Today on dates

14 02 2013

SPOTTED AT Royce’ at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.  And then at Montblanc.

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Blushing pink with joy at Royce’

 

 

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There’s a ribbon in the sky – or at the window display at Montblanc – for our love.

Copyright © 2013 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved





Yellow

13 05 2010

LOOK AT the stars,

 Look how they shine for you,

 And everything you do,

 Yeah they were all yellow…”

– from the song “Yellow” by Coldplay

 

"Tie a yellow ribbon 'round that old oak tree..."... somewhere at Alabang Town Center, 2009.

 

Nike yellow baller ID, together with a blue and an orange one.

 

Yellow ribbon, yellow Guess? Jeans "DIVE IN" shirt, and yellow Technomarine.

 

Yellow ribbon 'round a Joseph Schmidt Carrot chocolate box.

 

Nike yellow baller ID, together with a blue one, and a Philip Stein on a friend's pink day.

 

Royce' Nama Chocolate in Banana (seasonal)

 

Yellow Technomarine

 

Technomarine Raft Chronograph with Yellow Gel Strap, orange and yellow baller IDs.

 

Swiss Army automatic wristwatch with yellow and blue baller IDs.

 

Yellow and blue, a good combination.

 

Yellow and blue, with a Morellato.

 

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Where it all started for me

5 11 2009
Royce' Takashimaya

Royce' counter at Takashimaya in Singapore

MY LOVE affair with Royce’ started with pasalubong – the Nama Chocolate Champagne Pierre Mignon – a really good friend bought at one of the stores in Singapore.  Technically speaking, the love affair actually started with the first bite.

I totally did away with the cute miniature plastic fork that comes with each box, as the heavy dusting of cocoa powder on each little chocolate block was just so tempting.  It promised a mess on my fingers that could only mean finger-lickin’ goodness.

The first bite of these chocolates allowed me the taste of the most delicate confection there has ever been.  It was light and was delicate like finespun sugar threads used to decorate a croquembuche.  It almost instantly melted in my mouth, leaving only a faint – but lingering –  coating of what can only be perfect melding of cream and chocolate.

I can finish a box of these easily and have actually on occasion failed to survive bouts with momentary selfishness.  The worst that it has ever made me do is become demanding of friends who travel to either Singapore, Hong Kong, or Japan.  I “demand” that they bring back Royce’.

So when the Tycoon had to fulfill yet another schedule on his fully booked social calendar – this time in Singapore – I didn’t think twice about shamelessly asking not only to have some purchased but also to have photographs of the Royce’ stores taken.

The Tycoon didn’t disappoint.  It has actually been a couple of days already since I got my hands on the chocolates.  But waking up this morning to yet more Royce’ confections – this time from my brother – by the coffee table by my bed, I got reminded of making this post.

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Royce' store at Ion on Orchard

 

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This Royce' store at Ion on Orchard just has a futuristic appeal to me. I won't be surprised if Neo would ring up my purchases at the cash register!

 

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This is a close-up of the display panel that you see on the right side of the picture above.

 

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Royce' Pure Chocolate – Venezuela Bitter & Ghana Sweet.

 

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Royce' Pure Chocolate – Mild Bitter (80%) & Extra Bitter (90%).

 

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Gotta love two boxes of Royce' Pure Chocolate!

 

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I woke up to one of these on the coffee table.

 

Here are my previous Royce’ chocolate posts – or Royce’-related posts – that you may also like:

[The joys of Royce’]   [What goes on inside a bag of Royce’?!]   [eNTeNG’s 25]   [Royce’ for a fave Superhero]   [And with Royce’ I said farewell]   [Four-letter word]

 

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

 





Four-letter word

13 07 2009

I SHOP only when it is screaming SALE in big bold letters.

But with the economy as it is right now – with every aspect of our life taking some serious beating – it behooves us to reflect on this very serious matter, so serious it’s way up there with the debate on poll automation.

ShoppingShopping in these times.

For over a couple of years now, I’ve been my own incarnation of a penny-pinching miserly old man.  Eversince Friendship introduced me to the unbridled joy of retail therapy in the States (when I was there), I’ve never come near any retail item in the malls here at home.  Okay, that’s a bit too much to say.  I have actually had – though very few and far between – but most definitely, I’ve steered clear of the cashiers.  The first one on my all-time shopping list that I had crossed out has been clothes.  Sometimes, some are just so ridiculously priced here.  But I won’t go into a debate with anybody.  Because even I myself do recognize that the barcoded numbers I see on the tags here take into consideration a lot of overhead cost.

Superman has actually been a very good influence on me on these things.  There was one time that I backed out of ringing up my purchase at Armani Exchange at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall, just the very split second after the sales associate had assisted the person before me, and just the very moment before she could even mouth, “this way, Sir.”  I fixed the red, white, and blue knit shirt in my hand a “longing” stare and went my way.

But yesterday, I made an exception.  I went to Makati to get some gifts for one of my best friends – Spider-man.  For special occasions and for special people, I think it’s perfectly okay to break the rules.  Hahaha!  And take note, MOST of the stores were actually on SALE!

I haven’t been in the Makati area for a while so I took my leisurely walk.  I actually spanned the expanse of Serendra, all the way to Glorietta, then to Greenbelt.  I decided on a Zara Basic Polo Shirt in light blue.  It was a toss up between the red and the blue.  I was actually leaning towards red (since it is a birthday present), until the sales associate said, “The blue is better.”  Though just this morning, James said that whenever he and his wife shop, and he couldn’t decide, he would be told to “get both.”  I’m scratching my head right now and thinking why on earth I didn’t think the same way!  Hahaha!

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Zara Basic Polo Shirt in red

 

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Zara Basic Polo Shirt in blue. I took the images using my Nokia 5310 camera phone.

Being in Makati also allowed me to fulfill a couple of other promises I’ve made to Spider-man.  Finally, I’m picking up Royce’ Nama Chocolate for him (got the Champagne Pierre Mignon).  And for good measure, I got a small box of Machiavelli Chocolatier chocolates.  I’ll post something about these chocolates!

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The Royce' paper bag now has a cute logo ribbon as accent. They used to use a gold foil ribbobn they tie to the straps.

 

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Say HAPPY BIRTHDAY with Machiavelli Chocolatier's chocolates!

 

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Some things for the birthday boy Spider-man!

I had a great time yesterday and by the end of my shopping day, I realized that I didn’t bleed the coffers dry (Zara has such great deals!!!).  And seriously, not even a small hole was burned in my pockets.  I’ve made wise purchases that based from Spider-man’s reaction this morning, are well-appreciated.

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Trust Kenneth Cole to say it like it is!





In Heat

1 07 2009

CLIMATE CHANGE really sucks!  After the unforgiving, unrelenting, torrential rains, it’s the “heatwave” – unbearable as of the other night – that we need to come to terms with.

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Coffee California's California Heath Frappe

So how is a mere mortal like me trying to cope up?  I changed one thing about my eating habits – I stopped having steaming hot coffee and have since moved to it’s ice-blended kin.

My friends know that every single meal I have is washed down not by water – not even by that carbonated mineral water produced and bottled somewhere in Lombardo, Italy – but by coffee.  And I’m very easy when it comes to my coffee as Nescafé 3-in-1 (coffee, sugar, cream) has always done it for me.

That was until the cafeteria in the office has somehow subjected their coffee supply to their sporadic whims.  What’s a caffeine-dependent to do?  Turn to the next supplier of course.  It didn’t matter anymore that I would have to fork out at least fifty pesos every single time I’d need coffee.  I had to have the fix and I had to have it good.

And that’s when I came to know Coffee Califonia’s California Heath Frappe. It’s a velvety smooth ice-blended drink concocted with freshly brewed coffee, chocolate, fresh whole milk, and chocolate syrup, spiked with a splash of Torani liqueur – usually hazelnut.  The day they ran out of hazelnut, I asked that they use banana instead.

And with one sip, not only did it quench my thirst and moistened my parched lips, it sort of reminded me of my favorite Royce’ seasonal nama chocolate (banana).  Not bad for sixty five pesos!

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My friend Stave Michael took the photos, using his Nokia N73 camera phone with a Carl Zeiss lens.





eNTeNG’s 25

10 04 2009
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Totally unrelated to this post. Haha! Just dug this up during the week-long break. Taken on a dinner-out with Friendship and Mother.

 

UPON MY friends’ prodding, I signed up for a Facebook account.  But it didn’t take a long while for me to figure out one thing – I couldn’t keep up with Facebook!  To my friends, I’m almost always the one they will name when asked as to who among they know is the most relentless – nagging even!  But when I got on Facebook, I realized I couldn’t really stand being on the receiving end of a “poke” or a “tag.”  Talk about getting a dose of my own medicine!

 

But if there’s one thing I think I could succumb to, it’s making this random list of 25.  (I’ve been told that being “tagged” to do this on Facebook has spread like forest fire in the dry Outback.)  Things “random” appeal to me.  I even made a category here just for my own “random musings.”  Hahaha!

 

So here it is, my list of 25 random things – yes, 25 things I love! – mostly about food.  They are in no particular order (again, “random”!).  I just have to sort of count them down from 25.

 

25.    I have a very weird snacking habit.  I can devour a whole pound of cooked ziti pasta.  Yes, you read it right – just cooked pasta WITHOUT any sauce.  On other days, I would munch on bunches of fresh coriander.  Clearly, popcorn is not my idea of snacking while watching my favorite TV shows.

 

24.    Unlike, most people, I adore in-flight cuisine!  I particularly love Singapore Airlines’, especially whenever they have their chef specials right around the holidays.  Air India still makes the best curry for me (I had second helpings!).  And Philippine Airlines will always be memorable to me.  I gained appreciation of – and long-standing romance with – enoki (winter) mushrooms on board one of their flights.

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Some of the in-flight menus I have saved through the years.

 

23.    I collect in-flight menus.  But I politely ask the attendants first if I could keep a copy before I stash it away.  Another would be room service menus.  Again, I’d ask first before I keep anything!  And oh, I keep all my restaurant receipts too!

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Yet another shot of the in-flight menus.

 

22.    My favorite salad green is arugula.  I like its slightly bitter, peppery taste and its succulent, slightly thick fleshy leaves.  So I always get SaladTime’s “Arugula & Mixed Greens.”  For some reason, I couldn’t find what is commonly known in the U.S. as “garden rocket” or even what Chef Jessie Sinsioco refers to as “micro-arugula.”

 

21.     When I read somewhere that Aga Muhlach’s personal chef would make him an all-eggwhite omelet as part of his diet, I started to make the same – my own version, my own recipe! – for one of my best friends who happens to be a health buff.  Mine would call for provolone cheese and fresh white button mushrooms.  Unfortunately, I still couldn’t find provolone locally!  So I’d settle for the next best thing – the Australian COON Light & Tasty 25% Less Fat Shredded Natural Cheddar Cheese!

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For my all-eggwhite omelet, I first saute the sliced Tuscan Fields fresh white (or Swiss Brown) button mushrooms in 100% pure canola oil (or light extra virgin olive oil).

 

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I couldn't find provolone. But this does just fine!

 

20.    My dream all-eggwhite omelet recipe would be made out of, of course, eggwhites, fontina cheese, chives, and shaved fresh truffles (from Italy)!  Yummy!

 

19.     Growing up, my favorite local chocolates were Serg’s “Mocca” bars, Goya’s block chocolate, and Ricoa Flat Tops!  Too bad, I don’t think they make Serg’s anymore.

 

18.     Among imported chocolates, I intensely love Godiva (their boxed sets are really pretty); Leonidas for their pralines and truffles; and, ROYCE’   for so many things!  Among their variants – that I have tried and shared with Superman – I particularly love the NAMA CHOCOLATE CHAMPANGE PIERRE MIGNON, NAMA CHOCOLATE AU LAIT, NAMA CHOCOLATE MILD COCOA, NAMA CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY, Pure Chocolate (Venezuela Bitter & Ghana Sweet), Coffee Chocolate, Prafeuille Chocolat Coffee Chocolate, and PotatoChip Chocolate.

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All the way from the Greenbelt 5 store...

 

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...to a superhero's desk!

 

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For sentimental reasons, I've kept the wrapper of my very first Royce' chocolates, handcarried from Singapore!

 

17.      I’m particularly proud of my chicken tinola.  I make my chicken broth the same way chefs Jessie Sinsioco, Gordon Ramsay, and Tyler Florence would make theirs.  Friendship calls me the “sabaw” king!  If I don’t have the time or the ingredients to make my chicken broth fresh, there’s always Swanson.

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My chicken tinola up close. Postscript: I just had to cook this right after I made this post! Haha!

 

16.     Like Superman, I love macarons de Paris from BIZU PATISSERIE, in pistachio, coffee and caramel flavors!

 

15.     Of all media personalities, Daphne Osena Paez is the best food “critic.”  I mean, I trust her.  For me, nobody has come close to how she would account, describe, or share her gastronomical experiences on the now-defunct show “F.”  I guess it’s in the combination of her (palpable) sincerity, facial expressions and enunciation.  Oh, and the fact that she has got to be one of the smartest personalities to grace the boob tube ever.

 

14.     The best “spice” I’ve ever put on a bowl of Chinese noodles is ground green tea leaves.  I forgot the name of the dimsun place.  It’s a kiosk inside the Hong Kong International Airport, near a big book store.  From where I would sit, I’d see Starbucks directly below.

 

13.     I love New York Cheesecake from KRISPY KREME DOUGHNUTS®.  It’s their doughnut shell loaded with cheesecake filling and topped off with cream cheese icing and a very generous “dusting” of graham cracker crunch.  Spider-man loves it too, as well as the blueberry cheesecake.

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A box of six Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The one on the bottom left is the New York Cheesecake I love so much!

 

12.     The Good Earth Tea Room makes the best chicken chow mein and black mushrooms with beancurd casserole.  Their duckquitos (roast peking duck with onion leeks and hoisin sauce in taco shells) are so worth coming back for!

 

11.      I get my tom yum goong (hot and sour shrimp soup) fix at tHAI AT SILK at the Serendra Piazza.

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The elegant place setting at Thai At Silk.

 

10.     I’m not a huge sandwich fan.  But whenever I would decide to have one, it would only be one of three.  The roast beef sandwich at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (first had at the Alabang Town Center branch).  The crabstick sandwich at The Soup Kitchen (first at Glorietta 5).  And, the farmer’s ham ciabatta at Delifrance (first at the NAIA Terminal 2).  Superman finds the last one particularly fancy when I described it to him.  It’s actually slices of ham and brie cheese with an iceberg lettuce leaf in ciabatta bread spread with a raspberry dressing!

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One of my (so far) three favorite sandwiches – the crabstick sandwich at The Soup Kitchen.

 

9.       The Danish butter cookies that I’ve never forgotten were of a brand called “Oxford.”  It was a gift.  I wasn’t able to find it anywhere.

 

8.       Brother and I would often pretend that we had officical business at our apartment’s admin office in the U.S. just so we could get our hands on the free Otis Spunkmeyer oatmeal cookies.  We’d shamelessly swipe off everything in sight (Haha!).  They later caught on.  Talk about being caught with our hands in the cookie jar.  Haha!

 

7.        Other people’s signature dishes that I love to bits are Mother’s adobo, Sister’s tortang talong, Therese’s barbecued baby back ribs, and (again) Therese’s pot roast.

 

6.       The one recipe I’ve been  meaning to try – for the longest time – is Rachael Ray’s Boeuf Bourguignon (“Beef Burgundy” or simply, beef in red wine).

 

5.        My most memorable past-midnight cravings were for Hainanese chicken rice.  I’ve had it twice at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, and once at the Diamond Hotel Manila.  Makati Shangri-La’s was way better.  And more special too as they didn’t really have it on their coffee shop menu.  I wrote the chef a thank you note.

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One of the Makati Shangri-La receipts. Hainanese Chicken Rice at 11:39PM! They punched it in as "open food" because the lobby lounge / coffee shop menu didn't really carry it! I wrote the chef a thank you note! To date, it has got to be the best I've ever had!

 

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Room service for Hainanese Chicken Rice at 11:51PM at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.

 

4.       I get my cupcake fix only at – wherelse?! – Cupcakes BY SONJA.  Here in the Philippines, Sonja L. Ocampo is still the one and only cupcake rockstar!  Of her creations, my favorites are Bunny Huggers Carrot Cake, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Valrhona Flourless Chocolate Cake, Red Velvet Vixen, Choco Cream Cheese Swirl, and Pumpkin Sweet Spice (seasonal).  Spider-man adores the Bunny Huggers.  Superman likes them a lot too!

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A stack of Sonja's pretty cupcake boxes. When Sonja learned I was blogging, she had her staff put this out, and even told me it was okay to style the cupcakes for my pictures. Such a nice lady!

 

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This box of four went to Superman. A serious chocolate lover like this superhero likes the melt-in-your-mouth flourless Valrhona chocolate cake cupcake a lot!

 

3.       I still mourn the demise of the cookie dough flavor of HÄAGEN-DAZS®.  I love BEN&JERRY’S cookie dough too.  I’m just not sure if it is available locally.

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I've kept these through the years – the boxes of the first (ice cream) snacks I've ever had in a moviehouse abroad! See – Ben&Jerry's!

 

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Cookie dough is really my favorite. But on that first night, this had to do. Not bad at all really!

 

2.       I make the time to cook for someone.

 

1.        I still eat Cerelac!