Monday, September 30, 2013

Yabu: House of Katsu Review

Disclaimer: This is my first ever Restaurant Review, I am not a food critic and all opinions expressed are of my own personal experience. The restaurant has no foreknowledge that I would write this review.

I have been reading a lot of good reviews about Yabu, which made me wanna try it. And I just got lucky because recently I won a Yabu GC worth 2,000 from i am dekaphobic blog which means I'll get to try Yabu for free, yey!

If you know me that well, I am certified foodie and I love trying out new dishes, and Japanese food is no exception. 

Knowing my in laws food preference I was doubting weather they'd enjoy Yabu, but still hubby and I offered to use the GC with them. It's also their first time hearing about Yabu which made them curious and accepted our offer. So last Sunday September 22nd which is also my father in laws birthday, we went to Yabu SM Southmall. I was expecting a long queue based on the reviews that I read, but as soon as we arrived there we were seated right away. Well maybe because we arrived there around 1:30pm which is already past lunch time. 

First thing that I noticed was the ambiance, it was very cozy. Each table has a set of condiments, Himalayan Pink Salt, Tonkatsu Sauce, Salad Dressings and Japanese seasonings. As soon as our orders were taken, a small dish with sesame seeds and a pestle was served. Since I was reading reviews prior I already knew that the sesame seed needs to be ground and the tonkatsu sauce to be added next which will serve as a dipping sauce for the katsu, even before the server informed us about it. 

Kuya Tantan having fun grinding the sesame seeds

The fruit Shake was served next, and mine was Watermelon Shake. The price ranges from 90-100

Surprisingly we found a strand of hair on J's Mango Shake right before he was about to take a sip, so we had it replaced right away.

And finally, after few minutes of waiting our foods was served.

I ordered the Kurobuta Pork Set 120g (575.00)
Me and my son shared this order, since he only eats a little.

"Kurobuta, also known as the black Berkshire pig, is the world's FINEST pork. It is also called the "kobe beef of pork" due to its rich marbling, softness and flavor."

Jaear ordered the Chicken Katsu Set 180g (360.00)
He never gets tired of chicken lol!

Creamy Dory Set 180g (375.00) for my Mom in Law 

Seafood Katsu Set 1 (485.00) for my Father in Law

Chicken ans Seafood Katsu Set (475.00) for my Sister in Law

Each set of Katsu is already served with unlimited Japanese rice, Miso Soup, unlimited shredded cabbage, Japanese pickles and sliced fresh fruit for dessert. However on top of the price of each Katsu sets, there's still a 5% service charge. Our bill was around 3,000 plus, I'm too lazy to do the math lol, but since we have the 2,000 GC we only paid 1,000 something. Not bad. 

The Experience: 

Did I say I love the ambiance? The lighting, the interior design and all are very cozy. On the way to the Rest Room ,there's a huge mirror on the wall. Outside and inside the Rest Room's wall are filled with posters about what celebrities and bloggers have to say about Yabu. However there's only 1 rest room for both male and female. We didn't get to experience long queue since we arrived late, the Staffs are all approachable and kind. But I just didn't like the fact that there was a strand of hair on J's mango shake, but so far we didn't find any on our! My in laws didn't enjoy the food as much as I did, again as I said our food preference is different. The Katsu was really crispy yet very tender, however it just didn't meet up my expectation of it being juicy, I am basing this on the reviews that I read. J didn't really liked the sauce with sesame seeds in it but according to him the Chicken was kinda dry and not that tasty which made him dip his chicken. They also didn't like the miso soup. But again, I wouldn't question that, this is not their kind of food, but of course they still enjoyed it somehow and we all got full. Well as for me I really enjoyed it, I even had 3 rice refills and a refill of the shredded cabbage. 

Will I go back for more? Yes I will, because there's still other set that I wanna try, and the next time around I'll try to bring along my friends who also loves Japanese so it's not just me who's enjoying. lol!

SM Southmall Branch

Ground Level, SM South Mall

Alabang-Zapote Road, Almanza, Las PiƱas

Metro Manila, Philippines

Phone Number
(+63 2) 800-0447

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sundate with the In Laws

After Kuya T and Baby A's birthday,the party isn't over yet, because my Father in Law celebrated his birthday last Sunday, September 22nd. Instead of celebrating at home we decided to eat out. J and I offered to use the 2,000 GC for Yabu: House of Katsu which I recently won from [i am dekaphobic blog. Yabu has lots of branches but we decided to go to SM South Mall since it's the closest one and besides it was also raining. It's our first time to try Yabu, neither one of us had tried it before. And knowing their food preference I was kinda doubting weather they'd enjoy the foods as for me, I go for anything.  We went out late already and as soon as we arrived at South Mall we immediately looked for Yabu.

Here's the story of what happened that day, through photos.
Kids OOTD. Before leaving the house.

It was around past 2 pm already so it was a late lunch and snack at the same time. We were seated right away and while waiting for our foods we took some photos.
My In laws. Happy birthday Papa!
Mother and Sis In Law
While waiting for our order
In laws with baby Athena

Water Melon Shake for me!

Drinks were served first, together with the sesame seeds for the sauce..
Kuya Tantan grinding his sesame seed

Special Delivery: A day's Haul

I can't believe it, but September is already coming to an end. Time indeed flies so fast and I'm already left behind, got lots of overdue posts! The past days had been very busy, a lot of things happened and I can't put it all in one post so I am gonna try my best to blog it all away tonight just to catch up. And to set the mood, I decided to start up with my haul for this week.

It's been a while since the last time I received a special delivery, it's kinda weird because I was used to receiving parcels almost everyday haha! Anyway I received 2 parcels yesterday, those are the prizes from my previous winnings.

Septemeber 26, around lunch time my first parcel arrived. It was really unexpected and I honestly do not know what it is.

 I got all excited so I opened it up as soon as I finished taking a photo teehee

What a lovely packaging! The box is no ordinary box at all.
3 Variants of Kolours Hair Dye

I was really fascinated with the packaging. Of all the parcels I've received this one is by far the loveliest! I won this a giveaway last August and it was hosted by the fashion bloggers Lissa Kahayon of Scene Stealer and LAureen Uy of Break My Style. Te giveaway was sponsored by Nuffnang Philippines. I know, it took a while before it was sent out.

Later that day, the second parcel arrived.
LBC Pakaging
5 Variants of Champs Chewable Vitamins

Kids checking 'em out

I have been waiting for this for a while. I won this last July from Mommy Cj M. De Castro of Planeville Mom. 
Since she announced the winners, we never heard anything from her anymore, until last week. She had her reasons and it's totally fine, I'm just glad she's okay, coz we were also kinda worried when she went MIA. But she's back and Kuya Tantan now have his Chewable Vitamins which he really loves!

Friday, September 20, 2013

FOOD: Creamy Tuna Pasta (Red Sauce)

It's already 2 in the morning and I am still wide awake! Remember about the Creamy Tuna Pasta I prepared for Kuya T's 4th birthday last September 15? I promised to make a Recipe post about it, so here it is!

We love Spaghetti and since I also love tuna, I just decided to put a twist on it and came up with this, it may not be an original Recipe but I came up with this on my own, didn't copy it from anyone.

Spaghetti Noodles
Spaghetti Sauce
Century Tuna

Nestle Cream

Cooking oil

Excuse me for using different brands, yan lang kase available (tee hee)
We, especially Kuya T and Jaear prefer the Filipino Style Sauce
If you like it Spicy, you can use the Hot and Spicy Century Tuna.
The size of the ingredients also depends on the number of people you will be serving this to, as for me I cooked 1 kilos of pasta, snack and dinner na rin. And the left over could still be served the next day, so hindi sayang.
Cooking Procedure
1 Pour water in a large pot and bring to a boil
2. Put in salt and oil
3. Add the Spaghetti Noodles, and cook until tender.
4. Drain then set aside

1. In a pan, saute garlic and onion
2. Put in the Tuna and let it cook for 3-5 minutes
3. Add the Spaghetti Sauce, then let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. You can add salt if desired.
4. Add the Cream while continuously stirring for a minute.
5. Remove from heat and pour over to the cooked pasta and serve!

I was only able to use 1 Nestle Cream, according to J it's already okay na. So that depends on your taste preference. 

 Voila! Creamy Tuna Pasta (Red Sauce)
Same Filipino style spaghetti with a twist of Tuna and Cream. 

There you have it, easy and yummy you should try it too!
I'm hitting the sack now, Good night♥

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Childhood Memories!

This Throwback Thursday has been going viral for a while now. I mean I could see a lot of Throwback Thursday posts every now and then, not that I am KJ or anything but I never get to join this craze, not until today. I bet you would be raising your eyebrows if I tell you why LOL. But to some who loves joining online contests like me would understand. Yes! You got it right, I did my first ever Throwback Thursday post for the sake of an online contest.

This contest is hosted by Baby Expo Philippines Facebook Page. 

All you have to do is to post a photo of yours when you were young or a baby photo and use the Hashtag #BabyAndFamilyExpoPH. Submission of entries is until 11:59 pm only and announcement of winner will be tomorrow 12 noon. The cutest picture and caption wins 500 worth of GC from Reyes Barbecue. Not bad right?

So I scanned over our photos and good thing there were few old photos of mine that was saved on our hard drive. Yey so I was able to join and I actually submitted not just 1 but 3 entries. And here they are, including the captions.

Didn't know I was a minion ever since I was just a baby...Oh I love Banana's! #BananaLover #ThrowBackThursday#BabyAndFamilyExpoPH

Missin' the carefree moments when all I wanna do is play all day and that my only struggle is how to put on my slippers right! haha... Taken way back...long long time ago with my cousin Jayson Nuval#ThrowbackThursday #BabyAndFamilyExpoPH

They say that our first Best friend's our siblings, I couldn't agree more that's why I am thankful that I am blessed with a big sis and 2 big brothers! We may be separated by distance but forever we're family nothing could change that. #ThrowbackThursday#BabyAndFamilyExpoPH

I actually wanted to send some more entries but I thought that it's too much, OA na haha! Win or loose, it doesn't really matter because I actually enjoyed doing it. It made me look back and reminisce. Nakaka-miss talaga maging bata! I think I might do this every Thursday, makiki-join na rin sa craze. Infairness looking over the photos made me Nostalgic, but I don't wanna post any ka-dramahan here.

Let me just share some more Throwback Thursday photos:

With our eldest Kuya Sar, I would cry whenever he leaves
and go to school. (Zamboanga City)

With my Ate Flor, we have 7 years age gap. We use to
fight a lot when I was young, but turned out to best friends now.
She's now residing in the US. (Zamboanga City)

 My Christening and 1st Birthday celebrated at once.
(Zamboanga City)

 With my Mom. (La Union)

 I won Little Miss San Francisco. A pageant in our barangay.
(San Fernando City, La Union)

 With my Kuya Mike

Yours truly, taken at Acapulco Beach, I was 
around 5 years old.

I was actually thinking twice weather I should post these photos or not, pero sige na first time eh hehe!
So basing on the photos, I could tell that my childhood years was really awesome. I've been to different places already, I was born in Zamboanga City, grew up in La Union and relocated here in Manila when I got married.
Okay that's it! Before I get emotional here haha! 

Till next post!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Edited: Random Haul

This is another Special Delivery Post but this time it's for the whole week so i decided to compile it all together in one post. This is one of my pending posts since I was busy the past few days.
It's already a known fact that I love joining contests,(sorry for flooding your news feed Facebook Friends :p) and luckily I also have my share of winnings. Last week was full packed because 4 days in a row I received some of my prizes, check 'em out.

Lets start with Monday, we still have a hangover from baby A's 1st Birthday when a parcel was delivered to us by Kuya Guard. It was my prize from Malayan Insurance Philippines, I only joined their Facebook contest once and luckily won. I believe they are having a giveaway every week.

Baby A opening the box for me!

Tuesday's haul, my prize from [i am a dekaphobic]
2,000 GC for Yabu: House of Katsu
I haven't tried Yabu yet, but I am reading great reviews about them so I'm really excited to try 'em out. Surely I will blog about our experience once we get to use these GC's!

Wednesday, another unexpected parcel...
A metallic Pink Jewelry Box with Glittered Butterfly Design

When Kuya Guard handed it to me, I was excited especially when I read "Fragile" on the packaging and with that I already had an idea what's inside. This Jewelry Box is my prize from Ms.Jaqui Perez of Styledom 
blog, it's Part 1 of her anniversary giveaway and my prize was sponsored by Sissy Shoppe. Since I moved to Manila all my accessories are in one pouch so it's all mixed up, now I can organize them all!

Thursday, no parcel. But Friday I received 2!
GC for 12-pcs Korean Fried Chicken
This arrived early while I was on my Prenatal Check up. I won this from EricJaz Foodies. We thought of using this for Kuya T's birthday but it was raining so we weren't able to go out. Honestly I haven't tried Korean Fried Chicken yet so I am also excited to try it out!
Later that day another one arrived!
Super Hydration Booster
I won this from Aloe Derma Philippines Facebook Page, first 100 Likers. It came with a Product Catalogue, and I find their products really interesting. I'm gonna give this product a try and see if it works on my skin.

I would also want to include other prizes, I almost forgot about them.
Moringana Malunggay Capsules

I won this from Moringana's  Like and Share Facebook contest last August.

3000 Voucher from Mendrez Shoes and Bags
I won this from Mendrez Shoes & Bags Facebook Page last August but the voucher was only emailed to me first week of September. It's worth the wait right? You might as well check on them because they do have promos/giveaways from time to time.

So that's my haul from different online contests. Isn't it cool? I am getting free stuff, free clothes, get to try new products, foods and Restaurants and have them all shipped right to my doorsteps. This is why I  love joining contests! Well so far I haven't won any cash and gadgets yet, (malas yata ako sa ganun hehe) but I know time will come, I'm really hoping! But of course with all these blessings indeed i'm happy and very thankful!
Do you also love joining online contests? If yes, then what's your biggest winning so far? Feel free to share :)

Happy 4th Birthday Kuya Tantan!

It's been 4 years now that my life became more meaningful. My life was changed big time since I held you in my arms and for that I will be forever thankful having you as my first born, Kuya Tantan. And now that you've turned 4, all I wish is for you to be happy. You will always be Mommy's little Man,Belated Happy Birthday Kuya Tantan!

We planned on celebrating both kids birthday together, however we thought that Kuya T has his own celebration of his 1st birthday so we might as well give baby A her 1st birthday party. Last SUnday, September 15 was Kuya T's 4th birthday. It was raining so we weren't able to go out so instead we just celebrated it at home with my in laws.
It was just a simple celebration and we decided to have it on merienda time. My in laws took care of the Cake and the Ice cream then I cooked my specialty, Creamy Tuna Pasta.
Half Box of  Ice Box Cake 325.00 
Half Box of Potato Almond Crunch Cake 300.00

My mom in law bought these cakes are from Becky's Kitchen. They look very simple but tastes like heaven. So far these are the only flavor that I have tasted and loved it, I would definitely try out other flavors.
Double Dutch and Rocky Road Overload Ice Cream & Waffle Cones from my sis in law
My Creamy Tuna Pasta! (will make a Recipe post for this)
 Table Set Up (extra pa yung Barbie Cake ni Athena )
 While we were singing him Happy Birthday
 He's really excited to blow the candle
 Playing with the cake
 Baby A 
 Close up? hehe
 Nice smile Kuya Tantan!
 Sige sa Mantsa!
 Takaw :p
Here's my Babies drinking their Milks before the day ends

We forgot to give him our Present during his birthday, we only remembered it the next day.
 Packed in a glittered green gift bag
Remote Controlled Race Car from Toy Kingdom
He loves Toy Cars!

A simple celebration it is but very special, I'm sure Kuya Tantan loved it. I hope that this memories would make him smile in time when he sees it. 
Belated Happy Birthday again Kuya Tantan, WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!

After the celebration I noticed Kuya T was feverish, he's hot to the touch and was a bit irritable. That is why I wasn't able to blog about his birthday right away. But he is okay now, his fever only lasted for 2 days. Maybe it's because of the changing weather, in fact I am also not feeling well right now but I already have lots of pending posts so I'm trying to stay up as long as I can. Okay so that's it for now. Till next post!