Friday, December 31, 2010

December is the Month of Celebrations

... and good food and unplanned purchases and severe wallet damages! My, my, December was a whirlwind! I cannot even remember where all the days and the money went specifically, but surely, December is the uncontested winner in the fun and food departments this year.

Christmas Dinner with College Friends at National Sports Grill Plus Desserts at Classic Confections

I never really liked the food at National Sports Grill that much, but everywhere else was full that night. As a matter of fact, we went to Ayala Triangle Gardens first, but there was a huge crowd and a long line to every restaurant there, so we decided to drive to Greenbelt instead. The first choice was actually Chili's at Greenbelt 5, but again, the issue of long lines and starving, impatient people came up, so we just decided to eat at NSG (where only two tables were occupied).

It was my first time to eat at Classic Confections, and boy, did I love their Nono's Chocolate Oblivion (that's the one on the upper left)! It was  heavenly, I tell you.

Anniversary Dinner at Balducci, Serendra

My request for a three day leave was granted, but sadly, the boyfriend couldn't get off work (he's new to the company and everything) so our plan for an awesome anniversary and birthday double celebration didn't push through. We just had a pretty simple dinner at Balducci in Serendra, where the food and the service lie on completely opposite poles. While the food deserves stellar reviews (which I shall do in a future post), the same cannot be said about the service.

The BF's Birthday Dinner at Duo, Serendra

We celebrated his birthday with yet again a rather simple dinner at Serendra. I've been meaning to try Duo for quite some time already because their fondue came highly recommended by a friend, but we were already too stuffed come dessert time, so we sort of just decided to drop the idea of having fondue altogether. Sad, but I shall return for the fondue, I promise. Food reviews to follow, of course!

Christmas Shopping and Lunch with the BF at A Venetto

I actually did 80% of our Christmas shopping (we give couple gifts for practical reasons) by myself on different days of the month, whenever my schedule permits. By the time the boyfriend was able to join me, I was almost done shopping already and he was able to help me pick out a gift  only for a very few people. Since I did almost all of the work and he gets half of the credit, he treated me to lunch at A Venetto.

Christmas Party with Workmates at Paul Calvin's, Global City

Right after a tiring morning shift (even had to work overtime without pay), I went home, showered and dolled up for our Christmas party (which the hospital didn't sponsor, by the way). I was mighty tired by the time I got to Paul Calvin's, but my adrenaline didn't fail me. I had a lot of fun and I even won a consolation prize in the raffle draw! My workmates are the best!

Christmas Eve with the Family at Home

I wasn't scheduled to go on duty on the 24th, so I was able to spend Christmas eve at home. My sibs and I camwhored like crazy and opened our gifts to the tune of Grenade and Marry You by Bruno Mars. Major, major LSS!

Post Christmas Lunch at Gumbo and Early New Year Celebration at Ayala Triangle Gardens

We had to celebrate Christmas Eve with our own families, and I was on duty come Christmas day, so the BF and I had our Christmas meal a couple of days after the 25th. I cannot count the number of times I've eaten at Gumbo anymore. I've been there with my family, friends, boyfriend and the boyfriend's family. I guess it's one of my default restos of choice at Midtown.

Again, we had to celebrate the coming of 2011 with our respective families, so the BF and I had an early New Year celebration at Ayala Triangle Gardens, where we watched an entertaining light show. We planned to eat at Wee Nam Kee to see what the fuss was about, but the place was literally packed! I attempted to get us a seat for two, but the staff said we had to wait for about an hour to get a seat. She said there were 13 people wait listed ahead of us (yes, that many as early as 6pm!), so we opted to eat at Bon Chon and Omakase instead. No regrets, though. Both restos had pretty awesome food!

So, that was my December in a nutshell! As you can see, I owe you guys a lot of food reviews. I hope I can manage to write them all before January ends. Must change my procrastination habits in 2011, yes?

2011 is about to come in a couple of minutes. Happy New Year, everyone! May we all be blessed beyond our imagination! <3

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Berry Banapple Birthday!

As far as birthdays go, I'm a very simple, no fuss kind of girl. Loud parties marked with an abundance of booze, free food and wasted bodies gyrating to dance music are not really my kind of thing, as these usually lure people you really don't want to spend your birthday with. I think the last time our family hosted a huge birthday party was when I turned 7 and my brother turned 1 (yes, we do have the same birth date, which can be kind of annoying when you're a kid who doesn't want to share the attention and the budget for gifts, mind you). From that time on, our family celebrated birthdays with simple meals and a lot of cheesy togetherness.

For my mom's birthday this year though, my dad wasn't with us for work reasons. Being the eldest and all, I took the initiative to fund my mom's birthday brunch.  My family is kind of hard to feed because of our varying preferences, but the one thing that we all actually agree on is good dessert, so off to Banapple we went (this was last November 21, but I procrastinated blogging about it for a month!).

Insalata Rustico
We started the meal with some healthy greens. We chose Insalata Rustico, which was basically just fresh mixed greens with black olives, diced tomatoes, grated parmesan cheese and slivers of toasted almonds. The greens were very fresh and crisp, and the helpings of olives, cheese and almonds were quite generous. The dressing was cream based, garlicky good but far too sour for my liking. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We Have a New Weekend Market in Town

If you like spending your weekend morning in Salcedo or Legazpi Market, I'm sure you'd love   Mercato Centrale in Bonifacio Global City! 

Although December is generally one of our coldest months, the temperature can still get uncomfortably hot during late mornings to noon. I usually shy away from going to weekend markets because the heat and humidity ruin the experience for me, but the air conditioned tents of Mercato Centrale left me with no reason to avoid this nifty place. If you hate commuting as much as I do, fret not, because you may bring your cars along. The brilliant organizers ensured a stress-free Mercato Centrale experience by providing enough parking space for customers. If you do not have a  car, a map or a GPS, just get your butt to Bonifacio High Street and you'll have it easy from there. Mercato Centrale is located at the open lot right behind The Spa.

Now, on to the gastronomic delights that Mercato Centrale is so full of! Be warned, though, my photos do not do justice to the food. I only used my point and shoot and was too wasted (from night shift, not from drinking!) to take good shots. Do you know what makes Mercato Centrale ultimately awesome? Well, it offers a little bit of something for everyone!

Here to start your day right with a hearty breakfast? Mercato Centrale offers a variety of delicious, but affordable breakfast deals for you. I personally liked Auntie May's homemade tapa and Jam's angus beef tapa. Yes, my favorite Pinoy breakfast to date is Tapsilog.

Chef Laudico's Bfast
Pan de sal, a classic Pinoy breakfast with a twist
Tender and tasty tapa from Auntie May's

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