Thursday, October 10, 2013

Inspiration: Jessica Alba + The Honest Company

I really admire Jessica Alba for all that she's accomplished. I really thought that she was just another pretty Hollywood actress and I'm really happy that she proved me wrong :) She co-founded an eco-brand which originally catered to new moms & dads, but now seems to be growing to become a brand which a family can grow old with. Her company, The Honest Co., sells eco-friendly baby and household products which are good for the environment and are well-designed.

Acting Disruptive: Jessica Alba + The Honest Co.

Yeah, I know there's nothing food-related in this post, but I just wanted to share this series on AOL, titled Acting Disruptive which featured her and her company. If you don't care for her or her projects, no worries, there are other actors featured in the series!

But, since I'm a fan, please watch the Acting Disruptive featuring Jessica Alba, if anything, you'll probably learn something new!

Wannabe Baker: Puff Pastry Apple Tarts = YUM!

Wannabe Baker: Yummy Apple Tarts!



I got really hungry earlier and couldn't find something sweet to nibble on, then I suddenly remembered that I had a pack of puff pastry in the fridge. YAY for impromptu apple tarts for wannabe bakers like me!

This was actually my first time baking anything using puff pastry, and I must say, it was yummy and easy! I got the recipe from thepioneerwoman.com and just added a bit of cinnamon to the apples and butter on top of the tart. People at home loved it and were asking for more :)

Wannabe Baker Experiment #1 : Puff Pastry Apple Tarts = Success!

Tip: Puff Pastry is a bit hard to find in the Philippines. I bought mine from Shopwise Cubao and I've seen S&R carry them (but they'd probably be more expensive)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Food Review: What in the world is Shakshuka? Shakshouka? Shukshuka?


Shakshuka. Shakshouka. Shukshuka?
Shakshouka (Arabicشكشوكة‎; Hebrewשקשוקה‎) (also shakshuka) is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoeschili peppers,onions, often spiced with cumin. It is believed to have a Tunisian origin. - from Wikipedia
It's pretty weird sounding, right? This type of food may be common in the middle east/ Mediterranean but  I can guarantee that most Pinoys haven't even heard of it. 

I had the chance to try out the dish from Cafe Mediterranean at the Powerplant over the weekend and was pleasantly surprised by how it tasted. The Wikipedia description posted above is fairly accurate in my opinion. The texture was a bit like runny spaghetti sauce without the meat and it tasted a bit like it too. They poached an egg over the mixture which, in my opinion, made it tastier.

Would I order it again? Maybe. It was too much like spaghetti sauce, albeit with slivers of onion and chillies, and I thought that I could easily (hehe) recreate it at home. Still, Kudos to the Cafe Mediterranean team for adding something new (and interesting) to their menu!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ramen Review: Menya Musashi - Shinjuku Area, Tokyo, Japan

Continuation of our Tokyo Ramen Adventure:

The day after trying out Ichiran Ramen, my family decided to go out and look for Menya Musashi to try their noodles.  So we braved the cold, early spring weather and went out to the Shinjuku station area to find the shop.

Menya Musashi serves their ramen in a different type of soup base but it was also good. (IMO) the experience was better in Ichiran, maybe because it was weirder / unique? To be fair, the pork was better here (lamang ng mga 5 paligo :)), and you could actually see the ramen being prepared in front of you. Also, the ramen guys knew right away that we needed help so they guided us through the vending machine ordering system (what do they even call those?)


Menya Musashi Ramen with YUMMY/ Melts-in-your-mouth pork

I read that you have to line up for 30 mins to an hour during lunchtime for their noodles. Luckily, we went there at around 9 PM and it was so cold that only a few Japanese yuppies bothered to brave the winds for the ramen :) 

Tip: The restaurant is tiny and there's only 1 counter available for the diners (which seats around 20 people). If you're planning to eat here, arrive a few hours earlier or later than lunch time/ dinner time. 


Directions to Menya Musashi, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Where is Menya Musashi located? Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Nishi Shinjuku 7-2-6. Coming from the main entrance of Shinjuku Station, turn right, walk for around 3-5 minutes. After passing the Shinjuku Post Office, look for a side street with a sign for Sakura House. You'll find the Menya Musashi storefront (with curtains) right beside the sign.

>> Link to my Ichiran Ramen Review

Pre-Wicked dinner at 2 Bridge Place, Double Tree by Hilton : Food Review

While we were in London last summer, we decided to watch Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. We purchased a package online where you got a 2 course dinner at 2 Bridge Place restaurant near the show venue. It was a simple 2 course dinner where you got to choose whether to get an appetizer, main, or a dessert.

Clockwise from Left: Fish, Veal, Chocolate Mousse, Ravioli


The food was good for a show-bundled meal. My father liked the fish course (as usual) while I liked the ravioli (as usual). My sister had veal as her main and it was a bit gamey but the presentation was good. 
The chocolate mousse with mint sauce was the best part of the meal but it was too thick and had to be shared (which was a good thing). 

Where is 2 Bridge Place by Hilton located? In the vicinity of the Apollo Victoria Theater / Victoria tube station. 

From the theater entrance, turn left until you see Hudson's Place (St) on your right. Turn right at Hudson's Place and go straight till you see Bridge Place (St.). Look for the Double Tree by Hilton hotel. The restaurant is around 5 -10 minutes away from the theater. 



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ramen Review: Ichiran Ramen - Shinjuku Area, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Ramen Review: Ichiran Ramen in Shinjuku Tokyo

Being a huge fan of noodles, I've always wanted to try out authentic Ramen from Japan. I had the chance to do a ramen hunt during the long weekend (April 2012) and had a blast researching shops to try in Tokyo.

I read up on various blogs and must-try lists online and narrowed the list to about 3. Unfortunately, we only had a few days in Japan so we were only able to go to 2 which were both located in the Shinjuku area.

The 1st shop was Ichiran Ramen - this was the weirdest restaurant I've ever been in. Diners had  to wait outside of a curtained area with a panel with flashing lights - which indicate whether a seat is unoccupied. Once you see that  a seat is free you can proceed inside to your "stall". Get the ramen option form, and indicate your add-ons (ex. tamago, kakuni) . (BTW, you'd have already paid for the ramen at the vending machine located at the restaurant entrance). After choosing your add-ons you press a button near the wooden/bamboo partition separating you from the kitchen. The cook will then open the partition take your order, and then all you'll have to do is wait for your ramen while staring at the wooden/bamboo curtain in front of you.

All of those ^ would be annoying, if it weren't for the fact that you're there for the experience and you'll be able to taste the best Ramen in existence (I'm biased, What can I say?) After about 5 minutes of waiting, the cook will place your steaming bowl of noodles in your "personal" stall and you'll be able to enjoy the meaty soupy goodness of it.

Price: Around P300 (Philippine Pesos)

Where is Ichiran Ramen Located? I really have no clue. A family friend brought us there and I think we got lost for quite a bit. All I know is it's located in the Shinjuku Area and it's in a basement of a nondescript building :/

Link to my Review of Menya Musashi Shinjuku

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Food and Travel: Siem Reap, Cambodia

My family was able to avail of the Asia Flypass promo of Philippine Airlines last year. This enabled us to go to various Asian destinations for a relatively lower rate than if we booked the flights through different airlines.

But come to think of it, if we had waited a bit more we would have been able to get cheaper direct flights from Manila to Siem Reap via Cebu Pacific Air. We had to fly with Bangkok Airways to get to Cambodia AND upon arrival at BKK we had to run to get to the boarding gate for Siem Reap since it was all the way in the other side of the airport.

Anyway, Siem Reap is a quaint town filled with tourists. The attractions are concentrated near the temple complexes while the restaurants are concentrated near the Pub St. area. The food was good and I liked how they spiced their meats, it was similar to Filipino Food and Thai Food.

I also tried lotus seeds when we were driving from Tonle Sap to the hotel. I asked our guide to buy some from vendors along the side of the lotus fields. These seeds taste like peanuts and water chestnuts. Honestly, I couldn't finish a pod and my sister did not want any so we had to give it away :)

 They get the seeds  by halving the pod  and then digging out the seeds with their fingers.
This is how the pod looks like originally

The trip was relaxing and was a welcome distraction / adventure apart from work :)

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