Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mesclun Bistro's Cool Salamig Treats

This has been one scorching summer! My electric bill has been through the roof and I for one have been looking for cheaper ways to cool down that don't involve a block of ice and an electric fan. When summer is hottest is also the time when all the innovative Filipino desserts start making their appearances, and Mesclun Bistro is no exception.

Owned by Chef Kat Kuhn-Alcantara, she has partnered up with Arce Dairy - a businesses that her family also owns and operates - to come up with Salamig treats to cool you down and keep you happy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pampanga Eats: Bánh Mì Vietnamese Eatery

It had been a long day of eating when my foodie family and I went up on a day trip to Pampanga that we took a respite from all the chomping to enjoy a quick shopping free at Puregold Duty Free before heading back down. I wanted to spend more time perusing the home and living section - I am in dire need of nice looking flatware and dishes, but I doubt I would've found any there I suppose - but got distracted with the shelves upon shelves of chocolate. I ended up going home with a huge tube of Malteasers. Heh, priorities.

Before going back to Manila, we had a quick pit stop for dinner at Bánh Mì Vietnamese Eatery. I had no idea what I was in for, but if my homeboy Spanky says its the shiznit, then it's the shiznit!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pampanga Eats: 1930s Ensaymadas at Homemade Treasures

I had first met Chona Ayson earlier in the year, during one of JJ Yulo's Pinoy Eats World events at the Podium Mall. There was this very reserved woman selling ensaymada, mamon, all other sorts of pastries that she'd make and bring down from Pampanga daily for that weekend event.I wasn't a fan of the localized brioche bun - one of the big chain bakeshops ruined it for me a long time ago - but Chona gave me a sample to try and - ding! - just like that, I was in love with the pillow-y soft ensaymadas of Homemade Treasures.

Chona has been a long time friend of many of the guys in my little foodie family, and as luck would have it, a trip to her beautiful kitchen in Pampanga was part of the itinerary.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pampanga Eats: Downtown 1956 Café by Bale Dutung

I'm ashamed to admit, I've never really gave Filipino food its due. A Filipino restaurant will be the last one on my list to try as I find most of the cuisine to be either too salty or sweet (and 90% pork-based) and mostly best enjoyed with a big bowl of rice. Sinigang just isn't the same with a loaf of sourdough bread, no matter how much I try to make it work.

My aversion to Filipino restaurants was more or less the case until I happened to switch the TV channel to TLC, where Anthony Bourdain was in Pampanga, eating his way around the city with his trusty guide as vigilant advocate of the local food and arts, Chef Claude Tayag. I learned more about my country's intricate and various cuisines watching his 15 minute segment than I did eating it at home - which is kind of embarrassing now that I come to think about it.

I had wanted to pay Chef Claude Tayag's Bale Dutung, but we paid Chef Claude's  newest restaurant instead, Downtown 1956 Café by Bale Dutung, an homage to classic Filipino favorites executed with a Claude Tayag twist.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Pampanga Eats: Mila's Tokwa't Baboy & Sisig

I had made plans to hit the beach for a week and just forget about the world this month - but life got in the way. So, I went up to Pampanga for a whole day of eating instead. Haha! Spanky Enriquez, the full fledged Pampanggeno in our foodie fampack, organized a trip up to the culinary capital of the Philippines to sample some of the harder to find and newer spots in the province. Honestly, the only thing I've only really known about Pampanga was the Duty Free shopping place, so I was thrilled to be going there to do something other than shop. My foodie mom, Jane Go, adopted me for the day, and I spent most of the day with her and her super fun teens!

We were all up pretty early and made good time on our way up north, stopping by a Starbucks and Cinnabon for a much needed jolt of caffeine and sugar. The sun was beating down on us, and we were really feeling the intense summer weather the higher up north we climbed.

Our first stop for lunch was Mila's Tokwa't Baboy & Sisig, an institution in Angeles City that even Anthony Bourdain stopped to pay a visit at when he toured some of the Philippines' foodie spots. He's way more adventurous than me, diging into the kambing papaitan like it was a bowl of pho.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Corniche's Arabian Delights at Diamond Hotel

Growing up in the Middle East, Arabic food here can be hard to come by. No one seems to be able to figure out what shawarma really tastes like, I have yet to see a real cup of strong Turkish coffee in my entire 16 years of living here, and a tiny square of baklava costs an arm and a leg. Seriously, what gives? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only kid who grew up in the dessert and enjoyed the cuisine, and with a big chunk of our OFWs living in the KSA, the UAE, Omman, Quatar, and Iran, there doesn't seem to be enough Middle Eastern restaurants here to cater to us who have come back from said country.

Enter the Corniche at Diamond Hotel that embarks on an Arabian Delights culinary adventure every Tuesday, seeking to perfect those much-loved Arabic dishes, trying to achieve the authentic taste of the Middle East. At just P1,980 per person, this was a themed buffet dinner I definitely did not miss out on!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Affordable American Favorites at Wham! Burger

Jericho and I found ourselves wandering around the Mall of Asia a few weeks back, while I tried my luck at furniture shopping. For one of the biggest malls around, it sure had a very small Our Home and even smaller Dimensione, but I still found a few items that were perfect for my tiny apartment, nonetheless.

Walking around a mall got us feeling peckish, so we ducked into Wham! Burger for a bite to eat. Can I just say, I love how accommodating the staff is of bloggers. When I requested them to to wrap up our orders so they wouldn't look all squished and disgusting in the photographs, they did us one better and presented it so beautifully, it made featuring them so easy. Seriously, always serve your burgers like this and the people will come.