November 28, 2013 by ajay
Let it be put on record that am mighty proud of the restaurant scene in Manila. It takes a native to see the diversity of offerings, the variety of cuisines and the excellence of the food available in town now. I love learning how young Filipinos, after being schooled in the great culinary traditions of New York, Vancouver, Sydney or wherever, are coming home to set up shop and pay it forward.Indeed, no longer shall we be called a Third World country if only for this!
In the meantime, new fabulous places in town are sprouting up like the latest strip of Megaworld Corp. called Tuscany at McKinley Hill which is dotted with the latest must-go-to restaurants in the metro.Almost adjacent to the Venice Piazza, I love how the restos were carefully curated so that they are not the same in terms of the menu and cuisine.
As a baptism of fire to the great food offerings of the restos in Tuscany at McKinley Hill, we highly recommend joining An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour being organized by top restaurant blogger Anton Diaz and his business partner RJ Ledesma. This will be held on four Saturdays (Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14 & 21)… a value-for-money treat where you will sample approximately 20 dishes from 8 restaurants for only P1,000. Not a bad deal!
Here’s my own experience of the foodie tour that was held for the media. The evening started sampling a glass of red wine and another of white wine in Planet Grapes. This is a wine place which has a unique vending machine, aside from its extensive collection of bottles from all over the world. There is also a wine connoisseur on standby.
Afterwards it was time to go Italian at Trattoria Poggio Antico where we had more wine and food. One good thing with tours like this, you get to share laughs with like-minded foodies. Dieting is never an option
Category Munchin' | Tags: awesome secret foodies tour,b & t mexican,b & t mexican kitchen,les bagels,les bagels manila,marciano's,marciano's branches,McKinley Hill restaurants,Our Awesome Planet,planet grapes,sauceria,sophie's mom,tuscany mckinley hill,tuscany restaurants mckinley hill | No Comments
November 27, 2013 by ajay
As you can see, there have been no food and resto features for a long time. Am not about to blame Typhoon Yolanda, but some friends were really serious when they urged netizens (like me) not to post food photos while hunger was prevalent in Tacloban & neighboring areas. So be it!
Anyway, this is not about food for the sake of eating. Will be sharing some recipes which you can use for the family’s all-important gathering for either the Noche Buena (during Christmas Eve) or Media Noche (during New Year’s Eve) this year. It is only three days before December after all!
This was from last Saturday’s class at The Maya Kitchen which I announced previously. Even though weekends are sacred to me because of family time, I didn’t pass up the opportunity to attend the class because the recipes up for demo by noted restaurateur and Chef Fern Aracama looked really good. Besides, I’ve been loving Spanish food lately.
Here was the line-up of dishes (from left): Malunggay/Spinach & Mozzarella Dip, Insalata Uvato which is the chef’s signature salad with honey balsamic vinaigrette, Grilled Ensaymada Media Noche Style, and the Bunuelos (fritters) with Warm Chocolate Dip. The Potato & Chorizo Soup was covered with the cast iron red Staub cookware which I was eyeing to be in my Christmas wish list
The Potato & Chorizo Soup uncovered. Rich, filling & comforting.
Category Munchin' | Tags: christmas recipes,cooking class manila,fern aracama,maya kitchen,maya kitchen makati,noche buena 2013,noche buena recipes | No Comments
November 21, 2013 by ajay
Rarely do I attend cooking classes at The Maya Kitchen because of the early call time, but I will be there this Saturday, Nov. 23, to see well-known Chef Fernando Aracama do his demo from 9am to 1pm. The place: The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center at the 8th Floor Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City.
Chef Fern will share a few precious recipes that will be useful to us this Christmas. On the menu: the Spanish inspired Patatas Riojana, a very simple yet hearty and delicious potato and chorizo soup; Grilled Ensaimada Media Noche style, hot and crusty butter grilled ensaimada stuffed with Chinese ham and queso de bola; Insalata Uvato, a salad with honey balsamico vinaigrette, toasted pine nuts, green and red grapes and kesong puti; Malunggay and Mozzarella dip in a creamy, cheesy brûleé best served with crispy crostini; and Bunuelos and Warm Chocolate Dip for dessert. These are deep fried choux pastries served with a thick and smooth milk chocolate dip.
Category Munchin' | Tags: aracama manila,chef Fern Aracama,cooking class manila,cooking classes manila,fernando aracama,maya kitchen,maya kitchen cooking class,maya kitchen schedule | 1 Comment
November 2, 2013 by ajay
Excuse me. I simply had to drool when I saw the roasted pork belly display at this new resto called Bellychon in Greenbelt 1. The skin looked so crispy, the meat so tender and it just reminds of the coming holiday season when the family tables will be festive and overladen with food. There’s just something about lechon which reminds one of a joyous Christmas in the Philippines!
The taste test didn’t disappoint. A rice meal with a generous serving of lechon for P120? bring it on!
I think this roasted pork belly originated among the South-based purveyors that made lechon Cebu famous. The only thing is that there’s no animal head or tail to contend with. The traditional method requires the roasting of the meat over open fire on a bamboo pole. But the good thing with pork belly is that it’s more manageable and you can do the cooking in the comfort of your home oven.
On this note, am reminded of a recipe shared by prominent Chef Myrna Segismundo at The Maya Kitchen a few months ago. She’s a book author and also helms Restaurant 9501 in Quezon City. Here’s her recipe for Boneless Lechon with Grilled Liver & Red Wine Sauce, Stewed Native Fruits – a truly gourmet treat!
Category Munchin' | Tags: Cebu lechon,cebu lechon belly,cebu lechon recipe,chef myrna segismundo,lechon,lechon belly recipe,lechon sauce recipe,roasted pork belly,roasted pork belly recipe,stewed fruits recipe | No Comments
September 27, 2013 by ajay
100 Revolving Restaurant – located in the 33rd floor of MDC Building along C5 just a little after the turn towards Eastwood City – is the only one of its kind in the Philippines at the moment. Boasting of a space of about 1500 square meters, it is also the biggest.
Breathtaking is the word. I’ve been all over town but I couldn’t help but gasp an “ooh” and “aah” when I saw the view through this resto’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows. A daytime visit is recommended to better appreciate the sight. One can even see the Sierra Madre mountain range and the hills of Antipolo nearby.
There are three things why this new place is a must-visit: the view, the revolving resto novelty concept and the food of one of the country’s premier fine dining chefs, Jessie Sincioco.
This large restaurant has a circumferential design that revolves 360 degrees in approximately two hours. The movement is really hardly felt, though it might get uncomfortable for those who have a phobia for earthquakes for example The revolving area has the best window views, but for those who dislike the movement, they can opt to go to the inner part of the resto.
Category Munchin' | Tags: 100 revolving restaurant,100 revolving restaurant libis,100 revolving restaurant mdc,revolving restaurant,revolving restaurant eastwood,revolving restaurant manila,revolving restaurant mdc 100,revolving restaurant philippines | No Comments
September 25, 2013 by ajay
So we’ve heard about Green Pastures, the latest venture of Chef Robby Goco who is behind the successful Cyma Greek Restaurant Chain.It is a dining concept that features a unique farm to table cuisine featuring dishes that are created from all organic, local, original, with no antibiotics, vine ripened, unprocessed whole ingredients.
Learn all about healthy eating and today’s trend for organic gourmet cuisine in a cooking class that Chef Robby will teach at the Maya Kitchen this Saturday, September 28, 9am to 1 pm.
Learn to prepare the following dishes from the master himself:
Ricotta on Toast, Onion Jam and Roasted Garlic, Roasted Squash with Maple Onion and Mint, Young Goat Bolognese Pasta, Seafood Tioppino (stew), Cheesy Kale (salad),Honey Comb Dessert with Greek Yogurt and Lemon Curd.
Category Munchin' | Tags: chef Robby Goco,cooking class,cooking class manila,farm to table cuisine,going organic,green pastures,green pastures shang ri la,maya kitchen,organic gourmet cuisine,Robby Goco,the maya kitchen | No Comments
September 23, 2013 by ajay
My seatmate during a recent food tasting session, the esteemed Inquirer columnist Rina Jimenez-David, described P.F. Chang’s food as “gentrified Chinese.”
The description couldn’t be more apt. P.F. Chang’s cuisine may not be the Chinese food we grew up with but that is exactly its appeal to me. Crispy fried chicken, birthday noodles, salt & pepper spare ribs, sweet & sour pork, beef with oyster sauce, chopsuey …. they all taste the same in Chinese restos all over town but when I go to P.F. Chang’s, it’s different. For one, they don’t have “the usual stuff” on the menu, it’s always a take on the classics or their own interpretation. It’s Chinese food like no other, even though it’s American Chinese
The international resto chain (with branches in BGC and Alabang) has unveiled new offerings on the menu and here are a few interesting items:
the Grilled Angus Flank Steak (P995) is a must-try. Order this on your birthday or anniversary or the next time you feel like splurging. Hey, you don’t even have to wait for a special occasion. It’s for the discriminating diner or meat lover who wants the juicy tenderness of US Angus flank steak grilled to perfection. When served, the meat is already sliced and comes in a big platter on the table with a siding of hoisin-glazed peaches, roasted eggplant and a delish dipping sauce.
The tofu steak was heavenly. As this dish landed on my palate, I suddenly entertained dreams of not eating meat ever and just surviving on this. But of course it was just a dream
Anyhow, I loved the contrast between the crunchiness of the fried breaded tofu slices on the outside and the soft silkiness of the tofu inside. The topping of savory Kung Pao sauce with diced bell peppers, onions and chili made it all worthwhile.
Read also: PF Chang’s now in the Philippines: our first taste
PF Chang’s now open in BGC!
Category Munchin' | Tags: PF Chang's,PF Chang's Alabang Town Center,PF Chang's ATC,pf chang's bgc,PF Chang's Bonifacio Global City,PF Chang's menu,PF Chang's Philippines,PF Chang's the Fort | No Comments
September 22, 2013 by ajay
A stay at the Dusit Thani Manila wouldn’t be complete without eating at their Benjarong Thai restaurant. So far, I’ve eaten in Dusit’s Tosca Italian Restaurant and UMU Japanese restaurant. The latter remains my favorite but I guess it depends on the person’s taste
The resto has “stately” interiors and evokes formal fine dining. What greets diners upon entering are these attractive, different sized porcelain ware hanging on the wall. Benjarong literally means “five colors.”
When it comes to the food, honestly am now more biased to the homegrown Thai restaurants that dot the metro. Good Thai food isn’t just limited to these five-star hotels. But I have to say the pad thai at Benjarong bowled me over. I would have been turned off if this was sweetish (like it tastes in some restos) but how it was seasoned & the flavors all blending together were just perfect!
Category Munchin' | Tags: benjarong,benjarong dusit,benjarong dusit thani,benjarong restaurant,benjarong royal thai restaurant,dusit thani manila,makati city restaurants,thai restaurant makati,thai restaurant manila | No Comments
September 5, 2013 by ajay
I know of a few friends who consider this their favorite Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf branch in the Philippines.Location: ground floor of Net Lima Building on 5th Avenue corner 26th St. Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.It’s certainly well-designed and good-looking. Who would think you’d find such a perfect spot in Manila, right?
Now it seems this cozy coffeeshop is taking on a different concept because it doesn’t just serve the good old CBTL favorites.It’s now metamorphosed into the 26th St. Bistro. Still CBTL but the dining experience has been elevated to include such stuff as Toblerone with Salted Caramel Pancakes (!!), Surf N’ Turf and this Grilled Lamb Chops with Rosemary Marble Potatoes (P525).
Spell g-o-u-r-m-e-t. Now I know where my friends shall treat me next. Lol. (Photo courtesy of CBTL)
Category Munchin' | Tags: 26th st bistro,cbtl manila,cbtl philippines branches,cbtl philippines menu,cbtl the fort,coffee bean & tea leaf philippines,coffee bean and tea leaf,coffeeshop in the philippines,manila coffeeshop | No Comments
September 3, 2013 by ajay
Who can resist comfort food? It’s always nice to come home to the Philippines’ only IHOP at BGC (Bonifacio Global City) for you. I avoided this place when it was new and the lines were long. It was still crowded when we went there on a weekday night but the lines are gone. So, we’re back to attack….
Duo of eggs, hash browns, pork sausage links and bacon…. the classic breakfast which you can take any time of day in this resto.
Heavenly fluffy pancakes with the most generous toppings and syrups this side of town. Pictured here is the one with blueberry compote and whipped cream
And now, IHOP Philippines has introduced Griddle Melts for sandwich lovers out there. Fluffy omelets are placed on top of artisan sourdough bread for a filling experience. There are three varieties to choose from, priced at P385 for a full order and P325 for half:
The healthier choice would be the Spinach, Roasted Pepper & Cheese Melt.Sautéed fresh spinach are incorporated in a fluffy egg omelet, then topped with roasted red peppers and onions, melted Provolone, Parmesan and Pepper Jack cheeses. An order comes with your choice of hash browns or seasoned fries.
Category Munchin' | Tags: ihop bgc,ihop menu,ihop philippines,ihop philippines facebook,ihop philippines twitter,ihop the fort | No Comments