A friend learned that I dined at Apartment 1B of The Henry Hotel and suspected that the food must have been no good that is why I did not write or post about it in this blog. But since now that I am writing about it, it only means that I indeed enjoyed the food that they served us.
The selfish in me actually wanted the restaurant of The Henry Hotel to be a secret, but since friends learned that I dined there with Nengkoy and family, might as well spill the sumptuous beans!
I have nothing bad to say about the warm service, the appealing food and the relaxing ambiance. The food at Henry Hotel actually was a big positive surprise! I never expected it to be so good. Their well-presented dishes were amazingly fine and delicious.
I have nothing but alluring and charming praises for the food served at Apartment 1B. I will surely be back!
I can no longer count the number of times that I have posted in this blog that my favorite course in an entire meal would be the dessert. The confectionery course has always been my main course!
When I was in Bangkok with my mom and sisters, we of course got to try Thai dishes. I have always revered how uniquely sensual and remarkably palatable Thai dishes are. But still, it is a simple dessert among all the striking Thai dishes that really makes my modest and artless taste buds happy.
I love Khaoniao Mamuang. Don’t be fooled by how the words were spelled and how should it be read. The best Thai dessert for me is simply known as Mango Sticky Rice!
I adore this dessert for it is uncomplicated, simple and straightforward! No lavish implements are needed for its presentation; no rare, pricey and uncommon ingredient is need; no knotty and confusing procedures are required for its preparation; and, no intricate and confusing way of eating and enjoying it. Yet the taste is so heavenly!
It was my fifth time in Bangkok about a week ago. I may have failed to revisit some the beautiful and spectacular tourist spots of the city, but I never failed to eat, savor and enjoy the divine and blissful Khaoniao Mamuang!
One epicurean highlight of me, my sisters’ and my mother’s adventure in Bangkok was the opportunity to dine at Jamie’s Italian. It is a popular worldwide chain of Italian restaurants conceived and run by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Thanks to cable TV my family knows who Jamie Oliver is.
This chain of restaurants has recently been in the news in which about a dozen of its branches scattered around the world are reportedly beleaguered and will soon be closing. It is so ironic that it has yet to open a branch in Manila, yet branches in other spots on the planet are already closing.
So before Jamie’s Italian would completely dissolve and utterly disappear from the face of earth, me, Nengkoy and my sisters took the chance to savor some of its dishes. My family love watching cable TV cooking shows (including that of Jamie Oliver’s) and now that there is an opportunity, we will no longer forever wonder how a popular celebrity chef’s creation actually taste like.
These are what we ordered…
And after enjoying all these savory dishes, I wonder why a significant number of Jamie’s Italian branches around the planet are in the brink of closure. Maybe it’s because taste buds of people around the world has mutated, regressed and had a relapse that it can no longer fathom, appreciate and recognize what good food is.
Good to know that the Bangkok branch stays strong and dynamic. This is considering the fact that Thai people seem to be one of the most discriminating in terms of flavor, taste and palatal experience. With the luscious taste and flavors we experienced at Jamie’s Italian Bangkok located at Siam Discovery, I hope that this chain remain for a long period of time for others with discerning taste to enjoy.
Every time a member of my family finishes his or her studies – may it be elementary, high school or college – the graduation dinner treat for him or her is always held at the old, not so expensive and not so savory Filipino restaurant in Malate, Manila (which I refuse to name). It has always been the tradition that Nengkoy got to insist that the celebration be held in that restaurant may you graduated with summa cum laude honors or you finished at the bottom of your class’ ranking.
But for the Master’s Degree graduation of my nephew Luis, I got to choose the restaurant! Nengkoy allowed that it be held someplace else maybe it is because the graduation is not just an ordinary bachelor’s degree but something higher, more advanced and more difficult to obtain.
I chose China Blue. Having previously enjoyed the savory food I this authentic Cantonese Restaurant located inside Conrad Hotel, Manila, I knew that Nengkoy and the members of my family in that dinner would truly enjoy some sumptuous treat!
And since I arrive early in the restaurant, took the liberty of ordering the dishes for our group. And when everyone arrived and each dish was being brought in into our room, I asked my family not to touch the dish until I tell them to because I want to take pictures of it.
Here’s the actual photos of some of our orders. And since I lack the ability on how to properly describe each dish, let me then attach a Chinese proverb for every one of it…
I failed to take a photo of the Buchi or glutinous rice dumpling with red bean filling coated with sesame seeds (our desert) which according to our waiter Angel was a very good choice because it was the award-winning dessert of China Blue Manila. My family are all sweet toothed, it would not come as a surprise that everyone would just rapidly dig into the delicately sweet Buchi and would not care if I have already taken a photo or not.
I really can’t figure out what specific dish was the highlight of that dinner. It is because every dish was beautiful, every dish was delicious and every dish deserves a big round of applause!
And when Luis would decide to further pursue his studies, doctorate degree that is. I’m pretty sure Nengkoy would again agree that Luis’ PhD graduation dinner be held again in China Blue Manila.
I was not longing for Ruby Roman Grapes, the most expensive grapes in the world. I was never looking for Ackee, one of the rarest fruits on the planet. And not once did I crave for Cherimoya which according to Mark Twain is the most delicious fruit known to men.
I was only yearning to try a Miracle Berry and experience for myself the magic and oddity it does to my taste buds.
And this yearning has finally been resolved when Chef Clark Soliman, a co-employee, learned about my hankering. He’s got a Miracle Berry plant in his backyard in Pampanga. Chef Clark when he visited my office actually gave me a handful of this amazing berry.
I right away tested it. I ordered the nearest restaurant from my office to deliver me a chopped calamansi (a very sour citrus fruit abundant here in the Philippines). I munched into the miracle berry as soon as my chopped calamansi has been delivered. And after a couple of minutes, I was supping, lapping and sucking on what supposed to be the sourest citrus fruit on the planet. But my discernment was different, my taste buds were telling me that I was supping on the sweetest and most delicious honey orange in the universe!
Miracle Berry indeed tricked and deceived my precious taste buds! I never knew that my brain could further be twisted by such a mere fruit. It’s fun! Find one and be twisted by the effect of Miracle Berry. Tikman nyo! Kaaliw!
Taipei, Taiwan based on travel blogs seem not in the top list of places to go to on the planet. But I along with Nengkoy and elder sister Ester nevertheless adventured into seeing what Taipei has to offer. Actually, yesterday we were back to Manila and actually just arrived from Taipei. And before the lazy bug bit me, let me showcase an awesome experience while we were there.
Night markets in Taipei are quite popular. Shilin Night Market located near Jiantan train station is considered the largest is actually the most popular among tourists. This is the night market that Nengkoy, I and my sister chose to chill at and visit during a very short stay in Taipei.
Shilin Night Market is known to offer various food and nonfood items. Aside from a couple of cool t-shirts I purchased, I got to try two amazing stuffs at this lively, brazen and well-admired night market.
The Ampaet Drink
First, I got to try the white bitter gourd juice. Bitter gourd is known as Ampalaya in the Philippines. Here in my country, Ampalaya is green in color and never used as a juice drink flavor. Because of its bitter taste, it is one of my most hated vegetables.
But in Taiwan, they got a white/albino variety and they use it for a refreshing juice drink. Upon learning that such is mixed in a cold drink, it got me curious. I even thought that the albino variety would be a redeeming version of the green-colored variety. I was expected that it would be sweet to the taste. So as to end my pondering, I ordered a tall glass.
As for the taste, it was a disappointing bitter taste same as the green version. And same as the green variety, I hated the white kind. It was not my type! Ampaet! (Translation: so bitter!) But as a consolation, I nevertheless will no longer have to brood over on what the taste was of such a rare drink when I get back to Manila. To get rid of the bitter after taste, I, Nengkoy and my sister decided to gulp on a very cold bottle of pure and freshly squeezed sugarcane juice, which is also a popular street drink in Taipei!
The Uncut Cutlet
Second, Shilin Night Market shall be for the record the place where I actually had the largest piece of chicken cutlet. It was so big I thought it was an ostrich!
There was a long queue at store called Hot Star. I actually don’t know what people were queuing up for. And since the line is very long, I assume the food stuff that store was selling must be amazing. I just decided to fall in line and only got to realize that it was a humongous filleted chicken cutlet that was being sold when I was already paying for it.
Hot Star chicken cutlet was surprisingly very good and very tasty! The chicken meat is evenly coated with a crunchy deep fried golden brown batter. Before the ginormous cutlet was handed over to me upon payment, it was sprinkled with flavoring powder which I believe (based on the whispers of my taste buds) is composed of white pepper, sea salt and special spices. This chicken cutlet was surprisingly tender and juicy. It was so ginormous I shared it with Nengkoy!
These are just two of the million or more possible stuffs that people can try when they visit the vibrant Shilin Night Market. There is a cornucopia of stuffs that visitors can taste when they chill at this amazing night market. Try visit sometime and prove to yourself that Taipei is actually worth a visit!
This blog post officiates my being an avid fan of Celia’s Café, the number 2 restaurant according to TripAdvisor in Alaminos Pangasinan. Number 1 restaurant of course is the old and tired Maxine By The Sea located at Lucap. Though run-down and the food served were average, Maxine By The Sea is the leading restaurant in Alaminos. Its TripAdvisor’s number 1 because it is located at a wharf near the dock where tourists would have to take a boat ride to reach the majestic Hundred Islands. It’s one of those rare eateries whose reason for being number 1 is not their food nor their service but its location. I still remember way back in the early 90’s was the first time I dined there. It was also my first time in Hundred Islands!
The number 2 restaurant on the other hand seem to possess the thrilling potential of becoming the leader among restaurants in Alaminos. Celia’s Café seem to capture the urbanized and the ruralized feel. Their ambience and facilities are homey yet urbanite. Because of the modern feel of the ambience, you will never miss the feeling of being in an urbanized city when you dine there. But their warm service is naively bucolic. Celia’s Café are manned by gentle and courteous lads, which reminds you that you are indeed in a countryside away from the jungles of Manila.
But what I particularly love about Celia’s Café is the food. It’s surprisingly delicious! During my recent revisit, I again ordered the Pasta Longganisa for lunch, the one I ordered the first time I dined there. All I can say is that it is consistently luscious. The only thing that changed was the bread. It is because it is now tastier and more delicious. The focaccia bread was so good, I ordered extra and even ordered take-out so as to bring it back to Manila!
And since there seem to be no agreeable restaurant establishment in Alaminos except for Celia’s Café, me and my family returned at dinner time. We ordered the platter in which, one order is already good for four (4). I was especially impressed by the flavors of the Chicken Platter. It is because each dish in the platter tasted differently. It was unlike the platter offerings by other restaurants in which each dish seem to taste the same with other dishes in the platter. The Southern Style Fried Chicken was of a totally different flavor from the Chicken Salpicao and the Chicken Salpicao was of a totally different taste from the Pork Tonkatsu. And what is best about the platter was the generous serving of rice! To top it off, we were surprised to find out that our ordered platter comes with a whole serving of soft and chewy pancakes!
The following morning before heading back to the jungles of Manila, me and my family returned to Celia’s Café to have breakfast. I had the big fulfilling English Breakfast, which I guess is the only English breakfast dish served in the whole of Alaminos province.
Enough said and I am impressed if you reached this point of this blog. Hahaha! I think I already said that I am a fan.