Showing posts from October, 2011

the ING thing

while the brits and aussies debate who started the planking craze, i still can't for the life of me understand how this is supposed to be hip, and cool. yeah yeah yeah, no one says hip and cool nowadays so i guess that explains why i'm left stiff and cold with plankers, planktons or whatever you call them.

and just when our politicians have gone "stiff" in the head by proposing a planking ban, i came across owling where people sit on unusual places on their haunches, arms on the side and staring into space. hello. no debate here, pinoys have been practicing owling way way back into ancient times. they usually do this in the bathroom, specially when they are using the public loo or if they're on a trip, any huge tree or shrub would do just as well.

but trust the pinoys to come up with our own craze. presenting to you....

Pinoy Food Talk!

ever wonder why pinoys leave the last piece of food on the table? apparently it is an asian influence on our dining etiquette. to celebrate blog action day 2011 that celebrates food, i'm posting some quirky pinoy food habits that most of us don't even notice we do.

i don't pretend to be the emily post of pinoy food decorum but it is often prudent to understand the practices in sharing food with pinoys.
1. Unang Pasalubong - this tradition is sadly lost in the present generation. when a guest is invited for the first time to a meal or dinner in a pinoy home, it is customary to bring a gift, preferably food, specifically fruits or dessert. bawal magdala ng tupperware para take out (yes, some people actually bring containers to bring food with them!)
2. Plastic na Ngiti - hosts MUST always appear smiling and gracious in front of guests even when they are literally grabbing their hair in the kitchen screaming at the maids to get things out to the dining area. Guests MUST recip…

The Great Adobo Challenge

adobo flakes

oh yes, i've done a number of adobo entries in this blog, but i couldn't help salivate at the thought of doing the mother of all adobo entries.

the premise is simple enough, marco polo flew in four chefs from all over the philippines to do a limited edition cook off ala iron chef with one theme in mind: adobo. unfortunately, with competitions, there is a single winner and many losers. hopefully not sour (pun intended) losers.

glenda barretto represented samar from eastern visayas, danny de la cuesta brought northern luzon to central visayas, batangas sent myrna segismundo and nancy reyes represented the tagalog region. after going through the spread, sampling 7 dishes, only two came up to my definition of what makes adobo great: should have a strong salty body with the sour undertone of vinegar and that element of surprise. that and copious amount of fat. adobo without the fat is like ice cream without the cream.

first off, i was a bit disappointed to find out tha…

adobo fiesta - warning can cause uncontrollable salivation and craving

any filipino worth to be called that knows what adobo means. we tout it as our national dish, and to those that barely know the history of adobo, it is actually a spanish term that refers to sauce, marinade or seasoning. interestingly, adobo is just a name that spaniards used to baptize a method practiced by our filipino forefathers in cooking their meats in vinegar and salt.

2/5 adobo flakes, postrio - too dry. could have used some adobo sauce or oil and spiced up a bit with a chili undertone.

4/5 adobo kangkong, kuls kitchen - the sauce was too runny and the only reason why i deducted 1 point is because adobo should have meat.
the filipino adobo was born out of practical reasons. considering that there is no refrigeration and means to preserve food in the humid and hot weather, cooking in vinegar inhibits the growth of bacteria and allow huge quantities of the meat to be cooked and stored longer for later use.

4/5 adobo na manok sa gata, melting pot - the ingenious use of guava leave…

Food Porn - Pho 2000, Ho Chi Minh


Food Porn - Chocolatier, Cebu City


Food Porn - Pork Belly, Maxims Hotel, Cebu City


Picture of the Day - Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

the largest pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City is a blend of modern elements and traditional Japanese and Vietnamese culture. It's home to a sanctuary and a seven-floor, 40-metre high tower. People come here to pay homage to Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha himself, Samantahadra, the Lord of Truth and Manjusri.

- Saigon City Pass

Picture(s) of the Day - Motorcycles


food porn - goi cuon, Viet Chay

A gỏi cuốn, summer roll, Vietnamese salad roll, or fresh roll (Vietnamese: gỏi cuốn; literally "salad roll") is a Vietnamese dish consisting of pork, shrimp, herbs, bún (rice vermicelli), and other ingredients wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper (bánh tráng). They are served at room temperature, and are not deep fried. Summer roll has gained tremendous popularity among Vietnam's neighboring countries and in the West. Many Western restaurants serve Vietnamese summer rolls as an appetizer.

- Wikipedia

the goi cuon picture is a vegetarian variety served in Viet Chay, a restaurant within the grounds of the Vin Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. healthy and absolutely delicious!

Ho Chi Ho Chi Minh!

"your ho chi minh doesn't look like the ho chi minh i visited."

it was both amusing and ironic that two different people have a totally different experience of the same city.

it was my first time in Saigon (the old name of Ho Chi Minh, aka HCM) to visit a friend in Vietnam and I only had two things in my itinerary, i wanted to have a gustatory and cultural experience of the city. 

my friend got me a Saigon City Pass as a gift during my first night in HCM and i spent a better part of the early morning reading the book and knowing more about my host city. with the "tourist" in mind, the book featured attraction, shopping, food, drinks, activities, accommodation and recommended destinations within and around HCM. similar to a lonely planet guide but more thorough with helpful local insider tips for the tourist.

what made the city pass unique was that it featured a pull out map of the city where major attractions, shopping, accommodation are plotted and indexed for e…