Life

Somethings Cookin’

It’s looking a bit disorganized around here, but that’s just because we’re cookin’ up something new! WHOOO YAY EXCITING!

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Really, I’m on it (I swear). Don’t delete us just yet, just give us some time and we promise you a brand spankin’ new BaconTunaMelt!

Life

Rainy Day Noms

And just like that, the rainy season is here again. The soft steady rain was so calming this morning that getting out from under the covers and heading for work was insanely difficult. There’s something about waking up to the soft pitter-patter of raindrops on your windowpane that makes you want to stay in bed all day. What eventually got me out of bed today (besides the thought of deadlines, that is) was the thought of a hot, rainy day dish in my belly. And it got me started with this post. Today, I give you my list of my favorite noms for rainy days.

8. Ramen

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Ramen

Although not inherently Pinoy, the Japanese ramen has slowly creeped its way into our hearts. The big steaming bowl of hot noodle soup flavored with soy or miso and thinly sliced pork, soft boiled egg, and seaweed is fantastic for rainy day weather (or any kind of weather, come to think of it). It doesn’t hurt that ramen places are aplenty within the city and it’s fairly easy to head to one come a cool wet day.

7. Puto Bumbong

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Puto Bumbong

Traditionally steamed in bamboo tubes, a freshly-cooked serving of the sticky, purple Pinoy snack that’s usually topped with butter, coconut shavings, and sugar (sometimes latik) is an excellent thing to nom during a wet afternoon. Although most widely available during the Christmas season, sgiving those of us who associate the purple stuff with happy memories to relive them in the middle of a dreary rain.

6. Arroz Caldo

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Arroz Caldo

Arroz caldo is as comforting as it gets. The smell of hot rice porridge topped with boiled egg, chicken bits, and fried garlic can make me get up from bed any day.

5. Bibingka

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Bibingka

This soft, tasty rice cake is best eaten fresh out of the pugon (but I’ll take it whichever way). Like the puto bumbong, the bibingka is most widely available during the Christmas holidays but thankfully, some restaurants like Cafe Via Mare offer it all year long.

4. Champorado

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Champorado

Hot chocolate porridge normally drizzled with evaporated milk and eaten with dilis (salted and dried fish), this very Pinoy breakfast is a perfect rainy day nom. This thing has chocolate and rice and we call it breakfast? Win!

3. Sinigang

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Sinigang

Sure, this is regular fare for many but I’m sure all of you would agree that sinigang is best eaten on a cold, dreary day with an endless supply of piping hot white rice.

2. Tsokolate de Batirol

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Tsokolate de Batirol

Your regular hot chocolate has nothing on our very own tsokolate de batirol. To me, the bits of chocolate, the texture, and the richness of this drink makes for a happy rainy day drink that brings back fond childhood memories.

1. Taho

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Taho (Photo borrowed from Dubai Chronicles)

Topping my list of favorite rainy day noms is the easiest to acquire from all those in this list- taho. Hot soft soy pudding mixed in with (lots of) arnibal and topped with sago is the best rainy day fix. You can have it for breakfast, as a snack, or even as a nightcap.

So what will you be having on this cool wet day?

Life

WIP

Hey everyone! The blog was down and out for a few months because of a technical glitch but there’s no need to worry, we are back and we are fosho cooking something up. The blog has been updated and we’ve started tweaking some things, but it’s still very much a work in progress. So please bear with us while we improve BaconTunaMelt as best we can. In the meantime, do say hi and let us know how y’all have been.

Obvs, this image isn’t mine. Ganked from here.
Life

Why I Haven’t Been

“I’ve been busy.” and “Life gets in the way of blogging/writing.” have become my default excuses for not paying attention to BaconTunaMelt enough. While there are other things to do, I simply got tired of writing things I eat in detail. Let’s face it, everyone and their mothers take pictures of food and post it on various social media platforms. What else do I have to offer? Besides, Microblogs with pictures are way easier to maintain.

It got to the point where I’d take pictures of noms whenever I eat out and hope against hope that I can somehow get started on my queue of posts longer than Santa’s Naughty list. (I’m still dramatic, there’s that.) But existential crisis aside, this post (and this pizza glugging sloth and cat combo) will hopefully get the ball rolling. Yay?

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Life

2014: A Recap In Nomz

Although everyone’s back to work or whatever it is that fills up their days, the five-year-old in me still doesn’t want to admit that the holidays are over. It just blew by with me barely noticing it (my wallet did, though). So here I am, attempting to stretch what’s left of the Christmas season by remembering the year that was, in nomz.

In January, I was hopeful that 2014 could be the year when I started eating healthy-ish again. For a couple of years a long time ago, all I had for daily lunch was a homemade salad brought to work. How difficult could it be to do again? (Hint: Very.) I started out with S&R’s Chicken Caesar Salad. It’s got greens, tomatoes, bacon, chicken, croutons, and yummy honey mustard dressing. It’s not exactly the most healthy of salads but hey, it’s got greens. It’s a good way to start, right?

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S&R’s Chicken Caesar Salad

Then came February. The devil introduced me to Heaven. In this side of town, there’s a place called Heaven and they have bacon so good, it’s almost evil. I wrote about it back then- Yes, They Have Bacon In Heaven. First month in and the “eat healthy” resolution is down the drain. Owell.

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Heaven’s Maple Cured Bacon and Egg with Garlic Rice

By March, I had ignored that resolution completely. I found myself in Japan for a few days in 2014. Who was I to resist the call of ramen in the actual land of ramen? Ramen in Japan from Ichiran is super good it justifies breaking any sort of resolution. Read my post gushing about it here: Tokyo Eats: Ichiran’s Ramen Is The Answer To Life.

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Ichiran’s Shoyu Ramen

In April, my relatives from Davao all came to Manila and brought this priceless haul. A boxful of “marang”- organic, and freshly picked from the tree all for me to devour. (I shared some of it, don’t worry.)

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Fresh marang.

May was the most memorable month in 2014. For one, it’s my birth month and I got to spend it in Tagaytay, my all-time favorite getaway. For another, I got engaged. *cue teasing* Here’s a picture minutes after being asked THE question, taking my time to fully absorb the fact that I’m to be married over Bag of Beans coffee and Apple Pie ala mode.

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Relaxing in Bag of Beans, Tagaytay.

In June, I had no fridge or proper utensils yet. But the lure of Selecta’s Oreo Strawberry Cookies and Cream was too difficult to resist. I served them in small wine glasses (because I had no bowls). I had at least half a liter of ice cream juice the next day. No regrets!

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Grumpy Cat pillow is grumpy.

Sometime in July, I met the Starbucks’ Sausage Roll. It has since become my go-to picker upper or quick lunch for when I don’t have a full hour to nom. It’s a cheesedog in a croissant and those are two of my favorite words ever, combined or not.

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Starbucks’ Sausage Roll

After several hits and misses, even trying complicated combinations and such, we finally found our favorite from Magnum Cafe- Death by Chocolate. One of the best-sellers, it’s a simple brownie-like chocolate cake topped with crunchy chocolate balls, and a stick of plain Magnum ice cream. De-lee-shoos.

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Magnum Cafe’s Death By Chocolate

Come September, a new place serving hot and fresh doughnuts popped up in McKinley Hill. These aren’t your typical round fluffy ones, instead, they’re small, bite-sized squares dusted with powdered sugar known in Louisiana as beignets and can be made better by sweet and/or savory dips. I wrote about them too- The Beignets of Louisiana Doughnuts & Co. McKinley Hill

Beignets of Louisiana Doughnuts & Co.

In October, I had scored me jars of dulce de leche and did a quick and easy hack of Slice’s Choco Yema cupcakes for my cousin’s eleventh birthday. I wasn’t patient enough to try and copy the Choco Yema’s intricate design of tiny yema roses for dozens of cupcakes so I did a simplified version, it turned out well enough. I’m scoring this hack an 8 out of 10. (naks!)

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Food  hack: Slice’s Choco Yema cupcakes

In October, Bim and I signed up for a class with Maya Kitchen to learn to make baked goods and pastries. It was a super fun (and tiring) weekend activity where we got tips and tricks to make eclairs, cream puffs, and churros con choco! As soon as we got out of the class, we tried making our very own cream puffs at home but ended up with globs of barely edible flour things.

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The ones we made at home did not look like this at all.

And finally, in December, what with the hustle and bustle of the holidays and various other events,  there was barely any time to document all of the glorious Christmas food. But, what I did have time for is to take a quick snap of this happy little bottle of liquid gold.

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Happy Holidays!

In retrospect, 2014 was pretty good to me. Fun times were had, milestones were marked, and life decisions were made. May 2015 be even better, for all of us. Let’s drink to that? Y!

Life

BaconTunaMelt Gets A Makeover!

Hi guys! If you noticed, BaconTunaMelt has been going through a mini makeover and now has a new look. The theme is now a darker shade of orange highlighted by yellow, grey, and white tones. The code is clean and simple and I’m actually happy that it’s much less toxic than the last time I did this a couple of years ago (I still hate CSS, beeteedubs). I hope you guys like it! I’m no great shakes at either PHP and CSS and this revamp has cost me quite a few hours of stress (and if I’m being honest, several strands of hair).

BTM_screenshot_2014In case you’re interested, the base theme I used is the the fantastic free WordPress theme Point (thanksabunch~) and tweaked it a tiny little bit to my fit the theme of the blog.

I’m actually still undecided if this is the final look we’re going for (I’m fickle like that) and it’s highly likely that you’d  see changes throughout the course of the next couple of weeks. So if you have constructive criticisms and useful suggestions, just leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can do to not pull out your hair (I kid!). In the meantime, I’m happy to present to you this current new look of BaconTunaMelt!

Life

Eat Me! Pretty Noms Means Yummy Noms

Flavor isn’t only the sole factor in determining the greatness of a dish. More than just the taste, presentation has become a major factor in the total yumminess of noms. Food that tastes good but looks like vomit just won’t pass the critical nommers test. This has been the way of the world for years. Nowadays, the public standards for “good food” are even more rigid. More than tasting good and looking good, a plated dish has to be photogenic too.

Pretty = yummy.

The advent of mobile technology brought about microblogging which lets you share your life with the rest of the world in real time. New parents share their baby’s first step/blink/word/spit, fashion fiends share their OOTD/OOTN/shoes/hair/makeup, and the rest of us share our food- we’ve got boatloads of pictures of our breakfast, lunch, dinner, or random snacks. Since everyone needs to eat, food is definitely one of the most shared photographs in the online world today.

Unfortunately, not everyone has a good eye for composition and unappetizing food pictures are aplenty. One example would be Martha Stewart’s controversial food pictures on Instagram. Her self-taken food pictures has grossed out many of her followers enough for it to create an online buzz recently. Since Martha Stewart is practically a household name in the world of foodums, people expect her to churn out better than average pictures on the popular photo sharing site. But she doesn’t.

You be the judge.

She’s one of us. She takes grainy pictures of carefully plated food (that makes the rest want to never eat again) and claims it was the best dish ever. Judging from the pictures alone makes one wonder if she’s lying through her teeth or is just a really bad photographer.

Unfortunately, pictures like Ms. Stewart’s could be bad advertising for the food industry. Instead of enticing the audience to go and get their product, bad photos could make them want to stay as far away as they can. But what can you do? You can’t stop people from taking bad pictures of their own food.

I need this in my tummy right now.

The best that food entrepreneurs can do is to ensure that their food is photogenic from any angle the average phone photographer can take. Although it’s not foolproof, it will at least make sure that majority of photos of their food available online are good enough. For everyone else, just try to make your food look pretty. Here are a few nice guides I like that you may find useful as well:

  1. Quick Food Photography Tips To Make Mouth Watering Images
  2. Food photography 101: Framing food with your phone
  3. 5 Tips for Delicious Food Photos
  4. 11 Great Camera Angles for Food Photography
  5. Photograph Food Without a Fancy Camera

This brings me back to needing to take better noms pictures for BaconTunaMelt. This should be my new year’s resolution. For 2014, I am resolving to give you guys yummier food pics. May I hold true to this resolution. Happy holidays everyone!

*all pictures were ganked from the articles/sites linked above.
Life

Delectable Halloween Costumes for 2013

When I was a kid, celebrating Halloween wasn’t really the norm in the Philippines. This time of the year usually meant going to the cemetery to visit dead relatives. Nowadays, while many still clog up the roads heading to various memorial parks, we also find time to dress up and party the night away.

Everyone and their next door neighbor are cooking up the most unique Halloween costume they can think of without breaking the bank right before the Christmas rush (read GeekOut’s list of easy Halloween costumes). Admittedly, I haven’t dressed up in a costume ever. Every year, I scour the Internet for good costume ideas but eventually chicken out for fear of looking silly (I know, I’m weak) and end up going out in normal everyday boring clothes.

Last year, I wanted to dress up as an Instagram selfie.

This year is no different. It’s one day before Halloween and I have no costume to speak of. Don’t be a Halloween Scrooge like me and start prepping your costumes for tomorrow! Below is a list of some Halloween costume ideas that make you look yummy.
1. Nerds

Nerdy Nerds. She probably isn’t a nerd but whatevs.

At the top of this year’s Halloween costumes list is this mildly suggestive but still pretty cute Nerds costume. Although the candy itself has no correlation to being a nerd, putting on this costume and a pair of nerdy glasses is an excellent combination of yummy and smart aleck-y.

2. Coke bottle

Hi, how are you? I can’t pee in my Coke costume!

Although sitting down (or peeing) might be rather difficult, this Coke bottle costume could be an excellent conversation starter. “You look hot. Need a drink?” is one pick up line you could use but I do not guarantee its success. But if you have the nice guy vibe, you just might be able to pull it off.

3. Carrot

No meat for this carrot lady.

For vegetarians, pescetarians, and health nuts, this carrot costume could be for you. Find a person in a bunny costume to strike a conversation with, or if you’re strictly vegan, find someone in a “peas in a pod” costume. Who knows, it might be a match made in healthy heaven.

4. Cupcake

Cupcakes are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.

This cupcake costume is just about the right amount of sexy and cute. Showing all the good parts but covering all the important parts, this wholesome costume is sure to sweeten up anyone’s night.

5. Bacon and Eggs

Bacon and eggs is a perfect match!

If you’re a couple that’s looking for a nommy matching costume, you can’t go wrong with this classic combo. Show everyone that you won’t do a Billy Crawford/Nikki Gil or an Angel Locsin/Phil Younghusband with this lasting Bacon and Eggs costume.

Halloween is for pets too! I wasn’t planning on putting up pet costumes on this post but I just had to share this super baduper adorbz banana split costume I found!

Banana split with a side of dog breath, anyone?

Which one’s your favorite? Mine’s the Nerds dress. Have a happy Halloween, everyone!

Life

Do You Really Like Coffee?

Coffee is an essential part of life. Specially if you stayed up late the previous night watching the entire third season of The Walking Dead in preparation for the new season even though you need to clock in the office by eight the next day. The night after, you still can’t sleep after a full day because flashbacks of creepy, smelly zombies attacking you in the middle of sleep scares you to death. By the third day, you’d need to summon the magical powers of caffeine to defog the haze that is your brain in order to be able to juggle multiple work things at once (or you know, just put one foot in front of the other).

A dash of cinnamon for a bit of spice.

It would be the time when a steaming cup of strong coffee would be a picker upper, a life saver, and breakfast all at once. But if not for necessity, would you actually drink the stuff? Do you actually like how it tastes like? When you order your “coffee” drinks from your favorite coffee shop, is it the coffee that you’re after? Or all the other elements that help mask (or at least dilute) its actual taste? Without all the frills, coffee straight out of the pot is bitter brown liquid that leaves a distinct unpleasant flavor (and sometimes, even texture) in your mouth long after the cup is finished. You know, like when you haven’t brushed your teeth in days.

The smell of coffee is just lovely?

Ever wonder why coffee tastes horrible when it’s room temperature? Hot coffee is heaven sent, while iced coffee is a sweet treat but room temperature coffee is crap. Why? Live Science theorizes that since our taste receptors are less sensitive at extreme temperatures, our brains are probably distracted from the actual coffee flavor. When drinking coffee at room temperature, we get to taste its full flavor. This brings us back to the fact that coffee doesn’t actually taste pleasant.

Scorn all you want, but I love milk in my coffee.

There are a number of coffee beans from many different sources and all you coffee connoisseurs can look down on me and say that not all beans are created alike, but the general consensus is that coffee is bitter. Humans were created to naturally dislike bitter flavors to avoid ingesting potentially poisonous nature stuff (although it can be argued that coffee is some sort of a poison). In line with this, it seems that we are predisposed to dislike the taste of coffee but for one reason or another, we have acquired the taste for this bitter brew.

It may be for clearing your head in the morning or because the cool kids seem to be on the bandwagon or to help with digestion after a full meal, but evolution has it that we keep on drinking this curious drink.

P.S. Here’s an interesting read from Lifehacker about what caffeine actually does to your brain. It’s all science-y and stuff.

Life

Makati Noms: A Compilation of Our Favorite Restaurants in Makati

Since our country’s central business district is home to a gabajillion restaurants, deciding on a place to eat out shouldn’t be a problem for any local. But it is. It’s become such an ordeal that I decided to put up this list of not-too-common restaurants in Makati that I would gladly go back to anytime. Hopefully, I can pick one from this list next time I’m in Makati and need to decide where to eat, before I start pulling my hair out in frustration. Maybe you’ll find this list useful as well.

  1. Insider Sports Bar Makati Ave

    Insider Sports Bar is located at the ground floor of the semi new Tunes Hotel in Makati Ave. Since they’re a sports bar, huge TVs are strewn all over the place showing different sports channels. Their food is tasty and servings are HUGE. Do try the Giant Pork Chop, when they say giant, they really do mean giant.


    Giant Pork Chop of Insider Sports Bar

    Address: Ground Floor, Tunes Hotel, Mercado corner Calderon Sts, Poblacion, Makati

    Click here for our full review of the noms at Insider Sports Bar.

  2. GoTea Milk Tea

    GoTea is an obscure milk tea shop owned by a Chinese local that’s open ’til late even on weekdays. They serve fabulous crepes for a good price and are next to a 7-11 and other restaurants. They gots free parking space too. ‘Tis an excellent place for a nightcap if you’re in the area (heck, even if you’re not).

    Milk tea and crepes at GoTea Milk Tea

    Address: AGS Plaza, Washington Street, Makati

    Click here for our full review of the noms at GoTea Milk Tea.

  3. 8065 Bagnet

    If you haven’t yet tried this bagnet house, haul your ass there the soonest time possible. They’ve got heart-stopping, crunchy, fatty, tasty bagnet in all kinds of flavors, among other things on the menu. Here below is the classic one with a side of green mango and bagoong

    Classic Bagnet at 8065 Bagnet

    Address: 8065 Estrella Street, San Antonio, Makati city

    Click here for our full review of the noms at 8065 Bagnet.

  4. Malcolm’s Burger

    Three wagyu beef patties on a burger? WIN! It’s definitely not for everyday eating, but you gotta try this at least once in your life. They also have other things (with less patties) on their menu and their iced tea blend is lovely.

    Malcolm's Burgers' Tripple Patty Wagyu Burger

    Address: 311 G/F PDCP Bldg, LP Leviste cor. VA Rufino streets, Salcedo Village, Makati

    Click here for our full review of Malcolm’s Burgers.

  5. Relish

    Normally, I don’t like lamb (it’s got a weird aftertaste) and I’d rather not have couscous (it’s like mushed rice). Relish’s Slow-roasted Lamb Shoulder served with couscous has converted me to like both. Relish is a fancier-than-normal place which means it’s an excellent place to take a date. Or you know, business meetings paid for by the client (I KEED!).

    Slow-roasted Lamb Shoulder
    Address: G/F Ponte Salcedo building, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati city

    Click here for our full review of the noms at Relish.

  6. Corner Tree Cafe

    Corner Tree Cafe is a vegeratian restaurant, but don’t let that deter you. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they serve tasteless food that nature prepared. In fact, their Vegetarian Kare Kare served with vegetarian bagoong organic and brown rice is so tasty, I could have sworn they used beef stock (but they don’t). They also serve a mean vegetarian chili.

    Corner Tree Cafe
    Location: 150 Jupiter St. Bel-Air, Makati city

    Click here for our full review of the noms at Corner Tree Cafe.

  7. 101 Hawker Food House

    When this Asian, mostly Singaporean, restaurant opened, it received so much hype from people who were craving for good Asian noms without draining their wallets. Years later, it still holds up. If you’re in the mood for Asian food in Makati, 101 Hawker Food House is a good place to visit. It’s a good old asian restaurant without the frills and fancy, cheap too.

    101 Hawker Food House's Char Kway Teow

    Location: Unit 102, Campos Rueda Bldg., 101 Urban Avenue, Makati
    Contact Number: (02) 886-7329

    Click here for our full review of the noms at 101 Hawker Food House.

  8. TTK Authentic Singaporean Food

    TTK Authentic Singaporean Food is a relatively new find. We’ve seen it a few times before finally deciding to try it. Boy, were we surprised. This little, dinky restaurant along Metropolitan Avenue in Makati serves the BEST Seafood Laksa. Ever! Their Hainanese is also pretty darned good, but the Laksa just overshadows everything else. It’s an awesome place to satisfy Singaporean noms cravings. Specially now that they’ve installed air-conditioners.

    TTK Authentic Singaporean Food's Seafood Laksa

    Address: Metropolitan Avenue, Makati city.

    Click here for our full review of the noms at TTK Authentic Singaporean Food.

  9. Mom & Tina’s

    Okay, so Mom & Tina’s first and original branch is the one in Pasig. The Makati branch however, has become a go to restaurant for for for good old comfort Spanish noms. The place is homey, the noms are tasty, the prices are reasonable and they have to-die-for desserts. I highly recommend the Dark Toblerone Walnut Torte.

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    Mom & Tina's Chicken Alexander

    Address: G/F Unit 14, Tropical Palm Plaza, Perea cor Dela Rosa streets, Legazpi Village, Makati city

    Click here for our full review (sort of) of the noms at Mom & Tina’s.

  10. Yoo-hoo Bar-B-Que

    It’s a grill place with prices so cheap you can afford to eat steak on a regular day. El cheapo noms but el tasty too. It’s a fast food, so don’t expect anything fancy but steak, no matter how it’s served, is still steak.

    Yoo-hoo's T-bone Steak

    Address: Anza Street corner Makati Avenue, Makati City

    Click here for our full review of the noms at Yoo-hoo Bar-B-Que.

Next time you’re looking for a good restaurant to eat at when you’re in Makati, try and check out this list. You and your scalp will thank me.