Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Krypton Grill: Exotic Dishes in Naga, Anyone? Penafrancia Fiesta 2014, Series 5

Krypton Grill 
Exotic Dishes in Naga, Anyone? 
(Penafrancia Fiesta 2014, Series 5) 

I have learned about Krypton Grill thru Naga City Deck 
or (NCD),  my favorite  Naga based  website, operated by   
a young lady psychologist, an academician, a co- forumer at
 the Camarines Sur/Naga City Skyscraper CityThread,
and Stay, Stray Play and Feast’s blog partner.

We were excited to try the exotic dishes being offered
by the restaurant so we tried dining in their CBD 2 site but
backed out when we discovered that it looked like a seedy
joint, located in a decrepit looking area at the back of the Bicol 
Central Station in a rundown building, filled with mostly  shady-
looking, beer guzzling costumers  listening to a heavily made
(fake) blonde, lady acoustic singer performing before them.

NCD also mentioned in the blog that it is opening
another branch in Mayon Avenue, which I believe
is a more decent address, so we patiently waited until
it opened during the Penafrancia Fiesta season.

Krypton Grill’s  Mayon branch opening was a perfect timing
as places like the Naga City Centro, Panganiban Drive and even 
Magsaysay Avenue were made off limits to vehicles, and there
was plenty of parking space in this area as it is close to the vast
Naga City Civic Center that served as a huge temporary parking
to the vehicular overflow during the week long Penafrancia fiesta.

Unlike their menacing looking original CBD 2 branch,
Krypton Mayon Avenue, was well lighted with native
Pinoy themed interiors, there was no ‘WOW’ factor but
at least it looked cheery and did not look sleazy at all. 

I was intrigued on why they named this restaurant
after the Man of Steel’s mother planet, Krypton,
but I fully understood it when I learned that they
also own the Superman Petshop, located  just
beside the original Krypton Grill in CBD 2.

Interestingly, Krypton suited appropriately for the
restaurant as it offers out of this world exotic dishes.

I excitedly browsed the exotic dishes section
of the menu, but it was a brilliant idea that
they  used table placemats that had valuable
information about the exotic dishes available,
making it easier for us to decide what to order.

We unanimously chose Wild Pig Adobo.

It was served as ‘adobo natural’ where it was sauteed in onions 
and garlic  and flavored only with vinegar, without any soy sauce. 
The meat was chewy but tender, had a very intense flavor and naturally
 sweetish. It isn’t oily as  compared to regular adobo and it is devoid 
of the unhealthy subcutaneous fat and even more delicious.

We also ordered Silkie Chicken Tinola.

The soup was very delicious, inherently flavored
with the tasty and natural taste of native chicken.

But the Silkie Chicken’s black skin, black flesh
and black bones looked gross. This dish is not
for the faint hearted, but it was actually very
delicious-  if one would eat it with his eyes closed.

We also ordered Alligator Tapa.

My family is not new to Alligator’s meat as we have
tried a delicious Alligator Steak in New Orleans and  
we all enjoyed it. Krypton served the Alligator Tapa
in a sizzling plate, it was slightly sweetish and slightly
spicy and it actually tasted  like a chicken meat.

We also ordered Broccoli with Shirmps
though we found the Broccoli a little soggy
as it was overcooked, it was still very delicious.

What came as a surprise was the Fried Pangasius.
It was served in a humongous platter as the fish was
 SOOO BIG that it almost filled up the whole table.

We even thought the gigantic fish was more than
enough for us, but surprisingly, it was so tender,
juicy and very delicious that we consumed every
bit and pieces and every morsel of the delicious
fish until there was nothing left but the bones.

We even consumed all the tomato and onion side dish
 except for the disgustingly salty soy sauce as no one in
  the family really likes this unpalatable briny concoction.

We concluded our meal with a delicious
Leche Flan and it was a perfect way to end
an exciting and adventurous cuisine and we
look forward dining in  Krypton Grill again to try
other exotic dishes like the rabbit and the goat.

Krypton Grill also offers regular fares in their menu
but making these uniquely delicious exotic dishes available-
is a welcome addition to Naga City’s growing gastronomic

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Caby’s Cabana: A View Deck to Translacion; Penafrancia 2104 Series 4

Caby’s Cabana 
A View Deck to Translacion 
(Penafrancia 2104 Series 4)

Caby’s Cabana may not be on my must dine
list and I have been a little unkind in my past
blogs on this restaurant (as I  have always been
to most true blue, unmodified, too salty, too
sweet, too sour and grease laden Pinoy dishes),

…but my family has been returning to this
restaurant every year as it has been a perfect
view deck for the Penafrancia Translacion.

The restaurant is located right at the city center,
just across the historic Plaza Quince Martirez,

... and a block away from the
ancient San Francisco Church.

We stayed the whole afternoon while
waiting for the Translacion procession at
the Caby’s Cabana, and we had a chance
to dine with their light meals and snacks.

We ordered their very delicious Cassava Cake.
While it maybe true that almost all cassava cakes
taste the same, Caby’s Cabana version was perfectly
chewy,  and with the just right degree of sweetness.
It was so  delightfully gluey that it sticks in your palate,
making the creamy and heavenly goodness of this
delicious dessert  linger much longer in your mouth

We also ordered Turon al Hillo, or banana fritters,
which is a popular Pinoy street snack fare. It is made
ripe bananas was wrapped in thin rice wafers, fried
to crispy perfection and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

The Caby’s Cabana’s banana turon comes with
a generous ripe langka (jack fruit) filling that
the tasty juicy strands oozes out in every bite.

It was so delicious that we decided to order
more and had them wrapped to take home.

I would not recommend the Cheese Burger
as the patty was very thin rubbery and tasteless.

I am a pancit lover and I like
their delicious Pancit Bijon,

…and the Pancit Canton as well.

After the Translacion, we decided to have a light
dinner as we were still full from snacking the
whole afternoon.  But we had to eat to energize
as we would again be hiking from the no car zone
centro to Plaza Medica where we parked our car.

They have a lot of choices for their ala carte dining and
we ordered Pork Barbecue. It was served with Java Rice
and we found both the rice and the pork too sweet.

We also ordered Lechon Kawali, we found it a little
salty but it was okay but really nothing to rave about.
It was served with Bicol Express as a side dish.

I liked their Chop Suey, as the veggies were
fresh and crispy and tasted very delicious.

Their Crispy Fried Chicken doesn’t look inviting as it
was served as several pieces of unrecognizable breaded
chicken parts. It was crispy- and that was I all I can say.

The best ala carte dish the Caby’s Cabana could offer 
I believe is the Grilled Liempo. It was perfectly grilled, 
the pork was tender and succulent and had the right blend 
of sweetness and tartness. Just like the other dishes, it was
also served with rice and Bicol Express as side dishes.

Interestingly, none of the dishes tasted as salty like

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Translacion 2014: Penafrancia Fiesta 2014, Series 3

Translacion 2014 
Penafrancia Fiesta 2014, Series 3 

Translacion marks the beginning of the week
long Penafrancia Fiesta in Naga City, known
to be the biggest Marian devotion in Asia.

It is a centuries old tradition where the image of
the Lady of Penafrancia is being transferred to the
bigger Naga Cathedral, that had a huge churchyard
and have enough room  for the millions of devotees
that  flock the ancient Penafrancia Shrine that was
too small to  accommodate the surge of pilgrims.

In the 80’s, the original image of the Lady of Penafrancia 
was permanently enshired in Basilica Minore de Penfrancia, 
the had a much bigger church yard, enough to accommodate
the millions and millions of devotees, but the traditional 
Translacion Procession did not stop and remained as one of
the major events that heralds the beginning of the festivity.

This time, the translacion starts with a dawn procession
where both the images of Divino Rostro and the Lady
of Penafrancia are brought to the Penafrancia Shrine,

…where it would later be transferred to the 
Naga Cathederal at about noon after a holy mass
and this is where me and family joined.

We left shortly after lunch, parked our car at Plaza Medica, as
 the whole Naga City Centro was already off limits to vehicles,

....and took trike to Avenue Square in Magsaysay Avenue,

…where we walked to the Penafrancia Shrine 
where the Translacion Procession would begin.

The procession route was well secured,

…and we positioned ourselves trailing
the Sienna College of Tigaon students,

…and ahead of La Consolacion College of Daet.

The weather was perfect.

It was sunny but wasn’t very hot, there was a little
cloudy overcast due to the oncoming storm heading
north, but it wasn’t raining and very ideal for walking.

We passed by Penafrancia Avenue, and theere
were a lot of spectators by the roadside,

...and there were people watching by the windows,
and I was amused by the number of well preserved
ancestral houses lining the Penafrancia Avenue.

There were spectators even on the roof tops. 

The procession route is dotted with elevated makeshift
 platforms, with altars of various Marian images
manned by a priests and devotees praying the rosary,

…with bands playing religious hymns.

The procession arrived in the city center and we caught the
sight of the beautiful and and historic San Francisco Church,

...then had a U- turn when we reached the
 Plaza Quince Martirez at the city center,

…and slowly headed to Naga Cathedral,
which is our final destination.

The road to Naga Cathedral is filled with
the sights, sounds and colors of the festivity,

…food are sold in abundance on the streets,

…and religious symbols and images
are displayed and sold on the streets.

We arrived at the Naga Cathedral 
and passed by the Porta Maraie, 

…and the cathedral’s church yard
was starting to fill up with people.

We arrived much earlier and ahead of the crowd
so it wasn’t crowded at the Naga Cathedral yet.

There was a mass going on inside the church,

…and a priest was leading the
Rosary on the outdoor kiosk.

Later we walked back to Caby’s Cabana and
 changed roles from being an active  procession
participant to being a passive expectator. 

Caby’s Cabana is very ideal place to watch
the Translacion and we have been watching
the procession here for the past 5 years.

It is located within the city centro, just
 in front of Plaza Quince Martirez,

…and a block away from the
historic  San Francisco Church.

One could watch the procession on a safe
distance in an air- conditioned comfort,

…while taking yummy snacks and refreshing
drinks which I would blog in a separate post.

We were also able to rest and recharge
while watching the translacion procession,
 and waiting for the Divino Rostro and
the Lady of Penafrancia images to arrive.

It was late in the afternoon when we heard
a commotion from the crowd downstairs-
 an indication that the images are arriving.

And pretty soon, we caught the sight of the image of the 
Divino Rostro emerging near the San Francisco Church,

…amidst the massive sea of devotees,
as it smoothly glided among the crowd,

….took a u- turn at the plaza,

…and later appeared in front of us,

…with the crowdchanting 
“Viva el Divino Rostro”. 

There was a temporary peace and quiet
after the Divino Rostro was out of sight,

….and it was followed by a trail of
 devotees praying and singing hymns.

After about an hour, there was another commotion,
as the image of the Lady of Penafrancia appeared.

The crowd was even more tumultuous,

… and appeared to be in a
mayhem  of a pandemonium.

…the continuous chanting of Viva La Virgen
was more strident, thunderous and deafening.

The heat generated by the massive crowd
could be felt way up to our balcony.

It’s literally had to sweat out blood and tears,
for a devotee to be get close to the image,

The deep passion among the ‘voyadores’
 and the massive display of emotion
among the enthusiastic crowd,
were infectious and emotionally draining.

The massive sea of humanity
was indescribably breathtaking .

The image was followed with an endless
 trail of people, from all walks of life,

…coming from all over the Philippines,

…and even from other countries.

No other single tourism event in the region could
pack up a spectacular number of people in one
place, the way the Lady of Penafrancia does,

…that soars up the tourism statistics in Naga City and CamSur 
making the province a top tourist  destination in the Philippines.

This is the miracle the of the Lady of Penafrancia.

Read my other Penafrancia 2014 Series