J.CO DONUTS MEGAMALL

I don’t really go to Ortigas because it’s far from home. However, there are certain circumstances that would warrant me to drive all the way there, which I did today….for a matter of a dozen donuts!

J.CO Donuts is an Indonesian brand which recently opened at SM Megamall.

Image

I was never a fan of donuts and the real reason that opted me to check out the place is because I made a promise to my friend Riz that I would check it out on my free time.

Image

Image

When I arrived, I was surprised to see a lot of people in the store. In fact, they sell donuts so fast it’s like they’re selling pandesal in the morning! Just after a few minutes, the rack would be empty. Nevertheless, they replenish their stocks constantly.

The donuts are guaranteed fresh and the toppings are made from scratch. From the counter, you can see the bakers melt chocolate and put the filings inside the donuts. It was truly an interesting view on how everything was made.

Image

And since I’m new to the brand, I bought their J.POPS Baby Donuts so I can try everything! A box of these assorted bites-size donuts cost P250. It’s really the best choice for those customers who just want to try every flavor on the menu.

Again stated, I am not a fan of donuts so I don’t have much expectation from these babies. I just wanted to try them out of curiosity.

Upon tasting, I said to myself “wow, this is good!” The factor that separates J.CO from other stores is that their donuts are not too sweet. I mean it! You can eat out a whole box without feeling diabetic after. Moreover, their donuts differ in taste.You can distinguish one flavor from the other. Hindi siya puro lasang matamis lang.

Image

I would definitely buy again! I am looking forward to their Trinoma and Mall of Asia branch opening.

Advertisements

NAIL CONCEPT PANAY AVENUE

I love going to the nail salon on my free time. It’s a way of pampering myself after a stressful day. So one afternoon, I went to Nail Concept for pedicure and footspa. The place is a bit far from home but relatively near my brother’s office. Despite the location, I was lured into availing their service because of the vibe of the place.

Image

First thing I have to commend is that they have free parking space allotted for their customers. For those ladies bringing a car, parking space is really an essential factor.

Upon entering, the staff would greet you with a smile while handing out their list of services. I do appreciate their hospitality! In other nail salons I’ve been to, the staffs never put up even the slightest grin which made me feel they were not happy to be at my service. Good thing in this nail salon, you will be definitely greeted with a smile.

The place is spacious so one can really relax while availing their services. The place is not cramped with too many people as well. They have a collection of premium polishes from OPI, Sally Hansen, Kleancolor and The Face Shop, which is arranged by color and by shelf. Unlike other nail salon, they don’t charge extra for using premium polishes. In short, you can use whatever color and brand you like for your nails.

Image

I’m satisfied with their service. The nail technician really did a great job for my pedicure. As for the foot spa, the service was okay. Well just don’t expect a lot of foot exfoliating in the process.

I don’t remember the prices of their services but it’s definitely cheaper than Dashing Diva, Beauty & Butter and The Nail Spa. They also offer discounted rates at group buying sites occasionally.

I would definitely visit again!

Location:
Nail Concept
Unit A1-80 Panay Commercial Complex, Panay cor. Timog ave., Q.C.For reservations, please contact:
Phone #: 02 351 1395

ALBA TOMAS MORATO

I told mom that I would treat her for lunch one Friday afternoon. In truth, I availed a Deal Grocer voucher for a lunch buffet at Alba Restaurante Español for P450 per person (originally P715). I seldom go to a Spanish restaurant, and it would be my first time eating here so I’m thrilled to try their cuisine.

Image

the buffet table is at the end of the room

I made reservations two days earlier, but upon entry it seems that the waiters were not aware that I made one. Fortunately, it was not a problem since there were many vacant tables.

The food was great…not too many selections, but GREAT! They have the best Lengua Estofado I have ever tasted. I would say better than Conti’s and Casa Armas. The salad, paella, pasta, fish fillet and chicken cordon bleu are also worth mentioning. They also have dessert selections – about 3 or 4 dessert to choose from.

Lengua Estofado of Alba Restaurante Español

Considering that there are only few Spanish Restaurants in Manila, I would probably consider Alba as one of the best. Offering a buffet selection was a good marketable idea. In this way, I can choose portions of food that I want to eat instead of ordering ala carte. Ofcourse it would have been impractical for a group of two to order one paella, right?

I think the P900 voucher I bought at Deal Grocer is money well spent. I would definitely buy again if they would have another deal. However, I don’t see myself going to Alba just for the heck of it. I’m not the type of person who craves Spanish cuisine, so I guess I’ll probably just eat here if there will be promotional rates.

AMICI TOMAS MORATO

After ditching Patricia’s pre-birthday party, she invited me to a dinner at Amici with our other friends who were also absent in the said event. It’s actually my first time eating at this restaurant so I’m a bit excited to try their food

Good thing about Amici Tomas Morato, Quezon City is that they have valet! Finding an empty parking space around Tomas Morato is bothersome so it’s really added points to restaurants that offers valet parking.

Image

We went there on a Monday night so the tables were not full. The place was spacious and neat. It is also a good place for long conversations considering we were there for more than two hours. I don’t like the color of the place though, especially the chairs. For some reason, I think they chose a cheap shade of yellow and green for an Italian restaurant.

As for the food, well these are what we ate:

Image

Mozzarella Fritto

Image

Insalata Con Ricotta Fritti

Image

Margherita Pizza

Image

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Image

Spaghetti Alla Bolognese

Image

Ravioli di Pesce Mousseline

Image

Peach Walnut Ice Cream Cake

Image

Rouge Ice Cream Cake

Image

Chocolate Cake

We loved the Bolognese and Carbonara. The ravioli was nothing spectacular, except the fact that it’s color green (just like the chairs). What is really worth mentioning though is the Peach Walnut Ice Cream cake. It’s really good! I can see myself dropping by Amici one of these days for a slice. I’m not a fan of strawberry so I really have nothing to tell about the Rouge Ice Cream Cake, though my friends who took a bite of it said that it was good. I guess we were really mesmerized by the ice cream cakes! The chocolate cake is also good. It’s like the Classic Chocolate Cake sold at Starbucks Coffee. The rest of the food was okay.

As for the service, we didn’t have any problems, except that they don’t have the cream based ravioli we ordered (Sorry, I forgot the name). That is why we opted for Ravioli di Pesce Mousseline as a second choice.

Despite the fact that most of their food was “okay”, I would probably go here again when I’m craving for pizza and pasta. A doze of an ice cream cake wouldn’t hurt also.

THINGS I’M LOVING RIGHT NOW

Shopping is my favorite past time! For the past months I have been raving a couple of stuffs that I wanted to share.

You might want to try it because I can assure you, you will love it!

1. Hua Mulan Combs – Their combs are made from 100% natural materials such as wood, ox or goat horns. It also prevents falling hair, white hair, split ends, dandruff, and relieves migraine and headaches.

2. VMV Hypoallergenics, Blemish Buster Facial – I get breakouts after facial so I just rely on deep exfoliating products for my blackheads and whiteheads. After reading good reviews from their products and services, I tried their facial hoping I won’t get any pimples after. I was pleased with their service but what really made me more happy is that I didn’t get any breakouts!

3. Gong Cha Winter Melon Milk Tea – This brand is not new to milk tea addicts. I first tried Gong Cha during their soft opening. I was disappointed of their Milk Tea w/ Pearl because it’s too sweet despite ordering it with less sugar. The second time, I ordered Chocolate Milk tea. It was another fail simply because I did not like the taste. On my third attempt, I tried their Gong Cha Winter Melon Milk Tea. After one gulp, I became a fan! It’s the best Winter Melon Milk Tea I have ever tasted.

4. Yves Rocher – It was actually mom who got all curious at this store. I have seen this store in passing but I have never entered it on the notion that I can’t afford their products. To my surprise, their prices were affordable! Well not exactly affordable to Philippines standards, but affordable in the sense that it’s cheaper than any other European skincare and cosmetic brand. On my first visit, I was able to buy three products for P995. Aside from cosmetics, the place also has a wide variety of skincare products. It’s much like The Body Shop but only cheaper, and less common.

5. Holly’s Coffee, Iced Vanilla Latte –  Their coffee is new to my taste buds. So if I’m bored having a coffee at my next door Starbucks or CBTL, I go here for a drink.

6. Muji – This Japanese brand offers a lot of COOL stuff. It is also a haven for OC freaks like me. The prices are a bit steep though. Nevertheless, I like their travel organizers and pens.

BISTRO RAVIOLI MALL OF ASIA

Finally I was able to eat in this restaurant! I have been intrigued by this place ever since it opened at Mall of Asia. Thus, I finally got a chance to try their ravioli and pizza…and it was worth it!

Image

Lorenz and I ordered Italian Sausage Ravioli in Romesco Sauce, Spinach and Feta Cheese Ravioli in Pesto Sauce and Shrimp and Basil Pesto Pizza. The raviolis were good (considering it’s my first time eating it), but I have to commend their pizza for it’s excellent taste!

Image

Italian Sausage Ravioli in Romesco Sauce

Image

Spinach and Feta Cheese Ravioli in Pesto Sauce

Image

Shrimp and Basil Pesto Pizza

I would definitely be back again!

To check out their Menu, Branches, and other information, visit their site at http://www.bistroravioli.com/

My Beeconomic Group Buying Site Experience

I have been purchasing deals from different group buying sites for almost a year now and I’m really into the hype! Nevertheless, I was able to restrain myself in purchasing deals that I want, to deals that I can use. Well that’s the thing about group buying site, a person would compulsively purchase deals online for cheaper prices, even though they do not really need it.

Anyway, this story is about my experience in about the group buying sites I have often used.

I first bought a deal at Ensogo for a hair treatment at a salon near our place. It was actually the owner of the said establishment who told me to get the deal online so I can avail their discounted rates. I got the deal just after it was published. Signing up was easy since everything was carefully instructed in the site. All information regarding the deal is there – the contact number of merchant, the validity, the restrictions and other useful information. And since I am familiar with the merchant, reservation and service was expectedly good. In the end I was happy about getting the deal because I really got cheaper price for my hair treatment without much of a hassle.

Next thing I know, I was checking other deals from different sites such as Deal Grocer, Metro Deal, Cash Cash Pinoy, and Deal Dozen. I was lucky enough that I have never encountered any problems with any of these sites, including the merchants. I guess being choosy in the deals is a contributing factor also.

So back to the story, my second hunt was a restaurant deal. Luckily, I got discounted hotel buffets just in time for a certain occasion. Just like Ensogo, signing up to other group buying sites were simple. All you need to do is fill out the details and come up with your own password. What’s tricky about it though was the choice of payment. Credit card and paypal are always available and some sites offer over the counter (OTC) payments or bank deposit. Nevertheless, credit card transaction is still a better choice than OTC because it is efficient and less-hassle. In my case however, I would usually go for OTC payments since I don’t want to incur credit card debts. For Ensogo and Deal Grocer, they would require you to resend your invoice, attaching a scanned copy or a photo of the deposit slip. For the MetroDeal and Cash Cash Pinoy, they use Dragonpay. In this case all you need to do after payment is follow the instructions in your invoice and input the needed codes. After their processing, your vouchers will be ready in your account. Despite the effort, OTC payments have worked well for me.

Now this is the part where I will rant about Beeconomic

It was actually my friend Lorenz who told me that Beeconomic also have fairly good deals. After cheking their site, I was able to spot a restaurant deal (Max Brenner to be exact). And like any other transaction, I used OTC payment. Since I was new to their site, I read instructions carefully – from signing up, purchasing a deal and even the FAQ. Sadly, it was not a user-friendly transaction at all especially for OTC payments. What is confusing  in their site is that you wouldn’t know the status of your transaction. I was expecting that “pending” purchase will be posted in my account as a proof that I did click the BUY button and that I need to pay the certain amount for the transaction to be confirmed. In their site, they have NONE! In fact, I thought that my purchase was not recorded so I made another transaction with the same merchant.

So the deal ended, and after days of waiting for my voucher, I got an email from Beeconomic that my transaction was a fail. I was really angry about it since I paid the deal and followed their instructions for confirmation carefully. After 5 consecutive emails a day, I finally had it! I sent them my ultimatum email in ALL CAPS ranting about how my deal was not credited even though I have proof of purchase for it. Moreover, I told them that I am sick of their computer generated replies and their hotline is always busy.

After a few hours, I got an reply from a certain Bob who told me that my transaction had some system error which led the vouchers not being processed in my account. Hence, he just gave me the codes so I can present it to the merchant when I decided to avail the deal. Thus, I told Lorenz about what happened and how I was greatly dissapointed on his recommendation. He told me that I can avail a refund as a remedy. In that case the refund would be converted to credits and not cash, and those credits will be used for the next transaction.

Since I got tired in dealing with Beeconomic after a week of relentlessness email, I told Lorenz that I will first call Max Brenner and see if they will accept no paper voucher, and granting they do accept, I would avail the deal. But take note that I will avail it not because I really wanted it badly, but because I DON’T WANT TO TRANSACT WITH BEECONOMIC anymore.