2017 | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Jun 21, 2017

A Stylish and Affordable Staycation at Centro Barsha


Dubai can sometimes be overwhelming for budget-savvy travelers. With world-famous attractions and lavish hotels scattered all over the city, one can easily label Dubai as an expensive place to visit. But living here for nearly a decade, I have learned that this melting pot is not just for those who have money to burn.

Beyond the fancy lifestyle, Dubai has a string of affordable hotels fit for the new generation of travelers - basically, for those who want to see more, spend less and stay comfortable. Ed and I, being budget-conscious travelers ourselves, can pretty much relate to this!    

Here in the UAE, one of the hotel brands that we adore is Centro. It is an affordable lifestyle hotel brand of Rotana - a trusted name in the hospitality industry. We have stayed in two Centro hotels in Abu Dhabi and one in Sharjah a long time ago, and last weekend, we were in Centro Barsha in Dubai.  

Centro Barsha Hotel Review

Jun 14, 2017

How to Explore the Wonders of Siem Reap with a 3-day Angkor Pass


When you hear the word Cambodia, what do you think of? If I'm not mistaken, your mind will instantly drift to the country's most iconic temple - The Angkor Wat! The impressive world heritage site is the symbol of Cambodia; it is even depicted in the national flag!

I get flashes of the beautiful Angkor Wat whenever somebody mentions Cambodia too! It has been in my travel wishlist for so long, and I was stoked to finally able to tick it off during our recent trip to Indochina


A guide to Angkor Wat 3 day pass

Jun 11, 2017

Meet Mikel: The Greek Coffee Company


There is this new cafe in town that is giving me some serious wanderlust. Have you heard about Mikel? Their menu tells me to "enjoy your coffee romantically as in Paris, enjoy your coffee cosmopolitan as in New York, and enjoy your coffee traditionally as in Greece!" 

Oh well, Mikel has hit me the travel bug in me spot on!

Mikel Coffee Company Dubai

Jun 4, 2017

Hanoi: Itinerary, Expenses and Things to Know Before You Go


Whether you love to travel on a budget, go into a culinary journey, or discover dynamic cities, I highly recommend visiting Hanoi! The bustling capital of Vietnam is guaranteed to impress you. 

Spending three to four days in Hanoi will allow you to visit the top attractions, go on a food hunt, and take a short trip to Halong Bay. But mind you, this quick visit will leave you wanting for more! It is actually one of the few cities I wouldn't mind getting lost at for a week or two!

Here are some travel tips, sample itinerary and budget guide to help you plan for your trip! 


May 30, 2017

7 Foodie Spots to Love in Hanoi


If you can still remember my 20 before 2020 list, you'll know that food is the very reason why I wanted to travel to Hanoi. Yes, FOOD, particularly the savory Vietnamese noodle dish called Pho! I have eaten pho many times in Manila, in Bacolod and in Dubai, and I always thought: if this tastes good, then how much more in its birthplace - Hanoi!

So, during our short trip to the capital of Vietnam, I devoured five bowls of pho. That's almost two bowls per day. Hahah! Ed and I also got to sample other delectable Vietnamese dishes, and concluded that if you are into gastronomic journeys, Hanoi is the perfect place to go as it is a foodie wonderland!


Restaurants in Hanoi

May 24, 2017

10 Places You Can't Miss in Hanoi


Hanoi - the capital of Vietnam -  easily became one of my favorite cities. It has a fascinating balance of old world charm and breathtaking natural scenery. I wouldn't deny, the frenzy in the streets can be overwhelming to the senses, but ironically, it is an organized chaos that adds up to the city's distinct character.

Ed and I only spent three days in Hanoi. Until now, we wish we could have stayed longer! And sometimes, we talk about going back there in the future. That's how much this dynamic city captured our hearts!

These are the 10 places we have visited in Hanoi during our short trip - places we wouldn't mind revisiting and places we definitely think you shouldn't miss!  

Tourist attractions in Hanoi Vietnam


1. Hoan Kiem Lake
This natural lake is the focal point of Hanoi's historical district. Its name stands for "Lake of Returned Sword" based on a local legend that tells how Emperor Le Loi gave the mythical sword back to the Golden Turtle God after using it to fight off Chinese invaders.

Now, Hoan Kiem Lake provides serenity in the midst of all the madness. The green lake is surrounded by trees, flowers and benches. Locals and tourists alike go there to relax and to see the sights. The Turtle Pagoda was built in the middle of the lake as a reminder of the legend. Adjacent to it is The Huc; a red bridge which connects the shore to Ngoc Son Temple.    

The Turtle Pagoda in  Hoan Kiem Lake
  • The Turtle Pagoda in  Hoan Kiem Lake

Lady in Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Location: Hoan Kiem District, in between Old Quarter and French Quarter
  • Entrance Fee: Free, unless you visit Ngoc Son Temple for 20,000 VND/adult
  • How to get there: If you're staying at the Old Quarter or French Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake is just a few minutes stroll away. Read: Where to stay in Hanoi?

2. St. Joseph Cathedral
Soaring in Nha Tao street is St. Joseph Cathedral; a Neo-Gothic church built in the late 19th century by the French colonists. With the majestic facade and twin bell towers, it is a strong reminiscent of Notre-Dame de Paris.

  • Location: Hoan Kiem District, Nha Tao Street
  • Entrance Fee: Free, but entrance is only permitted during mass
  • How to get there: By foot, it is about 15 minutes walk, from Hoan Kiem Lake.

3. The Streets of Old Quarter
Old Quarter is an attraction on its own. It is bustling, captivating and very interesting. It is actually a narrow maze I wouldn't mind getting lost at. I was welcomed with surprises in every turn; a cute little cafe, a shop selling trinkets, a hole in a wall restaurant! The congested streets are lined with old colonial tube houses; some are budget hostels, most are residences. 



There are more than 70 streets in the Old Quarter. We noted the important ones based on our do-it-yourself walking tour itinerary:
  • Dong Xuan street  - where Dong Xuan night market is located
  • Ly Quoc Su - where we had the best pho in town
  • Nguyen Huu Huan - where we found the hidden Giang Cafe

4. Thang Long Water Puppet Theater
Water puppetry, a tradition which has existed for more than 1000 years, is best witnessed in Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. It is the only theater in Asia that performs water puppetry 365 days a year. The nightly performance showcases Vietnamese artistry, with segments highlighting the daily life of Vietnamese people and their historical legends.

The 1-hour show is unique and fun to watch. Ed and I giggled like little kids along with the rest of the audience. Somewhere in between the laughter, we wondered how it all works. The puppeteers took the center stage at the end of the show, but how they controlled the puppets still remains a mystery to us!

Water Puppet Show in Hanoi
  • Location: Hoan Kiem District, Dinh Tien Hoang street, near Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Ticket Price: 100,000 VND/adult


5. Tran Quoc Pagoda
Located in a small island in the West Lake is Hanoi's oldest Buddist Temple - Tran Quoc Pagoda. This place of worship is famous to tourists because of its intricate ancient design which harmoniously blends with the tranquil backdrop. Visitors can go inside the courtyard, but it is best viewed along the main road as you can see the reflection of its precious stupa on the lake.

Lady at Tran Quoc Pagoda
  • At the courtyard of Tran Quoc Pagoda 
  • Dress: Forever 21
Tran Quoc Pagoda Hanoi
  • Location: West Lake
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • How to get there: From Old Quarter, you can take a tuktuk, taxi or Uber. We took the latter because we felt it is safer and more convenient. (Uber Fare: 30,000 VND)

6. West Lake
Despite the hustle and bustle, Hanoi can also be a romantic destination. Ed and I ventured out to the West Lake in Tay Ho district one afternoon for a quiet downtime. The largest freshwater lake in the city provides a calm and refined breathing space as it is enclosed in an upscale suburb. We strolled along the lake shore and watched the sun dip below the horizon in Pan Pacific's Summit Lounge. 

  • At the Summit Lounge of Pan Pacific Hotel
West Lake view from Summit Lounge


  • Location: Tay Ho dictrict
  • Drinks and Snack Platter at Summit Lounge: 700,000+ VND
  • Uber fare to/from Old Quarter: 30,000 VND 


  • 7. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
    Situated in the center of Ba Dinh Square is a granite edifice housing the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It stands as a memorial to the Vietnamese revolutionary leader and the country's independence. The embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh is persevered in the central hall of the building. Locals and tourists can visit the mausoleum for free, but strict regulations are implemented. 


    Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Hanoi
    • Location: Ba Dinh district
    • Entrance Fee: Free
    • Opening Hours: 8 AM to 11 AM, except Monday and Friday 
    • Visiting tips: Dress modestly; no tank tops and short skirts allowed. Taking photos is prohibited inside the mausoleum.
    • Uber fare from French Quarter: 40,000 VND


    8. One Pillar Pagoda
    One of the two iconic temples of Vietnam is the One Pillar Pagoda. The wooden Buddhist temple was built on top of a single stone pillar in the center of a lotus pond. It represents a lotus blossom; a Buddhist symbol of purity.


    One Pillar Pagoda
    • Location: Ba Dinh district, behind Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
    • Entrance Fee: Free
    • Opening Hours: 8 AM to 5 PM
    • Uber fare from French Quarter: 40,000 VND 

    9. The Streets of French Quarter
    Compared to the busy narrow streets of Old Quarter, the wide avenues of French Quarter is easier to navigate and more ideal for romantic strolls. The streets are lined with high-end shops and fancy hotels. The historic Trang Tien street is worth a visit; be it for luxury shopping, fine dining, or simply for a cheap treat of Kem Trang Tien ice cream!

    • Location: French Quarter, southeast of Hoan Kiem Lake
    • Kem Trang Tien ice cream price: 8,000 VND 

    10. Hanoi Opera House
    Hanoi Opera House is undoubtedly the centerpiece of Hanoi's French Quarter. It was built by the French colonists, resembling Opera Garnier de Paris, in 1901. The construction was completed in 1911. It is a grand remnant of the past which serves as a venue of world-class performances and art shows. 

    • Location: French Quarter, southeast of Hoan Kiem Lake
    • Entrance Fee: You need to book a seat for a performance to see the interior of the Opera.

    Have you been to Hanoi? Did I miss your favorite attraction? 
    Drop me a line in the comment section below.



    May 18, 2017

    Where to Stay in Hanoi: Old Quarter or French Quarter


    Do you agree that your hotel location can make or break your entire trip? I do! Hence, when we were planning for the trip to Hanoi, I contemplated long and hard before I made a decision. Vietnam's capital is compact, yet it is divided into areas which are quite far from being alike. 

    There are several districts in Hanoi, but I was particularly torn between staying in the Old Quarter or in the French Quarter. I always love to be where the action is, so Old Quarter was an initial choice. But then I hate crowded and chaotic areas! And that's why French Quarter came into the picture!

    It was a petty travel dilemma that lasted for a week and was only solved by booking a one night stay in both quarters! Crazy as it may sound, but it seemed doable to me. So the final decision was to spend the first night in Old Quarter, the second night in Halong Bay, and the third night in French Quarter. 

    With this, we got to experience the best (and the worst) of both worlds in Hanoi. And I am happy to share it here just in case you got caught in the same situation.

    Where to stay in Hanoi

    May 8, 2017

    Highlights of Halong Bay: What to Expect on an Overnight Cruise


    I'm into mystical and magical destinations! You know, those places that seem to come straight off the pages of fiction novels and fairytale books. So, when I saw photos of Halong Bay in Vietnam more than a decade ago, I had to jot it down in my seemingly unrealistic travel bucket list. 

    I thought seeing the mystic of Halong Bay before my very eyes will be nothing but a dream. But when our plan to spend 9 days in Indochina was slowly taking shape, I got clear signs that I could possibly make that dream happen!

    A lot of Halong Bay cruises offer 1-day, 2-day and 3-day trips with pick up in Hanoi - our pit stop in Vietnam. Hence, I thought, why not squeeze an overnight cruise while we are there!

    And so it happen!

    what to expect on an overnight Halong Bay cruise

    Apr 20, 2017

    Coming Up: A 9-day Sweet Escape in Indochina!


    Selamat Datang! Xin Chao! Jumreap Soa!

    I will be using those words frequently over the next few days! Ed and I will embark on a sweet escape tonight. We are traveling to 3 countries in Indochina (3 cities, actually) in 9 days. We will start and end the trip in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We will spend 3 days in Hanoi, Vietnam and another 3 days in Siem Reap, Cambodia!

    Sweet Escapes in Indochina

    Apr 9, 2017

    Black Tap Dubai: Crazy Shakes and Craft Burgers


    You know me, I can never say never to insanely outlandish beverages! I even wrote a full blog post about the ones I have tried last year. So, when I heard that Black Tap is heading out from NYC to DXB, I was beyond thrilled!

    Black Tap is a popular joint for creative craft burgers, gravity-defying milkshakes and draft beers in New York. The brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Joe Isidori took the Big Apple by storm. And now, it is currently making waves in its first location outside the US; where else but Dubai!      

    Black Tap Dubai

    Apr 3, 2017

    Overnight Stay at Royal Continental Hotel Dubai


    Traveling to Dubai sometime soon? If you're searching for a good place to stay, I have a recommendation. Ed and I recently had an overnight stay at the newly-opened Royal Continental Hotel in Deira.

    My first impression was that it is perfect for stylish yet budget-savvy travelers. And that impression lasted throughout our stay.     

    Royal Continental Hotel Dubai


    Mar 29, 2017

    Dear Dubai Newbie: A Letter from a Filipina Expat who is celebrating her 9th Year in Dubai


    Dear Dubai Newbie,

    Marhaba!

    You might be surprised with this letter. You don't know me, and I am not in the position to welcome you in this mega-city. But today is special; hence, I'm writing this letter down whether you'll read it or not. I hope you'll read though. 

    Today, exactly 9 years ago, I was like you. I got off an Emirates airplane and step foot in Dubai for the first time. Finally having a taste of independence at 25, I was excited, but tremendously scared. 

    Looking back now, I want to give my younger self a pat on the back for taking that initial step. It was a bold move that prepared me to a lot of crazy beautiful changes, so please allow me to share some unsolicited advice today.

    Mar 28, 2017

    Enab Beirut Dubai: A Picture-Perfect Lebanese Restaurant in City Walk


    Have you ever fell madly in love with a restaurant? Like it knocked you off your feet the moment you stepped in. You found yourself swooning over every little detail. You gushed over how perfect the concept is time and again. And you were already looking forward to coming back while you're halfway through your starters.

    I did!

    It happened to me with Enab Beirut Dubai last weekend. 

    Enab Beirut Dubai Citywalk

    Mar 23, 2017

    Friday Brunch at Bamboo Lagoon


    Over the weekend, I was at JW Marriott Hotel Dubai for brunch. But it wasn't just the usual Friday brunch. It was an Instameet, a photography workshop, a feast and a gathering of some of the most brilliant minds in social media all rolled into one!

    The event was hosted by Illustrado (a lifestyle magazine dedicated to the thriving Filipino expat community in the Middle East) and Nikon Middle East and Africa. Ed and I are Nikon users ever since we took blogging seriously and I'm an avid Illustrado reader; hence I was so thrilled to be there!

    At the workshop, we were introduced to Nikon D3400; a new entry level DSLR equipped with Snapbridge. The latter is a handy feature that automatically transfers photos from camera to smartphone; perfect for Bloggers and Instagrammers who like to share photos in instant while on the go.

    And when brunch time came, we were ushered to JW Marriott Hotel Dubai's Bamboo Lagoon! 

    Friday Brunch in Bamboo Lagoon Dubai

    Mar 17, 2017

    The Enchanted Riverland in Dubai


    In a land far far away lies a quaint little town nestled on the banks of a winding river. It is a picturesque medieval village with adorable houses and cobblestone streets. Wizards roam. Puppet animals talk. Princesses sing. 

    No, this is not a fairy tale. 

    I'm talking about Riverland in Dubai Parks and Resorts. 


    Riverland Dubai

    Mar 13, 2017

    Spanish Dinner and Drinks at Espana Lounge Bar


    For date nights, Ed and I often go to restaurants where we can peacefully talk about sweet nothings. But on a few occasions, we are keen on trying out lounge bars where we can chill, dine, listen to good music and have a drink or two.

    So, a few days ago, Ed and I found ourselves in Dubai's newest Spanish nightspot - Espana Lounge Bar. And it wowed us in all possible ways!

    Espana Lounge Bar Dubai

    Mar 7, 2017

    Daycation Brunch in Lapita Hotel


    Immaculate and exotic, Polynesia is a place that never fails to catch my attention in travel websites and magazines. Whenever I see a photo, I can almost hear the turquoise waters calling out my name, but I have never imagined stepping foot in one of the islands. I heard it's expensive and it's miles away from where I live now.

    But then, I live in a city where nothing is impossible. I may not able to go to Polynesia, but surprise surprise, Polynesia came to me in the form of Lapita! 

    Daycation in Lapita Hotel

    Mar 1, 2017

    Authentic Japanese Lunch in Miyako


    A few months ago, I received a private message from a male blog reader. He was asking for an advice on where to take the love of his life on a date. He specifically wants a nice but affordable restaurant; I bet a restaurant that can impress his date but wouldn't leave a hole in his pocket.

    I gave a few recommendations, mainly casual dining spots in the mall. Little did I know, there is one restaurant in a 5-star hotel that perfectly meets his specifications!

    I came across Miyako - an authentic Japanese restaurant in Hyatt Regency Dubai - last weekend. If only I knew about it before he asked, it could have been my top recommendation. 

    Here's why.  

    Miyako Japanese Restaurant in Dubai

    Feb 27, 2017

    Overnight in Remington Hotel Manila


    Location is one of things that matters to me whenever I search for a hotel room. It is a major plus point if the hotel is within walking distance to the places I intend to visit. If not, then at least it should be accessible by public transportation. But for long lay-overs, I opt to stay in a hotel near the airport; just like what happened during our last vacation in the Philippines.

    Before heading back to Dubai last December, we spent a night in Manila. Our 24-hour stay mainly evolved in the airport - arrival in the morning, send-off relatives who are also in transit in the afternoon, and departure the next day - hence, I decided to book a room in a hotel within a stone's throw from NAIA Terminal 3.

    The string of hotels in Resorts World Manila ticked the number one box on my checklist. They are not just located opposite T3, but offer free airport shuttle service as well. A big plus for convenience! The rest on my checklist - amenities, good rating and affordable price - were all ticked off by Remington Hotel.  

    Resorts World Manila Hotel

    Feb 22, 2017

    Chew Love: Is this the cutest restaurant in the Philippines?



    "Where do you want to eat?", my husband asked me minutes before the plane landed in Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban. I quickly browsed through the in-flight magazine and showed him a photo of the restaurant I have been stalking on social media since 2014. 

    I lost count of how many times I told him about Chew Love. He must have forgotten. Ed is not a big fan of restaurants like I am, but he would happily oblige to my dining out requests more often than not.

    And yet again, he did! On our second day in Tacloban, he finally took me to the cutest restaurant I have ever laid my eyes on.

    Chew Love Tacloban


    Feb 16, 2017

    Vii Love Sushi


    It seems like yesterday when my blogger beshie Myla and I went to Vii Dubai for EnVii Ladies Night. I can still remember how much I loved the lush foliage at the terrace. Vii is a bar and lounge, but it has that romantic vibe that made me want to go back with Ed the soonest. 

    I startled when I realized that our girls night out happened a long time ago; not last year, but almost two years back! How quickly time flies! 

    I wasn't able to go back to Vii with Ed in an instant, but the right time came a day before Valentine's this year. 

    Vii Love Sushi

    Feb 12, 2017

    2 in 1 Brunch: Cielo Sky Lounge X Casa de Tapas


    As most of you know, I have always been a huge fan of Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, specifically of the dining venues. It's a no-brainer choice for special occasions and laid back weekends. So far, Ed and I have been to Boardwalk, QDs and Thai Kitchen. And the rest remains in my restaurants-to-try checklist!

    So, I couldn't help but do my happy dance when I heard about the 2 in 1 Brunch at Cielo Sky Lounge and Casa de Tapas. Imagine this: Two amazing dining spots! Two different brunch concepts! It's hitting two birds with one stone!    

    2 in 1 Friday Brunch in Dubai

    Feb 9, 2017

    Day Trip at Lakawon Island Resort


    Lakawon Island Resort and Spa has been receiving a lot of media attention recently. Based on the photos circulating the internet, it is arguably a well-kept island paradise in Negros Occidental. But based on the feedback from people who have been there, Lakawon has its highs and lows.

    Out of curiosity, I gave Lakawon Island a shot during my short vacation in the Philippines last December. 

    Day trip at Lakawon Island Resort

    Feb 5, 2017

    #LetsEAT: Clinton Street Baking Company in City Walk Dubai


    Great things start from humble beginnings.

    Clinton Street Baking Company - considered as "New York's #1 Breakfast Spot" by Lonely Planet- was once a small wholesale bakeshop started by husband and wife Chef Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman. They had a few neighborhood patrons until their pancakes took NYC by storm! 

    And the rest is history!     

    Clinton Street Baking Co Dubai

    Feb 2, 2017

    What to Pack for a Summer Trip to Thailand


    Packing for our summer trip to Thailand was less stressful compared to creating a travel wardrobe for our autumn trip to Turkey. One, because I grew up in Philippines; a country also located in Southeast Asia! Two, because I am familiar with the weather in the tropics... the warmth and the humidity during summer! Three, because it was only a 5-day trip!

    But here's the catch, I was not accustomed with Thailand's culture! It was my first trip and I was not sure if my clothes are conservative enough for temple visits. Hence, while packing, I mainly relied on common sense. You never really know what you missed until you have arrived though. In short, I experienced a little wardrobe booboo.

    what to pack for Thailand

    Jan 30, 2017

    5 Days in Thailand: Phuket-Bangkok Travel Itinerary


    Early 2016, I bumped into a seat sale promotion which perfectly coincided with my homecoming trip. I have been planning to bring the parents to Bangkok and Phuket has been in my travel bucketlist for so long; hence I took the cheap flight offer as a sign to make a family trip happen. 

    Wanting to make the most of our less than a week stay in Thailand, I quickly jotted down a Phuket and Bangkok itinerary never really knowing if it's doable for our family or not. Thankfully, although it was quite a hectic schedule for the seniors, my itinerary worked!

    Here's our Phuket - Bangkok 5-day tour itinerary.    

    Thailand Tour Itinerary

    Jan 27, 2017

    Things to Remember Before You Visit Manjuyod Sandbar


    When travel vlogger Lost LeBlanc declared his admiration for Manjuyod Sandbar and fondly called it as The Maldives of The Philippines, I was stoked! The natural beauty is in MY HOME ISLAND - Negros! And it is only a 5-hour drive from my home town.

    So, in spite of having a tight vacation schedule last December, my aunt and I made it a point to bring the family in this newly found gem. We were able to squeeze a 3-day Dumaguete family getaway with a side trip to Manjuyod Sandbar in between the holiday rush and Christmas reunions.

    Internet-famous, but still an offbeat destination, Manjuyod Sandbar is definitely worth a visit. 

    But wait! 

    Before you pack your bags, here are 5 things to remember when planning for a trip to the place they call The Maldives of the Philippines.

    Visit Manjuyod Sandbar

    Jan 25, 2017

    Centro Al Manhal: Hotel Stay and Adventure Package


    Whenever we plan for a short break within the UAE, Ed and I often book a hotel promotion that includes accommodation and activities. It is a tested and proven way to save money as packages are offered at discounted rates. There are several good offers out there. We're actually spoilt for choice here, but choosing a perfect package depends on our staycation goal. 

    If we need is to de-stress, we would search for a beach hotel package inclusive of aromatherapy massage. If we're celebrating something special, we would likely consider a romantic package of hotel stay, dinner and bubbly. But if our goal is to go on a weekend adventure, accommodation and theme park tickets are a perfect match! And for this hotel stay and adventure combo, we recently came across an amazing offer in Abu Dhabi.      

    Centro Al Manhal hotel package

    Jan 18, 2017

    Dubai Do-It-Yourself Tour 3 Days Itinerary


    This blog post is inspired by the emails and Facebook messages I have received from blog readers who are planning to visit Dubai. Aside from FAQs like "Is Dubai safe?" and "How can I go from here to there?" , I was also asked to check DIY tour itineraries a couple of times. 

    So, I thought, why not share my own 3-day Dubai DIY tour itinerary?

    Dubai DIY Tour

    Jan 16, 2017

    Barilla Restaurant in Dubai Festival City


    There's a newly opened Italian restaurant in Dubai Festival City and its name rings a bell. If you're a pasta lover, surely you have come across Barilla pasta in the supermarkets. The company behind the world's best selling pasta brand - Barilla - has opened several restaurants in New York, and now, it has arrived in Dubai!

    Ed and I had the pleasure of dining in Barilla's first outlet in the Middle East last weekend. Here's how our lunch went.
        
    Barilla Restaurant in Dubai Festival City

    Jan 11, 2017

    Mr. Crab Seafood Restaurant in Dubai


    I have been constantly hearing about this seafood place in Al Barsha called Mr. Crab. You know me, I go crazy when I hear the word "SEAFOOD". But the thing with Mr. Crab is, it's too far from where I live. And with all those seafood places popping out nearby, I wasn't sure if Mr. Crab will be worth the journey.

    But Mr. Crab has good ways of reminding me to seek out for him. First, I saw photos of my friends devouring Mr. Crab's seafood paella on my Facebook feed. Second, I stumbled onto Mr. Crab's drool-worthy Instagram posts. Third, I received an email invitation from Mr. Crab, himself, to try out the newly-launched menu. 

    The third reminder had me! 

    Mr. Crab restaurant Dubai

    Jan 9, 2017

    Cool Instagrammable Cafes in Silay


    My hometown hardly welcomes big national brands in the dining scene. I'm not sad, not even worried. Silay is one of those towns that proudly holds a striking balance between growth and cultural preservation. Popular dining spots in the city weren't franchised from the metropolis. They were created by the locals for the locals! 

    One of the best things I have stumbled onto during my recent homecoming is Silay's booming coffee culture. There are plenty of new cafes, each with a different style and concept. And the bonus is, in this Instagram-era, most of those cafes are visually perfect. They aren't just spots for a caffeine fix, they are gram-worthy as well!

    cafes in Silay City

    Jan 3, 2017

    Lunch at Punong Gary's Place in Silay


    Tucked in the outskirts of my hometown - Silay City - in Negros Occidental is a little piece of paradise called Punong Gary's Place. It was once a secret culinary hideaway, but because of its uniqueness, it easily became the talk of the town, the world rather! Awesome places could never remain a secret in social media; hence, I already knew about it before Ed and I went home for Christmas!

    The moment we got our flight tickets to the Philippines, I immediately placed a reservation for weekend lunch. Although Punong Gary's Place has gained popularity, it remained a hideaway as it is exclusive to guests with confirmed reservation.

    I received a prompt reply in their Facebook Page. Getting a reservation wasn't as hard as I thought. I excitedly noted the important details: Sunday lunch. 11am to 3pm. Table for 10. 5-course meal. 750 Pesos per person. 

    750 Pesos! Yes, that is not a typo. Punong Gary's Place is quite an expensive dining spot.

    Is it worth it? 

    Let me show you.   

    Punong Gary's Place Silay