My dad gives me a “love letter” twice a year, on Christmas and on my birthday. He’s an eloquent, expressive man and his letters make me tear – he always tells me how proud he is of me. You can see that the envelope is addressed to “Lori Pie.” I don’t know how it started but my dad has called me that for as long as I can remember.
The necklace and ring are from my sister, Tricia. She knows how much I adore accessories and is more than happy to feed my addiction.
The board on which the letter and jewelry rest is a present from my mom. Looking at my photos, it’s obvious that I have a fondness for wood.
A large box of truffles from The Peninsula Manila together with a card teeming with affection. “Don’t forget to share the truffles with your Bin and Boo!” So says Garch, my dear friend and the hotel’s Director of Communications.
Because a birthday isn’t complete with cake, this one I love from my friends at Starbucks Philippines. Chocolate. Fudge. Oh my. And the best thing: edible glitter.
I’ve never been to Breakfast at Antonio’s (BaA) so on my birthday, I drive all the way out there. My best friend, Bal, takes the day off to be with me and our road trip is replete with laughs and non-stop conversation. Friends you’ve known forever are the best.
On a birthday, calories don’t count. At BaA, Gratinated Portobello Mushrooms & Berry-Glazed Duck Liver on whole wheat toast (P700). This is aromatic with gruyere and slippery with silken foie gras. But it’s the addition of those two fried eggs that nudges this dish into bliss. Also in photo: Bacon, Mushroom, & Cheese Omelette (P425) and a Basket of Bread (P175).
Three hours into our conversation, I need a liquid lubricant. My choice: a Passionfruit Cordial. It’s fizzy and sends a pleasurable tingle down my spine.
When I get back home, I see gifts from friends. The mason jar glasses are from Bal. “Because I know how much you love them so,” he says. The personalized board (see how much I love boards?) is from Julia Morales, who runs O&M Home, Inc., a curated online homeware business. The baby carrots and chard are from BaA.
In the evening, drinks with my Bin at Bistro du Vin. We have white wine and an absolute stunner of a dish, Garlic Herb Escargot on Bone Marrow with Garlic Confit (P845). The escargots are meaty, reminiscent of portobello mushrooms; their earthiness a foil to the unctuousness of marrow – that blessed marrow! – and the smoothness of garlic tamed by heat.
I never forgot about Prime 101, the restaurant where I celebrated my birthday two years ago, and so tonight I return. We enjoy the same Baked Portobello Mushrooms, Truffle Pasta, and this steak. It’s the Signature Series Mayura Wagyu. With a 9.5++ rating, it’s a dish that inspires fervent thanks for carnivorous joys. The meat has bite, similar to that which I had in Kobe, Japan, and an accompanying complex flavor. Every bite is buttery and fills the mouth with silk and juiciness gilded with fat. God bless, how I love my birthday!
Establishments/purveyors mentioned in this article:
Breakfast at Antonio’s
Bistro du Vin
Ground Floor, Edades Tower & Garden Villas, Rockwell, Makati
2226 Chino Roces St. (beside Don Bosco), Makati
02 720 8674