Monday, March 5, 2012


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So they say, and I really believe in it.

I'm carbo loading: Pansit for long life - because I literally need long life for the day (because hey, it's crazy Monday!) and Pan de sal for some more energy. I love breakfast especially heavy ones and I never fail to have it.

Mangia, mangia!

Bella Donna

Friday, December 30, 2011


On the last working day of year 2011, me and my officemates decided to have a hefty breakfast at Larry's in Serendra.  They had spent breakfast on the 26th there and I was told that the meals are superb.  So, we all decided to go back (well, as for me, my first visit) to end the year with something delish.  Each breakfast plate is good to fill a real hungry stomach which they serve 'til 10:30.  You can even dine before breakfast serving closes so it becomes your "brunch."  Here's what I've got:

Cebu Danggit
First, I must say that the garnishing is really great.  It's a refreshing match with the dried crispy danggit.  Tasting it from the saucer, I'd say the tomato and white onion has a semi-sweet and sour vinegar dashed with ground pepper.  The whole combination of garlic rice, danggit and sunny side up egg is totally comforting, very homey and hearty.  I actually emptied my plate in no time! :)

Next time I dine, I'd try the Hefty Platter - a sampler of corned beef, tocino and longganisa.  Yum!

Mangia! Mangia!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

REVIEW | Spaghetti at Domino's Pizza

Right after a client meeting, I went down from the building and looked for something to eat for my late lunch. Since I was really hungry, I decided to take a pasta from Domino's. I was expecting a hefty serving since it's pricey (about 100 pesos) but the serving was in a small foil tray - microwaved! It means, it's already pre-cooked. But since I'm already starving, I have to eat even if I was thinking of the pasta in Sbarro or in Trattoria Sicily Restaurant in Robinson's Place Manila where the price is almost the same: 100-120 pesos and above. While I take each mouthful, I was already comparing it with my two favorite pasta places and somehow, I regret that I ate pasta here. I remember eating pizza at Domino's and I thought it was good. And since it was good, I was kinda expecting that the pasta, too, will be as delicious. But, well yeah, I should have ordered the pizza next time. No pasta from Domino's :)

Mangia, mangia!

Bella Donna

Saturday, January 8, 2011

SHAWARMA SNACK CENTER: Authentic Mediterranean Cuisine

On Thursday night, I met a friend of mine at Robinson's Place Manila. It was a cold night and I've been starting to chill (again). She asked me if we could check out the shawarma place across Adriatico street. I was wondering if it's still there because when me and Jacob of Jacob's Shawarma checked the place, we didn't find it. And so I thought it was gone. But it was my mistake. We didn't walk further ahead. And when me and my friend did, we've seen the smoke coming out from the grill of kebab sticks. It was awesome!

So ordered for our food. What's on the tab?
- Beryani Chicken Rice
- Extra Beryani Rice
- Kebab
- Salad
- Extra Pita Bread
- one Coke in can

And we started with this:

SSC Bean Soup

Bean Soup in curry and cumin. I'm not really a fan of curry and I don't eat curry! Not ever! But when I tasted this soup, it was so good. At first I thought it was potato soup, but it wasn't. The consistency was different from potato. And since I was chilling, I think this soup gave me some healing effect while we were eating.

The green salad consists of tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, parsley and with a dash of some other herbs and lemongrass. With lime or calamansi on the side, you can spread this over a piece of pita bread, put in some of chili and garlic-mayo sauce, roll it and yum yum! you won't understand the next word I say. :)

One order of Chicken Beryani Rice is meant for sharing: Half chicken and beryani rice. the rice has turmeric and cumin too and somehow a bit curry-ish but it was ok with me. The chicken is tender and juicy and there isn't a trace of blood in the meat. My friend said because the procedure of preparing the food is Halal.

The kebab is also tender. You can taste the flavors bursting in your mouth.

All of these, you think are just too much for the three of us. We were fed well that night and WITHOUT THE GUILT! You won't even feel bloated after eating these delightful cuisines. It's like visiting Persia or some mid-eastern country. And it wasn't really bad, in fact their food is good! The place is packed with people night after night. And as far as I can remember, this place is in and around Malate when I first worked here in year 2000. And it's still standing, in fact expanding! The the former seafood restaurant infront of the original snackhouse was renovated to a three-story Shawarma Snack Center seafood restaurant with free wi-fi access!

So if you're in Malate, whether craving for an authentic mediterranean cuisine, or just want to try something out of the ordinary, you should not miss Shawarma Snack Center. When you're in Robinson's just exit to Adriatico side, look out for Salas street and walk straight ahead until you reach the restaurant.

Mangia! Mangia!



Friday, January 7, 2011


I have been like this since afternoon of January 2. What a healthy way to start new year, eh? I've been blaming my period for my chilling attacks, feverish eyes, palms of my hands and my soles. It's been in and out, in and out and I'm starting to suspect, this might be something else. Maybe the weather or maybe a possible infection. I don't know. What I know is that I don't want to be staying in my room all alone. It's so sad to be alone and sick. So I just decided to go to work and bring this take-away food for breakfast:

Longsilog = Longganisa, Sinangag at Itlog
English Translation = Filipino sausage, fried rice and fried egg
I also have with me banana and ponkan just to boost up my morning. I am really really feeling tired because of muscle pain all over and this feverish-and-chilling feeling attacking me all at the same time. I'll try to get over it with my favorite meal of the day: BREAKFAST.

Mangia, Mangia!



Friday, November 19, 2010


Whoever once enjoyed ice scramble in their childhood will surely be feeling happy to see its comeback. Recently, I was strolling at Robinson's Place Manila when I saw people lined up at this one food stall in Padre Faura wing. "There must be something new out there", I said to myself. As I came closer, I saw a very fresh-looking foodcart, lighted up, and blushing in pale pink background. I was seeing a childhood favorite: ICE SCRAMBLE! I instantly ordered one cup for myself and as I was waiting for the staff to prepare my much-awaited ice scramble, memories are flooding thru my head:

I grew up in Pasay as a child and we had this neighbor who has a bicycle customized with a tiny roof and styro cooler on the side. The styro contains the pink-colored scrambled ice mixed with sugar and vanilla. On the side are those tiny little pink pearls contained in a bottle, milk and hershey's chocolate swirl that he puts on top of the ice scramble. Makes my heart melt everytime he puts those sweet garnishes. And as soon as you taste it, you can feel the smooth crushed ice in your mouth. Unlike today, he scrambles the ice manually with this egg-beater like machine.

Now, this ice scramble has a gotten a lot of twist. Its pearls tastes a bit sour and you can pop it. You can also customize it with candy sprinkles, popped rice, chocolates, etc. But I still love the good old ice scramble that I use to have as a kid. I always look forward to it everytime I get out of school. Only - I have to get it behind my father's back because he's not so into this ice scramble. Haha! I wish these modern-day ice scramble carts would have the classic recipe. I would love to buy one cup everyday.

Mangia! Mangia!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lunch at Jacob's Shawarma

My authentic Turkish shawarma while Jacob explaining the Qur'an

I still have the aftermath of Raw School's last assignment: To create an ad to recruit people into Muslim faith and another to recruit into Catholic faith. That was totally, totally crazy. I mean, next to selling insurance, I think the hardest thing to do was to influence someone about his faith!

Born from a Catholic family, I have stopped practicing back in college when I got into Sociology class on our sophomore or junior years (I don't really remember when was that, but yeah, this professor in Sociology corrupted my faith! LOL) Admittedly, I don't know much about my religion, very much so about the Muslim faith. So I went up to a couple of friends whom I know are reliable about the topic. First, to my bestfriend (who is from the seat of Catholicism and practiced Islam at one point, but then went back to his original faith) and later on to Jacob, the very proud owner of Jacob's Shawarma restaurant.

My colleague, Ariane posing for Jacob's Shawarma

So again, why do I have this entry on my food blog? I guess because next to language (or religion for that matter), what you can't take away from someone is his food. And Jacob's Shawarma is like an epitome of Turkish culture and food. From what I've read, the spread of Muslim faith started in Constantinople (now Istanbul), Turkey during the arrival of the Ottoman Empire. And much like the language, you will find the reflection of a culture from its food just like an original Turkish shawarma. It has zest, it's fresh, tender and spicy at the same time. It has no garlic sauce that we use to get from shawarma stalls in the malls or streets. But it was really good. I've read from somewhere, if you want to know a country's culture, you have to start with the food. And Jacob's shawarma is very rich as its history back in the days when Constantinople was still an imperial capital of the Roman Empire. The combination of parsley, tomatoes, white onion with the lamb in a pita bread bursts in your mouth like you're tasting each ingredient all at the same time. I don't know if it was from the Romans, the Byzantines or the Ottomans but it was definitely one authentic dish I'm getting there. And more so, my perception about shawarma has changed. It's not the same shawarma I think of anymore.

My lunch: Lamb shawarma with Soya drink made by the Restauranteur himself, Jacob Cortes.

A Brief Background:
I met Jacob a few years back in Myspace and he came to Manila to take care of a few business. At first, I was reluctant to believe he was into modeling and that he was putting a shawarma business here. Maybe because of my subtle apprehension that he is a Muslim and the life-long impression I have of someone like him. Not to mention, he is a foreigner. But then, my good samaritan instinct propped me to helping him. I saw the genuity and sincerity in him. Plus, I felt kawawa to him roaming around Manila without knowing anyone, and very difficult to understand with his conversant English at that time. So, I referred a few things relating to his upcoming business with high hopes he'll get some help. And the rest was history.

Going Back to the Aftermath of the Raw School Assignment:
At this point, I asked Jacob to help us in relating some info about the Muslim faith, a little of history, what it's all about. Me and Ariane went to his cozy, cozy restaurant in Ortigas. The interview began at 10am and time spun so fast and so are the many doors that showed me to the Muslim faith. I haven't seen anyone who has known his faith just like Jacob. I was silently telling myself, I wish I had known mine like he does. There were also a few things that made me change the way I look at Muslim faith like allowing a man to have up to four wives, which according to Jacob is not in a Muslim practice but an ethnic culture, the Jihad or Holy War, their belief in Jesus Christ among other things.

If you pass by Ortigas, try having lunch or dinner or midnight snack at Jacob's Shawarma. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day. If you're coming from Galleria, just exit from Gold's Gym and take a walk to the street when you go out. Up near the corner, you will find this cute little restaurant greeted by Filipino staff and you'll be served by this Turkish hunk with his authentic Turkish shawarma.

Posing with Jacob's expression board on the background. All things written are nothing but satisfaction with his shawarma. Some are even signed by famous people. :)

Also a must try: The soya drink especially made by the Restauranteur himself :)

Mangia! Mangia!