Sunday, January 29, 2012

4D Mega Rider Virtual Reality Rides at Tutuban Mall

We tried three 4D virtual reality simulators at the 4D Mega Rider at Tutuban Mall: Snow Rider, Amazing Deep Sea, and Bermuda Triangle. They were enjoyable (Snow Rider would be great during summer!) but riding three rides one after the other was a bit overwhelming, especially for my bf who ended up sniffing White Flower afterwards to calm his innards.

For some reason, we found the Tutuban Mega Rider to be more dizzying than the 4D Max Rider in SM Manila, even during our first ride. I'm not sure if it was just because of our nervous anticipation or if it was because of the difference in the quality of the graphics or the machines. I don't think the 4D riders at Tutuban and SM Manila are owned by the same company (if I'm wrong, please correct me). I checked online and it seems that Mega Rider machines use a pneumatic system while Max Rider machines use electric servomotors. Mega Rider in Tutuban had fewer themes to choose from but were a lot more affordable (P80/ride while the one in SM Manila cost P120/ride).

the available themes

A TV screen by the booth entrance showed the people during their rides. It was a little embarrassing to know that others would be seeing your freaked-out face but at the same time, it was also reassuring to know that the staff would be aware if the customers needed assistance during the rides.

After our rides, I was thinking that I couldn't recommend the mega rider to kids. Upon exiting the virtual reality booth, however, I saw a couple of kids in the waiting area. One guy rode with his kid and the kid looked fine on the screen. Afterwards, two young girls went inside for their ride as their father (or guardian) waited outside and watched them via the TV screen. These two kids also looked perfectly okay, not scared or agitated in any way.

Star 4D Mega Rider
Center II Building
Ground Floor Unit M2-G017
Tutuban Mall
Manila, Metro Manila
Web site
Facebook page

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Disappointing Chinese New Year at Gloria Maris (SM North)

We knew people would be flocking to Chinatown last weekend so we went to SM North instead. Craving for roast duck, we chose to dine at Gloria Maris in The Block. That restaurant was one of our usual hangouts whenever we were at SM North. We loved their food and service and we had never had any reason to be dissatisfied.

However, we were much disappointed in our last visit.

For one, they had no duck. It was Chinese New Year season and this Chinese resto ran out of duck. A bit of a letdown but not so bad, since we arrived at past 8pm.

Then there was that baby cockroach that scampered across our table. When we called over one of the waiters to inform him that we would be changing tables because of the cockroach, the little bugger decided to show itself, prompting the waiter to catch it with his bare hand. I guess having some pests in a restaurant couldn't be helped and we should probably be thankful that the waiter did not smash that cockroach in front of us, but it was a bit off-putting. Anyway, we did not make a fuss about that.

What we disliked the most was the Roasting Combination (P488), a platter consisting of slices of pork asado and  chicken. We thought only the topmost chicken had a bit of cooked blood so we didn't complain at once. Upon inspection, however, all the chicken slices had blood and it wasn't even cooked blood, but fresh blood. When we called a waiter to request the chicken to be sent back to the kitchen and cooked more thoroughly, he agreed that the chicken was indeed bloody. After several minutes, the chicken came back recooked, but the taste had been affected and we did not enjoy it.

I'm not sure what happened to that chicken. All that fresh blood would have been obvious to the cook and to the one who arranged the food on the platter. I had a feeling that it was just rushed since when we arrived, there were only a handful of customers that they probably thought they would be closing the resto soon (but after 9pm, a lot of customers began to arrive).

Gloria Maris
The Block
SM City North EDSA
Quezon City, Metro Manila

Friday, January 20, 2012

Diamond Peel at Holy King Medical Clinic (Caloocan)

Holy King Medical Clinic was more conveniently located for us so we decided to try it next.

The place was small and modest. There were two floors. On each floor were several beds, separated by curtains. I was treated by one of the aestheticians upstairs while bf was treated downstairs.

Holy King Medical Clinic Caloocan
steps leading to the second floor

I was asked to lie down on the bed closest to the door. Unfortunately, the bed was not properly cleaned after the previous occupant left. There was a wet spot. Thank goodness it was just gel. When I called the aesthetician's attention, she wiped it off.

Things were not as private as in Medicard. I could hear conversations between the aestheticians as well as between other clients and the staff attending to them. Some of the staff moved around a lot which made me a little bit self-conscious since I was near the door and they would always pass me by.

Holy King Medical Clinic Caloocan

My treatment was just facial diamond peel but my aesthetician was kind enough to treat my neck as well and also paid more attention to problematic areas such as the jawline, sides of the nose, and corners of the mouth. After bf's treatment, his skin looked great. The staff as well as the lady doctor I got to meet later on were all polite, patient, and accommodating.

Holy King Medical Clinic
Unit C 19 Jade Tower 2nd Avenue
Caloocan City, Metro Manila
Phone: 475-6456

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Le Bistro D'Agathe - Authentic French Food in Makati

Admit it! When we Filipinos hear the words "French food" or "French restaurant", we form a mental image of a very upscale restaurant, with a snooty waiter and a lot of intimidating, hard-to-pronounce, not to mention expensive, food. There is this fear that we will end up looking as lost and clumsy as Mr. Bean in this infamous scene:

Mr Bean's holiday French restaurant

So when we heard about this French bistro in Makati, we decided to try it. Being a bistro, it was a small, modest restaurant with moderately priced food -- perfect for people like us who wanted to try French food but were a little intimidated. According to some blogs, the chef was very accommodating, which was a bonus.

We ordered the set dinner meal, which consisted of your choice of appetizer, main course, and dessert. I ordered terrine, lasagna, and apple pie while bf ordered cucumber soup, ox tongue with ravigote sauce, and chocolate mousse.

It was my first time to try terrine. I chose it because it was similar to pâté, which I like. The terrine was a lot bigger than I expected but I had no trouble finishing it because it wasn't too filling or cloying. The lasagna was good, the topmost layer was crustier than the typical lasagna. The cucumber soup was filling and the ox tongue was tender, with the ravigote sauce complementing the tongue's mild flavor. The apple pie was different from my expectation. I was expecting either a pocket pie with a jam-like filling or a thick pie with chunky and still-crunchy apple filling. Le Bistro's apple pie was thin and light.

Le Bistro D'Agathe terrine

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ensogo's Refund Process Sucks Donkey Balls! (unlike CashCashPinoy and DealGrocer)

After my disappointment with the Mongkok voucher I bought from Ensogo, I emailed Ensogo to request for a refund.

When buying online, I always use either G-Cash, Paypal or BPI mobile banking to pay. These three payment modes give me a stress-free experience because I don't have to worry about banking hours or even leaving the house. When it comes to group-buying sites, using Paypal and Gcash also ensures that my payment gets verified instantly and I get my vouchers within a minute.

On a side note: I see a lot of other voucher buyers who pay over-the-counter getting stressed with the late arrival of their vouchers, so if you love deal sites as much as I do, I suggest you get a Paypal or G-Cash account.

Anyway, since I bought my Mongkok voucher using Paypal, the refund process should be really quick, right? Ensogo just needed to login to their Paypal account and click "Refund". Even if they were busy and had to talk with Mongkok management before giving me my refund, that shouldn't take more than a week. Guess what? My freakin' refund took almost four months! I didn't expect my refund experience would be that bad because
  • The voucher was only worth P300
  • I had bought several vouchers from them before and had no problems getting or claiming my vouchers
  • I always paid instantly, so transactions were automated and I didn't add to their workload
  • When I requested a refund, I included a detailed account of what happened
  • I did not pester and annoy them everyday (on hindsight, maybe I should have pestered them everyday).
  • I was under the delusion that they valued loyal customers 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Conflicting Prices of Crayola Crayons at 7-Eleven Edsa-Quezon Ave

We went to 7-11 Edsa-Quezon Ave to buy a basic set of Crayola crayons. I saw the price (P17) so I handed a P20 bill to the cashier. I was surprised that he asked me to give him P9 more. I thought maybe I saw the wrong price so I gave him the P9.

I checked the receipt and it said P29 alright.

Crayola crayons and receipt from 7-Eleven 7-11
receipt from 7-Eleven 7-11

Out of curiosity, I went back to the school supplies section. Sure enough, the tag said P17, almost half the price encoded in their computer!

price tag

I hope they check and correct any conflicting prices soon.

7-Eleven Philippines
EDSA cor. Quezon Avenue
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Web site
Facebook page

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rustan's Fruitcake

When you say "fruitcake", many people have this reaction:

My reaction towards fruitcake in general is more like this:
In fact, I was craving for fruitcake the past few weeks.

Bf and I were at Rustan's Supermarket, ogling at fancy cheeses, when something in the nearby pastry area caught my eye:

Rustan's fruitcake in native box
Rustan's fruitcake in native box
with the ribbon and plastic wrapper removed

I loved the packaging! The native packaging had golden strings intertwined with the fibers and the brightly colored ribbon had gold edges. I lifted one up to see what kind of loaf was inside and the label said "fruitcake". I remembered my cravings the past few nights so I bought one even though I found it expensive. I admit it, I have a weakness for pretty packaging.

Rustan's fruit cake

At home, I ate a slice. The alcoholic taste was very strong, very different from what I was expecting. I immediately regretted buying the fruit cake and surrendered any plans of eating the whole thing just to keep my pride intact. My aunt tasted it and found the taste overpowering too. When a male guest came over, we gave him a slice. He agreed with us regarding the taste but was nice enough to accept the fruitcake when we gave it to him to take home, otherwise that loaf would be staying in the fridge for a long time.

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