Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Also last Sunday, we had a chance to reconnect with our Tita Poi, Tito Bato and our cousin Bam. Prior to the weekend, the Clairvoyant was already in touch with our cousin and they were talking about getting together for lunch or dinner. It's been quite some time now since we've had the chance to exchange stories. The Clairvoyant last saw them when they visited my mother-in-law (elder sister to Tita Poi) when Mama was recovering from tear duct surgery in late 2010. Our not getting together more frequently is actually an aberration considering our homes are practically in the same area near the border of Cainta and Antipolo.

We finally got to have dinner last Sunday at Eastwood, another place we haven't gone to for years now. The result was a great dinner at Uncle Cheffy at the mall and some shopping on the side as we found some interesting items at some shops there. We found the center mall parking quite okay given the time we arrived at the mall (around 6PM). At that time, there weren't so many people yet at the mall so I guess this is the main reason we didn't have much difficulty finding a slot. Later that evening though, when there was already a lot of people, we returned to our space finding the lot already full with several vehicles loitering for available slots.

Salad - the mix of romaine lettuce, alfalfa sprouts and potatoes were just right
Pizza - the sides are supposed to be "sandwiched" using the thin crust pizza but the pizza was great as a standalone
We look forward to our next get-together and this includes a possible reunion in Zambales during Holy Week in April this year. I'm sure that will be a great thing given the Clairvoyant's uncles who have a lot of stories/tales to talk about.

Monday, January 23, 2012


We celebrated the Clairvoyant's birthday with her parents last Sunday. After hearing Mass, we decided to eat out and drove to the nearby mall to have an early lunch. It was about 30 minutes before noon but people were just coming in and you could usually get a good table at most restaurants at the time before the noontime/lunchtime rush. When we got to the mall, we quickly decided to go to Racks where we haven't eaten at for quite some time since the Clairvoyant headed to Singapore.

Racks, of course, is well known for their ribs, especially the baby back kind and so we ordered a set that included items that the restaurant specialized in. Like what we usually said, why order seafood in a resto that specialized in ribs? (Or conversely, why order steak at a seafood resto?). I couldn't find their homepage (none?) but was able to get a link to a site showing their menu. Following are a few souvenir photos from yesterday's lunch.

Beef ribs, pork ribs and chicken (the meat was so tender that you didn't need a knife)
Corn on the cob and mashed potatoes (these were the perfect sides to the ribs though the set included a bandehado of rice)
Bolognese with garlic bread (this was supposed to be a substitute to kiddy spaghetti for Angelica)
Souvenir photo for posterity
Racks was quite popular in the 1990's and we even saved some of our allowances during university so we could afford to eat at the restaurant. I remember having my despedida (farewell) dinner at their branch at El Pueblo in Ortigas organized by barkada in 1996 prior to my leaving for Yokohama, Japan for my doctorate studies. Unfortunately, photos from that dinner were lost to Ketsana 2009. Only memories remain of my dinner with blockmates and a special friend. The restaurant's popularity waned in the late 1990's and was almost wiped out before experiencing a renaissance of sort during the latter part of last decade. That was a good thing because Racks certainly provides comfort food and more recent happy memories.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What's for dinner?

The Clairvoyant and I decided to stay home for dinner last Sunday after dining out the past three days (Men-ichi, Italian-Thai restaurant at Chuan Park clubhouse, Osteria Mozza). The Clairvoyant conjured up a simple meal of fish, noodles and rice that was typical of the quick dinners (read: easy to prepare) we have when we decide to eat in. Following are a couple of photos describing our Sunday night fare.

Our simple dinner of fish, noodles and rice
Stir-fried dory with olives


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Indonesian delight

There is something about the food from the our side of the world, whether at home or in our neighboring countries in ASEAN, that is so interesting and definitely delightful to experience. It is not just the spices nor the ingredients though these are essential elements to the various dishes. It is also the preparation and perhaps the variations found in the different areas that provide the unique flavors or tastes we always long for when we are abroad. Fortunately, "abroad" may mean traveling nearby and thus not missing at all the dishes that we love.

We happened to be at the Funan DigitaLife Mall to pick up luggage that we had brought to be repaired there. It was just before noon and the Clairvoyant and I just came from church, which was a 10-minute walk from the mall. We decided to check out the food court at the 4th floor of the mall and surveyed the stalls for what would catch our fancy. Initially thinking about eating at the Pepper Lunch Express, we were lucky to have spotted a stall serving Indonesian food. Looking at their offerings and what people in line were ordering convinced us to try it out. The photos below show the food we ordered.

Ayam penyak - basically fried marinated chicken on top of lettuce with what appeared and tasted like floss with sambal sauce on the side. The floss definitely was not pork since all the food served were halal. This was part of a set meal with rice and soup.
Nasi kuning set - chicken with a very spicy sauce over it and turmeric rice (not java rice) with sliced veggies on the side
Coconut juice just the way its supposed to be served -fresh and in the shell
Our lunch was quite spicy but definitely good. It's not everyday that we get to eat such spicy fare, which we miss and could only wish we could experience more often. Again, there will be a next time and I already look forward to a trip to Indonesia where I will surely enjoy the food.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wicked dinner at Osteria Mozza

The Clairvoyant and I love Italian food and among the best experiences we had was dining at Mozza at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. I wrote about this in a post last year when we tried the appetizers, antipasti and pizza at Pizzeria Mozza.

This time around, we were actually planning to eat an early dinner in time for watching the musical Wicked at the Sands theater. When we tried to reserve a table at the Pizzeria, we were advised to just walk-in as we were told the time we were reserving for was still quite early. When we arrived at the Pizzeria, there was already a long queue of people waiting for a table to open. After inquiring with the Filipino staff about how long we'd have to wait, they asked us if we really wanted to eat pizza since they can get us a table at the Osteria instead. And so we ended up at the Osteria Mozza on the other side, which was the fine dining section of the restaurant (the Pizzeria was for casual dining).

Our waiter was very engaging and asked us if it was our first time to eat at the Osteria. After giving our affirmatives, he proceeded to advise us with combinations by first asking us what we preferred to eat based on the items on the menu. We were quite surprised of his knowledge of the food and followed our feel for trusting his suggestion. We knew somehow that the staff were well-trained and the head chef of Mozza in Singapore was a Filipina so perhaps we would have a good dinner after all. We were also assured that the food will be prepared for us to be able to finish our meals in time for the play.

We were not disappointed with our food and following are a couple of photos that could not quite describe the experience of eating at the Osteria. As usual, these were taken using the camera of my BlackBerry Bold.

Primi: Tagliatelle with oxtail ragu
Secondi: Grilled whole snapper with herbs & extra virgin oil

The Clairvoyant and I shared the "Tagliatelle with Oxtail Ragu," which we were naming kare kare pasta primarily because of the oxtail. The sauce was not at all overwhelming as could probably be expected in other restos. And the serving was just right as an intro to our main meal. The "Grilled Whole Snapper with Herbs & Extra Virgin Oil" was served by the staff with the grilled lemon squeezed and the extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany "sprinkled" unto the fish right before us. The fish was cooked just right and was already de-boned so we didn't have to check for tinik while we were enjoying our meal.

We were so delighted with our meal that we decided to leave an extra tip for our waiter, on top of the service charge on our bill. Again, I can say that we will certainly be returning to Mozza sometime again to try out other items in their menu, whether at the Pizzeria or the Osteria.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ramen redux

I have written about eating ramen in Singapore in a previous post. Since then, we have experienced different variations of our favorite noodles from the different regions of Japan from what we take as authentic versions given the way they are prepared and served in Singapore. It is just quite ironic that I can only post on the experiences of eating ramen from the more recent lunches and dinners in Singapore instead of my first-hand experiences more than a decade ago in Japan. The latter experiences are definitely delightful and I was able to sample ramen while dining in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and other cities I have visited particularly during my 3-year studies from 1996-1999. I have none or lost (due to the Ketsana flood) all photos from those times and so try to relive some of the memories with more recent ones that I could associate with those.

The Clairvoyant and I had the chance to dine again at Men-ichi Japanese Ramen restaurant at the NEX mall at Serangoon last Thursday. We decided to have a light dinner prior to our watching "Sherlock Holmes" at the Shaw Theaters at NEX and easily got a table at the restaurant. Instead of going for our usual char siew and wafu soup to go with our ramen, we opted for chicken ramen and katsu set.

Chicken ramen at Men-ichi

Chicken katsu to go with the ramen

The breaded chicken was fried just right and was not at all oily. The katsu sauce (Bulldog?) went very well as may be expected with chicken. Some people will pour their sauce over katsu but I prefer to squeeze the juice out of the slice of lemon over the katsu and use the sauce for dipping instead. The thinly sliced cabbage complemented the ramen and the chicken katsu.

We definitely enjoy our meals at Men-ichi and will be back for more of their ramen. Perhaps we will try another of the items on their menu the next time and we're sure we won't be disappointed.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jumbo Seafood

We had lunch with friends today at Jumbo Seafood Restaurant. It was our first time to eat at this restaurant that is highly recommended by a lot of people who've been to or are residing in Singapore. The branch we ate at was located at Clarke Quay and is in an area where there are lots of other restaurants and bars. I hear the area is one of the places to go not just during lunchtimes or weekends but during nighttime as well. In fact, many establishments open in time for lunch and this Saturday, it was not crowded so one can dine comfortably even with a group. You can see eat inside or al fresco and with a view of the river. Anticipating a good lunch time crowd, however, we decided to make reservations for our group the day before.

The restaurant at Clarke Quay
That's "Spinach Skin Bean Curd with Mushrooms" at left and "Fried Prawns in Cereal" on the right

We also had "Steamed Red Tilapia in Nonya Sauce" and "Seafood Fried Rice." Unfortunately, I was not able to take photos of these delightful items as we were busy exchanging stories with good friends who are also based in Singapore. I must say though that the food was great and definitely up to the hype some people were saying about this restaurant. The service, too, was very good as the staff were attentive and quite efficient. The restaurant also offered great value for money considering the serving sizes (and the corresponding prices). It is one of those places that you will keep coming back for future meals and especially with friends.

Dreams and reality

The Clairvoyant and I went to the National Museum of Singapore yesterday to view the works featured in the Dreams and Reality exhibit from the Musee D'Orsay Paris. Such works of art include those by such celebrated artists as Pissarro, Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and Cezanne.

Following are photos of the artwork on display. I will be updating this post quite often as I place captions on each of the photos to identify the work and the artist.

The National Museum building
Venus in Paphos, 1852-1853 (Jean Auguste Dominique INGRES, 1780-1867)
Semiramis Building Babylon (Edgar DEGAS)
Siesta (Hans THOMA)
The Birth of Venus (Alexandre CABANEL)
The Knight of the Flowers, 1892 (Georges ROCHEGROSSE, 1859-1938)
The King's Daughter, 1865-1866 (Sir Edward BURNE-JONES, 1833-1898)
Night, 1897 (Henry FANTIN-LATOUR, 1836-1904)
The Enigma, 1871 (Gustave DORE, 1832-1883)
The Burning of the Tuileries, 1871 (Georges CLARIN, 1843-1919)

The Siege of Paris, 1870-1871 (Ernest MEISSONIER, 1815-1891)

War or The Cavalcade of Discord, c. 1894 (Henri ROSSEAU, 1844-1910)
The Hydrangea or The Two Sisters, 1894 (Berthe MORISOT, 1841-1895)
The Dubourg Family, 1878 (Henri FANTIN-LATOUR, 1836-1904)

A Forge, 1893 (Fernand CORMON, 1845-1924)
In the Black Country, c.1893 (Constantin MEUNIER, 1831-1905)
Stadhouderskade or Going Fishing, 1898-1900 (Piet MONDRIAN, 1872-1900)

The Harvest, 1876 (Camille PISSARRO, 1830-1903)
Young Peasant Girl Lighting a Fire, 1887-1888 (Camille PISSARRO, 1830-1903)
The Harvest or Breton Landscape, 1888 (Emile BERNARD, 1868-1941)

Young Woman on the Beach or Young Woman on the JettyWalberswick, (Suffolk), 1888-1889 (Philip Wilson STEER, 1860-1942)
Boats: Regatta at Argenteuil, 1874 (Claude MONET, 1840-1926)
The Beach at Cabourg at High Tide, 1910 (Rene'-Xavier PRINET, 1861-1946)
The Theatre Box, 1908 (Pierre BONNARD, 1867-1947)
Box at the Opera-Comique, 1887 (Charles COTTET, 1863-1925)

Dancers Climbing a Staircase, 1886-1890 (Edgar DEGAS, 1834-1917)
Three Women with Parasols or The Three Graces, c.1860 (Marie BRAQUEMOND, 1841-1916
The Ball, 1899 (Felix VALLOTTON, 1865-1925)
The Cardplayers, 1890-1895 (Paul CEZANNE, 1839-1906)
Georges Clemenceau, 1879-1880 (Edouard MANET, 1832-1883)
Study of a Figure Outdoors: Woman with a Parasol Looking to the  Right, 1886 (Claude MONET, 1840-1926)
The Lady with the Glove, 1869 (CAROLUS-DURAN, 1837-1917)
Young Boy with a Cat, 1868-1869 (Pierre-Auguste RENOIR, 1841-1919)

Portrait of Madame Gaudibert, 1868 (Claude MONET, 1840-1926)
Spring, 1868-1873 (Jean-Francois MILLET, 1814-1875)
The Hunted Roe-Deer on the Alert, Spring, 1867 (Gustave COURBET, 1819-1877)
Variations in Violet and Green, 1871 (James Abbott McNeill WHISTLER, 1834-1903)
Branch of the Seine near Giverny, 1987 (Claude MONET, 1840-1926)
The Gulf of Marseille Seen from L'Estaque, 1878-1879 (Paul CEZANNE, 1839-1906)
Rocks near Caves above the Black Castle, c. 1904 (Paul CEZANNE, 1839-1906)
Pink Landscape, 1882-1883 (Georges SEURAT, 1859-1891)
Sailing Boats and Estuary, 1892-1895 (Theo Van RYSSELBERGHE, 1862-1926)
The Fence, 1890 (Paul SERUSIER, 1864-1927)
The Alyscamps, Aries, 1888 (Paul GAUGUIN, 1848-1903)
Seascape with Cow or On the Edge of the Abyss, 1888 (Paul GAUGUIN, 1848-1903)
Procession Beneath the Trees or The Green Trees, 1893 (Maurice DENIS, 1870-1943)
Purple Waves, 1896-1897 (Georges LACOMBE, 1868-1916)
Summer Night, 1890 (Winslow HOMER, 1836-1910)
Hillside of the Hermitage, Pontoise, 1873 (Camille PISSARRO, 1830-1903)
The Chemine de la Machine, Louveciennes, 1873 (Alfred SISLEY, 1839-1899)
Couer-Volant Hill in Marly under Snow, 1877-1878 (Alfred SISLEY, 1839-1899)
The Railway Bridge at Chatou or The Pink Chestnut Trees, 1881 (Pierre-Auguste RENOIR, 1841-1919)
Spring, Aspens and Acacias, 1889 (Alfred SISLEY, 1839-1899)
The Port of Rouen, Saint Sever, 1896 (Camille PISSARRO, 1830-1903)
The End of Autumn, 1899 (Eugene LAERMANS, 1864-1940)
The Sick Child, 1885 (Eugene CARRIERE, 1849-1906)
Meditation or Rest, c.1870 (Claude MONET, 1840-1926)

Portrait of Madame Cezanne, 1888-1890 (Paul CEZANNE, 1839-1906)
The National Museum building as seen from across the street