Monday, September 17, 2012

Quick and Easy Egg Recipe: Kate's Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

Who loves eggs? I do! This is a quick and easy breakfast treat or brunch treat.  My sister cooked it for us last night and I made my own batch this morning.  You can prepare and cook this for 15 minutes or less, and you won't have that much dishes to wash after either.


2 large eggs
2-3 tablespoons sweetened soy milk (buy natural and organic)
grated cheese (as much as you want)
Bacos bacon chips (optional)
One fresh tomato (optional)


Whisk eggs, soy milk and grated cheese in a bowl. The more you whisk your eggs, the fluffier it will be.  Cook on a non-stick frying pan.  Make sure pan is hot enough. I use olive oil to make my dish more healthful. Stir constantly until eggs are cooked but still moist and soft.  You don't want to overcook them.  You may want to add a little salt. I personally don't like salt on my eggs.

Top with Bacos and grated cheese and serve with fresh tomato.  Other variations include cooking with mushrooms and basil or topping with a bit of cream cheese. It's hard to go wrong with eggs.

This quick and easy sweet egg recipe serves one or two.  Yummy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Authentic Halal Food from Gilak by Hossein

Published in Appetite Magazine, March 2012 issue as One Magical Night: Authentic Halal Food from Gilak by Hossein

      Stepping into Hossein’s is like walking into an enchanting chapter from the One Thousand and One Nights.   With the heavy draperies hanging from elaborately carved wooden arches and colorful Moroccan chandeliers glowing from the ceilings, I almost expected a magical carpet to bring us in. What I got was even better – a night of exquisite Persian, Arabic and Indian cuisine under the commanding spell of Chef Hossein Sohrabi.

The genie in a chef’s hat

      Chef Hossein has the impressive presence of a supernatural genie that’s bound to grant wishes. I suspect though that anyone would find it extremely difficult to make Chef Hossein do anyone’s bidding, but food he will most willingly grant. The former bodybuilder and lifeguard was also in military service, as required for all 18 year-old male citizens in Iran. Who would have that a PhD graduate in Business Management would turn into a recognized chef?  Chef Hossein tells us that the love for food runs in the Hossein family. In fact, his brother is also a chef and exchanges recipes with him online. 

      With a vigorous “Come here!” the restaurateur made me run to the kitchen. He insisted that we wolf down whole chunks of juicy beef kebab (P334), instead of the hesitant bites we were taking from the freshly cooked meat.  Surprisingly, popping hot meaty portions into your mouth makes a whole world of difference in appreciating a kebab. He reminded me of my grandfather who wouldn’t take no for an answer whenever he had prepared some exotic food I just had to taste. When I told him my grandfather also went to the same school as he did in college, his eyes crinkled into a smile before he replied with, “God bless him!”

     The authoritative air is not the only reason you couldn’t refuse a dish served by Chef Hossein.  Once I took my first bite, I was enchanted.  He is hard to resist, because his dishes are just meant to be relished.  An example is one of Hossein’s beef specialties, the Beef Dopiaza (P424).  From the huge Chef’s Appetizer, my favorites were the motabal (eggplant with tahini paste and olive oil) and dolmeh (stuffed grape leaves).  The only thing in this entrée not for vegetarians was the meat samosa.  I’m a carnivore, but I would definitely want more of the homos, falafel, vegetable samosa, and tabulee included in this dish. When asked what the dolmeh was stuffed with, Chef Hossein simply says “It’s magic.”

Pages of food

     Chef Hossein tells us that he still studies every night.  “You want to see my books? Come!” I tore my eyes from the parade of dishes to be photographed and followed him to his office. He brings my attention to the many books on his shelf.  In a Persian Kingdom, Tempted, Cookbook Diary and A Taste of Persia…everything was about food.  Chef Hossein opens a page from one of them and tells me to read about Iran’s claim to culinary fame.

Spellbound by Saffron
      “If you eat too much, you might get high,” the Chef’s wife Gloria Sohrabi warns us about the very expensive and flavorful saffron spice natively grown in Iran.  “You put only a little”, Chef Hossein agrees.  Saffron is the female part (stigma) of the lilac-colored saffron flower.  This probably explains the heady allure of saffron, which as Gloria tells us, is also said to be an aphrodisiac.  The saffron is handpicked, taking 70,000 to 250,000 flowers to make one pound of the red seasoning.  Not only does saffron add flavor and color to a dish, its thin strands are also reputed to contain healing powers.


      I loved its distinct appetizing aroma in my Plain Rice with Saffron (P168).  Combined with the yellow Biryani rice (P180), the saffron taste was still perceptible from the chunks of shrimp tandoori, and beef, lamb and chicken kebab that Chef Hossein had cut up into a tasty mix of rice toppings.  You can get a whole plate of the grills and rice when you order the Supreme Kebab II (P2625), but make sure that you bring a lot of friends to dine with you.  Hossein’s grilled meats are served in huge portions and are very tasty.

Love spells Hossein
      Chef Hossein had plunked a whole stack of publications in front of me, ordering me to leaf through some featuring his restaurants.  A heavy coffee table book caught my eye though: Manila’s Best-Kept Restaurant Secrets.  “Find Hossein’s,” was the Chef’s instruction, and I couldn’t help but comply. There it was: Best Specialty Restaurant.

      While the Chef is certainly proud of his culinary heritage and thriving business, I feel that the love for his family surpasses all his other passions.  He proudly tells us of his four children, two of whom also cook.  In the photo shoot, the Chef dons his tall chef’s hat and holds Miss Gloria close and kisses her. “Right now,” he says over dinner, “I focus on my wife.”    

      This was truly one of my best nights over dinner with people I just met.  While he wouldn’t spill any of his kitchen secrets, Chef Hossein willingly talks about Iran, narrates their inspiring love story as husband and wife, and gives us advice.  “Enjoy your life when you are young darling!,” the Chef addresses each of us, “Don’t miss the time because you’re never born again.” Then with more emphasis, “Don’t say yes! Do it!”

     Chef Hossein has been here since 1978 and the first time he started grilling kebab, the other Iranians told him to go home.  Today, he has received invitations to put up the Hossein restaurants abroad, but he says he plans to stay here. As he declares, “This is my home”.

One more night of magic

     There are 580 dishes in Hossein’s; that’s more than a hundred nights you can experience a dose of Middle Eastern charm.   Chef Hossein tells me that I can come back any time to read his book about saffron. I will definitely return for another magical night.

      At the beginning of the interview, I was wondering if Chef Hossein still ate in his restaurants all the time.  In response, the Chef told me, “I love my food.” I’m sure many of his customers would reply with, "We do too!".

Gilak by Hossein is located at the 2nd level, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati Center, Makati Ave.  For reservations, phone (02)7290266 or 7290267.

Grab your copy of Appetite Magazine in selected newsstands!
Published by the One Mega Group.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chocolate Store Gives Free Chocolate in Exchange for Good Deeds

In an innovative marketing brand strategy, Danish chocolate brand Anthon Berg turned heads while setting up a “Generous Store” where consumers had to pay with good deeds instead of cash.   The project conceptualized by agency Robert/Boisen & Like-minded had people queuing up for one and half hours, so they could purchase chocolate boxes in exchange for tasks such as serving breakfast to a loved one, talking nicely to their mother, and over 30 other generous deeds. Through an iPad app, people who “bought” the chocolates then had to log-in to Facebook, select a person they wanted to be generous to, and post the info along with a photo of the chocolates to their Facebook walls. 

You can watch the awesome video right here:

I think this is a genius move by the ad agency. It kept up with the Anthon Berg tradition of generosity, became an instant attention-grabber, and was a great way to inspire people.  Most people would line up for chocolates without any added motivation (I would).  But to hand out sweet freebies AND inspire people to do a good deed at the same time?  That's one superior chocolate-loving move that's going to be hard to beat.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Vegetarian Dinner: Bean Curd Adobo and Pickled Garlic

My sister Kate has been trying to convince us to go vegetarian or at least pescetarian or pollo-vegetarian for the past months. So once in a while (when she finds the time to go home that is), she whips up something vegetarian-ly delightful in the kitchen.

Last Sunday was an Indian-inspired dinner.  Kate cooked bean curd with mushrooms, adobo-style and served it with some pickled garlic.  I love Indian food, so I was really excited to try this simple recipe.

Bean curd adobo

Pickled Garlic and Pita Bread from an Indian food store
Kate bought the a bottle of pickled garlic from an Indian food store in Mandaluyong, and I really like the sour-spicy taste. The label says its made from garlic, raisins, and almonds. Just spread a little on sliced pita bread (a pack pf pita only costs P35 in the same Indian store), add a spoonful of the bean curd adobo, and cram everything into your mouth. The bean curd only costs P100 per kilo (approximately, 4 blocks of bean curd). I must warn you though, pickled garlic is not for those who don't like that distinctly Indian flavor.

I don't think I'll ever go 100% vegetarian, but if my sister cooks all the time, there might be a slight chance.

Kate's Bean Curd Adobo
(serves 3)

one block bean curd, hand-shredded
1 huge white onion, sliced into half moons
1 whole garlic, peeled and chopped or crushed
1 small can button mushrooms (shiitake would be a lot better), sliced
soy sauce

* heat garlic and onion in frying pan
* put in shredded bean curd and mushroom
* add soy sauce and a very small amount of vinegar, Filipino adobo style. The amount depends on your taste
* stir-fry everything until cooked
* serve with sliced pita bread and pickled garlic

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Unlimited cake challenge at Secret Recipes

The challenge: eat seven cakes within an hour. Can we do it?

half of the team ready for action
girls in their mean-guy pose, while ron acts girly for the cam 

We got Secret-Recipes-unlimited-cakes-and-coffee-or-tea-until-6pm coupons for only P199 (P950 value) and couldn't wait to take up the challenge.  The rules were simple: strictly no sharing and eat your cake as fast as you can, since we started eating at 5:00pm. 

Just look at all the cakes we had to eat!

five slices out of seven delivered
pretty girls + cakes = love love

ready for battle!

writers are all smiles

 My first cake was of course, chocolate. As early as now, I have to tell you it's the best out of all I tried.

moist chocolate cake was not as moist as expected, but it's okay
Wolfed the choco down in around five bites and ordered cake number two.

White Strawberry - light and tasted a bit medicine-y
Cake number three was called the Golden Nugget. The middle was rich and creamy, but I didn't really like the taste.

no gold in this Golden Nugget 
There were still four cakes to try -- Black Forest, Mocha Walnut, Cocoa Mocha, and Almond Coffee -- but I was already too "sugarified" to take in more.  

Challenge result:  FAIL at 3/7 cakes consumed. Boo. 

Unfortunately, we weren't too happy about the subpar service at Secret Recipes that day.  We made a mistake in printing one of the coupons, but the staff wasn't too helpful in improving the situation.   Yes, we knew the rules (coupons had to be printed out), but if I were the manager, I would have done something to make my customers feel better, especially since the restaurant's own database showed that we did indeed purchase the coupon.  They were also very strict about refills.  The waiter made sure I finished every drop of my jasmine tea (which went well with cakes, by the way) before I could have another cup.

No refills until I finished this

Good thing the sugar rush with my hyper officemates more than made up for this disappointing detail.   

girls girls girls girls :)

Just look at all our plates and imagine how full we were!  

I love this weird and geeky bunch of Marketing ninjas.
Secret Recipes is open from 10 am- 10 pm and is located at 5/F Shangri-La Plaza Mall, EDSA cor. Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong, Metro Manila.  For reservations and deliveries, call  02-6370367.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chocolates from home: Theo & Philo Artisan Chocolates

When I was in high school, I tried eating green mango with chocolate and liked it.  My friends thought I was crazy.    I don't think they'd be thinking the same thing when they try Theo & Philo artisan chocolates.   Theo & Philo is distinct from other artisan chocolates because of its infusion of Filipino flavors, and no wonder because these specialty chocolates are Philippine-made.

The Theo & Philo story extols its homegrown ingredients; cacao comes from Davao, while the sugar is from Bacolod.  It's founder Philo Chua says:

"...each batch of chocolate is produced in small quantities (actually, it would be "micro" in industry standards) and overseen personally by people instead of machines. We take great care, time and effort to ensure that each step starting from the selection of the cacao bean to the final step of molding and packing, we are only offering the best we can offer."

Ching and I tried two unique flavors, Dark Chocolate with Siling Labuyo (Chili) and the best-selling Green Mango and Salt.

I love Theo & Philo's packaging
*thanks to Ching for the photos

Proudly Philippine-made

Don't expect a big chunk of chocolate though, as we did when we saw the website photos.  Each bar is only 1.3 oz but totally worth the foodie experience. When I first took a bite from my Dark Chocolate with Siling Labuyo I was thinking, what's so special about it? That is, until I swallowed and felt the slight kick from the chili.  The spice would leave your throat with a slight burning sensation that's -- you might find this weird, but I can't put it any other way--  surprisingly pleasant.

Any choco-lover would appreciate Theo & Philo 

I can also understand why the Green Mango and Salt is a favorite.  Even though I'm not a green mango fan, it became my choco choice too!   Believe me, green mango goes very well with dark chocolate. Ching and another officemate also gave it a thumbs-up.  So that's 3/3 choco-loving girls...a statistic boyfriends and husbands out there should seriously consider.

If you're looking for a unique gift, why not grab all eight flavors of Theo & Philo?

Theo & Philo is available in Green Mango and Salt, Labuyo, Organic Barako, Pili & Pinipig, Milk Chocolate, 70% Dark Chocolate and Calamansi flavors.  According to their Facebook site, there's also Dark Chocolate and Pandesal, although we didn't see this flavor when we went to the ECHO Store, Podium. Each 38g bar sells for P95.  Other stores are listed in the Theo & Philo website.

Read more on Theo & Philo:

For love and chocolate - The Philippine Star

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Is a Selecta Magnum Moment Worth It?

Unilever's Selecta Magnum has teased curious tastebuds wondering if the relatively expensive ice cream bar is worth all the hype and hoopla.  As I mentioned in my previous post on the Selecta Magnum Classic, the Belgian coating is good, but the vanilla ice cream needs some work.  But that's just me.  Despite reviews of being overhyped and overpriced, the Magnum is still selling out on groceries and Mini-Stops that you just can't help but wonder what is it with this ice cream?

Selecta Magnum infographic by myManila
Overhyped and overpriced ice cream?

I'd like to think of the Magnum as a lower-level Apple product of ice creams.  It uses a  marketing strategy that  entices customers to actively seek out a brand because they believe it can fulfill the need (in this instance, the need to belong. haha.).  By marketing itself as the most expensive mass-produced ice cream, the Magnum creates in people the desire to know more about its value for money, causing a snowball effect that makes others want to identify themselves with previous Magnum taste-testers.   This reminds me of the iPod which people buy because they want to imbibe its "cool" vibe.  People don't want the iPod just because it's useful as an mp3 player (you can get way cheaper alternatives); they also want to acquire the status Apple products bring.  The Magnum is not a status symbol (some have even called it the poor man's Haagen Dazs), but in a similar way, people want to acquire something only the Magnum can give; that is, the feeling of being "in".  They've been asked, "Have you tried the Magnum?", and their interest is piqued the more they're asked that question.  They can't help but give in to the latest craze.   And this is actually pretty crazy behavior for some who have tried the pricey cooler.  But still, it works right?  I've seen people ask on Yahoo Answers if the Magnum is worth it and there are numerous reviews online entitled "Just Another Magnum Review" or something along that line.  But after reading all criticisms, you'd still want to try it for yourself.  Probably only the truly snotty Ben and Jerry's and Haagen Dazs fans will turn their noses at it.

You've got to admit that Magnum chocolate is more than your average Pinipig Crunch (which sells for a bit over P20), so I can't understand why people think its overpriced.  That said, the sucker for chocolate that I am tried the Magnum Almond.  Here's another shot of my pretty Magnum model:

Selecta Magnum Almond Model Ching who has a very inspiring blog called everyday sunday

I found this sweeter than the Classic, and though you can't expect it to be as amazing as the gelato I tried at Bar Dolci in The Fort, I still liked it and I'd buy it if I wanted something ice cream and something real chocolate. If you lower your expectations a bit -- its P50, not P150-- you will too.

So, are you going to give in or are you going to be left out?

In areas where the hype has died down, the Selecta Magnum Almond is available in all groceries and convenience stores.  Now I only have the Truffle to try. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Provençal Cuisine at Café Provençal

If you need a casual-classy restaurant that's not cloistering, try  Café Provençal  at Shangri-la Plaza Mall.  It's warm ambiance, filling food, and attentive service are great for an intimate mall lunch or dinner with friends or business colleagues.  

Staying true to its name,  Café Provençal's food has the taste of Provence. This means, expect a lot of garlic, aromatic herbs, and olive oil in their dishes. Olive oil is such an essential element in Provençal cuisine that an important book on Provençal food, La véritable cuisine provencal et niçoise (The Wonderful Food of Florenceby Jean-Noël Escudier states that the king of Provence is actually the olive tree. 

My friends and I were hungry and didn't go wrong with these dishes:

For appetizers, we had the Picasso Painter Palette which would gladly feed 3-5 people.  We also ordered two pasta dishes, but the Porto Fino was the one that stuck to memory.  It seemed like such a simple dish, but it drew in mildly surprised comments of "masarap" (yum!).

Picasso Painter Palette
calamares, parma ham, feta-tomatoes, smoked sausages, Caesar sampler and garlic mushrooms
Porto Fino
black olives, sundried tomatoes, virgin olive oil, anchovies, and parmesan cheese over our choice of penne
Pasta is of course, best complemented by pizza.  Here's the self-titled Cafe Provencale pizza.

Cafe Provencale pizza
shrimps, pepperoni, ham, mushroom, capers, olives, anchovies, garlic, tomatoes, mozzarella cooked on Italian pizza stone

How do you make a good old brownie more interesting?  Top it with creamy vanilla, choco fudge, whipped cream, and while you're at it, add a butterfly to complete the mouthwatering picture.  Our dessert was so lovely, it drew in a chorus of wows.  

beautifully done brownie

the caramel butterfly looked too elegant to eat

You can bet that we soon got over this brownie's loveliness.

Chris takes the first huge bite
My equally lovely friends and I are satisfied.

friends since high school

men with babies are love!
Chris, daddy Sonny, and baby Claire
Café Provençal is located at 2nd Lvl. Shangri-la Plaza Mall, EDSA corner Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong, Metro Manila.  It's open from 10 AM- 9 PM everyday.  For delivery (minimum of P500), catering, and reservations, call 02-6318046. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Selecta Magnum

My lunch treat for today -- Selecta Magnum Classic made with pure Belgian chocolate and filled with creamy vanilla. Well...they could still improve on the vanilla part, but the choco coating was yum!

My Magnum Model: Ching who blogs from everyday sunday

The recently-launched Magnum is currently the country's most expensive mass-produced ice cream at 50 pesos.  According to Selecta, it belongs to the impulse market category; that is, it's one of those products you buy out of impulse because of greed, urgency, fear of loss, or indifference.  I don't want to think about what my impulse purchase was borne out of.  I just know that this yummy cooler is perfect for the summer heat.

edit: As I told my best friend,I kept wishing that they had a "choco box" version of this..filled with orange, strawberry, mint, caramel, or coconut ice cream. Then you could order a box of different flavors. Calling Selecta!

Buy Selecta Magnum Classic, Chocolate Truffle or Almond from groceries and convenience stores.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Accidentally in Love with Lolo Dad's Cafe

My happily ever after at Lolo Dad’s Café
Words by Abby Lim
Photographed by  Greg Mayo (his actual photos are in the mag itself. these amateur photos are mine)
Art direction: Chelsea Lim
Special thanks to Appetite editors Nina Daza-Puyat and Viel Luis who helped me on this feature

It is with reckless abandon that I fall in love at first bite.  I crave and rave,  only to find out that it was mere culinary infatuation.  Then I am ready to move on to the next target delicacy.  I thought it impossible to fall absolutely and forever in love with a dish outside of home.   Until I met Lolo Dad’s Café.

Unexpected love affair
 If I didn’t know that it was one of Manila’s best restaurants, I would probably think of Lolo Dad’s Café as another house on the streets of Malate.  And indeed, from 1941 until early 2000, it actually was.  General Manager Ding Ayuyao says that the restaurant is a tribute to their deceased father Conrado Ayuyao who they called Lolo Dad. It also used to be the ancentral home of the Ayuyao family.  Look around and you’ll easily spot vestiges of the restaurant’s Spanish roots in the hardwood floors and beautifully detailed wooden furniture. 

Open kitchen at Lolo Dad's
You might think that this crossing over from historical to gastronomical is a natural offshoot of the family’s common love for meticulously-prepared food.  Nothing can be further from the truth. In actuality, what has been recently dubbed as Manila’s Most Romantic Restaurant was initially planned to be a modest take-out food stall.   I was incredulous upon learning this, but it’s the humble truth.  The take-out place was supposed to be situated at the house’s lanai, but the universe had bigger plans for the Ayuyaos.  While the family was thinking about their small  venture, it just so happened that their neighbor had to dispose of a large island stove.  Not wanting the stove to go to waste, the family decided to turn their food fling into a fullblown passion for fine dining.  The rest is gastronimical history. Today, Lolo Dad’s Cafe seats fifty people and is run by Ding and four award-winning chefs. This roster includes multi-awarded Chef Ariel Manuel and his wife Carminia Ayuyao Manuel who is also a pastry chef.   

Smile! Appetite EIC Ms. Nina Daza-Puyat and Graphic Designer Chelsea Lim
take a break from watching the going-ons in the kitchen 

The accidental chef
I believe that the food is only as good as the hands behind them.  I was a bit nervous talking to such a topnotch Chef highly esteemed by his peers.  It was pretty amazing to find out that Chef Ariel was very accomodating and easy to talk to.  He says that he started out waiting on tables and didn’t receive any formal training in cooking.  It was upon seeing the plated dishes at the Hyatt Hotel that the then-architecture student’s creative instincts for food first kicked in.   Without any air of arrogance, the Chef says matter-of-factly, “I felt that I could do that better”.  And indeed he did and still does.  The accidental chef has now garnered international awards in the culinary world, but remains surprisingly humble.  When asked what his favorite food is, he sheepishly tells us, “Corned beef”.

Chef Ariel was awesome. I just had to have a picture with him...

...and so did Assistant Editor Viel

My Rendezvous with Lolo Dad's
All the talk about Lolo Dad’s unplanned beginnings got me excited.  Like a lady out on her first date,  I didn’t know what to expect.   What sumptuous offerings would greet me from Chef Ariel’s kitchen?
February 14 is a special day for Lolo Dad’s Café since it was on the same day in 2000 that the restaurant first opened its doors to the public.  The choice of Valentine’s Day as the opening day didn’t hold any significance other than it being a good day to open a restaurant. The romantic in me was imagining the opening date to be connected to Chef Ariel and his wife’s  grand love story; it was more of a perfectly arranged marriage though.  Looking at  the grandiose Valentine’s menu, I couldn’t help but think that Lolo Dad’s and Valentine’s went so well, the heavens must have conspired to put them together.  Faithful to its romantic reputation, Chef Ariel prepared a 6-course tasting menu (P2600/person) that’s sure to romance lovers on Valentine’s Day.

Photographer peek-a-boo: Chef Ariel is busy in the kitchen

 The Chef says that he likes to add a distinguishing factor in his dishes, something that would set them apart from other world flavors.  One would notice that this special set had an Asian or Filipino twist in them, albeit their European roots.  Take for example the Hoisin glazed Rast French Quail breast, which was served with Adobo of Crispy Leg and the Seared Foie gras on Duck fat fried Potato rosti.   Or the big serving of Roast Rack of Lamb and Kaldereta of Wagyu short rib in crepinet served with Parmesan Cheese Risotto, Shallot confit and Asparagus.  You may also be familiar with the Chef’s Vanilla Almond Ice Cream creation.  The dessert was all dressed up with Thai Basil, Strawberry Feulitté and Spiced White Chocolate Burst.

French Quail breast with Adobo of Crispy leg

    I particularly liked the cool Citrus sorbet that prepared my tastebuds for Chef Ariel’s other creations.  To balance the meaty viands, there were two seafood dishes: the Gingered Raw Salmon; Tuna and Grouper with Moluga Caviar, Baby Eels and Capellin Sardine Terrine; Cucumber and Tomato Gazpacho jelly with Cilantro vinaigrette; and the Lobster and Sweetcorn Chawan Mushi.

Chawan Mushi is an egg custard dish from Japan

Okay say this as fast as you can: Gingered Raw Salmon; Tuna and Grouper with Moluga Caviar,
Baby Eels and Capellin Sardine Terrine; Cucumber and Tomato Gazpacho Jelly with Cilantro Vinaigrette.

The Perfect Ending
     I thought my date was over, but Chef Ariel wanted to introduce my palette to their ala carte menu.  As Ding emphasizes, Lolo Dad’s Café is a place to go to for any occasion, romantic or otherwise. Chef Ariel likes to keep his menu updated for regular goers looking for fresh eats.  For starters, I had the Romaine Caesar salad with Grilled Chorizo, Crisp Pancetta and Eight Minute Boiled Egg.  I particularly delighted in the Pan-fried fillet of Seabass with Blue crab Potatoes and Smoked Salmon-filled Mushrooms in Oyster cream sauce. The seabass was tender and the blue crab simply invited you to stay for more.     
  Blue Crab Potatoes, Smoked Salmon-filled Mushrooms in Oyster Cream Sauce and  Pan-fried Fillet of Seabass
             Finally, it was time for another round of dessert. I have higher standards for dessert than for any part of the meal.  The last thing I put in my mouth has to be perfect, so that I could go home contented.  I soon found out that my perfect ending was waiting in Lolo Dad’s all along. The Dark chocolate and Almond layered cake with  Quenelle of White chocolate mousseline and Vanilla Almond Ice Cream was delectable.  Take a bite, and the cake crumbles and melts in your mouth at the same time. I would go back to Lolo Dad’s just for that.

I fell in love with this: Dark Chocolate and Almond Layered Cake
Every girl dreams of a happily ever after.  It was by accident, or better yet, it was by fate that I had mine at Lolo Dad’s Cafe.         

Lolo Dad’s Cafe is located at 899 Pres. Quirino Ave. Cor. Leon Guinto St., Malate, Manila. For information and reservations, call 522-2941,  524-2295, 496-6646   or +639228125971 . 

This article was published on Appetite's February 2012 issue.
Grab a copy for more romantic escapades!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Burgoo treat: Chicken Tender Fingers and Angel Hair Classico Pasta

Leo and I are two very different people.  But when it comes to food and talk, we mostly enjoy the same things.

Gaby vs. Leo

Burgoo will definitely be one of our choices when we want to be stuffed with tasty food.  You'll never go wrong with their humongous servings, which are almost always good for sharing.

Last Saturday, the hungry Leo treated me out to a Burgoo dinner. Yay.  It was the perfect ending to the busy week, since I also got a new book.

Waiting for your Burgoo order is never boring.  They place a set of crayons on each table, so you can draw on the huge paper sheets covering the tabletops. When you feel like your date is going to sound like a silent know where to take him.  Leo and I don't have a problem with talking and drawing and laughing at the same time though.

My new book: Book 3 of Merlin.  And my drawing: Pseudo Merlin.

When our food came, we hungrily dived into them.  Leo ordered the large serving of Chicken Tender Fingers (P495) and the regular-sized Angel Hair Classico Pasta (P275).  I must say, they were a good combination.

Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside

Barbecue Sauce, Honey Mustard, or Ranch?  Honey Mustard wins our vote.

I love the texture and simplicity of the Angel Hair Classico

What can I say but a big thank you to Leo? The next treat's on me.

Burgoo is located at the 2/L Gateway Mall Araneta Center, Cubao Q.C. For reservations, call   (2)-913-6121, (2)913-7234 or (2)912-7939.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Someone wants KFC

We had Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner last Saturday, and guess who couldn't contain her excitement?

That's one of our doggies, Shobe.  She and our other dog Chichi just love KFC chicken.  They're the first ones to greet the food delivery guy when he arrives.

We're actually already done with dinner, but obviously, Shobe isn't.

Shobe wants KFC!

We had to say no this time though.  Sorry Shobe. You're cute, but we have to put you on a no-more-KFC diet.

 Kentucky Fried Chicken Metro Manila delivery is from 9:00 AM - 11:00PM.  Call 887-8888.