Friday, December 20, 2013

Breakfast for Dinner at Luna Coffee

How many times do I have to tell you
Even when you’re crying you’re beautiful too
The world is beating you down, I’m around through every mood
You’re my downfall, you’re my muse
My worst distraction, my rhythm and blues
I can’t stop singing, it’s ringing, in my head for you

My head’s under water
But I’m breathing fine
You’re crazy and I’m out of my mind

'Cause all of me
Loves all of you

Excerpts from John Legend's song All of Me.

These words echoes in my head over and over since last night.  Yesterday almost ended in frustration as we drove past the traffic to enjoy a redeeming dinner sans the budget.  I heard All of Me for the first time yesterday afternoon before I asked hubby to have dinner out.  It's been quite a while since we last went out, just the two of us and I was not so sure whether he'd give in to one of my whims again, since we spent quite a lot last Sunday when we brought the kids to Greenhills over lunch, movie and dinner.   Will tell you more about how my kids loved lunching out at Flapjacks on my following posts.

This song would be Bhogs' perfect song for me.  I'm assuming he hasn't heard this and if he does I'm sure he'd dedicate this to me, hahaha.  Honestly, for years we have been having issues, like any other normal marriages, and I'm always the one in doubt.  Appeasing ourselves with routine bondings, through cafe and restaurant wanderings and planned tours.

When I did ask him, he said yes in all smiles.  I've been waiting for him to ask me, well it has been months that we never really cruised around and try out a new non-chained coffee shop, as we would always love to do, which catapulted this website to Google crawls. 

However, it was dinner, a heavy one we were after so I wanted to take him to El Chupacabra, a dive bar serving authentic Mexican dishes near Makati Ave.  But the not-so-well-thought-out-plan was a fail, El Chupacabra is full at 8 pm and a long line of customers waiting to be served have already booked their slot plus we can not find a decent parking space.

I guess Makati Ave., Jupiter foodie spot is not for us at this season so without giving much thought we drove to  BGC.  And the first on my list was Luna Specialty Coffee, which is located at NAC Tower just along 32nd Ave of The Fort, Taguig.

Another problem we dealt with was parking.  We did find one after driving around for minutes realizing that it's already 9 pm.  Upon checking IG, Luna closes at 9 pm, but we still gave it a go.

Luna Coffee is located at the rear side of NAC.  You can either access it through the facade of the building and going to the far right or get to the right side of the building and walk towards the rear end, just don't mind walking at gravel stones.

They are still in soft-opening, with a 15 weeks of operation only, but you will hardly notice so, only if they don't have the "We're on soft opening" sign  on every spot.  The staff were so attentive and obliging. 

There is something about the vintage charm of the interior, it's simplicity outshines plush restaurants but speaks boldly of what they offer.  According to Ms. Jepay, Luna's General Manager, the cafe is inspired by Vigan heritage streets with its brick walls and endearing culinary.   Luna came from (probably) the Luna brothers - Juan Luna or Manuel Luna- who hailed from Ilocos Norte.  Both heroic and artists, they are known for their artworks.  Juan Luna is the one who made the Spolarium, btw.   What is so attractive also is that it's away from the crowded beaneries, making it a great space for intimate get-togethers and informal business meetings.

So, what do they offer?
Luna is a community cafe furnishing all-day breakfast menu, specialty coffee and unusually insane desserts. They intend to dish up traditional viands usually savored in the morning.  However, in the case of Filipino diners, breakfast foods can be partaken in any time of the day, I don't even mind eating dried fish with perfectly scrambled eggs at lunch.

For dinner, here are what Bhogs and I had.

Too bad I had coffee before we left the house, but of course, we can not go to a coffee shop without getting a shot of their brew.  Unless I intended to be hyped up till the next dawn, I could have gotten Candyccino, a cold coffee concoction with White Rabbit (candy) and Flat Tops (milk chocolate).  I got Bhogs, a hot cup of Luna Brew, a Brazil blend of beans, hand-dripped, also known as drip-brewing in more serious coffee gourmands' terms.  It is a method of pouring temp controlled water over freshly ground coffee beans.  The coffee drips from a paper filter onto a cup leaving the coffee grounds at the filter, making the brew mild, less acidic but still is bold enough to put a jolt in your drink.

They get their coffee blends from Philippine Coffee Board imparting how they give importance to marketing of local coffee products.  Most of their blends are Arabica which usually are sourced from the country's coffee capital, Amadeo, Cavite.

Apart from this, they too would want to support other local businesses, by outsourcing some of the specialty treats they offer their diners.  Such new addition to their menu are the Bibingka and Puto Bumbong, where in they allow their terrace to be used for preparing Bibingka and Puto Bumbong traditionally.  They start serving it at 4pm to 9pm.

Bhogs had a serving of Angus Pares (P 330).  I did mention that they throw spotlight on traditional preparation of usual viands but putting a moderne twist to it.   You see, one of  Bhog's favorite dish, Pares have been given a make-over by using Angus beef instead of the usual beef brisket and fats.  For dishes as such, I always rely on his expertise, and according to him, they nailed the true taste of the best Pares he had tried.  The idea of topping the Angus beef over Japanese Jasmine steamed rice and dressing it partially with it's thick soup, and a bowl of more soup on the side, is a good concept.  Providing the diverse foodies of their preference, whether they want more soup or have it just the way it is served on the plate.

My ambitious hard boiled egg is another fancied delight.  How can anyone imagine a hard boiled egg served coated with sour Adobo sauce?  I remember cooking Adobo with boiled quail eggs, but not having it with a regular sized egg.  However, we did bump in to this eatery in Carmona, Laguna - Binalot, where the Adobo Rice is served with sliced boiled eggs and ripe tomatoes.  This is just a side dish named Egg Adobo, but equally good with plain rice...

On my next visit, I will definitely try their flat pan de sal stuffed with different classic Pinoy fillings.  Another foodies need to look out for are their pies in cups.
These are personal sized cups filled with famous pies given twerks with additional ingredients.  On the photo, from left to right (counter-clockwise), Pecan Pili Pie, Apple Singkamas, Pumpkin Kalabasa, Key Calamansi Pie.

On jars are pie crusts made into balls, Labuyo Quezo de Bola and Muscovado Cinnamon.

Looking for totally wicked sweet ending or a pair for your coffee?  Let me suggest their Kakanin Shots.  On top are shots of Leche Flan Yema and the others are Inutak Ube Pandan.  These miniscule luscious desserts are more than enough to satiate your sweet-toothed cravings.

If you think having yema, leche flan and sponge cake can be utterly sinful, think again.  Giving in to your sweet cravings won't make you so guilty of piling up some sugar in your diet.  Served in shots, this layer of Filipino favorite sugary and milky sampling of yema, sponge cake, and leche flan, is the lesser-evil.  Hehehe. Also, made less sweet, you can manage to have a second helping.

All is well and will be for long between me and Bhogs just as there will be moments like these and food as such to keep us company, and though I make him nuts with who I am and how I can be demanding at times.

And to Luna, we'll be back!

Luna Specialty Coffee

Address:   G/F NAC Tower, 32nd St
                  Fort Bonifacio, Taguig

Monday, December 16, 2013

Savor: A Decade of F&B World Connections and Good Eats

As the year 2013 marked F & B World magazine's 10 year of forgathering the food service industry, they have presented Savor.  It ends the year with the most flavorful gathering, bringing foodies, restaurateurs, hoteliers, writers and bloggers at one venue, Glorietta Activity Center, Palm Drive.

With a decade on their cap F&B World, Northern Living and Southern Living co-presented the launching of  Hinge Inquirer Publication's newest book -EATS 2014:  Your Ultimate Handy Guide to Your Next Gastronomic Adventure last December 9, 2013.

F & B World is the only trade publication for the food and beverage industry that bridges its readers to the ins and outs of the food service field from the past years.

The seeming growth of food and beverage, hospitality and other recreational services have triggered a large need for resource-based materials that convey timely trends and fearless forecast that always remain true. And much of these have been from the works of a roster of individuals who have made F & B today.  From the likes of Adolf Aran, Jr., Vic Alcuaz, Rommel Geodias, Reggie Aspiras and Paul Antione Genuino, topics about hotel services, food safety, dining, etc, have well been discussed in their respective columns.

The event was also made possible by Avida, Great Food Soultions, Universal Motors Corp. (Nissan), Unilever Food Solutions, Nestle Professional, in cooperation with DLSU-Dasmarinas, Philippine Coffee Board, Sun Business, Puratos, Belcolade, Agico, Brotzeit, Burger Avenue, Cafe 205,  Geisha, Myons French Mediterranean Cuisine and J. Cuppacakes, Ayala Malls, PDI,, and National Bookstore.

Will tell you more about EATS 2014, when I get to review and write about it,  so keep coming back.  All I can say for now, is that it's the ideal gift you can give any foodie!  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Flavors on Fire Embraces BergHOFF

Philip Abadicio caught fire while Chef Michelle, assisted him how to flambe
When we talk of flavors, it is not confined within the mere sensory functions demonstrated by the tongue in the forms of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami.  There is so much to learn about the true aspect of food and being in the know in the culinary scene.  Often times we tend to mismatch the term taste and flavor.   Flavor  is the combined perception of food using all information received from all five of our senses 
which relies heavily on the sense of smell and taste.  However, this blog would not focus on these terms just yet but to give you the essence of what flavor is, let me introduce Chef Michelle Adrillana, who have actually caught it with her own fire.  

Yesterday, I joined fellow food-lovers at Bergoff showroom, in Rada St., Makati City.  We were all fairly introduced to this lovely Chef who seemed to rock the demo kitchen with grace, expertise and of course with fire.  Hosting the night and aiding her in the kitchen as they strut with ease cooking Capellini Prawns in Brandy Cream Sauce is Philip Abadicio of PTV 5's Philip, The Lifestyle Guy.  

Chef Michelle Adrillana

She is the mom-preneur behind Flavors on Fire Catering Services, who strongly believes that lipstick and fire can match too, debunking the talk that the kitchen is only for men.  Flavors on Fire flourishes on International cuisines prepared according the clienteles liking.  For two years now, Flavors on fire have been dishing out sumptuous spread without breaking the customers budget.  Chef Michelle begun her business all by herself with food orders including cupcakes after being schooled from several culinary institutes and a few trainings abroad.  Her catering business took the plunge not long after family and friends had convinced her so.  Thus the birth of Flavors on Fire (Catering Services) on the.16th of October, 2010.  

Bergoff Philippines 

Bergoff is a Scandinavian product founded by the Vanthoor Family in 1964 in Belgium.   They manufacture and sell top of the line cook wares and is known by their innovative designs that is future-proof, meaning it is compatible with all the known cooking procedures such us gas stove, halogen, vitro-ceramic stove and the most safe and efficient way, induction stoves.
They had just launched the Fundamental Kitchen Line which aims to direct the sales to the A-class markets.  
With science and modern advancements, they were able to design cookwares with these features:

CroMoTanium:  Shortened from Cromium, Molybdenum, and Titanium, an exclusive patented technology developed by Bergoff.   The combination makes the pots and pans, durable, lustrous, beautiful and more efficient by cooking food up to 30 % faster than other brands.  This also makes the products corrosion-free and food acid-resistant, so it is more healthy and safe.

I.M.H.S. : Stands for Internal Mirrored Heat Shield.  This allows even and faster cooking and also cleans up easily.

Accuthermo-Compact Bottom:  An exclusive, highly durable, specially designed base produced using 1,200-ton press.  With the Copper-core Smart Chip addition, it enables the cookware to have unparalleled heat conductivity making the food cook easier and faster.

Also, according to Mr. Neil N. Sagun, another characteristic that their product has is that it's healthier because it doesn't contain nickel, which is good for  those with nickel sensitivities or allergies.  Know also that it is most toxic in its gaseous form, so when you cook with it and anyone who may have inhaled it, might in some way acquire cancer like sinuses, throat and lung cancer, etc.

However, I still find this to be a very good kitchen investment, especially if your business in in to cooking or catering.  Below are just some of the products they carry and sell at their showroom in Rada St.

However if you are like me, who doesn't have that ability to acquire such kitchen treasures, they have announced that they will be launching soon their Earthchef product line.  That is energy-sufficient, earth-friendly and might be more acquirable by moms like me.

Eat Your Heart Out

Aside from the cooking demo by Chef Michelle and Philip, they also have pitched a one of kind foodie event which will happen on February 16, 2014 at the Rockwell Tent.  The event is a partnership between Flavors on Fire and Tree House Productions.   The food and lifestyle event is entitled Eat Your Heart Out.  Activities such as cooking demos by renowned chefs, culinary competitions on stage, short business talks, career talks and will be graced by celebrities as well.

It's a Sunday event, so they expect the whole family and barkada to come barging in, not setting aside kids' fun-times.   The kids will enjoy presentations and story time with Kindermusik by Teacher Mitch Enriquez, Learning Library, Make Believe, and other surprise giveaways.  How can a fair be more exciting without freebies, there will also be raffle draws and special prizes from our sponsors such as Calayan Surgicentre Corp, BergHOFF Philippines, & Gastro Chef Philippines, and more.  To sum it all up, it is a fun-filled day with the abundance of food, friends, fun, freebies, and fellow lovers of the good life.  So better mark your 2014 calendar now.  Also, do visit this site often for more updates from the said event and Bergoff's new kitchen line.

Also, do visit Philip's new website,, to get rundowns in lifestyle, food, travel destinations and clips from his TV show- Philip, The Lifestyle Guy.

Here are some snap-shots from the last event at Bergoff Kitchen:

The bloggers looking on as Chef Michelle begins her cooking demo, also  is the usage of some of the Bergoff cookwares.
With Joy Mendiola of  the blog site Occasions of Joy trying out how to flambe using local liquor.

Above are the part of the dinner prepared for the guests.

The finished product of Chef's demo - Capellini Prawns in Brandy Cream Sauce with lovely-styled plating.

Chef Michelle teaching blogger Barbie (Buhay Kuneho) how to plate the Capellini.

With the bloggers who made it through heavy traffic to see what Berghoff can offer.

BergHOFF Philippines

Address: G/F Frabella 1, 109 Rada St., Legazpi Village Makati City
Contact details:  (02) 817 7999
Facebook: BergHoff Philippines

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Treston International College's Christmas Bazaar for a Cause

Still having a hard time finding gifts for that all-eventful Christmas party?  If you are around Bonifacio Global Center, Taguig get to visit a bazaar this weekend and find that gift for your Monito or Monita while helping the Yolanda victims at the same time.

Treston International College is inviting everyone to the upcoming bazaar this December 13 (Friday) from 8 AM – 6 PM and 14 (Saturday) 8 AM – 6 PM entitled “Christmas Bazaar for a Cause” at Treston International College’s Lobby.   It is an open-house bazaar that aims to generate funds for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. 
In line with this, we’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to this event and at the same time, try what our sister company, Mrs. Fields, has to offer.

Expect fun activities for the whole family with a bazaar to host a number of entrepreneurs, cooking demos, and grab that memorable bonding or just a pleasant "selfie" from the photo booth.

Treston International College

Address: University Parkway District, 32nd Street corner C-5 Road, Bonifacio Global City 1632
Phone:0917 554 0349

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Bread-lover's Felicity at Harina Artisan Bakery Cafe

According to this vintage book, A Book for a Cook (1905) from Pillsbury Company, "Good bread is the great need in poor homes and oftentimes the best appreciated luxury in the homes of the very rich." 
Though man does not really live on bread alone, for we thrive in steaks, mixed veggies and a host of cuisines, bread is still a staple food to many countries, which practically compete with rice here in Manila.  
If you ask me, whether it's rice or bread?  I would not dare choose, for breads can truly be partnered with different dry or saucy kind of dishes and also soups, but I can't really say it would go well with Sinigang (Meat with Sour Soup) or Bulalo (Beef Shank Soup), would it?

Since we are talking of bread and how it had nourished the rich and the poor alike, it is just so apt to share the experience I had, which I practically devoured the most number of bread in one sitting.  But mind you, it wasn't customary morning bread I had -such as Pan de Sal, the different kinds of breads I tried fall under the food criteria -artisan, or should I rather describe it as a break from my prosaic bread-eating habit.

Harina Artisan Bakery Cafe is the place where you can enjoy revel in an assortment of breads, including the breadsticks and Spanish bread which Monsee's had been widely known for.  The Monsee's Cafe in White Plains, Quezon City had made Harina it's retail arm.

If you were to be invited to a seat-down brunch with the following food, painstakingly and passionately prepared for you, what would your reply be?  Let me show you what I had first at Harina, then let me know your answer.

On every table, a container full of bread-sticks will welcome you and await you, together with two glasses, one that has hot chocolate syrup in it and the other has cream cheese, both are dippings for the bread sticks.

Monday, December 9, 2013

When Bloggers and Brands Converge

Marketing through blogs have become a major strategy for emerging and successful business alike. Businesses around the world are increasingly leveraging the power of blogging to enhance their online presence. Let me just point out a few benefits of having bloggers spread the word about a certain business.

First,  the inherent informality of such blogs written in the bloggers own words allows a creative freedom to express without the constraint of a corporate tone and messaging style.  Giving the blog readers a sense of truthfulness and trust-worthiness.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Real People in Barbie™ Musical Happens this December

I have yet to see a girl who does not want to own a Barbie.  Every girl dreams of plying with one, one that they own.  All my three girls grew up with not only one or two, but a collection of different Barbie dolls. Each have a different identity or characteristics, but all fall under one distinct image, all of which are designed to show that women can take on a variety of roles in life.

My girls like any Barbie-owners look up to Barbie as a perfect image, and unmatched values.   Aside from playing with their dolls, they get to be familiarized with other Mattel dolls through movies.   Seeing the dolls in action gave them a different perspective of the dolls.  It gives them an idea of how a girl should be defined by being caring, sincere, respectful, courteous and how to be a true princess.