Food Tasting at Maginhawa Street – Crazy Katsu

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I would say that I’m pretty much lucky living NEAR Maginhawa Street in Diliman Quezon City.  See the emphasis? Yep, I wouldn’t dread living IN Maginhawa street because it’s always busy, crowded, traffic, and can be noisy BUT I’m glad that I’m like five minutes away because I get to try almost all the restaurants they have (as they come and go)

Before it got crowded and filled with so many different restaurants (and even services), there were some first restaurants that are still standing.  One of them is Crazy Katsu.

Three or four years ago, Crazy Katsu is the first ever Japanese Restaurant along Maginhawa.  It’s pretty popular even up to now especially when they have decided to expand their place.  Here’s my take on it:

LOCATION: It’s along Maginhawa street meaning parking is very challenging.  I recommend to take a tricycle (or walk) for neighboring people but for visitors coming from other cities, leave your cars please.

PLACE: Now, it can accommodate like almost 15-20 customers (in and out)  It is air-conditioned.  Tables and chairs are made of wood and chairs don’t have backrest.

FOOD: Prices are very affordable.  Meals cost like P150 to P200++ As for the taste, I can say it justifies the price.

MY RECOMMENDATION: My favorite is their Pork Ginger It’s sweet and a little bit of spicy.  The dish is served with plain rice and their own version of coleslaw or mixed shredded vegetables.  My second favorite is Chicken Katsu It’s their specialty.  It’s kind of different with other fast-food Japanese restaurant because the plate contained of sauce (mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, chopped chili and onions) with shredded cabbage soaked in it.Then topped with strips of Breaded Chicken Fillet served with rice in a separate plate.  Make sure that the chicken fillet is cooked well, otherwise it’s going to be a meal gone wrong.

MY PERSONAL RATING: I give this place 3.5 at of 5 stars because they need to expand their menu a little more.  I think they only have 5 main dishes and one single appetizer (which is gyoza)

Service is prompt and personnel are courteous even if it’s packed.

Taxi Drivers’ Modus

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I have heard about so many “modus” of taxi drivers.  Tampered meter, rejecting passengers, will request additional fee in the middle of the trip, hold-up, and the latest…”Spray”.

For those who don’t know, these evil drivers have spray with them.  I’ve no idea what the contents of this spray but it smelled like mint/vanilla that will make you (the passenger) feel groggy.  By the time your conscious, it’s either you’re in a different place, you’ve been dumped somewhere, all your stuff are gone, or anything much worse than the things I’ve mentioned.

I took a cab almost often.  I used an app called Grab Taxi.  This is a safe way to get a cab wherever you are and whatever the time of the day.  It has an additional fee of 50 to 70 pesos on top of the fare.  There are some days where booking fee is for free.

Last night, I was about to get a cab through Grab Taxi when I saw that the taxi queue has a long line of cabs in front of Centris Station in Quezon Avenue.  I told to myself that it’s probably safe to get a cab there so I didn’t use the app.

My friend and I were busy chatting when I heard a distinct sound of something being sprayed and smelled something vanilla-like.  I saw the driver wiping his face with a hand towel as if he was covering it.  In a few seconds, I can feel my legs and arms being numbed.  I asked the driver to stop the cab, he did and we took off.

I was so afraid.  The sad part was, I wasn’t able to get the details of the cab because of too much panic.  He might be lurking and looking for new victims.  I decided to write this blog to share to you guys out there to be very careful in riding a cab.  Please use Grab Taxi because it’s safer.  You get all the details of the driver including a picture.

I really hope that our Government will do something about this.  It is quite challenging how to apprehend this evil people because even if they were already caught by the police, they couldn’t get any evidence to put them on bars.

False Advertising

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My friend was looking for a customized varsity jacket because she plans to give it as a gift to her friend’s one-year old son who was currently having a short vacation here in the Philippines.

I saw numerous stalls located in the underpass of Quezon Blvd and C. M. Recto.  Most of the shops only accept bulk orders.  I did find one who accepts per piece order but it’ll take like a week to have it done.

I went to Cartimar because I did see Graffiti Art Development Cooperative in the net but the numbers indicated there don’t seem to work anymore.

I got excited because they accept per piece order, it only takes 4 days to make them and the price is similar to the others I have checked out.

Wednesday, I came back with my friend.  They agreed already with the design, the color, the name, and the like.  The jacket costs P700 for a one-year old boy.  Kind of pricey but she said it’s going to be worth it.  “Perla” and “Ariel” took our order and “Perla” said it will be done on Friday even if “Ariel” was a bit hesitant because he said the customized jackets are made for 4 days but “Perla” was pretty much confident.

Come Friday (the day of the pick-up), I texted them to remind them of our order.  The one who replied my message only said “Alin ba yon text ko na wla gray and blue” then I replied “Wala po akong natatanggap na text”.  They didn’t reply.  But when I said that we are okay with whatever color they have, that was the time we received a text “Okay, Wednesday.”  It was a bit annoying because we didn’t receive any text.  If they didn’t receive a reply from us, would it hurt if they call us or just ring our phone to check if our phone is working? We let this slip because my friend didn’t need the jacket that urgent and “Ariel” did say it will take them 4 days to finish it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013, I texted them to remind them again that I will pick-up the jacket.  I received a text “Kay Villanueva” then I replied “Opo”.  After that, I didn’t receive any message anymore.

When I arrived the shop, “Emily” and “Perla” told me that the person in-charge of sewing the names didn’t go to work.  I just don’t understand why didn’t they tell me beforehand.  My friend was pretty upset about it but “Emily” said everything will be done tomorrow.

Thursday, I texted again.  I received a reply “Ok lang ba wala na buntot hiwahiwalay na lang”.  I didn’t understand what she meant so I called her up but she won’t pick-up.  Gradually, I assume that the tail she was referring to was the font of the name.  I replied “Ok lang basta all capital letters.”

When I arrived there, I was shocked to see that the name wasn’t embroidered.  It was heat press.  “Emily” even said that “Tinext ko sa’yo yan ah”  Really??? I told her “Wala kang sinabing hindi sya naka-burda, ang sabi mo lang walang buntot.”  My God, can you imagine the inconvenience this shop has made to us?  I can’t understand why they’re like this.  She even promised me last time I went there that she will have this embroidered by a different shop if the tailor won’t still go to work.  Now she has an alibi that “other shops” won’t accept it because they too have pending orders.  That’s BULL!!!! Don’t commit.  Is that hard to do?  Inform us all the time…don’t wait for us to come to your shop before you tell us that there’s a problem.  Was it because we only ordered one piece versus the bulk orders you get from big companies or establishments from Teleperformance and Miriam College?  You could’ve told us from the start that you are only accepting bulk orders instead of putting us in this unpleasant situation.  Shame on you!  You thought you can treat us like this because we just needed one child-size customized jacket?

I hope this blog will reach a lot of people especially to those who would like to order customized jackets and willing to go out of their way going to Recto just to get a lower price.  It’s not worth it.  I’m telling you.  They don’t know how to treat their customers right.

My friend’s there now as I type this blog because they promise us that it’ll be ready at 12 noon.  Guess what, it’s still not done.  Calling Mr. Exzur Lardizabal, if you’re the owner of Graffiti Art Dev’t Cooperative located in Cartimar, Recto, maybe you want to check your staff there.  I don’t think they’re doing a pretty good job.

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How Zest Air ALMOST ruined our Vacation

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We availed a great deal with Zest Air a month ago for Boracay.  Our flight was 5:30AM and we were there at the airport (Terminal 4) quarter to 3.  When it was exactly 3AM, one of my friends went to the check-in area and asked if we can check in already.  After a few minutes, my friend went back to the group and told us the our flight was canceled. I was the first one to react (violently) because it was a struggle on my part to have this vacation to push thru.  But my friend was instructed by your ground steward that it was moved to 6:55AM so we all assumed that she meant that our flight was delayed not canceled.

When we were in line and reached the counter, I was so surprised to hear from your ground steward that our flight was indeed canceled and that we were now “chance passenger”.  How can that be possible?  Was it because we availed a promo only so the airline can do whatever they want?  Why were we not informed beforehand and why have we become a “chance passenger”?  We didn’t arrive late and we didn’t cancel our flight so I think that it would be unfair on our part to wait for a flight where we can be bumped in.  I think that is so unprofessional.

I was really upset and I can feel my cheeks burning especially when I saw that your ground steward was not at all apologetic.  She was not even sympathetic with the situation your airline company did to us.  She even told me that we cannot join the 6:55AM flight because it was already full.  Was that our fault?  Did you expect us to just wait until a flight is open to accommodate us? Didn’t you think of the inconvenience that will cause this?  The schedule you will ruin?  There is a reason why customers/passengers picked that specific flight schedule is because they have already planned how to spend the entire day.  What if we were in a convention or attending a wedding or something similar? How can you compensate on that?  You couldn’t even apologize properly.  Is that what we get in availing promo?  Oh Zest Air you better do something about your customer service because bloggers like me can really bring you down.  You should read what I had to say about Air Phil Express.  I wasn’t at all surprised when they changed their name to PAL Express.  I’m sure a lot of bloggers already aired out their dissatisfaction with the service.

When that ground steward gave me that blank face, I really, really want to slap her but instead I asked where her supervisor was.  She left the counter talked to someone for like 10 minutes and came back and told us to wait because they are now looking for an aircraft to accommodate us all (yes, it was now a big group that your company caused great inconvenience).  I asked what time, she said again with no affection that to wait on the side.

I immediately surfed the net and looked for the recent law posted for cancellation of flights and I quote: “In case of flight cancellation attributable to the carrier, a passenger shall have the right to:

(a) Be notified beforehand via public announcement, written/published notice flight status update service (text); – which we never received and I bet a lot of passengers for that same flight experienced the same.

(b) Be provided of the following, if she/he is already at the airport at the time of the announcement of the flight cancellation; sufficient refreshments or meals (e.g. snacks consisting of at least a bottle of water and a sandwich, or breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a voucher for the same, as the case may be); hotel accommodation (conveniently accessible from the airport); transportation from the airport to the hotel, v.v; free phone calls, text or e-mails, and first aid, if necessary and – never happened.  not even an apology.  they just stared at us and said the there was an aircraft something that they didn’t not explain further.

(c) Reimbursement of the value of the fare, including taxes and surcharges, of the sector cancelled

(d) Be endorsed to another air carrier without paying any fare difference, at the option of the passenger, and provided that space and other circumstances permit such re-accommodation – Instead they told us we will be “chance passenger”.  They should prioritize us first and not wait for a vacant or empty aircraft that will come along. What if the next “available aircraft” the next day, can they compensate the entire day they have taken away from us?

(e) Rebook the ticket, without additional charge, to the next flight with available space, or, within thirty days – that’s what they did after a lot of passengers started to shout at your ground steward because you cannot even give a concrete explanation why the flight was canceled.

We all have a feeling the Zest Air overbooked and didn’t expect that for the flight Z2 304, everyone will arrive.  A co-passenger said that they received a text past 11 in the evening that the flight was canceled but has read it the next day.  Your hotline is open until 11 in the evening so what help did it give in announcing it if the hotline is already unavailable?

No supervisor arrived but they were able to bump us in the 6:55AM which was a puzzle because the ground steward has just informed us that the plane was already full.  Did it magically have extra 15 seats to accommodate angry passengers?  Wow that must be awesome to ride in a magical plane that can accommodate whatever number of passengers.  And what made me cringe was hearing another ground steward saying “Wala ng dadagdag ha, 15 lang itong isasama ko.”  15?!?!? Really?!?!? There were only 15 passengers availed the flight Z2 304?  So if some passengers arrived, sorry nalang sila?  My goodness, do you even call this customer service?  Mas grabe pa kayo sa mga di nakatapos ng pagaaral. And you call yourselves professionals?  Shame on you!  You have no right to call yourselves professional people.  You don’t know the meaning of it.

Presidents, CEO, Stock holders please help your customers.  What’s wrong with your customer service team?  Were they not properly trained?  Even the flight stewards do not show any emotions.  They don’t smile and they don’t say “Thank You” to the passengers.  I can’t believe this.  I have another flight this year also with the same airline and I’m afraid I will experience this again.  Can you imagine the stress you are giving to your passengers?  I wish lawmakers would create a harsher punishment to these airline companies so they will take their jobs seriously instead of saying “chance passenger kayo because your flight has been canceled”.

Image Logo courtesy of another blogger who was also dissatisfied with Zest Air’s service.

Shame on You

My parents are already on their senior…well, senior citizens to be exact.  The only time that my parents can relax and really unwind is the time that they will be able to watch a movie (inside the cinema) for free.

I am happy to hear that Senior Citizens not only get discounts on food, transportation, and medicine but they are also privileged to watch movies for free every Monday and Tuesday from first screening until 5 PM.

For the past months, or probably a year already, my parents usually go to SM City North Edsa because it is accessible from our place and my dad is already familiar with the way and the parking area.  My dad is already in his seventies and he doesn’t like complicated parking areas.

Last week, my mom complained to me because for the longest time that they have been going there at SM City North Edsa to watch movie, even if I literally begged them to just go to Trinoma which is just across it, their choices of free movies were trimmed down to two options.  They know that the latest movies can’t be seen for free yet but that is not the issue here.  The issue was why did they cut down the choices to two?  Also, who in the world would watch a movie on a Monday morning when almost everybody is at work or school?

They let the incident go because it seems the attendant wasn’t well-trained to answer their inquiries.  However, last Monday, June 25, 2012, my parents went back there to do their usual routine.  To their surprise, the same free movie last week was the only available movies for this week also.  I think that is pure cheating.  Why would they do this to old people?  What a shame!

When they asked the attendant, all she could utter was “Ganun po talaga e.”  In translation, that is just how it is so you better live with it.  She was lucky that my parents are not the time who make a scene and demand in a very loud voice.  What they did, they went to Trinoma even if they have to walk.

It was a good thing that they did because it was worth the trip.  My parents appreciated the cinemas at Trinoma even more because they could watch almost all the movies there for free.  They said that the seats were very comfortable, the sound system was spectacular, and the movie house per se was clean and very classy as to compare to SM City.

They will never again go back to SM City North Edsa for the movies because they could not even maintain a quality movie house even the prices of the tickets were pretty much the same with Trinoma and the customer service was just appalling.  Just wait until this complaint reaches QC Hall.