Filipino to Spanish

This week has not been merciful on my wallet. And diet. :/

Aside from spending a significant amount of money on bills (pfft), the Expense Manager app on my phone says I spent too much on food as well. Yay?

Last Wednesday afternoon/night was spent with former officemates eating at Kanin Club in Ayala Triangle. It’s been almost a year since I last visited Kanin Club, and it was nice to be back to taste the old favorites.

The original plan was to go to this bagnet place at Makati, but since the weather made the stay outside like being in a sauna, we decided to just eat at Ayala Triangle. While walking, everyone was saying “I know where we’ll end up.”

We ended up at Kanin Club.

Upon being seated, I checked in at Foursquare, and only then I noticed there’s a Poco Deli nearby. If I had only known, we might have eaten there. Funny thing was, you will pass by Poco Deli before getting to Kanin Club (if you’re coming from Ayala Avenue/Makati Stock Exchange building). It’s either we’re really hungry not to notice, or our unconscious had already decided to eat at Kanin Club.

Crispy Liempo

Anyway, we started with the old faithful crispy liempo. I totally avoided this tried avoiding this but there and then I decided “What the hell, today is cheat day!” so I had a few. Promise.


My all time Kanin Club favorite – Pocherong Tinomas. Kanin Club’s take on pochero is interesting: it’s more like stew rather than soup, the saba was fried, and they added fried camote. They used beef, and added some ham. My friends totally avoided this, I dunno why. At least I had something to bring home.

We also ordered Bistek Pinoy (I took a photo but it was blurry; it’s in my Instagram – pls to follow me kthx), Crispy Dinuguan (I forgot to take a photo), and Tinapa Rice (I also forgot to take a photo). The rice was completely consumed, the bistek almost all of it, the dinuguan only a few of it left.

Total damage for everyone is Php 285 (rounded off and including service charge). Not bad for a sumptuous Filipino meal. For bachelors, you should eat there with friends; eating by yourself is expensive and lonely.

Today I had lunch with an officemate and her friend at Barcino Wine Resto Bar. The original plan (decided yesterday) was to try Wrong Ramen at Burgos Circle in The Fort. Before we went there I asked another officemate who had eaten there for feedback, and we were discouraged because (1) they open at 12nn, (2) the place is small, and (3) there might be a long queue.

We thought of going to Wildflour Bakery + Cafe, but even before I could begin contemplating on their prices the officemate suddenly craved for paella. So off we went to Barcino.

It was my first time there. I thought it was a classy, high society place for cheese and wine. Well, it is a classy place for cheese and wine. But they do have something for those not into cheese (I can eat cheese but I don’t crave for it) and wine (teetotaler). Basically they carry Spanish fare. As I was a Barcino newbie, I let my officemate order the food.

Sopa de ajo

We started with the classic Spanish sopa de ajo or garlic soup – basically a simple soup with garlic, bread, egg. This one has small strips of jamon Serrano. Surprisingly, the taste of garlic was not that strong, which I find I liked. I should probably try making this at home, the recipe looks simple enough.

Paella Negra

We ordered this Paella Negra. They put in squid ink in there, hence the color (and the name – but apparently it is not really a paella but arros negre). There are five squid rings on top, some mayo, and a slice of lemon. I tend to avoid squid because most of the time I find them rubbery and unchewable. The squid here was surprisingly chewable, and I was kinda sad there were only five pieces. Paella negra looked icky at first but I liked it.

The officemate was tempted to order wine, but as we had to go back to work, we wisely did not order. (The reality was that we can’t find the prices per glass in the menu hehe).

Total damage was… secret. Let’s just say Php200 each, which is not bad. Also, they have a lunch promo ongoing, 20% off on your bill.

Again, for bachelors, not for eating by yourself – unless you have a large appetite and can wolf down the entire content of the paellera. Or if you just want to get drunk. But better to get drunk with friends over a platter or two of cheese. If you invite me I’d let you have the wine and I’d have the cheese and tapas.

I did say before that this category will just archive the past entries, but I need a place for my food (mis)adventures, so here it is. I dunno if my co-writers could read this, but if they are interested to write again, just let me know. 😀


Terry Selection

I first blogged about Terry Selection it more than a year ago when I first tried the restaurant (read it here), but after several visits I think it’s worth another review.

After several weeks of craving for Spanish food, particularly for some paella and any rustic potaje, my Dear and I had dinner at Terry Selection (see their partial menu here). Being tucked deep in the basement of Podium actually works for Terry as it feels more like a private and quiet nook instead of your usual noisy and frenetic mall restaurant. The interior has a more modern feel, which is unusual for Spanish restaurants which tend to go for traditional (or even medieval) decor. Service is efficient and professional with a bit of stoic. However, this branch does not have its own restroom and the nearest one is a bit of a walk away.
Here’s what we ordered during our last visit:

Lentejas Castellanas (P250)– a pottage (i.e., potaje) of lentils, chorizos, jamon Serrano, and hardboiled egg served with garlic rice in an oven-hot cazuela. It’s a very classic and rustic Spanish dish, something you’d expect to be served in a farmhouse restaurant. The lentils take on the strong taste of the sausages, which goes well with the bland rice. I actually did not expect it to come with rice as it wasn’t indicated in its picture on the menu, but it was ok. 

Super Paella Parellada (P540, for two)– the classic Spanish saffron rice dish garnished with pork, seafood, chorizos, pimenton, mushrooms, and peas. Technically, though, this isn’t paella because it isn’t cooked in a paellera; rather, this version is cooked in a sizeable cazuela. But despite that technicality, this version of paella is quite sumptuous and is indeed good enough for two fairly sized appetites. The rice was amply infused with the flavours of the saffron and chorizo, neither bland nor overpoweringly salty. Overall a good paella and more than adequate to hit my craving. However, I have to say that my all-time favourite paella is still Mingoy’s Paella Española, which I’ve loved since grade school so there might be a little nostalgia in this statement.

In our last visit we managed to keep the bill below P1,000, so it is possible to have a satisfying meal below P500 per person. However, for a complete meal with soup and drinks I’ll have to put the price at P650 per person at the minimum. Here are the scores:
Quality = 9.0
Size = 6.0
Taste = 8.5
Ambience = 7.5
Service = 7.5
Value = P873.55
Price = P650.00
Sulit Rating = 1.34 > 1
As a final note, I repeat what I wrote about Terry Selection more than one year ago:

Bottomline, Terry Selection offers great food, but it ain’t cheap. Surely, there are lots of very good and less expensive places out there, but if you love Spanish food and Spanish cured meats this place is worth a visit. 


3 Greenhills Restaurants, 1 Post

It’s been a while since I last did a restaurant review. The last one I did was in August; for a resto in the Philippines it was in May. As a sign of changing lifestyles and budget constraints, I find myself cooking more and eating out less. But my Dear and I still do eat out at least once a week, usually near her office. Here are brief reviews of three restaurants we’ve visited recently (in alphabetical order). An explanation of the scores can be seen here.

Annabel Lee
Promenade II, Greenhills Shopping Center
San Juan City, Metro Manila

Half Italian restaurant half foodcourt concessionaire mutant. Pretty decent actually, and was one of Tatler’s top restaurants for 2007. Service is good and professional. I had the Roast Beef Sandwich (P190) and my Dear had the Puttanesca Pasta (P160)– the entrees had good flavour and they were of fine quality, but the serving sizes were, like the waitresses’ skirts, on the small size. I also bought a soft baguette (P75) to take home– not bad but not spectacular either, which can also be said for the restaurant. I don’t think any winged seraphs of heaven will covet this Annabel Lee.

Quality = 6.5
Size = 4.0
Taste = 7.0
Ambience = 4.0
Service = 6.0
Value = P267.21
Price = P250.00
Sulit Rating = 1.07 > 1

Choi Garden
Annapolis Street, Greenhills
San Juan City, Metro Manila

This Chinese restaurant is so popular Barack Obama will want to be seen with it. It is so packed with customers you have to call in a reservation if you don’t want to wait 45 minutes to get a table. They have a fairly sized parking area, but there are just too much cars that have to be parked. The place itself is big and the service is decent, but the sheer number of people can dampen the overall dining experience. But it’s all about the food. Our regular (i.e., cheaper side of the menu) orders include siomai topped with sharksfin or siolong pao (dumplings filled with meat and soup) for appetisers, sauteed greens with garlic, and a main course of steamed fish with garlic or spicy spare ribs. The fare can get easily grander than this, with various kinds of fresh seafood (groupers, lobsters, crabs, etc.) and a selection of Chinese charcuterie collectively called roasting. Our favourite dessert is mango pudding, which is basically mango tapioca submerged in evaporated milk. Good food at a reasonable price– the definition of sulit.

Quality = 7.0
Size = 7.0
Taste = 7.5
Ambience = 6.0
Service = 6.0
Value = P559.38
Price = P250.00
Sulit Rating = 2.24 > 1

Good Burger
Connecticut Carpark, Greenhills Shopping Center
San Juan City, Metro Manila

A vegetarian burger place, for those who like hamburgers but don’t like the meat. Vegemeat doesn’t usually inspire confidence in me but this was worth a try, if only to see how not bad vegemeat can be. The pleace itself is pretty clean but small and not so comfortable; better have your burgers delivered. The burgers, which are flame-grilled, come in three sizes: good (1 regular patty), better (1 bigger patty), and best (2 regular patties). My Dear got the Margherita Burger (good, P90) and I got the Persian Burger (best, P95). The Margherita has tomatoes and basil while the Persian has aioli and bell peppers (they were supposed to be roasted but I guess they didn’t bother anymore). We also had a side of Regular Wedge Fries (P30)– I think we got eight pieces. Overall, not so bad considering the price and that it’s vegemeat. It’s a pretty decent alternative if you really don’t like meat.

Quality = 5.0
Size = 5.0
Taste = 5.5
Ambience = 2.5
Service = 3.5
Value = P113.12
Price = P100.00
Sulit Rating = 1.13 > 1


My P1,000 Morning Food Trip

It started benignly enough. I woke up earlier than usual to bring my Dear to her office in Greenhills, a mere 25 minutes away including mild traffic. On my way home I decided to look for Pasteleria Mallorca which I knew was somewhere along Sct. Fuentebella in Quezon City– also 25 minutes from my house but in the opposite direction.

Pasteleria Mallorca’s products are actually available in supermarkets– I’ve tried (and like) their lenguas de gato, palillos de Madrid, and galletas San Nicolas— but I’ve always wanted to visit their shop not only to buy their pastries but also to try their old-school ensaimadas, which are supposed to be the best in town.

So there I was, driving down the length of Sct. Fuentebella looking for a pastry shop, thinking it should stand out in what’s mainly a residential street. No luck. After seeing the same houses four times I decided to call it quits and go home. So as not to let my detour be a total waste, I thought I might as well pass by Estrel’s on the corner of Sct. Tobias and Sct. Limbaga.

Estrel’s, established in 1946, is actually famous for its caramel cake which is I should say really superb– it’s one of those cakes in which everything is actually good: cake, filling, icing, flowers, etc. But since I wasn’t in the mood for cake I decided to buy a box of food for the gods, at P360 for 20 pieces. They’re very delicious and you can tell they only use premium ingredients, but I find it quite pricey since I’m already happy with those generic versions you can buy in any supermarket. But if you want food for the gods that is worthy of, well, God, then do buy a box from Estrel’s. As for me, next time I’ll stick to the caramel cake.

Heading back home, I impulsively parked at Santi’s Delicatessen along Timog Avenue, unable resist rummaging though a well-stocked grocery. They did have a good selection of cheeses, canned goods, meats, sausages, etc., but I could find 90% of them in other supermarkets at a marginally cheaper price. I was also looking for some Russian sturgeon caviar which I can’t find anywhere in this country, and neither did I find it there. I ended up buying two links of pork cervelat, two links of veal bratwurst, and three links of Italian garlic pork sausage for a total of P295.40. This amount is actually enough for at least six meals so at around P50 per meal it’s a pretty good deal.

While on the Santi’s checkout line I met Mrs. Tess Morato-Lazatin, a daughter of Tomas Morato (yes, the street’s namesake). She mentioned that, as a hobby, she makes morcillas and chorizos and cooks made-to-order paella (10 people minimum), using recipes from her home in Spain. Obviously she didn’t have any products on hand so I got her contact info and I’ll surely order some chorizos when my current stock runs out, maybe even some paella if I feel like splurging. I mentioned I was in the area looking for Pasteleria Mallorca, and lo and behold, she knew where it is– 18 Sct. Fuentebella.

So back I drove to Sct. Fuentebella, looking for No. 18 which I’m sure I’ve seen before. And yes, I’ve seen it before– that green-gated house that looks like the other houses beside it with nary a clue that it makes Spanish pastries on site. Well they do have a sign on the gate, if a plastic-covered piece of paper with words you’ll only be able to read if you step off your car and walk up to it counts as a sign.

And there I was, at the first cause of my detour, the home-based factory of the Pasteleria Mallorca line of pastries as well as the Mega Mexicana line of tacos and dips (never knew they were made by the same company). First order of business was the ensaimada– they had none. They make them only during the afternoon, freshly baked at around 2:30pm. Sigh. I guess I’ll have to order some in advance then. But since I also went there for the pastries, particularly the lenguas de gato, it wasn’t a total let-down. Besides, they also had some frozen sans rival and tarta Madrid, but they were too much for me at the time. I ended up buying a jar of lenguas de gato (P210), a jar of palillos de Madrid (P135), and a pack of argellanas (P60).

So that’s P1,060.40 worth of various food stuffs bought on a whim. And it wasn’t even lunchtime.


Deep Fried Everything and Azeri Cuisine

For my birthday my Dear gave me a deep fryer. I usually avoid deep-frying stuff to show some concern for my health, but I do like fried foods like everyone else so this was a welcome gift. I’d feel too guilty to buy myself a deep fryer, even if it would make a good addition to my galley gear. It requires at least 750mL of oil to start cooking– not exactly frugal, but it does go a long way.

So two weeks ago I finally used the deep fryer, frying everything I can put my hands on. I began with a lunch of deep fried sausages and eggplant. For dinner, I fried potato wedges, Vienna sausages, and some canned salmon. The following day, I fried some Thai-style chicken wrapped in pandan leaves bought from SM. After which I had to reluctantly throw away the oil– I don’t usually consume 750mL of canola oil for just three meals.

This week I tried my hand at making saciçi, that afritada-like Azeri chicken dish I had in Baku. I departed from the original recipe though– I used olive oil and butter instead of pure butter, I added a lot of garlic, and I cooked it with orange juice and slices. Also, I used bigger cuts of chicken and vegetables in my saciçi so I had to use more water while cooking; thus, the ensuing dish had a lot more sauce. It’s quite greasy due to the copius amount of butter, but the orange cuts through it a little bit. It was quite close to the saciçi I had in Baku, though I wish I used less water so the chicken and vegetables could’ve fried more. Next time I’ll use smaller cuts of chicken.

Finally, just saw a video on Azeri cuisine:

Now I’m officially looking for a good Azeri (i.e., Turkish) restaurant in Manila.  Any leads?


The Food Court Diaries 1: Squilliam Fancy… Insert Four-Letter Word

September 3, 2008
Mandarin Express
Food Court, Robinsons’ Galleria
“Fried calamares with beef soup”
Price: P76 + 8 oz. Coke

The gourmand would know better than to eat at the food court of a mall.  Granted that there are good places to eat at a food court (like, say, Pao Tsin), the best places to eat are still in those hole-in-the-wall eateries at side streets, or those swanky places where service water probably comes off the toilet.  Or you can cook your own food.  But if you’re a writer with an eight-hour job that gives you repetitive stress injury, and if you have to commute through the EDSA-SM Fairview route every damn day, you have no choice but to eat in food courts.

It’s my brand of emo.

I do need to point out that whatever redeeming value that there is in food court cuisine is canceled out by three important details:

  • Food is too expensive.
  • Food looks the same.
  • Food tastes like shit.

*     *     *

I make no if’s or but’s about it: I love squid.  I succumb to the androgyny of culinary lihi every now and then for a food best described as… well, phallic (don’t get me wrong, I’m straight, and my sexual preference is inclined towards women with mesmerizing eyes, shining hair… I’m getting ahead of myself).  In my search for my favorite seafood (and cheap West cigarettes), I found myself at Galleria with a canteen plate and squid “tempura” at a kiosk called Mandarin Express.

I always thought tempura was a Japanese thing, but you can’t argue with advertising.  For P76, this plate o’ food must be worth it.  Then again, I’m expecting too much from food courts.  I made some mental notes as the attendant prepared my obscenely expensive plate o’ food:

  • The squid was precooked.
  • The canteen plate was doused – literally – with what looked like sweet chili sauce.
  • The anemic-looking precooked squid pieces were re-fried for about a minute to get that crispy, golden-brown color back.

You probably already know where I’m going with this… more bullet-points:

  • Squid should be prepared and cooked fresh.
  • “Sweet chili sauce” is not sweet, it’s not made with chili, and it’s not sauce.
  • You never re-fry squid.

It takes strong jaws (which I don’t have), good teeth (which I don’t have), and a lot of patience (which I don’t have) to get around the… technicalities, of eating squid that tastes like crap.  I’m sure that the good people of Mandarin Express have great food, but this has got to be one of the more ridiculous squid dishes I’ve ever had.  It can be summed up with (you guessed it) three bullet-points:

  • Insipid (no salt here).
  • Very chewy (refried squid, what do you expect).
  • Inconsistent in texture (a cross between tofu and “Kapal-Gooms” tires by BF Goodrich).

Mediocre?  No, it’s well done, albeit a little too much.  At first I was kind of surprised at how, despite being overdone, the squid was still passably tender enough to cut with the side of a spoon.  Yet tenderness can be decieving; I swear I could have been chewing it all night if I had to.  Thanks to an ability to swallow a lot of things non-sexual (pride, words, the occasional piece of overcooked squid, among other things), I managed to choke down the squid.  But not without the terrific, manly broth that came with the order.

I’m sticking with the three peso-a-piece street snackage at Philcoa after this one.  Or green rice at Pao Tsin.


Bakkwa Rediscovered

Bakkwa, or Chinese sweet dried meat, was a staple of mine during my undergrad days.  It was easy to store in the dorm, always ready to eat, and can either be a snack or a viand.  My favourite was the chicken barbecue coin made by Bee Cheng Hiang, which has a branch in Robinson’s Place in Ermita.  After undergrad, I shied away from most forms of bakkwa (and meat jerky in general), mostly because I no longer had to store food in a clothes cabinet and partly because it probably wasn’t doing wonders for my health.

On a recent trip to Singapore, though, I chanced upon a branch of Bee Cheng Hiang in Chinatown and rediscovered an old friend.  I bought a box of chicken barbecue; S$18 for 280 grams.  At S$1 = P31.7, that’s P203.78 for every 100 grams.  Not really the cheapest bakkwa out there– Fat & Thin has a cheaper pork version (marketed as tocino) for about half the price– but quite exquisite.  Only BCH makes soft bakkwa (and made of chicken), as far as I can tell, but Fat & Thin’s pork version is also quite acceptable.

The great thing about bakkwa is that you don’t really need to heat it, but unlike canned goods it doesn’t have that canned/fake flavour.  It was meant to be eaten in its preserved state at room temperature.  If you do choose to heat it, you have a number of options at your disposal: microwave it, toast it, broil it, grill it, even dunk it in hot water (while in the pouch).  A meal can consist of microwaved bakkwa, fried egg, and garlic rice plus a side of fresh tomatoes.  Or you can add it to fried rice or an omelette.  Or it can be a viand all its own– a recent meal was just broiled chicken barbecue bakkwa and steamed rice.

I wouldn’t recommend having bakkwa as a regular fare, but it would make for a good substitute for canned goods from time to time.  It’s for those times when you’re just too tired (or lazy) to make a proper meal or go out and buy food.  It was student friendly back then; it is definitely bachelor friendly now.

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Squid Wards: Garlic Squid Rice Topping, Carinderia Sefali

There’s a rule among gourmands and food lovers (of which I’m not one) that if a place has a lot of people eating in it, then the food must be good.  The rule itself is flawed; lots of people eat at a fast-food joint, but the food – if burgers qualify for food – is definitely not good.  Often, it’s the unassuming hole-in-the-wall place that serves great food.

Forty-eight hour weeks of writing web content does two things to me: it tires me out, and it makes me hungry.  I reserve Sunday nights for good eats, where I go around the metropolis looking for good food (counting out places like Dusit Thani and the swanky places in and around Greenbelt).  Tired and famished from a lunch out at Tokyo Tokyo Glorietta with my brother, I decided to head on over KNL for dinner.

I usually make a beeline for the carinderia-style eateries that serve all iterations of adobo (chicken, pork, chicken-pork, adobong sitaw, adobong kangkong, and so on and so forth), but I had plenty of time to explore.  After a few minutes, I settled for a quiet, unassuming little nook called Carinderia Sefali, just right by the main road of Krus na Ligas.

For a place that calls itself an eatery, Carinderia Sefali was a very sophisticated place to eat.  The ethnic decorations and the handsome wood paneling reminded me of La Azotea in my hometown of Baguio City, particularly Miss Virginia de Guia’s office at the second floor.  The place was rather sparse, and as I looked up the menu boards, I got the message.  The place was a rather pricey tapsilugan, with the lowest-priced meal at a flat P60, sans soft drinks.

Not wanting to hurt my wallet, but still meaning to eat anyway, I decided to go for the reasonably-priced Garlic Squid Rice Topping, which cost P63.  For anyone who knows how expensive squid can get (Italianni’s, anyone?), P63 is a very good bargain.  (And yes, I take horrible pictures.)  The order didn’t come with a free soft drink, which was a bit of a letdown considering the price.

It took me exactly 20 minutes to get served, which was a very important cue; here’s a 20 minute window to prepare and cook seafood, especially something as delicate as squid.  Undercooked squid isn’t very appealing (and can potentially harbor salmonella), and overcooked squid can force you to chew all day.  I was rather impressed with the impeccable timing of Carinderia Sefali, which serves every dish in 20 minutes.

When I got my order, I was rather intrigued; I was expecting squid rings swathed in bits of fried or roasted garlic, but I got squid rings with green chili peppers, although the thick brown sauce that topped the cup of rice had the unmistakable aroma of garlic.  It seemed to me that Carinderia Sefali was intent on justifying the rather ridiculous sum charged for something sold as “rice toppings.”

Like I said earlier, I’m not a gourmand or a food lover; I just happen to be a lazybones writer with the most rudimentary knowledge of good food.  I must say, though, that the pricey Garlic Squid on Rice was one of the better meals I had.  The chili peppers were not spicy, but they gave the dish the right amount of zingy heat to accompany the perfectly cooked squid.

The rice was another matter, since it wasn’t exceptional; I think all P63 worth of this dish went to the viand, and you might as well consider the rice free.

I have ranted about the price of this meal for quite a few paragraphs now, so I suppose the question is, “Is the meal worth it?”  Definitely yes, and considering the price of squid, I think that this is one of the better bargains you can get at a pricey place like Carinderia Sefali.

Three stars out of five.


When restaurants give you lemon-flavored things

I don’t have the time or the patience to do the Ortigas thing, and that’s to bring along baon. If you do a lot of voluntary overtime and develop symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, cooking your own lunch is the last thing on your mind. The office “pantry,” though, is reminiscent of school canteen food: it takes a strong stomach and an empty wallet to eat there on a daily basis. That’s why you see siomai counters and MiniStop outlets everywhere in Ortigas Center.

Me and an officemate decided to break out of this canteen-food lunch rut and headed out to a restaurant called “Foodash” at San Miguel Avenue, just a few stalls behind Rufo’s Famous Tapa (which Bachelor Food Blogger Manolo Quezon already wrote about before). For a 15-minute wait, I had something called “Crispy Lemon Chicken,” which cost around P85. For that kind of money, it must be good; after all, I may have the least sophisticated palate among the Bachelor Food Bloggers.

Yes, it looked so odd that I had to take a picture of it. “Odd,” as you may expect, is a nice way to put it.

I always expected “crispy lemon chicken” to be a crispy piece of chicken in lemon-infused Béchamel sauce, cream sauce, or just plain old lemon juice. This was different; the clear sauce almost looked – and yes, tasted like – molten lemon-flavored Maxx candy. I would have paid P85 just for the chicken, which was half-decent and perfectly palatable with a bit of soy sauce.

You could only imagine the cook before lunch hour melting candies on a skillet, I can tell you that. The sauce does kind of turn you off at first, since it reminds you of… hmmm, how should I put this… crystallized cat urine. (I haven’t seen crystallized cat urine before, but I’m sure it would look like that.)

Plus points: the crispy chicken fillets are excellent… although I have the feeling they were already pre-made. The water was also very refreshing. The serving of rice is very generous, compared to the few spoonfuls you get at the adjacent Rufo’s.

I’m all for restaurants that push the borders when it comes to cuisine, but this took the cake for me. Nothing against Foodash – which serves great Garlic Chicken – but this crispy fillet of chicken breast drenched in the syrup rendered from what looks and tastes like lemon-flavored candy is pushing the borders a bit too far. I won’t be surprised if some enterprising restaurant decides to make a chicken dish with a mint sauce made from Mentos.

Then again, Sam-I-Am and green-eggs-and-ham do have to apply – to a certain extent – to this monstrosity of a lunch that costs a little under P100. Surprisingly, once you get over the fact that you’re eating something drowned in melted candy, it does taste quite good. Well, like I said, I may have the least sophisticated palate among the Bachelor Foodistas.

But even I, a culinary alcoholic plebeian, know that Crispy Lemon Chicken sucks. Stick with Foodash’s Garlic Chicken.


Plurk as excuse for going out

Plurk is an interesting Web application. It is like Twitter, with the capability to display messages on a time line, plus you can view replies below the message. It is like IRC, says Jon Limjap. MLQ3 thinks so, too.

But it’s greatest use, so far, is to plan for unplanned dinners. Just this week, the Bachelor Food Bloggers had done so twice. Read on.

This week had been busy in terms of dining, no thanks to MLQ3’s plurks. It began exactly a week after Juned, MLQ3, and I ate at King Crab. Via Plurk, the Bachelor Food Bloggers Fritz teh Rockstar, Grand Meister Juned, Emperor MLQ3, and page boy me went to Mickey’s Delicatessen last Wednesday; Juned suggested that we try the place. It is located along Jupiter Street in Makati.

Mickey’s is a German restaurant. It has old European house feel to it, with wooden chairs and benches, wooden tables, and waiters in traditional German clothes. The German owner is usually there; he asked us if the food was good. We’ll see.

Juned ordered crispy pork knuckles, aka crispy pata, the Emperor’s favorite. It was very lean, and very tasty, the skin was crispy enough. The gravy was love – there was a hint of wine with it. I prefer eating fried food less dippings and condiments, but you have to try the gravy. The Rockstar kept on warning the Meister about his blood pressure.

The Emperor ordered German potato salad. Contrary to the usual potato salad that we know, this one is mashed, and tastes sour. I did not like it much.

And the piece de resistance – Mickey’s Super Sandwich. It is about 2 feet long, stuffed with cold cuts, cheese, onions, tomatoes, pickles, some green vegetables, and mayonnaise. It is good for 4-6 persons. Personally, I find the bread too tough for me to bite and chew. For the Rockstar, it was surprisingly light for a sandwich, though he had to take out the tomatoes and the pickles. The Meister just kept on chomping, while the Emperor had to take home the half of his sandwich.

We stayed on for some stories (the Meister is a good story teller, he knows a lot). Went home late. Mom spanked me.

Plurk has its uses, if it works. You can post open invites for whatever. If someone replies, great. If none, too bad. Most of the time, it works. MLQ3 exploits that to the fullest.

So I was again surprised when I got a text message from Juned regarding another dinner plurk from MLQ3. This time, we were joined by Marcelle the Mentalist and Bernard the Habagat. Marcelle suggested this place at Balara called Mang Jimmy’s.

The traffic along C-5 to Katipunan made MLQ3 and Juned hungry (though ABBA and movie/TV themes kept us entertained), then we picked up the other two, and off we were.

Mang Jimmy’s is like a typical carinderia catering to students – it is near UP and Ateneo. It is not surprising that it was full of noisy students when we got there. So we ordered liempo, lengua, blue marlin (me thinks) and tapa – which Marcelle claims to be the house specialty.

Simply put, it was great. It was sweet, tender, and made of awesome. If you find it too sweet, add calamansi to counter the sweetness.

I found the liempo tough to chew, so I let Juned finish it. I like the lengua, but only one plate was ordered, and I was not in the position to complain. The fish was largely ignored. And Bernard was scared by Marcelle’s bended fork routine.

After that, we retired to Bo’s Coffee Club along Katipunan, where Marcelle explained some ideas about mentalism.

And to add more proof, as of this moment, there is another pending plurk invite for dinner. Let’s see where it goes.

What is Plurk for you?

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