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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Deal or no deal?: Lazada Philippine's Birthday Sale...

I have been seeing ads about Lazada's 3rd year anniversary sale like crazy. The 3-day sale which starts today was hyped as epic with flash sales on popular products such as iPhones and Longchamp bag and merchandise dropping up to 90% off.

Flash sales, popularize by (a.k.a lightning deals) sell a limited number of select products at a discount for a given time frame. They prey on our impulsive nature, but sometimes you have to wonder if a deal is a deal.

Me being genuinely interested in several items, such as the Lux portable folding table, I clicked on the item before the sale. According to the site, the original price was Php3,200 and not the Php5,000 advertised in the flash sale. Conversely, the Skil Impact Drill Set was originally priced at Php6,500 while the listed original price in the flash sale was Php3,400. The pricing of the site is suspicious., nevertheless the items are at least cheaper on the flash sale page. For post flash sale items such as the iPhone 6 and the Longchamp bag, the price was exactly the same as the sale.

According to an article in Rappler:
Lazada is currently home to 1,600 sellers and more or less 110,600 items. The target is to reach 900,000 products by end-2015.
It also reaches out to 1.5 million consumers to date.

Its amazing how internet retailing has evolved and will continue to. With online retailing being almost an uncharted territory for our government agencies, we must educate ourselves to look beyond the shiny pop-up ads. Sometimes things aren't what they seem to be...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bus vs Car: Just another day in EDSA

I drive a Toyota Vios ( a grey one too) so this kinda shook me for just one bit. It might have been freak accident on EDSA, but when things like these happen they still get to you...

Having driven a Vios for several years now I can honestly say that, it gets you places, but the lightweight build quality is somewhat concerning. Driving 120 on a highway makes you feel as if your car is flying and a much bigger car could throw you off the road. Over the years, I've had several fender benders for driving a bit too fast too furious and even the tiniest scrapes look like massive collisions. Just take a look at this youtube video of a Toyota Camry and Vios. RIP little one.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Awesome Fast Food Hybrids: An Ode to the Unhealthy

Since KFC Philippines released the double down dog, a hotdog wrapped around a fried chicken fillet last week, I decided to make a shrine as an ode to the previous fast food hybrids that broke the internet that we wish we could eat at the moment, but our pants are thankful we couldn't...

 8. Pizza Hut's KitKat Pops
Since this list is in ascending order, let's start with something diminutive and sweet. 

 7. Pizza Hut's Crown Crust Carnival
Nothing says awesome than combining two of the known world's favorite dishes: pizza and burger.

6. Burger King's Pizza Burger
Don't let the picture fool you, this burger is crazy big. It's 6 burgers combined to be exact.

 5. Burger King's Turkey Legs
 Another product innovation bought to us by Burger King Japan. Why have chicken when you can have turkey. And they say size doesn't matter.

4. Quick's Star Wars Burger
I'll be honest, this one just made the list because I'm such a Star Wars nut.

3. Taco Bell's Dorito Taco
As a child of the 1980's, Doritos was a guilty pleasure of mine. We didn't have those fancy Himalayan sea salt chips or faux healthy pumpkin and taro chips, so to see that Doritos is still alive and well brings tears to my eyes and hunger pains to my belly.

2. Wendy's Foie Gras Burger
 It's simple, sophisticated and elegant. Nothing says fine dining like foie gras on a good old fashion burger.

1. Domino's Prestige Quattro Pizza
No contest, the prize for best fast food innovation goes to Domino's Pizza for creating a foie gras, snow crab, shrimp gratin, beef stew, in Bordeaux sauce pizza.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

City of Dreams Manila Grand Opening (February 2, 2015)

It's official, February 2, 2015 is the day of City of Dreams Manila's grand opening. And they couldn't have teased it in a bigger way.

City of Dreams Manila has launched "The Audition", a multi part campaign for the integrated resort rumored to be one of the most expensive ads in history. It features Hollywood a-listers, Robert De Niro (part owner of Nobu - one of the hotels in City of Dream Manila) and Leonardo DiCaprio. Both actors vie for a role in an epic Martin Scorsese production set in the gaming complex in this teaser.

For the opening, City of Dreams is set to have the Concert of Dreams which features local artists including Gary Valenciano, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Kyla and Jed Madela and yet to be named international artists. You can play your way to win tickets or join their facebook raffle: Click here

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Resorts World Bayshore (Opening 4Q of 2018)

Is it just me or did Alliance Global and Genting just recycle the Resorts World Manila Newport City blueprint and add more curtail wall to the new Resorts World Bayshore in Pagcor's Entertainment City?

Travellers International the joint venture between the aforementioned two will be the last licensee to open as of date (phase 1 scheduled for 4Q of 2018). It will include 2 hotels, a mall, a 3000 seat grand opera, restaurants, bars and a 24-hour casino.

There have been initial rumors of a world class theme park in the project. While that has never materialized, only a fraction of the 30.5 hectares will be developed in phase one so we live and hope.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Healthy Gawker: Microwaved Sweet Potato Chips Recipe

After more that a month long hiatus from my Paleo diet, I'm back on it. And what better way to commemorate the start than to present one of my favorite recipe. Kamote/ Sweet potato chips.

To make this you'll need:

1. Sweet potato
2. Olive oil
3. Salt of other seasoning to taste

1. Peeler
2. A mandolin or serious knife skills
3. Wax paper

1. Wash and peel the sweet potato
2. Cut into chips using a mandolin or thinly with a knife
3. Drizzle cut sweet potato with olive oil and salt to taste
4. Place wax paper on a plate and put the cut potato one by one (making sure they don't overlap)
5. Microwave for 3 - 4 minutes

You should see them dehydrate and crisp before pulling it out of the microwave. Enjoy!

The Best of CES 2015 Tech Talk: The future of cars, drones, hovercarf and the internet of things...

The Consumer Electric Show in Las Vegas (CES) is like Christmas to any geek. Its filled with loads of cool gadgets from hightech washing machines to electronic skateboards. As usual, here are my favorite tech:

1. Mercedes F 015 Luxury in Motion
 Folks it's only been the start of the year and already, we're one step closer to having driverless cars.

2. Onewheel - Part Hoverboard, Part Skateboard
To anyone who has lived in the '80s, Marty McFly's hoverboard will always be cool. While we're not there yet with flying cars (despite it being 2015), at least we kinda have a hoverboard now. 

3. Drones, drones and more drones
Automated delivery is the future of ecommerce. Let's face it, its faster, cheaper and better than having a middle aged man drop your package (no offense to mail men everywhere). With Jeff Bezos leading the revolution, plenty of drones have dropped into CES this year.

4. The Internet of Things
From home kits to robot chefs to wearable devices, the dawn of the internet of things is upon us. Manufactures are striving to bring convenience to everyday mundane things.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Random Post: Pimped out Manila Cop Car?!

This is completely random, but I just have to share...

 A couple of weeks ago I saw the Pinoy version of Dubai's Lamborgini cop car near Manila City Hall. Why YES, its still a Toyota Vios, but check out the body kit and the classic racing stripe. That's not all by the way, this police car is equipped with two cctv cameras. One on top and one in the dashboard. 

I'm not really sure what the purpose of these cameras are for.  Kotong cops could still do shady deals by avoiding the camera and personally I feel that stationary security cameras are still more effective and tamper proof when it comes to monitoring public security.

Foodie Paradise 2: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Remarkable eats on the Cheap )

I'll be honest, the prospect of going to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in Vietnam never really crossed my mind, until a friend bought up an obsession with restaurants in the city. All these years, I had an impression that people in Vietnam just ate spring rolls and pho. Yup! They without a doubt had those and so much more...

HCMC is a foodie must. The city is just one gastronomical treat (the kind where I feel like I could as the Romans say: "eat, drink and be merry," since food is ridiculously cheap). I would expect to pay double the price of food here in Manila compared to HCMC.

Here's a rundown of some our experiences from the cheap to the still affordable not so cheap:

1. Ben Thanh Foodism

On a typical day, the food section of Ben Thanh market is flooded with a euphoria of vendors selling both classic Vietnamese foods to dry goods such as nuts and coffee and other delicacy.

Seeing as it gets kinda crowded at day, its fun to try food at night when there's an actual dining space to eat more comfortably. Ben Thanh vendors move outside once the market closes at 6pm.

2. Classic Vietnamese Cuisine
Spring rolls are as far as I go when it comes to traditional Vietnamese food. While everything in the picture below looks like a visual feast, there's just too much sticky rice action for my liking.

3. Hipster-Fusion Places
HCMC is packed with affordable hipster cafes which is truly awesome in my opinion. I just love how restauranteurs take their drinks seriously in this part of Asia. They make you feel like the Philippines has a lot of catching up to do in terms of bringing out the crazy in flavor combos.

4. Dining in the Dark
Noir and Blackout are the "it" places for foreigners to eat. These concept restaurants serve about a dozen tiny dishes in pitch black where our other senses are said to heighten due to the lack of visual stimuli. While the concept is perplexing and the food is actually good, this may not be something you want to repeat over and over again unless if you're trying to impress some guests. Its a cool concept for about USD30.

5. Western & European Dining
For a person who has been to Europe and appreciates the thought process and skilled selection and combination ingredients in a dish, you will not be disappointed. The food below is from The Refinery (at the back of the opera house). The food is exceptional and the price at +/- USD10 per dish is very reasonable.


 Foreign market places
There are a bunch of hole in the wall organic grocers in HCMC, but if you're from Europe and you miss a little bit of home then you're going to love Annan market. Annam stocks a lot of favorites including chocolates, pates, pastas, seasonings and sauces and wine from Europe.

Untested Buffets
If you're a heavy eater, head on over to Vincom Center. They have tons of Japanese or Korean buffets on one of the basement levels and they're unbelievably cheap especially at snack or merienda time where it costs less than USD10 per person.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Zucchini Pasta Tutorial

In my mind, pasta is a food group. So I literally had an aha moment when I saw spiralized pastas on pinterest. The advantage of vegetable pasta is you get the satisfaction of eating pasta with less carbs and calories and a fraction of the cook time.

To prepare the zucchini noodles you will need a spiralizer which in principle is a giant sharpener for vegetables. However in the absence of this you can either use a knife and cut the strips yourself, use a julienne peeler or even a buko/ melon scrapper.

1 spiralized/ chopped zucchini per person (portion as a main dish)
1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce. zucchini (mine is Kirkland's Marina Sauce from S&R)
1 tbsp italian seasoning

Mushrooms, ground meat, ham and/ or cheese to taste.

How to
combine all ingredients as you would a regular pasta -> noodles, sauce then cheese. Microwave for 3-5 minutes as desired.

*if your used to eating raw, feel free to do so...

Restaurant review: Solaire Skytower Waterside Restobar

Great price, great food!
Waterside Restobar is a hidden gem ensconced in Solaire's newly opened Skytower. The restaurant features a variety of cuisine from Mediterranean specialties, American classics to local Filipino dishes.

If you're looking for a great place to eat on the holidays, Waterside is a must. Their breakfast buffet is only Php500 + around 200 if you want to order a main dish. If you're planning a lunch or dinner, the restaurant favorite is the surf and turf platter approximately Php2000. This includes 4 side dishes and feeds 4-6 people. Super affordable compared to eating in Fresh where the price per head is almost Php3000.

The accidetal game changer: Cauliflower pizza faux mash potato recipe

I'm just gonna flat out say it... Dieting sucks! There's so much food out there to be craved by a pseudo-gourmand's taste buds yet not enough calorie allowed per day to ingest the aforementioned. I've been on paleo (the caveman diet) for a while now (cheating a great bit on the holiday), so I'm happy to share my accidental disaster turned life changing, cauliflower pizza faux mash potato.

This recipe is a hybrid between the cauliflower crust pizza and the cauliflower "mash potato."

1 egg
Cheese (can be omitted since its not paleo)
Italian seasoning (or any preferred herbs/ spices)
Marina sauce 
Cooked ham

*note: there's no fixed formula to this. you do you...

1. Preheat oven (mine was at +/-200 celcius)
2. Put the cauliflower in the masticater or food processor / blender
3. Combine ingredients and bake until its golden brown
4. Mix it around and eat

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