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Din Tai Fung opens at SM Megamall
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You never forget the first time you tried Din Tai Fung.
My first time was in 2009 during a Louis Vuitton junket in Taiwan.
Louis Vuitton only takes us to good restaurants, so the fact that we were brought there seemed like a good sign.

Din Tai Fung

Prior to this, I had never heard of xiao long bao.

Pork Xiao Long bao

“They are small miracles—plump, round spheres, soft yet firm to the touch, delicately fragranced. When you pop one into your mouth, it bursts into a mouthful of broth, transforming the filling of meat and aromatics into a loose, savory purée that melts away like pork-scented air,” wrote Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic of the Los Angeles Times, about Din Tai Fung’s xiao long bao.

Here’s a picture of the instruction guide we were given in Taiwan.

How to eat xiao long bao

That was in June 2009. A month later I was back with Jeroen—at Din Tai Fung in Singapore

Din Tai Fung at Wisma Atria

Every time we travel and see a Din Tai Fung, we try to eat there. This was in Hong Kong, 2010.

Cooks, Din Tai Fung

With all the food concepts coming to Manila, it was only a matter of time before Din Tai Fung hit our shores.
Last December 8, Din Tai Fung finally opened its first restaurant in the Philippines at SM Megamall’s Fashion Hall.
Luckily, we know the owners and got invited to the grand opening. The first thing you’ll see is a window up front where you can watch the dumpling makers at work.

Din Tai Fung at SM Megamall

We were greeted by Taiwanese and Filipino hostesses who lined the entrance along with tons of security guards.

Din Tai Fung at SM Megamall

“The President must be here,” Grace said as we were led inside the huge restaurant.
True enough, there he was, seated with The Moment Group’s Eliza Antonio, Presidential candidate Mar Roxas, and Manila Economic Cooperation Office director, Manny Dimaculangan, who helped bring Din Tai Fung to the Philippines.

Din Tai Fung at SM Megamall

It’s no secret that Din Tai Fung (DTF) is one of the most difficult franchises to acquire.
According Forbes magazine, Din Tai Fung receives and rejects as many as 20 letters a week from prospective franchisees.

Din Tai Fung in the Philippines is owned by the Moment Group, which owns numerous restaurants such as Manam, Linguini Fini Manila, Ooma, and Mecha Uma, among others. The group’s founding members are Eliza Antonino, Abba Napa, and Jon Syjuco.
As part of the requirements, the team flew to Taiwan for the required six-month training in both culinary technique and customer service, working both the kitchen and the floor.
Eliza recalls the time she spent in Taiwan: “We trained there for six whole months. All 20 of us were on the floor, in the front and the back of the kitchen, working 12-hour shifts. It was gruelling, but it was the most exciting time of my life. I’d never learned so much in such a short span of time.”

Eliza Antonio and Mr. Warren Yang
Eliza Antonino with Din Tai Fung owner, Mr. Warren Yang at the opening

Here’s what we enjoyed at the opening: the truffled xiao long bao—no dipping sauce necessary

Truffle and Pork Xiao Long Bao

Salted fish fried rice

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and the prawns with salted egg yolk are to die for!

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Here’s what I want to come back for: chicken wings in shrimp paste

Chicken Wings in Shrimp Paste

Cold chicken with scallions

Cold Chicken with Scallions

Crab roe and pork xiao long bao

Crab Roe and Pork Xiao Long Bao

Crispy shrimp and pork wonton

Crispy Shrimp and Pork Wonton

Deep Fried Chicken and Shrimp Spring Roll

Deep Fried Chicken and Shrimp Spring Roll

Fried Rice with Sweet Garlic and Scallions

Fried Rice with Sweet Garlic and Scallions

Shrimp Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice

Steamed Shrimp and Pork Xiao Mai

Steamed Shrimp and Pork Xiao Mai

Stir-fried Chinese Kangkong

Stir-fried Chinese Kangkong

Wait. There’s more. View the menu HERE.
The thing is, it’s going to be hard to go back because the lines are going to be crazy.

About:
Founded by Bingyi Yang in the late 1950s, Din Tai Fung started as a shop selling cooking oil in Taiwan.
In the ’70s, Mr. Yang and his wife started selling xiao long bao, or steamed soup-filled dumplings. When it developed a strong following, the store transitioned into a full-service restaurant.

Since then, Din Tai Fung has accumulated numerous accolades, including the distinction of being hailed by The New York Times as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world in 1993 and number one on The Daily Meal’s “101 Best Restaurants in Asia” list in 2013.
To top it all off, a Michelin star has been awarded to Din Tai Fung’s Hong Kong branch for five consecutive years since 2010.

Today, Din Tai Fung is known for serving the most widely recognized xiao long bao in the world, with 119 branches in 14 countries—including the US, Australia, Japan, Dubai, and now, the Philippines.
To know more, go to http://dintaifungph.com

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Proudrace x BLEACH launch #relaxury collab
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After one year in the making, Proudrace’s collaboration with BLEACH is finally out in time for the holiday season.

Proudrace x Bleach

The capsule collection combines the comfort of Bleach pieces and with Proudrace’s tongue-in-cheek graphics.
The silhouettes reflect Proudrace’s interpretation of “pambahay” items, such as a modern take on “dasters” and lounge sets, plus home and fashion accessories.

Proudrace x BLEACH
Proudrace x BLEACH
Proudrace x BLEACH
Proudrace x BLEACH
Proudrace x BLEACH

BLEACH is located at the 2nd Level, Greenbelt 5 Makati (next to Swatch).

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Tony Goldwyn stars in “My Brooks Brothers Story” ad campaign
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Prior to playing US President Fitz Grant on my favorite TV series, Scandal, Tony Goldwyn was best known for playing Carl Bruner, the corrupt “best friend” of Patrick Swayze in the 1990 hit movie, Ghost.
President Fitz is hot!! That’s why we’re happy to see him in the latest Brooks Brothers campaign called “My Brooks Brothers Story.”

Tony Goldwyn

As America’s oldest apparel retailer, Brooks Brothers has a tradition of dressing some of the world’s greatest cultural icons, including 39 of the 44 U.S. Presidents.
Last year when Tony Goldwyn was invited to meet President Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Goldwyn wore a made-to-measure Brooks Brothers suit during a meeting with the President of the United States.

obama, goldwyn
(Photo: JM Eddins Jr.)

It was a moment that defined his Brooks Brothers story.
“I felt appropriately presidential when I got to actually meet the President,” Goldwyn said.
Watch:

“For almost 200 years, we have been building relationships through our dealings with our customers and their families,” said Brooks Brothers CEO Claudio Del Vecchio.
“I receive personal notes from customers sharing stories about their interactions with Brooks Brothers, from anecdotes as simple as the purchase of a lucky tie worn for a big interview to more entailed, often multi-generational stories about family events. It confirms that our clients view Brooks Brothers as much more than a store—rather, it’s part of who they are.”

This brought about the launch of “My Brooks Brothers Story,” a set of personal testimonials profiling seven artists and their unique interactions with Brooks Brothers and its iconic products. Brooks Brothers asked admirers like Christina Hendricks, Geoffrey Arend, Tony Goldwyn, Matt McGorry, Joshua Sasse, Graham Moore and Yara Shahidi to recount their own life events when Brooks Brothers was by their side.

15096_VF_Oct15_REVISED SPREAD_v2.indd

The campaign was captured by Italian photographer Carlo Miari Fulcis and styled by Ashley Weston.
The full stories are available at www.brooksbrothers.com/stories.

In the Philippines, Brooks Brothers is exclusively distributed by SSI Group, Inc. and is located at Bonifacio High Street Central Square, Shangri-La East Wing, Power Plant Mall, Rustan’s Makati, and opening soon at Rustan’s Ayala Center Cebu.

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Tried and tested: Myair Dehumidifier
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Searching for gift for the woman who has everything? Look no further.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked for a favorite bag or wallet in my closet, only to find it cracked and falling apart. Sometimes I’ll find a pair of shoes covered in mildew. More often, it ends up in the trash bin.
The humidity level in Metro Manila today is pretty high.
What does this mean? In the house, high levels of humidity can cause an increase in mold, bacteria, viruses, fungi and dust mites. This can result in respiratory ailments and allergies, plus damage to household appliances, furniture, floors, paintings, carpets and yes, your bags.

High levels of humidity also affect the body’s ability to cool itself and lead to a heat stroke. People with asthma and heart problems are also at risk when humidity levels are high.
When it’s humid, it means there’s a lot of water or water vapor in the air. To counteract the effects in the house or office, you can use a dehumidifier, which reduces the level of humidity in the air.

I use to buy all these little disposable plastic dehumidifiers from the hardware store. These things don’t last and only work for small spaces. They’re also expensive in the long run.

dehumidifier

I’ve been looking around for a more effective way to protect my home and stuff.
Finally I found the solution through the Myair Dehumidifier from Air and Odor Management Philippines.

Here’s how it works:
1) I put it in my stockroom which has a lot of stuff I forget about.

dehumidifier

2) I fix the setting to AUTO. As you can see the current room humidity is at 71—very high (ideal is 40).
When it rains, more water stays in the air, which cause more damage to your things.

dehumidifier

3) Overnight or many hours later, I check and see the tank is full.
What I love about this humidifier is its automatic switch-off systems. I set the timer to AUTO as it collects water from the air. Once the receptacle is filled, it shuts down.
You can also use the timer so the unit runs for 6-10 hours. Once the humidity level is controlled, the unit will automatically turn off.

dehumidifier

4) I turn the unit around (it has wheels)

dehumidifier

5) I pull out the receptacle, which is filled with water.

dehumidifier

5) So heavy. I carry this to the bathroom and empty it into the sink. See how much water was collected from my 20 square-meter stock room.

dehumidifier

The first time I used it, I was simply amazed and relieved that the days of rotting leather are gone.
Considering the amount of money we spend on shoes and bags, the long-term price of Myair Dehumidifiers is worth it, starting at at P50,000, depending on your requirements.

For more information about dehumidifiers, go to www.aom.ph.

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