Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My (Current) Favorite Chocolate Cake

I have been looking for that familiar chocolate cake, the one we've been accustomed to when we were kids... long before the flourless cakes, sugarfrees, buttercreams, and what have you's emerged on the market.

I have long been in the hunt for that perfect frosting- white, sugary, grainy, lightly whipped, frosting. I have no idea what it is. But I do know how it looks like. I've been scouring almost every bakeshop and food sites- but I have not yet seen one like it. Until ...

One day, I was at the grocery. I went to the bread aisle to get us some wheat bread. Then, out of the corner of my eye... a little brown thing with a thick, white stripe in the middle, packed tight in clear plastic beckoned to me.

I ignored it, and went on my business for the day. The week after, I saw it again. It was only on the third week after I first saw it when I decided to grab one, and that was... only a few seconds away from going to the cashier. A last minute thing.

As soon as I got home, I opened it...and mmmmm. I found it! The chocolate cake was a regular chocolate cake. A little heavier, and moister than chiffon. In the middle, was the very frosting I was looking for!! White, sugary, grainy, sticky-to-the-lips kind of frosting.

And for only P23.50 per piece... it's just perfect! :)

Hay, and the search ends.

Sojourn from the Queen City

La Maison ( meaning "The House) is a restaurant that hails from the Queen City of the South- Cebu City. It did so well there, they sojourned to the big metro.

Their bestsellers are their big , group servings which they call the Barkada sets- Barkada Ribs, etc. A big slab of baby-back ribs is what you'll see on their billboard ads, indicating hearty meals on the menu. I also find that the menu is not french ( because the name is French), nor are the interiors. In fact, it was very continental and hip. The placemats were made of dark denim blue, and the colors of the interiors, bright. Very young.

Upon recommendation, we ordered the Dover Sole Fillet and Barkada Ribs, and a plate of Gambas for appetizers. This we will share between three people. And if the servings were indeed Barkada Size, it might even have been too much.

A plateful of dark and white bread is served as a starter, with a dip of dark balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Just like La Tegola, another Cebu original.

Next, a plate of creamy garlic Mussels were served, which they say are on the house. A complement of the Barkada Ribs. Cool!!! Free food. I must say, the garlic in the cream was so yummy, it was so good to dip the bread in the sauce. Yum!

The Gambas were also served at the same time as the mussels. They were also good! We couldn't wait for the main course.

The Dover Sole Fillet was big but not thick. The fillet formed a little crust on the outside, but was soft and tender on the inside. A bite of the fish fillet sets a tone of different textures- the white meat soft and tender, and the crust- a crust of little peppery, flowery notes. The pepper (perhaps, bell peppers?) mix was subtle, not overpowering. It was also obvious that the black peppers they used were freshly cracked from the mill. Mmmm.

Now for the Barkada Ribs... The meat is smothered with a lot of barbeque sauce, although I think more can be done with its taste. This was served with potatoes, which you can order mashed, baked or fried.

For the finale, we had the Chocolate Lover's Cake-

it was a sweet and very dense, dark chocolate cake which I think true-blue chocoholics will surely like. I wanted to feel the familiar cake texture, but all I could bite into was a thickened, and very dense chocolate mixture. You like? :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Simply Divine

I love halo-halo's, especially the Buko Halos served in Jo's Chicken Inato in Cagayan de Oro City. But, when I tried Razon's of Guagua Pampanga, I fell in love with their version.

Truly, this is one of the most simple pleasures on the face of the earth. Which is ironic really for a halo-halo, because as it's name implies... a halo-halo is a mixture of different ingredients. Razon's Halo-halo on the other hand, is composed of only a handful of ingredients, namely- bananas, macapuno, milk, ice and leche flan.

The saba ( plantain) bananas are cooked in sugar syrup until it becomes soft and sweet. The macapuno, I believe, is also cooked in sugar syrup, which results in velvety bits of macapuno, a great contrast to the ice and bananas.

Really, nothing is quite like it.

Going Japanese

Next to a lot of shrimps, pizza and steak- my husband craves for Japanese food. And no less than Sugi it is for him.

We've been to Sugi at the Greenbelt a couple of times before, and it's always a pleasant experience. The waiters are accomodating, but not irritatingly so. The sashimis are always fresh and succulent, and the roe on the sushi ... love it!

On this particular evening when we had dinner at Sugi with Mark's Papa and youngest brother Beepo, we ordered a lot. Good thing Eric arrived to help us out.

This is a Japanese relish of cucumber and radish- cured
in brine and perhaps a little rice wine or vinegar.

The Tuna Sashimi glistens in its freshness, see ....

This is the Sushi with Fish Roe

Here comes the Sukiyaki! According to the menu posted on Munch Punch , the Sukiyaki is a soup made of thinly sliced beef and several vegetables cooked in sweet rice wine and soy sauce :

In my bowl though, I find a lot more in there, vermicelli noodles, leeks, and tofu. I especially liked the tofu in here- it became silky and soft. Like custard.

I wish the soup wasn't that sweet though.
The sweet rice wine overpowered the other flavors in the soup.

The piece de resistance, however, must be this . . ..

This has got to be, one of the most flavorful beef steaks I have ever tasted!

Nothing is cheap here though, so this place is a treat especially in these trying times. We saw Dolphy and a couple of his children on this particular evening. Hehe. Good eats!

Sporty Doughnuts

So, almost everybody knows about this soft, holed sweets- that has brought doughnuts to a higher level of eating ( or should I say...more expensive). But I love Krispy Kreme, especially when they hand out those free, FRESHLY baked treats straight from the conveyor belt. Bliss. That, I think is the best way to eat a Krispy Kreme- because then it just melts in the mouth! Mmmm..

Last Father's Day, Krispy Kreme dressed up their doughnuts into sports balls to honor the greatest sports enthusiasts of all- the fathers. And here's our loot:

The Football is covered with chocolate, but has a custard filling:

The Baseball - this one's filled with a strawberry filling;

Ooooh, but our favorite still remains to be this- the Original Glazed!:)

How about you? What's your favorite Krispy Kreme?

Mr. Choi's Kitchen

This is my favorite Chinese restaurant in the Metro. We ate at their branch in Waltermart; but I do know they have a branch in the Manila area, at Robinson's Place Ermita. They claim to serve no MSG, so that's really healthy and good!

I so like the ones we ordered namely :

Steamed Fish with Garlic

And the Peking Duck- Crispy skin like lechon.. and the tastiest meat.

I should say 5 stars for taste and presentation. You might want to have some of the (free) service tea too to wash it all down. Yummy.

Crazy over Crazy Crepes

I finally remembered to look for the Crazy Crepes stall at the Greenhills Tiangge, while waiting for Mark, one day, to fetch me.
The Blueberry Vanilla Crepe was not cheap at P70. And there used to be more filling before... but this one was yummy still. So, I'm glad they didn't scrimp on the taste.

There are savory crepes as well as dessert crepes. Fun treat for kids and kids-at-heart :)