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27 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

ManilaFoodistas Christmas Post
Get to know your Foodistas better

Happy holidays, everyone! Since it's the holidays, we asked the Foodistas to answer the following questions:

What's your favorite Christmastime food? Why? Is there any specific way you like to eat it?
Tell us about a fond Christmas memory.
What's your ideal Christmas gift?

Christmas Food and Fond Christmas Memory
Every Christmas since the day that I had consciousness, my lola and the whole household would always cook food for the whole family. Sometimes, I also join in and help. Oftentimes, my aunts and uncles would also bring in food and desserts at my lola's place and we would enjoy the food and each others' company.

There's the usual BBQ, Inihaws, Pasta, Beef Casserole, Lumpia, and a lot more lutong bahay everyone would really enjoy and savor. It was always like this, up until now!

Since then, me and my cousins would always hang out, exchange stories and chismis(es), until now. The only difference, I would say today, is that we do it over some booze and cards. What better way to spend Christmas than with them, right? I love my cousins and my family and I always, always am excited for Christmas :)

Ideal Christmas Gift
I can say a ton of different gadgets and gifts that I would want to receive (Like DSLR, Cook Books, Trips here and there... I wish, right?), but I guess a simple dinner with my friends and or family at a new restaurant with great food and wine, will do :)

Christmas Food
I would have to say that I have inherited my father's penchant for Cebu lechon (must have crispy skin!), and the lechon derivative that follows, Lechong Paksiw, which i enjoy on the mostly sour side. Although this year as a gift to the world and to myself, I will be foregoing meat and having a meat free Christmas.

Fond Christmas Memory
My fondest Christmas memory would have to be spending Christmas with my family at a beach resort in Sogod, Cebu, where we feasted on lechon every night and cracked open sea urchins that we collected ourselves.

Ideal Christmas Gift
Most people would tend to side with the more immaterial gifts for this one, but I stand firm in my belief. My ideal Christmas gift would the perfect neck pillow.

Christmas Food
Sapin-sapin! Sticky, sweet, and yummy! The perfect way to end any Christmas feast! I cut a large portion from the bilao, I then add latik on top until it's COMPLETELY covered (it has to be overflowing), I eat it part by part (the whole thing can't fit inside my mouth), then I scoop up the latik that fell back on the plate so it won't go to waste.

Fond Christmas Memory
When my ninang gave me my first Power Ranger toy, the Megazord! It started my chain of buying Power Ranger toys. I even went to Hong Kong just to buy some of the figures (Thunder Assualt Team, Red Dragon).

Ideal Christmas Gift
T-shirts! You can't have enough. :)

Christmas Food
I have three :) One is my mother's molo (Filipino wonton) soup, because we live in a relatively cool area and hot, heartwarming, familiar soup is the perfect thing to tuck into on a cold December night. The next is my dad's turkey, which is always, always one of the things my family and I look forward to during the holidays :) I love my dad's cooking and this once-a-year treat is absolutely one of my favourites. It's absolutely perfect with a generous serving of gravy (which my dad always makes sure to make a lot of because he knows I consume gravy like I would soup). Finally -- this is actually something I enjoy year-round -- I love(!) apple pie/apple crumble/apple whatever! If generous in cinnamon, with still slightly crisp-textured apples and a not-too-sweet, not-too-tart taste, I'd consume this in great quantities, if left unchecked.

Fond Christmas Memory
Too many! Haha :P I love the holidays! Last year's was particularly special ♥ and one of my favourite things to do on Christmas eve is to put a little santa hat on our shih tzu, the baby of our family, and take an excessive amount of photos of our too cute doggie ♥

Ideal Christmas Gift
I never know what material thing I want for Christmas :) I usually never want anything in particular, haha, which makes it such a pain for people to find me a perfect gift. But, if pressed to give an answer, an ideal Christmas gift for me is, honestly, just to be able to spend my holidays with those I love the most in the place I love the most, doing the things and eating the food we love the most :)

Christmas Food

I'd probably have to go with lechon. Sure, it's not Christmas food per se, but it's the closest thing we have to a Christmas constant. And sure I might regret it a few years down the road, but during the holidays you gotta forget about diets or whatnot, you gotta live life!

Fond Christmas Memory
Every year when I was a kid, waiting at my grandparents house for the clock to strike twelve so we could finally open all the presents under the Christmas tree. It was along and antagonizing wait, but it was absolutely magical once the presents were opened.

Ideal Christmas Gift
Stuff from Gourdo's! Or weird cool gadget things :)) Whenever I go into Gourdo's or gadget shops I just feel like a kid in a toy store again because there's just so many cool, uncommon things to see.

Christmas Food
Bibingka because I just love it. I eat bibingka with puto bumbong because I think the sweetness of puto bumbong goes with the salted egg in the bibingka.

Fond Christmas Memory
Every Christmas is a fond memory.

Ideal Christmas Gift
Ideal Christmas gift? Anything. Haha.

Christmas Food
I love puto bumbong! I love the butter and the coconut and the sugar. I like 'em sweet! I love it. I love lengua -- my aunt serves it whenever we have family get together dinner during the holidays!

Fond Christmas Memory
I love going to my aunt's house for our Christmas eve dinner. I LOVE eating during Christmas. It's an excuse to get an extra helping. Plus, I've got absolutely ADORABLE nephews and nieces -- that counts for something.

Ideal Christmas Gift

A bottle of tequila or a new jacket -- yes?

So what about you? :) What be your answers to these questions? Give us a link to your blog for your answers or your Christmas experience and we'll link you up!

14 December 2008

Restaurant Review | Sicilian Express

Sicilian Express
Petron Gas Station, Katipunan Ave., Quezon City
Type of Cuisine: Italian
Average cost per person: Php 350-400 (US$7.30-US$8.34)
Overall Rating: starstarstarnostarnostar

Since the meeting with a couple of friends didn't push through, Manila Foodistas' Bong and Tiffy, together with their friends, Alex and Fritz, decided to have dinner instead. Since they were in Katipunan, Tiffy suggested eating at Sicilian Express, which can be found in Petron, Katipunan, near Miriam College.


Aside from your usual pizzas and pastas, you can also buy a cup of ice cream for dessert!

DSC099920Fettuccine Cheese (Php 156, US$3.25 | without VAT)
When we ordered our pastas, we were told that they ran out of fettuccine and ingredients (Seriously--restaurants run out of ingredients? An Italian restaurant, at that!) and we were asked if it would be okay if they used spaghetti pasta instead. It turned out so-so. It didn't taste like cheese and the pasta was soggy.

DSC099890Seafood Marinara (Php 174.11, US$3.63 | without VAT)
We were supposed to order Chicken Alfredo. But just as the order was punched in, we were informed that they had no Chicken Alfredo. So we switched it to Seafood Marinara for the same price instead. Again, this was a bit of a huge disappointment. Like the fettuccine cheese, the pasta was soggy. Old. It didn't help that the food chilled fast because the place was cold -- it was like eating paste.

DSC099990Italian Sausage (Php 388.39, US$8.10 | without VAT)
Thank goodness for their pizza! If not for this, the whole experience would've sucked. Their pizza was yummy. Although of course, we're not sure whether it was yummy because the pastas sucked, or it was just really yummy!


All in all it was a nice experience. Nice because the place was clean and the staff was accomodating! We gave it a 3 because it might have been their off-night. We might do another review if we get to eat there again.

Reviewed by Bong and Tiffy.
Special thanks to Alex and Fritz for their inputs.
Photography by Fritz.

09 December 2008

Restaurant Review | Green Mango

Green Mango
Rosa Alvero corner Esteban Abada St., Loyola Heights, Katipunan, Quezon City (beside Fruit Magic)
Type of Cuisine: Frozen yogurt
Average cost per person: Php 55 or Php 70 (US$ 1.12 or $1.42)
Overall Rating: starstarnostarnostarnostar

With all of the Yogurt joints mushrooming around Metro Manila, like the White Hat and a lot more, we were excited to try Green Mango in Katipunan, because it was so near our university.

From the outside, it was very inviting and refreshing to look at; though, the establishment didn't have tables or chairs for the customers.

Bong, Hannah and Tiffy, together with Dee and Don (their friends), ordered the basic yogurt, and picked their own toppings. Each created their ultimate yogurt dream dessert.

For the price of 55-70 pesos (depending on how many toppings you choose), it was alright. But in all honesty, we expected it to be better. Compared to the White Hat, the yogurt establishment in SM North EDSA The Block, and Yogurbud, it ranked low for us.

Asked what's in the yogurt, the salesperson admittedly said that their yogurt's the powdered one. All three of us just kept quiet after, and ate our yogurts in peace (while giving each other the constant look)

As usual, Bong, trying his best to be a good citizen, asked for the receipt, but unfortunately they didn't have one (I hope they already do now, or BIR might run after them).

Edit: To clarify what we mean by powdered: some frozen yogurts are made with real milk, not reconstituted powdered skim milk. Our thanks to yogurtfan for the comment! And we're glad to hear that they gave you a receipt! They were (unintentionally or otherwise) unable to produce one for us when we asked for it.



Reviewed by Bong, Hannah, and Tiffy.
Photography by Tiffy using a Nokia N82.

01 December 2008

Food Finds | Xavier Seniors' Entrepreneurial Bazaar

Last weekend, I was at Corinthian Gardens to visit the Entrepreneurial Project of the Xavier High 4 guys. The Entrepreneurial Project is an annual event of the Social Sciences (Economics) Department of Xavier School, for its Seniors to be able to apply what they have learned from the subject.


As I remembered, it was always held inside the campus; but this year, it was situated outside school grounds, in Corinthian Gardens Club House (to be specific). I asked Mr. Simoneil Mendoza, High School Social Science teacher, why the change in the venue for this year. He said that it was because they "wanted the students to operate in much more similar conditions and environment to the real thing."

I think that Harrell and Pats would agree with me when I say that it was a bold, encouraging, and the right move for the Department to do such a change because it ups the exposure and the learning experience for the students. I just wish that they did advertise it more effectively to the public.

Anyway, being a Foodista, it was partly an obligation to look for good food to share to you guys. (The other part was because I was really excited what I could find from the students) So, I went and explored the food stalls. To my delight, I found interesting stuff I know you would really love.


H4H's Chilled Taho
(Php 20, US$0.40) - This Taho, (soya pudding or tofu dessert or beancurd jelly, as called by others), is very refreshing, especially after you get tired from walking around the bazaar. Notice that it's just chilled Taho plus the syrup (which is made out of water and sugarcane), without the pearl tapioca balls that's usually included when you buy it hot from the street hawkers or vendors. I say that I love it as is, without the tapioca balls, to better taste the freshness of this dessert.

Captain Awesome with their Chilled Taho: (at the back-3rd row) Nathan Ng, Phil Lao (from left to right-2nd row) Jeff Chua, Edric Orense, Ryan Kwa, Avery Wong, Emelito Sison, Joseph Potian; (3rd row) Jason Go (Project Manager), Enzo Orosa and Mr. Simoneil Mendoza

Besides H4H's Chilled Taho, Lemon Gee is aother find that's also refreshing and healthy. The story behind this was that it started as a thesis in Ateneo. Lemon Gee's idea is to infuse your healthy fruit shakes with lemon grass extract. You think it's weird? I was very curious, so I tried it.


Banana Shake
(Php 35, US$0.70) The banana shake is your ordinary fresh banana shake, with lemon grass extract. After I tasted this cooler, I fell in love with it. It's definitely a new way for mango and banana shake lovers to have their favorite drinks. It's really yummy, sweet, and healthy! I'll go and try to replicate this at home :)


Reviewed by Bong.
Special thanks to Mr. Simoneil Mendoza
Photography by Bong.

23 November 2008

Restaurant Review | OMG Kawaii Bento

Before the Plurkfiesta happened, there was the UP Anime Manga Enthusiasts first. Bong, Tiffy and Jeric met up at the UP Bahay ng Alumni to check out the event before heading to Libis. While making rounds in the event, OMG Kawaii Bento really got our attention!

This was the first time Foodistas Bong and Tiffy have ever seen a bento - so they were pretty much intrigued and excited! Apparently, OMG Kawaii's booth at UP AME was some sort of launch for them since it was their first time to sell their food. They don't have a restaurant as of yet, but they are already making rounds in different events.

They had three designs -- a dog, a bear, and cute little chicks. The dog is made from potato croquette, pork tonkatsu, and some veggies; the bear, from potato croquettes and Japanese fried chicken; and the chicks, from potato croquettes and chicken teriyaki.


All bento meals are priced at Php 150 (USD$3). The Foodistas, together with Jeric and Osmond, got to taste the yummy doggie bento. From the rice, to the veggies, the potatoes and the pork tonkatsu, everyone really loved it.

All in all, it's a well-decorated dish that doesn't forget that it's actually edible (and yummy, to say the least). But unfortunately, it's not something that Osmond would crave for (apparently). It's one for the special occasions, probably.


Reviewed by Bong and Tiffy.
Special thanks to Jeric and Osmond for their inputs
Photography by Tiffy.

Contact Hershey Ang for more info on OMG Kawaii Bento.

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