Okay, so the real reason we came back to Hong Kong was because of the Hello Kitty popup grocery that would be closing by the end of May. It wasn’t even a question of whether I’d go back. As my daughter puts it, “You simply have to go there.” So there. I am an obedient mother.
But as it was already our second return to Hong Kong for the year, I was determined that we would not just shop the way we usually do, but also try to experience more of what the city had to offer in terms of food. I was glad to find some dessert gems that we would definitely go back to.
Dim Dimsum – The one that we tried was in Mongkok. Thank goodness there was only a short line outside the restaurant. It is just a tiny place with simple furnishings, but my friends (who were big dumpling fans) really enjoyed eating a lot of different food! I personally liked the presentation of their milk tea, and enjoyed my piggy salted egg custard and pineapple buns!
Oddies Foodies- Located at the Soho district, this dessert place serves egg waffles with gelato. The one we ordered had brownies pressed into it. They also had packed Nutella meringue which you could buy to give away to friends.
Taste Cafe in Macau – Ok, so technically, it’s not in Hong Kong, but if you have time, Macau also has very interesting places to eat in. Sadly, I don’t know the exact location of this place, but it is along Senado, when you attempt to walk to the ruins. They had a purple yam sandwich, that was really a dessert because apart from purple yam, it had condensed milk as a topping!
I’m glad we explored a lot of eats in this trip! Happy travels =)
This year, I made a promise to my family that we would explore the Philippines more. We are avid travellers, but sadly, we rarely choose to go around places in our own country because 1) it is hot most of the time and 2) it almost costs as much, or sometimes more than travelling to certain countries with more pleasant weather. But, I told myself that I wouldn’t make any excuses this time and really put the Philippines in our travel agenda.
Dumaguete was actually our second planned trip around the country. The first one was to the Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna, which was really just a day trip so I don’t have a story for that visit.
Dumaguete surprised me with its natural beauty and accessibility. There are so many gorgeous places to go to in this tiny island of just over a hundred thousand people. But, as we were newbies, we took the more expensive route and hired a tour guide. You can skip this part, and benefit from my experience by reading along and finding a more cost-effective way of going around Dumaguete.
As I’ve said, all the major attractions in Dumaguete are just 30 minutes to an hour away from the main city, so if you’re travelling in a group, just hire a van. This will set you back Php 3,500 per day, but the van is very comfortable and can easily sit 9 people, ideal for families and groups of friends. If you’re on your own, best to hire your own motorcycle guy to bring you to different places. Of course, you have to risk it because Dumaguete doesn’t require helmets for motorcycle drivers and passengers (go figure).
Our hotel was located at the heart of the city, and I still think it’s a good idea to do that since all sights worth seeing are just walking distance from the hotel. Next time though, I would opt to book a hotel facing the Rizal Boulevard because 1) the scenery’s great. You’re overlooking the sea and the island of Siquijor; and 2) all the major restaurants are lined up along Rizal Boulevard.
The Places to Hit
Siliman University- Apart from being one of the oldest universities in the Philippines, it also boasts of its very own anthropological museum and the biggest library in Dumaguete. The library is open to the public, while there is a small fee for entering the museum.
Rizal Boulevard- For anyone who enjoys eating, or hanging out, the boulevard is the best place to walk through. More on what you can eat in this area later.
Twin Lakes of Balinsasayao- Oh my, this is probably one of the most gorgeous places you can visit. It didn’t even take us thirty minutes to get her from the hotel. Once you arrive, you can take a boat to see both lakes from a viewing point.
Manjuyod Sandbar- I’ve been to the Honda Bay sandbar in Palawan, but it’s tiny compared to the 7 km sandbar of Manjuyod. White sand, clear waters, boatmen selling fresh buko, who can say no to this gorgeous location? After you get your fill of walking (if you don’t swim) or swimming, they’ll whisk you off to the middle of the ocean to look for dolphins! Then there’s lunch on the boat where copious amounts of crabs, shrimp and fish will be served.
Pulangbato Falls and Sulphur Mountains- Pulangbato waterfalls is another easy-to-reach place in Dumaguete. You can swim here, so do bring your bathing suits along. Very near it is a hot springs resort that gets its heat from the sulphur mountains. The water is really rusty, and the stones are a magnificent copper color!
Eats Time to Eat!
I would be amiss if I didn’t mention all the wonderful food that you can eat and bring home from Dumaguete.
Budbod sa Tanjay – A good thing to snack on, and a cheap pasalubong to take home is Dumaguete’s version of suman (sticky sweet rice). You can choose from just plain suman, suman with chocolate (the one I got) and suman with mango. This is normally served along the marketplace. If you want to take some home, I suggest you refrigerate it, or store in the freezer until you’re ready to eat. I usually fry mine once I take them out in the freezer. Yummy breakfast!
Panda Fried Ice Cream-Located at Maria Cristina St. (very near Siliman University), this treat is like eating a donut stuffed with ice cream. I really liked it!
Sans Rival Cafe – You can get cheap meals here (some are not even Php 200 a plate), plus you can take home a box or two of their silvanas and sansrival. This, and many more restaurants are found along the Rizal boulevard. That’s it! I hope you learned a thing or two! Happy travels =)
I confess: I have a pancake addiction. I think I need a pancake intervention because of the level of obsession I have for these fluffy circles topped with butter and syrup. To satisfy my cravings, I have traveled far and wide in search of the most heavenly bite of pancake. And let me tell you, you don’t have to go very far. Hands down, for the price and consistency, Pancake House still gives all the places that I’ve been to a run for their money. But, as I also find it boring to eat in just one restaurant all the time, I have to have other options to get my pancake fix. Below are some of my suggestions.
Seattle’s Best, Makati
Of all the chain coffee shops I’ve had the pleasure of eating in, I think Seattle’s (this was the one in Makati) offers the most complete breakfast. You can choose your sides (bacon, sausage, eggs, etc.). And their pancake is good enough (not great though–lacks in fluffiness). I’m a little bit partial to a complete package, and they gave single-serve butter…not the best partner for pancakes in my opinion. But, it’s priced competitively and the service is pretty fast, so I recommend it for those who just came out of work in the wee hours of the morning and would like a decent breakfast.
Mario’s, Quezon City
As you can tell, this is a monster breakfast fit for a king! And the price is not bad at all…pretty affordable actually. They topped the pancake with whipped butter, and as you can also see from the picture, the pancakes are quite fluffy. So, it comes as no surprise that this is on my list, especially if you have guy companions because they will definitely enjoy the portions.
Eggs n’ Things, Fukuoka, Japan
I first discovered Eggs n’ Things when we went to Hawaii some years back. It’s a breakfast chain store (like IHOP) but I think its origins are Japanese. So, when we came across it in Fukuoka, I just knew I had to order their pancakes (I had forgotten how they tasted like…it was so long ago =). As the picture shows, it was a very big meal. The slabs of bacon are thick and the eggs are a beautiful shade of orange. Whipped butter, check! Fluffiness, check! And yes, quite pricey! It’s not for everyday breakfast, but definitely a place to go to when you’re entertaining guests, or celebrating a special occasion.
Wild Flour, The Podium, Ortigas
I saved the best for last! Wild Flour is known for its tasty concoctions, from sandwiches to meals and I have never eaten anything here that I didn’t immediately like. This pancake is way up there, level of Pancake House, great. It’s not whipped butter, but its salted butter on top of a sprinkling of confectioners sugar. Look at its glorious fluffiness. I don’t know how they achieve it, but these pancakes are as light and fluffy as clouds! Inside it is ricotta cheese, mmm. Makes me think all pancakes should have built-in ricotta cheese. I also love that it’s partnered with caramelized banana (you know, to keep it healthy =). But since both are sweet, I still need to order a side of bacon. It is pricey, but so worth it!