Who’s afraid of Tim Ho Wan?
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I don’t like queues at restaurants (unless it’s ours, hehe). But yesterday I found myself lining up for the second time at the newly opened Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall.
Prior to its opening in Manila, I had never even heard of it—maybe because eating is not my priority in Hong Kong.
But my friend Grace says she often takes home the baked pork buns from Hong Kong to Manila.
Grace says there’s a Tim Ho Wan at the Hong Kong Station that she goes to before boarding the airport express.

Outside Tim Ho Wan - Visit #2

That looks pretty tame compared with the mob in Kowloon

The mob of hungry dim sum-ers in front of Tim Ho Wan

So last Tuesday, after passing by briefly at Hayden Kho’s event at the Marco Polo Ortigas, Grace, Patrice and I decided to take a chance and go to Tim Ho wan at Megamall. As expected, the line was super long on its opening day.
Luckily, franchise owner Eric Dee Sr. and blogger Anton Diaz spotted me and offered us a table to join a group of young bloggers touring the mall’s new restaurants.
The menu is simple enough, with good prices.

Tim Ho Wan menu

My favourites are the shrimp and pork dumplings—easily some of the best dim sum in Manila right now.
I could really taste the authenticity—what with a team of ten Chinese currently in Manila for the opening.
Mr. Dee says four of them will be leaving soon, but six will be staying.

Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall
Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall

Other dishes on our table were the machang (glutinous rice with meat, steamed within green leaves—sorry forgot to photograph it opened)

Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall

and this pretty-looking spinach dumpling with shrimp

Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall

But the restaurant’s star dish is the Baked Bun with Barbecued Pork that comes in a plate of three

Tim Ho Wan at SM Fashion Hall

Honestly, I loved the bun, not so much the saucy filling.
The question everyone wants to ask is, is it the same as Hong Kong? I can’t tell you because it’s my first time to try.
But I was back the following day at 5 PM. The line was pretty organised and my friend Rem and I waited for about 15 minutes. Not bad.

Tim Ho Wan is at the ground level of SM Fashion Hall. The best time to go is off-peak hours (in between lunch and dinner) and the best place to get dropped off is SM Department Store on the B-side.

About Tim Ho Wan
Chef Mak Kwai Pui started serving dim sum at a humble 15-seater restaurant along Kwong Wa Street in Mong Kok.
The lines outside Tim Ho Wan stretched for blocks with hungry diners waiting hours for the baked pork buns.
Word got around and in 2010, Chef Mak Kwai Pui earned his first Michelin star.
Tim Ho Wan is now known as the most affordable Michelin restaurant with branches in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Manila.

Christian gets a Japanese haircut
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Our son Christian was clean-shaven when we first brought him home five years ago.

Christian comes home

But oh, he had a cute face


He turned into this chubby little bunny

Christian, 23 months

One day we took him for a haircut at the kiddie barbershop at SM Megamall. At first he wasn’t happy

Christian's haircut

But the outcome was good


The hair grew longer


The kid got wiser

Christian washing hands

And just like that, he turned six years old last Christmas.

Policarpio Street 2013

Lately I haven’t found anyone who could style his hair nicely, so I took him to our friend Fumio of Natural Hype salon in Taguig.

Natural Hype at Taguig

Run by Japanese DJ and bartender Fumio Onishi (below, right), we got to meet him through our friend Takatoshi Kimachi (left) who always has good hair, so we thought Fumi could do the same for Christian.

Hairstylist Fumio Ohnishi and interior designer Takatoshi Kimachi

He plays great music and will offer you a drink

Natural Hype at Taguig

Being a new dad himself, I found Fumio very gentle with Christian. He carried him to the shampoo chair, which was already prepped with pillows to support the child

Christian's haircut

Christian enjoyed watching TV on the ceiling while getting a shampoo

Christian's haircut

Then he was brought to a chair where Fumio had propped up an iPad loaded with cartoons

Christian's haircut

Not too long after, we were done! We love it!!

Christian's haircut

Now if only yaya or I could style it like this each time, that would be great.

Christian's haircut

On the way home Christian settled into the backseat and announced, “The boss is going to sleep.”
And that he did.

Christian's haircut

To know more about Natural Hype, click HERE or like them on Facebook.

Natural Hype is at the 2nd floor, Blue Sapphire building
30th Street corner 2nd Avenue, Crescent Park West, 1634 Fort Bonifacio.
Reservations are necessary. To make an appointment call (02) 478 4226.

The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo
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The Peninsula Tokyo may be heaven on earth, but for this trip with the kids I decided to book at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo as recommended by my brother Dennis.
We had also considered the Grand Hyatt Tokyo due to its proximity to Roppongi Hills, but upon inspecting the rooms personally, I backed out due to the open bathrooms, even with the sliding doors. I don’t like sleeping near the sink or bathroom odours. 🙁

Tokyo Grand Hyatt

The Ritz-Carlton is also connected to the beautiful Tokyo Midtown mall, which I had visited previously many years ago.
I had lunch there once with my family at an expensive tempura restaurant. But being with parents, I wasn’t able to see the entire mall at that time. I did have a impressive memory of its interior and an extra large Muji store on the ground level.
Staying next to the mall means we have access to all kinds of food—rain or shine, summer or winter.
Another big plus is the 24-hour supermarket called Precce Premium, apart from the 7-11 at the basement.

Precce Premium, Tokyo Midtown

Here’s a look at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

There are always fancy cars parked in front—fascinating for the boys

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

We checked in at the 45th floor lobby with a calming water feature

The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo
Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

We took two connecting rooms on the 49th floor.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

This was our room with Frette sheets and a view of the Tokyo Tower

The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

The kids’ room

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

Milk and macarons for the kids

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

and for adults

Welcome note

and most importantly, the chuva-approved bathroom

The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

Aside from two counter sinks, it features a remote-controlled flatscreen TV and clock

Ritz-Carlton bathroom

with convenient night light, so you don’t have to turn on the lights and wake up


Two sets of amenities per bathroom

Ritz-Carlton amenities

Automatic heated toilet


Chuva-approved minimalist shower and bathtub

Palmolive Naturals body wash

(Palmolive body wash, my baon from Manila)

Palmolive Naturals body wash

Apart from the fluctuating aircon temperature, I have no complaints about this room


Plus the boys really loved the wifi

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo speed

To know more about the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, click HERE

(To be continued)

Watsons 3-day sale this weekend!
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Having just arrived from Tokyo where I had to take care of kids, I still felt kind of bitin with my shopping.
Luckily Watsons invited me to shop all I want yesterday to sample their three-day sale this May 16-18, 2014.

Watsons 3-day sale

Given the chance, what would you buy?
As a lover of cute things I really liked this cart. I wish all malls would have carts like this available to go around.

empty cart

Watsons brand hand soaps are my favourite things to hoard, especially if they’re buy one-take one

buy one take one

Hair accessories are 10% off. Too bad I got the clips before they went on sale two weeks ago

hair accessories

I love Celeteque products, especially in the shower


My friend Rem will be glad to know Cetaphil products are on sale—for her daughter’s sensitive skin


I love Veet hair remover wax strips for the legs. Perfect for home and traveling.
I find it so relaxing when someone pulls them for me while I lie down.


Lots of Belo products on sale—hello Anne!

Belo products
Belo products

Here’s something interesting that’s not on sale though—Glutamax lightening feminine wash!
I’m doubting the tightening feature though…


Not on sale, but highly recommended: Crave Away whitening toothpaste and appetite suppressant

white glo toothpaste

Most of the makeup lines are also on sale


The hand soap bundles are a steal

hand soap

The cotton boxed sets are nice to have, especially at this price

cotton box

Nivea sun blocks are 50% off!

nivea sun block

Plus so much more of your favourite brands—check out the marked down prices

dove men

Check out the marked down prices


So what did I end up getting? Just a couple of Veet hair remover wax strips, two bottles of Belo Glutathione + collagen pills, Maybelline BB concealer stick, Watsons disposable underwear for boys for the next trip (long story), and a Sure Aid grooming kit so I can avail of the free cooler bag promo

my loot

The Sure Aid kit is part of Watsons Gotta Have it items that you need to purchase along with Php 1200 worth in order to get the promo item

free cooler bag

Et voila! No need for a shopping bag.

cooler bag

Watsons three-day sale is on until tomorrow only, so take advantage and stock up on your favourite products now!

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