Sing U Me Restaurant: Hide n’ Dine

(We only spent 3,000 Php on our Brunei trip! Find out how HERE!)

One of the best thrills of travelling is eating! You get to know a country’s characteristic better through their food, and I can attest to that. However, during our visit in Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei we were not able to indulge to the fullest. It was Ramadan and though we were not Muslims, we had to comply out of respect.

Good thing our host referred us to Sing U. Me restaurant. It is located in Warisan Complex in Jalan Gadong, right beside our homestay. They serve breakfast and we were very lucky to have found it since we had a long day scheduled ahead.

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Warisan Complex

Upon arriving, we noticed that all the windows were covered with newspaper that day. According to our host, this is to hide the people inside, not because they’re breaking the rules but to not tempt those who are fasting. Sing U Me Restaurant’s patrons were all Chinese or those not fasting that day.

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The morning after Raya!

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Before Raya, all the windows were covered with paper!

It was also nice to meet fellow Filipinos in the restaurant. Most of Sing U Me’s staff were Pinoys and we were given a bigger serving because of it (I really love how we get to enjoy this treat from our Kababayans anywhere!). We ordered Bah Ku Teh (which has become my favorite food of that trip). Generally, Bah Ku Teh is a pork rib dish in herbal soup usually made of star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, and garlic. They add other meat variants to make different types of Bah Ku Teh and at Sing U Me Restaurant, I ordered one with pork intestines!

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Bak Kut Teh!!!!

We also orderedย a shrimp dish that was to die for! It was coated in garlic and rosemary and was deep fried to perfection! It was served with white rice which is perfect in complimenting the strong taste of the shrimp.

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We also ordered 2 sets of dimsums because our appetite was triggered big time! I know this isn’t really something adventurous but we needed to taste something familiar!ย To top it all off, my partner and I each ordered Kopi C or coffee with evaporated milk.

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Overall, we spent 19 BND at Sing U Me. That’s around 900 Php. We went overboard, I know, and it’s because we were very pleased with the experience and the taste of their food. No regrets! Besides, we had to eat to last us the whole day!

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Dining at Sing U Me Restaurant was a pleasant and palatable experience. It was different because we had to go in hiding just to eat. It was sort of a thrill. We got to understand Brunei’s culture through this experience. I also had a new found appreciation at how people adapt to each other’s differences in order to leave harmoniously.

Here is how you find Sing U Me Restaurant in Brunei ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Where to Eat Tidbits: Rai Rai Ken Cubao

Rai Rai Ken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

If you haven’t heard of Rai Rai Ken yet, I don’t think we’re living in the same planet! Kidding aside, Rai Rai Ken is the forefather of Ramen restaurants here in the country. I have been dining at Rai Rai Ken ever since I was 9! Through the years, the chain has maintained its authentic taste without being distant from the average purchasing foodies! Their equation toย  success? Quality Ramen + affordable price = a reign of more than 20 years!

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My thoughts:

๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย Rai Rai Ken’s Ramen is one of the best in town! Their Miso Ramen is so on-point that the richness of the taste is undoubtedly satisfying. Like all their Tonkotsu-based soup, the pork bones broth base amplifies the flavor of the dish…and OMG the size of the serving! You can actually share this with a friend! Not bad for a Ramen ranging from 250 to 400 Php!

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๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย If you are fond of challenges, you ought to try their Garlic Chili Ramen. This is best eaten during cold weather. It has ox tripe and shrimp which are the ideal grubs to pair with hot Ramen!

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๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย Rai Rai Ken is not only all about Ramen. They also serve Bentos (Japanese lunch box consisting ofย rice, vegetables, and meat) and Donburis (Japanese rice bowl dish withย fish, meat, and vegetables). They are all promising and sumptuous!

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๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย What is a Japanese Restaurant without sushi and maki? They have it here! Just don’t expect the exotic ones, of course. But if you’re looking for the timeless classics like salmon, kani, and tuna, you will not be disappointed!

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Rai Rai Ken can still be found in several locations in Metro Manila. I am very to lucky to be living so near it in Cubao! Try their Ramen today and find out why they are standing strong in the market for more than 2 decades!

๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿฅข๐Ÿšย ๐Ÿœ

You can find Rai Rai Ken at the Second Floor, Ali Mall, Araneta Center,ย Cubao, Quezon City! They are open from 10 A.M. to 10 P.M. Here’s how you find it:

ย 

Ten Cents to Heaven:When It’s Cold, You Gotta Eat

The rainy season can be a bummer sometimes but since we live in a tropical country, we really don’t have any choice but adapt. That’s the good thing about us locals. We can still find good places to travel to regardless of the season. By the same virtue did we end up at Ten Cents to Heaven one rainy morning.

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Monsoon rains got nothing on us. We wanted to go on a food trip and we have our sights on the beautiful Marilaque Road. We knew that with the rain, food trips are more meaningful in a place that amplifies the cold weather.

After some twists and turns, and the heavenly sight of Rizal’s mountains, we found Ten Cents to Heaven. The place was more of a resort/recreational facility than a restaurant. We arrived together with a couple of families planning to check-in and indulge on the weather.

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We headed first to their admin office to get a brochure and check what more is in store for us. It turns out, Ten Cents to Heaven isn’t just a resort but also a team building venue. They have obstacle courses, zip line, even a hanging bridge! Wait hold it…they also have a rappelling tower! It was just a shame that it was raining that day and some of the activities weren’t available for safety reasons.

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Their restaurant, Camp Cafe Resto Bar, is located at the end of the trail on the entrance’s left side. Along the path were beautiful trees which added to the cool, provincial feel. It was as if we were strolling along Camp John Hay in Baguio! If you like taking photos or selfies, then this place is for you too! Everything is just picturesque!

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When we arrived at the restaurant, we were pleased with the view! This was exactly how we pictured our food trip session: overlooking the world below, chilly, and comfortable! Their menu is also extensive! From an array of local main courses, down to dessert and coffee!

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We ordered Pork Steak and Fish in Soy and Garlic, and we weren’t disappointed! The fish was superb and tasty. It was soft and could seemingly melt in your mouth! The oriental flavor of the soy lingers longer in your mouth and the garlic compliments it without taking the spotlight off the fish! The Pork Steak was good too. I like that it was fried to the core, first before it was cooked in steak sauce. It was crunchy and it has a Filipino-style kind of sweetness because of the sauce. The sabaw, by the way, is great over steamed rice!

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After dining, a curious cat approached us and asked for attention. Who are we to deny him of that?! Plus he was clean and super cute! According to the staff, there is someone who takes care of stray cats like him who happened to found home within Ten Cents to Heaven’s premise. The place just got more beautiful in our eyes!!!

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Ten Cents to Heaven is indeed a good place to visit with your family. Heck, you can even bring your wholeย  work department here for some adrenaline pumping activities! If you just needed to relax and take the time off from the busy city, then this is the pill for your weariness. Ten Cents to Heaven can also replenish bonds too with their team building facilities. Or if you’re like us who are just looking for places to satisfy our hunger, then Camp Cafe and Resto should be your next destination!

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Camp Cafe is located atย Sitio Mayagay II, Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal. Below is where to find them on Google Maps!

Tanjung Aru: Filipino Hospitality Abroad

“I quit my job to enjoy better sunsets.”

This is what our Uber driver, Baloo, said as we were heading to Tanjung Aru. It was just sad, though, because we were too late to experience the Kota Kinabalu sunset. My partner and I were too lazy.

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This is what you get when you’re lazy!

Tanjung Aru Beach got its name from the Aru trees that adorns its shoreline. The 2-km-long beach is celebrated by the locals as one of the treasures of Kota Kinabalu because of the charm it has that brings families and loved ones together. The place is a little bit similar to our very own Manila Bay, only cleaner. The shore is wider too, giving people a place to fly their and kites or for children to roll and play with the sand.

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Since we arrived too late, we just contained ourselves to a hearty dinner. We were taken aback by how the locals would invite us to eat using Tagalog. One man caught our attention when he said, “Kuya, kain kayo dito.” I couldn’t hide my smile in appreciation. He sounded a legit Pinoy! When we talked to him though, he didn’t know any Tagalog words which confirmed that he isn’t Filipino. I find the gesture nice. For me, that’s good customer service–knowing your market.

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We decided to dine at the stall that which served the most colorful shake I’ve seen in my life. They call it 3-Layer-Juice and it’s made of mango, avocado, and dragon fruit. It was as delicious as it looks! The woman who served us was a real kababayan and she gave us an epic discount. She disclosed that here in Kota Kinabalu, locals try and learn Tagalog because a Filipino’s brand loyalty is unparalleled. Filipinos tend to patronize a fellow Filipino’s business. This was nice to hear! Finally, no shade against Filipino tourists!

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My partner and I ordered rice toppings with egg and we were given soup because Ate knows how Pinoys adore sabaw. The rice they served was generous too!

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Before we left Tanjung Aru, I stumbled upon a stall selling corn kernels sprinkled with cheese powder–just like what we have in the Philippines. This one’s with a twist, though. They put mayo on it!!! Curious, I bought a glass and it tasted glorious! You can never go wrong with mayo, cheese, and butter! LOL!

As we were leaving Tanjung Aru,ย  realized Baloo wasn’t exaggerating. Places like these are precious and best visited with your family. Work is essential but there are finer things in life like moments spent with your loved ones. Baloo found better sunsets in Tanjung Aru while I found good food and Filipino hospitality in a foreign country.

Here’s how to go to Tanjung Aru Beach in Kota Kinabalu:

Where to Eat Tidbits: Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar

Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

If you are tired of the usual chicken joints, you have got to try Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar! What sets this place apart is that they do not only showcase their signature chicken (which is, by the way, the richest, mouthwatering chicken I have tasted in a long time! You can tell how wide the variation of herbs they’re using as rubs and how they slowly grill their food to goodness!), they also have a number of dips or sauces that will cater everybody’s taste buds.

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My thoughts:

๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ The dips/sauces are refillable! You have 8 options to choose from, ranging from the oriental Sweet Soy to the daring and fiery Chili Peppa’, which is my favorite!!!

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๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ At first glance, food may seem pricey but boy are the servings abundant! I had trouble finishing my Chicken and Rib Plate!

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๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธย The interior of the restaurant is Instagram-worthy! I love how they recycled bottles to wall decors. The lighting and fixtures were also beautiful, giving that whole Tex-Mex vibe.

๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธย They have friendly and accommodating staff. You know how rowdy family dinners turn out! They were patient and enduring to our never ending (and at one point unreasonable) order changes and requests.

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๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธย If it’s your birthday, all you need to do is present a valid I.D. with your birthday stated on it and they will give you–get this–one whole chicken!!! OH MY LORD!!! I couldn’t hide the fact that I was ecstatic over this surprise. It wasn’t my birthday, though. It was my brother’s! When the box was handed to him I just knew that tomorrow’s breakfast will be phenomenal!

๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธย You have got to check out their desserts! Their El Fuego is a must try! It’s chocolate fudge topped with vanilla ice cream, which were all wrapped inside a cloud of torched marshmallow!

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Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar is best for lunch outs and dinners with your family and friends. They have a bar as well where you can give their Beergarita a go and celebrate life and what-not with your amigos!

๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒถ๏ธ

You can find Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar at theย Third Floor, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center,ย Cubao, Quezon City! They are open from 10 A.M. to 10 P.M. everyday!

Kamayan sa Palaisdaan: An Adventurous Dining Experience

Dining out proves to be a pretty monotonous celebration: we gather our loved ones, decide what to eat, get to a traditional restaurant, eat, and pay the bill. When was the last time a restaurant excited you? Me? I was ecstatic discovering Kamayan sa Palaisdaan in Tayabas, Quezon.

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From the outside, the place seems like one of those grills showcasing the provincial fee but when you tread further down the stairwell, pass their bucolic pavilions, you’re in for a treat! There were nipa and bamboo cottages ready to receive you for your meal. Get this: they’re not just ordinary cottages…they’re floating on water! It all made sense! The place is called “Kamayan sa Palaisdaan” because you get to experience grilled delights in the middle of a makeshift fishing lagoon!

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When the waiter came to take our orders, he mentioned about the possibly long wait time. He explained to us that they only cook and prepare dishes as orders come to maintain freshness and quality. For some, this can be a deal-breaker but we were totally fine with it. We perfectly understood.

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While waiting for our food, we explored the restaurant and was even more impressed. We found out that there were actually 3 Kamayan sa Palaisdaan built almost next to each other, each having a slightly different theme and function. The one where we were in is where families usually dine and enjoy the essence of the fishing village theme. Parties can be held here since they have a spacey function area that is picturesque and can entertain a large number of guests.

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We were not able to go in the second Kamayan sa Palaisdaan branch that time because of an exclusive event being held in the premise. From what I can see from the outside though is a giant clay pot and a very native-themed site.

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Of all the branches, the third branch thrilled me the most. From the roads of Tayabas, you can see the nosecone of an airplane peeking from the inside of Kamayan sa Palaisdaan’s lot. You might be thinking, “Nah…it can’t be a real plane”…but it is! It’s an actual Boeing 737! According to the staff, the Air Summit Gourmet is where Kamayan sa Palaisdaan serve their fine dining course. Sadly, though, it was too late for us to transfer here because we were already waiting for our order. Also, reservation is highly appreciated.

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After roaming from one branch of Kamayan sa Palaisdaan to another,ย  we went back to enjoy our lunch. We ordered Camaron Rebusado, Inihaw na Tilapia, and Sinigang na Spare Ribs. They were all nicely cooked and well-prepared. We just noticed crickets on our fish so we called the waiter who humbly apologized and provided us a new serving of Inihaw na Tilapia. Hey, I’m Ilokano and I know crickets are clean so I wasn’t bothered by it. We eat bugs occasionally. LOL!

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The overall experience in Kamayan sa Palaisdaan is a pleasing one. If you are heading to Quezon, it is a must to make this your stopover. Oh, by the way, Kamayan sa Palaisdaan is also a resort and they have rooms and pools, not to mention outdoor activities such as zipline! Bring your family and friends along!!!

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Here is how you get to Kamayan sa Palaisdaan! You can also like their FACEBOOK PAGE by clicking the link!

Signature Burgers: Where Your Burger is Also A Pizza

Signature Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Have you ever seen something on social media that made you want to leave the house and just purchase that particular item without thinking twice? Yeah? This is exactly how I felt when I saw an ad on Facebook about Signature Burgers. To be precise, it was an ad about their Pizza Burger. You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m a slave for food.

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It was among the many and various things on my news feed, yet it stood out from the others: “Signature Burgers is selling their famed Pizza Burger for only 199 Php!” I thoughtlessly dialed my partner’s number and, in haste, told him that we needed to get to Marikina to eat. We were on our way, in no time.

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All thanks to Waze, we were able to locate Signature Burgers. We just had a little bit of a challenge with parking but we were soon assisted by their staff. Once we stepped in the restaurant, it was sheer fun. The place isn’t that big but it was comfortable and welcoming. Everyone was munching their way through their orders and we’re excited with the thought of soon joining them in bliss!

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We ordered (you guess it!) their Pizza Burger and their sour cream fries. I also couldn’t resist their Freak Shakes. The pictures on their menu were enticing! Imagine a towering glass of sucrose delight! I am mildly diabetic and I am willing to risk everything! LOL! Off I went and ordered their Caramel Freak Shake!

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When our Pizza Burger was served, I was a little bit surprised with its size. I was under the presumption that it was going to be huge! But compared to the price of their proud Duterte Burger, which is being sold for 699 Php, it does make sense. Silly me for expecting something that huge for 199 Php!

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Signature Burgers’ Pizza Burger looked irresistibly appetizing! The juicy meat was snuggled tightly between the fresh buns while mozzarella melted from the hood of the burger. One side of it was adorned with pepperoni while the other one, with ham and pineapple–it was delightful! I honestly couldn’t believe we devoured it all in less than 10 minutes. We were hungry and excited. Sorry.

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We came after the fries, right after. Between our usual conversation and munching, we noticed a bunch of college students with their dslr, taking photos and posing on the wall that showcased Signature Burgers’ logo. We didn’t pay much attention to them because we knew they were having as much fun as we were but not until they were literally leaning on our table (hands, half their body, their camera) just to catch that good angle. I don’t know if it was just me but I find that disrespectful. I hope they noticed that someone was eating beside them and didn’t want to share elbow space with their hips and their hands, and their camera. It could be one of my tita pet peeves but, really, I could even see what scale of aperture they were using…and I have a -3.00 vision on both eyes! Just to set things straight, this isn’t Signature Burgers’ fault. There are just some inconsiderate people (them) and easily irritated ones (me) in the world that we had to encounter at some point in our lives.

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Good thing my Caramel Freak Shake was served and I was delightfully surprised that it was colossal! It has everything! It has a donut, a cupcake, wafer sticks, whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate-coated pretzel sticks, sprinkles, and M&Ms…and that wasn’t the shake yet! It was just the design! When I took a sip of Signature Burgers’ Caramel Shake, I was expecting to fall in a diabetic shock but I was surprised at how it tasted. It wasn’t that sweet! It was caramel, alright, but it’s not something that you’d feel satiated with. It was tasty and with just the right amount of sugar. I would understand with everything they’ve decorated the drink with. It was a good balance!

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After we’re done dining, we paid our bill and requested for the sweets to be wrapped (I couldn’t eat the donut and cupcake anymore! That’s how generous it was!). The staff thanked us and we returned the pleasure. We were satisfied with the food and service! We were honestly planning to go back to try their Duterte Burger soon. I also saw on their Facebook page meals served on a pineapple and that enticed us!

Take it from me and come with an empty stomach. You’re in for a treat!

Signature Burgers is located atย #15 Col. Divino St. Sto Niรฑo Marikina City. Check the map below for the exact location!