Thursday, March 23, 2006

On cost-cutting, working out and eating like a pig

As part of our cost-cutting plan, B and I decided to go back to our pre-wedding weight so we can wear our pre-wedding clothes. And so, we make it a point to go the the gym thrice a week, and on the days that I don't go the gym, I complete a 30-minute fat-burning work-out at home. So, does it work? Hmmm. I did lose some fat on my back and at the sides of my waist and my legs and arms feel lighter. But the visual result is comical - I know look more pregnant than ever! I guess I'll have to work out more and eat less to get rid of the last ton of fat on my tummy.

Speaking of eating less, my tummy has been really happy these past few weeks.

On my birthday, my beloved mother-in-law treated us to a buffet dinner in Heat, the newest resto at the Edsa Shang. The concept of Heat is the same as that of Circles in Makati Shang - they have different food stations for each food nationality. It had stations for Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Indian and American/Continental cuisines. It also had a cold seafood station with prawns and rock lobsters. The Japanese and American/Continental food were nothing spectacular but the Chinese and Filipino and Indian food were really yummy. We love the sweet and sour fish and the roasted duck from the Chinese station. The dishes were cooked in the usual way but the ingredients were obviously fresh, making the dishes taste clean. The lechon from the Filipino station had crispy skin with juicy chunks of tender meat which had the right amount of saltiness. It was so heavenly (read as: a little bit more cholesterol and you'll meet your Maker soon.) The lechon is best eaten with the rice pilaf from the Indian station, which was soft and sweet. As for the seafood station, the chilled prawns were sweet, firm and juicy but the lobster felt and tasted like mud. What we enjoyed best are the desserts - aside from the usual milk chocolate fountain, Heat also had a white chocolate fountain which tasted like melted Toblerone! It was perfect with the fresh strawberries and the hefty serving of banana crepe topped with chocolate ice cream.

All in all, Heat wasn't bad at all. However, I still prefer dining in Paseo Uno which charges almost the same price for a buffet dinner. Plus, I was a bit disappointed that they didn't serve my favorite smoked salmon. So, Heat is a bit lukewarm for me.

Hotter than Heat is this place in the middle of Mandaluyong - Galileo. Don't rely on the map that they give out as you'll end up passing through a dark and crowded 1-lane alley with at least 4 wakes for the dead. By the time you get to the resto, you'd really feel like you've discovered a gem or proven that the world is round.

Galileo is a wine bar that looks halfway between a tavern and a well-ventilated Chinese warehouse. As soon as you enter the door, you'll see floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with pasta and wine. We love their cheese and cold cuts platter. The cheese platter is made up of different cheeses with different textures and tastes. It's the same with their cold cuts platter, I just love the spicy italian sausage and their beef carpaccio. We usually share several plates of pasta after pigging out on the cheeses and the cold cuts. We always finish our meals with a serving each of pistacchio gelato. All these, plus 1 or 2 glasses of wine costs approximately P450 per person.

Another new resto find is Fig & Olive along de la Costa street in Salcedo Village. The place is decorated with pictures of Santorini and it serves delicious Greek cuisine. They cooked the food so well that I ate stuff that I never liked before. I'm not a fan of chicken liver because of its texture but their chicken liver dish didn't taste powdery. And, while I love the flavor of pepper, I don't usually eat the pepper itself as I find the flavor too strong. But their rice-stuffed pepper was so perfectly flavored that I even ate the pepper.

Their kebabs were also perfectly grilled and it tasted great with the sweet rice pilaf, which I so loved. But I loved the rice that was served with the grilled fish even more. It was a bit sweet but it also had a spicy edge. We capped our meal with their sinfully rich molten chocolate cake (which I think is better served with Vanilla ice cream.) They also serve really good sangria that tasted like a fruit punch with a real punch.

After all these meals, I guess it is really not a surprise that my working out isn't working out. But if I really think about it, with all the food that I've enjoyed devouring, if I weren't working out, I would be bigger. A lot bigger. And if I were a lot bigger, I wouldn't fit in the clothes that I'm wearing now. So, working out does have a contribution to our cost-cutting plan. Plus, I'm really attached to the ton of weight around my tummy, so it doesn't really matter if it's still there.

Hay, hirap i-justify ang katakawan.


Mik said...

Hi Abie! I've gone to Galileo as well and we loved it there :) and yay for the tip on Fig and Olive. Been meaning to try the place!
Have fun on your european adventure :)

abieco said...

Hello, Mik. Sarap sa Galileo, 'no?
You're welcome (about Fig and Olive) and thanks for wishing us fun!

abbyG. said...

arrghh abie, nakakagutom ka talaga mag-relay ng resto review!

wish ko lang deadma na tayo sa work out, sarap kumain eh! hehee

abieco said...

wish ko din yan, abby!

len said...

my tummy is in envy of your tummy! ang sobrang typical kasi namin kumain. i wanna try those places, waaah!

i echo abby's sentiment, ang saya siguro if we didn't have to watch our weight! it would be great if i can load up on chocolates without gaining weight!

abieco said...

Len, punta kayo sa Galileo! Pero dapat di masyadong gutom si Edward, ha. Puro cheese, cold cuts, pasta and panini lang kasi yung items on their menu. Pero sarap talaga!