Month: May 2014

Hey Sailor!

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I don’t think I have ever posted anything this nautical before. Blue and white stripes, plus an element of red, if only i had one of those vintage sailor hats Popeye used to wear, my look would have been perfectly nautical. To keep it in theme, even my bikini underneath is striped, with same color scheme. Forgive me for being too matchy matchy, I couldn’t help it. haha.

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This is another one of the looks I sported in sunny sunny Boracay, as with my previous post. I love that my top sort of blends in with the blue sky scape, while my skirt gives just the right pop of color to make my whole look standout.

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My top isn’t actually tie front, I wasn’t satisfied with just tucking it in, so I tied it, and I was happy with the result. It does look cuter, right?

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Alyssa asked me if I wanted to take hair shots with the continuous function of my camera, and this photo happens to be one of the decent ones in that pile. After many many failed attempts, this was the only one I could work with, so there.

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I was trying to come up with fiercer facial expressions when Alyssa and Michelle kept telling me to take my clothes off and take bikini photos. I strongly refused, and they kept bullying me about it, but I just laughed it off, hence, the next photo.

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After a while though, I finally gave in and took my chiffon top off, much to their happiness. But the girls were not satisfied, they wanted me to take my skirt off as well, and I did, after much convincing.

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Again, so as to comply with my mother’s wishes, I’ll only post the ones where I’m partially covered. Mom! You should be proud.

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Lastly, I’m so glad I took these sandals with me on this trip, so I did not have to bring more pairs with me. Just bringing more straps is convenient enough to make different looks. Also, shoutout to Make Me Blush Spa for my pedicure, they survived my crazy Boracay weekend!!

Hype this on Lookbook!

Stripe Chiffon Button Down: Landmark

Stripe Triangle Bikini: Greenhills Shopping Center

Red Chiffon Skirt: Paradise Treats

DIY Multiway Flats: Ingga Sandals

photos by Alyssa Yu

Kimukatsu: Layers and Layers of Juicy Goodness

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25 layers. 25 layers of juicy juicy pork in one piece of katsu. That sounds amazing, right? Kimukatsu, amidst the bustling Japanese restaurant industry in the country, is offering the Filipino katsu crazed diners something different.

I was able to go to the recently opened Century City Mall branch sometime mid-March, the restaurant is right beside Ikkoryu Fukuoka, which I later learned were under the same management.

For the ambiance, I noticed that the interiors were done in a very zen like manner, along with a yin-yang theme.

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Take the menu for example, the black one if for the males, while white one on the right is for the females. I thought that was a great detail to see in a restaurant.

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I was told that the Century City Mall branch is smaller than Shangri-La Mall (the first branch in the country). There are general dining areas, while there are also cozy private rooms good for groups of 6-10. The whole restaurant is bedecked with cherry blossom art installations by contemporary Japanese artist Yasuko Sensyu. The Shangri-La brance even has a beutiful cherry blossom wishing tree, also by the artist.

According to Kenji Komuro, who is part of the team overseeing the operations for both Kimukatsu and Ikkoryu Fukuoka in the country, the ‘ki’ and ‘mu’ of its name translates to ‘hope’ and ‘dream’. Kimukatsu was founded by Mr. Shimanuki on April 2003 as a fulfilment of his dream to open a place that serves remarkable tonkatsu.

I got to try three appetizer dishes, which I was told, is also served in their international branches like Honolulu Hawaii and Seoul Korea.

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Agedashi Tofu (Php 180)

I love tofu, and this one certainly is one of the best tofu dishes I’ve had so far. The batter used to coat the little fluffy white tofu is different from what I have tried in other Japanese restos. The coat is almost transparent, thin, gel like and has a distinct flavor. The sauce that comes with it is a mix of salty and sweet, and goes well with the light tofu.

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Potato Salad (Php 130) and Kimutaku (Php 110)

I’m not a fan of mayonnaise, I hate it, especially the tangy, slightly sour taste that some brands have, and all the greasiness that goes with it. That being said, I actually liked the potato salad. The mayonnaise was not overpowering, which is what I like about Japanese mayo. The presentation amazed me too, those long potato skin strips that stuck out looked like fantastic food art to me. The salad also had bits of shrimp inside. Overall, the salad was yummy.

The Kimutaku is a cross between Japanese pickled radish and Korean kimchi. It’s actually a great kimchi substitute if you’re craving for both katsu and Korean food.

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Each katsu ordered (Php 380-430 each) comes with unlimited rice, miso soup, cabbage, and Japanese pickles.

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They have two kinds of miso soup, one red (strong flavored) and one white (milky and light).

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Kenji recommended that I put sesame seeds in my sauces and on my cabbage as well.

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I love that the rice is served in this insulated wooden container. It was actually designed for the purpose of keeping their rice at the right temperature to maintain its flavor and texture. Their rice is good, melt in your mouth good.

Now onto the stars of this restaurant, the katsu.

I asked Kenji about the way that each piece was made, and this was his narration:

They have a factory where the chefs are actually insulated from head to toe because they have to be inside a freezer when assembling each piece. The temperature inside the freezer is -5 to 0 degrees Celsius as any hotter than this will melt the pork’s fat and make it impossible to slice cleanly. It is also at this temperature that they stuff the different variants in between the layers.

In the kitchen each cutlet is deep fried in exactly 8 minutes each in low temperature. After frying, it is set to steam vertically for even cooking.

Wow right? All that to keep each cutlet consistently crispy outside, and juicy inside.

Kimukatsu offers seven varieties of katsu (Japanese pork cutlet) – plain, garlic, black pepper, cheese, Negi Shio (marinated spring onion), Yuzu Kosho (yuzu fruits and green chili pepper) and Ume Shiso (Japanese sour plum and shiso leaf katsu). Luckily, I was given the option to try three flavors.

Plain, black pepper and cheese are currently the bestsellers in the country. Kenji highly recommended that I try the cheese one. I couldn’t  say no to that, and then I picked the other two interesting ones, Yuzu Kosho, and Ume Shiso.

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Cheese (Php 390/ 130 g)

The cheese is generously spread in between layers. I remember that they used around 2-3 cheeses (I completely forgot the others, one is white cheddar) to complement the katsu. I could tell why this one was the bestseller. The cheese was not strong, and simply blended in with the pork, it was juicilicious (Sorry Jollibee, I just had to use the term)!

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Ume Shiso (Php 430 / 130g) Japanese sour plum and shiso leaf blended together are in a layer smack in the middle of it all. It had a lingering herb flavor, that was a surprise for me. A pleasant surprise that is. Being the Japanese that he is, Kenji’s favorite flavor is this one.

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Yuzu Kosho (Php 430 / 130 g)

Made with a blend of Yuzu fruit and green chili pepper, this is not for the faint of heart. The green layer might look measly to you, but this one packs a punch. I couldn’t finish the whole thing because my taste buds were burning. This actually a yummy mix of sour and spicy, and great for the gastronomically adventurous.

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Tonkatsu sauce, Himalayan Sea Salt, Ponzu Sauce

Kenji recommended that I dip the Cheese and Yuzu ones in the Tonkatsu sauce, then the Ume shiso in the Ponzu sauce. These were the perfect pairings, he told me.

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As I wasn’t able to finish everything on my own, Kenji ate so few btw, he asked the chef to turn my cheese katsu into a sandwich! I took that one home in this cute tonkatsu bus box. I still keep it to this day because the carton box is just so adorbs!

Anyway, the cheese kimukatsu sandwich costs 210 when ordered alone. It’s actually slices of katsu between thick fluffy white bread, with katsu sauce coating the pork cutlet.

Lastly, dessert!

Kenji ordered this panna cotta for me, because I had no idea which to pick.

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Japanese Panna Cotta (Php 110)

This unassuming little dessert was the biggest surprise of my whole meal. It’s simple really, fresh fluffy cream, with mild flavor, topped with a powder of a Japanese herb found in the mountains, and sesame seeds. It was the perfect ending to a fried heavy main course. It was a light dessert, and I enjoyed it the most. If ever you come by Kimikatsu, I strongly suggest you try it.

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Overall, I had a great time. I would recommend going as a group and ordering a sampler of all seven flavors (Php 2400 including all the unlimited stuff) to get the full experience. If you’re dining alone, a budget of around 550-600 would be good, to cover even the 10% service charge.

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Thank you to Kenji Komuro, public relations officer, (and semi-interior design head) for personally taking time to shed light on Kimukatsu.

KIMUKATSU

Branches:

Century City Mall
3/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave. cor. Salamanca St., Poblacion, Makati, Metro Manila
Open from 11:00a to 9:00pm

Shangri-La Mall
5/F East Wing, Shangri-la Plaza Mall
Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City

Do let me know about your experience, when you finally decide to visit, yes?

Kimukatsu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Paradise Treats 3rd Anniversary Part 3

Hey everyone! this is the last leg of my giveaway collaboration with Paradise Treats. You guys know the drill. Good luck!

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Hit the read more break for the Rafflecopter widget, to send in your entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the Rafflecopter widget does not appear immediately, please give it a few moments to load. 🙂

Reminders:

  • This giveaway is open to Philippine Residents only
  • Deadline of submission of entries is on June 9,2014 12:01AM
  • Winner will be chosen via random.org and will be announced shortly after at the Pretty Ingenious Facebook Page.
  • all entries will be double checked for validity
  • I already announced the winners of the previous two parts, check out the facebook page if you’re one of the lucky two.
  • Good luck everyone!

Flouncy Floral

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Breezy dresses are my current go-to this hot summer season. The Paradise Treats dress I have on, is actually a good example. It has a floral print that I’m currently fond of, and a cut that is flattering to girls of different sizes. The material is lightweight, which is perfect for the really hot summer season we are experiencing right now.

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The ruffled bottom also adds a touch of playfulness to the dress, and also gives more movement to it. I like that the dress is cut just above my knees, so the length is just enough to cover me, while also sparing some room for ventilation. After all, what we want right now is breathable comfortable looks to get through the hot humid summer.

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If you guys have noticed, I have a thing for back details. They serve as a surprise to an otherwise normal neckline. Plus, it also adds to airiness of the dress, we don’t want to be sweaty while sporting a cute outfit now, do we?

Floral Ruffle Tiered Dress: Paradise Treats

Gold Jelly Flats: Yamamay

photos by Ben Bigalbal

P.S. I’ll be posting the last leg of my giveaway with Paradise Treats soon, so stay tuned!

A Perfect Day with the Perfect Girl

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For girls, red days can be such a pain. They can come at the worst possible times, where even the calmest girls go crazy. Feminine hygiene isn’t something that’s easy to talk about. With the abundance of sanitary napkin TV commercials, feminine wash endorsements, and other related things, women’s health are slowly getting the spotlight.

This time, another sanitary napkin brand is out to compete with the more established, media-heavy giants, by getting one of local television’s young stunners, Jasmine Curtis-Smith.

For Australian-Filipina actress/ endorser Jasmine Curtis-Smith, stepping out of her sister’s shadow was definitely a big challenge. And now that opportunities are starting to pour, she is set to prove to everyone that it is her individuality and talent that will tell her apart from her superstar sister.

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It was only just recently when Jasmine was offered a big break for her career and she cannot be more grateful to the people who helped her. “It was like a dream come true for me to finally make a name for myself. I’m really thankful to everyone who trusted me and believed in what I can do,” says Jasmine. The promising young actress is now being groomed to be a television royalty in one of the major TV networks in the Philippines.

Jasmine is exquisitely beautiful, bordering to looking perfect, and that’s a given. The pretty face paired up with a good character is the ideal formula for a potential showbiz celebrity.  No wonder her endorsements come left and right, but for the young Jasmine, choosing what merchandise to endorse goes beyond any monetary value that the project offers. “I do not want to just recommend a product for the sake of recommending it. I’ve got to have some sort of trust and confidence in the brand that I am endorsing. A real brand ambassadress as you may want to call it,” explains Jasmine.

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So, the big question is, why a feminine pad? “I feel like it’s my moral obligation to my fellow Filipinas to introduce them to something that can help them during their red days and that is Perfect Pads,” answers Jasmine. Menstruation is natural to all women but it can get really uncomfortable at times, not to mention the “hassles” it brings that can affect your entire day at work or at school. “With Perfect Pads, every Filipina can have a Perfect day, every day!” Jasmine added.

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“I’d like to thank Perfect Pads for choosing me to be their new ambassadress and I’m really, really looking forward to all of our projects which will allow us totouch more lives and influence the youth today as we will soon be embarking on an advocacy campaign for them” exclaims Jasmine.

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The media launch was made to look like a pink or plum themed prom. Everyone was dressed to the nines, especially the executives of the brand.

Also, the event was a double celebration of sorts, as the brand also revealed the new packaging of its products. Each design was carefully selected to appeal to the Filipino market, which the brand is proud of. 

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As if they didn’t have enough news already, they were also able to tell us about RERUN.

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The 2014 Quanta Paper Corporation Run for Sustainability, or dubbed R3RUN (reuse-reduce-recycle) is designed to inspire environmental action among Filipino consumers and raise awareness on climate change. To be held on August 10, 2014 at Blue Bay Walk, EDSA-macapagal Ave, Pasay City

R3RUN for Sustainability
August 10, 2014 @ 4AM
Blue Bay Walk, EDSA-macapagal Ave, Pasay City
1K/4K/8K/12K

Registration Fee:
PHP 250 For all Categories
PHP 100 OFF – for first 2500 Students (Bring ID)
PHP 50 OFF – for all Pinoy Fitness Card Holders (Bring ID)

I’m still thinking if I should join the 12k leg, I was able to finish a 10k for Adidas KOTR last year, and I might be able to run this 12k given the proper preparations. Let’s see how things go. 🙂

These are the routes for the different categories:

Registration Venues:
Note: Starting June 5 to July 22 (Every Thursday to Sunday of the week, 12nn-8pm)

1. RUNNR BHS-BGC – 02-403-1787
2. RUNNR Trinoma – 02-901-0046
3. Toby’s Shangrila – 02-633-7014
4. Toby’s Mall of Asia – 02-556-0445
5. Toby’s Robinson Ermita – 02-354-5265

All finishers will get a rerun ecobag filled with products by Quanta Paper Corp., while top placers will get the following medals.

The rates for this race are relatively cheap, so I suggest you come and join us this August. So, are you with me?

Let me know if you’re going, let’s meet there. 🙂

Babe In The Tropics

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

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This summer has been good to me. I graduated from college, had 2 trips (Boracay and Korea), and am currently attending review classes for my upcoming board exams this June. Before I go ahead and disappear from the online world to focus on my board exam review, I’ll be drafting posts in advance to keep you guys updated. Let’s hope I keep this, and not get buried in all my exam notes.

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Anyway, as some of you guys know, I spent my Labor Day weekend in sunny Boracay. It was my first time to go there for #Laboracay weekend (I was there last year but on a late May weekend), and boy did the Laboracay crowd turn my world upside down. That weekend was crazy, I had tons of fun, and lots of fond memories. Thank you Boracay, for a weekend I will never forget.

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Sadly, the beach was lined with algae (lumot) so my photos didn’t turn out as nice as I wanted them to be. The pristine white beach I saw last year, was blanketed with a thick layer of algae, which wasn’t a pretty sight. Still, Boracay hasn’t lost its charm. The view is still breathtaking.

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I wasn’t able to get my body as toned as I wanted, so I wasn’t really confident strutting my stuff. HAHA. If it wasn’t for Alyssa’s encouragement, I wouldn’t even take my cover ups off at the parties. If you plan on going to Laboracay next year, word of advice, at the sunset parties, skip the cover up, wear your bikini proud with acute pair of shorts instead. It gets really hot and sweaty in the parties, some even having foam, so wearing more pieces of clothing isn’t a good idea.

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Anyway, I really love the top I have on. I always bring this one to any beach trip ever since I bought it early last year. The coconut tree print is just goes well for the summer, and the fringe crop style is just perfect for the hot weather, without showing too much skin.

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To keep my look all bright and sunny, I paired my top with my favorite pastel shorts. I achieved the effect that I wanted, like a was a walking ray of summer sunshine, with all the cuteness factored in. teehee

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To add to the cuteness, I wore my newest pair of sunnies, these gold rimmed heart shaped ones. They are just too adorable, yes?

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I got a lot of scolding from my parents for posting bikini photos with friends on my Instagram, that went on for weeks. My parents are still really conservative, and want me to have that Maria Clara image, so I have decided not to post full on bikini photos on my blog so as not to anger them. I’ll be posting the ones where I’m partially covered up instead, so my photos won’t be such a complete waste.

I love the print of this long kimono, it’s so me. Pastel and colorful, it went with the whole vibe I was going for. Plus, the colors match my day outfit.

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See? partially covered. HAHA Thank you Yamamay for my bikini! I also love that the bikini bottom is actually reversible. Yay!

How do you guys like my first Laboracay ootd?  Thoughts?

Hype this on Lookbook.nu!

Pastel Print Long Kimono Cover Up: Fab2Find

Sandals: Ingga

Fringe Crop Top: Fashion Infinity

Yellow Denim Cutoff Shorts: Mango

Floral Print Bikini: Yamamay

Heart Sunnies: Onymous

Shock the World Manila Watch: G-Shock