Archive for the ‘The Daily Grind’ Category

Last week, a good friend who works in Singapore was home for a short while. We decided to meet up for lunch before she heads back to SG. She requested for a restaurant that serves greens and I immediately thought of Sunnies Cafe. I have been seeing posts about this place on Instagram, and they appear to offer healthy and upscale dishes.
 


 

What we ordered:

Salmon Poke Quinoa | Php280 – spicy raw salmon, avocado, mixed greens, quinoa, pickled red onions, seaweed, citrus ponzu dressing. I loved the bits of spicy salmon mixed with the creamy avocado. I loved almost everything on the plate except for the purplish leaves which were a little too bitter for my taste.

Southern Style Fried Chicken Wings | Php290 – served with honey and homemade gravy. I love me some chicken but these ones I didn’t like. The meat had a funky taste to it – it was a bit malansa. In restrospect, I should have asked for lemon to balance out the funkiness but I guess we just couldn’t be bothered that time.

Spicy Pomodoro | Php270 – linguini, mixed seafood, white anchovies, lemon, parsley. This I loved! The spicy sauce contrasted so well with the salty anchovies and the lemon added that much needed kick to it. Serving was a bit stingy, though. In general, serving size could be something they can improve on so the customers feel that they are getting more value for their money.

For drinks we had Iced Mocha (Php170) and Mango Shake (Php165). I had the coffee and I liked how strong it was til the very last drop – it didn’t get watered down by the melted ice. I didn’t get to ask Lorraine how her mango shake was but she didn’t really have any complaints so I think it is safe to assume that it was OK.


 

Sunnies Cafe is a good place for catching up with friends with its high ceiling and Instagram-worthy interiors. Too bad I didn’t get to take photos to show the ambiance of the place because it was just so crowded during our visit. The speed of their service could be improved though, good thing Lorraine and I were too busy chitchatting that we didn’t mind the long-ish wait. That being said, I would still definitely go back to taste more of their food.

 

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Fely J’s Kitchen is a Filipino restaurant that specializes in Kapampangan food. It is part of the very popular LJC group of restaurants along with ABE, Lorenzo’s Way, Café Adriatico and Café Havana. After watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in the very cold Uptown Mall Cinema last weekend, I was craving for hot soup to warm me up. After a lot o wandering around, we ended up at Fely J’s mainly because the restaurant wasn’t as crowded as others and also because they have liempo, LOL.

Upon taking our order, they served us complimentary kropek which we munched on while waiting for our food to arrive. It came in this very pretty native bowl which I wanted to take home haha!

In an attempt to be ~healthy~, I ordered Ensalada ni Nanay (Php165). It came with slices of green mango, tomatoes, onions, salted egg, okra and eggplant. The sautéed bagoong was good – a little bit sweet and not too salty.

For our rice, we got the Fely J’s Dilis-cious Rice (Php225). It’s your regular steamed rice topped with deep-fried dilis and taosi and what I think might be fried shallots or onions. Honestly, the toppings were almost like ulam already but I loved how delicately flavored the crispy toppings were that they did not overpower the steamed rice.

Of course we got sinigang. This is the Fely J’s Pork Rib Sinigang (Php395). You have a choice between guava and tamarind broth. I’ve tried guava sinigang before and I didn’t like it so I opted for the classic tamarind. I like how they used pork rib so the meat wasn’t too fatty. Given that the pork was a bit on the leaner side, I was surprised to learn that they still managed to make it soft and tender. I loved dipping the meat into my patis-sili dipping sauce.

Last but not the least is the love of my life, Pork Liempo (Php225). If you know me well enough, you would know that I love LOVE liempo. Fely J’s version could be more tastier but it’s nothing a good toyo-mansi dipping sauce can’t remedy. 

Fely J’s Kitchen was surprisingly good. Not being much of a rice lover, it is a surprise that my favorite that night was the Dilis Rice. I could have the rice and the soup of the sinigang alone and I would honestly be a happy camper. 

I KNOW. I neglected this blog for a very long time. You see, last year was all kinds of shitty and it literally felt like a shithole. I don’t even want to talk about it with the mindset that if I avoid talking about 2016’s struggles, I can pretend that they actually didn’t happen. Instead, I will try my best to inject more positivity in my life by doing more of the things I love to do (i.e., eating and traveling). So here’s a food post for ya!

I love Japanese food so much! If I could have it everyday, I would. Sadly, Japanese food is more often a little on the pricey side here in the Philippines. Watami is one of the few places that offers good food at a reasonable price point. Read on to see what we got on our most recent visit.

Spicy Salmon Tempura | P245 – The ratio of shredded spicy salmon to rice was perfect. The slices are just right as one biters and I couldn’t stop popping them into my mouth.

Beef Pepper Rice | P195 – This reminded me so much of Pepper Lunch. It is served in a stone pot which worked well in keeping the rice hot. The beef was served raw but it cooked as the server mixed it all up in the pot. My favorite were the rice that stuck to the bottom which turned crispy. Yum!

Grilled Ahi | P145 – The fish was grilled perfectly; it was still moist and juicy and quite tasty. I wish the fish was a bit bigger but I guess that’s just me being my usual matakaw self LOL.

Creative Assorted Skewers | P225 – We couldn’t decide which of the yakitori offerings we wanted to order so we got a combination platter instead. It came with one skewer each of Chicken Liver (P55), Pork Enoki (P75), Chicken Thigh (P55), Roasted Beef & Spring Onion Roll (P95), and Chicken Wing (P55). My favorite were the enoki mushrooms wrapped in pork/bacon. They were just a delight to munch on!

 

I honestly could have eaten more but we were to watch a movie with unlimited popcorn and drinks right after lunch so I wanted to save some space in my tummy. That being said, I would gladly eat at Watami again and again.

Below are photos of their menu in the Uptown Mall branch for your reference.

 

My birthday is just around the corner so I created a list of gifts I want to receive. Because I am materialistic like that. LOLJK. I really don’t expect (and definitely do not oblige) anyone to get me a gift but just in case somebody out there wants to, this would definitely make it easier for them.

Painting materials. I really want to try my hand at painting but I am too lazy to go to an art store and actually buy my supplies. Plus I really hate crowded places so I avoid a trip to the mall as much as I can. Please make a lazy girl’s life better LOL

Instax case and film. I haven’t touched my Instax mini in months since I’m almost out of films. It is also such a bother to carry around without a case. Well actually, that’s not the reason but I just really want a case for it. I found an Instagram shop that sells nice cases – @DEALSONLINE_INSTAX.

Birkenstock sandals. For some reason, I have been crushing on Birkenstocks lately. It would be a nice alternative to my Havaianas slippers when I go out but too lazy to put on some shoes.

Longchamp bag. This too. Everyone seems to have it now but for some reason, I haven’t bought one for myself. Lately, I’ve been wishing I had one because it’s simple and roomy and it looks like it can handle all the stuff that I bring with me everyday.

Baking supplies. So Cris got me an oven but I haven’t gotten around to buying baking supplies. I really would like to try some cookies and pastries but I can’t start just yet because I don’t even have measuring spoons LOL. Buy me stuff and I’ll feed you haha.

That’s all, folks! I might actually just end up buying these stuff for myself (as with previous years huhu #foreveralone #notreally) and I’m perfectly OK with that. Then instead of a wishlist, this will just be my To Buy List hahaha. But seriously, material things are not all that matters. A sincere birthday greeting would honestly suffice.

This is my way of reminding myself of the little things that recently made me happy as inspired by Helga.

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I almost did not push through with this week’s happy list because the past 5 days has been all sorts of tough. Work is outrageously busy and challenging, it’s sucking the life out of me. I’m also having post-holiday anxiety, and birthday blues, and the weather is so gloomy, and I’m getting my period soon so my emotions are going batshit crazy. I honestly struggled to complete this week’s list but got it done anyway.

  1. My 4-day visit to Bohol last week. It was raining most of our time there due to the major typhoon that passed through our country but we took it as an opportunity to relax and take multiple naps a day.
  2. My parents sent me a care package from Ilocos. The box was full with food that I love – Ilocos garlic longganisa, bagnet, morcon, and a bunch of avocadoes and dragon fruit from our very own backyard.
  3. Grabcar. I never need to worry about my ticking taxi meter in traffic because Grabcar sets a fixed rate for a desired destination immediately upon booking. This means avoiding drivers asking for additional charge on top of meter rate just because there’s traffic jams everywhere.
  4. Colleagues giving me food and coffee. For no apparent reason, people at work has been giving me food and treating me out for coffee runs. Maybe they know that I’m stressed hehe.
  5. Cris buying me food LOL. He always sees to it that he brings me home some food every time he eats out. What a sweetie.
  6. Supportive friends. As I mentioned above, work has really been very challenging and I have been doubting myself lately. But my good friends reminded me to not be too hard on myself. Awwww I love you guys!
  7. Cris buying groceries. I have been working extra late this week, hence I don’t really have time to get some essentials from the supermarket. I’m glad he’s dependable enough to pick up my momentary slack.
  8. Packed lunches for work. My mom sent me lots of ulam from the province so I always have some to bring at work.
  9. Becky Nights public chat on Viber. LOL I just like seeing how the beckies interact with one another.
  10. Soba noodles. Japanese food is life! Today, we had lunch at Nadai Fujisoba and I had my usual hot soba again. Hay naku #thisiswhyimfat.

 

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I know I won’t be the first one you’ll hear (read?) mutter the words “This year has gone by so fast!”. It really did go by so fast and more often than not, I have a hard time coping up with how fast-paced life has seem to become. August is my birthday month and that reminded me to reevaluate how my year has been so far. I honestly don’t have a list of my goals for the year but from January til March, I wrote down monthly targets that I wanted to achieve. Then laziness got the better of me and I started failing almost 50% of my goals and things just went downhill from there, until I eventually stopped making lists. LOL. Nice try, self.

But since I will be turning another year older this month, I decided to give this monthly goal another try. I’m posting my list in here so I will have some sense of accountability (uhmmm to like 5 people who actually read my blog LOL.) So here are the things that I hope to accomplish in August. Here goes nothing!

  1. Read one (1) book. LOL. What a way to start off this list, huh? But seriously. I need to make this my #1 so I will always be reminded how much I have faltered when it comes to reading actual books. I used to go through books really fast but for some reason, it just started being such a hassle for me to lug a book around. Flipping through pages turned to jumping from one online article to another and ~blog-hopping~ and essentially being glued to my phone almost every waking hour. So consider this is a humble start, let’s try one book first.
  2. Drink soda at most five (5) times. One count for each weekend. ILOVESODA. I used to drink it like it’s water. But I know it’s not good for me so I will (once again) try to keep off it. I have tried so many times to quit it cold turkey but I’ve always relapsed. I swear it’s an addiction! The longest I’ve gone without soda was 4 miserable months. For now, I will try to give myself at most one cheat day a week.
  3. Workout at least twice a week. I also used to be more active. I played sports, I went to the gym, I worked out with some friends. I really never got skinny but I got less pudgy. And I felt prettier when I was less pudgy because who wouldn’t, right? But I let it get into my head that I am busy and therefore never made time for workouts. So now, I am committing to at least 2 workout sessions per week. Because I owe this to myself.
  4. Bring packed lunch to work. I love cooking and this shouldn’t be that hard for me to do. Besides, I was able to do this before – bring packed lunch to work 4 out of 5 working days a week (Fridays have always been lunch out days). I just really need to get through this lazy slump.
  5. Go to work earlier. Right now, I start my shift between 12nn and 2pm. This is fine with the company as I actually deal with Frankfurt clients, but I know I need to start going to work earlier than usual so I get to start (and end) my day earlier as well. As a start, I commit to get to work not later than 12 noon.
  6. Deposit to my passbook account. I opened a passbook account so I have some money tucked away in a place harder to access. But I already let more than a year pass without depositing to it. I have my savings sitting in a spare Savings Account with an ATM card and I’m afraid I might (unnecessarily) touch it now that the travel bug has bit me hard and I want to get away every freaking weekend.
  7. Renew my passport. My passport expired last March and I have an international trip on the first week of October so I really have to sort this out. I am such a procrastinator.
  8. Make an artwork. I would really love to try my hands at painting. I would draw but I could only whip out stick figures, and even then, they would be the ugliest stick figures you’ll see. So that’s definitely off limits LOL. I’d like to try painting ‘coz even if it sucks, I would just pass it off as abstract art hahaha!

That’s all I got for now. I really hope I get to accomplish all of this. I have yet to come up with a reward for myself if I successfully finish all 8 goals. How about you guys? Do you have monthly goals set? Or goals for the year maybe? Maybe you could also help me think of an awesome reward, yes?

 

This is my way of reminding myself of the little things that recently made me happy as inspired by Helga.

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  1. 10 hours of sleep. We had to drive to Pangasinan after my 1pm-10pm shift to attend our friend’s dad’s wake. I was awake for more than 36 hours straight and I felt so drained. When I got home, I had 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Having more than 5 hours of sleep is already such a luxury for me.
  2. Our wi-fi router at home finally got fixed. We had a power interruption in the building during the heavy rains and our router somehow got busted. We had no wi-fi for 4 days and I had to make do with my mobile data while eternally being bugged that Globe might cap me off anytime and decrease my browsing speed. LOL #firstworldproblems
  3. People paying me up. Someone who owed me money finally paid up! She was 6 months delayed with her payment, grabe!  I hate lending money because I always feel awkward when I need to ask them to pay up. Ugh.
  4. My new powerbank. I need a powerbank for when I’m out and I use my mobile data. Turning on my mobile data sucks the life out of my phone. And I think it’s quite a steal at Phph795 only for 10050 mAh (whatever that means LOL.) Yay!
  5. Subway sandwiches. This is my go-to lunch for when I’m in a rush to get to work. It is very convenient and way healthier than other usual fastfood choices.
  6. Securing our accommodation in Bohol. Cris and I will be travelling to Bohol in 2 weeks and I finally decided where to stay. We already paid 50% of our bill therefore securing our desired beach-front room. Yay!
  7. Writing down a list of goals for August. I decided to be more productive and drafted a list of things I want to accomplish next month. Here’s to making this year a greater one than it already is.
  8. YouTube karaoke. I have been bugging my friends to go to a KTV restaurant and sing cheesy 90’s pop music but our schedules just does not sync up! Thanks to YouTube, I get to sing my lungs out (with accompaniment) while taking my shower. LOL
  9. Travel plans. I am cooking up a backpacking trip with a good friend whose birthday is just a few days earlier than mine. If we push through, it will be my birthday getaway even if I will already be back on my actual birthday LOL. Maipilit lang…
  10. Today’s Japanese lunch. It’s the third week in a row that my Friday lunchout is at a Japanese restaurant. And I love it! We tried out a new resto around the office area – TENYA – which serves bomb tempura bowls. If it isn’t obvious by now, I love Japanese food.