Month: January 2017

Strip Manila’s Mulled Wine Brazilian Waxing: Almost Pain Free

It’s a pain to be girl in this day and age when everyone puts a premium on image and beauty. Girls have to be immaculate, pretty, and even hair-free to conform to society’s expectations. I don’t think too much about these pressures, but I do feel empowered when I look good and feel great. I don’t mind spending on a pampering session or two, whenever I need it, be it for relaxation or a simple boost of confidence.

It isn’t a secret that for a girl, I have hair growth that’s a above average, or in local terms, I am deemed balbon.

I am not a newcomer when it comes to hair removal procedures, be it waxing, threading or laser. I regularly have my brows waxed or threaded, my armpits IPL lasered, and sometimes even my bikini line is waxed or when I’m going to beach trips, I also get a Brazilian. And yes, all of then are painful. It is in these moments that I think it’s such a pain to be a girl.

Thankfully, a lot of people have recommended Strip: Ministry of Waxing to be one of the best, if not the best when it comes to hair removal. Most of the blog reviews I read even claim that waxing here is pain free. This time around, I’m trying the new limited edition Mulled Wine Wax, available until March 2017.

STRIP: MINISTRY OF WAXING

Strip has been around since 2002, being a global franchise, it’s available in 9 cities worldwide. Strip is proud with its HSQ mantra: Hygiene, Speed
and Quality. Plus, they were the first hair removal salon to introduce the ‘No Double Dipping’
commandment. They even have Hygiene Packs containing disposal waxing
equipment conveniently sealed into individual pouches for each
customer. So everyone is ensured that the tools and materials used are clean.

I even found a wall full of testimonials at their Serendra branch, showing how popular their hair removal treatments are.

Strip is also popular for their secret-recipe lotions
and wax formulations. In particular, the STRIP & M+G Ingrown Hair
Cream (created in collaboration with New York cult skincare brand
Malin+Goetz) wards off nasty ingrown hairs, while the STRIP Ice Cream is a soothing post-wax and IPL cream.

As I said earlier, I’ll be trying the Mulled Wine Wax. It’s still the same well loved formula from Strip, only the Mulled Wine Wax is infused with the
warm
and festive scent of red wine, orange, cloves, and cinnamon. Because of its scent and nourishing properties, the Mulled Wine Wax is perfect

for Brazilian or Boy-zilian first timers!

This session being my first time at Strip, I thought getting the Mulled Wine Wax for my Brazilian waxing treatment was apt.

Going inside
Strip: Ministry of Waxing, I got reminded of pretty European porches.

The private waxing / IPL rooms each have a locker to stow away every clients precious possessions, a spa bed, pillows, and even a fully decorated wall to share more info about Strip and its advocacies.

I wasn’t able to take a photo, but as I also mentioned earlier, each customer gets one Hygiene pack of disposable tools to be used for the procedure. In my case, my hygiene pack contained disposable spatulas, wipes, cotton swabs, etc.

Every Brazilian waxing session starts with disinfecting tools and surfaces. Then the Strip cleanser is used on the body part where wax is to be placed.

Now off to waxing! What’s unique about Strip’s hard wax technique is that they don’t use wax strips. They wait for the wax to harden after application, and pull the wax on its own. The aestheticians are also great at answering questions, and always ask about the wax temperature on every application to ensure comfort. And yes, after that session, I can finally say that Strip’s Brazilian waxing is almost pain free. I say almost because while they do take extra steps to ensure that you feel the least amount of discomfort, hair is still being pulled, so yeah, there’s a very minimal amount of pain. I can also say that Strip has the best service out of all the hair removal salons I’ve been to.

Aside from the waxing techniques, the waxes being used also have properties that help reduce pain. Packed with the healing effects
of aloe vera and chamomile, STRIP’s waxes are known for significantly
reducing any discomfort that is often associated with waxing, making it
ideal for use on sensitive areas. In addition, it also helps keep waxed
areas well-hydrated, and even brightens it with regular use.

During my visit, the available waxes were the Mulled Wine Wax, Lemon and Chocolate, but they also have a myriad of other wax variants to choose from.

Now for the price!! As a special holiday promotion, everyone can enjoy
Brazilian Waxing using the limited-edition Mulled Wine Wax for only
Php1798.00 and Underarm Waxing for Php798.00 until March 2017.

A steal for an almost pain free waxing experience!

STRIP
currently has three locations in the Philippines, including Serendra,
Greenbelt 5 and Mega Fashion Hall. For more information, you may visit
www.strip-manila.com or send an email to customercare@hareminc.com. You
may also follow them on Facebook.

Planet Grapes: Bringing Wine Closer to everyone

I’ll admit, when I first got inside Planet Grapes, I was wine-timidated.
One wall of the restaurant is filled with wine bottles and glasses,
enough to let you know they’re serious about wine. A little chitchat
with their servers and you’ll learn that Planet Grapes actually wants to bring wine closer to everyone taste buds, especially in a beer country like ours.

Planet Grapes is known for non-traditional food and wine pairings, from their Classic Chicharon – Sauvignon Blanc combo, to their holiday offering of Porchetta – Pinot Noir combo. I recently got to try the 2016 Holiday Menu: a completely customizable set ranging from Php 1,200 to Php 1,800 per head, and is available for preorder until the end of January 2017.

Before I get to the holiday menu, let me first tour you around the Planet Grapes Ortigas Branch, right across Rustan’s at Shangri-La Mall.

The place is nicely lit, with spacious seating arrangements, and a jolly set of waitstaff.

My favorite part of the Planet Grapes interiors is the beautiful wine bottle chandelier. What a way to showcase what the restaurant is all about.


Planet Grapes Wine Selection

Planet Grapes is proud to share that they have the biggest wine selection in the country, as their partner wine company is the biggest distributor nationwide.

On one side they have a wine dispenser, where you can get the bestsellers by the glass.

You can also get a bottle, just depends on how much you guys would consume. Remember, let’s be responsible drinkers, don’t drink and drive.


Planet Grapes Food

Appetizers

Chicharon with Tinapa Dip (Php 215)

who knew chicharon would taste well with a dip aside from vinegar? The dip wasn’t fishy at all, and the smokiness helped balance out the fat from chicharon

Potato Chips with Truffle (Php 145)

this was seriously addicting, I just kept getting mooore!

Squid Balls (Php 165)

a little overpriced, but what the hell, it tastes great with white wine!

Special Holiday offering: BIBINGKA!

On the night that I went there, they ran out early with the bibingka, good thing we ordered the minute we arrived because ours was the last bibingka plate to be made for the night. It was such a hit! There was a generous amount of salted egg too, so instant satisfaction.

All the appetizers above are great with white wine, and we got to pair it with Paul Mas Sauvignon Blanc.

Mains

Porchetta

beautifully roasted to get a really crispy skin, with a tender, juicy and slightly pink meat, the porchetta is sure to bring the festive in your foodie holiday spirit. The stuffing smelled so fragrant, giving each bite a lot of depth in flavor.

All of the mains pair nicely with a red wine, we got
Intrepid Awatere Valley Pinot Nior

to go with them.

Roasted Sous Vide Chicken

A lot of people aren’t familiar with sous vide, but it’s actually just a cooking technique that ensure the meat is cooked evenly and retains moisture. The chicken was good, definitely moist, but flavor wise is was okay. Still a good dish for sharing.

Paella Negra

It’s perfect for seafood lovers everywhere. The squid ink sauce is perfectly seasoned and not fishy at all. Plus it’s generously topped with sliced of squid

Longganisa Paella

Fans of paella valenciana would love this local version filled with longganisa, veggies and eggs.

Dessert

Banana Turon

Planet Grapes updates the absolute Pinoy snack favorite by wrapping the ripe bananas in crispy browned filo pastry served on top of warm jackfruit puree.

It’s best served with a sweet white wine, ours was with a fruity Mosel Urban Riesling.

There you go! Dine with a little wine education and great food at Planet Grapes. Take advantage of their Holiday Menu while you still can!

See you there!

Planet Grapes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Eastwood Avenue: the New Dining Destination up north!

I rarely go up north, but when I do, I dine over at Eastwood because there are a lot of options. I recently got to visit, and found a few new restaurants along Eastwood Avenue.

I like how the restaurants are lined along the street, so it’s easy to drop off and dine. This tip is especially useful when my grandfather is having dinner with us because he finds it difficult to walk, and prefers to use his cane instead of a wheelchair. So yeah, you can also say this strip is PWD friendly.

Like the rest of Eastwood, Eastwood Avenue is perfect for long walks, dates (while holding hands of course!), or chill nights out because it’s also surrounded by pretty buildings, greenery, and benches. But the stars of the strip are the restaurants with world class taste and world renowned chefs.

I used this map from chefjayskitchen.com, to show you guys just how convenient it is to get to the strip, and how easily you can go on a food trip here because the restaurants are close to each other.

Recent additions to the strip are Gourmet Farms, Ippudo, Applebee’s, Annam, and Cafe Enye. I’ll share a few dish suggestions in this post, so you know just what to get when you find yourself in Eastwood Avenue.

Gourmet Farms

For healthy eaters, there’s Gourmet Farms. All of their ingredients are fresh, staying true to the farm to table concept. Everything from the lettuce leaves to the spices, dressing, and bread, are sourced from the Gourmet Farms Estate in Cavite, so you’re ensured that every single bowl you get is fresh, healthy, and without preservatives or added chemicals.

Recommended dishes:

  • Chicken Caesar Salad Chef’s Signature (Php 185 Regular, Php 250 Large) – grilled chicken, bacon, parmesan, hard-boiled egg, tomato, croutons, lettuce, Caesar dressing; also available as a wrap (Php 185, add 10 for whole wheat, add 20 for lettuce wrap)
  • Smoked Salmon Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Premium Pasta (Php 185) – smoked salmon on top of sun dried tomato pesto sauce and olives with focaccia bread
  • Taco Avocado Salad Chef’s Signature (Php 185 Regular, Php 250 Large) – grilled chicken, avocado, tomato, onion, lettuce chips, kidney beans, cilantro, lemon, Mexican dressing

Personally I love the chicken caesar with the lettuce wrap because it’s so yum! A close second is the salmon pasta, because the pesto was also so good and flavorful. Thinking of getting the bottled sauces so I can try to replicate them at home.

IPPUDO

Ippudo is the latest restaurant to open at Eastwood Avenue, just last
December! The ramen craze hasn’t died down in the country, and
surprisingly, for a ramen place that opens from 11am to 10pm, the place
is packed all the time!!!

Recommended dishes:

  • Seafood Okonomiyaki (Php 295) –
    Ippudo’s spin on a classic Japanese pancake stuffed with cabbage, chunks
    of squid and topped with shrimp
  • Akamaru Special (Php 495) – Ippudo’s original tonkotsu broth with miso paste, fragrant oil, topped with one slice of pork belly, ajikikurage, salted soft-boiled egg, and seaweed
  • Kuro Ramen (Php 520) – tonkotsu broth base infused with spicy garlic and pepper spices, plus thick noodles. Topped with shio tamago, nori, and a dab of Akamiso paste and torched chashu.

I got to see the chashu of the Kuro Ramen getting torched because of the open kitchen. Personally I find the flavors too strong because it has so much spices in it, but it’s a nice dish to try especially since it’s limited edition.

Applebee’s

At Applebee’s, there’s always a reason to celebrate! At every table, they have this small sign that diners can write on, asking guests, “What are you celebrating today?” Making every visit feel like a party!

Applebee’s boasts of Southern American comfort food, think fried, hearty, and packed with a lot of flavor.

Most are Tex-Mex, with some dishes suited to the Filipino palate.

Recommended dishes:

  • Wonton Taco (Php 225) – spicy chicken stuffed wonton shell, coleslaw and cilantro
  • Quesadilla Burger (Php 525) – Juicy burger with Applebee’s signature Mexi-ranch sauce with pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, and Jack and cheddar cheese
  • Pork Ribs (Php 650 Half, 950 full) – BBQ pork ribs marinated in Applebee’s special house blend, grilled to perfection. Served with corn on the cob, fries, and coleslaw, plus a choice of honey barbecue, smoky chipotle, spicy sweet Asian chili, and Korean barbecue sauce
  • Fiesta Lime Chicken (Php 395) – Grilled chicken with fiesta lime sauce, Mexi-ranch sauce and Jack cheddar. Served with crisp tortilla strips, mexi-rice, and pico de gallo

My favorite would have to be the Pork Ribs and the Fiesta Lime Chicken. The ribs were so tender and flavorful at each bite. I also love the different textures of the Fiesta Lime Chicken dish, with the crispy tortilla and cheese!!

Annam Noodle Bar

Annam is another Singaporean franchise showcasing Vietnamese favorites like pho, bahn mi, and traditional Vietnamese coffee. It’s open from 10am to 3am, so you can satisfy your Vietnamese cravings almost any time of the day.

Recommended dishes:

  • Beef Combination Pho (Php 380) – Rice flour noodles with24 hour boiled beef broth, beef slices, fresh herbs onions, been tendon, beef honeycomb tripe and beef ribs meat.
  • Noodle Minced Pork (Php 360) – noodles with spicy pork, pork ball, soft boiled egg, lettuce, bean sprouts, shrimp, garlic oil
  • Lemongrass Pork Bahn Mi (Php 250) – toasted baguette stuffed with savory pork, chicken pate, mayonnaise, hot chili pepper, picked carrot, daikon, cucumber, and fresh cilantro

Annam has got to be my favite restaurant on the strip because the interiors are really nice, price points are reasonable, and food’s good!

I’m really into bahn mi at the moment and I love their version, really crispy on the outside and the ingredients just balanced each other out.

So there! A quick rundown of the new dining destinations in Eastwood. What do you think of these restaurants? Have you tried dining at any of them? Let me know about your experience below 🙂

See you at Eastwood Avenue!

P.S. If you post about these restaurants on social media, don’t forget to use the hashtags: #WhatsNewAtEastwoodAvenue #EastwoodCity #AlwaysAwesome #MegaworldLifestyleMalls