Etc.

Have A Kuppa Joe at Kuppa Roastery & Cafe

In this city, we don’t lack for coffee. In nearly every major destination you can find either a Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Seattle’s Best where you can get your caffeine fix in a jiffy. While that setup is great (coffee is good for the soul), their selection can get quite tiring. Enter Kuppa Roastery & Cafe, a discreet coffeeshop at the corner of 31st street and 4th avenue in Bonifacio Global City (officemates, this is but a street away from the building).

I say discreet because you probably wouldn’t notice it during the day because of its dark interior and the slightly curved all glass facade which kind of makes it blend in with the.. um.. building walls. Not that this is a bad thing of course. Understated and classy is (almost) always better than loud and tacky. Anyway, I actually did not know it existed until one night while walking along the area on the way back to the office (after an unsatisfactory dinner), I noticed the lights bouncing off the glass windows of this coffeeshop and decided to have a coffee break.

Besides coffee, Kuppa also offer main dishes, home-made gelato, and a buncha cakes.

And I now realize that I’ve probably lost all readers by now after all that rambling. Going back to the actual topic on hand, Kuppa is a coffeeshop that’s a cut above the rest. The wonderful scent of freshly ground and intoxicatingly fragrant coffee beans welcome you as you enter the shop. You are then ushered to a table and given a menu by the servers who will kindly assist you and offer suggestions when needed.

Their cappuccino is superb. This drink is my personal gauge to know whether a coffee shop knows its coffee (also because I am not a proper coffee connoisseur). Considering that it’s a relatively easy drink to make, not all coffee shops get it right. Kuppa’s Cappuccino is mild and pleasant, with a good amount of foam (but not too much to give you a milk mustache after a single sip) and sweet enough without any sugar in it. Kuppa coffee = Gooooood.

They also have a selection of teas, which are actual tea leaves instead of your regular bags.

To pair with their drinks, they also have sweets that look so picturesque and appetizing. They have cakes, loaf slices, and colorful homemade gelato, all displayed beautifully, almost like trophies in a glass cabinet next to the counter. I like most of what I’ve tried so far, but my favorite would have to be the Strawberry Kiss Cake, of which I have no picture of because I’m a terrible food blogger.

Besides coffee and sweet treats, they also have heavier stuff on the menu. Full meals including rib eye steaks and crispy pata and lighter fare such as club sandwiches and the French staple, croque Monsieur/Madame are available. I haven’t really had a full meal at Kuppa to properly give a good review of it but if we were basing on those I’ve tried, I’m guessing I’d love their entrees as well.

The one in the middle is something I cannot hope to make. Ever in my life.

The prices aren’t bad either. The drinks and sweets are a smidgen cheaper compared to similar offerings in overpriced coffee shops and are very good, specially the coffee. Also a plus is that they actually roast their own coffee beans in the shop. When you do visit when they are roasting, it would be a feast for your coffee-loving scent sensors. If you’re in the area (heck, even if you weren’t, go out of your way to find it and), have yourself a Kuppa.

Rating: 4.5 bacons!!! Kuppa gets a boatload of bacon for great quality coffee (beans and drinks) and a wide variety of menu choices, good service, and acceptable prices.

Kuppa Roastery & Cafe
Address: Commercenter Bldg. , 31st Street corner 4th Ave., Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Contact number: 623 5120
Social network: Kuppa Roastery & Cafe Facebook Page

Etc., Noms

Iloilo in a Box

It’s a hot, hot week! I really wish I meant that figuratively. If the sweltering heat in the last couple of days is any indication, we should bid goodbye to cool nights and breezy afternoons. Summertime is just around the corner, all ready and raring to go. Although I’m not a fan of 40 degree (celsius) weather, the one thing that I welcome about the start of summer is holidays (yea, baby!). Sunny weather is the perfect time to spend a few days to chillax, take beach trips, visit new places, burn monies, and eat delicious noms along the way.

Now is the time to plan those trips. I was browsing through flights (looking for cheap ones) and came across Iloilo. I got really excited, I’ve always wanted to take a weekend and just see what the city had to offer. There are no available cheap flights though, so that plan is scrapped for the meantime. I will just have to satiate my travel cravings by recounting my Iloilo loot from earlier this year.

Post-Christmas loot!

I got a boxful of Iloilo goodies from a secret Santa early this year. I’m not sure if it’s okay to disclose said person’s identity so I’m playing it safe and keeping mum. It’s all about the noms from this point on.

When my mom saw the Biscocho Haus logo on a big box, her eyes widened and asked if it was full of her favorite Iloilo treat, barquillos. It wasn’t just barquillos, the box was filled to the brim with a number of delicious Iloilo goodies- there were Bañadas (or giant pasencias as I like calling them), packs of the unparalleled barquillos, Iloilo’s signature buttery biscocho biscuits, to-die-for butterscotch bars, thin and crisp galletas, and sweet piayas.

No need to take a trip to Iloilo!

We had no hope of finishing them all before they went bad (there are only 3 of us) so we brought them on a weekend outing with the rest of the family and they were all a hit! The top three family favorites (which also happen to be my personal favorites) are the Biscocho Haus’ Barquillos, BongBong’s Special Ube Piaya, and Biscocho Haus’ Butterscotch, not necessarily in that order.

Biscocho Haus

These elongated, cylindrical wafer sticks have been perfected by Biscocho Haus through the years and nothing comes close. Many try to imitate them but the others come up short. Biscocho Haus Barquillos are still unparalleled. They’re great to pair with ice cream or just as it is. They’re sweet enough to be a treat yet light enough to be considered healthy (ish).

BongBong

This variant of a piaya is new (to me at least). The gooey ube filling inside a thin, flaky piaya crust combo is made of many wins. It’s not too sweet and not too heavy, it just hit the right spot with me. I think I ate three pieces in succession (then wanted to hoard the rest of it). Thanks BongBong, for making this piaya flavor possible.

Biscocho Haus

Now I saved this for last because it deserves super special mention. Actually, these little squares of heaven deserve more than special mention, they deserve applause and much adulation. If you haven’t tried one yet, you need to know that one bite is enough to make you a lifetime fan. It’s soooo good. A small square bar of butterscotch is like a chewy caramel brownie that gives your mouth an intense nomsgasm after a single, solitary bite. If you know the recipe, let it be known that I will beg for it.

While all were nommy, it was these three that didn’t make it past the first hour of that family trip. There’s no need to go to Iloilo no mo’, I already had a taste of Iloilo all in one box.

Etc.

Random Things Bacon

Bacon is to people like Justin Bieber is to tween girls and mothers. By that, I mean that we all generally love it (ie. Bacon, not the Biebs). And because we do, creative minds find ways to make it more.. interesting, shall we say. Like this one for example, aptly called the Baconosaurus.

Baconosaurus: It is a thing of beauty.

A creative fellow looking for something to bring to a friend’s potluck party thought to make a dinosaur shaped like thing covered in bacon. You did good, kindred spirit. Source here. The love for reptile-shaped bacon doesn’t end there, however. Recently, an eBay ad was put up selling what appears to be a strip of bacon oddly shaped like a magnificent dragon- thus called the Bacon Dragon.

At least he got the category right.

eBay seller aboadon from Phoenix, Arizona found a bacon in the shape of a dragon and decided to sell it for a whopping $1000. He says this legendary and one of a kind item hasn’t been manipulated in any way and would be perfect for your collection. This is assuming for some reason that you can resist to cook and eat it. Story here.

While we’re at it, I accidentally on-purpose stumbled upon a Facebook fan page of a religious group that call themselves Church of the Bacon Dragon. Perhaps they’d like to buy aboadon‘s eBay item.

These look nice and all but they don’t beat the heart-stopping and blood-pumping mutation of a Thanksgiving Turkey called the Thanksgiving Turbaconducken, which is totally edible and looks like something I’d like to kill myself with.

And that is it in the world of bacon for today. Tune again tomorrow (or perhaps another day) for more of these unusual bacon-related news.

Etc.

Just how much do you like pizza?

Don’t you just love the smell of freshly baked pizza? The delicious scent that wafts under your nose as soon as you open a warm box of pizza just gets your mouth watering, doesn’t it? Do you love the smell enough to want to wear it?

Well what if I tell you that you can smell delicious without wolfing down several slices of the stuff (or you know, rubbing a slice all over yourself)? Ya, that’s right. If you want to smell like pizza (I can’t imagine why you won’t), you can just spritz yourself all over with the newest scent (and possibly the weirdest) to come out recently – Eau de Pizza Hut.

Awesome packaging for the Pizza Hut Perfume

It is real and it exists. It comes in packaging resembling that of an actual pizza box! How cool is that? They only made 110 bottles, so the chances of finding one up for sale is probably slim to nil.

Apparently, this has already been done before. Burger King came out a few years ago with a flame-grilled beef body spray called Flame endorsed by British TV show host Piers Morgan. Burger lover and self proclaimed “burger king” Bim wouldn’t mind having this on his dresser, I bet. I personally wouldn’t mind a KFC chicken cologne. What do you guys think?

Etc., Press

Virlanie Foundation’s “Rice up!” Campaign

For many of us, eating is a leisurely activity. We nom what we want and when we want. It isn’t the case for many others. There are thousands of Filipino families who cannot afford to eat even one good meal a day. Many go hungry for days on end. In most impoverished households, parents would usually sacrifice their share and sleep with grumbling tummies to be able give their children what little food that they can get. They are the luckier ones.

The children cared for by Virlanie Foundation usually have no families to run to, for food or any kind of support. They are usually rescued from abusive families- some are neglected or abandoned by their own parents while others are exploited by various evils in this world. The people behind Virlanie seeks to provide basic care for these children and steer them towards a better life, and in turn, a better future.

“Rice up!” is one of Virlanie Foundation’s campaigns, with the goal to gather enough rice to be able to provide meals for hundreds of these disadvantaged children for the year. They aim to raise 50 sacks of rice every month or 600 sacks for the year and in order to do so, they need our help. As of last Saturday, they still need 332 sacks of rice. Together, we can help them reach their target.

Photo by blogger Ross Del Rosario of Wazzup Pilipinas, check out his post here.

How you can contribute:

1. Bank transfer to Virlanie’s account

Name: Virlanie Foundation, Inc.
Bank Name: Banco de Oro Vito Cruz Branch

US Dollar Account No.: 104580108577
Peso Account No.: 004580002426
Euro Account No.: 304580112833

*Please inform Janelle (+632 895-3460 or +639175985485) as soon as you make the bank transfer or send her a scanned deposit slip so we can record your donation accordingly.

2. Online donation

via PayPal: https://www.virlanie.org/how-to-give/donate-online/
via UnionBank, Western, LBC, Cebuana: http://ushare.unionbankph.com/virlanie/

3. In kind donation

You can drop them off at the Virlanie Head Office at 4055 Yague St., Brgy Singkamas, Makati City (near Pasong Tamo, PRC) or facilitate the pick-up of donations with Virlanie staff.

Besides donations, there are a number of different ways that you can reach out to the kids of Virlanie Foundation. Please check out this link on the official Virlanie Foundation website to find out how else you can help. If you can, please also tell all your friends about this campaign. The more people who know about it, the better the chances are to reach the Rice Up! goal. Thank you, guise!

Etc.

Did you know?

Did you know that there’s an unadvertised Starbucks coffee cup size? No branch will blatantly tell you about it but besides the regular Tall, Grande, and Venti sizes, there’s another cup called Short.

20121205-015850.jpg
Here it is next to a Grande cup.

Smaller than the Tall cup, which is the declared smallest Starbucks cup, the Short cup holds about 250ml of hot drink. Seems perfect for those days when you need a quick picker upper or for kids who like having their own cups (of hot chocolate, of course). Ask your local barista about it tomorrow. 🙂

Etc.

Wala Kayo Sa Lolo Ko!

“Wala kayo sa lolo ko!” is a phrase often used to brag about the impressive (and sometimes less than impressive) feats of our own. For noms, we usually brag about our mom/wife/lola’s cooking. “My mom makes the best kare kare!”, “My wife makes the best sandwiches!”, “My lola makes the best champorado!” are exclamations usually uttered with a wistful smile (and a grumbling tummy). Your favorite home cooked meal surpasses the greatness of the best restaurants in the world simply because it comes with good memories of home.
20121017-104832.jpg
Will/can provide proof if required.

It doesn’t have to stay within the family, it can also extend to your yaya’s specialty or even your neighbor’s Christmas fruitcake. For me, bragging goes as far as the village bakery’s goods, namely their soft and fluffy pandesal. Every morning, we get fresh from the oven pandesal that’s just melt in your mouth delicious. That is, if we wake up early enough, they’re usually gone before seven in the morning. They’re that good. Wala kayo sa village bakery pandesal namin!

How about you? What noms do you like bragging about?

Etc.

Of Barbecues and Copyrights

Searching the web for a good tapa place near my office last week, I chanced upon an recent article from GMA News Online. It’s for the show called ‘Ang Pinaka’ where they collated the best restaurants that help address your late night or early morning hunger pangs. Link to GMA News TV article dated July 2012 here.

Ang Pinaka lists the best 24/7 restaurants in the Metro

Anyway, I went through the list and when I got to number 4 on the countdown, I noticed a pretty familiar photo.

Hey, I know you!

Not wanting to jump to any conclusions, I did a quick search of old posts. And, I was right. I did take that photo and used it for the BaconTunaMelt Yoo-hoo Bar-B-Que post from way back in 2010. Link to the BaconTunaMelt post here.

The resemblance! It's uncanny!

Sure, the pic is heavily editted, but that’s still obviously a BaconTunaMelt photo. And while this kind of thing is usual in the Internet world, common courtesy would dictate that you ask permission from the photo owner. If you’d ever have the need to use one of our crappy images, especially for an official article, please be nice and shoot me an email or something. I don’t bite and I’ll probably say yes anyway. 🙂

Etc.

This Week in (Non)Nomz News

Who says a food blog has to be just about food? Today, we’ve decided to veer away from droning on about noms and instead report on a few interesting non-nommables. Don’t boo us just yet, it’s not a sellout! We’ve compiled a few fun inedible but nom-related finds from the Interwebz.

The Chork

The product of a threesome between a fork and a pair of chopsticks, the Chork is the solution for all you frustrated Asians out there. This ingenious creation is a pair of chopsticks on one end and on the other, a fork! Awesome, right? Now when you’re in an Asian restaurant and you find out that it’s near next to impossible to pick up those peas in your rice with the typical chopsticks, you can simply flip your Chork and… wait a minute, you can’t fork a pea. Dammit! Anyway, it’s still a pretty nifty idea, methinks.

A 12-pair pack can be got for $4 while a 24-pack for $6. Source: The Chork

The Chork

Gummy Bear Ice Cubes

This has got to be the next best thing since actual gummy bears. Ice cubes in the shape of gummy bears bears are super duper effin’ cute. Although I don’t know who’d go into all that trouble putting in food coloring in their ice cubes all the time, one can definitely make the exception for a party or a particularly lonely night. Besides ice bears, think of all the things you can do with this? Hello, bear shaped Jell-O shots! Also, bear shaped popsicles! Or or or or, bear shaped gummy candy! Wait.

You can get one of these trays for $10 on ThinkGeek.

Gummy Bear Ice Cubes

Spaghetti Tower

This thing look like your boring old pasta container except funner because it has a rooster on top? Nope, it isn’t! The creators call it the Spaghetti Tower, and besides keeping your pasta fresh and away from moisture and all other germs, it also helps you measure your pasta. You know how you usually end up with more sauce than noodles or the other way around? Well, that’s a thing of the past, with the Spaghetti Tower, you can cook just the right amount of noodle to go with your sauce.

Details of how it works (an other fun stuff too!) on the Ototo website.

Spaghetti Tower

Sushi Bazooka

I love sushi as much as the next person, but it’s not that easy to make. My first and only attempt ended up looking like a lumpy snake (pic for proof). With the Sushi Bazooka, any regular Joe can make sushi like them sushi chefs do. This phallic looking tool will serve as your mold, all you need is to cram all your ingredients inside and push it out using another yet phallic looking supplementary tool.

I particularly like how they have the New Zealand flag and the Japan flag on the ad as if saying, “Kiwis, you can finally get it right!”. You can get it here for US$25.70.

Sushi Bazooka

Lightsaber Chopsticks

Star Wars geeks, I know how many of you there are in this world and the next, you’ve probably heard of these, if you don’t already own a pair. The difference now, is that they actually light up! Yup, these little lightsabers have little LEDs on ’em. Imagine eating sushi (that you made with the Sushi Bazooka) in the dark with these fun little toys (oh sorry, I mean “collectibles”)!

$22.90 for either a blue or red pair of Lightsaber Chopsticks on this site, depending on which side you’re on. 

Mini Kitchen

This is really more functional than fun. For city dwellers, where more space means more kaching-kaching (or bye-bye monies), this Mini Kitchen can be a life saver. We can’t always live on fastfood (or can we?). This kitchen-in-a-box has it all- a sink, a fridge, a dish rack, a drawer, a counter, a stove, a table all in a nice little package. You can even put the cover on when not in use and it can be a kitchen counter. How neat is that? I love this idea and I’m totally stealing it (only because I’m poor and can’t afford $4,700, if you can though, check it out on the Kitchoo website.)

And that is all. We hope you enjoyed reading about these as much as we did scouring the net for them. Or you know, looking through Gizmodo, that awesome site that needs to be thanked for putting up all sorts of gadgets, trinkets and noms news, and for generally making the Internet and the world a better place.

Etc.

Cookbook Kitchen: A Cookbook Come To Life

Catching up on post backlogs now, yay! This one is a couple of months overdue, as Lianne‘s birthday was way back in April and it was then when we trekked to Mandaluyong to celebrate with nommies and good cheer. I say “trekked” because a Southerner like me hardly ever gets to hang out that far north unless there’s an event or a celebration or any combination of the two.

This trip was about a cookbook come to life in a real live kitchen. I don’t know about you, but my cookbooks end up like magazines, I leaf through the beautiful pages skipping one beautiful recipe after another just because it seems too complex or the ingredients are far too many for a cooking noob like me. Then after a while, the books end up stacked in a shelf, sad and unused.

20120626-085338.jpg
CBK's famous appetizers

At Cookbook Kitchen, you can stop salivating at pictures and wishing you can whip up an intricate recipe without burning down the kitchen. You simply order a dish you can never hope to make in 15 minutes and voila! Instant tummy gratification!

We started the gluttony meal with the recommended appetizers and they were super good. The CBK Italian toast is a signature appetizer of bread topped with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese. Theres a reason why it’s a favorite. It’s simple but wonderful, with all the ingredients complementing each other combining for an irresistible opener/. Another recommended appetizer is the Champignons with Caramelized Onions, which we also tried, of course. Now this came as a surprise. I’m not much of a mushroom fan, but these button mushrooms sautéed in butter mixed with sweetened onions hit the right spot with me. It’s actually something I’d want to try making on my own (as soon as I find a simple enough recipe).

20120626-085354.jpg
Clockwise, from upper left: Temecula Ribs, Parmesan Crusted White Fish, CBK Chicken, Pasta Al Adobo

Their menu had a good selection of entrees per food group, it’s not easy to trim down from all the lovely choices. Because the prices aren’t exorbitant, having a little variety wasn’t too much of a problem. We settled on a spread of beef, chicken, fish, and pasta (practically all the categories on the menu ><). Here’s a rundown of what we ordered- the Temecula Ribs were a little too saucy and fatty for my liking, but the meat was very tender and nearly fell off the bone, the baked Parmesan Crusted White fish was creamy and easy to eat, the CBK Chicken was healthy enough even though it was stuffed with ham, cheese, and basil, and the Pasta Al Adobo gave a very Filipino twist to an Italian dish.

While we were full by the time the main course rolled off, the biggest (literally) highlight of the night weren’t the main dishes, as can be seen from our expressions of wonder in this photo- 20120626-085402.jpg

Yes, we were staring in earnest at our dessert. For an almost unacceptable amount of time too, because the waiters started looking at us like we were nuts (they weren’t wrong). This giant pile of ice cream is called the Avalanche, rightfully so. If you say it isn’t so big, you need to hold your hand in an L-shape, and double that height to understand just how humongous this thing was. If you’re still unconvinced, try and picture about fifteen scoops of ice cream all in one plate. That’s how huge it was.

20120626-085410.jpg
An Avalanche it is!

Scoops and scoops, and even more scoops of strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate ice cream were piled on top of the other until it resembled a small mountain and topped with frozen strawberries and chocolate syrup. There was so much ice cream that after many spoonfuls, the magic ice cream plate still looked full. It was a whole lot of fun digging through it one spoonful at a time and putting it down before it put us down. We didn’t give up on it and eventually, we conquered the entire avalanche!

Cookbook Kitchen is located at 8 Socorro Fernandez Street, Mandaluyong City. If you want to contact them, you can call them at 724-35-95 or 381-59-35 or maybe send them a message on their Facebook page or website.