Archive | April, 2012

Lemon Grass, Cebu City

25 Apr

Lemon Grass is a Thai-Vietnamese restaurant in Ayala Center Cebu in Cebu City. The restaurants looks modern and new from the inside and having a glance at the menu shows that they offer a wide variety of both Thai and Vietnamese food. A combination which sounded great for me since I don’t really eat a lot of Thai or Vietnamese food (except for the occasional Vietnamese egg roll).

When scanning the menu for drinks I wanted to order something that I had never had before and my eye fell on the Thai iced tea. This surprising tea consists out of a strong tasting black tea that has been sweetened with sugar and (condensed?) milk. Plus, various spices are added to give it a very distinct taste.  Although refreshing (it is chilled with ice), the combination of spices, milk and tea was something to get used to. Since I thought of an iced tea (without milk) when I ordered it, I guess my taste buds weren’t really expecting this.

After already having some starters, the waiters came with these cones.

The cones made out of banana leaves and they were filled with rice.

It was just a nice touch to serve the rice.

This is the only dish that I can remember the name of: Chicken Pandan. The chicken was very juicy since it had been wrapped in Pandan leaves. And they were marinated deliciously. It was served with a chili sauce to give it a little extra bite.

I have absolutely no idea what this was. But doesn’t it look good?

I know these were the skewers that I ordered, but what kind of meat it was and with what kind of marinade is something I cannot recall exactly, but they were sweet and delicious though. I had in mind to find the menu online when I would be back in The Netherlands, but unfortunately Lemon Grass doesn’t have a website.

What I can say is that the food in all was really delicious and that I enjoyed our dinner there. And walking out of Lemon Grass I walked onto The Terraces which looked at that time like this:

You can’t complain when you walk into the night and see this after having a fine dinner.


Canteris Revisited – Pita Gyros

23 Apr

After having told everybody of the delicious pita gyros that can be bought at Canteris in Leiden, I decided to buy some and visit my friend R. for lunch so he could taste it for himself.

Once again it looked good! Really stuffed to the maximum.

I just wanted to show to you how much meat fits into one pita. It really is no guessing what the main ingredient is. A real carnivores heaven!

Visiting Jollibee; Cebu Ayala L3, Cebu City

23 Apr

I couldn’t leave The Philippines without having had a short visit to one of the many Jollibees in The Philippines. The picture above is from a Jollibee in the center of Cebu City, but it wasn’t the one that I had visited earlier that day. I went to the Jollibee that is located at The Terraces in the Ayala Center Cebu which was conveniently next to my hotel. I still wanted to add this picture so that you can have an idea of what Jollibee is, and how it looks like.

I ordered a 1 piece Chickenjoy value meal which is a menu consisting out of one piece of chicken served with a drink of your choice, a cup of Jollibee sauce and a side meal which could have been spaghetti bolognese, rice or, what I ordered, palabok fiesta.

The chicken was fried until it was perfectly crisp and it was still tender and juicy on the inside. Having eaten fried chicken from different fast-food chains before, I must say that this one stood out not because of the way it was spiced, but because of how the chicken tasted: it tasted real. Not some fabricated semi-chicken, but it tasted like real, juicy chicken.

My chosen side dish: palabok fiesta was the thing I anticipated the most at forehand, because I ordered it without knowing what it was. It turned out to be (quote from their website): “Premium bihon noodles served with mouth-watering palabok sauce and toppings of pork chicaron bits, tinapa flakes, sauteed pork, shrimps, and slices of egg.”

A very strange, but good tasting combination it was. Especially the topping of pork chicaron bits. That stuff is heavenly! It is fried skin and fat of a pig and I can assure that that is the good stuff. Crunchy and full of taste.

At first my brother didn’t want to eat something since we just had lunch, but after seeing my Chickenjoy meal he couldn’t resist ordering some Chicken Nugget Crunchers. If we have to believe Jollibee, they are not your regular chicken nuggets (quote): Chicken Nugget Crunchers are made with seasoned tender chicken and carrot bits in crunchy, golden yellow coating. Also fortified with Vitamin A! Comes with sweet barbecue sauce for kids to have fun dipping.” Those nutritious carrot bits freaked me out when I read the side of the box (see above), but you couldn’t really taste them when eating the Crunchers. Which is, I suppose, a good thing. And hey, if you even get some extra Vitamin A whilst eating at a fast-food chain, who can complain right?

Oh yeah, they also came in nice shapes:

I’m sure my brother had some really nice fun dipping the Crunchers in the sweet barbecue sauce.

All in all I was glad to have visited the Jollibee. Admittedly, the chicken was really good and the palabok fiesta was a culinary experience of its own. I can understand why Filipino can be so enthusiastic about Jollibee.

Turkish Pizza from Ak-Mir Döner, Leiden

15 Apr

Earlier, I posted about a Turkish Pizza filled with lambdöner. This time, it’s just a plain Turkish Pizza and it’s from another place. As said before, a Turkih Pizza is dough in pizza form which is topped with minced meat and vegetables. These vegetables were red and green peppers and probably some onions. After ordering it, they put the already made Turkisch Pizza in the oven to warm it up. After getting it out of the oven they asked me what I wanted on top (of my regular Turkish Pizza) and after replying: “everything”, they put lettuce and onions in it and topped it all with sambal sauce and garlic sauce. This is then rolled up into a wrap and rolled into aluminnium foil. I got my Turkish Pizza and followed R. to his place were I unwrapt it and took a delicious bite out of it:

A Turkish Pizza is always a great fast-food snack for on the go because of its relative cheap price (around 1,50-2,50 euro) and its high mobility. The only thing you should think about is the smell of the garlic sauce, which is always a tricky thing when you have an appointment with somebody.

Porkchops marinated with…everything!

14 Apr

Porkchops are cheap and it is always fun to marinade them. That’s way they are a regular on the menu. I call marinating them fun because you can marinade them with a lot of stuff and most of the times it will come out delicious. It still depends on how crazy you are going to make it for yourself, but with most spices, herbs and sauces the porkchop will taste good. What I do most of the time with porkchops, and this time was no exception, is putting the porkchops in a large pan and just see what is in the house and put that with the porkchops in the pan. Since there were a lot of things in the house there are a lot of ingredients in this marinade, but some things that were definitely in there were: onions, red onions, garlic, sweet soy sauce, chili powder, paprika powder, salt, pepper and sambal. Possibly there’s some honey or mustard in it. After putting everything into the pan into a nice marinade, I put the pan into the fridge to let it rest in the marinade. After that, they went into the pan:

After a while they were ready and I can only say that they taste very interesting, in a positive way. These porkchops are not highly culinary and the flavor combinations are not well thought of, but just following taste in making them they produce really delicious porkchops.

Lunch at Teriyaki Boy, Cebu City

11 Apr

Oh boy. Its Teriyaki Boy! This is an alternative to all those fast food restaurants around. A great alternative! The restaurant looks good, the food tastes great and it is also quite cheap. What more do you want? Oh, something less greasy than a burger or some fries? Check! With a large menu and thus a large choice of dishes you can make it as greasy as you want.

Since their takeover by the Pancake House Group they underwent a large rebranding (as their site states). The brand mascot can be found everywhere in the restaurant. Due to the new look the restaurant does look modern and hygienic, which is nice, but I was more thinking about the fact that Teriyaki Boy should better deliver some good food!

First of all I ordered a refreshing watermelon shake:

It was cool, refreshing and sweet. Its so much better to drink this than an ordinary coke with your lunch.

What you see above is something that is quite commonly seen in Japanese cuisine. It is called a bento. It is a box shaped container filled with all kinds of food, but typically filled with rice, some meat or fish and vegetables. It is often taken to school as lunch, but it is also sold at shops and in convenience stores. In this case, it was sold in The Philippines at Teriyaki Boy and it was called the Teriyaki Boy Bento. What is in it? I will quote their website:

“Our best seller and specialty. Grilled boneless chicken marinated with our special teriyaki sauce. Served with steamed Japanese rice, miso soup, kani salad, sesame moyashi, coffee jelly and your choice of iced tea or soda.”

What caught my eye was what you see at the very bottom. That dark substance with whipped cream on top. Something that looks a bit out of place when you see the rest of the lunch in the bento. It was, as you could read, coffee flavored jelly. I tasted it, but it wasn’t really my kind of thing. If I remember correctly the (kani) salad was very richly topped with a kind of mayonnaise which was also something unusual. I believe you can see that in the right top corner. Maybe the mayonnaise was a bit over the top. Unusual food isn’t negative though, everything was eaten until the very last bite since it was really good.

This was my lunch. It looks a lot less than the bento right? It was. I can’t really recall why I chose to eat only some ramen, but that doesn’t really matter. Flavor wise it was a very good choice. The soup was very tasty, it really tasted like some strong broth. The ramen were excellent since they were perfectly chewy and the chicken was really full of flavor since it was marinated with their teriyaki sauce. As their website states:

“Our signature Teriyaki Boy Chicken, served on top of your choice noodle (Ramen or Udon) and soup base (Shoyu or Miso).”

I chose the Shoyu soup base, which was a good pick.

All in all I would say that this is a franchise that I would visit quite often if it would be around in The Netherlands, unfortunately they are only located in The Philippines. In my everlasting quest for good food, it seems that I will have to find it elsewhere in The Netherlands.

Nasi Rawon

11 Apr

What you see above is used as garnishing. From left to right you see parsley, Mung been sprouts and spring onions and above that some fried onions. It is used to garnish the black beef soup that is known as rawon:

Rawon is a black, or dark brown, beef broth/soup that is filled with all kinds of different and tasteful spices. One way to serve rawon is to serve it with rice, hence the name nasi rawon. What you do is you get a deep plate, then you scoop some rice on your plate, get some of the soup (don’t forget the meat!) and pour it over your rice and finally you get some of the garnishments as seen above and you garnish your nasi rawon. What you get looks something like this:

It tastes especially good with some sambal!

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