Sunday, October 31, 2010

An uncannily delightful dessert at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao

Last Sunday, we found ourselves in Greenhills because my brother heard about this new Chinese restaurant called Crystal Jade Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao. I have not heard about it before then, but my brother said it's been getting rave reviews.

When we got there, judging from the long lines outside the restaurant, we were in for a treat. We ordered a lot, for a group of only three.

Drunken Chicken Marinated with Chinese Wine & Wolfberry (P288)

Steamed Soupy Pork Dumpling "Xiao Long Bao" 5 pcs. (Php158)

Noodle with Dried Shrimp and Peanut in Spicy Sauce (Php288)

Shredded Beef with Mushroom in Spicy Sauce (Php290)

Chicken Fillet in Lemon Sauce (Php288)

Seafood Fried Rice (Php288)

My favorite? The Deep fried Souffle Ball with Red Bean Paste (Php138). It's rather hard to explain, this dessert. It's light and crunchy and fluffy at the same time and it has a mildly sweet red been paste center. How good is it? Well, I finished it off even before I even got to take a picture of it. That should count for something... All in all, it's a perfect finish for a really satisfying albeit heavy dinner.

Location and contact information:
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao, Greenhills Shopping Center
Virra Mall, Greenhills Shopping Center, Missouri St.
San Juan City, Metro Manila
(02) 570-6910

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bottomless Mojitos and more at Le Bistro Vert

I love Mojitos

I am warming up to the idea of discussing life over a bottle of wine, too. 

So I'm thanking my lucky stars there's Le Bistro Vert.

(Click image to enlarge)

If you're not the alcoholic type, there's something else for you to love here. Like, oh, say... lunch? Who doesn't love lunch, eh?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Take the Ridiculous Challenge! (If you dare.)

The anatomy of Burger Avenue's Ridiculous Burger 
freshly grilled all beef triple patty sandwiched on an oatmeal bun laced with crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and three cheese slices. It's HUGE, I tell ya.

Take the Ridiculous Challenge and you just might get your Ridiculous Burger for free. Here's how:

The Ridiculous Challenge*:

1. Order the Ridiculous Burger and inform the Cashier that you would like to take the Ridiculous Challenge.
2. You will have to pay the Ridiculous Burger first and wait until your order arrives.
3. The cashier will lead you to a table where you can take the challenge and she will give you your Ridiculous Burger together with the bell and timer.
4. Once the Ridiculous Burger is ready, the Cashier will set the timer to 5 minutes.
5. You have to finish everything, no vegetables or any left over in 5 minutes. Food that falls on the ground will lead you to disqualification. The Cashier will make sure that everything is eaten within the given time.
6. Ring the bell as soon as you get to finish the Ridiculous Burger. Food must be completely swallowed before ringing the bell.
7. If you get to finish the Ridiculous Burger in less than 5 minutes, then you get a full refund of the Ridiculous Burger. Your name and photo will be taken and will be posted in Burger Avenue.

It doesn't matter whether you try to scarf the thing down whole or chow it down layer by layer, as long as every morsel of the burger is gone in less than 5 minutes. It's not as easy as it sounds though. We learned that the hard way. Still, it's fun and it's an experience worth choking over.

1. A. Venue Mall Makati Avenue corner Valdez St.
2. The Fort Strip, Global City, Taguig.
For delivery call:
729-9108 MAKATI Avenue 
970-8277 The Fort Strip
A Minimum Order of P250 will be required to place the order and a Delivery Charge of P35. All deliveries are limited to a 4 kilometer distance from the store
Opening Hours:
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: 10AM until 4AM (yes, 4AM!)


Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Pressurized" Kalbi Jim

Kalbi Jim

Rustan's supermarket often has these meat specials where, on a particular day, they will feature one sort of meat and slap on a buy-one-take-one sign. I love that. We got lamb chops, porterhouse, and short ribs that way. Every single time I got those meats, I didn't really need them. Not even craving for some kind of food having any of those kinds meat in the recipe when I got them. Oftentimes, what's on special on that day that I find myself in a Rustan's supermarket set the tone on what the next lunch or dinner would be at the house.

I have lambchops, so I make pan grilled lambchops with balsamic reduction. I have porterhouse, I grill it and baste it with Budweiser barbecue sauce (my absolute favorite barbecue sauce). I got short ribs, I make Kalbi Jim (Kalbi Jim calls for thick-cut short ribs but the ones on sale were not the thick-cut style, but it works fine for me either way.) which I have learned to cook using a pressure cooker.

My mom is a big fan of the pressure cooker. Me, I always stayed away from it. It intimidated me. Have you seen how that thing works? When the stuff in it boils, the pressurized pot looks like it is going to explode sending smithereens of pressure cooker shrapnel through the air and hitting some random part of my body. Yesterday, our helper was laughing at me because I was so jittery trying to light up the stove with a match. Also, I scream every time the thing I'm frying pops and sends splashes of hot oil in my direction. I am not very brave when I cook.

In a way, cooking Kalbi Jim weaned me out of my wariness of the pressure cooker. Sure, you can stew Kalbi Jim the conventional way, in a regular harmless little pot, for, oh, about 2 hours. But with a badass pressure cooker, you're done in a little over half an hour.

Kalbi Jim


5 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, minced
3 scallions, chopped
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Lbs short ribs, rinsed in cold water
2 small potatoes, cut up into large chunks
2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths


Score the ribs so that they absorb more of the braising liquid.

Mix all the marinade ingredients (spices and liquids) together.

In a pressure cooker over high heat, put in the ribs and pour the braising liquid over them. Mix well, making sure all the ribs are covered. The liquid should come to about half the 1/3 to ½ the level of the ribs in the pot.

Make sure to read your pressure cooker manual to ensure correct usage and safety (read: Cover and seal pressure cooker.

When the pressure cooker starts to make whizzing noises, start timing the cooking for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, turn off the fire. Wait until after the whizzing stops before opening the pressure cooker (see:

With the lid off, bring back pot to the fire, add in potatoes and carrots and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until tender. Check for flavor and adjust according to your taste.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

KFC's Chili Lime Chicken

Red and green is the theme of the day

Chico and Delamar work the crowd

I was at the launching of KFC Chili Lime chicken held at the Blue Leaf Events Pavilion in McKinley Hill Village, Taguig last Monday and had the smashing opportunity to be among the first in the country to taste their newest chicken flavor. 
The event was hosted by Chico and Delamar, who revved up the crowd by instigating hilarious games and giving away a whole bunch of KFC gift certificates. I almost didn't go because I could not find anyone to go with me. It was after all right smack in the middle of Monday. But I'm glad I did. The energy running through the crowd at the event was quite infectious and I was thoroughly entertained. Plus I had a great lunch. Got nothing to complain about.

How many times can you say "KFC Chili Lime" in thirty seconds?

Rock it!

Where's my tequila? 

For some reason, that was what was running through my mind when I took my first bite of KFC's newest chicken flavor. I suppose the lime flavor permeating the chicken had a lot to do with it.

"The Chili Lime Chicken is marinated in special Chili Lime spices, then breaded and deep-fried for a crispy bite, and finally sprinkled with another dose of Chili Lime flavor. It's a fusion of spicy and zesty flavors in one refreshing bite. (" In my family, I am the odd one ordering the Hot and Crispy variety while the rest are perfectly happy with their Original Recipe. So, the new flavor had me at "chili". What really knocked my socks off though is the fact that it was surprisingly tangy, making my mouth water in every bite... in a good way.

One person in the crowd when asked for her opinion on the new KFC Chili Lime Chicken said, it would definitely hold it's own as pulutan as well. I like the way she thinks...

KFC Chili Lime Chicken is now available in stores, but only for a limited time.

(Me, I'm getting a bucket and test that pulutan theory. In the name of science, of course.)
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