Showing posts with label comfort food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label comfort food. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Comfort food: Mango and sticky rice

I must admit I was a little but pleasantly surprised to see something that we enjoyed while living in Singapore that's also a delicacy in the Philippines - mango and sticky rice. We have excellent mangoes in the Philippines especially those coming from Guimaras that have also been successfully farmed in other provinces. There are also various varieties of glutinous or sticky rice and plenty of coconuts for the coconut milk (gata) that you mix with the rice during or after cooking. I have bought this from street shops in Bangkok just didn't expect to find this at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Mango and sticky rice sold at the airport. Perfect for a snack or a quick meal. They have three versions for rice - original, pandan and butterfly pea (also known as ternatea). Pandan sticky rice is colored green while butterfly pea sticky rice is colored bluish purple. Each pack is priced at 180 Baht (1.5 Peso: 1 Baht)
Yummy mango and sticky rice. The coconut milk is in a small container embedded on the rice (visible in the photo). It also comes with a plastic spoon so you can enjoy it while waiting for your boarding call.
This is definitely something to enjoy at the airport or, if you like, something to bring home as souvenir or pasalubong. I'm sure it can survive the 3.5- to 4-hour flight to Manila.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

In room dining at Shang Bangkok

I got quite tired after walking between the hotel and Asiatique. And so I decided to reward myself for taking more than 10,000 steps with one of our ideas for a comfort meal. I ordered some Indian food for in-room dining. Shangri-La makes a good chicken tikka and this came with basmati rice and roti. The servings were quite generous so I ended up working while eating just so I can also sustain my writing.

In-room dining for the night
The Shang's kitchens are quite consistent with this item on their menus as we've enjoyed this in several of the Shangri-la's we've stayed at so far. We'll probably order this again the next time the occasion calls for in-room dining.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Adobo antigo?

We start February with a feature on food. The Clairvoyant was thinking about coming up with something new for lunch dinner last Sunday. She usually makes excellent (for me) pasta dishes so that was what we usually had for lunches. Last Saturday evening, the wife made pesto from scratch and cooked up great tuna pesto pasta. Last Sunday though, she decided she would try making adobo, a favorite dish in the Philippines that has many versions across the country.

Adobo antigo from the recipe in the book that was a gift from a close friend of ours. The plating does not seem enticing but the taste is two thumbs up!
"Antigo" directly translates into "antique" and so the recipe maybe is referring to an old way of cooking adobo. Perhaps its just me but I thought this version of the adobo was really good. It did help that my wife was very much attuned to our taste buds and we had all the ingredients needed to cook this favorite.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Chocolate review: Cicada Artisan Chocolate Salted Caramel

Another chocolate bar I got from Sydney is this salted caramel from the same artisan chocolate maker from the bazaar. It is a milk chocolate and therefore is an exception to the series of articles on dark chocolates that I posted here.

Salted caramel chocolate from Cicada
Details on the chocolate
Close-up of details including nutrition information
The maker states that the bar may contain nuts and gluten. I think this is a very honest statement considering all the hype about others being 'gluten-free' or 'nut-free'. This is good milk chocolate and those who love chocolate shouldn't be too conscious about the nuts and gluten unless, of course, they are specifically allergic to these. I would definitely buy this chocolate again if I see them in a shop here or abroad.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Chocolate review: Ghirardelli Intense Dark Toffee Interlude

We haven't had some Ghirardelli chocolates for quite a while. This was mainly because we opted to get some new chocolates - those we haven't had before - during our trips abroad. But then the opportunity presented itself when I spotted a small shop selling Ghirardelli's and decided to purchase a couple of bars. One of them is this relatively sweet one for a dark chocolate.

Intense dark toffee interlude
Details at the back
Description of the chocolate and the general process of its production
Nutrition information
This is supposed to be dark chocolate but the % is not indicated in the box. I mentioned this was relatively sweeter than other dark chocolates but the sweetness (due to the toffee) blends well with the bitterness you'd expect from dark chocolates. Despite that, the wife doesn't really like it as she thinks its still too sweet. I bought this for 250 pesos (about 5 USD), which I thought was quite fair for good quality chocolates.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Chocolate review: Cicada Artisan Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt

I continue with the recent series of posts on chocolates. It may seem as if we are having too much chocolate but these are ones we tasted weeks or days ago and we do try to manage our "cache" so that we have good chocolates to enjoy whenever we want to. Among the good one we got to enjoy is this artisan chocolate from Sydney.

Cicada Almond & Sea Salt packaging looked quite quaint
Details on the chocolate at the back
Close-up showing the ingredients, info on the maker and nutrition information

This is really good chocolate and my only regret is not being able to buy more of these when I was in Sydney. The taste and texture were just right and not raw as you might expect from an artisan chocolate. I have written before about the chocolate and sea salt and the saltiness here is just right and does well to enhance the chocolate.

Chocolate review: Venchi Nocciolato Fondente/ Dark Chocolate & Hazelnuts

Another bar the Clairvoyant bought from the Venchi shop in Rome is this dark chocolate with hazelnuts.

Venchi's Nocciolato Fondente
Information on the chocolate at the back
This chocolate claimed to have at least 56% cacao.
Nutrition information on the bar
This was another hit in terms of quality. The chocolate was just right in terms of the mix of smoothness and bitterness. This was definitely another good buy from the trip to Rome and the Clairvoyant, who recently was in Hong Kong, made the observation that Venchi chocolates at HKIA seemed to be significantly more expensive than those she bought in Rome. I guess that's because the shops at HKIA have a margin of profit? I was a but surprised though because you can get Venchi chocolates at Bacchus at a relatively good price.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Chocolate review: Vietnamcacao Valentine Chocolate

We close October with another chocolate I got from the trip to Ho Chi Minh City. This is a dark chocolate from Vietnamcacao curiously called Valentine chocolate. I guess, this is being marketed as something you give for Valentine's Day?

Vietnamcacao's Valentine dark chocolate
Details at the back of the package
The chocolate claimed to contain 75% cocoa powder but only 24% cocoa butter
Information on the maker

At 2.50 USD (about 128 PHP), this chocolate is better than the company's Origin, which I featured in a previous post. It doesn't taste as raw as it is more refined even for a 75% cacao content. However, it is not as smooth as the Henk chocolate we ate before this one. And so among the three Vietnamese chocolates I have written about so far, this will be #2.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chocolate review: Venchi Dark Chocolight 75%

The Clairvoyant returned from her trip to Europe with several bars of chocolate from Venchi. We first tasted Venchi chocolates I purchased from local wine shop Bacchus and were delighted by the quality of the chocolates. And so when she happened upon the Venchi gelato shop in Rome, she remembered to get a few bars to bring back home.

Venchi's Chocolight 75% is good dark chocolate
Details on the chocolate at the back
Nutrition information on the chocolate

The chocolate did not disappoint. It was a smooth one considering 75% cacao. I didn't ask how much this bar cost but since it was bought at the Venchi shop itself, it would be less expensive than the previous Venchi chocolate I featured here. That was priced 125 pesos (about 2.5 USD at current exchange rates).

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Chocolate review: Henk Dark Chocolate 65%

Another chocolate I got from the recent trip to Ho Chi Minh is this one with real nice packaging. Henk chocolate produced this dark chocolate with a box that gave you a nostalgic feel of a postcard. The image is that of Bin Thanh market

Henk dark chocolate

So co la den translates to dark chocolate

Nutrition and other information at the back
The first question I got from the wife when she tasted the chocolate (I let her sample it first.) is if this was milk chocolate. I just had to check as I remembered making sure to pick up only dark chocolates from the shelf at the duty free shop in Saigon's international airport. It is a dark chocolate and a smooth one. Its creamy even for a 65% dark chocolate, which I thought indicated its very good quality. This was definitely better than the previous Viet chocolate I featured in this blog. This is a steal at 4.00 USD (about 200 PHP) for a 100g bar. I will definitely get these the next time I am in Vietnam and spot them in a shop.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Chocolate review: Vietnamcacao Origin 75% cocoa

The trip to Vietnam last month yielded not a few bars of chocolates. It got very interesting when I was a store at the airport that sold local items. Apparently lost among the shelves of coffee was a shelf of Vietnamese chocolates. I couldn't find these earlier so it was a delight to see many brands and variants. Among those I bought

Vietnamcacao's Origin 75% dark chocolate's box states "Technology of Belgium"
Ingredients and nutrition information at the back of the box

This chocolate was the first one we sampled after I arrived home from the airport. The chocolate was okay but I thought it was a bit raw-tasting compared to the more refined chocolates I've tasted. The comparison would be with the Freefood Co.'s Coco Dolce dark chocolates that I featured before in this blog. This was not as refined as the label would have you believe (Technology of Belgium). The chocolate retailed for 2.50 USD or about 125 PHP.  That is quite expensive for 35g bar of chocolate that's not as smooth as other chocolates I have featured before. However, you could probably stretch it as an artisan chocolate. I wouldn't.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Chocolate review: Villars dark pure 72%

There is another Villars bar that we had before my trip to Australia last July (so you know this is quite a late post). I remember purchasing this from Santis one time I was getting wine to be given away as tokens for speakers at an event we hosted. This bar "got lost" under the other chocolates as we tried to enjoy the ones we bought earlier and were to expire ahead of the others.

Villars dark pure 72%
Details about the chocolate at the back of the box
This chocolate claims a minimum of 72% cacao content
Nutrition information

This chocolate was surprisingly good for one with 72% cacao. It was smooth and not so bitter for a 72%. I got this from Santis so its easy to get some of these bars if necessity calls for it. I think we currently have a lot of excellent chocolates in stock at home as the Australian chocolates have only seen one bar consumed and I recently bought a good sampling of chocolates from Vietnam. There are also Italian chocolates and some Valrhona bars. Still, I think I would be getting a bar or two of this chocolate should I be at Santis again.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Chocolate review: Leonidas milk 30% salted caramel

It turned out there's another Leonidas bar in our refrigerator. This one is more recent and appears to have been a gift or pasalubong. It even had a gold ribbon when I plucked it out of the ref.

Milk chocolate with salted caramel filling
Details on the chocolate at the back of the box
The bar claims to contain at least 30% cacao
Nutritional information

The wife is not fond of milk chocolates and I also have developed an aversion to chocolates that are too sweet. This one apparently is among the exceptions. It was sweet but it was not of the sugary types that you can associate with cheaper, mass produced milk chocolates. While I won't probably pick this bar on a shelf (especially when there are dark chocolates to choose from), I won't mind getting such as gifts.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Chocolate review: Leonidas dark 54% Nibs

Part of our older stash was a bar of Leonidas chocolate that I got from a trip last year. We forgot about this as we got more chocolate from our trips the past months. Somehow, I found this as I tried to put some order to our chocolate cache.

Leonidas dark 54% nibs
Details about the chocolate at the back of the box
Information on the maker
Details about the ingredients including that the chocolate had a minimum 54% cacao.

This was one of the smoothest dark chocolates we've had. It was worth the wait though it was because we only had one bar and I forgot we had one. Unfortunately, I don't recall how much I got this chocolate for. I do remember though that I purchased this at NAIA Terminal 3 as part of several bars that I got with the travel light promo they have at Duty Free Philippines. This 100g bar should easily be more than 5 USD (more than 250 PHP) but it is worth it.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Chocolate review: The Freefood Co. Coco Dolce 65% Dark Chocolate

We picked up a few chocolates at the Philippine products and souvenirs section of Rustans at the Shangri-la Mall in Mandaluyong. Among those were a couple of bars from The Freefod Co. We have tasted one of their Coco Dolce line but it was their milk chocolate with rice crisps.

Coco Dolce 65% Dark Chocolate
Details on the chocolate are at the back of the box.
Here's a description of how the chocolate is produced using traditional methods.
Nutrition information and information on the maker

This chocolate retailed for 245 PHP (about 4.93USD) at the Rustan's Department Store. We came upon it as we had a quick stop to get something for a friend we were meeting for lunch. We thought that he would like some Philippine chocolates as he was vacationing here from the US. The chocolates come from Davao but we thought it was less refined in taste and texture compared to the Malagos chocolates we enjoy. Freefood is a young company as it was established in 2013 (according to the info on the box). It's a promising venture and there's certainly room for improvement. Perhaps they can benchmark against the really good chocolates abroad in terms of taste and texture? If they are are already doing it, I would suggest that they get more taste testers. Again, my point here is for them to at least be par with Malagos, which I believe is already there in terms of taste and texture.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Chocolate review: Villars Dark Orange

Another chocolate that I remember getting at the Cocoa Tree shop at the airport is one from Villars. I had almost forgotten this chocolate and was pleasantly surprised seeing a bar of their dark chocolate with orange at the back of the refrigerator.

Villars Dark Orange
Details on the chocolate at the back of the box
The bar claims to have 50% minimum cacao. The orange is stated to have been sourced from Southern Italy.
Nutrition information.

This chocolate retailed for about PHP 250. I think that's fair for a very good chocolate in a 100g bar. The chocolate is just about right in terms of the mix of bitter and sweet, with the sweetness mainly coming from the candied orange peels.