Cocina peruvia

You have to taste a culture to understand it. – Deborah Cater

I know its been years that Peruvian cuisine have been introduced to the Philippines.

Trivia:

Did you know that potatoes before are considered only as livestock feed in Europe until French chemist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier began serving dishes made from the tubers at his lavish banquets. His guests then were convinced that potatoes were fit for human consumption. The varieties used in Europe and most of the world, however, derive from a subspecies indigenous to Peruvian Andes, namely Solanum tuberosum.

I remember one of my colleagues telling me to be more adventurous when it comes to trying dishes that I am not familiar of. And I really thank her for telling me that, each new taste I’ve tried and discovered is so exciting, it buoyed me into trying more.

I came across Cocina Peruvia from their very enticing Instagram account, and fell in love with their Galera de Chocolate, it is so pretty and I can’t wait to have the actual thing in front of me.

Galera de Chocolate: Baked chocolate tart with dark chocolate ganache, topped with salty blue (or purple) chips and dried figs. 

So, finally, we made it. Looking at their menu list, I really am confused as to what I am having because everything looks so delicious. As a blogger, I should invite more friends to dine with me because if its’ just me and Jen (my foodie/ travel buddy), we can only consume as much.

So what we’ve had are these:

I had Anticucho de Pollo, it came with Chimichurri and Aji Anticucho sauce.

I actually can’t forget those two flavorful condiments. They really enhanced the taste of chicken that was really tender and a hint of smokey flavor coming through.

We actually requested for additional chimichuri, later we found out, we can buy from the bottles. =)

While according to Jen, she really enjoyed her Seafood pasta because everything she’s craving were on it. And the taste of them all layered together was really exquisite.

we instantly loved our starters, the mixed Patacones.

And since I can’t do without rice, we tried their Cilantro chicken rice as recommended by their attendant being one of their best sellers.

Don’t forget to squeeze that slice of lime. =)

And I must concur with their recommendation, I definitely love the Cilantro rice. We all know for a fact that Cilantro has a very strong pungent flavor, though their version is mildly and tastefully translated. We totally forget the word “diet”.

And this for our dessert. =)

I can’t find the right word to describe what’s it like after we dined, let’s just say it via a hashtag: #happytummy

I told you it’s purple. =)

Interiors/ Ambiance

You will find the many colors and patterns of Peru creating a festive feel. =)

Next time we visit, we agreed to try Ceviche for Jen which is one of Peru’s staple dishes, the Lomo saltado for me and those attractive Brochetas. Oh, they have their versions of pizza too! =)

Hats off to Chef Him Uy de Baron, clients will keep coming back to Cocina Peruvia. =)

Their addresses:

  • Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Ground Floor, Bonifacio One Technology Tower, Rizal Drive Corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
  • Level 2, Ayala Malls – Vertis North, Quezon City

Apartment 1B – Henry Hotel

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. ~ John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Each time I am visiting a new place. It feels like a Get-away or an escape from the usual humdrum of daily life. It sets my vibe. Like when I visited Arte Mondo at the Artelano 11 inside the compound of Henry Hotel at F.B. Harrison, Pasay City. It is a Pre-Holiday Gathering of Premier Filipino Design, a collaboration between Artelano 11 and The Travelling Trunk.

After the canvasing and shopping and “Can’t get enough mode” of taking photos from this exhibit, very timely for the upcoming Christmas season, all we wanted to do is eat. We actually, had DIC (Jen, where is our photo of Mamang Sorbetero?) already.

We were very lucky to find one at the lobby of Henry Hotel: Apartment 1B, I’ve heard a lot of good things about this restaurant, owned by Chef Marivic Diaz Lim and that there are two branches in Makati (One in Salcedo and another one in Rockwell Center). they offer gourmet comfort food and is actually under the wings of The 1B Group along with Kitchen 1B and Pablo. The former is a healthier version of their amazing offerings while the latter is a Continental Bistro bar.

Jen had pizza and I had pasta. We also tried their coffee, I had cafe latte and Jen had Vittoria coffee and espresso.

Simple syrup for my coffee.
I just love cheese. =)

My foodie buddy took care of the menu as I took joy in taking photos. I fell in love with their interiors while enjoying the piped-in music that softly played songs of Carla Bruni. And even if I do not understand most of it, It was so relaxing.

I was able to capture my moments hours ago because I was surrounded by things I love. You may check the link of my separate blog about “Arte Mondo”: https://beautsantua.com/category/my-bohemian-blood-2/arte-mondo/

Simple yet impressive Architecture.
Lovin’ those tiles! ❤

And we really appreciate the experience of being here. The people are very nice. The place was old and they were able to preserve (and restore) most timeworn elements, the windows with decorative glass, the doors, especially those floors. F.B. Harrison street is very rich in history, passing along by it, you’ll see quite a number of manors that’s been sublimely standing still after many generations.

Love it here! =)

Jen and I were wishing that soon we will go back to stay at Henry Hotel even for a few days. It is located at the heart of Pasay City but the feel is very different while we’re inside the compound. It is so tranquil and composed and those greens are very relaxing.

Art in every corner. Those greens are old bottles of wine.

Should you wish to visit, it is located at: 2680 F.B. Harrison Street, Pasay City, Metro Manila. Below is a map for your reference. =)

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Source: https://www.apartment1b.com/a1b-menu.pdf

Las Casas Manila

Las Casas Manila

So much of our future lies in preserving our past. ~Peter Westbrook~

Aside from food, Jen and I shared our love in exploring new places and travel together as far and as much as we can. Anything new to us. She had been requesting from me for years to bring her to Bataan, at “Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar”. However, we’ve been busy lately and when I discovered that there’s an extension of said place somewhere in QC, I am thrilled to inform if she’s okay into venturing to this one that’s nearer, for now.

So up we went one Friday, and reveled in its’ own version of preserving and restoring one of the old manors in Quezon City – Casa De Juico.

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They converted the place after being sold to Jerry Acuzar: The owner of San Jose Builders, it is complete with a boutique hotel and a restaurant by one of Asia’s Best Female Chef: Margarita Fores.

After the attendants with pleasing demeanor took our food choices, we wandered around the place with its’ classic ambience and took pictures (a lot) while Jen is checking from time to time if our food is already served. We were starving as we arrived there at almost 2:00 pm.

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We were ushered by two smiling faces and directed us to the dining hall and let us choose where we want to be sitted.

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I definitely enjoyed chosen spots which they call Instagram worthy. Little did Jen know, I’ve spotted some favorites since I already saw them several times from Instagram. =)

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the kiss
A version of “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt .

So here’s what we’ve got: Spaghetinni con Mariscos (Seafood pasta), Callos (Ox tripe, Chorizos and garbanzos), Tres leches (a slice of chiffon cake topped with smoked coconut and dried mangoes and jackfruit) for dessert and red grapes shake for me (which I so loved) and yellow mango shake for Jen. She loved her pasta as it is thinner than usual, they used Spaghetinni, my Callos were made of slow-cooked to tenderness tripe.  

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We also had Huevos con gambas, for a starter. It’s hard-boiled egg topped with prawns relished in paprika.

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This wheel of cheese is part of their buffet offer, it’s called Parmeggiano Regiano, it’s known to be the “King of Cheese”, it’s so tasteful, gritty and lactose-free too. The cheaper version, is known as “Parmesan” cheese.

It’s just one manor, unlike the one in Bataan, there are more than 20 Casas there, but just this one brimmed our phones with pictures both inside the place and outside as well, I actually enjoyed more the “Al fresco” feel. You wouldn’t know how much I belong to it. The trees, the grass and all. =)

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For a different experience, visit Las Casas Manila and it’ll stir your senses until you realize that you’re heading to Bataan the soonest you can. =) Either places, I’m sure, you will enjoy. =)

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You can make reservations thru: 866-8500 and 0917-711-3714. They’re open from Tueday to Sunday from 11am to 10pm. Las Casas Manila is located at 134 Roosevelt avenue, San Francisco Del Monte, Quezon City. You can also check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/LasCasasQC/

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Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

“Eat the spaghetti to forgetti your regretti.”

Coming from having a burger style pizza a week ago, Jen and I craved for the usual style of pizza that we know about. Either that New York style or an authentic Italian one. We chose the latter.

And we ended up asking the Grab driver to bring us to Evia where Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen is located. The original one is in Aguirre Street, in BF Paranaque which we saw twice, passed by it after we visited some restaurants from this popular street, it is actually included in our Bucket list and in one of my category “When in Aguirre street”.

Typically, when we are handed the menu, we browsed on it and asked the attendant their best sellers. For the pizza, they suggested the “All meat” and “Mama Lou’s special”. We opted for the former.

We also had the mozzarella sticks called in advance although they served us some complimentary breads with olive oil and balsamic dip while waiting for our orders. We also ordered for their seafood home-made pasta.

Ideally they have it all, when it comes to Italian dishes: Antipasti, Zuppe, Insalate, Pasta (oil or tomato base), Pizza, Risotto, Pollo, Carne, Sea food and Desserts.

I should agree that if you’re craving for Italian food, you won’t regret trying theirs.

I am thinking of coming up with my top 10 mozzarella sticks and I think I’m including Mama Lou’s version.

The pasta tasted delicious, there are shrimps, squid rings that were cooked just right. They surrounded the whole serving with mussels and clams and Jen took charge of them. ehehe!

The pizza includes pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage and bacon, there are no ground beef though. Don’t miss the arugulas. =)

The dining hall is quite large, there are enough tables for big and small groups, they occupy 2 floors in Evia actually and I saw it during peak hours that both floors are jam-packed.

There are touches of vintage stuff probably to coincide with the theme, they used bricks on their wall, some beautiful plates were mounted on one wall, neatly arranged wine bottles in the bar which if emptied they utilized as water bottles too. =)

You might ask that smiling woman is Mama Lou. Yes it is her. =)

There are equally amusing restaurants in the area, though Mama Lou’s stand-out in her own special way.

Jen liked Evia as much as I do so I’m expecting she’s eyeing another visit of these days. I might bring her to Another Story too. =)

WATAMI – Casual Japanese Restaurant

Watami – Casual Japanese Restaurant

“Japanese food makes me feel particularly good.” ~David Mitchell~

Jen and I haven’t been hanging out lately and when we did. She suggested to veer away from our usual favorites.

After we got the stuff we need from some specialty shops at Shangri-la mall, our feet led us to this casual Japanese restaurant: Watami.

When it’s casual, does it mean that there would be no Geisha’s to serve you, there’ll be no Tatamis but the usual dining tables, still if it’s a Japanese restaurant, I normally think of the sublime execution of an authentic cuisine. Which is why it is one that always fascinates me. Refined, unmatched manner of preparing and serving each entree, this specific Art and not to forget that Japanese hospitality which is popularly known as “Omotenashi”. Lastly, theirs is healthy.

We’ve been to Akira and Sumo-sam in the past so Watami deserves a try. Besides, we haven’t had Japanese food in a while. =)

This friendly barker helped us decide right away after reviewing the menu that’s displayed outside. There was no mention of miso soup from the menu so we asked him if they have my favorite soup and they have it in 2 variants. A plain one and another that is spicy.

This is faultless, all of the restaurants I’ve tried didn’t fail to pour their guests some cup of tea.

Watami is one of the many restaurants under the Bistro Group:
#tastethelove

 – Plank Sourdough Pizza – Conrad Hotel Manila
 – TGIFridays and Italianni’s – with more than a dozen branches all over the country
 – Fish and Co – Mall of Asia and Trinoma
 – Krazy Garlic – Greenbelt 5
 – Bulgogi Brothers – Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt 5, Harbor point, SM Lanag, Mall of Asia
 – Village Tavern – Bonifacio High Street
 – Modern Shanghai – Mall of Asia
 – Tonkatsu – Ayala Cebu
 – Buffalo Wild Wings – Glorietta 1, Conrad Hotel Manila, Estancia Mall, Uptown Mall, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Texas Roadhouse – Uptown Mall, Conrad Hotel Manila
 – Denny’s – Trinoma, Bonifacio Global City, Eastwood, Vista Mall Sta. Rosa
 – Baker & Cook – Conrad Hotel Manila, U.P. Town Center

Sometimes, it is slightly annoying that while you’re enjoying your food, an attendant will approach you to offer the advantage of getting the Bistro Frequent Foodie card or popularly known as BFF Card.

Photo grabbed from: https://www.bistro.com.ph/

But come to think of it, if I review all of their restaurants, they are the most frequented and been thriving all these years and some of the best restaurants in the country. I must assume that those annoying attendants are one of their most effective Marketing Strategy for a continuous growth and carry one brand after another.

Personally speaking, I have been a regular customer of TGIF and TEXAS Roadhouse. I’ve tried Fish & Co when they still have one at Alabang Town Center. I even got this chance to see some contestants of “American Idol” (Jessica Sanchez’s time) since they held one of their activities at Italianni’s when they had their concert tour years ago.

So even if we haven’t seen and tasted our orders yet, we’re counting on that we will enjoy this early dinner. Later I learned that there are more than 700 branches of Watami all over the Asia Pacific region.

Take a look at what we’ve had:

Chasu rice for me and Jen, special curry Udon with cutlets for Jen and assorted tempura for me. Prior to deciding what to order, I had a miso soup called in advance.

All of these except for my soup were recommended by the attendant who took care of us.

The Chasu rice is truly delicious and its’ flavor matched my tempura. Jen’s Udon is tasteful too but is a little spicy and the hint of curry is just right, it is very mild. I enjoyed my tempura, however, I missed something from the sauce that came with it.

Over all, it was another gastronomic experience. Not to forget mentioning the intricately planned interiors of this casual Japanese resto.

I’ll ask Jen to try the sourdough pizza from Plank and pastries from Baker and Cook soon. =)

Aside from the New Wing of Shangri-la Mall, You can find Watami at the following locations:
– Greenbelt 2
– Mall of Asia
– Uptown Mall

Itadakimass! =)