Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Krispy Kreme Krispy Kroissant: Baked Cronut Creations Plus GIVEAWAY

Online and offline, everyone is going nuts over the so-called cronuts that originated from New York.  Have you checked the social media lately?  Celebrities and probably your favorite bloggers are raving over cronuts.  So last week, I finally gave in to try the new Krispy Kreme Krispy Kroissant.

krispy kreme krispy kroissant
I've heard of a lot of brands when it comes to cronuts.  But, I opted for this one because its accessible and affordable.  It's priced only at 70 php.  Not bad right?

krispy kreme krispy kroissant
The Krispy Kreme Krispy Kroissant is available in all Krispy Kreme branches in Luzon.  It is baked daily from 10 am to 2 pm so better get them as early as you can.  They have four variants: Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla Cream.

krispy kreme krispy kroissant chocolate
Chocolate Krispy Kroissant (70 php)
The Chocolate Krispy Kroissant is topped with rich Belgian chocolate ganache and sugar.  Chocoholic like me will surely be thrilled with its bitter sweet chocolate-y goodness. 


krispy kreme krispy kroissant strawberry
Strawberry Krispy Kroissant (70 php)
The Strawberry Krispy Kroissant is a cronut topped with a rich whip of strawberry. The strawberry topping has the same sweetness and consistency as a strawberry jam. 


krispy kreme krispy kroissant apple cinnamon
Apple Cinnamon Krispy Kroissant (70 php)
My mom who is a fan of cinnamon loved this!  The Apple Cinnamon is topped with sweet apple filling and caramelized cinnamon sugar.  Although she usually complains of flavored doughnuts being too sweet, she said this one fits her preference just right.


krispy kreme krispy kroissant vanilla cream
Vanilla Cream Krispy Kroissant (70 php)
I've mentioned before that the Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnut is my classic favorite.  The Vanilla Cream is a cronut dipped in their original glaze.  Among the four variants, this impressed me the least.  It didn't have a wow factor.  And, it was too sweet for me.  

krispy kreme krispy kroissant chocolate
The Krispy Kroissant had flaky layers similar to a croissant.  I tried this as it is and also by re-heating it on the microwave.  Although you can fill the layers are you bite into it, it doesn't deliver the same crispiness and flakiness of a croissant.   It is soft and chewy but does not melt in your mouth like the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

krispy kreme krispy kroissant vanilla cream
All the variants had the same vanilla cream filling.  I enjoyed the lightness of the vanilla cream.  In fact, I think this is the key in balancing with the toppings making the Krispy Kroissants indulging instead of overwhelmingly sweet. 

Since the Krispy Kroissants left us all with a good impression.  We now have an idea of what the fuzz over cronuts is about.  I can't wait to try the rest and compare them with each other.

Giveaway
After being please with our first cronut experience, I just feel like we should celebrate with a giveaway!  I'm giving away Two (2) Krispy Kreme Gift Certificates to Two (2) Lucky Readers! (Available for Metro Manila residents only who can claim it via meet-up)

krispy kreme tsinoy foodies givaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pan De Amerikana: Topsy Turvy Budget Friendly Restuarant and Bakery at White Plains Katipunan

Since my dear little sister had a breakfast date with her beau at the topsy turvy house themed Pan De Amerikana at White Plains Katipunan last year, she has been urging the family to visit it too.  Thus, we've been planning to go there for quite some time for a breakfast or lunch.  But with my little sisters erratic medical clerkship schedule, it was always delayed.  Luckily, August came with lots of holidays to take advantage of so we grabbed the chance at once. 

pan de amerikana whiteplains katipunan
Just by seeing the topsy turvy house facade got us all excited.  Their parking was full when we arrived on a arround half past one in the afternoon.  Good thing the nearby establishments were closed for the holiday so we managed to squeeze in a vacant slot. 

pan de amerikana whiteplains katipunan
We passed by the bakery counter and a small wooden bridge towards the main dining area.  It had a topsy tuvy dining area with a piano attached on the ceiling.  The entire place was accentuated with its glimmering yellow and green lighting.  It also had transparent roofing and lots of clear glass windows which allowed the sun to shine upon the vines which crawled upon its ceiling and brick walls.  As the place is filled with plants, it does not offer air-conditioning.  It's high ceiling as well as large fans suffice to keep the place cool and cozy.  


pan de amerikana whiteplains katipunan

Wooden tables with chess board prints were placed side by side forming a long row.    Framed photos of the staffs, owners as well as articles and certificates were plastered on several parts of its walls.  The kitchen is partially visible to the diners. 

pan de amerikana whiteplains katipunan

I find it's garden-like atmosphere in the league of the famous tourist stops like Lilong and Lilang Hidden Garden and Bag of Beans in Tagaytay.  But, this is more strategic in location because it's actually in Metro and its pricing is unbelievably cheap!  

Even the washing area is captivating and beautiful to me.  It was not only innovative but well-entwined with nature and culture as well.  They even have a kids washing area. 

pan de amerikana whiteplains katipunan
At the back part is narrow path to the kitchen.  And, not even that section fell short of its definitive quirky essence.  I love the decorative plates idea.


pan de amerikana whiteplains katipunan
I don't usually take a snapshot of the rest room.  But, this really deserves a shot.  The walls area filled with different colors and sizes of pot lids.  The dangling colorful lamp is also adorable. 

Food
So much about the place, now let's move on with the food. 
tinomok
Tinomok (50 php)
My favorite among the dishes we've tried is the Tinomok.  It's a dish originating from the Bicol region.  It's juicy ground pork meat wrapped in laing leaves with coconut milk and topped with chili.  I promise you... once you bite into this, it will keep you wanting for more! 

Beef
callos
Callos (Bicol Style) (80 php)
It's my first time try Callos in Bicol style.  To be honest, I can't tell the difference.  It had a light tomato based sauce.  The meat and ox tripe were soft and tender too.  Everyone loved this!  Since we had two orders of this, we noticed that the other one had chorizo slices in it.  This one didn't though.

Pork
ilokano sarbasab
Ilokano Sarabasab (60 php)
The Ilokano Sarabasab is not a new dish to me.  It's an Ilocano grilled dish with pork liver.  Many think of it as a counterpart of sisig.  Compared to the version I've tried at La Preciosa in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, I found this dish to be lacking in flavor and filled with pork fats.  But considering the huge difference in price, this is passable. 
 

sisig rice
Sisig Rice (240 php)
My family who is not a fan of sisig, enjoyed the Sisig Rice.  A serving is good for two to three persons unless you're a hefty carbo loader.  

garlic rice
Garlic Rice
In case you don't order a meal or their special rice variants, you can opt for the affordable Garlic Rice.

Vegetables
bicol laing
Bicol Laing (40 php)
The Bicol Laing was good but I'd prefer it with more coconut milk.  One of my aunts is from the Bicol Region so she usually brings over her mother's Bicol Laing.  I really liked that because it had more coconut milk and pork bits so the flavor is bolder.  But again, the price justifies it.

Bakery
pan de amerikana bakery
By the entrance is their bakery counter.  you can just approach their bakers and ask what's available. If you're dining you can order any pastry to be served at your table and your orders will be included on your bill.

All their pastries are whole wheat which is great news for us.  We only buy whole wheat.  According to their paper bag, they don't use any preservatives.  We bought some to take home for our merienda

pan de amerikana bakery
Pan De Amerikano (55 php)
The Pan De Amerikano is a giant pandesal.  It's the biggest pandesal I've seen yet!  It doesn't even fit our bread basket. 


pan de amerikana bakery
Mega-Sized Ensaymada (12 php)
The Mega-Sized Ensaymada is actually normal sized simple pinoy style ensaymada for me.  The dough has the same consistency and texture as their pandesal.  But, this is whirled around and topped with margarine and sugar.  This is a good alternative if the plainness of the pandesal bores you.


pan de amerikana bakery
Pandesal (6 php)
Their pandesal is slightly cheaper and bigger than the whole wheat pandesal that we usually buy at Pan De Manila.  I like their version more.  It is soft and chewy even when not served hot.  Preheat it in an oven or toaster and I'm sure you'll fall in love with it. 

Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Pan De Amerikana Katipunan Branch offers a one of a kind experience with its quirky topsy turvy atmosphere.  It's also a great place to relax, enjoy nature and arts amidst the distractions of the urban reality. 
The great thing about it is that its very budget friendly!  To all the guys who can't take their ladies on a date often due to financial constraints, you can always bring them here.  I can already imagine the delight of your better half when you take them on a romantic breakfast date over a hot cup of coffee and pandesal sandwich.  If she's a geek like me, you can even enjoy a game of chess.  It's also a pleasant venue for any filial or friendly gathering.  I'm sure the pictures which will serve as your remembrance will come out nicely. 


Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Pan De Amerikana Menu
Ambiance Menu
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Pan De Amerikana Katipunan
Business Address 131 Katipunan Ave White Plains,
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Business Hours Mon-Sat: 6am-7pm
Sun: 7am-3pm
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge
Budget/Person 50-150
Free WiFi Yes
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 442-5601
Other  Facebook Fan Page
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Alba Restaurante Español: Quality Traditional Spanish Lunch Buffet at Prism Plaza Mall of Asia

Spanish Cuisine has always been a family favorite.  The family is a purist when it comes to things.  we always opted for authentic and traditional rather than modern and fusion.  And when searching for authentic and traditional Spanish cooking, you can start your list with "A" for Alba Restaurante Español.  

Alba Restaurante Español

Although Alba is one of the first Spanish restaurants we've tried and frequented as a kid, we haven't tried it since the branch near us closed down.  So when we had dinner at House of Wagyu Stone Grill, we planned to dine there at the Prism Plaza branch for a lunch buffet which was fortunately materialized a few months ago.

Alba Restaurante Español
I noticed that it has maintained its classy baroque-styled ambiance.   Red is the predominant color that of the place.  Staffs are also matching that color motif.  At night, it offers a romantic setting with its dim lighting and candle lighting.

Alba Restaurante Español
It has a chiller where they display chilled wine, cold cuts and sausage similar to that of a typical deli.

Alba Restaurante Español
They also sell whole cakes too.

Alba Restaurante Español
The buffet table is found at the end of the room which makes it visible from the entrance still.  The dishes are organized from appetizer to main course and there is separate section for desserts. 

Food
Alba buffet
 Tabla de Embutidos
They offered an assortment of their home-made cold cuts: Pamplona, Mortadela, Salchichon

Alba lunch buffet
Quesadilla
I'm really impressed with their organized system and monitoring of the dishes.  Plates are rarely empty and the dishes are freshly cooked.  The Quesadilla was crunchy in every bite.


Alba lunch buffet
Spread
They offered a variety of spread to match their pastries.  I enjoyed the prawn spead the most.

escalivada
Escalivada
The Escalivada is roasted vegetables with anchovies.  Perhaps this is the one of the rare circstumances where I'd say skip the veggies for the more sinful ones.


croquetas de pollo
Croquetas de Pollo, Almejas al Horno and Albondigas de Vaca
I enjoyed these three especially the Croquetas de Pollo.  Too bad, I had to save some space for the rest.  Otherwise, I would've loaded up with these.
 

lenguado meuniere pollo frito
Lenguado Meuniere and Pollo Frito
The Lenguado Meuniere is dowry fish.  Though the blend is right, I'm just not really a fan.  I found nothing special with the Pollo Frito which is their version of fried chicken. 


steamed veegtables leguini carbonara
Steamed Vegetables and Lenguini Carbonara
I got some veggies and tried the Lenguini Carbonara.  But, I think the right move should be skip the pasta for the paella. 

lengua savillana callos a la madrilena
Lengua Sevillana and Callos a la Madrileña
These two are my all-time favorite Spanish viands!  You can imagine my excitement upon seeing these. 

cochinillo asado
Cochinillo Asado
According to my family, the ones they got had crunchy skin and tender meat.  But, mine wasn't. =( 

Paellas
paella valenciana
Paella Valenciana
I'm a huge fan of the flavorful paellas.  The Paella Valenciana is a carb dish, I would never regret having.  Every spoonful of it is a blissful moment for me.


Postres
flan al caramelo
Flan al Caramelo

What I Had

alba sopa
Upon being seated, we were served prawn bisque which was delicious!

alba lunch buffet
My Appetizer Plate

alba lunch buffet
My Main Course
alba lunch buffet

alba lunch buffet
My Dessert Plate
I usually stay away from meringue cakes because I find them too sweet.  But, Alba's Canonigo is now my favorite!  Ooh... it's soft and mellow fluffiness is simply delightful.  The Tarta de Chocolate Al Cointreau is dark and rich with a pleasant hint of orange liquor.  The Maja Blanca and Lemon Square, does not disappoint too.


alba lunch buffet
My Fruit Plate
Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
We really enjoyed our lunch buffet at Alba Restaurante Español.  The offerings may not boast of quality, but quality is assured.  Considering that Spanish cuisine is usually at a higher range than others, the ambiance and service, I'd say the price is worth every peso.  Their service is top-notch.  Upon being seated, we were quickly served our soup, our glasses were filled with water, and we were assisted with our napkins.  The empty plates were cleared as soon as we leave the table for another helping too.

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Alba Restaurante Español Menu
Ambiance Tapas Clientas | Tapas Clientas 2 |
Tapas Frias | Tortilla | Pa Amb Tomaquet | Coca Mallorca |
Sopas y Potajes | Ensaladas | Pastas
 Pescados y Mariscos | Special Orders |
Paellas | Carnes | Pollo y Aves |
Buffet | Catering | Drinks | Postres |
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Alba Restaurante Español
Business Address 4th Level, Prism Plaza, Two E-Com Center
Bayshore Ave. corner Harbor Drive, Mall of Asia Complex, 

Pasay City, Metro Manila
Business Hours 11am-11pm
Payment Options   Cash
Service Charge 10%
Budget/Person 700-1200
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 384-6344, (02) 808-2326
Other  Website
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Exploring International Cuisine

It may seem challenging to convince finicky children to try or eat new things. The truth is that parents may be the reason that some kids resist sampling unique recipes or unfamiliar dishes. The busy lives led often results in meals becoming more on-the-go and born from convenience rather than conceived from culinary inspiration. The best approach to raising children that will experiment with food could surround sharing the cultural history of particular cuisine and exposing young family members to the world beyond their own.

Chantal Royer is a world-traveler and self-proclaimed "foodie"; she is an explorer of sorts who hunts for unique ethnic cuisine in some popular US cities. Instilling this sense of adventure in children starts at an early age, and is most effective when the parents or other family members are also willing to try new things. Give young children a favorite international cookbook and tell them to pick something out- something new for the whole family to try! This is not only a great way to introduce new foods on their terms, but can also create a vested interest in the food being prepared at home and expands on the child's knowledge of other cultures and ingredients.

If challenged at the prospect of cooking every night after a long day at the office, consumers may want to augment this by sampling at available ethnic eateries once a week. Ordering take-out from the local Thai place, or ordering in from an authentic Italian restaurant can also provide a way for children to see the world through the foods eaten at home. Circulate local menus among members and ask for suggestions that can be shared and served family-style. Order a variety of smaller plates that will provide an array of options to suit various preferences. Serve these meals in authentic ways, such as eating Chinese cuisine with chopsticks or seated on the floor using pillows for seating when sharing Japanese food. This could also serve as encouragement to get family members to actively participate in family meal-time instead of the constant battle faced daily in getting everyone to take time out to sit down, engage, and share a meal together.  
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Friday, August 9, 2013

BGC Eats Food Tour (July 20, 2013): Great Food Adventure and Discoveries at Bonifacio Global City

All thanks to Berylle and D, The Foodies Circle managed to book a few slots to BGC Eats Food Tour for the last date which was on July 20, 2013.  You could tell we were excited because we were there early and waited for the rest until the Hop On Hop Off Bus was ready to depart.

BGC eats food tour
Our food tourist group is composed of a mix match of people.  They were families with little toddlers, yuppies and oldies as well. 

ukelele manila
Music accompaniment during the entire tour is provided by Ukelele Manila.   While we were on the bus, our tour guide JJ Yulo gave out some trivias and facts about Bonifacio Global City.  There were also games in between the food stops and I managed to win myself a BGC Eco Bag.

First Stop: Vask
vask
Vask is an upscale modern Spanish tapas bar.  Most of the tour time was spent there.  I'm glad it was our first stop.  It was a new discovery for us.  Being located at the 5th Floor of a fairly new CLIPP Center between 11th Avenue corner 39th Street,  it was not only conspicuous but also bit distant from the highlights of BGC for one to accidentally wind up there.
Petit Four. Chocolate Truffle.
This complimentary dessert truffle from the chef was bursting with dark and white chocolate goodness!
- See more at: http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2013/04/vask-spanish-traditional-and-modern-basque-cuisine-in-manila.html#sthash.s3S2uf33.dpuf

vask
Tour Guide JJ YUlo and Chef J. Luis Gonzalez
Vask's Chef J. Luis Gonzalez who has worked in 5 out of the 10 Best restuarants in the world (Noma, El Celler De Can Roca, Mugaritz, Arzak and El Bulli) and former chef of Sofitel's Fever Luxe Lounge welcomed us.   He showed us the Degustation Art Gallery.  It was a private room where you can watch the your food as they are prepared.  Moreover, aside from the usual beautiful plating of the dishes, they will make use of their custom-made luxurious wares of intricate shapes and forms making the whole dining experience his masterpiece.  If I remember correctly, a full course meal will be priced at around 8,000 php per person.  They also have an outdoor part which they call Vask Deck.  You can enjoy the scenic sight of the tall buildings while you dine.

They served 5 types of pintxosPintxos is their term for their tapas.  Unfortunately, it was not enough for everyone so we only got to try three of them.

sous vide tuna garlic chili oil caramelized onion piquillo pepper
Sous Vide Tuna, Garlic Chili Oil, Caramelized Onion, Piquillo Pepper (95 php/piece)
The Sous Vide Tuna, Garlic Chili Oil, Caramelized Onion, Piquillo Pepper had a pleasant sweet taste from the caramelized onion that complemented the natural sea flavors of tuna.  The pastry was perfectly crunchy which made every bite delightful. 

pinxtos
Eggplant, Parmesan, Garlic, Red Capsicum Confit w/ Quail Egg (95 php/piece)
The group was full of praise over the Eggplant, Parmesan, Garlic, Red Capsicum Confit w/ Quail Egg.  It had a slice of eggplant fried in batter similar to the Japanese tempura with a hint of zestiness from the parmesa and topped with garlic and red capsicum and fried quail egg.

salmon crab tartare
 Salmon and Crab Tartare (95 php/piece)
Being a fan of smoked salmon, I especially enjoyed the Salmon and Crab Tartare.  The medley of flavors are harmoniously composed with this one.  


foie gras on mango toast
Foie Gras on Mango Toast (695 php/5 pcs.)
The Foie Gras on Mango Toast may be an expensive little piece to spend on but definitely worth it!  The Foie Gras mousses melts in your mouth.  The slightly sweet and tangy mango did wonders in removing the awry fatty feeling I used to dislike when eating too much Foie Gras.

petit fours chocolate truffle
Petits Fours
The Petits Fours are small but rich dark chocolate truffles with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.  This is a guilt-free meal ender. 


Second Stop: Orale!
orale
It's been more than a year since I last visited Orale! The place still has it's sincere and fun vibe.  The gleeful and passionate owners Mr. and Mrs. Nikki Confiado prepared Tostadas and 2 new menu items: Chili Verde and Chilaquiles Verdes Con Pollo served buffet style.  While my companions found the new items too hot.  I actually loved it! 

jarritos mandarin cola
We also got to try the Jarritos Mandarin and Mexican Cola.  It was certainly different from other sodas I've tried.  I wanna try the rest next time.

Third Stop: Crystal Jade Dining IN crystal jade
I'll been hearing a lot of buzz about Crystal Jade so I'm glad to finally see it for myself. 

crystal jade
Compared to other Chinese restaurants, it's interiors were more modern and minimalist.  The staffs are very hospitable that they made each of us feel like distinguished guest.

While waiting for the dishes to arrive, we were served their ice tea which tasted more of orange juice. 

steamed cream custard baked bo lo bbq bun
Steamed Cream Custard Bun w/ Salted Egg Yolk (160 php/3 pcs.) and Baked Bo Lo Bbq Pork Bun (180 php/3 pcs.)
The Steamed Cream Custard Bun w/ Salted Egg Yolk looked like ordinary buns to me.  So, I was more intrigued by the Baked Bo Lo Bbq Pork Bun which had a top that reminded me of my all-time favorite Japanese pastry, the Melon Pan

 

steamed cream custard baked bo lo bbq bun
Steamed Cream Custard Bun w/ Salted Egg Yolk (160 php/3 pcs.) and Baked Bo Lo Bbq Pork Bun (180 php/3 pcs.)
See how looks can be deceiving?  In reality it was really the Steamed Cream Custard Bun w/ Salted Egg Yolk which was unique and special.  A bite into its delicate soft bun made its delicious salted egg yolk fill my mouth and brought me to Nirvana.  On the other hand, other than the delicious crust top of the Baked Bo Lo Bbq Pork Bun, it was similar to an asado siopao.  

Sauteed E-Fu Noodles with Prawn and Mushroom Sauce
 While the Sauteed E-Fu Noodles tasted like prawn and crab meat.  I found it too lonesome with only a few mushroom bits to munch on.


mochi cream mango
Japanese Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Mango and Cream (160 php/3 pcs.)
The Japanese Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Mango and Cream is definitely the best mochi I've ever tried yet!  

mochi cream mango
Japanese Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Mango and Cream (160 php/3 pcs.)
 The glutinuous rice dumpling shell was so soft and smooth that biting it merely caressed my lips.  It had a light cream filling that was so cool and light.  Together with the cherry and mango slice, I was so in awe that I almost got teary over it.  I vow from this day on to order this every time I visit! =D

Final Stop: Slice
I've always wanted to try Slice.  Aside from being owned by Senator Pia Cayetano.  It is one of the hottest cafes in the area.  Regardless of the time of day, it is never empty.  We were able to sample a wide variety of cakes and cupcakes which everyone was really grateful for.  In fact, most of us raised our white flags and left with a full tummy.

Overall, the success of  BGC Eats Food Tour is quite evident.  Slots were easily filled and it was so organized too.  I'm glad they saved the best line up for last.  We are so glad to participate. =D  They do something like this again!

BGC Eats Food Tour (July 20, 2013) Participating Restaurants                
Vask
 5th Floor, CLIPP Center, 11th Avenue corner 39th Street, 
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila
(0917) - 5872400

Orale!
G/F, The Fort Strip, 7th & 28th St., 
Bonifacio Global City,Taguig City, Metro Manila
(02) 552-2660

Crystal Jade Dining IN Bonifacio High Street Central 
Bonifacio High Street Central 7th Ave. corner 29th St., 
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila

(02) 808-5233

Slice
Bonifacio High Street Central 7th Ave. corner 29th St., 
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila
(02) 553-7783
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