Weekend Starter

Had an awesome weekend (!) and it all started with this bottle of wine. After work, me and my friends headed over to the Old Swiss Inn and bonded over Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s not our usual take on weekend starter/after-shift drinking session being the beer/mojito-drinking people that we are, but I enjoyed it. We had this with a bowl of cheese fondue and a plate of cold cuts. Not the best fondue and cold cuts in the planet, though. I’m lucky that they served a basket of warm bread. They are so soft and tasty, I had about 3 or 4. If I was the only one on the table who did, I would’ve felt ashamed but Dan had the same so…

Anyway, it’s true what they say. Drinking wine has this certain tinge of sophistication. Or is it the other way around with us? Made us act sillier than usual? A bottle of Caajfdkljfsdhfeorewndnceney Saigsdfhdighrothvnon, please? 😀

Rainy Sunday. Chill fun.

Last weekend’s weather was terrible but it didn’t stop me and some of my friends to go out and have a chill fun. I miss spontaneous hangouts like this. Reminds me of my younger days when everyone is still very much willing to trade sleep for escapades. Oh well, I think we’re just getting old. But not that day! 😀

Meeting up with Char and Jing for the movie

We started by catching one of the entries in Cinemalaya Film Fest at Greenbelt, Mga Mumunting Lihim. Stellar cast, great director, and good plot. And have I mentioned that we watched this with the beautiful Mylene Dizon? Yes! We did! She was sitting 5 rows behind us. Haha!

Christian, give your friend some corndog!

After the movie, we went to Chili’s for dinner, where we had a round of superb Mexican food. We were joined by another friend, Maryann, whom we fondly call Ermengarde. If you’ve been an avid fan of the Princess Sarah TV series shown in one of our local TV channels, you’ll know why. 😉

Ermengarde is the cutest!

We ordered the Bottomless Tostada Chips for appetizer. They were perfectly crisp and were served warm. It tastes good even without the salsa. We had 3 or 4 rounds of this so our 330 PHP was put into good spending.

We also ordered Triple Play which consists of Southwestern egg rolls, Buffalo wings, and Chicken Crispers. I’m not a big fan of the SWER but it comes with a yummy guacamole dip that goes well with the other entrees on the plate.

For our main dish we had Fish ‘n Chips and Fajita Trio. The Fajita Trio is special because it has a little bit of everything: marinated steak, grilled chicken, spicy garlic and lime grilled shrimp, onions, and bell peppers. I would have liked my pita bread to be softer, though, rather than crispy.

Before heading home, we went to UCC Cafe for coffee. I ordered their iced cocoa which I’m not getting again because it did “wonders” to my stomach. >_< We just passed the time taking about exclusive schools, religion (we were not drunk, I swear!), and Australia. Quite diverse topics but somehow they got interconnected. 😉

Overall, I’m glad that we pushed through with our hangout despite the red warnings and flood alerts. And yes, I’m also glad that we all got home safe. 🙂

First Taste of Binondo

Going to Binondo on a Sunday is a very good idea. The streets are almost empty so you can freely roam around at your own pace, take pictures in the middle, and just do your thing without the usual pack of people crowding the place. I missed the usual hustle and bustle of its Chinatown but it was actually good. It was a lazy Sunday after all.

Babes and I trying to be fancy in the middle of Chinatown.

We planned on having the ultimate food trip and start with brunch but failed. We arrived there at past 1PM already and everyone’s damn hungry. Our first stop was at Ying Ying Tea House where we ordered a sumptuous feast of a lunch.

And by sumptuous and feast, I meant this!

(1) Beef Hofan – Flat noodles with tender beef strips and sesame seeds; (2) Yang Chow; (3) Salt and Chili Squid; (4) Soy Chicken – goes well with the green pickle-ish thingy there.

But it doesn’t end there. I have to make a separate collage for two of my favorites: Shrimp Hot Salad and Hakaw (shrimp dumplings). I was hoarding them like a pig from the others. Haha! Yes, I am the ultimate takaw hakaw. @_@

The food were all delicious and the price are perfectly acceptable for the taste and the quality of service. Our first set arrived in less than 30 minutes (which was good since we were all starving at that time). There is unlimited house tea and the waiter who served us even gave some tips on what dishes and servings to order. I like it when waiters are honest with their advice. Makes me think that they are not only into the profit that the resto will get but the satisfaction of the customers, too.

Post-dinner photo op by the sticky stairs

Because we were so full, we decided to skip dessert or any kind of munchies and go to 168 instead. 168 is a popular mall in Divisoria just a few blocks from Binondo’s Chinatown. It is a mine of very cheap but amazing items. I will write about it more the next time I visit. 😉

Going back to the food, we headed to Eng Bee Tin after 3 hours of 168 scouring to buy some take-home goodies. There were rows of flavored hopia (filled pastry), mochi, milk teas, and Chinese food items that I grew up with as a kid.

“Fake communion time!”: These are thin sweet flakes that look very similar to the Catholic host.

Is this the Chinese Dora? 😀

After that, we went to the adjacent restaurant, Tasty Dumplings, for our last hurrah. Their wintermelon iced tea is good, and it only costs 45 PHP. Babes and I shared the tossed noodles with porkchop meal. Babes was crazy about the porkchop but it was just OK for me.

Tossed noodles look just like the usual spaghetti pasta and is served with a pickle-ish garnish and oil-based sauce. It is served separate from the soup but you can opt to combine them later, like what we did here. 🙂

Even though we were only able to visit three stores, the overall foodie experience in Binondo has been superb. I will definitely go back and visit the other dumpling houses and get more wintermelon iced tea. And yes, it will be still be on a Sunday. 😉

Wednesday Surprises

This has been a day full of mini-surprises and quick wins! I am lucky I am surrounded by thoughtful people even though I act like an idiot most of the time. Haha!

Miko gave Jing and I twin fish coin purses from his vacation in Bolinao, Pangasinan. It’s sooooooooo cute and smells good. I just love the smell of new leather. 😀
Miko’s friend, Godfrey, whom I just met today gave us a box of these yummy Caramel Bars from Max’s. Sweet!
Jing brought her special baked potatoes in the office. This picture doesn’t give justice to how it actually tastes. Just look at all those bacon, and cheese, and mushroom. @_@
Coffee break with Janine, Jing, and Egay whom I haven’t talked to or hang out with for a long time due to her maternity leave.
Egay’s Grande Macchiato treat for me. Yay! (Told you this day is full of treats!)
Supple leather jacket for the cold. I went to the office wearing a sheer blouse and mini. But towards mid-shift it started to get cold so this baby kept me warm.  I love the satin material inside.

Today is also the 2nd day of our photo challenge. In a way, I am thankful that I have this mini-project with my friends because it requires me to do something “creative” everyday and it makes me write about something. Yeah, every picture taken has a story behind it. And here’s mine: Again, my puny HTC phone camera is hopeless in taking self-portraits so I didn’t really try to work on our project. Towards the end of the day, Janine lent her IXUS to me, prompting me to upload my pin on our Pinterest board already. Yes, I’m the only one who hasn’t. And so, taking her cam, I headed over to an empty conference room and took some shots.

Anybody here agree with me that taking self-portraits is difficult? Or maybe I’m just too self-conscious especially since anybody can just barge inside the room and find me looking like a dork.