a place in the world

Posts tagged Food

Food / North America / United States

What I Ate: California

As this was a work-related trip, most of the weekdays were spent in the office. I did not get out of my way to dine at specific places, I mostly went with whatever the group felt like eating. A few times I ventured out and grabbed takeout from the places near my hotel.

At Hyatt House, breakfast selection is small but good. I loved the biscuits and gravy; I don’t remember having anything similar that was that good. I also discovered that people like their breakfast eggs with salsa in these parts! I do enjoy a big meal when I’m up extra early in the morning. Needless to say all these calories showed on my trip photos.. I looked huge!
Hyatt House Breakfast
Hyatt House Breakfast

I am so glad we took time to check out Blue Bottle at Mint Plaza. I would go so far and say that it is the best coffee I have had! I still can remember how the latte coursed ever so smoothly down my throat. It was a cup of silky caffeinated goodness. Blue Bottle recently came to Asia– Tokyo, specifically, and I read somewhere that the lines are always crazy long.
Blue Bottle Latte
Blue Bottle Latte

Spending lunch hour at Tortilleria El Molino in Concord.
Taco Salad

Lunch hour, Mackarel / Saba Bento
Saba Bento

I have tried Five Guys Burger, In-N-Out, and Habit Burger and I must say Habit Burger was the best so far.
Five Guys Burger
Five Guys Burger
In n Out Burger

Freebirds Naked Burrito, eaten as two meals
Freebirds Naked Burrito

so many Kombucha choices at Costco!
Kombucha

Korean Yakult
Korean Yakult

beautiful chocolate packaging Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe's Chocolate

Food / Philippines

8-course Degustation at The Goose Station

This meal was courtesy of a Deal Grocer deal: “Sensational 8-Course Degustation Dinner with Foie Gras.” Photos taken with a camera phone!

Foie Gras Cone (Foie Gras Mousse, Port Jelly, Fig Jam, Hazelnut)
Light and delicate, a good start to the meal.

The Goose Station's foie gras cone
Tuna Crudo (Grapefruit, Beet, and Raspberry Vinaigrette, Herbs)
I honestly don’t remember much from this dish.
The Goose Station's tuna crudo

Trio of Bruschette (Chickpea, Salmon, Chicken Liver)
Overall a good dish. I love a good chicken liver bruschetta, I vividly recall the best one I have ever had, from Il Latini in Florence. The Goose Station’s version comes close, I wish this serving was bigger because it’s one of my favorites.
The Goose Station's trio of bruschette

Egg and Sweet Potato (Textures of Sweet Potato, Smoked Bacon, Goat Cheese, Select Produce)
For me, the best dish from this degustation is a slow-cooked egg with lardons and chips. It is beautifully plated, too.
The Goose Station's eggs and sweet potato

Intermezzo (Strawberry Sorbet, Lychee Granita, Strawberry Chip, Balsamic Reduction)
Refreshing.
The Goose Station's sorbet

Scallop and Carrots (Textures of Carrot, Potato Chips, Fennel Froth)
Scallops were well cooked with a nice sear. Carrot brunoise and carrot puree and half of a baby carrot… make no mistake this is indeed a scallops and carrot dish! The carrot flavor to me, did not elevate the scallops– I wonder, why this combination?
The Goose Station's scallop and carrots

Foie Gras Taho (Foie Gras Chawan Mushi with Sherry Reduction and Tapioca)
Had to plug my nose to finish this dish, foie gras tastes very good but not in this preparation. It had a, for a lack of a better word, malansa quality. Not to say it’s fishy, but it had an unpleasant smell and aftertaste.

The Goose Station's foie gras chawan mushi

TGS Burger (Angus Patty, Brioche Bun, Asiago-Raclette, Fries)
Good burger and fries, but it seemed out of place. “The last seven dishes may not be enough for these cheapo deal hunters, let’s throw in a thick burger for good measure!”
The Goose Station's TGS burger

Halo Halo
A nice reinterpretation of the beloved Filipino desert.
The Goose Station's Halo Halo

Overall, a hit and miss. The selling point of this degustation  was the foie gras. It was not the real deal however – they were delivered in a mousse and chawan mushi preparation. The progression didn’t make much sense; this Deal Grocer set felt a bit like a throwaway menu, solely for the purpose of luring diners who normally can’t afford to pay full price. (Oui, c’est moi!) I felt the service was a bit awkward, like we were not really welcome; that would probably be because we did not get a cheerful server.
I think I am bound to have a better meal if I ordered from the regular menu.

The Goose Station
http://thegoosestation.ph/
G/F W Tower 39th Street
Taguig, Philippines
Tel. 632-5569068; 0917-85GOOS

Food / Philippines

The Vegetarian Kitchen

Photos by Ian of firstcomesrock.com

The Vegetarian Kitchen

The Vegetarian Kitchen has been around since 1990 and is considered one of the pioneering vegetarian restaurants in the country. It had closed a few years later, only to reopen in April of 2012. A family of vegetarians, the Soliongcos, run it and are entirely hands-on with everything from the menu planning to the cooking and the restaurant service–a true testament to their passion for food and cooking.

It all started when the family matriarch, Tita Soliongco, was forced to change the way the family ate. After being bored with “conventional” boiled or steamed vegetarian fare, Tita challenged herself and reinvented traditional family recipes to suit the vegetarian palate. It resulted in a repertoire of exciting dishes that were thoughtfully developed for both vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

Reading through the chalkboard menu is such a pleasant surprise. Spareribs, lengua, fish sticks, prawns, caldereta, meatloaf–these dishes are not exactly vegetarian, but vegetable meat alternatives made it possible to recreate home-cooked family favorites with a healthier twist.
The Vegetarian Kitchen's chalkboard menu

If you are craving something with a little spice, order the Vegetarian Shrimp Curry with Yellow Brown Rice & Fresh Mango Slices. It is a recently developed dish and it is still not on the menu, but you might want to try and ask if the kitchen has it available. Each component of the dish makes up a perfect spoonful with the sweetness of the mango balancing the heat of the curry. This will, for sure, be a new bestseller.
The Vegetarian Kitchen's shrimp curry

The Crispy Sesame Fish Sticks (P190) are served in a bowl and rest on a bed of kimchi fried rice with steamed bok choy. The kimchi rice is mildly spiced hence not overpowering, and the bok choy is sprinkled with flavorful nori flakes, which add an interesting crunch.
The Vegetarian Kitchen's fish sticks

If you are in the mood for breakfast food at any time of the day, try the Crispy Vege Danggit with Tofu Tomato Scramble, Camote Tops Salad, & Fried Rice (P220). The vege danggit is light and non-greasy, while the tofu tomato scramble is flavored with turmeric and salt and intends to simulate eggs; it is a vegan meal after all.
The Vegetarian Kitchen's Crispy Vege Danggit

The camote tops salad that came with the vege danggit makes for a tasty side dish.
The Vegetarian Kitchen's camote tops salad

If you are not in the mood for rice meals, we recommend the Couscous Paella with Curried Shrimp Tempura & Eggless Wasabi Mayo (P220). Olives, carrots, beans, and juicy cherry tomatoes are spooned over the couscous, lending a Mediterranean flavor. The curried “shrimp” and all of the vegetable meat alternatives surprisingly taste similar to real animal proteins, and they intend to mimic the texture of real meat.
The Vegetarian Kitchen's couscous paella

The Orange Cheesecake (P140) is a perfect end to a good meal. Creamy and moist with the right amount of citrus flavor, it is not airy as most cheesecakes go.
The Vegetarian Kitchen's orange cheesecake

All of the restaurant’s main dishes are well under P300, and the portions are generous. The Soliongcos continually develop new dishes, and cook through the seasons based on what is affordable and locally available. The menu is also constantly evolving based on customer requests and suggestions. Most of the dishes, in fact, have now been tweaked to suit vegan diets, meaning nothing contains dairy and other animal byproducts.

The Vegetarian Kitchen is a great place not only for those who follow vegetarian diets, but also for people who want to eat better. It definitely opens up a new world of possibilities to healthier eating.

Vibrant vegetarian plates
The Vegetarian Kitchen dishes

The restaurant space is painted in cheery orange-yellow tones, seats about 20 people and can accommodate 8 more in the space outside. TVK can accommodate small private parties as well
The Vegetarian Kitchen

Also published on http://kristn.com

The Vegetarian Kitchen
https://www.facebook.com/TheVegetarianKitchen
62B Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City
Open Tuesdays to Saturdays: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Food / Philippines

Instagram Photos Roundup

Mostly food pictures from the past months, taken with my cameraphone.

House-made pulled pork sandwich with pickled onions, BBQ sauce, dill pickle at ‘Cue Modern Barbecue (Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig)
I expected a tangy barbecue flavor from the pulled pork but was a bit disappointed that it tasted quite like Southern-style chili without the heat; it was sour. Not bad but I really did expect a ranch-barbecue flavor. The sweet potato fries are really good.
Cue's pulled pork sandwich

Roast beef and chicken spinach lasagna at Mom and Tina’s Bakery Cafe (Katipunan, QC)
My past dining experiences at Mom and Tina’s Makati left much to be desired, but gladly this was a good meal. Roast beef looked dry, though.
Mom & Tina's

Mom & Tina's lasagna

Garlic Tapa Overload and salmon dish with wild rice at Mr. Jones (Greenbelt 5, Makati)
Always love the tapa at this place. Red / wild rice is supposed to be good for you, but it’s rather hard to wash down.
Mr. Jones garlic tapa overload

Mr. Jones salmon

French deli sandwich at Kuppa (Fort Global City, Taguig)
I never had a sandwich with melted cheese sauce, and this one is not bad at all. The potato wedges were tasty and were seasoned well. After going on a food tour a few weeks back I realise that I have new-found respect for local growers / roasters, establishments buying fair trade, and generally I ought to start supporting the smaller shops and less of the bigwig money-making empires. Kuppa is originally from Bacolod and they roast their own coffee beans in the store.
Kuppa deli sandwich

I am one of those people who can eat the same food everyday and not get tired even after a while. I used to eat tuna sandwiches everyday. At work I have McDonald’s cheeseburgers on a semi-daily basis. That being said, I can eat mango sticky rice and/or pad thai everyday. Too bad it’s not as accessible and affordable in Manila. These are from food shops at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.
mango sticky rice!

pad thai

T fed me a pack of Indomie instant migoreng while I was over at their place and I liked it a lot I decided to bring several packs home, only to find out they are also locally available, at SM (P95 for a pack of 5, or P20 for one). The Amazon reviews are funny. “The crack of the ramen world. How can something this cheap be so bloody good. It’s ramen, so it’s as healthy as styrofoam. But oh it is so worth it.”
Indomie mee goreng topped with a fried egg!

Roasted chicken and cereal prawns at Wee Nam Kee (Ayala Triangle Gardens)
This is probably the last proper dinner I had with family, at a time my loved one was still well enough to go out. I cannot even begin to say how this year and the last have been so tough. Hoping & praying for more happy family dinners, despite everything.
Wee Nam Kee roast chicken

Wee Nam Kee cereal prawns

Food / France

Crêperie St.Michel

After visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Shakespeare & Co. bookshop, we walked around the Latin Quarter to get something to eat. We planned on getting home early today, back to our rented room at the 13th arrondisement, as we are hauling our luggage and switching accommodations to the 1st arrondisement. After a few minutes of walking, we luckily stumbled upon this little crêperie.

Grouchy-looking monsieur making our crêpe
Creperie Saint-Michel

I love a savory crêpe. Ham & cheese for me (jambon et fromage?). Look at how much cheese is in there!
Creperie Saint-Michele
Creperie Saint-Michele - cheese and ham crepe

Banana-nutella for A.
banana-Nutella crepe at Creperie Saint-Michele

Went up the second level where there are seats. Quite possible the best one I ever had. Do not ever underestimate street food and hole-in-the-wall joints. At about 5 euros, really so good and filling enough for dinner.
Creperie Saint-Michele

The Greek eatery from across the street– I just found it amusing that the ‘apprentice’ looks so very Chinese, and he reminds me of characters from the Lao Fu Tzi comics I used to ‘read’ when I was younger.
Greek restaurant in Paris

Crêperie St. Michel
Rue de la Huchette
(Quartier Latin)
Paris 75005

Food / France

Plat du Jour at Le Relais, 13th Arr.

I have a long list of things I wanted to write about, but I’ve been awfully busy lately. I wish I can say ‘awfully busy’ in a good way, like work, but unfortunately it isn’t the case. Anyhow– this– like everything bad and good, shall pass.

A short post on A & I’s meal before we headed out to visit Notre Dame.

When in Paris, you may choose to order the restaurant’s daily specials (plat du jour), it’s a better value compared to the a la carte menu. Some restaurants even offer multiple-course specials.

La langue, beef tongue in tomato-based sauce.
Le Relais plat du jour

A’s crusted salmon dish.
Le Relais plat du jour

Le Relais
79 bd Vincent Auriol 75013
near the Chevaleret metro
Paris, France

Food / Philippines

Lolo Dad’s

Lolo Dad’s has always been on my ‘someday’ list, until the opportunity presented itself by way of a Deal Grocer offer. The deal wasn’t really a steal to begin with, 38% off for a thousand pesos worth of food– and this strictly applies to one diner; meaning you can’t use two vouchers for one person. While a thousand pesos (US$ 23) barely covers the cost of an entrée, I’m still glad to have finally tried this restaurant, it is one of the best in the country after all, and it definitely did not disappoint.

I was looking forward to trying the menu dégustation to sample the specials of the season, however, they didn’t offer a tasting menu that evening.

Freshly-baked dinner rolls with herbed butter, served hot and are very tasty
Lolo Dad's

Ahi tuna loin and marinated salmon, grilled watermelon with soy vinaigrette and aioli (P264, modest portion)
Lolo Dad's ahi tuna
There was a certain flavor in the salmon that was quite off-putting, and the vinaigrette in the salad is too sharp for my taste. Loved the ahi tuna and the grilled watermelon, with the brown sauce that quite tasted like rendered beef fat. I actually finished those components last, as what I usually do– I eat the best ones last. 😛

Not my dish, but had a taste. The crab salad and the soft-shell crab were very good– but the flavors aren’t out of the ordinary. Soft-shell crab fritter on Gribiche sauce with Dungeness crab, mango, and cucumber (P378, modest portion)Lolo dad's soft shell crab

refreshing lemon sorbet in a clay pot served on a bed of dry ice
Lolo Dad's sorbet

Herbs de Provence crusted rack of lamb, 3-cheese risotto (Roquefort, Gruyere, Parmesan), forty melted garlic and tomato confit (P1,525, regular portion)
Lolo Dad's rack of lamb

I usually don’t like lamb because of the aftertaste, but I’m glad I picked this dish. The lamb was PERFECTLY COOKED. I have learned by now that meat shouldn’t be ordered well-done, and chefs would usually scoff at those who ask for their food to be cooked this way. This was a medium– with no traces of blood, juicy and tender (except at the bone). The herbs de Provence was subtle and not overpowering. The 3-cheese risotto is to die for. The roquefort, I reckon, is the tastiest and added the most depth to the dish.

another angle, with the forty-melted garlic
Lolo Dad's rack of lamb

pan-fried fillet of seabass with blue crab potatoes and smoked salmon filled mushrooms in oyster cream sauce (P1,320, regular portion)
Lolo Dad's Chilean seabass
Now I know why seabass is very pricey. Aside from not being locally available, it literally melts in your mouth when you cook it perfectly. I didn’t believe it until I tried. The flavors are fairly simple– fried fish seasoned with rock salt; and still it was very good. The creamy potatoes are generously drizzled with truffle oil.

dark chocolate and almond layered cake with quenelle of white chocolate mousseline and vanilla almond ice cream (P290, regular portion)
Lolo Dad's dessert
Truth be told, I love savory stuff more than sweets. My favorite part is the mousseline and the fresh berries.

Lucky to have ordered the bestseller entrées, without even having to ask for recommendations from the waitstaff. That being said, I wish I have ordered different starters instead. The dessert isn’t that great, but it’s not bad either.

Service is attentive and unintimidating. I dislike pushy waiters telling you to order more than you should, e.g. wine. The staff at Lolo Dad’s are nothing like that, and I’m glad they aren’t the snotty types either. The place is great for cosy, intimate dinners, and I would be glad to go back again to celebrate special occasions.

More of my Philippines someday list:
The Goose Station
Antonio’s Garden Tagaytay

Lolo Dad’s Cafe
http://www.lolodadscafe.com
899 Pres. Qurino Ave. cor. Leon Guinto St.,
Malate, Manila
Phone: (632)5242295
Mondays: 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Tuesdays to Saturdays: 11:00am – 2:00pm; 6:30pm to 10:30pm
Sundays Closed

Food / Philippines

Whimsical Café Noriter

I now have a somewhat decent camera phone and it has made me take more pictures in the past month or so 🙂 My trusty point and shoot has long given up on me, and for obvious reasons I don’t really carry around my (crop) SLR everyday.

Noriter means playground in Korean, and this cosy themed café indeed has a playful, whimsical feel.
Cafe Noriter
Cafe Noriter

The decor & details are delightful.
Cafe Noriter
Cafe Noriter
Cafe Noriter
Cafe Noriter

Café Noriter serves the usual hot and iced coffee-based beverages, blended drinks, and smoothies. The savory food selection limited to waffles, toast, and sandwiches. They also have ice cream and halo halo.
I really don’t have a sweet tooth (at least I’d like to think so) and I’m glad I ordered the honey bread (Php 120), it’s not too sweet and done just right. Would definitely order this again. Iced café latte, Php 100.
Cafe Noriter
Andrea’s meal
Cafe Noriter French Toast

Café Noriter
Facebook
2nd Flr. Reyes Bldg,
Estrada St. cor. Taft Ave., Malate, Philippines
Mon-Fri: 10:00am – 10:00pm; Sat: 11:00am – 8:00pm
cafenoriter@gmail.com
Phone: (632) 489-5223

Food / Kazakhstan

Countries Without McDonald’s

Countries without McDonald's

McDonald’s is my personal benchmark of a ‘familiar’ place, as opposed to a strange one; it’s hard to imagine a place in the world where something as globalized as McDonald’s still has not penetrated the local economy. It has become a default eating place especially when we are too tired to look for better (cheaper) options. I’ve eaten at McDonald’s Barcelona, Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris, (gasp) Versailles, Bratislava…

I once found myself in Kazakhstan– ninth largest country in the world, yet there was not a McDonald’s outlet in sight. There was, however, a McD’s ripoff called McBurger in downtown Almaty– serving pizzas, burgers (they taste like Burger Machine burgers!), kebabs.
Mc Burger

I also discovered that there is a KFC outlet in a mall far from where I lived– and strangely, it was rebranded as Rostik’s (Ростик’с). I realize that this is what they call the KFC stores in some Russian-speaking states (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, etc). Suffice to say, after being deprived of good ol’ fast food for weeks, I was so happy to have found it in a remote strip mall.

Rostik's in Kazakhstan

Food / France

Café du Marché, Paris

In between getting cheap fastfood from (gasp) Chez MacDo, Quick Burger or Monop, we would have proper meals from time to time. It would have been such a pity to spend nine days in Paris eating burgers, fries and supermarket baguettes. Café du Marché proved to be one of the more memorable restaurants with good food and service. The prices aren’t too bad, too.
Cafe Du Marche

If we had the budget, we would have wined and dined at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Guy Savoy, or any Michelin-starred restaurant for that matter, but unless I inherit copious amounts of money or win the lottery, that would have to remain in my food bucket list- which, if I may add, is growing everyday. (PER SE, French Laundry, The Fat Duck, WD-50, Babbo, Momofoku, Ler Bernardin, Daniel, Buddakan, Topolobampo… obviously I watch a lot of Top Chef.)

It was 2pm and after seeing an overwhelming number of Van Goghs, Degases, Renoirs, Gauguins at Musée d’Orsay, we were starving. The le midi menu prices still apply. The food is 0,50€ more expensive at dinner (le soir), even more so on weekends and holidays. (photo by Angela, click to enlarge)

My dish- confit de canard, or duck leg cooked in its own fat, with pommes sautees and salade verte. God knows how much cholesterol and fat is in this thing, but I love a good duck confit and Café du Marché does it well. 10€.
Cafe du Marche's confit du canard
Angela’s steak- entrecote grillee, pommes frites et salade verte. 12€.
Cafe du Marche's entrecote grillee

Dessert! My riz au lait (rice pudding) 5,50€ and Angela’s pommes caramelisees (flambeed / caramelized apples) 5,50€. They say rice pudding is old people food, because it’s soft and mushy, but I love it anyway. I want to try and make this however I don’t think vanilla beans are easy to find around here, but I did see vacuum-packed ones at the gift shop at Sonya’s Garden.
Cafe du Marche's riz au lait
Cafe du Marche pommes caramelisees

Most restaurants in Paris offer free water from carafes.
Cafe du Marche

Café du Marché
38 Rue Cler
75007 Paris, France
Metro: École Militaire