GoodAh!!!

GoodAh!!!

Did you know that the famous Filipino term tapsi / tapsilog pertaining to tapa+ sinangag+ itlog was coined by GoodAh!!!? (Tapsilog is cured meat+fried rice+egg.)

Nostalgia hits (at least anybody around my age or older) when you see GoodAh!!!. I remember when I was younger and way too eager to learn how to swim, our parents would take us to Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City, and that swim sesh was always followed by a ‘refueling’ meal at GoodAh!!! (Gosh those three exclamation points, though!)

If there was anything it was good at besides their tapsilog, it was marketing. Almost anyone who’s ever been to GoodAh!!! will remember it is “Open 25 hours,” and that they serve food that is “Good for every-all.” These lines, these double-take worthy lines.  Continue reading “GoodAh!!!”

Toby’s Estate Philippines

Toby’s Estate Philippines

Despite numerous coffee shops sprouting at almost every other corner in Manila, most of the time my palate is unsatisfied. I still prefer coffee we make in the morning, usually drip, sometimes aero-pressed. Coffee for me is not sour, as with most blonde roasted cups served in a lot of third-wave coffee shops nowadays.

When Toby’s Estate launched in the Philippines, I honestly pre-judged it as something like Starbucks or CBTL – you know, places where people don’t actually enjoy just plain coffee. The concoctions mattered more than the coffee itself. One evening, we were walking down the High Street area and thought we could sit down and read our books. We decided to try the Toby’s Estate branch at Shangri-La the Fort. Continue reading “Toby’s Estate Philippines”

Poutine PH Review

Poutine PH Review

One weekend, we were at my parents’ house in Navotas for Sunday lunch. My kuya (elder brother) kept talking about this new place they’ve ‘discovered’ in BF Homes, Paranaque.

The story goes that he saw a sign that said POUTINE and a delivery motorcycle outside an establishment. The small letters under the sign said FRIES • GRAVY • CHEESE.

“Outside, it looked like a meat shop,” he said of the unassuming, underwhelming place, and thought that maybe they’re a supplier of pre-cut fries, frozen gravy, and some cheese. Oh bless his heart, he had no idea what poutine was! Continue reading “Poutine PH Review”

My Filipino-Style Korean Beef Stew

My Filipino-Style Korean Beef Stew

Growing up, my mom’s only slow cooker recipe was Korean beef stew. It was sweet and there are cute sesame seeds floating on top. Falling off the bones tender, it was always a hit among my siblings and I.

Then in 2006, I went to Korea to become a flight attendant, knowing only one dish I could probably survive with. In a few weeks of training, I tried to learn the language to the best of my ability (well, I know how to read the characters) because it’s quite difficult to go out and just make assumptions about the food. I tracked down the beef stew which translated to 갈비찜 (gal-bi-jjim), but it was nowhere near what my mom cooked.

After a year with the airline–my tolerance for spicy food has become significantly higher–my parents were then eligible for free tickets. They decided to go to the US, but along the way–as any [Filipino] parent would–they planned to stop by Seoul for a few days and see what my overseas life was like.

Spicy food being unpopular in our household, I warned my parents that almost everything was spicy (except if they end up at an Italian restaurant or a bakery). My mom said, “Well, just tell me where to get Korean beef stew and I’ll be fine.”  Continue reading “My Filipino-Style Korean Beef Stew”

Chihuahua Mexican Grill Review

Chihuahua Mexican Grill Review

If you’re ever in BGC Crossroads (the building where the drive-thru Starbucks is at on 32nd Street), Chihuahua Mexican is on its second floor, tucked at the farthest corner. It’s been there a while now. However, it wasn’t a popular after-office drinks place before as most officemates would comment that the beers were expensive.

I’ve only tried Chihuahua Mexican once, at the Central Square cinema level, for quesadilla which I thought was quite expensive, but really good. A few weeks (months?) ago, I saw that the restaurant painted a huge-ass sign “HOPPY HOUR Beers @ P35.” Guess they’ve realized that it’s really the pain point? Continue reading “Chihuahua Mexican Grill Review”

Ginisang Baguio Beans with Pork Giniling

Ginisang Baguio Beans with Pork Giniling

For non-Filipino readers: “Ginisa” is sauteed, “Baguio beans” refers to green beans, and “giniling” is anything that’s been ground. So this Filipino dish translates to Sauteed Green Beans with Ground Pork.

I have this budding newfound love with tomatoes. You see, I’m not fond of mushy things. I only like tomatoes when they’re not too ripe, otherwise it just becomes this gooey mess with very little crunch. However, when it comes to sautéed meats and vegetables, this is a must-have for me.

When I was younger, the only sautéed ingredient I could identify was actually just garlic. Regardless of whether I added onions and tomatoes, I thought only garlic made a difference.

Decades later, I’m discovering that I was probably just too impatient to let onions and tomatoes do their thing. I’m now more inclined on faux-roasted tomatoes, almost charring in the pan. Continue reading “Ginisang Baguio Beans with Pork Giniling”

Oye Tapas & Grill Review

Oye Tapas & Grill Review

If you go to Uptown Mall, you’d easily spot this restaurant near the fountain area. Believe it’s relatively new, and actually, the “by XO46” attached to its name is reassuring. We’ve been to XO46 Heritage Bistro, which turned out to be a good experience.

Ambience

As soon as you’re inside, you’d know it ain’t a cheap place. Tables with place settings, an actual flower for a centerpiece, dim interiors and interesting light pieces. (Forgive the photos as my iPhone cannot do justice in dimly lit places.)

There’s a splashy mural that’s sure to get your attention. There’s black, there’s red, you see a bull, and a splash of loud color somewhere. It’s good. I’m starting to feel Spain. (Never actually been to Spain though.) Continue reading “Oye Tapas & Grill Review”

Lumpiang Isda (Fried Fish Rolls)

Lumpiang Isda (Fried Fish Rolls)

Lumpia came from the Chinese, which are spring rolls that usually contain meat, vegetables and sometimes noodles. In the Philippines, we have different types of fried (and fresh) lumpia. The most common is Lumpiang Shanghai, filled usually with minced pork. Isda is the Tagalog word for fish, therefore “Lumpiang Isda” translates to Fish Rolls.

My mom used to make these fish rolls using galunggong–in English it seems to be some sort of scad–and I really never knew how tedious this was. While it is cost effective (a.k.a. cheap), making it from scratch will easily take a couple of hours of your time! And it will be gone in fifteen minutes! Continue reading “Lumpiang Isda (Fried Fish Rolls)”