06 April 2019

Thai Basil, Boracay Island

Lately, I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos before sleeping at night.  I was surprised when I saw a lot of foreign travel vloggers compare Philippines vs. Thailand "Which is best to travel?" videos.  Two southeast asian countries with a lot to offer.  I even heard before my former expat officemates discuss where they would like to retire, and it is between these two countries.

The two categories that got me intrigued about their comparison videos was Food and Nature.  I already had a hunch on who will win in those two categories, and I was right.  The Philippines win in the nature category because of our world class beaches and 7,107 islands.  However, Thailand gets the vote for the food category.  Looking at the comments section of the videos, there was a lot of respect between Filipinos and Thai.  One comment said "I'm Thai, but I think beaches from the Philippines are beautiful, I hope one day I can go there", another said "My family is from the Philippines, and we all love Thai food".  

As we were planning for our trip to one of the best islands in the world, Boracay island (Conde Nast Traveler 2018 Readers Choice Awards), to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.  We were invited by good friend, Karen Elizalde, owner of Thai Basil restaurant, at D'Mall.  We scheduled it on the latter part of our seven day vacation.  After eating buffet breakfast and dinner at our hotel for several days, it made our taste buds dull.  When the day arrived, we didn't eat breakfast and saved our appetite for lunch.  An E-trike ride and 10 minutes later, we arrived at Thai Basil restaurant at D'Mall.

We were greeted by Restaurant Manager Jenifer Paddayuman.  I get to order what I like, and Mickey orders his favorite dishes.  The first order to arrive at our table was Tom Kah Gai (hot and sour soup with coconut milk and chicken), sharing size.  The smell of the soup wafted as it is being served, and it will surely whet one's appetite.  The first taste of the soup made us stare at each other, "this is seriously good stuff" Mickey said.  He jokingly said that he remembered the scene at the Walt Disney movie Ratatouille, when Anton Ego, world renowned food critic made his first bite at the Ratatouille dish served to him, it transported him back to his childhood days when his mom cooked it for him.

This time, Mickey and I were transported back to Thailand.  What is this restaurant's secret?  We didn't know until we met the chef after dining in.  He was a young Thai chef, this is the reason why we are tasting 100% authentic Thai food.

Here are some of the food we enjoyed at Thai Basil Boracay:  

Tom Kah Gai
Hot and Sour Soup with Coconut Milk and Chicken
Php 340.00

03 April 2019

Love Beauty and Planet's new Hair and Body Products

I'm so excited to see the new Boracay this summer 2019. While I was preparing my toiletry kit, and on the search for a good sunscreen, I came across an article which introduces a new category called "Reef Safe" sunscreen products. Research says some of the chemicals found on some traditional sunscreens are the cause of irreparable coral bleaching. It's chemical pollution and not global warming according to environmental experts.

It's a good thing that there are now many companies who continue to raise awareness about the impact of ingredients on products to our happy planet.  What great timing when I was recently invited by Unilever on it's product launch of Love Beauty and Planet - an eco-beauty brand introducing hair and body care products.  The brand name speaks for itself.

This summer, they are introducing two new scents.  The Coconut Oil and Ylang-Ylang collection, and the Coconut Water and Mimosa Flower collection.

19 March 2019

Rambla Cocina Moderna in Salcedo

You'll find a little piece of Barcelona, Spain in Rambla Cocina Moderna.  Their restaurants are designed with an open kitchen and a cocktail bar, where you can see and interact with the chef and bartender and it is named after one of the most famous streets in Barcelona.

Specializing in Spanish food with Mediterranean influences, one of its owners explains, "In Catalunya, we have much more influence from France, Italy, and Greece.  But of course we also have some Spanish influence."  So, the purely Catalan group wanted to express the Mediterranean roots of its native cuisine, which is very different from the cuisine of the interior regions of Spain.

Six years later The Bistronomia Group (from which Rambla is under, together with their other famous restaurants Las Flores, Tomatito and BCN), under the leadership of three young and passionate food and beverage entrepreneurs Sergi Rostoll, Dani Aliaga and Uri Singla, now opens their second branch in Salcedo Village, Makati.

09 February 2019

A sleek new kitchen tool you'll love: The Asvel Rice Dispenser from Japan

Do you like clean lines in terms of design?  Or perhaps, do not like bulky kitchen tools?  Popular home care brand, Asvel from Japan has come up with modern and clean aesthetics to their rice dispenser line, and it is perfect for today's modern kitchens.  

But apart from it's modern design, it also has innovative functions:  It has measuring functions, drawer type rice bins that are compact enough and are perfect to use in modular kitchens.  More importantly, it has air tight rice stockers to protect the rice from moisture, dust and insects from creeping in, keeping your rice fresh and clean at all times. 

12 December 2018

A New Way to Relax at Saltwater Float Center

Finding new ways to relax in just 90 minutes?  Here's something new to try - the Float Pods at The Saltwater Float Center.  Even two-time MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors swears by this method to relax his body from aches and pains after playing on the hard court.

These big Float Pods measures 8 feet by 5 feet wide.  It holds about 12 inches of water, which is saturated in 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt.  This creates a solution more buoyant than the Dead Sea, which makes you float on your back about half in and half out of the water.  The water is kept at the average skin temperature of 34 degrees Celsius, so you don't have to worry that the water might be cold.  

You may also opt to close the Pod for the ultimate sensory experience, or if you're a bit claustrophobic, you can also leave it open.  You also have the option to activate the lights that change color, or if you are bothered by light, you can also keep it off.  There is a small opening in the pod where air can flow freely in and out, and the lid never locks or latches, there is just a handle you can grab if you want to open or close the pod.