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Pindang Damulag ng Pampanga
Having Kapampangan relatives sure has its perks. For one, they’re fantastic cooks. Two, Kapampangans never run out of stories. And three, they love to party! Combine all these and you get lots of fun (and loud) gatherings where many delicious nomz are served.

We just had a very Kapampangan reunion a couple weeks ago and like usual, it was full, it was noisy (the good kind), and the food was yummy! There were, of course, many delightful dishes served then (my favorite was the alimango and the suman salihiya but that’s another story altogether), but what was new to me was this curious meat served in a bilao that looked to me like tocino.
Pindang damulag
Without asking anyone what it was, I put some on my then pretty full plate to try (home buffet lunches make me inadvertently eat more than usual o_O). It was definitely not tocino. What I was expecting to be the familiar sweet, slightly salty and chewy cured pork meat turned out to be quite sour and squishy soft meat (with a consistency not unlike sushi).

About this time, the older folks were laughing at the sour face I made. Then they said that what I just ate is actually called Pindang Damulag. I had no idea what that was so they had to explain that this particular dish from Pampanga is made from thinly sliced carabao meat, cured with vinegar and a host of other seasonings. Best served with sliced tomatoes on the side.

I admit that I didn’t like it at first, possibly because I was looking for the taste of tocino when I had my first bite and was met with gooey sourness instead. Eventually, the taste of the sour Pindang Damulag grew on me and I thought it went well with steaming white rice and sliced fresh tomatoes.

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National Sandwich Day at The Sandwich Guy
Because it was National Sandwich Day yesterday, grownup Russell* and I made sure to get us some sandwiches for dinner. Where best to get fantastic sandwiches? Without batting an eyelash, I would say there’s no better place to get sandwiches in the city than The Sandwich Guy.
It seems only fitting to do this post on this particular holiday. They’ve been a favorite of mine since I first found out about them a couple of years ago. Also known by the acronym TSG, The Sandwich Guy boasts of a healthy menu of many different sandwiches, pastas, and salads. Their tagline, which reads “Fresh not fried.”, is a good marketing ploy imo (specially because they’re right next to a McDonald’s).
TSG’s English Egg (p65)
To celebrate, we got sandwiches of course! I had an old favorite- the English Egg sandwich (it’s also one of the cheaper items on the menu). A generous amount of chopped boiled eggs mixed in mayonnaise is spread between two slices of TSG’s homemade wheat bread with a slice of cheese and a healthy combo of fresh veggies- lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. Yum!
Pollo Rosmarino (p100)
Russell Comicology dude got a Pollo Rosmarino- thick strips of baked chicken breast fillet sandwiched between two slices of TSG’s wheat bread with cheese, lettuce, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. This is great for people on a diet- you get a good amount of protein, healthy carbs, and veggies with this sandwich. Best of all, it’s delicious!

Seafood Pesto (p85)

To make it more of a party, we also got an order of TSG’s Seafood Pesto (it ain’t a party without noodles!). Spaghetti noodles drizzled with pesto oil and topped with tuna chunks and crabstick strips- this one is yet another TSG classic.

TSG’s packaging  is always nice and neat

I have to make special mention of TSG’s packaging. Everything is packed in neat little containers that are easy to dispose of or bring around for people on the go. I also like that everything is done in plain sight- their very visible countertops allow you to see the crew preparing your orders and everything else (even pouring their mayonaise and cheese in squeeze bottles!).

The Sandwich Guy is a reliable little stall where you can get fantastic sandwiches with the freshest ingredients in a jiffy. With TSG, you can have a happy sandwich day everyday. 😛

The Sandwich Guy
Location: G/F One World Square, McKinley Hill, Taguig City (but they have a ton of branches all over the city)
Contact Number: 0922-8290210; 556-2329
Other info: The Sandwich Guy website ; The Sandwich Guy Facebook page

*Why Russell? Watch out for his Halloween costume in pictures soon to be uploaded in the world of the Intarwebz. ^_~

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Cheap Eats in Makati: Yoo-hoo Bar-B-Que
Armed with a meager daily budget, I’m always on the lookout for cheap places to eat around the Makati area. While jollijeeps and fastfood restaurants are lifesavers, they get old quickly if you eat there every day. One might suggest that it should be cheaper (not to mention healthier) to just bring food from home instead of buying lunch but that’s not really an option for me, I can’t cook to save my life.
This is why I’m glad to have discovered Yoo-Hoo Bar-B-Que along the busy road of Makati Avenue. When most restaurants in the area require a budget of 150-200 pesos per meal (it can get pretty expensive if done on a daily basis for us working class citizens), you can eat like a king at this barbecue stall with a reasonable budget of 50-100 pesos.
Yoo-Hoo Barbecue (p36/stick)
Yoo-Hoo is most famous for their meaty barbecues (whoddathought?). At 36 pesos per stick, their barbecues are larger than your average barbecue and seasoned with a special blend that keeps the meat juicy and tasty. I personally like their blend better than most other popular barbecue stores, the meat itself is tasty without too much sauce slathered on it. I also like that they put the fat bit at the end, instead of in between the meat, like other restaurants do.
Itlog na maalat with kamatis (p15)
A side order of itlog na maalat with fresh tomatoes for only 15 pesos made the meal even better. Although salted red eggs aren’t all that unusual and can be easily brought from palengkes, not many restaurants in the city have it on their menus (and if they do, they usually charge an exorbitant fee). Yoo-Hoo offering it for cheap is a very welcome change.
Yoo-Hoo’s T-bone Steak Meal (p75)
Not on the menu, but definitely something to try, is Yoo-Hoo’s T-bone Steak meal. The steak comes with a cup of rice and gravy and is priced at a dirt cheap 75 pesos. Where else can you get a steak for that much? It’s not on the menu though, but just ask the cashier for it if you want to order one. It’s actually filling and tastes pretty good too.

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Yoo-Hoo Bar-B-Que is a no-frills diner that serves good food at price more reasonable than most. (They also serve beer, btw. Yoohoo?!) Besides the one along Makati Avenue, they also have a branch at Metrowalk in Ortigas, another one in P. Burgos in Makati, and also at Pioneer Street in Mandaluyong. Go try it for lunch tomorrow!

Yoo-Hoo Bar-B-Que
Location: Anza Street corner Makati Avenue, Makati City
Contact Number: 897-2779
Other Info: Facebook Page

Etc.

Baby Nomz for Halloween
We at BaconTunaMelt have been racking our brains for a good Halloween topic and for the longest time, we’ve been coming up with duds. Cliche though it may sound, inspiration came from this cute little sunflower who went “trick or treat”-ing at our office Halloween party.
This little cutie saved the day
There were dozens of adorable tots in costume last Friday, but this wee little one in a flower hooded onesie won my heart. Because of her, I’ve decided to indulge myself and make a happy little Halloween post with a list of the cutest food costumes for babies (what? baby pictures cheer me up).

My Top 10 Nommable BABIEZZZ!
1. Hotdog baby-

Oooh, lookit those chubby cheeks! The costume kind of looks uncomfy but the tiny person inside it doesn’t seem to mind, his winning grin shows he’s quite the happy little camper.

2. M&M baby-

Lulz, it’s a fussy Red M&M! Sure hope he doesn’t melt in your hand.

3. Taco baby-

You like beef tacos? Yes! Pork tacos? *nods* Chicken tacos? Nom! Baby tacos? Erm,  no thank you. Seeing a baby in a taco costume? Yes, a million times over! I wonder what happens when it tries to roll on its back.

4. Marshmallow Peep baby-

Nope, it’s not your ordinary yelow chick (it wouldn’t really fit this post). This little birdie is a Marshmallow Peep- it’s a baby pretending to be a gooey marshmallow shaped like a chick (sort of) and coated in sugar! How cute is that?
5. Lobster baby
Heehee. Lobster baby looks like a bubbling (pun intended) ball of happies! His giggly face makes me want to cook him up and give him a little nibble (homicidal tendencies NOT intended).
6. Sammich baby
This gives a whole new meaning to HBLT. That acronym will now be known to me as ham, baby, lettuce, and tomato. How can the baby nap in that position? That’s amazing.
7. Spaghetti and Meatballs baby
A bowl of spaghetti, meatballs, chubby cheeks slathered with a generous amount of drool? Who’ll be able to resist that? I am officially in love with this baby.
8. KFC Bucket baby

Yes, someone actually thought to make one of these. And why not, that looks fantastic to me. Kid, your parents are ingenious.

9. Turkey baby

Thanksgiving dinner won’t be complete without a plump, juicy, meaty, tasty turkey.. with a baby head? This costume is all kinds of cute but also kind of weird. And it’s on a platter complete with garnishings, all ready to nom!

10. Cheerios baby

So you’ve been invited to Halloween costume party but all of your monthly pay was spent on supplies for your newborn kid. Fear not! With an empty box of Cheerios, scissors, and tape, you’d be all set and ready to go in just a few minutes. How, you ask? Cut a neck sized hole on top of the large cereal box, put your baby inside, tape up the box carefully- voila! you’re good to go. For good meaure, toss a couple of leftover cereal on your baby’s forehead
Happy Halloween everyone!
Noms

A Rave Review of 101 Hawker Food House
In this post, we’ll start with the verdict- 101 Hawker Food House in Makati is one of the best finds in recent times. True story.

101 Hawker Food House, Hawkers for short, is a little eatery along Urban Avenue in Makati. They serve Singaporean food at very fair prices considering they’re in Makati where nomz are usually priced a bit higher compared to others (save for the jollijeeps).

Just last week, I blogged about Shiok, a Singaporean restaurant in Global City. Similarly, Hawkers is also a hole-in-the-wall Singaporean restaurant that caters to the after-work crowd of Makati (Shiok is for Global City yuppies). They also have similar items on the menu, with Hawkers having a bit more dishes to choose from.


For dinner for two (hungry dorks), we ordered two viands and one dish on the side. For our first viand, we chose the Green Chicken Curry to share. They also had a solo serving of this, which comes with rice and a drink.

Green Chicken Curry (p150)

The Green Chicken Curry had a healthy serving of juicy chicken meat and vegetables in mildly spicy Green Curry sauce. There is no better word for this dish but awesome. Paired with their appetizing Fragrant Rice (p20/cup), this dish was more than enough to make it a satisfying dinner.

Lechon Kawali (p100)

For viand number two, we chose a solo order of the Lechon Kawali. It comes with fragrant rice and a cup of dalandan juice. The order came in a hefty bowl of Hawker’s Fragrant Rice topped with the Lechon Kawali meat. The meat was succulent, with a layer of inviting pork fat and a thin edge of crunchy pork skin. Writing about it makes my mouth water.

Char Kway Teow (p150)

For the side order, we chose the very popular Char Kway Teow noodles. This pasta dish is made of  stir fried rice noodles seasoned with random Asian spices and mixed in with seafood. It’s delicious- just like the ones from really expensive Asian restaurants at about half the price.

Dalandan juice and Teh Tarik (p35)

For drinks, there was dalandan juice and Teh Tarik. The dalandan juice came with the Lechon Kawali order and tasted like powdered juice drink (it was free, I didn’t expect too much from it). The Teh Tarik though, was great! Teh Tarik is a typical Malaysian drink which is prepared by pouring the hot tea back and forth from a mug to a glass causing thick froth to form. At Hawker’s you can watch it being artfully poured at the counter.

Our bill came up to a total of p455 for two people. It’s not jollijeep cheap but we ate like kings and had leftovers to take home. You guys have to look for this relatively unknown eatery and try their food. You can’t get great tasting Asian food at these prices anywhere anymore. 101 Hawker Food House is higher than highly recommended!

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

Etc.

McDonalds Twister Fries vs KFC Fries
DISCLAIMER: Conclusions made in this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the people of BaconTunaMelt. Opinions and conclusions in this particular post are that of the dude in picture. Hoping for your kind consideration.
The recent resurrection of McDonald’s Twister Fries has stirred up some controversy among the fastfood eating community. Some expressed their excitement at the availability of the new-old fried potato curls from McDonald’s while others scoff and raise their eyebrows at McDonald’s re-offering. The naysayers say that Twister Fries is merely a gimmick and that they prefer the fries at KFC because it’s basically same and is available all year round while the fans say the Twister Fries is better because it’s crunchier and tastier.
We at BaconTunaMelt have decided to take matters into our own hands and do some testing of our own. Because the people of this blog are camera-shy, we have enlisted the help of one of our camwhore camera-friendly friends over at Comicology. Mr. Comicology himself has willingly volunteered for the role of taste-tester-slash-food-critic (although he might be slightly biased). He’s game because he gets free french fries and at the same time additional Internet fame.
For this little competition, we ordered one Mini Bucket of Fries from KFC (p55) and one order of Twister Fries from McDonald’s (p56) and here are the results:
Serving size
The bucket from KFC feels heavier and more compact; the twisted fries from McDonald’s use up unnecessary space and make the package noticeably lighter. Edge, KFC Fries.
Taste
While both fries seem to have used the same blend of seasonings and more or less taste the same, KFC Fries seem to be fuller in taste and the Twister Fries seem a tad bit too salty. Edge, KFC Fries.
Texture
KFC Fries is thick, straight, and slightly soggy while the Twister Fries is thinner, curly, and crunchier. The thickness of the KFC Fries makes it feel like it’s actual potato and the other one can be fried crispy anything. Edge, KFC Fries (the people of BaconTunaMelt disagree with this).
Price
KFC’s Mini Bucket of Fries cost 55 pesos while McDonald’s Twister Fries is 56 pesos. We shall call this a tie.
Extras
McDonald’s use tomato ketchup, which works best for french fries. KFC’s watered down and sweetened version of it doesn’t go so well with the strong flavor of the fries. Edge, McDonald’s Twister Fries.
In summary, KFC Fries garnered a total of FOUR points while McDonald’s Twister Fries only had TWO points. The conclusion? KFC Fries has the edge over the much-hyped McDonald’s Twister Fries (but the rest of us in that group disagreed).
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Mony Milk Powder is a Blast from the Past
When my young cousins gave me some Mony Mony Milk Powder one Saturday while I was at their house, I couldn’t help but grin at the sight of the colorful bottles- it made me remember my childhood.

Back in gradeschool, I remember saving up my allowance to get candies instead of lunch (kids, this is a bad, bad thing to do). I’d get my sweets from the candy stall at the school canteen, from the vendors who hopped on the school bus on the way home, and most of it, I would get from the sari-sari store at the corner of our street. 

Mony Mony Milk Powder

Manang from the sari-sari store would have a wide variety of sweets that ranged from the imported Nerds and Gobstoppers to the locally made Choc*Nut and Haw Flakes. Once in a while, Manang would mix it up and surprise us with different sweets from the usual ones. This candy was one of the less common but much loved surprise treats.

Like paste containers!

Mony Mony Milk Powder is basically just powdered sugar packaged in colorful soft plastic bottles that is eaten by sipping it through the straw that it comes with, or simply pouring the contents into your mouth (this I do). I remember enjoying the texture of the powder and letting it melt in my tongue before swallowing all of it.  Now it kind of feels weird to be eating that much amount of powdered sugar in one go.

P.S.
Kids, another cool thing about Mony Mony is that you can pour the powder on a small piece of squarish paper, roll it up, blow into one end, puff away and pretend you’re smoking. You can also achieve the same effect with baby powder, but always remember to never suck in (baby powder does not taste good at all).

P.P.S.
Don’t ever smoke, it’s bad for you.

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Shiok Lah!
At Bonifacio Global City’s Stop Over parking lot (the one beside Shell gasoline station) is a tiny restaurant with a brightly lit sign that reads Shiok. It caught my eye one night as I walking from the car to the nearby Yogurt Nation to get some fantastic ube yogurt.
A dinky outdoor parking lot seemed to be an unusual place for a restaurant, most specially because a few steps away is a complex of eateries of all kinds. I then resolved to eat there when I had the chance to see what they had to offer. That chance came up last week after work when I was in the area looking for somewhere to eat and remembered this little place.
Shiok, it turns out, is a Singaporean-Chinese restaurant with a menu that caters to office yuppies around the area looking to have an affordable dinner somewhere close by before heading home. Skimming through the menu, I find out that the prices aren’t as cheap as I was expecting for a tiny eatery in the middle of a parking lot. No matter, I wanted to try their nomz anyway.
Roasted Barbecue Pork (p160) Horlicks (p55)

 

I ordered the Roasted Barbecue Pork with a cup of steamed rice and a glass of Horlicks drink. The pork was tasty but the serving was a bit on the small side, barely enough for sharing. The steamed rice was priced at a steep forty pesos per small cup. Their Horlicks drink is a good addition, although it was a bit watered down, there’s no other place else in the city that serves it. 

Keeping it short, Shiok isn’t a bad restaurant but the nomz were priced a tad bit too high for a restaurant that targets clients to come in everyday after work (mind you, I ordered one of the cheapest on the menu). The nomz tasted okay although the servings were a bit small for their price but Shiok is a nice little hole in the wall resto that’s good to visit once in a while after work. I’d still recommend that you try Shiok if you’re within the area (and then head over to Yogurt Nation for dessert ^^,).

Shiok
Location: 0105 Forum Building, Bonifacio Stop Over, Taguig
Contact Number: (632) 466-6291

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Modern Peking Duck of Singapore – Sinfuly Delicious
Another great find on my recent trip to Singapore, Modern Peking Duck, can be found in most food courts of the big name malls along Orchard Road. The main draw of these little stalls is obviously their Peking duck, but also on their menu is a rather sinful suckling pig.
Peking duck and suckling pig sold in a fast food stall? For most of us, Peking duck and suckling pig are usually reserved for special occasions. The last time I remember having really good suckling pig was years ago at some fancy-schmancy Chinese restaurant where we were celebrating a cousin’s graduation. In Singapore, these are just food court nomz. Then again, most mall food courts in Singapore look like classy restaurants.
Modern Peking Duck’s The Big Pig (SGD6)
Modern Peking Duck sells rolls of chopped Peking duck or suckling pig enveloped in a crepe-like wrapper (they look like cute mini wraps). They have an aquarium-type preparation area where you’d see the server in plastic gloves chop up the duck or the pork into small, uniform pieces and line them up on the round wrappers ready to be neatly rolled by the next server and packed in red boxes of five (their neatness excites satisfies the OC in me).
Inside is five mouth-watering oinky goodness! ~_~

For six Singapore dollars (about two hundred pesos), you get five bite-sized rolls of roast duck or suckling pig. Each bite is a perfect combo of well-seasoned suckling pig meat topped with a bit of crunchy pork skin with a hint of sweet Hoisin sauce in soft wrapper that’s well worth every dollar. It’s highly addictive too, I had several sinful boxes (of both Modern Peking Duck and The Big Pig) through the course of that one-week trip. When you visit Singapore, I highly recommend that you try this tasty treat!

Modern Peking Duck
Location: Food court of ION Orchard, Orchard Road, Singapore (among other food courts in Singapore)

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Singapore Street Treat – Selecta Ice Cream Sandwich
Even before the inception of this blog, I was already taking occasional snaps of nomz I’ve tried or wanted to try. It’s a good thing that I kept some of them, now I can share my past food discoveries with my readers (all three of them). Some shots were from few months ago, when I was in the lovely country of Singapore for a summer trip (primarily to check out the newly opened Universal Studios ^^,)
While walking along the famous Orchard Road, a pushcart not unlike those you can find in the streets of Manila caught my attention. My curiosity was piqued but I chose to ignore it the first time. A short distance away, there was another one. The length of Orchard road was peppered with these red trolleys! All of them bore the familiar heart logo of Selecta ice cream. I figure it was the perfect way to deal with a hot summer day (any excuse for ice cream), so I made my way to one of the carts to see what they got.
Yummy Selecta Ice Cream Sandwich (SGD1)
On the cardboard menu filled with pictures of ice cream sandwiches in different flavors, along with the typical ice cream flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and cookies & cream were a number of unusual flavors such as honeydew, durian, and jackfruit. Being my weird self, I bought a durian ice cream sandwich. The nice old man who was manning the booth took out a huge chunk of ice cream (he was wearing plastic gloves), sliced it in half, plunked the solid ice cream block in between two square wafers, and handed it to me.

The kids enjoying their treats

It was love at first bite. The wafers were wafery and the ice cream was surprisingly very flavorful. I’m told that the ice cream they use is made from fresh fruit rather than flavoring. That’s probably why the ice cream’s flavor rivaled that of an actual perfectly ripe fruit, chilled and without the hassle of seeds and the very strong smell. Needless to say, I enjoyed the ice cream sandwich very much. With many different flavors to choose from at only one Singapore dollar apiece (about 33 pesos), this street food is a cheap treat that both adults and kids will enjoy.

*I saw a Selecta booth at MOA selling pre-packed ice cream sandwiches in traditional flavors but was disappointed that it didn’t come close to the ones from the streets of Singapore.

Selecta Ice Cream Sandwich Trolleys
Location:  All over Orchard Road, Singapore ^_~