I found myself wandering the aisles of the homestore of Shoemart Makati this morning and was pleasantly surprised by several finds. As much as I write about loving my visits to Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma, and I haven’t even written about my favorite store in Paris called Dehillerin or Bridge in New York, I also troll through Divisoria and have a fairly keen sense for that great bargain buy. In Manila, I visit Landmark and SM Home Departments maybe twice a year and I always find something useful. I also found a lot of items that readers have been asking me about, so I thought I would do a quick post here for your benefit. First up, were these wonderful polyester placemats. Some of you may recall that I had similar placemats in a post I wrote last year, here. These original placemats are featured in the Museum of Modern Art of New York’s design shop, and I LOVE them. They don’t absorb any sauces, they look very sleek, and despite the woven feel, they are utterly practical and durable. In New York, they run $15 or more EACH, unless you happen to get them on sale. That is PHP600-700. Today, at Shoemart, I found very similar, made in China knock-offs for just PHP79 a piece ($1.75)!!! That is nearly 85% off the original item. The problem was many of the shapes were SQUARE and not rectangular and their colors were just slightly OFF, if you know what I mean. At any rate, I bought 3 pieces so that I have more choices for backgrounds when I shoot a dish for the blog.
Also at the home store, I found this nice white and grey bowl and plate at 50% off, on an odds and ends table, and paid just PHP150 or so ($3.20) for the two pieces. Also, in answer to questions over the last few months… I spied a PASTA MAKER at the home store (sorry, I didn’t look at the price), I spotted nice teflon pans on sale, including an oval or fish pan shape, there was a chocolate fountain at PHP4000-8,000 (ridiculous price, but at least I finally found one, didn’t buy it) and finally, for the reader asking about cupcake holders, I saw two sizes of cupcake stands by Wilton at PHP1,700-ish for 23 cupcakes or PHP3,200-ish for 36 cupcakes. There is a lot of crap at SM as well, but if you look with an eye for quality and value, there are definitely some finds. And the place is brightly lit, nicely airconditioned and spacious, so it’s worth a visit. Now if only the cashier and bagger didn’t talk so bloody much about their personal lives while they wrap your purchases at the slowest possible pace recorded for human beings… I was tempted to describe in detail to no one in particular what a regurgitated clam looked like at the witching hour but decided to shut up instead… :)