Date Night At Nobu Restaurant, Cymplified!

Tenth year, ten things

Our 10th wedding anniversary came, then went without a special celebration. Both of us were occupied at that time. We managed to eat outside together, though, for the purpose of pagpag. Filipinos know this practice.

Anyway, for our tenth year, I am listing down ten of the many things I love about my hubby.

  1. Hardworking
  2. Generous
  3. Clever
  4. Helpful
  5. Considerate
  6. Respectful
  7. Versatile
  8. Cute, after all these time 😀
  9. Great dad
  10. Supportive husband

rix cym @ nobu restaurant

Nobu Restaurant

Therefore, our date was then set in November, before the gift certificates expire. I am so thankful for a chance to dine at Nobu Restaurant. I have never set foot there before. DreamPlay, yes. We had qualms about the Omakase tasting menu. We asked ourselves the question, “will our bellies get full?” I also was concerned about eating raw fish since I don’t eat sashimi.

As they say, “there’s a first time for everything!”

We passed through this space before we arrived at Nobu.before nobu

This is the sushi counter where chefs prepare the fresh sashimi. Continue reading “Date Night At Nobu Restaurant, Cymplified!”

Tien Ma’s Z Square, Cymplified!

My husband and I were hungry after we had a massage. We decided to try Tien Ma’s Z Square Mall. The food there seemed promising because plenty of people were entering or already seated. We noticed it was hot as we took our seats. But, we soldiered on.

First, a story. I have a high school friend. She’s from Taiwan. Her parents had a restaurant along Ongpin St. in Chinatown called Eng Lay Hiong. Above the dining area was their residence. That’s where we used to hang out, study and make projects. Whenever lunchtime came, all five of us would troop down to eat delicious food served from their kitchen. My ultimate favorite was the beef soup with noodles (牛肉湯麵) minus the pieces of beef. Yum!

Another restaurant replaced it years ago. My friend and her family went back to Taiwan after college. We’re still friends, though, and we correspond online sometimes. I miss her… And the 牛肉湯麵! 

At Tien Ma’s Z Square,

I was sure to order their xiao long bao (小籠包). The wrapper was not too thick, but it also did not break easily. That’s why I got to sip the soup. The soup inside was very tasty. 

tien ma's z square xiao long bao

There were also pork with kuchay dumplings. These had slippery wrappers that rip open with chopsticks. I couldn’t taste the kuchay much and the covering was a letdown.

tien ma's z square pork and kuchay dumplings

Candy sprinkles on mayonnaise? That’s what they did with this hot prawn salad dish. The sauce was cloyingly sweet. It didn’t help the small bits of prawns robed in thick flour coats.

tien ma's z square hot prawn salad

Rix almost always has to have a bowl of beef noodle soup in Chinese eateries. I wasn’t surprised he chose that at Tien Ma’s. I was just amazed he split his order.

tien ma's z square beef noodle soup

While he may have found the soup too salty, it reminded me of my high school friend and Eng Lay Hiong. The noodles were different, though. And this had pieces of beef. I liked it nonetheless. Why? The soup was bursting with beef flavor. The veggies complemented the taste. The beef chunks were soft.

It’s nice to destress with my partner with a massage. Although we are not very adventurous, we try new cuisines at times.

Here are a few food-related posts of places we ate as a couple or with the children:

Trying New Food {Balkan Express}
Family Day Out: Cliffhouse, Tagaytay
Lunch Out: Torch Restaurant
Family Day Out: Bag of Beans Twin Lakes Tagaytay
Get your Cold Layers on this summer!
Ma, For Moms Or By Moms?

 

How about you? How do you bond with your partner?

Nutella Milkshake For The Lazy, Cymplified!

Too lazy to take out your blender? Too lazy to write the recipe? That’s me! However, I wanted to make this yummy Nutella Milkshake for the kids and me.

This was the result. A doodled recipe!

no-blender nutella milkshake doodled recipe

I watched the video on Facebook and drew it down. Who could resist Nutella, right? Not my children, that’s for sure!

Here were two of the ingredients. The shaking definitely exercised my arm muscles! Mixing super thick vanilla ice cream? It was a challenge, hence the lumpy texture.

no-blender nutella milkshake ingredients

So, what’s the verdict?

 

A photo posted by Cym M (@ceemee) on

It’s very sweet! It’s best drank/eaten with water. Hehe!

Would I make it again? Hmm… I think so. Maybe I would use more milk and less vanilla ice cream, so it would be easier to shake or mix. Laziness, remember?

 

What’s your favorite milkshake flavor? Would you make it without the use of a blender?  😀

Family Day Out: Bag of Beans Twin Lakes Tagaytay, Cymplified!

The plan was to have cakes and coffee in Starbucks, and we drove more than two hours for that… To Tagaytay! Only, we ended up in Bag of Beans Twin Lakes.

cakes & coffee @ bag of beans twin lakes

The parking slots outside were full and ours joined the party of cars on the road. The line in the so-called “most beautiful Starbucks” snaked from the counter right to the door. We went in anyway. We descended the stairs to the seating area and emerged on the grassy space behind the building. This overlooks the Taal Lake. I was shocked, though, to see the mountainous area below where we were standing being developed into a subdivision.

We walked to the back of Bag of Beans and decided that that’s where we’ll have cakes and coffee. The interiors did not disappoint. They exuded a certain charm with the mismatched wooden chairs and the handmade decorations.

bag of beans twin lakes lower floor interior

The day before this, I went to the mall with my friends. We dropped by Daiso. I bought art materials for the kids – a sketchbook, a pack of markers and a box of crayons.

 

I packed these for the trip. Happily, they drew and colored.

kids @ bag of beans twin lakes

Then, the food slowly came. The girls enjoyed their cups of rich chocolate mousse. The boy enjoyed his banana split.

bag of beans twin lakes chocolate mousse

bag of beans twin lakes chocolate mousse

bag of beans twin lakes banana split

It was dream come true for me to simply hang out in a beautiful coffee shop. Sipping on my sweet cafe mocha, taking leisurely bites of my sweet blueberry cheesecake and savoring my sweet life.

Yes, the coffee and the cheesecake were a tad too sweet. The blueberry topping must be homemade, for I spied a clump of cornstarch-looking substance.

So, my hubby and I were sitting there talking. The kids were drawing and eating… When all of a sudden, people came rushing in from the double doors. They took up the empty tables near us. The rain poured hard. One server brought in the chair cushions. The lightning flashed and darkness covered us. Black out! After a second, the emergency lights came on. That was the exciting part.

The last time we set foot on Twin Lakes, it was when we stayed at Hotel Kimberly. It was also raining at that time. Coincidence?

Thankfully, the light was restored. We were happy again.

with the kids @ bag of beans twin lakes

You should have seen the upper floor. It was so bright and cozy. Even in the evening. Very welcoming. Like our favorite grandma’s warm and friendly country home. We bought fruit jelly on our way out, upon the girls’ request.

fruit jelly & cookies for sale @ bag of beans twin lakes

That was all we did. It’s simple, a bit silly, really, but it’s super special.

 

Have you done something simple and a little silly with your loved ones? What was it?

Lunch Out: Torch Restaurant, Cymplified!

Torch Restaurant

Is it kid-friendly?

 

One Sunday morning in December found me, my hubby and our youngest in Trinoma. We were in the Landmark department store buying long socks, yellow shoes and hair clips for the Christmas program attires. After walking, placing the purchases in the car and looking for a restaurant, we settled for Torch Restaurant because it seemed to provide a lot of food choices.

The interior was made up of industrial elements infused with natural features. There were many interesting things to notice inside like the open lampshades and the tall “grass” that served as an accent wall. I also noted that the fire in the logo of Torch, which was emanating from the letter t, reminded me of a welding torch, not the torches in caves or in the Olympics.

lights @ torch restaurant

It’s a family restaurant that offers pizza, sushi, steak and more. I assumed it was a family restaurant because:

  • I spied groups of families dining there.
  • Cayla was given a strange elephant balloon that didn’t have a string.balloon @ torch restaurant
  • There was a glass of toasted pasta to munch on while waiting. Crunchy and salty! One way to keep hungry kids occupied. Cayla ate lots of it!

A photo posted by Cym M (@ceemee) on

But, there were some things that were not child-friendly. Like:

  • the heavy and noisy (maybe) iron chairs.
  • the scalding skillet pan the burger mac and cheese came in. I ordered this for the kid, but she cannot finish it (she must be full from the pasta appetizer). As you can see, it’s very cheesy! Her dad ate the burger patty. torch restaurant mac and cheese
  • the scorching granite slab stone grill that might cause burns to curious little fingers. This was what I had, most beef pieces were soft, they serve them medium rare as the table top stone grill will continue to cook the bloody US Angus tenderloin salpicao medallion … And I really couldn’t say ‘no’ to mashed potatoes!                                        torch restaurant US angus tenderloin salpicao medallion

To answer the question above, I would say…

  • It depends on what food was ordered.
  • There were high chairs for children, so I have the option to forego the iron chairs.

Have you tried dining at Torch Restaurant? How was the experience?

Arriving At Singapore, Cymplified!

If you are following me on Instagram, you might have guessed where I went last Holy Week.

goodbye philippines
goodbye Philippines!
hello singapore
hello Singapore!

We took Singapore Airlines, one of the world’s top airlines according to www.worldairlineawards.com. The flight was smooth and uneventful.The footrest was one of the best features of the plane, hehe! I love the very recent selection of on-board movies. Ella took advantage of the Disney TV shows for children. Don’t know why, but I chose the movie Love, Rosie. Have you seen it? For me, it’s a frustrating movie, haha!

I was excited for breakfast on the plane from some 30,000 feet up in the air. It was served by friendly yet brisk and efficient flight attendants. The kid’s meal included treats like corn dog, gummy bears and KitKat.

#Lunch @ The Landmark, SG. #cymplifiedontour #singapore

A photo posted by Cym M (@ceemee) on

I, together with my hubby Rix and eldest child Ella, went to the fine country Singapore! The photo in my Instagram shows where we had our first meal upon arrival. It’s an eat-all-you-can buffet restaurant located inside Village Hotel Bugis. The food was mostly Indian cuisine, that’s why I’m glad there’s also pizza and pasta.

first plate @ the landmark, singapore

The interior of The Landmark looks great, though, with clean lines, interesting wall accents, cove lighting, contemporary chairs & tables, and pretty gold & crystal chandeliers.

interior of the landmark, singapore

Afterwards, we were shuttled to Vivo City, the largest mall in Singapore. That’s where we bought toys for the kids. I bought the Elsa and Anna Magiclip dolls for Cayla because stocks always run out in the Philippines. What’s better is that the price is lower!

When I gave her the dolls, she was so happy! For about three days, she kept saying to me, “I love my toys, mama!” 😀

frozen magiclip elsa and anna from singapore
bag not included! each doll comes with two magiclip dresses. both dolls sold separately.

At around four in the afternoon, we met up and checked in our luggage at Harbourfront Singapore Cruise Center for the cruise ship. We went on board Superstar Gemini after waiting a period of time and walked around the deck while taking some pictures. In the photo below, Ella’s holding a glass of welcome drink that looks like beer at first: refreshing iced tea.

The ship was smaller than the Royal Caribbean Legend of the Seas, but we got lost more often. Some areas can only be accessed from another exit inside a restaurant, and from the deck below it, even if I was already on the correct floor yet coming from another end. Is it confusing?

Our room had a big bathroom because it’s for PWD, but the tiles and other bathroom fittings show signs of age. The aircon in the room was not cooling, therefore it’s not comfy. I’m glad they assigned another room to us thanks to my sis-in-law’s complaint.

superstar gemini singapore

superstar gemini kiddie pool
this is the kids’ pool
superstar gemini @ singapore
do you see lots of lines?

After the walk, we were ready for dinner. Our group had a reservation at Bella Vista, a sit-down restaurant with a western set menu. It was a nice change from the buffet set-up. For appetizer, I had the beet soup with beans, which I found good in terms of taste as I never ate red beets before. I was nervous when I saw it, but soldiered on and took a spoonful, then another, then another, until not a single drop was left. For the main course, I chose the delicious lamb steak smothered in yummy gravy, side dishes were vegetables in tomato sauce and potatoes that looked like au gratin. Too bad the serving was small, I would have liked more lamb. To cap off the meal, a slice of moist black forest cake for dessert. Mmm!

How was your Holy Week?

Family Day Out: Cliffhouse, Tagaytay, Cymplified!

For a city-dweller like me, there is a need to escape the smog and noise. One of the places I like to go to that is a bit near, has fresh air and cool weather is Tagaytay. The places I have visited in Tagaytay are Tagaytay Highlands, Canyon Woods, Palace in the Sky, People’s Park, Picnic Grove, Sky Ranch, a little of Summit Ridge and Mushroomburger. Honestly, I don’t know whether People’s Park is the Palace in the Sky or the Picnic Grove. What do you think?

Cliffhouse, Tagaytay

I have read raves about Buon Giorno the Italian Restaurant in Cliffhouse, so I decided to visit the place with my family. There was no huge signboard to watch out for. The sign was instead on a big rock that was on the ground, so we had to make a U-turn. The parking area was what greeted us upon passing the barrier. The walkway to the restaurant was interesting as trees and plants framed the winding path. One also has the option to walk in front of the stores. The shops were in house-like structures. The inn’s rooms were probably above them.

Buon Giorno was already packed, and maybe we were considered early because we got the first spot in the waiting list. We waited on their couch/day bed near the entrance, outside the window of a corner table. I’m glad they had an area where guests could view the lake where Taal Volcano was located. It’s like a viewing deck with a wooden bench and several wooden armchairs. It was lunchtime so the sun shone brighter. When the clouds covered the sun momentarily, the kids ran to the seats. When the sun showed up again, they ran back to the shade with the couch, where I sat waiting to be called. It’s nice that there’s space where children can run. I also saw a couple of young kids riding scooters.

taal volcano view

I think there’s just one set of public restroom for the whole place, but it’s not crowded, so it’s okay. As I neared the comfort room, I smelled coffee and thought, “How nice it would be to sit outside a coffee shop at the Cliffhouse, enjoying the laid back ambience, just my S. O. and me.” But realizing I have three kids in tow, the daydream bubble popped.

Buon Giorno

Finally, it was our turn and we were seated outside, near the safety railing of the viewing deck. The seating was perfect for us. There’s another couch/day bed for the children, my hubby and I sat on the wooden slatted chairs. But then the youngest decided to have a chair like ours. Oh, well!

We ordered and then, I was supposed to write a few notes on my blog idea notebook. One sentence and a few chitchats later, the food gradually came. It was less than the 10-15 minutes that the server said. Good news for hungry tummies! The kids had sunny side up eggs and an order of chicken tenders with curly fries. For me, the fries were too toasted and the chicken had much breading than I expected.

I had the sausage risotto and was surprised that it had spring onions, which I never imagined going with Italian dishes. The sausage lacked flavor for me, sadly.

sausagerisotto

My hubby Rix had the spicy seafood pasta in tomato sauce. For someone who likes hot and spicy food, this was bland for him. I tasted a bit of it; for a spicy dish and for me, who cannot eat spicy food, this was too tame. We ordered the Quattro Formaggi pizza mainly for the youngest. It was a little too salty for us at first. We had the remaining slices to go, even the focaccia bread. I ate a couple of slices for dinner when we got home and it was yummy. It’s not too salty anymore. Too bad I did not get to try the focaccia bread with vinegar and oil!

seafoodpasta+quattroformaggi

Rix and I shared the roast lamb dish with veggies and mashed potatoes. The lamb was delicious and cooked just right! The sauce was tasty, even without the mint jelly. The mashed potatoes were a bit dry, though. The veggies remained untouched because we were almost full.

roast lamb

The Girl’s Photowalk

Our family day out at Cliffhouse, Tagaytay ended with picture-taking and a walk on the walkway surrounded by trees and plants dotted with flowers. That had my seven year old play nature photographer and she took shots of various flowers. Below are some of the flowers she captured.

collage of flowers

Over all, Cliffhouse, Tagaytay is a family and even child-friendly place where kids can appreciate flowers and play a bit. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s a shop selling doughnuts called Evil? It also sells coffee. Plus, there’s a Cafe Breton to satisfy a crepe craving!

I love family moments like this one with great scenery and food! I can’t wait for our next family day out!

How about you? Where’s your usual family day out, besides the mall? 😀