Etc.

A World Without Chocolate?
This just in: Gizmodo reports that the world is running out of chocolate! The article says- “According to the Cocoa Research Association, we’re consuming more chocolate than we’re producing cocoa.” This is simply unacceptable! 
Why haven’t the chocolate bigwigs ensured that this tragedy doesn’t happen EVER? Hershey’s, Cadbury, Ferrero, Nestle, Lindt, what have you done? Why is this happening?
“In 20 years chocolate will be like caviar. It will become so rare and so expensive that the average Joe just won’t be able to afford it.” 
This is very sad news. I, for one, cannot imagine a world where chocolate is something only the rich and famous can get on a regular basis. One of life’s simple joys for me is walking to the nearest 7-11 after a particularly hormonal morning and getting a bar of Kit-Kat.

The good thing about this is that because the world is now aware of this near tragedy that’s about to happen, we can take steps to ensure that it DOESN’T happen. Save mass-produced chocolate!

Noms

Jupiter Archives #1: Quality Chinese Food at Lutong Macau
Friday night crowds are usually something I try to avoid. Busy malls don’t appeal to me, so I look for restaurants in isolated buildings or street corners instead. Lately though, I find myself drawn to the famous Jupiter St. in Makati, where a row of restaurants line the length of the street one after the other. 

While I have eaten at some of the eateries on the street before, I want to make it a goal to try them all  (and write my stories) before the year ends. We’ll be starting off with Lutong Macau, an oriental restaurant that’s a popular spot for small gatherings among Makati corporate drones.

Friday night feast

Luckily, the place wasn’t too crowded when we got there. We were ushered to our table pretty quickly and were welcomed with the very distinct smell of Chinese cooking. Our predicament was that we wanted to try many dishes, but as there were just two of us, it seemed a bit indulgent to order too much on a regular night.

Lutong Macau Combination Platter (p360)
The compromise we made was to order the Lutong Macau Combination Platter, Yang Chow Fried Rice (p280), and a side dish of Shrimp Hakaw Dumpling. The platter was a feast enough in itself, it included delicious portions of roast chicken, roast pork, pata tim, jelly fish, and slices of century egg. The jellyfish deserves special mention, it’s fan-frickin’-tastic.
Steamed Shrimp Hakaw Dumpling (p108)
Although the platter and Yang Chow rice made a scrumptious meal more than enough for two, I couldn’t resist to get an  order of the Steamed Shrimp Hakaw Dumpling on the side. And it didn’t disappoint. It’s a bit pricey but very well worth it, each dumpling had a couple of chunky shrimps in soft dumpling wrapper steamed to perfection.

If you crave for authentic Chinese food that’s easily accessible (meaning you don’t have to brave going to Binondo or cross countries to China), head over to Lutong Macau, their nomz are definitely closer to the real thing compared to the nomz from popular Filipinized Chinese restaurants in the city.

Lutong Macau
Location: 116 Jupiter St., Makati
Contact Number: (+632) 896-7777
Other info: Lutong Macau Facebook page 

Up next on the Jupiter Archives is the quaint little vegetarian restaurant called Corner Tree Cafe. ^_~

Noms

The Village Coffeeshop and their Delightful Custard Cake
Because I’m usually content basking in the comforts of my own home, very rarely do I get the chance to stroll around the neighborhood (who needs sunlight?). Having a hyperactive puppy has changed that, Bugsy needs his exercise and wants to be walked every so often.

 

It was during one of these walks when I found out about the village coffee shop called 1021 Coffeeshop & Bakeshop at the small village complex next to the park and the chapel. I was curious, so the little puppy and I stopped by one time to have a quick snack. We enjoyed their coffee and cake slices immensely and I ended up buying a whole custard cake, one of their bestsellers.
1021 Bakeshop & Coffeeshop’s Custard Cake (p200)
For 200 pesos, you get a large round custard cake neatly packed in a cream-colored box (ready for gifting!). Every person who visited the house that weekend was served a slice and they all liked it very much. I personally adore this delightful cake (that’s best served with coffee!). The cake base is light but solid, not too sweet and perfectly spongy and the cool layer of creamy custard (tasted like good leche flan to me!) on top added to the cake’s sweetness.
This would be  perfect with coffee
Besides custard cake, 1021 Coffeeshop & Bakery also sells a very affordable, homemade blueberry cheesecake, egg pie, brazo de mercedes, and a number of breads and pastries. They also have coffees of different blends and flavors, also sold at very fair prices. Their custard cake (which I call leche flan cake) is a delighful find that has become a personal favorite. Who knew I’d find a fantastic little coffeeshop with lovely cakes during a walk in the park?
1021 Coffeeshop & Bakeshop
Location: Marcelo Green Village Complex, Bicutan Paranaque
Noms

Thinking of Plump and Juicy Bangkok Lanzones
After dinner tonight, I was kind of looking for something tangy for dessert. Then I remembered last week’s lanzones. My tita who flies to Bangkok regularly for business recently came back from a trip and straight from the airport, she brought us bunches of these very large lanzones pictured below. The fruits were cleaned right away and served in a basket to nom over chitchat.
Bangkok Lanzones (25 baht/kilo)
And nom we did. The fruits were plump, juicy and sweet as can be. We finished several bowls of Bangkok lanzones among five of us really, really quickly. Just like Pringles, once you pop, you can’t stop! Because it’s so easy to eat and it’s delicious, you wouldn’t notice that you’ve eaten a bunch already. (It’s healthy anyway. :P) 
Bangkok lanzones are bigger than any I’ve seen here. They’re also plumper than I’m used to, with smallish seeds and a good sized chunk of flesh per fruit. My tita bought it at 25 baht per kilo or 37.50 pesos per kilo, much cheaper than the good ones from here.

 

Fruits from Bangkok, like most of their nomz, are usually tastier (and worth the money) than their local counterparts, I can’t really explain why. More than a shopping haven, to me, Bangkok is a place where you get to satisfy gastronomic urges. I can’t wait to do reviews of Bangkok nomz someday soon!
Noms

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.

Noms

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. ^_~

Noms

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.

~

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).