Last Saturday, I was invited by Mr. Fil Benitez and Kaoko to a dinner at Mario’s Tomas Morato. I’d be honest that I know little about Mario’s. I think we’ve eaten once or twice at their Makati branch and when that was gone, so was our Mario’s experience. So last weekend’s expedition (for us southerners, going up north is an expedition), was the perfect time to reconnect not only with the food but the institution that is Mario’s.
There was a time when my late afternoon entertainment meant this cartoon called Cooking Master Boy. This Japanese anime showcased the story of Mao as he goes on a quest around China finding different methods and secrets to perfect his cuisine. In his journey, he met amazing people, some of which bore titles such as Dumpling King or the Prince of Mapo Tofu. Back then, I used to poke fun at the idea of meeting people like these, ‘Iron Chefs’ who are kings and masters of their chosen recipe. Until recently, an amazing experience by Chowking’s doors has shown me that it can happen, there are indeed cooks who become kings of their recipes.
A few weeks back, ((Yes, I have a terrible backlog)) I had my Cooking Master Boy experience when I crossed the Beef Noodle King of Taiwan, Chef Liu Zheng Hsiung of the Lao Dong restaurants. One thing interesting about this guy is he won first prize in the Traditional Beef Noodle Competition for his clear soup beef noodle. What is more interesting is Chowking is planning to bring in his epic beef noodles to the Philippines.
Have you guys seen Munch Punch.com? Okay, that sentence just sounded like a tagline for spam mail, nonetheless, munchpunch.com is an evidence of how much Filipinos love food. Basically, it’s a place where you can check out restaurants and read what other people has to say about it. It even go as far as detailing branches of fast food chains and which one are the best.
To the people behind munchpunch.com, you are amazing. I’m not a big fan of community websites but your simple site just works for me. And great design too! Good job! :3
On a side note, you can check out what I have reviewed here. :3
Big big luffles to Powerbooks!!
For the month of August, Powerbooks has opened their shelves and placed everything on sale. Yes! Everything! Even those pricey cookbooks! Last week, I decided to check it out and a lot of cookbooks were on sale! I oggled over the books that were below P1000. Books such as those by the River Cafe Chefs were being sold at prices I cannot even imagine! Yes, it’s a great time to go cookbook shopping in Powerbooks now and I cannot express how fun it is to buy cooking books there right now! I must add though that even the regular books have a 20% off, so yeah, that washoku book is definitely on my list now, that is if I didn’t buy some manga-related books before. (It was washoku or Osamu Tezuka!)
At first, I wanted to buy the River Cafe Easy series. It seems they’re not as popular locally because their show was never shown here, but back when I had pirated Food Network from South Africa, I had a chance to catch upon their show. They’re a two lady duo specializing in Italian dishes. Their dishes are simple marked with a dash creativity based on the season of ingredients available to them. Some have come and said that they are similar to Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, with an Italian twist. Anyway, the cookbook was great, showing you the ingredients and recipes that match!
However, as much as their book was enticing, rummaging through the booksale pile allowed me to find this book, The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles. When my mom saw this book she immediately remarked “Ay! There’s no pictures!?”, but god if she only read through the content, it’s a gold mine. The book teaches you the fundamentals of pasta and noodle cooking. It tells you how to make that authentic carbonara (which is not the carbonara that most of us eat in restaurants) and the perfect pasta to match that carbonara. It will teach you how to make that balanced cream sauce without your cream curdling (an old problem of mine! ;_;) and other pasta, and also noodle fundamentals that people should know. God, I knew that when I struck that book, I hit gold. For a person who was never formally trained in cooking, this was the perfect book for the noodle nut like me. I’m sure, for whatever you fancy, you will find a book perfect for you. If not, I’ll share some tidbits that I learned in that book here as well! :3