what a cutie!

Introducing… the cutest mobile phone ever.. it’s a cutie.. Cutie P9 by Cherry Mobile. It is teeny-weeny, comes in beautiful colors, lightweight, functional and very cheap at P1299.00 (about $30.00). It’s a good thing that the store is also offering micro SD’s and bought the 4G on sale at P259.00 (about $6.00) which is already loaded with 200 songs. I’ve tested playing the music, attached my Cutie to my Bose speakers and the sound is great. I can’t believe that the music is just coming from a tiny cellphone. But if you want some private music tripping, the sound is not bad either on its own speaker or thru a headset.

cutie P9 by cherry mobile

cutie P9 by cherry mobile

cutie P9 by cherry mobile.. (keys used as props for size comparison)

Features:

  • 1″ colored LCD display
  • single SIM
  • dual band GSM
  • multimedia player
  • MMS/WAP/GPRS
  • FM radio
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • bluetooth
  • calendar
  • calculator
  • alarm
  • SIM toolkit
  • cherry shop
  • micro SD up to 8GB

Colors are black and white. You may also choose an all-white cellphone with orange, blue or neon green outline. I’ve chosen orange because it’s one of my favorite colors.

If you’re the the text-call-music type of person, then you will definitely love the features of the Cutie. Of course, i could never go out without my Samsung Galaxy Note which i use for my social, mobile browsing and emailing. After all, it also takes excellent photos which i often use in my blog. But then, it’s another story.

(Note: this is not a sponsored link)

Update: I bought my Cutie Cherry Mobile cellphone at the Cherry Mobile outlet at the mall. I don’t think they still have this kind of model as of this time. (15July2014)

xoi

Now that hubby is here for a vacation, we’ve been trying out different kinds of cuisine in different restaurants since he arrived. As such, i would be posting much about food and sharing my photos so here goes…

On this culinary journey, we visited Hugs and Kisses i, which is just my funny way to read XOi (pronounced soy) based on the universal acronym XO (meaning hugs and kisses).  Well, XOi is in fact, a vietnamese word meaning sticky rice and also the name of the newly opened restaurant at the mall. Its cozy ambiance is highlighted by the red walls printed with white flowers. The interior is contemporary and i love the native woven mats as placemats.

xoi

For starter, we ordered mon nuong dac biet which is actually a combination of satay, prawns sugarcane, crispy calamari and crispy rolls. My favorite among these are the crispy rolls, and their tangy, spicy and garlicky dipping sauce really complements it. The satay is also a favorite. Our waiter was kind enough to tell us how to eat them which is wrapping it in lettuce leaves before taking a really big bite.

mon nuong dac biet P300 (about $7.14)

dipping sauce

My son ordered the tom nuong voi mi toi which is grilled prawns served with garlic noodles. Prawns are tender and grilled to perfection.

tom nuong voi mi toi P285.00 (about $6.78)

I ordered pho bo which is rice noodles soup with beef brisket and raw sliced beef. Note: raw beef is so thinly sliced that the hot boiling soup really cooked it perfectly and it tastes good. I added the condiments that goes with it and it tasted even better.

pho bo P210.00 (about $5.00)

extra condiments for pho bo

Hubby ordered mi my tho which is egg noodles soup with shrimp, ground pork, and pork slices. This has a little hint of spiciness which packs in more flavor to the soup.

mi my tho P215.00 (about $5.12)

Craving for some veggies, he also ordered bok choy voi nam which is bok choy with mushroom and oyster sauce.

bok choy voi nam

My daughter ordered ganuong ngu vi huong which is grilled five spice chicken with herbs.

ganuong ngu vi huong P175.00 (about $4.16)

The highlight of this culinary adventure is the naked crab served with garlic noodles. The crab is cooked divinely. It is garlicky but sweet.  Most of all, since it was ‘naked’, it’s the more that we enjoyed every single bite, tasting the sweetness of the crab meat accompanied by the flavorful garlic noodles. This dish accounted for almost half of our bill. Being shelled and ready to eat, this makes it quite expensive.

cua rang muoi toi (price depends on weight of crab)

For dessert, we had the fried banana drizzled with chocolate syrup served with vanilla icing on top.

fried banana with ice cream and choco syrup

As a form of gratitude, the waiter handed us a P50.00 gift certificate which could be used on our next visit. Shall i visit it again? Yes, not only to make use of the gift certificate but also to try their other specialties.

xoi gift certificate

Watch out for our next foodtrip and join us in our quest of the best food in town …

food trip @chili’s

Food always plays an important part in our family bonding moments. Whether we dine out or just having home-cooked meals, weekends are always something to look forward to. Now that hubby is here, we always see to it that we spend quality time as much as possible since in 3 month’s time, he’ll be leaving to work overseas again. Just recently, we visited Chili’sGrill Bar and Restaurant upon the request of the kids. It was lunchtime and the place was so jampacked. Actually, we’re number 5 on queue to be seated but the wait was so worth it and here’s why.

chili’s

chili’s tabletop tile mosaic

I couldn’t help but notice the tabletop design. The color is as red as a chili and it totally complements the happy ambiance of the restaurant.

chili’s triple play P495.00 (about $11.78)

We ordered Triple Play for starters.

chili’s country fried steak P510.00 (about $12.14)

Since i’ve been craving for some mashed potato for quite sometime, i’ve chosen the Country Fried Steak. The serving is generous, i was full to the brim.

chili’s guiltless grill salmon P595.00 (about $14.16)

Hubby ordered the Grilled Salmon. Vegetable side dish is cooked perfectly. I love the smokiness of the salmon. It’s nice that it was cooked very simply to bring out its rich flavor.

chili’s chicken crispers P300.00 (about $7.14)

For the love of chicken, my daughter ordered the Chicken Crispers. With corn and fries on the side, she really enjoyed this meal.

chili’s grilled baby back ribs P595.00 (about $14.16)

The grilled baby back ribs was fork tender, and there was a large serving of corn and fries on the side.

chili’s fajita trio P660.00 (about $15.71)

Among all the dishes we ordered, my son enjoyed the fajita trio. It was served together with the fajita wraps and condiments and it was fun putting all the ingredients together, and then slowly rolling the wrap to make your own fajita roll.

fajita condiments

fajita wraps

fajita roll

This is just the first of the series of post about our food trip. As for my overall review, well in terms of food and ambiance, i would say its excellent but be very prepared as the bill might be tight on your budget.

Next food trip …

polvoron cupcakes

Polvoron cupcakes. These are another of my food finds at the food fair. Polvorons are actually a favorite treat, snack or dessert in the Philippines. They are made of toasted flour, powdered milk, melted butter and sugar, molded then wrapped in colored cellophanes. Nowadays, for variation and flavor, nuts like cashew, pili, peanuts are added, thus they are now available in different flavors.

polvoron cupcakes

polvoron cupcakes

polvoron cupcakes

polvoron cupcakes

polvoron cupcakes

The hello kitty polvoron cupcake is my daughter’s favorite.  Now, who wouldn’t want the cutesy pink kitty.

hello kitty polvoron cupcakes

hello kitty polvoron cupcakes

hello kitty polvoron cupcake

My eyes feasted with all the wonderful creations and colors but i opted to buy the classic polvoron, no fuss, nothing fancy, just the right taste that i love and familiar with… nutty, buttery, milky goodness. This reminds me of my childhood memory wherein my mother would make our own polvoron, helping her to wrap each goodie using japanese paper (papel de japon) and the challenge was finishing the wrapping without breaking or cracking it. Oh, that was fun. But the most fun part of it all was eating it.

classic polvorons

french cookies known as macarons

Found these colorful macarons at the food fair the other day. They are simply gorgeous, delicate and so lovely to look at. They come in different flavors like pistachio, caramel, chocolate, rose, lemon, vanilla, coffee, cookies and cream, etc.

What i love about macarons is that they are so photogenic because of their vibrant colors.  Its texture is crisp on the outside, and soft in the middle and it tastes sweet.. well, very sweet indeed. After my daughter ate a piece, she said she doesn’t want to eat another one of those. That’s a bit odd, she is a sweet tooth and yet, the taste of a macaron doesn’t appeal to her at all. Anyway, i had fun taking photos and here they are:

macarons

pistachio, lemon and strawberry macarons

cookies ‘n cream macaron

chocolate, vanilla, and hazelnut macarons

 

banapple pies & cheesecakes

banapple pies & cheesecakes

Last weekend, family bonding time was spent eating at Banapple Pies & Cheesecakes, a newly opened restaurant at the mall.  It was lunchtime and as such we’re on queue #5 and waited for a while to be seated.  After several minutes, we were led to our table and immediately noticed the cute and colorful design of the table top that reminds me of sweet M&M’s.

cute table top design

The place is a little bit small with only a few seating capacity but i love the interior. There is a homey kind of feeling in it because of the lovely decorations adorning the wall as well as the beautiful lighting fixtures and chandeliers on the ceiling.

wall decoration

wall shelves with an assortment of cute and colorful decors

lighting fixtures

a close up view of the chandelier

Food is ordered at the cashier.  Good thing that while on queue i already listed our orders which made me save some time ordering our meals.

ceasar salad P120.00

baked rolled lasagna P180.00

baked rolled lasagna

baked cheesy penne pasta P185.00

panfried porkloin P180.00

hickory BBQ ribs P185.00

banana berry cake P120.00

I love the cheesy goodness of the baked rolled lasagna.  The hickory ribs are moist and meat is tender.  Serving portion is generous, their slice of cake is larger than those served in most coffee shops.  Price is reasonable since we are a group of 4 and i spent only P1,100.00.

racks restaurant

While my daughter was celebrating her birthday with her classmates in another restaurant, my son and I decided to try out the newly opened Racks Restaurant at the mall.

The interior is well-lighted, it’s clean and it has a homey touch into it because of the use of wall decors that we usually find in our homes.

racks restaurant southmall branch

racks restaurant southmall branch

racks restaurant southmall branch

The combination of wood and stone in its interior is brilliant. It made the place oozing with warmth and happiness.  The place is literally covered with lots of lighting and i love its overall brightness.

Now here comes the good part… food.

pink lemon cooler

house salad

The house salad tastes good.  I love the fruitiness taste of the dressing.  Crispy julienned apples, and the wonderful crunch of crushed pili nuts make it more appetizing.  I just find the 2 pieces of garlic bread not necessary.  I ended up not eating them at all.   Price P140.00 or about $3.30

pork ribs half rack

The pork ribs taste good but i find the meat a little bit dry.  No problem though, their home BBQ sauce will do the trick.  I’ve chosen corn and carrot and coleslaw as side dishes.  My bad, i should not have chosen coleslaw having already ordered their house salad.  Price P450.00 or about $10.60

angus beef

My son had angus beef with mashed potato and corn and carrot side dishes.  I managed to have a bite of the angus beef and the meat is tender and cooked nicely.  Price 595.00 or about $14.00

egg tarts

I’ve always wanted to learn how to make egg tarts but let’s face it, baking takes time.  Having found the best among the best egg tarts in town which is from SIMPLY BREAD by Chef Andrew, i could now easily satisfy my cravings by just dropping by in one of their outlets.

Sharing with you some of the photos of these egg tarts, they are sinfully delicious and taste so divine.

egg tarts

egg tarts

egg tarts

egg tarts

egg tarts

egg tarts

I think i am craving for more.

gourmet tuyo

Product of the day:  MOM’S GOURMET TUYO

“Tuyo” literally means dried and it actually refers to salted dried fish.  Here in my country, it is considered as a delicacy or the poor man’s version of the ham or the bacon. However, nowadays, tuyo has been repackaged, it is flaked, deboned, seasoned with garlic, chili, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, bottled in its goodness and thus became the gourmet tuyo.

gourmet tuyo

gourmet tuyo

gourmet tuyo

gourmet tuyo

gourmet tuyo

Product Review:

I love the taste, it has the right saltiness, not too spicy and most of all it is de-boned. It is good as an appetizer or as a side dish for steamed or grilled vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants and okras. It may also be served over pasta.  But my favourite of them all is i love it as a topping on freshly cooked steamed rice or fried rice. With Mom’s Gourmet Tuyo, i could really forget about dieting  and instead i just eat this with delight on a mound of fluffy hot rice. Ooh, that’s my own definition of comfort food.

emperor’s snack

While at the mall this afternoon, i chanced upon a small kiosk selling organic and healthy food like snacks, herbal tea and balms.

Here’s my mall find for today – EMPEROR’S SNACK.

emperor's snack

emperor's snack

emperor's snack

It is composed of an assortment of nuts and berries like goji berry, almonds, green peas, raisins, green beans, watermelon seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

As stated in the label, here are its health benefits:

  • goji berry – antioxidants, king of all berries
  • almonds – vitamin E, vitamin B6, iron, calcium
  • green peas – vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6
  • raisins – calcium, iron, potassium
  • green beans – fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A
  • watermelon seeds – protein, vitamin B, magnesium
  • pumpkin seeds – vitamin E, manganese

emperor's snack

emperor's snack

My product review:

I’ve always been a “nuts” person.  I love almonds, macadamias, cashew, peanuts, just about every nuts.  I must admit though that this pack of 100 grams which costs about $2.75, i really did find expensive but munching on them right now, i am quite pleased with the taste since it is not salty and the raisins provided the overall natural sweetness.