Mamih Cafe: Brunei’s Chill-Out Spot

Night life in Brunei is all about relaxation, lounging, and eating good food. Drinking in bars, loud music, and the like is almost non-existent here. I would have to say that the beauty of Brunei  revolves around its culture and heritage sites, nothing much on the party scene. This is why we fell in love!

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Brunei is such a relaxed place!

We, my partner and I, are owls. We love the night time. We love having coffee late at night and finish in the wee hours of the morning. When we arrived in Brunei, it was a shift from our practice. A pleasant shift. 7 in the evening the first night we were there, we headed to a local restaurant called Mamih Cafe or Kafe Mamih. It is located in Warisan Mata-Mata Complex in Jln. Mata Mata, just right next to where we stayed!

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The place is comfortable. It uses dim lights to emphasize the comfort that you deserve to get while dining. The spacing between chairs and tables are perfect. You get to move around and it does not have a crowded feel. The color scheme flirts too well with the lights, with its dash of yellow and blue, and sometimes pink and brown. Each table also has a yellow light over it which all the more draws you to your food.

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The first thing we noticed when we were handed the menu is that the restaurant serves a lot of Filipino food! They have Kare-Kare and Halo-Halo! They also have Filipino staff who are fluent in speaking Malay but can easily shift to speaking Tagalog and English!

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We ordered Bah Kuh Teh and Nasi Ayam for our dinner. According to our host, these are house specialties, and of course, we couldn’t miss it! Bah Kuh Teh is like our very own Gotong Batangas. It is boiled pork rib soup seasoned in exquisite spices such as star anise, garlic, and cinnamon, to name some. They include different ingredients on the soup such as pork innards, enoki mushroom, etc. and it absolutely works! The first time I tasted it here at Mamih Cafe, I knew it’s going to be an addiction.

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Bah Kuh Teh is love, I swear!

Nasi Ayam is most commonly known as Hainanese Chicken Rice. This dish is served with 3 different sauces, ranging from the savory, to the sweet, and chili. Although this dish is nothing new to our taste, Mamih Cafe’s Nasi Ayam has this certain tinge of authenticity which really adds to the food’s appeal.

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Their Nasi Ayam comes with authentic sauces. Oh my heart!

We ordered drinks as well. We would not miss trying Kopi C Iced and Kopi O Iced. As huge coffee fans, we knew that this local coffee is worth tasting. Kopi C is coffee with evaporated milk, while Kopi O is black coffee. These versions of coffee is similarly available in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

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Teh Tarik, Kopi C, and Kopi O!

We wanted to order sate or grilled chicken but there were a lot of sate on queue to be cooked and we just couldn’t wait any longer. We understand, though. Since a lot of people are having dinner right after fasting, definitely the demand would be high. Plus, grilled food is no good when served cold. They serve it by batch, sadly.

After having our dinner, we were assisted by our homestay host to the counter. According to her, that is how people pay for food in Brunei. People do not hail for servers to give them the check. They walk to the counter and let the cashier know what they have ordered. Pretty honest, if you would ask me. So we paid for the dinner and it was a pleasant surprise knowing that our bill did not go over Php 500!

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Our experience in Mamih Cafe is our initiation to Brunei food. It is the start of my love affair with Bah Kuh Teh! Overall, the restaurant serves delicious dishes. It has a calm atmosphere which goes hand-in-hand with the peaceful evenings of Brunei. After a very long day travelling, being in Mamih Cafe is a luxury.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Places You Can Still Go to Celebrate Christmas Late

It’s a week after the Holiday Season and I’m pretty sure life has returned to normal for the majority of us. School has already started and offices are again on “business as usual”.

However, there are still some who wishes to extend the Holiday Cheer by whatever means possible– not removing their Christmas decors at home yet, still has “All I Want For Christmas is You” on loop, and craving for the sights and sounds of nostalgic Yuletide.

Fret not! I have here 6 places that you can still go to here in the Philippines to prolong the warmth and festivity:

1. Star City Snow World – Pasay City

In a tropical country such as ours, snow is a wondrous delight! It’s a good thing that Star City houses a Snow World, complete with slides made of ice, ice sculptures, and heavy duty sweaters. Believe it or not, you can access this for 150.oo Php only for unlimited same day entrance!

2.  Ayala Triangle’s Festival of Lights – Ayala, Makati City

Watch as Ayala Garden illuminate the night sky in a display of jovial, dancing lights to the arrangement of acclaimed artists and musicians of the country. The show runs every 30 minutes from 6PM to 10PM until January 8, 2017. The best thing about this is that it’s absolutely free!

3. Baguio Country Club’s Christmas Village  – Baguio City

One thing that overwhelmed me about this place is that it literally snowed from the sky! If you would like to have that photo catching a “snowflake” without leaving the country, then this place is where you should be. Together with the snow, a musical variety show also happens every 3o minutes. The Baguio Country Club’s Christmas Village is open until January 8, 2017.

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4. Meralco Liwanag Park – Ortigas City

Meralco makes wandering around the world in a night possible with their impressive display of lights and sights at their very own backyard. The Meralco Liwanag Park has replicas of the world’s famous landmarks all lit up, waiting for you to take that glorious Instagram-worthy photo! If you have not yet seen it, you have until January 8, 2017 to visit.

5. Casa Santa – Antipolo

Jolly old Saint Nicolas has been the icon of Christmas for a very long time. A household in Antipolo has taken this liking to a whole new level and turned their humble abode into a museum filled with Santa Claus collectibles. Casa Santa has grabbed the attention of the Philippines when it was featured on numerous shows on television. They are open every Saturdays and Sundays until January 29, 2017.

6. Marikina Grand Carnival – Marikina

The holiday season can also be associated to carnival rides, cotton candy, and booth games. This is what the Marikina Grand Carnival is all about: bringing you back the Perya feels. You can can still ride their Ferris Wheel and Caterpillars until January 15, 2017! Hurry!

 

At this point in time, you now know that you can still have that yuletide joy until almost the end of January! Cheers to you and I sure hope you have that spectacular moment of the season!

-Janni

Meralco Liwanag Park 2016: May Your Holidays Be Lit

Are you a jet setter? Are you a wanderlust but your budget constraints prevent you from seeing the world? Fret not, because this Holiday season the world is literally being brought within your arms’ reach!

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The Meralco Liwanag Park is a dream come true for people who wish to fill their Instagrams with photos–selfies–with the world’s famous landmarks but do not have the moolah. All you need is your mobile phone camera and the right angle, and voila! Welcome to Rome, baby!

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Opened last November 29, 2016, the Meralco Liwanag Park promises every Filipino that the Season need not be expensive to be fun. There is even an e-train you can ride with your kids that goes around the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Colosseum! There are festive lights everywhere and the feeling and merriment of December is highlighted with every family you come across with, with a grin pasted on their faces.

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I honestly couldn’t stop myself from embracing the warmth. Like me, I kid you not, you’ll have the time of your life–not to mention, the Meralco Liwanag Park has no entrance fee! There is also a food park on the other end of the vicinity. Your 80 Php can buy you a Lechon Kawali with Rice! Soda is a little bit expensive so I suggest you purchase a Coke Litro or 2 Litters to get your money’s worth…and YES! There is also a Bazaar should you wish to blow your Christmas Aguinaldos from your ninongs and ninangs.

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Another astounding thing about the Meralco Liwanag Park is their displays made of copper wires. I find this as a good initiative from Meralco since you may be like me, wondering, what happens to their excess wires? I’m just glad that they have turned it into something people can appreciate rather than leave it as trash. I adore how they also pay homage to the Filipino Tradition with the Simbang Gabi and the Belen, the Meralco technicians near the Rizal Monument, the traditional Bahay Kubo with the Lechon–it was beautiful. I honestly felt happy paying this month’s electricity bill!

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The Meralco Liwanag Park will be open until January 8, 2016 so you still have time to marvel at this wonder! Park hours are from 6:30PM- 10PM, Monday-Thursday and 6:30PM-12MN, Friday-Sunday.

Happy New Year, everyone!

 

 

 

Ayala Triangle Garden’s Festival of Lights

We may be a little too late to have joined this hype but it was all worth it!!!

Last December 25, we decided to stay away from the norm and avoid splurging too much with the Holiday Spirit as an excuse. We thought, why not look for simple joys that can absolutely warm the coldest of hearts? This is how we ended up at Ayala Triangle Garden for their Festival of Lights.

We arrived at the location just in time for another show. We witnessed the Christmas Fiesta theme and we’re absolutely overwhelmed by the festivity in the air. Imagine your local Christmas Carols, hyped and paired with the waltzing of lights!

The Ayala Triangle Garden’s Festival of Lights was launched last November 15 and is a collaborative effort of Ayala Land, HSBC, MasterCard, Coca Cola, SunLife, and Oishi. Show begins at 6PM nightly, every 30 minutes, until 10PM. Aside from the Christmas Fiesta theme, you can also view 2 more: the Classic and Epic Christmas and Sweet and Magical Christmas.

Below is a video of what we have witnessed!

It was such a delight witnessing the Ayala Triangle Garden’s Festival of Lights! If you haven’t seen it still, it’s not yet too late! Happy Holidays!

P.S. On our way to the location, we also made sure to view Ayala’s underpass murals. It is similar to those located at Dela Rosa Carpark 1 (you can view the Dela Rosa creations HERE).

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Tipsy Juan Mobile Bar at Waves Food Spot

As soon as we found out that Waves Food Spot at Anonas, Quezon City opened, we dropped by to see what this food park is all about. We weren’t disappointed! Aside from the good food, we discovered that Tipsy Juan Mobile Bar has a stall here!

If you do not have an event coming up and just plainly looking for that good drink with friends, you can celebrate life here at Waves Food Spot.

Here’s my first ever VLOG, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you love it!

If you have a party coming up, you can always book them and party like no other. You can check their Facebook Page or contact them at 0915 720 4790.

Araneta Center Cubao Banchetto: Christmas is Here

Finally, it’s that time of the year! The festive air is everywhere: from the television ads to every shop’s display…it’s the season to be jolly!

 

Araneta Center Cubao is not one to be outdone. With the launch and lighting of the Giant Christmas Tree last November 4, 2016, the Holidays has indeed graced one of Quezon City’s major shopping districts.

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Now, the celebration would not be complete without food, am I correct? What better way to infuse this to the tradition other than setting a Banchetto right at the foot of the Giant Christmas Tree? Last weekend, I have submitted to sweet ambrosia and this you can do too! Here’s a quick guide to help you decide where to go and what to eat at the Banchetto:

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1. Amang’s Grill

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There is a very good reason why I placed this stall on number 1: their food is to die for and, not to mention, super affordable. They serve grilled chicken, grilled pork, seafood, even cold cuts, all ranging from 50.00 Php to 100.00 Php and that is already with rice. Their staff is very commendable as they are very attentive and friendly, plus a very strong recall. They remembered my love for squid and chicharong bulaklak! Since Banchetto is very crowded, they’ll even go the extra mile to find you a seat so you can eat in peace.

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2. Boiling Spices

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This is a home away from home. Boiling Spices serves delectable lutong bahay! Now this is not just your typical ulams but they ensure to add a touch of the Bicolano taste in every dish. Their Kinalas and Laing are my absolute favorite. You can savor every spices in a meal which will make you exclaim: “Truly uragon!”

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3. Bagnet Rice Patong

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If we have a stall from the South, the North also has their own entry. Bagnet Rice Patong promises to captivate your senses with their longganisa and bagnet meals that are cooked as you order.This is to retain the oh-so-mouth-watering crispiness and to further delight you with the sizzling goodness.

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4. King Michael Shawarma

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Up for the strong yet alluring Mediterranean taste? If so, drop by King Michael Shawarma’s stall. You are not just going to be hooked by the big, hefty slab of meat displayed on their stall, you’ll also be amazed by the fancy moves of the staff while they chop and slice as they prepare your meal.

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5. Timplador de Cebu

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Have you every tried eating boneless lechon? If not, you are missing half of your dear life. The tasty goodness cooked meticulously and rolled neatly is something you might want to have in your Noche Buena and Media Noche table. You can have a try and order their rice meal at 120 Php. Better yet, pre-order this Christmas and New Year pleasure!

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6. Villa’s House of Crispy

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The stall is every binge-eater’s paradise. As the name implies, Villa’s House of Crispy is everything deep fried! Their chicken skin is definitely a win. What’s amazing is that they have this magic on preserving the crunchiness of their food despite being exposed to air for a prolonged period of time. Yummy!

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7. All About Fried

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From kwek-kwek to squidballs, down to chicken skin and lumpia, All About Fried is all complete! Forget running after the kuya who roams your street every afternoon! Visit the stall and satisfy your streetfood cravings!

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8. Smoke and Roast

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Their food stall is located perpendicular to the giant San Miguel Pale Pilsen. If Amang’s Grill is affordable and heavenly, Smoke and Roast comes really and dangerously close second. If you love isaw, liempo, and lechon belly, then prepare to be thrilled by Smoke and Roast’s food. Their gizzard and liver are two dish worth mentioning! Mouthwatering!

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9. Pizza and Pasta

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Think Sbarro. Think Yellow Cab. Think chunky slabs of this heavenly Italian offering! This stall serves humongous pizza slices and their variety of flavors is anything but limited! They have an extensive menu and with just a bite you’ll notice that their pizza is not just. It has pasta filling! OMG!

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10. Bibingka

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What is Christmas without Bibingka? It’s so hard to imagine this time of the year without this tradition. Now this stall has improved and tweaked the official Christmas kakanin to fit every millenial’s taste. They have buko bibingka, leche flan bibingka, and the ever coveted Nutella Bibingka.

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11. Red Wings

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I usually veer away from buffalo wings as the size of serving does not always give justice to the price. However, the buffalo wings of Red Wings is different. It is absolutely generous! You can even smell the rub from afar! One thing that stopped me in my tracks, though, is their unusually large patty. Fat, juicy, and, I kid you not, distracting to the senses. I will bet you a 100 pesos if this does not satisfy your palate!

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12. Piper’s Pan

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For those done with their savory endeavors, you may be like me, craving for sweets. Piper’s Pan is the solution to this yearning. They promise to thrill your taste buds with their scrumptious and rich cakes all at 3 for 100 Php.

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13. Del Barro’s Grill

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Now this stall serves your usual Banchetto food. I try to stay away from them since they are really hostile for a food business entity. I was taking pictures of their food while deciding on what to order when the woman on my not-so-good photo demanded to know why I was taking pictures and what it’s for. When I told her that it is for a blog she asked me to leave as she has a lot of customers who will “buy”. Ok then. Very rude and disgusting customer service.

14. Bumble Tea Place

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It is a Banchetto fact that sodas and bottled water are the only drinks available. Thank goodness to Bumble Tea Place, there is option for variation. They have milk tea and fruit tea. A unique way to go is to try their Pulpy Aloe Juice. I didn’t, though. I guess I was too caught up with their Strawberry Chill Tea! Ever tasted red tea? This is waaaay better.

15. Coco Vida

Another natural way to go is to have fruit shakes. This may be the reason why their stall is being swarmed by people all the time. A definite must-try is their Mango Graham Juice.

16. Tuna Town

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It is so very easy to acquire a significant rise of blood pressure whenever you visit a food park. Thank goodness for stalls like Tuna Town, which opted to serve an alternative option of fish! Their bangus is big and generous and if you are not really a fan of seafood, they can always serve you the usual inihaw na liempo.

The Araneta Center Banchetto is one divine stop for your full-flavored adventures. For Cubao dwellers, such as I, isn’t this an inexpensive yet rewarding way to celebrate the season? Have an eternal affair with good food and start your journey here. Find out what I am raving about! Don’t forget to tell us your experience on the comments section.

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