Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tamagoya Noodle House

Some good friends and I decided to take lunch out last Friday and ended up somewhere in Antipolo instead of our earlier plan to eat at SM Marikina. Our objective for our expedition to Antipolo was a highly recommended one by our friend Sean who had mentioned this small Japanese restaurant near the junction of Soliven Ave. with Sumulong Highway. He had actually invited our office barkada there but it seemed difficult to get everyone to lunch or dine in the place considering it was out of the way for most. Only Sean and I lived in the area though we could probably pull in a couple more other friends living in the area for a lunch get-together. Who can resist authentic-tasting Japanese food that's been a comfort food for a lot of us who had stints in Japan for our graduate or post-graduate studies?

The menu on the wall speaks of the restaurant's specialties and the prices are reasonable (148 Pesos is about 300 Yen)
Since they have a lot to offer including ramen, donburi, and soba, I'm sure we'll be coming back for more if only to sample the other items
Karaage don
Chuka don
Sheilah and Sean displaying their proofs of purchase
If Japanese food were a vice, we were definitely guilty for indulging (once in a while)
Tamagoya Noodle House facade
The staff are attentive and the place is clean and well-lit. The only issue would probably be the parking as they only have space for 5 to 6 vehicles. Car-pooling/sharing or public transport is recommended. What can I say about the food? It's perfect for a rainy day!

Thanks for the recommendation Sean! We're sure to make a return soon!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ton Tei

Opting again for Japanese food for our dinner one Friday, we went to Ton Tei at the NEX mall. The cluster of Japanese restaurants and shops at the mall is proclaimed by a sign saying "Yokoso! Japan" - the slogan for the "Visit Japan" tourism campaign. Once there, one can go around to check what's offered by each establishment from the menus and displays outside that are distinctive of Japanese restaurants, particularly the realistic food displays of their specialties. Ton Tei specializes on tonkatsu and they claim they only use kurobuta or literally "black hog" for their meat dishes. When ordering, one must take note of their sets for a complete meal that's also just right for the budget-conscious.

Katsudon set
Black pepper pork set

Friday, July 27, 2012

Flora at Changi Terminal 2

I took a few photos of the plants at the Changi Airport Terminal 2 in Singapore. The orchids and other tropical plants provide a nice touch to the airport and seems to be an added attraction for visitors. I spotted a few tourists taking photos with the plants, particularly the orchids in the background. The orchids are endemic to Southeast Asia and I do remember some of them from my mother's garden.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Aircraft models

I like to think of myself as an unconventional collector. This is because I have several collections including stamps, coins, bills, model tanks, comics, toys, and others. My collection of collections now includes a few aircraft models including three commercial airliners and two bombers. The latest addition to my small fleet is an Airbus A380-800 I bought from Singapore Airlines, the first airline to fly the huge jets. This adds to my humble collection of two models - a Philippine Airlines Boeing 747-400 and a Cebu Pacific Airbus A320. The small collection is symbolic as I have been flying in and out of Singapore to visit the Clairvoyant and our home for a little more than 1.5 years in that city state.

The box with the plastic wrap
Photo of the box with the plastic cover off/removed
Contents - components still in their cases/wraps
Aircraft model parts
Underside of the model with my Swiss knife as a reference
Unmounted model aircraft
Testing the landing gears - they actually work!
Aircraft model mounted for display
Mounted model photographed using my BlackBerry Bold
Our humble collection of aircraft

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Car maintenance - again

I brought our car to the shop for its regular maintenance checks and had an oil change after having the engine washed. I also had the spark plugs changed, not a simple thing to do with several parts of the vehicle's engine requiring to being detached in order for one to reach the spark plugs. Of course, I could have done this myself after watching our mechanic do this for the last few years but I'd rather a professional do it so as to make sure everything will come out right. 

Newly washed engine - the car looks quite mischievous from this angle with its headlights for eyes and a grin for its snout
The underside is clean and I like checking the suspension and muffler when the car is raised just to make sure everything's as it should be
We have four new tires as I had the old one replaced a few weeks ago. The old ones were 5 years old and had a history of punctures. Also, I wanted our tires' ridges deep enough to be able to pump out water typical in Philippine roads during the wet season
No punctures or other significant damages not associated with typical wear and tear over 5 years.
The foils and other parts are holding up and I'm glad of their condition considering what the car's been through
Black motor oil flows from the engine - definitely good timing for a change
Dirty oil is drained from the engine after a cleaner is added to the engine
We always used fully synthetic oil for the car ever since we had our car and especially after Ondoy submerged the vehicle in 2009. It's highly recommended for relatively older cars to ensure better engine maintenance.
Engine filter detached
Other part going off to reach the spark plugs
Engine and mechanic's tools
It's not so easy to get to the spark plugs as the mechanic had to remove the engine cover, filter, and other parts to access the engine. You have to make sure all the screws and clamps are back where they were removed or unsnapped.
The car had been through a lot compared with other cars its age and even older. It has miraculously survived being fully submerged by floods of a typhoon back in 2009, and is performing better than most cars its age and newer. I don't know how long we'll be keeping the car but its definitely going to be with us for a while even as we consider purchasing another one to replace another car that wasn't as lucky as our Mazda 3.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Lunch at 313 Somerset

We had lunch at the 313 mall at Somerset and along Orchard Street. We like this mall as it houses many restaurants where we could grab whatever meal we fancy including branches of Marche and Din Tai Fung. There is a nice Teppanyaki restaurant at the top level of the mall at its food court that we have enjoyed eating at partly because your food is cooked in front of you. Make no mistake, the food is good and very satisfying whether you're there for brunch, lunch, dinner or supper.

Arriving at the food court level of the mall, one will be greeted by a scene of the chef cooking teppanyaki before customers obviously enjoying their meals
One should always grab a seat along the counter to enjoy the cooking show
We usually have the beef teppanyaki and seafood set and order mushrooms on the side
The chef will ask customers how spicy they want their teppanyaki would be. We like our a bit spicy and though one is sure to perspire, the food is enjoyable.
Its not a fancy restaurant but definitely a great find in Singapore

Saturday, July 14, 2012

On home meals again

Our helper, Manang Aileen, is a good cook and is a quick learner in as far as adjusting the taste of viands for our consumption. She's done quite well with the afritada with a little help with the mix we usually purchase to make cooking easier.

Chicken afritada is always enjoyable whether for lunch or dinner
Perfect any day of the week
Tatay brought me atis from the tree at our home in Cainta - a bonus that day considering it is my favorite food

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grilling relic

We love grilled food whether eating out or at home. It should come as no surprise that we will surely have a functional grill at home with which we could grill meat or seafood, often during the weekends. The grill we're using now is a relic from my stint in Japan. I bought it in one of the flea markets (called bazaars in Japan) in Yokohama in the summer of 1998. I don't exactly remember for how much but I am sure it wasn't too expensive (likely less than 5,000 yen at the time) even considering it was practically brand new when I bought it. The grill had foldable legs and a cover. It came with tongs, least 2 grills (for seafood and for meat), and skewers.

Firing up the grill
Not quite ready for cooking
Pork steak and hotdogs for dinner
Almost done but not too well done