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Archive for the ‘Mall’ Category

A Decent Burger Spot

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Ever since moving to the Philippines, it’s been a disappointing search for a decent hamburger. Either the bread wasn’t great, the toppings were insufficient, or (the worst) the burger was not all beef – and not a blend of another meat, some kind of filler made it obvious restaurants were not serving a 100% meat patty.

Did have a smidge of hope with the monthly burger pop-up at The District by Ayala, in Talisay, but that went to the wayside after too many occasions having to wait because they opened without having their beef patties or buns ready for service; just unprofessional.

Burger chain Zark’s opened up at SM City and, after visiting twice, it’s a pretty good spot and the price isn’t too bad. Enjoyed the Black Mamba on the first visit, came with a really delicious and sweet barbeque sauce; on the last visit, tried the Shaq, topped with onion rings and bacon.

For something as simple as a sandwich comprised of a bun, burger patty, lettuce, tomato, and any other additional toppings, it’s incredible how many places get it wrong. Zark’s has a huge menu and there are so many more to try – so far, so good.

The Shaq, a cheeseburger topped with onion rings and bacon.

The Shaq, a cheeseburger topped with onion rings and bacon.

There was an incident with the hostess on the last visit. Apparently, some fellow food photographers have taken the rather tacky habit to an all new level. The customer, who ordered takeout, asked to have the food brought out on a place for her to take a photo, to add to that, she asked the seating hostess to hold the plate as she took the photo.

That was some pure idiocy, on the part of the customer, and very bad judgement from the seating hostess.


Written by Paulo Loreto

April 17, 2016 at 12:19 AM

Food Court at the Marina Bay Sands

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Wandering around the Shoppes at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, passing several high-end restaurants and cafes, walking down a long corridor of stores and boutiques, it ended at a food court cul-de-sac.

The food court was vast and larger than the typical selection offered at your standard mall. It, literally, offered treats from all around the world, from ramen to burgers to desserts.

Stopped at a glass case that featured a variety of Singaporean foods – which, essentially, was a combination of Chinese, Malaysian, and Indian dishes – it was the smells and colors that helped make the very difficult decision of where to grab lunch. Starting with a serving of rice, took a gander of the offerings and pointed to dish after dish including shrimp with bitter gourd and a curry entrée, and ended up with a full plate of goodness.

The flavors of the food were out of this world and everything that was expected to be spicy definitely delivered. Of course, the food available at that specific food stall wasn’t much different than what one could pick up at a local place around town, but definitely a nice offering in the grandeur of the Marina Bay Sands.

Marina Bay Sands

Written by Paulo Loreto

June 27, 2015 at 8:52 AM

Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre and Gold Centre

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With the rapid development and modernization of a city like Abu Dhabi, coming across a fixture that differs from its surrounding environment is truly a find.

From its exterior, the Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre looks like it has had better days. Beyond the intense noontime heat, the beige building harkens back to the vast desert that surrounds the city.

Once inside, it’s a bustling market.

Somewhere between a mainstream suburban mall and a local souk. Wandering around, there are numerous shops that sell local fashions, fabrics, and perfumes; move to another floor, electronics and modern “necessities” like mobile phones. And, of course, for a place that calls itself a “Gold Centre,” there is a multitude of jewelry outlets.

The Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre lists on their website, in the section labeled "Our Principles," their driving spirit: Vision, Values, Ventures.

The Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre lists on their website, in the section labeled “Our Principles,” their driving spirit: Vision, Values, Ventures.

Written by Paulo Loreto

July 9, 2014 at 4:29 PM