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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Divine Desserts: Pinkerton Ice Cream

Move over Haagen Dazs! If I'm going to be spending a tad bit more for ice cream, I'm going with this new brand. I've tried two flavors and all I can say is...When can I have some more?

Oh and did I mention it's local? So yes, you can order...anytime you want and as much as you want!

On my first order, I got the Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate and Red Velvet. I heard that Ben & Jerry's came out with this flavor but of course, we'll never get it here. I came across Pinkerton ice cream on Facebook, looked at what flavors they had and was thrilled to see red velvet on the list. As a cupcake maker, I create and experiment with flavors all the time, but at the end of the day, I will always love red velvet!

The ice cream is rich, and when it says it's a certain flavor, that's EXACTLY what it is. No scrimping, no sad little bits of mix-ins. It's ice cream in all it's glory, the way it's supposed to be--- creamy, fattening and satisfying.

I would like to order more this weekend, but I'm leaving for London next week and need to save my calorie hoarding for my trip, but when I get back, it's on fo'sho!

Call: 09173611329

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Restaurant Review: Old Manila, New Manila

I'm sure most of you have been to Old Manila, located at the Peninsula Manila. On their 35th year, they are celebrating with many things such bringing back their P35 Halo-halo and Schublig Sausages, as well as a special menu in Old Manila that will feature classic dishes...all at 1976 prices!This is for September if I'm not mistaken and I'm so excited!

But if you want more immediate gratification, go to Old Manila NOW. They have a new Head Chef who you may be familiar with, especially if you love eating at Aubergine! Welcome Chef Samuel Linder, former Sous Chef at Aubergine and now Chef de Cuisine of Old Manila. I was lucky enough to try some of the items from the new menu last week.

Alaskan King Crab Two Ways--Golden Trout Caviar, compressed Fruit Tartar, Chive Crème Fraiche, and Elderflower

One was served cold topped with fruits and it was good, but what I really liked was the hot, creamy crab cake beside it. It was so rich and so good!

Espelette-jam Glazed Lobster and Seared Arctic Sea Scallops --Lemon Beurre Blanc, Carrot Mousseline, and Green Asparagus

Local lobster tails--on the small side but flavor is not compromised. I actually really liked the carrot mousseline, even if I don't really like carrots.

Duo of Australian Lamb--Grilled Lamb Chop and Oven-roasted Lamb Loin, Potato Gratin, Zucchini & Chorizo Ragout, Eggplant Caviar, and Pink Peppercorn Jus

The Grilled lamb chop was to die for. The Oven-roasted loin was good too but the lamb chop just killed it! Paired with the eggplant caviar and chorizo-zucchini ragout--yum!

Caramelized Goat Cheese--Truffle-scented Honey, Bourbon and Vanilla Crème Fraiche, and Blueberry Compote

I am such a sucker for goat cheese. And goat cheese AND truffles? It's OVER! I could have eaten this all night. This was my favorite!

Dark Swiss Chocolate Bar--Peruvian Pink Salt, Rose Peppercorn and Orange

I'm not stranger to the sweet salty combination, so obviously I loved this! The big surprise here though was the addition of Rose peppercorn. It had a bite but was more on the fruity side. And orange is always a perfect partner for chocolate!

Each course was served with a different wine. You can ask your server to give you some suggestions if you aren't sure what to get.

I went home stuffed and slightly tipsy! Good conversation + good food = good night!

Old Manila is located inside The Peninsula Manila. For reservations, call 8872888 ext 6748.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kitschen Quickie: Say Cheese!

I had this at a press dinner in Old Manila at The Peninsula Manila the other night and this was on the menu. Days later I'm still thinking about it.

Caramelized Goat Cheese with truffle scented honey, vanilla creme fraiche and blueberry compote. Hearing all those ingredients together and knowing they are on the same plate is music to my ears.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kitschen Escape: Shut up and Drive

I won't lie, adjusting to a 9-5 job after 10 years of making my own schedules and being able to go on mid-week afternoon tea dates is tough. Anyone who has gone from one extreme to the other like I chose to can attest to this. One Sunday last March, my awesome boyfriend decided I needed a break from the city to ward of depression and other negative vibes. We got in the car and drove to Anvaya Cove.

I love this road. It's such an awesome drive!

100.3 RJ fm on a Sunday-- don't knock it til you've listened. If you're into oldies, vintage soul, The Beatles etc, tune in.

We were starving when we arrived. Clearly. I ate every last bite of this burger. It was pretty good.

Abdul got the Hainanese Chicken. Not as good, unfortunately ;s

I need days like this one more often. Unfortunately the rains have started, but a fireplace i Baguio will probably give the same effect :)

Abdul has like a dozen rolls of film from past trips and you know what, I haven't seen ANY of the photos! Please develop them!

My attempt at being artsy fartsy.

Cheers! To feeling normal amidst the chaos.

Wala lang!

I'm just showing off my cute nails!

'Til next time!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kitschen Television: Market to Master

I am CRAZY excited for this show! My friends, the same ones who brought you Vice Ink, are launching a new show called Market to Master in a few months.It will feature another friend, and awesome chef Hylton le Roux. Check out the trailer! (and spot me in one of the future episodes! haha!)

Chef Hylton Le Roux is Guest Chef at The Establishment until mid-July. I was lucky enough to get a DealGrocer Degustation menu deal so I get to try everything. You should make that reservation now! And if you're having a party, check out his company, Pi Catering on Facebook!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Restaurant Review: Hyphy or Hyphoeey?

When we found out there was a place called Hyphy's that served Filipino-San Francisco comfort food, our first reaction was "Whuuuuuuuut?!" We were looking forward to trying it out, especially my former Bay Area dwelling boyfriend. Finally got to go last night.

First of all, there is nothing Hyphy about the place. And the music... we wanted to make them a playlist that included E-40 and Keak da Sneak because they were playing the most random stuff. Anyway.....

The Hyphy's logo is clearly inspired by the SF Giants. Even the waiters are all wearing shirts that vaguely look like the Giants' jerseys.

I kinda like how they left the pipes and stuff exposed. You don't even really notice until you look up.

Boards, boards, boards.

Of course we had to order the clam chowder---in a bread bowl (they rarely serve it that way here- if they even have clam chowder at all) It was... ok. Margaux and I thought it should be a bit thicker. I also found it kind of sweet, which was weird.

At first, I was like Umm, there is SO much raw garlic in these fries. Wasn't bad though, actually enjoyed these, although still wished they cooked the garlic a little.

Mac n' of my most favorite things to eat in the whole world. I had high hopes for you, but Alas, you let me down. You weren't horrible, but I was really underwhelmed.

Margaux's chicken fingers. She said they were good, but Hello, they're chicken fingers. I don't think anyone can get those wrong.

I quite liked my Sloppy Joe. I ate most of it but I was just so full already. I couldn't even save space for dessert. This was nice and messy though, with ground beef and the mustard dressing dripping all over the place. I must have used a hundred napkins.

Conclusion:Hyphy's is not a bad place to eat. The food isn't horrible. The service is good. It's just kind of Whatever.... There's nothing truly special about the stuff they serve. "Filipino-SF comfort food" is so vague. My Bay Area friends were just as confused. The only SF-related things we all saw were: The Giants logo reference (or rip off, you decide), the fact that the menu was divided into well-known places around the Bay Area. Haight had all veggie dishes (assuming it's because of the hippie-pothead stereotype) Mission was all Tacos and other Mexican dishes etc. and the fact that it was called Hyphy's.

Apart from that, it was just regular, whatever food.

I hear Chef's Table by the same chef (Bruce Lim) is significantly better. Go there instead.

Hyphy's is located at The Veranda, Robinsons Galleria, Quezon City, Philippines

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kitschen Chaos: Whatever Pizza

Whatever pizzas are my favorite ones to make. I call them that because you literally put whatever you have on hand to make them. In this case, I had a bunch of leftovers from Ananda's party last Sunday so I mixed and matched the ingredients I had to create 3 different pies.

YOU too can do this. It's super simple. Just throw in ANYTHING you want. There are no rules to pizza making.

Here are some examples from last night:

Start with the basics. Either make your own crust, or buy a ready made one. I had the latter at home. Also, pick your sauce. Since I was using leftovers, I used regular tomato based pizza sauce, but you can use other things like pesto or white sauce. At Ananda's party, she and Margaux even put a peanut butter base (and no, it wasn't a dessert pizza!)

1. Pepperoni-Mushroom Pizza

Add mushrooms to the base. I also added salt and pepper and garlic and drizzled truffle infused olive oil to the crust.

next grate Mozzarella cheese all over, covering all your sauce and whatever toppings you already threw on there. Add pepperoni and sprinkle with crumbled feta.

Volia! Pizza # 1- Finito!

2.Breakfast Pizza

Add corned beef on your base. Again, I seasoned with salt and pepper and added garlic and truffle infused olive oil. Next time, I will cook the corned beef until it's crunchy first before adding.

Top with grated Mozzarella and onion rings. Right before sticking in the oven, add an egg.

And there you go- Breakfast Pizza! I got this idea from my friend's annual pizza making contest in Sydney. I think my sister actually made something like this. Long live SILOGS--- So should this be called PI-LOG? lol.

3. 3 cheese Pizza

Add pepperoni around the edge of your base, circling the whole thing. This is optional of course, but like I said...I had a lot of left overs! Leave the middle empty and add 3 kinds of whatever cheese you have lying around. In my case, I had Mozzarella, Parmesan and Feta. And yay, I also found fresh thyme in the fridge.

The yumminess of a home-made pizza! Bon Apetit!

Your turn to try! Send me photos !of your WHATEVER Pizzas!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Birthday Kitschen: Ice Cream, Pizza and Flashing Lights

My little girl is turning 7 tomorrow and we had an advanced party for her yesterday. Thank you to everyone who came through. It was an awesome party and I think everyone young and old had fun!

Pre-party...The two besties wanted to eat the cake already before the guests even came!

Taste of my childhood. Hotdog on a stick- with marshmallows!Every pinoy kiddie party has to have it!

Figured kids wouldn't eat whole, regular sized burgers so prepared some mini-versions using dinner rolls as buns!

Who doesn't love French Fries? Especially when tossed in truffle oil and parmesan :)

No sweet spaghetti in Casa Paredes. I prefer this baked spaghetti from my childhood. It's my favorite and I ask our cook to make this every time I return home from a long trip!

Pizza making contest! The winning pizza was seemingly ordinary, with pepperoni, pizza sauce and cheese, but made special by the addition of...Peanut Butter!!!

Build your own sundae station. Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate ice cream, 8 toppings, 2 kinds of sauces. I forgot to bring out the whipped cream! Sayang!

The kids doing a photo shoot with wigs and hats and stuff. So hard to get them all to keep still, so instead of doing that, we just chased their movements instead.

We got jealous and wanted a turn!

Happy Birthday babycakes! I hope you know how much we all love you!

Birthday Cake by Annette Sison

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Guest Kitschen: Fajitas!

I love eating at other people's homes as much as I love cooking for them, so when the lovely Rachel Le Roux once again invited me over for dinner, I ran, not walked to her house (actually, we drove lol)

On the menu--Fajitas! Yummo!

They grow their own arugula in the backyard! Also tarragon and some other herbs. I want!

As usually, I was too much in a hurry to eat, I forgot to take a photo once I put my meal together. But let me tell you, the fajitas were lovely! Thanks Rae!!!

Maison de Le Roux is located at....just kidding! But find out where you can get a taste of Chef Hylton Le Roux's cooking in my next post!