Monday, September 15, 2014

HoReCa Festival 2014


As Makati still emerges as the top business setting, more and more hotels, restaurants and cafes chose it to be their home.  To make these businesses gain more strength in terms of stability, profitability and to serve more clients with greater passion, the FIRST HORECA Makati Festival had been founded.  Yesterday, was its opening day held at the activity center of Glorietta 3, Makati.

Touted as the biggest tourism events to happen in Makati, The Makati Tpirism Foundation, Inc. or MTFI have opened the historical festivity which will forever be known as "HoReCa Makati Festival 2014: Finest Footprint at its First" which was attended by foreign diplomats, industry practitioners, academe, high profile business and government figures and their stakeholders.

HoReCa, as according to Triccia Dacer, Chairperson of HoReCa Makati Festival 2014, is one of the fastest growing touristic sectors in Europe which she had derived the idea from, after having met a Parisian business executive at the New World Hotel who leads the HoReCa sector in the Middle East. The goal is to accelerate tourism and bolster economic growth that 


Dr. Elton See Tan, President of MTFI and Chairman of the Board and CEO of E-International Group of Hotels, togethere with Triccia Dacer
 After the event, guests where served lunch at Flavors of Holiday Inn Plaza, Makati.


It was such a delight for me to be back at Flavors.  It was one of my hubs and I's go to place for budget buffet.  Read my recent review of the restaurant at the link below.



Here is how I took pleasure of my lunch with the company of my blogger friends.

Back at the fair,  hotels showcased tourism-related presentation, latest trends in booth dressing among the participating HoReCas.  Also a discussion and forum was held in the afternoon concerning the first HoReCa event.

So, what's in it for us spectators?

Here is where you can get the most affordable, super-budget friendly hotel deals in Makati.


Book and buy you accommodation at Dusit Thani for only P 4500 net for Deluxe Room which you can use on December 18, 2014 to January 15, 2015.



At the Aziza Paradise Hotel, the newest luxury hotel in Puerto Princesa Palawan, get to book a very relaxing room for a family of 4 for only P4,000 nett and P 2600 nett for 2 persons.
 

For The Ascott Limited, "life is about living" so as they celebrate Horeca on their 30th years a number of special room packages have been cut down to their lowest price.  Packages for Ascott Makati, Citadines Salcedo, Somerset Millenium and Somerset Olympia can be requested on their booth.


Also, register as an Ascott online member to get 40% OFF on your next stay, 10% best flexible rates all year round , seasonal promotions of up to 30% off and many more exclusive treats.  Just sign up at www.the-ascott.com.


 Get to sample imported premium beverages and cheese.




Get to book a one bedroom suite for as low as P2,999 nett per room at the Best Western Plus Antel Hotel and buy vouchers for all your hotel and dining needs and get to go home with more freebies when booking on their booth.


There are also many freebies from sponsors such as Fern-C.



Make sure to sign up and follow them at Facebook to get a chance to win freebies by spinning the wheel.


It's Dim sum all you want at Jasmine, New World Hotel for P 795. Plus they whipped up pastries to-go and celebrates Mid-Autumn Festival with moon cakes.



Another sponsor, Gluta-C and Moringa-O2 gives you free skin and hair analysis with their in house dermatologyst.


Can you imagine sending spending Christmas and New Year at a superb hotel deluxe room for only P 2,200 nett?  Talk to these pretty ladies about it.


How about a room for only P1,500?  Yes, have it at Azotea.


Palmrock Residences also has competing promos.


Celebrate arties and indulge in gustatory delight with Holiday Inn's bar and restaurants - Flavors, Citron Lobby Bar, Oz Bar.

For The E-Hotel Makati, room rates from P 6,130 to P8,582 for the deluxe suite.

Hurry, hurry, the event is until today only!


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Getting High with Thai tea at Jelly-G

 

Some years ago, a hype for bubble milk tea have hit our country by storm and  built an empire of tea merchants.   Even youngsters who never tasted true teas have become fanatics of milk tea shops that have popped up in every corner of neighborhoods.    I found it ironic really, from drinking ready to mix iced tea to having it with milk and pearl sinkers was absurd.  Well, what most us knew as tea, is practically made up mostly of sugar than the tea itself.   

The first time I had tea was when my parents made me try a freshly steeped tea, not sure what type, and way back then, we only knew one kind.  Boy, the experience was so traumatic.  I found my first sip awfully bitter and my tongue got burned.  I was a tweener then and I made up my mind to list it as the worst drink ever, and from then on I never had it.   Until I got older and learned that one of the reason why Chinese people have fair and really smooth skin is by drinking it regularly.  Darn!  There goes my chance of getting that flawless skin.

However, even before the hype, I have learned to treat tea drinking as an altrenative way to get healthy or get cure from stomach illness, though it's evidence was still unclear to me.  So, eventhough foodies and regular drinkers raved about it, I still didn't find the appeal to join the bandwagon.  Another reason was that I wasn't a milk drinker either and I'm afraid that I might waste my money buying a cup just by being adventurous and being at trend.   

But when I read a post from one of my favorite food writer, Smarla, and how she managed to come up with a list of her go-to places for milk teas, I became really, really curious, until I ended up trying some of the weirdest flavors she had, except the ome with Yakult.  Now, I'm glad I did!

Tea drinking had been part of my lifestyle, in fact I have alloted a big part of our pantry for my tea collection, and yes, top on my list of pick-me-upper is the cold pearl milk tea, replacing fraps and cold blended coffee, and my favorite tea place is nonetheless than TWG and some well-known milk tea joints.

But you know, not all tea places are alike, each one have a unique touch and characteristics.  Notice also how they lure the customers with play of colors, lovely interiors and with "personalizing" your milk tea concotions.  You, may never realize how each one differ, case in point, where they get their tea leaves from or how they come up with flavors and how they wish to reach out to their customers.  Touchy? Yes, most of the milk tea places I know advocates wellness and health in leisure.  Owners have scoured high points of Taiwan and the valleys of India just to offer us sips into wellness.

One tea place with branches mostly located in malls, Jelly-G, had its owners travel to Thailand who then have decided to bring Thai milk tea back to Manila.  After trying out one milk tea after the other in the streets of Bangkok, the owner said she had to have Manila enjoy this kind of tea sensation without travelling all the way to Thailand. 


So what's up with the brand with a grass clinging on its name?  To none tea drinkers or eaters who despise and avoid green on their diet, grass jelly may be yucky.  But why not?  In Thailand, people eat them like how we eat watermelons or mangoes during summer.  Thailand can be so hot most of the time and people there would grab anything that has grass jelly with it.  It is traditionally known to cool down body temperatures making it medicinal during fever, helps in lowering down blood pressure and aids in digestion.   Grass jelly happens to be made up of herbs, cousins with mint, the stalks and leaves of mesona chinensis is oxidized and cooked with starch to form into a jelly.  Known as chao kuai it is usually served diced with iced milk and milk tea.  


If you are still unaware, most of the milk tea places in the metro came from Taiwan's boba or bubble tea concept.  Jelly-G adapted the Thai milk tea, also known as "cha yen,"  which has higher concentrate of black tea, whereas most of the milk teas around has higher sugar and milk consistency than the tea ( talking of the steeped tea here).  

However, if you happen to have the true Thai milk tea experience, you might find Jelly-G a tad different in the sense that they have blended the tea with the ice, while the Thai's like it poured on cubes of ice, coz that's how we Filipinos have grown accustomed with.


Most of their branches are stalls only on select malls, but at certain stores they serve it tables and chairs with a good line up of menu to pair your milk teas with.


Aside from teas they also sell packed imported Thai delicacies such as these spicy dried mangoes and preserved tamarinds which I found very addictingly  yummy without having to crash your healthy lifestyle.   They also have flavored toasts topped with scrumptuous ingredients.


To be honest, compared to other milk tea places I usually go to, I never really frequent buying from Jelly-G but afer this sort of reseach I did and some information given by the marketing personnel of Jelly-G, Ms. Joy Manalang, I think they have gotten my approval.   I have tried before their Thai Milk Tea, and I was pleased with it, as you will really taste the tea and all it's bitter after-taste which eventually goes well with the milk in your every sip.   Thai tea uses Ceylon or Assam tea varieties which have noted flavors of star anise, orange blossom water, crushed tamarind seeds and sometimes spices.  (Info lifted from Wikipedia)

 

They serve a plethora of tea flavored with chocolates, fruits and even ice cream.  If you want a different tea, that's hot, you may opt to get hot Jasmine Green tea or Thai Milk tea where you can top with mini-mallows, crushed oreos and  cheese.  One of the fruit tea I've tried is their Mango Milk tea with grass jelly and I'm in love with it!







Friday, September 12, 2014

Acupuncture is the Next Big Thing to Free us from Pain


All people or some, suffer from some kind of pain, may be due to diagnosed sickness or accidents and even stress.  Many have succumbed to popping pain-reliever pills which gives ephemeral treatments but brutal damages or side effects are being shadowed.  
It's not that I'm against medicines but studies have shown serious effects on unprescribed meds, thinking it will relieve you of such pains.

Not many know that there is another side rather than continuously taking unnecessary medications-  Acupuncture.  Still skeptics turn their heads away from the known fact that acupuncture really helps.

The first time I heard a story of a friend who benefited from acupuncture was probably 8 years ago.  Angela endured long years of pain in the wrist until she had consulted an Ayurveda practitioner and treated her with acupuncture.  That was the first time, I ever knew someone who got well with acupuncture.   Prior to her treatments, she was endorsed for surgery, which was the doctors last recourse for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.  

Good thing she decided to have acupuncture treatments first, and she attested improvements after every treatment until she never had to feel the pain.

It really baffled me but never really took the matter seriously.  I am already a mom then, who strongly believes that the family's welfare, specially health always comes first, but considers alternative medicine is for the uneducated.  I have great confidence on science and medical practitioners and less on herbal medications.  Remember, most of us connect herbal healing to "quack doctors," also known as faith healers.  

But that was then.

Leaving for sometime at my in laws' place have given me stronghold knowledge in treating my sick kids with herbs on their backyards.  Seeing how these kind of hand-me-down knowledge about herbs and water-treatment did good to my kids, I have had a foot-hold on some alternative medication facts.  However, this does not impair us to believe in what our doctors can do.

When you are a mom, what ever strong belief (backed up with research and experiences) that you have about something, in this instance alternative medication, becomes your power.  

Fast-forwarding to now, after rearing a child who have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, my husband and I followed a strong inclination to alternative treatments, hoping for a cure, a miracle rather, that her diabetes could be reversed.  Same goes with our thinking for our parents.  

Our motto has been - there is no harm in trying as long as it's natural and will not hurt our child.  My daughter's maintenance is not cheap, even other treatments for our three other kids who got sick with something.   Armed with a few information on natural remedies using local herbs, natural, plant-based food supplement and now, acupuncture, my life would be less heavy without too much worrying and spending.



Acupunture:  The Unspoken Medicine

It has been a privilege to have met a doctor who practices acupuncture and Chinese alternative medicine, now my knowledge about alternative medications can be refined.  Last September 1, we had a sit-down interview and casual dinner with Dr. Philip Nino Tan-Gatue, and I am more than pleased to have met him after having read some of his articles about acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

I never knew acupuncture could be so intricate, all I thought is that you invoke your sickness to the acupuncturist, then he pokes the needle to your skin.   Yes, it's more than needling or cupping, it's a system where proper diagnosis is involved, vital skills and education in acupuncture point selection and manipulating the needles.

On the said meeting, Dr. Phil, debunked some of the info I knew about acupuncture.  Being a patient himself of acupuncture, he attested to how effective it was.  When he was still a Med student, he would go through terrible (if terrible is the right word for that or something stronger) migraines leaving him incapable of focusing on his studies.  A friend who have been practicing acupuncture have suggested this to him but told him that he would be free from headaches for 8 months, but he had been free for 8 years.  It will boil down to the truth that it is a medical tradition based on evidences.  

The question most us have been awaiting to be answered, and probably the reason why many avoids this -is it painful.  Acupuncture needles are typically not much thicker than a human hair, and their insertion is practically painless. In fact, most of his patients would fall of to sleep after having the needles applied.  So, no, it's not painful.  Well, I guess I have to experience it myself to attest to this. That's why you need to always check up on my posts and will definitely blog about it.

I knew that most of the patients come to be treated for pains due to accidents, like the athletes.  Dr. Phil actually have mentioned a couple of illnesses that can be dealt with.   He would have patients on pre and post chemotherapy and radiation side effects; wanting to have a child, meaning impotent; or those who deals with infertility, in both men and women; with kidney problems; those people who have emotional and psychological disorders, including stress and depression; and a whole lot more, as listed by the World Health Organization.

To see all the indications kindly click to this link.  The link will lead you to Dr, Phil's website.

Acupuncture is established on the traditional Chinese teaching that energy, or qi (pronounced "chee"), moves through the body along channels called meridians.  When that flow is disrupted illness occurs.  Scientists are starting to identify some of the physiological mechanisms at work, and there's evidence that the insertion of needles into designated acupuncture points speeds the conduction of electromagnetic signals within the body. These signals are said to increase the flow of endorphin and other pain-relieving chemicals, as well as immune system cells, which aid healing.

The best way of understanding this is through undergoing a treatment.  If  you are like me who isn't Chinese and has zero know-how on it but somehow believes or want to believe, maybe it's time to try it.

Dr. Phil is a general medicine practitioner, who took up at least 8 months of study of  Chinese Medicine in China.  He is one of the leading experts in Traditional Medicine and Chinese Medicine in the Philippines. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor in the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and is Director of Acupuncture Services at The Medical City.

For more information about acupuncture and Chinese alternative medicine do visit Dr. Phil's website:   http://acupuncture.net.ph/  

You can also find the clinics where you can consult with him at the same site.












Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mid-autumn Festival with a Host of Nontraditional Mooncakes at Vikings


Observed in the middle of the autumn season, 2014 Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 8th.  The day is also known as the Moon Festival, when the moon is at its roundest and brightest.  So have you seen the moon last night?  Even though it was drizzling my daughter saw it and pointed at it so I can also see.  She saw it peeping out of some brightened clouds and thought it was magnificent enough for me to see it.  After all, we came from an afternoon tea and mooncake party at Vikings Luxury Buffet in Megamall.


It was a first for both me and my daughter to really attend one - where Mid-autumn fest is celebrated with a variety of mooncakes. I'm not Chinese so I didn't really get myself familiarized about it. However, I always look forward to that season when mooncakes are being sold in Chinese specialty stores and hotel banquets.  My vague knowledge of mooncakes and the festival was enhanced after my daughter asked me why the Chinese celebrate that particular event and why with mooncakes.

The Moon Cake is a traditional food of Mid-Autumn Festival in China. On that day, people sacrifice moon cakes to the moon as an offering for bountiful harvest and eaten for celebration, together with dancing and moon-gazing. Moon cakes come in various flavors according to every region.

Mooncakes are inextricably linked with the Moon festival following Chinese tradition heightened by the legends that surround the Moon Festival.  Legends are tell-tales so I didn't bother telling them to my daughter.

One type of traditional mooncake is filled with lotus seed paste.  Roughly the size of a human palm, these mooncakes are quite filling, meant to be cut diagonally in quarters and passed around.

More elaborate versions of mooncakes contain four egg yolks (said to represent the four phases of the moon). Besides lotus seed paste, other traditional fillings include red bean paste and black bean paste. The more common variety I buy is the red bean paste and the lotus seed paste.  Just what is seen on the photo above.

Vikings' patrons know that Vikings love coming up with ingenious themed buffet to make every dining experience there more  pleasurable and memorable.  This time, in line with the Mid-autumn Festival, they came up with something very enticing and have kept adept to the this globally-known festivity.

The chefs (even from other Vikings branches) hatched a line up of mooncakes giving a nontraditional twist to the sought-after Chinese tradition.

Have the mooncakes with a tea or two, me and my daughter had Sencha green tea.  It's a Japanese green tea with a milder taste but packs the same healthy benefits of any green tea.


We were able to try out some of their nontraditional mooncakes.   In my fascination, I asked one of the chef who presented us with their savory creations, why the different take on the traditional food.  According to him, they fused the Chinese' traditional way of preparing each mooncake with French culinary.  In some of the variants, the lotus seed paste is still incorporated, even in the savory ones.

First  that was served to us was a plate with Minced Goat Cheese Mooncake with Mango Coulis and the Beef Bourguignon Mooncake with Choron Sauce.  
My daughter wasn't expecting to be served with her own plate as she was telling me that she will only taste the ones that will be served to me, for she was looking forward to having cups of Dippin Dots Ice cream. But the chefs were so gracious enough to serve her, and she was grateful for it.


She was the first one to taste the mooncakes, and according to her she didn't like the one with mango sauce, I guess liking goat cheese is also an acquired taste, you know, kids are more accustomed to light cheddar cheeses.

She however liked the one with minced beef.  She said it was like eating a beef pie but with a sweet something in it which she later on got satiated.   


For me though, the take on a different moon cake filling deserved an applause.  I'm never picky when it comes to these, unlike my kids, well kids do tend to be picky.

I never knew that a tart mango sauce can exalt a goat cheese filled cookie batter brushed with egg yolk wash.

Yes, mooncakes are actually cookies which are filled.

The minced goat cheese complemented well with the mango coulis, and the size, a little smaller than my palm is enough for me, which means I can try other mooncakes.


Beef Bourguignon Mooncake with Choron Sauce is also love.  This one however has thinner crust and has more filling, which are creamed beef after the flavor of famous French beef stew cooked in Burgundy, a red wine.  The Choron sauce, more like a conglomeration of "cheese whiz and mayo-based sandwich spread," is actually a variation of classic Bearnaise sauce with tomato paste.  
 

Next on the list are Asado Mooncake and Crusty Shrimp Cheese Mooncake.  

My daughter makes one heck of an Asado Siopao eater, so she likened the Asado Mooncake to it.  The serving was a bit heavy for her so she only finished half of it.  I for one finished it all.

So yeah, it's like eating asado siopao only the dough enveloping the meat isn't the white one but of greasy mooncakes.


I don't know why Danica didn't like the Crusty Shrimp Cheese Mooncake.  She said it was too flaky for her and she disliked the part where the crusts fall off as she takes a bite.

Like the other foodies on that afternoon tea and mooncake party, I also have high commendations for this one.  Though for me I found it like more on the French puff pastry side than as a mooncake.  A thick and creamy filling of a blend of shrimp, white cheese and herbs oozes out in between of those flaky crust once you take a bite.


The variant that comes close to the traditional mooncake is the Salted Lotus Mooncake and made a lot bigger than the rest.  This is the one that needed to be cut in quarters and passed around.


A full shelled salted egg is cloaked with a thick layer of lotus paste and the traditional mooncake crumb.  Unlike the mooncakes we know that are made and sold in batches all looking alike, these are made and designed by hands and without customary molds, making it beyond special.


So here she is, my kid who is a foodie in the making, giving me her honest to goodness judgement of the mooncakes that was served to us.


The last plate served to us was a colorful rendering of what we knew as tradtional special food said to honor the beauty of the moon.

The splendid way of arranging their buffet stations were mimicked in the manner of how they have plated the two of the last mooncake varieties that we had.   The pink one is the Wild Berry Cheese Mooncake and fhe yellow is the Choco Triffle Mooncake. 

If you want your mooncake sweet then this will be such a treat.  Aside from the regular cookie dough recipe used for the classic cake, the chefs used a marzipan dough.  I remembered seeing my daughter lit up when a plate of these were given to her.     

When I saw it being served, it brought back memories from the time I was teaching my eldest daughter how to bake colorful marzipan cookies and she made different fruit shapes from the dough while I was just forming hearts and circles.

However, as much as I had my palate grew fonder to the savory choices of the mooncakes, these two did not really catch my liking.  They were too sugary for me, and for my Danica too.  But we somehow like both fillings.  The yellow one had chocolate triffle spiked with rum while the pink one has berry-flavored cheesecake in the middle. 

If you love mooncakes and are adventurous enough to get accustomed to nontraditional traditions, then you better set your dates every weekend of September and pave way to any branch of Vikings luxurious and stylish buffet dining once again and have the honor of wearing a viking's hat and #eatlikeaviking!













Monday, September 8, 2014

The Shrimp Shack of Manila


If Japan have managed to bring in ramens, Mexican restaurants now serving tacos and burritos, while Spain introduced tapas with Sangria pairing, the French have their macarons and boulangeries, and many others to mention. This time, Hawaiians have their share of the hodge-podge culinary that we have in the metro.  That's good news right? A different take from many foodies' ravings about keeping uptrend to what's new and about.

When a tourist reach Hawaii, especially at the island of Oahu, you will see unusually designed trucks with queues of people.  This are famous shrimp trucks selling dishes with, well, what else, shrimps.  For the record, I haven't been to Hawaii nor is it in my bucket list, but in dreams maybe. I just searched for Oahu, Hawaii and apparently, that's what they are known for.



Would you want to get a glimpse of the food served on these shrimp shacks?  

But first let me introduce The Shrimp Shack.  The owners have ventured to the realm of bringing Oahu, Hawaii to Manila, hence the beach wall paintings and bucket-full of Hawaiian shrimp dishes.

Before this scares you, please know that shrimp is low in fat and calories yet has scientifically been proven to be an excellent source of Protein, Selenium, and Vitamin B12 plus it is a very good source of Iron, Phosphorus, Niacin, and Zinc.

Like eggs, shrimp has gotten a bad wrap due to its cholesterol content. To debunk past beliefs, eating shrimp does not significantly increase your LDL cholesterol levels but has been shown to increase your HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Also, contrary to how shrimp can be enjoyed, point in case, sucking the bajeezus out of the shrimp heads before eating the body, shrimp is a very convenient food that can be eaten in just about any way and tossed into just about any dish. 

This is where Shrimp Shack goes to show their unique take on enjoying shrimps and other grubs made famous in Hawaii.



Apparently, they do have Crispy Shrimp Heads under the Starters category, but if you're not a fan of carafaces or shrimp heads, you can opt to have Shrimp Popcorn (P195).  These are the abdomens of the shrimps or more visually known as it's body, battered and fried to a crisp.  Traditionally served in Hawaii with popcorn dipped in a variety of sauces, in this case, you get to dip in cheese sauce.


If Hawaiian tourists aren't all caught up in garlicky shrimps, they do dig chips and nachos.  The Tomato-Cheese Fondue (P145) goes pretty well with the nachos and I for one can have this in one seating or while waiting for my shrimps.


For starters I had the Hawaiian Chicken Salad with Water Chestnuts (P140) which I might not suggest for now.  I'm a salad person, but aside from the veggies being fresh I'm also very particular on the vinaigrette used in my salad.  The salad was way to gingery for me, though I can't find any ginger bits to somehow segregate it, which I thought might tone down the fieriness of dish.


Good thing I have this good amount of Iced Tea hinted with pineapple flavor, to calm down my palate and cleanse it a bit.  I like how it's served as well on a midi jar.  I just admire restaurants who brings in the concept of re-purposing or re-using items, gives that homey vibe.


I'm a bit disappointed with this one though - Shrimp Po-boy Sandwich (P185).  I found this less appealing.  As you can see, these are the shrimp popcorn which I had for appetizer, but were resting on slices of tomatoes and lettuce drizzled with some kind of honey mayo-mustard dressing.  Traditionally, Po'boys are served this way, however if they could have used smaller shrimps so it's easier to eat.  I would suggest using a unique coleslaw instead of the tomatoes and lettuce or both.



They also have U.S. Angus Cheese Burger (P265) on the menu.  As I've mentioned they do have non-shrimps on their menu, so if you have someone dining with you who doesn't want shrimp you can still bring them in, but do you know who doesn't want shrimp (except of course those who are allergic)?


If they have beef, they must have chicken as well, and they do.  One dish you can try is the Soy Glazed Chicken Barbeque (P155).  Deboned chicken are grilled with a dark sweet sauce and glazed with a soy-honey sauce served with two cups of rice and macaroni salad.  


Another beef dish won that me over.  The Angus Pot Roast Beef Belly (P285) is a decadent slow-cooked beef belly drowned in a savory gravy and served with  a cup of mashed potato.


I didn't enjoy the Angus Burger that much, however, the U.S. Angus Burger Steak (P255) gave quite an impression, though not something that could last.  Look how the sunny-side up egg sat majestically at the burger patty and, oh, over a cup of rice.  



I almost lost hope for TSS, until I had a fork bite of the Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti (P220), their signature pasta.  The pasta, al dente, coated with olive oil and the musky, lovely shrimp taste mixing with the parmesan shreds while seeing a number of sauteed medium-sized shrimps was a beauty.  This is actually next to my all-time favorite pasta dish, Frutti de Mare.


If you think I had all those plates, think again.  How on earth could I pack them all in my  20-something-inch waist.  Well, I happen to have samples of each of the dishes.  


If you think I had a plenty, well, think again... Still had room for dessert.


If you haven't seen sweets prepared and served on sizzling pans then, you will, here at TSS.  Might I say I was astounded by the sight of Apple Crisp ala Mode (P130).  Served hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this can be shared well with another diner.  It's a mix of graham and slices of apples, baked and then drizzled with apple caramel sauce.  Never miss ordering this please.



Behold, the Butter Mud Pie (P130)!  If you are a fan of ice cream and chocolate then you will definitely love this.  I just don't know why I thought of Baked Alaska when I was eating this and checking out the photo for this feature.  Anyway, this is basically a block of frozen dessert, layered buttered graham, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, choco cookie crumble and chocolate syrup.

The Shrimp Shack is a must try, and they have relatively inexpensive food choices, a lot of bang for your buck.  We tried the one in Market Market which was beside The Old Spaghetti House (a sister company).  They also have a branch at Mall of Asia and will be opening more branches.  Both branches are a tad tightly-spaced so coming up with a party of 50 may not be possible but the venues are best for intimate meet ups and quick meals for barkadas and family alike.

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