Kitchen MIshaps and Victories, Restaurant Rants and Raves and a whole lotta wanderlust!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Restaurant Rave: Apartment 1B

Sarah's Salad (No, it's not called Sarah's Salad. It's literally the salad Sarah ate)

Grilled Baby Squid

Potato soup with truffle paste. This was awesome...

So awesome- and filling that I almost couldn't eat this. But guess what, I did anyway. All of it.

Meanwhile, Banj had a burger too, but the healthier turkey kind.

Mae had the truffle pasta---always a good choice!

Apartment 1B. If you haven't been, run don't walk!

And if you haven't been...where on earth have you been?

I am quite easy to please.

All I really need are my friends, some alcohol and really good food.

Apartment 1B is located at G/F Unit 1-B 132 L.P. Leviste cor. Sedeno St., Salcedo Village, Makati. Call 843-4075 for reservations.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kitschen Chaos: Take me to Marrakech

I love Moroccan food.

Unfortunately, there are no Moroccan restaurants in this city and that is a big cause of frustration for me. The only place is in Boracay, and if only I could, I would hop on a plane every single time I get a craving for lamb tagine and couscous.

Fortunately, I like to cook and enjoy experimenting on different kinds of cuisine. I recently purchased a Moroccan recipe book on my last trip to Sydney and finally found the time to try out some recipes on my dear friends, who are always my willing guinea pigs.

A few of my favorite things: Dried chili, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Tuermeric, Cinnamon Bark and Cumin

Warm Eggplant Salad

Spiced pumpkin and sweet potato tagine

Lamb Tagine with Dates

Couscous with sultanas and almonds

Kefta Tagine

Moroccan Roast Chicken with couscous stuffing

And while this isn't Moroccan at all, Birthday Cafe cupcakes are best eaten with...

Every damn thing :)

The Verdict? Sarah said this is the best meal I've ever cooked. *blush*

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Out of the Kitschen: When I'm not cooking...

When I'm not in my kitschen I also enjoy other things, one of which is getting inked.

Yes, this wannabe chef and home baker of cupcakes has 11 tattoos.

I like going to The Collective for it's laid back vibe , plus there are a bunch of independent stores and little restaurants.

From time to time, I will divert away from my usual food posts and talk about other things I like, places I frequent and all that good stuff. Hope y'all don't mind!

The Collective is located at Malugay street, San Antonio Village, Makati

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Restaurant Review: 2nd's Comfort Food Revisited

My friend Dane just came from a month long retreat and homecoming in Spain and before she went back to her home, the lovely island of Boracay, we wanted to hang out and catch up! I suggested a new place called 2nd's. It's located at the old Mag.Net at the Fort, right across from Cav and The Spa. I liked the simple and cozy interiors. I did NOT like that they were charging "Club" prices for their tiny drinks. Skip drinking there and go somewhere cheaper!

Bacon Chicharon--sounds good right? Well, it actually sounds better than it tastes. It's not bad, it just tastes like lightly battered fried bacon with fancy dip *aka, muscovado Dijon mustard and spicy vinegar* Maybe working with bacon so much has turned me into a bacon snob? Haha. It's not a bad appetizer, but it's fried bacon basically- go for the Pinoy Tapas instead-adobo coroquetas and foie gras salpicao. Didn't try it but it sounds like it would be more worth eating.

Now THIS, I LOVED. Order the Roast Beef and Raclette Sandwich--an open-faced sandwich with caramelized onions, tender slices of beef and melted raclette on top. It seems small when it's served, but under that cheese is a heap of meat! It comes with a bunch of condiments and fries on the side. I got mine with mashed potatoes instead. I was full halfway through but I ate the entire thing! It was worth the food baby I had to carry around after.

My friend had her "Fancy Mac n' Cheese", as she called it. Official name is Truffled Mac n' Three Cheese with Emental, Sharp Cheddar and Blue Cheese. She said it was good too- and this is coming from a mac n' cheese lover who ate it somewhere else the night before. Too stuffed to even try it-- I should have skipped that Bacon Chicharon!

2nd's is located at 2/F, Quadrant 3, Bonifacio Highstreet, 9th Avenue, Global City, Taguig. Call 8465293 for reservations.

Danielle is located at Ti Braz in Boracay, go say Hi when you're on the island.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Say Hello to Birthday Cafe

I know I've mentioned Birthday Cafe already, but look---> It's finally official, with a logo and everything! Thank You, Tim. Follow him on twitter- @thesouthsyde

For orders, you can email or text 09275104516 Check out for menu and prices--- sorry I need to update it and fix it in a major way. I'll get there!

While you are waiting, have a cupcake- or 12! :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Kitschen Quickies: Hot peas and...

Ingredient I can't live without, won't scrimp on and absolutely adore--butter.

People who don't like butter hate themselves. It makes the world go round. After carbs.

Carbs and butter. Together. Even better.

Kitschen Quickies: I only like my Herbs with a silent H

One of my favorite herbs--Sage. It's presence in supermarkets is on and off so when I find fresh sage, I buy it even if I had no prior plans of making anything with sage. I make my menu revolve around it instead.Have you tried Sage butter? No, Poor You.

* A little side comment: The only time an herb is good is when 1. you don't pronounce the H and 2. it is in your food and not when you have to deal with them in every day life. Don't know what I'm talking about? please refer to 7L and Esoteric*

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Restaurant Rave: SALA Bistro

Much as I love dinners, I also adore brunches, most especially when it's with the company of ex-colleagues from my magazine life. We try out a new place every time we meet up and each time is a late morning full of great food and plenty of industry gossip.

I love the simple elegance of SALA Bistro, and the food ain't too shabby either. I wanted to have the Champagne Brunch with unlimited bubbly but everyone was in a rush that day. Next time!

My Bistro Sunday Fry Up-- essentially a Full English brekky without the beans and black pudding. I ate every last bit of this.

Kat's Bistro Minute Steak (topped with Onion Rings!)

Tippi and Andrea got the Creamy Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon

As if our mains weren't enough, we had little desserts to top off our meal as well.

I got the rum and raisin bread and butter pudding with vanilla seed ice cream. I was mad full but guess what, I still finished it!

Warm chocolate croissant with vanilla seed ice cream

Ricotta and Banana Pancakes with Maple Syrup---I'm getting this next time!

Happy Faces--and bellies!

P690 for a two course brunch and P1280 for a two course brunch plus unlimited bubbly.
Available Saturday and Sunday 11am-2pm Call 7294888 for reservations. Sala Bistro is located at the G/F Garden Side, Greenbelt 3

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kitschen Chaos: Because home-cooked is always better than store-bought

Last night, I made dinner at home for me and Abdul. There was no real occasion but I know he enjoys my home-cooked meals and I hadn't cooked for him in awhile. I procrastinated like crazy and ended up with no real time to cook. I was supposed to have soup but ran out of time, so instead I came up with:

Focaccia dipped in olive oil and balsamic and served with Pepperberry Almond Dukkah to start

Mixed Greens topped with shitake sauteed in garlic, shallots and balsamic with an olive oil, lemon, parmesan and hint of chilli dressing

Rib Eye Steak with a side of buttered asparagus

Dirty mashed potatoes with sour cream, garlic, parmesan and basil

My little kitchen elf

Needless to say, We went to bed stuffed and happy :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Only in the Philippines: Manong Fishball

The most famous of all Filipino street food--> Fishballs. This dude pimped out his cart with a come on, don't be shy!

Fish balls, Squid balls, Kikiam and Red hotdog found outside The Collective, Malugay Street, San Antonio Village, Makati

Traveling Tummy: A Lebanese Chicken Blind Taste Test

Whether I am in Sydney or Manila, I go on and on about my favorite chicken in the world- El Jannah. A little hole in the wall joint in the predominantly Lebanese suburb of Granville. I first tried it at a party, and it has since then been a staple in our home and has become my traditional first meal every time I land in Sydney.

My friends were convinced that I would never be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test, mostly due to the fact that my friend Pete brought Lebanese Chicken to our cupcake party and no one was wise to his little Awafi-El Jannah switcheroo. To be completely honest, I couldn't tell too much with the chicken that it wasn't El Jannah, but I knew something was different about the garlic sauce.

On my last night at Sydney, I was put to a test.

I couldn't tell which was El Jannah and which was Awafi by sight alone. Habib's looked completely different.

Habib's had less of a charcoal taste. I feel like it wasn't grilled enough, or at least not to my liking. The chicken itself was tender and good but for me it's all about the garlic sauce, and Habib's left me hanging in that department. The garlic sauce just wasn't garlicky enough and the over all too mild flavor of everything made me rank it 3rd place.(According to Lisette, the Lebanese prefer this, but I'm not Lebanese, so I disagree. haha)

Awafi? or El Jannah? I can't tell by looking at it but let's just say it's Awafi for now. Awafi had good chicken. They also had good sauce. It is actually very similar to El Jannah and I think they reason for this is that apparently the owners of both establishments are cousins (Can someone confirm this?) They ARE down the street from each other so I wouldn't be surprised. Anyway, Awafi has little bits of El Jannah elements in it, but the difference is in the sauce. Awafi's garlic sauce is more canola oil tasting while El Jannah's has a stronger garlic taste. I would go to Awafi if El Jannah was closed and I really wanted Lebanese chicken. Otherwise, El Jannah still gets my vote.

Lastly, El Jannah. No complaints. I've said it a million times and I will say it one last time (Until I eat it again) It IS the best! ;p

And guess what, I got it right! i am the queen of Lebanese Chicken.

And El Jannah should start giving me free chicken for life with all this free advertising they are getting from me. (In case you guys read this, I'm only half joking)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Traveling Tummy: Bits and Bites of Baguio

I was not expecting this gigantor dessert (this is huge in Philippine Standards)--2 big scoops of ice cream, 2 brownies and fresh strawberries

Galbi Gui from Kung Jeon. It was OK. I've had better but I was ok with it. Abdul didn't like it.

Abdul, who used to live in San Francisco said "Hey look, it's Daly City" haha! This was on the way to the strawberry fields in La Trinidad.

Strawberry Picking in La Trinidad. My daughter was on a mission.

Cute little hot chocolate place in Camp John Hay also has REALLY good Palabok and Arroz Caldo!

Seriously, Yum.

Corn at Mine's View

Horrible frog's head coin purses

Is this too explicit for a food and travel blog? Perhaps, but it clearly isn't too explicit to be in broad daylight in a tourist spot in Baguio.

A trip to Baguio is never complete for us without a final meal at Cafe by the Ruins

Zucchini patties with parmesan and kesong puti

Kamote bread with herbed cheese spread

One downside to our trip: This diner used to be our favorite place as kids, when it was still downtown. Now it sucks. Everything sucks except the pancakes and I'm not even exaggerating.

This cheeseburger for instance, looks big in size but was filled with extenders, had no taste except for the SWEET mayo. It was pretty disgusting. Someone else on the table got a BLT, took one look at it and called it a Bread Sandwich.

My childhood is now ruined.

Sarah was seriously everywhere we looked.

K,D and A :)

...and they mommas!

I LOVE Baguio! Hopefully another trip up the mountain soon!