Friday, May 16, 2008

FOOD PR0N! [WORKSAFE = starring only food, not pr0n XD]

I'm not sure if I've indicated this on my profile, but I am a die-hard foodie. I'm a die-hard foodie to the point that I know I'm going to die by overeating a certain piece of food - what it is yet I'm not really sure though, so it's possible I'll die by overeating in general. XD;

But enough of death. As I was saying I'm a die-hard foodie and so I enjoy eating out immensely. I have been to a lot of restaurants, cafes, bars and eateries here in my hometown, Metro Manila, and thanks to my blog-happy sister I've begun taking photos of my food. I just LOVE the sight of food, it makes my mouth water. And I hope that my photos have that same effect on you! XD; (Don't forget to CLICK ON THE THUMBNAILS to get the large photos. ;3)

First, we have the lovely Kapampangan (Pampanga province-themed) restaurant Abe, in the boutique mall One Serendra in Fort Bonifacio, City of Taguig. It's home to the best Ensalatang Pako (fern-based vegetable salad, with boiled egg, and onions), Binukadkad na Pla-pla (fried tilapia cut up and made to unfurl like a fan) and expensive Spicy Sisig in Metro Manila, among other things. XD I especially love their Lumpiang Ubod (steamed egg "crepe" roll filled with vegetables and garnished with peanuts, garlic and sweet peanut sauce) because the vegetables they use for it are very fresh - you can tell by the taste. Highly recommended.

Next is the lovely niche known as Cafe Juanita. Tucked inside a tiny home in the corner of a busy street in Barrio Kapitolyo in Pasig City, this "hole in the wall" began as exactly that, catering to taxi drivers and other blue-collar denizens making their way through the barrio. However, as the cook had never lost his aspirations to become top chef (he used to work in a cruise ship, or so I'm told), he decided to steadily upgrade the place into a swanky, slow-food cafe serving Filipino and Southeast Asian cuisine in a sea of antiques and Southeast Asian bric-a-brac. It's won great recognition and a lot of positive buzz, noteworthy among them the praises and recommendations heaped by no less than the Philippine Tatler - and twice! Although not all of their food are my favourites, I will admit Cafe Juanita does cooked fish exceptionally well, and everything tastes reasonably good and reasonably priced. It was a recent discovery of mine, having been brought there for my birthday by the family last month. Too bad I don't remember a single name of what I ate, except for the Kinilaw (raw fish in vinegar, see 2nd and 4th photos) which didn't really taste so good. D:

For geeks into Greek (bad pun, I know XD;;;), the best place to go is Cyma. With four branches in four select upscale malls in the metro, it's accessible enough but still undeniably exuding class. The atmosphere is warm and familial; it always feels like I'm coming home no matter what time of day I'm here. And the food is superbly prepared, though I will have to warn you that their lamb dishes aren't always easy to cut up, and their Greco-Mediterranean desserts are a bit on the cloyingly sweet side. Try their couscous, kebabs, pita bread and pasta, and bring your appetite because the servings are extra-large by Asian standards (though they are pretty reasonable for European and American palates).
Let's take a short day trip outside the metro and enjoy the spectacular provincial venue of Sonya's Garden. Originally just an organic botanical paradise for its owner, it soon expanded into food after Sonya realised that her friends were going there for her cooking as well. Of course, if you grow your own food, and the healthy type at that, you will always be patronised no matter where your customers are coming from. Besides its signature vegetable salad in cream-and-onion vinegarette, the set meal of Sonya's includes pasta (the kind of pasta you get varies between "seasons" or the four quarters of the year), juice (normally dalandan, or the local orange) and some sweet dessert (usually either local fare like bananas dipped in hot caramel, or foreign fare like tiny slices of creamy, icing-rich cake ... lol, so much for keeping healthy XD;;;). All in all the food is worth the day trip. ♥
Back in the Metro, Xocolat is a franchise cafe specializing in chocolate, undoubtedly the best export of Aztec, Incan and Mayan civilizations. My favourite branch would have to be the one in Eastwood City, Qnezon City, as it's outdoors and literally right in the center of the Eastwood plaza square, and for the fact that my boyfriend and I had our first date there. ♥ Also, this branch doesn't serve the chocolate too thickly or sweetly as the other branches do. I am completely enamoured with their hot chocolate drinks ... thick, bittersweet and perfect for a rainy day. ♥ (My boyfriend prefers the iced chocolate-coffee concoctions better, since he finds the Philippines a terribly hot place. XD;)
Closer to home is Tsoko.Nut, a fastfood cafe built to reinstate and focus on Philippine chocolate culture. Although it serves modern food like Spaghetti and Pancit (Chinese pasta), its true star is the chocolate made into tablets, and then mashed with a special mortar and pestle called collectively as a batirol, making the drink a refreshingly bittersweet experience. The Arroz a la cabana (pictured here) eaten by my boyfriend was terribly dry in comparison. Oh well!

And now here are some random bits of food. Bonus points and a nifty little online surprise to anyone who can guess where these photos are from! (Hint: only 2 are in one place; the rest are in different places.)
So everyone, what are your thoughts on food? Let's discuss! \^0^/


petrufied said...

Xoclat is really good, no? I like the chocolate because it's thick and not sweet. :P try the mexican hot chocolate and the sorbet (drool!).

Oh, btw, the one in eastwood is not in the middle of the plaza square (that would be the stage!) it's in the middle of city walk 2. hehe

Ligaya said...

Yes, Xocolat is LOOOOOOOOOOOVE. ♥ Same nga as you, I like tht their chocolate is thick but not too sweet. ;3 The sorbet sounds inviting but I'm not sure I want chili in my hot chocolate, so the Mexican hot chocolate might not be for me. XD;;;;

Oh, btw, the one in eastwood is not in the middle of the plaza square (that would be the stage!) it's in the middle of city walk 2. hehe --> Really??? @_@000 Oops. Obviously I don't go there often, hahaha. XD; Thanks for the correction! Will change if I feel like it. X3