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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

When in the South of the Metro, Sa Seoul Tayo

I've tried the run-of-the-mill Korean restos, but not good home-cooked Korean, and so when my favorite Las Piñas couple say this is the best Korean resto along BF Parañaque's Aguirre, I jumped on the chance. My verdict? In one word: winner!

Appetizers! I love these little bowls. I'm partial to the cabbage (top row, right) and radish (bottom-most picture) kimchi, and the jeon, pictured at the rightmost center row.

I highly recommend the mushroom soup: it was warm, simple, earthy, light--comfort in a bowl. Th mushrooms provided a lot of umami goodness.

Next to kimchi, my favorite appetizer is the jeon, a pancake made of pan-fried sliced meats and vegetables in egg batter. This reminds me of our tortang talong. 

This I found interesting: a plate of boiled Korean-style dumplings (wang-mandu). The dough remained firm and moist, and the ginger in the filling was not overpowering.

We also had excellent grilled salted mackerel: soft flavorful moist flesh cooked just right.

My favorite dishes were the mushroom soup, grilled fish, and the jeon.

Sa Seoul Tayo
68 Aguirre Avenue
BF Homes, Parañaque
(+63) 02 955 5164

Friday, December 12, 2014

Top Picks at Makati's Kitchen 56

One good thing about having foodie friends is that they alert me to post-worthy restaurants. One Sunday I was invited to try out Kitchen 56 at Jupiter Street, Makati. 

I fell in love with the watermelon and rocket salad, one of the prettiest dishes I've ever seen. It was sharp from aragula, zesty from the sweet-sour sauce, freshened by the diced watermelon and brightened by candied pili nuts. I was wondering what rocket was, and it turned out to be aragula. After the first course everything was a blur--next time I should really take down notes. ;)

The other stand-out dishes were the beef kebab and the soft taco beef bulgogi.

I made a mental note to try the kebab again: it was hefty, tasty, and oh-so-tender.

Kitchen 56
56 Jupiter Street
Bel-Air, Makati
(+63) 02 856 4144

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Legazpi City's Oriental Hotel for Ensaymada

This is my fifth post on ensaymadas. For a background on this pastry, click here. For what to me is a good ensaymada, click here.

Oriental Hotel's ensaymada is as hefty as Marco Polo Davao's ensayamda, but hews more closely to the Diamond Hotel variant. Indeed, this is one sinful ensayamda: high quality bread, well-balanced, not overly sweet, with the surprise texture of pili bits, and swimming in melted butter. This is one of the better ensaymadas I had.

The Oriental Legazpi 
Taysan Hill, Sto. Niño Village 
Legazpi City
(+63) 052 480

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tagaytay's Carlo's Pizza for Pizza Margherita

This is a quick note on a pizza we ordered for delivery from Carlo's Pizza. For an earlier entry on the restaurant, click here.

I was delighted with their Pizza Margherita. I wouldn't normally order this since I'm not crazy about tomatoes in Italian cuisine, but this pizza was simple, bright, and comforting. Pizza margheritas are usually topped with tomatoes, grilled chicken breast fillet, bechamel sauce, cheddar and mozarella cheese

Carlo's Pizza
One Destination Tagaytay
(+63) 46 413 0707

Friday, December 5, 2014

White Marlin Sashimi, Durian Shake, Cracking Cakes, and Boiling Shrimps and Crabs of Davao

This is my second post on Davao for this year. For the earlier post, click here.

Went to D'Farmer's and had my fill of D24
During this visit, I sampled Marco Polo Hotel's Malasugui Sashimi. There are two things I'm crazy about Japanese cuisine: ramen and sashimi. This is the first time I tried malasugui. The waiter told us it was white marlin. It looked like washed out tuna, but tasted like a more delicate smoked salmon. Yum!

Marco Polo Davao
Claro M. Recto Street
Davao City
(+63) 082 221 0888

We also visited durian delicacies purveyor, Apo ni Lola. Truth to tell I'm partial to Lola Abon's (yes, the owners are related), but they won me over with their durian shake, using the native and Puyat durian variants. 

Just look at how generous they were with the fruit pulp.

Then they added evap. The shake was so good and it was not cloying.

Apo ni Lola Durian Delicacies
San Miguel Street, Talomo District
Davao City
(+63) 082 298 5099

If Bacolod has Calea, Davao has Osvaldo's Cakes. I flipped over the caramel cheesecake.

Osvaldo's does not stint on ingredients. The cheesecakes were brimming with the flavor of cheese. Plus, they held back on the sugar.

Try the blue cheese cheesecake as well. The stinky stuff, if you are into that like me, was very pronounced.

Osvaldo's Cakes 
Ground Floor, Paseo de Legaspi
Legaspi Street, 3-A Poblacion, Davao City
(+63) 082 221 2695

Another new experience was dining at Blue Posts Boiling Crabs and Shrimps, located near SM Lanang. I didn't know what to expect but some city-based acquaintances were raving about it. 

For starters we tried the pork riblets. You have to try this--buttery soft, moist, and garlicky. Two thumbs up!

We also ordered crabs, shrimps, and tuna belly (no pictures, gasp!) with the spice level on mild. 

The sauce was so tasty and good we poured it over the rice. The heat was just right, although I don't mind dialing it up a notch. 

Eating with your hands and wearing a bib are all part of the experience. 

For this dinner I gave up thoughts of dieting. It was impossible to enjoy fully all this tasty food without rice.

Also try the stellar kinilaw--spicy and sweet.

Blue Posts Boiling Crabs and Shrimp
Lanang, Davao City
(+63) 082 221 8360

That's about it. I'm looking forward to returning to Davao next year.