My Observations: Lunch at Toucan Brazilian BBQ Buffet Restaurant

Here in the Philippines, finding a place that serves Brazilian food is quite challenging. For those who live in South Metro Manila, the good news is that there is a new restaurant at the expanded area of Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa, and it’s called Toucan Brazilian BBQ Buffet Restaurant.

As of this writing, the restaurant charges P430 per customer for lunch (I forgot their rate for children, sorry) and P730 for dinner. Out of curiosity, as well as my previous high interest on visiting Brazil for the Rio Carnival and discovering their culture and norms, I tried out their lunch buffet.

As soon as I entered, I saw the buffet table and I took a seat by the wall. The interiors were nice and very notable is the use of the colors yellow and green (plus blue) which easily reminds me of Brazil.

The restaurant really made a lot of efforts emphasizing Brazil to the customers. For decorations, they posted several framed pictures on their walls.

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You like Samba and art?
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At the other wall.

THE FOOD

How about food? On my trip to the buffet selection, there was a mix of meat, vegetables, rice, salad and free flowing drinking (by the wall). What surprised me was the presence of Chinese-style noodles (are those really part of Brazilian cuisine?). For my plate, I decided to have more vegetables than meat. Picture below.

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Pork with caramelized onions plus cabbage and potatoes.

As I started enjoying my drink and meal, the restaurant had personnel walking around carrying metallic sticks (from the grill) with meat attached to them. Because there was this wooden object with its green end on top (red end below), one of the carriers approached me and asked if I were interested to try a slice of beef cattle tongue which I accepted since I wanted to try it.

I had not touched the slice as I was focused on my vegetables and pork. Some minutes later, another guy carrying meat approached me and asked if I were interested in chicken. I asked him to give me some and just add it on the small plate carrying the still untouched slice (beef cattle tongue). Then I took a picture.

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Two different servings of chicken with the slice of beef in the middle.

I finally decided to try out the slice of beef. It was pretty tasty and there was no need for condiments to add flavor. I slowly ate it and then I tried the gold-like colored chicken which, in my view, seemed fried. It turned out, it was very well cooked and was even more flavorful than I expected.

Eventually I got satisfied and decided to flip the wooden object’s red end to the top to signify to the restaurant personnel I don’t want anymore servings. I took my last drink. It was time to cool down, rest and then prepare to pay the fee. When I saw the bill, there was a service charge of P38.36 on top of the buffet fee which I paid.

While waiting for my change to come, I took another picture of the wall decorations nearby.

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More than a dance and a showcase of skin, Samba is a Brazilian musical genre and its most notable music feature is the use of drums done the African way.

Overall, I enjoyed my lunch at Toucan Brazilian BBQ Buffet Restaurant and it was good taste and good value in return for my money. Definitely it is the place to go if you are looking for Brazilian cuisine or if you are looking for a different kind of buffet experience in Alabang. If there is anything lacking, I forgot to ask for their menu for other selections (I always wanted to try Brazilian coffee). Also there were lots of other grilled meats that I have yet to try. Eventually I’ll get them next time.

Toucan Brazilian BBQ Buffet Restaurant is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this news article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

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Muntinlupa City Seen To Benefit From DTI-BOI Investment Promotion

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The local government of Muntinlupa entered a partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry – Board of Investments in boosting Muntinlupa City as an investment destination. DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo signed a memorandum of agreement with Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi for the investment promotion endeavor at Muntinlupa City Hall, Putatan last April 16. Also witnessing the signing ceremony were DTI-BOI Investments Assistance Service Director Atty. Bobby Fondevilla, Muntinlupa City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Muntinlupa President Elvie Sanchez-Quiazon, and other local officials. (from Muntinlupa PIO press release)

The City Government of Muntinlupa continues to move forward and gain recognition for governance, cooperation and a continued business-friendly approach. For those who are unaware, Muntinlupa was named as the Most Business-Friendly City in 2017 and 2018 and judging from the other kinds of awards it won these past years it proved to be a highly competitive city nationwide.

Very recently I received a press release from the Muntinlupa Public Information Office (Muntinlupa PIO) in which the City Government (led by incumbent Mayor Jaime Fresnedi) announced that it has sealed a partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry – Board of Investments (DTI-BOI).

What’s the partnership about? Specifically the DTI-BOI will promote the city as an investment destination. Already DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi for the investment promotion endeavor at Muntinlupa City Hall on April 16.

What does this mean? It means the DTI-BOI will assist in boosting Muntinlupa City as an investment destination by providing relevant information on available incentives to potential local and foreign investors.

The investment board shall also provide assistance in the implementation of policies geared towards improvement of processes in starting a business. BOI aims to create an environment conducive to the expansion of existing investments or attracting prospective investments in the city. Further, the board will also conduct a mentoring program for the City Government’s frontline personnel.

During the MOA signing ceremony, Usec. Rodolfo lauded local initiatives and ease of doing business in Muntinlupa City. The BOI exec recognized some innovations facilitated by the City Government and its assistance in Micro, Small, Medium, and Large Enterprises and locators in Muntinlupa.  He also stated that Muntinlupa City is a business destination for high-value investments.

The mayor expressed his thanks to BOI for its assistance and said that the partnership will ripple to significant employment opportunities and the continuous development of local economy.

The way it is right now, Muntinlupa has arguably the most modern business and commercial zones in South Metro Manila. Already many companies have set up offices or corporate headquarters in Filinvest City, Madrigal Business Park, and Northgate Cyberzone in the Alabang area. When it comes to travel, the local connection to the Metro Manila Skyway is a big boost to the city as it allowed countless motorists to travel faster to and from Makati, Manila, Pasay City and the airports.

Things continue to look bright for Muntinlupa.


Thank you for reading. If you find this news article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

My Observations: Sigekiya Ramen’s Yokohama Tantanmen

Recently I visited Sigekiya Ramen at Commercenter, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City and there I tried out their latest ramen called the Tantanmen (full name: Yokohama Tantanmen).

According to the good people of the business, Tantanmen is the newest ramen variant created by their master Mamoru Sugizaki. It comes with a thinner version of Sigekiya’s made-in-store ramen noodles combined with a soup that rich, flavorful and spicy. Also present are some ground meat and a few green vegetables.

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A close look at Sigekiya’s Yokohama Tantanmen.

From my first experience tasting of the soup, I felt this delicious flavor in my mouth. To my surprise, there was spice that was more tolerable than I expected. Normally I go only for Level 1 spice at Sigekiya Ramen and their Tantanmen’s default spice was at around Level 5. As the spice was tolerable, I kept consuming more of the dish and the thinner noodles was nice change. By the time I finished it, I was really satisfied and I truly enjoyed it.

So would I recommend this new dish of Sigekiya to you? Yes! In fact, I highly recommend it! If you love your ramen to be spicy (note: at Sigekiya, you get to customize the spice level), filling and tasty while at the same time you crave for ground meat, then the Yokohama Tantanmen is for you!

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The Tantanmen from above!

Sigekiya’s 3rd anniversary

This month of April, Sigekiya Ramen celebrated its 3rd anniversary and I am happy for them that they made it this far attracting loyal customers as Commercenter keeps on establishing itself as a good venue for shopping, dining and movies in the highly competitive commercial zone of Alabang.

I remember Sigekiya Ramen opened on April 6, 2016. Back in those days, I was already tired of eating ramen served by many other Japanese restaurants which bought their noodles wholesale and just cooked and served those. With Sigekiya, I was already interested to find out how good, how tasty and how unique their ramen would be. A day or two after their opening in 2016, I went inside, sat down and ordered their default ramen. Right from the first serving, I enjoyed their soup and made-in-store noodles (which have a rich texture, is thicker and more ideal to chew than other ramen noodles).

Since then I return to them whenever I can afford their meals (which by the way are made with imported ingredients which explain the high prices). I also enjoy ramen again only this time it’s Sigekiya that is my first choice.

I also wrote about their Tsukemen (my favorite!) and the Gojira Ramen.

If you are interested to try Sigekiya Ramen’s offerings, visit them at the ground floor of Commercenter. Inquiries are accepted by phone at 805-0400.

Kudos to Sigekiya Ramen!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

My Observations: Beware of Discreet, Sign-carrying Beggar in Alabang

If you want to prevent yourselves or your loved ones from becoming victims, then you should read what I encountered today (March 18, 2019).

This morning, coming from the direction of Festival Mall in Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City, I was about to enter the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) branch at the ground floor of the Insular Life Corporate Center along Commerce Avenue.

As I was preparing myself, a thin, dark-skinned young man wearing dark shorts, dark t-shirt and slippers called my attention from behind. He carried a light bag on his back.

So I looked back carefully and then he said “Sir, patulong po.” (meaning he needs my help) and showed me a noticeable handy sign (like a card) with words written on it emphasizing that he needs money to solve his problem. From that moment on, I figured out he was a beggar trying to manipulate me discreetly (he did not even open his palm to show begging).

I just ignored him and went inside BPI Insular Life branch to do my transaction at one of the ATMs (automatic teller machines). As the ATM I used was processing my transaction, I took a few peaks outside and noticed that the guy was still standing outside on the lookout for other people he could approach.

Right after I completed my ATM transaction, I took it upon myself to photograph him for this very article. I also figured out it was a rare chance of mine to find out if he was trying to scam people given his very discreet approach on asking for money.

So I walked outside with my smartphone and its camera ready. As he noticed me nearing him, he showed me again that sign and asked for money. Then as I pulled out my smartphone to photograph him, he quickly put his sign away and faced the other direction trying to hide his face.

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This is the first shot I managed to take as he hid himself when he noticed my smartphone. The thing he is holding with his left hand is the sign/card with a written message to convince people to give him money for his “problem”. At this moment, he knew his discreet begging was exposed.

After taking the first photograph (the one right above), I still aimed my smartphone camera at him and I asked him to face me and challenged him to beg while being seen. He refused to do it and kept hiding himself by facing away from me.

Check out the pictures below.

 

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By the time I took this picture, he was resisting and decided to keep facing away and hide the beggar’s sign. He refused to face me and beg knowing that he was exposed. His earlier courage of discreetly begging for money was gone.
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The discreet beggar walking away.

As the discreet beggar walked away, I went back inside BPI Insular Life branch and alerted the security guard about the beggar.

The guard said he remembered seeing that beggar a few times from before begging within the Filinvest City spots. He also remembered that from time to time, adults like the one pictured would beg discreetly for money just outside their bank.

More notably, the security guard said that it is illegal for anyone to commit begging within Filinvest City. He added that the discreet beggar I encountered was very lucky that there was no Filinvest City security guard present otherwise he would have been apprehended for committing a violation.

The guard also warned that such beggars who use signs and words (to convince people to give money) might be members of local crime syndicates.

By the time my short talk with the bank security guard ended, the discreet beggar was several meters away heading towards the direction of South Supermarket.

Out of curiosity, I decided to follow him temporarily to determine if I could spot him trying to find a new spot to beg at others.

I walked some meters towards the discreet beggar and after a minute, I guessed he could have decided to go home. I took one last picture of him walking away before deciding to let him go.

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The final picture I took of the discreet beggar walking to the distance.

This incident I am writing about was NOT the first time I encountered a beggar along the roads of Filinvest City. What makes this different is that the beggar used a handy sign while saying only a few words to beg.

I have a strong mental defense and I always practice caution (including awareness of my surrounding). It’s natural for me to resist the manipulation attempts of street beggars.

If I were to give out money to help people who really need help, I would not give to beggars  roaming around and I certainly discourage you from giving to them especially if the begging constitutes a local violation. Surely you would not want to give your money to a beggar who happens to be a member of a crime gang!

If you want to give out loose cash to help people who really need help, I recommend you give to legitimate organizations like CBN Asia for example complete with legitimate ways to do it backed with record keeping.

Going back to encountering the beggars who roam around and near you, better have a defensive mindset and be ready to protect not only your money but also yourselves. Also be ready to call the local police or the nearest security guard if ever the beggar victimizes you.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article to be engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco.

Get To Know the Club Sandwich

When reading the menu of a nice restaurant, have you wondered what the club sandwich listed is like? Does its name spark your curiosity? If you are planning to try that as your next meal, here’s something to read about.

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Special thanks to Union Jack Tavern for their Chicken Club Sandwich which is composed of a large sandwich (divided into quarters) with some chips accompanying it.

To put things into perspective, the Club Sandwich (AKA Clubhouse Sandwich) is a uniquely presented type of sandwich with its bread being traditionally toasted and it carries slices of cooked poultry, tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise and bacon. It can be served sliced into quarters or half portions. The club sandwich is notable for having the “double decker” structure.

Depending on the restaurant, it can be served with chips (AKA French Fries) or with a serving of coleslaw (or salad). As a meal, club sandwich can be quite filling on its own as the mix of toasted bread and its ingredients makes for a hefty content. In my experience with Union Jack Tavern‘s Chicken Club Sandwich, their meal accompanied with chips is indeed sufficient and stomach-filling.

What I like about the club sandwich apart from its hefty content is that it tastes delicious even without the use of condiments. The taste of cooked poultry and bacon combined with the fresh vegetables make a nice experience on my taste buds.

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Look at that!

So how did the club sandwich begin? A lot of experts disagree until now. It has been speculated that the club sandwich creation and its double decker design was inspired by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Also speculated was it starting as the Union Club Sandwich which was first referred to in print media form in 1889. As for who could have invented club sandwich, nobody could verify.

While its definitive origin remains undetermined, the club sandwich remains available in some restaurants in your local area and the good news is that a single order ensures satisfaction for your stomach and a good taste for your taste buds.

Speaking of food, let me end this with a verse from the Holy Bible.

Go, eat your bread with joy, And drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works.

Ecclesiastes 9: 7 (New King James Version) 


Thank you for reading. If you find this article to be engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco.

 

 

 

My Observations: Sigekiya’s Gojira Ramen Is A Monster Meal For Your Belly!

Looks can be deceiving. Recently I visited Sigekiya Ramen at Commercenter in Alabang for lunch initially wanting the Tsukemen which I enjoy. As I looked on their menu, I noticed one particular ramen I have not tried before – the Gojira Ramen. It was listed on the menu that it was available on small size but the waiter assured me that it comes with a lot of content.

So I ordered it and after about ten minutes waiting, it was served to me at my table. To my surprise, Gojira Ramen was plentiful and all the space of its small-sized bowl was really full!

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A closer look at Gojira Ramen.

I took a closer look before consuming it. It had two nice servings of meat, lots of fresh vegetables, the soup and the noodles (located underneath). It took me a while to get through it at first alternating between eating the meat, then the noodles, then the vegetables and the soup. As I went on, I enjoyed it more.

More importantly, it filled my stomach. The small-sized bowl was deceiving to the eye but rest assured, the Gojira Ramen is rich with content and flavor. Do I recommend it? Absolutely!

In case you are wondering what Gojira means, read this – Gojira is actually the Japanese name of Godzilla (the cinematic icon from Japanese cinema). The very first Godzilla movie released in Japan in 1954 was titled Gojira.

If you are looking for a monster meal at Sigekiya Ramen, go for their Gojira Ramen. Meat, vegetables and noodles nicely fixed together to satisfy you.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article to be engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco.

My Observations: Union Jack Tavern’s Sticky Toffee Pudding

During my recent afternoon visit at Union Jack Tavern at Festival Mall in Alabang, I ordered an Apple Crumble of theirs which is a favorite dessert of mine. However they could not serve it because they ran out of Apple Crumble that day (Sunday) which was served during their Sunday lunch buffet as the dessert.

Then I glanced over their menu to check what other desserts were listed. Out of curiosity, I decided to order their Sticky Toffee Pudding. Around fifteen minutes later, it was served to me by their waitress. I took time out to take a close look at it before consuming it.

Sticky Toffee Pudding is composed of a moist sponge cake, vanilla ice cream and chopped dates which were covered with toffee sauce.

After taking a few pics of it, I decided to take my first scoop of the dessert with the spoon carefully getting a portion of both the cake and ice cream together. The result – a great taste with a satisfying feeling in my mouth! It was really tasty and in terms of sweetness, it felt rich yet not excessive to my taste buds. Anyone who loves toffee or chocolate-like food should try this!

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Union Jack Tavern’s Sticky Toffee Pudding. This one cost me P233.50 which includes the 10% service charge. Truly it was worth the price!

Having enjoyed the first bite, I gradually consumed it as I want to enjoy it to the best I could. In between bites, I drank water.

Ultimately, UJT’s Sticky Toffee Pudding is a GREAT dessert to have and it truly is worth its high price (listed at P215 on the menu as of this writing). I felt that the unavailability of Apple Crumble was a blessing in disguise. Had that other dessert been available, I may not have tried Sticky Toffee Pudding.

If you are visiting Alabang in Muntinlupa City, I highly recommend you visit Union Jack Tavern which is located at the lower ground floor of the Expanded Area of Festival Mall. Physically their place is located by the “river” (across Landmark Alabang) and near them is Mesa restaurant.

 

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This is the exterior of Union Jack Tavern at Festival Mall in Alabang. A great place to visit for drinks, meals and fun!

Origin of Sticky Toffee Pudding

While the origin of Sticky Toffee Pudding remains debated, it is likely that the delicacy was created by Francis Coulson at the Sharrow Bay Hotel in Cumbria sometime during the 1970s. Although the exact date of creation is unknown, Coulson reportedly admitted that the recipe might not have been purely his own and that he was inspired by a “sweet woman in Lancashire”. Believe it or not, each member of the staff at Sharrow Bay Hotel signed a secrecy agreement not to reveal the recipe that is kept in the vaults of the place. To this day people are arguing that the the pudding originated in the Lake District or in Aberdeenshire or Scotland (because the Scots love sugar).


Thank you for reading. If you find this article to be engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco.