• 'Tis the season to be jolly...and sugar-crazy. Yes, I've spent the holidays baking and snacking on sweets but I'm still craving for my favorite dessert (for 2012): the famed Napoleones of Bacolod.

    This year I visited my lola's province Negros Occidental for the first time in my life. I spent the days by the beach or the family lot, watching chickens, ducks and goats, and of course munching on various local delicacies. While I had fun learning how coconut-based sweets and dried fish were made, it was the commercially-produced box of Napoleones (bought at the airport) that caught my heart.

    Soft, sweet and crunchy all at the same time, I didn't mind the fact that the two pieces I ate probably exceeded the suggested daily sugar limit of 8 teaspoons.

    Napoleones is a puff pastry with a flaky crust and layered with custard cream and glazed sugar. Interestingly, the ones we bought with the brand Merci had custard with jam-like consistency. Still, it tasted terrific. Maybe one of these days I'll attempt to bake home-made Napoleones.

    While the best Napoleones are from Bacolod (land of sugar cane and therefore most things sweet), you'll find some pasalubong outlets in Manila offering the local delicacy.

  • I'm not really a fan of Red Ribbon but their Ultimate Chocolate Cake exceeded my expectations. It was a bit moist and definitely chocolate-y. One of these days I'll make a list of my favorite chocolate cakes...


  • I was only recently introduced to lechon-shaped bread which tastes nothing like lechon and very much like ordinary bread. Still, I find it amusing and cute. There are different variations, some even as big as actual lechon. This one is a bit small, even shorter than a small loaf of bread.

    Any lechon-inspired bread in bakeries near you?

  • Hungry and anxious after a day of work-related training, we decided we wanted something Vietnamese but couldn't find Pho Hoa. We passed by Pho Bac instead, its white interior simple and inviting. The food was pretty good although not as expensive as Pho Hoa's.

    We ordered Steamed Rolls (P120) for appetizer, the cold cuts complimenting the mild and refreshing taste of the rolls.

    Their Kangkong with Panfried Beef (P130) was also fresh and tasty (my only preference when it comes to veggies).

    Our light dinner (we were well-fed by our hosts earlier) was mainly a big bowl of noodles. Unfortunately, I couldn't recall the name of the dish but it was chicken-based.

    Their pandan pudding (P45) was so much like our local kakanin, though much lighter with coconut cream and sesame seeds.


    Location: Glorietta 3.

    You may check their menu here.

  • Crispy Cream Dory
    Location: Alabang Town Center
    Like my penchant for crunchy sisig, I have this thing with maki. I've already been enamored by Rai Rai Ken's Super California Maki but Red Kimono's California Crunch was equally memorable.

    One shouldn't also miss the opportunity to try their Crispy Cream Dory with Tartar Sauce (P195). If I'm not mistaken it's one of their bestsellers. They also offer it for free if you have one of those Smart Concept cards (thank you for discount cards!).
    Continue reading...

  • Location: Mr. Ramyun, Aurora Blvd.

    I was having a bad case of colds yesterday and felt a little feverish. Although a jeepney ride away from home, I immediately thought of going to Mr. Ramyun for their spicy Korean noodles. Something spicy and hot was what I needed to declog my sinuses.

    (Read my earlier Mr. Ramyun review)

    The spicy noodles topped with beef (P39 only since it's a half serving) was exactly what I needed. :) I immediately felt better after the first spoonful. Since I asked for the mild version (something too spicy will leave me with a runny nose), adding kimchi into the noodles helps a lot. Yum!

    I decided to buy a couple of their instant spicy noodles so I can make some at home. I also have kimchi at home so I won't need to eat out for a while.

  • Saw this article the other day. What can you say about this?

    Dubai landlords turning down Pinoys over 'smelly food?'
    January 19, 2012 6:00pm

    Some Filipinos in Dubai are claiming that certain real estate agents there are refusing to rent out apartments to them, partly because of the odor of a Filipino dried fish delicacy.
    According to a report of Gulf News on Thursday, watchmen in two buildings informed a Filipino couple— Rey and Cynthia Alfonso — about an unwritten "no-leasing-to-Filipinos" rule by landlords.
    The couple also said landlords are not happy with the Filipinos' tendency to overcrowd rental units.
    However, the couple said "it's a false generalization. In reality, no one wants to live in an overcrowded place."
    Gulf News said unrelated people may share a flat. However, the Dubai Municipality strictly enforces the one-family-one-villa rule. Violators can be fined Dh1,000 to Dh50,000, it said.
    Foul-smelling food
    Gulf News quoted Indian real estate agent Kumar as saying, "There's this one particular dried fish Filipino delicacy. I cannot blame them if they cook it and it's one of their favorite dishes. Even we Indians have some food that other people can't bear. But my landlord says this is one reason why Filipinos are not welcome in his building."
    Kumar said "tuyo" (dried fish) fouls up rooms in centrally-cooled buildings.

    Indian watchman Bagharam said a two-bedroom unit in their building is usualy rented out for Dh60,000 but is offered at Dh80,000 for Filipinos and Arabs.

    Gulf News also quoted property agent Saeed as saying the building owner gave him specific orders not to take Filipinos, Chinese and Vietnamese as tenants. - VVP, GMA News

  • Always on the lookout for great food deals, my officemates/friends and I invaded Tomato Kick yesterday to check out their Bring a Friend to Lunch promo.

    Beef with Mushroom (P160). This I loved... Tender and tasty,
    it was my favorite dish
    The promo is only valid from 12nn to 4pm. We arrived just before 1pm. I was expecting a lot of people (because of the promo) but it turned out that we're the only customers at the time. Well, Tomato Kick is mostly known as a watering hole...I was actually surprised that they were open during the day.

  • CNN Go came up with a nice article enumerating the "50 foods that define the Philippines."

    Never forget puto and other kakanin
    Here's a run-down of the list:

    1. Adobo (read about the real history of adobo)
    2. Lechon
    3. Sisig (find out where you can find yummy crispy sisig)
    4. Crispy Pata
    5. Chicken Inasal
    6. Taba ng talangka
    7. Pancit Palabok (we actually had 5 diff. kinds of pancit at this party)
    8. Bulalo (you have to taste this - the best bulalo steak)
    9. Arroz Caldo (arroz caldo in the US)
    10. Fish Tinola
    11. Kare-kare
    12. Kamaro
    13. Ilocos Empanada
    14. Sinigang
    15. Tapa
    16. Dinuguan at Puto (among our must-have fiesta food)

    Lumpiang shanghai is not really from the Philippines
    (probably why it didn't make the list) but it's a party staple
    17. Betute
    18. Laing
    19. Pinakbet
    20. Sinugno
    21. Bagnet (bagnet from Vigan!)
    22. Pancit Habhab
    23. Pork Barbecue (among our must-have fiesta food)
    24. Longaniza
    25. Lumpiang Ubod
    26. Bicol Express
    27. Relyenong Alimango
    28. Balut
    29. Inihaw na panga ng tuna
    30. Fish kinilaw
    31. Kuhol sa gata
    32. Sinanglay
    33. Inihaw na liempo
    34. Empanada de kaliskis
    35. Tinolang tugac
    36. Camaron rebosado
    37. Bibingka
    38. Suman at manga
    Yummy bulalo steak!
    39. Champorado
    40. Halo-halo
    41. Buko pie (among our must-have fiesta food)
    42. Ensaymada at tsokolate
    43. Pastillas de leche
    44. Puto bumbong
    45. Turon
    46. Pan de sal
    47. Taho
    48. Tablea tsokolate
    49. Halayang ube
    50. Leche flan

    Actually, some commented (in the CNN article) that their favorite Filipino food was not included. How about you? What is your favorite Filipino food?
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