Monthly Archives: September 2015

MNL Drinks: EDSA Beverage Design Group

EDSA Beverage Design Group can be hard to find if you don’t look hard enough. Luckily (or not), traffic almost always crawls on EDSA that you can spot this wonderful coffee shop just past the Shell station next to Metrobank. It is literally on EDSA. There is little parking in front especially during regular business hours but there is street parking on Florida St right behind the building (parallel to EDSA) and you could just walk through the Shell station. I don’t actually know if you have to pay since no one ever stops me when I leave.. *shrug*

Recently installed sign of EDSA BDG (Source: miccadj)

Newly installed sign for EDSA BDG
(Source: miccadj)

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MNL Eats: Valero Eat Street

I was trying to figure out how I heard about the Valero Eat Street event but to be honest I forgot. Because I am a very very forgetful person. I believe one of my best friends told me about it now that I think about it. I’m so forgetful, I don’t only need my phone to remind me of things but also an actual planner. Ho hum.

We decided to start early because early bird gets the worm. In this case, early Micca gets to eat more food. Starting the day right with a bottle of cold brew from Boom’s Cold Brew Coffee Barako Pure Black (unsweetened). They had two more flavors namely Barako Vanilla and Barako Mexican. 90% of the time, I get a cold brew/iced coffee if the weather is hot and humid which it almost always is here. Cold brew is a more concentrated brew and therefore a stronger coffee. Props to Boom’s and I hope to be able to find this again!

Boom's Cold Brew waking me up and cooling me down (Source: miccadj)

Boom’s Cold Brew waking me up and cooling me down
(Source: miccadj)

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MNL Eats: 12/10

Man oh man, this place is great! Definitely a must try for those foodies who are looking something a little different than the traditional fair. A little tricky to get to if you’re using Waze or Google Maps cause they make you turn left instead of right (coming from Sacred Heart St). Then again Guijo St is 2 blocks so you’ll definitely find 12/10. Parking is on the street so practice your parallel parking, kids!

I’ve been lucky enough dine here a few times and I’ve found myself almost always ordering the same thing (unless they change the menu). The orders are small plates so they are definitely made to share and try a lot of different things. So far I’ve tried the spicy tuna salad, mackerel ceviche, scallops with beets, blowtorched salmon, salmon kushiyaki, wagyu, chicken karaage, and the toro onigiri.

Perfectly torched salmon with uni, caviar, nori, and shiso (Source: @micca.dj Instagram)

Perfectly torched salmon with uni, caviar, nori, and shiso
(Source: @micca.dj Instagram)

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MNL TTD/Eats: Salcedo Saturday Market

“So many choices, so little stomach space!” That’s what one of our friends said as we were trying to decide what to eat on Saturday morning.

Going to Salcedo Saturday market in the heart of Makati’s Central Business District (CBD) is always a gastronomic adventure for your tum tums. Whether you’re a tourist checking out the food scene, a hipster trying to look for something people don’t know about (hint: wrong place to look), or just someone tired of roaming the malls and wanting to try something new, this place is for you. Located at Jaime C. Velasquez Park, the market is in a juxtaposition of greenery and skyscrapers with new ones being built faster than you can say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. Just kidding, most building projects are delayed.

Nestled in the heart of Salcedo Village, the Saturday market attracts people from all over the metro with an ample selection of fresh seafood, produce, and ready-to-eat meals (Source: miccadj)

Nestled in the heart of Salcedo Village, the Saturday market attracts people from all over the metro with an ample selection of fresh seafood, produce, and ready-to-eat meals
(Source: miccadj)

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THIS IS NOT A TEST

EDSA

A name that invokes fear into the hearts of Manileños.

Epifanio de los Santos Avenue is possibly the most congested road in the Philippines, maybe Southeast Asia. With a combination of poor public transportation infrastructure, undisciplined drivers, and some who just drive so damn slow, the average speed on this highway is 15 kph. That’s 9.3 mph for you Americans, Liberians, and Burmese. In other words, HELLA SLOW. The traffic on EDSA has just gotten worse over the years that on Monday, the government implemented a new division of the Philippine National Police to manage the 6 major choke points of the highway, the Highway Patrol Group or HPG. This is ironic because 20 years ago the HPG ceased to exist since traffic management of EDSA was handed over to the newly formed Metro Manila Development Authority or MMDA. You can tell we like our acronyms.

An HPG officer making sure buses stay in their lanes at EDSA-Balintawak (Source: miccadj)

An HPG officer making sure buses stay in their lanes at EDSA-Balintawak
(Source: miccadj)

So Monday, September 7th felt like a new day. HPG officers were deployed n the wee hours of the morning before the rush of commuters and all seemed well. Commuters reported that buses stayed in the bus lanes, cars that were illegally parked and people camping their stores on the road were moved away, and traffic flowed smoother and generally faster than it used to. People were happy and optimistic even if it meant a little compromise to actually follow the rules. Finally, progress was to be had.

But then Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights happened.

Christmas season, rush hour, torrential rain, and upcoming pay day is the perfect combination for this kind of gridlock (Source: Myk Josh Wierzbicki Facebook)

Christmas season + rush hour + torrential rain + upcoming pay day = The perfect combination for this kind of gridlock
(Source: Myk Josh Wierzbicki)

Torrential rain happened right before rush hour and people were stuck on the road because of mini floods which made them un-passable. Let me tell you, you couldn’t see anything if you were driving. You had to have your high beams on, wipers on super fast, and driving at 20 kph with your reflexes sharp. People were texting our WhatsApp group since they weren’t moving on the road. HPG officers couldn’t do a proper job with the downpour and everyone just rushing to get off the road. Nothing could be done but wait and hope that you don’t have to use the bathroom. Guys, this wasn’t even a typhoon and El Niño is set to hit soon sooo… Global warming in full force? Manila’s Archbishop, Cardinal Tagle even issued an oratio imperata, an obligatory prayer against the El Niño phenomenon.

Hopefully the major traffic and flooding is an issue that the government can solve sooner rather than later and thankfully some people have found a way to make the situation feel lighter since I’m sure everyone is clamoring for a better way to get through a rainy day. Hence, EDSA Carmageddon Christmas tree!

Christmas season starts as early as September in the Philippines (Source: Jhett Baroma Facebook)

Christmas season starts as early as September in the Philippines
(Source: Jhett Baroma)

The “Ber” months (September, October, November, and December har har so clever) generally mean the start of the Christmas season and Christmas shopping in the Philippines and everyone wants to get a head start to get it over (or oBer) with. See what I did there. While traffic is sucky, it’s a pretty cool thing to see the spirit of Christmas materializing. Some roads get extra brightly lit because they start selling parols or Christmas lanterns, kids come up to the car to sing carols, and everyone seems to generally be in a more giving mood. Unless you’re driving of course. Well, that’s something we really have to work on, fellow Manileños. All of us just want to get where we’re going so if we all just work together, we’ll get there eventually. At least faster than if we all try to screw each other over.

I’m writing this on a Friday afternoon glancing out the window every now and then hoping that the rains don’t hit. It’s pay day after all and most people are going out. I am too. I just hope to not get caught in bad traffic and to get to where I’m heading to safely.

Cheers,

Micca

MNL Eats: Your Local

I’ve actually gone to Your Local twice now so I’ll just combine both experiences into one review:

Located in Legazpi Village in Makati, Your Local is actually pretty easy to get to barring traffic and one way streets. On weekends, there’s ample street parking but just be careful because the one way streets become two way streets on the weekend and on holidays. Go figure. Your Local is not that difficult to find since Esteban St is like one block and it’s right smack close to the middle. Just past Murphy’s, Yardstick (which is connected to Your Local!), and across the street from an Elorde boxing gym. Hard to miss, really.

The decor in the restaurant was pretty hip and it’s got that industrial type feel you’d probably find in SoHo Hong Kong or the The Mission in San Francisco. There’s an open kitchen which is pretty impressive cause they’d need a really strong exhaust system to keep the smell of cooking at bay, which they do. I found the table spacing a little too close to each other and it’s almost like I can hear the next table’s conversation. No, I actually heard their conversation about quinoa and its health benefits. I guess it’s one way to maximize the space of the restaurant. The servers are attentive and try to help you out even if the place gets really busy.

The dishes we ordered included the fried chicken wings appetizer (I think there’s a name for it?), tofu steak and eggs, lamb rendang, and torched salmon donburi. Drinks were strawberry lemonade, Arnold Palmer, and Yardstick coffee.

Torched Salmon Donburi ready for hungry stomachs (Source: @yourlocalph Instagram)

Torched Salmon Donburi ready for hungry stomachs
(Source: @yourlocalph Instagram)

The chicken wings were so bomb. Well, I think the sauce they smeared on the side made it as well. Some kind of mayo mixed with ground pepper. Quite addicting. The tofu steak and eggs looked like a veggie version of Spamsilog. There was flavor to it (especially the tofu) but it was quite oily. I personally thought the lamb rendang was perfect. Not as spicy as traditional rendang but it’s got enough to give it a slight kick. I also liked the addition of mint leaves in the rice for a refreshing after taste. I have heard mixed reviews about the salmon donburi which I think is their best seller. I did see almost every table order it but my mom and one of the girls at the next table thought the salmon needed to be cooked a little bit more. I was okay with the medium cooked salmon although I thought the one we got was a little bit slimy.The three entree’s came with heaps of black rice with the lamb rendang’s rice topped with a perfectly poached runny egg.

The lemonade and the Arnold Palmer were a little too sweet for our taste so we had to water them down but I’ve learned that extra sweet is a normal thing here in The Philippines. The Yardstick coffee was on point as usual. You could either order it at Your Local or go through the inconspicuous swivel door right into the cafe. A+ for convenience. Although the bathroom is on the G/F of the Universal LMS Building, outside both the restaurant and cafe which isn’t too big of a hassle. Just bring your own toilet paper cause sometimes they run out!

Personally, I would go back to Your Local again and again and I think it’s somewhere I feel comfortable enough to take a break from traditional Asian food. I would also go back on a day that isn’t a Sunday because no chicken wings on Sunday!

Your Local
G/F Universal LMS Bldg
106 Esteban St, Legazpi Village
Makati, Metro Manila
+63 917 654 3355
Monday to Saturday 1100H – 1400H; 1800H – 2200H
Sunday 1000H – 1500H

Cheers,

Micca