Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gurts by Pancake House

Date of visit: July 2, 2010

My daily commute to the CBD is not complete without drooling at food billboards. One specific billboard caught my eye for almost a week and it's about GurtsPancake House has joined the fro-yo craze so they came up with Gurts. Said billboard tortured me everyday with this line: Gurts. Creamy and cool. 98% fat-free frozen yogurt. Finally, when the chance to visit Pancake House came, I immediately tried the fro-yo. 

A replica of the billboard faced me.

At last, my blueberry white chocolate chip cheesecake fro-yo! Craving solved.

While the BF was giving me a puzzled look at my current craving, he's happy with his order. 

Country Style Medley: classic pancakes with country sausage with coffee (not in the pic)

I hope against hope that billboard cravings will stop ASAP. No more space for extra calories. 

Kooky & Luscious Revisited

Date of visit: July 2, 2010

Since the BF get to spend the whole working day with me, then lunch time should be a bit special than my daily lunch time at the office pantry with my baon. So it's Kooky & Luscious for lunch. This small resto is a familiar sight for Ayala Avenue peeps, and for me, it's a perfect spot for quiet lunch date. Two top reasons why we frequent this place: pochero and dementia.

 At 11:30 a.m., it's really peace and quiet at the 2/F. We don't see hungry corporate slaves yet. YET. After five minutes, the place was packed already. Forgot to take a pic though.

Green amusement: my skirt, cushioned chair and wall 

Then our orders arrived. Amusement with green came to a halt.

I love the vegetable lasagne! I'm craving for it right now. I can still remember all the gooey cheese and the yummy veggie combo inside. 

BF's perennial favorite: pochero and brown rice

BUT, of course, lunch at Kooky & Luscious isn't complete without dementia. Layers of chocolate mousse with ganache. Bittersweet goodness in a plate.

Kooky & Luscious doesn't disappoint. Very convenient and reasonable prices considering the prime location and quick service.

Kooky & Luscious
Ground Level, Metrobankcard Bldg.
6778 Ayala Avenue

Makati City

Sunday, July 25, 2010

June 24: Paper Anniversary

Food trip. These two words summed up our paper anniversary. Tell me, do couples still celebrate the presence of ♥ they have for each other? Do couples still profess to each other and reassure one another that he or she is the OAO reason his or her ♥  beats? I hear a tiny voice inside me that says: Stop being mushy! LOL!

A week before June 24 (our paper anniv, imagine that), I told the BF to bring me to Serendra Piazza in BGC on the special day. Funny as it may sound, it was my very first time to set foot in this posh area in Taguig City. So, we celebrated our paper anniversary with a sumptous dinner at Zao Vietnamese Bistro. True to its name, the resto serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine, athough we both had no way of finding out whether what's authentic or not. Hey November, please come early!

Red equates to the word ♥, right? 

I was a bit impressed with the resto service. Upon placing our orders, our jasmine iced tea was served in less than five minutes.

The bottles of wine across our table

Fresh rolls or Gỏi cuốn (Php 195)- rice paper rolls that include shrimp, herbs, pork, rice vermicelli and other ingredients wrapped up and dipped in nước chấm or peanut sauce

Vietnamese beef stew (Php 345)

Caramelized garlic prawns (Php 395)

Post-dinner shots courtesy of the friendly waitress. LOL!

For dessert, we headed to Cupcakes by Sonja and ordered Peppermint Patty and Red Velvet Vixen cupcakes. See? It was definitely a food trip.

Seriously, this relationship helped me bring out my mature version. Yep. We took refuge in each other, acting as listening posts for each other's complaints. We often stood in stark contrast to the little humps and bumps we dealt with on a daily basis, and told each other as much. Our first year together illustrates the roles we happily and lovingly played for each other, in addition to perhaps highlighting how diversely we took our wimpy little problems.

One Rainy Afternoon at Red Ribbon

Rain shower on a Sunday afternoon is not a bad idea after all. In fact, the slight drizzle still motivated BF and I to go to church and have coffee at Red Ribbon. This bakeshop is known for its premium cakes and pastries since time immemorial and it never fails to disappoint whenever I need a good cake for family celebrations. This time, Red Ribbon offers a coffee line known as Hot Brews which features four kinds: americano, cafe latte, cappucino and cafe mocha. Their menu says that Hot Brews are freshly brewed from 100% premium Arabica beans.

Cake and coffee combo: a slice of Black Forest cake and cappucino (Php 80)

Chicken & pork empanada and cappucino for BF

Cappucino sells for only Php 45. It's pretty cheap, but it didn't disappoint. To quote their menu, it's freshly brewed espresso, velvety foamed milk and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Really, the sweetness of the cake is tempered by the innate taste of coffee. As if I wasn't satisfied at all, we tried their grilled ensaymada which spells perfection! It's just their ordinary cheesy ensaymada, shoved into the microwave, topped with premium butter and dusted with confectioner's sugar. The result: mouth-watering grilled ensaymada! Yum.

Sugar is sweet and so are you. 
All together now: Eeeeeeeeew!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cupcakes by Sonja, Serendra

I first heard of this alleged queen of cupcakes from a talk show host. I also had an information overload of this cupcake store from reading several blog posts such as OAP and Market Manila. Aside from its seemingly pricey location, I never even bothered to try it right away since I'm not much of a sweet tooth.

First visit: June 24, 2010
My BF and I celebrated our paper anniversary and I literally dragged him to try Cupcakes by Sonja. Guess what? The rave about Cupcakes by Sonja was justified during my first bite! We picked two cupcakes to share, Peppermint Patty and Red Velvet Vixen. I bet little girls or tweeners would really love the charming presentation of these appetizing pieces of cake. Look at those dainty saucer tops.

Peppermint Patty: Valrhona dark chocolate cupcake topped with peppermint frosting (Php 68)

Red Velvet Vixen: Traditional Southern cupcake made with Belgian cocoa and cream cheese icing (Php 70)

Second visit: July 8, 2010
BF bought a dozen to give to her beloved boss who will celebrate her birthday the next day. While browsing the cupcake shelves, I had this mouth-watering urge to bite the cute PB & J's cupcake! Who says I'm on a diet? Nah.

PB & J's: Concorde grape jelly filled chocolate cupcake iced with creamy peanut butter frosting (Php 68)

Looking forward to another piece of cake by Sonja. Yum.

Persia Grill, SM Megamall

Notwithstanding our busy (in my case, not so) work schedules, my BF and I still like to spend time together strolling in the mall after office hours. Reasons vary, but we both like to eat out and watch movies to unwind. As always the case, I immediately said yes to a free movie and dinner!

Since BF was very vocal of his craving for kebab, I couldn't just say no, could I? So, Persia Grill it is. Our first Persia Grill date was in the Valero branch last year. The Valero branch is pretty impressive due to their attentive waitstaff and cozy ambiance. Plus, the Persian decors are eye candies for hungry customers. We noticed that the SM Mega branch is not that full of customers, maybe because of their poor location.

Classic duo: yogurt sauce and hot sauce for anything kebab-ish.. Well, let's just say that I'm partial to all-time fave Mister Kebab's special yogurt sauce.

My sexy mango yogurt shake (Php 70)

BF's drink - Portugal's Super Bock beer (Php 95)

Chelo Kebab Kobindeh (Php 199) - Two sticks of charbroiled ground beef prepared with Persian spices served with fresh grilled tomatoes, eggplant and yogurt dip and steamed long grain Biryani rice with butter

Persian Burger (Php 105)

This looks like your ordinary shawarma but it's not. In fact, I never did like shawarma due to its strong onion aftertaste. Persian burger contains the same charbroiled ground beef found in chelo kebab meals with tomatoes, lettuce and special sauce. Very heavy and yummy!

While waiting for the bill, we can't help but notice this star-inspired lamp. It reminds me of the starlit sky which is synonymous to romantic dinners often depicted in mushy rom-com films and cartoon flicks. Gosh.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Nasi Lemak: Authentic Singapore Food (Yes!)

Maybe I'm still suffering from a hangover from the not-so-far-away thought of actually experiencing the Singapore Food Festival hence, this post. A few hours away from watching Legally Blonde The Musical at the nearby Meralco Theater, I convinced the BF to have dinner at Nasi Lemak at Robinson's Galleria. This cozy resto boasts of authentic Singaporean cuisine and I'd say that the prices are quite affordable nonetheless.

First off, BF and I agreed to order the famous Hainanese Chicken Rice combo meal which only costs Php 128 including a regular iced tea. Since I didn't have the chance to taste the same dish at the Orchard Road (see previous post), I wouldn't know which tastes better. Surprisingly, I found this dish so simple yet tasty. On the other hand, BF swore that Orchard Road's version is more tasty than Nasi Lemak's. Oh well.


The big revelation to me though is the spicy noodle soup called laksa (Php 200; good for 2-3 persons). I have to admit that I have never developed even a tiny bit of tolerance when it comes to spicy food. My threshold for spicy food is barely low but laksa successfully crept in to my imagined threshold for spicy foods. The combination of ingredients and the prawn/coconut based broth was addicting. 

Check out the almost squeaky clean individual bowls as evidence. A peak at their menu would reveal that they serve the best laksa in town. At this point, I wouldn't know if it's only advertising hype at its best, so I'll just concede to my taste buds - I ♥ laksa!

To cap off our nice dinner, we came up with funny nose shots. I think this is an upshot of my runny nose after  eating the spicy laksa. :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Orchard Road, SM Megamall

It was our own way of celebrating the Singapore Food Festival which is an annual event that takes place every July in, where else, but SG! I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for a trip to SG sometime next year perhaps since my HS bestie Maan (now based in SG) promised she'll be our personal tour guide. We'll see.

I've been reading about this relatively new resto where you could find some SG hawker center faves in cheapo prices - Orchard Road. We all know that Orchard Road is a famous retail  and entertainment hub in the Merlion City. So curiosity kicked in when we chanced upon this resto in SM Megamall at the eve of Typhoon Basyang's landfall in the metro.

The famous Hainanese Chicken rice with dark soy sauce and pounded ginger dip

Popiah, a fresh spring roll which is similar to our lumpiang sariwa except that the popiah wrapper is way too dry

Research tells me that the popiah's filling is mainly finely grated and steamed or stir-fried turnipjicama (known locally as singkamas) which has been cooked with a combination of other ingredients such as bean sproutsFrench beans, and lettuce leaves,  along with grated carrots, slices of Chinese sausage, thinly sliced fried tofu, chopped peanuts or peanut powder, fried shallots, and shredded omelette. 

Worthy to mention is the drink called bandung. It consists of milk flavoured with rose cordial syrup, giving a pink colour. The drink originated during the British colonial days of Singapore. The pink color got me! 

We also tried kaya toast. This is a popular snack amongst Singaporeans where kaya is a local favourite spread eaten on toast, fresh bread or cream crackers. Kaya is made of eggs, sugar and coconut milk and flavored with pandan. We'll try this with coffee tarik next time.

Bring on the cheesy shots!