Dec 29, 2011

eat my gf

eat my gf is the creative name of this new food booth at the food choices. it means garlic fries. it had good reviews from the UTT (ultimate taste test) so i was keen on trying it.

i was so disappointed. the fries are the typical frozen ones...mcdo's even better! and the garlic, basil and parsley didn't give that much flavor. ok, i have high standards on garlic fries after trying out hooters', their garlic fries were awesome and this is no where near that. you pay for what you get i guess.

eat my gf
food choices

Dec 28, 2011

kl: snowflake

feels like im on a blogging marathon. i've just realized i have too much backlog. anyhoo, here's snowflake. a taiwanese dessert chain. very "hot" in kl, there's always a long line. most of my friends are not impressed. i am not overly obsessed compared to milkteas but because i like bilo bilo i enjoy snowflake.

i thought this was the bestseller but now it seems like a different flavor. the bestseller doesn't have the sago it has grass jelly instead with the ice at the bottom unlike this one. i like those white/orange taro balls...not a fan of the sweet potato, this one is served with milk/cream which you pour on top. and viola you have taiwanese dessert.

p.s. i checked the website and this is the taro balls series.

pavilion, bukit bintang

katsu treat at yabu

i've read several reviews on the famous katsu resto, saboten, which unfortunately i have not yet tried. i'd have to settle for similar places until i get to singapore or hongkong or better yet japan for it.

on 11.11.11 yabu opened in megamall. it has a similar concept. basically, a restaurant that specializes in katsu, deep fried breaded pork, fish/seafood or chicken. so i told myself i had to try it. here's the famous sesame seeds which you need to grind before mixing with the tonkatsu sauce.

my mixed seafood katsu with hire - pork seafood and veggies. served with bottomless shredded cabbage with either sesame dressing or ponzu.

there are two types of tonkatsu, hire which is tenderloin and rosu which has a small amount of fat. i was apprehensive about the hire but i thought wrong, it was extremely tender that one would think it has fat in it. it is indeed a healthier alternative. the mixed seafood is made up of dory, scallop and ebi. my first plate was a miss, the dory was uncooked in the middle. they replaced my entire plate except for the rice, which meant i had a free refill of the miso soup and an additional eggplant tempura because i've finished mine already :D.

the hire was love, it was very tender. the seafood seemed to be fresh but somehow after the meal i felt itchy which means one of the items wasn't really fresh. i also found the katsu a bit oily like it was cooked at a wrong temperature and if you notice the darker color it kinda hinted that they used a relatively old cooking oil. i'd have to say that they need to ensure the quality of their katsus, after all that's basically what they serve.

it's still a must dining experience and i like that they have great service and also their japanese rice is yummy :D.

2nd floor sm megamall atrium

Dec 27, 2011

buenisimo by cafe ysabel

this is a long overdue post. i thought i already wrote one for this. was at eastwood mall and had nothing in mind so we opted for buenisimo by cafe ysabel. here's what we got.

freebie bread - warm flat bread with soft pillowy insides served with a yellowish oil which ain't nothing like piadina's chilli oil instead has a sweet flavor...maybe pesto would have been better.

crispy pork belly (forgot the actual name) the belly was perfectly crisp but it just had too much fat. i think they should ensure they serve leaner liempo. the rice was a bit oily too which increased the cloying effect of this dish.

bbq ribs (forgot the official name too) as if we weren't thinking straight. we also ordered another pork dish. the ribs were tender but there was something lacking with the flavors which i couldn't figure out what.

dalandan shake - had to post this because c and i both agree that this was the saving grace of our meal ...perfect consistency and it was just oozing with dalandan flavor.

eastwood mall, libis

empire deli

just wanted to share this photo of empire deli's 50/50 which my friends love...unfortunately i'm not a fan. i misunderstood the whole concept, 50/50 means half beef and half bacon i thought the bacon is served separately think wendy's bacon mushroom melt and not part of the patty. second, i am not a huge bbq sauce lover which the burger is served with. not in the picture is a sunny side up egg which i had on the side. if you love bacon in your burger, bbq sauce and onion rings then maybe this one is for you.

empire deli
venice piazza
mckinley, bgc

Dec 26, 2011

mr jones has been feeding me again

since i got back to manila i've already eaten twice at mr jones, and that for me is a record since i only eat at the same resto if there is no option or i really really love the food :D. anyway here's the other stuff i tried.

tapa overload which my friend raved about...i like the seasoning on the tapa but the meat is a bit chewy for me and that's the only downside of this dish.

dory and crab thermidor??? not sure this wasn't really mine but i tried it. i was just impressed they used brown rice and that scores points because i love brown rice :).

cheech and chong - among the dishes i have eaten here including the two dogs in a bed this was the winner. i liked the tender chunks of beef in the sauce and it was aptly seasoned to give you that mexican flavor and the cheese sauce made it more yummy. i appreciated the hotdog more now because i noticed that it has a good snap. what might have been disappointing are the nachos, they weren't crunchy and i'm not sure if it was the sauce/steam that made them less crispy but somehow they made the dish off. maybe they can just remove the fries and put nachos instead and serve it with additional salsa.

also got to try the truffled mac and cheese which was also good but i think the peas are really unnecessary :).

mr jones
greenbelt 5

happy cream puff

i love cream puffs. i have learned about happy cream puff years ago but only got the chance to try them recently. some say it's better than puff mommy which i highly recommend.

so while on an errand i came across their branch in legaspi village and knew i had to get me some. i got the caramel cream puff, the most common cream puff in manila. the verdict? i did not become a fan. the caramel topping was not sweet so that was the only upside. but the choux pastry was too light and crunchy inside. i like it crunchy on the outside but soft and pillowy in the inside. and even though i can see the vanilla beans specks on the cream filling and the consistency was well done i didn't find any wow factor on the flavor. i expected it to be bursting with vanilla instead the flavor was subtle.

so i still love puff mommy which unfortunately stopped selling their yummy products so i'd have to find another cream puff that i will love.

happy cream puff

Dec 14, 2011

shanghai restaurant @ the marriott

another set of free meal vouchers because of my frequent flyer miles (i miss flying badly). anyway, due to the circumstances i was compelled to use it at the shanghai restaurant of the marriott in kl. here's the dimsum feast my friends and i had.

a cucumber slaw of some sort that was refreshing.

beancurd sheets stuffed with mushroom and meat (yeah i forgot if it was pork or chicken) liked this.

fish maw soup- don't even ask what fish maw is hehehe...spongy texture not a fan.

xiao long bao - not really spectacular it was so so favorite is still dragon-i's yes i find it better than din tai fung :D

some dumplings, nice thin skin...obviously freshly made.

some savory pastries liked it too.

chee cheong fun - rice roll stuffed with shrimps liked it.

more carbs! hehehe by this time we were all stuffed...these are the lotus wrapped sticky rice. i didn't like it.

i don't see the point of pan frying siopao it didn't add anything to the dimsum it just made it oily.

forgettable noodles...yuck!

the star of the meal, black sesame glutinous balls in ginger soup. loved the black sesame stuffing it was the right texture of grainy and not mushy with ample amount of sugar and the ginger soup was mildly seasoned. we have been trying tong yuen (not sure about the name) every time we get a chance but the one from shanghai restaurant is still the best.

shanghai restuarant
marriott kl
bukit bintang

Nov 19, 2011

las vegas: pf chang's

my friend mentioned about pf chang's and it got me curious. so i listed it on my must try list. luckily they have happy hour which makes several menu items affordable, check their website to see the offerings.

here's what i got.

condiments first, i was told that the best way to enjoy these are to mix them all up in a separate vessel. one is a soy based sauce with some herbs, the red one looks like sriracha which is chili sauce and the yellow one looks like mustard. i followed the instructions, actually the wait staff did it for me :).

got the lettuce wrap, pf chang's is famous for this chicken lettuce wrap. very nice iceberg lettuce, i believe i got around 5-6 pieces of whole crisp lettuce. for the filling it's chicken very flavorful with some crispy vermicelli.

my perfectly wrapped lettuce roll with one bite, see how perfect it was no spills whatsoever hehe. for me, the chicken filling is flavorful enough that you don't need to put any sauce, but i still poured some because i wanted the kick from the chilli sauce.

egg rolls, these were huge maybe 5-6 inches long. i have always been so intrigued about egg rolls which i always hear on tv shows or movies. so finally i get to try them. oh well, they're basically spring rolls but with a thicker wrapper. it was just filled with cabbage and carrots and finely minced pork which i couldn't even recognize. it was bland for me and i wasn't keen on sweet and sour sauce that came with it.

my entire meal was below 20USD including a raspberry iced tea, i should have probably just ordered wine though. for the americans, i guess pf chang's offer novelty and a more upscale setting for chinese/asian cuisine compared to a typical chinese take out. but with the dishes i tried i wasn't really impressed. i reckon other dishes would be the same like the dumplings ( i overheard a canada based chinese actually criticizing their dimsum because it was not up to par). but with the happy hour prices and with a nice ambiance i couldn't complain. it was still a refreshing meal for me and would prefer it over the dinner i had at canter's deli later on that evening (yeah i got extremely hungry after walking back and forth the strip). and knowing how huge the servings are in the us, my meal would have fed two people so it was worth it. plus, i got two fortune cookies and i loved what were written on them :).

pf chang's
miracle mile shops/planet hollywood
las vegas blvd.

Nov 11, 2011

breakfast at the wynn

buffets are huge in vegas, so of course i wouldn't let it pass. the wynn's buffet is one of the best if not the best. the breakfast buffet costs around 22USD including taxes if i'm not mistaken. it is actually cheap, it even includes free coffee and juice which you just order from the wait staff. so yes, it is definitely worth it!

here's what i tried.

top left clockwise: country biscuit with gravy - i love country biscuits and i love gravy this is only common in the us so gotta grab the opportunity, i found the biscuit doughy the combination was too heavy for me.

virginia ham - it was real ham!!! meaning sliced off a huge pork leg and got some mustard to go with was perfect!

pork apple sausage with roasted potatoes - the sausage is good i actually didn't taste any hint of apple or maybe i was too preoccupied savoring the entire meal. i am a sucker for savory breakfast treats so i couldn't gear away from the ham and sausage.

top left clockwise: english muffins with salmon topped with eggs benedict - oh what a disappointment. the salmon was real salmon or maybe gravlax but it wasn't smoked salmon. i wanted smoked salmon so bad i was disappointed.

cheese blintz - loved it!!! i love cheese...creamy cheese so it was just a joy.

wholemeal pancakes? - not really sure it looks like wholemeal right? first time to try one since healthier pancakes are still not common on this side of the world. the pancake was nice it has a crust and has this "sweet" flavor compared to the typical pancake which you can taste the dough/bread.

artichokes - i also love artichokes so got myself some.

top left clockwise: chicken sausage - as i've said i love savory breakfast items so i couldn't resist.

smoked salmon - because i was craving for one. ok, i have been spoiled by salmon and smoked salmon here in kl. they are glorious, this one's not up to par.

strawberry and peaches with creme fraiche - it's fruit/dessert time and i love strawberries plus p said they're sweet so i have got to get some.

some people might think i have wasted a great opportunity for this buffet, but seriously i was so stuffed. i have no regrets with this meal. i have tried unique items that i haven't had before. the quality of the food is superb. there are so many other offerings at the buffet but because of time and eating capacity we couldn't savor all.

according to some tips i've read, some people who want to save up usually get into the buffet before the next "time slot" meaning if breakfast ends at 11:00AM, they get in a little before 11 so they'll get charged breakfast rates and they will be able to catch the lunch buffet already. of course, breakfast is the cheapest and dinner is the most expensive. if you happen to be in vegas and wants to try a buffet, the wynn's buffet is a sure bet.

the buffet
wynn las vegas
las vegas blvd.

Nov 4, 2011

the much awaited meal at mesa

my celebrity chef crush is bobby flay, i dunno why - rocco dispirito is far better looking but i still favor bobby. as such, i had to make sure i dine at mesa grill. i opted to go for lunch because they don't require reservations during lunch time and dining alone at night is lonesome :(

here's my freebie bread basket. now this is what i'm talking about, freshly made muffin and warm breads. the muffin is apparently bobby's famous yellow and blue corn muffin, i had to research on it to find out what chili was used, it was jalapeno but there were other herbs and spices in it. the texture was light and crumbly, it was really good :D.

here's what i got. spicy chicken with sweet potato hash and poached egg with green chile hollandaise. this dish was packed with a lot of flavors it was a party for my taste buds and the hollandaise was so perfect it was creamy but not overly rich and it just made the eggs so much better. however, it wasn't what i expected. i thought the chicken was separated from the hash but it turns out they were combined which i didn't fancy. sad to say, i had to pick on my food and eat the chicken because there's just too much sweet potato i can take.

i wasn't completely happy with my meal, more like underwhelmed. but i guess i just have to choose a better dish next time.

mesa grill
caesar's palace
las vegas blvd.

Nov 2, 2011

wolfgang's meatloaf

celebrity chef restos are all over vegas. i like wolfgang puck so it was a must to dine at one of his restos. i opted for spago at the caesar's palace. i chose it because it's near my hotel, plus they have the cafe menu which offers more affordable meals.

when i went into the resto i wasn't that hungry and had a hard time choosing the dish i want, considering i have been perusing their online menu for weeks prior to my trip, in retrospect i think i should have opted for the kobe burger which had good reviews. but i didn't want to eat a burger in any of the celeb chef restos.

here's some freebies...some bread and a crispy watchamacallit....the bread was cold. come on wolfgang, i didn't expect this, i was so disappointed.

the olive oil, balsamic, parmesan dip at lombardi's made an impression so when i tried just plain olive oil and salt it was dismal for me, plus can i just say again that the bread was cold.

ordered some lemon/lime frizz which was forgettable, should have saved may 6 USD on this or better yet i should have just ordered coke if they had one.

so i finally decided to get the meatloaf. it was good, i dunno how they made it in such a way it had this canned/luncheon meat/spam texture. i've never had real meatloaf and i've always thought the texture would be like when you bake ground beef more like a burger, but it wasn't. i was actually pleased, the flavors were right on, the pancetta didn't have that overpowering taste. the potato mash was just right for me, it wasn't rich and creamy. the onion rings were perfect, except for one wasn't fully coated :(. but they were freshly made with just the right amount of breading.

i forgot how much exactly my meal was, but as far as i can remember it was less than 30USD. unfortunately, i wasn't impressed, though i can say i've eaten at spago and be proud of it, the meal was nothing to rave about. but most likely, if i'd ordered a proper entree or something else, i could've been impressed. well maybe next time.

caesar's palace
las vegas blvd.

Oct 19, 2011

the best pho i have ever had

so this was my last dinner with p, since she's only able to spend a couple of days with me and not the entire trip. anyway, we both had the same thing in mind. we want asian!!! i dunno what's with american/western food in the us but somehow it feels so cloying and i always end up eating more asian fare which is so ironic.

we were supposed to go to noodle asia at the venetian but it was under renovation. tao, which is a bar and restaurant was already full. we just kept on walking thinking on where to eat, i was about to give up and settle for cajun which i deem would be more bearable compared to regular western fare and we were supposed to get our cajun fix in one of emeril lagasse's restaurants. then i opened my mini guidebook went directly to the back where all the restaurants are listed and noticed that there's one more restaurant which is asian! woohoo!

so we found zine, tucked in the corner of the casino floor in the palazzo. we settled in, ordered some spring rolls for appetizers to fill our grumbling tummies while waiting for our pho. and yes, we both ordered the same thing. so funny, how p and i agree on almost the same kinds of food.

this was my satay, tendon and oxtail pho. oh yeah, i don't think this can be found anywhere else. pho is usually served with a clear broth. this one is satay flavored...think barbecued skewers with that flavorful peanut sauce dip, it's not a thick soup but it is aptly flavored. we couldn't finish the noodles but just filled ourselves with the soft tendons and tender oxtail. i know some of you might be squirming right now, but if you love tendons and oxtail and satay or kare-kare then this dish is for you. the herbs bring that freshness that i love about a bowl of pho. if i'm not mistaken this bowl costs about 20USD. a pretty steep price especially if you come from the other side of the world but definitely a must try...i'll have this again when i visit vegas, hopefully.

p.s. this is not just the best pho i have ever had, but the best meal i had in vegas...oh gheez i can't believe i said that especially with celeb chef resto reviews coming up

the palazzo
las vegas blvd.

Oct 18, 2011

i dreamt of cannoli

i have always been interested on cannoli. it's a tubelike pastry that has been fried and filled with ricotta or mascarpone well i don't know which cheese it is traditionally made of but basically it's crispy pastry filled with cheese, so who wouldn't love that???

when i realized i was going to the us, i searched for places where i can get it. because of the italian theme of the hotels/resorts in vegas, it wouldn't be difficult to find an italian resto or bakeshop which sells it. read about tintoretto at the venetian, so when we were there my friend and i grabbed desserts before heading back to our hotel.

that's my cannoli, i think it cost me around 6USD. well i wasn't impressed. i believe there are better ones out there i just have to keep on looking. the pastry shell wasn't that fresh, i hate candied fruits and unfortunately their version has it and i was surprised they drizzled chocolate sauce on top of it when it should just be dusted with sugar. anyway, i hope to try other ones in italy or new york or wherever there's an italian community so i can find the cannoli i am looking for.

tintoretto bakery
the venetian
las vegas blvd.

Oct 14, 2011

las vegas: taqueria canonita

canonita is a mexican resto in the venetian right by the grand canal. it was a perfect place to have lunch, we could see the the gondolas pass by and hear the gondoliers sing italian songs at the mouth of the canal which is at one end of the resto.

here's what we got.

Pork A La Talla (Guajillo seared Pork Tenderloin, Pecan Succotash, blackened Serrano Skillet Bread and Apricot relish) - loved the serrano bread and the succotash was very refreshing both had great flavors

Santa Rosa Barbacoa de Puerco (Marinated pork slowly roasted in a banana leaf, served cilantro rice, black beans and chipotle barbecue sauce) - the pork was so tender, but unfortunately the flavors doesn't that much have oomph as the other dish

note: got the names and description from the website, prices are also stated there

grand canal shoppe level
the venetian
las vegas blvd.

Oct 12, 2011

las vegas: lombardi's

i went to las vegas last month, and here's my first foodie experience there. flew into vegas on a saturday night and after checking in, my friend and i decided to have dinner. our hotel had a free shuttle and it was going to the miracle mile shops. whenever i go on vacay, i always do my assignment of finding out the restos i wanna try out. in miracle mile, my options were pf chang's and pink's hotdogs. unfortunately, there's a 1.5 hr wait in pf changs and we were already famished that i don't have enough will to look for pink's. so we ended up in lombardi's.

it's an italian restaurant in miracle mile shops and we just opted for it. here's what we got.

complimentary bread and dip - i liked this one, there's an addition of parmesan and chilli flakes with the usual balsamic and olive oil dip

warm crusty bread with red wine for my friend and white wine for me...i wanted something sweet.

greek salad with grilled chicken - i actually ordered grilled shrimp but i didn't complain and the chicken was a bit dry :(

i forgot what fish this was but it was good. i'm sorry i forgot the actually dishes and the prices but i believe our total damage was around 70USD including tip.

miracle mile shops
planet hollywood, las vegas