Some eats… Baguio-Manila

Short post. I think I’ve already established that my family are food-obsessed folks, but it’ll be a shame not to mention some of the food that did manage to get photographed before disappearing into the depths of our belly.

Look at all that crisp fried goodness!

Take for instance this deep-fried pork belly from the Hill Station (Baguio – Upper Session Rd). I had set my mind to order a healthy (read-virtuous) salad to balance out the indulgences of the previous day, but, as the “Hungry” Hubby says, I have no self-control.

The first night we were down in Manila, I was determined to try Chef Laudico’s Bistro Filipino(Fort). The experience was uneven. The appetizers were very promising and creative but the HH’s adobo overload shown below was a disappointment. It was supposed to be a smart twist on a Filipino classic, but it just didn’t click with its dry pieces of pork and the sticky rice. Even the kangkong (veggies) that came with it were a wilted mess.

Pan-seared foie gras on adobo?!

The next evening was at L’opera Ristorante Italiano (Fort) to celebrate HH’s birthday. My grilled seafood main course was a bit overcooked but everyone else’s food was superb. I especially loved the pasta dishes that I got to try from others.

A hungry crowd at L’opera
Grilled Seafood – scallops on the shell (upper right) were yummy!

Our last evening was at Je suis Gourmand (Fort), a traditional French restaurant. I ordered the duck special and again somebody else’s dish like my brother’s Chilean sea bass tasted better than mine. The scallop appetizer shown below however, was really, really good.

Scallop appetizer

I did have an exceptional buko pandan panna cotta at Kulinarya Kitchen (Power Plant Mall). If there was a match made in heaven, it’s coconut (buko) and screwpine (pandan).

Buko-pandan panna-cotta

Also, it would be remise of me to mention my new found obsession with frozen yoghurt. The tangy flavor makes it very possible to eat too much before you’ve realized you’ve overeaten. (Add to the fact that because it is non-fat it’s easy to reason that it is healthy therefore you can eat as much as you can.)

Matcha frozen yoghurt with almond mochi
Original flavor with mango and almond

I must save the best for last. Thanks to a reader of my blog, I was alerted to an increase of Hainanese Chicken Rice (HCR) postings and buzz on Filipino food blogs. Interestingly enough, it was not about the making of it but where to get the best one in Manila. And it was not from a restaurant.

Stevie’s Hainanese Chicken rice

Stevie Villacin, a finance executive turned entreprenuer of this legendary hawker food reportedly makes the best HCR in Manila. Before I left for the Philippines, I emailed my brother the address so he can figure out logistics of how we can try it. Luckily for me he said it was right beside their condo.

As I’ve said before, HCR doesn’t look like much, which was what my nephew said when we picked up our order, he said “Tita, it doesn’t look very good.”

“Don’t worry, it always taste better than it looks,” I replied with my fingers crossed.

And you know what? It effing rocked!

Best d**n anything I’ve eaten in a long time. Every bite was like a fulfillment to my stomach. The chicken was tender, the skin was silky, all three dipping sauces were superb,I can’t really choose a favorite. The chili sauce had the right balance of heat and sour, the ginger sauce was addictive to pile on and the sweetened soy sauce rounded everything out. Oh, and the rice … the rice, if you were a follower of the low-carb revolution, the rice would make you forget you’re on one. It’s that good!

So if you are in Manila and you haven’t tried Stevie’s HCR yet, here’s the number to call (906) 5084155, pick-up is at Bel-Air Village. A set is P950 and is good for 3-5 people depending on appetite.

This only proves that your best meals doesn’t always come from fancy restaurants. In fact, I find it more exciting to order food  from a person who has a genuine passion for a certain dish, takes the time and effort to learn how to do it well and deliver it with the quality that the dish deserves.

And darn, I hope I’d be able to make HCR again before I lose the taste memory of Stevie’s version.

14 thoughts on “Some eats… Baguio-Manila

  1. Pingback: Which is the difference in the way aid in the photograph some scenery on the overall look of the photos taken? | Blog O Foto

  2. Ahahaha! Salad na naging lechon kawali πŸ˜‰ Too bad about Sau Laudico’s adobo (was that seriously foie gras adobo? Why???). I’m not really a Hainanese Chicken Rice fan but I adore frozen yogurt… I just need to limit myself, hehe πŸ˜‰

  3. Your family? Obsessed with food? No way! haha… kidding… well actually not surprised – many Filipino families are the same! The lechon kawali looks so crispy and delicious. It makes me proud to be Filipino.

  4. Think I’d better have breakfast now … nothing will taste so good after looking at all these dishes.
    Love the variety of sources. As you say, passion for one dish can really be an eye opener .. or is that just tummy extreme happy.

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  6. Hey Thanks for the link! Yeah HCR of Stevie was indeed quite a revelation for those of us who have tried it in Singapore and wanted the next best thing. I pride my blog with awesome photos of food, but with Stevie’s HCR, I could only take 2-3 photos before I gave in and started eating. I will definitely order again to take better photos! (hahaha now I have an excuse!)


  7. Looks like you had yet another incredible meal on your vacation. The diversity of dishes available to you there is remarkable. So much better than burgers and fries :>)

  8. Oh Veron, It’s 5 AM and already my belly is growling. Everything looks so darn good. (I always want what someone else orders after I see what they get:)

    I have a bit of an obsession with frozen yogurt myself and guess what, June 6th is National Frozen Yogurt Day! I’d love to try my hand at making my own. Any ideas?

  9. An excellent blog!I like it.but The meaning of the last paragraph a bit puzzled.It’s always good to have passions in life to keep yourself from going down the negative path and work towards staying positive.I really enjoyed this. You can look your article comments. This information has really been helpful for most of the readers. I really appreciate the way you have written about this. I will really like to read more on this from you. I know your expertise on this. I must say we should have an online discussion on this. Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information.

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