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SIDCOR Sunday Market: A trip back to the farmers market which has almost everything

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SIDCOR Sunday Farmers Market | walking around | All rights reserved

Its been years since I’ve been to a SIDCOR Sunday Farmers Market. Went a few times when they were still located at the Lung Center Phils. with my sister and for a blog event wherein we met Ms. Susan (owner) when they were located in the middle of Centris; now they are located near Quezon Avenue and EDSA, Since weekends, especially Sundays should be for outdoor and offline activities, my cousin and I went to SIDCOR on a whim.

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SIDCOR Sunday Farmers Market | fresh seafood | All rights reserved

Expected the usual fare but oh boy was I surprised! There were long sections of clothes, shoes & bags (new, imported, bargain and pre-loved), home decors (export quality ceramics and furniture, paintings, wooden crafts/decors, carpets and antique pre-loved bargains), kids toys and collectibles, and even pets (though I frown on this because I’m an advocate for pet adoption).

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SIDCOR Sunday Farmers Market | dried seafood | All rights reserved

What we planned for was to canvass/purchase seafood, vegetables and ornamental plants. SIDCOR did not disappoint because there were rows of what we came for and more! There are fresh (shrimps, scallops, etc.) as well as dried seafood (hasa-hasa, squid, danggit, etc.) even meat which were priced at a steal. I guess we’ll be frequenting SIDCOR for these rather than the supermarket now.

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SIDCOR Sunday Farmers Market | ornamental plants | All rights reserved
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SIDCOR Sunday Farmers Market | herbs & fruit-bearing plants | All rights reserved

We have mother orchids which gave us a few baby orchids so we needed to transfer them to husk chips. We found these rectangular husks which were great, hanged them (will show this on a separate post) like picture frames plus the roots can move freely that way. Unfortunately, our herbs gave up on us but the cacti and aloe vera still thrives. So we canvassed a few herbs and ornamental plants too. That’s enough motivation to go back and purchase soil, plant vitamins and some seedlings soon.

Read more after the jump Continue reading “SIDCOR Sunday Market: A trip back to the farmers market which has almost everything”

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Racks: Coming back to that hickory smoked flame-grilled, fall off the bone ribs goodness and more!

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RACKS | Southern Favorites | All rights reserved

Bit of trivia before the food review: During the ’90s RACKS was the ‘it’ place to eat with family and friends. Their hickory smoked, flame-grilled, fall-off-the-bone ribs were an instant hit and lines during lunch and dinner were proof of its goodness. But in 2006, Wellington Soong (owner of Jaguar dealership in PH) sold it to Cavallino Inc. owned by the Prieto family (owners of Shakey’s and Dunkin’ Donuts in PH) and managed by Leopoldo ‘Chukri’ Prieto III. It has undergone a rebirth since but that uniquely flavored rib goodness remained and now, joined with a few delicious additions to the menu. Now on to the food!

We went to their Greenhills branch for late lunch to celebrate my cousin’s birthday. We haven’t gone to Racks for years and seeing some changes in the branches and menu, decided to give it a go.

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RACKS | Hickory Smoked Ribs & Southern Fried Chicken | All rights reserved

Southern Favorites (P1,485/4pax) – I chose this because the classic ribs are there with the Southern Fried Chicken which foodies say are really good. It comes with a half rack of classic pork ribs, 4 pieces (half) of Southern fried chicken, a choice of two large side dishes and a pitcher of soda.

The Ribs were as good as before especially with a dab of their special sauce. Brought back memories of weekend eats. I’m so glad the Prietos ‘saved’ this food chain and kudos to maintaining its unique flavor and quality!

The Southern Fried Chicken is really good! Its not oily, its crunchy but not crumbly with excess batter. Then you get to that warm and well-seasoned soft fleshy meat on the inside. Its almost a sin if you eat it with the gravy/ketchup because – you really don’t need it. Oh, and eat with your hands! Its fried chicken!

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RACKS | Southern Fried Chicken | All rights reserved

We had the Potato Salad and Coleslaw as side dishes but those were a bit of a let down. Continue reading “Racks: Coming back to that hickory smoked flame-grilled, fall off the bone ribs goodness and more!”

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Luna J Filipino Gastropub: That home cooked Filipino food plus beer!

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LUNA J FILIPINO GASTROPUB | Binagoongang Baboy | All rights reserved

Last month, amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, had the chance to finally try Luna J Filipino Gastropub – twice in one week. The first time was a weekday when my cousin and I squeezed in some salon time and grocery shopping that day and looked for a place for late lunch and the second time we had my sister along for our cousin’s advance birthday dindin. That said, let’s get to the food!

Luna J’s Binagoongang Baboy – Hailed by foodies as one of their best (next to Kare-Kareng Bagnet) has a perfect balance of the saltiness of the bagoong (shrimp paste) and the green chili. It is also not that oily which rendered the vegetables still full to the bite. It comes with steamed rice and a side of blanched carrot sticks, broccoli florets, string beans and corn kernels.

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LUNA J FILIPINO GASTROPUB | Kare-Kareng Bagnet | All rights reserved

Luna J’s Kare-Kareng Bagnet – Most Filipino restaurants now have their version of this dish, but what I like with Luna J’s version is that the bagnet comes in crunchy bite size pieces, in a bed of blanched vegetables then covered with a blanket of kare-kare sauce just before they serve it. The difference is that you don’t have any difficulty cutting the meat, the vegetables aren’t soggy and the bagnet stays crunchy because its not drenched with sauce for a long period. The serving is good for 2 persons, which is best eaten with a side of steamed rice and of course, some bagoong.

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LUNA J FILIPINO GASTROPUB | Tocilog | All rights reserved

Luna J’s Tocilog – If you want a hearty Filipino breakfast after a good run or out on a Sunday brunch after church then this is one dish I would recommend. You’ll get your protein and carbohydrates requirements in one delicious plate, or share it with a loved one while chilling. The tocino meat is tender and does not have that salitre (Prague powder 1 or potassium nitrate used as meat preservative) taste. It comes with a side of fried egg, itlog na maalat at kamatis (salted egg & tomato salsa), atchara (pickled green papaya) and garlic rice.

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LUNA J FILIPINO GASTROPUB | Daing Na Bangus | All rights reserved

Luna J’s Daing na Bangus – Another Filipino breakfast favorite is daing na bangus (butterflied & deboned milkfish marinated overnight in vinegar, salt, crushed peppercorn and garlic) and if you want to satisfy your craving for that home cooked taste, then Luna J’s is the place to go. Crunchy meaty fish goodness that you may opt to dip in some vinegar with chili sauce or soy sauce with a squeeze of calamansi. Comes with a side of steamed rice and veggies.

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LUNA J FILIPINO GASTROPUB | Sago at Gulaman| All rights reserved

Luna J’s Sago at Gulaman – One of the best versions that I have tasted! It comes in a tall glass filled with soft sago (pearls made from the inner part or pith of the palm tree), gulaman (dried seaweed made into jellies or flan) and arnibal (caramelized brown sugar syrup) with just the right amount of water and crushed ice then topped with  a drizzle of milk and some red gulaman. Its not that sweet and the flavor is not washed out by the water or ice when it melts. Its actually a snack in itself, a sure favorite thirst-quencher and a definite drink to have along if you want to try their Filipino snack delicacies like leche flan (caramel flan or pudding) , palitaw (chewy rice cake covered with sugar, grated coconut and toasted sesame seeds), ube (purple yam), etc. Continue reading “Luna J Filipino Gastropub: That home cooked Filipino food plus beer!”

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‘Titans From The Age Of Ice’: For a limited time experience ‘Titans from the Age of Ice’ come alive!

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Experienced ‘Titans From The Age Of Ice’ on its opening day at Trinoma. Its the last leg of their tour at Ayala Malls. They are located at Trinoma Cinema Lobby from September 30 to October 9.

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I went with my cousin Ate Fely and upon entering she immediately understood why I was so excited. In this age of the social media, it would seem that animatronics at a mall is boring, even for pre-schoolers. But I beg to disagree, one should experience ‘Titans From The Age of Ice’ before dismissing it as such.

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The 25 massive Animatronics were really a sight to behold coupled with fascinating facts from Australian tour guides. Each and every creature/animal as presented by a tour guide, has their unique and fascinating characteristics that one would wonder ‘what if’ they were still around.

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We really took time with each creature/animal, some are ancestors of species that are still around albeit on the ‘border of extinction’ list.

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The cute birds above are probably the ancestors of penguins. They’re huge versions though, lays an egg once a year which probably one of the the reasons for their extinction and basically just ate fish.

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After the tour, you have the opportunity to take photos with the animatronics. If you are with kids, there is a live musical, a puppet show, a photo booth up on a baby mammoth, painting and other craft activities plus get to meet the mascots!

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The Mammoths were what really got me excited to troop down to Trinoma. The mere thought of having an idea, albeit a simulation, of the grandeur of the proof existence of such creatures is really exciting!

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The Gorilla/Monkey above reminded me of Harambe. Humongous mammals which are akin to us humans as they say.

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A tour is good for two hours which you may think is such a long time. But believe me, you’ll truly enjoy yourself and maybe ask for an extension. I sincerely recommend it to everyone. Bring your family and friends, especially the kids because they’ll learn while enjoying the tour and other fun activities.

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We met ‘Zabe’ the Saber-toothed Tiger and had a photo for posterity. There’s also ‘Maurice’ the Mammoth.

More about ‘Titans From The Age Of Ice’ after the jump

Continue reading “‘Titans From The Age Of Ice’: For a limited time experience ‘Titans from the Age of Ice’ come alive!”

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Fat Fook Manila: Authentic Taiwanese food in Quezon City

My cousin and I went for a stroll at SM North EDSA and thereafter, decided to have an early dinner. We went around looking for where to eat, maybe try a new restaurant. But it was a Sunday so most restaurants were packed but we didn’t want to have fastfood. We were on our way to just maybe grab a sandwich when we chanced upon what I saw last June, that a new Taiwanese restaurant was to open – Fat Fook Taiwanese Kitchen.

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Fat Fook Taiwanese Kitchen | Fat Fook Manila interiors | All rights reserved

Upon entering Fat Fook Manila, the Interior Designer in me was curiously interested with their lighting fixture. Blue and white bowls were attached thru (electrical) poles with light bulbs and hung upside down. Really nice concept!

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Fat Fook Taiwanese Kitchen | Fat Fook Manila interiors | All rights reserved

It was their opening day/soft opening and didn’t really expect to be seated soon since the place was abuzz. Luckily, we were ushered straight to a booth and handed menus by their courteous staff. I like their booths also with the interesting pattern and color combination, very comfy too.

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Fat Fook Taiwanese Kitchen | Fat Fook Manila menu | All rights reserved

They have a concise choice menu but if you’re such a foodie, you’ll probably take time to decide which one to try out because everything looks good. Aside from their staff being fully aware of their dishes (and patiently answered my questions), I appreciate that they tell you how long it takes for the food to be cooked and once served, they’ll ask you if everything’s in order or if you need anything else. Our order as they said will take about 10 to 15 minutes but it was served in 10 minutes.

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Fat Fook Taiwanese Kitchen | Fat Fook Manila ‘Spareribs and Radish Soup’ | All rights reserved
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Fat Fook Taiwanese Kitchen | Fat Fook Manila ‘Spareribs and Radish Soup’ | All rights reserved

With the pouring rain, we wanted to get home the soonest. So we decided on a soup to warm us up first and ordered the ‘Spareribs and Radish Soup’ since our original choice of their wanton soup which also looks so delicious would be too much of a serving. That was what we thought. Because even if this soup is a solo serve, it had generous servings of spareribs and radish, plus the broth was so flavorful! Truth be told, an order of spareribs soup and a cup of rice is a good combination for a quick and hearty meal.

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Fat Fook Taiwanese Kitchen | Fat Fook Manila ‘Chicken Chop’ | All rights reserved

We ordered their highly recommended ‘Chicken Chop’ and two plain rice bowls for good measure. This was a delightful combination of meaty chicken, and I mean really thick strips! Its crunchy but with no trace of oil, surprisingly juicy inside and seasoned quite nicely, no overpowering flavor. Their serving is definitely good for sharing. I also would like to add that their rice aside from being served steaming hot, is so yummy.

More after the jump Continue reading “Fat Fook Manila: Authentic Taiwanese food in Quezon City”

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#UrMajestySiresAdventures: Christmas Decor Inspirations in August

September’s just around the corner so there’s roughly two months to plan and build or add to your theme (especially if you’re in the Philippines which celebrates Christmas from September to January). Remember, holiday decors are cheaper if you order/buy months ahead, if you buy by the dozen and if you buy raw (no paint, glitter, etc.).

Make it a point to visit bazaars, factory outlets, garage sales, etc. if you want unique pieces in your collection or simply put, if you want to achieve a ‘non-mall look.’ Or if you’re the crafty type, buy your materials and start off early.

Here are some of my ‘finds’  for the month of August broken down into categories from the Christmas 2016 trends.

Unique Christmas Tree Design: ‘Christmas Tree Dress’ – To be honest, this trend started 2015 but its still the rage with those who want to diverse from the traditional. It’s great for a girl’s room, for a fashion boutique display, for a walk-in closet, etc. Its a definite conversation piece if you place it in your foyer, garden or powder room too.

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Watch variations of this trend here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrT3IuTbX_0

Themes after the jump Continue reading “#UrMajestySiresAdventures: Christmas Decor Inspirations in August”