Saturday, May 29, 2010


Where do I begin... I can't think of anything to say...

To paraphrase Lourd De Veyra, it's like a really bad road accident. it's horrible but you can't look away.

It hurts my ears, mommy!

food is fun

The Goose Station. What's there to say that hasn't already been said? It's not the easiest place to find, even with a map. In fact, I'd say ditch the map and just look for a building with a big "W" on it. (Not their fault. The city of Taguig seems to be designed to confuse and entrap people. You can go in, but you can't get out.)

We were a party of four-- Ma, Steph (silent H), Cookie Monster and me. This is a good-sized group for tasting most of the dishes being offered by the ridiculously good-looking Pengson couple. All of us ordered the Express Menu because the Signature Menu was kind of scary with the sheer amount of food listed on it. Even with the Express, we had to doggy-bag one of the desserts.

Since all the other bloggers out there start with the starters, let's be different and start with the mains. The 24-hour Steak was out of this world. Seriously. It's now on my Top 5 Best Steaks list of the moment. Nay, my Top 3.

Our server explained that this steak was cooked en sous-vide for-- you guessed it-- 24 hours and then seared in a pan before serving. That's why you can't request a level of doneness. It's already "done" as is. Actually, it came out medium. Apparently, Chef Rob Pengson is a gadget boy.

From Wikipedia: "Sous-vide, French for 'under vacuum', is a method of cooking that is intended to maintain the integrity of ingredients by heating them for an extended period at relatively low temperatures. Food is cooked for a long time, sometimes well over 24 hours. Unlike cooking in a slow cooker, sous-vide cooking uses airtight plastic bags placed in hot water well below boiling point (usually around 60°C or 140°F)."

The result was a glorious piece of meat that had the texture of tender but springy baby veal, and the full-bodied flavor of a top-grade sirloin. I like beef that tastes like beef, don't you?

The Roasted Scallop was a winner for Ma. Perfectly cooked, plump, juicy, and served with caviar. Can never have too much caviar.

For dessert, the Baked Camembert Bread Pudding was comfort food with a luxe twist. The use of Camembert was genius. I am thinking of making this dessert at home. I mean, it's a bread pudding! Stale bread, milk, eggs. Then top with Camembert. Wow.

Our other dessert was the Yogurt Parfait. I was expecting the normal creamy yogurt, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I tasted this. It was a yogurt FOAM. Light and tart, it cut through all the rich food that we'd already eaten, somewhat like a palate cleanser, except it was the end of the meal.

The other stuff we ate that night were the Foie Cone, Prosciutto Brie Macaroon, Potato Glass, Truffle Puff, Pea and Edamame Soup, Beet Garden Salad, Eggs Benedict and Caviar Surprise-- all of which have been analyzed to death by hordes of food bloggers. It all tasted very, very good. Cannot complain about any of the flavors and textures. And fun to eat! It was whimsical but witty.

This was the menu on 4 May 2010. They change some of the items periodically, so one MUST go back periodically. Click to enlarge:

The Express Menu is the best deal. Everything else does not make much sense, pricing-wise.

Er, Chef, I know you're a busy guy, but maybe you can do something about your menu? Suggest you get a piece of cardboard, cover it with faux leather, punch some holes on those four sheets of paper, thread a ribbon through it all, et voila!

Oh, and your restaurant is too dark, man. Your food is too pretty. We want to take pictures without using the flash. I managed a few so-so photos.

Note to self: Food pictures look so much better in natural sunlight. See previous entry. Does this mean we should eat lunch out more often instead of dinner? For the sake of better photographs? Can you say "obsession"?

the secret to a successful marriage

Listen up, couples out there. When asked how he and wife Kyra Sedgwick are able to stay married for so long (22 years!), here's what Kevin Bacon said:

Image borrowed from

"Keep the fights clean, and the sex dirty."

Friday, May 28, 2010

different by daylight

One of the best things about having visitors is: We get to try more food.

This is the first time we saw Kasbah during the daytime. The colors are so happy and cheerful. Never noticed that before.

We had the kemias sampler. Still the best kemias I've ever had. Even with six people sharing, we couldn't finish them all. The doggy bag was still good the next day.

We had some chicken wings. Tasty, but somehow the fries were more interesting. This led to a discussion of hand-cut fresh fries versus McDonald's frozen fries.

The mixed brochettes were perfectly cooked, as always. It's not easy to keep grilled meat and seafood moist like that.

And of course, we had Bunny Rabbit's favorite lamb tagine with vegetables. I mentioned it before, here.

For dessert, we tried some baklava. It was mediocre. The sogginess bothered everyone.

But the nutmeg panna cotta made me forget about the baklava. It made me forget my own name for a few minutes. I would go back to eat this one thing.

Thanks, Cookie Monster and Steph, for a great time! And yez, the sunglasses make you look like a richie-rich.

It was great to meet Steph's Sako and Uncle John. We hope that you enjoyed our island.

diablo's home

Our friend Diablo is from the northern part of the Philippines. He grew up surrounded by the majestic Cordillera Mountain Range. He brought a part of it to Boracay.

It took him about a year to finish building his house.

He invited some woodcarvers from back home to help him with the finishing.

One of the craftsmen was quite naughty.

The chandeliers were made from baskets which he used to carry rice... as a child!

I didn't know that Diablo was obsessive compulsive like me. Neat!

Bunny Rabbit said that it's a little like visiting Nayong Pilipino, a theme park which showcases Philippine culture and where native houses and landscapes are featured.

It's a mountain home with a view of the sea. Try to beat that.

at long last

I always tell tourists that there are over 100 restaurants on Boracay, so where to eat shouldn't be a problem. But the truth is, I can only recommend a handful that I'm sure are authentic, priced reasonably, taste good and have smart service.

Case in point: We don't have a Japanese restaurant that meets a sensible person's standards. (No, that Japanese resto at D'Mall is not good at all. Very expensive and blah dishes. Oh, and we got food poisoning.)

Until now! Except it's not a restaurant. It's a take-out and delivery service.

This bento box contains (clockwise) rice, gyoza, potato salad, kimchi, sautéed vegetables and chicken teriyaki, with a bowl of miso soup. All for about US$3.50. Every component was eyes-rolling-to-the back-of-my-head excellent. It was a bit of Japan in the comfort of my home, eaten in front of the TV. It took two people to finish this box, by the way, but everything was wiped out. It looked like it was licked clean.

Call Karen at +639216823779 to order. Click on the menus to enlarge.

I have another bento box in my refrigerator. Goodbye.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

another thunderbolt

I've just finished reading "Anne Of Green Gables". I know, it's a kid's book, but my parents didn't exactly stock up on children's literature when we were growing up-- except for the Junior Encyclopaedia Britannica which I read from A to Z.

Anyway, I enjoyed Anne. I'll be looking for the other books in this series next time I go to a secondhand bookstore.

The gist of the story is in this paragraph:

"That Anne-girl improves all the time," she (Miss Barry) said. "I get tired of other girls-- there is such a provoking and eternal sameness about them. Anne has as many shades as a rainbow and every shade is the prettiest while it lasts. I don't know that she is as amusing as she was when she was a child, but she makes me love her, and I like people who make me love them. It saves me so much trouble in making myself love them."

Ah yes, I know what the author L.M. Montgomery means by that. There are some people who are just naturally loveable. Others are so difficult to even LIKE-- and those are usually one's relatives.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

look, up in the sky!

We are so lucky to have witnessed the rare conjunction of Venus, the Moon and the Earth on 16 May 2010. Actually, we didn't know that it was a big deal until we watched the news on TV the next day. We were just trying to decide where to have dinner, and ended up sitting on the beach. We saw the entire show, from the time the Evening Star was perched on top of the crescent until a couple of hours later when the Moon completely obscured it.

At 6:39PM:

At 6:43PM:

I didn't bring a tripod, so I didn't bother to take pictures after the sky had turned dark. But we did stay on the beach until almost moonset. Lovely.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Last year, I made a Christmas wish list. Of the ten items in it, I finally got one. Wiwit!

Hand-carried from Manila by Luigi the God of Basecamp:

The Starbucks plastic cup, Venti size:

They released the smaller size, Grande, previously, but when I saw this super upsized version, I knew that I had to have it. I'm glad that I resisted the temptation to buy the Grande. You know what they say-- Bigger is better.

Now where's my Segway?


Presenting: my artsy-fartsy abstracts.

Caticlan Jetty Port


Water Sprinkler


When I die, these pictures will be worth something.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

eat, drink, blog

This is not a food blog, really. It's more of a diary. Like it says up there, "Where I write about stuff that happened to me before I forget about them."

Can I help it if food happens to me a lot?

Involtini at Aria Restaurant, Boracay. Literally mouth-watering. The cheese was dreamy. The beef was OK, too. 4/5

Tagliatelle with truffle oil at Aria Restaurant, Boracay. Wrote about it previously, here. 5/5

Frozen coffee concoction at L@tte Coffee Shop, Kalibo airport. Price + serving size = great value. 4/5

Famous stir-fried noodles at Legaspi Sunday Market, Makati. Unexpectedly bland. And the texture was kind of disturbing. 3/5

Chaikofi's fish fillet with black bean sauce and a four seasons iced green tea-- that's why it's pink. At PHP220 for this meal, not bad considering everything inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 is crazy expensive. 4/5

Best find at NAIA3. Illy coffee is soo-oo good. 5/5

I do not analyze everything that I put in my mouth. Wait, did that sound right? Anyway, basta, I do NOT take pictures of ALL my food. Sometimes lang...

moving on

Gibo has conceded. Like I said last year, Noynoy won primarily because of his name. I hope he lives up to our expectations.

What does the world media have to say? Click to enlarge.

Enough said. Time to buckle down and work, Mr. President-elect.

Monday, May 10, 2010

waiting game

Today is the day.

It took me 30 minutes, from the time I joined the queue to when my fingernail was dabbed with indelible ink.

Now we wait.