Nicole’s New York-themed birthday dinner

Its a fact: Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles loves New York. The model turned fashion designer started her love affair with the famous city the moment she arrived to study in Parsons. When she was living there, I remember hearing her talk non-stop about how vibrant and alive it was; that it was like no other place she’s been to. And now that she is based here in Manila, I can only imagine how much she misses NYC. She’s told us before that she would go back in a heartbeat if there was an opportunity.

So for her birthday, we all went to New York. And no, we didn’t fly there nor did we take any form of transportation to get there. We brought the city to us, thanks to the NYC-themed birthday dinner organized by Alessa Lanot and Chef Ed Bugia of Pipino Vegetarian restaurant.

Dinner was at 6pm. And guess what: we were all on time! Actually, Alessa wasn’t done decorating the place when we arrived. But she only needed to add some minor touches.

So while waiting for the rest to arrive, we bought cupcakes.

Red velvet and green tea cupcakes.

Lemongrass ginger and cucumber + vanilla cinnamon cupcakes

Taro chips.

We found Nicole in the kitchen, where Chef Ed was busy cooking up a feast.

My lovies.

Sliced watermelon with pepper: looks interesting.

White corn.

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When Alessa was done fixing the place she called us to come see her New York-theme party favors.

So adorable. Party hats made of New York subway maps.

One had a blue pompom: that’s for the celebrant.

And, goodie bags that say: I heart Nic! Too cute! Btw, I brought two bags home with me (shhh). Inside were taro chips and vegan bagoong.

Alessa told me she used a silk screen for this. I love it, she is so creative.

Noticing the details of the place.

Love that there’s a bulletin board and a chalk board in the restaurant.

Party hats on: me, Meryll Chavez, Bianca Santiago-Reinoso, Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles, Alessa Lanot and Patty Laurel.

Spot the difference.

Trying to wear it in a different way.

Haha this is Patty’s way.

And Bianca’s naman: major shoulder pads.

So excited to eat at this point.

Chef Ed with Nicole.

This corn was so delish! It was served with cashew cheese. Chef Ed said he was inspired by Cafe Habana.

Lemongrass drink.

Next meal on the list: walnut salad with dalandan dressing.

And last (for me): watermelon steak with taro mash.

I never tried grilled watermelon before. What a great idea!

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Sadly, I had to leave after this (you’ll know where I went when you read my next entry). I missed out on the spicy tofu, puttanesca and awesome walnut chocolate cake. Very very sad. The good news is: I can always go back! 🙂

Pipino Vegetarian
39 Malingap Street, Teachers Village
Quezon City, Philippines

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