April has been a good month for me, despite not having both a laptop and a smartphone. I’m getting used to the hang of it, though—but let’s move on from that.
CJ celebrated her 23rd birthday last March 31, which landed on a Friday. I blocked off the date and filed a leave – her birthday wouldn’t be special if I wasn’t there. We didn’t go to a fancy restaurant, choosing to explore around instead. Thus, our travels brought us first to the España area where the University of Santo Tomas is located. CJ asked me to try out Ate Rica’s Bacsilogan for our breakfast, which was located at UST’s parking area. Bacsilog is a portmanteau of bacon, fried rice (sinangag), and egg (itlog)—similar to how the word tapsilog came to be.
We walked around the UST campus to let the food go down. It was my first time to visit the UST Museum—with its vast array of stuffed Philippine fauna, paintings, religious articles, and the university’s ceremonial items dating back from the 19th century. That short history lesson made both of us hungry, so we headed to Kyotako Premium Japanese Takoyaki for a quick snack. CJ made me try out the place’s takoyaki, or octopus balls. It was the best I’ve tried so far.
For our last stop in España, we stopped by Super Cup a few blocks away from Kyotako. Unfortunately, they were out of pearls for the milk tea so we had to settle for a large winter melon drink. Now that our España food trip was finished, we booked a GrabCar towards our next destination: SM Megamall.
It had been some time since our last visit to the mall, and she wanted to try out Din Tai Fung. This Taiwan-based restaurant opened a branch at SM Megamall, beside Tim Ho Wan—another dimsum joint from Hong Kong. We were lucky that its initial hype had died down and not a lot of people were dining when we visited.
Din Tai Fung was famous for its xiao long bao, soup-filled dumplings that came in many variants. This was among our orders during this trip, and now we understand why a lot of people were anticipating Din Tai Fung’s arrival. We also ordered a lot of other items from their menu and left satisfied and full.
I craved something sweet after our Din Tai Fung lunch. Good thing I read about Bliss Bowls, the latest project by Pam of Green Lunch Diaries (which I follow here on WordPress). Bliss Bowls was just a few days into business when we visited, so it was a good time to try their smoothie bowls. I ordered the Cacao Kiss, which contained cacao nibs and had bananas, oatmeal, and coconut as toppings. It was a healthy choice for dessert, though I wish I ordered a larger bowl.
We decided to call it a day after roaming around the mall and waiting for CJ’s cousin. Instead of booking another GrabCar back to SM North EDSA, the three of us chose to ride the premium point-to-point (P2P) bus service. It was our first time to do so, and I think this scheme should be implemented on a wider scale. Never mind the P40 fare; I’m patronizing this for the shorter trip time compared to riding regular public transportation.
All in all, this birthday was memorable—in the sense that we enjoyed the entire day and we tried out new dishes. Until the next post.