That one thing that made me laugh today

Our team came in very early today at 6am to prepare for a big advertising launch. We are in a conference call with the big bosses since 9am (still ongoing for 7 hours as of this writing…)

I’m beginning to get really sleepy when my teammate pinged this message in the “big boss conference”.

LOL

Priceless. Totally made my day.

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Ariake Japanese Cuisine

Last week the hubby just had an out of the blue craving for japanese curry. I’ve only seen this dish eaten by Naruto in the anime but this was hubby’s staple food during his month-long business trip to Japan this year. So given that it’s really rare for him to crave for unusual food, I googled a place that served decent curry. I wanted to try something that will resemble the authentic food so that hubby won’t get disappointed. Then I stumbled upon Ariake restaurant at Tomas Morato, Quezon City. I was really enticed to try out the restaurant due to several reasons: their menu includes Beef Curry rice which is what we were looking for, it’s just near our place so going there is very convenient, we always see this little restaurant whenever we’re along Morato and Ariake is the surname of Ninomiya‘s character in Ryusei no Kizuna which happen to also cook curry (I just had to insert some Arashi connection here. ;))

Surprisingly it wasn’t crowded along Tomas Morato despite it being a Friday night. The restaurant itself had only a few customers when we got there and we like it’s calm, quiet interior suitable for a nice chit-chat with friends or an intimate dinner date. It took us a while to get our orders as we don’t know what to get aside from the curry. The waitress was good enough to help us decide and offered their promo as well. We got a seafood dumpling with free California maki, Ebi Tendon and the Beef Curry Rice.

Despite having only a few customers, it took quite a while for the orders to come and we laughed how they bring out the food one at a time. The first item they served was the maki. Maybe because it was just a freebie, there were only 4 little rolls in the plate. The photo in the menu showed bigger rolls. Maybe it will be bigger if you order them separately? I’ll check out next time.

california makiCalifornia Maki

We were finished with the maki when the dumplings came out. The Seafood dumplings tasted like toasted fishballs from the sidewalk but had a distinct nice aftertaste. It’s not that bad but not so great either. I might try out something else in the future though.

seafood dumplingSeafood dumplings

There were 10pcs of dumplings in that serving so we weren’t finished with it yet when the main entrees came out. We shared both the curry rice and tendon to see how the dishes tasted. Hubby liked the curry rice  and said that it tasted like the ones he ate in Japan, but that the japanese version has thicker consistency than the local one. Overall, the curry passed his taste buds 🙂

beef curry riceBeef Curry Rice

tendonEbi Tendon

Surprisingly, we got SO full with our food! As in, we didn’t really expect to get THAT full with the food since their servings weren’t big. We don’t know if the “one at a time” style of serving is the trick. Or that the food were just heavy. I wanted to try out their coffee jelly for dessert but was so full I couldn’t take another bite anymore. I will just try it out next time. Overall, we were satisfied with our dinner and will come back to this place. 🙂

The Fragrance Hotel – Joo Chiat

I have a lot of friends that are now based in Singapore and during one meet up last year with my college friends, we decided to visit our friends in Singapore. Once we decided on our trip dates and booked our flights, our next step was to find a place to stay. Since we can’t crash with our friends given our huge entourage, we decided to look for a budget hotel. We can’t afford to book in a backpackers hotel or hostel since we have a child with us. Our options were down to either Hotel 81 or Fragrance Hotel – both have a lot of branches within the city. After several weeks of research and meetings, we finally decided to book The Fragrance Hotel at Joo Chiat Road, Singapore.  There are mixed feedback online for this hotel but most are just okay. Since we needed a cheap and decent hotel, we chose the Joo Chiat branch. Even though it is located in the red lights district, it looked like it is on a nice location given its proximity to the city proper.

The Fragrance Hotel at 219 Joo Chiat Road

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much since this is a fairly budget hotel and some friends say that it’s sort of a motel chain. So imagine my surprise when I checked in to the hotel and finally saw it in person. It exceeded my expectations, to say the least.

The official check in time is 3pm but we arrived at around 1pm. We called the hotel beforehand and told us that there is an extra charge if you like to have an early check in. Since we really wanted to check in immediately and get some quick rest, we went straight ahead to the receptionist even if it meant having to pay S$42 for early check in. To our surprise, they had available rooms upon our arrival and the receptionist was able to check us all in without extra charges! 🙂

Hassle-free check in at the front desk

We booked 3 rooms (1 family and 2 superior). Before we went to the room, I asked if there is an electric kettle in the room and the receptionist said that they only have a thermos and I can get water from the front desk. Since I needed hot water to sterilize Yui’s bottles, I figured that this will be a hassle. But I was greeted with an electric kettle in the room! With complimentary coffee sachets and drinking water to boot. So cool! I was beginning to like this hotel. Our room was spacious and clean enough. The bathroom had a water heater with free toothbrushes and soap. Really, I wasn’t expecting toiletries since some budget hotels I’ve been to here in the Philippines didn’t have those.

   

The hotel also sells fairly priced water and juices (even beer) which makes it very convenient. It also has a bus stop nearby, about 1 minute walk, and the bus route passes tourists spots which makes it very easy for us to travel about.

The only things that would make this hotel perfect for me would be free in-room wifi, a bidet and a hand-held shower head. All in all, we had a really nice stay at the hotel and I would definitely recommend this to others 🙂