Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Today is FaMEALy Day!


Famealy Day today


Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section, September 25, 2011


September 26 is FaMEALy Day!

It is my parents' fault.

Why I am so big and healthy and round like this, I blame it all on Mom and Dad.

I don’t know what Dad fed Mom the nine months she was pregnant, but when she delivered her first born child some 30+ years ago, the baby girl was 8 pounds of joy and pudginess.

The cute little spheroid that I was grew up eating quality and quantity, accumulating more mass on my body until I’ve become what I am today – a humongous balloon (hot air, to be specific), like spheroid on steroids. I try to eat more quality than quantity nowadays, but sometimes, especially when it comes to chocolates, I lose all control.

I guess by now you know how my family loves to eat. We worship food. Meals are sacred to us. We do not wait for occasions to dine out. We create occasions to pig out.

And we love The Powerplant at Rockwell. All our Sundays are spent in that mall. We watch a few movies then we have dinner. Here are the restaurants we usually go to:

Kuretake. Because our family is a family of sashimi freaks. Uni, hamachi, salmon belly, amaebi… and sometimes, if we get lucky, we see toro on the specials. After we devour all the fresh and raw and healthy pieces will be plates and plates of my favorite Beef Usuyaki, and bowls and bowls of Beef Sukiyaki. Mom would always order Agedashi Tofu and Unaju. Sometimes we’ll have Ebi Tempura, too. I have a friend who always orders these deep fried baby shrimps that you eat without having to peel. Good stuff, I tell you. Kuretake’s congee dishes are also delicious. 


Kuretake’s Salmon Belly Sashimi


Kuretake’s Uni Sashimi


Kulinarya. We’ll warm our tummies with Cream of Squash (Mom says it’s good for men), then whet our appetites with the sweet and tangy Harvest Salad and smoked salmon-laden Gravlax Salad before feasting on pizzas, pastas and, of course, meats. Our usual suspects are the tasty and just a tad spicy Italian Sausage Pizza, the heart-stopping Aligue Herb Pasta (at least when I do the ordering), and Herb-Crusted Lamb Chops. Food in Kulinarya is always reliable.


Kulinarya's Harvest SaladKulinarya’s Harvest Salad


Kulinarya's Aligue PastaKulinarya’s Aligue Pasta


Mamou Too! So happy to know it’s finally here! When you’re in Rockwell and you feel like attacking some manly steaks (warning: they swim in drippings, not for sissies!), this is THE place to go. Pair the meat with Mario Bottarga Al Olio and Lorenzo’s Truffle Cream pastas. It’s the only way to go.


Mamou's Dry Aged USDA Prime Grade RibeyeMamou’s Dry Aged USDA Prime Grade Ribeye


Mamou's Mario Bottarga Al OlioMamou’s Mario Bottarga Al Olio


UCC. I cannot even begin to tell you how much our family loves this place. The menu is extensive and very creative. Who would imagine unagi on spaghetti, and spaghetti in soup? But I promise you, everything works. Family favorites are Seafood Curry with Rice, Chicken Teriyaki and Eggplant Sandwich, Fried Chicken Omurice, Seafood Risotto, Chocolate French Toast among many others. My favorites are Chicken Longanisa for breakfast, Seafood Salad for appetizer, Tiramisu for main course, and Tiramisu again for dessert. I’m head over heels in love with the cake. I cannot live without the Sumiyaki Coffee.


UCC Tiramisu


UCC Sumiyaki Coffee


UCC, I surrender to you.


All restaurants are located in The Power Plant Mall Complex, Rockwell Drive corner Estrella Street, Makati City. Kuretake is at the ground level, call 898-0509 to let the sushi chef know you’re coming. Kulinarya is located at the basement level, call 898-1738 to reserve. Mamou, Too! is located at Level R1, Lopez Drive, call 822-6218 early to book a table, it’s always, always, ALWAYS full! UCC is located just a street away, call 403-0123 and treat your family to a whole box of tiramisu, because they deserve it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

FaMEALy Day: 1 Day to go


Posting this while enjoying this…


Raisin scone, chocolate chip cookie, oatmeal raisin cookie and a cup of jo.


Life is good.


Famealy Day 1


1 Day to go!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

FaMEALy Day: 2 Days to go


Famealy Day 2


Just letting you know I’m not getting paid to do any of this, okay?

Just thought the concept was cute, plus I’m all for pigging out with the family.

2 DAYS TO GO! Plate

Friday, September 23, 2011

FaMEALy Day: 3 Days to go


Famealy Day 3


Spoons and forks up!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Famealy Day: 4 Days to go


Famealy Day 4


I don’t really know what to say about Sarah Geronimo, except that I thought she was really funny in A Very Special Love.

Yes, I watch A LOT of Tagalog movies. Hihihi. Be right back

4 days to go until Famealy Day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Famealy Day: 5 Days to go


Famealy Day 5


Okay, time for another “Jin is baduy” revelation!

I love John Lloyd Cruz in One More Chance.


My favorite lines:

"Mahal na mahal kita… at ang sakit sakit na."

“Alam mo ba yung three month rule? Lahat ng nagmahal at nasaktan alam yun. Kailangan mo muna maghintay ng three months bago ka magka-boyfriend ulit! Bakit ba kating-kati kang palitan ako? May dalawang linggo pa ako eh!”

“Ang sama kong tao… kasi hanggang ngayon umaasa parin ako na sasabihin mong ako parin… sana ako na lang... sana ako na lang ulit…”

“But you're asking for too much. Gusto mo mawala na ako sa buhay mo.”

“I wanna stop wondering what if. I wanna know what is.”

"She loved me at my worst. You had me at my best. And you chose to break my heart."

“I wish I could take away all that makes you hurt. But I can't because you won't let me.”

“Siguro kaya tayo iniiwanan ng mga mahal natin dahil may darating pang ibang mas magmamahal sa atin… yung hindi tayo sasaktan at paasahin… yung magtatama ng lahat ng mali sa buhay natin…”



ANYWAY, 5 more days till Famealy Day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

jin loves to eat at home, August 16-24, 2011


I left home on August 24.

It was supposed to be a one-week stint. I packed just enough clothes for 7 days: 4 dresses, 3 tops, a pair of leggings and 2 pairs of jeggings.

Okay, I also packed some 3 weeks supply of chocolate snacks.

It’s September 20 today. I haven’t been home since.

Please do not judge if you see me wearing the same clothes every Monday, every Tuesday, every Wednesday, so on and so forth...

I miss home.

And I need a vacation.

Preferably some place very, very high up where no one can reach me.




August 16, 1:48pm

Baked salmon fillet, roasted eggplant and taro, boiled spinach

Cherries, melon, mango, red dragon fruit, golden kiwi, pomelo, banana


August 17, 12:23pm

Stor-fried crystal prawns with asparagus, bangus belly, minced vegetables and tofu

Green pepper, celery, apple juice


August 18, 1:21pm

Crabmeat omelet, steamed fish, celery and carrot

Red dragon fruit, apple, guava, melon, pomelo, golden kiwi


August 19, 11:01am

White and red dragon fruit, kiwi, melon, pomelo, guava, banana

Fresh OJ


August 21, 7:01am

Giniling pandesal

Fresh pineapple juice


August 22, 2:01pm

Steamed fish, miso-marinated fish, scallion omelet, assorted mushrooms and asparagus

Kiwi, dragon fruit, mango, pomelo, banana


August 23, 9:11am

Dragon fruit, kiwi, mango, pomelo, pear, banana


August 24, 10:47am

Dragon fruit, kiwi, mango, pomelo, banana

Famealy Day: 6 Days to go


Famealy Day 6


I don’t care how baduy you think I am, but I love OPM and Sharon Cuneta movies!

Maging Sino Ka Man… Bituing Walang Ningning… Kapantay ay Langit… Kahit Konting Pagtingin… Kung Ako Nalang Sana… Pangako Sayo… Kung Kailangan Mo Ako…


And my favorites…

"You are absolutely right. Yan lang ang tingin mo sa akin. Tagahanda ng isusuot mo, ng kakainin mo, taga-ayos sa bahay mo, tagasalo sa mga problema mo. I was never your partner, I am just your wife, kaya hindi mo ako nirerespeto."


Minsan Minahal Kita…
“Don’t make me fall in love with you.”

Haaaayyyyyy… Broken heart

Anyway, 6 days to go before Famealy Day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Famealy Day: 7 Days to go


I’m sure you know by now how my family loves to eat.

And do you know FaMEALy Day is on September 26?

On that day I am gonna tell you all about our favorite family meals.

Now are you excited or are you excited???

Let the countdown begin!


Famealy Day 7

Pierre Hermé ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section, September 18, 2011

The Kingdom of Pierre Herme

Once upon a time, in a far, far away land called Pierre Hermé live charming, delicate little creatures whose only care in the world is to look sweet and pretty, and to taste sweet and pretty. They live very luxurious and indulgent lifestyles, sitting and lazing around in temperature-controlled glass palaces, attend tea parties, gossip and take afternoon naps. They never have to lift a finger for anything, as human chambermaids are employed to attend to their every need, dress them up every day in excessively lavish costumes, and, as if that is not enough, adorn them with rose petals, fresh berries, gold coins, and all such frou frous.






The Kingdom of Pierre Hermé is ruled by the sweetest of them all, the little round ganache-filled sugary sweet almond pastries called Macarons.


IMG_0435MacKing and MacQueen


IMG_0438 The Royal MacFamily




IMG_0425The Royal MacArmy


Because His Royal MacMajesty and the Royal MacFamily are always in the confines of their jewel bedecked palace quarters, enjoying the good life as they do in all fairy tales, the Royal MacArmy soon becomes lax and negligent.

The Evil Witch Jin sees this and sets forth her very wicked plan. She bribes the palace servants and takes off with as many Royal Maccies as the corrupt human beings are willing to sell.

In her rush to devour these sweet jewels, however, the Evil Witch forgets to take royal portraits to remember all the Royal Maccies that are now held captive in the Evil Stomach, except for these two that she saves and brings back to her dungeon to enjoy later on.


IMG_0539 MacVanilla and MacRose


MacVanilla is creamy, custardy, and comforting. It is a flavor so simple and familiar it gives the Evil Witch that warm and fuzzy feeling each time she bites into it, like freshly baked cookies and warm milk before bedtime.

MacRose is smooth, feminine, exquisite. If romance can be eaten, this is how it will taste like. It is fresh rose petals mashed up and blended with cream, it gives the Evil Witch that tickled pink feeling. The Witch tries to suppress a pretty smile but fails, and blushes at this indecent display of femininity.


And of course, no evil being ever leaves without assaulting a cake.


IMG_0445Millefeuille Ispahan


Layers of rose petal mousse, raspberry cream, thin and crisp puff pastry resting peacefully on top of each other in such pretty pink colors, the Millefeuille Ispahan tastes like puppy love or a schoolgirl’s crush – sweet, innocent, and flowery. The Witch’s pretty smile soon breaks into a soft giggle, and the soft giggle slowly turns into the warm look of love.


Like how Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s little prince tames his rose, the Evil Witch is tamed by her sweet little captives. And thus, to her, Pierre Hermé shall, from now on, be unique in all the world.

And the Evil Witch Jin and all the pretty inhabitants of the Kingdom of Pierre Hermé live happily ever after.

The End.


Pierre Herme is not available locally. But I promise you, it is worth every second and every penny you’re gonna spend on the trip to Paris, London or Tokyo. Visit their website at www.pierreherme.com and drool.

Pierre Hermé - 5-51-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo.
東京都渋谷区神宮前5-51-8 ラ・ポルト青山1・2F +813-54857766

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wines and Spirits Club Dinner at Café Ysabel



Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section, August 28, 2011

Rustic Flavors from a Wood Oven

It has been more than a decade since my last time at Café Ysabel. The restaurant was THE date place during my high school days. Many memories were made here, many “will you be my girlfriend” asked, and many “yes” answered.

Things have changed so much in the last ten-something years.

I used to be more interested in boys, now I am more interested in food.

I used to come to Café Ysabel with dates, now I come alone and free.

I used to drink iced tea with meals, now I am more refined and sophisticated, I drink wine.


Just kidding. The grandma in me now prefers warm water, or the occasional hot chocolate (yes, with meals!)

But tonight is different. Tonight I am attending the once a year dinner and wine event organized by the Wines and Spirits Club Philippines.

Tonight I put on “refined and sophisticated.” Flirt female

Tee hee hee.



The dinner theme is Rustic Flavors from a Wood Oven. And Chef Gene’s JY Firebricks oven is nothing short of rustic. From the burgundy brown bricks to the charcoal burning below, this giant mama continually gives birth to hot and delicious breads, pizzas, vegetables and ribs that create happy energies throughout the room.


Chef Gene Gonzales and The Wood Oven


The drinking begins waaaaayyy before the eating.


        Arnie’s Cosentino Winery Sangiovese                                        Bodjie’s Voltrona 
                 Il Chiaretto California 2006                                  Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2010       


              Jay’s Thierry & Guy Fat Bastard                                       Jay’s Dog Point Vineyard 
                                    Rose 2009                                                    Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc 2009



The Pan de Putok is the cutest little baby. The beauty of its crust, the perfect balance of chewiness, softness, fluffiness, and moistness of the pillowy whiteness inside, brings out in me my motherly instincts. I want to protect it and keep it safe from all the hungry men eyeing it lustily. I hide the baby in my mouth and slowly push it down to the sheltered refuge that is my stomach. Mmmm…



      Beth’s Léon Beyer Gewurztraminer 2008             Trimbach Riesling Alsace France 2009


         Wil’s Glaetzer Barossa Valley Bishop            Tinto Pagos de Penafiel Ribera del Duero 2005
                              Shiraz 2005                                                            (Sorry, who brought this?)             



It’s a super thin-crust pizza party!

I don’t know how he does it but Chef Gene comes up with the thinnest and crispiest pizza crust ever. As if the Goat Cheese Pizza with Red Wine Simmered Onions is not yet fantastic enough, he tops it with heaps of balsamic vinaigrette-dressed arugula, my favorite salad greens. The tanginess, nuttiness, bitterness and sweetness of the pizza and rocket come together like a wild party in my mouth.


Goat Cheese Pizza with Red Wine Simmered Onions topped with… wait for it…


…Arugula, my favorite!!! I’m in love with the nutty, peppery greens.


And then a whiff of the Turkish Pide brings my lids down and sends my eyeballs rolling
to the back corners of my head. I sink my teeth on the crisp dough bed topped generously with lamb sausage, chives, parsley, olives, feta and mozzarella and my throat lets out a moan of pleasure. The gaminess mixes beautifully with the creaminess, enveloping my palate with a richness that is overwhelming yet addicting. I never ever want to stop.


The Double Pepperoni Pizza that follows is salty and spicy in all the good ways.


The minestrone of Charred Vegetables is healthy, hearty and tasty.



            Marty’s Baron Ladron de Guevara                   Sanju & Cutie’s  Abbotts Cumulus Reserve
                                 Rioja 2009                                                                      Minervois 2007


  Johnny’s Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2008             Pete’s Castello Banfi Cum Laude 2007


Our protein comes in the form of Fire Baked Beef Short Ribs. I stand by the prep counter and watch as the sous chef carves the huge slab of meat and distributes it evenly to the waiting plates. I bat my eyelashes at him, sweet-talking him into giving me the tastiest, most tender part. His assistant slathers it unsparingly with sweet and spicy bourbon glaze, adds a piece of baked corn and some Napa-style cauliflower. Next time I’ll remember to bat my lashes at him, too, hoping he’ll put less sauce on my ribs to allow the beefiness to shine.


Carving and plating station


Mine. Mwahahaha!


Fire Baked Beef Short Ribs with Spicy Bourbon Glaze, Baked Corn, Napa Style Cauliflower


Now this cauliflower is the bomb! Gino asks for a plate of it.


Arnie suggests pairing the ribs with his wine. Gino suggests Jim’s Sea Monster Imperial Stout.

Arnie’s Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 2003             Jim with another one of his bottles


Sea Monster Imperial Stout and Dry Hopped St. Rogue Red Ale


And where there is wine, there is cheese.


Frico Dutch Master Cheese, Frico Chevette Cheese, Malagos Goat Cheese, Grapes and Nuts


And where there is cheese, there is Cyrene and her S95!


I shamelessly treat myself to thick slices of Frico Dutch Master Cheese, Chevette Cheese, and Malagos Goat Cheese before surrendering to the indulgence that is in front of me…


Sweet roasted pineapple floating happily in burned butter ice cream


As for the wines, there are too many to remember. I drink some solo, pair some with food, sip some daintily, chugalug some greedily. There are those that make my face scrunch up, and those that make my eyes twinkle.


                Nederburg Private Bin                                                Noel’s Chateau Montelena Estate 
            Cabernet Sauvignon 2005                                                    Cabernet Sauvignon 2004


                   Chef Gene’s Salice Salentino                      Chef Gene’s Granmonte Heritage Syrah 2009
            Trentacinquesimo Parallelo Kreis                                a Thai wine made by his niece


   Grant Burge Barossa Lily Farm Frontignac                      Nelson’s Grand Old Parr De Luxe       
                 2009 that Wil brought for me                                                   Scotch Whisky


My two favorites that night are:


Eric Khan’s Santa Rita Casa Real Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
That’s the winemaker himself and his wife


And Jay’s Dr. Loosen Riesling Beerenauslese 2006


The Winos and Dinos:





Chef Gene and Me


Café Ysabel: 455 P. Guevarra Street, San Juan, Metro Manila. Tel: +632-725-5089

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