Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bacolod City's Calea for Cakes!

Whenever I'm assigned to Bacolod City, I always pray I'd be billeted at L'Fisher Hotel. Right next door is the original Calea Cafe, a sweet tooth's wet dream. It helps that the price points are friendly, too.

I love the cheery vibe of the cafe--colorful, funky tables standing out from the minty interiors, a big mirror that's actually the door. It's a perfect place for groups to hang out. For an introvert like me, I pick a corner table, order tea and whatever cake suits my fancy, and get lost in my thoughts. 

Pictured below are two of the cakes I tried.

I've always been partial to blueberry cheesecakes. I like Calea's version because it's not too sweet, it's cheesy, and the almond base is very crusty.

The choco crumble cake came highly recommended. The caramel crunch covered in chocolate is a honeycomb of bliss. It was fortunately not too sweet, the opposite of which is the case for those produced by more commercial establishments. I love how the caramel contrasts with the choco sponge cake, which was a little on the dry side. 

You may contact the cafe at (+63) 034 433 8664.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bacolod City's Chicken Deli for Inasal

There was a time I went chicken inasal crazy. I would frequent the many dedicated inasal restaurants in Manila and get lost in  the chicken's smoky sourly-sweetish goodness. The zenith came when I went to ground zero of chicken inasal, Bacolod City. Read about it here

One distinct characteristic about the grilled dish is it is yellowish from achuete or annatto oil. Components of the marinade are garlic, pepper, brown sugar, ginger, calamansi, lemongrass, and sinamak. Sinamak is cane vinegar mixed with bird's eye chili, onions, and garlic. Annatto oil is used in the basting sauce.

As I posted earlier, I was in Bacolod a few week ago. Chicken Deli Inasal was walking distance from the hotel, and my colleagues highly recommended it. I was hesitant at first, since what was served looked dry, but this version turned out the best from the three restaurants we went to. The pieces were flavorful and smoky. Because of the smaller size, we suspect they used native chicken. While waiting for our orders to arrive, we busied ourselves making our own dipping sauces from the complimentary soy, vinegar, calamansi, and bird's eye chilis. I prefer my dipping sauce vinegary, adding only a dab of soy to the sinamak. 

The restaurant can be reached through (+63) 034 433 3506.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bacolod City's 18th Street Palapala for Barracuda Kinilaw and Lapu-Lapu Siningang

When my friend heard I was in Bacolod City for work, she recommended I try Palapala restaurant. Upon asking a local, it turns out there are two restaurants bearing the same name. One is near a mall, and the newer one was just a stone's throw (a long throw) away from our hotel. We went to the latter. I wanted to try what my friend recommended, but we were pressed for time. Perhaps next visit. 

18th Palapala, like many seafood restaurant in the south, offers their produce for the customers' perusal, to underscore they serve these fresh. I let my friends do the inspecting--I rarely go to the wet market, thus I left these to the experts. After making their choices to and leaving the cooking instructions to the staff, we were led to our table and waited for our orders to be ready. 

These are the stand-outs. 
Barracuda Kinilaw (Ceviche). This is the first time I tasted barracuda, and the combination of
the fish and the salted eggs was stellar: tangy, salty, pungent, and creamy. Who knew?
Lapu-Lapu Sinigang (Grouper in Sour Broth). Fresh is always best when it comes to  fish,
and this dish hots the rights spot. The acidity didn't overwhelm the delicate flavor of the fish,
 thus the creaminess of the grouper shone through.  The vegetables were firm, not the usual
soggy mess  in many siningang.
You may call the restaurant at (+63) 034 433 9153.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Davao City's Marco Polo Pool Bistro for Pizza Prosciutto

I love a good deal. Since I'm a sucker for fancy hotels, Marco Polo Privilege Club need not do much to convince me to join. They had me at free overnight stay. 

And thus, during work that brought us to Davao, I rustled up the necessary vouchers to treat a dear colleague to a birthday dinner. "Would it be okay if you stay by the pool? The bistro's closed for a private function," the Club staff inquired. I said I didn't mind. With a view like this, who would? 

Now on to the food post. The stand-out for us was the pizza prosciutto--it was the first item that we wiped out. The cheese was sweetish, tempered by blue cheese and the delicate flavor of dry-cured ham. It was a delight wrapping the leafy green with each slice, just like a panizza

Great company, wonderful ambiance, good food. I can get used to this. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Emerald Garden Restaurant's Beef Brisket and Sat-and-Pepper Squid

As you might have noticed, I go to Emerald Restaurant often. You can read my earlier posts here and here. The last time I tagged along my friends, these were the stand-outs.
Beef Brisket. Imagine all-meat beef pata tim. This was slow-cooked,
resulting to meat so tender.

Salt-and-Pepper Squid. Because of its soft buttery flesh, I thought this was
fish fillet or cuttlefish. 
For inquiries, call (+63) 02 523-8150

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dakak's Curious Coco Cake and Quattro Formaggi

A curious thing happened during my stay in Dakak Park and Beach Resort. I chanced upon this coco pie and cake hybrid.

The top was crusty and quite heavy, like buco pie and cassava cake, but underneath it was all chiffon. But it was delicious and new, and again I'm sorry I didn't take down its name. I hope I can visit the place again and make a better acquaintance. 
Help! What is this cake?
I was wary of the restaurants inside the resort. The place is quite isolated, and they discourage bringing in food. The breakfast was unremarkable, but the Italian Restaurant, Il Ristorante was quite good and good value for money. It made me rethink my aversion to Meatballs Spaghetti.
We fell in love with the Quattro Formaggi Pizza., which we paired  with Pizza Margherita.
The Four-Cheese Pizza was a home run--straightforward and delicious