January Food Adventures Part 6: Tramway Garden Buffet

I know it's already almost the end of February so I really should finish the January Food Adventures series. So here goes the last installment.

Lanchie and I had been planning to pay Tramway a visit since late last year. Aside from the fact that it's an eat-all-you-can restaurant, we wanted to prove if their chicken really was better than Savory's. We unfortunately never got around to it. We planned and planned and planned, but something always seems to be holding as back. So when my boyfriend told me that he wanted to have dinner at Tramway Garden Buffet in Timog, I thought oh, no... I have a feeling it won't happen... again.

Turned out I was right. We didn't make it on the planned date.

It was entirely my fault... I overslept.

We did, however, finally got to it the the day after.

My boyfriend, having been to Tramway a couple of times before, expected it to be a busy night, so we went early. We got to the restaurant at 6:30 in the evening but it was already full. Fortunately, there were just the two of us so it didn't take long before we got a table.

I must say the food was a little disappointing. I guess that's just because I had high expectations.

The food really wasn't all that bad, but it just didn't turn out the way I expected. The fact that the place was packed didn't help as I didn't get to sample much of the dishes on the buffet table. I didn't even get to sample the chicken, which was what I was really looking forward to. I guess that's primarily why I was disappointed.

The siomai, I admit, was something I enjoyed 'tho'. It wasn't all that special but I liked it. Other that that, I can't recall anything else that I liked.

Or maybe it's just that it had been almost a month that I already forgot the details.

Sa Mundo ng Diosa.DIVA version 2.1

So I finally decided to upload the version 2.1 template.

It's still quite raw and still needs a lot of work with the stylesheet. I'm still tinkering with Blogger's page elements tags and widget tags so I can make the blog widget compatible with how I want the posts to appear. So far I think I've gotten the gist of it but I need more practice if I ever plan on making major modifications to the widgets or, just in case I decided to, create my own.

Version 2.1 is still a work in progress, anyway. I'll hopefully get to work more on it by next week.

Here's a list of what I want to happen:

  • 2-column layout should not appear on the index and archive pages; or
  • If the last post in the index or archive page is an even-numbered post(i.e. there is no post that will appear opposite), it should cover 2 columns.
  • place an "expand" button after every post in the 2-column layout since the posts overflow are set to hidden.
  • Images in posts should not appear in the home page.
  • Post footers should only appear in post pages.

For now, those are all the ideas that I have in mind.

Random Inspiration #5

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

e.e.cummings (1894 - 1962), i carry your heart with me (1920)

January Food Adventures Part 5: Romulo Café

In all the restaurants I've gone to last January, Romulo Café in Tomas Morato, by far, left the biggest impression: from the elegant contemporary interior, the unpretentious no-over-the-top-superlatives menu, to the unique presentation and unforgettable flavors of the food (at least the ones we sampled).

In a word: Love!

I have actually never heard of the place before my boyfriend took me there for dinner some weeks ago. He already had a table for two reserved so it wasn't difficult for us to get seated. The table, however, was too small for what we planned to order, but the staff was gracious enough and allowed us to transfer to a bigger one. I guess we were lucky they weren't packed that night.

They served mostly traditional Filipino food but with a modern twist. The dishes we tried that night were very much interesting.

We had Bagnet Pakbet, which I expected to be Ilocano (given that Pakbet is an Ilocano dish and Bagnet also popularly hails from the Ilocos region). Being an Ilocano myself, however, I was a bit disappointed when I found that it tasted more Tagalog. Their version made use of alamang (fermented shrimp paste) instead of bagoong (fish).

My boyfriend ordered a sort of pansit (and I totally forgot what it was called). It was vermicelli flavored with oil and topped with slices of chicken and egg. It looked fairly simple but the flavors were explosive.

The monggo soup was done well. I enjoyed it mainly because of the generous sprinkling of chicharon bits, but it was too liquid for me. I usually prefer monggo cooked with a thick broth.

My favorite, however, was Lola Virginia's Chicken Relleno - roasted and stuffed with ground pork, raisins, chorizo and peas. I believe it's the most expensive chicken dish in the menu, but - really - it's worth it!

Each dish was good for 3 to 4 people and even with my appetite, I found it quite difficult to chow down everything we ordered for just the two of us. It was food coma. Halfway through, we were already so full, we didn't even get to sample the desserts.

Sa Mundo ng Diosa.DIVA version 2.0

Tinkering with Photoshop again, I decided to make use of my free time and design a new look for the blog. It took a few hours pondering what concept or style or theme would be good before I finally decided on some stuff.

  • I wanted colors
  • I didn't want a dark background
  • I wanted texture

So I came up with this.

It's still very raw and still has a lot of work needed. I haven't even gotten a start on the CSS yet.

January Food Adventures Part 4: Seafood Buffet at Red Crab

I honestly don't think that Red Crab (at least the one in Greenbelt 3) doesn't look, at all, like a place to have a 700-Peso buffet. It looks more like where you'd blow that amount of money for 3 buckets of beer.

Nonetheless, it was a buffet and we were there anyway and we were really early. By early, I mean 5 minutes before the buffet dinner started.

I can't say much about the food. I thought there wasn't anything particularly extraordinary in the presentation or the flavor. Their signature, crab, was just okay. The fish fillet or the calamari weren't so enticing either. I'm not saying the food was bad. It just lacked a certain oomph.

There really wasn't anything that stroke my fancy. The service wasn't all that bad nor that good either. The interior of the restaurant, to me, looked just run-of-the-mill. I barely even noticed the live piano music playing in the background while we dined. I guess they just didn't give me a lasting impression.

Ideas Strike When Least Needed

Kung kelan naman lipas na ang need to be creative saka naman kung ano-anong ideas ang pumapasok sa isip ko...

Heto tuloy ang produkto ng pagbubutingting sa Photoshop.

The Filipino LGBT experience showcased in Sine Bahaghari

In celebration of National Arts Month, Akei, together with PinoyG4M and Pelikula Tumblr, launches Sine Bahaghari, a showcase of the Filipino LGBT experience as seen in Philippine alternative cinema. The Sine Bahaghari project aims to promote discussion on how the LGBT community is depicted in Philippine cinema and popular culture as well as introduce Filipino-made contemporary independent films to a wider audience.

Read the full article in GMA News Online

For more information, visit sinebahaghari.pelikula.info

January Food Adventures Part 3: Nasi Lemak, Singapore Food Republic

"Formal" is the first word that comes to mind when I hear this restaurant's name.

My boyfriend and I went to their branch in the Fort a few weeks ago for a pre-dinner light grub and the moment I entered the place, I thought its ambiance was very - uh - business class. The restaurant had a very contemporary minimalist interior with neutral colors black and beige dominating the space, though I though the high ceiling gave it a slight industrial feel. Overall, the interior design was quite zen.

Formal interiors plus their well-mannered staff, I think, are the things that make the place so business-like. I'm not a big fan of formal, but I really like the courtesy of their staff. They made me feel pampered (and the waiters are kinda cute, too).

Anyway... to the food...

I liked the way the food was served on plain white dinner ware. Nothing fancy except for the irregular shapes of the plates et. al., but the black of the table and the clean white of the dishes made the food pop out and look more appetizing.

Unfortunately, since we weren't really planning to pig out and only wanted a light pre-dinner, we just sampled an appetizer, a noodle dish, and a side dish (which I now cannot remember).

Our appetizer was a fancy one called Kueh Pai Ti - a crispy basket shell, filled with vegetables and topped with a quartered prawn. The textures of the prawn, vegetables, and the shell, as well as the different flavors were quite sensational. It's a shame, 'though, that the sauce it was served with looked and tasted much like Jufran Sweet Chili Sauce. My boyfriend thought it was just that.

We also sampled the stir fried prawn mee which was unexpectedly saucy. It was served with chili garlic sauce on the side, and I was afraid to touch it since I wasn't a fan of chili food, but the dish was actually more palatable with it.

I wasn't able to take a picture of our side dish nor can I now remember what it was called. All I could remember is that it had vermicelli.

We were only able to sample those, but the experience was far from disappointing. I've lived in Singapore for a time (way back) and never really thought about what Singaporean cuisine was, but having tried what Singapore Food Republic had to offer, I can say it definitely tasted authentic.