Hopping on the IHOP bandwagon

After several failed plans to try out IHOP, I was able to finally go to the restaurant after a morning run with my friends.

IHOP

It was everyone’s first time so we spent quite some time to choose our orders. Some of us have been to the IHOP in the US so they’ve got expectations already. After internal debates if we’ll get french toast or pancakes, we got the best of both worlds in the Split Decision Breakfast.

Split Decision Breakfast
Split Decision Breakfast for the HUNGRY!

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Uniwide Warehouse Sale

When I was little, we used to go to a Uniwide Warehouse Club to do groceries and find some quirky items. Sadly, most of the Uniwide stores in the metro are now gone. Today, I had a chance to revisit my childhood when my cousin brought me to a surviving Uniwide in the south. It was a very rundown building, the grocery is gone but the warehouse stuff are still there. This time I appreciated the quirky finds more. If not for an active little girl and the limited space at home, I would’ve bought some of those fun little mugs and pots.

Here are some of the cute stuff that are still being sold in the warehouse:

water dispenser
“Gift box” ceramic water dispenser: So cute but oh so heavy!

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Our First Banapple Experience

Despite living in a very busy area, teeming with restaurants left and right, it’s very seldom for us to venture and eat out as we would normally just stay at home especially Sundays. So it’s not surprising that I’ve never been to Banapple. For me, Sunday brunch is a great time to go and experience what the kitchen has to offer.  I guess not only me but a lot of people feel the same way, seeing that the place was jam-packed when we arrived a little past 10 am.

Banapple has a homey appeal with its interior decor and lighting fixtures. It reminds me of country side homes that I used to see in magazines. The only downside I noticed is that their aircon units are not strategically placed. It keeps on blowing really cold air to the diners. So our food also gets cold really fast. Maybe they’re challenged with the little floor area, that’s why.

We ordered a lot for a group of 6 and really had a hard time walking after. We were so full! 🙂 The first to be served are our drinks. Yui became our official drinks taster as she sipped from the Banapple smoothie, homemade Iced Tea and Iced Choco. Her vote went to the Iced tea. If I was eating the pancake only, I might have finished my Banapple smoothie but I had some Banapple salad, longanisa with caramelized onions, pancakes and chips. So I only drank about half of the smoothie.

Everyone had a great time sampling the dishes and picking out the baked goodies to bring home. Speaking of goodies, the glazed almond and carrot loaf and cookie fudge crinkles were also such a treat. Surely, it was a fun gastronomic experience at Banapple. Not bad for a first-timer. 🙂

My Top 5 Android Apps

Ever since Daddy Bunny gave me his Samsung Galaxy S last year, I’ve been hooked on this little Android machine. Even though I’m not a big games app gal, I still enjoy downloading apps from the Market which are mostly for productivity and fun. Aside from the Facebook and Twitter apps, I have several other favorites and below are my top 5 favorite apps.

  5.  Photoshop Express. I’m a huge Photoshop fan and having this in my phone made posting photos to twitter and facebook more fun. I can add effects and borders before I upload them. Or I can just play around with my photos and show them to Yui and we’ll laugh together.

 4. MP3 Music Download. Our ride to and from work became so much fun with the music that we get to listen to. Classic alternative music from the 90’s and early 2000, some Jpop songs and even the fun “I would walk 500 miles” from HIMYM. All of these were easily downloaded from this little app.

 3. MMDA for Android. Who would’ve thought that MMDA can deploy something successful? The traffic situation around Metro Manila can easily be checked with this app before you leave the house so at least you’ll know what to expect and make necessary detours if needed. So far, their traffic reports are accurate and their app even has different views such as System, Map or Line view. I find the line view easier to use. It’s simple and straight forward. Kudos to MMDA for developing this app. 🙂

 2. Cardio Trainer. After downloading several pedometer apps, I decided to stick with this one (even the free version is useful).  With an intuitive menu, different workout options (walking, running, climbing stairs and much more) and even an option to play music while you exercise, this app is one of the most used in my phone. The workout history and number of calories burned add motivation for me to keep moving. It’s so useful and addicting that I lost 7lbs in 3 weeks. True story.

 1. Color Note. I love lists. Grocery shopping lists. To Do lists. Things to buy lists. Name it, I’ll list it. That’s why this very simple app gets the top spot. It’s so simple but very useful. My home screen already has several widgets of lists in different colors. Oh, and did I mention that you can configure different lists in different colors? Colors and Lists. Get my vote. 🙂

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. 🙂