wabi sabi in 2 visits, soon to be 3 wait for it.

23 Jun

I really never can remember the name of this hole in the wall place in makati. I call it wabi-something.. noodle house at the collective.

I’ve heard rave reviews about the cheap pho and cheap ramen, not to mention the potstickers from friends like Miki and Jeeves who told me that I.MUST.ORDER.THE.RAMEN/PHO/vice versa.

As i write this, it’s my second time here. The first time, they ran out of ramen and pho and I ended up eating 2 orders of potstickers and a wheat vegetarian siopao with lemon grass tea.

Today, I’m a little luckier, they ran out of ramen but they do have some pho. So I ordered some ramen, potstickers, lemon grass and vegetarian asado siopao.

Am I hungry? Yes. I’m on my way to a quiz night.
Actually, I’m late for quiz night.

So as I wait here, I give you my two cents worth of what I remember the last time I ate here, and failed to eat neither ramen or pho and just ate potstickers, wheat siopao and the lemon grass tea.

POTSTICKERS: I’ve made and eaten my share of potstickers in culinary school and the potstickers in this place could be one of the best i’ve ever eaten. They’ve got the crispy underside down pat, which i think defines a good potsticker.

The Lemongrass tea wasn’t really spectacular, but it suffices.

I like things with wheat, actually, I only eat wheat bread most of the time (although this will be contested by Iya and Carla). So it was a revelation. The color of the siopao was pretty weird coming in a close to grey color, but other than that, i loved it! And as I was vegetarian for a while, I love the gluten-bola-bola tasting meat inside.

When I last ate here, it was a busy Friday night, the gallery in front of Wabi-Sabi was teeming with people, and most likely than not was the reason they ran out of pho and ramen. There’s a two-person team manning the operation, one doing the cooking, and the other “serving” although by far, it’s supposed to be a self-service kinda thing.

I envy the balls of the operation.

So the pho and the rest of my food arrives.

Pho is tasty and i’m gobbling it up like crazy because I’m late for quiz night and Animals are a topic and I should be there.

Pho is tasty, I love the chicharon part of it all, although, I would really have wanted more lemon in it, or calamansi, because I like tart things like that. It was actually bordering on a little bit salty, and considering how friggin high my tolerance for salt is, that’s saying something.

The potstickers at this visit were sadly bleh–not giving me the same crunchy/crispy underside that I loved about it before. And believe me I loved it enough to order 2 orders of that. So it’s kinda sad. Maybe quality is an issue, or maybe it’s just i’m unlucky.

The Asado siopao wasn’t really to my liking, i’d rather eat the Wheat Siopao again.

All in all, I think Wabi-Sabi needs another visit from me.
For the ramen of it all, and for it to regain the title of “best potstickers ever”.

Hmm, my writing’s a little jumbled right now.
My apologies.

Photo post latah!

— Also, all photos are from Iya Santos -psychosomaticaddictinsane.wordpress.com

close up of the ramen

Chay pao and asado siopao, ditch the asado, go with the chay!

potstickers which were bleh, but used to be awesome!


the truth about chic-boy’s

10 Jun

I seldom go to non-froogie related food events. My friend iya was invited to this by Spanky Enriquez, and I actually just tagged along.

All they told me was that chic-boy meant chicken and baboy. Okay, first of all, there I was in my semi-faker vegetarian mode in a food event dealing with liempo and chicken and thinking to myself—Hooha! Oh the hypocrisy of it all, but that’s not the point.

Having never been to this kind of thing in a long time(if not ever), I was initially really uneasy about the whole thing. I was with a group of people passionate about blogging. And my lazy ass was just totally feeling really, really, really, really irrelevant. haha! I don’t even think Spanky knew that I had a food blog, haha! But I got a kick getting introduced as the person who made toffees. haha! πŸ™‚ Also, hello impetus to get back into writing!

So back to chic-boy. Chic-boy is this chicken-baboy place think the likes of yoohoo and mang inasal thrown in, but bigger, cleaner, better service and may I say, the food’s better.

Cost wise, i think it’s at par with Mang Inasal or Yoohoo. This ain’t fine dining, we’re talking the place you can sit your ass and try to out-eat that hangover that you know is coming after a night in the town. Yep, we’re talking about a 24 hour place in Jupiter, Makati ready to serve you good hot food at really, really, really, affordable prices.

When I arrived, they were taking pictures of Chic-boy’s chicken and liempo. I didn’t bring a camera, so I sat there and was really pretty apprehensive about taking pics using the camera phone when everyone had their dslrs and semi-pros out, but what hey! I got my friend iya to take pictures! haha! πŸ™‚ If there’s a will, there’s a friend. haha!

Back to the food! First up–liempo! At the first bite I really did think it was salty. So being a consummate checker, I took a bite again, it was still salty to me. So I was actually apprehensive about this, i wanted to tell people I found it salty, but really, that could have gotten me thrown out (haha!), so i just shut up.

And then I realized… this stuff’s supposed to be eaten with rice!


or this equation would work too…

SALTY LIEMPO + BEER = happy lasing!

Actually come to think of it, it maybe because I purposely got parts of the liempo with the skin on them, maybe that was the salty part. hmm.. maybe I shall come back and try that again.

The liempo was cooked Cebu-style, meaning it was cooked in between layers of tanglad and other spices. Personally, i’ve always equated cebu-style lechon with tanglad and tamarind. I didn’t taste any tamarind with the liempo, but it sure was tasty! The pieces were crunchy, and the whole liempo order was purty big!

The chicken was yummy as well! It had the same salty finish as the liempo. I particularly enjoyed it with their lechon sauce.

That lechon sauce was good! If you’ve eaten in yoo-hoo bbq, i hate/abhor what they call a lechon sauce that they give you to eat with their chicken. Chic-boy’s was good though! It has a refreshing after mouthfeel to it, that just went really well with the chicken. You could still taste the liver, spices, and whatever thing that they add to it to make it refreshing.

If you’re asking for my opinion, I would basically eat the liempo and the chicken with vinegar and drizzle the lechon sauce on my rice. The former because I can eat anything with vinegar (including ice cream) and the latter, because I am barbaro that way.

After the specialty tasting, we were given the delightful words “order anything you want!”


Iya ordered sinigang na salmon belly and kangkong. I ordered lechon sisig and the talong. Iya looked pretty happy with what she ordered and I had a piece of salmon belly and some sinigang soup, and I agree for the price, it’s pretty good.

As for the lechon sisig, seriously only an idiot can mess up something with the words SISIG and LECHON, the good news is that chic-boy totally nailed this one.

If I wasn’t in my semi-faker but still dieting mode and/or if I was depressed, I would have not ordered the value meal, I’d have ordered the whole sizzling plate with two cups of rice! But alas! We are dieting so I ate all the lechon sisig and just… 1/2 of my rice! (Hehehe!)

And if I knew that chicken oil and garlic bits were available if you ask for it for free, i would have kissed my semi-faker-no eating rice mode goodbye! (But God is good and I only found out about it after I finished my meal! hehe!)

To end the meal, the choices were: leche flan and turon de leche.

I wasn’t really that excited about the leche flan. When I tasted their leche flan, it was good, but was more flan than leche, if you know what I mean (?), don’t get me wrong, it disappeared fast, it was good! Come to think of it, for that price, I think I’m lucky that I ate decent leche flan.

But I have to tell you, I got excited with the turon de leche. The selling point was that it was regular turon but dipped in condensed milk and then fried. I’ve never done that. Upon tasting though, initial impression was it was decent turon, but I didn’t really see any difference with the dipping it in condensed milk part. So thoughts: 1) being once involved in a lumpia cooking book, I loved how even and nicely wrapped the turon was (sue me, I find it difficult to wrap lumpia), 2) the condensed/leche part dipping sauce was the best part of the whole thing! and 3) I think they should serve the turon, and the sauce with ice cream.

All in all Chic-boy’s really a great place to eat in. I can see myself crawling (!) my way towards there at the wee hours of the morning to get my rice-lechon fix with all my drunken friends (haha!)! If I was a regular employee, i would eat there, if i was a callcenter agent, i would eat there, if I was a driver, i wouldn’t, i’d be scared because of all the cars in front (yes, there’s a pretty sizeable carpark in front), but really I should eat there too!

The truth is most chic-boys would really just break your heart.
Kumain na lang tayo sa chic-boy’s, heart will be intact, not to mention it won’t break our wallet.

*pictures all from iya (http://psychosomaticaddictinsane.wordpress.com)

Chic-boy is located in Jupiter, Makati, besides BBQ. http://www.chic-boy.com.ph

The Kulinarya Experience— well, revisited

8 Jun

So here I am reading my trivia book while waiting for my lamb steak to arrive.

This morning, I was working out while watching Heston Blumenthal’s series “search for perfection” and the topic was steak. Having been in semi-faker vegetarian phase for a while, I suddenly had this near ravenous compulsion to find me some meat. So that being said, I find myself in Kulinarya in rockwell waiting for my lamb chops—cooked medium (hopefully as ordered) and sipping on this:

It’s the kulinarya fruit punch, allegedly it goes well with my lamb, so I took a sip and it’s—- sweet. And considering how my tastebuds usually like sweet and tart things, it doesn’t bode well when I say it’s sweet.

So it’s been 5 minutes, okay maybe more and my steak’s still not here. The fruit punch is waiting for godsakes! Let’s get a move on.

Consequently, I think the only sure way I can blog about food is when I’m waiting for it. What do you think? Haha! A new direction… blogging via blackberry, i can be called the undercover blackberry blogging chef?

So the food arrives… First thoughts are:
uhm…Those are little lampchops. And
my goodness I miss plated food!

So the plate looks like this:

Okay, so it’s served with mushroom risotto and some small vegetables (read: carrots and asparagus tips). Seriously, for 450, it’s a pretty small portion or maybe i’ve eaten in too many value-meal places. hmm. nah, it’s really a pretty small portion.

So I tried the risotto first, I actually liked it. No bells and whistles here but it was good rissotto, I actually scarfed it down faster than the chops (which you know doesn’t bode well to the quality of the meat)

These chops were small! Breaded with something that looked like panko breadcrumbs and parsely, it was firstly cooked medium-well, and the only reason I didn’t complain was because 1) I was hungry , 2) it wasn’t well done and (3) there were (thank God!) Juices left in the damn thing, so I could eat it.

The sauce looked like a demiglace sauce with rosemary in it, with some watered down mint jelly.

As all lamb lovers would know, mint jelly just makes lamb better, so this watered down concoction made me a little sad.

Okay.. a lot sad. I was this || close to asking for mint jelly, but I was already disheartened.

But I did finish the whole plate. As far as being full, I am, thankfully so, but my tastebuds have been left wanting.

They are telling me—“you cooked lamb better in culinary school”. Number one, my tastebuds may be a little delusional, and two, my tastebuds have more belief in my cooking skills than I do, but let’s get back to Kulinarya.

So as I sit here, eating the leftover fruits in my fruit punch (hello this is dessert!?!?), I ponder…maybe I should have just gone to the Myron’s next door, and I seem to remember a time that I was excited to eat at Kulinarya.

But that was 30 mins ago, and soooo before I got my bill for this meal which was P700.

Tsk tsk tsk.
Oh but the chandeliers are nice.


realizations are yummy

28 May

So I’ve been thinking…

1) I haven’t really written something other than a required article in a while.
2) consequently because of number 1, this blog has largely remained inactive.
3) Thank God for my froogie friend Vlad, he made me realize that I’ve been eating in the same places over and over again.
4) I haven’t really been cooking in a while, besides the quick lasagna or the usual toffee and chocolate truffle making for Parvati and the Manila Toffee Company.
5) I’m a lazy ass.
6) And really, I kinda feel weird for having the undercoverchef.wordpress.com blog title, there is nothing remotely chefy about me. Well, except for the culinary degree, but THAT doesn’t make you a chef. Okay, I’ve got a catering company, okay, that might suffice. But still……NO. I lack practice, I half think I’ve forgotten all my techiniques and it’s scaring the bejesus out of me.
7) So because of number 6, I challenge myself to the following:


So I’m deciding.
Whether to keep this blog or make a new one. I’ll think about it today.

4.8.10: Manila Toffee Co

8 Apr

My friend Kassy had an Easter Egg Hunting event and we were coerced Β asked to participate. So we did.

After being massively pressured about having to decorate a booth, (People who know me, know that I can make a mean cake, but I might be a little hesitant to decorate it, think back to the Cake Decorating with Fondant class wherein I made an clock instead of attempting to make flowery-type wedding cakes.) our booth looked awesome.

Thanks to my quick thinking and my mom’s propensity to keep stuff that might be useful, such as styrofoam flower and grass decorations.

Tada!!! I give you our booth!!

Not bad right?

In the end we enjoyed the event, although not a lot of buyers, so we have some left over!

Truffles and Toffees at P90/box til supplies last! πŸ™‚


Joanna 09062220546


PS. My mom bought me a freezer! πŸ™‚

What was for lunch?

25 Mar

My phone got stolen on a surftrip in Quezon, so I didn’t get to blog Trois, which is this restaurant that we always stop over in going back to Manila.

Enihoo, just going to share what I had for lunch. πŸ™‚

Chicken sausage
Sauteed lima beans and swamp cabbage
With a balsamic vinegar reduction

Wow sounds gourmet right?
Tagalog translation?
Chicken longganisa with ginisang patani at kangkong, na may suka

Haha! This was just playing with food combinations and trying to plate something (which I super miss btw)

And to test out the new phone’s camera. Food’s up!

Pen Pen’s Pasta Buffet

8 Mar

It finally happened! I finally got my butt off to Pen-pen to try the crispy liempo–but wait, I really went there to try the pasta buffet.

So I thought it would be much harder to find, that is–the store, but thank you good directions and signages we managed to find Pen-pen.

So a quick rundown on the P250 Pasta All You Can Buffet, and my reactions.

– Meatballs – On its own it was just okay, but there’s little snippets of “suggestions” on how to eat the pasta/sauce that they call Karl’s way. I have no idea who Karl is but he knows his shit. I tried this sauce with Basil Oil and cheese as per his suggestion, and by far, it’s my favorite.
– Vegetarian – This actually tasted like Pinakbet, we’re talking pasta sauce with okra. It worked, I put some Kalamansi and I was good with it.
– Tinapa – This is also part of my top 4. Solid taste. Although not much tinapa essence, tasted very tomato-ish, but I liked it.
– Aligue – If I didn’t have to watch my weight, i’d have gorged on this one. Who can freakin’ go wrong with Aligue on their pasta?? Plus the upside was the aligue was very good, not slimy or too rich (owwwwsss.) adding a touch of calamansi, and it’s great!
– Carbonara – It had ground something, maybe it was pork. I’m actually not 100% sure on this, but isn’t carbonara supposed to be only with ham/bacon? Hmm, but it actually tasted good for a cream sauce, of which I’m not a big fan of.
– Bolognese – Normal, but still good.

You had 3 choices for pasta– penne, fettucine and spaghetti. I tasted all of the three, but I really just stuck with the penne, which actually was finished earlier than all the pastas and had to be refilled. I wish they’d have some tri-colored pasta or something, I would actually pay more for wheatbased or healthier pastas, and it could also be a draw to the more health-inclined diners out there.

The verdict is that if I would be in the same area, I would prolly eat in PENPEN just for the meatballs-basil oil experience again… oh and for this…

This was good. We had it with a nice vinegar and I could imagine myself gorging this into my mouth with handfuls of rice (okay.. bad visuals! haha!), yummy!!!

Also, my friend Doy who ate with me, had their fruity punch/iced tea concoction which he majorly loved. You can also have it bottomless and that just makes it more awesome!

PenPen Restaurant is found at Sgt Castor St, located at Morato. And the Pasta buffet happens every Tuesday! πŸ™‚