Japan Trip 2015 (Tokyo)

After a 5-year blog hiatus, I am finally back and I will be posting one of the best food trips I have ever had-- my 11-day trip to Japan last spring (April 2015).

Day 1: Tokyo, Japan


The dynamic city of Tokyo gave us a cold (literally) welcome. Donned in layered clothes and scarves, my mom and I roamed in awe of the stunning full-bloomed cherry blossoms or sakura at the Ueno Park. People were having hanami or the cherry blossom festival under the trees eating, drinking, singing, and chatting. It's a welcome respite from the harsh winter season in Japan. The fashion runway was everywhere in Tokyo, be it in Harajuku, Asakusa, the famous train stations and crossings. Dominant colors were black, gray, and shades of white and brown. I would love to sit there all day and watch them strut in, be it street style or haute goth with cute and floaty fabrics or the elegant and classy fashion style. 

Meanwhile, the city beams with high technology but still upholds the traditional Japanese culture.


And now, the best part of the trip-- FOOD.

Onigiri (rice ball)- made from white rice and formed into different shapes such as triangle or cylinder, often wrapped in nori (seaweed).

Japanese style fried chicken (left) and Yakisoba (right)
Bananas covered in chocolate and sprinkles
24-hour ramen restaurant in Shibuya

A very modern way of ordering ramen
The rich, creamy, and mouthwatering Tonkotsu Ramen. 
Harajuku-- home to aesthetically pleasing Japanese crepe shops

Ended day 1 with waffles topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream from Sembikiya, Tokyo's "uber-chic fruit parlor". 

And that was day 1 of my Japan trip. Tokyo is, indeed, an interesting travel destination.


Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Image from: renoami.com

A perfect Christmas Eve dinner must have the following ingredients:

  • family members wearing the best smiles;
  • food that entices the senses;
  • gifts for giving and receiving; and
  • hearts filled with thanksgiving

Every year I am blessed with the perfect Christmas. This time around, my mom prepared this delectable Meaty Creamy Lasagna Supreme. The name says it all: creamy bechamel cheese sauce and meaty red sauce layered between al dente pasta and topped with mozzarella cheese and crispy bacon bits.

The ham completes every Filipino Christmas dining spread. Ham generally refers to the cured or cooked cut of meat from the thigh of the hind legs of a pig.

Filipinos have many beliefs and traditions when celebrating the holidays. One of which is the presence of round fruits on the dining table because it is believed to bring prosperity to the household.

For dessert, we had Silvanas from our all-time favorite Brownies Unlimited

On Christmas Day, we had a reunion with my dad's side of the family. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas just like I did. Happy Holidays from our family to yours! 

Feel free to share your Christmas stories! 


Sweets for me and Mary Poppins

“A Spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
The medicine go dow-wown
The medicine go down
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way”

Mary Poppins and her songs, particularly this one, make me feel good. There can’t be any other way to put into words the comfort that I feel when I treat myself to some sweets. For weeks, I have been working so hard with my BS Nutrition classmates (there are 5 of us) in a far-flung barangay in the mountains for our practicum.  I needed a break. I needed some comfort.
As I nurture my undying love for sweets, I am also slowly embracing a love for fashion. Yesterday, December 3, 2011, I went to the Bloggers United 2 at the Global City with my friends Ariana, Ana, Isa, Ela, Danielle, Diane, Kate, and Irene.  It is one of this year’s most awaited events, especially for people whose love for fashion is greater than anything else. It is an event where fashion bloggers all over the Philippines come together to put up a special bazaar. From what I’ve heard from friends who attended the Bloggers United 1 last May 2011, there was a booth called Sophie’s Mom Bakery and Confectionary that sold yummy sweets and delectable breads. Unfortunately, there was none in this event. So after our eyes had feasted on fashionista clothes, shoes and accessories, we headed to Sophie’s Mom in Makati.
Sophie is a 17-year old girl who loves baking and was taught how to do it by her doting Mom, Marie Antoinette ‘Tonette’ Rosal. 
Inside Sophie's Mom shop! 
     Photo from Sophie's Mom Facebook Page

Christmas is just around the corner at Sophie's Mom
Dear Santa would be delighted to see these.
Christmas cupcake decors
Their famous cupcakes

Tres Leches with Fresh Mangoes

The all-time favorite Red Velvet cupcakes at Php50 each

Very cute packaging for Mochi Truffles

Each box contains Mochi truffles (5 pcs). These are Nutella Mochi Truffles. Php 150 each box

It was worth the swing to Sophie’s Mom. Indeed, their sweets made the fatigue in my body disappear. And yes, as Aunt Mary said, in a very delightful way. Sophie’s Mom is located at No. 8760 Santol St., San Antonio Village, 1203 Makati, Philippines. If you would like to know more about Sophie’s Mom, please visit their official Facebook page: Sophie's Mom .


Auntie Pearl's

Life as a university student is not complete without pizzas and burgers. After a tiring week of lectures, laboratory reports, research papers and exams, pizzas and burgers are the best stress relievers. But as a student whose daily sustenance depends mainly on weekly allowances from my payrents (a term invented by my mom’s friend for parents), I could only indulge in these comfort foods if the price is right!

A walking distance from the University of the Philippines Los Baños(UPLB) is an eating place called Auntie Pearl’s at Oregano Street corner Lemon Grass, Demarces Subdivision, Grove, Los Baños, Laguna. It is owned by an Italian named Frank DiBerardino and his Filipino wife Pearl.
The facade of Auntie Pearl’s at night. (Photo credit: Auntie Pearl's Facebook Page)
Auntie Pearl’s is celebrating its 1st anniversary this month. With its recent expansion, Auntie Pearl’s has been attracting more customers, not only because of its sumptuous food, but also because of its comfy ambience. It is fully air conditioned and the interior design is truly eye-catching. 

Uncle Frank makes the dough for the pizza. (Photo credit: Auntie Pearl's Facebook Page)

Last Friday, I gathered my high school classmates to unwind and ease into a gastronomic excursion at Auntie Pearl’s.

I ordered a solo Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza. The perfect combination of ingredients used creates a balance of flavor in each bite. Price: Php 69.00! 

            Meat Lovers (Php 399.00) for all of us to share.

A closer look at Auntie Pearl’s Meat Lovers pizza.

    My BFF Charmaine could not resist the very tempting Hotdog with Chili and Cheese (Php59.00)

Next time around, we will order flame-grilled burgers. Their best seller is the Jerry Belly Buster, Php 109.00 (left). (Photo credit: Auntie Pearl's Facebook Page)

Uncle Frank and Auntie Pearl, tornerò presto. Grazie! (I will be back soon. Thank you!)