Monday, February 15, 2010

First Studio Shoot

First Studio Shoot = FAIL! hahaha

My friend, Joan, has this office photo contest where you need to show one company value in a photo featuring a product. We both agreed, we needed to win this so we decided to do a photoshoot at a studio with us being the "models". In between the shoot, I tried my hand at studio shooting as well and the result was...never mind. I seriously need to take photography lessons hahaha

A Chinese Valentine

Our first Valentine together so we decided to spend it with the other ladies in Chef's life: his grandmother, his mom, his two sisters and their househelps :)

The plan was to go to Cubao so that we can:
1. Buy the leather shoes at Marikina Shoe Expo for Chef's Gala Night
2. Do the marketing at Farmer's Market

We parked at the Gateway Mall because I had a restroom emergency hahaha. While there, Chef texted me to say that he too needed some time in the loo. After, he told me to meet him at the parking and I sensed something funny.

I got there first and he came after 5 minutes holding my favorite milflores wrapped in abaca :)

We left the flower in the car to wither este so that we can walk to the Marikina Shoe Expo without exposing it to the sun and dust. We got Chef's shoes which is a Cordova, pure leather for only PHP 700. I was disappointed that I didn't get it for PHP 500. Tsk tsk my negotiating powers is getting rusty.

It was around 4pm and the last meal I had was at 10. I was really hungry so we decided to grab a quick bite at Bellini's. I have very fond memories of Bellini's from many years back so I was naturally excited to go back there again. Unfortunately, the fond memories will only remain in my memory because for one, the service sucked big time. For a small size of pizza, we were made to wait for 30 minutes! And two, food was super blah. We ordered Onion pizza so at the minimum we were expecting pizza with mozzarella and caramelized onions but no, we got quick melt and sweet tomato sauce with a little bit of half cooked onions. In fairness, the espresso was good according to Chef. But for PHP 300, I thought that was highway robbery.

Anyway, since it was getting late, we jogged to the Farmer's Market to get the ingredients. As it was also Chinese New Year, we decided to have Chinese :)

Fresh produce from the Farmer's Market

Young garlic


Nectarines from Australia

Ginger extract being poured over two fresh lapu lapu

Fresh tausi

Our Chinese Valentine Fare:
Steamed kaylan with kikkoman, oyster sauce and toasted garlic bits

Stir fried clams cooked in kikkoman and oyster sauce with young garlic stalks

Hinalabos na suahe

Steamed lapu lapu with tausi

Kabab Roll

Kabab Roll is a food kiosk at the Mall of Asia that serves Arab cuisine. Their menu is comprised of a thousand Rolls (okay kidding, mga twenty plus lang), several Boti, Kababs and Tikkas. We went there on a Saturday, which was a fairly busy night. We spotted the Arabian owner and several Middle Eastern diners which was a good sign.

We ordered the Beef Seekh Kabab and good ol' Chicken Tikka. We asked the order taker what was better with our order? Rice or bread. Order taker said, since we are Filipinos, get the rice. Toink. Fine. We went against her expert opinion and got ourselves bread.

Both dishes came with chutney and sliced onions and tomatoes. You can taste the herbs and spices in both dishes and they were both really really good. I'm not sure if I just have a big appetite but the only thing I seem to not appreciate was their small (?!?) serving . For a P100 + per dish though, this place is worth coming back to.
It's alfresco dining which is great especially on a cold summer night. We had fun people watching that night :p

House of Italian Fashion

We were looking for a formal jacket for Chef for their Gala Night this week so we decided to head to Corso Marconi, an Italian Warehouse operated by the Marconi Fashion Group, Asia's largest and only fashion stockhouse chain.

Unlike other warehouses, this one still has that mall feel to it without the steep prices. Racks are neatly arranged, there's an abundance of mirrors and couches, decent fitting rooms, good airconditioning and more importantly a good assortment of Italian fashion bargain for adults as well as kids.

Chef wasn't able to find a formal jacket though that would fit him but he got himself several Cerrutti polo shirts for PHP 500 each and a Balenciaga top for PHP 700. I spotted several Stefanel tops for PHP 300, Lucky Brand jeans for PHP 500, skirts for PHP 100 and shoes for PHP 199.

Corso Marconi is at Morse cor Marconi Sts in Makati.

Beijing Hand Pulled Noodle House

Hands down, the best Chow Mian I have ever tasted. There's a little bit of waiting time (which isn't that long) because they make the noodles as soon as you order it. Can you say fresh? We got the beef chow mian that had tomato, zucchini, white fungus and mushroom. It's like fattened spaghetti in a weird but nice way.

We got the following side orders :
Suchai Dumplings
Vegetarian Dumpling. This tasted great even without the soy vinegar dip.

Sea Grass
Do not order this if you are going out on a date, nakaka wa poise hahaha. This sea grass is extra long and on the hard, crunchy side. It is served with leeks, wansoy and soy vinegar
Sliced fresh raddish with soy vinegar topped with wansoy

For all those, we paid a little under PHP 400. Beijing Hand Pulled Noodle House is right beside Ristra's at Little Baguio in San Juan.