29 January 2012

Saint Alp's Tea House

Weekends can get boring and what better way to relieve boredom than with snacks. I am trying eat healthier so I tried a new tea house instead of fast food. Hidden somewhere in Burgos Circle, Global City is St. Alp's Tea House. It's actually at the ground floor of Forbeswood Parklane so the place is quiet secluded (thumbs up for me) and a bit separated from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Burgos Circle's joints.

The place is absolutely refreshing in and out. St. Alp's has so many hot and cold drinks to choose from, most are tea based so great for tea lovers and like me, who wants to lose some weight. I ordered their White Moustachhe Matcha Tea, a refreshing cold drink made with green tea powder.

My drink was delightful and I note their Matcha drinks taste different than the usual stuff I get - like the Starbucks Green Tea Frappe I am addicted to. St. Alp's has a bit of minty leafy flavor which goes well with healthy snacks on their menu.

The best fried tofu in the world

Being in diet mode, I ordered their fried tofu with hoisin sauce. It was THE BEST fried tofu I've ever had in my entire life! Simply peppered and lightly salted, their fried tofu was crispy on the outside and silky inside. Really, you won't think this is healthy boring stuff.

We stayed longer than usual so we ended up ordering more.

Beef Tapsilog. This is so sinful but every bite was worth the calories. The beef, atchara, and egg were perfectly done. The garlic rice didn't look fried but had the garlicky flavor the Pinoy sinangag has.

Taiwanese Breaded Porkchop. You'll be surprised with the spices they used to flavor the pork. I could taste some curry in it making this dish really more interesting. My date didn't share the egg so I guess that one tastes just as awesome.

Matcha Butter Toast. I was so full to have a bite of this, maybe I'll try it next time. This toast looks big yet is covered with matcha or green tea powder. Good for burning some fat.

I won't say much other than all of the food from St. Alp's are GREAT. Most of the items I tasted are all light but flavorful - I am guessing they use simple, fresh, and natural ingredients to achieve this.

Dear Saint Alp's, you have great food and excellent ambiance . It won't be a surprise if soon, this new tea house in the metro gets very busy with diners lining up. Ahhh I can't wait to come back before that happens!

Saint Alp's Tea House
G/F Forbeswood Parklane, Rizal Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

26 January 2012

Hotels with a different Tune

I'm springing back from an extended stay in the hospital, I wish it were a hotel but the presence of needles and nurses prevent me from thinking so. But here's vibrant news for hotel-a-holics, a new brand of hotels are opening up in the country. Say hello to Tune Hotels. They're opening hotels in Manila, Cebu, and Angeles City among others.

I spied their hotel in Ermita, Manila which they say is 15 minutes walking distance away from Roxas Blvd.

This is their Twin Room, they have 48 of which and 119 Double Rooms.

Nice flat screen TV, I read from the website you can add-on WiFi and even air conditioning. What? You read it right, I am guessing their name is Tune for a reason, as in you can fine tune your booking and pay for only the amenities you choose.

It's a new concept, at least for me and one that makes me a bit uncomfortable but definitely worth a try if you're feeling adventurous. I can imagine myself (perhaps) taking a walking tour of Binondo and shopping in Divisoria, and have this hotel as my pit stop to drop bags and catch some zzz's.

You can imagine the same for their hotels in Cebu and Pampanga, it's a great way to save some pocket money where you can give up air conditioning and WiFi.

Have you been here? Share your experience because I am curious!

Tune Hotel - Ermita, Manila
1740 A. Mabini St., Malate
Manila, Philippines

16 January 2012

Manila Hotel: Mabuhay Palace Lunch

I thought of dropping by Manila Hotel to check out their Chinese New Year preparations (frustrated hotel operations manager?) and had lunch at Mabuhay Palace with my husband. We purchased a group deal at Dealsmania previously and this was a good time to redeem our "fine dining" coupon.

Enter the dragon. Actually the dragon is on its way out of the hotel. Is that good feng shui?

Here's what our deal looked in real life, not bad for Php 955 but not a wow deal either.

We thought the deal was designed for a date for two, although it was good enough for me and my date - the plating was obviously for a single serve. If you dated someone new, it could mean awkward times but to be fair, the deal didn't say it was for two either. Servings were okay but taste was excellent. We walked away satisfied :)

I particularly enjoyed the 3 kinds of dimsum, too bad the magic number is 3 - only 3 pieces hehe. More than the food, we enjoyed the privacy offered by Mabuhay Palace, not a surprise for Manila Hotel. It was my kind of dating place, quiet, ambient music, and attentive wait staff.

I wish I had a more decent camera to capture Mabuhay Palace's interiors but they are already known for their oriental inspired theme. If you haven't been here, give them a visit but make reservations - Manila Hotel.

With all these elements combined, I'd say we had a fantastic lunch date after all. We wish we purchased two deals but promised we'll come back on a future date to try Cafe Ilang-Ilang next, also in Manila Hotel.

10 January 2012

Chinese New Year 2012 - Events, Shows, Eats and More

I was looking for a place to celebrate Chinese New Year and thought of sharing all of these to you :) I was big on feng-shui in 2011 and it was a lucky and blessed year indeed. Celebrating Chinese New Year is always fun especially dragon dancing and fireworks!

Take your pick below so you can celebrate Kung Hei Fat Choi in style. Don't forget your red dress!

Welcome the Year of the Water Dragon at the Manila Hotel:

Watch the Spring Festival Movies at Shangri-la Plaza

Shop at the Lucky Dragon Bazaar

Grab the 2012 Water Dragon Lunar Calendar from Master Joseph Chau

Kung Hei Fat Choi Buffet at Diamond Hotel

Have a prosperous and FUN Chinese New Year everyone! :)

05 January 2012

The Dragon Enters 2012 | Edsa Shangri-la's Festive Inspirations

I made sure to start the year right and how can I go wrong with my most expensive New Year celebration yet, inside the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel.
Dress from NY Square, available at SM Department Store. PS that little munchkin is my son, Ashton.

So while people were burning money (fireworks), we enjoyed a smoke-free, quiet, and super relaxing stay.

We had time to reflect on 2011 as a mini family at the gardens.

And when we finished, a special New Year's Eve buffet dinner at Heat awaits. Check out the dragon and 2012 ice sculptures. Any diner will feel special and prosperous!

We made sure our tummy were stuffed with glorious lechon, peking ducks, lamb chops, and steak (among many others). Just so that we will never go hungry in 2012, ha!

Then enjoyed sweet 2012 desserts to celebrate our "togetherness" and continue to be a "sweet" family. Details like this make me feel that every penny spent in Shangri-la is always worth it.

There was a 50's theme New Year Countdown but I was with my son and not in party-mode. We just continued our celebration in our room. Party hat and torotot with compliments of Shangri-la.
A red hat and horn are the fashion must-haves of the night
Party boy without shorts

I was knocked out and just half-awake when the clock stroke 12. Partner took a shot of our room's New Year's eve view. Fireworks everywhere and smog the morning after.
View from the top

In the morning, a breakfast banquet welcomed us and I worshiped the croissants until 10.30AM. Funny I thought my son will be the only kid in pyjamas, but luckily - all moms thought the same as me and skipped dressing the children up.

As always, I wished I can live inside a five star hotel but had to go back to reality haha :) I hope this post will help you prep up for your next New Year, or any celebration at all. I'm one of those who are lazy to prepare for traditional parties and entertain family/friends, so having a small private yet super nice setup fits me very well and I discovered hotels in the metro are the answer to my stress.

Stress-free and relaxed 2012 everyone!