Wednesday, December 7, 2016

DINING | A sampling of Kapitolyo Gastro Park's good and inexpensive food

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I love food (who doesn't?) but I'm not one who goes out of my way just to try a new happening place or resto, so finding myself in Kapitolyo Gastro Park in Pasig City is something unexpected of me. We happened to be in the area for something else and when we looked for a place to have dinner, we chanced upon this gem of a food-tripper's haunt.

Kapitolyo Gastro Park is a covered open-air space with around 14 different food stalls lining up its rectangular perimeter. Seating options include wooden tables and benches, plastic tables and chairs, and even inverted metal drums. It's essentially a food court, only hipper but sans the air conditioning.

What's most important, of course, is that the food here (at least the ones I've tried) is good and cheap. However, because there's just two of us eating, we were able to try only a few of what the stalls have to offer. That said, I think coming here in a group is your best bet if you want to try as much food as you can, having a little of this and a little of that.

We tried Wok's Singaporean fried rice (Php 150), a hefty serving of fried rice with bits of shrimp, sausage, and veggies in a mild curry flavor. You can also add Php 30 if you want it with pork or chicken. For the price, it's a good carb dish, which went perfectly with the delightfully crispy bagnet (Php 125, with plain rice) we ordered from Bagneto. Tokyo Tempura Unlimited's shrimp tempura, with its flavorful batter, was also a steal at ~Php 109 for a small bucket (around 8-10 pieces). You can also go unli-tempura for only Php 199.

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All this for less than Php 400!

For our drinks, we had what everyone else seemed to be having: a huge bowl of what they call Chamba Bowl (Php 85) from Surfries!!. I forgot to take a photo but no kidding, it's a huge bowl of some flavored iced tea concoction that's meant to be shared with someone (or everyone) in your table.

I went crazy over dessert: liquid nitrogen ice cream (Php 150 a cup) from The Seventh Element. Well, of course the ice cream isn't liquid nitrogen per se but a liquid ice cream mix blast-frozen with liquid nitrogen while under a mixer. We tried their dark chocolate and salted caramel flavors and I couldn't stop saying, "Ang sarap!" (It's delicious!). Delectably rich and creamy, they're also fun to watch while they're being prepared.

They also have good coffee (Php50 - hot; Php 75 - iced), prepared using a french press. Now here's what else Kapitolyo Gastro Park has to offer:

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Tokyo Tempura Unlimited
It's everything tempura here, be it shrimp, squid, cheese, and even--wait--hotdogs! They also have burgers on the menu. Again, unli-shrimp tempura for only Php 199!

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Tolyo's Soup N' Grill
This stall offers grilled bangus (milkfish), pork, wagyu steak, and more. I'm also curious about their Mexican bulalo.

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With a limited and pretty straightforward menu, this stall sells nothing but that much-loved deep-fried crispy pork belly called bagnet, which they also substitute for regular meat in their Bicol Express, binagoongan, kare-kare, and sisig.

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Serving Singaporean cuisine, Wok offers fried noodles, nasi goreng, laksa, and more.

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Brick Plate
The sign says it all: pasta, ribs, chicken, and pizza. Next time I'll try you.

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Clever name. But salted egg and all sorts of twists on our beloved french fries aside, I think their best seller is a drink--their humongous Chamba Bowl.

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It's all yakitori here.

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Fried chicken, chicken wings, chicken poppers, isaw (chicken intestines), chicken skin, and more.

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The Masala Bar
It's Indian cuisine taken to a new direction with pita bread, quesadillas, and wraps. There's also still rice, though.

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El Phante
Proudly declaring that they serve unlimited rice, this stall offers an interesting combination of Thai and Mexican cuisines. Intriguing, though I still can't imagine pad thai with nachos, for instance.

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The Seventh Element
Hands down my favorite. Their ice cream was the highlight of my evening.

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As the name suggests, this stall serves Japanese food in takeout boxes. They have noodles, tempura, donburi, and misono.

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Sweet Nothing
Dessert had me at a crossroads between this stall and the one with Nitrogen. Although the latter prevailed, I'm still wont on trying Sweet Nothing's cotton candy milkshake one time. Yup, this one's all about milkshakes.

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Not sure of the name, though, but this stall seems to be an extension or something of Sweet Nothing. Their waffles are served as a cone, with a couple of variants available.

No surprise, Kapitolyo Gastro Park is most popular on weekends, particularly in the evening. Parking can be a problem, too. But once you get past that hiccup, a variety of good food that's easy on the pocket awaits.

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Kapitolyo Gastro Park is located along 1st Street in Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Open daily from 12noon to 12midnight.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Wearing butterflies

halfwhiteboy butterflies print shirt 01

As staples in every man's wardrobe, plain shirts afford the wearer ease in pairing things up and accessorizing. They're like blank canvasses that you can build on each time. Printed shirts, on the other hand, usually demand attention, even more when they're loud and colorful. So when putting together an outfit, the key is to find pieces that complement, rather than compete with, printed shirts.

Now how do we deal with butterflies?

Monday, November 28, 2016

DINING | Gringo (Makati): The latest addition to Legazpi Village's growing foodie scene

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A mere six months or so since kicking it off at SM North EDSA's The Block, Gringo, a local restaurant serving Latin American cuisine, has already opened its third branch in Makati City. Located along C. Palanca St. close to the corner of Dela Rosa St., Gringo is the latest addition to the growing list of food joints in Legazpi Village. So far I've been there thrice already as of this writing.

Interiors and ambiance
Characterized by bare concrete, a partly exposed ceiling painted in black, metal screens, glass, galvanized iron, and plastic plants, I'd say Gringo's interiors are a cross between rustic and industrial. There's also some wood, bricks, and ceramic tiles thrown into the mix. It's not exactly homey but the informal setting makes it a place that's welcoming rather than intimidating.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

LOOKBOOK | An ode to the 90s

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Summoning the power of the elements?

I'm supposed to be a kid of the 80s but I don't know why I relate more to the 90s, be it TV, movies, or music. I wasn't much of a fashion follower then but I, too, have worn all sorts of loose clothing like everyone else that, looking back, makes me cringe.

Ironically, however, my outfit here is just so 90s.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

LIFESTYLE | The polar bears, reindeer, and co. are back for Christmas at Rockwell

halfwhiteboy powerplant mall christmas decor 2016 01
It's the reindeer's time to sing this year.

I often say that I love Halloween more than Christmas but it doesn't mean I don't love Christmas. Maybe it's the dressing up in a Halloween costume that appeals to me so much that makes me say such things. With Christmas, on the other hand, it's the festive decor that I enjoy a lot, and I always appreciate whatever anyone puts up.

One of the decors I look forward to each year are from Power Plant Mall in Rockwell, Makati City. They won me over four years ago when I first saw their stuffed animal holiday display, which drove me nuts. Talk about polar bears, pandas, penguins, and white tigers fitted with animatronics! All the cuteness will kill you and the kid in me naturally took over. Some of them even learned how to "sing" over the years (just go see them and you'll get what I mean). Last time it was a polar bear that did the singing; this year it's a reindeer. Now watch this:

Monday, November 21, 2016

FRAGRANCE | Another great find in Volutes by Diptyque

halfwhiteboy diptyque volutes 01

Been wearing this one for a few weeks now and I love it. Volutes by Diptyque, my first try at the French perfume house's wide array of fragrances, did not disappoint.

Friday, November 11, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Super cyan

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Who doesn't love Fridays? Aside from heralding the start of every weekend, don't we all just love that we can ditch the stiffness of formal corporate wear and go casual?

I know some fashion pundits lament the fact that casual has become too casual these days. Of course I'm just as guilty as everyone else, what with me sporting nothing but a t-shirt and jeans combo with sneakers on Fridays at work. But in this case I'm trying to keep it a little dressed up. Just a little.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

DINING | It's not just crepes at Crepe Amélie

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No, this ain't pizza.

It's been a few months now since this new restaurant opened near our office. So far I've paid them a few visits already and I guess it's high time to write about Crepe Amélie.

Friday, November 4, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Pullover, please

halfwhiteboy green and gray outfit 01

Weather's just a wee bit colder than usual, which to me is most welcome. Perfect day to wear a pullover--a pullover with a huge P on it. I guess P is for pullover after all. Pullovers, sweaters, sweatshirts--whatever you call them--are pretty basic pieces that give us plenty of room for styling. It's all up to the wearer how to show some personality.

After working a knit sweater with green pants recently, I'm again wearing green pants, though in a lighter shade. I'm trying a gray on green ensemble while holding on to what's left of our Yggdrasil from last week's Halloween office decor before we completely tear it down.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Knitpicking

halfwhiteboy off-white sweater and green pants 01

I have a thing for knits. They're comfy, plain and simple. You don't have to fuss about them so much because you just put them on and you're good to go.

Where I come from the climate unfortunately isn't kind enough for us to enjoy knitwear so much. But sometimes--just sometimes--we get those moments that allow us to wear them, like rainy days, for instance.
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