Menya Kokoro Ph

The long wait is almost over! Menya Kokoro Ph, the home of the brothless Ramen, the Mazesoba, will be opening its doors sooner than you thought!

The store is located in the 3rd Floor, Al Fresco Dining Area of Uptown Mall in BGC.

We got the chance to be one of the first people to try the Mazesoba and it is really worth the trip!

Here is their Open Kitchen where you could see the Chefs in action while preparing your Mazesoba!

On one wall, there’s a mural of the founder of Kokoro, Chef Takuma Ishikawa. Chef Takuma Ishikawa founded the Kokoro brand 2013 and has been awarded the best Mazesoba in 2014. His brand has expanded internationally to Singapore, Canada, Thailand, Indonesia and Spain, and now in the Philippines.

Cleanliness is top priority. All diners are served with this cute dry towel. It’s poured water so you could wipe your dirty little hands before eating. 😉

To start off our lunch, we ordered some appetizers.

Agedashi Tofu

Who doesn’t love Agedashi Tofu? Soft and creamy tofu.

Chashu

The Chashu is very juicy.

Takoyaki

I’m not much of a Takoyaki fan but this one I like. It’s crunchy on the outside then your usual soft filling inside.

So let’s talk about our main star – the Mazesoba. What is Mazesoba? It’s a brothless ramen. It’s dry ramen. It’s saucy ramen. It’s like yakisoba but it’s not. It has mostly these ingredients – nori (dried seaweed), minced garlic, soft boiled egg, green onions, chives, bamboo shoots, and spicy minced pork.

The bestseller and the original is the Tokyo Mazesoba.

Spicy Mazesoba

Zenbu Mazesoba

When your Mazesoba is served, it’s perfectly arranged. So how to eat it?

Break the egg.

Pour some vinegar to level the spiciness.

Mix everything.

Devour your ramen.

When you’re finished with your ramen and you still have sauce left, you will be given rice.

Mix the rice with your sauce and eat again.

Finish your bowl happy and full.

The mazesoba is really different from your usual ramen.  The overall taste is so good, the mix of all the ingredients makes it so satisfying to the palate!  It’s spiciness is tolerable and adds to the taste.

Menya Kokoro PH will be opening soon! Follow their Facebook page, Menya Kokoko PH, for updates!

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Rico’s Lechon

Tried this lechon place from Cebu, their largest branch in Manila is located in Tiendesitas Pasig City. Rico’s Lechon is Cebu’s Best Lechon! It was founded in 1997 and has been serving traditional Cebu Lechon for 22 years. Their lechon is roasted to perfection and mixed with garlic and leeks.

The branch in Tiendesitas has a tropical vibe. The branch can hold up to 300 seating capacity. It also has VIP rooms for events and meetings.

Photo from Rico’s Lechon Website

THE BEST Lechon I ever tasted. True to their hashtag, they are Da Best Gyud!

There are serving 2 kinds of lechon.

Regular Lechon

Spicy Lechon

I like their Spicy Lechon better than the Regular Lechon. It is tastier. But both lechon are very very tender and has crunchy balat!

The other items we ordered are just your regular Filipino dishes.

Pancit Canton

Regular and Spicy Longganisa

Pakbet

A cup of rice is served in a mini kaldero

My kids also enjoyed the Lechon. In fact, they vlogged about it!

Go visit and enjoy the best lechon ever!

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The First Starbucks Store Ever!

Had the opportunity to visit the first Starbucks store ever! This is located in Pike Place in Seattle, USA!

Take a look at the marker!

I’m not that much of a Starbucks collector but I figured I was already there in Pike Place and there might not be another chance so off I go to line up!  We had to fall in line for an hour or so just to get in!

This branch is small compared to the Starbucks branches opening up all over the world.

 

Once you are inside, it’s like any other regular Starbucks store, the barista will simply take your order of drink and your choice of exclusive merchandise.  AND they have a LOT of merchandise!!!

 

 

The merchandise ranges from as low as $9.95 (Php 520.00) to as high as $99.95 (Php 5,200.00).

 

 

 

 

There were also some memorabilia inside the packed store!

 

 

It’s actually hard to get some good shots inside the store as the place is packed.  Once you are done with your purchase and have stepped out the door, there’s no going back.  Unless, you want to fall in line again!

 

 

Too much stocks of merchandise actually makes the store look cramped and unorganized.  You could see boxes everywhere!  But come to think of it, this is why the people actually go there!  Aside from getting a drink, it’s buying the souvenir merchandise that is more important!

Oh!  This ceramic Pike Place tumbler is what I got!

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Menya Kokoro PH

A little birdie came by and told me a secret. There is a Global Ramen Chain coming soon here in Manila!

Menya Kokoro’s very young founder and Japanese Chef, Takuma Ishikawa, is busy cooking something for us!

What he is cooking, you are about to find it out here – NOW!

Tokyo’s Number 1 Mazesoba!

What is Mazesoba you ask?

I can’t wait any longer! I’ll be lining up to get a taste of this new ramen! This is probably going to be the newest craze to hit Manila!

It’s definitely coming soon so watch out!

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ShopBack – The Smarter Way

Have you heard about this new app? It’s what I have been using for the past few months – for travel needs, for food orders and even for online shopping!

Before going to sites like Foodpanda, Klook, Shopee, Lazada or Booking.com, click the ShopBack app first. This way, all your purchases will have corresponding rebates. Rebates that can get as high as 30%!

WOW right!

Read on ↓↓↓ to start getting rebates

1) Download the ShopBack app. Click this link and open the world of rebates. It’s available in Google Playstore and Apple Appstore.

2) Sign up and get ready to earn rebates!

3) Go to the app or site of your interest. The percentage of rebate varies. ShopBack has a lot of affiliates and tie ups. From hotels, to airlines, to beauty brands, to online shopping platforms, to food delivery platforms – you name it, they got it!

4) Once you are in your chosen website, browse normally and purchase as you would. You could also use voucher codes. I usually get mine from Globe Prepaid. For every Php400.00 purchase, I get Php200.00 off! But that’s another story!

5) ShopBack will notify you that your purchase / transaction has been tracked.

6) A month or 2 after your purchase, your rebate will be credited to your ShopBack account. You can see below that some of my purchases have already been confirmed.

7) Once you reach Php200.00 on your ShopBack account, you can redeem and credit it to your bank account, free of charge! I have already withdrawn Php700.00 to date! I still have a few purchases either pending or tracked and once they are confirmed, I could withdraw again!

You could register an E-wallet from Paypal or your bank account from BDO, Metrobank or BPI for your withdrawal. It takes about a few days to get credited on your account.

It’s that easy! Just remember to click that ShopBack logo first before booking anything.

Oh and just a few reminders from ShopBack.

The amount eligible for rebates is net of the service charge, delivery charge, taxes and fees. It is also net of the voucher codes used.

I hope ShopBack could be rewarding to you as it has been to me! It is so easy to use. All your activities / transactions are recorded for your monitoring convenience.

Enjoy shopping!

Enjoy ShopBack – The Smarter Way!

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Taiwan 2019 Itinerary Day 3

Taiwan 2019 Itinerary Day 1

Taiwan 2019 Itinerary Day 2

Almost the end of our Taiwan 2019 trip. But hey, there’s more. We managed to book a late flight (8:30pm) through Eva Air. So we still have the whole morning and afternoon to explore Taipei.

To manage our time, we fixed our luggages and checked out of the hotel. But the luggages are left with them so we could roam around frelly.

Still using our unli train rides pass, we went to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall to see its beauty.

Our red colored shirts for the day matched the memorial hall’s blue and white shade.

We explored the museum for a while.

Then on to our next stop, the Taipei 101 building and Din Tai Fung, home of the best xiao long baos!

Quick lunch at Din Tai Fung. We were just lucky that when we arrived, there’s not much people yet. We got a table in 5 minutes. So be sure to arrive before 11 am. After we ate, the waiting time is already an hour!

Pitstop at the Taipei 101 to freshen up. Then back to the race to go to Longshan Temple.

Still have a few moments to explore some more the Ximending area.

Get our Tiger Sugar fix.

Get our chicken fix.

By this time it’s already our call time to go to the airport. Stuck our last minute hauls into our luggages and waited for our ride to the airport.

Goodbye Taipei! Until our next adventure!

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Taiwan 2019 Itinerary Day 2

Taiwan 2019 Itinerary Day 1

Day 2 starts now!Got up early to have another daytour out of Taipei. This time I booked our tour from Harton Tours. They are a local tour operator from Taiwan. This booking is more of a car rental with a driver. There are no tour guides. They just drive you to your destination. I say this is still worth it at the price of Php 1,100.00 per person. Because it saved us a lot of time and energy to go to one place to another, plus we can rest and take a nap in the car while we go to the next destination.

We started off by going to the Flower Clock. This area is huge but we didn’t get the chance to roam anymore, it was so hot that day!

Up next is the Xiao You Keng Recreation Area. This is where active volcanoes show their might to people. The smell of sulfur will greet you upon entering the thermal valley and the whistling sound of steam from all over can be heard. There are also some boiling spots of water from the ground.

Another stop on this tour was the Calla Lily farm. The festival has just ended so there’s not much flowers anymore. And there’s a fee if you want to get up close.

Onto our next stop, we are starving so we made our way into this tiny but yummy restaurant just outside Beitou Hot Spring. It became our pitstop. We rested for about an hour here. The food was yummy and it’s not that expensive. Their drinks were superb too!

After our much needed rest, we walked towards the Beitou Thermal Valley. The steam and mist coming from the hot spring was really hot. We took some pictures and left. We forgot to drop by the Hot Spring Museum.

Next stop is Tamsui! This is where the so called Lover’s Bridge could be found. It opened on February 14 that’s why it’s called its name. It connects the fisherman’s wharf together. You can go biking here but it’s too hot to do that.

A few minutes car ride from this area will bring you to Tamsui Old Street. Shops and more shops line up the street.

The end of our tour but instead of dropping us back to the hotel, I requested to be dropped at the foot of the Elephant Mountain.

Hiking up the Elephant Mountain was a hard challenge. Little did I know that the climb up will be so exhausting. But hey, we made it and the view is just captivating! 4 of us even managed to climb up a rock for a more adventurous experience.

The way down is just as hard. Tip? Climb slow and don’t force ourself.

Before reaching the train station, another mesmerizing view of Taipei 101 surprised us!

All exhausted but good and funny memories definitely filled our memory banks that night.

Oh wait, this is not the end of our Day 2 yet!

We got our 1 day unli train rides card and went to our shopping stop at Shilin Night Market!

Shopping and eating street food made everyone busy so no more pictures. We made it back to Ximending before the train closed. Left our things at home and went down to shop until the stores closed!

As for me, I didn’t forget to have my Prince Cheese.

See you on our Day 3!

Taiwan 2019 Itinerary Day 3

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Taiwan 2019 Itinerary Day 1

Sharing our amazing race-like itinerary during our recent trip to Taiwan.Took a flight aboard Air Asia at 7:30am. Landed on Taiwan at about 10:30am. Out of the immigration by 11:00am.

I booked us an airport transfer shuttle through Klook to avoid any inconveniences. We were welcomed by the Klook coordinators and told us to wait as they get our cars. This transfer cost about Php 2000.00 per car and will seat 4 to 5 people with a luggage each, comfortably. We also got this for our way back to the airport. Prices will differ when you have red eye flights.

Arrived at Ximending by 11:45am. Left our luggages in our Hotel. Bought our food in Hotstar Chicken and drinks at a famous milktea shop.

In the middle of Ximending modeling our Hotstar Chicken!

After getting our lunch, we waited near the bus stop and relaxed for a while. We were lucky because the weather was so fine that day. It’s cool and breezy.

We booked a Klook Tour to Jiufen and Shifen on our first day! It cost us about Php1,100.00. This tour starts at 1:30pm so we had enough time. Just pray that your flight wouldn’t be delayed or you could take an earlier flight!

First stop was the Shifen Waterfall. Amazing work of nature! It will be a long walk and you need to pass through a hanging (and swaying) bridge to get to the falls! There’s also a praying and wishing part where you could tie red ribbons on the trees surrounding the statue of the God. Another long way up to get to the peak nearest the falls where the mist was so strong I thought it was raining!

Back to the bus and off we went to our next stop, the Shifen Pingxi Sky Lantern Railroad Station. Here you could buy sky lanterns, design and write your wishes on the lanterns and fly it up in the air.

There are also a lot of shops selling food, drinks and souvenirs. This is where I tasted the best Yakult Slushie!

What else can one do here? Take more pictures! The view at the end of the railroad is beautiful. There’s also another hanging bridge. Be careful for trains though! This railroad is still used up to this day!

A little bit of drizzle won’t stop us so we proceeded to our final stop, Jiufen.We ate at a beef noodle house right after you enter Jiufen Street.

This time, it’s really raining so much so we just walked all the way to the end and back. Dropped by to see the famous Amei Teahouse.

Jiufen has a lot to offer in terms of food, drinks, souvenirs and everything else.

Our Klook tour has ended and we got back to our hotel to check in and freshen up.

Diary of Taipei Hotel is a super duper good choice! The building where the hotel is located is just beside the Ximending entrance arc and the Ximen Station Exit. Aside from its location, the hotel is clean, has hot and cold water and even has free bread and coffee! One room is good for 3 people sleeping comfortably. The hotel room is about Php 4,000.00 per night for 3 people. That’s inexpensive considering the hotel’s location.

It has been a long day and we have to recharge for another long day tomorrow. So we eat.

We chose Mala Hotpot because it’s known for being one of the best shabu shabu in Taipei! For about Php 1,500.00, everything is unlimited.

A wide range of drinks, ice cream and of course, quality meat and seafood is there to satisfy your hunger and cravings!

Mala Hotpot is definitely one for the books. We managed to walk around Ximending area for a while before we proceeded to Carrefour, a 24 hour grocery, and Watsons, a 24 hour beauty and medical store.

This is how we finished our Day 1. And it’s already Day 2 when we arrived back at the hotel!

Check out our Day 2 and Day 3 in these links.

Taiwan 2019 Itinerary Day 2

Taiwan 2019 Itinerary Day 3

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