Monthly Archives: January 2013

Photo Diary: Hong Kong December 2012

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The day after Jacob’s Christmas program at preschool, John, Jacob and I flew to Hong Kong for a quick family trip.

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Our most important travel essential was this P900+ umbrella stroller we found at SM just days before.  We basically went to the department store and asked the salesperson to point out the cheapest and lightest stroller in stock, and we immediately took it home with us.  It’s a lightweight and foldable black Goodbaby stroller, and I’d guess it’s good for about 2 overseas trips before it falls apart,  which in my opinion makes it excellent value for money!  We couldn’t have survived our trip without it.

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Hello Hong Kong!

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We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Causeway Bay.  It’s a basic, no-frills hotel just across Times Square, and we like it because it cheap, clean, and in a really convenient location.  They also have an internet room with private computer stations and office supplies at your disposal.

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Most rooms are furnished with either a Queen bed or 2 twin beds plus a sofa bed.

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The hotel serves complimentary breakfast at Hipot/Hitea everyday.

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Noodle soup, luncheon meat, fried egg, toast, and fresh fruit.

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Congee with century egg, steamed rice rolls, and fresh fruit.

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Braised beef noodle soup and fresh fruit.

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The first thing we did was check out the Lego Christmas Village display at Times Square.

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Our family loves Lego, but this particular exhibit was just so-so.  I much preferred Times Square’s past displays on Harry Potter and Frankenweenie.

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Jacob loves lasers, so we also took him to the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade to catch the nightly light show.  The Hong Kong skyline is gorgeous but the place was a mob scene!

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We stayed just for a few minutes and took a short walk around TST before heading back to the hotel.

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Since Jacob was with us (and it can be quite challenging getting him to eat), we ate at casual, kid-friendly restaurants the entire time.  Jacob loves the chicken fingers at Triple-O’s, while I love the chocolate milkshake.

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Pret-a-Manger for quick salads, smoked salmon, yogurt, granola, and coffee for me and John.

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My favorite kid-friendly restaurant is Din Tai Fung at Silvercord.  They don’t mind strollers or iPads on full volume; you just have to go early to avoid the crowds.

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They don’t have an English menu, but you can match the numbered items on the order sheet with the pictures on the actual menu.

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I love love love Din Tai Fung’s black truffle xiao long bao <3 <3 <3

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John prefers the untruffled kind.

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Jacob loves the pork chops with fried rice.

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Yummy pork-stuffed glutinous rice and token veggies rounded out our meal, and we were happy campers all.

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Another kid-friendly place we took Jacob too was BLT Burger at the basement level of Times Square.

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They have the cutest wooden utensils just for kids.

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Jacob had his standard order of chicken fingers from the kiddie menu.  The chicken was a little on the tough side, and Jacob basically ignored them and concentrated on the waffle fries.

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John and I really enjoyed our burgers!  We both went for angus beef burgers with Portobello, smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and cheese, with waffle fries on the side.

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Being the milkshake lover that I am, I also had a strawberry milkshake blended with berries, yum!  I got the impression that BLT is famous for their milkshakes.  I spied some people ordering milkshakes to go, and they even serve milkshakes spiked with alcohol!

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We also had a early dinner at Yardbird in the not-so-kid-friendly Soho district.

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Fortunately for us weary parents, Yardbird’s waitstaff were all very accommodating — helping us with our stroller and letting us pick whatever table we wanted to sit in.

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Yardbird’s sweetcorn tempura is THE BOMB!  I want to try and recreate this recipe at home.

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The KFC or Korean Fried Cauliflower is another appetizer we enjoyed, but I still prefer the corn.

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The rest of the menu is basically all the chicken parts you can think of, served yakitori-style.

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They have a good chili-sesame seed seasoning that goes well with the chicken. This is chicken breast.

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Chicken with leeks.

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These sexy (and rather fatty) chicken oysters were my favorite of all the chicken parts.

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The chicken meatballs come with a special dipping sauce, which also went well with everything else we ordered.

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Chicken and egg rice… OMG this was just too sinful.

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Crispy chicken skin, egg, peas, and sticky rice.  Quite good but jury’s still out on whether it was good enough to justify the calories and cholesterol count.

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They give you small packets of their special seasoning before you leave.  (I like sprinkling some of this over diced sweet mangoes for a quick snack.)

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Another evening, we met up with my HK-based friend Charlene for dinner at Bologne We ordered from the prix fixe menu which includes soup of the day, a main dish of your choice with a side of their special bread, and your choice of beverage.

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John and Charlene both had truffled salmon on pasta.

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While I went with truffled scallops on pasta.

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Jacob had tonkatsu with curry sauce.

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The bread was indeed delicious.  We ordered more bread for dessert.

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We washed it all down with tea.

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And more tea.

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The highlight of our trip was of course our day at Ocean Park.

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I’ve been to Hong Kong Disneyland 4 times, and trust me… Ocean Park is so much better.  That is, unless you prefer Disney princesses over fun rides, dolphins, and adorable baby pandas.

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View from the cable cars.

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I have such fond memories of going to Ocean Park with my cousins as a kid.  Jacob likes it too, but I think I still like it more than he does.

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This is Jacob at the park’s Old Chinatown area near the cable cars.  It’s great for picture taking!

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We had corndogs, waffle fries, and mango pudding for lunch.  Our family loves corndogs!

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This is one of the pandas that we saw.  Super cute!  Jacob was a little disappointed though, asking why they were just sitting and eating the entire time, not like Poe of Kung Fu Panda!

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It can get pretty tiring walking around the park with a toddler.  I’m just glad we were able to catch the dolphin show before calling it a day.

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On the last day of our trip, we went shopping at Pacific Place, then just walked around Hong Kong Park.

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It’s a really nice park filled with trees, ponds, and waterfalls, and fountains.

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The park has benches everywhere, making it a great place to while away the afternoon with lattes in hand.

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There was some kind of flower exhibit going on, and this boat was part of it.

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So were these floating umbrellas.

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See you again soon, Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong, December 2012

Boon Tong Kee at Powerplant Mall

This is one of the restaurants that we go to for a quick pre-movie meal in Powerplant Mall.  The steamed chicken is quite good, and they’re generous with their ginger sauce.  We also like the cereal prawns, which are still not quite at par with those we’ve had in Singapore, but still tasty and worth ordering.

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BOON TONG KEE, 3/F Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati

FACEBOOK PAGE

Izakaya Kikufuji

Lunch date with the hubs at Izakaya Kikufuji.  The beef belly skewers are to die.

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IZAKAYA KIKUFUJI, 2277 Pasong Tamo, Makati, TELEPHONE (632) 893.7319

Holiday Meals 2012

Before January comes to an end, here’s a look back at some of the memorable meals we’ve enjoyed over the holidays.

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In November, we had a Thanksgiving Dinner with a group of friends.  Food was by M Catering, and everything was delicious!  We had two turkeys, one by Chef Ed Quimson, and another from The Oakroom.

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Early in December, Jacob and I went to my nephew Tyler’s first birthday party, which turned out to be the best kiddie party I have EVER been to.  Super fun!  More on this later.

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To celebrate Jacob’s 4th birthday, we prepared dinner with my family, then lunch with John’s.  For dinner, John grilled steaks, and I made Iberian Chicken ala Cheat (S&R rotisserie chickens baked with baby potatoes + garlic gloves + rosemary + EVOO).  For lunch the next day, we simply ordered platters from Conti’s.

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On Christmas Eve, our family had a Japanese-themed dinner catered by Classic Chef.

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After dinner, we went to Church, dropped by my dad’s side of the family, then tucked our sleepy little birthday boy into bed.  At midnight, we had yummy Noche Buena snacks.  And then on Christmas Day, we opened all our presents, then took our maids for a day at the mall, where they wanted to catch a movie at the Metro Manila Filmfest.  Happy birthday Jesus!

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On December 31st, I was up bright and early for breakfast with my cousins Yen and Beth, my sister Audrey, and brother-in-law Richard.

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Chicken Pastel from Magic Kitchen.  My favorite!

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We also had Auntie Irene’s famous tapa and “Farmer’s Breakfast” eggs that she copied from Denny’s.  Noms!

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A couple of hours later, we were in Nanbantei High Street for lunch with John’s family + Cake Club for dessert.  I’ll be turning a year older in a few hours so of course we ate at my favorite places!  For New Year’s Eve, we had a really good catered family dinner by Classic Chef again.  Food was a lot better than what we had Christmas Eve.

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The kids started playing with sparklers after dinner, and more food was served around 11pm.  We had the most amazing strawberries, which were large and gorgeous and sweet and juicy (!!!) along with other tasty treats.

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We rushed home just before midnight, and snacked on sushi and chocolate.  This time, Jacob stayed up to watch the fireworks display from our balcony.

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Isn’t this so cute?  I saved all our used Starbucks Frappuccino bottles and we use them for drinking.  Okay, I actually bought the Frappuccinos for this very purpose.

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The first day of the year also happens to be my birthday, and this was my birthday breakfast.  Grilled Mary Grace ensaymadas, vienna sausages, homecooked birthday noodles, fresh Persimmon, coffee, and vanilla soy milk!

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We then had family Mass and a potluck-style lunch with my mom’s side of the family.  My mom brought lechon, I brought paella and chicken pastel, and one of my aunts brought fried pigeons which were to die for!  Too bad I wasn’t able to take pictures of anything.  For dinner,  John and I decided on Paseo Uno and this is what I ate:

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For my birthday cake, I dreamed of nothing but Hizon’s ube cake.  I told John that because I am a simple and low-maintenance wife, he wouldn’t even have to get me a gift so long as he got me this cake.  I was so disappointed when Hizon’s informed us that they weren’t making ube cake for the holidays as they didn’t have a good supply of ube halaya.  So I settled for a new bag and a Costa Brava ube cake instead.  Puwede na rin.

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Happy 2013 everybody!