Tuesday, November 9, 2010


We live in a society where food plays an important role in our lives. Not just eating to live and nourishment but also for social and emotional reasons. There are a lot of different types of restaurants - from fast food to kid-oriented to cafeteria to ultra fine dining. My blog this time is on Fine Dining/Fine Dining Restaurants.

What are Fine dining restaurants? These are full service restaurants with specific dedicated meal courses. Décor of such restaurants feature higher quality materials with an eye towards the "atmosphere" desired by the restaurateur. The wait staff is usually highly trained and often wears more formal attire. In fine dining, food portions are smaller but more visually appealing.

Fine dining restaurants generally have the following services and requirements:

Dress Code: In most cases a fine dining restaurant will not permit jeans, t-shirts, hats and may even require a suit jacket and tie.

Service: The service at a fine dining restaurant will generally be top notch. Expect each table to have no less than two servers directly responsible for it and a Maitre 'D overseeing service.

Menu: The menu at fine dining restaurants tends to be extremely classy with high quality ingredients and prepared by a well-known and talented chef with years of industry experience. 

Food: Top quality produce treated delicately with respect. Small portions paid with extreme details. Combining food and art concept together. Making food taste good and look good.

To appreciate fine dining, our class once tried the food and service of The Royale Lounge at Royal Hotel, GSC.

at royale lounge

with sir felix

fun dining

after the dinner

fine people... on fine dining...


Sunday, November 7, 2010


This old time Filipino recipe known as Escabeche (Sweet and Sour Fish) is highly rated as the most common dish which often available on any events or occasions. It is of Spanish origin which refers to both a dish of poached or fried fish that is marinated in an acidic mixture before serving, and to the marinade itself. The Spanish version is served cold while the Filipino version is served hot usually with rice. The dish is being so much loved by most Filipinos because of its unique blending taste of sweet and sour that even small children would appreciate and enjoy eating it. 

Any fleshy fish will be good for escabeche. I suggest lapu-lapu (grouper), maya-maya (snapper), talakitok (trevally) or labahita (surgeonfish). The sourness of vinegar and the sweetness of sugar will tickle your taste buds and will make you ask for more. 

With Escabeche,”The sweet is not as sweet without the sour.”


Ø  2-3 lbs red snapper, whole fish
Ø  4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Ø  1 tablespoon salt
Ø  1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Ø  2 tablespoons soy sauce
Ø  1/2 cup apple cidar vinegar or white vinegar
Ø  1/4 cup water
Ø  1/2 cup brown sugar
Ø  1 large chopped onion
Ø  6 tablespoons minced garlic
Ø  1/2 cup ginger, julienned
Ø  1/2 cup carrot, julienned
Ø  1/2 cup red bell pepper
Ø  1/2 cup scallion, julienned (spring onions)
Ø  1 tablespoon sifted flour


Ø  Clean the fish and slit it open. Let it stand for few minutes and drain well.

Ø  Sprinkle fish with 1 tbsp salt.

Ø  In a medium skillet, heat the oil and fry the fish until brown. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.

Ø  In the same skillet, sauté the garlic until light brown, then sauté onion.

Ø  Add salt and white pepper. Stir in ginger, scallions, carrot and red bell pepper.

Ø  Add soy sauce, vinegar, water and sugar. Salt and pepper to taste.

Ø  When the mixture boils, add flour to thicken. Then, add the fish.

Ø  Cover the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes.

delicioso escabeche


Saturday, November 6, 2010


One of the qualities that Filipinos possess is their ingenuity to make up almost anything into something new, creative yet cost-sufficient, including food. Among these foods are street foods. Street foods are obtainable from streetside vendors which are readily available, cheap and good-tasting.

Patil or Pastil is one of my favorite street foods. This is a Maguindanaoan food which is semi-sticky rice with chicken toppings wrapped in banana leaves commonly sold in some streets of Mindanao. It looks like a rectangular-shaped suman. (This is easy to prepare. Just wrap the cooked rice and chicken adobo together in banana leaves.)

I grew up in a place here in Mindanao where Patil is a common street food. During recess time in my high school days, me and my barkadas used to race to the stall near our school for a piece of Patil to satisfy our hunger for a few pesos. One “balot” of appetizing Patil fully gratifies one’s stomach.

Maguindanaoan patil

bunches of patil

patil and wyvern


Friday, November 5, 2010


Paksiw is a culinary term in Filipino which refers to cooking in vinegar. When cooking paksiw fish and seafood, a sour base is used. The souring agent is usually vinegar or kamias, others use unripe mango. When cooking meat, paksiw means braising the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar and vinegar. With paksiw na pata (pork leg with knuckles), a few sprigs of dried oregano and handful of bulaklak ng saging is added for flavor. What is known in the west as banana blossoms is called puso ng saging (banana heart) locally. Pork pata may be the front or hind leg. The front is preferred since it is meatier.

Paksiw na pata, is my mom’s favorite dish. Her “diet” is put aside when this heavenly and divine dish is served on the table. She pushes the spoon and fork away and digs in her bare hands when eating this. She finishes each slice up to the last bite…


Ø  1 pork pata, chopped into 1″ slices
Ø  3/4 cup of strong native vinegar
Ø  3/4 cup of dark soy sauce
Ø  3/4 cup or more of tightly-packed brown sugar
Ø  1 whole garlic, pierced with a sharp pointed knife in several sections
Ø  2 whole onions, peeled
Ø  1 bay leaf
Ø  5-6 peppercorns
Ø  a handful of bulaklak ng saging
Ø  a few sprigs of dried oregano


Wash the pork pata well and place in a casserole. Pour in just enough water to cover the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients. Slow cook for 11/2 to 2 hours or until very tender. The meat should literally fall off from the bones. Check the liquid once in a while; add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup. of water if the mixture gets too dry during cooking.

paksiw na pata


Thursday, November 4, 2010


While vodka simply disappears into a drink, gin, which has a more assertive flavor, is a little trickier to blend. When a combination is successful, though, it attains a level of complexity that's impossible with vodka. This is one rule in mixing gin which I have learned from my F&B class. After several mixtures and blends, I have conjured up my own mixture of wine. It is a mixture of vodka and white wine, which I immersed overnight with herbs and spices and few drops of syrup.

I selected a good bottle for my mixture and made a pleasant label on it. Wine as they say is a poetry in a bottle and is beneficial to health while brotherhood is beneficial to lifelong friendships. To promote and advertise my brotherhood DeMolay which is a way to have fun, make new friends, and learn leadership and decision—making skills, I made use of its logo as my label on my wine mixture.

Each pair in our class presented its own version of wines at the school lobby. It was actually a contest, but we never knew the result. To the winners and losers, this adage is for us –

“In victory, you deserve champagne, in defeat, you need it!” - Napoleon

my wine

group 8

group 6

group 5

group 3

group 2

group 1

wine presentation



My recipe today is named after me by my mom as a result to my being skillful at concocting, mixing, inventing and cooking up various ingredients to come up a new dish. She blogged this in her own site a month ago. I am reposting it here for you, folks.

Sinuglaw or Sinugbang Kinilaw is a mixture of grilled pork and tuna kinilaw. There is no need to prepare dipping sauce for the grilled pork once it is tossed to the prepared tuna kinilaw.


Ø  1/2 kilo tuna, cubed
Ø  1/2 kilo pork belly
Ø  1/2 cup vinegar 
Ø  1 medium onion, sliced
Ø  1 medium cucumber thinly sliced
Ø  1 medium ginger julienned
Ø  5 pieces lemon 
Ø  1 piece hot chili
Ø  Salt and pepper to taste


Ø  Place the tuna in a bowl then pour the vinegar

Ø  Put the sliced onion, ginger, cucumber, salt and pepper in the bowl together with the fish

Ø  Leave it out for one hour in the refrigerator before you serve

Ø  Grill the pork belly, cut into cubes then toss it into the kinilaw mixture


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Pinakbet or pakbet is a popular Ilocano dish, from the northern regions of the Philippines, although it has become popular throughout the archipelago. The word is the contracted form of the Ilocano word pinakebbet, meaning "shrunk" or "shriveled". The original Ilocano pinakbet uses bagoong, of fermented monamon or other fish, while further south, bagoong alamang is used. The basic vegetables used in this dish include native bitter melon, eggplant, tomato, ginger, okra, string beans, lima beans, chili peppers, parda, and winged beans.

Pinakbet is best if the vegetables are fresh. My paternal grandfather used to cook this viand every market day, Thursday and Sunday, the days when my grandmother would rush early to the market to buy fresh vegetables. I used to watch my grandfather while he was cooking pinakbet...


Ø  1/4 kilo pork with fat, cut into small pieces
Ø  3 amapalya (bitter melons) sliced to bite size pieces
Ø  4 eggplants, sliced to bite size pieces
Ø  5 pieces of okra, cut in two
Ø  2 head garlic, minced
Ø  2 onions, diced
Ø  6 tomatoes, sliced
Ø  1 tablespoon of ginger, crushed and sliced
Ø  6 tablespoons bagoong
Ø  3 tablespoons of oil
Ø  2 cups water
Ø  Salt and pepper to taste


Ø  In a cooking pan, heat oil and fry the pork until brown, remove the pork from the pan and set aside.

Ø  On the same pan, sauté garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes.

Ø  In a casserole, boil water and add bagoong.

Ø  Add the pork in the casserole and mix in the sautéed garlic, onion, ginger and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Ø  Add in all the vegetables and cook until the vegetables are done, careful not to overcook.

Ø  Salt and pepper to taste.

palatable pinakbet