Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Curator Coffee & Cocktails ♥ ♥ ♥


The Curator has forever been on my list of coffee places to try, so after dinner at Allium (see post here), I suggested we pass by the place for a drink. It was, after all, only 11:30pm on a Monday night. :P



So I was not expecting this. 




Apparently, all of Manila had the same thought!




Tony Boy, Cutie, and Sanju of one of my favorite food blogs Table for Three, Please




 Bruce Ricketts of my favorite Sensei Sushi and his prettiness girlfriend Jae.
Yes, so many favorites in one night!!! :)




Me, Cherina, Liza, and Pat




 With Susiean and Tiffany this time




Honestly, I just wanted coffee. But David started explaining to me about the bottles, the bitters,
the liqueurs, the whiskeys, etc etc etc… all the liquids I am not too familiar with. Hearing him
talk with so much passion and dedication excited something inside of me.




So yeah, that excitement got me ordering a Nazareno.
Tequila, mescale, chocolate bitters. (Because everything I eat or drink must have chocolate!)




That's David Ong, passion and dedication come to life.




 And that is his partner, Jericson Co, who was just a little pissed because I borrowed him for
this photo while he was busy at the bar. Obviously, this guy takes his cocktails very seriously.
I found out that Jericson and I were schoolmates, he was in grade 4 when I was high school 4.
Please do not do the math. 




For that night only, Yann Bernard Pierre Gueroult, Head Bartender of Ounce Taipei was in
the house creating personalized cocktails for customers based on their preferences.




It was mesmerizing to watch him play with blue flames.




Leslie requested for something with chocolate and orange notes, and
was very happy with this concoction of bourbon, cocchi americano,
mandarin orange liqueur, orange and black walnut bitters.



And I, being JinLovesToEatDessertEvenInHerDrink, requested for something chocolatey, sweet and creamy. 



"Ano??? Mag Swiss Miss ka nalang!!!"
This Jericson guy, he is intense. 




Nah, he didn't really say that. But that doesn't make him less intense. Lol.
At The Curator, every customer's wish is the bartender's command.
And I got mine in this blend of Don Papa, averna, cream, milk, orange bitters
 and honey. Tasted as heavenly as how the words sounded in your mouth. 




 The Curator House Rules



The Curator: 134 Legazpi Street corner C. Palanca Street, Makati (inside Cyrano Wine Bar)
Tel: +63917-8937155 

The Curator Facebook Page

Instagram: @thecurator_


Bronuts at SM Aura Premier ♥ ♥ ♥




The first time I saw these bros at the Ultimate Taste Test in Rockwell, I thought to myself, "Who are these Chinese guys in black t-shirts trying to be cool am-boys doing the 'Yo, wussup bro?!' thing with matching jerky hand actions and fist punches?"

Omg, I don't even know what you call that. Are there special terms for these bodily gestures of coolness? Lol. I think I even rolled my eyes a few times in disbelief!

BUT I did join the crowd and lined up for a bronut.



Cream Cheese and Bacon



And I was hooked ever since. 

I would pass by their booth in Rockwell's Baker's Dozen every weekend until I tried ALL the flavors.




PMS, Hijo de Leche, Pylones, Strawberry Yogurt, Blueberries and Cream




We even served them as "Tiki Tiki" at our Fatterside Halloween Party (see full post here)



I declare my favorites to be Super Floss for savory, and Belgian Chocolate for sweet. 



A perfect Bronut meal would be a Super Floss for main course. The pork floss is aplenty,
a little sweet and very tasty with a spicy kick that keeps you wanting more. 




And Belgian Chocolate for dessert. Rich and decadent with thick caramel oozing out from
the center. Indulgent and irresistible.  



Seeing that I am such a regular, the bros would sometimes hand me a bronut here and there. But we never really became friends until the day they gave me the same black t-shirt they were wearing. No, it was not because of the free uniform, but because of the sweet gesture of handing me a small.

"Medium would be too big for you," Chris said matter-of-factly when I asked for a bigger size. 

Ahahahahahahahaha hahahahaha.



That moment marked the start of our friendship. Lol. :P



So you see, the Bronuts bros and I go a little way back. And I am very happy to see them grow from a weekend stall to a permanent kiosk in SM Aura. 




Thanks to Jeroen who believed in the passion and potential of
these guys and their products 




Bronuts partners at the grand opening, cake-cutting the Bronuts way!
Congratulations, Edie, Jeroen, Chris, and Jackie! :)




And Jason who was busy serving the guests!




Happy to finally meet Grace of! Thank you, C, for this photo! :)




Bronuts at SM Aura's Food on Four




The Bronut Factory open theater




They assemble each piece in-store so you see what goes into your bronut




Only premium ingredients and no scrimping at all!




They now make Big Bros, too! These are like supersized bronuts on steroids.
What a great idea for your next party or potluck!




Imagine a Belgian Chocolate Big Bro birthday cake. Drooooools...




I am liking this apron giveaway more.
To this day I am still working to fit into that size small t-shirt.


Bronuts: Food on Four, 4th Level, SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway, Taguig.

Bronuts Facebook Page

Instagram: @bronutsph

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spending The Holidays Away From Home


Last Christmas, the cousins decided to spend the holidays in the freezing -8 Beijing weather. Most of us have been to the city a few times before, but some of us were China virgins, so aside from all the binge eating, we made sure to squeeze in a little sightseeing. 


Summer place



Click on the link for more places you should not miss!


Allium by Chef Mark Tan ♥ ♥ ♥





“I am eating warm chorizo pao de queijo now. So good!!!” my friend Leslie texted me. I could almost hear her moaning with pleasure inside the restaurant while I was stuck in traffic, hungry and lost in the maze of one-way streets in Legazpi Village.

I wanted to unfriend her right then and there. And then another text came in. “They brought out a second bowl. Hurry!!!” Whew. There was gonna be enough for everyone. Friendship saved.




Chorizo Pao de Queso



Five. The number of the chewy parmesan puffs I stuffed into my mouth before I managed to pull myself away from the table to admire the rest of the newly opened restaurant Allium.




It was beautiful 




The dining room was polished but not stuffy, elegant yet exuded warmth and coziness




 On the second floor was Chef Mark Tan’s playground, the dream kitchen of every chef 
and chef-wannabe.




It was handsomely equipped, enabling the restaurant to bake its own breads, extrude its
own pastas, dehydrate its own bacon...




And the list of possibilities goes on and on... 


Best of all, a chef’s table sits right by it, allowing diners to witness the behind-the-scenes while they savor their meals. Watching food and smelling food while eating food… ahhh, what could be more pleasurable to our senses?



There is also CCTV to spy on the guests! :P




 Our table was adorned with spherical flowers in my favorite color. “These are alliums,” our smiling
server introduced us to our purple centerpiece. Allium is a plant of a genus that includes garlic,
chives, onions and leeks – the family which makes up the backbone of the flavors Chef Mark
uses for his contemporary American dishes, hence, the restaurant name.




I sat down and popped another chorizo pao de queso into my mouth. Talk about addictive!




Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2011




Amuse bouche was a nice and tangy dorade royale ceviche served with dehydrated Kurobuta
bacon chip.  The small piece of fish was big enough in flavor to cause my salivary glands
to function over-excessively. It literally whetted and wetted my palate!




Fresh Brittany oysters, a duo of David Herve and Jean Luc Le Gall, arrived on half shells.
The molluscs were swimming in cocktail consommé and dotted with freshly grated wasabi.
I consumed each oyster in one hungry slurp and each time it was like my tongue dived into
the deep blue sea.




The tartare of kampachi, red onions and chives sat on a perfectly toasted brioche and crowned
with house-cured lobster caviar. The two-bite amberjack dish was subtle in flavor with
textures playing from soft, supple and slippery to crisp, coarse and bready.




Our next course was fresh flown in seared Brittany scallops that rested on sweet melted leeks
and in a pool of creamy sabayon made with yuzu, egg yolks and uni. The scallop roe was fried
to resemble the texture of sweetbreads, and the mantle done to a crisp to add a little adventure
to the velvety dish.




The pan-roasted wild atlantic seabass was a classic served with Echire beurre blanc.
The fish was skillfully prepared with the skin oh so crisp, and the flesh moist and flaky.
The star of the show for me, however, was the side of veggies. Yes, vegetables,
as in sweet baby corn, cauliflower, broccoli, and the very robust piperade!




“The salmon!!!” I squealed after I took my first forkful of the organic Irish beauty. I am a true hater
of cooked salmon (I only like it raw), but how Chef Mark hit the bull’s eye with this one –
that very millisecond when raw becomes cooked – made me reconsider my love-hate
relationship with this oily fish. The broth made with hommard lobster stock infused with
konbu and freshly shaved honkareibushi was very, very, very delicate.




Ramsay Cabernet Sauvignon 2011




I wondered if there was ground unicorn meat mixed in with my 48-hour slow-braised Dutch
veal cheek, because it was magically soft, so soft it was, I quote my girlfriend, “perfect for
people with no teeth!” Hahaha but true! The port veal jus was rich and sticky, the cauliflower
puree was love.




The Snake River Farms Black Label wagyu striploin was medium rare all throughout,
the only way I like my steak done. It was served with a side of bordelaise sauce, 
but I felt no need to season it.




The Kurobuta rack of pork rib chop, also by Snake River Farms, was a revelation.
Lean yet tender and tremendously flavorful, served but with a maple mustard pork jus.
I found so much joy and beauty in its simplicity.




Chef Mark’s house-made XO sauce of dried scallops, Japanese dried hibe, dried Oregon morel
mushrooms, and our very own Pinoy sili labuyo were cooked in roasted Japanese sesame oil.
This was accessory to the wild caught atlantic turbot that he seared on the plancha.



To accompany all the protein, we had... 



Sweet and chubby glazed baby carrots








Potato puree




Potato pave




Next came an eggshell with caramel foam shyly peaking out from its open crown.




Underneath the fluffiness was a milk and butter caramel sauce, some maple syrup,
and at the bottom, chocolate pot de creme. It was called “The Laiskonis Egg,” our
pre-dessert and Chef Mark’s homage to Le Bernardin’s pastry chef Michael Laiskonis.




Our sweet ending was a mocha parfait with layers and layers of frozen valrhona
ice cream foam, espresso jelly, valrhona chocolate mousse, dehydrated strawberry
tart shell topped with orange blossom honey whipped crème fraiche. Whew!!!
So many flavors and textures complementing each other with the ultimate goal
of pleasuring our palates, our bodies, our souls.




And my gosh, pleasure all night it did!
Andrea, Jin, Leslie, Sharlene :) 


Allium: Ground Floor of Grand Midori Condominium, Bolanos Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City.
Tel: 09996943068, 09163563663, or 5191088.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...