Sunday : Crashed the digs of Benj, our college classmate who’s made it in the crazy world of advertising. How do we know he’s made it ? Because his condo near the vicinity of Ayala Av is a spacious three-BR affair with all-black furniture, designer speakers and laptops all over the place. Benj’s buddy serves us penne pasta with meat sauce and that’s when I discover the joys of Japanese chili oil and furikake. I never thought that the lethal combination of these two can transform a drab dish into a fantastic one. Furikake is a type of Japanese condiment consisting of “dried and ground fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, salt and MSG.” Add this to your rice or any food to add zing! to the flavors. I remember Attina gave a couple of packets to me back in Tokyo. You can look for it in the local Japanese supermarkets but it was out of stock as I found. I scream for furikake!
Monday : Back to the office, and my life has never been the same ever since some colleague introduced me to the joys of street calamares. Notwithstanding Hepa A/amoebiasis outbreaks, I couldn’t resist having loads of them squid fritters with chili and vinegar dip. Never mind if my manong suki fries the squid in batches amid the unappetizing backdrop of those Pedro Gil-Paco jeepneys emitting (oops) carbon monoxide. Never mind too if I am all garbed in my sassy office wear by Zara. At three pesos each, the squid rings are the hottest thing in Manila street food at the moment. I wonder what makes them crunchy and yet oh-so-tender. All I know is that Manong marinates them with his secret spices and dips ’em in breading, as all calamares go.
As of last writing, some officemates have suffered gastro pains and allergies ( swollen lips) from ingesting the calamares so am taking a break from them… for now 😛
Tuesday : Alleluia, day-off! I relish the time touring SM Mall of Asia with the kids and going on a shoe-shopping binge. I pity myself that I only have 16 pairs of shoes and some of them are not in mint condition. The recent school opening has been plain harassing and there’s nothing like a shoe purchase to raise a woman from the doldrums, in the style of La Imeldific.
Chow time and we try Tokyo Cafe which I’ve been eyeing for the longest time. Am a gullible soul when it comes to bright, colorful menus and the Japanese fusion cuisine of Tokyo Cafe has it. A few times in the past, I’ve been had by menus where the food appears larger than life, only to be served some wilted salad or shrunken shrimp.
Luckily, Tokyo Cafe food doesn’t disappoint. The kids had their heavenly crepes and I had the Yoshi’s Burger (P145), an ample-sized carnivore’s delight with meat sauce for a twist on a pair of yummy sesame bread.
Wednesday : The day finds me south of Manila, in my unconquered foodie territory of Paranaque City. My friend Jamie and I drive down through the resto row of President’s Avenue, completely at a loss as to where Dates Cafe is. After surmising that it must have died or transferred to a new location, we settled at good ol’ Conti’s Pastry Shop and Restaurant. Nothing grand about the interiors of this place but their culinary specialties boast of homegrown goodness. We had the Mango Royale Salad, the Lumpiang Sariwa, the Pasta Allegria, the chicken pie and a couple of fruit juices – all of which passed our discriminating tastebuds without (ehrmm) draining a hole in our wallet. Our total bill amounted to P500 bucks for all those…. thanks to Jamie for the treat. 😛
Passing by, we couldn’t help but notice the number of Korean/Japanese establishments in the area. Have been toying with the idea of house-hunting in the south but after learning from Jamie that water continues to be scarce here, might as well look elsewhere. I don’t want to live my life depending on overhead tanks or water delivery trucks. 😛
Thursday : This blogger visits the Manila F & B Expo for a look-see and de facto grocery shopping.
Friday : TGIF and am feeling better. Finally found time to go to the gym yesterday while observing the after six diet. Don’t know why but just don’t feel hungry when I eat before six. The crazy thing is that am on another work schedule next week and my eating cycle is going to drastically change. Bummer 🙁 Excited to see what foodie adventure awaits me next week …. ciao! 😛