Tag Archives: shopping

FoodieWeekend: Ramen for a change

My weekends these days are spent sleeping, in an attempt to recover from the toil of long weekdays and quite recently, Friday night parties. This weekend however was a welcomed change to spending time with family–living and the dead.

It was my maternal grandfather’s birthday. Had he been alive, he would have turned 83 years old. Therefore, in true Filipino fashion, we trooped to the Manila Memorial Cemetery armed with food, drinks, candles, umbrellas, and of course, tablets and phones for photos! (That no one has uploaded yet!)

After celebrating Lolo Camilo’s day, we headed to SM Aura to check out what the hype (or bashing) was all about. After getting lost twice, we finally made it! Apart from getting two new pairs of jeans (they’re on sale!!!) at Forever 21 and some lip gloss (realizing the need to look presentable these days!), we headed over to Ikkuryu Fukuoka Ramen and indulge in some Japanese noodle goodness!

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Suffice it to say, ramen is the house specialty–the centerpiece of Ikkuryu Fukuoka Ramen’s sleek long black menu. If my memory remained intact after having food here, there were about 15 types of ramen and noodle dishes you can choose from.

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We had Kimchi Tonkotsu ramen (the one with reddish soup) that is quite spicy for Filipino palate (twas fine with me after my Indian curry exposure) and this other ramen with the egg which is an-egg-added version of the original Tonkotsu ramen. Both moms (ours and our cousins’) agreed that the flavor was really rich and that it’s very tasty!

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We also ordered a fresh tofu salad which was a mix of cold fresh and smooth tofu on top of green lettuce. I can’t identify what sauce was used but it’s yummy, and complemented by the small tomatoes and crisp tofu flakes (I think).

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We also had the original yakimeshi fried rice which was so tasty that it really had our moms thinking whether it was cooked in lechon oil or in the karaage fried chicken that we also had. With bits of pork, carrots and greens, I couldn’t agree more.

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We also had something that is similar to Yyakisoba but this one is cooked in Tonkotsu soup (imagine chopsuey) and was also very savory. You should try putting it in your ramen soup too, just to savor the last few drops of the soup. This was actually for the rice as advised by the really cute paper table mat graphic but it works with the soup too!

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I would say that while the price is quite steep at P380 per ramen order, on the average, the amount of serving and the taste makes up for it. And while the classic tempura and California maki favorites are unavailable, their menu offers you alternative choices that are really great partners for ramen. All in all, for the flavor and the experience, I would say that Ikkuryu Fukuoka Ramen’s value for money makes it worth a visit!

Backpacking South East AsiA – A Beary Nice Hostel in Chinatown, Singapore

During my solo backpacking South East Asia month in 2011, I mostly stayed at hostels and dorm-type accommodations. So, even when I was momentarily joined by two friends in the Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia leg, they were made to follow the backpackers way of hostel-type accommodations. And, I would like to think that we all had a very good experience staying at the Beary Nice Hostel in Chinatown, Singapore.

Singapore - Beary Nice lobby
it’s a beary welcoming reception

Back in 2010, I have wanted to stay at the Beary Good Hostel, also in Chinatown, during a very short couple vacation in Singapore. We decided otherwise and it was only during the 2011 backpacking trip that me and my friends stayed at Beary Nice Hostel, which happens to be a sister hostel of Beary Good. Continue reading Backpacking South East AsiA – A Beary Nice Hostel in Chinatown, Singapore

Backpacking South East Asia: the Say What?! incident turned blessing in disguise

(I strongly suggest that you first read the “Borneo Quick Summary” before continuing with this post.)

As promised in the previous post, I will be posting  more  about my arrival at Senai Airport in Johor Bahru just to get it off my chest already. Hahaha. No, it wasn’t anything serious or dreadful, I just want to relive the moment before I forget the details of that night. This is the SAY WHAT?! situation I got in when I decided to go with and spend the night at the home of a half-Malaysian and half-Filipino guy and his family living in Masai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. This one will be quite detailed so, bear with me, ok?!

Meet Jhulson
Meet Jhulsona and his newly-bought scarf at a Muslim fashion store (around him are not pants but the Todong donned by Muslim women

Day 5, about 11pm: We touched down at Senai Airport 30 minutes too late for the final bus to the city center. As I was warned by couch surfers not to take the taxi which will just rip me off and I have no prior hostel reservation, I chose to accept the offer of Jhulson to sleep at her Aunt’s place. He was the guy seated on the row behind me, who I thought was complaining about my reclined seat. It was only until he spoke Filipino in a bit louder voice that I realized he just wanted to talk, as he wants to brush up on his Tagaloog (he is of Zamboanga descent and understandably, knows very little Tagalog). I wanted to talk to him but I was too tired and  groggy from waking up early, crossing from Brunei to Miri, and walking continuously for five hours within the city. And so, I told him I would like to rest a little and that I would talk to him later. This never happened as I woke up upon landing.

So, his act of kindness of offering me a place to stay was totally unexpected. In his words, “Huwag ka na hiya. Ano ka ba naman. Siyempre, Pilipino, tayo na lang tulungan.” Since he was picked up by his uncle (wearing the usual Muslim hat/headdress) and a little boy in tow plus an Indian driver friend, I assumed that they do not belong to any syndicates who are into human trafficking. So, I went with him.

I texted my Johor Bahru couchsurfing contacts and asked them where Masai is coz that’s where I’m headed. Of course, there was still doubt in my mind! One of them replied and said it’s about 30minutes or so from the airport. I also sent a message to Rajie, my Malaysian co-volunteer and told her what happened. I was under stress at the time and I didn’t know if I called her, she called me or we just texted each other. But then, perhaps Jhulson had more trouble about my presence since his phones were beeping with messages and ringing off the hook.

I did not understand what was happening but with the very little Malay I learned in the past five days and with him mentioning Miri, Tagalog and Singapore in a succession of words for almost each call I figured I had something to do with it. So I asked if the conversation was about me and he said yes.

Apparently, his brother, sister and sister-in-law are panicking coz HE IS BRINGING A GIRL HOME. I told him to clear with them that I am just some helpless stranger to whom he had shown kindness. I already did, he said. By the time we reached their place, which is about 30minutes of being in the car, his Aunt has welcomed him in open arms and though she genuinely welcomed me into their house, she looked at me warily. Continue reading Backpacking South East Asia: the Say What?! incident turned blessing in disguise