Thursday, October 31

Wintry Appreciation at Intratuin Emmeloord

It has always been cold. Since the beginning, until now. It has always been like this. Chilling, frosty, wintry. What other words can describe it? I couldn't find any. Since day 1, I have always been in The Netherlands in wintertime, and this is my third. In a total of four years, I have been leaving the country and chasing winter. *sigh*

But I finally came to a realization that it has been very kind and loving to me. This season, the only season when I come and go. Since I needed a lot of warmth, my family is always there to make me feel so cozy. And it was a very fine Friday morning when my mom-in-law asked me if I would like to go with her to buy some plants. And since greenery is one of my favorite hints in life, I went. She brought me to this specific garden center and we started to roam around. I've been lurking on it since we arrived, it was always on our way whenever we go somewhere. Finally, I set foot on it.

I was fascinated by the different kinds of plants, indoor or outdoor and was amazed to gaze on those pretty little bulbs of varieties of their national symbol, tulips. There are not that many facts about it that I know, despite craving to see it for the last 4 years. Yet from stories, they actually originated from central Asia, then in Turkey, then now, in the vast farms of The Netherlands. I might inform myself a little bit more about this so I have something to tell.

So upon on the way to this green shop, Mom and I started chatting, catching up with our lives since we do not actually see each other that often. Talking about history, experiences, or just anything with her is always so enjoyable.

As I roam around alone, I discovered the extent of the size of the shop but there are still details to see. Minutes have passed and she invited me to have something to eat or drink (they have a decent size cafe inside). How can I say no? I saw a big round chocolate chip cookie and it just made me weak. Paired with a cold glass of strawberry smoothie, I decided that it'll be all for my lunch. I was satisfied.

After that, our stories continued and it's like it's never-ending. I don't like to reach the evening. May the time just stand still was my secret wish.

But time is the only thing that's unstoppable. We've come to the furthest part of the trip. The next thing was riding the car and going home. It was such a pity cause I always thirst for moments like this. And since it will be the last chance that day, I wandered my eyes around to keep the sight as a memory in my mind and the experience I had, a recollection of the things I would like to occur again.

You might want to visit this place if in case you are around. Aside from the plants (real and artificial), decorations, barbecue essentials and animal needs, they also have organic food in their stash. Oh yeah, they also do workshops.

You can find details on their website:
Just make sure to translate it in English for it is in Dutch.

Special mention to this kind of grass I found inside the shop. It is called makahiya (shameplant) with a scientific name of Mimosa pudica. It is a common plant that grows in everyone's backyard in The Philippines. So surprising to see them here. If ever I will feel super homesick, I will buy one for sure.

Wednesday, October 23

Girls Date at Estasyon Batangas

It has been an annual "ritual" when my friends and I meet together in a restaurant to catch up with life happenings. We always make sure that there is a day in the year that we will be together enjoying meals and each other's company. That is one thing I will definitely miss.

Anyhow, this year, we visited another food station that creates a spin on Filipino classic meals. It is situated in front of Pontefino Residences in Batangas City. I am blessed to have my girls who love to eat, just as much as I do. And this time, diet was not in our vocabulary.

Estasyon has a variety of choices. From sandwiches, pasta, rice meals to pastries, and unique coolers, they have good selections. And to begin with, we had their cool coolers. Here's Tanglad (lemongrass) juice and Champorado Cooler.

Tanglad Juice

Champorado cooler was unexpectedly good. As an avid fan of champorado myself, I never thought it can be something to slurp on. It is basically a rice porridge mixed with cocoa powder topped with fresh or powdered milk. My mom always makes this and I love it steaming hot! But having the cooler version was very new to me. I just wish that the sticky rice was as soft as it is in the hot version, I remembered myself chocking a bit. Also, they said there's a hint of liquor, so be very moderate.

Champorado Cooler

Our appetizer was a bowl of fried Isaw Chips. It has been ages since I had isaw (pig or chicken intestines). These ones were crunchy and tasty. There's just a hint of bitterness aftertaste which I am not really a fan of.

Isaw Chips (Php170)

Chicken Wrap (Php110)

Now comes the main dishes. Ate C had her serving of Chicken Wrap. Well, without any discussion, a wrap is always good, and healthy. It was so fresh!

Then Ate K's. It's admittedly fancy to see how they did the presentation. Gourmet Tuyo Rice is a mix of tuyo (dried fish) and cooked rice, topped with salted egg and dill.

Gourmet Tuyo Rice (Php230)

Finally, here's the serving that I had. It's a Shawarma Bowl with sirloin steak bits, hummus, and pita. I am inlove with Middle Eastern food, and even when in Europe, I make sure that I get good shawarma and kebab.

Shawarma Bowl (Php135)

Sadly, the serving I had was a lil' bit rubbery and I wasn't able to finish the meat. There's also a small portion of hummus, and that's sad. Ate C knows how much I love that dip. But overall, the dish was good.

We owned the place at that time cause we came a little bit earlier than lunchtime so we were one of the first to seat. The staffs were friendly and very accommodating. 'Twas an enjoyable food trip at Estasyon.

Wednesday, October 2

JapaNalo at Shinsen Sushi Bar and Restaurant, Pasig City

A long rainy weekend without ramen isn't complete! Right? So here's a quick Japanese ramen and noodle fix we had in Pasig last Sunday. Thanks to our cousins for recommending Shinsen Sushi Bar and Restaurant​.

It was actually surprising to know that the restaurant is owned by a Filipino and their staffs are Japanese-trained. Who would have thought that there's no Japanese blood running around the place? It feels so authentic.

Since it was just around the corner of my relative's house, the location was never a problem. It was just one ride away. So there we went, headed to the restaurant and kept ourselves warm with their noodle offerings.

GJ had to try their dry noodles so he opted for the Yakiudon. It was as tasteful as it sounds like, believe me. He enjoyed his meal.

My cousin, on the other hand, had one of their maki. They're all so inviting, do they? And they're heavy, these maki's for a one-man meal!

At the end of the meal, we appreciated the nice ambiance (with Tagalog translated to Japanese songs), good service, lovely staffs (you can hear them say thanks to their coworkers) and also yummy food! A person who has been to Japan can tell that they have legit food. I am not talking about myself since I haven't set foot there yet. My husband and cousins visited Japan a few years back.

We have not tried that much so there's another reason to go back.