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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fast food for the famished: Ristorante Bigoli

I usually steer clear from anything that is remotely like fast food unless it's THAT time of the month or I have no other choice. Although, Ristorante Bigoli is not REALLY fast food the way say McDonald's is, I usually would probably still pick sushi over it if I needed to eat at the mall.

The thing is, I also have a 7 year old kid, one whose palate sometimes surprises me (her love for blue cheese for instance)but other times can be so predictable. And believe me kids always like a hot, gooey pizza or pasta noodles. It is a SURE SHOT.

So, when thy invited me over to try their food, I obliged. Like I said, my own palate has a range that goes from foie gras parfait to squid balls on the street. Don't discriminate, as I always say, because once a month when you are PMSing, a double cheeseburger at Mickey D's may sound more appealing than any gourmet food.

Bigoli is the former Fazoli's...with a bigger and improved menu.

Breaded Dory with lemon butter sauce and pasta on the side.

Not a big fan of pesto, never have been, but if you like it, you should try the Italian chicken and pesto meal. I found the chicken to be a bit too "herby" they could tone it down a bit.

Strombolis_ or rolled up pizzas will definitely be a hit with kids. They are easy to eat and come with a yummy sauce.

Lastly, I had the creamy tomato pasta, made with "bigoli" noodles which are like spaghetti noodles but fatter and with holes in the middle so it becomes like a tube. This enables more sauce to get in--and more sauce is always good in my book!

So next time I'm in Eastwood and the little girl is hungry, I know where to go :)

Ristorante Bigoli is located at the old Eastwood, right in front of the activity center (the old Fazoli's)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Traveling Tummy: Mexicayan Food at Maya

That was just my lame attempt at being funny by combining Mexican and Bisaya, but truth is, Maya's Mexican is pretty authentic and quite good!

Really liked the place itself as well. The decor was really Aztec-y without being cheesy.

We all shared the chips with guacamole and salsa roja to start. I like that they make their own chips and they are freakin' addictive!

The one thing I didn't really enjoy was the Quezo Fundido. It was unmemorable and I couldn't even taste the jalapeno at all. I think the one I make at home is even better so I was a bit disappointed.

I ordered the Enchiladas (with chicken and cheese) I liked them, although I think in general their food lacked the spiciness that I was kind of hoping for. The flavors were really good though but I guess they had to go low on the spice level for the Pinoy palate.

What the others got:
Fish tacos for Missy

Angelo's goat stew (he said it tasted like caldereta)

Abdul's carne asada "Mission style" burrito. He said it was good but too small (specially for the price--this resto ain't exactly cheap!)

All in all worth a visit! I find it a bit on the expensive side and lacked the kick I was expecting but I still enjoyed the food and the feel of the place. I recommend a visit when in Cebu :)

Maya is located at Crossroads, Banilad Cebu City. Call +

Monday, October 24, 2011

Holiday Kitschen: Gourmet Kitschen's Gastronomic Gifts

So, as promised, I am starting an 8 week give away on my blog and will be picking 2 lucky winners each week to try some of the food I have either blogged about or have raved about the past year.

I am lucky to have such a great relationship with fellow foodies, restauranteurs and people with home-based food businesses because they graciously agreed to help me out on this big give away by being so generous!

The brands that are part of my Holiday gift giving:

I'll be giving out 2 per week (some brands have given 2 gcs or prizes so I'm splitting them into two prizes) and the contest officially starts NOVEMBER 1.

EXCITED? I know I am! Keep visiting my blog for details on how to win each week. Meanwhile, visit their FB pages to know what to expect from each brand!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kitschen Brunch: OPUS

When I think of Opus, I automatically think: night, heels, music, drinking.

When my friend Kim told me that Opus recently opened its doors on Sundays for brunch, it got me curious to try it out! It felt weird through Resorts World during the day since I'm only ever there for birthdays and events that end up with me nursing a hangover the next morning. For people who are heading that way for lunch or breakfast (or haven't actually left from the night before and need to feed their alcohol-filled tummies, here's another option for you!

If you are looking for a new brunch option, try Opus!

Start your day right with the complimentary warm bread and truffle butter. YES, TRUFFLE BUTTER.Butter dotted with bits of black truffle. Heaven in a cake of fat. How many times do I need to describe it? You should just go and have some yourselves. Some may think the taste of truffle is a bit on the strong side, but not this chick.

I had the Croque Madame... a deconstructed version of one of my favorite sandwiches, which is essentially a ham and cheese sammie with an egg on top. This one was cut into triangles, open-faced and with the eggs served on the side. Don't be deceived, it is VERY filling, specially with the chips. I just wish the eggs were cooked better, but otherwise it was yuh-mee!

Eggs Benedict with prosciutto and arugula. I wish I had a bottomless stomach so I could have ordered this too. I took one bite though and it was really good.

The Banana Ricotta Pancakes weren't the best pancakes I've ever tried (You know what place gets my vote for that!) but if you are craving something on the sweet side, or absolutely want a pancake breakfast, this will do the job. It's stuffed with ricotta cheese right smack in the middle of the pancake and topped with caramelized bananas.

Lastly, we also tried the Ultimate Breakfast Burrito. This was definitely hangover food---stuffed with bacon, hash brown, sausage and other things, it will satisfy any hungry man's (or woman's) cravings after a long night out.

I'll definitely be back here, probably with my daughter (she LOVES pancakes!) or maybe with some girlfriends so we can catch up and gossip over some good food and champagne!

It's Sunday today! So, if you are trying to figure out where to go for brunch, they are open 11 am-6pm!

Opus is located at 2/F Newport Mall, Resorts World

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kitschen Chaos: Roast Thai Chicken

The size of your chicken will depend on how many people you're feeding. I had a fairly small one which was perfect for 3 people plus Ananda. I love Thai Green Curry so I decided to do a deconstructed version of how I usually make it and marinated it in thai green curry paste, fish sauce, brown sugar, bagoong, pepper, olive oil, ginger and coconut milk for about 4 hours.I stuffed it with half a lime and lemongrass too.

Meanwhile my little kitchen elf was prepping the side---squash with salt and pepper, brown sugar and coriander.

Finished product with thai green curry gravy.

Serve with bagoong on the side! Lessen the green curry paste if you are feeding kids- it can get spicy!

Try! Enjoy! Get back to me!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Birthday Cafe

As you all know, I also bake cupcakes when I have time--or during the holidays, and the time has come for my Kitchen Aid to be useful once more! Here's the new, revised menu for Birthday Cafe cupcakes. Grab the photo so you can zoom in.

Grab the menu for details on how to order :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kitschen Chaos: My favorite Tomato Soup

Among the many things I always say I LOVE (mushrooms, cheese, garlic) I think soup is high up in that very extensive list. I could eat soup during every single meal, and even make it the meal itself.

My love for Tomato soup started when my friend and I would regularly meet at Pasto at The Fort for mid-day breaks between work schedules and would almost always order the tomato soup--with extra parmesan cheese. Granted, it's probably not the best tomato soup in the world, but it definitely hit the spot.

Now, I make my own instead. I can make large batches and leave it in the freezer/ fridge and pop in the microwave whenever I need my fix!


2 cans stewed tomatoes (or whole peeled ones) I love stewed tomatoes- I use it for many things.

2 pieces bread. Whatever bread is lying around the house.

1 head garlic, chopped (Less if you want less of a garlicky taste)

1/2 tsp each dried oregano, rosemary and thyme

salt and pepper to taste

handful of basil leaves

all purpose cream or sour cream

Shredded cheddar or parmesan cheese

Saute garlic with salt and pepper and rosemary, thyme and oregano until fragrant. Add stewed tomatoes. Wait for it to slightly boil then rip your bread into little pieces and throw in (this will thicken your soup) Add cream after the bread has broken down into the soup (or sour cream) (I've tried both and they are interchangeable) and then add cheese by the handful (It's up to you how much- keep tasting) Lastly add the basil but keep a few leaves for garnish later on.

This is a thick, hearty soup and perfect for nights you don't want rice or a super heavy meal- just a bowl of this is good enough!

Even better though with cheese on toast! I made garlic butter and spread it on my bread then melted some smoked gouda cheese--> and served to my hungry boyfriend and daughter! Always a hit. Use any cheese you want.

As I said you can eat it on its own as a meal but that night I also made Pesto pasta and the beef bites from my previous entry.

Enjoy! I always do!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kitschen Brekky: Dress up your bread

Tired of silogs for breakfast? I know it's a Pinoy staple but I personally can't have it every morning. Big, rice-filled brekky meals are usually saved for Sundays or hangover mornings, which is probably once a week. I can't function the rest of the day if I'm too stuffed from breakfast.

So, my go to is usually bread. There is so much you can do with one slice. Here's one of my favorites:

UCC's croissanwich bread with Asiago cheese and fried mushrooms with garlic + truffle salt.

I love mushrooms. I love cheese. I think I could actually have different variations of cheese on toast every morning...forever.

I know fresh mushrooms aren't cheap here but WHEN possible, please use them and not the sad canned ones that don't even taste like mushrooms!

GOOD MORNING! Happy Saturday!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kitschen Chaos: No brainer beef bites

Much as I love to cook and could do it every single night, I would go utterly and completely broke if I attempted to cook by the book daily.

Which is why, the other night, I decided to scour my kitchen for stuff I could use for dinner so I wouldn't have to take yet another trip to the supermarket.

You'd be surprised how much food we have that we don't but SHOULD use. After finding a bunch of ingredients I thought would work well together, I came up with an Italian-inspired menu for dinner of tomato soup with cheesy toast, pesto pasta and a superduper easy starter that anyone can make: No-brainer beef bites

The beef can be replaced with anything actually--- if you have ground chicken, use that... ground pork is ok also--but I had beef, so that's what I used.

I sauteed a little onion and garlic and added the beef til it browned. I added a dash of Italian seasoning and salt and pepper + some tomato paste. Set aside to cool, then placed a small amount on an open wanton wrapper, added some feta cheese (what I had but feel free to use anything) and a basil leaf.

I folded those babies up into triangles and fried in a little oil.

Ta-dah! So , so easy!

Kids will love these beef bites! My daughter, who usually eats very little unless she really, really likes something, ate like 6 with her tomato soup!

Try it and let me know if you enjoy it!