Rambla in Rockwell : a taste of Barcelona in Manila

In my photo archives was that sublime experience I had dining in Las Flores at the Fort last year. Somehow I got too lazy and busy and never got to blog about it. Now that I dined in Las Flores’ sister-restaurant Rambla last week, I will not let the opportunity pass. With no less than Spanish chef Pepe Lopez at the helm, I love how these two restos really made me appreciate authentic Spanish food in the heart of Manila!



Rambla is presumably named after that street in Barcelona famous for its cafés and shops.For tapas, a must-try is the resto’s interpretation of the Spherical Olive. This was originally created by chef Ferran Adria of the (now closed) 3-star Michelin resto elBulli. Only P45 apiece, this olive marinated in EVOO is a fine example of molecular gastronomy.Just one bite and it was truly magical how the whole thing melts and wonderfully explodes in the mouth ;)

Spherical olive

Octopus carpaccio with hummus (P495) ..it tasted as beautiful as it looked.

octopus carpaccio

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#EatOutManila: online resto reservations in just 3 clicks!

Eat Out Manila is a newly-launched online reservations system for Manila’s top fine dining restaurants. Basically, what this means is that you don’t have to fall in line anymore or make telephone calls to make a booking for some of the city’s most sought-after tables. All you have to do is just to log on to their website at eatoutmanila.com or access the mobile app which is initially available through the Apple iTunes store and soon in Android.

eat out

Inaki Lamata

Inaki Lamata, co-founder of Eat Out Manila, said the site is based on an internationally-recognized restaurant reservations system that is operational in US, Europe and Asia.Diners will be able to lock in a table of their choice in real-time, which is much like choosing a seat in an airplane.

“The motivation behind this app springs from personal experience. With the growing list of things you can do remotely through your mobile phone, we thought it’s about time we had something for table reservations from which a food-loving country such as the Philippines will greatly benefit,” Lamata noted.

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12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub is hot for live bands!

12 Monkeys Music Hall & Pub, on the 5th Level of the Century City Mall in Makati City, is now one of the hottest places in town where Manila’s beautiful people, party goers and music lovers converge. Its greatest attraction is its lineup of DJs and live bands. Among those who have played in recent weeks were Up Dharma Down, Wolfgang, Rico Blanco & Kamikazee.

12 Monkeys

I was at 12 Monkeys for the first time with some friends & acquaintances during the South Border gig last August 20 and thoroughly enjoyed it. South Border did some nice covers of present hits (like John Legend) and of course their bestselling singles. The P300 door charge was so worth it! I rarely go out on gimmicks now and admittedly, I missed this.


(Photo grabs from the official FB page https://www.facebook.com/12MonkeysPH)

On some days, the bar also offers a chock full of celebrity sightings. On this page, the Eigenmanns…


The Chito Miranda and Neri Naig..

Chito & Neri

12 Monkeys menu offerings also rocks. They call it ‘progressive’ and rightly so. Their Palabok Pizza (P350) is an interesting creation. It has palabok sauce with generous toppings of shrimps, squid, boiled egg and white goat cheese. Whew, I found this addicting ;)

Palabok pizza

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Teddy’s Bigger Burgers lands in Manila!

As previously announced, Teddy’s Bigger Burgers from Hawaii has opened in Manila…in Greenbelt 3, to be exact. There were long lines for the free burgers and lots of Instagram photos. I was excited to meet the founders – Rich Stula (right) and Teddy’s himself, Ted Tsakiris – a big, muscular man..woohoo! :)

with Rich & Teddy

First impressions: the burgers are awesome! I think it’s in the quality of the beef – corn-fed chuck or something. You really get to appreciate the meat without all the frills and fancy toppings. Here was the 9 oz. Monster Double with onions and cheese as I saw in the posters. Oh my…food coma indeed!

Double monster burger

I appreciate Teddy’s because they offer a Lettuce Wrap option for their burgers, instead of just wheat or potato bun. Less sinful calories that way, LOL.I love their flavorful onion rings and super-thick milkshakes too!

Burger in lettuce wrap

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Purple Yam Malate at The Maya Kitchen on Aug. 30

purple yam invitation

Filipino author and restaurateur Amy Besa, who made a name for in New York with her family’s Cendrillion and Purple Yam restaurants, takes centerstage at the Maya Kitchen by mounting a cooking demo on Filipino food on Saturday, August 30.

It’s just Pinoy food all right but her cooking techniques are interesting and worth seeing. Scheduled for the demo are such dishes as Kulawong Talong (burnt coconut cream over grilled eggplant);Kinagang (buko, crabmeat, sliced scallions and lemongrass wrapped in banana leaf and steamed); Ukoy (deep fried fritter of shrimp, cabbage, carrots, snowpeas, leeks and bean sprouts); Beef Shortribs Adobo (beef short ribs braised in mango vinegar from Abra with fresh kakang gata or coconut cream added to sweeten and thicken the sauce); Steamed Organic Red Rice from Oriental Mindoro and Pinipig Cookie (the Philippine version of rice crispies baked into flavorful cookies).

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It’s all about the eyebrow transformation! #GoLoveLife

Netizens have been abuzz with the makeup transformation meme lately. Some of them have been bordering on funny and amazing and…never mind. haha.But it was during the Sangobion Go Love Life event when the brand treated its makeover winners that I witnessed how a single makeup trick can do a whole lot of difference. As they always say: it’s all about the eyebrows baby!

Thick, full eyebrows are still the rage in 2014. We’re not talking about brows that look like they’ve been tackily pencilled over, we’re referring to ones that are beautifully defined and expertly finished. During the Sangobion session, I sat in the chair of make-up artist George Aliben of Kiehl’s Manila and it was fun seeing him do my brows like he was Picasso.I thought it was an art in itself and I couldn’t be happier with the result. My friends said I look different, and am sure they meant it in a positive way ;)

Sangobion portrait

Before the make-up application. My brows are not really thin but I have to admit they’d greatly benefit from some definition.


Here’s what George did on the other winners. It’s magic! This guy is definitely one of the best MUAs around.

(photos from @georgealibenofkiehls on Instagram)

Eyebrow 1 @georgealibenofkiehls

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Sangobion treats winners to a beauty makeover!

There’s no doubt that today’s women – most of whom are busy with their careers, mommyhood or being a mixture of both – need pampering and precious ‘me’ time. I can attest to this myself: there are days when going for a massage or even a manicure on some weeks is elusive! Time to do life’s important things is what we wish for – the time to indulge in the things we love while taking care of our health.

Thankfully, there are brands like Sangobion which go out of their way to give women what they deserve.A few months ago, Sangobion – the leading iron supplement, challenged women on their Facebook page to make a pledge to change for the better.Those with the best answers were picked as the #GoLoveLife winners and were treated to a beauty day last August 16 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria.

Love at Sangobion

For the 40 winners, it was truly fun to be treated like a princess and feel beautiful being attended by top stylists and make-up artists even for just an hour or two. First stop was the mobile station of Blo Blow Dry Bar. The girls chose their hairstyle from the menu of services and were promptly primped by the attendants…

blo blow dry

This event wanted to give the girls the best and collaborated only with top labels. No less than Shu Uemura’s main make up artist Patrick Alcober was in the house.

Patrick Alcober

Anyway, don’t forget to read up to the end of this post for Sangobion’s latest Facebook promotion. You could be one of the 40 winners who might just win a shopping spree worth P4,000! More details after the jump

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J.Co Donuts giveaway is on – 5 winners! #annalyn10years

This blog’s 10th year anniversary last July went by in a whirl. Now it’s August and the celebration continues. We’re glad and honored to have the phenomenal J.Co Donuts sponsoring this month’s giveaway as this brand is close to my heart. We were there when they opened their first store in Megamall in 2012 and now their stores all over the country have ballooned to 24 or so. That’s simply amazing!

(image courtesy of J.Co Donuts Philippines)

We want you to be able to share the happiness with your family and friends. This is why am giving away five (5) J.Co Donuts gift certificates worth P1000 each. This should be good enough to buy boxes of their divine donuts plus some more to spare for their other treats like the J.Cool, the J.Pops, coffees and blended drinks.

To join this giveaway, just spread the word and follow our mechanics via Rafflecopter. Winners will be randomly chosen (by Rafflecopter too) and should ideally be located in Metro Manila. Provincial winners must shoulder their own shipping for sending the GCs.

Full mechanics after the jump…

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Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014!

Running bores me. But there’s something about an organized run that motivates you, and to run along with the crowd. My officemates and I certainly had fun joining yesterday’s Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014. We were there on behalf of our company (PAGCOR) which was one of the event sponsors :)


Overheard as we raced through the finish line: “O ayan, 1 kilometer na lang. Kelangan nang mag retouch para maganda sa picture.” LOL.

I realized it’s been three years since Rexona Run 2011. I looked at my before and after photos and happy to feel fitter and leaner now.No, I didn’t go on a crazy diet and will NOT give up rice. But I certainly put an effort in going to the gym (albeit irregularly) and practicing portion control (when not food blogging).

at Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014

Anyway, the Sofitel Manila Half Marathon 2014 was for a good cause since the funds raised will benefit the street children under the care of the Virlanie Foundation.

Virlanie kids

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#SamsungCookOff : superb dishes you can make at home!

The Samsung Cook Off was one fun and educational event I attended in the past week. This was the culminating activity of a recipe challenge I launched in this blog a weeks ago. My winner and two other winners of the Samsung Smart Oven from other blogs met at the GalaStars Culinary School in Pasig for the final countdown.

Here’s my contestant, editor Lorraine Lorenzo. I chose her recipe for Thai Chicken Nuggets in Red Curry Sauce because it looked delish and she used all natural ingredients, no shortcuts in making the dish.

with Lorraine

Lorraine’s also a mom and it’s worth noting that she adopted the recipe as an alternative for her school-age son who normally goes for fried chicken. This was yummy…the only thing missing was the rice…and some red hot chili peppers! :)

Thai chicken nuggets in curry sauce

The participants were given one hour max to prepare their dishes under the watchful eye of the board of judges led by Chef Ernest Reynoso Gala.

Samsung CookOff

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