Il Ponticello Makati, Manila

If you grew up in Manila in the early 2000s, you’ll remember “Ponti” as the place for good pizza, blue drinks, and many hazy nights of partying till the wee hours. Like many of us, Ponticello has certainly grown up since those years and she’s turned into a pretty sexy lady. She now has beautiful interiors that make you feel like you’ve walked into another era and food that has matured to please even the most snobby tongues.

Carl and I were recently invited to a VIP dinner to formally launch the new Il Ponticello. Here was what we were treated to (my personal descriptions are the non-bold text in italics):

afterlight-2Portobello Alla Griglia: Silky, creamy, smoky mushroom and cheese duetto. You could definitely taste the smoky flavour of the mushrooms. When paired with a bit of cheese and the grilled cherry tomato it was a perfect medley to start our meal. 

afterlight-4Lasagna Carbonara: Comforting and creamy, a marriage made in Italian heaven. This was pure joy with every bite and something I would certainly order again. The cream and cheese were just right and everyone in our table was saying how perfect it would be to dip a bit of crusty bread in the remaining sauce. I highly recommend giving this one a try. 

afterlight-5Presto É Trofie: Classic Ligurian Pesto on Trofie paired with grilled butterflied prawns. The prawns were perfectly seasoned. Maybe a little difficult to remove from their shell but once accomplished and eaten with the roasted garlic that was also served, the effort was worth it. 

afterlight-6Flat Iron Steak Tagliata: Northern Italian-style Tagliata steak. Pink, tender, and without a hint of chewiness that I usually find when I order a steak in the Philippines. If you’re looking for a protein packed meal, this is your guy. 

afterlight-7Porchetta Alla Romana: 6-hour slow roasted Roman-style slab of Pork Belly seasoned generously with Fennel & Garlic. This dish might not photograph well, but don’t be fooled by its lack of looks. These super tender slices of pork with crispy skin were a beautiful end to the savoury part of our meal. 

afterlight-10Tiramisu: Famed Venetian espresso-infused dessert. I’m a huge tiramisu fan, so I was happy that this dessert didn’t disappoint. Just the right amount of sweetness, coffee, and alcohol to receive the approval of every tiramisu-lover I know. 

afterlight-11Cheesecake Panna Cotta: Silky, melt-in-your-mouth dolci from Piedmont, Northern Italy. I have to admit that I was initially skeptical about how this dessert would work. But it was wiped clean almost instantly by our table. The creamy texture of the panna cotta paired with the crunch of toffee and cheesecake bites sprinkled all around was glorious. 

afterlight-12Bundino Al Cioccolato: Warm and rich Italian baked chocolate pudding. Chocolate pudding will always remind me of my grandmother. She made it regularly while growing up and served it with a healthy topping of cream. This bowl of warm chocolate pudding brought me back to those times with her. 

Here were the usual suspects at our table: 

afterlight-8Beauty maven Erica Paredes, who I’ll be working with quite often in the coming months on an exciting new project.

afterlight-9Carl, Radio DJ Margaux Sue Cortez, and Circuit’s JR Isaac.

Thank you again, Ponti for the wonderful meal. It was the perfect way to end a long work week.

Il Ponticello is located at:

2/F Antel Corporate Center, 121 Valero St. Salcedo Village Makati

Telephone Number: (02) 944-9512

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Rags 2 Riches Home Living

_MG_2186If you haven’t’ guessed it by now, I’m a huge fan of Rags 2 Riches (R2R): a for profit local social enterprise that makes beautiful woven bags and more. Here are some old snaps of me with my favorite R2R items:

afterlight-9Me with my trusty Buslo bag. I love how I can just throw things in it and go. Getting my hair treatment at Fringe Salon, Alabang.

YStleXMy R2R clutch. Big enough for my phone, camera, and lip gloss. Here I am with my date to the YStyle Ball, dear friend Wanggo Gallaga.

_MG_2181R2R gives work to weaving artisans in Payatas: one of the poorest areas of the Philippines. Through the years, they have been able to help these artisans with financial and health training, offering a better quality of life to those in need.

I was recently (okay, not so recently) to an event to formally launch R2R’s home line: a beautiful array of woven throw pillows, rugs, and floor mats. We were offered a talk on what it means to live a sustainable life, what were the cost implications of having that type of lifestyle, and how R2R fits in to the whole picture.

IMG_5428.JPGReese Fernandez-Ruiz, President of R2R letting us know a bit more about R2R’s history and where they plan to take the brand. Look at those beautiful floor pillows.

IMG_5426-0.JPGA beautiful selection of pillows and mats were offered for sale at the event.

IMG_5429.JPG

IMG_5427-0.JPGIt was an informative evening, especially for someone like me who’s currently in the processing of building a dream home.

IMG_5425-0.JPGThank you Reese and Arriane for the invite!

For those interested in learning more about R2R’s home living set and beautiful bags, please check out their:

Website | Facebook page | Instagram 

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All photos of R2R floor mat by my awesome photography partner Pat Martires. Check out his:

Website | Facebook

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Dove Daily Hair Vitamins

Snapseed-4A few weeks ago, I received a wonderful gift pack from Dove to try their latest product.

Snapseed-2Dove Daily Hair Vitamins are a simple way to keep your healthy without having to go through too much fuss.

SnapseedEach packet contains 6 capsules filled with vitamin E, botanical extracts and mineral oil. I was initially skeptical about how this product would work since I have rather fine hair, but the results of my one week trial were surprising. I thought that since this was an oil it would weigh my hair down, but on the contrary it made my strands shinier, fluffier, and cut my average blowdrying time by a good five minutes.

Snapseed-3You simply need to twist off the tip of the pod and pour the lightly-fragranced gold oil onto the palms of you hands, evenly spread on newly washed hair, and style as usual.

Thank you, Dove for the wonderful treat. My hair is grateful.

You can learn more about Dove’s really effective intense hair therapy products through their:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

If you haven’t already, read my review here on Dove’s other hair therapy products. 

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