family collage

Monday, July 29, 2013


I love my little boys so much (Mati - 9 years old / Andrei - 6 years old) and I believe they are the sweetest sons ever! I made a journal of my "special memories" with them and here are some of the entries :
  • October 6, 2011 - I got home late one time from work and Mati sat beside me while I was having dinner. When he felt like playing already in the tv room, he made sure that I was still within eye's view so that I won't be lonely while eating. 

  • December 6, 2012 - Andrei said that he will marry me someday. He asked permission from my Dad if he could marry me and even wanted to buy me a ring. 

  • February 25, 2013 - Mati whispered to me on my birthday "Mommy do you know what my secret birthday gift is for you? My heart"
  • April 14, 2013 - Andrei (6 years old) knows how absolutely terrified I am of escalators and while at Podium I told him to wait for awhile as I muster my courage to go down. My little bunso said "Just hold my hand Mommy I'll take care of you. I won't let go". 
 -- But my favorite would always be this :
  • March 20, 2012 - Mati and Andrei promised that even when they grow up and get married, they will still spend Sundays with us, their Mommy and Daddy. We made a pinky promise of that special day which I pray they would never forget.  

However, boys will always be boys and there are some special memories which almost did not make it to my "sentimental" journal. I don't want to dwell a lot into THAT too much but here is an example:

There was a time when Mati and Andrei were kiddie crews in Mcdonald's Greenhills and while they were manning the counter, they got into this fight as to who will be the first to give drinks to a customer so they wrestled right there and then! Nobody could make them stop and to my relief, the Mcdonald's manager just laughed it off.

So when we go to restaurants, we always consider not just the quality of the food and the price, but we also look into how kid-friendly the place is:

The restaurant should be spacious... The servers should be extra friendly and considerate... Food should be freshly cooked and with quality ingredients...  The over all theme for the restaurant should have family on its main priority...

I know that I may have set the bar a bit high but my boys are the most special blessings I have ever received and their enjoyment plus comfort are always important. If at any point we feel that they have been treated otherwise, then it is our definite deal breaker for a restaurant and we won't ever go back again -- even if the food was good.

I am glad that with our latest discovery, WATAMI JAPANESE CASUAL RESATAURANT answered "all of the above" for my "OC mommy" criterias. Plus it was such a treat to see my sons ooh and aah at the food being served (which was a rarity for my rugrats who would rather play than eat).

Who knows? Since even finicky Andrei loved WATAMI so much that we might even have OUR "reception" there. 

Kidding! Ha ha ha!


WATAMI is the Japanese baby of THE BISTRO GROUP which gave us such prized restaurants like T.G.I. Fridays (see our meal there HERE!!), Italiannis, Bulgogi Brothers, Krazy Garlik, and our new favorite Modern Shanghai (see our meal there HERE !!!).  I don't know about you but I always feel that when you eat at any restaurants from The Bistro Group, you are assured of great food and exceptional service! 

Now let's see how this little WATAMI ninja would fare up!

My 3 guys were very eager to try out WATAMI since I showed them pictures of the food there from other blogs. Mati, the little foodie, even thought that we were going to eat at a restaurant called BISTRO (ha ha ha!). 

They were so excited to eat at WATAMI that they did not go with their lolo on a Saturday morning. Their lolo you see, spoils them so much that we need to bribe them to come with us, and it has already been their Saturday morning ritual to go with him. 

Probably one of the reasons why I have a hard time getting my sons to join us is I am very strict with video games. I don't let them play with it at all! See Mati's Mcdonald's body bag? I told them to fill it up with toys so he would not get bored while waiting for the food. No gadgets while we are all in front of the table!

Good thing little Mati was anticipating the lunch to come. Otherwise he would have grumbled like an intensity 6 earthquake!

WATAMI's interiors were very spacious and well lit! Upon entering the restaurant, you would be able to heave a sigh of relief that there won't be any sort of hustle or bustle in here.

Check out the booth to your right... We were supposed to sit there but then the boys were becoming too excited that my husband and I decided to switch at another table. 

We were again supposed to sit at the table beside this divider but then Andrei felt he was more at ease with the next table and immediately settled himself there even if we were already seated. 

Great thing that WATAMI's very pretty maitre d' named SOLENN was very gracious and let us do all the table hopping we want! 

Ha! What if we switch 3 more times after this? Tee hee!

WATAMI meynuh!

WATAMI menu part deux...

WATAMI meynuh part trois!

Oh I am getting hungrier!!

Pretty WATAMI waitress Solenn took our orders and made recommendations on their specialties. It's very helpful that WATAMI waiters know a lot about the food in their menu because with the kids, I have to be a bit specific on the ingredients and amount in serving.

The wait begins for our food in WATAMI and little Andrei got himself occupied with the condiments tray available per table!

I was grateful that in WATAMI, water was served WITHOUT the need to request. It was automatically laid down at our table!

The boys asked for bottomless iced tea so I just ordered one of the bottomless drink for them to share. 

Initially, Andrei protested violently that he did not want to get some of his Kuya's "saliva" when sharing the iced tea but WATAMI servers were very considerate and gave us an extra glass with ice and straw! 

Since we were in a Japanese restaurant, I ordered WATAMI's Salmon Sushi Roll (P285.00) to share with Mati. 

Yes, my little guy is a foodie who loves sushi even at age 9! 

At first I wanted to request the WATAMI waitress to remove the spring onions from the sushi but then I got curious how it would taste like.  

The combination was really good but I would have preferred to not have the spring onions next time. I was not yet ready for that kind of "change" in my sushi! Ha ha ha!

Mati had about 2 pieces of these WATAMI rolls and just asked me to remove the greens.

Our next order was our "MOSTEST" favorite, the WATAMI Self Grilled Short Ribs (P295.00) where you have a choice to cook it on your table or have them prepare it for you. 

I asked for both. And the WATAMI waitress was more than happy to do it for us.

That was great because I was feeling ultra lazy that day being Saturday and all.  

The wonderful aroma of the WATAMI savory beef with butter was enough to make our finicky Andrei stay put and watch. He even exclaimed "Wow! Tastes so good!!!" (Even if he has not taken a bite yet). 

I guess WATAMI waitress Ayan knew how special the Self Grilled Ribs were and how we will be having a treat later on.

EVERYONE and I mean, yes including Mati and Andrei, fell in love with the very tender and flavorful bites of beef. Each slice was very juicy and buttery soft that I swear if the 2 kids were not my flesh and blood, I would not have shared!!!

Yub only got 1 piece because I was not related to him in any way. Ha ha ha ha!

You could tell how juicy the WATAMI beef is with how Andrei decided to suck his slice as if it were a milk bottle! Ha ha ha ha!

(Check out the meat drippings trickling down his chin!)

This WATAMI Self Grilled Beef Ribs were so good we ordered another one for take out!!

If you think the WATAMI self grilled short rib juices in the pan will be put to waste, think again! Ayan fried up some potatoes to draw it all in!

Upon entering WATAMI, Mati saw a big picture of the Beef Pepper Rice, and eagerly pointed it to me. So we requested for an order of it to share between the boys and again, the WATAMI waitress offered to prepare it for us.

I think "happily" offered is an understatement, don't you think? :) He he he! WATAMI waitress Arles was just so cheerful to do it so!

I have read in some reviews that the WATAMI Beef Pepper Rice (P190.00) did not fare up with the fast food version of a popular Japanese restaurant chain out there. But I would have to disagree. WATAMI's version is more kid-friendly and less spicy for the kids. The beef was even more tender that Andrei, the lazy chewer, was able to eat it. 

Mati owned this WATAMI Beef Pepper Rice even if it was really good for 2. He was a kid with a bid to eat the whole thing and we did not stop him. Ha ha ha ha!

Next up is WATAMI's Chicken Cutlet with Scrambled Egg Sauce (P325.00). Think of Katsudon without the rice and used chicken instead of pork and you got yourself this instant TEAM YAP favorite!

The fried chicken strips were tender and very flavorful while the scrambled egg sauce was already an "ulam" by itself. We added this chicken dish to plain rice and Andrei lip smacked his way into finishing his plate of this.

This WATAMI chicken dish is already perfect and saucy but next time I might ask for more of the sauce to add to my rice! YUM!

He he he! As per his request, we even saved some WATAMI chicken to take home for Andrei to eat tonight!

Hmmm... We already got some Beef and Chicken for take out... I guess we will be having another WATAMI dinner tonight? That is, if MY family won't eat it from us. Ha ha ha!

This looked so wonderful in the menu that I decided to order the WATAMI salad (single serving P220.00). 

I asked dear Ayah to mix it for us because I did not want to risk destroying such a beautiful dish!

And wow, the WATAMI salad did not only look good, it was SO awesome!!! Even if the beef ribs and chicken were all delicious, I was so glad the boys did not eat vegetables so I was able to eat this baby by myself!!!

What is not to love by the way? Salad was cold and crisp with a healthy dollop of tuna mayonnaise dressing. Then crunchy wanton and nori strips! 

The winner of a WATAMI salad was a meal in itself and I did eat it with rice!!!

My plate! My wonderful plate!!!

Check out my 2 guys! It is such a rare sight for me to see Andrei all behaved and happy eating quietly in his seat. No need to bribe him... the little guy was HAPPY to be with us!

(I don't know if he was adopted or what. He does not like eating! For him it is a burden and even declared that he did not want to eat FOREVER!

Kidding on the adopted part. Ha ha ha! But the rest... TRUE.)

As for Mati, he did not need to bring out the toys inside his bag. He happily shoveled spoonfuls of the WATAMI Beef Pepper Rice into his mouth and even scraped the stone pot clean. THAT was how much he loved it!

WATAMI gets Andrei's thumb of approval!!! Now THIS is wonderful news for a Mommy with a picky eater son like me!

Andrei was done with his WATAMI plate...

As for me... I was getting my 3rd hefty serving of the WATAMI salad and yes, eating it with rice!!!

While waiting for me to finish, Andrei decided he wanted to lose his arm and hands...

"Look Mama! I can't eat anymore! I lost my hands!!!"

Force of habit I guess. Making his old excuses to NOT finish his food :)

Good thing I don't have the same problem with my Mati.

Although the little guy is such a foodie he loves swiping food from my plate!!! He once finished my tocino without me knowing it! 

You know that popular scene in movies wherein the lead actor would be surprised at his empty plate? THAT's how I looked like then!

Almost done with my WATAMI salad!

... and then we're DONE!!! YUM!!

The WATAMI bill!

I know that it may be about 5 years (I hope more!) before my 2 sons will be embarrassed to be seen with us going out for family meals or that they would rather have night outs with their friends than trade stories with us fuddy duddies.

But that is the reason why me and my husband would rather make family bonding moments with Mati and Andrei instead of partying or meeting up with friends because we want MORE special memories with them. And I look forward to filling up the pages of my journal with more entries of their quips, antics, quarrels, and promises. 

And that is why we appreciate special restaurants like WATAMI because, although I'm sure they cater to everyone, my family's enjoyable experience make it a perfect hub for Fridates, Saturdates, and Sundates with my little boys! Mati and Andrei are already asking when will be the next time we'll eat at WATAMI!

Very soon again I'm sure!

We hope that this simple sentiment will be the foundation for my boys to value the importance of family and I pray that in time, they will discover that our "I love you's", our tight hugs, our TEAM YAP dates, and our simple meals, were all mere understatements of how we truly, strongly feel about them, especially when they have their own children.  

By the way, I hope we are wrong about them trading us for their rowdy friends or giggly girls... But still, we are not taking chances and will do what we can to for them to fulfill that pinky promise and gross as it may seem, remind Andrei about that marriage proposal :) 


Glorietta 2
G/F Glorietta 2, Hotel Dr
Ayala Center, Makati
(02) 808-0475

Sunday, July 28, 2013


When I queue in line for snacks in the movie house, I would usually give a snicker at those who would have a Starbucks coffee when entering the theatre. For me, IT IS NOT A VALID movie companion! Were these people deprived of the usual buttered popcorn and soda when they were kids? What were they thinking?  

But then one time, when I was shivering cold and there was a more than appropriate line at the commissary, I thought, what the heck, why not give STARBUCKS a try. There was no line and I guess it would warm me up besides ogling at (insert name of actor in movie here as I don't remember what it was anymore). So I got a grande Caramel Macchiato and the chirpy server offered to make it extra hot for the movie. Okay fine.

After my husband and I got seated, I took a careful sip from my Caramel Macchiato and I loved how the hot drink trickled smoothly down my cold throat. Throughout the movie, I remember being comforted by the tall mug of hot drink and, unlike what  a tumbler of popcorn and soda may give for my age (ahem), I did not feel bloated afterwards. I felt juuuust right!

So after that fateful night, I became a convert. I now forego the usuals and go for a tall coffee grande.

But then, I discovered that the PERFECT accompaniment to my Caramel Macchiato in the movie house was a warm piece of their CHOCOLATE CHIP MACADAMIA COOKIE. I know that the reason why I loved having coffee in the first place was because I did not want to gain loads of pounds and/or feel bloated. But this was different. The cookie was THAT good! So every Saturday I am always praying that the Starbucks theatre kiosk at Power Plant Mall would always have a cookie or 2 for me. It would not be a successful date night if it weren't.

One time, they ran out of my favorite Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookie in the Starbucks Kiosk so I just decided to get one after the movie and eat it at home. When I went to the other Starbucks restaurant in the mall, the kindly server informed me that they ran out of the cookie also. I asked if they could "check in the back" because I was really craving for it.

And so he did. And he came jolly back with a small box and proceeded to punch it out for me.

When my husband and I got home, I eagerly opened the STARBUCKS paper bag for our midnight snack and discovered that what we had was not the usual CHOCOLATE CHIP MACADAMIA cookie which I have always obsessed over every Saturday. Instead, what we got were 2 pieces of  CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES with marshmallow in the middle.

I was very disappointed and wanted to call Starbucks to complain. But then I remembered it was my fault for not checking the paper bag in the first place. I just resigned myself to force feed my hungry being and proceeded to heat up the cookie in the microwave.

What we got afterwards was such a gooey, yummy nummy, deeeelicious cookie treat that I can't help but share how much my Yub and I enjoyed it that night. Yes, I would usually post about the restaurants we ate in but we just had such a wonderful experience with this mistake of a cookie that I just had to share it! Hope you would get to try it soon too!!! Don't forget to heat it in the microwave!

Quite a long story right? Told you I really love sharing in my blog... ha ha ha!!!!

Hello little STARBUCKS Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookie! Gonna heat you up a bit in the microwave!

(This is the second cookie already. The first one was already resting our tummies!)

My husband swiped the  STARBUCKS cookie from the microwave and asked if he could have a picture first before I heated it up. 

I cannot answer yet because I was torn between making a decision or bonking his head for giving me such a goofy expression. Ha ha ha! Kidding!

I set it up on medium high for 15 seconds... 

... then stopped it when the marshmallow filling was already bubbling and oozing out of the 2 STARBUCKS cookies....

By the way, each cookie costs about P80.00!!

The first STARBUCKS cookie, I ate with my hands and got gooey marshmallow everywhere. So this time I sorta learned my lesson and used a fork for the first bite!

But then... where's the fun in that??

So my fingers indulged once more.... 

I am not exaggerating how sticky and gummy the sweet marshmallow is.  I tried stretching it for about a foot but it still did not break!

The marshmallow stuck itself everywhere!

... and this was just for my first bite on the second cookie!!!

I gave up trying to get a clean bite and just shoved everything in my my mouth!

But the stretchy marshmallow still did not let go!

So I just licked and nibbled on the sticky marshmallow excess on my (hopefully) clean fingers :)

What I loved about the new STARBUCKS CHOCOLATE CHIP MARSHMALLOW COOKIE  was the big chunks of belgian chocolate chips!! The sweet melted marshmallow complemented the bitter rich delight of chocolate!

Plus, this STARBUCKS cookie does not have macadamias!!! ha ha ha ha! I personally am not a fan of the nut that I would often spit it out (without any drool, ew!) and give it to my husband while watching the movie.

Tee hee! Yeah that's how gross we are to each other! :)

Oh yum!!

We were watching DESPICABLE ME 1 with the kids for the nth time but I still enjoyed the movie. I was absent mindedly  sucking at my fingers for any more of the gooey marshmallow remnants!

See Yub taking a pic of me? I'm glad he did! Ha ha ha ha!

MAMMA MIA! Truly enjoyed that STARBUCKS cookie so much that it deserved a post here in my silly little foodie blog!!!

Can't wait to have this again but only for take home! I don't think I could manage this in a dark movie house anyway. 


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