Paseo Uno’s very limited Thai food buffet is on

It’s been years since I’ve been to Bangkok and I miss my friends Jimmy and Joey, Greyhound Café and all those underground stores they usually take me to.
Friends know it’s not that easy to get me to eat out for no special reason, especially during Lent when I’ve given up meat from Monday-Saturday.
So when Charisse Chuidian, Director of Communications at Mandarin Oriental, Manila invited me to the Thai food festival at Paseo Uno, I just had to go and bring Jeroen.
We arrived just in time for the ribbon cutting with Mr. & Mrs. Sern Chupikulchai, GM of Thai Airways International; Guest of Honor Dra. Elenita Binay; Mark Bradford, GM of Mandarin Oriental, Manila; and Dave De Jesus, Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Paseo Uno was with bustling with hungry and excited guests. Prior to lunch, I was wondering what I could eat with my no-meat diet, I can tell you now—it’s a lot. I just had one of the best meals 2012, the other one being Chuck Hughes’ Jerk Dungeness crab with chili and chives.

Thai buffet at Mandarin Oriental

I sat in a nice secluded table with Jeroen and my cousin Candy Dizon. It was nice to have our own table so we could gossip and pig out to our hearts’ content = the best combination!
I had the best spicy soft-shell crab with jasmine rice and I do apologize for this crappy photo.
Jeroen says I don’t know how to plate food. #truth


It was difficult to photograph the soft-shell crab at the buffet table because it was always empty.
I can’t tell you how good it was—from the crunch crab morsels to the slivers of caramelized onions.
The golden crispy prawn rolls were delicious and easier to photograph.

Golden crispy prawn rolls

Deep-fried chicken wings marinated in fish sauce are my favorite, but I am not allowed to eat this now

Deep-fried chicken wings marinated in fish sauce

Candy loved the pomelo salad with chicken and prawns

Pomelo salad with chicken and prawns

and the Spicy mango salad with soft-shell crab (I have to try this next time)

Spicy mango salad with soft-shell crab

Jeroen had the Spicy market mushrooms and prawn salad

Spicy market mushrooms and prawn salad

and the Stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts

Stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts

He also had a nice plate of grilled roast beef with red wine reduction, a staple at Paseo Uno.

Jeroen's grilled roast beef with red wine reduction

Jeroen enjoyed the Coconut rice pudding cooked in front of you

Thai buffet at Mandarin Oriental

Coconut rice pudding

Others worth mentioning: Thick and creamy red beef curry with peanut and lychees

Thick and creamy red beef curry with peanut and lychees

Fried fish with red chilli sauce, green pepper corn and vegetables

Fried fish with red chilli sauce, green pepper corn and vegetables

Candy and I died when we saw the mango with coconut sticky rice

Coconut sticky rice with mango

Unfortunately it was too late when I found it. I only had space for two

Mango with coconut sticky rice

and no space for cotton candy.

Cotton candy

It was a sad moment when my stomach informed me there was no more space available.
Next time I’m going straight to crabs, crispy prawn rolls and mango and sticky rice.
Right behind us, we saw the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok’s Thai Executive Sous Chef and Consultant Sumet Sumpachanyanont cooking up a storm.

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok’s Thai master chef and TV culinary show host  Sumet Sumpachanyanont

He is the special guest chef at Paseo Uno only from March 12-21, 2012, along with three other Thai chefs flown in by Thai Airways.

Thai buffet at Mandarin Oriental

The 41-year old Executive Sous Chef and culinary ambassador of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok’s famed Thai restaurant Sala Rim Naam has traveled to Australia, Hawaii, England, Japan Macau, France, Malaysia and Hong Kong to lead various Thai food promotions and trainings. He now teaches at Mandarin Oriental’s Professional Thai Chef Programme and is the host of a popular TV cooking show in Bangkok.

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok’s Thai master chef and TV culinary show host  Sumet Sumpachanyanont

Paseo Uno’s lunch and dinner buffet are priced at PHP 1,880+ while the Luxury buffet, available for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays and lunch on Sundays, is priced at PHP 2,380+.
View the menu cycles HERE.

As an added treat, diners availing of the Thai buffet get a chance to win a holiday trip for two to Bangkok inclusive of four-days/three-nights’ accommodations at the world-acclaimed Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Those who want to learn some of Chef Sumet’s secrets can attend a cooking class on March 17, 2012 at 9 AM, and learn how to prepare authentic Yaam Mamuan Poo Nim (Spicy Mango Salad with Soft Shell Crab), Phad Thai Goong (Stir-fried Thai style Noodles with Prawns, Bean sprouts and Chives), and Gluay Chueam (Caramelized Banana with Coconut Cream).
The class fee is PHP 3,500 nett inclusive of a three-course lunch and a light breakfast preceding the class.

For reservations and more information on Tastes of Thailand, call Paseo Uno at 750-8888 ext 2411 or email

Death by KitKat

I used to eat KitKat everyday—only the plain ones. I know it’s unhealthy but I had KitKat and Coke for breakfast everyday for a year as a student in Parsons. That was when I weighed 98 lbs. (those were the days).
I also ate it for a few weeks in Holland when I found out the supermarket didn’t stock any Hershey’s. That was 12 years ago and I was still 98 lbs.
Now I no longer eat them (I am no longer 98 lbs.), but I met a guy who wants to eat all KitKat flavors. His name is Mark and I had a conversation with him at this new pizza place, Nolita, at the Fort.

Mark said all the KitKat flavors are listed in the Wiki page and most of them are in Japan.
When I saw eight kinds of KitKat at Narita airport, I already thought it was a lot. Apparently, that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg.
Yesterday I walked into this Japanese grocery on the 2nd floor of Metrowalk (just before you enter the pirated area).


Inside, so many kinds of KitKat. I was in shock.






Of course I remembered Mark and got him the small ones only kasi Mahalia Jackson (Php 60 each).
Can wait to give it to him! The salesgirl said they get new KitKat flavors all the time and a new shipment arrives next week. I wonder which ones are good?


Charlotte Casiraghi in Gucci’s “Forever Now” ad campaign

I grew up watching Grace Kelly movies, reading about her children in Hello magazine, and seeing the Grimaldi grandchildren grow up through the glossies. Never have I seen Charlotte Casiraghi ever look awkward. So unfair!
Aside from her timeless, flawless beauty, Charlotte has never been known to be in a scandal (at least none that I’m aware of). She is as regal as royal can be.

Now Gucci is pleased to announce its collaboration with Charlotte Casiraghi, who stars in the Italian luxury house’s new Forever Now ad campaign, conceived by Creative Director Frida Giannini.
Over the next two years Charlotte will be photographed by four of the world’s most respected fashion and portrait photographers, beginning with Peter Lindberg, who shot her against the backdrop of a stable, wearing Gucci’s signature green and red stripes.

Charlotte Casiraghi

Frida says: “Over the last two years I have had the pleasure and privilege to get to know Charlotte through our shared passion for horses. She not only embodies the beauty and the grace of the equestrian, but is also a wonderful ambassador for the sport. While designing her riding wardrobe, I have gained an appreciation for her innate ability to combine family traditions with a uniquely modern attitude. I am delighted to be able to celebrate Gucci’s icons of heritage with someone who is so connected to the history and essence of this House. Charlotte brings the spirit of Gucci to life so elegantly.”

Charlotte Casiraghi

Charlotte said, “There was great synergy while working with Frida and her team to elaborate this unique collaboration with Gucci and we really had the same desire to make it something special and creative. I admire Frida’s talent as a designer; she has really managed to reinvent the codes of Gucci by giving them a modern twist and timeless elegance. It is also very exciting for me to have the opportunity to work with some of the best photographers in the world to celebrate Gucci’s heritage.”

Gucci’s Forever Now campaign will appear worldwide beginning March 7, 2012, in newspapers and fashion and lifestyle magazines, complementing the House’s seasonal fashion campaigns.
All video and photography was shot by Peter Lindbergh. The director of photography was Jean Michel Vecchiet.
The soundtrack was composed by Charlotte Vecchiet and Paul De Coudenhove.

In the Philippines, Gucci is exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc. (SSI) and is located at Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center and Rustan’s Tower Shangri-La Plaza Mall.

How to market Magnum ice cream

In Paris, Karl Lagerfeld directed three short films for Magnum ice cream starring former O.C. actress Rachel Bilson.
In this Black Swan-inspired video, ballerina Rachel Bilson rushes to her dressing room after a performance to enjoy Magnum ice cream along with kisses from Chanel man-muse Baptiste Giabiconi.

In the U.S., Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria enjoys a mini Magnum, which we should have in the Philippines, especially for those watching their waistlines.

And just in time for the summer, Magnum recently introduced its brand ambassadors in the Philippines in a media launch at Enderun in Taguig. They are from L-R: Raymond Gutierrez, Liz Uy, Solenn Heusaff, Tessa Valdes and Erwan Heusaff. (Not in picture: Rajo Laurel who was out of town.)

Raymond Gutierrez with the Magnum Ambassadors Liz Uy, Solenn Heusaff, Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Erwann Heusaff

After being served a very light lunch of soup and salad, we sat through a brief chocolate masterclass by Pastry Chef Andreas Gillar

Chef Andreas Gillar

After which trays of chocolate were passed around for sampling—in dark

Dark chocolate


White chocolate

and milk

Milk chocolate

Also spotted: Unilever-RFM CEO and Managing Director John Concepcion

Unilever-RFM CEO and Managing Director John Concepcion

Selecta Marketing Director Bindoy Baltazar with Magnum Launch Creative Consultant Raymond Gutierrez

Selecta Marketing Director Bindoy Baltazar with Magnum Launch Creative Consultant Raymond Gutierrez

Magnum Brand Manager Jean Madrid with Liz Uy

Magnum Brand Manager Jean Madrid and Liz Uy

Chef Andreas Gillar and host Patti Grandidge

Chef Andreas Gillar and Patti Grandidge

Unilever PR & Events Manager Nikki Abella with Magnum Assistant Brand Manager Brian Chanyungco

Unilever PR & Events Manager Nikki Abella, Magnum Assistant Brand Manager Brian Chanyungco

The all-new Magnum is a velvety, smooth and creamy ice cream bar is coated with a thick layer of cracking real Belgian chocolate. It is a collaborative effort between Unilever and RFM, the mother company of local dairy giant Selecta.
Priced at only Php 50 or 60 per bar, it is available in three flavors—Classic, Almond and Chocolate Truffle—in singles or multiple packs, at convenience stores and supermarkets all over.

Magnum Ice Cream - Classic - Almond - Chocolate Truffle

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