Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Get Together with the Girls at Barcino

Shawie and I planned a dinner get togther for Ros. These two girlfriends of mine are both brides to be and it was as exciting evening for all of us. Shawie recommended this tapas and wine place at city golf in Pasig, Barcino. We met up there for dinner and Joy, another very good friend of ours, joined us shortly. It was another cellar type resto, similar to Galileo, but with a smaller area a fewer tables. It is a good idea to make reservations before going there.

The menu is quite simple, an array of tapas, paella, arroz ala bubanna, legua, ribs and a selection of wine. Shawie and I had the ribs, which was really good. The pork was so tender, with a melt in your mouth feel to eat. It had a delicious sweet tangy sauce that was just perfect yet very simple. It came along with garlic rice which was a good compliment to the dish. Joy and Ros had the legua. It was cooked perfectly and the sauce was very flavorful but not over powering. Along with that we had a bottle of semi-sweet red wine and had a very relaxed and pleasant evening of catching up and listening to the wedding plans of our brides to be. The place is simple and personal and very fitting for our girly get together.

We are college gal pals and looking back, we realize how grown up we all have become. Its great that even if we are separated by time and geography, we manage to keep in touch and be there for eachother, more importantly at life changing moments in our lives.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Welcome home Ros!!!!

My good good friend form college is back in town. Ros has been my friend since sophomore year in UP. I am sooo thrilled to see her again for the holidays and this time with very juicy news! My dear friend is engagged. We set on to meet after dinner.I had dinner with my friend Elaine and Chiqui at Tempura in Tomas Morato. I went to Greenhills for fetch her from her dinner at My Angels Kitchen and we went to promenade for some coffee and chit chat! We settled at Bizu. We got the Soleil cake, that happened to be the cake of the day. This was chiffon cake layered with mango balls and cream, fenced with white choclolate. This meant that we get free tea with that--nice! I was bad for I had a cappuccino! I really needed caffeine tonight because of the long chit chat we would have! hahahaa

Our good friend Tiff and her husband Jam joined us later and we enjoyed very much catching up with eachother and ofcourse talking about Ros' wedding plans. We look forward to meeting his fiance on the 26th! It was Tiff's birthday as well so we surprised her with a little birthday TIRAMISU! I adore the bizu Tiramisu. It's the only cake I really like there hahaha.

Happy Birthday TIFFANY and welcome home Ros!!!!! =)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas is for the Children

Christmas is just a few days away. My friend Mike again asked me to help him do round 2 of his gift shopping. For today its for the kids. Our destination TOY KINGDOM! We went to Megamall and started scrimmaging for toys for boys and girls of various ages. We got lots of funstuff for each of his :ina-anaks". Its really fun going through isles and isles of toys. As I remember, when you buy a toy from Toy Kingdom, you get free gift wrapping. I guess times are really hard for they are charging 5 bucks per wrapper and 1.75 for each gift tag.

After completing our shopping list, we got famished and had dinner at Jipan. I adore this place. Its a simple Japanese bakeshop that serves delicious and cheap Japanese food. They have a wide array of interesting bread, pastries and sandwiches you can have to go. There meals are really good and satisfying. Mike had the Oyakudon and tuna sashimi. I had the chicken terriyaki bento, which comprised of chicken teriyaki, japanese rice, a portion of kani salad, a gyoza, kakaiage and miso soup. Not bad for Php220! Food is always freshly cooked and served in a jiffy. Perfect when you are starving and in dire need of good, hot, nourishment! hahahaha We finshed or dinner in a flash and did some shoe shopping for me =) . I was on the hunt for white strappy shoes to match a dress a bought a few weeks back. Its always good shooping with Mike because I'm always successful finding the artcle I want when I'm with him. Thank you Mikey! I was able to snag a pretty white-strappy-wedgy pair of shoes at U.R.U.S.

We suddenly craved for dessert after our shopping success. I suggested we have gelato at Italiannis but Mike had a deadlier dessert in mind. Krispy Kreme!!!!! Ohhhhh hahaahaha I conceeded to his cravings and we headed on to the Fort. Mike got 2 chocolate glazed, 2 regular glazed and one cheese cake flavored. He also had the Krispy Kreme blend coffee, its the signature coffee concoction of KK ---coffee with KK flavor??? hmmmm...Mike enjoyed it a lot with the doughnuts. As for me, I don't know, I was more enamoured with the doughnut they give out while you wait in line. It's fresh from the conveyor----piping hot, freshly glazed and soft and pillowy to the bite with that melt-in-your-mouth fatty and sugary goodness! That's the only way I enjoy doughnuts. If you give them to me cold or after being shelved---well they don't appeal to me anymore. Well..still ate some but I kept looking at the hot doughnut samples. Mike kinda notice this and asked one of the staff to get me a piece ---unglazed (as I want them) =) Sooooo good...that I polished off with a blink of an eye! :P

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Uno is numero uno!

I've always been happy dining at Uno. I love their breads, pasta and entree's. I had lunch there last Saturday with my friend Paolo again. It was his last day in town, so I recommended Uno for him to try. We had my favorite sourdough ciabatta. I had it with carrot and cardamom soup, which was really good! A meal by itself! He had the Ham and mushroom soup, which was good as he declared. I had the pan seared Dory fish with veggetables and potatoes. He had lamb with hoisin sauce and red rice pillaf. Our food was good and we enjoyed them a lot while chatting along.

For dessert, I had the fallen chocolate cake and he had the creme brulee. The creme brulee, as he told me, was a bit too runny in the middle.

Yours truly, happily smiling ... =)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Galileo, Galileo!

I have read and heard so much about Galileo Enoteca for quite some time now, and I have truly been intrigued by the charm of this place. I was quite excited to get the chance to have dinner there and see it for myself. It was like going in a wine cellar with dining tables and benches, with walls adorned by the vast wine collection, lots of dried pasta, bottled Italian sauces, cheeses and cured meats. It was so much like Santi’s but with a wider wine selection. The menu was quite simple, they have antipasti, panninis and pasta. My friend and I opted for the set menu since we were to order, cheeses, cold cuts, wine and pasta. This was exactly what the set menu comprised of. Unfortunately, the tomato eggplant pasta was not available that evening. I chose the Putanesca and the Black olive pesto for my friend. We were first served with the house red wine and crostinnis. The cheese platter followed, which comprised of 2 cheeses (that I forgot the names of ) and the Grana Padana (one of my new found favorite cheese). The Grana Padana tasted like it was fermented from Yakult! It had a tinge of sweetness to it that goes well with the wine. The cold cuts were ok as well. The pasta was cooked a bit too al dente, to the point of being under cooked. I even got a conglomerate of half cooked fettuccine in one of my forkfuls. Nevertheless the sauce tasted good.

Its truly a very interesting place, with lots of foodie goodies to find, try and take home. I liked the cheese and wine bit, but I just hope they put a little more effort on the presentation of the food and take care in preparing the pasta =).

Galileo is a very promising place for casual gatherings to enjoy food and coversations.

Here is moi =)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Le Opera

It’s my first time to dine at Le Opera Ristorante Italiano, and I fell in love with the place at once. The place had a somewhat romantic feel to it---a little rose on each candle lit table while being serenaded by troubadours. Lovely! ...And the food….was great =)

For starters, me and my friend had the octopus carpaccio. It was an interesting alternative to the more common tuna or beef version of the dish. It was a very good palate stimulant with its unique texture and tangy flavor. I had the minestrone soup followed by my grilled lobsters with roasted vegetables and baby potatoes. The lobster was perfectly cooked with sweet butter on top.

The only thing I had room for was strong espresso but too bad I am not allowed to do have this pleasure. It would have been the perfect ending to the meal. Oh well, I promise myself when I get well….when I get well….. =)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sunday at Le Souffle

Le Souffle is one of my favorite restaurants because of the nice, spacious ambiance and needless to say, the wonderful menu selection that is always interesting and with unwavering gastronomic satisfaction.

My friend Paolo (who is vacationing here from New Jersey) and I had dinner at Le Souffle, Fort after hearing the Sunday mass at UP church. We started our dinner with Escargot and Prawn Tomato bisque. Escargot is redolent of baked oysters with a more delicate texture, plus the thrill of picking the meat out from the coiled shell with the aid of a trusty cocktail fork, gives an added thrill. I just adore the little “clamp” you use to hold the snail body =). The Tomato Prawn bisque was divine! I just love the thick puree consistency and the melded flavor of prawn and tomato. It was served with a nice little flaky cheese bread stick on the side---nice! For my main course, I chose the grilled Ostrich served with steamed vegetables and baked potato. Ostrich meat taste so much like beef, but with a finer grain and much leaner meat. Paolo had the Sea bass with butter sauce and wild rice risotto. It thought it was very nice touch that the skin of the fish was removed and fried to a crisp, then served atop of the poached flesh. It gave a contrasting mouth feel of crunch, from the crisped skin, and softyness of the fish meat. Our food was superb! We were definitely happy with our food. What better way to complete the meal than to have a fabulous dessert? While in Le soufflé, we should have the soufflé! Apart from the vast array of dessert options, the soufflé list was really difficult to choose from. Good thing our good ol’ server recommended the soufflé special du jour. It was a chocolate soufflé with almonds, strawberries, mangoes, apples a ala mode, caged in caramel candy served with chocolate sauce!!!!---Ooooooooh lalala It was so grand that it didn’t have a name! I loved the perfectly molten center and the crisp yet most outer body of the soufflé.

My picture doesn't do justice at all to this exquisite dessert!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Senju and E bar at Edsa Shang

Last Friday, I met Paolo, the borther-in-law of my best friend in NY Yen. He is here for a weeks vacation and I was asked to take him around. I gladly obliged, ofcourse!

We went to Shang mall to have meryenda at Cibo and strolled around the mall. We bought some baby stuff to bring back to NY, Yen is pregnant with her first baby and we are all very excited for her.

Paolo decided we have dinner at Senju Japanses restaurant at the Edsa Shangri la hotel. We got there a bit early, so we had cocktails first, at E bar right beside Senju. E bar is a very nice louge type bar. The place was cozy and very conducive for chatting (when the band is not yet playing).

Senju is a nice Jap resto. I enjoyed my mix sushi plate. I love uni maki! The jiggly texture of the uni is creepy but ohhh sooo good. I was just kind of disappointed with the prawn teppanyaki---it was just ONE prawn! with ONE asparagus strip cut into 2! It was a bit over cooked, adding insult to injury! I could tell, because the prawn meat was sticking to the skin. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable experience all together.

After dinner at Senju, we met up with my friends Oli, Nikki, ELize, MArcel and War at Metrowalk. They had dinner at Misato! Japanese night for all of us. We all decided to go visit Krispy Kreme at the fort to try the famous doughnuts.

Ahh... what a line that welcomed us! Nevertheless, no one minded wating in line because we were all well fed with freshly fried and glaced doughnuts!!!! ;P Oh lalala--the first bite was deadly----oh so soft, warm and tooth-achingly SWEET!!!! I cried out for coffee..but =( can't have it.

Sugar high we moved to Stir- Crazy, a small bar somewhere in Ortigas, where we met up with some of Nikki's friends and they had a couple of drinks to cap the night.

We all had a great evening!