Food Review: Family Mart’s Twirl-All-You-Can Ice Cream

As promised, a different flavor. *wink*

Family Mart is a Japanese convenience store franchise chain. It first opened in Japan on September 1981. It has branches all over Japan and in different countries such as Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and even US. (Source here) April this year, Family Mart Co., together with Ayala Land Inc., decided to open branches here in the Philippines. If not mistaken, the first Family Mart branch here is in Glorietta.

Last Friday, Marco and I paid Family Mart MRT Ayala Station branch a visit. I told him Family Mart has Twirl-All-You-Can Ice Cream for 15 Php. We didn’t have dessert after dinner so we tried it.

Two thumbs up for the twirl-all-you-can thing because (1) it’s cheap and (2) you get to enjoy dispensing ice cream into the cone. Family Mart granted one of my childhood dreams. Mehehe.

Marco and his ice cream

Not bad for a first-timer, Marco!

I didn't expect mine will look better than Marco. Haha! :P

Looks like I’ve got myself a new career — ice cream girl. Haha!

Twirling is cool! Since it’s self-service, you can fill up the whole Belgian waffle cone without leaving spaces for air then twirl and twirl ’till forever. Plus I felt like a five-year-old girl playing with ice cream. Tee hee.

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My cone was so heavy! I felt like I gained weight immediately after finishing my treat! Haha!

The ice cream is obviously vanilla. It’s creamy and has a fruity vanilla taste. It’s sweeter compared to other vanilla ice creams that I have tried. The Belgian waffle cone on the other hand is big, crunchy and has a light sweet taste. Don’t forget to buy a bottle of water if you plan to fill the cone like I did! Spare yourself from sore throat.

Overall, the ice cream experience is fun. I just hope that they add ice cream flavors so it won’t be boring. They can also offer add-ons such as marshmallows, candy-coated chocolate buttons and strawberry syrup at a fair price.

As an ice cream lover and a child at heart, I will definitely go back for another round of twirling. 😉

Food and Restaurant Review: Mang Inasal

Mang InasalMang Inasal is, according to their website, the Philippine’s fastest growing barbeque fast food chain, serving chicken, pork barbeque and other Filipino favorites. I am not a fan of Mang Inasal but I have visited a lot of different branches during my college days. Why? Because (1) their food is student wallet-friendly; (2) they have this unlimited rice promo running all year round which is perfect after an exhausting school day and; (3) they are strategically located in places where my college classmates and I go to finish our school requirements. Mang Inasal is literally everywhere. During those times, I felt like there’s no other choice but Mang Inasal.

Review time! Food first.

I think their best seller is their chicken so let’s start with the chicken. Taste-wise, their chicken is good. Their recipe tickled the Filipino palate really well. Downside of the chicken: not uniformly cooked. Every visit, the chicken feels different. Well, they all taste the same but they’re not cooked the same. Sometimes, the chicken is over-cooked, sometimes under. I have even encountered a raw chicken! What a shame. Sometimes, the chicken is juicy but most of the time, the skin of the chicken is burnt and the inside is dry. There is a big difference between charred and burnt. A couple of times, aside from being dry and burnt, I have been served a cold chicken. It seems like the chicken has been sitting in the kitchen for a long time, waiting to be served. How dare you serve food cold when it’s not supposed to be cold. It’s chicken barbecue; not hainanese chicken. Huhu.

Chicken

Yes, their chicken may be “two in one sa laki at sarap” but are these two the only factors that we have to consider?

Aside from chicken, they also serve Puto at Dinuguan. My first order of Puto at Dinuguan was good — perfect balance of flavors. But again, they are not consistent. Sometimes, they serve Dinuguan which is more sour than the usual. The only consistent thing is the Puto. It’s moist and has a very light flavor that complements the strong dinuguan taste. As for dessert, they have turon split and leche flan both are not impressive — very small serving. Their menu also isn’t impressive — not a lot of choices. (See menu here)

Okay. Enough with the food. Restaurant naman.

Every Mang Inasal place I have been to is hot and messy. Are we tight on budget and we have to cut down on electrical expenses? The aircon doesn’t seem to function at all. Or wait, it does. FAN MODE. Huhu. Yeah, I get the grilling thing which could make the place hot but I have been to other restaurants whose grilling process do not affect the temperature of the dining area. The tables, chairs and floors are messy. It’s like someone spilled soy sauce or chicken oil, people stepped on it and nobody cleaned after the mess. The three condiments on the table (chicken oil, vinegar and soy sauce) are messy and sticky too. And most of the time, they are not complete. I mean not all three are on the table. You have to tell the staff first that you need this and that before putting the staple condiments on your table. The crew are not friendly too. Sungit. And they can’t keep up with the unlimited rice promo. There were a couple of times that my friends served themselves the rice refill just because the crew were too busy handling whatevers. There were a couple of times too that we helped ourselves get a bowl of soup. They should have posted a “Self-Service” sign somewhere inside the dining area.

Obviously, overall, considering all the branches I have visited, I am deeply disappointed. I will never pay Mang Inasal a visit again.

*Disclaimer: Photos are grabbed from the Internet

Beauty Establishment Review: Dare to Bare

It has been ten gazillion years since my last review post! And the comeback post will be about a beauty establishment — waxing salon. My first review was about a waxing salon. Now, waxing salon again. Haha! I am no hair freak. It’s just that I don’t go to beauty establishments as often as other ladies do. The only establishments I visit are hair salon and waxing salon. I visit the hair salon once a year (Yay for low maintenance hair!) and the waxing salon around six to eight times a year depending on how fast my body hair grows. O eh so ano pang i-re-review ko? Edi waxing salon lang! Haha!

Fire!

July this year, I went to Eton Centris to get my eyebrows done. When I got there, it rained so hard that I can’t go out the mall. The waxing salon to which I usually go is located at the Centris Walk. Centris Walk isn’t a covered walk;  I don’t want to get wet so I looked around Centris Mall and saw Dare to Bare Skin Center.

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Disclaimer: I don’t own the photo above. I just grabbed it from Dare to Bare’s Facebook account.

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They have a tarpaulin containing the list of their services posted on their glass wall. Desperate to have my eyebrows done and hoping that they have an eyebrow threading service, I browsed their menu.

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IMG_8652Unfortunately, they don’t do threading! They do eyebrow waxing instead. Waxing, for me, is great. I wax my underarms and I get good results. But really, eyebrows? I’m so paranoid. What if the wax drops on the wrong place? Hello Mona Lisa face! Or the wax might be too hot for my facial skin! Burns! I was so hesitant to try it kaso sayang naman punta ko sa Centris if di ko mapapagawa eyebrows ko. So I ended up lying on one of their beds, having my eyebrows done.

When I went in, I told them na that was my first time to have my eyebrows waxed. I told them to please take good care of my eyebrows and be careful not to remove too much hair; I want clean, thick and youthful eyebrows. They said I should relax; I should not worry.

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Their interior design is so minimalist. Every thing is pristine white. I wasn’t able to take pictures of their treatment room.  But as I have said, every thing is white — bed, linens, beside table, walls, etc. It gives you the impression that the place is clean. The one who did my eyebrows is practicing good hygiene. I saw her using alcohol on her hands before touching my face. She, too, put alcohol on the tweezers before she used it on my short and stubborn eyebrow hair. The waxing cloth she used was also new. All of the staff were friendly, polite and good at establishing rapport. The lady who waxed me was talking to me all the time. The little chat we had helped a lot in reducing my anxiety.

Now, ready to see my before and after pictures? Here we go:

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Before (top) | After (bottom)

Hindi na bushy yung eyebrows ko!! And hindi naubos! Haha! Total opposite of what I was thinking before waxing! Pardon the no make up face pero… Yay! Ang linis, na ng kilay ko!

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Before (left) | After (right)

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My eyebrows with make-up! Say hi to my best friend, Che! Hihi. Hi, Che!

Dare to Bare is definitely a go-to place when you need someone to take care of your eyebrows!

Rating:

  • Location: 4/5
  • Service: 5/5
  • Ambiance: 4/5
  • Staff: 5/5
  • Price: 4/5
  • Overall: 4.4/5

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Dare to Bare is located at 2F Eton Centris Mall, Quezon Avenue corner EDSA, Quezon City, Philippines.

Milk Tea Review: Gong Cha Milk Winter Melon Tea

Hello guys! I’m back from a deep slumber! And I’m back with a milk tea review!

My boyfriend and I went on a date. After having dinner at Bon Chon, we decided to buy a cup of milk tea from Gong Cha.
As I have said on my previous review, I would like to try their Milk Earl Grey Tea on my next visit. Unfortunately, they ran out of earl gray tea so we ended sipping on a cup of Milk Winter Melon Tea instead.
Here it is! Gong Cha Milk Winter Melon Tea.
They said there are three ways to enjoy Gong Cha’s House Specials. First is to sip the special cream on top! I tried it and it was heaven! It’s so yummy that you would want to order another serving of the cream! Haha. I wonder how they do it. It’s creamy and a little bit salty. It’s like light cheese and milk. Super delicious!
Trying the second step to enjoy the cup: Tasting the tea! I took a sip and concluded: This is authentic winter melon! It doesn’t taste like other milk tea establishments’ winter melon tea. It tastes like the winter melon juice I bought when I went to Binondo. Authentic winter melon drink’s taste is comparable to a sugar cane juice. Yes, the ones you see in the malls where they squeeze the sugar cane in front of you then they put the juice in the bottle. I’m not a fan of the real winter melon such as Gong Cha’s but I like those winter melon flavored teas that other milk tea establishments sell.
Last step: Mix the cream and tea! It looks like milk tea! But it doesn’t taste like milk tea. I don’t like the taste of their winter melon tea and mixing it with the cream didn’t help me appreciate it. Worse, the tea overpowered the taste of the yummy cream. Sad me.
Overall, I didn’t enjoy my cup. If ever I will want a taste of real winter melon in the future, I will not spend 95Php just to taste it. I’d rather buy myself a bottle of sugar cane juice which costs around 20-30Php. I wasn’t really satisfied so I’ll make sure I will have a cup of Milk Earl Grey Tea on my next visit. I have a strong feeling that I will enjoy it for I am a fan of black teas. Tee hee.
That’s it for now guys! ‘Till my next review!
PS: To all authentic winter melon drink fans, I could suggest two places to go: Binondo and Gong Cha. 🙂

Beauty Establishment Review: Lay Bare Waxing Salon

We, ladies, have an “obligation” of removing unwanted hair from certain places of our body. Hair removal could be done through plucking, shaving, waxing and laser. Plucking is inconvenient. Shaving leads to darkened skin and chicken skin. Laser is expensive. Of these four, obviously, waxing gets the highest score. It’s cheap and accessible. You have a choice of doing it by yourself or going to a waxing salon to have the hair removed. I’m more in favor of going to a waxing salon than waxing myself at home.
I have tried the services of various waxing salons. For this review, I will write about Lay Bare Waxing Salon
Lay Bare is, I guess, one of the fastest growing waxing salons in the country with 43 branches all over Luzon and Visayas. They use cold sugar wax — no more burning hot wax and no more strips. Their services are affordable ranging from 100 Php to 1,500 Php. They also have packages from which you can choose from.

To guide you on this review: The only waxing salon services that I’ve tried are eyebrow threading and underarm waxing.

I have already visited three of their branches — SM Fairview, SM San Lazaro and LPL Greenbelt. Of these three branches, SM Fairview and LPL Greenbelt deserve two thumbs up. The service crews are polite and you can feel that they are “experts” of their “field”. They know how to shape brows and they are very patient in removing stubborn unwanted underarm hair. They leave your brows perfectly shaped and your underarms clean and smooth — no unwanted hair left and no pinpoint wounds that are bleeding.
Let’s talk about the remaining branch — SM San Lazaro. I’ve been there twice and both visits gave me unsatisfactory results. That branch is the total opposite of the aforesaid branches. Service crews seem to be always in a hurry and their “finished product” isn’t as good as that of the two other branches.
I would definitely go back to Lay Bare SM Fairview and LPL Greenbelt to avail of their services. On the other hand, surely, I won’t give Lay Bare SM San Lazaro another visit.

Milk Tea Review: Gong Cha Earl Grey Milk Tea

As promised, my second milk tea review.
My brother and I are fans of milk tea and almost every time we’re together, we buy ourselves a cup. This time, we tried Gong Cha.
Gong Cha is one of the famous milk tea brands that we have here in the Philippines. It originated year 2006 in Taiwan. So far, Gong Cha has seven branches all over the metro. They offer a wide range of tea selections – House Special Series, Milk Tea Series, Brewed Tea Series, Ice Cream Special Series, Creative Mix Series, Coffee Special Series and Pearl Ice Series.
Since it’s our first time to try this line, we opted to order their best seller which is Earl Grey Milk Tea.
I almost forgot to take pictures of the milk tea. So there – 1/8 full cup. Haha.

Earl Grey Milk Tea Large, with Pearls, 100% sweetness
Before milk teas were born, I’m already a fan of teas. I was able to taste different flavors of teas – Earl Grey, of course, English Breakfast, Jasmine, Peppermint, Chamomile, Blueberry, Sweet Peppermint, Lemon Ginger, and a lot more. Earl Grey has a distinct strong taste that I love.
The first sip made my scream like crazy. I could not think of any other word that could describe the taste aside from the word “authentic”. It was real! It was a real Earl Grey Tea with milk! The tea was not too strong and the milk wasn’t overpowering. 100% sweetness is perfect for those who love sweets. I find 100% too sweet. Maybe I’ll try 75% next time. Nevertheless, the sweetness did not affect my overall verdict for this milk tea. My next sip contains the add-ons — pearls. The tapioca was cooked perfectly and it is very chewy — the chewiest pearl so far. As with the price, it’s quite pricey. 85 Php for the milk tea plus 15 Php for the pearl for a total of 100 Php. Verdict: I’ll give this one an 8 out of 10. I would definitely go back to Gong Cha to taste their other products. Next on the list: Gong Cha House Special Milk Earl Grey Tea. Tee hee.
Oh well. That’s all! ‘Till next time guys!

Product Review: Nature Republic Fresh Farm Rice Foam Facial Cleanser

Yay for my second product review!

Korean products are invading my beauty box like crazy! First was the Aloe Vera Soothing Gel; now, the Fresh Farm Rice Facial Foam Cleanser; up next is the Botanical Cover BB Cream SPF 40.

Nature Republic Fresh Farm Rice Facial Foam Cleanser. As the name suggests, it wants you to think that the product was taken fresh from the farm. Indeed, this product smells like authentic rice. Haha! At first, I was like, “Damn. I don’t like the smell of rice!!” But later on, I learned to appreciate the smell or let’s just say I got used to it. Haha. Well, aside from the smell, this product gets a two thumbs up for me. The cleanser is very light and you can really feel the gentleness of the product as it touches your skin. After washing, it leaves your skin fresh, smooth and soft. I’ve been using this product for two months already and it kept its promise of cleansing my skin and making it look healthy. It lessened the zits on my face too. And 220Php for 150mL didn’t hurt my wallet. I am actually getting more than what I paid for because of its good effects on my skin and because I think that the squeeze bottle will last up to three to four months.
Again, two thumbs up for Nature Republic Fresh Farm Rice Facial Foam Cleanser!