Thursday, April 30, 2009

ROC: A New Resto at UP Diliman

Another restaurant was born at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. ROC restaurant is located at the left side, ground floor of the UP Bahay ng Alumni near the Veteran's Bank just below the second floor branch of Chocolate Kiss, another resto which serves delicious cakes, honey sweetened iced tea and good dishes.
ROC's menu consists of fusion Filipino dishes. We ordered lechon kawali with kangkong and gata sauce, Dory fish wrapped in creamy spinach and garlic chicken fillet. Dishes at ROC's are prepared ala French style, the only difference is the taste and ingredients - their sauce use ingredients like gata and the vegetable side dishes are pumpkins, carrots and green beans. In general, we enjoyed the unique and tasty food we ordered. However, when we tried one of their chocolate cakes, we think the cakes from Chocolate Kiss are better. ROC's was still in its soft opening stage when we went there last April 2009. So expect new recipes and changes in their menu as they recieve feedback from their costumers. We are looking forward to try their other food choices.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

J-Drama "Shiroi Kyoto": Power, Politics & Ethics in the Medical Profession

As earlier declared in this blog, we are Japanese drama-addicts. Recently, we followed a very engaging Japanese medical series, "Shiroi Kyoto" or The Great White Tower at The story revolves around Zaizen Goro, a highly-skilled and ambitious surgeon specializing in cancer-removal, and his alter-ego Dr. Shuji Satomi. Both characters are into cancer treatment - Zaizen is a brilliant surgeon while Satomi is physician devoted to reseach, but their methods, ethics, and goals are poles apart. Yet, typical of an oriental drama, the yin-yang philosophy was the unmistakable undercurrent in the story. Zaizen and Satomi, while very different from each other (Zaizen is a realist while Satomi is an idealist), are drawn to each other like forever-quarreling brothers that have umblical cords that can't be separated.

The plot thickens when Zaizen, driven by ambition, moved mountains to get the professorship position in the Surgery Dept. of the Naniwa Medical School. He used all kinds of tactics and strategies, most of which are ethically questionable, to achive his goal. The story allows the viewers to peak into the politics and power-play of doctors, stripping them of the usual bright-eyed nobility associated with the profession. It also tackled the controversial issue of medical malpractice and how doctors close-ranks to protect their own.

The beauty of the drama is that it was able to develop the context and motivation of each character that one cannot villify a character for his/her action(s). No episode was dull as each draws and engages viewers as the story unfolds. Shiroi Kyoto was awarded as the best drama, best director and best screenplay at the 40th TV Drama Awards 2003 in Japan.

Friday, April 24, 2009

All You Can Eat & Drink at BIGOLI

By accident we discovered Bigoli, an Italian fastfood, while looking for a still open resto one evening at Trinoma, QC (4th Level). It was well lit and has an inviting ambiance (or maybe we were just hungry :-). They repertoire consists of pasta, pizza and soup dishes. We ordered fetuccini with white sauce and a "set-menu" that consists of veggie salad, minestrone soup, and rolled pizza. When our order came, the attendant gave us a twirled bread stick to go with the pasta. We didn't pay much attention to it until, when the breadstick was gone, the attendant approached us again to offer new ones. Yes, they offer unlimited breadsticks when you order a pasta or soup dish! Then there's the drinks - it's a self-service style where they only give you the glass when you order (P50) and you can choose any soda, iced tea, or juice - it's drink 'til you drop, baby!

We were satisfied with the food and price that we visited it again. It was on this visit that we learned about their "great pizza challenge." For P199.00, they challenge you to an all-you-can- eat-pizza for the record. Last time we were there, the holder was a nursing / medical student who consumed 25 slices of pizza (beat that, anyone?)

Their pasta dishes, priced between P150 - P300 (usually for a set), are within the same price range as other pizza-pasta resto, except that Bigoli offers big servings, free bread sticks and unlimited drinks. You really will go home with a filled tummy - we did!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tasty Cantonese Food at Luk Foo

Chine restos abound in Manila, but Luk Foo Cantonese Kitchen is among our favorites. The food tastes good and the service is great. Our favorite dishes include yang chow rice, wanton soup. spinach soup, pancit canton, Japanese noodles, fish fillet tausi, brocolli with seafood, squid and vegetable cake. The vegetables like brocolli or pechay are alway fresh when served. The shrimps in the vegetable dishes are relatively large and tasty. The service is excellent - the manager, waiter or waitress is always on the look-out to take your order or to provide for your needs. In general, Luk Foo's dishes are better as compared to other Chinese restos we have visited. Price range is from P150 - P300.00. Luk Foo can be found in almost Pure Gold Supermarket establishments like in Commonwealth ave or Araneta ave.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Relaxing Day at Ace Water Spa

During Holy Week, we usually stay in Manila to avoid the traffic and jampacked resorts. Last Holy Wednesday, our family enjoyed the hydrotherapy massage at ACE Water Spa along Del Monte Ave., Quezon City. Kids, adults and senior citizens will enjoy about 20 different types of hydro massages utilizing aquatic jets aimed to relax and soothe tired and aching muscles at the lower and upper parts of the body, foot, head and buttocks. You can dip in the hot herbally scented pools with varying temperatures (36, 38 and 40 degrees C) for a few minutes and then soak in ice cold water (wow!). There is also a sauna. Kids will enjoy floating around a lazy river using floaters. After four hours of hydrotherapy massage for a fee of P550.00 for adults and P250.00 for kids (less than 4 ft), you will feel rejunevated and relaxed. You will also feel hungry and a good meal is something that you will enjoy looking forward to.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Manila International Auto Show 2009

We visited the Manila International Auto Show 2009 at the World Trade Center last April 4, 2009. We noticed a lot of new cars from China - Foton, Lifan, Peri, Chana Starlight including REVAi's electric car. Subaru, Nissan, Dodge, Chryler, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Mistubishi, BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mazda, Chevrolet, Honda were represented in the show. Toyota cars were missing in this show. There was also a custom classic car competition which features customized and restored vehicles - among them was a VW Beetle limousine. The photographers were busy taking pictures not of the cars but of the pretty and sexy models posing infront of the expensive sedans and automobiles.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Our Survey says ...Pizza Hut, BK, Jollibee, KFC & Max's are Favorites

We conducted a survey recently about fastfoods for "pizza & pasta", "burger & fries" and "chicken." The survey ran for more than two months. Here is the verdict from our readers. You may view the results at the left side of this blog site.

Which "Burger and Fries" fastfood is your favorite? No. 1 Answer: BURGER KING (with 13 votes out of 32 or 40%). McDonald's is 2nd (with 11 votes or 34%). It's really a very stiff competition between the two restos. Jollibee came 3rd with only 5 votes or 15%.

Which "Pizza & Pasta" fastfood is your favorite? No. 1 Answer: PIZZA HUT (with 12 votes out of 31 or 38%). There is a siginificant number of 7 votes for "none of the above" or 22%. There seems to be alternatives to the three choices: Greenwich, Shakey's and Pizza Hut. I thought of possible fastfood alternatives and the list of italian restos includes Yellow Cab, Amici, Old Spaghetti House, California Pizza Kitchen, Chef d'Angelo, Don Henrico's, A Venetto Pizzeria, Sbarro .. the list seems endless. There is a very tough competition in this area.
If you want to eat chicken, where will you go? Top 3 Answers: JOLLIBEE, MAX's and KFC.

The 3 restos were tied with 10 votes out of 22 or 45%. The top 3 restos have their own unique way of serving their fried chicken. Jollibee is wellknown for the crispy chickenjoy and the gravy. KFC, of course, has its own preparation of its original fried chicken (not crispy) but soft and tasty especially when eaten with its gravy. While Max's "sarap to the bones" fried chicken is best eaten with ketchup and worcestershire sauce.