Leaf Pie

TOKYO—Mom was tired so my sister and I went out to look for food at the depachika—or basement food hall found in Japanese department stores.
I get so overwhelmed every time I step into these. I don’t know where to look, I don’t know what to buy. I wish I had 10 stomachs.

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Going to the depachika is a must when visiting Japan. It is a great source of pasalubong for the whole barangay.

Wagashi part

My sister bought 24 boxes of this highly addictive corn snack. A box contains small packets of Japanese flavored popped corn. I can eat five in one go—with ice-cold Coke. They are sooo evil!!

Diday's deadly corn snack

I’ll tell you what I really think is evil though—West Confectionery’s Leaf Pie. I know you’re gonna say we have that here and it’s called palmier—but this is the closest thing you can get to heaven in a bite.

WEST's Leaf Pie

I truly regret having bought just one teeny pack due to my so-called diet, while my sister bought a box for my dad.
(I have to ask Sayoko if she can buy for me.) I want to marry Leaf Pie!! I am down to my last piece and I am SO, SO SAD!!! :(

leaf pie

Watch this brainwashing video:

http://www.ginza-west.co.jp/

Finally!

NAIA-1 gets P1-billion face-lift

By Recto Mercene, BusinessMirror
Posted at 11/07/2011 7:16 AM | Updated as of 11/07/2011 1:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A newly refurbished Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 will rise from the shell of the old, much-maligned main gateway, but still would not provide free sleeping quarters for vagrants and those on a tight budget. The repairs will cost P1 billion.

According to Terminal 1 Manager Dante Basanta, the NAIA-1 had a “dayroom” decades ago, rented at P840 per day ($20) and located near the arrival area, just beside the duty-free shops.
(The “dayroom” is still there, available for those who may want to use it, although it’s not being properly advertised by airport authorities. Most of the time, however, the area is used as a holding room for those scheduled for deportation and who are awaiting their flights.)

The face-lift of NAIA-1 will start in January and is expected to be finished within 2012. The 67,000-square-meter building has a capacity of 4.5 million passengers a year. Last year it served way beyond its capacity—or some 7.3 million people.

The tight space and limited amenities have irked some bloggers who, unable to find sleeping quarters at NAIA-1, graded it the worst in the world.
NAIA-1 was recently voted as the “World’s Worst Airport to Sleep In” by the “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports,” a web site of  low-budget travelers who used the airport as overnight motels to save on money.

But Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado said this is not why the passenger terminal is being spruced up; the undertaking had been discussed by various administrations in the past.

Honrado said the firm of Leandro V. Locsin and Associates, the original architect of NAIA-1, is helping conceptualize ideas about how the newly rebuilt structure would look.
Also part of the project are furniture and interior designer Budji Layug, architect Royal Pineda and Cebuano designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who are providing their expertise pro bono to give the NAIA-1 a major face-lift, 30 years after it was constructed. The original design was by National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin.

NAIA Terminal 1

Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II is spearheading the NAIA-1 restoration. He held consultations last week with top officials of the customs, immigration and quarantine bureaus, as well as the Miaa.

Customs Commissioner Rozanno Rufino Biazon, Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr., Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. and Honrado attended the meeting.

The interior renovation will cost P450 million, while the park development will fetch P500 million.
“The proposed P1-billion budget will help build a new image of the Philippines,” according to Pineda, who said in a recent interview that Naia 1, like all modern airports, would provide a “boutique” experience, “not so much for its modest size as for its distinct atmosphere of civility and expedience.”

To expedite the flow of arriving and departing passengers, concessionaires such as banks and insurance companies that are now located smack in the middle of the arrival and departure zones would be moved to the sides.
“Flow takes precedence. The proposed master plan includes freeing up the space to accommodate more passengers by transferring the offices and banks elsewhere,” Pineda said.

The arrival area, which had been expanded recently, will be surrounded by glass so that passengers could see all the way to the lobby and beyond, according to Honrado. He also said the wall that separates the customs from the luggage section would have to give way so that natural light from the outside would illuminate the area.
There are also plans to make the waiting lounge more pleasant and to add restrooms, Honrado said.

The proposal calls for refurbishing the facilities, decongesting, developing a park and enhancing the retail environment. It also calls for NAIA to work equally hard on the software, and the services.

Honrado said the National Competitiveness Council Program (NCCP) asked Layug, Pineda and Cobonpue to offer their own suggestions on the face-lift as part of a program to improve the country’s image. The NCCP was established by Presidential Executive Order 571, which seeks to improve the country’s competitiveness from the bottom third of competitiveness rankings to the top third by 2016.

According to the three designers, the airport and Roxas Boulevard need the most attention since they provide the visitor his or her initial impression of the country.

Pineda said the renovation of NAIA-1’s structure would  be limited; it can no longer be expanded; nor can it accommodate extra load, he said in their web site. “We will create a boutique airport. With a small terminal, we can show efficiency and hospitality.”

Pineda said function would be the main priority. “It’s not just about adding toilets and rectifying the look, but also verifying the structural integrity of the building,” he said.

The team also recommended improvements in the operations, such as incorporating the terminal fee in the ticket instead of letting people line up. Only those with exit clearances, exempting them from travel tax and terminal fees, should queue in the counters. “Let majority of the passengers enjoy the smooth flow in the airport,” Pineda was quoted as having said.

Taking into consideration the Filipino culture of hatid-sundo, Honrado said the designers have addressed the need for an arrival extension for families and friends sending off or welcoming the passengers.

Honrado said the design team had proposed that the concrete open-parking lot in Terminal 1 be transformed into a three-story parking space and a lush landscape lined with select food outlets. The proposed park will showcase not only the best of Filipino dining brands but also changing art exhibits. A canopied walkway will lead to the greeters and well-wishers’ lounge.

Welcome parties can wait in the restaurants and enjoy the garden so that the lots can also become income-generating spaces.

Source

Rose Bakery + Comme des Garçons

I walked back to Marunouchi to pick up a Genten bag for Penny and Comme des Garçons for me.
Sayoko told me to check out Rose Bakery at Comme des Garçons but told me all the food was healthy and organic (read: McDo na lang). So before heading out I ordered room service: grilled salmon, yuzu ponzu sauce, and rice :)

Room service

It was an overcast day in Tokyo

Marunouchi crossing

The older I get, the more I appreciate plants, trees, flowers

nice grass

This is the second Comme des Garçons in the area. Both stores are marked in dots.

Comme des Garçons Marunouchi

Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garçons

The first thing you will see is Rose Bakery on the left, Comme des Garçon’s first food venture, as far as I know.
They have branches in France, UK, Korea, and Japan.

Comme des Garçons Marunouchi

Feels like a classroom with a store

Rose Bakery

In typical Comme fashion, there’s no music inside the store. Only the sound of busy staff working around a stainless steel open kitchen stocked with fresh ingredients, teas, baked goods

Rose Bakery

Rose Bakery

I decided to buy two kinds of cookies before hitting the shop

Rose Bakery cookies

It didn’t take long to find my red plaid skirt and two pairs of Comme des Garçons x Doc Martens

Comme des Garçons Marunouchi

The best part about being older is I can now afford to buy the clothes I’ve wanted since I was a teenager :)

Comme des Garçons Marunouchi

Comme des Garçons and Rose Bakery are at
2-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo Metropolis Marunouchi MY PLAZA (Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Building)
Open from 11 AM ~ 8 PM
Comme des Garcons 03-3216-0016
Rose Bakery 03-3212-1715

The ‘hood

On our first night we stepped out to look for food near the hotel. My dad told us to check out Marunouchi Brick Square, which is filled with upscale stores and eateries.
Tokyo’s magic never fails on me. As soon as we stepped out into the beautiful Fall weather, I knew why my dad likes this area. It’s so masculine and sosy.
The first thing that caught my eye was Comme des Garçons, which Sayoko told me to check out.
There are two Comme des Garçons stores in Marunouchi. This one is nearer to the Peninsula.

Comme des Garçons Marunouchi

There’s Hermés

Hermés Marunouchi

The beautiful flower shop. (Hint: please give me Christmas flowers!!)

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The casual Joël Robuchon café, where I bought three bottles of salad dressing

La Boutique de Joël Robuchon

We ended up in this hoity-toity place called Grill Ukai. Yikes! Good thing my mom was paying.

Grill

My sister and I both ordered grill wagyu (200 grams each), but couldn’t finish it because there was no rice and no Coke (read: umay). So sayang.

Grilled wagyu

On the way back I saw Comme des Garçons again, now closed. Made a mental note to come back.

Comme des Garçons Marunouchi

Galali

FRIDAY—Met up with Sayoko (L), her son Yu, and her friend Junko (R) for lunch in Shibuya.

Sayoko and Junko

Meet Yu Hokazono.

Yu Hokazono

Sayoko always takes me to the most unexpected places with the best food.

Galali

This is Galali, a little two-story restaurant with a charming, rustic design using recycled wood.
This is downstairs

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And the view from the 2nd floor, where we were seated.

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This is Yu with the manager, Yohji

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Specials of the day: I chose beef shabu-shabu

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Waiting for food pics

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Junko

Junko

Appetizers, rice, and miso soup came out fast

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Then the most tender boiled beef on a bed of greens and dressing, topped with grated radish, sesame seeds and spring onions

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Yohji brought out this book when I asked what the greens were called

Yohji

So cute

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Check out the greens called mizuna (do we have this in Manila?)

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Wish I could eat like this everyday.

Yu

Yu ate this

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And we’re done.

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Seriously, one of the best meals I’ve had. Thank you for lunch!!

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http://www.gala-e.com/

The Peninsula Tokyo

It’s my first time to stay here. I was really excited because its bathrooms are ranked as one of the World’s Best Hotel Bathrooms. We arrived at night

Hotel Entrance

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Peninsula Tokyo

Checking in was a breeze

Reception

The rooms are amazing!!! I have a walk-in closet

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A dresser

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This is my mom’s dressing room

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My room

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Expresso Machine

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Wanna see my bathroom?

Deluxe Room Bathroom

Listen, they weren’t kidding when they called it “world’s best.”

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I love that shower seat

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It has two sinks on opposite sides (not side by side). The one on the left

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The one on the right. This is why I like counter sinks. Clean and simple. I really hate fancy bowl sinks.

Bathroom

And tonight I need a bath. With mood light, hehe. I can’t tell you how good this smells…

Bathroom Detail

http://www.peninsula.com/Tokyo/

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