Nov 21, 2013

huevos rancheros or not

all of a sudden i had this craving for huevos rancheros but if you want to eat the real deal then it's quite cumbersome to do, i mean i need to make guacamole, i need to have nachos/tortilla and refried beans to make it really authentic.

i've resolved to just having "baked" eggs or something similar since i've seen some blog posts of a similar dish. so finally, i gave into my craving months after.

saute some chopped onions, put some canned chopped tomatoes (you can use any type of canned tomato in my opinion the key here is to have something saucy enough. you can even use tomato sauce and fresh chopped tomatoes but i was going for this certain effect so canned chopped tomatoes it was), put some seasoning i've used jalapeno, cayenne and oregano (the specks you see on the top of the eggs) maybe you can use other spices to make it either italian or mexican like basil or cumin, salt and of course the eggs. cover it if you want a certain level of doneness, for this dish i like my eggyolks a bit done on the outsides and just soft and creamy inside. i also topped this with cheese afterwards. perfect with garlic bread or any crusty bread heck you can dip your nachos in this as well.

"japanese" fried rice

this was actually just a hodge podge of left over ingredients i didn't want to spoil so i decided to make fried rice one day.

rice, chopped/fried veggie meat, shimeji mushrooms, spring onions, japanese soy sauce, egg omelette cut into thin strips and some shredded nori

Nov 5, 2013

shella makes: noodles :D

just wanted share these wonderful carbs i've cooked, one is western and the other is pinoy.

salmon and zucchini fettucini
inspired by tgi friday's cedar smoked salmon pasta (not sure about the name). this version is sans the cream but basically has the same ingredients as friday's.

garlic, fresh tomatoes, salmon, zucchini and italian parsley.


this is palabok, a filipino rice noodle dish. the sauce is made with garlic, ground pork, shrimp juice, annatto seeds, water and flour. there so many choices of toppings, mine had chicharon, egg, shrimp, spring onions and fried garlic.

Nov 1, 2013

my big gay rainbow cake

ever since i saw the rainbow cake of cake shack, i knew i had to try it. light, fluffy, colorful layers of buttercake with a cream cheese frosting. i initially wanted it with rainbow colored icing but other than the price, i realized that the colorful layers will not shine through if the icing is multi colored as well. luckily, there's an option to have a colored icing other than the traditional white one. got mine in yellow which was perfect. it was really good and you can see the brightness of the colors which other rainbow cakes out there fail to match (if they google they will know why their layers are not bright and colorful!). this was my birthday cake by the way hehe...good enough reason to buy a big cake isn't it?

cake shack

Oct 29, 2013

my day at kimpura

this was my first time in kimpura could you believe it? i can't either. of course we got the teppanyaki. i only ordered two sets of ribeye with fish and prawn and had an extra order of scallops. also just had an extra serving of rice and miso soup since there is 3 of us.

food was really good, you know that they use only high grade ingredients. it was a very happy meal and we were so stuffed we didn't finish all of this, had the leftovers to go.

trinoma mall, qc

Oct 27, 2013

my birthday brekkie

oh yes, you read it right! this was my birthday brekkie that's why it was tagged #itsmorefuninthephilippines since i celebrated my birthday in manila for the first time since i moved to kl.

i don't like the singaporean chilli crab recipe or the sweet and sour type of crabs. for me this is perfect, the way i want my chilli garlic crabs. butter, garlic, crabs, tomato sauce, salt, sugar and tabasco.

Oct 24, 2013

urbn bar and kitchen

i've read so many reviews on urbn, well most of them were sponsored posts but the food seems legit and it has become one of my friends' favorite spots so during my last visit it was a must.

well i wasn't really blown out of my mind with the dishes we tried, they were ok but not extraordinarily good.

manchego cheese souffle - it was light and the crispy prosciutto made it more interesting and provided a contrast of textures.

rack of lamb - wanted to try the dry aged steak but they didn't have it tsk tsk. we ordered medium but this one seems to be too rare for us. we had it sent back to the kitchen for further cooking.

mac and choreese - nothing special just mac and cheese, i didn't even taste any distinct flavors from the chorizo.

kurobota pork belly - seriously? this was just like fried pork belly. there's something wrong with the slaw it was just not right and they are better off using regular pork because the way this dish was cooked didn't highlight the quality of the pork.

white chocolate lava cake

my friends love their chocolate lava cake but they didn't know there's white chocolate lava cake so when we found out we opted to order this. this one is more like yema flavored cake and not white chocolate it was still good though. 

overall, they served decent food but nothing to rave about. there was a miss on my singapore sling by the way. they served me a drink that tasted like cough syrup so we eventually complained and they replaced it with something that is what a singapore sling should look like (well it was my first singapore sling so i was apprehensive on complaining but from my recollection a singapore sling shouldn't really look like a mcfizz).

urban bar and kitchen
fort pointe building, bgc

Oct 23, 2013

best ramen ever!

ok, i'm not really a fan of ramen. i loved instant ramen though (haven't eaten instant noodles for 9 months now, i'm trying to be healthy). before, i already mentioned that i'm very particular with ramen. i have this certain construct on what a good ramen noodle should be.

so the much raved about ippudo ramen has come to the malaysian shores. somehow i was drawn to this particular brand. santouka has been here for a while and it never piqued my interest, but ippudo did.

akamaru shinaji, their famous tonkotsu broth with miso paste and garlic oil, was so fragrant. there are several versions of this ramen based on toppings. this was the everything on it, me thinks. it has egg, chashu and seaweed which i'm currently addicted to. the pork slices are so tender, the broth is so rich and i like the spiciness and the garlicky goodness the oil imparts. you can still add freshly ground sesame and fresh garlic if the flavors are still not enough.

the first time i tried it, i had medium firmness and it was alright and then the succeeding one the medium firm noodles were a bit soggy. so either we had the very firm noodles before or they screwed up our order the second time around. i love their noodles, not the traditional ramen type noodle, theirs is similar to a hongkong noodle - round, thin but whiter and very springy. 

after perusing the menu online, i suddenly remembered oh tokyo! it's a show on sky cable which features places in tokyo. there was this episode wherein they showed the ramen museum. and it's more like a food gallery of all the ramen in japan. the host, ellen (if i remember correctly) ate aka ramen which is similar to this ramen aka means red - it was served in a red bowl and she said among the ramen she has tasted this was closest to the pinoy mami because of the garlic oil. i now wonder whether this is the same ramen she had then, but i digress.

they serve other food items too. opted for the avocado and shrimp with wasabi mayo. it's a welcome break from the ramen which could be cloying.

curry cheese haru maki is a unique dish. it's good and if you like japanese curry and/or cheese you'll love this dish. however, fried + cheese does not fare well with an ultra rich ramen broth.

ippudo's ramen is something that i crave for or dream about, it's seriously that good. it has ruined ramen for me, it's like i can only eat ippudo ramen and nothing else. but ikkoryu fukouka ramen seems to have a similar type of noodle as ippudo so there's a chance it can match my ippudo fanaticism.

pavilion mall, kl

Oct 11, 2013


finally tried margarita fores' much raved about greenbelt 5 resto.

complimentary grissini

truffle potato chips to whet our appetite

d's cannelloni

i wanted the demi pound burger but they said they ran out of the bun and would be served with plain bread...meaning tasty!!! that was a major turn off for me. the service was good but seriously? serving your famous burger in white bread was just appalling. anyway, the spinach taglerini had great reviews and it was good. the pasta for me was a bit overcooked but the balance of the flavors were just right.

fresh calamansi juice because my throat was a bit scratchy paper straws btw :).

greenbelt 5
makati city

Oct 10, 2013

pj: myburgerlab

so finally, i was able to try the infamous myburgerlab. i got a set which comes with fries and bottomless drink. my burger was a+ which has cheddar, caramelized onions and enoki mushrooms. but i received the a++ which has a parmesan crisp. i didn't complain anymore, the place was packed and the extra parmesan crisp wouldn't really matter.

the beef patty was bland. bland meaning there's no beefiness in the patty. i really don't know how to describe it but let' just say a quarter pounder is more beefy than their patty. and then i remembered how pale colored their patty was like as if it was 50% fat and 50% beef. maybe that was the reason, more fat makes it more "tender" and should add flavor but nothing beats the beefy goodness of meat. i tried the chicken version as well and i think it fared much better because you get a chicken breast fillet.

the fries, during the first visit was soggy and too cloying. they've put too much italian seasoning. the second visit, the fries were much better but still not crisp enough and the seasoning was a little less.

the portobello fries are good, better than the potato fries but i hope they don't go crazy on the seasoning as well. and for the dip, i think it needs more fine tuning. i actually couldn't figure out what flavors it tries to impart it's just a creamy sauce that's spicy. i like it because the spiciness cuts the cloying taste of the deeply fried foods but it ends there. probably better with just a spicy ketchup.

14, jalan 21/22
seapark, petaling jaya

Oct 8, 2013

trader joe's is love

it was in 2007 when i first learned about trader joe's. i was in san francisco and my friend p told me i would love the place. unfortunately, time did not permit me to visit any store.

years later i finally got the chance to check it out. my first visit was in nyc, i was heading for some retail therapy and passed by the 6th ave location. popped in and bought some luna and larabars and then i saw kale chips and knew i had to get them.

(luna and larabars are health bars supposedly made without flour and mostly with fruits and nuts. i find the larabars much better less sweet and more healthy compared to the cloyingly sweet luna bar)

kale is a bitter green and this one is nacho flavored which is apt for the slightly bitter leaf. i wasn't an ultimate fan because it wasn't as crispy as i want it to be and the nacho flavoring were thick coating of seasonings that are not evenly distributed. i brought it back to malaysia even after being opened for God knows how long (it's resealable) they didn't survive the travel and became bits instead of chips, i topped them on soups and it was delish :D.

here are some of the stuff i got. the lentil chips and peach salsa were locally procured thanks to tastecentral. the mini cheese crackers were a bit salty for me but i think it's just right for others. the rest are all good especially the peach salsa. and no, i haven't tried the famous cookie butter, it's so difficult to get one and i am already happy with biscoff which everyone says is much better =).

i love healthy stuff, i am a fan of healthy options, i scream at the sight of turkey patties and frozen organic berries. having a trader joe's nearby is a dream. i'd probably eat much healthier with the wide array of food items to choose from. 

Oct 2, 2013

pj: multi-colored xiao long bao

this is a super late post! this was during the chinese new year. i love xiao long bao and what could be more exciting than 8 flavors of xiao long bao.

paradise dynasty is the only place i know that offers several flavors of xiao long bao, they even give you a guide on which flavor to start with so that you'll be able to savor all of them, otherwise eating a more strong flavored xiao long bao will ruin the others for you.

here they are up close. i was not impressed, the skin is thick but not pillowy (the only reason why i could appreciate thick skinned xiao long bao).  din tai fung's crab and truffle flavored xia long bao are still the best. the garlic flavor was so strong it was bordering dismal. best eaten piping hot otherwise they'll taste bleh.

here's my favorite CNY dish, yee sang. this has salmon, shredded veggies like cucumber and carrots, pomelo, crispy crackers among many other things and a sweet tangy sauce which i deem is plum based. it's a prosperous dish for the cny which you need to toss as high as you can.

paradise dynasty
paradigm mall
kelana jaya, petaling jaya

Aug 27, 2013

shella makes: cioppino and mentaiko spaghetti

i rarely post anything that i've made on this blog. i love to cook...well not all the time. i remember a friend telling me - cooking is not your passion. i was a bit taken aback but then i realized she was right. food/eating is my passion but not cooking! i started cooking at a young age maybe 10, i can still remember the first dish i've ever cooked. then i'd cook/bake anything i've discovered until i'm so tired making them that i move on to the next - i was making mocha bars, food for the gods, beef with brocolli practically every week until new recipes come along. i never follow recipes to a T. as i've heard biba once said on tv, a great cook never measures. and that's how i've been cooking. 

it's been weeks since i started craving for mussels so finally i bought a pack in the grocery. i also bought some squid since i didn't want the mussels to be lonely hehe. i could have added more seafood like shrimps but it was just too much, i'd end up eating that for an entire week if i did. i know i was making an italian seafood stew that up to this point i cannot recall the name. then i posted it on instagram and a friend mentioned seafood cataplana and that's portuguese so finally, i googled italian seafood stew and voila it's - cioppino,  how can i forget?! 

the ingredients i used were garlic, onions, celery, canned italian tomatoes, italian parsley and lemon. one of the recipes i saw included bay leaf and dried oregano, so i guess i was just missing out on a couple of herbs. for me it was nearly perfect, if only i thought of putting in some chilli flakes...i will when i reheat my leftovers. i'm on this pseudo diet so i ate it with rye crisps, but this is better with some crusty bread lightly toasted which you can use to mop the yummy sauce. 

another one of my creations which is long overdue is mentaiko spaghetti. inspired by cake club's.

here's what i did. saute chopped onions in butter, add the mushrooms and then some cream. the mentaiko was "marinated" with a light japanese soy sauce - i used yamasa and lemon. add cayenne or chilli flakes for some kick. once the cream has the right consistency i mixed in the spaghetti noodles and the mentaiko. topped with shredded nori.

well that's it. just got inspired to write this post since i just cooked the cioppino this morning. happy eats!

dc: five guys burgers and fries

five guys and fries were a bit under my radar since i've been seeing it on maps and posts about food finds in the east coast. then v and c talked about it and said it was like in and out. i've never been to in and out so i had nothing to compare it with.

luckily, there's a branch at the dulles airport. in terms of the patty this one tops shake shack. the patty was juicy and beefy, i guess that's what you'd expect from fresh ground beef. you can choose all the toppings you want and they are free.

i chose the standard condiments for my little cheeseburger, (little is one patty, regular serving is double patties) i added grilled onions as well. 

the bun was very soft and as i've said the patty was beefy and juicy, however, my burger was bland. i think they forgot to put salt. if they did it would have been perfect. and i also like my onions to be more soft and nearly caramelized.

i also opted to order fries, i've been noticing that their french fries bags indicate the source of the potatoes (saw it in other branches too) so i thought they must be good - natural, organic or handcut whichever they are. it was worth the calories! the fries were crispy and yet soft in the insides. the fries still have skins and it's fried in peanut oil so it's a tad healthier compared to others. the fries are more than the ones in the cup they actually spilled over inside the bag.

pardon the crappy photo, i was famished needed to eat asap.

five guys burgers and fries
multiple branches in the us

Aug 24, 2013

dc: famous cupcakes

used to religiously watch dc cupcakes, then i dunno why i stopped watching or maybe because i don't see it on tlc anymore. i wasn't really too keen on trying out cupcakes in nyc (magnolia cupcake and probably crumbs). but i was going to the taste of georgetown and two of the famous cupcakes stateside will be there so i thought might as well get them during the food fest.

we had time to kill in georgetown even after going around and v said we should line up at georgetown cupcakes' store front instead of getting them at the fest since the line was pretty short (it was still closed). we got just 4 cupcakes to try. luckily there was a free table in the small cupcakery that we opted to eat them inside and i even saw katherine!!! and her baby and mommy! ok if you don't know or haven't realized it yet this is georgetown cupcakes and they have a series on tlc entitled dc cupcakes. 

anyway here's what we got, didn't realize that we mostly got the saturday flavors/ flavors of the day since the menu rotates on a daily basis except for some core flavors which are available daily.

salted caramel (saturday) - i am a caramel fan so anything salted caramel is a must. i loved this. this was my favorite. the cupcake was moist but not too crumbly. the buttercream had the right amount of sweetness. though the best among the ones we've tried it wasn't an out of this world experience still.

red velvet (everyday) - my reaction? my red velvet is better than this! (di naman nagyayabang, but you know what different strokes for different folks, but a friend said the same thing, that her red velvet is better than theirs) yeah, the cupcake was a bit dry. and the frosting wasn't that tangy or cream cheesy at all. i was disappointed.

mint cookies and cream (saturday) - i guess we all like mint and we got intrigued by this one. the cupcake was like the salted caramel cupcake, moist and not overly sweet but the frosting? ohemgee it was so sweet, i can feel the sugar granules grinding between my teeth. i do hope that this was because someone screwed up the frosting big time, because i cannot believe how dismally sweet it was. this was hard to finish we forced c to eat it hehe.

pb fudge (saturday) - as i recollect my thoughts on this flavor, there's nothing i can recall. it was okay, just okay. i think this one lacked the you get what i mean? like it boasts of using valrhona chocolate but it wasn't that chocolatey at all and the pb frosting only had a mild peanut flavor. 

ok after having dessert as our appetizers we headed to the taste of georgetown. and that's were i got sprinkles. sprinkles originated in LA and it's the favorite of celebrities like oprah. they only have two flavors at the fest. i got the red velvet.

the hit, it was moist and chocolatey like my red velvets ;) waaaay better than georgetown cupcake's. the miss, the frosting i've been thinking it wasn't cream cheese frosting but i double checked and it was. it didn't taste like cream cheese though. it was too sweet and had grains of sugar that it didn't even dawn on me that it was cream cheese oh well either i got a bad batch again or that's really how they tasted.

so i'm still thinking on whether these cupcakes are really worth it. maybe for georgetown cupcakes it's not worth lining up for 30 minutes to an hour. just pre-order them online and pick it up at the store if you want them fresh or better yet have them ship it to you. i haven't tried other flavors of sprinkles so i cannot assess it further but the cupcake itself was perfect for me very moist and flavorful. i guess the novelty of the flavors and the presentation of their lovely cupcakes add to the lure of these famous cupcakes. money's worth? they're 3.50 USD each me thinks and  that's like 150 PHP which i deem is still ok. aren't manila based cupcakes almost a hundred bucks each? and those are small, these cupcakes are big.

georgetown cupcakes

3301 M st. NW cor 33rd
washington, dc


3015 M st. NW
washington, dc

Aug 7, 2013

dc: super chicken

tagging this under dc but it's technically in virginia just like ihop which was in maryland. anyway, i can probably say this was my best meal. not that it was better than manzo's but because it was a remarkable meal for less than 10 bucks so my vote is on this one.

we saw the sign of peruvian chicken and v having had peruvian chicken mentions it's good. so i said we should try it out. and i'm glad we did! the chicken was so tender and flavorful and the skin roasted with nice crispy parts. i had it with yucca as i was curious what it was. i think it's just really cassava. there were two dips given and both equally good, i remember the green being spicy and the yellow one is a mustard based sauce or was it garlic...i forgot.

it was good...the only regret i have was not trying a traditional peruvian corn drink because i didn't see it!

super chicken
tyson marshall center
leesburg pike
tysons corner, va

Aug 5, 2013

dc: ihop stateside

so i have never been to ihop despite several visits to the us before and i haven't been to manila since it opened so it was really a must for me during this trip.

luckily v obliged to bring me to ihop for our sunday breakkie before going to mass. when we got there, there was a line! well not really a line but it was quite a wait. you need to request for a table and just wait for your name to be announced. c said, sundays are usually packed because families have their breakfast at ihop and yeah i can see that it was mostly families dining there.

there were so many choices i really couldn't pick one but since v ordered the healthy wheat blueberry pancakes i knew i don't have to order them i can just pick on her plate hehe.

so i just decided on the 3x3x3, 3 regular pancakes, 3 eggs over easy and 3 turkey bacon. as usual i kept complaining that the servings in the us are huge that's why people can't keep their diets! excuses! gheez i didn't realize there was a 2x2x2 why didn't i see that?

i had brewed coffee as well it was meh, they usually give a pot but it was so bland i'd rather have coffee from mcdo.

the various pancake syrup, i liked the blueberry if i remember correctly. surprisingly the fruit flavored ones don't taste too much like just artificial flavourings. the butter pecan which i was excited about tasted meh. and the maple, forget about it. well i'm actually spoiled because i do have authentic maple syrup at home so i've been used to the real thing for quite sometime now and nothing can top that.

there's really nothing special about ihop maybe except for the variety. but in terms of food quality, they can be had in similar places. if you ask me, i think i'm happy with pancake house's pancakes, they are lighter and fluffier not like ihop's which seems to be too crumbly so to speak.

rockville pike
rockville, maryland