Casa Marcos was always a part of of so many childhood memories, so many milestones and countless breakfasts and meals. I remember the many times my grandfather would bring bags of hot pan de sal, and the times my parents would bring me there for the garlicky gambas and almejas. Things were a lot simpler then, good times. Casa Marcos first opened in the late 1940s by a Spanish expat named Marcos de Guisasola along Roxas Boulevard. A regular patron then acquired ownership, and a second branch was established in Gilmore Avenue in the mid-eighties. Then in 2000, Casa Marcos ended its operations. Last year, the same family re-opened Casa Marcos, bringing back the familiar flavors to a new generation. Good times.
Located at the Bonifacio Global City, Casa Marcos returns with a more contemporary look, yet subtle hints of the familiar remain. Casa Marcos has both interior and outdoor dining areas.
Nothing like Tikoy to welcome the Chinese New Year. Though it's available throughout the year, Tikoy (or Nian Gao), a sweet, sticky rice cake made from glutinous rice, seems to be a lot better and special during the Chinese New Year.
Simply slice the sticky rice cake into thin strips, dip in egg, and fry in a little butter. The slightly crisp outer layers contrast nicely with the soft and chewy middle portion.
I first tried Apartment 1B almost four years ago, and it's been on my go to list ever since. Serving its own brand of comfort food, Apartment 1B is definitely one place you'll keep going back to. And with a menu that has remained practically the same is a good sign.
Tucked in the middle of the Makati CBD, the place gives you sense of sanctuary, a place to shut out the hustle and bustle of the city.
With over 200 branches in the US, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Middle East, P. F. Chang's China Bistro officially opens its first branch in the Philippines. The Dude was invited to a sneak peek of the venue and to sample the cuisine during P. F. Chang's soft opening cocktails.
The warriors welcome you to P. F. Chang's, and already you know it's gonna be fun...
Ever thought of having your favorite cake made just for you? A single serving just for you. Very cool. Head over to Goodies n' Sweets and pick your favorite cake, available in smaller individual sizes, your own personal cake. If you have more than one favorite, now you don't have to get one regular sized cake, you can get three or four of your favorite selections in miniature cakes. Here are some of the Dude's favorites...
What can be more indulgent than Leche Flan (Creme Caramel or Caramel Custard), that soft, sweet custard that makes you forget to watch your BP and sugar levels? The local Leche Flan traces its roots from the Spanish flan de leche or milk flan and has since been part of any traditional feast.
Similar to Creme Brulee but without the hard caramel top, this dessert has an overall soft consistency that I can only describe as...awesome.
Sundays at my Aunt's place is always a treat, and for an afternoon snack, noodles and a tofu pork dish are on the menu.
Pancit Luglug, a local noodle dish with thin rice noodles and topped with a thick shrimp sauce, crushed chicharon (deep-fried pork rinds), sliced boiled eggs, green onions and bean sprouts. Pancit, a term for noodle dishes in Filipino cuisine, is derived from the Chinese Hokkien pian i sit, loosely translated as a noodle dish that is cooked fast and quick. The Chinese influence in local cuisine is strong, and most of these influences remain popular mainstream dishes.
Found a can of tuna in the pantry, and thought maybe a pumped up tuna sandwich might be a good idea. Cool. Gather up some parsley, dill, celery and red onions. Add some mayo and mustard using a 3:1 mix for the mayo mustard dressing. A tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and a squeeze of lemon for a little zing.
The skies are grey, and a continuous drizzle cools up the afternoon. No better time for a hotpot at home. Got the hotpot mix packet ready, and raided the fridge for some crab sticks, squid balls, leeks, Chinese Cabbage, snow mushrooms, bok choy and other veggies. The thin beef slices are thawed and ready, and the glass noodles are all set. Throw everything in the pot...and wait. Just a few more minutes...
More leftover ham from the holidays. Cool. Grab the Mayo, sweet pickle relish and some celery. And a pack of macaroni. Time for some macaroni salad.
Slice up the ham into little bits, pour in the mayo and the pickle relish, add the chopped celery and the macaroni, then whip and toss.Salt and pepper to taste. Then let it rest in the fridge for a couple of minutes.
After chilling in the fridge, it's time.
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Another day, another Fridge Raid. The best part about the holidays are the leftovers.Pour some olive oil in a skillet, scrounge up some onions, garlic, and lots of tomatoes. Finish off the last few strips of Majestic Ham, add some bacon and green peas. Then throw in some eggs and add a dash of Tabasco.
It was a cool late evening, and it seemed perfect for some tapas. The Dude's nephew was home for the holidays from Australia, and a younger cousin was also here from San Francisco. I remember reading a blog post from the hungry ballerina about some great tapas in the Metro (check out her interesting post here at http://www.hungryballerina.com/2011/04/tapas-in-manila.html), so I decided to bring them to Barcino for some tapas, a few cold beers and some good times.
Gambas Al Ajillo (P 425), fresh shrimp sauteed in olive oil, lots of garlic and chilies. The heat goes perfectly well with the cold brews.
A double chocolate overload to start off the New Year? Why not. The Choco Chip Brownies from Conti's fits the bill. Slight crunch on the top portion, moist and chewy inside. And the chocolate chips just adds that extra kick.
The Choco Chip Brownies come in small bite-size pieces, and you'll need some serious self-control to stop at the third brownie. Good luck. Better yet, just go for that fourth brownie...
A few slices of Majestic Ham. Some wedges of Queso de Bola or Edam Cheese Ball. Some leftover chestnuts. Some round fruits to symbolize prosperity in the coming year. And a cup of hot chocolate. These are the morning flavors of the holiday season since childhood, and a tradition kept alive by family.
A simple breakfast to usher in the first day of the new year, a prelude to more feasts to come. And hopes for an even better year.