Saturday, August 27, 2011

Philippines, Manila: Mesa (Filipino Moderne)

I'm just so proud how Filipino restaurants are developing and catching up with the modern style of the food scene in Manila.  Filipino cuisine is considered unpretentious, simple and no frills.  It's more of comfort food that you can enjoy in your home.  But nothing is impossible for Filipinos :) (i'm proud to be one :D)

Check out some of the Filipino dishes with a twist...

Crispchon - Philippines' table is famous for its lechon - roasted pig.  It's usually eaten alone or with rice with liver sauce (right most).  This concept of adapting how peking duck is being eaten was a pretty good idea.

just like peking duck, lechon's skin shouldn't be missed out.  The skin was juicy and crispy, just how a lechon should be.

ta-dah!  The finished product...we're ready to dig in! :)  They provided 3 sauces: Garlic mayo, Hoisin sauce and the original sauce of lechon.  I still prefer the original.

the remaining crispchon was tossed in garlic.  It was pretty oily and salty.  I suggest to enjoy your crispchon and have it chopped as is.

Sisig Pouch - sisig is usually served on a sizzling plate but hey, why not  put it in a pouch like this!  I'm not fond of pork sisig but i'm sure sisig lovers wouldn't mind this twist.  Check out my previous post of how a normal sisig dish is served and read more about it.

Tinapa roll - We usually eat smoked fish just like fried fish.  This one was shredded, wrapped and deep fried.  It was meaty.  It was a good start up.

Adobong baby squid - adobo is our national cooking way (soy sauce, vinegar with a little bit of sugar and bay leaf).  We use it basically with anything even with veggies (adobong kangkong).  This was my dad's choice.  The squid ink seasoned-like adobo was very tasty and the baby squids' tenderness works well for this type of dish.

A Filipino table is not complete without a good serving of rice.  We're rice eaters.  It's our staple for every meal of the day.  We ordered Bagoong rice.  Bagoong is made of fermented fish and made into paste.  We love eating it with green mangoes and of course with rice.  I love this bowl because it combined both which complemented all the ingredients in it.  It was not too salty and the fish paste was not too overpowering so it was great with the dishes we ordered.

The place behind this modernity of Filipino cuisine is...
the restaurant MESA - which is a Spanish/Filipino word for table.  They have several branches across Metro Manila and their branch in Greenbelt 5 is doing pretty good.  For a bigger group, I suggest to  make reservations to avoid not being accommodated.  The staff were all very attentive and friendly. 

And this time, HT wife enjoyed dining here with HT parents. :) Guess from whom i got the genes of eating and enjoying good food? :)

Price Summary
Appetizers starts from 140 pesos ~ 5 SGD ~ 2.5 euro
 Crispchon (1/6 size with 2 ways of cooking i.e. wrapped and tossed garlic) - 999 ~ 30 SGD ~ 15 euro
Main dishes is about 200 and above ~ 6 SGD ~ 3 euro
Bagoong rice ~ 150 pesos ~ 5 SGD ~ 2.5 euro
*All plates are good for sharing ( 2-3 persons)

Mesa (Filipino Moderne)
Ground floor (outside court)
Greenbelt 5

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Philippines, Manila - Ramen Bar

I grew up having the knowledge of just eating a piping hot bowl of ramen from instant noodle packs.  So when I moved to Singapore, which is still the best food haven country for me in terms of variety, it was not difficult to appreciate a more authentic ramen bowl.

Manileños nowadays, are so lucky as we are catching up in terms of restaurants offering different cuisines and meals with twist.  I was just away for 6 years, and every time I go back home, I can't help but be amazed and how much new restaurants are sprouting here and there.  I wanted to try them all, maybe when I decide to stay for a year. (though HT hubbie might spank me LOL :D)

Ramen Bar had been in the food scene here in Manila for quite sometime.  They have 2 branches: one in Eastwood and one in Piazza in Mckinley Hill which are both not too accessible from where i live. 

As a ramen addict just like HT hubbie, i just have to try this.

Super Chasyu Ramen - my first impression of the bowl was pretty good.  Though i was expecting a more milky and thicker soup, nevertheless, this was not too watery.  The chasyu pieces were abundant and the tamago (egg) was marinated for 10 hours.  The soup was very tasty.  However, it was not served hot. 

and with the abundance of the fatty part of chasyu, the soup gets oily easily that makes it tiring to eat.  They could do better of less fats in chasyu as other countries do.

Though i prefer a thicker noodles (different version), I really enjoyed this noodles.  It's thin, chewy and creamy.  There were a few strands that got stuck together, but just a few loosening up during the cooking can do the works.

If only I had the time to return the bowl to make it hot, I would be very satisfied.  I will let them know so they can improve. 

A super chasyu ramen costs me 380 pesos~10 SGD~5 euro.  You can get a cheaper bowl for 280 pesos.  It's quite affordable. 

Too bad, my tummy was not cooperating that day, that I have to skip the Tempura Ice Cream. :(  Next time, i guess. :)

check out my previous posts in Singapore and Australia for our love of ramen.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Utrecht: Theehuis Rhijnauwen Pannenkoeken

When the weather cooperates during the weekend, "de Nederlanders" including HT couple would take advantage of the sun's big smile.  We decided to shed off a few calories by cycling into the forest.  And this is one of the things I love in my 3rd home...being close to nature. 

It's been awhile since we've done this so we got lost.  It was like unending path.  We just kept on following the light which was visible at the end...and little did we know that our so-called shedding off a few calories activity will help us gain...


We didn't let the opportunity passed by, so we immediately parked our bikes and started walking towards this theehuis (teahouse) at Fort Rhijnauwen.

This pannenkoeken (pancakes) place is pretty popular here in Utrecht.  They don't only occupy the house but if you walk further, you can get tables outdoor.  It was a very busy day, but with the wide area, it's quite easy to secure a place.  Over the weekend, it's popular to families with small kids.  Pancakes and kids...what can be the best combination? 

I love these chill-out chairs when you just want to have a drink and small bite overlooking the river and just letting the time passes by.

And after getting our table, it's eating time...guess what we got? :)
Pancakes of course!  Dutch are proud of their pancakes.  They used their creativeness to make a simple dish into something exquisite.  Both sweet and savory pancakes are available.

I went Dutch-Italian and ordered their Pancake Fortissimo.  This plate was pretty healthy as the pancake was not oily at all.  The generous amount of salad, tomatoes, pastrami and goat cheese with honey made this as full meal.  I love the dressing but it ain't a pancake without the pancake syrup so I used quite a good amount of it (besides, the syrup here in the Netherlands has this natural taste...I can't explain it in words, so you have to try it :D)

HT hubbie's choice was Reus van Rhijnauwen.  I knew that this would be his meal as this is what he likes in his pizza...numerous ham and bacon with cheese and lots of onions. :)  They were very generous with their meat.

I got half of each pancakes and they were both lip-smacking.  It was heavy as well in the tummy. 

Both full and lazy,  it was nice seeing animals around and watching them instead of snoozing into our seats.  These donkeys were not scared from people at all. 

Goats and pigs are on the other side.  HT hubbie gave his hand to the goat and he got a very welcoming lick.

And it's time to hit the forest again and get back to our purpose of shedding calories.  I guess, next time we have to take a long detour as this kind of place is difficult to resist. 

Price Summary
Pancakes vary between 9-15 euro.
Gluten free are available upon request :)

Theehuis Rhijnauwen
Rhijnauwenselaan 16
(they're open 7x a week)