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discoveries after the wedding bells

Confessions of a Non-Cook

i truly love to eat and appreciate good dishes on the dining table, but i do confess, i never liked being in the kitchen very much.  that is why, the gods that i call those people with in white hats and aprons are definitely heaven sent!

hubby took me to a shabu-shabu in greenhills once when we were still not married and i thought, that was the last time it would happened.

it was the steam coming from the hot pot, yes, that was it, i said, it left my hair smelling like everything that we ate.

but honestly, i did not like the fact that you paid for your food to be served raw and for you to do the cooking: picking of ingredients, planning how long you want it in the boiling pot, and mixing your own bowl with spices and condiments until it was to your liking.  now, isnt that the chef’s job, i thought?!

hubby should have seen it as a sign that i was not going to be the kitchen-wife material.  but then again, he always knew that i never liked getting my hands dirty.

and so when i said i had wanted to try this new place in pasay which was no doubt a shabu-shabu, he got me in the car and we headed to King One with no ifs or buts.

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i read an article in Spot about this place and i was intrigued by its title, “… ups the ante in eat all you can dining”?!  hmmm, maybe i could give the steamy hot pot one more try.

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we got there a little before 10am and waited outside as the waiters readied the restaurant for a busy sunday lunch.  the view of the conveyor belt transporting various ingredients near majority of the tables through the big glass windows made me surprisingly excited.

when we were finally allowed to enter, we were ushered to our booth and presented with a couple of sheets of paper.  here you could choose which ingredients you wanted, the noodles and 2 soup bases into which you wanted to boil your food in.  we had picked a plain soup and of course a chili based one for hubby.

people started to file in a few minutes later and soon the place was packed.

we chose our ingredients starting with various seafood including crab claws (which tat loved!) and the cheese balls which came as a wonderful surprise.  caution though because the melted cheese inside the squid/fish (i think it was) ball is mighty hot!

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we also got several plates of the US fat beef along with other this and that which suddenly became just too good not to be drop into the boiling broth instantly, hence, no other pictures! hehehe!

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the thin strips of beef became my favorite, dipped into the boiling pot, just a second after it changed color.  it was not the melt in your mouth kind like that found in tsukiji but for less than P500 (for the beef and everything else!), it was a meat lover’s delight.

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you could actually see as the beef was being sliced as thin as bacon by this machine in the middle of the conveyor belt.  and as i was sitting in plain sight of the whole process, we just kept ordering for more plates of these fatty strips (waiting for high blood pressure to happen! mwahaha!)

when we were done and finally got our bill, we were served a plate of fruits to cap our scrumptious lunch.

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not bad i thought.

this time, my shabu-shabu experience was not as painful as the first.  yes the steam was still there leaving a faint scent on my hair, and yes, i still had to choose what to drop in the boiling broth and when to rescue it from the heat, and yes i still had to spice up my own bowl to my liking.  but because the choices looked and tasted really good (especially the beef fat! harharhar!), i sort of forgot i was actually “cooking” my own food.

with good food and just P499 per person and an additional P50 for bottomless drinks (on sundays and holidays that is, but on regular days the P499 is inclusive of drinks), this restaurant really does add to the standard of eat-all-you-can dining!

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March 31, 2009 Posted by | Gastronomic experience | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Carnivore, Silenced

my hubby, the carnivore, is not one to jump for joy when he is served greens. infact, the only leafy veggy that he will agree to eat would be lettuce! talk about variety! now i, on the other hand, came from a home where vegetables were always a part of a meal. hubby says that the reason why i have 2 big front teeth was that i was a bunny in another lifetime! *sarcastic* harharhar …

so when i told him i had wanted to try good burger, he just kept silent, probably wishing i would forget all about it. unfortunately for him, a branch opened a couple of streets away from us and he had no choice but to pass by it every single day!

last week, we were left without our usual help and i was forced a couple of times to turn on the stove to cook fry ready marinated pieces of meat from the freezer.  that wasnt so bad…  ok, lets not create a riot by asking the poor fellas who ate my cooked outer but still partly raw fried chicken…so that at the end of day 2, i was ready to treat the whole household to restaurant food until our help came back, and thats when i realized it was a perfect opportunity to try the ever evaded “good” burger.

and so after a procrastinating look at their menu on the much neglected delivery card posted on our fridge, hubby settled for their bacon mozza melt (burger with bacon and mozzarella), while i excitedly ordered for the 3 cheese burger (patty with cream cheese, mozzarella and their cheese sauce) and tat got the garlic barbecue (burger with, well, barbecue sauce).

not 20 minutes in to the 30 that we were told wait, our orders were delivered to our door step!

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although i could tell i was the only one excited to see the bag’s contents, the loot smelled promising as i took out the still warm foil wrapped burgers.

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they looked small, i mused, but then again we ordered the “good” size.

the burgers come in good, better, and best sizes and because we were full from a buffet lunch, we decided the smallest burger would see our tummies through the night.

you could order your good burger with a chicken or veggie patty, depending on your choice and the bread, white or wheat (although they charge an extra P5 for wheat bread).

hubby and i both got veggie patties while tat got chicken.

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unwrapping the sandwich revealed soft bread almost like a pandesal with a burger patty tucked in between the sliced bread bun.  very noticable was the cheese strings stretching as i peeled away the burgers wrapping.  CHHHHEEESSSEE!!! YUM!

i took a bite of the warm, freshly grilled burger and satisfactorily chewed.  it was pretty good!  and if i hadnt know, i wouldnt have suspected the patty was not beef.  and their cheese….gosh, i loved it!

tat’s chicken burger patty also looked like the regular beef patty and was not the white dry or tough meat we had imagined it might be.  hmmm, id probably like to try that next time…

i was already into my 2nd or 3rd bite when i noticed hubby was not speaking.

uh-oh i thought, he’s probably gingerly still looking at his burger inspecting if they forgot to mask anything leafy or green.

but when i looked to my right, there he was, chomping on his veggie burger…

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“that wasnt so bad”, i said as carefully as i could, trying not to be too enthusiastic as it might add insult to injury if he didnt fancy the burger.

i waited for a reply, but hubby just nodded, mouth slightly curved up into a smile, too full to utter a response!

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……post script

oh yeah, there were also wedged fries but we totally forgot to take photos of it before they were gobble up!  and dont be fooled by the “small” burger, it was pretty heavy and we were filled to the brim!

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Gastronomic experience | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

i adore(a) quiet time alone

a mentor was once shocked when i said i enjoyed eating at good restaurants alone.  now dont get me wrong, i love discovering good dining places with hubby and i would not trade that time for anything in the world, but when push comes to shove, i really dont mind eating by myself.

an ideal place for my quiet get away would be a cafe with good service, where i could take my time enjoying my food (and yes of course taking photos).

i learned of cafe adora through jenni epperson and i was excited to check the place out.

i got my chance when i had to go to greenbelt one wednesday in search of hubby’s “perfect” birthday cake, and was stumped on where to have a light lunch after an unsuccessful treasure hunt.

i passed by adora during my search and i realized that it was my chance to try out the place.  the news of the anya hindmarch collection arriving in town and exclusively carried by this store, of course was not a bad extra treat!

ushered by one of their employees to the end of the lower level of the store, i found myself in a little cafe, tucked in between racks and shelves of fashion items.  i was seated at one of the tables of then, a near empty cafe.

privacy – check!

a simple one page menu consisting of tartines, salads, desserts and drinks, was presented to me and right off, i knew what i wanted.

cafe-adorathere was no doubt i wanted the saumon fume, oeuf organique et mascarpone because it consists of the 3 of my favorite food items!

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the fresh orange juice also sounded lovely!

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the waiter suggested that the gruyere cheese and chips would go well with my tartine and i believed him…

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fortunately, i was not disappointed!  this dish is not on the regular menu, so ask if you want to try it out.

it did not take long before my open faced sandwich was served and i was happy with what i saw.

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a generous serving of smoked salmon, lay on a good looking slice of bread topped with an egg, cooked to perfection (call me crazy but im very particular about how my sunny side up is cooked over easy, right SSE?)

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im not sure if i was just hungry with such a late lunch that day, but my dish did not only look good, it tasted wonderfully delicious!  the mascarpone, hidden under the smoked salmon, gave a creamy surprise as the flavors blend in your palate!

after a few bites, the waiter made his rounds (the cafe now had several tables of customers) and asked how i found my salmon.  its delicious, i told him!

good service – check!

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after finishing my dish, i was asked if i had wanted some coffee or tea, but i had to decline.

if i was not pressed for time, i would have ordered an espresso and started on my truman capote novel, but that was out of the question.

maybe sometime soon…

cafe adora is a place i would certainly recommend for a simple lunch or dessert date with a friend.  it also would be a wonderful get away from the busy shopping area just outside its doors, or, like me, who just needs an excuse to look at the new line of items exclusively carried by the store housing this cafe. *wink*

im now wondering how their coffee is.  maybe my curiosity will bring me back there… sooner than i think.

in my opinion, cafe adora might just become my favorite place for some quiet time alone.

my appologies for the poor pictures!  the lights were pretty subdued and i only had my omnia at that time

March 29, 2009 Posted by | Chichi, Gastronomic experience | , , | 7 Comments

Choi-ces that lead to happy endings

blessings have been pouring in recently and i could not be happier!

now, im not one to believe in luck because ive never really been very “lucky” in the full sense of word.  ive never been a magnet for winning guessing games and raffles and anything else that relies purely on serendipity.

and so when blessings do come my way, id like to think that these are opportunities (given by the higher being) which i did not fail to recognize and make good use of.

lets just say, im a believer of destiny by choice…

a couple of weeks ago before my nerve wracking experience, i had a craving for siopao (again!)  and so hubby tried to cheer me up by treating me to an almost authentic chinese dinner

Mr. Choi Kitchen

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now if you remember we had lunch at another branch of this restaurant to celebrate the opening of the beijing olympics (hehehe!  just another excuse to eat out!).

the occasion this time? well, a pre celebration of hubby’s bday and the anticipation my day of reckoning.

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i wanted to try their sio long pao

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which turned out not to be the best ive tasted but fair enough to try once.

we ordered the ever ubiquitous yang chow fried rice

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with

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squid

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and pata tim (yes, again! hehehe!)

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and hubby’s favorite, crispy noodles

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and of course, my siopao!

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it looked yuuum!

the bread was just the way i like it, compact but not cottony.  but i did wish the filling was a bit more meaty.

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despite the little snags, i was filled to the brim (still with a doggie bag to take home) and happily satisfied to last me a week-and-a-half to THE day!

now everyone knows ive been burrying myself under the pages of that green gigantic book of mine.  it was not easy with my literary past time becoming a great temptation.

as if there was not enough stress to go around, as the day of my qualifying approached, i submitted an application to join a secret society of foodies.

ok, ok, its not really a secret society but the response to my application seemed like i was applying for a prestigious university! hehehe!

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and because i realized that im as easily distracted as a child with ADHD now a days, i mandated focus by emptying my wallet in exchange for caffeine and solitude.

in the end, it was all worth it, including the hole in my pocket!  I PASSED!  and nothing is more gratifying than a great desire satisfied by perseverance and success (with of course a very special blessing).

oh, and as if that wasnt enough to keep me grinning for quite some time, the “secret society of foodies” have decided my literary skills are worthy and have accepted me as one of their members! whoohoo!

my blog has been accepted and will now be listed in the foodie blog roll!


The Foodie Blog Roll

sacrifices do seem like punishment forced upon us as means to our goals.  but wise choices, no matter how difficult, will eventually lead to very happy endings…and so i learned.

ok, time to look for more food adventures!

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Gastronomic experience, Meandering | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

at-home-movie night

weekends are usually date days for hubby and i.  this satisfies my obsessive need to plan and keeps hubby happy because i dont agitate.

because im supposed to lie low for the last time this month, we i thought of an at-home-movie night and bought one of our more favorite snacks to accompany us and our gurgley tummies.

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this was actually an impulsive buy when i went to purchase some coffee beans and found a couple of these on their rack.

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the sales lady said it just arrived from who knows where, but i didnt need much to convince me to get a bag.

“its for hubby”, i reasoned.

ok now back to our movie night…HBO asia proudly presents…

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we were not able to watch this film on the big screen because hubby is less than enthusiastic to watch anything with singing as part of the screenplay.

this thought makes me laugh because it reminds me of the time i finally got him to watch cine europa with me and i chose a french film

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which turned out to be a movie with the whole script sung! hahaha!  he was so bored but i loved the film!

and so when i announced that our at-home-movie-night was going to feature Sweeney Todd, he was a little disheartened

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but weighing the odds of not tasting these crunchy rinds

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he opted to satisfy my fancy … mental note: check BP! (hehehe!)

tim burton has made some very interesting films.

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big fish is one my favorite so far, well, because it has a nostalgic memory attached to it, a christmas my sister and i spent with my then future hubby …

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charlie and the chocolate factory is another one.  i saw the original 1971 film which i loved.  i kept describing the story line to hubby (he does not read books) until i thought that he was thinking i was cuckoo with my imagination. then finally burton proved i was sane.

most of tim burtons films are products of a great imagination, mostly interestingly odd stories given a brilliant twist and so, i have high expectations of the demon barber of fleet street

and hubby has greater expectations of porky…

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time together makes such happy memories!

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until our road trip and newly discovered conveyor laden goodies tomorrow… ciao!
..food photos were taken by hubby with my LX3 & his new off camera strobes

March 21, 2009 Posted by | Gastronomic experience, Meandering, Photography | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment