Monday, September 27, 2010

KaLui Restaurant, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

The last time I went to Puerto Princesa in Palawan, I asked around to find out what their best restaurant is. The consensus of many people was that Kalui Restaurant was the must-visit resto in the city. So, my friends and I went to have lunch in the restaurant which (according to its website anyway) is "the most famous and best value restaurant in Palawan".

The place was very pleasant. It had a native look and feel, and you are asked to remove your shoes before entering, so as not to dirty their highly polished wooden floors. We chose our table, ordered our food, then looked around the place while waiting for it to be prepared. The restaurant is relatively big, and they had a lot of native art and decor. It was a very humid day, though, and we were soon sweating as we walked around because the electric fans couldn't stir the air enough to dissipate the humidity.

Our food soon arrived and we got busy with our respective plates. I ordered Fish Cordon Bleu, primarily because it had cheese. It was not bad, but I did feel envious of my friends who ordered the Tuna Steak, of which I had a few bites. I should've known better not to order the fried fish. The freshness of the fish was more apparent when served rare. I had to stop myself from getting a lot of my friends' food, as I was enjoying it way too much.

Fish Cordon Bleu

After lunch, I went to the back of the restaurant to check out some clothes and other things they had for sale. The clothes were colorful, pretty, and well-made, but a little pricey.

I understand why both tourists and locals flock to the place. The ambience is perfect for family and group lunches, you can go shopping for some souvenirs, and the food is very fresh. I should just remember to order the tuna steak next time.

KaLui Restaurant
369 Rizal Avenue
Puerto Princesa City
Palawan, Philippines
Tel. No. (63)(48)433.2580

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Stock Market, Bonifacio High Street

I spent a rare afternoon shopping at Bonifacio High Street with a couple of friends, and we decided to have some dinner at The Stock Market at the end of our spree. I've always been intrigued by this restaurant's interiors, so I wanted to finally try the place out. Apparently, the place is owned by Del Monte Philippines, and is so named because Del Monte sells its "stock" of products there. It's more of a family place that serves American food.

One of my friends ordered a burger of sorts (since I don't eat burgers, it didn't interest me enough to remember the name), then my other friend ordered some pasta with salmon. I ordered their Blackened Fish with Mango Pineapple Relish and Seafood Creole Rice. I think I order blackened fish whenever I see it on a menu. I love New Orleans cuisine, and this is one thing that I almost always end up happy with.

Blackened Fish

I liked their version of this dish, and although I was avoiding carbs, I couldn't resist the Creole rice. After finishing all of it, I declared it worth the carbohydrates. My friends though were not as satisfied with their choices. The taste of the salmon pasta (which I tried) was okay, but the sauce was way too watery (as you can see from the photo). We ended up putting a lot of cheese in it to try and make it thicker.

Salmon Pasta

The burger, I was told, was not memorable either. A little too small, and not particularly tasty, for its price. All in all, I'm not sure I would return to this restaurant. I did like what I ate here, but maybe next time I find myself in Bonifacio High Street, I'll try Clawdaddy to try their New Orleans cuisine instead.

The Stock Market
Bonifacio High Street
Bonifacio Global City
Taguig, Metro Manila
Tel. No. (632) 856-6301

Friday, September 17, 2010

Girls' Night Out at Taverna Verde, Ortigas

My friend Z told me she and her good friends Jan and Girlie were in the mood for a girls' night out, and invited me to come along. It sounded like a great way to spend a Monday night, so I told her I was in. The plan was to go to Taverna, a bar that Girlie said was a great place to just chill and hang out. We agreed to go there around eight to have time to have something to eat, then have a few drinks after.

When we all got there, the place was empty. I didn't really mind. I liked the place and its high-backed soft cushioned seats. We decided to have some pizza and pasta to start off the evening. I couldn't order any of the pasta because they all had either pork, beef, or chicken. So, for pescetarians looking for their pasta fix, this is not the place to go. Thankfully, they had a couple of pescetarian-friendly pizzas.

First, we tried their Spicy Sardine Pizza. I enjoyed it because the crust was very thin and crunchy, which is just the way I like it. The ingredients also came together very well- a good combination of sardines, slices of tomatoes, mozzarella, and capers.

Spicy Sardine Pizza

We also tried their Mushroom Pizza. I liked this as well (mostly because I was relieved that the mushrooms were not canned button mushrooms), but I have to say the sardine pizza was declared the favorite of the group.

Mushroom Pizza

While eating, we had a few drinks, then ordered even more food. There was a mix-up about the nachos that we ordered. We asked that the beef be served separate from the nachos so Girlie (non-beef eater) and I could eat it. When the nachos arrived, the ground beef was on top of the nachos, while the other sauces were in separate containers. I guess there was some confusion about what we wanted. The server thankfully seemed appropriately contrite, and remedied the situation right away.

We all enjoyed the food (and the drinks!), but we ended up moving to another place because there were hardly any people in the bar. Maybe because it was a Monday night, or maybe because it was just a particularly slow night. We did have fun on our girls' night out though. The pizza (and the company!) mostly did it for me, while the alcohol did the rest.

88 Meralco Ave. cor. Julia Vargas
Ortigas, Pasig City

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mien San Noodle House

I hadn't seen my friend Kennie in a while because she was quite busy the past few months. She suggested that we get together so she could bring me to an authentic Taiwanese restaurant while we catch up. One evening, I picked her up then we went to Mien San Noodle House, which was packed, especially for a rainy week night.

I tried to order some dumplings, but unfortunately, the ones I ordered, or tried to order (prawn or vegetable), had some pork in it. I really hate it when that happens- when the menu says "shrimp dumpling", "shrimp cakes", "vegetable rolls", and so on, and they have pork mixed in it.

I've seen this in several Chinese and Thai restaurants. That's why pescetarians have to ask specifically if these dishes (usually with ground or chopped ingredients) have other kinds of meat, because they fail to mention that there is pork, or sometimes chicken, mixed in them.

Kennie told me to try the Fried Manthou, which she said was usually served with condensed milk (of this, I am a great fan). But, in this case, no condensed milk was to be had. No matter, I still enjoyed the fried bread. I don't know if it's usually done, but I added some butter to it.

Fried Manthou

According to the menu, another authentic Taiwanese dish was the oyster pancake, which I ordered. It was bigger than I expected it to be, and I wasn't able to finish the whole thing. (The leftovers were enough for lunch the next day.) Kennie said it had more of the glutinous stuff than she was used to. I myself couldn't judge, not having tried too many oyster pancakes in my day.

Oyster Pancake

I also had their century egg with tofu. This one I particularly liked, as I am fond both of century egg and tofu. The garlic was not too overpowering, just enough to make the dish very tasty.

Century Egg with Tofu

I would go back to this place, although parking is a bit difficult, and you come out of the place smelling like food. Next time I might actually get to try the noodles.

Mien San Noodle House
Granada St., Bgy. Valencia,
New Manila, Quezon City

Tel. Nos. (632)721.5794, (632)723.0558

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A birthday lunch at Zucchini's, Quezon City

I haven't gone to Zucchini's in a while, so when Yeng said she would treat me to lunch there for my birthday, I was all too happy to oblige. I really like eating in this restaurant, so Yeng and I stretched out our lunch (basically by eating too much) to enjoy the place.

To start off our meal, we shared the Barbecue Shrimps Salad (Although it wasn't really a lot and I'm sure we could have polished off one each). It was flavored with wasabi cream sauce and jalapeno vinaigrette. I liked how the shrimps were barbecued. Very tasty.

Barbecue Shrimps Salad

After that, Yeng ordered the Potato Crusted Fish Fillet, while I had the Fillets of Lemon Sole. The waiter, in a sort of warning, told me that the dish I ordered was pretty big. He said the serving was big enough for two. (Two whats, he didn't exactly say. It was certainly not big enough for the two of us.) It wasn't that the serving was undersized, it's more that our appetites were oversized.

Fillets of Lemon Sole

Potato Crusted Fish Fillet

Yeng told the servers that it was my birthday, so they thoughtfully made a birthday cake out of their Lychee Panna Cotta, complete with candle. Thankfully, they didn't sing any embarrassing songs as they brought it to the table.

Lychee Panna cotta

This lunch was the first of a series of meals I had to celebrate my birthday. A great way to kick off what turned out to be a very long celebration. Thanks Yeng!

20 Scout Tuason cor. Scout Castor
Quezon City, Metro Manila

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Healthy Desserts at Hui Lau Shan, Hong Kong

I came across some photos that I hadn't posted from a trip to Hong Kong, and I just had to put them up because I remember how much pleasure these desserts brought me. I'm talking about Hui Lau Shan Healthy Dessert, a popular chain in Hong Kong. I remember going to this place as often as I could during my short stay there, judging from the number of desserts I had in the photos below.

Some stalls were bigger than others. In some of them, it was hard to get a place to sit, and I had to take out my order. They offered a variety of desserts, but I liked the ones with mango best. They did have different fruits, while some desserts had rice balls and beans.

This photo below shows the dessert I liked best. It had mango ice cream, mango chunks, and some kind of jelly which, if I remember correctly, was called "glass".

Unfortunately I can no longer remember all the names of these desserts, since I neglected to write them down at the time. When I tried to check the website of Hui Lau Shan for some help, it was in Chinese and I couldn't get the Google translate function to work for me.

But when you're in one of Hui Lau Shan's stalls, it doesn't take a genius to figure out which dessert would appeal to you. I do recommend though, if you're a mango lover like me, that you try their different mango-based desserts.

Hui Lau Shan
Everywhere, Hong Kong