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29 May 2010

Misaki's Japanese Cuisine


Hubby and I love going to dainty and quaint restaurants. Some of them are quite out of the way. Here's one that we always see when ever we go places. It's quite near the house, but it's also hard to get a ride home so we never really got the nerves to take a look at the place, until today.

The name: Misaki
Type of cuisine: Japanese
Location: Marikina Heights, Marikina City (Landmark: Near St. Scholastica Marikina)

Here's what the place looks like



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When you go inside Misaki's, you will transported to a quiet garden. It's very easy to ignore the goings on outside.

Inside the cafe


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The tables are quite low, I think they're really trying to keep up with the Japanese theme of the restaurant.

What we ate:


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Yakisoba - it tasted like ordinary pancit. A little disappointing.



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California Maki - this one was quite good! And the condiment used for it was authentic Japanese condiment. I'm such a fan of wasabi, but theirs was not that spicy.

For drinks:


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On the right side is the Mocha Frost for myself and the other one, Melon shake for hubby. Both tasted good. There's no taste of instant coffee on my mocha frost and when I tried hubby's shake, it tasted like they used fresh melons.

To rate what we ate:
California Maki 7/10
Yakisoba 5/10
Drinks 7/10
Ambiance 7/10
Value for your money 8/10
Why? Because we only paid Php 279.00 for everything
Other comments: They have so much food on their menu and from what we have tried, maybe we can stop by there again to give their other dishes a try.

28 May 2010

Hop on the Bicol Express

My brother-in-law is a Bicolano (someone who hails from the Bicol Region), and as we all know Bicolanos love spicy food. I made this dish once and he loved it. So when he started going abroad, he kept requesting this dish when some one would dock and return on board the ship.

What you need:

10 pcs Green chili pepper cut diagonally
10 pcs siling labuyo (cayenne pepper) chopped
1K of pork cut into cubes
1 can of coconut milk
1 cup water
1/4K of shrimp paste
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 medium bulb onion chopped
salt and sugar to taste
3 tablespoons of cooking oil


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How to do it

1. Saute garlic and onion until the onion is caramelized (transparent)
2. Add the pork wait until it's tender
3. Add the water in the pot and boil the pork
4. After the water has boiled, add the coconut milk, simmer for 2 minutes
5. Put in the shrimp paste and stir, to make sure that it is evenly distributed.
6. Then put all the chili peppers in the pot
7. Lower the heat of the stove and wait for it to boil. (2 options: Boil the Bicol express until the coconut milk becomes thick or you can wait until the coconut milk turns into coconut oil before you turn off the stove. Personally, I wait for the coconut milk to turn into coconut oil)
8. Serve on top of freshly cooked rice.


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24 May 2010

From Antipolo to Quezon City Food Trip

On our way home from Morong, Rizal, we passed by this side road restaurant in Antipolo, City. Being my hubby and I were hungry since we haven't eaten anything and it was almost 5PM, we decided to stop by and grab a quick bite.

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When we got out of the car, here is what we saw first. The skyline of Metro Manila, including the Pasig-Ortigas area. It would have been a good sight at night, unfortunately we weren't able to see it.

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Going inside the restaurant

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Romeo's serve traditional Filipino food and some Japanese dishes. We had the rice toppings, mine was the Oyakudon (chicken) and hubby had Katsudon (Pork). The service crew took our orders and we waited for the food. While waiting, I noticed that the place was quiet and it was really cozy. A very nice place to relax after a long drive.

Here comes the food:

My drink: Fresh Ripe Mango Shake

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It was heavenly! No milk, no other things mixed in with it, just pure mango bliss! There were also chunks on mango inside the shake. Refreshing!

The food bowl:

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Katsudon

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Oyakudon

At first I thought it was delicious, but when my tummy started getting full and my hunger satiated, I noticed the utter lack in difference between what hubby ate and what I had. They tasted the same! Add to it the lack in flavor. I would say it's only edible, most especially when you are really hungry. Maybe it could have been solved by liquid seasoning, which was not available to us that time.

Our next stop: Quezon City

We were looking for out of the way dessert bars when we chanced by this place along A. Roces Avenue in Quezon City.

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We went inside the restaurant and looked at the menu. What we ordered

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Beef Strganoff - they had a choice between fettucine and rice. We had the one with the pasta.

I was disappointed, the pasta was runny, the sauce was quite thin. There was something lacking in the flavor. To rate it I'd give it a 4/10

According to the name, it's a cafe, most certainly cafes serve desserts. We decided to try their Kiss Suite and Sansrival

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Kiss Suite from left to right Devil's Food Cake, Dayap Cake and Kahlua Cake

Okay the suite wasn't expensive. It was a sampler of their "popular" cakes. Here's my opinion: The Devil's Food Cake's frosting wasn't much, it was a little crunchy like toasted mallows. The cake was dry and the chocolate was just there for color but not much for flavor. The Dayap Cake, all I could think of at the moment I ate it was "where's the dayap flavor?" and the Kahlua Cake was way too sweet!

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Sansrival

It got the wafer texture of the sansrival cake right. Although, the taste was overpowered by butter and an orange tang, not what I expect from Sansrival. Again, I'll rate it as 4/10.

If you're asking what we had for drinks? We ordered their refillable iced tea. Which by the way was a little too much on the self-service side. They gave us a glass of iced tea and when I say iced tea, that's all it was. No lemon flavor, no sugar, no nothing, just plain jane iced tea. The tea comes with a very small calamansi that you have to juice into the glass. To sweeten it, you have to put some caramel into your drink (I call it caramel because I don't know if it's sugared water cooked into a thick caramel, but it's definitely not honey since it doesn't have the aroma.)

Last Saturday's dining experience was not as I hoped it to be. But, I would say that the day was well spent since hubby and I had the chance to bond on joy ride to different places.



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21 May 2010

Food Trip Friday: Veggie Fiesta Medley

This dish was cooked by a friend of mine. She made it during the fiesta here at home and served it to us when she invited us over for lunch. I fell in love with this new taste and asked her how she made it. She shared the recipe with me and the first time I made it on my own, I made a few twists to give it my personal touch.

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What you need:

1/2 squash cubed
1 can of whole corn kernels
1 small can mushrooms (drain the water and cut the mushrooms in half)
2 medium eggplants sliced
1 medium red bell pepper sliced into thin strips
3 to 5 tablespoons of chopped parsley
1/2K ground chicken breast
1 pouch tomato sauce
5 cloves of garlic crushed
1 medium bulb of onion chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil (cooking oil will do if you don't have any)


What to do:

1. Saute the garlic and onion in the pre-heated pan with cooking oil.
2. When the onion is caramelized, put the chicken in and wait till it is cooked.
3. Put the squash, cover the pan and wait for the squash to be cooked (2 mins approximately)
4. Add the corn and mushrooms, simmer for 1 minute
5. Mix in the eggplants, bell pepper and 3 tablespoons parsley. Cover the pan and wait again for 1 minute.
6. Finally, put the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes.
7. You're DONE!!!

Time to serve this vegetable medley...

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...Put it on a plate, garnish it with the remaining parsley, serve and enjoy!

It goes well with steamed rice, garlic rice or you can eat it on its own for a light dinner.


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16 May 2010

Mexicali the right amount of Mexican Spice

I love LOVE LOVE spicy food. It doesn't matter if it's Indian, Mediterreanean or Mexican. As long as it's spicy, I'm all for it!

Last April 24th we went to SM Mall of Asia in Pasay for the annual Aliwan Festival. We woke up quite late, so we rushed in getting ourselves ready and out of the house in time for the start of the parade. When we got to Cubao, we realized we haven't eaten anything yet. So before going to MOA, we decided to stop by SM Cubao and have brunch there.

We ate in Mexicali, located at the back of the Mall, P. Tuazon Avenue entrance. The place is small, it's not even a closed restaurant. So if you're finnicky with privacy issues, you may just want to buy food from the restaurant and bring it somewhere else.

Looking at the menu, we saw that Mexicali is offering Combo Meals. We decided to order combo meal # 7. It's composed of:
1. your choice of filling regular burrito
2. salad
3. rice
4. your choice of enchilada
5. a regular drink of your choice

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Combo # 7

Hubby ordered a roast beef burrito and I got myself the ground beef enchilada. I'll say that the serving is good for two people! As the burrito already had rice along with the other filling (mexican beans, etc). The enchilada is comparable to my favortie pasta lasagna! The big difference, this is made from tortilla and it's quite spicy.

Thinking about our appetite, since we didn't have breakfast and it was already late, we also ordered a cup of chili con carne, which was served with some nacho chips on the side.

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The topping of this cup is really your choice. You can have cream with it and top it off with some cheese just like what we had!

Over all, it was an excellent meal! The service was quite good. Value for your money, well we paid a little over Php500 for everything that we ate, including the drinks that we ordered.

Congo Grille Grills It!

Dining out is always a good experience for me, because it gives me ideas on how dishes can be prepared. It also gives me time to share a good experience with my hubby, who also likes eating out.

We had a late lunch in Congo Grille, Araneta Center, Cubao sometime last March and the dining experience was pleasant.

The place had a relaxing feel to it, even though it's located near one of the busiest malls in Cubao (SM) and the big grocery (Shopwise).

We had garlic rice, which when topped off with their famous sisig is a treat that one will enjoy.

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Congo Grille boasts of having the best sisig and won some contests in the previous years. They have all the rights to do so. Their sisig is crispy on the outside, but it also had the tender feel after the first crunch.
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I also ate tortang talong. Unfortunately, hubby cannot enjoy this dish with me as he has an allergic reaction to eating eggplants.

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This one was served in quite a big portion, which I was not able to finish. It was packed with flavor which will make one think that he is full even if the stomach says "I want more!"

The creame of the crop for me:

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Congo Iced Tea

The restaurant's own blend of iced tea. Just looking at it makes me want to go back to the restaurant and order more. Sad to say though, it does not come in the refillable servings.

14 May 2010

Chicken Pineapple Twist

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This is my first post for Food Trip Friday. I love chicken. In the house, we try to avoid red meat, as much as possible, we stick to chicken, fish or vegetables. So here I am running out of fresh ideas on how to cook chicken, here's what I came up with, a new twist to the regular "pininyahang manok" (chicken with pineapple).

What you need:

1K chicken breast fillet
1 small can evaporated milk
1 small can pineapple chunks
1 medium lemon (juiced)
4 tablespoons coriander
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
salt, sugar and pepper to taste
Spicy chicken breading mix
2 tablespoons garlic powder
10 tablespoons of oil

What to do:

Marinade the chicken in milk, the juice of the pineapple, lemon, 2 tablespoons coriander, salt and pepper. Chill for about an hour.

After an hour, boil the chicken for about 5 minutes. Take the chicken out of the marinade, cover it in the breading mixxed with garlic powder. Sear the chicken in a pre-heated pan with oil until golden brown.

For the sauce:

In a saucepan, mix the cornstarch in the marinade until there are no lumps. Boil the marinade, add sugar, salt and pepper to taste until the liquid is thick. Add the pineapple chunks and simmer for 2 minutes.

For the rice:

Steam rice, when it's cooked, add half a stick of butter, 2 tablespoons of coriander, put some salt and garlic powder. Cook for another minute.


To serve:

Cut the chicken into strips, top with the sauce and serve it along side the garlic and herb rice.

Enjoy!


For more food trips, click on the photo below:
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11 May 2010

Carbonara, My Version of

If you're asking me, what is my favorite food? I would answer without batting an eyelash - PASTA!

I love most pasta dishes, be it with red sauce, meat sauce, white sauce or al pesto. Here is my own recipe for one of the kinds of pasta sauces that I love to cook and eat, carbonara.

What you need:

1K pasta - cooked according to package directions.
- a tip though, if you don't want your pasta overcooked, make sure to take the pot out of the flame when the pasta is al dente and rinse it with running water.


For the sauce:

1/2K plain bacon finely sliced
1 small can of mushrooms (if you buy the whole mushrooms, cut it into quarters, but you can also opt for the sliced mushrooms)
1 small can campbell's cream of mushroom
12 cloves of garlic,m finely chopped
3 tablespoons of cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
salt to taste
2 to 2 stalks of coriander (for garnish or you can also put some in the sauce for the aroma and flavor)


How to cook the sauce:

1. Fry the sliced bacon until it's golden brown. Once the bacon is done, set it aside.
2. Saute the chopped garlic in cooking oil, do not toast.
3. Put the mushrooms in the pan
4. After 2 minutes add the cream of mushroom in the pan and add water (measure it to half of the can of the cream of mushroom)
5. Simmer the sauce
6. Add the bacon and simmer for another minute
7. Put salt, coriander and pepper to taste
8. Simmer for another minute

When the sauce is done, place some pasta on a plate, put the sauce, top with grated cheese and serve.


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Pinoy Favorites at KKK Pinoy Food Revolution Cubao

For my first entry to my world, I decided to share this post. Mother's Day: A day to celebrate the most wonderful woman in our lives, our mothers. This year, this special day was slated last May 9th, Sunday. We decided to bring my mother on a date a day earlier, to avoid the crowd.

We took her to this nice place located in SM Cubao. The name of the place KKK, Pinoy Food Revolution.

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The front of the restaurant. The great big menu is a good draw in for the crowd. One can actually read their menu, know what they serve and of course the price.

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Inside the restaurant, it looked so homey. We all loved the native accents of the place.

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We took the alcove, a quiet private place for the family. As you can see, it's just the four of us, my mom, a friend of hers, my hubby and of course me holding the cam.

What we had:

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Kare-Kare - a Filipino favorite, it's stew made usually of beef with some eggplants, string beans, cooked with peanut butter sauce. Served with bagoong (shrimp paste).

I ordered this because most kare-kare dishes served in different restaurants are made of tuwalya (tongue) and I don't eat kare-kare made from that or similar ingredients. This one tasted good, enough peanut butter and you can taste the individual ingredients as well as the whole dish. The only thing I didn't like about it is that, it also had tuwalya.

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Lechon Kawali (Binagoongan) - deep fried pork cutlets served with shrimp paste.

This one I would say is a 9/10! Almost perfect, I only ordered this thinking that it will have gata (coconut milk) typical of binagoongan. But it was dry, it was just topped with the shrimp paste (good thing though, because we also used the bagoong for the kare-kare).

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Ginisang Pancit Sotanghon

When I saw the serving, I got surprised! It was big, enough for 4 people to share. It had the typical ingredients of pancit (shrimps, boiled eggs, veggies). It tasted good and if my mom (who is Kapampangan and a good cook) gives the thumbs up, I believe that she enjoyed a particular dish. She gave her thumbs up on this one.

No photos though, we had classic sinangag (garlic rice), refillable iced tea for me and my hubby and refillable sago't gulaman for my mom and her friend.

In summary, the ambiance of this restaurant in Cubao takes you back into olden days, 9/10. The food was great, 9/10 for all the dishes served. The service was very good, the crew was nice, they served with smiles on their faces and they were quite fast. Value for money 9/10 as well. We only paid Php1,000 for everything that we ordered.

Click on the photo to join my world
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07 May 2010

Pagkaing Pinoy (Filipino Food) @ Dencio's Marikina

Marikina City, one of the most devastated areas when the typhoon Ondoy hit our country. It's so good to see that even with the devastation, many establishments rose up to challenge and operated once more.

We went to Marikina River Banks and saw the renovated Mall. After walking around and looking at the mini-auto show, we got hungry and we decided to eat in Dencio's, a restaurant serving mainly Filipino dishes.

What we ordered were:

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Garlic Rice

In the vernacular, we call this Sinangag. We stir fry the rice with some toasted garlic. Garlic rice or sinangag in most Filipino homes is made from left over or cold rice. Mash the rice, toast some garlic and add the rice! It goes well with most viands and is usually served for breakfast.

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Sisig

This sisig is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. It's usually served as pica food with alcoholic beverage like beer. Typically this dish is made from deep fried pork jowls, but from what I can tell, Dencio's serve theirs with meat coming from a different part of the pig.

The one we had was the large serving, it looked so good and tasted even better! Use the usual seasoning along with Calamansi (Philippine lemon) and some chili sauce, and you will get a treat!

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Crispy Shrimp

This serving came with vinegar as the dip. I can't say anything except it was excellent!

The service was good and fast. The place cozy.

In summation, the service, the place and the food gave us a good dining experience.

04 May 2010

Coffee, Cakes, Pies and More at Banapple

Me and my hubby love to eat in nice quaint and quiet places. We usually go out to eat every weekend, either a Saturday and Sunday. We like to explore and try out different restaurants in different places.

Last January, we went to a small restaurant along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, the name of the place is Banapple. It was very quaint and homey and the food was really good! They have two branches along the Katipunan area, one near Blue Ridge A and the other one, near the Labor Hospital, they also have a branch in Il Terrazo along Scout Madrinan, also in Quezon City.

On our first visit, hubby and I shared this marvelous Lasagna Wraps

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It's meaty, the sauce is just right (meaning the pasta is not swimming in sauce!) And it's served with two slices of bread!

For dessert, we had a slice each of their famous Banoffee Pie and the Dark Chocolate Tiramisu respectively. I apologize for the photo, I can't help myself, I had to dig in before I realized I had to take the photo.

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So, if you're along the Katipunan area, drop by and check out this place. Highly recommended!

And before I forget, we paid less than Php 500 for the entire meal.