Friday, April 29, 2011

Food and Drinks at the Royal Wedding - What will Prince William and Kate Middleton Serve?

It's already Friday and I've not written anything yet. So busy with work I really found no time to write. But apparently I was not busy enough that I was able to read a few stories regarding the Royal Wedding happening later today (April 29, 2011). One interesting area about the Royal Wedding that I read is about the food that will be served to the guests of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

One article on the net says that of the 1, 900 guests who will attend the ceremony, only 600 will be invited back to the palace for the reception. There, 10,000 canapes will be served. An even shorter list (300 people) will be part of the wedding dinner which will be hosted by Prince Charles. There is no mention about the food that will be served for the Royal Wedding dinner.

Another article says that canapes will be served 'as soon as the guests arrive' and champagne will be served throughout the day.

What type of canapes will be served is still a mystery to us but there is a great chance that some will be similar to those that have been served in previous Royal Weddings or other parties held at the Buckingham Palace. One example would be mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef and horseradish canapes. Another could be quail eggs with celery salt.

Aside from these interestingly named canapes, a multi-tiered fruit cake will be displayed. Wait? Did that article I read just say 'displayed'? Does it mean guests will not be able to sample it? Hmm....Why should I be surprised? That's how it is in most weddings, right? But this is no ordinary wedding. This is THE Royal Wedding. Anyway...

For those who have not been invited to the Royal Wedding Reception, there are hundreds of parties happening simultaneously throughout the entire region. Surely, great food and definitely 'refreshing' drinks will be available -- thought certainly not for free.

( and

Monday, April 25, 2011

San Marino Tuna Paella - Ready-to-Eat meal

Sorry friends I wasn't able to write anything last week. It was Holy Week and I was on vacation. I didn't bring my laptop with me because I wanted to really spend 'quiet' time with my family and friends. Anyway, what I'll write about today is something I ate when I woke up one morning with nothing on the dining table.

It was Holy Thursday. The helper was late so she wasn't able to prepare breakfast. Good thing, I found a can of San Marino Tuna Paella on the cupboard. Talk about being lucky - the can is an 'easy-open' one. No need to look for the can opener. Yahoo!!!

Once opened you'll find orange colored rice with tuna chunks. It also has green peas and carrot cubes. At first it looked kinda oily. I was a little struck by this because I thought it was supposed to be healthy food. So I checked the Nutrition Facts. The label says it has low fat content. Okay! Good! But calories is rather high - I think!?It's 180 kcal so that's 180, 000 calories. (Somebody please tell me if that's high or just right please!)

Anyway, I'm not into calories. Let's just leave that to the health/nutrition experts. I was so hungry I really didn't care. So I dumped the content on a plate and --- tsadan (voila! if you like) contains a really big serving of Tuna Paella -  more than what I actually expected. And the rice is not your ordinary rice. It's 'sticky rice' - the kind you really use  for paella.

Though it looked oily as I said above, it didn't taste bad. It was actually good. The chunks are few considering that there's plenty of rice but it was okay since the rice taste good.

San Marino Tuna is one of the best ready-to-eat meals in the market. It is good for people who loves to go on picnics or climb mountains. It's not heavy so there is no need to worry. You can bring several cans - dinner, breakfast, lunch - without hurting your back. It's better than bringing a small burner and pans. You can take it cold. Believe me, you can take it cold. It's also good for those who bring food to work. No need to wake up early to cook.

One can is good for one person with a normal appetite but for people who eat light, two cans can be shared by three.

San Marino Tuna paella was launched just recently. It was a good tactic to use popular celebrities (in this case Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes) to launch new products. They were easily able to penetrate the market.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pixie's Delivery Service - Good or Bad Service?

It's Friday! It's the last Friday before Good Friday!

Why  am I saying this? Well, this morning, I was thinking of what I am going to write for this blog. I have several restaurants lined up but I didn't feel like writing about them because I  would be talking about meat. It's Friday and I don't want to tempt the readers who are observing the Catholic tradition of abstinence. At around 10 am, I already made a decision not to write anything for today anymore.

At about the same time, we decided to order lunch at Pixie's Sinugba. I wasn't going to write about it though because I already have a blog post about it (click here). Anyway, we ordered inihaw na rellenong bangus and bangus embotido. The lady who answered the call got our name, telephone number and address. She then said she will be forwarding our order to the nearest branch which is the one in Pasong Tamo, Makati. I asked that the food be delivered before 12 noon. She said okay. After a few minutes we received a call informing us that they do not have rellenong bangus and embotidong bangus anymore so we changed our order to inihaw na bangus and sizzling  crabmeat.

12:00 noon came and no Pixie's Sinugba. 12:05 pm and still no Pixie's Sinugba. I decided to call  them again. I asked the lady who took my order if the food is already on its way. She said she'll ask the branch. After talking on another line she told me that the food will arrive before 1 pm. No specific time was given - she just said maybe between 12:30 to1 pm. I said that cannot be. The agreement was before 12 noon. She said the branch informed her that they have a lot of orders. I told her it's not my problem. I asked her to call again the branch and ask them if  they can do something to deliver it earlier. She talked again on another line but ended up with the same answer. They simply couldn't deliver it earlier than 12:30. I told her that we were not informed of this delay. I told her we should have been informed. That would have given us opportunity to make adjustments. They can't say  they cannot contact us because they were able to do so when they told us our first order is not available. She couldn't say anything but sorry.  She said it should have been the branch who should have informed us of that. I said it's useless to point fingers because the damage has been done. I also told her to cancel the order because we are no longer interested.

Restaurants with delivery services should be careful in giving the expected time of delivery so as not disappoint the paying customers. In case that they will not be able to deliver on time, they should have the decency to inform the customers. If they cannot do these, they will really have a lot of problems. They should stop their delivery services and just concentrate on dine-ins or take-outs.

What Pixie's did to us today is definitely wrong. It is very unprofessional, to say the least. We are really disappointed with their bad service.

If there is  any good thing that came out of this mess, that is it gave me something to write about.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Steamed or Fried Siomai - Hen Lin or Paotsin

Do you like siomai? Do you like it fried or steamed?

Many of us Filipinos like our food fried - fried chicken, fried fish, fried porkchop, fried egg, fried rice and yes, fried siomai. This probably explains why in malls or food centers, Paotsin (they serve fried siomai, sharksfin, etc.) would more often than not have longer lines than Hen Lin. This was the case when I went to a mall last week. Since I was in a hurry, I decided to 'just' order in Hen Lin even if at that time what I really wanted to have was fried sharksfin and the green rice from Paotsin.

I ordered spareribs with rice and an extra order of 3-pc steamed siomai. I wasn't really sure if I'd like what I ordered but I had no other choice since I didn't want to have siopao that time. I also didn't want chicken feet which is the other viand Hen Lin is offering.

Anyway, I was surprised with the spareribs I ordered. It was really yummy. I love the blending of the sweet, salty and spicy flavors. The meat is also tender. The steamed siomai is also okay. I still like my siomai fried but Hen Lin's steamed variety is acceptable. What I wasn't really satisfied with is the yang chow fried rice - this is what they serve with the spareribs as part of their 'combo' offering. If I didn't have much expectations with the siomai and the spareribs, I was looking  forward to a good tasting yang chow fried rice. What they served was just like ordinary fried rice with yellow coloring. Well,  there were bacon (or was it chorizo?) bits on top but it didn't help improve the taste.

spareribs with yang chow fried rice and 3 pieces steamed siomai
up close
the fried rice with bacon bits

Overall, the experience was good. I look forward to eating at Hen Lin again the next time I go to the mall or grocery/supermarket.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mikey Bustos - Filipino Dining Tutorial

Have you watched videos of Mikey Bustos? Mikey Bustos is a Filipino-Canadian singer who made a name for himself when he joined Canadian Idol. Recently, he made this videos about the Filipino culture. One of them is Filipino Dining Tutorial. It's really funny. It talks about the things that Filipinos do during meal times. Find time to watch it (click here).

Cafe France - Red Grapes and Coffee Buns

A few weeks back, my friends and I was driving around Makati to look for a good place to eat. We couldn't decide where to go so we were going round and round. We saw lots of restaurants but we still couldn't decide because there will always be at least one who would say "I do not like to eat there". Then we saw Cafe France. We didn't stop because we want a place were we could have a heavy meal. But the place made an impact when one of them said the name Cafe France in a very funny (for me irritating) way. She was trying to sound French and she failed miserably. HAHA. From then on they would always laugh every time we pass by Cafe France. They would say the name in that irritating manner just to tease me. The thing is, since that time also, I began seeing other branches that I never noticed before. I thought Cafe France is haunting me.

One evening - I was with another set of friends - we went to UN cor Orosa St in Manila to go to Starbuck's. Unfortunately, that Starbuck's branched is no longer there. Since there was a Cafe France in the other corner we decided to just go there. That was my first taste of Cafe France.

I ordered Red Grape Shake and coffee buns. The Red Grape is worth P 120. The others had Mango Locco (P 120), Cafe Mocha (P 100) and Caramel Frappe (P 135). A coffee bun is worth P 40.

The coffee bun looks as soft as sponge. Actually it is not. The outermost portion is sweet and crunchy.  This is the part with the coffee flavor. Inside it is soft. It has a small hallow portion where they put melted butter.

The coffee bun with the crispy crust.
That hallow portion has melted butter. It's yummy!
The Red Grape Shake is good because it is made of real grapes. You can feel the bits and pieces of grapes when you sip. It gets to be too sweet as you near the bottom but I was able to finish it just the same. I'm not so into sweets so the fact that I was able to finish it should tell you something.

The Red Grape and Mango Locco. Those are tall glasses.
The Red Grape has two or three whole grapes.
That's the Cafe Mocha there in the middle.
That's the Caramel Frappe
The Cafe France I've been to is the one at the corner of UN Ave. and Ma. Orosa St. It's near PhilAm Life. You can also find Cafe France in SM Mall of Asia, Robinsons Place, Manila, somewhere in the Makati Business District and South Luzon Expressway (in one of the gasoline stations). I'm sure there are other branches. If I'm not mistaken Cafe France used to be Deli France. Is it still owned by Jollibee Foods Corporation?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pancake House at Cash and Carry, Makati City

When i was still a child, one of the 'malls' that we always go to when we travel to Manila from the province is Cash & Carry. It wasn't really a mall then but a supermarket with stalls where you can buy imported (px) goods. You can also buy here cheap appliances. The elders love going here because this is where they can get imported Maling (canned luncheon meat) and Target corned beef. This is also where they buy Nissin's Ramen (Japanese Cup Noodles). I wonder if our relatives who come from abroad buy their pasalubongs for us here. You see, common pasalubongs are the things I mentioned above. And of course the Dove soap for the moms and the Old Spice for the dads. Dove and Old Spice are also available here. You can also buy here 'branded' shoes for Kuya's and Ate's.

Anyway, Cash & Carry is no longer just a supermarket. It is  now a mall. There are specialty boutiques. There are also stalls for different famous clothing brands. They still have px stores but prices of px goods are I think higher now - perhaps because of higher rentals. There are also lots of restaurants and one of which is Pancake House.

Here are pictures from my latest visit. We had Pan Chicken and Burger. I love their fried chicken - one of the best here in the metro (along with Shakey's, Jollibee, etc.). The burger on the other hand is also good. Who wouldn't want that thick  beef patty. Hmmmm.....

Don't you just love the WELCOME HOME tag?

Look! The burger almost covered the entire plate.
Thick slices of potatoes. Still crunchy even if they're thick.

See how thick that burger is? Yo really need a fork and a knife for this one.
Oh! Love! Love! Love! Crispy chicken. No need for that gravy.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Wham! Burger - katipunan, Quezon City

A few days  ago, my friends and I went all the way from Makati to Katipunan, Quezon City just to eat at Wham! Burger. We heard about it from a few friends so we wanted to try. Our expectations were high given the feedback that we received. On the way we were discussing other burger shops like Burger King, Brothers Burger and Carl's Jr. (it's no longer existing here in the country, right?) just so we could compare later on.

It was a very long drive. When we saw the place it was on the other side so we looked for a U turn slot. We thought there was one in front of Ateneo but unfortunately there was none. The U turn slot was in front of Miriam. The search for that U turn slot made the trip even longer.

Finally we reached Wham! Burger. The guard wasn't outside the store to help us park. He was inside, with his uniform unbuttoned, texting on his cellular phone. The place has seen better days. The walls, not to mention the tables and chairs could use some repainting.

We ordered Wham burger, Bronco Burger, Onion Rings and Sarsi. The Bronco burger is BIG. It has a thick beef patty, cheese, bacon, onions and barbecue sauce - Western style. I love the barbecue sauce. I like the sweet taste. Overall i like the burger. It was worth the trip. However, this doesn't mean that I will say that it is better than the others I mentioned above. You be the  judge. It actually didn't meet our expectations but just the same I can say I like it. The Wham burger was better for my other friends. They didn't like the barbecue dressing much so they prefer the rather plain - with lettuce, cheese and other burger basics - Wham burger. It wasn't really plain nothing unique about the add-ons. The Onion rings was also good. Crunchy! And the onion has no bitter taste.

Wham! Burger, Katipunan, Quezon City
Bronco. See how thick the beef patty is?

bacon, cheese, onions, barbecue sauce
Wham burger

The crispy onion rings

The burgers at Wham! Burger are reasonably priced. Wham costs P 108 and Bronco P 165. The onion rings  is worth P 66.

As said, the burgers are okay. The experience was actually good. I just hope that next time, the place will be cleaner. By the  way, the guard helped us when we went out of the parking area. 

Thursday, April 07, 2011

California Pizza Kitchen - Promenade, Greenhills

Last night I watched the musical Mama Mia at Teatrino in Greenhills. It was just a one-night production of a school. After the show we had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. It was my first time there so I was excited. Unfortunately, I was with my bosses so I was not able to take pictures of what we ate. I think that is something you can understand, right? I felt it wasn't proper for me to 'delay' the meal just for me to take pictures. But anyway, we ordered Wild Mushroom Pizza, Caesar Salad, Chinese Chicken Salad (or was it oriental) and Spinach something (you'll find this on the the appetizer list).

The Wild Mushroom Pizza was great. It was great because it's unique. I mean it tasted far from all the other pizzas I've ever eaten. Meat lovers may not go crazy over this but it's worth a try. The Caesar Salad was also good. It has lots of Parmesan cheese. And the croutons are crispy (even after about an hour of being exposed). The Chicken Salad was very good. I don't know what the brown 'things' they put on top are but they sure made the salad crunchy so eating it wasnt boring. I'm not really a salad fan but this twist was very much welcome for me. The Spinach appetizer was also nice. It's actually nacho chips with spinach dressing. Yum. I love it.

I do not like raspberry very much but I ordered Raspberry Iced Tea just the same - 'for a change'. I was bent on having Lemon Iced Tea to be safe but I figured that would be boring. It's good I tried the new one because it was good. You should try it too. It was bottomless - I had two and a half glasses.

California Pizza Kitchen is at thwe Promenade in Greenhills. It's beside Bizu. I know they also have a branch in Makati - Glorietta 1?   

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Mushroom Burger - That Burger House in Tagaytay

The first time I went to Tagaytay my friends brought me to Mushroom Burger. That was in 1992. They said one must not leave Tagaytay without eating at Mushroom Burger. My first experience there was good that's why every time I would be in Tagaytay I always look forward to eating there. However, the itinerary changed during the past few years. Instead going to a burger house we would always spend time in coffee shops and/or bulalohan. Mushroom Burger was totally forgotten.

But last month I decided to drop by Mushroom Burger again. It was again a nice experience. There have been changes already in many different ways but the taste of their burgers remained. Anyway, here are some pictures of the place and burger I got.

Their burgers: pinoy, royal, regular, sandwich and king.
The King burger is served in this plastic container (when will Tagaytay go eco-friendly?)
King size it is!
Double patties!
Mushroom for dessert, anyone?

Do you know that you do not need to go to Tagaytay to eat Mushroom Burger? They now have Mushroom Burger along Katipunan and West Avenue in Quezon City. But if you want to really have the feel of the "old" Mushroom Burger, then  go to Tagaytay.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Other Places to Eat in Cebu

Do you know that most of the readers who check this site land here because they are searching for good restaurants in CEBU? Most read articles are The Port, Seafood Restaurant, Waterfron Hotel, Lahug, Cebu City and STK ta Bay! Paolito's Seafood House, Orchid Street, Cebu City. The post Vanille Cafe and Patisserie, Ayala Center, Cebu City also gets a lot of visits. I now regret that I did not take note of the other places I had lunch or dinner in in Cebu. However, I remember I spent an hour or two at a bar at the IT Park where I had a bottle of beer and plate of button mushrooms. What place was that? Oh, wait! I'll check my pictures. I might find the name there.

Ok! The picture does not clearly say the name of the bar/restaurant but it has East, West on its name. There aren't many bars and restaurants at the IT Park so you would easily find it. Their sizzling button mushrooms taste good. It's good for pulutan or pica-pica. The beer is also reasonably priced.

There's also a stall at the food choices of Ayala Center where you can eat Lechon Cebu at an affordable price. As expected, the lechon tasted great. The meat is tender. There is no need for lechon sauce. The skin is also crispy. I was told there are other restaurants in Cebu that serve better tasting lechon. I can imagine that. But this lechon stall is already okay for those who do not want to go far.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Heading for CWC? - Eat at Kapitbahay Food Center in Gumaca, Quezon

When you think of going on a vacation, what is the first place that comes into mind? Chances are you'll say Boracay. Or perhaps Palawan. Or maybe even Bohol. These are the popular vacation places that we have here in the Philippines. And this is expected because these are really beautiful places. But in the past few years, another place is gaining popularity among tourists. This place is the CWC or Camsur Watersports Complex in Camarines Sur. This is in the Bicol region - south of Luzon. It is a 6 - 8 hour drive from Metro Manila.

6 to 8 hours is quite a long trip so I'm sure at some point you would want to stop to look for a good place to eat. One ideal stop would be Gumaca, Quezon. It is a small town that is about an hour drive from Lucena City - the provincial capital. Here you can find a very good family restaurant where you can have a great meal. Ask anybody for a good place to eat and they'll point you to Kapitbahay Food Center.

Kapitbahay has two branches. The original branch is along the highway while the second branch - which is actually bigger - is on a small street perpendicular to the highway. It is actually at the back of the former.

There are a lot of different dishes that you can order to satisfy every member of your group. I'll describe some of them for you.

Do not leave the place without trying their Pancit Lucban - yes, you do not need to go  to Lucban, Quezon where this type of pancit originated. You can have one of the best Pancit Lucbans in this part of the province. Kapitbahay's pancit is saucy that's why it is really flavorful. It is best eaten with vinegar. I don't know why vinegar is the best partner of Pancit Lucban but people have been using this for as long as I can remember.

You can also try their spaghetti. They have a very good Filipino style spaghetti that people of all ages will love. And just like in any birthday party, their spaghetti is best paired with fried chicken. Kapitbahay's fried chicken is very crunchy. Actually, my problem with their fried chicken is that I cannot stop at having just one piece. Surely, you or your kids will ask for extras. But do not worry, food at Kapitbahay is affordable. Even if you are on a tight budget you will not have problems.

You should also try their fresh lumpiang ubod. Unlike lumpiang ubod served here in the metro, they use soft ubod. You wouldn't have the feeling that you are eating coco lumber which is usually the case in many Manila restaurants. I just don't know if they serve this everyday.

The next time you'll go to the Bicol region (whether in Cam Sur, Albay to see Mayon Volcano, the Caramoan, Donsol to see the butanding, or the Misibis Bay), make sure to drop by Kapitbahay Food Center in Gumaca, Quezon.


Friday, April 01, 2011

Lenten Season - Where to Eat Especially on Fridays part 3

It's Friday again and time to abstain from eating meat. have you tried out the restaurants I suggested (Lenten Season 1 and Lenten Season 2)? Here is a few.

Try XO kitchen along Jupiter St., Makati City. I suggest you order their Squid Ink Rice and their salt and pepper squid. Yeah! I know! I know! They're both squid. But who cares? They both taste good and they taste good together. Try it. Try it now.

Try Amici also. They have seafood pasta and seafood pizza. The seafood pasta that I strongly suggest is their new one. Just ask any waitress and she'll surely be able to tell you what new one I'm talking about. I'm sorry I didn't get the name because I was kinda in hurry when I ate there the last time. We only had like 30 minutes to spend for lunch so I failed to grab my pen and paper (and not to mention my camera). Don't worry coz next time I'll surely order it again.

 Happy eating!