Jollibee Opens Flagship Store in Al Falah, Abu Dhabi

Jollibee, the popular Filipino fast-food chain opens its flagship store in the heart of UAE capital last February 8, 2017. It is their second branch here in Abu Dhabi but as expected, Pinoys are always excited to welcome our favorite fast-food restaurant.

An exclusive media and VIP preview was held a day prior the store’s public opening. Ribbon cutting and speeches by Mr. Hisham Al Gurg, Chief investor in the Jollibee franchise in the UAE, Mr. Dennis Flores, Vice President for International Markets of the International Operations Division of Jollibee Foods Corporation, and Philippine Embassy Abu Dhabi Vice Consul Rowena Pangilinan Daquipil,  formally marks the soft opening of our well-loved restaurant.

Jollibee's expansion in UAE with their two new stores here in Abu Dhabi greatly made Filipinos happy. They indeed brought us a 'taste of home' with their signature crispylicious and juicylicious Chickenjoy. There is also the Jolly Spaghetti, known for its sweet-style meaty sauce; and Jollibee's signature 'langhap sarap' Yum Burgers and Burger Steak.

Media and VIPs gathered outside Jollibee store to witness the ribbon cutting.

Cutting of ribbon by Mr. Dennis Flores, Vice President for International Markets of the International Operations Division of Jollibee Foods Corporation.

Mr. Dennis Flores, Vice President for International Markets of the International Operations Division of Jollibee Foods Corporation, giving his welcome remarks.

Mr. Hisham Al Gurg, Chief investor in the Jollibee franchise in the UAE, giving his speech and thanking all Filipinos for their endless support to Jollibee and extending his thanks to Mr. Dennis Flores for introducing Jollibee to him.

Vice Consul Rowena Pangilinan Daquipil giving her speech about how excited Filipinos are here in Abu Dhabi for having another Jollibee branch.

Wow  ! Jollibee's Crispylicious and Juicylicious Chickenjoy HUGE bucket.

Let's have a Chicken Joy toast!

The famous Jollibee dance.

Enjoy a glimpse of my Jollibee meal ;)

Fan girl mode activated 😍 i wouldn't miss it for the world to have selfie with Jollibee!

Here's a snap from the grand opening of Jollibee store last February 8, 2017 - - - Extremely crowded morning just outside Jollibee store considering that it was a work day. Their very first customers in line were there since 3:00 in the morning 😱 .
(Photo credit: Jollibee UAE Facebook

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Homemade Tonkotsu Ramen

I know it is still very early to claim the winter weather here in UAE, but the temperature recently definitely showed a cooler breeze here in the desert. Well, anyhow, I'm totally enjoying it :) Although this change of weather here also marks a season of colds and flu :( and for foodie like me, the craving for hot soup. Yep, something to warm-up my tummy and to satisfy my ever craving palate.

I've been asking my husband to dine out in a recently opened restaurant featuring bowls of ramen and Japanese style rice bowls topped with different meat of your choice. But since, I've heard no so good reviews from my friends, I just decided to do my own version of tonkotsu ramen at home.

Considering a little effort in preparation, I think it was worth it though. I have to buy pork a day in advance to have it marinated overnight for a flavorful result. The ingredients are not so complicated but requires some techniques. Even boiling of eggs was a little delicate than my usual boiled eggs. It has to be cooked yet the yolk should be a little runny to add flavor in the ramen. Good thing I was able to achieved the perfect texture by boiling it not more than 6 minutes.

Anyhow, here's how I did my homemade tonkotsu ramen!


  • Ramen Noodles (fresh egg noodles) - soak in hot water for 3 minutes then drain
  • Peeled boiled Eggs - boiled not more than 6 minutes
  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • fried crispy garlic
  • Sesame oil
  • Oil (pork pork frying)
  • Marinated Pork Belly (Prepared at least a day in advance):
    • 3/4 kg slab boneless pork belly, rolled and secured with strings (about 3 inches thick)
    • 3 cloves garlic - minced
    • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
    • 3 bayleaves
    • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons ginger powder
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • enough water to cover it
  • Broth:
    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • 2 liters water
    • 2 medium size carrots - sliced
    • 1 cup shitake mushrooms (soak in hot water)
    • 3 cloves of garlic - minced
    • 1 large onion - sliced
    • about 2 inches of ginger - minced
    • 1/2 cup green onion - chopped
    • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
    • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
    • 2 bouillon cubes (beef)
    • 3 tablespoons sesame oil


  • Pork Belly:
    • Remove rolled pork belly from the marinate. Put it in a napkin to remove excess liquid. (Do not throw the liquid marinate)
    • Heat a pan with 1/4 cup oil.
    • Fry the pork roll on each side until lightly brown.
    • Put back the lightly fried pork roll to the liquid marinate in a pot.
    • Boil the pork roll in the marinate for about an hour in medium high heat.
    • Once it is cooked, remove the pork from the liquid and let it slightly cool.
    • Remove the strings from the pork and thinly slice it.
  • Broth:
    • Heat oil on a pot.
    • Sautee garlic, onion and ginger.
    • Add the carrots and mushrooms. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
    • Pour in the water.
    • Add bouillon cubes, chili flakes and green onions.
    • Add salt, ground pepper, oyster sauce and sesame oil.
    • Let it boil.
    • You may adjust the seasonings as you like.
  • Plating:
    • Add noodles on a bowl.
    • Pour in the broth enough to cover the noodles.
    • Put in mushrooms and carrots from the broth on top of the noodles.
    • Slice the egg and carefully put on top of the noodles.
    • Put at least 3 slices of pork.
    • Garnish with green onions, crispy fried garlic and drizzle some sesame oil.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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Restaurant Review : The Noodle House

It was our 7th year wedding anniversary and we stayed for couple of days in Traders Hotel in Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi. Our 2 days breakfast was included in our hotel package which was a very good deal; but to dine in for lunch and dinner in a 4-star hotel for couple of days, we thought it was a bit too much for our budget. Good thing that The Souk in Qaryat Al Beri was just 10 mnutes walking distance only from Traders Hotel. We were able to roam around the place and choose from different restaurants they have.

There are many restaurants and cafes in The Souk Qaryat Al Beri which also varies in many cuisines, but we were in the mood for good Asian food. We found The Noodle House which was definitely a good choice to satisfy our craving.

It was late afternoon and the restaurant was quite. There were few people dining at that time. The ambiance was very homey and relaxing. The staff assisted us to our table and gave us the menu. I initially wanted to have noodle soup but after our 10 minutes walk under the sun, I changed my mind ;) . The staff were all very kind and accommodating. It didn't took long and they served our order. Good thing that they already served our food just before diners started coming.

Here are some photos of the restaurant.

Yes, I fell in love with the place. I really wanted to go back on a cooler weather to enjoy the outdoor dining with a hot noodle soup. Anyhow, we were not disappointed with our order. I think we've chosen a perfect meal to satisfy our hungry tummy.

Here are what we ordered.

Chicken Steamed Siew mai (siomai). It think this is one of the best siomai I had here in UAE. Almost similar to authentic Chinese siomai I had in Hongkong.

Indonesian Nasi Goreng - This include Chargrilled chicken satay, fried egg and prawn crackers. This was my husband's order and he enjoyed it. 

Singaporean Roast Duck. Crispy skinned roast duck, hoisin sauce, cucumber, leeks and white rice. It is normally served with pancakes but I chose to have rice ;). Don't judge me, I was hungry! lol :)

We really enjoyed our late lunch at The Noodle House. My husband promised that we will go back there on winter to enjoy the outdoor dining. Aside from the nice interior and good food, the service was very good. I hope that the quality of their service remains even on busy hours. Looking forward to be there again!

Location: Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
Website: The Noodle House
Facebook: The Noodle House

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No Bake Mango Cheesecake

Since we moved in to our new flat, it was a little difficult for me to always cook and bake. We have many flatmates who also cook that is why I do not have enough time to work in the kitchen lately. I really miss baking also, so whenever I have a chance I just do refrigerated cakes just to satisfy my cravings.

We bought a box of fresh green mangoes last week and because I avoided almost anything sour because of health reasons, my husband cannot finish all of our stock. We gave most of it to our friends but still plenty left. We let it ripe but my husband still can't manage to eat them all. So I decided to try a no-bake mango cheesecake.

It was my first time to do a no-bake cheesecake but I'm so happy that it all went perfect! I have seen many videos and read blogs about it and using gelatin to achieve its smooth firmness is just a great technique. Great result with less effort and few utensils to clean ;)

So here's how I did it!


  • Graham crackers - 1 1/2 cup crushed - honey flavored (depending how thick you want your cheesecake crust) 
  • Butter - 1/2 cup melted
  • Cream Cheese - 1 block (250gm Philadelphia Cream Cheese)
  • Cream - 1 can Nestle Cream (160 grams)
  • Condensed Milk - 395 grams
  • Ripe Mangoes - 1 cup slices + 1 cup (cubes)
  • Clear Unflavored Gelatin - 2 tablespoons (dissolved in 4 tablespoons of hot water) + 1 tablespoon (dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water) - let it slightly cool to room temperature.
  • Yellow Unflavored Gelatin - 1 tablespoon (dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water) - let it slightly cool to room temperature. If you cannot find yellow unflavored gelatin, you may just add 1/2 teaspoon of yellow food coloring to the clear gelatin mixture.

1. Mix the crushed graham and melted butter. Once thoroughly mixed, put it on the spring form (about 8.5 inch) and flatten it using spoon. I used slightly sweet, honey flavored graham crackers, you may add 2 tablespoon sugar if you're going to use plain graham crackers. Put it in fridge for at least half an hour. Put a foil under the spring form. Cover it with foil before putting it to fridge. 

2. In a blender, put 1 cup ripe mangoes, cream cheese, nestle cream, condensed milk and clear unflavored gelatin mixture . Let it completely blend for a minute or so, until the the texture is smooth.

3. Pour the mixture on top of the graham crust, cover it with foil and refrigerate it for at least an hour or until the top is firm. 

4. Remove it from fridge, put the ripe mangoes on top.
5. Pour the yellow gelatin evenly on top.
6. Cover it with foil and let it cool inside the fridge for at least 2 hours or until the yellow gelatin is firm.

7. Remove from spring form. Serve and enjoy!

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Boneless Chicken Feet Salad

My husband and I were craving for this chicken feet salad we had during our Singapore food adventure. He consistently requested me to do this recipe at home but I was hesitant because I'm so lazy to debone chicken feet. But what can I do, I also craved for it. So, to satisfy both our tummy, here's a quick recipe plus a little added effort in deboning the chicken feet. Anyhow, it is all worth it! I'm sure this will be a hit as an appetizer, as main course or even pulutan ;)

(You may also check out blog post on a step-by-step procedure of deboning chicken feet.)


  • 1/2 KG chicken feet - cleaned
  • 1 medium red onion - thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of parsley - rough chop
  • 1 red chili - thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Boil chicken feet for 20 minutes or until tender.
  2. Set aside and let it cool.
  3. Debone the chicken feet.
  4. Season the deboned chicken feet with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the sweet chili sauce and mix it all together.
  6. Add the onion, chili and parsley. Combine all.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

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Home Style Shabu-shabu

I've been feeling a little under the weather lately. I got colds but I couldn't fully rest because we just moved out from our old flat to a new location which is a little far from my office. I had so much things to unbox and clean. My body isn't so much into dust and considering the hot weather here in Abu Dhabi, I guess if I couldn't fully rest I deserve good home-cooked food.

Since we just move in to our new crib, we just did a quick grocery to buy something that can satisfy my cravings. I added few available ingredients at home and ta-da, I have an instant comfort food!

I had this craving few days after we had dinner with friends in a shabu-shabu restaurant here in UAE. Some call it hotpot which originated in China or steamboat which is popular in Singapore and shabu-shabu which came from Japanese cuisine. This procedure of cooking is putting meat and vegies on a hot flavored soup. It is usually done using a pot heated on top of the dining table.

Here's a quick procedure on how I did my easy home-made shabu-shabu :)

1. On a pot heating on a medium high heat, put cooked chicken strips (our left over) and 2 cubes of chicken and beef stocks.

2. Put a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of ground black pepper, a teaspoon of chili flakes (optional) and 2 liters of hot boiling water.


3. Add the crab balls. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 2 minutes.

4. Uncover the pot and add  the crab sticks, cut into cubes.

5. Add cooked tofu, cut into small cubes.

6. Add thinly sliced shitake mushrooms. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 3 minutes.

7. Add the individually separated bok choy leaves (washed).

8. Add the egg noodles and cover the pot and let it have its final simmering for at least 2 minutes.

9. Lower the heat to its minimum just to keep the soup hot. You may adjust the saltiness or spiciness according to your taste.

10. Serve and enjoy!

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Singapore Food Adventure

Singapore is definitely a food paradise for food lovers, like me. A wide variety of food is available everywhere to satisfy the appetites of people from different cultures and races. Food are freshly cooked and the aroma will persistently linger in your mind until you try the mouthwatering dish. Singaporean food are mainly influenced by Chinese, Indian and Malay cuisines.

Being in Singapore for few days was such a relief from my daily work stress. My husband and I chose Singapore to visit because of Universal Studios and the food experience. Well, indeed, our food adventure was the best part of our trip :)

We stayed in Marrison Hotel in Bugis Street. We chose Bugis as suggested by my cousin since it is very accessible to MRT connections. Bugis was definitely a good choice since it is a food heaven! You may read my Singapore planning and our Singapore Adventure in my personal blog

Chuen Chuen in Bugis Street

Chuen Chuen restaurant was just near to the hotel where we were staying. It was around 11:30 am and the restaurant was already crowded. We have plenty of other options where we can eat but out of curiosity, we decided to take a queue number outside and waited to be called for our table. Yes, you cannot just come in, choose your table and take a seat. You have to wait to be called outside the restaurant. There were plenty of customers waiting outside and it took us around 15 minutes to be called. I was already hungry then, coming from an almost 8 hours flight. 

Our queue number was called, we were escorted to our table, which was next to the toilet. :( Well, the place was a little small but it has a homey ambiance. The staff were very polite and helpful though. We place our order and it took 10 minutes to come. The food serving was huge and the taste were all tasty and satisfying. My husband loves the boneless chicken feet with vegies and sweet-spicy sauce. The Hainanese Style chicken was very tasty and tender. While the Sweet and sour diced pork was perfectly cooked, tender with a right crisp. The prices were very budget friendly. No wonder why people spend time queuing here. The food are very good and has a huge serving, the prices are very affordable and the staff are friendly. Indeed, a thumbs-up for us! :)

Hainanese Style Chicken Cutlet Rice

Sweet and Sour Diced Pork Rice

Thai style boneless chicken feet

Iced tea



BBQ Box is just adjacent to Chuen Chuen Restaurant. Same with Chuen Chuen restaurant, we have to wait for our table to be ready before coming. We had our dinner here and it was a very good foodie experience. And yes, we didn't had rice but the dim-sums were quite heavy enough to satisfy our dinner. The staff were very helpful assisting us in choosing our order. We ordered dim-sums, chicken satay, pork intestines, squid and beef fats. The aroma of barbecue inside BBQ Box restaurant was definitely mouthwatering. The food we ordered were perfectly seasoned but we still love dipping it to soy sauce with citrus. I personally love the pork intestines and beef fats. I know, it's not a healthy choice but hey, we are in a food adventure. ;)

Pork intestines, beef fats and chicken satay

BBQ Squid

Steamed Dimsums

Dipping sauces

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