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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

No this is not steak. This is daifuku or a mochi that is filled with something sweet. I just wanted to take note of this dessert and some other street food items that are a must when you visit TOKYO'S famous TSUKIJI MARKET. Although, yes, we will talk about steak, these items were very iconic in my return visit to Tokyo as I had them before and now that I'm back, I was able to fall in love with them all over again.
Even before I went to Japan, I have been hearing about the amazing dishes it has to offer. Granted that I was introduced to local Japanese fare in Manila early on, TOKYO is the foodie haven waiting to be conquered. 
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After visiting the famous TSUKIJI MARKET for a dose of street/market food, we went back to our home base in SHIBUYA. Thankfully,  our hotel was just a stone throw away from IKINARI STEAK.
This steak house franchise is known for affordable deals and they charge you based on the amount and type of steak you order. It's really getting your money's worth. Furthermore, most of their restaurants do not offer seats or chairs. THIS SHIBUYA location thankfully, does.
After ordering sides, you're given a table number and are expected to go over to the counter. There, you choose your type of steak and how big you want it to be. After a few minutes, they prepare it and serve it on a sizzling plate.
Don't worry as you are given a clothing protector for the sizzling oil. After you get your steak, don't forget to add the different sauces on the table. Everything is affordable and it's quite delicious. Of course it doesn't compare to those pricey cuts of meat that you could get at other locations. At IKINARI STEAK however, you'll enjoy everything and your wallet won't feel the pinch.
IKINARI STEAK in SHIBUYA is located just besides ICHIRAN. Their address is
Japan, 〒150-0041 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jinnan, 1 Chome−22−7 岩本ビル. Just like with other Japanese restaurants, payment is done on the counter just before you leave. Get the paper they put on your table, and pay the amount.

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Monday, July 9, 2018
KIEN: Must Visit Tokyo Restaurant For An Affordable Michelin Experience

I visited this place twice in a span of two days. Not because I was madly deeply in love with it (believe me, I have done that before). Rather, the first visit yielded negative results. It was fully reserved hence no lunch deal. The next day was way better as we were the first in line. KIEN is a michelin star restaurant that is worth a try.
It looks like a normal place. It's in a residential area and is surrounded by houses. You won't really know that KIEN is there other than a front loaded garden with a small sign on top.
Going for full on courses would require reservations. Other than that, the lunch sets are pretty much affordable and are on a first come first serve basis. There's actually two types to pick from and both of them are pretty good. Once has deep fried fish and some sweet pork.
From my understanding, they sometimes change certain parts of the set to go with the season. The pork was tender while the tuna was mixed with a sort of sesame dressing making it wonderful to eat.
The other set was somewhat different in a sense that you have to mix different components to make your bowl. The seafood is already marinated and you actually add a bit of broth to your rice with it. We were glad that there were a couple of Japanese ladies that were able to teach us how to eat it. Thankfully, they were able to speak in English and were a delight to speak with.
For the price and the quality of the food, I can say that it's worth a visit. Maybe next time, you could go for the kaiseki or the multi course Japanese set KIEN is known for. It may be a bit expensive but it's definitely one of the reasons why this restaurant has a Michelin Star. Don't forget to check out their operating hours and that they're also close during Sundays. Cheers

2 Chome-18-8 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo 107-0052, Japan
3 minute walk from Gate 12 of Tameike-Sanno Station, Tokyo Metro
5 minute walk from Gate 3 of Roppongi-Itchome Station, Tokyo Metro Namboku Line
7 minute walk from Gate 5b of Akasaka Station, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line
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Monday, July 2, 2018

 Want to learn something I've realized when I visited Japan for the nth time? Japan is more than just ramen. They have different noodle dishes among other things that makes its food culture amazing. After checking out the must visit TSUKEMEN SHOP in TOKYO RAMEN STREET, I told myself it was worth the 30 minute walk from my earlier lunch.
 Located in the underground floor of the Tokyo station, ROKURINSHA is one of the noodle shops that is a must visit among the different restaurants in the TOKYO RAMEN STREET. Since Japan is known for their subways and train station, you should realize that most restaurants put up shop there. It's like they make their own underground strip mall that has everything. From clothes, to restaurants, to even mini grocery stores, they are all there.
 ROKURINSHA is known for having long lines. It's a good thing I visited after an earlier lunch. Even so, I had to wait a good 30 minutes just to get in. Once you line up, a staff ask for how many you are in the group. If there's only one or two, you might get lucky and sit on the bar. There you could see the magic happen. If a bigger group, they have tables good for four.
 When you're near the end of the line, they let you go to the vending machine and pay for a meal. You could then get a ticket stub and would present such once you are seated. The place is busy almost always. As you can see, there are only a limited number of seats available so it's best to plan out when you will visit.
 Once you give your stub, they cook and prepare the noodles infront of you. I'm guessing the broth has been cooked for hours. They set everything up and you have your meal. Don't forget to use the paper bib that they give you. Slurping and adding some broth to your dipping sauce makes it a messy way to eat. The noodles are perfectly good and aren't soggy. The dipping sauce is thick so it's deep flavor really sticks to the noodles. If you finish your noodles, you could order up some more or add some broth to it to make it into a soup.
It's definitely a must visit place to enjoy your Tsukemen. I would gladly wait for an hour to get another dose of this treat. Of course, I'm going to plan my visit just so that I don't go during peak time. ROKURINSHA is located in Tokyo Station.

Japan, 〒100-0005 Tokyo, Chiyoda, Marunouchi, 1−9-1 東京駅一番街 東京ラーメンストリート内

They are open from 7:30-9:45 am and 10:30Am to 10:45Pm. They have a different breakfast offering for the early visitors.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

To be honest, I didn't know what the hype is all about. All I know is that this is an American burger chain that has different franchises all over the world. One country that has it would be Japan. Since I found myself walking around in Tokyo, I bumped into this BURGER PLACE and checked it out for myself. I didn't know what the hype is all about but even if it does cost a bit more than the usual meal, I gave it a shot. Hello SHAKE SHACK JAPAN.
The concept is pretty simple. Order a burger with a side dish and don't forget about the drinks. Arriving at lunch time, there was a line but the waiting time wasn't that long.
There was a lot of choices when it comes to the drinks but the food itself, they made it pretty simple. A burger, a hotdog or fries.
I heard a lot of good things with regards to their milkshake so I didn't pass on that. The burgers seemed a bit expensive but heck if I'm just going to try it once, might as well. Of course, you can't have burgers without fries. It would be lonesome without it.
To start things off, I went for their bacon and cheese burger. the SHACKBURGER. It seemed pretty decent. After a bite, I didn't feel that wow factor. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious and moist. BUT, I don't think it would be worth a pretty penny for something like this. Granted that if you think about the cost, it will definitely cost as much but once or twice a year would be enough I guess.
Next up would be their "main attraction". It's a mix of the bacon and cheese burger and a portobello mushroom pattie.
It's not as huge as I want it to be but it does deliver. The mushroom was cooked perfectly and the meaty goodness went well with it.
If there was one thing that made that visit memorable, it would be their SHAKES. Amazing and addictive, these little bundle of joys are a must when you go. If you find yourself near one, I won't mind going with you just to get a piece of that shake. Thinking about it, that's the name of the restaurant, so it makes sense that they should know a lot about that.
Shake Shack Japan has a number of restaurant locations in the Tokyo area. There are also a couple outside of the capital. If you're looking for a snack, this would do. But for a heavy meal, go elsewhere unless if you have the extra money to spend.
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Wednesday, June 20, 2018
RESORTS WORLD GENTING: Malaysia's Cool Playground

 Who knew I would be back within a week? I found myself in Malaysia again but this time it was more for pleasure. I was there with my brother for an exciting and memorable vacation. Remember when I won the POKER TOURNAMENT in RESORTS WORLD MANILA? (check that out here) , one of the prizes was an all expense paid vacation to Malaysia. Not just anywhere in Malaysia but in RESORTS WORLD GETING.
Granted that most first time visitors to Malaysia would stay downtown to check out the Petronas Towers and even grab a bite in IKEA, RESORTS WORLD GENTING is a different place that sets you apart from everything else.
There are many ways to get to RESORTS WORLD GENTING, the most scenic and exciting way though would be through the use of their gondolas. If you have the guts, go for a glass floor version so that you could see what's below.
 RESORTS WORLD GENTING is an integrated resort that has everything one would want.
 The complex is huge. With different hotels, shopping areas, events places, and even a stunning casino.
 Since the place is on a mountain, you get the chance to dine on the clouds. The restaurants are vast and aplenty. You could go for something romantic or even as casual as you can get.
 One restaurant specializes in those special experiences that you may want to have with your loved one.
 Or you may want to try out some local delicacies in their "food court-like" area that serves different well known Malaysian and Asian dishes.
 Even if RESORTS WORLD GENTING is on top of a mountain, they have the freshest seafood to offer. Some oysters are amazing as appetizers.
 And yes, you could also go for some lobsters. They have a BURGER AND LOBSTER (check the place out here.) that always has a queue. Honestly, I'd gladly wait for a table in this restaurant.
And meat is also a big deal. You could never go wrong with it.
 As mentioned, ENTERTAINMENT is a big chunk of what RESORTS WORLD GENTING is all about. Aside from the gigantic casino, they have regular theatre shows.
 I was thankful that I was able to watch one with my brother and even get a picture taken with the cast.
RESORTS WORLD GENTING is the place to be at when in MALAYSIA. The weather is perfect. It's cool and the food divine.
Miss you guys! Thank you for showing us around! We enjoy your company!
Thank you very much RESORTS WORLD MANILA and RESORTS WORLD GENTING for having us.

Disclaimer: Wrote this based on my experience and views. Transportation, accommodation, and dining was taken cared of by our friend from Resorts World Manila and Resorts World Genting.
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

 A glimpse into paradise. That's how I saw Coron in Palawan. It was amazing. Everything was just wonderful.
 Flying to Coron, Palawan is easy. Just an hour away from Manila or Clark, you could land in BUSUANGA. Just 30 to 45 minute away from the airport, the town proper would greet you.
 Just on the outskirts, an amazing boutique hotel is present. Granted that it only has around 30 rooms and internet and cell signal isn't as great as it is in town, this place is worth the visit. It's just the perfect place to stay at. The FUNNY LION HOTEL in Busuanga is just relaxing.
 After checking in, you could head on over to town. At the dock, you get to see the CORON sign. It's actually a free place to go to. There's stairs that head up there for you to see the grand view.
 And that's the bay. There's a couple of hotels there that you might want to check out as well.
 If you need to relax and get your weary body a rest, I suggest visiting MAQUINIT HOT SPRING.  It's a bit off the usual path but it does let you enjoy the hot spring water coming from the mountains.
Most if not all of the tours out to CORON and nearby islands dust off from the main port area. If you get a tour, usually a van would pick you up from your hotel and bring you here.
If there was one tour that you would pick, go with the KAYANGAN LAKE. Don't be surprised as this poster card picture isn't the actual lake. This is from the viewing deck a few hundred steps up. The lake itself is on the other side. There, you get to frolic in the water and do a bit of floating. Remember to bring a vest as they won't allow you to swim without one.
A few minutes out, you could also visit CALACHUCHI beach. Here, the front part is covered with calachuchi trees. Hence, the name.
 This is where we were able to try out the freshly cooked food the boatman prepared for us. They actually cook it while in transit.
Just in front of the beach, there's a small coral area that has tons of fishes. There, you could see schools of fishes surround you.
 Another place not to miss would be SIETE PECADOS MARINE PARK. These are small islet that are surrounded by corals. As such, there are a number of sea creatures that lurk and swim in the area.
 After everything, you will definitely be full. Here are some of the dishes we tried at in THE FUNNY LION HOTEL.
In terms of the food, Busuanga's town proper isn't really the place to be at when you're craving for a specific dish. The restaurants we tried were just okay. In case you didn't know, BUSUANGA hasn't let big corporations and franchises show up. There's no McDonald's nor Jolibee there. We did enjoy and chose to just eat in the Funny Lion instead.
 You could have a few snacks by the pool. The Calamares are pretty good and and cheese fries not bad.
 Their rooftop turns into a bar starting after lunch and even has an acoustic band play during specific days in the week.
I think it's the chill vibe, excellent marine sanctuaries, and the view that makes CORON a must visit place when in the PHILIPPINES.
A beer, book, and some peanuts. Staying in a jacuzzi and watching the sunset is one of the best things you could do. Relax and enjoy the ride. Welcome to the Philippines!

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