One of my close friends came back to manila from overseas and he brought a ton of souvenirs and groceries which he accumulated from his travels. I think it’s extremely interesting to see the kind of food which could be bought in international super markets!

My friend’s flight arrived really late in the evening local time, so we snacked on some Malaysian chocolates which he packed in his bags (for extra energy to stay awake lol). Beryl’s brand makes really yummy sweets and these chewy marshmallow goodies embedded in silky smooth white chocolate with strawberries were just excellent. The burst of tartness from the fruit balances the overall sweetness of this treat. Visit their official website here

These are crackers smothered in a sweet cheese spread. They do go well with coffee!

Some cute magnets from Oslob Cebu, Bohol and Kuching Malaysia. They are all so adorable!

South Korean chocolates! My friend brought me Market O branded sweets before and they make really delicious chocolate brownies!

Honey cheese spreads from Bohol, Philippines. The honey are produced from their local bee farms. I’ve never been to Bohol, but it’s my dream to visit there one day!


Japanese (spiciest!) curry and Soumen cup noodles. I love both soumen and curry so much! So these made me extremely happy!


Rose tea (dried roses) from China. You steep these flowers in hot water to make aromatic cups of tea.


Well, my friend was gravely disappointed because he was actually expecting for the roses to bloom once we put them in hot water, but instead the flowers just stayed soaked haha. They taste bitter as a drink, however the roses indeed looked lovely as the colors of the petals faded in the water over time. Not everyone enjoyed it flavor wise though lol.


I’ve never tried Black Tea spread, but this brand from SK was so addictive! The ingredients stated that it contains 2% Black Tea powder, Vegetable cream(???) Rapeseed oil, Palm oil and Black Tea flavor. Well, we all know palm oil is extremely unhealthy and should be avoided but for this I shall make an exception since this is my first Black tea spread lol. It has a smooth consistency which goes great on bread especially soft chewy buns! (Although we definitely could finish off a whole jar just by snacking on it haha) There’s a slight bitter aftertaste from the tea but the product is still quite sweet, like a tea flavored nutella spread (ONLY BETTER! I don’t really care for nutella lol) If you see this around South Korea, BUY IT ASAP!! Recommended for tea and sweets lovers. One of my friends also sent me the matcha version of this spread with almonds (albeit a different brand) I polished it off all by myself, eating it straight from the jar!

Some colorful specialty cakes from Kuching! Kuching is known as the cat city in Sarawak, Malaysia and there’s a theory that the name was derived from the Malay word for cat “kucing” The design of these cakes are just adorable and even at the side, it looks like there’s a spotted pattern like a leopard’s tail. haha. The taste is a little sweet and they’re like a dense spongecake. They go perfectly well with tea!


My friend’s cat themed coin purse from Kuching. SO CUTE!!


Laksa paste! I just love cooking ingredients from foreign countries.


We used some of the Tom Yum paste for the following night’s cooking sesh!


Grocery ingredients for Tom Yum! We used raw shrimps as our main meat in the dish with lots of vegetables: kangkong, cauliflower, carrots and onions. We also added generous amounts of baby corn, tomatoes and oyster mushrooms. Yum!


First: chop up all of the ingredients.


Next, heat up the water in a pan, add the cauliflower, onions, shrimp, carrots, mushrooms and baby corn. Simmer.


Add the Tom Yum paste then the leaves and tomatoes last so they won’t be too soggy. Cook until done then serve hot!


For the curry, we boiled the beef on the stove for an hour or so to soften the meat, then cooked everything with the curry sauce, carrots and onions. Partner with some white rice for delicious curry rice!


Dinner is served!


Everything was delicious!! The flavors were quite spicy though!! haha My friends didn’t think so, because of course they live in Malaysia so this level of spice is nothing for them. I enjoy cooking so much especially with my friends and I was glad we made Tom Yum (and for the first time for me yey!)