Monday, July 14, 2014

Pili love

It's always nice to keep rediscovering your own country. I personally am on a mission to get to know the Philippines more this year and my country has been showing me more and more things to love about it. My recent discovery: Adelina's Chocolate with Pili Nuts.

These was given to me as pasalubong by my boss from her recent trip to Albay. I now understand why anyone would bring this back as pasalubong-- they are so tasty! I love that it has more pili than chocolate. You can really taste the pili nut and its natural sweetness. I don't get the chance to eat a lot of pili nuts so getting to eat some occasionally makes me happy. Pili nut is really tasty! Its taste is very distinct and unique in all the world. Covering it with chocolate takes it to a higher level. What I like most about Adelina's though is that the chocolate does not overpower the nuts. It just highlights the flavor but keeps it the star.

The nuts make me want to visit albay soon. It is such a beautiful place! I mean, look at this view:

photo credit:
...getting to eat a lot of pili nuts is a nice bonus to the trip too!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Manam is Yumyum

Filipino restaurants have a special place in my heart because I believe in Filipino cuisine and I really think it's about time we make the world know how tasty our food is. And I'm not talking about carinderia level, what I want is to elevate Filipino food so it may be regarded along the lines of fine cuisine. That is why I get really excited when semi-high end Filipino restaurants open in Manila. So today, allow me to feature my current favorite Filipino restaurant, MANAM.

I started with dessert because I was blown away by it. It is the tastiest thing I have tasted in a while and the amusing thing about it is that it's just turon-- now turon has a special place in my heart (Manam's version at least). Manam's turon is pretty special-- instead of bananas, it is filled with mangoes and kesong puti and drizzled with caramel sauce with sesame seeds on top. I cannot tell you enough how crazy I am about it! The mango + kesong puti combination is to die for! I am a big cheese fan so this really ranked high in my books :P

I love tofu so one of the things I get from Filipino restaurants is the tokwa't baboy. Manam's version is very tasty as well! I love how crunchy and well seasoned the tokwa cubes are. I also like that they julienned the chilis so it looks prettier.

--one of my Filipino restaurant staples: Gising-gising! This is one of my default orders when in Filipino restaurants because it's uncommon. I love the sigarillas and how spicy it is. Manam's version compares to my favorite at Abe's so another thumbs up for this one!

Sinigang na salmon sa miso at guyabano-- another interesting dish! We got this one because we've never heard of guyabano being an ingredient in sinigang. Well what have you, it works! This dish is actually another of our favorites because it was very tasty and unique. Just thinking of its taste now gives me a bad craving!

Just when you think Mais con Hielo can't get more interesting, it does! How? With cheese! Manam's mais con hielo has quezo real ice cream and has small chunks of cheese in it. So interesting and yummy!

Manam currently holds the position for my favorite Filipino restaurant. If I had foreign guests it'd be a sure pick of restos I'd bring them to.

Thank you Manam for the wonderful meal! I'll be back for sure! ;)

Monday, July 7, 2014

More than Just Popcorn

Most people don't know this about me but I am a big popcorn fan. I like eating and cooking popcorn. It's one of those food items that I can eat for days on end and not tire of. I just really like the taste of popcorn. So imagine my glee when I discovered Chef Tony's Popcorn CHIPS.

Yup, you read that right. Popcorn chips. It's like corn chips except it is more airy and tastes like popcorn-- well, except that it's flat.

It's rather hard to describe it. But it basically has the taste and airy-ness of popcorn, but in corn chips form. It is very interesting and really really tasty! I got the sea salt flavor which is good on its own but next time, I am getting the jalapeƱo cheddar and cheddar and sour cream flavors. Yum-o! Just thinking of 'em makes me drool!

For Php110.00 per pop, these babies are a little expensive but hey they're gourmet and unique! I personally don't mind the price so much. It's just like paying for a bag of Lay's or Doritos. Not bad at all, really.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

For the World Traveller

I love to travel. I enjoy going to places and discovering the intricacies of each country; of different cultures. And I particularly enjoy how everytime I come home, I feel like something has been added to me. Like I gained something important from my travels. Travelling is indeed a whimsical idea. It is a dream for most of us, but we all know it's not as glamorous or as easy as what we have in our heads. There's so much more to it than just dreaming up amazing destinations. But this post is not about that. This time, allow me to bask in the dream-like glory of travelling. Allow me to take you to beautiful destinations without much regard to how much it costs or how hard it is to get visas. This time, I'm sharing with you my travel wishlist, with the aid of AirBnb.

Airbnb is a marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week (yes!), or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 192 countries.

The idea is really simple, people rent out their homes to travellers, giving them a real sense of "home away from home" in every country they go. I am a sucker for the authentic experience and acting like a "local". Plus, if you've seen the film, The Holiday, I'm sure the idea of living in a local's home has crossed your mind too. Well, I have been lurking around AirBnb a lot just dreaming of when I could rent out one of those places and so I'm sharing with you here #MyAirbnbBucketList:

1. Amsterdam - I love the high ceilings in these places and how it's so sunny!

2. Ica, Peru - How about a beachfront property in no less than Peru?
 3. London - My dream destination. I absolutely love the old world charm of this room. It looks vintage and has that air of sophistication to it-- just how I envisioned living in London would be like.
 4. Madrid, Spain - Again, hello high ceilings and exposed beams! Love how simple and clean it looks. I could live here for months!
 5. Rome, Italy - This property called out to me!-- ORANGE! Lol! I love orange so this was just perfect. I love how it's so luxurious and yet has that whimsical Italian flair to it. The best part about this property is that it is right next to the Vatican! Awesome!
 6. Tokyo, Japan - I absolutely love the authentic feel of this space! Especially since I read a lot of Murakami books and this one just fits in my idea of how it is to live in Japan.

That's only some of the places/properties I logged on my wishlist on Airbnb. For more of my picks, you can check out my page at I highly recommend that you create your own account too! I actually like just lurking around the site and checking out properties. Some of the places are so pretty, I get inspired just looking at them. To sign up for your own account, click here.

I cannot wait to plan my next vacation! I wonder where my feet will take me next :P

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Maple love

You know we're big on trying new restaurants. To be honest though, it's not always a "eureka moment". There are places that don't live up to our expectations and others that we don't like one bit. It can be a tiring (and expensive) process. However, once in a while, we chance upon an amazing place which reminds us why we like going on food escapades in the first place-- and that is how it was with Maple.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect going into Maple. Sophia mentioned though that it was Pancake House' sister, which led me to believe they had awesome pancakes (hence the name?). The place looked really home-y though so it was very easy to feel comfortable at once.

Maple's distinguishing decor-- the cut out maple tree. It's so pretty!
We initially thought we'd be ordering one item each from the menu but apparently the servings are quite big so we ended up getting a few items to share:

I love arugula so eating this was pure bliss to me. I enjoyed how light it was yet so filling!
Pasta Leggero
A light dish of farfalle pasta topped with sundried tomato pesto, cherry tomatoes and asparargus 330.00
 Sorry for the blurred photo. Didn't realize it was blurred the time I took it. Haha! This pasta was a sure hit with all of us! It's really simple, it's just sundried tomatoes but it was so tastefully done that everything just blended well together to make an amazing dish! I personally love sundried tomatoes, I even eat it as filling for sandwiches and just when I thought a sundried tomato dish couldn't get better, it did with this pasta dish! Two thumbs up for this!
Spaetzle Jambalaya
Fresh spaetzle pasta with their own special Jambalaya sauce, topped with shrimps and Chilean mussels 390.00
 This was another favorite! The most amazing thing about it that you'd immediately think it's rice, but it's actually pasta! This was super good. I particularly liked the texture of the spaetzle, which was chewy, which made it different from when the jambalaya is made of rice and it's all mushy. The texture was a nice surprise and really made the dish stand out.
The dark truffle souffle! Another favorite! I don't normally normally order souffles but this one was a winner! This is perfect breakfast food. I could imagine waking up and eating this and be all smiles the whole day. It just reeks of good vibes!

Overall, we couldn't be happier with our meal at Maple. It's a great home-y restaurant for when you just wanna hang out with your loved ones and enjoy great tasting, comfort food.

Maple is located at:

Shangri-la Plaza Mall LG/F
Shangri-la Plaza Mall, East Wing,
Shaw Blvd cor EDSA Wack Wack, Mandaluyong
+63 (2) 477.8027 +63 (0923) 725.6283

San Antonio Plaza
2/F San Antonio Plaza Arcade,
50 Mckinley Rd Forbes Park - North, Makati
+63 (02) 621.6211

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