Friday, December 11, 2015

California Pizza Kitchen's #CPKNewMenu2015

Last month, I had the privilege of being one of the invitees to CPK's New Menu Media Launch.  California Pizza Kitchen, or CPK, has always innovated themselves; coming out with new menu items every year.  This year is no exception.  With the theme 'California is a state of mind', not only does it remind you of the adventure, but also of the delicious and diverse food that California has to offer.  And I'm one of the lucky ones that get to try it first!  So... let's get started!

New Items 2015

Apple Grape Combo Shake
I was offered a number of new drinks, and this was what caught my attention.  Good choice too, because I loved it!  Whoever thought of combining this is a genius.

For starters, we had the Mexicali salad.  The name is spot on.  I loved how they innovated the salad and had us eat it nacho-style.  Just scoop up a bit (or a lot!) of the salad into the tortilla and eat!  Or you can also opt to crush the tortilla and mix it into the salad.

Fruit N' Nut

Mixed fruits, nuts, avocado paired with orange herb vinaigrette.  I have just one word for this: refreshing.  This is perfect for those who are not so fond of salads.

Vegetable Primavera
My first reaction:  Meh.  After eating a forkful: Oh wow.  LOL.  I don't know how, but what seemed like a boring pasta has managed to be oh-so-flavorful.  Not normally a fan of oil-based pastas but this one has me converted.

Now, we're talking.  A bit spicy, but tolerable for people like me who can't stand spicy stuff.  And they sure didn't scrimp on the tomatoes.  Chunkful of tomatoes in every bite!

Steak Mushroom + Truffle Pizza
My favorite of the entire lunch.  If you've read through some of my posts, you'd know that I'm a true blue truffle lover.  But steak + mushroom + truffle?  What sorcery is this?! I'm hooked!  Definitely going back for this one!

Caramelized Apple, Bacon + Gorgonzola Pizza
A mix of sweet and savory.  My seatmate cannot stop gushing over this, and I must admit it was pretty good too.  Bacon lovers will definitely dig this.

Baja Shrimp Pizza
This one, I felt, had too much going on.  But it really does live up to being a Mexicali pizza, with a mix of bold flavors and all.  If you love spicy, then the jalapenos will hit the spot.

Salted Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce
From the looks of it, the cake looks dry.  But I was surprised to find out that it actually wasn't.  And for those who are afraid that it might be too sweet, fear not!  Because it isn't.  The hint of salt perfectly complements it too.

Queso de Bola Cheesecake
If you love queso de bola, then this is for you.  Imagine slivers of thinly shaved Queso de Bola incorporated with the creamy cheesecake.  Oh the texture!  Trivia:  CPK wanted to inject a bit of Filipino into their desserts and had a well-known Filipino pastry chef come up with this queso de bola cheesecake.  Truly Filipino indeed.

So... the verdict?  It's been quite a while since I've been to CPK, but I'm glad to know that it's still the same CPK I've loved over the years, and with new scrumptious dishes too!  My favorites include the Steak Mushroom + Truffle Pizza, the Fruit N' Nut Salad and the Vegetable Primavera Pasta.  But don't just take my word for it, go try them out and let me know your favorites too!  

California Pizza Kitchen is at Unit 2302-2304, Mid-level 2/3, East Wing, Shangri-la Mall, Mandaluyong City.  They also have branches in Alabang Town Center, Bonifacio High Street, Greenbelt 5, Greenhills, Power Plant Mall, Mall of Asia and Century City Mall.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Online Shopping in the Philippines


So... Black Friday and Cyber Monday just went by.  Have any of you managed to score some great deals during these once-a-year ultimate sale extravaganza?  If you live in the States, then lucky you!  As for us in the Philippines, sad to say that not all retail merchants have participated in the said event.  Blame it on the lack of Thanksgiving holiday here.  LOL.  Kidding aside, even if we don't get to enjoy that much perks here, I can say that things have definitely shaped up for us in the past few years.  Case in point?  The existence of online shopping sites like Zalora and Lazada.  Admit it, these are the top two brands that pop up in your mind when you put Philippines and Online Shopping together in a sentence.  I've bought from both.  But being a crazy-for-fashion girl, I always find myself clicking through Zalora every chance I get.  So much fashion choices!  And not only that, they also have your favorite brands up on their site.  An example?  I totally love the Mango collection at ZALORA.   They probably have almost everything a girl (and boy!) needs, sartorial-wise.  Much, much better than going to the mall, if you ask me.  Heck, you won't even have to fight anyone for that elusive parking slot!  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What's Happening This Weekend (November 14-15)

So sad.  I committed to a full-day event this coming Saturday so I can't attend any of these.  Ah, the regret.  But for you lucky ones who are still in search of places to go this weekend, you're in luck!  Check out the different sales/bazaars that are happening this weekend:


Source:  @thecaravanph IG

Source:  @thegourmandmarket IG

Source:  @spectrumfairmanila IG

Gah!!  I'm a sucker for these things, and all I can think of is that I simply CANNOT pass it up.  Guess will just have to go on Sunday then.  Until then, please don't finish all the stocks ok?  Leave some for me!  LOL.  Happy shopping and happy eating! (PS.  Please check out the dates.  Some of them happen only on Saturday and Sunday while some of them include Friday.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What's Happening This Weekend

H&M Philippines Turns 1:


H&M Philippines is turning 1 on October 17 and they're giving out surprises to the 1st 100 shoppers!  All you have to do is make a minimum purchase of PHP 1,500.  As simple as that!  Promo runs in all H&M stores, AND on October 17 only.  

H&M SM Megamall | H&M SM Makati | H&M Robinsons Manila | H&M Robinsons Magnolia | H&M SM North EDSA | H&M SM Fairview

SM Megamall Sale:


Robinsons Malls Giant Sale:


62nd Manila FAME:


Debenhams Mid-Season Sale:


On October 15, Debenhams will have an exclusive preview sale open only to loyalty cardholders.  First dibs on great merchandise at up to 50% off!  Sale will be open to the public on October 16. 

So many things happening, so little time!  Now, where do I go first?  Wherever it is, I'm pretty sure everyone will have one heck of a weekend!  See you around!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Who's Up For A Mid-Season Sale?

Yes, yes, I am still alive.  Delinquent blogger speaking.  Sorry!  Been caught up with so many things lately that I haven't been able to update this blog.  But hey, I'm back and I've got sale news to share!  Heads up RSSI fans:  Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and all your other favorite RSSI brands (Warehouse, Burton, River Island, Dorothy Perkins, etc) will be on SALE.   How's that to brighten up your mid-week slump?  

So what are you waiting for?  Ready your wallets and make your closet happy with fresh new finds!  See you!

Friday, July 10, 2015

OOMA Japanese Rice Bar

I've always heard about Mecha Uma at the Fort, but never had the chance to try it out.  Guess there was really no occasion, nor do we find ourselves hanging out at the Fort.  Hence, no Mecha Uma.  Boo.  So it was great news to me (and to all of us) that Chef Bruce Ricketts of Mecha Uma partnered up with The Moment Group and opened up OOMA Japanese Rice Bar at the Mega Fashion Hall!  I, of course, spared no time and went straight to SM Megamall the moment I found out that they were already open. 

OOMA Japanese Rice Bar from outside

Here's good news for us who are more budget conscious,:  OOMA's price range is more affordable than those of Mecha Uma's.  Way, way more affordable.  Yay!

And here's what we had:
Gratinated Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese, Scallion, Togarashi, Unagi Sauce

Uh... not impressed here.  Sure there were lots of fancy "add-ons", but it did nothing to amaze the palate.  Plus, the gyoza skins stuck to each other, making it hard not to destroy it when prying them apart.

Scallop and Tuna Aburi Maki
Torched Scallop, Tuna, Cucumber, Sesame Seeds, Nori Crumbs, Scallion, Teriyaki Sauce, Spicy Mayo, Kimchi Aioli

Again, lots of add-ons, but nothing spectacular.  The pieces were teeny tiny and the rice did not resemble Japanese rice at all (so it's probably not).  Makes you feel like you're eating budget maki. 

Hanger Steak
Sous Vide Hanging Tender, Sauteed Mushrooms, White Truffle Oil, Sweet Potato Mash, Crispy Baby Potato, Pickle Dressing, Ponzu Butter

Now we're talking.  We actually bumped into an old friend who ate ahead of us and he recommended that we get the hanger steak.  I liked that they did not scrimp on the truffle oil (I could smell it in every whiff!) and that they incorporated sweet potato mash.  The meat was also tender (well, most of them are but not all),  The dislike?  There's a bit of a sour taste to it, probably from the ponzu butter, which I feel did not complement the dish at all.

Unagi Maki

Broiled eel, Cream Cheese, Fried Shallots, Toasted Rice

And lastly, is the unagi maki.  Same complaints here.  Small bite sized pieces, bad rice.  Unagi was practically nonexistent.  Oh well.

Overall, I really hope that our experience with OOMA was just the typical birthing pains of a new restaurant.  Aside from the hanging tender, nothing else we had that night was worth going back for.  There are, however, a couple more other dishes I'd like to try, but I think I'll wait a while first before going back.  1.5 out of 5 stars. 

OOMA Japanese Rice Bar is at 3/F, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rustan's Great Summer Sale 2015

Sale season is definitely upon us.  This is what I got from my email today:

Interested?  But wait, there's more!  Are you a Citi Cardholder or a FSP2 member? If the answer is yes, then you're in luck!  Rustan's is having an exclusive preview sale from 8AM to 10AM  on June 12, 2015, meaning you'll get first dibs before the sale opens to the public!  You know what that means right?  Shopping time!  See you there!