Category Archives: dinners

Lingayen Food Festival

…or that’s what I would call it, except that it’s not a public event but actually a private one I partake of whenever I go home to the Philippines for a visit.

Steamed shrimp, seaweed salad (arorosep), grilled milkfish (bangus), sauteed oysters, tamales, green mangoes and shrimp paste.

Steamed shrimp, seaweed salad (arorosep), grilled milkfish (bangus), sauteed oysters, tamales, green mangoes and shrimp paste.

I spend some time at my parents’ beach house to visit my childhood nanny who lives nearby. Consequently, my need for a place to stay leaves me the opportunity to sample the food cooked by our decades-long caretaker Mila, who takes local delicacies and comes up with a feast according to my request.

And if you’re one of the lucky people I picked to come with me, then you’re in for a treat. Food highlights below: Continue reading

Lunch at the Ws

There are meals you want to be invited to and there are entire days so legendary that you want to be a part of them. The Wisniewskis’ home is one of those havens where one actually questions where they are. The amount of pampering and pleasure one gets from this place is just unheard of where I’m from, and will remain one of the highlights of my recent trip to Manila.

The twist they create on local dishes seems to open the diner’s eyes and make them nod agreeably, saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?” The overload of fresh colors and aromas only complimented this kitchen that was built for entertaining.

Salads, ceviche, summer rolls.

This was the intention of our hosts, of course. Hotel and restaurant management team Anabel and Tom Wisniewski of Raintree Philippines, a family-owned business that manages four restaurants in Makati (Museum Cafe, Chelsea Market Cafe, Mr. Jones, and Momo), surely spoil their guests in line with their training. The food was superb, the service staff was attentive, and after the long meal they offered massages and a dip in their backyard pool and waterfall.

I still cannot believe that was in Manila.

Dishes from that wonderful afternoon:

Fresh lumpia with peanut sauce @ Wisniewskis

Fresh lumpia with peanut sauce

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Woodside Birthday Dinner

The mark of true food fanatic is when there are more pictures of food than people in a given gathering. We attended a birthday dinner at a friend’s house in Woodside, Queens. Her mother was in town from Japan, and she always makes us a nice homemade meal with some delicacies she flies in from Tokyo and manages to get through customs.  We don’t complain. We eat. We also laugh and toast, celebrating happy occasions and transplanted families.

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Easter Dinner – Vegetable Sinigang and Sesame Beef

It was Easter and we wanted to feed our dear friends, so we brought over a pot of stew and some vegetables to prepare for dinner. We love feeding friends, especially those who love to eat what we serve, and are always open to some kind of adventure.

These friends once made us their twist on our own national dish, adobo with coconut milk! After much skepticism we were very much impressed and even entertained the possibility of including it in our arsenal of adobo variations.

Click on the captions for the recipes.

A bowl of vegetable sinigang

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Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare Tops GQ List

Alan Richman’s  Top 10 New York Restaurants has named Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare its #1 pick for 2012. I don’t disagree. We tried this place before it was huge, before the NYT feature, before they raised the prices over $200, and while it was still BYOB (score!). Even then the experience was otherworldly, and I have said that it’s more bang for the buck than Per Se, although you definitely pay for a lot more than just the food at Per Se.

Photos are not allowed at Brooklyn Fare,  so I used one of mine. God knows that meal has inspired many of our own creations, like the one above (uni-stuffed rigatoni and seaweed).

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