Hello! Finally a blog post after what seems like forever. I noticed some new names added to the followers list—welcome! Thank you for deeming this little space worthy of clicking that Follow button. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, so let’s ease in my “comeback” with something light and easy in lieu of my occasional thought-heavy posts.
Hype what I’m wearing on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here. Checkered jumpsuit, Dorothy Perkins. Love how this one-piece can be made to look on either the girly or androgynous side, depending on the shoes and hair.
Necklaces, SM Accessories. Layered the leaves and rose together to make it more interesting.
Charm bracelet, Pandora. Raga watch, Titan. Whenever I want to keep my accessories simple, this is my go-to pairing.
Shoulder bag, SM Accessories. Multicolor manicure, Nail It. A pop of pastels injects a bit of femininity into an otherwise androgynous and monochromatic outfit.
Socks and buckled zip-up boots, Topshop. I’ve been wearing these to death lately. Without the socks, they can look like sandals. They’re not as hardcore and heavy as legit combat boots, and they definitely pack a punch in the style department. They add a little height, too.
These photos were taken by my mom when we went to Iloilo a few weekends ago. We were really just having lunch, but the backdrop was too nice to pass up.
Midway is this farm-market-restaurant in Passi City, Iloilo, reminiscent of the ones we’re familiar with in Tagaytay and Cavite.
It’s very much a country-home type of setting. (The banner says, “Grilled Pizzas.” More on that later.)
The entrance is a small fish pond leading to a lanai.
To the left is the gift shop and grocery.
The items they sell are mostly organic and farm-fresh goods.
To the right is the indoor restaurant. There are couches and daybeds, plus some quirky trinkets from the past such as an old-school, coal-powered flat iron. It’s a shame they closed it that day, as they usually do when there isn’t any function or there aren’t a lot of people around.
When the restaurant is closed, the backyard is where diners go.
Huts with tables and hammocks.
Most of the ingredients in their food offerings come from their own backyard. Like these lettuces. I didn’t get to take photos of the other areas of the farm though, as they were about to close for the day.
Grilled pizza. We had about three of these, and still wanted more.
I would say Midway’s halo-halo is the best I’ve tried so far, and that’s saying a lot, since I live in Pampanga which is supposedly the home of the best halo-halo.
I couldn’t resist running of to the playground by the lettuces and sampling the mini climbing wall. This visit to Midway served as such a happy reminder that all we really need in life are the simple things: family, honest-to-goodness food, and a clear-skied day.
Let me know what you think of this post by tweeting me @shailagarde or writing a comment below! April is Love Chic’s anniversary month, and Love Chic is on its fourth year, so y’all better stay tuned for the upcoming awesomeness. :)
Beef salpicado, pumpkin soup, chocolate moist. #lunch #noms #food
Happy Sinulog to our Cebuano friends! Because we can’t be in Cebu tonight, we’re bringing Cebu to us instead with our dining diary of Ilaputi, the amazing Asian and fusion restaurant of Chef Jan “Puti” Rodriguez. (Ilaputi translates into “At Puti’s place.”)
You know how much we love the Korean aesthetic of effortless adorability—be it fashion, beauty or interiors, it’s simple and charming and gets the job done in a way that makes you go, “That’s basic yet functional and pretty… why haven’t I tried that before?”
Neither of us have ever been to Seoul (at least physically)—but in the meantime, we’ve been on the lookout for little pockets of Korea wherever we are.
According to the owners, it’s called Sunday 2PM because it’s that time of the week when things are most relaxed and chill for most people. They gave the café this name to evoke that cozy feeling of being at home.
We just had to film the cutest stuff in Sunday 2PM for another video diary!
So adorable, right?
The way it’s designed also gave us some more ideas for decorating our own spaces.
Apart from coffee and sandwiches, they’ve got a mini library of Korean and English books for anyone’s reading pleasure.
And if you want to listen to or download Korean songs, there’s this mini grocery cart.
There are these “study corners” by the walls near the shelves. Check out the wall papers: customer doodles. Who knew cluttered post-its could look so nice?
Photos by Lea Ann, a talented photographer and young entrepreneur who took a week off from her daily schedule just to hang out with us. On Shai: Runway Dreams dress and vest, Chemistry belt, Parisian shoes. Hype this on Lookbook here.
Parisian flatforms for walking around looking taller.
It’s visiting places like Sunday 2PM that remind us how things don’t need to be over-complicated, over-thought or over-designed in order to work out. No matter how stressed or tired we are, we need only look at photos and videos of our happy places.
Our lunch? Yabu, of course! It’s one of our go-to places for comfort food, never mind that it’s an hour’s drive away. We try to schedule whatever errands we can accomplish around the Ortigas area just so we have an excuse to dine at Yabu. This day was no different, except that instead of our usual orders, we decided to try the spanking new offerings on their menu. We started with the green mango shakes—they had the perfect sweet-sour-fruity-slushy blend! They also have watermelon and ripe mango, which we plan to try on our next trip.
A Yabu meal isn’t complete without our favorite appetizers. Seaweed salad with ebiko and potato salad, now with egg added in the mix.
Yabu’s chef is Master Kazuya Takeda, head chef of a popular tonkatsu restaurant in Tokyo known as Tonkatsu Takeshin. He has created a line-up of Yabu Special Katsudon sets, which means you can only taste this kind of katsudon here and nowhere else. Each set is served with miso soup, Japanese pickles, unlimited cabbage with sesame dressing and a bowl of fruit. We ordered the Rosu katsudon, sprinkled with bonito flakes and topped with a sunny side-up egg. Just like everything katsu at Yabu, the meat was crispy on the outside, tender and flavorful on the inside.
Yabu has also added a second dish to their original Mixed Seafood Katsu set. The Seafood Katsu Set 2 is composed of salmon, black tiger prawn, crab and oyster, and each katsu was cooked to perfection.
We’ve been craving for cream dory katsu all week, so we also asked for it a la carte. Yum!
One of the wonderful things about Yabu is this promise of perfection. We asked around and nope, they don’t really get any replacement requests—and it’s no wonder why! For very reasonable prices, you get premium food and premium service.
For dessert, we had this Lava Cake topped with a scoop of Selecta green tea ice cream. We both love cake, cookies, brownies and other baked goodies that are chewy and creamy instead of crumby and crunchy—needless to say, we immediately fell in love with how soft and chewy this lava cake is! Each spoonful was filled with delicious fudge chocolate syrup; we planned to take a midway photo of how it looks after a few bites but before we knew it, we had bitten every bit. Oops!
Down the hall to the restroom, you’ll see a whole wall filled with public displays of affection for Yabu.
If you haven’t tried this place, you really should. We’ve brought about a dozen of our friends and family members here and they’ve since come back lots of times on their own. If you like katsu, you’re going to love Yabu.
Sparks flew—literally, when we had our pre-Valentines dinner at Torch Restaurant in Greenhills. The dinner comprised of a sumptuous four-course meal for two, exclusively offered just for February 14th.
This cozy setting for two was waiting for us when we arrived, after which we were asked to choose our dishes.
The menu definitely made us smile—it was as if Mike had known us since forever! The choices were actually some of our favorites, as friends and family would attest. Then again, who doesn’t love steak or salmon or mushroom soup or chocolate?
Pepperoni Panizza for the amuse bouche. The term literally means “amuse the mouth” in French. It’s kind of like an appetizer, except it’s more like the way in which a chef greets the diners—by presenting them with a small bite before the actual meal begins. This panizza did more than amuse our mouths or greet us a warm welcome; each bite was a combination of comfort-food pizza and fancy-dining hors d’œuvre.
Whether at home or eating out, we love to start our meals with soup, usually cream of mushroom or pumpkin. We were delighted by the Wild Mushroom Bisque with White Truffle Oil. It tasted exquisite, every sip bursting with tangy creaminess. It was a tad filling to the tummy though, so that we had to ease up a bit to leave room for the main course.
Flaming Mignon with mashed potatoes and buttered beans. It was served on a slab of what looked like flooring tiles, and we thought it was a novel approach. The melt-in-your-mouth angus beef tenderloin was as juicy and well-done as we had hoped. We’d say we were “floored,” but that would be too much, heh.
Salmon Puttanesca Amore. The menu described the puttanesca as “moden deconstructed,” and it was essentially that. A cute cherry tomato topped the pasta, partnered with a strip and a bangle of garlic parsley bread. Of course, the star of the meal was the Cajun spiced Norwegian Salmon—if you follow us on Instagram, you’ve probably balked at the sheer amount of salmon we consume (and take photos of).
After we’ve had our fill, the kindly waiter who has been serving us with a bright smile all evening dimmed the lights. Dessert, he told us, would soon be served.
He went back with a small heart-shaped cake on a chocolate-brown tile. We thought it was the cutest thing—until the waiter lighted it up. It looked as lovely as it tasted. Not too sweet, not too fudgy, just the way we like chocolate. Sweetest way to cap off a wonderful evening.
Happy Valentines, everyone! We hope you enjoy today’s celebrations, or lack thereof :)
Torch Restaurant is at 63 Connecticut, Greenhills. The Valentines dinner costs P1,250 net per person. For reservations, their number is (02) 477-3771. They also welcome walk-ins. Tweet @TorchResto for more.
We thought we’d spend our last day in Thailand just chilling and not being on any schedule.
Lacy long-sleeved mini dress with Peter Pan collar, own watch pendant, satchel, cotton socks and studded clogs all shopped in Bangkok. Hype this on Lookbook!
Spotted: two cool cats that look like they took a whole bottle of chill pills. Right on.
On the vast Central World grounds, there’s an area where Buddhists can kneel, offer prayers and light incense sticks, even offer a religious dance. This is where we took our outfit posts.
And this is who took all shots. Thanks Mama!
We landed in Manila at 3:30 in the morning, exhausted, sleep-deprived, and shaken from a four-hour plane ride, but we had these chill-cat smiles on our faces (see above). Bangkok may not be such a big deal to most people since it’s so similar to Manila and there aren’t a lot of things to see, but to us, this trip was more than just a touristy thing. We brought home with us not photos, and suitcases full of gawk-worthy fashion finds and souvenirs and pasalubong, but more importantly, many things we discovered about ourselves and each other. Things that no amount of words or photos could describe, and so we are keeping for ourselves to cherish. Cheesy, we know, but as it turns out, what they keep saying about traveling is true. The farther outward you explore, the deeper inward your self you can see. For this, we’re praying and wishing for lots more stamps on our passports!
An invite to try out Freyja Day and Nail Spa couldn’t have come at a better time: with everything so hectic at work, we both needed a quick relaxing break. And so we happily went. We were welcomed by a clean, invigorating scent and cozy interiors.
Freyja is the Norse goddess of love, beauty and war. Cool, huh? You’ve got to check out their Facebook page to see the many pampering services they offer for both guys and girls. We were both treated to Vana-goddess Whitening Hand and Foot Spa, plus Reflexology for Seph and Nail Art for Shai. But first…
Tacos! And Sola! How did they know we love munching on these?
Om nom nom
And then there’s this. Our feet have been thanking us all week.
Musical nail art in turquoise and pink. Neat, isn’t it? This October we’re holding a ton of giveaways. Two Love Chic readers will be treated to a blissful “Mellow Me Out” package. Open to both guys and girls. You must be following us on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook to join.
To join, reblog this post on Tumblr, share on Twitter (@FreyjaDaySpa) and Facebook (+ tag @Love Chic and @Freyja). You may leave a Disqus comment to let us know you’ve joined. We’ll be choosing winners via randomizer and announcing them on November 5. Yay!
UPDATE: We have a winner! See here.