Wednesday, November 19, 2014

JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong

Yup, another trip to Hong Kong!  Two weeks ago, on a spontaneous trip to Hong Kong with the parents, I had the opportunity to stay at the JW Marriott Hotel.  I'm actually no stranger to this hotel, since we've stayed here quite often when I was younger.  It's been quite a while since I've been back there, so when I heard that my parents were planning on staying here, I pleaded to join them on their trip.  LOL.  Why all the fuss?  First things first, JW Marriott Hotel in Hong Kong happens to be just above the Pacific Place and Queensway Plaza shopping mall.  And just below these malls is the MTR Station.  That means everything is accessible by just going downstairs!  Second reason?  The rooms are huge!  We're talking two queen size beds AND you still get room to move around.  And third:  Who on earth would pass up a chance to stay at a 5-star hotel?  Right?  'Nuff said! 

First glance from the door
Two Queen Sized Beds.  One is all mine!

Working area with a view

Another angle of the closet
Bedside table

Another view of the bathroom

Sooooo...  NOW you know why I love this hotel.  From the rooms to the service, everything is definitely 5-star!  They even provide fresh fruits every single day!  JW Marriott will always be a favorite place to stay in when in Hong Kong.  Now if I could only solve the solution on where to get unlimited funds...  LOL!  5 out of 5 stars!

JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong is at the Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Friday, November 14, 2014

Why you should NOT go to the PAL travel fair this weekend

I'm a travel junkie.  Besides food and shopping, traveling is my next hobby.  But before you go and think that I have unlimited funds, I assure you, I do not.  What I usually do is book early and make the best out of those piso-fare and travel fairs happening whole year round.  Hey, the less money you spend on fares, the more you have for shopping, right?  So when I read that our country's own flag carrier is having a travel fair, I immediately scheduled it on my calendar.  That day was today. 

See the ad above?  That was all it took for me to drag my butt out of bed early, skip work and venture to Macapagal on a Friday morning.  Thanks to Friday traffic, we arrived at 10am.  By then the line was already outside - they had stopped people from going inside for crowd control.  We patiently lined up for about 15 minutes, wondering how long it's going to take before we can actually step foot inside the Banking Hall.  You see, after the line outside, you'll proceed inside to line up again.  And after the line inside, you'll be directed upstairs, where there is (guess what?)  yup, another line.  Luckily, Mom had to go to the bathroom.  Why lucky?  Because of the way back from the bathroom, she got hold of the flyer with all the "promo rates" for the ongoing travel fair.  This is what it looks like:

International Flight Rates During Lean Season

International Flight Rates During Peak Season

We were supposed to get the tickets to London, and the dates we picked out happens to be part of the peak season.  1 "discounted fare" round trip ticket to London will cost you $1053.  I crossed check this with the current rates on the Philippine Airlines website (without the discount) and it comes out at $1228.  What was supposed to be a 50% discount on fares has just become 15%, according to calculations.  And there is no way I'm going to brave those lines for such a small discount.  Read the ad copy again (first photo) and tell me what's wrong.  Spot it yet?  It says "get 50% off on our domestic and international destination".  GET 50% OFF, not GET UP TO 50% OFF.  Those two words make all the difference.  Why stoop so low, Philippine Airlines?  Do you really have to go that low to dupe all your loyal customers?  Seriously, even if you're not going to give an all-out 50% off, you could at least give something more than 15%.  It's simply not worth it.  So yes, I am therefore boycotting ALL PAL-sponsored travel fairs from now on.  Please, count me out.  I'm better off in one of those legit travel fairs with REAL discounts.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Earlier today (yup, just today!), Mom and Brother wanted to go out for lunch.  Mom has been mentioning about trying out a new restaurant at the new Promenade mall called TaiOne for some time now, and curiosity got the best of her.  I've grown a bit tired of the food choices in Greenhills too, so trying out something new is music to my ears.

TaiOne, a play of words for Taiwan, is (obviously) a Taiwanese restaurant.  LOL.  From the outside, the signage says "TaiOne Beef Noodles A Taste of Taiwan" so an easy guess would be that the specialty is indeed beef noodles.  You bet I was going to get some beef noodles! 

Oyster Omelette
One of the best oyster omelettes.  I'm a huge egg person, and trust me when I say the egg was good.  It was cooked perfectly; extra fluffy and a tiny bit undercooked - just the way I like it!  Wish that the oyster pieces were more though...  

Braised Beef Brisket & Tendon Noodle
Another winner!  Didn't I tell you I was going to try the beef noodles?  And I loved it!  The broth was heavenly, the noodles chewy and the beef was very tender.

Beef Burritos
Ever tried a Chinese burrito?  Well here it is!  And it's pretty tasty!  Except maybe next time I'll ask them to take out the cucumbers.

Panfried Pork Dumplings
TaiOne's panfried pork dumplings are crunchy on the outside and juicy on the insides. 

Sauteed Cabbage with XO Sauce
Sadly, did not get to try this one.  Someone (ahem, brother) wolfed it down before I could even get a spoonful!

Chicken Nuggets
If you're familiar with the chicken chops that are available in different milk tea shops, then you'd know what this one tastes like.  

Satay Beef with Water Spinach

Again, I only got one piece of beef before someone attacked it and left nothing at all!  But happy to report that the one and only piece I got was very flavorful.

Oh and by the way, TaiOne takes pride that their dishes has no MSG on it.  I can tell you it's true because all three of us who dined there didn't get that thirsty feeling afterwards - the usual MSG consequence.  Plus points for TaiOne for coming out with really tasty yet MSG-free food! 

The verdict?  TaiOne is one of the better restaurants we've tried in a long, long time.  One of the best among the Greehills restaurants, I daresay.  Will definitely be back to try out the other dishes.  4.5 out of 5 stars! 

TaiOne is at G/F, Promenade New Wing, Greenhills, San Juan

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Li Li at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino

Don't you just love it when something exceeds your expectations?  A few weeks ago, the family decided to have our Sunday lunch at LiLi in Hyatt Hotel.  When I was told of the plan to dine there, I did my best not to roll my eyes because well, surprise surprise... We're having Chinese food!  Again.  *sigh*  But all was not lost...  Things started to perk up when we found out that they had a dimsum buffet promo (yay!)  I've heard good things about LiLi's dimsum, and now was the chance for me to try them all! 

Menu Page 1

Menu Page 2

How Li Li's dimsum buffet works:  Indicate the number of pieces you want on the box beside each order.  If no box is present, it means that the item is already in the buffet table.  I love this concept because the other dimsum buffets are usually on an order-only basis (which oftentimes takes a long, long time to arrive).  It just so happens that we were a bunch of hungry people, and having the other dishes already set up on the buffet table means that we can eat as soon as we sit down.
Assorted Cold Cuts

Peking Duck!!!

Some more cold cuts

Okay, forgive me for this, but I was not able to take down notes on which was which.  Everyone was just too hungry - I count myself lucky that I was even able to take photos first before everyone devoured everything!  LOL!  Just enjoy the food porn :)

...and as if we're not full enough, this is what the dessert station looks like:

The verdict?  It's not often that we find everything in the buffet delicious, but in this case, we did!  And it's not because we were hungry - everything really was superb.  Absolutely no scrimping on the ingredients here; the servings were big and scrumptious (and unlimited!).  And as if that's not enough, they also offer unlimited sodas, iced tea and local beers.  Need I say more?  Oh yes, before I forget, calling all Citibank credit cardholders:  enjoy 30% off on the Li Li dimsum lunch buffet from now till the end of November.  So hurry book your tables now and enjoy!  5 out of 5 stars!

Li Li is at the 5th Floor, Hyatt Hotel and Casino, 1588 Pedro Gil cor. M.H. Del Pilar, Malate, Manila