WANGFU: Chinese Bistro

Friday, November 29, 2013


Hey guys! A close friend recently celebrated her birthday and since we just had a western dinner a month ago, we opted for Chinese this time at Wangfu Chinese Bistro in Tomas Morato. We were suppose to eat there last month but we didn't make reservations and the place was jam-packed even on a rainy night. This time, we made sure and reserved a week ahead.



I've seen Wangfu in Il Terrazo near ABS CBN but the branch in Tomas Morato near Roces Avenue is extra special since one of the owners is no other than Sir Chief, Richard Yap. The place became even more popular when Miss Kris Aquino featured it on Kris TV. Since then, I bet everyone else is as curious as we are if the menu is any good rendering the place fully booked most of the time. 





Sweet Corn Soup with Minced Chicken (228 Php)
I love that this soup has a perfect consistency and that it really tasted good. The mixture of corn, egg and bits of chicken meat tasted yummy! They do have a generous serving so this big bowl was enough for all of us even after refilling more than twice! I'm guessing it can serve 12 people at the most. 



Hot and Sour Soup (258 Php)
I'm not a fan of this soup and only had a sip to taste but it did have a good consistency and tasted quite similar to what other Chinese restaurants serve. My friend who's into hot and sour soups said she liked it and thinks it's at par with other hot and sour soups she's tasted. 



Yang Chow Fried Rice (228 Php)
This rice would've disappointed me if it weren't for the shrimps. I felt like the other components were lacking but the generous amount of perfectly cooked shrimps you get each scoop made up for the meager amount of other ingredients. But hey that's just me. 



Pork Siomai (88 Php)
These were delicious! Almost as great as my most favorite Siomai from Causeway but more comparable to that of Gloria Maris in terms of the tender pork meat and soft siomai wrapper.



Seafood Bundle (98 Php)
This is probably my least favorite among the dimsum we ordered. Although the crab meat and fish were tender, the squid was tough to chew on, I like Causeway's version better.



Beancurd Roll (88 Php)
I was actually asked to try even just a bite of this and I did like it. The flavor tasted good and it was tender enough to my liking.



Crunchy Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychee (288 Php)
This pork dish is actually one of the best ones we ate that night. It has a perfect crust with tender meat. The sauce isn't too special but goes well with the other ingredients.



Kung Pao Chicken (278 Php)
This chicken dish also tasted delicious. The meat was perfectly tender and the overall flavor is really good. I also like that the sauce was just enough to give the right flavor.



Beef with Broccoli in Oyster Sauce (328 Php)
This dish also tasted good. The beef slices were tender and the broccoli was crunchy and not over cooked. The sauce was a little dry yet very flavorful.


Sambal Chili Prawns (428 Php)
I wasn't able to take a picture but this dish tasted good and not overly spicy. The shrimps were perfectly coated with sweet chili sauce and the meat is really tender and flavorful.


Image courtesy of Wangfu

Overall, our dining experience at Wangfu Chinese Bistro wasn't extraordinary but good. The interiors of the place is really impressive especially their chandeliers and modern furnitures. The menu has a good selection, the food tastes good with equally good serving proportions.


Image courtesy of Wangfu

It's a good place to dine with friends and family but you have to make reservations to get a sure slot. They will hold the table for you but make sure to be there on time because they will give your slot away 15 minutes beyond your reserved time. I've read in other reviews that they have a problem with serving your orders on time but we didn't experience that. They are well staffed and the orders came right on time. As for the price, I think theirs is pretty much competitive. Our bill reached 3,000 Php which I believe is a reasonable price for 4 main dishes, 3 orders of dimsum, 2 varieties of soup, 2 orders of yang chow fried rice and drinks.


Image courtesy of Wangfu

I will definitely go back in the future and recommend it to those of you who want to eat Chinese food at any given time. Wangfu is located along Tomas Morato Avenue and you can make your reservations by calling them at 02-4100304.
Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!



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We should be PROUD

Wednesday, November 27, 2013



Image courtesy of  wnot.com.ph

Hey guys! A few days ago, my brother and I decided to buy breakfast via drive-thru in Mc Donald's Quezon Avenue corner West 6th Street. There was a long line of vehicles but we decided to wait instead. We were next in line when we noticed the driver of the car in front of us gesturing while making his order. It was as if he was arguing with the crew. Funny thing was, he kept on waving his hand, pointing to the monitor as if he was pointing at someone.


Our turn came and the crew said something we didn't understand. She repeated what she said but we didn't get a thing. Out of frustration my brother even exclaimed "hindi ko maintindihan!" and went on with ordering. The crew on the other end politely took our order and we eventually recognized the different accent. She's a foreigner. We felt so ashamed and sorry for our behavior. When we got to the cashier's window, my brother greeted the crew and asked if she's Korean since she looked and sounded like one. She just smiled and said she's Vietnamese. On our way to the last window, we were thinking why she was in Mc Donald's and formulated several reasons like maybe she was an exchange student who's taking a part-time job or maybe she was on training.


At the last window, the crew greeted us and my brother couldn't help but ask if she's also Vietnamese. She nodded and said yes. We just smiled in response and I couldn't contain myself saying "enjoy your stay here!" She then flashed me a bigger smile. 


Image courtesy of globalpost.com

This morning, we went back to order breakfast expecting the same crew to greet us. The accent was that of a Pinay so when we got to the Cashier's window, my brother asked where the Vietnamese crews were. We found out that they're still here but on a different shift and the reason why is they're actually training under the guidance of Pinoys. I felt really proud that they came all the way from Vietnam just to train in the Philippines!


Sadly, we were also told that a lot of people have been complaining when they're on duty to take drive-thru orders. Okay, I totally understand these customers since we went through the same experience but I think we need to understand the situation and stretch our patience a little further. After all, Pinoys all over the world may also be in the same situation and we wouldn't want them to be treated indifferently.


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SHISEIDO: Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream SPF 38


Hey guys! Are you into products that focus on anti-aging? If you are, better make sure you're using sunscreen because anti-aging products usually contain ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA that make your skin more prone to the harmful rays of the sun. I've only been relying on my BB Cream for sun protection but just recently, my fiancĂ© gave me a tube of Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream which I've been  using under my BB Cream for about 5 days now.




The Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream comes in a generous 50ml squeeze type tube. 



It has a flip top cover with a narrow nozzle which I find really helpful to easily dispense the product and avoid wastage. This sunscreen doesn't reek of chemical and surprisingly smells mild to moderate compared to other sunscreens I've tried. I like that the chemical smell doesn't linger and goes off a few minutes after application.



The product appears creamy white, easily spreads on your skin and I love that it only gives your face a healthy glow without the ghostly cast. The cream melts easily on your skin, feels light and doesn't give an oily finish which makes this suitable to wear under your BB Cream or foundation. 



This sunscreen offers an impressive broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays with SPF 38. If you're not yet aware, a good sunscreen should protect you from both harmful  rays with an SPF of at least 30. I already went deep into this on a previous post, so do check it out as well for further information. I'm not sure about the original price but my fiance got a really great discount from Marshalls and bought it for only $10, a little over 400 Php! Can you believe that? I'm guessing the original price ranges from $20 to $30. You can also get it from Amazon for as low as $12 or roughly 500 Php. 



I also love that the ingredients include Zinc Oxide which is considered the best broad spectrum protection available that's safe to use even on sensitive skin. This sunscreen didn't break me out or cause any adverse skin reactions. The only downside is I'm not quite sure if it's available locally. 



Overall, the Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Cream is a great sunscreen to use on any skin type on any given day. I love using it under my BB Cream and will repurchase once it runs out. I also recommend it to those who want to achieve and maintain a healthy skin. So what are your thoughts? Do share them on the comments section below. Thank you for reading and have a great day!


♥♥♥






EOS: A second good look

Saturday, November 23, 2013



Hey guys! Several months ago, I was so intrigued by the hype brought about by these uniquely shaped lippies from eos that I immediately purchased one in Pomegranate Raspberry early this year from what looks like a reputable stall in Trinoma. I honestly believed it was authentic because there's no way Trinoma will allow fake products under their roof. So I went ahead, bought one and found it satisfactory. Not at all amazing as others claim it to be. You may click here to read my full review.


A few months later, I came across several reviews on eos lip balms and found out that there are imitations lurking in the market! One review pointed out the differences between a fake and authentic eos lip balm and there I was regretting the purchase.



My speculations were confirmed the day I bought another eos lip balm in Summer Fruit from a friend whose sister directly bought it from the US. Keeping in mind the differences mentioned in the review, I compared my two eos lip balms and here are my observations:


I originally wanted to get the same flavor for a more accurate comparison but I was left with Summer Fruit although I think it wouldn't hurt since they only differ in color and scent. At first glance, they both look very similar in terms of size and shape. Both containers seem to have the same texture and feel but the authentic eos (right) has a velvety finish without any signs of peeling compared to the fake eos (left) which is peeling mostly on the bottom. I've had the latter for more than 6 months now and the cover started peeling off discreetly on the day I started using it.

Looking closely on the edges where the cover and body meet, the authentic eos has a thin space in between while the fake eos is closely shut. Also, you can smoothly unscrew the authentic eos' cap with more precision compared to the fake eos.

Without opening the cap, you'd be surprised that the authentic eos has a very subtle almost undetectable scent compared to the fake eos which bears a heavenly scent even when sealed. I feel like the manufacturer of the fake eos lip balm deliberately made the container smell great because that's how customers are easily duped. I for one also smelled the container and was quite convinced that something as pleasantly scented couldn't possibly be an imitation. 


Now the major difference is pretty much evident once the cap is removed. The authentic eos smells pleasantly when opened compared to the fake eos which reeks of chemical. It's as if the pleasant fragrance mainly comes from the container rather than the product itself. Since eos lip balms are sealed and you can't open one unless you buy it, you have to bear in mind that authentic eos lippies don't necessarily scream of fruity scent from the outside and those that smell great are usually the fake ones. 


I wasn't able to take pictures of the sealed eos so I can't really tell you how they differ but others say that the authentic eos has a better looking seal and label. Inside the cap, (sorry for the crappy image) you will notice what looks like a serial number for the authentic eos which the fake one lacks.


I've been using my first eos for 6 months now and the original dome shape has been flattened in half but both lip balms when newly opened look the same. The difference in color isn't too obvious but the fake eos looks a little more pale than the real one. On application, the texture also has a subtle yet obvious difference, the fake eos is smooth but feels a bit gritty and uneven compared to the authentic eos which appears and feels silky smooth without being grainy. Also, you'll notice the authentic eos exuding a pleasant fruity scent when you apply it compared to the waxy smell that the fake eos gives off. The difference in fragrance is pretty much obvious that anyone can tell which one's authentic and not.



Both products are moisturizing and keep you from having chapped lips but the authentic eos feels ultra light, if it weren't for the fruity scent and sweet taste, you'd forget you have them on. Both retails for 250 Php each when bought in local stores so you really need to keep your guard up to spot the fake ones and avoid making the same mistake I did the first time. 


I know I'm not an authority when it comes to spotting the difference between a fake and authentic eos lip balm but I know that it doesn't take a genius to do so especially when you have both products on hand. So to those who are still curious and haven't bought the eos lip balm (where in heavens have you been?), be careful in purchasing from unknown sources. You may want to buy from reputable resellers like digitaltraincase and chedelyn's cosmetics. I bought mine from a friend who's an online seller, you may check out her Instagram account thefabpanda to see more of her stuff. Any thoughts on eos lippies? Do share them on the comments section below. Thank you so much for reading and have a blessed weekend!


♥♥♥


Victoria's Secret: Aqua Kiss Fragrance Mist

Wednesday, November 20, 2013



Hey guys! A month ago I had the luxury of time to declog my closet and found more than a few items I haven't used. One of the things I overlooked was a scent I haven't heard of from Victoria's Secret, Aqua Kiss which eventually became one of my favorites. 

Victoria's Secret Aqua Kiss Fragrance Mist $12 / 250ml  (500 + Php)

I got this as a gift from my aunt who's based in Virginia but it retails for $12 in their official website. It comes in a generous 250ml bottle which I think will last me a long time. I love the freshness it exudes with a hint of floral scent from freesia and daisy. As expected from a mist, it only stays on for a couple of hours which I think is okay since I love spraying it on every chance I get. Bottom line is, Aqua Kiss fits those who love to smell fresh and clean without the overpowering floral scent. 


Victoria's Secret products are available in leading department stores nationwide. You may also avail of various fragrances from Victoria's Secret at online shops like Zalora Philippines. Better yet, purchase any item from Zalora Philippines between November 11 and December 11 to avail of great discounts. This is in celebration of the Online Revolution Month, a month long collaboration with other leading online shops to provide you with the best deals and promos. Click here for more information. 


Any thoughts on Victoria's Secret fragrances? Let me know on the comments section below. Thank you for dropping by and have a great day!




MAYBELLINE: Search for the next 8 BB Top Models

Friday, November 15, 2013



Hey guys! If you've been following my posts, you pretty much have an idea that I love trying out new products or different versions of a product especially when they involve the double B word. I've expressed my LOVE for BB creams since the day I started using them so imagine my excitement when I got invited to take part in Maybelline New York's blogger challenge in their search for next year's 8 BB Top Models. 


Image courtesy of Maybelline

Hold it ladies, I'm not joining as a contestant but as a blogger, I've been given the honor to spread the news and encourage my kikay followers ( including you ) to join and hopefully become one of the eight official faces of Maybelline Clear Smooth BB Cream for 2014. Wait! This gets even better, two lucky ladies will also receive modeling contracts worth 100,000 Php and 50,000 Php respectively from Ideal People Models. 


Image courtesy of Maybelline

You must be at least 15 years old with a valid facebook account and a fan of Maybelline Philippines on facebook. Those who are 15 to 17 years old may need to submit confirmation of parental consent. To enter, simply click here to link you to the contest application on Maybelline Philippines' facebook page. Register by choosing the tab PARTICIPATE and enter your personal information. 
 
 
Image courtesy of Maybelline
 
Name and email address are already prefilled based on the facebook account you're using so make sure to register using your personal facebook account. 
 
 
Image courtesy of Maybelline

Notice the slot asking if you have a blogger mentor? That's where I come in. Click YES and enter my name (Jing Baloy) as seen on the image above. If you choose me to be your mentor, I will exhaust all efforts to gather enough votes for you to qualify as one of the 30 most voted participants. This will increase your chances of becoming one of Maybelline's 8 BB Top Models and bag a modeling contract from Ideal People Models. 


Image courtesy of Maybelline

Upload two close shot photos, one full body shot and share your thoughts on why you deserve to be one of the 8 BB Top Models. 
 

Image courtesy of Maybelline
 
Let's join forces and tell everyone on social media to vote for you by clicking the GALLERY/VOTE tab.

Image courtesy of Maybelline

Not interested or qualified to join? You can still show your support by voting for all the ladies under my mentorship and help me get a chance to win 100 Maybelline New York BB products to share with all of you. I will post an update once I get participants to join under my guidance. Let's do this everyone! Online voting runs until December 2, 2013 and the 8 BB Top Models will be chosen from the final casting of the top 30 most voted candidates on the 9th of December. 
 
 
 
Before I end this post, I would like to thank Maybelline for inviting me to participate in this blogger challenge and for sending me a variety of BB products to try. I also want to thank Ms. Ana Bering of The SVEN Group for patiently responding to my queries about this challenge.
 
 
 
Most importanlty, I want to thank all of you for always visiting my blog and reading my posts. Please do extend your support by participating in this competition or voting for the ladies who will be under my mentorship. Kindly give me a nudge that you're interested to join and want me to be your mentor by using the comments section below or just send me an email via docretch@gmail.com. Again, thank you so much and best of luck to everyone! 

❤❤❤


Za Cosmetics Perfect Solution



Hey guys! I'm here to share with you another skincare line from Za Cosmetics called Perfect Solution. According to Za, it's their high-performance, anti-aging skincare line formulated with nature-derived plant seed extracts and marine collagen to give your skin a youthful resilience and a silky glow.



Za also comes from the makers of Shiseido, a well renowned Japanese brand when it comes to skincare and cosmetics. This is why I jumped right in to test the product and see for myself how well it works for me. 



The Perfect Solution line includes four products and thanks to Sample Room, I was able to get two of them for free (exclusive of 100 Php Shipping fee).


Perfect Solution Moisturizer (625 Php / 125 ml)

Za Cosmetics Perfect Solution Moisturizer comes in a bright fuchsia pink bottle which looks really dainty on any vanity table.



I like how Za designed the spout to easily dispense the product. This moisturizer has a pleasant scent that's so subtle it goes off a few minutes after application. 



It looks milky white and has a runny consistency making it very effortless to spread on your face and neck. It feels light on your skin yet very moisturizing and doesn't leave your face looking and feeling greasy. This moisturizer didn't cause any adverse skin reactions and it didn't cause me to break out.


Perfect Solution Restoring Collagen Cream (725 Php / 40 g)

The Za Perfect Solution Restoring Collagen Cream also comes in a jar with the same striking fuchsia pink color.
 
 

I would've loved an extra top cover for this container although the product seems to stay put even without one. This cream also has a pleasant scent that doesn't linger after application. 



It's opaque white and has a thick creamy consistency that spreads smoothly. I love how it immediately makes your skin feel soft and velvety. You may notice looking a bit shiny for a while but it eventually gets absorbed. I was initially hesitant to use this in the morning before applying BB cream because (based on experience) rich moisturizers tend to get rubbed off when layered with BB cream giving you a finish that looks obviously cakey. 


Image courtesy of Taste Central

However, the Za Perfect Solution Restoring Collagen Cream doesn't give you the same unsatisfactory finish. First time I used it, I was able to apply BB cream smoothly without tugging or removing the collagen cream. I'm still amazed at how my Tony Moly Luminous Goddess Aura BB cream glides effortlessly on my skin each time I apply it on top of the Za Collagen Cream. The only problem is it limits the staying power of the BB Cream and my skin tends to get greasy a little earlier than usual. If you want to use this as a day cream under your foundation or BB Cream, you might need to touch up earlier and more frequently or you may put on a primer in between for longer staying power and better oil control.



The Perfect Solution line also has a Foaming Cleanser and Toner both of which I haven't tried. Meanwhile, I'm loving the moisturizer and collagen cream hence I recommend them to those of you who are still looking for a skin care regimen or just want to try something new. 


Image courtesy of Sample Room

As mentioned, I got mine from Sample Room but the overwhelming response from the members rendered them unavailable in just a few days. 


Image courtesy of Taste Central

You can also buy them online from Taste Central and enjoy 30% discount when you get the complete Perfect Solution line consisting of a Cleansing Foam, Toner, Moisturizer and Restoring Collagen Cream. Pay only 1,500 Php instead of 2,290 Php for the entire line with free shipping until January 4, 2014.

 
Image courtesy of Taste Central
L to R: Toner (595 Php / 150 ml), Cleansing Foam (345 Php / 100 g), Collagen Cream (725 Php / 40 g), Moisturizer (625 Php / 125 ml)

Za Perfect Solution products are also available in leading department stores nationwide. Any thoughts on Za Cosmetics' Perfect Solution line? Do share them on the comments section below. Thanks for reading and have a great day!


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