Sunday, February 19, 2006

Best 4-cheese pizza ever! (at least in Makati)

For the best 4-cheese pizza ever, visit Timpla at the 2nd floor of Paseo Center. Quesong puti, parmesan, mozzarella and some other kind of cheese, on ultra-thin crust. It's so good and so light, you almost don't want to share it with your dining companions. It's the type of pizza where there is no hesitation when it comes to the last slice. Walang hiya-hiyaan. Unahan!

Other must-tries are the camaron mango salad, adobo-cheese-green mango spring rolls, Timpla pancit, boneless fried chicken and, I've heard, their boneless crispy pata. The desserts are also supposed to be yummy but I have yet to be able to muster enough self-control to leave room for them.

According to Google, the geniuses behind Timpla are the same ones responsible for Kulinarya and Cascada (which, incidentally, has the best BBQ prawn salad ever!). They're a husband and wife team. So imagine what the food must be like at their house! Grabe. Pwede kayang magpa-ampon? Or better yet, I wonder if, in between putting up fabulous pinoy-fusion restaurants, the couple also managed to have yummy-looking, now-aged-twentysomething kids. Hhmm...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Beer in Vietnam

One of the things which we really enjoyed about Vietnam was the beer. Almost every major town/city we passed through had its home brew. Some even had two or more. Beer is cheap too, from as low as 2,000 VND to around 10,000 VND (Php 6.50 to Php 35).

Bia La RueHere's a picture of our beer being enjoyed on a lazy afternoon by the river in Hoi An.

The cheaper beer is called Bia Hoi (which I think means draft beer) and it is served in establishments called Bia Hoi. These Bia Hoi (the place) range from a couple of stools on the sidewalk to beer hall style places which can seat up to 500 people. In the more quaint places, Bia Hoi is served fresh from a keg without a canister of CO2. The proprietor sucks it out using a mouth-powered siphon. That's strange looking foam on my beer! Yumm.

Bia HoiSome even have take-home beer. One time, we went up to a Bia Hoi with an empty bottle of Coke and had it filled with beer to drink back at the hostel.

Hanoi is the home of Bia Hoi. I've heard of people having it for breakfast. To the left is a picture taken at a cheap sidewalk place in Hanoi.

I miss Vietnam.

Pick Me Up, Bring Me Down

Good espresso is hard to find. I used to take it for granted until I went with my cousins to Cantinetta and had what I now think is the best espresso in Manila. My cousin says it's because Illy's office is located just behind the restaurant. That means that the Cantinetta coffee crew gets regular training.

Training, you ask? Pulling an espresso apparently is art. From the beans to the grind to the pressure to I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm happy to leave it to the experts or the coffeegeeks.

But there are some who serve espresso without the art component. You know who you are.

Let this be our first espresso review: Cantinetta - Pick me up!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mini Stop Munchies

Baka gutom lang ako or naghahanap ng silver lining to being stuck at the office on a perfectly nice Saturday but...

Medyo masarap ang Boy Bawang Chili and Cheese. And it surprisingly has less saturated fat than the garlic flavored version. Ok din yung Mr.Bean. MSG overload :).

Mini Stop's Asado siopao is also supposed to be good. Can't vouch for it myself, but my ultra-Chinese officemate highly recommends it.

For dessert, you can have chilled chocolate pudding. I forget what brand exactly. Either Kraft or Hunt's single packs. Current flavors available are chocolate and chocolate caramel. You can also have good soft-serve ice cream in big waffle cones for P14. P18 with chocolate syrup. Their Belgian chocolate flavor was really good, but alas, they've discontinued it.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Tita Cely

If you're in Makati and want good old Pinoy comfort food, check out Tita Cely's Sinigang Bar at the open foodcourt of Market Market. They have really good adobo swimming in sauce na malinamnam. Perfect pang kain-karpintero.

Also try the Escargot in Coconut Milk a.k.a Ginataang Kuhol. I've always been wary of kuhol and gata in general (except in desserts), but I must admit na masarap pala yung dubious combination. At least at Tita Cely's. They give you oversized toothpicks to help you pry the mollusk out of its shell. It's great fun, I tell you. Messy too, as the kuhols tend to slip from your grip as you wrestle with them. I highly recommend ordering this on a first date. At least malalaman mo na kaagad kung OC, corny o high maintenance yung date mo.

Another reason to go to the Sinigang Bar is Tita Cely herself. She's very hands on. Like an over-eager, gracious hostess. You get an earful as she tells you what to order and how you should eat it. She even follows you to your table to make sure you get settled in okay, showing you how to arrange your tray so as not to spill anything. She's adorable. Sobrang maasikaso na by the time you leave there, feeling mo tita mo na talaga siya.