June 30, 2014

Beef Salpicao Recipe

Serving Size: 4     Prep Time: 2 hours     Cooking Time: 20 minutes

500 g beef tenderloin, cubed

For marinade:
1 Tbsp Olive oil
3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
3 Tbsp Knorr Liquid Seasoning
4 cloves (1 Tbsp) Garlic, minced
1 tsp whole Rosemary
1/2 or 1 tsp cayenne powder - Optional
Black pepper

2 whole garlic bulbs, top sliced
Olive oil
1 Finger Pepper, sliced

1. Marinate beef in Worcestershire sauce, Knorr liquid seasoning, garlic, rosemary, cayenne powder and black pepper. Add olive oil. Chill for minimum 2 hours.
2. Drizzle olive oil on top of the garlic. Roast in oven toaster for 10 minutes. Remove garlic from the skin.
3. Fry beef in a pan. Add remaining marinade. Then add roasted garlic.
4. Transfer to a serving plate, garnish with sliced finger pepper on top.

June 28, 2014

Bacon and Mushroom Carbonara Recipe

Serving Size: 4     Prep Time: 10 minutes     Cooking Time: 20 minutes

250 g Linguine or any pasta
4 pcs (250 g) thick Bacon, chopped
1/2 Tbsp Butter
4 cloves (1 Tbsp) Garlic, minced
1 White Onion (1/4 cup), chopped
1/2 cup Shitake mushroom, finely chopped
500 ml All-purpose cream
1/4 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup Water
1/4 Knorr Chicken cube
1 stalk parsley, chopped for garnish

1. Cook pasta according to back-of-pack instruction. Set aside.
2. Fry bacon until crispy. Transfer to a plate with tissue to absorb oil.
3. Put butter in a pan, saute garlic and onion. Cook shitake mushroom. Put back bacon. Add all-purpose cream, cheddar and parmesan cheese.
4. Slowly add water little by little. Season with chicken cube.
5. Mix pasta with sauce, top with chopped parsley.

June 27, 2014

Pasta Vongole Recipe

Serving Size: 4     Prep Time: 10 minutes     Cooking Time: 20 minutes

250 g Spaghetti or Angel Hair Pasta
1 kg Clams
2 Tbsp Clams broth 
Olive oil
8 cloves (2 Tbsp) garlic, minced
1/2 (2 Tbsp) onion , chopped
2-3 tomatoes (1/4 cup), diced
1/2 cup Wine wine
1 Tbsp butter
1 stalk parsley, chopped

1. Thoroughly clean the clams with running water. Bring to a boil for less than 5 minutes letting the clams to open. Drain clams but keep few amount of broth in a separate container. Set aside.
2. Cook pasta according to back-of-pack instruction. Drain with cold running water. Set aside.
3. On a separate pan, put olive oil.  Saute garlic and onion then add tomatoes.
4. Add white wine then simmer letting the alcohol evaporates. Add clams broth.  Add salt to taste if needed.
5. Put the clams, mix well. Then add the pasta and the butter. Add more olive oil if needed. 
6. Garnish pasta with chopped parsley.

June 25, 2014

Beef Gyudon Recipe

Recipe serves: 2     Prep Time: 10 minutes     Cooking Time: 20 minutes

400-500 grams Beef Gyudon or Sukiyaki cut (thinly sliced)
1 whole onion, sliced
1 tsp Dashida seasoning
2 cups boiling water
Cooking oil
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 tsp spring onion, chopped
1/2 cup Sake
1/2 cup Mirin
1/8 cup Kikkoman soy sauce
1 Tbsp Corn Syrup
Salt to taste
1 tsp pickled or yellow ginger, sliced for garnish
1 tsp spring onion, chopped for garnish
2 eggs
2 cups of rice

1. Boil beef with onions and Dashida.
2. Remove onions and saute in cooking oil. Add grated ginger and chopped spring onion. Mix for a minute.
3. Add the beef, sake, mirin and soy sauce. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to reduce liquid. Let the alcohol from sake and mirin evaporates. Add corn syrup.
4. Cook beef until desired doneness. Add salt to taste if needed.
5. Place rice in a japanese bowl. Add raw egg (half-cooked if preferred). Then add the beef on top, garnish with chopped spring onions and sliced yellow ginger.

June 13, 2014

Casino Espanol de Manila

I've been working in Manila for 13 years now but this was my first time to dine at Casino Espanol de Manila, a 10-minute drive from my office. I've heard they have good Spanish food so when my team mate suggested to eat here, I promptly agreed!
While Casino EspaƱol de Manila caters to its members only, it now welcomes guests and visitors to its compound. The club holds events in its open-air Patio de Orquidias. It has a restaurant that offers Spanish food in its menu. At the back, it has a fronton that is used for jai alai and pelota games. Right beside the casino is the modern structure of the Instituto Cervantes Manila where Spanish classes are held, promoting the Spanish culture in the Philippines. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Upon entering the compound, you will see the site's marker. The lobby will lead you to the courtyard.  The restaurant is on the left side.  The place, though old, is well-maintained.


The waiters were very accommodating. While waiting for your orders to arrive, they will serve you bread and butter. You can also dip your bread in a mixture of Olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese.

Our waiter insisted they have great house Iced Tea.  Well, he was right!

We ordered 5 viands. The Gambas was the first one to be wiped out - I loved the fresh taste of the shrimps perfectly cooked in Olive oil, chili and garlic. I also liked the Salpicao - perfect rounded taste with mushroom and toasted sliced garlic.  And don't let the photo of the Sausage Omelet deceive you.  The dish was so delicious - 2 thumbs up!

Callos a La Andaluza
Gambas al Ajillo
Salpicado de Solomillo
Pollo Asado En Su Jugo (Roast Chicken)
Tortilla de Chorizo (Sausage Omelet)
 For dessert, we ordered Leche Flan.
Leche Flan
I will definitely go back to try their Paella (you need to order in advance)! Next time, I would also like to try L' Eau Vive, a French restaurant operated by nuns, just walking distance from our office.

Casino Espanol de Manila
855 Teodoro M. Kalaw st.
Ermita, Manila
(02) 525-7604

June 12, 2014

Balesin Food Trip!

Balesin is paradise! We explored the island last March with our office mates. "A destination of unmatched natural beauty located off the Eastern coast of Luzon in the Philippines, Balesin is a 500 hectare tropical island paradise with 7.3 kilometers of pristine white sand beaches. Located 21 kilometers southeast of Polillo, Quezon Province and just 60 nautical miles east of Manila, Balesin is a quick 25-minute plane ride from Manila, yet is a world completely unto itself. Alphaland Balesin Island Club is your unique, members-only, private leisure getaway-today and for generations to come," lifted this from their website. 

Upon arriving, we went directly to our villa in Mykonos Village.  The view was breathtaking! I haven't been to Greece but the village was picture-perfect, just how you would see Mykonos from the internet. Our villa has its own jacuzzi and veranda. And the pool was right in front of our villa, so perfect!

For lunch, we ate at the Mykonos restaurant.  While waiting for your orders, they will serve assorted breads with different spreads.

We ordered both the Baked Macaroni and Moussaka.

Pastitsio (Baked Macaroni, Greek Style)
For main course, we ordered Stuffed Squid, Lamb Ribs, Beef and Chicken Souvlaki. I'm a big fan of Beef Souvlaki from Cyma.  This one didn't disappoint me. Loved it! Coincidentally, we saw Chef Robby of Cyma also dining in this resto. He said he was there for a friend's wedding. I wasn't able to get his review though of this Greek Restaurant. Sayang! 
Beef Souvlaki
Chicken Souvlaki
Stuffed Squid
Lamb Ribs Souvlaki
We ordered this for dessert.
Thanassis Mousse
In the afternoon, we joined the tour, and here are some photos from the 7 "themed" villages in Balesin.

For dinner, we ate at Trattoria Toscana. As you enter the restaurant, you will be greeted with cured meats and cheese.  We ordered our own platters.  Too bad I wasn't able to take photo of the cheese platter. The salami and prosciutto were great. Read in a related article that the cured meats were personally flown from Tuscany by the owner, RVO. We ordered Red Wine to partner with the cured meats. While waiting for your orders, they will also serve you freshly baked breads.  You can dip your breads into a mixture of olive oil, vinaigrette and parmesan cheese.
Salami, Prosciutto and other cured Meats
We ordered two pizzas.  Both were good but I loved the Meat pizza more. Crust is perfectly crispy thin and topped with a great mix of the ingredients for that great flavor! 
Prosciutto and Basil Pizza
Tutti Le Carni Pizza
For pasta, we ordered one tomato-based and another olive oil-based. For both dishes, the pasta was al dente, and the ingredients tasted fresh! I loved the Vongole!
Spaghetti Bolognese
Vongole Pasta
This pork ribs is a must try! 
Costoliccio (Pork Ribs marinated in days with garlic and rosemary)
On our 2nd day, we had breakfast at St. Tropez. We ordered Eggs Benedict, and sweet and savory crepes. 
Prosciutto Savory Crepe
Bacon, Egg and Cheese Crepe
Ham and Salmon Eggs Benedict

Banana Hazelnut Crepe
After breakfast, we went to the Beach --- to lounge and try different Yoga poses. Hehehe! We got so tired and hungry, our tummies can't wait for our yummy Sakura lunch. The place is not that big. We were seated in front of the teppan grill where we can see the chef cook our yummy beef teppan and fried rice!

First, they served this yummy complimentary salad.  It has lettuce and fried wonton strips dressed with Roasted Sesame Mayo-based dressing.
Complimentary Salad
Then we ordered these yummy appetizers and salad! Everything was yummy! The spicy Maguro is a must-try!
Uni Maki and Spicy California Maki
Japanese Salad
Spicy Maguro
Japanese Popcorn
We were already half-full when the Main Course arrived. We paired our viands with the fried rice cooked after the Tepanyaki - just imagine all the fat from the Marbled beef used to make our yummy fried rice! It's worth the carbs!  My favorite dish was the Beef Teppanyaki followed by the Tori Teriyaki.
Grilled Salmon
Beef Teppanyaki
Tori Teriyaki
Chicken Teppanyaki
We made room for desserts. Hahaha! 
Wasabi Creme Brulee
Red Bean Ice Cream
After lunch, we went back to Mykonos for our afternoon swim. Then around 5pm, we head to Bali Village where we can view the lovely sunset.  We ordered some Satay, Spicy Dilis and Kropek, paired with Wine!

For dinner, we had reservation at Phuket Village Restaurant. The dishes I liked most are the Tom Yum Goong, Catfish Salad and Pad Thai.
Tom Yam Goong
Crispy Catfish Salad with Green Mango
Pad Thai Goong
Green Chicken Curry
Bagoong Fried Rice (Mixed already)
Moo Kathiau Prik Thai (Pork Belly with Garlic)
We also surprised one of our friends with his Sticky Rice Birthday Cake.  Really adorable how they've assembled this - with cherries, mini-umbrellas and carrot sticks as candle stand.
Kau Niew Mamuang (Sticky Rice with Mango)
On our last day, we had Filipino Breakfast. I loved my TapSiLog! Great beach view from the al fresco dining area of Balesin Sala.
Tapa with Sinangag and Itlog
Bangus with Sinangag

We dined at Costa Del Sol Restaurant for our last lunch in the island.  I love the Spanish vibe of the village. 

Food was great. I loved everything we ordered! And because it was really good, we had to order 2nd or 3rd servings of Chorizo, Gambas and Salpicao. Their paella is also a must-try! Super duper yummy!
Baked Mussels
Spanish Chorizos
Gambas Al Ajillo
Calamares Fritos
Paella Negra
For desserts, we ordered these. I loved the fluffiness and not-so-sweet/perfect blend of Tocino de Cielo.
Leche Flan
Tocino de Cielo
After lunch, we went to Balesin Club while waiting for our 4pm flight.  What's great with travelling to/from Balesin is that you don't have to be early in the airport. We had these merienda minutes before we boarded the plane.

Balesin Burger
It was hard to leave the paradise that is Balesin but I was also missing my kids! I really want to bring them with us next time, but I would have to prepare a good budget for it, hehe.  I'm sure they will enjoy as much as we did! I will update my blog with menus when I get the chance to go back. Til then!

Balesin Island Club (members only)
4330 Polillo, Quezon
+632 8466205