Noms

Classic Pinoy Desserts – Turon
The turon is a classic Pinoy dessert. Fried saging saba (cardava bananas) enveloped in egg lumpia wrapper sweetened with brown muscovado sugar. They’re best eaten hot off the fryer; either as merienda or as dessert to cap off a nice meal. 

While hot turon is widely available every afternoon in nearly every corner of Makati, Taguig is a different story altogether. Since transferring to the Taguig office, I haven’t been able to satisfy my cravings for these sweet treats. And that is why I’m happy to have gotten some good ones the last couple of weekends.

Jay-J’s Inasal, Timog

I got my first turon fix last week from Jay-J’s Inasal at Timog, Quezon City-

Jay-J’s turon (p0)

 

The best thing about these sweets is that they’re free. Yup, you read that right, these treats cost nothing. As long as you dine at Jay-J’s, they’ll give you and your party some of their special turon for dessert on the house! The wrapper was a bit thicker than I’d have preferred, but other than that, Jay-J’s turons are pretty good- they’re sweet, bite-sized, and nicely served on top of a banana leaf.
Jay-J’s Inasal also has a branch at Ortigas, near the Home Depot along Julia Vargas street. Incidentally, Ortigas was where I was able to try the turon-gasmic turons of Oh Wow Turon!

Oh Wow Turon!, Banchetto

My second turon fix came from Oh Wow Turon!-

“Have a Turon-gasm now!” is Oh Wow Turon!’s tagline

 

They can be found at Banchetto, that Friday night to Saturday morning food market along F. Ortigas Jr. street. They have three kinds of turon– plain (p20 for 3pcs), with langka (p25 for 3pcs), and turon valencia (sprinkled with pinipig, p25 for 3pcs). All fan-tas-tic! Turon Valencia is my favorite. They’re neatly wrapped and have just the right amount of sugar, the bananas inside were perfectly soft, and the pinipig sprinkles added a nice crunch.
Try them and you won’t be disappointed for sure. I’ll have to go back to Banchetto again to try some of the other stalls there, there are just so many interesting ones! I’ll write about it on BaconTunaMelt soon enough, watch for it. ^^,
Etc.

"Give The Bitch Her Chocolate" is a Snarky Tabletopper
I was browsing through the on sale stack at National Bookstore last Sunday when I came across this little book of snark. “Give The Bitch Her Chocolate” is a compilation of nom-related quotes by ladies with an attitude. I loved it straightaway.

 

The tag line reads- “Eat. Drink. Bitch.”
(Yes, I use a 101 Dalmatians bedsheet.)

 

The cover is a sturdy hard binding and the paper is thick with psychedelic designs on the other side of the text. It was gem of a find at just 99 pesos! Besides displaying a different quote per day on my desk, I would also use the pages to write notes for ladies who appreciate a healthy dose of sarcasm in their lives. Teehee~

 

How many cups do you drink in a day? Yes, you.

 

There are about fifty pages of colorful text and graphics. While some lines are corny, some have just the right amount of snarky kick. My favorites would have to be “Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitten.” which would be perfect to display in any establishment and this picture right here-
Oh so true
The description on the box pretty much sums up this quirky tabletop. It reads- “Give The Bitch Her Chocoloate is the ultimate gift for a favorite foodie, churlish chocoholic, or domestic dominatrix who believes bitchiness isn’t just an attitude- it’s a lifestyle.” I approve.
Noms

A Plate of Dissapoint at FlapJacks
Because the power was still out where I live two nights ago, my mom, a friend and I headed to the nearest mall after work to while away the time. Funnily enough, we decided to get dinner nomz from FlapJacks, a breakfast place at Greenbelt 2.
Their informational placemat taught me that the Swiss say “Bun di!” to greet each other in the morning.
Eating at FlapJacks is always a treat for me, I love their ribs, their lemon laced fish, their waffles, their sausages, their mashed potatoes, among others. I also like the fact that they update their menu fairly often, offering tasty new additions from time to time to their already packed lineup. 
This time around, I ordered the new entree called Sweet Chili Calamari. Sadly, it was a big plate of disappoint.
Sweet Chili Calamari (p345) – the plate of disappoint
The serving size is your typical FlapJacks fare- big platefuls that can satisfy a bigger-than-usual appetite. The herbed rice is, like always, soft and tasty. But the squid was tough (although cut into small pieces), the breading too thick, and the sauce is your typical bottled sweet chili sauce that overpowered the taste of the squid and pretty much everything else. 
It could’ve been sweet chili fried rubber and I wouldn’t have known the difference. Okay, I guess it wasn’t that bad, but for the price, I expected it to taste a little better than it did. I’m grateful that the people I was with willingly shared their food with me; otherwise, I’d have gone hungry and possibly even sulky.

The bacon-topped Caesar Salad (p335) and the ever reliable Salisbury Steak (p365)

I got a little bit from each plate and both orders are equally good, as always. The bacon strips (from the salad) and the mashed potatoes (from the salisbury) get special mentions. The bacon was premium grade bacon with more meat than fat. The mashed potatoes have potato chunks that reassure me that they’re not the powdered kind. They are excellent by themselves and they complement their respective dishes perfectly.

It is because of food like these two that I still have love left for FlapJacks. All they need to do now is to chuck that calamari dish from their menu ASAP.

Noms

Monster Burger at Legaspi Market
After succeeding days without electricity in the house (and in most of Metro Manila) after that surprise typhoon Basyang, I finally got to sit down and write (type?) again. I hope everyone and their families are safe and sound.
I’ve heard many good things about this once-a-week food fiesta in the heart of Makati, the so called market for the rich and (in)famous, known as the Legaspi Market. When the boyfriend‘s family invited me to go with them one Sunday, I gladly tagged along with my trusty camera, Igor, in tow. 
Sunday market
Legaspi Market happens every Sunday on what is usually a parking lot on the corner of Rufino and Legaspi streets in Legaspi Village, Makati. They usually open early, around 7am (the mass starts at 9) and close shop about midday to after lunch. Tents are put up and food stalls are lined up to entice you with the lovely smells of their unique dishes. Fresh produce are also sold, along with an assortment of unusual and interesting food products.
Assorted food choices at Legaspi Market

The first thing we did was to stop by this Spanish booth in one of the corners because their lengua‘s good reputation is known far and wide. Testament to this was the empty trays  in their stall by the time we got there. I’ll have to go back again to try it another time.
We went around a couple times to see what’s available and still open for business. The smoke coming from Monster Burger’s grillers was one of the things that drew us to their booth. Another is their inch-thick slabs of pure beef patties.
Half pound burger patties

These, ladies and gentlemen, are Monster Burger’s glorious half pound burger patties for their half pound burger that can be bought for just one hundred and thirty pesos (p130)! That’s a very good price for a burger of this size. I just realized that I have no pictures of the entire burger- with the bun, vegies and condiments. We scarfed down the burger too quickly.

The patty was a little on the bland side, but that can be fixed with a little bit of ketchup, it’s better to be a little bland than salty. The burger sure was meaty, juicy and pretty heavy. It’s a pretty good deal. You don’t get half pound burgers for that price around these parts.

 Signage and prices

Quarter pounder burgers are also being sold at Monster Burger for seventy five pesos. That’s more affordable than other quarter pound burgers I know. They also sell frozen burger patties if you want to throw a burger party (and you can pretend you made your own burgers ^_~).

Because we got to the market around noon, the stalls were about ready to pack up. And as expected from any place with concrete floors and just tarpauline as shelter at noon, the place was sweltering. All the same, it was an enjoyable and unique experience. We found out about Monster Burger’s burgers, and went home with happy tummies and various goodies!

Noms

Yellow Watermelons are Sweet and Cute
Hi gaiz! I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend like I did. It’s been a weekend of good company and delicious noms for me. I’m a bit behind on chronicling my foodie trips and I really should be writing about last week’s stop at Salcedo Market and Comicology‘s sister’s fabulous cooking. Will get to that soon, I promise.
In the meantime, we’ll talk about these anomalies that I came home to a couple nights ago-
Dino eggs?

These dinosaur-egg-shaped fruits are actually watermelons, only of a different variety. My dad got these funny looking things from Bulacan for p25 apiece. He says the seller called them pakwang dilaw, for lack of a better term. 
Shape and texture
They’re a bit on the small side (smaller than the ones in groceries), and they’re oval and pointier than usual. They also have the same texture as the regular watermelon, kind of grainy and a lot crunchy.
Taste
Yellow watermelons taste like your normal pink/red ones, the difference is that this variety is evenly sweet. The pink/red ones tend to be sweeter at the core and less so nearer the skin. These yellow ones seem to be sweet all over, which is fantastic. 
Sweeter than your average watermelon
It is a bit disorienting to eat yellow watermelons because we’re so used to the pink/red ones. But after having tried the pakwang dilaw from Bulacan, I now like these better. They’re juicy, sweet, refreshing, and cute too!
Noms

A Tip: McDonald’s Cheeseburger Deluxe
Hello! Have you guys heard of McDonald’s Cheeseburger Deluxe? I haven’t until today, thanks to a tip from hottietin. It isn’t on their menu and you’d need to ask for it specifically. But they have it and it is glorious!
For just 52 pesos, you can order this relatively unknown McDonald’s Cheeseburger Deluxe. What, you ask, is the difference from their regular cheeseburger? This burger has more cheese, some lettuce, a bit of mayo, no pickles, no ketchup, and a better tasting all-beef patty. Overall, it’s more awesome than your boring old regular burger.
Try it, I just did and I’m a happy camper. b(~_~)
Noms

Frozen Dipped Banana sells Frozen Dipped Bananas
The loud and very sixties logo-banner displayed on the stall front draws your attention from the get go. The Frozen Dipped Banana stall looked like a happy stop to me. So of course, we checked it out.

 

Their very retro stall design

 

Their main selling point is their chilled bananas on popsicle sticks that can be dipped in either chocolate, strawberry, ube or cheese and topped with rice crispies, candy sprinkles, or chocolate sprinkles. They also have chocolate banana shakes and this order that they call Ice Cream Banana. But I first wanted to try the classic banana on stick.

 

Menu and prices

 

I got the banana dipped in chocolate with no other additional toppings and it-was-delicious! The fruit was chilled but not frozen, it was ripe and  not mushy (I hate mushy bananas) and the chocolate coating was surprisingly good. For the price, I was expecting it to taste like cheap, grainy chocolate that has more sugar than cocoa and I’m glad that it didn’t.

 

L: Chocolate-dipped banana with rice crispies (p25); R: Good ole chocolate dipped banana (p20)

 

Frozen Dipped Banana is a welcome addition to the very many snack food choices that can be found in  malls. I loved it!  I actually wanted to get a second one right after dinner. It’s cheap, delicious, and (semi) healthy. My only gripe about them is that they could’ve come up with a more interesting name than the too straightforward Frozen Dipped Banana on Stick.

 

~

 

Now normally, I refrain from posting people pictures in this blog, but my banana buddy turns 27 tomorrow. And this entry will double as a birthday greeting for the cutest boy in town. With that, I would like to share with you and the rest of the world this picture of him enjoying his banana!

 

Bim and his banana

 

Wait. That didn’t sound right. Anyway, happy happy birthday gorgeous! Have a good one. b(^_^)
Travel

Magical Nomz at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

The Harry Potter theme park at Universal Orlando had just opened last June 18 and I so badly want to go. Not only because I’m a theme park junkie, but this feverish want need to go is mostly because I’m a massive Harry Potter fan.

I’m the kind of fan who reserved her books months in advance, lined up excitedly in the bookstore at opening date (even with a reservation), locked up in her room on the first day to finish the book (coming out only for meals and bathroom breaks), discussed it with fellow Harry Potter nerds, read the book again exhaustively over the next week, and discussed it even more extensively the weekend after.

You did what? That’s.. sad.

Teasers of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter had been first leaked out as far back as five years ago, with the website showing just a splash page of the opening date. And now five years later, fantasy has come to life. The magical world of Harry Potter has been replicated for us Muggles to experience IRL!

Landmarks such as Hogwarts, Honeydukes, Three Broomsticks, Ollivander’s, among many others are now attractions at Universal Orlando, Florida. What is interesting to note, is that they made sure that the food served in the park have actual references from the books. The menu has been designed specifically for the park, and food items were concocted based on the descriptions in the books (and all of them have J.K. Rowling’s approval!).

Like this one-

Butterbeer

Butterbeer at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Butterbeer is mentioned fairly often in the Harry Potter books. Harry and his gang always have some when they’re in the Three Broomsticks (and that time where they held a meeting in Hog’s Head). And although it isn’t alcoholic, it made Winky the house elf, quite drunk and out of it. I imagine it to be something like our very own Cali Shandy- non-alcoholic, fizzy, and underage kids get it when they’re in bars.

They’ve recreated this drink and those who’ve tried it say it tastes like shortbread cookies and butterscotch. Mugglenet.net describes it as a chilled mug of bubbling amber liquid topped off with a white fuzz. “It was thick, then rich, then cooler and thinner at the bottom.”

Pumpkin Juice

The Pumpkin Juice comes in a nice souvenir bottle.
Pumpkin Juice is a pretty common drink in the Harry Potter series. It is served with every meal at Hogwarts, Harry even brought a flagon for Sirius when he was hiding in his animagus form and had nothing to eat but rats. Wesh.com says- “Think apple cider meets pumpkin pie. It’s made of apple juice, pumpkin puree, apricot puree and a few other ingredients. The drink is a great balance of sweet and tart with a bit of a Chai-like spice. It is sweet, smooth and refreshing.”

Strawberry and Peanut Butter Ice Cream

You may wonder if this was in any of the books, as I did when I first heard about it. Reviews say it can be found in Prisoner of Azkaban, while Harry was walking with his friends along Diagon Alley. I checked, it was indeed mentioned, although briefly. The Strawberry and Peanut Butter Ice Cream is getting surprisingly a lot of note. The numerous praises for it read “The flavors blend together just perfectly!”, “It surpasses any ice cream with peanut butter.”, “It’s like magic!”, “Freakin’ delicious!” and “It’s too die for!”. This one is definitely something to look out for when you visit the park.

Other Treats

Clockwise from top-left: Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Breakfast at Three Broomsticks, Honeyduke’s Acid Pops, Shepherd’s Pie, Chocolate Frogs, and TongueBurner’s Tooth Splintering Strong Mints

Other notable food choices are: The Great Feast (a huge platter good for four to six people that consists of four big pieces of chicken, four slabs of ribs, many cobs of corn, seasoned vegetables and potatoes), Cauldron cakes (spongy, chocolate cake filled with gooey, chocolate-y fondue with a chocolate handle), Shepherd’s Pie, Fish and Chips, among many others. Also fun to try are the sweets and candies from Honeydukes like a recreation of Chocolate Frogs (which of course do not jump or behave like a frog in any way) and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans.

~

There seems to be a wide variety of ingenious and well-thought out food selections at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando in Florida that it makes my mouth water just reading and writing about them. Too bad the Philippines is a million miles away from Florida, it’ll take a while before I can actually visit the place and try out Butterbeer or Chocolate Frogs. In the meantime, I’ll fatten myself up with everyone else’s pictures and stories!

*all the pictures are not mine, they were ganked from the Internet

Noms

Chocnut Wars – Choc*Nut vs. Hany

If you’re Pinoy, I bet you’ve already tried these bite-sized, peanuty, chocolate candy bars at least once in your life (if not, shame on you ^_~). These candies have been part of many Filipino childhoods, it was most definitely part of mine. I remember buying chocnut every afternoon from the sari-sari store near our house or from the school canteen when I was a kid. Up until now, I still get some every once in a while, specially since I transferred to an office where they’re readily available.

Choc*Nut or Hany?

Nowadays, there are many brands to choose from, they vary only very slightly in size, taste and texture. This post will be an attempt to compare the two more popular brands today- King Choc*Nut and Annie’s Hany- and conclude which brand is the best.

Heft (1 point)


Hany is visibly bigger.

Took side-by-side photos to compare their size. While they’re of the same height, you can clearly see that there is a significant difference in the length and thickness. Choc*Nut is thinner, but it is longer while Hany is short but it is pretty thick. By the feel of it, Hany seems to be noticeably heavier than Choc*Nut. (Edit: The packaging says that Hany is indeed heavier at 12g as against Choc*Nut’s 10g)

Hany wins! (Choc*Nut-0; Hany-1)

Texture (1 point)

I’ve had more than ten of these bars yesterday to properly do this. Choc*nut was a bit drier and grainier; it gets a little messy when you bite into the bar. Hany was moist, chewy and much more compact. Funny, in the picture it looks as if it’s the other way around.

Hany wins again! (Choc*Nut-0; Hany-2)


Side by side.

Taste (3 points)

Now this is where the difference counts the most, yes? Any two things can be similar but there would be nuances that can make an entire world of difference. In this case, the dealbreaker is the sweetness. Hany is sweeter. Much, much… much sweeter.

What we love about the chocnut of our childhood is the peanut-y/chocolate-y taste that we grew up with. Choc*Nut perfectly fits the bill. Hany, being super baduper kaduper sweet, unfortunately masks this peanut-y/chocolate-y taste, instead, the sweetness overpowers its supposed flavor. Also, as pointed out by an officemate by the name of Bernie, Choc*Nut doesn’t have that unpleasant sweet/sour aftertaste that Hany leaves you with.

Choc*Nut wins! (Choc*Nut-3; Hany-2)

~

In the end, it’s still a matter of preference. A lot of people (my officemates) like (are addicted to) Hany but for me, Choc*Nut is still the best. Nothing beats the original!

Which wins the chocnut war for you? Choc*Nut or Hany?