I recently wrote about a great birthday dinner I attended at Discovery Shores Boracay, a feast I still recall fondly now that I’m back in New York, far away from fresh seafood and the hearty eaters of my family.
Spaghetti carbonara over fresh oysters (Discovery Shores Boracay)
Another meal with mentioning is the first one we had upon arrival at the island. Discovery’s Sands Restaurant provides a mix of seaside creations alongside Filipino favorites. We definitely indulged. Continue reading
Pakibalot Panciteria‘s pancit canton was recently ranked #2 by Spot.ph so I knew it was a place I wanted to visit the next time I was in Manila. Of course the pancit never made it to my photos because I got too excited again, but I did manage to capture some of their other specialties.
Tokwa’t Baboy (Fried Tofu and Fried Pork Belly)
I always enjoy a good Tokwa’t Baboy. To me the quality of fried tofu is a testament to the skill of the chef as it’s very easy to over- and undercook firm tofu and end up with either a soggy mess that could use a little more browning, or tough squares that have long lost their touch. Pakibalot hit the spot right here with a perfect crunch while remaining tender inside to soak in the delicious sauce.
Chop suey with lechon
They do offer vegetables on the menu but with a Filipino touch of fatty meat stirred along with it. Of course! Continue reading
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
It’s barbecue season again and it’s the time when we prepare our favorite barbecue recipes. Grilled pork belly (or inihaw na liempo) is a mainstay in our barbecues because of their ease in preparation and quick cooking on the grill. The only challenging part of cooking with pork belly is sourcing it. In order for us to get it sliced in a particular way, we get our meat from Hong Kong Supermarket and insist that they be cut lengthwise in 3/4 inch pieces. Sometimes they will object in true Chinatown fashion. Your job is to insist. 🙂
Crispy skin and perfectly browned.
Grilled pork belly is a popular dish served in parties, beachside barbecues, or with liquor in the Philippines. With very few ingredients it is easy to prepare in the US if you have access to pork belly and Filipino soy sauce.
Grilled pork belly, sliced.
Recipe below. Continue reading
We had already come from a tapas dinner nearby and then more drinks at a bar when we passed by Krystal’s Cafe 81 and found sisig on their menu. If you’re not Pinoy or a Filipinophile (yet), sisig is a popular drinking dish made with pork face and ear skin and cartilage. It is usually served in a sizzling cast iron plate along with some San Miguel Beer, which incidentally Krystal’s also serves to those familiar with the magic of SMB.
Sizzling sisig topped with egg.
Krystal’s sisig was crunchy and delicious, a little meatier than the usual sisig, but it still brings me back to drunken evenings at Treehouse, long ago and oh so very far away…. Continue reading