It was 10pm by the time I finished work.
I just felt like having a very light dinner.
Maybe it was already quite late that’s why a few of the sashimi were not anymore as fresh.
Maybe the sushi chef was too sleepy to care.
Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on November 13, 2011
The Perfect Steak
I am not an ordinary girl.
I am a girl who eats like a man.
Umm… actually, I am a girl who can out-eat any man, especially on those days when I crave a big, fat, juicy slab of steak.
Now let me tell you about my idea of what makes a perfect steak.
The Perfect Steak is like The Perfect Man. It looks tough and macho on the outside, with all that ultramasculine grill marks, burns and scars that excite and send butterflies flying around in a woman’s stomach. It is proud, confident and self-assured, not wanting and needing to wear any chi-chi adornment like forest mushroom sauce, red wine and shallot sauce, béarnaise or whatever secret sauce that other imperfect steaks have to scurry and hide under. It is clean and honest and true, proud of its natural flavors and essence, never swimming in an oily mess.
And only when he meets the one woman who captures his heart, he will reveal his inner self to her. He will allow her to cut him open, from which she will discover that underneath all that machismo and cool exterior, The Perfect Man, I mean Steak (ooops!) is the most sensitive, most gentle piece of meat she’ll ever meet in her lifetime. It is pink and tender and has the perfect marbling, because like The Perfect Man, it knows to balance between being serious and lean, and being playful and fatty.
It will not resist when she cuts and bites. It will bleed a little, yes, but will choose to endure the slicing and grinding. It will just melt and give in to her every desire, making it its purpose in life to please and satisfy her appetite, and make her the envy of all women in the universe.
Most importantly, The Perfect Steak has to be very consistent. It should remain the same good, kind and loving steak as it was to her from the very first day. The best foot forward should be the only foot forward every day for the rest of their lives.
Oh and yes, he has to smell and taste very, very, very delicious!
The 10oz US Angus Ribeye at The Fireplace is My Perfect Steak. Full of that manly beef umami, but soft and tender like a newborn baby, it is excellent in every way.
It is, like The Perfect Man, one that you cannot wait to bring home and proudly introduce to your parents.
And it is just icing on the cake that at The Fireplace, you will also find The Perfect Bread, The Perfect Salad, The Perfect Potato Gratin, and The Perfect Dessert. Every meal I have there, from start to finish, is always wonderful.
They spoil you with little pots of Beurre d’Isigny (all the way from France!) to spread on freshly baked Walnut Bread.
The Millionaire’s Salad has pan fried foie gras, prawns, seared scallops and organic greens all tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette that is so sweet, bold and tangy it leaves you wanting more forkful after forkful. The salad is generous enough to be a meal on its own, or an appetizer to be shared by two. (Or in my case, an amuse bouche, because it’s just so good it’s gone in a bite!)
The complimentary side of Potato Gratin is rich, creamy, cheesy and buttery. Others can finish a 2”x2” piece. I can finish all of what’s left.
A light and yummy slice of New York Cheesecake makes a perfect ending to the decadent meal. Get a forkful and dip it in the raspberry coulis. It’s okay, double dipping is allowed. *wink*
My parents don’t eat beef, so they split an order of Butterfly Tiger Prawns and an order of Forest Mushroom Risotto. They don’t get a piece of my steak (not my fault), but of course, I get shares of their food.
I have The Perfect Parents and The Perfect Steak.
Now all I’m missing is The Perfect Man.
The Fireplace is located at the 5/F of Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, 588 Pedro Gil coner M.H. del Pilar, Malate, Manila. You may call 245-1234 for reservations.
Remember that stage when all we (or our boyfriends at that time) cared about was dressing up our cars? (Mine was a ‘98 Honda Civic in aubergine)
Weren’t those the happiest days of our lives?
My cousin Archie is now in that stage.
And he’s done a fantastawonderfulistic job with his ride.
Check out his lean, mean, driving machine.
Now if you like what you see (man or car or both man and car), please do two things for me.
1. Click here and like.
2. Then click here and like.
Come on, I know you can do it!
hi there, jin.
um i need a huge huge favor to ask of you, please say YES. hehe. my friend’s birthday is almost coming up. and well, he is your biggest fan i think, like he has been to almost every restaurant that you recommended here and abroad. yes, he really has high regard for your taste. if you say it’s good, then he thinks it must be good and is worth a try hehe. like just a few weeks ago we had dinner at champetre, cause i think you mentioned that in your blog? then just last week he was in HK and ate at Lei Garden and etc, cause you reco those places. hehe. so anyway, i was hoping you could take a picture of yourself holding a paper that reads "Happy Birthday Dennis! xoxo, Jin" something like that.. you could add whatever words pa you like to throw in there hehe. maybe nice touch too, just in case you eat at a place that has cake with a candle, maybe you could take your pic with that cake, so feeling niya talaga it’s his special bday greeting from you.. hehe. but of course, only if it’s ok :) if it’s too much of a hassle, then it’s ok, never mind. thanks a bunch for taking time to read this "fan mail request!" :)
And because you’re such a loyal reader, and because you have such a sweet and thoughtful friend like B…
Today, November 8, 2011, I celebrate with you by gobbling down a whole box of my favorite UCC Tiramisu and I’ll wash it all down with a rich, nutty and buttery cup of Ichiban Blend.
Please do the same.
After the lazy afternoon at Discovery Country Suites, we drive up to Antonio’s for another leisurely meal.
I come here for lunch often but haven’t done dinner in ages.
I’ve forgotten how truly enchanting the restaurant is at night.
The fresh dalandan juice is refreshing as always. Ice cubes are made using dalandan juice, too!
We order my old favorites for our entrees – rack of lamb and duck confit.
But first, some bread, soup and salad.
Antonio’s: Purok 138, Barangay Neogan, Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines
Tuesdays are my lazy days.
I love to abandon my work, drive up to Tagaytay and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at Discovery Country Suites.
It’s so nice and green here. People from Manila come all the way to have their family pictures taken.
Next time when I have my own family I’ll do the same, too.
For now I’ll just enjoy the gift of singlehood and drown myself in caffeine.
It’s waiting for me at Antonio’s.
Ahhh... This is the life.
Discovery Country Suites: 300 Calamba Road, San Jose, Tagaytay City, Philippines.
Tel: +6346-413-4567 (Tagaytay), +632-529-8172 (Manila)
Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on November 6, 2011
You never know what you’re gonna get.
BUT this article is not about truffles, pralines and chocolate bars. It is about Bubba Gump, that restaurant from the “Run, Forrest Run” movie in the 90’s, remember? So this will be all about shrimps, life, love… and shrimps. You know a big girl like me sometimes needs to live, love, and eat cute little crustacean things. Like these Best Ever Popcorn Shrimps lightly battered and fried to a perfect sunshine gold that is crispy and healthy – yes, healthy, because Bubba threw some pepperoncinis and roasted red bell peppers into the mix. You see, just as life is like a box of chocolates, it is also like a newsprint cone of popcorn shrimps (or Bubba’s soft and tender House Special Calamari Rings) – you never know what you’re gonna get. But one thing for sure is this: With each surprise life throws you – sweet bell pepper, new romance, bitter vegetable, devastating heartbreak, plump calamari ring, succulent shrimp, the man of your dreams – you become a healthier, stronger and better person with even better taste.
Okay, enough about life, back to shrimps. They happen again in the Yin Yang Shrimp Salad. The crustaceans lay sexily on a bed of fresh Romaine lettuce, sweet mango slices and peanut bits tossed in a tangy Asian wasabi dressing and topped with a generous heap of fried wonton strips. Crispy, crunchy, yummy.
As if that is not yet enough shrimps for lunch, we have the Shrimper’s Heaven which put me into major Decapoda coma. Imagine beer-battered, hand-breaded coconut shrimps served with Cajun orange marmalade, chilly shrimps and fried shrimps with zesty cocktail sauce, and Japanese-style shrimp tempura in Asian tangy dressing. De. Ca. Po. Da. Co. Maaaaaaaa.
There is only one word to describe the Old Fashioned New England Clam Chowder, and that word is LOADED. It’s got so much stuff in it you finish the bowl and you’re good to go. I suggest sharing the goodness (and calories) with loved ones so you can try more of Bubba’s new creations like Farah’s current addiction – Kentucky Bourbon Wings. The lightly breaded, crispy chicken wings are coated in a syrupy sweet homemade bourbon sauce that can be mild if you’re a sissy, or spicy if you’re a hottie.
For the more health-conscious party (sorry, I belong to the opposition), Jenny’s Catch with Lobster Butter Sauce is the goody-goody choice. You get a simple dish of pan seared fish on sautéed spinach and creamy mashed potatoes.
Now for the less conscious people (or people who know how to enjoy life by having some pork) the slow roasted Dixie Style Baby Back Ribs is a no-brainer. The perfectly shaped slab of meat is smoky and tasty, firm yet fork tender. There is absolutely no need to raise my knife.
That is, until that chocolate thing arrives.
I just have to protect my share from all of the hungry, greedy and slobbering mouths.
The menu says, “We’re not sure what to call it, but we know you’ll love it!” So that is what they call this jar of awesome flourless chocolate cake… That Chocolate Thing. So soft, so moist, and so very warm, you want to lick it, eat it and bury yourself deep inside it.
Forrest’s mama always tells him this:
And Mama is right. Today’s miracle is served on a plate, in these bite size, hot off the oven chocolate chip cookies that bring happy delirium into my life.
Just like Forrest or Tom Hanks or any other John Doe, Jane Doe and Baby Doe out there, I admit to this:
Other Mama quotes I love:
There is also a whole section of Bubba Gump merchandise.
GOTTA. STOP. EATING.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company is located at 2/F Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City, Metro Manila. They just prettified their private room called The Gump House. Call 757-5154 now to reserve.