Friday, November 20, 2015

Initial Food Tasting: K by Cunanan

I was telling my friend Anj that we needed a caterer for our wedding that can pretty much meet my standards. She highly recommended K by Cunanan after her cousin's wedding a few years back and one of the AEs is her friend from high school.

I've heard about K by Cunanan from almost every corner in this country when it comes to weddings. I have always seen how good they are in styling based on different pictures I've seen from past weddings that includes celebrities like Patty Laurel-Filart. Her wedding really caught my attention seeing how simple, elegant and classy everything was. Pretty much sums up what I wanted.  I thought I just wanted them as my caterer.

My initial complain about K by Cunanan was the time it takes them to reply to my emails when I started planning. It took weeks to a get a menu. I could not get an appointment for food tasting. So I was about ready to give up on them and have already started inquiring with other caterers and have shortlisted two others already and waiting for food tasting.

Then came a twist of fate. Anj and her friend met at a wake. Yes I know the circumstances are quite sad but they ended up talking that my emails are not being answered at a pace that I wanted (yes corporate stuck-up girl here with high levels of expectations in answering emails). So Anj got her contact and voila--food tasting here we come.

I brought Anj and my sister Tin with me as they are both available for lunch on a weekday. We headed to their Greenmeadows office and were immediately seated. Anj then introduced me to her friend who is going to be my AE, Monique.

She explained to us how the food tasting goes and provided the menu for the day then left us while we eat so we can freely discuss.

We started with the  appetizers--mini eggs benedict, chicken tortilla with arugula and caramelized onions, portobello fries with wasabi cream.Each dish looked very appetizing and we decided to try each then deliberate before moving on to the next.

Mini Eggs Benedict--we loved this! Prosciutto, toast, basil topped with a poached quail egg. Flavors had a really good balance and easy to eat. Just one pop in your mouth and you're all good. Of course you would want seconds though.

Chicken Tortilla--this was good too with a touch of sweetness from the caramelized onions and bitterness of arugula. I'm just worried that this will be too messy for our guests.

Portobello Fries--mixed reactions on this one. Titit thinks its perfect and wanted it to be included in the final menu. Me and Anj wanted a more distinct wasabi flavor. Since its served on a shot glass, it seems inconvenient for our guests during cocktails.

Next item--soup. We were served Broccoli and cheese soup. Common consensus is we want more cheese! Or better yet, mix in the cheese.

Melon and Prosciutto, Bleu Cheese and Raspberry Vinaigrette--this was really good and a well balanced salad. Salty from the prosciutto and bleu cheese then sweetness from the melon and dressing. And I forgot to mention the candied walnuts that added crunch--everything was so good and perfect. Sad thing though--its going to be an upgrade.

On to the main course.

Honey Nut Prawns--probably their best-seller from forums and any bride who got them as a caterer and blogged about it. Nice crunch, succulent, balanced flavors and textures but not all of our guests can eat it due to allergies (including the groom who will never improve this upgrade). I would still recommend this dish.

Pasta is Mixed Seafood, Tomatoes and Capers--glad this was an oil based dish which I am a fan of. I like capers on seafood though since it takes out the slimy taste. 

Baked Fish in Cream with Slivered Almonds--I didn't expect much from this dish but I was wrong. I liked how delicate it was with just the right richness of the cream. Nothing too fancy but definitely a good change from the usual fish fillet with tartar sauce or salsa.

Slow cooked beef--loved this. Tasty and tender.

They served us carrot rice that day and I totally forgot I'm not supposed to eat rice.

On to desserts--we were served with three items that day.

Flambeed Mango with Vanilla Ice Cream--everyone loved this. Perfect sweetness with a touch of caramel for the mangoes.

Picatostes with Tsokolate--this generated mixed reviews. Anj and I liked this because the tskolate was dark, semi bitter and not too sweet. Titit did not like it for the exact same reason. She prefers her chocolates in milk or white. The picatostes itself was like a churro. Crunch outside, then nice and fluffy once you bite into it. Not as buttery as a churro however.

Quezo de bola cheesecake (not in photo)--the name was the most promising but under delivered. Or probably it was a bad batch that day as this is one of the best sellers. Consistency was a bit too gelatin-y  which we didn't like.

Afterwards Monique came over and discussed the dishes and answered our questions. Looks like my caterer woes are over.

Here's a sample of one of their table setup during our food tasting. Isn't it lovely?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Climbing up Mt. Palay-Palay (Pico de Loro)

One of my friends from work, Jo suddenly had this idea of going to Pico de Loro. Initially me and another friend Alfred were hesitant due to no budget for trips (were both getting married). Well we also thought that she was referring to Pico de Loro the resort...apparently it was the mountain that she was talking about. 

The original plan was that she will be joining one of the package tours and when the kuripots (me and Alfred) knew about the price we just flat out said "No". Although I remembered seeing that you can actually complete the climb without the package at a reasonable cost. 

After endless research, we found out that you can spend about PHP 550 in one day for the day hike. That suddenly puts me and Alfred back in the plan. If we rent a van however, it will be more convenient but we need the numbers (about 10 people). Another friend from work, Ice decided to join. Then came Jossa who will bring her brother along with her. We still lack people though so I decided to find other friends outside work. I asked my friend Anj whi was wanted to go for a long time already. When her sisters found out they also wanted to join and they brought their friends with them. There goes our big group!

We left Manila around 5 am for Ternate Cavite (original plan was leave at 3am--of course someone was late!). We reached Ternate around 7:30 am and paid the registration fees at the jump off point. After a few minutes we started our trek.

The trail was pretty steep but the good thing was it was full of trees and were were getting some shade. Almost near the campsite, we stumbled on a few sari-sari stores and decided to get a water break--okay fine it was a halo-halo break! They offered us a guide and Jossa negotiated with Kuya on the fees. We had some extra funds as there was more of us and saved up on the cost for the van.

After a few more minutes we reached the campsite and posed for a few pictures. We met other friends who was also doing the Trek that day with Travel Factor.  Soon it was time to go up the summit. That was just hard.  The ground was pretty dry and a few times there were loose rocks that almost hit me--it was from others a few meters above us who were not careful enough during their descent.

The trail was pretty steep as well...but we made it! The view from the top was rewarding and when you look down, you feel that sense of achievement. For the others, they were not satisfied. Half of us decided to scale the Monolith, a vertical rock that from the looks of it required strength. I passed on the opportunity that day, my legs were still aching from a football game two nights prior our trek. Here's the second group on their way up the monolith.

When they got back to the summit, it was time to descent to the campsite. Going down the summit was harder in my opinion. The ground was really loose and slippery. 

When we reached the campsite, we ate our packed lunches in one of the shaded areas. I ended up sleeping right after while they all posed for more pictures.

Then we descended back to the jump off point. Kuya stayed in the sari-sari store with the halo-halo while we continued our descent.  It felt like a long time going down. Everybody freshened up before boarding the van back to Manila.

Our Itenerary:
3:00 am - Meet Up McDonald's Ortigas (Emerald Ave)
4:30 am - Departure for Ternate Cavite
7:30 am - Arrival at Ternate Cavite and Registration
8:00 am - Start of Trek
11:15 am - Reached campsite
11:30 am - Start of trek to Summit
12:15 pm - Reached Summit and for the others start of trek to the Monolith
1:00 pm - Descent from Summit then Lunch
2:30 pm - Descent
4:30 pm - Departure for Manila

Van - PHP 4000 (for the whole group including toll fees)
Registration Fees - 50 PHP
Guide - 300 PHP (plus extra tip)

We spent around 550 PHP that day including food.

***Pictures were grabbed from everybody.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Food Tasting: RichGold Weddings

As we were scouting for venues, we were given a package rate of RichGold Weddings with Le Parc and I thought...not bad. We were trying not to go overboard with spending for the wedding as some of the rates gets crazier every year.

We finally spoke with one of the AEs, Jed during the Themes and Motiffs bridal fair and they let us try the appetizers. It was okay for me but M liked it and encouraged me to consider them as our caterer.

When I was invited to go their grand food tasting at Eton Centris (okay this was a few months back), me and my sister Celine decided to go since it was a sunday anyway. Jed gladly found us a seat and asked the waiters to serve us the food.

They weren't kidding when the said food tasting as it really was tasting portions. like few tiny pieces of this and that. I can feel the disappointment from my sister as we tried not to eat lunch expecting that we can get full.

Jed pointed out the menu to us which honestly I don't remember the names of the dishes. We were welcome to try out their other dishes in case we didn't like the food served that day--and yes I did not like it at all. I had expectations from their food as the appetizers they served during the bridal fair was promising. Worse--it was dead cold! The dishes were in chafing dishes before they got portions for us to try (we didn't even see the buffet table). Could they at least turn on the heat on those chafing dishes as they were designed for that anyway?

Table settings have different themes on them--travel, winter, spring, summer or autumn. I asked Jed if we can mix and match items from one theme to the other. He said only the flowers can be changed but everything else will be retained to comply with the theme. Personally I wanted our tables to look personalized and something that resembles me and M. 

I do hope there were able to make improvements these past few months. I myself decided to look for a different caterer. I cannot compromise the quality of the food we will be serving.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

San Sebastian

M have always loved this church. The untouched ceiling had that certain charm that is hard to resist. No matter how many churches I have suggested, they still won't compare to San Sebastian--for him. The church is really special to him to reasons I will not reveal.

Looking at the aisle though, it is definitely one I could picture myself walking in.

Upon inquiring with the Parish office, they provided us with the all in package already which includes:
-Wedding Mass and Ceremony
-Red Carpet
-Organist and Soloist
-Chandeliers (lighted)
-Coordinators (church only)

There are some restrictions though but we think we are still fine with complying. Best to call the parish office if you have additional questions.

We did not have to look for other churches already. We booked right away.

Basilica Minore de San Sebastian
Plaza Del Carmen Quiapo Manila