Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ms. Polly's Award-Winning Chocolate Cake

Last December we were gifted with one amazing chocolate cake: it was moist, slightly bitter, no too sweet, very chocolatey. I'm not a fan of chocolate cakes but this is an exception: the icing is slightly sweeter than the body, driving one not to waste even a smidge.

Ms. Polly's Specialty Cakes and Desserts
16 Milan Street Merville Park Subdivision
(+63) 02 824 7612

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Buffet Love at Marco Polo Ortigas' Cucina

Last December was a dizzying dervish of parties and get-togethers. Buffets are popular for these gatherings, and one resto I was keen on trying was Marco Polo Ortigas' Cucina. I've tried Marco Polo Cebu and Davao (click here and here) before, so I wanted to know how the Ortigas branch measure up against them. 

I took a page from my friend Rush and started with the soup station. I had a tasty, spicy soup with flavorful mussels, siomai, shrimps, and ham, freshened by calamansi. I dialed up the heat with chopped red-eye chilis or labuyo. Finished it off with a topping of sliced boiled eggs. This was yum--a fortuitous beginning.

Next I had tasty rib-eye steak in pepper steak sauce coupled with sweet cherry tomatoes--a nice pairing. 

The pork chops were moist and the pizza, which has been sitting on the counter for quite some time, was still flavorful. 

The pork and beans was just lovely and the seafood stew was divine.

Another winning platter: slipper lobster, mussels, and shrimp which I dipped in vinegar. 

Of the excellent gelato, I was partial to pistachio and vanilla which I topped with mango and blueberries.  

Of the pastries, I love the choco tart the best--rich dark silky balanced by tart strawberries--but Marco Polo Davao's version is more exquisite. 

24F Marco Polo Ortigas Manila
Sapphire Street cor. Meralco Avenue
Pasig City
(+63) 02 7207777 local 6622

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tagaytay's Marcia Adams's Tuscany for Grilled Orange and Vanilla Ice Cream

This is my second visit to Marcia Adams. Per usual, the food was great. Each course entitles one to an appetizer, a main dish, and a dessert. I've already featured my favorites here. For this visit I was impressed with this dessert combo: grilled orange + vanilla ice cream + mint + honey = delicious!

Can't resist taking a picture of the Amalfi Prawns, which I also featured here.

Marcia Adams's Tuscany
JP Rizal Street, Tagaytay City

The Ramen Variants of Ramen Nagi

The first time I ate at Ramen Nagi was truly unforgettable. I've never been back to the place but fortunately, after a few months a branch nearer my place of work opened. I set out to choose a favorite from the menu, but up to this point where all the variants are excellent choosing is difficult.

Red King
This variant (pictured below, right) has a tasty, complex broth: both sweet and spicy, and the fresh leeks add another layer of heat. The broth alone was enough reason for the visit. The thin noodles were perfect for absorbing the flavors. I was drenched in sweat after the meal--always a good sign.

Bonito King
This is a seasonal variant (pictured above, right), and I was glad I ordered it. Bonitos are medium-sized relatives of tuna. The bowl arrived with the strong aroma of  fish and spicy powder. I love the option of choosing the heat level--my bowl had just the right amount of spiciness. The raw leeks cut through the rich, gamy broth. This is one excellent variant.

Green King 
I had low expectations with this variant, but it works--the broth was dense with flavor. I love the instant hit of umami from the cheese and herbs. Dialing the heat up prevented this from being too cloying. Sarap!

Ebi Ramen
Another very flavorful, seasonal variant. I requested that they make the sauce and broth light and dialed the heat level to seven. I was perspiring after the meal and quite happy.

Black King
After a prior attempt that had too much garlic it overpowered the dish, I was able to get the combo right: I requested that they make the garlic, sauce, and broth light and I had the spice level dialed to eight. The result was a flavorful, balanced ramen.

Ramen Nagi
Padre Faura Wing
Robinsons Place Manila
Pedro Gil St,, Ermita Manila
(+63) 02 353 5063

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Top Posts of 2014

I've been blogging semi-regularly since 2012 and I haven't come around to writing year-end highlights. This time I'll do something different and post the top five posts of last year. Rounding the line-up are posts from out-of-town, features on ramen (yes, I'm obsessed), and a write-up on a cake shop. Links to the full article are provided. Here they are:

1. What I Ate in Bacolod and Iloilo. Click here for the full article

2. Dining in Cebu. Click here for the full article

3. Menya Genki Tonkotsu Ramen House for Pirikara Tonkotsu Special. Click here for the full article

4. Ramen Nagi's Black King Butao Ramen. Click here for the full article

5. Becky's Kitchen Prune Walnut Cake. Click here for the full article.

So that's 2014's top five posts. I hope you continue to join me in my eating adventures this 2015. Thank you, dear readers.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Burger Bar's Double Cheese Burger and Salted Caramel Milkshake

Disclosure: I'm not a burger fan. My taste in burgers is very pedestrian: Jollibee's Amazing Aloha and Wendy's Bacon Cheeseburger hit the spot for me. But, who knows? Perhaps it's just a question of not having met the the burger that would win me over.

A couple of months ago I met up with some classmates in Makati's Burger Bar. I ordered the double cheese burger. The patty was moist, juicy, ginormous, and beefy. For this burger it's all about the meat. This is best for those with hefty appetites. juicy, 

Good thing I paired my order with the generous salted caramel shake. The shake was sinful, creamy, and rich, and you could really taste the the salted caramel--reason enough to smile. Oh, and did I mention it has generous swirls of salted caramel? Am I a convert? Almost. 

Burger Bar
Greeenbelt 2, Makati
(+63) 02 625 2792

Friday, December 19, 2014

Boracay's Sababi of D'Talipapa for Buttered Prawns and Tapas de Dos Mestizos

Last year I posted a double feature on my solo trip to Boracay, which you can click here and here. I wanted to try D'Talipapa, but decided against it.

This year, with friends in tow, we went to D'Talipapa's Sababi. D'Talipapa is a cluster of restaurants surrounding a wet market where you can buy your proteins, mostly seafood, and accompanying vegetables and fruits. You then have these cooked in one of the stalls, just like Macapagal Boulevard's Seaside. At Sababi we had perfectly cooked buttered prawns: the skin did not stick to the meat even after resting. The prawns were fresh and meaty.

 Don't expect anything fancy--just fresh catch and breaking bread at its most basic. 

Aklan D'Talipapa

The other night we went to Dos Mestizos. We had a delightful salsa dip that came with the complimentary bread. We then had tapas. 

I was enamored with the bold Spanish flavors, like those of the callos: so buttery soft and rich.

The reliable chorizos got smaller but taste as good as before.

We had refreshing sangria to wash down our tapas.

The best tapa for me is the tasty calamares (no need for the dip). The combination of soft flesh and crunchy batter shows good technique.

The salpicao is also good--rich, flavorful.

Dos Mestizos
Remedios Street, Sitio Manggayad
(+63) 036 288 5786