Experiments with Tea and Spice

Chai Sketch

My visits to Malaysia opened me to more complex flavors. I have become more interested with spices which are generally uncommon in the Filipino pantry.

When I tried following the recipe for their curry, I ended up with spices that I don’t use in a daily basis. Luckily, I’m an avid tea drinker.

A quick visit to Google lead me to a recipes to make homemade chai.

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Sketches Inspired by the film Sakaling Hindi Makarating

This 2016 directorial debut of Ice Idanan boasts of seven awards from the 2nd CineFilipino Film Festival. Thanks to the Cinematheque Centre Manila, I was able to finally watch it.

Sakaling Hindi Makarating

A year ago, I have read rave reviews on the said film. What piqued my interest more are the artworks – both the portraits and the scenes and views from all over the country.

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Bun Appetit: A Perfect Marriage of Seafood and Bread

Bun Appetit Lobster Roll

Imagine this: a soft roll, buttered and toasted, then stuffed with juicy well seasoned lobster meat. It was so warm, succulent and comforting that I didn’t mind the hefty 595-peso-price.

I had work-related activities one Friday. And knowing that The Pantree food hall, where sandwich shop is located is just a few steps away from the office, I headed there as soon as I was done. I have read a lot about Bun Appetit when they were only available during the Salcedo weekend market. When I learned that they have a booth that serves their sandwiches on weekends, I listed it to my must visit/try list.

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Kitchen Experiments: Banh Bo Nuong (Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake)

When we were younger, our father would sometimes bring us to restaurants that allowed us to enjoy dishes apart from the usual fast food or local fare. This opened me, as well as my siblings, to be more curious to various cultures, especially when it comes to food. Once we see a new food establishment which offers something we haven’t had before, my sister and I would make a mental note to go there.

Besides sampling dishes from restaurants, I also try to cook them.  Through social media and other food blogs, I discover different recipes that could help me put variety in the meals I cook for the family.

BanhBoNuong (1)

Recently, I was thinking of finding a way to get rid of the flours in the pantry. I finished off the bag of rice flour with my attempt to bake a Filipino rice cake called bibingka. (I still need to tweak the recipe for that.) Now, all that’s left is two cups of tapioca flour.

Continue reading “Kitchen Experiments: Banh Bo Nuong (Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake)”


What’s on the Menu?

I love food. Despite being a bit picky (no onions and radish, please!), I enjoy exploring a variety of flavors and cooking styles. In the last quarter of 2017, I painted these in watercolor:

Care for a full english?
Or perhaps, a simple coffee and doughnut combo is enough?

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Munching Our Way Around Hong Kong

Pasta, noodles, rice, toasts and pastries – we gobbled a whole lot of carbs in various forms during our 3-day-2-night trip in Asia’s World City.

We arrived at Hong Kong International Airport close to noon. So, for our first meal, we had noodles from the Tsui Wah Restaurant near the place where we stayed.


Fish Ball and Cake Noodles
Noodles with Fish Balls and Fish Cake from Tsui Wah Restaurant, Hong Kong

Tsui Wah Restaurant is one of the the many cha chaan tengs or Hong Kong tea restaurants. These are affordable places where you can enjoy a huge variety of dishes from noodles, rice and toasts. The mix of western and eastern influences is evident with the toast options for breakfast and noodle and rice sets for lunch.

Unlike the other more traditional cha chaan tengs, Tsui Wah is chain restaurant. Other chain restaurant options are Cafe Matchbox and Cafe de Coral.

Breakfast at Cafe Matchbox, Hong Kong
Breakfast at Cafe Matchbox consists of egg and toast sets served with either tea or coffee.

International fastfood restaurants like McDonald’s also incorporated the usual Hong Kong fare in their menu. The macaroni soup is a typical Hong Kong breakfast option. McDonald’s serves it with either a sausage or ham, a hash brown and coffee.


My sister couldn’t resist the matcha layer cake on McCafe display, so, we got one along with our breakfast.

Besides the fastfood restaurants, Hong Kong also has a number of internationally recognized restaurants and shops. And they do not have to be very expensive. One of them is Michelin recommended Yat Lok Restaurant which offers succulent and flavorful roast goose.

Yat Lok Roast Goose, Hong Kong
Yat Lok Restaurant’s roast goose can be served either with rice or noodles. Order some vegetables on the side for a balanced meal.
Lee Keung Kee Waffles
Crunchy exterior with pillowy centers, these egg waffles from Lee Keung Kee Waffles, Kowloon are delicious and light snack options as you stroll around the city.

The egg waffles are a popular street snack in Hong Kong and some are also recommended Michelin Guide. While my sister and I were walking towards Victoria Harbour, we passed by Lee Keung Kee Waffles. Of course, we can’t continue our journey without having some of their pillowy treats.

Hong Kong also has a fair share of delicious baked goodies and desserts. One of the most unforgettable desserts we had were this silky egg tarts from Tai Cheong Bakery.  What I like the most about this tart is that it wasn’t too sweet. The filling is smooth and creamy while the crust is buttery and soft. I could gobble three of these in one go!

Besides their famous egg tarts, they also sell various  meat filled buns and other sweet pastries.


Kee Wah Bakery is also a go to place for cookies and other pastries. They offer packs which are perfect items to give as pasalubong or food souvenirs to loved ones and friends from home. My favorites are the melon pastry and the coffee cookies.

pineapple bun

Another popular baked good is the pineapple bun. During our trip, we got a red bean filled one from Tsui Wah.

These are just a few of the places where we ate during our Hong Kong trip. These places are chosen based on recommendations from other bloggers, and friends who had been in the territory as well as our itinerary.


Extra: What we ate in Ocean Park


Golden Fried Chicken, Hong Kong
Fried Chicken and Fries and Baked Rice from Golden Fried Chicken, Hong Kong Ocean Park


Ocean Park Hong Kong is the first place we visited during our trip. We bought tickets from Klook. You can also opt to buy tickets with a set meal either from a kiosk or a restaurant. We opted for the meals from a kiosk.

We chose to buy food from Golden Fried Chicken. The choice is either 2-pc fried chicken with fries and baked rice with fries. Both are served with drinks. We were surprised with the huge servings. The breading is a bit heavy though. But given it is a theme park meal, and we were tired and hungry at that time, it was good enough. We even went home with the left overs. It  was a pretty much a good deal. 😀



24 Hours in the Lion City

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

For my third visit back to Melaka, I decided to drop by the island country of Singapore.

After the early morning flight with Cebu Pacific, we landed in the new Terminal Four (T4) of Changi Airport. Because we landed at the wee hours of the morning, the T4 is pretty relaxed. I decided to take a quick stroll around to  see the terminal features.

I was sad to see that the PetalClouds weren’t moving. It was the attractions that I was most excited to see. I headed up to the departure areas to see the fully automated check in counters. While the technology is amazing, it seemed rather cold. I feel like there is something comforting with a smile of a human being. 


From T4, I had to take the bus to Terminal 2 so I can take the train to Bugis Station to capsule hotel where I will be staying for the night.

With roughly 24 hours to go around the city, I wasted no time. After securing my things and freshening up in the hotel, I walked towards Merlion Park.

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Events and Experiences

When MET meets MET

For the 86th year of the Manila Metropolitan Theater,  the Metropolitan Museum of Manila celebrates with a tribute to the architect Juan Arellano and a closer look to the ongoing restoration of his masterpiece.

MET Meets MET, a special guided tour to the Manila Metropolitan Theater, starts with “Framing the Spectacle of Space,” an exhibit of the works of Juan Arellano which is displayed in the museum

Several costume pieces from the theater were also on display.

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From Victoria Peak to Tsim Sha Tsui

(The Hong Kong DIY Trip 2 of 2)

We started the first day of November (the second day of our trip) early. After a quick breakfast, we walked to Gilman Street. From there, we alighted the westbound tram which took us to Murray Street.

From there, we walked to The Peak Tram station. The Victoria Peak is said to be a great spot to visit during the afternoon to evening. However, due to the massive number of tourists, we opted for an early morning visit. The weather was also perfect for a morning trek.


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Pandas, Sea Lions and Ghouls

(The Hong Kong DIY Trip 1 of 2)


Whenever we (my sister and I) mention travelling to Hong Kong, peers and colleagues would immediately point out Disneyland as a place to visit. However, when it comes to theme parks, there is one place we rather be and that was the focal point of our trip.

My sister planned to whole 3D2N visit to “Asia’s World City.” It took her months of preparation – from picking the most strategic location for accommodation to possible routes to arrive at the spots we want to visit. Of course, she is also considering my mom since this trip was promise we made to her.

We left Manila early in the morning for an 8AM flight with Philippine Airlines. We already checked-in online. Passing through immigration and other necessary checks took us a few minutes.

It was my first time to fly with Philippine Airlines. I was glad for the more comfortable seats and the in-flight entertainment. The USB ports are also available so, I plugged in my devices to avoid draining them midday.

We arrived in the hostel too early for check-in. So, we dropped off our bags and headed to Tsui Wah Restaurant across the street. Tsui Wah is a cha chaan teng or a tea restaurant which has over 26 branches around Hong Kong some of which are open for 24 hours.

After a short stroll around the area to pass the time, we went back to check in our room. In a few minutes, we were off to our first destination. Continue reading “Pandas, Sea Lions and Ghouls”