Green Bar is currently my favorite all-vegan restaurants in Manila. They make the best cruelty-free sandwiches, wraps, bowls, nachos, and doughnuts that aren’t necessarily healthy but always hit the spot. So damn good. Now if only parking wasn’t such a problem.
GREEN BAR, 2/F West of Ayala, 252 Gil Puyat Ave., Makati, Metro Manila, Telephone (632) 885.7537
This is my favorite discovery from our NYC trip last year. Yes, last year pa, and I’ve never posted about it!
FREEZE by Pressed Juicery is an all-natural soft serve made with fruits, vegetables, and nuts (depending on the flavor). All flavors are dairy-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free. I only got to try the vanilla and chocolate, as they were having trouble with the green soft serve both times we dropped by.
Vanilla Almond Freeze is made with almonds, dates, vanilla bean, and sea salt
Chocolate Almond Freeze is made with cacao, almonds, dates, vanilla bean and sea salt
I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved this soft serve. They’re ice cold and creamy and totally luxurious, and you get to choose your own toppings such as berries, nuts, or cacao drizzle. Both flavors we tried were so damn good, we were back for more the very next day. I had to ask them what kind of liquid they used to blend the freeze, as there has to be some liquid in it to achieve this consistency. The woman at the counter seemed a bit taken aback at the question and said, “Uh… water, I guess?”
In any case, Pressed Juicery’s Freeze is THE dessert of my dreams, and I can’t wait to go back to the U.S. just so I can have more .
ESLITE stores can be found all over Taipei, but Eslite Spectrum feels special because of its unique location on the grounds of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, which was converted from an abandoned tobacco factory. My friends and I walked all the way from Taipei 101, crossing the park to get to Eslite, and the walk itself was enjoyable. We passed Ecology Pond, which is an oasis right in the middle of the city.
The Eslite building includes a large bookstore, a department store filled with young artisans and creative brands, vinyl, DIY workshops, traditional Taiwanese tea shops, and lots more eye candy. Everything is gorgeous as well as expensive! We had dinner at a Thai restaurant called Kiki Thai Cafe (inside Eslite) and we enjoyed everything we ordered (except the stinky tofu which served only as dinnertime entertainment). *Sorry to have zero photos to share, but please google “Eslite Spectrum Songshan Cultural and Creative Park to see more of what it looks like!
After eating, we walked around and just enjoyed the open grounds by some abandoned and rather creepy warehouses, pretending we were in a horror movie. Elite Spectrum is so beautiful and one of my favorite new places in Taipei!
My friends and I were in Taipei a few months ago, with no other agenda except to shop and eat. We headed straight for Mala Hotpot right after checking in to our hotel.
If you’ve never been to a hotpot restaurant in Taiwan, you will be astonished by the wide selection of soups, meats, seafood, noodles, fresh and handball meat, fish, and veggie balls, fresh vegetables, sides, sauces, and condiments. It’s hotpot heaven! Dessert is usually included, and at Mala, we got to choose from four chest freezers filled with Haagen Dazs and Movenpick ice cream.
Tip: ask your hotel concierge to call the restaurant for reservations, so you won’t have to wait as long as we did (2 hours!!).
If you plan in advance, it doesn’t happen, but when you viber each other late at night that PAL tickets from Manila to Taipei are on sale at US$75, you all end up booking a trip on the spot! At least that’s what happened with me and my high school friends Grach, Pauline, Jane, Isang, and Charlene. Continue reading “Taipei Itinerary: 4D3N with Friends”→
We spent the day at Lake Pandin, Laguna one day last month. It’s a 2.5-hour drive from Metro Manila, and you have to leave your car in a small, unpaved parking lot and get to the lake on foot. There is simply no way to drive there directly.
The facilities of the lake are definitely rustic and third world, but the lake is unspoiled and beautiful. Pandin is cared for and run by about 20 locals who operate the bamboo rafts as well as prepare the food, and guests are asked to register with a woman they refer to as “Pangulo.” They can serve you lunch on the raft (fresh caught tilapia and bangus from the lake) or you can opt for just the balsa ride.
The lake is clean enough to swim in but there are no changing rooms or even proper toilets around the lake (just a rather dirty makeshift toilet and you have to pay P5.00 per head to enter). We all changed into dry clothes in the car.
Also there is a 20 minute trek through a narrow dirt road from the parking lot to the lake, and it gets really muddy when it rains. The path sometimes slopes uphill or down, and I wouldn’t recommend it for seniors or very young kids. John had to carry Naomi both ways and it wasn’t easy. Still we all really enjoyed our day at the lake, and the kids are calling it “an adventure.”
Ideal for kids 6 and up, not suitable for very young children, seniors, or disabled.
Bring your own water and snacks for the balsa ride if you don’t intend to order food (they serve fresh fish, rice, and vegetables).
You can also order a fresh coconut to sip on, which is a nice touch but they don’t serve them cold since they don’t have refrigerators.
Best to go in good weather (no rain).
Wear swimsuits if you want to go in the water, but be ready to change in the car.
You can also text in advance to make reservations – 0907-9952983 or 0929-9789565.
LAKE PANDIN, San Pablo, Laguna *you can simply enter “Lake Pandin” on Waze
There are a gazillion posts burning a hole in my Drafts folder and I promised myself I’d start publishing them one by one. I wanted to start with Vien, my cousin Mark’s restaurant in NYC. Named after Mark’s mom, my beloved Aunty Vivian, Vien serves fast, healthy, Asian fare.
Vien lets you build your own bowl (or takeout box) by choosing your base (rice, noodles, quinoa, or salad) and your main (grilled beef, pulled pork, lemongrass chicken, turmeric tofu, or roasted vegetables) + your garnishes, sauces, and sides. It’s basically the kind of food I would love to have for lunch everyday, if I lived in New York! So good!
Learn more about Vien here, or visit them at 220 Varick Street.
Sometime last March, John and I randomly decided to pop by the newly-opened Shangri-la at The Fort, and we got to check out Adventure Zone, the kids’ play area operated by Kerry Sports Manila. I personally think that all family hotels should have at least one small room dedicated to a play area! Continue reading “Adventure Zone at Shangri-la at The Fort”→
Happy hour is something we are all very familiar with, but have you heard of Apericena? It basically means “apertivo + dinner” and has become quite the trend in Italy — you buy yourself a drink, and get to enjoy a buffet of appetizers for FREE! Continue reading “Apericena at Seda BGC”→