Life as it happens. Time as it passes.

Food

Final Pulse 11 and Blog Pulse 12

Do you have any idea how long it took for this poll to get 87 votes? It’s almost 11 months since I last asked for an opinion on what would be the best movie sequel of 2011.

As of this writing, all that’s left to be shown is Breaking Dawn and M:I 4. Nonetheless, let me now give the final count as to what 87 folks said would be the best sequel of the year:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, P2 (46.59%)

2. The Hangover 2 (19.32%)

3. Transformers: The Dark of the Moon (18.17%)

4. Mission Impossible IV (6.82%)

5. Kung Fu Panda 2 (5.68%)

6. Breaking Dawn (3.41%)

 

So, could we just move on now, guys?

I’m putting up this new poll, as inspired by true events that happened inside a fast food restaurant here in the Metropolis. I won’t be saying the name, but in my opinion, this fast food restaurant has the most unpleasant crew, cashier, and almost every one doing “service” to people. I am saying so, because I find the same aura in almost all their stores I’ve ever been.

So, let’s see if my opinion matches those of 100 other customers:

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Food Review: Pastry Passion

I’ve been on a diet plan for the past three weeks. It was supposed to be four weeks already, but a change in the schedule had me breaking my self-imposed law on not eating beyond the prescribed intake for the day. I paid heavily for that violation–of the ten pounds I lost in 29 days, I gained 3 more in just two nights. It took me another two weeks to get rid of the three pounds I gained.

A few nights ago, I committed another violation.

The culprit: Pastry Passion in Timog Ave., Quezon City.

A good friend of mine “tempted” me from deviating from my diet plan. I must say, he was quite persuasive enough (for a backgrounder, he’s actually a good salesman), and along with a few more chides from our other friends, I gave in to the temptation.

photo courtesy of tubbytwoshoes

 

To be honest, the object of temptation didn’t look any different from the ones I have seen from other pastry shops across the metropolis. The pull on me by the cake’s look and presentation to disobey my diet plan wasn’t as strong as the words coming out of my friend’s mouth. That the cake’s look could pass for another ordinary Oreo cheesecake probably helped in part for me to take the bait. After all, the cake wasn’t any more harmless than it appeared on the tray. My other friend recommended a coffee to go along with it. I looked at the menu and picked my usual white chocolate mocha with vanilla syrup. Setting down the plate of cake and the cup of coffee on the table, I got my mind fixed on the ensuing conversation we were having, thinking that the topic of the dialogues we were having was the real deal of the night.

Until I took the first bite from the Oreo cheesecake.

Temptation became sin.

I had to stare down on the cake in unbelief–how could an ordinarily and innocently looking Oreo cheesecake taste THIS GOOD? I had to dig inside the recesses of my memory, trying to find out if I have ever tasted an Oreo cheesecake like this–never. There was nothing in my past that reminded me of a better tasting cheesecake than the one I just had an encounter with. It was balanced in sweetness and perfect in texture. After the first bite, my taste buds beckoned for the second, and the third, and so on. I thought this was it, and I already was more than satisfied.

Until I took a sip from my coffee.

BOOM!

I don’t have a better way of saying “the coffee went perfect with the cake.” If there’s any, then that would be how I’d describe the connection between the cake and the coffee. Each bite led you to sip from the coffee cup, and vice versa. Before I knew it, I was checking my wallet and my tummy, if I still had room for one more plate and one more cup. Cess had to snap me back to reality and prevent me from shelling out another hundred bucks.

Stop and sin no more.

If ever you’re still in front of the PC reading this, you can stop right now. Get a cab or drive up to Marisan Bldg., 48 West Avenue, Timog, Quezon City, and follow these instructions:

Buy an Oreo cheesecake.

Buy a cup of white chocolate mocha with vanilla syrup.

Ask for forgiveness.


Food Review 4: Som’s Noodle House

Image000_1Sometimes, the most sought-after diner in town is not found inside the malls or along the busy urban highways of the metropolis. And you’d be surprised to find out that, sometimes, their just on the other side of the fence inside a subdivision.

Thanks to one of my best friends Sant, we discovered Som’s Noodle House just within the subdivision adjacent to the Rockwell Center in Makati (not Bel-Air, if that’s what you’re thinking). The home-based diner/canteen specializes on Thai dishes, and has been featured in several television shows, highlighting the fact that this frequently visited eatery doesn’t even have a dining hall–it simply boasts of serving you the best Thai cuisines in town just along the street.

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Ms. Yam and Cess strike a pose in front of the counter. Sant is seen here placing our orders. Yum!

Me, Cess, Sant, Philip, Dyan, Ms. Yam and my kid brother Tim tried out some of the most recommended dishes. Since I was on a strict regimen, the orders were mainly fish and chicken. We ordered two spring rolls, spicy grounded chicken, chicken on oyster sauce, seafood rice, chicken rice and pork rice (for those who were craving for it). I forgot the last two dishes we ordered (because by that time, I was already so into the meal on my plate), but they were both chicken dishes.

Just the first spoonful of the Thai delicacy and I immediately fell in love with it. The spicy taste wasn’t like anything spicy I have ever tasted before. And I have to admit, before my encounter here at Som’s I really had no liking for Thai delicacy. But after that wonderful dining experience, I’ll sure be craving for more of their dishes.

For one, the flavor of the spices are precisely locked inside the meat. Even without the oyster sauce, the chicken alone had its unique tang. And the meat was so tender, just a few chews will do to unlock the flavors in your mouth. Plus, the unique thing about the spicy taste of the dishes was that the it was spicy after you’ve swallowed it, not on the tongue itself. That means you get to eat more while enjoying the spiciness, rather than gulping iced water to quench the hot feeling.

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And since you’re eating on the street, you have the feeling that you’re in Bangkok. With just a teacup candle illuminating your table, the ambiance is rather homey than outdoors. It was really fun eating there.

And the price? Very affordable. We ate a meal good enough for more than 8 people, and we only paid no more than 200 bucks each!

If you’re anywhere near Rockwell, ask around for Som’s Noodle House. Go get some of your friends who haven’t tried Thai dishes, and I’m sure their in for a very delectable treat!


Food Review 3: The Street Food Trip Edition

I have been to some of the city’s best fine dining restaurants, and I have been to a lot of formal functions and banquets in hotels and ballrooms, and have taken a taste of the best dishes served by some of the country’s best cooks and gourmet experts. But none of these experiences can ever compare to the gusto and delight brought about by a totally different way of eating—in the streets.

Even as a kid, I would go to this place for an afternoon affair with the best that meager pockets can afford and empty tummies are craving for.

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This is M.Roxas St., in Sta. Ana, Manila. Located in this street is the Sta. Ana Elementary School, one of the largest elementary schools in the city of Manila. Every day for both the morning and afternoon shifts, more than 8,000 students flock out of their classrooms and congregate here, as the entire street is closed up from traffic, to buy all kinds of merchandise. Awaiting them is an entire battalion of food peddlers with various kinds of cheap snacks and other food items.

While the kids buy more of the plastic toys and the many Pinoy game paraphernalia, I spend my time stall-hopping, moving from one food cart to the other, to sample the many food items being sold.

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First in the list in my head is Mang Sonny’s fishballs. What’s unique with what he cooks is that he actually mixes the fishball batter right in front of the customers and cook them right there. Aside from the packed raw fishballs scooped out of the supermarkets, he still brings with him a big bowl of pre-mixed fishball batter, scoops a half teaspoon of mix, drops it into the frying pan, and in just seconds, scoops it out again, but now it’s golden brown and crispy. You then put four of them through a barbecue stick, dip them into the sweet mix sauce, snag it into your mouth, and… voila! You can even try closing your eyes as you savor the tender meat dissolving in your mouth as your teeth work their way munching through the four pieces. I’ll bet you’ll be sticking for more.

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Just beside Mang Sonny’s food cart is Mang Rio’s Cheese Corn. This one’s a Pinoy rendition of the American corn nibblets taken out of the cob and served in a cup. Ours is added with a mix of cheese powder, sugar and butter. A half teaspoon of hot water is added to dissolve all three ingredients that add the tang of the corn. For only 5 pesos, you have a heaping cup of pleasure already. Bring two more five-peso coins, just in case you crave for more.

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Crossing over to the other side of the street is Bon’s Japanese Cakes. I’ve seen this delicacy sold in supermarket food courts, but for a price 5 times the regular price that Mang Bon sells it. You can even actually see the batter being cooked in heated round slots, and when one side is cooked Mang Bon turns the one side over and pours the other half of the cake. Inside you’ll taste two small cheese cubes that melts just as the cakes are cooked, making the cheese’s flavor flavorfully mix with the sweet tasting batter.

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Beside him is Aling Virginia’s “Sebo”. By the name of the food you’ll know it’s all fat! For only five bucks, you’ll get a half cup of pork flesh, which was allowed to wallow in fat for 2 hours, and then cooked, again, in oil in deep fry fashion. Sprinkle a few drops of vinegar, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying “fat in fat in fat.”

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The last of the day’s food trip is Mang Boy’s Scramble. This Pinoy version of the snow cone, I believe is far more innovative and delicious than its stateside counterpart. Aside from the fruity flavors deep frozen with finely shaven ice, mang Boy adds to it a tablespoon full of chocolate syrup, condensed milk, and marshmallow bits. These four ingredients join forces to give you the best refreshment to cap off a wonderful afternoon of food trip in the streets.

A word of caution, however: if your tummy’s not up for the challenge, be careful. While they maybe delicious, some are considered health hazard by medical experts. So if you;ve got sensitive gastric juices inside of you, try not to indulge in these food items. Your health is still your priority. Plus, since they are all easy to prepare, you can actually enjoy these wonderful street foods in the comfort of your own kitchens, where you actually see and do the preparations.

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But for me, life can be just as simple as enjoying these street foods every afternoon.

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Food Review 2: The Chelsea Experience

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Between the last bite of baby back ribs I had from this restaurant, and the time I started typing the words of this blog entry, I had just about enough time to convince myself to write this food review post. For sure, many better food critics out there have passed their judgment of approval on the splendid fine dining restaurant at Serendra in Bonifacio Global City, and that this one will surely be consigned to the footnotes of their critique, but allow me for just this moment to give my own praises, as well as share my own testimony, of the Chelsea dining experience.

It was our senior pastor, Dr. Benny Abante, Jr.’s birthday last July 15, and we, the preachers and pastoral staff of the church thought of treating him out for lunch. Aside from the usual destination, we were thinking which restaurant would be the best venue to have a fun time over the lunch table with him. One of our preachers had the bright idea of doing it at Chelsea’s.

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I first heard of the classy restaurant from one of their resident chefs there and a good friend, Frederick Arellano. Our pastor has eaten there once, and he himself was immediately converted as a believer of this place. We thought of treating him there for a change.

While we waited, I flicked my boss’ Canon camera on and started taking snapshots of the place.

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When our pastor arrived, the dishes started coming out. First in line were the salads, and boy did I enjoy it! I’m not really a veggie lover, but when the salad was dished out to me, I never stopped until the last carrot stick was dumped into my watering mouth. The flavors were safely locked into the vegetables, and their tastes mixed just perfect!

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Next came the pizza. What I thought was just another dough with tomato paste and other ordinary garnishes, actually turned out to be a totally different take on what pizzas were normally made of. The crust was just thick enough for the eater to enjoy the ingredients more than the dough. And the unique harmony of spice, sourness and sweet tang turned out to be a stunner for us all.

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The pasta was just as surprising as the pizza. I liked the carbonara the most, and how its white sauce was just the right thickness, just as the paste was just the right firmness.

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I was near half full when the roasted chicken came to our table. While it looked like another fowl browned to perfection, it actually tasted something else–chicken like no other.

Next in line was the salmon fillet. I really don’t like salmons, but this rendition of the stuffy fish as a gourmethas changed me forever, and has now made me a believer in salmon.

And finally, the baby back ribs, whose flesh and meet is easily flaked off the bone, and with sweet taste that lingers long after it has been taken.

We were already full to the brim of our tummies when the clincher came out–Chef Sau’s Selecta Gold ice cream specialty. And even if I was already full, I resolved in my heart that I will never be denied this time of my ice cream pleasure.

All in all, I give Chelsea a 4.7 out of 5.


Food Review 1: BBQ Chicken

(This is my 100th blog post! Yey!)

I am venturing into the world of eating delight with this first food review blog for rcandcess.wordpress.com. After five dinner date celebrations over the past week, I have been in the look-out for the best places to spend time just enjoying the company of your loved ones and friends, of course with the help of a sumptuous array of meals laid out before you to feast upon and enjoy. What you eat is what you are, so they say. For me, the perfect gourmet dishes set before you add to the pleasure of the dining experience.

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For this first food review, I decided to give my take on BBQ Chicken, located at the corner of Jupiter St., and Makati Avenue. It’s our first time, me, Cess, Onlee and Sant, to eat here, and so we decided to hold the last of Cess’ week-long celebrations with a dinner date here.

The perfect mix of bright colors for its signage adds to the inviting mystique of the place. Upon entering, the calming colors of mellow yellow and red give the restaurant the cozy ambience. We were actually surprised to find out that the place was Korean, but the feel was very Pinoy.

The friendly crew had us seated and handed out the menu. Just by looking at the pictures, you will already find yourself confused with which dish to choose. They all look attractive to the senses, and they’re mostly made out of the same dish–chicken! 7 minutes later we had the crew jot down our orders. I asked for a Chicken Bulgalbi, while Cess ordered for a Royal Chicken Barbeque. Sant ordered the Original Chicken, while Onlee had Barbeque Chicken.

My Chicken Bulgalbi! Yum!

My Chicken Bulgalbi! Yum!

We didn’t wait very long before all our orders were coming out of the kitchen. It was remarkably quick, considering how the dish appeared artistically prepared in the picture, to which you would think it would take more than 15 minutes to prepare. But we never waited for more than 10 minutes for all four order to come at our dinner table.

The true test, however, was in the tasting. Onlee went first with hers, and just after the first bite, she was stunned silent by the juicy, tender meat of the chicken locking all the flavors of the barbeque. I was next with my Chicken Bulgalbi, and the first thing I did was to feel the meat with just the knife. I was surprised as it sliced like razor on butter because of the tenderness of the chicken. And the flavor was uniquely delicious. Me and Onlee took a chunk from each other’s meal and found ourselves wide-eyed as we both found the flavors distinct from each other.

Food Critics: Onlee and Sant savoring every bite of their dinner!

Food Critics: Onlee and Sant savoring every bite of their dinner!

Sant was quite critical about his order, as it looked like any ordinary fried chicken. But as he minced the chicken’s flesh and pieced out a chunk into his mouth, his face just lighted up as if it was the first time he tasted a true-to-the-taste fried chicken in his life. From then on, he never let go of the fork and knife and started tackling the two-piece meal.

Cess’ order, the Royal Chicken Barbeque, was the biggest surprise of all. What we all thought was just ordinary grilled barbeque, actually was a stand-out! I for one am convinced I have never tasted any other barbeque with this kind of flavor ever before!

And the price? Very, very, very reasonable. All four of us actually thought we were just paying for a value meal order from the nearby fastfood. It was that cheap! We had four meals, drinks and two goblets of ice cream for dessert, all for the very low price of Php 830.00!

All in all, I give BBQ Chicken 4.5 stars out of 5!

If you’re in the look out for the latest twist in your favorite chicken dish, check our BBQ Chicken at Jupiter St., cor. Makati Ave. It is indeed, the Best of the Best Quality Chicken!