Celebrations, family time, or a dining out moment, Choi Palace restaurant in the 3rd floor of Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City fits any occasion.
What I love about this place is the superb service and of course the food. The service team are very alert and honest. Whenever I’m here with my family they would suggest serving portions enough for the number of people and what they seem to just be right if there are kids, adults, etc. They wouldn’t suggest only to ensure that I order more specially that they don’t have service charge.
For whatever reason, I haven’t really thought of taking a lot of pictures of the food when I’m in Choi Palace because the minute the food is served, it’s time to dig in and roll that lazy susan… Or else my family would easily sweep away the bountiful meal.
Sharing in this post is my visit to the Bled Castle or Blejski grad in Slovenia. I’ve never been to a castle and it was surreal to be in the oldest Slovenian Castle. I’ve shared before my trip to Ljubljana, Slovenia (click this to read more on that) and this is one of the highlights of my visit there. I have hundreds of pictures but I’ve chosen a few (had a hard time choosing among them) to walk you through my journey in Bled Castle.
I was with some friends from work on a rainy Sunday and we decided to walk up instead of parking beside the castle, which is on a mountain. Yeah, I know, some adventure… Which, by the way, led to me losing oxygen and about to pass out when it was mere 20 steps to the gates of Bled Castle. I had to stop ans it by a tree and some cobbles even when it was raining… Funny how I look back to the experience now though it was not so funny when the world started to turn black and it hit me the fear of dying in a Slovenian castle miles away from my dear country, the Philippines. Okay, that was exaggerated
Lego may have started out in the toy world in providing building bricks; But as it evolved from bricks to cities and movie themes. Kids and kids at heart (like me) enjoy these toys with minifigures from human or animated characters to animals. It just made a whole lot of adding “life” to the Lego communities.
Though an official business trip, the visit allowed some time to enjoy and learn something about this very beautiful country. The visit to Slovenia tops the list of my best experience of 2012.
It was a blessing to be in the right place and time for this chance to set foot in a place where it looks and smells heavenly everywhere. Every time I’d set foot out of the hotel, my same comment would be “ang bango” (translate: smells good).
Haven’t slept well the night before, my inclination was to sleep in the plane from Paris to Ljubljana (say: Loob-ya-na). I was in a regional plane seated beside a father and baby pair. The boy seemed to have not seen an Asian looking person that’s why the cute baby was just staring at me half the way. His father sensed that I may need to have some rest transferred to another available seat so as he and his baby can take two seats instead of one.
Sleep eluded me after staring down the cloudy skies below the plane where some snow-covered mountain range -which I assumed the Alps- were within sight. Part of the Alps stretches across Austria to Slovenia after all, so it was most likely. The experience of looking down the Alps is not a daily event for me thus my enthusiasm overcame the sleepy-tired-to-the-bone feeling.
Near into the descent, there were just lush green everywhere. Pine trees, grass, mountains, more trees. It was a sight for any nature lover. For some strange reason the feeling was homey. I really liked the place instantly.
I am not sure if this can be attributed to an experience I shared with my cousin, Ate Joy, when we were still in the university. She had an investigative journalism project then about some voodoo, magic, and the like. We had to search for a resource she saw on TV about regression; and being there for each other like twins, when she needed someone to “try” it, I was the only available in tow. How can she ‘investigate’ if she’s in a trance right? The exercise revealed that this is my fourth life. And so how does this relate to Slovenia? I’m not sure how to call the guy who did the regression but he said that in my second life, I was from Europe. Seems that I was also in the arts.
When I was in Slovenia there were some places that seem to be very familiar. This I can attribute to being a voracious reader where most regency books are set in Europe. Or probably who knows if it was true, maybe if I were a European then, maybe I was Slovene. I sure hoped so.
I had a chance to visit the oldest restaurant to still be in operations, Gostilna Scestica (1776) in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Thanks to Mark P for allowing me to take pictures of the sumptuous servings of Slovene dishes. The serving size is impossibly too large for one person.
Apart from the food that is to my liking, what Slovenia offered are wines and beer. There are two brands of beer where when I asked which is better, the tally was really close to say that one is better than the other. These beers are Lasko and Union.
In another post, I’ll share with you more sights and stories of my Slovenia experience such as the visit to Bled Castle and Old city of Ljubljana.
Tahong (Mussels) are generally available in wet markets in Metro Manila any day, but usually in the mornings. At Php 60-80 per kilo, depending on sizes, this shellfish is a good choice to bring on the dining table every now and then. These can be baked, grilled, or steamed. Such versatility extends also to mixing them in seafood pasta or paella. But here, I’m sharing a very easy recipe that can be prepared below 30 minutes.
1 kilo Tahong ( Mussels)
1 onion ( shallots)
4 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cup of water
Add some oil in a hot pan followed by garlic, ginger, and onion. Stir a bit until onions are tender and translucent. Add in Tahong. Cover for about 2 mins to release the natural flavor of Tahong then pour water, sprinkle with salt and pepper depending on your preference. Green chili may also be added as well as chili leaves or malunggay. Bring to a boil then turn off heat so as not to overcook Tahong. It’s cooked when the shells are opened.
A dear friend of mine, Deb, gave me a recipe collection of Ilonggo dishes. Though I would surmise that not all are purely native to the Negros region; my view is that national recipes get infused to the regional dishes as parents transfer their much treasured family favorites generation after generation.
Much similar to our family where there is no better Leche Flan than my aunt’s, Tiya Nene. When there is Lumpiang Hubad, it surely is an occasion in Kakang Lita’s.
Now, a recipe book is of no use in the bookshelves but meant to be put into action starting with buying the ingredients, mixing it up, and serving. This weekend, tried, I did the Cassava Bibingka.
6 cups grated cassava
4 cups grated young coconut
4 cups sugar
1 cup butter, melted
Mix all the ingredients except cheese. Transfer to an oven-proof dish and bake in 350 degrees F oven for 55 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese on top. Return to oven and increase temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake until cheese if golden brown.
First thing I noticed with da.u.de were the colorful tea tins along the shelves high up the wall. The ambiance gives a contrast of quaint yet modern air; exuding the mix of traditional and modern ways. The name, derived from an Ifugao term for their loin cloth, is pronounced as da-you-deh.
The owner’s interest in tea and tea blending was piqued by an observation in a trip to Morocco. It was noted that people there drink hot tea no matter what time of the day.
Da.u.de offers an interesting menu that presents food infused with tea. The Pho or Vietnamese rice noodle soup has a tea soup and the crispy pork was infused with tea during marination. In a tête-à-tête with the Renee, the owner of da.u.de, I asked what type of tea leaves should be in my kitchen for infusing tea in cooking.
- Black tea – for meat such as pork, beef
- Herbal or Fruit tea – for pastries
- Green Tea – for poultry and seafood
Apart from having the best quality leaves and blends, the tea preparation contributes a major factor in having the best tea concoction. Seeping the tea properly with hot water few minutes before consumption would also allow for much socialization while having tea with friends and family. After all, tea is a social drink which is best enjoyed with some laughter, stories, and company.
There are also an assortment of tea seepers whether people want to seep at home or for people on the go to match thee resealable tea leaf pouches.
GF Net Lima Building, 4th Ave. corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City
Telephone: +632 869 0000
Source: Umagang Kay Ganda, August 8, 2012, ABS CBN
The rains that caused widespread flooding in Metro Manila and its nearby provinces is not a typhoon but monsoon rains. Experts were calling it “siyam-siyam” denoting 9 days and 9 nights of rain. “Siyam” in the local Filipino language is translated as nine in English.
There are also some people who look at the events of nature yesterday as a religious sign preventing the enactment of RH Bill or the Reproductive Health Bill.
Photos in social networks are also spreading connecting August 7, 2012 as Genesis 8:7-12 in the bible which covers the time of Noah coming close to the government’s disaster task force called Project Noah.
However people would be reading signs or significance in this unfortunate flooding, we cannot deny that there are a lot of heroes who unselfishly gave out their time, effort, and risking their own lives to help people affected by floods that reached up to 12 feet high in some areas.
It is also just proper to note that the government is more prepared this time than three years ago when typhoon Ondoy hit Luzon. Things could’ve been better like modern rescue resources, better evacuation areas and supplies, but at least it was not worse than before.
PAGASA has reduced the alert level from Red alert (>30mm/hr) of rain to Green alert (15mm-30mm/hr) of rain.
Be safe and dry!