This is revealing what makes me happy and is a part of what I am now, knowing what I want and standing up for it. This is my journey to the delights of the tongue and the palate . The trip which added additional fat deposits to my love handles ( as if it needs more ). This is a continuing saga of my love affair with food , loving each moment, enjoying every bite. An almost sensual experience of taste and texture. Bon Appetit! When I say it is good … you can bet it is!
(*) CHANG’S CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS
Lower Ground Flr,
Corte de las Palmas ,Alabang Town Center,
Muntinlupa City, Philippines
“Our signature appetizer. Wok-seared minced chicken, mushrooms, green onions, and water chestnuts served over crispy rice sticks and served with cool, crisp lettuce cups.” This also comes in a vegetarian dish using tofu.
♦ My Best lettuce wrap! Crisp lettuce cups can be ordered per piece as well for only Php 25. This is deliciously fresh. The lettuce just gives it a delicious crunch that adds to the symphony of flavours. This is like biting into a day after it rained with the coolest of the morning dew to complete the scene. Fresh and carefree – new love.
I super ♥ the sauces that were explained fully by my server and would be asked if you’d like it mild, medium or hot … they come in six kinds: 3 in bottles: soy, vinegar and chili oil and 3 in little white ramekins: hot mustard, potsticker sauce, chili paste. They can mix it for you or you can mix it yourself.
POTSTICKER SAUCE :
- § ¼ cup water
- § ¼ cup soy sauce
- § 1 teaspoon chili paste
- § 1 tablespoon vinegar
- § 2 tablespoons sugar
- § 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, ground
Don Limone , 199 Aguirre, BF Homes, Paranaque City, Philippines
This is actually a part of the cheese platter … this gives a twist to the good ol’ almond that we all love.
LUMPIANG SARIWA (Fresh Spring Rolls)
Quiksnack, Carvajal St., Binondo, Manila , Philippines
My mom’s favourite and the search for the best one is still on-going but EUREKA! I have found it. I was never a fan but this one – I like! It will be served without having to properly introduce itself and say , “eat me, I’m good” … in fact, I should call it unassuming. As you peel of the plastic wrap … the crepe-like wrapper is smooth without dominating the whole dish , inside is a symphony of delicious goodness and identifying it would lead to a kaleidoscope of ingredients that in the end you won’t bother to find out … you just have to finish it.
NILASING NA HIPON (Drunken Shrimp)
Quiksnack, Carvajal St., Binondo, Manila , Philippines
It is so crunchy and tasty and you would wonder, is the shrimp drunk or I wanna get a sub-zero and get drunk myself. Whether dipped in vinegar or as is … best drunken shrimp I’ve met one fine noon. This has batter mixed with beer that is why it is called such.
Sonya’s Garden , Tagaytay City, Philippines
This is all fresh and rustic … my kind of food . The hearty breakfast consists of fried rice with vegetables, egg omelet, crispy fried fish marinated in vinegar and garlic and chicken pork adobo with fruits as desserts and fresh dalandan juice.
Best food in Korea … Korean Barbeque . Yum-O! Korean barbecue (gogi gui) refers to the Korean method of grilling beef, pork, chicken, or other types of meat. Such dishes are often prepared at the diner’s table on gas or charcoal grills that are built into the center of the table itself. The most typical form of Korean barbecue is galbi made from marinated beef short ribs. After grilling, place the sauce on the meat and wrap it in lettuce. Must try!!!
USAMGYUP ( Grilled Beef Belly )
Sam Won Garden, 226 Aguirre cor J. Ramirez, BF Homes, Paranaque City, Philippines
Commonly known as a Korean Barbeque. It consists of strips of beef belly (Samgyupsal cut- thinly sliced) and is often served as an evening meal. The Banchan in this place is better than most I have tasted.
Shamrock Cafe or Bilig Cafe , Sagada , Philippines
Even before the proliferartion of yoghurt stores in Manila , when I visited Sagada a decade ago … this was rocking the mountains … !
MARSHMALLOW PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH
PB Co , Katipunan Ave., Quezon City , Philippines
Sweet sandwich made of melted marsmallow and peanut butter. Benissimo!
THE FAMOUS AMOS CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Suria KLCC, C32 Concourse Floor, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am no fan of chocolate chip cookies … but this defied all my biases when it comes to cookies. Freshly baked … soft and chewy … Yum!!!!
SILVER ROLL BREAD & HONGMA
Tasty Dumplings , 620 Ongpin St., Binondo , Manila , Philippines
Bread is deep fried with texture that resembles a siopao . Hongma tastes like pata tim (pork legs simmered with sweet broth made of pineapple, soy sauce, rice wine, laurel leaves, hoisin, pepper corns) . This goes well with the silver roll bread. One is not complete without the other.
EDSA Shagri-La Manila
One of the few entrees that I love … caramelized onion served on top of flaky bread .
Chicago Popcorn Shop, Mall of Asia , Pasay City, Philippines
Crunchy and Not too sweet … none of the typical popcorns with hard kernels in the middle.
Chinese Minced Pigeon Lettuce Wrap
Xin Tian Di , Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines
Minced pigeon meat served with hoisin sauce. Place the meat on the lettuce leaves and wrap it . Eat a mouthful … divine!
Chinese Minced Pork Lettuce Wrap
President’s Tea House, Binondo, Manila
Minced Pork with sherry, onion, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, water chestnut, cilantro and pine nuts served with hoisin sauce and iceberg lettuce leaves to wrap the mixture.
HOT PRAWN SALAD
Sofitel Hotel, Pasay City, Philippines
Prawns with mayonnaise and fruit salad . Super yum!
TGIF , Glorietta, Makati , Philippines
My best bet in this category. Creamy without being too overpowering. One can taste a hint of anchovies, croutons crispy , lettuce fresh – of course, when it is this good – you have to pay much as well.
COM SUON CHA
Bawai, Brgy. Bukal, Silang Cavite
Grilled pork liempo with mushroom egg tart served with greens and rice. This is my top pick. This is almost like eating fish because of its tenderness. This is meat-falling-off-the-bone scenario. This is so tender that the fat part of the liempo literally melts in your mouth. It tastes so good that I think the rice serving is not enough. There goes my diet outside the cool midday delight. The mushroom egg tart is something new but reminded me of the Japanese egg omelette , Tamagoyaki without the mushroom.
HAI KHANH TUONG COFFEE
THIEN XUAN HOTEL , Le Thanh Ton St., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Coffee with a taste of chocolate in it ( the best I have tasted but we failed to look for its store) . This started my love affair with Vietnam Coffee .
AhfatSeafoods Plaza Davao 1 Victoria Plaza Compound (Parking Lot) J.P. Laurel Avenue Bajada, Davao City 8000 Telephone Number: (082) 224 0002; 226., Davao City
My best bet in this category … with real pomelo pulp bits to refresh you
WINTER MELON JUICE
Tasty Dumplings , 620 Ongpin St., Binondo , Manila , Philippines
It is from the “kundol” extract … reminds me of gulaman and vanilla.
BANANA PEANUT BUTTER SHAKE
Jonah’s, Boracay , Panay Island, Philippines
What is sunset without this … my favorite thing in Boracay … lounging and watching the sun go down sipping this! This is life!
SHRIMP PASTE RICE (Bagoong Rice )
THAI EXPRESS– There are 3 outlets of this restaurant: – Vincom Center B3, Le Thanh Ton, and Crescent Plaza in P. Tan Phu (HCMC , Vietnam)
this was dubbed as the King’s favourite … and mine – so good! Rice has been flavoured with their classic Thai shrimp paste with shrimp. squid and beef incorporated while being fried served with a lemon wedge, slices of scrambled egg, tomato, cucumber and shrimp paste.
THIEN XUAN HOTEL , Le Thanh Ton St., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
this is one of the best tasting ones – very crunchy and flaky on the outside and soft . It is the symbol of France in every country but it varies on the place – the Vietnamese bánh mì uses a high proportion of rice flour. Just with butter or jam – this is superb.
PHO BO ( Beef Noodle Soup)
found on the side street in the Le Thanh Ton corner Ph B. Chau (just below Song Anh Hotel right across Ben Thanh Market in front of Noa Hang Mon Hue), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
… but let me warn you …. this place isn’t what you can call decent. It is one of those street food places that spring after the establishment closes (a jewelry store). They have small chairs and tables (like the ones used by kids – plastic type). The food is cooked in the food cart. Since it is near the market, it is not so sanitary looking and the smell isn’t of the peppermint aroma therapy level. We saw a rat in fact. But this is Ra Tot! After tasting more than my year’s quota of Pho – I can rightfully say this. But this is quite expensive for a street food – VND 40,000. This price is for mid-budget Pho in a good restaurant already. After eating this – I never had a stomach upset or anything – so this must have been boiled well to get rid of the unwanted elements.
NYONYA PAI TEE
The Chicken Rice Shop
Along Katipunan (Blue Ridge) , Quezon City, Philippines
This appetizer is a must have !!! Delightful. Ranks high in taste department. Small things come in small packages … and this one comes in a crisp pastry shell called “top hats”with julienned vegetables like and jicama, carrot and chopped chicken topped with caramelized onion. This is served with a sweet and tangy sauce w/ chili.
KOREAN BEEF STEW
Jang Ga Nae – BF Homes , Paranaque City, Philippines
This one literally melts in your mouth – falling off the bone tenderness – Delish!
Yoshinoya, Park Square, Makati City, Philippines
Best eaten with Shichimi tōgarashi (Japanese 7 spice mixture) . This bowl is both filling and delicious. The beef strips are thinly sliced almost like a bacon. This can be a meal for my “cheat day” .
SALTED FISH FRIED RICE
Fort Strip, BGC, Taguig City, Philippines
The right saltiness and a glorious blend of flavor without upstaging the main event. It is low carb diet’s nemesis on the loose .
KARE-KARE – Been around the Philippines and back … noboby can top my Mom’s Kare Kare ! Meat almost melting in my mouth … with a peanut sauce that no one can beat for its taste and goodness . To Aling Gloria … your the best! This is one of the many reasons why we always come home every weekend.
GRILLED TUNA BELLY
Ang Pulo, Autocamp
Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City, Philippines
Grilling while you wait and drinking your Sub Zero. Moist and not charred. No put-ons just plain tuna goodness. In combi with vinegar, garlic and capsicum frutescens (siling labuyo) … Eat by section as it falls off the main meat. Good for 2 drinking buddies.
Metrocenter Restaurant, Tagbilaran City, Bohol
This is my 1st encounter with this fish … and I would say … it had me at Fish Be with You!
Carlrose Bldg, 288 Pale San Vitores Road
(1-671) 647 3000/ 4000
The Jerk – BBQ Family Platter $36.95 offers a palatable introduction to the medley of sweet, aromatic, spices that comprise the blend called “jerk seasoning”. These spices are primarily chillies, cloves, thyme, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, allspice, and onions, which can be made into a wet paste or rubbed on the surface in its dry form.
The Boston Beach Ribs are succulent – the meat almost falling off the bone, the Kingston BBQ Jerk Chicken is cooked just right and the fish doesn’t have the fishy taste. The Fresh Fruit Salad is a refreshing blend of fruits which is not commonly eaten with ribs. I’m a condiments girl but this time … I’m contented with the taste. The “orange rice” doesn’t try to take the center stage of the whole meal … a very good support of the hearty meal. The fruit juice that comes with the platter is good as well.
KARAAGE (Fried Chicken)
Pale San Vitores Road
Across Acanta Mall
This chicken dish (Karaage)is superb priced at $4.75. And this won’t be complete without the Chahan (fried rice). Simple batter and can stand on its own without gravy. This is a must try.
FISH AND CHIPS
Wellington New Zealand
By far, the best fish and chips to-go . Placed inside a brown bag , the fish and chips are crispy and not too oily . Comes with tartar sauce.
The national dish of Malaysia. This comes as a platter of food wrapped in banana leaf, with cucumber slices, small dried anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, and hot spicy sauce (sambal) at its core. Rice is soaked in coconut cream and steamed. My fave! Delish!
CYMA CHOPPED SALAD
G/F, Greenbelt 2, Ayala , Makati City
The House Salad – mixed greens, sundried tomato, peaches, walnuts, parmesan and bleu cheese w/ vinaigrette. A healthy option priced at P320
Glorietta, Makati City
This is best Pizza Margherita without pretensions. Simple mozzarella, tomato and basil in a crust that makes the difference. No chili flakes for Piadina but Passion Oil. For only 280 per pizza … you can’t get that taste and price anywhere else.
Don Juico Ave., Angeles City ,
Chef is Chris Locher whose pizza is one of the best I have tried . It is a rectangular pizza w/ alfalfa sprouts and arugula leaves w/ cheese or slices of seafood or meat that you have to roll on your own to enjoy the taste.
Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Thin crust pizza concocted by Sammy Blas w/ a mix of veggies found on a regular pinakbet like eggplant, tomato,okra and longanisa with fish bagoong as pizza sauce. Mozzarella cheese finishes the gastronomic delight Divine! With the historic Paoay Church on the background … this is life!
QUATTRO FORMAGGIO PIZZA
Gumbo, The Block, SM City North EDSA
Quezon City, Philippines
There is something about the crust … not too salty.
This is the leading bakery chain in Singapore. Mini World – wide range of mini pastries and buns – YUM-O! My favourite is their version of pigs in a blanket.
YELLOW CURRY (Beef, Pork, Chicken, Shrimp)
Som’s Noodle House
Branch 1: Alger St., Poblacion, Makati City
Branch 2: Rotonda, Mandaluyong City
The best for me is the shrimp, their beef is not tender almost needs fighting to tear it using your teeth. I’m not a big fan of curry – but this one … I’d order each time I’d go there. It is subtle and creamy w/o being too thick. Php: 150.00
SR Thai Cuisine
965 P. Noval St., Sampaloc
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone Number: (63 2) 734-5443
Simple and tastes very good. Beef was marinated in Thai spices and served in a sizzling plate with a piece of tomato and 2 string beans. This is served with a generous serving of rice already. Php: 70.00
Delice by Nicole Cruz
Private Caterer – contact me if needed
I’m biased … this is the best I’ve tasted. A dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chilli pepper, plus any combination of bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, garnished with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime, the juice of which can be added along with Thai condiments. Pad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes.
Pondok , Rasapura Masters, Marina Bay Sands Singapore
(in many places referred to simply as “laksa”) is a coconut-based curry soup. The main ingredients for most versions of curry laksa include tofu puffs, fish sticks, shrimp and cockles. Laksa is commonly served with a spoonful of sambal chilli paste and garnished with Vietnamese coriander, or laksa leaf. Yum-O!
Shangri-La Mall – 632-0350
And true to its namesake, Via Mare, which means ‘by the sea’ … one of their best dishes is the the Baked Oyster, whose five dishes are baked in five styles of modern cuisine. But you can order combination platter to taste all of them
1. Oyster in Dubbary Toppings ( cauliflower w/ creamy cheese sauce )
2. Oyster w/ Mushroom Ragout (combination of shiitake, champignon and oyster mushrooms with chopped tomatoes and herbs )
3. Oyster Boursin ( With 3 cheese blend, garlic and herbs )
4. Oyster Parmesan (With garlic butter and Parmesan cheese) * best of the 5
5. Oysters Rockefeller ( With spinach, bacon and 3 cheese blend )
It can be eaten as is . Some wants it eaten w/ hot sauce and liquid seasoning while others eat it w/ freshly sliced parmesan cheese and chili flakes. Best taken w/ Sub Zero San Mig Light with a good dose of very witty conversation to boot. It is a good relaxing conclusion to a toxic day … it makes me wonder , what makes it an aphrodisiac . Some says it’s the zinc … my answer? it’s the visual impact of the oyster 🙂 It is highly suggestive of better things to do at night than talk.
Coning’s , Iloilo City
If you want the basic boiled oyster … this is your place . Their oysters are small … I like this better. The place when I went there 10 years ago was still uncemented and full of flies … this makes it authentic . 🙂 But food is good.
LECHON (suckling Pig )
Alejos from Cebu City
Crunchy … soft meat … no need for sauce
CNT Lechon Cebu
1377 Rama Ave, Guadalupe, Cebu City
This lechon was eaten and loved by Anthony Bourdain … the flavor of the meat you will never forget … needs no lechon sauce.
PALITAW ( Rice Cake )
Makati Supermarket Coffee Shop
Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa, Philippines
Among the Pinoy ricecakes … this is on the top of my list . These are sweet , flat rice cakes made from sticky rice boiled in water and would float ( litaw , hence the name) when done. This is served with sugar, coconut and toasted sesame seeds. The taste of this particular palitaw is almost close to the taste I grew up with and love .
PUTO Bumbong (Rice Cake cooked in Bamboo Tube)
Via Mare, Greenbelt 1, Makati City
This is named as such because the rice cake is cooked inside a bamboo tube. This is sticky, thin and purple in color. This is a Christmas food in the Philippines but you can eat it all year round in Via Mare .
Vincom Center , HCMC, Vietnam
Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and moulded into shape with fillings of your choice and ice cream in the centre. Sakura, their signature mochi is very good for VND 22,000 (Php 63.00)
Sinful Chocolate Cake
Sinfully delicious chocolate cake w/ you-can’t-get-enough-of-walnuts mix . Delish!
UST Dirty IceCream
owned by JR (pronounced as Gee-R) – roving around UST Grounds
In chocolate, cookies n cream and cheese flavors, this icecream stand has been an iconic figure in the UST Grounds for 37 years now. He can go to your party and serve his icecream ,,, just let him know a day or two.
Enriched Chocolate Bar ( Korean Ice Cream)
any Korean grocery or restaurant
This is ice cream on a stick – vanilla and chocolate goodness. At the core is a chunk of chocolate that is meant to surprise a sweet tooth. The chocolate covering is smothered generously with peanuts!!!
Macadamia Nut Ice Cream
Clarke Quay, Singapore
In vanilla ice cream … this literally melts in your mouth without hiding behind the sugar … pure and simple … mixed with macadamia nuts. … this is not your ordinary everyday treat… but a palate luxury.
BEST CHOCOLATES … my NUTTY obssessions
1. Whittaker’s White Macadamia – 1896 New Zealand ( introduced to me in NZ) The name says it all …
2. Kirkland’s Macadamia Nut Clusters – from the US – decadent sweet-and-salty combinations. Fine-quality macadamia nuts from Hawaii are lightly dusted with sugar and salt, covered in soft, creamy caramel to form clusters and then enrobed in chocolate( introduced by Dr. Rino Sobrepena )
3. Ritter Sport’s White Whole Hazelnut and Whole Hazelnuts – Germany – the hazelnut is Turkish, Crunchy and Perfect!
4. Almond Joy – almonds and coconuts … divine . It’s a candy bar manufactured by Hershey’s. It consists of a coconut-based center topped with an almond and enrobed in a layer of milk chocolate.( introduced by Essie Elwick )
5. Peanut Butter M & M (Introduced by Essie Elwick ) … looking for something different under the shell?
6. Ferrero Rocher – is a spherical chocolate sweet made by Italian chocolatier Ferrero SpA, the producer of Tic Tac and Nutella. The chocolates consist of a whole roasted hazelnut encased in a thin wafer shell filled with hazelnut cream and covered in milk chocolate and chopped hazelnuts and walnuts. Rocher actually comes from French and means “rock”.
Ferrero Raffaello – a half almond, surrounded by meringue and milk cream, encased in coconut wafer coated with coconut flakes … yum yum yum
7. Beryl’s Panned Chocolate (Almond Milk Chocolate) – Beryl’s
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Individual bites of heaven … need i say more
8. Reese’s Nutrageous Candy Bar (Hershey’s Store, Singapore ) is made with chocolate and loaded with crunchy roasted peanuts, smooth rich caramel and the distinctive taste of REESE’S peanut butter.