The Multiple Restaurant Review: Hokkaido Ramen:Santouka, Poco Deli, and Maru

Bonjour once again! I know this post is way overdue so i'm going to put all the blog-worthy restaurants I've been to in the past month in this one post. I (really) love eating a lot and i think it's a luxury that one should not restrict him/herself to (unless you prefer dieting). These restaurants are in the Makati area so make sure you try at least one of these when you're near!

Hokkaido Ramen: Santouka @ Glorietta
The authentic ramen hunt started when me and my family when to Tokyo last year. I made 3 blog posts about it and if you read one or two of those, you know I made a special mention of the ramen joint that my taste buds fell in love with: Ichiran. I swear if I had the money, I would franchise that business and eat there everyday! So much for wishful thinking.-__- Fast forward to now and I am still looking; the good news is, there has been a boom in the ramen business here in the country so i have had my fair share of almost-there-but-not-quite-authentic-tasting ramen. Santouka is one of these. The restaurant can be found in Glorietta right beside Outback Steakhouse.

The Medium Ramen and Chicken Gyoza and Small Rice Bowl Set

I arrived with my boyfriend before 7pm on a Friday and thankfully, we just waited a short time to be seated. The place was packed! In a few minutes there was already a line of people outside the restaurant waiting for their turn. I strongly suggest you go there early to avoid the human traffic. Anyway, on to the food. The restaurant might seem a bit pricey, but one order of food is already good for 2 people. The restaurant offers Santouka Set Menu which is kinda like your normal bento plus the ramen. The picture above is the Small Ramen and Chicken Gyoza and Small Rice Bowl Set which we had that dinner. It costs Php430, but i had my ramen up-sized to medium which is about Php60-70. Their bestseller is the Shio Ramen so it's a good try for first timers.

The Shio Ramen, Santouka's besteller

What i like: The Santouka Set Menu is value for money and gives the customer something to choose from other than the usual single orders. I liked the tofu and the ramen because both were tasty and the serving of the ramen is enough to make one full.
What i didn't like: The oiliness of the ramen, for me is a bit too much. Also, they charge extra for the Ocha (rice tea). I don't understand why it can't be a service tea instead. lol.

Poco Deli @ Ayala Triangle
Poco Deli is a popular choice for artisan sausage lovers, comfort food lovers, and comfort drink lovers. I mean, who doesn't love comfort food/drinks?? They also serve desserts, and wine, and imported beer. It's like a stressed person's food haven!

THE Bacon Slab

What i love: THE Bacon Slab. THE BACON SLAB. I don't know how i have to emphasize this. My gosh this is a meal made by the gods! Fat gods i suppose, but nevertheless! This is a MUST TRY.
What i didn't like: Actually, nothing. The service was good too. Will definitely go back to this place.

Maru @ A-venue Makati
Maru is one of those authentic Korean restaurants where you can get full just by their appetizers. When my mom and me ordered our food, they gave us 7 plates just for the appetizers. I am a big kimchi fan so imagine my glee when i ate kimchi to my heart's content.

 Told you i wasn't kidding about the appetizers

We had the Samgyupsal and Bulgogi, both of which did not disappoint. The price ranges from Php200 (Lunch Specials) to Php800 which is affordable given that they serve appetizers with refill for free.

 Cookin' Samgyupsal 

And oh, don't forget the beer. Korean food ain't complete without it.

That kimchi goodness o__o

What i love: The appetizers, the Samgyupsal, and the Bulgogi! Wait... That's all of it.o__o
What i didn't like: No comment here either. I have yet to comment on their service because there were no people there so the food came in fast. Lucky us!

Well, that's about it! Maybe i'll share more of my food hunting next time. Au revoir for now!:)


Wishful Wednesdays: Home Edition - Living Room

Bonjour and welcome to another Wishful Wednesdays post!

A little over 2 years ago i have been thinking about what it would feel like owning a place for yourself. Fast forward to now, and i am counting the few months to my 2-bedroom condominium's RFO. I think it's just proper dedicating a few of my Wishful Wednesdays to what i wish the unit would look like once it's done with my few adjustments. Enjoy!

1. Striped curtains. The colors of the fabric pop especially against white walls. Effortlessly chic.

2. White and wood will be the theme for the whole unit. It is advisable to steer clear of overpowering colors when the space is small because it will make the place look cramped. This sofa will go well with the white and wood theme, and the pillows are a beautiful touch to the furniture.

3. A built-in bookcase. A home for all the books i have been collecting over the years.

4. Any living room has a focal point, for me it's either the bookcase or a big painting much like the one below.

5. One important note to remember: lighting is everything in a room. Yellow or warm white lighting bathes the room in a soft glow while white lighting gives that office or corporate feeling. In short: do NOT use white lighting except for task lighting (ie workspace area, kitchen and so on).

6. What living room doesn't have a quaint coffee table? This one right here is simple but pretty enough! The candles add a romantic vibe to the table.

Seeing all these wonderful pictures on Pinterest is making me all giddy and excited! i can't wait for September! Happy Wednesday everyone!


December Playlist

It's that time of year √©trangers: the sweaters, hot chocolates, and cold weather are here to stay. And what more is there to do than whip up that hot drink and chill with your favorite book with some awesome tracks in the background. Enjoy and Happy Holidays everyone!

A Team - Ed Sheeran
Skinny Love - Birdy
Cold December - Matt Costa
Rivers And Roads - The Head and the Heart
Breathe Me - Sia
Lullaby - Mantra Feat. Linda Oliveri
Baby It's Cold Outside - Leon Redbone and Zooey Deschanel
Your Cloud - Tori Amos
Blood - The Middle East


Tutorial: Simple Steps For Vintage Effect On Photos

Whenever i see edited photos on the internet, i always think to myself that they take a lot of effort and time. Boy, was i wrong! They're fairly easy to do and satisfying as well since you don't have to 'cheat' to make your photos look great.:)

For the photo above, i used Paint.NET. It's free, and has the same basic capabilities of Photoshop minus the bulk. You can download the software here.

Open up the image like so, and duplicate the layer in Layers>Duplicate Layer. Next, go to Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast and change the Brightness to 25 or so.

Next adjust the Saturation in Adjustments>Hue/Saturation. Pick the shade you want by playing with the values, for this picture i adjusted the Saturation to 90 for that slightly faded look.

For the last part, add a new Layer on the Layers tab. Select the paint bucket icon on the Tools and pick a color from the shade of orange or pink and fill the picture with that color.

Next, go to Layer>Layer Properties and adjust the opacity to the right amount of color.

And voila! You're done.:)


My Guilty Pleasure: Notebooks!!!

Usually, many girls' guilty pleasures include makeup, bags, shoes, or clothes. I am not saying i don't find any interest in any of those mentioned above (because i do), but i have always had a soft spot for beautiful books and notebooks ever since i was a kid.

Lo and behold my collection!

Blame it on anime, or just the love of cartoons and art. I have been doodling and sketching ever since goodness-knows-when. It's a healthy but frustrating habit, since i am a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to my drawings.

My favorite one of the lot has to be the Moleskine my boyfriend gave me for my birthday this year. He knows i've been eyeing every Moleskine stand i get to see in bookstores so he decided to buy me one himself. Yup, he's very sweet.:)

For those who are in a budget or want to give your artist friend a gift this Christmas, i promise you won't regret buying Yeah Notebooks. My previous doodles have always been done on this notebook because they always have those non-ruled ones on eggshell colored paper, like the ones used in Moleskine. It works great with Uni Pin drawing pens too!

Ok that's about it for the random post. Have a happy weekend etranger!