Saturday, October 29, 2016

October hodgepodge

This month, I got to try out a lot of restaurants and food items for the first time. Among these is Pablo, the famous Japan cheese tart place that opened a branch in the Philippines a few months ago. People who have tried it in Japan rave about it but I have gotten feedback that the branch in the Philippines, which is located in Robinsons Place Manila, is overrated. I'm a big fan of cheese tarts and cheese cakes so I felt that I wanted to try it myself. Currently, Pablo has a promo that if you buy any two cheese tarts (not including the premium cheese tart), you get P200 off. Since there was a long weekend and everyone would be home for a few days, I decided to get three tarts: the classic (P599), the baked chocolate (P699), and the premium (P799). (I got P200 off of my purchase of the classic and baked chocolate together.) After trying the classic, I guess I can understand why many people find it overrated. I wasn't absolutely blown away by it although the tart filling was very creamy and the tart shell was soft and tasty. However, I really enjoyed the premium cheese tart, which was actually more like a baked cheesecake with a crème brûlée-style top layer. As delicious as that one was, it wasn't my favorite. Top honors go to the Baked Chocolate tart. I mean, this was just so lusciously good.

Apart from these tarts, I decided to try one of the Sabrel Cheese cookies that they had. The server told me that their best seller was the Sabrel Cheese Black (Truffle Salt). I got a bot of nine (P499) not knowing what to expect and when I tried one, I absolutely loved it! The first bite was good but the flavors seemed to build as you kept on eating. Pablo is quite expensive but despite all the complaints of it being overrated, I am a fan. I won't be buying it all the time as it is expensive, and while the classic is probably not something I will be craving for regularly, I am certain I will be buying their other items. Maybe I will also try their Baked Matcha tart next time.

While we are on the topic of desserts, while shopping one day in S&R, I saw pumpkin pies in their pastry and baked goods section. I don't think I've ever had pumpkin pie before and I was quite interested to try it so I bought one. I actually really liked it! It was sweet with a hint of sweet holiday spice. I don't know if it this is a seasonal item and was available only because it is Halloween month but if I see one again, I will get it again.

I also got my first-ever Tuan Tuan experience. I saw before that they have snow buns on the menu and I wondered whether these would be like the pork buns in Tim Ho Wan. The Tuan Tuan menu had a few different varieties, a couple of which were dessert buns. I decided to order the savory buns: the Crispy Barbecued Pork (P128/3 pcs) and the Crispy Minced Duck (P188/3 pcs). I thought the duck buns were okay but the barbecued pork buns were like the Tim Ho Wan version. At least now there are two places where I can get my snow bun fix. :)

I also got to try three different restaurants with my friends. When my friend Che was in town earlier in the month, Joh, Raffa, and I met up with her for dinner at Manam in BGC. Pia also visited Manila later in the month and this time, the same Manila-based group met up with her for dinner at Pink's in BGC, which is a branch of the famous hot dog place in the US. The hotdogs here are good but I do think that at around P280 or more, they are a bit on the expensive side (and it is a bit on the light side too, meaning that just having the hotdog may not be filling enough for dinner). I was tempted to order another one but we decided to have dessert in Brotzeit (yes, they have good coffee and good desserts too). Finally, I met up with my friends from my CSR group in Applebee's. Doms said she would  be leaving the country later in the year so we wanted to meet up while we still could. The food here was pretty good. The funny thing was that when I arrived, everyone was already eating and I wanted to order something else so they told me I should get a protein (I wanted pasta). When I finally ordered my burger, everyone was already full so I had to eat it all by myself LOL. I wish I had just stuck with my pasta choice. :)

I also took my family to dinner at Omakase in Tomas Morato. I wanted to take my family there for my mom's birthday earlier in the year but when we got there, it was full. This time around, we arrived there at around 9pm so there was an available table for us. We ended up over-ordering because I wanted my family to try many different dishes here. Everyone loved the food, as expected.

The situation that led us to eat here was not good, though. The teacher of both my nephews (he taught my older nephew last year then he was my younger nephew's teacher this year) passed away. It was quite sudden and unexpected. We decided to pay our respects by going to the wake that Sunday night and it was heartbreaking hearing the story of his last few days (he caught an unexpected illness that started out quite mildly but then got terribly worse very quickly). Considering I had never met him before in my life, I felt deeply affected by his loss. Maybe because of how good a teacher he was to my nephews and how involved he was in their studies. My mom told me he would even text her with the school requirements of my nephews to make sure they were ready. As sad as it was that he passed away, he really did make his relatively short life matter, as he was beloved by his students, his co-teachers and his family. Rest in peace, Teacher Dan.

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