Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pasalubong Ideas: Mr Moo's Fresh Milk

Pasalubong is the Tagalog term for presents given by someone who just came home from a trip. A pasalubong is normally a native product from a province or a keepsake from the visited destination.

Before leaving Tagaytay City, popular pasalubongs would include Buko Pie, Pineapple, Guyabano, Espasol and Langka. On our drive home during our recent visit to Tagaytay, we chanced upon a brighly lit pink signage that says Kesong Puti and Fresh Milk for sale. We have heard raves about Mr Moo's Carabao Fresh Milk and Paul was determined to give this a try.

Visiting the store, we found out that they are selling more than Carabao Fresh Milk. In fact, they have a huge blackboard filled with their items such as Pastillas de Leche (Milk Candy), Feta Cheese, Yogurt, Cottage Cheese and even Goat's Soap! Making it an interesting pasalubong stop.

We ordered two bottles of Carabao Choco Milk (P36 / 200ML) to share with my sister. Since the ride home will take us a little more than an hour, the lady offered to pack in some ice cubes to keep our milk bottles cold.

The Verdict

We opened our bottles of milk the moment we arrived home and poured the contents into our glasses. I noticed that the brown looks a bit pale compared to the cold chocolate milk that we're all used to. Taking a sip, the taste was pretty much the same.

Paul enjoyed the fresh chocolate milk and noted that it's richer than the average fresh milk as he believes that it has a higher butterfat content. Thus, do drink with caution for those who are guarding their weight.

My sister, the Carabao milk newbie, was surprised that the milk tastes pretty good. She was a bit hesitant but her adventurous taste buds just pushed her to give it a try. She feels though that it's best to chill this as the milk tastes better when cold.

Also try their Pastillas de Leche (Php. 72), using fresh carabao milk to produce, it has a very milky texture and the pastillas literally melts in your mouth! Yum! 

Watch out for Mr Moo's stall in Tagaytay (0922) 8774085 or in Silang (0922) 8774083.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Through the test of time : Josephine's Restaurant

In the numerous times that we travel to Tagaytay for a short weekend getaway, some things remain constant. How we would always make it a point to visit the Pink Sister's Chapel, how we would always buy Buko Pie, Tawilis and Ube Jam and lastly how we would always devote one meal at Josephine's.

In fact, back when driving up to Tagaytay was a breeze and we would find ourselves craving for ice cold Halo-Halo on a hot summer day, my family would just round up the clan and head to Josephine's for an afternoon break while enjoying the cool wind and the marvelous view of the Taal.

In our recent Tagaytay vacation, we had our Sunday lunch at Josephine's. As usual, there was waiting line but the turnover and service was quick that we immediately had a table ready for us in no time. Mom left the ordering to my sister and I. We immediately chose our family's favorite and added a couple of new items in our list.

It was starting to drizzle and with the cold wind that's bringing the temparature down, I requested that we try Josephine's Bulalo Soup. My mom, who's a healthy eater, hesitated for a bit but after much convincing and receiving doe-eyed looks from yours truly, she finally gave in. It is best to start your meal with a warm bowl of soup and there's no better place to enjoy Bulalo than in Tagaytay. I love the tender beef chunks and the rich bone marrow soup that has somehow cleanse our palate before we indulge in the dishes that followed. Aside from the Bulalo Soup, I also love the Mutya ng Cavite Soup which is a cream-based seafood soup filled with huge prawns, clams, mussels and fish.

As a compromise for ordering the Bulalo Soup, I got Mommy's favorite dish -- Rellenong Bangus. Expect boneless milkfish meat mixed with peas and raisins. It goes perfectly well with a cup of garlic rice. The entire fish is stuffed with its delicious filling that you can actually enjoy it down to the bones.

After satisfying Mommy's taste buds, we made sure both Papa and Paul were happy. Our choice was the Crispy Pata (Crispy Pork Knuckles) -- one of those dishes that have made Josephine's so well-known for. I love how tender the meat was and there was just a small amount of fat giving you great value for your money. Papa loves the crunchy skin while Paul happily munched on the chewy tendon until the bone was shiny clean. Don't forget to dip each slice into the Crispy Pata sauce because taking a bite.

My sister loves Josephine's Laing and we all agreed that it's one of the best. Imagine gabi leaves cooked in rich coconut sauce and mixed with lots of plump shrimps that you're sure to get at least one big piece in every scoop.  This dish will make you eat more rice as the thick flavorful sauce was simply irresistible to say no to.

If you still have space left, why not order a plate of Puto Bumbong, Bibingka or get a cone of Pinoy Ice Cream for dessert. Dining at Josephine's allows us to appreciate authentic Filipino food cooked using the best ingredients. It's definitely a must-visit whenever you find yourself in Tagaytay. Also, the restaurant has one of the best views of the Taal Volcano.

Josephine's Restaurant is located at Km. 58 Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Maharlika West, Tagaytay City. It's located along the main road and is located right across Summit Ridge.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Tagaytay Place : Taking a cool break down South

It has been a while since my family went on a trip. This realization came when a long weekend was announced and my sister started throwing suggestions on where we all can go and what we can do. You see, ever since Papa's brain surgery, he has been more unwilling to go out, this is despite the fact that he has improved a whole lot! Of course, Tagaytay was our unanimous choice as it continues to be our favorite long weekend getaway.

Anyway, we took the plunge. I made some advance reservations at One Tagaytay Place after seeing wonderful comments and photos from fellow bloggers Bong, Arpee and Eric and left it all up to Him as we pray that Papa will join us for this trip. We were all in need of a breather from work, after all.

The drive up to Tagaytay was a bit slow due to the traffic along Bicutan, Paranaque. Oh, how I miss those days when it would just take us an hour to get from San Juan to Tagaytay City Proper. We arrived at 3PM and after a relaxing lunch at Sonya's we headed straight to One Tagaytay Place to check-in for the night. 

I made my reservation online and I was able to score a great deal! Our room rate for a deluxe room was just only for P3900! Both rooms were located at the 5th floor which gives us a better view of the hotel's surroundings. My dad loves hotel rooms with a balcony and I'm glad that both our rooms has a wide balcony.

The room was pretty small, I was a bit surprised as the photos that I saw in my fellow bloggers' sites were quite impressive. Then again, most of them featured the one bedroom suite while we just got the simplest (and smallest) room in the house -- the Deluxe Twin Room

Still, my family enjoyed our stay at One Tagaytay Place as our rooms were very clean. While the toiletries were kept to the bare minimum (a small bottle of shampoo, two bars of soap, a box of cotton swabs, a box of shower cap and a shaving kit), I liked it that the fixtures are very new and there are no insects found during the entire duration of our stay.

The next morning, my sister and I braved the freezing cold water and practiced our strokes in the pool. I really do need to improve my endurance as I found myself panting after an hour of swimming.

Paul, on the other hand, went to check out their game room. They have a small billiard table, a dart board and Wii! How we wish they could improve more on their amenities to make the hotel more family-friendly.

Nonetheless, our stay was very pleasant and we will definitely consider this again on our next visit to Tagaytay. My mom loved its location was it has a 7-11 store right in front and is located along the main road. You won't miss it as you drive towards Tagaytay Highlands.

One Tagaytay Place is located in Barrio Sungay, Tagaytay City.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Are YOU a Success Story?

Have you ever been dreaming of starting your own business? 

Do you have a good business idea that you wish you can make into a reality?

It's time to STOP all these fantasies and make your wishes come true! 

Entrepreneur Philippines is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this November and we're coming out with our thickest issue ever! That's a total of 150 editorial pages and a lot more! Read about success stories of brands that has ruled the decade and learn some tips from entrepreneurs whom we all look up to.

Here's what has been keeping me busy for the past months... my pride and joy

Head over to any Fully Booked branch, RB Magazine (in Megamall) and Bufini outlets and grab our special edition that comes with a Team Manila designed shirt for only P195!!!

A great collaboration with Team Manila and Entrepreneur Philippines indeed! 

Thank you Team Manila! :) 

Grab your copy NOW!!! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The weekend that was

I had a very relaxing weekend with my family :) Spending it with four of the most important people of my life. We indulge in our favorite dishes, enjoyed the cool weather and just relaxed and bonded all throughout the long weekend.

While the weather wasn't so pleasant all throughout, we saw something that made all of us smile...

...a Rainbow!

I'm thanking God for giving me the best parents, a wonderful sister and a loving husband. I must have done something right to deserve all these in my life.

Watch out for my Tagaytay blog series coming up SOON!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Goodles now Delivers!

I love pasta and my colleagues can attest to this. I frequently crave for pasta that at times they would raise their eyebrows and divert their attention to my tummy with suspicion.

Well, it's not what they think...not yet.

It's just that I love pasta, my undying love for al dente noodles cooked with the yummiest sauce and topped with my mushrooms, shrimps and at times drizzled with truffle oil. Ohh, I'm in pasta heaven.

My friend Shar is a great cook and her specialty is...PASTA! She loves to experiment with different pasta combination thus Goodles was born almost a year ago. Every time I find myself shopping in Robinsons Galleria, I make it a point to drop by her store for a cup of delicious pasta. My favorites include the Goodles Classic, Grape Carbonara, Chicken Vodka and the Salsa Rossa Shrimp.

Oh how I wish Shar would open more branches that's more accessible to me soon (Greenhills, perhaps? :))

click to enlarge the menu

In the meantime, I found out that Goodles now has a delivery service! I'm excited to try this for lunch here at the office! Now I can enjoy my Goodles favorite anytime!

Check out their new pasta offerings too:

Call 212-1212 to order. Minimum delivery of P500!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Grocery Pick : Rio Mints

Look what arrived at my doorstep the other day!

A lovely purple round box that got me guessing what must be inside.

Pulling on the purple ribbon, I opened the box and saw four handy tin containers. Pretty aren't they?

I've been a mints fan and I always believe that this is one thing you should not leave home without. Imagine what if you just enjoyed a delicious garlic-themed lunch at Krazy Garlik and you don't have mints to freshen up your breath as you head back to the coffee. Also, I rely on my can of mints to calm me down right before a big presentation. That familiar burst of minty flavor to cool my breath giving me that additional confidence that I need.

I'm new to Rio Mints and I was excited to give it a try. There are four flavors to choose from: Burgundy Grape (which I think my friend Richard might like), Pink Grapefruit, Honey Melon and Green Tea and Peppermint.

I went for the Pink Grapefruit and I liked the tangy flavor of the grapefruit as I just let the mint candy melt in my mouth. What more, I found out that these mints are sugar-free and some comes with additional nutritional benefits too. Take the Pink Grapefruit for example, each mint is loaded with Vitamin C! The Honey Melon, on the other hand, has Beta Carotene! Not bad, huh?

For those who wants the taste of menthol then I guess the Green Tea and Peppermint is for you. I have yet to try this as I'm curious how matcha green tea would taste like when combined with cool Peppermint.

Reading the Label

I was told that one step to living and eating healthy is to read the labels. Thus, even with these mints, I did. It says that Rio Mints are low in calories and they contain Xylitol which helps guard our teeth from cavities.

I'm loving the pink little container of Pink Grapefruit Mints in my bag right now.

Check Rio Mints out as these are available in Watsons, True Value, PCX, The Landmark and in other leading supermarkets nationwide.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Red Ribbon : Comfort in every Bite

Today was a very stressful day.

Meeting deadlines, running around to coordinate with various departments, working together with the Editorial team, checking proofs and watching out for grammar and spelling errors... all these in preparation for the 10th Anniversary Issue of Entrepreneur Philippines. We're all working very hard on this and we pray that our readers will love it! (So make sure to watch out, check out the surprise that we've prepared and grab a copy as it will surely be a Collector's edition!)

I went home with a nasty throbbing headache and all I really want to do is to curl up in bed with my fluffy pink blanket.

But that didn't happen...Thank God for giving me a sweet husband who surprised me with a mouthwatering chocolate cake that he bought after receiving a text message from me early today saying...

"Hunnie, I'm having a stressful day...*sniffle* :("

He knows me too well..truly food is the best way to brighten up my day. He knows that I do not like fancy cakes loaded with thick icing as I would just scrape them all away anyway. We got something that we'll all love -- Red Ribbon's Chocolate Fudge Cake (Php. 460).

Just a few weeks ago, I was given a box of this exact same cake delivered straight to my office table (thanks A!). I excitedly brought this home and shared it with my in-laws. Everyone enjoyed the soft chocolate cake enveloped in rich decadent chocolate icing.

As mentioned earlier, I do not like icing but this one I had to take a bite as it just looks simply inviting. I was told it's made of eggs, butter and chocolate... the perfect mixture for a thick, perfect chocolate icing that can take your worries away.

Slicing through the cake, I love how sponge-y the texture was. It truly brings back warm memories of my childhood where we would always have chocolate cake for our birthdays. In between the two layers is a thick chocolate fudge filling that will make you go mmm in every bite.

I enjoyed a full slice of chocolate cake by myself after dinner and it allowed me to relax and push my worries away. My head was still throbbing by my heart has mellowed down a bit as it has been jumping wildly the whole day.

I'm thankful for this delicious slice of Red Ribbon Chocolate Fudge Cake and I'm most grateful for being married to the sweetest, most thoughtful guy in the planet. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Time is NOW: Water Plus Reduce

Who does not love to eat? 

Eating brings people together. It builds new friendships and strengthens relationships. Birthdays, anniversaries and any kind of celebration definitely has eating involve. When planning a party, the first thing the host thinks of is what she will serve to her guests.

For me, eating has always been a happy experience. I enjoy trying out new dishes that tickles my taste buds. Traveling around the globe has been made to be more exciting as we look forward to trying the local cuisines available. I also enjoy the fact that I've made great friends over our love for food and eating.

However, eating has its drawbacks too. In comes unwanted bulges, increase in weight and bad cholesterol that can clog your arteries leading to nasty heart ailments and sickness. Ever since my mom had a mild stroke five years ago, my family has been more careful with our food intake. This particular episode in our lives became an eye-opener wherein we have learned to watch what we eat. It's time to stop treating our body like a trash bin.

However, my love for food remains. I continue to eat out and to try all those fat-laden dishes. It wasn't until lately when I realize I have to stop....NOW. Not tomorrow, not next week but N-O-W.

I realize that the sooner I start watching my diet and eating healthy as well as combining this with a more active lifestyle, I'd be on my way to a slimmer, healthier and happier ME.

The time starts NOW. 

Just recently, I am privilege to be invited to the press launch of Water Plus Reduce. I've been hearing a lot about L-Carnitine and that it helps increase the fat-burning properties in our body. Well, Water Plus Reduce has just that and  in addition to this, it also has Fibersol. Of course, you and I both know the wonderful things that fiber can do to our digestive system.

We were told that the best way to enjoy Water Plus Reduce is to drink this while having your meal. This is because the L-Carnitine will burn calories faster minimizing the chances of turning calories into fats.

One sip of Water Plus Reduce Apple and I know that I'll enjoy this for a longer period of time. I like it that it does not have sugar but it really tastes like apple juice. Paul loved the grape flavor and we agreed to include this in our shopping list on our next visit to the grocery.

Of course, this is not a miracle drink so with a healthy and balanced diet, I have to hit the ground running by putting on my dancing shoes and burning the calories away!

street dance, anyone? 

There's no time left to waste as I have to start taking good care of my health and body. With Water Plus Reduce and soon a new found hobby that will allow me to burn, burn and burn all those unwanted calories, I look forward to welcoming 2011 with a better new ME! 

* photo source:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Around the World in 7 Corners

This particular lunch was set a month in advance when one of our business contacts invited the entire team to dine out. The venue was at 7 Corners in Crowne Plaza.

Due to the sale madness happening around the area, we were a bit late for our lunch date and we arrived apologizing profusely to our host. After our HIs and HELLOs he invited us to visit the buffet spread and to start the feast.

One thing I learned about buffet dining is to survey the complete spread first and to plot out my route to avoid over-eating. I began from the entrance where the pizza and dessert area were located followed by the fresh salad station and the sushi bar. After this was the long line of main dishes featuring Indonesian specialties as this was the promo for the month.

After reaching the end of the buffet line, I went straight to the sushi bar -- my favorite place to start. My mouth waters at the sight of the Philadephia Roll and the numerous platters of maki roll and sushi.

While busy filling my plate with sushi, I took a peek at the chiller and saw one thing that made my heart jump with glee! UNI!!! I handed my plate out to the server who filled my saucer with fresh Uni Sashimi!!! Yummy!!! :) More customers followed suit and we also requested for Salmon and Tuna Sashimi too.

After enjoying my sushi, I decided to visit the salad station where I enjoyed the crisp cold lettuce with bacon bits, smoked salmon, capers and creamy sauce. Nothing beats enjoying fresh greens in every meal.

Going around 7 Corners gives you a glimpse of the different gastronomical favorites around the world. There's pizza and pasta from Italy, Sushi and Sashimi from Japan, Hot Noodle Soup from China and a lot more! I was just looking for dimsum which sadly was not part of the buffet spread.

After enjoying my choice of salad, I headed straight to the main dishes for my 3rd course. I got a couple of chilled tiger prawns and went to the Grilling station to request for two lamp chops to be grilled medium well. I filled my plate with deliciouis mint jelly and happily carried my plate back to the table.

Picture pretty isn't it? It tastes really good too! I skipped all the carbs and was very happy with my lunch that day. My lamb was grilled to perfection and the prawns were crisp and delicious.

I capped my meal with a scoop of pistachio ice cream and Durian Creme Brulee. Initially, I was told it was just Creme Brulee but on the first bite, the taste of durian was unmistakable. I told my colleagues about it who just gave me an amused look. I love durian and this actually comes as a surprise to many. I asked the server to check with the kitchen and he returned saying it was indeed a Durian Creme Brulee! Yum! I was so full already and I wish I could go back for more.

While the choices at 7 Corners may not be as varied as its bigger hotel buffet counterparts; nonetheless, I enjoyed the quality choices as well as the fact that they do have Uni Sashimi which I believe is a first for me to see this at a buffet.

7 Corners Buffet Rate:
Breakfast: P928.13 nett
Lunch: P1325.89 nett
Dinner: P1546.88 nett

7 Corners is located at the 2nd floor of Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ortigas corner ADB avenues, Ortigas Center, Quezon City. Call them at 633-8888 to reserve.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mang Inasal Delivers!

What luck!

I received an email saying that I am one of the chosen bloggers who can try out the newest service of Mang Inasal! You see, they have just recently made Mang Inasal more accessible and convenient for its loyal patrons by having a one-number delivery system where you can enjoy your favorite Mang Inasal meals right at the comfort of your home!

I've always been a fan of this brand after I've read it's success story in the November 2009 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines. It talks about a young man named Edgar "Injap" Sia who began his chicken business in the Visayas region, and who now has more than 300 branches nationwide and still growing.

Just to show how successful Mang Inasal is, local diners see this growing chicken chain as the closest competitor to the happy bee and the friendly clown in yellow and red suit. With Mang Inasal's very affordable chicken meals and unlimited rice, they are now enjoying a growing customer based from the students to working individuals and even from moms wanting to serve clean chicken inasal to her family.

For dinner this week, I availed of the Mang Inasal delivery by dialing 733-1111. It only took 2 rings for my call to be picked up and after getting my contact details, the girl told me to wait for approximately 30 minutes for my order. I really wanted to see if they will keep their word and I set a timer on my cellphone.

I called at exactly 645PM and I am expecting Mang Inasal to by at our doorstep by 715PM. While chatting with Manang and Paul, I heard the doorbell ring. It was 715PM and right on the dot, our Mang Inasal orders have arrived. Amazing!

I truly hope they'd keep this great on-time service as nothing makes ones dining experience worst than nursing a growling stomach while waiting for your food to arrive.

We have two orders that evening : Paborito Meal 1 (Paa with Rice) and Paborito Meal 2 (Breast/Wing with Rice). We chopped the chicken into smaller pieces to share with the entire family. Paul noticed that the rice was still very warm which added more points for their superb quality.

I love Chicken Inasal and I'm glad that Mang Inasal's version was not dry yet was very flavorful and tender. It's pretty good that I can enjoy one entire meal on my own! The best part is, their Paborito Meals are all below P100!

Craving for chicken? Just dial 733-1111 and enjoy Mang Inasal's delicious Chicken Inasal without leaving the comforts of your home.

* thank you for the Mang Inasal treat! Yahoo!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Let's Twist Again!

I guess it must be part of McDonald's marketing strategy and it's actually working!!!

Every year, they release their delicious Twister Fries (Php. 58) for just a limited time and the whole country goes crazy about it!

This has been a long time childhood favorite and the day they re-launch this never fails to put me in a very good mood. The Twister Fries came a bit late this year versus last year when it was re-launched late June.

Today was the first launch and I made it a point to pass by McDonald's on my way home to buy myself some Twister Fries.

I find it very crunchy and I enjoyed munching into the thin curly strips that goes perfectly well with my favorite Fillet O' Fish sandwich.

Welcome back Twister Fries!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

inTENsify your morning at Sentro 1771

My family can be pretty picky when it comes to enjoying Filipino food. Back when we were kids, the only two restaurants that have successfully garnered the seal of approval of my food-loving grandpa and mom were Harana of the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel and Kamayan.

However, as soon as a restaurant gets our two thumbs-up, they can be assured of long-lasting loyalty from the entire family. This was the case with the two previously mentioned restaurants--Harana was our regular Sunday dinner venue where we all grew fond of its delicious Laing, Sinigang soup and Garlic Rice. Our Sundays would begin with an afternoon tea session at the lobby of EDSA Shangri-la where the adults would catch up with one another while the kids were taught how to enjoy tea sandwiches and an assortment of mini pastries and scones. My sister and I loved the sugar cubes that would be served together with our tea. After which, we will be allowed to roam around the hotel and play by the pool side. Come dinner time, the entire family will meet for dinner at Harana. My Kongkong (grandpa) loves the singing quartet that would visit our table and would gamely sing his requested songs.

As for Kamayan, this was our go-to place when entertaining family friends and relatives abroad. I remember watching the lechons (roast pig) being roasted and this was were we learned to eat using our hands. My sister would fondly recall how much rice she would eat in one sitting for as long as it's in Kamayan. We loved the garlic rice combined with their Kare-kare, Bopis and a lot more. Nothing gets more Filipino than enjoying good food on a banana leaf.

Fast forward to the present, more Filipino restaurants opened and yet my family stayed loyal to just a few. One of these is Sentro 1771.

It was my mom who first discovered Sentro 1771 after having lunch at their Greenbelt 3 branch with her colleagues. She shared how delicious their Sinigang na Corned Beef soup (Corned Beef in Tamarind Soup) was as well as the Lumpia Ubod appetizer.

This prompted both Paul and I to try it during one of our Sun-dates in Greenbelt. It was Paul who suggested that we try it and remembering Mommy's positive feedback, I quickened my pace towards the restaurant just in case he changes his mind.

Mommy was right, the Corned Beef Sinigang was delicious and we also enjoyed the Rated GG and the Fried Kesong Puti for starters. What I'm curious to try though were their breakfast meals but since I rarely get to wake up early on a Sunday morning, this has been part of my wish list for a couple of years now.

Luckily, an invite to try Sentro 1771's breakfast fare came on 10-10-10. After giving my confirmation, there was no turning back now. Despite the fact that the bed seemed extra inviting that morning, we pulled ourselves out of bed to attend to our grumbling tummies. Off we went to Sentro 1771 in Serendra, Fort Bonifacio.

The menu actually has a list of Filipino specialties and a couple of Western offerings. Our party of four agreed to stick to the Filipino dishes that morning.

Each Filipino Breakfast Set comes with a cup of their fresh fruit juice (that morning we had Mango-Papaya shake...yum!), choice of coffee/tea/hot chocolate, egg (cook any way you want) and garlic rice.

I highly recommend getting the Hot Chocolate as they use the native chocolate batirol-like formula giving you a rich dark chocolate flavor. I personally am not a fan of hot chocolate in the morning but I was glad to have chosen this over coffee or tea.

After which, we all made our choice of meat to go with our set:

Paul, the tuyo fan, chose the Spicy Tuyo Flakes (300) while I went for the Ginisang (sauteed) Corned Beef (Php. 350). I couldn't forget how delicious the Corned Beef Sinigang was and I was hoping they'd use the same chunk of tender meat for their breakfast set.

I was right! The Ginisang Corned Beef was so tender as it was sauteed with onions and tomatoes. It was so good that despite the frequent offers from my mom, sister and Paul to try their own meat choices, I was busy concentrating on my melt-in-your-mouth corned beef, poached egg and brown garlic rice.

Paul loved his Spicy Tuyo Flakes too. He commented that it has just the right amount of saltiness that wouldn't give him a stroke. The tiny tuyo pieces were served submerged in the spicy oil that made his breakfast meal more interesting.

Mommy, the healthy eater in the group, chose the Bonuan Boneless Daing na Bangus. She liked it because it wasn't salty and it's the kind that won't make you feel guilty about consuming the entire fish.

My sister was surprised to see just a few Beef Sirloin Tapa (Php. 350) on her saucer. This was her order because she has been craving for good ol' tapa for some time. While she said that the tapa was ok, we noticed her liking our last order more.

To share, we got the Kuisinero Fried Rice (Php. 250) which is rice sauteed with tuyo flakes, lots of garlic and topped with sunny-side up egg. My family teased me for ordering this as my love for fried rice has been a long running family joke but I noticed that everyone enjoyed this as both my sister and Paul kept on getting spoonfuls of the rice from time to time. This is definitely a must-order when visiting Sentro 1771.

It was a very relaxing morning spent with the most important people in my life. Too bad Papa chose to stay home and enjoy his morning coffee while reading the papers or he would probably also enjoy breakfast too.

Sentro 1771 is the perfect stop after a quick run around the Bonifacio High Street area. Nothing beats enjoying a warm cup of hot chocolate and a plate of Kuisinero Fried Rice to add some excitement to your morning.

Sentro 1771 is located at Piazza Serendra, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City. You may call them at 856-0581.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nasi Lemak : A Taste of Singapore

As we love to travel around Asia, Paul and I have grown to appreciate the different cuisines that each Asian country offers. From the flavorful dishes of China to the cold fresh sushi of Japan and lastly to the herb-infused meals found in any Southeast Asian country, we enjoy trying and tasting each local cuisine as we believe that it is the best way to understand and educate ourselves about the country's culture.

Here at home, we find comfort in a bowl of Tinolang Manok or a plate of Kare-kare with Bagoong. Nothing makes our day brighter by enjoying a meal consisting of any of our Filipino favorites plus a cup of fragrant white rice.

Aside from the Philippines, Singapore is one country that's very close to our hearts. This was one reason why we both agreed to fly off to Singapore for our honeymoon and to spend a week exploring the different sights and meeting up with old friends. We loved the peaceful and orderly system of this small country. Nothing also beats the experience of dining in any of their hawker centers. We love Singapore so much that we promise to visit it at least once a year.

Whenever we're not in Singapore and we crave for any of our hawker favorites, we always have Nasi Lemak to run to. In every visit to this restaurant, we enjoy trying different menu items that makes for a wonderful discovery. I mentioned about trying and loving their Kueh Pai Ti during my first visit and enjoying the Crispy Baby Squid on our second visit, now let me tell you about our latest dining experience that truly made for a memorable lunch date.

I love joining contests and I couldn't just ignore one that was created by Nasi Lemak over their official facebook account.

It was a guessing game about Angel Aquino's favorite Nasi Lemak dish and it began with only two clues:
CLUE 1: Its flesh is white.
CLUE 2: Angel could not stop eating that dish.

My initial guess was the Hainanese Chicken Rice but after following the 6 other clues posted over the succeeding days, I concluded that it must be the Fish Head Curry which was also a popular choice in Nasi Lemak. Guess what, I won!! I was so happy to be awarded with a gift certificate for a free Fish Head Curry that I can enjoy myself! Yahoo!!

So for lunch one Saturday, Paul and I found ourselves craving for our favorite Singaporean dishes and off we went to Robinsons Galleria to dine at Nasi Lemak. It was also good timing for me to claim my free Fish Head Curry.

We began with an order of our favorite Kueh Pai Ti (Php. 180/ 5 pieces). I just love this appetizer. The rule is for you to pop the whole thing into our mouth after adding a few drops of sweet chili sauce. Sensing how much I love the Kueh Pai Ti, HK, the owner of Nasi Lemak, promised to teach me how to make it! (Looking forward to it HK!)

I was able to try the Carrot Cake (Php. 150) during our trip to Singapore last year. Unlike our local Chinese radish cake that's served in blocks, the Singaporean version is sliced into thin strips and sauteed with beans sprouts and soy sauce. When done properly, it makes for a wonderful meal partner or an afternoon snack. I've tried a number of version here in Manila and sadly, none has done it right. However, I was pretty confident that Nasi Lemak would do a better job and upon seeing their Carrot Cake served on our table, I was glad my assumption was right! Even Paul enjoyed this one as we specifically requested for them to hold out on the chili. It has a light sweet-salty flavor that goes well with rice. I believe that there was no meat added to this dish to making it perfect for vegetarian diners.

HK convinced us to try their Salt and Pepper Squid (Php. 210) and told us to have this with some pickled chili. I eyed the chili with fear as I really am not a fan of anything spicy. With a reassuring voice, he just told me to go for it and to give it a which we did. Following his careful instructions, we got a piece of crunchy squid and place a small piece of pickled chili on top, we were told to eat this with rice as the chili's taste can be a bit overpowering. We did as told and it was very good! So good that we requested for another saucer of pickled chili. HK was right, it was not spicy at all instead it brought out a different flavor that makes the Salt and Pepper Squid even more interesting. Paul finished off this dish and told me to take note of this as we will definitely be ordering this on our future visits.

Finally, the highlight of our meal was served. The Fish Head Curry came in a huge pot making this dish good for a family of 4-5. We had enough rice set aside to enjoy this spicy dish. I, on the other hand, also armed myself with a glass filled with ice cold water. However, I should have had a glass of cold milk instead. The curry was very fragrant and the fish meat was tender. However, I just couldn't ignore my burning taste buds that has been put on fire by the fiery hot chili. Paul, the brave soul, took up his anti-spicy courage to finish the fish head. It was so good that he totally ignored the fact that he had already drank 3 glasses of water in just 5 minutes. I watched him in awe as he was busy concentrating on the delicious fish. With the fish head totally cleaned out, we requested to take home the curry sauce. HK also gave us tips on how to re-use the sauce and which type of fish we should look for. We thank him for being so generous and made plans already on when to serve this to the family.

To cap off our wonderful lunch, we ordered a piece of the Choco Lava Cake (Php. 68) for dessert. When we met up with HK in Singapore, he was very excited about launching his new line of desserts in his restaurant and for only P68 a piece I told him that it really is a good deal. Despite feeling very full already, we couldn't help but take spoonfuls of the warm moist chocolate cake with melting sauce inside. Even Paul just kept on giving HK the thumbs-up sign as he was busy enjoying our chocolate-y dessert.

This is definitely a must-try and no meal in Nasi Lemak should end without enjoying their dessert.

Our lunch lasted for more than two hours but we truly enjoyed the wonderful company as we chatted with HK, the food and the delightful discoveries along the way. We can't wait to try the new menu items that HK told us he's currently working on. Will I be lucky and finally have my Lamb Biryani on the menu? :)

Nasi Lemak is located at the Ground Floor, Robinsons Galleria (beside Krispy Kreme), Quezon City. You may call them at 571-8988.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Burning taste buds at Flaming Wings

After reading reviews made by fellow Club members namely Jane, Rowena and Richard, who all had nothing but raves about Flaming Wings, Paul and I knew that we have to schedule a visit to try it SOON.

A couple of weeks after the Club went, we scheduled to have a casual dinner date in this popular buffalo wings spot located right at the heart of Katipunan Avenue.

We arrived a little past 7 on a Saturday night and the place was jam-packed! Luckily, we found our little table for two and immediately scanned the menu. We zeroed in on the buffalo wings and decided to get the 5 pcs. basket (Php. 235). After learning from my fellow bloggers that 5 pieces buffalo wings means 10 cuts, we requested the server to split this into two different sauces -- Smokey BBQ and Mild n' Sweet.

Paul's a huge fan of barbecue flavored dishes and this was his first choice upon reading the menu. He paired this with Ranch dip which I think was a perfect choice. We ate this with gusto and enjoyed every single bite of it. I love the fact that it wasn't spicy at all. What makes Flaming Wing's buffalo wings delicious was that it has a very tender meat covered with deep-fried crispy coating. It was delicious even without the dip.

The other half of our buffalo wings came in a Mild N' Sweet Sauce paired with Bleu Cheese Dip. This one has a mix of sweet, spicy and sour flavor that is closer to the original buffalo wings taste. This is perfect for the faint of heart.

Together with the wings, we ordered some Pomme Frites (Php. 38) a.k.a. French Fries that's served in a paper cone and a saucer of Honey Mustard, our choice of dip. There was really nothing spectacular about the fries and we both find it a bit small compared to the long-cut fries that we both love. The honey mustard sauce lacks the sweetness that we were both looking for.

Lastly, we also ordered Spaghetti Bolognese (Php. 108) which was also pretty ordinary. I feel that it lacks the rich tomato-meaty taste similar to the good ol' spaghetti that we've grown accustomed to.

The highlight of our meal was definitely the buffalo wings and surveying the tables around us, the dessert seems to be a must-try where I noticed that everyone would cap their meal with a plate of Wicked Oreos or the Oreo Sundae. We were planning to have dessert elsewhere thus we intentionally skipped ordering any of their desserts during this particular visit. Will definitely make a mental note to try this next time.

As we enjoyed our buffalo wings, we watch families and students come and go. Students would order the Wings Meal that consists of 2 pieces Chicken Wings, Rice and Drinks while families would share on a basket of their mouth-watering wings and of course their famous dessert.

I'm currently craving for Flaming Wing's BBQ wings as I write this entry. I will definitely be back SOON!

Flaming Wings is located along Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. Call them at 929-6900. They also have branches in BF Paranaque and along Taft Avenue near DLSU. 
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