Dec 23, 2008

a few more treats before the year ends

i may not like chocolate but i love sweets. it needs to balance out my palate post a savory meal. this time my friends and i decided to get some cakes from the famous karen young. you need a minimum purchase of PHP 1500 to get it delivered for free. wrapped in an aptly decorated box, the aroma wafts as you open it. now, that's a good sign. but i still won't be able to comment on them since they are not all mine and they are bound to be eaten on christmas day. i'm so happy to be stress free and yet have a glorious dessert. after my horrific cake/dessert buying experience last year i have vowed to get the best desserts without much hassle. this is just for sharing. hope you have great holiday meals everyone!

caramel mousse (PHP 900)

strawberry shortcake (PHP 900)

chocolate ganache (PHP 600)

karen's kitchen

Dec 22, 2008

thai fix at som's

whenever i'm with my friend g to eat out, we would always get rerouted to somewhere. i'd like to think that the reroute usually ends up at a much better place.

i was meaning to try out chariya's kitchen, i dunno if it was dark that we missed the place and we found ourselves ending up in rockwell. so where else to get cheap thai fix but som's. believe it or not i haven't eaten at this place. even my non-foodie friends have already eaten here and to think that i love thai cuisine.

got some thai iced tea. i like that they give them to you warm which means they've been recently made. with the turnaround of people at this place, i'm sure food is always prepared fresh.

got some fried spring rolls (PHP 80). this was a generous serving, golden brown with a very apt condiment. the roll itself was a bit bland for my taste but considering i had colds, i'd think it was just rightly seasoned. but the winner really is the condiment. it was sweet and a bit hot that complemented the rolls very well.

my thai meal will not be complete if there's no pad thai (PHP 120). huge serving of rice noodles. but that's just about it. it looked like anemic noodles with bean sprouts and a couple of tofu and chopped nuts. the noodles were also too sweet for my taste. i'd have to say that this was a let down. they could probably charge more for a better tasting and looking pad thai and people will not mind.

also got tofu in red curry (PHP 120). i love the curry sauce. it was well seasoned. the flavors were just bursting in my mouth especially the basil leaves which made a huge difference. as for the tofu, it was just too firm. even tokwa would have been more softer or tender than the ones they used in the dish. maybe if you get chicken or beef then it would be perfect.

overall, it was a pleasant meal. very budget friendly, just don't expect a nice ambiance. it's just good affordable thai food located in one of the most expensive areas in the metro.

algier st. (parallel to lopez drive)
from powerplant going to kalayaan it's on the right.
literally over the bakod from rockwell.

Dec 18, 2008

fish and co.

all day i was thinking of getting some chinese fix. i first got some tea which i was craving for...yes i crave for tea. and then, i got hooked by the fish and co. ads.

hmmm....i simply got a craving for seafoods. i don't like the fish and chips because it's cream of dory and after reading the cream of dory email i no longer want to eat it. i want mussels or oysters....but it's bad on an empty stomach....

so finally i got prawn fritters (PHP 315 +VAT) lightly battered prawns that was just yummy. it's been a long time since i've eaten here so i was surprised that they already changed their chili to the green variant. i got extra chili but still failed to tickle my taste buds. you always have to mix all the condiments - garlic, chili and tartar sauce to have that perfect dip.

a compromise to my shellfish craving is mussels penne in garlic cream sauce (PHP 321 + VAT) still has carbs but it's not rice. very lighly seasoned, the sauce is thick but not creamy at all and there's something wrong with the garlic flavor, i just couldn't figure out what. not too strong which is perfect but it doesn't have that garlic essence.

i liked the prawn fritters but the pasta is a let down. straight forward almost everything fried seafoods which will satiate your cravings if ever you do get one.

fish and co.
greenbelt 3
shangri-la mall

Dec 17, 2008

creamy yogi at californiaberry

craving for a tart, sweet and creamy dessert - what else but yogurt ice cream. i just couldn't get my hands on them until i had lunch at paseo center and i saw californiaberry.

i kept thinking about it that i wanted lunch to be over soon. got the californiaberry special which has kiwi, mangoes and strawberry (PHP 100 ++), i like the fresh fruits which is unlike the ones i've tried before and the ice cream was really creamy with the perfect blend of tartness and sweetness. loved it!

2nd flr. paseo center

Dec 14, 2008

dining at myron's place

the first myron's was at rockwell and it made quite a stir in lori's blog. back then, i was not my usual carnivore self so it never piqued my interest.

however, recently, the meatlover in me has had an awakening of some sort. i had a steak craving and i've thought of myron's place at greenbelt which i've learned has a very nice ambiance compared to the rockwell branch.

had freebie bread, the bread was soft but that was pretty much it.

my friend c had the braised lamb shank (PHP 575), it was so huge! we were amazed on how big it was. it has a very rich morrocan inspired sauce with apricots and almonds that makes a perfect blend of flavors and textures in the palate. the lamb was very tender and the tendons were gelatinous which made it even more yummy. however, i deem that the mashed potato wasn't really a good starch for this dish. it would have been perfect to have couscous on the side (the couscous lover me kicking in) or a nice serving of long grained rice for the rice lovers out there.

as for my craving, i settled with the bianca's cut (PHP 900) which is 240 grams of us certified angus ribeye. i even saw how it was cut from this huge slab of beef before it was sent to the kitchen for further cooking. i had mine done medium well which was perfect - cooked through but still pinkish and tender. had 3 types of sauces, my favorite would be the shiraz- cabernet jus because of its strong flavors. the peppercorn was not significant - i was expecting a hot/peppery gravy but it was not flavorful enough for me and similarly the mushroom gravy was a bit bland as well. it had roasted garlic, carrots and zucchini on the side with a choice of potato - i chose baked potato.

i felt like splurging that i ordered foie gras on the side. i actually forgot to mention that i prefer the choice cut which means it has foie gras too. i was saddened by how small the foie gras was =). it satiatied my cravings for a melt in your mouth experience but in restrospect i don't think it's worth the additional PHP 350.

overall, it was a great meal. good service, nice ambiance and good food. i wouldn't have second thoughts coming back.

myron's place

g/f greenbelt 5

Dec 10, 2008

s&b curry

been seeing s&b curry in supermarkets but i have no clue on how to use it. eventually, some bloggers posted about this japanese curry cubes. so i've decided to give it a try. this is the medium hot variant.

i don't like plain meat like chunks of meat used in usual filipino dishes. i enjoy cuts like the pork belly and the beef cut with loads of litid (tendon) but these are unhealthy cuts due to high fat and cholesterol content. so i decided to use "buto buto" which are basically pork ribs cut into small pieces. the bones give the sauce more flavor.

i sauteed the meat with garlic and onions and a little fish sauce similar to how filipino dishes are initially cooked. simmered the meat with water until tender and added some potatoes and carrots. after which, i added the curry, i used half of one plastic container which equates to 2 cubes. i let it simmer until the veggies were cooked and the sauce thickened. and voila, i now have a pork japanese curry fix paired with whole wheat couscous, this has suddenly become a comfort food of some sort.

Dec 8, 2008

savory (sa - bo -ri )

savory is a chinese chicken resto. i never knew when it really became famous but it's not as mainstream like the others. my fondest memories of this resto is when i was around 10 years old and every time i get my acupuncture treatments in escolta, my mom would treat me to savory afterwards.

i've never tried their chicken though. i always get the cheeseburger. huge juicy patty that appears to be steamed. lately, i have seen posts on this chicken chain that has suddenly become ubiquitous around the metro. i was itching to try the chicken to find out what's the fuss all about. when i visited the place, i found the the prices are affordable. they have set meals for 2 or more people which basically appears to be a lauriat of some sort with several food items.

got the half chicken, pansit, salt and pepper squid combo (PHP 300 ++). it comes with rice, drinks and buchi and turon for dessert and is good for two people. the chicken was tender and flavorful has the hint of star anise which makes this fried chicken very chinese. the other items were ok, not spectacular but you'll get your money's worth.

even though i am not fond of lomi, there was this picture over the internet of savory's lomi (PHP 180) that looked appetizing so i tried it. a bit pricey for a simple dish but when it came and i saw how much ingredients were in it, i'd have to say that it was worth every peso.

the place is very budget friendly and has efficient customer service which probably explains why there's still a huge turnaround of customers even after lunch time. very good place for a quick chinese fix - traditional chinese menu but much better than chinese fastfood.

sm north edsa

Dec 1, 2008

wagyu heaven or not?

just a stone's throw away from my office, i haven't tried malcolm's wagyu offerings which they are famous for. convinced by my colleague's testament on how great their burgers were, i made sure that the next time i get a burger craving i'll get the fix from malcolm's.

we got freebie fried wontons with a mayo dip. and while waiting we got the ABS - apple bacon salad (175 PHP). strips of bacon, chopped apple and slivers of cheese with a mustard based dressing. the salad is ok...the greens are not fresh - not crisp and vibrant. they better rethink calling it the "great abs".

finally it came, wagyu burger (400 PHP) thick burger patty in a bun with potato wedges on the side. the bun, nothing special. i would expect some fancy or distinct burger bun but it was a typical commercially available bun. anyway, it's time to check the patty. burnt on the outside? a way to seal in the juices? as i cut through the patty no juices came out, my medium well burger is mostly still red. i cannot determine what's the wagyu in this lump of ground beef. a burger that is dry in the insides with a crispy/burnt outer layer. what's wrong with this 400 peso lump of beef??? everything!!! it was disappointing. the only saving grace are the potato wedges and garlic mayo that was a perfect side dish.

the other menu items are still worth the try. i actually enjoy the grilled vegetables sandwich and the salpicao is also good. overall, malcolm's offer other promising dishes, just don't bank on the wagyu that much.

malcolm's place
hv dela costa cor. tordesillas
salcedo village, makati

Nov 27, 2008

giant pizzas

it's not a battle of giant pizzas. i just got the chance to try new gigantic pizzas. the first one is from xtremely xpresso in subic.

huge pizza, with a normal crust similar to 3M hehe but of better quality. the texture is not your typical oily or thick crust. the toppings are generous, lots of mozzarella cheese and meat toppings. the pic is the big ben i think which is the everything on it house special. i actually forgot, it's been so long already. very cheap, the largest one is just around 600-700 PHP, 22" inch in diameter.

next one is niro's 30 inch pizza. the pic is the margherita flavor which is plain tomato sauce and cheese. the pepperoni is my favorite because it's spicy, has a nice kick. this one has a thin and chewy crust and not oily at all, close to an authentic italian pizza. the 30 inch pizzas go for 900 PHP and up.

both are interesting, value for money goes to xtremely xpresso but then you have to travel up north to try it. niro's is the closest italian pizza you can get in the huge pizza category. but i like the niro pizza much better because of the crust and the distinct flavors.

xtremely xpresso
#1 dewey ave. cor. sta. rita st.
sbma, zambales

pizza niro
G/F, ayala dela rosa 1 carpark, dela rosa st. (near perea st.),
(02) 387-7395

Nov 24, 2008

paul calvin's

wanted to have a quiet and intimate lunch with my mckinley friends and paul calvin's came to mind. i was already contemplating on what to get but when we got there, they have a lunch buffet for 250 PHP. what a steal! they have 6 dishes, soup, salad, desserts and the omelette and pasta station and you can add 60 PHP for unlimited buko and gulaman for drinks. here's the spread.

i tried all of the dishes, honestly, nothing popped out but they were decent. i liked the battered fish the most...maybe because it was fresh out of the fryer.

my friend said the roasted chicken was good, but i, on the other hand thinks otherwise. maybe i just chose a bad piece.

they said the bulalo soup was also delish, unfortunately i didn't try it.

i liked the pasta. mine was mixed - tomato with cream. the cream was not too rich, it actually just made the strong tomato flavor a little subtle. it was the perfect blend because it was able to cut the tartness of the tomato sauce. a decent pasta though i wish it had more ham or bacon.

for dessert, i tried the panacotta which is a layer of plain panacotta and ube flavored panacotta. not your usual jelly like panacotta - this one is creamy and thick but still good. the jello shooter was so so.

i recommend the place especially the lunch buffet. a good value for money, damage was around 350 PHP including taxes. not bad for lots of food, great service and a very nice ambiance.

paul calvin's deli
forbeswood heights
rizal drive, the fort

Nov 17, 2008

dinner with crocs

a long overdue post. krocodile grille is one of the those restos that my team in my previous company and i frequent. they have set meals that could actually feed twice the size for what they were intended for.

good value for money for a decent treat of filipino dishes. here's a couple of food items in their menu.

inihaw platter (300 PHP++) i believe that this is a "sulit" dish. you get a variety of grilled meats and seafoods. my favorites in the plate are the tender and flavorful grilled liempo and the catfish (i love hito).

kare-kare (300 PHP++) nothing fancy. straight forward classic dish not as "peanutty" as the home cooked one but definitely a couple of notches higher than other restos which serve kare kare with an instant mix. the meats are the traditional kare kare meats such as tripe.

lengua (200-300 PHP) a recent discovery, thick tender slices of lengua with gravy and garlic bits on top. i love lengua so i really enjoyed this dish.

baked tahong (200-300 PHP) this is one of their bestsellers. completely covered with a thick sauce, the mussels become flavorful but not completely overpowered by the herbed sauce on top.

perfect place for a get together of a huge crowd. prices are affordable and the servings are hefty. good value for money.

krocodile grille
3rd level greenbelt 3

Nov 10, 2008

tis the season for baked goodies

the baker's dozen at the powerplant mall is basically an annual baker's fair which features several baked products from various sellers. this year, it started as early as september. however, i've only found the time to go there just recently.

i had only 2 purpose - the dezato mochi balls and the costa brava caramel cake. however, i failed to get the mochi balls. they did not have a booth at the concourse level when we visited. i was only able to buy the caramel cake.

early in the week i got the chance to sample the caramel cake, however, i deem that it was too bland. i did not find the caramel taste in the icing. but i had to give it another try, maybe there was something wrong with the cake i tried. good thing i gave it another shot. the cake is moist and fluffy. very light. the caramel frosting is just right, not too sweet but you can still savor the caramel essence. perfect!!! now i just have to try estrel's to figure out which one best suits me.

my disappointment of not getting those mochi balls led me to ange's sweet life. i love the sweet surrender (frozen brazo) but the caramel cake was enough for that weekend. i resorted to the mini cupcakes so that my mom could try them out. she's my cupcake tasting buddy. whenever i buy cupcakes we would sit around the table and have a piece of each flavor. anyway, the mini cupcakes are good because it cuts back the calories.

unfortunately, the mini cupcakes disappointed me a lot. i could still remember the moist and fluffy satine (red velvet) i used to have. but now, the cupcakes were no near that. all of them appears to be dry. i never would have expected that the quality would change considering they were pricey.i dunno if the batch i got was simply bad or the mini cupcakes have a different quality than the regular sized ones but then that defeats the purpose of selling the mini cupcakes if they do not replicate the original taste and texture of the normal ones.

similarly, the much talked about cheesecake cookies didn't have that oomph. i was staring at my mom while munching on them, and i said what's special about these? they're like puto of some sort. really a miss on this one. oh well the caramel cake was the saving grace of my baker's dozen visit.

i ought to try other famous pastries this coming holiday season like karen young's goodies, the famous mango tortes and the list could go on but i am sure i will restrain myself for a sugar overload this upcoming holiday season.

baker's dozen
concourse level
powerplant mall

Nov 5, 2008

pho hoa

haven't blogged about one of my favorite restaurants. though i've said that zao has already beaten pho hoa especially on the fresh spring roll category, the ubiquity of the latter still makes it as one of my favorite places.

just had lunch here today and decided to take some pics.

a bowl of seafood pho. this is my initial favorite. but i have come to love the very light but flavorful meatball pho as well the one with tendons.

would not be complete without some beansprouts, lemon and thai basil. add some chopped chili too...for me i prefer using the siracha and hoisin that makes the broth perfect!

this is my first time to try out the stir fried curry noodle dish. i've gotten tired of my vermicelli bowl with grilled chicken diet. the dish was flavorful, lots of spices and ample ingredients. huge serving, i wasn't able to finish mine and i am a heavy eater. this one could be split into two and you could try other dishes or a side dish like fresh or fried spring rolls. love it!

pho hoa
sm north
paseo center

Nov 3, 2008

fantastic sausages

our tagaytay trip didn't have a specific game plan. went there ahead of everyone else but had to wait for them still. by the time they arrived, they weren't hungry because they just had breakfast while we were famished.

p suggested a "light" but filling meal at a sausage place he doesn't know where. he was able to try it out before as a take out. so we had to go back and forth aguinaldo highway to look for it. the only clue was the shell gas station. and when we were about to eat somewhere else, we spotted the place. small place right before the shell gas station and how could have we missed the huge sausage outside???

they have a house special called looks like a jumbo hotdog. i got the surf and turf meal which originally has the sausage and bun with mashed potato and a southwest salad. i had my mashed potato replaced with fries instead. here it is.

ordered onion ketchup on the side for an extra kick as suggested by p. at an extra cost it made my fries much better. the bamse is perfect. it looks like hotdog but the flavor is different and the skin is perfect. dunno how i should put it but it gives you the perfect bite. it's firm and you that perfect "snap."

the southwest west coast  salad is creamy crabstick salad. kaya pala surf and turf...hehe. it was good. i like the mayo...creamy, i wonder what brand they used and the peas and carrots provided extra texture. as i've said, the original meal is served with mashed potato. from what i've learned the bamse is usually eaten with everything on it. so the mashed potato and southwest west coast salad were piled on top of the sausage sandwich.

they offer other sausages like kielbasa and hungarian which my other friends tried and they said they were equally good. the prices are affordable. the surf and turf meal costs PHP180 i think. so if you find yourself in tagaytay and wanted to get a quick fix but doesn't want the usual pinoy fare you might wanna try this out.

toby and tony's fanstastic sausages
aguinaldo hi-way, tagaytay
right before the shell station

Oct 27, 2008

seattle's best

this post is a perfect upper for my indolent blogging behavior. i just haven't gotten enough groove to write again. in the meantime, i'd like to share some photos from my favorite coffee place - sbc or seattle's best coffee, even its acronym is similar to starbucks.

i like sbc's blend because it's sweeter, though i noticed the greenbelt branch to have a much sweeter blend than the usual. my favorite drink is javanilla which has now evolved to several variants and not just the plain old rich javanilla which i deem was packed with vanilla ice cream making it uber yummy.

they have rich and great tasting pastries. i shared these with some friends. we had black forest which had a decadent chocolate frosting and a dense but not too rich cheesecake which is a perfect match to our drinks.

and just recently, i had latte and look at the designs they made on top...dunno if this is normal for lattes or they made it as such to differentiate the syrup added. but for a coffee shop chain i wouldn't expect such presentation.

seattle's best
greenbelt 3

Oct 22, 2008


this place has been in the podium for quite a long time now. i knew it was owned by jason webb who is one of my favorite dlsu pointguards. but still, i wasn't able to find enough reason to dine here. until recently, since i've read quite a number of reviews.

we got some freebie green tea.

yaku platter PHP 180++ (negima, okra, uzura, asparamaki, butabara, gindara) - if you can't decide what you want to get. you can opt for the yaku platter which has several items. it has chicken, okra, quail eggs, asparagus wrapped in bacon/beef not sure on that one, pork belly and gindara with a spicy radish sauce on top.

uzra bacon (PHP90++) - yummy!!! quail eggs wrapped in bacon...cholesterol overload. the soft egg and tender bacon is a perfect match but be forewarned that it's too rich.

rebaa (PHP70++) - chicken liver. nothing fancy it's just good ol chicken liver with a hint of a sweet bbq sauce.

seafood teppanyaki (PHP 260++) - has a sweet sauce. not fit for those who are not keen on sweet food. the presentation is a miss. it's just a hodge podge of seafoods on a sizzling plate. also, the squid rings are so thin that you wouldn't think it's squid. not aesthetically appealing but a promising dish.

it has a nice ambiance, affordable food - a perfect place to hangout post shopping.

the podium