Monday, March 30, 2015

RYU RAMEN AND CURRY

I know it's the start of summer and the weather is just absolutely scorching. But let me add more to the heat by featuring yet again ANOTHER RAMEN POST!

Yeah! Yeah! You should know by now that when there is RAMEN, ERICJAZ FOODIES will come KNOCKIN'!

I'm sorry. It must be the heat. I'm getting cornier than usual.

Anywho, one Sunday many, many, weeks ago, the Chinese Adonis and I were curious at trying out a ramen house we've seen in SM JAZZ, Makati City. We have actually heard about RYU a long time ago but its branches were not geographically desirable for me and the hub that's why we'll only be able to try it when the restaurant is now nearer to our "looove abode" (peeyew).  We asked the little lords if they wanted to join us and only Mati was interested since he shared my love for noodles. As for Andrei? Forget about him. We certainly did.

Oh I'm joking! He went with his grandparents.

I think.

Tee Hee!

So we headed out to RYU that night armed with our desire to try out some Ramen other than our usual noodle favorites. How did it fare up? Read on and find out.

I told you I'm cornier than usual today. :P



RYU RAMEN AND CURRY!!



We tried out the RYU branch in the new SM JAZZ Mall and upon hearing a familiar name, Mati joked that I owned the place. He he he he he!

Friday, March 27, 2015

71 GRAMERCY

If you are looking for hip and cool people to be friends with, you may want to cross out ERICJAZ FOODIES in your "probable" list. Heck, you could even put our names waaaaay down below the page number of your notebook! Our workmates, friends, and yes even our family would agree that when the god of cool spread this gift on mankind, the Chinese Adonis and I where somewhere watching Meteor Garden. He he he he he!

So when we received an invite to have our Tuesday night at 71 GRAMERCY, we both felt a feeling of excitement and panic: Excitement because we haven't been to this "IT" place and we were RARING to see why it's so hot right now. And panic because well, we might be our usual silly and pathetic selves that diners might think of throwing us from the 71st floor.

Hey... 71 Gramercy has 71 floors??? Such a coincidence!!!

Now THAT'S how cool we are.

Kidding! He he he he he!

Anywho, we were relieved to learn that we were there not to be cool or to party with Manila's socialites. We were actually there to try out the newest dishes cooked up by celebrity chef Mr. Carlo Miguel. And looking at the mouth watering food that this handsome chef has created that caused the numerous raves online --  now wouldn't want to be a part of THAT?

Isn't it great how food brings all types of people together?

Oh and don't worry. Our "uncool-ness" have deeply penetrated itself in us that it won't rub off on you. He he he he he!


71 GRAMERCY!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

GERRY'S GRILL RESTAURANT AND BAR

To end Chuckie's food trip series in the Philippines we went to GERRY'S GRILL RESTAURANT AND BAR to have a dinner that would have most of his unusual requests. As we didn't have time anymore to go out of town to try his craving for exotic foods, I just thought of letting him a taste of our strange favorites that he may appreciate as well. 



GERRY'S GRILL RESTAURANT AND BAR!!!



Of course, some of us are already jaded by some of GERRY'S GRILL offerings. But when I told Chuckie of what I plan to order, he was hungrily interested!

THE BAUAN PLAZA HOTEL (PART 2)

Last weekend, the Yappy Bunch was invited to stay at THE BAUAN PLAZA HOTEL in Batangas for a staycation far away from home. Though we already know that we are going to a beach and have lunch there, the SOMBRERO ISLAND FULL LEISURE PACKAGE by the BAUAN PLAZA HOTEL really blew us away as we went snorkling and swimming on our very own secluded island. Then, come lunch time, an elegant table setting was made ready for us that served savory food made more delicious by the breath taking view of the ocean.

I know I have said it many times but I'm not ashamed to say it again.... The SOMBRERO ISLAND TOUR was TRULY an unforgettable experience! It was such an eye opener that the sea inhabited a different kind of beauty plus SO much more. I may be getting a bit dramatic but avid divers and snorklers would understand how going under the sea would take you to another level of enchantment you didn't know existed before. We all cannot wait to do it again with the boys!!!

Now if you think after such a exciting day that it was already downhill for our BAUAN HOTEL PLAZA staycation, you are so wrong. We were still able to enjoy our time together and saw something new that was worthy for our YAPPY book of records.

Like I would always say, THE YAPPY BUNCH finds fun in EVERYTHING. And with our BAUAN PLAZA HOTEL staycation, we found A LOT.


THE BAUAN PLAZA HOTEL!

The newest and grandest hotel in the area recently opened August of last year and has already accommodated locals and tourists alike who wanted to experience luxurious living in the heart of Batangas City.



It is located just in front of the City church making BAUAN PLAZA HOTEL the ideal reception area for your next grand event. It was also very convenient for those who wanted to hear mass during a staycation. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

BAUAN PLAZA HOTEL (PART 1)

Every summer, us parents would scramble on to check what sort of workshops, sports camp, or extra tutorials would best suit our kiddies in order to have a more worthy and meaningful vacation. I don't know about you but I have fallen guilty with the challenging times that I would always plot these "summer burdens" on my kids because I don't want them to just stay at home and watch television.  I have realized that I have failed to prioritize too what is the most important experience for my little lords at this stage in their lives...

The element of FUN. Yep! Mary Poppins certainly got that right!

This vacation, the Chinese Adonis and I forgot about making them work at a fast food chain or taking up lessons for a future Broadway career. I'm sure that these extra summer activities are still learning and fun for some other vacation. But not this time. For this year, we want to do something different for summer: we will be raking up MORE unforgettable experiences as a family.

We have already scheduled getaways and trips for summer when we received an invite from one of KTG's coolest couple EN ROUTE, to have a weekend in Batangas' newest go-to place: THE BAUAN PLAZA HOTEL. Staycations are always a welcome treat for THE YAPPY BUNCH but to have it all the way in Batangas, will definitely be something. To be honest, I was expecting first that it will be the usual staycation where we are billeted in this ultra clean room and enjoying hotel food. But when I saw BAUAN PLAZA HOTEL's SOMBRERO ISLAND LEISURE PACKAGE, I was psyched! Never did I imagine to schedule island hopping and snorkeling for us during our family summer itinerary. But here it is, staring at our face the opportunity to explore isolated beaches, eat by the white sand shores, and see colorful fishes up close that was offered in this one of a kind summer deal in the most grandest hotel in Bauan, Batangas.



Summer lovin' at it's finest! Only by THE BAUAN PLAZA HOTEL!



We left Manila at about 4:00am and arrived in BAUAN PLAZA HOTEL an hour and a half later. The little lords were awake the whole ride since they go so excited after I told them what the day's itinerary was. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

UNCLE MOE'S SHAWARMA HUB (AGAIN)

When my nephew Chuckie flew in last month for a foodie trip vacation, I never expected him to crave for the foods that he did. He asked for grub that was "the weirder, the better". Yeah right. Coming from the kid who would only eat pizzas in a Las Vegas buffet, he seem to have developed the talent of exaggeration! I never would have believed him but when he started boasting that he had eaten dogs repeatedly in Korea, my mind immediately raced with the scare tactics they had in "Fear Factor".  After getting over the shock and berating him from eating man's best friend, I promised that we would go try places that isn't normally in the "balikbayan to-do-list".

Since the Chinese Adonis and I were working, our schedule was very hectic. With this, going out of town to look for exotic grub was out of the question (dear Chuckie was lazy to travel far anyways). So after picking on my big forehead on where else to take dear Chuckie in the Metro, I thought of UNCLE MOE'S SHAWARMA HUB! Of course, the venue may be ho-hum to some but when I mentioned "OX BRAINS" to my nephew, he let out a wide and happy smile similar to the "Rin Tin Tin" he had before (sorry can't move on).

It was settled then. We will be taking Chuckie to UNCLE MOE'S that night and the little lords will be tagging along. As I predicted, my nephew LOVED the ox brains and raved that it was nothing like he had before. And, besides that tasty find for my nephew, I was happy to discover that even the little lords loved the food at UNCLE MOE'S!! At least I could add another restaurant to THE YAPPY BUNCH list of resto favorites!

See? Everybody happy wohoo!

Well, except HACHIKO.

Sorry. I really can't move on.  



UNCLE MOE'S SHAWARMA HUB!



UNCLE MOES has been serving up delicious and cheap Mediterranean food in the stretch of  Kapitolyo Pasig City for quite some time now. In my opinion, it may have even pioneered the district to be the foodie haven that it is today.

The restaurant is full most of the time! We were lucky that our group was able to get a long table on a Sunday night! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

WELCOMING THE YEAR OF THE SHEEP (CHINESE NEW YEAR 2015)

For four years now, we have been going to Binondo Manila to celebrate the CHINESE NEW YEAR and this time, we will be welcoming the year of the SHEEP. It really started off as something we just wanted the kids to experience that one time last 2011 but then we had so much fun (the little lords excluded) that we thought of doing it a yearly tradition.

Our agenda for our YAPPY BUNCH CHINESE NEW YEAR is pretty simple: get a noble steed to take us to Chinatown, walk around and marvel at the sights, eat at a dingy but authentic Chinese restaurant, then troop on home again. Of course, I might have omitted the part wherein we will be squeezing in through sweaty crowds and the little lords whining to go home, but I don't want to risk the boys reading this and making up an excuse not to go next year. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Sorry! I know that the boys would rather stay home and just play video games or watch TV. But what will they really get from that? Good thing that the Chinese Adonis and I share the same sentiment that family bonding and memories are MADE and not PLAYED (with gadgets).

When they complain that they're tired or that their other classmates don't go to Binondo during the holidays, we would always quote the wise words of Calvin's Dad (y'know from CALVIN AND HOBBES?) that "these things build CHARACTER." So with that, the Chinese Adonis and I fully intend to bestow this very "challenging" and "strenuous" family activity upon them always.

Of course, with a side of dimsum. He he he he!

Kung Hei Fat Choi everyone!


I'm a Chinese Dragon with silver teeth fillings!
It's CHINESE NEW YEAR and we're going to welcome THE YEAR OF THE SHEEP!



Going to Manila that day was easy peasy and no traffic. I guess it has something to do with Ped Xing also celebrating something that day? I don't know who he is but most of the streets are named after him!!!!!!!!!!

Tee hee!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MONGKOK POWER PLANT MALL

One of my year's greatest (or saddest) discoveries is learning that Korea does NOT have a decent dimsum restaurant. Yup! It's true! I know it's so pathetic to be so affected by it but I am! I first heard about it in Youtube with one of my favorite duos Martina and Simon of Food Adventure Program for Awesome People but I didn't take much of it. When my dearest nephew Chuckie, who was based then in Korea, dropped by for a foodie vacation, he confirmed the allegation that yes, they did not have dimsum in the land of Bibimbaps.

Que horror, I know!

So when I asked Chuckie what he was craving for in that particular Sunday night, it was no surprise that he asked for some dimsum and noodles.  At first, the Chinese Adonis and I were like "Okay fine we'll just eat at MONGKOK." We were such regular customers in the popular Chinese restaurant in Powerplant Mall before that we actually grew tired of it. But since we planned to watch a movie afterwards, MONGKOK was the most convenient choice at the time.

And wow! Such a good meal that we had! We have been taking MONGKOK for granted for sooo long that we had almost forgotten how good it was! To think that Chuckie would have to travel thousands of miles just to have dimsum while we were just a stone's throw away from MONGKOK -- WHAT WE'RE WE THINKING?!

Good choice that night dear Chuckie! You have definitely opened our eyes (and tummy) to what we have been (unknowingly) missing!



MONGKOK in POWERPLANT MALL!



This is one of the oldest restaurants in POWER PLANT mall that was still as popular as the time it opened.


Where's the waiter????
Good thing that for that particular night, they were not as jampacked as usual that we were able to get a table, pronto!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

ANTIPOLO BARBECUE (CHUCKIE'S VISIT)

Having a family barbecue in Antipolo has already been a favorite activity for ERICJAZ FOODIES that, unlike before, we do not mind braving the traffic to go up my brother's "mountain". Now, even for the most trivial of reasons, we find ways to get my brother firing up that grill!! And yes, by hook or by crook, we're going to get our gritty teeth on those very juicy barbecues!

Good thing that during Chuckie's vacation in the Philippines, we do not need to come up with another mundane excuse to have another ANTIPOLO BARBECUE.

We just needed to force Chuckie to say so! He he he he!

Kidding aside yes, we really allotted a special day for my FOB nephew (tee hee) to have our favorite barbecue high up the mountains. And like what happened in our previous ANTIPOLO trips we were feasting on our grilled favorites like there was no tomorrow.

Of course, while eating, we were already conjuring up another excuse to have ANOTHER Antipolo Barbecue.

With or without Chuckie...

BWA HA HA HA HA HA (evil monster laugh)!



When we arrived in ANTIPOLO, a long table was already set up at the azutea of my brother's house.



Yup! This will be the scene of the "crime" later!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

KANIN CLUB

KANIN CLUB is one of those restaurants that I would love to eat more of but can't. As much as I would like to include their sumptuous Sinigang Rice, Crispy Dinuguan, etc. etc. to my daily date regimen, their restaurant locations are not within our usual go-to areas that we often find ourselves just promising to go there but never do.

Lo and behold! When my nephew Chuckie was visiting the Philippines for a major food trip, he mentioned he was craving for some Crispy Pata, Kare Kare, and Dinuguan, that KANIN CLUB immediately came to mind! We were all tired and hungry from our hot day in ENCHANTED KINGDOM and there would be nothing more comforting than jamming up all these Filipino favorites down our throats. Great thing that there was a branch of KANIN CLUB on our way home that it was indeed a unanimous decision to have our dinner there.

KANIN CLUB again. FINALLY.

And all is great again in my hungry world.

He he he he he!



KANIN CLUB!



It was our first time in KANIN CLUB at Filinvest City and like its other branches, the place was packed!



We were about 10th in line but the little lords didn't mind. They were comfortably (and lazily) going on at the rocking chairs.

Of course, only until a Senior person comes by and need to sit down. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

ENCHANTED KINGDOM

During my nephew's vacation in the Philippines, my sister and I thought of taking him to ENCHANTED KINGDOM to inject a bit of adrenalin in him just in case he's getting bored from eating and lazing around. Besides, Chuck hasn't been back to Las Vegas for quite awhile and Korea didn't have an abundance of UNIVERSAL STUDIOS or SIX FLAGS. So we thought this may be something that will be fun for all of us.

It has been years since my last trip to ENCHANTED KINGDOM and I was wondering how it was now. Truth be told, there were some hits and misses that made me miss STAR CITY... Yes! STAR CITY more! But of course, in the end, nothing could give out the night time sparkle of ENCHANTED KINGDOM and I'm glad that we chose to go there with dear Chuckie.

ENCHANTED KINGDOM may not be as grand as it was before but yes, the sentimental magic is still there.

I'm sure, you will still get an enchanting time!



The happy boys at ENCHANTED KINGDOM!!!



We're here!!! 

If you're thinking of going to ENCHANTED KINGDOM, here are their ticket rates!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

SHAKEY'S AND GO-KARTING (MATI'S 2 WEEK BIRTHDAY)

Unlike Andrei (who almost gets one every year), Mati only had kiddie parties on his 1st, 6th, and 7th birthdays. At that time, we thought it was impractical to have super kaduper big bashes that we'd rather put our money on affordable bonding trips/staycations. Good thing too that my dear boy would usually prefer a play date with his best buds over a noisy getogether.

So as part of Mati's 2 week birthday, I planned a mini-party with Johans and Jelo Virrey in SHAKEY'S near our favorite Robinsons Magnolia mall. Even if the night did not give him a barrage of presents or wacky parlor games, it was obvious that my birthday boy still had a lot of fun with his little gang based from his laughs and guffaws that night.

And of course, that's what really matters during a birthday: to celebrate with the people you love... of course... over your favorite food!

He he he he he!  OF COURSE there would always be food!



SHAKEY'S!!!



SHAKEY'S near ROBINSONS MAGNOLIA was the very new branch of this long time favorite.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

CHUCK'S VACATION IN THE PHILIPPINES

Charles aka Chuck (or if I could get away with it, Chuckie) is my nephew via my favorite cousins Kuya Nap and Ate Sheila from Las Vegas. Even if they live faraway, we still feel so close to him because I saw him from a cute wee chubby baby into a giant whom I have to do the tippy toes with to do "beso beso". 

Me and Chuckster (in black and with his brothers) in 1998!

Dear Chuckie, unlike his other brother, would seem to be the quiet type but as they say looks could be VERY deceiving. He may not be the Jim Carrey outrageous loudmouth but he could always make me guffaw with his dry humor and wit. It's always a fun time with Chuckie and I love that when he's onto you, it means he really likes you. Because even if he was named after that terror doll (yes my Kuya Nap is so cool), there is nothing fake or scary about it. What you ALWAYS get is a tall gentleman who quietly observes and would shoot out witty one liners and expressions. I'm glad that he grew up the way he is now. So proud to call him my nephew! My cousins did a very good job rearing him up!

I'll find a younger and more embarrassing picture of you Chuckie soon!

My nephew Chuckie (sorry I can't help it I know he hates that name) currently works in Korea as an English teacher and had a 2 week vacation coming up. He thought that instead of flying to Las Vegas (where he will return to in April) he could just go to Manila to spend time with us. At the prospect of seeing him again, we were all excited because we missed him last year when we were in Las Vegas. Mati saw him in his first trip in the US when he was very young but Andrei was intrigued because finally he's meeting the owner of the many SIMPSON'S dvd  and Xbox he abused.

As I was planning our itinerary, I asked Chuckie what he wanted to do for his short stay in the Philippines. To my surprise, he did not asked to be taken to beaches, tourist spots, or even malls! What he listed were foods that he wanted to try and he specified that the weirder the better. Nothing fancy shmancy -- he just wanted to have the things he cannot have in Korea or Las Vegas. Wow ! He turned out to be a different kind of foodie. Now THAT I didn't know!

That does it. I'm going to adopt this nephew of mine soon!


Upon Chuck's arrival in the Philippines, his first request was to have dinner at JOLLIBEE! Yep! JOLLIBEE! So the whole family (minus my eldest brother) got a long table for dinner at our country's number one fast food chain!



Mati was smitten with his Kuya Chuckie and didn't leave his side. They talked non-stop like there was no tomorrow!



Besides the chicken joy and jollihotdog, Chuckie had a plate of JOLLIBEE spaghetti! I remember one time when he was younger and he found his pasta dry. When I requested for extra sauce immediately for him, he was impressed. 

I remember him saying "Going the extra mile. That's nice."

He was 8 years old then. 



After dinner, we had coffee at SUGARHOUSE.

Monday, March 2, 2015

KENNY ROGER'S ROASTERS (MATI'S BIRTHDAY)

For Mati's 2 week birthday celebration last January, I asked him to make a list of where he wanted to go and he generously included one of THE YAPPY BUNCH's favorites --- KENNY ROGER'S ROASTERS!   We always go there when we are in the mood for some American comfort food at a very affordable price!!!

Since my Dad zoinked the bill in HEALTHY SHABU SHABU during Mati's birthday dinner (or I chose not to pay attention when the waiter handed it to us...he he he he he!), I invited the family to treat them for this impromptu celebration. And as expected, we had a delicious Roast Chicken dinner with the price that I almost threw a chair for --- it was so cheap!

Of course, cheap or not, what's important for the night was that we were able to make our birthday boy happy and full. And I'm glad that with KENNY ROGER'S ROASTERS in Power Plant Mall, the whole family was VERY happy and full too!



KENNY ROGER'S ROASTERS!



KENNY ROGERS in POWER PLANT MALL normally gets very jam-packed on weekends. It's a good thing that for that Saturday night, they were able to take my reservations for a group of 10!
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