A dose of eccentricity

January 17, 2008

December in a Nutshell

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — mauaka @ 3:03 pm

What does “in a Nutshell” mean? I really have no idea. I just sounds cool.

Anyways, it was an eventful December. It was kinda full to the point that I had to take Sick Leaves just to have a good night’s rest. There was the Christmas Party, Christmas Hopping, Birthday party, movie nights, bowling nights. Whew, those were just those that I remember. Also, there was a “One Piece” factor where I was trying to catch up with the current episodes of “One Piece” anime (currently 330+ and on-going).

Well, as this blog post goes, I am to share the food trips I had (as far as I can remember).

Pesto Pizza On your left, you can see Pesto Pizza from Le Coeur du France. I wasin the middle of grocery shopping when I saw the sign outside the shop stating P90 meals. It consists of a Pesto Pizza as well as an Iced Tea. The catch is that it was only available every 12:00 to 14:00 and 18:00 to 20:00 only. Well, I had never had a Pesto Pizza before so this was a first for me. So I sat down, paid for the meal, waited for 30 minutes. Voila! freshly baked Pesto Pizza. The good thing about it is that it looks great and looks filling. The bad part is that the pesto was overpowered by the Mozzarella Cheese. It makes you want to ask, “Where’s the Pesto?”. Over-all, price is great, smells good and looks good. The downside is that the Pesto flavor is almost undetectable due to the overpowering cheese.

Red Pesto Pasta On your right, you see the Red Pesto Paste from Old Spaghetti House. This is my favorite pasta of all time (so far). This was served with breaded fish with tartar sauce. It was a little dry if you are used to Pasta Sauces. Some officemates of mine are still surprised whenever I recommend they try Red Pasta. I had a chance to try to have a try in making a version of Red Pesto Pasta last Christmas. It took me 40 minutes to cook (because I had to make a sauce in-case they find the Pasta a little dry). Lessons Learned from that experience, It is best to make this kind of Pasta using Angel Hair. I still haven’t perfected this kinda pasta so watch out for an update on my version for this dish.

Picture from menu

Finally, after long wait, I was finally able to go to Trinoma Mall. For months I wanted to go visit the store which sells this kind of Japanese dish which is cooked while it is being served. One my first night in Japan trip, we ate at a shop named Sgt. Peppers. They served rice meals over extremely hot plates. You need to pour some sauce over the rice to help distribute the heat and evenly cook the meal. Caution: If you put too much sauce, you will end up with a half-cooked meal (Who’d want to have that?). In Trinoma, the shop’s name is Pepper’s Grill. Same mood with the Japan shop with a slight difference in the setup of the store. You might be asking why post a picture taken off from the menu? Well, my bad! I was too excited to cook the meal that I forgot to take a picture. I have another picture but it was already mixed and half eaten. Additional caution: Careful, the plate and food is Hot. Enjoy your meal but be careful because it might burn your tongue.

As the new year arrives, I wish you (the readers) a good year and a promise to post more food blogs.

Shin nen akemashite and Bon Appetite!


October 29, 2007

Bohol Adventure

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — mauaka @ 1:22 pm

Greetings! It has been a while since I had posted a blog on my food trips. Honestly speaking, I already had several food trips this month, but had no time to write about them.

Last week, we went to Bohol to attend a friends wedding. Taking it as an opportunity to go on a tour, why not have a food trip on the side line? On our first 3 days in Bohol, we stayed in the resort Bohol Tropics. What struck me me most in that resort is that they had a BIG bathroom. Imagine your self taking a bath with 3 persons on queue behind you. As for their breakfast, you will have the option for American or Filipino breakfast. A must try when staying in Bohol Tropics is their Mixed Seafood soup. I was surprised to see coconut in the soup. Maybe it was an extra flavor which helps heighten the taste factor of the Soup.

On the second day, we went to Sagbayan Peak. Sagbayan is one of the chocolate hills which is open to the public. They have a restaurant there which served us a delicious Pancit. Which among the Pancit varieties which was served to us is still a wonder. However, we were surpised to enjoy that certain kind of Pancit without even a drop of Calamansi. Hope you get to try it too.

On our third day, we took the Tour of Bohol. We visited the Chocolate Hills, this time it was Carmen hill. It is so nice to take pictures there. If you have the time, why not go and take a picture of yourself riding broom over the Chocolate hills *for a price*. Next, we went to Loboc to have lunch aboard a boat cruising in Loboc River. I must warn you, the food does not taste THAT good. Just take it in as a feel-good experience. Also, in Loboc, I got to see a Tarsier. Reminder, do not take pictures with flash when taking shots of Tarsiers. They are nocturnal creatures and are sensitive to light. We also took a stop at the Bohol’s largest Python. Tourist advisory: Buy your Tarsier magnets here, they sell them for P25 each *the cheapest I found so far*. For our last stop, we went to Panglao island to enjoy the white beach of Bohol.

For those with tight budget, book rooms at Dumanglao (i think this is the name). It is cheaper to book a Beach-front here. For those who have cash to spare, book rooms at Bohol Beach Club, it has a nicer beach. Their beach have a more Boracay Feel with their hammocks and well combed beach. In Panglao, why not try Dumanglao’s Cashew Shrimp.

Sorry, I did not take picture of my food trips. My hand was too sticky from the Lansones we were eating. FYI, I do not touch my Techie stuffs when my hands are sticky with food. :p Hope this is a good guide for your Bohol vacation.

September 20, 2007

Gumbos: Too much of a good thing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — mauaka @ 2:46 pm

 

It is a Saturday. I set my alarm to 6:00 to have ample time in preparing to go to our company’s sports fest. The alarm rang twice, yet I still manage to wake up by 7:00.

I was already forewarned by my officemates that I might be put in “the game” if ever they needed players in basketball. I was insisting that they will NOT put me in the play because I really have no idea how. In the end, I was their 7th player in their line-up.

As expected, I was just a moving piece of post. Moving side ways, blocking the sight of the midget players by my towering height. Blocking their ways with my long arms. The truth is, I never thought that playing sports could be so fun. In the end, we still lost. Lucky them, I did not know how to play ball. If I knew how, it would have turned the tides, “Big Time”. After the Basketball game, there was volleyball. where I had a Cameo appearance as well. The result? We lost. There was also a Dodge ball game for the girls. The result? We Lost. Too much losses in a day. Proud of loosing, we took a group picture with a big “L” on our forehead.

After all the games in the “Wellness Center” was over, it was time for me to make an exit. I was thinking of going to either Trinoma Mall or Mall of Asia. Given: having a bad leg and a heavy broken-down bug could be a bad combination in a Food/ Mall Trip. Evaluating the situation, I decided to go to MoA instead.

So, what to do in MoA? I have been wanting to go here for quite a while. I wanted to see the mini greenhouse that I have been eying since I first visited the mall. Hmmm, I think I will buy that soon. Moving on, my real purpose in going to MoA was to try out the cheesecake that my officemates were boasting about. Saying that I have never had cheesecake until I tried Gumbos cheesecake. After a few minutes of wandering around and exploring the mall, I finally found the restaurant.

Limonne ChickenFirst up on my food trip: Chicken Limonne. The truth of the matter is, I was really looking out for a big juicy steak. As always, I ended up ordering chicken. How predictable. How was it you ask? The chicken was cooked perfectly, served with cream and vegetables with a distinct touch of Lemon. I still wonder why they call it Limonne. Is it because they don’t want it confused with Lemon Chicken? The presentation was nice. A little salty in some parts of the chicken. But over-all, it was good.

The main course: Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake.

Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake

So why have your dessert as your Main Course? Well, this is what I came here for. It received such rave comments that makes me want to go to Gumbos just to try it. After weeks of planning and drooling over the cheesecake, I finally was able to take a bite out of the famous cheesecake.

To tell you the truth, the first bite was Divine! The texture of the cake was great. Chocolate topping with a Strawberry sauce at the base. A perfect harmony of dark chocolate, sweet, creamy, and a slight sourness of cheese. The truth was, I was getting fuller and fuller with every bite.

As I reached the far end side of the cheesecake, I noticed that the size of the cheesecake was really overwhelming. I wasn’t able to finish my plate and decided to have it for take-out. I did enjoy the cheesecake, the problem is that it was really too big. Seriously, it makes me think of trying to find a new comfort food. I think I had too much cheesecake in just one month. With a little trauma residing in my mind, I think it would be best to try out different Ice cream flavors while trying to recover from the shock of overwhelming cheesecake.

I would recommend that you try this cheesecake. However, as a word of caution, go try this with someone or have it for take out. It is best you share this with someone or you will get overwhelmed by the big serving of the cheesecake.

Until next time… Good eats.

August 12, 2007

Conlins Cafe: My new Cheesecake Haven

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — mauaka @ 3:57 pm

StrawberryLook at the time, it is already 11:25PM. I should be getting to sleep now, however, I cannot just keep to myself the best cheesecakes I had so far.

This is a continuation of the meal I had in Almon Marina. I like their dishes, but their desserts does not meet my expectations.

A good friend of mine asked me, “What is with you and cheesecakes?”. I promptly answered, “It is cheesecake! Cheescakes need no reasons –Leon Carbonell”

There is this newly opened cafe in SM Southmall which caught my eye. They had an assortment of cakes which looks mouthwatering. I remember last valentines, I decided to bring home a cake for valentines to share with my family. I do remember buying their Black Forest Cake. I wanted to create a blog for that cake. During that time, I was still undecided on what blog provider to accommodate my blogging need. Unfortunately, weeks later, the memories of that cake has gone. Not even the memory of the after taste.

Double Dessert

Well, I decided to take a visit at their shop and give a re-assessment of their cafe. I looked at their cake collection. t seems that they have a discount. Their cakes were 50% off. Before, a slice of their cheesecake costs P60 pesos, now, they have it for only P30. Talk about the “kaching” moments. My eyes turned to Dollar signs because I will save a lot of money for cheesecakes. All of their cakes are at 50% discount. I am now stuck at the dilemma, Strawberry or Blueberry? Since it is already a bargain for P60, i decided to buy both.Blueberry

Let me just say. It was all worth it. Let us explore the senses as we go through the details of these cheesecakes. Keep in mind that these cakes were bought for only P30 each. Look carefully at the presentation of the cheesecake. The cheesecakes sits in the middle of the plate. The plate is decorated with chocolate and strawberry syrup. Just imagine how much effort they have given to heighten up our sense of sight. The cheese of the cake contains bits and pieces of the fruit they represent. The picture on you right shows signs of the blueberry being embedded within the cheesecake. The topping contains real blueberry and blueberry Jam. The Jam was not sugary sweet. In fact, it really does taste like blueberry. Same goes for the strawberry cheesecake. One bite was all it took to get me to my very own Nirvana. Such joy to feel the goodness of the cheesecake.

There was no side crust for this cheesecake. For me, that is a big plus. If eaten separately from the cheesecake, the crusts tastes more of a brownie cookie rather than a cheesecake crust.

Looking back, It makes me want to say, “A hell-of-a-lotta effort for a P30 cheesecake”. My new mission: Try out all of the cakes in Conlins cafe.

Almon Marina: Home of Comfort Foods

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — mauaka @ 3:17 pm

Ever has a feeling of great depression? Well, this week gave me a lot of reason to be depressed about. The last time I felt this depressed was the time I got kicked out of Mapua. That is right, I got booted out of a great institution. The root cause of the depression is just the same. I am depressed because I think my skills are not competent enough to be acknowledge by anybody. I have a feeling that I am more of a burden to my co-workers rather than a productive member of the team.

This feeling of depression was overwhelming for me. I got so depressed that even the most delicious looking cheesecakes did not appeal to me. It was then I realized that this is a bad sign already. Loosing my most favorite of the senses is a nightmare.

It was a Saturday night. I was planning to go to MoA (Mall of Asia) to buy a certain item to be used in my cooking. (yeah, as if I can cook). My schedule was: Be at the office by 11AM, fix a bug, leave the office by 3PM to go to MoA. However, due to the beer I had last night and the overwhelming depression, I overslept. I woke up 9:30AM, hurriedly ate my breakfast, prepped for office and left the house at around 11AM. 20 minutes later, I arrived at Metropolis mall, ordered my lunch for take-out, and left again for office. 40 minutes later, I arrived at the office, a little sweat soaked because of the heat of the midday sun. I was able to finish my bug, thanks to my friend Raughn, and was able to take-off from the office at around 6PM. Being already late from my plan of buying a good pair of pants + solitary walk + buying my planned stuff in MoA, I decided to try and buy it some other day. The Mall is too big and transportation home is quite hard coming from there. Change of plans, I tried to catch up to my friends at Festival Mall, but unfortunately, it was already too late and they have already gone home. Being depressed and having no one to talk to during this rough times, I should try to pick myself up using comfort foods. I searched the Mall for fine dining where I can eat alone. But alas, Cravings wall already full, so I had to look for other options. I had to decide, Fukuya (Japanese) or Sbarro (Italian). Since my depression was somewhat Japan related, I chose to eat at Sbarro. It was horrible. Please remind me never to eat there again. I dunno if it was the depression talking, or their Lasagna in Alfredo Sauce really tasted bad.

After the horrible experience, I was hoping that I will have a better chance of finding comfort food when I go to SM Southmall the next day.

The next day, I woke up, ate breakfast, played some PC games, and dressed up to go to the Mall for a wonderful day of re-centering. I left home just before lunch tim. Originally, I was scheduled to go to the dentist before eating lunch. Lo and Behold: I already forgot that the regular cleaning costs P750 already. I was not prepared to spend that much. So, cancel the dentist and go to the next agenda: Eating.

Finding a new place + not crowded + fine dining restaurant in Southmall was next to impossible. I feel like eating something roasted and something with pasta.

When hope was almost gone, I saw a restaurant where I always eat at. When I saw always, i mean once or twice a month. It was there all along. For me, it seems that angels were singing in chorus as I walk through the doors of almon marina. All the while, I was looking for places where I could explore harmony of senses. However, during times of depression, I should go to the place where it always hits home. Almon Marina.

Almon Marina

As seen on the picture above, I had their Chicken, Salad and Pasta. For the sauce, I requested Bolognese. From my previous experience in Sbarro, I think it is best to stay away from white sauce until I can recover from my traumatic experience.

We will now explore the sensations I went through while eating the set meal. Let us start with the grilled Chicken. For me, it looked perfect. It was not fully dried. You can see the barbecue sauce evenly distributed in the chicken. specks of pepper are always good point when it comes to grilled food. What I liked about the way this chicken was cooked was that the meat was falling out of the bone in very little effort. There was no sign of blood which means that this was cooked perfectly. Seriously, half way through the chicken, I started eating it with my hands. perfect harmony of the sweetness of the barbecue sauce with the slight saltiness of the chicken skin. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Moving on, (before I drool all over my laptop), we have the salad. Th salad was not so glamorous. It was simple, elegant, and light. the different texture and taste of each vegetable goes well with the light serving of the vinaigrette. To ing all of the flavors was the neutral taste of the croûtons. To top it all of was the cheese. The cheese added the saltiness to the whole salad. That is it for the fiber in my diet.

Lastly, the Pasta. In pasta, it is all about the sauce. The sauce highlights the over-all performance of the dish. This Bolognese sauce has mild sour taste which complements the flavor of the liver in the sauce. It tones down the meaty flavor of the liver, giving it a subtle earthy taste. With the Parmesan cheese topping of the pasta, it was such a delight.

After the meal was over, I felt that my depression has already passed away. Thank God for these comfort food. Where will I be without them?

August 9, 2007

Teriyaki Boy: Feast for Two

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — mauaka @ 1:38 am

Feast For TwoIt was past a year and a half since I last saw my College buddy. I have been to Japan and back twice, yet, not once was I able to give her an omiyage (a souvenir). She was insiting that I treat her to a Japanese meal and tell her what life was like in Japan. Little did she know, I was really planning on treating her.

It was a Saturday, I was supposed to go to office for our weekly dose of weekend overtime. However, since we were scheduled to meet at around 13:00h for “lunch date”, I informed my officemates that I will be coming in the office around 15:00h. Unfortunately, her car got a flat tire and needed repairs. This pushed our meeting by around 2 hours. Well, I can’t say that it was time wasted, I did find interesting sights in Glorietta while waiting for her.

At around 15:00h, she arrived. Truth was, I was shocked. She looked sexier now that when I last saw her. Her secret? She traded her FF Gym to enroll in a Boxing Gym. Yikes! Think about what will happen to me when I get into her nerves. Well, truth was, we were preparing for a buffet. We planned to eat at Saisaki. Little did we know that Saisaki was open during lunch and dinner only. Well, “brunch” was not part of Lunch and Dinner. So, we cancelled our seats and looked for another Japanese Restaurant. A few minutes walk away, we arrived at Terriyaki Boy. I have little knowledge in Nihongo, but I know that the Teriyaki Boy is not the real meaning of the kanji of the Restaurant. For Reference: the kanji is read as “futotta shounen” meaning fat boy.

We did not waste time. They have two hungry customers. Looking at the image shown above, that was what we had: good for two. We had California Maki, some spicy kani (crab), tiger prawn tempura, miso soup. Tofu steak, Mapo tofu, salmon sushi, california maki and tiger prawn tempura (for take out). So the question is, did we enjoy our meal? Yes Of Course. The down side is that, they service was a little slow and un-attending, inspite of having only a few customers.

In my stay in Japan, Miso soup was a staple in our meals in the canteen (Kyocera Mita Canteen). I have seen Japanese drink their Miso soup like tea, as well as their tea like water. The question is, why do they serve the Miso soup with a Chinese soup spoon? Point is that, customers eat at Japanese restaurants to have a taste of Japanese cuisine. I think, the ways of eating those food will add an extra feel to their Japanese experience.

Tofu Steak and Mapo Tofu. Looking back, I don’t know why I ordered Mapo Tofu when I know that my friend was ordering a Tofu steak. Luckily, I have already acquired a taste for tofu, thus giving me an “OK” experience with the Tofu meals.

Side dishes: Tempura, Fried Kani, Maki, and Sushi. Lessons Learned: it is all about the sauce. I was quite impressed that the sauce for the fried sides tasted the same with what I had in JP. The salmon sushi tasted fresh, however, it has a certain resistance when chewing the fish. Well, truth of the matter is, I had only 2 experiences of eating Salmon Sushi in Japan. I ate it in a Dampa style sushi bar near the wet market in Tsuruhashi station in Osaka. Nothing beats the experience of having a fresh salmon melt in your mouth while giving you different sensations. Having a fresh Salmon sushi fresh from the market was an unforgettable experience. It was like tasting the salmon with the sweet taste of the fresh water stream. It felt heavenly. Going back to reality, I am already here in the Philippines, with little to no chance of trying out the fresh sushi experience. *sigh*

We had a lot of catching up to do. She told me about her, being a model for a village spa. She even wanted me to attend her graduation. But seriously, being with her was really something for me. She made me feel how it was like being frank on everything again. Just like what we did last college.

Those were the days.

July 22, 2007

Claudette’s: A Sweet Escape

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — mauaka @ 3:29 pm

Forgive me father, for I have sinned. The last cheesecake I had was not so far away.

Claudette’s BlueberryIt was a typical Wednesday. Workload was phenomenal. Bugs were appearing out of nowhere. And there was no progress in my documentations. At around 15:00h, my manager went out to have a meeting with the other managers. I took that opportunity to get away from it all and have a food trip. Will it be considered a sin when you crave for something without considering the price?

The truth was, I was about to buy something to chow down in 7-11. Unfortunately, there was nothing there to satisfy my craving for something sweet. I then tried to see if there was something that will interest me in Jolli-jeep stores. But alas, my craving was not something that can be satisfied by a full stomach.

As I was about to go back to the office. I saw an officemate of mine standing outside the office. I asked what he was doing there, he promptly answered “I am waiting for someone”. And then it hit me, I had a friend who referred me to a bakeshop a few blocks away from the office. I then excused myself to go re-visit the shop to satisfy my outrageous cravings.

As soon as I got there, there was only one thing that was ringing in my mind. Cheesecake! I entered the shop and viewed the glass display and browsed what they had to offer. They had a wide range of cakes and brownies which had me thinking, shall I go for something daring? Or should I do what I intended to do?

The date was July 18, the day before my brother’s birthday. I don’t think I have the time to buy him a nice shirt! I remembered my birthday last year. It was my first birthday out of the country. I felt so sad to celebrate a birthday alone, no parties. Then I decided, wouldn’t it be nice if I gave my brother a cake for his birthday? Now that I have a reason to try out their cake (even if it’s for my brother), I then bought the blueberry cheesecake, sitting there, ever so lonely, teasing me to take a bite.

On my way out, I saw that the rain was pouring. It was not your regular drizzle, it was raining big droplets. Across the street, another 7-11 is open for business. I ran across the street to buy an umbrella. To my surprise, the rain stopped the moment I stepped out the door.

A few moments later I was back in my workplace, unwrapping the cheesecake. It would be saf to eat a cheesecake alone. I called some of my officemates to help me eat the cheesecake. Hey, this method is great for those who are on a diet. Eat little by sharing the big part of your cake with your friends.

As you must know, good food starts with the package. Before eating, the client first looks at the presentation of the over-all design of the food. In this case, the cheesecake was placed inside a Styrofoam container. It looked no different from the food you buy from the Jolli-jeep stores.

Looking at the cake itself, you can say without a doubt that, what lays in front of you is a cheesecake. The blueberry slowly drooping of from the top of the cake, cascading downwards passing through the cream, teasingly running down to the crust. The sight of that was already mouthwatering. I cannot wait for the cake to touch my lips.

The taste of the cake was far from average. You can taste the distinction of the crust, cream, and blueberry in syrup. There were no side crust in the cheesecake which bring emphasis on what the cheesecake should really be. One good word to describe the sensation was: delectable.

After chowing down of the cheesecake, I was really pumped up on buying a cake for my brother. A few hours later I was walking home, holding a chocolate cake in my hand. Oh, I can’t wait to taste that cake. Maybe a different story for that cake is necessary?

July 1, 2007

A reminiscing taste of Japan: Rai Rai Ken

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — mauaka @ 5:36 am

It has been a while since I wrote a new post. Luckily, I now have time to write a new one. Give a big whoop whoop to Vacation Leave.

Rai Rai Ken2 weeks ago, I had to experience my first ever Overnight-Overtime in the office. And guess what, the next day was a Friday, therefore, it was a wash day. Imagine me, the only person in the office wearing a uniform. Such depressing times calls for a food trip.

So, it was a Saturday, the day after I got home. Unfortunately, our manager has great “Management Skills” that she was able to “convince” me to work that day. Well, I had the chance to take a bath and change clothes. That was a good thing, right? Unfortunately, the thing she was expecting did not come. Well, let’s just say that my efforts did not go to waste. I had to file it as OT so that I get paid to linger in the office.

After a grueling stay at the office, I had the chance to take a leisurely solitary walk around “Market Market”. I planned to have my Food Trip there. Alas, I did not have the courage to dine-in alone in their “interesting” restaurants. I guess I had to have a try at some other place for my food trip.

The next day, I had the chance to re-visit SM Southmall. My itineraries were: look for office shoes, have an ID pictire taken, pay for membership in FF (I had to unfreeze my account), and of course, make-up for the lost Food Trip.

That day, I saw a sign written in Japanese (irrashaimase) and the recycle bins which is categorized in different trash types. That reminded me of Japan. Because of that, a craving for Udon was overpowering me. Thus, Rai Rai Ken. It wasn’t my 1st time to eat there, but with that previous experience, it was Food Trip worthy.

So, I sat there and ordered seafood ramen (far from udon) and French Maki. The place has a great ambiance. It has a warm feel, and that feeling did not come from me eating alone. Too bad their service was a little bad. Just imagine, I was already seated, my food was served, yet there were no chopsticks, spoons and forks. That was a category for me that entitles them to “No Service” tip.

Going on the food part, I liked the French maki. It was a breaded shrimp presented as a Maki. You can see that the presentation and the creation of this dish wasn’t taken fore granted. They used Japanese Rice and had it well compacted to the point that it did not break down when I used chopstick. Moving on with the Ramen, I must admit, it was far from what I had tasted back in Japan. However, it was more suited for Filipino taste. I suggest that when eating ramen or udon type meals, do not order any drinks aside water. Not only is it healthier, but also, it won’t ruin the taste buds by giving a stronger taste over the dish.

If asked, if I wold come back again. I will answer without hesitation: Of course!

Good To Go: Chap Chae

Filed under: Uncategorized — mauaka @ 5:36 am

chap-chae.jpg It was a Wednesday night and it seems like there was no stopping the rain. It was around 7:30 and the line for the shuttle was a little long. Well, I think it will be a waste of opportunity to let time pass by while I wait in line for the shuttle to arrive. Why not do something more interesting than waiting in line.

I always walk from our office to the shuttle station everyday. And everyday, I get to pass by the Good To Go shop and always end up asking myself when I will be able to try out their cuisine? Yesterday, I had a chance to visit the shop and found out they have several interesting products. What caught my eye was their food section. It was a collection of sandwiches, steaks, pasta dishes, and other sorts. At first, I wanted to play safe by selecting a regular pasta dish such as the lasagna or carbonara. In the end, I decided to go for the Chap Chae.

I approached the counter to pay for the meal I just took, they offered to have it fo dine-in. Since I was not in a hurry to go home, I accepted their offer and waited as they re-heated my meal. When your alone and waiting a few minutes before your meal arrives, what can you do inside the store to pass by the time? Well, you can enjoy the view. They have a big window which overlooks the open-area side of Greenbelt. I found it relaxing and makes me forget the terrible day I just had. That is certainly a plus point for having such a wonderful view while in the middle of a big city.

A few minutes passed, finally, my food arrives. To my amazement, the take out container was served over a black square plate which comes with tissue and chopsticks. It was certainly a presentable way of serving something for take-out. I just had to take the picture because it was the first time I enjoyed looking at a take-out item.

Now comes the part of actually criticizing the food item. For the looks of the noodles, think of a thick version of the sotanghon noodle in a pancit dish. Well, some may find it a little weird because it has a dark color for a sauce. Sometimes, it kinda looks like earthworms noodles with veggies and some meat. As for the texture of the dish, it is expected that the dish will come out a little dry because it was re-heated in a microwave. The taste, for me, it was a little disappointing. The noodles didn’t hold a lot of flavor, the vegetables tasted like adobong kangkong and the meat is a dry cooked meat with Soy sauce. Overall, the Chap Chae like a adobong pancit, Personally, it would make a significant change in the taste if they added Roasted Sesame seeds.

Here comes the ratings: Location is a 5/5, Dish preparation/Serving 5/5 -> Expected that these are take-out foods, there was no points for the food preparation. Lastly, the taste 3/5, nothing special and a little expensive. It didn’t hit anygood spots for me.

June 3, 2007

Burger King’s Strawberry Cheesecake: A Treat in a Box

Filed under: Uncategorized — mauaka @ 1:04 am

BK’s Strawberry CheesecakeAfter going through one rough week, what better way to end it thwith a food trip? I was scheduled to the Nokia Care Center in ATC to have my cellphone fixed. Unfortunately, it was already 8:30 (had to work overtime) and the Customer Service closes by 7:00. A bit disappointed, I decided to take some time to stroll around the mall.

Lo and behold, I saw a signboard of Burger King. What do I order? Although I have a craving for 100% pure beef patty I decided to try out their Long Chicken Burger meals. There were 3 flavors available, the Club Chicken Burger, the Amercian Chicken Barbeque, and the Italian Chicken Burger. Since, I was on a food trip, I decided to go with the flavor I haven’t tried yet. I chose the Italian Chicken Burger meal, upgraded the fries and drinks, and got a free sundae as a promotional item for ordering a chicken burger meal. I was about to pay at the counter when I saw their new Item: Strawberry Cheesecake. I had to try it, but, just in case, I had it for a take-out item.

So, the question is, how did they make the chicken burger italian? Well, there was a slice of ham in the middle of the burger. To tell you honestly, that wasn’t bad. After finishing the burger, I went straight to the Strawberry Sundae. Alas, I found out that the strawberry flavor was a little disappointing. It makes me re-think if I made a good decision in buying the cheesecake. After the sundae, I realized that there was no more space in my tummy to down the cheesecake so I just took it home instead.

Strawberry flavor, a very delicate and hard to replicate flavor. As a fruit, strawberry naturally has a sour taste with a kick of sweetness. What makes it so hard to replicate is that using artificial flavorings, trying to simulate a flavor is hard enough, let alone two flavors in harmony. This difficulty causes some artificial flavors taste very artificial.

It is now Sunday, I just remembered that I had my Strawberry cheesecake stored in the fridge. Although I was disappointed with how the strawberry taste of the Sundae was last Friday, I was still determined to criticize the over-all taste of the cheesecake.

First off, the packaging. The cheesecake is neatly placed inside a triangular box. The cheesecake is placed securely in a box specifically designed for accommodating one piece of cheesecake. Thus, the shape-integrity of the cheesecake still remains the same even after traveling. On the downside, it maybe cute, however, opening the package is a whole new story. It has 2 “pull here” strip located on the sides of the box to accommodate the flip top function. Next is the question: How do I get tis off of the box?

Let’s now move on the cheesecake itself. Every time I try a cheesecake, I always inspect how they do with the crust? For this particular cheesecake, the crust is very soft. After opening the box, I had a hard time trying to take a good angle on the cheesecake, however, the crust was so soft that it kept falling off from the cake. As for the taste of the crust, it has a kind of sweet earthy taste that doesn’t taste good on it’s own.

The cheese on cake, Is another story, unlike other cheesecakes, it doesn’t have the preservative flavor usually found on regular cheesecakes. It tasted a little sour with a good dose of sweetness. For me, it was perfect. Moving along,I found myself on the strawberry filling. As mentioned earlier, BK’s strawberry syrup on sundae wasn’t something I would look forward to eating again. However, the strawberry on the cheesecake seemed to have a different flavor on it’s own. Did they use the same syrup on the sundae and on the cheesecake. From my point of taste, it was totally different. It has a more creamy texture compared to the syrup they used on the sundae. Also, it has a subtle sweetness with a Jam type appearance. It blended perfectly with the sourness of the cheesecake and the earth sweetness of the crust. I must admit, the moment I took my last bite, I instantly regretted that I only bought one.

To wrap up my cheesecake experience, I have deliberated the cheesecake using my own categories. For overall appearance, will give 5/5. Even with the little difficulty in opening the box, that fact that it survived my travel gave enough reason to give it a good score. For the price, will give 5/5. Given the average price of cheesecake is around P60, this piece did give a more than average performance, thus also a perfect score. Location, will give a 3/5. Reason being, that even if this is a fast food chain, there are only a few chains that I see nowadays. If you get to crave for a BK’s Strawberry cheesecake, it might give you a hard time looking for one that serves the cheesecake. Most important category is the Taste, for this I will give a perfect 5/5 rating.

For those that read this blog, I recommend you try the cheesecake as well, only a few can pull of a cheesecake like this in a fast food chain. Bon Appétit.

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