Balai Isabel

Best of a Travelife 2012: Simply the best tapsilog on land and in the sky

Reflecting at the start of 2013 on the wonderful TRAVELIFE that was in 2012this is part of a series of blog entries that looks at the best aspects of our never-ending, and never-endingly eventful travels

This year was so full of indescribable and inspiring experiences — and we’re certainly looking forward to an even more wonderful Travelife in 2013
A blessed New Year to everyone
from all of us at Travelife Magazine.

We wish you a year of happiness
and an amazing Travelife.


I’m on a plane practically every week. In fact, as I type this out, I’m thinking about whether I should fly to Hong Kong next week to attend what promises to be a very delicious dinner by a Michelin-starred chef (2 stars).

I’m trying to be very good and working hard and staying put for a bit, because once I start getting on airplanes, it will be another never-ending Travelife for the next 12 months.

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So I’m on airplanes all the time, and I’ve had everything from fantastic food to lousy food on board. But let me tell you about the stand-out meal for 2012, which was very surprisingly a tapsilog cooked in Bahrain and served to me on board Gulf Air from Bahrain to Manila last September.

Gulf Air
Last September, I boarded my Gulf Air flight from Bahrain to Manila. If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that this is one of the most comfortable business class services from Manila to the Middle East and onwards to Europe — just make sure to get their planes with the flat beds.
Gulf Air’s flat bed infrastructure on Manila-Bahrain and Bahrain-Manila
The minute we took off from Bahrain on our journey to Manila, I was just so knocked out by the long wait in Amman airport (9 long hours! That was responsible for about 12 blog entries…) and all, that I drank a glass of sparkling water and then I got into my pajamas, pushed the buttons for the flat bed, and slept for seven straight hours.
Yup, very uncharacteristic of me.

There was WiFi in the sky and ordinarily I would have been blogging from 20,000 feet up in the air, just like on the way to Bahrain from Manila; but, this time, not even the thought of WiFi in the sky could keep me awake.

Gulf Air’s Falcon Lounge in Bahrain
Besides, I’d already had a proper dinner at the Gulf Air lounge in Bahrain. A very decent choice of rice and chicken stewpasta, other Middle Eastern dishes and a really good salad bar. It wasn’t Michelin-star food, but I had absolutely no complaints here.
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So instead I’d ordered my dinner on the Bahrain-Manila flight for when I woke up, and the British butler on board — if you can call him a butler; he certainly acted like one — promptly brought me my dinner-breakfast as soon as I stirred from the bed.

Again, delicious Arabic mezze as a starter. All the mezze I had on flights originating in the Middle East were just absolutely delicious. No kidding. 

Arabic mezze to start on every Gulf Air flight in the Middle East.
This was Amman-Bahrain.

This was the Arabic mezze starter from Bahrain to Manila.
And then midway I changed my mind about the fish main course for dinner and decided to go ahead to a breakfast main course of Filipino fare.
Everyone in business class had had dinner and then breakfast, you see, and it was only I who had skipped dinner in favor of sleep.
The best beef tapsilog

This was just about the best beef tapsilog I had had in a very long time.

Excellent. I would have had two servings if I could. But pretty soon, we were landing and I realized I had just effortlessly and deliciously made the crossing to Manila from the Middle East.

My main course, Amman to Bahrain
Dessert, Amman to Bahrain
My plane landed on time, and two hours later, I was dressed up for a night out and at a restaurant hosting a dinner for friends, exactly as scheduled. In other words, my usual never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.



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