“Travel is never a matter of money but of courage” ― Paulo Coelho, O Aleph

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dinner at Kanin Club, Ayala Triangle Gardens


As Christmas approaches, I together with close friends, officemates at the same time decided to have dinner at Kanin Club in Ayala Triangle Gardens.  This was not our first time to dine there.  But whenever we feel like going to Ayala Triangle Gardens, Kanin Club is always on top of our list.

This was the scene at Kanin Club that night.  Those people outside were waiting for their seats.  We were at number 8 (as far as I remember) on the waiting list when we arrived.IMG_0022

Btw, for those who don’t know Kanin Club yet, it is not a club/night club (hehe).  It is a restaurant that serves Filipino dishes with branches in Laguna, Muntinlupa, Quezon City, Mandaluyong and of course Makati.

And the ambiance, very Filipino.  With wooden floors and capiz windows, feels like dining at Vigan, one of the oldest and preserved towns/cities in the country.IMG_0021

Even if we already gave our orders before we got our seats, we still waited for 30 minutes I guess before orders arrived.

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We didn't think much on what to order.  We just ordered our favorite Crispy Dinuguan and Seafood Kare Kare.

IMG_0007Crispy Dinuguan

I think, it shouldn't be called Seafood Kare Kare.  It should be Tahong (Mussels) Kare Kare cause the plate had a great number of mussels on it than any other kind of seafood.  There were only 2 pcs. of shrimp on the plate which I’m very much sure.  Anyway, the taste is good except for the Bagoong AlamangBagoong Alamang of Barrio Fiesta and Cabalen is still the best for me.
IMG_0010Seafood Kare Kare

We also ordered Pancit Bihon for a change.  And, we truly liked it.  It is not too moist and not too dry.  My friends and I have the same opinion about the taste, the taste is what we actually looking for a Pancit Bihon.
IMG_0013Pancit Bihon

And, to be an official member of the club, kanin (rice) should be included in list of orders (just kidding haha).  Well for me, I wouldn't appreciate those delicious dishes without kanin or rice.
IMG_0012Kanin (Rice)

After we have finished our dinner, we visited the famous Ayala Triangle Gardens Lights and Sounds Show.  Well, I won’t say much about this show or the place since I have been posting it more than once in this site.  And hey, I am not paid to keep on mentioning Ayala Triangle Gardens hehe.  I don’t know if Ayala would be thankful of me or the opposite but I don’t have that number of viewers and followers so my views don’t really exist in the whole blogosphere hehe.
IMG_0024Ayala Triangle Gardens Lights & Sounds Show

Hope I could dine again at Kanin Club.  There are lots of food choices in their menu so even if I dined there more than once, I have a lot of dish that I still haven’t and want to try.  Before I forget, their servings are really big.  Those orders I've mentioned was more than enough for us five.

Till next time!  Smile 


Kanin Club
Ayala Triangle Gardens
Makati
(02) 621-6109

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Party at Shakey’s SM North Edsa (Plus Affordable Party Ideas)


If you’re looking for a party venue, why not consider Shakey’s in SM North Edsa.  I had my son’s birthday party there and I just want to share it with you (this post is dedicated to my imaginary readers looking for kid’s party venue plus party ideas at affordable rate).

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I always wanted a party held at place inside malls.  Why?  First, mall is very accessible.  I won’t have the hard time giving instruction to my guests on how to get to the venue.  Second, there are lots of parking spaces in case most of them bring a car.  And, guests may want to do malling or shopping after since party usually lasts for 2-4 hours only.

Shakey’s in SM North Edsa has a function room with a capacity up to 100 persons.  Though I want party to be held at a place inside malls, I still choose a place (restaurant) where we (family and friends) would have our own privacy so a private function room is a must.

Use of venue is free if you reserve or avail their required minimum number of guest.  Also, you are required to avail the amenities for less than P4K.  Amenities include invitations, party hats, loot bags/souvenirs, prizes for games, a frame where guest may write message to celebrant, use of tarpaulin, few balloons, party host and use of sound system.

I didn't make or spend on personalized invitations.  I just used the free invitation cards from Shakey’s which I think is practical.  I gave them to family and friends who are actually neighbors; and to my officemates.  And, I created an event on Facebook and used it to invite family and friends who aren't near without having to meet them to personally give the invitation card (very much practical).
DSC_0647Invitation Cards

DSC_0154Loot Bags (Souvenirs)

DSC_0038a frame where guest may write message to celebrant

Mascot is not included in the amenities.  I paid less than P1K for Captain Shakey’s.DSC_0217

Cake is also not included.  Instead of ordering a typical customized 1-3 layer birthday cake, I chose cupcakes which I placed in a 3-tier cupcake tower plus one 9-inch Superman themed cake.  Btw, Shakey’s offered only Justice League themed party that time (Superman for boy celebrant and Wonder Woman for girl).DSC_0014

Cupcakes and cake are from Blushing Cupcakes Café.  Please read my separate post about those cupcakes and cake in case you’re interested or you like my idea.

If you will notice, there’s a balloon arch (above photo) on the cupcake tower and cake.  My friend has a talent in balloon decorating and made that, also the balloon pillar and balloons on the center tables like this one (below photo).
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You could email or post a comment if you need a balloon decorator for a very reasonable price since friend is only starting in this business.  She used to décor only for families and friends.  I would love to refer my friend to you.  Btw, she only accepts weekends (Sat & Sun) events.

For additional party ideas, Shakey’s has official supplier for photobooth, clowns, food carts, chocolate fountain etc.  A friend lent me her chocolate fountain and used it instead in this party (another practical idea).DSC_0047

In addition, I put a candy corner for the kids.  There were lollipops, candies, chocolates, jelly drinks, gummy bears and Trolli Sour GlowWorms which I bought from Landmark Supermarket and S&R Membership Shopping.DSC_0048

Too bad, the Chocolate Fountain didn't work.  Anyway, the kids still have enjoyed and the choco fondue was almost consumed/emptied after the party.  I should have brought a red tablecloth.  That pink tablecloth (in above photo) was an eye sore (haaay..).

Before I forget, here’s the set meal I selected per pax with 1 glass of iced tea each (same set meal for kids).  Cost: less than P200.DSC_0146

All in all, it was a great party for me indeed.  I know son had a great time celebrating his birthday with his dearest family and friends (mom knows) which I think is the most important.  I love you son!  Wish you all the best in this world..

Till next time!  Party smile




Shakey’s SM North Edsa 2/F
351-1594

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Blushing Cupcakes Cafe


I have been planning and preparing to throw a kid’s party for my son’s birthday when I found Blushing Cupcakes Café in Sky Garden, SM North Edsa.  I was actually looking for a birthday cake near the party place.  Sons’ birthday party was held in Shakey’s SM North Edsa.  Thanks to the internet, I was able to find Blushing Cupcakes Café.  Before placing an order for the said party, we tried their cupcakes first (of course).

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Currently, they have three branches: Club 650 Libis (beside Shopwise); Sky Garden, SM North Edsa and CW Home Depot Ortigas.

Blushing Cupcakes Café in SM North Edsa is quite small but just a perfect place to have coffee and dessert before or after shopping in the mall or after having a sumptuous lunch or dinner in one of the nearby restaurants at Sky Garden.

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They have various cupcakes to choose from.  And, I was surprised that their cupcakes aren’t really expensive.  Price ranges from P33 to P57 each!!!

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I just ordered these four cupcakes for takeout.
DSC_0529Blushing Cupcakes (from left to right, upper to lower portion): Red Velvet P39; Chocolate Glaze P36; Cookies and Cream P36 and Blueberry Cheesecake P52

I love the Cookies and Cream.  Anyway, I always love Cookies and Cream as a flavor in any desserts.  Another thing, the icing is what I like most about their cupcake.  I have tried other brand in the area (since I was looking for a perfect dessert, giveaway at the same time and cake for my son’s birthday party) and their icings are far better.

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Wonder what my son’s birthday party cupcakes and cake are?  Well, here it is.

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Son’s birthday party held in Shakey’s SM North Edsa was a Justice League (Superman) themed party.  Blushing Cupcakes Café customize cupcakes and cakes.  Good thing, 9-inch Superman cake (above photo) is available in their designs.

Their customized cupcake worth P60 each, plus P15 each if you want to add cupcake toppers.  That’s expensive.  Well in my case, since my motif is red and blue, I just ordered 15 pcs. Red Velvet and 15 pcs. Blueberry for P39 each.  And, I just had the DIY cupcake toppers.  I only used clip art from MS Office, printed it in white board paper, cut and then attached on toothpick using scotch tape.  I also bought there the Cupcake Tower (3-tier) and personally designed it with red and blue ribbons from SM Makati.

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Here is the sample computation of my son’s birthday cupcakes and cake:

The DIY Cupcake Tower Kit (3-Tier)      P 400.00
15 pcs. Red Velvet                                  585.00DSC_0053
15 pcs. Blueberry                                    585.00
1 pc. Red Velvet (free)                             -0-
1 pc. Blueberry (free)                               -0-
9-inch Superman Cake                             900.00
2 meters Plain Red Ribbon                         10.00
2 meters Plain Blue Ribbon                        10.00
32 pcs. individual boxes (free)                  -0-
                                                        ------------
Total                                                 P2,490.00
                                                        =========

Isn’t that cheap?  But not the way it looks (I hope you agree with me hehe).

Btw, order of said cupcakes and cake should be placed at least one week before.  And, they don’t deliver so make sure you have a buddy with strong hands to pick up and carry those.  My decision was right since Blushing Cupcakes Café is just a few walks away from Shakey’s in SM North Edsa.

One more, don’t expect the 9-inch cake to be delicious as the cupcakes.  What would you expect in customized birthday cakes (even with other brands), just a mere decoration.  Anyway, a party or any event wouldn’t be complete without themed cakes.

Till next time!  Party smile


Blushing Cupcakes Café
Sky Garden
2/F SM North Edsa
Brgy. Pagasa
Quezon City
664-0538

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ayala Triangle Gardens Lights and Sounds Show 2012


Yes!  Ayala Triangle Gardens Lights and Sounds Show is happening now, I mean every 30 minutes from 6 to 9 pm daily.  It started yesterday, November 16 and will end on December 30 this year.

Before or after watching and listening at the said show, you may want to have dinner or try one or more of the following restaurants in Ayala Triangle Gardens:

Amici
Banapple
BreadTalk
Bon Chon Chicken
C.B.D.
Caramia Gelateria
Chef Laudico’s Bfast
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Golden Spoon
Momo Café
Omakase
Pho 24
Wee Nam Kee

Also, there’s a free Wi-fi in Ayala Triangle Gardens, powered by Globe.  Just select the “Globe Wifi Tattoo” SSID, click connect and enjoy free surfing.
IMG_1317


Photo at the right was taken last year which I have made a post (Christmas Lights Show at Ayala Triangle).

Hopefully I could bring family there especially my son this month or next month before the event ends.  So watch out for my next post.  

Till next time!  Winking smile  






Ayala Triangle Gardens
Makati Avenue Corner Paseo De Roxas
Makati City
(at the back of Philippine Stock Exchange Plaza
and Makati Stock Exchange Bldg., Ayala Avenue)

Saturday, November 03, 2012

A Banchetto Experience


Banchetto is an Italian word, meaning a “feast.”  In the Philippines, it’s the first and original overnight food fiesta since February 2007.  I have heard about it for quite some time but never tried until we had an opportunity when we checked-in at Go Hotels.  Said hotel is located at Robinsons Cybergate Plaza, adjacent to Robinsons Forum Mall.  And, there’s a Banchetto every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night from 8:30 pm ‘til 6 am at the back of Robinsons Forum (delivery bay area) in Mandaluyong City.

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It’s like a night market but of food.  I mean lots of food choices here, from grilled foods, pastas, pizzas, shawarmas, various dishes, cakes, to various desserts, fruit shakes, juices and many more.

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I tried this Ilocos Empanada.  The last time I ate this was when we visited Ilocos last last year. Though there are already different establishments here in the metro that serve Ilocano dishes like this one, it was still in Banchetto that I am able to taste this again (yum yum).

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Hubby picked Double Bagnet Rice with Egg to eat.  I guess he just copied my idea of eating Ilocano dish that time hehe.

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Son is a picky eater.  Good thing there’s Sbarro in the Banchetto so I got his favorite pizza.

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Kids are rarely seen in Banchetto.  This food fiesta used to cater call center agents, graveyard office workers, those who live in nearby condominiums, hotel guests etc. since it operates at night or midnight.

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Btw, aside in Mandaluyong (Robinsons Forum), Banchetto can be found at Shopwise, Meralco Avenue, Araneta Center and Emerald Avenue.  Visit their website for exact location, schedule and schedule updates.

Till next time!  Smile



A Smart Way to Relax at Go Hotels Mandaluyong


Sometimes, we need a short vacation or just a 2D/1N rest to get free from stress and tiring weekdays work.  But don’t have the big bucks to go out of town and pay for liters of gas, nearest budget hotel in my humble opinion is the answer.

If you are a MRT (Metro Rail Transit) commuter like me, you might have seen Go Hotels Mandaluyong along Edsa.  It's between Boni and Guadalupe Station, but just a 10 minute walk from Boni Station and located to your left when heading South (Taft Station).  And that is the main reason why I chose Go Hotels Mandaluyong to relax; you don’t need to bring a car which I actually didn't have at that time for some reason.

Just quick facts about Go Hotels, it’s a Robinsons Land Development with 5 branches to date: Mandaluyong, Puerto Princesa, Dumaguete, Tacloban and Bacolod.  They are an essential service hotel providing quality accommodations at price ranges from P688 to P2,888, exclusive of VAT (source: gohotels.ph).

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They have this “book-early, pay less room rates.”  Well in my case, I booked thru online two weeks before the actual stay and the price I got was P1,088 (exclusive of VAT).

For a rate of P1,088++ (plus VAT), we had a decent accommodation with basic amenities which we actually need plus more.  Let me show you here..

The hotel uses keycard.

DSC_0737

There’s a choice between Queen and Twin bed.  We had a queen size bed.  They say it’s 100% cotton sheets with duvet covers complete with chiropractic and high quality non-allergenic pillows.  Btw, I didn't have an allergenic rhinitis attack during that stay Smile.

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Room has air-conditioned units which you can control to depending on your needs or wants.  It also has 22 inch LCD TV with cable.

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They have in-room safe.  My 15” laptop can fit in that.  I actually kept it there when we were out of the room to eat.

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Private bathroom with hot and cold rain shower and handheld shower
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Clean toilet
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Vanity mirror
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They have small working table with chair.  The table seems really small but laptop can fit on that.

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Wi-Fi is free in rooms and on the lobbies. I tried to access the internet using their Wi-Fi but the signal inside our room was not strong.

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Our accommodation includes 2 bath towels, 1 foot towel, tissue paper, sanitary bag and single use of soap and shampoo with conditioner.  Hair dryer is not included but available upon request for a fee of P100 per use; same thing with flat iron with board.

You might be asked for add-on purchases on online booking.  There are additional charges for taxi service (van/sedan), breakfast set and toiletry kit.  I didn’t avail the breakfast set.  Btw, there’s a Mini Stop, 24-hour convenience store at the UG near the hotel entrance if you want to buy food etc. early in the morning.  Also, adjacent to the building, Robinsons Cybergate Plaza where Go Hotels is situated is the Robinsons Forum Mall which is open from 10 am ‘til 9 pm daily.

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I availed the toiletry kit as an add-on purchase.  Why not?  It’s only P88++ (plus VAT) and you will get that box which contains the ff:

1 Shampoo (30 ml)

1 Conditioner (30 ml)

1 Body Lotion (30 ml)

1 Bath Gel (30 ml)

1 Bath Soap (20 grams)

1 Toothpaste (6 grams)

1 Toothbrush

1 Shaver


Another thing, there’s a Banchetto located near/between Robinsons Forum Mall and Robinsons Cybergate Plaza.  We had our dinner there during our stay at Go Hotels.  It was our first time to experience Banchetto so I did a separate post for that.

DSC_0779Edsa, Mandaluyong

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Hotel entrance
In every pros, there are cons.  Here are some of the cons:
  1. Not all rooms are with windows, just like we had.
  2. Check-in and check-out time are 2 pm and 11 am respectively.  It is not similar to other hotels with 1 pm and 12 nn check-in/out time.
  3. If you will bring a car, pay parking is available within the hotel premises.  Good thing, I didn’t bring so I don’t know how much.  But yes, there’s a parking fee.
  4. You are not allowed to eat inside the room, there’s a corresponding penalty. 
  5. No personal ref and coffee/tea making facilities inside the room. 
  6. No closets or cabinets, just hooks on the walls.
Well, staycation at Go Hotels is still the smarter way.  We love the location and the bed; we like the room which is new and clean and of course we got the relaxation we’ve always wanted and needed without spending big.  Till next time!  Smile


Go Hotels Mandaluyong
Upper Ground Robinsons Cybergate Plaza
Edsa corner Pioneer Street
Mandaluyong City
0922-GOHOTEL (4646835)

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