To blog or not to blog – BAGNETified…

To blog or not to blog – Bagnetified

“Take time to eat what makes your tummy happy.”

Every year in the Philippines, new restaurants are born. It became so conspicuous that well-known bloggers even come up with their own top 10 list each year. For there are so many of different kind. So bloggers like me are cajoled to visit them if chance permits.

One of which is BAGNETified!

It is a chain of restaurants and has eyed to open a hundred stores this year. And luckily, we’ve got one just across the street.

“Bagnet” is a delicacy from the north, specifically in the Ilocos region.

My first to try it is a pasalubong from a friend in my previous job. And when I visit that region in the north, I immediately looked for it and ordered it and honest to goodness. Enjoyed it!

As for health concerns, this might not fit those who are health conscious. Bagnet is first and foremost a big portion of pork belly, deep fried until crispy. It is the Ilocano version of “Lechon kawali”. The best part of it is the skin being crispy and paired with a special soy sauce where different spices are chopped thinly and voila, more rice please!

At BAGNETified, they did some special twist. The staple viands of the Filipinos they utilized as specialties created with bagnet on each of it.

Like vegetable bagnetified, seafood bagnetified, and so on. Here’s what we’ve got:

bagnnet again

bagnet kare

bagnet pakbet

So what is the step by step procedure to cook it?

bagnetified
So here it is.

Some sinful desserts are available too.

bagnet bb
Blueberry cheesecake with fresh mangoes on top..

They even have pastas and chicken too. The choices are plenty so no worries, you will be able to choose one that fits your palate well.

As for the ambiance. Their interiors are simple yet pleasant.

bagnet red

bagnet dining area

This is a place for diggers like me, who might not mind an extra fat or calorie every once in a while.

PS

The iced tea is great! (–,)

bagnet iced tea
Not more of just being polite, being a coffee lover, I like their iced tea…=)
bagnet
More please..=)

They accept deliveries within Metro Manila, to sate your cravings, just dial: 99-SARAP 

Happy eating! (–.)

 

 

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LUK FOO… Not just your ordinary Cantonese restaurant…

Luk Foo…

I never thought my son and his dad will agree with me when I brought them to this Cantonese restaurant just a few blocks away from the office.

Knowing them, these two are pasta and pizza addicts. Since we are all famished then, we opted going to the nearest at that time. Originally, we planned to go to Shangri-la mall, see a movie and dine after.

They were debating whether they’re getting their carbo over load either from S&R or Project pie (Create your own pizza). Then, I showed them Luk foo. As we were entering their glass door, I was bragging that we normally do our meetings here and that the food is scrumptious and most importantly it isn’t heavy on the budget.

luk foo menu
Not your ordinary Cantonese kitchen..

As our son is browsing on the menu, he was appalled with something that is really quite costly, like P3,000 something per serving and his dad just told him “Oh, that’s Abalone, don’t get it if you don’t want your mom to be wearing these guys’ aprons!” And the three of us and the attendants were all laughing!

lf cubiertos
My cubiertos..

Here’s what we’ve got:

For a starter, we’ve had the taro puff. It’s crispy on the outside while the inside is soft and meaty.

lf balls
Taro puff!
lf balls 2
Yummy! =)

It’s funny to be getting this, because I had the same the other night, had it for lunch that same day, and I don’t really mind!

lf beef broc
Broccoli with beef and mushroom.
lf yang chow
Our yang chow…

We had the epic hakaw too..

lf ribs in strwberry
Spare ribs in strawberry sauce…

According to our son – Echo, the ribs are “TDF”! And he was right, I don’t like strawberries that much, while this one was gutsy to me at first, then realized, it stole the show, and tasted heavenly. Instead of my usual more than 1 cup of rice, I had two then. Burp! Those that were served a few minutes ago were gone in a blink! Ehehe!

Honestly, it was only at that time when I learned, that strawberry can be used as a sauce in viands too. The usual that I know of that we use in our households are pineapple, apple sauce, orange sauce. But not strawberry. This is really unexpected but it made the difference! =) You have to try it to believe! (–,)

I’m so happy to be back to this place with my family! I could not find nice words to convey having them around here in our area. It is like a rendezvous for foodies like us.

Echo wanted to come back already.

PS

I have something else to share, this date was complete when my boss and soul buddy came over to meet these two men. It is her first time to meet my ex while my son, knew her all his life and been looking forward to see her! He even found a tricky way to have a picture with her. Ahaha! Calling it a night, we also bought some artisanal donuts from Scarsdale to bring home too.

Hot star large fried chicken Rocks!

I can’t wait to blog about this new restaurant which originated from Taiwan, that recently opened on this block somewhere in Shaw, Mandaluyong City.

featured-crispy
Hot Star “LARGE” fried chicken!

My office mates didn’t fail to explicitly warned me of the size of their chicken. And I said, I don’t mind because I love chicken! (In spite of the allergies I sometimes acquire due to eating too much of it!)

And then, I saw it! Truly a whopper!!! A double X Large chicken for me to devour!

bigger than my face
I think it is bigger than my face! ahaha!

Honestly, I was not able to consume it, and asked help from them. Ehehe! I remember my mom and my son, i must assume they can do it! At first glance, I thought it’s just thin like a normal fillet, though it’s not! And even if I’m a chicken junkie, it was too hefty for me. This size at this price is not bad. You’d be full by just spending a few hundreds.

big menu
Big menu too!
cbtl
By the way, you will be alerted that your food is ready by this.

Trying it out or something new is just one of my adventures. I normally stick to my favorites! Having them alternately. =)

ps

I forgot to ask if they have catsup. Their gravy is too creamy for me. I need a sugar rush after finishing my meal.

And if they have ready desserts? It’s a must! Believe me! (–,)

And I liked their interiors and the subjects they have chosen to mount on their walls! ❤

lights

frames
I’ve always loved photos framed on the walls…
hot star
With my lovely colleagues, photo taken by Michael! Our official photographer in the office. =)

Hot Star is located at:

500 Shaw Zentrum, Shaw Blvd.

They also have branches at: Bluebay walk, Katipunan and Banawe in Quezon City, Eastwood City and SM Manila.

CANTINA SICILIANITA – Bringing me near to Italy…

A Taste of Italy at Shaw Boulevard…

My work is located at Shaw Boulevard. For several times, I have dined in this little place called:

Cantina Sicilianita: Coffee Shop · Winery & Vineyard · Italian Restaurant.

counter
Counter…

And it never occurred to me or did I think of writing about it during the many times I had my lunch there. Sometimes with my boss, during meeting, most of the time, alone. When my soul buddy isn’t around come lunch time, it has always been my choice to have my lunch as it is so quiet there, my privacy is something I really treasure sometimes, the wonder of solitude and their choices of magazines is another thing I really like. Either Cantina or that pizza spot just right the other block. I normally enjoy my solitary moments. Not until I read about Chef Marky Buhain.

Marky buhain
One article about this restaurant.. There’s the Chef on the lower left. ps He is already taken! =)

This time, my foodie buddy have been itching to visit Cantina. She is Ms. Pasta remember? She drooled each time I tell her how authentic the pastas that Cantina creatively arrange on their huge ceramic plates. Not to forget that she likes the Italian flavor that doesn’t have any hint of sweetness on it. On the other hand, I am so Filipino, siding more the sweetened pasta.

Not to forget mentioning the ricotta cheese, home-made by the Chef. He shared in an article that an old lady, I forgot where exactly in Italy taught her how to make ricotta cheese. And with pride, he willingly brought the recipe back home.

canelli
Cannoli Courtesy of: http://www.spot.ph/gallery/2570/check-it-out-cantina-sicilianita-at-shaw-boulevard-pasig-city/article/52719#photo-1-4

From the outside, I find the facade not that attractive to lure guests to try their offerings. Only their signage, a colorful hand-written circular script logo and yellow texts especially when lighted is just the one that I find amusing. It has been sitting there for years now.

cantina
Source: https://www.facebook.com/CantinaSicilianita/photos/a.486102441405284.129542.486102301405298/654305691251624/?type=1&theater

Upon entrance, two murals of Sicily will welcome you. It gives you the feel of the venerable provinces of Italy.

xici

sicily

With those mosaic tiles on their tables,

mosaic
Very Italian..

some chalk written menu situated in a wooden easel,

chalk-written menu
New offerings…

some reading materials on a corner where a shelf is located, the tiled floors. I definitely felt being transported to somewhere else.

corner
On a corner..
chands
Chands by twos…
map
I must assume Chef Buhain have been all over here…

They’ve got lots of wine.

wine bar
I don’t drink wine…ehehe

The place is conversing.

sun
Does it mean a Sicilian girl?

Or much to my surprise, it makes me wish to be able to also see Italy one day in the flesh, better yet, smell the air and taste their authentic pasta or pizza or gelato ala Liz Gilbert (played by Julia roberts) from the movie Eat, pray and love. The place was inspiring.

One visit I recall, the attendants are wearing flower crowns on their hair,

crowns
Courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/CantinaSicilianita/photos/a.486102441405284.129542.486102301405298/654305691251624/?type=1&theater

and I am so amazed because I’ve been wanting to wear something like it! It’s just that i do not know what would be the perfect occasion when to be donning it.

During our last visit, the one that they’re just wearing are the sweet smiles on their faces, canned each time a guest enters this very interesting restaurant.

menu
Take your pick!

Consistently, foodie buddy ordered for pasta.

jens
Pasta Alla Norma…

I’ve tried this before, I especially liked the fried egg plants slices, they’re creamy.

And I’ve had my usual pasta with that meat ball! It’s a must try! =)

mine
Mine!

I can’t help but ask which of the menus includes the home made ricotta cheese. For I’d really love to try it. It is the Cannoli. It looked like a “turon” (sweet banana fritters wrapped in spring roll wrappers). Or a rolled ice cream inside your favorite cone wafer, only that it isn’t ice cream inside but ricotta cheese. This kind of cheese is slightly sweet. There’s pistachios too! Yey!

menu 1
Drinks choices..
drinks
No dessert? We just had these… Caramel for her, Coke for me! ❤

To my foodie buddy:

Have you seen this? (–,)

caramel
A big dispenser of caramel and chocolate! Yum! ❤

Cantina Sicilianita is located at Unit N, Facilities Center Building, 548 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.
Telephone: 570-2905/ 369 3575
Email address: mark.buhain@sicilianita.com

SumoSam – Another option for a Japanese restaurant…

SumoSam – An option for an affordable Japanese restaurant

Foodie buddy is craving for Japanese food. She convincingly mentioned several places in Makati as her workplace is there. Instead of her bringing me to Makati, I brought her to Edsa Shangri-la mall. Since we already tried Akira and at that time it was peak time. We looked around and crossed our fingers to find an option. And we did. We ended up at SumoSam.

She liked it there instantly telling me she would always pass by Sumo-sam at Gateway mall though she’s always alone each time and could not afford to eat without someone to share it with.

sam
Courtesy of: http://mefoodandallthat.blogspot.com/2012/11/sumosam-moa.html

It was my first time at SumoSam too.

napkin
A favorite subject of food bloggers…
lights
Look up look up.. loving ceilings and decorative lighting lately…

I normally get the Ebi tempura or something that comes with veggies and fillets of fish and squid which they call mixed tempura.

tempura
Tempura has been my favorite since college.

When I was in college, there’s an authentic Japanese restaurant some blocks away from our school, and I always recall the fan shape batter of their ebi tempura. It was creatively plated. They also have this sweetened and slightly spicy “dilis” (anchovies) and some bean sprouts being served as appetizer. It was in Kamameshi House along Zobel, Roxas in Makati.

zobel
Courtesy of: https://foursquare.com/v/kamameshi-house/4bd053399854d13a7a73f74d/photos

This and Japanese rice after my miso soup. The soup was a must as I always had it in mind. What’s eating at a Japanese restaurant without the miso soup? My buddy had the same.

rice
It’s so heavy! =)

The taste is good, though nothing extra-ordinary or spectacular. The nice thing about it is it didn’t left us room looking for something that’s missing but were satiated upon getting what we have expected from a Japanese restaurant just minus the fan-shaped batter of tempura. Having tried several Japanese rice, theirs tasted really equally good.

tea
I haven’t seen any Japanese (or Chinese) restaurant that won’t offer tea before dining…

I was not yet blogging at that time when I was also with the same person when we had our very late lunch at Tatami in Serendra. We were so full at that time and loved what we had. We had a full bento then, something you can’t imagine that a size like mine can consume. Ehehe!

She is also the one who didn’t stop asking me to have an abrupt dinner at John and Yoko in Alabang town center while I just had lunch from the same restaurant at their branch in Greenbelt a few days ago.

john n yoko
After lunch at John & Yoko, bought some chocolates from Patchi and frozen yogurt..=)

Her being impulsive is ridiculous. She would crave at something and would pout like a child if you tell her we can’t now, blah blah blah. Loving this person goes with the saying that the fondness I have for me covers all her peculiarities. In reality I guess I can’t do it the third time. Eating at the same place unless I’d be ordering another. Sometimes stuff like this you’d be forced to do for friendship. (–,)

It is because I’ve always wanted variety. Although I have my favorites too. So instead of eating at the same restaurant time and again, I’d rather eat at some place new especially the ones who get good reviews. It was the adventurous version of me. Still, I accompanied her, besides I like the food at John and Yoko, the queue each time we go there regardless of what time of the day will testify to that.

ethics
Some tips on ethics…=) Very educational!

SumoSam is located at:

6/F Shangri-la Plaza Mall, The Ledge, Shaw Blvd Wack Wack, Mandaluyong City. They also have branches in Powerplant mall, Trinoma, Gateway mall, Greenbelt 3,  Lucky Chinatown mall, The Podium, Newport mall and most SM malls.

PS

We didn’t order drinks then as we still have these:

coffee
No corkage fee! ❤