Sunday, August 31, 2014

Century Park Hotel Still Got the Flair at 38


Oh my, I just realized that one of my favorite hotel is as old as me.  Ok, so now you know, I'm already 38, but hey, don't you think I still have the knack to pass for a 30 something woman.  So talking about the hotel, Century Park have made their celebration of hotel service a grandeur one yet incredibly marked down.  

Mark your calendar as Century Park Hotel welcomes its 38 years of service with splendid anniversary treats and freebies for the whole month of September.

First on the list is our awesome room package. Enjoy the celebration in our Superior Room at P5,500 net/room/night and Deluxe Room/ Jr. Suite/ Park Tower Suite at P6,500 net/room/night. Packages include complimentary breakfast for two plus a free Century Park Elite card worth P 2,000. Guests also get a special rate of P3,888 net/room/night for Superior room and P4,888 net/room/night for Deluxe / Jr. Suite / Park Tower Suite for the succeeding nights.

A delectable feast awaits everyone at the Century Tsukiji.

Indulge in an irresistible Japanese fare with our Anniversary Bento Box for P555+ per order and anniversary platter for P380+ per order.

Anniversary Bento Box, P 555 + per box 

Fire up your meal with vegetable salad topped with crispy salmon skin in special dressing sauce. Continue with pan-fried tanguigue in mint butter sauce; mixed breaded prawns, squid rings and onion rings with plain rice, seafood miso soup and pickles. Finish it with mixed fresh fruits for a satisfying treat.


Toast the celebration away with their Beverage Anniversary Bonanza. Delight in a wide selection of beverages all for P380 net.  Standard cocktails by the Carafe with your choice of Screwdriver, Rum Cooler and Cuba Libre, five bottles of local house beers from 4pm to 12mn, bottle of house wine when you order a bar chow or appetizer, our anniversary drink “Festive” which is good for two persons and “El Kapitan” drink when you order three. Promo is available at the Café in the Park, Century Tsukiji, Atrium Lounge, Palm Grove and Room Service.

Spread joy with delightful creations at Deli Snack. Bring home our anniversary cake Century Walnut Crunch for only P380 net. It is for free with a minimum spend of P 3,800 worth of delicatessen and bread items. More of your favorite delicatessen items are available at Deli Snack from 8AM to 8PM.


Enjoy a pleasant crunch in every bite of this chocolate-flavored sans rival cake with raspberry, cappuccino and pistachio cream fillings, finished off with chocolate ganache and chocolate ornaments.


Overflowing freebies are in store on our anniversary. Get a free bottle of house wine at the Atrium Lounge with a minimum spend of P1,000+ on regular food orders and also to couple celebrating their 38th wedding anniversary while dining with a full meal at the Café in the Park and Century Tsukiji. A free glass of house wine will be given to all 38 year old diners at Café in the Park, Century Tsukiji, Atrium Lounge, and Room Service during lunch or dinner if proof of birth is presented.

For more information, contact us at telephone no. 528-8888 or email us at information@centurypark.com.ph.


The Century Park Hotel is owned and managed by Maranaw Hotels & Resort Corporation.

On Health: Sylimarin In Action



Our liver does three main things: helps digest the food we eat, make proteins and gets rid of bad stuff.  All the blood that has visited the small intestines flows through the portal vein into the liver, so almost all of the nutrients we eat have to pass through the gauntlet of the liver before passing to the heart for generalized distribution. 

Why almost? There's a little absorption in our mouth and under our tongue, but almost means 99 percent for the typical person. The liver then decides what gets kept out, what gets patted down and inspected and what's allowed in to be distributed throughout your body.

In anatomy subject, we knew that the liver is the largest glandular organ in the body and performs many vital functions, including the ones I mentioned.  It is a vital organ that supports nearly every organ in the body in some facet.  This boils down to the fact that without a healthy liver, a person cannot survive.

In 2010, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease or NAFLD prevalence in the Philippines is 17.2 percent. It is an abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver cells. It can be harmless, but sometimes it may cause the liver to swell. It is a common condition. The risk factors of NAFLD include Diabetes, Obesity, High fat diet, and certain medicines.

“The first line of treatment would depend on what is the cause. If the cause is obesity, definitely weight reduction and exercise should be recommended. Sometimes we will refer them to nutritionists for proper guidance. If he/she has fatty liver, SGPT and the SGOT is high, that’s the time we give hepatotrophic agents for whatever its worth”, said Dr. Jane Ricaforte-Campos, an internist-gastroenterologist.

This September 4 at 6 p.m., join Trianon International in a health forum with guest speaker, Dra. Katherine Arupo-Reyes, an occupational medicine specialist, as we broaden our awareness for NAFLD and liver care.

For more information, visit our website at www.trianon.com.ph

Bistro Remedios' 30 Glorious Years with New Dishes



Before Abe, Fely J's and Lorenzo's Way, there was Ang Bistro sa Remedios.  1984, was it's conception and it has been 30 wonderful years of entertaining locals and foreign tourists alike with good traditional Filipino cuisine.  More known now as Bistro Remedios, together with it's sister restaurant, Cafe Adriatico, they had withstood a lot of changes in the culinary scene.


Together with the above mentioned restaurants and more, they all flourish together under one umbrella company- LJC Group of Companies.  LJC stands for Larry J. Cruz, the father of LJC Group and the man who sought happiness in adventure and delivered passion in all his undertakings.  I never knew him or read of him before I first stepped in Abe's Serendra a long time ago.  I wished I could have met him before he died, six years ago.  

However, after reading the book that was made for him and about how LJC, the company came about, I can attest that this guy deserve all the applaud, the curtsy and the loud cheers partnered with clinking of wine glasses. For he indeed redefined Filipino dining at its best.


Bistro Remedios used to be a house which they had and opened to cater to Manila's hungriest district.  Armed with Kapampangan way of cooking to highlight authentic regional dishes, they have attracted a lot of diners up until now while some of the establishments around it have been lost forgotten. 


This year, as they celebrate 30 glorious years, Bistro Remedios have launched new dishes.  I was glad to be amongst those were able to taste it before they were served to the customers.  

Though I'm a huge fan of LJC, and a regular diner to their restaurants, I must admit that it was my first time to come and try Bistro Remedios.  If you haven't visited them yet, let me give you a sneak peek of how the place looks like.






I love that they have maintained that vintage vibe in their interior, typical of the Spanish villas we had of olden times.


Well-curated paintings and old furnitures still adorn the place, it's just like visiting your grandparents old house in the province but expecting to have a  feast- that feeling!


So this month, prepare for different regional dishes given the Capampangan twist.   You may want to try some of what I have tried...

Paco Fern Salad

Pako also known as fiddle head ferns to the sossy eaters, when fresh, is crisp and crunchy and refreshing  especially in a salad with just tomatoes and salted egg and a drizzling of calamansi vinaigrette.

Sinuteng Baby Pusit

This is not part of the new addition to the menu but this is one of their well-loved dishes.  Squid-lings are sauteed with lots of garlic in olive oil and spiced with siling labuyo.   Probably added a dash a sugar giving it a sweet and spicy taste

Sisig

A Kapampangan feast is incomplete without Sisig, do you agree?  This dish is always the star of the table when having a guest over a dinner here.

Frog Legs

I'm sure you wouldn't have guess it as it is.  Disguised as chicken strips, these Frog legs battered and fried to crisp can beguile any exotic food eaters.  With this way of serving frogs, no one can make excuses not to eat frogs.  Oh, it is crazy yummy, though let me warn you for it the bones are still intact inside.

Camaru

Isn't this dinner getting interesting by the minute?  A sought after dish by those adventurous diners, Camaru (also spelt ‘kamaru’), is stir-fried in very little oil until they are toasted and crispy with some garlic, onions,  tomatoes and chili.  These are plump mole crickets (Gryllotalpa orientalis Burmeister) which are burrowing insects found in soft ground such as rice paddies.  To encourage you to try this, it's actually Ninoy’s favorite dish and have been widely sold on streets of Vietnam and Thailand as street food.
It's not really bad, it somehow resembles eating crunchy peanut but slightly soft in the middle.  For me it's better cooked a little toasted.

Sinigang na Bangus sa Bayabas

I only eat and buy bangus when it's boneless and from Dagupan.  I could not really tell where the Bangus here was from, but it didn't restrict me from not savoring this with its thick soup base made from pureed guavas.  This is also served in Abe and it's the go-to dish that I always recommend others when dining in Abe.

Lechon Kawali sa Gata

Inspired from Bicol's famous dish -Bicol Express, this dish would make a good choice of a viand for kids. My kids have somehow learned appreciating other dishes apart from fried meats, and having a thickened coconut milk sauce on their crunchy fried dish will definitely win them over.  This is not that spicy, it only has that right kick at the end of every bite.  Though expect more rice to be ordered with an order of this.


Pininahang Baboy
Tropical in nature, this pork dish is sweetened with with coconut milk and bits of pineapples.  I used to cook this at home, though I use chicken , instead of pork.  It was a so-so dish for me.

Adobong Hito sa Gata

Another first for me.  I never dared to cook hito or catfish, and never does it come close to my least favorite fish.  But for the adventure of it, I sampled some bites.  After getting a few bites, I never really realized that I was eating hito.  Busy sampling out different dishes, the thought of eating a very fishy kind never crossed my mind.  I like how it was cooked in coconut oil with a touch of Anatto oil (atsuete).


Crispy Tacyang "D Original"

Another sinful dish made its way to each of the tables, though I do have my own excuses not to eat them, I tried them, montheless.  I thought it would leave my mouth oily, but it didn't.  The huge chunks of bony meat were dry and crisp to the fork-bite.  Make sure you dip it in the garlic infused vinegar.  


Kalderetang Kambing

The secret to a good chevon stew (chevon is how an adult goat meat is called) is to remove the nasty taste and smell of the meat.   Grandmas know it but for some remains a unscrupulous.  
Bistro Remedios have learned pretty well.  Though the gamey taste is a little evident, the spicy tomato sauce have somehow elevated the meaty and savory taste, while giving a tender meat to the bite.  A must for every family celebration.


Sinugba Platter

Say, you want to impress someone, here is how you can win it, have a huge tray of perfectly charcoal grilled chicken and tiger prawns serve to your table and see how he or she delights in you and of course with the Sinugba Platter.


Gula Megalang

It was such a hearty meal we had that night, I was almost guilty of ingestic a lot of sinfully good classic dishes I have almost forgotten.  Thank God they also gave us a serving of Gula Megalang.  

It's like the fresh harvest season when all the nutrient packed green leafies were sauteed with diced squash.  So even when my appetite is almost at its end, I can still eat some more without having rice and have this veggies with the crispy meat from the Tadyang and a little more from the Kaldereta.

But I sure did leave room for dessert...


Maja Blanca Remedios

Though it just comes close to my favorite  LJC dessert, Sikreto ni Maria, I was enamored by the richness of this native delicacy.  The maja blanca, which is actually a pudding made from coconut milk solidified with cornstarch, is swimming in a mixture of coconut milk and condensed milk, laced with shredded coconut meat and pinipig.


Pandan Delight

Indeed a delight!  A cake we Filipinos can call our own.  The taste laid heavily on of course, pandan, from the base cake to the velvety frosting.  The frosting however is light and spot on my sugar meter.  I just snug my nose away from very, very sweet cake.


Turon with Langka 

When I'm at home, our house-help supplies us with Turon and Banana Que, which are heavily sugared by the way.  However, their version of Turon is just lovely.  The roll is fried without sugar, but it is served with caramel syrup separately.  So, you can eat it as it is or dip it in the syrup.  Whichever way, I like it.


After much deliberation, the newly added dessert, the Chocnut Cheesecake, proved to be the crowd favorite, I couldn't agree more.  The cheesecake base is rich and dense, a bit sharp on the cheese, which I love and the crushed chocnut on top that pleases everyone, conjuring pleasing childhood memories in every bite.


To that I will end this post on such delicious notes and might I raise my glass for more years to Bistro Remedios!



Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Search for Lucky Chinatown’s The Great Mooncake Bake-Off Year 2 is Now Open



Lucky Chinatown is calling on talented bakers to join The Great Mooncake Bake-Off Year 2, to be held on Sept. 5, 3PM at the Lucky Chinatown Atrium.

Teams of bakers can demonstrate their baking skills to create the most artistic and delicious mooncakes and win round trip domestic plane tickets and up to P20,000!

The contest is open to all Filipino citizens, of any age. To join, contestants can download an application form at www.megaworldlifestylemalls.com or at www.facebook.com/luckychinatown .

Along with the application form, each team member should attach 1 pc. 2x2 ID picture and photocopies of two valid I.D.s like current school I.D., birth certificate, Government I.D. like passport, driver’s license, SSS card or Voter’s I.D. Contestants under 17 are also asked to submit a signed consent form.

Representatives of schools, organizations or associations may submit their application forms to their respective school office, organization or association OIC.

Individuals not representing any organization may submit their forms at the Lucky Chinatown Concierge or mail to the Lucky Chinatown Admin. Office at Reina Regente St., Corner Dela Reina, Binondo, Manila, Philippines. ZIP:1006, addressed to Elizabeth Teng with the subject title:  Submission of application for The Great Mooncake Bake-off Year 2.

The registration period will start on Aug. 16, 2014, 10AM and deadline for submission of application forms are on Sept. 2, 5PM.

The Great Mooncake Bake-Off winners can take home great prizes –
the first prize winner receives round-trip tickets for two to Cebu plus P20,000,
while the second prize winner gets round-trip tickets for two to Puerto Princesa plus P16,000.
The third place winner receives round-trip tickets for two to Tagbilaran, Bohol plus P12,000.

For more information on The Great Mooncake Bake-off Year 2, please call the Lucky Chinatown Concierge at 576-8139 or visit www.megaworldlifestylemalls.com.

***
Per DTI – FTEB SPD Permit No. 2215 Series of 2014. See flyers for more details.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The 2014 Philippine National Barista Championship


Nothing beats a whiff of coffee aroma in the morning right? Or a good conversation of business and/ or matters of the heart over a steamy or cold coffee concoction.   Whether you are a coffee connoisseur or a regular instant coffee dirnker, without it, it can make life less tastier, or even dull and unexciting.

Coffee drinking has become a habit for many, stats are increasing all over the world.  It would explain the growth of coffee shops emerging at every bend of the streets.  With the habit, more and more cappuccino and espresso cups are being emptied, and a great call for more baristas is on the rise, specially as the "third wave" coffee experience is gaining more popularity.  

Luckily, I belong to a country that not only have vast lands growing some of the best coffee beans but also a good pool of well-trained baristas who can whip up a plethora of coffee concoction and delight you with an aforable design on it, without being a show off.

On this note, I'm thrilled to announce the staging of the 2nd Philippine National Barista Championship on October 15 to 17.  This will take place at Resorts World Manila.

Allegro's Beverage Corporation, the country's leading provider of complete beverage solutions have tied its partnership with the Association of Filipino Baristas Inc.  (AFBI).  Allegro being the sole organizer of the event have also announced another partnership with the country's premier integrated lifestyle hub - Resorts World Manila.  

The official statement was made by Allegro's President snd General Manager, (who also is one good-looking guy) Leo H.  De Leon.  RWM have pledged their support to the PNBC competition as the exclussive Platinum Sponsor, and together with Allegro and the people behind the prestigious event, they hoped to encourage and recognize professional achievement in the art and skill of espresso beverage preparation and service.

The announcements were made formal with the presence of some chosen bloggers who enjoyed an afternoon with sumptuous snacks from Maxim Hotel's The Terrace, and of course hand-crafted coffee brought to us by Allegro and Kevin Israel Fortu.  

The World Barista Championship is the most distinguished international coffee competition produced every year by the World Coffee Events (WCE).  It is the culmination of regional and local events around the globe.  This opportunity, made possible by PNBC have paved way for our  Filipino baristas to showcase their coffee making talents.  

It was our first time to join this year's competion and had our flag represented at the 2014 WBC last June 9 to 12 in Rimini, Italy by none other than Kevin Israel Fortu.  Fortu, the reigning Philippine National Barista Champion who competed against 54 National Champions from all over the world, have given our country's coffee industry an excellent exposure.  



To the true aficionados, with the likes of Leo De Leon and Kevin Fortu, making coffee is both an art and a science.

As what we have learned from that afternoon's coffee 101, different beans have different taste profiles, based upon their origin, elevation,  drying and  process methods and how they are roasted.  The same learnings I had at the recently concluded Coffee Creations event sometime last, last week at the Resorts World Manila.

Different brew methods will bring out, different characteristics of the same beans based upon the extraction time, also the flow rate and water temp have to be taken note of as well.  These are the science behind how a perfectly brewed coffee gets in to your cups.

The artful components is in savoring your perfectly made espresso complete with its crema or how your favorite barista delights you with his coffee art of the day.

The texture of the freshly ground quality coffee ( Coffee beans are from Allegro)

Showing tbe crema on Fortu's Espresso drip.  

"A sweet, creamy, balanced extraction produces a thick caramel  colored crema on top of a dark brown body, and this is only achieved through the right flow rate, " as what De Leon told us.


After establishing the perfect espresso, time to move up with cappuccino.  The basic make up of a cappuccino is roughly 1/3 coffee, 1/3 hot milk and 1/3 frothed or foamed milk.  See that white milk froth resembling a Cappuccin monk's white cap?  Yes, that's another history education of the famous coffee drink origin.


Seen on the top photo, is Fortu making a latte art.  




Latte art is worth pursuing for, it's the crowning glory of a good cup of  cafe latte or cappuccino.  It's definitely what art is all about on coffee.  The photo above is a fine example of a typical rosetta design made by Fortu.
All of these and more,  so much more, to expect on the upcoming 2014 Philippine National Barista Championship.

See you there at Resorts World Manila on October 15 to 17, 2014.  

For more information, visit the competition's official website, www.philippinenationalbaristachampionship.com.


















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