Monday, February 25, 2013

Pico de loro

Hi everyone!  It's the long weekend here in the Philippines (only for students, adult workers still had a 2-day weekend).  I was fortunate to be sponsored to a trip to the beuatiful Pico de Loro.  Pico de loro cove is one of 13 coves in Hamilo coast of Nasugbu, Batangas.  It has 1.5 kilometers of gentle sloping beach and 107 hectares of marine protected area.  (Info from their website)  This development is from the SM group of companies and the facilities are for the exclusive use of members and their sponsored guests.  It took us around 4 hours to drive from Alabang to Nasugbu (no thanks to the delay we had to endure at the South Luzon Expressway, before the Sta. Rosa Exit.  It was due to a jeep that turned turtle which probably hit a black Lexus SUV.).
The trip was very straightforward and there was not much traffic as you pass along the towns of Laguna, Cavite and Batangas.  If it were not for the traffic we had to bear in SLEX, the trip from Alabang to Nasugbu would have been less than 3 hours.  Anyways, once you get to Pico de loro, you would be awed by the beach, the facilities and the numerous activities you can do while staying in this place.
The first thing we did was hit the beach.  I'm actually not a beach person.  I love the view and all...I love nature too, but I don't want going under the sun.  He he he...But since I'm here already, of course I want to make the most out of my stay.
The back of the beach club
Another view of the back of the beach club

I love this beach.  The sand is not as white as that in Boracay (it's actually more a grayish white) but it is fine and it is clean (no litter, for that matter).

If you are tired of swimming in the beach, you could try swimming in the pool at the Beach club or the luxurious and vast pool of the Country Club.  This is by far, the largest pool I have swam in in my entire life.  I say it's luxurious since it has beach chairs submerged in water.  Ahhh...the life.  We even saw 2 eagles soaring in the blue sky while we were swimming in the club pool.  Thank you very much to my sponsor (it wasn't Pico de Loro or SM group; part of my work, actually...I attended a lecture.) for letting me and my companions experience the amenities of Pico de Loro.  I <3 this place!

The large and...
luxurious pool.
The back of the country club.
Look at the submerged beach chairs on the right side of this picture...nice...

There are low-rise condominium buildings surrounding the man-made lake.  You can buy a unit for you to either use or have it rented.

Still part of the luxurious and grand country club pool
Man-made lake
This is the back of Pico Sands hotel where we stayed.  I'll write a review about it in a separate blog post.

Aside from swimming, Pico de Loro offers a multitude of activities for both young and adult.  There is a kid's outdoor playground and an indoor playground.  There are tennis courts, volleyball courts and a basketball court.  You can also do outdoor activities such as water sports (kayaking, riding boats), bike trail, cove tour, ATV use, etc.  The country club also has bowling lanes, billiard tables, chess and other board games.  For a minimal fee (the rates are really good, inexpensive), you can enjoy these amenities.  Check out their website at for more information.

The indoor kids playground (fee is just Php 100/kid/day!)

The bowling lanes
All in all, I had a very wonderful time at the Pico de Loro cove.  If I had extra money, I would want to buy membership shares in this very nice club.  Maybe in the future...Kudos to the SM group for making something like this.

I highly recommend everyone to experience the amenities and facilities that Pico de Loro has to offer.  Until next time.  Thank you for reading!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kenji Tei

What's for dinner last night?  It was ramen from Kenji Tei Ramen House.  I had my wisdom tooth pulled out yesterday morning, so my gums were still a bit sore come dinnertime.  I wanted to eat something that wouldn't need too much mastication and easy to digest, hence the decision to eat ramen.  The interiors of Kenji Tei were simple, functional and very pleasing to the eyes.


These were our orders...
Cheese Gyoza
The cheese gyoza was crunchy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside.  It came with mayonnaise dip.  Even with my sore gums/mouth, I still had to try these.  And it was good!

Chasu Miso Ramen
This was what I had, the Chasu Miso Ramen.  This was also delicious.  It had right amounts of ramen and pork.  I wasn't able to finish their regular size because I really had a hard time eating.  Just opening my mouth wide enough for me to eat the ramen was agony.

Spicy Negi Ramen
This was the order of my companion.  He really like spicy foods and for him, this was one spicy and yummy ramen.  He liked it and I'll take his word for it.  I also like spicy foods but I couldn't bear myself to eat anything spicy last night for fear that it would irritate the raw gums exposed by the pulled-out tooth.

All in all, I had a great time eating at Kenji Tei Ramen House.  It was actually my second time to eat in this restaurant and so far, my experiences had been pleasant.  The price is just right and they were able to serve our meals in less than 15 minutes.  And of course, the food was good.

Thanks for dropping by!  Join me again next time for another dose of Real Products...Real Experiences.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

C' Italian Dining

Hi guys!  It's another food review for today.  I recently tried a restaurant in Clark, Pampanga called C' Italian Dining.  I was with my sister and she said it is one of the must-try restaurants in Pampanga.  She has been frequenting this establishment with her friends for the past few years.  Every time they are in the area, they make it a point to eat at C'.  Web search revealed that there are many others like my sister who flock to this restaurant for its good food.  Now, what do I think about it?  Let me share with you my experience.

This is what I saw on the walls of the corridors of C'.  Plates with messages from people who have tried their dishes, some of the signatories are famous people.  The decor is I think, more old Filipino/Spanish rather than Italian.

The plates with messages
A view of the outside dining area
Entrance hallway
Another section for dining

The dining area

The staff are very courteous and are knowledgeable about their dishes.  Upon sitting down and while perusing the menu, they give you warm crusty bed and olive oil, parmesan cheese, basil dip.  The bread is really good.  It's crusty on the outside but very soft inside.  The dip was the right amount of salty (from the parmesan cheese) and herby (I really can't describe the taste of the basil...for me it tasted like, well, basil.  Hehehe).

C' Italian also serves panizza.  The crust on this panizza is crisp and the toppings are yummy.  I forgot what the name of this panizza, but it had tomato, oregano and cheese topping.  Margherita maybe?

I had this for main entree...the pepper encrusted fish in risotto.  This was creamy, yummy and really really good!

And for dessert, we had the lemon cheesecake.  This cake is not that sweet, very creamy and again, really really good!
All in all, my experience at C' Italian Dining was excellent.  I had good food, great service and the ambience is welcoming and not-at-all stuffy.  As for the prices of the food, it's a little bit steep, but the price is commensurate to the quality and quantity of the dishes.  A single plate will actually feed 2-3 persons.  I suggest going to C' Italiann Dining with a bunch of friends and order different dishes and share amongst yourselves.
I <3 C' Italian Dining.  I'll definitely drop by when I visit Clark, Pampanga.
Thanks for reading!  Talk to you soon.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Royal Dragon

This is the last of my posts from my Hanoi-Bangkok trip.  This is The Royal Dragon restaurant.  This is the world's largest restaurant as certified by the Guinnes Book of Records.  It has a seating capacity of 5000 and a staff of 1200 in an area of 8.35 acres.  Whoa!  That's huge.

Pagoda-like seating area
The pond in the middle of the restaurant.

Now, let's talk about the food.  As in all food in Bangkok, the items served to us were all very yummy!  I love Bangkok not only for its shopping but for its food as well.  I believe, with all my heart (drama!), that all food in Bangkok are very good.  I can eat anywhere and still love the food.

For that day, here was what they served us (all of which I really enjoyed eating)...

Pad Thai
Chicken Pandan
The Pad Thai was not spicy.  You can really taste the spices that were put in it.  As for the Chicken Pandan, it was also not spicy.  It was good and crunchy.

The very spicy Tom Yum it!
Stewed Kangkong
The Tom Yum soup was spicy.  I love spicy food, so I really liked this one.  The vegetable dish was stewed kangkong in oyster sauce.  Another good dish and not spicy.

Crab dish
Shrimps...don't be scared by the chilies, it's not that spicy.
Now for the other dishes...the crab dish was yummy!  I think the crab sauce is made up of coconut milk.  As for the shrimps, it was fried in a batter and placed in a sizzling plate with a sauce full of red and green chilies.  This dish was also yummy and a little spicy.
Fried calamares
Fried Fish
We also had fried calamaers and fried fish.  The squid was tender and not chewy, the batter was just right.  The fish was crunchy on the outside but the fish meat inside was soft.  Again, the dishes were all tasty.

And if you are still not satisfied with the spiciness of some of the food, then help yourself to some chilies.  I actually made use of the chili sauce (on the right) for the fried calamares and fried fish.  But, I made sure to take my antacid before adding more spice...he he he.

Chilies...prepare your antacid
They also served a lobster dish but I wasn't able to take a picture of it.  The lobster meat was put in with some sort of fruit salad with mayo dressing.  It was good as well.

All in all, I'm sure you would guess my verdict on this restaurant.  The food was A+.  Definitely try The Royal Dragon Restaurant.  Yum, yum, yummy!

That's it for today.  Thank you for dropping by!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Sukosol Hotel

Welcome to the Sukosol Hotel!  The Sukosol Hotel is a five-star hotel that is in a good location.  It is in the heart of Bangkok and very near major shopping areas (Siam Square, Central World, Paragon, MBK, Platinum Mall, and Pratunam area).  If you are going to use the BTS Skytrain, then you are in luck since their website claims that it is just a 5-minute walk to the nearest BTS Skytrain station.  If you are like me, riding a tour bus, then you're in for traffic nightmare, especially during rush hours (which during my stay in Bangkok was between 9am to 9pm).  Better ride the BTS Skytrain when going around Bangkok.  Traffic is really terrible in the city.
Front Desk
Lobby cafe
The rooms are well-appointed.  The lay-out is the same as in other 5-star hotels.  The decor is modern Asian in design.
Cabinet and glimpse of TV
The beds

Toilet and bath tub
Shower area

The view from our room
The breakfast buffet serves an array of both international fare as well as Asian food.  I find it particularly Thai that the juices served are not your ordinary orange or apple juice.  They don't have orange juice or apple juice but they have tangerine juice and guava juice.  Both of the juices are good.

The glass on the left has tangerine juice...the glass on the right has guava juice.
My yummy breakfast
I only stayed for 1 night at the Sukosol Hotel.  I had a comfortable stay and a good breakfast.  I checked the rates and it is apparently only Php 3000/night inclusive of breakfast for 2.  Maybe they have a special rate since they are currently undergoing renovation of the facade.  Whatever the case may be, Php 3000/night is not a bad deal.

That's it for now.  Hope to talk to you soon.  Have a great day and thanks for reading!