Sushi Ninja – Westgate Center, Alabang

Having Sushi Ninja across Fitness First in Westgate Center is a blessing and a curse. It’s good to have one of my favorite cuisines within reach but that can simply waste all the sweat and tears shredded on workout, too.

I did not expect the place to be crowded because it looks quiet and neat from the outside. They definitely are able to establish a good customer base for the quality of food and service they provide.

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Sake (Salmon) Sashimi (PHP320.00). This is a staple for me whenever I go to a Japanese restaurant. 7 slices for PHP320.00 is not bad. This sake sashimi is not the best but far from being the worst either.
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Hiroshima Maki (PHP380.00). I was surprised with the serving size of their maki rolls. Unlike the typical case when food looks bigger in photos, this one looks much smaller in photos. If you are not a heavy eater, try not to order too much. This roll has spicy salmon, kani, ebi tempura, spicy mayo, tempura flakes & ebiko. Just imagine how much seafood there is and how rich the flavor is. With everything taken with one bite, it’s an explosion for flavors! Want more spice? Ask for more spicy mayo for hotter experience!

 

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Shinjuku Maki (PHP490.00). This roll is even bigger than Hiroshima Maki. I had difficulty eating a piece in one bite. This roll is deep-fried with spicy tuna, unagi, tamago, topped with kani, ebiko, Japanese mayo, special sauce and black sesame seeds. The sweetness of tamago gave this maki a unique experience. Again, the balance and blend of flavors in this is just delectable!

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Oedo Toshi (PHP360.00). It is my first time to see this way of serving wagyu beef. A slice of wagyu beef with wasabi mayo and negi on top of a toshi. Toshi is deep-fried battered rice ball. Although I am not a fan of this, the wagyu beef is tender and complements the rice ball well.

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Never Be

Today I’m speaking with a heavy heart
With pain and itch in every part
Why do I feel this
What did I miss

I remember the day when I see none
But I definitely know you’re one
When it rained in the beach
And your lips within my reach
When the moon was so close
And we just had a toast

Ah! Such lovely place in my mind
When I know you are just behind
But I had to leave and set you free
Because I know we will never, never be

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Singapore: An Asian Food Haven

Singapore is a country where several Asian cultures meet. That makes it an excellent spot to have Asian food adventure that will surely satisfy your curiosity. Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Filipino, name it! Singapore will surely have something to offer!

Here are some that I have tried during my recent visit. I highly recommend these to everyone who’s planning to visit this country.

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Squid Pops from Old Chang Kee. Crunchy and tasty. Streetfood is common among Asian countries. It is very convenient to eat and very easy to find. But never underestimate the taste of these food because you will not probably stop munching on these!

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Derwish is a Turkish restaurant along Arab Street. Service and food are decent.

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Chendol Ice from Mei Heong Yuen in Chinatown. Chendol is a traditional dessert made from coconut milk, rice flour, palm sugar and shaved ice. This one has beans in it. Very refreshimg dessert – perfect for all-year-round hot weather in Singapore.

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This is officially my favorite dimsum restaurant – Sweechoon. The Xiao Long Bao has a very savory broth and generous amount of filling. Also, don’t forget to try the custard buns! I will always go back for those sweet tender buns!

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Prawn noodles from Fried Hokkien Mee. This is a very satisfying meal! The taste of the seafood and chili just explodes in every bite. Don’t like spicy food? Don’t worry, chili is served separately.

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Ayam Penyet from Ayam Penyet Ria. Ayam mean chicken while penyet means smashed. This is an Indonesian food which is basically a fried chicken smashed to be tender and served with vegetable sidings.

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Japanese food at Koh Grill & Sushi Bar. Now this is my favorite Japanese restaurant in Singapore. I will have a dedicated post  for a more detailed review on this. Definitely don’t miss this out when you go to Orchard Ion!

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Singapore is famous for its Chili Crab. I had my own share of experience in a mom & pop restaurant named No Signboard in Geylang. It is a humble restaurant but well-visited. The chili crab here is massive and definitely fresh – straight from the aquarium. The sauce has a very rich flavor and not very spicy. I really enjoyed the tenderness of the diner rolls dunked into the chili sauce. The experience is just exquisite!

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Again, Singapore is a warm country. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated. This is a freshly squeezed iced sugar cane juice. I thought it would be really sweet, but it isn’t. Very refreshing drink though!

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Irvin’s Salted Egg potato chips. It has a very strong salty taste and a bit spicy. However, I barely taste the “salted egg”. It seems like I only taste salt most of the time. It could have been better if they will be generous will the salted egg. Nonetheless, this could be addictive if you like salty chips. I have to try their fish skin next time!

Did I miss to try anything? Comment below and will add that on my list for my next visit!

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Take a Break When the Rain Falls

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No matter how optimistic one can be, life is never a bed of roses. Rain can start pouring anytime. Sometimes you can barely feel it but sometimes every torrent pierces harshly. When that happens, it can be extremely stressful, lonely and painful. But just like time that never goes back, we should learn to carry on and to forge forward. But how do we continue living when everything seems to be in shade?

One thing I learned is that we, humans, need to take a break. Taking a break does not mean stopping. Rather, it means that we should live in the present. Inhale that fresh air and feel the morning sun. Recognize the small things around you and appreciate them. It could be someone who held the door for you, or that Starbucks barista who put a smiley on your cup. Stop worrying about the pressure that the future brings, the criticisms that other people speak, and the fear that stirs up in your head.

If you feel that you need more time, step out of your room and go on an adventure. Explore. Take it from me, whenever I go to new places, whether within the country or abroad, I see amazing things that I never imagined. I have seen heroic people, new kinds of animals, intriguing rituals, unique fashion statements and a lot of new friends. On top of those, you will learn more about yourself. When you go somewhere outside your comfort zone, that is when your most genuine self starts to show. You will start realizing things like how you deal with people who are foreign to you. You may also find your natural interests – just like when you see yourself hunting for museums or architectures, or maybe you end up trying as much local food as you can. Want to test your physical and mental limits? Climb a mountain and explore nature.

Traveling forces you to refocus your attention to better things in life. Soon enough, you will realize that you created your own shade when you were too focused on negative thoughts. Just the same, you can create your own light with a positive experience and outlook. Now, go out and let nothing dull your shine!

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To Fall in Love and Find the Heart of Things

Golden Gate BridgeLike every other millennials, this is probably the time in our lives when we somehow feel lost. Lost in the space between where I am now and where I want to be. This begins when you start lying on your bed, staring blankly at the ceiling, and asking endless life questions. What should I do? Is this something that I really want? Where will I end up in the next five years? Week-by-week, day-by-day this episodes of depression attacks more often until it finally consumes you.

Few years back, I wake up expressionless. I do my morning routine with my muscle memory – my body has a mind of its own and it knows what to do every single day. I wake up, take a shower and groom myself, have a health-curated breakfast and leave for work. I know there is no trace of enthusiasm as I drag my feet to work. After few months, there is a vivid look of discontent. After few more weeks, I feel like a boiling pot without knowing where the fire is coming from. Until finally, I express my desire to resign from work.

It is both a relief and a pain. It is a relief from the emotions that I have been keeping and a pain because I jumped the gun and had to figure out where I should go to next. This is the turning point when a wise man says: “You need to fall in love and to find the heart of things.

You need to fall in love and find the heart of things. What in the world does that mean? I experienced being in a relationship so I definitely know what it is like to fall in love – or do I not? I am in pursuit to find meaning to this riddle. There is one thing in my mind that I think I need to unlock this riddle. I need to change.

I jump to another career and have a different lifestyle. I emerge myself to a completely different world. I am more conscious of how I look. I invest on better clothes and go to better hair stylists. I start going out more often and meet new people. I do dates here and there. I spend my nights in parties and go home when the sun is up. My work is not that demanding so I can maintain this lifestyle. I splurge and squander to have fun – Y.O.L.O. so to speak. However, the same episode comes. I feel exhausted. This is not me.

At this point, I learnt from the changes I made but I am still lost in that space. Dismayed, dissatisfied, and discontented. The colorful lifestyle becomes pale and dull. Again, I resign from work. However, this time, it is just relief and no pain. I know, I just need to forge forward. As I brave a new chapter of my life, I started to unearth the meaning of what it is to fall in love and find the heart of things.

To fall in love is to find a motivation that will fuel you endlessly. To find the heart of things is to know the value of every single act that you do no matter how big or small it is.

To fall in love needs to unclutter the life you lived. This means to remove unnecessary mess and thoughts that are blocking your way. Keep it simple and focus on what is most important to you – it can be family, friends, or relationship. This will be the motivation to keep you going. I used to think that being on top is the most important thing in life. That I need to climb up the corporate ladder to find happiness. I was wrong. That can be my life goal but I cannot fall in love with that thought and let it be my motivation. How do I know? I asked myself a simple question: Will I be happy being a CEO even if I do not have a family, a friend or a relationship?

Recognizing the heart of things stirs up passion in your works. It gives you purpose. Know how every single action you do affects other people especially those who are important to you. Aim to channel your action to achieve bigger things and to serve others. Eventually you will see how others value you. If you do everything for your own benefit, what’s your worth to the rest of the seven billion people on Earth?

My experience tells me to do simple things to take oneself out of that lost space: to continuously move forward, to recognize what is truly important, and to honestly serve others.

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Red Panda – Xiao Long Bao

Red Panda is such a disappointment. There is a dead cockroach on the floor and there are couple more flying insects hovering around the table.

This Xiao Long Bao is too dry for a soup dumpling. Typically the soup should be gushing from the dimsum when you pierce the wrapping. This one does not have even a single drop. The ginger dipping is also soaked in oil – too much oil that it defies the taste of the ginger. The color itself is already a hint that it appears overcooked which probably caused the soup to dry out. For Php 195.00 per five-piece, this is a very bad order.

Red Panda - Xiao Long Bao

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