Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nav Modern Thai Cuisine (Pasig)

One night, when my schedule was indeed hectic and Metro Manila traffic is at its worst, the food group decided to meet up once more for dinner to try out this Thai resto in Pasig. Im a fan of Thai cuisine and getting some that night is indeed something that I cannot miss. So even if I was exhausted and the traffic is bad, I still went there to guttle in with my favorite foodies.

Nav is very easy to locate. Its just right in front The new Ace Water Spa in Pasig. and you cant miss it though the place is very tiny.

The interior is very simple and yet cozy. Can perhaps accommodate around 20 people inside with no smoking area. It has that minimalist design which worked perfectly well. The design was able to utilize the space very well.

Now since I told you that I was late that time, Ive only sampled some of the dishes that they ordered. Here are some of them.

Nav's Bagoong Rice (Php 225) - a little too salty for my taste.

Nav's Pad Thai (Php 280) - its a good Pad Thai, though I cannot really say wow.

Penang Curry Beef Brisket (Php 420) - something that I really like in Nav! The beef is perfectly cooked and the curry sauce is fantastic! I can taste the lemongrass and coconut milk which blended really well with the beef.

Tom Yum Goong (Php 279) - I love their Tom Yum! Not to sour, not too hot (according to my tastebuds) *
this photo btw is a serving on my small bowl since I arrived late. I wasnt able to take a photo of the dish while my co foodies devoured in it. :D

Whole Crispy Tilapia Chili Spiked Tamarind Sauce (seasonal price) - I wasnt that impressed. I was a bit disappointed since I was not able to taste the tamarind flavor very much. The sauce for me is the typical chili sauce you can buy in bottles found in groceries.

Wok Fried Sqiud, Sweet Soy, Chili, Galangal (Php 260) - not my favorite either. Too sweet for me. Can pass as a desert even! Hehe.

Most of the food that we ordered are good, but some are not really that good. Most of it I would say is very salty (maybe they can tell the cook to take it easy on the salt.) The prices are reasonable considering the serving size. The waiters are very attentive as well and thats a plus for them.

By the way, our group was given complimentary desserts! How cool is that?!

Taro Mash Crepe Sweet Milk (Php 145) - I love this dessert! Im a fan of taro thats why. Well the crepe is filled with sweet mashed taro served warm with condensed milk and nuts I think, on top. This is a winner!

Pandan Creme (Php 140) - woudnt pass as a creme for me. The texture isnt that creamy and its like they used an artificial pandan flavoring and food color for it.

My experience in Nav is pretty awesome. Well my friends are there thats why. But for a culinary judgement, I think that Nav needs to be constant and needs to improve some of the dishes that they offer. For me the experience is quite extreme. If the dish is very good it means that its very very good. But if its something bad then its really bad.

Oh well, id like to come back there again sometime soon to sample other dishes that they offer.

Nav - Modern Thai Cuisine,
16-C, United St.
Pasig City, Metro Manila
(02) 655-8395

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ramen Bar (Eastwood)

Me and my highschool bud Denver was out for a culinary adventure last Friday. Unfortunately I was too full to think of anything to eat since I had a feast of Korean cuisine hours before we met. He told me that he was craving for some ramen or udon and I have thought of Ramen Bar in Eastwood.

I was not really sure if I would personally like the experience in Ramen Bar. I havent really read anything about this place and I dont know what to expect. I just had a great Japanese cuisine experience at Yutaka Izakaya and I dont know if this place would top that superb experience I had.

The minimalist/zen ambiance did not appeal to me that much. It is set on a fast food setting with bright warm lights, which I think made it a little cozy. Long tables are set for big groups but It can be placed separately for smaller groups as well.

We definitely have to try the Ramen since it is a ramen bar but I was super full to be enticed by their offerings, me and my friend thought of getting one ramen dish and one rice dish to share.

R.B.S. 1 (Php 380) - Soy infused Tonkotsu Ramen topped with tamago, naruto, negi, chasyu and kakuni

Tamago is Egg
Naruto is Fish sticks (not the anime)
Negi is Spring Onions
Chasyu is Sliced Pork
Kakuni is Braised Pork Belly

Chicken Namban Rice Bowl (Php 185) - bone less chicken pieces with a mustard mayo dipping sauce in white rice.

The RBS 1 could have been perfect is it was served hot. It was served to us just warm, even room temperature and so we really werent able to enjoy it that much. :( Although, I can tell that the soup is indeed very very flavorful. I love how the soup taste like and the ingredients like the fish sticks and the pork belly are really very good.

The Chicken Namban Rice Bowl is just so-so, nothing really special about it. Its just fried chicken pieces with that mustard mayo dip. For me its not really worth the repeat order.

However, what made me enjoy that time in Ramen Bar is that they serve two great Japanese beers! Kirin and Asahi are both on their beverage list, a little over priced though but how awesome is that eh? :)

Kirin Beer (Php 145)

Asahi (Php 145)

Ill do a separate beer review about Asahi since I think I havent done any just yet, but Ive done a beer review for Kirin a few months back. We both enjoyed these two lagers as we run down memory lane, talking about our highschool days.

I would have to say that my Ramen Bar experience isnt that impressive. Though I think I need a second round to really tell if I really like it or not.

Ramen Bar
G/F Eastwood Mall, E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Bagumbayan, Libis
Quezon City, Metro Manila
(02) 570-9457

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Pho Hoa Favorites

Last week, over lunch at Pho Hoa, Ive realized that I am a month away from visiting Ho Chi Minh! Yey! I have never been this excited. I dont know why, but theres something about Vietnam that I am so willing and so excited about.

One of the things that I love about Vietnamese cuisine is its clean finish. Never did I feel like the food it too greasy and too oily since the ingredients they uses balances out everything and will still tend to lead the taste buds to fully enjoy the flavors.

There are a lot of Vietnamese restaurants here in Manila and one of my favorite is Pho Hoa. Now let me share my regular orders whenever I am dining at this place.

Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò - Grilled Pork and Fried Roll served with thin vermicelli noodles and vegetable.

String Beans with Ground Pork and Shrimps

Phở Chín, Nạm, Gầu, Gân, Sách - Noodle soup with brisket, flank, tendon, tripe,
and fatty flank

What I love about these three dishes is that they are filling and they make me feel very healthy. Hehe. The Vermicelli bowl is refreshing. Its like a noodle salad. I love the crunchy spring rolls that goes with it. The String Beans with Ground Pork has its contrast of being a little oily and fresh because the string beans is crunchy and sweet. And last but not the least is the Pho noodles with delicious pieces of good meats that is tender, juicy and flavorful. A feast for the taste buds indeed.

Thats it. Maybe thats what leads me to Vietnam. Its great cuisine that is healthy and flavorful. Hmmm, im sure my next Vietnamese food entry is of those I have sampled in HCMC. Yehey! :)

Pho Hoa Vietnamese Noodle House
Eastwood City Cyberpark, E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Bagumbayan, Libis
Quezon City, Metro Manila
(02) 421-2046

Cyma Greek Taverna, Opa!- licious Greek Cuisine

Im not that much familiar with Greek cuisine but I definitely enjoyed it since it is similar to Persian cuisine which I really love. I think one good place I can recommend is Cyma.

My friend and I went to Cyma in Eastwood last Friday night and I'll tell you, the place gets a little crowded so reservations are actually ideal if you want to have a good spot.

For our dinner, we decided to get Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Cyma Watermelon and Lamb salad, Baby Back Ribs.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip - Delicious dip made of artichokes, spinach and feta cheese served with freshly baked pita bread and sliced bread.

Cyma Watermelon and Lamb Salad - sweet delicious juicy watermelon cubes and lettuce topped with grilled slices of lamb and feta cheese.

Baby Back Ribs - slab of baby back ribs served with a sweet sauce and sliced potatoes

I totally enjoyed the Spinach and Artichoke fondue. I love how the flavors are balanced. The feta cheese gives that tangy salty kick to the bland but creamy consistency of the spinach and artichokes. The Cyma Watermelon and Lamb salad is also a must try. Im not really a fan of lamb because I still find it "malansa" till now but this time it goes well with the salad. The juicy watermelon cubes and the crisp lettuce is certainly very refreshing to the palate. On the other hand I wasnt that impressed with their Baby Back Ribs. I thought it was rather dry and the basting is too sweet. Maybe im more into the spicy and tangy sauce that most baby back ribs has.

Overall my dining experience in Cyma is superb. I love it when the staff shouted "OPA!" whenever they serve something flaming to the customers. The atmosphere is certainly friendly and warm and the food is something a gustatory adventurer must try.

2/Lvl. Eastwood Mall Veranda, E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., Bagumbayan, Libis
Quezon City, Metro Manila
(02) 709-1955

Ye Dang, Oh Yeah Good Food!

Ye Dang I could say is one of my favorite Korean restaurant here in Manila. I love the food and the service and the place gives me that "tourist'y" feel whenever im dining inside. I remember visiting this place a couple of years back with some of my former co workers.

Last week, when me and some friends dined again, I noticed that there was a little change inside the resto. I was looking for that corner with low dining tables and diners can sit on the floor but it was already gone. It didn't, however discouraged all of us and we still excitedly feasted on some good Korean food.

Here we go with the food photos!

Banchan (Appetizers)

Dongchimi - they call it white kimchi or water kimchi. Its served cold and the taste is salty, a little sour and uhm for me weird. Hehe.

Pajeon - Korean scallion pancake, yum!

Samgyeopsal - grilled pork belly meat

Dwaeji Galbi - Sweet and spicy pork ribs

Bulgogi - grilled marinated sweet meat

Tteokbokki - slices of rice cake, egg in a spicy sauce.

Naengmyeon - cold noodles

That was a lot of food we ordered and we definitely enjoyed it. The quality of food is superb and the service is excellent. Speaking of service, I noticed that most Korean restaurants prioritizes good service not just good food. My Korean friend told me that it is because Korean service is really like that. They really have to make sure that the customers are well taken cared of and must enjoy the gustatory treat infinitely and thats what we got in Ye Dang. Will be back soon. Definitely.

Ye Dang
Meralco Ave., Ortigas
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
(02) 636-1461

Kwak Beer at The Distillery for (Beer-ness) The Beer Friday Session

As a novice beer enthusiast, I would always feel giddy in trying out new beers. Recently, I have been studying the proper glassware to use for each of the brews, one that will bring out the aroma and the flavor of each distinctive style of beer. I know I still have a lot to learn and Im definitely ecstatic to try out this great adventure.

Ive been in search for good places to get some good brews. Aside from The Offbeat Cafe's The Beer Gallery , Beer Paradise, both in Makati, and Treffpunkt in Cubao, Edsa, Ive also discovered The Distillery in Eastwood which also houses different kinds of European beers.

For this Friday's Beer-ness session, Let us look at one Belgian native...

Pauwel Kwak
Style : Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Alcohol content : 8.40% abv
My rating: 3

I asked for the tulip glass that was supposed to come with the beer to be brought to me right away for me to enjoy this strong pale ale but to my dismay, I was brought a mug. :( In fairness it was a chilled mug but still its a strong pale ale and its supposed be at a serving temperature of 50-55 degrees F. Anyway, I have no choice but to actually pour that beautiful ale to the mug they have provided me.

Forgive me for the photo but I was just using my phone that time. But let me tell you how exactly it look, taste, smell and feel like.

Its like tea brown or copper colored (im not so sure since the place is a little dark) with a pretty good white head that leaves off some lacing afterwards. Its nose gives off that fruity scent of raisins, also of caramel. I am not much very used to drinking ale for I most of the time opt for Pilsners but I was very much surprised of what the texture of this ale is. Its smooth, creamy, oily I think and the taste is full upon drinking. Its very malty I can say but with a hoppy finish.

I would say that I have enjoyed this Belgian treat. I was just a little disappointed since I wasnt able to experience this beer on this glass:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Baffledchichi's Best of 2011 (Travel)

Despite my hectic 2011 schedule, I was still very blessed with an opportunity to explore places that I have been wanting to visit both here and abroad.


I love Singapore! Went there with two of my friends and the experience is simply exhilarating. Its home away from home because the place is unfamiliar but most of the people are familiar since a lot of Filipinos are around. Ive enjoyed roaming around the city and most of all I enjoyed my visit to Universal Studios Singapore, Lau Pa Sat and Clark Quay.

My Universal Studios Singapore shot. :)

With Antonio Banderas errr, Puss in Boots pala! :)

One of my favorite rides in USS


Clark Quay

SG Flyer

Merlion, here we come!

Lau Pa Sat


Having visited the Petronas Towers was one of the highlights of my trip to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. I cannot believe my eyes the moment I saw the structure. A famous world landmark that I just see in photos before is really right in front of me! I also did enjoy immersing myself on Malaysia's culture and traditions when I visited Batu Caves and meeting the Duruka family whose very welcoming and sweet, letting us experience their culture and their way of life.

Petronas Towers at long last!

Batu Caves

The Duruka Family. Thank you very much. :)

The train rides were awesome! Thanks ladies for joining me on this trip. :)
Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

I have always wanted to visit this part of our country and being able to visit one of my dream destination is really something that made me happy. I love Saud beach and its pristine white sands. I love the Ilocos empanada, I love Bangui windmills, I love the lighthouse, I just love everything!

At Saud Beach

Pristine white sands of Saud Beach

Gorgeous Bangui Windmills

Ilocos Empanada! Yum!

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

This place is enchanting! Timewarped to the old days. I love how locals are very accommodating and welcoming to all the visitors.

Well, 2011 was a great travel year but im more excited this 2012 since I'll be visiting more places! Live life and travel!