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This is by far the easiest time I’ve had ordering at a Ramen place, a Japanese restaurant, or at any restaurant for that matter. When I get Ramen I mostly go with “that-one-with-the-porkslices” since I’m an impatient hungry hippo who just wants to eat already! And the noodles, the most important element(!), is just an incidental. Or, to put it in a good way, a “surprise”. ‘Oh so their noodles here are fat. Nice.’

At Moshi Koshi, noodles are the boss! With the help of their “Quick Guide” printed on their paper placemats and wall menu board, customers start with their choice of noodles and build from there. Why start anywhere else? Koshi, or ‘al dente’ noodles as I learned from the Noodle Boss, is key.

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The Quick Guide comes with short and sweet descriptions of the selections of noodles (Chinese-style, traditional or thick and chewy), broth (soy sauce-based, soybean or clear) and toppings – if you’re the type who likes having your ebi tempura in the same bowl as your noodles. Notice, too, the diner dictionary for the items on their menu you may not be really familiar with, and the Koshi clock which basically urges you to finish your food in a flash. Didn’t really care much for the Koshi clock though, because I eat slow and I like to enjoy my meal, and my food was still good twenty minutes in to my happy dining experience.

Not having to survey a cramped and unattractive menu of an endless list of possibilities, I put together my noodle bowl, chose gyoza from the list of sides to add some diversity to my meal and paid, all in under 5 minutes. How is this the first time I’ve gone through this simple and sensible process of deciding what to order.

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The Moshi Koshi menu also offers donburi, spicy curry (beef, chicken or katsu!), tempura and bentos with four of their sidings, if you’re not in the mood for Ramen. But why go to a restaurant called ‘Moshi Koshi Noodle Boss’ and not order noodles? Hopefully not just to catch a glimpse of this guy–

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Good food is good food indeed. But a good concept and thoughtful design doesn’t hurt. Swing by and see for yourself. I ate at the branch in Robinson’s Galleria Level 4, above National Bookstore.

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Verdict: NOT GOOD. After indulging in two boxes of Krispy Kreme Original Glazed donuts all for 132pesos during their last Anniversary celebration, and memorizing that “melt in your mouth” bite, Gavino’s sour cream donut is disappointingly difficult to eat. It felt like soggy bread, like it was rained on and towel dried before sprinkling with sour cream and serving to me. Never again. 

Bought my first and LAST Gavino’s donut at the Robinson’s Galleria basement near the grocery. Giving the benefit of the doubt that it’s a branch thing and Gavino’s donuts taste awesome when under the owner’s strict quality control. 

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The Triple J Panizza we ordered was so good it didn’t even matter much that their seafood pasta had huge chunks of salmon and a generous showering of olives and capers in it. Olives weren’t pitted though, is that supposed to keep flavors in or something? It’s always a hassle having to remove the pits, especially when you’re hungry and haven’t eaten since brunch :@)

Was sad at first to be visiting City Golf and seeing that a new resto had replaced that old rustic burger pub on the corner. But I only got to appreciate then during my latest visit to the place how nice the stone walls and high ceilings of this separate corner structure were, with the new less dim lighting of C’Italian Dining. And the signed plates on the wall and reclaimed wooden wine crates as floors make for cool IG posts, too.

A personal favorite :)

A personal favorite 🙂

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Smile and the world smiles back at you? Well I found a place where this is true, at least a place where the world reflects your coffee.

Not really a big k-pop fan so I guess it took a while for me to catch on to this hipster place that offered scientific coffee and “seoul-ful” design. But nevermind the big photo of unfamiliar k-personalities on the wall, I fell in love with Subspace Coffeehouse the moment I sat down at the lovely table and chairs set by the window with the warm sunshine pouring in through the glass. A barrage of broken wooden chairs had been cleverly hung on the ceiling, explained later on by learning that the owners also owned a furniture store. http://spaceencounters.net/

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In the corner was a very quaint singles reading nook, complete with a singles couch and throw pillow, a side table with magazines and a lamp, and a shelf that you wish you had exactly the same at home.

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And I sure didn’t mind the food either. They had a bunch of cakes that would’ve been great with coffee, but I decided to try their intriguing waffles which seemed like the thing to have there. The bacon, cheese and ham waffle was surprisingly very filling. And it was pretty, too, as if to match the pleasantry of everything else.

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I would love for you to drive to Ortigas Ave. to checkout this place and order “the purple coffee drink with the smiling animal” at the counter. That would be funny. Ok clue: it’s their bestseller. Let me know how it goes!

 

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Don’t you just love when you try something that you think looks good and it still surprises you how unexpectedly fantastic it actually tastes? I was a bit scared that this Sichuan Noodles in Spicy Soup dish, which I picked out for lunch in Food Republic, Tung Chung Hongkong, would just be too spicy for me to eat. But it was just the right kind of spicy, with some coconut mixed in there thickening the once clear broth the more you dig in. While you fumble with your chopsticks you happily think hey the creamy soup compliments the slippery expanding noodles, and makes for a very filing meal at only HK$28.

I’ve eaten probably hundreds of puto bumbong, at/from every place you can think of — church, cafeteria, restaurant, street, from a pushcart — taken home, freshly cooked on the spot, reheated, cold, with Star margarine, with premium butter, with or without panutsa and coconut.  You can never go wrong with this violet chewy rice snack.  Or so I thought.

Today I finally got to try a Mangan Restaurant merienda set meal, consisting of goto, okoy, mini bibingka and puto bumbong, with iced tea (all for P130 no service charge; goto can be replaced with other merienda dishes like pancit, guinataang halo-halo, etc.).

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Being my favorite, I saved the puto bumbong for last.  Sadly, it ruined my entire meal.  The consistency that I love about it was all wrong, and it was clay hard, similar to my niece’s play-doh that needs a bit of kneading before you can pass it through the toy pasta maker.  I didn’t even mind the absence of melted/melting butter on top.  It felt like I was eating a coconut/panutsa flavored tootsie roll as I could only really taste the grated coconut and panutsa.  And to think I got served this really bad puto bumbong for the first time in my life at a classy restaurant.  For shame.

I get my occasional goto fix at Mangan and I would probably still come back.  But never to order their puto bumbong again.

603179_10151174950107260_1983344565_nI can’t get over this cake!

My grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at a small reception in Ilustrado (Intramuros, Manila) with close friends and family.  The food was ok, the lechon given as a gift (or so my Tito says) was a welcome addition to the menu, but man oh man THE CAKE was gorgeously delicious.

It was a three-tiered Lady Baltimore – of course the top two tiers were just cardboard but the bottom tier was enough to feed my big family and our total guest headcount of 70, with some cake left over to take home.  The “white” cake (made with egg whites) is light and tender but not airy, and the white icing is a perfectly smooth and sweet complement.

The Lady Baltimore is said to be a favorite wedding cake.  Strange, I’ve never had this at a wedding.  Actually, I’ve been to three weddings in the last couple of months, and I never got to eat any cake.  I suspect that even if I were lucky enough to partake of these pretty, ornate, towering and majestic things, chances are they wouldn’t have tasted great.  Don’t you just hate when beautiful cakes are off-limits/inedible?

In the name of Lady and Lord Baltimore, my new favorite cake royalty, I command that all cakes be delicious, not just look pretty for pictures, and serve their proper purpose of being served to cake-happy people like me.