Things That Made Me Smile, Week 3

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  • Working efficiently because I find immense joy at timing out of 6:30 PM and being able to live a life afterwards. Apparently, I can live the life I want; all I need is a little elbow grase.
  • Meeting new people because every single person has a story we can all learn things from.
  • Friday on a Wednesday because people in Manila just recovered from a five-day weekend! Yes, you read that right.
  • Pope Francis because I too am a practicing Catholic and he is living proof that everyone’s faith in the universe can be restored, regardless of religion, sex, or creed. All is well, all we need us to have the capacity to understand one another.
  • Choir practice because it’s challenging. I have yet to get the hang of playing pianist during our practices, but I’m willing to learn to get the show on the road.
  • Babysitting in reverse, you know, you watching over your parents because your mother had to go to a party in the afternoon? Tumatanda na sila and it’s about time they also had fun after raising three kids for the last thirty years.
  • Getting fresh laundry and then shoving my fresh comforters up my nose. :)

Re: Chelsea Kitchen

First and foremost (and before we go any steps further into this post), I’ll let you in on one thing: I love food. Or, at the least, I have grown to love food, which is an entirely different thing altogether. The truth of  the matter is I’m notorious for always finishing first when my family decides to have dinner out; hindi nga lang halata, haha!! I used to be a serious weakling when the food isn’t cooked at home (by Mamu, of course), and I simply cannot be bothered no matter how many times people would tell me to eat more. I’m full when I’m full and I don’t push it.

Something has been in the air ever since the day I started working in Pasig it seems. I’ve come to the point where I have a mental blueprint of Shangri-La, Rob Galleria, and SM Megamall just because I have to pass by one of those three malls on my walk to the MRT station. There are days we walk on by and go home; other times, A makes it a point to take me to dinner to talk and just sit at the end of a workday. We’ve taken to Mega Fashion Hall as of late because he is a man who loves his burgers *hint* *hint*.

I, on the other hand, swear by pasta, and almost all Western food. So when we spotted Chelsea Kitchen back last year–around the same time H&M was getting hype–I had the balls to ask A if we can have dinner there, and we’ve been coming back ever since.

Chelsea Kitchen is part of Raintree Restaurants; they’re the ones who brought you Rocket Room, Stella, Saboten, Simple Lang, a several more. Chelsea Kitchen is one of their more newly-opened babies right smack across the first H&M in the Philippines; there is no way in hell you can miss it.

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What is this: Truffle Fries
What it’s like: Upscale fries with bacon, cheese, truffles, and most important of all: potatoes. Has gravy and cheese dip, or so it seemed to me.
What I think it’s like: Like asking God to put a little piece of heaven into your food. Just enough to fill you up, and still keep coming back for more. I swear by these every single time, and I can never get enough of it. I’d have it whenever I’m hungry, if that’s humanly possible.

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What is this: Truffled Mushroom Cream and Bacon Spaghetti
What it’s like: Spaghetti with generous helpings of bacon slices, a hint of truffle, parmesan snow (indeed), and rich, lovely white sauce. Has a crisp to accompany the pasta, as well. I also just found out (while researching on this) that it’s good for sharing. Oops.
What I think it’s like: Pasta on crack. It’s addictive. The hint of truffle is inviting me to have another bite… and another… and another… until I ended up not sharing something that’s actually meant for sharing. The fact that the bacon fat is a true melt-in-your-mouth experience also helps. (Again, yes, I finished this without any help.)

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What is this: Chicken Parmigiana
What it’s like: One big piece of chicken fillet, flattened, fried, poured with heaping amounts of tomato with herbs, white sauce, eggplants (!), and mozzarella cheese. (The rice is a separate order, as A and I are carb-loving people.)
What I think it’s like: Never mind what I think it’s like; this is everything I want in one dish. No, really. I love chicken, cheese, tomatoes, and the occasional vegetable. I loved it the very first time I tried it. This is actually A’s standard order at Chelsea Kitchen (he swears by them always), and that’s for sharing too. Again: oops.

I haven’t negative things to say for Chelsea Kitchen for the simple reason that: I haven’t gone through the entire menu yet, so I haven’t much to say for anything else I haven’t eaten yet.

Apart from the food, I am quite madly in line with Chelsea Kitchen’s aesthetic. First of all, it’s a restaurant that knows no walls. It’s like being in a really big kiosk, where you can move around as you please–not that you should though.
The dining setup is also worthy of being noticed, because none of the chairs match. It can be stools, wooden benches, or couches. It’s so eclectic, it’s cute. :) The staff are also non-intrusive, but sometimes to a fault. They can’t see you when you’re seated in a corner, which is where I usually request to sit. Mas mahirap ka nila makita unlike in their sister brand, Saboten, where the staff know what you want before you even open your mouth. True story, by the way.

On the whole, Chelsea Kitchen is one of those places you should try at least thrice before you pass judgment on whether it’s good or bad. You can fall in love with the entire concept, and I might see you there twice a month. Or you can not like it at all, but you ought to try it at least once. Or twice. And get those truffle fries.

Chelsea Kitchen is located at the Ground Floor of the Mega Fashion Hall; it’s visible once you pass by EDSA. I hope to see y’all there sometime.

Finding Love in Unlikely Places

1211Sometime last week, I had to take time away from my usual schedule to put some things in order.

There we were in the center of the universe, in the middle of nowhere. The queues, people waiting, visitors seated in plastic chairs, on floors, standing near posts. My city was alive with a heartbeat of its own, life force coming on strong like the eye of a hurricane.

And there in the waiting, the universe began to shift. Where I thought we stood front and center, the scene had shifted. We were sent to the sidelines, the universe centered on something else. Their silence was not unnoticed; rather we were voyeurs in their world.
They hold a thousand stories, as you may assume I can tell you. And yet they’re not my stories to share. But it’s there, in the talking. Quiet laughing between themselves, unconscious of the rest of us. It’s in there that the universe reminds, it doesn’t have to be so complicated.
To find love, it typically never is.

Love is never as they come in the movies we all watch. There are no light men or directors, no puddle or banana for the girls to slip on; no compromising situation guys need to save girls from. It’s never loud as the waves on the beach, calling for attention, to be looked at, but never seen.
A lot of the time it’s as quiet as a pin falling, tinny sounds made as it hits the floor. It’s the first raindrop in the ocean, barely noticed; mostly unheard. It’s in front of you, smacking you in the face, and yet you decide to look past what you see. There has to be more to it than this.

To feel love is to feel the silence radiating off the person sitting next to you, yet never seeing the need to fill the quiet void. To feel love is to be behind your person, 100%. To feel love, sometimes, is to be the person pushing your person forward, most especially when they need it the most.

Love knows no time, it simply happens.
And when love happens, the world makes you see it. Never miss it.