove the crown from Miss Colombia and put it on Miss Philippines' head, and Steve Harvey, well, I don't know what I would do now if I was him.

Amidst all this insanity, I guess the big winner here is the Miss Universe pageant for becoming pretty relevant and for trending globally. (This has even led many conspiracy theorists to believe that it was all staged to gain international publicity). Of course, I would say that the Philippines is just as big a winner. We are now tied with Sweden at fourth with the most crowns. We are also the first Asian nation to win the title three times. Hopefully, Pia is able to perform her duties as Miss Universe very well and uses her crown as a platform to makes a significant positive difference in the world.) Congratulations, Pia!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

RJ Guitar Sale

Another first for me: I got to brave the crowd at the RJ Guitar Center to participate in the RJ Guitar Sale. They have this sale every so often where everything in the store (and not just selected items) is sold at a discount depending on the time of day. The biggest discount is 50% which is offered as the store closes.

RJ Guitar sale discounts: 12-2pm - 20%, 1-2pm - 25%, 2-4pm - 30%, 4-6pm - 35%, 6-9pm - 40%, 9pm onward - 50%

My nephew wanted to get a guitar and a few other items so he asked me to take him there. Since he wanted to maximize the discount, we went at 9pm. This is quite possibly one of the best sales in the Philippines since everything you can purchase at the store is on sale. The downside is that a huge number of people want to take full advantage of it. Upon arrival, we had to fall in line outside the store until enough people stepped out, thus proving enough space to accommodate more people.

It took about an hour for us to get inside the store and my nephew immediately started trying out different guitars to help him decided what he wanted. It took a while for him to make a selection and when we finally got in line to pay for the guitar he got, we had to wait another hour or more. You can buy up to three items during the sale so my nephew ended up also getting strings and a guitar case as well. We spent almost three hours at the RJ Guitar Center and I was exhausted by the time we were done. However, we did save more than P2000 so I guess it was worth the it.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Belated congratulations, Nonito Donaire!

So this is pretty late but I still wanted to write about it. :) A belated congratulations to Nonito Donaire for beating Cesar Juarez to take the WBO Super Bantamweight title.

He fight went the full 12 rounds and he eventually won by unanimous decision. It was a tight match but this win allows Donaire to reclaim the vacant Super Bantamweight title which he lost two years ago to Guillermo Rigondeaux. (It seems Rigondeaux was stripped of the title because he hadn't fought in more than two years). The Filipino Flash (as Nonito is called) who now has a very good 36-3 win-loss record and there is a growing list of boxers who want to challenge him. I wish Donaire continued success and I hope he can keep his belt and further improve his win-loss record.

Congratulations, Nonito!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Awesome A Cappella Star Wars medley

Clearly, I'm still on a Star Wars high. :) Check out this incredible video of Jimmy Fallon and The Roots sing some of the Star Wars music a cappella with the cast. I have to say, I am mightily impressed at how well the cast can sing! (Special mention: Adam Driver who starts at around 0:30; his deep voice is chilling and perfectly suited for the Imperial March: Darth Vader's theme.)

video uploaded in youtube by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Star Wars VII The Force Awakens

When I found out that Star Wars VII The Force Awakens was showing in Manila on December 17, I made sure to catch immediately. (After all, I am a massive Star Wars fan.) Luckily, I managed to snag a good seat for the midnight screening on opening day. And I have to say, this movie exceeded my expectations and is my favorite movie of 2015.

Spoiler alert!
Stop reading now if you don't want to know more details about the movie that could slightly give away how the story unfolds.

I won't go into the detail of the plot but the great thing about this movie is how it manages to be very nostalgic for Star Wars geeks and fans of the original trilogy while introducing new characters - Rey, Finn, BB8, Poe Dameron, Maz Kanata, and heck even Kylo Ren - and getting audiences to connect to and appreciate them.

The thing I loved most about the film was seeing everyone from the original cast. Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca (although you of course can't see his face; I'm also happy he was able to join the cast despite having double knee replacement surgery two years ago), Anthony Daniels as C3PO, Carrie Fisher as Princess (General) Leia, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. (Kenny Baker  is still credited as R2D2 although I have heard he is just credited but he actually didn't perform inside the robot.) The reintroduction of the Millennium Falcon made me cheer wildly on the inside. :) I also love the fact that they got John Williams to once again compose the music. While every reintroduction was awesome, my favorite was Princess (now General) Leia's, because it not only showed her on screen again but is also reignited her history with Han Solo. Any true-blue fan of the original knew about the relationship and seeing them back together was quite satisfying.

Of course, the biggest spoiler of them all is truly gut-wrenching. Practically the entire audience audibly gasped when it was finally revealed. And yes, even with my spoiler alert, I still don't want to write exactly what happened. The impact will probably not resonate as much if you are not deeply familiar with the original series but it still does make for interesting storytelling.

The Force Awakens is a fantastic film and is a great treat to both Star Wars geeks like myself and movie fans in general. If you haven't seen it yet, you should go out and see it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

[Bacolod] The Ruins

The Ruins is one of most popular tourist spots in the Bacolod area. I managed to visit and as great as it looks in pictures, it looks a whole lot better in person.

The plan was for us to visit The Ruins at sunset which is when it is supposed to be at its most resplendent but as we were there for work and not for sightseeing, we were unable to leave work enough. We got there just after the sun had set. Nevertheless, the trip was still worth it as the Ruins are still pretty beautiful at night.

The Ruins used to be a mansion that was built back in the early 1900s and it was the largest residential structure built at the time. Unfortunately, it was burned to the ground in World War II by the USAFFE (United States Armed Forces in the Far East) and Philippine guerrilla fighters to prevent Japanese forces from using the house as their headquarters.

There are some sections of the Ruins that provide a bit of history of the mansion but I was so tired that I didn't feel I had the energy to absorb more information. :) If you time your trip right, you can join a tour of the grounds. In any case, I spent my time going in and out of the house taking photos.

Entrance for adults is P95 (students get a big discount). If you do plan to go here, it is recommended to ask your taxi to wait for you or have one pick you up at a prescribed time.

The Ruins
Hda. Sta. Maria, Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines
Telephone #: (+6334) 476-4334
Mobile # : (+63 917) 832-6003
Mobile # : (+63 939) 298-5657

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

[Bacolod] Byron's

I had heard about the awesome ribs at Byron's from my friends from Bacolod so I wanted to try this place during my visit. I was told that they sometimes run out of ribs quite early in the day but there wasn't any chance for us to go to the main restaurant located at Block 8 Stork Street, Homesite, Montevista. However, we learned that there was a "satellite" Lord Byron's stall right across the street from 21 Restaurant. On our last night in Bacolod, I decided to try this place out to see if they still had ribs available. I didn't have high hopes since it was already 9pm at the time. However, when we got there, we were told that they still had enough for everyone in our group. Cool!

I decided to get the Back Ribs (P150) which is their best seller. It's a pretty good portion size considering the price and it really did live up to my already high expectations. These back ribs are indeed very good!

Back Ribs (P150)

The satellite branch we visited is located in the Cafe Bob's Open Grounds at 21st Lacson Street. You can also find a lot of other restaurants in these grounds, including a satellite Aida's Chicken.

Monday, December 14, 2015

[Bacolod] Felicia's

Felicia's is another very well-known cake and pastry shop in Bacolod. In the interest of trying as many new places as I could, I made sure to visit this place as well.

I decided to try a slice of their Pavlova (P85). Pavlova is supposed to be this fluffy meringue dessert that is topped with fresh fruit. I would say that the name of this dessert is misleading because it isn't really a pavlova but it is very good and not too sweet. I was happy with my choice and I would love to have this again.

Pavlova (P85 per slice)

I was told that their Ensaymada (P95) is arguably the best in the country so I decided to try it. While you would think it's not cheap since you don't normally see ensaymada priced at close to a hundred pesos, this one is really big and it is delicious and very light and fluffy. It isn't too sweet and the butter and sugar don't overwhelm this baked goodie. This is definitely one of the best ensaymadas I've had. If I get to visit Bacolod again, I may just buy a big box of this to take back to Manila as pasalubong. :)

Ensaymada (P95)

Coffee here is only P60. Aside from cakes, Felicia's also has several pastry options, such as the interesting-looking Chocolate Caramel Praline (we were told that this is extremely good but quite dangerous because it feels like each bite carries with it hundreds of calories LOL). Felicia's also has a lot of other packaged sweets and savory dishes.

There are many different Felicia's shops in Bacolod. The ones I know of are at the Doll Bldg 6th St, on 15th Lacson Street (across L'Fisher), and at the North Wing, SM Bacolod.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

[Bacolod] Calea

Bacolod is the capital city of Negros Occidental, which is known as the Sugarbowl of the Philippines because more than half the sugar in the country is produced here. As such, it shouldn't be a surprise that there are a lot of cake and pastry shops in the city. Possibly the most popular one is Calea.

I was told that what makes Calea a bit different is that it features not-so-traditional cakes along with some of the usual ones. Being a massive fan of sweets, I ended up visiting Calea a couple of times. They have a pretty big display that showcases a wide array of cakes. I do wish that there is a description of each cake to help patrons decide what they want to get. Since there were no descriptions, I had to wait for one of the waiters to be available so I could ask her what each cake was before finally making my selection.

On my first trip, I tried their Imported Chocolate Cake (P95). They had a few different chocolate cakes on display and the waiter told me this was their best seller so I decided to try it. Gotta say, if you are a chocolate fan, this will be a very good choice for you. I thought it was really good and it's pretty cheap too! I certainly wouldn't mind having this cake again.

Imported Chocolate Cake (P95 per slice)

My colleagues raved about the Choco Mud Pie (P100) so I decided to try it on my last night in Bacolod. I thought this was just like other mud pies I've had before but of course it is a lot cheaper.

Choco Mud Pie (P100 per slice)

Brewed coffee here is P75 and it's pretty decent. When I visit Bacolod again, I will make sure to try more of their other cakes. :)

G/F Balay Quince Commercial Building
15th Lacson St., Bacolod City

Saturday, December 12, 2015

[Bacolod] Ading's Pala-Pala

For dinner on our first night, we headed to Ading's Pala-Pala. I was told by my friend from Bacolod that pala-pala roughly translates to a seafood market.

Conceptually, it is similar to Dampa in Manila where you choose the seafoods you want to have and they cook it for you the way you want it.

Needless to say, the dining experience here was very enjoyable. The food was very fresh and flavorful. Some of the dishes we ordered were Baked Scallops with garlic and butter (P80 per 100 grams),

Garlic Shrimp (P90 per 100 grams),

Chili Crab (P70 per 100 grams),

and Stuffed Squid (P55 per 100 grams).

These prices already include the cooking fee making the food pretty inexpensive. (The garlic rice costs P25 and the plain rice costs P20! Needless to say I had more than my fair share of rice that night. :)) If your nose is a bit sensitive to fishy smells, you can choose to have meal in the section of the restaurant enclosed by glass walls. I certainly enjoyed my dinner at Ading's Pala-Pala and I highly recommend it.

Ading's Pala-Pala
San Juan St. (In front of original Pala-Pala Market), Brgy 2, Bacolod City
Phone: (034) 458-1594
Mobile: (+63)0918-902-8800 | (+63)0919-993-2829

Friday, December 11, 2015

[Bacolod] 21 Restaurant

Upon arrival in Bacolod, we decided to have lunch in 21 Restaurant. This place is a short walk from our hotel so after we checked in and got settled, we made our way to the restaurant for lunch.

Apparently, this place is popular for its batchoy so I definitely had to try it. I can't recall exactly which batchoy I got as there are a lot of options. I think I got the large one with everything in it except the bone marrow (I would have tried the one with bone marrow but they ran out). It is pretty good and the serving size is pretty hefty.

I was actually very hungry and I felt that a bowl of batchoy would not be enough. As such, I also ordered the Herb Chicken, which is deep fried chicken with herb stuffing and served with gravy, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. I also loved that there is really crispy pork crackling served on top of the mashed potatoes. :) This is pretty good comfort food.

The restaurant itself is quite spacious. It has a casual and relaxed vibe and the slightly different levels make it a bit more interesting.

There's also a lot of art on display towards the back of the restaurant. I don't know if these are just on display or if they are on sale.

21 Restaurant has a pretty substantial menu consisting of international dishes and local favorites. It's also quite inexpensive when compared to similar Manila restaurants. You can check out their menu online.

21 Restaurant
Lacson Street corner 21st street, Bacolod Negros Occidental
Tel #: +63 34 433 4096
store hours: 11AM to 11PM daily