Mango Tree Bistro – Trinoma

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One of the consequences of having a car and having younger cousins who like to fill in the role of younger sisters is that sometimes they ask you to go out with them, aka drive them to Trinoma. The nice thing about these excursions is that they usually (if you’re lucky like me) pay for your food and stuff (subsidized by their mom/my aunt)! :D So recently, my cousins, after taking them out, took me to a restaurant they had eaten at with their dad: Mango Tree Bistro. We were supposed to inquire about reservations for a birthday, but ended up sitting down and ordering lunch. I knew nothing of the place, only that it was there, as I often passed it on my way to Powerbooks or the cinema escalator. I only found out once we had sat down that they served Thai food, which I’ve only had experience with a handful of times. As such, I sat back and let my cousins do the ordering, not minding what was being ordered. So after we ate and I tried to identify food on the receipt, I knew nothing. (Everything was in it’s traditional Thai name!) All I had were photos, the lingering taste, and a vague idea of what what was. But what I knew was this: the food was good, and I had to come back.

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DSC_3058Shrimp cakes, I think!

I particularly liked these. As far as I remember, these were served as appetizers, but were good and large enough in serving for a heavy meal. I also really liked how, despite being fried, the patties were not overly oily, nor did they have a rancid oily taste.

DSC_3067Pomelo Salad.

The Pomelo Salad was very interesting, as it is mainly made out of pomelo. It has no dressing of any sort, and as a result it feels light, but surprise, it doesn’t lack in flavor. The part of this salad that stood out the most for me was the presence of peanuts. It sounds weird, but tastes really, really great. I have no idea how they figured out that peanuts and pomelo would taste good together, but it works.

DSC_3073Pad Thai!

Nothing remarkable, for me. It felt heavy and I had admittedly narrowed in on the Shrimp Cakes, so I ignored the Pad Thai. The presentation was really cute, though.

DSC_3079Fried… rice.

This rice. Is. Silk. To the senses. Not oily at all and full of flavor. It was perfect for me.

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DSC_3093This was chicken, lemon grass chicken, I think.

Definitely not bad, though grossly overshadowed by the Shrimp Cakes in my eyes. And mouth.

DSC_3102Chocolate… dessert!

…Obviously I should have paid more attention, but at least I know that Mango Tree Bistro is a place I want to visit again. Hopefully, I’ll remember the dishes by look the next time I eat there. (Which I will make sure will happen again.)

Mango Tree Bistro
Level 3, Trinoma
North Edsa, Quezon City
Mobile: (0917) 8902166
Duo (02) 5855460
Landline: (02)9160297

Late night at Starbucks

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There’s nothing really special for me at Starbucks. I don’t drink coffee, and I don’t like mocha, and I grew out of the ‘frappe’ phase highschoolers tend to go through a long time ago. While their Cinnamon Swirl and Tazo tea drinks are pretty good, the rest are so-so. Still, the sheer number of branches everywhere and their availability for late night conversation makes Starbucks indispensable even for a person like me.

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Oreo Madness

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Right before the new year settled in, I had the chance to hang out and have dinner with my closest cousins at Bonifacio High Street. One of the things I love about my family is that the same-aged cousins/the younger group of cousins are close with one another, such that we actually do like hanging out with each other and do look forward to reunions and family holidays and such. What’s so great about it is that our family is crazy, and our times together equate into crazy-fun times together.  A large portion of my immediate family was going to celebrate the New Year at my house, so my close cousins from the province whom I rarely see were in town for a visit.

1We met up in BHS and lollygagged about while waiting for my brother, who was also visiting from the US for the holidays, and another one of my cousins who was with him playing tour guide and chauffeur. When they finally arrived and we were deciding on a place to eat, I immediately suggested T.G.I. Fridays, since our uncle had given us cash to burn and one of my cousins had never eaten there before. (!!) Of course, I believed that this had to be remedied!

234We nearly ordered too much, haha! But considering how many there were of us (8), we were able to finish everything. It was only until after one of my cousins suggested that we have dessert that I realized that, despite liking TGIF a lot, I’ve never had any of their desserts. So, we decided to try TGIF‘s Oreo Madness.

56It doesn’t look as perfect in person, but oh, where do I begin with this amazing dessert?

To start, the ‘cookie’ is about 2 inches in size, and about 1.5 inches thick, and looks absolutely delish. I took the time to take a number of photos of it, and I was surprised to see that the ice cream didn’t melt much as I was admiring it. It’s drizzled with chocolate and caramel syrup with a dash of chocolate powder.

78It had great texture: the ice cream was firm, yet the oreo cookie parts were chewy in a lovely way. The cookie didn’t fall apart, even though we were impaling it repeatedly with our forks. And even better, it wasn’t too sweet. It was ~*~perfect~*~. I’m daydreaming about it at this very moment.

10At the price of 205ph for a single cookie and 354 for two, the Oreo Madness is definitely a must-try. One cookie is actually good enough for two people, though three of us ripped right through two. TGIF has a very lively ambiance and friendly waiters, and tends to usually fill up at around dinner. I’m looking forward to my next mealtime at TGIF.

You can find out more about T.G.I. Fridays in the Philippines at their website.

Under Construction (again)

Currently rethinking the direction I want to go with Sweets and Afters. Hopefully I’ll have decided and made the necessary changes (if any) by a little bit after New Year.

Until then, don’t be like me and eat too much during the holidays.

Happy Birthday, Gelatissimo!

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By some amazing coincidence:

1) It’s Gelatissimo‘s 3rd Birthday tomorrow.
2) Gelatissimo is having a 50% off promo on all their cups and cones tomorrow.
3) My girlfriends and I are having dinner at Trinoma tomorrow.
4) THERE IS A GELATISSIMO BRANCH IN TRINOMA.

I AM READY.

I’m pretty happy as I only found out about the promo today, while we had planned our dinner earlier in the week. Lucky! I’m sure my friends and I are going to stop by tomorrow. I only recently got to try Gelatissimo’s gelato, and I was not disappointed. Although slightly pricey, it surely does deliver. My first encounter with their gelato even gave birth to the gelato vagina. (A definite plus.) :D

Make sure you pass by one of their branches tomorrow, as the promo will only be for a day!

Gelatissimo has branches in Serendra, Trinoma, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center Cebu and SM City & Northwing Cebu.

A Poor Foodie

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My main problem with liking food is that I’m technically broke.

Although I’ve been working recently (when I started this blog, I was unemployed), I haven’t received my first pay yet. When I think about it, it’s pretty amazing that I’m not completely broke yet, but the nature of my job offers me a lot of free food and easy travel so I haven’t been spending much, either.

I don’t really make a lot of money, and the little money I put aside in my wallet usually goes to, well, my stomach. This isn’t so much of an issue really; I don’t care much about the price of food, just that it tastes good, but in order to be diverse (or, in order to be able to write dessert reviews), one has to be ready to spend. And when I say spend, I don’t just mean on the food itself, but on transportation, or in my case, gas. I’m incredibly lucky to own a car, but it’s in no way easy, or cheap, owning one.

I suppose I’m frustrated with how I haven’t been able to update this blog regularly with food escapades, as I don’t have the funds to really go on food escapades at the moment. But I guess that just means I should get creative.

Hocus Pocus! : Halloween with Lipton Yellow Label Tea

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The life of a modern day witch isn’t easy. Life simply isn’t as laid back as it was before. One can’t go around anymore in a black dress, a black cat and a black hat going ‘Hocus Pocus!’ like we used to. Well, you could, but it’d just be weird by ‘modern’ standards. As a nice consolation however we are surrounded by modern marvels: cars instead of brooms (not as earth friendly though), computers instead of enchanted mirrors (but the internet connection can lag so much…), and organic food instead of poisoned apples… well, modern magic isn’t as reliable as it’s all set up to be, and unfortunately, modern magic can’t take care of all of our problems, but there are still some old witch’s tricks that one can use in a pinch.

For example, a few days ago, I was invited to my uncle’s Monster Bash (or costume birthday party). I was excited, but had no idea what to wear, or what to go as. It didn’t help that I had no cash on hand to go out and buy a costume. (Unfortunately, there are no modern ways of instantly procuring money, and if there’s a spell for it, I don’t know it. Someone teach me!)

I was thinking about what I was going to do, when I had an idea. There are still a few tricks from the old days that modern witches such as myself can make use of; a concoction that would turn me into a witch. A little modern day magic: or as I call it, Hocus Pocus!

HocusPocus1Hocus Pocus! Tea

Recipe:
One bag Lipton Yellow Label Tea
Hot Water
Cranberry Juice
5 Cloves (or more, to taste)
Dry Ice

**The dry ice will not only cool your tea, but will also make your tea bubble bubble toil and trouble much like a witch’s cauldron!**

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I finished brewing the tea and stored it for when we got to the party. I didn’t want to turn into a witch too early! We arrived to a band playing and food sprawled out across a long table.

HocusPocus6Everyone had come, revealing their true natures!

HocusPocus7HocusPocus8HocusPocus8 (2)I took a sip of my tea, did a little ~*HOCUS POCUS*~ and…

*POOF*

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I was a witch! And my mom was a She-Devil! (Explains a lot.) Dad had become a Military Man.

HocusPocus10HocusPocus11And my boyfriend had become a zombie! Yikes! Well, at least I was sure that our love would last beyond the grave. <3 I made it a point to stay away from my cousin, who had turned into a pastor and took every chance he had to throw Holy Water at me.

HocusPocus12We danced and partied the night away, (I stuffed my face, as usual) and had a great time.

HocusPocus13HocusPocus14HocusPocus15HocusPocus16HocusPocus17HocusPocus18I had successfully released my inner witch, just in time for the best Halloween Party, thanks to Lipton Yellow Label Tea! Where oh where would this little modern day witch be without her tea?

HocusPocus19With Lipton Yellow Label Tea, the PossibiliTEAS are Endless!

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You can view the full set of photos on Flickr here!

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The first of many (I hope)

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Guess who finally had the time to pick up her Forever 21 gift check from Lipton Philippines?

It’s easy to join their contests: just head to their Facebook page and keep your eyes peeled for their weekly contests! All you’ll need is a few bags of their Yellow Label Tea and a bit of imagination. Good luck!

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