Monday, August 27, 2012

Tagaytay City's Amy's Eatery for Bulalo, Beefsteak, and Fried Tawilis

My quest for the ultimate bulalo (beef shank soup) continues. Last time I reported on my find in Mandaluyong City. This time I'll be reporting from Tagaytay. 

This is my second go in Tagaytay. Weeks ago we tried to go to the city's Mahogany Market, which is beef central in these parts. One can buy the freshest beef here, from locally raised cows butchered that very morning. A skip, hop, and a jump away are open-air food stalls popular for selling bulalo. Unfortunately, we reached the place around 9 p.m., and by that time the stalls were closed.

This time we were at Mahogany at 7 p.m. Earlier I polled my colleagues for the best place to eat, and Amy's was a unanimous choice. It was raining hard that day, but nothing's going to stop this quest. Below are the best of what we ordered. 

bulalo--beef shank boiled for hours, flavored with fish sauce,
with cabbage and other available vegetables added to the mix 

bistek tagalog--strips of sirloin beef and onion rings cooked in soy sauce and calamansi juice

fried tawilis--freshwater sardines found only in taal lake

The bulalo and bistek were brimming with beefy goodness. We noticed that the bulalo broth remained clear even in the cool weather. I had posted on fried tawilis before, and this comes close to that wonderful experience, minus the fancy ambiance. Many of my colleagues were preparing for a marathon, but any thoughts on diet were put on hold while we ate to our heart's content. And oh, as a nice touch, we were given fresh pineapple and bananas for dessert.  

This is, by far, the best bulalo yet for me. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Cake Club's Baked Cheesecake and Supermoist Chocolate Cake

During my friend Lulu's birthday get-together, we decided to eat cake. Not just ordinary cakes, dear readers, but those by Diamond Hotel's Cake Club. And so off to the Bonifacio High Street Branch we went. 

We ordered three, two of which were bestsellers. These did not disappoint
baked cheesecake

supermoist chocolate cake
I'm a fan of cheesecakes, so this one had me at hello. It's cheesy, and the almond bits lend texture. I'm not crazy about chocolate, but like its companion this was moist and not cloyingly sweet.

In my next visit, I'm gunning for the ensaymada and the ice cream.

The Cake Club
Bonifacio High Street, 7th Avenue
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
(+63) 02 621 3176

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tacloban City's Penduko's Barbecue for Grilled Chicken Skin

This is one find I'm happy I took pictures of, proof that indeed I ate there. There appears to be no mention of Penduko Barbecue online.  Your best bet is a local to get you there. I fell in love with the skewered chicken skin and longaniza. 
(L-R) skewered chicken skin, pork, longaniza (pork sausage) and chicken 
Penduko Barbecue is one of many stalls facing Real Street in Tacloban. It's the one with the longest line, which is always a safe bet when picking the better eateries.  Offerings included chicken thighs and wings, skin, intestines, liver, longaniza and pork. 

After making our selection, we were led to our table while our orders were grilled. Rice came wrapped in coconut. The locals call these puso. 

The sauce, which was also used to baste the barbecue, came in regular or spicy. I chose the latter.

the secret is in the sauce 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tagaytay City's Amira's Buco (Coconut) Tart Haus

"Researching" for this blog has taken a toll on my body. The search for the object of the next post has made getting trim quite tricky, so in between posts I adopted some ways to prevent packing in more pounds. One such strategy is sharing my loot.  

Amira's has been a fixture in Tagaytay City for quite some time (it opened in 2003), and many of my colleagues swear by it. They recommend the silvanas, which I find too rich for my taste. The house specialty, on the other had, hits the right spot--not too sweet, just right. 

I bought a box of nine for three sets of friends on different occasions, and the same thing happened--the contents were gone in an instant. Each set costs P170.00, and comes in other flavors like apple, pineapple, ube (purpel yam), and mango. 

Amira's Buco Tart Haus
Aguinaldo Highway cor. SVD Road
Maitim 2nd Tagaytay East
Tagaytay City, Cavite
(+63) 46 413-1491

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Leyte's Ocho Seafood and Grill for Grilled Prawns and Halaan (Clam) Soup

Next to pork, I go crazy for seafood. Make that fresh seafood, since with it, half the battle is won. 

I thought I had my culinary highlight dining at Rafael's Farm and Garden Restaurant (read my report here). Well, Leyte has more in store. Online, Ocho Seafood Grill and Restaurant comes highly recommended, and I think it's just right, since it's a shame to be surrounded by the sea and not enjoy its treasures. 

baked scallops
We first chose from the seafood display and instructed the attendant how we want our choices cooked. This was quite fun, and you can see first-hand that the selection is really fresh.
i had taken a number of shots of the fresh produce before i was told picture-taking was forbidden 

Everything we ordered were superb--spicy blue crabs, grilled pork belly, and gilled squid. But what were stellar for me were the baked scallops, pictured above, and the halaan (clam) soup pictured below. These two alone made the trip to the restaurant worthwhile, and I almost forgot the other items in the menu. Almost, hahahaha.

The scallops were buttery and clean, with just the right amount of butter and garlic so as not to overpower the delicate flavor of the mollusk. I was happy with the size of the clams offered at the display: I opted for the bigger ones, since these were rare in Manila. The clams were milky and flavorful, the broth very refreshing. 

With a meal that good, and prices at half those in Manila, I can't wait to return.

Ocho Seafood and Grill
Senator Enage Street, Tacloban City
(+63) 53 325-4171