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Feels weird to write about anything else but food on this space but I’m going to give this a shot. I’ve been wanting to expand the blog a bit more and write about other things (not limited to stuffing my face) so here’s me writing about something else I really love: shoes.

SHOES
If you’ve known me a while or if we’re close, you’d figure out shoes are really my weak spot. I used to be terrible and just mindlessly splurge until I gave myself some rules (I’m only allowed to buy when I’m abroad now). I’m a boring shopper to be honest but I’m probably any marketer’s dream. I’m the kind of person that buys the same thing in different colors. I sure hope writing about this will help me curb my consumerist greed.

SHOES
I only used to wear Adidas for football when I was playing varsity back in college. I’ve always gravitated toward classic styles so I thought the Adidas Gazelle OG would be perfect. I wear gray pants a lot so I don’t know why I bought gray shoes. Either way, I am happy with how this fits and how slim the silhouette is.

SHOES
Gazelle’s are surprisingly comfy despite being thin along the sole. They look good with absolutely anything. You could pair them with pants, shorts, a dress, a suit, whatever and they’d still look cool. That’s why classics are the best pieces – you can dress them up and dress them down.

SHOES
I’ve been preparing for a tennis tournament so apologies to everyone around me but I’ve been really obsessed. Of course I found a way to sneak this in. I went through a lot of tennis shoes, I would just get Nike before but found that they’d break easily. Adidas looked cool – I had the Barricade – but they were just way too heavy. So when I went to Japan, I thought to try on some Asics for a change. Now, I use the Asics PRESTIGELYTE AC and they’re the best tennis shoes I’ve ever owned.

They’re lightweight yet well-padded and the Gel technology makes me feel like I’m walking on clouds even while in the court. AC stands for ALL COURT by the way so whether you play on grass, clay, shell or hard courts, you can use these. There was no break-in period for these guys so I highly recommend Asics to everybody. They have great running shoes too.

If you’re looking for Asics, I know Zalora’s pretty well stocked. They don’t have tennis shoes but for running, futsal or volleyball they have a wide range of different sneaker styles. I’ve got my eye on the Onitsuka Tokuten but it’s a shame they ran out of my size.

Bau House Dog Cafe - Seoul

When I got home from Seoul, my mom said “Mukhang yinakap mo lahat ng aso doon ah! (looks like you hugged all the dogs there)” to which I said, “I love them all and I love Korea because they love dogs”. I couldn’t leave without visiting a dog cafe. We found Bau House accidentally on the way back home from trying to locate a famous Korean BBQ restaurant that ceased to exist, close to the Hapjeong station. Through the window, we saw a neat looking cafe with lots and lots of happy dogs so we said we’d be back.

Bau House Dog Cafe - Seoul

And back we were. The nice thing about Bau House is that it’s a big cafe with two divisions. Up front is where the small dogs hang out and out back is where the medium to large size dogs are.

Bau House Dog Cafe - Seoul

So here’s the drill, to hang around the adorable dogs, each person has to order at least one drink and with that you can stay as long as you want. The drinks are about 8000 won (about $8) and even if they’re pricey, they’re actually pretty good. Liana and I had a Banana Yogurt Shake while Carina had a cuppa coffee.

Bau House Dog Cafe - Seoul

The dogs there were all pretty sweet, they go up to you, sniff you, beg to be pet and sit on your lap. The dogs also mostly speak Korean but once in a while you’ll meet one who responds to ‘sit’. When we got there, these two dogs flocked to Carina to sandwich her.

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Paras Birthday

For Tita Ginger and Tito Dading’s joint birthday celebration, they opted to treat us to a fine home-cooked lunch. Tita Ginger is my mom’s sister and also one of the finest cooks I know. She understands food on a highly technical level and I notice that what she makes is forever evolving. When she calls to tell me she has mastered prime rib, I know we’re all in for a spectacular meal.

Paras Birthday

I got to lunch a bit late so I barely reached the Chili Con Carne for starters. Luckily, my ultimate favorite – Spicy Tuna Sashimi – was there and there was a lot of it to go around. Tita Ginger’s version of this strays a bit from Sugi’s but is just as tasty. It doesn’t have the usual tempura crumbs; the little wonton bowls they come in give its needed crunch.

Paras Birthday

The Green Salad with Candied Walnuts, Fried Onion and Raspberry Vinaigrette looked really good and was. But I didn’t touch it because I was saving precious stomach real estate for steak, spinach au gratin and cake.

Paras Birthday

More sides! Mashed potato, corn on the cob and creamed corn were present. There was also pasta with sundried tomatoes and black bean garlic sauce topped with green onions and Parmeggiano Reggiano.

Paras Birthday

The star of the show was the Prime Rib Au Jus. Lovingly cooked to perfection, I enjoy my steak pink and a wee bit bloody served with the roast’s drippings. Tita Ginger’s steak could rival any restaurant’s and it’s definitely the kind of prime rib you’d be happy to pay for.

Paras Birthday

The crust was nice and tasty – salt, cracked black pepper and garlic perfectly coating the sides of the steak. The beef itself was tender, beautifully marbled and flavorful. I enjoyed eating this so much, savoring every bite.

Paras Birthday

I realize looking back at my photographs from the weekend that I have zero photos of the Spinach Au Gratin. It was so mind-blowingly awesome I just ate it all and forgot I had a camera in the first place. I don’t know about anyone else but I think the perfect siding to a juicy Prime Rib steak is creamed spinach. I told my tita this and even if she hadn’t ever made creamed spinach she said she’d give it a go and came up with this. It was so good. I just don’t know how else to describe it. One of my titos even said he could eat the spinach as is, with rice. If that isn’t convincing enough, I don’t know what is.

Paras Birthday

When we were all full and busy digesting it was time for dessert. There were freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, pomelo slices (the healthy choice) and of course, Tito Dading’s favorite, the San Marcos Cake (Php 700).

Paras Birthday

So funny I forgot I had the San Marcos cake two years ago, Tita Ginger even showed me an old blog entry to prove I did. I had two slices that day just cause it was deceptively light even with the creamy icing.

I really appreciate our family gatherings when someone cooks, we get together and just share a meal at home. I prefer it to eating out just cause everything tastes better and there’s no pressure to rush to leave. Plus, eating at home means you can go back for seconds and maybe even have leftovers for the day after.

Sarie Truffle

When I saw the Food Hack Pepper did on Mamou’s Lorenzo’s Truffle Pasta, I’ve been waiting for the right time to experiment and recreate the dish. Since weekends are times I find myself less stressed out, I found myself inclined to take charge and cook for the family one Sunday.

Mom did the groceries during the week and picked up two small cartons of Elle and Vire cooking cream. We were missing cheese so I stopped by Terry’s to grab some parmesan cheese (which they didn’t have so I settled for Grana Padano). Saw that they were on an anniversary sale so I got a big steak and some pancetta to go with the pasta.

Sarie's Truffle

Followed the directions on Pepper except modified it a bit. Melted 3/8ths of a slab of Salted Anchor butter then added in 2 teensy cartons cream, mixed this in then added half a Knorr beef cube and a few pinches of cheese to get it saltier. Covered this up cause I was trying to cube the deli bacon til my mom freaked out cause the sauce was bubbling like a witch’s stew. Saw the sauce simmering so I poured in some truffle oil and yay the wait was over!

Sarie's Truffle

I thought I screwed the sauce up but it wasn’t burnt or too thick so I pat myself on the back for crafting a hack masterpiece. Sauce was done, noodles were taking forever so pan-frying the deli bacon was the next step. When that was done, it was time to marinate my steak.

Sarie's Truffle

Sarie's Truffle

Since we just were in post-production for a Knorr project I shot that week, I was seriously craving the stuff. I opted to slather my precious ribeye steak in just Knorr Liquid Seasoning and a dab of extra virgin olive oil. Trust me, you don’t need much to make the perfect steak. Just cook it right.

Sarie's Truffle

I like mine between medium and medium rare. I also take pride in perfecting the art of the grill mark. This meal happened almost three weeks ago but I’m glad I documented it because I think it marks the first entire meal I’ve cooked that my mom absolutely enjoyed. Sandro loved it too. And I don’t usually get rave reviews when I’m in the kitchen so this was a welcome first.

Señor Pollo QC
Lets start with the aftermath. I ordered half a roasted chicken, two spicy rice sides, one patatas bravas and lechon asado. I obviously enjoyed this meal as did Kathy.

COLOR GRADING
I was in the Timog area that day because we were color grading the music video I did for Ang Bandang Shirley’s Nakauwi Na. It was the first time I was at Quantum and the whole idea of being in Timog excited me cause it meant I could finally go and try Señor Pollo. Here’s a quick flash photography portrait of what the color grading set-up looks like. The entire act takes a lot of hard work and it’s pretty tedious since you can pretty much manipulate colors in any part of the frame. Imagine, Photoshop in video form.

Señor Pollo QC
I was there since 3PM in the afternoon. We were working straight until the evening until we decided it was time to go look for food at around 10PM. Since I was reading up on Senor Pollo all day, I knew we were safe cause it’d be open til 1AM. Finding the place wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be, when you’re on Tomas Morato heading straight for the Timog side, Scout Rallos and the F7 building would be on your left. F7 is a nice building with interesting dining choices like Purple Oven and Uncle Moes. The best thing about it? Valet parking. I didn’t avail of this service since there was a lot of space.

Señor Pollo QC
ON TO THE CHICKEN! Kathy and I decided on sharing a Half Order of Roasted Chicken + 2 sides (Php 299). For sides, we picked the Spicy Rice and Patatas Bravas. The chicken itself is served with chimichurri sauce and garlic sauce. We ordered an extra order of Spicy Rice since it was awesome and later found that it was the last batch of rice in the restaurant. Score!

Señor Pollo QC
Oh man, this was heaven. I mean, just look at it. Took my first bite and I was hooked. The chicken was tender and roasted perfectly, that fire roasted flavor was spot-on: hint of sourness from the chimichurri, the creamy garlic sauce and the chicken combined with the spicy rice.

Señor Pollo QC
So. After trying this and liking it so much, I thought I wanted something more. Just a chicken quarter wasn’t enough so I settled on ordering Lechon Asado (Php 200) as well. This was good too but the chicken was way better. I thought the pork was too fatty.

Señor Pollo QC
Aaron and Gen followed shortly and enjoyed their meal as well. Too bad there was no spicy rice left when they arrived.

Señor Pollo QC
We were all happy campers. It was everyone’s first time at Senor Pollo that night.

Señor Pollo QC
Here’s a shot of the menu for reference. Compared to the old reviews I used to read, they seemed to have increased their prices. I can’t complain since they seem to be doing well for themselves. I remember leaving a bit before midnight only to find that they’d already run out of chicken to serve.

Señor Pollo QC
The waiting staff is great too. Knowledgable, polite and just pleasant overall. I drink a lot of water and I really liked how they were sensitive to that cause despite the fact the place was packed, my glass was always full. Can’t wait to be back! Hopefully I find myself in the area soon.

Señor Pollo
F7 Building, Scout Rallos Street,
Tomas Morato, Quezon City
0917-833-1033
Open til 1AM

I started this space on the web 3 years ago out of sheer boredom. I noticed I would spend a lot of time taking photos of food so when I was checking my vacation photos for posting on Facebook, I figured I’d write personal reviews on the restaurants I’d eat in so this was born. I guess you could say I’ve come a long way from 2011 and since I’ve been busy, I kind of forgot about writing here.

Currently, I’m still very busy as one of the managing partners and in-house directors at Seabiscuit Films, a video production house, etc. But having real adult responsibilities doesn’t mean I can’t keep this up. If you’re bored and still reading this, check out our latest reel.

Seabiscuit Films Reel – July 2014 from Seabiscuit Films on Vimeo.

I also got a new point and shoot camera. Sold the old one a few months back so I found myself taking less pictures on-the-go. Was toying with the idea of getting this new one for ages but couldn’t find a good reason until I was reminded of the blog. Convinced myself to get a camera to revive this thing so yeah, more posts soon – guaranteed. First RX100 Mk 3 selfie. Pambahay chic.
My face as of Aug 21 2014

maps

So the blog’s been kind of quiet lately. It’s cause I’ve been out of the country travelling for a while. It’s funny, because I haven’t touched my laptop in over a month I had to get my password reset cause I couldn’t figure it out. Got home last night from a month long New York visit so I have a lot of posts coming up, hopefully I get to weed through the 10GB of photos I snapped.

Chillin at the Park

Before crossing continents, I actually also spent the first week of April in Japan so I have a bunch of Osaka-based posts lined up as well so check this space from time to time.

I kind of get overwhelmed just thinking of all the pictures I have to sort thorough but whatever, I’ll get that done in time. For now, here are some photos from both trips just to give ya’ll an idea of what’s to come.

Sukiyaki Udon

Gion Yutaka Chef

Matsusaka

Fushimi Inari

Empty ramen bowls

st anselm

tourist

shake shack

I typed a whole post up and it got lost somehow so !!! Let me just write it all again since the Save Draft feature seems to be against me tonight. I had lunch at Cuillère last Tuesday and it’s a bit odd I’ve never eaten there considering how much time I’ve actually spent at The Fort. Before heading over, all I knew about it was that it served kickass carabao (water buffalo) milk milkshakes thanks to my buddy, Karen.

I got there about 30 minutes late for my lunch date with Alex and Winston. I was really apologetic about it. Sleeping in is good only if other people don’t suffer for it. When I ordered my lunch, they were set to order dessert. I quickly scanned the menu and spotted Lamb Ribs with Ratatouille Rice for Php 495. For lamb, it was reasonably priced so I took my chances and ordered it.

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I’m really fond of lamb. I love it as much as the Arabs, Indians and Greeks do. I can’t get enough of the gamey flavor the meat has and it’s the only animal fat I don’t feel guilty eating. Mmm buttery. I don’t know why the dish looks teensy in the photo but portion-wise, it was just right. The lamb was so tender, I resorted to eating Filipino style (spoon and fork in tow) because a knife was completely useless to me. The dish actually came with a serving of mint jelly but I don’t like mint jelly and never saw the point of it’s existence so it was left ignored. The lamb was tasty enough to come out strong even with a spoon full of tomato induced ratatouille rice. I would definitely order this again and head back to try their other stuff.

Cuillere
Serendra, The Fort
Taguig City, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 856-3325

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I spent Saturday night at my friend Mara’s pre-birthday celebration dinner. It was a “B” themed dinner, the highlight of which was the Slow-Roasted Lamb Shoulder, which we all fondly came to know as Baa Baa Black Sheep, to keep the letter theme in order.

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These are the remains of the first shoulder brought out and slow-roasted to perfection. I’m a noob cook and not great with the oven so this was seriously impressive to me. The lamb was tender, tasty and really just perfect which explains why it was completely wiped out in less than an hour.

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Thankfully, Mara was well-prepared and brought another shoulder out. She told me she based her recipe off a simple one she found from Jamie Oliver and that it was pretty simple to make. And that all you really needed apart from the lamb was some olive oil, fresh rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper and the patience to leave it roasting in the oven for a good four hours. Isn’t it beautiful? The meat literally fell off the bone and was a pleasure to devour. Found myself going for fifths in terms of servings.

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This is another welcome essential when it comes to enjoying roasts. Full bulbs of garlic, kept in the oven until brown and pasty. The garlic itself ends up creamy in consistency and so full of its natural flavor. Just watch out for bad breath.

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There was Baba Ganoush served with crackers and homemade bread. I’ve always preferred Baba Ganoush to Hummus so being served a huge bowl of this at the party made my taste buds soar. It had just the right mix of tahini, garlic and lemon and was completely balanced out by the crisp strips of bread. Coming from someone who isn’t so into bread, homemade bread makes all the difference. I like how it tasted so fresh and not starchy at all. I wish I had a better photo of the Baba Ganoush.

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We also had Buffalo Wings to start us off. These were homemade as well and can rival the likes of Hooters. They were drenched in spicy sauce but stayed juicy underneath. Really good but served best with Blue Cheese dip.

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I mentally thanked Mara for the return of this Mushroom Canneloni dish when I hopped on the buffet train. This made an appearance at our “P” dinner under the guise of pasta and certainly was good enough to bend the rules at “B”. Doused in a bed of cream, the giant noodle (I think it is a noodle cause it’s made of the same thing) packs a load of chopped dark mushrooms. Were they portabello? I’m not sure. These were homemade too but from someone else’s house! I wish I could order them for myself. I’ll ask Mara if this is possible.

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For dessert, there were cupcakes, bread pudding, brownies, Ferrero and this oven-baked Blueberry Crisp, Mara made herself. It was served with vanilla ice cream and was inexplicably good. I haven’t tried anything like it and I enjoyed that it wasn’t too sweet. I haven’t been feeling sweets lately. The oatmeal crisp top struck a perfect balance to the tart, juicy blueberries especially when topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

globes
There was a bunch of other food I didn’t get to try or photograph, like the beet salad with goat cheese or the burgers topped with gorgonzola but wow, everything was good and it was so nice to know that Mara prepared practically everything. At this rate, she can rival the likes of Barefoot Contessa. I’m seriously looking forward to the next one. Maybe I should try my hand at hosting as well. Consider me inspired.

I checked this space today and it finally hit that I haven’t updated in two weeks. In the internet world, 14 days equates to light years so hi. I’ve been a bit busy with life (aka running the house) and work so I haven’t had the chance to write a lot. In an effort to update about more than just food, this post is about my job.

I’m a freelance filmmaker by trade. I’m usually reluctant to say filmmaker because I’ve never actually shot on film. The video above is something I directed for Sunsilk sometime late last year.

I was also fortunate enough to work on a big online Dove campaign. Two out of the three videos were just released so I’d like to share them.


I’m thankful the year’s taken to a busy start. There’s a lot more coming up that have yet to be launched but I’ll be posting them for sure. Right now, I’m busy brainstorming for a couple of online campaigns, working on pitch material and looking for music videos to direct (so if you have any leads, point them this way).