December 23, 2010

ON THE NEWS: Wanna go to Singapore?

So Philippines finally won the Amazing Race Asia.

After finishing only second in the last two seasons, Fil-Am friends Richard Hardin and Richard Herrera finished first in the last leg in the race around the world.

The Richards’ easily won the race beating Team Singapore in their own home court to win the $100,000 prize.

December 9, 2010

DINING: Din Tai Fung, Shanghai, China

Din Tai Fung Restaurant was at the top of our “where to eat” list during our tip to Shanghai. All the reviews we’ve read revealed one thing; Din Tai Fung’s xialongbao is happiness.

There was just too much hype about the restaurant we couldn’t resist trying it out on our first day. And since it was located at one of the top tourist spots in Shanghai, we had no trouble finding it.

We were there a little early for dinner and a bit late for an afternoon snack so I really didn’t expect the place to be full. I should have never underestimated the goodness of those xialongbaos, the restaurant was jumped packed and we had to wait several minutes before we were seated.

Ordering was a no brainer, of course we wanted the world famous xialongbaos and just because we were in Dimsum Country, I ordered my favorite steamed dimsum, shrimp siomai that goes with the name shao mai here.

A Xialongbao is a soup dumpling and is traditionally steamed in bamboo baskets.  Xialong means steaming baskets, and baozi means bun. It is made with baozi or steamed bun with a soupy meat filling.  The thinness of the wrapper surprised me the most, it held up really well even with all the broths weight.

Make use of the ceramic Chinese soup spoon and be sure not to waste that soup. Dip it in black vinegar and ginger and enjoy every bite that is bursting with flavor. Be careful not to burn your tongue because the soup is scalding hot.

The first thing I notice with the Shao Mai was the Shrimp, it was huge. So unlike the invisible chopped up scrimped on ones that I usually get. So was it good? Superb! It raises the siomai bar for me and destroys the competition.  That good!

The food was so fulfilling and delicious we lined up once more to have our fill before flying back to Manila.

CUISINE: Chinese
LOCATION: Unit11,2F House 6,South Block  Xintiandi,Lane123, Xinye Rd,Shanghai, China
TEL. NO.: 86-21-6385-8378

written by KIM & MJ

December 7, 2010

TRAVEL ESSENTIALS: Keep 'em Safe & Secure


Most TSA (Transportation Security Administration) certified 3 dial locks costs about php600-900 depending on which brand, quite expensive right?

available at any Travel Club outlets

I could have just easily bought the conventional keyed padlock for 99php, I have always used it and it has always kept my luggage safe and secure. Only problem is, I keep losing the key, now imagine telling that to the airport security when they can’t examine your bag and be prepared for your luggage to get ripped apart, literally. Definitely not a scenario you’d want to get involved in.

Assuming you’re not as careless as me and you don’t lose the key of those cheaper 3 dialed locks? In my experience though, it worked fine until the 3rd day (I like keeping my luggage locked even when inside the hotel) and by the time I had to fly home, the dial no longer works and I had to get a new one, and a new one, and another one for my upcoming trips because after a disappointingly short amount of usage and time, it breaks.

Cheap locks tend to break easily and expensive but dependable brands such as Eagle Creek can last a very long time, mine is going on its 5th and still working. So the ratio of cost per wear or use ultimately surpasses the initial amount you paid for it. The steel cable that came with it is a huge plus when you have several bags, you could loop them together and not worry having them separated and losing the other. Although of course there is that risk that when you lose one, you lose all of them together but let’s not go there, shall we?


The uses of caribiners are limitless and they come really cheap. I always have one or two whenever I travel, they can link almost anything and everything. I clip it on my backpack to carry my shoes or other smaller bags, I clip it on my jeans to carry my keys, psp, ipod and water bottle but I especially like it for my tripod. Spend half a day walking around with your tripod and you’re bound to get that shoulder of yours strained, so clip that tripod in your jeans instead.

written by KIM

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