Showing posts from March, 2010

and a thousand more dishes to go...

5/5 Beef Adobado
i've been looking for a good indian restaurant in cebu. okay, skip that. at least a decent indian restaurant.

5/5 Kinamatisang Kawali
the chicken tika masala in dessert factory is the closest approximation i can find of an indian dish that slightly resembled my memories of the gorgeous smells and flavors of india. i'm talking about food.

4/5 Chicken Tikka Masala
finding myself decently appeased, i decided to make it a point to come back every now and then and order a new dish i haven't ordered previously. if and when a friend comes along for the meal, i try to subtly convince them to order something i haven't tried before.

5/5 Beef Adobado
you see, i wanted to ask for a taste and of course, get a picture of the dish to add to my library. my friends would say i can pass for a food critic. that's too presumptuous of me. i never claimed to be a zagat. i just like my food and i have certain biases - like the fact that i'm starting to think french cu…

Of Hong Ba, Hong Ma, Humba and Sio Pao

my mom was a star sio pao maker who even brought sio pao to the US when she visited my sisters for a vacation and ended up steaming batches by the dozen. she was the one who made the secret pork asado filling while my dad did the manual labor of kneading the dough. i swear, my dad absolutely hated that part of his vacation as he ended up doing house chores that would have been done by anyone from our household staff.

she never did other sio pao varieties, she only had pork asado and up to this day, i can not remember anything that can rival my mom's version. if my memory serves me right, she used the pork belly portion and had the meat cut up into small cubes after carefully taking off the skin. the fattier the pork, the better.

for all intent and purposes, pork asado is almost the same as adobo except that you add palm sugar for a very dominant sweet flavor to the dish. asado is even closer to humba minus the banana blossoms, black beans and star anise.

asado is an oily dish wit…

what do you call a baby pusit? psssst.

i just know it, i am going to get hate mail from pinoys living outside the philippines when i post these pictures. i mean, who doesn't miss their dried pusit and danggit?!?

vangie brought some of these tasty babies to our badian outing. what's absolutely GREAT about these lil bits of heaven is that they're salted just right and fried very very quickly. five to ten seconds in very hot hot oil is more than enough to cook the pieces. just a tip, never drop more than five pieces in the pan otherwise the others will burn while you're picking out the morsels.

imagine dipping this in pinakurat, sinamak or fermented onions, garlic, chili and spices in palm vinegar. orange juice mother, deleysyus! (translate into tang ina, masarap!)

you know you're not supposed to but you can't help reaching for more of these sinfully bad bits. o tukso, na-tu-tuyo mo na ako.

Inun-unan sa Sarap

galunggong (tagalog), GG, mackerel scad, bodboron (cebu), marot (negros). although GG is not the national fish of the Philippines, it has the distinction of being a national barometer of economic movement in the country.

the price of marot is closely monitored in the market by the national government agencies as an indication of whether other basic commodities are increasing in value. bodboron is popular because of its abundance in philippine waters and is considered to be a staple food in most filipino homes. well except for donya jambelina who doesn't even know the price of galunggong. talk about clueless.

fresh galunggong grilled with plain salt and pepper is a favorite in beach outings with its oily sweet flesh that goes well with plain rice and a dipping dish of kalamansi, soy sauce and chili. as a child, i remember my mom arranging mid sized GG in rows and layering it with peppercorn, garlic, onions, tomatoes, ginger and a bit of salt then drizzled with vegetable oil in a p…

Professionalism to the Next Level

would you invite an honored guest to a banquet, only to ridicule and make him the receiving end of your pointed barbs?

that's exactly what happened to my team as well as other representatives of the BPO/Call Center industry who was invited to join a school job fair. from the start, company participants were already complaining as they got the notice from the school that they need to be there at 8:00AM sharp. only to find out that we would have to listen to an endless series of speeches from organizers and any hiring only started past noon.

despite this lapse in professional handling of the event, the companies stayed on. at one portion, a VP from the organizing school went up the stage to call on an employee for a series of testimonials - a great idea when you're praising partners for their work.

then he asked the question: "so why did you decide NOT to work for call centers and why is it better to work for (name of school)?"

fine. it's his school. but for a sch…

Changing Values and (Im)moral Behavior

"Recent news mentioned that a lot of Call Center agents have HIV or AIDS. What is your industry doing to address this?"

An overly smug forum moderator asked the not-so-innocent question in front of other non BPO industry participants and students.

great, something that even the Department of Health nor the national government can resolve has been reduced to a very simplistic question as if my industry can provide the answer to this mystery.

"Let's put it this way, call center agents don't change their values overnight. the current situation is just a superficial symptom of a deeper issue of how they were brought up as well as the values taught by the environment that has a bigger influence in their character - the school."

if you ever heard of the expression "drowning in silence" then you know that it was uncomfortable. for the facilitator that is.

i was barely warming up.

"considering that my industry is the single biggest employer in this co…

According to study: Call center agents prone to HIV-AIDS

According to study: Call center agents prone to HIV-AIDS
By Marjun A. Baguio (The Freeman) Updated January 30, 2010 12:00 AM

CEBU, Philippines - A health official said call center agents have a higher risk of acquiring Human Immuno Virus-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV-AIDS).

Dr. Crisol Tabajero, Health Information and Research Coordinator of the DOH Region 7 said in forum yesterday that because of their environment and peer pressure, call center agents tend to involve in risky sexual behaviors.

She said that basing on a study conducted by the University of the Philippines Population Institute and the Department of Health, the result of the study is alarming but it is not surprising."

For now, let this sink in and let me share my thoughts in a separate post.

Lola Felisa

restaurants are popping all over the city with lola tagged as part of the name. the word lola (or grandma) brings about memories of home cooked meals, except that in this instance, we really had homecooked food served during tia felisa's birthday. the amazing thing is that at 86 years old she still loves to chew on lechon. never mind that she probably "gums" it instead of really chewing it. just in case, we had a doctor and nurse on standby. and i wasn't talking about tia felisa, it's for the rest of us who stuffed ourselves with all the calorie-to-infinity and beyond dishes.

dinuguan? pork blood stew using the innards of the pig? to some it may be a recipe to some zombie movie gone bad but for filipinos, it is a classic dish that uses the blood drained from the lechon and cooked in vinegar, ginger, lemongrass, and other secret ingredients that includes chopped pigs organs better-not-named. and to think i just signed the "end animal cruelty" cause in fac…

Adobo Again

everyone knows how difficult it is to go beyond your comfort zone. the same problem happens when you go back to a restaurant and you resist the urge to order the same set of dishes you've come to love. my best friend is a classic example - i can literally rattle off the same order in just about every restaurant that we usually go to.

which is why it was hard for me to resist the urge to order the chicken tika masala or the kinamatisang kawali in Dessert Factory.

I made a promise to myself that i am going to order different dishes each and every time i go back to dessert factory. and yes, just in case you're wondering, the place really do serve dessert - except that most people are finding out that the dishes are actually just as delectable as the creamiest blueberry cheesecake you can find in the place.

today i ordered beef adobado for a number of reasons. any restaurant who can not cook adobo needs to cease existence. just as any japanese restaurant that can not serve properl…

Kinamatisang Kawali, Dessert Factory

so today i decided to come back to dessert factory as i thought that the original picture i took of the kinamatisang kawali didn't do any justice to this amazing dish. despite the sweltering heat, i made it a point to sit outside by the terrace to get some natural light.

voila! food that is as delicious as it actually tastes.

it's simple really, cook your lechon kawali the standard way then sautee in onions and ripe tomatoes. the acidic taste gives this dish that additional body. perfect on top of steaming hot rice.

Kinamatisang Kawali, Dessert Factory.
Ayala Center, Cebu City

Boyba Siaomai, Eden

was looking for the chinese term for pork but couldn't find any. so i used boyba. siaomai or steamed dumplings topped with chili sauce, plain or eaten with rice.

Vote for Luna Sabalones!

Woman says 7 men promised to make fake money bills -, Philippine News for Filipinos: "The campaign season hasn’t started yet for her but one Cebu congressional candidate is already crying over the loss of P4 million.

Luna Sabalones, 53, said she was duped by at least seven men who promised to duplicate her money bills in Manila ."

duh. she gave money to people who promised to duplicate her money bills in manila. and she's running for congress? more like kotongress. we should be filing a case against her.
guess what? she's running under the party of erap. ayan, erap para maghirap. it doesn't help that she looked like a mangkukulam. a fat mangkukulam. a fat white-haired-mangkululam. i shudder at the thought of having this crocodile in kotongress.

Lechon Kawali, Eden

crispy fried pork belly should have a good portion of the fatty bit as part of the cut. health conscious people hypocrites would rather have it done using leaner portions of the meat dipped in either plain soy sauce or spicy vinegar makes this dish a winner. some versions use pig trotters or the leg part, deboned then prepared using the lechon kawali method. with more ligaments and skin, some people prefer this one over the belly portion. pack your medicine just in case :P

Poulet Fricassee, French Baker

stewed chicken portions with carrots and mushrooms in a creamy white gravy. the chicken parts were literally falling apart, it could have been more savory if they left the chicken skin on.

Delusions of Gordon: Villar tried to bribe me

Gordon: Villar tried to bribe me | Sun.Star Network Online: "“A week before the campaign, that was before the Senate adjourned, an influential person came to me and told me to abandon support to Senator Enrile in order to regain the senate presidency for Senator Villar. He told me: They were just awaiting your vote; that I will pay for all your expenses including those incurred during your campaign. If you withdraw from the race, I will give you any Cabinet position,” Gordon said in an interview over radio station dzBB."
why would someone bother buying out the 1% rating of Gordon as a presidentiable? isn't this what people would refer to as a losing gambit? or more likely, a foolhardy decision. aba naman, ang alam ko na bilihan ng boto ngayon eh 500 pesos. eh kahit 500 hindi ko itataya for Gordon.

The Ruins in Talisay, Negros Occidental

i've lived most of my life in bacolod city, and like most bacolodnons, we take the places around the area for granted. in my most recent trip to bacolod i made it a point to visit the ruins in talisay city, an old mansion gutted by americans to prevent the haponese to use it as a base. despite the fire, the structure retained its foundation which is a testament to the quality of material used to build this grand structure.

nowadays, the landscaped garden and restaurant nestled within the place make it an ideal place to visit for a nice afternoon, and if you're a photography addict like me... well then, it's an orgasmic experience.

and since this place has spawned more blog entry that you can count on your hands, i'll spare you the narrative and read more about the ruins here. enjoy enjoy enjoy :)

Porc Poivre, French Baker

poivre means coated with crushed black peppercorns, sautéed, and usually flamed with brandy and served with a sauce steak au poivre. i wished though they left the fatty part.

Visual Gastronomic Experience

i posed my model meticulously. poked it, spread it, zoomed right close, loosened it up. as AJ would say, food porn. and if you were thinking something else, well then... good for you :)yes, i was out to take some food pictures and my goal was to take images of food i haven't eaten previously in a restaurant. i call it my visual gastronomic experience. hopefully, it would taste just as good as it looks.

living in the city and relying on restaurants make it very rare that eating brings back memories of one's childhood days. specially when i'm eating in a japanese restaurant.initially i wanted to have dinner in dessert factory but moved out of the place when they can't find me a decent seat. i mean, solo table, facing the entrance, waiters not even bothering to take my order and poor lighting. duh. thought to myself, i actually love the meals in dessert factory more than their desserts, i know, a bit confusing.

i moved to teriyaki boy and forced myself to order dishes i HA…