Friday, June 24, 2011

When in Cebu eat Thai food

We were pretty clueless as where to go during our first night in Cebu for Entrepreneur Networking Night the following day. To play safe, we decided to go to Siam, a Thai restaurant in Ayala Cebu. (Btw, Ayala Cebu was such a beautiful sight.)

Tom Yum
Some of my colleagues were brave enough to slurp down the Tom Yum Prawn Soup (PHP240) which never fails to make me choke till I cry. I tried it still since we all get a cup each and I still can’t finish a cup—not even one spoonful.

Finally the other dishes arrived. We also ordered Bagoong Rice (PHP180), Chicken Thai Yellow Curry (PHP220), Thai Crispy Pata (PHP330)—yes, apparently there is a THAI version, Sautéed Prawn in garlic (PHP220), and Chili Prawn (PHP230).
Bagoong Rice

Chicken Thai Yellow Curry
The Bagoong Rice was nothing spectacular. It doesn’t have a very strong taste and it worked for us since we also ordered curry. The Chicken Thai Yellow Curry on the other hand was delicious. I’m not very fond of curry and this one doesn’t have the strong taste (and smell) of curry. It was just right. It reminded me of Simply Thai’s version. It was really good. Moving on.
Sautéed Prawn in garlic
Chili Prawn
The Chili Prawn and Sautéed Prawn in garlic were goooood. The prawns were big and fresh. I prefer the Chili Prawn over the one sautéed in garlic as it was richer in flavor. What made me in love with it was that it wasn’t very spicy. In fact, it was quite mild. The one in garlic was like your typical dampa type. Fresh and garlicy.
Thai Crispy Pata
Lastly, the Thai Crispy Pata. Well, it tasted like… crispy pata. Crispy skin, tender meat, really good with soy sauce with some onions.
Too bad there’s no Siam in Manila. But now I have more reasons to frequent Ayala Cebu on my next visit.

The Ultimate Pinoy Desserts

Most Pinoys can’t leave without desserts or as the “elders” call it… pang-alis ng suya.
As part of the food trip I joined, we stopped by Nathaniel’s and Kabigting’s for dessert after a delectable meal from Adarna. At first I was not very excited because the desserts were… kinda common. But you’ll definitely change your mind when you try Nathaniel’s buko pandan and Kabigting’s halo-halo.
Nathaniel’s buko pandan was very creamy and rich in flavor. It seemed like I was eating some frozen whip cream with lots of buko and jelly. Yummy! But I don’t recommend it for those who had too much for lunch or dinner as I find the dessert too filling.

Next stop was Kabigting’s halo-halo, popular for just having 3 ingredients (aside from ice and milk). With just beet, corn, and pastillas, it did taste like halo-halo less all the complexities and wonders of what we were chewing.
It would have been nice if there is also THE PLACE for banana-que, turon, my all time favorite karioka, and leche flan.

Monday, June 20, 2011

High with Hainanese chicken

Thanks to my mom’s friends, we were able to discover this hidden treasure in front of the Robinsons Galleria supermarket. There lies a small restaurant with glass walls. The name of the restaurant is… you guessed it HAINANESE DELIGHTS.
The restaurant offers mostly chicken dishes. We had Hainanese Delights (their most ordinary yet best selling dish), Hainan Fried Chicken and The Singapore Staple (which was basically just noodles with Hainanese Delights).
To all rice lovers, for every order of Hainanese Delights and Hainan Fried Chicken (and for some of their other entries), you get UNLIMITED RICE. Yes, it’s not only in a certain inasal or Japanese store can you get unlimited rice. What’s even more delightful about this is that the unlimited rice is not your ordinary white rice. It has butter and it goes really well with the ginger sauce they have. It is truly something that will make you eat more.
Sorry, we were so hungry that I just took a group shot instead.
Moment of truth.
The Hainanese Delights looks like your typical boiled or steamed chicken. But it has a different taste. It has a light sweet taste that is further enriched by soy sauce or the ginger sauce. Because the taste is quite light, you will not get tired of it easily.
As for the Hainan Fried Chicken, well… it’s not really the fried-meaning-crispy kind of chicken. The chicken is quite the same as the Hainanese Delights only this time, the skin of the chicken is darker because it was supposed to be fried. The taste though is richer than the Hainanese Delights making it more appealing to kids.
Lastly, presenting The Singapore Staple.  To describe it in basic terms, it is your typical Wanton Noodle soup with chicken instead of siomai. It’s actually good, though I needed to add some soy sauce to add more flavor.
All of the dishes we ordered are only PHP120 each and believe me, if you eat like me (meaning an order of Caesar salad is enough to make me full), then you won’t go wrong with this one and you’ll even end up having leftovers.
Hainanese Delights is located at the Lower Ground of Robinsons Galleria (in front of the Robinsons Supermarket, the one beside Watsons).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Adarna… more than just a magical bird

I finally got the chance to go to Adarna Food and Culture last June 11, 2011. As a Mandaluyong girl, it is VERY HARD to convince me to go to QC unless there’s a very good reason.
Anyhoo, my friend and I were greeted by the script signage of Adarna and 1900s set-up. There was a sunka and jukebox in the lanai area and there was even a sari-sari store with old magazines, boxes, bottles, and even toys.
Inside, I first noticed the three irons. I had to fight the urge to play with it.
The so tempting irons.
*Moving on*
First served was the Seafood Special which has fish fillet and bits of scallops and shrimp. It was a bit crunchy and really savory. It was a tad bit salty for me since I decided to not eat it with rice (blame my no rice diet).
Next served was the Bicol Express (which interestingly did not originate in Bicol). The green peppers were stuffed with meat and covered with batter and coconut milk. It was super (blazingly) hot. I almost finished my can of soda in one go because of it. But since it was so good, I could not help myself get another one. The chewy pepper, creamy cheese, and the ground meat all made the dish really savory.
We also got the chance to try the Adobong Batangas ala Adarna which has a very rich taste. The adobo was a bit crispy and it reminded me of lechong kawali adobo style.
And of course, a meal would not be complete with the dessert which has been a practice of Filipinos as “pang-alis suya”. Chef Giney served Kesong Puti and Langka Fry. It was really good. It was your not so typical turon. The salty taste of the kesong puti and the sweet taste of langka were delightful.
Without a doubt, Adarna Food and Culture is one amazing restaurant. With its chef and owner Giney Villar, a passionate Filipino restauranteur, you’d never go wrong with any of the dishes. Each dish presented to us was truly exquisite.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You are invited!

Are you based in Cebu? Would like to establish a business in Cebu or perhaps already has a business but interested to venture on another business? If your answer is yes to these questions, then you must attend ENTREPRENEUR PHILIPPINES NETWORKING NIGHT this June 17, 2011 at the Radisson Blu Hotel from 6pm to 9pm.

We have invited several speakers: Jay Aldeguer of Islands Souvenirs, Manny Osmeña of Manny O. Wines, Joseph Gandionco of Julie's Bakeshop, and Rey Calooy of RNC Marketing to talk about establishing a business in Cebu and making it big not only in Cebu but in other parts of the country and even worldwide. 

This will be one night where you can mingle with your fellow entrepreneurs, rub elbows with the speakers, and meet the Entrepreneur editorial team. 

To RSVP: Contact Kieffer Nonato at 09228993465.

See you all there!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2nd's please!

To celebrate our first big event this 2011, our boss treated us to 2nd’s in High Street (formerly occupied by Mag:Net).
We were greeted by BIG wooden doors (and heavy) doors and behind those doors is a really uh… brown space. It is like being transported to the setting of The Godfather (which I find quite cool).
The servers were quite quick (probably because there were only to other tables to wait). We were quite famished so while waiting, we ordered for Bacon Chicharon. Come again? Bacon Chicharon??? Why yes, served with muscovado mustard and spiced vinegar, it was one of the highlights that lunch.
Bacon Chicharon
My colleagues ordered Three Little Pigs Kawali (PHP598), Red Horse Fish and Chips (PHP520), and Summer Grilled Pork Chops (PHP420).  I ordered Healthy Chicken (PHP485) because it is… healthy (or so what the menu claims). It also has two pieces of hash brown that turned out to be radish.
Three Little Pigs Kawali
Red Horse Fish and Chips
Summer Grilled Pork Chops
Healthy Chicken
The Healthy Chicken was very delightful. It was a bit sweet (because of the honey) just the way I like it. The chicken was very tender as well. The side dish with arugula was a great addition to the dish.
I managed to taste the other dishes and my favorite is the pork chop. Quite sweet and sour because of the pineapples, it was one oh-so-good meat. The fish and chips were good as well. Do try the fries for it has an interesting taste (warning:  Quite SPICY!). On the other hand, the lechong kawali was a bit dry.  
Leche Flan Turon Ala Mode
For dessert, we had Leche Flan Turon Ala Mode (PHP235). After one bite, my boss ordered another one. Yes, it was that good. WE JUST HAVE TO HAVE MORE! While munching on this sweet and crispy mini turon with leche flan inside sprinkled with chocolate shavings and topped by vanilla ice cream, we all wondered how they managed to put the leche flan inside for we all know that it should melt. Then again, how do people make fried ice cream? Oh how I miss KIKU.
Verdict: The place is very nice and it is a place I'd love to visit again. The food's great too though the price though is not very student friendly. Next time, I'll try the other desserts.

One Sooo Pinoy Day

I was one of the two lucky winners to be part of the Sooo Pinoy Food trip with the top food bloggers in Manila (my boss included!).
Since this was something that doesn’t happen every day, I was pretty excited. Food. Wi-Fi bus. Chance to meet new friends. Adventure. Yipee!!! 

My friend and I were early at the first stop ADARNA FOOD AND CULTURE restaurant since we do not like being late. Call time was 11:15 and we arrived around 10 minutes earlier. No one was there yet aside from the organizers and the other winner and her friend. (Disclaimer: Details of each stop will be on different blog posts.)
After a few minutes of taking pictures of the oh-so-amazing antique and historic displays, the other organizers and bloggers arrived. We were formally greeted by the organizers and were treated to a nice lecture on Filipino Food by no other than Giney Villar, owner and chef behind Adarna. Here we were introduced to katmon, a good alternative to tamarind for it has a milder taste. Seafood Special, Bicol Express, Adobong Batangas, and Kesong Puti with Langka were served for lunch. We were also given a tour around the place. (It has a function room and a really cool jukebox!)
Next stop was NATHANIEL’S which was said to have really good buko pandan and puto (which is the hybrid of puto and siopao). It was unfortunate that someone took advantage of our food excitement and took the bag of one of our (uhm) tour-mates.
We have not digested the buko pandan yet when we stopped by KABIGTING’S for some halo-halo. What’s so interesting about this halo-halo is that it only has 3 ingredients. HUWAAAT? Halo-halo with just three ingredients? You call that halo-halo?—inner me talking. Why yes—stomach talking. I never thought that cream of corn, beet, and pastillas (milk included) are enough to make a good halo-halo. I was still pretty full then so I wasn’t able to finish my share. (Shucks!)
Now the adventure starts. QUIAPO was our next stop. I went there before but I didn’t remember a thing. We first went to this Halal store named NIHAYAH HALAL located at the ground floor of Hotel Noralyn. We tried Tilapiang Inaluban, Kilawin, Beef Rendang, Badak, and Atay Papar. I am not very fond of curry or anything spicy so I didn’t enjoy it that much. We walked towards our next destination MASTER HOPIA FACTORY, INC. Since it was sooooo hot inside, I did not bother checking which hopia to get. I got the regular original mongo flavored hopia. Last stop in Quiapo was EXCELENTE ham known for… well… excellent ham.

Words cannot explain how happy we all were when we got back to the bus. Hello air conditioner! J
Finally, we arrived to our last stop: CAFÉ ADRIATICO in Malate (in front of Manila Bay). The ambiance was a bit dark and made us sleepy (all that eating made it even worse). BUT we will never sleep before food! For our early dinner, we had Sinigang na Bangus sa bayabas as appetizer, sparerib adobo and (sort of) crispy pata as main course, and buko pandan for dessert.
The tour was really fun. There was just a bit of a boo boo near the end that disappointed me. But I’d rather keep it to myself.
Good job Sooo Pinoy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

In love with a pink gooey goodness

I never thought that I will fall in love with marshmallow. True, I have been fond of munching on marshmallow since I was a kid. Then I discovered CHOCOLATE FONDUE and I just can’t stop craving for marshmallows. But soon, I grew tired of this soft gooey snack and moved on to munching other evil goodness.  
Then one fateful day… I went to MUJI (for the first time here in the Philippines).
I am not very fond of the store as I find the items there ridiculously overpriced. For generic looking office/home/everything else items, people are paying way more compared to buying branded ones. Also, the color options are very limited (even for me who only acknowledges white, black, brown, blue and red as colors).
And since I am getting turned off by the price tags (though I still bought a bookend since I really really need one to organize my files), I decided to check the Muji food rack as I heard a lot of rave about it.
I got curious with the marshmallow for it looked so… fluffy and pink. Okay, perhaps the girly girl in me suddenly popped out and that what made me decide to buy it.
 Oh my marshmallow heaven goodness~~~~~ it is sooooooo good. The strawberry… uhm, jam is so good and it goes well with the fluffy chewy marshmallow. Though I find it a bit sweet, I still can’t stop myself from getting more.
And since I got addicted to it, I went back to Muji to buy another pack just to find out… THEY RAN OUT OF IT. I then bought the lemon flavor on sale (meaning it will expire soon) and a pack of strawberry mallows with strawberry cream (totally different).
I am still craving for that strawberry mallow with strawberry jam filling. Wait, how do you call it anyway?