Saturday, April 26, 2008

Super Z Sandwich at Salcedo Market

Walking around Salcedo Market can make you really hungry. Something about the place though makes you want to stay on your feet and wander from one food-laden stall to another from the minute you set foot on it until the time you leave. So it would do one good to find food that can stave off hunger while walking.

Robin for his part found Z's sausage sandwiches, which he liked so much he ended up eating 2. Z's offers a variety of sausages to choose from- Super Franks, Hungarian Sausages, Super Z (original, spicy, cheezy, hot & cheezy)- which is grilled then plopped on a ciabatta bun. That crunchy on the outside yet soft and airy on the inside bread has driven Robin away from his junkfood binging to snacking on lightly-toasted ciabatta, which you can get from The French Baker. There you can choose from different forms and sizes of ciabatta- flat, traditional loaf, hotdog bun, and mini flat ciabatta.

Robin prefers his Super Z (original) sandwich bare- just the dog and the bun please- but Z's allows you to adorn your sandwich with the usual condiments- pickles, mayonnaise, ketchup, etc. according to your own taste. You can also buy their delicious sausages to cook at home.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wagyu Beef Burgers at Salcedo Market

According to Wikipedia, Wagyu "refers to several breeds of cattle genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. Also known as Kobe-style beef, the meat from Wagyu cattle is known worldwide for its marbling characteristics, increased eating quality through a naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness and juiciness, and thus a high market value." This bit of information, however, appears to be not entirely accurate. "All Kobe beef is Wagyu, but not all Wagyu beef is Kobe beef." Read more about this at lobels.com.

I spied on Wagyu burgers at the Salcedo Market. I've been hearing a lot about this lately, and, being the food junkie that I am, I just knew that I had to try this. As I neared the stall that sells them, I remembered that I promised my brother a pasalubong and I thought this was the perfect pasalubong for him. My brother is a burger connoisseur, if ever there was one. At Php250, it was a hefty burger. It came in a soft sesame bun, heaped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese. The all-beef flavor is undeniable, unlike most other mass-produced burger that what all you can taste really are extenders and overpowering seasonings. All in all a lip-smacking good burger.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mango Suman by Budbud

Suman is one of the most identifiable if not the quintessential Philippine kakanin. What is kakanin anyway, you might ask. Kakanin is a Filipino word that refers to those native sweets that are typically made of glutinous rice (malagkit). Although I have heard from some people that refer to other native sweets made from sweet potatoes (i.e. cassava), or other starchy tubers (e.g. ube), coconut, and even eggs also as kakanin. I am not quite sure yet where the distinction lies. I have yet to find definitive definition for kakanin. The online Tagalog English Dictionary defines it as: "(noun) tidbits, dainties, sweetmeats (rw. kain)." I know, not a big help, right?

I say quintessential because Filipinos are voracious rice-eaters and Suman is one of those kakanins that are unmistakably made of- you guessed it- rice, glutinous rice that is. Malagkit is virtually the only ingredient of suman. Suman is further divided into several kinds, the more common being the suman sa lihiya and suman sa ibus. I remember going to Antipolo as a child when we have our new vehicle blessed. No trip there is ever complete without going home with loads of kasuy (cashew) and suman sa ibus. There is a trick to eating this suman- you hold it in one hand, uncoil its buri palm leaf wrapping with the other hand, and you dunk it in sugar before you take a bite. Yum!

Suman is available in a number of SM hypermarkets and I have spotted several specialty stores in most malls, if you are not the wet market kind. There's also a stall in Salcedo Market that sells Budbud Suman. They have a variety of suman flavors. Among their specialties, BudBud Kabog is made from millet seeds. I liked their BudBud Mangga- suman with a juicy mango center. Rice and mango rolled into one-- How patriotic can you get?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Blenz Coffee now in Manila

Blenz Coffee, the Canada-based coffee chain has opened its first store in the Philippines at SM One E-Com Centre in Pasay City (read more about this here). Yes, that's beside the SM Mall of Asia, so naturally, it did not escape our radar. Actually, we have been seeing the store open for a few days already but it was only this afternoon that we were able to check out this new player in the local coffee scene.

While I was dying to try their hot chocolate drinks made from Belgian chocolate chips and steamed milk, today's hot weather allowed me to try only their shaken lemon iced tea, which Robin and I loved. It was quite refreshing. I particularly appreciated the unmistakable taste of real brewed tea. Another thing I appreciated was the ambiance of the store. The interior was just lovely and the chairs and sofas- very very comfortable. For those of you students that are always on the lookout for a great place to hunker down and study, you just might like it there. In addition to the comfy furniture, the lighting was easy on the eyes and the air-conditioning was superb, even in this weather. And for those of you road warriors who are always on the lookout for a place to park your laptop or other web device, you'll love it here, too. Wifi is free, and, thus far, impressively fast (read here).

I have a feeling we'll be back there soon. Hopefully then I will get to have my hot cocoa.

*Image courtesy of Mobility Philippines

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Trader Joe's French Truffles

I was just saying goodnight to my cousin in California through YM. She's been sending us some imported knick knacks via FedEx, like this big can of oh so delicious Trader Joe's French Truffles.
I thought it will not survive the trip considering that what we get from Truffettes, they had to pack the box in an iced container just so the truffles won't melt in a couple of hours. It's a good thing the truffles survived. They were a little soft but they had not actually melt into chocolate goo. After about half an hour in the ref, they are firm enough to pick up with anticipating fingers. (Hooray!)

Funny thing, when that particular FedEx package arrived, we found out that the it was tampered with. A shirt for our cousin and some other cosmetics meant for others were gone. And one chocolate box she sent was opened with *gasp* a few pieces missing. The missing stuff were reimbursed by FedEx of course but thinking about that idiot that pilfered from the package is really very annoying.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Salcedo Market photo album: seventh installment

More cooked food, more fresh food, more delicacies...

Good sheperd goodies, for those of you who can't go to Baguio on a whim just to get these wonderful bottled delights.

Pritson, Iberian Chicken, and other prepared foods you can take home, serve to your family or friends, and claim all the credit for.

More kakanin than you can handle

Fear Factor: down a balut, you say?

Hito, grilled your way

A big array of fresh seafood offerings

Enticing roast beef for the meat-lover in you


Salcedo Market photo album: sixth installment

Let us not forget the vegetables. No market experience is complete without beautiful fresh vegetables.

Asparagus

Sugar beets

Eggplants, radish (a while back, I said I never saw radish as white as those in Tagaytay. I've never seen radish as big as these ones here.)

Bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower

Green stuff... (feel free to educate me on this one)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Salcedo Market: fifth installment

Like I promised, I am posting more pictures* from the Salcedo Market,

starting with melba toasts and delicious dips and spreads...




...more breads, lots of high-quality roasted unsalted cashew nuts, and some frozen seafood that are hard to come by in your friendly neighborhood market.

Get your famous Wagyu beef here, season them with fresh herbs from your very own herb garden. Try something different- serve them with hot steamed mountain rice.

Do you prefer to give away fruits?

or flowers in baskets?




Would you like Japanese sushi, Philippine empanadas or French galettes...




... with your wine, iced tea, or fresh carabao's milk?

Needless to say, at the Salcedo Market, the possibilities are endless.

*click on pictures to view larger images



Thursday, April 10, 2008

Salcedo Market photo album: fourth installment

Last for the day...

Assorted forms of calamansi extract

Home-cooked Philippine meals

Arengga civet coffee, assorted bottled goods, fresh-baked breads

Brown eggs, lemongrass tea, dairy products

Grilled ham, smoked bangus, atchara

The next post will start with melba toasts. Something to look forward to, eh? Cheers!

Salcedo Market photo album: third installment

Suman

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