Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Side trip to Macau

Sorry for the late upload............. :-)

While the whole family is in Hong Kong, hubby and I decided to take a side trip to Macau, which is just a ferry ride away.

We start our day a little bit late since the previous day's activities wore us out. Ferries that travel from Kowloon to Macau leave every half hour. Starting at 6:30 a.m. The dock is located along Canton Road. Fare is HK$145 per way, per person. The ferry ride takes about 90 minutes per way.

While waiting for our ferry, hubby and had had breakfast at Mak's Noodle House. We didn't even know that it was one of Anthony Bourdain's culinary stops in his show! Lucky for us. I sampled their Beef Brisket Noodle, which was really good.

Hubby had the sliced beef congee which he liked as well. The congee had a bit of ginger in it.

Be sure to bring your passport when going to Macau from Hong Kong. It is after all another country and you still have to go through immigration.

Since hubby and I only had an afternoon to spend in Macau, we decided to take a free bus to The Venetian since it is one of the grandest hotel in the whole of Macau and we wanted to see a mini version of "Venice"

The man-made canal does provide an interesting backdrop while you go around the retail stores to browse and shop. Almost all the luxury brands are there.

The Venetian does provide a nice backdrop for pictures, which is practically what we did all afternoon :-)

Maybe next time, we'll explore the Portuguese Quarter at the center of town, when we have more time to explore.

Hubby and I dined at Madeira. located inside The Venetian. It is a Portuguese restaurant.

I had the Shrimp Curry with Mango. Which was really nice, a bit spicy and very very filling.

Hubby had the Beef Shanks, which he loved! The shanks were so tender and falling off the bone, he finished the entire order by himself. I had one bite :-)

Hubby and I shared a Portuguese biscuit for dessert (I forgot what it was called). This was light and delicious.

I was hoping to score some egg tarts, but the hotel bakery and Madeira didn't have them!

Anyway, it was a fun day and hubby and I had a nice wonderful day in Macau even sans the Gondola ride. We'll reserve that romantic ride for the real Venice :-)

Second Day in Hong Kong - Disneyland!

This is a late upload of our adventures in Hong Kong since December is such a busy month with parties, shopping, reunions and such.

Anyway, I just wanted to post some pictures from our trip to Disneyland in Hong Kong. We all had a great time with the rides, shows and fireworks.

These are my favorite pictures , hubby took them and he sometimes got embarrassed taking them!

More fun pictures:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our 15th anniversary together

I can't believe it's been fifteen years. But here we are :-)

Hubby and I celebrate two anniversaries a year, the first one of course is our wedding anniversary in April and the second one is the day that we officially became a couple. Yes, that cheesy part when I said "Yes, I love you too!"

Hubby and I met 15 years ago, at my 21st birthay party (the arithmetic says I'm 36 even though I still feel like I'm in my twenties). Anyhoo, long story short, hubby fell madly head over heels in love with me the moment he saw me and never let go. Ha ha ha. Here's a picture of us the day we met on that fateful Saturday afternoon in October 1994.

L-R Nerdy Hubby, my cousin Jopo, hubby's sister Joyce and moi. Jopo and Joyce dating at that time, that's how hubby and I met, by the way :-)

Anyway, back to the present, I wasn't sure how to celebrate such a 15-year milestone. I wanted to plan maybe a grand vacation getaway but we already had that in Hong Kong with family last week :-)

Hubby and I agreed to just have dinner in Greenbelt. Our restaurant of choice was Zuni, a winebar and restaurant. Both of us haven't dined there yet and this will be a new experience for us.

For starters, we shared a salad of Grilled Prawns with Avocado and Apples in a Sesame Dressing. I really liked this salad. It's light yet filling at the same time. The avocados were ripe and sweet, the prawns tender and the dressing just right. Hubby on the other hand kept telling me that I can easily duplicate this at home. (I can and I probably will).

For my main course, I had the Baby Lobster with clams, broccoli, califlower and marbled potatoes. This was very good also, quite rich and creamy, great with bread.

Hubby had Tenderloin Steak with a side of vegetables and salad greens. I had some trepidation because the tenderloin looked burnt. Hubby assured me that it was not and perfectly seared with a bit of blood oozing from the tenderloin.

Hubby also had his Mango Sherbet which he liked as well.

Zuni is a nice intimate restaurant, the food is nice, a bit pricey, the service is good as well.

For even more dessert, we made our way across the Greenbelt park and went to Bizu. Bizu had a wide array of delicious cakes and cookies.

Bizu's desserts are always so elegant and decadent. Their best seller is the Amor Cake, a Valhona orange chocolate mousse in between layers of creme brulee and brownie. Hubby was smitten.

I had the Babylon, a light raspberry mousse between layers of infused almond (paste?, I'm not sure). I liked this cake also but a bit too sweet for just one person.

Hubby also ordered some macaroons, rose, mint and mango. The rose is one of the most popular beacuse I think they make it with rose essense and is quite delicious.

I think I'll go workout now to burn off the calories!

Oh by the way, Advanced Merry Christmas! :-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

First Day in Hong Kong

Winter time in Hong Kong, I just love it. This is our family's annual trip abroad. We all trooped to Hong Kong to exprience it's wonder and endless shopping selection.

For our first day, my brother and his family, my mom and hubby and me trooped to Nngong Ping 360 so that my nephew JJ and niece Ashley can experience the cable car ride and see a bird's eye view of Hong Hong. It's quite a long MTR ride from Tsim Sha Tsui, be prepared to take at least half an hour of MTR Ride. Get off at Lai King and transfer to a train that terminates in Tung Chung station.

It was already quite late when we got to Ngong Ping and just opted to take the cable car ride and foregoing the other attractions in the area.

We had so much fun nonetheless and even had time to walk around and take lots of pictures.

There's an outlet mall in Tung Chung called City Gate Outlets. We had our dinner at the Food Republic, the mall's version of a food court. There are plenty of choices, mostly international cuisine.

The Food Republic is a bit cheaper than most restaurants in the area and the servings are huge. The Vietnamese noodles that I got was delicious.

The others in my group didn't have suck luck with their choices :-)

Back in Manila

Just got back in Manila after a few days in HK with family.

I hope to have time to post about our HK trip within this week :-)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Putting our newfound culinary repertoire to the test

Note: Late upload :-)

Just a week fresh from our Bangkok trip, were were eager to try our newfound Thai kitchen prowess in the kitchen :-) We gathered together in LP to have Thai-themed dinner.

I made the usual shrimp and pomelo salad :-)

Yours truly was in charge on the Tom Yum. Incidentally, I already made this dish the morning after I got back from Bangkok for hubby to try. Since I had already cooked it previously, I had less chance of poisoning everyone, ha ha ha. I had bought almost all of the ingredients in Bangkok, including the limes, chili paste and galangal.

Tita Socky was tasked to make the minced pork with fried basil. Holy basil wasn't available so we just used regular basil, whick turned out great by the way. The minced pork was delicious, sweet, salty and with a slight kick. Perfect.

My mom came from an event and wasn't able to cook something. I was hoping for that colored sticky rice to be made to some sort of dessert. Well, maybe next time. (hint hint, Ma, I know you're reading this!)

That one-day cooking lesson we took I think paid off :-)

Going Gaga over....rice?!

Ok, here's the thing with the foodies like us, one of the fist things that we check out during a trip is the supermarket. Yes, I admit. I spend hours in supermarkets abroad. I love browsing thorugh the aisles and see what products I can buy to add to my pantry. I love discovering new fruits or vegetables that aren't usually available here in Manila. My common buys are spices, oils, salts, jams and some local delicacy.

Bangkok's creme de la creme of supermarkets is found at the lower level of Paragon Mall. OMG, you can taste almost all of the local delicacies, sampaloc, Kalamay of some sort (sorry, I can't pronounce much less spell any of their names, he he he), wafers with pulled pork inside (my fave), pork skin, sliced paper thin and then baked to a crisp. Assorted sweets and cereals. The choices are so varied. I was with my mom during lunch and we hit the supermarket as soon as we finished eating and had a grand time tasting a variety of free desserts (and cheeses) in the supermarket.

The best find perhaps is the assorted multi-colored rice we found! We got crazy, they had pandan sticky rice, turmeric rice, some lavander sticky rice, jasmine rice in rich purple. I bought four packs and a host of other stuff which filled more than half my suitcase!

You can have your rice vacuum packed for free at the supermarket too :-) very covenient in packing!

Yum Saap in Bangkok

One of my favorite places to eat in Bangkok (aside from Lek's in Saladeng) is Yum Saap (I hope I spelled it correctly). It's one of Bangkok's more famous fast food joints. The food is nice and the prices reasonably priced. You can find Yum Saap in most malls and busy roads. There's one within walking distance from Novotel, Siam.

When my mom and I went shopping at MBK for last minute pasalubong, we dined at Yum Saap. Of course I had my favorite Pad Thai (I had Pad Thai everyday when I was in Bangkok, hee hee). Pad Thai is my favorite Thai food.

My mom ordered fried chicken with a sweet spicy dipping sauce, which she liked. The dipping sauces were nice too. I think it's sambal and a sweet and spicy sauce.

We also tried the Lychee and Crabstick salad and the Shrimp and Melon salad, which were both way too spicy, because I forgot to tell them we prefer to eat "mildly spicy".

I think I'll duplicate the shrimp and melon salad at home but with less of the kick. It would be a nice change from our usual salad fare. I would imagine the salads would be fantastic if the spices toned down a bit :-)

Yum Saap...Masarap! :-)