the ultimate food adventure
another escapade towards gastronomical full-fill-ment

Mar
02

now that the scent of summer is slowly (or fast?) surrounding us, one might want to drive to pampanga and cool down body heat by indulging in one of its many “ice-cool” spots or halo-halo havens.

here in pampanga, there’s been an on-going battle of which halo-halo is the best. but basically, these halo-halo havens have their own distinctions. for this post, kabigting’s halo-halo will be on center stage. (other halo-halo havens will follow, promise! :p)

i just remembered… when i was still in high school, my classmates and i would go to one of our classmate’s house in arayat. there we would go to arayat park to swim at the foot of the mountain.  our arayat escapade would not be complete if we don’t eat halo-halo at kabigting’s or jurado’s. my high school days are such fond memories… my classmates, such great company!

Kabigting's @ Robinsons Starmills

kabigting’s halo-halo originated in the town of arayat some decades ago.  one might ask what makes kabigting’s different from the others. i say, it’s the pastillas that they include in their concoction.  basically, it consist of mashed sweet beans and corn, loaded with ice and fresh milk, and topped with their special pastillas. minimalist in terms of its ingredients, but the taste is superb. one might notice the “whiteness” of kabigting’s halo-halo. it’s actually attributed to the milk they use. so if you’re fond of eating pastillas, this is your kind of halo-halo!

isang tagay ng halo-halo
 if you think travelling to arayat is too far, you can check out kabigting’s halo-halo in robinsons starmills at the city of san fernando (2nd floor, food court)
Feb
28

i can’t get enough doughnuts. especially since Krispy Kreme is already in the philippines.  i can almost finish a box (of 6) at any given time. i love the smooth blending of its flavors.  i really like their new york cheesecake, chocolate iced kreme-filled, glazed sour cream, glazed cruller and karamel creme crunch.  even their fruity varieties are yummy. also, their hershey’s collection is amazing as well.

i went with some friends to the mall of asia a week ago or so to check out the science disckrispykremeovery center (we joined a school’s field trip!).  since there was still time before the scheduled entrance to the SDC, i tried to look for the krispy kreme outlet.  my friends who were with me were asking what’s the fuss with krispy kreme. i can’t actually give them a reason aside from “try nio, masarap, promise!” when we arrived at the outlet, there was no line. we were happy not to wait so long. there were only around 3 peeps drinking coffee and eating doughnuts.  my friends can’t decide what flavor they would pick, and i ended up picking the flavors for them. since they were unsure if they would like the doughnuts, they only bought half-dozen each (these doughnuts are expensive!).  since i know that i love them, i bought a dozen of my favorites!

what was left - a lil bit of the flavorswhile travelling homewards, i didn’t peek at my boxes. i don’t want to be tempted and eat. upon arriving home, i started to eat. after finishing 2 goodies, my dad saw me and ate with me. we actually more or less finished the dozen dougnuts in one attempt. what was left are four battered flavors.

the next day, i woke up mad. i was left with only a half of the cookies and cream flavor. and so i sent my mom a message (she went to moa! yippie!) and asked her to buy me another dozen. she ranted that i just bought the day before… yada yada yada… but in the end, she took pity at me and brought a dozen home!

right now, i’m still hungry for krispy kreme. i can’t wait for my next metro manila trip so that i can have my doughnut fix! well, i just hope they open a branch here in pampanga… [paging the krispy kreme franchise...] :p

Feb
26

i so love chocolates. that is why i was super happy when my uncle who came from abroad brought me a kilo of Truffettes de France chocolate truffles. i was just surprised when i opened the box because itchocolate truffless content doesn’t in anyway look like the picture outside. i was expecting chocolate balls. what i saw is chocolate syrup (the truffles are not stable in places with higher temp, like here in the philippines)! i immediately chilled the “syrup” because i don’t actually want to eat the confection using a spoon! after around 5 to 10 minutes, i checked the chocolate and it was already hard (not super hard, just ok hard!). i just used a knife in order to cut the big block into smaller pieces.

the first bite was ohhh soo yummy! the combination of the bitter-sweet chocolate is heaven. it was really a melt-in-your-mouth experience. usually, chocolates don’t immediately melt. however, this one does! even holding a piece in your hand for a few seconds is messy. i felt like a child who played with his fave chocolate that it ended mostly on the hands and face. well, it was worth it anyway. i don’t mind being messy. ;o) what i also like about the truffettes is that it doesn’t have any bitter aftertaste that other dark chocolates have. Truffettes de France is now one of the best chocolate truffles i tasted!

generally, truffles are kinda like super-soft chocolate, dusted with cocoa powder or powdered sugar or rolled in chopped nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, and the like…. others, make use of candy sprinkles, cookie crumble, and actually anything that you wish to mix. since i am very fascinated (probably obsessed) with them, a friend gave her recipe of truffles for me to try and experiment. i had a blast creating truffles! it’s actually easy that even young kids can do the stuff.

what you only need is a block of chocolate (you can buy this on supermarkets and bakery stuff stores), all purpose cream, and whatever you like to mix. i prefer using belgian chocolates. they taste better. if not, the premium ones are ok.  if you can get your hands on the belgian callebaut, much better.

when you have the ingredients, all you have to do is melt the chocolate (not in direct heat please, but you can also make use of the microwave oven around 30 seconds, set high, depending on the amount) and then mix until it is liquefied. mix in a portion of the all purpose cream. i didn’t include any specific proportion because it can actually depend on you. if you want a softer and a creamier truffle, you increase the amount of the cream (but not too much). once the chocolate is to your liking, let it cool a little bit. once cool, you can scoop the chocolate using a little scooper or a teaspoon into balls and roll it to whatever you want to pair it with like nuts, chocolate powder, powdered sugar, rice crispies, cereals, dried fruits, etc. place them in small paper baking cups (like the ones used for macaroons) and cool them in the refrigerator.

one variation is, aside from rolling the truffle into nuts, you can actually mix the nuts in the confection. when i do this, i usually coat the balled truffles in melted chocolate (without the cream!) so that it will have a hard shell.

so there, a simple chocolate recipe to soothe a chocolate craving!

Feb
16

The inasal became sensational ever since ABS CBN’s teleserye Ysabella started.  Inasal stalls mushroomed around.  Even Pampanga was not spared from the fad.

Mang Inasal is one of the “inasalans” which opened in the province.  Since it was new, my dad and I decided to try it out. I can’t help but notice its decor. It was gloomy because the interior is dark.

We ordered chicken and pork inasal which is their specialty.  The pork is tender as is actually expected from barbecues.  The chicken is good as well.  Their garlic rice is okay but it doesn’t look appetizing.  It is clumpy and the dark coloring might be attributed to the oil used.

The resto is about 50% self service.  There are no menus available, just the tarpaulin bearing the names of the food they sell. No waiters will get your order. You have to personally approach the counter.  You have to get your own silverware.  Their waiters will only deliver the food ordered.  Anything extra, you have to get yourself.

The chicken and pork were kinda precooked because when they were delivered on our table, they were not really “hot off the grill.” I’m actually expecting them to be flaming hot since inasal is all about barbecue, right?

I guess they still need a few pointers regarding food preparation and presentation for they might not meet the high expectations of kapampangan taste buds even if their price is competitive (our bill only amounted to P269 which includes the chicken and pork inasal, garlic rice, iced tea, buko juice, sinigang).

Since Mang Inasal just opened recently, I do hope that their service will improve in the coming days.  I have to check it out again one of these days.

Mang Inasal is located at the Fiesta Strip of SM Pampanga.

Feb
14

it’s valentine’s day. and of course, it wouldn’t be complete without eating out somewhere. we weren’t able to book a table at a restaurant so we just went to the mall and kinda check out the restos there.

our quest for food ended up at Gerry’s Grill – SM Pampanga. well, i actually didn’t want to eat here because i’ve been here many times before that i don’t know what to eat anymore. but then again, given the choice between this establishment and the fast food chains, i’ll just shut my mouth and wait for the menu.

so we decided to sit on the tables set outside the resto. it’s kinda stuffy inside because there were a lot of patrons eating. but even if our location isn’t air conditioned, it was better. part of the road was blocked and a stage was setup for the performance of an acoustic band. so while eating, we were serenaded with songs. if only the management of Gerry’s Grill thought of placing flower centerpieces and/or candles on the tables, the ambiance will become more romantic!

we ordered the usual inihaw na pusit, grilled blue marlin, bulalo, sugba kilaw, baked scallops and pinakbet.

the squid is yummy, as it is one of the house specialties. the blue marlin was fresh and it tasted sweet. the rest of the courses were also good although the bulalo was served the last. it was supposed to be served after the scallops since it was the soup. but then again, since it is V-day, the resto is like a zoo.

there were a lot of people waiting to be seated. in our case, it was like being placed inside the aquarium because people are actually watching you eat. it felt weird being watched. some were even throwing dagger looks at us so that we will be conscious enough to eat faster. we didn’t care, anyway! :b

to complete our dinner, we had the sansrival for dessert. i didn’t actually like it because it was like a biscuit and it shouldn’t be like that. and the butter is, hmm… i dunno how to describe it. it’s just that i don’t want its taste. i prefer another brand of sansrival (the ones that are locally made! Ocampo-Lansang, Leilen’s) which are better in taste and texture.

all in all, our bill totaled P1600++ (we were four, by the way) so roughly we spent around 400 each.

* i have nothing against fast food chains, in fact, i love them! i just didn’t want to eat there on V-day!

Feb
02

i admit.  food is my ultimate weakness–whatever its kind or taste.  i just love eating.  food makes my world go round.

food trips are my passion and no food store, stall, resto, etc… is safe from my sight.  from the simplest appetizer to the most exotic dish, no food is gonna pass me by without going through my taste buds.  i do not limit myself to just eating the usual things people eat. i love to experiment and taste exotic dishes.

i think it is my kapampangan blood running through my veins that is making it difficult for me to hate food.  and since i am a proud kapampangan, i can say that aside from being an expert “eater” i can also cook a mean cuisine.

whether i like it or not, i need to know how to prepare and cook food.  it will be a shame to not know how to.  most especially since even the guys from both sides of my family can whip something good.  so if they can do it, the more i can!

for this blog, i will be accounting all my gastronomical escapades–whether they are restaurants, food stalls and kiosks, or just simply turo-turos.  join me as i embark on this great food misadventure!

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