Date Night: 12/10

Since getting married, the one thing Jim and I haven’t gotten used to is making time for “date night.” I think it’s because we both really just enjoy staying home, curling up on the couch to watch a movie. The only time we go out is when Cheats has gigs or if there’s a get together with friends and family. Our parents have been reminding us to set aside one day a week to go out on a date where it’s just the two of us. I understand the importance of this but when your week is packed with gigs and you have to get up early for work the next day, free nights are so tempting to use for staying home and playing DOTA together. Although it’s so much fun killing heroes and trash talking all the jejes in DOTA-world, we agreed that we really should go on more dates outside of our condo.

DSC00286

Jim asked me to free my Monday night last week because he had made reservations for us at 12/10 – a restaurant I’d been wanting to try for months. It was such a nice surprise and I felt like a 17-year-old again when I had 4 outfit changes, anticipating his text that he was on his way to pick me up from work.

My love!!
My love!!

We got to a dimly lit 12/10 with just a handful of people inside. Good idea to go on a Monday night!

DSC00299

DSC00300

We ordered a number of dishes because they only serve small plates. I think it’s perfect for a date. Before the food arrived, we ordered our favorite cocktail: The Old Fashioned.

Old Fashioned -- a cocktail made by muddling sugar with bitters, then adding alcohol, such as whiskey or brandy, and a twist of citrus rind
Old Fashioned — a cocktail made by muddling sugar with bitters, then adding alcohol, such as whiskey or brandy, and a twist of citrus rind

Our plates were served one by one – so we could fully enjoy each dish. And enjoy, we did.

TUNA: kyuri, sriracha, ebiko, panko, nori / Php250
TUNA: kyuri, sriracha, ebiko, panko, nori / Php250
SALMON - juniper infused vinegar, cream, gotu kola / Php260
SALMON – juniper infused vinegar, cream, gotu kola / Php260
KATSU SANDO: yuzu kosho, cabbage, kyuri, tare, steamed bun / Php260
KATSU SANDO: yuzu kosho, cabbage, kyuri, tare, steamed bun / Php260
SALMON KUSHIYAKI: truffle oil, curry, corn flakes, black sesame, aonori / Php290
SALMON KUSHIYAKI: truffle oil, curry, corn flakes, black sesame, aonori / Php290

We also ordered the Onigiri which is the closest thing they have to sushi. It’s spicy tuna, foie gras and balsamic maple syrup wrapped in nori. I didn’t get to take a picture of it but I’ll do you one better: WE HAVE A VIDEO REVIEW. Lelz.

As you know I just got my Sony A6000 and I can’t stop using it. It was the first time we used it to take videos that night and I’m really happy with how it captured the audio, I really thought we wouldn’t be heard at all. YAY, SONY!! Wag niyo na pansinin yung lipstick ko ha sobrang di ako nakapag re-apply before shooting the video hahaha wala namang sinabi si Jim!!

Definitely looking forward to more date nights with my love!

12/10 is located at 7635 Guijo St., San Antonio Village, Makati and is open Monday to Saturday, 5pm to 11pm. www.facebook.com/twelvetenph

BTW, I just came home from a meeting with the wonderful people behind Linya-Linya. Look at the super cute shirt they gave me that I think is super apt for this blog post. Hahaha

You Had Me At Hilaw
You Had Me At Hilaw

Check out Linya-Linya’s Facebook page, they’re launching an official online store real soon: www.facebook.com/anglinyalinya

♥,
Saab

Totoo Pala Ang Pag-ibig

Mabibili na ngayon ang pag-ibig! Well, at least cookies made with pag-ibig. Anj Orense, a Culinary Arts graduate, loves to bake for people she loves. She decided to open an online bakery specializing in delicious cookies that taste like they were meticulously made with love. It is aptly called Totoo Pala Ang Pag-ibig.

totoo pala

They sent me a box of their “Mahal-Kita-Pero-Di-Mo-Lang-Alam” cookies

DSC06243

DSC06244

DSC06245

Kinain namin ito ng aking “Totoong Pag-ibig” na si Jim. Sarap, overflowing na ako with pag-ibig hahaha ♥

I wanna share their very funny FAQs which I found on their Facebook page:

-GAANO KAMAHAL ANG PAGMAMAHAL (MAGKANO ANG COOKIES)?
Introductory price is 350 pesos per box. 6 big pieces per box. :)
Minimum order is 1 box. We do not sell the cookies per piece.

-ANONG MAIHAHANDOG NG PAG-IBIG NYO?
Happiness. :)) For now, we only offer “Mahal-Kita-Pero-Di-Mo-Lang-Alam*” Cookies. Watch out for new and exciting flavors!

*Mahal-Kita-Pero-Di-Mo-Lang-Alam Cookies: Chewy chocolate chip cookies with brownie filling. :)

PS: Cookies po ang binibenta namin. Hindi gayuma at hindi rin solusyon sa lahat ng problema sa mundo. Pero if the key to his/her heat is through his/her stomach, bakit hindi?

-SAAN NAHAHANAP ANG PAG-IBIG?
Sa puso ng bawat isa. Charot. <3
Online shop pa lang ang available, but we’re planning on joining bazaars so abangan na lang this.

-PAANO MAG-ORDER?
OKAY RAKENROL! *Apir dito*
Follow this link

Once the order is confirmed, we will send our BDO/BPI Family bank bank details via text (this is for deliveries).
Please send us a picture/ proof of deposit at totoopalaangpagibig@gmail.com within 3 days after order confirmation. The order will be automatically cancelled if the said proof of deposit is not yet sent within 3 days. Please also note that we only accommodate orders coursed through our order form.

For grand eyeball/meet-ups, we allow cash on delivery. :)

Please make sure that your cellphone number is correct so we could communicate effectively. Hindi po kami nakikipag-text mate. :))

Orders placed from Friday to Monday are for Wednesday pick-up/ delivery while orders placed from Tuesday to Thursday are for Saturday pick-up/ delivery. The alagads ng pag-ibig (kami yun) will confirm all orders via text message.

-PAANO DARATING ANG PAG-IBIG SA PINTUAN KO? (SHIPPING)
We deliver the cookies via Xend. Shipping fee is 50 pesos (Metro Manila) and 100 pesos (provincial). Please expect the cookies to be delivered 1 to 2 days upon payment.

-HOW LONG WILL I LOVE YOU? (SHELF LIFE NUNG COOKIES)
We recommend you consume them within 3 days from delivery.
Pero, if refrigerated it could last for 1 week (stored in an airtight container) within delivery, but still it depends sa temperature ng ref ninyo. :)
If frozen, it could last for 1 week and 3 days.

PS: Putting the cookies in the refrigerator may affect the cookies in terms of texture. However, the taste remains the same–wag nga lang sya itatabi near bonggang bonggang odorous products gaya ng patis, tuyo and all their smelly friends. We suggest that you wait for at least 5 minutes in room temperature (if refrigerated) for the cookies to return to its chewy texture. Kasi ang tunay na pag-ibig, marunong maghintay. Hihi <3

-BASHA NAMAN, GANYAN KA BA TALAGANG KATIGAS?
Chewy cookies ang handog namin, Popoy. Pero nagiging less chewy kapag straight from fridge. Kung hindi mo talaga maintay ang 5 minutes in room temp, initin mo na lang. :)

-PAANO IINITIN ANG PUSONG NANLAMIG?
Next question please. Hahaha! Mas madaling initin ang cookies kaysa puso. For Microwave, at least 2-3 minutes syang iinit. For oven toaster, at least 3-5 minutes. Yan ay kung galing ref. From freezer, add at least 2 minutes from the specified time.

This is completely optional. Ang cookies, hindi gaya ng puso. Kaya parin pakinabangan kahit nanlamig basta hindi nagyeyelo. But still, just wait for 5 minutes para maging chewy uli sya if galing sa fridge. :) Better yet, try one (or two, or three) immediately from receiving the cookies. :D

For more questions and clarifications, send us a message or text us at 09279098696. :)

Okay? Mabuhay tayong mga alagad ng pag-ibig (at pagkain!) <3

Thank you so much for the yummy cookies and for making me laugh!! Sobrang cute ng packaging niyo, I think it’s a perfect gift for someone with a sense of humor that you wanna drop a very obvious hint to hehehe. Ikaw? Nakatikim ka na ba ng pag-ibig?

♥,
Saab

Tokyo Tokyo Bento Festival

Back when I was in college, Tokyo Tokyo was always my go-to place for quick meals with my friends. My best friend Marquis and I totally pigged out on their unli-rice, I’ve even got pictures to prove it but I’d rather not because it’s totally shameless. Hahaha! And their red iced tea!! Come on, who doesn’t love Tokyo Tokyo’s red iced tea?! Their bento meals filled our tummies without emptying our wallets.

A Tokyo Tokyo Bento Meal is made up of one main dish, unlimited rice, vegetable misono, dessert, miso soup and my beloved red iced tea. You’ve probably already tasted their signature flavors — Pork Tonkatsu, Beef Misono, Prawn Tempura, Chicken Karaage, Honey Chicken Teriyaki and Best Chicken Teriyaki.

This year, Tokyo Tokyo is having a Bento Festival to introduce two new flavors: the Grilled Pork Teriyaki and Chicken & Ham Katsu!

Tokyo Tokyo Bento Festival

I’ve tried them myself and OMG guys, ang sarap in fairness!!

DSC06242

DSC06241
1-piece a la carte: Php139 / 1-piece bento: Php194 / 2-piece a la carte: 229 / 2-piece bento: 284

Think of the Grilled Pork Teriyaki Bento as a Japanese version of liempo. It’s grilled to perfection and glazed with Tokyo Tokyo’s signature sweet and savory teriyaki sauce.

A la carte: 169 / Bento: 224

If you want a crunch in every bite, the Chicken & Ham Katsu Bento is the one you should order. Medyo nag-agawan kami ni Jim dito. Hahaha! Its crunchy chicken katsu with ham and cream cheese is coated with Japanese bread crumbs!

I have to say, sobrang BENTA sa akin ng new BENTO flavors… I’ll pause right here while you chuckle at that witty remark… Chos. Anyway, give the new flavors a try and share your Tokyo Tokyo food trip experience online thru Facebook (tokyotokyophilippines), Twitter (@tokyotokyoPHL) or Instagram (@tokyotokyophilippines) and use the hashtag #TokyoTokyo!

Domo Arigato,
Saab

Nancy, Sebastian, and SUSI

My friend Cholo sent me a text last Monday asking to hang out Tuesday because his couch surfers were arriving and he was a little nervous. Cholo recently joined Couchsurfing.com, a website that lets you literally sleep on the couch of a stranger. You can see why we were concerned about our friend letting strangers stay in his place! Although as a wannabe traveler myself, I could see the appeal of going around the world and not having to pay thousands of dollars on hotels. It’s kind of like Airbnb.com but a lot cheaper and more intimate as you get to share your life with your host.

So Candy and I went to The Fort to meet up with Cholo and the couchsurfing couple from Germany. I was honestly ready to meet some weirdos. But when I saw them, they looked completely normal. In fact, they looked really cool. Haha.

Sebastian and Nancy
Sebastian and Nancy

They do not eat meat and it just so happened that Candy and I passed by a super cute vegan and gluten-free place called Susi in Burgos Circle.

DSC06224

DSC06225

We asked if it was dog-friendly and we were so surprised to hear that it was totally fine to bring my beautiful Joey inside!! We stayed in the enclosed room you can see from the photo above.

DSC06221

YAY
YAY

It was so nice getting to know Sebastian and Nancy. They have been together for 10 years, married for 2, and for the past 7 months they have just been traveling the world. Can you believe that they quit their jobs, sold everything they had and just started traveling? Home, furniture, everything. Nancy said it was her grandparents who gave them the idea of traveling now while they are still young. It’s always the goal to earn a lot of money and retire before traveling. That was her grandparents’ plan but her grandma got sick so they were not able to travel anymore. It was a very good point and it’s so inspiring to just live in the moment.

DSC06216

They have very interesting names for their dishes. This one is called Moby Dip(s) - 3-dip platter: olive tapenade, sun-dried tomato hummus and pesto served with toast. Named after animal lover Richard Melville Hall, aka Moby.
SUSI has very interesting names for their dishes. This one is called Moby Dip(s) – 3-dip platter: olive tapenade, sun-dried tomato hummus and pesto served with toast. Named after animal lover Richard Melville Hall, aka Moby.
Mac and Geez - macaroni and "cheese" topped with arugula and paprika. Is it as good as actual mac and cheese? Of course not. But it's not bad.
Mac and Geez – macaroni and “cheese” topped with arugula and paprika. Is it as good as actual mac and cheese? Of course not. But it’s not bad.
I have no idea what I ordered basta it was really yummy but I ended up spilling it all over my bag because I am a klutz like that
I have no idea what smoothie I ordered basta it was really yummy but I ended up spilling it all over my bag because I am a klutz like that

I’m so glad I met Nancy and Sebastian and I’ll be seeing them again tonight at our Cheats gig. I think they plan to go to Cebu and Palawan while they’re here. I suggested Siargao and Vigan even though I’ve never been to either. I really want to go to both!! If you have any suggestions, swing by Saguijo tonight.

♥,
Saab

Adios, Tummy Ticklers!

I got a message from Candy 2 days ago about the small Mexican food cart in Shangri-la’s 4th floor closing down

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 8.22.21 AM

It’s been around for 18 years, I knew it back then as Tummy Ticklers. My siblings and I would go there after spending an afternoon at the old Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum. Fun times!! Shangri-la has always been my family’s go-to mall since we were little kids. Tummy Ticklers/Taco Cabana/Mexicana Food Corner has been a big part of our mall experience all these years. I immediately messaged Maxx and we decided to go with Clara. I met up with them at my mom’s condo near Shangri-la.

Charlie, Maxx's dog, was chilling on the couch
Charlie, Maxx’s dog, was chilling on the couch

The three of us walked to the mall and went straight to the food stall.

So ghetto haha
So ghetto haha

DSC05907

It sold more than just Mexican bites – they’ve got imported chocolates and candies and even a few cosmetic products.

DSC05905

DSC05906

The food stall doesn’t even serve exceptionally great Mexican snacks. I guess there’s just a sense of nostalgia and comfort in their corn dogs, cheese puppies, and “natchos”

Almost half of their menu is marked "not available"
Almost half of their menu is marked “not available”

DSC05916

DSC05910

When I asked why they were closing down, they said they would no longer be able to pay rent at the mall. Oh well. It was great knowing ya! An Instagram follower of mine commented that they’ve extended until May 10 but I can’t confirm that. From what I know, today’s their last day so if you share a bond with the food stall like we do, I suggest you go today and tickle your tummy before it closes down!

Mexicana Food Corner is located at the 4th floor of Shangri-la Plaza Mall, right beside Sabrett and Toys R Us.

Eat Buy Try: TuanTuan + Satchmi + Matrix Biolage Anti-Frizz Serum

My first stop today was at Matrix Salon to get my hair color retouched. It only took an hour to retouch the violet shade and get my hair treated so it doesn’t get too dry. I also asked what I could do about all the frizziness and they gave me this anti-frizz serum to shut me up.

DSC05712

LELZ. Just kidding, they’re very friendly over there. Can’t wait to try this out and see if I can get my frizz under control. Nakakainizz kasi ang frizz. Ask your salon if they have Matrix products!

Since it was just a quick session at the salon, I was able to meet up with Maxx and the Youngs (omg that sounds like a band name, Maxx and The Youngs) for lunch at TuanTuan, Megamall. It was my first time there.

Lauren givin' some side eye
Lauren givin’ some side eye

DSC05687

It was also my first time to eat pork buns. I told Maxx I had previously tried the yummy pork buns at Ippudo and she said those aren’t real pork buns. Hahaha I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean!! But yeah, the pork buns at Tuantuan looked very different from the ones at Ippudo.

They're like toasted siopao. Yummy!
They’re like toasted siopao. VERY yummy! We got the crispy barbecued pork snow buns.

Read more

How I Slimmed Down For My Wedding Day

I got a lot of people asking me how I lost weight and slimmed down for my wedding. My plan was to go all out intense training at the gym 2 months before the wedding. Then I badly sprained my ankle last Dec. 20 so my gym plans disappeared. It’s a good thing I was on Diet Diva‘s program for months prior to January so I gradually slimmed down – I didn’t want to do anything crazy like go an all liquid diet or something. I probably would have gone batshit bridezilla if I deprived myself of food. Hahaha! Here’s exactly how Diet Diva helped me quickly shed pounds without having to starve myself.

Just for reference and because I’m a good sport (hehehe) here’s a photo taken back in Tokyo, a day before Jim proposed to me 8 months before the big day. Look at how tight my dress was (and how horrible my hair looked in Japanese weather haha).

saabchubby

Also, here’s another one of me and Maxx meeting with my official wedding photographer J Lucas Reyes back in April.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 2.09.36 PM

Ika nga ng Instagram commenter na si iloveashsy (kung sinuman siya) I looked like a pregnant…

IMG_7168
a pregnant what???

Now we know why people assumed I was getting married because I got knocked up. Apparently, I had packed on a few pounds. UGH. Although I didn’t want to look totally unrecognizable and be stick thin on my wedding day, it was important to me that I looked like myself.

The article and interview below originally appeared on Stylebible.ph and was written by Marj Ramos.

Read more

Kyoto’s Kitchen: Nishiki Market

Our fourth day in Japan was spent going around the famous Nishiki Market (Kyoto), a really long and narrow arcade that stretches for five blocks. It’s lined by over a hundred shops and restaurants. It’s known as The Kitchen of Kyoto because you can sample many of the city’s cultural delicacies all in one place. The history of the place is amazing:

Nishiki has a long history that originated about 400 years ago, but its true beginnings go back even further. When Japan’s capital was first transferred to Kyoto, the distribution network for goods was undeveloped and citizens couldn’t enjoy eating a wide variety of foods. In 1573, a lot of local merchants visited Kyoto’s Imperial Palace to dedicate local products, such as fresh fish and game for meat. Gradually, they got used to cooperating in order to keep these products fresh by utilizing the abundance of freezing underground water beneath Nishiki, which remains 15 degrees C even in summer. Even today, this water guarantees the freshness of fish sold in the market. (source)

Here are some photos I took that day.

DSC04975
Jim “gathering good energy and balling it up” for good vibes
We're heeere
We’re heeere

DSC04983

Read more

Itadakimasu!

On our second day in Kyoto, we were set on taking a cooking class we found on TripAdvisor. If you’re not familiar with the app, it gets your location and tells you the top-rated restaurants, attractions and activities nearby. One of the top activities near our area was a traditional Japanese cooking class held by WA Experience Kafu and it had rave reviews, mostly for the very friendly instructor named Kimi! I e-mailed her in the morning and asked if there was an available slot for the day and inquired about how much it would cost for 2 persons. She replied within the hour and said we could go at 2pm and a class for each person cost 7,500 yen (a little less than PhP3,000). So we finally got out of bed and checked the weather outside.

IMG_5886
My husband the dinosaur

Read more

Dinner at Nobu

I used to always read about the restaurant and “Hollywood Hotspot” Nobu when I read gossip magazines or PerezHilton. Note the past tense because I haven’t been up to date in any gossip – Hollywood or otherwise. So when I found out we were dining at Nobu for my almost in-laws’ 34th wedding anniversary, I was surprised because I didn’t even know it was opening here. Need to be less self-absorbed and brush up on current events, Saab! Anyway, it was a great dinner before 2014 ended!

Happy 34th, tito Gerry and tita Bing!
Happy 34th anniversary, tito Gerry and tita Bing!

Nobu is named such after its head chef and founder Nobu Matsuhisa. He is well known for blending traditional Japanese dishes with South American ingredients.

The white fish sashimi with dried miso was excellent!
The white fish sashimi with dried miso was excellent!
Negi Toro (fatty tuna and scallion)
Negi Toro (fatty tuna and scallion)

Matsuhisa was made even more famous when his customer, actor Robert De Niro, was so impressed and offered to partner up with him. Apparently, he even had a small role in Martin Scorsese’s Casino and did some cameos in Austin Powers: Goldmember and Memoirs of a Geisha. Daming raket ni kuya!

Nobu style tacos
Nobu style tacos
Super yum: Yellowtail with jalapeño
Super yum: Yellowtail with jalapeño
House Special sushi
House Special sushi
Do yourself a favor and order this: Crispy pork belly with spicy miso
Do yourself a favor and order this: Crispy pork belly with spicy miso

It was a fab dinner and I’m glad to have been invited!

IMG_0253

Nunki the emotera!
Nunki the emotera!

IMG_0296

After dinner we went outside where it was so pretty and quiet.

IMG_0302

IMG_0307

On our way to a cabana, which was surrounded by water, Nunki got too excited and walked straight ankle-deep into the shallow pool. Brave girl, buti nalang she didn’t cry haha.

IMG_0322

IMG_0325
Wet socks SUCK!!

There we heard stories of tita Bing and tito Gerry’s love life. This made Nunki kind of force Jim to kiss my hand. She had to teach him how to do it too hahaha

IMG_0334

IMG_0336

Jim and the girls

IMG_0393
My bridesmaids ate Mia, Chelo and our flower girl Nunki!
Guess where she learned all her poses!

Jim’s cousin works at Nobu and arranged a little tour for us! We got a little sneak peek at their beautiful hotel rooms.

IMG_0397

IMG_0409

Framed Japan-themed prints
Framed Japan-themed prints

IMG_0414

Chelo captioned this "Banyo King and Queen"
Chelo captioned this “Banyo King and Queen”

Thank you SO much to Chelo for sending me these photos from her new camera woohoo!! I’d also like to thank Una, Ely and Eon Buendia for the pretty dress I wore that night. So flattered that you think I’m a size UK 6. Miraculously, it fits me. Hehehe.

IMG_5161 (1)

Most of all, I’d like to thank The Bacarros for inviting me to dinner and for giving me the best gift of all: Jim. TEEHEE.

Nobu Hotel is located in City of Dreams Manila, Asean Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard, Manila. +632 800 8080