Monday, January 31, 2011

KIMPURA RESTAURANT is back in Makati !!

When it comes to good classic Japanese food, the choice way back then was loud and clear.. It was KIMPURA RESTAURANT. The very first time I went to this restaurant was when it was opened in 1970 at the Makati Commercial Center ( now known as Ayala Center ) with Lor Calma as architect of the place. I clearly remember its location which was right beside Rustan's. From then on---  I would frequent the place with my mom and my siblings for dinner or lunch. I can still remember -- all those times we would go there it was always filled with people. The Pinoy palate welcomed a new world of dining experience. Way back then ---when making reservations for a table was not required, we had to call in for reservations just to get a table.

When I got married and had my sons, Tommie and Iggy... I still kept on going back to Kimpura--- mainly because I loved their food. Kimpura was were my eldest son, Tommie, learned how to eat sashimi as early as 3 years old. Our whole family would gather around the misono table and watch the Japanese chef cooked fried rice and steak..  they had those tiny thin foil paper laid out on the sides of the misono table where they used to put the vegetables...Yes, I can still remember how the food tasted back then... it was YUMMY!!

Finally --- Kimpura has opened its doors once more in a new location, Greenbelt 5. At Kimpura, there are no magic tricks, no short cuts in their way of cooking, just good old treats that delight both the young and the old.

The new Kimpura restaurant at the Greenbelt 5 was a visual feast !!! They had modern interiors, warmer, airy ambience. I was glad to see Lulu Palileo, the restaurant manager, who is a Kimpura fixture since the time it started. She has been with Kimpura for almost 40 years. That is what I call LOYALTY to Kimpura!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Where to Eat in Puerto Princesa ( Part 2 ) KINABUCH Bar and Grill

One of the places in Puerto Princesa that was recommended to me was KINABUCH Grill and Bar. ( Pronounced Kina- Butch ). The reason it was named this way was it is owned by Butch Chase. This is Puerto Princesa's local version of Hard Rock Cafe. The only difference is this is an open aired restaurant and they do not have live bands--- only loud R n B and mostly Hip Hop music.  In Puerto Princesa, Kinabuch is a popular joint for foreigners and tourists.

If you decide to go to Kinabuch -- try out their TAMILOK. It is a mangrove worm mollusk. The evening I was there.. I wanted to try it but the rest of the group were a bit hesitant on trying it. I tried to find out what a tamilok looked like and taste like. According to Puri Aquino, a resident of Puerto Princesa, tamiloks are mangrove mollusks and is a very popular Palawan delicacy. She said tamilok tastes like oyster and it is a bit slimy. You will have to soak the tamilok in a bowl of vinegar so that you will not taste the seafood-like taste of it. She also added that you should not eat Tamilok if you're hungry, you might get an upset stomach.

Here was what we had for dinner:

Crispy Pata - This is a must-try in Kinabuch.

Sauted Prawns in chili garlic sauce

and a dish called Gising Gising - this was one of the dishes I enjoyed that evening. It is cooked spinach with small bits of pork, chillies and cooked in coconut milk. You should try this dish if you haven't tried it yet.

Your trip to Puerto Princesa, Palawan will never be complete without a visit to Kinabuch Bar and Grill. I highly recommend this place. Don't forget to jot it down in your MUST TRY in your itinerary in Puerto Princesa, OKAY??

Happy Eating !!


Rizal Avenue
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
contact number : ( 048 ) 434 5194

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where to Eat in Puerto Princesa ( Part 1 ) Badjao Seafront Restaurant

If you ever visit Puerto Princesa in Palawan make sure to have a meal at Badjao Seafront. It is within 15 minutes from any point in downtown Puerto Princesa. Badjao Seafront  ( or Badjao for short ) is a nature-inspired restaurant and is one of the most popular restaurants in Puerto Princesa for tourists and locals alike. I was brought here by my friends, Boom and Jaqui, and we were in the company of the City Tourism Office of Puerto Princesa. The restaurant faces Honda Bay and is surrounded by mangroves.

This is the entrance of the restaurant where you can see mangroves along the walkway.

According to Isay Dacanay, an officer of the City Tourism Office of Puerto Princesa, the restaurant was designed around the mangroves and even on a hot day, the surroundings cooled down the temperature.

When you enter the main dining area, all the tables have a panoramic view of the ocean, hills and the mangrove trees. It seems so surreal. The breeze naturally flows in as there are no windows at all only roll down bamboo shades.

This open-air restaurant rests on stilts in the water and every corner of the main dining room you can take a picture pretty shot of the nearby islands and mangroves.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

PALAWAN SUBTERRANEAN RIVER CAVE - Descending into darkness

UNESCO has recognized it as a World Heritage Site and it has a reputation of being the world's longest underground river. The Subterranean River Cave is one of the most visited national park in the Philippines. It is now being managed by the government of Puerto Princesa under a program of development centered on environment.

The Subterranean National River Park is also known as the Underground River in Palawan. It is a must see and it is worth it to visit. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Celebrating Cris' Birthday at Cru Steakhouse

It was the birthday of Cris that day and Iggy wanted to surprise her with a lovely dinner. He had me call the restaurant to make reservations for 3 that evening. Dinner had to be early because it was also the same day I was leaving for Egypt... and I had asked them to bring me to the airport that evening. Cris had no inkling as to where we were planning to eat--- all she knew was--- she was going to bring me to the airport that evening... and we will have a quick bite somewhere before my departure. I have been hearing raves about this luxurious restaurant which pride themselves of serving the tastiest beef in town.

Cru is located at the ground floor of the brand new Marriott Hotel near Resort World. Marriott Hotel is a quick 15 minute drive from the Makati and Global City Taguig.

I was immediately impressed the moment I entered Cru. The lights were dim and the whole place exuded a certain level of warmth which makes you feel at ease. There were booths with couches and individual lounge chairs.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011



A microlight is an aircraft that is not designed to carry more than two people and has a maximum take off weight not exceeding 450 kilos. This means that this plane have relatively short take off and landing capabilities making them ideal for small airfields. 

Another memorable experience on this trip to Chiang Mai was another sky adventure... Riding a microlight plane. Before I left Manila last November-- I was trying to get in contact with the handlers of the microlight plane adventure in Chiang Mai... they were not responding to my several emails to them. So I decided to ask Moo, our contact in Chiang Mai to get hold of them and try to get bookings for a microlight adventure trip -- this time... I wanted the ride at 4:30pm --- to get sunset shots. Moo informed me that there were only 2 microlight planes available so we had to plan well who will take the first flight out. The flights lasts for 15 or 30 minutes.  The flight which will last for 15 minutes ( will carry Oskie and Jaqui  on the first trip ) and the second flight which will last for 30 minutes ( Boom and I will be flying together up in the sky on separate planes ).

I was trying to convince Oskie to go and take it with us. He had his misgivings about the microlight saying it was small, etc. In short... he wasn't too keen on going on the plane. But Boom and his wife Jaqui were raring to go. Not wanting to be left out in the adventure he acceded to my pleas.

Our pick up at the hotel was at 3:30pm. We all decided to have a light lunch that day and waited for the pick up.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

LONG NECK KAREN- Thailand's forgotten tribe

Most people know of the Karen people from television and magazine documentaries. Have you ever seen a long neck Karen woman?? The Karen are often referred to as the " long neck " or "giraffe " tribes. It is only the women who wear the brass rings. This tribe serves as a tourist attraction for visitors around the globe. They are refugees that fled from Burma in the late 80's and 90's. According to our tour guide, there are seven different hill tribes in Thailand; Karen, Lahu, Hmong, Lisu, Akha and Mien. Today we are visiting the Karen Hill Tribe. They usually occupy lowland areas, engaging in agriculture and planting rice. Most of the Karen women are skilled weavers. In this village where I visited --- there were only 10 families here.

The Karen wear woven v-neck tunics of various natural colors and turbans. Unmarried women wear distinctive long white v-neck tunics.

Monday, January 10, 2011

HOT AIR BALLOON OVER CHIANG MAI- A Once in a lifetime experience

A hot air balloon flight is something that most of us dream of experiencing at some point in our lives. 

The idea of taking a hot air balloon trip can be a very pleasing, tranquil experience----- silently and naturally floating through the air while looking down on some beautiful countryside. I particularly like the idea of taking a hot air balloon flight in the morning or evening when you would get to experience the dawn or sunset. Sunrise and sunset balloon flights are the most breathtaking of all.

Going up high in the sky on a hot air balloon has always been one of my life time dreams. I have always wanted to try this experience everywhere I heard there were hot air balloon rides. The nearest I got to actually see a hot air balloon was when I went to watch the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Pampanga. Even at that time -- I started to ask around if there was any way to get to ride one. Unfortunately, they were not taking any passengers on their balloons... I ended up taking photos of the various shapes of the balloons.

Since then I wanted to experience the ride. I tried to take a hot air balloon ride in several countries but was not able to do so... Maybe it was not the right time for me to ride one....Another attempt on riding  the hot air balloon was last February--- I was scheduled to go on the hot air balloon with my friend, Oskie... but I had an accident, fractured my foot and had to cancel the ride again.

But today... is a very special day for me... I was going up on the hot air balloon with my friends, Oskie, Boom and Jaqui. It was going to be a hot air balloon ride over Chiang Mai with champagne breakfast.... WOW!! what more can one ask for! We were scheduled to have an early dawn ride. " Perfect, I hope to get a good sunrise shot!! " -- was all I had in my mind. Oskie reminded us during dinner that the pick up time at our hotel  was 6:00am. Our wake up call will be at 5:00am. Great!!! I am an early riser so that would not pose any problem on my end.

Friday, January 7, 2011

An adventure to the Middle East ( Part 15 ) Amman Citadel and Archeological Museum

Our last day in Jordan... tomorrow we are all headed for home. 

The Amman Citadel ( better known as Jabal al-Qal'la ) is situated on one of Amman's seven hills. It is the site of one of the world's oldest inhabited places and it symbolizes the birthplace of three religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

What to see in the Citadel:

View from the Citadel

Temple of Hercules was built between 162 - 166 AD during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. These columns are 33 feet tall. Much of the structure has disappeared --- stolen or simply destroyed.

Umayyad Palace a small Byzantine basilica church. Its ancient dome has become the symbol of the Jordan capital.

Jordan Archeological Museum -- the museum is small but it has an interesting collection of antiquities from all over Jordan including some fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this tour to the Citadel, I found the museum very interesting.

Here are my favorite pieces ....

Dead Sea Scrolls

Mini statue of David

Make sure you go to the Citadel just before sunset... I am sure you will be able to get a very good sunset photo here.... with all the amazing sites you will see on top of the hill as your backdrop.

I hope you liked our tour to Egypt and Jordan... join me again in my next adventure ...