Joyeux Noel from Bizu Patisserie in Rockwell One

This is a guest post written by Trixie Carmona.

What a festive evening it was! My friend brought me as his plus-one on this Bizu Patisserie launching night at Rockwell One. Bizu is known for its delicious and beautiful creations such as cakes and desserts. I must admit I wasn’t big on desserts so I tugged along only for the free stuff. So when we arrived at the venue, which by the way is so cozy and colorful, I started to feel excited of what awaits us. Everyone was so accommodating and friendly. We started with a glass of red wine while waiting for the other guests to arrive. A moment later, a parade of beautiful appetizers and desserts came flowing on our table. Everything I tasted was so damn delicious! They were not just desserts but a work of art as well. I just went gaga and ate everything they served, and there so many varieties.

They let us sample their 2013 Macarons Collection and this is something that I look forward to try again next year. They will be adding Rose Lychee, Hazelnut with Truffle, and Dark Chocolate on their already beautiful and luscious macarons collection...oh, they were all divine, a gift sent from heaven. It’s just amazing how they can come up with these wonderful creations. From then on, I became a convert. I am now a ‘dessert person’. 

Let's Banapple Once More

Lasagna Roll-Ups, Php 180

Too much have been blogged about Banapple's spread of pies and chessecakes as well as good food and refreshments. My above excellent experience was posted last year as entry to my Ayala Triangle Project. Since then, it became one of my comfort food and from time to time cravings. 

Prior to my birthday last May, I was craving to taste Herbed Chicken Rolls with Basil Cream Sauce once again so I invited my friends from Palawan Josh and Carlo to join me to celebrate a pre-birthday with a mouthful of highly pleasing but affordable dishes at their branch in Ayala Triangle Gardens.

Bannaple's House Salad Php 120.00

I came in first at the quaint and charming but crowded restaurant around 7 PM. The line was not that long like the first time I 've been here but there was no vacant table. The crew, sensitive of the situation, immediately gave me a reservation number. Josh and Carlo was running late because it was rush hour so I decided to munch on  Bannaple's House Salad while browsing through the menu. The large serving was made of fresh and crunchy Romaine lettuce with corn, cucumber and bell pepper bits, crumbled banana chips, honey peanuts, and shredded mozzarella drizzled with balsamic-Caesar dressing. What a  fresh start to a bountiful dinner.

Banapple Beef and Sausage Stew, Php 195.00

My forever late friends texted me that they will be an hour late and I'm not going to wait for them forever while the aroma in the restaurant was killing me softly. From their entrees, I decided to try something new, I ordered Banapple Beef and Sausage Stew iNstead of Herbed Chicken Rolls with Basil Cream Sauce. Just right in time, when my meal was served, my friends came in. From their look, they've been to the rush hour battle that they don't normally experience in the countryside and were extremely hungry so we avoided the pleasantries and I let them chose their meal.

Pan-Fried Porkloin with Herb Mushroom Gravy, Php 180.00

Not long enough of waiting, Lasagna Roll-Ups filled Josh's cravings for cheesy lasagna. The buttery, meaty and cheesy lasagna is highly recommended. Its rolled-up, al dente lasagna wide strips is filled in with Parmesan cheese and herbed cream and then smothered with classic tomato meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. If you needed a lasagna fix, Im sure, you will be satisfied in every spoonful of it.

Bacon Fried Chicken Steaks with Milk'shroom Gravy, Php 175.00 

Carl chose Pan-Fried Porkloin with Herb Mushroom made of juicy pork loin steak seasoned with special herbs, pan-fried in olive oil, and smothered in a thick mushroom and herb gravy; served with glazed carrots. The beef was tender and the thick sauce was tasteful.

We also ordered Bacon Fried Chicken Steaks with Milk'shroom Gravy made of crisp chicken fillets smothered in creamy milk and mushroom gravy and then topped with yummy bacon pieces this dish is served with corn relish and their signature fried herb rice.

Banoffee Pie, Slice Php 95.00

We had Banoffee Pie, Warm Shoofly Pecan Pie and Dark Chocolate Tiramisu Cheesecake to end a wonderful dinner. Banoffee Pie, the store's bestseller never failed my expectation. The joy it brought to my senses is love. 

Warm Shoofly Pecan Pie, Slice Php 110.00

The beautiful and deliscious Warm Shoofly Pecan Pie is a must try. Its two different tastes were blended wonderfully And was a real treat. Dark Chocolate Tiramisu Cheesecake however was an intense dessert. 

All dishes are good. My dining experience in Banapple  is always delightful. I must admit, like you,  I fall in love with Banapple's potion of garlicky, creamy, oily and cheesy dishes served in style and generous amount but reasonble price.

Dark Chocolate Tiramisu Cheesecake, Slice Php 110.00

Chef Marvin Agustin is the Man of a-KNORr

A confession I gotta tell to y'all: I am Knorr baby. 

Just like Chef Marvin Agustin who was inspired by his mom serving dishes with Knorr seasoning and mixes, my mom raised me to every Sunday Sinigang made in Knorr Sinigang Mix too and this is one thing I dont wanna trade in to these days that others called "granules" days (insert tripple question marks here). 

Yes, there are things that I dont want to change and that is the taste of my home cooked meals with Knorr - thats why I was so excited last week when I was invited to attend a blogger's event with Knorr.

We were serenaded by the talented Kanta Pilipinas finalists while waiting for Chef Marvin done with the dishes he personally cooked just for us. The 24 finalist were awesome! Here is another set of promising and talented Filipino that will rule the world of fame on the first quarter of 2013.

It's rare to taste home cooked food since I moved here in Manila because my tatstebuds were used to fastfood already. The moment I tasted the dishes prepared by theYoung Entrepreneur of the Year slash  restaurateur-chef-actor Marvin Agustin brought back the memories of my home in Palawan. Marvin made me missed my mom when he renewed the taste of goodness of dishes highlighted by the Knorr products. 

I tried Sinigang sa Miso, Menudo, and Ginataang Gulay. Ginataang gulay mix is something brand new to me and I was surprised how Knorr developed products almost tasted like the real real "gata" (coconut milk). Apart from Knorr Recipes on their website, this is something that I'd like to try and introduce to my mom back home.

Another highligh of the event is Chef Marvin Agustin's renewal of contract as Knorr celebrity chef endorser. 

Bloggers had a chance to do an interview with the celebrity chef. The actor shared some of his humble beginnings on how he became a successful restaurateur. “The kitchen has bonded me and my mom in unexpected ways, and I am thankful that Knorr has given me this chance to share a part of myself to every mother in the country. Together with Knorr, we will provide modern-day Filipino families with dishes that respond to their needs, while making their cooking experience fulfilling, pleasurable and enriching”, he said.

Fare Alert: Air Philippines Web Sale

Revisiting Xin Wang Hongkong Cafe in SM Mall of Asia

Prawn Paste Chicken, Php 225.00

Beside the IMAX Theater in SM Mall of Asia,  Xinwang Hongkong Cafe in SM Mall of Asia opened its doors almost a year ago. The restaurant was, and still is serving fusion of Asian street food favorites such as of Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai and Singapore. It has a wide range of dishes that covered the complete spectrum of Asian cuisine including some western choices despite it being a Hong Kong cafe. I had a love affair with the restaurant's Iced Hongkong Milk Tea served in a tin mug since last year. So, I tought of revisiting....

Iced Grass Jelly with Longan 'N' Nata (Php 95) and Iced Chrysanthemum (Php 80)

My friend Jelaine and my goddaughter Zia stepped in the brightly lit contemporary restaurant thirty minutes past three in the afternoon. Hip and casual, the inside of the restaurant looks like an American and or western diner. There's plenty of available table, we chose the table near the open-spaced glass wall that supplied my photo shots with good amount of light. 

Flicking through their menu's pages, unoccupied  and friendly staff were very patient explaining to us the additional dishes on their new menu. Their new offering is a combination of existing and new dishes eliminating unnecessary (some bizarre) options. Perhaps, to strip away all the intimidation and showiness of other Chinese eateries. Additional dishes  provide a promise of good-value Asian meals suitable for any type of appetite. Of course there are the usual Chinese favourites in western culture such as sweet and sour chicken, beef and cashew nuts, and chicken in black bean sauce, which are done very well and are reasonably priced. 

 Chicken Chop Cream Sauce Spaghetti, Php 245.00

While browsing through their extensive menu, Iced and cold Grass Jelly with Longan 'N' Nata and Iced Chrysanthemum were served. The fresh, leafy taste of Iced Chrysanthemum quenched my thirst away while Iced Grass Jelly with Longan 'N' Nata was a new found love.

 HK Braised Beef Brisket Bamboo Rice, Php 215.00

Prawn Paste Chicken was recommended by the crew, its quality never changed from last year, still, an orient bite from all angles. Amongst the spread, Chicken Chop Cream Sauce Spaghetti is what I liked most and my personal recommendation, the creaminess of the sauce is something different, 'twas a blend of Asian and western and I liked it.

Xin Wang Stir Fried Noodles, Php 235.00

The tenderness of  HK Braised Beef Brisket served inside the Bamboo on top of steamed rice was superb! The rice was soft, sort of Japanese rice and the dish has a thick, rich sweet sauce that we Asians adore.

 YMT ( yau ma tei ) Chicken Rice, Php 225.00

 YMT ( yau ma tei ) Chicken Rice is one of the new dishes and is delicious. The tenderness and spicy yet tasty flavours of the chicken slices was unforgettable.

Something green and healthy, we had stir fried Chinese brocolli - Kailan with fried fish on top.

Kailan with Silver Fish, Php 220

Another popular dish among their customer is Braised Beef Brisket Soup Noodles. Just like their Braised Beef Brisket Bamboo Rice, the beef is tender and combines wonderfully with noodles, veggies and tasty soup. Its delicate and please be warned: It's HOT!

 Braised Beef Brisket Soup Noodles, Php 245.00

The final dish was Fresh Beancurd. The Taho as locally called is home made, probably the freshest and cleanest taho I've ever tasted.

Fresh Beancurd, Php 105.00

We've fnished the afternoon with Special Yingyong Snow Ice. It has the same taste of my ultimate favorite Iced Hongkong Milk Tea. It was indeed a fantastic afternoon fuelled with Asian delights.

Special Yingyong Snow Ice, Php 135.00

Breakfast at San Diego Restaurant in Peninsula de Punta Fuego, Nasugbu, Batangas

Having spent the long and rainy night at our standard casita, the tremendous amount of food I took the night before seemed gone with the wind. I was ecxited to learn that our breakfast would be FOC (free of charge). It was a buffet breakfast at the same restaurant in the main clubhouse, San Diego Restaurant. 

We were the early birds on that gloomy morning. The staff weren't done yet in setting the buffet table up but they let us in. Although it was drizzling, we decided to settle at the patio outside because it was quite dim inside the restaurant.   Serving intercontinental bistro and gourmet cuisine, I was expecting an array of dishes spreading from east to west...cheeses, breads, fresh garden salad, canapes and a cute concoction of tomato , white chesse and black olive in  a shotglass.

Omellete Station

As I walked through the restaurant, one chef was busy preparing an omellete in front of the wide-eyed Ykaie.  Guests could add and mix cheese, tomato, onion, mushroom and ham.

I was seduced by the Filino traditional breakfast, longanisa. Beef dish, sweet and sour fish, and ham with glazed pineapple were also remarkable. Here's my plate...

Although I felt that Im a bit stuffed, I made sure I have a room for Arroz Caldo. Arroz Caldo is a popular Filipino congee with toppings of chicken, pork, hard boiled eggs, and fried garlic - a comforting food during rainy days.

Oatmeal, waffle and different kind of breads were also available. 

Here's a bowl of my Arroz Caldo, have some....

Unlike our dinner with extensive array of desserts, fresh tropical fruits and Pascual yogurt were our dessert. 

Pineapple and orange juice were the refreshing choices for our morning drink. To sum it up: it was a vibrant breakfast amidst the gloomy weather. Friendly and warm staff simply adds to the experience, persuading customers to return time and time again.

Dinner Buffet at San Diego Restaurant in Peninsula de Punta Fuego, Nasugbu, Batangas

San Diego Restaurant
Club Punta Fuego, Peninsula De Punta Fuego
Nasugbo, Batangas, Philippines
Phone Numbers:  (+63 43) 729-0180, (+63 2) 843-8700


Roaming around Punta Fuego for a projected photo session with Anney was ruined by a sudden outburst of rain showers and upcoming dark night. With nothing to do on the supposed to be interactive out-of-city trip we decided to avail San Diego Restaurant's Buffet Dinner at Php 650 per person.

Ceviche, Cajun Salmon and Shrimp cocktail in Calypso sauce Garden Fresh Salad & Macaroni salad

Forget the in-vogue contemporary and minimalist design, San Diego Restaurant in Peninsula de Punta Fuego ,although a little bit old, has a magnificent view of the Sunset Cove and double infinity pool. Set at the heart of the Main Clubhouse, this restaurant serves intercontinental bistro and gourmet cuisine. 

Salad Bar

The starters tickled our appetites with an array of familiar and exciting dishes such as Ceviche, Cajun Salmon and Shrimp cocktail in Calypso sauce. I liked how they transformed the simple kinilaw to a beautiful concoction of Ceviche. Peachy and Anney liked the banana bud or blossom Ceviche but my extra sensitive taste buds doesn't.

Char Grilled Pampano, Chinese Chicken with Lemon Grass, Oven Roast Pork Loin with Sauteed Vegetables, Braised Beef in Red Wine Sauce, and Buttered Vegetables were our meaty main courses. The Pampano has a sweet taste of freshness, the pork, succulent. And the beef, oh the beef,  it was so tender! 
I wished I had an extra large stomach to try not just a little bit of everything. Pasta and Pancit were also available.  Here's my plate....

The sweet delights were fresh fruits in season and puddings of beautiful and colorful creations. I loved 'em all but I loved the leche flan the most.

SSsshhhh...dont tell anyone, I had two plates of these desserts....

Froyo or frozen yogurt lover gotta avail this, the buffet comes with unlimited DIY froyo! Now tell me if the Php 650 per person expensive?

Thankful of What I Wish For

I guess, like me, you had a fabulous Halloween, havent you? Our annual Witch themed Halloween party was incomparable. I'll share our Halloween Party on the next post.

For now, I'd like to look forward and plan ahead to the next annual event, not Christmas yet, but the Thanksgiving Day. Year 2012 has been very kind to me. I never been so contented and happy with what and where I am right now in terms of career and family relationships. I have a lot of people to thank for...y'all knew who you are. Thank you!

My plan before Thanksgiving day is to upgrade my bedroom as I always wanted to do since January but the perfect time never came to do so. What I planned for my bedroom is simple yet elegant, some kind of modern and minimalist design like our bedroom in Bellaroca. It should have a modern bedroom furniture. 

Our Terraza Room in Bellaroca

Now that I've scheduled my leave of absence in the office for one whole week, it is the right time to work on my long time desire to become a reality. Perfect timing! As the holiday season coming up, there's a lot of furniture on sale online. I've found some cute bedroom furniture on this facebook page: wholesale furniture brokers. There's one in particular that I've chosen and luckily its on sale plus delivery is free!

Café Sol in Terrazas de Punta Fuego, Nasugbo, Batangas

Café Sol
Terrazas de Punta Fuego
Nasugbo, Batangas, Philippines
Phone Number
(+63 2) 843-8700, (+63 43) 729-0180

 Calamares, Php 365

Trick or Treat?!

Of course, for the grown ups like you, sweets and candies won't do good anymore. So here's my treat for you on.
Everybody would agree: A better way to treat ourselves and to escape the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila is a tranquil escapade and a contemporary and sumptuous lunch overlooking the glittering West Philippine Sea... and that's where I'll treat y'all for lunch today.

Set in the exclusive residential village of the country's elite, its relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere makes Café Sol in Terrazas de Punta Fuego in Nasugbo, Batangas promising. The open-air and seaside restaurant's  first offering was a breeze of fresh air coming from the sea when we came in. The air evokes a real sense, a feel that we were on a Caribbean holiday.

Green Mango Shake, Php 150

My cousins, my niece Ykaie and I were there to take our  Official photo-shoot late lunch while waiting for the check in time in Punta Fuego at 2 PM. We occupied the just vacated spot in the soft lighted corner of the restaurant. The dishes were fairly priced as I browsed through Café Sol's menu considering that the restaurant is located in luxurious residential peninsula of some of the  Philippine richest.

 Lychee Shake, Php 150

I've tried Lychee Shake and Peachy had Green Mango Shake to quench our thirsts while finalizing our order. Anney and Ykaie were at the poolside, photo shooting (what else?). Although lunch time had passed, the waiting time for our order was quite long.  

Margherita Pizza, Php 365.00 

From its uncomplicated offerings, combining locally sourced ingredients,  we have had Calamares, Margherita Pizza, Buffalo Chicken Wings and Turon de Ube with Sweetened Banana for our sweet course. Margherita Pizza was cheesy, hot, and fresh but the crust was too thin. Pieces of Calamares were all good though but nothing extraordinary.

 Buffalo Chicken Wings, Php 265

 Ykaie liked the Buffalo Chicken Wings albeit spicy. Its thick and flavorful sauce was married perfectly into each bones. Our gastronomical affair's highlight in the green-painted Café Sol was the dessert of Filipino fusion: Turon de Ube with Sweetened Banana. Turon's sweetness and  banana's light texture was indeed,  a perfect happy ending.

Turon de Ube with Sweetened Banana, Php 225