Monday, May 26, 2014

BOOKED: St. Benedict's Church

We went to SBC last year to book them when our wedding was set to this year but when it is move tho next year, we decided to just go back last weekend. We have set the schedule to be back and secure our slot prior to him asking for my hand formally. Last week J called SBC's contact number on their flyer. Red's number is unreachable. The other person listed there is not really friendly and according to her doesn't want to received calls regarding SBC and just call the office landline directly. I think they shouldn't have listed their numbers on the brochures if they don't want to be called.

So prior to going, J called their landline and asked if our slot is still available, lucky us, it is. YEY! When we arrived, there's still an on-going mass and there's no one at the office. The guy there asked us to wait after the mass. I noticed that the sound system improved since the last time we were there. From my post about SBC before, I said my main concern is really their sound system. I am very happy that it is fixed/replaced already. After the mass, the guy approached us and said to be back in the afternoon as the person in charge will be having his/her lunch break. Okaaaay.

We proceed to Tagaytay as that is our original plan. We will be having lunch at Bulalo Point. Our travel time is approximately 1 1/2 hours. After our late lunch (as we arrived there at around 2 PM), we headed back to SBC praying that we will make it. We arrived on time at around 30 minutes before closing.

The lady who attended to us is very nice and apologetic as she wasn't able to attend to us in the morning. She is so nice so OK na din the hassle that we go through that morning. She asked us to fill up the form and we paid the downpayment. She scheduled us for our Canonical Interview and voila! We are booked already. :) We really felt that the date is for us. Found out that there is only one more remaining time slot available on our chosen date and it is also the time we wanted. Thank God!

Personal Questionnaire for the Canonical Interview
Wedding Information Sheet
Down payment is Php5,000 plus another Php5,000 during the interview. The remaining balance should be paid 1 month before the wedding date.

A very productive weekend indeed. Got officially engaged on Friday, 2 Food Tastings on Saturday and secured our slot at SBC on Sunday.

Food Tasting #6: Alba's

Alba's Catering is not really on the original list of my prospected caterers. I haven't read enough reviews about them and they are not really that sikat sa w@w and GT. But I tried contacting them anyways and their packages are almost the same with Queensland's. Our scheduled FT was moved for at least 3 times before we were given a slot. I think they give priority to events na malapit na. It is only when I vent out my frustration (in a nice way) that we already tried scheduling for 3 times did the AE obliged to us. After I said that she kept on rescheduling us, she texted non-stop about the schedule and make bawi naman to assist us.

When you come from Tropical Ave., nasa bukana lang sya ng El Grande Street (right side). Medyo nalito lang kami sa map na binigay ni Cherry coz it's indicated na Kristine's Garden. When all along, the sign says Alba's pala and then the garden is inside.

We were ushered into their office. Then later one transferred to the adjacent room. It is not the usual FT where you get to try the dishes with other couples on a dressed venue complete with waiter and table/buffet arrangements. The food is prepared on trays then you get to try their main dishes. No salads, appetizers, pasta & desserts.

From Top Left (Clockwise):
Chicken Cordon Bleu - the sauce is buttery and the breading is still a bit crunchy. The meat is not really moist, but not really dry. My companions liked it.
Pork Baby Back Ribs - they are very tender but I don't like my baby back ribs to be sweet. I want it to be salty and spicy.
Chicken in Char Sui Sauce - this is so yummy! The sauce doesn't look so appetizing because it is so sticky but nonetheless, it is good.
Fish Fillet with Tartar sauce - this is good. No malansa after-taste. In fact, you wouldn't think it is fish. And the tartar sauce is so yummy!
Fish Fillet in Sweet & Sour Sauce - this is good, too. Hindi malansa and the sauce is yummy. I would have preferred the breading to be crunchy though.

From Top Right (Clockwise):
Pork Asado - it is like eating the Siopao Asado filling. I'm biased coz I like Siopao Bola-Bola. I don't like sweet sauces.
Buttered Vegetables - this is sooo yummy! you can taste the butter in every piece of vegetable. It is so flavorful.
Beef Kaldereta - meat is tender but I would prefer my Kaldereta to be spicy
Beef Stew/Korean Stew - The meat is tender pero the sauce is nagsebo na. I like my Korean Beef Stew to be spicy, too.

Overall: We particularly love the fish, chicken and vegetable dishes. It is yummy and flavorful. But if we will choose them, we would pick different pork and beef dishes. I think their dishes are yummy naman based on the fish, chicken and vegetables. Matter of preference na lang since I don't want sweet sauces/dish.

We are seriously considering them for my sister's debut. Package starts at Php425++. For our wedding, we will have them on our list but have to try others pa then we will decide.

I appreciate din that their add-ons are really not expensive and they are not really strict with corkages for additional drinks or food.

Food Tasting #5: Juan Carlo

I first tasted Juan Carlo's food from a friend's wedding more than 10 years ago. I can not remember anymore how the dish was but I think it was not really that spectacular. The serving was small and the food taste so-so. But during the Big banquet at the Blue Leaf, we got to taste Juan Carlo's food again and we so love their salad and dessert. It was really yummy! So when I saw on their site that they will have a food tasting at Fernbrook, I emailed them right away to reserve a slot.

Me and J was accompanied by my sister, who is also on the look out for a caterer for her debut, and our two male cousins. We arrived early. Medyo hindi ok yung pagdating namin dun because I think the AEs are still preparing and they are huddled on one table while we are standing there waiting to be acknowledge. I think it was an awkward 1-2 minutes before someone approached us. Yung medyo hindi OK na moment na yun, nabawi naman because Zarah, the AE assigned to us, was very machika and nice. It would have been better if she let us eat on our own first after discussing the packages then just come back after. Mahirap kase magdiscuss ng taste and presentation na merong nakikinig. Nonetheless, she was nice naman and offered so many freebies.

upgraded set-up

Sopa de Congrejo
The blue lemonade is sooo yummy. I drank a couple of glasses because it is refillable. We were served two kinds of soup. Sopa de Congrejo and Fresh Mushroom soup. I haven't tried the Sopa de Congrejo but J said it tasted bland. The Fresh Mushroom soup is OK naman.

Clockwise from Rice:
Rice - I forgot what it's called but tasted like Java Rice
Penne Carbonara with Bacon - tastes good (biased because I love Carbonara)
Mongolian Vegetables - tastes like Mongolian :) which I like
Pork Geneva - I don't like this. It has a strong aroma that I don't like
Chicken Hongkong Style - a bit dry but taste OK
Kare-Kare - this is yummy. I love kare-kare and this taste good
Salmon in Tequila Cream Sauce - better than Queensland's version :) But I am not really a fish person so ok lang sya for me

Clockwise from Rice:
Roast Pork with Prunes & Walnuts - this is sooo yummy! I really liked it.
Stir Fried Vegetables in Oyster Sauce - I liked the veggies. Parang chopseuy but with  Oyster sauce
Fish Steak with Tomato & Vegetable Salsa - I like that the fish is not malansa though I would prefer if it's crispy
COS Chicken with Piri-Piri Sauce - Spicy grilled chicken which surprisingly is not dry
Ox Tongue with Buttered Mushroom/Mashed Potato - I love lengua! And this does not disappoint me
Angel Hair Puttanesca - more on like an italian pasta than a pinoy one. But taste is OK

Pictures of how the main courses are presented at the Buffet Table:

Fruit Tarts - they are yummy but I would prefer it cold sana
I forgot the name of the one with the cherry on top but it's like meringue with cream and fruits - taste ok although sweet
Coffee Magnifico - this is to die for! If you've seen my Juan Carlo post from the Big banquet you would know we already tasted it there. This time, it is not chilled, mas ok sana if chilled, but as expected masarap talaga
Pandan Pannacotta (not on picture) - I don't know why they called it as Pannacotta because it's just like Pandan Jelly

Zarah offered us A LOT of freebies such as free centerpiece upgrade, free buffet upgrade, +2 desserts, +1 pasta, upgraded backdrop, 50 pcs. brewed coffee but we did not book on the spot. Wala pang "this is it" feeling and my concern is the food's not warm when served. Ganun din experience ko 10 years ago. Plus I think their servings are a bit small. But taste-wise, they are OK.

Status: Officially Engaged

OK. That is a bit funny, don't you think? Ours is not the conventional type of engagement. We've been planning for the wedding for more than 6 months now but we just got engaged last Friday. We've been together for more than 7 years now. It was a long overdue engagement. We've been talking about getting married half way through that 7 years. But certain things happen beyond our control so we have to leave it up to God for we know if it's really God's will, it will happen.

One of the reasons why it took us a couple of years more before deciding to tie the knot is because my one and only sister. I've been her second mom already as our parents are away from us. We have a 13 years gap. She opposed to me getting married. I think part of her thinks she would lose me if I get married. I am lucky that J respects that and wait for her to finally let me go. It was just last year, when she finally said it's OK for me to get married already and start my own family. And we are here now planning for the wedding...

My kwento about the proposal can be found here: The Proposal

should have said "finally!" instead :)

I have to give credit to J. I really underestimated his capabilities and taste. LOL.. For one, nakalusot sya sakin sa pagplan ng proposal nya. Second, this is his own design inspired by a couple of rings that we've been checking out.

My sister's note when she shared our engagement photo
I think mas excited pa nga sya. Inunahan ako sa pagannounce in social media. LOL.

Now, I am officially engaged. Full wedding planning from now on. :)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The search for THE Monogram

This is H2B's (Hubby-to-be) task. He is an IT by profession so he is way more techie than me. So I've been asking reminding nagging him to do a couple of samples for our monogram. Finally, I got the first batch para mapagpilian.

my personal favorite

I want our monogram to be with lots of strokes and soft lines. You can tell that J wanted a monogram that is masculine with lots of sharp edges. So I hope we can pick one that we would both love. I do not know when will he give me the next batch of choices pero I am hoping we can pick the monogram as early as now as I want to have the monogram na.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Food Tasting #4: The Big Banquet (Part 3)

When I think of Bizu, first thing that comes to my head are desserts. I have no idea how their food taste. I like their dessert buffet set up that night. Their chairs are also so old school that brings back childhood memories.

Wild Mushroom Deep Dish Quiche - 2
Mini Eggs Benedict - 2
Smoked Salmon with Dill Pistachio Mousseline on Short Bread - 2
Three Cheese Spinach & Mushroom Ravioli Pasta - 3
Cucumber Lemonade - 2
Macaron de Paris - 3
Nirvana Trifle with Dark Chocolate & Pistachio Creamer & Rocher - 3

Overall Comment: They offer quite a few selections. Their set up is very dainty and girly. I like their desserts. I like the ravioli. But that stops there. I did not like the rest of the food I have tasted. The Lemonade tasted like my cleansing juice. Haha.

Center Table
We are already in a rush because we only got less than 30 minutes to finish with all the caterers. Plus we are so full that we are just dragging our feet to each caterer. Since patapos na din yung event, madami na din yung ubos na and makalat na. But their food is OK naman. OK din ang set up.

Eastern Shrimp Rolls - 5
US Certified Black Angus Beef - 4
Strawberry Sansrival - 2
Green Apple Iced Tea - 3

Overall Comment: Sila lang ang nabigyan ko ng 5. Their Shrimp rolls are super yummy and not to mention hot. Kaya nag enjoy kami kainin. The rest tikim-tikim na lang sa sobrang busog. I don't know bakit hindi ko napicturan yung food. Grrr.. I don't like their sansrival. Tasted like super lamog na strawberries.

First time to hear about them. Pero their food is OK din naman. Hindi ko na lang naenjoy kase nakakasuka na. Not their fault naman.

 Andre's Poke - 2
Roast Pork Belly with Lechon Rice - 3
Pauline Chocolate - 2
Raspberry/Tamarind Iced Tea - 2

Overall Comment: What I appreciate it that their Pork belly is so tender and the skin is so crispy. I also like the sauces for the wraps. Andre's Poke is spicy. The chocolates are super bitter. I didn't enjoy it even though I love dark chocolates.

Nice set up. Damask + Black/Red is nice. Food is OK din but what I really love is their Callos.

JalapeƱo Stuffed Croquettes - 3
Callos - 4
Arroz con Leche - 2
Fruit Blended Iced Tea - 3

Overall Comment: I love their Callos. Day after the event, I'm still craving. But yun lang nagustuhan ko. Hindi ko na naenjoy yung Croquettes even if I love croquettes kase super busog na. The dessert is a bit bland so I didn't like it.

Sulit ba yung Php500? YES. I may not have met my 'this is it' caterer on the event but I enjoyed the whole experience. Will I go to future events like this? Absolutely! :)