Good thing I’m not

10 03 2011

A PLASTIC bag.  Or ‘plastic,’ for that matter.  Haha.

Everytime I’m at Town, BreadTalk is a requisite stop.  My mother can’t get enough of their Cheese Floss and Earthquake loaf.  As for me, it has always been a love affair with their Cheese Naan.

So last night on my way to get our fix, I was quite disappointed to see this sign at the door.  Coming from the side where Kenneth Cole is, I knew something was amiss when I saw that the lights were out and the couple of shade umbrellas were folded.

BreadTalk closed!

The accompanying notice taped beside the sign – the document with the fine print – was dated March 7th.  So that means it’s been three days.

I’m a bit surprised because the last time I was there last week, they had already converted to nondescript brown paper bags, save for a stark print in green of the store’s name.  On my way in, I even remember holding the door for one of the staff who was rushing in with an armful of newly delivered paper bags.

Unless the city ordinance also prohibits the cellphane they sheath the confections with.  Does it mean BreadTalk needs to take a cue from the friendly neighborhood pandesalan (a bakery that sells traditional Filipino breakfast rolls)?

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Posed and Printed

16 02 2011

Strike a pose!

 

Free photo keepsake! Yey!

THE CAM whore that I am, I’m lured to any setup that resembles a photo booth.  In college, a FOTO-ME booth stood right beside the main gate.  And every enrolment period, I would line up to get my ID photos taken.  It was less the need to comply to school requirements (as I could get the photos taken somewhere else), but more the need to hear the attendant’s “magic words”: “Dito ang tingin (Please look here)…  (dramatic pause)…  four shots.”  Trust me, the written word doesn’t do the attendant’s enunciation and phrasing any justice.  Hahaha!

Posed and Printed!

On Valentine’s Day, Brother, The Flash, The Tycoon, and myself chanced upon a Pose & Print photo booth, set up to take complimentary photo keepsakes for shoppers at the Alabang Town Center.  I first came across this kind of photo service at my good friends Bom & Rizzie’s spectacular wedding.  Months after, I waxed nostalgic about those photos.

Will I let the seeming shyness and reservations of my three friends (“Photos taken in public, with people watching?!”) get in the way of striking a pose?  No!  Hahaha!

All it took was signing up at the concierge for a free pass and a couple of minutes of waiting time at the line.  After the first flash, I pulled The Flash to join me, and then The Tycoon.

I didn’t force Brother anymore.  I didn’t want him to use 100% of his powers to disintegrate me from the face of the planet.  Besides, I wanted to still be able to get my hands on the contact sheet printout.  Which I did, in like, a couple of minutes!  Nice!

BFF! Hahaha!

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Back in the Mediterranean

15 02 2011

Mediterranean Pasta

“ALL THAT you want, Brother!”  Brother said with a wink when I sheepishly opened, “Brother, I’m starting with a salad… (pause) and the marinated olives nobody loves.”  (I’d understand if you got lost in the exchange as my friend Edu and I do call each other ‘Brother’.)

CAFé MEDITERRANEAN is turning out to be a new favorite.  We said farewell to Giant Paulo over dinner at their Mall of Asia branch.  Last Friday night, this was where Brother hosted a more intimate gathering.  But this time, at Town.

I’m quite obedient – especially when I’m told I can “have it all” – so I had the antipasto, a salad, soup, and pasta two ways.  I downed everything with hot Moroccan mint tea served over ice.

Marinated Olives

I’ve loved olives eversince I saw Linus Larrabee fixing himself a dirty martini in the original version of the movie “Sabrina.”  I give myself a pat on the back for picking up the fascination for olives – not for the martini.  Hahaha!  Otherwise, I would be spending time bobbing for them in vodka or gin against just popping them in my mouth.  Café Mediterranean marinates pitted kalamata and green olives in fragrant extra virgin olive oil and herbs.  They serve a generous portion in a low pristine white saucer, sprinkling the glistening olives with dried rosemary leaves.  They’re nicely chewy, earthy, and as already said, fragrant – heaven in my mouth.  Though I won’t mind munching on olives straight from the jar.  Which I actually do when watching TV.  It’s just an expensive eating habit.  Hahaha!

Greek Salad

 

Antipasto

 

Just one more shot right before I cleaned the plate!

Well, that’s Greek to me!  That’s exactly how I feel everytime I would have Café Mediterranean’s Greek Salad.  Theirs stay true to the rustic simplicity I expect.  Just the best tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, Vidalia onions, kalamata olives and feta cheese, seasoned with salt, pepper, and dressed in olive oil.  The tanginess hints on a splash of vinegar or the brine in which the olives were cured.  Café Mediterranean serves their version on a bed of delicate lettuce greens (I espied a few Lolo Rosa leaves) but its most significant quality remains to be the crispness and crunch that each wedge of vegetable promises to please the mouth with.  The serving is huge.  But.  I.  Never.  Share.  Hahaha!

Soupe au Pistou

 

The soup is chockful with chunks of fresh vegetables, baby potatoes, and shell pasta!

Soupe au Pistou has been a favorite.  Akin to the Italian ministrone, it’s a medley of vegetables and shell pasta in a tomato broth, topped with a dollop of basil pesto and a grating of Parmesan cheese.  It’s served with nicely toasted bread that I always ignore.  But that’s just me.  I didn’t share the salad, save for a couple of forkfuls that The Flash managed to pierce.  But the soup, I had it separated into two small bowls – one for me, and one for Iron Man who joined us a half hour later after exorcising all the many issues at work.

Mediterranean Pasta (penne)

 

Mediterranean Pasta (linguini)

The Mediterranean Pasta was a little bit of a miss for me because I wasn’t expecting the bitterness from the grilled eggplant and zucchini.  I doubt that the zucchini was bitter to begin with – served on the side of steak or lamb chops, they’re always sweet – so I highly suspect the flavors of the grilled eggplant to have rubbed off.  But I did try to finish it off, and I did about two-thirds of the way through.  Quite an accomplishment as I had the sauce on both penne, and then linguini.

Iced Moroccan Mint Tea

 

Blended Iced Moroccan Mint Tea, together with the pasta.

The Moroccan mint tea is usually served hot in a teapot.  Served over ice as I requested, it was enough for two tall glasses they’d use for the regular lemon iced tea.  I downed the first one as is – just laced with a little sugar syrup – but for the second one, I had it whizzed in the blender, together with lots of fresh mint leaves as our efficient server Red suggested.

Thanks, Brother for the wonderful treat!  A first in a series, I know, ‘til you leave this end of the month.  Your generosity is just one of the many things I will surely miss about you!

Iron Man's Grilled Tuna Gyro

 

Brother and the Iron Man each had the Moroccan Lamb Stew over Buttered Rice before sharing this Smoked Salmon Pasta!

 

Regular Pita

 

Loved... Loved... L-O-V-E-D our dining table!

 

The cutlery

 

Lovin' the lighting fixtures hanging from the ceiling.

 

A friend from way back stopped by! This is his Omega Speedmaster! Ayluvet!

 

"Puttin' on the wrists!"

 

Iron Man and The Flash

 

Thanks a lot, Brother! You've been treating me kind for close to 15 years now!

 

Drinks and dessert at Starbucks

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





I could’ve sung with Lea!

22 12 2009

THE PROBLEM with Ms. Lea Salonga is that she has consistently been an excellent and oustanding performer that sometimes, her amazing vocals and impeccable phrasing would just pass you by.  That is not to say that she can no longer stop us on our tracks when she hits those notes.  Because frankly, she still does.  She ALWAYS has.  It’s just that since we have been so used to her level of excellence, we have already exhausted all superlatives to describe her.  And sometimes, we’d fall prey to throwing blurbs like “wonderful!”, “astonishing!”, “captivating!”, “truly world-class!” in our attempt to accord her artistry the respect and recognition it deserves.  And when we do, we actually are just trying to say that she – the Ms. Lea Salonga – has done it again.

That was exactly how I felt, standing firmly on my two feet for nearly an hour and a half, as I watched her free Christmas Concert at the Activity Center of the Alabang Town Center last Sunday, the 20th of December.  I was there – ticketless – at the mercy of whatever firm foundation my two feet could provide.  I had to chide myself repeatedly as the voice over kept repeating his spiels.  “I should be one of those few lucky people cordoned off from the maddening crowd.”  If only I took the little time it needed to turn thousands and thousands of pesos worth of Christmas shopping into free tickets.  Oh well.

I have to give it to Ayala Malls for pulling all stops in turning the Alabang Town Center Activity Center into something that brings a colossal concert hall to mind!  Honestly, days ahead I couldn’t envision how they’d put up a set design that would do justice not only to Ms. Salonga but also to Musical Director Gerard Salonga and the Filharmonika.  But they did.  From the mall’s ceiling they hung pristine white drapes that gave the impression of a major stage.  And they put up all the lights and spotlight that were needed – not to drown the show’s featured artist but to reinforce the brilliance of her own ethereal luminosity.

I’ve been to numerous mall shows and I couldn’t help but take note that this one started at 6:00 PM on the dot.  Wow, a free concert that didn’t make the people wait.  That’s a first.  It spoke volumes of the professionalism of Ms. Salonga.  Seriously.  Gerard Salonga was a commanding presence conducting the Filharmonika.  With the very first authoritative, powerful gesture of the kapellmeister’s hand, I felt Christmas had come upon me.

Profuse with the meaning of the season from its title alone – “A Chance To Share” – Ms. Salonga’s concert’s repertoire was a stunning showcase of her musical gift.  She was a most selfless act as she shared a moment with the Woodrose and De La Salle Zobel choirs who sang two songs and backed her up in the finale; and one lucky audience member who was given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sing a duet with West End and Broadway’s original Kim.  The choirs were fabulous!  When they hit that high note on the line “Pick up your feet” from “Jingle Bell Rock,” I swear I thought all our hearts’ wishes for the best Christmas ever went shooting through the roof all the way to heaven.  All the more that we wanted to whole-heartedly give to Ms. Salonga’s concert’s cause.

Ms. Salonga sang a total of 11 songs.

Be Brave Little One.

Two Words.  She lovingly paid tribute to the lyricist and composer, Mr. Louie Ocampo.  I just had to text my good good friend Rizzie Cruz Ocampo-Lontoc to tell her that Ms. Salonga acknowledged her Tito Louie.

Grown-Up Christmas List.

Part Of Your World.  Ms. Salonga is truly unrivaled in singing Disney.  Her enunciation, her diction, her phrasing – flawless.  Interesting bit of trivia:  this was her audition piece that got her the Mulan part.

Reflection.  She sang the full version.

A Place Called Home.  I’m unfamiliar with this song.  Yet, with the first line, she captured my attention and managed to tug at my heartstrings.

Nothing (from the musical “A Chorus Line”).  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

A Whole New World.  The duet that never was!  I was so envious of the very talented lady she picked from the audience.

Everybody Says Don’t (from “Anyone Can Whistle”).  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  There’s just no other way to describe what she did with the song.

One Voice.  Listening to her sing, her vocals buoyed by the angelic voices of the Woodrose and De La Salle Zobel Choirs, I almost immediately wanted to do my part to make this world a better place.

Encore:  The Christmas Song.

What?  This free show that featured the country’s best musical artist gave in to demands for an encore?  Yes.  I guess it was yet again a generous gesture from Ms. Salonga who had, at that moment, unknowingly breathed life to her concert’s purpose – the chance to share.

Copyright © 2009 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MuchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





New kid in Town

5 11 2009
Cyma at Town 00

Now this is really really good news!

I GOT this text message last week and have been meaning to make a post about it here.  I stumbled upon it once again as I clean up 3175 messages in my inbox – 700 in this phone and 2475 in the other.  Without a doubt, the sender knows just how much I love love L-O-V-E Cyma.  One of my most memorable nights out with Superheroes was a dinner at this restaurant’s Greenbelt 2 branch.

eNTeNG with superheroes

Memorable Cyma dinner at the Greenbelt 2 branch

Town is getting more and more exciting.  Pepper Lunch.  Cyma.  What’s not to love?

 

Copyright © 2009 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MuchTime™©.  All rights reserved.