Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My favorite pasta is spaghetti aglio olio. Its sauce consists entirely of minced or pressed garlic lightly sauteed in olive oil, plus hot pepper flakes.

I also love anything oil-based, like Green Tomato's anchovies in oil. My next preference is tomato-based pasta dishes but I grew up in the Philippines so I kind of like them sweetened. I don't like cream-based pasta at all, except if it's doused with so much mushroom flavor that it overpowers the cream.

Yogurt Place

Yogurt Place's greek yogurt is really delicious - just the right combination of creamy and tartness.
However, their frozen yogurt, which they call "yogurt gelato" and which comes in 2 flavors, lychee or mango, is disappointing. The ice did not have the soft creamy consistency of gelato at all. It can't hold a candle to Red Mango, for sure. I'd stick to their plain yogurt.

Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows

I once described someone as thus: "he's like a chocolate-covered marshmallow - dark and hard on the outside, soft and sweet on the inside." And isn't that how chocolate-covered marshmallows are?

I've always loved chocolate-covered marshmallows but I think Lumont is the best I've tried so far.

Milo Dinosaur vs Godzilla

Sunday, December 20, 2009

There is such a thing as Milo Dinosaur. It's iced Milo with a scoop or Milo powder on top. Can be bought from most hawker stalls and food shops in Singapore. The best I've tried is McDonald's Milo dinosaur shake, but it was a seasonal thing so I can't get it now even if I want to. Hmp.

Then there is also the Milo Godzilla. Iced Milo with a scoop or vanilla ice cream and Milo powder on top. Can be bought at Spize: the Makan Place.

Is there really a contest? Obviously you know who is the winner.

Hokkien Mee for Me

My first favorite Singaporean food was the prawn Hokkien Mee. It tastes a bit like the Philippine palabok only less fishy and not yellow. Perhaps the reason why it's so popular with Filipinos based in Singapore. The best one I've tried so far is from Vivo City's Food Republic.

Chowking is a King Indeed

Halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice and milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and fruits, and served cold in a tall glass or bowl. the most popular ones are from Razon and Chowking. I prefer the latter. The slices of leche flan and real ube are my favorite parts.

My other favorites from Chowking are chao fan, tofu (love the sauce) and siomai with toyomansi and chili oil. They actually have siew mai here in Singapore but no toyomansi. Where is the fun in that?

Fresh or No Dalandan at All

Dalandan is the Philippine native orange, and its juice is slightly sweeter than your usual orange. You can squeeze it to make dalandan juice or shake. It's my favorite drink of all time, but I want it fresh, not the ones that are made from concentrates. I like Dencio's version. My former housemate Reggie also makes them so good that the first time I tasted his creation, I asked, "Reggie, will you marry me?"

House of Sylvanas

I miss the sweet cold chewy sylvanas from House of Sylvanas. I used to swing by their branch in Glorietta 4 and buy a couple of pieces (at Php19 each) right before heading up to the movie theatre. There were many other flavors inside their freezer, but I always just chose the original one.

Quickly's Taro Ice

Purple is my favorite color except when it comes to food. I usually don't like ube (yam) flavored food until I tried Quickly's Taro Ice. Then I quickly became a fan. I especially love the nago (nata de coco sago, I suppose). Nata de coco are such wonderful things.

There's a stall in Glorietta 4 Foodcourt.

Pretzel Perfect

I love Auntie Anne's pretzel (plain or cheese) with caramel dip.

Aston's Hickory Chicken Barbeque

You can get cheap (less than S$15) and delicious steaks from Aston's (yes, there is no H after S). I love mine medium well (not medium rare, apparently there's a difference) even though the average Pinoy loves theirs well done.

Cheaper still are the barbeque chicken. I love the hickory chicken barbeque with a sweet-sour taste. At less than S$7, it already comes with two side dishes of your choice.

Barbeque Stingray

Let's avenge Steve Irwin's death* and eat a lot of stingray! This is my most favorite Singaporean food. Love the ones from Makan Sutra and Newton Circus hawker stalls.

*Steve Irwin, known as Australian TV's "Crocodile Hunter," was pierced to death by a stingray while he was being filmed snorkelling for a show.

Starbucks Represents More Than Just Coffee

Starbucks hot mocha sipped with a happy little straw equals happiness.

Cereal Prawns

They're delicious from Newton Circus hawker stalls. Elsewhere it's not as good.

Recipe: Beef and Eggplant Medley

Saturday, December 19, 2009

250 grams ground beef
1 big eggplant, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
cooking oil or butter
1 tablespoon chicken stock
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup of water
salt and seasoning granules

Saute the garlic in cooking oil or butter in a pan.
Brown the ground beef (about 5 minutes).
Stir in the eggplant.
Mix the chicken stock, ketchup, and soy sauce with the water and pour into the pan.
Add salt and seasoning granules to taste (about a teaspoon of each should be fine).
Stir for about 3 minutes.

Tsokolate Ice Cream Cake

This mini chocolate ice cream cake came all the way from my hometown, Zamboanga City. Apparently a franchise of Tsokolate has opened there. It has such a real chocolate taste that I honestly prefer it over Myrna's, whose cakes don't taste good at all, just their icing with the rich butter taste.

Thailand's Turon

What I like to call Thailand's turon (a Philippine banana-based delicacy) - fried batter and egg wrapped around some sliced bananas and drizzled with condensed milk. Bought off the sidewalks.

Doitung's Chocolate Macadamia Dream

Doitung's chocolate-macadamia blended ice drink is a dream. Worth every calorie.

Piri-Piri Portuguese Flame-Grilled Chicken

Located at basement 1 in Siam Paragon, Thailand.

I'd recommend the piri-piri chicken.

For your drink, get a coconut shake (smoothie). They even serve it in a coconut shell.

Thailand Fresh Coconut Ice Cream

Creamy coconut ice cream served with fresh coconut strips in its shell.

Apparently available for only a limited time in Siam Paragon's basement 1. Glad I caught it.

The Best Ramen in the Land

Friday, October 30, 2009

Once you've tasted the chicken soup ramen from Marutama Ra-men at Liang Court (second floor), you won't like any other ramen anymore. The meat and the soup just assails the senses. And don't forget to get a half-boiled seasoned egg - it's the tastiest tasty egg I have ever tasted. ;P

Apricot Yogurt = Awesome

Monday, October 26, 2009

Whenever I went to Korea on business trip (three times), I would filch sealed cups of yogurt from my hotel's buffet breakfast, and make off with them in the deep pockets of my trench coat so that I'd have something to snack on later. My favorite flavor was apricot but in all these years that I've gone yogurt-shopping in the Philippines and Thailand and Singapore, I never found one again until today, when I saw this in AMK hub's Fairprice.

It's creamy and dreamy. The best! And it was on sale at less than a buck each if you bought three.

The cheapest yogurt I ever bought was in Thailand, though. It was also good, so I bought a dozen to bring back to the Philippines. Thank goodness none of them burst and spilled all over my clothes in my luggage.

Recipe: Barbeque

Sunday, October 25, 2009

1 kg of meat
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Sprite or any clear cola
1/4 cup calamansi (lime) juice

Mix all the liquid ingredients.
Immerse the meat in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.
Cook the meat over a grill.

Cool Colas - Vanilla Coke & Mountain Dew

My favorite sodas are Vanilla Coke and Mountain Dew with lots and lots of ice. Correction, I don't drink soda with ice but rather, ice with soda.

I love Vanilla Coke because it tastes like Coke float.. you know, Coca Cola with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. Unfortunately is not as easy to find as its plain variant. So far I've seen it sold in only one hawker's stall, at Lau Pa Sat. I used to be able to buy 1.5 liter bottles from the convenience store Cheers but there was one time that I went there and they no longer had it or maybe it was just out of stock at the time. As for grocery stores, Sheng Siong only sells it in cans while Fair Price does not have it at all.

I love Mountain Dew because of its sweet-sour lemon taste. It's not that common, too, but at least it can be found in all grocery stores. And whenever I'm in KFC, I always get it with my favorite oriental chicken salad.

Some hawker stalls don't have it, though, and while usually they just tell me upfront that this is so, one auntie actually gave me Kickapoo Joy Juice, saying that it tasted just like Mountain Dew. Err okay. It doesn't taste like it, by the way. Tastes more like Sprite or 7-Up.

When both cannot be had, I stick with Coca Cola, or if I'm trying to diet, Coke Zero. Their slogan is a lie, by the way. Coke Zero does not taste like the real Coke at all.

Block of Ice...Cream

There are ice cream carts on the streets of Singapore, and they serve ice cream in blocks sandwiched between two wafers. Who needs cones, right?

Recipe: Pork and Bean Sprouts

250 grams ground pork
300 grams bean sprouts
3 cloves of garlic, minced
cooking oil or butter
salt and seasoning granules

Saute the garlic in cooking oil or butter in a pan.
Brown the ground pork (about 5 minutes).
Toss the bean sprouts into the pan.
Add salt and seasoning granules to taste (about a teaspoon of each should be fine).
Stir for about 3 minutes.

Recipe: Buttered Garlic Mushrooms

Saturday, October 24, 2009

a twist of butter, or just enough to cover the pan when it's melted
6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
a big can of button mushrooms, sliced
a dash of Maggi Sarap seasoning granules

Melt the butter in a pan.
Saute the garlic.
Saute the mushrooms.
Add a dash of seasoning granules.
Stir constantly for about 3 minutes, then serve warm.

Vjandep Pastel

The most popular pastry from Camiguin - fluffy buns oozing with delicious creamy yema (egg and condensed milk) filling. It comes in different flavors as well, but only yema tastes wonderful. I believe there's now a shop in The Fort that sells these.

Baker Boss

This is my favorite picture of food. My boss baked some egg tarts with strawberries and gave us one each. I took a picture of mine before eating it.

Ric & Remy's Biscocho de Zamboanga

My favorite pasalubong from Zamboanga is Ric & Remy's biscocho (toasted bread). People always underestimate it and get taken by surprise at how tasty it is. I'm a bit hurt that they did not believe me when I said so in the first place. Hmp.

KFC Philippines vs Singapore

I miss KFC Philippines's fully loaded meal - a single meal that carried everything I loved about KFC - 1 piece original recipe chicken drenched in gravy, rice covered in gravy, french fries that taste like real potato slices or creamy buttery mashed potatoes with even more gravy, a moist fudge brownie, and a glass of Mountain Dew. Their gravy was so good, they needed to chain their gravy pots to the service tables to prevent people from hogging it on their tables.

KFC Singapore has only the chicken and the dew. Their gravy is no good. Their fries taste just like ordinary french fries. They don't have brownies or even rice. How uncool is that?

Their only saving grace is the oriental chicken salad. It's a mixture of lettuce, red cabbage, crispy noodles, diced tomatoes, corn kernels and bite-sized fried chicken chunks. The combination is good, but what really has me sold on it is the sweet-sour-salty taste of the oriental dressing. It's my favorite salad dressing ever. It's now my KFC staple; either this or a piece of original recipe fried chicken, with Mountain Dew, naturally.

The Best Chicharon Ever

When it comes to chicharon (pork crackling), nothing beats Lapid's.