Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ramen's Top Dog

August 28, 2010
Ukkokei Ramen Ron
A. Arnaiz Avenue
Makati City

I feel that my search for the best ramen in town has ended. Unless someone points me to another place, Ukkokei gets my vote as top dog.

Ukkokei Miso Chasyu Ramen

Soup base was amazing. It was thick and robust in flavor. Ironically so much tastier but had less sting on my tongue. The miso-based ramen that I got was like nothing I've tasted before. I would bathe in it if I could.

The noodles was a bit too soggy for me. Personally, I prefer a lot more bite when it comes to my noodles. Imagine cooking cup noodles al dente, that's just the way I want it. The only downside to this dish, in my opinion.

The chasyu was fatty and thick.

I love how everything you would want from a good ramen dish, you could find at Ukkokei. Apart from the noodles, everything was perfect. Reaching the bottom of my bowl, I didn't want my meal to end so we made an additional order but this time with butter and corn. Adding butter to an already perfect dish is like the epitome of excess. Something this perfect definitely will not be good for you. But it was. It was beyond perfect. I swear, I thought I heard angels sing with every spoonful.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ramenholic

August 20, 2010
Ramen Bar
Eastwood Mall
Quezon City

The perfect cure for any Ramen craving:


Ramen Bar Special #1

Loved the noodles. They were very plump and had a bite to it. The soup base was tasty but I liked Konbini's better. Vetsin was kinda heavy. The Chasyu was really tender despite being thick.

As of today, Ramen Bar is the second best on my list. Since I've only tried 3, the search continues...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Secret Ingredient

August 18, 2010
Balkan Express
Jose Abad Santos Street
San Juan City

In the Yugoslavian film by director Branko Baletić, the Balkan Express was a group of con artists posing as musicians. The restaurant, on the other hand, is nowhere near being a poser.

Balkan Express is a restaurant that recently opened near our place and we were excited to try it out. Coming from the gym, we were definitely hungry. We ordered three of their dishes so that we could get a good sample of their food:

Pljeskavica - Their classic burger. It tasted really good but at first I was surprised by it's rubbery texture. Then I reminded myself that maybe, their version of the hamburger was this way. It tasted a bit peppery which I like and it was very filling. It brought back memories of eating a longganisa burger in Boracay, I don't know why. Not the best burger in the world but not bad at all!

Goulash - Beef stew with noodles. The soup was really soothing and it was coincidental that it was drizzling outside. Very good comfort food although a bit bland to my taste. That little sting of warmth and spice made it perfect in its own little way.

Chicken "Batak" - Grilled chicken with rice. One of their specialties, a juicy grilled boneless chicken with a very generous topping of mozzarella cheese. It's definitely a must try.

Do not get me wrong, the food isn't as mind blowing as one would expect but what it offered was a good combination of Serbian soul food and hospitality. Comfort food which, in my opinion, will truly remain unbeatable.

The dishes reminded me of something I had as a child and I'm not even Eastern European. Maybe that's the thing about all home-cooked meals in the world. Different in flavors, textures, and tastes but united by a single ingredient...

Heart.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Typhoon Crabs

August 12, 2010
Under The Bridge Spicy Crab
414~424 Jaffe Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

The phone rang. It was our friend Mon, who was now based in Hong Kong for work. He told us that we will be having dinner at this "chili crab" restaurant. This immediately sent my brain to an electrical frenzy. Could the "chili crab" he was referring to be the elusive "Typhoon Shelter Crab" we were looking for since watching that No Reservations episode in Hong Kong? I had no qualms about assuming this time. With the slightest possibility of retracing the steps of Anthony Bourdain, we didn't think twice in agreeing to the dinner destination.

(Photo by Aileen Tong)

The sight of the restaurant was like a beautiful sunrise rising from the horizon. The smell was intoxicating. It can, with no exaggeration, lead you to this place even without a map or GPS for the tech-savvy traveler. The restaurant was called the Under the Bridge Spicy Crab and as the name would suggest, it was located under one of Wan Chai's bridges (flyover). The Typhoon Shelter Crab originated from an area in the Hong Kong waters wherein fishermen would take shelter whenever there was a storm. This was sort of like a cove that would protect them from the harsh waters. They would tie the boats together so that it would be able to withstand the strong waves. During the duration of the storm, the easiest thing they could catch was crabs. They cook the crabs in tremendous amounts of chili and garlic to give them heat during the cold stormy nights.

The massive crabs were succulent, fresh, spicy, and garlicky. This single dish overshadowed the rest of the meal. It's so good; you'll forget your name. I promise you. Definitely one of the best crabs I've ever had in my entire life.

The authentic Typhoon Shelter Crab that was cooked on the actual boats in the cove still exists until now. The Under the Bridge Spicy Crab is the urbanized twist on that classic. Luckily, this was one of the favorite restaurants of our friend and he would frequently bring his family and friends to this restaurant. Thank you Mon for dinner and for bringing us to this place. We've always wanted to go to this place. Now we can scratch this off our Hong Kong To-Eat List.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tempura Madness

If you like tempura, then I'll go out on a limb and suggest this to you:

Eat-All-You-Can Tempura for P330

Max's opened the floodgates with their promo, and now Saisaki follows suit.

My only wish is that this trend continues... paging the other restos? :)

So on August 26, prepare for WAR!

For more info, you can visit their event page on Facebook here.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Toys For The BIG Boys

I thought this was crazy weird...
Until I found this...
And this...
WTH right?

Monday, August 02, 2010

You Say Apple, I Say Apol

This looks vaguely familiar:

China is indeed the best in the World at this: Copying. But I don't think Steve Jobs is really flattered about this imitation. Just waiting for Apple's claws to come out on this. Check the website out if you want some laughs. I don't suggest you buy one from them though but you are free to if you just want to spite Apple and waste a few bucks in the process.

Qingting's website can be found here. Enjoy! :)
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