• My boyfriend brought home some nori (seaweed wrapper) from his trip to Korea and I thought the only thing I could do with it was to make sushi. I don't know how to make sushi, nor have I watched anyone assemble the Japanese delicacy. And so relying on recipes found in the internet, I dub my California roll version "Anything Goes Sushi."

  • In Spanish, the word taste (‘sabor’) etymologically derives from the word knowledge (‘saber’): to taste is to know. Bolivia is a poor country with little access to material goods, but its close relationship to the land creates a strong relationship with food. - Fernando Martinez, creator of Fastfood Off the Shelf (a documentary on why McDonald's failed in Bolivia)

    A couple of hours ago, news that McDonald's had totally shut down in Bolivia circulated the Internet. Well, it wasn't entirely true. McDonald's did shut down but it was back in 2002. But that's not the point of this entry. Apparently, the world is being reminded of the historic event because of the recent release of "Fastfood off the Shelf," a documentary on why McDonald's failed in Bolivia.

  • Besides fruit cake, another Western Christmas dessert that has reached the country is rum cake. While not as popular as fruit cake, this bittersweet, alcohol-soaked cake remains a classic. I was still oblivious to the foodie scene years ago but I'm sure that for a time, rum cake trended in bazaars (think about the cupcake craze).

  • I've been out for a while (a really long while) since I decided to choose freedom and family time over blog hits. Anyway, I couldn't help but share this interesting bit of news. Apparently, Filipino food continues to be a success in the US, reinventing and evolving with the other international cuisines and eventually broadening its fan base.

    Sisig nachos from Senor Sisig

  • I spent my Saturday satisfying my taste buds with Indonesian cuisine. :)

    We all thought we'd be spending the morning talking about post-war Philippine politics when Prof. Dagdag announced that we'll be cutting the class short to attend the "Philippines-Indonesia Culinary Festival" organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia and Sahabat Indonesia Club with the help of our UP Asian Center.

  • I am still partial to the indigenous Sinigang but I will post something on that some other day. As part of my graduate studies (Philippine studies), I am obligated to report on Adobo as a marker of the Filipino ethnicity. I stumbled upon this article while researching:

    ADOBO: A History of the Country’s National Dish

    By Cynthia De Castro & Rene Villaroman/AJPress
    The Filipinos imbibed, imitated and improved the cooking styles of their colonial masters. Thus, Filipino cuisine reflects its culture and history. As the local saying goes, Philippine food was prepared by Malay settlers, spiced by the Chinese, stewed by the Spanish and hamburgerized by the Americans.
    is the result of the eclectic influences, both regional and historical, that come together in many Filipino dishes. ‘’Philippine cooking probably reflects history more than a national cuisine,’’ says Cecilia Florencio, a nutrition professor at the University of the Philippines in Manila.
    Even before the Spaniards came, early Filipinos cooked their food minimally by roasting, steaming or boiling. To keep it fresh longer, food was often cooked by immersion in vinegar and salt. Thus, early Filipinos could have been cooking its meat in vinegar, which is the basic process in making adobo.
    From the Chinese traders came soy sauce and thus this ingredient found its way into the meat being cooked in vinegar. Salt was slowly taken out from the recipe and replaced with soy sauce. However, there are adobo purists who continue to use salt in their adobo marinade.
    The colonization of the Philippines had a big impact on the evolution of Philippine food, and adobo was one of those Spanish-inspired recipes, along with others like morcon, paella, embotido, pochero and caldereta, that have not only survived hundreds of years of popularity but have undergone infusions of other ingredients.
    The Spanish influenced our local cooking with their marinades and sauces. Some say that adobo is related, albeit distantly, to adobado, a tasty Spanish concoction that consists of pork loin cured for weeks in olive oil, vinegar and spices and simmered for several hours. But the recipe is quite different.
    The Spanish word adobo means seasoning or marinade, according to Wikipedia. The noun form is used to describe the actual marinade or seasoning mix, and the term used for meat or poultry that has been marinated or seasoned with theadobo marinade is referred to as having been adobada. For the grammarians, this is a first-person singular present indicative form of adobar, a verb meaning to marinate.
    The old Spanish word adobar could be where the early Filipinos got the word for their most famous dish. In Spanish cuisine, however, adobo refers to a pickling sauce made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, paprika and salt. The word adobo is also used in Mexican and Caribbean cuisine. The Mexican adobo refers to a piquant red sauce made from ground chilies, herbs and vinegar sold canned or jarred. The Caribbean adobo usually refers to a dry rub of garlic, onion, oregano, salt and pepper.
    But the Filipinos’ adobo is the most famous the world over. Filipinos selected their favorite condiments and spices — vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves — used them to stew chicken and/or pork, and gave it a Spanish name.
    This just goes to show that no matter how many cultures may add to the Filipinos’ range of food cuisine, you can’t keep their culinary identity down.
  • Location: Trinoma Mall
    It's the month of sweets so I hope you don't mind if I write about satiating my sweet tooth. Last Saturday, we dropped by Conti's for a slice of my favorite Turtle Pie and Mango Bravo.

    Continue reading...
  • Look what the office received for Christmas!

    I love Christmas. Of course I don't receive gifts that much anymore (leave that to tweeners and below) but I always look forward to the food. Here in Congress, legislators often send out advance Christmas gifts in the form of local delicacies and knick knacks. Fortunately for us, one senator always sends a sans rival cake to his friend-colleagues. We wait for this special cake every year. :)
  • Location: Timog Ave., Quezon City

    I know, it's a seafood place but I tasted their sizzling bulalo steak (P255) and it was superbly delicious. The taste was just right, creamy, really really tasty, with the meat tender - and most probably fresh. The last time I tasted beef like that was at Tagaytay's Mahogany Market.
  • I don't cook that much but I love to bake since I have one hell of a sweet tooth. While I won't be able to divulge our family recipe for brownies, I'd like to share some baking tips for newbies.

    Baking is pretty easy (I'm not an expert though). But you must be patient and in my opinion, exact. Here are some things I learned through the years...
  • Location: Megatent, Ortigas

    We traveled all the way to Ortigas to finally check out Banchetto and watch the launch of the wish lanterns in celebration of the date 11-11-11 (Nov. 11, 2011) last week.

    I was already in a "slightly" bad mood when we got to the place because of the long walk (motorists were equally pissed off because of the traffic). Nevertheless, I tried to cheer myself up with all the food. It was hard to feel cheery though since dozens of people are jostling you at all sides. It was worse than Divisoria during holiday season.

  • Location: home

    I love having bacon for breakfast. So whenever I am in Cavite, my mom makes sure that I have some. Yum! :)

    What's your favorite breakfast food?
  • Location: House of Representatives

    I don't think I have ever been a part of a surprise party so it was fun when Team Teddy (which I am a part of) decided to organize one for who else but Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño who turned 43 yesterday.

    We wanted it simple and affordable but also interesting so we decided to go with a Pinoy Fiesta theme, in line with Rep. Casiño's "Buy Pinoy, Build Pinoy" advocacy. Trivia: Rep. Teddy is also the chair of the Congressional Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development (SBED).
  • Location: Festival Mall, Alabang, Muntinlupa

    I'm a sucker for Asian food so bear with me as I do another Japanese resto review. Fukuya is a low key restaurant tucked in the middle of fast food establishments in Festival mall. It's my second time to visit since I enjoyed it the first time and the food is relatively fairly priced.

  • Location: Greenbelt 5, Makati

    As far back as ancient Egypt, garlic has been known as both a handy food and medicinal implement. It is said to help reduce bad cholesterol and threats of stomach and colon cancers. I don't know with you guys but I eat garlic because it just gives food that extra flavoring and kick. Please pass the fried garlic.

    Anyway, I was surprised to discover Krazy Garlic, a hip restaurant in Makati (Greenbelt 5). The place is just so fun to look at. Check out WheninManila for pictures of the place. And the menu is mouthwatering. Of course, everything has a generous helping of garlic.

  • Location: Blue Wave Macapagal, Pasay City

    One of the most popular Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants in the Metro is Mister Kabab. The first branch that I've been to is the one in Matalino St. But I'll be doing a review on the Blue Wave branch along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard. 

    As I mentioned in yesterday's review of Khas Food House, the keema (minced meat) is a staple and often bestseller item in any Middle Eastern-themed restaurant. And so we just had to try Mister Kabab's keema (P80). It's slightly more expensive than Khas' but the serving is bigger. The meat is also finer in texture, though I would have preferred a little more potato in it to balance out the slightly salty taste of the meat.

  • Location: Vigan

    My brother was nice enough to buy a couple of orders of bagnet while on a field trip in Vigan (I know, 3-day high school field trip in Vigan! Envy.). Bagnet is said to be the Ilocano version of lechon kawali (crispy pork belly). It is basically like lechon kawali but it's extra crispy, almost like chicharon (pork rind).

    It's a little hard to bite into but  the meat/fat is very tender and flavorful. I heard the bagnet is fried longer (1-hour at low fire) and is even deep-fried for a second time. What my mom did is to just chop it all up (they come in big slabs of pork!) and mix it with tofu in seasoned soy sauce. Yummy. I'm not a fan of pork but I like bagnet.

  • Last sighted: Anonas St. cor Aurora Blvd., Quezon City

    We were on our way to the jeepney terminal one night when we came across a colorful array of...puto (steamed rice cake). They looked so soft and warm we just had to buy some.

  • Location: Arcade, University of the Philippines Diliman (across Ilang-Ilang dorm)

    Khas Food House or what we simply call "Arcade" or "Persian" has been one of my favorite restaurants inside the UP campus. According to Diliman Diary, it has been there for more than a decade and is owned by Tony Raza, a former graduate student of UP who is from Pakistan.

    Come to think of it, we have been wrong all this time for calling it "Persian." It is most probably of Pakistani cuisine. Anyway, there are a lot of similar dishes in Indian and Middle Eastern food. I still don't know how to distinguish...

    What I do know is that they're delicious. :)  I love Ox Brain. Most Filipinos might hesitate at first, hearing the word "brain," but I think they'll find it palatable. Ox brain (P65 single order w/o rice) is usually partnered with ground beef. But even with ground beef, it is very tender.

  • Location: Mall of Asia

    Just a matter of recording most of my dining experiences, I'd like to share what I think about Sbarro, at least during this particular visit.

    We ordered Baked Ziti with creamy ricotta, melted mozzarella and Romano cheeses as sauce (P96). Food facts: Ziti is a kind of pasta which is basically the same as penne (cylinder-shaped). Ricotta is made from sheep's milk. Though usually referred to as cheese, it is actually the leftover from cheese production.

  • Location: Cebu

    New "pasalubong" from officemates. Cebu is known for having among the best mangoes in the world. It is therefore not surprising that they have several spinoffproducts, from the popular dried mangoes to the interesting mangorind and the tasty mango chocolate.


    Mango + Tamarind = Mangorind

    That's the simple logic behind this local product. And it tastes exactly like that. Pretty yummy. :)

    Mango Chocolate

    Please, if you are in Cebu make sure you buy a box of Cebu Best's Mango Chocolates. They are the best! The best! You just won't get enough of the dried sweet mango covered in dark chocolate. Sigh. Unfortunately, my officemate informed  me that it's not something that is usually seen around Cebu. We think it is only available in the airport. I also read some online posts that it's on board PAL. As seen in the screenshot above, they export.

    Dried Mangoes

    Unfortunately, the Dried Mangoes brand that they bought was a disappointment. It tastes...well, there's no taste. They look pretty good but not enough taste in there. Don't buy this brand.

    2 Responses to “Cebu’s Mangorind, Chocolate Mangoes and Dried Mangoes”

    1. Hi! Just want to ask how much is 1 box of your chocolate mango. Appreciate we could receive your response as soon as possible.
      Thank you.
      • Hello. Please read carefully. This website is not a shop. It’s a personal blog. As I said in the post, I am also clueless as to where they are sold. Thank you for dropping by anyway.
  • Location: Camiguin, Misamis Oriental

    Through the course of my work, I have been exposed to various local delicacies. But there are only a few that has that "agawan" factor (meaning, people beg to get more). There's the delectable silavanas from Nueva Ecija (w/c I featured in my personal blog) and of course, the yummy Pastel or yema-filled buns from Camiguin.

    From myfreshcrumbs.com
  • Location: Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa

    Giligan's is one of my favorite hangouts because the place is part restaurant and part bar. You get good (relatively affordable) food and entertainment. It's casual and laid back, a little noisy when the band plays but still not that loud.

    Last Saturday, my friend celebrated her birthday at Giligan's. We bought her a chocolate mousse cake from Red Ribbon (we were ecstatic to learn that that was her favorite) and ordered the following:

  • As much as possible, I don't want to feature popular restaurants/fastfood chains but as I am also trying to be thrifty this week, I decided to just have dinner at Tokyo Tokyo the other day.

    Now unlike other fastfood joints, Tokyo Tokyo servings are quite generous. Their donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish) meals are more than enough for a hungry patron. Prices for each bowl are below one hundred pesos (I forgot but I think it's P96 and P85 for a la carte).

    We ordered Katsudon (breaded pork) and Crab Stick Donburi (with the usual batter fried vegetables). I love their Katsudon (well, I just love Katsudon. Period.).

    UPDATE: I visited their Facebook page to share my post when I saw that they have a promo. You just send them your contact details and let them re-post the promo on your wall and they e-mail you a coupon: 50% Fish Katsudon and Crab Stick Donburi Bowls. Visit https://www.facebook.com/tokyotokyophilippines?sk=app_294513340562651 for more details.
  • Location: Legarda St.

    Para naman maiba, naisip kong mag-feature ng totoong carinderia (hindi iyong Carinderia Sefali). Noong Biyernes, sumama ako sa Lakbayan ng mga magsasaka patungong Mendiola. Kaysa naman kumain sa walang kamatayan na fast food, tinahak namin ang Legarda para maghanap ng makakainan. Dahil gutom (hindi naman masyadong pagod dahil mula Morayta lang naman ang martsa), pumasok na kami sa unang karinderyang makita namin.

  • Location: Aurora Blvd. (across LRT Anonas)

    Want to try Korean food at affordable prices? We discovered a place near Anonas offering fast food Korean delicacies. Well, it's actually a noodle house/convenience store. Cool eh?

    We tried their Pork Bulgogi (P69) which was deliciously spicy. I love that the veggies are crisp and the meat was very tender and savory. Of course, it was paired with kimchi (they also sell frozen kimchi in bulk).
  • Location: Cebu

    The banana is among the Philippines' staple food crops. Out of all the countries, the Philippines is second only to India in banana production. This is why there are a lot of banana products out in the market, including the standard banana chips.

    I'm not really a fan of banana chips but the ones my officemate brought home from Cebu (brand is Bacaoco's) was the best I've had so far. The chips were thinly cut and really crisp. The sweetness was just right. It looks fresh too - nice bright yellow color.

  • Location: 116 Timog Ave., Quezon City

    What better way to spend the rainy night than eating? We went here last week (just had time to upload the pics today). Thank you to Amy and Mike for the dinner. Lol. :)

    We ordered a Forest Platter (P625; chicken, liempo, squid and the ubiquitous manggang hilaw). We loved their chicken. So tender and tasty. :)

  • Location: Krus na Ligas

    I've been wanting to do a review on the popular eateries around the University of the Philippines - Diliman. I was lucky enough to have dropped by Krus na Ligas with my officemates last weekend, eventually having lunch at Carinderia Sefali.

    Sefali offers various meals from sizzling plates to rice toppings. Half of us ordered big meals (P95) which in my opinion is more than enough for two people. See comparison between the big meal and the ordinary meal:

    The breaded fish fillet (as seen above) was pretty good though a little salty. I love it's crunchy and light consistency. The grilled liempo was also tasty and tender.
  • Location: Daraga, Albay

    Here's another yummy treat from Albay...

    Wrapsody's pilinut-filled pastries. Definitely world class. :) As their tagline goes: "Uniquely baked for your discriminating taste!"

    I'd say it's one of the best pilinut desserts ever. It's basically like baklava, layers of pastry filled with nut and syrup.
  • Location: Jollibee, SM North

    Dear Hashbrown Burger,

    Whatever they say...I still like you. Because I love hashbrowns and having non-rice meals (e.g. burgers) for lunch and at the same time I'm not a fan of burger buns.

  • Location: UP Ayala Technohub

    We ate at Seafood Island a couple of months ago so I barely remember our visit. All I can say is that I ate a lot and that the crispy shrimps were really good. We ordered a boodle feast, forgot which kind exactly (check their menu online).

  • Location: Mandaue, Cebu

    Masareal is among the special local delicacies of Mandaue City in Cebu. Off white and crumbly in texture, people love it because of its nutty and sweet taste. It is said that it is made by mixing dough, peanuts and sugar or syrup. There are a lot of home-made versions sold in Cebu but they say that the best (and the original) is from Didang's.

  • Location: Shaw Blvd.

    I was lucky enough to get a taste of Panciteria Lido's famous Pugon Roasted Asado (P267) the other day. And it did not disappoint.

    You could just taste the distinct pugon-roasted flavor. And the meat was so tender. I'm not a big pork-eater but I think I would be able to eat half a platter of Lido's.
  • Location: Shaw Blvd.

    I was lucky enough to get a taste of Panciteria Lido's famous Pugon Roasted Asado (P267) the other day. And it did not disappoint.

    You could just taste the distinct pugon-roasted flavor. And the meat was so tender. I'm not a big pork-eater but I think I would be able to eat half a platter of Lido's.

    Of course the whole platter was good enough for the seven of us. :)

    We also tried their Pancit Canton (P185). I was not that impressed with the taste, though. But my friends said it tasted good. I thought it was a little bland. But that's just my opinion. Nevertheless, it was ok, just not up to par with what I expected.

    And then there's the Steamed Fish Fillet with House Soy (P255). Now that I really liked. The taste was just right and the fish was so light (hey, that rhymed). It felt like it melted in my mouth.

    Click on the images to check out their menu.

    Panciteria Lido Delivery Numbers:

    1. West Ave. - 374-7494
    2. SM Fairview - 355-LIDO (5436)
    3. E. Rodriguez - 414-LIDO
    4. BF Homes Paranaque - 842-LIDO
    5. Las Pinas - 873-LIDO
    6. Shaw Blvd. - 725-LIDO
    7. Visayas Ave. - 441-LIDO
    8. Pasong Tamo - 811-LIDO
    9. UN Avenue cor J. Bocobo - 254-LIDO (5436)
    Addt'l Del#: 254-3378 & 0927-5637884

    Anyway, we were all definitely satisfied. :D

    One Response to “Panciteria Lido (Chinese Food)”

    1. bet!

  • As much as possible, I don't want to feature popular restaurants/fastfood chains but as I am also trying to be thrifty this week, I decided to just have dinner at Tokyo Tokyo the other day.

  • UPDATE: I am definitely not going back to this particular branch. A year after this post we returned and the place is disgustingly dirty. I got a small roach on my soup and the manager did not even apologize or offered to replace the food. Damn. Don't ever go to this branch.

    Location: Ali Mall, Cubao

    I was already running late, missing the 7:30 p.m. screening at Gateway so we decided to go to Ali Mall instead. If you haven't been to Ali Mall, the Aranetas have tried to make the interiors look like Gateway (even the cinemas). We found a small Japanese resto named Rai Rai Ken. I liked the ambiance so we headed inside before catching a 8:30 p.m. movie.

    First off, I would just want to say that their maki was the best! I am not a fan of sushi but Rai Rai Ken's (take note) "Super" California Maki (P105 for 4 pcs) was delightful. Everything was yummy. The overall taste was heaven and the crunchy seaweed (nori) wrapper gave it a nice consistency.

    Besides maki, we ordered Yakimeshi rice (P65 per cup), Gyoza (P65 for 3 pcs) and Chasyu Ramen (P105, originally P210 but they had a 50% ramen promo if you buy gyoza). The Yakimeshi is a must-try. It smells and tastes really good. I wish I knew how to make fried rice like that. The gyoza tasted a little raw but it's my first time to eat gyoza (though it's basically just a dumpling) so I'm not sure if that's how the Japanese version should taste like.

    And of course, the Chasyu Ramen tasted like the usual ramen but what made it really delicious was the tender slices of roasted pork. Yum! I prefer not to eat pork but Asian roasted pork is making me change my mind (check out my Panciteria Lido reviewtomorrow).

    The dinner only cost us P350 (because of the promo) and we weren't even able to eat it all up (well, just the ramen soup).

    I discovered that they have a website where you can check out their menu: http://www.rairaiken.com.ph/

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