Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Frozen Yo!gurt

July 26, 2008
Salcedo Market, Makati City

Everyone is craving yogurt of all shapes and sizes nowadays. Health craze or just a fad, I don't know, but after having some breakfast, lunch, and dinner in one sitting at Apartment 1B, what better way to cap the brunch but with some dessert. Since we were already in the vicinity, we decided to go to the Salcedo Market and get some Froyo's Pure Frozen Yogurt.

It is as good as it looks! It was so good that we finished the whole pint of strawberry flavored yogurt in exactly 15 minutes and was craving for more! We shouldn't have shared one pint... Hehehe! The taste was very tangy and fruity, just the way we love our yogurt! The strawberries were really fresh and it was fun biting into bits and pieces of strawberries during the whole yogurt experience. And did I mention it's healthier? Less the guilt, but triple the pleasure! Try Froyo's and find out for yourself! The owner told us they'll be opening an ice cream shop very soon at Bonifacio High Street so watch out for that... and watch out for Oliboy's Adventures to be the first ones there! :)

Saturday Brunch Special

July 26, 2008
Apartment 1B
Salcedo Village, Makati City

My sister once asked me what was so special about Eggs Benedict. She said that it was just a simple dish with simple ingredients and if ever there was something really special about Eggs Benedict, it was the Hollandaise sauce. Been wanting to try out Apartment 1B for quite sometime now and so my editor arranged a Saturday brunch for us at 1B. It was not actually a brunch, but more of a whole day's meal in one sitting...

For "breakfast", Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon. This was the dish I was really excited about. The dish we were craving for for quite some time now. And believe me, it didn't fail to satisfy our expectations. The wait was all worth it. The eggs were perfectly cooked. Texture-wise, it was like gelatin in consistency all throughout the egg except for the runny yolk part. Perfectly cooked and even through and through. The Hollandaise sauce was very creamy but not thick. It had the perfect blend of tang, sweetness, and saltiness. The blending of the different flavors played around my mouth for quite sometime and I literally could not get enough of it. The whole dish was highlighted by the strong smoked salmon flavor yet it did not overpower the whole dish because of the spinach layer. All the ingredients complemented each other and balanced each other out. This is probably the best Eggs Benedict I've ever tasted. It was simply heavenly! A must-order in Apartment 1B.

For "lunch", Grilled Pork Chops. I just love perfectly cooked grilled pork chops. Tender, succulent pork chops perfectly grilled and topped with applesauce. Classic comfort food for me... The meat was really tender and not dry. The homemade applesauce they had was really good! It was tangy and sweet. A perfect accompaniment for pork chops. Very good dish AS LONG AS the pork chops are perfectly cooked. If not, this would have been a disaster.

And for the "dinner" part, Baby Back Ribs. The ribs tasted great! The barbecue sauce was very good and was consistent with the southwestern style of cooking. The only problem with the ribs was the tenderness of the meat. Perfect ribs should have its meat literally fall off the bone. This was not the case with 1B's version of the classic Baby Back Ribs. It was a bit overcooked so the meat was kinda tough. It slightly had that burnt taste which was really the downside for the dish.

All in all, Apartment 1B was an amazing and filling experience. It's a great place to have breakfast or brunch and they also serve entrées for lunch and dinner. A comfort food heaven for couples or for families.

My sister once asked me what was so special about Eggs Benedict. Apartment 1B is what's special about Eggs Benedict...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My 15 Minutes Of Fame

Actually, it's more like 10 seconds of fame but here goes:

This video was taken when we watched Avenue Q on its farewell show last June 21, 2008. I saw it while browsing through the blog of TheBachelorGirl. I forget the name of the girl who actually took the video but thanks for the 10 seconds of fame you gave us! :)

Thanks TheBachelorGirl! I saw you at the registration desk! Great blog!

Spread the Fuzz! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Angels' Kitchen

July 21, 2008
Connecticut Street
San Juan

I've been wanting to try this restaurant for the longest time and luckily we were able to get off the gym much earlier and were able to sample Angels' Kitchen before it closed for the evening. This restaurant closes fairly early (around 10:30pm) so better be there early like what we did.

The story I've heard about Angels' Kitchen is that it was a famous restaurant that was sole owned. Eventually he/she sold it to a group of moms, who changed the name from My Angel's Kitchen to just Angels' Kitchen.

The place is very nice, very cozy. It was kinda setup to instill an almost homey atmosphere or ambiance. It is basically a dining area where you can see an actual kitchen. Bear in mind that the actual kitchen is not of the industrial type but more of a home's kitchen setup. Even the dining area was simple and not as extravagant as you see in fine dining restaurants.

We were treated first with some free bread and Chicken Pistachio Pâté. I love free bread. But the free pâté was awesome! I really loved the pâté that I bought some to bring home and share with the family. It was really creamy and not metallic tasting like normal pâté. It was sweet and very rich. A perfect blend of flavors and spices. Although I didn't taste much of the pistachio nuts (it was overpowered by the liver and the spices), it was still very very good and we could not get enough of it.

We ordered two main dishes. We were feeling kinda healthy (or at least, trying to be) so we decided on the Ostrich Salpicao first. The dish was very good. It was very tasty and tender. Although the ostrich was not cooked consistently throughout the whole dish, it was indeed very very yummy! I love ostrich meat! It tastes like beef tenderloin but much more healthier. And sometimes, it is more tender than beef.

The next dish we sampled was the Crispy Steamed John Dory Fish Fillet which was really nice and refreshing. It wasn't as strong as the Ostrich Salpicao so it complemented our meal very well. The dory was perfectly cooked. Crisp on the outside and moist in the inside. The flavor was very oriental which reminded me of the steamed fish with sesame oil in Chinese Lauriats. My favorite! :) The only problem I had with the dish was that it lacked a bit of salt. So I sprinkled a little salt and the dish became perfect.

I couldn't choose between which meal I liked the best so instead of pondering with the choice. I concluded that both were yummy and moved on! I will definitely won't think twice of ordering the Ostrich Salpicao and the Crispy Steamed John Dory Fish Fillet again next time. Onto dessert, I ordered a night cap for dessert. Specifically, Espresso Affogato. I liked the coffee very much and of course ice cream (who doesn't like ice cream?). The only problem I had with the nightcap was that the quantity was really small for a steep price. Good thing the coffee and ice cream combo was really good or else this would be a disaster.

One complain on Angels' Kitchen though was our server. She seemed really unhappy with her job or something. She was kinda bitchy and snobbish. I don't know if it was late already that she didn't want any customers anymore so she could go home earlier or whatever. I really felt she had an issue or something. I normally try to cheer up servers with witty comments to ease some of their stress but with her it seemed like I was like talking to a rock. Sad though that such a good resto with great food could get a complain on service. A simple and yet one of the most important qualities one looks for in restaurants.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dive Acacia: Sunburst

July 19, 2008
Acacia Resort
Anilao, Batangas

Been craving for some diving for almost a month now and what better way to satisfy this addiction but by going to Acacia Resort for some underwater photography. The theme of the dive was:


Check out the rest of my underwater photographs here at my Multiply site!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Movie Critique: The Dark Knight

There were a few slow and confusing parts because of the changes in the actual Batman storyline and Batman's "fake" voice was really distracting.

Other than that, I really liked the movie. It was awesome!

The movie should have been entitled The Joker instead of The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger, playing the joker, carried the weight of the whole movie! I think he should get an award for his portrayal! Officially, he is now the BEST Joker (sorry, Jack)! It's sad he passed away but he left his legacy with The Dark Knight! The other actors were also good: Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Aaron Eckhart. Ironically though, every character's portrayal overshadowed the Dark Knight himself.

The movie is really dark and dim. Very emotional. Classic Batman. Definitely NOT for children. It deals with really dark emotions. The film toys with the concept of the thin line between good and evil, sanity and insanity, the price you have to pay to be a hero or a villain for that matter. It chronicles why Batman is, and why he would always be, until the end of his career, alone.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gilbert Arenas' Blog Entry

This gave me goosebumps, seriously!

An excerpt from Gilbert Arenas' blog entry at entitled Everybody Should Visit Manila:
(photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE)


Then we stopped in Manila. It was a different world. I’ve never seen fans like that in my life. These pictures can’t even do justice to what was going on out there. I had a reception at a small, little venue to welcome me to the city and there were 200 people there.

One thing I want to say about Filipinos: they’re very warm people, very good-hearted people. Like, everybody was nice. You know, you meet nice people, but a whole country of nice, genuine, warm-hearted people was unbelievable. These are diehard fans.

I really didn’t know if I was in Game 7 of a playoff series, I couldn’t tell the difference. Everywhere I went it was just bananas.

I also want to give a shout out to my man from Maryland who flew from MD to the Philippines and told me the reason he flew all the way out there was to get autographs from me because he knew I was going to be there at that date and time.

I did a couple mall tours. I also helped a kid with his wish. It was in one of the poverty areas in Manila and there’s a group called GK that builds homes for people all over the world. They helped this community out by putting people in homes. I guess a couple weeks before we got there, a hurricane hit and destroyed their community and GK helped build it back up.

One little kid who lived there wanted a basketball court for his community so all the kids could play so I donated – with the help of GK and adidas – a basketball court to that community and the kid was very happy.

You have to look at the Agent Zero posters they had out there. They put me in a cape at one of my last events in Manila. It was at one of their biggest malls and they were predicting it was going to be crowded. I mean, crowded to me is a Saturday afternoon at the mall where you have to wait in line for 10 minutes to pay for your jeans. Their crowded was probably four or five thousand people in the mall. It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and I’ve seen crazy fans all over the world. It was like Golden State against the Dallas Mavericks with Game 3 back in Oakland. It was that type of atmosphere in the mall.

I was stunned.

They made me feel like an NBA star.

Any NBA players out there: If you’re having a bad day, or you’re having a bad career, go to Manila. They’ll bring your spirits up, trust me.

I felt like I just won the NBA championship, to be for real.

After we left the mall we were looking at pictures from the event a couple days later and we were telling ourselves, "Man, that was unreal!"

Plus, with the security I had, I felt like I was the President. I felt like I was Obama. I really felt like I was running in the presidential election, especially when I got to meet the U.S. ambassador out in the Philippines. We had a great time talking to each other.

We actually went to a college basketball game together. Their college game would be like if it was Duke and Maryland playing each other and you split the crowd in half, 50-50. One side of their gym was blue and one side of their gym was green and everybody was just yelling.

Backstage I met Manny Pacquiao, he’s the town hero. I have to be honest, they made me feel even bigger than him at the moment. I talked to him and he invited me to his November fight, so if I have time and depending on if we have a day off, I might go see that. Oh, I also met Jet Li in Shanghai, can’t leave him out.

On top of everything else in Manila, I stayed at the best hotel I’ve ever stayed at – The Peninsula. I was in the mack daddy “El Presidente” suite and was like the Fresh Prince with Geoffrey – I had a live-in butler.

One more note on Manila, just so you guys can get a picture of what kind of people they are and how much they adore and love entertainers and the NBA. Think about this: If you’ve ever been to a Beyoncé concert, or anybody’s concert in the states really, if they sell out an arena it will be 20,000 fans. Last year in Beyoncé’s hometown, Houston, she pulled in 12,000 people to her show. D.C. was her biggest sell, she put 18,000 people in the seats. Meanwhile, she was in Manila for two days to do two concerts and she had 85,000 people, two nights straight.

She couldn’t even do it in the arena, she had to do it on the lawn. Like, “Everybody, y’all just get in the grass, I’m going to perform.”

That’s how the people are out there.

He then ends with this funny statement:

Just remember people, if you want to feel like a king and feel like a star, you know where to go: Manila. So, Pauly Shore, after you finish reading this, you head to Manila to jumpstart your career, baby. You’ll be back in the business, baby. You’ll be doing Jury Duty 2 in no time.

News like these make me proud I'm a Filipino!
Mabuhay Tayo! :)

(A message to Pauly Shore: If you don't believe Arenas, look into Keith Martin, David Pomeranz, The Letterman for God's Sake! Hahaha!)

You Know You're Having A HARD Time:

When you are a restroom signage on viagra.

Funny random photo I took at the Robinsons Galleria mall with my Sony Ericsson Z610i. We were about to watch a movie then, when I saw this funny sight on the restroom's door and decided to take the shot. :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thai And Try

July 12, 2008
Mall Of Asia, Pasay City

For lunch, we decided to go to a new restaurant in Mall Of Asia. Well, not exactly new, Jatujuk has been situated inside Mall Of Asia for a while now. It's new for me though because it was my first time to sample it. The ambiance reminded me much of Pho Hoa's restaurant style. It is not much of a theme restaurant but leaning towards the fastfood concept. The utensils and cookery were, on the other hand, themed. In order to really check out the quality of a Thai restaurant, you have to sample these basic Thai cuisine:

The soup. Tom Yum Soup. I really love sour soup. I love how it's so sour that when you think about it, the salivary glands of your mouth immediately produces lots of saliva. The sourness is basically what I look for in any Tom Yum Soup. That is why I really like Jatujuk's version of this Thai must-order. It is really sour and my mouth is literally watering now as I write this. When I think of the taste and describe it to you, I have to have some tissue here beside me or else I'd drool all over myself. Kidding aside, this is probably not the best Thai Tom Yum Soup in town but really really good. They used all the authentic Thai ingredients like galangal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, and basil. This was my favorite dish here.

The curry. Green Chicken Curry, to be exact. My favorite type of curry although I may try the red curry instead the next time I eat Thai cuisine again. This dish was very spicy and hot. They used a mixture of dried basil and fresh Thai basil which was really cool since there was a contrast of flavours WITHIN the dish. It added a different dimension to the dish. The chicken was cooked perfectly and was really flavorful because of the intense curry flavor smeared on each chicken piece. This is probably not the ultimate curry (green) I've tasted but definitely one of the best!

The Pad Thai. One of the staple in Thai cuisine. One of my favorites as well. The Pad Thai that Jatujuk has was really good. It had the perfect blend of sweetness already that you don't need to really put sugar on it anymore. The dish also had a very big serving size which was really good.

Thai Iced Tea. The iced tea was not my favorite since I don't like milk teas in the first place. Objectively though, the milk tea was not as strong as I'd hope. It was a very big serving but it was more ice than tea. The tea could have been stronger to keep the actually flavor of the authentic Thai Iced Tea.

The taste of the food at Jatujuk was reminiscent of Blue Onion which was once one of my favorites and probably one of the most affordable Thai restaurants out there. Jatujuk is not anything different. Fairly affordable and really good. Well, it will not beat our Krua Thai and People's Place but it is definitely one of the few good Thai restaurants left out there if you're craving for some.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Elbert's Steak Room

July 5, 2008
H.V. Dela Costa Street
Salcedo Village, Makati City

Elbert's Steak Room. A cozy place found right at the heart of the central EATING district of Makati. Been trying out different kinds of steak the past few weeks and July 5 was not out of the ordinary. My food blogging budget, sadly, has gone out the window with Elbert's. It's been weeks after putting out with a budget this big and back then, it was definitely NOT worth it! I was scared. All my prayers of a good meal (you have to pray for a GREAT meal with this kind of pricing), I'm hoping to be answered this time.

OliCat invited us for some dinner and they said that their friend Kai had reserved us a table at Elbert's Steak Room. We were torn with thoughts of our financial capabilities during that time versus the fact that we've always wanted to try Elbert's. We were literally watering in the mouth with curiousity (and yes, we were hungry). Throwing everything to fate, we changed to something decent and somewhat haute couture and proceeded to the restaurant.

The place was really nice. A secluded place (which is not actually true cause it has indeed a cult following) for steak lovers and alike. Indeed, they know this place. Carnivores can smell the scent of blood from afar you know. It is a known fact in the animal kingdom.

For dinner, the prices range from a 1,600 peso Prime Rib (which was conveniently out of stock) to a 3,600 peso Porterhouse Steak. I ordered the safest cut which has always been a standard of mine in the art of steak consumption: the USDA prime grade Ribeye. Which was around 2,200 pesos. And believe me, it was WELL WORTH IT. Well, a tad bit overpriced, BUT very very good. The meat was cooked perfectly (medium-rare). They don't ask you how you want your steak done, it is automatically cooked medium-rare for you. Now, if you are a LOSER who eats cardboard... you can actually request for it to be well-done. But as you all know, eating steak well-done is a waste of good meat. I'd rather you not eat steak than eat it well-done. The steak was really juicy. It had that sweet metallic taste carnivores love. And as the meat's juices touch your tongue, it gives you a blend of different kinds of intense flavors. It gives you such a rush that you close your eyes and cherish each and every bite. Foodgasm.

The steak comes with soup and salad. The soup was pumpkin soup (yes, for the nth time) and the salad was garden greens with oriental vinaigrette. Soup was nice and was served in a warm soup bowl. It was too sweet though, and lacked a bit of saltiness and spice. They should have used more herbs to complement the sweet pumpkin taste. Texture was good though but serving size could have been bigger. All in all, it was a good soup dish. The salad was very good. This time it was served on a cold plate instead. I liked the tangy and gingery oriental taste of the vinaigrette. The greens were really fresh and were still crunchy. There were no soggy vegetables in sight.

Elbert's is a good place for great steak only if you have the budget for it. It is kinda overpriced but in reality, you are actually paying for quality. The product. The service. Frankly, I'd rather pay 2,200 bucks here than 1,750 bucks in Malcolm's. Here at Elbert's, they don't serve crap meat. They serve real USDA approved meat. I really don't mind paying this much as long as I get the equivalent amount in quality and service. Overpriced Elbert's will beat up Overrated Malcolm's in any ring, anytime!

Thanks to Mr. Elbert Cuenca for the complimentary dessert sampler. Thanks to Kai and OliCat for inviting us. Until our next fine dining steak experience! I will try the Porterhouse next time but first I have to retire from food blogging for a couple of weeks to save up some budget for my next food review...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

WTF Is Going On?!?

This welcomed me back home from my business trip to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. WTF did they do to you Burger? :(

Don't worry you'll be cute again when your hair grows back. I'm sorry for what they've done to you. :(

Paging Jackie: Your ugly dog has a new ugly friend! Yes, I know, it's payback for calling your dog ugly! I get it now! :(

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Lessons From KL

Come to Kuala Lumpur but come at night. KL is BEAUTIFUL and more EXCITING at night. Visit the Petronas Tower. It is breathtaking. Eat. Authentic Malaysian food is pretty good. Not the best, but definitely good. DO NOT ride a taxi after eating. The driver stinks so bad, you'll literally barf in his cab. Walk around. Shop. Take a lot of pictures and memories back to your homes. Malaysia is a lot like the Philippines. A lot of beautiful natural resources and good people. Sad though that the same thing killing the Philippines is the same thing killing Malaysia... corruption.

Last Malaysian Supper

July 3, 2008
Madam Kwan's
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

What better way to bid farewell to Malaysia but with a serving of some of the local cuisine and delicacies. To be honest, I'm not really a fan of Malaysian cuisine but here at Madam Kwan's, the food is great, service is great, not to mention the price. Price is really affordable. Our colleagues brought us to this restaurant for us to try real authentic Malaysian food like Nasi Bojari and Char Kway Teow. Madam Kwan's can be found at the Suria KLCC Mall which is under the Petronas Towers. It is situated at the top floor of the mall. They have a lot of patrons so better reserve.

Nasi Bojari. Fragrant fried rice, fried chicken, your choice of chicken curry or beef rendang, and chili shrimp. You can just imagine how good and filling this dish was. I was really full and I almost had given up finishing the meal. Good thing I didn't give up. The friend chicken was a very big piece and it was really juicy. The chicken meat was perfectly cooked and was succulent. I ordered the chicken curry instead of the beef rendang since we had ordered it separately as a side dish or viand. Too bad I forgot to take pictures of it. But believe me, the beef rendang is a MUST to order. Very very good and very very flavorful. Going back, the chicken curry was also very good. It was very tasty and the chicken was also cooked perfectly. The rice was very fragrant and tasty in itself. The only downside to this dish was the chili shrimps. The shrimps were kinda overcooked and I really didn't like the spices and the chilis used. It was too tangy for my taste. Too acidic. 4 out of five good parts ain't that bad, right?

Otak Otak. One of the delicacies of Malaysian cuisine. It was their version of meatloaf. Fish meatloaf to be exact. Reminded me much of Christmas meatloaf, locally called "everlasting". It was just ok. Not much of a main dish but more of a viand we added together with the beef rendang.

Beef Rendang. Was definitely one of my favorite dishes of the night. Too bad I didn't have pictures to show you guys. The flavor was very intense but not too much. The mixture of the spices was just right.

Dumpling Soup. Madam Kwan's version of the Chinese dumpling soup. The dumpling was really good and very flavorful. The seafood inside was fresh and was really cooked well. The only thing I didn't like about this was the soup itself. I may have been used to the usual MSG-laced broth that this broth didn't taste as good. Too bad though, it could have been a great soup accompaniment to our meal.

Char Kway Teow.
Yeah another stupid move of forgetting to take this dish's picture. One of the best Malaysian cuisine there is and Madam Kwan's version is definitely one of the best. Malaysian version of the Pad Thai and Hofan Noodles which is similar looking but very different when tasted. The Char Kway Teow is more tasty and less sweet compared to Thailand's Pad Thai. Definitely one of my favorite dishes in Malaysia.

Ice Campur. Now this was a dish that I just had to try. I didn't know how it tasted and what it had inside but I just had to try it. They say it is also a popular Malaysian dessert and so I tried it. The look of the dessert reminded me of the local "ice scramble" but when tasted, it was not like the "ice scramble". The dessert was more of a like the local "halo-halo". It consisted of grass jelly, dried fruits, and beans topped with crushed ice. Syrup and condensed milk was poured over the crushed ice. Didn't really like the taste of the whole dessert. Individually, the dried fruits and grass jelly were really good. But as a whole, the flavor tasted weird. Positive thing though was that is was really refreshing. A great palette cleanser.

The Original Jake's

July 3, 2008
Jake's Charbroil Steaks
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Was excited to try this restaurant out since we tried the local version of it here in the Philippines. Jake's Charbroil Steak can be found in Malaysia and is probably one of the original steakhouses in Kuala Lumpur. Again, our set menu consisted of soup, main course, and dessert with coffee or tea. I was looking forward for the steak lunch but wasn't expecting much simply because it was, Malaysia. They cook things much differently here. Exotic ingredients. I was excited, but I definitely lowered my expectations.

The soup didn't do much good for my initial lowered expectations. Honestly, it lowered it even more... The soup that was served was one of my favorites. French onion soup with freshly baked garlic bread. I love the beefiness of the soup. The beef broth is actually the key to a good french onion soup. Soup base alone, the onion soup they served failed me. Actually it was not their fault. We all know that there are many religions sensitive to the use of pork and/or beef thus the soup broth was as safe as possible: chicken stock. Chicken stock will never EVER be a match with onion soup. It will NEVER be the base of any onion soup. In my opinion, they should've made another soup instead like chicken noodle soup or something instead of creating a soup that doesn't mix well together.

With EVEN lowered expectations in my heart, the main course arrived. It was rib-eye that was cooked medium rare just the way I like my steak done. The steak was pretty good. Definitely a great leap from the onion soup. I really liked it since it was really juicy and wasn't overcooked. It was cooked evenly throughout the meat cut. It was indeed very flavorful because of the charbroiling. Very very good main course. Probably one of my favorite lunches during the whole trip.

The dessert was literally forgettable cause I really forgot whatever we had. Must have been the great main course that completely made me forget the dessert or the chatting I had with my Malaysian colleague about scuba diving and our separate experiences regarding the subject. All in all, good conversation can really move you faster though a meal like locusts though a plantation. Good thing though we were all silent during the main course else I wouldn't be able to sample one of the originals of Malaysia's carnivore hangouts.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Chinese-Stylin' In Malaysia

July 2, 2008
Restoran Oversea Corporation Sdn. Bhd.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

For dinner, our colleagues treated us to some Chinese food somewhere near the JW Marriott where we stayed. The restaurant had an unorthodox name: Restoran Oversea Corporation Sdn. Bhd. Yes, that was it's complete name. Which was indeed kinda scary since it was more like a food trading company rather than an actual restaurant.

We started of with the usual Chinese assorted meat platter which was just so so. I kept on comparing it to what we usually eat here in the Philippines and also in Hong Kong (which is the best). It was really even better here in the Philippines. It had nothing much to offer but AT LEAST, the pork belly's skin and the suckling pig's skin was really crispy. It wasn't much of a loss because of those two meats.

Next up was the herbed duck. It reminded me much of the mixed herb soup that we used to drink when we were kids called Si But. Well, we do drink it until now. Honestly though, I've been drinking it almost once a month and I'm sick of it. But they say it's good for you so I try to drink some once in a while. The herbed duck was made up with (I think) the same herbs used for the soup. It was good. The duck was really tender and perfectly cooked. The sauce was very thick because of the slow-cooking method and is always a good viand on rice. Pouring it over hot rice and putting it inside your mouth while tasting all the flavor and the juices is definitely something amazing! A very good dish indeed.

This next vegetable dish was very similar to the local pinakbet which was a favorite in the restaurant. This was also probably my favorite course during the whole meal. The vegetables were fresh and perfectly cooked. The flavor of the fish paste and chili blended really well. It was so good that it took only one turn of the "Lazy Susan" in the middle of the table, we literally didn't have seconds.

The next dish was in a claypot. It was, I believe, their version of a claypot stew. It was filled with gelatinous thinly sliced pork belly stewed in a fish sauce base. The dish didn't quite hit the target since I really didn't taste the fish sauce. The soy sauce was too overpowering to even taste the flavors. It was not actually salty but there was no distinct flavor because of the dark soy sauce used.

I was getting full by this time with all the courses being offered. BUT when I saw this dish, my "fullness" just went out the window. It was GIGANTIC (yes, MONSTROUS, I'm not exaggerating) tiger prawns that was blackened by molasses and spices. This was in a class on it's own. Definitely one of the best prawn dishes I've ever tasted. They say that big prawns have little or less flavor compared to the small shrimps but this was not the case with this dish. The prawn meat was very flavorful. YUM YUM YUM! That's all I can say...

The second vegetable dish came in and it was also one of my favorite Chinese dishes. Stir-fried broccoli stalks. In Hong Kong this is normally blanched ever-so-quickly in stock and served with hoisin sauce poured over it. In Malaysia, it was just stir-fried with garlic and spices. The flavor was absolutely amazing. The stalks were not soggy and had a bite to it. It was cooked perfectly and tasted even more perfect. Now I know that anywhere I go, this dish is always good as long as it is cooked delicately.

Protein in the meal also came in the healthier form of tofu. Also a staple in the Chinese cuisine and is also one of my favorites. What we ordered was fried tofu with dried baby shrimps. This was just an ok dish. Which didn't really register on my taste meter. The tofu and shrimps didn't quite mesh together as a dish. The sauce also didn't provide anything but coloring. Should've order another plate of those MONSTER prawns instead. :)

Last served was the fish head soup. This was a very good soup. Had a very clean flavor which was not really heavy to the taste. Even if we were on the brink of exploding, we all drank the soup without hesitation since it gave a sort of comforting effect to our already filled stomachs. I really don't like fish head that much so I just drank the soup. I tasted a little of the fish head and it was surprisingly tasted good. Not at all fishy and very beautifully cooked. Awesome soup.

We were all full but somebody wanted dessert so we had to choose something. We picked a cold soup which was really refreshing. It was made up of nata de coco and lemon slices. It tasted almost like iced tea with nata de coco bits. The dessert was not that good but it was very refreshing indeed. I just love cold desserts. They didn't have my favorite dessert though, mango purée and tapioca so we opted for this second rated (not even) dessert.

Fisherman's Cove

July 2, 2008
JW Marriott Hotel
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

First actual lunch in Malaysia and honestly, I'm not that excited. Been to Malaysia a couple of times and I never really liked their cuisine. First time in Kuala Lumpur though so I'm a bit intrigued if there are actual differences from area to area. Frankly though, I'm more excited in seeing the Petronas Towers than eating their food. Moving on...

Our menu consisted of set dishes that was prepared for us by our colleagues here. They told us that with every lunch, we will experience different kinds of cuisines. The dining area of "Feast" area of JW Marriott consists of a variety of restaurants much like a shop in shop concept you see in malls. They have a wide mix of different kinds of cuisines to choose from. First up, seafood at Fisherman's Cove. Red Guava Juice was served to us before the meal which was really nice and refreshing. Definitely a good way to open our palettes up for the set meal to come.

The meal proper started with the soup. Funny how for almost weeks now, this soup has been showing up all over. Everywhere I would eat, thi soup would make it's presence felt. Pumpkin Soup. I love pumpkin soup. BUT their version of the soup was definitely not upto standards. The pumpkin had a curry taste in it and it was so overpowering that the pumpkin taste was nowhere to be found. It became more of a curry sauce rather than pumpkin soup. Good thing the serving size was small, less soup to bear with.

Next was the main entrée which was a choice between Oven-Roasted Chicken with Fragrant Rice or (my choice) the Grilled Barramundi Fillet with Mashed Potato and Kyuri Salsa. The barramundi was grilled perfectly and was cooked well. Not overcooked. The meat was a tad dry which needed a squeeze of lemon for taste and texture. The taste was divine. The mashed potato was also really good. It was very smooth and silky in texture. It melted in your mouth like butter on a piece of warm bread. I wasn't a fan of the salsa, it was really different from actual salsa. Probably because it lacked that herb that makes the salsa taste like it should be, cilantro.

We were treated a serving of chocolate mousse for desert which looked unlike any chocolate mousse I've seen. It was sort of a deconstruction of sorts from the actual "slice" of cake. And instead of scooping it into a cocktail glass, it was plated over a sweet mint sauce and topped with roasted watermelon seeds and a piece of milk chocolate. I really liked the dessert served to us. It was not too sweet, very creamy, and looked really different. The combination of the taste of the milk with the watermelon seeds was very good. Although they should have used dark chocolate instead of the milk chocolate to give it that extra jolt of flavor, I really liked how the dish was put together and how the different tastes and textures mended together.

In conclusion, Fisherman's Cove was a good restaurant with a cool ambiance. It gives you the feeling of being a fisherman in your old-school bamboo fishing boat eating the fruits of your labor. The pumpkin soup gave me a little scare but eventually it turned out to be a surprisingly good meal.
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