Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Ayala Triangle Project - Kanin Club

Bistek Pinoy, Php187.00

My quirk culinary project that was launched last year has been set aside for such a long time because of my other priorities and was not at least half of its phase when I last checked it. The Ayala Triangle project is my personal effort to review all the culinary offerings in Ayala Triangle Garden's line of restaurants. I've planned to dine in each restaurant and share with y'all my experiences through taste, service, ambiance and value...and now, I'm pleased to be back.  May I appeal to resume on this project? Please?

It wasn't just an ordinary comeback because it was also my birthday treat with The Canadians at the Filipino inspired restaurant - Kanin Club. Its eclectic mix of Philippine interiors are inspired by intricate wood carvings complete with translucent shell capiz windows. We gathered around a long wooden table in the corner, and get acquainted with the rough wooden seats, which thankfully are more comfortable than they look.

 Crispy Dinuguan, Php 261.00

Kanin Club menu offers Filipino cuisine. "Kanin", which means "rice" in Filipino is where the restaurant derived its name from.  An extensive mix of rice from steamed fragrant Mindoro white rice to loaded fried rice are constant favorite among their clientele. The place had got a buzz from the yuppies of Makati for their superstar dish, Crispy Dinuguan - chunks of pork heavenly deep-fried to a crisp then set in a semi-dry stew of pork blood. It was a nicely concocted Filipino dish but not that spectacular. Somehow, it is great to know that our dishes evolve in finding a permanent place in international cuisine.

Plain Rice, Php 26.00 or All You Kanin Php 60

We skipped the appetizer part and ordered the main dishes. I ordered two of each dish; Piniritong Manok (Fried Chicken),  Bistek Pinoy (Filipino Beef Steak), Laing (taro leaves in coconut milk), and Lemon Chicken.

Piniritong Manok, 261.00

Piniritong Manok  (Fried Chicken) features snippets of chicken (half) marinated in their secret sauce and fried to a golden crisp with fried saba (banana saba) fresh tomato and cucumber on the side. What I liked most among the dishes was the Bistek Pinoy (above picture), its a Filipino version of Beef Steak composed of beef sirloin strips quick-fried in soy sauce and onion rings.

Laing,  Php 172.00

Laing, I would say, is another culinary masterpiece at Kanin Club, its creaminess brought me to hhhhmmm...heaven? It tasted just right - taro leaves, slowly simmered in freshly squeezed and thickened coconut milk, and flavored with pork, dried fish, ginger and chili.  We also ordered Lemon Chicken in case we run out of food - fried chicken portions coated in sweet and tangy lemon sauce, it was a great blend of food.

Lemon Chicken, Php 224.00

I don't like to put this on trend, but like the other reviews online, their service is something that they need to improve. I was not expecting to be worshiped in dinning at this place but I wanna feel valued especially on my birthday.  Here's how I rate our Kanin Club experience.

Food Quality : 4
Ambiance      : 5
Service          : 2
Cost/Prices    : 4

This birthday lunch is definitely worth every penny. It’s a fun place to get together with friends, day or night. And if you’re not in the mood for venturing out they even do takeaway. Although one trip might not be enough - I think I’ve still got areas on the garden to cover.

The project's criteria are; Food Quality, Ambiance, Service, and Cost/Prices, where  Five (5)   indicates "Exceptional Experience", Four (4)  indicates a place "worth a come back", three (3)  means "a casual place to eat", two (2)   means "acceptable", and one (1))   means "poor".

Kanin Club, Ayala Triangle Gardens
Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati Ave., Bel-Air
Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 621-6109

The Ayala Triangle Project:

Amici and Caramia Gelateria
Chef Laudico's Bfast
Golden Spoon
Poco Deli
The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Maya Kitchen Presents Chef Hasset Desserts to Go!

Is there any greater joy on earth than baking a cake?

I could definitely identify this question when I had my first attempt in baking my own Birthday Cake Chocolate Fudge. Baking is a sensationally satisfying and is really cozy activity . It helped heal a broken heart  they say and is really very true... and that's only one of its therapeutic powers. The smell or taste of home baking was unbeatable plus the fact that we knew what we were eating was also a bonus! It was a pleasure to serve my cousins and nieces with some lovingly prepared dish. I’m sure that my home-baking craze has been fuelled by the fact that I am starting to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to do something truly satisfying.

My growing passion for home baking continues to grow unabated as I have decided to join Chef Hasset Desserts to Go! at The Maya Kitchen. Desserts with a twist will take center stage at The Maya Kitchen on July 7, Saturday, 9am-1pm as Chef Hasset Go, one of the youngest baking prodigies in the country shows off his skills. He will demonstrate Energy Mug Cake, Coconut Calamansi Squares, Banana Jubilee Crepe, Pastel Tres Leches, Pandan-White Chocolate Mango Cake, Low Sugar Citrus Cupcake Crème Brûlée and Custard Spring Rolls.

The 23-year-old chef is a native of Misamis, Occidental where he learned how to bake from his mother.  He skipped college to right away train under some of the country’s premier pastry chefs. The young boy who used to sell yema, pastillas and brownies to his classmates is now the co-owner of MedChef Homemade Cakes, Pastries and Desserts. The business supplies cakes and other baked goods to institutional clients. He is now also a food stylist, chef instructor and consultant to food establishments. A book of his unique creations is also in the works.

Lifestyle Courses for July include: Healthy Options by: Kanchan Sadhwani, July 7, Saturday, 1:30-5pm; Classic Cakes, July 14, Saturday, 9am-1pm; Coffee 101, July 14, Saturday, 1-6pm, Cake Pops Workshop by: Veronica Mesia-FHO home entrepreneur on July 21, 9am-3pm; and Decorated 3D Cake Topper Workshop by: Jane Reyes - FHO home entrepreneur on July 28, 9am-3pm.

Certificate Courses with Hands-On include: Fundamentals of Bakery Production, July 3-6 and 17-20, Tuesdays-Fridays, 10am-3pm; Cake Decorating (Basic and Advanced), July 4-6, Wednesday-Friday, 10am-3pm;  Basic Culinary, July 10-13 and 24-27, Tuesday-Friday, 9am-3pm and July 14, 21, 28, Saturdays, 1-6pm; and Barista, July 14, 21 and 28, Saturdays, 1-6pm with 120 hours on-the-job-training.

For more information, log on to or   or visit The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center every Tuesday to Saturday at 8F  Liberty Building, 835 A. Arnaiz Avenue (Pasay Road), Makati City or call 8921185 / 892-5011 local 108.

Join Me! Let's Learn Dessert Secrets From Celebrity Chef Hasset Go!


•    1 (one) Gift Certificate to Desserts to Go! By Chef Hasset (Featured Lifestyle course) on July 7, 2012. (valued at P1,500)
•    fully-transferable; non-refundable


1.    Like The Maya Kitchen on Facebook (
2.  Choose your favorite dessert (from article above) to be made by Chef Hasset Go, fill in the blank, and post this on your facebook status (Don’t forget to tag The Maya Kitchen!)
“I want to attend @The Maya Kitchen’s Desserts To Go short course with celebrity Chef Hasset Go on July 7! Can’t wait to try the ______.”
3.    Leave a comment on this blog post ONLY ONCE with your Name and Email address
4.    Deadline is 11:59PM on Thursday, July 5. Winners will be selected at random via electronic raffle and will receive email notification from The Maya Kitchen.
5.    Announcement of lucky winner is on July 6 (Friday). Good luck!

Blast from the Past: Yellow Cab Accentured!

Four Seasons,  Php 840.00

Where else could be more exciting to celebrate a reunion other than Yellow Cab? Yellow Cab is where the best pizzas and other dishes are housed to celebrate those 'Remember when?' moments with the people that were there too. It was my Accenture colleagues' top choice to celebrate and share the memories that matter to us, every blast from the past, and that includes fond culinary memories in this restaurant during cancellation holidays.

Spaghetti & Meatballs,  Php 245.00

With Yellow Cab's wide array of assorted flavors, we ordered Four Seasons. It’s no surprise that this specialty pizza is deemed the most popular:  flavors of four pizzas put in 1 great pizza: NY Classic, #4 Cheese, Anchovy Lovers, Roasted Garlic & Shrimp, separated by each quarter. It defines all the best selling flavors of Yellow Cab: pepperoni, mozzarella, cheddar, romano & feta, anchovy, roasted garlic & shrimp. We also ordered 2 boxes of  Spaghetti & Meatballs - rich and hearty pasta with 2 giant meatballs baked and simmered in chunky red wine tomato sauce. I fully enjoyed the dish, it was warm and tasty.

Overall, it was a glorious day to found out the real bond between true friends over great culinary experience. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Feast for the Senses: Full Flavors of Asia at Marriott Manila

Experience a palate tickling adventure of Asia's most famous and authentic cuisines from Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam as Marriott Cafe once again tantalizes everyone with a gastronomical masterpiece through a month-long celebration of oriental flavors to pay tribute to the revered cuisine of the world. 

For only P2, 300 net from Sunday to Thursday and P2, 500 net for Friday and Saturday, enjoy a charming Asian dinner that assures of an enjoyable age-old tradition of bonding through a delicious mix of aromatic, spicy, rich, sweet, and hot Flavors of Asia.

Have a chance to enjoy a one hundred percent Asian experience! Marriott properties in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, are giving away three days and two nights gift certificates to four lucky diners of Flavors of Asia.

Bringing the authentic taste of local life and hospitality are Marriott's four culinary masters that will also conduct a special cooking class. A larger than life encounter with Renaissance Kuala Lumpur’s Ruhizad Muri, JW Marriott Jakarta’s Dadang Wahyudi, Renaissance Riverside Saigon Phan Tien Hoa, and JW Marriott Bangkok Thanatorn Krobsuay. Boasting with culinary career track that is dynamically diverse. For only P1,500 net inclusive of a hearty lunch, clear your calendar on July 9, Thai; July 16, Malaysian, July 23 Vietnamese; and July 30, Indonesian if you wish to experience a great treat injected with fun and information by learning to cook it yourself! 

 Spicy River Prawn Soup

Chef Thanathorn makes the Thai food selections more lavish and worth discovering with his new menu line up such as: deep fried sea bass with chili sauce, sautéed squid with pineapple and cucumber, beef balls cooked with typical Malay sauce, and braised beef spiced with turmeric and coconut.

Mashed Banana Fritters

Chef Ruhizad puts an interesting twist with the time-honored wok dishes of Malaysia. This section invites everyone as well to get creative with blue crab, shrimps, dilis fish, beef tenderloin, chicken, clams, barbeque chicken, steamed fish, assorted vegetables peppered with Malaysian spices. 

Baked Red Snapper with Herbs and Spices

Chef Dadang Wahyudi will present another Southeast Asian cuisine that deserves to be in the limelight; Indonesian - Popular for their satay which shows Asians’ love affair for grilled meats, chef Dadang Wahyudi makes skewers tastier and more appetizing with these selections: chicken, shrimps, calamari, beef, goat, pork and fish in assorted marinations! Another must-try is the bebek betutu klung klung, an all-spiced up Balinese dish enhanced by a host of pungent roots, herbs, and seasoning. 

 Fresh Spring Roll

A native of Ho Chi Minh, chef Phan Thien Hoa presents well-rounded Vietnamese dishes notable for its minimal use of oil, bountiful use of herbs and vegetables-- which shouldn’t make one wonder why it ranks as one of the healthiest foods in the world! Most travelers would agree that a Vietnam trip is never complete without tasting a steamy and flavorful bowl of pho. Considered the heart and soul of Vietnamese cuisine, it features a delicious play on broth, rice noodles, meat, herbs and spices. Another delicacy that Vietnam is famous for is the Vietnamese spring rolls—soft rice wrappers filled with choicest meats and vegetables such as shrimps, tofu, chicken, and beef. Enjoy it fresh and slow at this special section which will make you feel the charming street-food style eating in Vietnam.

And with the Philippines long coast line, it’s a crime to miss out our very own seafood choices. Your meal will never be complete without the tiger prawns, steamed lobster on ice, marinated marina clam and curacha crab which are all highly regarded for its freshness, standout taste and quality. So make sure this cold section is part of your eating plan.

So why just cave for? Call Marriott Café at 988-9999 for inquiries or reservations!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Big Chill: My Birthday Weekend in Porta Verde

There's no doubt about it,  I was born with a sign of sugar - because I could not stop eating cake and confections as I had a third round of celebration of my 3*sh birthday in Porta Verde, couple of weekends ago. This time with my cousins and nieces. My birthday weekend was spent in the countryside and has been the best celebration through the conceptualization of the ultimate party planner, Anney, and the gorgeous dishes were made of  the well known food blogger, Peachy. We had the most adorable birthday dishes set up on a rustic wooden table with a scenic view of Lake Lumot. Although the weather was a little bit gloomy, we were all in high spirits.... I couldn't wish for anything more but delias florist didsbury.  

Chocolate Fudge

I made my own birthday cake Chocolate Fudge. At first, I hesitated baking my own cake because I thought baking is not my forte. I never thought it could be easy and really fun specially the part when I was decorating it with fresh and canned fruits. Recipe here.

We let the kids swam in the nearby swimming pool as we prepared the dishes at the front porch of our rented villa. This cherry 7-up cheered them up when we called them to dine in.

Creamy Asparagus Soup in a Bread Bowl

Served in a warm and crusty bread bowl, this Asparagus Soup was creamy and packed with asparagus and mushrooms. This dish was my nieces' favorite.  Recipe here.

 Stuffed Pork Chops

Seared and roasted. The oozing pork chops were stuffed with black olives, garlic, mushroom, butter and cheese. Click here if you want to make some.
Pizza Pasta Salad

Pizza and pasta in one. This dish is love - made of pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, olives and Italian Dressing. Recipe here.

Fresh Fruit Salad

For desert, we had  Fresh Fruit Salad to complete the celebration of my colorful life. My mind and my heart were filled with Happiness on the day that I can't birthday! Really, it was a very happy birthday! To you, Anney and Peachy, this is the most memorable gift that I've received. Thank you.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Birthday Chocolate Fudge from The Maya Kitchen

For some, baking their own cake on their birthday is weird. They say that their loved ones would be offended if they made their own cake....that birthdays are their special day and they want to be treated special... and it does not include baking their own cakes.

But for me, buying birthday cake on my special day just for the sake of having cake on my birthday is insincere happiness. Decorating my own cake would be a genuine treat for me and my family. 

For a number of years that I had celebrated my birthday, I never had a cake  :-(  because we were brought up in the countryside where birthday cake is not a tradition. 

So I thought of baking my own cake on my birthday celebration last month  :P

Although I am a certified Chef-at-Heart, I thought, baking is not my forte. I never thought it could be easy and really fun specially the part when I was decorating it with fresh and canned fruits.

Baking is just easy through The Maya Kitchen's Mixes and this won't be my first...I promise!

All set in the scenic front area of our rented villa in Porta Verde, I assembled the ingredients. Only to found out that the mix that I bought was for Chocolate Fudge. Geez! My supposedly "first" birthday cake would be delayed for a year again? Oh no! I wouldn't let it to happen. As a self proclaimed  Chef-at Heart I knew how to salvage it....and so I made a Chocolate Fudge instead.

Here are the ingredients;

1 pack MAYA Oven Toaster Brownie Mix 230g
1/4 cup or 1/4 bar butter or margarine
1 whole egg, medium
1 tablespoon water
dried mixed berries

For the toppings:
Canned and fresh fruits


Prepare your baking pan. If you are using non stick, brush the bottom of a 9x5x1-inch rectangular pan with oil or shortening then line with wax paper.

Cream the butter in a bowl until soft. Add the egg and water and blend together. Add the brownie mix, mixed berries and beat with a spoon until smooth, approximately 50-60 strokes. Batter will be heavy.

Spread batter on the prepared baking pan.

Cover with aluminum foil and lightly seal at the edges.

Remove oven toaster tray from the oven. Place the baking pan directly on the oven rack. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the pan sideways then bake for 6 minutes more.

Check if the brownie is done by inserting a toothpick at the center. If it does not come out clean, continue baking for 1-3 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.

Cool completely before removing from pan.

Here's my favorite part....decorating!

With no experience whatsoever in cake decoration, I just based it from intuition. My plan was to spread nutella  and place two cherries on top.  I changed my mind when I saw Peachy's fresh fruit salad. I snatched some colorful fruits and assembled on top. The result was perfect!

Ttttaaaddaaaaaa!!! Meet my first baked dish. Sweet and beautiful. Just like me! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm Gonna Bake You Happy!

Cooking show? Naaahhh!

I'll bake something good on my next post.

Something that's happy...

Coz 'twas my Birthday Party!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Psssst, anyone for Pancit Habhab (Pancit Lucban)?

Pancit Habhab or Pancit Lucban is a mouth-watering culinary delicacy of Lucban, Quezon made of  sautéed noodles (from rice flour), chopped pork, shrimps and vegetables mixed with white onion and garlic. It's like a typical pancit but with a kick of sourness from coconut vinegar served separately. It could be a substitute to calamondin which we normally mix in most types of pancit. Traditionally, it is eaten "habhab"-style like in a speed-eating competition. The dish is placed on a rectangular banana leaf and eaten without using any utensils of any kind but using only your mouth.


Luckily, this one has been plated complete with a bottle of pink coconut vinegar (not in picture) because we ordered it from Hotel Aramin's room service. I had no chance to eat it habhab-style. With that, I have a reason to come back next year's Pahiyas Festival to really experience the so called Pancit Habhab.

Gastronomical Road Trip in Pretty Pennsylvania

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PA Tourism for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Pennsylvania  is full of rolling hills dotted with sloping vineyards, lush forests, picturesque grassy hills overlooking the rivers, and millions of acres of farmland. The thoughts of its Victorian-style pubs, Wineries, Breweries, as well as American and French Restaurants are sending me hard-to-decline invitation.  It is undeniably, the ultimate summer destination for food discovery, winery exploration, outdoor recreation, small town charm, vacation homes, historic landmarks, romantic getaways or any other kind of roadtrips I have in mind for the summer.

As we draft our summer getaway, my growing interest to visit this state on a road tripp with my cousins leads me to discover a Pennsylvania vacation guide website: pa-roadtrips. The website offers a  wide array of ready-to-ride roadtrips for local and international visitors. We've decided to take the "Taste Buds on Tour - Eat like a champ in Pittsburg". It is a two days and 2 nights gastronomical road trip in the city of champions - where eating is practically a sport and is a taste buds hot spot.

Fully packed with never-ending selection of fine restaurants to classic diners to farmers markets. Our day 1 itinerary includes a challenge to try the famous Breakfast Burrito in the 1970s-themed Deluca's Restaurant. It is loaded with seasoned eggs, melted cheese, crispy homefries, choice of meat and slathered in their specialty sweet-spicy sauce.  A taste of well-known gargantuan sandwiches and piping-hot, hand-cut French fries in Primanti Bros is what I'm looking forward to. For a nice change of pace, the itinerary also includes a "Just Ducky Tour" in Station Square using retired World War II amphibious vehicles to travel directly from Pittsburgh’s city blocks into its three rivers.  The tour provides an hour-long exploration of historic Pittsburgh. The day will be ended on a perfect place to check in for a night of luxurious R&R, the elegant Omni William Penn Hotel. Day two starts early with best cupcakes, lollipops, and custom cakes at Vanilla Pastry Studio followed  with a visit to Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.Lunch would be at the state’s most famous Polish fare, S&D Polish Deli for some good old and home-style grub and the afternoon would be spent visiting the Andy Warhol Museum for a fascinating glimpse into the psyche of Andy Warhol showcasing Warhol’s captivating paintings and films, as well as other productions that contextualize Warhol’s artwork.

Just by my imagination, Im sure, I'll be coming back and avail more pa-roadtrips.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Subic Swish at Green Tongue

The familiar swishing sound is where the dish gets its name - Shabu-shabu, directly translates to "swish-swish" of a Japanese hot pot meal. That's what we heard when we started frying the food at the al fresco area of the quaint but charming restaurant of my cousin. Green Tongue Restaurant is located just beside the Royal Subic Duty Free Mall in Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Olongapo City. Green Tongue Restaurant promotes green or healthy, delicious and nutritious meals.

Traditionally, the dish was prepared with thinly sliced beef and vegetables by submerging a very thin slice of meat or a piece of vegetable in a pot or nabemono of boiling water or broth made with kelp and swishing it back and forth several times. Cooked meat and vegetables are usually dipped in sesame seed sauce before eating, and served with a bowl of steamed white rice. Once the meat and vegetables have been eaten, leftover broth from the pot is customarily combined with the remaining rice, and the resulting soup is usually eaten last.

We cooked the dish together on a Nabemono outside the restaurant. They say, it is a "cook your own" way of dining and to enjoy the modern shabu-shabu, there are unique ways - by knowing which ingredients comes first, right temperature, and how long each should be cooked. 

However, we prepared it free-style. Everyone picked anything they want to eat and goes first into the pot, fried it in olive oil instead of the traditional stew and let our nieces and nephews cook, play and be involved with food preparations. Meat first for the family of carnivorous, lol! We ate together from a shared pot - the Shabu-shabu style of eating, which is sitting and eating around one pot makes closer relationships, implies sharing, and create warm relations between the diners.

The owners, Mr. and Mrs Huang showed us the correct way of preparing the dish. That time, we actually heard that swishing and not the frying sound.

The Price List

Prawns  Php 150
Sea Shell / Clam Php 50
Squid Php 100
Tilapia (St Peters Fish) Php 100
Milkfish  (dried) Php 60
Salmon Php 250
Tofu Php 50
Crab Meat Php 50
Mushroom Php 50
Bacon / Ham Php 60
Pork Bbq Php 60
Chicken Bbq Php 60
Hotdog Php 60
Lamb Php 250
Corn Php 50
Spinach Php 50
Kankong Php 50
Lettuce Php 50
Petchay Baguio Php 50
Onion Rings Php 50

For Reservations and Special  Arrangements Please Call: 09209519756 / 09178028592

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