Thursday, August 25, 2016

Missing Home : Wooden Spoon at the Powerplant Mall

"I'm craving for Pinoy garlic rice, tocino, egg and atchara..ugh!"

This is what I suddenly messaged my Pinoy lunch group at work yesterday. It's the type of craving that you can clearly imagine the food in your mind and you're starting to smell it too. Clearly, I'm missing home and I'm really bummed that my supposed flight home tonight won't be pushing through. Anyway, happy thoughts again..happy thoughts.

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I got to admit that I didn't grow up eating Filipino food on a daily basis as we got a very Chinese-style kitchen back home. In fact, not so long ago, I wouldn't even consider Filipino cuisine as one of my favorites. Well as they say, "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and that's how I am towards Filipino food for the past 3 years plus. This is also why we make it a point to visit a Filipino restaurant whenever we fly home. So, on our most recent trip home, we brought the entire family out for lunch at Wooden Spoon at the Powerplant Mall. This restaurant, which is owned by Chef Sandy Daza, has been part of my restaurant list for years and I was just so glad to be able to finally try it once and for all.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Say Quack! Bebek Joni Restaurant at Ubud, Indonesia

After a very busy afternoon touring around Ubud on our first day in Bali, Indonesia, we told Swantika that we wanted to end our day tour with some traditional Indonesia Crispy Duck before heading back to the city proper and based on my friends' recommendations, we should go to Bebek Tepi Sawah which was also in Ubud. However, he told us that it's best that we go to Bebek Joni Restaurant or I Made Joni instead as it has a nicer view. Well, he's the expert and I were quite impressed and happy with the places that he brought us to earlier in the day so ok then, Bebek Joni Restaurant it is.

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As he entered the huge compound, we noticed that we were the only ones there. Okay, maybe because we were there at 6PM so it was way too early perhaps for the dinner crowd. Not to worry though as the view was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Save for the pesky mosquitoes that won't stop feasting on our legs, we love the soft rustle of the leaves, the smell of grass and the whole provincial vibe. It was so pretty that while waiting for our food, Paul started reminiscing about his childhood days spent in his family's farm.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Shangri-la Singapore's Mooncake Collection 2016

It's currently the ghost month in the lunar (Chinese) calendar and this means, it's the season where we try to avoid traveling, making big decisions, signing contracts, making big purchases and getting married. It's the most feared for month of the year as this is when they say, the ghosts and spirits would be most active. Yesterday, the 15th of the 7th month is said to be the worst day of all. During this time, people would offer food to the gods to ask for extra protection and would avoid places like hospitals, wakes and cemeteries.

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Come the 15th of September (a month from now), the ghost month has officially ended and it's time to celebrate! This day is called the Mid-Autumn Festival where families gather to have a good meal and enjoy an abundant supply of mooncakes. While I love Chinese New Year food such as sticky tikoy (glutinous rice cakes), tang yuan (glutinous stuffed rice balls), dumplings and yu sheng salad, Paul's favorite Chinese holiday is actually the Mid-Autumn Festival or more popularly known as the Mooncake Festival.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Lumbung Sari: House of Coffee in Ubud, Bali

Aside from its beautiful beaches and sunset views, Bali is also known for its coffee. Actually Indonesia is one of the world's top coffee producers and Bali, in particular, is known for a certain type of coffee called kopi luwak. It's actually one of the more premium kind and this is because of how it's produced. Kopi Luwak otherwise known as civet coffee is produced by this tiny furry creature called the civet cat. They're fed coffee cherries and the coffee beans actually comes out when they poop. I know it sounds gross but people believe that the enzymes produced by the civet cat and the fermentation that happens inside is body brings more flavor and improves the quality of the coffee. So after they excretes it out, the farmers will then clean it, roast and grind it before brewing the coffee.

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Every time Paul and I travel, we love to inject a bit of history and cultural learning about the place that we're visiting. So, when I proposed the idea of visiting Lumbung Sari Coffee Farm on our first day, he immediately gave his go-signal. So, right after lunch, our driver Swantika took us to Lumbung Sari which wasn't very far from Ibu Oka

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Great Singaporean Flavours at Street 50 Restaurant & Bar, Singapore

Happy National Day, Singapore! 

During lunch time yesterday, B, our former intern, came to join us as it was also M's (another intern) last day. B is leaving for the UK in a month's time to pursue her university studies and I asked her one thing -- "What Singaporean dish will you miss when you're away?" She answered "Laksa" in a heartbeat and this got the rest of us thinking too. While I may not be born Singaporean, but having lived here for a couple of years; I know that if ever I leave this beautiful country, I will definitely be missing that delicious plate of Char Kway Teow over time.

So, while I can, I'm stuffing myself with all the delicious local dishes that I can have. Recently, Paul and I went back to Street 50 Restaurant and Bar and we were introduced to a couple of the additions to their menu. I have to admit that our first "egg-perience" at Street 50 wasn't very memorable as we were not too crazy about all those egg-loaded dishes but we are firm believers that some things deserve a 2nd chance and Street 50 is one of those.

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Our dinner began with a crunchy piece of Salted Egg Lava Chicken Breast (S$9.90). Add salted egg to practically anything and I assure you that you'll get a lot of oohs and ahhs in every bite. We're all crazy about salted egg and I'm happy to share that this one was a delicious creation. I love how the strong salted egg flavor helped perked up the relatively flavor-less chicken breast. The chicken stayed tender inside and really crunchy outside so it was just so delightful. Look at all that cheese and salted egg oozing out from inside.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Back at Masizzim in 313 Somerset, Singapore | #masizzimsg

Here in Singapore, it's pretty common to hear restaurants and cafes opening left and right on a weekly basis. Back when we first moved here, I really tried my darnest to keep up and to visit as many new places as possible. However, with the speed of restaurants opening all over the country, I've come to realized that it's pretty impossible to keep up and it's definitely not very financially and physically smart to do so too. We then resorted to relying on some of our favorite foodies here to point us to the places that we have to try and prioritize.

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Our friend D is one of the foodies whom we love and respect so much. We trust his taste and with the number of places that he has brought us to plus the different yummy baked goodies that he has sent our way, D and his amazing taste in food has never disappoint. So last year, we had our first taste of Masizzim with D. If you remember, this was the place where there's forever a long queue and people would continue to rave about its meat stews, rice balls and more! True enough, we loved Masizzim's Beef Stew and Squid and Leek Pancakes.

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So, when I got an invite to try Masizzim's newest menu items, I immediately said YES! I'm definitely not shying away from any opportunity to enjoy a good meal. The best way to start your meal is to choose your drink. There are three new additions to the menu namely: Slush Beer (S$13.80), Honey Slush Beer (S$15.80) and Grapefruit Yogurt (S$14.80). All my dining companions went for the Slush Beers and I totally don't blame them! Served in a tall glass, this ice-blended beer indeed looked so inviting and refreshing. It's a big serving too making it perfect to enjoy all throughout the meal. The Honey Slush Beer is very similar to it's original counterpart except for the extra drizzle of honey on top.

As for me, I kept to my birthday resolution of staying away from alcohol and caffeine so I had the Grapefruit Yogurt. I loved it! Not so sweet, not so sour, it was also very refreshing and hey, it's healthy too! As you know, grapefruit helps in weight loss, it prevents stroke and it's a good source of Vitamin C and fiber too. Since it's made with yogurt, this is perfect for those who are lactose intolerant especially when it comes to milk.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

#CafeScene: Sisterfields in Seminyak,Bali | #sisterfields

As we were researching for our trip to Bali last year, Paul and I noticed that the cafe scene in this beautiful Indonesian island is totally booming. This really got us so excited as we're both fans of cafes and we definitely love visiting new ones too. We actually have the option to take our breakfast in the hotel but since we were only there for 3 full days, we didn't want to waste spending more than one meal in one place.

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On our first morning in Bali, after taking a million and one shots of the ocean view, we headed to Seminyak to try Sisterfields. This is one of the top cafes rated in Tripadvisor and it was highly recommended by local bloggers and Instagrammers too so we definitely took their word for it. Seminyak is just the next district to where our hotel was thus, making it a short and stress-free 10 minute ride via Uber.

Here's a tip: when in Bali, just use Uber (or Grab) as hailing a cab wasn't very much recommended by our hotel receptionist as there seem to be just one legit cab company called Blue Bird and there are two copycats which can cheat you of your money. 

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