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discoveries after the wedding bells

less reservations please

its been a little over a week since people started fussing about the showing of anthony bourdain’s visit to the philippines.

no-reservations

i remember 4 months ago when i found out the crew of no reservations were in the philippines and i immediately sent a message to AB (knowing full well he would not answer fan comments such as mine) asking him where he might visit. if he was anywhere near, i wanted to get into the hype! of course i found out my fellow carnivore stayed in sofitel way after he left manila and resolved to just watching the episode when it came out.

i almost forgot the whole thing after the long wait until kitchen cow blogged about it.  and after a few days, 3 to be exact, right on my special day, hubby surprised me with the episode!!! such a thoughtful gesture!

and so, after all the excitement and suspense, here is what i thought about the episode.

i was a bit disappointed. no reservations has a lot of pinoy fans and from pressure drop, you could tell AB knew. maybe it was the pressure that got to him but you could tell he was not his usual witty, smart aleck self.

i remember watching the vietnam episode and cracking up like crazy on how production portrayed the different dish experiences of the country. i did not see this in the philippine episode.

on the good side, they did feature some wonderful meat dishes, truly pinoy! and he could not stop raving about the lechon. this is of course is no surprise. after watching the pig roast to a perfectly even golden color, and repeated crunchy bites on the thin crumbly skin (ok, now im officially hungry and hoping dinner is fatty!), how could he not love our wonderful cebu lechon?! thank you to market manila, now internationally better known as “pig man” for showing AB how a decent pig is roasted (and eaten!).

a down pour of fan comments (im #478) on AB’s philippine episode after he blogged about it, showing full well the episode was very much anticipated.  but  even if im one of those fans who was a bit disappointed, i still love the show.  i do hope no reservations come back to manila to try out the other wonderful dishes the country has to showcase, with less reservations please…

February 26, 2009 Posted by | Meandering | , , , | Leave a comment

sweet frustration

this has been on my wish list of food items to try and finally, i got a box from my loving hubby!

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and a wonderful little brown package (that i will use tomorrow)

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but im so inis because i cant seem to make good angle shots.  you see these non food photos were taken by the budding strobist (AKA my better half)…grrrrr!!!

which brings us to my frustrated question.
in your opinion, are talents innate or learned?

February 23, 2009 Posted by | Chichi, Gastronomic experience, Meandering | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vday Surprises (Part 1): Salcedo Saturday Market

this is a long overdue post of the fun we had at the salcedo saturday market last vday.  so here goes…

im sure a lot of people reserved tables at various restaurants today but not hubby and i. we wanted to veer away from the cliche, postponed our vday dinner next week and went to the market for valentines day. yes, you read right, we decided to go to the market on hearts day, the saturday salcedo market that is!

now ive learned tons about salcedo market from various blogs and articles but never got around to satisfying my curiosity about this weekly event until today. the morning person that i am did not really have a hard time getting up early (unlike the slow to warm in the morning partner of mine) so that we could be at tordesillas street in salcedo makati by 730am. when we got there there were a couple of shoppers already exiting the makeshift market (a parking lot accross one salcedo) and there were quite a number of cars already parked all the way around the block. boy these people really get up early dont they!

upon entering you could feel the hustle and bustle of the market place just as it is starting to begin. there were potted herbs,
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fresh seafood (literally splish splashing in the tub of water!

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and a blanket of wonderful this and that all around.

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we went around the market first to survey what was in store for our tummies and after much dilemma (from choices overload!), hubby chose the food stall called Gigi La Crepe for his breakfast treat.

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this is operated by a jolly frenchman who strikes up short but witty conversations with his customers as he concentrates on flipping the paper thin crepe that envelopes his bretton galettes. unlike the traditional crepe, galettes are cooked on one side only and garnished meats, egg, cheese, fruits and other spreads in various combinations.

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hubby and i chose to have the sausage galette and the ham, egg and cheese galette (AKA complete galette) each costing P100 each.

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the sausage galette was simple yet delicious! the sausage used was peppery and intense.

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the complete galette was a treat. it is said to be one of the most popular variety.  you could taste all the 3 major fillings which settled well in the crepe covering.

we washed down our yummy breakfast with sugar cane juice. a small cup will set you back P25. i found it a little steep compared to the 0.9Sing$ sugar cane juice that came in a glass twice as large as the one we had today. but nevertheless it was good! i guess thats what really matters.

i heard a lot about the barbecue of salcedo market and definitely did not want to leave without trying so even if we were satisfied with our galette breakfast, we went to sample the much talked about grilled pork.

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there are 3 sizes costing P25, P45, and P65. we sampled the P25 size and i realized i was the only one getting 1 piece of barbecue! all the other customers were hoarding it like winter was coming! i came to the right place then, i thought. one bite of this thick pork meat will make you faint in delight!  i know you must be thinking, a barbecue i is a barbecue, but this is exceptional!

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it is thick but tender and flavorfully juicy! and im not even exaggerating! our stick was in the trash in no time!!!

with barbecue greased lips, we went on another round of the market place which brought us to the center of the walkway to a man giving away taste tests of his homemade frozen yogurt like there was no tomorrow!

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frankly all the market goers were pleased to get a sample.

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he first had me taste the mango and vanilla which was de-li-ciou!!! and just as i was finishing the hefty sample, he handed me the banana which was surprisingly ok to taste. then came the dark chocolate. chocolate lovers out there, i tell you this is sooo good!!! my mouth is watering just at the thought! then the one with a special blend of berries (and oh i could not remember because i was eating like a kid with a priced lollipop) which was interestingly yummy too. after another gastronomic dilemma i decided on the mango and vanilla.

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as my frozen yogurt was being scooped into my cup, i learned that froyo is freshly homemade from 100% yogurt, with no refined sugar added by the vendor.

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because it is pure, it is a bit more sour than the ones you find in the malls. the consistency is also another difference as froyo is more compact and a personal order will last forever! yuuummy! i do recommend this item. i will surely get some every time we come to this saturday market. but i think they sell some at serendra, i will have to check. i learned that they have froyo at arama, beside lary’s bar. ooohhh!!!

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the personal serving around 150 grams will cost you P65, 1 pint is P190 and 1/2 gallon is P650. if you visit salcedo market dont miss out on this item!

as my yogurt cup was emptied, we chanced upon a lady tasting coffee from a stall. the caffeine lured me towards TonG coffee owned by Ike Miranda. he told us that he picks the beans himself to create this perfect blend and roasts them weekly just for the saturday salcedo market. he pointed out that the beans still had oil on them because they were newly microroasted.

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this means that the pack that you buy will always be fresh. a free taste test of this unique coffee blend will positively make you leave the stall with a pack in hand. the sample was not hot as it was in the small coffee press sitting on the stall and i did not add cream or sugar but it smelled strong and wonderful and tasted even better! personally, a true test of good coffee beans would be enjoying it unadulterated, with just hot water added and frankly, this is one of the best ive tasted!!!

i bought a 400gram pack of unground beans and walked away happy!

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there was a stall that sold tapa of two sorts, venison (deer) and wild boar (as in baboy ramo).

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a good lot is sold for P360 and is smoked (or dried, sorry my blood flow was directed to my tummy after everything i ate!) and will keep for several weeks ready for frying. this looked good for breakfast but we decided to pass this time.

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this stall also sold aged and seasoned cuts of steak. a box of 3 cuts will cost P750. not bad! im sure we will try this sometime soon!

a more thorough walk into the small alleys made by the stalls brought us to Everybody’s Cafe, a kapampangan stall which sold exotic delicacies. i felt like andrew zimmern would appear around the corner anytime as i was scrutinizing the odd food items.

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there were stuffed frogs, crickets, and of course our favorite sisig

we were full from our morning’s buys and decided to move on. we chanced upon this burger stall that had a challenge.

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we looked at the big burger grilling and said, hey, i think i could do that if i wasnt so full. the lady on the other end of the counter corrected our misconception and showed us the burger bun which was involved in the challenge. it was as big as a personal size pizza! ok, that is quite a challenge!

we decided to buy a pack of home made ham freshly made without any preservatives.

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this will last 3 days in the fridge but if placed in the freezer will last for several months according to the stall owner.

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with coffee and ham in hand and a lot of other treats in the GIT, hubby and i left the market two satisfied customers!

February 23, 2009 Posted by | Gastronomic experience | , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

kampai

As i was browsing through japanese food reviews of manila, i realized that ive never eaten in half of the restaurants described as the best japanese places in town (and i call myself a japanese food enthusiast!). So when i was asked where i wanted to eat last night i said i would put my trust in the chef (omakase)

There are actually 3 branches of omakase, 1 in tomas morato, another in alabang and the 3rd in eastwood. Being pasig dwellers we headed to the intrepid building right across the accropolis gate on e rodriguez.

Frankly the place didnt look like my kind of good eats, the parking outside was crowded & flanked by a lot of pedestrians lining up for the 207M lotto and those trying to get on a commuter jeep. Luckily the guard pointed us to basement parking spaces right after ministop where you could enter the building avoiding the crowd.

Omakase is situated at the 2nd floor and upon entering, i knew we would not be getting fastfood versions of japanese food. Oh joy!

we started with the JCS maki platter

JCS maki platter

JCS maki platter

this is named so because it contains the jurassic maki, the seabreeze maki and the crazy maki.

of course i had to order their sukiyaki

sukiyaki

sukiyaki

they wonderfully brought the bowl of my favorite soup with the egg still intact and that made me happy. some japanese restaurants would serve it with the egg already in the bowl and thus the egg would already have been cooked. something i dont like. the soup however was not the best ive had. it could have been better.

for the main course i had ordered the tofu steak

tofu steak

tofu steak

this was delicious! the steak rolled around the soft tofu was thin and tender.

japanese fried rice

japanese fried rice

hubby ordered tempura

mixed tempura

mixed tempura

and my father in law ordered rib eye

japanese rib eye

japanese rib eye

any meal would not be complete without dessert so we had scoops of ice cream to top off dinner

green tea ice cream

green tea ice cream

coffee jelly topped with vanilla ice cream

coffee jelly topped with vanilla ice cream

overall, omakase is a place you’d want to go to if love maki and want good japanese food thats affordable but not run of the mill.

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it was a good and satisfying dinner

warm sake

warm sake

kampai

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Gastronomic experience | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

thoughts on a sunny day

I was so restless yesterday morning trying to sit still and absorb the lines on the pages of my book. Sounds of various conversations, some interesting, some annoying. Thoughts of being mobile independently, getting a good work out, lunch dates with long lost friends and travel filled my head. A good view of the sunny day through the big glass wall beckoned me for a stroll, maybe a good cup of frozen yogurt, maybe a treasure find in one of the stores, maybe just to get away from nelsons for a while. Maybe i will heed the call, just for a few minutes & at d expense of a few more bills i could spare with my sabbatical allowance…
So down the paved walk i went intending to buy something to help me focus and to my delight the bookstore doors were being unlocked so happily i got behind the first book enthusiast and entered. Dont you just love the smell of bookstores? The new crisp pages gives me a sense of calm & takes me back to summer days spent worry-free in the endless rows of childrens books. 4 mini scoops of frozen yogurt then back to nelsons as a prelude to good things to come

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Meandering | Leave a comment