Sunday, November 28, 2010

Snacking on exotic vegetable chips

Here's my latest favorite healthy snack -- zesty tomato-flavored exotic vegetable chips by Terra.

Flavored with tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and celery, it's a nutritious and flavorful alternative to greasy potato chips. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

A hymn to love (and good food)

I can't stop raving about Utada Hikaru's jazz rendition of Edith Piaf's Hymne à l'amour (Hymn to Love).

The song, used in a commercial campaign for a Japan-exclusive Pepsi drink, is part of Hikki's second greatest hits album that's set to be released on Wednesday.

Hikki's version, Hymne à l'amour (Ai no Anthem), had a sweet, lounge-y feel to it, just like Cav, a posh wine shop and cafe at Bonifacio High Street. I find it a good spot to listen to this French-Japanese song.

Situated on the side of The Spa building, Cav exudes an elegant ambiance complemented by fine European cuisine, and is ideal for dates and intimate gatherings.

My last meal there was superb, although I've yet to try the other items on Cav's menu. I'm particularly eyeing the foie gras (yes, I have a soft spot for fatty goose/duck liver) and the duck leg confit for my next visit. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Truffle lechon, anyone?

It was a hot afternoon in Cebu and I was excited to have a taste of the Zubuchon, the much talked about roast pig by Marketman of Market Manila.

I had high expectations for the lechon, said to be prepared using homegrown organic ingredients, especially after well-known boar buff Anthony Bourdain called it the "best pig ever."

"(Anthony Bourdain) is incredibly intelligent and fantastic to work with. He ate a huge piece of the skin," Marketman shared his experience with Bourdain as his crew hand-turned the lechon on bamboo poles over charcoal.

Three pigs were prepared that day, and seeing them getting cooked right before my very eyes was an experience in itself.

And just when I thought I was up for one of the best meals of my life, Marketman revealed a sweet surprise -- one lechon was infused with the deep, rich flavor of black truffles. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Arriba chocolate pizza at Heavenly Chocolates

Am I expecting too much, or it just wasn’t good enough?

This came to mind after taking a bite of the Arriba chocolate pizza, the latest offering at Heavenly Chocolates, a simple nook along Roces Avenue in Quezon City.

The 6.5-inch diameter pizza, priced at P150, had all the good stuff – warm bittersweet chocolate, sliced almonds, shallot bits and fried anchovies.

With all these things on a crust that strongly reminded me of Pop Tarts (as in the breakfast treat), my taste buds should be jumping for joy.  But they weren’t. 

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Asian Flavours: A culinary gem in Batangas

"Pinoy but upscale."

This is what Laguna-bred chef Paul Poblador, famous for his stint in San Pablo's Kusina Salud, said when asked to describe his latest creations at Asian Flavours.

The restaurant, tucked inside the Lima Park hotel in Malvar, Batangas, marked its first year last month with a 10-course all-Filipino lunch buffet.

Unlike his dishes at Kusina Salud, which Poblador described as "Lola's cooking," the dishes at the fairly new restaurant cater mainly to expatriate professionals, some of the locals, and hopefully soon, the Manila crowd.

It was a lot like refined comfort food -- from the kalderetang bakang Batangas generously topped with green and black olives and cheese to the extensive array of innovative ensaladas