Saturday, September 3, 2011

Borough : For All Day NY Comfort Food

     I have been eyeing on Borough since it first opened.  The concept of bringing 24/7 New York comfort food in Manila really fascinated me. Comfort food can be anything to anyone – even if it’s a costly piece of Foie Gras. To me, it usually conveys warm memories of childhood or food that I would like to happily indulge on at anytime of the day. I was in search for one that even the most discerning palates would come back for!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

L'entrecote: Indulging on Steak Frites in Manila


     Steak and Fries. Three glorious words that can easily arouse anyone’s appetite.  Recognized as Steak Frites in France, the lovely pairing of crisp fries with a large slab of sirloin has increasingly become a staple in the European diet. Walk into any brasserie in France, Belgium, or Switzerland, and they’re most likely to have Steak Frites at the top of their menu. Filipinos have been accustomed to the Western approach of eating steak. Often times, we douse the meat in brown, starchy gravy with a passé topping of sautéed mushrooms. In Europe however, they choose to savor it with a classy siding of béarnaise – a sauce composed of clarified butter, emulsified egg yolks, and herbs. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

L'incontro Italiano: For Unpretentious Italian Goodness

      Situated in the heart of Makati, at Reposo St., is a quaint restaurant that emanates a certain old-world charm. The stone walls make the restaurant look timeless. Since high school, I always passed by the place and never really attempted to give it a try. Despite its charm, it radiated a certain quiet aura that I thought could not be appreciated by the teenager that I was. Until recently, after reading through blogs and articles about how wonderful L’incontro was and how much it has improved - considering the change in menu, owner and head chef (Chef Tina Pamintuan), we decided to finally experience the restaurant for ourselves.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hai Shin Lou Seafood King : The All-around Chinese Restaurant

 I do apologize for the year-long hiatus. For the past year, I've been quite busy hitting the books and reviewing for the board exams. Thankfully, the arduous journey did bear something good! :) All the stress however did not stop me in my pursuit for the best that the Manila food scene has to offer. Each week, I still made it a point to visit a restaurant and take a careful mental note of the entire sensory experience. I guess the foodie in me will always live on :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Spasso: For the love of Italian Tapas!

        Amidst all the thesis woes and the months our group dedicated to painstakingly converting 80 kilos of humble papaya seeds into a golden orange biodiesel, my food buddy and I felt the need to indulge ourselves and finally bid thesis farewell. :D As every thesis group gets frazzled and flustered in accomplishing their thesis… a bountiful celebration upon hearing the words, “Congratulations you’ve passed!” is just reasonable. :D

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Urameshi-Ya: Where Kobe Meets Yakiniku

      Finally, we are living in a food generation that yearns to spend huge amounts of money for the sake of relishing top-notch beef. Manila’s exposure and knowledge to the exquisite breeds of beef is certainly not primitive. What seemed to be a delicacy or even luxury in the past is starting to become an everyday craving for the discerning eaters. I’m sure you know that I’m talking about the fine and decadent Kobe Beef, which most arguably considers to be the most expensive and delicious beef on earth. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mamou: For Glistening Steaks and Good Ol' Home Cooking

      I am not a dead-on carnivore who salivates in the presence of rib-eye steak and the rest of its fine relatives, the tenderloin, the filet mignon, the porterhouse, the sirloin, or the New York strip. The Wagyu however, is a different story :D There's something about lamb that excites me more. It's probably the bold and distinctive taste in lamb that easily satisfies my adventurous taste buds.  Yet, over the years, I have gained a certain appreciation for steak especially when I was exposed to restaurants that gave ample respect to the glorious cut of beef. Preserving the integrity of the beef is delivered throughout the process of storing and preparing the steak (brought to room temperature), dousing just the right amount of olive oil, lightly salting  the steak, preheating the pan, not overturning the meat,  testing its doneness, and resting the steak to lock in its juices (resting also helps the meat achieve a full flavor). Truly, this respect has been served in several restaurants in the region like Melo's, Antonio's, Elbert's Steakroom, Myron's Place, and a humble home kitchen, Mamou.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Maitre Chocolatier Boutique Cafe: The Answer to your Chocolate Cravings

I was a kid again. 

Complimentary Ritter Sport
      The world will be doomed without chocolates. And I'd rather not imagine any further how life will turn out without the brown (and sometimes white), smooth, and velvety, melts-in-your mouth goodness of chocolates. As a child during Halloween, my hand dug deep in a sea of candies to look for that mini pack of M & M's or foiled Hershey's Kisses. Luck was undoubtedly by my side if I knocked on the right door and received an individually-wrapped pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.Yet at the same time,even a piece of Cloud 9 can already get me all hyper and smiling.  As I've grown up, my cravings became bolder and I became more open to the sinful world of chocolate and cacao innovations. I adore a chocolate in any form may it be as a ganache, fountain, pie, shot, fudge, mousse, fondue, soufflé, and more. Chocolate is the ultimate 'go to' in stress, in in moments when one can't think of the perfect gift, in days of misfortune, and in times when all you really need is that perfect sugar fix. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Antonio's, the Food-Lovers Mecca

It is of rarity that the outstanding restaurants in our country do get recognized. We have a plethora of good eats in the Philippines that vary from comforting home-style to exquisite.  Even Makati can already stand as its own food nation. To name a few consistently good restaurants in the Metro there’s Abe, Shinjuku, People’s Palace, Cibo, Café Med, Chelsea, Hossein’s, Som’s, Tsukiji, El Cirkulo, Chef Laudico’s, Sala, Carapccio, Lolo Dad’s, and Lemuria. Yet south of this bustling Metro is a quaint, family and barkada-friendly city that is surprisingly known not just as a place for relaxation but also as a melting pot of top-notch food. I’m talking about Tagaytay and one if it’s best kept treasure is Antonio’s Fine Dining. 

What I thought would be a Sunday trip for lunch at Verbena became an unexpected trip to the restaurant that I envisioned to be the finale of my ‘Food Adventures’. My jaw literally dropped and my heart started to race when I heard my dad say these glorious words… “Celine, parang ayoko mag Verbena, let’s just go for Antonio’s. We’ve gone this far anyway!” All I can reply was, “Are you serious?!” No exclamation point and swear word can justify the enthusiasm and excitement I had.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mr. Jones: The Modern Day Diner

      Just when you thought that Haute Bistros, Trite Cafes, and Uptight French Restaurants are taking over the dining scene in Manila, you better think again. Right at the heart of the Metro (that's Greenbelt 5) is a 50's inspired American Diner that caters to those who are in search for straightforward, all-day comfort food. Something as hip and whimsical as Mr. Jones, situated in a posh mall like Greenbelt 5, is definitely a breath of fresh air. It's a place where you can genuinely unwind and catch up with old friends. 

   I love Mr. Jones' casual and retro appeal, without necessarily overdoing it. They successfully combine modern with groovy through plush brown-leather walls, vinyl cushioned seats, dangling orange lights, a zebra sofa, and of course, ultimate diner staple... a classic mini-jukebox.

       The MENU (check link for the menu) presents a variety of breakfast fares and big plates that are sure to keep your tummy filled for hours. The detailed description of every dish made choosing more difficult! Almost every thing in print seemed extremely mouth-watering, the mind goes wild. Yet the true test, still lies on the tasting.