Friday, February 21, 2014

The Macarons of Paul Boulangerie Patisserie Restaurant Salon de The

these beauties (vanilla, chocolate, raspberry) are flown in from paris
I have a confession to make: my ultimate travel dream is a trip to Paris. Yes, I'm romantic that way. I've been plotting for years to Instagram my way through the City of Lights, and until that day comes I'll settle for  locally available French cuisine.

I've tasted my fair share of locally made macarons, but Paul's macarons are in a league of their own. Truly, the hype is well-deserved. Creamy, moist, and just the right sweetness--I died when I tasted the almond paste. I'll be sleeping with dreams of vanilla and the best-selling pistachio macarons

Paul Boulangerie Patisserie Restaurant Salon de The
SM Aura Premier
McKinley Parkway
McKinley Hill, Makati

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Menya (Formerly Genya) Genki Tonkotsu Ramen House' s Pirikara Tonkotsu Special

Until recently, I didn't know there was a ramen house near my place. Thank goodness for the Internet, since it took some online research for me to discover Menya, formerly Genya, Genki Tonkotsu Ramen House (the change in name was because of change in ownership). Menya specializes in the tonkotsu ramen variant, regarded by many. This ramen involves boiling pork bones over an extended period of time, creating an opaque milky-white broth, very porky, and with a thin layer of fat on top.

I ordered the spiciest ramen in the menu--the pirikara (Japanese for spicy) tonkotsu special (menu price: P320.00). It was a  winner! Milky, clean, spicy, just apt for the cool weather. This is the clean spicy ramen that I love. They boil pork cutlets for 18 hours, and it shows in the flavorful, savory broth. My only quibble is the noodles, but the other elements: the char shiu (barbecued pork) and the mushrooms were spot-on. A few spoons into the dish, my sinuses were clearing. 

Menya Genki Ramen House completes my triumvirate of excellent ramen houses, along with Ukokkei and Santouka. After eating at Menya, I have now adjusted the rankings of what, to me, are the best ramen houses in the Manila/Pasay area:
1. Ukokkei Ramen Ron
2. Hokkaido Santouka Ramen
3. Menya Genki Tonkotsu Ramen House
4. Kokoro Ramenya
5. UCC

Be sure to order the green mango shake. The tart-sweet of the shake opened my palate for the ramen.

Happy eating!

Menya Genki Ramen House
Hobbies of Asia
Manila Ba Reclamation Area, Pasay

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happy Returns: Kanin Club's Sigarilyas Express, Seafood Kare-Kare, and Tinapa Rice

I'm featuring three winning dishes from our recent dinner at Kanin Club's branch at UP TecnoHub (I wrote about my first dinner at the restaurant at its Paseo de Sta. Rosa branch here). My gauge for a winning dish: it disappears in seconds. 

First up is the Sigarilyas Express: wing beans cooked in spicy creamy coco milk. It was almost as good as La Mesa Grill's version, which to me remains the standard. Had they reduced the sauce even further, Kanin Club's would have gone off the charts. 

The second dish is the Seafood Kare-Kare: prawns, mussels, and squid in peanut sauce. My friends agree this is so good. I love this even without the protein, but why should I settle for that?

These dishes were so good I mopped the remaining sauce with my rice. The tinapa rice was perfect for these saucy, rich dishes, providing just the right balance.

Kanin Club
UP-Ayala Technohub
Commonwealth Ave., UP Campus
Quezon City
(+63) 02 332-5978

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Becky's Kitchen's Prune Walnut Cake

To keep up with what's happening on the restaurant scene, I bone up on my readings: mostly lifestyle blogs and the occasional travel magazine or the food section of the papers. This is where I get many ideas for my blog. Sometimes, though, I get inspiration from things more random.

Today I'm featuring Becky's Kitchen's prune and walnut cake: chunky and dense, moist, and not overly sweet. The extra calories were worth it, and I can always jog these off (smile). This slice was a gift from a lecturer in one of our events. I should visit Beck's Kitchen more. I live nearby, and I should stop complaining that Taguig and Quezon City are more happening than in my neck of the woods. 

Becky's Kitchen
1061 Pablo Ocampo cor. Bautista Street
Malate, Manila
(+63) 02 525-1648

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Craving for Something French? Try Brasserie Le Girolle

The nippy weather we've been having lately calls for a warm, filling dish, such as the two I'm featuring today from French restaurant Brasserie Le Girolle. Oh, relax. Since this is a brasserie, one need not be stiff. The focus should be one's company, aided by the meal in a casual setting.

The first dish is the Saint Jacques Poele--pan-fried US scallops in mushroom sauce. I love this, primarily because I have a soft spot for scallops, which, in this case, were fresh and buttery soft. The different elements melded well together: the delicate flavor  of the scallops came through amid a bed of creamy potatoes and mushrooms.

Jarrets D'agneau--another filling cool weather winner from Brasserie Girolle. This is described as slow braised lamb shank with white beans in rich lamb jus. The lamb was soft and delicately flavored, and makes one wonder if this finds it way regularly on the tables in the French countryside. This dish disappeared in seconds. 

Brasserie Girolle
GF Fort Pointe Bldg, 28th Street
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig (+63) 02 856 6639

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dagupan City's Pigar-Pigar

This is one hefty plate of pigar-pigar, Dagupan City's well-known street food, beloved by students and beer drinkers because it is cheap and filling. Imagine stir-fried strips of beef (sometimes cara-beef) and liver bits loaded with cabbage and onions. This could be gamy, so be generous with calamansi, chili, and fish sauce. Zamora Street in Dagupan City is ground zero for pigar-pigar, where stall upon stall offers this dish at night. 

I grew up in Dagupan, but this was the first time I sampled pigar-pigar. A trip to the city is not complete without eating this, aside from the other Dagupan favorite, the Bonuan bangus. I'm still at a loss though, why they call it pigar-pigar. Pigar is Pangasinan for to flip over. I guess this describes the cooking method of stir-frying the beef strips. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka for Kara-Miso and Shio Ramen and Green Tea Marshmallow Mochi

When people ask me for ramen house recommendations, Ukokkei Ramen Ron is on top of my list, followed by Hokkaido Ramen Santouka. This is my second post on the latter. For the first, click here. Since discovering Santouka has a branch in MOA, I've dined there twice. This is my report on my twin visit. 

On my first visit, I ordered the Kara-Miso Ramen, described as having as "spicy soybean paste flavor." When the bowl arrived, it smelled so delicious. It was as good as Ukokkei's, but it was not spicy enough for me, until I realized the heat was building up to a slow burn. I love the fresh onion stalks (just enough) and the the firm strips of bamboo shoots. The  pork belly was very flavorful. 

On my second visit I ordered the  Shio Ramen. A taste of  the ramen confirms what I've long suspected--I lean towards the clean tasting ranen like the salt-based ones. It was creamy, and the goodness of the pork comes through. This bowl made my heart sing. It has a tendency to be gamy but nothing that a dash of pepper or spice powder could fix. 

For dessert I ordered two mochi variants--green tea marshmallow and blueberry cheesecake. I love the former--the strong green taste balanced by the creamy marshmallows. Santouka's mochi are premium mcohi. I love the texture--better than the usual mochi. It was as soft as palitao.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka
SM Mall of Asia, Ocean Drive
Diokno Boulevard, Pasay City

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cake Club's Double Baked Cheesecake

If you're one of the few who frequent my blog, you'd know I love cheesecake, and I'm partial to the ones made by Cake Club. For my earlier entries on the restaurant, you can go here and here. The beauty pictured above is the best-selling double baked cheesecake--delicate, not too sweet, freshened with tangy orange rinds. This goes well with tea or brewed coffee. 

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

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sebastian's Sapin-Sapin Ice Cream

I'm feeling festive. Not only is this the first week of birth month, but I stumbled upon a good find last night. I'll post on the latter soon, once I get through my mounting paperwork (smile).

This post was also culled from spontaneous research, since I usually plan out my blog-related activities. Notice I only used my smartphone photo for this post and not one from my trusty Canon camera. My good friend June alerted me to Sebastian's sapin-sapin ice cream a few years ago, and since I just came from a satisfying meal at nearby Santouka SM MOA, I decided to drop by. For my earlier post on Sebastian's Ice Cream, go here

Sapin-sapin is a local rice-cake made of differently-colored layers, topped with coconut flakes. It's a pretty dish, and so I was quite apprehensive at first if this can translate well as an ice-cream, but it works. They even had the consistency of glutinous rice right down pat.  

Sebastian's Ice Cream
SM Mall of Asia
Diokno Boulevard, Pasay City
(+63) 915 489 5753