Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kraze Burgers

The menu
All the celebrity restaurants became tiring after a while. We needed a break. So my brother and I tried this Kraze Burgers food chain that a lot of people, who have stayed in MBS (Marina Bay Sands), have been talking about. On our way to the place, I could already see a lot of people in the restaurant. I figured that their burgers must be really tasty. 


Having no idea on their bestseller or whatnot my brother ordered the K.B++. It's KB's Original Burger (which consists of a natural beef patty, American cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, mayo, Kraze sauce and pickles on their freshly baked bun) plus double bacon and fried eggs. Salivating by the sight of the waiter coming towards our table with the burger, my tummy smiled and grumbled. I love everything with eggs and in it so I thought that this burger could actually make it on my list. Well, until I took my first bite. Everything was just tasteless except for the egg. The second bite was an apology for the first but it still didn't make it. Although, the eggs made up for their tasteless beef patty, it made the burger a bit juicy too. 

K.G Burger

I chose the K.G. burger (Bulgogi Burger) thinking that stood out among the burger flavors. I didn't know what to expect seeing the burger. It looked mediocre but sounded quite tempting with their “Korean-style barbecued beef patty added with a unique Bulgogi sauce along with mushrooms on a whole-wheat bun” description.  My thoughts about the burger remained the same after I took a bite except my K.G Burger is more lifeless than my brother’s. Though I thank God for the side dish. It kind of uplifted my mood.
Lastly, I just want to ask: What really is the craze about these burgers? I don’t get it. 

 10 Bayfront Ave,
 #B2-54 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

You Might Want to Check the Stars Tonight

Cold and Spellbinding: An Alignment of Planets in the Sunset Sky

Feb. 17, 2012:  Note to sky watchers: Put on your winter coats. What you’re about to read might make you feel an uncontrollable urge to dash outside.
The brightest planets in the solar system are lining up in the evening sky, and you can see the formation—some of it at least—tonight. 
Go out at sunset and look west.  Venus and Jupiter pop out of the twilight even before the sky fades completely black.  The two brilliant planets surrounded by evening blue is a beautiful sight.
Amateur astronomer Göran Strand photographed Venus and Jupiter converging over Frösön, Sweden, on Feb.12, 2012. [video]
If you go out at the same time tomorrow, the view improves, because Venus and Jupiter are converging.  In mid-February they are about 20 degrees apart.  By the end of the month, the angle narrows to only 10 degrees—so close that you can hide them together behind your outstretched palm.  Their combined beauty grows each night as the distance between them shrinks.
A special night to look is Saturday, Feb. 25th, when the crescent Moon moves in to form a slender heavenly triangle with Venus, Jupiter and the Moon as vertices (sky map).  One night later, on Sunday, Feb. 26th, it happens again (sky map). This arrangement will be visible all around the world, from city and countryside alike.  The Moon, Venus and Jupiter are the brightest objects in the night sky; together they can shine through urban lights, fog, and even some clouds.

In March, Venus and Jupiter continue their relentless convergence until, on March 12th and 13th, the duo lie only three degrees apart—a spectacular double beacon in the sunset sky (sky map).  Now you’ll be able to hide them together behind a pair of outstretched fingertips. After hopping from Venus to Jupiter in late February, the Moon exits stage left, but the show is far from over.
There’s something mesmerizing about stars and planets bunched together in this way—and, no, you’re not imagining things when it happens to you.  The phenomenon is based on the anatomy of the human eye.
Cold and Spellbinding (fovea)
The fovea is responsible for our central, sharpest vision. [more]
"Your eye is a bit like a digital camera," explains optometrist Dr. Stuart Hiroyasu of Bishop, California. "There's a lens in front to focus the light, and a photo-array behind the lens to capture the image. The photo-array in your eye is called the retina. It's made of rods and cones, the organic equivalent of electronic pixels."
There’s a tiny patch of tissue near the center of the retina where cones are extra-densely packed. This is called “the fovea.”
"Whatever you see with the fovea, you see in high-definition," Hiroyasu says. The fovea is critical to reading, driving, watching television. The fovea has the brain's attention.
The field of view of the fovea is only about five degrees wide. Most nights in March, Venus and Jupiter will fit within that narrow cone.  And when they do—presto!  It’s spellbinding astronomy.
Standing outdoors, mesmerized by planets aligned in a late winter sunset, you might just forget how cold you feel.  Bring a coat anyway….

Author:Dr. Tony Phillips| Production editor: Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cut by Wolfgang Puck

When I was a kid some of the channels that I frequently watched were Cartoon Network, The Disney channel, and The Lifestyle Network. I’d watch Emiril’s Chocolate show, Mario Batali’s Molto Mario, and of course Wolfgang Puck’s show. Watching those shows while having dinner really made me salivate. That was how my food curiosity started.

Passing by Wolgang Puck’s restaurant, Cut, one Thursday night, I decided to make reservations for my cousin and I. Because they were already fully booked through Saturday night the odds of this happening were looking slim. As fate would have it, they were able to squeeze us in for Friday night at 9:30.

Of course, it should come as no surprise that Cut is almost always fully booked. So if you’re planning on eating there, you must make reservations a week to two weeks in advance. 

                                                   First, second, and the last photo's source 

The first thing that welcomes you is the sleek bar they have in front. Going in the dimly lit restaurant you will see big portraits of different celebrities. The restaurant’s modern interior screams “hoity-toity”.

On the way to our table, the waiters were already entertaining us; telling us what to order, if we wanted wine, or whatnot. They were probably just trying to get us to spend more, or trying to rack up big tips at the end. In all fairness though, they did provide us with fast and efficient service. 

Bread sticks with parmesan shavings
Puff pastry with cheese
The bread sticks, the different kinds of steak were presented, and another kind of bread, the puff pastry, was served while we were still deciding on what to order. However, I’m not going to tell you what we ordered without getting into the puff pastry with cheese first. It might look ordinary but after the first bite the warm bread with its freshly baked aroma, mild cheese, and soft texture will smite you with every bite. After finishing a piece what’s left is the spicy kick that leaves your mouth watering and wanting more.

Bone Marrow Flan
We finally decided to get the bone marrow flan and scallop “carpaccio”- both were recommended by the waiter- for appetizers after taking time to really savor the complimentary dishes.
I’m not really a fan of bone marrow, but it’s one of Wolfgang Puck’s bestsellers, so I decided to give it a try. I will definitely give in! Anticipating the bone marrow with curiosity, I was amazed by the presentation the moment the plate was served. Not being familiar with how bone marrow should taste, I wasn’t in awe of its flavor. I found it already too creamy, then with the bread (toasted brioche) it became creamier. I actually preferred eating the mushroom marmalade on the side. However, the wine complimented it nicely. it was a good pair with the wine. After devouring the dish, I asked the waiter if that was really their best seller because I wasn’t really amazed. Although, by the end of the meal I was hooked on bone marrow. In fact, I really wanted to know what it tasted like when it wasn’t a flan. I mean, could its presentation (back in the bone as custard paired with a mushroom marmalade and parsley salad) have anything to do with how deliciously addictive it was? I needed to know. 

Hokkaido Scallop "carpaccio"
The other appetizer we ordered was the Hokkaido Scallop “carpaccio” with shaved myoga and wasabi-kosho ponzu. Fresh and sweet scallops combined with the shaved Japanese ginger (myoga) in a wasabi-kosho ponzu (Ponzu is a kind of Japanese citrus sauce) dressing (made my palate jump. I could taste the freshness in every bite of the scallop. A burst of flavor in each piece! Mmmm mm

Bread was served again after the appetizers. They were all fresh I didn’t eat them all anymore even if I wanted to. I was already full. My tummy might be able to hold the next few courses. Sigh. 

USDA Prime, Illinois Corn Fed, Aged 21 days Petit Cut Filet Mignon 170g

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Last Article Before Another Restaurant Review: 104 Ways To Break The Ice

This will be the last article before I post a restaurant review or a blog about a trip again! I just have to share this. :)


104 Ways To Break The Ice
FEB. 14, 2012 
So I’m out at a bar with a friend and he tells me there’s a girl across the room that he thinks maybe made eye contact twice or might have been three times but it’s possible she was looking at someone else or something on the bar and you never really know in these situations so maybe he’ll just stay here, he says, leave her alone, since she’s probably having a nice night and he doesn’t want to ruin that and he doesn’t have anything to say anyway.

You don’t have anything to say?

See, I’ve always held the opinion that it doesn’t matter what you say, as long as you say something. The whole 99% of life is showing up thing which is I know is corny but which I also know is true. I mean, nobody in a bar, or the world in general, thinks you’re actually interested in the shoes or the weather or the New York Giants or the new season of Sherlock or how loud the place is or whatever — it’s just the necessary cover for the please talk to me I’m lonely that we’re all desperately communicating but don’t want to acknowledge. That’s just the ‘game’ people talk about, and there’s nothing wrong with it. For years I told partners I had a totally sweet saltwater aquarium in my apartment and did they want to come up and check it out? And not one person ever complained about my lack of an aquarium. All parties were just happy to have found a way around having to say, “Hey, I think you’re pretty and I want to kiss you.”

So I’ve never once had a relationship begin with something grand and romantic, like I came to expect from the movies, and I figured the same was true for most other people, as well. The opening lines of my relationships span from sweepingly idiotic to mundane, and while there are some sweet ones in there, too, they certainly don’t make up the majority — nor did they predict future success and compatibility. In fact, many of my favorite longest-lasting relationships emerged from moments that were painfully awkward — shining examples of the opposite of smooth.

So when my friend told me he had nothing to say, I told him it didn’t matter. I said: just walk over there and open your mouth. Something will come out. Trust me. You won’t say nothing. And if you do say nothing, that’s good, because we as humans don’t need your nothing-saying genes in the mating pool, anyway. And so he stepped off his stool, straightened his tie, and cleared his throat. I gave his shoulders a hearty shake, then slapped his face and spun him around, pushed him in the direction of the girl.

He stumbled but caught his footing — walked right up to her table and said,

Uhhhhhhhh, what kind of chocolate is that? Is that French? I mean is the chocolate from France?

They’re together now. He’s been in a mutually-loving relationship with that person ever since, making love — not even banging, making love – every day and sending emails like We’ll find you someone, Jack, I’m sure there’s someone out there for you, too and posting adorable pictures of themselves on the internet and the walls and anywhere which will allow it, and it’s almost too much, and it’s all because he walked over and said something. He said anything.

It’s a good example.

It’s a good example that 99% of meeting someone nice is in showing up, is in preventing yourself from overanalyzing and instead just being with them in that particular place at that particular time. That it’s never as difficult to connect with someone as it seems in your head. That love is not this impossible thing reserved for the clever — it’s the for the awkward and embarrassed and the lonely and the unimaginative and the nervous and the self-conscious and anyone who can bring themselves for a single moment to say something.

Say anything.

And I know this is true. Because I checked.
I checked one hundred different relationships for their first words. The rules were simple: the first line must be honest — what was actually said in that moment — and it must have led to love. Romantic love; the sort of love we’re all about. The kind we imagine on Valentine’s Day, wish for when we’re alone, fight tooth and claw to protect when we find it. That sort of love. And the lines below are the result. They’re the truth. They were all — each and every one of them — good enough to find someone love, and, I think you’ll find, something worth considering the next time you’re certain you don’t have anything to say.

1.    Yeah, no, that girl’s not my girlfriend or anything.
2.   Hi, I’m [someone].
3.   Hey, sorry, you probably don’t remember me but the other day you asked for a pen and I said no, and I felt like I was kind of rude, I mean I really didn’t have a pen to loan you, I just had the one and I needed it to write that, but I felt like maybe I came off rude and, I dunno, I worry a lot about that I guess, and I didn’t want you to be thinking like ‘wow that girl sure was an asshole’ all week, which you probably weren’t, I know, you probably didn’t even give it a second thought, but like honestly I was just sitting here kind of hoping you’d sit there again so I could apologize and this isn’t really turning out as planned, so sorry, for this too, and um, my name’s [Someone].
4.   So you went to school with him?
5.   Wait so it’s you who put all the Spice Girls on the juke?
6.   You sound drunk.
7.   Is this The Village? Am I in The Village right now? And am I saying that right?
8.   So, you go to an all-girls college… do you like chicks?
9.   Can I call you Trixie?
10.  Hey there — you seemed cool, thought i’d write :) what was guatemala like? i’ve never been anywhere in central or south america yet. hoping to make it to brazil one of these days. maybe we’ll talk!

Friday, February 3, 2012

An Appetizer for the 14th of February

A winning smile


When I was still teaching in the University of the Philippines Los Baños, I used to tell my students the story about how I met a stranger on a bus, as an example of an autobiographical report. Semester after semester, the reactions I got were always the same: kilig. Here goes:
It was a Monday night. I boarded an HM bus in Cubao after my evening class in UP Diliman. As usual, I took the window seat and stared at the carbon-monoxide laced window. Instead of pondering Metro Manila’s pollution, I recalled an incident that afternoon: I had reserved a copy of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s autobiography at a book sale in UP, but the staff sold it to somebody else, so I ran to the ladies’ room to cry (silly, I know).
I smiled at the thought of this but quickly put on a straight face because I didn’t want to be seen smiling by myself. A guy sat beside me, but I hardly paid attention to him for I was still immersed in my thoughts on Gabo’s book and missed opportunities.
He asked whether that bus would be passing through Calamba. I found the question dumb because the Sta. Cruz signboard had “College” and “Calamba” on it, so I just nodded a little while still looking out of the window, sending the I’m-not-interested message across.
As the bus left the terminal and the conductor started collecting fares, I suddenly realized that I had no ticket. I strained my neck, looking for the conductor. The guy beside me said the conductor must have thought that we were traveling together because he gave him two tickets. I was about to raise hell but when I turned to look at him, I forgot about hell. He was so gwapo.
His eyelashes were longer than mine. His eyes were adorably big. Lips, pinkish. Nose, perfect. Complexion, smooth. And he smelled good.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

After a Long Lookbook Hiatus

(Top: Zara, Shorts: Zara, Shoes: Adora/Schutz, Bag: Rubi) 

Last January, Lyka Orhel gathered people to have a street style photo shoot with her. The shoot's theme was "summer brights". It was my first time to go to the mall during the day this dressed. I usually don't like wearing high heels to the mall- or wearing heels at all, for that matter. However, I knew this shoot was gonna be less than 5 mins. so I agreed. Plus, I needed to update my Lookbook and somehow promote my clothing line, Clothes Off, with Angela Puyat. It payed off anyway at the end since I managed to accomplish both tasks. Hype away my friends! :)