Aloha, dear friends! I’m back from a short hiatus, and this time, I’ll update Queen Sica more often than I did last year. 🙂 It’s just that I needed some time to think about my goals, plans, and dreams that I wasn’t able to focus on this tiny web space. Anyhow, I’m excited to tell you about the life-changing decision I made which perfectly sums up my new, healthy lifestyle. Ahem!
‘Tis the season to be jolly fa la la la la la la la! There’s no doubt that Christmas is the happiest – at least for some – season of the year, and it became more special because I was able to celebrate the special holiday with my family. Many people don’t get to spend Christmas with their respective loved ones because they’re working abroad or serving the country. That’s why I admire the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), soldiers, security personnel, and others for enduring the agony of being far from their family especially during this time of the year. I hope that one day, they get the chance to have Noche Buena with their moms, dads, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, and children.
Although Wednesday is my favorite day of the week, I am blue that I can feel the negative vibes surrounding me. Forgive me for sharing this along my food post, but letting out my emotions is a better idea than keeping everything to myself. Have you ever tried pursuing something that you know will make you complete? I’m so blessed for having a wonderful family, fantabulous friends, and a career. Despite all these, there’s something inside me that keeps on screaming, “Alex, chase your dreams already!” I’m young – not as young as 19 though – and a lot of people have constantly reminded me to do everything I can now and not later. What if I want to be this and that at the same time? Can I be this while being that? How do I brush off the dark clouds above me?
So, last weekend, my college friends and I went to Tagaytay for some catching up. Originally, the plan was to visit Bag of Beans and Picnic Grove but we ended up having lunch in Rai Rai Ken before ordering our favorite drinks in Starbucks, both located in Robinson’s Place.
It was our first time in Rai Rai Ken and we were so curious to try their ramen, especially because it was freezing in Tagaytay. There was something with the restaurant’s woven lights that’s why I had to take a photo of one.
“Japan’s Famous Ramen,” it said on their menu.
I find Rai Rai Ken’s logo so cute that I wanted to take it home and hang it in my room. Ah, I shall visit Japan to see more cute (not to mention kawaii!) stuff.
We ordered a bowl of Batchoy (Batchoy style Ramen topped with pork liver, pork and chicken chicharon and sliced chasyu with naruto in shio soup) and…
Shio Ramen (Ramen seasoned with salt, with special rairaiken broth soup topped with roast pork and egg). Out of the two, it’s the Batchoy that I liked so much. Aside from the delightful taste of the soup, the pork was definitely tender. Don’t you hate it when you chew a piece of meat for so long that it can substitute your gum?
Of course, a meal wouldn’t be complete without chicken – my favorite in the whole wide world! The girls and I got Chicken Teriyaki that tasted absolutely perfect! The thought of the chicken skin soaked in teriyaki sauce makes me want to flee to Rai Rai Ken. And yeah, it had veggies as a side dish so I’m giving that a perfect five (5)!
Just my bowl filled with…some pork liver. Yum!
An Asian lunch will never be complete sans rice so we ordered Yakimeshi Platter (fried rice with mixed veggies and bacon). The serving was too much for the three of us and I’m sorry, but I didn’t like how the bits of bacon were scattered on top of the rice. I mean, they could’ve just added chorizo or anything else to complement the veggies.
Generally, Rai Rai Ken didn’t disappoint in stuffing my tummy with delicious Japanese food. Should I recommend it to my family and friends? Positively! Keep up the good work!
Let me just share with you, my dearies, a few photos from our Tagaytay trip.
I was Christmas shopping when I stumbled upon a stall of cupcakes in a corner at SM Megamall. Because my mum is a fan of cupcakes, I decided to get her one box just for her to have a taste of J.Cuppacakes. She has tried Cupcakes by Sonja as well as Vanilla Cupcake Bakery and judging from her expression as she wolfed down a cupcake, J.Cuppacakes stood to her expectations.
The box of J.Cuppacakes caught my attention because of that vintage vibe it exudes with the flowers around its official logo. Even if pink isn’t really my thing, I appreciate the box a lot for its classiness that not all bakeshops can offer.
Also, I like how their tagline sounds: Art in your cravings. The cupcakes are truly an art you can say no to.
Ta-da! Here are the cupcakes I chose to give my mum. Do you see anything you like?
Strawberry Granola (P70) – Graham crusted creamy cheesecake with strawberry granola and whipped cream frosting.
Oreo Madness (P70) – Oreo crusted creamy cheesecake with whipped cream frosting.
Boston Crème (P65) – Vanilla cupcake with Bavarian cream filling with chocolate ganache.
Rocky Road (P70) – Chocolate cupcake topped with chocolate ganache, caramel, marshmallows, and crushed peanuts.
Oreo Cookies N Cream (P60) – Chocolate cupcake with Oreo buttercream.
Red Velvet (P60) – Cocoa hinted cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
Although I have never touched any of these mouth-watering cupcakes, I was told that they tasted so good. Now, J.Cuppacakes is my newest go-to bakeshop when my mum craves for cupcakes.
Not only J.Cuppacakes offers cupcakes for they also do these. Why don’t you give your friends a box of J.Cuppacakes this holiday season? 🙂
Want to try the delicious cupcakes now? You can spot J.Cuppacakes at SM Megamall (2F, Mega B), Eastwood City (Citywalk 2, Central Plaza), and Jazz Mall (SM Jazz Residences, Makati). If you’re celebrating an important event soon, then you can give them a call at (+63-917-500-0864) or send them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to like their page on Facebook!
Two of my college friends and I planned a Friday night out to catch up on each other’s lives. Apparently, I craved for something Korean since I haven’t had any kimchi or japchae in the past months. A few days before we met, I saw Kogi Bulgogi on my Facebook feed. I looked it up and got very excited upon seeing its newly opened branch at Gateway Mall in Araneta Center, Cubao. “I should try this!” I kept telling myself and that’s why we ended up dining at Kogi Bulgogi.
The restaurant looked like one of those featured in Korean dramas. One thing I liked about it is its tranquility, which is a factor I look for in a restaurant, and the cool wallpaper designs that I only get to see on movies. While it didn’t feel like we’re in Seoul, it definitely made me comfortable for the couch I sat on was cozy enough for a Friday night. In the photo above, you can see a corner with magazines – featuring Korean artists – that you can read while waiting for the food.
On the other side was the Café Soon, where you can order cupcakes, cookies, and a cup of coffee to suit your fancy. To make the ambiance more Korean-ish, different K-Pop music videos are being played on the LCD TV next to the Café Soon signage. From Rain to Crayon Pop, K-Pop fans would certainly love it.
Kogi Bulgogi offers a variety of Korean cuisine that’s set to fill in your hungry tummies.
The waitress who attended us mentioned that ALL the food in their menu – meaning from soups to rice meals – are good for sharing. We were three (3) so we took it an advantage so we can also share the bill. We asked for Mandu Gook (simply put, soup with dumplings) because it was the safest type of soup we could eat. It was good, but I wish they put more dumplings in the soup to make it more realistic.
I don’t know about you, but side dishes are a must on every Korean table. As usual, there’s the kimchi, bean sprouts, bitter gourd, cucumber, anchovies, and another kind of vegetable, which I’m not familiar with. They tasted okay and that’s all I can say about them.
Finally, let’s go over their japchae. This is their version of the famous Korean noodles. It’s delicious but not like that of Bonchon’s japchae, which tasted so yummy you want to have another box of it.
Last but not the least is their Korean fried chicken. Among the ones we wolfed down, this particular set is probably the yummiest. The crisp of the chicken was there as well as the tenderness of its meat. Great job on this one!
Overall, I give Kogi Bulgogi a disappointing grade of 60%. Their noodles are definitely a must-try, but I have yet to try the other ones. The waiters/waitresses aren’t that attentive that they forget we asked something like plates and bowls. Truly, it was a great night to see my friends once more, but the food was a frustration. And oh, the prices didn’t match the servings of the food. For a Korean food fanatic like me, Kogi Bulgogi made me lose my appetite for their mouthwatering offers on their menu. I hate to say this, but the question, “Should I come back?” remains a mystery even I can’t answer.
Have you tried eating at Kogi Bulgogi? What can you say? 🙂