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. 😀


Krispy Kreme launches Baked Creations

What is interesting about food is that, like an artwork, there is a story behind it.

Take, for example, Krispy Kreme’s Baked Creations. In a jaunt with bloggers, Rick Cavanaugh, Director of Research and Development for Krispy Kreme, shared the impetus behind Baked Creations. Rick said that in the US, donuts are basically breakfast food, and here in the Philippines, donuts are rather treated as desserts or merienda. Krispy Kreme wants to improve on that impression and add the idea that Krispy Kreme is good for breakfast, too.

So Krispy Kreme went to work, experimented with everything, and then came up with two lines of Baked Creations. The Pull Aparts are based on North Carolina’s handrolled balls of dough, also called as monkey bread (because people just pull some piece from the bread, like monkeys LOL). The Pull Aparts come in several variants – Cheese, Bacon & Cheese, Sausage & Cheese and Cinnamon.

Apparently, on its second day of stealth launch, Bacon and Cheese is a hit, and so does Sausage and Cheese. In fact, in yesterday’s launch, all the Bacon and Cheese and Sausage and Cheese Pull Aparts were goners! So I got stuck with the Original Kruffin, which is basically a muffin with a hole in the middle, with cream in the hole. The muffin was soft, slightly sweet, typically Krispy Kreme.

According to Rick, these creations are baked per day, and only enough amount are baked per day, because these only have a shelf life of one day. No wonder those Bacon and Sausage Pull Aparts ran out quickly.

Kruffins are priced Php 65.00 and comes in Double Chocolate, Apple Streussel, Blueberry, and Classic Kruffin. Pull Aparts are priced Php 75.00. These are available are Krispy Kreme Ayala Avenue and Greenhills branches at the moment. Right now, only the Philippines and Australia have these Baked Creations. Press release follows.

Newest Sweet & Savory Creations from Krispy Kreme

Before, Filipinos have only known the doughnut as the sweet, round-shaped dough – and nothing more. However, global doughnut brand Krispy Kreme changed this with the introduction of its infamous confectionary inventions in partnership with popular brands such as Hershey’s, Reese’s, Snickers and Oreos (to name a few). Suddenly, Manila was abuzz with excitement – the welcome arrival of Krispy Kreme has signaled a bright doughy future.

This 2010, Krispy Kreme is back to offer something deliciously different as it launches its Baked Creations. This newest addition to the line of Krispy Kreme offerings comes in two new options: the Kruffins, an American style hand made muffin-with-a-hole filled with rich and delicious fruits, nuts or chocolate with varieties which include Double Chocolate, Apple Streussel, Blueberry and Classic Kruffin; and the Pull Aparts – the North Carolina original hand-rolled balls of dough, pulled apart and laid to form a doughnut like sweet bread, filled with sweet or savory varieties such as Cheese, Bacon & Cheese, Sausage & Cheese and Cinnamon. Like the doughnuts everyone has grown to love, these new Krispy Kreme sensations are the perfect companions to Krispy Kreme’s freshly brewed Signature Coffee.

“Krispy Kreme is a brand for sharing – which makes it a well-loved doughnut chain in the Philippines and the rest of the world,” says Mark Gamboa, Marketing Manager of Krispy Kreme. “The introduction of the Baked Creations of Krispy Kreme here in the country is our way of showing our eagerness to give Filipinos something delightfully new to share and enjoy everyday.”

Since the 1930s until now, Krispy Kreme has continually responded to the growing clamor of the doughnut brand’s loyal fans for their globally-famous delights which include the Original Glazed – made from a secret recipe that has been passed on from generations since the store was first established at Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA. From then on, it has already built a fan base of well-known personalities, which include NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, pop star Beyonce, and even hot Hollywood celebrities like Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise, and Nicole Kidman.

In the Philippines, the popularity of the doughnut chain grew the moment it came in 2006 at its very first branch at Bonifacio High Street in Taguig. And with the fresh, mouthwatering pastries that come out of Krispy Kreme’s conveyor belt, its fame is destined to glaze everyone soon.

Grab the new Krispy Kreme baked creations soon to come in the dougnut chain’s Greenhills and Ayala stores. You may also visit any of the following Krispy Kreme Branches: Bonifacio High Street, Greenhills Shopping Center Drive-Thru, SM Mall of Asia, Trinoma Cinema Level, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia Drive-Thru, Ayala Avenue, Robinsons Galleria, Gateway Mall, Glorietta 4, SM City Annex (North EDSA), Annex 2 SM Fairvew, Eastwood, Marquee Mall Pampanga, SM San Lazaro & SM Manila (coming soon) or call 0917-8053000 & (02) 633-2313. Also, be sure to log on to www.krispykreme.com.ph and be a Friend of Krispy Kreme to get updates.


Krispy Kreme, then and now

Previously, I wrote about my first Krispy Kreme experience. That was almost a year ago, and for the past few weeks I had been in the same store, eating donuts and drinking root beer, while swapping stories with an officemate.

I thought that what I was eating mirrored that of life in general, and particularly life in the workplace and the economy.

Last year, I bought a Hershey’s Cookies and Cream donut:

A few days ago, I bought that particular donut:

Spot the difference. And yes, that’s how life has been since last year.


PlurkLakbayan 09 – The Paranacue Tour

It’s been a running joke. That Plurkfiestas always happen at northern Metro Manila, to the consternation and detriment of plurkers based down south. (For this post’s purpose, south refers to southern Metro Manila area that can be reached by the South Luzon Expressway or SLEX).  But it cannot be helped. Traffic at SLEX is just horrible, even on weekends. So some plurkers have been planning of going south. Actually, there was a PlurkLakbayan Alabang edition last December 2008, but no plurker from the south joined the trip, so another one is needed.

Taking advantage of a needed business meeting in Alabang, Gareon invited plurkers Jenijenjen, Juned, and me to Alabang and Parañaque for some food trip. This time, we made sure that a south-based plurker will join us, and Jayvee consented to be our tour guide of sorts he he.

Two hours late, no thanks to the infamous SLEX traffic, Jayvee met us at Cafe Año for a very late lunch (at around 2:30 pm). We wanted to try Kanin Club (which we had tried last December at Sta. Rosa), but they close at 2PM, so no dice. Anyway, food at Cafe Año is good, though they can be a bit pricey. I got their Pork Belly Adobo for Php 385. The pork was cooked adobo-style then fried. It was served with rice, achara, and a slice of tomato (which I gave to Jen). I was afraid that the pork was tough, since most fried pork tend to be tough; I was surprised it was very tender. Since this is pork belly, those who watch their blood pressure should probably avoid this dish. Though I can’t blame you if you order this one – it is sinfully delicious.

Anyway, Gareon got lengua (delicious – I took a bite); Juned got a bowlful of callos; Jen got a pasta with a big green pepper (the kind that you put in sinigang) above the past; Jayvee got the beef salpicao, which Juned graciously devoured since Jayvee couldn’t finish it. We had chorizos and a cheese platter for appetizers. The blue cheese is scary, and it has a nasty aftertaste.

Gareon went off to his meeting, so the remaining plurkers decided to wait at BoNa Coffee Company. There, we found Seav waiting for us.

This sign was appropriate, specially for Juned.

003-Plurklakbayan09-Paranacue-Tour - Share on Ovi

Anyway, this was not the first time we went to BoNa – the PlurkLakbayan Alabang edition started at BoNa. For the second time, the item I ordered wasn’t available (Vanilla Bean Smoothie). The barista instead recommended hazelnut smoothie. I kinda missed the bubblegum smoothie, though.

We sat outside, talking about anything. Juned was thinking of recording a podcast, but the ambiance was not perfect – there was construction going on, and then it was raining. The rain was a good excuse to go inside. Jayvee then suggested to Jen to install Games of the Generals for iPod touch (I had the misfortune of leaving my iPod touch at home, but I had the headphone in my bag, boo). So the two played via Wi-Fi, with Eugene advising Jen. Guess who lost.

010-Plurklakbayan09-Paranacue-Tour - Share on Ovi

Gareon’s meeting over, we moved to the second leg of the tour. We had dinner at Twentyone Plates at BF, Parañaque. The restaurant was so named because they have 21 dishes to offer. The place was a house converted into a restaurant. The garage was converted into an al fresco style dining area, and some of the rooms inside were converted into private dining rooms, sort of like function rooms. We got assigned in the so-called Library room, so named because one of the walls have bookshelves. I’d rather call it the cellar, because there were more beer/wine bottles than books.

015-Plurklakbayan09-Paranacue-Tour - Share on Ovi

For appetizers, Jayvee ordered this kimchi roll, which I had wisely avoided, since it’s kimchi (read: it’s spicy hot). For whatever reason, Gareon kept on breaking the rolls that he got using chopsticks, while the others did not. All of them liked these kimchi rolls; they are weird people, like all others who like spicy food.

021-Plurklakbayan09-Paranacue-Tour - Share on Ovi

The next appetizer was this feta cheese, which was fried in olive oil, and four bread pieces. (Yes, there are four, but someone got hungry and took one; guess who?) I took a small bite of the cheese. Nothing extraordinary.

027-Plurklakbayan09-Paranacue-Tour - Share on Ovi

I ordered this callos for Php 265. Cheap, only that it was bland; Gareon said it had no taste. Pity. Also, at this point my stomach chose to grumble and rumble. The toilet for men was somehow broken, and I was rather shy of using the facilities for women, so there.

031-Plurklakbayan09-Paranacue-Tour - Share on Ovi

Jen got this spicy chicken thingie. Spicy. End of story.

Seav got this pasta dish, which he said was OK. The others got steak. What could go wrong with steak, specially if it’s very affordable (at Php 5++)? Well, Gareon and Juned ordered their steak rare, but only a small portion of their steaks were rare. Well, it’s still steak, so I am sure it’s delicious. For drinks, we got their bottomless iced tea. It was a mystery for us. The taste got better during the second pitcher. No explanation was offered.

Across the street, Gareon was curious about the Miracle Spa (who wouldn’t). Seriously. That got everyone interested in getting a massage, and I was the only holdout. I had to be taken with arms flailing and legs kicking, and I found myself at the dim lobby of Wensai Spa (don’t ask me how we got there and not Miracle Spa). Anyway, as compromise, I had a foot spa instead of a massage. It was my first time, and I found it calming. The masseur (the only one who was available at the moment, which says a lot about the popularity of the place) was courteous; he even asked me to tell him if I feel any discomfort. I think he knew it ws my first time, as he guided my feet into that tub. I almost fell asleep, but I was busy plurking.

Also, I took the opportunity to use their toilet (hihihi).

On our way to Twentyone Plates, we noticed that spa places were like sari-sari stores; there are plenty of them along that main road. The area must be the spa capital of Parañaque. Business must be good. Also, many of them cater to Koreans, evidenced by billboards in Korean.

Gareon got hungry after the massage, so off we went to Cafe Francais. The place was quaint; the building was concrete, but the table and chairs were old, antique-looking (but definitely not antique). Funny thing is, the non-smoking area was at the inner-most area; Gareon says this is expected, since the owner is a French man.

I was not in the mood to eat (what with the toilet episodes earlier), so I got an iced tea shake (at Php 145 pesos, not cheap); besides, it was almost 1AM. Jen got coffee, Jayvee fries and San Mig Light, Juned sausages and Cerveza Negra, and Gareon spaghetti with meatballs. Everyone expressed satisfaction with their food; Gareon said the spaghetti was good (count how many time the word “good” was used in this post).

The tour ended with us departing back to the north. Our thanks to Jayvee for playing gracious and very patient host. There will be a next time, I guess.

The trip home (and the trip going south) was laughter galore, with entertainment provided by Juned, with his interpretation of music blaring in the car. Jen had contributed to the laugh trip. Unfortunately, everything is off the record. Sorry.

Now the only remaining place to visit is the east Metro Manila.

PS: My only regret is that we haven’t tried Elfav. Maybe next time.

(All photos taken using Olympus E-420. All the pictures are posted at PlurkLakbayan 09 – The Paranacue Tour album over at Ovi.)