Monday, June 27, 2011

Cup of Tabliya at Tablea

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I've seen Tablea popping around the metro almost everywhere I go. I have never tried them out although I'm a big fan of hot chocolate. It was not until recently that I went to Tablea Chocolate Cafe in JY Square Mall.

The first time I went there was to make a seatwork. We were allowed to go out of class and research for the things that were required of us. One of the nearest Wi-Fi spots that were already open at 8AM was Tablea in JY Square Mall. 

I went there and just ordered Silvanas and a bottle of water. I did my supposedly "seat work" and left before the end of my class.

Silvanas that look like mallows!

The silvanas didn't taste as I expected them to be. I was hoping for the Sans Rival-ish silvanas. Their Silvanas were made from Cocoa. When you take a bite, you get to taste the bitter-ish flavor of the Cocoa that is covering the silvanas. The Tablea silvanas reminds me of chocolate of mallows becuase of its mallow-ish shape. Although I wasn't quite satisfied with their Silvanas, due to my weird personal taste, it tastes good in its own rights. The best thing about the Tablea silvanas, as the boyfriend discovered is its Cocoa aftertaste that lingers in your mouth after eating the entire piece. Their silvanas cost P25 per piece.

Our Sipping Hot Chocolate on a rainy late afternoon.

The second time I went there was after our rainy trekking activity. I was with the boyfriend and our common mountain friend. It was one of the best ways to end a day of being drenched in the rain. They were all drenched except me. LOL. A hot chocolate was perfect on a rainy day.

So we went and ordered Sipping Hot Chocolate for P65 per cup. The sales clerk said that this is a mixture of traditional and Belgian chocolate. We were somehow expecting the usual homemade tabliya but we got chocolates in thick and concentrated consistencies. One could really feel the chocolate with every sip.

Peanut butter-y Buckeyes. ♥

I also got Buckeyes. These are bite-sized peanut butters covered in dark chocolate. It is really sweet and will make you want water after every bite. I like its softness on the tongue. I adore how they served the Buckeyes. They drizzled chocolate syrup all over which looked very pretty. This is definitely a must-try. You get one piece for P15.

Mallow clusters.

The Mallow Clusters were also good. It's a mixture of dark chocolate, cacao nibs and walnuts. The texture of the Mallow Clusters go from soft to rough and it's a mixture of different flavors. A small bar costs P50.

The boyfriend with his Sipping Hot Chocolate and his "X" on his face.

There are also other Tablea branches around the metro. There's one in SM City Cebu's Northwing and in Robinson's Cybergate Mall.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Nag-Handuraw Ako

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I love Handuraw. It's one of the best places to chill with friends and talk. I like the ambiance and the feel of the restaurant. Aside from the fact that it's walking distance from school, I love their food especially the drinks. It's one of those few places that lets you enjoy good company. 

Yesterday, the boyfriend and I went to Handuraw to support a friend who performed. Some of our other friends also came to show love to the friend's band. New wave bands were represented by some of the great local talents. It happened that our friend's band played for The Cure.

This is the poster from the Handuraw gig. This poster is not mine.

We got ordered food, drinks and talked the night away. It was fun to have such a great set of friends and just talk and/or make fun of each other. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take shots of the food that we got since I was too focused on my dessert and the bands that played.

Anyway, I originally wanted to order frozen Brazo de Mercedes. Unfortunately, they ran out of Brazos so I just opted for an ice cream cake due to a friend's suggestion. Although I've eaten a whole lot in Handuraw with my almost five years stay in college, I've never really thought nor tried to check out their desserts. Every time I eat there, I can only think of pizza, pica-pica and pasta. 

My ice cream cake. Perfect way to start a night. ♥

I like their ice cream cake. It felt a bit chewy. I like the texture of the cake that you can taste with every bite. The ice cream topping is also good as it provides a different texture to the cake when eating. 

The problem with the ice cream cake is that the ice cream may be melted once it gets to you. My friend got hers intact while mine was already melted. It's a bit sad but I still enjoyed my ice cream cake. 

The friend and his band.

It was a fun night. But I was Cinderella so I had to leave before the clock strikes twelve. It was my curfew! Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the good food, company and good music even if I wasn't able to listen to all the bands. Now, I'm currently listening to Catch by The Cure. Guess I'll be having a new wave syndrome for a few weeks.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nano Ice Sramble

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When I was younger, I used to envy my friends who were allowed to buy ice scramble outside the school. Our school never had those small stalls that sell food outside. The ice scramble vendor used to come by once a week and stayed near Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Basak. 

My classmates, after school, would go running towards the vendor and buy their ice scramble. At that time, I didn't have an allowance yet. I would go to my mother's office which was also in my school and ask for money. But I wasn't allowed to. My mother told me it was dirty and bad for me. I never questioned her. And that was my sad story with ice scramble. 

My first order of Nano. Large cup with mallows, rainbow and chocolate sprinkles.

Since I wasn't allowed to eat, I never tried ice scramble. I don't even know how it tastes like until recently. It was by accident when I first bumped into Nano Ice Scramble in SM City Cebu. You can find their food cart on the second floor near SM Department Store. That was after we (the boyfriend and I) went to a trekking adventure with some friends. I wanted to try it out since it was new. 

The ice scramble in Nano is pretty much similar (in looks) with that of the ice scramble sold along the streets. But, I really like the Nano version since it has strawberry ice! Yes, strawberry! I just love it (since it's pink). You can also avail of different toppings on your ice scramble. 

Kiddie cup. ♥

Their ice scramble is available in different sizes. Their large cup costs P17. Their regular is about P14 and their Kiddie cup is for P10 only. When you buy any of those, you get a free teaspoon of skimmed milk and syrup (either chocolate or strawberry) over your cup. You can also get additional toppings like rainbow candies, mallows, chocolate strips and others. The toppings usually vary depending on the availability.

Top view. Mallows, rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles and strawberry syrup.

I really like the Nano ice scramble. I like the strawberry flavored ice since it's easier to eat. Although the ice isn't perfectly shaved it doesn't hurt the tongue that much when you start digging in. I also like the toppings since it made eating the ice scramble easier and more fun. I just cannot finish the regular one with just the limited amount of toppings. I prefer the kiddie cup since I can finish everything without much problem.

The Nano Ice Scramble Food Cart in SM City Cebu.

I like the idea of having ice scramble in the mall. At least my mother won't be asking much about the sanitation and others. I think this is also a good way of letting the kids experience ice scramble without any sanitation risks. But, the street version is truly a Filipino way of having ice scramble. I'll probably try one next time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sans Rival: A Side-trip to (Second) Home

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I am really from Cebu but my parents are staying in Negros Oriental specifically, Bayawan City. My roots are really from Cebu. My mother decided to work in Bayawan and focus on my grandfather's farm seven years ago. So, I'm studying in Cebu while they are in Negros.

My brother and I went to Negros three weeks ago to visit my then sick grandfather. He was still alive back then. Before going directly to Bayawan City, I spent my an afternoon in Dumaguete City with Nikki, a high school classmate.

I wanted to try out a local cafe so she took me to Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries. We were just in Robinson's Dumaguete at that time so we went off.

Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries in Robinson's Dumaguete.

This was the Sans Rival branch in Robinson's so it wasn't that big. I like the cafe primarily because it was all blue (insert bias here). Anyway, I like the ambiance of the cafe. Like another coffee shop, it was a good place for conversation and for catching up on old times.

Nikki just got herself coffee while I ordered Sans Rival butter and Silvanas which were their specialties. I personally don't have any idea how any of those tasted prior to my visit. I first tried their Silvanas, which I thought were somewhat like Baye-Baye, a delicacy of Bayawan. To my surprise, Silvanas were just like small round cookies. The Sans Rival Butter were thinner than I expected.


Silvanas tasted so good. The butter cream filling inside oozed with every bite and the sweetness overtakes you. I only ordered one at that time and was too lazy to make another order. I just had lunch so I was too full to eat. 

Sans Rival Butter.

The Sans Rival butter also tastes good. It has some nuts on it and strips of butter. I like its sweetness and how the nuts seem to give neutralize it and give it more texture. But, I loved the Silvanas more.

I like B-L-U-E and flowers.

Sans Rival also offered different pasta, sandwiches and other beverages. What's amazing is that they offer everything at such affordable prices. Their Silvanas only cost P12 per piece or P105 for a box of ten. Sans Rival Butter cost P26 per slice and 195 for a whole. Their coffees only range from P65 to P100. You can dine here even with a limited budget.

The box of Silvanas I bought home.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

M is for Mexican at La Delicia

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For our anniversary, the boyfriend thought of having a Mexican dinner. We first thought of an Indian restaurant that a friend suggested, but he was more into Mexican. So he searched for restaurants that are more or less close to the authentic ones and he found: La Delicia.

We went there for dinner since it's just a tricycle away from the boyfriend's place in Lapu-Lapu. It is not that easy to locate it since it's in the second floor of MSG Square in Pueblo Verde. I thought it was a small restaurant since the building was small. But what's shocking is that the restaurant occupied the entire floor. I was sort of hesitant to get in but the restaurant was great and cozy. I like the ambiance. The colors and the furniture will set your mood for Mexican food. 

The view from our spot.

They had two set of dining room with big (biiiiiiig) windows. I opted for the one facing the mad-made lake in Pueblo Verde since it has a better view than the other one wherein you'll only be seeing Robinson's.Unfortunately, the noise from the tricycles and jeeps passing by can be heard and may be a bit distracting to some.

The boyfriend's order: Grande burrito.

So, I got Mexican spicy beef taco. The boyfriend had The Grande burrito. We also got their La Suprema Pizza.I love their taco. It tasted good. The tortilla is really crisp. They serve a whole lot of other Mexican food like quesadilla, tostado, enchiladas, burrito, Mexican pizzas and others. The price is reasonable. I wasn't even able to eat my share of the pizza so the boyfriend had to eat them all.

Mexican spicy beef taco! ♥

What I noticed about La Delicia is that they don't use ketchup or hot sauce. They really make the sauce themselves from herbs. The waiter also told us that they do not use artificial lime for drinks. They use fresh limes. The boyfriend also told me that he read in a forum that the owner gets his ingredients from Mexico. Hmm. Interesting!

La Suprema pizza.

The exciting part, drum roll please, is the dessert. I had the churros which was a Mexican all-time favorite. I had really no idea what this looked like since I just usually eat Tacos. I really had no idea about the  The boyfriend got the La Delicia fried ice cream.

The churro is a Spanish doughnut, I did my research. It is a fried pastry which originated in Spain. It also famous in the Latin American countries, the US, Australia, Portugal and others. Other countries have their own variations of churro. In Mexico, they usually fill it with dulce de leche or a caramel-like sauce, with chocolate or vanilla. I had mine with chocolate.

Churro. ♥

The churro taste good. I like the sweetness and the concentration of the chocolate. But, I think it would be better to have it during breakfast. I don't know. Eating made me feel like having breakfast with hot chocolate. That would be perfect!

La Delicia fried ice cream.

Their fried ice cream on the other hand was also good, though I'm not really a fan of those. Of course, I love the ice cream inside which was creamy. I just don't like the fried part. This is just what I think but the boyfriend enjoyed it. He liked the idea of the fried ice cream.

The boyfriend with an X on his face. (Not X-men!) Check the walls! Orange!

All-in-all, I found La Delicia truly delicioso! One should never underestimate the capabilities of small restaurants. Moreover, they also have great service. Their waiters are attentive and courteous. They might not be found in major establishments in the city but they have one of the best tasting tacos I have ever eaten.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

An Unlikely Halo-Halo

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Halo-Halo probably is one of the staples during summer in the Philippines. It is also one of the Filipinos' most favorite dessert. Even the Filipinos who are already living abroad make sure to get one when in the country. 

Razon's halo-halo is ♥.

But unfortunately for me, I am not one of those many many people who just love halo-halo. I don't like how there's too many things in it. I don't like corn, chick peas or the shaved ice that pierces your tongue because it's too rough. I also think the halo-halo in ChowKing is overrated. I particularly dislike their shaved ice. It's too rough. Moreover, there's less milk in their Halo-Halo and all that I can taste is melted ice. Probably the only thing I like about halo-halo is milk and ice cream.

My fave part of the halo-halo: leche flan.

My point of view of halo-halo changed when the boyfriend and I decided to try out Razon's Halo-Halo and Palabok which was previously located in front of SM City Cebu. It was a spur of the moment thing when we decided to try eating there. We had nothing good to do, so we decided to eat.

My usual order: palabok. Yum!

We ordered their specialty which were, obviously, Halo-Halo and Palabok. I was hesitant to order Halo-Halo at first because I never liked it anyway. Since it was the boyfriend's treat, I just gave in.

Their Halo-Halo (only P65) looked simple. Like there's not much that is going on. When you look at it, it doesn't even look interesting. The halo-halo in Chowking looked way better. But, as they say good things come in small packages. In this case, it was a weird one. Anyhow, the halo-halo only was topped with leche flan. It had shredded macapuno (which one would mistaken for coconut), and banana (saba). Just these ingredients and you will be tasting the best halo-halo in Pinas. 

The boyfriend's order: Tacos. Say lotsa' cheese!

The ambiance back at their former location was kind of home-y. But something lacked. I just can't point my fingers at it. I'm not sure if it was the old tables or because it was too small and outside was too noisy. But their new store in Mandaue is definitely better. The area is somehow not as crowded and as noisy as the one in SM. Moreover, I like their tables and golden chairs. It is also more spacious than the previous branch fronting SM City Cebu.

For those who are living in Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu area, you'll be glad to know that they have moved their branch in Mandaue. You will be able to pass the building when you are from Lapu-Lapu and on your way to Mandaue. It's at the Carlos Perez Building along AC Cortes Avenue. It's not that near to me either, but as long as it's there and they got a better ambience, I'm all for it.

BTW, they have lotsa' chimes in their new branch. Cling, cling! I just love the sounds made by chimes! Teehee! ♥

Friday, June 3, 2011

OT: Why I Read?

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Reading is a hobby that I took from my mother. My mother is one of the most avid readers that I know, aside from my Aunt. When we were younger my mother used to give us books as presents, believe it or not. I still have the loads of children's books my mother bought us for those past Christmases. My mother didn't read to us, she would tell us to read the book during free time. But, it was only me who took up the interest of reading. My brother liked reading too, but he preferred encyclopedias and those science books with brief explanations.

My current read. Fave author. ♥

I read books because I always felt that there was more to the world I see. I wanted to be in another world, so unreal yet realer for me. Books were my escape. Reading would take me in a far away land where anything was possible. It took me to Bath, to the mountains of Washington, to Britain, to Ireland, to Israel and to other places.

I read to calm myself. There are times when I just feel so choked and so uneasy that I would take up a book to read. This answers questions why I bring a book when mountain climbing. I usually have a book ready for those awkward moments when in school or attending forums and meetings.

The Lord of the Flies. Budlaan on the way to Kan-irag. Photo Credits to Jona Bering.

I guess I was the type that never had friends. I did have friends but I always had the feeling that they really did not want me. It's something that I still feel to this day. Books were my loyal friends. I know they wouldn't forsake me or leave me. I know they will stand by me. Books gave me the assurance that I am okay and thought of, that I matter. I can trust the feelings that books express. Theirs are permanent. Man has temporary and fleeting ones.

Books in my pending list. Looong way to go.

Another thing is that I love the smell of books. A new and unopened book with fresh pages is like heaven. The feel of its pages on my fingers will linger till I finish reading it. Books are like women. They are fragile. They need tender caresses and touch. You have to read them carefully because you might misinterpret them. Some are difficult to read but you are sure that pursuing would be worth your while.

I could not say more about books.They are just perfect buddies. They are the best date with coffee and a blueberry cheesecake. Food and good book, perfect combination! ♥