Happy 3rd Anniversary, Team Aldous!

Last Saturday, the sexiest blogger group on the planet Team Aldous celebrated its third anniversary with a bang. The event was a big celebration with delicious food, unlimited drinks, incredible performances and a celebrity host at a rooftop party. Three years ago, if you told me I would be holding something like this then I would have told you that you were crazy. But fast forward three years later and we celebrate a wild journey in building a group that I am looking forward to being with every single event. It ended up being one of the best events I have ever made despite the heavy rains.

With the absence of rice, we still had some carbs in the form of create your own pasta. I loved the pasta choices and for those who don't know, the brains behind The Royal Caterer is none other than Chef Boy Logro. That's right! Mr. Yum-yum-yum-ping-ping-ping is the man in the kitchen so you can expect nothing but good quality food from them.

The Pork Kebab is a favorite that is always served in Royal Caterer events. Now that Christmas is around the corner, their food is a must for all company Christmas parties. Your company won't have an unforgettable party without good food and they will take good care of that so call them now.

Fried Lumpia

Sausage with Onion Rings

Maja Blanca

It was a good thing the Royal Caterer decided to bring out its Maja Blanca as it is something I always see in the 7 Flavors buffet spread. Every time I eat there, I never fail to get a couple and it is best when mixed with ice cream or buko pandan.

Maraschino Bakeshop delivered with their Chocolate Cheesecake and Red Velvet Cheesecake. Everyone enjoyed their sweet endings to this party. What a wonderful treat! Some of the bloggers even took home some in order to have their family taste it because it was that good. I definitely had a smile on my face when Team Aldous' Anxious Auntie Jel arrived with the cakes. I knew we were going to be headed to a happy ending and I was right. Who would not be happy with cheesecakes right?

Fantasy Kiosk provided a nice photo booth with a waterproof frame when it gets printed. There was one time when all 12 of us were able to fit in one picture and there is no better feeling than having all your friends in one photo as it will serve as remembrance of this memorable event in the future. It also showed how close we were as a unit.

Chichay Balagtas and AM^2 both performed and they were equally impressive. The best part has got to be Chichay's version of "Secret Love Song". She is definitely in a different level in terms of singing and she is still very young. There is no doubt she has a bright future ahead if she continues to pursue her singing career.

DJ Toni Tubero hosted tonight's event and I must say he did a pretty good job. I recommend him to anybody out there looking for a host for any event. His best lines were "Maglalaro naman tayo ng game...alam nyo ba un Pak Ganern?" and "Salamat sa Team Aldous Bloggers kasi kung hindi dahil sa inyo wala tayong audience ngayon".

I actually rewrote Parokya ni Edgar's The Yes Yes Show and me and Manfred sang our own version. It became a laughing stock to say the least as I ended up showing everyone that it is not really a good idea to drink before rapping. I loved my third verse though.

Tsong naman pls lang wag ka ng mayabang
Alam mo naman na ang tagal mo magblog
Ilan na ba ang nagawa ko follow up bago ka magblog 

Manfred may be heading towards a rapping career instead of law as he killed this verse:

Eh bat ibang bloggers naman kahit di sila nag vlog
Ang ginagawa nilang blog ay sobra kung sumikat
Tulad ko at ni Roch at ni Jen at si Coco
Na wala nga yatang mas-sisikat pa kahit na sino

I still loved the ending I made for the song though sang by AM^2:

Alam naman natin lahat na mahal nating ang isa't isa
Walang iwanan sa sexy squad
Sa grupong Team Aldous

The night would not have been a wild one without some vodka shots from Wild Cocktails. They had some fine drinks for everyone whether they preferred alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks. As you can see, me, Jen, Issa and Jenny all drank at the same time and we all had different reactions after it.

When the night was over, I closed the event with a speech. I told the group that we went through a lot and I mean a LOT. We have been to restaurants, waxing salons, cooking classes, food parks, beach trips, team buildings and even quiz nights. I promised them the best is yet to come and this is definitely just the beginning. I would not have done any of this with another group of bloggers. Long live the sexiest blogger group on the planet!

One Big Round of Applause to all the Sponsors:

The Royal Caterer
Instagram @theroyalcaterer.ph
Instagram @fantasykiosk

Thanks to Berk's Studio Photography and Videography for all the pictures
Instagram @berksphotoandvideo
(02) 662-0137

Orange Lights and Sounds

Wild Cocktails

Maraschino Bakeshop
Instagram @maraschinobakeshop

Bethany Dream Cakes
(02) 986-06-74

Sapphire Bloc Food Revolution Part 5 - The Stockpile

When I heard that one of my favorite chefs in the country, Tanya Chua has a new restaurant, it was good news to my ears. I got ecstatic when I heard it was going to be the 5th stop in the Sapphire Bloc Food Revolution. By this time, I was so full already but that did not stop me from attempting to sample the Stockpile's best sellers. Just as I expected, they have comfort food at its finest.

Crispy Pig's Ears

Salted Egg Baby Squid

Since Stockpile becomes a drinking place at night, they have some nice bar chow including the Salted Egg Baby Squid and the Crispy Pig's Ears. Both were crunchy at every bite and I recommend ordering them when you are feeling tipsy after a few shots.

Truffle Four Cheese Pasta

My favorite dish is by far the Truffle Four Cheese Pasta. When there is Truffle Four Cheese, you know I am there. Even if I was so full already that night after trying out four restaurants prior to Stockpile, I was still eating this dish. That shows you two things. One, I love Truffle Four Cheese and two, I got addicted to this dish from the start.

Truffled Beer Braised Grilled Cheese Dip

I definitely felt the beer in this Grilled Cheese. It is even twice as good when it is dipped into the gravy. I love Grilled Cheese sandwiches and this immediately goes into my top 5.

Artichoke & Mushroom Pizza

It is no secret I love mushroom and with the abundance of it along with artichoke on this pizza, it became a dish made in heaven for me. When Chef Tanya conceptualized the menu for Stockpile, she just imagined what she wanted to eat and I guess we felt the same way because I would definitely order every item in the menu at Stockpile with the Artichoke & Mushroom Pizza being the first.

Cabanatuan Longganisa Paella

This Paella is so flavorful that I did not feel the need to sprinkle more longganisa into it. I remember how I used to recommend Chef Tanya's Sunshine Kitchen to anybody who would ask me where is a good place to it. Now, I will do the same to Stockpile and one of the reasons is the Cabanatuan Longganisa Paella. What a treat!

6 Hour Slow Roast Porchetta

They sure saved the best for last as the 6 Hour Slow Roast Porchetta - their signature dish came with some needed vegetables. We must be reminded that the comfort food they serve here is not exactly for those who are health conscious. This is a reminder that true comfort food is the one that satisfies our belly and not our soul. 

I won't hesitate to come back to Stockpile and bring the entire gang if ever I had one. I will definitely try their array of classic cocktails, craft beers on tap and New World wines. 

The Stockpile
Sapphire Bloc, Ortigas

Sapphire Bloc Food Revolution Part I - Kkokko

What will a Korean chicken say when it wakes up in the morning? Kkokko! Believe it or not, that is exactly what Kkokko in English means. It is cock a doodle doo! Yeah, it is that annoying sound that wakes you up when you are in the middle of your dream of being very rich.

In our first stop of the Sapphire Bloc Food Revolution, we had a late lunch/early dinner at Kkokko Korean Restaurant. I must say the interiors are nice and they also have a relaxing atmosphere.

Cheese Fondue (P988)

They say the Cheese Fondue is fit for 8 to 10 people but I think that is a little too much. I'd say it is only for about 4 to 5 people who are on a so-called diet. It has spicy french fries, homemade onion rings and boneless chicken chunks tossed in your choice of sauce. The best part of it all is the melted cheese in a bread bowl right in the middle. The operations manager taught us that right in the middle of eating it you must slice down the bread so that you can also eat it. Some people might forget that the bread can also be eaten.

Beef Bulgogi Dosirak (P228)

Dosirak is lunch box in Korean and now I know how Koreans go to office or school with their "baon". It is beef bulgogi mixed with sweet dilis, stewed kimchi and a sunny side up egg. You can close the dosirak and shake it for as long as you want. Just be sure the lid is shut or else it would spill. You must dig the other ingredients in the lunch box before shaking it though.

We ended the night with snow chicken coated in cheese and spicy barbeque. I don't know what type of cheese they used on the chicken but it tasted like polvoron which could be a good thing for some people. It was not for me though as I prefer parmesan and other cheese just does not fit to be the chicken coat. Meanwhile, the other bloggers exclaimed the spicy flavor was really spicy so I chose not to try it but it is good for those who love spicy food.

Sapphire Bloc, Ortigas

Sapphire Bloc Food Revolution Part 2 - Papa Diddi's Et Al

Our 2nd stop for the Sapphire Bloc food crawl is Papa Diddi's. Owners Paul Perez and Malou Perez-Nievera dedicated Papa Diddi's in honor of their father who is an Ibanag lawyer who likes to celebrate what Cagayan Valley has to offer especially the good food. Being a regular at their Maginhawa ice cream parlor, I was surprised that they also offer awesome food selections at their Sapphire Bloc branch. It was a good thing they were our 2nd stop in this tummy crunching food crawl. I must say the concept of food from the deep Philippine regions is wonderful.

Pancit Batil Patung (P280)

Before anything else, I love their place mats. It is obviously made up of recycled jeans where the utensils are placed in the pocket. I must say that is such a creative idea.The Pancit Batul Patung is their version of the famous Tuguegarao dish containing egg noodles, beef and egg soy broth where the soup is separated. You also have the option of mixing soy sauce, chopped onions and spicy vinegar in it which will make it even more tasty.

Sinela anna Longganisa (P230)

The Tuguegarao garlicky Longganisa is without a doubt the highlight of the night. To top it all off, it is also has garlic-cilantro sinangag, fried egg, and pickled fruits and veggies in season. It is a breakfast meal made in heaven indeed.

Sinanta anna Pinakufu (P280)

This dish is a combination of sotanghon and flat noodles with Cagayan river clams, chicken and shrimp matched with caramelized fried sticky glutinous rice. The best part about it is that at only P280, it is a dish that is already good for 3 to 4 people to share with.

Our trip to Papa Diddi's could not have come at a better time since I was just at their Maginhawa branch the other night feasting on a 3 scoop delight. I had Forbidden Rice, Closed Cheese and Corn with Strawberry that time. This time, we were served Forbidden Rice and Tres Leche. If there is anything better than ice cream, it is organic ice cream.

Papa Diddi's Et Al
Sapphire Bloc, Ortigas

Terrific Tapas at Asombroso

With the Yard at Xavierville food park getting so crowded especially on weekends, you may make a mistake overlooking Asombroso Tapas Bar. Owner Rachelle told us that she does not mind the others getting the attention. She lets her delicious tapas do all the talking. I thought to myself that is such a confident answer from such a humble lady.

 Clams and Mussels in White Wine Sauce (P150)

The best part about the Clams and Mussels in White Wine Sauce is the fact that it is showered with bits of ham. I recommend it to those who are fans of clams and mussels since it is something that is a hassle to eat as you have to use hands. It is very flavorful though so it is not the usual clams and mussels you are used to. It was made even better.

Pulpo Ala Gallega (P160)

This lovely appetizer is loaded with potatoes and octopuses. I am a potato lover so it was not hard for me to be pleased with this dish. There is also an option to sprinkle lemon into it and that will take you to cloud 9 especially if you drink it with a glass of wine.

Paella Balls (P180)

I loved these Paella Balls and I actually never saw rice in fried balls before so this was relatively something new for me. Their sauce for the Paella Balls is a must try too as I almost made the mistake of not dipping the Paella Balls onto the sauce.

The Tapas at Asombroso are great for those who are on a sort of diet. Their food is light and they are healthy when combined with wine. I will definitely come back to try their other tapas.

Asombroso Tapas Bar
The Yard at Xavierville

Seafood Diet at Prawn Star

The "whenever I sea food I eat it" type of Seafood Diet immediately sprang into action when we decided to indulge into the fresh sea creatures of Prawn Star. If you love Boiling Seafood, Shrimp Bucket and Bag O Shrimp then I am 100% sure you will love Prawn Star. With 30 stalls in the Yard at Xavierville, you won't have to look too far to find the true star of the pack.

There are only 3 steps before you can enjoy your seafood bag. First, you must choose the seafood. Second, you must decide on the flavor. Last, it is time to decide the level of spiciness. After that, it is time to get your hands dirty literally by putting on a pair of gloves and enjoy their brand of seafood.

Owners Monica and Tara were actually the one who named the bag "Aldous' Pride" and I could not have picked a better name than that. It had the Sexy & Hottie: Cajun flavor and it was very tasty. In fact, I can't wait to try the other flavors as they sound promising especially the Gata and Salted Egg. It had shrimps, clams, crabs, marble potatoes, corn and green mussels too which made it an overloaded bag but nobody is complaining about that.

It was one of those rare times when I wish I had at least two cups of rice in front of me. One tip I can give is that the gloves can become slippery in the middle of this feast. When that happens, feel free to ask for another pair. After eating here, Prawn Star also became my pride and joy. What a destination for seafood lovers! 

Prawn Star
The Yard at Xavierville

All Things Come Better in Tu's

Tu's is actually Spanish for "yours" as it signifies you will really feel at home in this comfy restaurant started by two best friends Krsna and Kai. They serve fine Spanish comfort food that will make you regret you had not discovered this quaint restaurant sooner.

Fresh Lemonade Pitcher (P395)

There is nothing that feels better than having a cold glass of lemonade. Tu's takes it up another notch by serving a pitcher of freshly squeezed lemonade. This time, they mean freshly squeezed because they squeeze the lemonades upon your order. What a treat!

Mozzarella Sticks (P220)

One of their new dishes is the Mozzarella Sticks. I made a mistake at first to not dip the cheese loaded sticks into the tomato salsa as it turned out to be a nice combination.

Wet Beef Burrito (P390)

The only rice dish we had for the night was hidden in mozzarella cheese and salsa in this Wet Beef Burrito. The rice with beef is wrapped in a tortilla lathered with tomato sauce and topped with sour cream and jalapenos. The fact that it was cooked in this Cazuela or Spanish cooking pot makes it even more attractive to foodies like me. This dish definitely had me hooked right from the start until the end but I preferred to skip the jalapenos since I have a low tolerance in spicy food.

4 Cheese and Bacon Pot Pie (P390)

I'm glad Tu's has an assortment of Pot Pies and I was also happy the one we got to try was the 4 Cheese and Bacon Pot Pie. I love cheese and there was just so much cheese in this one that I was so addicted to it from my first bite up to the last one. I have to admit it was my favorite among all the dishes that was served.

Cheese and Onions (P680)

Herbed Butter (P640)

I loved the concept of their rib eye getting topped with different toppings as the Herbed Butter is topped with fresh herbs and butter while the Cheese and Onions is with melted cheese and sauteed white onions. They are also served with your choice of home fries, smashed potato with grave, butter, rice or sauteed corn. Before that, they will ask you your desired doneness and we got the medium rare which is the most popular one.

Fideua Negra (P490)

It is Tu's version of the Seafood Paella except we get noodles instead of rice which is something I have never seen before. I really have to give credit to Chef Krsna for all these innovative recipes that I thought we were never going to see but we are seeing it at Tu's thanks to her. I have to give two thumbs up to the Fideua Negra too as it is a perfect fit to be in tandem with the rib eye steak.

Half Baked Cookie (P180)

A lot of people come to Tu's just for the Half Baked Cookie and it has got to be the most Instragrammable item on the menu as well. I saw the eyes of my fellow bloggers light up from the moment they tasted it. Their homemade cookie is chewy, gooey and downright yummy. I highly recommend it to everybody as it is more than just a photogenic dessert.

The smooth ambiance, good food and friendly company made this rare trip to the south for me pretty much worth it. I will certainly come back to try the other pot pies and the half baked cookie again.

D1 Westgate Center, Alabang