Grand 1919 Cafe

If you work or live in Binondo, Manila and wants a change of scenery, walk ahead to Grand 1919 Cafe.

It will not only take you away from the hustle and bustle of Binondo but will also take you to a period in time.

Everything is grand in this place.

The grand main door entrance

Even the pathway going to the rest room was thought about

The building where Grand 1919 Cafe is located now is a 100 year old building. It was built in 1919 to house the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank.

A huge picture of Old Manila greets guests.

The bar is lighted up to give a dramatic look.

Every corner, rather everything in this place is instagrammable! The interior is nicely done. The lighting is perfect. You could choose to seat on leather couches or in wooden chairs.

There is also a 2nd floor because the 1st floor tends to fill. Wooden planks adorn the ceiling, it complements the whole look and feel of the furnitures. But it’s not dark and gloomy here, some chairs have splashes of color.

So enough about the place, let’s talk about the food! For something this wonderful and grand of a place, the pricing of the food tends to be on the expensive side. But, the quality is good. It’s a reward you may give your deserving self after a hard day’s work or even a break to a hectic day.

Salt and Pepper Squid at Php 330.00

Even if this dish is cheaper than the other items in the menu, it turned out okay. It’s crunchy and crispy, the squid is not chewy.

Kung Pao Chicken at Php 580.00

I really don’t think this is worth the price. Serving’s too small and the taste isn’t really that good.

Hawaiian Pizza at Php 520.00.

The serving is small but it does taste good. It is simple, with the usual toppings like bacon, ham and pineapple, but I love the overall taste of the pizza.

Cafe Americano at Php 150.00

Their coffee is so good according to my coffee drinker friends. Better than those famous coffee chains, if you know what I mean.

And it’s priced just right.

I heard the pastries are good, maybe next time.

What matters most is that we were comfortable on our table and we enjoyed the company of friends with good coffee!

Grand 1919 Cafe is located at Juan Luna Street Binondo Manila.

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Geonbae Modern Korean Bar & Grill

Tried something un-commercialized for a change.

Geonbae (건배) actually means “cheers” in Korean.

So why not be happy and merry in this Korean Grill?

There are 2 packages.

The Php499.00

The Php 599.00 package was our choice since it’s a better list.

Initial set of side dishes when we arrived at our table! Good thing we reserved and got there on time! The place was packed, and it was a Wednesday night!

There’s cheese 🧀🧀🧀! The 🐭 in me just attacked!

Aside from the side dishes readily prepared on the table (in the picture above), there’s more that you could order, see below!

From appetizers to main dishes, we may have ordered 80% of the things in the menu!

Yeon Eo (Salmon Sashimi)

Ramyeun (Korean Ramen)

I love this! The ramen’s so tasty.

Galbi Jjim (Beef Stew)

It does look like it’s swimming in oil, but the stew was really good. There’s a lot of beef strips in it too!

Gyeran Jjim ( Steamed Egg)

Who would eat Korean without the steam egg? Get out of here! Take the rice out, but the egg must be present.

Myulchi Bokkeum (Anchovies)

Oh how I missed eating dilis! Go Kizip used to have yummy dilis and I’d be satisfied with that as my only side dish, and then they took it out of the menu! 😥

Anyway, Geonbae’s dilis will do for now. Can eat it to restart your taste buds. I munched on this for the whole night!

Korean Wings

Not a fan of their version, but I tried it anyway. I like my wings the buffalo way, this one’s a little sweet.

And since we were overwhelmed with what we were eating, there were some items that we weren’t able to take photos anymore.

Photos taken from Geonbae’s Official Facebook Page.

More off the grill items below ⬇⬇⬇

Fried Mandu (Korean Dumplings)

Saewoo Twigim (Shrimp Fry)

I had loads of this Korean Tempura! Kept on ordering and ordering and ordering…

Kimchi Takoyaki

Wasn’t able to taste it.

Bibimbap

An order of this will make you so full, so better share it with somebody.

Are you full now? We haven’t even started with their meats yet!

Grilling time starts now. Some of their meat are really full of fats, but we wanted to try all. So just grill and remove the fats! Also, after the batch where there were chicken, pork and beef, we tried to order more beef already. Best to order the hanger steak!

Here are some mouth watering photos from Geonbae. Their famous hanger steaks and galbi and beef brisket.

It’s really a matter of preference when it comes to the meat choice. What’s important is that you actually have something to choose from. Unlike other samgyupsal restos, there are real slices of meat here, and not just the scrap ones. 🤐

I would also like to commend the service staff who attended to us that night, even if it was buzzing and they are short staffed, (and raising arms to catch them sometimes got tiring), they still served with a smile and gave us everything we ordered. 🙌

So here we are with our tummies full, thanks to Geonbae!

Heads up, reservations can only be made during lean days. Better call 4298549 first to ensure that you have seats, it could get pretty crowded!

Geonbae is located at 115 Scout Delgado Street, Quezon City!

Parking can be a headache, the owners of the units in front of the resto could kill you with their eyes if you even attempt to park in front of their gates. 😂😂😂 I parked along Tomas Morato and just walk towards Scout Delgado.

Happy eating!

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Marugame Udon @ U.P. Town Center

Fastest line ever!

Glad to have fallen in line for a brief 8 minutes to be able to experience Marugame Udon!

GAME? GAME!

 

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Tomorrow Hotel

Choosing where to stay when travelling is probably the hardest. You have to consider the location, price of the hotel, the amenities, cleanliness, friendliness of staff, and overall worthiness.

Thankfully, we found a hotel that suited us, our budget and our needs for this particular trip – Tomorrow Hotel

Location: ✔✔✔✔✔

Tomorrow Hotel is a few steps from the Ximen Station of Metro Rail Transit. It has its own 7-11 connected to it. Just right outside is a 24 hours with 3 floors Watsons shop and an H&M store. Add to that an Under Armour store and a Nike store out front. It is also 3 to 5 minutes drive away from Carrefour – a 24 hours grocery, about NTD80.00 for a cab.

The hotel has 3 entrances / exits.

One is through 7-11 way, outside to its left is the H&M I’m talking about.

Next is the main entrance and exit where they displayed a few of Taiwan’s main attractions. It goes to the reception area and the elevator going up.

The last one is through the side. This alleyway has one of the best Jap restos and some coffee shops. This alley is also a shortcut to the main Ximending area.

Ximending is probably the best of all the night markets. But we will talk about the night markets on another post.

Price: ✔✔✔✔

I booked our hotel through Traveloka. The regular price per night was about 4 to 5 thousand pesos. But our 2 nights stay cost us Php4,961.48. I was able to get an additional few hundred pesos discount upon checkout by using a credit card that’s having a promo the time I booked. Should have come with breakfast but we learned that the area was under renovation. We were given NTD70.00 vouchers per person per night that we could use in 7-11. They wouldn’t give the vouchers to you all at once. We had to get it after the check in time the next day to qualify for the 2nd day. Take note that the voucher has a date and that it could only be used until 11:59pm of the supposed date of your breakfast.

For example, we checked in on August 31, the vouchers were given to us for our breakfast the next day. You should consume the voucher by 11:59pm of September 1. Your 2nd day voucher must be claimed at around 3:00pm of September 1, to be used until 11:59pm of September 2 only.

We didn’t know this and we only knew when we were trying to purchase at 7-11 at 1:00am of September 2. They wouldn’t accept our 1st day vouchers as they were technically “expired.”

I complained on the front desk and since they were not good English speakers and she couldn’t understand me, she ended up changing the date of our vouchers so we could use it.

Amenities: ✔✔✔✔

I actually couldn’t think of any except if you’ll include the 7-11. Having a convenience store is so convenient! 😂

Oh, they have a water fountain on our floor, but I didn’t dare use it.

Cleanliness: ✔✔✔✔

Basically clean. Our room’s okay, the bed sheets don’t have stains, and the bathroom’s spotless and super white.

Shampoo and Body Soap in a dispenser. Freebie toothbrush, razor and comb.

Friendliness of Staff: ✔✔

They couldn’t speak English. Very hard to communicate with them. And lastly, 2 of the front desk receptionists rolled their eyes on me.

You see, our flight’s 8:30pm, we leave the hotel by 4:00pm. But since check out is 11:00am, we need to deposit our luggages to them after check out. We checked out around 9:00am to have more time to roam around and buy some stuff. I went to my uncle and he gave me 7 kilos of frozen meat and squid balls to take home. We went back to the hotel to have them put in the freezer as advised by another aunt who works in another hotel. It’s a natural thing to do. They gladly obeyed, no questions asked. Thankful for that. We still have about a few hours so we went back to shopping. We came back to repack our luggages to put back the stuff we bought before heading to have late lunch before the driver picks us up. Of course, to save time, we wanted everything in order so that when driver arrives, we are ready to go.

The receptionists didn’t want to give our luggages, she just wanted to take the stuff we bought. I told her I needed the luggages so I could pack our things. That’s when she and a co worker rolled their eyes and started blubbering something to another co worker. First of all, they don’t have a couch that we could sit and stay on while waiting for the driver. Second, our luggages are just behind the front desk. Lastly, they were not doing anything that time. Was it really too hard to push the luggages out and push them back in?

When we came back, another receptionist assisted us and she even gave our luggages with a smile.

Rooms: ✔✔✔✔

The bed consisted of 2 single beds put together, it’s big for 2 persons. The room size is just right. I chose the no window room since it’s not needed anyway. That’s a few hundred bucks savings! The room also has a flat screen tv with many channels. The airconditioning is great! If you are out for the whole day, a cool room is definitely what you need to relax. The downside, there is no fridge and no safety box. No cabinet also.

Overall Worthiness: ✔✔✔✔

I will gladly go back and stay at this hotel. I am also recommending it to anyone who has a budget and just needs a comfortable place to stay. Super nice location. Right at the heart of everything.

More of our Taiwan trip:

Taoyuan International Airport Themed Lounges

Taiwandering: Pre-flight

Portable WIFI Rental by Kkday

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Tori Chizu

Recently tried this Japanese Resto in Megamall. Tori Chizu specializes in all food cheesy! 🧀🧀🧀

Ordered too much! Got the set meal and it consisted of 2 choices of Japanese Doria, 2 sets of 2pc Fried Chicken, 4 glasses of Iced Tea and 4 cups of Cheese Ice Cream!

I don’t have anything to say about the chicken. 😐🤐

The Milk Chiz ice cream can actually get to you! First 5 bites is heaven, but the succeeding bites take you back to earth. Too salty or too cheesy, I am not really sure. Too big of a serving, the kids didn’t finish it. Maybe a bowl for sharing is okay. Or a little less ice cream per cup.

For our main dish, there’s the Doria. What is a Doria? It is a Japanese Rice Gratin dish, usually with different variations.

For our first doria in Tori Chizu, we called the Chicken Chizu Curry. It should have been called Curry Chizu because that’s all it was, curry sauce. Maybe they forgot to put the chicken meat! 😣

There is really nothing special in this dish.

Our other doria is so much better! Chicken Teriyaki Doria had a lot of chicken meat! The teriyaki sauce was beneath the mozarella cheese and this tasted good. The kids loved this dish. The cheesiness and the the taste of the teriyaki blended well together.

Here’s my firstborn attacking the doria!

She’s in love with all things cheesy!

If you are in the area and you want to try having a doria, go ahead and do so. There are 3 more other flavors to try. They also serve Ramen and Hambagu Steaks.

Tori Chizu is located at Upper Ground Floor, Building A, SM Megamall.

Tori Chizu is beside Zubu, should remind myself to dine at Zubu soon! 😋

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Namsanmai – Our Korea Airbnb Story

There are a lot of places for rent when you check Airbnb. It’s almost a matter of luck if you will get a good host and if the place you are booking will be just what the host says.

As for our Korea Trip this year, we had the best of both worlds as our host is very accommodating and helpful. He always answers my query. His place is just what he posted and everything worked out fine the whole time we were there.

Our group consisted of 12 people and the house fits us perfectly.

The house is located in Namsan and super close to Namsan Cable Car Station, more or less a 5 minute walk uphill.

On the other hand, to go to Myeongdong Shopping Area, you walk downhill for a few minutes and you will reach 2 of the exits of Myeongdong Station. When you go underground, there is an underground shopping area and when you cross it and go up the exit, you are already at Myeongdong Street. This is where the happening is at! More on Myeongdong in my next blog.

Back to the house, this is what I saw that caught my attention. This is the house’s floor plan.

So you see, there are 3 rooms. Room number 1 has 3 single beds that can sleep 3 people. Room number 2 has a double deck with pull out bed. So another 3 people could sleep. Room number 3 has 2 double queen beds which could sleep 4 people.

The house also has 3 toilet and baths. And heated water which definitely helped as the weather is so cold in the morning.

To give you a glimpse of the house, take a look.

The gate looked like it was taken straight from a Korean film.

Houses and condos in Korea have digital locks. You won’t be needing a key, the owner of the house (in this case our host) just gave us the password and that is what we used for the whole duration of the trip.

The kitchen / laundry area / dining area.

The living room has a comfortable couch. A big flat screen TV and WIFI!

Room number 1

Room number 2

Room number 3

The host also gave us supply of water and some chips. So nice right?

He also booked us our airport transfers to and fro the airport.

I loved our stay in his house and that I am recommending it to all my friends.

Oh, one important thing! The house is a tough walk uphill especially when you have shopped for a lot of things! So ready your legs! I do have a bright idea though, you could take the bus and alight at the bus station in Namsan Cable Car, which is on top. Then just walk downhill to your house.

Some more pictures of the house. ⬇⬇⬇

Pictures from Namsanmai’s Facebook Account

Also, the host was so nice to let us check in directly from the airport. We arrived in his house around 7am. Check in was supposedly 2pm.

The house has all the things you will need – from the toiletries to the towels to the glasses, cups and cooking pans – it is all there!

We were all really happy with our stay! 🙌👌👍👏

Go and check out Namsanmai at Airbnb!

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Shawarma Bros

Found our way at Venice Grand Canal Mall and before we head to our final destination for Playtime with the kids, we decided to check on Eatigo and see what resto has promo.

Turned out Shawarma Bros has a 30% discount so we decided to book it!

It’s nice to have the Eatigo App because with the discounts, you will not be afraid to try new restos. If in case the food’s not good, at least you didn’t pay the full price! Haha!

We came in ahead of our schedule and we seated ourselves. YES, we fixed our table. It’s by 2s so we had to put 2 tables together to fit us. Calling customer service!!!

When it was time to order, we were told that our schedule is 5:30pm and I think that they are implying that we couldn’t order yet. It would be okay if the place was packed. But hey, it was just us. Later on, a staff told that maybe we could order in advance, this was when she saw the ??? look on our faces.

A big school bus right before the entrance.

The interior is nice. I love the simplicity and the overall look of the place. It’s like we are inside a container van!

They have a #brobeerchallenge and the participants’ names and corresponding record time are displayed in this wall.

The menu is limited.

Since we wanted to have dinner, we ordered 3 rice dishes.

Hubby ordered a Bro’s Beef Shawarma Rice which is their best seller.

For hubby, his order’s value for money, especially we have 30% discount!

I ordered a Momma’s Chicken Shawarma Rice.

I love my order, I really got full fast. Suits my taste buds.

For the kids, we ordered 2 pc Honey Butter Fried Chicken with Rice.

The chicken’s breading was a little salty for my taste, but it was crunchy and the meat is very tender. Also, the meat tasted good.

All the rice dishes came with Shredded Veggies, a slice of Tomato and Crispy Veggie Strips.

So many sauces to choose from! The kids love their Cheese Sauce!

All in all, we are satisfied with what we had. Value for money is ok with the Eatigo discount.

If asked if we would come back, maybe we would like to try some other place first.

But if you haven’t tried yet, we recommend you try it rather than have a meal at a regular fast food chain.

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Atmos Fit Elite

Part of my 2018 goals is to be fit. I am not getting any younger and I need to start being healthy if I want to live a long and fruitful life.

I have already started decreasing my rice intake. But I guess that’s not enough. I checked my Sugar Level and it’s almost crossing the border line.

I would start walking as my exercise and eventually do more rigid exercises as I go along.

To monitor my goal to be back into shape, I bought a smart fitness band.

Introducing the ATMOS FIT ELITE Smart Fitness Band. I ordered mine through Kimstore and picked it up at Technopop in Lucky Chinatown Mall. At only Php890.00, I can now start my fitness journey!

As I unbox, I got so excited. Included is a Manual and User Guide. The basic things you need to know about your fitness watch is here.

Included as well is the specialized charger for the band. It’s USB so charging wouldn’t be a problem.

I wanted black but it was out of stock, so I chose blue instead. The color is nice, the fit is just right for me. It’s lightweight and the band is not sticky.

The 3 button is where you will align your charger clip.

As excited as I was, I needed to charge first. And true to its advertisement of long lasting battery, one charge lasted from Feb 16 until Feb 24. I have been wearing it almost 24/7, even when I sleep, I only take it off when I take a bath.

This fitness band can do the following:

  • Digital Watch
  • Pedometer – count your steps in a daily basis.
  • Calorie Counter – count calories burned based on your stat
  • Heart Monitor – measure heart rate
  • Auto Sleep Tracking- measures the quality of sleep you had
  • Bluetooth Connectivity – connects with a free app which displays your statistics.
  • Essential Notification – vibrates when you receive a new message, but you have 5o sync it with your phone first.

All in one gadget. Definitely a must for mommies like me.

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