Tim Hortons

It’s planner season once again in the Philippines. I’ve already started my CBTL stamp collecting, but I’ve been craving the coffee of a new player in Metro Manila: Tim Hortons! The Canada-based fast food restaurant is finally here! The first time I tried it was at Eastwood with Inggo.

Interiors. They’re beside Ippudo at Eastwood.

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We ordered the Large Hot Mocha (130php) & French Vanilla (125php). The hot mocha is what you would expect it to taste. But the French Vanilla… oh my! It was heaven at first sip. ♥ Too bad that it was Inggo’s drink huhu. Price is competitive also, they’re wayyy cheaper than their competition. The only thing for a coffee connoisseur is that their coffee is not that strong. It’s too creamy for the experienced. But we don’t mind. ♥

He also ordered a Croissant with Cream Cheese. (75php).

I ordered an Apple Fritter. (Forgot the price, sorry! But it was also not bad for the price.)

And for every receipt, there’s a promo code where you have to answer their survey form. Once filled up, they’ll give you a code for a free donut when you buy a drink. ♥ I’ve already used 3-4 receipts HAHA.

Another thing is their iced drinks are different from their hot drinks. I always order the iced coffee (95php) with an add-on of vanilla shot (20php). For a large drink of 115php, I’m already happy with my creamy drink. Ughh! I’m craving for it now.

Once the planner season ends, and once they expand to the northern side of Metro Manila. I think I’ll become a regular at this place HAHA. ♥

Heat

A few weeks ago, we celebrated Inggo’s birthday at Heat, Shangrila. ♥ We were looking for a buffet around Ortigas area this time. After a lot of research, we discovered that they still offer their Wagyu Buffet every Saturday for 2,600 php. Please click the link above to book a table.

Shrimp! ♥

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For those who don’t have a vehicle, the entrance that you need to go to is beside Shangri-la Mall instead of the one at St. Francis street. It was a good thing that we had an errand at the mall! We arrived 15 mins before dinner service. The staff ushered us to our seats & we waited inside admiring the interiors first.

Sashimi ♥

Shrimp! ♥ You can eat it as is or you can ask the cooks to re-cook it however you want. (We asked for garlic butter shrimps!)

Mussels & Snails.

Crab! ♥

Plate after the sashimi. Asparagus Salad, Antipasti, Cheese.

Inggo’s plate. The redder meat is US Angus Beef. At the back is the famed Wagyu meat.

My plate.

My favorite at their dessert station. Maple pecan ice cream with pistachio toppings.

Was it worth it? Well, it depends on your preferences. We realized that day that we preferred a different way of preparing the meat. The seafood had to be re-cooked so its not as tender as we would want.

Will we try another expensive buffet again? Maybe. But we’ll try the best next time.

The 9th – Seda

For the last entry of our 9th anniversary staycation , we stayed at Seda – Vertis North. Our anniversary blog posts took 3 weeks to blog about, I’ll tell why on the next blog post.  On our last day at City Garden Grand hotel, we didn’t want to go home yet. So we looked for hotel deals online. One of our friends commented that Seda was already open (since April 2017) and they currently have an introductory price for an overnight stay. So we booked the Deluxe room with 2 free breakfast buffet for 4,665 php.

The spacious reception area. ♥

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From City Garden Grand Hotel, we booked an Uber to Glorietta 5 instead of going straight to Vertis North. It costs around 300+ for an uber ride from Makati to Quezon City that time. So we tried the P2P Bus at Glorietta 5 that will drop us off at Trinoma. Its my first time riding a double decker bus, and it was exhilarating! From Trinoma, well, we walked all the way to Seda.

Another view.

Lighting fixture.

The lounge at night.

An Ann Pamintuan piece near the stairs.

The lounge at the left side of the reception area.

Kenneth Cobonpue’s Bloom chairs! ♥ My favorite!

Check-in was a breeze. Our deluxe room was located on the 5th floor. Here’s how it looks like:

King-size bed. ♥

Lamp was not adjustable huhu.

Another view. ♥

Since we didn’t get to swim at City Garden Grand hotel, we took the opportunity here at Seda. The pool is located on the 3rd floor. The gym was also open but we didn’t try that. The other amenities on the 3rd floor were still under construction. I love the furniture here!

The pool was only 4 feet though. But the view makes up for it. We had clear skies that day and you could see the quezon city buildings. ♥ For dinner, we tried out the food at the ASEAN Food Festival at the parking area of Vertis North. The said mall is still under construction though.

Vito Selma’s Cara-boo. ♥

Obviously.

The next day, we had breakfast at Misto, their in-house restaurant. I love the interiors here, especially the abstract artworks! I wonder who is the artist. I also love their service staff. ♥ They were welcoming and accommodating. The breakfast buffet consists of the following: antipasti, bread station, egg station, noodle station, various local and international viands, desserts, cereals, and juice.

Middle plate: Various longganisa, croissant, and hakaw.

Inggo’s plate: antipasti, cheese, and bread.

Mine: antipasti, bread with blueberry (my favorite!), and scrambled eggs.

I knew we had more food but I forgot to take photos of that. After our breakfast, we relaxed in our room while waiting for our check-out time.

Yes let’s ride again the Cara-boo.

We had a great stay here. Interiors were beautiful, using local furniture designers for most of items in the hotel. We had a broken electric kettle inside our room and they quickly replaced it for us. One problem that we experienced was that there wasn’t any shuttle service to and from Trinoma. We had to walk all the way there to shop. But I think this is only temporary since the Vertis North will open soon. And there’s Uber for the lazy.

And that’s it for our 9th anniversary post. ♥ Thank you to Inggo for everything huhu. I love you!

The 9th – Hole in the Wall

For dinner on our second day, we decided to try out Century Mall’s “food hall“. This is Hole in the Wall on the fourth floor. It consists of various food establishments inside a common dining area.

One of the dining areas during our visit.

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Where we sat during dinner time.

For dinner, we decided to eat at the most popular store there which was Bad Bird. They specialize in chicken. Apparently they won numerous awards in the Philippines.

My Dirty Rice Plate (390 php). Dirty rice (fried rice, chicken liver, bacon, tamago, and bonito), kimchi coleslaw, and 2 pcs fried chicken.

Inggo’s Waffle Plate (360 php). Sweet potato waffles, miso butter, maple syrup, and 2 pcs friend chicken. The 2pcs small balls are hush puppies (+ php)

BB Corn (190 php). Corn on a stick with kewpie, bonito, cheese, and toragashi.

Verdict? We understood why this restaurant is popular with the crowd. But for us, personally, we didn’t like it. We thought it was too expensive for the food. But maybe this is the “normal” price for the Makati crowd. I dunno.

This is just one out of 9 establishments inside Hole in the Wall. I hope we could try the other restaurants when we’re near the area next time.

The 9th – Le Petit Soufflé

On the first day of our 9th anniversary staycation, we discovered that Century Mall is only a 5-minute walk away from our hotel. On the second day, we decided to try out the interesting restaurants there. ♥ Based on online reviews, Le Petit Soufflé is the #1 restaurant in Century Mall.

Pretty interiors.♥

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If I were to describe the interiors, it would be french chic. I love their furniture. ♥

Our drinks: Iced Matcha Latte (130 php) & Hot Matcha tea (100 php). No strong matcha flavor, huhu.

Kinoko Frites (235 php). These are fried enoki and another mushroom. I loved these! But so expensive.

Hambagu with truffled cream & mushrooms. (595 php). This is Inggo’s dish. He craved for Jolibee’s burger steak after eating this.

My dish: Squid Ink Riz (395 php). This took a while. Its a small, but filling dish. I love the fluffy egg & squid ink rice.

Matcha souffle with vanilla syrup (350 php). Expensive! But worth a try. We loved the crispy edges instead of the fluffy insides.

Facade design. So cute huhu.

Verdict? Its worth a try. Not sure if we’ll come back though.

Le Petit Soufflé is located on the Third floor of Century Mall.

The 9th – Little Tokyo

For our first dinner during our 9th anniversary staycation at Makati, we wanted to try the Wagyu cube buffet at Little Tokyo. This place features a group of restaurants which specializes in Japanese cuisine. We’ve been here a lot of times before (check out our old food blog!). But we didn’t get to try the wagyu buffet at Urameshi-ya before since they only offer this during Monday to Wednesday. But this time, we did!

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We walked from our hotel to Little Tokyo instead of taking an uber. The surge was insanely high for the distance. Well, at least walking was healthier (but tiring).

The “buffet” at Urameshi-ya is worth 500php + 10% service charge. We got wagyu cubes, wagyu spam, marinated pork belly, and some scallops. You have 45 mins to cook everything you ordered. But you can still stay after the 45min. mark to eat your food. The buffet comes with miso soup, salad, and rice.

The server gave us a plate of wagyu cubes. ♥

HUGE scallops! ♥

Sadly, there wasn’t any crabs/oyster/shrimp during our stay compared to the other review blogs. But since we went here for the wagyu cubes, we didn’t mind. The wagyu cubes were delicious! Service was great as well. Our server helped us cook the scallops. (Tip: you don’t have to remove the shell!)

Satisfied with Urameshi-ya, we went to their neighbor restaurant Hana for dessert: We always order the Matcha Kakigori + additional icecream here!

After our Little Tokyo adventure, we got an uber and went back to our hotel. ♥

The 9th – City Garden Grand Hotel

We celebrated our 9th year anniversary this May! ♥ Instead of going far away this year, we opted for a staycation instead in Metro Manila. I’ve decided to divide the posts into smaller parts. For the first entry is our hotel! We checked in at City Garden Grand hotel for 3 days and nights. I would like to note that this is the City Garden Grand Hotel. They have a sister hotel which is just nearby.

Reception area.

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Check-in was a breeze. You need to present your ID and pay a security deposit at the reception. Then you’ll receive your room card. We got the Superior King Bed room on the 29th floor.

Lobby.

Ceiling details. Love the 3 huge capiz chandelier!

I love our room!  ♥ The bed and pillows were so comfy. Both side tables have equal numbers of power outlets, switches, and telephones compared to others. Wifi was also free (up to 3 devices I think). It has a sophisticated feel to the interiors through the use of dark & neutral tones, accentuated by the use of lights.

Our king size bed with the comfiest pillows. ♥

Bathroom.

Bath tub : the #1 reason that we chose this hotel.

Left: View from our room ♥ | Right: Trump tower! (I did some of the interior plans in my previous job)

For our last day, we had breakfast at Spice Cafe on the 7th floor. You could go ala carte or do the breakfast buffet worth ~800php.

Sadly, the only photos that I took were below. I was too shy to take photos of the others because there were a lot of foreigners that morning HAHA. The breakfast buffet consists of the following: Bread station, fruit station, cheese, chocolate fountain, cereals and yogurt, salad bar, noodle station, egg station, maki station, viands from the Philippines and different countries.

I was satisfied of the buffet because of the bread station with blueberry jam. ♥ He was satisfied because of the unlimited olives & bacon. Service was very nice.

Overall, our staycation was great! No complaints on the room except for the aircon (which took a while to cool, but apparently they replied at our review on Agoda & said aircon was repaired). The hotel was nearby Century mall and other food establishments which was a plus for us. If we had a bigger budget, I’d like to try the Presidential Suite next time.  ♥

City Garden Grand hotel website.

Vanderlust

Not all those who vander are lost.

Corny. HAHA. Anyway. A few weeks ago, we were looking for a place to have coffee & dessert long Tomas Morato where we found Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie. A European cafe hidden at the corner of Tomas Morato & Sct. De Guia. Curious, we went in to see the display case showcasing European desserts: German Schneeball, Italian Cannoli, and Spanish Churros. The well-trained, friendly staff explained each dessert to me and recommended their best sellers.

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Second floor. Or maybe Mezzanine? Ceiling height is a bit low. You could say that this place is “cozy”.

How to enjoy the Schneeball.

Our order.

I ordered the calamansi schneeball for us to try. Coffee was Mocha for me and an Americano for him. I loved the procedure to eat the schneeball! You put it in the paper bag, and wack it with the mallet. It felt like my frustrations with work were being wacked away. HAHA.

Overall, our stay was really nice. We didn’t get to try their non-dessert food. But there’s always a next time. ♥

Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie : Menu | Facebook page.

Crystal Beach

Our group went to Crystal Beach Resort over the weekend. Reasons for this trip were instagram shots, photoshoots, surfing, and s’mores. Picture heavy post ahead!

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And of course a much needed trip for all of us since its been a while since we last got together. ♥ This place was one of the most recommended trips from the DIY Travel Philippines Facebook group. I discovered that a weekend trip is doable and cheap. Thankfully most of us were available. I reserved the following for our group:

  • Malachi2,550php for Inggo. This is an airconditioned room for 2pax. It has its own bathroom with toiletries, tv, and bed. It comes with free breakfast buffet stub for two.
  • Shem (They got transferred to Micah) 1,700php for Ruth & Joy. This is a bahay kubo type accommodation. Comes with a bed, electric fan, electric sockets for charging. It also comes with free breakfast buffet stub for the next day. Its at Kampsite 1 and near the public shower area.
  • Tent (Mariel) – 750php/pax. If own tent its 550php/pax. 250php of those are consumable within the resort. You could instead add 35php at the dining hall for the breakfast buffet. Tent comes with mat & pillows. Its at Kampsite 2.

After confirming the availability of these rooms via phone call, I reserved the same day via online banking. We paid 50% of the total rooms. We just printed the email confirmation & deposit slip and presented it at check-in. We also paid the remaining 50% on site. There’s a 1k deposit per room (in case of damage) and a 500php deposit for the tent. This is refundable at check out. The deposit for the rooms we knew, but we didn’t knew about the tent deposit. It was a good thing that Inggo had extra cash.

Waiting at the reception. It was hectic that day. They were at full capacity! But the receptionists were friendly & helpful.

So pretty. ♥

Hugot wall. HAHA.

Esther. This is near the Micah bahay kubo.

LOOK AT THE TREES.

My signature travel pose. HAHA.

This is where Mariel (our tent) is located.

Our view with the Agoho trees. ♥ #ItsMorePineInThePhilippines

I found Mariel. HAHAHA.

To the beach! ♥

For your (Cigarette) butts.

One of the most Instagrammable shots in the resort. One point perspective guyssss.

The beach ♥. The other side of that mountain is Anawangin cove I think. One of the islands in the background is Capones island.

Pretty ♥

The beach has two areas: the surfing area & the swimming area. Check the signages! You could only swim between the colored flags. The waves were huge during our stay. It was fun screaming & jumping at the waves. Para kang nasa Splash island HAHA. I urged Ivy and Inggo to try surfing. It’s 400php per hour with an instructor. It was soooooooo much fun! ♥ Those two had aching muscles after though. HAHA.

S’mores night. ♥

It was only for a while but we had some s’mores at the bonfire after dinner. We didn’t get to eat as much s’mores as we want since the staff added more logs to make a bigger bonfire, huhu. There’s also an acoustic night during weekends, so it was a nice night eating s’mores and listening to music. ♥ If only we brought a large mat so we could sit here. Oh well, lesson learned! We stayed at Micah for some girl bonding before sleeping. ♥

The next day, we ate breakfast at the dining hall. I didn’t get to take photos because I was hungry or something. HAHA. After that, we explored the resort and took more photos. These are our italic shots:

Ivy.

Hannah. Her italic shot I think is too embarrassing to post here. HAHA.

Ruth. ♥

Me. ♥ Can you see my jacket? It has wings on it HAHAHA.

Check out was at 12 noon. We packed our bags and off we go back to Manila. ♥ We managed to ride a bus at the town bound for Caloocan. Lucky! And that’s our #WeekendWarrior trip. After all these years, one outing finally went out of the drawing board. lol.

Itinerary:

  • Ride the Cubao Victory Liner bound for Iba, Zambales. Tell the teller that you will alight at San Narciso, ticket price will be cheaper. (310php compared to 380php). Terminal guide here.
  • We were supposed to ride the 7am bus. Unfortunately, we were too late & the tickets for the 7am ride were sold out. We took the 9am bus ride instead.
  • Travel time is 4 hours with stops in between.
  • Alight at San Narciso. You will know its San Narciso if you will see the San Sebastian Church to your right.
  • Ride a tricycle to Crystal Beach. Fare is 15php per person.
  • Going home depends on which bus you will ride. The Caloocan bound bus fare is around 272php.

General idea of expenses:

  • Bus roundtrip (310php) = 620php.
  • Tricycle roundtrip = 30php.
  • Own tent = 550php.
  • Total = 1,200php for these. You could do a weekend trip for less than 3k/2k. This will depend on your food budget

Other expenses:

  • Surfing with instructor = 400php. Board rental = 200php.
  • Additional for breakfast buffet = 35php.
  • Rentable sports equipment also has a price per hour. Ask the staff for this.
  • You could also do an island hopping to Capones island. Ask the staff for this too!

Crystal Beach Website | Facebook

Hope this helps!

Genki Sushi

We had another art tambay last Sunday. But before I get to that post, a few weeks ago we had another food trip with our friend. This time we tried Genki Sushi at UP Town Center.

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They had a different way of ordering here. There are touch screens on every table with their complete menu. You can browse & order through the touch screen. It can even compute your total bill. Orders are then delivered via train:

4 orders per delivery.

Ohhhh my chirashi don. ♥

Sushiiii. ♥ Different colored plates mean different prices.

Our bill amounted to 3k php+! Their sashimi were certainly fresh. But I don’t think we’ll go back here again. Its too pricey.

Coffee was at Negative Space Cafe. Speaking of this cafe: this is currently one of our favorite cafes. I haven’t done a proper review yet of this place. Sooo many pending blog posts!

Left another doodle at #negativespacecafe. ❤ #suffnirain

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