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Dangerously Addictive Chips

I know it was so last year, but recently I just tasted a local salted egg potato chips and I was blown away, that I started looking for ways to get hold of the original, the Irvin’s from Singapore. 

Then hubby decided to join a Porsche racing lesson in Sepang, Malaysia and I wanted to come along solely because I wanted to go to SG for the Irvin’s. So anyway, after our trip in Sepang, we stayed for a night in Concorde Hotel near Plaza Singapura, where an Irvin’s and Sephora are located. They were my targeted to-go places on this trip, aside from a lunch at Marché Somerset. 

Irvin’s Plaza Singapura

I was disappointed with Irvin’s. It was just a little past lunch time and they ran out of potato chips already. There were only about 20 big packs of salted fish skins left. The big packs cost SGD16, and the small packs were sold at SGD8. I’ve tried the fish skins before and I loved it so I bought a couple of packs. The guy from the Irvin’s said that even the other outlets had ran out of stocks, and I’m guessing after just a few more customers he will closed down too. How I wish they produce more potato skins. I personally think that they limit the production so the fad won’t go away soon.

Luckily that day, I browsed thru their IG and found out they just opened a #dangerouslymasarap box deliveries to the PH! The minimum order is 1 box, consists of 30 small packs however you mix them, or 15 big packs. A 35 SGD delivery fee is added straight to any PH address. 

I immediately ordered mine and received the box 10 days later. I finally got to have my first taste of THE Irvin’s salted egg potato chips after great lengths of finding it!


Now my feedback: I know they are the original, but those that say they are the best definitely hasn’t tasted Tamagochips before. It is for me, still the holy grail of the salted egg chips. It is locally produced and sorry to say that Irvin’s doesn’t even come close to its taste. 😛

Tamagochips still rules!

I brought Tamagochips in my Amanpulo trip!

Foodtripping in Hanoi

Every Holy Week the Agcaoilis make it a point to travel to a different country. For this year we travelled to Hanoi, Vietnam; just 6 days after wrapping up our Holy Land tour. Sophie is surely fast becoming a jetsetter, having travelled to 11 countries in just her 17 months of existence.

Well, I wasn’t really keen on doing this tour. Maybe because South East Asian countries never really interest me. One, because I find PH far more interesting than the nearby countries in terms of natural wonders, and two, because of the hot weather. I tire easily and lose interest when its too hot while touring. And this was what happened in Hanoi when we had our city tour. It was just too hot, that even Sophie was sweating like crazy it looked like she just came from shower everytime we walk.

Anyway, what I find interesting in Hanoi were the foods. I was not normally adventurous when it comes to international cuisine, and having just finished our Holy Land tour where I realized how much I hated (as in totally) Mediterranean food, I wasn’t ready for another food adventure. So, it came as a surprise that I like it. Well, some of it at least. Vietnamese food weren’t so bad after all, maybe remove the cilantro (they put tons of it) and they taste good, even for a picky eater like me.

Some of the foods we had during our 4 day stay.

street fruits
I think the one that looked like mango was the only edible here. The other two, esp. the red one that looked like sineguelas, were absolute no-no. It was too sour. These were sprinkled with sugar and chili and cost 50k vnd or approx. 100 php.

We also had our lunch at the supposed most famous restaurant in Hanoi.

Hanoi’s most famous
We walked from Hotel de L’opera (where we stayed) to here which was like 2 km under the scorching heat. The place looked like a small filthy carinderia which goes up to fifth floor. It was packed with foreigners and locals alike, and we finally settled to 4th flr. They only served 2 kinds of foods from which they are famous of, the grilled pork with rice noodles and crab spring rolls.

grilled pork

crab rolls

rice noodles
It was delicious of course, like my mother in law says, “mura na, madumi pa” (cheap and filthy). She was so grossed out by the place that even though the food tasted great, she only ate a little. Funny thing was, it blacked out the moment we started eating. It was so hot and dirty and packed with people and  even though its the most famous here I’m never eating here again. Ever.

By dinner time we just ate inside the hotel’s Vietnamese restaurant, Satine. We wanted to be sure the quality of the foods we’re eating, I guess. I must commend their spring rolls, they tasted great. The others were blah. I wished that I ordered for a clubhouse instead.

breakfast chicken pho
We stayed in Hotel de L’opera for 3 nights, and good thing that they have an acceptable array of foods during breakfast, continental buffet. Sophie somehow loved their chicken congee, which is a good thing. I was thinking that she wouldn’t eat Vietnamese food and I brought several cup noodles along with us.

On our city tour the next day, we were brought to a nice European style restaurant during lunch called La Tonkin. We were served with Vietnamese food again, but all were good. Again, Sophie had her chicken congee which tasted so good that I ate over half of it.

Now this is the more interesting part. There was an ice cream shop near the hotel called Kem Trang Tien since 1958. We think its very famous because we passed by a couple of times and it was packed with people and motorcycles going in and out of the area. So after the tour we walked and gave it a try. It was located in a small complex, with 3 stores selling the ice cream and parking lot for the motocycles. We were all excited to try because all people inside were happily chitchatting and eating their ice cream. It has only one flavor (vanilla) in sugar cone.

Kem Trang Tien famous vanilla ice cream
How I wish that the ice cream tasted as good as it looked. It was awful. I didn’t know the exact ingredients for an ice cream but this one clearly lacked sufficient milk and loaded with sugar. It also has a bitter aftertaste, even the sugar cone. I guess I was waiting for the taste to get better, but it didn’t, so after eating some, I unceremoniously threw it away. Really, what a waste of effort and excitement. The locals have an out-of-this-world standard of a good ice cream. I would prefer our dirty ice cream any time of the day.

Some of the foods at Bhaya Cruises

shrimp roll and breaded squid

chicken and mushroom egg soup

mango salad

grilled shrimp with tartar sauce

opera cake

fresh oysters and shrimps

sea bass curry

light breakfast 😉

seafood pasta and fried squid
On our last night, we went to the famous Halong Bay. We boarded the Bhaya Cruises for our overnight cruise. In fairness, almost all foods were great, the taste somewhat caters to the foreigners, which was all the better for me.

famous beef pho
I’m not a fan of noodles, and I couldn’t really say whether I like their Pho or not. I think its acceptable enough. Maybe remove some of the cilantro, or better yet, nothing at all, then it’ll be okay. Here, pho’s are everywhere, even on breakfast. Cilantros are everywhere on their food, too. On our four days here, one food that stood out is their spring rolls. They make really good ones. So in my short experience of Vietnam, Vietnamese food is all about spring rolls and not pho.

Bad day turned bright

I was taking a break from doing the month-end payroll when one of my staff asked about the scratch on my car. I was like, what scratch? She replied, the long kind at the front. I immediately got outside to check what she was talking about. Sure enough, a wave-like scratch about the length of a ruler very visible at the front. I instantly got pissed and asked for the cctv playback. Like I expected, the front of my car was not visible on the camera because the post was blocking the view. Even though I’m not a very responsible driver I do care enough not to have scratches and dents, even if its minor. Couldn’t remember really if the scratch was there in the morning at the parking, but I think I would have noticed it before I got in, with its obvious visibility. The hell, if ever I did find out that the suspect was from my work, he’ll be dead. And I mean it.

On the lighter part, I did my very first baking! I had nothing to do and thought I had complete ingredients from my last grocery shopping. Can’t really say it tasted fabulous, but I think its good enough for a first timer!

Ta-daaaa! My first choco chip banana bread ♥

Choco chip banana bread

Wannabe I

My mother loved this (or anything done by me! :)), so I used to do this frequently back home.
My first ref cake after more than 5 years! and I prepared it under 30 minutes! Cheers to me! 😉

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Butterfinger frost

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Where have I been to have not discovered this earlier? And now I can’t get it off my mind. Blended gelato and butterfinger. Worthy of its 250 tag while lounging in Cafe Maxims. I’ll be lounging everytime. 😛

Bizu macarons

Honestly, this would be my first time to actually eat this kind of pastry. I know, I’m pathetic really, since Bizu came out several years ago, and this is supposed to be their signature product. Now that I think about it, I know I’ve seen this kind not only in Bizu, also in several pastry shops, its just that I wasn’t really interested. For my first taste I tried chocolate, their bestseller. So this is like a chewy cookie.. Kinda like lady-finger but made of meringue filled with cream at the center. Not really braces-friendly. Very sweet and filling. I also chose pistachio, mint and vanilla to complete a pack of 8 for 355 pesos.

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Ovicini

I’ve been a sucker for chocolates as far back as I can remember, I even finished a whole Cadbury block when I was like, in preschool, hahahaha. I got fatter and fatter not because I eat too much rice or dishes, but really because of too much sweets. My latest addiction, Villa Del Conte Ovicini. Pastel-colored egg-shaped artisanal Italian coated chocolate with dark and milk chocolate inside. I always made it a point to buy a piccolo whenever I drop by RWM. But this one seems to save me more money. 1,480 for a jar of 50 ovicinis while 9-10 pcs for a 495 piccolo sized. Lovely. Not sure how long this will last though. 😛

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Swensens

I’ve been wanting to try this since it opened in Moa, not sure if its last year. I get this different kind of giddy feeling whenever I spot an ice cream parlor. Like when Icebergs first came out. It was a childhood fantasy of mine to have one, kinda like Pop Tate’s in Archie or Casey’s in Sweet Valley. Finally, our first taste of Swensens! Banana split for me and Oreo Brownie for tabs. It was indeed a happy day. Ü

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Mochi Creme

Japanese mochi ice cream in Azuki Red Bean. Simply put, flavored tikoy with ice cream and red bean inside. Comes in other flavors like chocolate, blue vanilla, purple yam, black sesame, mango, green tea and strawberry. New booth in Moa so I checked it out. Really delicious.

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