I Am A Picky Pancake Eater

12:58:00 AM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

I like them soft and fluffy. Melt-in-your-mouth kind of pancakes. And with blueberries. The one that you know you cannot have everyday for breakfast because it can be only sold in Pancake House. Unless of course, I am lucky enough to live next door to one and go straight there with lion hair and still be in PJs every morning.

And no. Those instant mixes will never live up to these circles of heaven sold in this restaurant.

After several attempts to make pancakes from scratch, and aside from the fact that they weren't good at all (my pancake standards might be too high even for my own cooking), I realized that my stomach would have already ingested itself before I even got up and made some for breakfast. So, I usually settle for cereals.

Here is a tribute to the only pancakes I enjoy. Talk about that whipped butter on the side!

Though I am torn every time I look at the menu. Those waffles are to die for as well.

I pray that one of these days, they will magically appear on my bed table. Now, that's something to wake up for.

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Kenji Tei Ramen House

7:43:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

The ramen house that has the "ramen" feel thanks to their noodle-inspired ceiling. The moment they served me that stunning plate of pinkish-red and almost jelly-like looking tuna sashimi, I knew it was one of "THE" Japanese restaurants. 


See what I mean?
Tuna Sashimi (P256.00)


Tamago Sushi (P80.00)



Another appetizer that I fell in love with is the Cheese Gyoza. (P198.00) Yup, you heard it right! A chunk of cream cheese inside that deep-fried gyoooozaah! Served with spicy japanese mayo. 


Yaki Gyoza (P188.00)




Chashu Miso Ramen (P248.00 Regular)
Hands down on the chashu. It has the pleasant porky taste that you rarely find. Quite comforting and feels really guilt-free considering that it's pork.


Gomoku Shio Ramen (P268.00 Regular)
Mixed Seafood, Vegetable, and Pork Shio Ramen
Where pork, egg and produce goes scuba diving under the sea and decides to live there to make new seafood friends. Everything in that bowl is a fresh as ... ashsjrhsfgksfknnfgsfgknsdksk... just order it and see for yourself. You will thank me. 



Mabo Tofu Ramen (P248.00 Regular)
Soy-based ramen topped with a spicy tofu sauce



Curry Ramen (P258.00 Regular)
Soy-based ramen topped with a mildy spicy curry sauce
Ramen + Yummy = RAAAMMMYY! The curry is not overpowering at all making the ramen not lose its identity as an Indian dish. It still remains very Japanese. Hmm... How do I correctly describe this? How about soothing curry?


THE EGG. The egg on their ramens are consistently not overcooked which is definitely a plus. An overcooked egg has a greenish-gray color in between the yolk and the white. The iron sulfide forms as the iron from the yolk meets the hydrogen sulfide released from the egg white by the heat making it toxic for us to eat.


Yakisoba with meat on the side for the vegetarian sister. (P258.00)



And how can you miss the Tempura in a Japanese restaurant? 


Green Tea Ice Cream. Hehe. Most of my friends and of course family know that I am not allowed to consume anything with caffeine or alcohol due to my minor heart condition. Sadly green tea contains caffeine. But hey, it's not everyday I get to order one of these! The drugstore is near just incase I get any palpitations. Haha!

Even their plain rice deserves a photo. It's thaaaat good too. 


More to try and more reasons to come back to. I do not care how incredibly hot our weather gets. I will have their ramen at any time of the day. 





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Al Dente!

9:00:00 AM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

As a curious gastronomer, trying new food items is the best part. I do not care whether it will eventually give me extreme bad breath, a loud belch, an upset stomach, angry farts or even black teeth in a fine dining authentic Italian restaurant. But then again, if it would poison me, I'd appreciate a heads-up.

A few Sundays ago after church, we decided to head to Newport Mall in Resorts World Manila and try out a new restaurant. After a few walks going around the whole area, we got attracted to Parmigiano's butt chairs and appetizing ambiance.

 
 
Why I love Italian restaurants. Complimentary bread with olive oil balsamic vinegar dip.
                         


Apple Juice and Strawberry Shake

                                

Caprese Salad (P285.00). The reduced balsamic vinegar adds sweetness to the tartness of the tomatoes. Aside from being biased on this salad simply because it's one of my favorites, as long as the ingredients used are fresh and of great quality, there's no doubt that it is a must try. 

                         

Ravioli Al Funghi (P275.00)
Variety of wild mushrooms in open-faced ravioli with grilled tomato in cream sauce



Pasta Salsiccia (P285.00)
Creamy sauce with Italian sausage on al dente pasta

Pasta Al Calamari Nero (P295.00)
Sautéed squid in garlic on al dente pasta tossed with squid ink and cream

The crunch on the calamari complemented with the well-flavored squid ink pasta. Finished the whole plate and took around five minutes trying to clean my teeth in the restroom. Nevertheless, this dish is a blockbuster to big pasta eaters out there. Definitely something different.

Friendly Reminder: NEVER EVER EVER order this on a date. They took a photo of me with black teeth and I believe that if ever it came out online, no man on the face of the earth would want to date me forever. Hahahaha! 


Cotoletto Di Pollo Ala Parmigiana (P395.00)
Crisp chicken breast with homemade tomato cream sauce topped with melted mozzarella 



Everything else was wonderful. If "Al Dente" could characterize an Italian restaurant as how it can describe perfectly cooked pasta, then that would be the most appropriate way to compliment it. Truly authentic!

Grazie Parmigiano. E 'stato molto deliziosa! *with matching hand gestures and cheek-to-cheek kisses* (They say you can't speak real Italian without those!)


Al Dente - "to the tooth" usually used to describe pasta, rice, and beans that have been cooked firmly but neither hard nor too soft and mushy.


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Spicy Tomato Mango Sardines Macaroni

6:13:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

Ingredients:
1 can spicy spanish sardines in oil, fish bones removed (do not discard the oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Mango, sliced
2-3 Tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
1/2 tbsp. cornstarch diluted in water
1/2 cup water
1 pc. Calamansi, juiced
Salt
Pepper
Basil Leaves, chopped
Cooked Macaroni
Parmesan Cheese

Procedure:
1. Saute garlic, onion and red bell pepper in butter. Add tomatoes. Cover and keep sautéing until the tomatoes juiced out. Start building the flavor by adding salt and pepper.
2. Add the sardines and tomato paste. Pour in water. Simmer for about a minute or two. Then add the cornstarch mixture to thicken.
3. Squeeze in the calamansi. Add basil leaves and mangoes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Pour over cooked macaroni. Add parmesan cheese.

Serves 2-3

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SOGA MIGA! Anong Sayo?

12:50:00 AM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

Get it? Annyeonghaseyo? It’s Korean for hello. I made a pun. Okay never mind that. I am a frustrated comedian. 


I have mixed feelings on Korean cuisine. Just like one of those complicated boyfriends and girlfriends you’ve dated. It’s… confusing. They serve you separate elements that they do not explain how or where it goes and the dish names are hard to pronounce. Most Korean restaurant owners are Koreans as well. There’s no need to worry about it not being authentic.  I have tried a few Korean restaurants and so far, Soga Miga is the only one I enjoyed. Plus, the Banchan (side dishes) are endless! 

WHAT WE ORDERED:


Gyeran Mari (P300.00), eggroll with dried seaweed.



I was surprised on how huge these were. They were half the size of my palm. I liked it. Your usual eggroll. Not too oily and very filling. 


Gunmandu (P350.00), pan-fried dumplings.

These were my absolute favorite! And again, they were huge. Perfect with the sauce it came with. 


Ttukbagi-bulgogi (P350.00), Beef bulgogi served in a hot stone bowl 


This reminded me of a sukiyaki without the egg and Japanese condiments. 


Pork Knuckles


I’m not a fan but it was pretty tasty. Feet, tongue, and knuckle parts of animals are not my thing. They’re just too creepy for me.

Red Rice. I’m not sure how we got this. I believe it was served together with one of the mains we ordered or maybe part of the Banchan?    



So… Korean cuisine. Hmm. I don’t know. A definitely maybe to come back to.



Soga Miga
Molito, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

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Tofu Sisig

8:22:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments




Ingredients:
Garlic
Onions
Tofu
Green Onions
Red Bell Pepper
Green Finger Pepper (commonly known as siling pang-sigang)
Mushrooms
Mayo
Knorr Seasoning
Salt
Pepper

Procedure:
1. Chop everything. Except for the mayo, Knorr, salt and pepper of course.
2. Heat a little amount of oil in a non-stick pan. Fry Tofu until crisp and golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.




3. Saute garlic, onions, and bell pepper. Add mushrooms (make sure that the pan is hot enough or otherwise, the mushrooms will juice out in low heat). Add green onions and green finger pepper. Add fried tofu. Season with salt and pepper. 



4. Mix your desired amount of mayo and knorr seasoning. Add and mix to your tofu sisig. 




TADA!


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Christmas on February

1:44:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

Once again, the mushy cheesy air has arrived! The peak season of fancy restaurants, the bald bushes of roses, Teddy, the famous stuffed animal, and of course that brown stuff (not THAT brown stuff) we all love, chocolate. 


It is my first time to launch a Valentine line of pastries. For the past year of Midnight Snacks, I've always been too lazy to come up with any love-themed items. My usual hangover from the holidays would usually last up to two months and then I'll get over it after my birthday on March. 



Here they are, the flower cupcakes, which were not so much of a hit. I was hoping that it could be a great alternative to real flowers and save mother nature by 0.00001%. On second thought, the bouquets are still an undying trend.

And... the hand-painted and drawn butter cookies covered with marshmallow fondant. I'm glad that a lot of people appreciate the kind of art/doodling I do. Most clients ordered it for their kids' teachers and classmates as giveaways. 

For personalized pastries here are a some. Sadly, as busy as we were, I did not get a chance to take shots of everything we made for Valentines. 




As for us, we were happy to have contributed to the smiles of those couples who bought from us. Eeek.. HAHA! Yeah, that aaand... a night out on the eve of Valentines. I got to see one of my favorite local bands live for the very first time at TJ's, Up Dharma Down. 

For the day itself, we let our own business pay for our pamper treat. After all those heavy kneading, mixing, drawing, painting, and back and forth deliveries, we deserved it! The Spa at Alabang offered us a great package of a 45-minute use of their facilities such as the jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, complimentary unlimited ginger tea, and an hour of Swedish massage for an affordable price. 



A few things that gave me big smiles. A Starbucks GC from my dad that I used to buy a Zesty Chicken Sandwich on Foccacia Bread and a Very Berry Hibiscus drink, a cute note and chocolate from my 10-year old sister who never fails to be adorable, rewarded myself with a new wedding cake book by Zoe Clark, and how can I forget the awesome Valentine mix sent by a friend through Facebook. You and your big hair are forever the coolest!

Merry Christmas! 














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