Showing posts from January, 2011

a love affair with food

what's the common thing between hoteliers from crimson by way of santa mesa manila, an ozamis native of hilton, the artistic vibes of hinigaran negros occidental from radisson blue, a manileno writer from peopleasia and an imported iloilo native doing hr services and training for the bpo industry have in common?

an orgy of delicious food parading in front of us in Tsim Sha Tsui. And I don't mean the road in kowloon, hoooong kong, somewhere nearer in Ayala Terraces is the cebu franchise of the same restaurant that has taken the next level in dimsum buffet. imagine an assorted of dimsum and dumplings set on a conveyor belt that goes round and round.

take a deep breath until you feel light in the head after an overdose of vetsin and feast your eyes on this set...

tofu stuffed with meat, fried and steamed. the steaming process softens the fried tofu. tasty with a black bean sauce that gives it that salty ooomph!

beef balls, nope, this is not soup no. 5 made into dumplings, real …

Food, Complicated.

if i were to translate xia long bao into a facebook status it would probably be, "Sinfully Delicious and COMPLICATED".

i don't know about you but my soup usually gets served in a ceramic bowl, in some cases served in a coffee cup, or the uniquely presented french onion soup in a bread bowl.

the bread bowl is complicated enough, but have you heard of soup served inside a steamed chinese bun (baozi)? the general pinoy idea of chinese bun is either the savory stuffed sio pao or the plain cua pao used to make patatim sandwiches or to wipe off the last bit of sauce left on your plate.

generally, steamed chinese buns use fully raised flour resulting in a fluffy white texture. on the other hand, partially raised flour results in a wrapper that is smooth, tender and a bit translucent when steamed. the ingredients are simple enough, all purpose flour, cold and hot water then a lot of muscle to knead the dough.

to filipinize the concept of xia long bao, think of thick, tasty savo…

the sound of silence

a friend posted in facebook that she had the opportunity to have an amazing talk with her dad.

frankly, i sort of envy that.

you see my dad was a man of few words. his vocabulary range with us was sort of limited, more like syllables.

huh? u-huh. hmmm? yes. no.

men, real men didn't spare much. except when he was hanging out with his friends over beer and food and the conversation pretty much turns into cars, sexy girls, guns, big guns, even bigger guns, the campo, sugar (the sweet type, not the lady called "sugar"), and the club (he was a member of the lion's club).

in the few times he was able to complete his sentences, he taught us a number of values and lessons, foremost of which is being religious.

"nako... magdasal ka na at makakatikim ka ng sinturon!"

of course, that automatically translates to "eager anticipation".

"mag antay ka at pag dating sa bahay, mata mo lang walang latay!"

and as a complex individual, he also taught me the …

mmmmama gielicious

most places are closed the day before christmas or new year. with little options, i took a chance that mama gie was open on the 24th - one, to get some lunch and two, order palabok for take out. the kitchen gods must have been listening as we arrived to a busy crew preparing orders and orders of pre-ordered palabok.

i was tempted to order the pinakbet for lunch considering that in my previous visit, it easily stood out as my favorite. nevertheless, in pursuit of (re)discovering more of mama gie's dishes, i decided to order the embutido and paired it with an order of callos.

callos is a tricky thing as i have a tendency to compare it with the way my mama palangging would cook hers. the soft velvety texture of ox tripe and pata boiled for hours to get the heavy, sticky, meat flavored stock then simmered in a rich tomato sauce with the smoky flavor of bell peppers is something that automatically transports me to my mom's kitchen and the nightly dinner with siblings that usually …

rediscovering an old treasure

u-huh another pilipino restaurant. in a city where every nook and corner feature the gamut of low to high end filipino restaurants, another new pinoy place doesn't necessarily make me go oooh and aaah.

what piqued my interest was the enthusiastic response i got from friends when I mentioned "Mama Gie". specifically, people who studied in Velez circa late 60s up to the late 80s. coincidentally, these people are established professionals in the medical field and to hear them reminisce about mama gie as the place where they hanged out for snacks and meals left me wanting to know more about mama gie.

the set up then was simple enough, people sat on a long counter set with stools and food is served through a serving window that connects directly to the kitchen. nowadays, it occupies the space left by Big Bucks cafe in Bigfoot along F. Ramos St. and operates as a full service restaurant.

as far as their story goes, Mama Gie became popular as the place that introduced pancit …