Saturday, March 19, 2011

Let's talk fast food: Yummy Roast

Imagine eating Asian-style fare, just like what is served in Singapore's food courts, in a typical fast food environment.

That's the feeling I got upon my first visit at Yummy Roast, the newest addition to the Philippines' growing list of Singapore influenced food chains. It's a result of a partnership between Richie Yang of Yum Roast International Inc. (the Filipino company that runs Super Bowl of China, Big Buddha and Chili's) and Cary Gee of The Asian Kitchen restaurants in Singapore.

Yummy Roast looks and feels like the usual fast food chain, complete with yellow plastic chairs and a counter where all the menu items are displayed. It also has "value meals" and unlimited rice offerings, as seen in most quick service restaurants here in the country.

The difference, however, lies in the food.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Strawberry taho in Baguio

Here in the Philippines, it's common to see a man carrying 2 large aluminum buckets, screaming "taaaahhoooo" while walking along the sidewalk or in the middle of the road.

Using a shallow ladle, he scoops out the contents of his 2 buckets -- soft or silken tofu, arnibal (brown sugar and vanilla syrup) and sago (pearl tapioca) -- and places these in thin plastic cups.

The end product, warm and sweet taho, has long been a favorite among locals and tourists in several parts of the country.

But in Baguio City, a 6-hour trip from Manila, people do things a bit differently.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A meal fit for a King

The best time to be creative in the kitchen is when you're hungry, at least according to renowned chef Billy King, the man who brought the famed Le Souffle restaurant here.

True enough, King hasn't eaten anything when he showed his latest creations at The Manor's Le Chef restaurant in Baguio City late last month.

He's not the type who holds a pen and sits down to think, either -- the chef initially said he'll serve 6 new items, but he ended up with 13.

"It's best to be hungry. It's the best time to be creative. Let the gastric juices and imagination flow," he said.

King is a proud chef, one who's not willing to jump on the celebrity chef bandwagon. He said, referring to chef contests on television, "Some of it is nonsense. Why create something in an hour when you need 3 hours to do it? It's not right. It just cannot be good."

"It seems nobody can do anything without a blender nowadays," he quipped.

His seeming air of arrogance, however, fades away the moment we got to taste his dishes. From the savory dishes to the desserts and drinks, each item tasted divine, causing us food writers to close our eyes and call to God after every bite.

What the chef served us, indeed, was a meal fit for a king.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Degustation at The Goose Station

Try saying "The Goose Station" ten times and you'll probably end up saying "degustation."

The name of the restaurant at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig is a play on the said word, a culinary term which literally means taking a small amount of food into the mouth to test its quality.

Owned by celebrity chef couple Robert Pengson and Sunshine Puey, The Goose Station is known for its excellent degustation menus, which most people call an experience of "high culinary art."

And excellent, it is. Each dish is well thought-out and painstakingly prepared, from the 24-hour steak to the sous-vide sea bass.