Early lunch @ Nagi Izakaya

After finishing some banking errands in the area, The Wifey and I noticed that Nagi Izakaya is already open for business at the Podium Mall as we were heading towards the parking. I asked her if she would want to grab lunch before we head to work and she agreed. We both appreciate the Ramen Nagi chain and we’d like to see what new items are available here.

Much to my delight, they now have Duck Ramen! (I am certain the regular Nagi stores do not carry it, unless they just added it to their line-up recently.) The first (and last) duck ramen I have consumed was from 3 years ago in a restaurant in Chūō, Tokyo called Ginza Kamo Soba 9th Keisuke.

Nagi’s Soy Duck Ramen, which is significantly pricier than their other ramen offerings, was good. I can savor the difference in the broth and the duck meat was scrumptious as well. I need to eat more duck ramen from other joints so I can make comparisons.

Too bad the ramen doesn’t come with Tamago. I had to order the egg as an extra. I also ordered extra noodles, just because I wanted to. I’ll try the other ramen offerings when I come back.

Lola Nena’s Pancit Palabok

First time I tried the Pancit Palabok of Lola Nena’s. I’m familiar with their Old Fashioned Donuts, Pichi Pichi, and Siopao Tostado. I’ve been wanting to try their pancit offerings for the longest time but I haven’t had the chance to do so, until now.

Did I like it? I think I did. I’m pleased with the ingredients – pork bagnet, crushed chicharron, and hard boiled eggs. (I also love other vendors that use shrimps as their main additive for their palabok.) The flavor? I believe I’m good with it, typical for this variant’s style of cooking. Hard to tell if it stands out over what’s available in the market. I love the crunch the bagnet and chicharron bring, though. Don’t forget to drizzle it good with calamansi. As you can see from the second photo above, they tossed in a few.

I visited their website and I found out that they actually sell standalone the Pork Bagnet! Maybe I’ll try that next time.

O, Lola Nena’s… baka naman… LOL!

SM Hypermarket Cubao: Sacrificing food safety to save on OPEX?

@ SM Hypermarket Cubao.

Since the pandemic struck, I have learned to adjust using online grocery delivery services for my supermarket needs. It is convenient in so many aspects. But it took away one thing I like about being there at the actual store — leisurely going through aisle after aisle, checking out items I may need or want, depending on the circumstances. Basically grocery window shopping.

Last weekend, The Wifey and I had to quickly drop by SM Hypermarket along EDSA (Cubao area) to pick up (emergency) groceries to bring elsewhere. Before COVID, this establishment was well-cooled, temperature-wise. When the pandemic descended upon us all, this place turned somewhat close to warehouse hot. Now that Alert Level 1 remains even as COVID cases continue to dwindle, we were aghast to find out that this SM Hypermarket has NOT reverted to its usual climate control protocols.

Only ceiling fans were running! (You’ll quickly notice it as soon as you enter the building. Just a few minutes inside, I already broke into a sweat.) I felt slight AC breeze at the Meat section (see photo above) but I am certain the very limited air-conditioning in the facility is not enough to properly cool all those fresh items on open display. Spoilage is definitely quicker under their sub-standard cooling modes.

Why is SM Hypermarket doing this? They’re sacrificing food safety (and the supposedly comfortable supermarket experience) just to save on operating expenses?

Amber’s Pork Sisig

Pork Sisig from Amber Golden Chain of Restaurants.

The sisig is a tricky dish, at least for me. There are countless variants with how it’s cooked and presented, much less what cut of pork to use. Sadly, most of the sisig available in various local restaurants fail to please me due to their utterly inferior meat cuts and poor quality of taste and presentation. (Not to mention, grossly overpriced.)

Tried this version (pictured above) from Amber Golden Chain of Restaurants because I don’t remember having this before. (Amber is popular in Metro Manila for their pancit dishes.) I actually liked this sisig! Bonus that they use pig ears. Best consumed while hot with white rice! LOL!

This is not a plug, okay? Amber didn’t pay me for this. Just an honest, straightforward comment on a food I love.

Spam and scam on my SMS inbox

Screen captures of recent spam texts I received on my phone inbox.

I am sick of hearing my phone buzz only to see spam on my inbox. Anyway, who doesn’t? Got to a point where I don’t immediately check what the just-arrived messages are about, sometimes to my detriment.

Philippine government agencies and telecommunications companies/service providers are aware of this wave upon wave of text spam and scam. Globe Telecom claims it blocked close to 150,000 “smishing” messages within February and March of this year. PLDT/Smart Communications is supporting a measure to regulate the registration of SIM cards in an effort to deter SMS-related cyber-crimes.

It’s apparently run by “a global crime syndicate”, said the National Privacy Commission. So, the phrase “Think before you click” remains a good advice to keep in mind. Stay vigilant, even for those “job offers” that come your way via text.