Friday, October 31, 2008

Icings, Tomas Morato

This evening was a get together to two great friends of who came back from a vacation and one going away to venture on a more exciting leg of her career =) I suggested we go to ICINGS. It is now situated at it's new location, adjacent to Katre. The place is now bigger and better than it's former site....but honestly, I have not eaten nor tried any cakes from Icing's up until this night.

The place has a casual cafe feel to...simple and comfy...with a very inviting cake dispaly counter...

..soo many interesting cakes and pastries....I was eyeinng the apple walnut cake! =)

We got there quite we ordered an appetizer while we waited for the rest to come in for dinner.

Kani and Tofu Tempura
This was a very good choice! Crispy pieces of battered silken tofu and kani sticks coated with japanese bread crumbs and served with a nice tempura soy-ginger sauce =)

On to dinner...

Chili Prawn Tomato Pasta

Spaghetti pasta with a light tomato-chili oil sauce with pieces of prawns, served with panini bread. It was good but quite HOT!!!

Pesto Pasta

Classic pesto sauce with bits of seafood pieces =) The serving of the pasta dishes are quite generous here, so people with smaller appetites may share a dish! I am not one of those as I managed to finish my plate hahaha ;P

Vegetable Panini
Grilled zucchini, peppers and mushrooms with mozarella cheese served with fries =)

Ostrich Steak
Yes! They have ostrich meat was quite good and priced reasonably...if not cheap ah for ostrich...around Php 250.00 or so
No room for cake...just some coool icy treats....

Chocolate Shake with Chocolate Ice Cream...
I forgot the name but is was alright..though needed to be sweetened up a bit and pumped up with chocolate =)

Lychee Shake

I really wasn't expecting much from Icing's...I was actually quite apprehensive to try the place, but I am very glad we did go here....there are many interesting food on the menu to come back for and cakes to try =)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jatujak, SM The Block

We really loved the food at Jatujak, Mall of Asia. Missing and craving for spring rolls and bagoong rice we thought goin back this Thai resto, at a branch closer to us, which is located at The Block SM North Edsa.

The branch at The Block is smaller and had less patrons dining as compared to the one at Mall of Asia....when our orders arrived...we understood why!

Spring Rolls

Oh my...definitely NOT the spring rolls we loved at Jatujak MOA...definitely NOT what I am craving for. This one lacked the Thai umph and crisp that we so enjoyed then. Onlt the sauce tasted the same. I think it needsmore frying? More filling? More vemicelli? I don't know...but it was just NOT the one! We got sad...

Last time we dined there...we were eyeing on the MOO GROB...which had a picture redolent of a bagnet or lechon kawali on a bed of Atchara. On this visit we decide to have it....
...soooo SAD! LOOK AT THAT! Mere SHARDS of pork pieces...kinda like just having Lapid's Chicharon with laman...but I think the lapids chicharon has more substantial pieces. Although, they were really crispy like chicharon...for it's price of aroung Php 240.00 --it was definitely NOT WORTH IT.


We expected this to be our saving grace. HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG WITH BAGOONG right? But ooooooooh nooooo...its NOT THE SAME. It lacked flavor for some reason and the bagoong pork pieces were mostly FAT.

So wrong! We don;t understand. Perhaps it was due to the lack of patrons...hence quality of food deteriorates...or the other way around? Well, for whatever real reason of the difference, I think we will not find ourselves here another time....only at MALL OF ASIA! ;P

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pino Revisited

It's been a while since our last visit to Pino Resto Bar, along Maginhawa St. in U.P. Village. Upon discovering this place, we hung out quite a number of times here, because of it's casual and comfy ambiance and good food =). Well, I got a tip that the place closed for some that put a halt on our visits here...up until we started goin around the area, we just decided to check the place out...and to our was open! Yey!!!

We found out that the place did close up for a short period because of some management changes, and with alterations too. Curious with the modifications and excited that it was open..we went ...

The menu was definitely shortend. Main courses and starters were cut back to a few items and focus more on the pastas, appetizers and pica-pica food.

Longanisa Nachos
Wow! A wild twist of Nachos ei? Nacho chips topped with chopped sweet longanisa, tomtoes and onios, drizzled with Wasabi mayo. Like breakfast and bar food in one! Pretty good and very generous in serving, I might add. This is just about Php 160.00 or so...I'll check on my next visit...but surely less than 200 bucks. Not bad at all and fun to eat =)

Tempura Oysters and Pearls
What a name right? Battered and fried oysters topped with ebiko (the pearls) resting on wasabi mayo and tamari laced shells. Each piece makes for a perfect get your tempura, sauce and dip in the chef's recomended proportion. Againg, delicious and fun to eat.

Nori Cheese Sticks with Mint Pesto and Strawberry Coulis
I really loved their cheese sticks with Mango I was excited to try the new twist. The Nori is laid between the cheese and wrapper...deep fries to a crisp and drizzled with the strawberry sauce. We didn't like the dessert-ish take on this. I don't think the Strawberry sauce go well with the nori taste. We asked for the Mint sauce, but it was unfortunately unavailable. It was still ok...but we were muh happier with the original version with Mango Salsa. We just asked for wasabi mayo to dip our cheese sticks least wasabi goes with the Japanes feel =)

Beef and Shitake Salpicao
Tender beef pieces with Shitake mushrooms with a delicious garlicky--sweetish salpicao sauce! Did I describe it right? salpicao sauce? hahaha Anyway, think of it as a traditional salpicao made funky with shitake and I think they used tamari sauce that complimented the Shitakes. Delicious. This was the only dish we ordered that was not so big in serving.

So many yummy fun food to enjoy here. We will definitely come back...for the Red Wine Balut ala Pobre and other promising dishes on the list =)
Filipino Faves with Japanese funk....all if not most dishes we have tried came as a nice surprise. It's just so fun trying new flavors on conventional cusine....with hits or misses...that's how we learn what goes well with what right? =)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ling Nam, Greenhills

Ling Nam is one old time noodle house fave of my family...well particularly my dad...other of which are Ma Mon Luk (tops our list) and Masuki =) I am so glad that these noodle houses have branched out to more convenient now we never have to go to the original Binondo branches that are..err ...quite...not so tidy hahaha oooops...but then again that is part of the Bonondo dining experience (that's another I will not delve into that). With that, Ma Mon Luk is an the branch along Quezon Avenue is, if I am not mistaken, the original!? hahaha Well, I say that since my first memory of Ma Mon Luk is at that branch and as the bowls and dining utensils show evidence of be the judge.

Going back to Ling Nam, they are popular for their wontons and noodles. This is my first visit at the branch in Greenhills. This is at the Car Park building where Yellow Cab, Bangus, Max's ..etc. are situated.

We had the Wonton Noodle Soup

The wontons were just fair tasting and the noodle soup kinda lacked my taste. If you like a clean broth taste...this is the soup for you. As for me, I like the Ma Mon Luk, Masuki kind of broth...which have that certain something-something that you can smell and taste ;p Perhaps they use a certain type of Fish sauce? ----like there's this peculiar pungency of the broth--that is quite desirable ;P hahaha I think I need a post on Ma Mon Luk and Masuki---I can't belive I don't! tsk! tsk! to moi!

The Ham Sui Kok...
Like savory, oblong butchis...filled with asado.

it was kinda oily and the asado filling was barely there!...Look at that...I don't think the filling can sum up to half a tablespoon...hahaha more meat please!

I guess I shall not find myself back here anytome soon. I miss's been a while! hahaha

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cook Book nice to be back =)

This is what I miss...CBK homey comfort food! Ah yes, it's nice to back in the Kitchen!

Pasta Putanesca
I like this simple tomatoey pasta dish with a nice side of mini ciabatta =)

We also tried the Chicken with Sesame Remoulade

Yummy pan grilled chicken breast fillets complimented by the sesame remoulade. I like the taste of the sesame seeds with the mayo and herbs =)

And ofcourse, a trip to The Cook Book Kitchen will not be a trip to THE COOK BOOK KITCHEN without the....

Parmesan Crusted Baked Fish...

and ...
Kittin's Scarlet Cake =)

I think I need not ellaborate on the last two! hahahaha I love how, to date, the food taste is still consistent =)

Cordillera Cafe In UP =)

A laid back Saturday afternoon...wanting to relax a bit and veer away from the mall scene...we decided to have a little stroll around UP and have afternoon coffee =) UP does cradle a lot of wonderful quaint restos, and cafes you know. Let this part of my discovering UP series....anothefr nice discovery along the UP Academic Oval, Amorsolo building, beside the faculty center, is Cordillera Coffee.

Sooo nice! It's situated at the side of the kinda walk up the steps and hereyou find...

a corner cafe....all afresco...

with nice table with umbrellas...where you can relax and enjoy some brew =)

They offer a nice selection of hot and cold coffee concoctions, apart from the traditional espresso drinks. They also have fresh fruit shakes and hot chocolate =)

I think I saw rice meals, pasta dishes and sandwiches too. They have a nice display of pastries to chose from...

Macaroons and Cassave Cups

Rum cake, Tablea Chocolate cake...and an interesting nutella chocolate cake!

Lemon bars, Revel bars, Brownies

We had the Cordillera Brew and Kalinga Iced Tea

I love the strong and clean taste of the brew and the iced tea was refreshing.


sweet and densely packed with dessicated coconut....nice with the strong coffee

Cassava cup
Kinda dense and on the dry side. The macaroon was better.

Well despite the not so good pastries we chose...the drinks were good and the ambiance very relaxing and conducive to conversation =)

A very nice place for a little tete-a-tete time.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friuli Trattoria

Maginhawa Street in UP Village is really thriving with a lot of new foodie places which are worth discovering. Friuli Trattoria is one not so new quaint resto that serves up Italian goodies for foodies to enjoy =)

The place is quite small, but does not lack in patrons. A good sign. The menu consists of Pizzaz, Pastas, Apps and Dolci that all seems so yummy and cheaply priced to boot.

Fried Ravioli

Six large pieces of crisply fried raviolis which looked like samosas, as a patron at the neighboring table commented, filled with ground beef and cheese, topped with parmesan and served with a marinara dip. It was very good and fun to eat...just not true blue raiolis but they were pretty good =) The tomato dip was very good too!

Tuna-Anchovy Pizza

I forgot the actual name of this pizza, but it had tuna, anchovies, capers, onions, mushrooms and cheese. Pizza was ok, but kinda lacked the Italian feel to it. Perhaps it was because the cheese was not mozzarella...and the crust kinda biscuit-y. Nevertheless, for the price (pizza prices range from 145-220 for about a 9" round) and being served hot from the oven, it was not bad =)

What I'd like to come back for are the Mozarella sticks which were huge and looked pretty darn good and pastas perhaps are better than the pizzas. Oh they do have a pitcher of iced tea for only Php 60.00!

Simple food to enjoy in a very casual setting. Fruili is a nice neighborhood resto =)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How about a munchie break?

Let's have a break from meals and have a nice crunchy, munchy snack! Ohhhh-lala...check this out! Cheesy Potato Chips from Cafea!

and by cheesy...they meant LOADED WITH grated cheese! The chips were oh so good! Like the potato chips with aioli of cibo...but these had BIGGER CHIPS!!!!!!!!! Oh yeah...we both smiled as this plate was laid on our table...we way are we gona finish this....hahaha...yes way! Underneath the hairy pile of cheese is a sweetish aioli drizzling and it came which a much more yummy mayoey-picklish dip! Great with Iced tea and or COKE! =)

A nice mid-day break that soothes the stress away!!!! A happy snack indeed!

Garlic Parsley in Crabfat Cream Rigatoni ala Jen =)

It's time to cook! Yeah, it has been quite a while since I last whipped something up from the kitchen...from the office kitchen that is =)

I was just inspired to make a pasta dish....something made with crabfat! I was actually looking for ideas on how to go about my crabby-fatty sauce....and chatted with my friend Oli of nice herbal suggestions. It was actually him who gave me the idea of using parsley! Thanks Kras ;P

I was thinking in the line of a carbonara...replacing the bacon with crab fat but I wanted the essence of the crabfat not really having a full crab fat sauce...sort of like when you add anchovies to caesar or oil based pasta dishes. That was my cooking inspiration.

So here is how I made this...I don't follow a recipe and I don't measure my just went with insticnts. I heated up a pan and put about 4 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil...sauteed about 4 cloves of minced garlic and added about 2-3 tablespoons of bottled crabfat (Claude Tayag's--Claude 9 crabfat is really good) and sauteed about a handfull of minced parsley. I took it off the flame and added a mixture of non-fat milk that I blended with 1 fresh egg and added this slowly to the sautee while conscientiously stiring. I got a box of Barilla Rigatoni Pasta...cooked enough for 1-2 servings, in a pot of salty boiling water untill al dente...fished the hot pasta and placed them into the sauce. I added about 2 tablespoons of pasta cooking water and about 1/4 cup bread crumbs to thicken up and make it adhere to the Rigatoni. Rigatoni has a big surface area per bite so it is essential that the sauce is full flavored and can coat each pasta very well. I seasoned it with salt and white pepper to taste and added more chopped parsley foir garnishing and to a bit of freshness to round up the flavor of my pasta dish =)

Perhaps you may add parmesan cheese, but I opted not to because I think the sauce is rich tasting enough as is.

Turned out pretty good =)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pho Hoa

See these oh so familiar condiments..Sriracha Hot sauce and Hoisin Sauce...Yumm!
I love Vietnamese food! When I went there for a vacation..I had a blast eating around and enjoying the wonderful flavors of the country! Here in Manila, one of the long standing Viet restos is Pho Hoa. It's been quite a while since I have dined there actually...we tend to miss out on old restos because sooo many new places and restos with new cuisines keep us pre-occupied.

I got a chance to go back and try the nice Pho Hoa faves I used to enjoy...

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls
I love spring rolls! Fresh or fried! We contemplated on whether to have ours the healthy or fun way...and decided to have the fresh ones since one of the dishes we were to order had fried springrolls on the side.

The taste is still the same as I recall...however...the portion seems smaller...or have I grown a bigger appetite??? hehehe

Grilled Chicken with Fried Rice and Fried Springrolls
Like chicken bbq...with yunmmy fried rice..the spring rolls were great..and we had an extra order of that rice...reminded me of yakimeshi!

Tofu with Mushrooms
Soft tofu in a nido style like sauce...more like soup with that being, we decided to add something fried...

Pepper Squid
We were a bit disappointed that they were not crispy. Kinda like a squid REBUSADO. The coating is bready and thick...not so nice.

In all the taste of the dishes we chose were fairly ok but kinda fell below our expectations. We have yet to find a better casual Viet resto! hahaha i hope they put up a franchise of Pho2000 in Manila soon! =D

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Izakaya Yutaka

I have read quite a number of posts about this quaint Japanese place along Aurora Blvd., Sta. Mesa...just across UERM. Who would have guessed this area would cradle a nice JAPANESE place?

The resto is small...but packed with patrons, mostly white clad students from the nearby university. Simple interiors that manages to have that authentic Japanese vibe. The menu constsist of traditional Japanese faves..sushis, sashimis, makis....yakitoris...ramens...Japanese curries...jap fried foodies (e.i. tempuras etc..) and don buris =)

House Rice Green Tea

very nice! I really like the flavor for rice green tea. I never thought that the toasty rice flavor actually comes from toasted rice steeped with the tea leaves =)

the Don Buris come with complimentary miso soup
yummy with tofu cubes =)

Oyako Don


Yummy don boris...and very cheap to boot! The Oyakodon is just about Php 95.00 and the Katsudon about Php 105.00 ....uber cheap! like just eating at McDo..and the food is good and ample in serving portion! We have yet to come back to try the other food here.
A very nice Japanese Izakaya!