Great Korean Food at Soban K-Town Grill!

Friday, September 20, 2019

There's something with Korean food that I really like.  It's the pieces of meat that they serve and the grilling of it right in front of you.  I feel it's 'healthier' since you don't use any oils to cook it.  I also enjoy the experience of cooking the meats as you eat them.  My kids call it 'luto luto'

Last weekend, we were able to try Soban K-Town Grill in SM North Edsa.  Soban K-Town is one of the Korean restos handled by Happyfoods Group of Restaurants.  I have personally tried Sariwon (this was their first venture) so many times and I really love the quality and taste of the meats that they serve.  It brought me back to when I was younger and visited Seoul, Korea for the first time.

When we entered Soban K-Town Grill, the place was packed with diners.  It was full on a Saturday noon time.  That's a good sign already.  We were then shown our table and given menus to peruse.  We chose the set menu for 4 people.  Read through the text on the image to see the itemized list of food.  So yummy!

These were what was included with our chosen set.  Unlimited appetizers!  My Panget really LOVED the Kimchi and declared that it was the best he's tried in the Metro.  It was really really good that he even asked me if we can purchase it.  That's how much he loved it.

This peanut and dilis side dish I LOOOOOOVED!  I told our server May that it was so good!  I love love peanuts and the sweet taste complimented this wonderful appetizer!  I can't stop thinking about it.  Hahaha!  While having it at the restaurant, I was thinking and hoping that they sell this by the jar!  I would be the first one in line to buy it for sure!  Haha..

The soup below was so comforting.  I was expecting this to just be a generic thin broth, but I was so surprised to taste a hearty soup with body and warmth.  The flavor was present in every sip it was perfect to have on a rainy weather.  It was comforting to be honest, something that I would like to have when I am under the weather.  I know it doesn't look much - but as they say, don't judge a book by its cover!  I had three refills of this.

This is the Kimchi rice - it's something different my Panget said.  We tried a bowl just to have a go at it.  I never expected it to compliment the meats as I thought that too many flavors would confuse the palate, but it didn't! We decided though, to have plain rice on the succeeding bowls (yes, rice is UNLIMITED!) so that the flavors of the meat would really stand out.

This is the Dak Ganjeong - the chicken dish.  We felt that this was a bit dry, but the taste was there.  I loved the crispy batter though.  Hehe!! :)

This is the Yangnyeom Tohsisal in Garlic and Soy.  This was so good!  I love the generous serving of the marinade.  The bits of garlic when grilled was superb!  I was picking up the pieces on the grill!  Hahaha..   I like my meats a bit browned so the taste of this is caramelized.

These thin slices of meat.  Look at the marbling.  I was impressed when I saw it because I was used to those served in the popular eat all you can places and they do not look like that, right?  The slices were all even and was served organized.  I like that they have a stainless 'stackable' thingie that saves so much space on the table!   That I must say was brilliant and well thought of.  These thin slices are the favorites if my Panget and the kids.

All I have are wonderful things to say about the Pajeon.  This has to be the best I've tried.  It's perfectly crisp on the bite and the seafood toppings were generous.  I especially loved how the shape is an even rectangle.  I loved it more because it was already sliced when it was served!  I must confess, I ate 3/4 of this.  Hahaha!  I really liked it so much that I kept repeating how much I liked it to my Panget!

The Japchae was also good, Connor liked it so much and was so happy with it that he asked for more.  He ate most of the Japchae without much prodding.  I was so impressed with Connor because most of the time, I need to remind him to take spoons full, but this Japchae - effortless.  I was watching him eat and he noticed, he just said 'It's yummy, mommy!'

Because we were very hungry and excited - this was what I was able to take a picture of.  We were almost done here as you can see only a few pieces of meat were left on the grill.  

This dessert was a pleasant surprise.  It was a welcome end to the meal - it cleansed the palate quickly.  It was after having this dessert that we realized my Panget and I ate so much!  The set menu was good for 4 people - we were 2 adults and 2 kids.  I asked my Panget had it been 4 adults, would the servings be enough - he said it would because of the chicken, the pajeon and the chapchae.  The side dishes were all unlimited so he said - it would be enough.  They won't be filled to the brim, but they well leave with filled tummies.  I told him that the meat pieces were good too, he also noticed that.

We enjoyed our lunch immensely.  The staff and servers were very knowledgeable on the menu and the meats.  It was so easy to ask them because they had ready answers and mind you THEY LISTEN to what you ask.  The really know what they are doing.  Our server was May and she was so pleasant and helpful.  If you do visit SM North Edsa, please look for her.  Believe me when I say, she will give you a very pleasant experience - from explaining, to serving to taking care of your every need.

This exhaust was something I found strange at first.  In my mind, was it too much that it had a protective grill around it?  While grilling our meats, I then realized that this was perfect - mainly because it was permanent.  The long tube wasn't moving from left to right - which means no one will be accidentally bumped in the head.  I saw too that there was a chain around the exhaust tube - this was so the tube won't fall directly to the grill when one adjusts it.  Brilliant, right?  I love how they think about these simple things - simple, but very practical and safe!

Their exhaust system works really well too, because the restaurant didn't smell too grilly nor was it ma-usok.  You know what I meant - there is no sight of grill fumes everywhere.  No overpowering scent of burned meat or garlic.  The aircon was cool and while grilling, it never felt too hot.  The floors were not slippery, the tables were not greasy.  The thongs and scissors were not contorted to different shapes nor were they dull.  Plates used in placing the meats were clean and not watery or slippery.  Everything seems to be quality controlled which is very very impressive.

I must say my whole dining experience with Sobran K-Town Grill was wonderful that I will want to come back when I have a Korean food craving.  I know that I will be served with quality meat and my experience will be very pleasant.

Soban K-Town Grill has branches all over the Metro:
SM North Edsa
Greenbelt 3
One Bonifacio High Street
SM Megamall
Robinson's Place Manila

Fitness Gourmet: Getting back in shape!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

When I learned I was pregnant, one of the first things that came into mind was the weight gain.  I gained so much weight when I had Kailee that I haven't had the chance to lose all of them yet.  Realistically speaking, I don't think I would ever get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and I am very much happy with how I am.  It's just that I realize that my weight is affecting my lower back.  I remember reading somewhere that every pound we lose helps ease tension on our knees.

Two years ago, I joined the #MakeItFit program of #FitnessGourmetPH.  I lost weight.  So when they offered me another chance - I immediately said YES!  But there was a catch, I was breastfeeding.  But when Shobe turned one - well, I took the offer and jumped at the opportunity to lose weight, any weight.  I know for a fact that Fitness Gourmet serves good calorie counted food.  I've tried it before and I really enjoyed the journey.

Here are just some of the meals that they served:

Every week, I would look forward to the meals that will be delivered.  I would always look at their Instagram account to check out what's in store for the next week.  It was with this journey that I realized that I am partial to tomato based meals.  Hahaha!  I can't believe that it took me years to discover that.  Hahaha!  I have this favorite dessert - the Ube Espasol.  I swear, it looked really odd - but when I tasted it - it was glorious!  I judged it, and I regret judging it.  It was really wonderful, I swear!

Everything looks good diba?  They taste good too!  I swear, there was no one meal that was served that I did not like.  Everything was great!  I'm beyond impressed and would recommend you guys to try FITNESS GOURMET PH out!  If you want to jumpstart your weight loss journey without having to go to the gym yet - then I suggest you contact them soon to try out their method.  I swear to you, it really works!

My four week journey was not easy.  But I needed to do it.  And I am happy to say that I have lost 8lbs!  I know it's 5lbs short of my previous try, but I will take it anytime.  I can't imagine losing that same weight without the help of #FitnessGourmetPH.  It's really really effective.  I am a living testament to that.

I want to say THANK YOU to #FitnessGourmetPH for jumpstarting my 'getting back into shape' journey.  Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

Pay your bills with PayMaya!!

Monday, September 16, 2019

I soooo love #PayMaya's CASH BACK!! 
Here's another deal that you won't want to miss!!

Meralco, PLDT, Smart, Pag-IBIG and other bills? Don't pay cash, PayMaya 

Paying for your bills now gets more convenient and ultra rewarding when you use PayMaya. Instead of spending time to line up at a payments center, just use your PayMaya app and get up to P300 cashback plus a chance to have PayMaya cover your bills next month!  

Worried about how to pay for your Meralco, PLDT, Smart and other utility bills as well as your payments for government services? PayMaya has your back with its convenient Bills Pay feature. To make it even better, pay for your bills via PayMaya every Friday and Saturday throughout the month of September and get a P100 cashback on your first three transactions. Don’t forget that your bills worth a minimum of P1,000 each should be paid in full and on time.  

And if you pay at least three unique bills within the month worth P5,000 and above until September 30, you also get the chance to win your next month’s worth of bill payments! One hundred (100) lucky raffle winners will take home P10,000 each, which they can use to pay for the next bill or for other purposes.  

The best part of all this? You can enjoy all these deals and rewards, by simply paying for your bill within the comforts of your own home! All you will ever need is your PayMaya app in your smartphone.  

Paying bills is a breeze with PayMaya!  

To start paying for your bills, just follow these simple steps: 

  1. Open the PayMaya app and select Pay Bills.  
  2. Choose your desired biller.  
  3. Enter the account number from your bill.  
  4. Enter the amount of your payment.  
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It's that easy to pay for your bills with PayMaya. Instead of wasting time on long lines and hours of traffic, now you can spend more time working on your passion project or doing the things you love with your family and friends.  

Don't have a PayMaya account yet? Download the app now for your Android or iOS phone and register to pay for your bills, shop online, send money, and even buy prepaid load, in the most convenient way.  
PayMaya, the digital financial services arm of Voyager Innovations, is the only FinTech company in the Philippines offering integrated consumer and merchant payment solutions with the widest on-ground branch network. It is the first to give millions of Filipinos an e-wallet that allows them to pay cashless transactions at any time of the day, anywhere in the world, and from any device.    

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GIVEAWAY ALERT: Playful diapers & Jeunesse Anion napkins!

Monday, September 09, 2019


I'm doing a giveaway of #Playfulbabydiaper and #JeunesseAnion sanitary napkins.
Please click the links below to join!

Winners will be announced on Friday the 13th! (9/13)

Open to Metro Manila residents only..

Playful Baby Diapers
Instagram post on the giveaway + mechanics

Jeunesse Anion Sanitary Products
Instagram post on the giveaway + mechanics

Paradise Dynasty: Chef's Recommendation at The Podium

Friday, August 30, 2019

When I first tried Paradise Dynasty in S Maison in Conrad last 2016, I was impressed with the quality and taste of the dishes.  But there was a hitch - the distance.  How I wish they opened somewhere nearer me.  It was in 2017 that I learned that they have opened in The Podium mall!  Technically, it's still quite a distance but nevertheless, nearer than the other two branches (S Maison and SM Aura).

I have a confession.  There is this one dish that I truly truly TRULY love from Paradise Dynasty - and that's the Boiled Beef in Szechuan Chili Oil.  It's just sad because I can't order this dish when I'm with my family - as I'll be the only one eating it.  My Panget finds it too spicy while the kids obviously won't be able to take it in.  So for the times that we dine in Paradise Dynasty - I would longingly stare at it's image on the menu and secretly utter 'next time' with a heavy sigh.

Last week, we were treated to Paradise Dynasty's Chef Recommendation dishes, these are exclusive to The Podium branch.  And here they are:

Grouper with Pine Nuts and Fruits 
This grouper tasted so fresh and the flavors were spot on.  Didn't think fruit bits would compliment a grouper dish, but this one was perfect.  Order this instead of your usual grouper fare.

Shanghai Style Braised Pork Belly
 What I loved about this dish is that the ratio of the fat and the pork in the pork belly.  It was just right and so when you bite into a piece, everything is so tasty and blends really well.  My daughter loved this and I felt too that this was kid friendly (as my son is allergic to seafood).  This is something everyone will enjoy, it looks basic but the flavors are there and it's perfect to pair with rice or noodles.

Grilled Grouper with Tofu in Mapo Tofu Style
Here's another variation to the typical grouper dish.  It infuses a classic Chinese dish of mapo tofu and topped it on a grilled grouper.  This dish is definitely filling because I enjoyed the tofu cubes with the grouper.  I like that you can also top the sauce on white rice.  This I think is their vegetarian mapo tofu - the meat is substituted with fish!  It's a welcome variation, in my opinion.

Deep-fried Duck with Steamed Bun (served half)
It wasn't love at first sight, because I judged it immediately when I saw it.  Hahaha!  It was good nevertheless.  Something worth ordering.  I guess I'm just really biased with preferring my duck to be roasted and served in thin sheets of wrapper compared with this dish, served in a steam bun.  It was something different and something you'd want to order just to try a different style on your usual roast duck.  

Here are some of the usual favorites from Paradise Dynasty:

Please visit Paradise Dynasty at the Podium Mall.  They have the most wonderful and committed staff to help you with orders and everything else that you need.  They always serve with a smile and is very knowledgeable on their menu and which dishes goes with what.  The food is served fast hot and fresh too!  They are located on the 2nd Floor

Hope to bump into you there!

Cooking Quest: Homemade Chicken Sopas

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

I really like Chicken Sopas.  I remember when I was in grade school in ICA, I would run down to the canteen right after the bell rang for recess, so I can buy myself a cup of chicken sopas or arroz caldo.  I remember trying this every so often because I really liked hearty soup during recess.  There were times that the canteen would sell out on the chicken sopas and arroz caldo.  But surprise surprise, the kuya or ate who serve will always give me a smile and offer me a bowl that they've kept for me.  Sweet, noh?  Awwww!!

Since I also wanted some Chicken Sopas at home, I would buy the trusty Knorr Chicken or Beef Sopas pack in the supermarket.  This has been a staple in all of my supermarket runs.  I would need to have a few packs in the pantry just in case I had a craving.  It was so easy to make and I felt comforted when I had it.  I would still do this after I got married.  I even introduced my kids to having it because they were curious what Mommy was having.  It was last year, I think - that I noticed that the supermarket that I frequent doesn't carry the Knorr Chicken or Beef Sopas anymore.  I remember one time seeing packs of Knorr Beef Sopas on the shelves of Landmark Trinoma (maybe a year ago or so), I bought a few packets.  In my mind, since it was still sold there - I can always go back.  But when I went back a month ago, I didn't see it anymore.  I asked the staff in Landmark and was told that the product was phased out.  I never got a confirmation because I didn't try to call the consumer hotline of Knorr.  Maybe I should.

The past weeks, I haven't felt 100%.  I felt that my colds have been overlapping, bummer right?  But then last weekend, I decided that I need the comforting chicken sopas.  Seeing Rowena's IG post that she made chicken sopas from scratch inspired me to make my own.  I knew I had to do it because there were no short cut anymore.

So I browsed through Panlasang Pinoy's Rich and Creamy Chicken Sopas recipe and used it as a guide.  I tweaked it to become my own version.  I was also tipped by Animetric to use Cheez Whiz instead of salt.  So I bought a tipid pack during my supermarket run.  I will share below the ingredients and the procedures.

I honestly can't believe that I made my own chicken sopas from scratch!  It was possible.  I reminded me so much of the chicken sopas that I had in ICA.  The kids and my Panget loved it too.  It was a success!  Hahaha..  Now, I know that I can do it again - and it's not that hard to do.

1 Kilo Chicken Soup Pack (this is usually the breast part)
6 cups of Water (or more since you will be cooking the macaroni in the 'soup')
1 pack of Elbow Macaroni
1 big can of Carnation Evap
Cheez Whiz
2-3 pcs Knorr Chicken Cubes
1 large Onion
8 strips of Bacon chopped into smaller pieces
1/4 cup Butter
1 medium Carrot (diced)
1 small Cabbage chopped

In a large pot, boil chicken in the water.  Boil for about 20 minutes, take out the chicken let it cool.  When cooled, take out the meat and chop (I rough chopped it, but for uniformity's sake - dice it).  But the bones back in the chicken broth and continue to boil over low heat.  Add the 1 can of Carnation Evap and boil.  Add elbow macaroni and cook.  Please stir from time to time.

In another pan, cook the bacon with little oil.
Add the butter and cook.
Add the onions and carrots.
Cook until the carrots are softened
Add a little chicken broth so you can scrape the pan better

Take out the chicken bones from the boiling chicken broth.
Add the bacon, onion, and carrot mixture to the broth.
Add chopped cabbage and boil 5 minutes.

Taste the chicken sopas and add Cheez Whiz.  Don't forget to season with pepper too!  Oh by the way, I felt that the Cheez Whiz I added was too little, thus I needed to add chicken cubes for more flavor.

That's it!

Hope you enjoy!  If you have other tips, let me know!  I would love to try your version!!

On my next try, I would do the following:
1)  Use Ham instead of Bacon
2)  I'll cook the elbow macaroni beforehand in whole milk and add the liquid to the chicken broth (instead of evap)
3)  I'll add pounded garlic
4)  Use one whole chicken (cut up) for the broth
5)  Use the chicken breast and dice it (I rough chopped kasi)
6)  I will try to put vienna sausages

PAYMAYA: The convenient way to pay and receive money!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Ever since I was introduced to PayMaya, my shopping and spending has never been the same.  I am able to pay bills, buy load and receive money 24/7.  It was so easy!

When they introduced the QR payment, my golly - it became much more convenient!  Even if I didn't have my wallet on me, I would still be able to pay using the app!  I didn't need to take my wallet out!  As we always have our mobile phones on our hands - it was so much easier!  My friends would often wonder why I keep using PayMaya - well, it's because of the ease and convenience.

They have deals like my favorite cash back.  At first I was't aware of that promo, and then one time - I made a purchase in Mercury and I received a text message right after I scanned and paid via QR.  The text said that I received a cash back with the amount of 10% of my total purchase!  Well, since then - I would always make it a habit to use my Paymaya and pay via QR code.

So, what else can PayMaya do?   When you register, you automatically are assigned a virtual credit card.  This virtual credit card can be used on all international sites that require a credit card purchase!  Can you believe it?  You don't need a physical card to purchase on the popular international shopping sites!

If you do what a physical card, you can get yourself one from their website.  They have promos on it too because you can link multiple cards to your account.  Also, the PayMaya card is widely accepted worldwide!  I have successfully used the PayMaya card in Tokyo and Hong Kong, convenient - right?!!

Try it to believe!

So download the PayMaya app NOW on Android and iOs!  Input the code below and earn yourself P50.00!


Geena's Deliciously Rich Chocolate Cake

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

I am not a chocolate person.  It was only when 8 years ago that I started to appreciate chocolates - the brown ones I mean.  I prefer white chocolate, but some say that it's really NOT chocolate per se.  But I started my appreciation with chocolate during a pregnancy craving while I was pregnant with Kailee.  I would eat certain chocolate cakes and drink hot chocolate.

I like my chocolate cakes sweet.  I've tried so many 'the best' chocolate cakes but most of them are a bit bitter.  I think it's really me - because a chocolate enthusiast will appreciate the more bitter darker chocolates, am I right?  So I'm the pretend chocolate fan.  Hahaha! I can admit that.  Hihi..

My in laws are chocolate lovers.  They like and appreciate anything chocolate.  So during our usual family dinner, I thought to bring a chocolate cake from somewhere we haven't ordered before.  I saw on Leslie's (shootfirsteatlater) and Jin's (jinlovedtoeat) IG feed - Geena's Chocolate Cake.  They were raving about it and it looked really interesting and good!  To be honest, it wasn't very appealing to me - because 'not much of a chocolate fan', but then I made a mental note to remember it for the benefit of my in laws and for future reference.  Hihi..

So I ordered and the very nice person at the other end of the mobile number was very kind to accommodate my quite last minute order.  (Thank you!!) I sent the order from, made payment and waited the next day for my order to come.  I ordered the 10x14 and it cost Php1,650.00.   It was quite painless - our exchange was very fast and clear.  They deliver via Lalamove and so it was all the more convenient, I didn't need to have it picked up!  Yey, right?

When the order arrived, the cake was inside a pristine white box with a black ribbon and a tag that says Geena's Cake Boutique.  When I opened the box - it looked so perfect!  I swear, it looked really chocolatey.  I was honestly a bit repelled since it was all brown!  Hahaha..  Look how perfect the ganache is - my reflection is there taking a photo (buking!)

So that night, when dessert time came - I did the first slice - and I knew I had to try it first, if it was dark chocolatey or if it was the kind of chocolate that I liked.  The slice was quite an experience, the cake knife dug into the ganache and I knew that I was cutting into the cake because of there was a bit of resistance.  This was the first corner slice:

Look at that gooey ganache and chocolate cake.  I was afraid honestly.  It looked really chocolate-y, I was hoping that it will be the right kind of chocolate that I liked!  Hahaha...  And when I took the first bite.  I was sooooo perfect for me!  The texture was exactly how I imagined a rich chocolate cake was to be, the ganache had the sweetness that wasn't overly sweet.  I was honestly afraid that my in laws would think it too sweet!  I gave my panget a bite and he said it was good.  I got my father in law spoon full to try and he said it was good.  It was such a hit!  Kailee and Connor asked for slices too - and they were saying how yummy it was!  We even gave Shobe some to try and she kept going back to my Panget because she wanted more - she looked really cute and messy eating it.

Look at what happened to the cake:

On our family dinners, my Panget and I usually take home the left over dessert.  It was always us and no one else.  But guess what happened - my SIL took home half of what was left!  Hahaha..  I think she loved it too!  See how good it was?

When we got home, Connor asked for a slice.  I was reluctant but gave in.  The next morning, my Panget and I had it for breakfast - and by lunch time - our 'take home' was gone.  It was that good!

Try it if you haven't.

I can't stop thinking about it.  Hahha!

Thank you Geena's Cake Boutique for sharing your creation!  We LOVED it so much!!