Monday, March 28, 2011

John Bamboo Sate House: A Taste of Indonesia Cuisine at the Heart of Nuvali

It was my first time in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna. I heard a lot of good things about this place: fresh air, nature trails, koi pond, and good food. I never thought I would be here last Saturday. Thanks to my good friend, Alex Dizon, for bringing me along to experience Nuvali.

It was also my first time at John Bamboo Sate House by Red Crab. It caters Indonesian cuisine, which Chef Peter Ayson tries to introduce to Filipinos. A Filipino by nature, he grew up in Indonesia for more than 10 years and that made him an expert in reinventing Indonesian dishes to suit the Filipino taste. Chef Nur is also there to tell us how great their specialties are.

We really had a great time, sharing laughters, giggles, and jokes, over lunch, not to mention the sumptuous meal we shared that sunny Saturday, which includes:
Soup Buntut, Php245
classic Indonesian oxtail soup (above and below photos)

Balinese Seafood Chowder, Php265
 creamy seafood soup with Indonesian spices

Lumpia Semarang, Php165
fried spring roll fried with bamboo shoots

Bakwan Jagung Manis, Php155
sweetcorn fritters with shrimps

Mie Goreng, Php255
fried egg noodles with vegetables, chicken, and shrimps

Beef Semur, Php279
beef stewed in sweet soy sauce

Bebek Goreng Dengan Sambal, Php595
fried crispy duck with assortment of sauces

Beef Embal with Balado Sauce, Php279
deep fried marinated beef with chili sauce

Tumis Kangkong Dengan Tempe, Php185
sauteed kangkong with chili and fried fermented soybeans

Fish Sate, Php245 (6 sticks) Php398 (12 sticks)
grilled fish skewers served with peanut sauce

Classic Pork Sate, P178 (6 sticks) Php298 (12 sticks)
grilled pork loin skewers with peanut sauce

Mixed Seafood Sate Sampler, Php565
fish, squid and prawns sate served with peanut sauce

Bika Ambon Cake, Php155
Indonesian sweet lemon grass cake

From left to right:
Soda Gembira (soda milkshake) Php135
Ice Cendol (Indonesian coconut milk cooler with gulaman and palm sugar syrup) Php135
Soup Buah (Indonesian fruity fruit shake) Php135
Markisa-Seven (markisa syrup and seven up) Php95

The photos say it all: yummy, unique, and filling. But if you are going to ask me what I loved the most, it would be the oxtail soup, the fried duck, the fried noodles, and the sauteed fermented soybeans with kangkong. And not to forget the ice-cold passion fruit juice.
Executive Chef Peter Ayson is right when he said that restaurants should not be intimidating. In other words, food hubs like this should be a venue for relaxation and satisfaction. It should be a place where customers can feel at-home, enjoy the food, and bond with loved ones. That's what John Bamboo offers to the public: good ambience, good service, and more importantly, good food. That's what I experienced upon visiting them. I hope they will continue the tradition.
John Bamboo Sate House is located in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and you can contact them at tel. no. (02) 861-9563.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Secret Spells in the Republic of Cavite's Finest Delicacies

I have been to Republic of Cavite (ROC) Restaurant twice already, both at a food bloggers' event organized and hosted by Town's Delight the Caterer. And if there are reasons to look forward to coming back here, it would be their originally-Caviteño dishes, that are all titillating to the senses.

Cavite Express

Cavite Express is also known as Ginataang Langka but is a twisted version that uses only kalumbahin or a variety of coconut that produces a sweet and sumptuous taste of coconut milk. It is made healthier because ROC uses halaan (clams) and popular native tinapa from Salinas, Cavite.
Sinanglay na Pla-Pla

Sinanglay is known as a Bicol dish, where pla-pla, a kind of fish, is filleted, wrapped in pechay, and simmered in coconut milk. Again, kalumbahin, and another Caviteño ingredient, labong or bamboo sprout, are used in this recipe.
Sinampalukang Inihaw na Manok (Grilled Chicken Sinampalukan)

Because sinampalukan is such an underrated Filipino dish, ROC made a variation to make it more delightful and enticing. Unlike the traditional sinampalukan, a soup-based dish with vegetables, the chicken is marinated in a secret sampaloc (tamarind) sauce and grilled to perfection. It is best served with sampaloc vinegar to enhance its flavor.
Crispy Binagoongang Baboy

Unlike the usual binagoongan, this one is essentially what we call "lechon kawali," served with grilled eggplant and topped with bagoong or shrimp paste. The crisp and crunch of deep-fried pork turned into a saucy dish is definitely one of the best things ROC can offer.
Kilawing Puso ng Saging

The Banana Heart Vinaigrette with Mussels tastes a lot more like Ginataang Langka, but with fresh tahong, one of Cavite's main seafood products. It has a spicy kick that awakens the sleeping soul in you.
Chicken Barbeque with Peanut Sauce

ROC made this chicken barbecue something that will please everyone's taste buds. With its creamy and not-so-sweet peanut sauce, not only the adults would love it, but also the kids who always crave for luscious, syrupy dishes.
Crispy Dinuguan

Just like the Crispy Binagoongan, the pork is deep-fried until brown and crispy. When served, the crispy meat, along with the chicharong baboy, is separated from the cooked and thickened pork blood-based soup. Long, green pepper is mixed with the sauce to remove the stench of blood.

And last but not the list, my all-time favorite:

Lihim ni Lola

An original recipe of the catering company's matriarch, this is purple rice pudding, a smoother version of puto bumbong shaped like inverted puto or kutsinta. The secret is—shall we spill the beans?—let's just say there's something hidden inside that belongs to Lolo, and it's for Lola's eyes only. And so the picture above spoils the thrill.

Who can resist these temptations? Hungry or not, you will definitely say no to the secret spells in the Republic of Cavite's finest delicacies.

For more details, kindly visit Republic of Cavite's website HERE.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Desserts That Took My Breath Away Last Saturday

My trip to Paradizoo Theme and Residence Inn Tagaytay was indeed one of the moments that took my breath away. No, I didn’t get the chance to Zipline. Not that I have fear of heights; I just felt more like to be my group's official photographer rather than being extreme that day. It was breath-taking simply because I was closer to nature, I was with awesome friends, and I was given SWEETS!
Kissing is like drinking salted water. You drink, and your thirst increases. --Chinese Proverb ♥You'll get the same effect with Mendez, Cavite's hot pure chocolate drink. Once you've emptied a cup, you'll see yourself craving for more.

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate. --Thornton Wilder ♥The main ingredient of Paradizoo's ice cream (P10/cup or cone) is fresh goat's milk. It comes in two flavors: vanilla and pineapple--healthy and yummy at the same time. Isn't that cool?

Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet but nothing compared to you. --Unknown ♥Oh yes! Residence Inn Tagaytay has a lot of sugar and milk stocks for your halo-halo (P85/order). We almost drowned the crushed ice and all the stuffs in milk and sugar. More please...

I do like a little romance...just a sniff, as I call it, of the rocks and valleys. Of course, bread-and-cheese is the real thing. The rocks and the valleys are no good at all, if you haven't got that. --Anthony Trollope ♥A newfound blogger friend, Irishell, introduced Loumars Pies & Tarts to me. She said this is at present the best buko pie and fruit tart supplier from Tagaytay, beating the legendary Colette's Buko Pies. A box of assorted tarts costs P150.

And to sum up, here's another quote to remind me--and you dear readers--that "Temptation is like a knife, that may either cut the meat or the throat of a man; it may be his food or his poison, his exercise or his destruction." --John Owen

And as my own saying, "Just like smoking and drinking, too much sweets is dangerous to your health, so eat moderately." :) Do you love my food quotes? You can browse for more here: love related quotes.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Want Do You Think About Hypnosis for Weight Loss?

I am overweight. That is the sad truth behind my efforts to eat less and exercise more, and the irony of my being a food blogger. So when I knew about this Hypnosis For Weight Loss thing, I got curious. How can it be possible?

According to reliable sources, hypnosis is done though hypnotic induction, where the person undergoes a series of instructions and suggestions, administered by an expert or the person himself. Simon Warner, hypnotherapist and creator of the Make Me Thin! System, having tons of experiences in hypnosis, said that by following a series of simple steps, which are indicated in his Weight Loss Hypnosis CD, can really help you shred some pounds. In his website, you can have an overview of how it works.

Now I ask you: Are you willing to take the challenge?