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StickyNEW

Before January comes to an end, let me share this recipe with you which also comes just in time for the Chinese New Year. It is believed that eating sticky food as you welcome the new year will bring you prosperity and luck throughout the year. And what could be more perfect than Joanne Chang’s Sticky Sticky Buns. I’m telling you, if this isn’t sticky enough, I don’t know what is.

Before I share the recipe, let me tell you a little back story first.

After my college graduation, I went home to Samar to hibernate for almost a year. I was a shameless bum, doing occasional freelance design works. While practically doing nothing, I would spend my time in front of the television watching Food Network shows (aahhh, life) and keeping me company were freshly-baked cinnamon buns bought at the bakery in front of our house. I would do this almost everyday. Yes, I was living a healthy lifestyle.

As fate would have it,  I caught an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay doing a sticky bun bake-off. He was pitted against Joanne Chang, a Harvard graduate with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics and the owner/pastry chef of Flour Bakery+Cafe. AWESOME. Two of my great loves, Bobby Flay (got problem with that?) and cinnamon buns, in one exciting show. As much as I love Bobby (yes, first name basis, we’re close), I always root for the locals he’s pitted against and was elated that Joanne won. Her buns definitely looked more delectable than Bobby’s. And come on, how would a sticky bun, with two sticky words attached to its name lose this challenge?  And let me say this, she seems to be the nicest person on earth! She takes time to connect with her fans and wouldn’t mind sharing a few encouraging words.

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When she shared the news that she was finally going to have a book, I was more than excited. Even though I already saved a copy of her sticky sticky buns recipe from Google, I just had to have the book. When I finally got my copy, I browsed through all her recipes and found myself in a euphoria of wonderful baked treats. But I was scared of making the sticky sticky buns. It actually took me more than three years to finally conquer my fear.

Here are some friendly ‘warnings’. Baking these buns require a lot of time and patience. You have to first make a goo, which is a gooey concoction of caramel, butter and honey where your buns will happily swim on. Then there’s the brioche dough which has to be proofed overnight, then proofed again for another 2 hours just before baking. Plus the longest 30 minutes of your life as you wait for the buns to be baked! So here are some tips. Prepare the goo ahead of time. Joanne shares that the mixture can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  As for the dough, make it in the evening so you can refrigerate it overnight, and have it ready to be transformed into sticky sticky buns in the morning!

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Here’s the recipe:

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If there’s one food I’ll eat for the rest of my life, that would be fried chicken. When I was a kid, I would always had to have the drumstick. Now, I’m in love with chicken wings.

So when I read last year that there’s a place that serves mean fried chicken, I had to try it out. So after obsessing much with BonChon chicken, I was finally able to satisfy my appetite with their chicken wings. And they were good.

Although I think it was overhyped. Chicken Joy tastes better! Haha. I mean, yeah, the flavor profile is somewhat new to most people, but I think it’s just because of the sauce. If you strip the chicken off the sauce, what you’ll have is just a bland piece of a crunchy chicken wing. I have to give it to Bonchon though for the crunchiness of the wings. They stay freakin crunchy even after 30 minutes with the sauce. Plus, I find them expensive too! At first, I thought P375 for 12 pieces was okay. But they actually separated the mini drumstick and the wing, so what we actually had was 6 pieces of wings. That’s almost 3 kilos of wings for P375 actually.

All in all, my Bonchon experience was nice. Thanks to buddies Arjay and Joan 🙂 I was just expecting more from them coz of all the hype I’ve read and heard bout them.

So my quest for this Korean delight did not stop there. I knew I had to learn a recipe similar to Bonchon. Through research, I found out that their fried chicken is actually just Korean Fried chicken  and found hundreds of recipes online.

It is just a simple fried chicken recipe. The main difference is the re-frying. This vital step gives the fried chicken the crunch that  makes a Korean fried chicken.

So after going through dozens of recipes, I settled for Andrea Nguyen’s recipe, and this, and this 🙂 I combined these three recipes for my ultimate Korean fired chicken.

Forget Bonchon! (What Bonchon?) This one’s better!

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Blog originally posted last December 31, 2009 here

Lemme talk about food.

A short introI went to SM Makati earlier this morning to buy a pair of jeans, a new shirt, and a TOY for me! (More about the toy on a separate blog). Anyways, the jeans were too long for me so I had it altered. Thing was, I had to wait for an hour at least, so I decided to have my lunch there -alone. The thought of eating alone was kind of sad. Personally, I find it lame eating alone in a restaurant or something. So at that moment, I was lame. Boo. To keep me company, I decided to whip out my notebook, and made a review of what I had for lunch.

So here it goes.


Tsoko.Nut here in SM Makati is a nice place to while away the time. The cozy interior is perfect for an afternoon sip of kape barako or  tsokolate ah. Tsoko.Nut Batirol is known for a lot of traditional Filipino snacks which includel Tsokolate Ah Batirol, Kape Barako, Iced Banana Batirol, Spaghetti Aligue, Suman sa Mangga, Suman sa Latik, Ensaymada with Quezo de Bola, Bibingka with Kesong Puti and Itlog na Pula and Tablea Cake. Their Tsokolate Ah is still being prepared using the wooden batirol.

My meal: Tablea Combo, P150

The cake. Their Tablea cake is a perfect companion to their kape barako. Judging from its flavor, the moist cake is really made from native tablea because of its tangy and earthy taste. Reminiscent of the tsokolate I drink when I’m in the province. The cake is served with a dab of caramel sauce and a swirl of homemade tablea sauce for more chocolatey goodness!  The earthy flavor of the cakes is a welcome change from the common chocolate cakes from other cafes. Truly a must try!

The verdict: For only P150, the Tablea combo (cake+barako) does not disappoint…much. My problem to the almost heavenly meal (if you consider cake and coffee a meal, that is!) is that the kapeng barako is little on the bland side. Served with brown sugar and cream (in a cute shot glass!), the coffee sort of lacks the robust and intense flavor I was expecting in a barako. A fresher grind of beans, or a little more brewing perhaps?

All in all, Tsoko.Nut was a wonderful experience. I got to relax and enjoy some chocolate goodness. Though it may not be an ideal location for a date, it is a perfect place to bring your mom or dad for some family bonding. (Mind you, when I got there, there were only 2 tables occupied, but when I left, there only 2 tables vacant.) With the colonization of westernized coffee chains in every corner of the metro, it is always good to know that somewhere in the confines of the mall is a quaint little cafe to enjoy some traditional tsokolate and coffee. Chocolate and coffee just the way we Pinoys like it. Just a little more brewing please :)

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