Its been years since I’ve been to a SIDCOR Sunday Farmers Market. Went a few times when they were still located at the Lung Center Phils. with my sister and for a blog event wherein we met Ms. Susan (owner) when they were located in the middle of Centris; now they are located near Quezon Avenue and EDSA, Since weekends, especially Sundays should be for outdoor and offline activities, my cousin and I went to SIDCOR on a whim.
Expected the usual fare but oh boy was I surprised! There were long sections of clothes, shoes & bags (new, imported, bargain and pre-loved), home decors (export quality ceramics and furniture, paintings, wooden crafts/decors, carpets and antique pre-loved bargains), kids toys and collectibles, and even pets (though I frown on this because I’m an advocate for pet adoption).
What we planned for was to canvass/purchase seafood, vegetables and ornamental plants. SIDCOR did not disappoint because there were rows of what we came for and more! There are fresh (shrimps, scallops, etc.) as well as dried seafood (hasa-hasa, squid, danggit, etc.) even meat which were priced at a steal. I guess we’ll be frequenting SIDCOR for these rather than the supermarket now.
We have mother orchids which gave us a few baby orchids so we needed to transfer them to husk chips. We found these rectangular husks which were great, hanged them (will show this on a separate post) like picture frames plus the roots can move freely that way. Unfortunately, our herbs gave up on us but the cacti and aloe vera still thrives. So we canvassed a few herbs and ornamental plants too. That’s enough motivation to go back and purchase soil, plant vitamins and some seedlings soon.
There are times when you have a hankering for Pinoy street food but thing is, most foodie haunts and food parks are only open during Fridays to Sundays. Well, Fishermall’s Chinese Banchetto (which started out as a Chinese New Year Banchetto, hence the name) is open daily from 4:00pm to 10:00pm. They have a wide array of Pinoy street food staples like kwek kwek, isaw (and other for grill/barbecue pork & chicken parts), chicharong bulaklak, calamares, crablets, lumpia, siomai even crispy shrimps and tawilis.
There’s also a pizza & pasta stall wherein for just P100.oo you can avail of a piece of deep dish pizza, pasta and cold drink of your choice! Talk about budget carbo-loading ei!
What I really like about the place is that the the tables and chairs are sturdy and not the usual plastic type which is woobly; its situated beside the mall which covers heat from the sun; they have live music after 6:00pm; the stall owners cook & deliver the food to your table; plus the cleanup is fast so there are no smelly and sticky tables.
BACON ROSES by Lazy Bastard – that chicken nuggets bouquet that went viral has nothing on this! What better way to say that you care about someone than by sharing delicious bacon…bacon is life!
½ Dozen of Awesome Bacon Roses (P 1,500); 1 Dozen of Awesome Bacon Roses (P 2,200). Supplies are limited so pre-order now by sending a message on Facebookwww.facebook.com/lazybastardph
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CHEESE SCRAPING by Raclette MNL– Have a date with Raclette Manila at 14 Four Cafe this Valentine’s! Send them a DM or check out 14 Four Cafe for more details. They also accepting bookings for private events Raclette Station for 60pax or 100pax together with Terry’s Selection’s full leg of Jamon.
Bit of trivia before the food review: During the ’90s RACKS was the ‘it’ place to eat with family and friends. Their hickory smoked, flame-grilled, fall-off-the-bone ribs were an instant hit and lines during lunch and dinner were proof of its goodness. But in 2006, Wellington Soong (owner of Jaguar dealership in PH) sold it to Cavallino Inc. owned by the Prieto family (owners of Shakey’s and Dunkin’ Donuts in PH) and managed by Leopoldo ‘Chukri’ Prieto III. It has undergone a rebirth since but that uniquely flavored rib goodness remained and now, joined with a few delicious additions to the menu. Now on to the food!
We went to their Greenhills branch for late lunch to celebrate my cousin’s birthday. We haven’t gone to Racks for years and seeing some changes in the branches and menu, decided to give it a go.
Southern Favorites (P1,485/4pax) – I chose this because the classic ribs are there with the Southern Fried Chicken which foodies say are really good. It comes with a half rack of classic pork ribs, 4 pieces (half) of Southern fried chicken, a choice of two large side dishes and a pitcher of soda.
The Ribs were as good as before especially with a dab of their special sauce. Brought back memories of weekend eats. I’m so glad the Prietos ‘saved’ this food chain and kudos to maintaining its unique flavor and quality!
The Southern Fried Chicken is really good! Its not oily, its crunchy but not crumbly with excess batter. Then you get to that warm and well-seasoned soft fleshy meat on the inside. Its almost a sin if you eat it with the gravy/ketchup because – you really don’t need it. Oh, and eat with your hands! Its fried chicken!
Last month, amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, had the chance to finally try Luna J Filipino Gastropub – twice in one week. The first time was a weekday when my cousin and I squeezed in some salon time and grocery shopping that day and looked for a place for late lunch and the second time we had my sister along for our cousin’s advance birthday dindin. That said, let’s get to the food!
Luna J’s Binagoongang Baboy – Hailed by foodies as one of their best (next to Kare-Kareng Bagnet) has a perfect balance of the saltiness of the bagoong (shrimp paste) and the green chili. It is also not that oily which rendered the vegetables still full to the bite. It comes with steamed rice and a side of blanched carrot sticks, broccoli florets, string beans and corn kernels.
Luna J’s Kare-Kareng Bagnet – Most Filipino restaurants now have their version of this dish, but what I like with Luna J’s version is that the bagnet comes in crunchy bite size pieces, in a bed of blanched vegetables then covered with a blanket of kare-kare sauce just before they serve it. The difference is that you don’t have any difficulty cutting the meat, the vegetables aren’t soggy and the bagnet stays crunchy because its not drenched with sauce for a long period. The serving is good for 2 persons, which is best eaten with a side of steamed rice and of course, some bagoong.
Luna J’s Tocilog – If you want a hearty Filipino breakfast after a good run or out on a Sunday brunch after church then this is one dish I would recommend. You’ll get your protein and carbohydrates requirements in one delicious plate, or share it with a loved one while chilling. The tocino meat is tender and does not have that salitre (Prague powder 1 or potassium nitrate used as meat preservative) taste. It comes with a side of fried egg, itlog na maalat at kamatis (salted egg & tomato salsa), atchara (pickled green papaya) and garlic rice.
Luna J’s Daing na Bangus – Another Filipino breakfast favorite is daing na bangus (butterflied & deboned milkfish marinated overnight in vinegar, salt, crushed peppercorn and garlic) and if you want to satisfy your craving for that home cooked taste, then Luna J’s is the place to go. Crunchy meaty fish goodness that you may opt to dip in some vinegar with chili sauce or soy sauce with a squeeze of calamansi. Comes with a side of steamed rice and veggies.
Luna J’s Sago at Gulaman– One of the best versions that I have tasted! It comes in a tall glass filled with soft sago (pearls made from the inner part or pith of the palm tree), gulaman (dried seaweed made into jellies or flan) and arnibal (caramelized brown sugar syrup) with just the right amount of water and crushed ice then topped with a drizzle of milk and some red gulaman. Its not that sweet and the flavor is not washed out by the water or ice when it melts. Its actually a snack in itself, a sure favorite thirst-quencher and a definite drink to have along if you want to try their Filipino snack delicacies like leche flan (caramel flan or pudding) , palitaw (chewy rice cake covered with sugar, grated coconut and toasted sesame seeds), ube (purple yam), etc. Continue reading “Luna J Filipino Gastropub: That home cooked Filipino food plus beer!”→
My cousin and I went for a stroll at SM North EDSA and thereafter, decided to have an early dinner. We went around looking for where to eat, maybe try a new restaurant. But it was a Sunday so most restaurants were packed but we didn’t want to have fastfood. We were on our way to just maybe grab a sandwich when we chanced upon what I saw last June, that a new Taiwanese restaurant was to open – Fat Fook Taiwanese Kitchen.
Upon entering Fat Fook Manila, the Interior Designer in me was curiously interested with their lighting fixture. Blue and white bowls were attached thru (electrical) poles with light bulbs and hung upside down. Really nice concept!
It was their opening day/soft opening and didn’t really expect to be seated soon since the place was abuzz. Luckily, we were ushered straight to a booth and handed menus by their courteous staff. I like their booths also with the interesting pattern and color combination, very comfy too.
They have a concise choice menu but if you’re such a foodie, you’ll probably take time to decide which one to try out because everything looks good. Aside from their staff being fully aware of their dishes (and patiently answered my questions), I appreciate that they tell you how long it takes for the food to be cooked and once served, they’ll ask you if everything’s in order or if you need anything else. Our order as they said will take about 10 to 15 minutes but it was served in 10 minutes.
With the pouring rain, we wanted to get home the soonest. So we decided on a soup to warm us up first and ordered the ‘Spareribs and Radish Soup’ since our original choice of their wanton soup which also looks so delicious would be too much of a serving. That was what we thought. Because even if this soup is a solo serve, it had generous servings of spareribs and radish, plus the broth was so flavorful! Truth be told, an order of spareribs soup and a cup of rice is a good combination for a quick and hearty meal.
We ordered their highly recommended ‘Chicken Chop’ and two plain rice bowls for good measure. This was a delightful combination of meaty chicken, and I mean really thick strips! Its crunchy but with no trace of oil, surprisingly juicy inside and seasoned quite nicely, no overpowering flavor. Their serving is definitely good for sharing. I also would like to add that their rice aside from being served steaming hot, is so yummy.
An ‘ouzeri’ or ‘ouzeria’ is a type of Greek tavern which serves ‘ouzo’ (Greek liquor) and ‘mezedes’ or light snacks.
Kos is one of Greek’s Dodecanese islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea, is a group of Greek islands known for their medieval castles, Byzantine churches, beaches and ancient archaeological sites.
A few days ago I met up for late lunch at Kos Greek Ouzeri with a fellow foodie friend who introduced me to Chef Mats Loo and Chef Yolanda Naluz. Now, if you are into authentic cuisines especially Greek, Kos is one of the best places in the metro to experience. Your palate, with just that first bite will tell you that not only do they use the freshest ingredients, but their cooking methods are genuinely different. Here’s my food adventure at Kos Greek Ouzeri.
‘Mezedes’ are small dishes served before the main dish and eaten with freshly baked bread. Kos uses ingredients straight from source and their breads are freshly baked every day. For me these can not only tickle the palate before a main meal, but it can be taken as a snack as well. I can eat this almost every day, its healthy and they give almost unlimited freshly-baked bread re-fills.
I tried these ‘mezedes’: ‘Tzatziki’(Php175) – yogurt cucumber with garlic, dill, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon; ‘Tyrokafteri’ (Php170) – feta cheese combined with roasted red bell peppers; Sun-dried Tomatoes and Capers (Php155) – a combination of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and capers; ‘Hummus’(Php165) – cooked chick peas with tahini, garlic, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. They also have ‘Kalamaria Toursi’ (Php155), ‘Kolokithakia Ke Melitzanes’ (Php 195), ‘Kroketes Patatas’ (Php155) and‘Soutzoukakia Smyrneika’(php165), etc.
‘Kos Salata’(Php350)- mixed greens with dried figs, caramelized nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, grapes and cheese tossed with honey grape vinaigrette. The mix of tartness of the dried figs, sweetness of the caramelized nuts and grapes went well with the generous serving of cheese with the honey grape vinaigrette served on the side. My first thought after a few bites was that they gave generous servings of the cheese. And its really delicious cheese which is really something you don’t experience, much less expect from restaurants these days.
Kos serves fresh ‘salatas’ or ‘salads’ made with not just any oil, but extra virgin olive oil. the quality of the extra virgin olive oil is important in Greek cuisine because any change in quality will render a different taste to the dish. They also have ‘Tono Salata’ (Php320) and ‘Salata Horiatiki’ (Php300)
‘Grilled Salmon Fillet with Ladolemono’ (Php385) – grilled herb marinated salmon fillet served with roasted vegetables and lemon oil.
If you’ve read most of my recipes or ‘food experiments’ or follow me on Instagram (@urmajesty_sire) then you know of my ‘salmon obsession.’ What a delight it was to taste Kos’ melt-in-your-mouth-goodness salmon (and took some to-go also). Chef Yolanda Naluz shared that the salmon is marinated in their special combination of herbs then cooked (with its skin) in extra virgin olive oil. They also have other seafood dishes like ‘Psari Plaki’ and ‘Greek Fish Stew’ on the menu.