Saturday, February 27, 2016

7- Eleven's Bagel and Cream Cheese: Pure Breakfast Bliss

7 Eleven's Bagel and Cream Cheese
Pure Breakfast Bliss 

I dropped by on one of the numerous  
7 Eleven Stores in the city,

...for  their popular City Blends Coffee, probably one of
the best and most affordable Café Americano in the world.


I scouted for something to eat for breakfast and 
found a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with cream cheese.

The aroma of the freshly brewed coffee blending
the sweet scent of cinnamon was pure bliss.

This is one of the simple pleasures in life that
makes waking up in the morning worthwhile.

Ahh, cream cheese dipped Bagel! 

Is there anything better for breakfast?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Green Plaza Panganiban: Inexpensive Authentic Chinese Cuisine

Green Plaza Panganiban 
Inexpensive and Authentic Chinese Cuisine

My eldest daughter who is now in college heard about Lomi
for the first time from her classmates and was curious on how  
it tastes and wanted to see how it appears. I have never really
been a fan of the dish, as I find slimy texture gross and I do
not like the slightly better aftertaste of the vermicular noodles.

I was also caught by surprise as I never realized
that we never had a chance to introduce the dish to
them in the past. Since it was a common knowledge
the Green Plaza serves one of the best Lomi in the city,
we decided to dine at  their Panganiban Drive branch.

The first this we ordered was the popular Green Plaza Lomi.
It was served heaping in a huge bowl. This may be the most
popular Lomi in the city and quite a number of people would
attest on how good it is, but my impression of the dish remained
the same. Lomi is my least favorite noodle dish, I do not like the
thick almost gel- like consistency of the soup, I find the slimy,
fat noodles gross, and I do not like the slightly bitter aftertaste.

Since it was already dinner time we decided to dine
there and we ordered Sinigang na Baboy for our soup.
We loved it. It had the exact degree of sourness that came
from natural sources like tomatoes and radish. The pork
was tender, the veggies were fresh and crispy, something
that I would recommend as a must try in this restaurant.

They served what could probably be the most delicious
Chop Suey in the world, heaping generously on a huge
platter with the sauce overflowing on the edges. The veggies
are fresh and crispy and what I like with this version is the
inclusion of the black fungus, my favorite kind of mushroom.


The Sweet and Sour Fish was also very delicious.
It was sweet, tangy and savory with just the right hint
of spice. The fresh zucchini added a refreshing touch
and crunchy texture without  affecting the flavorful dish.

When we ordered the Green Plaza Chicken, I was expecting
a traditional fried chicken but it was served was a pre- fried
chicken topped with all sorts of assorted fresh vegetables and
bathed  in rich tasty sauce. It was so indescribably delicious.

Everything came in huge servings, heaping and overflowing from
the platter but when the bill came- it was so affordable and one
would not leave with an empty wallet after dining in Green Plaza.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Marcasotes: Albay’s Indigenous Steamed Cake

My, O! Marcasotes 
Albay’s Indigenous Steamed Cake 

 A patient from Albay brought a Marcasotes for me as
a ‘pasalubong’, and I became nostalgic as it took me
 back to my fond childhood memories in Polangui. 

Marcasotes is a native steamed sponge cake,
usually served during special occasions and
I remember having them on our breakfast table
every fiesta, paired with hot chocolate drink. 

Marcasotes in Albay are either made in Camalig, Tabaco and lately, 
I learned that Ponso, a barrio  in Polangui  located right next to Napo, 
the place where I grew up is another popular source of the native cake.


It is made of flour, sugar, and vanilla, placed in
handmade paper bags and steamed in large clay pots
lined with cut banana bark, giving it a delightfully
unique firewood- smoked aftertaste and aroma.


This native cake reminds me of the Italian 'panettone',

Link Source: Food Network

…and each bite of Marcasotes brings me back to the
good old days of my childhood, savoring the tasty cake
with a hot chocolate that my mother had prepared, 


...right after watching the early morning Diana, a brass band
parade trumpeting the commencement of  the barrio fiesta.

Read the links below for related post:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Global Kitchen, Naga City: One Stop Asian Cuisine Experience

Global Kitchen, Naga City
One Stop Asian Cuisine Experience

We discovered this new restaurant after driving 
aimlessly around the city, looking for a space to park,


…when we chanced upon the new Global Kitchen at
Panganiban Drive, along the city’s main thoroughfare.

The restaurant had a straightforward
and basic Asian inspired interiors,
and also offered mostly Asian cuisine.


The menu made us nostalgic from our travels on various
Asian countries in the past and again gave us a chance to
sample and experience the food we loved, enjoyed and
craved during our travel, without having to leave Naga City.


We ordered Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls
for our appetizer and it did not disappoint,

…it was just as good as the spring rolls
in  Hotel Movenpick Saigon, where we
stayed on our visit to Ho Chi Minh City.

^^^Moevenpic Saigon's spring rolls

We loved Vietnam as it is a haven for delicious
yet healthy dishes and Global Kitchen reminded
us of that wonderful culinary experience once more.

We love the Filipino Sinigang na Baboy so we ordered one.
This restaurant really lives upto its name as a global kitchen
as the sinigang had just the right degree of sourness and could
be enjoyed without wrinkling you face in acerbic revulsion.

This sour soup reminded me of Apu Restaurant’s
siningang, at the City Of Dreams Manila as it had
an almost exactly similar taste and just as delicious.

The Savory Chicken was deliciously tangy and flavorful,

…that the only way to describe it is to compare it to
the tasty and savory fried chicken that we enjoyed
on our past travels in Beijing and Hong- Kong.


Thai Tofu Mixed Vegetables was also very delicious.
It appears like any other Pinoy guisado dish but there is
a distinct delightfully spicy aftertaste that tells you that
this is not just an ordinary stir fried vegetable dish.

This is one dish that we crave and we never
fail to try during our past visits in  Bangkok.

^^^Bangkok 10 years earlier

^^^Bangkok 10 years later

We have been craving for Singaporean Chili Crab
and Global Kitchen finally satisfied our long term
craving for this delicious and addicting crab dish.


I already lost count on how many times I have been to
Singapore, and this is my family’s most visited country,

…and we never fail to feast on Singaporean Chili Crab whenever we
are there, and it is difficult to differentiate the Global Kitchen version of
this extremely popular dish from that of  the native Singaporean versions.

^^^Singapore 10 years earlier

^^^Singapore 10 years later

As a family who loves to travel Global Kitchen is a restaurant
that brought us back to the Asian countries that we have visited
in the past. It also made us savor once more the cuisine for other
countries  that we have been craving, travel free and passport free.

It’s a one stop Asian Cuisine experience.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Dream Play Manila; City of Dreams Manila Series 4

Dream Play Manila 
City of Dreams Manila Series 4  

The kids wanted to visit Dream Play at the 
City of Dreams Manila and that was the main
reason we spent our holiday in Crown Towers. 

Dream Play in an indoor amusement park designed
for young children and apparently the first the only
theme park owned and operated  by Dreamworks. 

We visited on a peak season, a day after Christmas 2015,
and the queue to the ticket booth was long, as expected,

…but the waiting period was fast.

We bought 4 VIP tickets where we do not
have to fall in line to the main attractions,


…similar to Front on Line badge
in Universal Studios in the US.

Dream Play is divided into several zones,

…and we directly went to Dream Tales 
as there was a scheduled puppet show.


Our tickets entitled us a front line pass and
 a personal photo- op with Shrek and Fiona,

…and this is one advantage of an upgraded
ticket as you do not have to catch them around
the park and have the photos taken by chance.

Another worthwhile thing to do here is attending a 
Cooking Class with Gingy, the gingerbread man.

The upgraded tickets also entitle the kids
for a front line pass in the cooking class,

…they were also given more festive special chef uniforms,

…and a bigger dough, enough to bake 
a bigger angel shaped cookie.

Just beside it was the Afro Circus and
massive padded playground for young kids.

We also enjoyed the Dream Theater that
shows popular  Dreamworks movies in 4D.

My young son also had fun manipulating the movements of
 the awesome, gigantic robotic dinosaurs at the Dinotrux,

…and pilot a robotic ball on a simulated highway maze.

My son also had a good time getting martial arts lesson
from Po at the Fast as Lightning Kung Fu Fighting zone,

…and later released all his hyperactive energy
at Shrek’s Swamp Stamp playground.


It was already past 2 PM when we decided to have
a lunch at Chez Gingy foodcourt but to our horror,
they ran out of food as they weren’t expecting the
deluge of people visiting the theme park that day.

We were very hungry since it was already late in the
afternoon, the park was becoming too crowded, too
noisy and uncomfortable as crowd continues to swell,

We decided to leave to look for a place to eat
even without trying the other attractions yet,

…and that was okay as it gives us a reason to
return to Dream Play on a less crowded season.