Friday, September 21, 2012

Emerald Garden Restaurant's Siopao

I apologize for the intermittent posts. The past weeks have been crazy, and much as I wanted to write more regularly, I still have to attend to work (yes, I do have a day job) and other obligations. By the way I have set up this blog's Facebook page. Clink the link here, and if the posts leave you hungry and hankering for more, please be a dear by hitting the like button. By liking it you'll receive posts from me in your Facebook wall on my recent blog-posts, as well as snapshots of all the research I have to do for this blog (smile). 

Now to the task at hand. This month's posts, if you have noticed, have been quite Manila-centric. This is not deliberate, but it lends itself to addressing my ignorance of food hotspots in the metro. Today's post is all about Emerald Garden Restaurant's ginormous siopao. You can read about my other entry from the restaurant here
this  could easily feed three
Siopao is derived from the Hookien baozi, meaning steamed buns. The filling  comes in two variants: asado (sweetish pork or beef cooked in soy sauce) and bola-bola (chopped pork or beef, chorizo, and salted eggs). 

I'm partial to siopao asado, and it's always a treat to have this in Chinese-style restaurants. Aside from ensaymada and hopia, this is one of my favorite childhood snacks. I usually take a preliminary bite or two before pouring the sauce inside the bun, being careful not to let it spill. Emerald's siopao bola-bola is huge, already a meal in itself. It's filling is generous, and the bun is soft and packed. I had left-overs the next day and it was still delicious. 

For orders call (+63) 02 523-8510

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My Kitchen by Chef Chris' Panizza

The night before I had panizza from another establishment. It was bland and forgettable. On a whim, I dragged two office-mates (they came willingly) to Oasis Hotel in Paco to try My Kitchen's panizza. Panizza is thin crust pizza rolled with aragula leaves and alfalfa sprouts. 

We asked for the bestsellers. Kristina, made of bacon, ham, caramelized onion, sun dried tomatoes, and mushrooms, was tops among the panizza. We paired it with Paco, made of herbed chicken fillet, smoked bacon, portabello and golden mushrooms, capers, and kalamata olives. Kristina didn't disappoint. Perfectly balanced, it made our hearts sing. All thoughts of bringing some slices back to the office were forgotten. 

I thought the panizza was already excellent, until my companions said I try it with a few drops of chili oil. The  combination was divine.

We also tried other popular items, like the sphagetti con frutti di mare, made with salmon, dorado, snapper, prawns, and mussels sauteed in olive oil, tomato, olives, and capers.  Again, the pasta was well-balanced and multi-layered, reminding of the superb spicy tuyo pasta of the Bencab Museum's Cafe Sabel.

For dessert we had two. The decadent cake, made of chocolate cake and caramel sauce, made me rethink my indifference to chocolates. I like that it was not too sweet, and the caramel sauce was a perfect foil for the chocolate.

I was partial to the lemon and lime cheesecake--baked cheesecake with a crust of fine almonds, sweet lemon lime sauce, and almonds. Sweet, tangy, and nutty, smooth, crunchy, and crisp.

We were fortunate Chef Chris Locher was at the place, and he graciously joined us for a photo. Chef Chris used to pack them in at C Italian in Angeles. 

notice the country's map on chef chris' uniform? 

This is quite pricey, so dress smart. This is perfect place for dates. 

My Kitchen by Chef Chirs
The Oasis Paco Park Hotel
(+63) 02 521-2371 to 75

Friday, September 7, 2012

Myron's Place for The President Steak and Caesar Salad

It was my friend Lulu's birthday, and for her we'd brave Friday traffic to be at Powerplant, Rockwell. Our first pick for dinner was packed--we forgot to make reservations, so off to the basement we go. Myron's Place was not bad at all. We ordered Oysters Rockefeller and two soups, Cream of Pumpkin and Cappuccino of Mushroom, but two items stood out: the President Steak and the Caesar Salad.  
see the pink himalayan salt crystals sprinkled on top of the steak?
by the way, the  onion rings were ginormous
this was the prettiest caesar salad i've seen
We ordered the President Steak, made of  US certified Angus beef rib-eye, medium rare. It was soft and juicy. When served, they tilted the plate to allow the juices to settle at the bottom. The fried rice that went with it was divine--perfectly cooked, a little on the dry side, just like what my grandmother's household do. The garlicky rice helped cut the richness of the steak. Pink Himalayan salt added a nice touch, but I don't know if it added to the flavor at all.

The salad was flavorful, and almost as good as those of TGIF, the standard by which I measure those of others. I love the way Myron's plated the salad, you have to see it for yourself. My picture didn't do it justice.

In fine the dinner went well and most of what we ordered were good. I appreciate the effort they put in presenting their dishes, and this is as it should be, since the place is quite pricey. From other blogs I noticed that the Greenbelt branch looks better, and I made a mental note to visit it soon.

Myron's Place
Powerplant Mall, Estrella St. cor. Rockwell Drive
(+63) 02 728-9898