Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chimay Rouge for (Beer-ness) The Beer Friday Sessions

My first trappist beer was so much of an experience that I need to follow that up with another trappist beer for my next post for the Beer-ness session.
As I study about trappist beers, the first one I have discovered was Chimay. I opted to go for Trappiste Rochefort 10 first since I heard that it was the best trappist beer (however, Im a little hesitant to say otherwise since I havent tasted all trappist beers around). 

Chimay beers have 4 varieties, Chimay Rouge (Red) also called Premiere, a dubbel, Chimay Bleu (Blue) a darker ale, Chimay Blanche (White) or Chimay Triple and Chimay Doree (Golden) a "patersbier" which is basically just available within the monastery for the monks to consume.
Chimay is located in the Scourmont Abbey in Chimay, Southern Hainaut, Belgium. This monastery is one of the seven trappist monastery that are members of  the International Trappiste Association (ITA).And guess what? I just realized that drinking beer can actually be a very charitable act! Chimay beers are sold to basically support the financial needs of the monastery and for other good causes! They do have foundations in Zaire and India among the few that they support out of their sales in selling Chimay beers worldwide. Awesome isn't it? 

The featured beer tonight for the beer-ness Friday session is Chimay Rouge.

Chimay Rouge (Red)
Style: Abbey Dubbel
Alcohol Content: 7% ABV
My rating: 5/5

The beer comes in a short brown bottle with the red label and crown. As I opened the bottle its nose gave off a toasty and malty aroma with some raisins, nuts and little fruity scents which I cannot fairly distinguish.

It pours a dark brown liquid (pretty much like iced tea) with an off white head that is quite big and has a good retention.

The taste is delectable! Hints of molases, chocolate and caramel flavors were present as well as some nuts and dark dry fruit flavors such as raisins, faintly hinting some apple flavor. Bitterness and hoppiness is pretty weak which I actually notice with most Belgian beers I have tasted. It leaves off a little lacing in the glass as well. The carbonation is just perfect, the intermingling of sweet, sour and bitter flavors are totally addicting.

Chimay Red has been rated 99 at compared to Trappiste Rochefort 10 which got a perfect score. I could probably say that I liked Chimay Rouge better simply because the flavors are not as overwhelming as compared to Rochefort 10.
Now that I have tried two Trappist beers, im now eyeing to continue with the Trappist Beer Edition for my Beer-ness sessions. Very much interested in trying Westmalle and Orval next, and of course the rest of the Chimay and Trappiste Rochefort varieties!
For more Beer-ness Friday posts, just click THIS!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dessertspoonful at Secret Recipe (Robinson's Manila)

I have never been a fan of desserts. I did not grew up having a sweet tooth and I have never considered sweets as a stress reliever. My niece Gabby thinks otherwise. She adores anything sweet and since it was a perfect time for her to crave for some since we got really tired from roaming around the mall, I decided to take a break at the first cafe we saw. 

I have seen some Secret Recipe branches around Asia, specifically on my trips to Singapore and Malaysia but I have never thought of trying it out here in Manila until that day. 

Upon approaching, I was told by the staff that they offer free coffee for every purchase of any cheese cakes, brownies, or cream cakes that we order. That actually closed the deal. :)
Aside from desserts, I also saw some interesting offerings in their menu such as salads, pastas, noodles and more. I would probably try it some other time but back then, I was really eying on some cream cake or a cheese cake.

Gab didn't even have a hard time choosing what she like! She pointed at the menu and off we order.

Tiramisu (Php 95)
Im a sucker for coffee cakes and this one totally disappointed me. :( The cake I think was a slice from an old stock, it was rather dry and the coffee flavor is not really evident. Hay....

The Tiramisu with a Cuppa Coffee :)

On the other hand, my niece clearly made a better choice by ordering this....

Cheese Brownies (Php 100)

The Cheese Brownies was served to us warm and my niece went gaga over it. However, I somehow have compared it to Ghenne's Coffee's Cream Cheese Topped Brownie that I totally loved and then become thwarted by Secret Recipe's version.

The desserts weren't really that incredible but the conversation with my niece was priceless. We talked about fashion, movies, shoes, boys and so much more. :)

Overall, I think that the desserts were not really that special. I guess I have to actually try the savory dishes so that I can decide whether Secret Recipe is worth frequenting.

Secret Recipe
4/F Robinsons Place Manila,
Midtown Wing, Adriatico St
Ermita, Manila
(02) 567-2042

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Family Lunch at Hainanese Delights (Robinson's, Magnolia)

I first had a taste of Hainanese Chicken Rice on my recent trip to Singapore last year. It was a great gustatory experience, having been able to sample the signature dish of the country. Now, I was a little hesitant to have the dish tried from a spin-off restaurant here in Manila. However, our grumbling tummies won't handle the long lines from a restaurant of choice nearby thus making this restaurant as our next option.

I have been seing a lot of Hainanese Delights branches all over town and the newly opened Robinson's Magnolia houses one branch. It is located at the lower ground floor right next to Yabu (ggrrr, yes that was actually our resto of choice that day) and Saizen (and I love that 88 pesos store, hehehe).

Hainanese Delights offers Family Meals at a very affordable price. We were handed these flyers as soon as we got in and it actually made the gruesome debate on which to order (and my family always have this dilemma everytime we eat out) a little more bearable.

My sister and I decided to have the Family Meal but we still contemplated on what other things we can order off their menu.

As what I've said earlier, my sister and I decided to order the Family Meal consisting of whole chicken, either fried or steamed, Chapchae, Pork Dumplings, Tofu with mixed veggies, Take the Cake (raddish cake) 4 iced teas and unlimited Hainan Rice. Since there are big tummies to fill, we ordered the Family Meal times two, opting for one steamed and one fried Hainanese Chicken.

By the way, each table has these 3 condiment containers, each holding, soy sauce, chili sauce and ginger paste. 

And here's what we ordered:

Tofu with Mixed Vegetables
I liked this dish only if it was not that sweet. I could have appreciated it better if it was a little bit on the spicy side. 

Did not like the Chapchae at all. I think it was rather dry and bland. Chapchae's I have been tasting has that sweet sauce that their version failed to give. 

Steamed Pork Dumplings
The filling was ok but the wrapper was too thick and was soggy when it was served to us. 

Fried Pork Dumplings
I like the fried version better than the steamed.

Take the Cake (Raddish Cake)
Their raddish cake were cut into small pieces and was fried until golden brown. I love how it is crunchy and not oil-logged compared to the usual radish cakes that were cut into huge squares. 

Tofu Terrific (Php 80)
Tofu Terrific is so-so. I liked the sauce that came with it. 

Steamed Hainanese Chicken (forgive my lipstick stained chopsticks :))

Fried Hainanese Chicken
(sorry if the leg is already lost. Nephew was not able to hold his hunger, hehe) 
The steamed and fried hainanese chicken is good. Meat is tender that it actualy fall off the bones. However, I was not fully swooned by their version. I would to say, it is an OK Hainanese Chicken.

Hainan Rice is unlimited! 
Rice eaters will surely love this place for they have joined the "all you can eat rice" craze. I like Hainan rice in general but their rice is a little too mushy for my palate. 

The servings were hefty and the whole chicken is quite big. I would say that the Family meals they are offering are steals. It would cost you lesser than ordering ala carte dishes. The taste is just ok, service is also quite good at this branch (it could have been better however if they serve the appetizers rather than have the chicken on our table first.) 

Still, my authentic Chicken Rice experience in Singapore is the best, but this would do if I'm craving for something similar. 

Hainanese Delights
Lower Ground Floor
Robinson's Magnolia 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Some Kind of Wonderful night with Mom at SKOW (Marikina)

Mom thirst for some food adventure and I thought of a perfect place to bring her for a cozy Sunday dinner. I have been wanting to visit this foodie discovery that I have first read at Roni's blog (by the way, hello dear Roni!) and I said when would be the perfect time to visit? So, after some shopping, my mom and I drove around Marikina in search of this foodie gem.
I contemplated on the fact that there are actually not much overcrowded, somehow private dining spot like this in my area (I'm from Manila by the way.) I would actually love to visit some place like this where the customers are just from the neighborhood and the place can be actually owned by these people as their neighborhood hangout. Maginhawa, Kapitolyo and Marikina have all these places but not here in the expanse of my area.
Anyway, Some Kind of Wonderful is a movie back in the 80's. Now do not ask me for the plot for I haven't seen the film just yet. Hehe. I dont know the history on why the owners actually made this as the name of the restaurant but all I know is that the place is so full of 80's stuff, from movies to music artists that was popular back then.

Mom was staring saying, "Nak, im starving! Stop that and order muna!"

Cutesy Wall Artworks

This wall actually reminded me of someone.... Hmmm...

We arrived at around 6 PM with a couple of customers finishing their meals. The place is dimly lit which I find very cozy. However, I felt a little sad for I was not able to see how colorful the place is in full view. I love the fancy artworks posted on the walls and some memorabilias being displayed.
The staff who assisted us was very accommodating. She handed mom the menu while I take some shots around and she was courteous enough to answer all my moms inquiries about the menu.
I said I won't pass on the cheesburger and the buffalo wings because I need to have it tasted since the reviews about that were all raves.
Here's what our starving tummies nuke that night...

Buffalo Wings with veggie sticks (PHP 135)

Sausage Pasta in White Sauce (PHP 120)

Cheeseburger (PHP 140)

Iced Tea (PHP 30)

Soda in Can (PHP 30)
I was not really wow-ed by their buffalo wings, though I'm not really saying it is bad at all. Dilinger's and Mad Mark's buffalo wings still tops my list. They failed to give that tangy-sour flavor I was looking for in my buffalo wings. The Cheeseburger is pretty decent too. What I love about it is the mayo-catsup-mustard dressing that fused with the flavor of the beef pattie. Mom liked it a lot though. :) The pasta is also nice. Its creamy and the Hungarian Sausage that goes with it are perfect together. Overall the food, though not that excellent is pretty good. The prices are very much reasonable and the service is great. The place is really really clean too.
Now I hope I could find my own hang out near home soon. Marikina is seriously far from home. But with this kind of food and price, I would still consider coming back if time permits. :)

Some Kind of Wonderful (SKOW)
11 Birch Rd. cor. Rainbow St., Hacienda Heights, Concepcion Dos
Marikina City, Metro Manila
(02) 409-1242 / 09282714998
Parking : side street parking
Smoking Area: none
Wifi: none

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Delirium Red for (Beer-ness) The Beer Friday Sessions

I feel a little girly and dainty tonight that I actually dont want the hard stuff. This is another lollipop beer to sample. As I said on my previous blog posts, I am not really a fan of fruit beers (lollipop beers as I call it) but this night, I suddenly decided to choose a pretty easy drink.

Delirium Red
Brouwerij Huyghe
Style: Fruit Beer
Alcohol Content: 8.5% ABV
My Rating: 3/5
The bottle has this fancy design with a red foil and cap. I find the pink elephant with a cherry quite cute.

As I opened the bottle, the scent was of caramel and cherry. Poured the dark amber brown liquid in a glass that has a pretty big pinkish head that also died after a few seconds. Mouthfeel is creamy that blended well with the cherry, caramelly flavor. Its is sweet and a little sour with a pretty decent carbonation.There was little lacing left in the glass. There was no bitter after taste at all. Totally an easy drink and honestly I did enjoy this one.I should have took slow gulps on this for the alcohol got into me as soon as I was expecting, totally forgetting that it has an 8.5% alcohol content. But overall, an enjoyable drink especially for people who are not bitter beer fans and just want their beer fancy and sweet.
Ladies drink indeed. :)
For more beer posts, kindly visit the Beer-ness page HERE.


Gilmore Wines and Spirits (Gilmore, New Manila, QC)

Love this place! They have over 100 good beer selection from my favorite Belgian beers to American craft beers, to German pils and whole lotta more! Beer heaven indeed. However, call first to ask if they have a stock of your favorite beer. I think they even take reservations. Go get em!

Beer-gasm! :))

Gilmore Wines and Spirits
Pecton Building, 17 Gilmore Avenue,
Barangay Valencia, New Manila,
Quezon City, 1112, Metro Manila
02 390 0932

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trappiste Rochefort 10 for (Beer-ness) The Beer Friday Sessions

As an aspiring beer enthusiast, a great beer should never be left untasted, especially outstanding beers that actually tops beer ratings from around the globe.
I have been reading a lot about trappist beers and I have been longing to sample these great brews. This would be my first trappist beer and I would wanted to start with probably the best.
Before I give you the full review of this fabulous brew, let me first give you a rundown on some basic stuff about trappist beers.
A trappist beer is brewed obviously by trappist breweries. To date, 7 monasteries  currently brew and sell Authentic Trappist Products. These are Orval, Chimay, Westvleteren, Westmalle, Achel and Rochefort, all of which are from Belgium, Koningshoeven in the Netherlands and Mariawald from Germany. These breweries are members of the International Trappist Association or ITA. It means these members are the only breweries that can carry the Trappist name.

Rochefort is a brewery located in in the town of Rochefort inside the Abbey of Notre Dame de Saint-Remy and has been brewing great beers since 1595. They brew only 3 types of beer Rochefort 6 (red cap), Rochefort 8 (green cap), and Rochefort 10 (blue cap), the latter being the best for a lot of beer partisans.
Well then lets get started for I am so excited to share the experience with you.
By the way, the beer is supposed to be drank with a trappist glass which unfortunately I dont have. Haha. So kindly bear with the incorrect use of beer glass for this tasting.

Trapiste Rochefort 10
Style: Quadrupel
Alcohol content: 11.3% ABV
My rating: 5/5


The beer comes in a deep amber colored bottle with a blue cap. Upon opening the bottle, deep molases and raisins aroma were emitted. Upon pouring, the deep brown liquid created a tan head with a good retention. Mouth feel is fizzy but with a deep lingering flavors of dark fruits, maybe of brown sugar or molases. It is slightly sweet, slightly bitter and full of toasty flavors. It has an insanely delectable but no bitter after taste.

I dont really know if it was actually too much for me to handle but I just can't stop saying "wow" in each gulp. The alcohol got into me pretty quick too. 

Overall, I love this brew. No wonder beer lovers go gaga over this rich and flavorful beer. My first trappist beer is definitely a fabulous experience. I cant wait to try more trappist beers in the future!
For more delectable beer post kindly click THIS!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Mad Mark's Man Sandwich and Frozen Desserts (Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig)

After a client meeting at Legend Villas in Pioneer Mandaluyong, I have asked my bestbud Jep to go out and catch up over dinner at Kapitolyo Pasig (which by the way is beggining to be one of my fave food trip destination.
I have antecedently visited Nav, Poco Deli and Cab Cafe in the area and next on my list is Mad Mark's.
Some blogger friends have been raving about their home made ice cream and I certainly planned to have it tried myself. I am not a huge ice cream fan though but I thought of just giving it a shot anyway. Mad Mark's claimed to have been making "artisanal" ice creams which got me fairly curious. I was seriously hoping it is not just one fad publicity for people to pay attention to their product so as to sell.

We arrived at around 9:00 PM and the place is packed. I love the minimalist design and the warm lights. The place is pretty small so only a few people can be accomodated. I am unsure about reservations but you guys can try, will post the contact details at the end of this post.

The menu was handed to us as soon as we got in. I know I'd wanted to have the buffalo wings as soon as I entered for I have smelled that tangy aroma that made me salivate on my first 5 minutes inside.
Jep was obviously hungry so we didn't waste time and ordered right away. He chose the Chicken Meltdown and I opted to go for the Mariner sandwich. We also added the Zing Wings to the list of our orders.

Chicken Meltdown - Half (Php 190)

Mariner - Half (Php 150)

Zing Wings (Php 170)
I liked both sandwiches though I wont say its really really good. Dressing was to much especially for the Mariner. The fish fillets are cut into small bite size pieces which made it messy to eat. Too much dressing + the small fish fillet cutlets = messy table. I think it would be better if the fish fillets are better portioned so as not to slip out of the bread. Speaking of which, I do love their bread. Its a cross between a ciabata and a baguette I think.

Their Zing Wings is something I totally rave about. The wings were perfectly cooked and the spicy, sweet and tangy coating is totally hooking! I wish that a bleu chesse or sour cream dip is provided for this to make it totally excellent. But then again,  I enjoyed the wings as is.
Jep knew that I was going to be lectured about my upcoming website and he knew it would take some time and so he bought me 2 scoops of one of their best seller home made ice cream, the Half Baked Madagascar.

Half Baked Madagascar - 2 scoops (Php 110)

The Madagascar up-close :D
The Half Baked Madagascar is Mad Mark's take on the classic cookies and cream. Their version though uses half baked cookie dough so you get some big chews in between bites of the ice cream. Im a little timid to say that that is something to jabber about but I'm actually not so crazy about it. Then again, maybe I'm just not much of a frozen treat lover that's why.
It was certainly a fun night of discoveries about how websites are developed, how I will earn from blogging (which I actually don't care until now), how I would handle a somehow half serious love life and a not so impressive claim on making an "artisanal" ice cream. Still, Mad Mark's is some place to be visited. I love the Zing Wings and I'm certain that buffalo wings lovers will enjoy it.

Mad Mark's Man Sandwich and Frozen Desserts
23 East Capitol Drive, Brgy Kapitolyo
Pasig City
Wifi: none
Smoking : yes
Parking: side street parking available