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.”)
Ilaputi is located at the IT Park in Lahug, and we happened by the restaurant during our recent visit to Cebu. We were looking for places to check out and have been hearing nothing but good reviews, so we headed there with our photographer friend Lea after doing a couple of school talks that afternoon. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that despite its decidedly upscale ambience and sumptuous dishes in big servings, none of Ilaputi’s menu items go above P300. Now that’s bang for your buck.
Our drinks! Blended Pink Lemonade, Citrus Sunburst, and Strawberry-Kiwi Slush. The right blend of healthy, refreshing and yummy in each tall glass.
Our starter: Phoenix Mandarin salad. It has diced grilled rosemary chicken breast fillets, diced apples, onions, almonds and mandarin oranges with sweet creamy citrus dressing. It was enough to have us work up an appetite without taking up a lot of space in our tummies.
Saigon Adobo. Lemongrass tenderloin tips with garlic shrimp fried rice and nuoc-nam (Vietnamese fish sauce dip). After tasting this flavorful dish, it was easy to see why this adobo is one of Ilaputi’s classic bestsellers.
Dragon Chop. Overnight marinated grilled garlic pork chop with garlic-cilantro yoghurt, spicy mango chutney and butter-raisin fried rice. Think marinated pork chop with sour cream and atsara, but with an interesting and mouth-watering twist. One word: yum!
Shai’s favorite: The Stroganov. A creamy plate of tenderloin tips in rich sour cream mushroom sauce with garlic stir-fried rice. It’s one of those comfort foods you’re always in the mood for, no matter what time of day.
Seph’s favorite: Grilled Chinese Chicken Jambalaya. Hoisin-glazed chicken breast fillets tossed with Hungarian and Chinese sausages on top of Oriental stir-fried rice. For fans of rice toppings and fried-rice dishes with lots of stuff mixed in.
It was already dark and drizzling when we got out of Ilaputi, our tummies filled with good food and our souls filled with comfort. And as we’re both fond of rainshowers, it was definitely a nice way to cap an amazing day. ♥
Ilaputi is at I2 Building, Asiatown IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City. Open 24 hours Mondays-Saturdays, closed 7am-4pm Sundays. For more, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
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!
Chemistry outfits, SM Accessories wristband and hairband, Digitalism iPhone cases. Photos by Shai’s mom. The three of us spent the rainy-sunny afternoon at our favorite Moon Leaf branch, drinking in conversations along with Hakka and Jasmine milk teas and playing games on our phones. Gotta love our matching cases! That they come in blue and pink and form a heart together just sealed the deal. ♥ We hope your weekend was just as wonderful!
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.
Our fellow bloggers Vern, Lissa, Bjorn, Verniece and Robbie. We ogled a lot at the items so we weren’t able to take photos of everyone before they left, except for these two cuties.
Bjorn’s turquoise sneakers matched with nudes and florals is a bold choice for menswear, but he pulls it off and how.
Fresh-faced Vern looks effortlessly cute with the dress and bag. Her penchant for simplicity is perfect for the summer.
In celebration of the season, the store has a couple of ongoing promos. Check them out on Facebook for details.
Meanwhile, some of our favorites from the collection. This season, Topman and Topshop are big on colorful graphic prints, tribal-inspired patterns, sweet pastels and playful styles, each piece exuding their trademark carefree rock-chic vibe.
For lunch, we mall-hopped to SM Megamall to satisfy our craving for katsu.
If you follow us on Twitter or Instagram, you could probably tell from the amount of Yabu photos we post how much we love this place. Good food, good service and good vibes. Our only complaint was the long wait for a table, especially during peak hours. Not anymore!
Originally, this was all of Yabu. If you wanted to get a good seat, you’d have to be there early or late, avoiding lunch and dinner hours.
Sometime in late March, Yabu was temporarily closed for renovations and expanded to the space right beside them. Now, the seating capacity is twice as big!
If you haven’t tried it out, you might be wondering what the hype is all about. First, being “Yabu, House of Katsu,” it goes without saying that this is their specialty. And you know how we Pinoys love our deep-fried comfort food.
Second, the bento meals. For a very reasonable price, the big portions ensure that you get busog. Shai’s pick: 90 g Rosu a.k.a. Pork. The meals come with rice, unlimited cabbage, miso soup, and fresh fruit slices for dessert. You can choose from 90, 120 and 180 grams of meat to suit your level of hunger.
Seph’s pick: 120 g Cream Dory Fish Fillet.
Third, the sauces. Oh, those sauces.
You’re given sesame seeds to grind…
…and then you pour the sweet katsu sauce on it and mix together. Dip your katsu slice and taste the awesomeness.
And then there’s the mixture of Japanese mayo and sesame for the cabbage side dish.
This you really have got to taste. We’ve reached a point where the Yabu staff keep coming by our table to make sure our plates never run out of cabbage.
Yup. That was one full-filling day.
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. The owner, Mike Chua, invited us for a taste.
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?
Photo by Marj, who also had dinner in Torch that night with Val and a date (see her own blog post about it here). We were excited to take a bite, but it would’ve been a crime not to take photos of the lovely plates before us and so we did.
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.
Seph had the 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.
Shai had the 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. After all, we’ve already gotten what we came here for, and the recent flooding in surrounding areas has kept us from maximizing the trip. We headed back to Central World for some “picture-picture,” riding on one of these.
Bangkok’s answer to our tricycles. We first saw these on that old Citibank commercial starring Pierce Brosnan, and being fans of James Bond’s rides, it almost felt like getting to ride in an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. (Almost.) Our driver, named Odd, was really nice but also really shy, so he hid while we took this picture on his tuktuk.
On Shai: 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 of us together. Seph took over the cam this time so we could have a picture of Shai’s mom on the “Aston Martin” too, heh. Thanks Mama!
We landed in Manila at 3:30 in the morning, exhausted, sleep-deprived, and shaken from a four-hour plane ride, but all three of us 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
The booties are snug and warm, and they vibrate to give your feet a massage. So awesome.
And then there’s this. Our feet have been thanking us all week.
Shai’s 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 (+ tag @sephshai and @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.
Hehe, just an illustration of one of those days when the both of us are on totally different yet weirdly parallel wavelengths. And, well, it could also be about how it might be sweeter if guys stayed real and avoided pickup lines, while girls paid more attention when guys try their darndest.
Peanut butter latte and Purple potato latte in Subspace Coffee, on a super impromptu and happy rainy date with Tricia (who snapped the shots of us) and her brother Calel (who played Tiny Tower on the iPad). We came from a shoot and they were just hanging at home and a few texts later we were here having exponentially awesome lattes.
The mighty fine tuna wasabi sandwich, behind which are Tricia’s hot purple potato latte and Calel’s good ol’ milk tea with coffee jelly bits. We’re definitely going back there for more food, fun and photos.