Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ginataang Tilapia with Pechay

I was never fond of tilapia. My taste bud was never raised to eat fish from man-made fish pond. Since, I grew up in the southern part of the archipelago surrounded by seas, where fishes and among other seafood are abundant, I find tilapia strange. I thought it taste like mud.

In 1997, our family moved to Pampanga where tilapia is a household favorite. Kapampangan usually fried the tilapia and served it with buro (fermented rice) and some veggies. I would look at them with envy as they would eat tilapia with so much joy. I simply don't appreciate it. But many things can change through time. I eventually learned to love tilapia and my taste buds seems to magically adapt the Kapampangan taste. Tilapia doesn't really taste like mud I realized, but the flesh is a little bland that's why you have to seasoned it very well.

Today, I cooked ginataang tilapia with pechay (tilapia in coconut milk with pechay or Filipino bokchoy).  My ingredients lack ginger so if you'll cook this recipe try to add some ginger for added flavor and to lessen the fishy smell.

  • Tilapia
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk 
  • 2 cups coconut milk for boiling (squeezed the milk from the gata the second time)
  • magic sarap
  • pechay or bokchoy
  • salt and pepper 
  • chopped garlic
  • chopped onion
  • Arrange the tilapia in a saucepan.
  • Put the garlic, onion and magic sarap.
  • Pour the 2 cups of coconut milk for boiling.
  • Boil the tilapia in a slow fire as not to break the fish. 
  • Add the pechay or bokchoy on top.
  • Add the thick coconut milk.
  • Let it simmer for few minutes. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Using a spoon or spatula, carefully mix it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Heartwarming Ramen in Rai Rai Ken

There is nothing more relaxing and gratifying than eating delicious ramen in Rai Rai Ken in a cold rainy evening. A bowl of hot ramen with mixed seafoods is amazingly delightful to the palate. I savor every sip and every bite.

Ramen are either miso (soybean) based soup or soy sauce (shoyu) based soup. Both are actually good. But, of course, it depends on your preference.

Ramen is best paired with some dumplings like gyoza. It's heavenly!

Rai Rai Ken offers some hard-to-refuse promos. Recently, they offered 50% off their ramen. You can visit their website to get some promo updates and check out their menu.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Crazy About KFC Chicken Ala King

KFC Chicken Ala King is a rice topping with chicken fillet topped with mushroom sauce and sided with corn. It has been my favorite ever since I first tasted it.

The chicken fillet is cooked in KFC's original recipe. It is perfected by the creamy sauce.

For just P90, you can fill your hungry stomach with this heavy rice meal.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Danish Butter Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm not sure when and how my fondness of cookies started. But, recently, I can't simply live without it.

I've been very busy day and night. And I am not exaggerating. I wish I am but truly I'm not. Nevertheless, I always try to have my 6 to 8-hour sleep and, of course, food to energize me and keep me company. Cookies has always been that ready-to-nibble snack, perfect for my coffee or tea while working.

Danish Butter Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies are perfect for sweet tooth like me. It is soft to the bite that makes me say hmm!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fish Fingers With Cucumber And Tartar Sauce

After the Sunday worship today, the church (our church) has their first cooking showdown. The activity was merely for fun and fellowship while showing our passion for food. 

Four groups prepared and presented their signature dishes to the pastor who was the judge. The criteria was  plating/presentation, taste, and cooperation. 

Ours was just a simple dish. It was my idea to prepare fish fingers with cucumber and tartar sauce. Since the four of us in the group are not really expert in cooking, I felt that fish fingers was a safe choice. 

The budget for the dish was slightly over Php300. I made sure to keep the cost down. Nevertheless, we were able to prepare a great dish that got the approval of our sole judge.

(for the fish fingers)
cream dory (fillet) - 1kl.
100g. cornstarch
salt and pepper
oil for frying

(for a cheap version of tartar sauce)
mayonnaise (around 4 cups)
onion spring
salt and pepper

For the fish fingers:
  • slice the creamy dory to desired size
  • sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • covered it with the cornstarch
  • fry until fish fingers turn slightly brown

For the improvised tartar sauce:
  • mix the mayonnaise and vinegar
  • finely chop the spring onion and mix it in
  • put some sugar, salt and pepper

The issue about this recipe was that cornstarch makes a tough coating. Our judge suggested that we could have used bread crumbs instead. And the egg seems to overpower the creamy dory. So, only egg white should have been used. However, overall the dish received an approval. Hence, we are going to compete again for the semi-finals, yey! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Anchor Maple Flavoured Dairy Blend

Anchor Maple Flavoured Dairy Blend is my best find for the week.

I was making my usual weekly grocery rounds when I spotted this lady offering samples for Anchor. She prepared bite-size turon (deep friend plantain spring roll) and bread--both prepared with the new Anchor Maple Flavoured Dairy Blend. I tried her samples and instantly liked it. It taste like breakfast!

I bought it after overcoming a debate in my mind (I was thinking of the calories). I may not be on diet but I've been kind of conscious of what I am buying and bringing at home.

I tried the butter on my bread. The smell and taste is heavenly--reminds me of breakfast and pancakes. I prefer my bread the way it is, no need to toast it. I love it soft and dripping with the butter.

I haven't experimented it with other recipe but I tried it with my stir-fry broccoli. The aroma makes an amazing difference.

Whoever said that the secret to a delicious recipe is butter, I totally agree especially if it's Anchor Maple Flavoured Dairy Blend.

Try it! And let me know what you think.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Great Taste Trio 3-in-1 Coffee Mix: Brown Coffee

I realize that my benchmark for a good-tasting 3-in-1 coffee is Kopiko Brown Coffee. It has been my favorite for the longest time. 

So, while working on this blog post, I plan it to be short because I'll be hitting the sack early today, I am actually drinking my fourth cup of coffee for the day. This time I'm sipping a Great Taste Brown Coffee Mix. I actually like it. It's almost taste like Kopiko Brown Coffee less the chocolaty taste. Kopiko's version has a cocoa powder mix, that's the reason why it's chocolaty.

I'm pretty sure I will be drinking more of like this. I always wanted my coffee strong yet creamy. This one got me. Nothing fancy going on in my cup but I love its flavor and the creamy texture.

Try one and tell me what you think.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Kopiko Brown Coffee

I'm amazed on how this Php6 worth of Kopiko Brown Coffee sachet makes me feel like I'm drinking Php140 tall Starbucks Caramel Macchiato. One article in HubPages says it has the taste of half and half White Mocha Americano.

As of this writing, Kopiko Brown Coffee is still my favorite. I remembered the first time I had my first cup. My eyes twinkled and it made me say that I found my coffee. It made me forget Starbucks. Yes, it taste like gourmet coffee!

Sometimes when I feel like drowning myself in coffee, I would put two sachet of Kopiko Brown Coffee in a large mug. It's a great way to get my nerves working afterwards.

I just love the way the Kopiko Brown Coffee mixes the coffee taste, creaminess and sweetness. It's just perfect!

This coffee mix and brown sugar has won the hearts of many coffee lovers. No wonder, stores would run out of stock. It happened more than twice when I couldn't find Kopiko Brown Coffee in my favorite grocery store. Good thing, I was able to buy from a sari-sari store (a small store) in the neighborhood. Since then, I always make sure I have enough supply to last for a week.

Do you love Kopiko Brown Coffee? Feel free to share your coffee experience.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Instant Coffee Galore: The Search For the Best-Tasting Instant Coffee

I want my coffee dark but creamy and tasty.  That's why I love Caramel Macchiato. For instant coffee, I am fond of Kopiko Brown Coffee. Despite of my love of these flavors, my taste bud seems to be seeking for something surprising.  And so, I bought several brands of instant coffee and I will be buying more next time. My goal is to try different brands and flavors and see which one will make an impression. I will be documenting this coffee-tasting experience.

Instant Coffee

I can't start and end the day without coffee. It is one habit that is hard to break.

Couple of years ago, when I was still working in the corporate world, I could drink as much as 5 coffee a day.  When I suffered from tonsillopharyngitis, a sort of a throat infection, the ENT specialist advice me to stop drinking coffee. Together with the disease, I suffered from intense coffee withdrawal. It was so hard. I can't seem to kick my brain wake-up to have the energy to start my day.

Googling some online articles about coffee content, I've read more benefits than risks associated in drinking coffee. In Wikipedia, it says the caffeine in coffee acts as stimulant. Aside from the caffeine, research also shows that it also contains an unknown chemical agents that stimulates the production of cortisone and adrenaline. Among the enumerated benefits include decrease of mortality, reduced risk of alzheimer's disease and dementia, reduced risk of gallstone disease, and increase cognitive performance.

So, enjoy your coffee. Just keep it in moderation. Too much of something isn't good. Til the next...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dainty Restaurant, Angeles City

Dainty Restaurant in Angeles City is the perfect place to enjoy Asian Cuisine. The restaurant offers a wide selection of delicious dishes in hefty servings making it a perfect place for group lunch or dinner.

Dainty Restaurant offers a lot of familiar and savory dishes in their menu. Starting with rice which is a must for an Asian meal, you'll find different choices. My personal favorite however is their Fried Rice Yang Chow Style and Dainty Style. Kanin pa lang, ulam na.

Don't get deceived by the word "small" in their menu. The small serving is enough to feed 2-4 hungry people. Dainty Restaurant, Angeles City

Pair your choice of rice with some Asian favorites. You can have chop suey which is a tasty and healthy treat. And for more carbo to your diet, have that delightful pancit canton treat. In the photo below, the two plates looks similar don't you think? The other one is actually pancit canton Dainty Restaurant, Angeles City

Crispy shanghai lumpia gives that crunchy and meaty balance to your meal. Dainty Restaurant, Angeles City

Dainty Asian Cuisine
Phone: (045) 892 6595 / (045) 458 0248 / (045) 436 1160 / +63 917 501 6963
  • Cheng Bldg., MacArthur Highway Balibago, 
  • Henson St., Angeles City
  • Nepo Quad

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Coffee Academy Saturday Habit

Saturday evening is typically a catching-up time with friends. In Angeles City, one of our favorite spot would be The Coffee Academy where we enjoy the coffee and food while discussing about business, career, life and everything else.  The coffee shop and resto is simply conducive for such intimate and casual conversation. It has a nice interior with relaxing lights and music. It has free wifi too.

What's in the menu? 

The Coffee Academy offers coffee blends, non-coffee iced blends, pastries, pasta and some delectable dishes. Unlike other coffee shops, The Coffee Academy is using local coffee beans from Sagada, Cavite and Batangas. The syrup they are using is made from sugar cane with no artificial flavouring.

What I love to order at The Coffee Academy is their Cookies and Cream and their delightful sinful chocolate cake--it satisfies my sweet craving.

A bit of history

Upon Googling The Coffee Academy, I found out that the shop is owned by a former government office executive turned entrepreneur Flor I. Arrozal. The shop only started in 2007 but it has grown so fast that from just one coffee shop it has now 7 branches in Pampanga based on the Department of Tourism report.  In her mission to support the local coffee growers, The Coffee Academy is using Kape Barako.

The Place

The main branch is in Marlim Mansions Hotel in Balibago. Here's the addresses of The Coffee Academy branches:
  • G/F Marlim Mansions Hotel, Mac Arthur Hwy., Balibago, Angeles City
  • G/F Marlim Mansions Hotel, Marlim Ave. Bay 112 & 113,Mac Arthur Hwy.,
  • King's Royal Hotel & Leisure Park, O.G. Rd., Bacolor, Pampanga
  • Mother Teresa of Calcutta Medical Center, Mac Arthur Hwy.,
  • Unit 204 2/F T&M2 Bldg., Mac Arthur Hwy., Sindalan, City of San Fernando
  • AUF Medical Center, Mac Arthur Hwy., Balibago, Angeles City
  • Manuela Arcade, Sto. Rosario St., Angeles City


Around Php200 - 300 will suffice for an order of large coffee and your choice of food.

So, the next time you and your friends are looking for a nice relaxing place to hang out, visit The Coffee Academy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

McDonald's Big N' Tasty

McDonald's Big N' Tasty is a mouthwatering quarter-pounder 100% pure beef patty with juicy tomato, fresh and crunchy lettuce, pickles, slivered onions, and a special smokey sauce in between sesame seed bun. If you love McDonald's, you'll love it even more.

McDonald's Big N' Tasty was introduced May of this year and was available nationwide last June 4. It actually created a buzz among McDonald lovers including me. Yeah, I love McDonalds! And this is my new favorite!

Big N' Tasty costs Php120 for a la carte, Php124 with the regular fries and drink, and  Php165 to upsize the fries and drink.

Wiki says Big N' Tasty is McDonald's weapon against Burger King Whopper sandwich. So, which is which? Hmm...

For weight watchers who are curious about the nutritional value, I got this from

Feel free to share your Big N' Tasty experience, leave your comments below.

Visit and Like McDonald's Facebook page.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Zulu Coffee and Tea

Since it's founding in 2006, Zulu Coffee and Tea continues to entice Angelenos to it's tribe. The jungle-like feel, relaxing music, al fresco dining, delectable food, and tasty drinks are just among its remarkable features making this coffee shop/resto a must-place to visit in Angeles City.

If you want a relaxing place where you can talk with your friends over delicious food and drinks, this is a perfect place for you. I personally spend time with my friends here typically on a Friday or Saturday evening, enjoying their company while listening to Bossa Nova.

What's in the menu?

My favorites are their Blissful Hazelnut Coffee, Banana Ono Ono, sinful cake and their pad thai. Yes, they offer Thai food. In fact, they offer a variety of dishes including sandwiches, pastas, pizza, salad, and steaks. So, it kind of like a mix of oriental dishes and western flavors. You see, Zulu Coffee and Tea isn't your typical coffee shop. Through the years, it has developed itself from a coffee shop to a restaurant. It's also a bar where they offer cocktail drinks.

Here's there menu posted in the entrance way.

Photo credit: Zulu Coffee and Tea - Facebook 

A bit of history

Owned by Alwin F. Anicete and Allan G. Garcia, Zulu Coffee and Tea offers the people of Pampanga with a unique dining experience. Inspired by the Southern African Tribe, Zulu, which means "People of Heaven", has that tribal and eclectic elements.

The place itself is an ancestral house turned into a coffee shop/resto. Instead of having it rented, as Mr. Alwin explains in a video, they decided to establish a business that will generate more income.

Zulu Coffee and Tea now offers franchising opportunity for interested parties. They already have a franchise in King's Royale Hotel and Resort Compound, 2001 Bacolor, Pampanga.

The Place

Zulu Coffee and Tea is located in 1934 Severina Lim St. Diamond Subdivision, Balibago, Angeles City. They have a function room for parties, KTV rooms and their garden dining area. Zulu has tribal cabanas where you can exclusively lounge with your friends. The garden area is surrounded with lush green plants and it has waterfalls-inspired pond. (Photos below are grabbed from their facebook page.)

Al fresco dining
Function hall
An Asian and Safari-inspired space


The prices are reasonable and pretty affordable for their generous servings. Some dishes are meant for sharing so that would mean sharing the cost too. Php250 is good enough for a conservative order. Unless you wanted the cabanas or KTV room, which has minimum price.

Feel the African tribal spirit, never miss Zulu in Angeles City.

Zulu Coffee and Tea
1934 Severina Lim St. Diamond Subdivision, Balibago, Angeles City
Branch in Enclave, Fil-Am Friendship Highway, Angeles City

Friday, June 29, 2012

How to Eat Muesli

Muesli (pronounced as myoos-lee) is a popular breakfast in other countries, especially in the west, but not here in the Philippines. Filipinos eat rice three times a day, basically giving no room for oatmeal except during snacks or when in diet.

Muesli was first introduced by a Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. (source: wikipedia) Traditional way of eating muesli is with juice but because of our familiarity with cereal and oatmeal, which is eaten with milk, many people thought it has to be eaten that way. I for one got it all wrong at first. However, I discovered something delicious too, which I'm going to reveal later on.

The dried muesli consist of rolled oats, cornflakes, seeds, nuts and dried fruits. I bought mine from a German deli shop for Php250. I think you can also find it in the imported section at the supermarket.

The original muesli recipe requires soaking the rolled oats. Then, adding lemon juice, condense milk or cream, grated apples and topped with nuts.  

The modern way of eating muesli is to first mix it either with milk, yogurt, coffee, hot chocolate, fruit juice, or even plain water.

So, going back to what I discovered--I found out that soaking muesli with cream and condense milk and putting it in the chiller for like an hour or two makes it taste heavenly.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Korean Ice Cream

When we say Korean food, we often think of spicy and strong flavors that could sometimes turn our pale faces to fiery red. We immediately think of kimchi and the hot spicy noodles. I think of samgyupsal (grilled pork belly meat eaten with lettuce, kimchi, garlic and other relish), which has become my favorite. If those dishes awaken your senses, try Korean ice cream--it could melt your heart away, and you just want to say mmmm....

I've tried Pangtoa Cookies & Cream ice cream sandwich, which is amazingly delicious. It is available in English packaging. It comes in chocolate and vanilla flavor. I read a blog that says the chocolate flavor could beat Magnum!

The sandwich consist of the soft sponge cake filled with the cookies & cream ice cream. It's like a tasty and classy version of the dirty ice cream in a bun. For Php55, you get to enjoy this delightful ice cream sandwich.

Another must-try is Samanco. This is a vanilla ice cream with red bean paste wrapped in the chewy fish-shaped wrapper. Don't underestimate this little fish because its delicious and its quite huge for one person, only for Php55.

You can find these Korean ice cream in a specialty store, but you can also buy them at the supermarket and even in convenience store.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Margarita Station: Expat's Fave Hangout

It's impossible to think that an American or Australian expat in Angeles City wouldn't know of Margarita Station.

Ever since my college days, the bar/restaurant never goes empty. This is one place in town where you see a lot of foreigners come in to grab something to eat or simply for a cold beer or drink.

The place may look a little drab from the outside because of the wire mesh windows. But it's actually a decent place where you can bring your family and friends. Upon entering, you will immediately notice the bar section on the right side where you can see a bell. Once someone rings the bell, everyone inside the establishment would get a free drink--that rarely happens, of course. For the longest time, I've never experienced someone rang the bell. Across the bar, you will see the pool table area where Efren Reyes once played.

Margarita Station isn't air-conditioned, which isn't much of a big deal among the patrons.

the bar

billiard area at the opposite side

Margarita Station offers International cuisine. They serve American, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, English and Filipino dishes in generous serving.

I haven't tasted all in their menu but so far my ultimate favorite are pad thai, hokian mee, pancit bihon and the heavenly vanilla milk shake.

vanilla milk shake 

hokian mee

Margarita Station
Address: 940 Fields Avenue, Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines
Telephone number: 63-45-892-6547 to 48 or 63-45-322-0354
Mobile number: 0918-518-2436

Budget per person: Php200-300

Friday, June 1, 2012

Coco Fresco: Buko Juice and Buko Shake

Growing up in the south, where coconut trees grow abundantly, I have this natural appetite for buko (Filipino translation for coconut) and any food or drink made with it.

Grated young coconut meat is perfect for fruit salads. It is also fantastic for pies like the buko pies in Laguna. Local dishes prepared with gata (coconut milk) like ginataang monggo (mung beans with coconut milk), laing (taro leaves with coconut milk), ginataang manok (chicken stew in coconut milk), and ginataang langka (unripe jackfruit in coconut milk) are simply delectable. Coconut water in itself is already refreshing. But you can add milk and sugar to make it creamier and tastier. Add some ice, blend it to make buko shake--delicious!  What is not to like in buko?

When I first tasted Coco Fresco buko shake, I can't resist falling in love with it. It is yummy and healthy too. The ice is fine. The milk makes it creamy but doesn't overpower the buko taste. And it is not that sweet--just perfect for my taste.

Coco Fresco offers buko shake in variety of flavors. You can choose from their 5 best-selling flavored syrups: pandan, strawberry, caramel, ube, and chocolate.

And they recently introduced coffee and cookies and cream flavor too. What can you ask for?

For a more healthier drink, you can choose your own superfood in your refreshment.

If you just want plain buko juice, enjoy a chilled Coco Fresco buko juice.

Coco Fresco

Updated: November 2015

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sankt Adelheid's Gasthof Cafe Deli: A Taste of Germany

Gasthof Restaurant in Boracay is famous for its succulent and tender Baby Back Ribs. Now, everyone in Angeles City and areas nearby can enjoy the tasty ribs without going to Boracay.

The restaurant in Angeles is located in Mon Tang Avenue, Diamond Subd., Balibago. It is open from Monday to Sunday 8:00 am - 11:00 pm. They serve German, and Greek and Mediterranean dishes.

The place has this homey feel. It's perfect for a family gathering or a get-together with friends. If you want a bigger space for a meeting or a special occassion, the restaurant reserves a room for that.

Gasthof is owned by a German and Bicolana couple. So, don't be surprise if you see Laing in the menu. Its branch in Boracay is located at the Beachfront, D'Mall, Station 2 (source: They also operates in Albay Legazpi. You can read a great review about Gasthof International Cuisine in Legazpi City by Karen Hobi, which could make you want to go to the city right after. And there is one at A. Venue Mall, Makati Avenue.

The restaurant in Angeles has a deli shop that offers a wide selection of cold cuts.

sausages, salami, meat loaves...
lots of cheeeeese!!!

If you are on a budget, Gasthof offers some friendly meals that is easy on your pocket. It comes with rice and soup.

budget meals
asparagus soup
rice topped with beef stroganoff

Salami slices

Visit and LIKE Sankt Adelheid's Gasthof in Facebook

Note: all photos on this blog post are taken via android, copyright by Caryl Joan Estrosas