Friday, July 29, 2011

Singapore Eats: Ippudo SG


This is what this post is all about. Honest to goodness, authentic Japanese ramen. My friends go to Ippudo in Mandarin Gallery when it's rainy and they want comfort food. But I would go here rain or shine. Their ramen is simply superb. The pork broth is packed with flavor without the porky taste, and the noodles have the right amount of bite (because you can actually choose if you want your noodles medium or hard).

Look! Look! These makes me want to eat ramen now.

Shiromaru Tamago: Original recipe tonkotsu soup with thin noodles, rosu chashu (pork loin), cabbage, kikurage, spring onion & flavored egg

Akamaru Kaseneaji: original recipe enhanced with Ippudo's special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil. Served with thin noodles, buta bara (pork belly), kikurage & spring onion. Ippudo's original, refined, modern-day ramen.

Karaka Tamago: original Ippudo pork broth with special spicy miso, ground pork with flavored egg

Ippudo SG is the Singapore outpost of the Ippudo ramen chain of Japan which was started in 1985 by Shigemi Kawahara, the Ramen King. To maintain the same exacting standards, Ippudo is the only ramen restaurant in Singapore that produces its own noodles.

As any lover of ramen knows, the secret is in the balance of noodles & broth. And while the noodles are excellent, the secret really lies in the broth. According to their website, "Ippudo SG’s famed tonkotsu broth is produced from an elaborate process of cooking pork bones for more than 20 hours, then blending the broth from three cooking stages to achieve a creamy, delicate soup with a light aroma." All I can say is, it tastes as good as as described. A long line snakes out from the entrance, and if you're impressionable like me (hahaha), that is proof enough that the place lives up to the hype.

There are 2 Ippudos in Singapore. I have never been to the one in UE Square, so for now I would recommend going to the one in Mandarin Gallery. Ok, who's up for ramen? I know I am!

Ippudo SG
333A Orchard Road
#04-02/03/04 Mandarin Gallery

Tel: +65 6235 2797

Mon to Sat: 11am-11pm (Last order at 10pm)
Sundays: 11am-10pm (Last order at 9pm )


So many things brewing over at MEGA,  they sure are MEGA busy!

For one, their online editor Jacqui Co Salonga told me a few weeks back that their newly jazzed up website is now up and running! Visit and see for yourself!

Second, you are invited you to witness yet another milestone in the publishing-television industry: MEGA Fashion Crew Gen M Season 2, which is created for television by the MEGA Publishing Group.

MEGA Fashion Crew Gen M Season 2 is a reality show style search "dedicated to finding the individuals who will make it big in the fashion industry." Find out who the next top photographer, fashion stylist, make-up artist, hairstylist and female model will be! 

The show airs every Saturday nights at 7:00pm, starting July 30, 2011 on ETC. Catch the replays every Sunday at 10am.

Last but not the least, Banana Republic partnered with MEGA Magazine and its editorial team for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience for its top shoppers, last June 11, 2011 in Banana Republic’s flagship store in Greenbelt 5. 

Banana Republic's Fides Almosara and Nikki Verzo with MEGA's Angela Alarcon, Miel Villamor and Jacqui Co Salonga.

Fashion editor Angela Alarcon, online and accessories editor Jacqui Co Salonga and fashion assistant Miel Villamor were all on hand to give Banana Republic VIPs a personalized shopping experience. The editors selected their picks from the collection making shopping for essentials easier too.

By the end of the day each customer had their shopping bags filled with Banana Republic goodies and a few freebies from Mega Magazine – plus one lucky customer got a P10,000 shopping spree! If you missed out on this, watch out for more shopping events by Banana Republic and Mega Magazine!

Like Mega Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Twitter

Banana Republic is exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Casual Clothing Specialists, Inc. (CCSI), a subsidiary of Stores Specialists, Inc. and is available in Greenbelt 5 and Rustan’s Makati.

Studio SnR x shu uemura

You are all invited to sign up for the Studio SnR x shu uemura make-up session on August 3, from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm at Unit 301 Millenium Place, 17 Meralco Avenue, Ortigas. But you have to hurry, only 20 participants are confirmed per workshop.

The 4 hour make-up session with Manila's top makeup artists will cover everything from skincare, to make-up skills and playing with color. It costs Php3,900 per person and is inclusive of a shu uemura set & gcs, plus high tea.

Reserve a slot by July 31 to get 10% off the ticket price. Otherwise, book in groups of 3 or more to still get the 10% discount. Advance booking and 50% DP is required for a slot.

You may sign up at and please add Studio SnR Workshops on Facebook to stay updated on new events. You may also reach them at +632 584 5988.

About Studio SnR:

Studio SnR, located in the Ortigas Business Center has always believed to be a place where knowledge and skills are learned and gathered. Since it opened its doors last March 2010, Studio SnR has been known to be an alternative venue for company workshops and training, from beauty and beyond. It has gained an overwhelming response from our clients and partners.

This 2011, Studio SnR elevates its mission to be more than just a venue, and rather be a resource for learning. Along with its partner brands, the studio will be offering its own series of workshops. Participants will be encouraged to learn useful exciting and creative skills.

Workshops willkick off with The Beauty High Tea Series with top brands like shu uemura, Majolica Majorca, Lancome & Bobbi Brown to showcase their products and share their professional and creative knowledge on skincare and makeup. In our experience, a hands-on skincare and makeup workshop in a relaxed environment is always a positive way to really knowledge and skills .

Intimate. Creative. Fun. Dynamic. Informative. This is what each class is geared to be

August 3,2011 Studio SnR x Shu Uemura
August 11,2011 Studio SnR x Majolica Majorca
August 19, 2011 Studio SnR x Lancome
August 20,2011 Studio SnR x Bobbi Brown

Thursday, July 28, 2011

ClarinsMen Super Moisture Gel and Balm

Girls, here's something for the boys!

I often find myself looking for moisturizers for Dada's face, because let's face it, men these days are conscious about their skin too. While they may be happy with drugstore moisturizers, you might want to get him ClarinsMen Super Moisture Gel and Balm for him to feel the difference.

Why? Well, for one it will help justify how much you're spending on skin care. Once he's hooked, thrown in some Clarins for you too! Hahaha!

But seriously, ClarinsMen makes use of Calcium hyaluronate (the moisture trapping properties also found in Hada Labo), a high performance ingredient used for the first time in men’s skin care. It's super hydrating so it will keep his skin smooth underneath the stubbles.

ClarinsMen Super Moisture Gel and Balm is exclusively available at all Rustans stores: Ayala Center Makati, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Alabang Town Center, Skin Spa, Ayala Center Cebu, Robinson’s Plaza and Gateway Mall.

New Wonder Product: VMV's Tarte-à-Tan

VMV Hypoallergenics has a new wonder product out, a "whisper-light bronzer as beautiful, cheerful and diaphanous as spun sugar", called Tarte-à-Tan:

Tarte-à-Tan is an Antioxidant Bronzing “Coco” Powder that prettifies and also treats your skin with a whole lot of TLC. Here's the 411:

‣ Made with USDA-certified organic virgin coconut oil that guarantees...

✓ Unparalleled hydration: fatty acids are native to skin + replace lipids lost to aging + dehydration.

✓ In skin cells, creates a healthier balance of saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acids: repairs damage from aging, the sun + other environmental factors.

✓ Anti-Aging Benefits: rich in growth factors; enables skin to form more anti-inflammatory cell hormones.

‣ With antioxidants green tea + rice phytic acid.

‣ With coconut-derived monolaurin - which means it has antibacterial, antiviral, protective, anti-acne, disinfection properties

‣ 100% free of all-types-of-fragrances,

‣ 100% free of phthalates, parabens + other preservatives,

‣ 100% free of dyes.

How much you ask for this 0.21 Oz (6g) wonder product? Php 1490. Not bad for something so fantastic! 

Incidentally The March/April 2011 issue of Dermatitis (the journal of the American Contact Dermatitis Society) published a study on VMV's VH-Rating System.

With the term “hypoallergenic” so indiscriminately used and frequently confused with claims like “dermatologist tested”, “skin safe” and “natural”, this is a landmark study proving the VH-Rating System’s legitimacy at regulating the hypoallergenic claim.

Furthermore, data in the study confirmed that VMV PRODUCTS HAD LESS THAN 0.1% OF REACTIONS REPORTED IN 30 YEARS.

So if you have sensitive skin, keep VMV's VH-Numbers in mind. It is the only validated Hypoallergenic Cosmetic Rating System in the world, and it can significantly reduce the risk of cosmetic contact dermatitis and other reactions on your skin.

About VMV Hypoallergenics:

Created in 1979 by a renowned dermatologist-dermatopathologist, VMV Hypoallergenics has a remarkable track record of excellence and innovation. VMV has a proprietary, one-of-a-kind rating system for hypoallergenicity, which works like the “SPF” system but for hypoallergenicity. All VMV product claims are supported by evidence-based clinical studies – including randomized, double-blind, in vitro and in vivo studies – many of which have appeared in dermatological publications, and VMV patch tests every product, as well as every ingredient and raw material used in its formulations. The company’s track record and results have made VMV a safe product alternative in CAMP, the Contact Allergen Management Program of the American Contact Dermatitis Society.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Plum for the Picking

My friend Angela Operana-Batoon and her mom have been selling dresses in bazaars for a couple of years now, so when they finally found a home at 50th Avenue in Robinsons Galleria, she excitedly shared the good news with me! Their store is called PLUM, and I say their dresses are ripe for the picking!

PLUM is for women who want to be fashionable but want value for their money. They specialize in mostly fluid jersey dresses. "Versatile enough to take us from day-to-night in style", says Angela. Prices range from Php900-Php1,800.

If you've been needing stylish and figure flattering pieces but don't want to spend a lot acquiring them, now you know where to go!
50th Avenue, Robinson’s Galleria
Ortigas Center, Pasig City

For inquiries, comments and updates on new styles, like PLUM Manila on FACEBOOK!

Monday, July 25, 2011

New JC Wishlist!

Honeys, it's time to play assistant buyer again! With new designs and crazier ones out now, it's time to work on a whole new Jeffrey Campbell wishlist! Carissa & I rounded up a couple of styles. Let us know what you like so that there's a better chance that you get the pair you've been dreaming of! ;)

To keep it simple, let's do it like this:

Contact email or #: so it can be set aside for you if it makes the cut!

Benched in natural: also in black, grey, nude, rosa & tan

Cobra in black

Darian in Taupe: also in black, silver/gold, velvet

El Carmen in black & white polka dot

Elegant stud loafer in black

Foxy wood in grey: also in black, nude & multi glitter

Franklin 2 in white: also in black suede

Hot Stuff in black

Lana in black: also in brown distressed

Lita in Navy Suede

Mariel in tan suede: also in black suede, nude, and snakeskin

Obispo in natural

Sabine in nude

Safety in tan

Sassy in black: also in nude, red and turquoise

Suebee in rosa: also in patent black, nude and yellow

You may also choose to add to Fashion Forum Philippines JC wishlist page on Facebook too!

Madonna x Dolce & Gabbana Giveaway!

Happy Monday everyone! The week ahead looks so bright, you would want this pair of Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses designed in collaboration with pop icon, Madonna!

We will be giving away this gorgeous pair of MDG (Madonna x Dolce & Gabbana) sunnies to one lucky reader. I personally chose this style for the giveaway, and all you have to do to join is:

1). Leave a comment & tell me why you WANT these MDG sunglasses, along with your email address & Twitter ID:

"I WANT these MDG sunglasses because ______________!"
Email address: ________

Twitter ID: ________

2) Like my page on Facebook: MANILA FASHION OBSERVER

3) Add me on Twitter: @cd_mfo

4) I will pick 5 of my favorite comments and post it in the blog. My top 5 picks will be given instructions for a fun and exciting Round 2 by next Tuesday!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Samantha Sotto's Before Ever After

I don’t want to say that you shouldn’t be scared about trying out new things — because you should be.

Big life changes are, by their nature, terrifying. Being scared means that you’ve really thought about what you’re leaving and what you are planning to get into.

Fear isn’t a sign that you shouldn’t be pursuing something — it’s a test of whether you want it enough to risk failing at it. 

- Samantha Sotto, on her journey from hobby writer to published author

Last year, my friend Kris de Guzman introduced me to Sam Sotto-Yambao, "My Random House published friend!", Kris shared proudly. Sam had just signed a book deal with Random House, and her debut novel Before Ever After, was scheduled for release in 2011. Sam & I kept in touch since then, often times over email, and once over dimsum at Crystal Jade in Holland Village, when her family came over here to Singapore for vacation. Sam had excitedly and quite nervously talked about the launch of her book, but I knew in my heart it was going to be the talk of the literary community, if not amongst newbie writers who will read into her experience with a glimmer of hope.

Fast forward to now, and her book is now available in National Bookstore & Powerbooks (and selling out fast, as I type), and due for release in the US on August 2.

Sam's story is of the stuff that fairy tales are made of. And I am referring to her novel, as well as her personal journey to becoming a true novelist.

The unlikely tale of a young mom whiling her time by tapping away at a love story on her keyboard, while at Starbucks waiting for her son to get dismissed at Ateneo, to flying to New York to meet with her literary agent and editor at Random House Publishing in a matter of a year, is the sort of plot that aspiring novelists dream of. Heck, I think she is the first Filipino born & bred author to ever be published by Random House at that. UPDATE: I stand corrected, F. Sionil Jose is the first Filipino author to be published by Random House. Sam is the first Filipina =)

It is my pleasure to share with you Sam's amazing story, set in Europe, as well as Paranaque, Katipunan Avenue, Hong Kong & New York City.

Read about it HERE, it's in today's Philippine Star, and it's On the Radar!

Get glimpses of Samantha’s novel Before Ever After, at

Friday, July 22, 2011

So Bright We Have to Wear Shades

I had the time of my life while I was in Manila, and was invited by Eileen Marquez of Branded Lifestyle Inc., (the distributor of luxury & fashion eyewear in the country) to their office in Makati. If you know me well, I am obsessed with sunnies. I have a collection of what I consider to be iconic sunglasses and I would buy more if only I did not have a lot of others items on my wishlist. Sigh, right?

I literally felt like a kid in a candy store when I stepped foot inside the showroom and BLI Luxury Division's Vicky Marchadesch (Asst. General Manager) and Sugar Pecjo (Sr. Brand Manager) showed me rows upon rows of sunglasses from Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Tiffany & Co., Prada and Bulgari.

I swear, it was so fun going through all the frames. (Plus, I want their compartmentalized drawers too. Just imagine having one at home to keep all your eyewear in. Very organized, and just lovely to look at your collection all in one place.) If you like classic frames, there's plenty plenty to choose from. But to keep this post spicy and out of the ordinary, let's check out some of the stand-outs from their collections:

Yellow & purple printed sunnies from Versace's Alice in Wonderland Collection: According to Sugar, Versace is known for its loud, crazy designs, so when they went minimalist a few seasons ago, the reception was lukewarm. This collection harkens back to Versace's original roots.

Wanna do it like Naomi with Dolce & Gabbana's Animalier Collection?

The frames all come in Dolce & Gabbana's trademark animal print, and rendered in various colors like orange, red, yellow, turquoise, blue & purple. Crazy. Sexy. Cool. And out in stores this July!

Here's one of their best-selling lines: Dolce & Gabbana's Logo Plaque Edition frames - because hey, if a Pinoy is going to spend Php15,000 on sunglasses, the logo better be there, heeheehee.

How cute is this one? Solid on the outside, floral print on the inside!

Prada's clear cat eye frame...

...which is exactly like the ones seen on the Prada Spring 2010 runway. Yes, the exact one.

But wait, there's also the updated cat eye frame from Fall 2011. Called the Swing, it should be in Manila this October.

Oh and if you liked these Baroque frames from Prada's Spring 2011 collection, these are due in stores come September:

How about an outfit shot for inspiration?

Fashion forward!

Oh oh, and I also spotted these lola glamorosa lenses from Bulgari. I can so imagine coiffured grandmas  loving these. Heehee.

But if I had to choose from all these frames, I would of course still go for the classics. I pretend shopped and zoomed in on these 3:
My top 3 picks from top to bottom: Prada, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana. If only I can buy all three!

Thanks so much Vicky, Sugar and CJ for letting me browse through your collections! I can imagine what fun it must be like to go to work with a showroom of sunnies & spectacles (which reminds me, I have got to show you the cutest eyeglass frames from D&G ever in another post) right in your office. Uhmmm, expect me to keep visiting you girls at work whenever you have new stuff in, heehee!

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