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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Dairy Dish of Chef Robby Goco and Miko Manzano of Lyceum University: Gougeres Trio -Chedder Fonduta, Avocado Ricotta and Buffalo Bleu Cheese.
  A few Fridays ago, the best of the best went head to head to participate in the SPUDS AND DAIRY CULINARY CUP 2019. Chefs and students partnered up to create amazing dishes that wowed the public. Through their creativity and experience, the cooking competition went above and beyond expectations.
Ten pairs made up of a professional chef and a culinary student worked together to plan and cook recipes from a meal category. It could be an appetizer, brunch, main, dessert, and bar food. They must come up with a potato dish and a dairy dish.
Potato Dish of Chef Kalel Chan and Jason Andrada of Tuloy Foundation-Don Bosco: Japanese Potato Souffle Pancke with Potato Flakes, Crusted Chicken and Potato Bacon Gravy
Here's the catch, the chefs can only guide, give tips, and taste the food. The students will do all the prepping, mixing, cooking, and plating. They were given 30 minutes for grocery shopping and a budget of Php 5,000. Afterwards, 1 hour and 30 minutes were allotted for actual cooking of their delicious dishes.
Chef Victor Barangan and his partner Ria Garcia of Enderun Colleges discuss their brunch recipes.
Excellent dishes were presented to the judges which included Mr Ryan Bedford - Agricultural Attache of USDA, Mr Rey Co - President of Hightower, Inc, Chef Sau Del Rosario - President of Culinary Pampanga, Ms. Nina Daza-Puyat - Lifestyle Columnist of Manila Bulletin, Chef Myrna Segismundo- Chairperson of National Food Showdown.
Chef Kalel checks his mentee Jason's deep fried tater tots.
 BUT, there can only be two winners.
The Best U.S. Potato Dish was created by Chef Victor Barangan and Ria Garcia from Enderun Colleges. They made the Potato Royale, Potato Foam, Potato Tuile,  Scotch Egg.  
The Best California Dairy Dish went to Chef James Antolin and Erik Roy San Luis from Center for Culinary Arts Manila.  They created the Mozarella Wrapped Salmon with Smoked Cheese Infused with Citrus Sauce, Grilled Vegetable Salad, Ricotta-Almond Crumbs and Potato Tuille. 
The winners went home with extravagant prices.  Chef Victor and Ria got Php 100,000 each for their amazing work. Chef James and Erik will be having an Immersion Program at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California.
Overall, all the participants did well. Everyone was happy and the challenge produced unique, tasty, and artsy dishes. I believe the people from US POTATO and REAL CALIFORNIA MILK were delighted with what they saw that day and kudos to them for organizing a remarkable cooking showdown.

Because of this competition, I was a little bit inspired to make use of my "talents" to make a dish that would be perfect for an afternoon snack.
 I went ahead and made a CHEESY POTATO CROQUETTE. You would basically need a couple of eggs,  a cup of flour, 2 bars of butter, a cup of bread crumbs, 3 cups of CALIFORNIA SUNSHINE MILK, salt and pepper to taste, REAL CALIFORNIA CHEESE,  and U.S. DEHYDRATED POTATO FLAKES.
I chose CALIFORNIA MOZZARELLA because of it's light, milky flavor and soft chewy texture. You could be able to use other cheeses depending on your preference. You need to set aside roughly half a bar and cut it into small cubes. The rest of the cheese needs be grated to make a cheesy dip. Quick tip: always look for the REAL CALIFORNIA MILK seal for top quality dairy.

For the potato base, I went ahead with roughly 250 grams of US DEHYDRATED POTATO FLAKES. Dehy is easy to use and store that's why I chose to us it over fresh potato. The yield and the quality of the end product is pretty good, too. (Also read: 5 Reasons to Bring U.S. Dehy Into Your Kitchen)
To rehydrate the potato flakes, I just combined 1,000ml of water and 100grams of butter. Heat it to a boil then remove from heat. I added a cup and a half of cold milk into the mix, then gently stir in the potato flakes. Remember though, do not whip. It really depends on you on how you would like the texture. Add more flakes if you want it to be heavier. You could add a bit of pepper or salt. To be honest, it doesn't need any because it tastes pretty good on its own.
U.S. DEHYDRATED POTATOES are usually available in baking supply stores. If you can't find them in shops near you, you may contact Potatoes USA PHILIPPINES via their Facebook Page.
Btw, if you're interested in frozen potatoes, U.S. FROZEN POTATOES like McMain, Simplot, and Lamb Weston are availabe in most supermarkets nationwide.
After rehydrating, the potato flakes would puff up. I took a couple of spoonful and could actually eat it on its own. Next stop is to make balls and insert those cube of cheese into them.
 You then make a cover for the balls. Envelop them with the flour then the egg and lastly the bread crumbs.

It should look something like this. You can actually do this ahead of time. Just place it in the refrigerator and deep fry it to create a golden brown color.
If you still want it to be cheesier. Use the remaining cheese and grate them. Add the leftover milk and put it on the stove. Let it melt until it has a liquid consistency.

After a few minutes, you have yourself a gooey and cheesy dip. Just remember to heat it up before serving to prevent it from solidifying.
Just be careful, everything would be extremely hot. The outer crispy coating would lead you to a soft and delicious mixture of potato and cheese.  The dip would just make everything cheesier!
It's really fun to play with U.S. POTATO and CALIFORNIA DAIRY. You could absolutely do a lot of dishes with them. From something simple as my CHEESY POTATO CROQUETTES to complex creations like the ones in the SPUDS and DAIRY CULINARY CUP. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for me to enjoy my masterpiece.
Want to create your own potato and dairy dishes? Visit the Potatoes USA Philippines or the Real California Milk Philippines Facebook Pages to learn more about U.S. Potatoes and California Dairy.

Follow Real California Milk on Instagram @realcaliforniamilkphl
#spudsanddairyculinarycup #potatoesusa #realcaliforniamilk

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A few Sundays back, I was able to experience something that would stay in my mind for a long time. I visited Teppanya in SM NORTH TOWERS with a few friends and enjoyed their teppanyaki performance. Since they are celebrating their 5th year anniversary, you could have ala carte buffet style food. They would cook most of it infront of you but you also have access to other cooked dishes and of course sashimi, sushi, and rolls.
Teppanya is a Japanese food lovers' paradise. Here food are made to order. Meaning, it's not on a buffet line that sits out for everyone. You order and they make it for you. They actually offer a lot. You could go full sushi or even rice meals like katsudon. Yes, they also have tempura in the mix. There are some premium items though that will require you to add a little bit in terms of the bill but I believe it is so worth it. The scallops and the oysters are to die for.
When you visit, I suggest trying out the teppanyaki right off the bat. Order the meat, seafood, and if you're into veggies, they also offer them. It takes awhile for them to prepare the materials. 
These would be cooked infront of you. They would let them rest for a few minutes before serving the meat. Some could be a bit tough but flavorful. If you like it soft, ask to have it cooked medium. 
This one though is a must. It's like mushroom wrapped in bacon. This is really delicious.
Don't forget to order some fried rice. You could choose between seafood and meat. Both are really good. But don't over do the rice. The goal is to try as much as you can so take it easy on the carbs. Yet, they also offer rolls that you must try. They have a number of signature rolls like this one.
Grilling is also available. They have salmon head and even some of these gindara.
Kids and kids at heart would enjoy these skewers.
With this unlimited menu, you won't go wrong with anything. They offer the promo during lunch and dinner hours up until November. Believe it or not, I went back after a week. I really enjoyed Teppanya and will definitely return.

TEPPANYA has multiple branches around the metro.
Their newest one would be in SM NORTH EDSA.
G/F North Towers.

Disclaimer:wrote this based on my experience. Was invited and also went on my own.
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Friday, September 6, 2019

 The most common question that I get whenever I'm with someone would be "where will we eat?". It's the go to line for any foodie in the metro. Saan Masarap Kumain? It's just one of those things that could be easily answered yet it's difficult. You have to take note of the people you're with. Their personal preference and even your budget. Enter food halls. One of them in particular would be THE GRID FOOD MARKET. Located in Rockwell, Powerplant, this gorgeous food hall was well curated. Different stalls to cater to your wants and needs. They have everything for everyone. From booze to juice, from snacks to meals, from noodles to tapas, and even sweets to more sweets.
As you enter the GRID, on your left side, this wine selection would greet you. Aside from all sorts of bottled alcohol, they also have craft beer and even slices of premium ham. You may partner them with excellent cheese.
 Aside from this, head on over to the middle of the GRID. This stall number 12 serves coffee and other cocktail concoctions. You got to check out their drink list.
 Rambla's would be another sought after stall. A well established restaurant chain, this one serves it's best and brightest.
 Aside from chorizo, they also have other pica-pica. Their pintxos and tapas like this croquetas is filled with oozy goodness.
 This calamares' squid is cooked to perfection. The meat is not soggy nor too hard. The batter is perfect with the garlic aioli.
 Another must visit would be Gochu-gang. They serve this amazing noodle dish. It's called FIRE NOODLES. You got to have a good sense of your taste bud. You could order based on your spicy preference. To be honest, I can't wait to try their other Korean dishes.
You should not miss the NASI LEMAK. You could actually choose between the deep fried crunchy chicken or the grilled salmon. The salmon is glazed with a tangy yet sweet sauce. Partnered all the stuffings of a traditional nasi lemak, you can't go wrong with this one.
 For desserts, one of the stalls you could head on over to would be the WORKSHOP.
Aside from their 17 layered cakes, their brownies and small bites work well. Partnered with coffee, juices, or cocktails from EDSA, you will have a heck of a time here.

So rather than blame yourself if your friends and family don't like your choice of restaurant, you could head on over here. More choices for everyone.


Disclaimer:wrote this based on my experience. was invited to this event.
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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

 Just this Saturday, another event unfolded for the Filipino Foodies. The ULTIMATE TASTE TEST year 10 happened. In the SM AURA's SMX convention hall, different booths showcased their products in order to promote their brand. With over 40 stalls, you should have been present to see how delicious the experience was.
 Aside from the UTT 2019, the Choice Awards was presented. Here, different winners from the Food industry were chosen. The Filipino community voted the best in their respective category.
 This year, MARGARITA FORES was awarded best chef. She too was joined by other industry leaders in accepting their awards.
 While this was ongoing, visitors got a chance to try different products and become a critic for a day. I wasn't feeling that well so I only tried a few that caught my fancy. One of them would be this KAIEN BUFFALO. Their sauce just hits you. It has the right amount of kick but it leaves you with nothing more than an itch that needs to be taken care off (by getting more sauce). This is really good.
 Another must try would be CHIP's DARK NIGHT. Headed by Trixie and Chef Ed, the cookies speak for themselves. The Dark Night had the perfect texture and flavor to make me want to munch on them on and on with milk of course.
 Another savory dish that caught my fancy would be JONI and SUSAN AGROSHOP. They were able to make a traditional dish vegan. The Mushroom dinakdakan was the bomb. I was actually looking for a cup of rice when I tried it. The dish reminds me of chicharon but without the guilt. They really made this pretty good.
 Aside from the different food stalls, this time around there was a beverage lineup known as AGOS. The back part of the SMX was filled with different beverage purveyors. Some were offering coffee, liquor, and others like AURO. They created the iced tablea horchata. A gluten free drink that made use of chocolate. Impressive enough, they added adlai and cashew milk in the mix to make it more healthy. If you're not into that, there were locally made juices and even craft beers.

I believe that the event was a success. Ultimate Taste Test 2019 #UTT2019 was the best of the best. It was well curated and  guests had a lot of fun. There were even games done for both the kids and kids at heart. Too bad, we weren't able to join the beer pong at the back. I think I'm getting too old for this.

Disclaimer:wrote this based on my experience. was invited to this event.
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