Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kimono Ken, Quezon City

There are many Japanese restaurants to be found in Metro Manila, offering the usual dishes that are favored by many Filipinos, such as California Maki and Ebi Tempura.

California Maki

The reason why I like to go to Kimono Ken along Tomas Morato is that they offer Ebi Fry Curry, one of my favorite Japanese dishes. I notice that this dish is not often offered in Japanese restaurants in the metro. Years ago, when I was frequently in the Makati area, I used to go to Shinjuku for shrimp curry. But now that I'm usually just in Quezon City, it's been more difficult to find some, and I was happy to find it in Kimono Ken.

Ebi Fry Curry

The place is usually filled with families and office workers during the day. Its interiors are bright, because of natural light shining through its big windows. (Sometimes though the sunlight also causes some heat for those sitting near the glass.)

This dessert is nothing special (I can't even remember its name), but it was a good way to end a meal. After all, it's quite hard to go wrong with ice cream, mango, and some chocolate syrup.

I will return again and again to Kimono Ken, if only for the ebi fry curry.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Amorita Resort, Panglao, Bohol

I recently went to Bohol for a dive vacation with some friends, and we decided to visit our divemaster friend Rommel, who manages the dive shop at a beautiful resort, Amorita. We went there early in the morning, and discovered that they had a breakfast buffet to be had for only P500. On that day, I chose not to have the buffet since most of the choices on the table was meat. I ordered their fish and chips (not exactly traditional breakfast fare, I know), which was filling in itself.

Fish and Chips

However, my friend Isabel made me taste their French toast, which was part of the buffet. It was heavenly, so I decided to have the buffet the next day, if only for the French toast.

Off we trooped to Amorita the next morning. Unfortunately, we discovered that they only served French toast every other day, alternating with pancakes. So, with no French toast in sight, I again had their fish and chips.

On the last day of our trip, we finally got to have the French toast, and that made the breakfast buffet worth it for me. The only other thing I had that morning was cheese and pesto omelette. Only two items, but loaded with many, many calories. I didn't mind. (I vowed to diet once I got back to Manila.)
We also decided to have dinner at Amorita on our last night, so we could sample other items on their menu. I had their French onion soup, and their fish almondine with pesto rice. For dessert, I had brazo de mercedes.

French Onion Soup

I declared the soup the winner of the night. The cheese was chewy and very tasty, and overall the soup was delicious.

Fish Almondine with Pesto Rice

I enjoyed the fish and dessert as well, but I was really blown away by the soup. Maybe the next time I dine at Amorita, I'll just have two servings and blow my calorie requirement on the soup and nothing else.

Brazo de Mercedes

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Balicasag Island Dive Resort, Bohol

I've gone to Balicasag Island for diving several times, and the Balicasag Island Dive Resort is a pretty good one (especially considering it's government-run, no offense to government offices). There's one restaurant on the island, so you really don't have too many dining choices. Then again, it's a pretty small island.

Tanguigue Steak

I had their tanguigue steak one night, and it tasted all right, although the fish was a wee bit tough. I noticed also that service was rather slow. I don't know if that's because they were understaffed, or just that island life is more relaxed than city living. At any rate, the diving in that area is great, so it's easy enough to overlook little inconveniences during your stay.

Balicasag Island Dive Resort
Panglao, Bohol

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Fish Skin Chicharon from Peanut World

Many people enjoy eating chicharon. The crunch, the salt, the grease on your fingers as you dip the pork rinds into a small container of vinegar... Well, I haven't had chicharon for years and years now, but I do remember (vaguely) how chicharon gives one some serious albeit guilty pleasure.

I discovered a pescetarian alternative to this snack, which is available in stalls in malls and other establishments- Fish Skin Chicharon at Peanut World. My colleague Julie brought some to the office and I was hooked from the first taste. We have this stall in our office food court, which is why I often have it. A few weeks after I discovered it, I was eating it practically every day.

It's supposed to be a healthier alternative to the real chicharon, but I'm pretty sure all the salt in it is not good for me. I don't really mind. In a 100-or-50-gram bag, I once again can have the crunch, the salt, the grease... and none of the pork.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Nasi Lemak Restaurant, Quezon City

I first heard of Nasi Lemak restaurant from my colleague Julie, who wrote a story about it for abs-cbnnews.com. According to her story, the Singaporean/Malaysian restaurant's background was pretty interesting.

Oatmeal-Crusted Prawns

The owner Cory Lelina worked as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Singapore for 20 years. Apparently, her Finnish employer died of a tumor. After that, her employer's best friend convinced her to set up a restaurant in Manila. Thus, Nasi Lemak was born.

I've eaten there several times, and I always over-order and overeat when I do. My favorite dish in that place is the oatmeal-crusted prawns.

Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice)

I also like their Nasi Goreng or fried rice. Then again, I don't think I've ever met a cup of fried rice I didn't like.

Sweet and Sour Fish Fillet

Their sweet and sour fish fillet tasted pretty much like it does in any decent Chinese restaurant. The kind that is just perfect to eat with fried rice.

There are many more dishes that I intend to try in this restaurant. The items listed on the menu are a hodgepodge of dishes from various Asian countries. For the most part, I've liked what I've tasted so far. Maybe except for a vegetable dish with bangus, the name of which escapes me right now.

Nasi Lemak Authentic Asian Cuisine
Tomas Morato
Quezon City, Philippines