Tuesday, August 26, 2014

J.Co Donuts and Coffee

The very first time I tried J.Co was nearly three years ago, on a trip to Singapore with Hubby.  I've heard lots of raves online, and was only too happy when I saw a J.Co shop on one of the shopping malls there. My favorite doughnut will always be Krispy Kreme's original glaze, but the possibility that there's a better doughnut out there made me ecstatic.  Well, we tried it alright.  And the verdict?  It was a far, far cry from Krispy Kreme.  Truth be told, our local doughnuts were even better than what we had in J.Co.  

Fast forward to two years ago, J.Co finally reached our shores. Everyone went into a frenzy; lines were formed till outsides the stores, and people raided their stocks like there was no tomorrow.  This got me wondering, is it really THAT good?  Maybe we just got unlucky in Singapore and tasted a bad batch?  So off I went again.  Stood in line for half an hour just to get my hands on what was left on the display.  I even tried it in store just to be sure that I got it fresh.  And then, again... disappointment.  It had none of the chewiness I liked from Krispy Kreme.  And the worst part?  I took some home to eat the next day, and the next morning, it was hard as a rock and dry as the desert.  That was the end of J.Co doughnuts for me.

Late last year, J.Co opened a new branch in Greenhills.  This was near our place, so sometimes we'd just hang out there, because even though I don't like their doughnuts, I actually liked their coffee.  But then, the service sucked.  Big time.  I wrote them a message in their Facebook page, and this was what I said:

Surprise, surprise, they did not even bother replying.  Guess the apple does not fall far from the tree.  This only goes to show that their management simply do not care.  At all.  And even after all that, I remained loyal.  To their coffee, that is.  But the service is still bad.  Sometimes I'd order a cup of iced coffee and request for it to be less ice, only to be served with a half a cup full of ice. Happened a couple of times too.  Sheesh. 

And fast forward to today, I asked my brother to buy me an Iced Jcoccino.  When he came back, my senses were jolted with just one sip.  It was like drinking coffee flavored sugar!  I had to put in half a liter of water just to make the sugar level acceptable.  So now it seems that even the old favorite is no longer reliable.  I've given up on them.  Now I ask, what powerful spell does J.Co have over their customers?  A spell that makes them loyal to a ho-hum doughnut joint with bad service?  I just want to know what I'm missing here because two years after, lines are still long.  And frankly, I don't see the hype.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Teddy's Bigger Burgers

Teddy's Bigger Burgers, Hawaii's top burger joint, is set to open in Manila tomorrow, August 23, 2014.  Remember my post about Teddy's?   Mark your calendars, because tomorrow is THE big day.   But before I go any further, here are a few quick facts about Teddy's Bigger Burgers.

Teddy's Bigger Burgers, which began in 1998,  was founded by Ted Tsakiris and Rich Stula.  Both are burger lovers who failed to find burger restaurants who offer the same quality burger that they cook in their backyards.  Hence, Teddy's Bigger Burgers was born.  Since then, they have opened 11 locations in Hawaii, 4 in mainland US, 1 in Japan and now, 1 in Manila.  The Philippine franchise is brought to us by the same group who are responsible for local favorites such as Sumo Sam, Akira, and the like.  

Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of attending the Teddy's Bigger Burgers' exclusive media sneak peek.  Scroll down and see how it went:

Tiki Wings
My meal started with the Tiki Wings.  I wasn't able to eat it immediately when it was served, so it was already cool when I got to it.  Well surprise, surprise!  The wings were still crispy, with the sauce sweet and tangy. 

As with all the other burger joints, the main focus will always be on the burger.  Teddy's Bigger Burgers' patties are bigger than the average, with sizes ranging from 5oz to 7oz, and up to a whopping 9oz!  They are made from 100% corn-fed US Black Angus ground chuck, with no binders or fillers.  It has zero preservatives and are not injected with flavors.  And since the patties are charbroiled, the oil drips off; leaving you with a less oily version of the patty.  This is all great news, because after all, less oil = less guilt.  And now I can eat in peace, and not to mention, eat more!  Ok, ok, I'm stalling.  Let me get to the mouthwatering part.

I went with the 5 oz. Cheese Burger with Swiss Cheese and Bacon.  What can I say?  It's the bomb!  The potato buns were soft and fluffy, the patty was big and juicy (not greasy at all!), my bacon was nicely crisp, and the sauce!  Don't even get me started on their special sauce!  I don't really know what they put in it, but it's really delicious!  It's the kind of sauce that makes you want to barge in their kitchen, grab the bottle (or the tub!) and just pour everything in your mouth.  Oops! 

A little trivia about Teddy's milkshakes:   Teddy's milkshakes are made from 90% ice cream and 10% milk. I tried their strawberry milkshake, and OH MY.  The only words that I can think of was that is was rich, creamy and oh so good.  Plus points for the strawberry bits, which reminded me of my favorite Haagen Dazs strawberry ice cream.

Meet the geniuses behind Teddy's Bigger Burgers, Ted Tsakiris and Rich Stula.  Really down to earth guys.  They went around and made sure everyone enjoyed their burgers and had a great time.  

So...  what can I say?  Overall I loved Teddy's Bigger Burgers!  Finally, a burger joint for the serious burger fanatics here in Manila.  I say it's about time.  4.5 out of 5 stars!  

Oh and don't forget! (I don't think you will, but just to be sure, I'll remind you again) Tomorrow is the big debut of Teddy's Bigger Burgers.  Make sure to fall in line early, because the first 5 in line gets a YEAR's supply of burgers.  6-10th person gets 6 months supply, and 11th-20th gets 3 months supply.  Free burgers for the first 100 in line too!  This is serious stuff.  So I say GO!  See you there! 

Teddy's Bigger Burgers is at 3/F, Greenbelt 3, Makati City

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Marie France's iLipo and Physique Treatment

Call me old fashioned, but I've always believed that to be able to achieve something, you must work hard for it.  No cutting corners, no shortcuts.  So I've never been a believer of those slimming centers that promise you a great body after xx number of treatments.  It sounds too good to be true!  Well, fate must have sensed my hesitation because I joined a contest via another blog and won one free iLipo treatment at Marie France! 

So what's the iLipo?  Contrary to its name, the iLipo is not liposuction.  It's a non-invasive treatment using low-level laser energy to target all the unwanted fat in specific areas of the body.

The room

iLipo machine
What happens during an iLipo session?  Before anything, you are measured so that you'll be able to have a basis for comparison afterwards.  After that, squarish pads are placed on the target area, then secure with velcro straps. You are given safety goggles to wear, then you're set to go!  

The treatment comes in two parts.  First, red laser light emits from the electronic pads.  Don't worry, these are non-harmful lasers, and it does not hurt one bit.  The only sensation you'll feel is a bit of warmth, that's it!  And for the second part, a suction-like device is applied to the target area.  It will be rolled along the area, which will be a bit painful. The sucking sensation combined with the rolling feels like someone's pulling on your skin.  Again, don't worry, because the pain is minimal and tolerable.  After that, you're done! 

Aside from the iLipo, I also had the chance to try out their Physique machine.

Physique machine

So what's Physique, you ask? Do you see those circular white pads?  Those are placed on different parts of your body (arms, buttocks, legs and tummy) and secured with velcro ties.  What the machine does is that it emits different levels of vibration which helps tone up your body.  You will feel a bit sweaty afterwards.  

So... were the treatments able to change my mind towards slimming machines?  Well, I can't say much because I've only undergone one treatment, and results are not really visible on the first treatment.  According to the  consultant, I lost 1cm on my arms after the iLipo treatment.  Truth be told, I'm not very impressed with the results.  For someone who has gone through numerous diets her entire life, 1cm was way too small.  I once went on a self-challenge and was able to lose 20lbs. in one month.  So for me, the way to go would still be good old fashioned diet and exercise. But that's just me.  As I always say, you'd have to try something at least once to see for yourself :)  

Marie France is at 36/F, Robinsons Equitable Tower, Poveda St. cor. ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Outfit of the Week: If I Were a Boy

(Cue Beyonce's song please!)  LOL!  This is my take on the boyfriend jeans + Birkenstock fad that has swept the fashion world by storm.  I haven't been wearing my jeans lately, and this is seriously one of the most comfortable pairs I own.  The inner tomboy in me is very happy indeed.  The Birks, on the other hand, takes some getting used to.  Research online tells me that it takes about a week to two weeks of continuous wear before they can get really comfortable, and then, you'd never want to take them off again.  But since I'm always loyal to my flip flops, I have yet to get to that comfortable part.  Notice the backpack?  Been wanting one these days but I was afraid to splurge on a designer one since I'm not sure I'll be able to commit to it.  So I was only too happy when I spotted a cheap but chic version of it in River Island.  Score!  So... what do you think?  Did I pull off this look?  Sound off at the comments section please!  Would love to hear your thoughts!

Top:  Forever 21
Pants:  Forever 21
Shoes:  Birkenstock
Bag:  River Island
Watch:  Nixon
Belt:  Topshop

Friday, August 15, 2014

Paseo Uno at The Mandarin Oriental Manila

Goodbyes are hard.  Specially when you've grown accustomed to something/someone/someplace for the longest time.  What on earth am I talking about?  I'm referring to the Mandarin Oriental in Makati.  When news first broke that this famed hotel was closing, everyone started asking why. I myself am not familiar with why the hotel was closing, but we can all breathe a sigh of relief because they promise to open at another location within the year  2020.  Before we bid our final goodbye to Mandarin Oriental's current location, Hubby and I decided to pay them a visit.

Let's start with their buffet selection, shall we?



Cold Appetizer

Fresh Catch. Check out the huge tuna!

Paella and Lechon

Tempura Station

Chinese Station


Carving Station

Pasta Station


Halo-Halo and Ice Cream

Selection of Wines

...with all the selection of food that Paseo Uno has to offer, I've only managed to take one photo of what I had.  Why?  Well, first, the glutton in me was so hungry, I forgot!  And second, I think that among everything they had, this was the best of them all.  Scroll down to see:

Unlimited Foie Gras!!!

Between the two of us, I think Hubby and I must have consumed about 30 pieces of foie gras.  No judging!  It was soooo good!  I did feel a little bit lightheaded after, so I stopped.  Cholesterol levels must be off the charts!  LOL!   

Overall, I wouldn't exactly say that the buffet at Paseo Uno is beyond exceptional.  Aside from the carving station and the fresh pasta, everything else was ho-hum.  But for the sake of nostalgia, I would definitely recommend it.  Good news for you guys too!  From August 18, 2014 to September 5, 2014, Paseo Uno's luxury buffet will be offered nightly at only Php 1950+.   For the price of just a regular buffet, you get to enjoy free flowing wine  and unlimited foie gras, something that is usually offered at a far higher price.  This is the perfect time to make that reservation, because Mandarin Oriental will be closing its doors permanently on September 9, 2014.

Paseo Uno is at the G/F of Mandarin Oriental Manila, Makati Avenue, Makati City

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Outfit of the Week: Forever 21

I'm a lazy dresser.  There.  I said it  It's already hard enough to think of outfits to wear when you're staring at your closet brimming with clothes, what more if you need to pack for a trip?  Sigh.  Girl problems.  Easiest route?  Dress+Denim Vest combination!  I would've gone with just the dress since it was hot and humid, but I'm not too comfortable being so bare so the denim vest is the perfect solution.  Makes the outfit more dressed up too, so you can go wherever without worrying about being underdressed or overdressed.  Another plus point?  This combination works with different age groups - whether you're in your teens or you're in your thirties (at least, in my opinion), so yes, I will probably be storing more of these in my closet for at least a few more years :)  

Vest:  Forever 21
Dress:  Forever 21
Bag:  Givenchy
Shoes:  Syrup
Bracelets: from the Archaeology Wing of Powerplant Mall

Friday, August 8, 2014

Say "Aloha" to Teddy's Bigger Burgers! Soon to Open in the Philippines!

Hungry yet?  The very first time I saw this photo, I had to stop myself from eating my laptop.  Kidding!  But seriously, just from the look of it, who'd resist this rich, cheesy goodness of a burger?! And let me guess the very next question that popped into your mind:  "Where can I get this?!  Lucky for you, I've got the answer!

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, Hawaii’s number one burger chain, marks its entry into the Philippines with the opening of its first store on August 23, at Level 3, Greenbelt 3, Makati City.

Awarded multiple times as the best burger in Hawaii, Teddy’s Bigger Burgers takes pride in its signature fare: its 100% cornfed ground chuck made-to-order burgers served with a sweet and tangy special sauce; and its super thick milk shakes.

A little trivia about Teddy's:  Teddy's Bigger Burgers was established in 1998 by Ted Tsakiris and Rich Stula.  They have 11 locations in Hawaii and recently opened mainland locations in Washington and Iowa, with stores soon to open in California and Texas. The Philippines is Teddy’s 2nd international location, following Japan.  Hooray for the Philippines!

...and if the above photo has gotten you into a frenzy (like it did for me), then here are a few more details:

To celebrate its Philippine debut, Teddy’s will treat its first 100 customers with free Original Teddy’s Burger (5 oz.) on its August 23 opening day.
Early birds will also be rewarded as the first five in line will receive one year supply of burgers (one burger a week, for 52 weeks). The 6th to 10th in line will get six months supply of burgers (one burger a week, for 26 weeks); and 11th to 20th in line will receive three months supply of free burgers (one burger a week for 13 weeks). From the remaining 80 in line, five lucky winners will also win a weekly supply of burgers of one month (one burger a week for 5 weeks), to be drawn via raffle.  Line starts at 7 am in front of Teddy’s Bigger Burgers Store on August 23.

And just when you think the freebies are over, here comes more:  From now until September 3, 2014, mall patrons at the Greenbelt Mall also have the chance to win a free burger from Teddy’s by taking a burger selfie with either the Teddy’s Bigger Burgers store board up or Teddy’s Bigger Burger standees around the mall. Participants must upload their photos on Facebook or Instagram account with the hashtag #teddysburgersph. The first 100 entries will win a free 5oz Original Teddy’s Burger.

For complete promo mechanics, and more information about Teddy’s Bigger Burgers PH, visit the official Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/TeddysBurgersPH).

Teddy's Bigger Burgers is at 3/F, Greenbelt 3, Makati City

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pink Egg Episodes' Cheat Day Burger Rerun!

Over a month ago, Pink Egg Episodes hosted their very first Cheat Day Burger event.  I wanted to go so badly, but because I was flying out to Hong Kong that very same day, I simply can't.  What a bummer.  So when I saw that they had a Cheat Day Burger Rerun a few weeks later, I quickly contacted them and secured 2 slots.  After all, this was a one day event.  They only had 300 slots and I am NOT going to miss this again.  Fast forward to last Saturday, August 2, I was running late for the event and got there just in time before they finished the first part (you can choose to go either lunch or dinner, whichever you prefer).  I spotted a few of my high school friends who are responsible in running the event, and after a few quick hi's and hello's, I got my stub and was told that my burger is coming right up!  But first, here are a few photos before I get to the delicious part:

Yardstick Coffee
The Cheat Day Burger Rerun was held in Yardstick Coffee in Makati.  A great upgrade from the previous event, which was held on an empty house in Tomas Morato.  Plus points for them, since I've been wanting to try out Yardstick Coffee for the longest time! It'll be like hitting two birds in one stone, don'tcha think?

A little trivia about the Mayura wagyu
Can you believe it?  Mayura wagyu cows get the five-star treatment!  Relaxing music for a good night's sleep, Cadbury chocolates and gummy bears?!  Looks like the life I'd want to live!  Except that I don't want to get slaughtered afterwards.  LOL!

The stub
Oops.  In my hurry I forgot to take a photo of the whole stub!  This was what was left of it though...

Drinks to go with your burger!
You can choose from all these drinks!  I had the Iced White, which is basically their black coffee with milk and ice.  Will make a separate review for Yardstick, because I wanted to concentrate on the Mayura Wagyu Burger itself :)

My Mayura wagyu burger with potato chips
Ta-dah!  THIS is what we came for.  The burger itself was so pretty that half of me wanted to preserve it and just enjoy looking at it in all its glory.  And so I munched on the chips first.  LOL!

A closer look at the Mayura wagyu burger

My precioussssss...  Just look at the size of the foie gras!  If you can't tell much from the picture, it's about half an inch thick, about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide.  YES.  It's huge.  No exaggerations there.  As for the taste?  The patty was huge, tender and juicy.  Well, I would've wanted it to be a tad saltier with more beef aroma, but other than that, I have no complaints at all.  4 out of 5 stars! 

If you liked what you just saw, then I've got good news for you.  This may be a one day event, but I am told that there's more to come.  It may not exactly be a Cheat Day Burger event, but knowing these guys, I'm sure they have something even better in store for all of us!  Follow and like Pink Egg Episodes on Facebook for more information about the Cheat Day Burger and other upcoming events!