Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Archipelago 7107 - Eating with Friends is More Fun in the Philippines with its 7,107 Islands

The Philippines is composed of 7107 islands. I do not if this is when the tide is hide or when it is low.  What I know is that within the first week of the new year, I had a wonderful dinner with new friends in a restaurant called Archipelago 7107.

Archipelago 7107 can be found at the 2nd level of Il Terrazzo Building along Tomas Morato in Quezon City. It is very near the Tomas Morato circle and ABS-CBN compound. Archipelago 7107 is owned by Barrio Fiesta.

We ordered a lot of Filipino dishes. For starters we had chicharong bulaklak - two orders. The chicharong bulaklak was served with prawn crackers. The health conscious may not really like this but I must say it was really good. It's both crispy and chewy at the same time. How that is possible I really don't know but just trust me.

Chicharong Bulaklak

Then we also ordered Kare-Kare which Barrio Fiesta is known for. I assumed it would be as good if not better. Well for me it was as good although my friends said Barrio Fiesta's Kare-Kare is better. They liked it. No question about that but they pointed out several times that it is still better in Barrio Fiesta.

Kare-Kare with thick peanut sauce

We also has Inihaw na Pusit. For me it was just okay. Nothing really fancy about it.

Inihaw na Pusit with crackers on the side

Then we also had Crispy Pata. I can't say anything but I love it! I love it! I love  it! It's very crispy - true to its name.

Crispy Pata - Should be renamed  Very Crispy Pata

I mentioned first the three common Filipino dishes we ordered. Now its time for the two I was very familiar with. First is Balbakwa and the other one is KBL which stands for Kadios, Baboy and Langka. I've already heard of Balbakwa but I have seen on tasted it in the past. I looked like pochero. It tasted like pochero also. Anyway, the Balbakwa was the least touched among all our orders. This is not necessarily because it was not good but we already have Kare-Kare with a better tasking thick sauce. The KBL also didn't get much attention. I know Kadios and if I remember it right I never had problems eating it. But it's actually the first time I encountered that KBL combination. Had I not liked the Kare-Kare I would probably have eaten more of this.


KBL - Kadios, Baboy, Langka

The waiters and waitresses were attentive. They are always there ready to give us what we need.

The ambiance is also very nice. The seats are comfortable. The comfort room is also good. Clean and nice smelling.

The only thing negative perhaps was the fact that my friend reserved a corner table a week before (and we confirmed again a couple of days before) but we didn't get that preferred table. The head waiter has an excuse though. The owners were having a meeting and they were seated at the table we wanted to get. But again, they approved the reservation so they should have done their best to keep it unoccupied for us. They're the owners so they should understand the the needs of their customers.

Overall the dining experience was very good. Good food, good people. What could possibly go wrong.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mang Inasal - Lumpiang Sardinas, Ginataang Kangkong and Kamote Chips

I had dinner last night at Mang Inasal along Filmore St., Palanan, Makati City. Since it was late already I decided not to eat rice. I just ordered lumpiang sardinas, ginataang kangkong and kamote chips. The lumpiang sardinas has been featured here already and I think my comments are the same. I still like it. I like the 'spicy' touch. It was also crispy so I enjoyed.

The kamote chips tasted good. I like the barbeque flavor. However, it was not as crispy as I hoped it would be. It seems like it has been prepared long before I ordered. It must be nearing its shelf life (or whatever you call the time before it has to be thrown for loss of quality). But since I liked the taste, I am sure I am going to give that Mang Inasal kamote chips another chips next time.

What disappointed me last night was the ginataang kangkong. It was served cold. It also has more stalks than the  leaves part. I could help but compare it to the kangkong in Chicboy. Theirs was certainly better than Mang Inasal's (different preparations but in general I could say my assessment is fair). I had it heated but my interest has already waned.

It was almost 10 pm already but that shouldn't be an excuse in serving 'old' food. And at the very least, even if the food like the ginataang kankong was not freshly cooked, they should have at least had the initiative to reheat it before serving it to their customers. As for the kamote chips, I think they should get a better storage/container to keep its quality.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bubble Tea - Milk Tea - Tomas Morato, Quezon City

I was at Bubble Tea in Tomas Morato, Quezon City last night with a friend. It was my first time there. We were supposed to go there Tuesday last week but while we were walking along Tomas Morato there was a slight drizzle. So we just decided to have coffee at the Green Coffee. It is at the building were Center Stage is. It's at the Tomas Morato Circle. Anyway, Green Coffee will be the subject of another post.

I do not drink milk tea because I do not find the combination of milk and tea exciting. But my friend said it's good so I decided to give Bubble Tea a try. I asked the waitress which flavor is something that a -non-milk tea drinker could take. She immediately suggested Taro Milk Tea. I trusted her decision so I ordered large Taro Milk Tea with small bubbles (sago).

Prior to our visit I told my friend that I like the glass that they use to serve the milk tea. Bubble Tea serves their milk teas in beer mugs. I like that. Unfortunately, when our order was served I got a little disappointed because my Taro Milk Tea was served in the usual tall glass. My friend's milk tea was served in a beer mug. I asked the girl why they used different containers. She said black tea based milk teas are served in beer mugs while green tea based milk teas are served in tall glasses.

Container aside I can say I am willing to go back to Bubble Tea in Tomas Morato. I love the Taro flavor. I didn't find the taste weird. The taro flavor was strong enough  to tame the taste of the milk tea.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CREPELATO - Davao City (Gelato, Crepes, Pastries, etc.)

This post about Davao City is long overdue. This should have been posted months ago. Anyway, better late than never.

On my last day in Davao, my companions and I had the chance to visit a dessert bar. We just came from an all you can eat breakfast we were not up to eating anything but we wanted to have something sweet so we went to Crepelato. They have crepes, obviously, gelato, pastries, cakes and they also meals including pasta dishes.

We ordered gelato instead of crepe even if we thought that crepe is the specialty of Crepelato. This is because as I've said we were already full from the breakfast we just had. We ordered the OVERLOAD. That means 8 scoops of gelato. Overload really.

I loved the experience.

By the way I had tea to go with the Crepelato gelato. They aren't the perfect pair, I know, but I wanted to try it so I did. I had mango flavoured tea.

You can also order Crepelato gelato in sugar cones with flavors. Now, we should  have tried that.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Leftover Christmas Ham Recipes - Omelet and Breaded Christmas Ham and Tofu

It's the 4th of January. I'm sure many of you still leftover Christmas ham in your freezer. If you don't feel like eating that ham as is anymore, here are some simple and easy to cook 'recycling' suggestions.

First recipe to 'recycle' that ham is omelet. Here is how to do it.

1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp onion
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup bell pepper (optional)
1/4 cup milk
   salt and pepper
1 cup cubed leftover Christmas ham
2 eggs

1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Saute garlic and onion. Set aside.
3. Beat egg in a bowl. Mix the leftover Christmas ham, tomatoes, bell pepper and the garlic and onion you set aside.    4. Add milk. Add salt and pepper to taste
5. Pour over a preheated pan with little oil. Make sure to use low flame.
6. Remove from flame. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.

Another suggestion would be to make 'breaded ham and tofu'


Christmas ham (a quarter of an inch thick, 1 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches in length)
tofu (half an inch thick, 1 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches in length)
egg (beaten) 
powdered milk
chili powder

1. Put a slice of leftover Christmas ham in between two slices of tofu. (like a sandwich) You may use toothpick to secure the sandwich.
2. Dip in beaten egg.
3. Roll in breading mix (flour, powdered milk, pepper and chili powder - flour and milk should follow a 2:1 ratio, pepper and chili powder according to your taste).
4. Deep fry.