Monday, November 28, 2011

In Oblivion at Classic Confessions

If you are a  bazaar-goer, like me, you might have seen, or known Classic Confessions.   
A typical bazaar-goer on a typical  day after an event, but definitely not a typical partner for my coffee. 
In one of the food bazaar that I went to last summer, I came to know about this pastry shop.   I was able to grab hold of their leaflet and since then, I've been dying to have a taste of Nono's Chocolate Oblivion.   Why is that?
What made it so intriguing was that it was awarded by Food Magazine as one of Manila's Top Ten Desserts, just didn't tell when it made to the roster. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

An Auspicious Feast to Usher in the Year of the Water Dragon at Manila Hotel

Manila  Hotel  Press Release:

In keeping with tradition, Manila Hotel is welcoming the year of the water dragon with a grand festivity for luck and prosperity. Dragon dances, fireworks, and a special consultation by international Feng Shui expert Marites Allen will mark the Chinese New Year Celebration at the Manila Hotel.

On January 22-23, 2012, the Manila Hotel Tent City is opening its doors for a Grand Chinese New Year Bazaar featuring different stores selling lucky charms, house decorations, delectable Chinese delicacies, and other great buys for the start of the year. 

Feastive Season at Marriott Hotel Manila

Press Release from Marriott Hotel Manila:

Let’s Celebrate!

This Christmas, nothing can be more festive than spending a feast filled with joy, events, and gourmet foods for the table. Look no further; celebrate the holiday in high spirits as Marriott Manila makes the yuletide a heartwarming tradition for the whole family.
As this season also calls for the best time to schedule reunions, Marriott Café makes brunch  buffet extra meaningful, featuring a spread that is bound to satisfy the most discerning foodies. On December 14, 11, and 18 indulge the whole family for only P2150 net per head from appetizer to dessert with free-flowing iced tea, soda, and sparkling wine. Send feel good shivers to the taste buds as the selections are not only bountiful, think: rib eye steak, fresh prawns, laksa, grilled fish, Mongolian rice, blissful dessert choices, plus unlimited Western and Asian sections. On December 25, don’t miss Santa Claus as he lands his sleigh at 12NN and let the kids feel the joy of having a rare opportunity to meet and greet this beloved Christmas personality. Aside from this, there’s also a kids’ corner where movies, games, glimmer tattoo, magic tricks, and other interactive games which will make them jump for joy. And if the family is in for a truly memorable taste of luxury, reserve at Marriott Café for a Christmas Eve buffet dinner where the budget is always worth stretching for. In the mood for a ritzy noche buena meal? Try Cru Steakhouse’s 4-course set dinner at P4, 500 net per head. Considered a house specialty when it comes to thick and meaty steaks, it also features inventive entrees and side dishes nestled in an ambience conducive for intimate conversations

Festive Flavors

The Christmas gift list must have been drawn up by now; and what could be more appealing than surprising a special someone with holiday’s most sinfully good treats. Visit Java+ and take a look at the endless gift options from cookies, breads, cakes, and pralines. For a limited time only, tis’ the season with some of

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November Kulinarya Entry: Arroz Caldo

Truly hopeful that this is still valid for this month's round-up.   Interestingly, as always, whenever the theme was announced, ideas pop everywhere.   I've actually made up a list and have started to plan how to make this post not only relevant but also informative.   
I said to my self, this is going to be an easy one so maybe I can go to a certain restaurant to do  a simple write up highlighting  nonetheless,  the Arroz Caldo.   First thing that came to mind was Chowking.   Come to think of it, I never did any review on a Chinese restaurant or congee even.   But to my dismay the plan was not made into reality.    My parents came for  a visit from Milan, Italy.   I was going to draft the recipe first-hand and have it ready for the group post date.   But it was our trip to Baguio, to make the whole thing worst I left the laptop at home and my Papa's Ipad was intentionally left at home.   I also run out of time to prepare the dish itse
So, here I am posting my recipe of Arroz Caldo without anything to say about it.    I made a few sightings on some of our co-Kulinaryans and I think they've said it all.   I will give the round-at the bottom for everyone resource on this very easy to do and undeniably comforting food.
I made my recipe as though I cooked  Tinolang Manok (Chicken in Ginger Broth), but had the garlic and ginger removed after sauteing them, leaving the spice and the essence of the garlic and ginger.   I don't want my kids scavenging for them while they are eating it, or if they've eaten it they would usually spit it out.   Nasty sight in the table.
Instead of regular cooking oil, I used EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)  as what I usually use in my Tinola whenever there is someone down with colds and sniffles.    Oh, it's also the first time I put saffron shreds on a dish.   SO SOSYAL!  (Evoking posh on the dish)  So here is my pimped up version of Arroz Caldo.

The SOSYAL na Arroz Caldo (Serves only 4)
4 pieces chicken drumsticks
1/2 cup of rice (Dinurado)
2 TBSP olive oil (extra-virgin or any oil)
3 big cloves of garlic ( peeled and pounded only)
4 TBSP of sliced ginger
1/2 cup of leeks, sliced diagonally
spring onions
1 tsp of saffron (kasubha)
slices of salted egg for garnishing

Here is how to do it:
1.  Saute ginger and garlic in EVOO.   Once they are brown, removed them.
2.  Saute the drumsticks.   Lightly brown the skin.
3.  Put it the rice (unwashed).  Slightly cook it in the oil, stirring rapidly to avoid the rice sticking in the pot.
4.  Pour 3 cups of water.  Wait for it to boil, then lower the fire.  Stirring occasionally.
5.  Once the rice is cooked put the onions and leeks.
6.  Season with salt and pepper.
7.  Achieving a thick consistency and the rice overcooked is how I like it, but at this stage you may turn off the stove and add the saffron shreds.
8. Prepare to garnish.
9.  On the bowl finish by topping with sliced salted eggs and spring onions.
There you have it!
Now time for me to blog-hop at the Kulinarya grou pages.

As promised here is the list made by Dudut of  My Twisted Recipes
Margarita- Arroz Caldo with Crispy Adobo Flakes
Rowena-  Arroz Caldo 
Tina -  "Arroz TapLog" - Beef and Egg Arroz Caldo for KCC Challenge 
Joy -  Kulinarya November 
Cherrie - Kulinarya Cooking Club November 2011: Arroz Caldo
Althea - Goto (Filipino Beef Congee)

Adora - Chicken Arroz Caldo
Oggi - Arroz Caldo 
Isabel - Arroz Caldo (Chicken Lugaw)
Maribel - Kulinarya Challenge - Arroz Caldo
Louie - Arroz Caldo Seco

Ray - Chicken Arroz Caldo – Another Filipino Classic Dish 
Felix - Arroz Caldo (Filipino Chicken Congee)
Malou - Destination: Orlando
Dudut – Arroz Caldo with Goto

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rockwell's Presents Perfect Bazaar

Join FOOD Magazine's upcoming event in partnership with Rockwell! PRESENTS PERFECT BAZAAR will be on NOVEMBER 26-27 at the ROCKWELL TENT -- an all-food Christmas Bazaar like no other!
 Just present your November or December issue at the entrance to get 2 entrance passes for the weekend. 
See you there!

To get in touch with EDITORIAL, please call (632) 415-2272 local 4645 or email

Julie's Bakeshop and World Food Program Joined Hands to Alleviate Philippine Hunger

It was such a blessing to know that there are people who make efforts of reaching out to the less fortunate, especially those who hunger.    It is just right to give commence to the people or organization due it.   I bet one in every three Philippine residents know Julie's Bakeshop.   Who wouldn't have, in Manila alone you could probably find one in every district,    Behind all the heavy-laden, breads and pastries, is a passion, a Christ-like mission to feed hungry children, help schools with certain needs and give out income-generating opportunities.   I didn't know that I have been part of that mission by simply enjoying their crinkles, local bread types and sliced bread.   Have I known, I would have our morning "pan de sal" bought here every day instead of buying from Pan de Manila.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cab Cafe

Indeed, this was a jem I discovered, right at the foodie strip in Kapitolyo, Pasig.   Pictures have been sitting for centuries in my draft list, I'm sure every blogger has one or two or more awaiting to be lifted into the blogging world.   Forgive me I couldn't even remember when I visited the place.   All I can recall is that the cozy place sure served up to be undeniably upstanding.   May not compete with the nearby resto-grill Charlie's Grind and Grill, one of the restaurants much raved about since food blogging heightened but the comfort I gained sure gave me a reason to write about and share the experience.
And oh how can a chocolate cake-lover like me forget about this dreamy dessert.   With so much love adorning this small velvety heaven of a cake I couldn't help but be a "pasalubong-sucker",  yep, you could consider me  a very loving mom, always on  a look-out for knock-'em-out goodies for kids and hubby.  Though I was so tempted with this, I opted not ruining the sleek design of it, instead I enjoyed fork-bites with my kids.   They loved how the dark-chocolate played with the brownie-like layer, with the mousse cake and the moist chocolate cake, amplified by the dark-chocolate, covering, that's all so awesome you would cry.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bohol and Waffle

It's our second morning in Tagbilaran, Bohol Tropics Hotel to be distinct.   I had a very nice early sleep on my comfy bed.   Such a bummer, I had the extremely painful headache just right after my tita's wedding, we went to our room after we I had a light dinner at the reception, at the same hotel.

To give you an inspiring and imaginative thought on how the reception was,  as what every wedding ought to be, it was extravagant, but something the wedding celebrants and their families and guest would truly treasure.   The simple yet antiquated dining hall, though not so spacious, was back-grounded by the sea, where lights from boats give the luster.   Typically humid even at night, you would want to move closer to the balloustered edge of what seems to be a floating hall, and bask in the light, cool breeze of Panglao ocean as the black wide-open sky is spotted with sparkling stars.

I feasted on a plate of glorious "Lechon De Leche" and five more dishes on our table.   Nothing fancy but the Lechon got to be the knocker, I'm not quite a meat-eater, I'd rather gorge on salad, chopsuey or similar veggie dishes than have a meat and sauce type of dish.  But who could resist this amazing tendered pork goodness.

Going back to our breakfast, it was indeed one of the best that I had.  Why? First, not only my kids were with me but also my parents who visited from Milan, Italy and they treated us with days of hotel stay and countryside tour in Bohol.

And ahhh, the American breakfast, I have been dreaming about and now still lingered on my mind.  Not about the crispy and well-cured bacon or even the perfectly cooked sunny-side eggs,  but it's about the best-tasting waffle ever and waking up in Bohol to delight in it's grandeur and gastronomy.

Of course, no sane man could say breakfast is equally substantial without  cup of cofffee, and Bohol has one of the finest blend of coffee.  My Lola even told us  story of them having toasted rice grains with a bit of ground coffee from beans available in their town market, which in Antiquera happens every Sunday.  By the way, Aniquera is well-known for their basketry and handicrafts made with indigenous raw materials such as, rattan, palm leaves and nipa.

Here are other choices for the complimentary breakfast.  One has the option between an American or Filipino  type of breakfast.   Aside from coffee and juice, fruit slices in season are also included.   The big plate is  a very hefty serving of rice or bread, meat viands,and eggs.   Ooops, two fried eggs for the ala carte customer.

The picture above has tocino that's also good.

Another hearty plate for one of my daughter, with french bread and extra fluffy fried eggs.
After this we are now off to conquer the tourists' spots of Bohol in one day.    I'll be having the excursion details at my other blog, for the mean time enjoy these few pictures that we have.

From the Blood Compact Site - depicting the 1565 Sandugo between Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, the chieftain of Bohol.

Baclayon Church, second oldest stone church in the Philippines which was constructed in 1595 by the Jesuit priests.

25-foot python supposedly to be the world’s largest python in captivity in Bohol, found in Alburquerque Zoo.

Fall spot in the Loboc River

20-m long hanging bridge made out of bamboo, along Sevilla, near the Loboc River.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Shangri La Hotel Caters to Seagate Event

Felt health-conscious with my Appertivo (appetizer), salad, cold cuts, cheese slices and hors d'oeuvres, made up a color pallete of a plate at the Kamia Rooms for the Seagate Go Flex event.
Edsa Shangri-La, Manila is the Philippines’ foremost deluxe city-resort convention hotel.  It offers 632 well-appointed guest rooms and suites, extensive food and beverage choices.   Home of  top of the line dining venues such as HEAT, Paparazzi, Summer Place and Sanju.  I'd love to have a try in at least one of these.  
The Dessert.........wahhh.....

My heartfelt and tummy-felt gratitude to PR partners from Strategic Edge, Inc.  
Seagate Technology, the world leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, has  introduced  to the Philippine market its newest and most innovative mobile wireless solution to date, from the FreeAgent GoFlex storage family, the GoFlex Satellite.
I loved the buffet!  Why didn't I take pictures of the entree... Dang!...
Teh Ban Seng,  Senior VP/Managing Director Sales and Marketing of Seagate Asia Pacific and Japan, introduced the latest innovation in data/ file storage.  More on that at my other blog.  However I still have yet to post the link on that event and techie matters will define the post.

Edsa Shangri La's High Notes:

The hotel is located in Ortigas Center, one of Manila’s flourishing commercial districts. It is within walking distance of two major shopping malls, and a short ride to other shopping, business and entertainment centers.
With its lush garden landscape, a free-form pool, a luxurious spa and wellness facilties, extensive range of restaurants and lounges, and superb ballrooms and meeting rooms, the hotel is a favorite among corporate bookers, events and convention organizers, businessmen seeking to rejuvenate after a long day of meetings, families, leisure travellers, wellness devotees and food enthusiasts.
632 guest rooms and suites in 2 wings: the cosmopolitan Tower Wing and the exclusive tropical Garden Wing. All offer memorable views and exude contemporary décor with Asian accents.
For those who want a higher standard of accommodation, more enhanced level of service and a host of special privileges and amenities may opt for the Horizon Club, located at Levels 12 to 14 of the hotel's Garden Wing.
With its central location, a wide range of meeting facilities and warm Shangri-La hospitality from the heart, the hotel is a popular meeting and socials venue and a home away from home in Manila.

Edsa Shangri La Hotel Address:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bo's Coffee for Night Owls at Bohol

After bumming along the beach of Panglao Island, we took time to ride the tricycle and look for a decent cafe to get coffee.   It was only 8 in the evening and the town seems sleepy already, though a few restaurants outside and a few meters away from Bohol Tropics.   Kids waited at our villa, we went and  excused ourselves from their tv viewing, to get snacks specifically for our Dana who we taught might get "hypo."

What I love about the city is the people, for their courteousness, chivalry and generosity.  Their "Ija-Ija" or Bol-anon language doesn't deviate their values from their lifestyle.

We were told this won the Best Pasalubong from the 2000 competition
We decided to walk for a kilometer or less, to look for a grocer or store, we found a 24-hour grocer who sells "pasalubong" and Bohol's native delicacies, but to my dismay no coffee.   It started to drizzle but we took heart to look for a coffee shop.  A few meters more and we were at the Sun Avenue Pension.  Earlier I was able to eye on  coffee nook, so I was quite exuberant that I could have  coffee shop review from this town.  But alas, the coffee shop was closed.

Sheets of soft drizzle form the sky started pouring but we decided to brave it, but then we took tricycle instead asked the driver to take us somewhere there is an open coffee shop, guess where he took us...

At the town proper of Tagbilaran is where Dunkin Donuts Cafe and Bo's Coffee emerged.  On this distressed table our beloved coffee concoctions sat.  Bhogs thought I'll be having the usual hot cup, but this time I was in the mood for a new splash.   He had Latte Cappuccino and  mine was Coffee Jelly Froccino.

This was truly a sweet ending to a day that was eventful yet a bit frustrating.   Imagine, we went to Bohol to have my daughter Danielle get early morning medication for asthma and flu.  Served  as a lesson for travellers with kids, or wthout, bring first-aid kits for cuts, headaches, allergies, etc.   But pharmacies and clinics are around and people are always ready to give a hand.

While enjoying our coffee we checked out their weekly gazette, the Bohol  Chronicle, and read that Bohol has lots to offer.   Read also about Kriztea Cafe,  newly opened tea and coffee shop where they feature organic and Bohol's pride in healthy juice and tea mixes.

Gone are the massive stone-walls that provided protection during the era of pirates and insurrectos, walls that witnessed the blood and tears of our ancestors who were subjected to forced labor! But… the new walls brought in more light & fresher air, and paved the way for additional wings to accommodate a fast-growing congregation. The number of parishioners in early times is a far cry from the burgeoning populace of the present.

The Cathedral of Saint Joseph the Worker, the main seat of the Catholic faith in Bohol, sprawls on a wide area facing Carlos P. Garcia Avenue, the principal street of Tagbilaran City. Located in the central part of the city, the church has a picturesque setting. In front of it is the City plaza, famed for its flocks of doves and a haven for those who yearn to be alone to meditate, or to rest and relax, or to enjoy a tete-a-tete.

Across the street from the plaza looms the massive, imposing provincial capitol, a stone-built edifice that has been the seat of Bohol’s civil government since Spanish times. At the back of the Cathedral, built on a promontory is a 3-storey rectory, a modern initiative of parish priest Msgr. Cirilo Darunday, sitting astride the old convento which has long been converted into a Palacio de Obispado. Both old and new convents stand on a cliff overlooking Tagbilaran’s scenic bay, where across a shallow sea of about a mile wide, can be seen nestled beneath the hills of the town of Dauis, the beautiful , famed church of Our Lady of the Assumption, whose church bells can be heard across the sea on quiet days.

Adjacent and right across the plaza is the Spanish-styled building of the Municipality of Tagbilaran.

A glimpse to a day that was...

Bohol Beach Club

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bohol's Cafe Atanacio

Usually, when I return from a trip, or even on an event, I can’t wait to write about it, but this time, I somehow seem to be terribly behind…..Our Bohol trip was so awe-inspiring, and I won't allow for this to take  a month  to complete our Bohol travelogues…
Don't get confused,  you're on food blog alright, in fact my travelogue starts at a hotel's cafe.  After the brouhaha with Cebu Pacific's flight issues, we made sure that though our visit to my father's homeland though short, it had to be worth all the effort,  as it always was with our past vacations here.
Every time I come here there is always something new, to explore, to delve in to and to taste.  We Filipinos could never get used to our own cuisine.   Specially if we deliberately grew up with it.   After  grueling flight early in the morning, I know we are in for a treat.   My parents came Friday from Milan, Italy, Saturday was our flight to Bohol which got cancelled, Sunday was my aunt's wedding and we however made it just in time for the preparations for the said wedding.  The good thing was that the ceremony at the Antiquera church was at 2 pm we came by 10 at Bohol Tropics Hotel in  Tagbilaran.     Tired, hungry yet excited I had my two girls try on their gowns, for they were flower girls.   And guess what my Dana's gown was way too big for her and my Danica's was  bit skin-tight.  The entourage was being made up, but the eight of us still needed to take showers and hurried up for the 30-minute travel from Tagbilaran to Antiquera.   
Enough with the qualms, this is now my chance to once again check out the authentic Bohol's take on the Visayan cuisine, if there is such a thing.  First stop is the hotel's restaurant, Cafe Atanacio.   

The gorgeous landscape of the whole hotel led to this massive parlour-like appeal to Cafe Atanacio.  The structure seemed to be floating on air from the facade and if you step further,  a pristine view of the the sea with boats and ships in harmony with the cool air and the sun's rays.   The next best thing to enjoying the whole captivating view was to savor their culinary.
To begin with...
Mushroom soup, not something Bol-anons would boast about though,
How about this one, Sinigang na Sugpo?
Hoping I'm getting your attention...
This heavenly Chopsuey will sure to keep you come back here.  Fresh veggies, sliced squids, and meats, dredged with mushroom sauce, I tell you nothing like it here in Manila, hhhmmm, let's see...(does this mean I m now trying more Chopsuey variations here in the metro?)  
What they are really known for, Sinugbang Talakitok.  This is what my parents have been craving for since the thought of Phlippines exhausted their minds hours before their flight here in Manila.  Yes,  they are now happy, to have once again meet with this lovely entree.  
They were actually tempted to order more dishes on the menu, but time holds us for the wedding, and we said we needed to have our tummies ready for the feast we will be partaking at the reception which the hotel will also be catering.  
Next blog will still be about gastronomic partakings from our Bohol trip so do check it out soon.  
How's that for a Food Trip Friday!