Monday, May 14, 2012

HK 88 Dessert: Cool and Healthy Treats! (Closed)

If you've been reading my previous posts, you'd figure that I have a passion for desserts.  So, when we Tsinoy Foodies saw HK 88 Dessert at the 999 Shopping Mall Food Court, we simply can't pass up the chance to try.

hk 88 dessert
HK 88 Dessert does not only offer salads, but they have beverages and salads too.  But, of course, desserts are their primary line.  They have so many choices to offer that we had a difficulty in deciding which to order.

black pearl sago dessert with italian style herb jelly
Black Pearl Sago Dessert with Italian Style Herb Jelly (80 php)
Although the Black Pearl Sago Dessert with Italian Style Herb Jelly is still visually appealing, I can't help but notice how different it was from its colorful menu counterpart.  I find it pretty refreshing.  It has melon balls, fruit seeds, jelly strips, coconut milk and crushed ice.  I enjoyed this.

mango pancake
 Mango Pancake (90 php)
Fellow Tsinoy Foodie Kurt chose the Mango Pancake since pancakes were the recommendation of the Chinese proprietor.   Upon tasting it, he said it tasted like Durian so he didn't want to it eat.  Although I'm also very satisfied with my order, I had to finish this or it would be a waste.  The Mango Pancake had a thin and smooth crepe-like shell with light cream and real mango bits in the middle.  It was pretty good but surprisingly very heavy to eat.  The whole thing had a scent and slight taste of Durian as if they were refrigerated together for a long time.  It didn't bother me since I love Durian and find it quite fragrant.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
HK 88 Dessert serves a lot of authentic Hongkong desserts at an affordable price.  They have a great way of incorporating fruits into desserts.  We'll definitely come back and try their other offerings.  

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating HK 88 Dessert Menu
Ambiance Menu | Menu 2 |
Menu 3 | Menu 4 | 
=Favorites or Recommended 
HK 88 Dessert
Business Address
4F 999 Shopping Mall
Soler St. Binondo,
Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-7pm (mall hours)
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge

Budget/Person 50-150
Free WiFi No


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Phat Wong Asian Cafe: Fulfilling Sharing Menu and More! (Closed)

It's only been a few weeks since my friends and I met and had a series of food trips together.  We've always loved eating as a group so its quite perfect that we discovered  Phat Wong Asian Cafe at LRI Design Plaza along Nicanor Garcia in Makati.  When I first heard the name, I was misled to think that "Phatis Fat. =D  The name is a bit tricky.

Phat Wong Asian Cafe is an Asian restaurant under the wing of Chef Ariel Manuel, the multi-awarded chef behind Lolo Dad's Cafe and Lolo Dad's Brasserie.  Together with Marge Villanueva who is also from Lolo Dad's Cafe, they are able to create the quality dishes focused on Asian cuisine.
phat wong
Phat Wong Asian Cafe is a casual restaurant or cafe that gives off a sensual and artistic feel through its unique chained lights and expensive paintings hanged on its walls.   Aside from the main dining area with square and round wooden tables and rattan chairs, it has a cozy lounge with olive over-sized armed chairs, a small bar and the kitchen is also visible.


Group Sharing Menu
Although this is for mother's day, they intend to extend this for a longer period

phat wong group sharing menu
Group Sharing Menu For 3 (1,380 php)
Since we were a group of four with fellow Tsinoy Foodie Kurt, we opted to try the Group Sharing Menu For 3.  We was only when the orders came out one after another that we realized how many they were.

Oriental Entrees
heart of palm and peanut butter slaw with sauteed scallop
 Heart of Palm and Peanut Butter Slaw with Sauteed Scallop 
The Heart of Palm and Peanut Butter Slaw with Sauteed Scallop was served with fresh greens, shredded heart of palm and vegetables, crunchy peanut butter and sauteed scallop.  The play of different flavors and textures in this salad is the key to its success.  This is the first salad, I've ever tried with peanut butter and it was really good.  We all loved this and enjoyed the generous amount of scallops in it.

green tea noodles salad with soft tofu and soy vinaigrette
Green Tea Noodles Salad With Soft Tofu And Soy Vinaigrette 
The Green Tea Noodles Salad With Soft Tofu And Soy Vinaigrette is green tea noodles soaked oil and soy vinaigrette topped with  soft tofu cubes, nori (seaweeds) and sesame seeds.  The noodles which looked like soba was pretty good.  The nori and soy vinaigrette is a good contrast to the oil but I prefer the other salads because I'm not a fan of oil-based.

asian spiced cured salmon on beansprouts and mushroom salad
Asian Spiced Cured Salmon on Beansprouts and Mushroom Salad
I found the Asian Spiced Cured Salmon on Beansprouts and Mushroom Salad very refreshing becuase of the crunchy under-cooked beansprouts.  The fresh salmon, green and red bell peppers and two kinds of mushroom were great complements to the plain tasting but crunchy beansprouts.

ox tail molo soup
Ox Tail Molo Soup
The Ox Tail Molo Soup was very flavorful.  We could really taste the ox tail even though there were only small bits in the soup.  This is one of the best molo soups, we have ever tried.

Main Entrees
miso glazed chilean sea bass
Miso Glazed Chilean Sea bass
The Miso Glazed Chilean Sea bass is large chunks of perfectly cooked sea bass with a strong miso glaze.  It was delicious!  

steamed ginger chicken
 Steamed Ginger Chicken
The Steamed Ginger Chicken is my favorite among the main entrees.  They were able to bring out the taste of the chicken enhanced by the pungent ginger.  The chicken bits were tender too.

szechuan sauteed beef
Szechuan Sauteed Beef 
The Szechuan Sauteed Beef had a spicy and salty taste.  The flavors were strong that I suggest eating it with rice.

curried prawns with yogurt
 Curried Prawns with Yogurt
The Curried Prawns with Yogurt is delightful!  I never even thought that curry and yogurt would go so well.  

braised pork knuckles with steamed mini buns
Braised Pork Knuckle with Steamed Mini Buns
The Braised Pork Knuckle with Steamed Mini Buns is pretty good.  But, they could add a bit more of those steamed mini buns.  

tea scented long grain rice
Tea Scented Long Grain Rice
jackfruit panna cotta toasted coffee crouton and ube ice cream  and banana chocolate samosa
 Jackfruit Panna-Cotta, Toasted Coffee Crouton and Ube Ice Cream
and Banana Chocolate Samosa
I really adored the Jackfruit Panna-Cotta, Toasted Coffee Crouton and Ube Ice Cream.  It is a combination of all my favorites!  I love jackfruit, coffee and ube ice cream.  I just never imagine they would all blend in accordingly.  This is a great innovative dessert.  The Banana Chocolate Samosa is also a great crunchy yet creamy and chewy filled treat.


Shrimp, Pomelo and Young Coconut in Coconut Milk and Lime Dressing
Shrimp, Pomelo and Young Coconut in Coconut Milk and Lime Dressing (270 php)
The Shrimp, Pomelo and Young Coconut in Coconut Milk and Lime Dressing is one of Phat Wong Asian Cafe's best seller.  It has a fascinating presentation.  The white part is actually an off shell young coconut containing the pomelo, mixed greens, shrimps, cilantro and peanuts.  The delicious dressing is a medley of coconut milk, lime and oil.  It is light and refreshing.  

House Specials 
hainanese chicken
Hainanese Chicken (420 php)
Their Hainanese Chicken is also a must try!  It's an imported yellow feet chicken from Hongkong.          It is served with rice, soup and the traditional condiments.  I didn't get to try this because I was already stuffed though.

halo halo moderno
Halo-Halo Moderno (170 php)
The Halo-Halo Moderno is Phat Wong's popular main-stay dessert.  As much as I love halo-halo, I have to come back for it another time. =(

*credits to fellow Tsinoy Foodie Kurt for providing some of the photos

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Phat Wong Asian Cafe offers a new twist to Asian cuisine.  They served dishes that is not only pleasing to the eyes but to the taste buds as well.  Phat Wong Asian Cafe can also hold art exhibits for artists.  Compared to other restaurants under Chef Ariel Manuel, the price here is more affordable.   Phat Wong Asian Cafe gave us left us with a good first impression of Chef Ariel Manuel and we hope to try his other restaurants in the future.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Phat Wong Asian Cafe Menu
Ambiance Menu
=Favorites or Recommended 
Phat Wong Asian Cafe
Business Address
G/F LRI Design Plaza, 
210 Nicanor Garcia, Bela Air II, 
Makati, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-10pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Free WiFi No
Contact (02) 298-3573 / (02) 555-1346
Other  Facebook Fan Page
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McDonald's: New Iced Premium Roast Coffee Vanilla Flavor

Since the advertisements look enticing, we decided to go on McDonald's Drive-Thru just for their new Iced Premium Roast Coffee Vanilla Flavor.

Iced Premium Roast Coffee Vanilla Flavor (49 php)
The Iced Premium Roast Coffee Vanilla Flavor is offered at a lower cost compared to famous coffee shops and cafe.  It has a light color for a cold coffee don't you think?  Upon tasting, I could tell that it's really iced and a bit diluted.  This is okay for kids I guess.  But, not for me.  Guess, the offerings at McCafe are better but more pricier too.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Iced Premium Roast Coffee Vanilla Flavor Price
Ambiance 49 php
=Favorites or Recommended 

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino: Genuinely Good!

Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino is a Vegan restaurant owned by the Pino Group and Alessandra Lanot.  The first time I came to know about it was when the band Taking Back Sunday dined there during their visit here in Manila.  But, I never would have the courage to try it out if not for my dear friends.  I guess you could infer that we enjoyed healthy food so much that we are now going further by trying out Vegan dishes.

pipino vegetarian food by pino
Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino is located on on the second floor of Pino Restaurant and Bar along Malingap Street, Teacher Village in Quezon City.  Despite it's limited space, it embodies an artsy and cute atmosphere.  It has a colorful menu board, furnished wooden picnic tables and a humble counter.  The place is enhanced by the beautiful day light coming from its large glass window.

As a child, I was grew up to despise Vegan dishes.  When you mention Vegan food, my mind goes off to the bland tasting root crop selections I was forced to eat at Buddhist temples or the rubbery meat imitation made of gluten that had a weird aftertaste.  So honestly, I was quite skeptic about Pipino.

tofu lemongrass skewers
Tofu Lemongrass Skewers (145 php)
The Tofu Lemongrass Skewers is topped with alfalfa and drenched in chili garlic sauce.  I was quite surprised when I bit into it because the texture is amazingly like minced pork.  Its appetizing look is as truthful as it can be.  

veggie tempura
Veggie Tempura (80 php)
The Veggie Tempura is a generous platter of carrots, sweet potato and eggplant tempura with soy mirin.  I'm quite picky when it comes to the consistency and taste of the tempura batter.  But, I loved this!  I find this quite addicting.

wicked walnut
 Wicked Walnut (165 php)
The Wicked Walnut is one of the most unique salads you will ever get to try.  It is a mix of fresh organic greens, candied walnuts, cherry tomatoes with Dalandan Balsamic Sauce and topped with walnut parmesan cheese.  This has a sweet, refreshing and zesty taste.  I also could not get enough of this.  I really appreciate their way they made the walnut parmesan cheese.  

portabello inasal
Portabello Inasal (260 php)
The Portabello Inasal is portabello mushroom served with brown rice, red beet puree (yes! that's not ketchup=p) and ensaladang talong.  I found the natural salty taste of the portabello mushroom to bit overwhelming to be eaten alone so I'm glad that Pipino serves them with the right condiments to grant this meal a great balance.

watermelon steak
 Watermelon Steak (220 php)
I know you'd find the Watermelon Steak quite ridicoulous.  But, its actually a must try!  It had a savory smoky taste follow by a light sweetness.  Eat it with the taro miso mash, taro chips, string beans and pickled mushroom and you'd find this to be a heavy meal.

Pasta & Noodles
low fat cheeseless vegan lasagna
 Low-fat Cheese-less Vegan Lasagna (120 php)
When we saw the Low-fat Cheese-less Vegan Lasagna on the menu, we were all intrigued because we all knew that a lasagna is defined by layers of mozzarella cheese.  When it was served, we were all puzzled at how it looked like the normal lasagna.  The Low-fat Cheese-less Vegan Lasagna  is made of eggplant, zucchini and milken tofu ricotta.  I swear we felt like we were eating the usual lasagna with cheese on it.  The milken tofu ricotta is quite deceptive. =D

stuffed portabello cheeseburger
Stuffed Portabello Cheeseburger (275 php)
We were fortunate enough to share the company of Ms. Alessandra Lanot and this is what she had as she shared with us interesting facts about Vegan.  For example, you get to reduce more carbon footprint if you try it to Vegan once in awhile.

 Lemongrass-Ginger-Cucumber Cooler (80 php), Pino Iced Tea (35 php)
♥ Pipino Shake (80 php) (clockwise from back left)
The Lemongrass-Ginger-Cucumber Cooler had a dominant ginger taste.  It is something soothing to try.  On the other hand, the Pino Iced Tea is an orange iced tea.  I found the Pipino Shake made from cucumber and lime quite refreshing.  Its neutral taste makes it a great drink complement to any meal.

Vegan Dessert
All Pipino's desserts are dairy-free and egg-free.  They use whole wheat flour, mascuvado or coco sugar, canola oil, coconut milk and almond milk in making their sweet treats.  

 Banana Choco Peanut Cupcake  Choco-Banana Muffin  Vegan Oatmeal Choco Chip Cookie
 Banana Choco Peanut Cupcake (50 php) ,  ♥ Choco-Banana Muffin (25 php) 
♥ Vegan Oatmeal Choco Chip Cookie (clockwise from back left)
The Banana Choco Peanut Cupcake and Choco-Banana Muffin were soft and moist as if it were the usual ones.  Although the Vegan Oatmeal Choco Chip Cookie looks dried, it is actually deliciously chewy.  I bet you couldn't tell these were Vegan if I hadn't told you. =p

dark chocolate ice cream
Dark Chocolate Ice Cream (40 php)
Pipino's  Dark Chocolate Ice Cream is made of pure cocoa and almond milk.  I loved the taste because it was rich and bitter-sweet.  The texture needs a few spoons to get used to because its a bit grainy.  But once you get the hang of it, you'll enjoy it.

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino is a must try for all foodies out there!  The food is genuinely good and not just based on visual appeal.   Be enchanted by their tactful creativity in innovating their dishes. Every peso spent on their meals is worth it because they make their ingredients from scratch especially the mock cheeses.  The ambiance is suitable for casual dining with family and friends.  I hope I coul bring my family here someday.  Any suggestions on what to order next?  

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino Menu
Ambiance Menu | Beverages |
Ice Cream | Soup of the Day | 
=Favorites or Recommended 

Pipino Vegetarian Food by Pino
Business Address
39 Malingap Street Teachers Village,
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Business Hours Mon-Fri: 11am-10pm
Sat-Sun: 7am-10pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge

Budget/Person 100-300
Free WiFi No
Contact (02)  44-11-773  / 212-1-212 (delivery)
Other  Email: Website | Facebook Fan Page
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Friday, May 11, 2012

The Parvati Store: Desserts for the Sweet Tooth

After sampling every almost every dish at Carinderia Buffet (see previous entry), Sumi invited us for a stroll at SM North Edsa so they could also tour us around.  Their original intention was to watch a movie but somehow we ended up looking for a place to eat once again.  Since the boys wanted to drink coffee and us girls wanted to eat dessert, we took a compromise and headed for The Parvati Store.

The Parvati Store's concept is to offer a collection of home-made goodies and treats which they believe are to have the best quality.
Cake Display
The Parvati Store has a simple yet cozy ambiance.  It has a cake display and large dessert fridges.  If vacant, I'd advise that you seat at the side couches which are more comfy.

I really thought our tummies were full after hours of buffet dining.  In fact, I thought the purpose for our stroll was to loosen up.  But, we ended up ordering a lot of cakes.  I guess, we couldn't resist the temptation.  There were so many dessert selections on the menu, I even saw Tayabel's Pistachio Sans Rival (see previous entry) available there for a much lower price than my 50% OFF voucher purchase. 

dark chocolate cake by frank and carols mini
 Dark Chocolate Cake by Frank and Carol's Mini (135 php)
The Dark Chocolate Cake is a moist, rich and bitter-sweet chocolate cake.  We all loved this and it was the first to disappear.

coffee indulgence by m cheesecake and pastries slice
 Coffee Indulgence by M Cheesecake and Pastries Slice (150 php)
The Coffee Indulgence is a cappuccino cake.  It basically has four layers: coffee powder, cream cheesecake, coffee cheesecake and the chocolate crust.  Fellow Tsinoy Foodie Kurt enjoyed this and finished this fast.

mango torte by dulcelin gourmet
 Mango Torte by Dulcelin Gourmet (95 php)
It wasn't my first encounter with the Mango Torte.  It is already popular and it is also our family favorite.  The refreshing taste of frozen mango is enjoyable for me.  This is a great mix to the bunch becuase it's a break from all the richness.

strawberry shortcake by dulcelin gourmet
Strawberry Shortcake by Dulcelin Gourmet (120 php)
I love Strawberry Shortcakes.  This version is pretty competitive. The filling in the middle is sweet which makes it a great contrast to the tangy strawberry topping and icing.  The consistency is okay.  It is a bit light and fluffy.

tiramisu by cake us bakeshop
Tiramisu by Cake Us Bakeshop (160 php)
We were all surprised at how huge this block of Tiramisu came to be.  Unlike others, this one is quite heavy.  We found it quite challenging to finish it.  But, in terms of flavor it was pretty good.  It had a strong coffee flavor and was not too sweet.

Complimentary Coffee
We were about to order drinks, when the server informed us that there's Complimentary Coffee for every 100 php purchase.  This seems to be a silent promo because we can't find a single sign anywhere.        Although the Complimentary Coffee is a bit watered down, it was brewed coffee and a great complement with desserts.  Since we ordered at five cakes for four persons costing more than 600 php, we were curious if we could get a refill.  But, we were informed that only a cup per person is allowed. All of us concluded that their policy must not have been formulated to entice a person to order more than 100 php. =p  What do you think is it for then?

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
The Parvati Store is a great hang out for desserts.  It the best place for those who have a sweet tooth like me.  The place is cozy and they have a FREE WiFi too.  I'm sure it's a place, I'll go back to.  What do you think I should order next?

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating The Parvati Store Menu
Ambiance Menu 1 | Menu 2 | Menu 3 | 
Menu 4 | Menu 5 | Menu 6 |
Menu 7 | Menu 8 | Menu 9 | 
Menu 10 | Menu 11 | Menu 12 |
Menu 13 | Menu 14 | Menu 15 | 
Menu 16 | Menu 17 | 
=Favorites or Recommended 
The Parvati Store
Business Address
Trinoma Mindanao lobby(below National Bookstore), 
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 10am-9pm(mall hours)
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge

Free WiFi Yes
Contact (02) 901-1428
Other  Email: Facebook Fan Page
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Corniche: Culinaria Capampangan Food Festival Aligue at Diamond Hotel

Diamond Hotel celebrates a grand Filipino Food Festival at Corniche (see previous entry) through its Culinaria Capampangan prepared by celebrity Chef Sau Del Rosario of Villa Cafe.  Chef Sau is also the chef consultant of Toro Restaurant. 

culinaria capampangan
Genuine flavors of Pampanga, the culinary capital of the Philippines, will be offered for their lunch and dinner buffet from May 10 to 19, 2012.  To add more excitement, you also get a chance to win round trip airline tickets for two to Bohol with accommodations.  The Culinaria Capmpangan Food Festival is in partnership with Philippine Airlines and Crossover 105.1 and Avis Rent-A-Car.
corniche diamond hotel

corniche diamond hotel
It's the first time to visit Corniche for dinner.  Love the elegance and colorful play of lights. 

Culinaria Capampangan by  Chef Sau
Corniche offers the same wide spread of buffet.  But in addition, you can find labels indicating the Culinaria Capampangan dishes.   Here are some of the offerings that I got to try. =D
ceviche with pomelo
Ceviche with Pomelo
adobo, quesong puti and salted egg
Adobo, Quesong Puti and Salted Egg
pancit luglug
Pancit Luglug with Condiments
whole maya maya mayonesa
Whole Maya Maya Mayonesa 
us sirloin bistek with shitake confits
US Sirloin Bistek with Shitake Confits
crispy pata kare-kare with steamed local vegetables
Crispy Pata Kare-Kare with Steamed Local Vegetables 
whole baby lechon with stuffed curried rice (biringhe)
Whole Baby Lechon with Stuffed Curried Rice (Biringhe) 
pork sisig, foie gras and organic egg
Pork Sisig, Foie Gras & Organic Egg
lamb chops kaldereta
Lamb Chops Kaldereta, Local Vegetable Ratatouille 
Ox-Tongue Cream of Mushrooms and Corn
Ox-Tongue Cream of Mushrooms and Corn
Pinakbet with Shrimp and Crispy Pata
Pinakbet with Shrimp and Crispy Pata
Aligue Fried Rice
Aligue Fried Rice
Tibok tibok, Brazo de Maiz, Halaya Ube, Pina and Mango  and Halo Halo
Tiboktibok, Brazo de Maiz, Halaya Ube, Pina and Mango
and Halo Halo (clockwise from back left)
Other Desserts
This isn't part of the Culinaria Capampangan but they were just so irresistible.  Don't ever miss the gelato!  We tried all flavors and we loved them all. =D

my meal
What I Had
Their salmon sashimi, maki, baked oysters and peking duck never fails to impress me.

To join the celebration, I took all the Culinaria Capampangan dishes I could find:
  • Chicken Galatina Roulade - moist, tender and flavorful just how I prefer it
  • Cerviche with Pomelo - our group loved this
  • Fried Catfish Fillet with Buru (Fermented Rice) and Vegetables - a unique dish to try
  • Adobo, Quesong Puti and Salted Egg - thin crust pizza with the right saltiness
  • Corn Soup with Crabmeat - different from others I've tried
  • Whole Baby Lechon with Stuff Curried Rice (Biringhe) - succulent meat and delicious curry
  • Pork Sisig, Foie Gras & Organic Egg - most expensive sisig dish I've tried
  • Pancit Luglug with Condiments - always something enjoyable to eat
  • Lamb Chops Kalereta, Local Vegetable Ratatouille - delicious and tender lamb shanks 
  • Ox-Tongue Cream of Mushroom and Corn - my favorite for the night!
  • Steamed Lapu-lapu with Ginger Soya Sesame Sauce - cooked perfectly with delicious sauce
  • US Sirloin Bistek with Shitake Confits - tender meaty sirloin with tasty shitake mushrooms
  • Crispy Kare-Kare with Steamed Local Vegetables - great-tasting with the superb bagoong
  • Aligue Fried Rice - reminds me of Thai Bagoong rice but on the sweet side
  • Brazo de Maiz - corn with some sort of root crop topped with meringue 
  • Halaya Ube, Pina and Mango - soft and smooth topped with pina, mango and cheese
  • Tiboktibok - light and refrshing Carabao milk pudding
As you can see, every dish I tried were delightful.  My companions and I surrendered to the wide spread buffet with great satisfaction so try Culinaria Capmpangan while you can.

CulinariaCapampangan at Corniche Diamond Hotel
Business Address
Diamon Hotel
Roxas Boulevard corner Dr. J. Quintos Street
Manila, Metro Manila
Business Hours
Lunch: 11am-3pm
Dinner: 6pm-11pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge

Budget/Person 1,888++
Free WiFi No
(02) 528-3000
Promo Period Email: Facebook Fan Page | Website 
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