Friday, April 29, 2011

Imperial Indulgence that's Commoner-Friendly

Ever in need of comfort food but a tight budget constricts you from treating yourself into those really expensive, status symbol-type of food establishments? Well, this just might be the blog for you. The meals I will feature here will be highly pocket-friendly yet certainly indulgent.

First up, my personal favorite – Kiampung, a Chinese style fried rice. A sort of mushy Chinese rice sauteed in pork, mushroom and a special sauce, served with a side of nuts. Kiampung is an interesting combination of two opposite but complementary textures, the chewy and the crunchy. You sink your teeth into the most flavorful mush of rice then encounter some nutty goodness upon mastication. It's simply a feast for the whole oral cavity, from the teeth to the taste buds.

Kiampung is the most unique offering of Chinese restaurant, Imperial Kitchen located at the first floor of the Carpark Building of the University of Santo Tomas, right in front of the UST Hospital. It's perfect with all their other entrees like their Shanghai rolls, kikiam, wantons, fish and tofu in tausi sauce, sweet and sour pork and various others. Also available are ramen or noodle soups and congees, and for desserts and sweets, chocolate mousse, brownies, caramel bars, taho and hot or cold soy milk.

Kiampung gets a perfect 5 stars for its low cost yet very gourmet appeal and taste.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Resurrection of the 90s

Aside from artists such as Spears, Aguillera and Lopez trying the best of their age-ridden selves to make a comeback today, the fashion of the decade they first and so successfully bloomed and took over (and, frankly, should have never left) have made a stylistic return in the 22nd century. 90s fashion have become a huge influence of my wardrobe. Hallmarks of the look are tucked-in tops in high-waist pants and a belt. It made a trend in the type of women who are a balance of being laid-back yet classy at the same time. It's not the type of clothes that are very revealing, very showy of skin. It's more of conservative but flattering and, in a mysterious kind of sense, sexy.

The shirt could be anything from the basic t-shirt to blouses to sweater types, from round necks to turtle necks to off-shouldered necklines. And common sense tells you that it has to be long enough to be tucked in.

A variety of the look is replacing the “long-enough” shirt with a hanging shirt. Of course, the hanging shirt has to be tastefully hanging, meaning, the skin shown should never be too much, and, as any decent human being, you should have a beautifully sculpted or at least flat abdominal region to show off. Remember, the look says laid-back YET STILL very classy.

The belt could be skinny or medium thick (those very thick belts don't really fit in the look), depending on availability, mood or vibe you want to portray, or your body type. The pop of color of a skinny belt sets off the kind of personality you have, say, yellow for the bubbly, cheerful, optimistic types and red for the hot, saucy, sexy types. For the medium thick belts, it could be a basic black or those weaved brown leather with a stylish buckle. Skinny belts look very flattering on bigger, curvier girls, while the thicker belts complement petite or slim body types.

The pants could be long jeans or denim shorts. They don't have to be too high-waisted. You can create a more 90s feel by folding the cuffs of skinny jeans just above the ankles. And they should never look like hideous, real 90s mom jeans. Pockets with geometric linings at the back make sure you look good from the back.

Flats and slippers are key shoes for this outfit. Wedges, booties and espadrilles also really go great together with the 90s trend. Boots would be a great option, but the disposition of boots in Philippine society is not too good. But if you have the confidence to wear them and you actually own really nice pairs, then, by all means, flaunt those boots!

And here's my take on the look.

(very sorry for the poor quality photos, the over-exposure of the first one and the lack of lighting of the second one.)

Hopefully, the trend has come back to stay. Unlike the aforementioned teen pop sensations, I think that the look really has a timelessly edgy quality to it. It's very comfortable, it's very stylish, and it's very classic. It's a set of pieces every modern girl should own and confidently wear.


It has been the longest of times since I last wrote a blog entry. I can't say anything other than I'm very sorry and I've missed it – a lot. For that longest of times, writing has been merely work for me. Writing served as a means to fulfill obligations and requirements. I wrote articles for the school publication, and I wrote academic papers and nursing paperwork for my courses, both of which I only half (or, some, even not at all) enjoyed. Writing for the sake of writing, which in my book means blogging, has been a luxury these past few months, and boy, was I bedrock broke.

So here I am. Blogging again – at frickin' last.

I can say that from my last heartfelt blog, which was actually quite gag-worthy I might say, things have changed a lot. Moreover, I have changed a lot.

First of all, I realized that my blog was not reaching much. The entries were very shallow and maybe just a hint of entertaining. Solution? I'm going to write differently. As suggested by my good friend Boy Acads who enthused me to start blogging again, I've decided to focus on two my other passions – the culinary arts and clothing technology, in lay man's terms, food and fashion. Hence, the new blog. (Hooray! :))

In a world where I could have chosen any profession I wanted, no matter the cost, I would have chosen culinary arts (after journalism or creative writing, of course). There's something about cooking that makes me feel so special, as if I'm suddenly a supernatural instrument in turning raw ingredients into delicious dishes. I find sheer joy in being able to serve my family and friends masterpieces they find sheer joy in consuming. That's why I love cooking and baking so much. I also take delight in indulging in food I bet my good money on. I really, really appreciate the effort of cafes, restaurants, fast food chains and canteens in producing quality products filled with flavor instead of consumer marketing crap and advertising bogus. This is why I will take pride in featuring these food and food places half the time here.

Next, I've been really in to fashion. Sewing, thrift-finding and fashion blogs and sites hopping have been a staple in my internet browsing regimen. It all started with my 30-buck trench coat, which I shall feature and file under thrift finds in a future entry. My main style influences are Kryz Uy, Tricia Gosingtian, Helga Weber (,, OTH characters Peyton and Brooke, Leighton Meester's Gossip Girl character, Blair Waldorf, ANTM and Project Runway. It's really a mix of both local and foreign icons who know how, in the simplest of terms, dress really well. They set trends and put their own twists in the current fads, which, btw, I aim to do in the commoner's tightest budgets. I'll feature these style icons and more the other half of the time here.

And how in the world do these two go together?

It would appear that food and fashion are two totally different concepts that don't go together at all. But I chose to tribute the two arts for the simple reason that they make a person feel good. The food is more for the taste of the tongue, while the fashion is more for the taste of the eyes. In indulging in these two diverse flavors of life, you get to have royalty's treatment, and who wouldn't want that every once in a while, right?

I do hope that this time, I'll get it right. Hopefully, despite the various popular and noted food and fashion blogs in the blogosphere, mine, despite amateurism, will be welcomed with open arms.

Indulge and enjoy in my Fad Salad!