Monday, January 31, 2011

Chef Doy's: Fusion, Flares& Twists of Filipino Cuisine

Daryl is off to HK and China for the week and I reckon you'd only be hearing from me blabbering about my foodie discoveries and restaurant reviews! Anyway, let's get this show on the road! Starting with this place I dined at when I was in Naga. 

After a day of wicked island hopping, we were all worn out. But we still made an effort (somehow) to head to the city and find some satisfying grub. And that's when we stumbled upon Chef Doy's.

Baby Squid in Oil and Spices.
I seriously haven't had anything this good in the longest time.
In my opinion, it was a rather cozy place to eat, it was very homy and the staff were accommodating. For starters, we had Batang Batang Pusit, which turned out to be such a dream. I'm usually not so much a big fan of oily food, but this dish was too good to pass up, that's why I just kept eating more and more. The small morsels of squid were cooked to perfection, succulent and tender. That aside, it was garlicky as well. Seafood and garlic are best friends, there's hardly any way they would go wrong!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The New Year's Eve Dinner

So January's almost over and I've yet to tell you about our New Year's Eve dinner!

I went absolutely crazy that day. My room was a terrible mess (the results of a year's over-shopping, panic buying, hoarding... you add the synonyms) and there were TWO huge "orocans" (pinoy-speak for LARGE plastic boxes) full of CLOTHES! And shoes strewn all over the floor... And clothes PILED on the bed... Cosmetics making molehills on my dresser... Accessories on top of the telly, on the bedside table... It was chaos. Not to mention the paperbags full of bags, scarves, hats, beads, and gowns I had stuffed under my bed! (This was perhaps the most challenging and stressful aspect of all, because it was so dusty).

So, for the whole of DECEMBER 31, 2010, I locked myself in my room and sorted through the entire mess. I ended up with FOUR ginormous garbage bags full of unwanted stuff. I just FORCED myself to give away the stuff I would never again wear. It was awfully painful, because I've always held on to the hope of having a garage sale or succeeding on selling everything on eBay. But I just decided that it wasn't worth the headache of a TERRIBLY MESSY room... It had reached a point wherein I couldn't study anymore because the MESS was so stressful!

Now my room's absolutely airy and everything in my closet (well, not everything, I always exaggerate too much) is in the spectrum of browns and tans and taupe and cream. I am absolutely in love with those colors right now. They are to me what GRAY and WHITE once were. I'm very happy because everything in my closet is wearable-- the most ridiculous and unwearable thing I have right now is a pair of embellished and partly-crocheted Diesel jeans my grandma bought for me from a trip abroad. They are crazy and not going to be in fashion for quite some time (not to mention far too big for me now) but I just couldn't give them away... Okay, I'm deviating too much away from food now...

It was around 10 hours of full-on cleaning! Not lying! There is no hyperbole going on in that sentence-- I really spent 10 hours cleaning out my room. I was so into it that I didn't eat a single thing. Which was perfect because I knew that I was going to PIG OUT come evening. And I really did!

Here's what greeted me (after a nice, long shower):

Black pepper prawns

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bonjour, BON CHON

So I've been an avid Chicken Charlie fan all my life (okay, that's an obvious exaggeration, since Chicken Charlie hasn't been around for very long). I just ADOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE Chicken Charlie. Also Wings N Things. And Chuck's Deli (they don't have buffalo wings but they do have a buffalo wing sandwich). And I finally got to try Bon Chon Chicken and I loved it, too! (So maybe it's not the particular places I adore. It might just be the buffalo wings in general).

Here we go! : )


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Top Chef Just Desserts

I'm at home sick from the food I ate yesterday for lunch at the infamous Gloria Maris. I haven't eaten much today cause I feel like everything is just going to come hurling out of my gob. SIGH.

Gail Simmons and the contestants!

Well, what better way to spend a day at home other than catching up on your favorite TV Series. I've got to say that I wasn't ever really into the Top Chef frenzy when it was popular. But maybe because of my slightly boring life in Australia, I think I've already watched the first 4 seasons. Anyhoo, the other day, I flicked on the telly and I saw that there's a new Top Chef series, Top Chef Just Desserts, FANTASTIC!

If only he wasn't gay ey?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ninyo, Katipunan

Hello, world!

The other night, I had dinner with ma maman et petite soeur at Ninyo. It's a small, quiet restaurant with pretty interiors. I loved how they had KOI (the goldfish) towards the entrance. And once inside, you are literally FLOODED with the smell of sampaguita (from the candles, not a plant. I would have loved it if the smell had come from a real, actual plant).

It was raining like no tomorrow outside and I was starving and reading Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex while waiting for my mom and sister to arrive...

I just want to make a plug for The Second Sex. I suggest that everyone READ it. I think it has changed my life (in terms of how I perceive women, including myself).

Anyway, are you ready for the photo flood?

Pumpkin soup cappuccino, with bits of hard bread inside

Spiral, Sofitel Philippine Plaza

The Grand Stairway

A couple of years ago, there was a buffet craze, everybody was raving about Heat, Circles, and Spiral. Well, I've been to all three, and I seriously think that Spiral has the best selection. That's why we kept returning, or at least for a certain period of time.

More or less after a year since I've last visited Spiral, I'm finally back to chow down some more. And it's good to see that Spiral has progressed and improved with their food.

Harry Potter, Pastry Style

Harry Potter in person pastry! 

I was at ISCAHM for my weekly cooking class. I arrived there early, and there was a whole modge podge of people swarming over a big table. I wasn't that excited cause I was preoccupied with some other things!:) So after a lot of the people left the area, the HARRY POTTER MASTERPIECE was unveiled. It's gorgeous.

..Now, it's time for PHOTO DUMP.

The only thing I don't see fitting is probably the FONT!

..,and this is where they LIVE, supposedly.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bar Dolci, The Fort, Philippines

Before heading home after a long dinner at L'Entrecôte, something caught our eyes just as we were heading to the parking area.

BAR DOLCI. There were scores of people inside.

From what I've read and heard, it's pretty good.

So, we headed in for some sweet treats!

All the tempting and colorful flavors of gelato.
I swear I would've had them all if only I wouldn't gain a pound!
There was a whole section just filled with gelato. And there were lots of people cramming to have a look, and some having a taste or two. As for my tasting, I had the White Chocolate-Wasabi, Indochine and the Thai Tea. The flavors are really innovative and amusing.

Tasty Dumplings, Binondo, Philippines


I've been dining at this place since who knows when.

It's OLD SCHOOL, plain & simple.

I always go there for their dumplings PORK CHOPS.

They're possibly the thinnest pork chops you've ever seen.

And paired with the fat udon-like noodles, they make me swoon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Krazy Garlik

So the other night my friends and I headed over to Resorts World for a GOOD TIME. I had just spent the whole day at Greenbelt with my fabbity-fab friend James and I had yet to eat lunch or dinner. It was 9 o'clock when my friends and I arrived at Resorts World and I was starving like THERE WAS NO TOMORROW. I wanted to eat the buffet but one of us had a discount card at Krazy Garlik so that's where we ended up eating.

Chloe and I split our orders (as usual). Here's what the TWO of us (yes, we ate it all!!) had:

Sopa de ajo: Spanish style baked garlic soup with bread
We started out with sopa de ajo. It was rather disappointing for me, not because it was bad sopa de ajo but merely because I am simply not a fan of sopa de ajo. :D

Sopa de ajo-wise, however, it was fairly tasty and oily enough to escape the label of "garlic and water." Also, by "with bread," they mean chunks of bread already floating in your soup.

True Love is like...

Can you guess where we ate?
Sizzling sausage with peppers, onions, and feta

Artichoke and spinach dip with bread and pita

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

So What Would You Consider As A Pig Out?

Chicken Charlie. Ristras. Serenitea. Yes, it's the J. Abad Santos Trio.

I love having foodie friends who are much like me- they aren't afraid to indulge and try new things.

And this is where my friend Cheska comes in.

It's been forever since our last food trip, and Thank GOD we actually had time to catch up and everything!

Oh and this is the day that I totally said BYE BYE to my diet!

This is me being impatient.


First restaurant on our agenda, Chicken Charlie which is constantly being raved about these days especially with this fried chicken frenzy! We started with a side of wedges which had a crisp brown skin, the sauce was much like ketchup with a certain plus pluses. Would it have possibly come from a freezer bag? YES, a definite YES. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

L'Entrecôte, Taguig, Philippines

We haven't been blogging for... 3 days!

Cause there was a glitch in our system.

It was overly inconvenient but whatever, WE'RE BACK and that's what matters.

Back to blogging- with a BANG!

Posh, posh, L'Entrecôte
So, L'Entrecôte, they say it originated in Geneva, or somewhere in Europe, yeah, something like that. The whole concept of Steak and Fries isn't much of a newbie for me since it's such a regular at the pubs in Aussieland.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bills, Surry Hills, Australia

This is BILL.
He's the King of Breakfasts.
I think he's brilliant!
This is one of the places that you ABSOLUTELY MUST GO when you're in Australia. They are famous for their all-day breakfasts! Especially their heavenly eggs and fluffy ricotta pancakes.

Daryl and her hot chocolate!:)
Merchelle and her Chai Latte & Honey!
My hot mug of coffee <3
First off, for drinks, Daryl had the Hot Chocolate with Callebaut. It was a rather different take on the traditional hot chocolate! If I remember correctly, she loved it to bits! Our epic friend Merchelle had the Chai Latte! May I just say that it was oh so good!:) As for me, I had the Bills Own Organic Coffee by Single Origin Roasters! I used to be such a coffee freak! I just had to have one, a skinny one!:) I LOVED IT!:)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I'm missing Sydney so much right now. I miss the food, the weather, and the lovely scenery. There is just so much great architecture (hello, Sydney Opera House) and the parks are just to die for.

If ever I migrate, it's to a place where there are gorgeous parks. I just adore parks! Beyond the grass and the breeze, it's the very FEELING of languorous laziness that so seduces me...

Anyway, on one particular day of my 12-day Oz trip, Chloe and I were exploring the Surry Hills neighborhood and deciding where to eat. We were thinking of going to one of the very tempting restaurants but ended up doing something entirely different-- a PICNIC!

It happened that we were browsing through and organic grocery and Chloe chanced upon a huge slab of SMOKED SALMON on sale!


Monday, January 10, 2011

What Brekkies Looked Like When D Visited C in Aussie

Heck of a time in Aussie.

Eating here and there, it was never ending.

Before starting each adventurous day, there was the rocket fuel called breakfast BREKKIE.

Toasted muffins laden with
cream cheese+salmon+scrambled eggs!

Terrace at 5th, Greenbelt 5, Makati

Have you ever eaten at Terrace at 5th? I loved it!

I went there with my friends James and Vince and here's what I had!

Of course I didn't just eat bread! Clickity-click!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chef Laudico's Bfast: All Day Breakfast Cafe, Makati, Philippines

Bfast at Ayala Triangle Gardens

Some of their deserts seemed inspired and pretty appealing.

A place to have Filipino breakfast with a twist.

It's an all-day breakfast, could it get any better?

All day breakfasts are a win, no brainer!

Well, the concept was amusing. Recycled and repurposed materials made up most of the interior, cool ey? Then again, food might just turn out to be another story.

Friday, January 7, 2011

What I Cooked for Christmas Eve

So it's the one day I actually pull out all the brakes and cook like a mad woman.

It's obviously the season for it anyway, yea?

S helped me fill up the deviled eggs.
As per request of my sister, deviled eggs. It looks messy, but can you blame a 12 year old for putting her best foot forward? I reckon NOT.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

The sweets at Baguio Country Club

For as long as I can remember, I've loved argyle knits and tennis and Lilly Pulitzer and topsiders and bouncy ponytails. Along the same line, I've also loved the vast golf greens of Baguio Country Club since, like, for-ever!

Sooooo anyway, one of the many things that fattened me up over the hols. (holidays!) was the sweet treats available at BCC! The weather up there is so crisp and there is pretty much zilch to do (once you're done frolicking and dressing up your baby cousins in fur) that you end up just.... pigging.

I wanted to have strawberries and cream at Oh Mai Khan but my mom said it's too sweet there, better have it at the hotel. And so we did, among with other things!

Juicy (overpriced) strawberries

CWC Clubhouse, Camarines Sur, Philippines

That was when we went island hopping.
It was before we got swallowed in a storm.
I had a smashing holiday. I've had enough misadventures to last me for the rest of the year, or maybe enough for now.

So before a tiring day of wakeboarding and other fun things, we had breakfast at the CWC Clubhouse. I liked the fact that non-breakfast items were available even during breakfast! This calls for a feast!

My mum's Filipino brekkie

The Filipino breakfast had "bangus daing" (fish) that was evenly brown all throughout, it was well seasoned too. There wasn't a whole lot to say about this dish because it was rather self-explanatory. There isn't a whole lot that could go wrong, is there?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Apartment 1B, Makati, Philippines

After such a dramatic evening, I'm finally back on my feet and ready to blog!

A few days before Christmas, I got to spend a day with my dad and my sister shopping and running around here and there. We were in the Makati area but we feared the heavy traffic on the way home so we decided to have dinner out at Apartment 1B which my family keeps raving about.

Once we got there, the place wasn't so packed which turned out to be quite a surprise just until the waitstaff told us that all the tables were reserved! I could swear that my smile melted from my face. But thanks to my dad and his epic connections and skills, we landed a table!

Matutina's, Pangasinan

I'll keep this short as I'm tired and have yet to take a bath and must do my plank exercises. Today's my mom's birthday (happy birthday, Mom!) so my sister and I made a cake for her! Dark chocolate with dark chocolate, lemon, and black pepper frosting. I think it tasted great, but it looked really, really ugly...

Anyway, I'm sticking to my Responsible Blogger Resolution so here goes...

Matutina's is a family-ish looking restaurant in Urdaneta, Pangasinan (this I know because I asked my mom where we were-- we ate here on the way to Baguio). At first, I thought it was going to be a dirty place (I am very distrustful of rustic ambiences, as you may have noticed) but I ended up enjoying my meal. Photos will speak now (and captions will speak even louder!)

Really fresh tasting tomatoes and onions

Monday, January 3, 2011

Billy Kwong, Surry Hills, Australia

Billy Kwong on Crown Street
Here goes Kylie Kwong, the woman with a telly show on the Discovery Lifestyle Channel, cooking away talking about szechuan pepper and organic produce. I'd initially think that her restaurant would be a lot bigger and it would span a larger variety of food. But it was a quite exclusive, like you'd really have to wait outside her restaurant before 5pm, in time for the opening. The day we went, it was raining and it was quite a burden to wait outside.

Hand-written Specials Menu

Some dishes on the menu are said to vary from day to day since they try to buy locally grown, organic, and biodynamic food! I found it quite interesting and apparently they just use organic produce cause it's more expensive.

It was quite cozy and packed
The waitstaff were really accommodating, and they also explained the specials that were on for the day. We took a fair amount of time making up our minds on what to order since everything looked smashingly good.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Degustation at The Goose Station Part 2

So, on with the degustation. I'll try to blow your socks off.

5th course: FOIE GRAS TERRINE. Oxtail Jam, Santol- Chico Puree, Pickled Radish Salad

Check out the top right corner of the plate!
There are different varieties of sea salt!

Foie Terrine with Oxtail Jam on top.
I've got to admit, this is probably the dish that I enjoyed the most. There was complexity and sophistication.   In my opinion, it also showcased some Filipino vibes with the Santol- Chico Puree. The oxtail jam on the other hand, I would've wished they've chopped into smaller chunks cause a few got caught in my teeth. And there's no denying that I really loved the crunchy yet soft brioche that acted as a vessel for the foie and oxtail jam.

Vicky Clemente's MAMA'S TABLE, Baguio

Chef Vicky Clemente was a banker who, at 50, decided to follow her true passion (la vie culinaire-- did I just murder the language?) and took up the appropriate cooking classes at some fancy shmancy French culinary institute abroad. She now does private degustations for guests in her own beautiful home. I'm not the type to be impressed by houses (it's a rare occasion that I visit a house or hotel that leaves me truly awestruck) but I was definitely impressed by hers! It had so much PERSONALITY in it, and it evoked a lazy, eccentric, old-rich feeling. It was EXTREMELY high-ceilinged with ENORMOUS windows. The best part was the sofas-- print on print on print! Not to mention they were on Indian rugs. It is one of the most beautiful houses I've ever been to.

My beloved sofas
There was also a fireplace, and a pretty tree with tinsel on it (reminded me of my grandmother, who thoroughly exalted the merits of tinsel), and a beautiful garden outside, absolutely full of hydrangeas and other darling flowers...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cafe by the Ruins, Baguio

My mom claims that she is the oldest longest patronizing (what? please correct my grammar) customer of Cafe by the Ruins, and I do think there is a bit of truth in that. I remember eating at Cafe by the Ruins whenever we'd go up to Baguio. As a child, I did not understand the concept of rustic decor and thought it was a dirty place (probably because I associated the ambience with other dirty places?) but I've grown to love it more with each visit, and have come to look forward to it.

So here's what we had:

Mushrooms and chives stuffed wantons served with mango chutney

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