Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Ooma Japanese Restaurant

The Clairvoyant had been telling me about this restaurant they like to go to for lunches at Bonifacio High Street. One time we were able to escape for a date (our daughter allowed it :) ) we decided to have lunch at Ooma at their branch at SM Megamall.

Their take on the maki with a little kick
A very interesting presentation of the tori (chicken) karaage, which was crunchy and tasteful
The modern take on donburi was quite delightful with the meat melting in your mouth
Our drinks included an order of their own blend iced tea and the complementary (bottomless) mugi cha. I love mugi cha and it brings back memories of summers in Japan in the 1990s.
The food was really good, the service excellent and the prices won't punch a hole in your wallet or pocket. I am not surprise at all why they were full despite so many other Japanese restaurants in the mall and it the generally area where its located. We will definitely come back for another meal soon.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Chez Marie, SM City CDO Uptown

Another restaurant we ate at in CDO is one that's quite new. It wasn't there yet last December but immediately caught our attention as we surveyed restaurants for our lunch. Fortunately, my colleagues weren't feeling for more seafood that dinner time as we already had our fill the previous meals.

Poster showing some of their specialties
Their menu shows healthy selections including items whose ingredients are sourced from organic farms or freshly made at the restaurant
The interiors are interesting
And the food is really good. This is the chicken tikka I ordered, which came with a black rice variety
I had a dark chocolate popsicle for dessert partly to
Chez Marie, I think, is a must try restaurant for anyone looking for a good meal. The service is good and the prices are also reasonable. Add to this the ambiance that they were able to establish for a branch that's located in a mall.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Pallas Eppo manual wind vintage watch

I had wanted to have one of those charter watches that a fundraiser for the University of the Philippines came up with. For some reason, I just couldn't get to convince myself of purchasing one. It wasn't the aesthetics as I appreciate the design of the dial, which was the modification made to the watch. It wasn't the watch itself as there was a choice between a Seiko SKX007 or SKX013, with the latter being the smaller of the two.

Anyhow, my frustration was relieved when I acquired this vintage watch from Germany. Pallas is an obscure brand to me and required some research to get some information about the watch. Here's what I found about the watch brand:

"Otto Epple (Epple, Otto) = Eppo, watch manufacturer, Pforzheim, Germany...Eppo was also a brand name of a cooperation company named Pallas (also Pforzheim), in which Eppo, Pforzheim, was involved..."

The red dial is an attention grabber and you just got to love the sub-dial on this diver

I replaced the strap with this nato, which I thought was appropriate for the watch.
Case back indicating this to be of stainless steel and anti-magnetic, and nothing more. Watches like these would usually
Here's a photo of the movement, which I was able to identify as a FE 233-66 that runs at 18,000 bph with a power reserve of 50h on a full wind.
Here's the watch with the original strap it had on when I got it

I observed the watch several times recently and it delivered an average of a bit above 50 hours on a full wind. It keeps very good time; only gaining a few seconds over 24 hours. I also recently fitted it with a leather strap from Hirsch.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Chocolate review: Tony's Chocolonely 51% dark chocolate with pecan

Last March's trip to the Netherlands yielded several chocolate bars that I got to bring home. Among these was this chunky bar that's got quite a name to it.

I take it that Tony's Chocolonely refers to a longing for chocolate?
Details on the chocolate at the back of the package
Most of the information though were in Dutch but looking and attempting to read it actually gives you some sense of what is being described. For example, it's easy to determine that this chocolate contained 51% cacao.
Nutrition information

The inside of the wrapper gives a story of the maker
Close-up of the wrapper's upper part
Close-up of the wrapper's lower part

I forget how much exactly I got this chocolate for but surely it didn't exceed 3 Euro from the convenience store where I got it. It is a very good chocolate and definitely one to enjoy and something to pick-up the next time I see it in a shop.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Prawn House, Centrio, Cagayan De Oro

After a meeting near the downtown of Cagayan De Oro that finished early evening, my colleagues and I decided to go to Ayala's Centrio mall to have dinner there. After figuring out what we jokingly referred to as a maze inside the mall, we suddenly had a sort of difficult choice to make when we saw the selection of restaurants at the atrium area. These included branches of local restaurants we had tried before and the tried and tested ones we have in Manila.

We ended up at Prawn House, which is at the top floor and near the central stairs. One of us remembered seeing branches of the restaurant in Opol and near SM Uptown. Here are some photos from our dinner there.

Info on prawns printed on their placemats
Halaan soup has become somewhat a comfort food for us during trips like this.
Kilaw na tuna with seaweed
Grilled tuna belly
Baked scallops
Grilled cuttlefish (though restaurants generally refer to this as squid)
The food was good and the service, too. Prices are also very reasonable. In fact, we saw many families and not just groups from offices having their dinner there. Many seem to be regulars by the way they are greeted by the staff. Here's another restaurant that goes into our list of recommendations for when eating out in Cagayan De Oro. Of course, one must also try eating at their seaside branch in the next town of Opol.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Panagatan, SM City Cagayan De Oro Uptown

There is a restaurant that we often go to whenever we are in Cagayan De Oro or Iligan. The original one was in the town of Opol, located between the two cities, and along the seaside. I only learned recently, as I have not been in Iligan since 2009 and my stay in CDO last July 2018 was a hectic one that didn't allow us to go to the restaurant, that it now has six branches. Panagatan has expanded to include five more branches but these are located in malls rather than standalone restos.

Menu cover showing their branches in the region
Front cover of the menu
Seafood items
Soup and appetizers
The interior featured some curious items used as accents including these two wooden boats on the ceiling. I admire the effort here to make the restaurant inside the mall have a feel of their standalone branches.
Halaan soup always gives me a somewhat comforting feeling.
Chop suey for our serving of vegetables.
Our main dish of grilled fish came a little late and we were so hungry that I forgot to take a photo of the dish. Its okay, I think, since the presentation is the typical one for grilled tuna belly. I can still say that the food is good and the prices will not put a hole on your wallet of pocket. The service is okay though I cannot help but compare with the restaurant next door "Boy Zugba" that offers similar dishes but with more outgoing staff. We'll probably come back for a meal next time we're in CDO.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Chocolate review: Vanini latte finissimo cacao 49%

We had this Vanini bar among the last ones that the wife brought from her trip to Italy. This one also was pushed to the back of the refrigerator's top shelf where we keep our chocolates. I've mentioned before that we were more into dark chocolates but the wife made an exception here because of the Sicilian sea salt in the chocolate.

This Vanini bar also contains Sicilian sea salt
Details of the chocolate at the back of the box
Interesting information on the product includes sustainable trade, single origin cocoa, fairly traded cocoa beans, vegetarian diet and GMO free.
Nutrition and ingredients information

The sea salt blended well with the milk chocolate. And this reminded us of others like it that combined sea salt and chocolate only that the other bars were dark chocolate. That's probably because this milk chocolate was very refined and didn't taste like the mass produced variety. This one's definitely something we should pick up when we see the chocolate in a shop somewhere.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Eggs for Breakfast, Antipolo City

The wife had been telling me about this restaurant/cafe in Antipolo that she wanted to try eating at. One time she was able to do so and with our daughter as the opportunity presented itself after doing some errands a couple of months ago. Eggs for Breakfast is located at the Velada Estate in the Villa Cecilia Subdivision along Sumulong Highway. The junction where you turn right is immediately after the Caltex Station a short distance from the Masinag Junction. 

I finally was able to eat there after an appointment in Marikina. This time, I was with my wife and kid and my in-laws. Here are a few photos I took.

The path from the parking area to the restaurant was a very pleasant one as a nice garden suddenly appears before you.
The restaurant/cafe is found inside a compound or estate, which is also an events venue.
Eggs Benedict - this was among their signature dishes and it did not disappoint
Caesar's Salad - the greens were fresh and crispy while the dressing was just right and, I thought, was lighter than the usual dressing.
Tapsilog - their take on this popular item on Filipino breakfasts
Carbonara - the shiitake and truffle gave this version a thumbs up from me.

The food was good and the service was also good. It is a good choice for those wanting to have breakfast, brunch or lunch. I thought that their selection of items featuring their "eggs" theme suits them well. I have yet to try their French toast but I hear it was also good. Price-wise, the items won't certainly put a proverbial hole in your pocket. I look forward to eating here again sometime soon to try other items on their menu. I think I am not alone in this regard for the restaurant as they sure had a steady stream of diners there. Perhaps they should consider having a bigger area to accommodate more people?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Orator vintage watch

This is a late post as I have already given the watch away as a Christmas/New Year's gift to a friend who is also into collecting watches. This is a nice vintage piece that is in great condition and another example of a product of a small company that was among the casualties of the quartz 'revolution' of the 1970s.

Simple dial without any complications of a date or day feature
The red second hand is the most prominent feature of this watch
The case back showing the watch to be anti-magnetic, water resistant, and with incabloc shock resistance
Hallmark showing this watch to be 20 microns gold-plated
I have yet to open the watch and have it serviced but its running well with this movement that was posted by the seller.
This is not a large watch and the 16mm lugs would likely be a turnoff. But instead of finding slim/narrow straps, I opt for 18mm natos like this one I use for other watches.