Cocina peruvia

You have to taste a culture to understand it. – Deborah Cater

I know its been years that Peruvian cuisine have been introduced to the Philippines.

Trivia:

Did you know that potatoes before are considered only as livestock feed in Europe until French chemist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier began serving dishes made from the tubers at his lavish banquets. His guests then were convinced that potatoes were fit for human consumption. The varieties used in Europe and most of the world, however, derive from a subspecies indigenous to Peruvian Andes, namely Solanum tuberosum.

I remember one of my colleagues telling me to be more adventurous when it comes to trying dishes that I am not familiar of. And I really thank her for telling me that, each new taste I’ve tried and discovered is so exciting, it buoyed me into trying more.

I came across Cocina Peruvia from their very enticing Instagram account, and fell in love with their Galera de Chocolate, it is so pretty and I can’t wait to have the actual thing in front of me.

Galera de Chocolate: Baked chocolate tart with dark chocolate ganache, topped with salty blue (or purple) chips and dried figs. 

So, finally, we made it. Looking at their menu list, I really am confused as to what I am having because everything looks so delicious. As a blogger, I should invite more friends to dine with me because if its’ just me and Jen (my foodie/ travel buddy), we can only consume as much.

So what we’ve had are these:

I had Anticucho de Pollo, it came with Chimichurri and Aji Anticucho sauce.

I actually can’t forget those two flavorful condiments. They really enhanced the taste of chicken that was really tender and a hint of smokey flavor coming through.

We actually requested for additional chimichuri, later we found out, we can buy from the bottles. =)

While according to Jen, she really enjoyed her Seafood pasta because everything she’s craving were on it. And the taste of them all layered together was really exquisite.

we instantly loved our starters, the mixed Patacones.

And since I can’t do without rice, we tried their Cilantro chicken rice as recommended by their attendant being one of their best sellers.

Don’t forget to squeeze that slice of lime. =)

And I must concur with their recommendation, I definitely love the Cilantro rice. We all know for a fact that Cilantro has a very strong pungent flavor, though their version is mildly and tastefully translated. We totally forget the word “diet”.

And this for our dessert. =)

I can’t find the right word to describe what’s it like after we dined, let’s just say it via a hashtag: #happytummy

I told you it’s purple. =)

Interiors/ Ambiance

You will find the many colors and patterns of Peru creating a festive feel. =)

Next time we visit, we agreed to try Ceviche for Jen which is one of Peru’s staple dishes, the Lomo saltado for me and those attractive Brochetas. Oh, they have their versions of pizza too! =)

Hats off to Chef Him Uy de Baron, clients will keep coming back to Cocina Peruvia. =)

Their addresses:

  • Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Ground Floor, Bonifacio One Technology Tower, Rizal Drive Corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • Level 2, Ayala Malls – Vertis North, Quezon City

there's a meat depot in san pedro! =)

Food is not just eating energyIt’s an experience.” – Guy Fieri

Hey steak lovers from San Pedro, Laguna, there’s MEAT DEPOT at Galleria of South. =)

Well done Galleria! =)

Yes, quality steak it is, within your reach, and not too pricey.

Jen and I were supposed to just shop from Meat Depot when we were convinced to have them cook it and dine right at their premise which happens to be a cool place too located at the ground floor of Robinson’s Galleria of South.

After choosing our cuts from their freezers, where piles of guaranteed fresh, tender, (from grass-fed cattles) and of high quality steak cuts (Wagyu, local, Angus) and some processed meats, they asked us how we want it done, I want it well-done (always) while Jen wants it medium rare.

While waiting for our food, I was amused by the calligraphy and funny quotes on the wall.

So here are the sources of energy we’ve got for that time being:

Just three words: Both my sirloin with mushroom gravy and Jen’s rib-eye with spicy pepper gravy: Tender, milky and juicy. =) The spicy sausage is so flavorful and not too spicy.

Being in the Food and Beverage industry for almost 10 years, I asked the Manager if they are considering more side dishes than gravy, rice and fries. Like veggies. For the purpose of variety for we all know it that too much meat might be of a replete.

The Manager, all smiles, said that a new roll-out will happen in the coming weeks and veggies are included. I just said oh that’s good news. Until then. =)

If you’re curious if we consumed everything, no we didn’t, we had them brought home. =) We hope to visit again for their new sides.

PRIVATO Hotel, our staycation in the city! =)

Nothing is more satisfying than being excited when we first open the door of our well made rooms during staycations.

We were eyeing a few establishments in Pasig City and for me to be coming from San Pedro, Laguna, a whole day won’t be enough for me to be combing said itinerary. You wouldn’t believe, it even includes Divisoria. Ahaha

So, finally, after the holidays, we were able to book a weekend into this nice and looks really clean (with its’ black & white Italian theme) 3 star hotel – Privato.

#ctto

It is less than 10 minutes from Shaw, Edsa blvd. Of course, if without the traffic. Jen and I wanted to do staycations as much as we want to though due to our conflicting schedules. We can only do them every once in a while.

As we intend to visit the following:

  • Shake Shack
  • Happy Lemon
  • Panda Express
  • Pottery Barn
  • Cocina Peruvia
  • Van Gogh is Bipolar
  • Greenhills
  • Cafe Sanso
  • Lia’s Cakes in Season

And I wasn’t kidding, Divisoria is included. Ahaha

As a 3 star hotel, Privato is equipped with meeting our typical expectations, except for the immaculate white robes I saw from their Instagram account. Or maybe Deluxe Double Queens doesn’t include the robes?

Amenities includes complimentary WI-FI, LCD Television with cable programs ( we were boob tube freaks for a day), watching movie marathons from HBO and Fox. =)

Also a safety box, a mini refrigerator with complimentary bottled waters daily, hair dryer, an electric kettle, and coffee and tea with choices of white or brown sugar.

I’m happy that there is a jar of infused water in the lobby, though only available until 9:00 pm.

It has 177 rooms, 3 Ballrooms, 2 Conference Rooms, a spa, (which is just beside our room at 8th floor), Rooftop Pool & Gym, and a Roof Deck Lounge.

roof deck & pool

There are 3 restaurants (Piazza Privato, Verona Roof deck and Privato Cafe. They have ex-deals with several establishments better known as Key to the City. Had we were informed about this, we might probably try one of these and enjoyed exclusive discounts. I heard Tittos with good reviews.

piazza privato

Maybe those wires can be hidden somewhere.

paid breakfast

Salad station.
No bacon????? =(
Good thing I asked if they are fresh, and attendant said they’re powdered. So I opted to have brewed coffee and used that fresh milk meant for the cereals. =)
I just loved my green salad. =)

The nearest go to place from this hotel is Kapitolyo and Estancia mall. Though most of those places we have planned to visit are at Mega mall and Podium.

The nearest go to place from this hotel is Estancia mall and Kapitolyo which is like a Food Mecca in Pasig, its’ residents took it further by establishing a neighborhood of remarkable food spots. Though most of those places we have planned to visit are at Mega mall and Podium.

There are actually 3 locations, the other 2 is in Quezon City, and the recently opened one is in Makati. Jen and I were in sync with what we wanted our weekend be like and were so excited that finally we were able to do it once more.

We thought we gained a few pounds already.
Still Christmas at Privato. =)
By the way, we loved these brownies a lot!

This staycation seemed too fun not to be shared. A very relaxed weekend indeed. Looking forward to our next. =)

location:

 706 Shaw Boulevard, Ortigas, Pasig City, Philippines

contact privato:

I, too turned Korean =)

A comfort zone is a beautiful place. But nothing grows there.”

Many years ago, my hubby can’t do without “Kim-chi”. And at that time, I knew it originated from Korea, actually, one of their national dish.

Among Asian countries, I am inspired to see Japan because I have several relatives there, to see the thousand Tori gates and Hachiko’s statue. Probably Hongkong to shop, or Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India for having been known for their beautiful sceneries. I only got focused to Korea when I used to work at a theme park and I once dreamt of visiting Lotte world because it is the largest indoor theme park in the world.

Though I noticed as the years go by, we, Filipinos are turning Korean. Their influence in our daily lives were so apparent. Even my father used to admire Korean made cars like Kia and Hyundai even if he is using a Honda civic then. On gadgets, when Blackberry and Nokia died a natural death due to lack of innovation, or should I say other brands didn’t stop innovating, this Korean brand Samsung which used to be a staple name for appliances and home electronics came up with mobile phones and is actually going head to head with Iphones during present time.

There have been specialty stores showing up like mushroom selling home decors, kitchen stuff, cosmetics and mostly gift items which I am fond of too. A visit to these stores and you’ll never go home empty-handed as there are too much pretty and impulse items scrupulously arranged in their display shelves.

Korean cosmetics became a staple in every girl’s pouches. There were a lot of Korean salons, Clothes stores, Cosmetics shops and are thriving because they have established a market in the Philippines.

Did I miss Korean novels too? I remember more than 10 years ago, Jewel in the Palace or more popularly known as Jang Geum was truly a hit. My friends and office mates would talk about it the day after watching the series and I really can’t relate, I’ve got nothing against it, though I was a fan of something else then. =)

Hmmn, The K-pop fever, millennials going crazy with Korean celebrities, boy bands, girl bands, even I loved watching Black pink. =)

And then, going back to Kimchi, their food!!! I was still working at Enchanted Kingdom when we came up with Bulgogi and we even had seminars to be fluent in the Korean language.

Aside from Kimchi, Bulgogi, Japchae, most of which are spicy, and I’m not fond of spicy food. =( Their versions of fried chicken introduced by different Korean restaurants, I also tried.

Not until my son and Jen convinced me to try one of their famous restaurants, the first thing they were telling me is that there are items in their menu that are not spicy. =) To cut this story short, It became my favorite instantly. Tried just two: Samgyupsalamat and Romantic Baboy. =)

And Samgyup have been here since 2012!!! My appreciation of them happened just recently. Ehehe

Because I used to be scared to try new things, until I learned that I won’t be able to learn and widen my horizon if I won’t try things that are new to me. Like with milk teas, coffee used to be my comfort zone. Trying milk tea accidentally, because my friend got me one time while when we’re working, and I instantly loved it. =)

Same goes with Korean dishes, if I’m not exerting an effort to balance my meal, I’d always be consuming Korean BBQ. What I love about it is the fact that we grill it right on the center of the table. I really enjoy it. =)

Everything is fresh, sliced thinly, arranged neatly too, there are different kinds of sauces, there are vegetables, it is really cute for me. We go for the unlimited samgyupsal (Korean style of grilling pork belly) so before I know it because I truly enjoyed the fun of grilling, I am already full.

I’ve only tried Samgyupsalamat and Romantic Baboy. Though I go for the first one, the freshness of meat is almost the same, or maybe it’s the service. Staff of Samgyupsalamat are like hawks keeping an eye as to what your table lacks. They would delightfully say excuse to regularly change the grill, refill your drinks and would ask you from time to time if there’s anything you still need. I did not experience that at Romantic Baboy, except for the single-stemmed rose after dining.

There are actually a lot of choices if you’re craving for Korean dishes in the Philippines. I have listed places to visit soon too. =)

Jal meokkessumnida! (–.)

Featured image: https://ny.eater.com/maps/best-korean-barbecue-nyc

Dreamland Arts & Crafts Cafe

“She’s an old soul with young eyes, a vintage heart, and a beautiful mind.” 

-Adrian Michael-

I am trying to figure out as to when my fascination to these sacred hoops started.

Sacred hoops which are best known as Dream catchers.

I just saw this curtain made of dream catchers in my most loved colors and had this assumption that it is somewhere far and someplace I can not easily access. Doing my research, said curtain is just a few towns away from my hometown.

Yey!

So I asked my foodie buddy (who have been supporting all my wishes all these years) and head to Batangas one weekend. So there, I saw it right in front of me. =)

The place is called Purple beetle. It’s a coffee shop and they also sell Dream catchers and other Bohemian stuff.

Since then, it has been one of my favorite stuff. I started collecting it at every chance. I even wished that Pandora would come up with dream catcher charms, and like they heard my prayers, and I was so ecstatic to discover they came up with one, so instantly it’s already in my bracelet.

You will see dream catchers in my bedroom, in our living room, in some of my bags as key chains, in my notebooks. =)

After my mama passed, and I’m trying to make use of her stuff (she used to create dresses as a profession) and I’ve got lots of fabrics , laces and beads. I made key chains out of it and eventually, I thought of using beads (fabrics) as charms, and collect them and soon enough, I was already selling them.

Handmade with love. ❤

I did this, hand-made with love. =)

Trying to find the right market, we decided to visit this only place that’s endorsing Bohemian culture and the most number of Dream catchers that you’ll see in the Philippines.

Dreamland Arts & Crafts cafe in Tagaytay is so huge and displays all kinds of Dream catchers and it gave me too many ideas in my mind, I even brought some beads from them. =)

It’s like a museum of all things boho and crafty. It’s so me. True enough, there’s too much for me to learn.

I am so amazed with the varieties. It comes in all sizes and colors and used different materials too.

I learned that they also have one in Batangas though the one in Tagaytay is bigger.

They have accessories too.

It is really beautiful here. Like I found my tribe. =)

There is a cafe, we just had drinks and that awesomely prepared nachos.

They also have a bed and breakfast, and getting a peak to its’ interiors, the boho vibes is literally extended to each room.

They say I’m a dreamer (but I’m not the only one), I wish to have a similar place right in my home (where my mama used to create lovely dresses), not as big as this, as long it’ll showcase all of my creations.

I think it is timely that our visit happened to be almost New Year. I left the place with just one feeling in my heart, I am so inspired. I wish them more success and I think it’s not gonna be my last visit. Dreamland felt like home to me. =)

They are so transparent in supporting local artists. =) It is evident in all corners.

This is so deep.

Should you wish to visit, their address is: Calamba Road, Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite, Philippines

You can call them at: