Monday, October 31, 2011

Rediscovering Taho at Gloria Maris

Taho, a local snack made of silky tofu or bean curd with sago (mini tapioca pearls) and sweet caramelized sugar syrup, is an iconic and ubiquitous street hawker food that remains popular to this day. This popular comfort food traces its origins in Chinese influences, and has since become a mainstream favorite for generations. But catching a taho vendor on the road is a hit or miss thing, so its really comforting to know you can have this treat at Gloria Maris anytime you want it.

The bean curd is smooth and served hot. Very comforting and familiar, the Taho or Tau Hue served at Gloria Maris is a delicious treat that brings back so many memories.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gone to Market, the Salcedo Weekend Market

Every weekend, the Salcedo Parking Lot transforms into a foodie's haven with an amazing selection of fresh produce and delicious dishes. Located right in the middle of the Makati CBD, local traders and the expat community living and working in the area make this weekend market quite an interesting experience. With so much local and international specialties available, it's a real challenge deciding which to try first. So, what's cookin' at the Salcedo Weekend Market? Here's a quick tour...

Side Entrance to the Salcedo Parking Area

Friday, October 21, 2011

Stopping Time at Alfredo's Steak House

Long before the days of Wagyu and Kobe steaks, there was Alfredo's Steak House. This establishment has been around for more than forty years, and has maintained only one branch. Though there are now many more choices for quality steaks, going to Alfredo's Steak House is like going back in time. It seems like time pretty much  stopped at Alfredo's. Everything, including the tablecloth, still looks the same. And the steaks still taste pretty much the same as it did so many years ago. A steak dinner includes soup and salad, and tonight, the Dude goes for the large Ribeye...

Cream of Mushroom Soup, the Soup of the Day. Tasty, but the mushroom bits were a bit too tiny to be appreciated.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Banh Mi at Pho Hoa

World history has always been a study of conflicts and violent cultural clashes. And some of these have resulted in some interesting blends, particularly in a nation's cuisine. Take Banh Mi, an iconic Vietnamese meat sandwich with strong French colonial influences. The version in Pho Hoa is quite good for the price, and is available in grilled pork, chicken and  vegetarian. 

As expected, the Dude goes for the grilled pork, and it's pretty good, tender and juicy. The grilled pork is nicely complemented by veggies, including sweet pickled carrots and cucumbers. That, with the crusty baguette, mayo and mustard, equals a seriously good meat sandwich.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Taco Time at B&T Mexican Kitchen

I've been hearing so much about this Mexican joint, B&T Mexican Kitchen, and decided to give it a go one weekend afternoon. Many years ago, options for real Mexican food were limited, but there seems to be a surge in this cuisine with the emergence of new specialty joints serving quality Mexican fare. It's a good sign that finally, we are getting it right.

The Carne Asada Soft Tacos

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dim Sum Daze

I remember watching a documentary on Dim Sum in Discovery Channel some years back, and I remember rushing to find the nearest dim sum joint after watching it. There are numerous choices for dim sum locally, from high-end establishments to affordable hole-in-the-wall restaurants, but back then, I decided to hit the first restaurant I find on the road. And something that's easy on the wallet. And now it hits you again...hello Causeway Seafood Restaurant.

Shark Fin Siomai (Shao Mai)

Going Chinese in a Hundred Year Old Restaurant

Going to Panciteria San Jacinto is like going back in time. This is the place where my grandparents used to hang out, and where my parents used to go for Chinese food. Established way back in the late 1890s in Binondo in old Manila, Panciteria San Jacinto (now renamed as Comida China de Manila) is another example of how a foreign cuisine has evolved through generations and become part of the mainstream. Tracing  its roots from Cantonese origins, the cuisine has evolved reflecting both Spanish and Filipino influences. One of the popular dishes is Camarron Rebosado con Jamon (Crispy Fried Shrimp with Ham) which hints of a Spanish background. There are familiar and subtle notes of its Cantonese origins, but the cuisine has become a unique Chinese, Filipino and Spanish blend. I'm sure any Cantonese today would find it different but still strangely familiar.

Fish Head Soup with Tofu

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