Holidays in High Spirits Exclusively at Marriott Hotel Manila



Happy Holidays!

The holiday season is upon us

which means a few months full of friends,

food,

festivities,

and family togetherness.

'ts the season to appreciate all the blessings that came our way throughout the year.

Yuletide season will be more festive with a feast filled with joy, thanksgiving, and of course...

Gourmet foods!

Join The Cuisineuer as I welcome the most festive season of the year with at taste of memorable luxury and class...

only at Marriott Hotel Manila.


Marriott Hotel Manila's Geaneral Manager  Richard Saul with Phoem Barranda and  Miss World First Princess 2011 Gwendolyn Ruais


Christmas tree lighting and silent auction over sumptuous Thanksgiving dinner buffet style was Marriott's fabulous and meaningful ways of welcoming the 2011 holiday season.

The event was hosted by Phoemala Barranda and was graced by the presence of  Miss World First Princess 2011 Gwendolyn Ruais who were very elegant that night.




My first stop was the Asian Station

the spread was filled with amazing selections of siomai, dumplings, and chicken soup.

Since it was time for Thanksgiving, gourmet style roasted turkey was the ultimate treat.

It comes with cranberry sauce, corn bread stuffing, and sauteed brussel sprouts with bacon.

Call in and allow 24 hours before pick up.



Turkey to fly is available at Marriott Hotel Manila from November 24 to December 26 prepared by no less than Executive Chef Meik Brammer. PhP 6,700.00




Prior to the Christmas tree lighting,

we were entertained with the world class performances of singing sensation Ralph Salazar

and Resorts World's Manila European Dancers!




What I liked most that night was the luscious and tempting desserts.

Not enough can be said about just how good it feels during the event but with these blissful desserts, Marriott Hotel Manila definitely celebrates holidays with bountiful gastronomical experience that warmed my heart.




On December 14, 11, and 18 at 11:30am to 3p:00PM, Marriott Café will hold sumptous buffets featuring rib eye steak, fresh prawns, laksa, grilled fish, Mongolian rice, blissful dessert choices, plus unlimited Western and Asian sections.

Indulge the whole family for only P2150 net per head from appetizer to dessert with free-flowing iced tea, soda, and sparkling wine. 




On Christmas and New Year's Eve, Try Cru Steakhouse’s 4-course set dinner at P4, 500 net per head.

Considered a house specialty when it comes to thick and meaty steaks, it also features inventive entrees and side dishes nestled in an ambiance conducive for intimate conversations.




Visit Java+ and take a look at the endless gift options from cookies, breads, cakes, and pralines.

For a limited time only, tis’ the season with some of these signature Christmas delicacies by pastry chef Fil Afable:

Hanzel and Gretel Ginger bread house (P320),

German Christmas fruit bread (P600),

 felchin dark and white chocolate Santa (P240),

and Buche de Noel cake  (P1,350). At P4, 250 net

or P2, 100 net, delight distinguished friends and folks with a hamper filled with home made breads, confectionery, prime carvings, and other unique, yummy snacks.




Pay your blessings forward!

Experience the joy of giving back while shopping for loved ones as Marriott Manila also launched its Bid and Build that night, a fund raising auction project with Habitat for Humanity.


Manila's elite and celebrities have donated their pre-loved pieces for the auction, here are some;

Connie Sison – Kate Middleton engagement replica ring.
Charice Pempengco – Louis Vuitton monogram Macassar canvas globe trotter sneakers (s6).
Shaira Luna – Offers free pictorial to a bid winner.
Daphne Osena – Hand carved kiln-dried mahogany wood with gold leaf chair.

To check out the full list of items for bidding, drop by at the hotel lobby from November 24 until December 25.




Learning to Surf in Baler, Aurora Province



I grew up in New Guinlo, Taytay, Palawan where I kiss the shallow, brackish water of Malampaya Sound good morning! 

Swimming from New Guinlo's shore to the little island back and forth was our daily routine.

Paddling while the sun sets at the back of Mount Kapoas was a splendid memory of my childhood.

'twas my recreational activities everyday rather than of surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, jet-skiing. These are rich kids activities, I thought.

The idea of surfing in my sports activities during my younger days was not in my sport category. I do not consider surfing as a sport rather than of a recreational activity. 

Paddling a surfboard, waiting for the perfect wave for 10 minutes and stand up and ride it for less than 1 minute. is the surfer's idea of "enjoyment" 

I didn't get it. It was boring...

until my cousin, Mike, invited us in Baler for a short vacation.....




Fearful,

I braved the waves of Pacific Ocean with my instructor.

Standing upright on a surfboard was my ultimate challenge.

Before jumping into surfing and get your feet wet, there are many things to learn starting out, like equipment,  terminology, safety precautions and surfing etiquette.

Essential equipment that you need are surfboard with surfboard leash, 

one piece suit or wet suit, surfing wetsuits are very important.

sunblock,

and the most important... perseverance.

Longboard is the ideal surfboard for beginners because it has more paddling speed and stability than shorter boards. 

Midsize or funboards are also a popular shape for beginners as they combine the volume and stability of the longboard with the manageable size of a smaller surfboard.




There are different types of surfboards for rent in Sabang Beach ranging from PhP 350/hour to PhP 1000/day including basic surfing instruction and a buddy surfer.

Surfing lessons started on the beach, like Make Up Tutorials it was really easy.

It can be broken into several skills: paddling, duck diving/eskimo roll, drop in positioning to catch the wave, the pop-up, and positioning on the wave.



Have you learned to ride a bicycle when you were a kid? 

If yes, you might understand a little bit about what it takes to learn to surf.

Biking involves an awkward combination of pushing off while trying to balance and steering wildly before falling over. 

Eventually, you will get it. 

Surfing is almost the same. It requires balance and coordination.

Like the first moment of balancing on two wheels after a series of falls,

maneuvering upright on a surfboard was incredible!

Just like applying Make Up through the guide of some  Cosmetics Tips. Below are the Surfing tips I've found online to help you out.




Surfing begins when the surfer paddles toward shore in an attempt to match the speed of the wave. Do not forget to put your leash on your back leg.

Paddling - requires strength but also the mastery of techniques to break through oncoming waves (duck diving, eskimo roll). Raise your chest up with your arms so that the water passes between you and the board.

Duck diving/eskimo roll - Just as the wave is about to hit you, roll over on your back (roll the board too), and pull the nose of the board down. Then roll back up. Duck-diving is a technique to allow you to pass under breaking waves when paddling out, rather than getting hammered by each breaking wave.  



Drop in positioning to catch the wave - Catching the wave, can be tricky, and it requires significant upper-body strength. Pick a wave that has not broken and be sure to sit far enough out among the sloping swells, not where the waves are standing up straight. 

Lean forward but raise your chest so that your weight is just above the centre of the board.   You should now be sliding down into the trough of the wave.  

 The first phase of surfing will entail that you wait until you are in the flat water in front of the wave before you stand up.   However, the ideal is to begin standing just as you feel the pull of the wave. 




Positioning on the wave - Paddle for a wave and just as you feel the momentum of the surfboard flow faster than your paddling speed, you are ready to hop up.

With your hands firmly grasping each rail push up quickly.

Simultaneously, extend your arms completely and pull your knees quickly up to your chest.   Be sure to keep your weight centred with just a little slant forward.





Place your feet firmly on your board, one foot near the tail and one foot just above the midpoint of the board.

Don't stand up completely erect.   Keep a low centre of gravity by crouching down and focusing your weight on the midpoint of the board.   Keep your arms out, your eyes looking forward and balance.






Surfing could be a little intimidating if you don't know important things about it. The local surfers out on the waves can lose their patience with newbies who don't know the rules and big surfing no-no's.


Surfing tends to be pretty free form but there are certain accepted rules, mostly based on safety and common sense.

Wave Ownership (The My Wave Rule)

The person closest to the breaking part of the wave has the right of way. Be aware of other surfers and water users, of the surf conditions, and of where you are surfing. Also, make sure you are not taking anyone else's wave. If someone is up and riding, paddling into the wave behind them does not give you the wave. In many low-key breaks, the first person paddling for the wave owns it. Do not expect this to apply in crowded conditions.

Dropping In (The Thou Shalt Not Rule)

Dropping in is taking off on a wave in front of someone who is already up and riding. Don't do this. Ever. No exceptions.

Paddling Out (The Eat It Rule)

When paddling out, if you must get over a wave that someone is riding, paddle behind them (On the white water side). This generally means getting stuffed for the sake of someone else's ride. Take comfort in the hope that they would do the same for you. Do not paddle in front of someone unless you are so sure that you will be 20 feet in front of them that you are willing to bet the well-being of your board/car/nose on it.



--oo--0--oo--



My impression about surfing totally changed with my challenging experience. 

Now I understands why surfers love this sport,

It was really addicting,

Reliever from stress somehow,

I will definitely try again in Baler,

where I learned,

SURFING IS FREEDOM.




Starbucks' Rush - A Birthday Celebration

Classic Chocolate Cake, PhP 700.00

In a corporate world like ours,

everything is fast.

from the moment we log in until the rest of the day,

everyone is so busy,

rushing,

beating the heavy traffic early in the morning,

hurrying to meet our deadlines,

eager to push our limit,

maximizing the limited eight hours.

taking coffee and sweets  to fill the gaps between,

There are three SB store around the office,

one in Salcedo at the back of the office,

another one in front,

and one in Insular building.

We normally start the day with a hot fix from SB (Starbucks)

Lunch is a piece of cake or a sandwich from Starbucks

we sealed a great day with a cold fix from Starbucks.

More often than not,

Special occasions that fall on a weekday will definitely be celebrated in Starbucks.




Last week,

one of my colleagues, Rush, celebrated her birthday at Starbucks in Insular.

She bought us deep dark, Classic Chocolate Cake from Starbucks

and a cup of coffee of our choice

I had my personal favorite,

cold fix of matcha tea

for me, it was a perfect match...




Like y'all,

I love Starbucks'  dark, moist,  chocolate filled, classic chocolate cake

I guess everyone wants that for their birthday

A sweet reminder of our existence.

Even sweeter if its free.

Happy Birthday, Rush!

Wishing you all the best in life!

and oh, thanks for the cake!





Totally Tasty at Tokyo Café, SM Mall of Asia

Chicken and Cheese Roll, PhP 260.00


What comes into your mind when you hear Tokyo Cafe?

Traditional Japanese food like Sushi...Sashimi....raw.

Same with you, I thought, it was purely Japanese. Perhaps, because of  its Japanese name.

I'm am not a big fan of  raw, uncooked food, except veggies and fruits.

So I never dare try this resto for years. Although I've always noticed that a lot of people were on "waiting" list everytime I pass by at their branch in SM North which means a lot of people love the foods they serve.

In all honesty, 'twas my first time to try Tokyo Café last Saturday when I was invited to have a taste test.

Only then that I've realized,

TOKYO CAFE is the only Japanese style family restaurant that offers Western dishes with distinct Japanese touch and prides itself with genuine Japanese hospitality and service.


 Café Au Lait, Php 95.00


The modern Japanese menu in this place was terrific!

From savory to sweet,

from coffee, to pasta and pizza,

to parfait and desserts....

It's all pretty good!

The dishes were artistically presented,

I've never been this in love with these foods...
 

Katsu-Ju, PhP 240

I came on the event straight from night shift,

I decided to have a bold and distinctive flavor of full-bodied cup of coffee to wake my half-asleep-mind up.

The real Japanese coffee Sumibiyaki was perfect for my taste with fresh, warm milk. 

Strong enough to awaken me throughout the day.

While we were waiting,

over casual introduction to fellow bloggers,

chicken fillet stuffed with mozzarella cheese, rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried to perfection was served.

It was warm and hmmmmm...... cheesy!


Oyaku-Ju, PhP 240.00 

We've sampled their set rice topping meals served in a Ju box,

Servings are pretty and big, some of them are good for two!

The sliced chicken braised in signature tempura sauce with onions and leeks mixed in egg on top of steamed white riceOyaku-Ju came in first with vegetable side dish.  


Ten-Ju, PhP 240.00

The golden, deep fried breaded pork chop, Katsu-Ju seasoned with signature tempura sauce, onions, leeks, and scrambled eggs on steamed rice was tender on the inside and crispy outside. 

The Deep fried shrimp Tempura with signature Tempura sauce on steamed rice definitely satisfied my shrimp cravings.


Unaju, PhP 373


Among their set rice topping meals Unaju is highly recommended because its very tasty.

It was made of pan fried eel fillets topped with caramelized soy sauce over rice.



Hamburg and Shrimp, Php 293.00


Double the goodness with these plateful of two juicy burger patties and breaded black tiger prawns and gravy. 

I think this is their finest dish.

This is really flavorful and highly recommended whenever you choose Tokyo Cafe to dine in during your stroll in the Mall of Asia.


Creamy Ebiko Pasta, PhP 270

Another Tokyo Cafe's signature dish that you will surely ask for more is the Creamy Ebiko Pasta.

This pasta was made of shrimp, karashi ebiko and cream sauce. 

This dish is extremely delicious!


Chicken in a Basket

Our half-full stomach was filled-in with these big Japanese style crispy fried chicken with french fries and gravy.

Prices are very reasonable; 

Chicken Trio (3pcs) PhP 198.00
Regular (5pcs) PhP 305.00
Family Pack (7 pcs) PhP 408.00

We had more than enough but beautiful experience will not be completed without beautiful ending. here are their artful desserts, starting with.....


Tokyo Affogato, PhP 185


Tokyo Affogato is Ice Cream in Espresso.

I don't need to elaborate,

coffee lovers like us understand that this is an ultimate dessert.

For dessert, there are many crepes, parfaits, cakes  to choose from with Japanese twist.


Tiramisu, PhP 145.00


The awesome Tiramisu is an exquisite blend of coffee liqueur in between layers of espresso soaked lady finger and Mascarpone cheese. 


 Japanese Cheesecake, PhP 125


The divine Japanese style cheesecake is soft, light and spongy.

perfect match to my iced, blended coffee.


Azuki Parfait, PhP 123


Y'all knew that I love matcha,

This  Azuki Parfait became my instant favorite.

This fabulous dessert is composed of sweet red azuki beans, vanilla & green tea ice cream topped with whipped cream.


Choco Banana Almond Parfait, PhP 130.00


The Choco Banana Almond Parfait was a stellar,

fabulously presented like a Japanese hand fan.

Layers of banana slices carefully plated with banana sauce, vanilla and chocolate ice cream topped with whipped cream and swirl of chocolate syrup.


Coffee Jelly Smogee, PhP 131


A good concoction of  hot and iced blended coffee and smoogees (coffee and non-coffee based) are available in all of their 7 branches.


Matcha Smoogees, PhP 130.00


Matcha Smoogee is my utmost favorite among the wide array of beverages.

My love for matcha tea doesn't end...

this one,  I knew is authentic.

 Milk Oreo, PhP 130


Crushed Oreo cookies loaded in a milkshake was ordered by my fellow blogger.
she said it was good.

Caramel Vienna, PhP 131.00


When I feel the need to intake sugar,

I chose Caramel-flavored latte Vienna,

This beverage is also recommended
Something that you cannot taste from Starbucks or any other fancy coffee shops.


Mango Smoogee, PhP 128.00


Mango smoogee topped with mango jellies was refreshing.


---oo--0--oo---


Serving water as soon as we sat down was an indication of a prompt service. Plus, the food crews were friendly and accommodating, the epitome of Japanese work ethic.

The whole experience was exceptional.

Foodie bloggers I've met on the event were fun to be with,

We've talked about anything, blogging, politics, zoloft birth defects, gadgets, anything...

I've enjoyed their company and I learned a lot from them.

I promised myself to go back again and again until I complete the rest in their menu.

and oh, I heard that Tokyo Cafe serves ‘TAPSILOG’ breakfast dishes at their GoHotel branch. Gotta hit that branch when I come back from Puerto Gallera next week.


Tokyo Café
SM Mall of Asia
South Ground Floor,
Main Mall Bldg.
(02) 556-0517
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tokyo-Cafe-Philippines/285812833621
Website: http://tokyocafe.com.ph/