Payday Lunch: Slammin’ Mini Burger + Omakase + Carousel Creamery

After the hot air balloon fiesta, my best friend asked me if I wanted to watch a movie the day before Valentine’s day. And since I am on vacation leave, I agreed. We planned it as our Valentine’s day, since we both don’t have dates for that day.

We met at the Promenade in Greenhills. Since she message she will be late, I decided to get something to eat first since I didn’t have any breakfast. I chanced upon Slammin’ Mini Burger. I’ve been seeing them in Instagram before, and I’ve been wanting to get some of their burgers.

I ordered Bacon N’ Mushroom, Fries with cheesy dip and blue lemonade.

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I was ready to buy more food in case it didn’t satisfy my hunger, but I was surprised that I got full. The burgers were very filling, and it didn’t feel small at all! I wish all burgers are like this.

After the movies, we met her daughter, and decided to have early dinner at Italiani’s. However, we were not able to find it. We settled to have dinner at Omakase instead.

What caught my eyes were the big Japanese dolls installed on the walls. The place has a kawaii vibe in it.

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Kawaii doll

I’m not a fan of sushis and makis, however, there are some Japanese food that I really like. The only sushi I got to enjoy was the one from Kingsway Sushi in Canada. We ordered the Seafood Crepe Salad, JSC Platter, and okonomiyaki.

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Seafood Crepe Salad

I really enjoyed the salad. I like the texture of the tuna, crab, squid and shrimp. It’s very creamy, and the tuna tastes fresh. The serving is just right for the three of us, and it’s very filling.

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Okononmiyaki

Our next order is the okonomiyaki. To be honest, I only ordered this because I’ve been seeing this in Japanese movies and J-doramas. This is the part I got full. I only had one slice, and before I know it, I only have a few room in my tummy. It has an eggy, pancakey texture, and the taste is exactly how I imagined it to be – not sweet, and not too savory. It’s just right for my picky tongue. I didn’t manage to finsh a second slice of this, though.

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JRS Platter

Now, this one got us all really full. Although I don’t like sushi, I did quite enjoy the maki in this platter. I’m not a fan of their mayo sauce, as I feel it made the sushi much sweeter.

After we had our dinner, we decided to have dessert somewhere near. We wanted to have cake or ice cream, as we already had coffee before we watched a movie. We were supposed to go to Conti’s, but we found Carousel Creamery just outside Promenade.

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Just a portion of their many ice cream flavors

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It’s hard to choose from their 101 unique flavors, and ordering which ones we like is a big challenge for the three of us. We settled on 2 orders of Triple. Finally, we decided on the flavor of ice cream that we wanted to try.

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My best friend ordered Red Velvet and Mango Speculoos, her daughter ordered S’mores Wine and Chocolate Cookie Dough, and I ordered Maple & Bacon and Cherry Cheescake

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Mango Speculoos, S’mores Wine and Chocolate Cookie Dough

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Cherry Cheesecake, Red Velvet, Maple and Bacon

The ice creams were flavorful. It tastes exactly as what it’s named after. I liked the Maple and Bacon, because it tastes like pure maple syrup. The Cherry Cheesecake is filled with chunky cherries, and I could taste the cherry liqueur. There is really wine in S’mores Wine. We love how sweet and chunky the Mango Speculoos, and the Chocolate Cookie Dough tastes like the batter of the chocolate chip cookie.

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Banana Cinnamon, Baileys, Toffee Vanilla

We craved for more, so we ordered three more scoops of ice cream. Banana Cinnamon was too sweet. There is a kick of alcohol in Baileys. And the Toffee Vanilla was a surprise, as the combination of toffee and vanilla was just right.

We were very full and satisfied by the end of the night. We enjoyed our pre-valentines date. Who says you need a special someone to be happy on hearts day? All that matters to me is good food, and company of my best friend.

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Weekend With Balloons

A month  ago, I was tagged by my best friend in a travel agency’s post. The post is about their offer for the upcoming Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.Since I’ve always wanted to attend that even because of the good things I’m hearing about it, as well as the beautiful photos I’ve seen from the previous years, I asked her if she wants to go and she said yes. I started to make arrangements, buying tickets online and coordinating with my friends. The six of us (me, my best friend, her daughter, our other high school friend and her husband and kid), went to the event. We were all so excited to see the hot air balloon.

We decided to go on the last day of the event, which  is a Sunday. We left Manila at 1:30 AM, and arrived at Clark by 3 AM. We were surprised by the swarm of people at the entrance.

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At the entrance

We got inside at around 5 AM. However, it wasn’t that easy to get in. The queue was slow, and there were people pushing us. There were some people who went back to go to another line. Me and my best friend got separated from our group, and we found ourselves being pushed to another  line, which is for tickets. I almost fell on the ground when someone pushed me, good thing I was able to balance myself.

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Once we got inside, my best friend lined up to the portalets, while my other friend decided to buy some food. I waited for my best friend, and while waiting, I got to see the early exhibition of the paragliders. It was almost daybreak when the program started, and we got a glimpse of the balloons.

I wasn’t able to take much pictures because there were a lot of people  on the event ground, and I was too tired from standing and walking for almost 4 hours. I couldn’t even get in front to take a closer look at the balloons. After taking a few pictures, I decided to rest. Luckily, my best friend found a seat inside the snack test, so we just sat there while watching the balloons while we ate breakfast.

Sorry for the crappy pictures.

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We decided to go to our next destination at 7 AM. However, if there is a traffic going inside the event early that morning, the human traffic going outside was terrible. There’s only one gate for the entrance and the exit. We weren’t able to get to the parking lot right away, and had to stand at the exit for 2 hours. The problem is, there is a bottleneck near the parking lot. There were more people going inside, and the pathway is too, and to think there’s only one entry and exit point.

We got to the parking lot by 9 AM, but we were only able to exit the lot by 11:30 because, again, a lot of cars were leaving. We were too tired to go to our next destination, so we decided to have lunch at Yu Ganne, which serves unlimited Sam Gyup Sal. I’m not a fan of Korean food, but hey, it’s unlimited meat.

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After our lunch, we went to Duty Free to buy some chocolates, then we headed home.

It wasn’t really a good experience, but my eyes feasted with the sight of hot air balloons. I wished that the organizers did organize the event on the last day. There should have been a different gate for the entrance and the exit, so that there won’t be any hassle in going and out of the event.

They said that this is the last hot air balloon fiesta, but it’s not true. There will still be another next year, as per our sources, only it will be more organized (wait, what?) as this year, they only got a month to prepare. I’m not sure if the rumor  surfaced because the owner of the venue has other plans to use it.

Will  I be going to the next hot air balloon fiesta? I think I’ll pass, unless it becomes really organized. Although there was a lot of hassle that day, I did enjoy spending the whole day with my friends.

Payday Lunch at Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken

It’s been a long time since I last made an entry for Payday Lunch. Part of it is because we’re already back at the night shift (PST hours), and only fast food chains are open during our all-nighters. Big part of it is because we’re saving up more money.

And since it’s payday, and my high school best friends and I are meeting up,I decided to splurge for lunch. The restaurant I chose is Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken at Gateway Mall, Cubao.

I first tasted peri-peri chicken back in Canada. It was our first week of training then, and since we were still lazy to cook our own lunch, we join the rest of the Filipinos who were onshore back then for a lunch at Nando’s Peri-Peri Chicken.

Though there’s no Nando’s yet here in the Philippines, I’m thrilled to see that there’s a restaurant that serves peri-peri chicken that’s (almost) near my place.

From what I have researched so far, peri-peri refers to the marinade used for the chicken. It is made from crushed chillies, citrus peel, onion, pepper, salt, lemon juice, bay leaves, paprika, pimiento, basil, oregano, and tarragon. It originated in Africa, and was created when Portuguese settlers arrived with chilli peppers.

So going back to our lunch. The restaurant had a good vibe once you come in. It looked like you stepped into a Hispanic home. What caught my eye was the wall with the name of their six sauces on it.

Wall of Sauce

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The place is decoarated with mason jar lighting and red, figurines of chickens, yellow and green colored bottles. I wasn’t able to take a picture of the interior as I was too shy to do so hahahaha.

Since I was the first to arrive (as always), I decided to order an appetizer. I  ordered their Crispy Baby Squid.

Crispy Baby Squid #keisieats #foodphotography #foodgrammerph

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It is served with a wedge of line, marinara sauce and tartar sauce. I like how soft it is to chew. However, there is still a briny after taste. Although I like my seafood with tartar sauce, the marinara sauce is good combination, as it take away any of its after taste.

Once the girls arrived, we ordered our main dish. We decided to order their Chicken And Rib Platter for the four of us. It includes a whole chicken, half slab of rib, two side dishes (carrot and corn, and coleslaw) and four small bowls of java rice.

Today's lunch #keisieats #foodphotography #foodgrammerph

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The platter is also served alongside their six sauces. Honestly, I was surprised at how big the servings are. The bowl of rice is more than enough for one person.

Peri-peri chicken #keisieats #foodphotography #foodgrammerph

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Their chicken was large. It was soft to chew, and falls off the bone. I got the breat part, and while my friend complained about it being dry (maybe because she got the leg part?), I found it somewhat moist. I like how the marinade compliments the chicken. The marinade is not too overpowering and not too spicy. I tried the chicken with the six sauces, and our conclusion is that it tastes good with their chili choc’lit.

BBQ Back Ribs #keisieats #foodphotography #foodgrammerph

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As for their BBQ Back Ribs, I could say I was a little  bit disappointed with it. I’m not sure if they used the same marinade as the chicken, but I was expecting the bbq ribs to  be sweet, but it had a strong taste, which I believe came from the rub or the barbecue sauce. It is also soft and east falls off the bone, so that makes up for my disappointment.

Overall, I enjoyed my lunch at Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken. I’m looking forward to come back here, and try their other dishes.