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Posts Tagged ‘yummy’

Guests entering a restaurant three minutes before it closes is technically okay.  But this situation is one of the most hated circumstances by that of the waiters and cooks.  This is especially true when the kitchen has started to do its cleaning and sanitizing.  Cooks would not have the choice but to gloomily re-grease their pots, pans and griddle and degrease it again later on when all orders of the oblivious close-to-being-late customer has been dispatched.

This is exactly what I did!  And in the above scenario, I was the customer.  Since it’s almost closing time, I expected that my orders would be nothing spectacular.  I was actually expecting the food to be unmeticulous, negligent and haphazard.

But all my worrying expectations were all false!  I was served, what could be considered one of the best gourmet burgers in Manila!  Congratulations to Hunger Buster.  This burger joint located at the 2nd floor of University Mall in Taft Avenue gave me what I never expected.

yum!

It was so delicious, I wanted to drag other folks dining at a nearby restaurant and tell them “what the hell are you doing in that measly resto when an awesome gourmet burger joint in Manila is just under your freakin’ nose!?

It was the type of burger that I love.  Hunger Buster provides disposable plastic hand gloves because their burger is a gloriously messy creation.  All elements I wanted for a burger was there: tender and flavorful meat, crispy bits of savory bacon, provocatively dripping greasy juices and gooey cheese!  And despite the dripping juices, the soft and tasty bun never turned sad and soggy.  For me it was one surprising burger!

I will definitely be back at Hunger Buster and on that time, I will step in 2 minutes before it closes! Hahaha!

An-ekspekted and sarap!

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I am more of a burger person than a pizza person.  I more enjoy the juicy-ness of a beef as compared to the gooey-ness of a mozzarella cheese.  I can’t actually remember when I boast or wrote about a pizza.  Maybe it’s because my pizza experiences has always been a letdown.  However, when I chomped on a slice in a pizza joint in Castro Street, I promised myself that I have to write about it.

It’s Oz Pizza.  After grasping the LGBT vibe and feel of Castro streets in San Francisco, I decided to have pizza for lunch.  This was because of a pregnant lady with a young kid gleefully munching on a big box of pizza slices at the patio table of Oz Pizza.  Water falls came down from my oral cavity while seeing them do colossal bites and enormous chomping of their pizza.

the castro

oz pizza counter

a slice of heaven

Since I am not a pizza person, and there were too many varieties to choose from, I asked the mild and smiling attendant for a recommendation.  He endorsed the Combo, which I supposed is a mix of all toppings in their menu.  I gladly obliged.  And on my first bite, I realized that the attendant knew what he is endorsing.  The crust was chewy and crispy at the same time, which I personally prefer.  The toppings, which by the way is so generous, were all tasty and flavorful.  That slice was one spectacular treat!

Though there is nothing to praise about the interiors of the eatery, the wonderful taste and impressive quality of their pizza however compensates for all this drag.  I am not a pizza person but if Oz Pizza will be the one offered to me, I will gladly drop a sumptuous burger for it.

Yum yum…

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One downside of being a solo traveler, which I realized during my San Francisco CA solo expedition, is that I am to eat alone.  Good thing I am living by myself in Manila, thus, the impact of eating solo in a foreign country is not disturbing if compared to those who are so used to sharing a thought and their food with someone else during a meal.

Because of this glitch, I avoided fancy restaurants and during meal periods I can be found in a communal table of a food court, an indie coffee shop or in a park munching a dish I bought from a food stall or food truck.

nice interiors…

crispy baby romaine, grana & croutons

main event!

main course! hahaha!

will be back!

But when my college best friend Marie (now based in Los Angeles) recommended that I should try and dine at Stinking Rose, I never had a second thought. One late lunch period, I navigated the streets of SF and proceeded to Columbus Avenue where the Italian restaurant is located.

The receptionist upon knowing that I am dining “just myself”, she was smart and gentle enough to assign me to a good and strategic table (a corner by the window) which seem intended really for solo diners.

I ordered a 3-course Prix Fixe Dinner bundle.  For the main course I settled with the one recommended by the waiter, the Forty Clove Garlic Chicken.  And when the food was served, I totally forgot about the glitches and hurdles of dining solo in a fancy or busy restaurant.

On a bright side of this experience, since my mind would not be diverted or side-tracked from this gustatory encounter, I actually was able to indeed levy the quality and taste of the food that was served at Stinking Rose.  I was more focus and conscious about the palatal attributes of the food I was devouring.  And my verdict about Stinking Rose?  Let me just say that my super friend Marie cares for my palatal satisfaction.  She indeed gave me an excellent recommendation!

havin’ a blast!

I may forget that I dined solo at Stinking Rose but the gustatory experience I had with this Italian restaurant shall be remembered for a very long time.

Salamat Marie…

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I thought my best choice of restaurant in Queenstown that me and my friends dined at would be the establishment that will fix my rice-deprived anatomy.  Yeah, unlike the Philippines, rice is not a staple in New Zealand and my few days of stay in that fresh country made me yearn for it.  I know that I get all grumpy and grouchy if I don’t have rice in my meal for a couple of days.

But surprisingly, the best and finest food establishment I encountered in my recent New Zealand adventure was that of Winnie’s Gourmet Pizza Bar.  Located at The Mall in Queenstown, Winnie’s is a relaxed and casual part-bar and part-restaurant kind of a joint. I loved the ambiance because it is not plush, ritzy and intimidating.

What particularly made me love this restaurant was the food.  Their gourmet pizza was really outstandingly delicious!  And with a quick look into their pizza selection, I can tell that their pizzas were not just the classic types but instead seem to embrace various flavors around the world.  I noticed some Thai inspirations, a Moroccan fabrication, a Hawaiian motivation and some Mexican creations.

zucha  & montanara (flavors of heaven)

With limited tummy space, my friend Denton was smart enough to order one large sized pizza in which each half is of a different flavor.  We settled for the Montanara, which I consider to be the sinful half of the pizza and the Zucha for the wholesome and healthier half.  Both are gluten-free by the way.

Zucha according to my happy taste buds got some roasted pumpkin, olives, some feta cheese, capsicum and toasted almonds.  The blending of these flavors above the crunchy pizza crust, pizza sauce, Parmesan cheese and parsley brings magic to ones palette!

Montanara according to our gracious waitress was the most popular among all their pizzas.  That is why we ordered for it.  And from the first bite of this delectable creation, I knew that the waitress knows what she was doing. This is actually the first time that I have eaten a pizza in which you would have to spread pistachio sour cream on it.  A mound of this yummy cream is actually placed at the middle of the pizza!

The Montanara toppings which consists of chicken fillets, brie cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, spring onions and sweet chili sauce, no doubt, was absolutely delicious.  It’s one pizza that gives me a reason to return and revisit Queenstown.  The taste was just marvelously unforgettable!

chicken!

chicken!

a kiwi classic

is this a kiwi classic? we loved it… especially when we dip the mussel meat into the cream sauce!

Aside from the pizza, we also ordered the succulent chicken wings which surprisingly was not oily and so tasty and crunchy.  And to add a Kiwi flavor in our meal, we of course ordered New Zealand Green Lipped Mussels.  Winnie’s freshly steamed NZ mussels in shallots, capsicum, white wine, cream and sweet chili sauce was one of the best in Queenstown.  I can say this because in almost all restaurants that we dined we always seem to order NZ mussels.  And Winnie’s version was always our basis of comparison.

happy tummy!

happy tummy!

With all these superlative thoughts, accounts and narratives about Winnie’s, I guess, I can really say that it is one of the must visits if you happen to be in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Winer ang tami ko sa Wini’s!

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Let me add some class, sophistication and culinary elegance to this blog by posting photos of the interiors, table set-up and a couple of tasty food dishes of China Blue.

China Blue Manila

China Blue Manila

the set-up (especially the beautiful plate chargers) speaks a lot about elegance

the set-up (especially the beautiful plate chargers) speaks a lot about elegance

Thin Crispy Beef... my personal favorite

Thin Crispy Beef… my personal favorite

elegant interiors... round chandelier in manila, square chandelier in tokyo...

elegant interiors… round chandelier in manila, square chandelier in tokyo…

Steamed Truffle Mushroom Bun... the most "sosyal" and ostentatious "siopao"

Steamed Truffle Mushroom Bun… the most “sosyal” and ostentatious “siopao”

inside Conrad Hotel Manila

inside Conrad Hotel Manila

China Blue Manila inside Conrad Hotel (the newest five star luxury hotel in Manila) is not the first on the planet.  The first China Blue, a classy modern Chinese cuisine restaurant is in Conrad Hotel in Tokyo.

O ‘di ba? Ang sosyal sosyal ko!

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Americans may crave for the tasty mac & cheese, Italians may hanker for an authentic margherita pizza and Japanese for a shot of sake.  This is a common desire and appetite if they people have been out of their country for a considerable span of time.  I for one yearned for the texture, flavor and smell of Patupat.

Being a child of a Pangasinense, I grew up chomping on the sweet molasses flavor of this glutinous rice wrapped in coconut leaves weaved into a bag.  Patupat during my childhood was a usual chow readily available inside our ref every time my father’s relatives living in Pangasinan visits Manila.  And because of this, my DNA was programmed to crave for such if my nutritional intake has been Patupat-deficient.  I can confidently say that Patupat in a way defines me.  It’s in my tradition, it’s in my subconscious, it’s in my roots.

i have to steam it! just like me... it's best consumed when sticky and hot!

i have to steam it! it’s best consumed when hot and sticky!

patupat defines me...

patupat defines me…

I could no longer recall the time when the last time I ate a bag of Patupat.  I have been craving for it!  That is why when I learned that Thatcher (my niece) will be arriving in Manila from Pangasinan, the foolish request I asked her is to bring me loads of this tasty, sticky and gluey delicacy.

Now my craving has been resolved because my hearty breakfast are two bags of Patupat.  I guess… Patupat defines me.  Patupat is tasty, hot and sticky just like me!  Yummy!

Walang kaduda-duda, Pinoy nga ako!

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During my childhood, my perception of Marikina is that of a faraway place from metropolitan Manila.  One of our neighbors in Pasay, Tita Linda and her family, were actually from this bucolic county.  And every time our family is invited by Tita Linda (one Nengkoy’s ‘mejor amiga’) to go to their place in Marikina for some party or gathering, the travel and journey seem so arduous and tiring.  I can still remember the exhausting hours it took for us to reach this green and tree-filled but faraway suburb.

During adulthood, the only time I got to Marikina (now a city and part of metropolitan Manila) was after the deadly flooding and wreckage brought about by the most devastating storm to hit Metro Manila known as tropical storm Ondoy in 2009.  I got the chance to go to Marikina then because the company I am working for did some charitable activity.  Our company prepared and distributed away hundreds of boxes of hot cooked food to the affected residents of Marikina, which was the most hardly hit area of that year’s deadly typhoon.  That memory was not a good one because Marikina that time was all mud, sludge and debris.

But just last Wednesday, I had a beautiful morning in rustic Marikina.  I was actually at awe because my childhood perception that it takes ages to get there has been erased.  It only took us 45 minutes to get there (from Malate in Manila).   And the ugly clutter brought about by the deadly Ondoy of course are all gone.  What’s present is a highly urbanized zone with remarkably clean roads and civilized communities.

The reason this time why I was able to get to Marikina is because of breakfast.  I and my colleagues decided to have breakfast at Rustic Mornings.

the menu

the menu

lovely interiors

lovely interiors

outdoor dining area...

outdoor dining area…

greens and shells at the patio area

greens and shells at the patio area

This restaurant can be considered one precious gem of Marikina.  The ambience is one-of-a-kind.  It makes you feel like you are not in crazy, hectic and stressful metropolitan Manila.  Once you entered their gate you’ll feel a sudden change in impression.  It’s quiet, calm and relaxed.  The restaurant is actually decorated with beautiful pieces of art and décor.  You would actually feel like being in a vicinity full of stunning and charming clutter.

But what is most important for me that morning was the food.  Rustic Mornings serve heartwarming and mouthwatering breakfast dishes in a suburban-like setting.  And from among the breakfast dishes that we ordered, I had two personal favorites.  The Crispy Waffle Churros and the Banana-flavored Pancakes.  These dishes are simply bliss!  The waffle churros was crispy outside yet heavenly soft inside!  While the pancakes I would say would be one hell of a pancake!  It was insanely delicious!

the smell and taste of heaven!

the smell and taste of heaven!

those coffee cups were like pieces of art

those coffee cups were like pieces of art

hearty filipino breakfast dishes

hearty filipino breakfast dishes

Because of Rustic Mornings, I can now say that I have a beautiful experience in Marikina.  This restaurant definitely gave me a reason to return back on a rustic morning in this rustic city.

Parang ako lang yung wapol nila… masarap!

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.

Nengkoy

Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.