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Showing posts from 2009

Tampopo Japanese Restaurant, Singapore

James and I were in the mood for some Japanese food, so after going around a mall to scout for some choices, he decided to bring me to Tampopo restaurant. It was pretty crowded, considering it was not strictly lunch hour (It was around three in the afternoon already), so they told us we could only be seated immediately if were willing to stay in the counter (bar?). This was fine with us, and it also gave us a front row view of the busy chefs.

According to the menu, as well as some blogs that James read, one of the specialties of the restaurant was what they called "Maguro Head Meat", or sashimi made out of the meat of a tuna's head. We had some of that, and I was surprised to find out that the taste of the very red meat was quite bland compared to regular tuna sashimi. I guess I was expecting it to taste different, partly because it was much brighter red, and also because it came from the head, the meat of which usually tastes different from the rest of the body, at least…

My low-carb lunch at Grams

Once in a (very) rare while, I try to go on a low carbohydrate diet, especially when I've particularly overindulged for an extended period of time. This makes eating out even harder for me, as this narrows down my choices further as a pescetarian. Since I eat lunch a lot of times at Grams Diner at the office, I had to figure out what to order, as I normally have their fish with garlic rice (yum!).

I've found a good meal to fulfill both the seafood and low-carb requirements, but I have to request it specially. It's their Caesar Salad with Calamari.

Caesar Salad with Calamari

I really enjoy this, although the garlic, as always from this kind of dressing, lingers on in my mouth (and hopefully not my breath). I've had this several times, and I did notice that the amount of calamari changes from day to day. Oh well, it's a made-to-order dish and I should just be glad to have a low-carb alternative.

Grams Diner
ELJCC Bldg. Sgt. Esguerra cor. Mother Ignacia
Quezon City, Metr…

Dessert at Momo Cafe, Eastwood

After a huge lunch in Blufish, we still felt like having some dessert, so we went to nearby Momo Cafe. My sister-in-law and I had the Toblerone Torte and the Snickers Fudge.

Toblerone Torte

Snickers Fudge

I'm a Snickers lover, thus, the choice, but I liked the Toblerone Torte better. The Snickers Fudge didn't taste as fresh as the one that I had at their sister restaurant Chelsea in Serendra. I still had a lot of it though.

My nephew got a cupcake, which he then proceeded to play with. He ate it all, of course.

My nephew and his cupcake

I'm curious to try their main dishes. The next time I find myself in Eastwood, maybe I will.

Eastwood Mall Veranda
Eastwood Mall
Orchard Road
Bagumbayan, Libis
Quezon City
Metro Manila, Philippines

Phone Numbers

Rice Fest at Kanin Club, UP-Ayalaland Technohub

My L.A.-based sister-in-law Liz and my nephew Aidan recently came home for a two-week visit, and as is wont to happen in family reunions, a lot of eating was bound to be had. Every chance I had to see them ended up in having a (big) meal, and I just resigned myself to the fact that their vacation was going to be fattening not only for the balikbayans.

Aligue Rice

One afternoon, I met up with them along with my other sister-in-law Tintin and her cute little son Raffy at UP-Ayalaland Technohub to have lunch at Kanin Club. We wanted them to have a lot of good Pinoy food while they were here, and a place where rice is the centerpiece certainly seemed as Pinoy as one could get. I had heard a lot about this restaurant, but never quite got around to trying it, mostly because I’ve been trying to cut down on carbs and the name of this restaurant clued me in to the fact that it’s probably not the easiest place to go hi-protein.

But… since Liz and Aidan were on holiday, we considered ourselves to …

Cav Wine Shop and Cafe, Bonifacio High Street

Having wine with good friends is always a treat, especially if you have some good food to go with the vino. Cav in Bonifacio High Street is the perfect place to catch up with old friends, and this is one of the preferred places to meet, when my Australia-based friend Gigi decides where to go when she wants Chi and I meet up with her when she visits. (One very important consideration is that she lives at the Fort when she is in Manila.)

We had their wine flight, or three tasting portions of their wine. I chose the white, as I now get migraines from red. Then we had some cheese, gambas, and their crab cakes to go along with the wine.

Cheese Platter
Crabby Patties
Gambas al Ajillo

I like Cav, not just because of the wine and the food, but also because of the ambience. It's very conducive to chatting and enjoying yourself on a girls' night out. One thing I don't like about it though is that the exhaust is not topnotch. I don't mind that there is smoking inside the place. What I…

Siam Thai Cuisine, Cebu

My fellow Manila-based friends and I were in Cebu for a short visit, and our Cebuano friends recommended that we go to Siam Thai Cuisine. I love Thai food so I was excited to try the restaurant. However, when it was time to order, I was a bit disappointed that some of the items on the menu were not pescetarian-friendly.

First, I tried to order their Prawn Patties, (one of my favorite things to order in Thai restos) but apparently, they add pork to it. So, scratch that. Then, I wanted to have another of my favorites, which is Pomelo Salad. Again, they told me that they add pork to it. I was determined to have the salad, though, so I still ordered it and told them to remove the pork.

Thai Pomelo Salad

When the dish arrived, it didn't look like much of a pomelo salad anymore, just pomelo with a few bits of shrimp and onion and some vinegary dressing. I did wish it had some peanuts so eating it would have been more pleasurable for me.

Heart-shaped Rice

I wasn't really happy with what…

Can't get enough of Laguna Garden Cafe, Cebu

During my recent trip to Cebu, my friends and I just couldn't get enough of Laguna Garden Cafe. It almost seemed as if we wanted to have each and every meal there.


We would usually start in the morning, with intentions of having (only) breakfast there. However, it is a very pleasant place to hang out in, so we'd end up having merienda there as well.

Like in my previous entry about Laguna Garden Cafe, I had a lot of SMT (Suman, Mangga, at Tsokolate) this time. Their hot chocolate is just too good to pass up, and it really goes very well with the suman and mango.

Actually, I had a lot more to eat there during this trip. My favorites were (aside from SMT), their pancit palabok (with pork removed), and their turon, which I requested to be served with vanilla ice cream. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take pictures of most of what I ate, mostly because I totally forgot about taking photos when the food arrived and just went straight to business.

The best thing was, the waiter…

Dinner at Abuhan Tres, Cebu City

I spent All Saints' Day weekend scuba diving with friends in Southern Leyte, with Cebu as our jumping off point. We all flew in to Cebu from Manila, took a boat to and from Leyte, and flew back to Manila from Cebu. We luckily had some time to sample some Cebuano cuisine before heading for home.

Some new-found dive friends suggested that we try the "best pochero in Cebu", which could be found in a restaurant called Abuhan Tres. Of course, I was not interested in pochero, since I doubted they'd have a seafood version. But, I agreed to go with them because I was sure there would be some pescetarian fare on the menu.

We were all tired from the dive trip but determined to go to the place, so although our eyes were all getting droopy, we took a cab and rode off in search of the restaurant. Thankfully, it was easy enough to find, since we were all famished.

My friend and dive buddy Zara decided to just share dishes, so we could try more of them. We ordered the Kilawing Tangigu…

Good Ol' Old Spaghetti House

I first ate in Old Spaghetti House with my climbing partner Angel several years ago. She said I simply had to try their giant chocolate chip cookie, which I of course did. Since then I would eat there once in a while, when I felt like loading up on carbs.

Gourmet Tuyo Spaghetti

I recently discovered their branch at the Ayala Technohub in Quezon City, with my friends Isabel and Zara, during an all-day girl-bonding session. I had their Fish Fillet Provencal with Garlic Fettuccine, which the restaurant touted as part of their sports menu. I liked it but preferred the gourmet tuyo spaghetti that Isabel had.

Again, I had their chocolate chip cookie, which satisfied, as always. Old Spaghetti House is such an old reliable. Comfort food at its best. If the pasta won't do it for you, the cookie surely will.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

104 Retail Center
UP Ayala TechnoHUB
Commonwealth Avenue, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: 487.TOSH, 508.6979

Goodbye Meal at Starbucks, Changi Airport, Singapore

Our flight back to the Philippines was very early in the morning, so Gigi and I set off for Changi airport barely awake. We weren’t even able to say goodbye to our gracious host James, because he was still asleep and couldn’t be awakened via phone (He was sleeping in another room and we didn’t want to wake his roommate).

Cheese and Tomato Bagel

After checking in, we still had some time to kill before our flight so we decided to have breakfast in Starbucks. Or at least, I did. Gigi just had some water. I like eating in different branches of this coffee chain, because the food they offer varies from outlet to outlet. Sometimes they have surprisingly interesting food, and in Changi, this proved to be true.

I had their cheese and tomato bagel with my coffee. What I really liked about this simple sandwich is that it had arugula, which is hard to find and quite expensive in the Philippines. I enjoyed eating the sandwich with the chips that came with it. (To heck with calories- my holiday was …

Food #03 Vegetarian Restaurant, Singapore

I love places like Food #03, a vegetarian restaurant in the Little India area in Singapore. James brought Gigi and I there so we could taste his favorite Tempeh burger. I've seen similar places in other cities, where, along with vegetarian fare, they also have cause-oriented posters on the walls (or in this case, on their door.)

Their menu pretty much spelled out their beliefs. It said the restaurant saved electricity and water, which meant there was no airconditioning, and water was only provided upon request. It also said they didn't use microwave ovens, which are considered evil. And of course, they re-use and recycle.

I ordered their Dugu burger, which had oyster mushrooms on top of their Tempeh burger. I liked it, but maybe only because I'm used to eating vegetarian dishes, and often encounter this kind of taste. Gigi wasn't a big fan though.

Dugu Burger

As I said, I do like places like this restaurant, where the people are still idealistic, hoping and believing that…

A break from bingeing at TWG Tea Boutique

After a particularly calorie-laden lunch, Gigi, James and I decided to walk around the mall to burn off some of it, then have some tea to try to digest it better. We went to TWG Tea Salon and Boutique, which proclaims itself as having the finest teas in the world.

The servers were very helpful when it came to recommending teas. They asked us what our preferences were, and they had recommendations with accompanying explanations as to why a particular tea would suit a person's taste. I had some black tea from Ceylon, which I was very happy with. James had some caffeine-free black tea so as not to disrupt his sleep cycle.

Sipping tea at TWG Tea Boutique was a refreshing break from all the eating we had been doing. Not surprisingly, though, after spending some time sitting there, we were soon ready for yet another meal.

TWG Tea Boutique
Takashimaya Department Store
391 Orchard Road, Basement 2
Singapore 238873

TWG Tea Salon and Boutique
ION Shopping Mall
2 Orchard Turn, #02 - 21
Singapore 2…

Cafe Iguana, Singapore

On our first night in Singapore, James brought Gigi and I to a place by the river to have a few drinks. We chose Cafe Iguana because of its ambience and the interesting-sounding items on the menu.

Although we were planning on having a few drinks, we ended up eating a lot of things instead, with just a token margarita. I ordered the portobello fajitas, mainly because it's very hard to find anything with portobello mushrooms in Manila, so I try to have some when I can get it.

Portobello Fajitas

James had the red snapper enchiladas, although I ate half of that. Gigi was a good girl and didn't order anything for herself. As a result, I ate most of the calories consumed during that evening.

Red Snapper Enchiladas

What I liked most though, were the nachos. They were crispy and very tasty. Also, the nachos were not the store-bought tortilla chips that restaurants in Manila often serve you when you order this dish.


Thus ended day one of our visit to James. One drink, and a whole lot o…

Food hunt in Singapore- Famous 49 Katong Laksa

I recently went on a short holiday with my Sydney-based friend Gigi to visit our Singapore-based friend James. Since Gigi is my eating partner, I expected this trip to be basically a series of (big) meals, and, really, this outlook was right on the money. I was excited to sample a lot of different dishes, since their cuisine is a rich mixture of Chinese, Malay, and Indian food.

I do believe we started eating almost as soon as we stepped off the plane in Changi airport. Though that might be a slight exaggeration; we actually started to eat as soon as we met up with James at his apartment.

James was insistent that we try three of his favorite Singaporean dishes during our visit. One of these was seafood laksa, which I also enjoy. He brought us to an unassuming place, called Famous 49 Katong Laksa, which according to James and the newspaper clippings on the wall, was the place where seafood laksa was actually first served. Luckily, this place served all three of the dishes he wanted us to …

Terry's (Terry Selection) at the Podium, One of My All-time Favorite Restaurants

I have long loved dining at Terry Selection, now simply called Terry's, at the Podium. For the past few years, whenever I felt I deserved a celebratory meal, Terry's was (and continues to be) the first restaurant that sprang to mind. The place, aside from being a Spanish restaurant, is also a gourmet store similar to Santi's.

Besugo a la Bilbaina

Whenever I go there, I try to bring a friend, not only for social purposes, but because there are two dishes that I always want to have in the restaurant. It would be a bit much if I always had two entrees for a meal (calorie-wise and peso-wise), so I try to convince my friend to split them with me so the two of us could have a bit of both dishes.

The first of these is called Lenguado a la Mantequilla. As the menu describes, "A tangy lemon and butter sauce with capers enhances the delicate flavor of these sole medallions". The second is called Besugo a la Bilbaina, and again, according to the menu, "True to this Bilbao…

Lunch Specials at Uno Restaurant, QC

Yet another reason I love Uno Restaurant is that they offer lunch specials that are not offered on their menu. Aside from the fact that they change their menu every quarter, this is another way they can keep things exciting and new for their regular diners. Their specials usually have either soup or salad, plus a choice between two main courses. One of these is usually fish, which is why I look forward to Uno's specials.

This particular afternoon, the soup and one main course were pescetarian friendly. I had their fish and vegetable veloute, and the pan-roasted grey snapper with fennel and garlic.

Fish and Vegetable Veloute

Actually, after having some of their delicious bread to go with the soup, I was bit full already. But I dug into the snapper with relish, because it was perfectly done as far as I was concerned. One side was crunchy and well-done, which is how I often like pan-roasted fish.

Pan-roasted Grey Snapper with Fennel and Garlic

For once, I didn't have any of their dess…

Aresi Restaurant and Bar

Around ten years ago, Aresi Restaurant was near ABS-CBN. I liked going to that restaurant because it had ambience, the food was good, and it was reasonably priced. At that time, actress Gloria Romero's daughter Maritess Gutierrez was the chef. After a few years though, they closed up shop, and from what I heard it was because of issues with the ones who were leasing the property.

I missed having Aresi around. I distinctly remember looking forward to having their shrimp risotto, ale-battered fish, and mushroom soup. I heard that they still had a branch in Subic, but that is too far for Manila-bound me.

I was therefore very excited when I heard that Aresi had opened again, this time in Il Terrazzo, still along Tomas Morato. I went there with some friends to check it out and see if it was still the Aresi that I so fondly remembered.

When I got there, I saw that the ambience felt a little bit more formal and upscale. The interiors were on the dark side, with dark wood and browns dominat…

La Maison, Trinoma, Quezon City

I was going to have dinner with my parents at Trinoma, and I wanted to go to a place I'd never been to before. I was still at the office running late for our date, and I hadn't decided where to eat, so I hurriedly checked the Internet for a place we could try. I came across the restaurant La Maison, and according to some blogs (at least the first two I stumbled upon), they had "good creamy mussels" and "excellent service".

Seafood Bounty

As usual, my parents were there ahead of me, so I went straight to business and ordered. We had the Lobster Bisque, the Chinoise Crab salad, and their Seafood Bounty (which had the creamy mussels previously mentioned).

Chinoise Crab Salad

I am sorry to say, but the dishes were a bit disappointing. Well, except for the mussels. First, about the soup. I actually liked the taste of the bisque; what I didn't like was how watery it was. It was pretty much the consistency of, well... water (like I said, WATERY).

Lobster Bisque

The …

Surprise birthday party, food from Kuchen, cake from Estrel's

My friends from the defunct show Alas Singko Y Medya very thoughtfully threw me a very small surprise lunch for my birthday. They told me to meet up with them at the news makeup room, and when I got there, they turned on the lights and sang the happy birthday song. They even had a cake with a candle for me to blow out.

Yeng ordered the food from Kuchen, a home-based catering business. I liked the eggplant parmigiana, although I thought the pieces were a bit too large, thus making it hard to cut and eat using plastic utensils.

Spaghetti Vongole, Eggplant Parmigiana

Kate brought dessert. I always enjoy having Estrel's caramel cake, but I probably don't get as excited as others do about eating it, because it's been a part of almost all of our family gatherings since I was a small child. I think I'm somehow related (I'm not sure if it's by blood or by affinity) to "Tita Estrel", as we referred to her as children. Like any typical child, I probably said petul…