Monday, February 08, 2010

Chocolate Chip Molten Cake at Chili's

My diving buddy Zara asked me if I wanted to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on 3D one lazy Sunday afternoon. I'm always up for a cartoon, and I also had nothing better to do, so I thought it was a great idea.

However, on the way to the mall, the traffic was horrendous, and I deduced that this was due to a mega-sale of sorts being held at several malls. After seeing the long queue for parking slots, we decided to change our plan. As far as I'm concerned, Plan B should usually include some food in it. Thus, I convinced Z to go to Chili's so I could try their new version of the Molten Cake, which I saw on their menu the last time I ate there.

Since we both hadn't eaten lunch, we had some salad before the main event (a vain attempt to limit calories). I chose the grilled shrimp caesar's salad, which was a bit on the sour side. I didn't mind that so much, knowing that I was going to have a lot of sugar immediately after to counter it.

Grilled Shrimp Caesar's Salad

The star of the show, of course, was the Chocolate Chip Molten Cake. Like its chocolate version, it had melted chocolate flowing out from its center. Z and I gobbled it up in a matter of minutes.

Chocolate Chip Molten Cake

I felt so full after that meal, that I thought that I had no more space for anything else. I thought wrong, as usual. Zara and I ended up having a few beers after dessert, and our Sunday afternoon meal stretched into late Sunday evening.

Chocolate cake and beer. A strange but surprisingly enjoyable combination.

Yeng's birthday/farewell dinner at Melo's

My very dear friend Yeng celebrated a special birthday over the weekend. It was both a happy and sad affair; happy because it was her birthday and a chance to see old friends, but also sad because it was her last birthday as a "Kapamilya". She is moving to another channel soon, so her family and friends joined her for her birthday dinner to wish her good luck in this new phase in her life.

She chose Melo's at the Fort to have her party, and the setting was perfect for the event. There was a lot of wine, and of course, Margarita King. The dinner was cozy and the number of guests was small, so she had a lot of time to spend with each table.

Towards the end of the night, only a few of us (her friends from the now-defunct show Alas Singko Y Medya), were left. It was great to catch up and share a few drinks with them. I'll miss Yeng at the station (we started at the same time, years and years ago), but I'm sure that we will keep in touch, despite the distance.

Oysters Rockefeller
Pumpkin Soup
Pan fried Seabass
Chocolate Cake

Burgos Circle, The Fort
Taguig City

Monday, February 01, 2010

Catching up with cousins at Italianni's

My cousin Bong is a human rights lawyer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He was in town recently to visit family and friends, and more significantly, to promote his self-published book, "God Loves Bakla". It talks about his painful struggle to stay in the closet, and the liberation he felt when he finally found the strength and courage to step out of it. I'm very proud that he has come out (no pun intended) with this book. It's going to be a very controversial book for some, and a helpful one for many others. But... that's a whole different story.

Anyway, I was lucky that he had some time to have lunch with me during his brief holiday, and he decided that we should meet up in Italianni's, because he missed having the caesar's salad there. Along with our other cousin Treena, we discussed his book over pizza and pasta. Luckily for me, they were agreeable to having pescetarian-friendly choices, so we ordered their Fettucine Alfredo with Shrimp, some Pizza Margherita, and of course, Caesar's Salad.

Pizza Margherita

Fettucine Alfredo with Shrimp

It was great to catch up with my cousins, since I very rarely see them. I only see Bong (whom I call Kuya Bong or KB) on his occasional visits home, and Treena during rare clan reunions. Italianni's was a good choice for our lunch. This restaurant has become a fixture in Metro Manila, and is often a choice for families. Italianni's seems to be a perfect fit for Philippine culture, with portions for sharing, and the ambience perfect for a cozy meal with loved ones.

Unfortunately for me, KB had an appointment after the lunch hour, so we didn't have much time to linger over coffee. But I was grateful that he made some time to see me. Hopefully the next meal I share with him will be one in the place he now considers home, Phnom Penh.