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After the Busy Day: Cafe Laya

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In my entire college life, this day, November 10, actually marked the busiest day I ever had. I had a 9-12pm class (wherein I was late for 45 minutes), 1-3pm orientation seminar for the university-wide Career fair, 3-5pm make-up class and a 6-8pm seminar/workshop at De La Salle University. Don’t ask me where the enthusiasm and energy came from! I, myself, didn’t know where it came from, especially I had a class until 9pm the day before! (*~So awesome, human body!~*)

But after the hustle and bustle, we decided to have dinner at Cafe Laya near De La Salle University. It is one of those cafes that were confined in a limited space, but the limit is actually what makes it more comfortable.

Cafe Laya also supports local goods because they actually sell some locally made products in the entrance. However, I will never forget their narrow door. I thought I gained too much weight, but it seemed like the problem is not with me but with the door. lol

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The restaurant is high-ceilinged so they were able to make it a two-storey restaurant. It had a spiral staircase which I believe they chose to save space. On the second floor, it has a balcony-like design, which makes it appealing for my aesthetics. In fact, I’d like to copy the interior design once I get my own pad! #RealTalk.

For the tables and chairs, I found it cute that they didn’t just choose a cushion for the sake of having a cushion, but they actually made an effort to balance the color scheme with the neutrality of wall and floor colors.

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Keso de bola Carbonara (200), Pesto Bolognese (200) and Garlic Tapa (125)

I have a low regard on Keso de Bola itself, every time it gets served during Christmas, I always refuse to eat it because first, I don’t know how to eat it, second, they said it doesn’t taste good, and third I don’t even want to try. But, having it in my Carbonara, which is my most favorite kind of Pasta, I had no choice but to taste it! Actually, the Keso de Bola did a great job in balancing the taste and making the quality better than its price.

Pammy, on the other hand, ordered Pesto Bolognese. I was expecting meatballs with the Bolognese but they failed me. In terms of Pasta, Pesto is also one of my favorites, regardless if it is a legit one from an authentic Italian restaurant or from the good-enough ones. But, the Pesto that I always eat is the green one, so when I saw this one being a red one I already had the idea of it being from the canned Pesto sauce that my brother bought before. The pesto tasted tangy, however since I like rare-tasting pasta, I decided to switch with Pammy and finished her food as she finished mine.

Lastly, the Tapa meat was tender and the egg was really cooked the way how I’d personally like it. The yellow part can be pricked! I love eggs. Seriously. 

All in all, the foods are very excellent for their price and the ambiance is also commendable because of its design. However, their wifi is not working well. I don’t know if it’s because of our location on the second floor, but I do hope that they would have it fixed. Since, the signal in the building already sort of sucks. Probably some would be happy with the set up because it’s really a time out from the outside world.

But, when it’s late and your family is waiting for you, it’s another story.

So there you have it! If you want to visit a restaurant that has a good ambiance, good food, and good mission and vision. Go to Cafe Laya! You can find it at Unit 113, Ground Floor, EGI Taft Tower, 2239 Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila And check Zomato for any information that you need. Hope to hear your experience!

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Away from the eyes: Dohtonbori

As I have mentioned in my previous post, we had a one week break from school. On the day before our classes resumed, the squad decided to have one last hurray before we go back to hell again! (*~rolls eyes~*) So we decided to go to Greenhills Shopping Centre, because it is renowned for the cheaper clothes, gadgets, etc, and it also has numerous well-established premises where we can carelessly spend the money our parents worked hard for. #WinParenting

But to our surprise, Shoppeville, the part of Greenhills Shopping Centre where there are a lot of stalls selling cheaper clothes, gadgets, beauty products, shoes, accessories etc (Or commonly referred to as “Tiangge” in Filipino), was C L O S E D! The guard said that that day was the schedule of reshuffling of their stall location so they are all not working that day. And since that left us no chance of buying cheaper clothes. We decided to just have lunch and later we’ll explore The Shops, Promenade, and other parts of Greenhills Shopping Centre.

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Exterior of Dohtonburi

I have read a lot of good reviews about Dohtonburi so when I found out that it is a member of the Prime restaurants (or Partner restaurants) of Booky, and we’ll have a discount on it, I didn’t think twice and I immediately chose it. Besides, lately, Japanese foods are my comforts. According to Booky, we can avail almost up to 500 off discount, but since based on the time I reserved it’s only 100 off, then we had to accept it instead of starving to death.

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The interior definitely achieved giving the Japanese ambiance, with all the woods, dividers, posters with Japanese touches, and lanterns. I also observed that most of the tables are consistent having an equal number of condiments, are contained in identical repositories, and all tables are equipped with the steel flat iron grill griddle. However, I hope they had a cover for the griddle so that we can place our dishes on top of it once we’re done with the cooking.

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Since the tables and chairs outside are very common, we wanted to feel more Japanese so we chose the ones in the more private area. What I loved about this area is not only because it is secluded but because I’d like to recognize the efforts of the designers to make a hole for the table, so that the diners are not expected sit on their knees but they can actually take a seat like how they do in usual chairs. However, this area is a little unwell ventilated, and the smoke from the griddle cannot exhaust somewhere else. So this area tends to be warm.

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Okonomiyaki: Hiroshima Yaki

Dohtonburi is famous for its vast array of Okonomiyaki, but for us, since we are first-time eaters we have no idea which is which. But the server told us that we can try this Hiroshima Yaki (390). She also encouraged us to cook it ourselves because they have provided a cooking guide. But looking at how complicated it is flipping and adding what after the other, we wanted to eat good looking and tasting food, so we “used the service charge.” lol 

Cooking Hiroshima Yaki needed so much attention and dedication, it’s not a joke flipping those pancake-like things with noodles and vegetables in a swift but careful manner.

And then when we tasted it, I almost forgot my name because of the mayonnaise and the noodles and everything in between de-fa-nitely suited each other. Once I come back to Dohtonburi, I will still order this one and still ask them to do it for me. hehehe

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And then together with the Hiroshima Yaki, we also had Kimchi and Pork (220). However, they have no Kimchi anymore so we decided to just have the pork. And it’s also cooked in front of us, and they are all cooked very well and the meats are tender.

These Kimchi and Pork and Hiroshima Yaki are really just what Pammy, Krizia, and I ordered. Our other companions, Michael and Charles, ordered Katsudon and Gyudon (260). They didn’t make many comments on it, but they said that it tasted like the usual Katsudon and Gyudon.

After that, we watched the movie “Doctor Strange.” Although the visuals are making my head hurts, it is still a quality movie with very delicate computer graphics.

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And then before we go home, we went to J.Co for our one last taste of sweetness before we go back to reality. It was a very fun day indeed with the squad! Don’t know where we’ll head to next time, though.

So there you have it! If you want to visit a restaurant that gives an authentic Japanese ambiance and delicious Okonomiyaki. Go to Dohtonbori! You can find it at the Cullinan Prime Building, 8 Missouri Street, Greenhills, San Juan City And check Zomato for any information that you need. Hope to hear your experience!

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Ramen heaven: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Prior to the start of our “Undas break,” I was already determined that I will use this 1-week break productively to catch up with all the requirements I have to do since I barely have 2 months to save this semester. But, by saving I meant that I have to do requirements, but not necessarily that I have to reach cut offs because I’m below the passing grade, 75, or what we call the “poverty line.” *flips hair*

And I did. I was in fact very productive during the Undas break!

So, to reward myself… Last Sunday (October 30, 2016), I went de-stress with my brother at Greenhills Shopping Center! For what reason? I was just itching to use my exclusive 100-off Uber promo, so I asked my brother if we can go out because I have a promo! Which he agreed to, besides, I also have to bring my brother’s clothes he’ll change into because it was his #errandsday and he just went to Fitness First after, so he’s not really equipped with his things. (He is a gym buff, yes I know that!~)

Before we had dinner, we bought tickets for “Ouija” first. And time check, it was already around 6:50 when we bought the tickets, and the movie will start at 7:30. So after buying the ticket, we quickly went to Hokkaido Ramen Santouka because I was in dire need of a near-authentic ramen, and those instant noodles cannot surfeit this need and only an expensive ramen will do.

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Interiors of the restaurant (cto)

Behind its limited space and unwell-lit restaurant, there is a sense of coziness underlying it. It was not dark enough to be blind to what you’re eating, but it’s also not illuminated that will enable me to take blog-worthy photos with my iPhone. But despite these, the ambiance is like you’re in a revolving restaurant because the shape of the restaurant is concave-like. And we are also at the window side, and a seaside view is the only thing lacking if you’re looking for a romantic date venue.

We also tested their service, because we have a 7:30 movie to catch and it’s already 7:05 so we asked them if can they serve our orders right away. (Yes, we only tested their service, because we are pretty sure about ourselves that we can finish the food in 10 minutes. *flips hair*) And they took the challenge and we started receiving our orders at 7:15! Great Job!

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Awase-Aji Ramen (380)

If you will check their menu, they actually have a lot of choices for Ramen. They have the usual Shio, Shoyu, and Miso ramen, and they also have a ramen wherein the soup and the noodles are separated. But since the choices are overwhelming, I just decided to have Awase-Aji Ramen (380)It has salt, soy sauce, and soybean, and I always believed that anything with soy sauce is God’s work of art! Amen.

Aside from the flavor of its soup, pork, and the mushroom, I also like this because it has eggs. These Japanese style cooking of boiled eggs are just magnificent, I like how it’s not so cooked. In fact, I always prefer not well-cooked eggs, that if I’m going to have sunny side up, I can prick the yellow part and the yellow liquid will burst like lavas flowing out of a Volcano. Hmm, yum~

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Salmon Salad (270)

My brother ordered Salmon Salad (270), because he just finished his workout and idk probably subconsciously he’s thinking that he has already started the day right so why not eat Salad to feel more healthy?? lol 

But I tasted it and I am still firm in my belief that all salads should have a lot of sauce or else only a Goat can eat it. The Salmon tasted well and the leafy veggies on it are all delicious. Thanks to the sauce!

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Mixed Seafood Furai (280) and Karaage Pao (140)

One fact about me: I don’t eat Sushi, and I cannot justify that anymore because people might find it annoyingly rude, but that’s my preference. But aside from going to Japanese restaurants for Ramen, Tempura is also one of my favorites. So we ordered Mixed Seafood Furai (280) wherein it’s actually a mix of deep-fried breaded Tempura and Salmon and it’s very delicious especially I had it all to myself because my brother doesn’t like fried shrimps.

We also tried the Karaage Pao (140), which has a small fried chicken with lettuce and some Mayonaise-like sauce with other ingredients, all wrapped in a mantou (Chinese steamed bun/Siopao). I already liked Karaage because there is a restaurant near our University, called Tori Box, that serves powder flavored Karaage pops with rice. So now, I want to taste it in a steamed bun! And it didn’t fail me, it’s delicious.

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My brother and I!

We billed out at around 7:28 and then we ran to the other part because it’s where the cinema is located. I was actually expecting to be sick after because aside from we were eating fastly, we also ran just as after we ate. And to add cherry on top I was having abdominal spasms because I was controlling my shock every time the sound effects and visuals of Ouija would startle the heck out of me. These activities can be pacified by my immune system, but since they all happened consecutively I though my body would give up on me! Glad it didn’t!

A short review of Ouija: It’s a game changer, you might think that you already know the story but not really. It has twists and turns that make it unpredictable, and lighter! Watch it, guys!!

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I know you already know what flavors are these!

After the movie, we went to Starbucks. My brother also added more caramel to my Caramel Frappe, because nothing goes wrong with a Caramel Frappe! Remember that! lol But seriously, I don’t know why I was being spoiled so much this day, but I was thankful although I was also subconsciously scolding myself for all the calories I had taken. But it’s free food! … Is my argument valid?

So there you have it! If you want to visit a restaurant that is cozy and serves authentic Japanese foods. Go to Hokkaido Ramen Santouka! You can find it at the Second Floor, Promenade, Greenhills, San Juan City And check Zomato for any information that you need. Hope to hear your experience!