Project Cocina de Camilla #1.5: Homemade Potato Strips

On my Project Cocina de Camilla #1, I said that I have a plan on what kind of slice I’ll do the next time I make homemade potato chips. So…

TADA!!!

I used my mandolin slicer’s blade that produces julienne cut to make potato strips! 😀

Homemade Potato Strips

My family and I loved the thinner and smaller slices I accidentally created on my first try of homemade potato chips because they were a lot crispier. And so I thought, “Heeeeeyyyy, maybe I should deliberately make thinner and smaller slices of the potatoes for that consistent crispiness.” So with that, I thought of turning the chips into strips, and the rest is history. 😛

 

The Essentials and the Expenses

Since this was my second try, I already have all the other essentials for this project, except for the potatoes, of course, so this experiment was really light on my budget.

Essential #1: 100-peso worth of potatoes
Price: 100 pesos from the public market

 Essential #2: Peanut Oil
Price: N/A, readily available at home

 Essential #3: Mandolin Slicer
Price: N/A, readily available at home

Essential #4:  Kitchen Towel
Price: N/A, readily available at home

Essential #5: 2 cooking pots
Price: N/A, readily available at home

Essential #6: 1 strainer
Price: N/A, readily available at home

Essential #7: 1 container for the finished chips
Price:  N/A, readily available at home

Essential #8: Iodized salt
Price: N/A, readily available at home

Total Project Expenses: 100 pesos

 

Preparing and Cooking the Potato Strips
The directions here were obviously the same with Project Cocina de Camilla #1 except for the cut and the stupidity I made with my previous in which I put the cooked potatoes on a strainer first before finally transferring them to a container filled with kitchen towels (That was totally unnecessary, a waste of time, and embarrassing!).

Regarding the julienne cut, I realized that it took more effort and strength to achieve it using the mandolin slicer since unlike on the chips which only required horizontal cut, the julienne cut for the strips had both the horizontal and the vertical at the same time, so it was like more than five blades working on the same potato but different parts. Well, in spite of that, at least now, I was wiser enough to use the protective holder so there weren’t any blood dripping from my thumb the whole time I did the exhausting slicing of the potatoes. That was a nice change there. YEY! HAHA.

 

So what’s my verdict for Project Cocina de Camilla #1.5: Homemade Potato Strips? Another SUCCESS, of course! 🙂

 

The only mistake I did was because the strips were cooked in three batches, the last got burned a bit because at that time, the oil was already really, really hot, thus, the strips on it tasted quite bitter. Good thing the strips on the third were only few so it didn’t affect the whole bunch. Anyway, that’s another thing I learned: Be careful on the last batch if there’s any. 😛

A Lot of Drools at Best Food Forward 2013

The previous weekend was one of the greatest and tastiest weekends especially for foodies like me.

That’s right, everyone’s favorite benefit summer food fair, Best Food Forward, was back for the third time April 20 – 21, 2013 from 10am – 8pm at the NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

Of course, as food lovers, my friends and I didn’t miss this event, and since it was our first time, we made sure our visit was worth it.

BFF 10

BFF 5

I committed a mistake though. I got so excited when we entered NBC Tent that I forgot to check out the names of the businesses that participated in the event except for some that caught our attention. hehe. Silly me. Sabaw lang. >_<

Anyway, the food fair was dominated by sweets from budding food entrepreneurs like cakes, cupcakes, pastries, and others that could definitely satisfy not only the taste buds of those with sweet tooth, but also their sense of sight with the cute designs available.

BFF 23

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BFF3 (47)

BFF3 (31)

One of the best-selling attractions was the beverage Basil Seed with Honey Juice from Coco Royal Philippines which was sold for 38 pesos at the fair. We were so pre-occupied with everything when one of my friends saw a guest drinking it, we got interested too, and so we had a little quest for its place in the tent.

The establishment has other flavored drinks but this Basil Seeds with Honey Juice was the hit because of how it looks. It has tiny black stuff floating inside that look like tadpoles–these are the sources of people’s cringes and curiosity. I bought one for my family, and though my finicky brother found it disgusting at first, when he had a sip, he instantly liked it.

And the basil seeds aren’t there for decorations only for they have health benefits. I knew it when I saw what the beverage was called ’cause I just wrote about it on my blog post, Have It The Chado Way. Basil seeds are good as stress reliever and for the skin and digestive, immune, and respiratory systems. They also have the cooling effect once consumed making them perfect for the hot weather in the Philippines all year round.

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BFF3 (49)

Those tadpole-looking basil seeds

Others that were exhibited in the food fair were dips (With free taste! Yummy!), big cans of flavored Pik-Nik sold at cheaper prices, kitchenwares, distilled beverages, and many more that could surely make one’s mouth water.

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BFF3 (41)

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Best Food Forward 2013 was one tummy- and eye-satisfying event. My friends and I can’t wait for its next year’s event. And when that time comes, I promise to be more attentive and not let all the food distract me so much so I can have a more meaningful post about it. hehe

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With my high-school friends at the Best Food Forward 2013

With my high-school friends at the Best Food Forward 2013

‘Til next year’s Best Food Forward!^_^

Project Cocina de Camilla #2: Puta-not’s Puttanesca

The first time I tried puttanesca, I swore to myself I’d try cooking it someday. And hey, guess what, this is that promise’s fulfillment. I finally made it! ^_^

Puta-not's Puttanesca 01

Part of my preparation for cooking this pasta was to check other restaurants’ puttanesca–Pizza Hut’s and Bigoli’s–aside from Friuli Trattoria’s to make sure I get the right taste of it. During my food testing, I realized that I don’t like those green stuff called capers so I vowed to look for a puttanesca recipe online that didn’t include capers on its ingredients. The Pioneer Woman’s recipe was the answer to my prayer.

 

The Essentials and the Expenses

Contrary to puttanesca’s rumored origin, some of its ingredients are quite expensive, at least in the Philippines, like the olives and olive oil. So just like in my Project Cocina de Camilla #1, I made a lot of alterations here, too, either because some of the ingredients on my recipe source were too hard to find or I simply didn’t like them.

The biggest change was increasing the amount of the ingredients by a hundred percent of those prescribed on The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. This was because my Mom told me the night before cooking that the serving suggested on the recipe wasn’t sufficient for a family with a monstrous appetite likes ours. Well, I got her point so I followed her.

Anyway, below are the essentials of this project with their corresponding prices:

Essential #1: 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
Bought:  4 boxes of Dizon Cherry Tomatoes
Prices: 48.88 pesos (0.188kg)
43.16 pesos (0.166kg)
45.76 pesos (0.176kg)
41.08 pesos (0.158kg)
from SM Supermarket

Essential #2: 16 ounces (around 500g) Angel Hair Pasta
Bought: 1 500g San Remo Angel Hair Spaghetti
Price: 71.50 pesos from SM Supermarket

Essential #3: Whole red onion, sliced
Bought: N/A, readily available at home
Price: N/A

Essential #4: 4 cloves garlic
Bought: N/A, readily available at home
Price: N/A

Essential #5: Crumbled parmesan cheese
Bought: 1 100g Perfect Italiano Parmesan Cheese
(Already crushed)
Price: 176 pesos from SM Supermarket

Essential #6: Crushed chili
Bought: 1 25g SM Bonus Crushed Chili
Price: 39.50 pesos from SM Supermarket

Essential #7: 1 cup pitted olives
Bought: 1 140g Capri Pitted Green Olives
(140g is not enough. It’s only equivalent to 1/2 cup)
Price: 53 pesos from SM Supermarket

Essential #8: Basil leaves
Bought: 1 180g McCormick Basil Leaves
Price: 222 pesos from SM Supermarket

Essential #9: 4 tablespoons of olive oil
Bought: 1 250ml Doña Elena Pure Olive Oil
Price: 117.50 pesos from SM Supermarket

Essential #10: 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
Bought: 1 Knorr Chicken Broth Cube
Price: 6 pesos from a nearby store

Essential #11: 8 pieces tuyo or dried fish filets
Bought: 8 pieces dried fish
Price: 15 pesos from a nearby store

Essential #12: 2 cooking pots
Bought: N/A, readily available at home
Price: N/A

Essential #13: Mortar and pestle
Bought: N/A, readily available at home
Price: N/A

Total Project Expenses: 879.38 pesos

Puta-not's Puttanesca 02

 

Preparing and Cooking the Puttanesca

While cooking this, I found out that pasta-making is easy albeit the preparation is quite long. I got a little bit nervous only because hey, it was my first, and with the modifications I made, who wouldn’t feel butterflies in their stomach?

Anyway, the firsts in my preparation were to cook the 500g angel hair spaghetti for strictly two minutes (I used a timer! haha) as instructed on its plastic, boiled the chicken broth cube, sliced the onion and cherry tomatoes according to how the recipe I followed did them, then removed the heads, scales, and bones of the tuyo. (A note on the tuyo: Fry the tuyo first to remove their skins. I tried doing otherwise and discovered that the scales don’t get peeled off for they stick to the dried fish meat if raw.)

The next instruction goes, “Mash (in this order) garlic, [tuyo], and olives using a mortar and pestle,” but since the tool available at home is small, I ground only the garlic and tuyo first, placed them on a plate, then crushed the olives separately. I mixed all the three up on the plate.

Now here starts the best part: The cooking. I heated the olive oil in a cooking pot then added the sliced red onion after a little while and cooked it for a few minutes. When they were already color caramel, I put the cherry tomatoes and cooked them until they almost didn’t resemble being halved tomatoes (This wasn’t on the direction given, in fact, if you’ll look at the photo provided by The Pioneer Woman, the halved tomatoes were still visible on the finished puttanesca. But looking at the sizes of what I bought, I decided that they would be too big for the Asian mouth. hehe)

I then poured the broth and stirred for a couple of minutes. When I thought that the sauce was finally okay, I added the pasta and mixed everything with all my might (500g of pasta was a lot, I learned! Mixing it was tiring!).

As I was stirring for already a couple of minutes, I began to feel disappointed because my pasta had yet to achieve the same color as with that of The Pioneer Woman. I didn’t stop though. I sprinkled some parmesan cheese on it but stopped when I realized it won’t be enough. I’d just have those who would eat put some on their plates themselves. I also sprinkled generously the basil leaves I bought (No, not whole leaves as instructed, but pounded since whole ones were nowhere to be found on the supermarket.). Then I kept stirring to make sure the sauce and the pasta got mixed up well. After that, that’s it.

The whole time I was cooking, my Mom kept on going near me to comment on the heavenly aroma of puttanesca and check what I was doing. She was actually the first one to notice that my puttanesca looked dry, but still, when she had a taste of it, she instantly loved it!

At first I didn’t want to believe but when my brother tried it, he loved it, too. In fact, he had another plate right after the first and even bought a liter of coke for it. My sister also had two rounds of it the next day (She went home very late when I cooked because of her OJT, thus, “the next day”.) and also said it was delicious. WHOA.

Of course, I ate too and though it was indeed dry, it did taste puttanesca. The ingredients couldn’t be denied, especially the olives, albeit I only used 1/2 cup of it instead of 1.

The crushed chili I bought was sprinkled by the eaters to their plates depending on how spicy or not they wanted their pasta were. This made the taste of the puttanesca better.

 

So what’s my verdict for Project Cocina de Camilla #2: Puta-not’s Puttanesca? Still a SUCCESS despite it lacking in sauce! The deliciousness of the puttanesca prevailed. I just have to add more amount per sauce ingredient to avoid it becoming dry the next time I cook it. =^_^=

 

P.S. I think I get it now why they say those who cook the food lose the appetite to eat what they cook. As I said above, my Mom kept on coming to me once in a while to remark about the smell of my puttanesca, but I couldn’t relate to what she was saying ’cause I couldn’t smell a thing! Another, I was way too exhausting with all the stirring I did that I just wanted to rest when it was done. Anyway, at least I know how to cook my favorite puttanesca now. And hey, again, it was a success. 🙂

 

—-

SOURCE:
The Pioneer Woman

Have It The Chado Way

Milk tea is an in thing today. People crave for it making tea shops sprout everywhere. And with this undeniable summer heat, who doesn’t want anything cool to slide on their throats to quench their thirsts?

My work is near Eastwood City so my officemates and I can visit it almost anytime we want for some food or other stuff that can only be bought in malls. One day, one of my colleagues and I were on our way to a popular milk tea shop when we passed by a tea stall new to our eyes called CHADO The Tea Room. Its offerings are priced lower and, hey, it’s also milk tea so we decided to give it a try.

Chado 01

For only 75 pesos for a regular-sized milk tea and 85 pesos for a large, people can experience the CHADO milk tea goodness comparable to those of more costly ones. Naturally, a milk tea drink is a combination of milk and tea and with this, the tea’s taste is more distinct giving off the notion that it is true to its tagline, “Herbs that heal!” That taste is what my colleague and I liked most about this discovery so this shop became our instant favorite.

And why wouldn’t it taste such when its name is derived from two Japanese words, “cha”  and “do”,  which mean “tea” and “way”, respectively, and are used to describe the Japanese tea ceremony. So its like whenever one drinks a CHADO beverage, he or she gets to experience the taste of the event minus the pure bitterness of tea.

Of course, the flavors of our choice from chocolate, cherry, and my favorite, winter melon, among others, are also present in this mix, my only point in this is that it really tasted like tea with milk, if you know what I mean. hehe 🙂

Chado 02

Herbs that Heal!

I found out on the net that CHADO The Tea Room’s milk teas are indeed a healthy choice. Aside from the antioxidant content of tea, CHADO’s milk tea uses the Chado Special Sago or Basil Seeds which are known to be good for the digestive, immune, and respiratory systems, and skin, and can effectively relieve of stress. Moreover, the seeds, once consumed, have the cooling effect in the body making the beverage perfect for this summer season.

So what do you think about that, huh? CHADO’s milk tea isn’t just a drink that can refresh us and satisfy our cravings, it also keeps us healthy. Try it now!

Chado 03

CHADO The Tea Room also serves green teas, jelly-filled drinks, FruitMix series, and more.

 

 

CHADO The Tea Room
1. Eastwood Citywalk 1 (near Cyber Mall)
2. Food Junction, Eastwood City
Quezon City

 

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SOURCES:
TRUTHNHEALTH
Pinoy Entrepreneur
Wikipedia

Project Cocina de Camilla #1: Homemade Potato Chips

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the launching of my Project Cocina de Camilla, a chronicle of my adventures in cooking now that I decided that it’s about time!

For my first try, I wanted something so easy since I still didn’t know if I’d be a complete nitwit about this art or not. Good thing I read Yahoo! News Philippines every morning after checking my Yahoo! Mail at work, so one day I saw a title “How to Make the Perfect Potato Chip“, clicked it, and tadaaa! it became the first in my little project.

I was excited about it ’cause I love potatoes, in fact, I can survive a day just eating french fries! (Errr… If you happen to have read my other food blogs, you might have encountered me saying a lot of times that I love this food and that. Well that’s because I really love food in general. haha). So without further ado, here’s my first try at cooking…

Homemade Potato Chips

 

The Essentials and the Expenses

It was my first try, so although I followed the directions to the dot, I made tiny alterations on the essentials. An example is that the article I read said I needed four Russet potatoes, and although I came to know through the Internet that they’re large, rough potatoes, I just asked my mom to buy me a kilo of potatoes from the public market, so I couldn’t be finicky, and besides, I didn’t think there would be any difference if I bought the regular ones.

Anyway, here are the essentials of this project and my expenses:

Essential #1: 1 kilo of potatoes
Price: 60 pesos from the public market

Homemade Potato Chips 6

 Essential #2: 900ml Sun Oil Peanut Oil
Price: 439.50 pesos from SM Supermarket

Homemade Potato Chips 5

Essential #3: Smart Cook Mandolin Slicer
Price: 399.75 pesos from SM Department Store

Homemade Potato Chips 4

Essential #4: Sanicare Jumbo-sized Kitchen Towel
Price: 54.75 pesos from SM Supermarket

Essential #5: 2 cooking pots
Price: N/A, readily available at home

Essential #6: 1 strainer
Price: N/A, readily available at home

Essential #7: 1 container for the finished chips
Price:  N/A, readily available at home

Essential #8: Iodized salt
Price: N/A, readily available at home

Total Project Expenses: 954 pesos

(#3 is optional, I could’ve just used a knife, but then I thought, hey, I love potatoes so I’m sure this isn’t the first and last time I’ll use it, and mom and I can still use it on some other vegetables and fruits. I also imagined the ease it would bring in cutting potatoes into thin slices. So I purchased it. ^_^)

 

Preparating and Cooking the Potato Chips

Since this is homemade potato chips and its main ingredient is real whole potatoes, making it isn’t as easy as the deep frying we see when we buy french fries outside. For one, they’re not ready-made, and two, they’re chips, so there are certain steps to take to make them crispy.

So as instructed in the article, I cut the potatoes thin to attain that crispiness which made potato chips popular back in the day. I used the mandolin slicer for this but somehow, I couldn’t do the 1/8-of-an-inch thinness ’cause it was too hard. I even cut my right thumb twice because I was still too stupid to figure out that my new equipment comes with a protective holder to use for my safety. Anyway, I still continued hoping that the slices I made, which were immediately tossed in a pot of water to remove the residual sugar, were still okay.

Homemade Potato Chips 3

Then the next step is to dry the potatoes out by laying them in kitchen towels and rolling and squeezing them to remove as much water as possible. If you’re wondering what’s this for, it’s because the second best part in potato chips after the potatoes themselves is the oil, so it’s important that each slice absorbs enough of it when being deep fried.

See how thick my slices were? Pffft.

See how thick and uneven my slices were? Pffft. Anyway, first time, first time… Hehe

And then there was the deep frying. I did this in two batches because a kilo of potatoes is actually plenty, and a 900ml of peanut oil isn’t enough after all.

Ahh… Wait. So why peanut oil? My mom was a bit surprised about this so she asked me why I bought an expensive oil when we have a canola oil at home. Well, aside from what I said above that I followed the directions to the dot, I read on the web and at the back of the bottle I bought that peanut oil, which is made from raw peanuts, is commonly used in frying because it has a high smoke point of 225 °C (437 °F), and it’s also healthy due the low saturated fat and high polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat contents. It smells great and so peanut-y, by the way, and it adds flavor to the potato chips.

Anyway, back to deep frying. My home doesn’t have a kitchen thermometer so even if the article said that the potato slices should be put in the pot at 200 degrees and then slowly heat up to the frying temperature of 350 degrees, I simply estimated this part by assuming 200 degrees is the middle size of the flame on the gas stove, while the 350 degrees is the largest. I guess our stove can’t be heated too much, though. The article said the potatoes would reach golden brown at 3-4 minutes, but according to my timer, it was already 16 minutes when mine got to the said color. Well, either that, or my slices were indeed thicker than advised.

Homemade Potato Chips 2

When my chips were cooked, I removed them from the pot and placed them in a strainer first before finally putting them in a container lined with kitchen towels around. As I write this part, I started wondering why I had to use the strainer when I could toss the chips directly to the bowl. haha. Next time, next time… XD

The Yahoo! article also gave the ingredients and how-to’s of the seasonings, barbecue and sour cream and onion, but I just used iodized salt because the peanut oil’s rich taste on the chips was already enough as a flavor. My family liked it, so was I, though my brother opined that some, those with bigger slices, tasted like cassava chips (Read: First try). Our favorite ones were those smaller and thinner slices which were a result of my inexperience in the use of a mandolin slicer and cutting stuff itself. Because of that, I already have a plan on what kind of slice I’ll do on my next try with potato chips, but it’s a secret for now. hehe

 

So what’s my verdict for Project Cocina de Camilla #1: Homemade Potato Chips? SUCCESS! =^_^=

 

P.S. I spent 954 pesos and more than two hours of my life for this project when I can simply buy a bag or two of chips for less than 100 pesos, open it, and happily gorge it. What a waste of time and money, you can say out loud. But, hey, at least with this homemade potato chips that I personally made, I can be sure that there aren’t any unnecessary ingredients on it like MSG and stuff, only potatoes and oil–I’m not saying that deep frying is healthy, but still, there isn’t any other way to make chips but to fry them, right? Moreover, I learned how to do it. There’s a big difference between knowing how something came to be and not knowing at all. So when the world ran out of our favorite chips, at least I can make myself some as I please and as long as there are potatoes and oils around. 😉

 

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SOURCES:
Yahoo! She Philippines
Serious Eats
Wikipedia

Fine Dine with Fam @ Nagomi

Group-buying sites are blessings to both businesses and their customers.

For the businesses, these sites are the perfect spots for the promotion and exposure of their establishments, products, and services; while for the customers like me, we get to discover something new and avail them at lower prices.

In fact, it was because of Ensogo, one of the most popular group-buying sites in the country, that I discovered Nagomi Japanese Restaurant, which became the perfect venue for a dinner date with my family. And the best part is, I got the meal for four at a very affordable price.

Photo taken by my brother.  I don't know why he took it tilted. :P

Photo taken by my brother. I don’t know why he took it tilted. 😛

Nagomi 01

My brother, Carlo, Mom, my sister, Charisse, and me

My brother, Carlo, Mom, my sister, Charisse, and me

The restaurant is located at El Pueblo Real de Manila in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, a commercial area that used to be unknown to me though I always pass by it on my way to SM Megamall. It only got to have a name when I saw Nagomi’s address and I used Google Maps to know where it is.

Anyway, the thing most worthy to take note of when buying vouchers from these sites, especially those of restaurants, is that you have to call the establishment and make reservations of usually three days prior your planned visit. So when my family and I were already standing outside, hiding and wondering if we were in front of the right place, a Nagomi crew came to us asking if we were the guests under Ms Reyes’ reservation (Hey! That’s me! I thought.). I said yes and as we all followed her to our table, I remembered what I learned about a Japanese employer’s reminder to his workers that goes, “Okyaku-sama wa kami-sama desu”, or “Customer is god” in English, because the staff’s gesture showed just that: Superb customer service.

The interiors of Nagomi is dandy and very Japanese like those ones that can be seen on movies. It’s like once you enter the place, you’re instantly transported to the Land of the Rising Sun. Even the utensils and everything else on the table have a touch of authentic Japan which got me really excited since I love anything Japanese.

Nagomi Interiors

Nagomi - on the table

Nagomi - condiments

Then the food. I bought the voucher for 599 pesos and for such a price, my family and I were able to enjoy and share with each other Kani Salad, Ramen, Salmon Teppan Yaki, and Sushi with cold tea. The whole bunch is valued at 1,500 pesos and is good for 4-5 persons.

The Kani Salad is made up of crab meat sticks (“Kani” is the Japanese word for ‘crab’), crab eggs, lettuce, ripened mango, cucumber, and mayonnaise. The veggies were definitely fresh and Mom loved it mainly because of its healthy ingredients, while for me, it was okay except that I disliked the ripened mango (Even on maki!) because it seemed like it was disturbing everything with its sweetness. But anyway, that’s the Japanese style, I guess. Kani Salad’s real price is 170 pesos.

Kani Salad

Kani Salad

Then the Ramen showcases how healthy the Japanese are with how the dish is tossed with noodles, slices of meat, and various vegetables, making it one healthy meal. It was delicious and it brought warmth to my tummy because of its hot soup. I don’t know what kind of ramen was served to us, but according to Nagomi’s menu, its prices range from 260 to 340 pesos.

Nagomi - Ramen

Ramen

The Salmon Teppan Yaki was my sister’s and brother’s favorite for the night. The dish is salmon, either grilled, broiled, or pan-fried, and bean sprouts mixed with carrots, onions, and green bell peppers, then poured with a sauce for added taste. Because they loved it, my siblings couldn’t stop themselves from requesting me to buy them rice so I bought three for us. It’s 340 pesos.

Nagomi - Teppan Yaki (Salmon)

Salmon Teppan Yaki

Then finally, the Sushi Platter. It was my favorite because I love raw fish and good thing my family isn’t into it so I was able to masticate the two all by myself. The fish was really great and fresh. Nagomi doesn’t really sell the sushi in platters but an order of it costs 60 to 120 pesos.

Sushi Platter

Sushi Platter

Nagomi - Sushi!

 

If it wasn’t for Ensogo, I wouldn’t know that such a wonderful Japanese restaurant exists, and even if I knew, I wouldn’t be able to bring my family there and treat them because if you open the menu, you’ll see how expensive their offerings are. The three orders of Japanese rice even costed me already 214 pesos. But then maybe, that’s really the price of an authentic Japanese experience.

All in all, our dine at Nagomi Japanese Restaurant was memorable not just because of the sumptuous dinner that was friendly on my budget, and with wonderful ambiance and customer service, but also because my family and I got to spend quality time together laughing and chatting.

DONE. :)

DONE. 🙂

 

 

Nagomi Japanese Restaurant
El Pueblo Real de Manila
Julia Vargas cor. ADB Ave., Ortigas Center
Pasig City
Tel.#: 635.4546 / 632.1736

Don’t Get Stuck on My Tongue, Stackers!

On the night I created Words of Happinest, I promised myself never to write any negative entries, except for some personal sad thoughts and misfortunes, which importance in this blog is explained on the Categories page and tagline–… with an occasional fondle of woe to help us appreciate good times more–but never bad reviews about the books, films, products, places, and establishments I have experienced.

If I didn’t like it, I would just shut up. That’s the rule. But I like to make an exception today. Why? Maybe because I love burgers so much that it’s such a disappointment to eat one today that is far from being satisfactory, so I deserve to rant about it. Besides, this may be a good prelude to my upcoming Food sub-category about burgers. So that people would know how serious I am about my beloved burgers. hehe

Okay. So here it goes…

A colleague and I went to work without eating breakfast, and so as foodies, we decided, along with another co-worker, to order burgers for that morning which later turned into our lunch since we called in late. We had three options to choose from: Good Burgers, Army Navy, or Stackers Burger Cafe, which we found on this other co-worker’s so-called “black book” that contains leaflets of various food establishments.

Stackers

Stackers Burger Cafe is said to offer Auss’m Burgers

Stackers was a stranger to us, but Good Burgers would open at 11am, while Army Navy ceased delivering around our area, so we thought of trying the alien just to satisfy our early burger cravings. It actually doesn’t deliver food, too, but multi-restaurant delivery service City Delivery could do the job for them. So everything was settled then.

The delivery was perfect, it arrived just in time for lunch break. But I just hope what we ordered were just as perfect. Oh well, I guess such a thought would already be asking too much. 😛

Honestly, I was pretty excited about this new find that I even brought my iPod Touch to our office pantry to make sure I capture my first ever Stackers Burger Cafe experience.

Picture 1: The packaging looks just like most burgers

Picture 1: The packaging looks just like most burgers

I had the Pepper Burger which costs 185 pesos. It’s pricier compared to Army Navy’s Classic Burger (165 pesos), but the latter seems bigger albeit both restaurants use quarter-pound beef patties (Well, not all for Stackers offerings, but for its Pepper Burger, supposedly, yes). Maybe it’s because the former uses 100% Australian beef–which I can’t exactly tell apart from McDonald’s patties? Maybe. Anyway, I love the patty, I can’t say anything bad about it ’cause it tasted just right.

Another which I can’t comment anything bad about are the mayo, fried crispy bits, and the sautéed mushrooms (I’m an avid fan of mushrooms no matter how they’re cooked), I had tasted them just fine. But then there goes its bun that kept on sticking to my teeth. I had to cover my mouth every after bite just to remove them.

As for the veggies, they were a disappointment. I love lettuce, tomatoes, and onions on my burger but the ones on this are totally off. The tomato was okay, but the lettuce wasn’t fresh, in fact, it was already dark green and I think it tasted like Chinese cabbage. Then to my dismay, the onion strips were cooked. I love the taste of raw onions even if they leave a lingering smell on my mouth even after I brush my teeth. They’re one of my favorite parts in a burger, but since the strips on this were cooked, it lost its flavor. Sad.

Picture 2: Pepper Burger is made up of lettuce, mayo, pepper crusted patty, mozzarella cheese, tomato, sauteed mushrooms, pepper steak sauce, onion bits, topped with fried crispy bits

Picture 2: Pepper Burger is made up of lettuce, mayo, pepper crusted patty, mozzarella cheese, tomato, sautéed mushrooms, pepper steak sauce, onion bits, topped with fried crispy bits

Picture 3: The bun that kept on sticking to my upper teeth

Picture 3: The bun that kept on sticking to my upper teeth

Then do I have to say something about the pepper steak sauce since it was named after it after all? Hmm. I honestly can’t recall how it was now or if it even had a taste, maybe it was somewhere along the average line.

But, oh, I can surely make a remark about my colleague’s burger. She ordered the Crazy Burger which costs the same as mine, yet apparently, it tasted worse. It was quite shocking to see her border on the mad side when she had her first mouthful of it, but I instantly understood why when she had me taste the dotted white sauce which is actually the cheese and grained mustard. It was sour at first, but as it dissolved on my tongue, it started to taste awful in the mouth.

Our other officemate had a simple Stackers Burger for 105 pesos and she didn’t like the bun either.

Overall, I think it’s quite obvious that I’m not going to try and eat any Stackers food in the future (But come to think of it, maybe it has something to do with us not dining at the restaurant itself…? I don’t know, that thought doesn’t make sense. O.o). Maybe it was just me or maybe Stackers and I just didn’t click, but I’ve read other bloggers’ entries about it and they weren’t saying anything spectacular about it either.

Oh well, after finishing mine, I had the feeling I could still eat a Big Mac since my tummy wasn’t sated at all. And if before I didn’t need to eat merienda after having burger for lunch, this time I found myself craving for a McFloat and large fries to make up with my tummy and taste buds.

Lychee Sprite McFloat and large fries from McDonald’s

Aaahhh… What to do without McDonald’s? Hehehe.

P.S. Let’s just say I wrote this post to keep anyone who’ll read this happy. Just imagine, now that you’ve read about it, you’re saved from ranting about it yourself. 😉