Saturday, March 5, 2011

Restaurant of Choice (ROC) in UP Diliman

The Restaurant of Choice (ROC) in UP Diliman at the Bahay ng Alumni is located inside the University of the Philippines campus. It is a good alternative to the Chocolate Kiss Cafe because it it less crowded and noisy. On my first visit there I ordered one of the Chef's Specials, Grilled Porkchops With Marsala Cream.

ROC's Marsala Porkchops

A hearty lunch meal

The serving is huge and the ingredients are of good quality. I was quite full by the time I finished. Unfortunately, the taste was too bland for me. The sauce was so creamy, I could not taste the Marsala wine at all.

Next time I will try another dish. I do intend to return to the Restaurant of Choice (ROC) because the place has a nice and casual ambiance so its worth trying out the next time I find myself looking for a good meal in the UP Diliman campus.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sparkling Apple Juice

Is there no apple cider available in the Philippine grocery stores?

Cider is basically an alcoholic fruit soda, except in the US where cider refers to a type of unfiltered apple juice. "Hard cider" is what they call the fermented apple drink in the US. :)

Both the SM Supermarket and SM Hypermart don't have cider. Well, actually they do have Apple Cider Vinegar but I wanted the drink. No luck in the alcoholic drinks section so I settled for sparkling apple juice.

They had a grand total of one brand of sparking apple juice, Fresjus, although it did come in a nice bottle.

Sparkling apple juice is just carbonated nonalcoholic apple juice. It looks very similar to champagne if you pour it in a glass so it can be used as a nonalcoholic substitute for children and teetotalers.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bake & Churn Ice Cream Cakes

I had my birthday party today and the star of the show was the Bake & Churn Midnight Cookies and Cream ice cream cake. The pictures below show the cake.

Everybody loved it, the kids especially. All of the kids and one of the adults at the birthday party were excited because it was their first time to eat an ice cream cake.

Bake & Churn -  Midnight Cookies and Cream

Lovely cake design and its sooo expensive!

It's topped with chocolate, cookies and a cherry.
The cake got a lot of oohs and aahs as I brought it from the kitchen after topping it with lighted candles. It really looked quite impressive and everyone wanted a big slice.

The taste did not disappoint. It's all chocolate (which is what the kids requested) - chocolate toppings, chocolate icing, chocolate chiffon cake and chocolate ice cream inside.

Best of all, it doesn't actually cost a fortune - I paid less than P600 for the cake.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Trigo Breads and Deli inside U.P. Diliman

I was at the University of the Philippines Diliman campus last month and I came across this advertisement at the Ang Bahay ng Alumni Building. Since I was craving a good cup of cold coffee, I went inside.
Signage near the entrance
Actually, I was confused at first because I couldn't find the place right away. You have to go inside the Art Circle shop - the entrance to Trigo Breads and Deli is inside.
Art Circle entrance
I almost missed the entrance at first!
Decor was quiet and homey
Hazelnut Capuccino
I was not there for very long and I only had one glass of iced coffee which, if I remember right was hazelnut cappuccino. It was quite good and I look forward to having a nice cup of coffee there again. They also have cakes and other stuff to eat but I don't know what they are like since I haven't tried them yet.

Trigo Breads and Deli
Ang Bahay ng Alumni, R. Magsaysay Street 
University of the Philippines, Diliman

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Goldilocks Birthday Cakes

When it comes to birthday parties, cake is a must and most of the time we tend to fall back on that old reliable bakeshop - Goldilocks. Their cakes are very popular for birthdays and other celebrations because they are delicious yet not too expensive.

Goldilocks Birthday Cake

Here in the Philippines, kids often grow up having Goldilocks cake as the main event at their birthday parties. The brand is very strong because year after year children look forward to blowing out the candles on their Goldilocks cake. It has become something of a tradition and our family is no exception.

The book “You Know You’re Pinoy If…” has the item “Goldilocks means more than a fairy tale character to you,” which just goes to show just how popular this brand is.


Goldilocks Facebook

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cafe City 1888 - SM City Fairview

I was strolling around the SM City Fairview Annex where the more upscale dining places are located and Starbucks was full. In fact, it was overflowing and we both agreed we didn't want to stay there.

So we looked around for another place that serves coffee and we stumbled across Cafe City 1888. Blueberry Cheesecake is my niece's favorite dessert and since they had that available, we went in and had coffee and cake.

Blueberry Cheesecake

The Blueberry Cheesecake was pretty good. Nothing to rave about but we will definitely have it again since we love cheesecake.

Mango Cheesecake Coffee

I had the appropriate iced coffee to go with the cake - Mango Cheesecake Coffee. It was great and very unusual. I only recommend it to people who love both mango and cheesecake. It's not too sweet but it hits the spot.

The coffee cup had "UCC Coffee" on the label so I guess Cafe City 1888 at SM City Fairview is a sister coffee shop.

The interiors are fairly neutral an comfortable, which is what I prefer. I actually forgot to take a picture of the interior and exterior. The place is quite homey and not at all loud There is also a smoking area outside of the air-conditioned part of the cafe.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Trick or Treat in the Philippines

For those who are not too familiar with Trick or Treating in the Philippines, this activity is mostly unknown except for certain small communities, like Ayala Alabang Village which is called the Halloween capital of the Philippines.

However, in recent years, the malls have started getting into the act. Event coordinators will now have a yearly show and trick or treat for the kids.

Trinoma Halloween Trick or Treat Event 2009

Last year we went to Trinoma Mall. I had with me my niece, my helper and her daughter. So in our group we had two kids and two adults. The activity was very simple, people who wanted to participate would register and receive a Halloween loot bag and a list of all the establishments in the mall who were participating.

It was then up to the parents to go around the mall and visit the stores that were giving away candy. Many of the places had run out of sweets by 11 a.m.
Jewelmer Trinoma - the kids get candy

After the Trick or Treat.

This year we went to Robinson's Nova Market (formerly known as Robinsons Place Novaliches) with the same group plus my nephew. We registered but unfortunately this time, unlike in Trinoma last year which was fairly hassle-free, it took forever to sign up the three kids.

Halloween Display at Robinsons Nova Market

We were there by 10 a.m. but finished at around 12 noon. Since the Halloween event was going to start at 12:30 we barely had time to find a restaurant and order food. In fact, we weren't able to finish our lunch before we had to go to the gathering place for the Trick or Treat event.
Nice stage design. A long line of people at registration area.

I was very much taken aback when the event coordinators insisted on separating the kids from their guardians.  I would have just opted out of it entirely but, of course, the kids would have thrown a tantrum especially since we had waited in line for two hours just to attend the event.

Robinsons, are you sure about this? The kids were basically running around the entire three floors of the mall without their adult companions. What if some of the kids get seriously injured? Think of the enormous bad publicity that would result when people find out you separated the kids from their guardians and they got hurt while under your care!

The parents and guardians are outside looking in.

So they took the children and made them line up. They then went around going to each participating store. Predictably, this resulted in chaos and even injuries as the kids would all rush to the stores en masse. Kids would push and shove the others just to get a cheap P0.50 piece of candy.

The kids who were smaller or less aggressive got left out and ended up in tears since they would get no candy at all. Of course, this resulted in the parents shoving kids out of the way to get candy which just made everything worse.

The stores also ran out of candy, which IMO is silly since it's not like there were thousands of kids there. It wouldn't cost that much just to buy 200 candies. Lol.

After the Trick or Treat event they then had some games and a magic show.
Halloween games
Despite the problems we had, the kids did have a good time and I must say the Robinsons' staff were quite good. I would have torn my hair out with 300 screaming kids running around but they kept their cool.

I look forward to next year's Halloween events.