Katsuyasu Restaurant

Yesterday, the folks celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary. Wow! We hope to reach that far, too.

The husband and I went home early to take them out to dinner. There’s a relatively new place in town about five minutes away from home that we have been dying to check out. It’s a Japanese restaurant called Katsuyasu, and if you know us, we’re major Japanese food fans. Last New Year’s Eve, when we brought a maki platter at a different restaurant, the owner kind of, without naming names, badmouthed nearby Japanese restaurants by saying that the new ones are only copying hers, and hers is the only authentic one around. So that piqued our curiosity even more.

So what better time to try it out than this anniversary celebration?

Since it was a weekday, the place was practically deserted. When we arrived, there was only one other table filled. I liked the modern feel of the whole place–it was airy and bright. I hope they can sustain this in the long run. Also, the staff were very courteous and nice despite very ugly reviews earlier on. Good job that the management decided to do something about this. The comments were kinda glaring, and if I had read those before we came, might not have tried it at all.

It was like ramen since we all had ramen except for mama who had yakisoba. And because ramen runs through my blood and is in the top 5 things-I’m-glad-were-invented, I am elated that the kids are beginning to like it as much too! Yay! Aside from ramen, we had our regular favorite salmon sashimi, kani salad and California roll. Price was great, too, because the servings were larger than usual.

Brasserie on 3

We sneaked a quick anniversary celebration at the spanking Brasserie on 3 at the Conrad Hotel. We actually got lost inside the hotel, and we were looking for new row of restaurants that make up the S Maison mall, but ended up here. We were quite happy as it was located in the more obscure part of the hotel, it was a weekday, and the place was practically deserted save for guests who were checked in. The ambience was just perfect and intimate to celebrate another notch in our forever πŸ™‚

They offer buffet-style food, and there was ample selection of cuisine, although the quantity is not as expansive as the more well-known buffet restaurants. It was enough for me though. It wasn’t too pricey for a hotel restaurant, but the service was impeccable. It was the thing that stood out for me. The waiters and servers were very friendly, courteous and attentive.

Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie

In the Philippines, Christmas season, including the spillover days after New Year, is all about food. If I had been a diet fanatic or health buff, I would have committed suicide. lol. Kidding aside, since it is a time for various family gatherings and celebrations left and right (yeah because we have branches on all sides of the family, circle of friends, colleagues, etc.).

Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie is one of the restaurants we binged on this holiday. And we sort of celebrated in advance Ma and Dad’s 45th anniversary. I would say that the Chinese Hongkong style comfort food they is…comforting. Hehe. I had noodles of course. Noodles make the world go round for me.

Cantonese Seafood Pan Fried Noodles


Baked almond fish fillet with pesto sauce

Chao Chou Style Dried Fish and Minced Pork Soup

Sonya’s Garden

So the last part of our anniversary celebration in January ended up at lunch at Sonya’s Garden. I haven’t been back here since I became bridesmaid to one of my closest friends at work back in 2008. That’s quite a long time. I am very impressed that it hasn’t changed at all, and has remained a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city. Two thumbs up for fresh air, fresh food, fresh everything. The little girl had fun snapping photos of flowers, plants and insects.



We partook of unlimited fresh garden salad with toppings of fruits, herbs, nuts, pasta with two kinds of sauces, bread with different dippings and spreads, ratatouille, and mushrooms. The meal goes with unlimited servings of freshly-squeezed refreshing dalandan juice. And to cap your meal, a slice of chocolate cake and hot tarragon tea are the key.







Happy tummies!

If we had more time, I’d probably get complete spa treatments the establishment is also known for. It also boasts of a panaderia, where they serve fresh baked bread everyday, a souvenir shop that sells organically produced beauty and treatment products, as well as a nursery for plants grown in its own garden.

Out of town anniversary

Hooray for another family milestone! We’re officially six years and counting, five of them official. And to celebrate, we decided to go out of town this time. Since we do not have a big budget to consume, the logical choice is Tagaytay City because it is just a little more than an hour’s drive from our place. Also, it gives you a sense of being away “from it all” because it has a totally relaxed, cool vibe as opposed to Manila. It has a year-round cool climate making it the quick getaway place, especially for those who do not have a lot of time to spare but want to escape the city.

We got ourselves a room at the Taal Vista Hotel, one of the oldest and classiest hotels in the city. There are a lot of new boutique hotels that have sprouted in the famous hangout in the last few years. They all seem inviting but I still found it best to have full service that hotels offer. Our room was a bit old but furnishings are still okay. Baby immediately found her place in the king-sized bed.


Since we just drove around lunchtime in time for check in at 2:00 p.m., we had lunch first at Leslie’s at the Sky Ranch. By the way, we just walked from the hotel as the complex was just next door. We feasted on inihaw na tawilis, hubby’s favorite, and bulalo.


Sky Ranch is another relatively new project of SM holdings. The theme park is quite new, and is home to the tallest ferris wheel in the Philippines. the Sky Eye. It has a variety of rides for kids and adults alike, a sizable area for horseback riding, restaurants, and other food stalls.


The little has been insisting to ride a real horse even before we left the house. So happy she got her wish.


And played and rode to her heart’s desires.






Here she is while waiting for me to get dinner, which we had at our room. By the way, the Kenny Rogers restaurant there sucks big time. Took us more than thirty minutes to get our food.


Winding down after an afternoon of fun.


The hotel also boasts a sumptuous breakfast buffet ranging from healthy choices to tasty but cholesterol-full food. Guess who chose which. harhar.



Mama and Lolo also followed and spent some time with us. We all wanted to go to church together but it was early for the three of us (hubby, Mischa and I) so we settled for mass held in the hotel premises (good thing they have these!).


She happily ran around the wide expanse of grass. A good respite from always sitting around the house or in school. The only thing she wasn’t able to do was swim in the hotel pool. Unfortunately, it was brrrr-ery cold during our stay. We promised her we’ll come back a second time.


After checking out, we drove a little further still to Sonya’s Garden in Alfonso for lunch. Will tell you more about it in my next post.

I wish we could always do this, steal time and hide from the world. So good to be with just family and nature. Thank you Lord God for giving us another year together, and looking forward to the next big things You will give our way.

God bless our home


Thank you Lord for sending Fr. Boyet our way so he can bless our home. We are now complete and it is up to us to make this dwelling a vessel of your goodness and love.

We are also so grateful for the presence of family and friends who shared this special moment with us. While I got dog tired at the end of the day because I had to get up at dawn to cook for the early visitors who arrived before the caterer did, then I had to play host, my heart simply swelled for the overflowing affection given to our family. I missed some friends and family who weren’t able to come for one reason or another but there’s always next time. We have a lifetime to be with them.

Oh, and we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary, too!

Le Bar

I mentioned that we hit our third year mark as partners for life. My work load that week didn’t give me much room to prepare for a nice celebration. I was dog tired after being hunched all day over my computer preparing our division work plan for the whole agency’s strategic planning and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I thought I was done for the day, and ready to hit the sack. So imagine my surprise when the hubby actually surprised me with a nice dinner at the Le Bar in Sofitel! Yay! I was grinning all throughout. All along, I thought the romantic streak in him had died the day we walked down the aisle. lol.

We were late for his reservation but thank God it was a quiet Wednesday so there weren’t that many people around. The ground floor where the infamous Spiral used to be looked a little forlorn. In its heyday, every inch of the place used to be occupied as the restaurant’s buffet offerings were legendary. Tureens upon tureens of international cuisines stretched as far as the eye could see. People flock to the place for special occasions, or if they simply want to enjoy the gustatory experience. The unfortunate lashing of typhoon Pedring last September washed the place down, though. Although the hotel has restored the area, it wasn’t as alive and vibrant as only a smattering of couches grace the place.

Anyways, off we went to Le Bar on the next floor. It was a more subdued but nonetheless elegant dining arena. There was a little library in an alcove, while another side has shelves of wines. It likewise offers a buffet set-up but it didn’t so much live up to the hype of Spiral. Still, we were happy to be there to quietly spend our milestone. A few others were celebrating birthdays, and I saw some couples deep in conversations, or their dinners.

While the food was superb, the selection is not as extensive as Spiral. I was especially looking for a pasta bar! On hindsight, it had been a good thing as I was not able to stuff myself silly with unnecessary carbs. But the Japanese selection was great, as well as the selection of hams and cheeses. These were just divine! Also didn’t get to try the Chinese side. There was just no more room in this tummy anymore. Lugi talaga ako sa buffet. There were a lot I didn’t get to try. The dinner also came with a nice cup of brewed coffee. Perfect period to all the sinful food.

All in all, the experience, more than the food, made the evening really special. It was also good to dine without fussing over a little one (sorry kid).