Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Kid's Friday Night Date at Pancake House

It was supposed to be just me and my close friend meeting up on a Friday night, but my kid overheard me leaving and wanted to tag along. Since he has no school the next day, then I gave in to his plead. We met up with the godmother of my son at Wilcon City Center along Visayas Avenue since that is near our place. My kid only had a few rides/games at the jampacked arcade because it was very chaotic there...both kids and even adults were kinda wild. My friend suggested Pancake House and it was a relief for me because the restaurant was not full and we sat in a nice corner. The waitress gave my kid some colors and an activity sheet. Knowing my kid, he only colored a few and got lazy again...LOL. 
Each time I ask him to write his name, he ignores me or won't do it. He only writes his name if he wanted to show off...and he did that night to impress his Godmother. So proud of you boy!
Since we already had dinner, I ordered Spaghetti with Meat Sauce which can be seen at the Kid's Menu. It was worth P165 and the serving was huge with two slices of toasted garlic bread. The spaghetti was not that sweet and I enjoyed the beefiness of its sauce topped with grated cheese. The bread was toasted perfectly and tasted good as well. 
My friend ordered Spaghetti Club Special Set which is worth P216. It is a platter of spaghetti and 2 slices of clubhouse sandwich served with soup and iced tea. She was already full so she asked me to eat one slice of the sandwich. It was delicious and has chicken, bacon and veggies in it. 
I ordered Mango Crepe with ice cream for dessert, but they were out of it...so I just ordered a scoop of vanilla ice cream for my kid. It tasted like guess what? Vanilla..LOL. No need to make a review of this except that for around P50, I think it is too much for a scoop of ice cream...maybe if its a special kind of ice cream like with nuts or chocolate bits.
Pancake House is really perfect for the whole family because their menu selection caters to everyone...ranging from toddlers to senior citizens. They also have their own restroom, which was clean and very spacious... ideal for those with limited mobility. If you are planning to eat here, make sure to prepare paying around P250 to P300 per person because of the tax and service charge. If you don't eat much, then you can just share a special set to save up. 
Check out the Pancake House Menu

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bacolod Chicken Inasal: Stuck Back in Time

Before the birth of Mang Inasal and Chic-Boy , there was already Bacolod Chicken Inasal. This restaurant introduced Chicken Inasal to the common people. There are still several diners who patronize Bacolod Chicken Inasal and I am one of them...remembering my good dining experience at that  restaurant years ago. I bought a voucher that  is worth P180 for P300 worth of regular-priced food and drinks at Bacolod Chicken...great deal right?
After my kid got his check-up at Manila Doctors, we went to SM City so that my mom can claim her items in exchange of the Worlds of Fun tickets she have been collecting since early this year. My son also got to play of course. I remembered that I have a voucher and instead of having a snack, we decided to have early dinner at Bacolod Chicken...it was quite a long walk from SM City to the restaurant in Trinoma. It is located on the 2nd floor near the fountain area. The Bacolod Chicken Inasal branch was huge and has that festive ambiance which would remind you of dining in the province. 
I asked the waitress first before ordering if we would be charged VAT and service charge if our order exceeds the amount of the voucher and she said I would only have to pay the exceeding amount so we ordered more than P300 worth of food and drinks. Since Bacolod Chicken Inasal is famous for its Chicken Inasal, we ordered two Petso worth P95.50 each plus three plain rice worth P25.50 each. My mom wanted soup so she ordered Solo Batchoy worth P61.50. 
The Batchoy tasted just like any ordinary batchoy...nothing special about it...so my kid and mom shared it to keep their tummy warm. The price is just fine, but I would not really order that next time. 
Now for the main entree! The famous chicken inasal...hmmm...how come it looks smaller than what I used to order years ago? Or maybe the size has never changed, but unknowingly I tend to compare it to the petso at Chic-Boy. The chicken tastes good and grilled just right, but it seems a bit dry. I miss the juiciness and oiliness of the chicken which you can get from JT's or Chic-Boy. 
The condiments lack the chicken oil which I love pouring on my rice...yummy but deadly! The vinegar is good so I mixed that with the soy sauce, calamansi and sili. I asked the waiter if they have chicken oil and they gave me a small amount...which is fine so I can control my cholesterol intake. 
When we got our bill, I think we only paid around P50 (excess of the voucher amount) which I think was a great deal! My dining experience at Bacolod Chicken Inasal  was average. Service was good since we got there during off peak hours and the waiters were accommodating. The location is great since you can watch the fountain after dining and it is near the entrance of the mall. The downside is that they don't have their own restroom so you need to go out to mall for that. 
Those who want to dine at Bacolod Chicken Inasal can check out their Menu


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Banapple is Bery Bery Good

I have eaten at Banapple a few years ago and I did not really get a chance to savor it because my kid was still small and a handful. Now that he is already 4, he can be asked to sit still and eat  (but I still fix a spoonful) After attending mass at Santuario de San Jose in Greenhills, my sis and her hubby treated the grannies (including us) dinner in celebration of Grandparent's Day. They chose to eat at Banapple, which is located at the 2nd floor of Northgate Building, Connecticut Street, Greenhills. You can even walk from the church to the restaurant. 
The Banapple branch was quite small that's why we have to wait for our turn to be seated and there were 10 of us. 
Instead of waiting for the people inside to finish eating, we decided to just stay outside so we can finally have dinner because we were sooo hungry. 
I ordered Baked Fish Gratinee with Scalloped Potatoes which is worth P175. This scrumptious dish is served with white rice and buttered kernel corn. The fish was perfectly baked and the potatoes were soft so my kid had an easy time eating this dish. He also love corn so that was like a bonus for him. The cream sauce and mozzarella crumb added zest and flavor on the fish and potatoes. 
Dining at Banapple won't be complete without getting a taste of their specialty dessert the Banoffee Pie. We ordered 3 slices of the pie and just shared it. It costs P85 per slice which is quite affordable. 
My kid loved this dish and end up eating all the bananas smothered with caramel while I settle for the crumb and whipped cream with chocolate shavings. LOL. 
Finally, I was able to appreciate the meal in Banapple and so did my son...who said, that it was "bery bery good!" Banapple is now one of my favorite restaurants because the price is reasonable, the serving is huge and the food is really delicious. I can't wait to go back there and try their other dishes. I was lucky with my choice because my kid and I liked it a lot. 
Here is the Banapple Menu for those who would like to try it and I do highly recommend it. 


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Friday, September 14, 2012

Ampalaya (Bitter Melon) Salad

Ampalaya (Eng: bitter melon)is hated by many because of its bitter taste. It is rare to find a kid eating ampalaya and even only a few adults would dare ate this vegetable. I think the first time I ate ampalaya was in grade school when we were asked by our teacher to eat it since it signifies the bitter herb mentioned in the Bible. Now that I am all grown up and enjoy eating all kinds of food, I happen to love ampalaya. My former colleague brought ampalaya salad  at work and it was good! You won't taste its bitternes so I asked her how she did it. I made it at home and mom liked it, but my sister did not because she said it was still bitter. FAIL! 
As years go by, I think I have finally perfected making the not-so-bitter Ampalaya (Bitter Melon) Salad. I am going to share this to those who love this green veggie and the first-timers who dare to taste it.

Ingredients:

3 tomatoes chopped into medium pieces
1 white onion chopped into small pieces
2 salted red eggs (itlog na maalat/pula) chopped into medium pieces
1 large ampalaya cut into half and then sliced thinly horizontally

Garnish:
4 huge calamansi
2 tablespoons vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon pepper 


1. After cutting all the ingredients, soak the ampalaya (bitter melon) in water with 1 tbsp of salt. Wait for about 15 to 30 minutes, then start squeezing the ampalaya until all its juice is gone. (note: the longer you soak it, the less bitter it would be).

2. Mix all the veggies and egg together. Add pepper, sugar and vinegar on the salad. Squeeze 4 calamansi on the salad, but make sure not to include the seeds. Taste it to add sugar, if the salad is too sour.
 3. Put the salad in the refrigerator before serving. If it gets too watery, then remove the excess sauce. The salad is best served cold. I made it as a side dish for my pork chop and it was a superb combination. It is also perfect with pork/chicken adobo. 
I hope you enjoyed the Ampalaya Salad and finally learn to love this green veggie like I do. Check out my other recipes Beef Sukiyaki and Ginataang Hipon

NOTE: I am not a professional chef or cook, but I do cook cos i love to eat   :)

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tiramisu at Nueve Cafe

It was a rainy Thursday night, but I have to meet a good friend at Wilcon City Center along Visayas Avenue for personal reasons. After walking in an ankle-deep flood just outside our subdivision and having dinner, I was lucky to get a free ride from my sister going to Visayas Avenue. My friend was already waiting for me at Nueve Cafe which was located at the ground floor of the mini mall. 
The only customer that night was my friend who was still clad in her corporate office wear so I joked her saying, "how's the restaurant business going?". The restaurant looked elegant so the food there must be quite expensive. 
She was having pasta for dinner and since I already had dinner, I decided to order desert. I checked out their cake and goodies selection tray to find what would fancy my sweet tooth. 
The Tiramisu caught my attention since that  is one of my favorite desserts so I ordered that. It is worth P125 which is same price as most cake slices in restaurants.
I was expecting the Tiramisu to be soft with a bitter sweet taste in it. It should melt in my mouth, but it did not. It was a bit tough like an ordinary cheesecake so that  was  quite a disappointment. But if you are a desert lover like me, then that would be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.

After a nice heart-to-heart talk, I t0ld my friend that the Tiramisu was not that good and she told me that I should have ordered their Chocolate Cake. She said it was really good and that was her daughter's favorite. Well she should have suggested that earlier right? LOL. Anyways, as we left the restaurant I saw the sign on top saying Croc Cuisine. Hmmm...that got me quite curious. I would definitely want to go back there and try their crocodile-meat dishes aside from the Chocolate Cake that my friend was bragging to me. 


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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Easy Beef Sukiyaki Recipe

I love Japanese food and one of my fave meals is Sukiyaki. My mom spent a lot of time making that dish when we were little so I thought it was difficult to make. She uses authentic ingredients which could only be seen in specialty sections in groceries or Japanese stores. With my desire to eat Beef Sukiyaki, I have made some research and used ingredients that can be found in regular groceries. Here is my easy and no sweat Beef Sukiyaki recipe. 

Ingredients: 

1/2 kilo Sukiyaki Beef Cut 
Chinese Cabbage "bok choy"(Fil: pechay) - sliced around 1-inch long
2 Medium-sized Carrots - cut in thin slices
Onion Leeks - cut around 1-inch long
Tofu (or tokwa) - diced
1 small pack Vermicelli Noodles (Fil: sotanghon) - soaked in water
2 cups of water

Sauce:

2 tablespoons of grated ginger
1 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons of sugar
dash of pepper





Procedure: 
1. After preparing all the ingredients, get a huge wok if you don't have a hot pot and boil 2 cups of water for around 2 minutes and then pour the sauce. 
2. After 5 minutes of boiling, put the flame into medium then add the beef on the sauce. Make sure to spread the beef out evenly to be cooked properly. 
3. Once the color of the beef changes from red to brown, add the onions, onion leeks, carrots and Chinese cabbage.
 4. Let it simmer for around 2 minutes, then add the tofu. Those who are using tokwa instead of tofu can add the tokwa first before adding the vegetables so that they would be cooked well.
5. Check if all the vegetables are cooked. Then add the Vermicelli Noodles (sotanghon).
6. Mix the noodles a little with the other ingredients so that it would be cooked evenly, but make sure to remain the ingredients parted so that you can easily choose what to eat (also for presentation purposes..LOL). Remember to taste your dish so that you can adjust the flavor. After turning off the heat, you can add a raw egg on the hot pot and let it cooked by the sauce. Some mix it up with the other ingredients, but others let it cook like a sunny-side up.
7. You can eat the Beef Sukiyaki as it is because there is noodles, protein and veggies in it. Some prefer topping it on a bowl of rice which I do sometimes  (I guess, that's the Pinoy way).
The total cooking time of Beef Sukiyaki is only around 30 minutes. The preparation actually took quite some time like cutting the veggies, but if you are a pro at that then you can probably finish that in around 5 minutes. I did not use cooking oil in this recipe because I want it to be more healthy. So the health conscious who are in search for fast and easy recipes would surely be delighted with my Beef Sukiyaki cooking. 
Check out my first recipe here: Ginataang Hipon
 

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