Saturday, January 31, 2009

PAL Promotions - The Great Miles Getaway is BACK!!!

It's BACK !!, Miles at 50% OFF for your grand getaway!!
A great way to start your New Year !!
On a limited run, PAL lowered the redemption values to selected PAL international destinations, HALF the MILES required.
Tickets may be booked and issued starting :
27 January 2009 until 05 February 2009.
Travel Period:
01 February 2009 - 15 March 2009.

To learn more, go to:
https://www.mabuhaymiles.com/program_news/promotions/pal_promotions/gmg_2009.jsp

Bizu: An Authentic Parisian Patisserie


Bizu Patisserie & Bistro, located in Promenade Mall in Greenhills, has always been one of my favorite places to eat. I love the French country feel of the place. The service is great. The complimentary bread with 3 different spreads - yum! And their menu is light and fresh. When you order one of their entree's, you have the choice to pay an additional Php75.00 for the soup and salad of the day. And their salad's are superb! Greens are always fresh and crisp and the dressing is light with a hint of sweetness.

And best of all, Bizu caters to all - a great place to dine, a great place to unwind and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, or a great place to indulge and enjoy their famous desserts. This place is especially great for the "health conscious." They even sell wheatgrass and if you want to taste it right then and there, they also serve the Wheatgrass shot.



For those who juice at home, you can buy fresh wheatgrass here.



Wheatgrass Shot for Php75.00 - Does wonders for your body.

On this particular day, my girlfriends and I chose to go to Bizu to enjoy a cup of coffee/tea and dessert. We ordered their oh-s0-delectable macaron, which they have become very famous for. It's crunchy on the outside and chewy in the inside, light, sweet, buttery, and utterly divine!



Macarons (Php35.00) -So many flavors to choose from: Raspberry, Rose, Blueberry, Hazelnut, Caramel, Coffee, Chocolate, Vanilla, Lemon, Mango, Pistachio, Orange and Mint This one's the coffee flavor.



Coffee Macaron - One of my personal favorites.



Aside from the macarons, Bizu also offers a wide assortment of desserts - from the sinfully sweet to the sugar free.

You can find BIZU at the following places:

Bizu's Website


PATISSERIE AND BISTRO:

Greenbelt 2
G/L Greenbelt 2, Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 757-BIZU • 757-4749

Greenhills
The Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center
Tel. No.: 724-2498 • 726-2496

PATISSERIE AND CAFÉ

Glorietta 4
3/L Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 757-2086

Alabang Towncenter
G/L Corte Delas Palmas, Alabang Towncenter, Muntinlupa City
Tel. No.: 809-BIZU • 772-1917 • 772-1918

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lunch Date @ Arya

Once a month, I meet up with some of my dear friends for lunch. We usually meet up in the Greenhills area for everyone's convenience. Since we've confined ourselves to this area, we have tried most of the 'talked-about' restaurants and it finally came to the point, "Where next?" One of us suggested Arya, located in Promenade Mall, near Greenhills Shopping Center. Some of us were skeptical at first but after today, all those doubts and concerns have been completely wiped out.



The frontage of Arya



Arya has been awarded as one of the Philippines' Best Restaurants 2007 by Tatler



I LOVE the interior of the restaurant. I felt like I was transported to Iran. Actually, I never had any first hand encounter with the Persian culture but the paintings, tables, seats, choice of music playing in the background, and the structure and the design of the walls all contributed to the very Persian ambiance.


Arya offers honest to goodness authentic Persian food, Middle Eastern cuisine, and Mediterranean dishes. The chef uses a mixture of different kinds of flavors and spices to create these wonderful dishes.



Salad Couscous (Php125.00)



We started off our meal with Roti Chenni (Php215.00) - whole wheat unleavened flat bread, pan-fried and served with curry sauce.



Royal Joojeh ( Php345.00) - Chicken breast kabab marinated with yogurt and spices and served with rice or pita bread. Take note of the 2 grilled tomatoes served with this dish. After it was served in front of us, the waiter took the 2 pieces of tomato and mashed it with their complimentary garlic and spicy sauce.



Mix the chicken and the mashed tomatoes together and you get pure bliss! The sauce was just too good. There was a little hint of spiciness and garlic and the flavors just blended really well together. I can't wait to come back for more!!!



Beef Makhsus (Php355.00) - Their beef kabab was juicy and soft and like the previous dish, the waiter took the tomatoes and mashed them up to create the very special and yummy sauce.



Mahi-Mahi Kabab (Php 360.00) - Two of my friends ordered this dish and they wouldn't stop raving about it. I'll order this next time and yup, you guessed it, the waiter took the tomatoes for this dish as well to mash it up and make the sauce. The mashed tomato sauce really adds an extra "Oomph!" to the kabab dishes. Give me some pita bread and the mashed tomato sauce, and I'll be one happy camper.



Keema (Php235.00) - Minced meat flavored with spices, perfect with pita bread.



Chicken Curry (Php350.00)



Basmati Rice - This came with the chicken curry.



Turkish Coffee (Php140.00) - I love the presentation for the Turkish coffee! And the aroma and taste of the coffee were really good! A nice way to end the meal.

Out of all the Middle Eastern restaurants I have tried in Manila, Arya, by far, is the best for me. Everything was very authentic and the ingredients were all fresh. Service was great and I love the ambiance!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Perfect View of the Sunset from SM By the Bay

At the back of SM Mall of Asia, there's SM By the Bay. It's this long stretch of restaurants overlooking the ocean. And it's not just restaurants. There's also this long boardwalk where people can take a leisurely stroll along the bay and just enjoy the scenery, the sunset /sunrise, and the ocean. And if you're too tired to walk, SM even provides a free shuttle that stops at the designated tram stops. And for the kids and young at heart, there's a playground to burn all that energy.


Great view of the sunset from SM By The Bay



My daughter and I just enjoying and bonding as we watch the sunset.



It seemed like a lot of the couples had the same thing in mind...and why not? What better way to enjoy the sunset but with someone you hold dear



A view of the boardwalk

It was definitely a nice break from our usual Sunday 'malling' routine. The kids really enjoyed running around and watching people walk their dogs. We actually just bought a bike for our daughter before going to SM so they even rode the bike there (only in the areas where it's allowed, of course). An added perk was the great weather! It was windy and the air was cool. We all had a great time just taking in the simple things in life and appreciating mother nature. And we did not even spend a single cent (except for parking)!

SM Mall of Asia
Central Business Park
Bay Blvd., Bay City
Pasay City

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fireworks Show @ SM Mall of Asia

video
We hit two birds with one stone when we ate at Highlands Steakhouse last Sunday in SM Mall of Asia. We had a very satisfying meal at the resto and at the same time, we got the best seats to watch the fireworks show of SM Mall of Asia.

Highlands Steakhouse:
2nd Floor, Unit 213 Entertainment Mall
SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Tel No.: 556-0768 to 69

Prime Rib Buffet for the Steak Lovers


I saw this on the window of Highlands Steakhouse, located in SM Mall of Asia and I just had to share it with all the steak lovers out there. You really won't regret it as Highlands Steakhouse serves one of the best steaks this side of town.

Highlands Steakhouse:
2nd Floor, Unit 213 Entertainment Mall
SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Tel No.: 556-0768 to 69

Highlands Steakhouse in Mall of Asia

I felt like I was in a Western movie as I stepped into the Highlands Steakhouse, located in Mall of Asia. All of the waiters were dressed as cowboys and the paintings on the wall were also consistent with the "Western" theme. There were even wildlife mounts on the walls and the chandeliers were made of elk horns.

Now what really struck me was the aroma. The whole place smelled like steak and right then and there, I knew I wanted to try their steak which is a big thing for me cuz' I'm not really a steak person. For those who know me, I normally order a salad or a seafood entree when I eat out with family and friends. But I just could not resist the temptation last Sunday night. The scent of the steak being grilled was just to overpowering.

I had a great time in Highlands Steakhouse. The ambiance was unique and different. The service was impeccable. And everything tasted so good! AND the restaurant has a perfect view of the fireworks show of MOA - a perfect way to end the night!


Check out the waiters with their cowboy get up.



Very "western" ambiance



Complimentary bread served nice and hot



Fish and Chips - One of the choices in their kiddie menu, great for the picky eaters.



We ordered the 30 ozs. rib-eye steak (Php2600.00), which is good for 3-4 people and comes with sidings. It's lightly seared in the kitchen and you get to grill it yourself with a cast-iron pan, just the way you like it. 2 words for the steak - juicy and tender. Actually, there are no words to describe it. It is that good. They really, really, really know their steak and I can't stress it enough.



Ceasar Salad with Roast Beef - The leaves were fresh and very crisp and the roast beef gave it a different edge.



Sea Bass with pasta - The sea bass was grilled to perfection and I absolutely loved it! It was soft and tender in the middle with a hint of crispness on the outside. The sauce of the pasta was very light and not heavy on the stomach at all.

Highlands Steakhouse:
2nd Floor, Unit 213 Entertainment Mall
SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Tel No.: 556-0768 to 69


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cartimar, Pt 2...for the Korean and Japanese Aficionado's

As we were walking through the stores of Cartimar, we stumbled upon an area that consisted of Japanese and Korean stores. They sold all sorts of goodies and there were so many things I wanted to buy and try! Unfortunately, only two of the stores were open that day (maybe because it was a Sunday or because of the Chinese new year).

The first store we entered, Masan, sold Korean and Japanese goods such as ice cream, noodles, all sorts of sauces, utensils, and frozen goods.



View of Masan's display from the outside



Imported Ice Cream



All kinds of sauces...It's times like these that I wish I knew how to read Japanese characters



Some of the Japanese and Korean goods on display



They even sold Japanese and Korean dinnerware...Another rack displayed cooking utensils



Sake!



Frozen goods...I was completely delighted when I saw edamame and for only PHP120.00!!!


If Cartimar was conveniently located near our house, I would probably become a loyal and regular customer of these stores. It's just a bountiful of goodies galore!


Masan Grocery:
Plaza 2, Cartimar Shopping Center, Taft Ave., Pasay City
Tel Nos.:832-3333 / 833-8211

Monday, January 26, 2009

CARTIMAR, A Pet Lover's Heaven



Cartimar is really a pet lover's heaven, literally. There are rows and rows of pet stores each with their own market. It varies from exotic birds, marine fish, gold fish, jelly fish, sea urchins, dogs, cats, hamster, snakes, frogs, and the list can go on and on. And it's not just the animals. Some stores just sell pet supplies such as bird seeds, cages, dog carriers, dog collars/clothes, and aquariums and the prices are cheaper than buying from a pet shop in the mall.



One of the many stores selling dogs and puppies



Snakes were also for sale



Pet supplies



Rows and rows of bird cages



150 gallon marine aquarium...One of my goals in life, to set up an aquarium just like this one.



A 11 month old macaw PHP75,000.00



Bird seeds of all kinds



Jellyfish



Tons of clown fish with sea anemones. I would have bought one for my marine aquarium but we were still having dinner after.

Truth be told, we were actually there to buy a bike for my kid but we were definitely side tracked and entertained by everything within eye sight. The kids had a blast. It was like taking them to the zoo but it was free! Some of the store owners were even kind enough to remove the animal from it's cage so that the kids can pet it. So what was supposed to take us just half an hour to buy a bike became 2 hours.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Viva Italia @ Amici

I've heard people raving about Amici for quite some time now so I finally went today to check out what all the hype is about. Now I know why. It's an Italian restaurant specializing in pizza, pasta, panini, and gelato. It's actually self service where you have to pay as you order and get your own utensils and condiments. Their pizza's are oven baked and it's behind a glass wall where it's on display for everyone to see. The whole feel and atmosphere of the place is very casual.



The interior of Amici



The condiments area



Ceasear Salad Php 140.00 - very simple, no fuss salad



Ai Quattro Formaggi Php 290.00 - 4 cheese oven baked pizza
Now this is what you call pizza! Crust is crisp yet chewy because of all the cheese with real tomato sauce (not like the canned tomato sauce) and not so heavy on the stomach



Gelato Display Php 45.00-50.00/scoop (depending on the flavor)
I absolutely love this! The ice cream was just so creamy and full of flavor. I ordered the Sansrival and it tasted just like the cake but with more cream. If I was one of those lucky ones born with a super fast metabolism, I probably would have ordered all the flavors. Everything just seemed so tempting!



The Cake Display



The Bread Display

I did not have the chance to try the panini or pasta dishes but based on the pizza and gelato, it was "Simply Scrumptious!" just like what it says on their brochure.

Note: These pictures were taken in their Quezon City Branch located in
Bellagio Square, Tomas Morato cor. Scout Fuentebella

They also have branches in:
SM Megamall Atrium (Level 3), Mandaluyong

Don Bosco Compound, A. Arnaiz Ave., cor. Chino Roces Ave., Makati


Btw, they deliver!!! The hotline is 818-4444