Friday, July 03, 2009

One Week in Manila

Two words - malls and food. Every single day of the week, we're at some shopping mall. Eating.

Saturday morning, we went to Greenbelt Seattle's Best for some coffee. Almost everyone has a laptop and using the free WiFi. And it got me wondering - broadboad too slow at home? airconditioner not working? cafe more conducive to working? Bah, whatever. Had lunch at Felix (Greenbelt 5) with the wife's LS classmates. Food's pretty good. Rumor has it that Felix is another Chef Florabel restaurant partly owned by Richard Gomez and Ben Chan (Felix being the name of the chef's father). For dessert, we went to the (Ayala) Museum Cafe for some cakes.

Sunday, we were at The Podium. Breakfast at Cheesecake Etc. Lunch with the wife's relatives at Kaya. Spent the whole afternoon shopping at Megamall. Mirienda at Red Ribbon, then back at Banana Leaf at The Podium for dinner with my relatives.

Monday, breakfast at Jollibee Libertad. The McDonald's outlet beside it is no more, and Jollibee itself actually moved across the road. After visiting my relatives near the area, we went to Mall of Asia to have Starbucks coffee with my Dad's good friend. Dinner with the wife's godmother at Man Hann, then dessert at her auntie's place.

Tuesday, we went to Shangri-La Mall to have brunch at Cibo. To pass the time we watched Transformer 2: Rise of the Fallen. Mirienda of bibingka, donuts, fishball, and kikiam at the foodcourt. Ah, childood memories! Too bad they don't sell dirty ice cream here. Dinner is at Sumo Sam with the wife's HS classmates.

Wednesday, we went to Tagaytay with my cousin. It's a good thing he works from home. The original plan was either for me to borrow a car and drive, or hire a car and driver to bring us there. Driving's not a problem for me, but I'm pretty bad with directions. We left Manila relatively late, so we got caught in the traffic. After a bit of searching, we got to Antonio's just in time for lunch. Forget about Sonya's Garden or Josephine; word on the street is that Antonio's is THE restaurant in Tagaytay. In keeping with its exclusive image, the restaurant is quite far off from the main road. And the only way to reach it is via this long and winding road that is as wide as two tricycles side-by-side. The menu is priced to kill, too. My wife and cousin (that's two persons) ordered the Antonio's Trio Sampler each. That's the "Beef medallion gratinated with assorted mushroom, mojito crusted lambloin, braised red cabbage with Lamb jus, grilled sea bass on truffle mashed with salad". I ordered the herb roasted rack of lamb, plus dalandan juice for everyone. Total damages - over PHP6000. I started thinking how many lunch and dinner buffets I could have at Dad's. To be fair, our orders did come with the soup of the day, our choice of dessert (pina cota chocolate cake and sorbet), and coffee/tea. Since we're here already, we dropped by Taal Vista Hotel to check out Taal Volcano. Yup, still there. We could've stayed around a little bit longer to maximize our PHP100 parking fee, but there's not much else to see. For dinner, we had shabu-shabu at The Podium (again) with the wife's auntie.

Thursday, we went to Greenhills for some shopping and a haircut. First time in my life I had a haircut in a salon. Strangely, the price of the haircut depends on who's doing it. Obviously, I chose the cheaper one, as I don't really care what they do to my hair. Shampoo, sir? Sure, dear. That'll be PHP165, thanks. Coincidence of coincidences, the wife's good friend and partner happened to be around, so we met up at Kimpura. Just the other day, we met his wife at the lobby of the condotel we're staying at. Mirienda at Cinnabon and dinner at Kimpura with the wife's college friends. Ah, they just can't have enough of her.

Friday, we're off to The Fort. Been a while since I last went there. Started raining hard, so we changed the meeting place to Glorietta. The rain stopped just as we stepped out of the taxi. Had dinner with the wife's former colleague at Dulcinea. Went back home to do some chores and some Internet surfing, then off again to Megamall for dinner. PHP500 gets you a Max's fried chicken, fresh lumpia, pancit canton, fried rice, and iced tea. Now that's what I call value for money! Met up with more of the wife's friends at the Chef's Quarter.

Saturday, we finished up our last-minute packing, then went to The Podium for dimsum at Gloriamaris with a friend. Window-shopped for a while. At noon, we dropped by The Spa for our couple executive massage. Sort of a final cool-down before we go back to Sydney. Had some crepes at Cafe Breton before our good friend picked us up and sent us off to the airport. The end.