Posts Tagged ‘food

13
Jan
08

that trinoma food tour thing.

(waving this around means “feed me!”)

It occurred to me that, while most people work to eat, I was lucky enough to eat so that I could get work done during the Trinoma Blogger’s Food Tour. (And hopefully “eat-to-work” will happen more often… :p ) As the year started, I promised to live in overindulgence, so this is in alignment with my goals. I know it’s been a full three-or-so days since then and I’m only just now writing about it, but everything that took place took a lot of decompression. (Or digestion?)

[STOP! HAMMER-TIME! Before treading on, might I suggest you grab a lightly-salted snack and a hot/cold beverage. Also, play a nice upbeat tune, for maximum enjoyment.]

Continue reading ‘that trinoma food tour thing.’

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16
Oct
07

sebastian’s ice cream studio.

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“Coned Crack.” That’s what I’m calling Sebastian’s ice cream from now on.

Watching the crowd before me, it was pretty obvious that they got their first taste long before me, and now they’ve returned for more coned crack.

For October, they have a Trick or Treat special, which is vanilla ice cream showered with all sorts of those Hershey’s mini’s, spliced with 2 parts Reese’s and some Butterfinger. It was good. I had a taste of the Blueberry cheescake and I start to wonder how they crammed so much of the Blueberry / cheesecake taste in there.

It’s one of those nice rare finds; just before everyone else starts yapping about it, you can have the pleasure of introducing it to your friends. 85 for a scoop, and 140 for a double scoop.

There’s one in The Podium, fourth floor. Now, go get your fix!

(image taken from wysgal’s rants and raves blog.)

16
Oct
07

flaming wings.

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My love for chikins knows no bounds. There’s a story to that, involving a cute girl and a box of chikins, but that’s for another time. This is the story on how really spicy chicken got added to my list of comfort food.

Flaming Wings serves some of the hottest food this side of the Philippines. Lucky for us, this local restaurant originating from Parañaque spawned another branch in the cultural stretch that is Katipunan.

Predominantly black with shades of red, the interior serves as a portent for things to come. An innocent visit would turn out to be a fiery feast, then muted back to black with dessert.

I ordered Chicken Tenders in Wild Sauce, which is the non-bony part of chicken, fried in chili oil. I also sampled two of their sauces, Wasabi Mayo and their Honey Mustard dip.

Me and my buddy even decided to have a little bet, that, whoever takes a sip first buys drinks. (Obviously, I won!) The first bite was an explosive delight — the chicken was spicy as hell, but I couldn’t stop eating. Sampling the honey mustard neutralized the chili oil, but only a bit, while the wasabi mayo tasted like mayo, with the aftertaste of wasabi, which only stoked the fire in my throat.

Every succeeding bite was equivalent to a bead of sweat, nose-sniffing and a delicious burning. The best way to ease the burning was the red iced tea, which I think we finished in a matter of seconds. (You can’t kill a fire with sprinkles of water either.)

Once the meal was done, it was time for dessert. And then I found out that an even better way of putting the fire out was to ingest oreos sided with ice cream drowning in cinnamon sprinkles. Which was the perfect way to ease the lingering burn in the tongue. (To note, in some recipes for curry, they add cinnamon sticks to neutralize the spiciness and complement the overall flavor.)

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I only got to sample the chicken tenders, but from what I hear, they serve pasta (which is also spicy) and a mean buffalo wings.

The damage? 98 for the chicken tenders + drink combo, plus 65 pesos for the wicked oreos. The price is a plus, since students from the nearby schools could really have a filling meal for a pretty affordable price. The parking though, is a pain. The entrance is too narrow, and the lot itself is a bit cramped, so getting in by car can be a hassle. (-1 star)

And that, really, is the story of living — getting to try out epicurean delights and making them your instant favorites, even on a Monday.

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(photos by jonat)

16
Sep
07

bellini’s.

_mg_8090.jpgThere is no Bellini’s. There’s only this little establishment in the heart of Marikina Shoe Expo (Cubao X, as it is better known.) with two doors. These two doors form a wormhole from that quiet little spot in Cubao to an Italian house, that serve authentic Italian dishes, for a very reasonable price.

Having been established 8 years ago, Bellini’s has it good. The place is situated in a quiet area often overlooked by the busyness of most of Cubao’s streets, but once you find it, you’ll long for the warmth and the ambiance you find. You won’t want to come back — you’ll absolutely crave to come back.

Draped with red curtains, the tables having a bottle of wine and bathed in dim lights, it set the mood for the visit that indeed, I was in a place conducive for eating. To add to the authenticity of being in an Italian’s house, the owner, Roberto Bellini, works the room — armed with a warm smile and a friendly handshake, he starts conversations with the guests and asks, “is food u-ke?,” answered with an absolute “yes,” he moves on to the next table, leaving you with, “grazie, grazie.” (I bet he personally cooks some of the meals they serve in a cozy little kitchen where the magic happens.) The décor and the furniture look antique and the only breaks in the illusion are the constant swinging of the doors, as customers come in, giving you a glimpse of Cubao, the place you weren’t supposed to be in.

I ordered pasta made with sun-dried tomatoes and a small meat pizza, while my friend (and-soon-to-be-brand-manager-but-not-yet) had a ravioli dish with spinach. It was, bar none, the best pasta I’ve had in my life. The pizza, in it’s thin crust, even had a powdery bottom, (the flour it was made with?) making for a nice contrast of the strong tomato taste and the thin dough it was laid on. I suddenly lost the taste for dishes they pass off as “Italian.”

(There’s even a guy who sings and plays the guitar Wednesdays-to-Saturdays, although his playlist’s a bit hokey. “Mister Suave?” — come on!)

For dessert, we had some gelato. The Pharoah’s Delight is a nice mix of vanilla and milk, not being too sweet, but having the kick in the subtlety. The other one was chocolate, covered with what seemed to be cocoa sprinkles, vanilla on the inside and has a cherry core.

Just after the meal, the waiter gave us a shot of wine, which was just the perfect way to top the meal. It turns out, it was Don Roberto’s homemade wine, of which, you could get for 300 a bottle. (While the waiter was talking to us, I noticed Don Roberto cleaning up a table that just cleared — which was nice to see, him, personally taking care of his house.)

With pizzas and pasta plates ranging from 150 – 200 pesos each, there’s a lot less risk in trying something new every time you drop by. And for a pretty reasonable price, you get an authentic Italian cuisine experience.

All in all, my only gripe (without mentioning the chance of getting mugged or getting lost, or both, on the way there on foot, it’s not their fault) is, one: as the place gets packed, the waiters get a little too busy for everybody (but come on, tell me, which restaurant isn’t like that?) and two: the fact that I’m not there right now. Because it’s worth it. The long walk and the darker shady parts of Cubao to contend with become forgotten as soon as you smell the magic being made. As Mikko puts it, it’s “food you save up for.” I see it more as “food you work hard for.”

P.S. I’ll try the risotto and the panacotta next time.

The nice thing about the place being situated in Cubao X, (proclaimed as an art community) is the mish-mash of culture in the venue. Vintage Pop, the antique store just beside Bellini’s have a nice collection of rare antiques, while just beside it is Datelines, for your indie-book needs. (There’s also Sputnik, a comicbook store, of which I’ve still to visit for my copy of The Incredible Changebots.) There are galleries and various trinket and shoe stores (it is called Marikina Shoe Expo, after all) if you fancy a little after-dinner shoe-shopping. (of which we did)

Ten forks out of five.

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(photo taken shamelessly from the Bellini’s page in the Cubao-X blog.

26
Jun
07

song do.

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To note: I hate green leafy vegetables. My friend said, “ganyan naman kayong mga lalaki eh.”

For the non-Koreans, (like me) hearing the words, “Korean Restaurant” evokes memories of koreanovelas, kimchi and koreanovelas. After almost making a right turn to Congo Grille in El Pueblo, (to eat the ever-reliable, ever-heart-stopping Sisig) my friend suggested we eat Korean, for some Korean barbeque. We took a left for Song Do.

Upon entering, we were greeted, “Annyong Haseyo,” which is “Hello” in Korean, then we climbed the stairs for the main restaurant itself. By the side of the stairs, (where the railing should be) are tons of Korean trinkets, dolls and décor to emphasize, that indeed, a Korean restaurant named “Song Do,” is a Korean establishment. Finally reaching the top, we were hungry like lions. (Could that be the point of the stairs?)

They had the traditional “sit on the floor” seats for large groups, (to further insist that you ARE in a Korean restaurant, just in case you know, you forgot.) and they offered traditional chairs and tables (with an oven in the center) as well. The place was spacious, and, being relatively new, was tidy and white as a koreana’s complexion. Metal chopsticks, the Korean-ish plates and the oven in the center of the table subtly suggests that, yes, you are in a Korean-themed restaurant.

We were about to order two sets of Pork belly, but the waiter told us that one order was enough for the two of us. Just moments after ordering, the waitress gave us corn tea and started placing a variety of appetizers on the table, which included, (and this is from what I remember,) kimchi, mashed potatoes, spicy radish, squid, lumpia, quail eggs, kangkong, soup, and the ingredients for the veggie meat sandwich.

When the pork was cooked, the waitress cut it up to little pieces. I asked her to teach my inner caveman what to do next. She washed her hands, took a piece of lettuce, dipped a piece of meat in sesame oil, dabbed a bit of this red sauce, (then she asked what vegetable I wanted on my veggie meat sandwich) and a piece of garlic. She then proceeded on folding the assembled food stuffs into a veggie meat sandwich. As I mentioned above, I abhor green leafy vegetables… and yet I found myself making wraps myself, trying on the other vegetables, and how spicy it would be if I tucked in a piece of kimchi in there.

After all the appetizers, the veggie meat sandwich, and me suddenly remembering that, yes, we did order rice, I tapped out. I was simply too full of Korean goodness. Then they placed a slice of pineapple, for dessert, which was also part of the meal. (Fiber for better digestion?)

The damage? Surprisingly light, for a place that looks like it’d cost more than your usual baon. For 465, we got the massive meal, (which, I think could easily handle 3 people, or 4 people with tiny appetites.) the appetizers, two orders of rice, a melon shake and a Coke. Service charge was 0, so we left a little something-something for the great service. (I do wonder how they do when the place is packed — if they could accommodate more cavemen like me — but it turns out that most of their customers are Koreans anyway, so there’s hardly need for a guide on those ones.)

This place is great for large functions, or for when you want to show your friends a little culture without the big dent in the wallet. Compared to the expensive, fastfood-style service that another restaurant offers, (you know who you are, Basement, Megamall B) Song Do is way, way better. Before leaving, the friendly manager asked us from which offices we were from, we both answered, and then he said, “you’re always welcome here.”

And isn’t that what you’d want to hear from your new favorite place? 4 out of 5 spoons!

4/5

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( photo shamelessly taken from http://wats0n.blogspot.com/2007/01/song-do-korean-experience.html )

29
Dec
06

krispy kreme.

 

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Three words: krispy, kreme and Megamall.

 

On the way to Megamall yesterday: seeing that they had replaced the Forme ad with Lyn Ching on it, I had to see for myself, whether the replacement was of equal or greater value than the replaced ad. The ad that replaced Lyn Ching was . . . Krispy Kreme! Of which, I didn’t mind, at all. The Megamall branch just recently opened (this week?) and is located on the ground floor of building B.

 

I’ve heard of Krispy Kreme from friends in the US, and to me, a donut that good is impossible. Nothing beats Cello’s in Katipunan as far as round, ring-shaped foods go. My friend and I checked it out. She tells me that even if the customers lining up were spilling outside the store, it was waaaay less than the people lining up in the Fort branch, so we stood in line.

 

Seeing the donuts (or doughnuts?) being made was a treat for the eyes. Not only were you in for a mouthful of sweet tastes, you got to see how it was made too! The perceived line didn’t take too long to move either, people were walking out with boxes in hand, and silly grins. When we got into the actual store, still in line, my friend pointed out a grown man with tons of white powdery substance around his mouth, obviously enjoying his doughnut.

 

Just about two feet from the doughnut selection area, we were all handed a free original honey-glazed doughnut, for a free taste, just as they do in the US, so I’ve heard. My friend even jokingly told me, “ayan, pwede na tayo di bumili / now we can go skip buying.” But getting to take that first bite — I now understood the man with the powdery-substance around his mouth … these doughnuts were scrumptious! I had to take some home as pasalubong.

 

The dough was very, very soft, and the glaze was just perfectly sweet. It’s very light to eat, so I could understand why Clinton had an operation for eating too many boxes of the stuff. A couple more steps, we were asked what our orders were and we were instructed to go straight to the cashier, we pay, then we got our doughnuts.

 

The damage? 265 pesos for one dozen original glazed doughnuts. 320 (I think) for a dozen assorted variety doughnuts. 550 for a dozen glazed and a dozen assorted. What we got in return? A couple of boxes full of sweet tastes, powdery substances around our mouths and silly grins on our faces.

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your mind will go pi.hrudu@plurk.robopopjunk! cavefeci abditum.damit co.proudly pinoy!



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