Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ola Cova Tapas y Sangria

I was going to meet with a long-time-no-see girl friend who works in Makati. Scrolling through my mental list of restaurants, I found that there's no where else to go but to Cova Tapas y Sangria. Excited!!!

Going in the restaurant, we found ourselves feeling how Jonah from the Bible must've felt. The restaurant is quirky-ly designed like the inside of a whale's mouth. Inspired, really!

To start the meal, we enjoyed some sangria or wine. This is to loosen our tongues for a major secret-spilling session! 

Sangria: Cova Red Sangria + White Wine Sangria Php447/500ml or Php895/1L

It's quite hard to talk when the tummies are grumbling, it was therefore a major plus that the service was fast. Our food started arriving soon enough.

The tortilla de verduras wasn't what I expected it to be. Instead of the mexican tortilla, we got something like a pastry. It largely reminds me of my sister's yummy chicken ala king for some reason. Checking the menu, it said: tomato, cilantro, potato, capsicum, caramelized onion, brave sauce. Hm. It never is good to be assuming. -_- Anyways, this dish was good, though nothing spectacular.

Tortilla de Verduras Php160

Our next dish was A LOT BETTER. They did say it's their bestseller. It doesn't hurt that it arrived looking like the yummiest tower. We had no idea how to attack when the waiter offered to mix it for us. 

I really didn't want to eat much of this since it's fried egg and shoestring potatoes, things I'm not much fond of. But I couldn't help but eating one spoonful after another. I swear, it's just really fatty good! 

Huevos Cabreados Php299
Since we weren't big eaters, we opted to order pica-pica dishes. Again, we ordered the best-sellers. I always put much faith on the best-sellers on the menu since I feel you can judge a restaurant by these dishes they claim to be their best. So we had pintxo de queso frito. It looked so adorable I wasn't sure I wanted to break it and so I just popped the whole thing in, never mind losing poise. :D It's a mouthful of gruyère cheezy goodness!

Pintxo de Queso Frito Php180/tapa (2 pcs) Php360/racion (4pcs)

Another best seller we tried is the ravioli de rabo de toro. It's crunchy on the outside...

Ravioli de Rabo de Toro Php240/tapa Php480/racion

and very meaty on the inside! YUMMY!

This is surely a great place to party late nights but it's also a good place to just unwind with a friend while enjoying yummy food and tasty wines early evenings. :)

22 Jupiter St.,
Bel-Air, Makati
(02) 478-9700

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Playing the Game of Thrones in Casa Marcos

I love to read and most often than not, I live for hours or days at a time in the world of the book I'm reading. This can get bad especially when I'm rereading the whole Harry Potter series and I find myself willing an object to lift itself and into my hand. Hahaha. Seriously. 

I'm currently reading Dance with Dragons, the fifth book of the Game of Thrones. I am therefore craving for some horse meat. (If anyone can help me with this, it would be greatly appreciated. :D Well, I had to make do with what's available and so I ate what they usually ate during those times aside from horse meat. (as if that time ever existed!) 

I found what I'm looking for here in Casa Marcos.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Da.U.De took me to U.K.

Finding, I was totally gobsmacked I could hardly hold on to my knickers. Teeheehee. I love everything English, therefore I love tea. (Or it might be me being Chinese?!) 

Well, whatever the reason, I love, love, love TEA! I would hazard to say that I love tea more than my dishy bloke. (Kidding... maybe... :p) 

I drink tea through out the day, everyday. I get chuffed when I get to buy new tea stuff, like when I got some white silver tip tea from India which is totally RARE

(Okay, stopping the British slang right here. It's making my nose bleed.)

 Here's the latest tea trend in Manila:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

BBQ Republic opens to public

Typical Chinese, specially the elders, are generally very OC. It's very hard to impress them or even for them not to find anything to criticize.

Well, I suggest you bring them in this newly opened place and see what they have to say. (Of course, non-Chinese should drop by too!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Park Avenue Desserts: the Deli

I have confessed my addiction to PAD's French macarons, now I must share my love for their meals.

Park Avenue Desserts includes no full-blown restaurant. Instead, aside from their yummylicious cakes and pastries, they offer pastas, salads, and sandwiches.

The menu is quite simple, written on gold-gilded blackboards. Just reading makes my mouth water.

Here are what I couldn't resist to indulge in one Sunday afternoon.

Mushroom Tarragon with Truffle Oil Php350

Who can turn their tongue back from the temptation of truffle oil? I read truffle oil and I go, "ooooooooohhhh... Truffle oil! I want! I want!"

I swear, it's just the x factor of this dish. Add the fresh mushrooms and very light cheese plus al dente pasta... I can't imagine a pasta dish as simple and good as this could be surpassed.

Truffled Egg Salad Sandwich Php250

As I said earlier, truffle is simply the magic word. So instead of ordering a dish for myself.. I got two dishes. (Of course, I shared this with a good friend I was with! I'm quite generous in sharing the calories and fat. :D)

Truffled egg salad sandwich is just your typical egg sandwich. Only, it's infinitely better. The only sad thing here is how filling the eggs are, rendering me unable to eat more. :(

*The camote chips it comes with sealed the deal! It's perfectly salty and pepper-y. It's crispy. It's also healthy. What other chips would you want???

Tuna Salad Sandwich Php200

Just like the first two dishes and possibly everything they offer, they make this tuna salad sandwich just like your own homemade snack. Only, yeah, you got it: they make it a lot better! (Of course, I'm assuming everyone's like me, an un-whiz in the kitchen. :p) 

We were two tiny girls eating a very big late lunch. These are what we ate. No wonder the lone guy from the next table remarked, "You girls sure are hungry!" *sheepish smile*

Can't fault us, we were offered incredibly good comfort food. :)

Park Avenue Desserts
7 G/F MegaCenter, Paseo de Magallanes Commercial Center,
Magallanes Village, Makati

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Choco Flakes & Milk Flakes from Baguio

When in Baguio, (or anywhere for that matter) there is only one snack I couldn't ever refuse:

Mikasan's MILK FLAKES!

I don't like chocolate so I always either get the mixed (to share with my sisters) or the purely milk flakes container.

I know that it's just cornflakes plus milk... It's like eating cereals on the go! Still, there's just something about the way they make it that it's just sooo yummy! 

I think this is simply the top pasalubong to buy from Baguio. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Peanut Brittle Version 1 & 2 from Baguio

When a friend goes to Baguio, I try and refrain from asking for some pasalubong goodies. This is despite the fact that I do have relatives there whom we ask to send us some yummy snacks from time to time. 

There are truly a lot of delicious small eats to be enjoyed from Baguio. One of the top will surely be the peanut brittle.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Going Vegetarian in Corner Tree Cafe

I have tried going vegetarian for a while but failed spectacularly. I'm sure most meat-lovers could relate. 

I was able to munch on leafy salads during the weekdays but then come weekend... Uh-oh

If only I could just always eat in good vegetarian restaurants like the Corner Tree Cafe.

My best friend Ewe made it there early, good thing. It turned out to be a cozy and extremely busy restaurant full with reservations. The turn over of people are quite fast too.

So, I'll share our very delicious all-veggie meal.

Corner Tree Starter Plate Php210
The Corner Tree starter plate claims to have an Egyptian origin. We were able to choose between dipping our bread & sticks into white bean hummus or extra virgin olive oil and/or a yummy blend of nuts, seeds, and spices. This blend was what set this dish apart. It was just YUMMM!

*note to self: must line-up Egypt in the near future travel plans.*

Next up...

Vegetable Dumplings Php150
The vegetable dumplings were good but it's of the less thrilling dishes. Maybe because I didn't realize it was supposed to be dipped in a sauce. -_- You can absolutely see how thin the wrapper was so the filling really dominated each bite.

Spinach Feta Coquettes
THIS dish was fantastic! I didn't like the spinach feta croquettes at first but then I mistakenly lavishly put what I thought was salsa and got a really spicy bite instead! The spinach & feta combo was complemented rightly by organic red rice and minty yogurt sauce. Btw, the salsa look-alike turned out to be harissa which is a Tunisian hot chilli sauce. (I just had to learn the name of the culprit that burned my tongue!) I think this was the best dish we had.

The appetizers did not disappoint. Nor will the main dishes:

North African Vegetable Stew Php315
Whoever said that vegetarian food couldn't be tasty must have a spoonful of this (well, of every dish actually.) North African vegetable stew. It just kicks with so much flavor! It was surely helped by the Moroccan spices the menu promised. It definitely helps that it's served with our favorite couscous!

By this time, I have already realized why this fine restaurant won several Asia Tattler Dining awards and why it got included in THE Miele Guide.

Koftas in Tomato Sauce Php275

Moving on, my cauliflower & cabbage balls pretending to be meatballs was definitely another hit. Of course they tasted like no beef. They were still the best vegetarian "meatballs" I ever had. I would definitely recommend Koftas in Tomato Sauce to future diners!

Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna Php390

There's no lasagna that I love more than my sister's. She just makes it so ltasty with generous white and red sauce between layers of lasagna. This Spinach & mushroom lasagna comes a very close second though. I love that they didn't make it too thick but with just two tiers of lavish fillings. 
Baked Tofu Walnut Burger Php310
Lastly, I don't like burgers. I found that I love the vegetarian version though. It doesn't taste beefy at all (which is positive for me!). It didn't taste like tofu as well. It just tasted like something VERY YUMMY, perhaps it's the touch of walnut but I'm not entirely sure. I liked this baked tofu walnut burger very much, surprisingly. 

As far as dinner was concerned, we were all truly satisfied. We shall be back no doubt! :) 

*This might just be what I need so I can go vegetarian for longer periods of time.*

Corner Tree Cafe
150 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air, Makati City, Metro Manila
Tel: +63 2 897-0295
Cell: +63 906 558-6177

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Calamay from Bohol & Kulangot from Baguio

I've been craving for some Calamay a while back when my best friend coincidentally gave me some from Bohol from her trip.


I've been eating Calamay but never really knew what it's made of so I checked the internet. Apparently it's a yummy mixture of sticky rice, sugar, coconut milk and vanilla and (for this specific one) peanut!  

It comes in a smooth shell of coconut with a distinctive red tape around the middle. 

Inside, the calamay has a very sticky texture but it's still best to be eaten with bare hands. It's just more fun that way. :D

Calamay's not sweet-to-the-death but it's sweet still. People with diabetes should definitely stir clear!

So the calamay I showed you came from Bohol while this next one was given by my cousin from Baguio. This is the calamay I grew up eating! It simply reminds me of happy Baguio vacations with family.

The packaging is a lot more complicated, and a lot smaller.

Lookie! See how little calamay (without peanuts!) each shell contains? Then you have to use your finger to scoop it out. This is why calamay is also fondly called kulangot or booger. Is that cool or icky? 

I love the Baguio version better if only because it reminds me of my childhood. :D Or maybe it's that things in smaller portions seems to be more enjoyable, add in the challenge of spooning it out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vargas Kitchen's Brazo de Mercedez = Heaven

There is no hunger in heaven. This is a widely accepted truth. Otherwise would mean that there would still be suffering up there in cloud 9. Then, it's no paradise at all. 

People take this to mean that there's no food beyond the skies. Hm. THAT CANNOT BE!!! Please NOOO!!! So, I have another take on this. There's no hunger in heaven because there's GOOD food in abundance. This leads me to think, and hope, that there in far, far away nirvana, souls can eat as much as they want without having to worry about weight nor health! That's a good non-life, don't you agree?

There's this one dessert that I truly wish I could find in heaven (assuming I do end up there!). Meet Vargas Kitchen's frozen brazo de mercedes!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Ribs Hub: Rub

My friends and I were talking about how the Timog area had momentarily "died" only to be revived by hole-in-the-wall diners unique in this location.

One of the "hole-in-the-walls" is this: RUB.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Macarons Madness 3: Park Avenue Desserts

This is where I found THE hidden treasure

After Bizu (sorry Bizu!), I got turned off from French macarons which I found bland, dry, boring and not to mention overpriced. 

But as I went through Park Avenue, the bright happy colors seduced me once more to try them out and I never regretted it. 

First I'll show you the area around the "X" on my map: 

The dining area is not big by any means. What I love about this is I could easily crane my neck and "usioso" the other table's food. HEHEHE. :D

The counter is filled with so many goodies on display that one could get dizzy looking, not knowing which to pant after first. Everything looks simply mouth-watering, I felt I was running out of saliva. 

Zooming in:

There's my treasure!!! 

This is what I brought home:

I'm sorry, I just had to take so many pictures! My camera just loved those bright colors which beats gold anytime. :)

Here's my last shot:

No wonder it's super good! The filling just oozes out of the sides. Small coins of goodness fallen out of heaven these macarons are, I swear!

Another time, I was just killing time I chose to indulge in some creme brulee (yum! yum!) and home-blended iced tea. I wish I could always pass sunday afternoons like this.

I told you there are so many goodies! Here are more:

Can you blame me if I failed to stick with my diet upon finding this treasure trove? I felt like Ariel singing, "Look at this stuff! Isn't it neat?..." 

Park Avenue Desserts
7 G/F MegaCenter, Paseo de Magallanes Commercial Center,
Magallanes Village, Makati

Macarons Madness 2: Alchemy

I'm far from done when it comes to French Macarons.

Done right, it's the next frozen yogurt or milk tea! Sadly, there's too many available in that obviously way too commercialized recipes. The result? Dry and un-yummy macarons. Boo!!!

Find the real goody macarons in the homemade magic of Alchemy. It truly is a baking magic!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Macarons Madness Part 1 Chez Karine

There is one thing we could not deny we inherited from our mother. 

That's our eternal cravings for specific foods which could go on for weeks and  which could be frustrating at times. We sisters are currently craving for macarons after a friend had given my atsi a box of LINDT MACARONS (!!!) from Australia. Boo that I didn't get any! (The risk of sleeping too early. :()

I don't know about you but until now it's quite hard to find good macarons in this country. Bummer.

No wonder Chef Karen Yang (THE daughter of THE Geroge Yang!) felt she needed to go to France just to study the art of baking French macarons. (Please, I love exaggerations. Humor me! :D)

Thank goodness she's come back with beautifully presented presents of French macarons just in time for our madness!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Finally, Bungy!

At the age of 25, I needed to mark it with a milestone.

I found it in Macau Tower!

See those bindings on my legs? You know what that means...

As my motto explains, "courage is not the absence of fear!" I have lots of courage! Because honestly, I love a lot of fear inside me!

Right before this, a girl came to me and asked me something. I didn't understand her, I thought she was speaking in Japanese. But after 10 seconds I realized she spoke to me in Mandarin, asking if I was going to jump. This is one proof that I wasn't thinking right with fear! (I later on spoke to her and apologized after some fear has subsided.)

My last smile!
Here goes nothing... 


I'd share the video when I can, blogspot wouldn't accept it at the moment.

I got to say, it helped a lot that the attendants were Filipinos so I was able to ask whatever I had to reassure me that I'd be safe and alive. They were very sympathetic as well, and encouraging. Thank you Kuyas! :D

Well, this is the highest Bungy in the world at 233 meters. 

If this isn't a milestone, I don't know what is. But really, I'm not sure why I pay to scare myself out of my wits. :)


Macau Tower