Another Pinoy pride: Kuya J!

Another Pinoy pride: Kuya J!

And so it seems that the popularity of Authentic Filipino restaurants like Dencio’s and Gerry’s Grill reached that leverage of being imitated by many.

The tarpaulin ad of “Kuya J” is so distracting when we passed by SM Dasmarinas, Cavite on our way to visit some clients.

It is almost lunch-time and we opted to have our lunch there after one more client visit.

The temperature lately in the Philippines is so unbearable as we are not used to it, even if we are a Tropical country, with scorching winds, even if we’re in a province, it made us rush to the nearest mall. And to the nearest food stall.

And we ended up at “Kuya J”. Upon review of their menu, it is like a newer version of what you will see from Gerry’s grill or Dencio’s.

kj menu
Mini mini mini mo!

And while I was reviewing the menu, my colleagues are interviewing the attendant if the “J” stands for Jericho (he is the official model of their ads, he is a famous heartthrob in our country), just like asking if Jericho owns “Kuya J” and we were informed that he is just a model and the restaurant is owned by a Chinese Businessman based in Cebu.

kj lovely ladies
Two lovely ladies!

And we’ve had what?

We opted to try their Kare-kareng Bagnet. I (or we) didn’t like the shrimp paste (bagoong) that much.

kj kare
Yum!

We also tried their Pinakbet. And we liked it.

kj pakbet
Veggies!

We also had Crispy beef tadyang (ribs).

kj ribs tapa
Crispy ribs!

I personally like the vinegar, it has a tasteful flavor. I am not much into vinegar sauces, but this one I was able to tolerate.

For dessert, we all wished for the fried halo-halo, it is not just available at that time so they ordered for the real one.

halo 2
Photo courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/KuyaJResto/

 

It was a winner. We especially liked the milky ice, it is so fine and no feel of ice bits.

kj halo
Truly a Summer treat!

Since we didn’t get our fried halo-halo, we asked the attendant if there’s a corkage should we bring food from another establishment, and they said it’s okay.

Calling it a hefty lunch essentials. We had our finale. Two different cakes from Cakes by Kat.

kj cake
We opted for cakes!

We had Chocolate indulgence cake and of course, blueberry cheesecake.

kj choco cake

kj bb cheesecake

And we’re back to work with smiles.

In a different occasion, we’ve tried these equally delicious treats:

kuya-j-crispy-pata

kuya-j-salad

Happy tummies! =)

There are more than 50 branches of Kuya J nationwide. One could be just near you. =)

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GERRY’s Grill… Tatak Pinoy =)

Gerry’s Grill… Tatak Pinoy!

I had this urge to blog about Gerry’s Grill. They have been serving the Filipinos since the late 1990s. They opened their pilot branch on Valentines’ day and the rest was history.

When it comes to the staple Filipino dishes, Gerry’s is normally on top of the list. It is affordable. And their place isn’t hard to find. As they are mostly everywhere.

They have branches in the USA, Qatar and in Singapore. And they are in all over Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon.

Guests flock their place. Recently, we waited for an hour to be sitted. I even wondered if there are no more other choices than to wait for almost an hour when there are thousands of restaurants in Manila?

Well, for one, the waiting time is truly worth it. Let me count the ways. The staff of Gerry’s are very-friendly. They dont’ mind being called on for several times when guests will ask for this, for that, etc.

Maybe, it is part of their training, the Filipino hospitality – intact. Maybe, this is what they are known for. Good service. There are more than 50 branches in the country.

And their food. They didn’t change a bit all these years!

For the draft of this blog, I have accumulated different photos in several and different occasion. I just wondered why I didn’t have a photo of the famous “Bulalo” and the “Crispy pata”. As these have been a top lister when ordering entrees from Gerry’s. They are also famous for their “Binagoongang rice”.

The Crispy pata is actually one of the first that I have tried before. However, it was Sisig that became my favorite. Originally, Sisig is supposed to be just an appetizer. But it tastes so good, piquant in taste, so it is normally paired with rice and is best with their different soups. The Bulalo (beef shank soup) & the Sinigang (tamarind soup using either pork, or beef and/ or fish). Even with the Pinakbet, I specially love it being paired with the Sisig. So here are some of their offerings:

gerrys
Tatak Pinoy..

I have to grab a photo from foodspotting.com. I must have been so engrossed after being served with their Kare-kare. I totally forgot about taking its’ picture.

kare
Courtesy of: http://www.foodspotting.com/places/634966-gerry-s-grill-starhub-centre-singapore/items/1035-kare-kare

This one I tried when I craved for the scallops I get from Vismin. This is good, though the cheese toppings competed with the natural taste of the scallops. I like it best baked only in butter and garlic.

baked scallops
Baked scallops…

So here’s the super famous, not just with me, but to everyone I think. =)

sisig
Famous sisig… I think this is one of their best sellers..

Once we partnered the Crispy pata with Laing. And seriously, it is a great medley. Laing is a specialty dish from Bicol.

laing
Laing! (–,)

Recently, I tried something I haven’t tried before. The chicken kebab.

chix kebab
Chicken kebab..

And when everyone is having beer, I tried their fresh mango juice.

mango juice
Everyone’s drinking beer. But me and my son opted for fresh mango juice..=)

And a dessert aside from banana caramel. Their banana split.

bnana split
Well… in exchange of the beer. We had our dessert..=)

There are several branches that I’ve visited. My favorite is the one in Tagaytay. Probably, because me and my mom were with my late father then. The place initiated a niche in my heart for my dad. I had to bring him then to Gerry’s per his request. Mom wants it at Josephine’s. But papa then was the boss! =)

So if you haven’t tried it at Gerry’s. Please do. It is truly “Tatak Pinoy!” =) Everything is delicious! =)

South – bound road trip…

South – bound road trip…

“A friend loves at all times.”
~proverbs: 17:17~

The youngest in our group celebrated her birthday last November 10.

bday girl 2
Jhona! ❤ ❤ ❤

As a tradition, we have to treat the celebrant to a place of her choice. Rachel, celebrated at Yakimix (Alabang town center), Essie at Bellevue Hotel (Alabang), we did mine at Romulo cafe (Azumi Hotel – Alabang), Anabelle had hers at Torch (Greenbelt, Makati)  and we did Theresa’s at Balai Indang (Cavite). In all fairness, on top of the planning stage, trying to fit in with everyone’s schedules, Jhonna – our youngest, opted for the nearest restaurant when she was the one who’s eager to go farther due to everyone’s hectic schedules come November. Since we all wanted her to be happy, we suggested to go south-bound, without any specific destination. It’s gonna be a “Road trip” literally. Jhona calls it “vroom vroom!”

We ended up being the one who’s happy because she surprised us by bringing us to Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.

padre pio

1

2

faucet

She also brought us to this old church – St. Bartolomew. 

bartolomew
Built at 1938..

And the underground cemetery both of which are located in Nagcarlan.

underground cem

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And her last-minute request was to have lunch at “Sulyap Gallery cafe”.

sulyap
My second peek at “Sulyap”..=)

menu

Knowing the place, I had this feeling that they will surely have fun times as I did when I first saw it. They specifically loved the Kulao (banana blossoms in coconut milk), the Pako salad and the Pancit habhab. It was a satisfying spread for us topping it with crepe and turon ala mode.

bday girl
Birthday girl!
spread
The spread!

with bomber pa din

3

5

my sissya

spread 2

food spread
Happy birthday Jhona!

“Turon” in the Philippines is a dessert which resembles banana fritters in other countries.

ube
Ube flavor! =)
4
Time for dessert! =)

I think the crepe juxtapose that “All Filipino” dishes we feasted on. We didn’t mind, we needed something sweet after that “I need to adjust my belt” lunch that we’ve had.

We went to the Museum too!

with the batchaas

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7

8

9

hvn fun at the

musem

museum

We went to the Orchard too!

jho sulyap
Jhona’s peek!

may bomber

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rambo 1
Courtesy of: http://organicpilinuts.com/rambutan-fruit-health-benefits-videos/
rambutan
Photo courtesy of: http://top10philippines.blogspot.com/2009/07/top-10-tropical-fruits-in-philippines.html

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behind sulyap

I must say it was she who made us happy, but knowing her, I’m pretty sure she was happy too because she made (us) her sisters happy.

We even bought “Buko pie” when we passed by Los Banos, Laguna.

This friendship had endured all kinds of weather. And I think, no storm can break it apart anymore. However grouchy anyone can get, at the end of the day, looking at each others’ faces.

These are the faces we’ve been with for the last 28 years. The faces of friends in every sense of the word. And with these faces comes the
gratefulness and realization, that we’re here to stay. It was a bond which eventually became our realm.

christmas at sulyap
Christmas decors at Sulyap are of indigenous materials..
10
Had fun indeed!

Our next destination? Bulacan! We’re visiting Ana’s mansion. We’re
celebrating our Christmas party and Thanksgiving for this beautiful year that was!

Hello 2016!

Our version of EMBOTIDO!

OUR VERSION OF EMBOTIDO

“The best way to cheer yourself up, is to cheer up someone else.” 

Blogging got so addicting to me. I recently post something different. For a change. A recipe of my late father’s holiday dish. And now I craved to post another. This time. His embotido.

As a child, I have been very observant when my mom and dad are working together in the kitchen. I used to be in-charge to chop the ingredients placing them neatly in my mom’s Tupperware. It has several dividers for you to avoid mixing one ingredient from another. They call it “Lazy Susan”. Both of them are very organized.

Embotido is one dish that requires a lot of chopping. I am a bit amazed as a kid finding out that mixing a lot of different ingredients can result into a dish that tasted heavenly. Especially with steamed rice. I usually pair it with ketchup or sweet and sour sauce. Lots of it. I could not remember a kid that doesn’t like ketchup. And my dad can’t do without a soup to match his embotido. It is either mushroom or corn soup. Sometimes, macaroni soup.

Mama prefers her embotido baked in a tray, she lays it on banana leaf teaching me of its’ purpose. Telling me that it’s better to use banana leaves than using a foil to avoid the carcinogenic blah blah that might cause us to acquire the big C. It is a bit laborious, however, much to my surprise, I loved the scent of it when cooked. It gets more delicious with the aroma of the banana leaf.

Still I prefer the steamed one. Slicing it carefully into rounds and neatly arranging them on a plate. It is better to serve it cool. You can chill it for a few minutes, and easier to slice too and less messy. My dad would always remind me to slice them when it’s already cool. Because they will no longer fall off and my embotido rounds will be perfect. He was actually right.

Here’s our version of embotido:

INGREDIENTS:
-1 kg of ground pork
-1 big carrots (minced)
-1 big bell pepper (minced)
-2 mini box of Sunmaid raisins
-salt n pepper to taste
-1 cup of pickle relish
-5 slices of cheese (grated or minced will do)
-2 tbsp of chopped celery leaves
-12 pcs of eggs (beaten)
-2 soft loaves of bread(minced) note: you can add more if the mixture is still saucy, this extender will hold the mixture
-plastics used for ice
-foil

PROCEDURE:

-just mix everything with the beaten eggs
-place enough quantity to fill one plastic for ice, lock it
-secure with a foil and twist both ends to lock it
-repeat
-usual yield: 5 big rolls
-boil 1 liter of water (drizzle it with a magic sarap or salt) this was my moms’ idea for creating aroma and makes it taste better
-steam the rolls
-let it cook for 15 minutes and pierce a small part from time to time so the heat will reach the roll evenly
-you can check if it’s already cooked when upon piercing the egg, they’re no longer seen on your fork
-when cooked, let them cool before slicing
-slice and arrange on a plate

embo 1
=)
embotido
My embotido..=)
embo 3
voila!

It is best paired with catsup or sweet and sour sauce.

Happy eating!(–,)

SINANGAG REPUBLIC Resto-bar & grill – San Pedro, Laguna

Sinangag Republic – dine without the wine…

logo sr
Sinangag republic…

One afternoon, out of the blue, the three of us craved for Sinangag, and the nearest we can get these is where else but at Sinangag Republic.

sinangag rep

sr 2
Rendezvous for bar hoppers..
sr 1
Day time..

The place is popular with drinkers, from work, people usually flock this place especially on a Friday or weekends. We went on a weekday so we were able to get a table right away, if not, we have to wait to be sitted.

My hometown, San Pedro in Laguna is packed with hole in the walls food venues. With this specific craving, my husband can only think of one and brought us here. A less than 30 minute drive away from home. He had frequented the place for years now.

It’s easy to locate, it is in that street-long queue of restaurants before exiting Southwoods City in Carmona, Cavite.

When you’re on a diet, you might want to set it aside first. =)

Giving in to our cravings, we got these:

Ordering something that you really like and not just trying out something new can be sort of a pleasure specially if it’s one of your favorites. Readily available. No need for you to prepare the ingredients and feel the heat in front of the stove, and not to forget cleaning up the dishes. Voila!

menu
It is not tough on the budget too.. =)

We had appetizers first, and we all agreed to have Nachos! It’s funny though since you can no longer see the nachos due to its’ tremendous amount of all the toppings that you’re expecting. Thinly sliced cabbage, ground beef, fresh tomatoes, and cheese!

nachos
Good for 4 pax..

We had cheese sticks too. Sorry, forgot to take a picture.

After which I ordered for beef tapa. In all fairness, I am often anxious to get beef in all kinds. As I experienced getting the not so tender, chewy gum like slices or chunks of beef, and from where I need not mention. While this one, is cooked enough and my gums won’t get numb munching it.

beef steak
My beef steak..=)

My son and his dad had these:

bgnet
I tried it and was tender too.. It’s best with vinegar..
squid
Calamares or squid rings for tatty.. I tried it too and it’s delish! (short for delicious!) lol!

While we’re waiting for our orders. I was able to capture all corners which honestly I enjoyed a lot.

corner

beatles

wall

According to tatty, his friend (one of the owners) told him that these knick knacks all came from their travels.

shisha

papas lamp

dreamcatcher
I love dream catchers, I have one dangling in my bedroom door.. A violet one.. (of course)…

My only issue is that the place is kinda dim and I had a hard time making out the menu even if I’m still on 20/20 vision.

mag ama sinangag
Isn’t a little too dark..

Father and son both laugh and told me in duet, “Nanny, this is a resto-bar owkie!!!” Okay, fine!

Anyway, behind my head, finding out that a friend owns this place, I was visualizing my own cafe to be something like this and recalling Cafe Juanita in Kapitolyo. Boho shabby chic would be my theme. Day-dreaming it is and I just came back to reality upon smelling the scent of our orders.

dad and son
Burp!

It took us less than 30 minutes to have happy tummies!Burp! =)
Sinangag Republic is located at:
Rosario Avenue, Rosario Complex,
San Pedro, Laguna

Mobile number:
0917-798-0722

Their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/SinangagRepublicRestobarAndGrill/timeline