Sunday, December 8, 2013

What to Order in a Thai Restaurant

Cisan's at Nepo Quad, Angeles City is one of my favorite Thai restaurant. And seriously it become a sort of my benchmark every time I try Thai food from other local restaurants. Well, you really can't blame me. I simply love the food they serve. Plus, I appreciate comfy place and their quality service. I previously posted my dining experience at Cisan's here: Enjoying Thai Dinner at Cisan's, Angeles City

Thai cuisine is a blend of various flavors. The dishes often have strong and very flavorful taste. It is known for its balance of three to four fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, and bitter.

Here are some of my top Thai dishes favorites, which I suggest you order when you are in a Thai restaurant:

Thai Bagoong Rice (Khao Kluk Kapi) 

The bagoong rice that we know is of Thai origin. Its ingredients include Jasmine rice (or other variety of white rice), Thai bagoong, pork, shrimp, egg strips, and green mango strips.  I love how the different flavors blend together -- the sweet, sour and salty flavors seems to combine perfectly to give you a perfect dish. You may no longer need a viand to go along with the Thai bagoong rice (Khao kluk kapi) because you can eat it on its own.

Tom Yum Goong or Tom Yam Kung

Want some hot stuff? This hot, spicy, and creamy goodness could be the answer. Tom yum goong or tom yam kung is popular hot and sour Thai soup. It uses prawns as the main ingredients. It has lemon grass, kaffir leaves, ginger, cilantro and fish sauce.

The first time I tried tom yum was during a trip to Thailand several years ago. I instantly love the dish. I love the creaminess because of the coconut milk and everything else that's added to it.

Thai Shrimp Curry

The Thai shrimp curry is an ultimate hit. If you are a big fan of curries, this is a must-try. You will simply love the combination of shrimp, mushrooms and the creaminess of the coconut milk.

Thai Green Chicken Curry

If you want a more hotter curry, I suggest you have the Thai green chicken curry. It is green in color because of the basil and the fresh green chillies on it. It is as tasty as the red curries but it is a lot hotter. If you want that creamy curry taste with a lot of kick, then this is for you.

Papaya salad or som tam

Thai papaya salad or som tam is not the same as the Philippine achara or pickled green papaya. Som tam is a  delicious concoction of sweet, sour, and salty salad. It has shredded green papayas, diced tomatoes, basil, nuts, baby shrimp, lemon, and fish sauce (nam pla).

Pad Thai or Phat Thai

What makes this rice noodles delicious than other Asian noodles is the blend of different flavors that is quite familiar in almost all of the Thai dishes. The different textures you get in every bite with the tenderness of the noodles and the shrimp and the crunchiness of the bean sprouts and nuts are all good.

All of these are on top of my list.  Feel free to share yours.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Purple Pad Thai, Angeles City

There is no such thing as a purple pad thai but I know there is a restaurant with that name in Angeles City. It is located near the System Plus College Foundation Building in McArthur Highway, Balibago. They also have a branch at SM Clark food court.

Purple Pad Thai targets diners who love Asian cuisine. They specialize in Thai food, featuring popular traditional Thai dishes. The menu is regularly updated as inspired by Chef Israel “Yel” Cunanan’s culinary creativity and personal travels in Bangkok.


The resto's interior is modern and simple with some touch of purple.

Enjoy their free wifi as you wait for your order. Purple Pad Thai


My first Purple Pad Thai dining experience is pretty good.

I love the spicy and flavorful nuts they served for free. It has this taste and aroma from the lemon grass. Purple Pad Thai

The green chicken curry instantly captured my heart and my taste buds. The dish is a hot and spicy chicken curry with coconut milk, eggplant and kaffir leaves. Purple Pad Thai

The pad see iew is a noodle dish mixed with some greens. Honestly, I didn't appreciate it at first. But It taste good when I added more nampla or fish sauce and a bit sugar. Purple Pad Thai

The papaya salad was also good. Shredded unripe papaya mixed with tomatoes and nuts and flavored with nampla. Purple Pad Thai

I will surely visit Purple Pad Thai again and try their other dishes.

Purple Pad Thai
Phone: +63 917 5006091
           +63 927 5856803

Saturday, October 19, 2013

B.I.H.O.N. Noodle BAR, Angeles City

Eating pancit or some noodles during ones birthday is said to prolong life. Silly lie, don't you think? But that's what Pinoys always say to a birthday celebrant maybe just to give a nudge for a little birthday celebration. If only the belief is true, then people who typically eat noodles everyday, not only during their birthdays, would live for hundred years.

I was thinking of eating some ramen the other night when the evening air was colder than the usual--proof that December is coming. I was eyeing for B.I.H.O.N. Noodle BAR to try what they have to offer. I ended up ordering a rice bowl. I realized that I was craving for rice too because of self-deprivation, not because of some sort of diet but I was busy the entire day that I never had the chance to cook for myself and eat.


B.I.H.O.N. Noodle BAR gives that homey and relaxing ambiance. It's a place you would love to bring your friends and family for some casual talks. It's orange motif is quite pleasant and cool to the eyes.

You can choose to dine inside or, if my eyes were not deceiving me, you can have an al fresco dining. At first, I thought it was a mirror reflection I see in the glass wall. I laughed at myself when I realize that it was not. B.I.H.O.N Noodle Bar, Angeles City B.I.H.O.N Noodle Bar, Angeles City

Friday, October 4, 2013

Marks & Spencer Food Fair: Cooking Time with Chef Luigi Muhlach

With host Sam Oh, Marks & Spencer presented the Cooking Time with Chef Luigi Muhlach as part of the food tasting activities at the Eastwood Mall last September 29. The cooking demo showcase the wide selection of M&S food products and ingredients. The demo lasted for an hour as Chef Luigi cooked 6 recipes to our delight. M&S served the food to bloggers, press and guests who where there.

Let me share the recipes I got. These are easy to prepare, perfect for busy people. You may purchase the ingredients from the nearest Marks & Spencer store.

Crab Cakes

  • 1 can Marks & Spencer crab meat
  • 1 pack Marks & Spencer ultimate mash
  • Marks & Spencer roasted garlic mayo
  • salt 
  • pepper
  1. Put all your ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Shape into patties and fry.
  3. Serve with garlic mayo.

Ham Sandwich

  • 1 can Marks & Spencer chopped ham
  • 1 Marks & Spencer raspberry conserve
  • 1 pack square cheddar cheese
  • 1 pack arugula
  • 1 pack alfalfa/tomato
  • bread
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Spread raspberry preserve on one side of the bread.
  2. On the other slice, place the chopped ham, cheddar cheese arugula, alfalfa and tomato.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and top with the slice of the bread with raspberry preserve.

Duck Spring Rolls

  • 1 pack Marks & Spencer duck spring rolls
  • 1 hoissin sauce
  • 2 small pieces ginger
  • rice wine
  • cilantro
  • brown sugar
  1. Bake/deep fry spring rolls
  2. Extract the juice of the ginger and mix with the hoissin sauce, red wine, cilantro and brown sugar.

Creamy Pomodoro

  • Marks & Spencer Green pesto
  • Marks & Spencer Puttanesca ssauce
  • Marks & SPencer Pappardelle
  • Marks & Spencer Honey cured am
  • cream
  • salt 
  • pepper
  1. Cook pasta
  2. In a hot pan, cook chopped honey cured ham and pour in some green pesto, puttanesca sauce and cream.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

Vegetable Curry and Bagoong Rice

  • Marks & Spencer vegetable curry
  • 1 cupl plain rice
  • 2 tsb cooked bagoong
  • onions
  • garlic
  • green mangoes (sliced)
  • 1 egg (scrambled)
  1. In a hot pan drizzle oit, and onions, garlic, bagoong and rice.
  2. Saute and top with green mangoes and scrambled eggs.

Mango Cheesecake

  • Marks & Spencer New York Cheesecake
  • Ripe mangoes
  • rum
  • butter
  1. Flambe mangoes in rum and butter.
  2. Cool down the mango flambe.
  3. Top the mango flambe on the cheesecake.

My favorite are the duck spring rolls and the creamy pomodoro.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Marks & Spencer Food Fair at Eastwood Mall

Marks & Spencer is not just a popular brand for fashion lovers but it is making its way to our kitchen as a familiar label to our food and snacks. If you are not too familiar with M&S product lines, the food fair last September 29 (Sunday) at the Eastwood Mall Atrium introduced the wide variety of food products being carried by the M&S brand. Marks & Spencer Marks & Spencer Marks & Spencer

M&S offers biscuits, chocolates, groceries, frozen food, wines, tea & coffee, and savory snacks. The prices are made affordable for the middle-class and working Filipinos who also crave for some gourmet meal and imported snacks. Marks & Spencer Marks & Spencer

It was truly awesome to join Marks & Spencer on that extravagant food fair with fellow bloggers, the press, and some guests. I was munching and drinking whatever was laid on the table. I started with a cup of coffee and pastries at around 2pm. Then, it seems the food was just overflowing. They served confectioneries, and then biscuits and tea later. The sweet treats gave me that extra energy boost I needed. Marks & Spencer Marks & Spencer

The beautiful and bubbly Sam Oh hosted the cooking demo by Chef Luigi Muhlach. Chef Luigi used M&S ingredients to cook various dishes. He cooked crab cakes, ham sandwich, duck spring rolls, creamy pomodoro, vegetable curry and bagoong rice, and mango cheesecake. I will be posting the recipe in the second part of this blog entry.  My fave was the duck spring rolls and the creamy pomodoro. Marks & Spencer Marks & Spencer

After the cooking demo, wine connoisseur Chie Gatchalian cheerfully discussed about wine pairing.

Wine drinking or pairing is not really a common household thing here in the Philippines. Being an expert, Chie advocates that food be paired with the right wine. Pairing your food with wine that overpowers it can break the entire meal. Marks & Spencer

I enjoyed the M&S Food Fair. I love the food. Two thumbs up guys. Thanks Nuffnang for inviting me.

Want to know more about M&S delectable treats and other food products? Visit their Marks & Spencer's website and like their Facebook page.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sisig + Turtle Mousse and Tea

Food is a basic necessity. The moment we came to this world, we hunger for milk. But when does it becomes sinful? That is when we become aware about calories. So, is it good not to think about calories then? Well, it's up to you. But seriously, sometimes, the fun comes when you are not analyzing things.

Bonding time with friends typically comes with food. And while other say that it is the conversation that makes French eat less, I believe it is not applicable for Filipinos. The more comfortable we are with the people, the more transparent we are with our attitude, the better our appetite is.

Sisig evening at Aling Lucing

It was another pork sisig evening at Aling Lucing with my friends. Sisig is one of those Filipino fare that let you eat more rice. Whether you are a man or a woman, 1 1/2 to two serving of rice per person is just usual. If you can't resist the urge, you might be surprise to find out that you can actually eat as much as 3-4 serving of rice with the sisig. Take note, their rice serving here is quite hefty.

The sisig-rice tandem can be perfectly paired with the Kapampangan's buro (fermented rice) and steamed veggies. Some non-Kapampangan who are new to this dish may find it repulsive at first. I was not different. Nevertheless, I learned to love it and I crave for it every now and then.

Aling Lucing serves delicious buro. This can push your appetite to a higher notch, beware.

Aling Lucing Sisig
Valdez St Agapito Del Rosario Angeles City,Pampanga

Turtle Mousse and Tea

The best way to end the day, just before retiring for the night is to have a warm drink. Berry infused tea is just perfect. It smells good and relaxes you. Last stop before going home was a short visit to K Cafe at Nepo Quad.

Nepo Quad is buzzing with life, no evidence that it was once an empty space.

K Cafe is among the new restos to open in the area. It is one of the busiest and fave hangouts to many Angelenos. The cafe does not only satisfy your coffee and cake cravings but they offer a lot in their menu. It can be confusing what to order.

Since I try to shy away from caffeine, the tea was just for me. The turtle mousse, one of their best-selling cake, goes along perfectly with the tea. It looks really chocolatey and mouthwatering. I was happy that it is not too sweet to overpower my tea.

K Cafe Nepo
Plaridel St. Nepo Quad, Angeles City
11:30AM - 11:30PM


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Caffé Bene Goodness @ SM Clark

Koreans have successfully integrate themselves into the Philippine scene. Many of them coming from North Korea are living among us. Their growing number is hard to go unnoticed. We often hear people saying that they have invaded us already. Some of them have successfully put up their businesses with wide acceptance and patronage by Filipinos. This is especially true to Korean food that are well-loved by the Pinoys thus Korean restaurant business seems to thrive here in our country. Latest on the list is the recently opened Caffé Bene. With the cozy ambiance combined with excellent service and delectable menu, it wouldn't be surprising if Caffé Bene would become the next familiar brand.

A bit of history

Caffé Bene was founded by Mr. Kim Sun-Kwon in Eastern Seoul back in 2008. With over 800 stores in Korea, it has become one of the fastest growing coffee shop chain in the country.

According to their website, their coffee beans are roasted in their own roasting plant. And unlike other coffee shops, they serve medium roast coffee, which is non-bitter with less need for sugar.

The place

True to what their site says, the coffee shop has a friendly, warm and cozy ambiance. It has the vintage European feel accentuated by Korean touches. Designed with bookshelves, it makes you want to stay, relax and read a book.

Caffé Bene is brewing in SM City Clark, City Walk Libis and SMC Convention Center.

Caffé Bene, SM Clark

Caffé Bene, SM Clark

the boys are busy


Caffé Bene serves hot and iced coffee, frappes, specialty drinks, tea, mocktails, gelato, bingsu (iced parfait), and Liège Waffle and honey bread. You may visit their website for their menu.

I tried their blueberry latte. I felt I was doing my body a favor by ingesting real blueberries, giving myself an antioxidant boost. Real blueberries it is and not blueberry syrup.

Their caramel cinnamon honey bread is delish. It is soft and not too sweet. I think it would pair perfectly with a hot coffee. The serving is good enough for 2-3 persons.

Caffé Bene, SM Clark

Gelato at Caffé Bene, SM Clark

Choco chip frappe and blueberry latte
Choco chip frappe and blueberry latte

Caramel cinnamon honey bread
Caramel cinnamon honey bread

blueberry latte
blueberry latte

happy me

Caffé Bene is open to francising opportunities. You may email them at

Caffé Bene
Twitter: @CaffeBenePH
Eastwood City walk 2
SMX Convention center
SM City Clark

Valero, Makati 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Seoul Bibimbob, SM Clark Food Court

A relationship without excitement can be dull. Same with food, a bland flavor without an added kick can be boring. Bibimbob or bibimbap is far from being flavorless. This popular Korean dish has the flavor and the excitement that you could be looking for.

Bibimbob or bibimbap is a rice bowl topped with sliced beef and variety of individually prepared vegetables, served with raw or fried egg. The veggies in the dish could include soybean sprouts or mung bean sprouts, cucumbers, zucchinis, carrots, spinach, and fern brake. Korean restaurants serve it in sizzling hot stone bowl.

You do not have to spend much to indulge yourself in this popular Korean dish. In fact, you can dine at the newly opened SM Clark Food Court and have a meal of bibimbob/bibimbap with your choice of drink for Php150 or less. Sounds inexpensive, right? An order of the dish in Seoul Bibimbob can also be shared. Not for me though. I want everything for myself.

The bibimbob/bibimbap consists of white rice, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, cabbage kimchi, bean sprouts, and pickled spinach. It is topped with fried egg on a hot sizzling plate. Then, you have to mix everything with the red chilli paste. Put less paste if you do not want it hot.

Bibimbob or bibimbap @ Seoul Bibimbob, SM Clark

Bibimbob or bibimbap @ Seoul Bibimbob, SM Clark

Bibimbob or bibimbap @ Seoul Bibimbob, SM Clark

What so nice about this dish is how it is presented. The colors are just lovely. The texture of the ingredients and the mixture of flavors make it delicious.

I am not really fond of the hot stuff. My tongue could not seem to tolerate the spiciness. Nevertheless, with this dish, the chilli paste is a requisite. That additional kick let me enjoy the bibimbob/bibimbap more. Just forgive me if I'm sniffling.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Solo Life + Learning to Cook Chicken Cordon Bleu / Chicken Roll

I've been living in solo for almost like 8 years--6+ years in Manila and almost 2 years in Pampanga. Some people thought it is lonely. But, heck, I've been living a life filled with adventure, self-discovery, and fulfillment. So, what's the chicken cordon bleu or chicken roll got to do with this? Read on.

Solo-living can be tough sometimes especially if there are technical troubles like changing the light bulb but I couldn't reach it and problems on electrical wiring. And it can be nightmarish too when your safety is being compromised. When I was in Manila, my place got ransacked. And in a separate incident, I was nearly a victim of assault or sexual harassment, glad it didn't led to violence or rape.

Cooking for myself is not exactly what I do everyday. It is quite economical if I'll just buy some food outside and devour it for days. But sometimes, as a woman, you feel that desire to cook and to be good at it. Sometimes, you also wanted to impress someone or your family. You want to hear their compliment or you simply want to see them enjoy eating.

So last time, I decided to cook chicken cordon bleu or chicken roll. Though I didn't have a mallet to pound the chicken, I was optimistic to be a success in this endeavor. I am not sure where that confidence is coming from. Maybe because I always tend to find way with things.

Cordon bleu or chicken roll is that meat roll with cheese and ham filling typically served during special occasions and holidays. So, I made my own version with it's white sauce.


For the chicken roll
Boneless chicken breast (you may leave the skin on but it can  make it a little difficult to roll)
Salt and pepper
Bread crumbs
2 eggs, whisked
Sliced green bell pepper
Sliced cheddar chees
Ham slices
oil for deep-frying

For the white sauce
Nestle cream
melted butter


For the chicken roll
1.  Flatten the chicken breast. Use a mallet or something heavy to roll or pound it until it's flatten.
2.  Add salt and pepper to the chicken breast.
3.  Place the chicken roll on a flat surface. Put one ham slices per chicken fillet.
4.  Put the sliced green bell pepper and the sliced cheddar cheese on top of the ham.
5.  Then carefully roll the meat. Fasten the chicken roll with toothpick. Make sure the filling is not showing because the cheese could melt and make everything messy when it is being cooked.
6.  Brush or dip the rolls into the egg.
7.  Dredge the rolls with floor.
8.  Dip the rolls into the egg again.
9.  Cover the rolls with bread crumbs.
10.  Heat the oil in a pan.
11.  Deep fry the rolls in medium heat.

For the white sauce
1.  Put the melted butter and nestle cream in the sauce pan.
2.  Let it simmer until it reaches its sticky consistency.

Slice the chicken rolls. Top it with the white sauce.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cooking Adobo: The Pambansang Ulam

Adobo is the unofficial national dish or the "pambansang ulam" of the Philippines. Our love for adobo can not be underrated. Many pinoys, including myself, list adobo as their personal favorite and their comfort food. But despite of having adobo frequently cooked at home and being a household name,  it is also served during special occasions.

Adobo is a term for cooking  meat, seafood, or vegetables that is marinated in sauce consisting of soy sauce and vinegar, browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade. The adobo recipe has a lot of variations. Different regions of the country has their own way of cooking adobo. In Zamboanga for instance, they cook adobo with coconut milk or gata (adobo sa gata). In Cavite, they add mashed pork liver into their recipe. In Laguna, they add turmeric to give that yellowish color. 

Different adobo versions came about because of personal preferences. Some would like it sweet, so they add sugar or pineapple. Some would add ingredients like potatoes, siling labuyo (chili), calamansi, and pepper. Some would like their adobo dry. Others would like theirs crispy.

The most common in adobo are adobong manok (chicken adobo), adobong baboy (pork adobo), combination of pork and chicken, and adobong isda (fish adobo). Then we also have adobong pusit, adobong kangkong (water spinach adobo), and adobong labong (bamboo shoots adobo).

Typical ingredients in adobo, regardless of its main ingredients, are vinegar (you can also use white wine and cider), soy sauce, peppercorn, bay leaves, garlic.

For the tamad (lazy) version, you can simply cook your adobo by mixing all the ingredient then let it boil and cooked until the meat is tender. And viola! You have your adobo.

Pork and chicken adobo

Below is my version of pork and chicken adobo cooked the tamad way. 


Cubed pork meat
Bay leaves 
Chopped garlic
Soy sauce


I put the pork meat with the marinade (soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, and garlic) in the saucepan and add a bit of water. Let it boil until the meat turns brown. Then, add the chicken. Let it boil together until the chicken is cooked. I then transfer the pork and chicken meat with the sauce in a frying pan, let it simmer until the liquid evaporates and the oil comes out.

Adobong atay/chicken liver adobo

Chicken liver must not be overcooked because it becomes dry and tough. It loses that fine texture.


Chicken liver (you can add in chicken gizzards/balunbalunan)
Soy sauce
Squeezed calamansi juice
Chopped garlic
Chopped white onions


Put a little oil in the sauce pan. Sauté and brown the garlic. Add the chicken liver and sauté it until it changes color. Add the soy sauce, calamansi juice, and the onion. Let it boil for like 5 minutes and remove it from the heat.