Jan 29, 2008

evolving palate

i just noticed that my palate has evolved. i'm not talking about food/cuisine per se. but the stuff i enjoy eating. i am listing them down.

1. peanuts - i used to hate peanuts when i was younger then suddenly got addicted to them.

2. california maki/sushi - thanks to b who introduced me to teriyaki boy's california maki. totally changed my japanese eating habits.

3. sashimi - with my bro and j around...you will just envy them on how they savor okuya's bento box which includes sashimi. i still don't order sashimi when i'm in a japanese resto but i eat it when i order the bento box hehe.

4. crabs and shrimps - it started with j's buttered crabs. i have become an expert in buttered and sweet and chili seafoods (prawns and crabs)

5. dark chocolate - my recent change of heart. i bought a box of assorted lindt and i started loving the dark kind. i got several dark choco gifts last christmas and i suddenly enjoyed them.

i've only gotten used to these food items recently, a couple of years ago, except for the peanuts which became my brain food back in college.

Jan 20, 2008

instant noodles: korean

there's a nearby korean grocery at our place and i remember one time when g and i hoarded a lot of korean stuff and not just noodles.

i wasn't really impressed with the noodles, nothing special about them so i never returned and they were quite pricey too. with my mom's recent korean obsession, she found out that the korean noodles are healthier. she discovered several korean noodles from landmark when it opened in trinoma. when i got back we bought all the variants and i'm choosing 2 of my faves.

the green tea noodle is not that extraordinary except for its icky green color. the only thing i like about it is its spiciness. perfect for vegetarians because i think there's no meat flavoring. it also has some seaweeds like the ones found in miso soup so there's a bit of the fishy taste in there.

it might not look very appetizing but they're good in its healthy way. also, i like my noodles soggy so this one is definitely overcooked. i like this one because i think i'm eating healthy stuff even though it's instant noodles.

this is my second favorite. not sure on what's the flavoring of this noodle. but i love flat noodles so this one is perfect and look it's not fried.

this one is spicy as well. the way i like. i think that everybody will like this even those who are used to regular stuff - an extraordinary palate is not needed for this one.

so here are my two favorite korean noodles from landmark. i keep mentioning landmark because as far as i know they sell the most number of korean noodle variants in the metro. so go out there and scour the shelves of your favorite supermarket to find the korean noodle that will best suit you.

up next: chinese instant noodles

Jan 19, 2008

instant noodles: intro

this is a long overdue series. been meaning to write about instant noodles for the longest time. after all, i am a sucker for the msg, carbo enriched no nutrients whatsoever instant noodles. dunno what's with them but they have been a staple in my diet ever since i could remember.

here's a list of locally made noodles that i have been fond of.

  • best foods chicken instant noodles - the packaging was dark blue with a simple bestfoods logo. wonder why they stopped making them.
  • maggi instant noodles - when i was younger this was the hottest instant mami. you can see tita maggie on tv during commercial breaks
  • lucky me beef - with the downfall of maggi came lucky me who was able to come up with a much flavorful instant mami
  • lucky me pansit canton - do you still remember when this was such a hit? i remember me and my cousins cooking loads of this for merienda. this was considered a full meal already.
  • lucky me la paz batchoy - love the garlicky taste
  • nissin yakisoba chicken flavor - i like the chicken variant because it's spicy. this was my breakfast and dinner carbo.
  • nissin cup noodles seafood flavor - i enjoy both the local and imported ones. the imported ones are too pricey though.
  • lucky me jiamppong - i like this one...spicy spicy!
these are the local noodles that i used to love and continue to enjoy. though i must admit that in recent years i tend to buy the imported ones because my mom says they are healthier. but nothing beats nissin yakisoba which i brought loads of to the uk. i don't like the "more authentic" japanese ones that are available in leading supermarkets. anyway, i can't wait to start with this. but i just realized i have to do some grocery shopping because i didn't take pictures of the other items i'm supposed to write about.

up next: korean noodles

greek fix

when i read about cyma a year or two ago. i knew i had to try it. it's a greek resto originally from boracay. i was with my bestfriend when i first tried it and we both loved the food. it is actually one of my favorite restos. i haven't been able to write a post on it because i always forget to take pictures of the food.

i was ready to take pics during my last outing when the food fell short of expectations. it was one of the worst meals i have had. i was hypothesizing back then that the cause is the newly opened branch in greenbelt where their best chefs and ingredients were probably at.

anyway, today was another cyma day. after that traumatic experience, my mom still wanted to come back and get the salad which was the only thing we enjoyed. we went to the trinoma branch this time. the interior looks better, because it's new of course. but i guess the entire surrounding just sets the mood perfectly. this time i took some pics and i was again happy with the meal as expected whenever you dine at cyma.

this is the house salad. a vast improvement from the last serving we had at the shangri-la branch. this time it was well presented with some towering arugula and huge chunks of blue cheese.

the pastisado is a bestseller and my favorite dish. it's osso buco pasta...or should i say it's bulalo pasta. i was craving for bulalo so this was perfect. it needed some more salt though but still the best with its tender shanks.

the chicken gyro is my latest discovery. it's good because the chicken is flavored with some curry spices but it's not that strong. the pita was thin and a bit crisp perfect with the saucy chicken. i just wish they'll use other veggies and not just tomatoes and onions and more chicken!!! :).

this was a very pleasurable meal. i'm happy that my mom enjoyed cyma this time.

shangri-la mall
greenbelt 2

Jan 12, 2008

yummy piece of cake

yummy piece of cake are gourmet cupcakes made by yumi castrillo who is a lawyer by profession. when i was on my cupcake addiction mode, her cupcakes weren't available for orders and then the craving just went pffft.

just this week i heard that my colleagues were getting some cupcakes.so this is it, my chance to finally try her cupcakes. wanted to try a lot of flavors but was able to restrict myself to 5.

(top from left): black russian, sleepless in manila, marie antoinette
(bottom from left): princess di, scarlett o' hara

what's my verdict? love it!!! this is the best and i'm judging both on flavor, texture and price. i've tried several gourmet cupcakes already and i believe this is the best in terms of value for your depreciating peso.

the cupcakes are moist and dense. i like the mini surprises in them like the pear in princess di and the strawberries in marie antoinette. the frosting is just the right amount which makes it not too sweet and creates a perfect balance with the cupcakes.

as far as the flavors are concerned, i fell in love with the princess di and so did my mom. the scarlett o'hara comes in second because i am such a red velvet & cream cheese fan. a far third is marie antoinette just because i love the strawberries in it.

i am looking forward to my next batch of orders probably will get the swiss miss, jessica rabbit, barbie and lemonburst.

yummy piece of cake

Jan 1, 2008

2007 holiday cooking

the holiday season means a lot of eating and cooking. i've decided to just write one post because my christmas cooking was very minimal. to be more specific i only whipped up one dish. it's just stir fried hofan noodles and even before the 25th i wasn't sure if i'll make it chinese or thai style. i opted for the latter. here's my pseudo phad thai christmas noodle dish.

i used chicken breast, shrimps, long bean sprouts (not togue that is available locally) and garlic chives. to make it authentic you should add some chopped peanuts and wansuy and some lemongrass.

for the new year, i made a fruit salad. boring? probably for some but i haven't made this in ages so it's quite refreshing. actually, it just so happens someone gave my mom some fruit salad ingredients and we didn't want to put it into waste. lucky me, i didn't need to fret about getting a cake once again.

i got some grana padano from alexa's deli which is close to my office. anton likes this cheese so i wanted to try it out. it's a hard cheese with a flavor falling between the parmigiano and queso de bola. with such cheese, it's best with pasta and beef. i didn't want to make the traditional bolognese so i decided to make an oil and garlic pasta with some stir fried ground beef.

got some tiger prawns as well. they're huge but they could get tough and rubbery especially if you overcook or reheat them. these ones are 750 PHP a kilo. i think the best ones are the smaller ones which usually fall between 350 to 500 PHP per kilogram. they're easier to cook and the spices seep through the shell well.

we had some lechon turbo as well hehe. it's supposed to be lechon kawali but made it in the turbo to be more healthy. it has this reddish crunchy skin which makes it oh so yummy. the secret to making great lechon kawali or crispy pata is to tenderize the meat by cooking it first with water and spices so that the flavors seep through the meat. my mom nailed the tenderizing this time, it was flavorful all through out. she did not tell me what the spices were but i know what she put in them even if she thinks i don't hehe.

that's it for me. next cooking season will be next year, so till then.