Tuesday, August 31, 2010

jin loves to eat at home, August 23-29, 2010

Currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.

It is such a powerful book.

“I tell her that I don’t need to see the menu but could she just bring me the best food possible because this is my first night in Sicily. She rubs her hands together in pleasure and yells something in Sicilian dialect to her even-more-elderly mother in the kitchen, and within the space of twenty minutes I am busily eating the hands-down most amazing meal I’ve eaten yet in all of Italy. It’s pasta, but a shape of pasta I’ve never before seen – big, fresh, sheets of pasta folded ravioli-like into the shape (if not exactly the size) of the pope’s hat, stuffed with a hot, aromatic puree of crustaceans and octopus and squid, served tossed like a hot salad with fresh cockles and strips of julienned vegetables, all swimming in an olivey, oceany broth. Followed by the rabbit, stewed in thyme…”


August 23, 12:40pm

IMG_8756 Shrimp with asparagus, radish, chicken and mushrooms, egg fried rice

IMG_8758 Dragon fruit, pomelo, kiwi, pear, apple

IMG_8761Fresh watermelon juice and a whole bag of Mauna Loa dark chocolate macadamia (read: PMS)


August 24, 10:43am

IMG_8790Pomelo, kiwi, dragon fruit, pear, apple

IMG_8792Fresh watermelon juice


August 25, 12:54pm

IMG_8826Milkfish belly, assorted mushrooms and celery, crabmeat egg fried rice

IMG_8829Apple, pomelo, dragon fruit, yellow and green kiwi, pear


August 25, 7:09pm

IMG_8831 Steamed halibut, radish, boiled eggplant and rice


August 26, 10:59am

IMG_8836 Garlic prawns, pan fried codfish, assorted mushrooms, watercress

IMG_8838 Cherries, dragon fruit, pear, pomelo


August 27, 12:40pm

IMG_8860 Fried fish fillet, black pepper prawns, pechay with corn and crabmeat, okra

IMG_8863 Kiwi, banana, dragon fruit, peach, pear


August 28, 12:14pm

IMG_8915 Unagi, chayote, celery and mushrooms

IMG_8917 Dragon fruit, pomelo, pear, mango, peach


August 29, 9:39am

IMG_9040 Savory chicken salad on wheat pandesal

IMG_9041 Mango, dragon fruit, pear, pomelo, banana


But Syracuse, the next day, is even better… Shyly, I ask the fisherman where I should eat tonight, and I leave our conversation clutching yet another little piece of paper, directing me to a little restaurant with no name, where – as soon as I sit down that night – the waiter brings me airy clouds of ricotta sprinkled with pistachio, bread chunks floating in aromatic oils, tiny plates of sliced meats and olives, a salad of chilled oranges tossed in a dressing of raw onion and parsley. This is before I even hear about the calamari house specialty…”

I am so booking my ticket to Italy!

Yurakuen ♥

I think Yurakuen at the Diamond Hotel is a beautiful restaurant.

IMG_0896Japanese dolls greet you as you enter


IMG_0904One of the few teppanyaki rooms facing the garden


IMG_0908Bright and sunny main dining room


Too bad their lunch sets are safe and boring.

IMG_0918Appetizer – braised tuna pieces


IMG_0928Assorted sashimi


IMG_0922 Katsudon Set – otoshi, tuna sashimi, katsudon, pickles, miso soup


IMG_0930 Gindara Teriyaki Set – otoshi, nimono, gindara teriyaki, chawanmushi, sunomono, steamed rice, pickles, miso soup


IMG_0935 Sukiyaki Set – otoshi, sukiyaki, namatamago, steamed rice, pickles, miso soup


IMG_0937Mixed tempura and chicken teriyaki


IMG_0944Strawberry pudding


IMG_0950The only thing I like about dining here is I can enjoy delicious Sumibi coffee from Kohikan


Yurakuen: G/F, Diamond Hotel, Roxas Boulevard corner Dr. J. Quintos Street, Manila, Philippines. Tel: +632-528-3000

The Fireplace at Hyatt, A Third Time ♥ ♥ ♥


the fireplace at hyatt manila 

It is the 27th of August, 4 days left to enjoy the Oyster Promotion at The Fireplace. After the 31st, it’s Goodbye, Fine de Claire.

Frances panicked.

So here we are.


the fireplace at hyatt manila oystersLocal oysters baked with foie gras – I forget to mention, and the waiter forgets to ask.
He assumes we want local, and gives us local. So there, local oysters baked in foie gras.
The oysters are so much smaller than the Fine de Claires. Even the foie gras pieces are noticeably tinier. In fairness, these taste okay. But we want bigger and juicier oysters,
so we order a plate of Fine de Claires. 


The waiter comes back with our FDCs and gasp! They are even smaller than the local ones! He assures me that these really are imported and tells me not to the mind the smaller-sized shells because they just reuse them for all their oysters, big or small. Errrrr…..

Anyway, after we reject the miniscule bivalve molluscs, the waiter explains that today’s FDCs are really small and suggests we have another round of local oysters instead.


the fireplace at hyatt manila oysters Second order of local oysters baked with foie gras – oysters slightly bigger than the first round. More generous foie gras pieces, too. But these still pale greatly in comparison to the Fine de Claires I had before.


the fireplace at hyatt manilaCharcuterie platter – smoked salmon, foie gras, parma ham, blue cheese, fig compote.
Nice and fresh. I love the tomato-blue cheese combo the most.


the fireplace at hyatt manila mushroom soup Cream of forest mushroom – light and creamy, but nothing great


the fireplace at hyatt manila mushroom risotto Risotto of forest mushroom – like the soup, this is good, but not the best


the fireplace at hyatt manila ribs Barbecued baby back ribs (half portion) – I can think of many restaurants that do this better


the fireplace at hyatt manila chicken Free-range spring chicken roasted in wood-fired oven (half portion, with half portion of baby back ribs at the back) – they say the chicken isn’t fresh and it tastes burnt


the fireplace at hyatt manila prawnsButterfly tiger prawns, brushed with lemon oil – overcooked and rubbery. Dad not happy.


the fireplace at hyatt manila halibut Grilled halibut, capsicum-kalamata relish – overcooked and rubbery as well.
Gwama not happy.


“I’d rather eat sourdough bread dipped in coffee”


“This is yummier than the halibut”



Lamb and beef dishes are still what The Fireplace does best. Next time I’ll stick to my favorites

the fireplace at hyatt manila rack of lamb Roasted Australian rack of lamb (half portion) – lacks the gamey flavor I so love, but this is very tender and cooked to a perfect medium rare.


the fireplace at hyatt manila wagyu tastingTasting plate of American wagyu premium cuts 6+, left to right: sirloin, ribeye, tenderloin – beautiful marbling makes beautiful steaks. All three cuts are excellent, but I am most in love with the wagyu sirloin, so rich in beef flavor and so soft like a newborn baby’s meat.


the fireplace at hyatt manila potato gratinPotato gratin – creamy goodness that is 100% fattening, but 200% comforting


Jr, Me, Frances, Mom, Dad, Gwama, A.Kiddie, A.Baby, A.Sab, U.Andrew


The Fireplace
: 5/F Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, 588 Pedro Gil corner M.H. del Pilar, Malate, Manila, Philippines. Tel: +632-2451234

Monday, August 30, 2010

Italianni’s ♥



August 28 is a very special day.


1. It is my dear sister Jerrilyn’s birthday.

Meme, as we fondly call her, has grown from the ugliest duckling ever (don’t deny it anymore) to a truly beautiful swan. She now lives in the US with her husband Ryan and their three beautiful children.

We miss them a lot.


39996_420701182694_551082694_5018661_178055_n Meme and Ryan


30454_406176602694_551082694_4644175_1652692_n  My super adorable nephew and nieces – Ryan (again!), Riyanne and Rochelle


25099_381468497694_551082694_4043905_7714284_nAren’t they are the coolest :)


2. Today, this is what I wake up to:

IMG_8933I wish it was for me from a handsome secret admirer. But the bouquet is for my mom, from her fervent not-so-secret admirer – Meme. Yes, Meme sends flowers (and cake) to my mom on her own birthday.


3. Today, my cousin Florence is on her first week of OJT at Italianni’s Eastwood. And that is why we come here for dinner. To harass support her.

“FLO” the bartender


4. Today, I finally meet Reign. After 11 months, 23 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes and 38 seconds. At least I got to meet her before she turns 1.

Reignah Marie Iyesha Joy Lim See. Whew!!!


Okay, let’s do an intermission before I continue with the other reasons.

This is how we carbo-load:

IMG_8956Focaccia with herb-infused olive oil, vinegar and parmesan cheese – the most delicious food of the night is free!


IMG_8968Soup of the Day – Chicken Mushroom Soup


IMG_8964 Insalata Rucola – Cyma does it better


IMG_8986 Herb Roasted Spring Chicken


IMG_8988Beef Tenderloin 


IMG_8984Pizza Abbondanza – Classico Pizza, Pesto Mediterraneo, Quattro Formaggio


IMG_8990 Quattro Staggioni – Pepperoni, Mushroom and Artichokes, Shrimp with Black Olives, Four Cheeses with Arugula


IMG_8993 Lasagna


IMG_8989Baked Ziti


And of course, enough noodles to guarantee a very looooooooooooooooong life.

IMG_8995 Angel Hair Pomodoro


IMG_8977 Shrimp Fra Diablo


IMG_8982  Shrimp and Mushroom Linguine


IMG_9009My grape fruit shake, personally concocted by “FLO” the bartender


IMG_8961 Bundaberg bottles are so vintage!


5. Today, to celebrate Meme’s birthday, I wear an outfit I wouldn’t otherwise be caught dead wearing. The rule is to come in “Meme Fashion,” i.e. wild animal prints, bright and loud colors, accessory overkill, knee high boots in the heat of summer. Yup, that is my sister.

Apparently, I am the only one who takes rules seriously.

IMG_9008Conti’s Bananalicious Pie from the celebrant herself, the Crukitchen Queso de Bola Cheesecake and Belgian Chocolate Decadence from Frances


6. Today is also Auntie Sabeth’s Chinese birthday (yes, we all have 2 birthdays in a year. See her “Filipino” birthday here) and she happily stands in for the cake blowing.

Happy birthday, Meme! From me (dressed as you, ugh!), Jamie, Frances, Felisse, Nikko and Auntie Sab


IMG_9027 Happy birthday, Meme! From the Italianni’s staff


Happy birthday, Meme! From mom and dad, aunties and uncles


IMG_9030Happy birthday, Meme! From Mango Panna Cotta


And last, but in no way the least… 


7. Today, I meet Him.

My soul mate.

The love of my life. ♥


  Ang gwapo nya talaga eh!!!


Hehehe :)


Italianni’s: 2nd floor Veranda, Eastwood Mall, Libis, Philippines.
Tel: +632-6830780, +632-6830828

See list of branches here.

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