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First Taste

Eats from Our Short and Sweet Davao Getaway, Part 1

Me and the parentals have finally gone on a long overdue vacation! Our destination? Davao City! My mom’s BFF, Auntie Joy, helped us arrange a fun itinerary of sightseeing, nature appreciation, catching up and reminiscing (my mom is originally from Davao), and, of course, eating. 😀

New tastes and happy tummies complete any trip, and I find this especially true in our short but sweet Davao getaway. My top picks for top eats mostly consist of seafood and desserts, so if you’re planning to fly to the city anytime soon, then be sure to give these dishes a taste ❤ Here’s part one of the most memorable Davao eats from our visit! Enjoy.

Lachi’s Durian Cheesecake

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To the foodie, Davao isn’t Davao without a taste and whiff of the King of Fruits: DURIAN! I remember eating a spoonful as a kid, and I haven’t been a fan of it since then. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be a fan of durian-flavored treats, like this cheesecake from Lachi’s! 😀

The durian taste can be overwhelming for a first-time taster, but infused in a cake, it’s delish! The consistency isn’t too thick and creamy, and sweetness is just right. I’m willing to bet this cheesecake is one of the treats that landed Lachi’s to Lonely Planet and other publications. And what can I say? It’s well-deserved.

Lachi’s Mozzarella Chicken

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Auntie Joy said this dish is popular among her pamangkins, so she suggested I try it, and the mozzarella chicken didn’t disappoint. Serving time was quite long, but it’s understandable: the sauce was made with real tomatoes, and the cheese wasn’t overly gooey and sticky.

The chicken was crispy and tender, making the dish perfect. It;s proof that great eats take time and are worth the wait. Will definitely come back to Davao for it!

The Boiling Crab Spicy Tahong

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I like spicy food. And I like tahong. No kidding. So imagine my delight when I heard Uncle Dick and Auntie Gloria, who are my parents’ long-time friends, order this. 😀 Forgive the photo quality, but promise, it looked appetizing and was scrumptious in real life 😀

Tahong was juicy and not overcooked. The sauce was a bit spicy and made me tear up a bit, but it didn’t overpower the tahong’s taste, which is great. Points for Boiling Crab for this one. Oh, and I hear they have a branch in SM Mall of Asia! Maybe I can go for a visit soon. Hehehe.

Cafe Tavera Salted Egg Crab

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Salted egg flavor is a very 2017 food trend. Pretty much everything, from potato chips to fried chicken, is paired with salted egg sauce. I never quite understood the hype, because I never really went along with it. So, Cafe Tavera’s salted egg crab is, in fact, my first taste of a salted egg dish.

It’s quite interesting, in a good way. 😀 Crab isn’t exactly my favorite seafood, but the one we ate here was fresh and meaty, and not very fat. Flavored with the buttery salted egg sauce, it spiced, or should I say, buttered, things up. One of those dishes you don’t forget easily, never mind that your hands are a mess after eating.

The Boiling Crab Cereal Shrimp

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Also one of the things I’ll look for in Boiling Crab, MOA: the cereal shrimp! I do like shrimp, but I’m used to having it tempura style or with tomato sauce. I’m sure this isn’t my first time trying out cereal shrimp, but I know I like this one best, so far, because I actually remember how it tastes like.

The cereals aren’t flavorless breading; they’re kind of garlicky and even a little spicy. Shrimp’s also fresh though a little overcooked, IMO, but all in all, I still say it’s a must-eat!

As y’all can see, unlike my other food entries, there’s no mention of prices on this one. And just a heads up, there won’t be any on the next one, too. But I say there’s no dish priced beyond 800 pesos on this list, so they’re all on budget. 😀

Thank you to my uncles and aunties in Davao for making this entry possible! ❤ Mwah! When you come over to Manila, I’ll bring you around, too! Remember guys, this is just part one, so watch out for the next feature and do treat yourselves with these eats when you happen to be in Davao. ‘Til next time~

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A Bellissima Beginning: Upping My Skincare with This Egg-citing New Find

I turned 24 on Monday, and guess what that means. I’m now well into my mid-twenties! In addition to adding another year to my age, the birthday is a reminder to up my beauty routine. Yes, it’s time to start an anti-aging regimen.

A quick Google search will tell you that it’s never too early to begin reversing the hands of time for your skin, although many beauty gurus seem to agree that 24-25 is the ideal age for that. I’ll admit I know very little about anti-aging regimens, but this much I know: anyone can keep a youthful look with the help of products that suit their age and skin type.

For me, that means choosing mild and natural skincare products formulated for acne-prone skin. This is where Bellissima Egg White Soap comes in.

The new Philippine-made soap features the traditional Swedish formulation and promises to be a multi-purpose beauty solution. Its ingredient, egg white, is popular for its skin firming, softening, and brightening effects. So, let’s see if the product truly meets, or egg-ceeds, its promise.

First Look

Packaging’s eye-catching enough, and I like that its smell isn’t too strong. The price, at Php 55, is reasonable for a local beauty soap: not suspiciously low nor ridiculously high.

First Week of Trial

I don’t expect drugstore products to magically erase all my skin’s problem areas, such as acne scars and oiliness. With Bellissima, I’m after the firming, softening, and brightening effects. And, I’m happy to say that after a week’s worth of washes, the product has delivered.

Immediately after the first wash, I felt a softer and more even texture, which really made me look forward to washing my face with the product. After a few days of trial, I also noticed how my skin isn’t as oily as before. And, even underneath minimal makeup, my skin feels light and glowing, two things it never felt like when I was using chemical-based formulations.

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Throughout the trial, I also note that I haven’t had any breakouts, and that’s a good thing. So, all said, it’s a promising, and quite egg-cellent, new beauty product.

Future Fixture

From my first impression of it, I feel like I’ll buy it again. The effects are noticeable and realistic, so Bellissima has very good chances of becoming a fixture in my beauty regimen, now, and even in the future.  Plus, I’d like to have more chances to eggs-perience its other effects, so yes, Imma continue using it.

There goes my initial foray into upping my beauty routine. Thanks to this egg-citing product, I have a feeling that I’m off to a good start.

Bellissima Egg White Soap is available at Puregold supermarkets 😀

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Madison Commons: A Food Park in All the Ways that Count

At a time when restaurants and food places are popping up, one after the other, promising an outstanding gastronomic feast, how can a new food place make its mark in the metro food scene? And, in Kapitolyo, Pasig, no less? Madison Commons Food Park, aptly branded as the newest food park in town, shapes up to be a food destination in itself.

What makes this new spot a must-try for your next food trip? Get to know Madison Commons a little bit better, and see that it’s worth your visit.

The Basics

Opening Hours: 4pm-3am

Location: Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig

Landmarks: Ace Water Spa (right beside it) and PC Supermarket (across it)

Commute: Trike from Forum to McDo Pioneer, then trike from McDo to Ace Water Spa

Drive: Routes via Reliance, Pioneer, Julia Vargas

 

The Clinchers

Unlike other hip and happening food places that have been surfacing as of late, Madison Commons does away with the hype and the fanfare, maintaining a considerably quieter and more relaxed ambiance. Food and good feels take centerstage, what with its spacious and airy dining area and ample parking space, making it perfect for the young pros, barkadas, and families who’re just looking for a much-needed break after a long day.

With 30 well conceptualized stalls, all of which present a variety of appetizing menu staples, diners are in for a complete and filling food adventure. Whether you’re up for a very Pinoy kainan feel, barkada-sized set meals, East Asian (Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese) cuisine, Mexican and Hawaiian flavors, pizzas and pastas, unique drinks, or desserts that are just the right amount of sweet, you will get your fill at the park. And if that’s not enticing already, you can get your share for budget-friendly prices, from around 150-500 for meals, and around 50-150 for drinks.

If you’re lucky and are able to drop by on a promo day for a stall, you’ll get some very good buy 1 take 1 deals or free side dishes. Then again, the concessionaires are very creative and competitive with their promos. You’ll surely never run out of choices.

The Difference

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That inuman is a part of the metro’s food park culture is no secret, and while Madison Commons also caters to this, through its food choices and services, it does more than that. It’s a place that brings kainan, kwentuhan, and katuwaan into the table. It’s a food hub run by people who enjoy food and letting others do the same. It would be such a waste to step into this food park without trying anything out.

So, when you do, make it a point to sit down with your family and friends and go for that foodie experience you can only get at Madison Commons. Enjoy great food and company, at a place that lets you experience them best.

#AnnyeongYeongyangHansik: 5 Reasons to Drop By for Their Grand Opening

It’s been a month since I released my first blog about Yeongyang Hansik, and today, it’s just a week before the grand opening. How fast time flies! Anyway, I’ve kept an eye on the resto since the first blog post, and I’m really excited for their formal entrance to the Metro’s food scene. That piqued your interest, didn’t it?

If you’re already thinking of dropping by Yeongyang Hansik at Madison Commons Food Park this February 1, I’ll give you a couple more reasons to. Check my list out.

Jinja Mashta and Healthy Food

Not kidding when I say it’s jinja mashta. I used to think of Korean food here in the Philippines as generic-tasting: heavy on condiments and sauces to cater to the Pinoy taste buds, but this one’s different. It’s flavorful without overwhelming your taste and appetite.

Why? Because it’s healthy! And I’m not just talking about the generous servings of vegetables. Take for example this Pork Lechon Bibimbap: it’s a complete meal that satisfies your appetite with less than a cup of rice, a whole lot of vegetables, protein-rich red bean sauce, and lean pork Lechon. Low carb, high protein, nutrient rich, with great flavor.

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See what I mean? Of course, there are other equally tasty options, like the appetizing sides. I want to FINALLY try out their kimchi fries on my next visit!

Refreshing Drinks

Yeongyang Hansik shows customers that a great night out doesn’t always need a swig of alcohol to get that extra kick. Their unique coolers consist of two refreshing flavors: cucu-moringa and the new raspberry-lychee. Served chilled in sizeable mason jars, these go perfectly with the savory meal.

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Value for Money Food Choices
I always love a great budget-friendly find, whether it’s clothing, stationery, beauty products, or food. The resto’s got value for money menu staples, PHP 139-PHP149 per bowl of bibimbap, and PHP 59 for the coolers. Priced right and taste right.

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Personalized Service

At the heart of the resto are people who are passionate about serving quality, healthy Korean dishes to everyone who dines. This shows in how they deal with customers. Leading a warm and welcoming team, Richard and his partner, Kim Repomanta Seongsaengnim, go out of their way to satisfy their customers. In fact, they even take the orders and bring the dishes out themselves! They’re willing to oblige on short chats about the resto, too. That’s hands-on service for you.

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Surprises

It’s their grand opening, so I’m guessing they’ll be cooking up something special for the occasion, or soon after. They’ve had the free side dish promo last time (sadly, I wasn’t able to join), so I’m really looking forward to what they have in store next. Maybe I should visit more often. Hehe.

And I’ll visit again this coming Feb 1, just in time for their grand opening. 🙂 Really excited to bid a legit Annyeong to Yeongyang Hansik next week. Wouldn’t you want to drop by, too? Hope to see you!

P.S. Store display’s up now! Get ready for photo ops at the storefront. Koreanovela mode on! Credits to Kim Seongsaengnim for the photos 🙂

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A First “Annyeong” to the New Go-to for Fresh Korean Food Choices | Yeongyang Hansik

Annyeong, yeorobun!

The year 2016 has been amazing for Paisley Purpose, and I’m extremely honored to wrap it up with a blogger invite from up and coming Korean resto Yeongyang Hansik 😀 Located at Madison Commons Food Park on Brixton Street, Kapitolyo in Pasig, they’re currently on the first few weeks of their soft opening. Congratulations, guys!

A total spur of the moment decision led to my first visit to, and first taste of, Yeongyang Hansik (Yeongyang is “nourishing” in Hangul, while Hansik is “Korean manner of cooking”). After trying out a few of their staples, I say, get ready to say “annyeong” to your new go-to for fresh Korean food choices with a healthy Pinoy twist.

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Getting There

Prior to the visit, I’ve never been to Kapitolyo, so finding the place was quite an adventure: hours of traffic, walking, and two tricycle rides from Robinsons Forum (I came from Ayala). Because I wasn’t familiar with Madison Commons, and the store display wasn’t up yet, I had to call the resto to find out where they are.

Owner Richard Yu answered and showed up shortly after. He gave me a brief tour of the place, and I saw their kitchen, cooking process, and menu, which resembled scenes from Korean series.


The First Taste

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The series-ish ambience was highlighted even more when the food came. Richard first served a bowl of hot beef stew, in a clay pot on a wooden tray. He explained that he wants the Korean feel to be present in the entire brand, and not just the food. From the stall, to the presentation, to the manner of serving and greeting (he’s aiming for a warm and welcoming “Annyeonghaseyo” to usher guests in) down to the taste, Hanguk influence can be felt.

Anyway, going back to the stew: it tasted like a combination of ma po tofu, kimchi, and sinigang, three of my faves. It’s mainly spicy, with generous servings of beef, cabbage, and tofu. Pretty heavy for a starter, but perfect for the fresh-from-Makati-traffic and hungry me.

Next, Richard brought out a cup of moringa juice and the main dish, Roasted Chicken Bibimbap. I’ve seen the photos on their Facebook page, and I thought the rice bowl was small. I was fooled!

Ang daming laman! Topped with loads of veggies, like carrots and cabbage, raw egg, chicken slices, and a special sweet-savory sauce, I was in for a huge meal. And a great-tasting one, too. What I like about their bibimbap, apart from the serving size, is that the veggies taste fresh, no hint of the plastic smell and aftertaste that often come with commercialized dishes. The roast chicken has a flavor of its own, and complements that of the sauce. Mixed together, it’s a great balance of spicy, sweet, and savory. Yum.

In between bites and sips of refreshing moringa (malunggay) juice topped with cucumber slices, which reminded me of cucumber lemonade, I took the chance to ask Richard about Yeongyang Hansik.

At 28, this is his second business and passion project. A fitness buff, he looked for healthy food options to go with his gym habit, but pointed out that most of them were pricey with very little servings. And, he wasn’t happy with the taste either. To combine value for money, nutrition, and flavor, he thought of serving Korean food, which does exactly that.

“After working out sa gym, I come here to eat. I know it’s healthy, masarap, and full meal na,” adding that at around Php 139-149 per order of bibimbap, customers can get freshly cooked rice, vegetables, and meat toppings.

Richard also mentioned that he thought Madison Commons is a good choice of location, as it is accessible to professionals around the area. “After work, they can come here to eat healthy food.”

God’s Grace

He described the realization of the venture as “God’s grace”, explaining how he met a business partner that complemented his skills, and how he was able to complete a course at a Korean culinary school. Richard also said that he enjoys running the place, as it allows him to meet new people and build relationships.

A few more exchanges about life as Chinoy yuppies and faith and life in general, and I was ready to call it a night (because traffic huhu). I was served the last course, side dishes: cucumber, radish, and my favorite kimchi, which was a standout because it’s not very sour, unlike others I’ve tried before. And, of course, no Korean meal is complete without soju. Manong, who brought out the dishes, said so himself.

We each had a shot, and of course, a photo op. Check out our Korean pose!

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God’s grace. I never expected to hear that during my visit, but I guess it perfectly described what Paisley Purpose and my trip to Yeongyang Hansik had been about. That’s why I think there’s no better way to cop the year off for my blog than this feature. 🙂

I thank Richard for being a gracious host and for sharing Yeongyang Hansik’s story. It’s not everyday that you meet someone who really believes in what they do, so I’m grateful for the opportunity 😀 Tune in to their Facebook page for more updates, and drop by while you’re at it! They’re open from 7pm onwards.

Looking forward to try the Lechon Bibimbap and Kimchi Fries next time. Annyeong for now, and chukahamnida, Yeongyang Hansik! 😉

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